Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Unearthed Arcana and Freeport, Part 8

Welcome back to my ongoing series of capsule reviews of "Unearthed Arcana" with an eye for how to use them with the Freport setting. This time, we'll take a look at articles released in April through July 2018.

Some of the new material here was developed as part of the Mike Mearls' Happy Fun Hour. See my column on that show for my comments about that process.

For my past columns about using D&D Fifth Edition sourcebooks with Freeport: The City of Adventure, see the Freeport 5E Index.

Order Domain (4/9/2018): This new cleric domain is designed for gods of law, civilization, and leadership. If you are using The Book of the Righteous with Freeport, then this domain is most appropriate for Maal (LN god of justice) and Asmodeus (LE god of tyranny). However, those two gods already have the Balance and Tyranny domains, respectively, which embody their own takes on law and order.

Centaurs and Minotaurs (5/14/2018): This article presents two hybrid races, centaurs and minotaurs, as player races. (The minotaur is updated from a UA column from 3 years ago: "Waterborne Adventures," 5/4/2015. This version is less Krynn-specific.) As the 5E designers have repeatedly pointed out (on The Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour and elsewhere), a Large race would be inherently unbalanced due to the extra die of damage added to all attacks, so these two creatures have been redesigned as Medium races. To represent their larger than average size for that category, both gain bonuses to Strength, and the centaur's Equine Build trait gives some limited benefits as if they were Large (including being able to carry a Medium rider, if the centaur allows it).

As I pointed out in my first UA review, minotaurs do occasionally visit Freeport as members of some of the more monstrous ship crews. Centaurs would be a much rarer sight, simply because their equine frame is not well suited to ship travel. However, they would likely be a common sight on parts of the Continent, such as Rolland.

Giant Soul Sorcerer (6/11/2018): The giant soul sorcerer created as part of the Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour has been polished and expanded to cover all six true giant races. Except for the small population of ogres in Bloodsalt, giants rarely appear in Freeport adventures. Storm giants might be encountered at sea, and the Freeport Bestiary offers a couple new giants native to the mainland. This sorcerous origin seems perfect for northern barbarians from Druzhdin or the Bone Lands, and Vorizar and Iovan probably produce occasional giant-blooded spellcasters as well.

Races of Eberron (7/23/2018): This month's UA was published later than usual in order to coincide with the release of the Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron on DM's Guild. This installment updates the changeling, shifter, and warforged from the very first UA article for 5E, and adds the kalashtar.

As I suggested then, the changeling would need only cosmetic changes to serve as a serpent person PC race, and the warforged could be explained as the creations of vanished mages like the Ironjack.

The kalashtar are a humanlike race with minor psychic powers. Their origin is intimately tied to Eberron's dream-world, which might make this race difficult to adapt to Freeport. (I don't know the Eberron setting well enough to know if Dal Quor is even remotely similar to Lovecraft's Dreamlands, which is what I would consider the default "dimension of dreams" for Freeport due to the setting's Mythos elements.)

Shifters are thought by many to be descended from lycanthropes. This would make them very unwelcome in Rolland, and probably Hexworth as well. Freeport, on the other hand, is a magnet to outsiders and exiles, and the jungles of A'Val should appeal to many shifters.

No comments:

Post a Comment