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Balasar's Guide to Exploration
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Balasar's Guide to Exploration

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We hit 10,000 downloads and reached Electrum metal status! To celebrate, I commissioned artwork for a special edition cover!


Probably one of the best homebrewed books out there, especially for the massive amount of content here. I usually am very restrictive about homebrew with my players but I'll be allowing anything from Balasar's.

T.W.

Of all the D&D 5th edition products I have seen (including those published by WoTC), this is by far my favorite. It is presented in a similar style as Xanather's Guide, and excels in every aspect. It is professionally written and aesthetically pleasing. It includes truly unique subclasses, an excellent version of the Artificer class, interesting backgrounds, additional spells, and other tools useful for DMs. Whenever I am looking for something to add my campaign, for character options for my players, or for inspiration, I start by delving into Balasar's Guide to Exploration.

T.D

Let me start that this book is big. Like, massively huge, especially for free. The writers or team of writers must have been extremely busy the entire time. To have a dedicated source of people that could release it for little to nothing is surprising and gives me hope for the community.

Overall, if you are a dungeon master that has seen it all, this book adds a fresh new take on Dungeons and Dragons. If you are a new or old player, this can mix things up and bring back a new feeling of excitement, as it has done for me. This book is great for everyone and especially helps pass the time between new releases by Wizards of the Coast.

J.S.


You have found the journal of Balasar Turnuroth, a famous explorer! Inside this 127 page document contains all his notes to everything he has found so far! What might that be? Well, to list off a few things, 15 new playable races, 23 brand new archetypes, 4 new classes (one of which is the artificer), 60+ spells, new magical items, and much more!

Balasar's Guide to Exploration is a massive collaboration and collection of a few local Dungeon Masters which expands the options for players and dungeon masters.
This sourcebook acts as the journal of a famous explorer and adventurer, Balasar Turnuroth, who had lost it somewhere in Faerun and ended up in your hands. Presented as though it was written from his point of view, the documents are over 100 pages worth of content that he has observed throughout his years. It brings you new player options, including subclasses for every class, backgrounds, magic items, DM variant rules, and many spells!
Inside, you will find:
  • 15 New Races
  • 23 New Subclasses
  • 21 new warlock invocations
  • 10 new metamagic choices
  • 4 New Classes
  • 14 New Backgrounds
  • 17 new feats
  • Many new items for adventuring
  • A guide to making different traps
  • 17 premade magical traps
  • 19 new variant rules
  • Details of the dark ritual for lichdom
  • 50 New Magic Items that are uncommon to legendary in rarity
  • Over 70 new spells

Updates in this edition:

- Removed all of Chapter 1 (Half Breed Races). There were many people who found that it took away from the book, and wasn't needed.

- I added "speech dialogue" to the Artificer, Death Knight, Magus, and Oracle classes.

- I also added additional construct modifications to the Artificer.

- There are 4 feats removed (combat using Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) as they were not up to our standard, and showed laziness. Instead, four different feats have been added (Counter Strike, Elementalist, Fearless Hero, and Power Nap).

- Altered Stronghold Plate armor. AC decreased from 22 to 20. Cannot take Dash action while wearing armor. Donning/doffing takes 20 minutes. No longer has a shield that can be attached or removed. Armor is too bulky to use a shield in one hand.

- Added boomerang description to special weapons

- Fixed the order of spell components (verbal, somatic, material)

- New footer design

- Altered the Diobolist Pact Leader feature. Can either be in your favored terrain, or tracking your favored enemy.

- Grammatical error fixes

First is Mindartis' Cards of Esoteric Knowledge, which is a deck of cards in Microsoft Publisher format for all magic items, spell cards, martial maneuvers, and more. They will list the source book, page, rarity/school of magic, and more. Mindartis is one of the characters I had played, an old human illusionist wizard that has gone crazy. His dungeon will be released after these releases, for character levels 11 - 14.

The other release will be Aoth's Grimoire of Aberrations, a monster manual of all the creatures I have made. This will include a massive compilation of all sorts of monsters, will new features that have never been seen before. Aoth Rein is another character I had used during the Horde of the Dragon Queen/Rise of Tiamat campaign, a dragon hunter ranger that finds portals (horizon walker) and attempts to close them, as he knows what lies on the other side.

Again, thank you all with this! Dakota

 
 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (10)
Discussions (25)
Customer avatar
Raymond H August 01, 2020 9:32 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey. The Unholy Archetype feature that upgrades your undead minion for the Death Knight class has some very strange wording. It mentions raising the minion inside the radius of your aura of fear, but aura of fear lasts for 1 minute, and raising the minion takes ten minute and already has the wording “performing a ritual over the corpse”.... so how are you supposed to use aura of fear while raising a corpse, and also why does it matter? You have to be over the corpse while raising it in the first place.
Customer avatar
Dakota N August 03, 2020 7:26 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yeah, that was a mistake on my part. When I had people review it early on, they saw that the Aura of Fear was originally always on. They said instead that it should turn on and off with a minute duration. Because of that, I forgot to change the language of Archfiend's Wish (the feature you mention). I would just ignore the requirement of the aura for that
Customer avatar
Sam T May 27, 2020 5:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for this, really good.

Regarding the section on attaining Lichdom: There are several details that directly contradict Lich lore as described in the Monster Manual. Is this intentional? Either way it's great, but I just prefer homebrew content that doesn't contradict source books, and instead fills in the blanks where the books don't go. That's why this section is so good. But there are a couple of contradictions I wanted to ask about..

1. You describe liches as possibly not having a phylactery at all. According to the MM, the lich would die.
2. You say that if the lich stops feeding its phylactery, the phylactery will consume the lich's soul and destroy itself. According to the MM the lich will become a demilich and the phylactery will remain intact.
3. Also you give the phylactery rather weak stats, whereas the MM says that destroying a phylactery would require a special weapon/artifact etc.

I also found a number of grammar corrections, would you like...See more
Customer avatar
Dakota N May 27, 2020 12:25 pm UTC
CREATOR
As far as the lich stuff goes, I took from previous editions and tried to fill in blanks. Of course, there is not a true guide on becoming a lich from what I am aware of, but different books have alluded to the process. If I remember correctly, a lich can exist without a phylactery (say, a party of adventurers find and destroy it), but the lich much immediately craft another. Again, I was going by information of previous editions instead of the 5e MM during this time, using various sources, but I am sure the content has been has changed due to 5e (post Spellplague).

I also personally gave weak stats for the phylactery as it is a PC version. I wanted to give a baseline easy thing that I could throw to the person wanting to become a lich, giving full details and be up front about the downsides. Its much harder to take away a powerful thing from a player, rather than give something weaker and then improving it/changing it.

Don't worry about giving grammar corrections, as I have officially...See more
Customer avatar
Ben P May 12, 2020 6:41 am UTC
PURCHASER
Does anyone know where I could find XML files for the classes in this book, especially the Death Knight?
Customer avatar
Maxwell C February 15, 2020 1:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
How is Aoth's Grimoire of Aberrations coming? I'm looking forward to it.
Customer avatar
Dakota N February 17, 2020 9:45 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hello, if you are interested in the progress of Aoth's Grimoire, you can see previews on reddit, under the r/UnearthedArcana subreddit! Thank you for the continued support!
Customer avatar
Kyle D October 23, 2019 4:03 am UTC
PURCHASER
Fantastic backgrounds! However, I noticed an error. The Scavenger background under the "suggested characteristics" lists the "apprentice" options instead of scavenger options.
Customer avatar
Daniel R October 06, 2019 1:26 am UTC
PURCHASER
Regarding the Combat Reflexes feat, is that extra "attack" purely an attack of opportunity, or can you legitimately make one additional melee / ranged attack in a round?
Customer avatar
Dakota N October 07, 2019 1:18 pm UTC
CREATOR
That is purely an attack of opportunity. I worded that badly
Customer avatar
Daniel R November 07, 2019 2:22 am UTC
PURCHASER
Furthermore, if you took both Combat Reflexes and Counter Strike, would you be capable of taking two returning strikes (Attacks of Opportunity), assuming you were attacked twice that is. I would ask to clarify whether multiattacks made against the character would trigger this response as well, given that they are multiple attacks made as a single action.
Customer avatar
Taryn C September 20, 2019 12:26 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi ther! Absolutely love the book and am very interested in playing an Oracle. I just can't seem to find a section on their spells known. How many spells do they learn per level and can they add spells from scrolls like a wizard? Thanks!
Customer avatar
Dakota N September 25, 2019 1:02 am UTC
CREATOR
You can find out how many spells and Oracle can prepare per day on page 72, under the Preparing and Casting Spells area.

"You prepare the list of wizard spells that are available for you to cast. To do so, choose a number of wizard spells that you know equal to your Intelligence modifier + your oracle level (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

For example, if you're a 3rd-level oracle, you have four 1st-level and two 2nd-level spell slots. With an Intelligence of 16, your list of prepared spells can include six spells of 1st or 2nd level, in any combination. If you prepare the 1st-level spell magic missile, you can cast it using a 1st-level or a 2nd-level slot. Casting the spell doesn’t remove it from your list of prepared spells."

As you can see, an oracle prepares their spells the same way a cleric or druid would. Additionally, they can use spell scrolls of wizard spells.

Thank you!
Customer avatar
Brandon R August 09, 2019 8:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Great Book, The Arcane Armor Feat is insanely strong and I recommend DMs consider adjusting it before making it available in their games.
Customer avatar
Kai V May 02, 2019 2:55 am UTC
PURCHASER
I genuinely love this book! Although, some of the Magus stuff simply lacks detail. Soul Collection and Projected Harm don't have any range (and Power Swell seems a tad useless unless I'm missing something major. An extra 2d6 for a fireball at 4th or 5th level doesn't really seem like a 1/long rest thing). Genuine Illusion could use some extra text as well to expand on its capabilities.
Customer avatar
Samuel G April 30, 2019 3:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
Cool homebrew stuff. Especially the half race part. Enjoying what I've read through so far but there are a lot of typos.
Customer avatar
Ana M March 24, 2019 4:42 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I had a question about the 'Chorus' spell which is listed as an Enchantment cantrip in the Spell Descriptions. The spell doesn't isn't listed in the section that shows the spells by class (i.e. Arcane / Divine / Nature). Wasn't sure if there was a reason for it..or it was missed and thus not included? Thanks so much!
Customer avatar
Dakota N April 17, 2019 6:47 pm UTC
CREATOR
It was a brand new spell, and is intended for the arcane list. Sorry about that!
Customer avatar
Ana M August 10, 2019 10:42 pm UTC
PURCHASER
No worries! We were torn on whether it was Divine or Arcane (since I agree with my DM, this spell felt like the perfect spell for a bard XD) Thanks for taking the time to respond. I like to read over spells and knowing the description/details help me understand the intricate web that is spellcasting for storytelling purposes, so the response is very much appreciated!
Customer avatar
Narciso A March 15, 2019 8:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hello, one of the spells don’t have an accurate duration. Spite hava an instantaneos duration and is cast as a bonus action and the description refers the duration as if it lasted for more than an instant. There is even text that describes the early ending of the spell should the creature drop to 0 hit points. Am I right to presume the duration of the spell is one minute?
Customer avatar
Dakota N April 17, 2019 6:46 pm UTC
CREATOR
You are correct, the duration should last only a minute. I forgot to change that part. Thank you for pointing it out!
Customer avatar
Nathan W November 03, 2018 3:35 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Has this been updated recently or something? I just downloaded, and it's basically unreadable. Tons of missing text, oversized fonts, wonky tables. Not sure if this is an artifact of Homebrewery rendering incorrectly or what. I'd love to take a good look at this before I give it a review - everybody else's reviews make it look promising.
Customer avatar
Dakota N November 05, 2018 5:20 pm UTC
CREATOR
Can you provide a screen shot of this? I hate to be a bother and ask for that. I recently went through and edited the raw PDF from the Homebrewery in Adobe Acrobat DC. As far as I can tell on both Windows 10 and iPad (iOS 12). Sorry about that!
Customer avatar
Nathan W November 05, 2018 6:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Sure - what's the best way for me to get it/them to you? I don't see a way to upload images here, unless I'm missing something.
Customer avatar
Dakota N November 06, 2018 4:18 pm UTC
CREATOR
Feel free to contact me through my email, nichols.dakota@gmail.com
Customer avatar
Nathan W December 13, 2018 2:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Any update on this? I just re-downloaded it to see if anything changed, and I still have the same problem.
Customer avatar
Christopher B November 02, 2018 10:44 am UTC
PURCHASER
Was there a text revision? The new file just seems to omit the cover.
Customer avatar
Dakota N November 02, 2018 1:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yes, there was a text revision, fixing more grammatical, mechanical, and visual errors. I also changed some artwork placement (including footers), all so I could print a hardcover print. Would you prefer a copy with the covers on it by any chance?
Customer avatar
Christopher B November 04, 2018 10:15 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Dakota, Thank you. The cover is nice. Though, my question truly was just to clarify if there had been any text revisions. It was not easy to tell if there had been substantive changes and the update notification did not contain a change log. I really enjoy the product, and I appreciate your efforts.
Customer avatar
Dakota N November 05, 2018 5:21 pm UTC
CREATOR
There is no substantial text changed or revisions. It was merely placement of text so that nothing was cut off. I appreciate your feedback!
Customer avatar
Jacob F June 24, 2018 11:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Half of the Shift Reality Feature, as well as the entirety of the Rip the Fabric feature, of the Way of the Third Eye archetype are off the page. You can see a portion of the text in the upper right hand corner of the page (32).
Customer avatar
Dakota N June 26, 2018 2:58 pm UTC
CREATOR
PDF has been fixed, along with the issues with the class tables
Customer avatar
Michael F May 25, 2018 5:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question regarding Oracle's Empty the Catacombs. The last paragraph "The creature must take damage from either non-magical bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage, or either necrotic or poison damage." Is this to say if you spent the Augur Point and the creature returns to 1 hp, the creature is immune to all damage except NON-magical bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, or necrotic or poison?

Thanks.
Customer avatar
Dakota N June 01, 2018 2:03 pm UTC
CREATOR
If a creature would fall to 0 hit points because of one of those damage types, you can spend 1 point and your reaction to drop the, to 0 instead. I will reword this feature so that it makes more sense. Thank you for your question, and be on the lookout for an updated version of this book in about a week! It will feature artwork and many more tables, along with better organization!
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on February 03, 2018.