Just few hours short of one entire month! And the group now counts 28 members, growing at a steady pace and now without direct invitations.
The newest member, I'm happy to say, is not even a Magic player, so she's showing a very welcome interest! Let's see if you'll fall in love with "something Zendikar" too, I_smile_alot!
There have been less submissions this week, because I was dedicating too much time to this and I should better dedicate more time to my studies! After all, if I create Zendikar videos out of the blue, there's no telling how much time can I waste!
However, there are some cool updates and news, some of which I'm going to report here as a preview of what's to come.
First of all, and staying on topic with time-consuming activities, I submitted a Zendikar entry to the latest Expert DM Competition (community.wizards.com/xdmc) which is/was Create a Subversive Villain. And I submitted no less than Anowon, the vampire Ruin Sage. After all, it needed to be done anyway.
And speaking of Anowon, the book has arrived from Amazon... I now own In The Teeth Of Akoum (besides a Red Box, Rules Compendium and Heroes of The Fallen Lands..!) and I started reading it today!
Whoa, there's some action in there.
I think it's ok to link here to the community profile of the author, Robert B. Wintermute. Maybe he will be happy to answer to some questions about Zendikar, if no top-secret policy by WotC is upon him! I also invited him to the group, but I think he's not logged in anywhere near recently, so who knows.
However, the important bit is that even within the very first pages of the book, I already learned something about the differences between the two main elven clans of Zendikar, the Tajuru and Joraga, and it was one of my main concerns in the Races department!
And speaking of races, news revolve around them this week.
Gamma-Mage gifted us with quite a lot of insights in the "Native, Outsider, and Unknown races of Zendikar", the sticky thread of the Zendikar Races forum. Summarizing it all, we now have a clear idea about:
- Surrakar: Zendikar native reptilian or possibly amphibian humanoids that will end up taking the niche of the Dragonborn in some ways and will be presented as the first race that will only (initially) be able to communicate through non-verbal means..!
- Wilden/Vengevine: which are disovered to be one and the same on Zendikar, because Zendikar's "vengevine" are plant creatures totally akin to our Wilden!
- Deva: who are basically like all Zendikar's angels, since they're all "tied to the land". Devas could simply be the lesser ones, or the ones who failed the most at their duties, needing to live as mortals to redeem themselves... And if you read the fluff about angels in Zendikar, you'll discover that the Eldrazi constitute the angels' failure themselves!
- Goliaths: that in my opinion make perfect "Ondu Giants", who are known to be smaller humanoids made large by the particular primal forces of Ondu, also matching a lot of the Goliath's primal flavor, if not for the fact that Ondu Giants are probably more wood-themed than stone-themed (but the wood of certain trees of Zendikar is hard as stone, so it's a quick conversion...).
- Changelings: who, as noted by enthusiastic new member TelirBerrywind, may all hail from nighmarish Jwar, The Isle of Secrets, and are better called Shapeshifters.
- Goblins (preview!): thanks to a thread I started in the Flavor and Storylines forum on the Magic boards, I discovered/remembered that are particular in Zendikar for their use of a mineral called "Grit". I'm pretty sure that it gives them some elemental resistance, and each tribe makes a different use of it, making the Goblins yet another Zendikar D&D race that will present options...
Speaking of racial options, here are the current and planned ones:
- Vampires: three main families, different ability score bonuses, skill bonuses and minor feature.
- Merfolk: very studious and solitary, I gave them a bonus At-Will power as humans, but they must swap it with one of their main At-Wills during short rests, a bit like a wizard spell-book. Their racial power can have different effects depending on their power source, favoring multiclassing or classes with multiple power sources, such as the new Assassin and Ranger.
- Kor (preview): they will be able to choose to master different weapons and tools and will have either features or power that will make different things depending on the weapon/tool used, favoring those that gain proficiencies in many, according to their racial flavor.
- Elves (preview): the clan could determine the secondary ability score bonus, will surely give different skill bonuses, and will of course have different racail feats, much like Vampires.
- Goblins (preview): their different uses of Grit will give them different resistances and maybe even different powers depending on the clan. To represent a bit their risk-taker simply-mindedness, they could have triggered effects when they take damage of the type they are resistant to, making them them more effective when targeted by friendly fire, blasts of energy and such!
- Surrakar (preview): too small/rare a race to justify tribal differentiation, but I think having ones who can speak and ones who can't is enough! (Even if the difference will be determined by a single feat).
And to end up staying in theme, here are the things that should still be dealt with by all of us:
- Vampires: feedback is needed, especially on the strange ability bonuses...
- Merfolk: feedback is needed.
- Kor: I only posted a proposal for a racial power, and it needs feedback. Plus, I'm not sure if they can be made more as +2 Dex & +2 Wis or +2 Str ... or... +2 Wis & +2 Dex or +2 Str.
And of course I'm not sure about Strength.
- Elves: it must still be decided how much of the original Elves (and/or Eladrin and Drow) will be used and how much will change or not be used. Joraga for example may be similar to Drow stats-wise.
- Goblins: even brainstorming is needed. I thought about making them another +2 to Any human-like race, let's see what you'll think about it.
And that's all for this little blog. But wait, can't post a Zendikar - D&D blog without at least one cool image... And I have two personal favorites, only one of which truly relevant, but both awesome!
See you on the forums, post anything youi want, don't be shy!