“From the Arcane Archive” is a real magical tome

“From the Arcana Archive” by Mage Hand Press
by Ex_Libris85   Twitch   Twitter

Mages, Wizards, Bards, Warlocks, Clerics, Druids, and all other practitioners of the arcane and divine winds! Ever wanted a bit more oomph in your invocations? Need more pizazz in your illusions? Extra mojo in your enchantments? Then I have a book for you!

“From the Arcane Archive” by Mage Hand Press is an OGL supplement for DnD 5th edition and it is the closest you will ever come to a real life wizard’s tome. This book contains hundreds of spells for all the casting classes in DnD 5e, plus a few more custom classes including Mage Hand Press’ own creation the Shugenja.

This book is a wonderful supplement and helps add a lot more utility and, dare I say, humor into 5th edition’s repertoire of a 1000 evocation spells that deal fire damage. Jokes aside, it does help fill a hole that I feel is left by the published WotC material and adds greater depth into spell casting.

One of the nicest things about “Arcane Archive” is that it not only includes spells for the traditional fantasy setting but they are forward thinking enough to add futuristic spells (tailored for Mage Hand Press’ Dark Matter setting) as well as a Renaissance tag for an era that includes rudimentary firearms and a larger scientific presence. These give a lot of flexibility to the GM who wants to create a game that isn’t pigeonholed into a particular setting. Personally I think the futuristic and renaissance tags are good resources for adding spells to my homebrew steampunk world.

 

Here are some interesting spells from the Archive (click to enlarge):

This spell is bananas, I love it. Hack a friend apart, hide them in your shopping bag and infiltrate the evil castle like a Trojan horse. Just make sure you do it in less than an hour!

 

Consecrated Armor is a good lower-level armor spell and honestly it is good to see something besides mage armor. A solid example of the useful spells in this book.

 

 

A novel situational spell. Not something that would come up too often in a traditional setting but certainly very effective if you are in a place with lots of water based foes.

 

A little meta here but this is a fantastic cantrip. Good damage and scaling, but more importantly it just looks like it is fun to use.

 

A nice and fun alternative to Tiny Hut. This spell has a lot of character and the imagery that comes along with it makes me smile. This may seem a weak spell for 5th level but the HP max increase and charm immunity are very valuable effects.

 

There is a lot more to this book than I could ever put in digestible review. What I can assure you is that this book contains something for everyone. Games set in forgotten realms, spell jammer, modern urban fantasy, steampunk, and futuristic settings will all find this book useful. There are utility spells, damage spells, and just weird and fun spells in here. This is an incredible work and a benefit to any 5e player or DM.

 

 

 

 

Mage Hand Press can be found here on Patreon where they release books such as these as awards to their patrons: patreon.com/mfov/

Follow them on twitter here: @MageHandPress

And here is their blog where they post news about their work: http://mfov.magehandpress.com/

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition Pre-Generated Player Characters

by Ex_Libris85   Twitch   Twitter 

 

Here are some pre-gen player character sheets for Warhammer 4e so you can jump right into an adventure. All of these PCs were created by the rules stated in the book with some of them rolling random for race/class and some of them choosing their careers and races, which gave them variable amounts of XP to spend on advances. They are all legitimate by-the-book starting PCs.

 

 

Click the pictures to be taken to a link where you can download each characters sheet. The sheets used is the same one created by me on this link:

https://www.encounterroleplay.com/warhammer-fantasy-roleplay-4th-edition-fillable-pdf-character-sheet/

 

Human Artist

 

Dwarf Engineer

 

Human Flagellant

 

Human Rat Catcher

 

High Elf Seaman

 

Human Warrior Priest

 

Review: Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

Friday last week was the early release date for Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, the latest Dungeons & Dragons hardcover adventure from Wizards of the Coast. (The official release is on September 18.) While previous 5th Edition D&D adventures have focused on the large-scale apocalyptic plots of dragons, giants and demons, Dragon Heist is much more small-scale and down-to-earth. Adventurers explore Waterdeep, the city of splendours, racing against underworld rivals to find a stash of 500 000 gold pieces. (In Waterdeep, gold coins are known as ‘dragons’.)

As well as being a much more localized adventure, Dragon Heist isn’t designed to be used a long campaign. Unlike previous 5th Edition hardcovers, Dragon Heist is only designed to progress player characters from first to fifth level. For this reason, I think Dragon Heist will serve well as a new introductory adventure – an alternative to Lost Mine of Phandelver or In Volo’s Wake. Those who are keen to continue on all the way to level twenty will be able to, with Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage dropping soon after, in November.

Because this adventure only spans levels one to five, WotC have been able to use the extra space to provide four different ways of running the adventure. Each version of the adventure is set in a different season and features different villains, so it has a lot of replay value.

I think this adventure also has a greater emphasis on roleplay and diplomacy than previous 5th Edition hardcovers – in fact, adventurers who try to fight their way through the adventure will probably find themselves in trouble with the law or being hunted down by one of the city’s underworld factions.

Early on in the adventure there is an opportunity for the party to begin running their own Waterdeep tavern, which I expect will be of interest to those players who enjoy the social side of D&D.

The five Sword Coast factions (as well as some local groups like Force Grey) are well integrated into the adventure. There are a lot of ways for adventurers pursue renown within their faction, and there are lots of opportunities for faction members to call in favors from their faction, particularly toward the end of the adventure.

I’m not planning to run this adventure as it is written straight away, but my Thursday night D&D group is currently not far from Waterdeep, and I’m looking forward to using some of the content from this book if they end up in the city of splendors. There’s one chapter where Volo gives an overview of each area of the city, and the adventure proper gives a lot of detail about the lairs of a number of Waterdeep operatives that adventurers could cross paths with. The bestiary provides stats for a lot of powerful non-player characters, presented like the superheroes and criminal masterminds of a renaissance city.


We’re playing through Waterdeep: Dragon Heist on our Twitch stream this season from 5pm Mondays US Eastern Standard Time. You can watch session zero here.

You can preorder a copy of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist via Amazon here.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition Fillable PDF Character sheet version 2

by Ex_Libris85   Twitch   Twitter 

 

I have created a fillable pdf character sheet for Warhammer 4th edition. I have also added a third page for nothing but notes as I find you can quickly run out of space for skills, talents, trappings, corruption and mutations and whatnot. I hope you enjoy using it!

 

Version 2 now live with clickable buttons that keep track of your advantage and auto fill skill blocks from your current characteristics blocks.

Please click the image below to be taken to the sheet. You can download it from there.

 

 

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition PDF Character Sheet

SOURCES OF THE UNKNOWN: MASKS OF NYARLATHOTEP

SOURCES OF THE UNKNOWN

MASKS OF NYARLATHOTEP
You might be thinking to yourself “I thought this was supposed to be about upcoming releases” and you’d be right; Chaosium is releasing the famous and exciting campaign ‘Masks of Nyarlathotep” for Call of Cthulhu 7e. You might be familiar with older releases (Encounter Role Play did an entire playthrough of it) but it doesn’t yet exist for 7e. The updated release is more than just updated mechanics but also expands on the already fantastic story to increase the horror and adventure (and yes, South America is now a part of the story).
If you’ve wanted to GM Masks up until this point (the updated scenario releases July 1st in its PDF version, later in 2018 in hardcover), you’d have to do all of the conversions yourself (which is, admittedly, pretty easy to do) and you’d be stuck with either the handouts that were given (in my opinion, not as good as they could have been) or hunt down usable fan-made handouts (which exist if you look hard enough); not to mention add any additional story yourself. Player creation could be time-consuming but a good Keeper would’ve made it worth the effort.
Masks is one of the most popular titles for Call of Cthulhu but I feel a little awkward giving any kind of review since I haven’t played the updated version at all, my experience rests with older versions. That being said, I’ll tell you what I do know as has been released.

(from the Chaosium website 6/20/18)
The PDF package will cost USD$59.99 and contains the following electronic items:
Masks Book – Omnibus PDF of both volumes (666 pages)
Keeper Screen PDF
NPC Portraits PDF
Keeper Reference Booklet PDF
Handouts (including Maps & Pre-gen PCs)
Book Cover images x 2
Pre-gen Character Sheets x 10
The two-volume full colour hardback slipcase version will be available later in 2018, retailing for USD$129.99*.

129.99 is quite a lot but you get a lot for your money; and 59.99 is reasonable for an adventure of this magnitude (and it might just be me, but I tend to prefer PDFs), plus purchase of the PDF gives you an instant coupon at Chaosium.com for the hard-cover book (the coupon for the Hardcover, valued at $59.99, will drop the HC to just $70). Just look at the list of included downloads and you can see the value. Now, I don’t agree with everything (Pre-Generated characters seem like a waste to me) but I still feel that this would be appropriate. If you love Call of Cthulhu, and want to play this game updated for 7e, I highly recommend. The PDF will be available at chaosium.com and drivethrurpg.com

For more information on the release of Masks of Nyarlathotep, visit www.chaosium.com; to contact me, you can find me on twitter @mbertolini