Spell Conversion: Bigby’s Construction Crew in 5e

In our Spell Conversion Series we will look at spells from 2nd edition that didn’t make it into the 5th edition of D&D. For a full list of all named spells, go here.

Method for Spell Conversion in 5e

In order to convert a spell we need to look at the guidelines of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, at the original spell in 2nd edition and at the existing spells in 5e. The new spell shouldn’t overshadow an existing spell nor be too complicated.

5th edition’s biggest advantage over older editions is that spells are extremely streamlined and bookkeeping on the Dungeon Master’s side is kept to a minimum.

Also, some spells might be used for a specific situation. This showcases how some mages in Greyhawk invented magic for their own needs. Consider players to get in touch with those unique spells by meeting disciples of these famous mages (or even the mage himself) rather than handing them out freely.

The spell

Today we look at Bigby’s Construction Crew. This spell has a specific out of combat use. WotC changed the importance of downtime a lot. While base building was really common in older editions they are no rules in place in 5th edition. So this spell lost obvious value.

But the spell is still a nice piece to flesh out your Greyhawk campaign if you consider base building. Here is what it can do:

  • 4th Level spell
  • Spawn a set of hands that work as skilled construction workers
  • Construction tools need to be provided (worth 500 gp)

The spell is best judged by looking at the price of skilled workers. A skilled worker costs 15 gp per day and after the initial investment of the tools alot of money can be saved. As no lodging or food is needed, even more money can be saved. It is a truly powerful spell that can make or break a world’s economy, so a high spell level is absolutely necessary. It might even be that this spell is one of Bigby’s biggest secrets that could enable a lot of powerful enemies if shared.

Considering all of this, this is my conversion of Bigby’s Construction Crew in 5e:


Bigby’s Construction Crew

4th-level evocation
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 180 feet
Components: V, S, M (assertment of miniature tools worth 500 gp)
Duration: 12 hrs

You create seven pairs of magical hands. All hands come equipped with construction tools and a pair resembles the workforce of one worker. They are able to do any work necessary on a construction site like carpenting, masoning, mining or sapping. The hands can’t deal any damage and have an AC of 10 and 5 hit points.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell at 5th or higher level the amount of hand pairs increases by 2 for each level.


Conclusion

As you might have realised, converting spells is never easy and highly subjective. There are many ways to the same goal. Our goal is to make our World of Greyhawk experience unique, different from a homebrew of Forgotten Realms campaign. And with every new spell that used to be a Greyhawk exclusive, we are getting closer to our goal.

Next time we are going to convert Bigby’s Dextrous Digits.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Spell Conversion: Bigby’s Bookworm Bane in 5e

In our Spell Conversion Series we will look at spells from 2nd edition that didn’t make it into the 5th edition of D&D. For a full list of all named spells, go here.

Method

In order to convert a spell we need to look at the guidelines of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, at the original spell in 2nd edition and at the existing spells in 5e. The new spell shouldn’t overshadow an existing spell nor be too complicated.

5th edition’s biggest advantage over older editions is that spells are extremely streamlined and bookkeeping on the Dungeon Master’s side is kept to a minimum.

Also, some spells might be used for a specific situation. This showcases how some mages in Greyhawk invented magic for their own needs. Consider players to get in touch with those unique spells by meeting disciples of these famous mages (or even the mage himself) rather than handing them out freely.

The spell

Today we look at Bigby’s Bookworm Bane. This spell is more of a light-hearted gimmick spell than anything else.

But the spell is still a nice piece to flesh out your Greyhawk campaign and any librarian should know it. Here is what it can do:

  • 1st Level
  • Kill and find all bookworms!

The spell is best compared with a Mage Hand but being an own version of it. It should be a cantrip but that would just make people reluctant of taking it. As a 1st level spell it gives no harm having it in your repertoire

Considering all of this, this is my conversion of Bigby’s Bookworm Bane in 5e:


Bigby’s Bookworm Bane

1st-level evocation
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (child sized glove made out of leather)
Duration: Instantaneous

You create small magical hand that starts going through all books in range and finds bookworms and kills then.

The hand is an object with AC 10 and 4 hit points. It is immune to physical damage


Conclusion

As you might have realised, converting spells is never easy and highly subjective. There are many ways to the same goal. Our goal is to make our World of Greyhawk experience unique, different from a homebrew of Forgotten Realms campaign. And with every new spell that used to be a Greyhawk exclusive, we are getting closer to our goal.

Next time we are going to convert Bigby’s Construction Crew.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Spell Conversion: Bigby’s Besieging Bolt in 5e

In our Spell Conversion Series we will look at spells from 2nd edition that didn’t make it into the 5th edition of D&D. For a full list of all named spells, go here.

Method

In order to convert a spell we need to look at the guidelines of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, at the original spell in 2nd edition and at the existing spells in 5e. The new spell shouldn’t overshadow an existing spell nor be too complicated.

5th edition’s biggest advantage over older editions is that spells are extremely streamlined and bookkeeping on the Dungeon Master’s side is kept to a minimum.

Also, some spells might be used for a specific situation. This showcases how some mages in Greyhawk invented magic for their own needs. Consider players to get in touch with those unique spells by meeting disciples of these famous mages (or even the mage himself) rather than handing them out freely.

The spell

Today we look at Bigby’s Besieging Bolt. The spell mimicks a big siege weapon. Sieging weapons are especially used in war scenarios. As wars are normally not the main topics of campaigns, it is understandable that it was left out.

But the spell is still unique and can be converted. Let’s look at the important mechanics we want to convert:

  • 6th Level, one target
  • Never misses
  • Mimicks a siege weapon

The spell is best compared with being a mix between arcane missiles and standard siege weapons. In the original the caster would have to wait a turn between shots. This is not a fun mechanic for a player to be forced to sit out turns, so we get rid of this mechanic.

Damagewise this spell shouldn’t exceed the Magic Missile damage against creatures. Magic Missile does 9d4 + 9 (31), 10d4 + 10 (35) and 11d4 + 11 (38) damage on levels 6, 7 and 8, respectively.

Ultimately, the spell should be used for almost exclusively for structure damage.

Considering all of this, this is my conversion of Bigby’s Besieging Bolt in 5e:


Bigby’s Besieging Bolt

6th-level evocation
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 480 feet
Components: V, S, M (small stone sprinkled with diamond dust)
Duration: Instantaneous

You create a one magical siege bolt mimicking a Ballista. You hit the target with a magical bolt doing 3d10 force damage. If the target is structure, the damage is doubled.

At Higher Levels. On 7th/8th level the spell mimicks a Mangonel/Trebuchet doing 5d10/8d10 force damage (doubled against structures) and has 800/1,200 ft. range (can’t hit targets


Conclusion

As you might have realised, converting spells is never easy and highly subjective. There are many ways to the same goal. Our goal is to make our World of Greyhawk experience unique, different from a homebrew of Forgotten Realms campaign. And with every new spell that used to be a Greyhawk exclusive, we are getting closer to our goal.

Next time we are going to convert Bigby’s Bookworm Bane.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Spell Conversion: Bigby’s Battering Gauntlet in 5e

In our Spell Conversion Series we will look at spells from 2nd edition that didn’t make it into the 5th edition of D&D. For a full list of all named spells, go here.

Method

In order to convert a spell we need to look at the guidelines of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, at the original spell in 2nd edition and at the existing spells in 5e. The new spell shouldn’t overshadow an existing spell nor be too complicated.

5th edition’s biggest advantage over older editions is that spells are extremely streamlined and bookkeeping on the Dungeon Master’s side is kept to a minimum.

Also, some spells might be used for a specific situation. This showcases how some mages in Greyhawk invented magic for their own needs. Consider players to get in touch with those unique spells by meeting disciples of these famous mages (or even the mage himself) rather than handing them out freely.

The spell

Today we look at Bigby’s Battering Gauntlet. The spell has a really specific mechanic but is at the same time inccurate in its effect. It is understandable that WotC disregarded this spell, especially with the streamlining of structure damage.

But the spell is still unique and can be converted. Let’s look at the important mechanics we want to convert:

  • 4th Level, targeting a door
  • Destroys a door in a number of times depending on the door’s material
  • Spawn a new entity (big ram)
  • Can only be magically dispelled or destroyed

You can compare this spell with Knock in its function to get past a door and gameplaywise with a structure damaging spell. The specific design to only work against doors (no damage against creatures or walls) needs to be the spell’s strength and weakness.

Ultimately, a 4th level spell should be more powerful than a 2nd level Knock and at the same time not fail in its only purpose. Destroying a door. So I decided to enhance the spell to always break metal doors and its effect against magical doors.

Considering all of this, this is my conversion of Bigby’s Battering Gauntlet in 5e:


Bigby’s Battering Gauntlet

4th-level evocation
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (metal rod with metal gauntlet)
Duration: 1 minute

You create a metal ram that modifies its size by fitting the door it is caat on.It immediately starts attacking the door, destroying any wooden door with its first attack, stone doors with the second and metal doors with its fourth.
Arcane locks are dispeĺled on the first attack (wooden door with an Arcane Lock therefore destroyed in two turns. Every other magical lock of higher quality has a 50% chance to withstand an attack.
The ram is an object, has AC 15 and hit points equal to half of your hit point maximum. If it drops to 0 hit points or the door is destroyed, the spell ends.


Conclusion

As you might have realised, converting spells is never easy and highly subjective. There are many ways to the same goal. Our goal is to make our World of Greyhawk experience unique, different from a homebrew of Forgotten Realms campaign. And with every new spell that used to be a Greyhawk exclusive, we are getting closer to our goal.

Next time we are going to convert Bigby’s Besieging Bolt.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Spell Conversion: Bigby’s Crushing Hand in 5e

In our Spell Conversion Series we will look at spells from 2nd edition that didn’t make it into the 5th edition of D&D. For a full list of all named spells, go here.

Method

In order to convert a spell we need to look at the guidelines of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, at the original spell in 2nd edition and at the existing spells in 5e. The new spell shouldn’t overshadow an existing spell nor be too complicated.

5th edition’s biggest advantage over older editions is that spells are extremely streamlined and bookkeeping on the Dungeon Master’s side is kept to a minimum.

Also, some spells might be used for a specific situation. This showcases how some mages in Greyhawk invented magic for their own needs. Consider players to get in touch with those unique spells by meeting disciples of these famous mages (or even the mage himself) rather than handing them out freely.

The spell

Today we look at Bigby’s Crushing Hand. The spell has a lot of weird and special mechanics. It is understandable that WotC disregarded this spell, especially with the new mechanic of using a spell on a higher spell level.

But the spell is still unique and can be converted. Let’s look at the important mechanics we want to convert:

  • 9th Level, one target, concentration spell
  • Increasing damage over time
  • Spawn a new entity (big hand)
  • Never misses
  • Auto-grapple

The best spell to compare it to is a Bigby’s Hand cast on 9th level in 5th edition. If you cast it and use the Clenched Fist you make a melee spell attack doing 12d8 damage. Because the Crushing Hand never misses, auto-grapples the damage should be a little lower. On the other hand, Bigby’s Hand is more versatile.

Ultimately, a 9th level spell should be more powerful than a 5th level spell cast on a higher level.

Also the 5th edition Dungeon Master’s Guide states a 9th level spell with half damage save should do 15d10 damage. A never miss spell should do approximately 2/3 of that.

Considering all of this, this is my conversion of Bigby’s Crushing Hand in 5e:


Bigby’s Crushing Hand


9th-level evocation
Casting time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V, S, M (an egg shell and a snake skin glove)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You create a huge translucent hand attacking a target you can see. The target is grappled by the hand and takes force damage on the start of its turn.
On the first turn the target takes 2d10, on the second turn 4d10 and 6d10 force damage on every following turn.
The hand is an object has AC 20 and hit points equal to your hit point maximum. If it drops to 0 hit points, the spell ends.


Conclusion

As you might have realised, converting spells is never easy and highly subjective. There are many ways to the same goal. Our goal is to make our World of Greyhawk experience unique, different from a homebrew of Forgotten Realms campaign. And with every new spell that used to be a Greyhawk exclusive, we are getting closer to our goal.

Next time we are going to convert Bigby’s Battering Gauntlet.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Named Wizard Spells (Circle/Citadel of Eight) in 5e

There are many Dungeons & Dragons wizard spells in 5th Edition. Most of them were ported over from edition to edition but some were lost. Others lost the creators name and others got simplified and merged (e.g. Bigby’s hand spells).

I like to present to you a list of named spells from the World of Greyhawk in 2nd Edition. We start with the spells of members of the Citadel or Circle of Eight. So let’s see which spells were not ported to 5e and in further episodes create every spell for 5th Edition.

Spells

Bold spells are already converted into 5th Edition.

Bigby

* These spells are all put together in one spell in 5th edition: Bigby’s Hand

Drawmij
  • Drawmij’s Adventurer’s Luck
  • Drawmij’s Beast of Burden
  • Drawmij’s Beneficent Polymorph
  • Drawmij’s Breath of Life
  • Drawmij’s Flying Carpet
  • Drawmij’s Flying Feat
  • Drawmij’s Handy Timepiece
  • Drawmij’s Instant Exit
  • Drawmij’s Instant Summons
  • Drawmij’s Iron Sack
  • Drawmij’s Light Step
  • Drawmij’s Marvelous shield
  • Drawmij’s Merciful Metamorphosis
  • Drawmij’s Protection From Non-magical Gas
  • Drawmij’s Scent Mask
  • Drawmij’s Swift Mount
  • Drawmij’s Tool Box
Leomund
  • Leomund’s Hidden Lodge
  • Leomund’s Lamentable Belaborment
  • Leomund’s Lifeboat
  • Leomund’s Many Life Preservers
  • Leomund’s Secret Chest
  • Leomund’s Secure Shelter
  • Leomund’s Tiny Hut
  • Leomund’s Trap
Melf
  • Melf’s Acid Arrow
  • Melf’s Minute Meteors
  • Melf’s Unicorn Arrow
Mordenkainen
  • Mordenkainen’s Buzzing Bee
  • Mordenkainen’s Capable Caravel
  • Mordenkainen’s Celerity
  • Mordenkainen’s Defense Against Reptiles
  • Mordenkainen’s Disjunction
  • Mordenkainen’s Electric Arc
  • Mordenkainen’s Encompassing Vision
  • Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound
  • Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Defenders
  • Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Guardian
  • Mordenkainen’s Faithful Phantom Shield-Maidens
  • Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles
  • Mordenkainen’s Involuntary Wizardry
  • Mordenkainen’s Lucubration
  • Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion
  • Mordenkainen’s Penultimate Cogitation
  • Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum
  • Mordenkainen’s Protection From Avians
  • Mordenkainen’s Protection From Insects and Arachnids
  • Mordenkainen’s Protection Against Lycanthropes
  • Mordenkainen’s Protection From Slime
  • Mordenkainen’s Sword
  • Mordenkainen’s Trusted Bloodhound
Nystul
  • Nystul’s Blazing Beam
  • Nystul’s Blacklight Burst
  • Nystul’s Blackmote
  • Nystul’s Crystal Dagger
  • Nystul’s Crystal Dirk
  • Nystul’s Dancing Dweomer
  • Nystul’s Dancing Werelight
  • Nystul’s Enveloping Darkness
  • Nystul’s Expeditious Fire Extinguisher
  • Nystul’s Flash
  • Nystul’s Golden Revelation
  • Nystul’s Grue Conjuration
  • Nystul’s Lightburst
  • Nystul’s Magic Aura
  • Nystul’s Magical Mask
  • Nystul’s Radiant Arch
  • Nystul’s Radiant Baton
Otiluke
  • Otiluke’s Acid Cloud
  • Otiluke’s Boiling Oil Bath
  • Otiluke’s Bubbling Buoyancy
  • Otiluke’s Death Screen
  • Otiluke’s Diamond Screen
  • Otiluke’s Dispelling Screen
  • Otiluke’s Electrical Screen
  • Otiluke’s Excruciating Screen
  • Otiluke’s Fire and Ice
  • Otiluke’s Force Umbrella
  • Otiluke’s Freezing Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Greater Dispelling Screen
  • Otiluke’s Orb of Containment
  • Otiluke’s Polar Screen
  • Otiluke’s Radiant Screen
  • Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Screen
  • Otiluke’s Siege Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Smoky Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Steaming Sphere
  • Otiluke’s Telekinetic Sphere
Otto
  • Otto’s Chime of Release
  • Otto’s Crystal Rhythms
  • Otto’s Dancing Sphere
  • Otto’s Drums of Despair
  • Otto’s Gong of Isolation
  • Otto’s Irresistable Dance
  • Otto’s Resistable Dance
  • Otto’s Rousing Anthem
  • Otto’s Silver Tongue
  • Otto’s Soothing Vibrations
  • Otto’s Sure-Footed Shuffle
  • Otto’s Tonal Attack
  • Otto’s Tones of Forgetfulness
  • Otto’s Triple Chime
  • Otto’s Warding Tones
Rary
  • Rary’s Aptitude Appropriater
  • Rary’s Defensive Spell Enhancer
  • Rary’s Empathic Perception
  • Rary’s Hesitation
  • Rary’s Interplanar Telepathic Bond
  • Rary’s Lesser Telepathic Bond
  • Rary’s Memory Alteration
  • Rary’s Mind Scan
  • Rary’s Mind Shield
  • Rary’s Mnemonic Enhancer
  • Rary’s Plane Truth
  • Rary’s Protection From Scrying
  • Rary’s Replay of the Past
  • Rary’s Spell Enhancer
  • Rary’s Superior Spell Enhancer
  • Rary’s Telepathic Bond
  • Rary’s Urgent Utterance
  • Rary’s Vicious Missiles
Serten
  • Serten’s Spell Immunity
Tenser
  • Tenser’s Brawl
  • Tenser’s Deadly Strike
  • Tenser’s Destructive Resonance
  • Tenser’s Eye of the Eagle
  • Tenser’s Eye of the Tiger
  • Tenser’s Flaming Blade
  • Tenser’s Floating Disc
  • Tenser’s Greater Floating Disc
  • Tenser’s Fortunes of War
  • Tenser’s Giant Strength
  • Tenser’s Hunting Hawk
  • Tenser’s Master of Arms
  • Tenser’s Primal Fury
  • Tenser’s Running Warrior
  • Tenser’s Staff of Smiting
  • Tenser’s Steady Aim
  • Tenser’s Transformation

As we can see there are many spells missing in 5th Edition. Many of the spells above are not only from the Advanced D&D 2nd edition Player’s Handbook but from other sources like published adventures and the Dragon Magazine.

Next week we are going to look at Bigby’s spell list and convert his spells to 5e.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Fellows Friday: Kieren Jalucian in 5e

Welcome to this week’s Fellows Friday where we take a look at a specific NPC in the World of Greyhawk, look a the information from previous versions and see how we can fit them to the 5th Edition of D&D.

Then we are going to flesh out the characters personality and create three plot hooks to put them in your game.

Today we are looking at Kieren Jalucian, the guildmaster of the Guild of Wizardry. He is also the principal of the Greyhawk University of Magic Arts. After Otiluke’s sudden death he is also the president of the Society of Magi.

Like always, we will assume the timeline of “From the Ashes”. So we are looking at the iteration on the 1st of Coldeven 585 CY.

Short biography

There is not much known of Kieren Jalucian’s birth year and birth place. His estimated age is around 100 years.

It is said that he was travelling all over the Flanaess beforr settling down in the City of Greyhawk.

Appearance

Kieren Jalucian is a human of unknown age (in the 100s but appears to be 30) and 6’3″ of height. He is a large man with long blonde hair and always clean-shaven. His clothes are colorful, prefering billowing robes of the finest Celenian silks.

Special properties of the old versions

We are looking at the Kieren Jalucian stat block from the City of Greyhawk boxed set. Most notably, Kieren has an usual high strength score of 17 for a wizard. There is not much described what would differentiate Kieren from a generic wizard.

The new stat block for 5th Edition

There is not much to work with in the 2nd edition to flesh out Kieren and make him unique. However, it is notable that he either extensively used the Potion of Longevity or found a different way to magicaly change his age. His focused school of magic could be anything. Ultimately, I decided to make him an expert of illusion magic because the Desportium of Magic, a competition of illusion in the City of Greyhawk, might as well be his idea.

So here is my personal Kieren Jalucian stat block:

Kieren Jalucian in 5e
Kieren Jalucian in 5e

Additionally, he possesses the following magical items:

Personality

Kieren Jalucian enjoys life to the fullest. He is very approachable and friendly. One of his goals is to improve the public image of mages. Although he is not a serious person on the outside, he knows his responsibilities and does a lot of work. After the demise of Otiluke he got swept with more tasks as the new president of the Society of Magi.

He is also a director in the Directing Oligarchy where he keeps quiet most of thr time, only giving his opinion on magical matters.

He is supposedly in romantic relationship with the newest member of the Circle of Eight, Jallarzi Severnain.

Plot hooks

Player characters might be involved in plots that Kieren Jalucian if they have a good standing in the City of Greyhawk or worked their ranks up in the Guild of Wizardry.

  • A group of mages from the guild went into the Mistmarsh to study the magical dweomer of the swamp. They were bound to return weeks ago. The adventuring party is hired to investigate.
  • The annually Desportium of Magic is in jeopardy as the leader of last year’s winner was brutally murdered. The party needs to find out what happened before too many groups pull out of the competition.

I hoped you liked my iteration of Kieren Jalucian in 5e. Next week we are going to look at Rary the traitor, former member of the Circle of Eight.

Please leave any comments or feedback below.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Mechanics Monday: Greyhawk’s Human Races in 5e

Welcome to this week’s Mechanics Monday where we take a look at a specific mechanic in the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, compare it to the 2nd Edition and see which version works best for the setting of Greyhawk.

If the 5e version is suboptimal we try to homebrew a better version of it.

Today’s Mechanic:

Today we talk about the Greyhawk’s Human Races. In the World of Greyhawk, especially in the Flanaess, are five different main races. The races are Oeridian, Suel, Flan, Baklunish and Rhennee. Two more rare races, Olman and Touv, will not be part of this post.

You can read more about the races in the World of Greyhawk campaign book or visit this Great Library of Greyhawk wiki entry.

Human races in 5th edition

Basicly, in 5th edition there are no differences in character creation between human subraces. Especially with the mixing of heritage in humans this design decision makes sense. Ultimately, labeling human races as more intelligent than others can be a troubling assertion and edges sparly over the line to racism.

But in general, there are two different methods for Humans in 5e. Normal humans gain +1 in each ability score. The Variant Human ruling gives them and increasement by 1 on two different ability scores, one skill proficiency and 1 Feat.

How it’s used to be in 2nd edition

Nevertheless, in 2nd edition the Player’s Guide by Anne Brown they distinguish between races and give them different ability stat modifiers.

  • Baklunish (+1 Wis, -1 Cha when not talking to Baklunish)
  • Flan (+1 Con, -1 Int when applied to learn new spells)
  • Oeridian (+1 Dex, -1 Wis)
  • Rhennee (+1 Str, -2 Cha when not talking to Rhennee)
  • Suel (+1 Int, -1 Cha)

What’s better?

Obviously this is in general a preference choice. I agree with the sentiment to not give any race a benefit over the other in terms of ability scores. So the 5th edition version is for sure more sensible, but there is still something we can implement to give a distinct different feel between races.

How we tweak it

We give raise one ability stat by 1 and one by 2. This is inline with typical bonuses of other subraces (e.g. wood elf). Furthermore, each subrace gets two features.

Baklunish
  • Languages: Ancient Baklunish, Common and one other
  • Arcane prowess. Since old times the Baklunish are good with magic. They have proficiency in Arcana. If they gain proficiency by other means, double their proficiency bonus instead.
  • Life of Trade. The Baklunish are adept traders and can haggle any price getting advantage on any Persuasion roll regarding trading. They also get advantage on any Investigation roll to appraise goods and check if they are fake.
Oeridian
  • Languages: Common, Old Oeridian and one other
  • Nimbleness. Oeridians are very nimble. They have proficiency in Acrobatics. If they gain proficiency by other means, double their proficiency bonus instead.
  • Adept Fighter. Oeridians are excellent combatants. They can use their bonus action to raise their bonus to hit by 1 and their reaction to raise their AC by 1. The use of the feature needs to be declared before dice are rolled.
Flan
  • Languages: Common, Flan and one other
  • Bond to Nature. The Flan are closer to nature than others. They have proficiency in Nature. If they gain proficiency by other means, double their proficiency bonus instead.
  • Horse people. Flan are adept horse riders. They make Animal Handling checks with advantage when interacting with a horse. Additionally mounting a horse is a bonus action and dismounting costs 5 ft. of movement. The horses speed is raised by 10 ft..
Rhennee
  • Languages: Common, Rhennee Cant and one other
  • Good hands. Working on a boat, crafting and a little bit of stealing are normal activities for Rhennee. They have proficiency in Sleight of Hand. If they gain proficiency by other means, double their proficiency bonus instead.
  • Living on a boat. Rhennee live many years of their lives on ships and are used to travelling on the sea. They will never get sick and gain advantage on all activities normal for the life on the ship. Some examples are Survival for navigation or Acrobatics to climb on a mast.
Suel
  • Languages: Common, Suloise and one other
  • Born crafters. Suel have a talent for all crafts and arts. They gain proficiency in one tool of your choice. If they have it already through other means, double their proficiency bonus instead.
  • Blood of a Suel. Suel have the magical aptitude of their ancestors gaining +1 on any saving throw against spells and they raise their own Spell DC by 1.

Conclusion

This solution uses the strength of human adaptability (free ability increasement choice) paired with a race feature and race skill. The goal is to avoid racism and still give a different feel to each subrace.

I hope you liked today’s episode of Mechanics Monday. If you have any feedback or own idea how to tackle this mechanic, comment down below.

For the next episode we will look at Named Spells from the mages of Greyhawk.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Fellows Friday: Nerof Gasgal in 5e

Welcome to this week’s Fellows Friday where we take a look at a specific NPC in the World of Greyhawk, look a the information from previous versions and see how we can fit them to th 5th Edition of D&D.

Then we are going to flesh out the characters personality and create three plot hooks to put them in your game.

Today we are looking at Nerof Gasgal, the mayor of Greyhawk. He is also a member of the Thieves’ Guild.

Like always, we will assume the timeline of “From the Ashes”. So we are looking at the iteration on the 1st of Coldeven 585 CY.

Short biography

Nerof Gasgal was born in City of Greyhawk in 540 CY with no status as part of the poorest people of the city.

He joined the Thieves’ Guild and he in particular befriended Org Nenshen, who is the Guildmaster in present day.

Due to Nerof’s growing fear he started to go into politics and after becoming the youngest director of the Directing Oligarchy he was elected as mayor of Greyhawk in 570 CY.

His ambition is to be the best mayor that Greyhawk as ever seen. He has had a lot of success in recent years with balancing allies and foes and even gaining territory for the Domain of Greyhawk.

Appearance

Nerof is a human of 45 years and 5’9″ of height. He has dark brown hair and a brown beard with gray patches growing steadily over the years. He dresses very conservatively but his clothes are of excellent material.

Special properties of the old versions

We are looking at the Nerof Gasgal stat block from the City of Greyhawk boxed set. Most notably, Nerof has high stat scores in Wisdom and Charisma with the obvious high Dexterity for thiefs. His magical items are not described further but he has access to a vast amount of items through the Guild of Wizardry.

The new stat block for 5th Edition

Converting Nerof Gasgal is surpisingly easy. The 5th Edition has the perfect Rogue subclass just made for this character, the Mastermind. As for magical items, there are a lot to choose from. Any sort of defensive item might be useful, but let’s try to give something specific to Nerof.

So here is my personal Nerof Gasgal stat block:

Nerof Gasgal in 5e
Nerof Gasgal in 5e

Additionally, he possesses the following magical items:

Personality

Nerof Gasgal is known to be good politican, cunning and persuasive. Despite his role in the city now, the nobility doesn’t forget that he used to be from the Slum Quarter, and he knows it.

Nerof changed a lot in the city like simplifying the currency system and reforming taxes. He still has strong ties to the Thieves’ Guild through his friend Org Nenshen, but he truly acts in the best ways for the city at all times.

He will take bribes from and wagers all bribes he got against each other.

Plot hooks

Player characters might be involved in plots that involve Nerof but getting a quest directly from him is very unusual. The adventuring group needs to be known in the city before Nerof considers them. If the player characters did any good deeds for Greyhawk he might contact them for a private meeting.

  • Turin Deathstalker in Safeton needs a group of exceptional skills to infiltrate the Pomarj past the front lines. The orcs are building a new war machine that could turn the battle in the wrong way. The party needs to destroy it.
  • Nerof Gasgal orders to finally free the Hool Marshes from the lizardfolks after the Fort Marshkeep got overrun and destroyed. The group’s objective is to find a way through the swamp, find the lizardfolk settlement and judge how many forces they have.

I hoped you liked my iteration of Nerof Gasgal in 5e. Next week we are going to look at Kieren Jalucian, guildmaster of the Guild of Wizardry.

Please leave any comments or feedback below.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama

Mechanics Monday: Potion of Longevity in 5e

Welcome to this week’s Mechanics Monday where we take a look at a specific mechanic in the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, compare it to the 2nd Edition and see which version works best for the setting of Greyhawk.

If the 5e version is suboptimal we try to homebrew a better version of it.

Today’s Mechanic:

Today we talk about the Potion of Longevity. This potion is rather prominent in Greyhawk. Many important figures in the world have used the potion. Some of them are Mordenkainen, Kieren Jalucian, the Guildmaster of the Guild of Wizardry and King Belvor of Furyondy.

The potion is also talked about in the City of Greyhawk boxed set where a group named the Shapechangers provide an ingredient to Kondradis Bubka, the mage of Exchange, for it.

Potion of Longevity in 5th edition

In 5th edition the potion is rated as a very rare potion that decreases the consumer’s age by 1d6 + 6 (9.5) years. On a 10% chance the effect is opposite making the consumer age for that amount. The chance raises cumulatively, There are also some hints of ingredientd, most notably a tiny beating heart.

How it’s used to be in 2nd edition

In 2nd edition the potion restores only 1d12 (6.5) years. On a 1% chance the effect reverses and all age will be restored. The chance also raises cumulatively. This means the chance that the potion fails is lower but more damaging to the consumer.

What’s better?

Obviously this is in general a preference choice. But, for the Greyhawk setting it makes the most sense to stick with the low percentage failure.

The potion is rather popular with the wealthy and highly magical folk. Kieren Jalucian must have used it a dozen times. This wouldn’t be possible with the 5th edition version

Now we should adress the creation and price of such a valuable potion.

How we tweak it

I think for the Greyhawk setting we use a combination of both potions.

1d6 + 6 years per dosis reduces the variance greatly, which is good for value and enjoyment of your players if they ever find one. The negative effect from 2nd edition is also better for us in my opinion. So 1% cumulative chance to lose all age effects and age increase is our choice.

For creation the City of Greyhawk boxed set describes elvish bone marrow and blood as a key ingredient. The other key ingredient we take is from 5th edition, a tiny beating heart. I suggest this heart must be from an non-adolescent immortal being, a child vampire.

For a reasonable price in 5e one of my favourite sources, 5e Magic Shop, suggests 9000 gp. As we have a more powerful iteration a better price would be 12000 gp.

Kondradis Bubka might buy 20g of elvish bone marrrow and 100ml of elvish blood for 1000 gp and the vampire heart for 4000 gp and then pay Heironymus Tigana, the guild’s alchemist, 1000 gp to concoct the potion.

Conclusion

The potion of longevity gives a lot of room for quests and adventure. The group could find about the Shapechangers illegal torture and murder. Kondradis Bubka is for sure not innocent buying from. Furthermore, where does he get the vampire hearts from?

One source I can suggest could be Ferrenan, Prince of the House of Cranden. He is an evil vampire of Blackspinter in the Great Kingdom. He might use his power to turn children and then ship their hearts to the City of Greyhawk. You can read more of him in the Ivid the Undying supplement.

I hope you liked today’s episode of Mechanics Monday. If you have any feedback or own idea how to tackle this mechanic, comment down below.

For the next episode we will look at Greyhawk’s Human Races in 5e.

See you in the Green Dragon Inn,

Frogsama