Home RPG What Do I Know About First Impressions? Arcadia Situation 18 (5e OGL)

What Do I Know About First Impressions? Arcadia Situation 18 (5e OGL)



Picture2I’m a bit of late on my take a look at this month’s Arcadia, however there’s a lot occurring in Arcadia-ville. Not solely do we now have a brand new problem, however you could find VTT help on Roll20 for the primary three problems with Arcadia. That features monsters, mounts, subclasses, and adventures. So, if you’re within the content material of these first three points, and you utilize Roll20, chances are you’ll need to test that out.

The opposite information we now have popping out of the area of Arcadia is that the managing editor baton has handed from James Introcaso to Hannah Rose. She has labored on an entire lot of each third-party and official D&D content material, so for those who don’t know her identify, you most likely ought to, as a result of she’s solely going to be getting extra distinguished.


As at all times, I obtained my evaluation copy a bit of bit early in comparison with the huge launch, however I’m nonetheless a member of the MCDM Patreon, so I’d be receiving the difficulty somehow. Whereas I haven’t had an opportunity to make use of the fabric on this problem, I’m fairly aware of D&D 5e, each as a participant and as a DM.

Arcadia Situation 18
Writer: MCDM
Managing Editor: Hannah Rose
Developer: James Introcaso
Manufacturing and playtest director: Lars Bakke
Editor: Sadie Lowry
Sensitivity Reader: Daniel Kwan
Authors: Rachael Cruz, Sam Mannell, Ben McFarland
Format: Jen McCleary
Cowl artwork: Gustavo Pelissari
Title emblem: Tom Schmuck
Accessibility guide: Chris Hopper
Group Coordinator: John Champion
Buyer help: Bobby McBride
MCDM Contract QA Senior Tester: Spencer Hibnick
Testers: Nathan Clark, Cassandra “Dig” Crary, Alecson de Lima Junior, James Dewar
Inside illustrations: Nick De Spain, Patrik Hell, Matheus Graef (Conceptopolis)
Cartography: Miska Fredman

The Lay of Arcadia

This problem of Arcadia is 49 pages, together with a credit web page, a desk of contents, the letter from the editor, two pages of handouts, a assets web page with hyperlinks to totally different handouts and maps, a web page of writer biographies, and a full web page OGL assertion.

As at all times, plenty of high-quality artwork, a structure that’s fancy trying in addition to simple to learn, and a few very clear, high quality cartography. Don’t take my brevity as a scarcity of enthusiasm, it’s simply onerous to actually emphasize how good this journal appears month after month.

On the Inside

This problem of Arcadia has the next sections:

  • Unearthly Weapons (Magic Objects)
  • Appendix NPC: Half I (NPCs)
  • Puzzles of Permanence (Puzzles, Encounters)

We additionally get an enthusiastic introduction to Hannah Rose, as she discusses the identify of the journal, in addition to what she hopes to perform general, in addition to what exists on this problem.

Unearthly Weapons

Unearthly Weapons examines new magic gadgets, particularly magic gadgets which have an origin, a historical past, and a narrative seed. That features the next weapons:

  • Faerie Queen’s Promise (Very Uncommon)
  • Sacrifice’s Weapon (Very Uncommon)
  • Spring’s Arrival (Very Uncommon)
  • Sword of Dreaming Ambition (Legendary)
  • Sword of Religion (Very Uncommon)
  • Weapon of Hope (Legendary)
  • Weapon of Reminiscences (Uncommon)
  • Weapon of the Seas (Uncommon)
  • Weapon of Time (Very Uncommon)

I’m a fan of magic weapons with a historical past and a goal, in order that set the hook for me. You’ve story seeds that embrace performing as an emissary for a fey regent, following up on heists that had been deliberate by a former wielder of the weapon, in addition to a retired knight on a journey of redemption.

Varied gadgets have illusory powers, the flexibility to do additional harm to the wielder with a purpose to do extra harm to the goal, or fees that allow you to entry plant-based spells, or the flexibility to poison opponents. Different weapons will let you visualize larger abilities in your goals that aid you recuperate hit factors or make saves, acquire benefit and additional harm towards incorporeal creatures, or grant bonuses to your allies’ dying saves. Different weapons allow you to draw on the ancestral recollections saved throughout the weapon, grant you water-based powers, or trigger additional harm by quickly ageing your opponents.

I like that vary of powers. Along with the above, plenty of weapons launched on this article can change their kind into totally different weapons. In some instances, these weapons can grow to be any weapon, even ranged weapons. I like the concept of flexibility with treasure, however I’m undecided I’m a fan of so lots of these things having the ability to be something the PCs might want. I’m superb with weapons shifting to different kinds inside a theme, like a crushing weapon turning into any type of bludgeoning weapon, or a sword or an axe that may flip into different swords or axes. I can’t totally clarify it, however being too open to be something begins to really feel extra like a “gaming” factor and fewer like a magical property within the setting to me.

That stated, sufficient of those weapons have enjoyable histories, results, and plot hooks that I’d be greater than keen to tweak the morphogenic properties that really feel too broad for my tastes.

Appendix NPC: Half 1

This text consists of new NPC stat blocks. Whereas it’s often fairly simple to reskin the varied present NPC stat blocks that already seem in numerous official and third get together merchandise, I like discovering an NPC that’s nearly excellent with out doing a lot in the way in which of tweaking. The NPCs included on this part embrace:

  • Torchbearer (CR 1)
  • Arcane Scholar (CR 2)
  • Alchemist (CR 3)
  • Inventor (CR 4)
  • Mercenary (CR 4)
  • Deadeye (CR 5)
  • Explorer (CR 5)
  • Detective (CR 6)
  • Troubadour-Warrior (CR 6)
  • Bodyguard (CR 7)
  • Ronin (CR 7)
  • Martial Arts Grasp (CR 7)
  • Honor Guard (CR 8)
  • Hierophant (CR 8)

The Arcane Scholar, Troubadour-Warrior, and Hierophant are all spellcasters. Chances are you’ll ask in the event that they use extra trendy spellcasting stat blocks, and my reply is a definitive “type of.” They don’t have spell slots, they usually have spells which can be listed as “X/day,” however as a substitute of getting spell like however not spell assaults, all of them have assaults that combine spellcasting.

For instance, the Troubadour-Warrior could make assaults and use one among their spells. The Arcane Scholar can shoot a firebolt cantrip or use one among their spells. The Hierophant, which has villain actions, can solid three spells a spherical, however they’re all spells, not spell-like assaults. To not reopen strains of debate which have already been litigated, I actually do want this, as a result of even when the caster stat block can solid extra spells than a PC can, it’s nonetheless utilizing what’s recognizable as a spell, and avoids a few of the tangle of constructing a spellcaster somebody that may simply use magic-ish results.

The Torchbearer and the Explorer are nice “hireling” stat blocks. The Torchbearer could be extraordinarily fortunate as a non-combatant, but in addition grants the PCs a capability to make use of them as a meat protect. The Explorer doesn’t function a full-on rogue alternative however is admittedly good at discovering secret passages and traps. The one draw back to those stat blocks is that I’d have cherished to have seen a sidebar on how a lot you may need to pay them to come back alongside for the experience (truly, there are just a few extra stat blocks I want had this similar type of info, just like the mercenary or the deadeye).

Bodyguards and Honor Guards are nice stat blocks so as to add to an encounter with a villain that both isn’t a sack of hit factors, or could get pleasure from not being straight attacked whereas they do horrible issues to the PCs. The bodyguard can use a response to take harm for somebody inside 5 toes of their cost. The distinction guard isn’t fairly pretty much as good at negating harm, however they’ll cost towards somebody that simply attacked an ally and take a swing at them.

The inventor is a stat block that may work very nicely as an artificer. Whereas it doesn’t have any spells to make use of in its stat block, it has a number of weapons with particular results that they’ll use, in addition to a bonus assault that permits them to make use of a gadget that emulates totally different magic gadgets.

The Ronin is a punishing combatant. They get a counterattack capacity that doesn’t use their response, a response parry, 4 assaults per spherical, and two particular assaults that grant them elevated motion whereas attacking. Talking of plenty of assaults, the Martial Arts Grasp will get six assaults, and has two restricted particular assaults, one among which stuns, and the opposite that may degree an opponent with lower than 100 hit factors. They will additionally drain ki from opponents, which may additionally incapacitate them.

I actually like this choice of NPCs. I’m to see extra installments of this sequence. My solely thought is I’d like to see pointers for hiring a few of these NPCs.

Puzzles of Efficiency

This text presents puzzles that may be inserted into present dungeons and adventures. These embrace the next puzzles:

  • Riddles in Standing Stone
  • Ever Ahead
  • Ichandrix’s Mercy

I’m going to confess one thing. I’m not an enormous puzzle individual. That stated, if I learn a printed puzzle, and it clicks in my mind the place I “get” it, I’m more likely to make use of some type of that puzzle in an journey. By “click on,” I imply that I can observe the logic with out spending an excessive amount of time retracing the steps introduced, so I do know I received’t overlook vital issues once I current it to the PCs. That doesn’t imply that I received’t double-check the textual content, however I don’t need to really feel like I don’t totally get it except I try this.

The primary puzzle includes returning a bunch of adventurers turned to stone again to residing flesh in order that the PCs have further assist towards a golem guarding a passage. It is a puzzle I can simply maintain in my head, concerning the inscription on the base of the adventurers. Along with the clues within the room, there may be additionally an inventory of Intelligence (Investigation) outcomes that may present extra focused clues to the PCs.

Ever Ahead is a way more in-depth sequence of puzzles, however probably the most attention-grabbing side of this puzzle is the reward on the finish. Ultimately, the PCs find yourself answering a sequence of questions, and relying on their solutions to the query, they find yourself customized constructing an artifact with totally different powers primarily based on their solutions.

The ultimate set of puzzles is a twist on the usual expectation. There’s a sphinx that’s trapped, and the PCs want to resolve varied puzzles to assist the sphinx escape its imprisonment.

Regardless of not being an enormous puzzle individual, I like how these are laid out, and I recognize the particular further clues added for every of the puzzles. I believe the preliminary puzzle room is the best to incorporate, however the concept of customized constructing an artifact is a powerful journey ingredient to construct a situation round.

Ultimate Ideas

It is a good, broad vary of things that may be dropped right into a marketing campaign. I’ve just a few quibbles about particular person particulars, however they’re particulars simply modified earlier than utilizing the content material in query.

Whereas I’m at all times going to be a fan of extra magic gadgets, particularly with lore hooked up to them, and I believe drop-in puzzles are good to have available, the true winner for me on this problem was the NPC stat blocks. It was a great vary of characters so as to add to the DM’s toolbox and gives selection for the DM that wishes to throw less-monstrous opposition at their PCs.

Future Needs

This might not be what everybody needs, however I just like the shorter, single-room puzzle as one thing so as to add into an journey, over the multi-step puzzles, so I wish to see extra set-piece puzzle articles to have extra shorter, direct puzzles included. That’s not a grievance concerning the extra in-depth puzzles, it’s simply that the extra concerned the puzzle, the extra it turns into what you design an journey round, as a substitute of being one thing you drop into what you may have already been engaged on.

I’d like to see extra NPCs. As well as, I’d like to see a chart that took all of the OGL NPC stat blocks and added costs to them to indicate what it will price to rent these which can be extra amenable to employment.



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