Weekly Community DIY: Let's Build Some Stuff, Episode 1

Continuing on my journey to reflavor the DnD “races” to provide some cool kind of factions or groups within the monolithic groups.

Took a shot at reflavoring Aasimar and Tieflings, the classic Angel/Devil dichotomy.

In this reflavoring these creatures are basically created through a holy (or unholy) ritual which fuses Ichor or Lustre to the host in a few different flavors :slight_smile:

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I will admit to not being a huge fan of those species by default by I will read what you’ve done with them and I am sure it’s an improvement! :smile:

I’ve tiptoed around the other races until I thought maybe I could do something more fun with them too haha.

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This is what I had typed up as a “villain scheme” in the vein of the evil prince you were working through.
The idea being that you pick one of these tracks to roll between sessions.

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Project: Power-Hungry Prince Scheme

Generic Scheme Mechanics

Anatomy of a Scheme

Every scheme requires a Goal, Requirements, and a Path to Victory. In addition to Requirements, a scheme might also feature some optional Objectives that affect success.

Every scheme has a Visibility rating that begins at 20. Once per session, whenever the party is in the vicinity of the scheme, roll a d20. If the roll meets or exceeds the Visibility, some rumor or hint of the scheme reaches the party.

Adjudicating the Progress of a Scheme

Before the schemer can begin their Path to Success, they must obtain the scheme Requirements. In the absence of party intervention, this will occur on a roll 1d6, rolled once per month of game time, that results in a 6.

If a roll fails with a result of a natural 1, that outcome is deemed a permanent failure. It cannot be re-tried. Instead, a Contingency must be engaged. If there is no Contingency, the plot fails completely.

At any time, the schemer may seek out an optional Objective. The procedure is the same as for obtaining a Requirement. However, successful Objectives obtained increase the chance of future successes by 1 pip each (to a maximum of 5 in 6).

Once the Requirements (or Contingencies to same) have been met, the schemer may begin their Path to Success. The adjudication procedure is the same as with Requirements but the time-scale shifts to weekly rather than monthly.

Steps on the Path to Victory can also be replaced with Contingencies, if need arises, with the same doom if Contingencies cannot be found.

The Power-Hungry Prince Scheme

Goal

To take over the kingdom.

Requirements

  • set a timetable
  • assemble political allies
  • assemble loyal military forces

Optional Objectives

  • secure (or plan to secure) the sovereign’s emblem of authority
  • acquire underworld connections
  • groom a scapegoat

The Path to Victory

  1. Assemble allies and military force.
  2. Undertake a propaganda campaign: positively appeal to the hearts of the people through displays of generosity such as holding games, showing charity at festivals and rites, etc.; negatively smear the sovereign and their supporters.
  3. Isolate and capture/kill the sovereign.
  4. Isolate and capture/kill any remaining supporters of the sovereign and/or claimants to the throne.

Contingencies

  • appeal to a foreign power for sponsorship (counters setback to assembling allies)
  • acquire magical/infernal/divine/planar assistance (counters setback to assembling allies)
  • forge the emblem of authority (counters setback to obtaining emblem of authority)
  • sideline or incapacitate the sovereign (counters setback to killing/capturing sovereign)
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Would-be overthrowers often have a loyal military force to back them up. But, how would a Power Hungry Prince gain such loyalty? And how would he ensure there isn’t a traitor among their ranks who would report his every move to the rightful sovereign?

(these are the kinds of prompts I’d work through myself, but maybe they could be integrated into the one-pager, too)

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Great ideas! I like these and maybe we can brainstorm some more.

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This is a really cool idea. Do you do make a scheme track like this for the villains in your game? Or are you envisioning this as a resource to make available to other GMs?

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I haven’t used this myself-- I’ve tended to run things a bit more loose but I think I will implement it going forward. I absolutely want this to be a reference for other GMs.

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Here’s an image to go along with our scheme!

Good flavor especially for Aasimar characters who are poorly explored in the DnD materials I’ve read. It’s cool that it looks easily adaptable to any edition but I’ve rarely seen those races outside 3-5e

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Thanks! I feel like Aasimar could be cooler and wanted to give some more meaningful connection for Tiefling types.

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General Feedback on Toolbox Tuesday;

I think that if you want to more or less complete a ‘thing’ in an hour you should focus on making the smallest, modular, thing you can possibly make. Minimum deliverable product, so to speak. Examples:
A cabin in the wood with unusual inhabitants, they have loot if you want to be mean, useful skills if you want to be nice—your viewers can drop it into a random encounter table
A strange goblin religion, not the normal goblin religion of your world, powers, beliefs, rituals, goals, etc.—your next goblin lair will have some build in depth.
The family tree of a count; names, ages, relationships, likes, dislikes, who’s popular in the next kingdom over, whose got the high priest in their back pocket—your viewers can add their own plot. A religious figure from the past, what he did do, how did he die, did he leave behind a prophecy? what were his followers called, was he a hieratic? —Ready-made backstory for the next random tomb in the wilderness.

In general MY use case for Toolbox Tuesdays would be something tiny developed deeply, as opposed to something impressive developed shallowly.

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I don’t see why we can’t do both!

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