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Worlds of Web DM: Weird Wastelands

Created by Web DM

A supplement for 5e D&D that gives you everything you need to play great games in places adversely affected by magical forces.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Update #29 - Sneak Peek: Exploration and Terrain in the Weird Wastelands
17 days ago – Fri, Sep 09, 2022 at 12:06:18 AM

The team has made good progress on the manuscript which is currently in editing.

Content Sneak Peek, Hex Based Exploration and Terrain Types!

Hex-based Exploration

When running sandbox-style games, it is critical to have a tool to track party progress. Creating a hex map is an excellent way to map wilderness environments your party is likely to traverse over the course of their adventures.

In the following sections, we cover how to use two kinds of hex maps, explain how to create your own hex maps, and provide you with resources to make hex maps specific to a Weird Wastelands campaign.

Hex Map Instructional Graphic by Jason Strutz. This image may have some changes in the final form.

Hex-based Terrain

Hex maps utilize a single sheet of paper covered in a printed pattern of hexes. Each individual hex on a map represents a large expanse of land. Hex maps can use any kind of scale, but for our purposes, each hex represents 5 miles. While there can be all sorts of geographic and environmental details inside a single hex, abstracting an area in this way is helpful for measuring overall travel distances.

In addition to representing a static amount of space, each hex is also assigned a type, which represents the predominant type of terrain found in that 5-mile area.

Six different types of terrain exist in the Weird Wastelands, so there are six different types of hexes that can appear on a wasteland-specific hex map:

· Arcane Wastes: blasted landscape scarred by magical warfare

· Badlands: dry, broken landscape of rock formations and patches of cacti

· Desert: hot, desolate sand piled high with dunes

· Hills: semi-arid waves of land featuring scrub brush and stunted trees

· Mountains: volcanic mountain ranges and highland plateaus

· Scrublands: rolling hills and meadows of thorny bushes and hardy grass

Each type of terrain has a secondary and tertiary terrain type associated with it, as shown in the Terrain Types table. This information helps give you an idea of what terrain types are most likely to be found next to one another, and it can also be used as a reference when following the steps to build your own wasteland terrain hex map.

Terrain Types

Arcane Wastes

The ruined heartlands of the pre-apocalypse civilization were once prosperous and populous, boasting many manicured estates of the mageocratic gentry, sprawling arcanotech workshop complexes, and fertile fields of alchemically enriched agriculture. Now, these lands are scarred by magical warfare and stalked by monsters spawned from the resulting arcane pollution.

Terrain DC

Regions of arcane wastes are extremely dangerous and incapable of sustaining humanoid life. Magical pollution has infused the terrain, making it impossible to find potable water or edible food there. Due to an abundance of deadly arcane hazards, adventures set in the arcane wastes are geared toward tier-4 adventuring parties.

Whenever a character interacts meaningfully with the environment or an environmental effect in the arcane wastes and an ability check or saving throw is required, the default terrain DC is 20.

Landmarks

As the party travels through areas of arcane wastes, they are bound to encounter weird landmarks featuring the remnants of magical, pre-apocalyptic societies. The Arcane Wastes Landmarks table provides suggestions of unique features characters might encounter while traveling through this type of terrain.

Ghost Storm by Juan Arrabal

Next-Steps

The next Kickstarter update will be October 9th or earlier.

Schedule Adjustment. Editing and revisions have taken longer than anticipated.  We’re now looking at a community PDF delivery in late October; in addition the final PDF delivery is now scheduled for end of December. Apologies for the delays and thank you for your patience.

As Always,

We appreciate your patience and continued support!

Thank you for your continued support!

- Web DM and 2CGaming

Update #28: Vehicles in the Wastelands!
about 2 months ago – Sat, Aug 06, 2022 at 07:32:27 AM

KS Update #28 (Vehicles in the Wastelands!)

Art & Writing Updates

We’re moving along with art and writing. Recently Jason Strutz has turned in some great faction symbols and hex maps for the book. Editing has been moving apace, and we’re sharing some of the vehicle rules with you below along with great art to go with it in our sneak peak!

Content Sneak Peak, Vehicles and Vehicle Modules!

*Please note, the following material is unedited manuscript*

Bandit Buggy

Alternate names: “Sandrail,” “cager,” “sand runner,” “sand wagon”

The entry-level wastelands ride, the bandit buggy can get you from A to B. Though the basic chassis rarely has windows, doors, fenders, or full body panels, the bandit buggy can be outfitted with some sweet gear.

A post-apocalyptic car, looking rather beat up, is battling an electric and magnetic dragon inside a burnt orange canyon
A bandit buggy battling the squamous magnedon

Bandit Buggy

Large vehicle, common

Armor Class 10

Integrity 20

Hit Points 100

Speed 60 ft. (maneuverable), 35 mph

Initiative 10

Proficiency Bonus +2

Creature Capacity 1 crew, 3 passengers

Cargo Capacity 1,000 pounds

TRAITS

Module Slots. The bandit buggy has three module slots.

ACTIONS

Witness Me. If the bandit buggy moves at least 40 feet straight toward a target, it can attempt to collide with it. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 18 (3d10 + 2) bludgeoning damage. The bandit buggy takes the same amount of damage.

Vehicle Modules

Modules for vehicles are divided into three categories: logistical, navigational, and tactical. When not integrated into a vehicle, a module is merely a collection of parts, machinery, and magic that requires a suitable host. Mundane modules can be fabricated with some basic material and elbow grease, while modules with magical properties are as precious and rare as magical items.

Some modules have prerequisites that require integration with specific types of vehicles. These restrictions may be based on size classification, type, or other factors and are detailed in the module’s description.

Acquiring Modules

Vehicle modules can be found in wrecked vehicles throughout the wastes, but such valuable finds are rare. Shops are more reliable sources for modules, like the one at the Derby. The cost of a module is based on its rarity, as reflected in the Vehicle Modules by Rarity table.

An elf in a post-apocalyptic vehicle gives rock hands while jumping off a cliff over a massive explosion
A daredevil driver jumping over certain doom

Next-Steps

The next Kickstarter update will be September 6th or earlier.

Schedule Adjustment. We’re still looking at a community PDF delivery in September; in addition, the final PDF delivery is now scheduled for November. Apologies for the delays and thank you for your patience.

As Always,

Thank you so much for your support!

- Web DM and 2CGaming

Update #27 The Arcanavore, a Weird Wasteland Monster Template
3 months ago – Wed, Jul 06, 2022 at 11:10:45 PM

Art & Writing Updates

Things are moving along nicely. We’re happy to report that all of the major art pieces are complete and we’re just finishing up some graphical design elements for the project.

On the writing side the fully manuscript is turned over to editing!

For our Patreons Episode 246 of the WebDM Podcast Jim and Emma talked about what they learned from writing Weird Wastelands, available on Patreon: Web DM Podcast 246 Game Design Noob Wisdom

Content Sneak Peak, the Arcanavore Template

Wasteland Monster Templates

The cataclysm that caused the apocalypse suffused the land with magical pollution that radically upset ecosystems across the world. Creatures not outright killed by the initial sweep of destruction died, proceeded by the thousands as they were poisoned by irradiated food and water. The only creatures left standing were those whose very beings were so mutated by the magical cataclysm, that they were able to survive and thrive in the newly devasted land. The templates provided show the mechanical changes that occur when a creature is mutated by the poisonous magic of the wasteland.

Arcanavore

In the Wastelands, food is scarce, but some areas are replete with ambient magic. A few creatures mutate to survive on magical energies, consuming it when they encounter it. Creatures mutated in this way are known as arcanavores.


Fantasy beasts twisted by magical pollution with grotesque crystalline growths, laser vision, and creepy skin
Arcanovores
Arcanavore Template

You can create an arcanavore by making the following adjustments to the statistics of any creature.

Ability Scores. If the creature’s Charisma score is lower than 12, it becomes 12. The creature’s score now increases by 4. An ability score cannot be increased above 30 using this feature.

Hit Dice. The creature gains two additional Hit Dice and recalculates its hit point maximum using these Hit Dice.

Challenge Rating. The creature’s challenge rating increases by 2.

Traits. The creature gains the following traits.

· Devouring Attack. When the creature hits with another creature with a melee weapon attack, it chooses one spell of 3rd level or lower currently affecting the target and consumes it, ending the spell. If the chosen spell currently affecting the target is 4th level or higher, the creature must attempt a Charisma ability check (DC equals 10 + the spell’s level). On a success, the spell ends as the creature consumes it.

· Latent Spellcasting. The creature’s latent spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 8 + its Charisma modifier + its proficiency bonus). If the creature has consumed a spell in the last 24 hours, it can innately cast the following spells at their lowest level, requiring no material components:

o 1/day each: blur, expeditious retreat, false life, jump, see invisibility, shield

· Magic Resistance. The creature has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

· Magical Sight. The creature can sense the presence of magical effects within 120 feet of it, seeing a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that bears magic.

· Sustained by Magic. Whenever the creature consumes a spell, it regains hit points equal to the spell’s level + its proficiency bonus.

Proficiency. The creature’s proficiency bonus increases to match its adjusted challenge rating.

Actions.  The creature gains the following action.

· Devour Spell. The creature chooses one spell affecting itself and consumes it if the spell is 3rd level or lower, ending the spell. If the spell is 4th level or higher, the creature must attempt a Constitution ability check (DC equals 10 + the spell’s level). On a success, the spell ends as the creature consumes it.

Reactions. The creature gains the following reaction.

· Consume Spell: As a reaction when the creature is the target of a spell and can see the caster, the creature consumes the spell if it is 3rd level or lower, causing it to fail. If the spell is 4th level or higher, the creature must attempt a Charisma ability check (DC equals 8 + the spell’s level). On a success, the spell fails as the creature consumes it.

Next-Steps

The next Kickstarter update will be August 6th or earlier.

Schedule Adjustment. We’re now moving toward a community PDF delivery in September; in addition the final PDF delivery is now scheduled for October. Apologies for the delays and thank you for your patience.

As Always,

We appreciate your patience and continued support!

Thank you for your continued support!

- Web DM and 2CGaming

KS Update #26 Factions and the Arcanotech Cabal Sneak Peek
4 months ago – Tue, Jun 07, 2022 at 08:19:37 PM

Every day we’re turning in and editing more and more content, both fantastic images and evocative words. The setting and mechanics are really coming together in a way that will highlight post-apocalyptic play in 5e. One of the ways we’re detailing the Weird Wastelands setting is by having several factions that your characters can interact with. Factions are something we’ve talked about on the WebDM channel and our Patreon (see the end of this post for resources).  

One of the factions in Weird Wastelands is the Arcanotech Cabal. The world may have been turned to a wasteland, but the Arcanotech Cabal strives to use the magic that destroyed society to create a new and better life for...well...at least for themselves!! Today we’re shining a spotlight on this weird and nuanced faction:


Arcanotech Cabal

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Organization: Decentralized mageocracy of semi-autonomous technomancer collectives 

Motto: “Our mastery of arcanotech will surpass the glories of the past.”

The Arcanotech Cabal is a group of loosely allied technomancers, artifice-wizards, and alchemists dispersed into small collectives that prize their autonomy even as they pursue the shared goal of rebuilding civilization. Distant memories of the apocalyptic magical wars of the past cause the Cabal’s members to keep their identities secret and communicate with each other sparingly through proxies. If they ever fully unified, they would outnumber every other wasteland faction, but the Cabal’s internal divisions pose a serious hurdle to unification and their efforts to rebuild.  


Creed

Members of the Cabal devote themselves to uncovering the arcane mysteries of the pre-apocalypse and using those resources to build a new civilization. They are secretive and guard their knowledge closely, even from other members. When travelling the wastelands, they pose as pilgrims or salvagers, so as not to draw unwanted attention to their activities.

The Arcanotech Cabal occasionally seek alliance with the Fellowship, especially when their goals are aligned. They also work with the Enduring Aristocracy, mainly because the undead nobles give the Cabal access to arcanotech resources. The Cabal is enemies with the Blood Harpy Legion because the Legion sees their use of arcanotech as too dangerous, and the Infernal Recruiters because the Cabal opposes their looting of wasteland treasures and enslavement of souls.


Resources 

They can access nearly any non-legendary magic item given enough time and materials. Magic items created by the Cabal are arcanotech devices . 

Technomancers and Arcanotech magi carry multiple arcanotech devices and at a minimum will have bracers of defense and a wand or staff to defend themselves with when encountered. Some non-spellcasting members of the Cabal wield magic weapons or drink the various potions provided to them by Cabal alchemists.


Membership

Cabal members tend to be living humanoid spellcasters, but there are some undead members who keep their unliving nature hidden. A fair number of members are not spellcasters and serve as the main field agents and informants of the Cabal’s spellcasters. The Cabal maintains large numbers of constructs which they primarily use to guard their hidden fortress-workshops.


Arcanotech Cabal faction member

Notable Figures

Here are some notable members of the Arcanotech Cabal.

Gorasto (NE): A cunning half-orc arcanotech magus, Gorasto is the most influential leader in the Cabal and made the recovery of lost arcanotech wonders of the Last City of MAN  popular with many other members. He maintains a network of loyal spies and informants unaffiliated with the Cabal and is accompanied by a retinue of demon-bound constructs and ambitious apprentices. Gorasto’s influence is the driving force behind the Cabal’s tendency towards division and secrecy as his many former students seek his approval at the expense of their peers.

Lagren Tung (CN): Lagren is an unorthodox technomancer of unknown ancestry who leads a retinue of similarly independent-minded cabalists. They are at the center of a rapidly growing movement within the Cabal to oppose Gorasto’s secretive methods and use of bound demons. Lagren claims descent from the Cabal’s legendary founder, Barbarsus, Master of the Polyptych Schema and has many agents scouring the wasteland for their ancestor’s lost spellbook. 

Techanicus Supportus (LG): Techanicus is a priest and technomancer who leads a group of devoted followers on a holy mission of peace in the trenches of the Colossus of Rust.  He claims to have received instructions from an ineffable clockwork god to bring peace to the warring constructs and incorporate the territory into the Republic of Autons & Man. Techanicus also claims that this mysterious god gave him the orb of peace, an arcanotech device capable of influencing constructs. 


Arcanotech Cabal Creatures

The Arcanotech Cabal Creatures table presents a few creatures likely to work for or with the faction.


Arcanotech Cabal Creatures 

CR Creature

1/8 Guard (MM)

1/2 Lookout (scout, MM)

1/2 Hired goon (thug, MM)

1 Field agent (spy, MM)

1 Scrap golem soldier (animated armor, MM)

2 Geas-sworn bodyguard (veteran, MM)

3 Remote viewer (will-o-wisp, MM) *

6 Technomancer (mage, MM) 

7 Shield guardian (MM)

12 Arcanotech magus (archmage, MM) 

13 Voltaic titan (storm giant, MM) *

16 Iron golem (MM)

*Creature type changed to construct


Arcanotech Cabal Spells

The majority of Arcanotech Cabal spellcasters practice technomancy, as described in the technomancy arcane tradition in chapter 1. Technomancers are the most common caster type in the Arcanotech Cabal. They use custom-crafted arcanotech devices to cast their spells and are almost always encountered alongside small constructs of their own creation. 



Beam Thrower, an arcanotech device

A technomancer who has mastered technomancy is known as an arcanotech magus, a title for which the true meaning has long since been lost but remains an honor.  Most arcanotech magi are reclusive, but some use their knowledge and influence to gather a large following of apprentices. 

At the GM’s discretion, NPC technomancers and arcanotech magi may use the class features of the Technomancy arcane tradition.

Arcanotech magi and technomancers have their own sets of prepared spells which you can use instead of the default spells. Spells marked with * can be found in the spells section of chapter 1.


Technomancer Spells

1st – grease, magic missile, repair object*, shield

2nd – arcanotech communion*, levitate, shatter

3rd – assemble scrap golem*, dispel magic, blink

4th – phasic beam*, resilient sphere

5th – wall of force


Arcanotech Magus Spells

At will – magic missile, mirror image

1st – color spray, fog cloud, grease, repair object*, shield

2nd – invisibility, quick fix*, scorching ray

3rd – assemble scrap golem*, dispel magic, fly

4th – fabricate, machine spirit*, phasic beam*

5th – animate objects, creation, wall of force

6th – chain lightning

7th – project image

8th – control weather

9th – prismatic wall

Arcanotech Cabal Random Encounters

Use the Arcanotech Cabal Encounters table to generate random encounters with the Arcanotech Cabal. Roll 2d6 once, and read the entries straight across to generate the creatures encountered and activity they’re engaged in, or roll for each column for more variety.


Arcanotech Cabal Encounters


WebDM Faction Resources

Jim Talks about the Arcanotech Cabal in the WebDM episode on Creating and Running Factions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-f1qxCuv4A

Download the Web DM's Annotated Index for Running Factions in 5e D&D for free on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/58823471


Next-Steps

The next Kickstarter update will be July 6th or earlier.

Schedule Correction. We’re still moving toward a community PDF delivery in August; and the final PDF delivery is scheduled for October with physical deliveries starting in March of ’23.


As Always,

We appreciate your patience and continued support!


- Web DM and 2CGaming


May Update - The Sandstorm Abates
5 months ago – Mon, May 09, 2022 at 02:01:43 AM

With the air clear we can see Words and Art are pouring in!

We had to weather some storms (aka delays) at the beginning of the year, but things are clearing up, so thank you for your patience. Below we have a couple of new images to share and some content drafts we think will hold you over like a cool drink of water after traveling the wastes.


Alt Cover Art – Complete! And just…wow!

Here’s the final on the Alt Cover art and mockup of the Alt-Deluxe Cover for your pleasure.

Art by Wayne Reynolds

Reminder that if you want to upgrade or adjust your pledge to include the Deluxe-Alt cover, please let us know in the form here: https://forms.gle/MNL7eAauQ5SCjzpZ9

Deluxe Print - Alternate Cover (Mockup)

Sneak Attack!

Beware the dunes hold dangers that can surprise even a seasoned adventuring party and can swallow them whole if they’re caught unprepared!

Wilderness Survival by Ambrose Hoilman

Adventure Hooks from the Quest Deck sneak peek

The quest deck is an add-on or part of the collectors box, here’s a sample of the quests. You can still add it via Backerkit if these pique your sense of adventure. (Note that these are unedited).


Infernal Envoys

Faction: Infernal Recruiters

Hook: The devil commanders of the Recruiters want to formalize diplomatic relations with the court of the Eternal Sovereign. They require locals familiar with the territory to guide an infernal envoy and her entourage through the wastes to Enduring Aristocracy territory.

Key NPCs: Erinyes envoy, horned devil bodyguard, Eternal Sovereign's herald

Encounters: Negotiating with the Recruiters, navigating arcane wastes to Enduring Aristocracy territory

Complications: The Eternal Sovereign's herald demands the envoy slay her mortal escorts.


Sovereign Absolution

Faction: Enduring Aristocracy

Hook: A mummified priest yearns for absolution in oblivion and seeks out someone capable of breaking the necromantic oaths to the Eternal Sovereign that prevent its permanent destruction.

Key NPCs: Repentant mummy

Encounters: Communicating with the priest, investigating the magic oaths, breaking the binding spells, destroying the mummy priest, evading the Eternal Sovereign's retaliation

Complications: The Eternal Sovereign turns his attention to the party and waits for them to drop their guard before striking back.


Next-Steps

The next Kickstarter update will be Saturday, June 4th or earlier.


Schedule Adjustment. We’re now moving toward a community PDF delivery in August; in addition the final PDF delivery is now scheduled for August. Apologies for the delays and thank you all for your patience.


As Always,

We appreciate your patience and continued support!

- Web DM and 2CGaming