ROBOTIC RUNES AND RADIOACTIVE RITUALS – High Technology Spells for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

TECHNOLOGY MAGIC (NEW SPELLS/FORMULAE)
Scan_20150319 (5)
The following spells are drawn from Paizo’s outstanding Technology Guide.

I was reluctant to convert these over, since 5th Edition D&D seems to have dealt away with the kind of hyper-specialized spells that have characterized earlier editions of the game.

However, in a campaign like Iron Gods, where high technology plays such a prominent role, these spells may see more consistent use, so I decided it would be worth converting these spells over to 5E.

Each of these are assumed to be new additions to the alchemist, cleric, druid, magus, and wizard spell lists but, given that these spells relate to high technology, DMs may wish to restrict them to characters who have the Technomancer feat, the Artificer cleric domain, and/or the Renegade Technic Leaguer or the Kellid Tribesman backgrounds.

Boom

ANTITECH FIELD
7th- level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (10-foot radius)
Components: V,S,M (a pinch of rust)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

You bring into being a mobile, hemispherical energy field that prevents high technology items, signals, and creatures from entering.

An antitech field suppresses any high technology effect used within, brought into, or deployed into the area, but does not negate it. Time spent within an antitech field counts against the suppressed effect’s duration.

Robots and other technological constructs that come in contact with an antitech field must attempt a Constitution saving throw each round they remain in the field or be stunned. Success indicates the creature suffers disadvantage on its ability checks and attack rolls until it leaves the antitech field. An affected robot can make a new Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, they are no longer stunned, but suffer disadvantage on it ability checks and attack rolls until it leaves the antitech field.

Partially technological creatures like androids or cyborgs merely suffer disadvantage on all attack rolls and ability checks if they fail this saving throw. Note that cybernetic equipment does not function in an antitech field, and all benefits granted by such gear are suppressed.

Non-technological creatures can enter the area, as can low-tech missiles like sling stones and arrows. High-tech missiles such as bullets and missiles, as well as high-tech rays like lasers and particle beams, immediately halt upon contacting the field, and either drop to the ground harmlessly or detonate. The antitech field does not offer any protection against explosions caused by technological explosives detonating against it—thus, creatures within the field could still take damage from a rocket that explodes against it.

If a creature is larger than the area enclosed by the barrier, any part of the creature that lies outside the barrier is unaffected by the field.

This spell can be used only defensively, not aggressively. Forcing an abjuration barrier against creatures that the spell keeps at bay collapses the barrier.

ANTITECH MAGIC CIRCLE
4th-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Components: V,S, M (powdered copper worth at least 100 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: 1 hour

You create a 10-foot-radius, 20-foot-tall cylinder of magical energy centered on a point on the ground that you can see within range. Glowing runes appear wherever the cylinder intersects with the floor or other surface.

While active, robots and other high technology creatures can’t willingly enter the cylinder by nonmagical means. If the creature tries to use teleportation or interplanar travel to do so, it must first succeed on a Charisma saving throw.

Robots and other high technology creatures suffer disadvantage on attack rolls against targets within the cylinder.

Targets within the cylinder can’t be charmed, frightened, or possessed by robots and other high technology creatures.

When you cast this spell, you can elect to cause its magic to operate in the reverse direction, preventing a robot or other high technology creature from leaving the cylinder and protecting targets outside it.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the duration increases by 1 hour for each slot level above 4th.

ANTITECH REBUKE
4th-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components: V,S, M (powdered fragments of technology, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You shroud the targeted high technology item, or robot or other high technology creature, with disruptive magical energy. The target (or creature carrying the targeted item) must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw when you cast this spell or be stunned for the duration of the spell.

At the end of each of its turns, an affected target can make a Wisdom saving throw. If it succeeds, this effect ends for that target.

At Higher Level. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of higher, it targets one additional target for each slot level above 4th.

DETECT RADIATION
1st-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V,S
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

For the duration, you sense the presence of radiation within 30 feet of you. If you sense radiation in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature, item, or area that bears radiation which informs you of the level of radioactivity.

This spell can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt.

DISCHARGE
3rd-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous

Discharge dissipates the charges from one high technology item, temporarily depowers one electrically powered high technology item that does not use charges, or severely hinders a robot.

If the spell targets an item with charges, the object loses all of its remaining charges. If the object is powered by electrical means other than charges, its functions are suppressed for 1d4 rounds.

If the spell targets a non-robot creature, the target must make a Constitution saving throw or one charged or electrically powered item on their person is affected, as described above. If the target is a robot, the robot must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or it suffers disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls for 1 minute. An affected robot can make a new Constitution saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, the effect of the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, you double the number of high technology items you affect for each spell slot level over 4th level.

IRRADIATE
3rd-level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous

You flood a 10 foot radius area with Low Level Radiation that lasts until the start of your next turn.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you increase the level of Radiation by one for each spell slot level over 3rd level, to a maximum of Severe Radiation Level using a 6th level spell slot. When cast using a higher level spell slot, the radiation spreads, per the standard 5E radiation rules.

MEMORY OF FUNCTION
7th-level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S, M (powdered skymetal worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous

You restore a broken item, or damaged robot or construct, to a functional state, as if it were new and intact. Any pieces missing from the item or construct remain missing. Significant missing pieces may prevent proper functioning. If the item uses charges, the item becomes fully charged.

A timeworn item becomes fully charged, but doesn’t lose the timeworn condition (this spell is one of the few ways a timeworn item can be recharged). For 1 hour after this spell is cast on a timeworn item, that item does not suffer any chance of glitching. Other consumables such as ammunition are not restored.

When this spell is cast upon a damaged robot or construct, all hit point damage dealt to that creature is healed. When this spell is cast upon a destroyed robot or construct, it is restored to full functionality and full hit points, provided no significant portion of the destroyed construct (such as an entire limb) is missing. Robots and constructs brought back in this fashion regain their memories up to the moment of their destruction and have no particular inclination to serve the caster.

PROTECTION FROM HIGH TECHNOLOGY
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S, M (powdered copper, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

Until the spell ends, one willing creature you touch is protected against robots and other high technology creatures have disadvantage on attack rolls against the target. The target also can’t be charmed, frightened, or possessed by them. If the target is already charmed, frightened, or possessed by such a creature, the target has advantage on any new saving throw against the relevant effect.

RECHARGE
3rd-level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S, M (200 gp worth of diamond dust, which the spell consumes)
Duration: Instantaneous

You restore up to 10 charges to a battery or half that number of charges to a high technology item capable of being charged by a battery. If you recharge a battery, there is a 20% chance that the battery is destroyed by the attempt.

If you restore more charges than the item can hold, the creature holding the item must succeed at a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 points of lightning damage for each excess charge. This spell provides no knowledge of how many charges an item can safely hold, but you can choose to bestow fewer charges than the maximum allowed to reduce the risk; you must declare how many charges you are restoring before casting this spell.

REMOVE RADIOACTIVITY
4th-level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous

You remove all radiation from a 20 foot radius around the point you touch. However, this spell has no effect on naturally radioactive materials, and as long as such materials remain in an area, the radiation that was removed may return.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 8th level or higher, this spell affects naturally radioactive materials, such as nuclear reactors or atomic warheads, as well.

TECHNOMANCY
1st-level divination (ritual)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V,S, M (oil stirred with a coil of wires)
Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes

For the duration, you detect the presence of high technology within 30 feet of you. If you sense high technology in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that is of high technology origin, and you learn its rough function (weapon, pharmaceutical, robot, etc…). Using this spell grants you advantage on your first Intelligence check made to understand how to use a high technology item.

This spell can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 1 foot of stone or 3 feet of wood or dirt.

DUNGEON MUSERS’ NOTES

While I was initially skeptical of whether it was necessary to convert these spells over from Pathfinder to 5E, now that they are done, I think they will add a lot to an Iron Gods campaign.

In particular, assuming that most of these spells were created by the Technic League, I think that these spells can help to explain why the League is so much better at dealing with high technology than any other group.

In my own Iron Gods campaign, in the interest of keeping high technology as mysterious as I can, I will likely restrict all of them to player characters who have the Technomancer feat and either the Renegade Technic Leaguer or Kellid Tribesman backgrounds.

Incidentally, in my conversion of the memory of function spell, I chose to dump the restriction that the Pathfinder version has relating to time (the PF version can only affect items destroyed up to 10 years per caster level ago). Most of the high technology gear found in the Iron Gods campaign is over 9000 years old and, since the spell grants no control over the restored items, who am I to prevent a foolish player from restoring an out of control annihilator robot to full health (like, say, the one encountered in Valley of the Brain Collectors…moo hoo ha ha ha!).

RESOURCEFUL RESKINNING

Apart from the memory of function spell, none of the spells presented here will likely see much use in campaigns that do not have a high technology presence, though you could rename the irradiate spell “exhaustion” and otherwise use it as written.

IS THIS A SPELLBOOK OR AN ENGINEERING TEXTBOOK?

I hope these spells give players and DMs playing/running 5th Edition D&D campaigns with a high tech presence (like, say, the Iron Gods adventure path) some additional opportunities to add a high technology vibe to their games.

Until next time, I remain;

  • THE DUNGEON MUSER
ROBOTIC RUNES AND RADIOACTIVE RITUALS – High Technology Spells for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

Religious Smithing, Ray Gunslingers, and Robot Magic – Technological Class Options for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

TECHNOLOGICAL CLASS OPTIONS FOR 5TH EDITION DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

Since high technology and super-science plays such a significant role in the Iron Gods, I felt it was important to convert some of the unique technology-related class options that are found in the Pathfinder RPG for use in my 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons conversion.

As with the Gunslinger class, and firearms in general, these options may not be appropriate for all campaigns (particularly those without a technological presence). However, they should provide some tech-heavy options for PCs in the Iron Gods campaign that’ll let them bask in the high technology vibe that suffuses that adventure path.

But enough talk, let’s get to the tech options!

ARTIFICER DOMAIN
pic1983147_md

This domain functions the same as the divine domains listed on pages 59 to 63 of the Player’s Handbook.

ARTIFICER DOMAIN SPELLS
Cleric Level Spells
1 shield, unseen servant
3 heat metal, magic weapon
5 elemental weapon, meld into stone
7 fabricate, stone shape
9 animate objects, creation

BONUS CANTRIP
At 1st level, you gain the mending cantrip, which doesn’t count towards your total number of cantrips known.

BONUS PROFICIENCY
When you choose this domain at 1st level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor.

FORTIFYING AURA
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to project an aura that shields you and your allies from harm. When you activate this ability with a bonus action, you and all allies within 30 feet of you gain resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons until the start of your next turn.

DANCING WEAPON
At 6th level, you can use your Channel Divinity to cast the spiritual weapon spell.

ANVIL STRIKE
At 8th level, you gain the ability to infuse your weapon strikes with destructive power. Once on each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 thunder to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

TOUCH OF CREATION
Starting at 17th level, you can cast the wall of stone spell at will as an action.

TECHSLINGER (NEW GUNSLINGER ARCHETYPE)
This Gunslinger archetype functions the same as the archetypes found in the description of the Gunslinger class found here.


20140327093954
Note that many of this archetype’s abilities refer to rules for high technology items that can be found here.

SUPERCHARGED SHOT
Beginning when you choose this gunslinger archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to maximize the power of the shots you take with high technology firearms. Once per turn, when you take the Attack action and attack with a high technology firearm, you can spend 1 grit point and an extra charge to deal double damage to one creature hit by your attack. This damage increases to triple damage at 6th level, quadruple damage at 10th level, and quintuple damage at 14th level. This damage is doubled on a critical hit.

For example, a 12th level techslinger could spend 1 grit point and an extra charge when shooting with an inferno pistol to do 3d10 fire damage on a hit or 6d10 fire damage on a critical hit.

EFFICIENT MARKSMAN
At 3rd level, you gain the ability to spend 1 grit point to use 1 charge fewer than normal when firing a high technology firearm.

EYE FOR GUNS
Starting at 3rd level, you no longer need make any ability checks to understand high technology firearms. You automatically understand how to use any high technology firearms you find. This ability only applies to high technology firearms.

RELIABLE
At 3rd level, you gain the ability to spend 1 grit point as a reaction to prevent a timeworn firearm from glitching.

ENGINEER’S TOUCH
Starting at 6th level, you can ignore detrimental glitches that are rolled when a timeworn firearm glitches. Instead, they are treated as if you had rolled no glitch.

TRY HITTING IT
At 14th level, you gain the ability to squeeze an extra shot out of a depleted high technology firearm. Once per turn, as a bonus action, you can spend 1 grit point to grant 2 temporary charges to a high technology firearm, even if that firearm normally cannot be recharged. This charge fades when you create a short rest or a long rest.

BRING OUT THE BIG GUNS
At 14th level, you gain the ability to use your Gunslinger abilities with high technology firearms with the Cannon, Support, and Artillery properties.

TECHNOMANCER (NEW FEAT)
Prerequisites: Proficiency with Technologist and the ability to cast at least one spell.
Artificer_by_Zgfisher

Note that the abilities of this feat refer to rules for high technology items that are found here.

You mastered the art of blending magic and super-science and unlocked the secrets of technology from a lost age. You gain the following benefits:

  • You can spend 1 hour to recondition a piece of timeworn technology, after which the item no longer has a chance of glitching until you complete a long rest. You can perform this reconditioning while you complete a short or a long rest. At 5th level you can recondition two timeworn items in the same amount of time, at 11th level you can recondition three timeworn items, and at 17th level you can recondition four timeworn items.
  • You gain the ability to power technological items with your spell power and vice versa, as a bonus action, as set out on the table below. Once you use this ability you must complete a short rest or a long rest before using it again. For example, as a bonus action you could expend 5 charges from a battery to gain a 3rd level spell slot.
Spell Slot Level Charges
1st 2
2nd 3
3rd 5
4th 6
5th 7
  • Your spells that have charm effects can affect robots, ignoring their immunity to the charmed condition. Further, your conjure spells can now be used to conjure robots. For example, you could cast the dominate person spell on a gearsman robot or you could use the conjure elemental spell to summon a collector robot.

DUNGEON MUSERS’ NOTES
5th Edition D&D seems to have moved away from abilities and spells that have limited or specialized applicability (for example, spells that only work in certain environments or only target certain kinds of creatures), so I feel like these rules may represent a departure from some of the design aesthetics of D&D 5E.

That said, given that these rules are designed to be used in a campaign loaded with hi-tech items and foes, the limited nature of some of these abilities/options may not be as limited, in practice, as they seem at first glance.

With that bit of pre-emptive defence work out of the way, let’s talk about each of the options, in turn.

Of all the options presented above, the Artificer domain is the one most easily adapted for campaigns with a more traditional fantasy flavor. I patterned the domain abilities off the Artificer domain in the Pathfinder RPG and some of the divine options out of the Pathfinder supplement, Inner Sea Gods.

For the Techslinger, I tried to keep most of the abilities from the Pathfinder version of the Techslinger archetype introduced in the Pathfinder Technology Guide, but ended up adding several totally new abilities to balance it with the other Gunslinger archetypes. The 5E version of the Techslinger is too dependent on high technology to be appropriate for most fantasy campaigns (none of the abilities work without high technology guns), unless your DM is willing to keep you in particle guns and laser guns from 3rd level onward.

Finally, for the Technologist, I decided to go with an idea that I have been playing with for the past few months, which is to adapt Pathfinder Prestige Classes into one or more feats.  Feats in 5E are more substantive than those in previous editions of D&D, most often representing a bundle of related abilities, so they seem like an idea mechanism for replicating the kind of “niche” abilities that Prestige Classes represent.

The Technologist Feat’s abilities are mostly 5E versions of the key abilities from the Prestige Class, though I jettisoned the abilities that related to Pathfinder-specific crafting rules.

RESOURCEFUL RESKINNING
Moreso than any of the other 5E conversions I have done, or am likely to do, of the Iron Gods adventure path, these conversions are pretty difficult to reskin into other non-high technology versions, but if someone else has ideas as to how to do so, I’d be all ears.

ADD A TOUCH OF TECH TO YOUR CAMPAIGN!
While these options may not be appropriate for every 5th Edition D&D campaign, I think they would be great thematic additions to the Iron Gods adventure path, for both PCs and NPCs (how terrified would your players be when the Technic Leaguer they are fighting summons more robots for them to fight with her Technologist feat?).

To supplement these rules, I will be posting conversions of some of the spells from the Technology Guide in the coming weeks, but for now, I hope you enjoy the new abilities these options offer.

Until next time, I remain;

  • THE DUNGEON MUSER
Religious Smithing, Ray Gunslingers, and Robot Magic – Technological Class Options for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

DOC, I DON’T FEEL SO GOOD – Pathfinder’s Radiation Damage rules for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

RADIATION SICKNESS IN 5E DUNGEONS & DRAGONS

Hell on Earth Doomsayer

One hazard that shows up in the Iron Gods adventure path that I need to convert to 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons is the harmful radiation that certain Numerian artefacts emit. The following are my draft rules for converting Pathfinder’s Radiation Damage to 5E.

Radiation affects a spherical area, radiating out from a source point. Radiation can extend into solid objects. The closer one gets to the center of an area of radiation, the stronger the radiation effect becomes. Radiation entries list the maximum level of radiation in an area, as well as the radius out to which this radiation level applies. Each increment up to an equal length beyond that radius degrades the radiation strength by one level. For example, a source of high radiation with a radius of 20 feet creates a zone of medium radiation 21 feet to 40 feet from the center in all directions, and a similar zone of low radiation from 41 to 60 feet.

Radiation damage is poison damage and any ability or spell that affects poison will, likewise, affect radiation damage. Creatures that are immune to poison damage take no damage from radiation, and creatures resistant to poison damage suffer half the normal levels of exhaustion on a failed saving throw, rounding down.

Creatures that are exposed to radiation must make a saving throw each round or suffer levels of exhaustion, as set out in the Radiation Damage table. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature suffers more levels of exhaustion, as set out in the Radiation Damage table.

RADIATION DAMAGE
Radiation Level Constitution Saving Throw DC Failed Saving Throw Failed Saving Throw by more than 5
Low 10 One level of exhaustion Two levels of exhaustion
Medium 15 Two levels of exhaustion Three levels of exhaustion
High 20 Three levels of exhaustion Four levels of exhaustion
Severe 25 Four levels of exhaustion Five levels of exhaustion

DUNGEON MUSERS’ NOTES

Since 5E does not use ability loss as a mechanic, I decided to use 5E’s terrific exhaustion mechanic to simulate the deleterious effect that radiation has on living beings. 5E’s exhaustion is a bit harder to recover from than ability damage in PF, but I’m ok with radiation being a hazard that leaves you dealing with its effects for a long time. I also like that exhaustion incorporates 5E’s bounded accuracy concept, by affecting all levels of characters in a meaningful way.

RESOURCEFUL RESKINNING

For campaigns that don’t feature high tech elements, these rules could be used to represent fields of necrotic energy or similar life-threatening magical energy.

Alternatively, these rules could be used to simulate a slumber or sleep spell effect (like the enchanted poppy glade in The Wizard of Oz), though DMs who do so may wish to have affected characters become unconscious at six levels of exhaustion, rather than die.

GEIGER COUNTERS ARE TICKING LIKE CRAZY!

With rules for hostile radiation converted, now I can turn my mind to some of the items in the Iron Gods adventure path that relate to radiation damage (including some of the serums introduced in Fires of Creation), which will be up next.

Until next time, I remain;

  • THE DUNGEON MUSER
DOC, I DON’T FEEL SO GOOD – Pathfinder’s Radiation Damage rules for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons