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5e classes in Io’s Blood Culture.
Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:23 pm
The kits presented in the boxed set and those allowed to vassal races (listed CWB55-63) provide an insight in to the cultures of the Io’s Blood Isles and the adventurers they produce. Here I discuss how to recreate these roles with the 5e rules. The discussions of typical members of classes that follow is not intended as a set of restrictions but suggestions and inspirations for those who want to follow the vision for the setting laid out by the original author. Similarly, I provide suggestions for which 5e character options to take mimic the 2e kit but you should not feel restricted to these suggestions either. When compiling these suggestions I avoided multi-classing preferring instead to keep PCs in one class and use backgrounds, archetypes, and feats to approximate the 2e kits.
A purist might only allow dragons to be wizards, clerics, fighters (eldritch knight archetype representing the ‘dragon PC’ kit of 2e) as well as monks and mystics (representing the dragon psionist kit). Classes that mix martial features and spellcasting, rangers and paladins, might also emulate the ‘dragon PC’ kit. However, I take an approach more in line with the 5e PHB, which does not restrict creativity by banning some races from some classes. Dragons can be any class.
Interestingly, most of the non-dragon kits listed as allowed in the boxed set were specifically designed for particular non-human races. Between this and humans being an ‘enemy race’ you get the feeling that Mr Slavicsek saw the setting as also showcasing elves, dwarves, and gnomes. There are no class restrictions on races.
I have suggested ways to mimic the 2e kits with canon 5e rules. I’d like any suggestions you have on these.
Due to real life time constraints it will probably take several posts to discuss all the classes.
Among dragons the despised ‘rogue’ dragons who have shunned civilised behaviour are likely to have a few levels of barbarian (Feral or Foreigner background most likely, Path of the Berserker, Charger feat). A combination of a harsh wilderness environment and hostile neighbours can also produce barbarian dragons. Brass dragons who dwell in deserts and copper dragons hailing from infertile badlands are prime candidates for this second type of backstory.
The other kind of barbarian is vassals, dragons, and unconquered monsters who hale from the wildest or most inhospitable regions of the archipelago. Whether desert, arctic wastes, or jungle toughness and survival skills are at a premium in these regions. Many less common races of the isles including bugbear, goblins, kobolds, and lizardfolk do without the trappings of civilized folk, many of these hail from wild regions beyond dragon control. All these people living in the wilds must learn survival skills from birth if they are to survive. (Path of the Totem Warrior, Outlander background, Skilled feat).
Also built with the Barbarian class but from an urban culture is the Dwarven Battlerager a kind of armoured berserker unique to the dwarves (CBD54, a 5e version is in SCAG121 as an archetype, soldier background, and tavern brawler feat. Originally this was a 2e dwarf fighter kit and was listed as an appropriate kit for Council of Wryms CWB63).
Re: 5e classes in Io’s Blood Culture.
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:37 am
Abbreviations: 1e: first edition of AD&D, 2e: second edition of AD&D, 3e third edition of D&D, 5e: 5th edition of D&D, CWA: Council of Wryms Book 1, CWB: Council of Wryms Book 2, CWC: Council of Wryms Book 3, C#: Council of Wryms boxed set card, DMG: Dungeon Master’s Guide, PHB: Player’s Handbook, MM: Monster Manual, SCAG: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, VGM: Volo’s Guide to Monsters, CBD: Complete Book of Dwarves 2e, CBH: The Complete Bard’s Handbook 2e, OOA: Out of the Abyss, CBHu: Complete Book of Humanoids.
A dragon bard might be inspired by the Dragon Sage class (Dragon magazine issue 207) (College of Lore, Clan or Custodian’s Ward background, magic initiate (wizard or cleric) feat). No formal college organisations exist among the dragons, though a section of the Custodians might serve that role. Dragons are also quite inspiring to their humanoid vassals, use College of Valour to represent Dragons who follow this route (with Clan background and Inspiring Leader feat). Finally, the assemblies of the Clans courts and the Council of Wryms itself channel dragon ambition and aggression into politics. The bard class could be used to represent a dragon politician know for their inspiring orations and command of historical precedents.
Among the vassals, bards often hold positions of power as emissaries of or to dragons. Heralds can be of any vassal race. Dressed in finery to best reflect the wealth and power of their dragon lord, heralds officially bare news either communications between dragon lords or proclamations and information from the lord to his vassals. Unofficially, a good number of these so-called heralds are trained spies (CBH31 College of Lore, focusing on social skills, investigation, observation, and stealth, Courtier background (SCAG146), linguist feat). Dwarven diplomats (CBD67) are atypical. Unlike other emissaries dwarven masters of negotiation strive to look as ordinary and unthreatening as possible (CBD67, college of lore, faction agent background SCAG147, and observant feat). A less obvious example are the dwarf traders whose mule trains carry goods to the settlements of other vassal races, often along dangerous roads (CBD70, college of valor, guild merchant background, and alert feat).
As well as emissaries bards are often entertainers. Gnomes produce fine jesters and acrobats (jongleurs) (Jesters: College of lore, entertainer background, Lucky feat; Jongleurs: College of Valour, acrobatics and athletics skills, Entertainer Background, mobile feat). Among the dwarves entertainers who perform impressive physical feats can gain great fame (CBD67 college of valor, athletics skill, entertainer background, athlete feat). Dwarven warrior-poets (skald CBH47) who recite epic poem and songs recalling battles and bravery are found in most dwarven ale halls and warbands (college of valour, mercenary veteran background (SCAG152) and inspiring leader feat). Among educated people elf loremasters entertain with lectures on the most intriguing portions of history (CBH38 College of lore, sage background, and keen mind feat). For refined tastes the perfect ethereal music of elven minstrels lifts spirit but also hides unexpected magical powers (CBH56 College of lore, entertainer background, magic initiate (wizard) feat).
Then there are bards who are neither emissaries nor entertainers. Riddlemasters are gnomes who become obsessed with puzzles off all kinds. From solving simple riddles to planning impossible missions riddlemasters are the gnome for the job. Some find riddlemasters (CBH44) intriguing, including some dragons, but for most people the riddlemaster’s habit of speaking in riddles and constantly showing off how clever they are is just annoying (College of Lore, Sage background, skilled feat). Gnomish buffoons are either amusing or annoying depending on whether or not you are the target of their antics and lampoons. Not really a job, though a desperate Buffon might turn to busking, buffoons are pranksters and gadflies drawn to adventure out of desire for a ‘big score’ so they can avoid real work. Buffoon’s deliberately cultivate an image of being foolish and incompetent when in fact they have keen wits and enjoy luring self-important people into looking foolish (college of valour, you inspire allies by ridiculing foes, spells should be illusions or have comic value; urchin background, actor feat).
Among the dwarves music can have a very pragmatic purpose; chanters use rhythmic chants and percussion to aid miners and forgers to work long hours tirelessly. Often a chanter’s ‘instrument’ is a tool or weapon such as a hammer (College of valor, Clan crafter background (SCAG145) resilient (constitution) feat).
What do we know about Faith in the Io’s Blood?
Council of Wryms uses the standard D&D dragon gods. Although we are not told directly what gods if any humanoids of the Isles worship we know that vassals trace the eight pointed star of Io in the air with their fingers when they encounter dragons representing the Council (CWC24) indicating reverence at least for the Council that Io created if not for the god himself.
However, one of the things that makes the Io’s Blood unique is the lack of powerful organised religions. While almost all other D&D worlds abound with temples, politically powerful faiths, and sometimes even avatars of the gods walking the streets; Council of Wryms is free of these things (CWB47). The Council of Wryms Book 2 tells us directly that the gods of the dragons “keep a low profile and shun formalised worship” and “As no formal, organised religious groups exist among dragonkind…” (CWB58). Furthermore among the vassals the kits listed for priests (CWC61) are those that do not speak to holding rank in a hierarchical religious organisation and indicate spiritualism over worship of deities. The dwarf ritual priest ensuring tradition is adhered to and the spiritual connection to nature of gnome of rock tenders and tree tenders are examples. As with their dragon rulers there (probably) are no organised religions. Instead, as with dragons, there is a tradition of those ‘touched’ by gods or spiritual forces who are respected but also considered a little odd.
Among the enemies of the dragons we know that there is a cult among the Duergar that worship shadows who in turn are controlled by a dracolich. The Yuan-ti are present and these monsters probably worship thier usual deities who are intrinsic to their transformations. Their neighbors the advanced Lizardfolk have ‘war priests’ (C10) but who these priests worship is unknown, here I assume its Sess’inek (Monster Mythology 2e p102) who is responsible for ‘lizard kings’ and advanced lizardfolk in 2e. The feral humans who are descended from Io’s Dragonslayers maintain an organised religion dedicated to the Io the ‘perfect dragon’ to which all other dragons are an abomination.
Most clerics of the Isles are wandering preachers and spiritualists who are both respected and thought to be a little odd, even crazed (CWB47, 58, build with any domain, clan background, and inspiring leader feat). The closest thing to an organised religion on the Io’s Blood Isles is the Custodians of the Council who seem content to keep the religious aspects of their order a lower priority than devotion to the Council of Wryms and largely hidden from other dragons. The Custodians worship Io who embodies all dragonkind and the balance of creation and destruction. They follow Io’s vision of an independent Council and therefore learn to resist the influence of others (Arcana domain (SCAG125) Council Ward background, and resilient (intelligence) feat). Dragon religion is discussed in CWB47.
As with dragons the most common clerics are wandering preachers (any domain, hermit background, inspiring leader feat). The Custodians of course have their own bonded kindred some of whom might be privy to the hidden religious rites of the Custodians (Arcana domain (SCAG125), acolyte background, and resilient (intelligence) feat).
Among the dwarves the most common priests are those who officiate at marriages, deaths and name-giving ceremonies (CBD64). The role of these clerics seems to be more focused on tradition than inspiring faith in a deity (Life Domain, acolyte background, and Ritual Caster for wizard spells).
Lizardfolk clerics of the Archdevil Sess’inek use the War domain but as they are evil they are not available as player characters.
In many ways the Druid class, which is less tied to the idea of worshiping a deity, is a better match to the hints we have about the religious life of the inhabitants of the Io’s Blood Isles than cleric. Spiritualism rather than worship of a deity is strongly hinted at in the choice of druid-like kits in the boxed set.
Dragon druids resemble dragon clerics, spiritualists who are considered a little odd. The main difference is that druids are more likely to remain at one site, usually an awe inspiring place of natural beauty. As the island chain was formed from the blood of Io it is natural that the islands and the seas that surround them are sources of spiritual power.
Among the elves the most common Druids are scholarly herbalists that revere nature and the healing power of plants (CBE83, Circle of the Land (forest), the Sage background, healer feat). Elf Meistersingers (CBH41) are musicians whose music is inspired by the sounds of nature and the songs of animals. A meistersinger’s songs and music can enchant wild beasts (Circle of the Moon, Outlander Background, Magic initiate (bard) feat, you might allow the miestersinger to use musical instruments as a spell focus instead of the usual druid ones).
Gnome spiritualism is centred on reverence for the land itself. This manifests as a veneration of the rock of the world itself as a living enitity or the forests that grow on that rock. Rocktenders tend to be subterranean hermits whom miners and masons seek out for guidance (Circle of the Land (mountain, a better fit spell-wise than underdark was), Hermit background (primordial language), and magic initiate (cleric)). Treetenders are not quite as reclusive as Rocktenders. Treetenders live in the forest but near Gnomish settlements which they frequent to offer advice and healing (Druid circle of the land (forest), hermit background (Sylvan language), linguist feat (Draconic, Elvish, and Primordial), buy potions of healing).
The fighter and the barbarian are the classes that produce characters most similar to dragon ‘commoners’ of the 5e MM. The eldritch knight Archetype gives a dragon a mix of martial ability and spellcasting that most resembles the dragon PC kit of the original 2e boxed set. The PC dragon of the fighter class differs from most NPC dragons in that she has deliberately trained herself for combat developing a numerous tricks and techniques to supplement the raw power of her species. As an optional rule create a Innate Magic archetype for the fighter class by using the Eldritch Knight except Charisma is the spellcasting ability and spells may only be chosen from the sorcerer spell list.
The iconic hero of the vassals is the Dragon Rider, songs are sung of the bravery and devotion of these warriors who are carried into epic battles by their dragon masters. Typical armament for this warrior-tradition is longsword or shortsword, lance, and some kind of missile weapon. Most do not carry shields but do wear armour. The athletics skill is good for holding steady as dragons struggle beneath and around you. Most also learn survival skill as they hunt with their master and take care of her needs in the wilds. Most take the alert feat.
Living in the shadow of the dragon rider are less glamorous warriors. Sturdy dwarves of the Isles are the rank and file of most vassal armies. These clans’ dwarves are militia who also maintain non-martial professions (Champion archetype, Guild Artisan or Clan Crafter (SCAG145) background and the Skilled feat). Among these dwarves will also be specialist sharpshooters rewarded for their skills with finely made and deadly crossbows (take the Soldier background, battlemaster archetype, and the Crossbow Expert feat). These ordinary militia-dwarves are commanded by those from Highborn families entrusted to manage and defend settlements for their dragon masters and uphold the ancient laws. The Highborn are noble warrior-scholars armed with the best armour, swords, hammers, and crossbows gold and favour can buy (re-skin the Purple Dragon Knight archetype (SCAG128), noble background, and the skilled feat). Most dwarf strongholds also maintain an elite last-ditch defence force, the Hearth Guards, composed of only female dwarves trained in axes, spears and crossbows, and clad in chainmail (Champion archetype, Defense fighting style, Soldier background and Sentinel feat).
Gnome fighters are usually ‘breach-gnomes’ dedicated unto death to the defence of the other gnomes in their warren. They are the ones to block the tunnel while others slam the gates and flee. Breach gnomes may be willing to give their lives to defend others but they are not reckless humans, they take every precaution to avoid getting killed. They like the protection heavy armour and fighting in cramped tunnels where their small size gives them an advantage. Training begins as a child with wrestling and continues throughout life. Breach gnomes learn from gnome and dwarf masters of defensive fighting and then constantly train to hone those techniques (Defence fighting style, Champion archetype, soldier background, and the Heavy Armour Master feat).
Elves of course produce fine archers (CBH84, take high Dexterity, take the soldier background, the archery fighting style, the battle master archetype, and sharpshooter feat). However in the multi-racial culture of the Io’s Blood elves tend to gravitate to roles that play to their aptitudes for art, magic, and scholarship and leave soldiering to dwarves.
Monk & Mystic
While there is no mention of monks in the boxed set the features of the 5e monk class resemble some of the mind-over-body type powers of the 2e psionic class and dragon-psionist kit (CWB60, use any monastic tradition, Clan or Custodians’ Ward background for dragons and hermit background for other races, and resilient (wisdom) feat). Therefore use this class not to represent martial arts monks trained to be living weapons but dragons who seek self-awareness through meditation and mental exercises. In character these PCs describe themselves as psychics not monks. According to canon only gem dragons are psionists in the Io’s Blood Isles. Given the 5e principle of removing restrictions to creativity you might loosen that restriction and allow metallic dragons to follow this path. The close psychic bond between kindred and dragon as well as the influence of dragon rulers on vassal culture suggests that such psionists might exist among the vassals as well. However, this is not canon, the boxed set does not list any psionic kits for kindred PCs.
Another way to represent the dragon-psionist kit with 5e rules is with the Mystic class which WOTC have released as a play test through their ‘Unearthed Arcana’ website (to create a typical Council of Wryms psionic of any race use any order except soul-knife and wu-jen, take the Clan or Custodians’ Ward background if a dragon or the hermit background if any other race, finally take the resilient (Charisma) feat).
Re: 5e classes in Io’s Blood Culture.
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:56 am
Though the boxed set does not include dragon paladins the mix of martial skills and spellcasting is a good representation of the spellcasting dragons of 2e. The magical nature, arrogance, and legendary vengeance of dragons would make oath of vengeance paladins a good fit for a dragon wronged. Bronze dragons in particular have a love of battle and a hatred of evil sea creatures that might easily draw them down the path of vengeance but any dragon from a Clan suffering the predation of giants would also be a good fit. Another type of dragon paladin that seems a natural fit is questing gold dragons whose magical powers might manifest as per the Oath of Devotion.
The armoured horse-mounted knight of human cultures is not as much of an icon among the humanoids of the Io’s Blood Isles. The paladin class though can be used to represent one of the 2e kits approved in the boxed set the ‘goblinsticker’. The ‘Sticker’ is the dark side of the Gnomish tendency for obsession. A dark event in the stickers past has produced single-minded drive for bloody vengeance against a whole species of enemy. Stickers will go out of their way to battle and kill the targets of their vengeance, behaviour that causes other gnomes to consider them insane. Stickers are named for their foe, goblinstickers and koboldstickers are the most common because these races compete for habitat and because their chromatic dragon masters are often responsible for clandestine raids into metallic dragon owned lands where gnomes live. Other kinds of stickers focused on different species of enemies exist though (Oath of Vengeance, in the tenet of ‘fight the greater evil’ interpret ‘sworn foe’ to mean the focus of the sticker’s hatred and could be reworded thus: Fight the Sworn Foe. Faced with a choice of fighting my sworn foes or combating another evil, I choose the sworn foe. Take the Outlander background to represent a hard life hunting foes in the wilds, and the charger feat. While the original 2e kit did not have magic paladin powers this I feel is still the closest match). For the sworn foe to be a factor often enough in game play choose a Type (other than humanoid), or two humanoid races. For example a sticker whose family was enslaved by ogres will generalise her hatred to all giants. A goblinsticker might hate goblins and hobgoblins.
Clan realms with contested borders or subject to raids are rife with the tragedies that send gnomes along the stickers’ dark path. Many dragon lords are not above fanning the fires of gnome hatred to make gnomes into living weapons dedicated to the death of the dragon’s enemies.
While any species could become the focus of gnome vengeance, the kinds of stickers found in a region usually reflect the enemies gnomes face. On the coasts where giants raid there are giantstickers. Areas bordering untamed jungles or swamps produce yuan-ti stickers, while subterranean realms have elf-stickers who hunt drow, hate all elves, and also a servant or race of the drow such as quagoths. The one sticker type dragons do not tolerate are dragonstickers, if they cannot be dissuaded from their hatred dragonstickers lose their liberty or their lives.
In a more magical interpretation of the source material there might be orders of Dwarven Hearth Guards who take the Oath of Devotion. One can also easily imagine elves who have been called to the Oath of the Ancients reflecting elvish faerie traditions pre-dating dragon rule.
While the boxed set did not include dragon rangers, all dragons love to hunt and the mix of martial skills and spellcasting reflects the 2e dragons of the boxed set. Rangers of the hunter archetype are therefore a natural fit for dragons. Copper dragons in particular are avid hunters. Bronze dragons in particular have a martial culture and a hatred of evil sea creatures which could developed into a favoured foe. Brass dragons who dwell in harsh deserts might also favour survival skills and develop into rangers.
Among the vassals rangers are quite common. While dragons mostly employ elves for their art and intellect, elves are also entrusted with outdoor work (CWA28). Some elves take to the outdoors perhaps too much. These Wilderness Runners (CBE85) nominally serve a dragon lord or their settlement but in practice spend years patrolling the wild lands becoming self-reliant. Sheltering in lean-tos, hunting and gathering food, and fashioning clothing of raw-hide they need nothing from civilisation and eventually cast aside civil niceties including bathing and small talk and prefer the company of beasts (use the Outlander background and beastmaster archetype, alternatively you could build with the barbarian class and skilled feat).
Gnome stalkers are employed as hunters and trackers able to pursue prey above and below ground (choose perception and stealth skills, choose underdark as your first or second natural explorer terrain, archery fighting style, Hunter archetype, outlander background but with Deep delver feature OOA221, skulker feat).
Even among dwarves Animal Masters have a close bond with the trained beasts that defend vassal strongholds (CBD50, Beastmaster archetype, soldier background, and perhaps the mounted combatant feat). The elite Wayfinders of the dwarves with their distinctive black leather armour are underground explorers, scouts, and guides who seek out new veins of mineral wealth (CBD73 hunter archetype, Outlander background but with Deep Delver feature (OOA221), resilient (constitution) feat). A unique fighting force among the dwarves are the ‘Vermin Slayers’ a kind of dwarven special forces trained in close-quarters fighting and stealth (CBD71). Vermin Slayers are used to infiltrate the tunnels of goblins and kobolds and eradicate them (Hunter archetype, soldier background but with the Deep Delver feature OOA221, dungeon delver feat).
Rogues are not to be confused with outcast dragons who are called rogue dragons but can be any class or none. Certainly, no-one should describe themselves as a rogue speaking in character. Dragons of the rogue class might be from breeds noted for cunning or deception. The Arcane trickster mimics the secondary spellcasting ability of the 2e Dragon PC kit somewhat. Copper dragons being pranksters, hunters, and maze builders might develop into skilled and stealthy rogues. Adult silver dragons with Change Shape might take the assassin or arcane trickster paths to represent a dragon skilled at living among humanoids undetected. Similarly, gold dragons often act covertly to further justice or observe vassals and some might benefit from a few levels of rogue.
Dwarven society is highly Lawful. Among the dwarves the rogue class most often represents perfectly legal professions such as locksmiths (CBD68 a guild that also manufactures traps to protect valuables, use thief archetype, Guild Artisan or Clan Crafter (SCAG145) background and Dungeon delver feat), and pest controllers (CBD68 an important role where ‘pests’ include carrion crawlers and giant spiders use the thief archetype, urchin background, and dungeon delver feat).
Elf rogues are typically highly skilled specialists who retrieve things for their dragon masters. Collectors are archeologist-thieves who ensure powerful magic items and artefacts remain out of the hands of unwise short-lived races and in the possession of elves and dragons who have the perspective to use them with respect or not at all. Through studying powerful artifacts collectors learn much about magic. The ‘lesser races’ often don’t give up powerful artefacts willingly so collectors must also learn to fight their way out (CBE , take the arcane trickster archetype, the history and arcana skills, and weapon master feat). Infiltrators are the ultimate spies, masters of disguise, stealth, and traversing difficult terrain (take Expertise in deception, and the assassin archetype, faction agent background (SCAG147); take the linguist feat and then skilled feat to learn survival and two other skills). Perhaps the most feared members of the rogue class are the elven ‘hunters’ (CBE91) whose prey is not beasts but people. Hunters fetch those their dragon lords want brought. Often the hunted are criminals but sometimes a non-dragon enemy of the dragon is the quarry (take the assassin archetype and the urban bountry hunter background (SCAG153) and the skilled feat to learn survival skill for tracking).
When stealth is required gnomish rogues spring to mind. So skilled are they at remaining quiet and out of sight that they have come to be called ‘mouseburglers’. Some are criminal thieves, others are agents that spy and retrieve for dragon masters. Often a mouseburgler is a little of both. Whatever the mission the goal is to slip in and out undetected, a discovered mouseburgler will likely flee rather than fight (the idea is to drive stealth as high as possible at the expense of melee combat capability; make dexterity and wisdom as high as you can and constitution and strength very low; thief archetype; expertise in stealth and thieves tools; criminal background and since you have proficiency in thieves tools already take disguise kit; skulker feat; choose quiet weapons like sling, bow, dagger, or shortsword).
Dragons: This class could be used to represent the something like the innate spellcasting option for dragons in the MM and Council of Wryms. Take the Draconic bloodline. When choosing a ‘Draconic ancestry’ choose another metallic dragon type (or from gem or chromatic if the character is of another family). Instead of gaining the Draconic language choose the language of another dragon family (Metallic, Chromatic, or Gem). The AC for the Draconic resilience is useless since your race provides better AC but you still gain the extra hp from this feature. Instead of the dragon wings feature choose Swim, Burrow, or Climb Speed equal to your land Speed. The Draconic Presence feature functions normally. A foe that saves against your racial Frightful Presence can still be affected by your Draconic Presence and visa versa. For a typical dragon of the Io’s Blood use the Clan or Custodian’s Ward background and the magic initiate (cleric) feat.
Perhaps you are a half-dragon in which your father’s blood runs strong or perhaps you are a vassal with an ancestor who was a half dragon. Although sorcerers did not exist as a class when the boxed set was published they are a natural fit for a 5e version of the Council of Wryms setting.
Alternatively, just as the presence of a dragon magically produces regional affects, after a few generations dragon magic begins to distort the bloodlines of the vassals in the dragon’s territory.
Beyond the lands tamed by dragons the free lizardfolk of the jungles the worship of Sess’inek (Monster Mythology 2e p102) is common. This entity is both an archfiend of near-godlike power. As such he trains both clerics and warlocks (archfiend patron).
Warlocks did not exist as a class when the boxed set was written and there are no obvious entities in the boxed set that might act as warlock patrons except Sess’inek of the wild lizardfolk. In my version of the setting I assume potent entities look to the Io’s Blood Isles with its distant gods and lack of organised religions and see opportunity. However, dragons would not stand for any challenge to their rule therefore these entities and their warlock agents must act in secrecy. How many of the wandering preachers and spiritualists are actually warlocks is anyone’s guess. Dragons and vassals both could be lured astray by a supernatural patrons’s promise of power. Agents of archfeys in particular could easily pose as nature worshiping spiritualists. As well as these preachers hidden in plain sight there are those who serve secret cults dedicated to powerful dracoliches (The Undying patron SCAG139).
Dragon wizards are discussed in the boxed set, they are scholars who become increasingly obsessed with the superior power of learned magic and seek out ancient arcane secrets (CWB96, for a typical dragon wizard take dexterity of 13 or higher, arcane skill, school of divination, Clan or Custodian’s Ward background, and the Skilled (3 intelligence skills) feat).
Elf war-wizards (CBE91) are members of a dragon lord’s military forces tasked with the defence of a vassal settlement in the dragon’s absence. As well as being wizards these are military officers trained in weapons and tactics (take spells with obvious combat effects, the soldier background, and take the weapon master feat choosing four weapons from this list lance, longbow, shortbow, dagger, any one type of sword, finally choose the martial adept feat).
Gnomes also have a strong arcane magic tradition. The gnomish tradition specialises in illusion and misdirection. Within that tradition different gnomes become obsessed with either image-making or hiding or disguising objects and people. Image-makers are the flashier of the two, they are entertainers whose illusions are as spectacular as they are realistic. However, in times of conflict image-makers are the key to gnomish tactics which requires magic to confuse the enemy (school of illusion, select spells that create images and sounds, entertainer background, actor feat). Vanishers keep a lower profile instead performing acting as spies and thieves for their communities and dragon masters. In battle gnomes call upon vanishers to obscure Gnomish forces adding surprise to the confusion sown by image-makers (School of illusion, select spells that disguise, hide, obscure, silence, or turn invisible; spy background (PHB30); skulker feat).
Re: 5e classes in Io’s Blood Culture.
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:10 pm
For warlocks, you can use dragons as patrons (for instance, Ashardalon is warlock patron in 4e). Planar dragons can help with this role, or very ancient, very powerful dragons. In fact, the three founders of the council can fulfill the role perfectly.
Re: 5e classes in Io’s Blood Culture.
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:15 pm
Zeromaru X wrote:For warlocks, you can use dragons as patrons (for instance, Ashardalon is warlock patron in 4e). Planar dragons can help with this role, or very ancient, very powerful dragons. In fact, the three founders of the council can fulfill the role perfectly.
Hey that’s a great idea. What archetype would you use to best emulate a dragon patron
Re: 5e classes in Io’s Blood Culture.
Posted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:12 pm
I assume the Custodians revere mostly Io but other dragons might worship other dragon gods or the pantheon as a whole. Those who worship the pantheon may choose any Domain. If you worship a specific deity rather than the pantheon then we know (PHB296) the Bahamut has the domains Life and War while Tiamat has Trickery. I suggest domains for the other dragon gods (CWB48, and Monster Mythology 2e) here.
Io: Arcana (SCAG125), Life, Nature
Chronepsis: Grave (XGE19), Knowledge
Bahamut: Life, War
Arcanic: Arcana (SCAG125), Knowledge
Do these look like good fits?