A roguish archetype for Dungeons & Dragons, 5th edition


Image source: Cassia Chloe

Don’t Watch My Size: Daggers are especially deadly in the hands of a steppin’ razor. Starting at 3rd level, whenever you deal sneak attack damage with a dagger (melee or ranged), you can re-roll any die with a result of 1, but must accept the second result, even if it’s another 1.

I’m Dangerous: At 3rd level, you add your proficiency bonus to Charisma checks to intimidate another creature (even if you are already proficient in Intimidate). Also, you can use your Cunning action to make a Charisma check to intimidate another creature.

Move Away From Me: Whenever a creature misses a melee attack against a 9th-level steppin’ razor, they can use their reaction to move the attacker 5 feet in any direction. This movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity. This ability cannot be used when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Stepping, Walking, Cutting, Flicking: At 13th level, hostile creatures’ space do not count as difficult terrain and hostile creatures have disadvantage on opportunity attacks you provoke due to movement. This ability cannot be used when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Like a Walking Razor: At 17th level, a steppin’ razor can score a critical hit on natural roll of 19 or 20 when making an attack with a dagger. Also, they can apply their sneak attack damage to any critical hit scored in a round, even if they had already used their sneak attack.

An earlier version of this content was first posted on my tumblr.

NEW SPELL: Umbral Talons

Magic-User/Warlock/Wizard Level 2 (Necromancy)


Photo: Rina Dragunova

Duration: 1 minute per caster level

Also known as ebon hands of death, this spell infuses the caster’s hands with necromantic energies. Upon completion of the spell, the magic-user’s hands enlarge, the skin turns pitch black up to the elbows, and the fingernails lengthen and thicken into beastial claws. Should the caster be missing a hand, one will grow from whatever remains of the limb, dissolving into black mist when the spell ends.

The altered hands are physically powerful, but clumsy and unfeeling. For the duration of the spell, the caster is considered to have a Strength of 18 for the purposes of modifying melee attack and damage rolls, and Strength-based ability checks (such as grappling, climbing, bending bars, and breaking doors). At the same time, the caster is considered to have a Dexterity of 3 for ability checks related to fine hand movements.

When used as an unarmed melee attack, umbral talons inflct 1d6 points of damage. The talons are considered magical weapons, capable of affecting incorporeal entities and other creatures usually immune to normal attacks.

Umbral talons can be made permanent.


This content originally appeared on my tumblr.

NEW SPELL: Concussion Sphere

Magic User/Wizard/Sorcerer Level 3 (Evocation)
Casting Time: Variable, see below
Range: 25 feet + 5 feet per caster leveltumblr_inline_nm1wok941e1ryclbu


You conjure an orb of unstable energy that explodes on impact. It deals 1d4 points of damage per caster level on a successful ranged attack. The target of the spell is pushed back 1 foot for every 5 points of damage dealt; a successful Strength saving throw negates this forced movement.

Upon the initial casting, you can elect to hold the concussion sphere, allowing it to grow in strength:

  • After one round, the spell deals 1d6 damage per caster level with a successful ranged attack and the target is pushed 5 feet per caster level if they fail a Strength saving throw.
  • After two rounds, the damage increases to 1d8 per caster level and every creature within 10 feet suffers half that amount of damage (Dexterity save negates). The primary target is pushed back 5 feet per caster level and knocked prone (a successful Strength saving throw halves the distance and allows it to stay upright).
  • After three rounds, the concussion sphere deals 1d10 damage per caster level to all creatures in a 20-foot radius from the point of impact and Medium-sized or smaller creatures are pushed backed 1d4x5 feet and knocked prone (Dexterity save for half damage and remain upright). Any creature that takes damage gains disadvantage on Perception checks to hear for 1d10 rounds from tinnitus.
  • After four rounds, the damage increases to 1d12 per caster level and it affects every creature within 40 feet of the point of impact (Dexterity save for half damage). Any creature that takes damage is knocked prone and deafened for 10d6 minutes.

After four rounds, the spell becomes too unstable; if the sphere hasn’t been discharged by then, it will detonate in the caster’s hands.

If you suffer any damage while holding the concussion sphere, you must make a Dexterity saving throw. If you fail, you drop the sphere and it explodes.

An earlier version of this content was first posted on my tumblr.

Mic Check…

So, I guess some introductions are in order?

My name is Zack; I’ve been playing D&D and other role-playing games since I was… I dunno, eight, maybe nine years old. I was fortunate to have parents not-at-all fazed by the Satanic panic aura surrounding D&D; they were just happy that I was reading above my grade-level.


My gateway drug.

Anyway, I’m not interested in establishing my RPG bonafides (nor, I’m sure, would y’all be interested in reading about them). I’m just a thirty-something dude who likes elf-games. Maybe you’ll find something useful, or at least interesting here.



A simple unadorned chalice carved from gray stone. When lifted, it will feel far heavier than it would appear (a Strength of 13 is required to hold it in one hand).

The grail of stone is infused with transmutative magic. Liquids poured into it will be transmuted instantly – water into wine, wine into blood, blood into acid, and so on. More exotic substances will require a combination of inputs. (Maybe pouring milk and holy water into the grail produces mercury? Maybe there are texts out in the world that contain the recipes for universal solvent, or sovereign glue, or even the Elixir of Life? I dunno, get weird with it.)

The grail has no effect on anything that is not a liquid and its products will always be liquids or in a liquid state; gold produced by the grail will be molten, liquid nitrogen will be incredibly cold. The vessel itself is impervious to anything it creates.