November 15, 2018

Dark Matter Alpha

Dark Matter is finally in alpha!

The current version of the book is 267 pages long, and it's hard to express how much content there is. We really pack in all the sci-fi goodness. Not only is it fully-playable, there's enough in here to keep you busy for at least a few campaigns. You've probably heard us talk at length about what's in the book, but now it's time to see for yourself! Just for fun, if you make a character you're really excited to play, leave us a comment letting us know what build you went with.

You can get into Dark Matter early right now on the Mage Hand Press store.

The vast majority of the book's (gorgeous) art is finished. In those few (read: three) places that are outright missing art, you'll see a friendly little sticky note letting you know. As we keep working on the book, we'll be adding to those stretch goals, adding in character names and planets named by patrons, and developing those mostly empty quote boxes into a story all their own. Of course, we'll update the book with changes, fixes, and new art as often as we can (and you'll be able to download the updated versions as they come out).

Download Now!

November 12, 2018

Marshal

Base Class
Comments from the Finger: We always try to design our classes with a one-word hook. Here's "Leadership, the Class". 

Marshal

A half-elven man, regal and imposing, sits astride an armored warhorse. He is adorned in the outlandish attire of a high-ranking commander, his chest weighed down with ribbons and medals, and carries on his hip an ornately decorated saber. To his right, a powerfully built orcish woman in far less decorative attire sits astride her own horse, carrying a large, though pedestrian, greataxe. They begin their ride down the city road, accompanied by the blaring of trumpets and banging of drums, which announce their approach to the castle to receive yet another medal.
     A dwarven woman, shrouded in a cloak, sits huddled near the stump of a long-felled tree. Eyes surveying the darkened woods, she shudders from the cold. She makes every effort to shrug it off and conceal her need for the roar of the campfire, as she steels herself for her watch. Another dwarf, also a woman, taps her on the shoulder from behind. Handing the cloaked dwarf a bowl of stew, piping hot and fresh from the pot, she motions her towards the fire. After a moment of hesitation, the cloaked dwarf takes her bowl and digs in, taking a moment to glance with admiration and thanks, as her commander assumes the watch in her stead.
     An orc warchief sits in his tent, deliberating on his next move. He pores over the list of the dead from the most recent battle, knowing full well that the list will only grow longer; if he doesn’t pick his next target correctly, his whole clan will surely be wiped out. Wracked by indecision, he reviews the flurry of details again in his mind, and slouches low in his chair. Then, another orc, garbed in the clothing of a hunter and scout, barges into his tent and shoves a scroll into his hands: it’s just the news he needs. He laughs, stabs his knife into the map of his next, final target, and pops the cork from a bottle of mead: tomorrow, there shall be blood. And glory.
     Decisive leaders and brilliant strategists, marshals inspire their allies to greatness. Invariably, they stand alongside their cohorts, their devoted lieutenants, whom they entrust with their lives, and train for leadership. Marshals out-plan and out-strategize their enemies, overwhelming them with tight coordination and precise strikes. While these tactics rarely afford marshals the killing blow, it ensures they’re always on the winning side.

November 9, 2018

The Roadmap | Rebinding

In this series, I'll be slowly tackling a rework of one of our favorite classes, the Binder. The class was originally a straight update of the class of the same name from D&D 3.5's Tome of Magic, including most of the original vestiges, but as we revisit this class, we'd like to examine its mechanics and its concepts with fresh eyes, improve upon them, and write a whole new list of vestiges. 

As the culmination of our last two articles, we're finally coming to a roadmap for vestiges to be included in the new binder. Now that we know how new vestiges will be structured and which archetypes we'll tackle, we can start writing them!

The List

Here's a list of the archetypes we intend to tackle, with some vague notes on what they're including. I'll talk about the first four levels, since those are the vestiges I'll be tackling first, but I'll include the whole list for completion's sake.

November 5, 2018

Festival Domain

Divine Domain
Notes from the Nails: it's that time of year again!

Festival Domain

It is said that, many years ago, clerics used the bright lights and thunderous noises of fireworks to frighten off evil spirits. Nowadays, of course, clerics have developed far more effective tools for turning the undead and banishing the demonic, and fireworks have morphed into a form of entertainment for the masses. Such is the popularity of the so-called 'fire festivals' that there is now a whole clutch of demigods dedicated to them, complete with monastery-like alchemy labs and a priesthood that travels the land selling rockets and sparklers.

November 1, 2018

Vestige Levels | Rebinding

In this series, I'll be slowly tackling a rework of one of our favorite classes, the Binder. The class was originally a straight update of the class of the same name from D&D 3.5's Tome of Magic, including most of the original vestiges, but as we revisit this class, we'd like to examine its mechanics and its concepts with fresh eyes, improve upon them, and write a whole new list of vestiges.

Perhaps the most important thing we need to get right is the number of vestiges; this single number makes or breaks the entire class. Too many and the class becomes daunting to read/play/DM. Too few and players don't feel like they have enough options.

In this article, we'll be discussing what the right number of vestiges is, as well as what each level of vestiges should be all about.

October 30, 2018

College of Graffiti

Bardic College
Comments from the Finger: I know it's spooky skeleton season, but I figured you guys would enjoy this regardless.

College of Graffiti

To many, the College of Graffiti is a nuisance, a band of hooligans that vandalize about the city with no regard for the law. But bards who pick up the spray can know that graffiti is the single greatest modern art form. Graffiti artists use the entire city as their canvases, placing murals of inspiration where everyone can see them and personal tags where few will notice. Theirs is a bold, creative endeavor that, while illegal, breathes vibrancy into the city and emboldens the most impoverished within it.