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m20 Scratchpad/Design Space - Oceana

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:28 am
by Snorb

Heya! Instead of constantly spamming ideas on the Facebook page for the group, I thought I might just make a topic here instead. This way everything's in one place and I don't have to dig through my Activity Log to find several posts of fragmented ideas. =p Consider this something like DVD commentary and insight on the game design process meets Inside the Actors' Studio.

I'll be posting various thoughts about rules, species, classes, and lore here in this thread. Everyone's welcome to comment, question, toss ideas at me, tell me what does/doesn't work!

Master Index
Core Mechanics - Just below this
Races of Oceana
Classes of Oceana: The Warrior
Classes of Oceana: The Scoundrel
Classes of Oceana: The Sorcerer
Lore: Calendar and Polities
Equipment: Weapons and Armor

The Core Mechanics

The core mechanic is still the same as you know in most other Microlite20 games. Whenever you want to do anything that entails any kind of risk or has an uncertain outcome, roll 1d20 and add your most relevant ability score modifier and training bonus (if any.) If you meet or exceed the Difficulty Class (DC) of that task, you succeed.

Difficulty ClassDescriptionExamples
0Trivial (why roll dice?)Walking on solid ground, eating prepared and unspoiled food, opening an unlocked door
5Very EasyClimbing a knotted rope
10Easy(example easy things)
15AverageMost tasks an adventurer can be expected to perform. This is the "default" DC if you need one.
20Hard(example hard things)
25Very Hard(example very hard things)
30"You want to do what?!"(example nigh-impossible things)

Training Bonus

By default, Microlite20's skill training bonuses are equal to your level, +3 if your class is trained in a skill, +1 if you are a human. Microlite20 5e, which I believe was created by Chris Sakkas according to the Microlite20 Compendium (and please feel free to correct me) opts for the standard Fifth Edition D&D proficiency bonus, starting at +2 and increasing every four levels after first level.

Instead of using either of these, I wanted to crib a mechanic from the recently-released Pathfinder: Second Edition. That game uses several tiers of training, but I'm going to trim those down a bit. Training in... ...whatever I'm going to call this game... gives you the following bonuses.

Training LevelBonus
Trained+2 + your character level
Specialized+4 + your character level

On the one hand, you'll have a nice hefty bonus to skill rolls. On the other hand, this will probably make most skill rolls trivial at later levels; ability score 20 (with a +5 modifier) plus specialized in a skill at tenth level gives you a total +19 to a d20 roll.

Huh. Now that I have that typed out, that makes me realize that even in that best case scenario, you still have a 50/50 chance of getting a DC 30 skill check.

Your training bonus applies to your skills, saving throws, and attack rolls. I am highly tempted to have this apply to your Defense score wearing various armor types (and giving armor reduced bonuses a la Pathfinder 2e), mostly so your Defense score can actually keep up against monsters with better accuracy.

Ability Scores

Strength is all about how hard you hit, how well you can swing a sword, physical conditioning, and whenever you need to rely on sheer horsepower to get things done.

Dexterity is what you need to use ranged weapons and avoid harm.

Intelligence is what you know; it's intuition, insight, education, lateral thought, perception, and alertness. Striking change, inspired by the World of Darkness systems and Pathfinder 2e, Intelligence determines your Initiative in combat. So, if you don't want Fighter McFighterface to constantly go dead last (emphasis on "DEAD") you might want to crack open some books.

(And yes, I know it's Wisdom that affects Initiative in Pathfinder, but m20 doesn't have a Wisdom stat...)

Charisma is getting people to pay attention to you. Whether it's getting them to listen to reason, telling them what they want to hear, telling them what you want them to hear, threatening to have them ripped in half, or just completely bullshitting someone, this is your stat du jour.

Ability scores and their modifiers work just like they do in Fifth Edition, so I won't necessarily repeat them here. Just like in 5e, ability scores are capped at 20 unless you have a magic item or class ability that breaks that rule, and even then, you are absolutely hard-capped at 30 (+10).


Physical is what you need in order to, well, be physical. Climbing, balancing, jumping, bending bars and lifting gates, squeezing through narrow gaps, swimming, and enduring forced marches are hallmarks of this skill. This is most often rolled with Strength or Dexterity.

Knowledge is equally self-explanatory. What you learned in your background, bits of folklore, or simply remembering "hey, white dragons are resistant to cold damage, Marrish found that out last time we tried to kill one of these" apply here. Most of the time, this is rolled with Intelligence.

Communication is the fine art of... err, communication. Deceit, persuasion, intimidation, bargaining, and passing off hidden messages are the usual uses for Communication. Most of the time, this is rolled with Charisma, but tasks like intimidation would be Strength-based, while passing coded messages might be Dexterity- or Intelligence-based, depending on whether it's verbal or nonverbal.

Skulduggery is simple sleight of hand... and not-so-simple breaking and entering, lockpicking, trapbusting, pickpocketing, flimflammery, forgery, and other fun things that will get you either in a holding cell or a hangman's noose. This usually gets rolled with Dexterity; Intelligence might be used when you need to notice traps.

Survival is probably going to keep you alive if you're out in the middle of nowhere and separated from your backpack. This gets you food, water, shelter, and can help you find where you are. Most of the time, this is Intelligence-based.

Sailing is the fine art of using a boat, whether a simple dugout canoe or a four-masted square-rigged galleon. Whether getting a boat where you want it to go, or making sure it's ship-shape, you'll be making a Sailing check. This could be any ability score, but most of the time this is Dexterity or Intelligence.

There is no Perception skill. The above six skills are used to perceive things in various ways. If you say to the GM, "I'm gonna take a look and see what's going on," your GM could give you the general situation and ask if you want more specific information. A Sailing perception check would allow you to appraise a boat's condition, read Oceanan nautical signals, or identify weak spots in boats, while a Physical perception check would tell you about weak spots in a rock wall you're about to climb.

That's all for the core mechanic post! Next time, I'll post about the various races of Oceana and possibly talk character generation!

Races of Oceana

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 2:56 am
by Snorb

Today, this post is going to be a (very brief) overview of the people that call Oceana home. That's right, today, we have...

Races of Oceana

Besides increasing one of your ability scores, your character's race gives you abilities unique to that race.


...You should know what a human is by now. >=/

In any event, humans are the most widespread and numerous race on Oceana. Unlike most other worlds, humans comprise only about half of Oceana's population.

Humans add +1 to all four of their ability scores. They have a base walking speed of 30 feet and are Medium creatures.

Humans can read, write, and speak Oceanan and one other language of their choice.


Winged elf-like humanoids from the island of Spinel, the anemoi are a matriarchal race known for their skilled seamstresses. Most anemoi don't venture far from the mountains of Spinel, but those that do prefer to travel light, forsaking currency in favor of more practical means of exchange; anemoi traditionally barter in exchange for the raw silk they use to produce flying skirts.

Anemoi add +2 to their Dexterity score. They have a base walking speed of 30 feet and a base flying speed of 30 feet. Anemoi cannot fly in chain or plate armor.

Anemoi are Medium creatures. They can speak Birdsong and can read, write, and speak Oceanan. Birdsong has no written form.


Scaly lizardfolk who claim descent from dragonkind. It's difficult to prove these claims, but draconians can spew a breath weapon similar to a dragon's breath and their scales are similar to a dragon's; perhaps there is some veracity to this. Draconians have a unique social structure which they refer to as "the clutch;" they consider their friends to be closer siblings than their actual blood siblings

Draconians add +2 to their Strength score. They have a base walking speed of 30 feet and are Medium creatures.

Draconians can read, write, and speak Oceanan and Draconic.

Draconians choose one of the five major breeds of dragon; they have resistance to the damage type associated with that dragon and can emit its associated breath weapon.

DragonDamage TypeBreath Weapon
BlackAcid5'x30' line (Dex save)
BlueLightning5'x30' line (Dex save)
GreenPoison15' cone (Str save)
RedFire15' cone (Dex save)
WhiteCold15' cone (Str save)

You are considered trained in your breath weapon's DC. This is usually 13 + your Strength modifier for most first-level draconians.

Breath Weapon: You may spend your action to exhale your breath weapon. Creatures caught in the breath weapon's area of effect must make the associated saving throw. Creatures take 2d6 damage on a failed save, and half that on a successful save. The damage increases to 3d6 at third level, 4d6 at sixth level, and 5d6 at ninth level.

Once you use your breath weapon, you must complete a short or long rest before you can use it again.


Short, stocky humanoids who are known for their brew, as well as their beards (or dreadlocks; female dwarves don't have facial hair.) Their pride and joy is Tol Kalad ("City of Kings"), a stepped pyramid-city on the island of Nheyras. Most dwarven cities are stepped pyramid cities, and dwarves have strict rules about who can live where: Dwarves of the noble caste live on the top step, dwarves of the common caste live on the eastern side of the middle step, and nonhumans live on the bottom step and western side of the middle step. Some races are forbidden from the dwarven sections of their cities.

Dwarves add +2 to their Strength. They have a base walking speed of 25 feet, which is not reduced by armor or encumbrance. They are Medium creatures.

Dwarves can see up to 60 feet in areas of total darkness, but are unable to discern color when doing so. They have resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws made against poisons.

Dwarves can read, write, and speak Oceanan and Dwarven.


Tall, willowy humanoids with unusual sclera and pointed ears, elves as a whole originate from a chain of islands known as the Sumurran Holdings. Elves are divided into two castes; the more commonly-encountered dark elf has tanned skin and bears geometric tattoos on their arms, torsos, and legs. Light elves aren't tattooed, and are not commonly encountered outside of the Sumurrans. Dark elves are more charismatic and outgoing, while light elves are more insular and contemplative. Neither caste holds a particular disdain for the other, unlike in most other worlds.

Dark elves add +2 to their Charisma, and have advantage on saving throws made against curses.

Light elves add +2 to their Intelligence, and learn one cantrip. I'll edit this once I get into magic.

Regardless of their caste, all elves have a base walking speed of 30 feet, and are Medium creatures. They can read, write, and speak Oceanan and Elven.


Short, green, and possessed of jaws with way too many (and way too disgusting) teeth, most people regard goblins as a nuisance at best or semi-sentient vermin. Still, some crews find that having someone who can fit into spaces smaller than their own heads, eat almost anything, and show a surprising ingenuity for shipwrighting is worth the trouble of working with an unnervingly-cheerful eternal pessimist who worships a twelve-foot tall man made out of fire called "the Dark One," which might or might not be an excuse to set things (and people) on fire.

Goblins do not have ability score modifiers. They have a base walking speed of 25 feet, and are Small creatures.

Goblins have a +1 bonus on attack rolls and Defense, and a +5 bonus on Subterfuge checks to be stealthy. They are always considered untrained when using two-handed weapons, regardless of class. Goblins can spend a skill increase to become trained in firearms as they advance.

They can read, write, and speak Oceanan and Goblin, though Goblin does not have words for "victory" or "win;" the absolute closest one can get is "We didn't lose!" or "We not-lost!".


Unlike other Oceanan races, merfolk live beneath the surface of the Sapphire Ocean, as opposed to the myriad islands dotting its surface. They resemble humans from the "waist" up, while a strong tail fin is found where others would have legs. A pair of fins, one on either side of their head, serve as both ears and stabilizers when underwater.

Merfolk add +2 to their Charisma. They have a base walking speed of 15 feet and a base swimming speed of 40 feet. They are Medium creatures.

Merfolk can breathe underwater just as easily as they can breathe air, and can see up to 60 feet underwater, though a light source is usually required in deeper, darker water.

Merfolk can read, write, and speak Oceanan and Aquan.


Outwardly resembling humans, save for their cat-like ears and tails, the nekou come from the island of Tsi'en. Most are curious about the goings-on in the area known to most Oceanans as the Moon Sea.

Nekou add +2 to their Dexterity. They have a base walking speed of 30 feet, and are Medium creatures.

Nekou can hunch down on both hands and feet to increase their walking speed by 10 feet. They cannot hunch down while wearing chain or plate armor, or while holding something in either hand.

Nekou can read, write, and speak Oceanan and Feline.


Nobody is sure about where the quai (rhymes with "why") originated from; the way these hare-like humanoids explain it, they come from an island called Arka. Taller even than an elf, quai are known for their white hair, large rabbit-like ears, and their frighteningly keen good luck. They have a reverence for the number four; quai names are four letters long, they speak in sentences of four (or sixteen!) words, and even the word "quai" is four letters long. They count in base-16 rather than base-10, but most quai (read: PCs) will use decimal numbers simply for convenience's sake.

Quai add +2 to their Intelligence. They have a base walking speed of 30 feet, and are Medium creatures.

Quai have the Lucky feat from the Player's Handbook. I don't think I can reproduce the exact text due to legal BS, but the gist of it is "You can roll one additional d20 on a d20 roll and decide which one you're going to use, advantage or disadvantage be damned. You can do this up to three times, and regain all uses of this ability when you complete a long rest."

Quai can read, write, and speak Oceanan and Quai.

Though humanoid, tieflings have the taint of demonkind in their otherwise-human ancestry. While this would normally seem like a problem in most societies, the people of the Moon Sea region welcome tieflings as one of their own-- their appeal can come in handy in port, and people in the Sea have seen far weirder.

Tieflings add +2 to their Charisma. They have a base walking speed of 30 feet, and are Medium creatures.

Tieflings are resistant to psychic damage. They know the Eldritch Blast cantrip; Charisma is their spellcasting ability for this spell.

Tieflings can read, write, and speak Oceanan and Infernal.

And those are the major PC races of Oceana. I do not believe they're 100% balanced against each other; any ideas and comments are, as always, welcome!

Classes of Oceana: The Warrior

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:56 am
by Snorb

And today, I'm going to post a small bit about a couple character classes available in Oceana!

The Warrior

Warriors are, as expected, the bread and butter of most of Oceana's militaries. Ranging from elite marines to sellswords to expert marksmen, there is no disputing that they are highly-trained in the arts of combat.

Warriors start with the following initial proficiencies. You are untrained in anything not mentioned here.

Weapons: Trained in small melee weapons, light melee weapons, one-handed melee weapons, two-handed melee weapons, bows, and firearms.
Armor: Trained in leather armor, chain armor, plate armor, and shields.
Skills: Trained in the Physical skill and Strength saving throws.
Starting Hit Points: 10 + Strength modifier
Hit Points After First Level: 1d10 (or 6) + Strength modifier

LevelClass Feature
1Second Wind, Basic Fighting Styles (2)
2Skill Increase
3Fighting Style
4Improved Critical (19), Skill Increase
5Second Attack, Fighting Style
6Skill Increase
7Indomitable, Fighting Style
8Improved Critical (18), Skill Increase
9Fighting Style
10Skill Increase

Second Wind
As a bonus action, you may recover hit points equal to 1d10 + your warrior level. You can't use this second wind again until you complete a short or long rest.

Skill Increase
At second, fourth, sixth, eighth, and tenth levels, you can become trained in one skill, or specialized in one skill you are already trained in. If you wish, you can improve an ability score by +2, or two ability scores by +1 instead. Your maximum in an ability score is 20.

Increased Critical
Starting at fourth level, you critical hit on a natural attack roll of 19 or 20. At eighth level, a natural 18 on an attack roll also scores a critical hit.

Second Attack
Starting at fifth level, you can attack twice when you attack as your action. You may split your attacks among your movement as normal.

At seventh level, if you fail a saving throw you can immediately reroll it. The new result is final, even if it's worse. You can't use this ability again until you complete a long rest.

Fighting Style
Fighting styles grant you passive and active abilities, depending on the style. You start with two basic fighting styles at first level, and can learn a new basic style or improve one you already know at third, fifth, seventh, and ninth levels.

Archery Style
Basic: You become specialized in bows, and gain a +2 bonus on damage rolls with them.
Improved: You do not have disadvantage on bow attacks if you are within an opponent's reach.
Greater: You may make opportunity attacks with bows.

Cleaving Style
Basic: If you kill an opponent (by bringing it down to 0 hit points), you may attack a second opponent as a bonus action.
Improved: The attack granted by Basic Cleaving triggers automatically. You no longer need to spend your bonus action to use it.
Greater: If you kill an opponent with your Cleaving attack, you may attack a third opponent as a bonus action.

Defensive Style
Basic: You become specialized in leather armor.
Improved: You become specialized in chain armor.
Greater: You become specialized in plate armor.

Duelist Style
Basic: You become specialized in small melee weapons, light melee weapons, or one-handed melee weapons, and gain a +2 bonus on damage rolls with these weapons if you are not wielding a shield or a second weapon in your other hand.
Improved: You become specialized in small melee weapons, light melee weapons, or one-handed melee weapons (choose one you did not pick when you learned Basic Duelist Style.) You gain a +2 bonus to Defense if you are using Basic Duelist Style.
Greater: When you are using Basic or Improved Duelist Style, you may grapple an opponent you successfully attack as a reaction.

First Strike Style
Basic: You become trained in unarmored defense. Your walking speed increases by 10 feet if you are not wearing armor.
Improved: You are considered trained in Initiative rolls if you are not wearing armor. Even if you are, you are never considered surprised.
Greater: During the first round of combat, you take two turns; one at your normal Initiative result and one at your Initiative -10. You only get one reaction and bonus action despite having two turns.

Great Weapon Style
Basic: You become specialized in two-handed melee weapons. You may reroll results of 1 or 2 on your weapon's damage dice. The new result is final, even if it's another 1 or 2. You must be wielding a two-handed melee weapon (or a one-handed melee weapon with the Versatile property) to use the reroll damage ability.
Improved: If you miss an opponent while wielding a two-handed melee weapon (or a one-handed melee weapon with the Versatile property in both hands), you may deal damage equal to your warrior level as a bonus action. This damage is the same type as your weapon's normal damage.
Greater: You may grant yourself disadvantage when you make an Attack action while wielding a two-handed melee weapon (or a one-handed melee weapon with the Versatile property in both hands.) If you still hit your opponent, you deal an additional 2d6 damage with your attack.

Gunslinger Style
Basic: You become specialized in firearms, and roll an additional d6 whenever reloading a firearm.
Improved: You can aim a firearm as a bonus action. If you make an aimed firearm attack, you may add your warrior level to the damage roll.
Greater: You can make opportunity attacks with firearms if an opponent moves within your firearm's short range.

Immortal Style
Basic: You become specialized in Strength saving throws and trained in Dexterity saving throws, Intelligence saving throws, or Charisma saving throws (your choice.)
Improved: Your character dies if they fail four death saving throws instead of three.
Greater: At the start of your turn, you automatically recover hit points equal to 5 + your Strength modifier. You do not recover hit points if you have at least half of your maximum hit point total.

Protection Style
Basic: If an ally within 5 feet of you is attacked, you may impose disadvantage on that opponent's attack as a reaction. You must be wielding a shield to do so.
Improved: When you use Basic Protection Style, you may make a free shove attack against your ally's attacker if you can reach that opponent. Alternately, you may move your ally 10 feet if you both wish. This forced movement does not trigger opportunity attacks.
Greater: When you use Basic Protection Style, you may redirect the triggering attack to yourself as a reaction.

Two-Weapon Style
Basic: When you attack with two weapons, you may add your Strength (or Dexterity) modifier to your off hand's damage roll.
Improved: You gain a +1 bonus to Defense while you wield two weapons.
Greater: You may make an attack with your off-hand weapon as part of your Attack action. You no longer need to spend a bonus action to do so.

And that's the warrior. Previous versions of this class have had additional combat styles called Unarmed and Rage. Judging by their absence, I might be considering monks and berserkers as future classes on Oceana. As for the fighting styles available here, I hope that these are thematic and balanced.

Classes of Oceana: The Scoundrel

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:07 am
by Snorb

Hello, everyone! Our next class is another staple of fantasy and adventuring-- a rogue! And not just any rogue-- a rogue fit for the Age of Sail! A dashing, slashing scoundrel!

The Scoundrel

Scoundrels believe, primarily, that fair fights are for chumps. Instead, they rely on a combination of charm, bravado, and derring-do that makes them beloved by the people of Oceana.

Scoundrels start with the following initial proficiencies. You are untrained in anything not mentioned here.

Weapons: Trained in small melee weapons, light melee weapons, bows, and firearms.
Armor: Trained in leather armor.
Skills: Trained in the Skulduggery skill and Dexterity saving throws.
Starting Hit Points: 8 + Strength modifier
Hit Points After First Level: 1d8 (or 5) + Strength modifier

LevelClass FeatureDirty Fighting
1Dirty Fighting, Flashing Blade, Panache1d6
2Skill Increase1d6
4Skill Increase2d6
6Skill Increase, Armor Training3d6
8Skill Increase4d6
10Skill Increase5d6

Dirty Fighting
You can deal additional damage with weapons you are trained or specialized with. Whenever you deal damage with a small melee weapon, light melee weapon, bow, or firearm, you may roll your Dirty Fighting dice and add them to the damage total if one of the following is true:

  • Your opponent hasn't acted yet in combat.
  • At least one of your allies is also fighting your opponent with a melee weapon.
  • You are within 30 feet of your opponent (if you are using a bow, firearm, or thrown small melee weapon.)

If you critical hit with your attack, roll your Dirty Fighting dice twice along with your normal critical hit damage.

Flashing Blade
Every scoundrel has a unique fighting style, whether they use elaborate bladework or deal death from afar. At first level, you become specialized in small melee weapons, light melee weapons, bows, or firearms.

Armor Training
At sixth level, you become specialized in light armor.

Every scoundrel has a few tricks up their sleeves. You are no exception. You learn one panache ability at first level, and gain one new ability at third, fifth, seventh, and ninth levels.

Artful Dodger
You become trained in unarmored defense.

If you deal at least 50 damage with one Dirty Fighting attack, you immediately kill your opponent. Constructs, dragons, undead, and certain other creatures may be immune to this effect (and thus have to be brought down the old-fashioned way.)

Canny Movement
As a bonus action, you can dash or disengage.

When you succeed on a Dexterity saving throw, you take no damage. Starting at fifth level, when you fail a Dexterity saving throw, you only take half damage.

Eyes on the Prize
As an action, you may sense the largest concentration of precious metals and jewels within 60 feet of you. Any gold, silver, or jewels you are carrying are not detected by this ability.

As a reaction, you may attempt to parry an opponent's successful melee attack against you. Make an attack roll; if your total exceeds your opponent's attack roll, the attack misses you and you may make an opportunity attack.

Go For the Eyes!
As an action, you may throw a handful of sand (or other fine powder, such as flour, gunpowder, or salt) in your opponent's eyes. If you do not have any available, you deliver an eye poke or open-palm face slap with similar results. Your opponent must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw (DC 12 + your level) or be blinded for 1 round. If your opponent rolls a natural 1 on this save, they are blinded for 1d4 rounds. Opponents blinded by this ability can try to clear their eyes and make a new saving throw as an action.

Powder Monkey
You roll one additional d6 when reloading a firearm.

Really Dirty Fighting
You deliver a most ungentlemanly/unladylike kick to your opponent's groin. Your opponent must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC 12 + your level) or be stunned for 1 round. If your opponent rolls a natural 1 on this save, they are knocked prone as well as stunned. Incorporeal opponents, constructs, and opponents larger than a humanoid may be immune to this ability.

Second Story Work
Climbing does not cost you additional movement speed.

Silver Tongue
You become trained in the Communication skill (or specialized if you already are) and learn one new language.

Tavern Brawler
You become trained in unarmed attacks, and may use your Dexterity modifier on unarmed attack and damage rolls.

You become trained in chain armor and one-handed melee weapons.

Skill Increase
At second, fourth, sixth, eighth, and tenth levels, you can become trained in one skill, or specialized in one skill you are already trained in. If you wish, you can improve an ability score by +2, or two ability scores by +1 instead. Your maximum in an ability score is 20.

And that's the scoundrel! Part Jack Sparrow combat pragmatist, part Errol Flynn silver-tongued rogue, part Dread Pirate Roberts expert swordsman, scoundrels make a fine addition to any crew sailing the seas of Oceana.

Classes of Oceana: The Sorcerer

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:53 am
by Snorb

Today, the next of Oceana's character classes is a mainstay in both fantasy and RPGs. One who commands power over the elements and nature. That's right. Today, we're talking about...

The Sorcerer

Whether they come across their gifts by virtue of birth, dedicated study, or divine guidance, anyone who can use magic on Oceana is called a "sorcerer."

Sorcerers start with the following initial proficiencies. You are untrained in anything not mentioned here.

Weapons: Trained in small melee weapons and bows (crossbows only.)
Armor: Trained in unarmored defense.
Skills: Trained in the Knowledge skill and Intelligence saving throws.
Starting Hit Points: 6 + Strength modifier
Hit Points After First Level: 1d6 (or 4) + Strength modifier

LevelClass FeatureSpell SlotsSpell LevelSpells Known
1Spellcasting, Cantrips11st3
2Skill Increase21st4
4Skill Increase32nd6
5Spell Focus33rd7
6Skill Increase33rd8
8Skill Increase44th10
10Skill Increase45th12

Starting at first level, you gain the ability to cast spells. You know three spells at first level, and learn one new spell every time you gain a level.

Your spellcasting modifier is Intelligence. You are trained in your spell save DC (usually 13 + Intelligence modifier at first level) and in spell attack rolls.

Spell Slots
The character progression table shows you how many spell slots you have; all of them are the same level. In order to cast a spell, you must expend a spell slot. You regain the use of all your spell slots whenever you complete a short or long rest.

You know Eldritch Blast and two other cantrips from the sorcerer spell list.

Skill Increase
At second, fourth, sixth, eighth, and tenth levels, you can become trained in one skill, or specialized in one skill you are already trained in. If you wish, you can improve an ability score by +2, or two ability scores by +1 instead. Your maximum in an ability score is 20.

At third, seventh, and ninth levels, you gain the ability to modify spells. You learn one metamagic ability from the list below. You can add a metamagic ability to a spell as a bonus action. You can use metamagic abilities a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum one use.) You regain all your uses of metamagic abilities when you complete a long rest.

Altered Spell
When you cast a spell that does acid, cold, electric, fire, psychic, or thundering damage, you may change what kind of damage your spell does to another damage type.

Careful Spell
When you cast a spell that forces creatures to make a saving throw, you may choose a number of creatures up to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1.) Chosen creatures automatically succeed on the saving throw.

Distant Spell
You double a spell's range; spells with a range of touch are extended to 30 feet.

Empowered Spell
You may reroll a number of spell damage dice equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1.) The new roll is final, even if it's worse.

Extended Spell
When you cast a spell with a duration longer than 1 minute, you may double its duration (to a maximum of 24 hours.)

Heightened Spell
You grant disadvantage on a spell's saving throw. This costs 3 uses of your metamagic abilities.

Quickened Spell
You reduce the casting time of a spell to a bonus action. This costs 2 uses of your metamagic abilities. Unlike other metamagic abilities, using this metamagic ability is not an action.

Subtle Spell
You can cast a spell without verbal or somatic components.

Spell Focus
At fifth level, choose one school of spells (abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, or transmutation.) You become specialized in spell attack rolls and spell save DCs with that school's spells.

I'll have to come up with the spell list for the sorcerer later; rest assured that both Eldritch Blast and Cure Wounds are on that list (the latter mostly out of necessity!)

Lore: Calendar and Polities

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:17 am
by Snorb

Well, this is what happens when I don't post for a few days (and change my browser to Firefox.) I accidentally forget about this!

Anyway, just a couple bits of lore today! (Mostly so I can say "There we go. I said this, this is canon now.")

The Oceanan Calendar

Like on Earth, Oceana has 24-hour days-- this might just be mostly for my own sanity, as well as the players'. There's seven days in a week, but the days don't have the same names as they do on Earth.

On Oceana, the days of the week are Manaday, Sylphday, Nereiday, Salamanday, Golemday, Drakeday, and Voidday. Manaday is the start of the week but is otherwise equivalent to Monday on Earth. (The whole "Sylphday and Salamanday start with the same letters just like Tuesday and Thursday" thing was pure coincidence. I am not that clever.)

Each month in the calendar is thirty days long, and there are twelve months in a year, for a total of 360 days per year-- this I'm willing to admit is laziness on my part. Because Oceana is a tropical ocean planet, I was going for month names that seemed to fit that theme. I could use some better names _;

The months of the Dry Season are Sunlight, Azure, Thalassian, and Seabreeze.

The months of the Wet Season are Squall, Zephyr, Typhoon, and Red Sprite.

The months of the Harvest Season are Pelagic, Windwave, Benthic, and Homecoming.

The "snapshot" year (as in, "here's everything that's happened so far in a small timeline, now it's up to you as PCs") is 1359.

Polities of Oceana

Oceana does not have continents; instead, its land consists of several thousand islands dotting the surface of the Sapphire Ocean. The most well-known and charted of these islands is in an area known as the Moon Sea. Several nations have formed and risen in prominence in the Moon Sea, and each nation maintains (more or less) friendly relations with one another.


Formally known as the Republic of Agustra, this mercantile nation relies heavily on the import and export of trade goods-- spices, ore, precious metals, foods, alcohol, tobacco, and fabrics-- in order to keep its citizens well-fed and its military afloat. Despite their claim of free trade for all, it's said that some Agustran harbormasters seek to line their pockets, and enforce harsh (sometimes trumped-up) penalties on what they consider illicit goods.


A theocratic nation, Kalad is nominally ruled by the Emissary of Dragonkind, Pontifex of the Faith of Aeon the Creator. That's the theory, anyway-- in reality, the High Priestess of Aeon serves as Kalad's head of state. Kalad is a nation matriarchal to its core to the point where its military is entirely female. Women of any Oceanan race are welcomed to enlist and serve the Theocracy, though one would be hard-pressed to find a goblin in Kaladite whites.


A small but wealthy kingdom, Marchwall has surprised many who thought it would collapse in its foundational years. Its wealth rivals even the Republic of Agustra, mostly from the kingdom's excellent shipyards, but a significant sum is raised from the Garrick Declaration. Declared by His Majesty King Kyle III seventy years ago, and reinstated by his grandson Kyle IV, the Garrick Declaration states that any person in the Moon Sea can claim citizenship by privilege simply by paying an annual tax to the kingdom, no matter where they live.


The dwarven homeland, Nheyras is one of the larger islands in the Moon Sea region. The island is dotted with several stepped pyramid-cities, a longstanding tradition of dwarven architechture.


A mountainous island, Spinel is the homeland of the anemoi. The anemoi of Spinel are matriarchal, similar to Kalad, and have a longstanding oral tradition of commemorating their finest warriors in song. Mulberry bushes flourish on Spinel, and the anemoi use them as a source of food, silk, dye, and paper.


The Sumurran Holdings are islands that serve as the homeland of elvenkind. Trimarans serve triple duty as a fishing fleet, ferries between the Sumurrans, as well as seasteads for dark elves who wish to stay close to their light elf kin. The larger of the Sumurran Holdings are covered in mulberry bushes, and flocks of anemoi from the nearby island of Spinel tend to these bushes.


The largest of the Moon Sea's nations, the Therin Empire is where most of the humans that call the Moon Sea live. Therin is known for its agricultural exports-- fruits and fine Therinese linen can be found in most any marketplace. In recent years, the Therinese have been rumored to have dealings with slavers in order to keep up with the demand for their goods, impressing anemoi, draconians, elves, and nekou in particular into servitude on state-owned plantations and mills.

As an aside, slavery is highly illegal in the Moon Sea; depending on which nation arrests them, slavers and their agents convicted of this crime are broken on the spar (the condemned are tied spread-eagle to the mainmast and skysail spar of a black-painted ship, their limbs broken with hammers, and then the ship is towed offshore and burned), hanged, executed by firing squad, or beheaded (with an axe in Nheyras and dwarven cities, with a sword in Marchwall.)


Warm even by Oceanan standards, the Mandarinate of Tsi'en is technically four separate nations, but a recently-concluded civil war has united the four into one uneasy alliance. Homeland of the nekou, Tsi'en is famed for its tea and silk exports, as well as its bamboo jungles. A treaty decriminalizing the manufacture, sale, and use of opium has been forced upon Tsi'en by the Kingdom of Marchwall after a devastating naval defeat fifteen years ago.

And there we are! I should work on expanding these into better writeups. Special thanks go to Joshua Carlson for details on the anemoi culture! _

Equipment of Oceana: Weapons and Armor

Posted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 1:54 am
by Snorb

Today, I'm going to go a bit away from the classes and lore and move to another more-or-less important part of Microlite20. It's time for...

Equipment of Oceana: Weapons and Armor


Oceana can be a dangerous place. Whether the threat comes from marauding pirates, leviaths of the deep ocean, or a swordsman with something to prove, almost everyone in the Moon Sea has a reason to carry a weapon.

When your character purchases a weapon, you and the GM decide what type of damage (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing) it deals unless otherwise stated.

Weapon TypeDamagePriceProperties
Unarmed Attack1 bludgeoningFree---
Small Melee Weapon1d410 realsFinesse, Light, Thrown (20/60)
Light Melee Weapon1d615 realsFinesse
One-Handed Melee Weapon1d825 realsVersatile (d10)
Two-Handed Melee Weapon1d1050 realsHeavy, Two-Handed
Bow1d8 piercing50 realsAmmunition (range 150/600), Heavy, Two-Handed
Crossbow1d10 piercing75 realsAmmunition (range 100/500), Heavy, Loading, Two-Handed
Firearm TypeDamagePriceProperties
Coat Pistol1d4 piercing50 realsAmmunition (range 10/40), Gunpowder, Loading, Light
Pistol1d10 piercing75 realsAmmunition (range 20/80), Gunpowder, Loading, Light
Musket1d12 piercing90 realsAmmunition (range 40/160), Gunpowder, Loading, Two-Handed
Blunderbuss1d8 piercing80 realsAmmunition (range 10/40), Gunpowder, Loading, Scatter, Two-Handed

Ammunition: This weapon requires ammunition to use. Under most circumstances, your character does not need to track ammunition-- they can return to a port to resupply, retrieve some from fallen opponents, loot some from captured ships, or craft more with the Survival skill.

Finesse: You can use either your Strength or Dexterity modifier when you make an attack or damage roll with this weapon. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.

Gunpowder: This weapon will not work if exposed to water, and produce an unmistakable ballistic crack when fired. See the "Reloading Firearms" section for details on reloading firearms.

Heavy: Small creatures, such as goblins, have disadvantage on attack rolls made with heavy weapons. They're too short to effectively wield these weapons.

Loading: You can only fire one piece of ammunition with this weapon, regardless of how many attacks you can make with an action, bonus action, or reaction.

Light: Weapons of this small size can be wielded in your character's off hand, allowing them to wield two weapons.

Range: Weapons with the Ammunition or Thrown properties have two numbers in parentheses after the property's name. The first number is the weapon's normal range (in feet.) The second number is the weapon's maximum range (also in feet.) Attack rolls against targets outside the weapon's normal range have disadvantage. You cannot attack a target outside your weapon's maximum range.

Scatter: Instead of firing lead slugs, this weapon can fire a 15-foot cone of pellets. Creatures caught in the scatter effect must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to take half damage (the DC is equal to 10 + your training bonus with firearms + your Dexterity modifier.)

Two-Handed: You must use both of your hands to wield this weapon.

Versatile (d10): This weapon can be wielded with one or both hands. Your damage die is a d10 while wielding this weapon with both hands.

Unarmed Attack: Most often a punch, the term "unarmed attack" is a catchall that includes headbutts, shoulder bashes, elbow crushes, hip-checks, knee strikes, and kicks.

Small Melee Weapons: Weapons this small include daggers, clubs, and brass knuckles.

Light Melee Weapons: These weapons include the classic rapier, shortsword, handaxe, nekou war fan, whip, and belaying pin.

One-Handed Melee Weapons: Besides the iconic cutlass, other one-handed melee weapons include the dwarven battle axe, longsword, and harpoon.

Two-Handed Melee Weapons: These include greatswords common to Marchwall, heavy mauls, and polearms such as the glaive.

Bows: Though gunpowder reigns supreme on the battlefield and the sea, anemoi, quai, and light elves still prefer these traditional longbows.

Crossbows: These heavy crossbows still have some use on the battlefield, due to their heavy punch and ease of reloading.

Reloading Firearms

Immediately after you fire a firearm, roll 1d6. On a result of 5 or 6 on the die, you are able to reload the firearm quickly enough to use it again. The warrior's Gunslinger fighting style and the scoundrel's Powder Monkey panache ability allow you to roll an additional d6 when reloading a firearm. If either die result is a 5 or 6, the firearm is reloaded.

Reloading a firearm during combat is a bonus action. You may reload firearms outside of combat at your leisure without making a die roll.


Filling a metal ball with gunpowder, nails, bits of sharpened metal, and pellets, attaching a fuse, then lighting it and throwing it is a valid tactic.

Grenade2d6 slashingThrown (15/60)30 reals

Grenade attacks are made as normal: pick a creature, and make an attack roll against its Defense score. The creature directly targeted by the grenade takes full damage, and creatures within 5 feet of the original target take damage equal to 2 + your level. A successful DC 15 Dexterity saving throw negates this splash damage.

If you miss your target, the grenade is thrown poorly. Roll 1d6 on the table below to find its new target square; any creature in the new target and creatures within 5 feet of the target are subject to the grenade's splash damage as above.

d6 RollGrenade Drift
1-21d4 squares long
3-41d4 squares wide (3: left, 4: right)
5-61d4 squares short

On 21st century Earth, a standard frag grenade has a fuse timer of four seconds. On Oceana, grenadiers must estimate the length of their fuses (and cross their fingers.) If you roll a natural 1 on an attack roll with a grenade, roll 1d6 and consult the table below. Scoundrels, sorcerers, scholars, and sailors roll twice and take the worst result due to their inexperience with grenades compared to warriors and templars.

d6 RollFuse Mishap
1Fuse Far Too Short
2-3Fuse Too Short
4-5Fuse Too Long
6Fuse Far Too Long

Fuse Far Too Short: The grenade explodes in your hand. You take 2d6 slashing damage, and any creatures within 5 feet of you take slashing damage equal to 2 + your level. They may make Dexterity saving throws to halve this damage as normal. At the GM's option, your character's hand may be blown off, mutilated, or otherwise rendered unusable.

Fuse Too Short: The grenade explodes in midair, (more or less) harmlessly. Nothing happens except for a loud ineffectual explosion.

Fuse Too Long: The grenade lands where you want it to, but the explosion is delayed. There isn't enough time for the grenade to be returned, but a creature may make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw to stamp the fuse out (or spend their movement to get away from the grenade.) The grenade explodes at the start of your next turn.

Fuse Far Too Long: The grenade lands where you want it to, but the explosion is delayed. The GM rolls 2d6 in secret; the grenade explodes at the start of your turn that many rounds later. Creatures may pick up the grenade and throw it back at you if it hasn't exploded yet. You and your allies are, of course, free to do the same. If another natural 1 is rolled when making an attack with this grenade, it explodes harmlessly in midair as if the fuse were too short.


Armor protects your character from harm, but only if it's worn. While wearing armor, your Defense is 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your armor training bonus + the armor bonus.

ArmorDefense BonusStealthStrengthPrice
Light Leather+1------10 reals
Heavy Leather+2------45 reals
Light Chain+3-1---50 reals
Heavy Chain+4-2Str 1575 reals
Light Plate+5-3---750 reals
Heavy Plate+6-4Str 171500 reals
Shield+2------10 reals

Stealth: While wearing this armor, you take the listed penalty to Subterfuge rolls made to be stealthy.

Strength: Your speed is reduced by 10 feet unless you have a Strength score equal to or greater than the listed amount.

Light Leather: This is usually a simple leather greatcoat, commonly worn among mariners and pirates alike despite Oceana's heat.

Heavy Leather: Essentially a leather greatcoat, individual pieces of wax-boiled leather have been fastened to the shoulders, forearms, and waistline for additional protection.

Light Chain: A chain mail shirt with a cloth backing; once common hundreds of years ago, but not terribly common on Oceana these days.

Heavy Chain: Heavy chain mail on a leather undergarment provides reasonable protection against both firearms and traditional weapons.

Light Plate: This is essentially a chain mail shirt with a steel cuirass and pauldrons attached.

Heavy Plate: A cuirass, pauldrons, leggings, and greaves, custom-fitted to its owner. It provides superior protection for those who can afford it.

Shield: Though falling out of style in Oceana's Age of Sail, this round wooden shield can still protect its wearer. You need one free hand to use a shield.

And that's the combat-related equipment down! I think I got a bit too long-winded there. x_x

Hopefully I'll have some more classes up soon!