This is something we’ve wanted to do for a while: A THOUSAND THOUSAND ISLANDS-specific rules, play-aids, and adventures, designed for various roleplaying-game systems.
All free to download. Thank you, RPG community, for being so welcoming to us.
You hunted demons. Then you fell in love with one.
This is the first in a series of four player-character classes for use with 5E rules. The Demon’s Ex was a true hero: a capable warrior whose vocation in life was slaying demons. Their one mistake was having a heart susceptible to romance.
Download them here:
Zedeck’s Design Notes:
Mun Kao and I initially thought to make archetypal player-character templates: warrior, magician, priest, thief. But we quickly found thinking that way quite difficult.
How could we draw / write a Generic Warrior Person, when everything we’ve made for this project so far has been about specificity?
So we tacked hard in the opposite direction. Not only is the Demon’s Ex a setting-specific take on the common “demon hunter” fantasy trope, it tells a specific story within that trope — what if a demon hunter fell in love with one of their targets, and came away pregnant as a result?
- Simplicity and minimal math — the Demon’s Ex document combines 5E’s “choose a race, choose a class, choose a background” steps. Most of its class powers are “once per day”-type deals, expressed in natural language: “A gold-gilt sexual organ … trickles curative nectar; heals a single creature’s wounds”
- Surprise is the best accelerant for storytelling — everything from starting options to the powers you get at level-up are things you roll for. You can’t pre-plan a character build or arc, but you will grow nonetheless. SEAsian stories were never predictable in Campbellian-monomythic ways.
- The extraordinary is mundane — in ATTI, a hero who sleeps with a demon hasn’t crossed some sort of reality-shattering line. It has happened before; it’ll probably happen again. Creation shrugs.
- The mundane is extraordinary — the Demon’s Ex faces an entirely human drama: a broken heart. Given who their lover was, however, how they choose to get over their breakup has mystic consequences. (Mechanically, this is reflected in the two “sub-classes”.)
- A hero is their community — in ATTI, heroes that stand alone rarely stand for long. The Demon’s Ex lack key survivability skills, like medicine; one of their “sub-classes” revolves entirely on a secondary hench-being. (Mun Kao and I love games with caravans and pets.)
I was a bit worried about writing a pregnant player-character; I’m cis male. This is why the class is gender-neutral, and themed more generally around “dealing with a changing body” — DEMONIC PREGNANCY let me steer away from veracity.
Mun Kao thought it important that we didn’t inadvertently portray a pro-life-ish position, which would be the obvious way to handle a demon baby (“This demon baby, it is sentient, and sends you thoughts from the womb!”). So we focused on the “have you gotten over your bad ex?” aspect of the character instead, with the baby’s presence merely fueling the parent’s pathologies.