Paradigm Concepts

Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle
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Author:  FGJustice [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

I've decided that running adventures from the old 3/3.5 campaign would be a good way to introduce players to Arcanis at some of the conventions I DM at. It can be hard getting people into a new system at conventions, but running it under a popular ruleset could help with getting that first step in (as I've heard they plan to do at Origins this year).

Also, I really enjoy the toolbox nature of 5e, so I thought recreating Arcanis material into the new format would be a fun project. This thread is intended to document my efforts and receive feedback/suggestions.

This first post is a few notes regarding my initial goal:


The mainstay of con play, engaging pregen characters are essential for drawing players into the setting. A cool character concept will go a long way towards hooking a new fan. I haven't chosen my adventures to adapt yet, and thus don't have a specific level in mind, so my plan is probably to have characters at levels 5/10/15; the minimum level I'd want to start at is 3, as all classes have their archetypes by then. That will be an issue for later, though.

The goal is one character of each class. Each class will have a new archetype reflecting the Arcanis setting; several will also have new backgrounds as well. I'm including the Psion as a class, as there are several excellent adaptations out there already. This means I need at least 13 pregens.

I also want at least one member of each race represented in the group. Since a goal of this project is to serve as a bridge between D&D and Arcanis, I'm only going to use races that exist in the Arcanis RPG system (so no half-orcs, for example). I definitely want multiple Vals, Elorii, and Dwarves, maybe Ss'ressen. Many of these races will need overhauls of some sort from their 5e counterparts, if not outright new designs.

So, below is my list of pregens. This is a work in progress, so not all of the entries are complete. The item in parentheses next to the class is the archetype I intend to create for it. If that area is blank, I could use suggestions. I've also listed what race I intend to use for several classes, but most of these are not set in stone.

Barbarian (Path of the Warped One)
Bard (Song Master of Cadic)
Cleric (Iliir Domain)
Druid (Shaman?)
Fighter (Centurion)
Monk (Way of the Iridescent Scale) - Ss'ressen
Paladin (Oath of the Holy Judge)
Psion (Val Heritage) - Val
Ranger (Pistoleer)
Rogue (Archaeologist)
Sorcerer (Elemental Bloodline Origin) - Elorii
Warlock (Ehtzara Patron)
Wizard (Sarishan Binder)

Decide which class goes with which race

Author:  FGJustice [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

Design Note: Humans and Vals

For my purposes, I'll be forcing Humans to use the baseline rules as provided, and not the variant that allows a feat. That gives me room to design the Val off the variant rule. Bloodline powers will be feats, and thus Vals get one at 1st level and extra powers can be taken as the character's level increases.

I do need to think about fighters, as they have more chances to take feats than other classes. Do I worry about that, or accept it? It wouldn't be too hard to say that fighters can't take Bloodline power feats at levels they get their extra chances.

Also need to make sure that Bloodline power feats match existing feats for in utility levels. This might mean having an ability plus an ability score increase in an ability important to that family.

Author:  Southernskies [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

Druid = Male priest of Saluwe (Human or val); there are very few 'druid' types in the setting. Yhing Hir shamans could fit (sort of). Ardekene (maybe).

Rogue = Emerald Society Archeologist (Indiana Jones type is popular) or a DarkKin/Gnome Cat Burgler. A Kio Duelist would also fit into this class.

Wizard = Almost any Arcane build. Elorii Magi; Encali Sarishan Binder; Human Talon of the Hawk.

Overall, I think 13 is too much choice for conventions. With an average table size of 5, a pool of 8 well-crafted, complementary builds should meet the need. It also lets you provide a 1-page 'backstory' linking the others together with roleplay hooks. The strength of pre-gens is the instant links to the rest of the party without needing character development time.

My 'Companions of the Shattered Empire' suggestion (in preferred pick order) is:

1. Human Fighter (M) (Coryani Centurion; gladius and tower shield)
2. val'Assante Cleric (M) (Illiir, Coryani, Patrician)
3. Dark Kin Rogue (F) (Altherian, Emerald Society)
4. Kelekene Sorcerer (M) (Laerestri pyromaniac; what else!)
5. val'Borda Bard (F) (SongMaster/Psion from Milandir)
6. Black Talon Ss'ressen Ranger (M) (Milandir Knight of the Realm with a Tralian Hammer)
7. Gnome Wizard (M/F) (Pirate Isles)
8. Nol Dappan Barbarian (M) (of Nier)

Author:  FGJustice [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

Archaeologist was my first thought with the rogue as well. I was trying to decide if the Thief archetype would serve well enough for it, but maybe I can put some more knowledge abilities in there and have it be unique.

The Sarishan Binder would be an interesting archetype for wizard.

Shaman could work for the druid. It's not the best fit, but I think it could work. I'll have to take a stab at it. Maybe Lifewarden would be my second choice.

I know people have their favorite classes, so I wanted one of each. I guess I could pare the list down. I definitely want a psion though (not going to multiclass for simplicity's sake), and I want a flintlock user of some sort (likely the ranger), and I think both the centurion and holy champion are essential for getting the Arcanis flavor.

I honestly don't know which I'd cut out, because I keep trying to make a smaller list and regretting not including one of the other classes that I could see being neat. I'm not sure if I really need to link the party together beyond getting them all to the same place at the same time, and I think the adventure(s) I choose to convert will influence the background I need. So I think I'm going to at least make all the archetypes and go from there.

Author:  Southernskies [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

Keeping in mind the social restrictions of flintlocks, the val and Altherian rogue can all carry them and not be executed.

Author:  FGJustice [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

Yeah, but I want someone to be good with them. People seem to like the guns, and I've seen multiple people sad that they're a 'fire and forget' thing.

Author:  Southernskies [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

Its the nature of the clock combat system and reload time. Crossbows have the same problem. Even Quick Reload (Rapid Reload) at T2 doesn't help a lot. But, flintlocks and crossbows are devastating as an opening salvo. With the 'gritty' rules, a wound in the first volley is not unusual.

To make a pistoleer, the PC *must* be Altherian or priest of Althares to get the discount. Even then, the bulk of carrying too many pistols kicks in quickly.
Its more about target priority. Pistoleer should only be targeting Elite or Adversary foes and also be ready to muck into melee to give Aid Another, Distract Opponent or Tactical Advantage to the big hitters. One reason I think the Altherian Rogue concept would make a better overall Pistoleer (from a mechanical perspective).

Converting to D&D combat rounds, the reload time isn't high enough to reflect the difference in combat tactics. Firearms and crossbows have lower damage per round in D&D to counteract the faster reload time and keep players involved every round.
Unrealistic expectations of flintlocks if/when the players convert to ArcanisRPG is something to avoid.

As a side-note, I managed to convince a few players to 'borrow' heavy crossbows when we entered the Altherian Morass in a game. They had Markmanship for other reasons (no Weapon Training, though) and the shots that hit before the Elites found melee range did make a difference later in the combat.

Author:  FGJustice [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

That's a fair point. I can't expect my efforts to be a bridge in one way and ignore the bridge when it's a negative.

I've made my first attempt at a conversion; you can check out my Holy Judge. Let me know what you think!

Author:  FGJustice [ Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

Here is my conversion of the Elorii.

EDIT: After some thought, I gave the Ardekene more innate spells similar to the tiefling. I felt like the Ardekene were slightly behind the other subraces only able to cast one utility spell once a day.

Author:  FGJustice [ Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Scott's 5e Arcanis Chronicle

The Elemental Sorcerer and the Centurion.

Honestly, I'm not happy with the Centurion. It doesn't feel cohesive. Many of the pieces look right individually for what I want - that being a scary, tough-as-nails, group-oriented fighter - but it doesn't feel like I have a theme.

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