House Rules Compendium

by Apostol Apostolov

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House Rules Compendium

Part I

Playing the Game

Exceptional Success

Any noncritical Attack Roll that beats AC by 10 or any Skill Roll that beats DC by 10 is considered Exceptional Success.

If your Attack is an Exceptional Success, you may reroll one weapon die before calculating the damage. You must use the new value even if it is lower.

If your Skill check is an Exceptional Success and is part of a task that involves another Skill check by the same or another character, that Skill check is rolled with advantage.

Skill Check Retries

When another player attempts a Skill check roll to gain new information (Perception, History, Arcana, etc.) from the DM and fails, you may attempt the same check only if you have a higher Skill modifier than theirs.

Helping Others

When you use the Help action to aid another character in a task, you must have proficiency in that Skill.

Inspiration Points

Inspiration Points are earned by the whole party of players. The party can earn up to 3 points per session and store points up to the number of players in the group. The party must agree when and how to spend the Inspiration Points.


The party earns Inspiration Points at the end of session with:

  • great roleplaying moments, deep storytelling with dramatic effect, rich detail in describing combat, or having appropriate fun
  • working together as a team to overcome extraordinary odds, defeating difficult opponents, and progressing the story when it is not openly directed by the DM
  • not having excessive small talk or phone use on the table (other than RP aids), actively listening or engaging with the DM, not distracting from the atmosphere of the game

The party may spend an Inspiration Point anytime to:

  • increase one player’s Initiative by +10 for one combat
  • regain one use for an ability that recovers with short rest
  • remove one failed Death Save or Injury Token
  • turn one already rolled Attack or Skill check by a player or DM into a failure or success. If a failure is turned into success, it is a partial success that may carry complications. Saves and Death Saves cannot be affected.
  • have the DM roll twice when rolling on a random effect table and the party chooses one of the possible results
  • change the next Attack or Skill check by a player, if successful, to a critical success. If the roll is a failure, the Inspiration Point is wasted
Hello Players!

Do not be scared of the size of this book. All you need to know is contained on pages 2-23.


Part II contains random tables for crits and injuries, and is only occasionally referenced.

Character Creation

Ingenious Proficiency

Unless you are a spellcaster, Intelligence can be one of the least useful scores in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. To remedy that, your cunning mind unlocks the potential to learn more skills and knowledge than others.

When creating a character, you gain a number of points equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of 0). Subtract 2 if your class is capable of casting spells based on your Intelligence. These points can be spent on the table below.

Proficiency Costs
Benefit Cost
Class or Background Skill proficiency 2
Double proficiency for a Skill you are proficient in 3
Language proficiency 1
Tool proficiency 1
Double proficiency for a Tool you are proficient with 2
Single Weapon proficiency 1
Right to choose Intelligence caster (sub)class later 2

When you permanently increase your Intelligence modifier, you may spend additional points as normal. Proficiencies learned by spending points cannot be lost once gained.

Option: Personality Profile

A Personality Profile is a tool for players who are uncertain about what action their character should take. Whenever you aren't sure how your character would act or react, you can decide with a die roll plus a modifier based on your character's personality traits.

You do not have to follow the result of a personality check if you don't like it. The DM may suggest a Personality check, but can't make you roll or abide to the result.

Creating a Personality Profile

To fully sketch your character's personality, you may assign an advantage or disadvantage to any trait. You may assign double advantage or double disadvantage when certain traits are incredibly strong or devastatingly weak. As characters develop with time, you can change your profile at any point.

Personality Check

When you want to check a certain personality trait, make an Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma check using the advantage or disadvantage (normal or double) assigned to the chosen trait. Then compare with DC in the Difficulty table.

  • Intelligence. Making a calm decision based on clearly understanding how your personality affects you and others, and whether the outcome benefits you.
  • Wisdom. Resisting giving in to your emotions and personal urges, or making a choice between options while clouded by emotion, conflict, beliefs, or delusions.
  • Charisma. Expressing your personality and emotions in a way that satisfies your urges, or affects others in a profoundly dramatic way.
Difficulty DC
Simple emotions. Easy to resist urges. Obvious decisions with few risks involved. 10
Strong emotions. Powerful urges. Challenging decisions with significant consequences. 15
Overwhelming emotions. All-consuming urges. Very difficult decisions with significant consequences for many, clouded by beliefs or delusions. 20+
Personality Traits
Trait Description
Bravery How well you handle fear and danger
Reasoning Your ability to think your actions through and acknowledge bad ideas
Discipline Your ability to commit to a routine, code, or rule despite adversity
Stoicism Your ability to keep your emotions and pain to yourself
Stability How emotionally volatile you are
Optimism Your tendency to keep a positive attitude
Risk-taking How willing you are to take risks
Social Bravery Your resistance to social anxiety
Introspection How well you can reevaluate your behavior and grow as a person
Open-mindedness Your ability to accept when you are wrong and change your mind
Social Awareness How aware you are of social norms
Self-control Your ability to resist temptation
Patience How well you can handle boredom
Eloquence Staying calm and logical during emotionally charged conversations and debates
Anger Management Your ability to resist resorting to violence when you're angry
Grieving How affected you are when reminded of a loss
Desire How easily you are distracted by or infatuated with attractive people
Trauma How much a disturbing moment will traumatize you
Mental Health The state of your mental health at the moment
Trust How willing you are to trust people
Confidence Your overall belief in yourself
Narcissism Your self-obsession above all others
Machiavellianism Your desire to manipulate others
Psychopathy Your lack of empathy and sympathy

Combat

Initiative Rush

At the end of your combat turn, you may announce that you want to rush your next turn. If you do so, raise your Initiative for the duration of the combat by 2 + Dexterity modifier (minimum of 1). On your next turn after rushing you experience the following effect:

  • your first attack this turn is always at disadvantage
  • movement speed is halved during the turn, rounded down
  • bonus actions and class abilities can't be used this turn

Wounds

If you take damage exceeding your Constitution score (minimum of 10) from a single attack, ability, spell, or trap that deals damage, you receive a Wound Risk. At the end of the combat round, make a Constitution saving throw at DC 14 + 1 for each Wound Risk during this turn, or you suffer a Wound. If this damage is higher than twice your Constitution score, you don't need to roll and always suffer a Wound. A critical success always resists, while critical failure always suffers the Wound.

Until end of combat or encounter, you lose 1 hit point at the beginning of your combat turn for each Wound you have suffered since the start of that combat. You can stop the bleeding damage during combat if you spend your action and make a DC 12 Medicine check.

Open Wounds can be removed with a Medicine DC 15 skill check and expending one use of a healer’s kit (contains 10 uses). A wound can also be removed with any kind of rest and the expenditure of a Hit Die. This die does not grant hit points, it only removes the wound.

Realistic Wounds

For more realism, apply proficiency modifier instead of player level to maximum number of Wounds. Warning: you play Dark Souls now!


Massive Damage

When you take over 50% of your maximum HP in damage from attack, falling, explosions, traps, etc. the DM can rule you take one or more Injury tokens.

Wounds can also be removed with curative magic. Magic can cure both hit point damage and remove one Wound per die of healing. For example, magic items such as potions that heal 2d4+2 hit points also cure two Wounds.

If you have more Wounds than your level plus Constitution modifier (minimum of 3), you are immediately knocked unconscious. You keep the same number of hit points but are unconscious. If not stabilized before, in 2d4 hours you regain consciousness and lose one Wound.

Injuries

Every time you fall unconscious you gain one Injury token. Write down the damage amount and type for each token. At the end of the combat encounter, roll on the Injury Severity tables (p. 29-35) depending how many Injury tokens were accumulated during that encounter. The Injury token with the highest damage value decides the damage type of the injury.

Additionally, every time you roll a natural 1 on a saving throw against a spell or trap that deals damage, you gain one Injury token.

Non-Lethal Damage

Non-lethal damage must be announced before damage is rolled, not after. You may announce that all damage dealt to specific creature is non-lethal and change your mind at any time. You may choose non-lethal damage only if you can concentrate while dealing damage.

Weapons without the Nonlethal property deal only 1 plus Strength modifier in non-lethal damage. Critical hits cannot be announced as non-lethal damage and may lead to accidental kills.

Combat Actions

To use a combat action, your weapon must have one of the properties listed next to its name.

Power Attack (Heavy)

You may use your bonus action and spend one of your attacks to put more of your raw strength behind a blow using a heavy weapon, trying to deal extra damage.

Make an attack roll with -5 penalty. If the attack is successful, it deals additional damage equal to 2 + Strength modifier or 2 + Rage Damage modifier, minimum of 1.

Feign (Light, Finesse)

As a bonus action, you attempt to fake out your opponent.

You make an Intelligence (Deception) skill check opposed by your target’s Wisdom (Insight) check. If you succeed, you gain advantage on your next attack against that opponent this round. If you fail, you take disadvantage instead.

Deflect and Parry

You may use your bonus action and spend one of your attacks to prepare a reaction that deflects the strength of an attack made against you.

Until the start of your next turn, you may use your reaction against one enemy melee attack to soak some of the damage. Roll your weapon die, without applying modifiers and proficiency, and lower the damage from the enemy attack by that amount. If your roll is equal or higher than the damage dealt, the attack is parried and you gain advantage on your next attack against the same enemy.

Counter Attack

You may use your bonus action and spend one of your attacks to prepare a reaction that lets you follow an unsuccessful attack by a creature with a counter attack.

Choose a creature. Until your next turn, if the creature misses an attack against you, you can use your reaction to attack the creature. If it succeeds, you deal additional damage equal to your Strength or Dexterity modifier (minimum of 1).

Raise Shield

You may use your bonus action to prepare a reaction that uses your shield to deflect an enemy attack.

Until the start of your turn, you may use your reaction against one enemy attack that meets or beats your AC by 1. If you do so, all nonmagical damage is negated and shield's AC is reduced by 1 (or 2 if the attack is critical hit). If shield's AC drops to 0, it is destroyed.

Trip (Reach)

You may use your bonus action and spend one of your attacks perform a special melee attack to trip a creature, knocking it prone. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them.

The target of your trip must be no more than one size larger than you and it must be within your reach. Make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If you win the contest, the target is knocked prone.

Technique Fumble

If you miss with a special attack that uses your bonus action, or its skill check fails,
your next attack is always at disadvantage.

Rising from Prone

Rising from a throw or fall is a difficult thing in the heat of battle. It takes training and skill to do so very quickly and even more so when faced with an aggressive adversary.

You must spend half your movement to stand from prone. When threatened, you must also make a successful DC 15 Acrobatics or Athletics check to attempt standing, with disadvantage when threatened by more than one enemy. Failure provokes an opportunity attack reaction from threatening opponents. If any of them beat your AC by more than 5, you remain prone.

Armor Breaker (Heavy)

You may use your bonus action and spend one of your attacks to hack away a target’s worn armor, natural armor, or shield.

When you do so, the attack roll is at disadvantage. If the attack succeeds and deals more damage than the target’s AC without the Dexterity modifier, it permanently lowers the target’s armor AC or shield AC by 1. Each target’s AC cannot be lowered by more than 3 and never below 10 + Dexterity modifier. Armor and shields with AC lowered to 0 are destroyed. Magical armor and shields cannot be damaged.

Reckless Charge

During a Dash or Jump action, you may charge a target and make a single attack or a Shove attempt as a bonus action. The dash or jump must be in a straight line and you must move at least 10 feet. You cannot charge through any obstacle (creature or object) nor through hindering or difficult terrain.

An attack at the end of a charge deals one additional weapon die as damage. A Shove attempt has advantage and double push distance. Anyone attacking you after a charge has advantage until your next turn.

Momentum (Versatile, Two-Handed)

When you miss with a melee attack by less than 3, you may use your bonus action and your failed attack to build energy towards your next attack in the same turn. If you do so and next attack hits, you may reroll one damage die of your next attack then choose between the older and the newer value.

Dirty Fighting

If a creature missed with a melee attack against you before the start of your turn, or you're prone, you may use your bonus action and spend one of your attacks to make a 'dirty' melee attack against that creature, hindering its advance.

You make an attack roll and the target makes an opposed Wisdom (Insight or Perception) save. If you fail the opponent gains advantage on melee attacks against you until your next turn. If you succeed, you choose one effect:

  • Your target must make a Strength saving throw vs your Attack Roll to avoid being grappled
  • Your target must make a Dexterity saving throw vs your Attack Roll to avoid being Blinded or Suffocating until the end of its next turn
  • Your target must make a Constitution saving throw vs your Attack Roll to avoid being Stunned until the end of
    its next turn, or falling prone.

Stealth Actions


Gag Mouth

Once you successfully Grapple a creature, you can attempt to gag it and prevent it from making sounds.

Use your bonus action and make an additional Grapple check. If you succeed on this grapple, the creature is gagged while the grapple persists. A gagged creature cannot cast spells with verbal components and its speech is muffled and cannot be understood. When the creature is no longer grappled, it is no longer gagged as well.

Choke Hold

Once you successfully Grapple a creature at the neck or other vital spot, you can make an additional Grapple check to attempt choking it unconscious or dead.

Attempt the additional Grapple check at disadvantage. If you succeed on this grapple, your hands move to the creature’s vital point and start cutting the flow of air. On the creature’s next turn, the choker makes a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the creature’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. If the creature succeeds, the Grapple is broken. If it fails, it is Suffocating.

Silent Takedown

Rogues or anyone suitably trained or equipped with a silent weapon can attempt to incapacitate an unaware creature, through force or with tools such as a garrote. A creature must be Surprised or incapable of taking actions and reactions to be subject to a Silent Takedown. You may attempt a weapon attack using your Dexterity modifier or a choke hold with a Strength (Athletics) check. The check DC is equal to 10 + the creature's Hit Dice.

If you succeed, the target creature is considered Grappled, Gagged, and Suffocating; and suffers disadvantage on their first check to break the Grapple if they were Surprised.

Drag

Once you successfully Grapple a creature, you may spend your action and attempt a DC 10 Strength check to drag a creature of your size, at a rate of up to half your movement speed. The DC increases by 5 for creatures one size category larger and decreases by 5 for creatures one size category smaller. You cannot drag a creature more than two sizes larger than your own. If two or more creatures attempt to perform a Drag action, they gain advantage and only one attempt needs to succeed.

If the creature is not paralyzed, unconscious or restrained, it can attempt a contested Strength check on its turn to free from the grapple.

Coup de Grace

Conditions such as Paralyzed, Unconscious, or Sleeping that grant automatic critical hits against humanoid creatures allow you to deal one final blow that kills the target.

When you make an attack that qualifies as an automatic critical hit, roll a regular Attack roll. If you hit the target's AC minus Dexterity modifier, the creature takes damage equal to its current HP and is dying. If you do not hit, the creature instead takes damage equal to half its current HP.

Grapple from Stealth

When you successfully enter stealth, as long as your stealth roll is above the Passive Perception of anyone guarding, your first Grapple check always gains advantage.

Attrition and Death

Combat Conditions

The lingering marks of combat and physical pain affect your appearance and actions. People can read the signs of bodily damage and may act caring or aggressive. Realistic and engaging narration of the effects from combat should be rewarded with Inspiration Points.

Bruised

When you lose 1/4 of your Max HP, you are bruised. Your body or face is covered with visible scratches and bruises, and you have minor lingering pains. Anyone can recognize exposed damage with a DC 10 Perception check. Hiding it or using makeup can add +5 or +10 to the DC.

Bloodied

When you lose 1/2 of your Max HP, you are bloodied. Your body has open wounds or massive hematomas, and you feel intense pain during physical feats requiring Strength or Dexterity. Even if your wounds are hidden, anyone can recognize the signs of pain with a DC 10 Perception check.

Beaten

When you drop below 1/4 of your Max HP, you are beaten. Your body is a mess of bleeding open wounds, cracked or splintered bones, or much worse. You feel severe pain just by simply moving around.

When you become beaten and you have 2 or fewer levels of Exhaustion, you gain 1 additional level of Exhaustion that only comes into effect after the combat ends and the adrenaline rush wears off.

Dying

When you drop to 0 hit points and start dying, you gain 1 level of Exhaustion that comes into effect immediately if you are stabilized and raised on your feet.

On Death's Door

Even if an enemy attack or a deadly trap deals a finishing blow that takes your last hit points, you may still rely on your fortitude to avoid immediately losing consciousness.

When a weapon attack, ability, spell or trap that deals damage drops your hit points to 0, you may choose to attempt a Constitution save at DC equal to the total amount of damage dealt to you. If you succeed, instead of dropping unconscious you gain the On Death's Door condition.

While On Death's Door, you are still standing and may take actions as normal. However, you gain 3 levels of Exhaustion and you are dying. All rules related to dying apply.

The On Death's Door condition appears similar to the beaten condition, and you are still a target for enemy attacks. If anyone attempts to recognize that you are dying even while not prone and unconscious, they must roll a DC 10 Wisdom check. If they fail, they cannot spot the difference. Healers would naturally attempt to stabilize unconscious allies, first.

Stabilizing Dying Characters

Stabilizing is not instant. You must perform all your Death Saves. A Help action before your turn improves your odds.

DC Situation
12 Victim makes Death Saves alone, without Help
10 Victim receives non-proficient Help action
8 Victim receives Medicine-proficient Help action
-1 For each +2 Constitution modifier of the victim
+1 For each -1 Constitution modifier of the victim

Resting and Recovery

Breather

Taking a breather is a short period of rest, at least 5 minutes long, after a strenuous activity. During that time you may rest, slake your thirst and hunger, or check on a single wound and bandage it.

During a breather, you may spend one Hit Die for healing or removing a Wound. If a Hit Die is spent to heal, you roll the die and add your Constitution modifier to it. You regain hit points equal to the total.

Short Rest

A short rest is a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which you do nothing more strenuous than light activity like eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds.

You can spend Hit Dice at the end of a short rest for recovery or removing a Wound, up to 1 + Constitution modifier (minimum of 1). For each Hit Die spent in this way, you roll the die and add your Constitution modifier to it. You regain hit points equal to the total. If you have exactly 1 level of Exhaustion, you can remove that level.

You can't benefit from more than two short rest in a 24-hour period, and you must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits.

Long Rest

A long rest is a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which you sleep or perform light activity like reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours. If the rest is interrupted by a period of strenuous activity - at least 1 hour of walking, fighting, casting spells, or similar adventuring activity - you must begin the rest again to gain any benefit.

During a long rest, you must be able to sleep with some comfort and consume at least 2 pints of water and a ration. If you can provide both, you reduce 1 level of Exhaustion. If you cannot provide one or both, you gain 1 level of Exhaustion.

At the end of a long rest, your hit points remain unchanged. However, you regain up to half of your total number of Hit Dice, rounded down. Any Hit Dice above the maximum amount for your level must be spent during the long rest for recovery or removing Wounds, otherwise they are lost.

You can't benefit from more than one long rest in a 24-hour period, and you must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits.

Full Rest

A full rest is a period of downtime, at least 24 hours long, during which you sleep, perform light activity, or nonstrenuous physical or mental labor for up to 2 hours.

A full rest cannot be attempted while in the wilderness, while sleeping on dirt or stone, or while wearing armor. You must be in a safe location where you do not feel the need to keep watch or constantly be on guard. You must also consume at least 3 pints of water and 2 rations. If you can provide all of the above, you lose up to 2 levels of Exhaustion. For each source of life sustenance you cannot provide, you gain 1 level of Exhaustion.

At the end of a full rest, you recover all lost hit points and regain all spent Hit Dice. A full rest also counts towards recovery for any serious Injuries. You must have at least 1 hit point at the start of the rest to gain its benefits.

Invigoration

When you spend Hit Dice and you roll twice the maximum value during the same long or full rest, your current Exhaustion is reduced by one level.

Festering Wounds

When you take long or full rest, if you have any open Wounds they risk festering. Make a Constitution check at DC 12 + number of open Wounds. If you fail, at the end of the rest your maximum hit points decrease by 1 for each open Wound.

Your maximum hit points return to normal when you take a long or full rest with no open Wounds.

Warning! Tactical Option

These expanded weapon rules are intended for advanced players looking for tactical depth. Any player may ignore them and use Player's Handbook weapons instead.

Realistic Weapons

Simple Melee Weapons
Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Club 1 sp 1d4 bludgeoning 2 lbs. Light, nonlethal
Cestus 1 gp 1d3 bludgeoning ½ lbs. Free-handed, light, nonlethal
Dagger 2 gp 1d4 piercing 1 lb. Finesse, finisher, light, prone fighting, thrown (20/60)
Greatclub 5 sp 2d4 bludgeoning 10 lb. Heavy, nonlethal, status, two-handed
Handaxe 3 gp 1d6 slashing 2 lb. Light, thrown (25/75)
Javelin 5 sp 1d6 piercing 2 lb. Thrown (30/120)
Light Hammer 2 sp 1d4 bludgeoning 2 lb. Light, status, thrown (20/60)
Mace 5 gp 1d6 bludgeoning 4 lb. Sundering
Plançon a picot 5 sp 1d4 bludgeoning/piercing 3 lbs. Finisher, sundering
Peasant Flail 2 gp 1d8 bludgeoning 5 lb. Ensnaring, two-handed
Quarterstaff 2 sp 1d6 bludgeoning 4 lb. Defensive (+1 AC), Nonlethal, versatile (2d4)
Sickle 1 gp 1d4 slashing 2 lb. Light, status
Short Spear 1 gp 1d6 piercing/slashing 3 lb. Finisher, versatile (1d8)
Spear 1 gp 1d8 piercing 4 lb. Reach, thrown (20/60) two-handed
Simple Ranged Weapons
Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Dart 5 cp 1d4 piercing ¼ lb. Finesse, thrown (20/60)
Light Crossbow 25 gp 1d8 piercing 5 lb. Ammunition (80/320), loading, prone fighting, two-handed
Shortbow 25 gp 1d6 piercing 2 lb. Ammunition (80/320), two handed
Sling 1 sp 1d4 bludgeoning ¼ lb. Ammunition (30/120)

Martial Melee Weapons
Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Battleaxe 10 gp 1d8 slashing 4 lb. Status, sweeping, versatile (1d10)
Boar Spear 15 gp 1d6 piercing 5 lb. Special, versatile (1d8)
Flail 10 gp 1d8 bludgeoning/piercing 2 lb. Ensnaring, wind-up
Garotte Wire 5 gp 1d6 slashing ¼ lb. Finesse, light, special, two-handed
Glaive 20 gp 1d10 slashing 6 lb. Heavy, reach, sweeping, two-handed
Greataxe 30 gp 1d12 slashing 9 lb. Heavy, status, sweeping, two-handed
Greatsword 50 gp 2d6 piercing/slashing 7 lb. Finisher, heavy, two-handed
Guisarme 5 gp 1d10 piercing 8 lb. Ensnaring, heavy, reach, two-handed
Halberd 20 gp 1d10 piercing/slashing 7 lb. Heavy, reach, status, two handed
Lance 10 gp 1d12 piercing 6 lb. Reach, special, status
Longsword 15 gp 1d8 piercing/slashing 3 lb. Finisher, status, versatile (1d10)
Lucerne 20 gp 1d10 bludgeoning/piercing 7 lb. Heavy, reach, sundering, two-handed
Maul 10 gp 2d6 bludgeoning 12 lb. Heavy, status, sundering, two-handed
Morningstar 15 gp 1d8 bludgeoning/piercing 4 lb. Status, finisher
Parrying Dagger 3 gp 1d4 piercing 1 lb. Finesse, finisher, light, parry, prone fighting
Pike 5 gp 1d10 piercing 13 lb. Heavy, reach, two-handed, wind-up
Pollaxe 35 gp 1d10 slashing 10 lb. Special, status, two-handed
Rapier 25 gp 1d8 piercing 2 lb. Finesse, parry, status
Sabre 25 gp 1d8 slashing 2 lb. Finesse, parry, status
Scimitar 20 gp 1d6 slashing 3 lb. Light, finesse, status
Shortsword 10 gp 1d6 piercing/slashing 2 lb. Light, finesse, finisher
Trident 5 gp 2d4 piercing 4 lb. Ensnaring, finisher, status, thrown (20/60), versatile (1d10)
War Pick 5 gp 1d8 piercing 2 lb. Status, sundering
Warhammer 15 gp 1d8 bludgeoning 3 lb. Finisher, sundering, versatile (1d10)
Whip 2 gp 1d4 slashing 3 lb. Ensnaring, finesse, prone fighting, reach
Martial Ranged Weapons
Name Cost Damage Weight Properties
Blowgun 10 gp 1 piercing 1 lb. Ammunition (25/100), loading, special
Hand Crossbow 75 gp 1d6 piercing 3 lb. Ammunition (30/120), light, loading, prone fighting
Heavy Crossbow 50 gp 1d10 piercing 12 lb. Ammunition (100/400), heavy, loading, prone fighting, two-handed
Longbow 50 gp 2d4 piercing 2 lb. Ammunition (150/600), heavy, two-handed
Net 1 gp - 3 lb. Special, thrown (5/15)
Recurve bow 105 gp 1d8 piercing 3 lb. Ammunition (125/500), finesse, heavy, two-handed
Repeating Crossbow 300 gp 1d8 piercing 14 lb. Ammunition (50/200), special, two-handed
Shields
Name Cost +AC Weight Properties
Buckler 12 gp +1 2 lb. Free-handed, Light, parry
Shield 10 gp +2 6 lb. -
Tower Shield 50 gp +3 15 lb. Heavy, noisy, special

Weapon Properties

Ammunition

The weapon can make a ranged attack, only if its user has units of Ammunition to fire from it.

Each time you attack with the weapon, you expend one unit of Ammunition. Drawing a unit of Ammunition from a quiver, case, or other container is part of the attack, but you need a free hand to load a one-handed weapon. At the end of the battle, you can recover half your expended Ammunition by taking a minute to Search the battlefield.

If you use a weapon that has the Ammunition property to make a melee attack, you treat the weapon as an Improvised Weapon. A sling must be loaded to deal any damage when used in this way.

Ensnaring

The weapon features chains, rope, or other parts that can entangle a combatant.

When you hit with a weapon attack, you may use your bonus action to attempt to grapple, disarm, or knock the target prone. This attempt uses your weapon attack modifier at disadvantage, instead of the Strength (Athletics) skill.

Finesse

The weapon lends itself to dexterous combat due to precise blades or heads, grips that offer enhanced control, exceptional balance, or some other dexterous feature.

When making an attack with a Finesse weapon, you may choose to use either your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.

Finisher

The weapon is particularly adept at making the most of the advantageous situation, when an enemy is at your mercy.

When the weapon is used to attack a prone creature in the beaten state, roll an additional damage die on a hit.

Heavy

The weapon is larger and more weighty than a standard weapon, lending it unique advantages and challenges.

A Heavy weapon can be used to make only one attack per turn, unless it is being wielded by a character with a Strength score of 13 or more. A Heavy weapon uses a bonus action to draw or stow. Any attempt to disarm the wielder of a heavy weapon is made at disadvantage.

Light

The weapon is small and easy to handle, making it ideal for fighting with two weapons or for Small characters.

Loading

The weapon requires a more complicated process for readying a unit of ammunition and preparing an attack.

Because of the additional time required to load this weapon, you can fire only one unit of ammunition from it using an action, bonus action, or reaction. This limitation exists, regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.

Nonlethal

The weapon is designed to incapacitate, or is otherwise capable of delivering a hit that does not kill the target.

You must declare a Nonlethal attack. Nonlethal damage dealt with this weapon, that reduces the target to zero hit points, immediately puts them in the unconscious state instead of killing them. The target is considered stable in this state.

All weapons may be used to deal Nonlethal strikes, but they deal Bludgeoning damage equal to 1 plus Strength instead of their typical value. Weapons with the Nonlethal property still deal their full damage. Improvised Weapons have this property, if they can deal Bludgeoning damage.

Parry

The weapon has some catching or deflecting feature, allowing it to be used to parry incoming attacks. When you use the Parry combat action, you may reroll the weapon die once. You must take the new value, even if it is lower.

Prone Fighting

The weapon is able to be used just as effectively while laying on the ground or while standing. When you are prone and attack with this weapon, you do not take disadvantage.

Range

The weapon can be used to make attacks from a distance beyond melee reach. A Ranged weapon has two numbers in parentheses after the Ammunition or Thrown property. The first number is the weapon's normal range in feet, and the second is the weapon's long range. When attacking a target beyond normal range, you take disadvantage on the attack roll. You can't attack a target beyond the weapon's long range.

Reach

The weapon has an extended length. This weapon adds 5 feet to your Reach when you attack with it, and when determining your Reach for attacks of opportunity with it.

Special

The weapon has some entirely unique property to it. The next page contains detailed descriptions of Special qualities and abilities which individual weapons may possess.

Status

The weapon is particularly potent in maximizing its unique damage type. When an attack roll with a Status weapon exceeds the AC of the target by 5 or more, it will inflict an additional Status effect based upon the type of damage dealt. A critical hit guarantees a Status effect as well.

Slashing weapons can inflict gaping wounds and profuse bleeding. Inflicting this status will cause the target to take an additional amount of necrotic damage, equal to your proficiency bonus. Objects, Constructs, and Elementals are immune to this damage.

Bludgeoning weapons can hit with a singularly bone-shaking blow, stunning the target. Inflicting this status causes the target's next attack roll to be made with disadvantage.

Piercing weapons can punch holes in defenses or otherwise leave a target more vulnerable. Inflicting piercing status allows the next attack roll against the target to be made with advantage.

Sundering

The weapon has qualities that crush or pierce armor, making it more effective against targets that employ such defenses.

When you attack a target wearing cuirass frame armor (such as half plate or heavy armor) or with natural armor, you gain a +1 to the attack roll.

Sweeping

The weapon makes attacks in broad, sweeping motions. You must declare a Sweeping attack. If damage from a Sweeping attack reduces a creature to 0 hit points, you may deal the weapon dice in damage to another creature adjacent to you.

If there are multiple walls, friendly characters size Medium or larger, or other such obstructions adjacent to you, a Sweeping attack is made at disadvantage.

Thrown

The weapon itself can be thrown to make a Ranged attack.

If the Thrown weapon is a melee weapon, you use the same ability modifier for its attack and damage rolls that you would use for a melee attack with the same weapon. You may use your bonus action to recover any Thrown weapon within your reach. At the end of the battle, you can recover all undamaged Thrown weapons by taking a minute to Search the battlefield.

Two-Handed

The weapon is large or cumbersome and requires two hands to fight effectively with it. The weapon must be held in two hands to make an attack or to properly wield it.

Versatile

The weapon can be wielded in either a one-handed or two-handed stance.

This weapon can be used with one or two hands. This weapon has a number in parentheses after the Versatile property, indicating the damage inflicted when this weapon is used with two hands for a melee attack.

Wind-up

The weapon can be used with extra time to prepare a more effective attack than normal.

On your turn you can use an attack action to begin a Wind-up for a weapon attack, such as spinning a flail to gain momentum. If the next attack you make with this weapon hits, you can double the Strength and proficiency bonus when applying them to damage. If no attack is made by the end of your turn, the weapon is no longer wound up.

You can also spend an attack action to keep the weapon wound up until your next turn. A weapon that is wound up can be used to make an attack of opportunity, when an enemy enters its range.


Special Weapons

Blowgun

Ammunition for this weapon is made up of small, fine needles that are especially potent when paired with a poison coating.

When applying poison to Blowgun needles as Ammunition for this weapon, the dose of poison can cover 10 units of Ammunition instead of the usual 3.

Boar Spear

These versatile spears are designed to hunt very large animals, and are often equipped with either a specially-shaped spearhead or a set of lugs to prevent the target from sliding up the haft and closer to their attacker.

After hitting a target with this weapon, it is unable to move toward you until you make an attack roll against another target. You may also use a bonus action for an attempt to shove prone a creature you are holding this way. When held in two hands, Boar Spears have the Reach property.

Garotte Wire

Garrote Wire can only be used on a creature the same size or smaller than you, and only when you have advantage against it. On a hit, the target is automatically grappled.

Until the grapple ends, the target cannot breathe and begins to choke, giving you advantage on all attack rolls against it. Creatures that do not need to breathe, such as Constructs, Undead, Elementals, and some Plants, may be immune to this effect at the discretion of the Dungeon Master.

Lance

A Lance requires two hands to wield, when you aren't mounted. You have disadvantage when you use a Lance to attack a target within 5 feet of you.

Net

A creature hit by a Net is restrained until it is freed. A Net has no effect on formless creatures, nor creatures that are Huge or larger. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Dealing 5 Slashing damage to the net (AC 10) frees the creature without harming it, ends the restrained effect, and destroys the Net.

When you use an action, bonus action, or reaction to attack with a net, you can make only one attack regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.

Pollaxe

The head of this weapon is enormously versatile, possessing an axe blade, a hammer, and a large spike. With a Pollaxe, you may inflict bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage on any single attack. You must decide the damage type before the roll is made.

Repeating Crossbow

This weapon uses a lever mechanism to quickly draw and fire bolts from a top-loaded, integrated magazine. The magazine can hold 5 bolts and requires a bonus action to reload.

Due to the rapid but somewhat imprecise nature of this weapon, you cannot ignore 1/2 or 3/4 cover when firing it, even with the Sharpshooter feat.

Tower Shield

This enormous shield can be planted into the ground, creating additional cover for you and your allies. As a reaction, you can plant the shield. The shield now provides 3/4 cover from effects that require a Dexterity saving throw, such as the Fireball spell, as well as 1/2 cover for one 5-foot square immediately adjacent to the wielder of the shield. This effect lasts until the beginning of the wielder's next turn.

Realistic Armor

Warning! Medieval Realism

These expanded rules are intended to accurately replicate medieval armor.
Only use them if players prefer historical accuracy and customization over fantasy.

Light Armor Components
Armor AC Layer Frame Qualities Strength Wt Price
Aketon +1 Underlay Jack Concealed, Damage Reduction: -1 1 lbs 5 gp
Jack of Plate +1 Overlay Jack Concealed 4 lbs 75 gp
Coat of Plate +2 Overlay Hauberk Concealed ≥ 9 8 lbs 200 gp
Brigandine +3 Overlay Cuirass Concealed ≥ 11 10 lbs 350 gp
Padded Coif +1 vs missiles Supplemental (Head) Jack 1 lbs 25 gp
Padded Limb Guards +1 vs melee Supplemental (Hands) Jack 2 lbs 40 gp
Heavy Armor Components
Armor AC Layer Frame Qualities Strength Wt Price
Gambeson +2 Underlay Hauberk Concealed, Damage Reduction: -3 ≥ 9 6 lbs 15 gp
Breastplate +2 Overlay Jack ≥ 9 11 lbs 100 gp
Half Plate +4 Overlay Hauberk Noisy ≥ 11 33 lbs 750 gp
Full Plate +6 Overlay Cuirass Resistance: Slashing, Noisy ≥ 13 44 lbs 1500 gp
Helm & Bevor +1 Supplemental (Head) Cuirass 2 lbs 75 gp
Gardbraces & Faulds +1 Supplemental (Hands) Cuirass Noisy ≥ 9 3 lbs 100 gp
Mail Components
Armor AC Layer Frame Qualities Strength Wt Price
Ring Mail +1 Mesolay Hauberk Damage Resistance: Slashing, Noisy ≥ 9 3 lbs 300 gp
Scale Mail +1 Mesolay Hauberk Damage Resistance: Piercing, Noisy ≥ 9 3 lbs 300 gp
Splint Mail +1 Mesolay Hauberk Damage Resistance: Bludgeoning, Noisy ≥ 9 3 lbs 300 gp
Banded Mail +2 vs melee,
+1 vs missiles
Overlay Jack Noisy ≥ 9 20 lbs 150 gp
Plate Mail +4 vs melee,
+2 vs missiles
Overlay Hauberk Noisy ≥ 11 30 lbs 450 gp
Loricated Mail +6 vs melee,
+3 vs missiles
Overlay Cuirass Noisy ≥ 13 35 lbs 900 gp
Buff Coat +2 vs missiles Mesolay Jack Consealed, Missile Damage Reduction: -2 1 lbs 400 gp
Hide Armor Components
Armor AC Layer Frame Qualities Strength Wt Price
Hide Armor +1 Jack Damage Reduction: -1
Hide Hood +1 vs missiles Supplemental (Head) Jack 1 lbs 25 gp
Hide Pads +1 vs melee Supplemental (Hands) Jack 2 lbs 40 gp

Armor Frame

An armor’s frame determines its core materials and the user's mobility while wearing it. When wearing multiple armor components from different frames, the rules regarding the most rigid frame apply to your entire character.

Jack: This armor is flexible and easy to move in. Most are made of canvas or leather, often stiffened and reinforced in places. When you wear a jack, add your Dexterity modifier to your Armor Class.

Hauberk: A hauberk is a shirt of armor that is still flexible enough to dodge blows, but restricts the wearer’s agility. The most common hauberk is made of interlocking links of steel or iron chain. When you wear a hauberk, its Dexterity bonus is limited to +2 even if your Dexterity modifier is higher.

Cuirass: The most formidable armor is built around a rigid carapace protecting the wearer’s vital organs. This chestplate is augmented with additional protection over the wearer’s extremities. When you wear a cuirass, do not add your Dexterity bonus to your Armor Class. However you must deduct your Dexterity penalty, if your Dexterity is below 10.

Option: Fitting Armor

Cuirass armor components have restrictive designs tailored to specific body proportions, such as height and bulk. Typically, fitted armor is made by special order and requires an armorsmith to make it usable for other wearers.

There are three distinctive body proportions and the armor fitting depends on its previous wearer or is decided by rolling a 1d6: tall and lean (1-2), short and heavy (3-4), and broad and strong (5-6). If wearer and armor's fit differ by one proportion step, the wearer takes disadvantage to all attack rolls, Dexterity checks, and saving throws. If the wearer and armor's fit differ by two steps, it cannot be worn at all.

Armor Layers

Medieval armor consists of several protective layers combined, that provide the Armor Class as well as additional qualities to their wearer. You may wear one armor component on each of the three layers, up to 2 supplemental components: one for your head and one for your hands.

Underlay is the worn protection directly in contact with the body. It is usually soft and thick clothing that protects the skin from weapon materials. These components are easy to conceal under civil clothing and may even soak some damage.

Mesolay is the worn protection on top of the Underlay that is used to mitigate much of the damage from a blow that penetrates the Overlay. These components provide resistance to specific types of melee damage and are considered the most important part of a warrior's armor set.

Overlay is the worn protection on the outside, what a layman with no training would call armor. An Overlay serves as an impenetrable carapace that stops much of the strength of a blow. However, it is not infallible and enemies try to find gaps and weak spots where the pieces connect. Only Overlay components can provide magical properties.

Supplemental components are intended to protect your head and limbs. They provide a tiny bit of protection that mostly helps against called shots.

Your Armor Class is equal to 10 plus the AC provided by every worn armor component. If armor components provide additional bonuses against missiles, write down a separate AC vs missiles and use it when attacked with ranged weapons.

Armor Properties

Concealed

This armor consists of protective reinforcement sewn into otherwise ordinary looking clothing. The wearer appears unarmored, unless an observer succeeds on a DC 15 Wisdom (Spot) check. If the observer has physical contact with the wearer, this check is made with advantage.

Damage Reduction

After damage is calculated and damage resistance (if any) is applied, reduce the damage taken by the amount of Damage Reduction provided by all worn armor components.

Damage Resistance

After damage is calculated, halve the damage amount if your Mesolay component provides Damage Resistance to the same damage type.

Hide Armor

Hide Armor is made of stitched animal furs and cured leather, and can only be worn with supplemental Hide Armor components.

Noisy

This type of armor reduces your ability to move quietly, due to metal components striking against each other. When you wear noisy armor, you take disadvantage on any Dexterity (Stealth) checks that you make to move silently. Other situations, such as hiding without movement or magical silence, are up to the DM.

Armor Encumbrance

Some armor components have a minimum Strength score required to don or doff them. Use the highest Strength requirement among all worn components in the following situations:

  • Running. You must have minimum Strength of 2 above the armor requirement to run while wearing armor; or 3 to dash while wearing armor; or 4 to long or high jump.
  • Standing from Prone. When using the Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) skill to stand, subtract 10 from your armor requirement and add the remaining value to the DC of the skill check (minimum of 0).
  • Marching. You must have minimum Strength and Constitution of 1 above armor requirement to sustain a marching speed while wearing armor. Increase this requirement by 1 for every 2 hours of marching.
  • Withstanding Hazards. When spending a long time in hot and humid weather or similar conditions, you must have Constitution score of 1 above armor requirement or suffer 1 level of Exhaustion every 3 hours until rest.
  • Crossing Difficult Terrain. You must have minimum Strength of 3 above armor requirement to cross deep water, swamps and other terrain that could pose a major hazard to anyone wearing mail or plate.

Skills

Expertise Trade-off

If the DM allows, you may choose one expertise as a weakness, granting disadvantage. If you do, you take one free expertise in the same skill.


Field Expertise

A Field Expertise is a narrow domain of knowledge and mastery that further refines the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition basic skill system. It allows you to customize your character in a meaningful, way related to their background and training.

Starting Expertise

When starting a new character, you may choose a number of expertises from this section equal to your proficiency. You may choose only one expertise per skill. These expertises should be based around your background or class. Additional expertise must be earned through training or studying.

You may propose unique field expertise not present in this section that fits your character background and story. They must be narrow enough and not useful for adventuring.

Expertise Effects

When you make a Skill check on a subject or field that you have Expertise in, add your Proficiency to the roll once more. If you are proficient or double proficient in the main skill, you are double or triple proficient in the expertise instead.

Additionally, if two or more circumstances give advantage to the roll at the same time, you can make the roll at double advantage. Roll 3d20 and take the highest result.

Learning new Expertise

Beyond your starting set, any additional expertise can only be learned. The DM decides if an expertise can be learned without a teacher. For example, your DM may suggest that Arcane Spell Lore cannot be learned without someone trained in either Arcana or Arcane Spell Lore.

During each day of downtime with at least 4 hours training or studying, you make a roll using the main skill the expertise is based on and gain a number of training points based on the chart below. If you are being taught by someone who has the expertise and spends the same downtime training you, then you have advantage on this roll. Once you have acquired enough points, you are now proficient in that field expertise. Training a new expertise requires acquiring 200 training points if you do not have proficiency in the main skill or 100 training points if you do have proficiency. Very hard, exotic, or unnatural expertise (such as Spelljammer piloting) requires double or triple the required training points.

Check Benefit
0-10 No Points
10-14 1 point
15-19 2 points
20-24 3 points
25-29 5 points
30+ 8 points
Adventuring Expertise

In campaigns where players experience very little downtime, they can buy expertise with experience points instead of training.

For every 5,000 xp deducted from your total, you learn a new expertise for a skill in which you have two or less expertise.

Strength

Athletics

Athletics is broken down into four expertises: Climbing, Jumping, Mining and Swimming.

Climbing

Scaling cliffsides or reaching rooftops, few heroes have careers without the use of climbing.

Jumping

Jumping allows heroes to leap in great bounds horizontally, or try to attain great heights vertically.

Mining

Extracting minerals and metals from the ground is a staple in worlds where iron and steel see kingdoms rise and fall. This is a new use of the Athletics skill. DMs should set DCs based on how long or difficult it would take to extract valuables. Failure results in lower yields.

Swimming

Crossing rapid streams, delving into the lair of a black dragon, or communing with mermaids, few are the heroes who stay dry forever.

Dexterity

Acrobatics

Acrobatics is broken down into five expertises: Balance, Diving, Escapology, Aerobatics and Tumbling.

Balance

Crossing narrow bridges, riding choppy seas, or running across ice, most heroes actively avoid trying to fall prone.

Diving

Sometimes a belly flop is fine, but most heroes want to avoid taking damage when falling into water. Slipping unnoticed into water to evade a dock guard might come in handy for port rogues.

Escapology

Between spider webs and bounty hunter manacles, a quick Escape is sometimes the better part of valor.

Aerobatics

Tumbling and swimming are great for heroes darting around foes on the ground and underwater, but Aerobatics helps airborne heroes do the same. DMs should set DCs similar to those skills for flying heroes.

Tumbling

Avoiding damage from a big fall or sliding through an opponents legs, mobile heroes can often find a need to tumble.

Sleight of Hand

Sleight of Hand is broken down into three expertises: Concealment, Juggling and Pickpocketing.

Concealment

While pickpocketing is great for liberating things from less observant targets, Concealment is great for making sure perceptive individuals aren't going to notice objects you've hidden. The DM should set the DC based on the size of the object and how difficult it would be to hide.

Juggling

Whether catching something to prevent it from falling or entertaining a crowd, it's not an uncommon skill for those with quick reflexes to pick up.

Pickpocketing

Planting evidence or filling your pockets with the possessions of others, Pickpocketing is a staple in every major city.

Stealth

Stealth is broken down into two expertises: Camouflage and Tailing. While both are used for hiding in different situations (staying still vs moving) the usual rules for stealth still apply as per page 177 in the Player's Handbook.

Camouflage

Hiding in place like a great cat stalking prey, Camouflage is a great tool for staking out targets or keeping your party hidden while resting.

Tailing

Wanting to move and not be noticed isn't just for Rogues. Keepers of Law or Bounty Hunters can find it useful for tracking targets. Either way, if you plan to move and be hidden Tailing is a useful skill to know.

Constitution

New Skill: Endurance

Endurance is a completely new main skill based on Constitution. It is optional and can only be picked by characters that choose one or more of its expertises. The Barbarian, Druid, Fighter, Monk, and Paladin classes can add Endurance to the list of skills they can choose from. Endurance checks are made when your character needs to push their bodies beyond normal limits. Holding your breath, marching for days, going without sleep or food, and resisting the effects of alcohol are all times when one would roll an Endurance check.

Endurance can be broken down into three expertises: Environmental Adaptation, Pain Tolerance, and Running.

Environmental Adaptation

Over time, your body and mind have adapted to an environment. When using your Endurance skill to resist the naturally occurring effects of that terrain, you can use adaptation instead. For example, in a desert, you could use it to resist lack of water or overwhelming heat.

When picking this expertise, select one type of terrain or environment. You can take this expertise multiple times, selecting one new environment each time. The terrain available to Rangers via the Natural Explorer trait (p.91, Player's Handbook) are the options you can choose from, each time you take Environmental Adaptation expertise.

  • Arctic
  • Coast
  • Desert
  • Forest
  • Grassland
  • Mountain
  • Nautical
  • Swamp
  • Underdark
  • Nautical
Pain Tolerance

Information is power, and to that end torturers consider information extraction an art. Pain Tolerance allows you to resist their craft. The DM should use Constitution, Endurance, or Pain Tolerance as the DC for Torture.

Distance Running

Sprinting short distances is fine, but sometimes heroes need to cover vast distances without rest. Distance Running allows you to maintain your pace. DMs should use Distance Running to allow players to cover greater distances overland than usual, with failure resulting in exhaustion.

Intelligence

Arcana

Arcana is broken down into five expertises: Abberation Lore, Construct Lore, Elemental Lore, Monstrosity Lore and Arcane Spell Lore.

Aberration Lore

Aberrations are the strange and unusual creatures of the far realms. Experts can spend decades learning about these creatures but often end up going insane from picking up forbidden knowledge.

Construct Lore

Wizards are often considered fragile or frail, their strength in the arcane leads them to have powerful bodyguards made of stone, iron, or flesh. These constructed guardians will fight to the death for their masters.

Elemental Lore

Airy assassins, powerful efreeti, and alien gem-eating mounds of rock, the elemental planes spit out all manner of unusual creature. But their long history and ties to the creation of existence make them a well studied group.

Monstrosity Lore

While natural creatures like wolves and bears are well known to all, there are rarer beings like hydras and centaurs that inhabit the lands. With unusual abilities like turning heroes to stone from a paralyzing gaze or dissolving metals with only a touch, it's the wise hero who knows about these beasts.

Arcane Spell Lore

A wizard pulls out a pinch of sulfur and bat guano. Woe to the hero who doesn't identify a fireball spell before experiencing it firsthand.

Lore

The lore skills defined below allow you to know lots about things in the world. Functionally they are all the same, although the information they provide is quite varied. Below is a guide on how DMs can set their DCs, using dragons as an example.

  • Very Easy (DC 5) - Very common knowledge. Dragons are dangerous.
  • Easy (DC 10) - Common knowledge. Dragons have breath weapons and fly.
  • Moderate (DC 15) - Uncommon knowledge that most people don't know. The color of a dragon determines its breath weapon element, and they are usually resistant to the same element.
  • Hard (DC 20) - Rare knowledge. Sometimes dragons are spellcasters, which is an innate ability they are born with.
  • Very Hard (DC 25) - Very rare knowledge. Elder dragons are creatures of legend, with lairs that can end adventurers as easily as the dragon.

Obviously it's up to the DM to determine how rare information is for their world, but here is a good rule of thumb. Commoners know stuff DC 5-10. Educated individuals know 10-15. Scholars know things 15-20 and Experts (people who focus on that area of expertise) know things DC 20+

History

History is broken down into 10 expertises: Humanoid Lore, Giant Lore, Dragon Lore, Regional Lore, Ancient Lore, Appraising, Bureaucracy, Heraldry, and Law.

Regional Lore

How old is Waterdeep? What are the laws regarding open magic in Sembia? Who is the consulate from Thay in Damara? Only a fool would go into a country without knowing anything about it.

When picking this skill, select a region from the Lore Regions sidebar. You can take this skill multiple times, selecting one new region each time.

Lore Regions

The 'default' setting for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition is Faerun. Below are the regions we suggest for the use of History, but you can adapt this to any world. Generally, if your world has only a few regions (such as Ravenloft), each one would get an appropriate skill. If you have a great many regions, try grouping them. For example, in Faerun exists the Bloodstone Lands. That covers Vaasa, Damara, and a little of the surrounding areas.

  • The Sword Coast: Waterdeep down to Amn.
  • The Frozen North: The Ten Towns of Icewind Dale down to Neverwinter and across to Netheril.
  • Netheril: The former desert of Netheril.
  • The Shining South: The Snowflake Mountains across to Chessenta, from the Sea of Fallen Stars down to Halruaa.
  • The Caliphate of Calim: Tethyr, the country of Calim and Velen
  • The Jungles of Chult: Everything on the south side of the Shining Sea, over to Halruaa.
  • Old Empires of the East: Unther, Mulhorand, Murghom and Thay
  • The Bloodstone Lands: Vaasa, Damara and Narfel
  • The Moonsea: The Dalelands, Impiltur, Cormanthor and the region between Vaasa and Netheril.
  • The Sea of Fallen Stars: Turmish, Sembia, Cormyr, Thesk, Aglarond and Chessenta
  • The Sea of Swords: Moonshae Islands, Lantan and all the islands of the Sword Coast.

These are just a few detailed suggestions. If you want fewer regions, you could say the map is split into West, Central and Eastern Faerun.

Humanoid Lore

Humans, Elves, Dwarves and the other races of the world have raised empires, toppled kingdoms, forged alliances, and broken them with each other.

Ancient Lore

Is that statue historically relevant to the people who made the dungeon you're in, or is it something that was added in a later age? Knowing who built things and why can give greater insight into how they can help you now.

Giant Lore

Uncertain which giant sitting in a circle is the leader? Can't tell a Storm and a Cloud giant apart? Perhaps picking up the Giant Lore skill would help your hero avoid these confusions.

Dragon Lore

Everyone thinks they know all about dragons, but the creatures are so prolific and create so many half-breeds that filtering fact from fiction is difficult. A smart hero would want to study them.

Appraising

Knowing the cut of a gem, the difficulty in casting a bronze statue, or the elegance of a wooden box, allows you to understand exactly how ripped off you're going to get from the merchants in town.

Bureaucracy

A hero gains understanding of the ins and outs of governments, politics, and those who pull the strings behind the scenes. Heroes who train in bureaucracy long for the safety of dungeons.

Heraldry

You see a shield emblazoned Party per pale or and vert, a dragon segreant sable. Does it belong to the evil baron from the next county or the benevolent king in your debt? Knowing means the difference between being celebrated or captured.

Law

Knowledge of the rules and regulations, and the consequences that will happen when your party members break them.

Investigation

Investigation is broken down into three expertise: Cryptography, Information Gathering, and Deduction.

Cryptography

Cryptography is used when someone wants to hide information inside something else. Heroes can pick up the hidden meaning in a story, a password drawn into a painting, or a message left for a member of a hidden society.

Information Gathering

Walking around town, picking up rumors, is a common adventurer past time. Plying locals with booze to get secrets out of them is a great cover for getting drunk in town.

Deduction

The ability to see connections between seemingly random facts, and the process of reaching a decision or answer by evaluating known facts.

Nature

Nature is broken down into 9 expertises: Beast Lore, Fey Lore, Ooze Lore, Plant Lore, Botany, Cartography, Geography, Geology, and Poison.

Beast Lore

Lions, Tigers and Bears. And Giant Rats. And Dinosaurs. Prepared heroes are ready for all of these horrors nature decided to throw at them.

Fey Lore

The Seelie and Unseelie courts are something no rational character will want to delve into, but rarely do you interact with these strange beings of your own volition.

Ooze Lore

One would think that Oozes don't have much lore behind them but the Oozeologists of the worlds disagree. These creatures have a tendency to inhabit exactly the places which heroes need to go.

Plant Lore

While farmers grow wheat and rotting wood grows new mushrooms, there are more mobile threats to the world.

Botany

If it's not walking, talking and thinking but it's still a plant, those trained in botany know all about it. Farmers, cooks, rangers, and scholars tend to fill out their ranks.

Cartography

There's a big difference between being able to read the lay of the land in person, and reading a map. Knowing how to create and read maps is especially important for adventurers wanting to explore new lands.

Geography

Knowing how and why mountains form, what rocks lay under the ocean and which side of trees moss tends to are all skills useful to those who trek through the wilds. You can read the lay of the land faster than any map.

Geology

No dwarf worth their salt would be caught dead not knowing the differences between rock types. If you plan on delving through caves or even the Underdark, it's advised you listen to their knowledge.

Poison

Is a substance safe to touch? To breathe? To apply to your weapon? Not all poisons are created equal and their dangerous nature means understanding them makes you much safer.

Religion

Religion is broken down into seven expertises: Celestial Lore, Fiend Lore, Undead Lore, Ceremony, Divine Spell Lore, Prophecy Lore, and Zeal.

Celestial Lore

Angels are powerful creatures and it's an old hero's adage: don't anger anyone who can vaporize you in a beam of concentrated holy light.

Fiend Lore

Devils? Demons? It's inadvised to trust either, but knowing which one sticks to their word and which doesn't will save your life.

Undead Lore

A skeleton stands before you, a few strands of hair clinging to the dome of its skull. A quick check will tell you if you should rush a disposable guardian or if you're about to be disintegrated by a powerful lich.

Ceremony

Watching a priest perform a ritual in the center of town is something most wouldn't consider unusual. Those keen of eye and armed with the knowledge of the hidden rituals of Tamoachan would know something evil is afoot.

Divine Spell Lore

A priest raises their hands, calling out for a powerful being to lend them power. With your hefty knowledge of divine spells, you'll know if they're summoning a fiendish weasel or casting a magical darkness.

Prophecy Lore

Heroes deal with prophecies regularly, but it usually involves seeking out wise old mountain dwellers for their knowledge. Cut out the middle prophet by learning about them yourself.

Zeal

A priest needs to communicate with the followers of their God. Zeal allows them to pass religious messages along with their sermons, similar to Bards using the Perform skill with an audience.

Wisdom

Animal Handling

Animal Handling is broken down into five expertises: Entomology, Falconry, Horsemanship, Kenneling, and Shepherding.

Entomology

Favoured by the drow, your knowledge of insects and arachnids allows you to identify the small ones and convince the big ones to let you ride them.

Falconry

Working with majestic birds, you can train them to send messages to other cities, find food, or if your sizes allow, ride them.

Horsemanship

Many an adventurer has swung a sword from horseback, but these creatures need to be trained to wade into battle. Understanding your mount will go a long way towards keeping it from flinging you off.

Kenneling

While others know how to deal with animals and even ride them, learning kenneling will allow you to keep and breed them. Many lords will have large kennels of canines with which to hunt.

Shepherding

While not as glamourous as a giant spider, eagle, wolf or horse, the shepherd deals with herding groups of animals. A rider can calm a horse, but a shepherd can calm a whole herd of cows, sheep or goats.

Insight

Insight is broken into two expertises: Empathy and Tactics.

Empathy

A bard might understand how to make others see their point of view with a silvered tongue. Empathy will let you understand how someone else is feeling without having to press them as forcibly. A more subtle art, certainly.

Tactics

Everyone knows to take the high ground, but there are hundreds of battlefield strategies that can keep adventurers alive. Likewise, understanding that your opponent also knows these tricks is an equally useful tool.

Medicine

Medicine is broken down into four expertises: Apothecary, Massage, Forensics, and Veterinary.

Apothecary

Ointments, medicines and unguents are all different ways of solving what ails the common man who can't afford to down a healing potion whenever they get a headache. Being trained in the skill allows you to separate real cures from snake oil.

Massage Therapy

Physical therapy is not only a useful skill medicinally, but many a powerful ruler has had their ear swayed when they were in good moods during a skilled massage.

Forensics

Looking at a battlefield and being able to determine which side won, where the victors went and who might have survived takes as sharp a wit as being able to look at a corpse and determine the cause of death. Such a skill can help keep the same fate from befalling your heroes.

Veterinary

While many medicines apply in a general way between humans and horses, understanding the specific differences between the two can help you apply medicine to animals.

Perception

Perception is broken into three expertises: Eavesdropping, Guarding, and Tasting.

Eavesdropping

Listening through a door, from a distance, or around a corner is not an easy task. Another one of those skills that urban adventurers find useful.

Guarding

You have an ever-watchful eye that can spot movement or any other irregularities around you. You keep a perfect watch, able to tell friend from foe and patiently guard your surroundings.

Tasting

Wow, you can really taste the poison! Every lord, king, or emperor will be glad they have royal tasters specially trained in picking out the dangers lurking within their food.

Survival

Survival is broken down into 10 expertises: Find Water, Fire Mastery, Fishing, Foraging, Regional Navigation, Rope Mastery, Skinning, Tracking, Trapping, and Weather Sense.

Find Water

It's recommended players take time to drink a few times in an adventuring day. In some of the more dangerous regions of the world that can be hard to do. Being trained to find water can help mitigate this risk.

Fire Mastery

Something even children are taught and one of the basics of survival, you know how to start, stop, or enlarge a fire. Also, you can easily determine how long a fire has been burning.

Fishing

Let others eat berries. Find yourself some of that delicious flaky food. A staple in any port location, many adventurers will supplement their dried foods with fish.

Foraging

No water nearby? Can't hunt because the animals in the forest belong to the king and his evil henchmen? If you're going to end up eating berries, it's a good idea to know the difference between the ones that will make you feel better and the ones that will leave you sick.

Region Navigation

Can't see the forest for the trees? Finding the Underdark keeps twisting around in circles? An ocean all around you and no idea where you are? Take some time to learn how to navigate the world and never feel lost again. When picking this skill, select a region from the Regional Lore expertise. You can take this skill multiple times, selecting a new region each time.

Rope Mastery

You might not want to kill your foes, but they certainly can't be allowed to walk around freely. Why not tie them up with a rope? Or tie off a rope as an impromptu ladder for those times you're in the dungeon and a ladder cannot be found.

Skinning

Animals need to be skinned before becoming the leather armor that ends up protecting your more lightly armored friends and warming more northern peoples. It is recommended for DMs to set the DC based on how difficult removal is and to reward failures with lower yields.

Tracking

Not everyone can be so lucky as to track foes through wet mud or snow. Being skilled in spotting the tell-tale signs of your prey through the best and worst of conditions is useful to most adventuring groups.

Trapping

If the whole 'slowly chase animals and shoot them with arrows' thing isn't working for you, try luring them with some bait into a trap! It is advised that the DM sets the DC based on how plentiful creatures are in the area.

Weather Sense

Storm's a brewin' and you can tell! Know what the weather will be like in a few hours or even a few days, if you're really good at it.

Charisma

Deception

Deception is broken into five expertises: Acting, Boasting, Disguise, Fast Talking, and Mimicry.

Acting

From impressing audiences in amphitheaters of large cites to tricking mob bosses in sewer lairs, the skill of Acting can be plied widely across the land.

Boasting

Drunks from taverns across the world, trained or otherwise, flood the ears of passers by with the Boasting skill. Of course, every single boasted tale is absolutely factual as well!

Disguise

This is the ability to apply pigments, makeup, and prosthetics to literally make someone look unlike themselves. The DM should set the DC according to how difficult it would be to make the target look like something else.

Fast-talk

Your lips are just as quick as your wits, and combining both throws people off of the intent of your words and directly where you want them (provided they don't notice your duplicity).

Mimicry

Calling out to a goblin tribe, mimicking their war boss, and having them let prisoners loose is a great test of your Mimicry skill. Of course, sounding like someone isn't enough to convince people you are them but it's a start.

Intimidation

Intimidation is broken into two expertises: Torture and Savagery.

Torture

Extracting information from a source by force. The DM should use a Constitution or an Endurance (Pain Tolerance) roll to set the DC for using this skill.

Savagery

Talking to barbarians, tribal creatures, and other so-called 'uncivilized' societies requires a different set of skills from playing around in a court. The Savagery skill is used in the same way that Etiquette is used in civilized places or Zeal in locations of faith.

Performance

Performance is broken down into seven expertises: Comedy, Dancing, Instrument Mastery, Pantomime, Oratory, Poetry, and Singing.

Instrument Mastery

When picking this skill, select a musical instrument. You can take this skill multiple times, selecting one new instrument each time. A master of an instrument gains advantage on rolls, when using other instruments in the same group.

  • Brass - Trumpets or Horns
  • Keyed - Pianos or Gnomish Steam Organs
  • String - Guitar, Harp, or Violin
  • Woodwind - Bagpipes, Clarinet or Flute
  • Percussion - Drums, Triangle, or Xylophone
Comedy

What's the deal with Orcs subjugating other races? Comedy is a great way to endear yourself to your audience. Of course the wrong joke to the right crowd could end very poorly.

Dancing

Dancing is a universal sign of civilization. From the smallest Halflings to the largest Giants, every race seems to have their own culturally significant way to cut a rug.

Pantomime

This is the ability to pantomime actions and have others understand what you're conveying, such as communicating with party members without resorting to whispering. The DM should set the DC according to how difficult that action would be to convey without any other items.

Oratory

A booming voice, echoing through a large room, catches the attention of all. The oratory skill lets you say what needs to be said with a significant amount of panache.

Poetry

It's not for everyone but to the right target, Poetry is like the Massage skill for the soul.

Singing

Functionally similar to playing an instrument but requiring an entirely different set of skills, singing is oft said to be one of the most difficult instruments to perfect.

Persuasion

Persuasion is broken down into six expertise: Bargaining, Debate, Etiquette, Leadership, Provocation, and Seduction

Bargaining

Honest merchants prefer a fair bargain versus a cunning tongue. The best deals are the ones which benefit everyone.

Debate

You might be right, and they might be wrong, but if you don't understand the best way to express that then you'll truly have your work cut out for you.

Etiquette

While your usual skills of persuasion will work with the commoners, nobles and gentry will require a much more refined touch. That's when it's time to break out your Etiquette skills to impress.

Leadership

Anyone can send a troupe of soldiers into battle. A leader will be there to inspire them to stay on the battlefield when the going gets tough, or to ignore their exhaustion when they're tired. The DM should set the DC based on how loyal that group is to the leader as well as what the leader is asking of that group.

Seduction

If you've got it, flaunt it. Of course there's no promise that you are what your target is looking for, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Provocation

Your cunning words cut deeper than your sword, and it is a fair reason to make anyone react angrily, violently, or emotionally against their best interests.

Part II

Crits & Injuries
Weapon Attack Critical Hit
Roll % Description Effect
1 You feel accomplished, but nothing remarkable happens. Regular critical hit.
2-5 You feel it is imperative to press the advantage no matter the cost. You can choose to gain advantage on all attacks against your target until the end of your next turn, but if you do all enemies have advantage on their attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn.
6-9 You feel it is imperative to press the advantage, but maintain awareness of your surroundings. You can choose to gain advantage on all attacks against your target next turn, your target has advantage on their attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn.
10-14 You know how to press the advantage. You gain advantage on all attacks against your target until the end of your next turn.
15-19 As you are fighting, you notice an effective route to escape danger. You are able to use the disengage action after your attack.
20-24 You feel the eb and flow of the battle, and know where to make your next move. After your turn you move to the top of the initiative order.
25-29 You begin to recognize patterns in your opponents fighting technique. You gain +2 to your AC against your target, and advantage on all savings throws from effects originating from your target until your next turn.
30-39 You are able to maneuver towards your opponent while attacking, and attempt to harass them. After your attack you can choose to attempt to grapple your opponent if you have a free hand, or attempt to shove your opponent if both hands are in use.
40-49 You are able to maneuver towards your opponent while attacking and harass them. After your attack you can choose to automatically succeed in grappling your opponent if you have a free hand, or shoving your opponent if both hands are in use.
50-59 You attempt to disarm your opponent. You are able to take the disarm action after your attack
60-69 You kick your target’s weapon out of their hands. You are able to take the disarm action after your attack, and can steal your opponents weapon if you have a free hand. Otherwise you can knock it up to 20 feet away.
70-74 Your senses heighten and you become aware of threats around the battlefield. You are able to use the dodge action after your attack.
75-79 Your attack knocks your target over. Your target is knocked prone.
80-84 Your strike surprises your opponent. Your target is surprised until the end of their next turn.
85-89 You strike with great force. Roll an additional set of damage dice above and beyond your normal critical roll.
90-94 You strike with extreme force. Roll an additional set of damage dice above and beyond your normal critical roll, and the target suffers one unit of exhaustion.
95-99 You strike with debilitating force. Roll an additional set of damage dice above and beyond your normal critical roll, and the target suffers a permanent injury chosen by the DM. The permanent injury can be healed with extended rest of a length determined by the DM, but the attack leaves a scar.
100 You strike with devastating force. Roll an additional set of damage dice above and beyond your normal critical roll, and the target suffers 1 unit of exhaustion, and the target suffers a permanent injury chosen by the DM. The permanent injury can be healed with extended rest of a length determined by the DM, but the attack leaves a scar.
Weapon Attack Critical Failure
Roll % Description Effect
1 You are embarassed by your poor showing, but nothing remarkable happens. You miss your attack.
2-5 You lose your combat footing, exposing yourself to your target. Your target has advantage on their first attack roll against you next round.
6-9 You lose your combat footing, exposing yourself to your enemies. Your enemies have advantage on their first attack roll against you next round.
10-14 You lose your combat footing, and have difficulty recovering. Your enemies have advantage on their attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn.
15-19 Melee: You get tangled with your enemy and fall over.
Ranged: You spill your quiver.
Melee: You are knocked prone and your movement is reduced to 0. Your target must succeed a DC 10 dexterity check or they are also knocked prone.
Ranged: You must pick up arrows individually from the ground using your “environmental interaction”, or the “Use an Object” action to nock your bow.
20-29 You lose your balance while attacking. You fall prone and your movement is reduced to 0.
30-39 As you attack your opponent you begin to fear that they are the superior combatant. Disadvantage on your next attack roll against your target.
40-49 You are able to maneuver towards your opponent while attacking and harass them. After your attack you can choose to automatically succeed in grappling your opponent if you have a free hand, or shoving your opponent if both hands are in use.
50-59 You lose your grip as you attack. Roll a DC 10 Dexterity Check, on failure you drop your weapon at your feet.
60-69 Melee: The weapon slips from your hand as you attack.
Ranged: Your ammunition gets lodged in its container.
Melee: Roll a DC 10 Dexterity Check, on failure you throw your weapon into your enemy’s space. DM determines where the item is thrown on large sized or greater creatures.
Ranged: You must use an action to organize the ammunition in its case before you can make another ranged attack.
70-79 Melee: You lunge past an enemy exposing yourself to his attack.
Ranged: Your missile startles your allies near your target.
Melee: Enemy you were attacking is able to use their reaction to perform and attack of opportunity.
Ranged: the target can perform an opportunity attack on any ally within melee range.
80-84 Missing what you thought was a critical blow causes you to panic. End your current turn and you are surprised until the end of your next turn.
85-89 You attack wildly and lose track of the fight around you. End your turn and move to the bottom of the initiative order at the start of the next round.
90-94 You lose your footing while attacking and fall to the ground bumping your head. You fall prone. Roll a DC 10 constitution save, on failure you take 1d6 damage and are knocked unconscious for 1 minute or until you receive damage from any source. On success take half damage and you remain conscious.
95-99 You lose your footing while attacking and fall head first. You fall prone. Roll a DC 15 constitution save, on failure you take 2d6 damage and are knocked unconscious for 1 minute or until you receive damage from any source. On success take half damage and you remain conscious.
100 You lose your footing while attacking and slam your head into the ground. You fall prone, take 3d6 damage, and become unconscious for 1 minute or until you receive damage from any source.
Spell Attack Critical Hit
Roll % Description Effect
1 You feel accomplished, but nothing remarkable happens. Regular spell critical hit.
2-5 You feel it is imperative to press the advantage no matter the cost. You can choose to gain advantage on your next attack roll against your target, but all enemies have advantage on their attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn.
6-9 You feel it is imperative to press the advantage, but maintain awareness of your surroundings. You can choose to gain advantage on your next attack roll against your target, your target has advantage on their attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn.
10-14 As you are fighting, you notice an effective route to escape danger. You are able to use the disengage action after your attack.
15-19 You feel the eb and flow of the battle, and know where to make your next move. After your turn you move to the top of the initiative order.
20-29 Your spell cripples your opponent. Your target’s movement speed is cut in half for their next 2 turns.
30-39 Your spell attack knocks your target over. Your target is knocked prone.
40-49 The light from your spell flashes near your target’s eyes Your target is blinded until the end of their next turn.
50-59 You blast the targets weapons out of their hands. Your target’s weapon is flung 1d6*5 feet away in a random direction.
60-69 The sight of your magic fills the target’s heart with fear. Your target is frightened by you until you stop casting magic. You are able to discern the source of your targets fear.
70-74 The force from your spell stuns your opponent. Your target is incapacitated until the end of their next turn.
75-79 Your spell is incidentally infused with fey energy. Roll 10d8. If your targets current health is lower than the number rolled they fall asleep for 1 minute.
80-84 Your spells strike surprises your opponent. Your target is surprised until the end of their next turn.
85-89 Your spell strikes with great force. Roll an additional set of spell damage dice above and beyond your normal critical roll.
90-94 Your spell strikes with extreme force. Roll an additional set of spell damage dice above and beyond your normal critical roll, and the target suffers one unit of exhaustion.
95-99 Your spell strikes with debilitating force. Roll an additional set of spell damage dice above and beyond your normal critical roll, and the target suffers a permanent injury chose by the DM. The permanent injury can be healed with extended rest of a length determined by the DM, but the attack leaves a scar.
100 Your spell strikes with devastating force. Roll an additional set of spell damage dice above and beyond your normal critical roll, and the target suffers 1 unit of exhaustion, and the target suffers a permanent injury chose by the DM. The permanent injury can be healed with extended rest of a length determined by the DM, but the attack leaves a scar.
Spell Attack Failure
Roll % Description Effect
1 You are embarassed by your poor showing, but nothing remarkable happens. You miss your attack.
2-5 You get wrapped up in your spellcasting and forget to watch your target. Your target has advantage on their first attack roll against you next round.
6-9 You get wrapped up in your spellcasting and forget to watch your surroundings. All enemies have advantage on their first attack roll against you next round.
10-14 You are so wrapped up in your spellcasting that you forget you are fighting a battle. All enemies have advantage on their attack rolls against you until the end of your next turn.
15-19 Your spell creates a large plume of smoke obscuring your location. The area in a 5 foot radius around your location becomes heavily obscured for 1 minute. A strong breeze can blow away the smoke in 1 round.
20-29 Your spell misfires knocking you over. You are knocked prone.
30-39 The spell fires in an unexpected manner, causing your confidence in your abilities to falter. You have disadvantage on any spell attacks, and enemies have advantage against your spell savings throws until the end of your next turn.
40-49 The placement of your spell startles your allies near your target, causing them to drop their guard. Your target is able to use their reaction to take an attack of opportunity on one of your allies in melee range.
50-59 You scramble the ingredients of your component pouch or your focus becomes overloaded with magical energy and temporarily stops working. You are unable to perform material components to cast spells until the end of your next turn.
60-69 Your arm cramps as you cast. You are unable to perform somatic components to cast spells until the end of your next turn.
70-79 You bite your tongue as you cast. You are unable to use verbal components to cast spells until the end of your next turn.
80-84 Your spell misfires and dazes you, causing you to lose track of the fight. End your turn and move to the bottom of the initiative order at the start of the next round.
85-89 Your spell misfires causing you to panic. End your current turn and you are surprised until the end of your next turn.
90-94 Your spell backfires creating a small explosion causing you to fall and bump your head. You fall prone. Roll a DC 10 constitution save, on failure you take 1d6 bludeoning damage and are knocked unconscious for 1 minute or until you receive damage from any source. On success take half damage and you remain conscious.
95-99 Your spell backfires creating a large explosion causing you to fall and bump your head. You fall prone. Roll a DC 15 constitution save, on failure you take 1d6 bludgeoning damage, 1d6 thunder damage, and are knocked unconscious for 1 minute or until you receive damage from any source. On success take half damage and you remain conscious.
100 Your spell completely backfires creating a large explosion causing you to fall and bump your head. You hit yourself with your spell. If the spell effect is instant you take the full effect. If the spell requires concentration the effect persists until the end of your next turn. You also fall prone, take 1d6 bludgeoning damage, 1d6 thunder damage, and become unconscious for 1 minute or until you receive damage from any source.

Injury Severity


It is inevitable that even great heroes fall once or twice. If you gain one or several Injury Tokens during combat, at the end of that encounter you must roll on the Injury Severity tables.

Severity outcome decides the kind of roll you must make on the Injury tables on the following pages 24 to 30. There is a separate Injury table for each damage type, decided by the Injury token with the highest damage amount.

If the roll you must make has more modifiers or even has advantage, there's less risk for suffering fatal injuries that can take you out of adventuring career until you can afford long recovery or expensive magical healing.

Severity 1: One Injury Token

(Roll 4d6, then divide by 2, rounding up)

4d3 Injury Roll
4 Escalate: Gain 1 injury. Roll on Table 2
5 - 9 Minor: Proficient Constitution save, advantage
10 - 11 Medium: Constitution check, advantage
12 Major: Natural 1d20 roll, advantage
Severity 2: Two Injury Tokens
3d4 Injury Roll
3 Escalate: Gain 1 injury. Roll on Table 3
4 Major: Natural 1d20 roll
5 Medium: Constitution saving throw
6 - 8 Minor: Constitution saving throw, advantage
9 - 10 Medium: Constitution saving throw
11 - 12 Major: Natural 1d20 roll
Severity 3: Three Injury Tokens
2d6 Injury Roll
2 Escalate: Gain 1 injury. Roll on Table 4
3 Major: Natural 1d20 roll
4 - 6 Medium: Constitution check
7 Minor: Constitution check, advantage
8 - 9 Medium: Constitution saving throw
10 - 12 Major: Natural 1d20 roll
Severity 4: Four Or More Injury Tokens
1d12 Injury Roll
1 - 2 You will die in three combat rounds.
3 - 5 Extreme: Natural 1d20 roll, disadvantage
6 Medium: Constitution check, disadvantage
7 Minor: Constitution check, advantage
8 - 9 Medium: Constitution check
10 - 12 Major: Natural 1d20 roll

Injury Option: Overcoming Pain

When an injury requires a Constitution check to overcome nerve damage or lose your action and reaction until your next turn and you fail that roll, you may choose to exert yourself despite debilitating pain and dealing internal damage to your body.

If you choose so, you execute the action as normal, but take internal damage as shown on the table, below. You still can't use your reaction until your next turn.

Overcoming Nerve Injury
DC Internal Damage
10 1d4 + half your level, rounded up
15 1d8 + your level
Injury While Unsconscious

While unconscious, when you take more damage than your Constitution score, you also gain one Injury token.

Excess Injury

For every Injury token above four, DM may require an additional roll on Table 4. These additional rolls are only for avoiding sudden death. If you roll 1 or 2, you will die in three combat rounds. If you roll any other value, the additional roll has no effect.

Acid Injury
Roll Injury
1 Blindness. Your eyes are destroyed; you gain the blinded condition. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore your sight.
2 Partial Blindness. Your eyes are damaged; you have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can heal the damage to your eyes. If you have already suffered partial blindness, you're blinded.
3 Destroyed Hand. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.
4 Destroyed Foot or Leg. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a crutch or cane to move. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the damaged appendage.
5-7 Major Neuralgia. You are in constant pain from nerve damage. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cures the neuralgia, or if you spend twenty days doing nothing but resting it resolves on its own.
8-10 Minor Neuralgia. This has the same effect as Major Neuralgia above, except that the save DC is 10, and it only takes ten days to resolve on its own.
11-13 Horrible Disfigurement. You have acid burns to the extent that the scars can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the acid burn scar.
14-16 Blisters. You have severe blisters. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks. The blisters heal if you receive magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the blisters and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After seven successes, the blisters heal.
17+ Minor Disfigurement. You have acid burn scars, but they don’t have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the acid burn scars.
Bludgeoning or Force Injury
Roll Injury
1 Brain Injury. You have suffered a brain injury. You have disadvantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma checks, as well as Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against bludgeoning damage, force damage, or psychic damage, you are also stunned until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore your full brain function.
2 Broken leg. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. If your leg is splinted with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check, then magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, mends the broken leg , or it will heal naturally in 8 weeks. If it is not splinted before it's healed or allowed to heal, the effects remain until it is rebroken and splinted.
3 Broken arm. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. If your arm is splinted with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check, then magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, mends the broken leg, or it will heal naturally in 8 weeks. If it is not splinted before it's healed or allowed to heal, the effects remain until it is rebroken and splinted.
4 Internal Injury. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cure the injury, or if you spend ten days doing nothing but resting, it will heal naturally.
5-7 Broken Ribs. This has the same effect as Internal Injury above, except that the save DC is 10.
8-10 Major Concussion. You have disadvantage on Intelligence checks, Wisdom checks, and Charisma checks, as well as Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cures the concussion. Alternately, it heals on its own in four weeks.
11-13 Minor Concussion. You have disadvantage on Intelligence checks. The concussion heals if you receive any magical healing; alternately it heals on its own in two weeks. If you already have a minor concussion, you suffer a major concussion.
14-16 Severe bruising. You suffer severe bruising over an extensive portion of your anatomy. Anytime you suffer bludgeoning or force damage, you suffer an additional point of bludgeoning or force damage. The bruising heals if you receive magical healing. Alternately, it heals on its own in 2 weeks.
17+ Broken Nose. Your broken nose is painful but doesn't have any adverse effect. Any magical healing mends your nose, although it may heal crooked if it is crooked when the healing is applied.
Cold Injury
Roll Injury
1 Ocular Damage. One of your corneas is damaged from frostbite. You have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the damaged cornea. If you have no corneas that remain undamaged after sustaining this injury, you're blinded.
2 Systemic Damage from Frostbite. You have disadvantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution ability checks and Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures this damage.
3 Gangrene of the Hand. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the crushed appendage.
4 Gangrene of the Foot. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the crushed appendage.
5-7 Major Neuralgia. You have constant, painful nerve damage over a large portion of your body. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cures the neuralgia, or if you spend twenty days doing nothing but resting it resolves on its own.
8-10 Frostbitten Foot. Your speed on foot is reduced by 5 feet. You must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw after using the Dash action. If you fail the save, you fall prone. Magical healing cures the frostbite. Alternately, your foot can be treated with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check, in which case it will heal naturally in 2 weeks.
11-13 Frostbitten hand. Randomly determine which hand has been frostbitten. In order to grasp or manipulate an object with that hand, you must succeed at a DC 15 Dexterity check. Magical healing cures the frostbite. Alternately, your hand can be treated with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check, in which case it will heal naturally in 2 weeks.
14-16 Minor Neuralgia. This has the same effect as Major Neuralgia above, except that the save DC is 10 and it only takes ten days to resolve on its own.
17+ Anosmia. You lose your sense of smell and taste. You automatically fail any ability checks that involve your sense of smell or taste. The condition heals if you receive any magical healing.
Fire Injury
Roll Injury
1 Lose an Eye. You have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost eye. If you have no eyes left after sustaining this injury, you're blinded.
2 Fourth Degree Burns. You have disadvantage on ability checks and Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against an effect that causes fire damage, you also gain the stunned condition until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures this damage. If you already have fourth degree burns, you must succeed at a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or die.
3 Third Degree Burns. You have disadvantage on ability checks and Constitution saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against an effect that causes fire damage, you also gain the stunned condition until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures this damage. Alternatively, someone can tend to the burns and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every week. After ten successes, the burns heal. If you already have third degree burns, you instead suffer fourth degree burns.
4 Second Degree Burns. You have disadvantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution checks. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures this damage. Alternately, they will heal on their own in 4 weeks. If you already have second degree burns, you instead suffer third degree burns.
5-7 Major Neuralgia. You have constant, painful nerve damage over a large portion of your body. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cures the neuralgia, or if you spend twenty days doing nothing but resting, it resolves on its own.
8-10 Minor Neuralgia. This has the same effect as Major Neuralgia above, except that the save DC is 10, and it will resolve on its own in ten days.
11-13 Horrible Disfigurement. You have burn scars to the extent that can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the burn scars.
14-16 Blisters. You have severe blisters. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks. The blisters heal if you receive magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the blisters and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After seven successes, the blisters heal.
17+ First Degree Burns. You have superficial but painful burns. Whenever you take fire damage, you take an additional 1 point of damage. Magical healing cures the burns; alternately, they will heal on their own in 2 weeks. If you already have first degree burns, you instead suffer second degree burns.
Lightning Injury
Roll Injury
1 Brain Injury. You have suffered a brain injury. You have disadvantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma checks, as well as Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against bludgeoning damage, force damage, or psychic damage, you are also stunned until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore your full brain function.
2 Explosive Grounding of the Hand. You lose a hand. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.
3 Explosive Grounding of the Foot. You lose a foot. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move unless you have a peg leg or other prosthesis. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.
4 Kidney Failure. When you complete a long rest, you must succeed at a Constitution saving throw DC 15 or gain the poisoned condition until you complete a long rest. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your kidney failure. Alternatively, someone can tend to the kidney failure and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every week. After ten successes, the kidney failure is resolved.
5-7 Arc Flash. Roll on the fire table.
8-10 Cardiac Injury. You gain a level of exhaustion which cannot be removed by normal means. If you fail a saving throw against fear or fear effects, you gain another level of exhaustion that can be removed by normal means. Magic such as the regenerate spell can heal your cardiac damage.
11-13 Skeletal Muscle Breakdown. You have disadvantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your muscle breakdown. Alternatively, it will resolve on its own in 6 weeks.
14-16 Muscle Spasms. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks. Magical healing cures your muscle spasms. Alternatively, they will resolve on their own in 2 weeks.
17+ Flash Burns. You have superficial burns. You turn red as a lobster, but otherwise suffer no mechanical effects. Magical healing cures your flash burns. Alternatively, they will heal on their own in 2 weeks.
Necrotic Injury
Roll Injury
1 Spiritual Injury. You are afflicted with intense apathy and depression. You have disadvantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma ability checks and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws. Magic such as the heal or regenerate spell can resolve your spiritual injury, but such spells must be cast by a cleric, druid, or other class that uses divine magic.
2 Withered Hand. You lose a hand. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.
3 Withered Foot. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.
4 Major Organ Necrosis. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cures the Major Organ Necrosis.
5-7 Minor Organ Necrosis. This has the same effect as Major Organ Necrosis above, except that the save DC is 10.
8-10 Necrotic Stench. You smell like rotting flesh. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the smell.
11-13 Necrotizing Wound. Your hit point maximum is reduced by 1 every 24 hours the wound persists. If your hit point maximum drops to 0, you die. The wound heals if you receive magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the wound and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After ten successes, the wound heals.
14-16 Inflammation. Your muscles are irritated and inflamed. You have disadvantage on strength checks. Magical healing resolves the inflammation. Alternately, it will resolve on its own in two weeks.
17+ Necrotic Discoloration. You get white and gray spots on your cheeks. The spots don't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the spots.
Piercing Injury
Roll Injury
1 Lose an Eye. You have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost eye. If you have no eyes left after sustaining this injury, you're blinded.
2 Throat Injury. You gain a level of exhaustion which cannot be removed by normal means. You also have disadvantage on constitution checks. Magic such as the regenerate spell can heal your throat injury.
3 Groin Injury. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move. You cannot take the Dash action. You are also sterile. Magic such as the regenerate spell can heal the groin injury.
4 Cardiac Injury. You gain a level of exhaustion which cannot be removed by normal means. If you fail a saving throw against fear or fear effects, you gain another level of exhaustion that can be removed by normal means. Magic such as the regenerate spell can heal your cardiac damage.
5-7 Organ Damage. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your organ damage. Alternatively, someone can tend to the organ damage and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every day. After ten successes, the organ damage is resolved.
8-10 Pierced Stomach. When you complete a long rest, you must succeed at a Constitution saving throw DC 10 or gain the poisoned condition until you complete a long rest. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, heals the pierced stomach, or if you spend ten days doing nothing but resting, it heals on its own.
11-13 Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed . You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
14-16 Festering Wound. Your hit point maximum is reduced by 1 every 24 hours the wound persists. If your hit point maximum drops to 0, you die. The wound heals if you receive any magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the wound and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After ten successes, the wound heals.
17+ Minor Scar. The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
Poison Injury
Roll Injury
1 Systemic Damage. You have disadvantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution ability checks and Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures this damage.
2 Major Liver Damage. When you complete a long rest, you must succeed at a Constitution saving throw DC 15 or gain the poisoned condition until you complete a long rest. Additionally, whenever you take poison damage, you take an additional 3 (1d6) poison damage. Anytime you drink alcohol or take another drug, you take 3 (1d6) poison damage. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your liver failure.
3 Minor Liver Damage. When you complete a long rest, you must succeed at a Constitution saving throw DC 10 or gain the poisoned condition until you complete a long rest. Additionally, whenever you take poison damage, you take an additional 2 (1d4) poison damage. Anytime you drink alcohol or take another drug, you take 2 (1d4) poison damage. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your liver failure.
4 Major Kidney Failure. When you complete a long rest, you must succeed at a Constitution saving throw DC 15 or gain the poisoned condition until you complete a long rest. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your kidney failure. Alternatively, someone can tend to the kidney failure and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every week. After ten successes, the kidney failure is resolved.
5-7 Minor Kidney Failure. This has the same effect as Major Kidney Failure above, except that the save DC is 10 and only six Wisdom (Medicine) check successes are needed to resolve the Kidney Failure.
8-10 Cardiac Injury. You gain a level of exhaustion which cannot be removed by normal means. If you fail a saving throw against fear or fear effects, you gain another level of exhaustion that can be removed by normal means. Magic such as the regenerate spell can heal your cardiac damage.
11-13 Vertigo. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your vertigo. Alternatively, it will resolve on its own in 8 weeks.
14-16 Nausea. You have disadvantage on Constitution checks. Magical healing cures your nausea. Alternatively, it will resolve on its own in 4 weeks.
17+ Minor nausea. You must succeed at a DC 10 Constitution saving throw before you can consume food. Magical healing cures your nausea. Alternatively, it will resolve on its own in 1 week.
Psychic Injury
Roll Injury
1 Brain Injury. You have suffered a brain injury. You have disadvantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma checks, as well as Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against bludgeoning damage, force damage, or psychic damage, you are also stunned until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore your full brain function.
2 Indefinite Madness. Roll on the Indefinite Madness table in the Dungeon Masters Guide.
3 Severe headaches. You have disadvantage on Wisdom checks and Wisdom saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against bludgeoning damage, force damage, or psychic damage, you are also stunned until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your severe headaches.
4 Phobia. You develop a debilitating fear of something in the situation from which you gained your injury. For example, if you were damaged by a mind flayer, you might have a fear of octopuses. The DM will decide. When you are confronted with your phobia, you have disadvantage on all ability checks and saving throws. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your phobia.
5-7 Long-term Madness. Roll on the Long-term Madness table in the Dungeon Masters Guide. Your madness lasts twice as long.
8-10 Weak Persona. You have suffered damage to your sense of self. You have disadvantage on Charisma checks. Magic such as the regenerate spell can heal your weak persona. Alternately, it will heal on its own in four weeks.
11-13 Minor headaches. You have disadvantage on Wisdom checks. Magical healing cures your minor headaches. Alternately, they will resolve on their own in two weeks.
14-16 Inappropriate Volume. You can’t regulate your volume. You shout when you intend to whisper, and whisper when you intend to shout. Magical healing cures your inappropriate volume.
17+ Short-term Madness. Roll on the Short-term Madness table in the Dungeon Masters Guide. Your madness lasts twice as long.
Radiant Injury
Roll Injury
1 Blindness. Your eyes are destroyed; you gain the blinded condition. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore your sight.
2 Partial Blindness. Your retinas are damaged; you have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost eye. If you have already suffered partial blindness, you're blinded.
3 Third Degree Burns. You have disadvantage on ability checks and Constitution saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against an effect that causes fire damage, you also gain the stunned condition until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures this damage. Alternatively, someone can tend to the burns and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every week. After ten successes, the burns heal. If you already have third degree burns, you instead suffer fourth degree burns as per the Fire chart.
4 Second Degree Burns. You have disadvantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution checks. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures this damage. Alternately, they will heal on their own in 4 weeks. If you already have second degree burns, you instead suffer third degree burns.
5-7 Large Skin Tumors. You develop several large, painful skin tumors. You have disadvantage on Charisma and Wisdom checks. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures your large skin tumors. If your large skin tumors are not cured within six months, you develop Systemic Damage as per the poison table.
8-10 Small Skin Tumors. You develop several small, painless skin tumor. You have disadvantage on Charisma checks. Magic such as the regenerate spell cures your small skin tumors. If your small skin tumors are not cured within one year, you develop Large Skin Tumors.
11-13 Blisters. You have severe blisters. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks. The blisters heal if you receive magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the blisters and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After seven successes, the blisters heal.
14-16 First Degree Burns. You have superficial but painful burns. Whenever you take fire damage, you take an additional 1 point of damage. Magical healing cures the burns; alternately, they will heal on their own in 2 weeks. If you already have first degree burns, you instead suffer second degree burns.
17+ Minor nausea. You must succeed at a DC 10 Constitution saving throw before you can consume food. Magical healing cures your nausea. Alternatively, it will resolve on its own in 1 week.
Slashing Injury
Roll Injury
1 Lose an Eye. You have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and on ranged attack rolls. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost eye. If you have no eyes left after sustaining this injury, you're blinded.
2 Lose an Arm or a Hand. You can no longer hold anything with two hands, and you can hold only a single object at a time. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.
3 Lose a Foot or Leg. Your speed on foot is halved, and you must use a cane or crutch to move unless you have a peg leg or other prosthesis. You fall prone after using the Dash action. You have disadvantage on Dexterity checks made to balance. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore the lost appendage.
4 Hamstrung. Your speed on foot is reduced by 5 feet. You must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw after using the Dash action. If you fail the save, you fall prone. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your severed hamstring tendons.
5-7 Major Internal Injury. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, heals the internal injury; alternately, if you spend ten days doing nothing but resting, it heals on its own.
8-10 Minor Internal Injury. This has the same effect as Major Internal Injury above, except that the save DC is 10.
11-13 Horrible Scar. You are disfigured to the extent that the wound can't be easily concealed. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks and advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
14-16 Festering Wound. Your hit point maximum is reduced by 1 every 24 hours the wound persists. If your hit point maximum drops to 0, you die. The wound heals if you receive magical healing. Alternatively, someone can tend to the wound and make a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check once every 24 hours. After ten successes, the wound heals.
17+ Minor Scar. The scar doesn't have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.
Thunder Injury
Roll Injury
1 Brain Injury. You have suffered a brain injury. You have disadvantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma checks, as well as Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against bludgeoning damage, force damage, or psychic damage, you are also stunned until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore your full brain function.
2 Deafness. Your eardrums have been destroyed; you gain the deafened condition. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore your hearing.
3 Partial Deafness. Your eardrums have been damaged; you are hard of hearing. You have disadvantage on any ability check that requires hearing. Magic such as the regenerate spell can restore your hearing.
4 Severe Headaches. You have disadvantage on Wisdom checks and Wisdom saving throws. If you fail a saving throw against bludgeoning damage, force damage, or psychic damage, you are also stunned until the end of your next turn. Magic such as the regenerate spell can cure your severe headaches.
5-7 Internal Injury. Whenever you attempt an action in combat, you must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you lose your action and can't use reactions until the start of your next turn. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cures the internal injury, or if you spend ten days doing nothing but resting, it heals on its own.
8-10 Major Concussion. You have disadvantage on Intelligence checks, Wisdom checks, and Charisma checks, as well as Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cures the concussion. Alternately, it heals on its own in four weeks.
11-13 Minor Concussion. You have disadvantage on Intelligence checks. The concussion heals if you receive any magical healing; alternately it heals on its own in two weeks. If you already have a minor concussion, you suffer a major concussion.
14-16 Minor headaches. You have disadvantage on Wisdom checks. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, cures the headaches. Alternately, they will resolve on their own in two weeks.
17+ Severe bruising. You suffer severe bruising over an extensive portion of your anatomy. Anytime you suffer bludgeoning or force damage, you suffer an additional point of bludgeoning or force damage. The bruising heals if you receive magical healing. Alternately, it heals on its own in 2 week.

Part III

Situational Rules

Background Assets

In 5th Edition, Backgrounds grant a modest assortment of equipment and a pocketful of starting cash. For many campaigns where you play wanderers or sellswords, this is fine and appropriate. However if your campaign involves urban investigation, intrigue, or social advancement, you build backgrounds and contacts with useful people.

This background expansion lets you add things that express character, offer new solutions to problems, or suggest new stories to explore. DM must create these asset expansion uniquely for each player after they choose their background, class and story. Backgrounds presented here are only source for inspiration.

Assets, Debts and Obligations

The new items, creatures, and so forth offered here are in addition to what you receive from your Background. Your character should not be able to liquidate these possessions and take off for an itinerant life.

New possessions are presented as packages that may also include debts and social obligations, as more ways to hook characters into the settlement’s social structure. Debts are given as per-month commitments, and end when the DM feels you’ve paid enough (months or year).

Contacts

This expansion also introduces Contacts as people who matter to your character. Your relationships with them might be positive, negative, or ambiguous. Multiple backgrounds may connect to the same characters, as a way to strengthen their sense of reality in the setting.

Some relationships have their starting state determined by a die roll. In some cases, it may make more sense to use the character’s Charisma modifier minus 1 to determine the nature of the relationship, or to decide on a result based on how the rest of the story has come together.

d6 + Cha Mod -1 Relationship
1- Hostile or Distrusting
2-3 Complicated, you owe them a Favor
4-5 Neutral or Associate
6-7 Friendly or Obsequious
8+ Very Friendly, owes you a Favor

Example Background Assets

Acolyte

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a cell in a local abbey; Relationship (d6) with the High Priestess Yathia Imbrus; Distrusting Relationship with Master of Novices, Scribe Wintan; key to the abbey’s library

(b) two-room dwelling on the third floor of a dilapidated tenement building; access to a secret shrine in the basement; three lay worshipers, who have an Obsequious Relationship toward you; a harmless pet snake

(c) minor religious relic (a trinket or a common, non-consumable magic item); a hut outside the city walls; Hostile Relationship with High Priestess Yathia Imbrus; a donkey with saddle, bit, and bridle

(d) a bare and chilly room in the Earl of Hollisham’s country estate; Relationship (d6) with the High Priest Yathia Imbrus; Neutral Relationship with the Earl of Hollisham; the heir apparent, Marten Hollisham, is Obsequious toward you; two oxen and a cart

Charlatan/Criminal

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a room in an unused warehouse, where you are squatting; Relationship (d6) with Guildmaster Nerin Reth; wand with 8 charges of prestidigitation, recharges 1d4 charges each day at dawn

(b) a cell in a local abbey or monastery; Relationship (d6) with High Priestess Yathia Imbrus; Friendly Relationship with Master of Novices, Wintan the Scribe

(c) a belowstairs room in a country estate, and a job as a footman; you are Obsequious toward the estate’s heir apparent, Marten Hollisham, who is Friendly toward you; horse and high-quality carriage; 50-gp-per-month bribes to Master Thief-taker Hael Gorret

Entertainer

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a room above the taproom of The Green Great Dragon Inn; the inn owner Eiris Quickly is Obsequious toward you; obligation to perform three shows per week

(b) a room in a shabby house you share with six other Entertainers; Hostile Relationship with harpist Pol Kesson; Relationship (d6) with Ward Boss Elenna Foss; large collection of used instruments and sheet music

(c) a room in the attic over a mask-maker’s shop; Friendly Relationship with mask-maker Anita Caplan; large collection of new and outlandish masks

Folk Hero

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a room in the attic over a mask-maker’s shop; Friendly Relationship with mask-maker Anita Caplan; large collection of new and outlandish masks

(b) a sleeping space in the common room of The Green Great Dragon Inn; the inn owner Eiris Quickly is Neutral toward you; Relationship (d6) with Master Thief-taker Hael Gorret; a pony with saddle, bit, and bridle

(c) quarters in the town guard barracks; Relationship (d6) with Guard-Captain Johannes Keenan; Complicated Relationship with criminal Rollo Benton; access to the town guard’s stores of weapons and armor; a spirited, one-eared dog

Guild Artisan

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a three-story shop with living quarters, which you share with your business partner Elsabet the Red; Relationship (d6) with Elsabet the Red; one spare bedroom; cart and two mules

(b) cramped sleeping space on the floor of Master Crafter Roger Graeling’s shop; Neutral Relationship with Roger Graeling; Friendly Relationship with Ward Boss Elenna Foss; 25-gp-per-month debts to your trade guild

(c) a luxurious room in the Earl of Hollisham’s country estate; Relationship (d6) with Marten Hollisham; Complicated Relationship with your rival Elsabet the Red; a carriage and a four-horse team; infrequent demands on your time that you can’t turn down

Hermit

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a hut outside the city walls; Relationship (d6) with the sage Kingsley Winters; Friendly Relationship with your nephew; one non-consumable Common magic item

(b) a secret grove where you can live off the land and sleep in safety; Complicated Relationship with your brother; Friendly Relationship with your nephew; a donkey with saddle, bit, and bridle

(c) a tumbledown tower in the Earl of Hollisham’s country estate; Neutral Relationship with Marten Hollisham; Relationship (d6) with Master Wizard Danika Aurane; a mangy cat

Noble

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a large, richly-appointed house in the city, with several spare rooms; Relationship (d6) with the Earl of Hollisham; Complicated Relationship with Marten Hollisham; Relationship (d6) with two other NPCs; a carriage and four-horse team; a sailboat that can hold up to eight people; 500-gp-per-month debts to Guildmaster Nerin Reth

(b) a cobwebbed old manor three miles from town; Distrusting Relationship with the Earl of Hollisham; Relationship (d6) with Marten Hollisham; Relationship (d6) with two other NPCs; a warhorse, a riding horse, and a pack mule; 50-gp-per-month debts to the Earl of Hollisham

(c) three rooms on the top floor of Red Rivers, a disreputable wine shop; a Hostile Relationship with your mother; Friendly Relationship with Marten Hollisham; Friendly Relationship with Master Wizard Danika Aurane; Relationship (d6) with two other NPCs; a broken-down nag with saddle, bit, and bridle

Outlander

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a hut outside the city walls; Distrusting Relationship with Guard-Captain Johannes Keenan; Neutral Relationship with Ward Boss Elenna Foss; a crow that brings you dead spiders

(b) a sleeping space in the common room of The Green Great Dragon Inn; the inn owner Eiris Quickly is Distrusting toward you; Friendly Relationship with the merchant Elsabet the Red; a wolf that follows you everywhere

Sage

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a tumbledown tower in the Earl of Hollisham’s country estate; Neutral Relationship with the Earl of Hollisham; Friendly Relationship with Marten Hollisham; Relationship (d6) with Master Wizard Danika Aurane

(b) a hut in a secret grove, larger on the inside than outside; Relationship (d6) with Kingsley Winters; Relationship (d6) with High Priestess Yathia Imbrus; Complicated Relationship with Master Wizard Danika Aurane; a pony with saddle, bit, and bridle

(c) a large suite in the Green Great Dragon Inn; the inn owner Eiris Quickly is Distrusting toward you; Distrusting Relationship with Guard-Captain Johannes Keenan; Hostile Relationship with High Priestess Yathia Imbrus; a fast carriage and four goats; 50-gp-per-month debts to Master Wizard Danika Aurane

Sailor

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a tiny room that you share with Rollo Benton above a gambling den; Relationship (d6) with Rollo Benton; smuggling skiff that requires a two-person crew

(b) a sleeping space in the common room of the Green Great Dragon Inn; Relationship (d6) with inn owner Eiris Quickly; Hostile Relationship with Rollo Benton; Neutral Relationship with Master Thief-taker Hael Gorret; a cog (the Roarer) and three trusty friends to sail her; 25-gp-per-month payments to keep those friends around

Soldier

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a place to sleep by the Earl of Hollisham’s hearth; Neutra Relationship with the Earl of Hollisham; Neutral Relationship with Marten Hollisham; Complicated Relationship with Guard-Captain Johannes Keenan; access to the Earl’s horses and armorer; obligation to fight on the Earl’s behalf against any challenger

(b) quarters in the town guard barracks; Relationship (d6) with Guard-Captain Johannes Keenan; Hostile Relationship with Ward Boss Elenna Foss; access to the town guard’s stores of weapons and armor; riding horse with saddle, bit, and bridle

(c) a sleeping space in the common room of the Green Great Dragon Inn; Relationship (d6) with inn owner Eiris Quickly; Complicated Relationship with Guildmaster Nerin Reth; a sack of loot from your last mission, worth 75 gp; 50-gp-per-month gambling debts to Rollo Benton

Urchin

Choose one of the following packages:

(a) a room in an unused warehouse, where you are squatting; Friendly Relationship with Guildmaster Nerin Reth; Neutral Relationship with Ward Boss Elenna Foss; Hostile Relationship with Marten Hollisham; inexplicably loyal cat

(b) a two-room “apartment” in the basement of a ruined house, connected to the Thieves’ Guild by a secret passage; Relationship (d6) with Guildmaster Nerin Reth; Complicated Relationship with Ward Boss Elenna Foss, who you pay 50 gp per month for the right to work in her Ward; highly intelligent crow

(c) sleeping space by the hearth of Master Thief-taker Hael Gorret; Friendly Relationship with Master Thief-taker Hael Gorret and his wife; Distrusting Relationship with Master Crafter Roger Graeling; small but vicious dog

Background Flavors

Background Flavors are a way of customizing your character's background further. They are traits and experiences that are big enough that they would have an effect on how your character developed and what skills they have, but not so big that they can be a complete background on their own. Often they are prominent skills or personality traits that lead them down a certain path, or major life experiences that shaped them but didn't take up their entire past.

How to Use

Each background flavor has a list of traits associated with it. You can take as many or as few traits from the list as you want. Keep in mind that each trait has a cost—when you take it, you will have to give up something of equal value from your base background.

  • If the trait gives you a skill, it will replace one of the skills you get from your base background.
  • If a trait gives you a language or tool proficiency, it will replace either a language or a tool proficiency from your base background. You can replace a language with a tool proficiency and vice versa.
  • If the trait gives you a background feature, it will replace the background feature you get from your base background.

Option: Two Background Features

Your DM can optionally allow everyone to take two background features, one from the base background and one from a Background Flavor. This rule may be suitable for epic campaigns where the player characters are larger than life and have accomplished more in their lives.

Animal Lover

You adore animals, and possibly care more about them than you do about other people. Your wealth of experience dealing with beasts combined with your enthusiasm for them lets you connect with them on a level the average person wouldn't understand.

Examples: a folk hero who grew up on the farm and became close to the livestock, a hermit who's only companion was their pet, a sage specializing in zoology.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Beast Handler. You have extensive experience with animals. Replace one skill with Animal Handling.
  • Nature Admirer. You've studied the animal kingdom and other parts of nature as well. Replace one skill with Nature.
  • Horse Rider. You know how to handle horses and other mounts or beasts of burden. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in Vehicles (Land).
  • Petkeeping. Replace your background feature with the Petkeeping feature.

Feature: Petkeeping

You are very familiar with how to take care of commonly domesticated animals, such as dogs, cats, cows, horses, and so on. You will know what is appropriate to feed them, how and how often to clean them, and everything else you might need to know to take care of them. You may be able to do the same for more exotic animals if your backstory suggests you should, at the DM's discretion.

You will be able to teach basic tricks to common tamed animals without any issue, assuming the animal can learn tricks and is not rowdy, aggressive, frightened, or otherwise unreceptive. For example, you can teach a dog to sit, stay or heel, or teach a horse to handle a rider and perform different gaits on command.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 When I'm mad, I literally growl.
2 I talk to people like they're animals.
3 I talk to animals like they're people.
4 The idea of eating meat disgusts me.
5 I have a bad habit of assuming that wild animals are harmless and won't attack me.
6 I always travel with at least one pet by my side. If I don't leave on a trip with a pet, I'll come back with one.
7 Wildlife conservation is a big deal for me.
8 I want to adopt every cute little critter I come across.

Beautiful

You have been blessed by your genetics with exceptionally attractive features. You have the luxury of being able to get by in life by your looks, though the amount you've taken advantage of this is up to you. You're used to turning heads and getting an odd amount of attention from strangers.

Examples: A charlatan who uses their looks to put their victims at ease, an entertainer who woos their fans with their musical talents and charming smile, an acolyte chosen to be the public face of their temple and use their beauty to draw in converts.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Charming Smile. Your beauty makes it easier to get what you want. Replace one skill with Persuasion.
  • Aura of Grace. Your appearance makes people like to watch you more. Replace one skill with Performance.
  • Makeup Artist. You have a lot of experience with clothing and makeup. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in disguise kits.
  • Enchanting Appearance. Replace your background feature with the Enchanting Appearance feature.

Feature: Enchanting Appearance

Your appearance means that people who aren't already aggressive or hostile towards you may treat you differently. They will be more willing to interact with you or give you special treatment, especially if they are inclined to be attracted to your gender.

However, your interactions are more likely to be misinterpreted as flirtatious. Those who are helping you may attempt to make romantic moves on you, and will be upset if you reject them. They may even become angry if they believe you were leading them on intentionally. Those who see your beauty as a threat, such as someone who likes or is married to a person you are "flirting" with, may treat you with hostility.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I wish people would pay attention to the real me, not just my face.
2 With the impractical outfits I wear into battle, it's a wonder I'm still alive.
3 I jump at the chance to give anyone a makeover.
4 There's no shame in using my charm to get my way.
5 I'm worried my looks intimidate people. I don't think I'm better than you, I swear!
6 I strike a pose at any opportunity, even in the midst of battle. I don't realize I do this.
7 I am stubbornly oblivious about my own attractiveness.
8 I can't stand grime, so I clean myself obsessively.

Blessed

You have procured a minor blessing from a powerful being, such as a fey, a celestial, a powerful wizard, or even a god. They gave you no tangible power, but you are marked by them in some subtle way that lets others know that you are favored. Most people with blessings are kind and caring, which is how they earned it in the first place, but others subvert that reputation.

Examples: An acolyte who received a blessing from their god for exceptional service, a noble blessed from birth to be a great and kind ruler, an urchin who's wish for some small material comfort was granted by a sympathetic being.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Animal Friends. For some reason, your blessing makes animals like you more. Replace one skill with Animal Handling.
  • Esoteric Research. Your blessing has prompted you to learn more about the being that gave it to you. Replace one skill with either Religion or Arcana, depending on the nature of your blessing.
  • Blessing of Speech. You were granted the language of the being who blessed you so that they could communicate with you. Replace one tool proficiency with an exotic language of your choice.
  • Minor Blessing. Replace your background feature with the Minor Blessing feature.

Feature: Minor Blessing

The being that blessed you infused you with a small bit of magic so that you can prove you have their favor. Choose one small, harmless effect that could be generated by Prestidigitation, Thaumaturgy, or Druidcraft. You may use this effect at will as an action.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I have a gentle disposition and am not one to start fights.
2 I believe I don't deserve my blessing.
3 Too often I invoke the fact that I'm blessed as a way to win arguments.
4 I help others compulsively.
5 I am deeply disappointed in how underwhelming my blessing's "powers" are.
6 Shallow kindness is the best way to hide my more selfish intentions.
7 I don't even know that I'm blessed.
8 I hope to someday draw more power from the being who blessed me.

Changeling

You were not raised by parents of the same species as yourself. You could be a dwarf with adopted elf parents, or a tiefling brought up by halflings, or any other strange combination. Nurture has triumphed over nature in a lot of ways, so in many facets of life you act most similar to the ones who raised you. Still, the obvious physical differences between you and your kin set you apart in your community, in good ways and bad.

Examples: An elf guild artisan trained in blacksmithing by his adopted dwarf parents, a gnome hermit who wandered away from civilization after his short-lived human parents died, a human outlander raised by a herd of goliaths.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Changeling Skills. Replace one skill with any one skill that the race who raised you has as a racial feature.
  • Changeling Education. Replace one language or tool proficiency with any one tool proficiency that the race who raised you learns as a racial feature.
  • Native Language. Replace one language or tool proficiency with any one language that the race who raised knows as a racial feature.
  • Multicultural. Replace your background feature with the Multicultural feature.

Feature: Multicultural

Growing up among a different race, you've had to compensate for your otherness by being very good with first impressions among them. Members of the race you were raised by are more likely to accept and trust you once you demonstrate literacy in their culture. They may be willing to share information, tips, and gossip with you that they would not normally disclose to an outsider. Members of your actual race may give you the same benefits, because they assume that you are already not an outsider by virtue of you physical features.

Suggested Characteristics

The personality traits of changelings vary wildly based on which race brought them up. When deciding your character's personality traits, ideals, bonds and flaws, consider the cultural values they were likely raised in given their adopted parents.


Hybrid Races

Races with naturally mixed bloodlines, such as half-elves and half-orcs, do not count as changelings if they are raised by humans or whatever race makes up the other half of their bloodline. They are only changelings if raised by a race that has no genetic relation to them at all, such as dwarves or dragonborn.

Conspiracy Theorist

You are utterly convinced of some things that would make the average person roll their eyes. That "orc raid" ten years ago was faked by the government as an excuse to raise taxes, everyone in the royal court is a chromatic dragon in disguise, lich-worshipping cultists are putting poisons in the water that turn all the frogs gay, things like that. Few people believe you, they all call you mad, but you don't care. If being mad is what it takes to uncover the truth, you don't want to be sane.

Examples: An acolyte who quit their temple when they suspected an evil cult of heretics had infiltrated their ranks, a sage who was discredited after spouting his strange theories to impressionable students, a sailor who is sure that aberrant cryptids lurk in the oceans they used to sail.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Cult Conspiracies. Your obsession with secret cults has taught you a lot about religion. Replace one skill with Religion.
  • Disaster Preparedness. You're positive that the world will end soon, as you've trained yourself to handle it. Replace one skill with Survival.
  • Tongue of Secrets. To seek evidence for your theories, you've learned a language that's often used in old documents you're interested in. Replace one tool proficiency with an exotic language of your choice.
  • Kernel of Truth. Replace your background feature with the Kernel of Truth feature.

Feature: Kernel of Truth

The conspiracies you rant about may sound like nonsense, but you're not completely wrong. A part of one of your pet theories is actually true, and may be the key to uncovering a great mystery or completing a segment of an epic quest. The downside is that this truth is surrounded by so much confusion that you will rarely be able to convince anyone of it.

Discuss with your DM the details of your conspiracy theory and its impact on the campaign. Your DM may choose not to disclose to you which part of the conspiracy theory is correct.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I wear special headwear to keep occult entities from reading my mind.
2 Some of my theories are a thinly veiled excuse for my preexisting biases.
3 I rebel against the establishment at every opportunity.
4 Marks of the cult that secretly runs the world are everywhere if you know how to look for them.
5 I always jump to the wildest, most out-there conclusions possible.
6 I trust no one but myself.
7 My friends might not believe me, but that won't stop me from keeping them safe.
8 Any evidence is enough evidence for me.

Convict

You were convicted of a crime in the past and spent a significant amount of time imprisoned. Whether you were truly guilty or you were locked up by mistake, you've done your time and are free once again. Maybe your sentence taught you a lesson, but there's always a chance that you'll go back to your old ways.

Examples: A charlatan who got caught in a scheme, a criminal who's luck ran out, a hermit who used their time in solitary confinement to seek enlightenment.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Bad Reputation. Scaring off other prisoners kept you out of fights. Replace one skill with Intimidation.
  • Contraband. You often had to keep small items smuggled into the prison a secret from the guards. Replace one skill with Sleight of Hand.
  • Passing Time. You and other inmates played a lot of simple games to keep from going insane with boredom. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in dice sets.
  • Prison Connections. Replace your background feature with the Prison Connections feature.

Feature: Prison Connections

While in prison, you made an alliance with a prison gang or other criminal organization. You have been given instructions on how to contact them on the outside in case you need their services. They will be able to get you information, help you avoid the authorities, supply you with contraband, and provide other illegal services of that nature.

Your actions in prison have earned you one free reasonable favor. After that is spent, taking advantage of your contact will either cost money or require you to do a favor for them in return.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 No one insults me and gets away with it.
2 I am trying my best to be a better, more law-abiding citizen.
3 After the slop they fed me in prison, I think everyone's cooking is amazing.
4 I won't stop insisting that I'm innocent until everyone believes me.
5 I have zero trust in law enforcement or the justice system.
6 I would rather make a new friend than a new enemy.
7 I habitually whittle any carvable object I have on hand into a shiv or other simple tool.
8 The only lesson incarceration taught me was to be sneakier when I break the law.

Drunk

You've had a lot to drink if your life, and you know how to handle your liquor. For you, alcohol goes beyond a thing you do to unwind with friends, and has become a real passion and obsession—or, if not that, an overused mechanism for drowning your problems. You spend a worrying amount of your time inebriated, but you wouldn't have it any other way.

Examples: A brewer guild artisan who likes to sample their own creations, a foul-mouthed drunken sailor, a soldier who drinks to forget the horrors of war.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Discerning Tongue. Your senses are finely tuned to pick out the quality and attributes of drinks. Replace one skill with Perception.
  • Drunken Rage. Drinking so much has given you no reservations about letting your anger show through. Replace one skill with Intimidation.
  • Passion for Brewing. You've dabbled in brewing alcohol yourself. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in brewer's supplies.
  • Alcohol Resistance. Replace your background feature with the Alcohol Resistance feature.

Feature: Alcohol Resistance

You can stomach a lot of alcohol before feeling its effects. It takes twice as much alcohol to get you drunk as it would normally take for someone of your size and race. Even when you do get drunk you rarely black out. You will remember most of what you did and witnessed while you were drunk.

Your ability to stomach so much alcohol can earn you respect in the right circles. While at a tavern, regulars who see you drink excessive amounts of alcohol and not pass out will gain respect for you, and might try to befriend you.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I'm a nocturnal creature, drinking all night and sleeping it off all day.
2 I have a disgusting hangover cure I swear on, and I'll feed it to anyone who needs it.
3 When a friend is having a hard time, my first instinct is to offer them a drink.
4 I'll take any excuse for a bar fight.
5 Life is a drinking game. Whenever something ridiculous happens, I take a swig.
6 I have a bad habit of being drunk at inappropriate and inconvenient times.
7 I fear I am becoming an alcoholic.
8 I collect the bottles and glasses of the best drinks I've ever had.

Feral

You were abandoned by society when you were a baby, and spent a significant portion of your early life being raised by unintelligent beasts. You ran with them, hunted with them, learned how to survive in the wild from them. You separated from them once you grew old enough to understand how different you were. Most of your life from adolescence onward has been spent reconnecting with beings on your own level of intelligence and finding your place in this new world. Still, you have not forgotten your animal instincts.

Examples: An outlander who remained among nature after being raised by a bear, a noble left to the wolves as a child who is now back to reclaim their title, a feral urchin who tried to join civilized society but ended up alone on the streets.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • One With the Pack. Animals are your kin, and you know how to relate to them. Replace one skill with Animal Handing.
  • Raised by Nature. Your upbringing lets you survive in the wild like a wild beast. Replace one skill with Survival.
  • Natural Remedies. Without doctors, you kept yourself alive with medicinal plants. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in herbalism kits.
  • Beast Reading. Replace your background feature with the Beast Reading feature.

Feature: Beast Reading

The body language of the type of animal that raised you is as easy for you to read as a person's body language. If you are interacting with an animal that is either the same species as the ones who raised you or a closely related species (such as any feline if you were raised by lions), you will be able to immediately understand their mood based on physical and auditory cues. You will also be able to communicate your own mood to them using body language and animalistic noises, as effectively as your body will allow.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I know raw meat is bad for me, but I miss the taste.
2 The great outdoors feels more like home than any manmade house.
3 My understanding of territory and property are... off.
4 Licking myself clean is all the hygiene I need.
5 My specialty in the pack was making clever tools to overcome obstacles. I try and fill the same role in my new team.
6 In a fight, I let my animal instincts take over.
7 I communicate using noises more than words.
8 My pack and my chosen family are all that I care about, and I will fight tooth and claw to protect them.

Foreigner

You originate from a land very far from where you are currently living and adventuring. Perhaps you've been around for long enough to get by in the local culture, but you are by no means completely assimilated. Your outsider's viewpoint combined with your different cultural upbringing allow you to bring a unique perspective to your adventuring party.

Examples: A foreign merchant trading exotic goods that recently joined the local merchant's guild, a sailor who got lost at sea and ended up in a strange place, a soldier who defected from a foreign army and fled to another country.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Assimilation Efforts. You've studied this new land quite a bit to blend in better. Replace one skill with History.
  • Unfamiliar Territory. Moving to a strange land with unfamiliar customs kept you on your toes. Replace one skill with Perception.
  • Multilingual. Replace one tool proficiency with a language of your choice.
  • Foreign Tongue. Replace your background feature with the Foreign Tongue feature.

Feature: Foreign Tongue

You speak a rare language that is a linguistic relative to another more familiar language you know, such as Common, Elvish or Dwarvish. Only people from your faraway homeland speak it. It is very unlikely that anyone outside of your home region will understand it or even recognize it, unless they have ties to that region, such as being a merchant that trades there or a diplomat who does business with them.

Because this language is little known, you are able to keep private notes to yourself in it, as well as speak it in public without a high chance that someone will overhear and understand you.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I am terribly homesick and wish I could go back more than anything.
2 I love spreading around contradicting "facts" about my homeland, just to mess with everyone.
3 I do my best to hide my accent, but it doesn't work.
4 My code of honor or ethics is a bit alien to my teammates, but I stick to it nonetheless.
5 The strange figures of speech I use often confuse others.
6 I love introducing my friends to parts of my culture, such as its music and holidays.
7 Sometimes I feel like I fit in with the culture of my new home better than the one I grew up in.
8 I love insulting people in public in my native tongue, so they don't know what I'm saying about them.

Jokester

You're an expert at making people laugh. You are life's comic relief, bringing levity wherever you to with clever quips, bad puns, funny faces, and a slew of other tools in your comedic arsenal. You could be a professional comedian, a witty person with a love for joking around, or even someone who carries themselves in a funny way without meaning to.

Examples: A court jester entertainer, a village idiot folk hero who unexpectedly stumbled onto the path to greatness, a soldier who joked around with his fellow warriors to keep spirits high during wartime.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Comedic Routine. When put in the spotlight, you can put on quite a funny show. Replace one skill with Performance.
  • Slapstick. You're as good with physical comedy as you are with the verbal kind. Replace one skill with Acrobatics.
  • Cross-Language Wordplay. You've upped your pun game by learning another language. Replace one tool proficiency with a language of your choice.
  • Hilarious Failure. Replace your background feature with the Hilarious Failure feature.

Feature: Hilarious Failure

When you mess up, you have a way of looking so ridiculous that onlookers often can't help but laugh. If while out of combat you fail to perform some physical activity, such as picking up an object or jumping over something, you can choose to fail in a hilarious slapstick manner. Anyone around you who is not focused on something else will be temporarily distracted by this amusing display. If slapstick fits with someone's sense of humor, they will be distracted for even longer, and will grow more fond of you and your antics.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I'm a bit too quick to roast someone.
2 I walk with a strange and silly gait.
3 In battle, I always have a witty one-liner ready.
4 I couldn't care less about embarrassing myself in public. Shame is for the weak!
5 I use humor as a mask to hide my crippling depression.
6 I don't know how to take anything seriously.
7 If someone is feeling down, I won't rest until I put a smile on their face.
8 I'm too punny for my own good.

Martyr

You faced an insurmountable enemy in the name of your religion, political beliefs, or other ideology, then sacrificed something valuable to make a statement. You lost wealth, status, friends, family—maybe you even lost you life, and are only alive now thanks to a merciful cleric. The consequences of your sacrifice are lasting, and it is up to you whether you accept them with pride or scramble to regain what you lost.

Examples: A soldier stripped of his rank when he refused an order to do something horrific, an acolyte sentenced to death for questioning the temple's policies, a noble cast out of their family after trying to start a political revolution.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Stand Your Ground. Your stubborn confidence is good for convincing people you're right. Replace one skill with Persuasion.
  • Self Care. Rejected by society, you can't rely on doctors to patch you up, so you have to do it yourself. Replace one skill with Medicine.
  • Manifesto. You have written finely crafted declarations of what you stand for. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in calligrapher's supplies.
  • Champion of the Cause. Replace your background feature with the Champion of the Cause feature.

Feature: Champion of the Cause

There is a small group of believers in your cause who consider you to be a symbol of hope and look up to you as a hero for your sacrifices. They often do not have extensive resources, but they will support you at a modest lifestyle and will supply you with whatever help they reasonably can. They may even be receptive to doing things that will put themselves in mild danger, such as hiding you from the authorities and assisting you with illegal tasks.

This group will only help you if they continue to see you as a champion to their cause. If you do or say something that convinces them otherwise, you will lose their support.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I go on long, angry tirades at the slightest offense.
2 We live in an us vs. them world. I will tolerate no ambiguity when it comes to loyalties.
3 I sacrifice so much that I barely take care of myself.
4 I pretend to not miss my old, more comfortable life, but I secretly yearn for it.
5 I martyred myself completely by accident, and now I'm in too deep to turn back.
6 When faced with danger, my instinct is to give a dramatic and inspiring speech.
7 I don't even believe in what I advocate for, I just like being the hero.
8 What I did was right, but I don't believe it makes me a hero. It's what anyone would have done.

Mutant

Whether by experiments by a mad wizard, a dark occult ritual, or unusual genetic luck, you have acquired some physical feature that is not at all normal for your race. The trait you have is not particularly useful, but it is plainly visible. Some mutants take advantage of their mutation for entertainment and profit, but for others it's nothing but a curse.

Roll a d6 or select from the table below to determine what that trait is. You may also come up with a different mutation that is approximately equal in degree to these examples.

d6 Mutation
1 A vestigial, non-prehensile tail
2 An unnatural skin color and/or texture
3 Mutant eyes (unnatural color, strange pupil, etc.)
4 Extra fingers on one hand
5 Strange growths coming out of your face
6 Hair in places it normally wouldn't be

Examples: An acolyte cultist who gained the mutation in a ritual to bring them closer to their god, a circus freak entertainer, a street urchin abandoned by their parents due to their odd deformity.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Strange Visage. Your mutation puts people on edge. Replace one skill with Intimidation.
  • Sideshow. You know how to use your mutation to make yourself an entertaining attraction. Replace one skill with Performance.
  • Passing for Normal. You often have to disguise yourself to go unnoticed in public. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in disguise kits.
  • Freakish Display. Replace your background feature with the Freakish Display feature.

Feature: Freakish Display

Your mutation is strange enough on its own, but you have the ability to make it look even more unusual on command. For example, you may be able to make your skin or eyes glow, or bend your limbs in disgusting ways. When you choose to do this, you appear monstrous, and those around you may assume that you are more powerful than you first appeared.

Those who do not know you well and are easily frightened will be scared of you when you do this, and will comply with reasonable requests to make you go away. If you do this in front of someone who is confident in their ability to fight, they may decide you are a monster and attack you.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I often make insensitive jokes about my mutation at my own expense.
2 My mutation makes me superior to others of my kind.
3 I'm shocked and confused when a stranger approaches me and seems to be friendly.
4 The thought of what medical complications my mutation is probably causing in my body keeps me awake at night.
5 I would give anything to be normal.
6 It's always fun to freak people out.
7 I'm proud of my mutation and consider it central to who I am.
8 When someone treats me like a regular person, I cling to them and treat them well.

Parent

You have brought a child into this world and have spent many years as their primary caretaker, doing whatever you can to raise and protect them. They may still be a young child that you are guiding through life, or they may be grown and now carving their own path through the world. Consider why you chose to leave your family to go on an adventure, after all you've sacrificed for them.

Examples: A hermit who rejoined society so their child could have the support of a community, a criminal who only steals to provide for their family, a noble who is raising their future heir.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Parental Sense. You are always on the lookout to make sure your child stays out of trouble. Replace one skill with Perception.
  • First Aid. Patching up boo-boos and treating colds is a part of childrearing. Replace one skill with Medicine.
  • Cooking for the Family. Having to cook for more than just yourself has made you much better at it. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in cook's utensils.
  • Housekeeping. Replace your background feature with the Housekeeping feature.

Feature: Housekeeping

After spending years cleaning up after a slobbish, uncoordinated toddler, cleaning up after yourself and your party is a piece of cake. Whenever you leave a campsite or room you were staying in for a night, you leave it looking even nicer than you left it without a trace of anyone having stayed there, assuming you did no major damage to the space that you couldn't reasonably clean up. You can clean up any mess in half the time it would take anyone else, as long as you have proper supplies.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I fuss over my teammates as if they were my own young.
2 All of my choices I make with my family in mind.
3 I carry a picture my kid drew with me, and I show it to everyone I meet.
4 I can't shake the feeling that I'm a failure as a parent.
5 I will drop everything to help a child in trouble.
6 My child tragically died, and I now seek vengence or closure.
7 I have a terrible dad (or mom) joke for every situation.
8 I can redirect any conversation to be about my child.

Persecuted

You are a part of an oppressed population, and have been dealing with discrimination and senseless hatred for your whole life. It may be based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, class, or anything else that could incite hatred. Besides being among your own kind, you have never found a place where you are truly accepted for who and what you are, and you are often treated with open hostility.

Examples: An acolyte worshipping a god falsely painted as evil, a disenfranchised member of a disliked ethnic group who becomes a criminal to survive, an outlander who fled from civilization to get away from its judgmental nature.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Distrust. You know how to spot when someone harbors hatred towards you. Replace one skill with Insight.
  • Going Unnoticed. You try not to attract attention to yourself in public. Replace one skill with Stealth.
  • Multilingual. Your people use another language to keep unfriendly outsiders from listening in on their conversations. Replace tool proficiency with one language of your choice.
  • Community of Outsiders. Replace your background feature with the Community of Outsiders feature.

Feature: Community of Outsiders

Everyone seems to have an opinion on your people. Those who hate your group will treat you with hostility, and may deny you service or forbid your entry into certain areas.

You may not be accepted into society at large, but those who share your predicament and various sympathizers will accept you instead. Members of your persecuted group will be willing to support you (but not the rest of your party) at a modest lifestyle. If they own a business, they may also be willing to give you reasonable discounts on products and services. Others who passionately believe that the way your people are treated is wrong may give you the same benefits.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I fight ferociously for my people's right to live freely and peacefully.
2 I actively avoid playing into stereotypes of my group.
3 I am hesitant to share my people's cultural practices with outsiders.
4 Despite the persecution I suffer, I take great pride in who I am.
5 I never resort to violence when faced with hatred. The last thing I want is to give them more ammunition.
6 A lifetime of insults has given me a skin as thick as dragon's hide.
7 I try to be tolerant of everyone I meet.
8 I go to great lengths to hide my identity from others.

Prodigy

You are far too young to be as skilled as you are. Your uncommon genius in some field has allowed you to compete with adult professionals at a young age. Roll a d6 or choose from the table below to decide what talent you have naturally.

d6 Talent
1 Combat. I am physically accomplished and became a skilled fighter at a young age. (Athletics, Vehicles (Land))
2 Arcane. My magical abilities made themselves known early. (Arcana, alchemist’s supplies)
3 Art. I possess unmatched raw talent at a particular craft. (Perception, artisan's tool of your choice)
4 Music. I have an ear for music, and instruments come naturally to me. (Performance, musical instrument of your choice)
5 Academia. I absorb information much faster than most my age. (History, additional language)
6 Medicine. Anatomy and the natural world make sense to me, and I am an expert at finding cures. (Medicine, herbalism kit)

Examples: A child genius sage, a guild artisan who went from apprentice to master in record time, a young folk hero who rose to greatness when their exceptional talents were discovered.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Natural Skill. You have an amazing amount of raw talent for a certain skill. Replace one skill with the skill listed with your talent on the talent table.
  • Feigned Innocence. You act differently than most people your age, making it easy to fool others. Replace one skill with Deception.
  • Natural Proficiency. You quickly picked up the tools used in the field you are talented in. Replace one language or tool proficiency with the language or tool proficiency listed with your talent on the talent table.
  • Wise Beyond Your Years. Replace your background feature with the Wise Beyond Your Years feature.

Feature: Wise Beyond Your Years

While you are a capable adventurer, you are still a child. Pick an age that is less than the beginning of adulthood for your character's race.

Your young age makes your talents more impressive than they normally would be. Institutions related to the skill you are talented in will not take you seriously until you prove your skill, but after that they will be amazed by you and excited to have you around. Having a prodigy in their institution would help their prestige, so they would be willing to grant you admission and offer you benefits of membership more easily than they would with ordinary people.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I'm so used to riding on the wave of my talent that I never learned how to work hard.
2 I may look like a kid, but I act like a small adult.
3 I was so busy practicing my talent that I missed out on a normal childhood.
4 My pet peeve is when no one lets me do things on my own because of my age. I can take care of myself!
5 I love setting up elaborate pranks.
6 My talent comes so easily to me that I don't understand when others struggle to do what I do.
7 I throw tantrums just like any other child.
8 I have trouble connecting with people my age... or with anyone, really.

Seducer

You've played with too many hearts to count in your life and broken just as many. There's something about your suave confidence that draws enraptured men and women to you like moths to a flame. While you can make yourself seem like the perfect partner in the early stages—romantic, caring, and just a little dangerous—you abandon your flings quickly to move onto the next pretty thing that catches your eye.

Examples: A pickup artist charlatan, a noble who has had an affair with everyone in court, an entertainer that always fools around with his adoring fans before leaving for the next town.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Seduction. You have an easy time convincing people to sleep with you, or do other things. Replace one skill with Persuasion.
  • Bodybuilding. You train hard to maintain an attractive physique. Replace one skill with Athletics.
  • Shows of Affection. You win over your romantic targets with either handmade gifts or songs you wrote just for them. Replace one language or tool proficiency with any artisan's tool or musical instrument of your choice.
  • Army of Broken Hearts. Replace your background feature with the Army of Broken Hearts feature.

Feature: Army of Broken Hearts

You have a handful of former partners who are desperate to get back with you. If you reestablish contact with one, they will be willing to do a significant but still reasonable favor for you in an attempt to win you over. They will not put themselves in danger or spend an excessive amount of money on the favor.

Using this former contacts comes with a risk. If one is given reason to believe that you have no intention of getting together with them despite what you have been asking them, or if they find out you have been flirting with other people or worse, they will become extremely angry with you. They will refuse to help you further, and may set out to get revenge on you if they have the resources.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I always have a gift ready to give to a pretty stranger.
2 I talk to people like I'm flirting even when I don't mean to.
3 I'm terrified of commitment.
4 Shirts are my arch nemesis and I go without one whenever possible.
5 If it were an option, I'd date myself.
6 I want to settle down someday, but no one has met my sky-high standards yet.
7 Using my wiles to mold people like clay never ceases to amuse me.
8 I keep my options open in all facets of life and love.

Socialite

There's nothing you like more than a good conversation. Everywhere you go you pick up new friends, almost effortlessly. You love everything social, from meeting new people at a rambunctious party to having deep, one-on-one conversations with old friends. Your extraverted nature makes you great at scoping out social scenes and forming new contacts.

Examples: An acolyte who befriends everyone who stops by their temple, a guild artisan who loves networking, a criminal who hides behind a mask of sociability to deflect suspicion.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Social Graces. You know how to hold a good conversation. Replace one skill with Persuasion.
  • Empathy. So much conversing has made you fluent in reading people. Replace one skill with Insight.
  • Multilingual. You taught yourself a new language to help you make friends with even more people. Replace one tool proficiency with a language of your choice.
  • Gossip. Replace your background feature with the Gossip feature.

Feature: Gossip

Your ability to make fast friends makes you great at seeking information. You can spend a day networking, hanging out in taverns and other gathering spaces to make new friends. When you do this, you can find out any gossip floating around related to a topic you are researching. The DM may decide that no one in the social circles you can access have the information you seek, if it is mostly known to powerful people who have successfully kept it secret.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I will never say no to a party.
2 I talk to everyone I meet as if they were an old friend.
3 There's no point getting all awkward when you say something weird, I just roll with it!
4 My friends can always trust me with their secrets.
5 I never forget a name or face.
6 Being hated is my worst nightmare. If someone doesn't like me, I'll go the extra mile to change their mind.
7 I get anxious if I'm left alone for more than a few minutes.
8 I'm often asked if I ever shut up. The answer is no.

Survivor

You were at ground zero for a catastrophic event, and you barely made it out alive. It wasn't just any disaster that you survived—it was a horror with a reputation that spread far and wide, leaving a permanent scar on history along with your psyche. It could have been a natural disaster, a horrific battle, a massive monster attack, or something else.

Examples: A noble who's entire family was murdered by a rival house, a folk hero who couldn't save their hometown from being burned down by a dragon, a soldier who lived through a massacre that lost a major war.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Scraping By. You had what it took to barely stay alive in a nearly impossible situation. Replace one skill with Survival.
  • Paranoia. You are constantly on the lookout for danger. Replace one skill with Perception.
  • Protective Training. You have taken up a useful skill to make yourself feel safer. Replace one language or tool proficiency with any tool proficiency that would have helped you better survive the disaster you faced.
  • Eyewitness. Replace your background feature with the Eyewitness feature.

Feature: Eyewitness

Very few people lived to tell the tale of what happened the day of the catastrophe, so you saw things during it that no one else alive did. It could be that you were the only one who saw the face of the person responsible, or that you saw the direction in which the attacking monster fled, or something else important. Whatever information you have, it is crucial to preventing such a tragedy from happening again. Discuss with your DM what you saw and how it will impact the campaign.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I can't remember my last good night's sleep.
2 I often brag about how badass I am for surviving.
3 Survivor's guilt eats me alive. Why did get to I make it while everyone else perished?
4 There's no point living in the past!
5 I hate it when people know what I've been through. I'd rather never talk or think about it again.
6 What I saw during the disaster shook me deeply, but I'll never admit it.
7 I am obsessed with what happened, constantly researching it to try and find meaning.
8 I am endlessly thankful for still being alive.

Traveler

You've traveled far and wide in your life. You've been to many places all over the world, and if you haven't been somewhere, there's a good chance you'll visit eventually. Your traveling may be a part of your job, or it could just be insatiable wanderlust.

Examples: A criminal who hops from city to city to avoid being caught, a sailor who has been all over the world trading, an outlander who has wandered great distances with their nomadic tribe.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Worldly. In all the places you've been, you've soaked up a bit of the culture and history. Replace one skill with History.
  • Urban Navigation. You know how to find what you need when you're in a new town or city. Replace one skill with Investigation.
  • Vehicle Driver. So much long distance travel taught you how to handle vehicles well. Replace one language or tool proficiency with a proficiency in either Vehicles (Land) or Vehicles (Water).
  • Well Traveled. Replace your background feature with the Well Traveled feature.

Feature: Well Traveled

You've traveled to most towns and cities in the area. If a large town or city is within 50 miles of your hometown and there is nothing stopping you from having visited there before, you will be familiar with the area. You will know where to find shops, inns, taverns, government buildings, and other major establishments. You may be familiar with other farther away cities at the DM's discretion.

You will also have a friendly contact in town that will be willing to share news and gossip about what's going on locally. They can give you recommendations for place to go, as well as advice on what establishments to avoid. You are not extremely close with this local, so they will not be willing to share sensitive information with you.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I love climbing mountains and hills, just to see what's beyond them from up high.
2 Okay, maybe I say every city is my favorite, but this one is really my favorite, I swear!
3 I love the destination, but I hate the journey.
4 Whenever I visit somewhere with friends, I go into tour guide mode.
5 I will try any weird food put in front of me.
6 Few things match the excitement of being in a new place for the first time.
7 Sometimes I wish I could settle down in one place.
8 I've been to so many places, they get mixed up in my head. Which town are we in again?

Ugly

You have a face only a mother could love. While you don't look outright monstrous, you aren't pretty by any stretch of the imagination, and you're painfully aware of it. No one is attracted to your exterior in any sense of the word, making it difficult to start quick friendships and nearly impossible to find romance. There's not much you can do about it, so it's your choice whether you obsess over your looks or move on with more important parts of your life.

Examples: A criminal with horrible facial scarring caused by a torturous punishment, an entertainer who performs with a mask on so their face won't be judged by the audience, a sage who focuses on books because they haven't had much luck with people.

Background Traits

Choose as many of the following features as you want.


  • Twisted Scowl. The warped face you make when you're angry makes people flinch. Replace one skill with Intimidation.
  • Unnoticed. Your plain appearance draws little attention. Replace one skill with Stealth.
  • Hobbies. Without many social prospects, you've turned to solo hobbies to entertain yourself. Replace one language or tool proficiency with one artisan's tool of your choice.
  • Unapproachable. Replace your background feature with the Unapproachable feature.

Feature: Unapproachable

You don't look very welcoming, causing strangers to avoid talking to you. If you are in public while not hiding your appearance and you are not doing anything obviously suspicious, strangers will not pay any attention to you and will avoid watching you closely. You will not be approached by anyone who doesn't have business with you specifically.

When you are with your party, you can choose to make yourself loud and very visible to drive strangers away from your entire group in the same way you would if you were alone.

Suggested Characteristics

Consider using these personality traits in addition to those given by your main background.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I'm a hopeless romantic, emphasis on hopeless.
2 I've tried everything to be beautiful, but nothing has worked.
3 Little kids are scared of me, and it's hilarious.
4 I don't put much effort into hygiene, since people wouldn't like me even if I were clean.
5 I'd rather be ugly than a shallow, airheaded prick.
6 I frequently crack jokes about how I look.
7 Not being distracted by romance lets me throw all my energy into more important things, like training.
8 I'm thankful for my appearance. When someone likes me, I know it's for who I am and not what I look like.

Brawling

Lets face it. One way or the other this scenario will come up. A tavern brawl where a half-orc barbarian and a dwarven fighter want to match up who is the strongest; or the chatty, but not so smart, warlock brags he could beat the monk in hand to hand combat.

These brawls, especially between players, use a modified combat mechanics that pits different characters on equal terms. During a brawl, all damage is non-lethal by default until specified otherwise. Use of class abilities, magic and weapons other than improvised weapons is an act of aggression, and allows the opponent to switch to standard combat and lethal damage if they desire so.

Brawl Rules

During a brawl, each character has Max Hit Points equal to 10 plus three times its Constitution modifier (minimum of 10), and AC of 13 plus its Dexterity modifier.

Roll initiative as normal. The character with the highest initiative starts on the attacking side and can make a movement and one of the Attack actions listed below. The character with the lower initiative starts on the defending side, and can take up to one Reaction against the attacker. After the attacker finishes their turn, the two characters reverse their attacking and defending sides. If any combatant rolls a critical, he can do up to two Actions or two Reactions during their current turn.

After 6 rounds of brawl, brawlers must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the character gains 1 level of Exhaustion. The saving throw is repeated after each next 3 rounds of brawl but the DC increases by 1.

Drunken Brawl

If you consume more mugs of ale or other strong alcohol than 1 plus your Constitution modifier (no less than 1), you are considered drunk.

Drunk brawlers suffer disadvantage to Attack and Reaction rolls, but deal double their Strength modifier as damage on a hit. Also, drunk brawlers deal lethal damage on the Attack die result of 19 or higher.

Attacking side

As the attacker, you can move up to your speed in any direction, and take one of the following actions:

Attack: You make a unarmed or improvised weapon attack using the statistics provided in the weapon table.

Charge: You run 15 foot straight to a target. The target must make a Strength saving throw against 13 plus your Strength modifier. On a failed save, the target is knocked prone.

Taunt: You taunt the creature, provoking it to attack. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw against your Charisma (Intimidation) check. On a failed save, the target cannot willingly move away from you, and must spend its following turn attacking you with disadvantage. You have advantage on your next attack roll against the target.

Grapple: You attempt to grapple the target. Use the Players Handbook rules for grappling.

Defending side

As the defender, you can move up to half your speed in any direction, or prepare one of the following Reactions:

Dodge: You make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check against the Attack roll. If your roll is higher than the Attack roll, the attack automatically misses. If your roll exceeds the attack roll by 5 or more, you gain a secondary reaction to make an attack, as specified in the attacking side actions.

Block: You attempt to block the attackers attack. You gain a temporary +2 to your AC for this round, provided you can see the attacker. If the attacker is within 5 feet of you, and the Attack roll is lower than half your AC, you gain a secondary reaction to attempt and disarm the attacker.

Disarm: You can only use this action if the attacker is within 5 feet of you. You attempt to disarm the creature attacking you. Both you and the attacker make an opposed Strength saving throw. If yours exceeds the attackers roll, you disarm the attacker. If your roll exceeds the attackers roll by 5 or more, you gain a secondary reaction to pick up the weapon, provided you still have one hand free.

Accidental Death

While brawl damage is non-lethal by default, there are exceptions. Characters unable to concentrate always deal lethal damage. Critical hits are never non-lethal damage and may lead to accidental kills.

Improvised weapons
Weapon Damage Properties
Unarmed 1 Bludgeoning Increase damage by 1 for each size category above Small
Brass Knuckles 1d6 bludgeoning Finesse, cannot be disarmed
Broken Bottle 1d4 Piercing Finesse, Light
Plate 1d4 Bludgeoning Thrown (20/40)
5 Foot pole 1d6 Bludgeoning Versatile(1d8), Reach 5 Ft.
Chair 1d10 Bludgeoning Two Handed, Thrown (15/30)
Halfling Bard's Lute 1d8 Bludgeoning
Torch 1d6 Bludgeoning + 1d4 fire Versatile, Thrown (20/40)
The Halfling Bard 1d10 Bludgeoning Heavy, Thrown (10/20)
The Keg 2d12 Bludgeoning Heavy, Single use
Pocket Sand Thrown (5/10) , blinds target for 1 round.

Chasing

Whether you're chasing across rooftops trying to avoid capture by town guards, dashing through the undergrowth in pursuit of unknown prey, or playing a game of tag with an owlbear cub, sometimes it's fun to just run. This set of rules expands on the standard 5th Edition combat and movement rules.

Setup

To begin a chase, mark out a 'chase track'. The track has six or more sections on it, described as follows:

Front: This section marks the 'head' of the race, where all participants are generally trying to be. There should always be at least one participant here.

Point-Blank: The participants immediately behind the Front are described as being at Point-Blank range. Participants in this area may make melee weapon or spell attacks against participants in the Front, although this must involve making an attack roll with disadvantage. Participants who make this attack with a weapon with the 'reach' quality do not suffer from this disadvantage.

Short Range: This section is considered to be about 30 ft. behind the Front and Point-Blank sections for the sake of spells, weapons, and effects with a range.

Medium Range: Participants in Medium Range are an additional 60 ft. behind Short Range.

Long Range: Participants in Long Range are an additional 60 ft. behind Medium Range.

Beyond Range: Participants who lag more than 150 ft. behind the Front must make DC 15 Perception or Insight check to maintain a cue where the chase is heading to. The roll must be made each turn, and for each turn while in Beyond track the DC increases by 2. If the participants in the Front have changed directions, roll at disadvantage. If there are participants in the Medium or Long Range, the roll can be made with advantage. On a failure, the participant falls out of the chase. On success, you remain in the chase.

Participants within a single section are assumed to be within 5 ft. of each other.

At the start of the chase, the quarry should be put in Front. Other participants may go in the other sections of the chase track according to their positions away from the quarry.

All participants should then roll initiative as usual. If the chase is an extension of an existing fight scene, the participants should keep the initiative used during that fight.

Each participant should also calculate their Move DC. It is equal to 20 - (Speed / 5). For most participants this will be their normal speed, but if a participant has another speed (e.g. a fly speed or swim speed) they may use that value instead if it makes sense to do so in the situation.

For example, a Human Monk with a speed of 40 ft. will have a Move DC of 12, while an Ancient Blue Dragon chasing down an aerial opponent (and thus able to use their fly speed of 80 ft.) will have a Move DC of 4.

The minimum Move DC is 0. If a participant would have a Move DC lower than this, they instead have a Move DC of 0.

Mounted or Vehicle chase. The same rules apply, but multiply the distances and the Move DC divider (naturally /5) by 2 (for horses and carriage) or 4 (flying dragons).

Each Turn

At the start of every turn, the DM should check for chase complications using the Chase Complication Table given later. If a complication is rolled, it should affect the current participant only. This complication is resolved first.

Afterwards, if the participant still has actions and movement left, they should make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check against their Move DC. This is a Move Check. On a success, they remain in the section of the chase track that they are currently in. If they exceed the Move DC by 5 or more, they move one section forward. (If a player in Front would move one section forward, instead all other participants move one section backwards.)

If a participant wishes, they may make an action before making this check. They may make any action that is described in the 'Actions in Combat' section of the Player's Handbook, except for the Dash and Disengage actions. If the participant does this, they make the Move Check with disadvantage.

A participant may also take a bonus action before making the Move Check. If they have the ability to dash using this bonus action, and they choose to take it, they may make the Move Check with advantage.

If a player has used their movement and their action during their turn, they cannot succeed the check, and automatically fail.

Chase Complications

At the start of each turn, the Dungeon Master should roll 3d6, and consult the following table.

3d6 Complication
3 Entanglement
4 Herd or Crowd
5 Barrier
6 Obstacles
3d6 Complication
7 Poor Visibility
8 Uneven Ground
9 Impediment
10+ No complication

The complications are described as follows.

Entanglement. An entanglement might be either purposeful (like a net or rope trap), or accidental (like vines, or a clothesline covered in washing). Either way, it poses a severe risk to a player. Make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, you are restrained as if caught in a net. See chapter 5, "Equipment," of the Player's Handbook for rules on escaping a net.

Herd or Crowd. You must pass through a herd or group of animals or people that currently are not involved in the chase. Make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, you take 1d4 piercing damage and 1d4 bludgeoning damage, and are knocked prone.

At the Dungeon Master's option (regardless of the result of the saving throw), the herd or crowd may join the chase. If this happens, the herd should be put onto the chase track in the same section as the participant they have just affected. The Dungeon Master should choose appropriate stats for this herd, and roll initiative accordingly.

Barrier. A barrier is an obstacle that needs to be avoided or climbed over. It might be a wall, a building, a wide tree, or a river. Make a DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. On a failed check, you are knocked prone.

Obstacles. Obstacles are multiple smaller complications that require dexterity or intelligence to plot a path through. Outside, they might take the form of crates, bushes, or a field of giant mushrooms, while inside they might be chairs or pews. In populated areas, a crowd could be an obstacle. Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Intelligence check (your choice). On a failed check, this terrain counts as difficult terrain. For this turn, recalculate your Move DC as 20 - (Speed / 10).

Poor Visibility. Poor visibility could be due to the terrain (dense brush or a blind corner), or it could be an environmental effect (a busy area, smoke, or an accidental flour explosion). Make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, you are blinded for this turn. In addition, your Move Check is made with disadvantage.

Uneven Ground. Uneven ground represents a portion of the trail you are falling being particularly difficult to run on. This might be because of a change in elevation, a river bank, swampy ground, or soft sand. Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. On a failed check, your Move Check is made with disadvantage.

Impediment. An impediment is a minor complication that can be avoided with dexterity or with brute strength. It might be a single cart, a flock of birds, a tree branch, or a fallen log. Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) check. On a failed check, your Move Check is made with disadvantage.

Options

This is a collection of additional notes and details that help describe certain parts of these rules in more detail, and gives additional advice on how to run chases in different situations.

Ending the Chase. There are multiple ways of ending a chase. If all of the pursuers have fallen back beyond Long Range, then the quarry has won. In addition, if the quarry is able to make a successful Hide action, the pursuers will be unable to continue the chase. Conversely, if the pursuers are able to catch up to the quarry, they may have a chance at capturing or killing it.

Another way of ending a chase is for it to reach a destination. For example, a quarry may have a certain bolthole that they can try and reach. If they make it there, it might be possible to disappear into the crowd, or call on some sort of armed response to help them. In this case, the DM might keep track of the total distance the participants have travelled in some way - perhaps by tracking rounds. Alternatively, they could end the chase whenever they roll 18 while rolling for a chase complication.

Finally, the most obvious way of ending any chase is for the participants to get bored or unwilling to continue. Guards will probably stop chasing minor criminals if they get outside the city gates (although they'll certainly keep watch for them coming back). An animal may end up completely exhausted, and collapse just as its hunters arrive. Chases are meant to be exciting - if they are becoming repetitive, the DM should find some other way to continue the story.

Exhaustion. In the chase rules in the Dungeon Master's Guide, players may make the Dash action a number of times equal to 3 + their Constitution modifier. After this, to continue dashing, the player must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution check, or gain one level of exhaustion. Given that players are always assumed to be dashing unless otherwise stated, this exhaustion mechanic is not included in these rules.

If you as a DM want to indicate that chases can be exhausting, you could include the following rule: Any participant may choose to gain one level of exhaustion, and reroll their Move Check immediately after resolving it. They keep all the bonuses and penalties (including advantage and disadvantage), and apply them to the second check. They must keep the second check. They may only gain one level of exhaustion each round in this manner.

Opportunity Attacks. All participants are assumed to be moving at such speeds that opportunity attacks from standby opponents is impossible. However, when a participants enters a track with opponents in it, they can use their reaction as attack of opportunity. If they choose so, their next Move check is at disadvantage.

Movement-based Abilities. Some creatures have abilities that require movement to activate. When deciding whether the conditions for these abilities have been met, assume that both (a) the creature has moved its full Speed during this turn, and (b) the creature and all other participants are moving in the direction of the chase. For example, a creature with an ability to deal additional damage on an attack if it has moved 15 ft. towards that creature on its turn will be able to use this ability if its Speed is more than 15 ft, assuming the other creature is within the same section as it.

Advantage on Move Checks. The rules described above in On Each Turn should be enough for most interactions with existing features that participating characters may have. However, if these rules are unclear, the principles for them are outlined as follows, so that DMs may decide how they should implement a Move Check for themselves.

In general, a move check assumes that the player is able to both move and dash once on their turn. In this situation, the player should have neither advantage nor disadvantage. If a player uses up their action doing something else, they cannot dash, and so have disadvantage. Likewise, if the player is prone, they will need to spend some of their movement standing up, and so will have disadvantage even though they can dash.

Conversely, a player that can dash as a bonus action will be able to dash twice during their turn. This should give them advantage. If a player uses their bonus action to dash, but their main action to make an attack, they have used only one dash and one move, so they again have neither advantage nor disadvantage.

Varying the Complication Table. The complications described in the table are designed to be as generic as possible, and should be applicable to jungles, caves, or cities. However, it may be that you want to vary it to be more suitable to your particular situation. In this case, I recommend looking at the tables in the Chases section of the Dungeon Master's Guide. Note, however, that the Complication Table used in this ruleset is designed using the probability curve created by rolling 3d6. That means that complications with lower numbers are significantly less likely, but significantly more dangerous if they do happen. The probability curve can be viewed here.

Disease

The world, for all its occasional beauty, is a filthy place. Monsters are not the only threat to your survival — plague and disease stalk the land, destroying villages and decimating cities. Sometimes the greatest threat is not the wild dragon nesting in the mountains — it's the small child with a bad cough and a runny nose.

What is a Disease?

A disease is some form of ongoing sickness that causes harm to your character — such as flu, chickenpox, or plague. Diseases become more severe over time, progressing through 4 stages — so try to stay healthy.

Below is an example disease: the common influenza. The effects listed are cumulative.


Influenza

Disease, Common · DC 10 ·2 days · Touch, Air


A harmless cough and a slight fever can quickly turn into something much more serious without bed rest.

Stage 1 You have a bad headache and a runny nose. Disadvantage to stealth and social situations.
Stage 2 Your entire body aches and your throat is sore. You have -1 STR, -1 CON, and -1 CHA.
Stage 3 You have a terrible fever and hallucinations. You cannot move under your own power.
Stage 4 Your internal organs fail and you die.
Cured You have an annoying cough for one week.

Adventuring is not a clean business. Filthy sewers, rabid animals, rusty swords — there are countless ways in which a person might contract a debilitating disease.

There are three basic steps to follow when dealing with disease: contact, incubation, and first symptoms.

Step 1. Contact

First, your character needs to come into contact with an active disease. There are four ways this might happen:

  • Direct Contact: You touch an infected person or diseased fluid — such as blood, sweat, or pus.
  • Indirect Contact: You touch something that has been contaminated with a diseased substance or fluid — a doorknob, a shared bed, a knife.
  • Bites: Something bites you—a fly, a tick, a leech — and injects the disease directly into your body.
  • Consumption: You eat or drink something that's been contaminated — foul water, moldy bread, rotten meat.

Once your character has come into contact with a contagious disease, there is a chance of infection—the incubation period automatically begins.

Step 2. Incubation

All diseases have an incubation period — a period of time where, infected or not, you display no symptoms. At this stage, you have no idea if you're actually infected yet — all you can do is wait and hope for the best.

Step 3. Infection

Once the initial incubation period has passed, it's time to see if your character was infected and starts displaying any symptoms. Make a Constitution saving throw against the DC of the disease—this is called an Infection check:

  • Success: You are not infected.
  • Failure: The disease has infected your body and you begin to display the first symptoms.

Wounds and Multiple Exposure

If you had any open wounds when you were exposed to the disease, or you were exposed multiple times, it's more likely you were infected — make your Infection check with Disadvantage.

Living with Disease

Once your disease starts to display symptoms, the battle has begun. A runny nose, a splitting headache, a horrid cough — you'll have to manage your symptoms as best you can while you fight back your illness.

Escalation

Periodically, your disease will try to attack your body and spread further. Each time the incubation period passes, make a Constitution saving throw to see if your disease changes — this is called an Escalation check:

  • Success: Your symptoms have peaked. Your disease improves by one step and goes into decline.
  • Failure: Your disease worsens by one step.
Degrees of Success

Critical success or failure impact the speed at which the disease spreads through your body.

  • Critical Success: Your disease improves by one step, goes into decline, and your next Escalation check happens in half the normal time.
  • Success: Your disease improves by one step and goes into decline.
  • Roll meet DC: Success at a cost. You must sacrifice a precious resource to help your immune system succeed—a healing potion, hit dice, a spell, a scroll.
  • Failure: Your disease worsens by one step.
  • Critical Failure: Your disease worsens by one step, and your next Escalation check happens in half the normal time.

First-Aid & Bed Rest

If you are treated with the appropriate first-aid, medicine, or bed rest during your illness, you can make your next Escalation check with Advantage.

Decline

Once your symptoms have peaked and gone into decline, you automatically succeed every subsequent Escalation check until the disease finally leaves your system.

Relapse: If you come into contact with the disease again, you risk a relapse. Your illness stops its decline — make your next saving throw as normal to see if your disease escalates.

Recovery

You have recovered from your disease — well done. However, some may leave lasting effects on your body — marks, scars, weakness—and you may also still be contagious to others at this point, so be careful.

Spreading Disease

Most diseases are highly contagious — once you have one, it's very easy to pass it on to someone else. There are two main ways you can pass on a disease while you are contagious: by touch and through air.

Touch

Your blood, sweat, and spit are rife with sickness. Anyone who makes physical contact with you while you are contagious risks infection. Things you touch with your bare skin—door handles, cutlery, tools — also become contaminated and remain so for an hour.

To avoid making accidental contact when touching you, a character can try rolling a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw—if they succeed, they knew how to avoid touching the most likely spots of contamination. Wearing gloves and other protective gear can also help defend against contamination.

Air

As you breathe, cough, and sneeze, the air around you becomes thick with sickness. Anyone that comes within 5ft of you is at risk of infection. Additionally, if you spend an hour in an enclosed room, it becomes contaminated and remains so until an hour after you leave — proper ventilation and thorough cleaning can help prevent this.

By wearing a face mask, you can minimise the spread of your airborne sickness by trapping coughs and spittle. However, wearing a basic mask or holding your breathe offers no protection against infection — disease is still able to infect you via your eyes and skin.

Becoming Contagious

You are contagious once your hit points are below a certain threshold—this represents you bleeding slightly, or breathing harder, or sweating more. The more severe the spread of your disease, the more of a risk you become to other people.

When you take damage, check the Spreading Disease table to see if you become contagious or not.

Spreading Disease
Severity Contagious
Stage 1 Less than 25% hit points remain
Stage 2 Less than 50% hit points remain
Stage 3 Less than 75% hit points remain
Stage 4 Always contagious

Death

If you die from a disease, your corpse becomes a breeding ground for your sickness. Your body remains contagious for the next week.

Noticing a Disease

Anyone who sees you coughing or throwing phlegm can make a Perception roll. If the signs of disease are hidden, they have a disadvantage. If their close relatives have suffered same disease, they have an advantage.

Consult the Diagnosing Disease table for DC for that roll.

Diagnosing a Disease

When you contract a disease, it's not always obvious what you have from the first symptoms alone. Many diseases share similar symptoms at the beginning—headaches, fevers, rashes—so you may want to get your sickness diagnosed to prevent any nasty surprises. To make a diagnosis, roll a Wisdom or Intelligence check against the rarity of the disease. Only characters trained in Medicine have the knowledge required to do this. A Healer's Kit will also prove useful.

Diagnosing Disease
Disease Rarity Description DC
Common A frequent occurrence 10
Rare Occurs sporadically with sudden outbreaks of contagion 20
Mythic A unique sickness or an extremely limited cause 30

Magical Healing

Magic is a great tool for healing the body, but it is not infallible. The body is a complicated machine and disease is a tricky monster—the bigger the monster, the more powerful the magic you need to tame it.

When you use a magic effect to remove a disease, the sickness is not immediately purged from the target's body. Your magic instead helps the target fight off the infection from within, forcing the disease into decline.

Magic Strength

Not all magic is powerful enough to fight every disease. When you are using a spell or effect to treat a disease, compare the spell level to the DC of the disease to see if it will have any impact.

Magic Strength
Spell Level Max DC Example
0-5 15 Lesser Restoration, Lay on Hands
6-8 25 Heal
9 30 Mass Heal

Magical Immunity

Some class features and abilities may grant your character immunity to diseases—such as a paladin's Divine Health. In these cases, your immunity is not always absolute—the strength of your resistance depends on the level of the effect.

Magical Immunity
Level Immunity
01-05 Diseases up to DC 15
06-10 Diseases up to DC 25
11-15 Diseases up to DC 30
16-20 All Diseases

Disease Compendium

There are many diseases out in the world—some a mild inconvenience, some an almost-certain death sentence. This section details a number of example diseases, and includes guidance on creating your vile illness with which to infect your world.

Creating a Disease

If you want to surprise your players with a sickness unique to your world, follow these steps to brew your own disease:

Step 1: Rarity

First, decide how well-known the disease is in your world—common, rare, or mythic. The more common the sickness, the easier it is to make a correct diagnosis.

Step 2: Difficulty

Next, decide how contagious the disease is. The higher the DC, the harder it is to resist the disease—use a small DC if you want characters to recover quickly.

Disease DC
Description DC
Easy to recover from, most people will only
be ill for a short time before they fight it off.
05 / 10
These disease hang around for a while, and
most people will need to consider bed rest
or some medicine to help them get better.
15/ 20
Almost impossible to recover from. Most
people have no chance at stopping this
disease and can only accept their fate.
25 / 30

Step 3: Incubation

Now choose how long the disease takes to escalate in severity. The longer the period, the longer it will be before any first symptoms start to show and the longer it will be a problem.

Step 4: Transmission

Next, pick how your disease is transmitted. Usually this is through touch or air, but there may be other triggers.

Step 5: Stages

Now it's time to decide on the specific effects of your disease. Every disease has 4 stages, each increasing in severity. Describe the physical effects, and assign a mechanical penalty of some kind. Effects are cumulative, so be careful not to assign too many effects at each step.

Here are some effects you might consider:

  • -2 to an ability modifier
  • -2 to all modifiers
  • Lose all your hit dice
  • Fall into a coma
  • Death
  • Advantage or Disadvantage on certain rolls
  • Vulnerability to certain damage
  • Gain a condition faster or slower
  • Lose all your hit dice

Step 6: Cure

Finally, decide on any lingering effects on recovery from the disease—scars, weakness, immunity, etc. This is a good way to leave a lasting mark on characters and NPCs—even recovery has a price.

Diseases at a Glance
Name Description Rarity DC Incubation Transmission
Bubonic Plague Horrible buboes spread across the body Rare 25 1 day Touch
Chickenpox Tiny, itchy spots spread across the body Common 20 2 days Touch, Air
Cholera Diarrhea and dehydration Common 10 1 day Touch (excrement)
Diphtheria A bad throat infection that can permanently scar the skin Rare 15 3 days Touch, Air
Dysentery Stomach cramps and vomiting Common 20 1 day Touch
Influenza Fatigue, headaches, and fever Common 10 2 days Touch, Air
Smallpox Large, pus-filled spots cover the body Rare 15 4 days Touch, Air
Stonescale The skin turns grey and cracked, and the mind turns feral Mythic 30 4 weeks Touch
Syphilis A persistent fever that eventually attacks the mind Common 25 4 weeks Touch (sore)
Tapeworm A parasite that feeds inside the body causing weight loss Common 15 1 week Touch (excrement)
Typhoid Fever A bad fever and diarrhea Common 15 1 week Touch (excrement)
Whooping Cough Coughing fits violent enough to break bone Common 15 1 week Air

Bubonic Plague

Disease, Rare · DC 25 ·1 day · Touch


Often mistaken for influenza at first, swollen buboes fast begin to mark the body. Without immediate aid, this disease is almost certainly a death sentence.

Stage 1 Your body aches and you have a slight fever. You have -2 to all ability modifiers.
Stage 2 Painful buboes appear around your arm, groin, and neck. You have Disadvantage on all rolls.
Stage 3 Your fever is extremely hot. You fall into a coma.
Stage 4 Your internal organs begin to fail. You die.
Cured Your body is scarred by the buboes.


Chickenpox

Disease, Common · DC 20 ·2 days · Touch, Air


Tiny, itchy spots that spread across your entire body. Very contagious, but not usually life-threatening.

Stage 1 You have a slight fever and feel weak. You have -2 STR and -2 DEX.
Stage 2 You have a few noticeable pox marks across your body, especially your torso. You have Disadvantage on all social checks.
Stage 3 You are covered in itchy spots. You have Disadvantage on any rolls that require prolonged concentration.
Stage 4 Your fever is burning hot. You have Disadvantage on all rolls.
Cured You have a few small scars from the pox. You are permanently immune to chickenpox.


Cholera

Disease, Common · DC 10 ·1 day · Touch (excrement)


One drink of bad water and you'll be curled up by the toilet for a week—unless you die from dehydration first.

Stage 1 You feel sick and nauseous, and eating food causes you to vomit. -2 DEX and -2 WIS.
Stage 2 You have diarrhea. -2 STR, -2 CHA, and you gain thirst at twice the normal rate.
Stage 3 You have lost noticeable weight, and your diarrhea becomes more severe. You are dehydrated and have Disadvantage on all rolls.
Stage 4 You body goes into shock from severe dehydration, and you die.
Cured You can't eat rich food for the next week without being sick.


Diphtheria

Disease, Rare · DC 15 ·3 days · Touch, Air


A nasty infection of the throat that can cause permanent scarring if it penetrates the skin.

Stage 1 You have a sore throat and a headache. You have -2 CHA and Disadvantage on any rolls that require prolonged concentration.
Stage 2 You have swollen glands in your neck and it's very painful to swallow. You have -2 STR and -2 DEX.
Stage 3 Large, painful ulcers appear on your skin. You have -2 CON and Disadvantage on all social checks.
Stage 4 Pus-filled blisters appear on your legs, hands, and feet. You have Disadvantage on all rolls.
Cured You have a few scars from your skin ulcers.


Dysentery

Disease, Common · DC 20 ·1 day · Touch (excrement)


Easy to catch and painful to endure, one sip of dirty water can be enough to ruin your whole week.

Stage 1 You suffer painful stomach cramps. You have Disadvantage on all saving throws.
Stage 2 You have a mighty need to use the restroom. You have -2 to all ability modifiers.
Stage 3 You can't keep any food down. Any attempt to each causes you to vomit shortly after. Gain thirst and fatigue at twice the normal rate.
Stage 4 Your body is too weak to stand. Your speed is reduced to 0.
Cured You can't eat rich food during the next week without being sick.


Influenza

Disease, Common · DC 10 ·2 days · Touch, Air


A harmless cough and a slight fever can quickly turn into something much more serious without bed rest.

Stage 1 You have a bad headache and a runny nose. Disadvantage to stealth and social situations.
Stage 2 Your entire body aches and your throat is sore. You have -1 STR, -1 CON, and -1 CHA.
Stage 3 You have a terrible fever and hallucinations. You cannot move under your own power.
Stage 4 Your internal organs fail and you die.
Cured You have an annoying cough for one week.


Smallpox

Disease, Rare · DC 15 ·4 days · Touch, Air


Tiny spots that quickly become large, painful blisters across your entire body. Pox scars are a nasty reminder.

Stage 1 You have a slight fever and feel weak. You have -2 STR and -2 DEX.
Stage 2 You have a persistent headache and have flat, red spots on your face, hands, and forearms. You have -2 INT, -2 WIS, and -2 CON.
Stage 3 Your spots become large, painful, pus-filled blisters that burst when touched roughly. You have Disadvantage on all rolls.
Stage 4 Your fever is extremely hot. You fall in a coma.
Cured You have severe scars from the pox. You are immune to smallpox for 10 years.


Chickenpox

Disease, Common · DC 20 ·2 days · Touch, Air


Tiny, itchy spots that spread across your entire body. Very contagious, but not usually life-threatening.

Stage 1 You have a slight fever and feel weak. You have -2 STR and -2 DEX.
Stage 2 You have a few noticeable pox marks across your body, especially your torso. You have Disadvantage on all social checks.
Stage 3 You are covered in itchy spots. You have Disadvantage on any rolls that require prolonged concentration.
Stage 4 Your fever is burning hot. You have Disadvantage on all rolls.
Cured You have a few small scars from the pox. You are permanently immune to chickenpox.


Stonescale

Disease, Mythic · DC 30 ·1 day · Touch


As your skin turns grey and cracked, your mind decays to that of a wild animal. Kill them before they kill you.

Stage 1 The skin around your eyes turns noticeably grey. You have Disadvantage on social checks.
Stage 2 Your skin is grey and cracked. Movement is painful. You have -2 to all ability modifiers.
Stage 3 You become very forgetful and increasingly aggressive. You have Advantage on all STR rolls, and Disadvantage on all INT, WIS, and CHA rolls.
Stage 4 You have completely lost your mind and become a wild, raging beast.
Cured Your skin is permanently marked with stonescale. You are immune to stonescale.

Tapeworm

Disease, Common · DC 15 ·1 week · Touch (excrement)


Tiny parasites that hide away in rotten meat and excrement. Watch what you eat, else you'll get eaten.

Stage 1 You always seem to be hungry. You gain hunger at twice the normal rate.
Stage 2 You have lost a significant amount of weight. You have -2 CON and -2 STR.
Stage 3 You suffer from terrible headaches and occasional memory loss. You have -2 INT and -2 WIS.
Stage 4 The parasites have reached your brain. You fall into a coma and die.
Cured You have a fragile stomach for one week.

Typhoid Fever

Disease, Common · DC 15 ·1 week · Touch (excrement)


Sometimes it's better to go thirsty than take a drink of filthy water. Don't risk it—boil it.

Stage 1 You have a fever, a persistent headache, and frequent nosebleeds. You have -2 to all modifiers.
Stage 2 Your fever is very high and you are easily exhausted. Flat red spots appear on your skin. You gain fatigue at twice the rate.
Stage 3 Your stomach hurts and you suffer frequent diarrhea. You gain thirst at twice the rate and have Disadvantage to all social checks.
Stage 4 Your fever is burning hot and you are delirious. You cannot move or act on your own power.
Cured You feel fragile for the next week.

Whooping Cough

Disease, Common · DC 15 ·1 week · Air


Fits of violent coughing followed by a "whooping" inhale of breathe—and sometimes, broken ribs.

Stage 1 You have a mild cough. You have Disadvantage on any rolls that require prolonged concentration.
Stage 2 You cough in loud, uncontrollable fits followed by a gasping inhale. You have -2 STR and -2 DEX.
Stage 3 Your coughing fits are violent enough to cause vomiting, and you cannot sleep easily. You have Disadvantage on all rolls and gain fatigue at twice the normal rate.
Stage 4 Your cough is so violent you have broken ribs. You have 0 hit dice and cannot move without immense pain..
Cured You have an annoying cough for the next week.


Unearthed Arcana

Downtime is expanded version of the
official Unearthed Arcana rules..

Downtime

In a typical campaign, it’s possible for the characters to start at 1st level, dive into an epic story, and reach 10th level and beyond in a short amount of time. While that pace works fine for many campaigns, some DMs prefer a campaign with pauses built into it—times when adventurers do things other than go on adventures.


By introducing downtime activities that take weeks, months, or even years of effort, you can give your campaign a longer timeline that allows events in the world to play out over the course of years. Wars begin and end, tyrants come and go, and royal lines rise and fall over the course of an entire lifetime of adventure.The downtime rules also provide ways for characters to spend the monetary treasure they amass on their adventures.

The Basics

The downtime system allows characters to pursue long-term activities between game sessions. A character selects a downtime activity and pays the cost of that activity in time and money. You, as DM, then follow the rules for the activity to resolve it, informing the player of the results and any complications that ensue.

Choosing an Activity

As DM, you should present the players with a list of activities they can pursue. These activities work for characters of any level. The activities you allow depend on your campaign and the nature of the area where the characters are.

For example, you might disallow the creation of magic items, or decide that the characters are in a town that is too isolated from major markets for them to buy such items. You decide which activities are available, not the players.

Consider handling downtime away from the game table. For example, you could have the players pick their activities at the end of a session, by email or text, or when you next see them in person.

Resolving Activities

Each activity tells you how to resolve it. Many require a check, so be sure to note the character’s bonuses as needed. Follow the steps in the activity and determine the results.Most activities require a workweek (5 days) or more to complete. Some activities require days, weeks (7 days apiece), or months (30 days apiece). A character must spend 8 hours of each day engaged in the downtime activity for that day to count toward the activity’s completion. The days don’t need to be consecutive.

If you want multiple weeks to pass in the campaign world between sessions, report back the results of any downtime activities and ask for each character’s next moves. Otherwise, you can send out the results to each player by text or email, or catch the players up at the start of the next session.

If an activity requires some decisions, you can have the players decide either before the next session or at the start of it. Some DMs like to focus on the activity, but for some groups it’s a good idea to let the players talk things out, so long as it doesn’t drag out and eat up too much time at the game table.

Complications

Each activity includes complications you can throw at the characters. Complications are meant to add flavor, depth, and drama to the campaign. They might spawn entire adventures, introduce NPCs who vex the party, and give the characters headaches as they try to navigate the politics and social network of the community they’re in.

In general, there is a 10 percent chance that a given activity has a complication. You can use them more or less often, depending on what you feel is best for your campaign.

Foils & NPCs

Complications can also come from the party’s Foils (p. 70). In the complication table for an activity, the options that are most likely to involve a foil are marked with an asterisk [*].

Basic Lifestyle

Lifestyle expenses provide you with a simple way to account for the cost of living in a fantasy world. They cover your accommodations, food and drink, and all your other necessities.

Furthermore, expenses cover the cost of maintaining your equipment so you can be ready when adventure next calls.

At the start of each week or month (your choice), choose a lifestyle from the Expenses table and pay the price to sustain that lifestyle. The prices listed are per day, so if you wish to calculate the cost of your chosen lifestyle over a thirty-day period, multiply the listed price by 30.

Your lifestyle might change from one period to the next, based on the funds you have at your disposal, or you might maintain the same lifestyle throughout your character’s career.

Your lifestyle choice can have consequences. Maintaining a wealthy lifestyle might help you make contacts with the rich and powerful, though you run the risk of attracting thieves.

Likewise, living frugally might help you avoid criminals, but you are unlikely to make powerful connections.

Weekly Lifestyle Expenses
Lifestyle Expenses Taxes Entertainment
Wretched 5 cp
Squalid 1 sp 1 sp
Poor 2 sp 2 sp
Modest 1 gp 1 sp 5 sp
Comfortable 2 gp 2 sp 1 gp
Wealthy 4 gp 8 sp 3 gp
Aristocratic 10+ gp 3 gp 10+ gp

Wretched. You live in inhumane conditions. With no place to call home, you shelter wherever you can, sneaking into barns, huddling in old crates, and relying on the good graces of people better off than you. A wretched lifestyle presents abundant dangers. Violence, disease, and hunger follow you wherever you go. Other wretched people covet your armor, weapons, and adventuring gear, which represent a fortune by their standards. You are beneath the notice of most people.

Every week spent in this lifestyle, there is 15% chance for a misfortune or tragic event in your life.

Poverty Misfortunes
d12 Misfortune
1 Cult. Became involved with a religious cult.
2-3 Addiction. Be it drugs, alcohol or gambling.
4-5 Beaten. You run into thugs who beat you down.
6 Involved. You become accomplice in a petty crime.
7-8 Indentured. Bad luck left you with a debt to be paid off by labor.
9 Impoverished. You have lost your last few belongings.
10+ Prison. Situation led to 1d4 weeks of incarceration.

Squalid. You live in a leaky stable, a mud-floored hut just outside town, or a vermin-infested boarding house in the worst part of town. You have shelter from the elements, but you live in a desperate and often violent environment, in places rife with disease, hunger, and misfortune.

You are beneath the notice of most people, and you have few legal protections. Most people at this lifestyle level have suffered some terrible setback. They might be disturbed, marked as exiles, or suffer from disease.

Every week spent in this lifestyle, there is 10% chance for a misfortune or tragic event in your life.

Poor. A poor lifestyle means going without the comforts available in a stable community.

Simple food and lodgings, threadbare clothing, and unpredictable conditions result in a sufficient, though probably unpleasant, experience. Your accommodations might be a room in a flophouse or in the common room above a tavern. You benefit from some legal protections, but you still have to contend with violence, crime, and disease. People at this lifestyle level tend to be unskilled laborers, costermongers, peddlers, thieves, mercenaries, and other disreputable types.

Every week spent in this lifestyle, there is 5% chance for a misfortune or tragic event in your life.

Modest. A modest lifestyle keeps you out of the slums and ensures that you can maintain your equipment. You live in an older part of town, renting a room in a boarding house, inn, or temple.

You don't go hungry or thirsty, and your living conditions are clean, if simple. Ordinary people living modest lifestyles include soldiers with families, laborers, students, priests, hedge wizards, and the like.

Comfortable. Choosing a comfortable lifestyle means that you can afford nicer clothing and can easily maintain your equipment. You live in a small cottage in a middle-class neighborhood or in a private room at a fine inn. You associate with merchants, skilled tradespeople, and military officers.

Wealthy. Choosing a wealthy lifestyle means living a life of luxury, though you might not have achieved the social status associated with the old money of nobility or royalty. You live a lifestyle comparable to that of a highly successful merchant, a favored servant of the royalty, or the owner of a few small businesses.

You have respectable lodgings, usually a spacious home in a good part of town or a comfortable suite at a fine inn. You likely have a small staff of servants.

Aristocratic. You live a life of plenty and comfort. You move in circles populated by the most powerful people in the community. You have excellent lodgings, perhaps a townhouse in the nicest part of town or rooms in the finest inn. You dine at the best restaurants, retain the most skilled and fashionable tailor, and have servants attending to your every need. You receive invitations to the social gatherings of the rich and powerful, and spend evenings in the company of politicians, guild leaders, high priests, and nobility.

You must also contend with the highest levels of deceit and treachery. The wealthier you are, the greater the chance you will be drawn into political intrigue as a pawn or participant.

Buying a Magic Item

Purchasing a magic item requires time and money to contact people willing to sell items. Even then, there is no guarantee they will have the desired items.

Resources

Finding magic items to purchase requires one workweek of effort and 100 gp minimum in expenses. Spending more time and money increases your chance of finding a high-quality item.

Resolution

A character seeking to buy a magic item makes a Charisma (Persuasion) check to determine the quality of seller found. The character gains a +1 bonus for every workweek beyond the first spent seeking a seller and a +1 bonus for every 100 gp spent on the search. The total bonus for time and money spent can’t be greater than +10.

As shown on the Buying Magic Items table, the total of the check dictates which table in the Dungeon Master’s Guide to roll on to determine which items are on the market.

Using the Magic Item Price table, you then assign prices to the available items, based on their rarity. Halve the price of any consumable item—such as a potion or a scroll—when using the table to determine an asking price.

You have final say in determining which items are for sale and their final price, no matter what the tables say.

If the characters seek a specific magic item, first decide if it’s an item you want to allow in the game. If so, include the item among the offerings if it appears on a table that the result allows you to roll on.

Buying Magic Items
Total Result
1–5 Roll 1d6 times on Magic Item Table A.
6–10 Roll 1d4 times on Magic Item Table B.
11–15 Roll 1d4 times on Magic Item Table C.
16–20 Roll 1d4 times on Magic Item Table D.
21–25 Roll 1d4 times on Magic Item Table E.
26–30 Roll 1d4 times on Magic Item Table F.
31–35 Roll 1d4 times on Magic Item Table G.
36–40 Roll 1d4 times on Magic Item Table H.
41+ Roll 1d4 times on Magic Item Table I.
Buying Magic Items
Total Result
Common (1d6 + 1) × 10 gp
Uncommon 1d6 × 100 gp
Rare 2d10 × 1,000 gp
Very rare (1d4 + 1) × 10,000 gp
Legendary 2d6 × 25,000 gp

Complications

The magic item trade is fraught with dangers. The large sums of money involved, and the power offered by a magic item, attract thieves, con artists, and other villains. If you want to make things more interesting for the characters, roll on the Magic Item Purchase Complications table or invent your own complication.

Magic Item Purchase Complications
d12 Complication
1* The item is a fake, planted by an enemy.
2* The item is stolen by the party’s enemies.
3 The item is cursed by a god.
4* The item’s original owner will kill to reclaim it; the party’s enemies spread news of its sale.
5 The item is at the center of a dark prophecy.
6* The seller is murdered before the sale.
7 The seller is a devil looking to make a bargain.
8 The item is the key to freeing an evil entity.
9* A third party bids on the item, doubling its price.
10 The item is an enslaved, intelligent entity.
11 The item is tied to a cult.
12* The party’s enemies spread rumors that the item is an artifact of evil.

Carousing

Carousing is a good default downtime activity for most characters. Between adventures, who doesn’t want to relax with a few drinks and a group of friends at the local pub?

Resources

Carousing covers a workweek of fine food, strong drink, and socializing. A character can attempt to carouse among lower-, middle-, or upper-class folk. A character can carouse with the lower class for 25 gp to cover expenses, or 100 gp for the middle class. Carousing with the upper class requires 500 gp for the workweek and access to the local nobility.

Resolution

After a workweek of carousing, a character stands to make contacts within the selected social class. The character makes a Charisma (Persuasion) check using the Carousing table.

Carousing
Total Result
1–5 Character has made a hostile contact.
6–10 No effect results.
11–15 Character has made an allied contact.
16–20 Character has made two allied contacts.
21+ Character has made three allied contacts.

Contacts are NPCs who now share a bond with the character. Each one owes the character a favor or has some reason to bear a grudge. A hostile one works against the character, placing obstacles but stopping short of committing a crime or violence. Allied contacts are friends who will render aid to the character, but will not risk their lives. A contact provides help once, not help for life.

A harmful contact might point the town guard in the character’s direction or argue with a character who tries to rally the town to a cause. Helpful contacts stand by the character and help in any way possible.

Low-class contacts include criminals, laborers, mercenaries, the town guard, and any other folk who would frequent the cheapest taverns in town.

Middle-class contacts include guild members, spellcasters, town officials, and other folk who would frequent more upscale establishments.

Upper-class contacts are nobles and their direct servants. Carousing covers formal banquets, state dinners, and such.

You can assign specific NPCs as contacts. You might decide that the barkeep at the Wretched Gorgon and a guard stationed at the western gate are the character’s allied contacts. Assigning specific NPCs gives the players concrete options. It brings the campaign to life and seeds the area with NPCs that the characters care about. On the other hand, it can prove difficult to track and might render a contact useless if it doesn’t come into play.

Alternatively, you can allow the player to make an NPC a contact on the spot, after carousing. The player should provide a reasonable explanation for this relationship and work it into the game.

A character can have a number of unspecified allied contacts at a time no higher than 1 + the character’s Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

Drinking

Each drink has an alcohol score. Beer has factor of 1, while Dragon Water has factor of 3. For each round of drinks you have, roll a Constitution saving throw against DC 8 + sum of accumulated alcohol from this and all rounds so far. Each time you fail a saving throw, your level of drunkenness increases by one and you gain the corresponding effect.

Drunkenness
Level Effect
0 Sober. Whatever you have drunk isn’t effecting you yet.
1 Tipsy. Gain advantage on Charisma based checks and saving throws.
2 Buzzed. Take disadvantage on all Dexterity based checks and saving throws. Gain advantage on all Strength based checks and saving throws.
3 Drunk. You have disadvantage on all attack rolls, while you believe you have advantage instead. On the next day, you suffer 1 level of Exhaustion.
4 Black Out. No memory of events during this phase. Gain the Poisoned condition. On the next day you suffer 2 levels of Exhaustion.
5 Passed Out. Gain the Unconscious condition. For the whole next day you suffer the Poisoned condition.

Complications

Characters who carouse risk bar brawls, accumulating a cloud of nasty rumors, and building a bad reputation around town. As a rule of thumb, there is a 10 percent chance that a character triggers a complication for each week of carousing.

Low-Class Carousing Complications
d10 Complication
1* A pickpocket lifts 1d10 × 10 gp from you.
2* A bar brawl leaves you with a scar.
3 You have fuzzy memories of doing something very, very illegal, but can’t remember exactly what.
4* You are banned from a tavern for obnoxious behavior.
5 After a few drinks, you swore in the town square to pursue a dangerous quest.
6 Surprise! You’re married.
7 Streaking naked through the streets seemed like a great idea at the time.
8* Everyone is calling you by some weird, embarrassing nickname, like Puddle Drinker or Bench Slayer, and no one will say why.
9 Sure, you were drunk when you agreed to fund the orphanage, but a contract is a contract.
10 You don’t know how your hair turned blue, but you think it should grow out to its normal color. Maybe.
Middle-Class Carousing Complications
d8 Complication
1* You accidentally insult a guild master, and only a public apology will let you do business there again.
2 You swore to complete some quest on behalf of a temple or guild.
3* A social gaffe has made you the talk of the town.
4* A particularly obnoxious person has taken an intense romantic interest in you.
5* You have made a rival out of a local spellcaster.
6 You have been recruited to help run a local festival, play, or similar event.
7 You made a drunken toast that scandalized the locals.
8 You spent an additional 100 gp trying to impress people.
Upper-Class Carousing Complications
d8 Complication
1* A pushy noble family wants to marry off one of their scions to you.
2 You tripped and fell during a dance, and people can’t stop talking about it.
3 You have agreed to take on a noble’s debts.
4* You have been challenged to a joust by a knight.
5* You have made a rival out of a local noble.
6 A boring noble insists you visit each day and listen to long, tedious theories of magic.
7* You have become the target of a variety of embarrassing rumors.
8 You spent an additional 500 gp trying to impress people.

Crime

Sometimes it pays to be bad. This activity gives a character the chance to make some extra cash, at the risk of arrest.

Resources

A crime spree requires a character to spend one week and at least 25 gp gathering information on potential targets, and then committing the crime.

Resolution

Depending on the location of the crime and the protection provided, all crime checks are made against a Risk DC value, and rewards are multiplied by Reward Die result.

Protection Level
Risk Reward Location
10 1d4 Village relying on voluntarily militia.
12 1d6 Small town with struggling city watch
15 1d10 Large town with well funded city guards
18 2d6 Large city with military used to guard.
20 2d10 Metropolis under strict martial law

Each crime is associated with two skill checks, tool checks or attack roll. To start the crime, player must make each of the two rolls and records the order of successes and failures. He can then choose to repeat the two checks again, claim the result or cancel the crime. To claim the result, he must finish it with player’s choice check of Intelligence (Investigation), Wisdom (Perception), or Charisma (Deception).

Number of successes decide the scale of the crime: you can earn gold, but also magic items, allied and harmful contacts that the DM can introduce later. Number and consecutive order of failures determines tragic outcomes that can land your character in prison or even worse.

If a roll is an exceptional success (beats the DC by 10 or more), choose one: the next roll gains advantage; or remove last failure. Critical success counts as two successes. Critical failure counts as two failures.

Robbery (Stealth, Intimidation)
Successes Crime
1 Reward x 5 gp; robbery of a struggling worker
2 Reward x 15 gp; robbery of a rich merchant
3 Reward x 50 gp; robbery of a influential noble
Thievery (Stealth, Thieves' Tools)
Successes Crime
1 10 gp, personal items, basic weapons and armor; thievery in a common man's house.
2 25 gp, masterwork weapon or armor, or common magic items; thievery in a shop
5 200gp, magic weapon or armor, or uncommon or better (up to DM's discretion) magic item; thievery of a local priest or wizard house.
7 1000gp, unique artifact, rare or legendary magic item; thievery of a legendary person.
Assassination (Stealth, Attack Roll)
Special: If caight, you always get the death penalty.
Successes Crime
1 Reward x 15 gp, kill a indebted merchant
3 Reward x 30 gp, kill of a marked operative
5 Reward x 1500 gp, kill a noble or local leader
Blackmail (Intimidation, Persuasion)
Special: Every two failed rolls become a harmful contact.
Successes Crime
2 Reward x 20 gp, shops and inns racket
4 Reward x 200 gp, blackmail local nobles
6 Reward x 1500 gp, shake an authority figure
Distribution (Stealth, Sleight of Hand)
Special: Every two successes grant an allied contact among the social group decided by the final level of the crime.
Successes Crime
1 Reward x 5 gp, selling to poor and workers
2 Reward x 25 gp, selling to rich and nobles
4 Reward x 100 gp, selling to local authority
Forgery (Perception, Forgery Kit)
Special: If you get caught and you have 3 or more successes, you always get the death penalty.
Successes Crime
2 Reward x 15 gp, and you can fake one signature of a merchant in a false contract
4 Reward x 150 gp, and you can fake one writ by local authority, or one contract among nobles
6 Reward x 1500 gp, and you can fake one local leader's, general's or even the king's order
Con Job (Deception, Persuasion)
Special: If you make two successes in a row, you can remove one failure if you have one.
Successes Crime
3 You must spend Reward x 10 gp, but you integrate a tradesman or merchant family of your choice and receive inside information.
5 You must spend Reward x 25 gp, but you integrate a noble family or exclusive organization. You receive inside information and can use their influence to simple tasks.
8 You must spend Reward x 250 gp, but you integrate the local authority or criminal organization of your choice. You are perceived as representative of higher power, and can receive inside information and use their influence to aid your complex plans.
Pimping (Insight, Intimidation)
Special: You must own or attract 1d4 escorts, paying each a week's worth for their lifestyle. Any two failures cause one of them to be harmed and put out of business. Your crime ends when all your escort are unable to work.
Special: Every two successes grant an allied contact. Every failed roll becomes a harmful contact.
Successes Crime
1 Reward x 5 gp, for dregs and criminals
2 Reward x 20 gp, for merchant and tradesmen
5 Reward x 300 gp, for noble and men of power
Bully The Weak (Intimidation, Attack Roll)
Special: Every two failures in a row attract a protector of the oppressed, an NPC of one or two levels higher than yours. You must fight that protector. If you manage to escape, your crime ends. If you are defeated, you're caught.
Special: Every two successes earn you a harmful contact, but also raise your renown towards organization who opress the people you are bullying.
Successes Crime
1 Reward x 3 gp, harming children and women
2 Reward x 10 gp, harming younger, weaker men
3 Reward x 30 gp, harming leaders of the group

Accomplices

Others may help the criminal in his act. If the DM allows, other player can make one or several crime checks instead of the criminal, or use the Help action to give him advantage. However, that they become accomplices in his act and if the crime results in the criminal being caught, they share the same fate.

Complications

A life of crime is filled with complications. Every failure on a crime check represents a mistake that compromises the plan, a contact that snitches you to the authorities, a disgruntled customer, or unforeseen circumstances you could not plan ahead. When you accumulate three failures, the crime is over.

If you make two failures in a row, you are caught. The DM decides whether you are caught by the victim during the act, the authorities, or someone else. Penalty depends on the number of successes or the special nature of the crime.

Successes Penalty
0-1 Pay Reward x 10 gp or spend the week in jail.
2 Pay Reward x 50 gp or 1d4 months in jail.
3 Pay Reward x 150 gp or 3d8 months in jail.
4 Pay Reward x 500 gp or 2d4 years in jail.
5 Lose finger or hand, or spend 3d6 years in jail.
6+ You get the death penalty in 2d4 days.

Even if you never get caught and the crime is successful, or you cancel the crime before it gets too risky, there are still unwanted complications that leave a trace behind your act. Every failure on a crime check gives 5 percent possibility for a complication.

Crime Complications
d12 Complication
1* A bounty equal to your earnings is offered for information about your crime.
2* An unknown person contacts you, threatening to reveal your crime if you don’t render a service.
3 Your victim or its relatives are financially ruined by your crime.
4* Someone who knows of your crime has been arrested on an unrelated crime.
5 Your loot is a single, easily identified item that you can’t fence in this region.
6 You harmed someone who was under a local crime lord’s protection, and who now wants revenge.
7 Your victim or its relatives calls in a favor from a guard, doubling the efforts to solve the case.
8 Your victim or its relatives approach one of your adventuring companions to solve the crime.
9* A paladin or cleric of justice swears to avenge your act of crime.
10* Your victim had a heart of gold; everyone in town is looking for you, the thieving scumbag.
11* The victim was the only one standing against a great evil endangering the community, now can't do so.
12 The local authority use your crime as an excuse to issue a tyrannical act or martial law.

Gain Renown

Many clubs, societies and other organizations allow you to curry their favour in return for special benefits and abilities. After meeting a specific requirement like completing an objective set by the group you may cement your relationship with them by spending downtime performing simple tasks, carrying out business or socializing.

After meeting the requirement listed to achieve the next renown rank in your organization, you must gain a number Renown points equal to the new rank to reach the higher rank. For example, if you were rank 4 in a society, you would need to gain 5 Renown points to reach the next rank.

Resolution

Every week, the player must make a series of checks, with a DC equal to 8 + the rank you are trying to attain. The character makes three checks: Wisdom (Insight), Wisdom (Perception), and Charisma (Persuasion). Consult the Gain Renown Results table to see how the character does.

Gain Renown Results
Successes Result
0 No Renown points and you suffer a renown complication. If this happens two weeks in a row, lose all Renown points gained towards the next rank.
1 Choose one: no Renown points; or one Renown point and you gain one harmful contact in the organization.
2 One Renown point.
3 One Renown point and choose one: you gain another Renown point; or you gain one allied contact in the organization.

Complications

Climbing up the ladder of influence and power always attracts intrigue and schemes. Usually there's 10 percent chance for complication unless you have a week of no successes which guarantees you experience one.

Gain Renown Complications
d12 Complication
1 Your closest contact in the organization becomes a victim of a plot. You are among the suspects.
2 Information you worked hard to acquire turns to be a trap, and someone was harmed because of it.
3* Someone is spreading false rumors about your private life. They alienate people from you.
4 You are forced to show subordination or servility before other people's judging looks.
5* Your loyalty is being questioned among high ranks. You need to prove yourself, or lose trust.
6* One of your allied contacts desired to get in the organization. You will lose them if you refuse.
7* You are asked to take into hiding one of fellow members, hunted by enemies or your own people.
8 You are tasked to carry one extremely precious item, making you a target to enemy plots to seize it.
9 One of the higher ranks members has a romantic relationship with you, that you can't refuse to.
10 A child of the highest rank official has a grudge with you, and wants to make your life a living hell.
11 The organization has rare opportunity to put someone expendable in risky position - it's you!
12* Another organization makes you an offer to betray your brethren for great wealth and favor.

Gambling

Games of chance are a way to make a fortune, but perhaps a better way to lose one.

Resources

This activity requires one workweek of effort from a character, plus the character must risk at least 100 gp, to a maximum of 1,000 gp, unless you decide that gambling is a big enough business to support larger wagers.

Resolution

The player must make a series of checks, with a DC determined at random based on the quality of the opposition that the character runs into. Part of the risk of gambling is that you never know who might end up sitting across the table from you.

The character makes three checks: Wisdom (Insight), Charisma (Deception), and Charisma (Intimidation). The DC is 5 + 2d10, generating a separate DC for each check. Consult the Gambling Results table to see how the character does.

Gambling Results
Successes Gambling Result
0 Lose all the money you bet, plus accrue a debt equal to that amount.
1 Lose half the money you bet.
2 Gain one-and-a-half times the amount you bet.
3 Gain double the amount you bet.

Cheating

In gambling, cheating is part of the game as long as you don't get caught. You may attempt to cheat at games with loaded dice, hidden ace, counting marked cards or any other way.

Every time you cheat during a week of downtime, you must roll Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) and Charisma (Deception) against DC 8 + 5 for each cheat attempt during the same week of downtime. If you get two successes, roll 2d4 and add the result to your next Gambling check. If you get only one success, roll and add 1d4 instead. If you get no successes, you're caught. Your Gambling downtime is cancelled and you lose your investment. DM may rule that your character learns a painful lesson, that may have him harmed, imprisoned, or driven out of the current settlement.

Other characters may Help the cheater and grant him advantage on the cheater roll but if he is caught, they suffer the same treatment.

Complications

Gambling tends to draw a variety of unsavory characters. The potential complications involved in it come from run-ins with the law and various criminals tied to it.

Gambling Complications
d10 Complication
1* You are accused of cheating. You decide whether you actually did or were framed.
2* The town guard raids the gambling hall and throws you in jail.
3 You accrue a debt during the game, one that your opponent insists you pay by taking on a task.
4* A noble in town loses badly to you and loudly vows to get revenge.
5 You won a sum from a low-ranking member of a thieves’ guild, and the guild wants its money back.
6 A local crime lord insists you start frequenting the lord’s gambling parlor and no others.
7 You have a reputation for good luck, leading other gamblers to hound you to team up.
8 A high-stakes gambler comes to town and insists that you take part in a game.
9 A skilled gambler appreciates your skill so much, he falls in love with you - and he's the wrong gender!
10 Your skill and fame makes people envious of your success. Nothing you do can change their minds.

Mustering

You reach out through official channels of authority as well as personal contacts and connections in order to assemble an army on extremely short notice, including quartermasters, logistical officers, and unit leaders. Your reputation and level of renown will drastically affect the kind of army you can assemble.

In order to muster an army, you must have obtained some level of authority to do so, depending on your level:

Levels 1-4. You must have obtained permission from a local figure of authority, or have the soldier background. If you muster among members of an organization, you must have Rank 6 or higher in that organization. If you have an official ttile or lands, you can roll on the Mustering (Level 5-10) table instead, as if you were level 5.

Levels 5-10. You must have obtained permission from a ruler of the land, or have a title and lands or other position of high authority. If you muster among members of an organization, you must have Rank 8 or higher in that organization. If you are the ruler of a nation, you may roll on the Mustering (Level 11-16) table instead as if you were level 11.

Levels 11-20. At this point, your reputation and accomplishments are all you need to attract fighting force, but other figures of power may not take kindly to the threat your army poses, or having so much of their populace leave their work and flock to your side. If you muster among members of an organization, you must have Rank 9 or higher in that organization.

For each day you spend mustering, you spend 5 x Your Level in gold pieces and roll on the Mustering Table for your level. You can spend up to 10 days mustering an army before the collected force loses heart, demands battle, or otherwise threatens to disbands. At the end of the period you must be able to pay your army and lead it toward battle.

Once you have finished mustering your army, you must ensure that every soldier receives initial pay equal to what they make in a month, according to whether they are skilled or unskilled hirelings.

Unskilled Soldiers. These are men from all walks of life, from peasants to criminals who want to escape the dreg of life and taste the glorious promise of battle. They are untrained in combat, no tactical knowledge and basic skill in wielding weapon. They are considered Level 1, with one in ten who might be Level 2 or 3. They come from poor Lifestyles (from Wretched to occasionally Modest) and would join you army if paid 4 gp per person in initial pay, and 2 gp per week of service. If not paid for two weeks, they would start to disband unless their life is threatened by same number of skilled soldiers.

Skilled Soldiers. These are men who have seen the brutality of war and it has left a mark on them. These are veterans who lust to taste war again, or soldiers who find themselves unable to accomodate to civil life. They are well trained in combat, have the discipline to follow orders and report curtly, have a sense for loyalty and subordination to their leader. They are considered Level 3, with one in ten who might be Level 4 to 6. They come from modest Lifestyles (from Poor to Comfortable) and would join your army if paid 10 gp per person in initial pay, and 4 gp per week of service. If not paid for a month, they will start to disband silently.

Mustering (Level 1-4)
1d4
+Level
Result
2 Nothing.
3 1 Unskilled Soldier
4 5 Unskilled Soldiers
5+ 1 Skilled Soldier or 10 Unskilled Soldiers
Mustering (Level 5-10)
1d4
+Level
Result
6 5 Unskilled Soldiers
7 1 Skilled Soldier or 10 Unskilled Soldiers
8 2 Skilled Soldiers or 20 Unskilled Soldiers
9-10 5 Skilled Soldiers or 20 Unskilled Soldiers
11-14 10 Skilled Soldiers or 100 Unskilled Soldiers
Mustering (Level 11-16)
1d4
+Level
Result
12 5 Skilled Soldiers or 50 Unskilled Soldiers
13 10 Skilled Soldiers or 100 Unskilled Soldiers
14 20 Skilled Soldiers or 200 Unskilled Soldiers
15-16 50 Skilled Soldiers or 500 Unskilled Soldiers
17-20 100 Skilled Soldiers, 1,000 Unskilled Soldiers, or one intelligent monster of CR 7 or lower
Mustering (Level 17-20)
1d4
+Level
Result
18 100 Skilled Soldiers, 1,000 Unskilled Soldiers, or one intelligent monster of CR 7 or lower
19 200 Skilled Soldiers, 2,000 Unskilled Soldiers, or one intelligent monster of CR 10 or lower
20 500 Skilled Soldiers, 5,000 Unskilled Soldiers, or one intelligent monster of CR 15 or lower
21-24 1000 Skilled Soldiers, 10,000 Unskilled Soldiers, or one intelligent monster of CR 20 or lower

Perform Sacred Rites

You may devote a week of downtime to performing selfless activities specific to your character's religious or ethical philosophy. Examples include volunteering time to perform charitable works, perform restorative magic to the needy, assisting members of congregation, meditation and prayer.

You receive no payment for your services however you gain allied contacts and your deity may approve of your dedication in unfathomable ways. You may heal a legendary adventurer, calm the mental troubles of a transgressed paladin, or guide a noble to make the right decision.

Player chooses what kind of sacred rites to perform, and the DM may require that the character also invests small to moderate sum of money and assets to perform them. The assets may include up to 1d4 x 50 gold pieces as charitable donations, material components for magic, or other means.

To perform sacred rites, the player makes three checks using any of these skills: Intelligence (Arcana), Intelligence (Religion), Wisdom (Medicine), Wisdom (Insight), Charisma (Persuasion), or Charisma (Performance) against DC 12.

Consult the Perform Sacred Rites Results table to see how the character does.

Perform Sacred Rites
Successes Result
0 You experience a complication.
1 You perform your duties, but get no recognition from the people you helped.
2 Your rites are recognized, and you gain one allied contact you've helped.
3 Your rites are recognized by both people and your deity. You gain one allied contact you've helped. You gain one Inspiration Point separate from the party that you can spend normally, including to ask divine favor from your deity.

Complications

Performing your sacred duties is usually peaceful activity that may have 5 percent of causing a complication when performed alone, and 10 percent when performed among others in public manner. However if you got no successes on your checks, you are guaranteed to have one.

Sacred Rites Complications
d10 Complication
1 Your god decides to question your faith. He will test you through harsh tribulation.
2* Your rites attract the attention of leaders of enemy religion that want to drive you out.
3 Members of your faith detect a blasphemy in your actions. You must prove them otherwise.
4 You are envied by fellow believers, and they will pry your private life for any weaknesses.
5 You feel your faith is weakening. You need to prove it to yourself you can be strong enough.
6* The local authorities are worried about your practices. They threaten to forbid your religion.
7* A member of your religion fails in zealous love with you. That love may be forbidden one.
8 A stranger begs you to teach them your faith. They hide a dangerous secret, or may be cursed.
9* Unbelievers raid your home or temple, desecrating it. You must seek revenge.
10 You find a strange item that others don't notice. It may be gift of your deity, or a curse.

Pit Fighting

This downtime activity covers boxing, wrestling, and other nonlethal forms of combat. If you want to introduce an arena with battles to the death, use standard combat rules.

Resolution

The character must make a series of checks, with a DC determined at random based on the quality of the opposition that the character runs into. The challenge in pit fighting lies in the mystery of your opponents.

The character makes three checks: Strength (Athletics), Dexterity (Acrobatics), and Wisdom (Insight). The DC is 5 + 2d10, generating a separate DC for each check.

Pit Fighting Results
Successes Result
0 You win some fights and you lose some. You are able to maintain a moderate lifestyle without winning or losing anything.
1 You have moderate success while fighting in the local circuit. You are able to maintain a modest lifestyle and gain 2d6 x 10 gp.
2 You have significant success fighting some of the more advanced fighters in the area. You are able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and gain winnings of 4d6 x 10gp.
3 You seem to win every fight you participate in. The crowds love you and you start to attract stronger and dangerous opponents. You live a wealthy lifestyle and gain 6d6 x 10gp. Your next pit fighting downtime in the same location has additional +2 increase in DC and 2d6 increase in winnings. You can also take the “Rustic Hospitality” feature from the folk hero background for the area that you have been fighting in.

Recovery After Fighting

Every failed check during pit fighting downtime represents a lost fight and leaves your character in a beaten state (p. 7).

You must either spend money or ask another player or NPC to make a DC 15 Medicine check after each failed roll. If you have a promoter, the DM may rule that he will pay for the service however if you perform poorly your promoter may give up on you and leave you cover your own expenses.

Medical service costs differently depending how poorly you rolled on your pit fighting checks.

Medical Costs
Roll Missed By Medical Cost
-3 to -6 1d6 x 5 gp. If you can't pay, you gain 1 level of Exhaustion.
-7 to -9 2d6 x 10 gp. If you can't pay, you gain 1 level of Exhaustion and your next pit fighting roll is at disadvantage.
-10 or more 4d6 x 20 gp. If you can't pay, you gain 1 Injury Token (Bludgeoning Damage Type).

Exhaustion and Injury are applied at the end of the week. Exhaustion takes long or full rest to recover. Injury tokens require a roll on the Lasting Injuries table (p. 23).

Promoter and Trainer

Character may spend time and money to find a good promoter or trainer. You can spend up to 3 days a week to search, and it costs 5 gp a day. If you can't find any during the first three days of a pit fighting downtime, you can always try again next time you perform the same downtime.

However, once you find a promoter or trainer and remain fighting in the same location, you can keep them unless you want to find better ones.

Promoters are charismatic people who knows everyone in the legal or shady business, and can get you better paying matches where crowds spend heavily on betting and nobles sponsor the winners. Promoters increase the money gained at the end of the pit fighting downtime.

To find a promoter, make a Charisma (Persuasion) check against DC 15 (for good promoter), 18 (for veteran promoter), or 20 (for legendary promoter). You must also be able to pay them an upfront sum of money for their services; if you can't pay, you may still make the check at disadvantage.

Promoter Effect
Promoter Effect
Good Pay 100gp to hire. Increase dice rolled to calculate winnings by 1d6. May abandon you if you make three failed checks in a row. May not cover for your medical checks if you make two failed checks in a row. May get you involved in criminal activities and gambling fraud.
Veteran Pay 200gp to hire. Increase dice rolled to calculate winnings by 3d6. Will not abandon you, nor refuse to cover your medical checks.
Legendary Pay 500gp to hire. Increase dice rolled to calculate winnings by 5d6. Will introduce you to noble sponsors, meet legendary fighters, and help you grow worldwide fame.

Trainers are grizzled veterans no longer able to hold their own on the ring, but with the insider knowledge of every fighter and can teach you the tricks of defeating them.

To find a trainer, first you must have completed number of weeks of pit fighting downtime with 2 or more successes, required to make yourself famous and for you to impress them. Then you must make a Charisma (Persuasion) check against DC 15 (for good trainer), 18 (for veteran trainer), or 20 (for legendary trainer). Trainers grant advantage to your pit fighting rolls. You choose to what of the three checks the advantage applies.

Trainer Effect
Trainer Requirement & Effect
Good Must have completed 1 pit fighting downtime with 2 or more successes. Grants advantage to 1 check during pit fighting downtime.
Veteran Must have completed 3 pit fighting downtimes with 2 or more successes in the same location. Grants advantage to 2 checks during pit fighting downtime.
Legendary Must have completed 6 pit fighting downtimes with 2 or more successes in the same location. Grants advantage to 3 checks during pit fighting downtime. If a check already has advantage from other source such as exceptional success roll (p. 1), a legendary trainer may apply his knowledge to make it a double advantage instead (roll 3d20, take the highest result).

Complications

Characters involved in pit fighting must deal with their opponents, the folk who bet on matches, and with the matches’ promoters.

Pit Fighting Complications
d12 Complication
1* A rival fighter swears to take revenge on you.
2* A crime boss approaches you and offers to pay you to intentionally lose a few matches.
3 Your promoter is financially ruined and has signed you for an illegal blood fight next week.
4 You defeat a popular local champion, drawing the crowd’s ire. Their hatred follows you everywhere.
5 You have injured an old, soon to retire fighter. He dies overnight. Everyone blames you.
6* You defeat a noble’s servant, drawing the wrath of the noble’s house.
7* You are accused of cheating. Whether the allegation is true or not, your reputation is tarnished.
8 You accidentally deliver a near-fatal wound to a foe. His relatives want bloody revenge.
9 A noble approaches you with an offer to join a stable of pit fighters. Among them you get cold welcome.
10 A new fighter in town feuds with you, calling you out in public and demanding a match.
11 A generous noble sponsor is sexually attracted to you - and he's of the wrong gender!
12 Your trainer's past has caught on him and his life is in danger, he needs your help!

Practicing a Profession

You can work between adventures, allowing you to maintain a modest or better lifestyle, to advance in your field or career, and complete personal projects. If you want to run your own business, check the rules on page 62.

In order to practice a profession, the player must decide what it is. The following page contains comprehensive list of appropriate professions for you to choose from. Once it is decided, you must assign one or several Ability Scores to that profession that best represents how you perform it.

Profession Approach
Ability Approach
Strength Applied to crafts that require strength to work with hard materials (like smithing).
Dexterity Required for crafts that involve fast and intricate operation (such as glassblowing).
Constitution For boring and repetitive jobs that require stoic patience from dawn until dusk.
Intelligence Understanding the principles and theories behind a field of study, create new designs and products.
Wisdom Used when learning from others, the nature and from experience, and teaching that knowledge to others.
Charisma Gives crafts and knowledge an artistic touch, expressing personality, fashion and affecting others in dramatic way.
Professions
Adviser (royal, military)
Animal Trainer (animal)
Archer
Armourer
Baker
Barber
Bard, Minstrel
Barkeeper
Blacksmith
Bladesmith
Bodyguard
Brewer
Butcher
Carpenter
Carriage Driver
Cheesemaker
Combat Instructor
Cook
Cooper (barrels)
Dentist
Dressmaker
Dryer
Farrier (horse shoes)
Fisherman
Fletcher (arrows)
Florist
Gardener
Glazier (glass)
Goldsmith
Hatter
Healer
Inventor (magic)
Inventor (science)
Inventor (weapons)
Jester / Fool
Professions (cont.)
Jeweler
Lady's Maid
Locksmith
Logger (cut trees)
Mapmaker
Merchant (product)
Midwife
Miner
Musician
Nurse / Wet Nurse
Painter
Papermaker
Poitoneer
Potter
Professor (science)
Ropemaker
Saddler
Sailor
Sculptor
Shipwright (ships)
Shoemaker
Silversmith
Stable hand
Stonemason
Surgeon
Sweet Maker
Tailor
Tanner (leather)
Toymaker
Trapper (animals)
Tutor
Undertaker
Weaver (fabric)
Weelwright (wheels)
Wiseman/woman

Player chooses the intensity of his work week.

If he wants to stay in touch with other characters and even have time for some minor campaign-related activities (like looking around for clues, meeting a contact, relaxing at the local bar, etc.) he must choose a normal work week.

If he wants to make the most out of his professinal vocation or complete a personal project, he may choose to forgo any social contacts for the duration of the week and stay focused from dusk until dawn.

Work Intensity
Checks Intensity
3 Normal. 6 hours, five days a week. You may maintain some social life and do minor other activities during work week.
4 Busy. 8 to 10 hours, six days a week. You may stay in touch with one other party character or allied contact, others need to visit you.
5 Intense. 10 to 12 hours, six days a week. You have no time and energy other than to eat and sleep. You gain 1 level of Exhaustion after this downtime activity.

Player must make number or ability score checks based on the intensity of his work week against DC 12. Every success improves the odds of earning more and getting inspired for a personal project. Exceptional success (beating the DC by 10 or more) gives advantage to the next check. Critical success counts as two successes.

The downtime activity ends when you accumulate three failures. Critical failure counts as two failures. If you make two failures in a row, you gain 1 level of Exhaustion after this downtime activity.

Profession Result
Successes Result
0 You waste 2d6 x 5 gp worth of materials and produce nothing. If you are working on a project, lose 1 project point. If this happens two weeks in a row, lose all project points earned so far.
1 You make 1d6 gp profit from your work.
2 Choose one: you make 1d6 x 5 gp profit from your work; or if you are working on a project, gain 1 project point.
3 You make 1d6 x 5 gp profit from your work. Then choose one: roll one extra die; or if you are working on a project, gain 1 project point.
4 You make 2d6 x 5 gp profit from your work. Then choose one: double your profit; or if you are working on a project, gain 2 project point.
5 You make 3d6 x 5 gp profit from your work. Then choose one: triple your profit; or if you are working on a project, gain 3 project point.

Personal Projects

Player may choose to devote their professional work week to a special project; a masterpiece weapon or armor, exquisite glass vase, a monumental poem, or a weird invention. The project is completely left to player's imagination and must be discussed and approved with the DM.

Each Project requires an amount between 4 and 10 project points accumulated over the course of several work weeks. Also, the DC of the downtime rolls while player has a project is increased to DC 12 + half the project points needed to complete it. For example, making a masterwork sword as a King's gift requires 8 project points and raises the DC to 16.

When the Project is complete, the DM grants the player the item he has worked on. It has great personal value to the player's character and should not be easily traded for gold.

Complications

There are rarely any complications while practicing a profession. There is a 5 percent chance of complication for every failure rolled during a week of downtime.

Profession Practice Complications
d8 Complication
1* Your work or ongoing project attracts the attention of a competitor who has hired thugs to damage your property, threaten your relatives and drive you away.
2 Ignorant neighbors consider your success to be aided by deal with dark forces. You can't prove them wrong. They act hostile and envious.
3* Your success or ongoing project draws attention from local thieves or criminal organizations that demand protection money equal to half your profit.
4 You break equipment critical for your work or ongoing project. You need to invest 5d6 x 5 gp and spend a week repairing it before you continue work.
5 You ran out of inspiration. Until you take this downtime and score 2 successes or more, you must forgo any profit and project points.
6* You are approached by a person who wants to be your apprentice. He may be useful and give advantage to one of your rolls, or be an agent of your competitor.
7* Local competitor contacts you, asking for trade secret that will make him more profitable. It is up to you to help him or not.
8* Local competitor contacts you, offering a partnership. It will either be profitable, giving advantage to one of your roll, or he will take over the fruits of your work.

Prepare for a Task

Planning can be a powerful tool, if you know what you're up against beforehand. By spending time and money you can prepare yourself to meet a particular enemy or situation.

Prepare for a Task works similarly to Research, except instead of useful pieces of lore you gain Preparation Points you can expend to gain advantage to skill checks, saving throws and attack rolls you make while dealing with the enemy or situation you're prepared for.

These preparation points are only good for one encounter and any leftover are lost, as the enemy changes tactics or situation changes each time, throwing off your perfect preparations.

For example, if you are preparing to perform a heist on the Hall of Heroes, you may use your preparation points to gain advantage on skill checks intended to gain entry or defeat it's defenses.

Preparing for a Task takes one week and at least 100gp of research and training material, as well as access to source of information and appropriate training room. At the end of the week, the character makes an Intelligence check with a +1 for each 100gp spent beyond the first 100gp, to a maximum bonus of +6. Trainer who has inside knowledge of the enemy or circumstance you intend to face may grant advantage to this check. You determine how good your preparation is with this table:

Preparations
Check Result
1-5 Your preparations bear no fruit
6-10 You gain one preparation point
11-20 You gain two preparation points
21 You gain three preparation points

A player can only prepare to meet one enemy or circumstance, and may have a number of unexpended prepration points no higher than 1 + their Intelligence modifier (minimum of 1). If you prepare to meet a new enemy or circumstance any preparation points you gained prepraring for the old enemy are lost.

Purchasing Illegal Goods

In some settings, strict laws prohibit the distribution and use of specific substances and goods: poisons, drugs, magical or alchemical ingredients, and others.

Characters must search out a black market dealer or unscrupulous apothecary who may be willing to provide these goods at prohibitive prices. They must also avoid being swindled with a fake one, and then make sure they are not searched by guards while carrying them.

Characters with criminal background might be able to acquire illegal goods relatively easily, granting advantage to one skill check of player's choice during this downtime.

Resources

Finding a dealer of illegal goods requires extensive inquiries and bribes before they track down the goods they seek.

Unless the character has allied contacts among the local criminal underground, he must spend 25 gp gathering information and then make a Intelligence (Investigation) roll against DC equal to the local Protection Level. if it is successful, a contact is found and maintained until the contact is not caught or put of business.

Resolution

Depending on the location where illegal goods need to be purchased, all skill checks are made against a Risk DC value.

Protection Level
Risk Location
10 Village relying on voluntarily militia.
12 Small town with struggling city watch
15 Large town with well funded city guards
18 Large city with military used to guard.
20 Metropolis under strict martial law

Negotiation

To reach out and negotiate with a dealer, player must make three skill checks: Intelligence (Investigation), Charisma (Persuasion) and Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) against DC equal to the Protection Level of the location. If player has already done business with the dealer during previous downtime, he can make one of the skill checks at advantage.

Number of successes decide the outcome of the deal. If a roll is an exceptional success (beats the DC by 10 or more), you can make the next roll at advantage. Critical success counts as two successes. Critical failure counts as two failures.

Negotiating with a Dealer
Successes Result
0 You are caught while looking for a dealer. You either pay 1d6 x 50 gp or spend 1d4 months in jail. All dealers become wary and will not do business with you.
1 You manage to find a dealer but he will not do business with you unless a criminal contact vouches for you or you agree to buy from him at double the black market prices.
2 You manage to find a dealer and he agrees to do business with you. He offers you prices comparable to the black market prices.
3+ You manage to find a dealer and make a strong impression. The dealer becomes an allied contact. If you manage to achieve this result twice in a row, he will offer you better than black market prices, at DM's discretion.

Spotting Fakes

Unless the dealer is an allied contact or you have Rank 3 and higher in the same criminal organization he belongs to, he may try to sell you fake goods - diluted poison, cooked drugs, or magical ingredients that won't work. The player may attempt to identify the quality of purchased goods.

Make two opposed checks between player's Wisdom (Insight) or Wisdom (Perception) against dealer's Charisma (Deception) or Charisma (Intimidation). If this is the first time you are buying these goods, or there is risk for your life such as presence of armed thugs, roll at disadvantage. If the dealer's life is threatened or he is pressured to complete the deal quickly, he rolls at disadvantage.

If player makes one success, he can tell the goods have compromised quality but not how. If the player makes two successes, he can recognize exactly what was done to the goods to make them fake (what substitutes were added, what dilution process was used).

Leaving Unnoticed

Once you have finished negotiating with a dealer and you have obtained illegal goods, you must leave the premise unnoticed. Player must make three skill checks: Dexterity (Stealth), Charisma (Deception) and Wisdom (Insight) against DC equal to the Protection Level of the location.

Number of successes decide if you leave without being stopped or caught by guards. If a roll is an exceptional success (beats the DC by 10 or more), you can make the next roll at advantage. Critical success counts as two successes. Critical failure counts as two failures.

Leaving with Illegal Goods
Successes Result
0 You are caught while leaving the premise. You and the dealer are caught together. Choose one: if the dealer is your allied contact you can tell on him and pay 1d4 x 50 gp to be let free; or spend 1d8 months in jail.
1 You are stopped nearby the premise by guards. The guards are corrupted and looking for bribes. Choose one: pay 1d4 x 15 gp; or you are searched and your illegal goods are seized.
2 You manage to avoid any guards on your way out of the premise. You reach a safe location with your illegal goods intact.
3+ You manage to avoid any guards on your way out of the premise, and you also figure out the best way to visit and leave unnoticed. Next time you leave after meeting this dealer, make one of the checks at advantage.

Complications

Even if you manage to nail the perfect black market deal, things often go wrong when you least expect it. There is 5 percent chance of complication, plus 5 for each two failures from any rolls during this downtime.

Illegal Goods Complications
d12 Complication
1 Your goods get stolen! You have no idea who took them away and you are left with nothing.
2 The day after, your dealer is caught and all inventory seized. You need to find another source next time.
3* You are approached by a stranger who witnessed the deal. You are being blackmailed.
4 You mishandle the illegal goods, leaving a small trace behind you. Someone found it, and is investigating you or where it came from.
5 The goods have been noticed by people who may spread the rumor of what they saw to the authorities.
6 Your dealer makes you an offer to become a seller. He makes a great offer, but there are risks involved.
7 Corrupted guards who recognize you as buyer offer you safe visits if you regularly bribe them. If you refuse, guards no longer take bribes from you.
8 Just before you use the illegal goods, you notice they are in fact poisonous or harmful. It's a ploy!
9 You recognize a local authority or person of power visiting the same dealer. Valuable information if you decide to blackmail him or connect over mutual vice.
10 A rival dealer makes you an offer to buy from him at better prices if you put your current dealer at risk.
11 Your dealer is in trouble and tries to hire you to help him. If you do, he will become an allied contact. If you refuse, he will no longer sell to you.
12 The illegal goods are surprisinglty potent, with enhanced effect. You've found a masterwork batch!

Relaxation

After long and exhausting adventuring, nothing feels better than spending a whole week relaxing. Whether you will spend it lazing in bed or reading books, taking walks in a park or nearby forest, reconnect with old friends and family, or drinking leisurely with neighbors at local pub: it is up to you! Relaxation lets you not only recover, but find inspiration and motivation to continue with your dangerous lifestyle.

A week of Relaxation counts as seven days of full rest. If you have a lasting injury, you must spend the week in bed and under medical care. You are allowed up to 2 hours per day doing simple chores and nonstrenuous physical or mental labor. Unless that nonstrenuous pays, you have no other source of income during the week. At the start of the week, you must spend gold based on your current lifestyle (see Basic Lifestyle, p. 49).

At the end of the week of Relaxation, make an ability check with each of your ability scores, from Strength to Charisma. Every roll that scores 18 or more, gives you a Boost to that attribute. A Boost is a one time advantage to check or saving throw with that ability. Your Boosts must be spent quickly, because they are all lost when one of these conditions is met:

  • At the end of a long or full rest
  • When you suffer a wound from taking damage
  • When you become unconscious or start dying.

Complications

When you are doing nothing, there's nothing to complicate your life. Or so you think! There's still 5 percent chance that something interesting will happen to you or around you.

Relaxation Complications
d12 Complication
1 A loud and obnoxious neighbor is preventing your rest. You feel like you have to do something.
2* A rumor about your adventuring life is spreading and makes people afraid of wary of you.
3 A relative or friend is in small trouble that requires social mediation or small monetary help.
4* Your favorite shop, pub or inn is being shut down without notice. You have no clue what happened.
5 A relative or allied contact has domestic problems and needs a place to crash for couple days.
6* A domestic crime has happened in your neighborhood. People can't stop talking about it.
7 You meet a knowledgeable stranger happy to find someone interested in his trade or mastery.
8 You meet an allied contact you almost forgot about. He has tales to tell, and listen to yours.
9 A stray dog or cat seeks shelter near your home. It's the cutest little thing you've seen!
10 A small fortunate event happens in your ordinary life that makes you think you're favored by luck.
11 You make a good casual impression to local authority or person of power. He might remember that.
12 You meet someone special who steals your heart. It is love at first sight!

Research

Researching involves completing research goals and making analysis checks in order to receive research points, which can be spent to learn things during your adventure.

A research starts with setting a an area of study and a research goal, then you must make an analysis based on collected information in order to receive research points.

Research Goals

After a long rest you may choose an area of study. Each area of study has research levels with increasingly complex and involving activities, and requires access to specimen or objects of study. You start from the first level and may proceed up to a level equal to your Intelligence modifier.

On each research level, you must spend 1 hour studying and memorizing the matter, and then attempt an Analysis Check on what you have learned. If the analysis is solid, you can proceed to the next research level and repeat the process until you reach the limit of your Intelligence.

Biology / Botany
Level Depth of Research
1 Collect or study (20 minutes per) 3 live specimen from the same species in 3 different locations.
2 Collect or study 1 live specimen of an unidentified or rare species.
3 Collect or study (30 minutes per) both a young and mature specimen from the same species.
4 Study a specimen killing something of a different species (No time requirement, biology) or study the effect that a specimen has on an animal when ingested (botany).
5 Study the remains of a specimen that has been dead for over one month.
6 Collect or study a specimen with a unique mutation.
Sociology
Int Mod Depth of Research
1 Study the behaviors of people in a place of commerce or in this location’s most active public space.
2 Study a religious practice, ritual or celebration. In person or via interview of a religious leader.
3 Collect, record (e.g. transcribe, sketch), or study (20 minutes per) three pieces of art native to this location.
4 Study a local trial, execution, military practice, or other civic event.
5 Study the history or lineage of a single prominent familial structure, faction OR subculture -- either by way of interview or written records.
6 Study a cultural tradition unique to this society.
Anthropology
Level Depth of Research
1 Collect or study (20 minutes per) three separate representations of the same motif, figure, character, or god.
2 Study a unique property of this culture’s architecture. I.e. a property you have not studied previously.
3 Collect or study evidence of how this culture hunted or made war. E.g. a weapon, trap, or some depiction of the process.
4 Collect or study evidence of how this culture engaged in agriculture, cooking or crafting. E.g. A hoe, pot or sewing needle.
5 Collect or study evidence of how this culture worshipped, studied the arcane, or studied more traditional sciences. E.g. a ritual altar, ancient arcane runes or a sundial.
6 Collect or study evidence of how this culture organized itself (i.e. politically or logistically).
Arcana
Level Depth of Research
1 Study a magic item.
2 Experiment with spells - requires 3 spell slots to be expended in a novel, inventive way, purely for experimentation purposes.
3 Using a heat source and some glassware, study and break a magical potion down into its constituent parts.
4 Interview an arcane spellcaster about their craft.
5 Collect or study a spellcaster’s focus.
6 Study the remains of a living being that has recently (within one week) been killed by magical means

You may only complete a goal using the same specimen or subject once, unless the DM makes an exception. E.g. once you have completed a goal by studying a piece of art, you may not complete another goal by studying the same piece of art. Unless it is particularly significant or immense, in which case the DM may make an exception.

Analysis Checks

After every hour of researching, you must make one analysis check. Making the check requires another hour to review your notes and an Intelligence check plus the Research Level you've reached. The DM may allow to add your proficiency to the roll if you have a field expertise related to the research (see Field Expertise, p. 15). You may use a party member’s field expertise bonus if they consent to help you for the hour you spend analyzing.

If you have access to a library (or a similar source of collected knowledge regarding the topic of your research) during this hour you can make the check with advantage.

Analysis Check
Int + Rsch. Level +d20 Analysis Result
1-4 You made serious mistakes in your notes. You must restart from scratch. If this outcome happens twice in a row, all research points are lost.
5-9 You have no progress in your research. You must repeat the same research level.
10-14 Choose one: you gain 1 research point; or you proceed to the next research level.
15-19 You gain 2 research points. You can proceed to the next research level.
20-23 You gain 3 research points. You can proceed to the next research level.
24+ You gain 3 research points and come to a breakthrough that reveals a piece of useful information about your subject, up to DM.

Research Points

You gain research points for completing research goals and then making successful analysis checks. You may hold as many research points as your Intelligence score. Research points can be spent at any time to learn facts and details about the world, within the researched area of study.

Research
Points
Research Effect
1 rp Know a relevant fact about a monster, as well as its common name.
3 rp Know a moderate amount about a monster, and have some intuition about whether this specimen is unique in some way.
5 rp Know a great deal about a monster, including its weaknesses, and be able to identify behaviors that are unique to this specimen.
1 rp Gather the basic gist from a short passage written in a language you don’t know.
3 rp Gather the basic gist from a chapter in a book, or do decent job translating a short passage in a language you barely know.
5 rp Gather the basic gist from an entire book or intuit hidden nuance and subtext in a short passage in a language you barely know.
3-5 rp Learn or deduct an incriminating secret about an NPC.
3 rp (x spell level) [Wizard only] Add a new spell to your spellbook.
1 rp Instantly locate enough food and water to feed the party for one meal.
10/15 rp You know the location of an uncommon/ rare magic item.
1-5 rp Be able to deduce whether or not a room you’re in is trapped in some way.

Complications

While researching, there is a 5 percent chance that you may find yourself involved in a complication.

Research Complication
d6 Complication
1 You are banned from the library for misconduct. You must earn access again to continue researching.
2* Your research notes have been stolen or damaged. You need to recover them, or start from scratch.
3 Local authority or academia has summoned you for questioning over the nature of your research.
4* People are spreading rumors your research may be for nefarious needs. You can't prove them wrong.
5 An allied contact contacts you to show you strange source of knowledge that defies explanation.
6* You stumble by chance to a source of knowledge that criminal organizations are looking for.

Sow Rumors

Swaying public opinion can be an effective way to bring down a villain or elevate a friend. An effective rumor must be believable, playing off what people want to believe about the person or group in question.

Sowing a rumor about an individual or organization requires Charisma (Persuasion) or Charisma (Deception) skill check against DC based on the size of the social group for each 7 days of downtime. The length of rumor spreading shown in the Sowing Rumors table. Additionally you must spend expenses per week equal to the lifestyle of the target social group.

Sow Rumors
DC Days Social Size
12 2d6 days Village. Neighborhood in a City. Very small organization or local chapter of small one.
15 4d6 days Town. District of a City. Local authority. Small organization.
18 6d6 days City. Head authority. Large organization, such as trade guild. People aware of slander and false rumors.
20 8d6 days Metropolis. Very large organization, such as a royal court. People versed with intrigue and scheming.

If the downtime and cost is spent and the check succeeds the community's prevailing attitude towards the subject shifts one step towards friendly or hostile. As long as the rumor has not failed, you may attempt another downtime period.

If the check fails the rumor gains no traction and the week does not count. If two weeks in a row fail, the rumor is compromised and further attempts to propagate it will fail.

Shifting a community's general attitude towards a person or organization doesn't affect everyone in the community, as individuals may hold to their own opinions, particularly if they have personal experience dealing with their subject.

Social Bias
Attitude Means and Possible Actions
Hostile Will take risks to hurt you: Attack, interfere, berate, flee. Rumors can't improve this opinion.
Unfriendly Wishes you ill: Mislead, gossip, avoid, watch suspiciously, insult. Attempts to improve opinion using rumors is at disadvantage.
Indifferent Doesn’t much care: Socially expected interaction
Friendly Wishes you well: Chat, advise, offer limited help, advocate, do important business. Attempts to damage opinion using rumors is at disadvantage.
Helpful Will take risks to help you: Protect, back up, heal, aid, do risky business

Personal Credibility

You may put your personal credibility on the table to improve the odds for the rumor getting traction. If you do, before you make a Sow Rumors roll you may add your Proficiency to the roll. If the roll succeeds, your credibility is untarnished and you may use it again. You may use your credibility times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

If you fail, in addition to rumor not gaining traction, your credibility is damaged. The community changes its opinion towards you one or more steps towards hostile, up to DM.

Covert Identity

It doesn't hurt to have an identity to fall back on. At anytime an angry cult, government, former lover, or mob of monsters could be trying to track a character down. The character can spend time establishing a new identity for when things go bad by forging documents, creating a disguise, or presenting the public with an alter ego. For every day spent creating a cover identity the PC must spend an amount in gold equal to the weekly lifestyle expenses of the desired covert identity.

Creating a false identity requires a character to stay in a specific area for a time to help spread the word of this new identity. Creating a false identity is treated as rumors about yourself and uses the same skill check and DC, as well as time as rumors. The character has no Personal Credibility they can use for these skill rolls.


Accomplices

Others may help you sow rumors or create covert identity. If the DM allows, other player can make one or several crime checks instead of you, or use the Help action to give him advantage. However, they always risk their personal credibility.

Complications

There is a 5 percent chance that you may find yourself involved deeper into your web of lies. Increase by 10 percent if you failed your skill check. Increase by another 10 percent if you have lost your personal credibility.

Sowing Rumors Complications
d8 Complication
1 Local authority brings you for questioning. You must provide actual facts supporting your rumor.
2 Small vocal minority has found your rumors offensive. They are hellbent on discrediting you.
3* Your rumor somehow contains a deep secret of a local person of power. He is paranoid about you.
4* A counter-rumor emerges within the crowds. It discredits or draws attention away from your rumor.
5 People who have heard your rumor misunderstand it. It's a completely different rumor now.
6* An allied contact reaches out to you that your rumor is harmful to them. They ask you to stop.
7* A person with vested interest that the rumor is true contacts you. He needs your help.
8 A part of the rumor, one that you knew is false, turns out to be true. Now deal with the facts.

Taming Animals

If you have proficiency with the Animal Handling skill, you may attempt to tame a creature with Intelligence score of 5 or lower. Creatures with higher Intelligence cannot be tamed. Also creatures with Challenge Rating higher than character's level cannot be tamed unless they are friendly towards the character and willingly subject themselves to a mutural co-existence. If at any time they become hostile, a stronger creature would leave or turn against the character.

Taming a creature takes a number of days equal to the creature's Challenge rating, multiplied by 100 (minimum of 50). If you raised the creature from birth, time time is reduced by half, but the minimum time does not change.

Reduce the time by 25% if the creature is good-aligned, and another 25% if the creature is lawful-aligned. Increase the time by 50% if the creature is evil-aligned, and another 100% if the creature is chaotic-aligned. Reduce the time by 10 days if the character has profiency with Nature, and by 25 if it has expertise or field expertise related to that creature. Reduce the time by 25 days if you have expertise or field expertise with Animal Handling.

Once you have tamed a creature, you may spend a downtime with it to teach it new tricks or important commands that it will willingly follow when joining the character on their travels.

Taming Expenses

For each day during taming a creature, you must provide it with adequate food and water, in volume related to creature's size. The price for food is up to the DM, but below is a reference for common animals.

Creature Needs
Size Food Water
Tiny 1/4 lb. 1/4 gallon
Small 1 lb. 1 gallon
Medium 1 lb. 1 gallon
Large 4 lbs. 4 gallons
Huge 16 lbs. 12 gallons
Gargantuan 64 lbs. 36 gallons
Creature Foods
Food Price
1 lb. of hay 1 cp
1 lb. of quality wheat 3 cp
1 lb. of meat 1 sp
1 lb. of quality meat 2 sp
Creature Foods
Food Price
1 lb. of hay 1 cp
1 lb. of quality wheat 3 cp
1 lb. of meat 1 sp
1 lb. of quality meat 2 sp
1 lb. of rare meat 1+ gp

The character must also care for the creature by keeping it somewhere safe. The larger the creature is or grows to be, the more expensive it is to provide it shelter.

Animal Kennel
Size Price
Tiny 1sp/day
Small 2sp/day
Medium 1gp/day
Large 2gp/day
Huge 4gp/day
Gargantuan 10gp/day

Once a creature has been tamed, it will behave peacefully toward the character and non-aggressive people around them, follow in their general area, and mostly behave itself as much as its personality allows.

Training

After you tame a creature, it starts out with number of learned tricks equal to its Intelligence modifier plus 5. For example, a dog with an Intelligence modifier of -3 start with just 2 tricks after being tamed. The tricks are up to player's choice, but they can only be Simple tricks. However, the character may spend time, effort and expenses to teach its new pet new Simple or Complex tricks.

Training an creature a new trick is far simpler and cheaper than taming it in the first place. The character need to foot the bill for the creature's food and shelter for number of days equal to 10 minus their Intelligence modifier, multiplied by 5. For example, a dog would take 60 days to teach a new trick since its Intelligence modifier is -3.

A creature can know a total number of tricks equal to its Intelligence score (not modifier).

Tricks

Come and Heel (Simple). This issue is more than just having an creature return when you call it. This command will cause the creature to act against its own desires. The creature will come to you, even if you are standing in a dangerous place. The creature will sit and stay still, even if it really wants to go chase or kill another creature.

Attack (Simple). This command will cause the creature to mercilessly attack whoever you are directing it toward. Teaching the creature this trick also allows them to add your proficiency bonus to their attacks. It is unlikely to relent until the target is ruined, or a come and heel command is given.

Fetch (Simple). This command will send the creature to strive to obtain whatever you are directing it toward. If the creature cannot do it, it will attempt to open up any barriers which prevent you from getting it yourself.

Ride (Simple). If the creature is at least one size larger than you or able to carry like as it it is one size larger than you, as well as of appropriate anatomy, it can be trained to be a mount. Prior to this training, the creature just acts of its own accord, tolerating your presence on its back. Just because it is trained does not necessarily mean that you know how to ride it though.

Perform (Complex). This is one amusing trick your creature does. A back flip on command, playing dead, speaking on command, etc. When used for practical purposes, this is the same as the creature having the Intelligence (Perform) skill.

Find (Simple). The creature can use its unique senses to search for things and track/hunt a mark. This functions as a guaranteed group check between yourself and the creature for the same task. This is almost like advantage, but the two die can have different modifiers - even penalties - and your proficiency only applies to your die.

Enlighten (Complex). You spend a great deal of time getting the creature to understand the subtleties of your expression, such that it has a higher understanding of people and what they are talking about. As an example, an unenlightened creature will feel good if you talk to it in a happy tone, even if your words are harsh, but an enlightened creature will get the hint that you're being facetious. This is represented by a one-time +1 Intelligence score improvement for the creature.

Work (Simple). The creature can be trained to carry, haul, and tow loads. While you could theoretically strap bags to the side of most any creature, this also applies to things like pulling carts, drawing a line to lift a load by a pulley, or tilling with a plow, which actually do normally require some training to be done well.

Help (Complex). Your creature has been trained to remember directions and the locations of important things - like local hospitals, or friendly people. If you are ever injured or lost, you could send your creature to seek help - it will always return to you. creatures trained in this trick will also find their way to you if you are separated.

Talent (Complex). This teaches the creature a skill or tool proficiency. It is up to the DM if the proficiency is something the creature can learn. For example, using a harp may seem doable for a large rat, but using a kettle drum would not.

Deliver (Complex). You have taught the creature how to navigate its way back to known settlements, and return to you, as well as how to carry and deliver messages and small parcels.

Hunt (Simple). Predatory creatures, such as hawks or dogs, can be taught to hunt on their own and bring the kill back to you, rather than eating it for themselves. This is the same as the creature foraging independently of you.

Complications

There is a 5 percent chance that your pet will get into a mess and get you involved along with it.

Taming Animal Complications
d8 Complication
1 You are given an offer to sell your pet. The buyer is a person of power and not taking no for an answer.
2 Your pet got scared and harmed an obnoxious person. He is now demanding for its death or drive you out.
3 Your pet was attacked by another and got wounded. It cant train until healed. You have a beef with its owner.
4 Your pet got confused and scared women and children. People are wary towards you now.
5 Your pet uncovered a corpse. You don't know the person but the scene is gruesome.
6 Your pet's senses alert it of a nearby crime. You have the option to get involved or not.
7 Your pet's senses have found a lost item or a tiny fortune. You can keep it or track its owner.
8 Your pet has found a mate, and its loyalty to you and primal instincts are conflicting.

Unskilled Labor

When all else fails, an adventurer can always turn to an honest labor to earn a living. The chance to find an unskilled work depends of the economic size of the current location. Larger cities with busting economy are much easier to find a job than in small and struggling villages.

Protection Level
Risk Location
18 Village
15 Small town
12 Large town
10 Large city
8 Metropolis

To find a job make a Wisdom (Perception) and Charisma (Persuasion or Deception) skill checks. Roll at advantage if the current location is experiencing an economic boom and coin is easy to come by. Roll at disadvantage if the city is experiencing hard times and jobs are nowhere to be found.

If one of skill checks succeeds, you find some job. If both succeeds, you found a good job with welcoming employers who pay fair coin, and you can expect better than normal treatment.

Resolution

To determine how much money a character earns, the character makes an ability check: Strength (Athletics), Constitution (Athletics), Intelligence with a set of tools, Charisma (Performance), or Charisma with a musical instrument.

Consult the Wages table to see how much money is generated by the check’s total.

Wages
Check Total Value
9 or less Poor lifestyle for the week. If job is good, employer offers you modest lodging.
10–14 Modest lifestyle for the week. If job is good, employer will pay you 3d6 sp.
15–20 Comfortable lifestyle for the week. If job is good, employer will pay you 1d4 gp and you gain one allied contact.
21+ Comfortable lifestyle for the week, +1d6 gp. If job is good, employer will pay you extra 1d6 gp and you gain one allied contact.

Complications

Work is rarely filled with enough complications to alter a character’s life significantly. There is a 10 percent chance for any job, and 5 percent for good job.

Work Complications
d6 Complication
1 You break an expensive tool, that is worth 1d4 months of labor. Your employer wants to indenture you.
2* A difficult customer or a fight with a coworker reduces the lifestyle you earn by one category.
3* Your employer’s financial difficulties result in your not being paid.
4* A client or coworker with ties to an important family in town takes a dislike to you.
5 Your employer is involved with a dark cult or a criminal enterprise.
6* The local crime ring targets your business for a shakedown. It is up to DM if you are given a warning in advance, or not.
7* You gain a reputation for laziness (unjust or not, your choice), giving you disadvantage on checks made for this downtime activity for 30 days.
8* Your employer find you sexually attractive. Whether he is of the right or wrong gender, it is up to DM. But it is hard to ignore his advances.

Foils


Unearthed Arcana

Foils is official playtest material
appeared in Unearthed Arcana first.

Foils are NPCs who actively oppose the characters. They might be villains you have featured in past adventures or plan to use in the future. They can also include good or neutral folk who are at odds with the characters, whether because they are rivals, they have opposing goals, or they simply dislike one another. The cultist of Orcus, whose plans the characters have foiled; the ambitious merchant prince who wants to rule the city with an iron fist; and the nosy high priest of Helm who is convinced the characters are up to no good are all examples of foils.

A foil is an NPC with an agenda that changes over time. As the characters take downtime between adventures, their foils rarely rest, continuing to spin plots and work against the characters.

Creating a Foil

The first step in creating a foil is building an NPC or picking one from your current cast of characters.

It’s a good idea to have two or three foils at a time, each with an agenda. At least one should be a villain, and the others might be neutral or good. Their conflict with the characters might be social or political, rather than include direct attacks.

The best foils are personal. Find links in the characters’ backstories or recent adventures that provide a good explanation for what sparked the foil’s actions. The best trouble for the characters is trouble they created for themselves.

Motivation

An effective foil has a clear reason for interfering with the characters’ plans. Think about what the foil wants, how and why the characters stand in the way, and how the conflict could be resolved.

Motivation is the why behind a foil’s actions. It’s the foundation for the NPC’s role in the campaign. The Example Foils table offers some examples you can build from.

Goals

Once you know a foil’s motivation, consider possible goals. What outcome is the foil trying to create? Ideally, this outcome involves the characters or something they care about. The foil might want to take over the town, slay one or all of the characters, or help a certain temple become the center of the most powerful religion in the region.

Assets

Think about the resources that the foil can call upon. Is there money for bribes? Is there a small army of obedient fanatics? Does the foil hold sway over any guilds, temples, or groups? Make a list of the foil’s assets, and consider how they can be used.

Actions

With the what and why covered, the meat of a foil’s presence in the campaign comes down to actions. Make a list of three or four actions the foil might take.


Example Foils
d20 Foils
1 Tax collector who is convinced the characters are dodging fees
2 Politician who is concerned that the characters are causing more trouble than they solve
3 High priest who worries the characters are diminishing the temple’s prestige
4 Wizard who blames the characters for some recent troubles
5 Rival adventuring party
6 Bard who loves a scandal enough to spark one
7 Childhood rival or member of a rival clan
8 Scorned sibling or parent
9 Merchant who blames the characters for any business woes
10 Newcomer out to make a mark on the world
11 Sibling or ally of defeated enemy
12 Official seeking to restore a tarnished reputation
13 Deadly foe disguised as a social rival
14 Fiend seeking to tempt the characters to evil
15 Spurned romantic interest
16 Political opportunist seeking a scapegoat
17 Traitorous noble looking to foment a revolution
18 Would-be tyrant who brooks no opposition
19 Exiled noble looking for revenge
20 Corrupt official paranoid that crimes will be revealed

Each time you resolve one or more workweeks of downtime, pick one of the actions the foil might take and introduce it into play. An action might be a direct attack, such as an assassination attempt, that you play out during a session, or it might be a background activity that you describe as altering the campaign in some way. Actions should build a path toward achieving the NPC’s goals. For each action, make note of NPCs who might change in response to it, what it might change in the town’s politics, and so on. Of course, if the characters get involved, those outcomes might change.

Events

In addition to actions, consider how the campaign setting might shift due to the foil’s influence. What are the background events, changes in attitudes, and anything else that might occur to illustrate a foil’s influence?

Imagine if the characters do nothing to oppose a foil. What happens next? How does the world change? Introduce such events along with the foil’s actions to make your campaign feel alive. You can use an event in place of an action, especially if a session isn’t going to involve a foil. Events are also a good way to show the influence of multiple foils, without having all of them take action against the characters at once. Events let foils have their time in the spotlight without causing the other ones to fade away completely.

Example Foil:
Myron Rodemus

The Rodemus clan was once a small but powerful family of traders, but thirty years ago, they pulled up stakes and left town overnight. Now, Myron Rodemus, the family’s youngest son, has returned to the city to reclaim his family’s place of prestige.

In truth, the Rodemuses fled because they had contracted lycanthropy. Absorbed into a clan of wererats, they liquidated their assets and delved into smuggling in a distant city out of fear that their secret would be impossible to maintain in their home city. Myron fought his way to the topmost ranks of the wererat clans and, along with a small army of followers, has returned to claim his rightful place among the city’s elite. If he doesn’t succeed, he’s vowed leave the city in ruins.

Goals. Myron wants to become the most respected, most important merchant in town, someone to whom even the prince must yield.

Assets. He has a small fortune in gold; his ownskills as a wererat, alchemist, and necromancer; a group of wererats that is dedicated to him; the service of twin dwarf sisters who are superb assassins; a shield guardian that protects him; and an alliance with a hobgoblin lord, who lives in the mountains outside of the city.

Actions. Myron works to discredit and ruin other merchants. His wererats spy on his rivals and feed information to the hobgoblins, leading them to raid caravans. The wererats sneak into warehouses, unleashing hordes of rats to spoil goods. Myron even throws a few of his own caravans and warehouses away to throw off suspicion.

If Myron’s plans fail, he has a terrible alternative. His knowledge of alchemy has allowed him to breed a deadly plague that he will unleash on the city via hordes of rats. If he can’t rule, then no one will.

Myron’s Plans
Type Description
Event Rats become a noticeable problem in the streets, with swarms sighted in rundown neighborhoods. Folk demand action be taken.
Action Caravan raids become more common, and folk talk of gathering a small army to drive the goblinoids away. Myron contributes generously to the effort.
Action Warehouses are overrun with rats, ruining thousands of gold pieces worth of goods. Myron blames the city guard for a lax effort.
Action Should the characters interfere, Myron sends his assassins against them.
Event A sudden storm creates minor flooding, washing dozens of dead, bloated, diseased rats from the sewers. Terror about plague rips through town.
Action Myron fans the flames of panic, spreading rumors that the characters or other rivals in town are responsible for the disease.

Example Foil:
Temple of Pholtus

The temple of Pholtus, inflexible god of the sun, seeks to impose its strict rules. The high priest, Cheldar, wishes to bring as many folk as possible under the temple’s sway. Though only in town for two years, the temple is already a powerful force due to Cheldar’s brilliant oration.

Goals. Cheldar wants to make the temple of Pholtus the most influential religion in town by bringing about peace and stability for all. He believes keeping adventurers in check or driving them out of town is an important step in that plan.

Assets. The high priest Cheldar has his charismatic oration, divine spellcasting ability, and a few hundred common folk recently converted to the temple’s cause.

Actions. Cheldar is stern, but fundamentally a good person. He seeks to win support by providing charity, promoting peace, and working to enforce law and order. However, he is skeptical of the characters, convinced that adventurers are troublemakers who will ruin the peace. He wants only officials of the town or the temple to be involved in handling any crises that arise. He genuinely believes in his goals, but can be made an ally by sufficiently good-hearted characters.

Cheldar’s Plans
Type Description
Event The grand festival of Pholtus sees the streets filled with somber worshipers who maintain a 24-hour torchlit vigil during the winter solstice. They offer food, drink, and shelter to all in the temple of Pholtus.
Action Cheldar appears in a tavern frequented by adventurers, along with a small group of followers, seeking converts. A few NPC adventurers join his cause.
Action Cheldar rails against forces of chaos in a public address in the town square, laying blame for recent troubles on adventurers meddling in things best left alone.
Event The characters find that adventurers in town receive an, at best, icy reception, as the mood turns against them.
Action Cheldar demands that the city levy enormous taxes on adventurers, claiming that they must pay their fair share to keep the city safe. After all, such wanderers can simply leave if their actions bring the city trouble. The common folk don’t have that option.

Henchmen and Hirelings

When adventurers amass enough wealth they can hire others to do most of the chores for them - like tend to their business or hold, to build them a castle or gather a mercenary army. This section improves on the Player's Handbook simple rules for hiring NPCs. It introduces realistic prices for hiring unskilled and skilled workers, negotiating salaries, mercenaries, creating or collecting bounties.

Unskilled Laborers

The default cost for hiring a common laborer is 2 silver pieces per day. In the medieval fantasy economy of Dungeons & Dragons 2 sp/day is considered a "minimum wage": enough to pay for basic living expenses and not much else. Such income is enough to live a Poor lifestyle.

However, in particularly impoverished neighborhoods, characters might be able to hire unskilled laborers for as little as 1 sp/day. Characters of good alignment should avoid doing so unless absolutely necessary, as such laborers can only live a Squalid lifestyle or worse on such pay.

Likewise, in areas without a significant population of unemployed poor, unskilled work might come with a higher asking price. This price rarely exceeds 5 sp/day. In areas of exclusively skilled, wealthy people (such as a remote wizard's college), players might only have skilled laborers available for hire, and such labor might be exceedingly expensive or completely unavailable.

Skilled Laborers

Skilled laborers are individuals who has aptitude, skill and experience to accomplish complex tasks and are offering their services for hire. Hiring an apprentice blacksmith however is cheaper than hiring the most skilled Dwarven blacksmith in the world.

Higher tool check modifier doesn't actually do anything by default. There's no rule that says you need to make a DC 18 Intelligence (Smith's tools) check to craft plate armor. This guide assumes that the people you will approach to hire have the desired knowledge that is represented by a tool check modifier. NPCs with extreme skill can add double their proficiency bonus to tool checks.

A skilled worker's price is determined by their total modifier in their chosen trade. Certain trades might demand a higher price than others - an alchemist might cost double, while a weaver will cost half. Which ability score is used for the tool checks is largely up to the DM. If you want to invent a new weapon Smith's tools checks are Intelligence-based, the price should be the NPC's Intelligence (Smith's tools) modifier. If you want to make a weapon of hardest material known to man, it is Strength (smith's tools). A skilled laborer can use either a tool or a skill, depending on their profession.

Availability of skilled NPCs depends on the population of a settlement. Most villages only have basic craftspeople with a +2 modifier. The most skilled person in a town usually has a +6 to +8 modifier. Cities can have anywhere from a +12 to a +15. NPCs with modifiers higher than +15 are normally not available, and usually demand compensation beyond simple payment. They represent people of such skill that they are considered legendary.

Modifier Cost/Day
+1 1 gp
+2 2 gp
+3 3 gp
+4 4 gp
+5 5 gp
+6 6 gp
+7 7 gp
+8 8 gp
+9 16 gp
+10 32 gp
+11 64 gp
+12 128 gp
+13 136 gp
+14 144 gp
Modifier Cost/Day
+15 152 gp
+16 160 gp
+17 168 gp
+18 176 gp
+19 184 gp
+20 192 gp
+21 200 gp
+22 208 gp
+23 216 gp
+24 224 gp
+25 232 gp
+26 240 gp
+27 248 gp
+28 256 gp

Hiring Mercenaries

Sometimes the PCs might want to hire NPCs with combat experience to help them fight. This guide basically provides a formula to determine the cost in gold pieces per day to hire an NPC of a given CR.

Use the following table for NPCs of CR 0 to 1:

CR Cost/Day
0 1 sp
1/8 2 sp
1/4 5 sp
1/2 1 gp
1 2 gp

For NPCs of CR 2 and higher, the price to hire that NPC is equal to their CR squared per day. The following table lists the results of this formula when applied to CRs 2 through 30, for ease of reference:

d8 Loot
2 4 gp
3 9 gp
4 16 gp
5 25 gp
6 36 gp
7 49 gp
8 64 gp
9 81 gp
10 100 gp
11 121 gp
12 144 gp
13 169 gp
14 196 gp
15 225 gp
16 256 gp
d8 Loot
17 289 gp
18 324 gp
19 361 gp
20 400 gp
21 441 gp
22 484 gp
23 529 gp
24 576 gp
25 625 gp
26 676 gp
27 729 gp
28 784 gp
29 841 gp
30 900 gp

Not every NPC is available as a mercenary; just because the PCs offer someone the appropriate amount of gold doesn't mean they will throw down their job and follow them into a dungeon. NPCs with a high opinion of themselves might require anywhere from extra 20% to 100% or even more than the normal price, and some might just outright refuse.

Minimum Terms of Service

Many more powerful NPCs require a minimum term of service. They value steady work over one-time gigs, and might charge as much as double their normal rate (or outright refuse to work for them) if the PCs are hiring them for less than this minimum term. Usually, this term is equal to the NPC's CR, though exceptional individuals might demand longer or shorter terms. While it might make sense in-character, this mechanic is intended to prevent the PCs from hiring exceptionally powerful individuals for one-day dungeon crawls and such.

Modifiers for Dangerous Work

Not all work is equal. The base costs are intended for keeping the NPC on retainer for extended periods of time, with intermittent periods of fighting. An example would be in a war scenario where the PCs are fielding an army; most days, there's no fighting at all (though the threat of ambush is ever-present), and when fighting does happen it's not terribly lethal.

This sort of thing isn't true for dungeon-delving. Dungeons are extremely lethal, dangerous places where a mercenary might expect several times as much fighting as the worst day at war. NPCs might expect anywhere from 1.25 to 4 times as much pay for such a dangerous expedition, with the average being 2 times. Soldiers specialized in traditional warfare might outright refuse. This applies for all dangerous work; rumours of deadly battle-mages on the opposing side of a war might increase prices, since a single fireball can slay two dozen men in an instant. As the DM, use your discretion in modifying prices.

On the other hand, particularly safe work might require as little as .5 to .75 the normal cost. For example, if the PCs are just hiring guards for their stronghold, or the city watch of a town they preside over, these guards might expect little to no fighting over their careers. These kinds of mercenaries will, however, expect a bonus if fighting does break out.

Monsters and Mages

At least in some settings, spellcasters can cost several times as much as a warrior of a comparable power level. If an NPC is a full spellcaster, you might decide to have them demand 2 to 8 times the usual price, depending on just how rare spellcasters are.

Monsters have wildly varying costs, depending on what kind of monster they are. Hill giants, goblinoids, ogres, and orcs are cheaper than other mercenaries for their CR; monsters with special powers, like medusas, mind flayers, and oni, would be more expensive.

Bounties

Many authorities award the slaying of various monsters and other creatures. Sometimes these bounties are posted on a board in the town square, or fliers posted on the doors of taverns. This section details rules for what these bounties might be, very similar to those for hiring mercenaries in the previous page.

Use the following table for creatures of CR 0 to 1:

CR Bounty
0 5 sp
1/8 1 gp
1/4 2 gp
1/2 5 gp
1 10 gp

For creatures of CR 2 and higher, the bounty for that creature is equal to their CR squared times 10. The following table lists the results of this formula when applied to CRs 2 through 30, for ease of reference:

CR Bounty
2 40 gp
3 90 gp
4 160 gp
5 250 gp
6 360 gp
7 490 gp
8 640 gp
9 810 gp
10 1,000 gp
11 1,210 gp
12 1,440 gp
13 1,690 gp
14 1,960 gp
15 2,250 gp
16 2,560 gp
CR Bounty
17 2,890 gp
18 3,240 gp
19 3,610 gp
20 4,000 gp
21 4,410 gp
22 4,840 gp
23 5,290 gp
24 5,760 gp
25 6,250 gp
26 6,760 gp
27 7,290 gp
28 7,840 gp
29 8,410 gp
30 9,000 gp
Check Result Price Modifier
<0 × .25
0-4 × .5
5-9 × .75
10-14 × 1
15-19 × 1.25
20-24 × 1.5
25-29 × 1.75
30+ × 2

This table is intended to only be used for creatures that some authority wants dead. The PCs shouldn't be able to go out in the woods, kill some weasels, and bring them back to town and sell them for a few silver each. They should only be able to do that if the local town has been plagued by trash-feeding weasels and the mayor is paying to want them dead.

Most Wanted

Particular species or individuals might draw especial ire from the authority which is posting bounties. In these cases, the authority might pay anywhere from 1.25 to 1.5 times the usual price for bounties on that creature. For example, an elven town might pay 2 gp for a pair of goblin ears but 3 gp for a pair of drow ears, because while the goblins are a nuisance they really hate drow. And they might pay 800 gp for the head of a drow priestess of lolth, but 960 gp for the head of the drow matron mother, even if they are otherwise statistically identical, because while they really hate drow priestesses, they really really hate their leader.

Bounty Difficulty

CR is not always the best indicator of how hard it is to catch a particular individual. This is especially true for sneaky characters. Weeding out a measly spy could be several times as difficult as slaying the giant toad haunting the local swamps, and catching a pixie is nearly impossible if it doesn't want to be caught.

If a creature is particularly difficult to kill or capture, set an appropriate CR. This is largely up to the DM, because, in-game, it represents how difficult the bounty-giver thinks the task to be. And just like the DM might set a bounty to high or too low, this can mostly be excused as the bounty-giver setting the bounty too high or too low.

Negotiating

For both hiring hirelings and accepting bounties, the PCs might be able to haggle for higher or lower prices.

The table to the left is for haggling for a higher bounty, and the one to the right is for convincing an NPC to work for a lower price. For either table, the haggler should roll a Charisma check (Persuasion or Deception, at DM discretion). Subtract the creature's proficiency bonus from the dice roll.

Check Result Price Modifier
<0 × 3
0-4 × 2
5-9 × 1.5
10-14 × 1
15-19 × .9
20-24 × .8
25-29 × .7
>30 × .6

Interrogation

Where once battles were won by courage and sharp blades, secrets and lies are now deciding factors. The ability to extract information from unwilling prisoners is vital. In addition to arsenals or pistols, infantry and armor, modern armies also have spies and interrogators skilled in the arts of torture.

Interrogation is a skill contest, divided into rounds. Depending on the nature of interrogation each round may take minutes, days, weeks or years of game time. Each round the interrogator announces and describes what actions they want to use and make the appropriate rolls. Each action leads to a success or failure, getting closer to one of two possible outcomes.

Interrogation Outcomes

The possible outcomes of Interrogation are:

  • Success: when the interrogator has accumulated number of Successes equal to victim's proficiency plus its Wisdom modifier. You gain the information you desire.
  • Failure: when the interrogator has accumulated 3 failure checks. You gain incorrect or misleading information. If the target dies of exhaustion you do not gain the information you want. You may stop the skill challenge at any time and allow the target to rest. If you retry interrogating the same target later, your failed checks transfer to the new skill challenge.

Interrogation Actions

Strength (Athletics) vs victim's Wisdom: By torturing the victim you can more easily acquire information. Each time the interrogator uses this check the target suffers one level of Exhaustion.


Torturer's Tools vs target's Constitution: With judicious use of torturer's tools, you can cause maximum pain with minimal actual physical damage. Each time interrogator uses this check the target suffers two levels of exhaustion.


Charisma (Deception or Intimidation) vs victim's Wisdom: By keeping the target awake and asking hard or tricky questions, you can find out additional information. You must make this check with disadvantage. Each time the interrogator uses this check the victim recovers a level of exhaustion.


If the player describes the exact scene of interrogation in great detail, he may make the associated skill rolls at advantage.

Torturer's Tools

These fiendish tools are designed to inflict maximum pain while keeping a victim alive as long as possible. Proficiency with these tools lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to torture or interrogate a captive.

Item Price Weight
Torturer's Tools 30 gp 6 lb.

Magic Complications

Hiding Spell Casting

In some situations you may attempt to hide the act of casting spells, cast them in a non-threatening manner, or disguise the use of specific components as part of the spell casting.

If a spell has a Verbal component, you must roll Intelligence(Stealth) or Wisdom(Stealth) opposed by Passive Perception if you are not actively observed, or Perception Roll if observed. Loud background noise give advantage to the your roll. If the observer knows that you are able to use magic, they have advantage to the Perception Roll.

If a spell has a Somatic component, you must roll Dexterity(Stealth) opposed by Passive Perception if you are not actively observed, or Perception Roll if observed. Lots of nearby movement (such as a crowd) give advantage to your roll. If the observer knows you are able to use magic, they have advantage to the Perception Roll.

If a spell has a Material component, you must roll Dexterity(Sleight of Hand) opposed by Passive Perception if you are not actively observed, or Perception Roll if observed. If the observer is trained to recognize spell components, he has advantage to the Perception Roll.

If a spell has multiple components, you must roll separately for each. Failure to one roll reveals only suspicious activity unless the observer has studied magic. Failure to two or more rolls reveals unmistakable evidence of casting magic.

Cost of Magical Services

When you seek magical assistance from individuals who ask fair payment for their services, use the following formula to calculate the cost of the service. The Base Cost depends on the relationship with the caster, availability, legal issues and living standards in the region.

  • Base Cost of 5, when you have established contact with preferential price, the service is legal and widely available and there is high competition providing it, or the living standards of the location are very low;
  • Base Cost of 10, when you contact an independent organization providing the service, the service is legal but only few in the region provide it, and the living standards of the location are standard;
  • Base Cost of 15 or more, when you are being fleeced, the service is considered illegal, only one person in vast region provides it, and the living standards of the location are very high;
Spell Cost = (Spell Level x Spell Level) x Base Cost + (Consumed Materials x 2) + (Nonconsumed Materials x 0.1)

Mapless Combat

The goal of this system is to facilitate gridless, theatre-of-the-mind combat for 5th Edition. Ensuring this type of combat runs smoothly and quickly requires both the DM and the players to be clear about positioning and the options at their disposal.

The Combat Map, Reimagined

When initiative is called for, rather than laying down a battlemap or using digital aids, the DM exposits the scene. The layout is broken down into carefully described regions - these are the key to this style of combat, as these regions form the basis for the decisions being made by the players and DM.

Each of these regions will have tags associated with it that give that region a flavor and utility different to those around it. These tags inform the players what their options are within that region.

Sample exposition

You come across a crude campsite; the source of the smell of burning flesh is clear to you now, with a humanoid form silhouetted on a spit over the fire. You can see four gnolls milling about this central area, snapping at each other in their impatience for their meal. Beyond the campsite is a cleared, flat area with a crude altar on it made of bone and sticks. Where you are now, and on either side of the central fire area, there is dense forest.

Ok, so, there are 5 regions at play here; the central area has a hazard with the fire pit. The forest areas that flank the central area on three sides are strewn with forest debris and the area near the altar beyond the central fire area is desecrated. All four enemies are in the central area. What do you do?

Combat within regions

Every creature within a region is considered to be within melee range of every other creature in that region. For this reason, regions is relatively small - around 20ft by 20ft.

This means that combat is less about standing in one spot and attacking until an adjacent enemy is dead; instead, combat is free-flowing and dynamic as you may have access to a number of enemies, and they have access to you.

Opportunity attacks

Since an entire region is within melee range, opportunity attacks work differently. Creatures can only make an opportunity attack against a creature leaving a region they share. Only one creature in the original region (of DM's choice) can make an opportunity attack. If more than one creature hostile to the moving creature is present, another may spend their reaction to give the attacking creature advantage.


Firing into regions

When in the midst of battle, shooting an arrow or firebolt can be dangerous; and not just for one's enemies. When a creature fires a single target attack into a region in which they have allies and the spell requires an attack roll that misses, they must then roll the same attack against a random ally in that region.

Areas of effect

Without a grid, area of effect spells can become difficult to adjudicate. Determine which combatants are in the same region, and let the table guide you in determining the number of those combatants that are caught in an area of effect, rounded up. Usually area of effect spells on affect one region, though the DM may adjudicate it affects a nearby region as well.

  • Cone - Size of spell ÷ 10
  • Cube or square - Size of spell ÷ 5
  • Cylinder - Radius of spell ÷ 5
  • Line - Length of spell ÷ 30
  • Sphere or circle - Radius of spell ÷ 5

The DM will ultimately decide if more or fewer creatures are caught in a spell's effect (though they are encouraged to err on the side of the player, knowing they would instinctively look for the most damage were they really on the battlefield).

Avoiding allies

When casting a spell into a region that contains allies, you need to be careful to keep them out of the blast. The DC for such an act is 10 + the level of the spell. Roll for each ally, and add your spell-casting modifier and proficiency bonus.

Movement

Players have 1 Movement Point (MP) for every 10ft their players could previously move; so an average human has 3, where as a dwarf would have 2, for example. Movement points are the currency you can use to interact with your environment. When various spells and abilities affect speed, they add or subtract MPs. For example, taking the dash action gives you bonus MPs equal to your base MPs. Or, when halving speed, such as exhaustion or the slow spell, half your MPs, rounding up.

Moving between Regions

Players spend 1 MP to leave or enter a region. The distance between regions is decided by the DM usually at the early exposition and should be measured in MP. For example, an average human with 3 MPs can leave its current region for 1 MP, move ten feet to the nearby region, and spend 1 MP to enter it.

Different tags can modify these rules such as make a region more expensive to leave or enter, or grant attacks of opportunity upon entering a region, or other effects.

Maneuvers

There are other ways to spend your MPs than just moving between regions. Maneuveres which require checks still use their MPs if the check fails. DMs and players are encouraged to improvise more maneuveres in the midst of battle.

  • Flank (1 MP) - get advantage on your next melee attack against a creature in your region. Cannot be used if there are more enemies than allies in the region.
  • Shove (1 MP) - move an enemy creature outside the region, or if the region has a Hazard or similar tag, trigger the tag effect for the creature. Requires a contested Athletics(Strength) check.
  • Stand (1 MP) - attempt to stand up from prone using a skill, disengage, or trigger an attack of opportunity.
  • Withdraw (1 MP) - until the start of your next turn, negate the disadvantage penalty for using a ranged attacks when in a region with a hostile creature.

Region Tags

Each region can be populated with any number of tags that help the players and the DM make meaningful choices on the battlefield. A few of the tags are demonstrated in the example above ('hazard' and 'difficult terrain'). Some of these tags give players options for spending their movement points, whilst others give special bonuses and penalties to creatures within their associated region.

What's presented here is by no means an exhaustive list, and DMs should feel free to come up with tags that suit their group's style of play.

  • Enemy Territory - Opponents in this area have a +2 bonus to attacks.
  • Debris - moving into or out of this area costs 2MP (creatures who only have 1MP in total can reserve their 1 MP from previous turn).
  • Dim - creatures in this area have +2 AC against attackers without a means to see them clearly (ex. darkvision).
  • Cacophonous - creatures in this region cannot hear.
  • Cover - a creature can spend 1MP to have cover (+2 AC) against ranged attacks until the start of its next turn. At the DM's discretion, they may get three-quarter or total cover instead.
  • Elevated - creatures in this area have +2 AC against creatures on a lower elevation.
  • Hazard - creatures in this area can be pushed, pulled or otherwise maneuvered into a damaging effect (ie: a fire or pit). Those that are take damage as set by the DM (ex. 1d6 fire damage from a nearby firepit).
  • Slippery - whenver a creature uses a MP whilst in this area (including in trying to leave the area), they must make a DC12 dexterity check or fall prone. Using multiple MPs for the same task counts as one use.
  • Sloped - moving into or out of this area costs +1MP when moving uphill.
  • Deadly - creatures in this region take an extra 1d4 damage whenever they take damage from any source.
  • Unstable - creatures here must make a DC12 dexterity saving throw at the start of their turn or fall prone. They may instead take a -2 penalty to their AC until the start of their next turn. If they do, they automatically pass the dexterity check.

Running a Business

Adventurers can end up owning business's that have nothing to do with delving into dungeons or saving the world, however the business may have an affect on your world and its events. If a character decides to maintain a business venture they have acquired, an influential business may allow the player to be regarded as a noble and live an aristocratic lifestyle, a shady business may be discovered and be ruined by the locals, and a tavern patron may give the party their next quest. The influence of the business is up to you as a DM.

How to handle a business

The player chooses a skill check to represent how they handle their business.

Skill Check Description
Persuasion The business is run diplomatically with good business sense.
Performance The business attracts the populace with spectacles and shows.
Intimidation The business has a tight grip on its competition and employees.
Deception The business is shady and tricks the populace into overspending.
Insight The business predicts the local trends and prices.
Any Field Expertise If the business requires trade knowledge, such as an Arcane or Herbalist shop, and you have applicable Field Expertise, you may add your proficiency to the Business roll.

If the business is managed by a hired NPC, the rolls are made with his Attribute score. However you may still apply your Field Expertise when applicable if the worker can find you anytime to provide consultation.

The Result

While spending time on this downtime activity, in addition to maintaining their lifestyle, each week the player running the business rolls on the Running a Business table using the skill check that was chosen for this week.

If the character is required to pay a cost as a result of this table but fails to do so, the business begins to fail. For each unpaid debt incurred in this manner the business takes a -3 penalty to subsequent rolls made on this table.

When a business is run for multiple weeks, multiply the result on the table by the number of weeks. When a business is run for under a week, the number of days it was worked is added to the next time the business is run.

Under certain conditions you as a DM may choose for a player to roll with advantage or disadvantage on the Running a Business check. A festival might increase demand to give the business an advantage, or customers may be too poor to afford its wares, putting the business at a disadvantage.

On critical failure, DM chooses a negative incident - broken equipment, sick personnel, competitor smear campaign.

Running a Business
Business Roll Revenue for the week
4- They must pay twice the maintenance cost.
5-9 They must pay the maintenance cost.
10-14 The business covers its maintenance cost.
15-19 The business earns a profit equal to the maintenance cost.
20-24 The business earns a profit equal to twice the maintenance cost.
25-29 The business earns a profit equal to thrice the maintenance cost.
30+ The business earns a profit equal to four times the maintenance cost.

Building a Business

Characters might aspire to owning a large successful business. A character may pay for and prepare the property to run a business at a cost and time detailed on the Business Opportunities table. The size of the property is chosen by the character if that size of property is available for purchase.

A character that wishes to build an extension of their business must acquire the property from an owner by trade or as a gift. Paying for and preparing the extension costs as detailed on the Business Opportunity table subtracted by the construction cost of the business thus far.

If a business is built somewhere where there would not be a populace of sufficient wealth for the business to be run, the business is guaranteed to fail on the Running a Business table.

Business Opportunities
Property Maintenance (week) Cost (gold) Time (days)
Farm, Market Stand 25 sp 160 15
Large farm, Large Market Stand 5 gp 400 20
Massive Farm, Small Shop, Tiny Stage, Tiny Inn 10 gp 800 25
Multiple farms, Shop, Stage, Inn 20 gp 2,000 50
Local Farm Monopoly, Large Shop, Large Stage 80 gp 4,000 50
Farm Monopoly, Massive Shop, Massive Stage, Massive Inn 80 gp 8,000 80
Multiple Shops, Multiple Stages, Multiple Inns 160 gp 20,000 125
Local Shop Monopoly, Local Stage Monopoly, Local Inn Monopoly 320 gp 50,000 250
Shop Monopoly, Stage Monopoly, Inn Monopoly 640 gp 100,000 500

Stealth Missions

Stealth Missions are exploration encounters where the players are trying to navigate through an area without alerting its guards and drawing combat. A stealth mission starts with the players entering an environment filled with guarding creatures or individuals and navigating without being spotted.

Stealth Check

When the group enters 30 feet range of one or several guards, every player must make a Stealth check. A Stealth check DC is equal to highest Passive Perception in the guards. Bored or distracted guards suffer -2 to -5 penalty to their Passive Perception. The group succeeds if more than half of the players succeed.

If any guard has darkvision, the group succeeds only if two thirds of players succeed, rounded up. If any guard has truesight, the Stealth checks are made at disadvantage and the group succeeds if all players succeed.

  • Minor fail: a fail of less than 5, that enemy hears a sound that could be misconstrued as innocuous, or sees a glimpse of movement from the PC with the lowest roll.
  • Major fail: a fail of 5 or more, or a fail that includes a natural 1, one of them spots the PC with the lowest roll.

Guard Behavior

When a guard spots a player, make a roll corresponding the alertness of the guards then consult the table below:

  • Low alert. Roll 3d4, drop the highest, then add highest Wisdom modifier among all guards.
  • Alert. Roll 2d4, then add highest Wisdom modifier among all guards.
  • High Alert. Roll 3d4, drop the lowest, then add highest Wisdom modifier among all guards.

Guard Actions

Depending on the roll, guards will take one or several actions:

  • Search. Guard makes a Perception roll against DC equal to lowest Stealth roll among the players. On success he is aware of the nature of the player with the lowest roll.
  • Investigate. Guard makes an Investigate roll. If it beats the Stealth roll of one or several players, the guard is aware of the location

    and nature of these players.

    • Inform other Guards. The guard will approach other guards in same or nearby area and share what he noticed. Roll Persuasion against DC 15, at advantage if they are likely to believe him or disadvantage if unlikely. On success, they will believe him and go on High Alert. Decrease DC by 5 if whole area is on High Alert
    • Shout. Guards make this sound when Surprised and when calling any nearby guard for backup. Any other guard in 100 feet will be put on High Alert.
    • Call for backup. Guards make this call when informing others of number, position or nature of targets. Guards will in 300 feet will be put on High Alert.

    Player Actions

    • Grappling. Any guard who isn't aware of you is Surprised and gives you advantage to the first Grapple check needed for Silent Takedown, Gagging or Choke Hold actions.
    • Distractions. Player can attempt to distract enemies by throwing rocks, coins, etc. Treat as minor fail at chosen by player nearby location.
    • Deception. Guards with Reckless, Curious and Paranoid behavior have disadvantage on Deception checks with the purpose of distracting their attention.
    • Threatening. Guards with Distracted, Afraid and Paranoid behavior have disadvantage on Intimidation checks when you threaten their life to keep them silent.
    Roll Type Minor fail Major fail
    <3 Distracted No Reaction. Ignores spotted target. No reaction. On the next turn, he will make a Search check with disadvantage. On success he becomes Afraid. On failure, ignores spotted target.
    4 Afraid Makes a Search check with disadvantage. On success becomes Paranoid. On failure, ignores spotted player. Makes a Search check. On success becomes Paranoid. Then attempts to Inform other guards who are unlikely to believe him.
    5 Reckless Makes Search or Investigate check. On success, becomes Paranoid. On failure, becomes Afraid. Shouts and engages in the general direction, despite not sure about it.
    6 Curious Makes a Search check. On success Informs other guards who are neither likely or unlikely to believe him. Makes a Search check, then Investigate check. On any success Calls for backup, then Informs other guards who are likely to believe him.
    7-8 Paranoid Shouts and runs away to join and Inform other guards who will are neither likely or unlikely to believe him. Becomes Frightened, then Shouts and runs away to Inform other guards who are likely to believe him.
    9-10 Crafty Pretends to have seen the player and tries to engage them, despite not being sure about it. If he is allowed to, he will join and Inform other guards who are likely to believe him. Pretends to not have seen the player.s Raises silent alarm or joins and Informs other guards and informs them who are likely to believe him.
    >11 Leader Calls for backup and stands the ground. Guards who come are aware what threat to expect but need to spot it first with Search check. Calls for backup and reveals exact position and number of targets. Guards who come are aware what threat to expect and engage immediately.

Part IV

Dungeon Master's
Lore

Thieves' Cant

STEPPING INTO A SMOKEY TAVERN AN ELF casts her eyes about to find the card game in the corner. Paying into the pot with the appropriate greeting, she waits to see what cards she's dealt by the man in the parallel brassard. They exchange amiable conversation for a time and when she's finished the elf stands, leaving the game and her winnings behind her.

A well-dressed dragonborn frowns, counting her funds for a third time. She has even less than she thought. She hadn't wanted to resort to this again so soon, but it seems she has little in the way of options. She stoops out of her rented room, calling to her companions that she'll be at the market all morning, clipping a double banded chocker around her neck as she does so.

A nimble halfling hand reaches out for an unattended purse only to feel a firm grasp landing on the matching halfling shoulder. A grinning half-orc with twin earrings greets them; "it's been far too long!" he laughs. Under the stranger's armpit, the halfling spies a patrol of city guards rounding the corner. "Of course!" their face lights up with recognition, "How are the wife and kids?"

A Cultural Code

Rather than form guilds, many rogues of varying trades have developed a common system of signifiers in order to make ease of their dealings in the public eye without drawing the attention of law enforcement. Some roguish operators will create syndicates, while others simply display their availability for hire for those aware of the cypher to make offers as they please.

Identification

A member of the Varied Trades may choose to identify themselves to others in the know by use of an accessory worn in two parallel bands, as plain or intricate as the rogue prefers. The location in which the accessory is worn also indicates the speciality of the individual displaying it.

Position Trade
Left Ear Con Artist
Right Ear Secure Messenger
Right Eye Lookout
Neck Assassination
Right Biceps Smuggling
Left Biceps Forgery
Right Wrist Intimidation
Left Wrist Fencing
Left Thumb Bribery
Left Index Trap finding
Position Trade
Left Middle Lock picking
Left Ring Kidnapping
Left Pinky Interrogation
Right Thumb Persuation
Right Index Pickpocket
Right Middle General work
Right Ring Information Broker
Right Pinky Burglary
Ankle Stalking

Lay of the Land

A rogue seeking generally applicable knowledge upon arriving in a city should look for a deck of cards. Any signified individual actively using a deck of cards will respond to a greeting recognized as an appeal for information - so long as they're paid for their trouble.

A Game of Cards

As a character with the Thieves' Cant feature pays into a playing card service, the varied trader dealing the cards will encode a message into each hand. Wherever or whomever they're discussing as the hand is dealt will be the topic to which the cards pertain. A rogue hunting down information can guide conversation to specific intel the dealer might be able to give, but should be subtle about it lest the dealer shut the game down. When the inquiring rogue has had their fill, they exit the game, leaving their contributions to the pot as compensation.

Calling a Spade a Spade

You may find the information broker playing cards and inviting you to join them after you have opened the conversation. The key phrase greeting to win a rogue in the know a place at the information table is "Nice to find a friendly face in an unfamiliar town", or statements to similar effect.

One addition is needed to the normal approach, you should ask "how much is the bet?" The bet is the amount you will pay for each piece of information.

The broker will tell you the bet amount and hand you three cards, you should inspect them and then strike up a conversation about your request. When you ask, place bet in-between you and the broker.

Once welcomed to take part, the rogue will need to match the suits of the cards they are dealt in each hand with the seemingly innocuous topics of conversation floated by the dealer during that round. The meanings of the suits are as follows:

Signal Meaning
Hearts The person/location is friendly to you
Diamonds The person/location is a good mark
Spades You can find work here
Clubs This person/location is heavily guarded

These cards may be combined to form more detailed messages for the information seeker. Once you have asked your questions, fold your hand, feign loss and leave the bets you have made. This is the broker's payment and taking anything back is bad form.

Variant Information Brokers

While a tavern card game is a classic example of a context in which the party rogue might drum up information, it is worth considering other contexts in which a tradesmember could be utilising a deck of cards without drawing suspicion.

Not every tavern or city will have a roguish individual willing to stand post and give up their time to others of the varied trades, but the bigger the city, the higher your chances of encountering someone looking to make some easy coin.

The Strange Approach

When a varied tradesman familiar with the cant is looking for work, they may display their availability for dishonest jobs by use of the parallel banded accessories. In this way, they advertise their capabilities to others who might have use for them, in the hopes of earning coin from such work during their down time.

Old Friends

Upon identifying a varied tradesperson who specialises in the desired field, an employer familiar with the cant will approach them with a coded greeting designed to feign friendship. The greeting serves two purposes.

The first is as confirmation of visual identification. If an employer's greeting is met with confusion by the stranger, they will know that the individual they've approached is not offering roguish work, simply making a fashion statement.

Second is as a means of clarifying the type of exchange the approacher is initiating. The tone of the greeting phrase will differentiate between someone looking to hire and someone looking to blend in or for temporary protection in the form of hiding or a falsified alibi. On occasion, when a high alert for suspicious activity is in effect, a kind rogue will warn others of the varied trades to lay low by use of a similar greeting. For example:

Offering Work. "Look what the cat dragged in"; "Uh oh, here comes trouble"; greetings suggesting a teasing closeness.

Requesting Sanctuary. "Aren't you a sight for sore eyes"; "Boy, am I glad to see you"; greetings expressing relief.

Lay Low. "Long time no see"; "Feels like I haven't seen you in forever"; greetings indicating a long period between meetings.

If a rogue requests and is provided sanctuary of any sort by use of the Strange Approach, it is generally regarded that repayment take the form of an owed favour. To demand coin in return for the service of protection is deemed poor taste, and work for such a tradesman would dry up in the city as word got around that they weren't good to work with. For the dishonest, reputation is everything.

Dishonest Employment

Once a cant greeting has been accepted, an offer may be floated by the approaching employer, disguised as conversational catching up. This offer will provide the basic outline of the illegal work to be done, allowing those propositioned to decide whether or not they're interested in taking on the job. The type of task to be completed is already assumed based on the advertised speciality of the hiree, so ordinarily this conversation covers:

  • Whether the contract is personal or on behalf of a syndicate;
  • The anticipated difficulty in carrying out the work;
  • The amount of payment proposed; and
  • A location at which both parties may meet later for further details.

Catching Up

When a greeting is accepted, it is customary for the hiree to enquire as to the employer's wellbeing. From there the employer is obliged to answer that they are either "on my own these days" if the job is for them personally, or "starting a family" or similar if the job is on behalf of a larger group. Some might wish to steer clear of crime family work, for example, or to remain unaffiliated with a cause and this could be their only opportunity to turn down the offer of work without causing offense.

How's Your Dad?

The conversation will then move to the general foreseen difficulty of a contract. This will be measured by the health status of a fabricated loved one of the employer. The scale may range from a simple task when the loved one is "well" to a potentially deadly challenge if hey have "passed away". If the obstacles are unknown, the health of the loved one will be similarly uncertain, "a bit touch and go".

Compensation

Payment is also usually discussed during this 'catch up', however the onus is on the hiree rogue to ensure such - if an inexperienced thief takes a job without negotiating remuneration and winds up with little reward to show for their efforts, the fault lies with them. Who are they gonna complain to, the guards?

A discussion of compensation may be brought to the conversation by the introduction of any topic enabling the inconspicuous use of numbers. By context a rogue should be able to gleen whether the number indicates a multipilier of x100gp or x100pp, erring toward x100gp if in doubt. For example:

Number of kids/grandkids. x100gp/x100pp respectively.

Number of younger/older siblings. x100gp/x100pp respectively.

Age of child. Always x100gp.

Haggling for amounts is acceptable, but it is impolite to follow up with an uncertain attendance to the 'card game' for more details on the job; either accept the contract or turn it down.

Rendezvous

The location for further details will always be given as a card game at a particular address, commonly a safehouse, at a specified time.

If the hiree is accepting the work offered, they should indicate their intent to attend the card game. If not, it is not uncommon practice to express uncertainty at one's ability to attend, reserving the option to pick up the job at the time of the card game, or formally accept or decline once more details have been learned. If taking this tactic, however, the hiree rogue should expect competitors to the contract to have been gathered in the mean time, likely lessening their potential earnings.

As an optional extra, the informational card game may be described as a "private game" if the contract is being offered to this rogue alone, or a "party" if it is to be a team operation or a matter of first in best dressed.

Example Conversation

Dorian is a rogue displaying his parallel bars while going about his business in the city. He wears two rings on the second and fourth fingers of his right hand, each of them a double band, one etched silver and the other plain.

Before too long he is approached by a bright-smiled elven woman with twinned bangles pushed up her wrist to make them hold their place

"Someone pinch me, I thought you'd never show your face in these parts again! It's so great to see you!"

Dorian has never met this woman before in his life. He beams and pulls her into a tight hug.

"You too! I thought you'd moved out East, how are you?"

"The family moved, I stayed here on my own. Doing pretty well for myself, actually." She shrugs in faux-faux-modesty.

"Glad to hear it." His smile tightens at her boastfulness even though it's all an act. Annoying is annoying. "I should ask, how have things been with Theodora since I last saw you? Any improvement?"

She shifted, a notable loss of confidence. "We lost Great Aunt Theo last year. But thankfully she got to spend a lot of time with all three kids and five grandkids before she passed."

"I'm so sorry. It's good she was surrounded by so many loved ones"

"Hm. Yes. Well. C'est la vie!" She perked up again and touched Dorian lightly on the arm. "I've got to run, I'm meeting a friend, but we're planning a card game for a little after sundown - it's a cosy place on the corner of Market's Run and the West Alley; green door, planter box in the window, easy to spot. You should come!"

Dorian winced thoughtfully. "I'm really not sure if I can make it tonight, my companions will be expecting me..."

"Oh come on! I could tell you about the fight Theodora's younger sisters got into at the funeral; it will be fun I promise."

"All five of them?"

The woman ground her teeth a little. Dorian smiled pleasantly.

"Only three, but it's still a killer story. A nice, quiet, private game. For old time's sake?" She looked him hard in the eye for a long moment.

"Fine." Dorian nodded at the total stranger. "For old time's sake."

Thieves' Cant Phrasebook

Introductions

Key Word Meaning
Eyes Request for Sanctuary
See/Seen Warning to lay low
Trouble I'd like to hire you

"Aren't you sight for sore eyes!" which would be a request for the fellow you are speaking with to provide you sanctuary.

Timeline

Once the greeting is exchanged and the other party has responded familiarly you will know they are indeed a tradesman. It's best that they know the timeline of the job and to do this you should specify the time since you last seen this person. The keywords are not required but a general expression of urgency.

Time Timeline
Weeks Low urgency
Months Medium urgency
Years High urgency
Forever Immediate

Not all fellows get along, in this business rivalries and enemies can be formed as easily as allies. It is always wise to establish from both sides if you are working alone or on behalf of an organization.

You can find this out by inquiring how each other has been. The responses should either mention you being alone or part of a group. Depending on your game world you may also add specific words to highlight an organization.

PC: How have you been?


NPC: I'm well, surrounded by family. It is always a good place to be. You?


In this case the key words are surrounded, signifying an organization and family which is an organization within my world.

Difficulty

Not all jobs are equal in difficulty, be that the challenge or danger involved but this is in the hands of the fellow being hired, if they wish to know they will inquire after someone's health, the level of health relates to the difficulty.

Difficulty Health
Easy Dead or dying
Medium Bad health
Hard Good health
Unknown Uncertain

Payment

If there's one thing most fellows share it's the love of coin for their work but discussion of coin tend to gather attention, yet every job has a price.

Conversation should be brought around to something that involves numbers and family.

The connection to you signifies the currency to be discussed and the number a multiple of 100.

Value Relation
Copper Parent
Silver Sibling
Gold Child
Platinum Grandchild

People

Relation Meaning
Mother Guild Leader
Father Direct Superior
Grandmother Queen
Grandfather King
Uncle Royal Advisor
Brother A member of the guild
Children A member of family
Cousin Rival guild
Visitor Target
Guest Someone on the inside

Animals

Animal Meaning
Cow Your companion
Bird My companion
Sheep Target's companion
Ducks An outside party

Places

Places Meaning
Home This town/city
Coast Another town/city
Mountains Royal palace
Fields Local noble's home
Hills Jail

Events

Event Meaning
Ball Assassination
Grand Ball Multiple Assassination
Garden Party Smuggling
Dance Lookout
Surprise Party Kidnapping
Farm Burglary

Distance

Distance Meaning
Other side of town Copper
Outside Silver
Over there Gold
Right here Platinum

Scale

Scale Meaning
Intimate No witnesses
Local Minimal casualties
Town Do as you please
City Kill many
Capital Kill them all
Continent Hide the bodies
World Don't hide the bodies

Food

Food Meaning
Beef Will you take the job?
Pork I will take the job.
Mutton I will not take the job.
Venison You need to pay more.
Tomato Never speak to me again.
Onion I'm going to kill you.

Activities

Scale Meaning
Eating Killed and buried
Drinking Drowning in river, sea
Sleeping Doing time in prison
Playing Tortured
Singing Divulging information
Running Held in a safe location
Cooking Preparing a heist or a hit
Talking Mustering a group of criminals
Growing Collecting funds for a hit

Hand Signals


Fellows of the Cant often dwell in environments requiring vocal discussion but also passage of hasteful information. For this the Silent Cant was created.

Signal Meaning
1 Hold where you are
2 Something is there
3 Move on stealthy
4 Silence the enemy
5 Silent kill
6 Attack on 3

Grit

Is Adventure

Of Its Own

Realistic, historic and low fantasy are among the most difficult to fit with the D&D ruleset. When heroes grow in power and become legends, they are no longer bound to the laws of reality. They no longer fear injury or death.

This supplement adds many practical rules that improve the realism of the game. For every rule that makes combat and survival dangerous and lethal, there are player options with emphasis on decision between high risk and great reward.

So go ahead, put your armor, take your sword out and see how long you can survive without full hp recovery at long rest!

This compendium is maintained by Apostol Apostolov for personal use with his group. Feedback and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Changelog

07/22/2018

Fixed Raise Shield by removing the use of attack action. The early balance of shield getting damaged actually put a heavy limitation on number of uses the shield can be used.

07/21/2018

Based on initial player group feedback, Wounds mechanic has been greatly simplified and improved, while making the rule a bit less deadly.

07/20/2018

Migrated fixes from Grit and Glory: Rewrote Dirty Fighting, fixed weights for mail armor, added Injury when Unconscious rule to Injury Severity. Realistic Weapons and Armor got proof-reading.

07/18/2018

Two months in development, this massive book has reached 100 pages and is now, unfortunately, no longer possible to print to PDF via Chrome. I am considering slowing down or stopping the development of this book and moving its content to several smaller supplements.

07/17/2018

Minor table fix for Stealth Missions. Fixed CSS issue with footers. Added Henchmen and Hirelings. Migrated all images to Imgur, then to GMBinder.

07/16/2018

Expanded Downtime is now complete, with Unskilled Labor. Added Background Flavors. Finally completed Thieves' Cant.

07/15/2018

More expanded Downtime: Sow Rumors and Taming Animals now have Complications.

07/15/2018

More expanded Downtime: Sow Rumors, Taming Animals. Both are missing Complications, for now.

07/07/2018

More expanded Downtime: Research. Added Realistic Armor to Part I.

07/07/2018

More expanded Downtime: Purchasing Illegal Goods, Prepare for a Task. Fixed Combat Actions to use few weapon properties. Fixed Raise Shield combat action.

07/06/2018

The promise of not adding any more content to Part I has been broken! Added Realistic Weapons to Part I.

07/02/2018

More expanded Downtime: Practicing a Profession. Improved Invigoration.

07/02/2018

Continued integration of realistic Downtimes: Carousing, Crime, Gain Renown, Gambling, Mustering, Perform Sacred Rites, Pit Fighting.

06/25/2018

No work done during GMBinder 2 days critical bug affecting column break code.

06/23/2018

Started integration of Downtimes. Section is broken right now.

06/22/2018

Minor fix to Thieves' Cant.

06/21/2018

Fixed Ingenious Profifiency.

06/17/2018

Fixed Thieves' Cant Phrasebook. Professional text proofing of Part I. Part I is officially LOCKED! for players to read.

06/16/2018

Finished Thieves' Cant Phrasebook. Added Background Assets, Running a Business. Added Foils from Unearthed Arcana Downtime.

06/15/2018

Fixed bleeding damage in Wounds. Fixed memo for Massive Damage. Added Mapless Combat. Started work on expanding Thieve's Cant with a Phrasebook.

06/14/2018

Added Excess Injury memo to Injury Severity. Finished Thieves' Cant. Added Chases to Part III. Added Part V for Homebrew Whitelist.

06/13/2018

Major overhaul of Lingering Injuries (renamed to Injuries). Added Injury Severity, Overcoming Pain to Part II. Added Massive Damage to sidenote in Combat. Added Part IV and Thieves' Cant.

06/12/2018

Improved Personality Profile. Rewritten Death Resilience.

06/11/2018

Added Character Creation: Ingenious Proficiency, Personality Profile.

06/08/2018

Fixed Rising from Prone. Minor wording fixes to Lingering Damage.

06/05/2018

Fixed Starting Expertise.

06/04/2018

Removed Monster Knowledge (too meta).

06/02/2018

Finished Interrogation. Some polish to Monster Knowledge but still work in progress.

06/01/2018

Added memos to Introduction. Moved Magic Complications to Situational Rules (at least temporarily). Finished Field Expertise. Added
raw text for Monster Knowledge.

05/31/2018

Finished integration of Disease ruleset. Integrated Memos for GMBinder. Added memos to Combat and Combat Actions. Added raw text for Interrogation.

05/30/2018

Unifying writing style. Renamed Part II. Added Critical Hit and Fumble tables.

05/29/2018

Rewrote Stealth Missions to more structured random table. Defined Guard actions when spotting a player. Started work on migrating Disease rules. Finished back cover.

05/28/2018

Changed Lingering Wound trigger to work with Constitution saving throw.

05/27/2018

Added Exhaustion and Death section: Combat Conditions, On Death's Door, modified Death Saves. Changed trigger condition for Wounds.

05/26/2018

Added Magic Compications: Hiding Spell Casting and Cost of Magic Services (from Adventure League). Added expanded resting rules: Breather, Full Rest. Modifications to Short and Full rest. Improved Lingering Damage.

05/25/2018

Added Lingering Damage. Improved Inspiration Points use. Reorganized chapters.

05/24/2018

Initial GMBinder release. Reworked Inspiration Points into party mechanic. Separated Combat and Stealth actions.

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