October 10, 2019


Sorcerous Origin
Notes from the Nails: been a while since I've written a sorcerer. This one is inspired by my own personal life!


Some people are cursed with bad luck from the day they were born. Known as 'jinxes', they are shunned everywhere they go, for fear that their misfortune will affect anyone who gets too close. As it goes, this fear is actually well-founded, for a jinx really can inflict their curse on other people and, with training, they can even harness it into a potent source of magical energy.

October 3, 2019

Path of Thunder

Primal Path
Notes from the Nails: got a bunch of lame-ass bards all up in your face? Time to pull out your ax and bring that heavy metal thunnnnnderrrrr!!

Path of Thunder
The barbarians of the Path of Thunder do not do things by halves. They fight the strongest foes, swing the biggest axes, and play the loudest music. For this reason, any battle they get involved in tends to be noisy, violent, and short.
     Armored only in face paint and studded belts, these fearless hellions are known for screaming their enemies into submission and trashing taverns, though they can also be thoughtful and erudite when not tapping into their primal fury. Away from the battlefield, the 'thunderheads' form a tight fraternity, bonded together by absolute commitment to their path and the shared recognition that the life of an adventurer—comprising as it does grueling travel, explosive violence, and unfamiliar lodgings—is essentially a never-ending tour.

September 25, 2019

Summoner | Class Under Construction

Base Class
Hello there Mage Hand Press fans!

My name is Benjamin Huffman, creator of 5e favorites like the Pugilist, Magus, and Scholar classes. You might know me from the DM’s Guild or my blog, the Sterling Vermin Adventuring Co. I’m here today to show off a new class I’ve got in the works, the Summoner!
     The summoner class is, first and foremost, born from my obsession with pet classes. I love them! I love them so much that I’m willing to trudge through the absolute minefield that is creating a pet class for 5e. And it is an absolute m i n e f i e l d. How do you balance the action economy? How do you make it feel like you’re controlling your character and your summon in equal parts? What else should a summoner be able to do, and how do you let them do other things without completely breaking the game?
     I’m not sure I’ve nailed down the right answers to those questions but I am pretty sure I’ve come up with some interesting ones. While I think I’m getting closer to the summoner class I want, I’m interested to hear how close I am to the summoner class you want. Let me know what you think of the direction the class is taking and how it’s implemented, especially if you get the chance to try the class in action!


Summoners forge pacts with creatures from distant corners of the multiverse then channel fragments of their power into loyal spirits called eidolons. An eidolon is more than a servant to a summoner, it is a valued companion and source of magical power. By binding an eidolon to service, the summoner learns a fraction of its mystical abilities. Likewise, an eidolon grows in power the mightier the summoner who calls it to the material plane.

September 18, 2019

Oath of the Illrigger

Sacred Oath
Comments from the Knuckle: There were two motivations behind the creation of this subclass: 1) Balder's Gate: Descent Into Avernus just came out, and I think it would be so much fun to play an infernal paladin in that campaign. Maybe you didn't start out with ties to hell, maybe in another life your character would have been Oath of Devotion. But when confronted with the powers of an archduke, you swear fealty as a way of surviving the adventure. 2) I've been watching a lot of The Chain of Acheron, and wanted to write a blogpost as tribute to it, and as an excuse to tell people to go watch it. The Chain is a great stream, I 110% recommend you go watch it; Matt Colville's a phenomenal Dungeon Master. On The Chain, one of the characters is a tiefling illrigger named Judge, and Matt built out a full 1-20 class that's currently in its alpha testing on the stream. The Invoke Authority Channel Divinity option and Infernal Seal feature provided here are inspired by/based on features that Colville's Illrigger gets. Sooooo...yeah, have fun playing Descent, and go watch The Chain.

Oath of the Illrigger

Illriggers are an ancient order of paladins that swear their allegiance to one of the Lords of the Nine, the archdukes of hell. In supplication to their infernal masters, they carry their lords' command and lead their armies into battle to beat back the demonic horde. Such paladins hold their oaths with a fierce conviction, for they believe that, without people like them, demons would overwhelm the forces of hell and spill out into the other planes of existence, decimating every world like a plague.
     Oftentimes, an archduke will recruit soldiers and mercenaries from the Material Plane to join the ranks of the Illriggers, targeting individuals who have strong bonds with their brothers-in-arms. This way, should the archduke ever need supplemental forces for the armies of hell, they can call upon their loyal Illrigger, who in turn recruits their ardent allies to fight alongside them through hell and back.

Harper's Tale Indiegogo

Quick shout out: if you haven't heard about Harper's Tale, you should hop over there and throw it a pledge. It's a D&D adventure outlined by Matt Corley's daughter, Harper, who is battling with leukemia, and all the proceeds go to benefit Friends of Kids with Cancer. Besides being a stellar cause, it's got a powerhouse team of writers, so the final product is going to be spectacular.

It's worth your time, and there are few things more worth your money. Give it a look!

September 12, 2019

Meet the Rift Rats!

Comments from the Finger: I finally caught up on Rift Rats! 

I love this season of Hero Club. It's always great seeing such a well-produced campaign using a book that's occupied such a massive part of my life, but George and Nick really get what makes Dark Matter great: it doesn't take itself too seriously. This season is hysterical (though it takes an episode before it descends into full-on farce) and you should absolutely listen in.

Meet the Rats!
The cast of Rift Rats, the titular Rats, is phenomenal. It’s just only three characters (plus some recurring side characters), but they manage to be funny, clever, and downright dangerous. So, I’m going to build the rats as NPCs for use in your Dark Matter game, and let you know how I’d write them as characters using Dark Matter rules. My versions are going to be a little different to the versions presented in the podcast, so if you want to spot all the differences, go listen in!