Heretical Progress – Clerical Domains and other stuff

I’ve been doing a lot of writing this past week.

The Heretical RPG is up to just over 155,000 words. That doesn’t include monsters (that’s 60,000 words and will be ruthlessly hacked) or my setting (that’s only 2,000 words and needs to get ruthlessly expanded).

What have I done?

I finished the backgrounds. I’ve got 18-20 fairly generic backgrounds where I looked at lots of online backgrounds and then consolidated them into a smaller number of themes. So, for example, gladiator,  thug, brute, bouncer . . . all of those fit under “Ruffian,” which isn’t a great nice word, but applies to anyone that uses violence on a fairly 1-1 basis, while the “Combatant” background is for soldiers and other disciplined bodies of troops, with a focus on camp chores, higher likelihood of knowing Animal Handling (for cavalry) etc.

I also tied up the shield rules. That doesn’t sound like much, but if you recall that one of the two or three things that kicked off the entire Heretical project was +James Spahn griping out how lame shields were, tying those up is a good thing.

I also worked to look at how grappling by animals was handled in the draft, and +Luke Campbell did yeoman’s work (oh, that’s a background too) in looking at animals in 5e, and I more or less decided that the simplification we wanted to make will be both easy and awesome. So booyah there.

I worked out a stat-block for monsters. That doesn’t sound like much, but it shows how you can get everything you need to run combat on a 3×5 card, and also how to take the Roll20 character sheet (and presumably the Fantasy Grounds one as well) and modify it to natively accept some of the new information. That will likely be part of a stretch goal, somewhere.

I also secured two domains for myself. The first is, which will be the new website for this blog when I get finished setting it up. Migrating a blog is non-trivial, and I’d like to take advantage of some of the WordPress features. I don’t really have anything against blogger, but being able to have all that stuff done in one package (blog, website, potential eCommerce site, maybe a Heretical RPG Forum once it goes on the market) with central management is worth it. I’m looking at modifying the Myth template, as a nice three-column format that looks like what I have now, but I’m open to suggestions for something that’s more attractive than what I have but still hits all the information I want. I also probably want to update my fonts, header image, and maybe update my logo in style if not in content. I like the target-and-dice.

Finally, I wrote the heck out of some character classes. I got a second Barbarian subclass done, a new Bard college, and the big one . . . 7,500 words of Cleric. That’s 10 themed domains that are good with my setting, and that means a lot of worldbuilding got folded up inside that writing.

Druid is already done, Fighter and Monk both need their new subclass, as does Paladin, but the cool thing there is I could probably look at different paladins for different domains and gods pretty easily, and that would be quite fun. Ranger is done thanks to help from +George Sutherland Howard, and Rogue is mostly done with a very fun subclass that I like a lot. The spellcasters need a bit of work.

But once the classes are done, it’s lots of worldbuilding, which is nice because I don’t have to hew so rigorously to a fairly well-defined mechanical system. In short, I won’t be writing rules, and that means a lot more writing in a lot less time.

After that, I’ve got a few more imports to do, and then hopefully we’re really into layout. Oh, which is great, because +Rob Muadib is making fantastic progress there. We’d started with something that was very, very similar to a traditional 5e layout. But as the project grew, it began to be very, very clear that we should do our own thing, and it’s really looking promising.

That’s where I am. Now I need a glass of wine.

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