There are several pieces of content on this blog that I haven’t been satisfied with, so I decided to update the more troubling offenders. Sub-optimal design happens if I rush posts or don’t think things through. I also got a new source of inspiration in the form of the most recent D&D supplement, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. When remaking pages, I will save the originals and leave them publicly available, in case someone wants to use the older content. To that end, I’ve published the Archive page, which can be accessed here. I will also comment on what I did wrong and why I am making specific changes.
Here is the list of pages that needed editing:
- Armory: Materials and Styles
- Armory: Soul gems and soul-trapping spells
- Armory: Umbra and Skeleton Key Daedric artifacts
- Character Options: Giving each race a separate page
- Worldbuilding: Fighters Guild
- Bestiary: Fey
There have also been some minor editing changes around the blog, too. For instance, I decided to change the font for something larger.
1. Armory: Materials and Styles
The current design is way too cumbersome. The reason behind this is that I wanted each item to have an approximate value/price and requirements for crafting. What I should have focused on was simplicity. Thus, I broke two of my own rules: If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it and Minimalistic approach.
The new design uses already existing mechanics to accommodate new content: I’m turning most of these materials and styles into magic items, and crafting them follows the rules for crafting magic items as laid out in Xanathar’s Guide. Bonemold and chitin armors will remain the same. Adamantium, elven, and mithral will revert to their Dungeon Master’s Guide variants (which will be re-posted here), and dwemer, orcish, and ebony will get their magic item pages. I will also include the coveted daedric armor, which will function similarly to Demon Armor.
2. Armory: Soul gems and soul-trapping spells
Something about soul gems has been bugging me ever since I posted rules for them. After reading the soul cage spell in Xanathar’s Guide, I started thinking and decided to greatly simplify the whole soul-trapping system. Here again I broke two rules: D&D mechanics, Elder Scrolls setting and Minimalistic approach.
The biggest problem about soul gems is my reliance on the Elder Scrolls games for their effects. I included different levels of soul gems only because they were present in the games, without realizing how unnecessary this is. The new system is much simpler, with only one level of soul gems and effects similar to those of the soul cage spell. The soul cage spell also prompted me to update the soul trap spell and ditch Fphyggi’s gem feeder.
3. Armory: Umbra and Skeleton Key Daedric Artifacts
Due to the changes in the soul-trapping system, Umbra’s effects had to be changed. Now the sinister blade casts the hex spell on hit, instead of soul trap. This in turn affects Umbra’s champion, whose stat block has been updated. Here I didn’t break any of my own rules, this case is just a symptom of a complex system: changing one part inevitably has an effect on others.
The Skeleton Key’s properties are explained in an overly convoluted way, thus going against my Minimalistic approach rule. The new version is more elegant, having simpler properties and less text.
4. Character Options: Giving each race a separate page
It came to my attention that it is tiresome to scroll down the Playable races page to search for the race you currently need. This small update will add a separate page for each race (with a brief description, name suggestions, statistics, and racial feats) and a list of playable races on the Character Options page. I will also put up name suggestions for extinct and exotic playable races. Again, no rules broken here, but this part of my blog needed better editing.
If you need fantasy names, consider using this generator. It can randomly produce names for many settings, including the Elder Scrolls. Lists of all NPC names from the Elder Scrolls games can be found here. I used these pages when jotting down sample names for each race.
5. Worldbuilding: Fighters Guild
This is a bad one. The ranking system is a mess. It is not suitable for most campaigns and I have changed it to a more linear, renown-based progression. Services the Guild provides, especially training, are all over the place. Luckily, Xanathar’s Guide lists training as a downtime activity, so I used this as my inspiration. Even with these improvements, this version of the Guild is not perfect for every campaign, and I do not expect most people to use the content as-is. Rather, it should be treated as an outline to be adapted to suit a campaign’s needs. The rule I broke here was Minimalistic approach, as I went into too much detail. This discouraged me from creating pages for other factions.
6. Bestiary: Fey
Certain pages featured two monster stat blocks. This made it unwieldy for mobile users, so I decided to limit bestiary pages to only one stat block. I want DMs to be able to use this site as an aid while running sessions, and my previous choice was going against that.
Commentary. This rehaul has been quite extensive. I don’t think I’ll be doing similar projects in the future; it’s much easier to just edit existing pages than archiving them, creating new ones, rerouting a bunch of hyperlinks, and hoping that I haven’t forgotten something. I just hope everything works and that I didn’t leave any holes such as poorly copied text and broken or misguided links. If you notice anything, please let me know so I can fix it.