Today’s Not My Dungeon, Not My Dragons Pick is Ultramodern5, a rather popular “hack” that takes The World’s Most Popular RPG into all kinds of other genres. In this instance, we’re talking the Ultramodern update to 5e, which is designed specifically to let you with your own 5th Edition homebrew ideas.

Ultramodern5 is the follow-up of the popular Ultramodern4

The mission of U5 is to present 5th EDITION rules for use in non-fantasy settings. These include pre-modern settings, contemporary settings, and those that are far flung fantastic and futuristic.  U5 presents modern and science fiction rules in a game usually reserved for fantasy. There is no established setting in U5. 

It presents classes, gear, and scenarios that can be inserted into any campaign, including the following:

Cyberpunk

Espionage

Modern Warfare

Space Opera

Techno Fantasy

Urban Fantasy

Steampunk

Wild West (with or without aliens)

You may explore the rules in whatever context you wish. Rules are generalized, encouraging homebrew settings and the rebranding of elements. 

Create a pure science fiction setting, or insert these rules into your own fantasy world to offer a unique spin.

THIS SOURCEBOOK INCLUDES:

  • A revised “ladder” system, offering more adjustability with character creation. Modify your class with one of seven ladders.
  • Revamped rules around being human.
  • A new lifepath system incorporating backgrounds (with eleven new ones) into an adjustable life history where characters can select every aspect of their character’s history, from family and friends to past love affairs.
  • Ten new classes including the infiltrator, medic, sniper, and techie.
  • Twenty-four archetypes
  • All new weapons including traditional firearms, rocket launchers, and laser rifles
  • New armor including powered combat suits.
  • Purchase and modify vehicles
  • Over forty new monsters including giant robots.
  • Two included adventures—a zombie apocalypse and an alien invasion.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Continuing Not My Dungeon, Not My Dragons Week, wherein we look at ways the various iterations of the D&D engine has been used for very non-traditional settings and game experiences, here’s Guardians. Recommended by friend and supporter Jeffrey Webb, Guardians is a highly-touted superhero genre game by David L. Pulver and Thomas Denmark that presupposes what the original rules would look like had the creators been inspired by four-color comic books instead of medieval fantasy. There are a lot of great reviews of the product, which many look at as a callback to Gamma World and other early, fun attempts at expanding the concept of gaming into other genres while keeping with the core game mechanics.

What if the original roleplaying game was inspired by colorful superheroes rather than Tolkienesque fantasy?

GUARDIANS is a super hero retro-clone compatible with the original fantasy roleplaying game and subsequent editions, and other “OSR” games that follow in the mould of the original game like Colonial Troopers, Warriors of the Red Planet, and others. If your tastes run towards super-powered four-color heroes and villains you’ve found the right book. In a tradition inspired by the psionic abilities of Eldritch Wizardry and the mutants of Metamorphosis Alpha or Gamma World, even a first level Guardians character begins with mighty powers!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

As we close in on the end of DriveThruRPG’s all-month-of-May D&D Sale, I am declaring this Not My Dungeon, Not My Dragons Week – a week celebrating some of the really interesting things folks have done with everyone’s favorite d20-driven mechanics, going to places other than dungeons and dealing with stranger things than dragons.

Enter Ponyfinder, a setting wherein equines and other four-legged species rule the land and humanoids are the secondary residents.

Adventure in the world of Everglow, nestled in delicate balance between the elemental planes. It is a world of magic and mystery, where the fey are in control and the humanoid races are secondary. Foremost of the fey are Ponykind, who rallied behind their Queen to form the greatest empire Everglow had ever seen.

We’ve brought  ponies, griffons, felines, and other strange creatures to life in a world all of their own, where they are the primary PCs. Don’t want to run a game all about ponies? That’s alright! Use our post-empire suggestions to add ponies to any other existing world. Many spells, archetypes, and bloodlines are also usable by non ponies or other settings.

  • New gods
  • New spells
  • New class archetypes
  • New equipment
  • New bloodlines
  • New races 
  • Now compatible with 5th edition and Pathfinder roleplaying games!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

We wrap up Play the Fifth Week with another official Wizards of the Coast release for the system, and a perfect bookend with the first PickDreams of the Red Wizards: Scourge of the Sword Coast directly follows up the events of Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle with revelations of other terrible unleashed upon the world. Those wishing to explore one of the wild, dangerous places of the Forgotten Realms will wish to delve deeply into the tales of this popular release.

Dreams of the Red Wizards

Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle chronicled the efforts of the Red Wizards to unlock the power of elemental nodes located in an abandoned temple dedicated to the Princes of Elemental Evil. A gate to the Nine Hells lay open for some time, spewing devils and smoke. The heroes who closed the gate could not know it then, but amid the chaos of battle, another threat emerged.

“Dreams of the Red Wizards: Scourge of the Sword Coast” (2014), by Tito Leati, Matt Sernett, and Chris Sims, is the adventure for Season 17 of D&D Encounters. It was released in February 2014 as a PDF-only book on DnDClassics.com

Continuing the Encounters. The D&D Encounters program saw major changes beginning with Season 15’s “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” (2013). That was the first D&D Encounters book that was produced for broad sale — and so could be played at home or in a store. The commercial production of the adventure allowed for a higher-quality product, and also let the designers provide more detail on the setting. “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” was also the first Encounters season to notably move away from the trends of 4e play: though support was offered for 3.5e, 4e, and D&D Next, tactical maps were no longer a part of the D&D Encounters adventure.

Season 16’s “Legacy of the Crystal Shard” (2013) followed these trends and made an even bigger change: the adventure was no longer separated into individual encounters; instead each D&D Encounters group could play it at their own speed.

Season 17’s “Scourge of the Sword Coast” continued the revamping of the D&D Encounters program. Where the previous two adventures were print releases, “Scourge of the Sword Coast” was the first D&D Encounters adventure ever that was produced exclusively in PDF form; however, it continued to be sold commercially, now through DnDClassics.com It was also the first D&D Encounters adventure to exclusively support D&D Next play.

Following a launch weekend on February 15-16, 2014, “Scourge of the Sword Coast” ran from February 19, 2014 to May 7, 2014.

About the Homage. The revamped D&D Encounters adventures weren’t homages to classic D&D modules, as was the case during the early program. Nonetheless, “Scourge of the Sword Coast” was somewhat reminiscent of B2: “The Keep on the Borderlands” (1979): characters met many classic humanoids (including goblins, orcs, gnolls, and duergar) in individual encounter areas.

Continuing the Sundering. “Scourge of the Sword Coast” continues “The Sundering”, a Forgotten Realms multimedia event meant to transition the setting to D&D Next. The Sundering was intended to “reshape” the Realms by banishing the realm of Abeir and ending the “Era of Upheaval” that began when Ao destroyed the Tablets of Fate in the first-ever Realms crossover, the Avatar event (1989).

The Sundering was also a part of the two previous D&D Encounters seasons, “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” and “Legacy of the Crystal Shard”, and a series of six novels beginning with The Companions (2013), by R.A. Salvatore. As with most of the other Sundering tie-ins, it’s a minor part of “Scourge of the Sword Coast”, mainly acting as a background.

Continuing the Story of Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle. Wizards of the Coast previewed D&D Next at Gen Con Indy 2013, which saw the release of Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle (2013), a book that combined the playtest D&D Next rules with a Forgotten Realms adventure set in and about the city of Daggerford. There, the Red Wizards of Thay sought four keys to free the Princes of Elemental Evil.

Though the Red Wizards (hopefully!) failed in Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, their story continues here as they bedevil Daggerford once more. To a certain extent, “Scourge of the Sword Coast” is a direct sequel to Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, continuing with some of the characters and the setting and exploring some of the repercussions of the earlier adventure. However, it can’t be run for the same characters, as Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle was meant to advance characters from level 1-10, while “Scourge of the Sword Coast” begins play at second level.

The Adventure Continues: The story of “Dreams of the Red Wizards” continues in “Dead in Thay” (2014).

Expanding the Realms. Daggerford has been a classic area for introductory Forgotten Realms play ever since the release of N5: “Under Illefarn” (1987). More broadly, the Sword Coast has been one of the best-detailed areas in the Realms since first-edition days. Thus it’s appropriate that Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle and “Scourge of the Sword Coast” return to this fertile land.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Yet another third-party setting that exploits the opportunities of D&D 5e for those seeking to Play the FifthKobold Press is a well-known and respected publisher that brings in top-notch talent, and Midgard scratches a lot of mythical and pop-culture itches all at once. Better still, you can readily take all the tasty stuff in this book and just expand your own 5e campaign with it!

The Flame of Heroes Brings Light to a Dark World!

Welcome to a world of dark roads and deep magic, where you can match wits with Baba Yaga, set sail for uncharted islands with minotaur corsairs, and face the fury of the giants in the icy north!

The Midgard Heroes Handbook for 5th Edition has everything you need to create a character for a 5th edition Midgard campaign, including full details on 11 new races and 4 variants on standard races. Roll up a trollkin barbarian, a ravenfolk fighter, a kobold rogue, and more.

You also get:

  • more than 48 new class options, including new bard colleges and paladin oaths
  • martial, ranger, and rogue archetypes—and new weapons and gear
  • a new druid circle and a dozen new cleric domains including Beer, Justice, and Moon domains
  • sorcerous bloodlines, new warlock pacts, and strange arcane traditions
  • 20 backgrounds from the Southlands to the distant North,
  • And nearly 300 new spells from the fan-favorite Deep Magic series, including shadow magic, clockwork magic, battle magic, rune magic and more!

The shadow roads are open, and the World Serpent stirs in its sleep. Adventure awaits the bold!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Today’s Play the Fifth Week Pick, another excellent 3rd-party product for D&D 5e from Onyx Path. It’s their Greek myth inspired Scarred Lands setting, giving you a chance to “play the Fifth” in a world where gods and monsters strive against one another in the aftermath of war and disaster on a cosmic scale. A highly-developed setting revised and updated for the most recent iteration of the World’s Most Popular RPG.

A Pathfinder version is available separately.

A Land Where Legends Walk

Drawing enthusiastically on Greek mythology, the revised and re-imagined Scarred Lands nonetheless retains its place as a modern fantasy RPG setting. This is a world shaped by gods and monsters, and only the greatest of heroes can expect to be counted among them. The most populous continent of Scarn, Ghelspad, plays host to vast unexplored regions, hides unsolved riddles from ancient cultures, and taunts adventures with the promise of undiscovered riches hidden among the ruins of older civilizations. 

Yet the myths of the Scarred Lands are relatively recent events. The effects of the Titanswar still ripple through the world, and the heroines and villains of many of these stories are part of living memory, if not still living. 

The Award-Winning Fantasy Setting Returns

Scarred Lands has been a favorite fantasy setting since the release of the Creature Collection for the d20 System in 2000. In subsequent years, over 40 titles were published for Scarred Lands, making it one of the most fully supported fantasy RPG settings ever and the premiere product line of Sword & Sorcery Studios. 

Now, Onyx Path Publishing and Nocturnal Media have partnered to bring this cherished fantasy setting back to your gaming table!

Begin your adventure with the free adventure Gauntlet of Spiragos!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Onward through Play the Fifth Week with a 3rd-party supplement loved by many. Ebonclad – A Thieves’ Guild Setting & Adventures is a top-rated product by Dan Coleman designed to let a GM and players fully immerse in a 5e-driven world of rogues and thievery. It’s designed to start characters as 1st level members of the guild, but the setting is detailed and rich enough to remain vital for long after… or to become an intricate part of a larger world.

We are the cogs which make the great wheel spin
We hold the strings tied to the marionette
Where pacts are drawn, we are the ink upon the parchment
Where ships set sail, we are the wind upon their masts
Where kings are made, ours are the hands holding the crown
We seek no glory
We hold no oaths
We take what is ours
We are the black at the edge of the darkness
We are the silence at the bottom of the abyss
We are the ghosts who tread the streets unseen
Those who call our names shall find only shadows in response
We are Ebonclad
We wear the night

Ebonclad is a thieves’ guild campaign setting for the 5th edition of the world’s greatest roleplaying game! 

Inside Ebonclad you’ll find:

  • 170 pages of setting lore and history, accompanied by lavish illustrations and short stories to bring the setting to life.
  • 7 adventures for character levels 1 – 4 GMs can use to introduce new players to the setting, or customize for use in their own campaigns. 
  • Tons of character options including new backgroundssubclassesfeatsequipmentpoisons, and spells
  • Tools for GMs to generate random citizens, valuables they may possess, the contents of their pockets or purses, and ways of determining how connected they are and how they’d react to witnessing crimes.
  • Dozens of new NPCs, from generic stat blocks for thieves in the Ebonclad guild or town guard, to specific characters living in the city.
  • primer on thievery, for characters who live the life of crime.
  • Over 30 random street encounters with different customization options a GM can use.
  • New urban chase complications specific to the setting.
  • More than a dozen encounter area maps saved as PNG files to print or use online.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

Have you played D&D 5e yet? If not, it’s long past time you gave it a look. As the massive month-long Dungeons & Dragons sale goes on at DriveThruRPG, I’m declaring this Play the Fifth Week, with a focus on top titles from both Wizards of the Coast and others doing 5e-compatible stuff.

Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle is your perfect gateway into the system and the settings as WotC envisions them in this new era. Constructed as a “preview” under the banner of “D&D Next,” it’s a complete package to enable newcomers to get a thorough gaming experience with the 5th edition of the world’s most popular RPG. All the rules needed to play are in this adventure, along with pre-gens and the ability to level them up to 10th.

Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle is a D&D Next preview and mini-campaign comprised of four thrilling adventures, designed to advance characters from 1st level to 10th level. The book also contains everything a Dungeon Master needs to run the adventures, including D&D Next game rules developed during the massive public playtest, monster statistics, spell descriptions, magic item descriptions, and background information on the coastal town of Daggerford, where the campaign is based.

Against the backdrop of the Sundering, brave adventurers must protect the town of Daggerford against an insidious foreign threat while forging alliances, exploring dungeons, and battling monsters. The action moves from the Lizard Marsh to the orc-infested hills, finally culminating in a deadly altercation amid the crumbling ruins of the legendary Dragonspear Castle.

Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle includes pre-generated D&D Next characters, as well as rules for advancing these characters up to level 10. The book also includes the winning character sheet from our recent contest.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

 

I’ll close out Not Your Average Heroes Week with Chris Pramas’ take on the grim-dark world of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (2nd Edition). What makes this such a perfect fit (and capstone) for this week is the nature of the characters you start out playing in this game. You’re no highly-trained warrior or talented rogue or educated wizard. Granted, you may have some foundational ability there, but you are absolutely rock-bottom of your weight class, so to speak – barely an apprentice, desperate to survive against highly aggressive sewer rats.

Then again, maybe that’s all you are to start – a Rat Catcher. Or a Beggar, Herbalist, Labourer, Pedlar, or Servant. Seriously, the game is all about folks who have little-to-no reason to become outright heroes, instead just trying to make a meager living in a world where terrible forces clash with devastating consequences (and collateral damage). The “something happens” and you have to learn how to use your rat-catching abilities to fight something you hoped never to encounter… and off you go.

In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, you are unlikely heroes in a grim world of perilous adventure. You venture into the dark corners of the Empire and deal with the threats that others cannot or will not face. You’ll probably die alone in some festering hellhole, but maybe, just maybe, you’ll survive foul Mutants, horrible diseases, insidious plots, and sanity-blasting rituals to reap Fate’s rewards.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a complete game. All you need to play is in this book, some dice, and a group of friends. Inside these covers you’ll find:

• A quick system for character creation. You can make a character in less than half an hour and jump right into the game. 

• A simple yet robust set of rules that let you handle everything from social interaction to Chaos mutations.

• A unique career-based system of character advancement and over 100 careers – from Assassin and Bone Picker to Troll Slayer and Zealot.

• Complete rules for magic, cover both Arcane and Divine Orders and over 175 spells. Power can be had, but beware Tzeentch’s Curse!

• Details on the Empire and the Old World, from the social order to religion and belief. 

• A complete introductory adventure, Through the Drakwald. 

• A new short story by renowned Gaunt’s Ghosts author Dan Abnett.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

The Thursday edition of Not Your Average Heroes Week brings us to this interesting Pathfinder/OGL supplement designed around layering interesting things into your basic build. The idea in Path of the Reluctant Hero is to establish a background for a character who had no intention of going on adventures or saving the world, yet can draw upon just that kind of foundation to become something more.

From Humble to Hero!
Path of the Reluctant Hero provides over 80 amazing mythic path abilities and reluctant heroics to help build characters that may not see themselves as heroes, but whose sheer grit and determination can see them through any challenge. They will not bow or break, they will not give up on protecting the home and hope they hold dearest to their hearts, and they will never forget that what they are fighting for peace and freedom, home and happiness matters more than anything.
Whether your reluctant hero is a homebody or simple farmer, an orphan or retired hero, denier of destiny or a scoundrel with a heart of gold, you’ll find all manner of abilities designed to help you tap into unknown reservoirs of strength like rise to the occasion, unflinching, he ain’t heavy, and hold onto hope,  and may tap into the breadth of their experience with abilities like heirloom, one step ahead, or curse-bearer. A reluctant hero may get through with guile and luck with accidental observation, shot in the dark, lucky guess, and right place, right time, but she’s equally adept at applying the keen insights of everyday wisdom with common sense, learning by example, trusty tools, and ever practical. A reluctant hero may seem harmless due to abilities like obscurity, cautious, innocent bystander, and I’m getting too old for this, but when disaster looms a reluctant hero may snatch from death, use everything, or declare that’s not fair! or you shall be avenged! Whether your hero traces his roots to simple peasant life, long-faded glory, or a lineage that haunts his destiny, you’ll find a wealth of ideas to make your reluctant heroes truly legendary!

The Mythic Path series from Legendary Games looks to fill in the niches that are not quite served by the existing mythic paths, providing exciting new options for your mythic heroes and diabolical dirty tricks for your mythic villains, made by the same creative minds that helped build the mythic rules. Whether for heroes or villains, the abilities in these Mythic Paths offer a host of great new options for your mythic game, bringing fabulous flavor and imaginative mechanics with the standard of excellence in design that you’ve come to expect from Legendary Games. Pick up this supplement for today and Make Your Game Legendary!

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!