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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Amaru D&D 5E Fantasy Campaign Setting Part 2: First 3 Races/Species

Here are the first three races/species that I have statted out.  Others will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.  It is fun to mess with the points system, and I'm going to stick to 6 points for all of them.  Here are the Ant-folk (Yimkals), Bat-folk (Nildacks), and the Fish-folk (Vor'nalu).

Ant-folk / Yimkal (plural Yimkals)

Language/names - Fantasy (K, J, Y, etc.)
Ant-folk / Yimkal Traits (6 points total)
  • Dexterity +2 (2pts)
  • Intelligence +1 (1pt)
  • 40 Feet Movement
  • Proficiency with the stealth skill (0.5pts)
  • Sleepless Trance (0.5pts) 
  • Secondary Arms (0.5pts) 
  • Telepathic Communication (Not Mind-reading) 60 Feet (0.5pts) 

Secondary Arms - They have a secondary set of weaker arms located along their torso beneath their
regular ones. These arms can be used to hold additional light items or equipment but may not
attack. You may perform an additional object interaction on your turn if either hand is empty.

Sleepless Trance - They don’t need to sleep. Instead, they meditate deeply, remaining semiconscious, for 4 hours a day. (The Common word for such meditation is “trance.”) While meditating, you can dream after a fashion; such dreams are actually mental exercises that have become reflexive through years of practice. After Resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that another race does from 8 hours of sleep.

Telepathic Communication 60' - You can telepathically communicate to any creature up to 60' away from you, but they can only communicate back in this way if they also have this ability.  


Bat-folk / Nildack (plural Nildacks)

Language/names - Consonant Heavy Names 

Bat-folk / Nildack Traits (6 points total)  
  • Dexterity +2 (2pts)
  • Wisdom +2 (2pts)
  • Small (-1pt) 
  • Superior Hearing (1pt) 
  • Darkvision 120 Feet with Light Sensitivity (0.5pt) 
  • Proficiency in the Stealth skill (0.5pt) 
  • Naturally Stealthy (1pt) 

Darkvision 120' with Light Sensitivity - You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.

Naturally Stealthy - You can attempt to hide even when you are obscured only by a creature that is at least one size larger than you.

Small - Disadvantage with heavy weapons, 25' movement.

Superior Hearing - You are proficient in Perception, and you have advantage on perception checks involving hearing. 

Fish-folk / Vor'nalu (plural Vor'nalu)

Language/names - Names With Apostrophes   

Fish-folk / Vor'nalu Traits (6 points total)
  • Intelligence +1, Dexterity +1 (2pts)
  • Cunning (2pts)
  • Darkvision 60' (0.5pts)
  • Two Extra Languages (1pt)
  • Natural Armor +1 (0.5pt)  

Cunning - You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.

Darkvision - You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions.  You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light.  You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. 

Natural Armor - You have a natural armor bonus of +1.  When unarmored, your AC is equal to 10 + your natural armor bonus + your Dexterity modifier.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Amaru D&D 5E Fantasy Campaign Setting Part 1: Introduction

I have been tinkering around with a new Dungeons & Dragons 5E fantasy setting called Amaru lately (when I should be doing about a million other things).  I've learned to just go with where my creativity leads me, and currently it is whispering lots of things about this new setting.  Damn my unfocused muse, haha. 

It Starts with a Map...

Finding a free map to start with online was much easier than I expected.  When I saw this one I fell in love with it.  It was free to use as I wished, which was a bonus.  As you see, it is fan-frickin-tastic.

What the Hell do I Call It?
So where did I get the setting's name?  I looked at some old Akkadian words and found this, and liked the dream part of it.  Amaru, to see the dream.   

Amaru: 1) G: see (someone, something, dream), to dream, to look at, to glance, to examine, to inspect, to read (a tablet).

I like the sound of pronouncing it "Ah-May-Roo."

Akkadian may come in useful later to name things, so I'll put these links here.

Traditional Races... Nope

I've created traditional settings before (Marth Ice World) and unconventional ones (Burning Heaven), so this is a sort of middle ground between the two of those.  I didn't want to go down the Dwarf, Elf, Orc, Goblin superhighway, but I wanted to make races that were easy to grok quickly.  While I'm not normally a big anthropomorphic fan, I figure that humanoid animals are very easy to picture quickly for those that are coming to the setting for the first time.  Slap on the "-folk" suffix, and a way you go!

I came up with the following 11 races/species but I still need to stat all of them up, and these will be in later posts.  Ant-folk (Yimkal/Yimkals), Bat-folk (Nilddack/Nilddacks), Fish-folk (Vor'nalu / Vor'nalu), Frog-folk (Iskaro / Iskaren), Goat-folk (Rhakin / Rhakins), Lizard-folk (Ch'taren / Ch'taren), Rat-folk (Yasur / Yasuren), Reptile-avian-folk (Ushum / Ushum), Spider-folk (Ajal / Ajals), Tree-folk (Esonta / Esontas), Wolf-folk (Ektu / Ektus).   


 Making D&D 5E Races/Species

I found the following links invaluable to making some new races for D&D 5E.  I still need to flesh out all of the races/species though.

This document should be helpful.  5E Analysis/Creation Guide

This one is a list of races created with the above document.

There is this one too from the wiki.

I'll share the finished races in future posts.

Where Are All of These Races/Species on the Map Anyway?

I added the migratory routes of the races / species onto the map.  I picked a starting location for each of them, and then literally just drew different colored lines all over the map.  I imagine that the people of each group spread out from the line and this would later help me figure out what races/species are in each country.

Maroon - Ant-folk
Grey - Bat-folk
Orange - Fish-folk
Yellow - Frog-folk
Light Blue - Goat-folk
Dark Green - Lizard-folk
Purple - Rat-folk
Brown - Reptile-avian-folk
Pink - Spider-folk
Light Green - Tree-folk
Dark Blue - Wolf-folk 


Countries & Kingdoms Oh My!

I put grafitti all over the lovely image using Paint, to figure out where the various countries and kingdoms are.  I tried sticking to natural boundaries that were implied by the map (like rivers, coastlines, and mountains).  I still need to figure out what type of government each one of them has however  In hindsight, I probably put too many countries on the map, but I am sure that because of that there can be lots of wars and politics.  The race/species with the #1 is the most populace and the name of the country uses the same naming conventions.  I figure that the most populace race/species will have more to do with the government type and style as well.

Northern Continent

Country Name: Ashtu
Top Right Country: Reptile-avian-folk, Spider-folk, Goat-folk, #1 Wolf-folk, Rat-folk, Ant-folk, Fish-folk, Lizard-folk

Country Name: Chothus
Races/Species: #1 Ant-folk, Rat-folk, Spider-folk, Frog-folk

Country Name: Ch'tael
Races/Species: Bat-folk, Frog-folk, Ant-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Fish-folk, Tree-folk, Goat-folk, #1 Lizard-folk

Country Name: Gabajal
Races/Species: Ant-folk, #1 Reptile-avian-folk, Fish-folk, Spider-folk, Tree-folk

Country Name: Gahnimek
Races/Species: Goat-folk, Lizard-folk, Fish-folk, #1 Spider-folk, Reptile-avian-folk

Country Name: Hanadru
Races/Species: Ant-folk, #1 Rat-folk, Fish-folk, Goat-folk, Lizard-folk, Tree-folk

Country Name: Jelun
Races/Species: Ant-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Fish-folk, #1 Tree-folk, Goat-folk, Lizard-folk, Spider-folk

Country Name: Kalojix
Races/Species: #1 Spider-folk, Rat-folk, Lizard-folk, Frog-folk, Tree-folk

Country Name: Kjarros
Races/Species: Frog-folk, Spider-folk, #1 Goat-folk, Fish-folk

Country Name: Kroljarin
Races/Species: Spider-folk, #1 Goat-folk, Fish-folk

Country Name: Mashtu
Races/Species: Fish-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, #1 Wolf-folk, Rat-folk, Ant-folk

Country Name: Mos'tanu
Races/Species: Spider-folk, Goat-folk, #1 Fish-folk

Country Name: Nirur
Races/Species: Ant-man, Spider-folk, Frog-folk, #1 Tree-folk

Country Name: Om'ach
Races/Species: Lizard-folk, Spider-folk, Rat-folk, Frog-folk, Goat-folk, Tree-folk, #1 Fish-folk

Country Name: Ragaba
Races/Species: Ant-folk, Fish-folk, #1 Reptile-avian-folk, Wolf-folk, Rat-folk, Frog-folk

Country Name: Ridesu
Races/Species: Spider-folk, Goat-folk, Reptilian-avian-folk, #1 Rat-folk

Country Name: Rod'atha
Races/Species: Bat-folk, Frog-folk, Ant-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, #1 Fish-folk, Rat-folk, Tree-folk, Goat-folk, Lizard-folk, Spider-folk

Country Name: Shularen
Races/Species: Wolf-folk, Goat-folk, Frog-folk, Spider-folk, #1 Lizard-folk, Ant-folk

Country Name: Shuyesh
Races/Species: Goat-folk, Wolf-folk, Fish-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Rat-folk, Spider-folk, Frog-folk, Lizard-folk, #1 Ant-folk

Country Name: Tachar
Races/Species: #1 Goat-folk, Spider-folk, Rat-folk, Frog-folk, Lizard-folk

Country Name: Tzende
Races/Species: Ant-folk, Wolf-folk, Lizard-folk, #1 Spider-folk, Frog-folk, Goat-folk, Wolf-folk, Rat-folk

Country Name: Undjask
Races/Species: Ant-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, #1 Frog-folk, Rat-folk, Wolf-folk

Country Name: Yanaru
Races/Species: Reptile-avian-folk, #1 Rat-folk, Frog-folk, Tree-folk, Ant-folk, Lizard-folk

Southern Continent

Country Name: Aghiazo
Races/Species: Ant-folk, #1 Rat-folk, Lizard-folk, Wolf-folk, Tree-folk

Country Name: Arithdru
Races/Species: #1 Rat-folk, Wolf-folk

Country Name: Avahur
Races/Species: #1 Lizard-folk, Rat-folk, Spider-folk, Tree-folk

Country Name: Balatu
Races/Species: Lizard-folk, Tree-folk, #1 Wolf-folk, Goat-folk, Bat-folk, Spider-folk

Country Name: Caladur
Races/Species: Ant-folk, Wolf-folk, Rat-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Tree-folk, #1 Lizard-folk

Country Name: Chakr
Races/Species: Ant-folk, Frog-folk, #1 Goat-folk, Rat-folk

Country Name: Da'amu
Races/Species: Ant-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Bat-folk, Tree-folk, #1 Wolf-folk

Country Name: Etzal
Races/Species: Ant-folk, Lizard-folk, #1 Spider-folk, Bat-folk

Country Name: Gahnala
Races/Species: Goat-folk, Wolf-folk, Tree-folk, Lizard-folk, Frog-folk, Rat-folk, #1 Spider-folk

Country Name: Harpu
Races/Species: Bat-folk, #1 Wolf-folk, Rat-folk

Country Name: Ishtum
Races/Species: Wolf-folk, Goat-folk, #1 Frog-folk, Fish-folk, Spider-folk

Country Name: Ixenil
Races/Species: Frog-folk, #1 Spider-folk, Goat-folk

Country Name: Izlak
Races/Species: Tree-folk, #1 Spider-folk, Bat-folk, Ant-folk, Spider-folk, Rat-folk

Country Name: Jadror
Races/Species: Tree-folk, #1 Goat-folk, Rat-folk, Frog-folk

Country Name: Jh'tahur
Races/Species: #1 Lizard-folk, Tree-folk, Rat-folk

Country Name: Kolarn
Races/Species: Rat-folk, Wolf-folk, #1 Goat-folk, Fish-folk, Frog-folk, Tree-folk

Country Name: Komesda
Races/Species: Wolf-folk, Goat-folk, #1 Frog-folk, Rat-folk, Spider-folk, Bat-folk

Country Name: Krolsvar
Races/Species: Lizard-folk, Rat-folk, #1 Goat-folk, Frog-folk, Wolf-folk

Country Name: Laenara
Races/Species: Wolf-folk, Goat-folk, Bat-folk, Rat-folk, Tree-folk, #1 Lizard-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Spider-folk

Country Name: Lisurra
Races/Species: Tree-folk, Spider-folk, #1 Rat-folk, Wolf-folk, Goat-folk

Country Name: Nagiani
Races/Species: #1 Wolf-folk, Goat-folk, Frog-folk, Spider-folk, Fish-folk

Country Names: Rasku
Races/Species: #1 Reptile-avian-folk, Frog-folk, Fish-folk, Wolf-folk

Country Name: Saena
Races/Species: #1 Rat-folk, Wolf-folk, Ant-folk

Country Name: Shalael
Races/Species: #1 Lizard-folk, Bat-folk, Wolf-folk

Country Name: Sondastla
Races/Species: #1 Frog-folk, Spider-folk, Goat-folk, Wolf-folk

Country Name: Tashkarin
Races/Species: Rat-folk, Lizard-folk, #1 Reptile-avian-folk, Tree-folk, Lizard-folk

Country Name: Tin'unt
Races/Species: Wolf-folk, Tree-folk, Frog-folk, Rat-folk, #1 Fish-folk

Country Name: Tyldach
Races/Species: Lizard-folk, Wolf-folk, #1 Batfolk, Ratfolk

Country Name: Tzos
Races/Species: Lizard-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Bat-folk, Ant-folk, Wolf-folk, Tree-folk, #1 Spider-folk

Country Name: Uldako
Races/Species: Lizard-folk, Ant-folk, Bat-folk, Rat-folk, #1 Tree-folk, Reptile-avian-folk

Country Name: Undossa
Races/Species: #1 Frog-folk, Wolf-folk, Rat-folk

Country Name: Voramo
Races/Species: Frog-folk, #1 Tree-folk, Rat-folk, Wolf-folk

Country Name: Wa'sul
Races/Species: Spider-folk, Tree-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Frog-folk, #1 Fish-folk

Country Name: Yarahi
Races/Species: Frog-folk, #1 Reptile-avian-folk, Wolf-folk, Goat-folk, Tree-folk, Fish-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Spider-folk

Country Name: Yirrakra
Races/Species: #1 Ant-folk, Wolf-folk, Rat-folk, Lizard-folk, Reptile-avian-folk, Bat-folk

Country Name: Yitharja
Races/Species: #1 Ant-folk, Wolf-folk

Miscellaneous Areas

Cursed Wastes of Kabaj

Defilement of Tzij

PDF Rough Draft

Here is the current PDF of the project so far. 

Amaru as a Globe
I found this website, where you can take a 2D map, and turn it into a globe.  I'm geeking out over how cool this is.

Natural map:

Political map: 

If you want to check out future updates of the setting, please remember to follow this blog.  Thanks. 

RPG Research Paper - Tabletop Role-playing Games: What Are They, Why Are They Fun, and Why Are They Beneficial to Play?

Yeah, it has a long title, but I was the only one in my entire Advanced Composition class that knew anything about RPGs.  The teacher was the only one that had a slight idea of what kind of games they were.  :)

You can download this paper from the following link:

I enjoyed taking the questinnaire answers and incorporating them into the final paper.



Monday, June 13, 2016

RPG Questionnairre (For a RPG Research Paper)

If you have some time, please reply to these questions in the comments, or film a video response on YouTube, or post the answers in a blog, etc.  Thanks ahead of time for anyone that answers them.  I can't believe that my Advanced Composition class is letting me write a research paper on RPGs.  :)

Here are the questions in video form:


1. Can you please describe in detail any negative situations that came about in your life because you played RPGs? For example, were you ever bullied, belittled, made fun of, told you were going to Hell because you play THOSE games, etc.?

2. What skills do you think you have personally improved upon by playing RPGs?

3. Who introduced you to RPGs, and what was your first experience like playing them?

4. What was your first experience like running a game?

5. What was it like designing your own system?

6. What was it like making your own setting?

7. Why do you think tabletop RPGs are not known about by a good many people in the public?

8. What is an RPG and why are these types of games fun?

9. If you were going to teach a new player how to play RPGs how would you go about doing that?

10. What age group do you think plays these games more than other age groups?

11. What overall benefits do you think a person that plays RPGs has that perhaps a non-gamer wouldn't have, or would have less of?

12. Have you ever seen a RPG session break out in any violence, or have you ever seen with your own eyes people becoming more violent after playing RPGs?

13. Do you think RPGs are still seen as much of a negative thing as they once were?

Slimy Curse: Blessing of the Head Portal to the Plane of Slime

My allergies have been rough lately. It feels like I have a gallon of slime in my head. This of course got me thinking of how I could twist this and put it into a campaign.

As a curse, to any that fail a saving throw, the unfortunate victim has a portal to The Plane of Slime created inside of their skull. It continuously gushes forth wave after wave of putrid reeking slime and sludge. This person will be considered an Avatar of the God of Slime and Oozes by Clerics and common worshipers of that deity.

Clerics of Slime would probably consider this a blessing and not a curse to whomever they target with it.  Only unbelievers complain about this gift...  ;) 

This could be an alternative 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Domain ability to the ones I provided. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Response: Tabletop Gaming has a White Male Terrorism Problem

Here is the blog post:

My heart goes out to the blog's author, and to anyone that has been through such difficult things in their life. It is sad that scumbags get away with all manner of horrible things in and out of our hobby. That being said, I think those of us that DON"T engage in this behavior need to stand up and do something about things like this if we see them. Normally this sort of thing is left up for the GM / DM to handle, but that too is a bunch of bullshit; players have vocal cords as well. If you think someone is uncomfortable stopping the game should be a priority. There can be that pressure where, "The show must go on" but ignore that, and take care of the players at the table, or in some cases the GM if the players are the ones targeting them.

Some of the language and phrases used in the article I wouldn't have used, but I'm also a white male gamer. I think it is only natural to be a bit defensive when a group you belong to is targeted by an article like this. People should be judged as individuals and not because of a label that is applied to them or because they belong to some group. I didn't always think that way, but life experiences and unlearning some faulty thinking showed me a bit of wisdom in that regard. Judging someone by a group they belong too is lazy, and essentially lumping people into stereotypes and archetypes. People don't fit nice and neatly in the little boxes we assign them to. Take each person as a unique individual and judge the fruits of their tree if it is ripe or rotten.

In all honesty I tend to stay away from gender and race topics when they concern the role-playing game community, because they tend to blow up and can be divisive. My internal dialogue tends to be, "can't we just play Elf Games and get along while we forget the real world and all of its miseries?" Articles like this can be eye-opening however because they are from a completely different vantage point. I haven't been harassed, groped, raped, or mistreated and the hobby for me has been a haven against similar behavior from "average non-gaming folks."

I have been known to run games that are disturbing and have subject matter that is not appropriate for everyone (though I always warn people well in advance of such things so there are no surprises). Should I stop running games like that because of the subject matter? I would say no, again as long as everyone knows what they are signing up for. So I am for freedom of expression, artistic license, free speech, etc. in that regard.

I think the gaming community for me has actually taught me a lot about sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. that I never learned growing up in rural Pennsylvania. I'm still not always sure where the line is between sexy and sexist, so that shows I have more learning to do. smile emoticon I'm just trying to be honest, for whatever that is worth.

For instance, I recorded a video where I talked about how I was more comfortable playing RPGs with guys. Now I know that is partly due to Social Anxiety when I'm around women. It's my issue though that I need to work on. I also think I learned a lot of things from my father unintentionally that need to be UNlearned. We are a product of our environment in some ways.

I have always tried to be welcoming, friendly, nice, etc. to those in my hobby because I know that a lot of us are damaged goods and need a diversion, and escape, entertainment, and meaningful interaction with other people who can also have FUN. I have never met a more welcoming bunch of outcasts before I started playing games. Kids can be cruel, and adults even more so in different ways.

So my advice is to be nice to each other, keep your damn hands to yourself (who's mother didn't teach them that?) and if you see something awful happen help the victim and do not hide the asshole that is giving the rest of us a bad name. Seriously, fuck those guys. -Tim Samwise7RPG Harper

I also filmed a video that is pretty much identical to this post.