Light (Radiant) sword for 5E D&D

A 10" to 12" cylinder (hilt) that when activated, projects a short beam of light that effortlessly cuts things. All damage done by the light sword does Radiant damage. These artifacts are relics from antiquity. Light swords were once used by Atlantian knights, very few survived into the modern age.
Only 12 were known to survive the loss of the great city, but the exact number is more lore than history. The legend tells that 12 knights survived and made their way to the rest of the world.
Scattered to the winds these knights wondered the world fighting injustice and attracting followers. A few founded orders but none would bend a knee to any kingdom or warlord, often bringing them at odds with powerful nations.
The secrets of Atlantian magic and use of power sword combat was passed from Knight to apprentice for centuries. Rumor has it that one secret of Atlantian magic is the creation of light swords. As kaleb kess founder and leader of the order of the northern Rangers w…

Epic 6 style play for 5th edition D&D.

I really would like to come up with guidelines for playing D&D with epic 6. I'm toying with just running it with the basic set of rules for now, and possibly trying it to the full range of classes in the player's handbook at a later time. If you don't know what Epic 6 is, I'll link it here to a post I made about it elsewhere.Doing an Epic 6 version for 5E is tougher because when the concept came out 3E just gave more attacks, feats, and bonuses as characters leveled. But 5E has abilities and features above level 6 players really want. I would hate to take those abilities away. Even though just capping level is the easiest solution. If I choose to give noncasters their features I rightly need to give casters access to their higher level spells. Making the option of capping the character's level less appealing.One option I like is to allow characters to progress as normal but only stop progression on proficiency bonus at level 6 (8 or 10). In this sense 5E is ver…

D&D 5E has a sweet spot.

D&D 5th edition arguably has a sweet spot. Levels 5-10 is where 5E really clicks in my opinion. Wizards design team has even stated that in their surveys most players rarely play above level 10. Campaigns usually fizzle out at or before 10th level. Most if not all of wizard's campaigns take place within levels 5 and 10. I personally feel the only reason they kept levels above ten was because it's part of D&D legacy.I've personally never been a fan of high power levels in high level play. I would rather a dragon always be a fearsome beast and a group of goblins always have a chance of over running the party. I guess that is why options like Epic 6 always had an appeal to me. Capping off hit points and combat bonuses so games never turn into fantasy super heroes is very appealing to me. On the low end of leveling wizards has really streamlined and made the first three levels of the game into an express way. Again I feel like wizards felt level 3 should be the real st…

Backgrounds, what are they good for?

Backgrounds in 5E are a mixed bag for me. I like the extra level of customization, good in a game where there are few real choices at character creation beyond class, race, and subrace. At the same time I find the ideals, personality, and bonds parts of background kind of useless. I understand the intent is to help flesh out your character and provide framework to gain inspiration. I find that in reality they seem forgotten. I would rather we had something disconnected from background. Something like flaws characters could play up for inspiration. And maybe goals players could work towards for bonus experience points. A list players could add to and cross off as they accomplish over the life of the character. Something a bit more custom to the players vision than "loyal to my friends" and "you value knowledge".

Expanding Basic 5E D&D

I've been towing with the idea of creating options for the basic free rules of 5E D&D.Of these I'll be toying with a 5E version of Epic6. Possibly expanding it to Epic10.Most these options will be separate posts using the tag expanded basic.

Sandbox vs railroad in role-playing games.

One topic that comes up especially in D&D circles is the railroad v.s. Sandbox styles of DMing. Most any time these terms are used it's to point out the superiority of one or the other. I would like to propose that not just are they both totally valid, they should be thought of as being useful together. My average game is a mix of both elements. I would like to better define what I mean by these two terms. whenever most people say a game or adventure is a railroad style game thy mean the game is set on a path. The plot is linear and travels from point to point without deviation, like a train on it's rails. The players talk to an NPC who sends them to a location, the location has clues that send the players to another location. Everything is planned out and the game moves along the points to advance the story. Most premade adventures and campaigns are railroad style games. A sandbox adventure on the other hand is an open world. The players are set down in it and can follow…

Alternative advantage/disadvantage

After playing Shadow of the demon Lord I can't help but love its boon and bane system. I think it could easily be used in D&D. Boons and Bane dice are D6s.
Boons are added to the D20 roll, bane die are subtracted from the D20 roll.Unlike advantage/disadvantage players can gain more than one. They can even gain some of each. They cancel each other out. So if a player gains 2 boons but 1 bane the player rolls just the one boon. If more than one is rolled only the highest die is used. I've toyed with the idea of using this option with proficiency die option from the DMG. Making the boons and banes additional proficiency dice.