• Justin Handlin

Capes & Crooks: Superheroes in your Dungeons & Dragons 5e Game

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Capes & Crooks: Superheroes in your Dungeons & Dragons 5e Game

Do you love superheroes? Do you want to play your favorite classic hero or build a unique hero of your own design? Then Capes & Crooks is for you! We are super excited to spend this episode talking about our upcoming Kickstarter Capes & Crooks: A 5e Superhero RPG. Let's be honest, many of us have watched cartoons, movies or read comic books with superheroes. Growing up on these fed our creativity and inspired us in many different ways. The Dungeons & Dragons 5e ruleset is a fantastic and flexible system. It was only a matter of time before we asked the question, "Can we build superheroes in 5e?" We weren't sure at first, but it quickly became evident that we could.

Now, it's worth noting, that there are some features that don't lend themselves well to a superhero game. Combat mechanics, class mechanics, and a few of the rules. With just a few minor adjustments, we were able to take the core of 5e and successfully create a playtest Superhero RPG game. In this episode, we will discuss design choices, world-building, and everything else that went into the start of this super setting's world and mechanics.

Please join us live at 7pm EST 6-20-21

Capes & Crooks a 5e Superhero RPG playtest streams bi-weekly on Fridays. This is our upcoming Kickstarter Project that launches 6/29/21. To sign up for notifications on this project visit our website!

RPG Phatloot Giveaway Cliffs of Muhr from Tall Kiwi Publishing

The Cliffs of Mühr is a 4-5 session adventure for 8th to 10th level characters designed around a series of mysterious and ever-changing portals. Caught up in the mayhem the party's sent tumbling through time-and-space to remote and unique locations as they battle to find their way out of the interdimensional maze.

Winner: laura.katzensteiner

Didn’t win? Np, head towww.critacademy.com and subscribe for your chance to win.

Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure

Character Concept:

Corin Devorn - Half-Elf

Description: This fat southern man has a bulbous nose and dresses well wearing tan shirts, loose pants, and blazers most of the time. His skin is also unnaturally pale. His hair is auburn and very short. He wears round tiny glasses practically rammed into his face.

Personality: While he can be a bit rude and blunt, he does have a softer side. He is consumed with his love of poetry. He constantly tries to fill his life with it. He is fiercely devoted to his mother, and views his mother's ex-spouse as an evil person for separating him from his legal half-sister.

History: He was born to a pair of big game hunters, but was frequently ill as a child. He found a children's book about a Half-Elf Expert who fought for good and justice and never realised it was just a child's story. He modeled his life after the story, seeing himself destined to be a hero. He guards a vault combo very seriously as well as the key needed to open it.

Motivation: To unite with his sister; and a need for knowledge about a particular landmark of interest.

Monster Variant:


Origin Statblock: Giant Rat

New Feature:

Devour Mana. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 1d4 +2) piercing damage. If the target is a creature with spellcasting, it must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or have its highest level spell slot drained away. Additionally, the creature contracts a disease. Until the disease is cured, the target can't regain hit points or spell slots except by magical means, and the target’s hit point maximum decreases by 3 (1d6) every 24 hours. If the target’s hit point maximum drops to 0 as a result of this disease, the target dies and a new manadrax is created in its place.


Bomb/Device Defusal

When running the bomb defusal, make sure to describe in great detail the fear and panic on the hostage's faces. Choose one of the hostages in advance or at random to be the bomber. This hostage should be notably behind covers, such as a pillar or heavy desk to protect herself from any explosions. If her bomb is disarmed, success or failure has the character who disarmed it make a DC 19 Investigation/Technology check after the bomb defusal. On a success, they learn that the bomb attached wasn’t actually designed to go off. This may clue the characters in as they disarm bombs to the truth of this hostage’s charade.

Step 1. First thing during this process is to roll five d6 dice on the table in front of the player doing the defusing. Inform them that each die represents a circuit or wire in the device. Inform the player that one of the following sequences is needed to defuse the bomb successfully.

Only Odd. The player must remove all the even-numbered dice from the five d6s.

Only Even. The player must remove all odd-numbered dice from the five d6s.

Low to High. The player must arrange the five d6 dice from smallest to largest numbers.

High to Low. The player must arrange the five d6 dice from largest to smallest numbers.

Step 2. The Overseer secretly writes down the correct option from the four above. Either by choosing or rolling a d4 and determining it randomly.

Step 3. On the character's turn, they can use their action to roll an Investigation/Technology check. The result determines what they know about the proper sequence to defuse the bomb.

Roll of 6 or less. The character has no idea how these bombs were built or function.

Roll of 7 to 11. The player may ask what rolled number belongs in the first position.

Roll of 12 to 16. The player may ask about what rolled number belongs in the first two positions.

Roll of 17 to 20. The player may ask about what rolled number belongs in the first three positions.

Roll of 21 or 25. The player may ask about what rolled number belongs in the first four positions.

Roll of 26+. The player knows the correct order of all five dice.

Step 4. The player then may use a bonus action to attempt to disarm the bomb. If the guess correctly, the bomb is defused. If they guess wrong, it explodes.

Magic Item:

Demon Scale Mail

Armor (scale mail), very rare (requires attunement)

Demon scale mail is made of piecemeal skins, scales and exoskeletons of demons. It forms a frightful but sturdy suit of scale armor. While wearing it, you gain the following benefits

  • You gain a +1 bonus to Armor Class.

  • You are immune to poison damage.

  • You have Advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

  • As an Action you can speak the armors command word. Each non-undead creature within 60 feet of you that can see you must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. If the save fails by 5 or more, the target also august 1d4+10 years. A frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the frightened condition on itself on a success. If a target’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the target is immune to this feature for the next 24 hours. The aging effect cant be reversed with a greater restoration spell, but only within 24 hours of it occurring. This feature cannot be used again until the next dawn.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Rearranging the Scene when a plan falls apart!

Keep in mind that the players probably don’t know they’ve gone off the beaten track. This allows you the opportunity to simply change where the track goes without anyone on the other side of the screen being the wiser.

Take the example of the heroes investigating a town overrun by zombies: In your adventure notes, the characters are traveling when they are set upon by a group of zombies on the road. In your original conception, the heroes fight and defeat the zombies, then investigate where they came

from, leading them back to the town and the subsequent encounters.

Instead, your players decide after the zombie attack the best thing to do is to forge ahead as quickly as possible, not investigating at all. Instead of having the zombie-ridden town some distance off the road, you might decide to put it right in the heroes’ path, so the road intersects with it, with no immediate signs of the zombies until they enter the town. The players don’t know they were supposed to follow up leads from the prior encounter, and they don’t need to know. A clue you intended to have on the body of one of the zombies could now be found in one of the buildings in

the town, or one of the zombies in town has it instead.

The players might decide the priority is not finding out where the zombies came from, but rather informing nearby authorities of the existence of the zombies. This choice might also lead them right into the zombie-afflicted area, or it could be an opportunity for a quick diversionary scene where

the heroes meet with the authorities, who then ask the PCs to investigate, sending them back in the right direction with newfound purpose.

As with most of these techniques, the trick is rearranging the scene in such a way that it is invisible to the players that anything has changed. Don’t tell the players what their characters “should” have done at a given juncture; just treat every decision as a given and move forward with it. Don’t negate things the players have decided, add to them and build upon them. Use the statements “Yes, but...” and “Yes, and...” or versions thereof in response to unexpected player decisions:

“We’re going to make sure to burn the remains of the zombies and then get to the next town to warn them as quickly as possible.”

“Okay, but when you arrive in town...”

-Kobold Guide to Gamemastering-

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

The Artful Dodger

Consider yourself knowledgeable in city landscapes do you? Then prove it. This technique exploits the

Urchin’s City Secrets feature and their knowledge of the urban environment by effectively quadrupling the speed and increasing the stealth of the entire party. There’s no better (or faster) way to sneak through the city of your enemy. This spell technique is the perfect method for quickly and quietly moving through a city. By exploring the benefits of the Urchin’s ability to lead their party, effectively using their own speed as the entire party’s speed, the time it takes to go from one destination to another in the city is halved and then halved again with the aid of haste. This, along with a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks from pass without trace, can effectively make an entire party nearly invisible.


  1. Cast pass without trace.

  2. Cast haste on the Urchin.

  3. Move quickly and quietly to your destination.

-Bigby’s Handbook of Creative spell Uses-

RPG Phatloot Giveaway: Soth’s Accursed Journal by BookBrewGames

This sourcebook is a trove of hidden knowledge, gathered by Lord Soth himself during his many years as ruler of Sithicus. Stolen by his treasonous Seneschal, Azrael the Werebadger, it has seen many owners, all of them pursued by Lord Soth and his many enemies in order to retrieve this valuable collection of secrets. Featuring commentary by both Lord Soth and Azrael, it details several new character options designed for - but not limited to - the Ravenloft setting, such as new subclasses, new spells, new feats, new magic items, 3 new classes and more!

Winner: Flesherfloors

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