Is there a class or set of feats that focuses on shooting with the ballista?

I’ve tried to do a little research, as my players will soon fight pirates, whose warship is armed with ballistas (gunpowder hasn’t been invented yet). Unfortunately, I was unable to find any class that would exactly fit the role of a ballista operator.

Is there a class that gets bonuses for attack, damage or some other useful features for ballistae? The pirates should be around 12th–14th level.

I use ballista rules from Heroes of The Battle, both heavy and light.

If there are some useful feats for that, please do not hestitate to mention it. As far as I have found I have:

  • ballista proficiency
  • crossbow sniper
  • plunging shot
  • ranged weapon mastery

Materials from 3.0, 3.5, Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Adventures are allowed.

Just to clarify, as the gamemaster, I do define ballista as an oversized variation of crossbow, thus most of feats, classes or features that affect crossbows will affect ballistae as well.

Are there any creatures that are immune to critical hits?

My thinking behind this is to do with the property of Adamantine Armour which states that "While you’re wearing it, any critical hit against you becomes a normal hit" (DMG, p.150).

I wondered if there are any creatures in the officially published materials that have this feature "naturally"? – possibly as a result of their skin/scales being so hard or because of another innate feature.

I am looking for answers with reference to creatures from 5e or previous editions.

Are there positionning rules when using battles maps on Dragon Age RPG?

We have been running a Dragon Age RPG using battle maps (online) as it is more convenient for playing remotely. The core rulebook gives hints about how such a game could run in the section Using Battle Maps in page 52 :

Using miniatures and battle maps in Dragon Age is easy. Two yards in the rules translates into 1 square or hex on the map. Round down if needed. So a character with Speed 9 would move 4 squares or hexes on a battle map with a move action. A short bow with a range of 32 yards can shoot up to 16 squares or hexes on a battle map.

And that is it with the matter of using maps, unless I missed some other rules. But based on the answers on that other RPG.se post, I think there is not : How is the Dragon Age RPG combat supposed to be played?

In our usual experience of battlemap systems like D&D or Pathfinder, that use 5ft squares, you can find clear rules about :

  • Movements : and specifically diagonal movements (odd diagonal = 1 movement, even diagonals = 2)
  • Stacking up : tokens would not usually stack on the map, unless they have a size Tiny or less
  • Zones of threat : ennemies have zones of threat, for example 1 or 2 squares arround them, they control that zone and player are subject to opportunity attacks when moving in that zone
  • Moving through occupied squares : it is impossible to move past an occupied square unless the occupant is willing to let you do so and that you do not finish your movement on that hsquare

Dragon Age RPG does not provide for zones of opportunity attacks and threat zones, with the exception of the minor action press the attack which reacts to the movement of your adjacent foe by a movement of your avatar.

In those conditions there is nothing that would stop or threaten the player to go past one or multiple ennemies unharmed, and that seems a little too permissive. That means under certain circonstances that the player may even move through an occupied tile.

For the time being we agreed with the players on the following rules :

  • there are no zones of threat, so the player can leave or go past a tile adjacent to the foe, but cannot move past them (it may allow an ennemy blockade)
  • As tile are slightly bigger than D&D tiles (2yards vs 5ft) we have allowed allies to stack upon certain conditions, like taking cover for example

But as the longer we will use those rule the harder it will be hard to fix them, my question is :

Do you know some rule that I am yet unaware of ?

Otherwise in your experience, did you have to deal with the same situation ? Did you manage to keep the game balanced and without ruining the gameplay opportunities brought by the stunts system ?

Are there any instances of any rules for Tabaxi that say they only need 4 hours of rest?

One of my players has just started playing a tabaxi, she is sure she read rules that as a racial trait she only needs 4 hours for a long rest. However neither of us can find rules stating this. She is happy not doing it but I just wanted to confirm have these long rest rules ever stood for tabaxi?

I have referred to DnD beyond and have the official rules for tabaxi in physical form and confirmed for 5e it is 8 hours.

What I am asking is if there is a source she may have read, either from an older version of DnD, or pathfinder or an unofficial rule or UA that was not progeressed at all. She accepts it is possible she either mis read or just imagined reading it somewhere.

Is there an “Over-flowing Cup” in D&D?

I am running a game in which there is a player character that is basically a functioning alcoholic. I have made a special rule that requires them to be above a certain level of inebriated to function normally, and if they fall below that level, they get withdrawals, hangovers, etc; which affects their ability to function normally.

For the most part, this is working well. It makes for interesting gameplay, however there has been a few situations where the player has left the party to go “refill”, by simply hanging out in the bar for a few hours, while the rest of the party continue whatever they are doing. This has led to the player missing out on a few interesting situations.

This is where I came up with an idea – give the player a flask (or something similar) that can be filled with a liquid of their choice, that either

  1. Holds a large amount of fluid (enough to last a long time)
  2. Never empties

This way the player has to go for fewer “pit-stops” to refill their tankard.

Is there any items like this in D&D? And if so, how rare are they?

(For the record, I am using the 5e system, but if this item exists within other editions I’m open to it).

Is there a way to increase the Battlefield Presence “aura” size of the paladin archetype Holy Tactician?

I was wondering if there was a core pathfinder method to increase the size of the "aura" that the Holy Tactician 3rd level ability grants. I am not looking for a combat application, but a out of combat one as the only teamwork feats I plan on sharing are stealth and favored terrain based. Best option is a reasonably priced magic item (10k), but while feats are tight I could spend ONE for this. I might even consider a level dip into something.

Can there be portals in the Astral Plane that lead to the Elemental Planes?

In the spell description of Astral Projection (PHB pg 215) it indicates the following :

Your astral form can freely travel through the Astral Plane and can pass through portals there to any other plane.

However, in the Astral Color Pools table (DMG pg 47) there are no color pools leading to the the Elemental Planes (or the Shadowfell or Feywild). The description of "color pools" refers to them as "gateways".

Finally, in the description of relevant planar travel spells (DMG pg 46) it indicates the following :

And the astral projection spell lets adventurers project themselves into the Astral Plane and from there travel to the Outer Planes.

Accordingly, can there be portals in the Astral Plane that lead to the Elemental Planes?

Is there a spell, ability or magic item that will let a PC identify who wrote a letter?

In my campaign my players are working for a secretive organisation, and gets their orders through a magical scroll that lets them send messages back and forth. There are two copies of the scroll, and a copy will display whatever is written in the other.

They now suspect that someone is impersonating their contact, and want to try to locate either the other copy of the scroll, or somehow identify the person writing in the scroll.

Is there a spell, ability, or magic item that will let a PC do this?

So far I’ve identified Legend Lore, which could probably get them some information on the organisation they’re working for, and Scrying, which (depending on how you rule) could let them target the sender. There is also the Retriever, even if it feels a little extreme.

(I could just homebrew something, but it is interesting for me to know if such a thing already exists)