Whew- it has been a crazy couple of months for me. Summers are always busy with RL activities, but this summer was packed. Between Gen Con and the awesome Demon City kickstarter, then I had to shift gears to start the process for setting up our huge charity event at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, The Sale, which I oversee (I’m the Director of Operations for the organization). The Sale concluded last week! It was quite an undertaking, building this from the ground up, but my volunteers were amazing and I couldn’t be happier or prouder with the outcome.
In other news, I had to disband my online gaming group due to low attendance, schedule changes for some of the players, and constant cancellations… so that was a bummer. Hopefully we’ll be able to game again in the future, but right now that just isn’t a reality.
Needless to say, aside from gaming at Gen Con, I hadn’t RPG’d from July until last week! Nor have I really had any time to write in about six months… which is why I haven’t posted much in recent months.
I’m hoping my schedule evens out now and I can get some gaming in!
Even though I was busy, I was able to do some serious pondering about DIY RPG Productions, where I want my company to go/how I want to do business, etc. and I think I’ve course-corrected things before it spiraled into something else. By and large this does not impact much for people who enjoy the books I have released, it’s more I want to make sure I’m happy with the direction I am going before it became something else.
I also stole time to jot down notes on my projects and how I want to move them forward.
Demon City is currently in layout and moving along nicely! Shawn is killing the layout and Zak’s art and writing are always exceptional.
Matt Hildebrand recently sent me a few layout samples for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth and we nailed down where we are going with the book. The Kickstarter for BotRE will launch in January(ish).
Death is the New Pink: Going Medieval on Yo’ Ass is cooling off while I ponder mechanics of my own DIY RPG Productions system that I’ll be using for many of my publications in the future (gotta finish writing it and playtesting it).
Kelvin Green is plugging away at drawing rooms for the Forever Dungeon!
Fiona Giest and Jarrett Crader have finished the first pass of proofs for Orcs: A High Octane Adventure (3rd level module for Hubris).
High Noon is also on the rack until I figure out my DIY ruleset or if I just want to publish it as Whitebox. We shall see.
Anyways… I figured I’d put out a class I’m working on for a BotRE supplement: The Terramancer.
This class is inspired by the Ecomancer from Pirates of the Dark Water. Enjoy!
Terramancers are an ancient order with the ability to harness and manipulate the energies of the earth, be it nature, beasts or the very elements themselves. The forces they wield are truly powerful, rivaling those of Sorcerers. Terramancers prefer their own company or that of animals and many are reclusive, solitary beings. Although not often encountered, those of the order will leave their solitary domains to defend Mother Earth or fight and protect those they deem worthy.
“I am one of Mother Earth’s chosen guardians. I harness Her nurturing touch to heal, to guide and to protect. I call forth Her wrath to hinder, attack, and destroy those that would harm Her, the innocent, or those of my order.”
Starting HP: 1d4+4
Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d4 HP/lvl
Weapon and Armor: Light Armor, All Shields, Daggers, Clubs, Short Swords, Short Bows, Staves, Slings, and Blowgun
Weapon Damage: 1d4/1 Unarmed or Improvised
The Ways of the Terramancer: Terramancers can harness the raw power of the elements and nature. Starting at 1st level a Terramancer can utilize the power of the various “Ways” twice per day. They gain the ability to use the power of the Ways an additional time every odd level (max of 6 at 9th level).
Natural Recharge: Once per day a Terramancer can rest for an hour. Roots grow from their legs and feet and arms and hand, burrowing into the earth (or water) to draw revitalizing nutrients into their body. During that time they are immobile. At the end of the hour the Terramancer makes a Luck roll. If successful they can utilize an additional Way.
Way of the Form
The Terramancer causes their body to take on the attributes of an element. The Terramancer must test their WIS to successfully transform. A player is more than welcome to come up with their own creative powers using the elements. Below are a few suggestions/examples. The Terramancer can stay in this form for 1 round plus a number of rounds equal to half the Terramancer’s level (round down).
Stone/Metal: The Terramancer’s body becomes dense, heavy stone. The Terramancer gains an armor of 4 and they can attack with their fists for 1d6 damage. A Terramancer can opt to be thrown at a target (say be a Beastman) and transform while on the way, they must make a DEX test with Disadvantage to successfully hit the target. If successful, the Terramancer deals 2d10 damage. Terramancer’s are extremely slow in this form, gaining only a movement or attack action per round.
Lightning: The Terramancer’s body becomes a crackling force of electricity. While in this form the Terramancer can shoot lightning bolts at targets, making two attacks per round (one with each hand). If the Terramancer makes a successful DEX test, the target suffers 1d6 damage. If the target is hit, the Terramancer is allowed a Luck roll. If it favors them, the target is stunned for 1 round. The Terramancer can travel up to Not-so-Nearby per round.
Air: The Terramancer’s form becomes nearly invisible. While in this form the Terramancer can fly at a rate of Nearby per round. They do not suffer any damage from attacks, save for from magical attacks (Sorcerer, Death Priest, another Terramancer, etc.). The Terramancer can seep through cracks in walls, keyholes, under doors, etc.
Alternatively, the Terramancer can transform their arms into mini-tornadoes. The Terramancer must make a DEX test to engulf a large or smaller target in the tornado. The tornado spins around, keeping the target trapped for 1d4 rounds before dissipating. The target suffers 1d4+1 damage each around they are in the tornado. Once both tornadoes are used, the Terramancer’s arms return to normal.
Water: The Terramancer’s form becomes water. They can breathe in water and swim at a speed of Not-so-Nearby. Fire does no damage to them (except large wild fires, magma, etc.) and they gain an armor of 2 against normal attacks. Electricity does an additional 1d6 damage and stuns the Terramancer for 1 round.
A Terramancer can use their form to spread out and douse flames. They can dose up to a 10’x10’ room (roughly 100 square feet).
Alternatively, the Terramancer can summon forth a large gout of water from both hands at a target (large or smaller). If the Terramancer succeeds at a DEX test, the target is knocked prone.
Ice: The Terramancer’s form becomes ice, waves of cold mist drifting off their body. Any target that physically attacks them suffers 1d4 cold damage. The fists of the Terramancer deal 1d6 damage. While in this form the Terramancer gains an armor of 2 against all attacks, except magical and fire. Fire deals an extra 1d6 damage. The Terramancer can shoot out a thin blanket of ice on the ground in a 5’ radius. All targets large or smaller fall prone. If the target is allowed a DEX save, they can attempt to succeed to avoid falling.
Fire: The Terramancer’s form becomes wrathful fire. Any target that gets within ‘5 of the Terramancer suffers 1d6 damage. Combustible objects have a 1-in-6 chance to catch fire. If the Terramancer touches the object (i.e., a bookcase), it catches fire the next round. The Terramancer can throw fireballs from their hands at a target, by making a successful DEX test. A target that is hit suffers 1d6 damage and has a 1-in-6 chance to catch on fire. Water deals an additional 1d6 damage to the Terramancer in this form.
Way of the Elements
The Terramancer summons the power of the elements to create powerful and devastating effects. The element the Terramancer wishes to utilize must be present in some form. The Terramancer can utilize two forms of this ability: Minor and Focused.
The Terramancer can summon a gust of wind to slam doors or propel a small sailboat (basically a rowboat with a small sail) for a few extra feet (1d100+100), bring forth a flame whip to attack a target, heat an attacker’s sword, summon rain in a small area to create a slippery muddy field, cause a tree to grow, roots to entangle an enemy (or group of enemies), call down lightning to strike a target, bring bitter cold to freeze a target in place, etc. The Terramancer must test their WIS to successfully use a Minor Way of the Elements.
The player describes what they wish to accomplish and through discussion with the GM they determine if it is acceptable or not. As a rule of thumb, any element that results in damage deals 1d6+Tecnnomancer’s level. If it is an element that will stun or freeze a target (i.e., a small ice storm), it stuns for a number of rounds equal to half the Terramancer’s level +1.
Focused: The Terramancer brings for the full might of nature to their call. This is not done lightly as it costs the Terramancer dearly. Focused powers range from releasing a destructive tornado, summoning magma from volcanic fissures, bringing forth a hurricane, creating a pillar of water that tosses a ship about (possibly sinking it) or pushes a ship faster through the water, summoning a powerful earthquake which devastate the country side, etc. The player describes what they wish to accomplish and through discussion with the GM they determine if it is acceptable or not.
When a Terramancer casts a Focused Elemental power, they must have access to the element they desire to enhance/manipulate. Immediately after the power is summoned the Terramancer must succeed at a Con save or permanently lose 1 point of Constitution. Regardless of whether successful or not, the Terramancer is drained of vitality, having their Constitution reduced by half (minimum of 5- A Terramancer that has a CON below 10 does not have the endurance to use summon the might of Focused Elemental Powers), which recovers at a rate of one point per day with rest.
A Terramancer can summon a Focused Elemental power as a ritual and store it in their staff for a later use (BotRE, pg XX).
Way of the Beast
The Terramancer can use their link with nature to show creatures they mean no harm. This soothes beasts that are riled and spooked or lessens hostile intentions. The creature must be natural (hybrid animals count as natural, BotRE pg XX. No mutated creatures) and have no higher than animal level intelligence to work. The Terramancer must succeed on a CHR test. If successful the creature’s mood is affected for 10 minutes and will calm down and go off on their own, leaving well enough alone. If one of the Terramancer’s companions attacks the creature, the effect ends immediately. If a 1 or 2 is rolled on the CHR test, the beast will accompany/fight for the Terramancer (if the PC desires that option) for 1 hour before leaving.
A GM is free to rule that a creature of 1-2 HD will permanently become an animal companion of the Terramancer. A Terramancer cannot have more than one animal companion at a time.
When a Terramancer is testing their CHR against a creature, remember the Powerful Opponent rule (BotRE, pg XX).
Way of the Healer
The Terramancer uses the power of the elements to fight against sickness, injury, and corruption. The Terramancer must test their WIS to summon the energies needed for these abilities.
Heal: The Terramancer heals a target for 2 HD of HP.
Purify Food/Water: The Terramancer causes fetid water or spoiled food to become safe to eat and fresh tasting.
Nullify Poison: The Terramancer causes a single poison affecting a target to cease.
Remove Disease: The Terramancer removes a single disease affecting a target.
Reverse Mutation: The Terramancer touches a target that just gained a mutation, allowing the target a second roll to resist the effect.
Terramancers all harness a deep link to one particular Way of their order. At first level a player chooses one of the Ways as their specialization and gains the benefit listed below:
Way of the Form: The Terramancer can transform into a form an additional time per day. When testing their WIS to successfully transform, they roll with Advantage.
Way of the Elements: The Terramancer can use a Minor Way of the Elements an additional time per day. When testing their WIS to successfully utilize the ability, they do so with Advantage. Once per day, if the Terramancer fails their CON test when using Focused Way of the Elements, they can reroll.
Way of the Beast: The Terramancer can speak to beasts if they make a successful CHR test. This is an empathic link and the conversation is limited by the animal’s intelligence. The Terramancer gains the ability to transform into a beast.
Animal Shape: Once per day the Terramancer can transform into a small or medium creature (no larger than a wolf, boar, or cougar, and no smaller than a dog, cat, eagle, etc.) While in this form the Terramancer can track by scent (rolling under WIS with Advantage), move as the creature would (Swim, fly, etc.), gains their ability to breathe (fish or frog can breathe underwater, etc.), a bite attack (and possibly claw attacks at a d6 as well- GM’s call), gains 1 armor (this does not stack with any other armor), and can see in a Far Away radius in the low light conditions. The Terramancer cannot communicate with other people while in animal form. This effect lasts until canceled.
Way of the Healer: The Terramancer can use one of the healing abilities an additional time per day. When testing there is to successfully utilize the ability, they do so with Advantage.
Roll all Attributes to see if they increase, roll twice for WIS or CHR
WEAPONS*: Staff and sling
ADDITIONAL ITEMS: Ammo for ranged weapon if taken, rations (d6), waterskin (d6), bedroll, torches x6 (d6), and healing salve (1 HD of HP restored).
*All starting weapons are made of wood, bone, or stone. For each weapon, there is a 15% chance it is made of metal (i.e., the arrowheads, the sword blade, etc.).
INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) A fossilized acorn; 2) A dagger made of the strongest ivory; 3) A cloak of badgersnake hide; 4) A pristine safari hat; 5) A bottle of fine Ancient Earth whisky; 6) Ancient Earth 3-person tent.
LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) You were a slave and escaped; 2) A fiery apparition appeared before you, describing your powers; 3) You watched your mentor battle a Sorcerer and lose. You hid. You escaped; 4) You defended an ancient grove from a band of Pig Raiders single-handedly; 5) You befriended a large bear who traveled with you for several years; 6) You were found by your mentor in the crook of an ancient tree; 7) You have sailed on the ocean and battled pirates; 8) You became a recluse after the love of your life was swallowed whole by a gigantic bloodworm.