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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Dark Woods; a homebrew setting for 5e



Laurefindel
2016-07-24, 03:14 PM
Hello everyone!

A few years ago, I participated in a thread on Paizo's forums where we were invited to roll 5 races at random and make a setting with those races as the only player character races available. I ended up with aasimars, a make-your-own construct race, girtablilu (scorpion centaurs), sprites and vegepygmies.

I grew fond of what started as an exercise, and I developed the setting further. When the homebrew-friendly 5e ruleset arrived, I knew I had to switch.

So here's the Dark Woods setting, including 5 (well 4 really) new races, 13 new racial archetypes, new variant background options.

enjoy

'findel

DARK WOODS (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7Njp48-4P3Ub2FDMkJGSkY1eU0)

zeek0
2016-07-27, 09:58 AM
Beautifully made. I am unsure if you are simply presenting this as a finished product, or you want some feedback. I'll pretend you mean for the latter, otherwise I have no reason to comment.

Setting FlavorAfter reading the description of the continent, I notice that you mention again and again a phrase like, "a dark and terrible forest", and "perpetual shade" and "malice emanates from every tree, every bush, and every blade of grass."

I get it. It's dark. I think its fine to have a wild and dark forest as the setting - it reminds me of Hawthorne. But I think there should be some points of light. You could mention that the free races have carved out bastions against the forest. That there are some glens which are untouched by the darkness. Basically, I need to feel that there are some points of goodness in the world, that not all is dreary, that there is something worth fighting for. The forest should be oppressive enough that it defines the setting, but not oppressive enough that it makes everything dreary.

Aasimar:I rather like your characterization of the Aasimar. They remind me a bit of Tolkien elves, or the fallen Roman Empire.

Automaton:I believe that the Automaton is well imagined, but is overpowered. I could most closely compare them to the half-elf, a race considered to be at the top of the racial power range. They also give +2/+1/+1 to attributes. Living Clockwork and Construct Resilince could be compared to Fey Ancestry. Both have Skill Versatility, although the Automaton version is slightly less powerful.

That means that Skin of Bronze is effectively added on top of the half-elf chassis. And this racial trait is rather amazing on it's own - it alone would be a reason to take the class.

I think you should focus the idea of this race. Are they skilled workers? Warriors? Armored? Perhaps splitting them into subraces would be a good idea.

Girtabilu: I rather like the flavor of this race. I think that it is a great addition to the setting.
I rather like the natural weapons of the claw and the stinger. I think it would make narrative sense if only the poison of the stinger was removed, and that you could use the stinger as a piercing weapon at any time. But that's just me.

Sprite:As difficult as it is to have a tiny creature as a player race, I think it works out. The increased speed and good features help make up for this.

I don't like the 2nd option of the Heart Sight ability. I dislike the application of alignment to mechanics in general, but this would allow the Sprout Singer to identify any masquerading foe and put all encountered creatures into boxes of good/neutral/evil. It simplifies the world in a way that I don't like.

The camouflage ability of the Painter of Life is cool. But the "attempt to hide in natural environment as long as you are not moving and hovering" is difficult to interpret. Without enemies nearby, this is always possible. With enemies nearby, it is awkward - you run to a place with a natural feature, stop moving, and can attempt to hide yourself by... staying still? I might reccomend that they get the Mask of the Wild trait instead (see Wood Elf).

I think that the River of Worms subrace could have a trait that is more specific to their cool flavor and less redundant with vegepygmies and automatons.

Vegepygmies: Certainly a strange race, but I think it works out alright.
I think that natural armor is not warranted for this class. They don't seem to be well armored by bark or anything - mostly of a fleshy/viney disposition. You use natural armor for the other races, and I think it fits well. I don't think it makes sense here. Perhaps some other defensive trait is waranted?

Barbarian:
I don't think it is possible for sprites to be good barbarians, despite your flavor text. They have a terrible Str score, and the rage feature only benefits attack rolls made using Str. Cool subclass.

Bard:
Very cool.

Cleric:
I think you could add abberration to the "Smite the Foes of Good" feature.

I feel that the Herald of Good feature doesn't quite fit with the rest of the subclass - how is resistance to magical damage a trait of Goodness?

Druid:
I think that the Improved Primeval Awareness feature could instead be 1000 ft/spell level. It is rather powerful as-is.

Fighter:
Good. But I dislike granting inspiration through a feature. To me, inspiration is rewarded for good roleplaying.

Monk: The first option of the close claw technique is too similar to the girtabilu racial trait.

The Blindsight feature could cost only 1 ki.

The other races are likewise acceptable.

I only skimmed the rest of the document; it is too much for me to consider at length now. I'll take a look later.

But really, this is fantastic. I would love to use this as a setting at some time in the future - it is so different from the standard plains/Tolkien setting that one usually gets.

PoeticDwarf
2016-07-28, 01:04 PM
This is... actually amazing. I started writing suomething like this once but thought another (dark) forest kinda thing wouldn't work. You've proven me wrong, how many hours did this take you ?

Laurefindel
2016-07-28, 10:19 PM
Hey zeek0, thanks for the comments. Feedback is indeed very welcome.

I don't know about Hawthorn, I've got to look it up. You're right about points of light. There were a few; I must have cut them out when bringing the document down to a more manageable size.

You raise a few good points all around; I'll look into that. During our (rather humble) playtest, we had a sprite barbarian and it wasn't a bad combo. High mobility paired with high endurance seemed to work out.

@ EnderDwarf (love the name btw). I honestly haven't been counting, but way to many hours to hope making a decent living out of writing RPGs.

Laurefindel
2016-07-31, 11:56 AM
Map of the continent of Kyshar (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7Njp48-4P3UQ0VlM1hGQ0o3dG8)

Terikan
2016-08-18, 11:21 PM
I have been following this awesome setting since his days in pathfinder, and im veery happy to see it translated to 5e!
Here are some ideas (sorry if i sound strange, english is not my main language).

Automaton: They look a little overpowered, how about this:

+2 Con
Living Clockwork
Construct Resilence
CA 13 + Des

Subraces
Warrior: +2 Str, +1 Hp per level
Worker: +1 any, Procifency in one skill and one tool

Sprites: Have you considered giving them the flying movement from the 4e pixies? if i remember correctly, they float 5 feet above the floor, and can "fly" their movement but must end 5 feer above some surface or fall.

Sprout singer: The race traits from the forest gnome, speak with small animals and illusion cantrip sounds about right.
Painter of Life: Mask of the wild and stealth procifency
Eater of Flesh: Hunter's mark 1/day and rolling one extra dice on critical hits
River of Worms: A tricky one . . . maybe give them the chill touch cantrip, and advantage against fear and disease.

Girtabilus: They are awesome as they are.

Vegepigmys: "Forest Camouflage", advantage on stealth checks made in forest terrain, like the svirfneblin.

Also if you need something drawn just ask

zeek0
2016-08-19, 12:29 AM
You raise a few good points all around; I'll look into that. During our (rather humble) playtest, we had a sprite barbarian and it wasn't a bad combo. High mobility paired with high endurance seemed to work out.

I find this surprising, almost to the point that I am unsure that you played the Barbarian RAW (I don't intend to be insulting, I promise). Barbarian just keys too much off of Strength:


While raging, you have advantage on Str and Str saving throws.
While raging, when you make a melee attack using strength, you add the rage damage to the damage roll.
Reckless Attack gives you advantage on attack rolls using strength.
Indomitable Strength keys off strength
Primal Champion only increases Str and Con


Pixies can only be based off of Dex for their weapon attacks - their Str score is too low (although, by RAW, Primal Champion will increase your Str score - to 7). This is only exacerbated by the fact that you only have daggers for weapons - which my itself may preclude them from any melee combat.

Am I missing something?

Laurefindel
2016-08-19, 02:53 PM
I find this surprising, almost to the point that I am unsure that you played the Barbarian RAW (I don't intend to be insulting, I promise). Barbarian just keys too much off of Strength:


While raging, you have advantage on Str and Str saving throws.
While raging, when you make a melee attack using strength, you add the rage damage to the damage roll.
Reckless Attack gives you advantage on attack rolls using strength.
Indomitable Strength keys off strength
Primal Champion only increases Str and Con


Am I missing something?

argh, we misruled Reckless Attack... I still think it can be a viable character, but I'll remove it from the suggested class section.

Laurefindel
2016-08-19, 02:59 PM
I have been following this awesome setting since his days in pathfinder, and im veery happy to see it translated to 5e!
Here are some ideas (sorry if i sound strange, english is not my main language).


hey, thanks!



Automaton: They look a little overpowered, how about this:

+2 Con
Living Clockwork
Construct Resilence
CA 13 + Des

Subraces
Warrior: +2 Str, +1 Hp per level
Worker: +1 any, Procifency in one skill and one tool


yeah, Automaton at the moment have one feature too many. subrace idea is interesting...



Sprites: Have you considered giving them the flying movement from the 4e pixies? if i remember correctly, they float 5 feet above the floor, and can "fly" their movement but must end 5 feer above some surface or fall.

Sprout singer: The race traits from the forest gnome, speak with small animals and illusion cantrip sounds about right.
Painter of Life: Mask of the wild and stealth procifency
Eater of Flesh: Hunter's mark 1/day and rolling one extra dice on critical hits
River of Worms: A tricky one . . . maybe give them the chill touch cantrip, and advantage against fear and disease.

didn't know about 4e pixies. That's not a bad avenue; their flight ability has given me much headache lately.



Girtabilus: They are awesome as they are.

Vegepigmys: "Forest Camouflage", advantage on stealth checks made in forest terrain, like the svirfneblin.

Also if you need something drawn just ask
working atm, I'll PM you when I have a few minutes.

Laurefindel
2016-09-18, 10:41 AM
Took a break over the summer, but I'm coming back to my Dark Woods setting.

I'm considering the following changes for the DW races.

Aasimars: unchanged

Automatons:
+2 CON
Living Clockwork (unchanged)
Construct Resilience (unchanged)
Skin of Bronze (AC=16 regardless of armor, removed +1 to AC)
Warrior Subrace:
+1 STR
Dwarven Toughness analogue (+1 hp at each level)
Artrisan Subrace:
+1 DEX and +1 INT (yes I'm conscious that makes it +4 ASI total)
+1 skill or tool proficiency (not limited to artisan tools)

Girtablilu: (unchanged)

(hesitant to let stinger be used as a unarmed strike without poison. 1d8 is a bit much and makes monks strong at low levels)

Sprite:
STR=3, +2 DEX
Speed: 10ft. fly 40ft. must land or hover 5' at end of turn.
(that still allows sprites to land in branches, but it makes them a bit more reachable)
Invisibility (unchanged)
Diminutive (unchanged)

Sprout Singer
+1 CHA
Heart Sight: observe 1 min to know
* present emotional state
* whether creature is polymorphed/wild shaped)
* whether the creature has more current hit point than itself

(I do like the forest gnome illusion/speak with small animal abilities as suggested by. Hearth Sight was a clin d'oeil to the monstrous manual sprite. I've change a lot already; perhaps and can let this one go as well...)

Painter of Life
+1 WIS
camouflage: proficiency with Stealth. (still hesitating between a Hide in Plain Sight analogue or Mask of the Wild analogue)

Eater of Flesh
+1 CON
Darkvision 60ft. (I like the savage attacker analogue, but they roll d4 for damage only. worth it?)

River of Worms
+1 INT
Advantage on saves vs poison and disease, resistance to poison damage.

Vegepygmies:
Temped to leave them as is. Another ability would seem too much, unless we consider the "cannot speak" part as a major negative ability...

jinjitsu
2016-09-19, 04:18 PM
I've only skimmed, but I like the feel - you've made some massive incongruities in the setup make sense. Just from a formatting standpoint, I'd suggest you vary the font sizes in the racial archetype section - it's hard to tell at a glance whether the heading you're looking at is for a class, an archetype, or a feature.

Laurefindel
2016-09-20, 08:52 AM
(...) I'd suggest you vary the font sizes in the racial archetype section - it's hard to tell at a glance whether the heading you're looking at is for a class, an archetype, or a feature.

noted

thanks

Laurefindel
2016-11-20, 07:51 PM
Races of the Dark Woods (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/SyzvEaJfg)

Changed a few things since I saw Volo's.

Aasimars:
- no changes, but I'm considering switching to Volo's aasimars. Then I would have to think about what a whole nation of nova-happy flying creatures would look like...

Automatons:
- two subraces, artisan get skillful traits, warriors get skin of bronze trait. Floating ASI are now fixed.

Girtablilu:
- no changes

Sprites:
- fly speed reduced to 30ft. Must finish their move standing on a surface or hovering 5 feet of the ground.
- invisibility as bonus action until next turn like Firbolgs
- some changes in the subrace abilities.

Vegepygmies
- lowered natural AC
- removed resistance to poison
- added toned down regeneration ability
- added plant camouflage

Laurefindel
2016-11-27, 12:54 PM
Racial Archetypes for the Dark Woods setting (http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/SJi1i5_Mg)

here are 13 homebrewed class archetypes, each tailored for one of the five races of PC of the Dark Woods setting. Some minor changes from the original document, including the removal of granting inspiration as a crunch mechanics.

Comments are more than welcomed.