The veil of evening attracts near the world. The howling chilly winds blow over the plains, and the specter of deep snows loom over vacation plans. What higher time to utterly retreat into fantasy and ignore the actual world. Let’s check out Arcadia Challenge 23 from MCDM.


I acquired a evaluation copy of this problem, and I’ve additionally acquired different evaluation copies from MCDM. I even have my very own Patreon subscription and would in any other case obtain Arcadia with out the evaluation copies. Whereas I haven’t used any of the fabric on this problem, I’m very accustomed to D&D 5e each as a participant and as a dungeon grasp.

Arcadia Challenge 23

Managing Editor Hannah Rose
Lead Developer James Introcaso
Manufacturing & Playtest Director Lars Bakke
Editors Scott Fitzgerald Grey, Sadie Lowry
Authors Mario Ortegón, James Mendez Hodes, Amber Litke, Sadie Lowry
Sensitivity Consultants Stefan Huddleston, Amalia Rubin
Structure Jen McCleary
Title Brand Tom Schmuck
Accessibility Chris Hopper
Neighborhood Coordinator John Champion
Buyer Help Bobby McBride
Cowl Artwork Patrick Hell
Inside Illustrators “Gemstone Arcana”: Elisa Serio, “Faith Development Equipment”: Olajide Ajayi,
Wirawan Pranoto (Conceptopolis), “Divine Trials: Heroes of the Stars”: Zuzanna Wuzyk
Cartography Miska Fredman

CoverArcadian Reaches

This month’s problem of Arcadia is 41 pages, together with a credit web page, a desk of contents, a sources web page, a web page of creator bios, and a full-page OGL assertion. At this level, there isn’t a lot I can inform you about what this seems to be like that can do the journal justice. It’s one of the crucial professionally laid out 5e product you’ll discover, and it’s acquired persistently wonderful art work, and this month isn’t any exception.

Between the Cowl

This month’s articles embrace the next:

  • Gemstone Arcana (Spells, Feats, Magic Gadgets)
  • Faith Development Equipment (Organizations, Worldbuilding)
  • Divine Trials: Heroes of the Stars (Adventures)

Should you haven’t seen the earlier installments, that is the third Divine Trial revealed in Arcadia, with the earlier adventures detailing the Trial of the Solar and the Trial of the Moon.

Gemstone Arcana

This text is all about increasing the lore surrounding gems within the World’s Most Obliquely Referred to RPG. As a long-time (outdated) gamer, I keep in mind articles like this in Dragon Journal again within the day, and I really like stuff like this. On this case, the article begins broadly by explaining what traits could be related to completely different gems, after which it provides extra particular guidelines that play on these associations.

The primary expression of this includes a set of feats that revolve round creating the connection between gems and spellcasting, permitting characters to make use of gems to energy sooner cantrip casting and use cheaper materials parts, or the flexibility to attune particular expertise and the flexibility to help with the execution of these expertise to gems.

The subsequent part features a sequence of latest spells related to gems:

  • Astonishing Presence (Cantrip)
  • Air Stroll (1st)
  • Rucio’s Resolute Poise (2nd)
  • Soulstone (2nd)
  • Amethyst Tomb (third)
  • Brinn’s Exalted Crusier (4th)
  • Moonlit Transformation  (4th)
  • Marine Benison (fifth)
  • Misiri’s Buried Eye (sixth)
  • Crystaline Barrier (seventh)
  • Surge of Life (eighth)

I admire that we get a reasonably wide selection of spell faculties, together with Enchantment, Transmutation, Phantasm, Necromancy, Conjuration, Abjuration, Transmutation, Divination, and Evocation (the a part of me that has had his head in One D&D desires to notice this one most likely wouldn’t be Evocation underneath One D&D, and that opens an entire can of worms about third occasion spells and spell faculties, however I’m going to power that again down for now).

A few of my favorites embrace an phantasm spell that helps you cover how badly you’ve gotten been injured, and the “redirection” perform of one of many divination spells that channels scrying spells to a stone that you’ve got positioned elsewhere.

Probably my favourite a part of this text is the Immanent Gem, a brand new magic merchandise launched on this article. It features as a spellcasting focus, but in addition has plenty of costs that may be expended to permit the gem to substitute for a cloth part of a selected value. I really like this concept. That is such an awesome utilitarian magic merchandise {that a} PC spellcaster would like to obtain. There are variations that vary from Widespread to Very Uncommon, which modifications the variety of costs and the alternative value for which the gem can be utilized.

Faith Development Equipment

I really like enjoying clerics. I’ve heard different individuals say this earlier than, and imply “I really like interacting with the mechanics of the cleric class.” Once I say this, I imply that I really like the built-in roleplaying that comes with serving as a member of the clergy of a special faith. I really like exploring what my character would do to look at their religion exterior of adventuring, and the way their philosophy impacts their interplay with different PCs and the world.

D&D usually emphasizes gods, alignments, and what domains can be found, reasonably than completely different orders, obligations, and hierarchical buildings. Typically the belief is that each cleric that worships god X might be assumed to behave the identical method and do related issues.

One in every of my favourite line of merchandise of all of the Forgotten Realms merchandise over time has been the Faiths and Avatars, Powers and Pantheons, and Demihuman Deities AD&D 2nd version books, as a result of they hung out in every entry discussing the clergy, completely different orders of religion, and even schisms. 

That was an extended strategy to go to clarify that this text is nice. It gives a worksheet to element features of a faith to expound on the roleplaying features of the entity. The article itself explains what every part of the worksheet means when detailing a faith to your marketing campaign.

One attention-grabbing twist is that whereas it expands on the precise follow and beliefs of a faith, it does so by detailing these parts by way of present recreation mechanics. What I imply by that is that the virtues of the religion are expressed by highlighting what capacity scores the advantage falls underneath, practices are highlighted by what talent is used to look at these practices, and the construction of the faith is constructed by rating what character courses carry out what features inside the hierarchy. The one minor quibble I may need is that the Devotional Apply part most likely may have added device proficiencies to the talents detailed in that part.

This text is nice. When you’ve got a cleric in your recreation, and also you haven’t spent the time to do greater than provide you with an alignment and a portfolio for the cleric’s god, I extremely suggest filling out this worksheet. Actually, you probably have any form of established faith in your setting that’s prone to take prominence in a marketing campaign, I feel it’s price it to spend a while filling considered one of these out that will help you visualize what that faith seems to be like as a social assemble.

Divine Trials: Heroes of the Stars

That is the ultimate journey in a trilogy of adventures that has installments in Arcadia 17 and Arcadia 19. Basically, all of those trials are a sequence of roleplaying, puzzles, and fight that should convey a selected message to these present process the trial. On this case, the Trial of the Stars is concerning the bonds cast between occasion members, utilizing the symbolism of constellations.

Characters are tethered to at least one different occasion member, they usually can expend sure sources or take sure actions to assist each other throughout a trial. Some trials could seem to let one member of the pair succeed with out the opposite, however doing so causes them to fail the trial.

Of the earlier assessments, I favored the Trial of the Moon higher than the Trial of the Solar, primarily as a result of there’s much less likelihood for the occasion to misconceive what’s being examined. I equally just like the Trial of the Stars as a result of it turns into evident what the PCs must do to cross the trial in a short time. I additionally actually just like the visuals of the constellation creatures the PCs meet, the huge chambers with glass partitions and platforms, and the random cosmic phenomenon-based occasions in one of many trials.

There’s a part on increasing the trial, in case the DM desires a little bit extra materials to work with, in addition to a piece about connecting the trials. This consists of what narrative you might be introducing relying on what order the PCs take the trials, in addition to emergent powers if the PCs achieve the magic objects gifted to them on the finish of every of the trials.

Very particularly, having only recently learn via Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, I can image this trial showing to the heroes earlier than the ultimate act of that journey. Constellations are essential to the Dragonlance setting, and it will simply be a matter of reflavoring a few of the creatures into semi-avatars of various gods that could be testing the PCs and forging them right into a simpler group. It matches in nicely with the “Good Redeems its Personal” motto of the gods of fine, and I instantly pictured Astraios as a constellation-based avatar of Kiri-Jolith.

Actually proud of how this trial unfolded. These have gotten higher as the journey sequence has superior.

Closing Ideas

That is most likely considered one of my favourite problems with Arcadia to this point. I really like the theming within the gemstone article, the Faith Development Equipment is correct up my alley for what I need relating to fantasy faith and the way it interacts with the marketing campaign, and the Trial of Stars instantly made me consider the best way to use it in a marketing campaign. This one resonated with me.

Future Needs

What I loved about this problem is that it supplied me with materials that I actually loved, and that I might have had a tough time saying I needed. I really like laying out roleplaying materials in a structured kind that makes it extra accessible, so I might like to see extra world-building accomplished in that method. The Trials are additionally one other instance of an journey that works rather well to be tailored to simply about any setting.

I assume probably the most cogent factor I can say about my future needs after studying this problem is that I might like to see a stability of stuff I do know I wish to see, like monsters and subclasses, with new issues that I wouldn’t have the ability to anticipate, that push into new territory.