Archive for January, 2015

I sit down with Topher Kohan, Joe Lastowski, and Mike Loewnau to talk about the end of the first season of D&D Encounters using the fifth edition rules. This podcast was recorded on January 4, 2015.


If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcasts, Bonus Action and Gamer to Gamer, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Note: You can now find the magic items in this article as a part of 50 New Magic Items, a Pay What You Want product on the DMs Guild.

I’ve created more than a few original magic items in various blog posts on this site. Starting today and over the course of the next few updates I’ll be bringing the finalized versions into the fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons rules. So if you’ve been following the blog some of these will be familiar and others will be entirely new! Once I’m finished with these magic items, I’ll post them on the Free Game Resources section of this site as a PDF so you’ll always know where to find them.

Talk about your legendary items!

But First A Word About Magic Items in Exploration Age

Some of you may already know this, but permanent magic items in Exploration Age require gems to hold the item’s magic. The more expensive the gem, the more magic it can hold.

Variant Exploration Age Magic Item Creation

If a DM allows players to craft permanent magic items in their down time, at least half the cost of creating the item must be paid in gems, which are incorporated into final form of the item.

Now onto that good stuff!

The Good Stuff

Since I love wondrous items I thought I’d share a few of those with all of you now. Some are original and others are taken from my Magic Items, I Made These For You, and A Few (Magic) Things posts. Apparently I really love magic belts.

How’d I Do?

What do you think of these items? Would you use any of them in your game? What might you modify? Sound off in the comments below!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

If you can’t see something how do you know it is real? I think this is a question often asked of scientists and clergy alike. This question is also a central point of today’s post. In Exploration Age no creatures interact directly with the gods. They do not walk amongst the mortals and there is more than one religion. Each religion conflicts with the others, for each has its own myths about the creation of the world, life, and the afterlife. They cannot all be correct. The world has atheists and agnostics who question the existence of gods all together.

Now I know some of you are already saying, “How could there be atheists in a world where clerics and paladins are granted divine magic from gods?” Well first I might say you can read the Dungeon Master’s Guide to get some pretty good answers to that question. If those answers don’t please you, take a look at the excerpt from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide below to get an overview of divine magic and religions in the world.

These gods are a little different than what you know… but also not!

Absent Gods

On Canus the gods do not walk the earth. They have not been found in any of the accessible planes of existence. They do not communicate directly with their clerics or worshippers. Different religions have myths about their gods and the world contrary to the stories of others. This leads some to question if there are actually any gods at all.

Many religious folk in the land point to the magic of clerics and paladins as proof of their gods’ existence. Naysayers point to non-religious magic users like rangers, druids, and bards. These doubters claim the magic of the clergy comes from the same place as the magic of other classes and that no gods are involved at all. There is no concrete proof this magic comes from the gods, but those with faith cast out the word of atheists.

Religions of Canus

Below is an overview of the most common religions in Canus. Other religions exist. Many evil cults worship mighty fiends, monsters may revere an original creator God or mighty bloodline, and others may dedicate themselves to the spirits of family ancestors or the essence of an ideal like good or law. GMs should feel free to create their own religions or borrow from other settings as they choose and bring them into the world by adding them to the cannon of religions or replacing one or more of the ones below.


Destianity is the monotheistic religion practiced by many of Marrial’s dragonborn, though the democratic nation has no official religion. Destianity preaches one God, The Sky Dragon, has preordained the path of every living thing in the multiverse after He created the worlds. Destians are taugh not to fear loss or death for none can escape preordained fate. They are more likely to take risks because they believe the outcome is already determined and meant to be. You can read more about Destianity in the Findalay chapter of this book in the Marrial section.


The tribes of Verda revere the four gods of Elementalism. Each god has a corresponding element and is more a spirit and force of nature than a divine being with wills and decrees. The Elementalist gods always have been and always will be. They favor neither good nor evil, law nor chaos. The tribes believe these gods simply live in the moment and must remain pleased or the tribes will suffer their wrath. You can read more about Elementalism in the Verda chapter of this book in the Tribes section.


The Bragonay dwarves and loyal warforged slaves observe their official polytheistic religion, Hierotheism. Goddesses in this religion are organized in a matriarchal caste which reflects Bragonian society. Each caste is assigned a goddess and must worship this goddess as patron. Bragonian citizens may not pray to a goddess above their station and those who do risk death. You can read more about Hierotheism in the Findalay chapter of this book in the Bragonay section.


Immortalism is the polytheistic religion practiced mostly by Aeranore’s humans and elves. It is the country’s official religion, but other practices are allowed. Immortalists believe humans and gnomes descended from an original race of undying Immortals who were created by gods who represent the Sun, the Moon, the sea, land masses, and death. You can read more about Immortalism in the Findalay chapter of this book in the Aeranore section.


The citizens of Parian must believe that their emperor, Quan Denang, is the only one true God in the multiverse or they are put to death. Quan’s divinity is part of the millennia-old Denang bloodline passed on from parent to child. It is believed that only reason the Quan and His ancestors age is because it takes all their godly might to keep the multiverse alive. As the burden becomes too much for God, the multiverse claims His life and the emperor passes his station and his divinity to another of his bloodline. You can read more about Imperatism in the Parian chapter of this book.


Elves and halflings of Taliana and drow, duergar, and svirfneblin of Quatus observe the rites and rituals of the dualistic religion of Solarism. While this is the official religion of both countries, citizens may take up other religious practices. The religion centers around sister goddesses. Meliko represents the sun and the light while Fana represents the moon and the dark. While the surface dwellers observe the same goddesses they interpret their holy texts differently than their Underdark dwelling kin. The differences in these religious interpretations is responsible for thousands of years of bloodshed between the two camps of Solarism. You can read more about Solarism in the Findalay chapter of this book in the Taliana section.


The Arcane College is currently running an experiment to see if they can make a god spring into being by first giving Him worshippers. Thus they have created Berrator, God of All Magic and Creation and have encouraged some students and staff to preach that Berrator will grant magic gifts to all once he springs into being. As a result the monotheistic religion has caught on in a few places. You can read more about Veratism in the International Organizations and Power Players chapter of this book in The Arcane College section.


Deva follow the monotheistic religion of Zaxism. They believe that when one benevolent God, Zaxa, created the multiverse the effort tore his soul into pieces. Those pieces became the deva and the rakshasa. It is believed that Zaxa can only be made whole once all rakshasa have been converted through rebirth into deva or vice versa from the rakshasa point of view. You can read more about Zaxism in the Races chapter of this book in the Deva section.

Chart of the Religions of Exploration Age

Religion Gods Alignment Suggested Domains Symbol
The Sky Dragon N All Side profile of a faceless rainbow-colored dragon
Elementalism Gem made of four colors
Aval (Fire) N Light, War Stern face in a inferno or a ruby
Halcut (Air) N Tempest, Trickery Laughing face in a wind storm or a diamond
Nerot (Earth) N Death, Nature Contemplative face in a rock or an emerald
Weva (Water) N Knowledge, Life Smiling face in a lake or a sapphire
Hierotheism A seven-runged multicolor ladder
Caramey (Empress) LN All A greatsword
Meralla (Warlords) LN Death, War A scythe
Zelti (Nobles) LN Knowledge, Trickery A dirk and a bag of coins
Swarvune (Soldiers) LN War, Tempest A battleaxe and a shield
Shalleal (Artisans) LN Knowledge, Life A maul
Berga (Peasants) LN Life, Nature A war pick
Almahad (Slave) LN Light, Nature A club
Immortalism Three progressively smaller orbs in a line
Alphon NG Knowledge, Life Globe of water
Baydon CN Tempest, War Erupting volcano
Cardon CN Nature, Trickery Sheaf of wheat
Delistar N Death Black skull in a blue bubble
The Moon CG Light Purple full moon
The Sun LG Light Red sun
Quan Denang LE All One man holding many others above his head
Solarism A crescent moon hugging the sun (Quatus) or crescent moon contained with a sun (Taliana)
Fana LN Death, Knowledge, Tempest, War Underdark city skyline (Quatus) or longsword with a black blade (Taliana)
Meliko CG Life, Light, Nature, Trickery Torch enrobed in moss (Quatus) or arrow with a flaming head (Taliana)
Berrator LG All Open hand shooting a beam of blue energy
Zaxa NG (deva) or NE (rakshasa) All A humanoid head with no eyes or nose and a frowning mouth

So what do you think? Do you want to read more about these religions? Do you think having some atheists and doubters in the world is interesting? Sound off in the comments below!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

I sit down with Jeff Greiner, Sam Dillon, Greg Blair, and Dave Gibson to speculate what the next setting might be in the official D&D fifth edition rules. We discuss Forgotten Realms, Eberron, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, Mystara, and more. This podcast was recorded on December 16, 2014.


If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcasts, Bonus Action and Gamer to Gamer, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Hey everyone, happy New Year! It’s been a great year so far here at World Builder Blog. Some of you have been here since the beginning, some of you came along later, and for others of you this might be your first post. Maintaining this blog is a lot of work, but your comments, likes, +1s, retweets, favorites, bumps, views, shares, and more have really kept me going. Thank you for encouraging me.

Here’s a quick look at what I’ve accomplished in the world of tabletop roleplaying in 2014 with your help and support.

  • 300+ Pages of the Exploration Age Campaign Guide written
  • 175 Blog posts here on World Builder Blog
  • 57 Podcasts recorded, edited, and posted on The Tome Show
  • 22 PDFs added to the Free Game Resources section of this site
  • 11 Podcasts recorded where I appear as a guest or guest host
  • 6 Videos of 3 livestreamed D&D games on YouTube
  • 2 Campaigns in Exploration Age launched
  • 1 Life goal of finally attending Gen Con achieved

So thank you for that. Here’s looking forward to more in the future. In 2015 there will be even more (including Gamer to Gamer interviews with Erin M. Evans and Ed Greenwood) especially if Wizards of the Coasts reveals their OGL.

Special Shoutouts

I need to throw some special shoutouts now. First of all I live with an incredibly supportive woman who is smart, funny, beautiful, passionate, creative, and (most importantly) the kindest person I know. Bonnie MacDonald is the greatest person ever, and if you like cooking or eating checkout her blog. She’s the one who encouraged me to finally go to Gen Con this year where I interviewed Mike Mearls!

Of course, I didn’t interview Mike alone. Rudy Basso is a man with big ideas, big humor, big fun, and a big heart. Not only did Rudy interview Mike with me, he’s a force of creativity and inspiration, constantly coming up with ideas to be used on podcasts, blogs, at the game table, and more. He’s also the one who pushed for more Round Table episodes at the beginning and is basically the reason the show is now a weekly podcast. My new favorite podcast is hosted by Rudy and his super amazing brother, Alex Basso. It’s called D&D V&G and you should be listening. Episodes of the hilarious and informative show can be found on The Tome Show’s website.

Speaking of The Tome Show, this blog and all the podcasts and livestream games would not be a thing if it weren’t for Jeff Greiner taking a chance on me and letting me produce The Round Table and later Gamer to Gamer and Bonus Action. He deserves a huge thank you and applause for running The Tome Show for over seven years as well! Of course I also have to thank Sam Dillon, The Tome Show’s editor, the host of Bonus Action, and all-around awesome dude as well. Sam’s putting up the episodes you love to hear and that’s no small task.

Another shoutout goes to Mike Shea of Mike is the one who told me I should talk with Jeff about podcasting and his own site served as inspiration for World Builder Blog. Mike graciously and masterfully DMed all the live games I put together and even invited me over to his house to play some D&D. I know, I’m jealous of me too.

Greg Blair is a great friend and one of the nicest dudes around. He’s a brilliant D&D player, wonderful podcast guest, and amazing editor. Greg is a huge help with this blog because regularly sends me emails informing me of my typos and grammatical errors. He also comments on the blog and provides a lot of cool insights and thoughts on the work. If you want to know a thoughtful, cool dude get to know Greg.

Speaking of great commenters, this year I got to know the blog’s top commenter personally, Joe Lastowski. Joe is super creative, funny, and has a sharp intellect. Talk about your nice dudes, Joe is right up there with everyone else in this post. A lot of Joe’s feedback has helped to shape the Exploration Age Campaign Guide, so thank you very much for the comments here and on all the podcasts Joe!

There are too many guests to list, but if you’ve ever been on a podcast with me thank you so much. I have enjoyed those immensely and can’t wait to talk to you again on or off the air waves.

Finally, since birth I have been the number one fan of a guy who gives the best advice, tells the greatest jokes, and lives his life in a way we all should emulate. My big brother Andrew listens to every podcast and reads every blog post. He hasn’t played D&D in years, but he did introduce me to the game so without him you get none of this. More importantly he sets the example for living I strive to follow every day. He’s honest, friendly, compassionate, and kind. A big shoutout to him for all his support and love.

Yeah, Yeah… But What Did You Get Me?

So to thank you all for this year, I went back to a popular post I wrote titled You Only Live Thrice. In this post I discussed making death have a little more of a consequence for PCs and presented a few rules modules. Well those rules have been added to the Free Game Resources section of this site as a downloadable PDF. That PDF is also available in the link below.

Death and Returning Modules

Based on the feedback I got in the comments and on the various sites and forums where these modules were shared I created an add-on to one of the modules suggested by fans. This idea actually came from top commenter Joe Lastowski and got a lot of support. Check it out in all its glory and thank you so much for reading this post on World Builder Blog! Here’s to another great year!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!