Like any convention’s first run PAX Unplugged had some issues. After being out of the office for nearly two weeks I’ve got a backlog I’m going to tackle, but I wanted to share my thoughts before doing that–so here we are.
ENFORCERS There were a few problems with the convention but the staff were excellent–one of them straight up bought me a soda when I asked for one. That guy set where the bar for staff excellence is at now.
Simultaneous events (a law enforcement convention and the Philadelphia marathon) didn’t help out off-site and the lack of any game scheduling ahead of time was just a terrible oversight. Fortunately being an exhibitor let me sit down for a Starfinder game (in Paizo’s booth) before that hall opened, but otherwise there was no reasonable way for me to play a tabletop RPG–I had to be in the booth at certain times to work, and in order to get into a game you get into a line at the beginning of the day and after a couple hours maybe you lucked out. This is a drag for any con-goer but straight up impossible if you’re on a work schedule.
PENNSYLVANIA CONVENTIONS ARE DISAPPOINTMENTS There’s this crap habit of conventions going on in Pittsburgh every 3-4 months where you get a dealer’s hall, maybe some magic card tournaments, and then a bunch of autographs. Real RPG conventions just aren’t allowed here or something? I dunno–mad that I missed SibCon because it sounds like that might’ve broken the curse, but I was really hoping PAX Unplugged would do it. There were a half-dozen seminars that maybe were of some interest to me as a game designer, but really this first year PAX Unplugged was a place for celebrity fandom and board gaming.
I’m sincerely glad that folks had a good time (there were a lot of people walking around super pleased with their experience) but this one was kind of a wash for me. Managed to get some important things done, had a great time as far as booth-work goes (Syrinscape is great and useful for everybody and all I had to do was give away free stuff so it was a breeze), ate at a spot in Philly Chinatown that has eluded me several times before (BEST DIM SUM – OCEAN HARBOR), and had no personal issues with the hotel (although I believe the people putting me up did). My actual convention experience though was limited to a Starfinder game I got into by privilege (early access to the exhibitor’s hall) and one seminar–if I go to work a booth here again, it’s probably going to require some more compensation because as it was this year there was no other way for me to enjoy the convention.
This adventure is finally available! All of its proceeds go to the SPLC and Black Lives Matter so check out www.operationnazismasher.com and grab its PDF, a print copy, or the Roll20 module! If you’re into high-level Pathfinder adventures and want to help us fight nazis, please check it out!
Here’s the full rundown:
A Hypercorps 2099 adventure set in WW2 for PCs of 16th level, 8th level [Hyper Score 6], or 8th level (Mythic Rank 5-6) using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Hyper Score rules.
After the despicable display of bigotry and hatred in Charlottesville VA in August 2017 a group of artists, designers, and writers joined me to do something about it. This thrilling adventure is the result of our work and the proceeds of every single purchase go directly to charitable efforts focusing on anti-hatred causes (specifically but not limited to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Black Lives Matter).
Everything you need to play the game is included and you have our gratitude for taking part in the fight against injustice. Go pick your favorite patriotic superhero from Task Force V (or make your own) and smash some nazis!
What’s inside Operation: Nazi Smasher:
Cover artwork by world renowned illustrator Claudio Pozas
A full color 19 page adventure for raiding the bowels of Castle Verzweifer, the last and most desperate effort of the Reich’s final days at the end of World War 2
Four full-page maps for a nazi outpost, the exterior of Castle Verzweifer, and the dungeons below it
Original illustrations for every character in the module as well as full-page pieces by a coterie of great artists
A dozen different nazi statblocks to defeat including SS soldiers, genetically modified commandos, occult mages, mad scientists, and Baroness von Helena Kriegstalhz the Heldenschlager (Killer of Heroes)
TASK FORCE V: A team of 7 alter sapiens in one of the Allied Forces’ most powerful teams of special agents—enough pregenerated PCs that the game can begin as soon as the last player sits down at the table [included in print, separate download for PDF]
The entire Hyper Score system with revisions, improvements, and updates from its original iteration so if the party wants to make their own patriotic super heroes, everything they need is available
A reprint of the Veloces base class for the player that demands to be a speedster
PDF for printing out Character Pawns for every NPC and pregenerated PC in the adventure [included in print, separate download for PDF]
High-resolution versions of all the maps for use with VTT (4 versions of each map)
Before this post goes anywhere there’s two things folks should know–I’m not actually “in the office” right now and I won’t be for more than a week, so there isn’t a post going up next Friday (come back on 11/24).
The second thing is that Dan Abnett is fucking spectacular. He is far and away the person most responsible for getting me addicted to the grimdark future and I can’t say enough good things about his work. If for some awful reason nobody has exposed you to it yet, please, please go find a copy of one of the (many amazing) Gaunt’s Ghosts novels or something from Eisenhorn or (if you want what I felt was arguably a more compelling series because who doesn’t want a psychic casket protagonist?!) Ravenor or any of the anthologies with his work. You will not be disappointed.
First postgeneral rules, the Corruption ability score, new skills, a hit selection system, races, character backgrounds, the psyker feat. Second postthe (shared) Resources party attribute, the Lucky Bastard feat, new martial weapons, new ranged weapons, new extremis weapons, power armor Third post Apothecary monk archetype, Chaplains, and the Imperial Guard Veteran archetype Fourth postAssault space marine barbarian archetype and the Imperial Commissar fighter archetype Fifth postPsyker sorcerer archetype, Grey Knight warlock archetype, and Sisters of Battle monk archetype Sixth postASSASSINORUM CLADES! My favorite. ❤ Seventh postInquisitors (warlock archetype) and Grey Knight space marines (paladin archetype) Eighth postSneaky space marines (I am Alpharius) and Rogue Trader bards! Last post Techmarine mad scientists and Tech-Priest scrappers (both are classes with free PDFs) TODAY’S POST We’re getting into one of the underappreciated bits of Abnett’s work (Enuncia; note that I took a few liberties here) and doling out the chaos template before the monster statblock posts begin. 😀
Prerequisites: Intelligence 16, evil alignment You know a number of Enuncia equal to half your proficiency bonus, selected from the list below. After uttering an Enuncia, any more uses of that Enuncia in the next 24 hours double their negative effects. Once you have learned one type of Enuncia, you may not select from that type again until you have learned at least one Enuncia from all other types. This feat may be selected multiple times.
Noun: Admordeo. As a reaction after you hit a living creature with a weapon attack that deals piercing or slashing damage, you hiss a word of bloodlust, dealing 6 points of damage to yourself. Your attack deals an additional amount of damage equal to half your proficiency bonus
Noun: Explivas. As a bonus action you spit out a word of primal malice that manifests into a wave of force, dealing 4 points of damage to yourself. Make a ranged attack roll against a creature within 30 feet. On a hit you deal 1d12 thunder damage plus your Strength modifier. On a critical hit, the creature is knocked prone.
Adjective: Anteactus. As an action, you utter a jibbering of syllables that pluck along the chords of fate, dealing 12 points of damage to yourself and bringing the energies of moments in the past to your senses. As long as you remain motionless, the events of the past reveal themselves to you:
After 1 minute you can sense the strongest emotion associated with an area or object you are touching.
After 2 minutes you can glean the general features of the creature the emotion belongs to.
After 3 minutes you have a clear mental image of the creature the emotion belongs to.
After 4 minutes you learn the person’s basic details (in what city they live, what their job is, and so on).
After 5 minutes you learn the person’s name.
Remaining motionless requires a concentration check every 30 seconds (DC 5 + 1 per previous check). If a creature is in combat within 30 feet, you have disadvantage on the concentration check.
Adjective: Praesens. As a bonus action, you whisper a questioning word from the void, dealing 10 points of damage to yourself, but in return you are gifted with glimpses of possible futures and likely outcomes. You have advantage on your next d20 roll.
Verb: Excaeco. As an action and bonus action, you pulverize your mouth to shout a potent word of command, dealin 20 points of damage to yourself. Choose a creature within 60 feet and make a Strength saving throw opposed by the target’s Charisma saving throw. On a success, you paralyze the creature until the beginning of your next turn.
Verb: Nilum. As an action, you utter a baffling word that muddles the senses, dealing 8 points of damage to yourself. Choose a creature within 30 feet and make a Wisdom saving throw opposed by the target’s Wisdom saving throw. On a success, you make the creature blind and deaf until the end of your next turn. By spending a bonus action and dealing 4 points of damage to yourself to continue uttering, you may extend the duration of the creature’s blindness and deafness by 1 round.
Ran into this picture and SUPER MAD PROPS on your amazing costume! EMBRACE THE CANIS HELIX AND DESTROY YOUR ENEMIES!
The chaos template can be added to any living creature (in particular the space marine that appears in the next post!) It should be noted that this template means a creature has completely and irredeemably fallen, drinking deep from the Warp–a typical traitor space marine doesn’t need this, but if they’re a Veteran of the Long War it is definitely appropriate.
Alignment. Chaos creatures are chaotic evil. Armor Class. Chaos creatures gain a natural armor of 2. Speed. Chaos creatures increase all of their movement speeds by 10 feet. Ability Scores. Chaos creatures choose two physical or mental attributes to increase by 2. They choose one of their opposite attributes (mental is opposite physical) to decrease by 4. Resistances. Chaos creatures have resistance to necrotic and poison damage. Poison Resistant. Chaos creatures have advantage on saving throws against disease and poison. Senses. Chaos creatures gain darkvision 120 feet. Vulnerabilities. Chaos creatures are vulnerable to radiant damage. Languages. Chaos creatures speak and understand Warpspeech. Magical Attacks. Chaos creatures weapon attacks are magical and they gain a +1 bonus on weapon attack rolls and damage rolls. Challenge Rating. Chaos creatures increase their CR by 1. Do not recalculate proficiency bonus.
Sneaky space marines (I am Alpharius) and Rogue Trader bards!
BY THE BALLS OF ANGRON IS THIS POST NOTHING BUT HYPERLINKS?!
It is only mostly hyperlinks. We’ve also got that big technology kick some of you cogheads out there have been waiting for: technologists in the far future! The rogue trader bard archetype touches on techno-magic but that’s all xenos business and to really dig in there probably requires an entire class–good thing I’ve got two just for that!
A Techmarine (known as a Frater Astrotechnicus in High Gothic) is a Space Marine technician and engineer as well as a full Astartes Battle-Brother of his Chapter. They are fully initiated members of both the Cult Mechanicus and their Chapter. Prospective Techmarines are chosen from the ranks of the Space Marine Chapters for their affinity with technology. They are sent to Mars for 30 standard years of training, and taught the machine lore. They learn how to divine the runes of engineering and study the liturgy of maintenance. This great body of lore must be committed to memory and understood by the novice Techmarine. They are taught how to “feel” the pain of a damaged machine and heal it. When they come back they serve the same role in their Chapter as a Tech-Priest Enginseer in the Imperial Guard. (from http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Techmarine)
Techwarrior (modifies Trickster archetype) When selecting this mad scientist archetype, you are also selecting the Trickster archetype. When you reach 17th level, instead of Hide Out of Place you gain the benefits of the Cog-Born character background (from Warhammer 40k D&D 5E Hack #1). In addition, you can summon a servoskull (functioning as the Prototype Drone feature). When you reach 10th level, you are able to summon one more servoskull than normal.
Servo-Arm (replaces Forbidden Knowledge) At 3rd level, you build a servo-arm that can be installed into your power armor. Your servo-arm can be used to pick up and hold objects but nothing that requires fine dexterity (such as typing on a dataslate or soldering a pair of goggles), treating its Strength score as 20. In addition, you may spend a bonus action to use it to make a melee weapon attack (using your spell attack bonus) against a creature within 5 feet, dealing 1d12 + 5 bludgeoning damage on a successful hit.
Extra Attack (replaces Insane Contraptions and Diviner of Secrets) Beginning at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 13th level in this class.
Tech-Priest (Scrapper Hack!)
A Tech-priest, also spelled Tech-Priest, is an Adept of the Adeptus Mechanicus of the Imperium of Man who is generally responsible for maintaining all of the advanced technology of the Imperium, enlarging the Imperium’s stocks of technical knowledge and conducting what little new scientific research occurs within the Imperium since the end of the Horus Heresy. Tech-priests are members of the Cult Mechanicus, the Cult of the Machine, a priesthood which forms an ecclesiastical hierarchy for the Cult Mechanicus of technicians, scientists, and religious leaders who believe that knowledge represents the only true divinity in the universe. The Tech-priests provide the rest of the Imperium with its technicians, scientists and engineers. Though their bodies often incorporate many inorganic components as bionic replacements, Tech-priests are fully human, unlike the cybernetic Servitors created by the Adeptus Mechanicus that carry out most of the heavy labour for all of the Imperium’s myriad organisations and enterprises. (from http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Tech-Priest)
Guntrapper (modifies all Trapper archetype features) For GMs that have 2099 Wasteland, make use of the awesome custom-built weapon rules. For everyone else: At 1st level, your gun traps can utilize a bolt pistol or laspistol. At 5th level, your gun traps can utilize a bolt rifle or las rifle. At 17th level, your gun traps can utilize a bolter. All of these are available in Warhammer 40k Hack #2: Equipment.
Servoskull and Vox Transmitter (modifies Radio Transmitter and Prototype Drone) Instead of a radio transmitter, at 2nd level you get a vox transmitter instead. This functions as a radio transmitter but with a range of 2 miles per scrapper level. In addition, you can summon a servoskull (functioning as the Prototype Drone feature). When you reach 10th level, you are able to summon one more servoskull than normal.
Mechadendrite (replace Technology Salvaging) At 3rd level, you develop the means to construct and install a robotic tentacle or you’ve received one from the Mechanicum. You can use your mechadendrite to directly interact with human-constructed machinery and while doing so have advantage on Intelligence (Technology) checks made with a device. In addition, you may use it to make melee weapon attacks (using your spell attack bonus) with a reach of 10 feet, dealing 1d8 + your Intelligence modifier bludgeoning damage on a successful hit.
Cogitation Enhancer (replaces Radio Tower) At 14th level, a cogitation enhancer is installed into your brain. Your Intelligence increases by 2 and your maximum increases to 22.
Inquisitors (warlock archetype) and Grey Knight space marines (paladin archetype)
TODAY’S POST WHAT IS IN TODAY’S POST DAMNIT
Sneaky space marines (I am Alpharius) and Rogue Trader bards!
Infiltrator Space Marine (Ranger)
Space marines are a varied lot with a wide variety of roles–those that excel in stealth during their training periods as scouts lead new recruits, head sabotage missions, move into enemy territory to launch flanking ambushes, and move unseen across the battlefield. [Note: Of the various space marine archetypes, this and the assault space marine are ideal for use with orks.]
Infiltration Specialist Unlike other ranger archetypes, you choose to become an infiltrator space marine at 2nd level. You do not gain spellcasting, instead gaining proficiency with one ranger skill or any tool kit of your choice. At 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th level you gain proficiency in an additional ranger skill or any tool kit of your choice.
Expertise At 3rd level, choose two of your skill proficiencies, or one of your skill proficiencies and your proficiency with thieves’ tools. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies. At 7th level, you can choose two more of your proficiencies (in skills or with thieves’ tools) to gain this benefit.
Know Thine Prey Also at 3rd level, instead of Primeval Awareness your weapon attacks against a favored enemy deal an additional 1d4 damage. Whenever you reach 9th level in this class, the additional damage increases to 1d8. When you reach 15th level in this class, the additional damage increases to 2d6.
Implacable Resolve Beginning at 7th level, you have advantage on saving throws to resist the charmed and frightened conditions.
Extra Attack (2) Starting at 11th level, you may attack three times (instead of twice) when you take the attack action.
Experienced Astartes At 15th level, you’ve honed your talents for killing the foes that the Imperium has set before you. When attacking a favored enemy, the additional damage you deal increases to 4d6.
Rogue Trader (Bard)
You are a trusted Imperial servant, given a ship, a crew, a contingent of marines and the right to go wherever you so desire. You generally survey uninhabited worlds near to the fringes of Imperial space and on the Eastern Fringes where the Astronomican does not reach, but your Trade of Writ gives you leave to barter with xenos and carry creations that would otherwise bring you into the targeting sights of The Inquisition.
Xenos Devices Unlike other bard archetypes, you choose to be a rogue trader at 1st level. As a rogue trader you gain access to a wide variety of exotic xenos-designed technological devices that produce effects identical to spells without the touch of the Warp. When you cast spells, you do so by activating these small devices, making them a requirement for the casting of all spells as though they were arcane or divine focuses. For each spell you know you come into possession of a new device that you manage to activate as often as your bard level’s spell slots allow. Your spells are immune to antimagic field, counterspell, and dispel magic. These devices weigh 2 pounds for cantrips or half a pound per spell level. The AC of these items is equal to your AC while they are on your person and they have a number of hit points equal to twice your bard level. While not in your possession, one of your devices has an AC equal to 10 + spell level. Other creatures are unable to understand how your xenos devices function and only you are able to use them to cast spells. Unlike a regular bard, you may not replace any of your spells known when you gain a new bard level. Should one of your xenos devices be destroyed, it costs you 500 gp per spell level to find a suitable replacement (which must be of the same spell known).
Cosmic Diplomat Beginning at 3rd level, your travels to the far reaches of space have taught you the nuances of all manner of communication–verbal, nonverbal, olfactory, and otherwise. You may spend a bardic inspiration die as a bonus action to gain advantage to your next Charisma (Deception), Charisma (Persuasion), or Wisdom (Insight) check.
Xenos Weaponeer Also at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in two xenos weapons of your choice. At 6th and 14th level, you gain proficiency in two more xenos weapons of your choice.
Extra Attack Starting at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Displacer Field At 14th level, you get the perfect accoutrement–a device that emits a forcefield around your person, increasing your AC to 12 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier while not wearing armor. When a creature hits you, you may spend your reaction to activate your displacer field and cast misty step (without the need for components or expending a spell slot), negating the attack or spell and any damage it would have caused you. After you have used this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus the device ceases to function and you cannot use it again until after you have finished a long rest.
If you wanted to play one of the Imperium’s feared Inquisitors or a rare psyker space marine, this post’s warlock archetype and paladin archetype are for you. 😀
Agent of the Inquisition (Warlock) – Psyker Archetype
You are one of the most exceptional individuals in the Imperium of Mankind, picked up with hundreds of thousands of others by the dreaded Black Ships. Unlike those poor souls, you possessed the correct spark of psyker talent and were plucked out of the teeming mass sacrificed to keep the God-Emperor alive, carefully trained and groomed to be a member of the Emperor’s Holy Ordos–an agent of the Inquisition.
Inquisition Expanded Spells Spell Level 1stheroism, thunderwave 2nddetect thoughts, pass without trace 3rdglyph of warding, nondetection 4thdominate beast, freedom of movement 5thdominate person, telekinesis
Expanded Mind At 1st level, you gain telepathy to a range of 10 feet per point of proficiency bonus you possess. You can communicate telepathically with any creature that is within range and able to see you. You don’t need to share a language with the creature for it to understand your telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language.
Inquisitor Ordos Starting at 6th level, your rank in the Inquisition has been raised to agent. You are given the sacred Inquisitor’s Seal, a rosette that carries with it enormous power and the means to identify yourself as a person of authority to any servant of the Imperium. You have advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks against any such creature if your status as an Inquisitor is known and are able to assume control of virtually any Imperium-controlled vehicle or item (although at the GM’s discretion some NPCs may not be willing to cede to your authority regardless of the consequences). In addition, you choose an Ordos to represent–Ordo Hereticus, Ordo Malleus, or Ordo Xenos. Your Ordos determines the features you gain at 10th and 14th level.
Ordos Hunter Beginning at 10th level, you have gained significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy: Ordo Hereticus–creatures with the Psyker feat or feature, Ordo Malleus–daemons and Warp-spawn, Ordo Xenos–eldar, necrons, ork, tau, tyranids, and other xenos. You have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track, Wisdom (Perception) checks to perceive, and Intelligence checks to recall information about your favored enemies, and you learn one language of your choice that is spoken by your favored enemies (if they speak one at all). When you hit a favored enemy with a weapon or spell attack, you deal an additional amount of damage equal to your proficiency bonus.
Ordos Master At 14th level, you have become one of the masters of your Inquisitorial Ordos. Your experience has taught you how best to fight your favored enemy and you gain advantage on attacks rolls against them. In addition, you gain either a sidekick of 10th level or any number of sidekicks whose total levels equal to 10 (for example, a 6th level fighter and 4th level rogue, or two 3rd level barbarians, two 3rd level monks, and a 1st level cleric). Alternatively, you may have one bound favored enemy of a CR no higher than half your level. This favored enemy is enslaved to you and does as you will it, commanded with a bonus action (as if it were a creature summoned by conjure elemental). If you are killed or your bond severed (through means at the discretion of the GM) it immediately attempts to flee or turn against you.
Librarian Space Marine (Paladin) – Psyker Archetype
The most powerful Adeptus Astartes are often those trained to develop their psyker talents, learning everything a space marine does as well as how to focus and harness the power of the aether to devastating effect. If the apothecaries are the heart of a chapter and chaplains their zealous voice, librarians are truly the soul of a company of battle-brothers.
Oath Spells Level 3rd protection from evil and good, sanctuary 5th lesser restoration, prayer of healing 9th blinding smite, dispel magic 13th banishment, staggering smite 17th banishing smite, dispel evil and good (evil only)
Channel Divinity When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
Damn the Warp.As an action, you present your holy symbol and briefly unfetter your mind while willing your soul to the God-Emperor’s divinity. Blessed psionic energies roil outward from you, dealing 1d8 damage per point of proficiency bonus you possess to all daemons, Chaos, fiends, and Warp-spawned creatures within 30 feet. Half of this damage is psychic and half is radiant. A successful Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC halves this damage.
Sacred Weapon. As an action, you can imbue one weapon that you are holding with positive energy, using your Channel Divinity. For 1 minute, you add your Charisma modifier to attack rolls made with that weapon (with a minimum bonus of +1). The weapon also emits bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light 20 feet beyond that. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration. You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are no longer holding or carrying this weapon, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends.
Focused Mind Beginning at 7th level, you have resistance against psychic damage. In addition, you have advantage on saving throws to resist the charmed and frightened conditions.
Powerful Soul Starting at 15th level, you have advantage on saving throws against spells or effects from daemons and Warp-spawn.
Master Librarian At 20th level, you have achieved the peak mastery over your psyker talent and are counted among a select honored space marines. You have immunity to fear, the charmed condition, and psychic damage. Whenever you score a critical hit against a creature with the Psyker feat or feature, daemon, Chaos, or Warp-spawn creature, you automatically cast blinding smite or staggering smite (expending a spell slot as normal but not an action to cast the spell; if you have no spell slots available this feature does not activate).
Psyker sorcerer archetype, Grey Knight warlock archetype, and Sisters of Battle monk archetype
By the Golden Throne just get on with it–what the frack are you on about today?!
ASSASSINORUM CLADES! My favorite. ❤
Also the Pariah feat but whatever. ASSASSINORUM!
Agent of the Assassinorum (Rogue)
Working the Imperium’s shadows are assassins that slip through enemy lines to mete out murder, returning to the darkness and disappearing before their foes know they are there. Each is trained by one or another clade of the Imperium of Mankind, specializing in a specific set of techniques and tactics all tailored to be devastatingly effective.
Callidus – Chameleons able to infiltrate anywhere and impersonate anyone.
Culexus – Pariahs immune to the touch of the Warp, able to channel the void of their being into deadly attacks.
Eversor – Berserk, drug-fueled killing machines rumored to be as deadly as any space marine.
Vanus – Masters of strategy and tactics that manipulate the noosphere with unprecedented skill, killing their targets with brilliantly indirect methods that leave no suspicion behind them.
Venenum – Elite poisoners able to craft deadly concoctions from virtually anything, equipped with the deadliest toxins from across the universe.
Vindicare – Marksmen of unparalleled skill equipped with the Imperium’s most lethal weaponry.
Note: There is another clade, Maerorus, but I feel like 6 mini-archetypes are enough and that their specific bit–incorporating xenos biology into humans–is probably better done with special monster-ability feats on a regular assassin rogue.
Sneak Attack (d4s) and Extra Attack Unlike normal rogues, when you choose this archetype your sneak attack die decreases to 1d4. Also unlike normal rogues, at 5th level you gain Extra Attack (able to attack twice when you take the attack action). It’s worth noting that agents of the Assassinorum all receive excellent financial support that can augment their abilities–of everything you’ll find in the Warhammer 40k D&D 5E Hack, these are the humans most likely to keep up with a space marine (Eversor and Vindicare in particular), especially if the GM gives out a few attribute points here and there for enhanced synth muscles and what have you (no more than 5 points of additional attribute increases).
Assassinorum Apprentice Starting when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you are drafted into one of the mysterious organizations of the Assassinorum, the clades of assassins that work in the Imperium of Mankind’s shadows. Choose one of the temples described above (Callidus, Culexus, Eversor, Vanus, Venenum, or Vindicare). You gain different archetype features depending on which clade of the Assassinorum to which you belong.
Callidus: Impersonatio.You gain proficiency with the disguise kit. You have advantage on checks made to maintain a disguise, including Charisma (Deception) checks and the use of tool kits (although it should be noted that you do not have advantage on checks to actually use a tool kit, just to make it appear as though you are proficient and that you know what you are doing).
Culexus: Pariah.You gain the Pariah feat (see below). Choose one Charisma-based skill you are proficient with. You never suffer disadvantage with that skill.
Eversor: Injectoria.You receive the first of many combat augmentations. When you score a critical hit, you may use your Cunning Action to make an additional weapon attack against a creature you have already hit with a weapon attack this round. If you hit with this second attack, you deal sneak attack damage (if even if you’ve already dealt sneak attack damage this turn).
Vanus: Technocrat. You gain proficiency with Technology. If you are already proficient, you gain advantage on Intelligence (Technology) checks. In addition, you can cast the find familiar spell as a ritual, summoning (i.e.: activating) a number of drones equal to your half proficiency bonus. The drone familiars you create are constructs with the appearance and abilities of any of the animals listed under the spell, or drones with an appearance chosen by you. Drones that are not duplicating the appearance and abilities of an animal use the Homunculus stat block (without poison). As a construct, the drones do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, and are immune to both poison damage and the poisoned condition. Your drones may not be dismissed as the spell. You may share senses with the drones or communicate with them while they remain within a number of miles equal to your Intelligence modifier.
Venenum: Amateur Poisoner. You gain proficiency with the poisoner’s kit, resistance to poison damage, and advantage on saving throws against poison.
Vindicare: Marskmanship. You do not have an off-hand (each of your hands counts as your primary hand). In addition, you are gifted with an Executor sniper rifle (2d10 piercing, range 500/5,000, weight 20 lbs., reload [8 shots]). When you use it to successfully attack a target’s limb or head (see Hit Selection in Warhammer 40k D&D 5E Hack #1!), you deal your sneak attack damage (you can still only deal sneak attack damage once per turn). On a headshot, your sneak attack dice increase to d6s (from d4s).
Assassinorum Rank Beginning at 9th level, you become a proper agent of the Assassinorum and receive a powerful gift with which you can better see to the God-Emperor’s will.
Callidus: Polymorphine Amateur. The Callidus Temple supplies you with polymorphine, a chemical substance that drastically alters your physical makeup for a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus. You are able to cast alter self at will with no components other than polymorphine. In addition, you may spend a bonus action to gain one of the following benefits while using polymorphine. Switching from one benefit to another is a bonus action or reaction.
Increase your speed by 15 feet.
Reduce the falling damage you take by 5 points per rogue level.
Increase your Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma by 2.
Gain immunity to poison and disease.
Cocoon yourself in a vacuum-proof carapace of transformed skin (unlike the other options listed here, this requires 5 rounds of uninterrupted concentration). You gain resistance to all types of damage and can survive in outer space for a number of minutes equal to your proficiency bonus. Afterward you are incapacitated for 1d4 hours.
Culexus: Void Channeler.Your order gifts you with a helmet or other worn item that is able to suppress the benefits and drawbacks of your Pariah feat. You can activate or deactivate the helmet as a reaction or free action on your turn. As an action, you can unleash it as a torrent of energized trauma in a 10-foot wide line that extends 50 feet. Any creature in the area makes a Charisma saving throw (DC 6 + your level) or takes 1d12 points of psychic damage per point of proficiency bonus you possess. On a successful saving throw, a creature takes half damage. Any creature with the Psyker feat or feature has disadvantage on its saving throw and takes double damage from the attack. After you have used this feature, you cannot do so again for 1 minute.
Eversor: Improved Injectoria. The cocktail of combat drugs inside your injectoria improves. By spending a bonus action, your speed is doubled, you gain a +2 bonus to AC, you have advantage on Dexterity saving throws, and you gain an additional action on each of your turns. This effect lasts for 1 minute, after which you gain 1 level of exhaustion. It does not stack with haste. Alternatively (particularly when traveling with space marines) the gamemaster may allow you to gain the Rage feature of a berserker barbarian with a barbarian level equal to half your rogue level.
Vanus: Technogauntlet. Having proven yourself time and again, the Vanus Temple gifts you with a technogauntlet. While wearing your technogauntlet, you can spend a bonus action to make your drones attack and as an action, you are able to use the noosphere it generates to access any human-built machine that you can see within 100 feet so long as it utilizes electronics (a bolter for example does not, and some items, like a space marine’s power armor, lack unprotected electronic systems that can be manipulated to any noticeable effect). An active device may require an Intelligence (Technology) check for you to overcome before you gain control of it.
Venenum: Toxica Tools. Your masters have given you toxica tools, items perfectly suited to be used as a miniature chemistry set with one purpose–the crafting of poisons. You have advantage on checks made to hide your toxica tools on your person and gain a +5 bonus on Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) checks to do so. With 10 minutes of work, you can craft a number of poison dice equal to your level + Intelligence modifier. These poison dice are d8s. You may choose to craft all of your poison into one deadly toxin that deals a maximum amount of d8s equal to your rogue level, or in several smaller vials. Any living creature that ingests or is struck by your poison takes the poison dice as additional poison damage to the attack, making a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier) for half damage. After 24 hours, any poisons made this way go inert. Once you have used this feature to brew poison, you cannot do so again until you have finished a long rest. In addition, you can spend a bonus action to poison a melee weapon or piece of ranged ammunition.
Vindicare: Optical Implant. The Vindicare Temple replaces one of your eyes with an enhanced cybernetic. You gain darkvision 200 feet, you do not suffer disadvantage on ranged weapon attacks from being within an enemy’s reach, and you always know the exact distance between your cybernetic eye and any object it can see.
Assassinorum Veteran Starting at 13th level, you have successfully completed enough missions for your clade that they reveal more of their hallowed trade secrets.
Callidus: Polymorphine User. While using polymorphine, you gain two benefits instead of one, you do not require concentration to maintain your alter self, and the duration of polymorphine doubles.
Culexus: Void Touch. Your unarmed strikes always deal your sneak attack damage as psychic damage when you successfully hit a Warp-spawned creature or creature with the Psyker feat or feature.
Eversor: Extra Attack (2).When you take the attack action, you can attack three times.
Vanus: Improved Drones. When you summon drones, their AC increases by an amount equal to your Intelligence modifier, their hit points double, their attack bonuses double, and their damage doubles. Alternatively, you may choose to summon a number of regular drones equal to your proficiency bonus.
Venenum: Poisonous. You gain immunity to poison and the poisoned condition. When a living creature deals damage to you with a bite attack, it takes 1d4 poison damage per point of proficiency bonus you possess.
Vindicare: Gunslinger’s Reaction. On a surprise round (even when you are surprised), you can draw your weapon(s), make a single ranged weapon attack (or two if wielding two ranged weapons), and move up to half your movement.
Assassinorum Elite When you reach 17th level, you are one of the Imperium of Mankind’s foremost stealth agents, able to infiltrate virtually anywhere in the universe to kill your target (and possibly even escape afterward).
Callidus: Polymorphine Expert.While using polymorphine, you gain four benefits instead of two, its duration doubles again, and your alter self remains active even when you are unconscious, suspending the polymorphine’s duration until you regain consciousness.
Culexus: Void Annihilator. Instead of unleashing your energized trauma in an area, you can channel it directly at a single creature instead. A creature targeted by this feature must make a Charisma saving throw (DC 6 + your level). On a failed save, the target takes 12d12 + 40 psychic damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, it is utterly destroyed and wiped from existence.
Eversor: Nerve Dampeners. When you are severely wounded, painkillers flood your system to help you ignore your body’s frailties. When you are reduced to 50 hit points or less, you gain resistance to all types of damage, advantage on all saving throws, and an additional reaction each round for 1 minute. After you have used this feature, you gain 1 level of exhaustion and cannot do so again until after you have finished a short rest.
Vanus: Cogitation Implant. Your Intelligence increases by 4 (to a maximum of 22). You are able to perfectly recall any memory down to the most minute details.
Venenum: Poisona Fatalis. By spending 1 hour brewing, you can use a poisoner’s kit and your toxica tools to craft a fatal poison. Any living creature that ingests or is struck by your poison makes a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier) or takes 10d6+40 poison damage. If you have detailed knowledge and a sample of a living creature’s blood, you can spend an additional hour tailoring the toxin to specifically target that creature, causing it to have disadvantage on its saving throw.
Vindicare: Deadly Shot. When you spend a bonus action aiming with a ranged weapon attack and hit the target you were aiming at with your next attack roll, as long as you hit it is automatically a critical hit and may strike a limb of your choice (including the head; see Aimed Shots in Warhammer 40k D&D 5E Hack #1).
Prerequisites: Non-psyker The horrors of the cosmos are revolted by your presence and the negative space you occupy in the world beyond mortal sight. You have disadvantage on Charisma-based checks but gain the following benefits:
You are immune to magic (this includes healing magic).
Any magic item loses its magical properties while in your possession and magical weapons that strike you gain no benefits from their magical enchantments.
Creatures with the Psyker feat or feature that are within 10 feet of you gain the poisoned condition.
Creatures with the Psyker feat or feature and Warp-spawned creatures must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC 6 + your level) before they can target you with a melee weapon attack.
Assault space marine barbarian archetype and the Imperial Commissar fighter archetype
This week’s post:
the Psyker sorcerer archetype
the Grey Knight warlock archetype
the Sisters of Battle monk archetype
BONUS Owen K.C. Stephens’ has a great post to grab some meat out of when setting up your Warhammer 40k D&D 5E games: Ultimate Deathwatch.
Though it remains rare among humanity there are genetic anomalies that allow certain individuals to tap into the Warp, using its energies to enact wondrous powers and lethal abilities that defy the laws of nature. Using only their mind and will, psykers learn to harness their innate talents to strike down their enemies and otherwise do the impossible.
Unfettered Power Beginning when you choose this archetype at 1st level, you gain the ability to manipulate the very aether of the Warp. While casting a cantrip or spell from the sorcerer spell list, you must make a concentration check (DC 8 for cantrips or DC 8 + spell level). On a failure, you gain 1 point of Corruption, and on a failure with a natural roll of 1 you do not cast the spell and roll on the Wild Magic table. On a natural 20 or result equal to 20 + spell level, the spell functions as if it were cast as a level higher (or for cantrips, as if you had 5 more caster levels).
Expanded Mind Also at 1st level, you gain telepathy to a range of 10 feet per point of proficiency bonus you possess. You can communicate telepathically with any creature that is within range and able to see you. You don’t need to share a language with the creature for it to understand your telepathic utterances, but the creature must be able to understand at least one language.
Forbidden Knowledge At 6th level, your studies of the Warp and your abilities have borne fruit. You add a number of cantrips and spells to your list of spells known equal to your Charisma modifier. You may only learn one new cantrip and one new spell per level of spell you can cast (for example, if your Charisma score is 18 you can learn one cantrip, one 1st-level spell, one 2nd-level spell, and one 3rd-level spell).
Psyfocus Starting at 14th level, you can spend 1 day meditating to create a psyfocus. While on your person, your psionic focus is able to concentrate on a spell for both you and it, granting it to each of you. When it is on your person but you are not using your psyfocus in this way, you have advantage on concentration checks.
Forbidden Knowledge At 14th level, you learn more cantrips and spells (as the 6th level feature).
Astral Form Beginning at 18th level, you can cast astral projection at will with a casting time of 1 minute, though you can only target yourself. In addition, while projecting you can possess a creature wearing a wraithbone locket (which takes you 1 year of effort to create) that you are attuned to. An unwilling creature receives a Wisdom saving throw to resist this feature. When you leave the creature’s body, you each gain 1 level of exhaustion for each minute you possessed the body. A successful Constitution saving throw halves these levels of exhaustion (minimum 1).
Grey Knight (Warlock) – Psyker Archetype
The Grey Knights are a secret, mysterious Loyalist Chapter of Space Marines specifically tasked with combating the dangerous daemonic entities of the Warp and all those who wield the corrupt power of the Chaos Gods. They have the honor of being implanted with gene-seed engineered directly from the genome of the Emperor Himself. The existence of the Chapter is virtually unknown outside of the Inquisition and the highest echelons of the Imperial Adepta, and is a well-guarded secret enforced by mind-wipes and even assassination of Imperial citizens if necessary. Unlike other Astartes, every Grey Knight is a potent psyker. Yet, in the 10,000 standard years of Imperial history, no Grey Knight has ever been corrupted by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. Note: When you choose this archetype, you get the Pact of the Blade. Your pact weapon is either a greatsword or a maul.
Psipoints Grey Knights do not gain expanded spells. Instead at 1st level, 3rd level, and every odd warlock level thereafter, you gain 1 psipoint (up to a maximum of 10 psipoints at 19th level). Whenever you encounter an active spell that has been cast within the last week, you may expend 1 psipoint as an action to negate the spell. When you witness a creature within 50 feet casting a spell, you may expend 1 psipoint as a reaction to negate the spell. A spell you negate must be of a level no higher than what’s shown in the Warlock table’s Slot Level column for your level. When you attempt to negate a spell higher than your Slot Level, it is not negated but you gain advantage on saving throws to resist it or the caster is at disadvantage on its attack roll. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended psipoints.
Psychic Armor Starting at 1st level, you have a number of temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. When these hit points are depleted, they replenish after 1 minute or immediately upon spending an action focusing your mind.
Enshrouded Mind Beginning at 6th level, you gain resistance to psychic damage and immunity to the charmed condition. When a creature targets you with a spell that causes the charmed condition, it makes a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC or becomes confused (as the spell) for 1 round.
Psychic Attunement At 10th level, creatures that are within your reach provoke an opportunity attack from you when they cast a spell. In addition, enemies within your reach are at disadvantage on concentration checks made to maintain a spell and any weapon you wield counts as a magical weapon.
Grey Strike Starting at 14th level, when you hit a creature with an attack, you can use this feature to cut off a creature’s access to magic. For a number of rounds equal to half your proficiency bonus, the creature is targeted by an effect that functions as the antimagic field spell except that its range is reduced to touch and it has no radius (affecting only the creature). On its turn, a creature targeted by this feature can spend its action to make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC to end the effect. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Sister of Battle (Monk)
The Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas are the best-known part of the organization, feared by the enemies of the Imperium as the stalwart and unyielding Sisters of Battle, the army of the Ecclesiarchy. Clad in ceramite power armor, they carry an awesome array of weaponry with which to vanquish their enemies, the Sisters of Battle are trained to the peak of human ability and stand amongst Mankind’s most dedicated and disciplined warriors. Wherever there are foes of the Emperor, the Sisters of Battle can be found fighting with faith and steel. When not actively prosecuting the Ecclesiarchy’s wars, the Battle Sisters of the Orders Militant divide their time between rigorous training and devout worship of the Emperor. These disciplines are nigh inseparable for while combat drills and studies of battle tactics can hone the body and the mind, only penitent prayer can bolster the spirit and all three are required to defeat the Imperium’s foes. The combination of combat doctrine and prayer is most evident on the battlefield, where Battle Sisters loudly proclaim their faith in hymn and verse as they march to war, calling upon the Emperor to aid them in the fight against their enemies.
Bolstered Spirit Unlike other monk player options, you choose this archetype at 2nd level (instead of 3rd) and do not receive a ki pool. Instead your extensive training and belief in the God Emperor of Mankind manifests as veritable faith. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of faith points. Your monk level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Ki Points column of Table: The Monk. You can spend these points to fuel various faith features. You start knowing three such features: xxx, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind. You learn more faith features as you gain levels in this class (gained ki features use faith points instead). When you spend a faith point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended faith points back into yourself. You must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest praying to the God Emperor to regain your faith points. Some of your faith features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows: Faith save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Faithful Smite. You can spend 1 faith point to deal an additional 1d6 radiant damage with your melee or ranged attacks until the start of your next turn. When you reach 5th level in this class the additional damage increases to 1d8, at 10th level it increases to 1d10, and at 15th level it increases to 1d12.
Patient Defense. You can spend 1 faith point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.
Step of the Wind. You can spend 1 faith point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action on your turn, and your jump distance is doubled for the turn.
Devoted Strikes When you reach 3rd level, you are able to deal your unarmed strike damage when making ranged weapon attacks and you gain proficiency with improvised weapons. When you reach 14th level, you may spend a bonus action to make an additional ranged attack (as though you were using the Martial Arts feature) after making a ranged attack or melee attack. Any feature that grants a benefit to your unarmed strikes applies to any weapon you wield.
Extra Attack Beginning at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Sororitas Power Armor When you reach 11th level, you receive sacred armor that is christened for your use and always in your possession. Donning or removing power armor provokes opportunity attacks and takes 3 consecutive rounds. Your power armor grants the following bonuses:
your AC becomes 14 + Dexterity modifier (maximum 2) + Wisdom modifier.
you gain darkvision 120 feet.
your Strength score increases by 2 (this does not modify your maximum Strength score).
you are able to jump as far as 30 feet horizontally or 20 feet vertically without the need for a check (these distances are added to the distances that result from any jump checks).
you reduce all falling damage by 30.
your unarmed strike damage changes to 1d6.
the amount of weight you can carry doubles (the power armor’s 200 lb. weight does not count against your carrying weight.)
melee weapons mounted onto your power armor cannot be disarmed.
as long as you are wearing your power armor’s helmet, while the suit is intact it grants immunity to all gas-based attacks and effects, possessing an internal air tank you can breathe from for up to 4 hours.
you are able to walk on metal surfaces in the void of space or zero gravity environments.
you are able to sleep in your power armor for a number of consecutive days equal to your proficiency bonus
you gain resistance to acid, cold, and fire
you ignore the first 3 points of damage whenever you take non-psychic damage.
Focused Mind At 17th level, when an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to halve the attack’s damage against you.