What exactly is homebrew? I have deliberately left the field wide open for this. In my many years of gaming, I have come across many different games...I daresay not a single one has had any resemblance to the next, even when running the same adventures!
THIS is what makes our game so unique. As such, I want to hear about what you do differently from the "established" canon or fluff. Tell me about your gameworld. Tell me about your unique BBEG. Tell me about your characters, classes, or even spells. Doesn't matter. I just want to hear about what you do that makes the game yours. I challenge all participants to bring your weirdest, craziest, most "only in your world" stuff they got.
To start, I want to share a story (and some fluff) about the first game I ever played in. It was an existing homebrew world called Paetheon. It was the most ludicrously high magic game I have ever seen, then or since. In fact, I will specifically tell you about the high magic part.
In Paetheon, the gods are intimately involved in many aspects of day to day life. As such, their "closeness" gives their worshipers special "power words" that can be used by ANY class that chooses to tithe 10% of their earned xp to them. Here is an example of a typical worshipper of Abyssia, goddess of murder and betrayal (think Cyric meets Takhisis minus the dragons)
Power words: NOTE - These powers are all available at first level! They gain power as you you.
- Damn - Essentially a doom spell before it existed. -1 to all rolls per level of the user.
- Wither - As the withering effect from the staff of withering - doing CON damage.
- Rot - Instantly destroys all non-sentient organic matter in a 10'/level radius. Damages sentients based on relative level/hit dice. Survivors are diseased.
- Die - renders unconscious or kills ALL creatures (friend or foe) within a 10'/level radius.
- Pact - The source of power for most evil characters. Summons an infernal being that witnesses a blood pact between the summoner and another willing participant. Excellent role-playing element!
- Raise - Raises undead in the local area, level dependent as to type and number.
- Smite - self explanatory
These are most of them, and they were shared by a couple of other gods in that part of the pantheon (Death, Disease, etc.). The oddballs were the dragon gods that allowed ascension to dragon form, and the opposed olidmarra clones (light and dark side of thievery) that had a bazillion powers related to daggers in specific. Note that these powers ALL scale with level. I remember the GM saying several times that a deathmaster of Hageth (god of death) could climb atop a mountain and whisper die - killing every living thing as far as the eye could see! Needless to say, my "red folder" has about 15 or so PC's that died quick deaths in that world.
So here we have an example of a most definitely NOT typical fantasy gameworld. Wood elves were close to 9 feet tall, and fired bows as big as they were (for x4 dmg at close range!). It was an incredible experience, and I feel richer for being involved in it. Sadly, I haven't seen or heard from those folks in over a decade, but the memories remain.
How about the rest of you? Have a completely (or not so completely) homebrew schtick that you'd like to share? bring it on....no, wait wait wait...This ain't sparta!
THIS IS HOMEBREW!