Get to Know the Merfolk

It might seem like just a few days ago, I was talking about spooky creatures and practices in honor of Halloween. Well, now Halloween is behind us, and our next holidays in the US are Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving. To that end, I will be covering the wide variety of militaristic and martial turkeys that dot the Dungeons & Dragons landscape. We’ll first cover the turku, a kenku variant, and then move into the gonzo stuff, like the turketaur and the turkesaur. Just kidding, let’s talk about merfolk.

Aquatic Allies: Karkinoi (aka What Makes a Race?)

There are a number of excellent blogs and podcasts about creating campaign worlds, from our own Shawn Ellsworth’s World Building series, to James Introcaso’s World Builder blog, and the Dungeon Master’s Block Creation and Inspiration episodes. Not long after joining Tribality I had a number of readers ask whether I’d be publishing my own aquatic campaign setting. My standard answer was to aim them at the brilliant Cerulean Seas from Alluria Publishing. Why reinvent the wheel, I thought? Then someone pointed out that there are scores, if not hundreds of pseudo-European fantasy settings, so why can’t their be more than one aquatic one? They could not have been more right. I’ve since had the pleasure of playtesting aquatic races, adventures, and campaign concepts as I hammer out my ideas, including many published here on Tribality.

Naval Encounters for D&D 5th Edition

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Ahoy lubbers! Part 1 of this series covered basic naval combat, Part 2 looked at some more advanced options and Part 3 provided more ideas on how to run a sea battle. Each week, my players and I visit the Seas of Vodari, my homebrew world of islands. In part 4, I wanted to conclude the series with a simplified and streamlined look at how I handle Naval Encounters for D&D 5e after playing a D&D 5e seafaring campaign for almost a year now. My goal for these updated rules is to prioritize player actions and speed up encounters versus simulating realistic naval combat. This article collects and updates much of the content of the previous entries and provides some specific scenarios for naval encounters.

If you are looking for more realistic naval combat, Pathfinder Skull & Shackles and Part 2 of this series are a good place to start.

Oceans, The Final Frontier: Aquatic Inspiration for Science Fiction, Part 5

Since the start of the 21st Century, I’ve come across numerous articles, photos, forum posts, and websites offering glimpses into actual or imagined futures. From the Blue Planet RPG Yahoo Group, to Facebook and other social media, it’s relatively easy these days to see cool new images to inspire your imagination. But rarely is it collected in one place. In the Final Frontier series, you will find a wide range of links and images, including RPG supplements, videos, articles on marine science, maps, real-world builds and concept sketches for sea-worthy vehicles, buildings, research stations, and even cities. Anything and everything I can find that has inspired me in my science fiction games will end up here.

So sit back and enjoy a glimpse into our own planet’s Final Frontier.

This week’s Final Frontier focuses on one of my favorite science fiction RPG settings, websites with useful programs for gamers and astronomy buffs alike, and the announcement of a scientific discovery from just days ago!

Oceans, The Final Frontier: Aquatic Inspiration for Science Fiction, Part 4

Since the start of the 21st Century, I’ve come across numerous articles, photos, forum posts, and websites offering glimpses into actual or imagined futures. From the Blue Planet RPG Yahoo Group, to Facebook and other social media, it’s relatively easy these days to see cool new images to inspire your imagination. But rarely is it collected in one place. In the Final Frontier series, you will find a wide range of links and images, including RPG supplements, videos, articles on marine science, maps, real-world builds and concept sketches for sea-worthy vehicles, buildings, research stations, and even cities. Anything and everything I can find that has inspired me in my science fiction games will end up here.

So sit back and enjoy a glimpse into our own planet’s Final Frontier.

This week’s offering focuses on aquatic adventure in films, TV, and comics.

Oceans, The Final Frontier: Aquatic Inspiration for Science Fiction, Part 3

Since the start of the 21st Century, I’ve come across numerous articles, photos, forum posts, and websites offering glimpses into actual or imagined futures. From the Blue Planet RPG Yahoo Group, to Facebook and other social media, it’s relatively easy these days to see cool new images to inspire your imagination. But rarely is it collected in one place. In the Final Frontier series, you will find a wide range of links and images, including RPG supplements, videos, articles on marine science, maps, real-world builds and concept sketches for sea-worthy vehicles, buildings, research stations, and even cities. Anything and everything I can find that has inspired me in my science fiction games will end up here.

So sit back and enjoy a glimpse into our own planet’s Final Frontier.

This week’s Final Frontier focuses on theoretical and actual architecture, as well as two gaming-specific projects that are leading players and GMs into even more aquatic adventure!

Oceans, The Final Frontier: Aquatic Inspiration for Science Fiction, Part 2

Since the start of the 21st Century, I’ve come across numerous articles, photos, forum posts, and websites offering glimpses into actual or imagined futures. From the Blue Planet RPG Yahoo Group, to Facebook and other social media, it’s relatively easy these days to see cool new images to inspire your imagination. But rarely is it collected in one place. In the Final Frontier series, you will find a wide range of links and images, including RPG supplements, videos, articles on marine science, maps, real-world builds and concept sketches for sea-worthy vehicles, buildings, research stations, and even cities. Anything and everything I can find that has inspired me in my science fiction games will end up here.

So sit back and enjoy a glimpse into our own planet’s Final Frontier.

This week’s Final Frontier focuses on scientific discoveries, theoretical research projects, and inspiringly bizarre phenomena.

Oceans, The Final Frontier: Aquatic Inspiration for Science Fiction, Part 1

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about aquatic settings and creatures for fantasy and want to turn the focus on other genres for a bit. Though fantasy roleplaying is by far the most popular genre in the world, aquatic settings can be used in modern, science fiction, science fantasy, space opera, horror, alt history, name your favorite genre and as long as oceans exist, an underwater adventure is waiting.

Since the start of the 21st Century, I’ve come across numerous articles, photos, forum posts, and websites offering glimpses into actual or imagined futures. From the Blue Planet RPG Yahoo Group, to Facebook and other social media, it’s relatively easy these days to see cool new images to inspire your imagination. But rarely is it collected in one place. In the Final Frontier series, you will find a wide range of links and images, including RPG supplements, videos, articles on marine science, maps, real-world builds and concept sketches for sea-worthy vehicles, buildings, research stations, and even cities. Anything and everything I can find that has inspired me in my science fiction games will end up here.

So sit back and enjoy a glimpse into our own planet’s Final Frontier.

Aquatic Campaign Outline for 1st-20th level

In this series I have been presenting creatures you can use for villains, lieutenants, minions, and wild encounters for 5th edition aquatic games, as well as encounter seeds for these villains at each tier. This article is the second presenting an outline for you to draw from when creating your own aquatic campaign!

Since the number of monsters for this highest tier is so limited, I’m combining the list of enemies for 16th-20th levels and the campaign seed into one post.

This week I bring you an aquatic campaign that culminates in facing one of the most terrifying and iconic aquatic villains, the aboleth, specifically, the livyathan created by Sam Hing for Rogue Genius Games’ “Horrors of the Aboleth“.

Though these monster lists and story seeds are inspired by 5th edition, they can be used as adventure ideas for any fantasy RPG.