Monthly Archives: October 2015

New Homebrew Feat: Dual Implement Wielder

two of wands

two of wands

I’m considering the following homebrew feat for a high-magic D&D 5th edition campaign.


Dual Implement Wielder

You master wielding two implements at once, gaining the following benefits:

  • You can use an action to attune to a magical implement.
  • You can draw or stow two implements when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.
  • When you wield an implement in each hand, and you activate the power of one of the implements with an action, you can activate the power of the other implement as a bonus action instead of an action.

This feat proved to be waaay too strong, so I have replaced it with the following:

Wand Mastery

You are practised with magic wands, switching between them with ease, and gaining the most out of their use.

  • You can use an action to attune to a wand.
  • When a wand you are attuned to recharges, it regains the maximum number of charges.
  • When you use the last charge of a wand, it is never destroyed.

I may return to the concept of dual wielding wands someday, but only with the addition perhaps of cantrip wands.

New Homebrew Spell: Investiture of Death

necromancer and skeleton minion

Necromancer and skeleton minion

Inspired by the investiture spells of Princes of the Apocalypse, the D&D 5th edition campaign by Wizards of the Coast, here is a homebrew investiture spell for the School of Necromancy.

  • Investiture of Death (Cleric 6, Sorcerer 6, Warlock 6, Wizard 6)

Investiture of Death

Level: 6
School: Necromancy
Casting time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Until the spell ends, dark energy whirls around you, and you gain the following benefits:

  • You are immune to necrotic damage and have resistance to radiant damage.
  • Any creature that moves within 5 feet of you for the first time on a turn or ends its turn there takes 1d8 necrotic damage, and it can’t regain hit points until the start of your next turn.
  • You can use your action to create a 10-foot-radius sphere of swirling death energy centered on a point you can see within 60 feet of you. Each creature in that area must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If a creature fails its save, it also can’t regain hit points until the start of your next turn.

Circle of the Swarm Druid

elf druid

Wood elf druid

Here’s a homebrew D&D 5E druid archetype I’ve been working on: The Circle of the Swarm.  They are similar to Circle of the Moon druids, except they are able to Wild Shape into swarms of tiny beasts.

While swarms have strong immunities and resistances, they have relatively low hit points, armor class, saving throws, the inability to regain hit points or gain temporary hit points, and they deal half damage when they have half or fewer hit points. Also for balance and thematic reasons, they are unable to maintain concentration while in swarm form.

Since swarms cannot regain hit points, I thought it necessary to replace the Combat Wild Shape self-healing ability with something else, in this case two options that harken back to earlier editions: blighted swarms channel spell slots into additional necrotic damage, and luminescent swarms channel spell slots into healing others. Using spell slots for extra damage means that while blightbeast swarms can do roguelike damage, they lose steam quickly.

To make them a little hardier when area damage gets stronger at mid to high levels, they gain a form of uncanny dodge.

Also, to make them comparable to Moon druid high-CR forms at higher levels, Swarm druids have the ability to split into multiple swarms and replenish lost swarms at higher levels. I need to do further testing to see if having 2 to 4 swarms breaks action economy any worse than comparable conjuring spells.


Circle of the Swarm (Druid Archetype)

Combat Wild Shape

When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you gain the ability to Wild Shape on your turn as bonus action, rather than as an action.

Circle Forms

The rites of your circle grant you the ability to transform into swarms of tiny beasts. Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Wild Shape to transform into a beast swarm with a challenge rating as high as 1 (you ignore the Max. CR column of the Beast Shapes table, but must abide by the other limitations there).

You cannot maintain concentration on spells while you are transformed into a swarm.

When you choose this circle at 2nd level, you also choose which kind of swarm you can change into: blighted or luminescent.

Blighted Swarm: While you are transformed by Wild Shape into a swarm, you can use a bonus action to expend a spell slot to inflict an additional 1d8 necrotic damage per spell slot expended on your next melee attack. The target makes a Constitution saving throw equal to your spell DC. On a successful save, the target takes half damage.

Luminescent Swarm: While you are transformed by Wild Shape into a swarm, you shed bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet. You can use an action to spend a spell slot to heal 1d8 damage per spell slot expended to an adjacent target.

Starting at 6th level, you can transform into a number of additional beast swarms up to your druid level divided by 6, rounded down. Each swarm must be identical, up to CR 2. Each swarm acts independently with its own actions. Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points does not cause you to revert to normal form, but it does kill that swarm. Only reducing all of your swarms to 0 hit points will cause you to revert to normal form.

When you revert to normal form, you can choose an unoccupied space closest to the remaining swarm of your choice.

Primal Strikes

Starting at 6th level, your attacks in beast form count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Scattered Swarm

Beginning at 10th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon’s fiery breath or an ice storm spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Fecundity

Starting at 14th level, while you are in a beast swarm Wild Shape and have fewer swarms than your maximum number of swarms, you may expend spell slots to respawn swarms equal to the number of spell slots expended by 3, rounded down. You total number of swarms still may not exceed your normal maximum.


Notes:

Common properties of swarms

  • All have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • All are immune to charmed, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, and stunned conditions.
  • All can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa.
  • All can only attack a creature in same space (0′ reach).
  • All deal half damage when the swarm has half or fewer hit points.
  • All can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny creature.
  • All can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.

List of Monster Manual swarms by CR

  • Swarm of bats (1/4 CR, flying)
  • Swarm of rats (1/4 CR)
  • Swarm of ravens (1/4 CR, flying)
  • Swarm of insects (1/2 CR) (plus variants)
  • Swarm of quippers (1 CR, swim)
  • Swarm of poisonous snakes (2 CR, swim)

Homebrew swarms

  • Swarm of flying snakes (2 CR, flying instead of swim)

New Homebrew D&D 5E Spells

gnome wizard vs purple worm

Gnome wizard versus purple worm

Here are some new spells I’m going to be testing out in my D&D 5E games.


  • Conjure Aberration (Cleric 5, Great Old One Pact Warlock 5, Wizard 5)
  • Conjure Fiend (Cleric 5, Fiend Pact Warlock 5, Wizard 5)
  • Conjure Minor Fiends (Cleric 4, Fiend Pact Warlock 4, Wizard 4)
  • Spell Turning (Sorcerer 7, Warlock 7, Wizard 7)

Conjure Aberration

Level: 5
School: Conjuration
Casting time: 1 minute
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (aberration ward, broken upon casting)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You call forth an aberration or ooze servant.   An aberration or ooze of challenge rating 5 or lower appears in an unoccupied space.  The creature disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.

The creature is friendly to you and your companions for the duration.  Roll initiative for the creature, which has its own turns.  It obeys any verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you).  If you don’t issue any commands to the creature, it defends itself from hostile creatures but otherwise takes no actions.

If your concentration is broken, the creature doesn’t disappear.  Instead, you lose control of the creature, it becomes hostile toward you and your companions, and it might attack.  An uncontrolled creature can’t be dismissed by you, and it disappears 1 hour after you summoned it.

The DM has the aberration or ooze statistics.

​At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the challenge rating increases by 1 for each slot level above 5th.  Note that mind flayers may not be conjured by this spell.


Conjure Fiend

Level: 5
School: Conjuration
Casting time: 1 minute
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (fire and brimstone)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You call forth a fiendish servant.   A fiend of challenge rating 5 or lower appears in an unoccupied space.  The fiend disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.

The fiend is friendly to you and your companions for the duration.  Roll initiative for the fiend, which has its own turns.  It obeys any verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you).  If you don’t issue any commands to the fiend, it defends itself from hostile creatures but otherwise takes no actions.

If your concentration is broken, the fiend doesn’t disappear.  Instead, you lose control of the fiend, it becomes hostile toward you and your companions, and it might attack.  An uncontrolled fiend can’t be dismissed by you, and it disappears 1 hour after you summoned it.

The DM has the fiend’s statistics.

​At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the challenge rating increases by 1 for each slot level above 5th.


Conjure Minor Fiends

Level: 4
School: Conjuration
Casting time: 1 minute
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You summon fiends that appear in unoccupied spaces that you can see within range.  You choose one of the following options for what appears:

  • One fiend of challenge rating 2 or lower
  • Two fiends of challenge rating 1 or lower
  • Four fiends of challenge rating 1/2 or lower
  • Eight fiends of challenge rating 1/4 or lower

A fiend summoned by this spell disappears when it drops to 0 hit points or when the spell ends.

The summoned creatures are friendly to you and your companions.  Roll initiative for the summoned creatures as a group, which has its own turns.  They obey any verbal commands that you issue to them (no action required by you).  If you don’t issue any commands to them, they defend themselves from hostile creatures, but otherwise take no actions.

The DM has the creatures’ statistics.

At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using certain higher-level spell slots, you choose one of the summoning options above, and more creatures appear; twice as many with a 6th-level slot and three times as many with an 8th-level slot.


Spell Turning

Level: 7
School: Abjuration
Casting time: reaction, which you take when you see a creature within 120 feet of you casting a spell
Range: 120 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous

You attempt to interrupt a creature in the process of casting a spell and reflect that spell back on its caster.  If the creature is casting a spell of 7th level or lower, the spell has no effect on you and instead targets its caster, using the slot level, spell save DC, attack bonus, and spellcasting ability of the caster.  If it is casting a spell of 8th level or higher, make an ability check using your spellcasting ability.  The DC equals 10 + the spell’s level.  On a success, the creature’s spell is reflected back on its caster.

At Higher Levels.  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level or higher, the interrupted spell is reflected if its level is less than or equal to the level of the spell slot you used.