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The Paladin: Expanding the Boundaries of Faith

Gerson Krzyzacy, The Teutonic Knights in Poland (Captive)The Paladin. To many roleplaying groups, this character doesn’t even have a name; he, or she, is simply “The Paladin,” as if there is no point in further description or that word is enough to convey the entire personality of an individual. The character’s backstory is irrelevant, the paladin’s physical features are fluff, and the player playing the paladin is subconsciously pigeonholed by friends into the role of ruining the in-character fun of everyone at the table.

I aim to change that.

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Collection of Curiosities: The Clearwater Pond

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoThe glint of light on a clearwater pond could dazzle eyes, but it might be what’s in the pond that really snags the attention of any nearby player characters. Again, these details are easily noted by those who end up swimming in the pond (for whatever reason) or, in some cases, while approaching it, and you can use them as starting points to flesh out some other interesting things if the player characters choose to look around a bit more. If you want to roll randomly for one, use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.

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Collection of Curiosities: The Chamber Behind the Waterfall

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoWaterfalls, with their rushing water and gorgeous settings, can also cover secret areas that contain interesting things that have been left behind by other explorers—or inhabitants. It could be that the chamber behind the waterfall isn’t exactly free of an occupant, too. Again, these details are easily noted by visitors, and you can use them as starting points to flesh out some other interesting things if the player characters choose to look around a bit more. If you want to roll randomly for one, use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.

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Words of Power Groups

ScrollUntil Deep Magic comes out, James Eder continues to provide us with groups and more to help satisfy our craving for magic. Take a look…

The Librarians of Nashudal

Nashudal is an ancient enclave where magic-users have gathered to collect lore and pool their intellect together in the search for ever-greater understanding. Naturally, most of its members believe that words are the most powerful tools of all—whether written down or spoken. When casting their own magic, they’re very likely to use Words of Power before any other type of spell, but they’re just as qualified to read ancient scripts as part of uncovering knowledge and adding it to the collective wisdom of the group. Their services aren’t particularly cheap, but many wealthy patrons have taken to hiring a librarian or two when sending a team to explore ruins. The fact that they literally work in a library also helps teach the members control of their power so they never use Words of Power by mistake.

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Metagame Mechanics: On the Bench

CogsI don’t know what happened on Primus, but it changed him. Doc used to blanch when the topic of killing came up, and now it don’t seem to phase him. I asked about it a few times, but it’s become something dark deep inside him. Something he don’t want to let out.

We like to think that our fictional counterparts in tabletop roleplaying lead exciting lives beyond what we see at the game table. Yet, our suspension of disbelief strains somewhat when we see fictional lives that revolve around the same small group of people. When you only pay attention to characters at the table, it can feel like our 18 Charisma bard spends all his time mucking through sewers with a slovenly group of mercenaries.

That sounds like a missed opportunity for narrative.

Thus, let’s look at benching. “Benching” is an optional house rule that addresses this issue by giving players explicit permission to put their main character on the sideline. Perhaps they go on vacation, perform an undercover operation, have their brains defragged, or take a mercenary contract with another group. Whatever the case, they are now “on the bench.”

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