I didn’t handle to try this subject the week it was launched, as a result of the discharge received pushed again, and let’s face it, even when it wasn’t, January was a large number, so let’s simply name it a wash. In the mean time since we final checked out a difficulty of Arcadia, there was some . . . drama . . . involving WotC’s potential dealing with of the OGL (please take a look at some earlier weblog posts, I actually don’t need to dive into it once more). In the course of that drama, MCDM introduced that Arcadia might be ending this summer time, with their Patreon transitioning to a spot to share lore and details about upcoming initiatives, and MCDM additionally introduced preliminary work on their very own RPG.
I’m simply going to say, up entrance, that I’m going to overlook Arcadia, and I’m going to get pleasure from it whereas it’s nonetheless right here. I’ve been conditioned to understand random month-to-month recreation materials from the time I began shopping for Dragon Journal, and I admire the format that typically delivers articles I didn’t know I used to be searching for.
However, with all of that stated, let’s get on with the present.
I used to be supplied with a assessment copy of Arcadia this month, however as has been the case for a lot of the run of the journal, I’ve received my very own subscription to the Patreon as nicely. I’ve not had the chance to make use of the fabric from this subject, however I’m nicely acquainted with D&D 5e, each as a participant and as a DM.
Arcadia Situation 24
Managing Editor Hannah Rose
Authors Willy Abeel, Carlos Cisco, Jessica Marcrum
Editors Scott Fitzgerald Grey, Sadie Lowry
Sensitivity Guide Basil Wright
Playtest Director Lars Bakke
Structure Jen McCleary
Title Emblem Tom Schmuck
Accessibility Chris Hopper
Group Coordinator John Champion
Buyer Help Bobby McBride
Particular Thanks Kelli Butler, Laura Hirsbrunner
Artwork Director Nick De Spain
Cowl Artist Grace Cheung
Inside Illustrators “We Experience Dragons”: Bruno Machado; “Granny’s Concoctions”: Elisa Serio; “The Gilded Flight”: Grace Cheung, Nick De Spain, Zuzanna Wuzyk
The Situation Inside Out
This month’s Arcadia is 47 pages, together with a title web page, a desk of contents, a letter from the editor, a sources web page with hyperlinks to the MCDM Security Toolkit and a prop from one of many articles, a web page of creator biographies, and a full web page OGL assertion.
The artwork within the journal is all the time spectacular, and that is no exception. I completely love the dragon struggle depicted on the quilt. The structure and art work within the particular person article make me lament that I’m not going to see all of this on a month-to-month foundation by the top of the yr.
This month’s subject has a basic theme associated to dragons. The articles included are as follows:
- We Experience Dragons (Mounts, Monsters)
- Granny’s Concoctions (Magic Gadgets, Areas, NPCs)
- The Gilded Flight (Organizations, NPCs, Monsters)
It’s additionally price noting that as a part of presenting the group in The Gilded Flight, there are 4 pages of reprinted stat blocks from earlier points, together with the elementals from Arcadia Situation #2, and the Dragon Priest from Arcadia Situation #20.
We Experience Dragons
I’ve been a fan of Willy Abeel’s “mounts” articles from the start. If, for some motive, you haven’t learn any of my first impressions of different articles on this sequence, the mount guidelines use an identical mechanic to the summoning spells that seem in Tasha’s Cauldron of Every part. That implies that they’ve a stat block, however issues like armor class and short-term hit factors are assessed to the creature based mostly on the rider’s proficiency bonus or degree. Which means that a higher-level, extra expert rider is much less prone to have their mount killed in a single blow if the PC rides it into battle.
In step with the theme of the problem, the entire mounts introduced on this article are creatures of the dragon kind.
- Cobblewyrm Mount
- Draconfly Mount
- Juvenile Inexperienced Dragon Mount
- Shadogar Mount
- Juvenile Wyvern Mount
Whereas the inexperienced dragon and wyvern could also be self-evident, the Cobblewyrm is a dragon that grows and shrinks based mostly on consuming rocks, after which expelling them as a part of their breath weapon assault. The Draconfly is an amalgam of dragonfly and dragon that’s attuned to the Ethereal airplane. The Shadogar is a variation on the shadow dragon theme, however much less excessive. This additionally creates a pleasant parallel, with the Draconfly feeling extra like a Feywild-inspired dragon, and the Shadogar as extra of a Shadowfell-style dragon.
Along with offering the mount stat blocks for the above creatures, this subject offers some tips for creating mounts from different creatures. This contains what armor class and hit level vary to shoot for, and what number of traits to adapt from the usual monster.
There’s a desk that measures the bottom hit factors of the creature, and interprets that to what number of short-term hit factors to multiply towards the rider’s degree. There’s a sidebar on Heroic Mount Variants, the place the mount receives precise elevated hit cube, however I just like the thematic idea that the short-term hit factors are coming from the rider’s capacity, quite than basically altering the creature being ridden.
There’s a neat formatting trick that’s used on this part. The Juvenile Wyvern Mount seems within the part on creating your individual mounts, based mostly on the offered tips, and this part reveals the usual Wyvern stat block, with color-coded sections on what received modified when translating the Wyvern to the Juvenile Wyvern Mount.
This subject additionally has two new “Omnimounts,” creatures launched in earlier mount-related articles that may transport adventuring events lengthy distances. The brand new omnimounts launched are the next:
- Grand Luckwyrm (CR 21)
- Galdrashan (CR 23)
The Grand Luckwyrm is a furry, serpentine dragon with an nearly canine face that I’m positive solely resembles another such creature by random happenstance. Galdrashan is an immensely highly effective astral dragon, which may sever the silver cords of astral vacationers with a chunk. Whereas each are introduced as omnimounts, as highly effective distinctive dragons with distinctive drives and histories, they each work as stable NPCs in a high-level marketing campaign as nicely.
This text introduces an NPC and her potion store, in addition to just a few secrets and techniques hooked up to the NPC. Along with the NPCs introduced, there are an entire lot of recent potions/poisons included within the article as nicely.
Granny Greenwinkle is a gnome that likes to painting herself as a strong hag to extend her popularity. Her cat, Flufftavius, is definitely an grownup copper dragon. Along with the entire consumable magic gadgets introduced within the article, there are three story hooks that tie into utilizing Granny and Flufftavius in a marketing campaign.
The gadgets within the article are divided into the next classes:
- Granny’s Potions
- Granny’s Explosives
- Granny’s Poisons
There are greater than 40 new consumable gadgets on this article. A few of my favorites are Instantaneous Mouse (you rework right into a mouse if you drink it), Chaos Kaboom (an explosive that lets unfastened a random magical impact decided on a d10 desk), and the Phial of Medusa, a poison that may flip somebody that is available in contact with it to stone for twenty-four hours.
I’ve all the time cherished alchemist outlets in fantasy tales, and wild potions. I like consumables in D&D as a result of they’re short-term gadgets. They is likely to be precisely what you want, however you want to make the choice to make use of that useful resource. Moreover, I like new poisons, partially as a result of I just like the potential of getting a nasty murderer use one thing that the PCs have by no means seen earlier than, or set up a popularity for utilizing a novel fashion of poison of their work.
The Gilded Flight
Again in Arcadia Situation #5, there was an article on greed or profit-driven subclasses, and considered one of my observations on the time is that among the displays of these subclasses felt creepily near real-world Objectivism or Prosperity Gospel philosophy. Apparently the creator, Carlos Cisco, agreed, and circled again round to make use of among the parts of that article as the premise for an evil group.
Offered within the article are three members of the Gilded Flight:
- Tamir’khashchu (Historical Gold Dragon)
- Garin Najis (Human Cleric of the Dictum of Prophets)
- Sym (Doppelganger)
- Hecta Glintstone (Duergar Circle of the Gilded Druid)
The traditional gold dragon on the head of the group is satisfied they’re a power for good, however his philosophy is that wealth is a sign of the standard of a creature, and that good is of course performed for society when somebody makes use of their wealth to offer for themselves.
Many of the lieutenants within the group have three to 5 hooks that present their present money-making schemes, which vary from paying staff in firm scrip, utilizing the native watch to gather from debtors, or inflating the value of diamonds used for Elevate Lifeless spells. Along with these schemes, every one of many lieutenants has just a few favored bodyguards and minions listed.
The stat blocks on this article introduce a brand new formatting idea, including a superscript to the spells that the NPC can entry. These denote if a spell may be forged as an motion, bonus motion, response, or takes longer than one spherical to forged.
I proceed to like the mounts articles, and I’m going to be unhappy if that is the final time I get to see this idea. I hope that Willy Abeel publishes this idea elsewhere, probably with much more mounts. I additionally actually just like the NPC dragons within the article. I like potions and poisons, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to be dipping into Granny’s Concoctions for some NPC gear right here or there, or for some rewards to offer my PCs. I’m glad to see these ideas from Situation #5 labored right into a villainous group. My solely desire is that I might like to see Objectivism and Prosperity Theology separated a bit extra to indicate their distinctive damaging elements, along with the place they overlap.
Actually, I’m simply hoping to see a venue the place random RPG-related concepts can come collectively, the best way they’ve in Arcadia as soon as the journal has gone away.