The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 39
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Losing your Humanity:NOW WITH PATHS

    Monstrous Power

    He who fights monsters should take care, lest he become the very thing that he fights. Fiction is full of powers that are inherently dangerous and corrupting. This is a rule system for representing powers of that kind. Perhaps these powers come from a demonic pact, or from inserting alien biology into your own, or from reading through tomes of forbidden knowledge. Regardless of the nature of the power, character who take such power upon themselves risk either losing their mind entirely, or becoming something completely inhuman.

    At the DM’s discretion, you may be allowed to obtain access to some of the monstrous powers outlined in the monstrous power section. Each Monstrous Power corrupts a character by a certain amount, changing them from what they once were. Undergoing these changes results in cognitive dissonance that if left unmanaged, will cause the character to descend into madness. The list below summarizes the madness that a corrupted character might experience. These effects are cumulative, and last for as long as they have that level of corruption.

    Spoiler: corruption effects
    Show

    • Pure(0-1): You are either completely uncorrupted, or the power you have taken upon yourself is so small that no one will ever notice.
    • Touched(2-3): A hard light has entered your eyes. You find it difficult to care about people as individuals. When you make an ability check connected to understanding or persuading another person, you roll a d6 and subtract it from your total.
    • Tainted(4) You feel cold. You don’t even know who you are any more. You have disadvantage on charisma saves.
    • Corrupted(5): You experience vivid hallucinations that make it impossible to focus on anything. You have disadvantage on all ability checks.
    • Turned(6+):Your spirit has been totally overtaken by corruption. Only glimmers remain of the person you once were. Although your mind is not beyond restoration, it is buried deep beneath layers of madness. You become hostile (although not necessarily violent) to the rest of the party. The DM may at this time choose to take control of your character.



    Every monstrous power carries it's own drawbacks.
    Spoiler: List of Monstrous Powers
    Show

    • Iron Skin(3)(1st level): Your skin is as hard as steel. You gain a +2 to AC. All magical healing to you is halved.
    • Natural Weapons(1)(1st level): Your form has changed to include a natural weapon of a shape you choose. Choose bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing damage. This weapon deals 1d8+(STR or DEX) damage of that type. This weapon has the finesse and light properties, and can be used in conjunction with Two-weapon fighting.
    • Darkvision(1)(1st level): Your eyes have turned black. You gain darkvision out to 60 feet. In bright light you have disadvantage on attack rolls against things more than 30 feet away, and perception checks to see things at distances greater than 30 feet.
    • Eater of Essence(2)(1st level): You are capable of feeding upon the residual energy that a dying creature leaves behind. Whenever you kill a creature within melee range you can feed on it's essence, regaining 2d8 hit points. Doing so causes you to gain a point of corruption temporarily. An hour after feeding, your corruption returns to normal.
    • Moment of Perfection(3)(1st level): You see glimmers of the future flit before your eyes. When you hit an enemy with a weapon attack, you can turn that hit into a critical hit. You cannot use this ability again until you finish a long rest. Using this ability makes you gain one level of exhaustion
    • Arcane Repository(2)(6th level): A huge, unsightly tumor grows on your head, filled to the brim with magical knowledge which seeps into your mind even as you sleep. A number of times equal to your proficiency modifier you can use this tumor to cast a spell you know, but do not have prepared. You must still use a spell slot. You regain all usages of this ability on a long rest. You can only spend a quarter (round up) of your hit dice on a short rest as opposed to half.
    • Walking Apothecary(2)(6th level): Magic courses through your veins, filling your blood with strange properties. A number of times equal to twice your proficiency modifier, you can extract blood from your own body to fill a vial with one of the following: potion of healing, acid, holy water, alchemist's fire, or basic poison. When you are hit with a melee attack, as a reaction you can expend a usage of this ability to attack the creature that hit you with a vial of acid, alchemist's fire, or holy water. This attack roll is considered a melee weapon attack, uses dexterity, and you are considered to be proficient with the attack. This power takes a toll on your body; your maximum hit points are reduced by your level. Your HP total cannot recover these lost points for as long as you have this ability. Items created by this ability lose potency after one day. You regain all usages of this ability after a long rest.
    • Arcane Reactor(2)(6th level):Eldritch Energies flood your body, coloring and disfiguring your skin, causing random disfigurements like feathers, scales, and fur to appear in random places. A number of times per day equal to your spellcasting modifier, when you cast a spell, you can enhance it with the magic of the reactor, increasing the effect of the spell as though it had been cast from a 1 slot higher than it was. You regain all usages of this ability when you complete a long rest. The overflow of magic energy makes your body stiff and unyielding, and your walking speed is reduced by ten feet.
    • Witching Walk(2)(6th level): Your eyes have been opened to the world between worlds, allowing you to pass through spaces that others did not know existed. Colored patterns appear all over your skin. A number of times equal to your proficiency, you can cast gaseous form or misty step without expending a spell slot or using any components. You regain all usages of this ability on a long rest. Plagued by the whispering of the creatures that live between the worlds, your Wisdom score decreases by 1.
    • Witch Blade(3)(6th level): Your eyes have been opened to the world between worlds, allowing you to cut the invisible cords that bind the universe together. Your teeth, nails, and hair all gain a faint blue-ish glow. While you hold a melee weapon, it gains an enhancement bonus equal to half your proficiency, rounded up. Plagued by terrible visions at night, your Charisma score is decreased by 2.
    • Giant(4)(6th level): You are now large. Weapons properly sized for you deal 1 damage die more than usual. You gain an extra hit point per level. Your Dexterity score decreases by 2 and you have disadvantage on Dexterity checks and saves.



    Each class starts out with a different base level of corruption according to the following list:
    • -1:fighters, rogues, monks, barbarians
    • 0:Rangers, Paladins, Blood Hunters
    • 1:Clerics, Druids, Wizards, Warlocks, Sorcerers


    Paths
    To avoid being overtaken by madness, you can create a new identity for yourself based around an ideology. Followed strictly, a path can mitigate or even eliminate the madness caused by corruption. Paths, however, are restrictive and carry their own drawbacks, as outlined below. As with corruption, the drawbacks and restrictions gained over the course of progressing down a path are cumulative..

    The degree to which you are defined by your chosen path is measured in points. For every Path Point, you can ignore one Corruption Point. If your total Corruption is six or greater, you still descend into madness. You can gain a Path Point in your chosen path over the course of each long rest. You can only progress along one path at a time. Gaining points in one path causes you to lose all points all other paths.

    No magic forces you to stay true to your path. If a path requires you to have disadvantage on saves against being charmed, for example, you can choose to ignore that. However, each time you ignore the rules of your path, your path points will be reduced by one, and you immediately suffer the consequences of the (effectively) increased corruption.

    Spoiler: paths
    Show

    Path of the Saint
    You aspire to be like a celestial or angel, perfectly ethical and given over completely to the service of justice and good. Why would you hold on to your humanity, when you can instead take power and use it for holy purpose? This path lays no restrictions upon your allies; you are a saint, and you’re held to a standard far above what anyone else is. That said, a Saint may find it hard to walk alongside sinners with grace. Talk to your DM and party before choosing this path.
    • (Path Points) Restrictions, boons, drawbacks
    • (1)Mercy: You must not use pain as a means of coercing an intelligent creature. You must have a motive other than personal gain or pleasure when harming an intelligent creature. You must try to believe the best in people. If a Wisdom(Insight) check to determine if someone is truthful fails, it will tell you that the person in question is trustworthy.
    • (2)Honor: Even a Saint cannot bring justice to everyone, but a character walking this path must try. Unless you are convinced that the local authorities are corrupt or evil, you must not harm their officers, must report any wrongdoing you are aware of to them, and must abide by their judgement. If the local authorities are corrupt or evil, you must fill their role as best you can, administering punishment and mercy.
    • (3)Justice: If an intelligent creature is surprised, you may not target them with a spell, attack, ability, or anything that would disable and/or harm them. You must forgo any bonus gained from an intelligent creature being restrained, flanked, or unable to see you. You must not use poisons or magic or traps to kill an intelligent creature unawares. You may not tell a lie.
    • (4)Humility: To complete the path of a Saint, you must be willing to forsake all material ties. Your material wealth must be smaller than 100 GP. You can still hold and use items, armor and weapons, but only such things that were freely (without coercion) given to you by others. You cannot use any items or gold you come across; you must give them away. Additionally, you must not eat food. Your pure form can survive without food, but your max hit points are reduced by two per level you possess. These lost max hit points cannot be restored by any means unless you lose this step of your path (which restores your hit point maximum, but not your hit points.)


    Path of the Beast
    Some fight their loss of humanity. Others rejoice to be finally shedding that veneer of civilization. This path finds solace in the basic instincts that lie at the heart of man, tending towards violence, hedonism, and careless cruelty. Your greatest good is survival, and your holy scripture is your basic instinct.
    • (1)The Kill: Your feral instinct prevents you from holding back. When you reduce a creature to zero hit points, you must kill them; you may not knock them unconscious. You only feel empathy towards close friends and allies.
    • (2)Hedonism: You bury yourself in pleasures of the flesh; food, drink, women, and all things that glitter. You don’t question what your senses tell you, and you are not given to introspection. You have disadvantage on saves against illusion magic, and against investigation checks to see through illusion magic.
    • (3)Dominance: Fear is a language that beasts understand better than most. If you become frightened, you can only take the dodge, disengage, and dash actions while the source of your fear is within line of sight.
    • (4)Instinct: Your life is based around primal instinct, not thoughts or feelings.Your intelligence and charisma scores decrease by 2. You gain advantage on wisdom checks that require smell.

    Path of the Damned
    To take monstrous power is to turn your back upon humanity… but why stop there? You have goals, and petty morality stands in the way of them. Embrace the madness! Accept the freedom that comes with knowing yourself to be damned. (ASK YOUR GM AND PARTY BEFORE PICKING THIS PATH.)
    • Paranoia: Allies can be useful, but they are only a means to an end, and they cannot be trusted. Whenever an ally uses a spell or ability on you that specifies a ‘willing’ target, you must make a DC 10 wisdom save to make yourself count as willing.
    • Fear of Death: If you are ever reduced to zero hit points, you become frightened of the thing that reduced to zero hit points until that thing is destroyed or has been beyond line of sight for an hour.
    • Murderous:If any creature (including an ally) becomes incapacitated within 30 feet of you, on your turn you must roll a Wisdom saving throw against a DC 13. On a failure, you must move to that creature and use your action to attack them.
    • Sadism: You now find peace and solace only in the pain of other creatures. A short rest spent inflicting pain upon an intelligent creature takes half the time that a normal short rest would. The number of hit points you regain over the course of a long or short rest where you do not spend time inflicting pain upon another intelligent creature are halved.

    Path of the King
    Humans by their very nature require leadership, but what man from amidst the masses is fit to lead? You must seek to become something better than a human, something more, so that like a parent or a shepherd you might tend them to their greatest potential.
    • Duty: You must not lie about your identity. You must place the welfare of those under your protection over against all others. You must not suffer public insults to your person quietly.
    • Grace: You have schooled your movement to be graceful and lordly. Your movement speed is reduced by 5 feet.
    • Obedience: If you have a superior (political, religious, or otherwise) you must obey all orders given to you. You have disadvantage on all saves against someone of higher rank than you, even if they aren't your direct superior. (For example, a Baron would have disadvantage on saves against a king from a neighboring country. A priest would have disadvantage on saves against a higher rank priest of a different religion.)
    • Hubris: You possess extreme overconfidence. If you are frightened, you may move closer to the source of your fear. The first attack against you each round has advantage.



    Altering Monstrous Power
    Additionally, there are a number of spells that I’m adding to influence humanity.
    Spoiler: spells
    Show

    Purification:
    Level 5, cleric, paladin.
    V,S,M (1000 GP of gems, incense and gold dust which are consumed)
    8 hour casting time, ritual
    Range: touch, Duration: Instantaneous

    You perform a sacred ritual, removing a Monstrous Power from a single willing creature. The creature must make a Charisma save against a DC 10+2*(corruption cost of the power). If the creature fails, the spell fails, and all the components are lost. If the spell succeeds, the creatures loses one of its monstrous powers and loses any corruption points that were gained by taking the monstrous power. All downsides of the ability are eliminated or reversed. Upon successful completion of the ritual, the creature gains a level of exhaustion.

    Corruption:
    Level 3, cleric, paladin.
    V,S,M
    8 hour casting time, ritual
    Range: touch, Duration: Instantaneous
    You perform a ritual, corrupting the humanity within a single willing creature, imparting a Monstrous Power to a creature. Either the caster of the ritual or a participant of the ritual must be in possession of the monstrous power being conferred. The target of the ritual gains corruption equal to the cost of the power, suffers all downsides of the power, and gains a level of exhaustion.

    Lucidity
    Level 2, cleric, paladin, bard
    V,S,M
    1 action casting time, ritual
    Range: 30 feet, Duration: 10 minutes

    You target one creature you can see within range that has lost humanity. That target is enveloped in holy light, and must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failure, it loses 1d6 points of corruption. At the end of each of the creature’s turns, it can make a Charisma saving throw to reverse the effect of the spell if it desires to.

    Madness
    Level 2, Wizard, Cleric, Paladin, Bard, Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, Warlock
    V, S, M
    1 action casting time, ritual
    Range: 30 feet, Duration: 10 minutes

    You target one creature you can see within range. That target’s mind is clouded by evil visions, and must make a Charisma saving throw. On a failure, that creature gains 1d6 corruption points for the duration. The target can make a Charisma saving throw at the end of each of its turns to end this spell if it desire to do so.

    *I know that this is Homebrew, but TBH nobody checks on the homebrew subforum and a lot of the folks I'd be interested in hearing from don't go there, and this isn't a player option anyway. I am interesting in general commentary about how you would implement this at your table, so this isn't purely a homebrew thread. And yes, I am aware that I suck at homebrew.
    ** I want to come up with more of these. Thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    ***My intent was that the failure conditions for transgressing a path would be more or less objective. How’d I do?
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2018-09-05 at 10:15 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Trask's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    United States

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    This is extremely cool. I love it actually. I particularly love how it gives a reason to enforce the trope of fearing magic users, even though in D&D vanilla magic is pretty predictable and safe.

    The only downside I see here is that it does mess up charisma based casters a bit, seeing as they will start with less humanity and be worse at the checks that their main stat provides.

    Also humanity is a perfectly fine and evocative word for it. The Dark Souls universe does something quite similar to this actually with the same name, but not quite the same.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    I kind of like it, though I don't feel qualified to comment on the balance of the abilities. Might I suggest you call the attribute Pathos instead of Humanity?
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Perhaps the PCs will meet someone able to draw out their true strength

    Spoiler
    Show
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2018-06-15 at 06:17 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    "Why's that guy killing all the rats?"

    "Farming humanity, wants to multiclass warlock."
    Argue in good faith.

    And try to remember that these are people.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Trask View Post
    This is extremely cool. I love it actually. I particularly love how it gives a reason to enforce the trope of fearing magic users, even though in D&D vanilla magic is pretty predictable and safe.

    The only downside I see here is that it does mess up charisma based casters a bit, seeing as they will start with less humanity and be worse at the checks that their main stat provides.

    Also humanity is a perfectly fine and evocative word for it. The Dark Souls universe does something quite similar to this actually with the same name, but not quite the same.
    Yeah, the problem with charisma based casters is one I knew about. I'm just not sure how else to represent the corruption and inability to empathize with other humanoids. Maybe make it Wisdom or Charisma checks, your choice? But that leads to a very silly character who can sell anything to anyone but can't get a read on a crying five year old's emotional state.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    I kind of like it, though I don't feel qualified to comment on the balance of the abilities. Might I suggest you call the attribute Pathos instead of Humanity?
    I thought about 'Empathy,' which is pretty close to what you suggested but I don't know... 'humanity' is pretty darn evocative. Frankly I welcome the dark souls comparisons. Though I've never played that game and this 'humanity' works a bit differently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Perhaps the PCs will meet someone able to draw out their true strength

    Spoiler
    Show
    I actually have no idea who that is. I've never played darksouls.
    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan View Post
    "Why's that guy killing all the rats?"

    "Farming humanity, wants to multiclass warlock."
    NO. we had enough rat-farming in 3.5 thanks.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Just to say, though, a Large weapons has double the damage dice of the Medium equivalent, not +1d4.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2018-06-15 at 06:42 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Sounds like a World of Darkness thing, might be something to research for ideas.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Just to say, though, a Large weapons has double the damage dice of the Medium equivalent, not +1d4.
    Not as a general rule for PCs. I'm familiar with what you're referencing. i'm working off of enlarge person as a reference.
    Quote Originally Posted by Temperjoke View Post
    Sounds like a World of Darkness thing, might be something to research for ideas.
    While I really don't like World of Darkness for a variety of reasons, the fluff is cool. Worth looking at, anyway.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Not as a general rule for PCs. I'm familiar with what you're referencing. i'm working off of enlarge person as a reference.
    It's a general rule for Large weapons.


    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I actually have no idea who that is. I've never played darksouls.
    He's called Yoel of Londor. He's a pilgrim of the Sable Church.

    Aside from being a sorcerer (which is the Dark Soul equivalent of the D&D wizard), his main capacity is to be able to draw out the power of the Dark Sign all humans bear, which translates into them losing their Humanity but increase their power without having to pay any XP/souls.

    Note he only does this with the protagonist of the game, who doesn't suffer from the usual downsides of losing your Humanity.

    Others who tried it... aren't so lucky.

    Yoel is an interesting character, in the sense that he genuinely want to help the MC, is grateful for their generosity, and want them to be the Lord of Londor... but Londor and its Church are pretty damn villainous in their methods. Arguably their end goal, too, but that's more a case of "there is no good end goal"
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2018-06-15 at 06:51 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Trask's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    United States

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    Just to say, though, a Large weapons has double the damage dice of the Medium equivalent, not +1d4.
    I think hes basing his mechanics for that off of the Enlarge/Reduce spell.



    It is kind of a problem, especially for bards. You could change their casting stat but now its a whole big rework. I might just scrap the charisma disadvantage entirely if I were you, after all, arent some horrible monsters extremely seductive and silver tongued in their twisted malice?

    You could make low humanity creatures vulnerable to radiant damage, or eventually able to be turned like the undead. To that end though, I would make some classes have a minimum level of humanity you need to have to be that class (paladins, good aligned clerics, druids). You could give them strange cravings like cravings for flesh, or blood or what not. Might be a bit too dark though.

    If it gives you any ideas, Ill give you the TLDR on how Dark Souls does it. In Dark Souls you are in a kingdom where all humans, even you, are undead. Most undead are hollows, basically mindless zombies since losing all their humanity. You lose humanity the more you die, since the curse of the undead doesnt let you die but you come back less human than before until eventually you are just a husk. Some wretched undead can steal humanity from others to prolong their own sanity. So yeah, quite different than your conception, but maybe that will give you some inspiration.
    Last edited by Trask; 2018-06-15 at 06:46 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    It's a general rule for Large weapons.

    I think you are mistaking it with the rules for creating monsters in the DMG not the rules for PCs. The OP is probably the better rule to go for for PCs.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    NO. we had enough rat-farming in 3.5 thanks.
    "Tax the rat farms." -- Lord Havelock Vetinari

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Paladins and clerics have LESS resistance to corruption?

    Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelalex242 View Post
    Paladins and clerics have LESS resistance to corruption?

    Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat?
    They were corrupted by the true evil: the gods.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelalex242 View Post
    Paladins and clerics have LESS resistance to corruption?

    Say whaaaaaaaaaaaat?
    I mean, I wiffled about that a bit, but ultimately I decided that having a connection to a deity isn't exactly going to keep you more grounded in your humanity than just being a normal Joe. This isn't like, evil corruption, it's like, detached from regular folks corruption. Also, I guess that in a setting where you'd use these rules, any deity that's handing out a free lunch is probably kind of suspect. Dark Souls, from what I gather, has 'gods' that are pretty dubiously worth following. That isn't the case in the setting I'm using, but it's at least conceivable to me.

    The one I wiffled more on was actually the bard. I mean, they spend more time with the common folk, you know? But I decided at that point I just had to be fair.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    EdenIndustries's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Wow, this is really cool. Thanks for posting this strangebloke. I'm working on a homebrew campaign at the moment which would take place entirely in the Hells and the Abyss, and I've been toying with something that will let the players trade their goodness for powers by making deals with devils and/or demons. I really like a lot of what you've done here, it's definitely food for thought...

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by EdenIndustries View Post
    Wow, this is really cool. Thanks for posting this strangebloke. I'm working on a homebrew campaign at the moment which would take place entirely in the Hells and the Abyss, and I've been toying with something that will let the players trade their goodness for powers by making deals with devils and/or demons. I really like a lot of what you've done here, it's definitely food for thought...
    Thanks!

    Is there anything that stands out to as being overpowered or especially weak?
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2018-06-15 at 11:58 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I mean, I wiffled about that a bit, but ultimately I decided that having a connection to a deity isn't exactly going to keep you more grounded in your humanity than just being a normal Joe. This isn't like, evil corruption, it's like, detached from regular folks corruption. Also, I guess that in a setting where you'd use these rules, any deity that's handing out a free lunch is probably kind of suspect. Dark Souls, from what I gather, has 'gods' that are pretty dubiously worth following. That isn't the case in the setting I'm using, but it's at least conceivable to me.

    The one I wiffled more on was actually the bard. I mean, they spend more time with the common folk, you know? But I decided at that point I just had to be fair.
    My argument is that it would depend on the God.

    If you're in Forgotten Realms, the clerics and paladins of Torm aren't going to lose their humanity and become monsters. Cause Torm himself doesn't want that and it doesn't suit his goals. If Paladins and Clerics change to become less human, they're probably going to get 'angelic' type things, like the Aasimar race. Or Half Celestial stuff, or stuff from straight up Celestials.

    I mean, Saints often have a halo around their head, but you're not gonna see one 'corrupted' by any means.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelalex242 View Post
    My argument is that it would depend on the God.

    If you're in Forgotten Realms, the clerics and paladins of Torm aren't going to lose their humanity and become monsters. Cause Torm himself doesn't want that and it doesn't suit his goals. If Paladins and Clerics change to become less human, they're probably going to get 'angelic' type things, like the Aasimar race. Or Half Celestial stuff, or stuff from straight up Celestials.

    I mean, Saints often have a halo around their head, but you're not gonna see one 'corrupted' by any means.
    Well, as far as that goes, I don't think this sort of ruleset is remotely appropriate for FR or Eberron as far as I know of them. Magic there is basically 100% awesome, no questions asked. And, yeah, it really would depend on the deity.

    But I think you're misunderstanding what I mean by 'inhuman' in this context. A character that loses all their humanity isn't necessarily chaotic evil all the sudden. The point is that they've lost the ability to change and grow and think in the way that a human does. They're unreasonable in that they're more like an angel or a demon or a lycanthrope: They behave according to their nature, not their bonds/traits/flaws.

    Now, because humans tend to be a race of overly anxious creatures who fixate on unimportant things whilst ignoring the essential bits, most of these monsters do end up pretty chaotic evil.

    I should have stated this earlier, but one of the things that I'm going to be granting my characters is a 'mania:' something that their characters mind tend towards. As they're detached from their humanity, the mania becomes a greater and greater part of their character. So one of the guys that I saw written up in a test run was a sorcerer who was a decent guy but thought that the world was best for everyone if people stayed in their appropriate social strata. As his humanity dipped his tolerance for people who were 'out of place' became less and less, nearly descending into schism within the party.

    ...Maybe I should bake that into the basic rules?
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2018-06-16 at 12:55 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    My thoughts. I don't have much nice to say. Starting different classes at different levels of humanity is a mistake. Not just because it devastates charisma casting classes but also because punishing people for playing classes they like is not good design. I notice it mostly seems to punish magic casting classes. Probably off the gimmick that dabbling in things beyond human understanding is bad for your sanity. I could make arguments that brutes and thieves should have less humanity than intellectuals, leaders, and the wise who are more often pillars of their communities.

    Moving on to the monstrous powers.
    Iron Skin is probably not worth the cost. +2 ac for enough corruption to instantly give you charisma disadvantage? And healing is less effective. Pass.
    Natural weapons isn't worth the cost. Anyone who uses melee weapon attacks is going to have a weapon better than the 1d6 this gives.
    Flexible mind's benefit is situational, the cost may or may not have been worth it but disadvantage on wisdom checks is pretty harsh. You're falling for everyone else's lies as well and you'll never see anything coming. Gonna say not worth it.
    Dark Vision is pretty bad as well. Base dark vision is useful but overrated since you still need dim light to do anything without penalties. This also has almost no range and will screw you in the light as well.
    Eater of Essence would be neat but it's not going to function against most monsters. probably won't function against corrupted people either since they take mental attribute score damage. Oh and it makes you a team killer. Pass. If anyone in the party looks at this twice pass on the game.
    Moment of perfection is neat but makes you useless until your next long rest. Some extra damage on an already confirmed hit is probably not worth it.
    Arcane repository is situational. The downside of disadvantage on charisma checks is probably a bit moot since to use this you are definitely going to already be suffering on charisma checks. You're probably losing hp if you take this which is probably not worth it given how few times I've ever found myself without the right spell prepared and no time to change it out normally.
    Walking apothecary is neat. Most of the later powers are neat. But at this point I'm bored of saying that they're not worth it. So far none of the special powers feel worth it. I'm trading my soul for power here right? Then why do most of these leave me worse off than if I didn't take them?

    Spells.
    Corruption is fine.

    Purification and lucidity may have the issue that your targets who need corruption removed might be suffering charisma attribute lose and thus be harder to heal. Since the only permanent methods of gaining corruption are voluntary I'm okay with it taking consumed material components to permanently remove it.

    Madness is sending up red flags. It's a party ending spell. Most characters using this game variant on a bad damage roll are now NPC's. Anyone who used monstrous powers to get down to 2-3 humanity is screwed the moment someone or something with this shows up because they might well have charisma attribute damage. Anyone who gets hit with this spell more than once is probably screwed. Also why would anyone choose not to attempt follow up saving throws? Maybe if they temporarily gained monstrous powers it would be a trade off. It might even have been a way for your players to use them as written without permanently screwing themselves.

    All in all it seems to encourage meat grinder DnD which is not my favorite DnD. If this is the setting you want to run and your players want to play then I guess that's fine. But pretty much every option feels like a trap to me.
    Death from above
    And below
    And all sides

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Well, as far as that goes, I don't think this sort of ruleset is remotely appropriate for FR or Eberron as far as I know of them. Magic there is basically 100% awesome, no questions asked. And, yeah, it really would depend on the deity.

    But I think you're misunderstanding what I mean by 'inhuman' in this context. A character that loses all their humanity isn't necessarily chaotic evil all the sudden. The point is that they've lost the ability to change and grow and think in the way that a human does. They're unreasonable in that they're more like an angel or a demon or a lycanthrope: They behave according to their nature, not their bonds/traits/flaws.

    Now, because humans tend to be a race of overly anxious creatures who fixate on unimportant things whilst ignoring the essential bits, most of these monsters do end up pretty chaotic evil.

    I should have stated this earlier, but one of the things that I'm going to be granting my characters is a 'mania:' something that their characters mind tend towards. As they're detached from their humanity, the mania becomes a greater and greater part of their character. So one of the guys that I saw written up in a test run was a sorcerer who was a decent guy but thought that the world was best for everyone if people stayed in their appropriate social strata. As his humanity dipped his tolerance for people who were 'out of place' became less and less, nearly descending into schism within the party.

    ...Maybe I should bake that into the basic rules?
    I think what would make me happy is humanity scores over 10. Paladins and Clerics might start with 14 and go higher. This still represents getting further away from humanity, but it represents going towards Celestials.

    For saintly powers this might give, grab 3.5's book of Exalted Deeds and go nuts.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    While I really don't like World of Darkness for a variety of reasons, the fluff is cool. Worth looking at, anyway.
    You might want to take a look at the alternatives for Humanity in Vampire: the Masquerade.

    The gist of it: Humanity represents how much you are in touch with you human side, as opposed to your inner monster, the Beast, taking control.

    The problem with this system is that the lower your Humanity, the less control you have about your actions. Do you can't portray an utterly immoral, but in control character.

    So they added Paths: a different set of values or ethics to live by. Paths are pretty immoral, but a character with a high Path rating can keep his Beast under control more easily.

    You could do something similar: as characters lose Humanity, they gain in one or more Paths. Your various Paths dictate how you should respond to certain triggers.

    There is now a tangible difference between a low Humanity Fiend Warlock and a low Humanity Divine Soul of Lathander.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Troll in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent_bystan View Post
    You might want to take a look at the alternatives for Humanity in Vampire: the Masquerade.

    The gist of it: Humanity represents how much you are in touch with you human side, as opposed to your inner monster, the Beast, taking control.

    The problem with this system is that the lower your Humanity, the less control you have about your actions. Do you can't portray an utterly immoral, but in control character.

    So they added Paths: a different set of values or ethics to live by. Paths are pretty immoral, but a character with a high Path rating can keep his Beast under control more easily.

    You could do something similar: as characters lose Humanity, they gain in one or more Paths. Your various Paths dictate how you should respond to certain triggers.

    There is now a tangible difference between a low Humanity Fiend Warlock and a low Humanity Divine Soul of Lathander.
    Never played that system, but it does sound like that is a drawback... not having control over your actions sounds like you are not playing the game. Losing player agency is rarely a sign of a good system (in my slightly limited experience).

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadMech View Post
    My thoughts. I don't have much nice to say. Starting different classes at different levels of humanity is a mistake. Not just because it devastates charisma casting classes but also because punishing people for playing classes they like is not good design. I notice it mostly seems to punish magic casting classes. Probably off the gimmick that dabbling in things beyond human understanding is bad for your sanity. I could make arguments that brutes and thieves should have less humanity than intellectuals, leaders, and the wise who are more often pillars of their communities.
    My rationale was that the abilities granted by monstrous powers would in some respects replace magic items. Since martials get more mileage out of magic items (a level 20 champion who has a vorpal greatsword is about 20x more deadly than his cousin who doesn't.) It made sense to me that they would get more mileage out of monstrous power as well. And yes, casters get hit.

    As to your argument that intellectuals should have more humanity... that's completely dependent on how you define your terms. In any case, a thief can certainly have 20 Wisdom and be a pillar of community, and a cleric can have 14 wisdom and be a worthless murder hobo. Consider that Indiana Jones is a respected professor at Indiana university, while Jester(Critical Role) is teenaged vandal.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadMech View Post
    Moving on to the monstrous powers.
    Iron Skin is probably not worth the cost. +2 ac for enough corruption to instantly give you charisma disadvantage? And healing is less effective. Pass.
    Natural weapons isn't worth the cost. Anyone who uses melee weapon attacks is going to have a weapon better than the 1d6 this gives.
    Flexible mind's benefit is situational, the cost may or may not have been worth it but disadvantage on wisdom checks is pretty harsh. You're falling for everyone else's lies as well and you'll never see anything coming. Gonna say not worth it.
    Dark Vision is pretty bad as well. Base dark vision is useful but overrated since you still need dim light to do anything without penalties. This also has almost no range and will screw you in the light as well.
    Eater of Essence would be neat but it's not going to function against most monsters. probably won't function against corrupted people either since they take mental attribute score damage. Oh and it makes you a team killer. Pass. If anyone in the party looks at this twice pass on the game.
    Moment of perfection is neat but makes you useless until your next long rest. Some extra damage on an already confirmed hit is probably not worth it.
    Arcane repository is situational. The downside of disadvantage on charisma checks is probably a bit moot since to use this you are definitely going to already be suffering on charisma checks. You're probably losing hp if you take this which is probably not worth it given how few times I've ever found myself without the right spell prepared and no time to change it out normally.
    Walking apothecary is neat. Most of the later powers are neat. But at this point I'm bored of saying that they're not worth it. So far none of the special powers feel worth it. I'm trading my soul for power here right? Then why do most of these leave me worse off than if I didn't take them?
    Well, my goal was for a heavily monstrous character to be a pure munchkin. Really deadly in a niche but less effective generally. But if you think I went to far with that, that's very useful feedback, so thanks. Now, I agree with some of your points and on others I'm less convinced. Let's go through it.

    Iron Skin: Only a bad deal if you care about Charisma checks. Most monks I've seen played really haven't. Most monks I've see would have given their right eye for more AC early on in the game. Lots of fighters and barbarians don't really care about charisma checks either. I might tone it down to a two cost.

    Natural Weapons: Hmmm, you're probably right. Anyone who is taking that is strictly doing it for rule of cool. Make it a bonus action attack? Up the damage to 1d8?

    Dark Vision: No one has penalties on attack rolls in dim light. Creatures with dark vision don't in darkness. Perception checks yeah, but... eh, I can make it 60 feet.

    Eater of Essence: Yeah, it's supposed to be a psychotic pick. I should add that corrupted people don't neccesarily have awful ability scores. Remember, some of them were high-intelligence/wisdom characters and they only need an average of 8.

    Moment of Perfection: Well, a single level of exhaustion isn't that bad. Do you think It'd be overpowered if I got rid of that ability?

    Arcane Repository: Yeah this needs reworked.

    Would love to hear your feedback on the rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadMech View Post
    Spells.
    Corruption is fine.

    Purification and lucidity may have the issue that your targets who need corruption removed might be suffering charisma attribute lose and thus be harder to heal. Since the only permanent methods of gaining corruption are voluntary I'm okay with it taking consumed material components to permanently remove it.

    Madness is sending up red flags. It's a party ending spell. Most characters using this game variant on a bad damage roll are now NPC's. Anyone who used monstrous powers to get down to 2-3 humanity is screwed the moment someone or something with this shows up because they might well have charisma attribute damage. Anyone who gets hit with this spell more than once is probably screwed. Also why would anyone choose not to attempt follow up saving throws? Maybe if they temporarily gained monstrous powers it would be a trade off. It might even have been a way for your players to use them as written without permanently screwing themselves.

    All in all it seems to encourage meat grinder DnD which is not my favorite DnD. If this is the setting you want to run and your players want to play then I guess that's fine. But pretty much every option feels like a trap to me.
    Madness is perfectly countered by lucidity, or did you miss that? I guess I should change both of them to 2d4.

    I guess my big takeaway from your post is that you think that the normal lack of humanity progression is too punishing. That is fair and I will look into reworking it. I've gotten a lot of negative feedback on that topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelalex242 View Post
    I think what would make me happy is humanity scores over 10. Paladins and Clerics might start with 14 and go higher. This still represents getting further away from humanity, but it represents going towards Celestials.

    For saintly powers this might give, grab 3.5's book of Exalted Deeds and go nuts.
    I'm all for you on making paladins cool baddasses amidst a dark and fallen world, but this isn't... hm. actually the post below has me thinking.
    Quote Originally Posted by Innocent_bystan View Post
    You might want to take a look at the alternatives for Humanity in Vampire: the Masquerade.

    The gist of it: Humanity represents how much you are in touch with you human side, as opposed to your inner monster, the Beast, taking control.

    The problem with this system is that the lower your Humanity, the less control you have about your actions. Do you can't portray an utterly immoral, but in control character.

    So they added Paths: a different set of values or ethics to live by. Paths are pretty immoral, but a character with a high Path rating can keep his Beast under control more easily.

    You could do something similar: as characters lose Humanity, they gain in one or more Paths. Your various Paths dictate how you should respond to certain triggers.

    There is now a tangible difference between a low Humanity Fiend Warlock and a low Humanity Divine Soul of Lathander.
    That's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. I will definitely read up before my next big update.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2018-06-16 at 02:13 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    That's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. I will definitely read up before my next big update.
    Vampire: the Masquerade has a medieval variant Dark Ages with even more Paths (or Roads)
    http://whitewolf.wikia.com/wiki/Road

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    That's... very interesting. I wrote a game like that myself, but the opposite: you gained Corruption, and with each point of corruption, new favors and curses from the abyss. One thing you might consider is letting PCs CHOOSE the ill effects: maybe disad in charisma, but optionally disad in Int or Wis (you're going crazy), or even Dex (you're mutant, deformed). etc. Seems more balanced, since most powers don't seem all that powerful.

    Also more flavorful: surely there must be some charismatic demons and devils out there?

    OTOH your powers also carry disadvantages, so I dunno.

    One think worth considering is what exactly does humanity means. How come these angels/demons are losing HP and capacities. Should they be getting stronger? Also, how is gaining levels helping you become less of an angel/demon and more human?

    EDIT: if you want a list of ideas for curses/favors, let me know and I'll post here or PM.
    Last edited by Eric Diaz; 2018-06-16 at 02:59 PM.
    Methods & Madness - my D&D 5e /OSR /game design blog.
    *5e: easy survival rules. Bringing balance to the Forge (yup!). Fort/Ref/Will.
    *OSR: One page hacks, my answer to retroclones. Would love to take ONE PAGE from YOUR book!
    *3e x 4e x 5e - Can you trip an ooze? Are miniatures required?

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I should have stated this earlier, but one of the things that I'm going to be granting my characters is a 'mania:' something that their characters mind tend towards. As they're detached from their humanity, the mania becomes a greater and greater part of their character. So one of the guys that I saw written up in a test run was a sorcerer who was a decent guy but thought that the world was best for everyone if people stayed in their appropriate social strata. As his humanity dipped his tolerance for people who were 'out of place' became less and less, nearly descending into schism within the party.

    ...Maybe I should bake that into the basic rules?
    FATE has a good mechanic for this, which you could totally steal for a 5e mutant hybrid game.

    Basically, you have a type of characterization hit points which function vaguely like Inspiration, except you can accumulate more than one of them (and at various milestones you get them refilled up to your maximum). I'm going to call these points "tokens".


    These tokens accumulate when you would normally gain Inspiration -- i.e. when the DM sees that you're fulfilling one of your characterization traits, like your Alignment or your Bond.

    You can spend a token to get the system's equivalent of Advantage, but also sometimes the DM will compel you to behave in accordance with your character traits -- you can say "no", but doing so costs you a token.


    Magical / powerful / corrupted / Faustian Pact'd / etc. characters get a smaller maximum pool than mundane / normal / high-Humanity / etc. PCs, and if your maximum pool size is zero you're an NPC.

    Thus, magical / powerful / corrupt / etc. PCs have a smaller "say no" pool, and thus in play they have less free will. A high-Humanity PC can defy her own nature for longer, and probably her nature is less repugnant / "maniacal" so on average she'd have less cause to defy it.


    The specific things that you compel might be alignment -- so a low-Humanity LG Paladin might get compelled into Lawful Good actions which would tend towards self-sacrifice, while a low-Humanity GOO Warlock might get compelled into something more chaotic & evil.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Wheat Country
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Walking Apothecary(2)(6th level): Magic courses through your veins, filling your blood with strange properties. A number of times equal to twice your proficiency modifier, you can extract blood from your own body to fill a vial with one of the following: potion of healing, acid, alchemist's fire, or basic poison. You can also expend usages of this ability as a reaction to damage someone who hits you with a melee weapon attack. The power in your blood leaves you painfully frail with lesions and sores all over your body; your maximum hit points are reduced by your level, and you gain one fewer hit point every time you level up. You regain all usages of this ability after a long rest.
    This needs to specify how the reaction to damage people works.

    I think it would be good if there were more ways to gain humanity. I can especially imagine bards and clerics trying hard to reclaim theirs, but as it currently stands there's no way to do so other than leveling up. I think you might miss out on some interesting gameplay that way.
    Last edited by Potato_Priest; 2018-06-16 at 03:38 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    See, I remember the days of roleplaying before organisms could even see, let alone use see as a metaphor for comprehension. We could barely comprehend that we could comprehend things. Imagining we were something else was a huge leap forward and really passed the time in between absorbing nutrients.

    Biggest play I ever made: "I want to eat something over there." Anticipated the trope of "being able to move" that you see in all stories these days.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Losing your Humanity:Adding a Build Resource to 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    *So, I’m making a custom setting, as I am wont to do. This time one of the defining traits of the setting is that everyone has the ability to reject their humanity and gain monstrous power. Yes, all races are either variant humans or human derived races. If anyone has a better name for this subsystem than "humanity" I'm all ears. “Humanoidity” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    Anyway, the setting. All the various monsters that exist in the setting are the results of persons completely losing their humanity. To survive, human civilization uses and relies upon people taking some monstrous power upon themselves, despite the risks. Now, obviously I could spring for SotDL or WFRPG but for various reasons I'm trying to slot this into DND. So I wanted some feedback on what I came up with. I realize that what I’m attempting is inherently going to imbalance the game, but I mostly want to know if the various options are at least competitive. If there are any you would always/never take, I want to know.

    Humanity

    Every character starts with a number of humanity points according to their class as listed below:
    • fighter, barbarian, rogue, monk:10
    • paladin, ranger, blood hunter:8
    • wizard, warlock, sorcerer, druid, cleric, bard:6


    These points represent your attachment to your own humanity. Various spells, monsters, and other effects can modify your humanity score. As your humanity decreases, your mentality becomes more alien and you find it harder to empathize with your fellow man. At 5th, 10th, and 15th level your humanity points increase by one.
    Reminds me somewhat of the "Essence" stat in Shadowrun.

    https://shadowrun.gamepedia.com/Essence

    "Essence (Magic) is the measure of a soul's connection to the body it inhabits. As you change the way your body functions, your soul has a harder and harder time identifying with your body, to the point of severing that connection."
    The most important thing in being an adult is learning exactly what to give a <expletive> about, and exactly how many of those to give.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •