Tales from the Firelit Gathering
This is a new book currently on Kickstarter for 5th edition DnD created by Gelatinous Cubicles, a small team of three friends. At the moment there is a free 28 page preview available to the public for reading and if you wish review/give feedback. This particular document has 6 new character options, some expanded weapons, feats, character tables on top of new spells and magic items coming from their homebrew table to yours. There are a few days left in their kickstarter for those interested in possibly getting your own copy.
Some over arching things that I have noticed is the beautiful colored art- it almost looks like it is painted at times. There is also a lot of information that is presented by a fun npc narrartor: Kazzam, a traveling story teller, who brings this variety of homebrew to your 5e game. This is an expansion to the rules and materials you may be currently using at your table to "inspire players and GMs to play the game in new ways" (pg 3). I found some unique and fun things to add to my table. This article is my own opinions and thoughts about the preview provided.
Let's dig in deeper! The preview gives you two chapters: one on Character Options and the second on Magical Additions. The first thing we are given is the construct character: Wakeful, where a new spirit is attached to the bones of the deceased. This character option gives you an animated undead PC with a lot of interesting and flavorful role play pieces. Something neat is you are allowed to decorate your dead in gems and carvings to add to your look, meaning you can look like a bejeweled skeleton from the roman catacombs or have a viking-esque skull with runes and sigils carved into the bone. This class is for you if you don't like the tedious tasks of living such as eating, drinking or sleeping. Breathing is also not required, so this is the character that can live in the portable hole or in space. You cannot kill a wakeful- the bones just go into dormancy as magic repairs itself. But don't be fooled, being a wakeful does not mean that you are safe from death saving throws. On your 3d failed roll you go dormant for 5d6 x 10 years. This means that you could go to sleep and the rest of your party could be departed from old age by the time your wakeful reanimates. Lesser restoration can lower the dormancy so if you fall "dead" you can still be recovered by the current party you are running with. The art for this particular class feature is really cool as it is a wakeful pulling a blade from a rib sheath (the Vertebral Dirk trait).
The next thing we get to see is the Path of the Primal Sentry. This path gives magic to the barbarian class by unlocking druidic and ranger spell lists. The character's rage allows casting spells out of the 2 spell lists caped at spell level 4. As barbarians are known for strength and constitution, the spellcasting ability comes from constitution for this class feature. The creators of the book even came up with a clear, concise and reasonable ruling when it comes to multi-classing and primal magic. I personally love the idea of anger magic-ment.
Then we get a peak at Way of the Brawler, a monk of moxie, muscle and underground boxing brawls. I like this type of monk as it gives you a street smart individual who is good with their hands and feet and is a boxer vs a religious individual. I feel like the pieces presented in the class features go well with the 5e official ki point usage (yes to a flurry of blows boxer). I like the names of the different features as well and feel like it gives a good old' timey feel to your boxing brawler with titles such as "the old one-two" and "gumption."
In short we also get Ooze Rancher for a ranger that opens up additional ooze/slime based spells on a table found on pg 9. As an Ooze Rancher you also get a ooze companion as a 3rd level feature. Your gooey friend has it's own stat block and all the features at 7, 11, and 15 boosts your ooze rather than your ranger.
Iron blood is a sorcerer class feature where your blood is a weapon. At 1st level you are able to wear armor as a magic user and you also get a bonus action to summon a lineage weapon in a free hand (also making it your spell focus). Use your magic to add bonuses to your attacks. This brings a fighter style to your sorcerer. Good if you want to have a magic user that can fight back or try to be a front liner.
Hierophant is the last class feature which is a magic user that has both arcane and divine magic. Start as a wizard studying all types of magic. Lvl 2 gets your character started on cantrips from the cleric spell list, and hierophant spells are wizard level spells. You get 2 features at 2nd level, 2 features at 6th level and another at 10th and 14th levels respectively.
Lastly chapter one has a list of expanded weapon options to your character and a list of what classes have access to them. There are a variety of damage types available and even using armor as a weapon. There is even a lit torchon the simple weapons list.
There are 7 new character feats, two specific to spell casting/pact magic prerequisites. There are also options that gives you some ranged munitions options, lets you fight with a net like a gladiator and even gives a feat for having prosthetics on your character.
Chapter 2 is about magic with spells and magic items options. There are 12 spells available and 10 magic items. Disarm is a new spell available to all classes. The other spells on the list are separated by classes. There is also one new ritual spell for bards and wizards called "Prepare for Adventure." Pages 21 - 23 have the written out descriptions and the details of what the spells do at higher levels. Pages 24- 27 have the details of each of the new magic items.
There is a good variety of magic items with different rarities, if attunement is needed and what type of items they are (jewelry, shields or item pieces). I like that some such as the Blackened Blade has random properties and others such as the Dragonleaf Tea can be used by anyone to give your melee weapon a damage type. I also enjoyed reading about some of the items having personalities and curses. I personally am a Gm who enjoys having extra magic items to pick and choose from in my arsenal. Some of the items, such as "Coat of Arms" is quite punny in name by still useful as an item.
I personally am one who likes to have all of the information, but for a small preview I was still impressed. The artwork on the Preview and the Kickstarter page looks good and professional. The content was well written, and many of the class features I could see me allowing/using at my own table. Here you can find the kickstarter. On the Kickstarter page you can also access the 28 page preview and read everything in more detail for yourself. There are a few days left to support or back this project. It currently has 160+ backers at the time of publication and still needs more support to make it to its goal. As with all Kickstarter campaigns, this is the part where I say that this review was only on the preview that I have seen and is available to the public. I do not know what the final documentation will look like and things can change between now and digital/physical book in your hand. Kickstarter is a risk that only you can make the decision of backing or not. This article is only to inform you of what I saw and my opinions of the content available to preview. I personally liked what I saw and loved the Path of the Primal Sentry option as that is a class path that I can see me using at my own table. The only downside is I would have liked to see a full table of contents for the finished book to know what other pieces are being worked on for the final publication as the final book is to be over 200 pages.
You can also check out the Gelatinous Cubicles website where you can read their articles and also purchase other works of theirs. You can also find more of Gelatinous Cubicles on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit.