Divine Adept- New D&D Prestige Class

A new Prestige Class for the 3.5 Edition of the Dungeons and Dragons game, Divine Adept is perfect for a campaign where the secrets of powerful magic have been long lost.  It offers mastery of low-level spells at the cost of higher-level spells, keeping the Cleric (or Favored Soul) at a reasonable level of power without granting them access to world-shaking abilities.

Divine Adept is perfect for any campaign or setting where a DM might want to control high magic and can be easily inserted with few issues.  If you run Pathfinder, you’ll find that this will slide in just as easily.

Want to read about more D&D homebrew content?  Click here.

If you like what you see, feel free to check out some of my premium content here.  Divine Adept Prestige Class

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Why do Guys Hate Fake Fan Girls?

I get it.  Really, I do.  There are some real assholes out there who think that other people are props or extras in the movie of their lives.  They seem to believe that nerd culture belongs to them, when it doesn’t “belong” to anyone.  I encourage everyone out there to pick up a copy of Watchmen, don a super saiyan wig, and drop a d20 sometime.  Life is too short to worry what other people think.

But in fairness, I do see where all the anger is coming from.  Problem is, we’re expecting that guy with a trilby hat (that he thinks is a fedora), five days of beard growth, and a Captain Kirk costume in his closet to process and discuss it in a rational way.  It’s like giving a monkey a hammer and telling it to wash your car; the results are messy, violent, and utterly predictable.

So here’s my take on “fake fan girls” and why they make us nerd guys (and girls) so pissed off.

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Kirk or Picard, bitch?

NERD RAGE AHOY 

I carried the AD&D Player’s Handbook and the entire Player’s Option System of books with me my whole sophomore year of high school.  I used to sneak off by myself to read comics and tell myself stories about my X-Men cards when I was in elementary school.  I play D&D once a week and have an ongoing campaign that’s been running for three years now.  I have a tattoo of Saeko Busujima on my left forearm.  I’m a nerd, is what I’m saying, and at the risk of sounding like a hipster, I was a nerd before it went mainstream.  So are my most of my friends.

So when I see a model dressed up like Power Girl, it makes me wonder (sometimes out loud) if she really likes Power Girl or if she’s just there to manipulate me into buying stuff.

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Well, Super Bed Making is not one of Power Girl’s abilities, so that checks out.

Well, what do they have to say about it?  One booth babe, interviewed recently on Reddit, goes by the name of “Ronin Moro.”  She seems very into the characters she plays had this to say about the experience (and her peers):

Q: Do you talk with the other booth girls enough to know how many of them are as interested in comics (or whatever) as you are vs. how many are just there for the paycheck?
A: I actually am a part of a company that helps girls like me get promo and booth babe work so that we can replace the ones that don’t [care] and are just there for the money and give nerd girls a bad name. Still, it’s about 75% [just there for the paycheck]. Alas.

-Emphasis Mine

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An actual nerd girl

Another article posted on jezebel.com, written by Elaine Low, gives us some insight from the other (isn’t dress up fun, you guys!  OMG, this cape looks fabulous!) side:

My own gaming credentials are pretty weak. I spent grade school summers playing MUDs and Pokémon, and several high school summers cooped up with Tekken and Final Fantasy. These days it’s nothing more than a bit of DDR and Wii Mario Kart on game nights. And my geek streak runs fairly mellow – when I worked at Comic-Con, I cosplayed during my lunch hour, but it’s not a regular thing. (I just have particular love for Boomer and Katniss.) By no means do I pretend to be a dedicated nerd of any kind.

Some attendees, however, love to play Stump The Booth Babe. It’s an exquisite little game designed to expose the pretty posers who dare to take a job working at a gaming expo, and to test their knowledge beyond release dates and console compatibility. These guys would first like to assess your entire history with gaming before deeming whether you’re fit to stand outside of a booth in short shorts. They’re in the minority, but they’re a bunch of jackholes.

-Emphasis Mine

Why is it so difficult to understand, Miss Low?  Twenty years ago, you’d have been laughing into your snap bracelet about all the losers dressed up like comic book characters, but now that you can make a little money doing it, you’re right there in heels and a miniskirt.  That being said, does anyone really think that cosplayers should have to pass an entrance exam to have the right to wear the outfit?  They’re models, man, not pop culture experts.

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Don’t ask her about Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, is what I’m saying.

At the end of the day, these booth babes (their word, by the way) are just trying to pay the rent like everyone else.  I just can’t help but feel like it wouldn’t be too much to ask to know, say, the name of the character you’re dressed up as.  Maybe take a minute to try to at least glean a little bit of the culture behind the character before you slap on a cape and strut around the ‘Con.

NERD RAGE ENDS

But I can’t argue two points:

1. We live in a day and age where it’s common for beautiful women to dress up as Scarlet Witch in public

2.  I like beautiful women and I like comic books

So if airhead “booth babes” are the consequence of a time where nerd girls feel empowered enough to let their geek flags fly, then I guess that’s just what we have to deal with.  But they may be on their way out anyway;  according to this study, using them doesn’t even work from a marketing perspective.  It’s actually better to spend that money on more advertising and better digs at the ‘Con.

So the problem will probably sort itself out in the next few years and we’ll be back to housewives and soccer moms dressed up as our favorite characters.

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Pictured: What you’re asking for

Zombie Tramp (Graphic Novel Review)

NO SPOILERS AHEAD

Read for this review:  Zombie Tramp Taint Train of Terror Graphic Novel available here.  

When’s the last time you heard of a sexy zombie?  Zombies aren’t sexy; they’re fucking gross.  Decaying body parts, rot, festering wounds, the need to feast on human flesh…that whole thing.  Unless you’re a necrophilia fetishist, there’s nothing particularly attractive about a corpse.

Which makes the Zombie Tramp series pretty special.  It stars the cutely-named Janey Belle as the titular character and has more blood and gore than you can shake a chainsaw at.  She might be a bit top-heavy, but Miss Belle is strong enough to rip a grown man (or jock douchebag) completely in half.

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As seen here

It would be easy for this kind of series to fall into cheap gags and cheesecake, but Mendoza seems to take his work pretty seriously.  There are some rather intense emotional scenes and opportunities to explore human cruelty and sexual violence in the context of the book.  Like coating a bitter pill with sugar, it’s easier to internalize a message about assault or peer pressure when it’s happening to a cheerleader with huge boobs than it is to have it crammed down your throat in an after-school special.

I might have paid more attention to those anti-drug PSAs in high school if they’d have had Janey Belle tear apart a drug dealer and eat his brain, is what I’m saying.

There are those who claim that comic books and other media fetishize women to the point that they render them inhuman.  That the giant breasts and perfect bodies are simply a male power fantasy that reduces women to objects and keeps real women, somehow, from being taken seriously in the real world.  That the medium of graphic novels is inherently sexist.  I say that it’s possible to have an empowered female protagonist who is still gorgeously drawn, that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and Mendoza’s series is a great example of that.

Passes the Bechdel Test? Check.  I think even Anita Sarkeesian herself would have to approve.

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Pictured: Empowerment

Final thoughts?  Zombie Tramp is amazing for what it is- a story about a sexy zombie with impossibly huge boobs who fights evil and jocks while coming to terms with her decaying flesh and lack of pulse.  It manages to tell a pretty complex story, complete with its own unique mythology and quirky point of view, while still delivering “hang on my wall” quality artwork and splash pages of a zombie cheerleader ripping through guys like a band saw.  If you need a book to leave on your coffee table, buy an encyclopedia (they’re great conversation pieces at house parties, since no one under the age of 20 will know what it is).  If you need a book that’s endlessly readable and gives you a curious hard-on for undead flesh, then buy Zombie Tramp.

I give it four out of five undead cheerleaders.

Zombie Cheerleaders

Tony’s always trying to push his books on Sellfy.  If you like what you’re reading, go check them out.

The Adhene- New D&D Race

*The Adhene are a playable race for the D&D game that can be easily dropped into virtually any campaign setting that runs d20 (and you can mod them to work with 5th-edition without too much work, too).  They’re based on Celtic mythology and are appropriate for virtually any high fantasy setting.  If you’re interested in more information about the campaign world they’re from, check out The Lost Codices, available here:

 my books on sellfy

If you’re not sure what all this tabletop RPG stuff is all about, check out my series “Get a LIF2,” featured on this blog.*

ADHENE

 “Philosophy will clip an angel’s wings.”

-John Keats

Long ago, when the world was new, the Adhene (Ad-en-ay) fell from the favor of the Elder Gods and were cast down to Eos, where they tumbled into the Dreaming.  Today, they live in the shadows of human settlements, mysterious and enigmatic, often finding work as craftsmen, sages, scholars, and problem-solvers.  Great tempters of mortals, the Adhene are never far from their roots as instruments of chaos and desire, ever seeking to draw others with them.  Whether loved or feared, the Dark Fae are always agents of change.  Adhene see themselves as distinct from the Elves and resent comparisons.  While their origins are similar, their outlooks and culture are radically different from the forest-dwelling fae.

PERSONALITY

The Adhene are a capable, intelligent, and industrious people with great natural talent for invention, storytelling, art, and poetry.  Unlike the Elves, they thrive in urban centers and love social settings, though they rarely rise to any position of great authority within their social circles.   Prejudice and distrust toward them tends to limit their advancement, but their reputations as mysterious and powerful strangers tempt many rulers to invite them into their private counsels.

Drawn to magic and spellcasting, they see in the Art the secrets of the universe itself.  Whereas most Humans see magic as a collection of tools or tricks, Adhene Sorcerers and Wizards think of themselves as the initiates of a wondrous mystery.

 DESCRIPTION

Adhene are the quintessential tall, dark, and handsome strangers who captivate many with their charms.  A typical Adhene stands roughly the height of a man, with dark olive or dusky skin.   Their eyes are perhaps their most striking feature: they glow when the Adhene is impassioned, often fiery red, golden, blood-orange, or brilliant blue.  Adhene are often mistaken for humans at first glance, but their distinctive eyes, musical language, and exotic countenances quickly give them away.

 RELATIONS

The Adhene have somewhat of a bad reputation, whether deserved or not, and many distrust them on sight.  Others find this irresistible.  Many has been the blushing bride to be seduced just before her wedding by a mysterious stranger with flashing eyes and a hint of danger in his voice.  For their part, Adhene females tend to have huge circles of suitors, each one vying for her affections, and quickly become known as heart-breakers.

ALIGNMENT

Chaotic Neutral.  The temptation of mortals is in the blood of every Adhene; they tend strongly toward chaos, with equal numbers of malevolent, neutral, and relatively benign individuals.

LANDS

No organized Adhene nations exist in Eos, but they can be found in positions of influence in most civilized lands. They are much more likely to be found near civilization, among crowds and near to resources, than in the wilderness.  Adhene architecture tends to be practical without being completely spare; straight lines, muted colors, and unobtrusive adornments predominate.

RELIGION

While they make an exhaustive study of religion, few of them follow a given one closely, preferring to pick and choose aspects of different faiths they like.  Those who do follow a given god often turn to Malicia, Dark Queen of the Fae.

LANGUAGE

These enigmatic beings speak their own tongue, Adhenian, a flowing and beautiful language thought to be derived from Celestial. They also speak the common tongue.  Their speech has little connection to Elvish and the two are mutually unintelligible, but speakers of Celestial or Sylvan can sometimes follow bits and pieces of Adhenian.Sexy_green-1

ADVENTURERS

Most of these beings have some amount of magical talent; their high Charisma and penchant for spellcasting make Adhene natural Sorcerers and Bards.  They will often multiclass as Rogues or Fighters in order to take advantage of their other abilities (namely their combat training vs. humanoid creatures), and they typically have access to a vast number of skills and feats to match any situation.

Adhene Racial Traits

  • +2 to Charisma, -2 to Wisdom. Adhene are charming, sensual, and dangerously attractive, but also capricious and untrustworthy.
  • MEDIUM: As Medium creatures, Adhene have no special bonuses or penalties based on their size.
  • FAVORED CLASS: Sorcerer
  • SPEED: An Adhene’s base land speed is 30’.
  • MORTAL BANE: An Adhene gains a +1 racial bonus to attack rolls when fighting Humans, Elves, and Dwarves (and racial variants with those base types). Adhene have extensive training against these foes.
  • DREAMSIGHT: Adhene can see using the life forces of other intelligent creatures. Every intelligent (INT 3 or more) living creature within 20’ (not including themselves or other Adhene) gives off radiance equivalent to a torch only they can see. The light shed by Dreamsight can extend past the 20’ limit, meaning that it’s possible to see up to around 40’ using this power.  Since Undead and other non-mortal beings don’t give off this living light, Dreamsight can also be used as a de facto Detect spell for an alert character.
  • TEMPTATION: Add +1 to the DC to resist any Enchantment spell cast by an Adhene.
  • DISBELIEF: An Adhene gains a +2 racial bonus to save against Illusions and is immune to Enchantment (Charm) effects.
  • MASTER CRAFTSMAN: When crafting an item where the DC is at least 20, the Adhene can make the roll twice, taking the better result.
  • SOCIAL DYNAMICS: An Adhene gains a +2 racial bonus to Bluff and Sense Motive skill checks. They have an intuitive understanding of the ways of mortals.
  • GLAMOUR: An Adhene with a Charisma score of at least 11 can use Charm Person as a spell-like power 1/day. The save DC against this ability is 10 plus ½ the Adhene’s level plus its Charisma bonus (if positive).
  • AUTOMATIC LANGUAGES: Common and Adhenian. Bonus Languages:  Celestial, Draconic, Dwarven, Elvish, Sylvan.

*Comments?  Ideas about how to improve game balance?  Leave me a comment below*