Posted by : David Guyll January 14, 2012

One of my players wants to play a goliath shaman, while the other wants to try a human warlord channeling Malcolm Reynolds.While two leaders is not normally a problem, a shaman with a snake spirit that is also carrying a fragment of the World Serpent's shattered form and seeking to be joined with the other fragments is, especially when there really are not enough evocations around to emphasize the concept.

So...I let him whip up some new evocations that did.

  • Strangling Serpent: This is a nifty melee attack that originates from the spirit companion, which wraps around a target and makes it hard for them to properly defend themselves. In game mechanics the target grants combat advantage from the next attack made against it.
  • Snake Swarm: A swarm of spirit snakes writhe and bite enemies within an area 1 burst. It is friendly-fire, does not do a lot of poison damage (Wisdom modifier-only), but gives allies a power bonus to damage rolls against them.
  • Tail Sweep: The player likes the idea of the snake being able to trip someone up, so this encounter attack deals damage, knocks the target prone, and for a turn any enemies that start next to the spirit are immobilized. More of a controller-type thing, but he wanted some of these powers to be kind of controller-y anyway.
  • Spirit Cascade: This is his daily, and we wanted it to be a doozy. Basically the character calls upon his World Serpent fragment, causing it to manifest briefly and rushing through enemies, poisoning them. Enemies take poison damage and ongoing poison damage, while allies get a defense boost based on his Constitution. 

Are they balanced? Dunno. We used existing shaman and controller powers as benchmarks. The better question is if I give a shit, and I don't, because this is for a homebrew game and I want my players to be able to do shit that they expect their characters to do.

On the topic of inventing things we also created his "home base", as I had not considered the origins surrounding goliaths. Honestly I was hoping that people would play the more fantastical races like gith (zerai or yanki), bladelings, shardminds, and devas. I even wanted to reskin kalashtar to be humans infected with intelligences encountered from corpse stars or sailing along the edges of the Far Realm. What we came up with was this:


Welcome to Thunderspire. This island is presided over by a blue dragon, who permits a guild to mine the mountains in exchange for tribute. The island is also inhabited by a goliath tribe, and possibly orcs and ogres. I often needlessly fret over the ecology of this sort of thing, so I initially designed it to be quite large in order to support some manner of life. Ultimately it is not important. What is important is that Kamon's character hates the dragon for devouring his mother, and will ultimately go back to slay it and claim all the accumulated treasure.

Really the only problem I ran into was trying to justify the forests and rivers. Rivers I am going to say are either due to elemental vortices created during The Sundering, or are spirits (so are forests, mountains, some islands, etc). Astral stuff, I have decided, it is mutable through conscious effort, and how the gods crafted their dominions and how the gith create their silver swords. It can also be channeled into living things via worship, granting them power. So spirits need the prayer of mortals, as it causes astral-stuff to empower them, allowing them to perform miracles and thrive. Theoretically if enough mortals worshiped another mortal they could ascend to godhood given enough time, but they do not yet fully understand how the Astral works.

{ 2 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. forests could also com from remnants of the feywild. basically, after the sundering the feywild and shadowfell(both mirrors of the prime material) pool around the fragments allowing for life or death(undeath) to thrive on that fragment. maybe it wouldn't work for the Goliath home,but it is a thought for other worlds.

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  2. I largely moved the Feywild to the world's moon, which hurtles through the Astral. It can be reached using moongates (aka Fey Crossings). It is largely home to the eladrin, though lycanthropes and fomorians (who within the moon) war for control of it. There are pockets of "feywild" on various islands that elves and other fey still protect, but it is largely broken after the Sundering. I am considering making it a mad place like Wonderland.

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