Ro'Lok's Guide to Violence

Created by Gemhammer Games

Warfare, warriors and weapons! A tome of combat and weaponry for 5th Edition.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Update This Weekend: Forge of Ro’Lok
about 1 year ago – Mon, Apr 25, 2022 at 06:27:48 PM

Hey Wonderful Internet People,

We’re exhausted from PAX this weekend, but we wanted to let you know that we’ve got another update on the way. Prepare yourselves for a look at magic items, weapon materials, properties and more when we reveal some of the magic behind the scenes that will be all the equipment options rolling out in Ro’Lok’s Guide to Violence. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of the present state of the Gemhammer Magic Item Forge as it pumps out quality magic items.

If you have any specific questions about any of these, let us know and we’ll highlight them in our update. Talk to you soon!


Progress Update
about 1 year ago – Sat, Mar 12, 2022 at 03:12:00 PM

Good Afternoon Wonderful Internet People,

As promised we have some information to share with you today. I won't be sharing with you the full breath of content that we'd planned earlier in the week, but we ill be we will be covering Feats as we previously promised as well as where we are with the production of Ro'Lok's Guide...

Sudden But Inevitable...

...Well, we'd like to say that this was unexpected, but our headquarters has been put under a Zone of Truth for the past two weeks. Ro'Lok's Guide to Violence has been delayed. This was because of myriad reasons, from shipping delays, to production issues, to issues with us getting the content to a place we were happy to send it out. (I mean, at this point what would a Gemhammer Kickstarter even be without a delay)

We understand that this is not welcome news. There is little we can do, at this point, to move production along any quicker. However, in recompense for this minor delay, we are committed to adding a little more magic to your day! Below, you'll find a brand new spell (any relation to any current spells, alive or dead, is strictly a coincidence.) Not only will this card be available in this update as soon as you read below, but a copy of the Spellbook Card will be added to every single physical reward from Ro'Lok's Guide.

click for larger view...

A Companion to the Grimoire

As I'm sure you are aware, Ro'Lok's Guide did not reach as many stretch goals as it's sister book the Gemhammer Grimoire. However, after further consideration we have decided to include some content that was to be left on the cutting room floor in an effort to make Ro'Lok's Guide and the Grimoire more or less equal in terms of size and content. While we aren't ready to share a complete list of what content will be folded back into the core product, we are working on that presently, and will have more to share soon.

A Many Amazing Feats

As we mentioned in our update about the Warlord (which you can read here), the feats in Ro'Lok's Guide will be broken up into two categories General Feats and Combat Style Feats. 

General Feats can be treated as any other feat in 5th edition. Some of these feats form complex trees, such as Combat Shield Feats which grant proficency and new abilities centered around the Combat Shields included in Ro'Lok's Guide to Violence. A small sampling of early versions of these feats can be viewed in our Lost Lore play-test from last year. (bear in mind this content is in a very early state compared to the present builds of these feats, but the do give a general idea of how we've planned out the trees) 

Other General Feats are one offs, providing a new unique ability, such as Marathon, which allows you to increase your speed by a number of ft. equal to an amount of damage you then take. 

Combat Style Feats require a character to have a fighting style or a specific class feature as a prerequisite. For example the Riastrad and Battle Meditation feats which have the prerequisite of having the rage ability.

Riastrad causes the character's body to contort wildly while raging. Creatures that can see the creature must succeed on a saving throw equal to CON or become frightened. Additionally, strength checks and saves gain a bonus equal to CON, while DEX checks and saves suffer a penalty equal to CON. 

Battle Meditation on the other hand, grants  temporary hp equal to the character's CON modifier at the start of each turn while raging. 

At present 150 new feats will be included in Ro'Lok's Guide to Violence, however we're working on balancing these feats appropriately which may mean spreading some of them of their abilities across trees, or adding intermediary feats. While we don't expect the number of feats to decrease, it is possible that the number may increase. 

We'll be updating again soon with more info on these feats and other content as they become ready to share. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us and let us know, we'll be sure to respond ASAP!

Thanks again for all your support

Joe and Conor

Stand By, Also Your Questions
about 1 year ago – Fri, Mar 11, 2022 at 07:44:02 PM

Hey Folks,

Things at Gemhammer have been very hectic as of late, and I just wanted to I let you know that we’re still hard at work and will be posting this weekend with a big update on our progress, some editorial choices we’ve decided to make, and a sneak peek of some of the content. I just wanted to make sure you all knew we hadn’t forgot about you and we’ll back this weekend with more info. Let us know if you have any specific questions so we can address them in the update. Thanks!


Housekeeping, Content Call, and Magical Warfare
over 1 year ago – Sun, Feb 06, 2022 at 06:08:32 PM

Good Afternoon Wonderful Internet People,

We're hard at work building the Ro'Lok's Guide we hope you'll all love. I'm excited to be sharing an outline of some of this content and I'd love to get some feedback on what we have here before we button up this section of the book. But before we launch into all of that, just some quick housekeeping notes. 


Some of you may have noticed that we've begun locking orders as we prepare for prepress and ordering the books. As we monitor the supply line situation here in the states, we want to have the back end ready to roll so nothing is slowing us down. As it is there will likely be a 12 week turn around to get the books printed and into the country, even before we ship them out to you, so we're just trying to be as prepared as possible so we can hit our goal of getting Ro'Lok's into your hand's by July. If you need to make any changes to your address or wish to add things to you order please be sure to reach out to us as soon as possible. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please let us know ASAP. 

Call to Action!

As some of you may or may not have seen on the social medias, Gemhammer is presently seeking help with our upcoming projects and we want to hear from you! Our business is growing, but Gemhammer is a small company of 3 very unpaid full-timers and as the needs of the business grow, we're pulled further and further away from making the content you know and love. We need help from imaginative writers, dreamers and game masters to help us with our ambitions plans for making content. We're primarily seeking freelance writers to help us with the development of with ongoing projects and to write articles as needed. However, we're also open taking submissions for new content. More information about submissions can be found in the link below. Prior experience isn't required, however we are asking that you have a firm understanding of the SRD and OGL before you reach out to us. If you're interested in jumping in on the ground floor and contributing to the More Better Game Stuff we produce, then we hope you'll drop us an email.

Now, with that out of the way we can get on to the good stuff! Several weeks back some of you voted on our twitter poll to decide what content from Ro'Lok's we'd talk about next. Magical Warfare won with 33% of the vote. Our next poll is now live so be sure to vote on that here to decide what content you'd like us to preview next. 

Magical Warfare

"The Siege of Therandsilore lasted for nearly forty years, it ended when a mercenary band, the Silk Weavers, joined the ranks of Ro'Lok's Blood Brothers. The Silk Weavers climbed up and over the wall their first evening at the encampment, and the fortress was taken by morning. The other brothers were embarrassed to say that they didn't know that was an option."


In a world where a squadron of solders could be outfitted with boots of spider climb for about 12,000 gp, it's hard to believe that fortresses would ever be built as defensive structures. Items and spells like Brooms of flying, fly, spider climb, or even teleport could all make walls trivial to an invading force. In the Magical Warfare section of Ro'Lok's Guide to Violence we hope to provide some answers to the offensive and defensive quandaries posed by a world filled with high fantasy style magic.

A Keep of Their Own

Among the features of Magical Warfare will be a section on building and maintaining a magical keep. Rules for rooms, costs, manpower, required resources and more. This may be a keep owned by your players or in the hands of a Big Bad Evil Guy of your choice. Rules for placing magical effects on the keep will also be provided. These effects grant the keep qualities comparable to those of the lairs of monsters. Creatures can also attune themselves to the keep to gain special actions while inside, at the cost us using some or all of their magic items attunement. Some features are restricted by the character's level or may require the expertise of a magical crafter or special materials.  Special items for the construction of keeps include:

  • Antimagic Stones
  • Barrier Runes
  • Mana Stones
  • Warp Wood Doors
  • Zone Projector
  • and more!

Ritual Warefare

While spellcasting is not the main focus of Ro'Lok's Guide to Violence, a set of special spells are included in the magical warfare section. These ritual spells are not on the spell list of any class and may require a Ritual Site and/or special components in order to cast. Several spellcasters of sufficient level will need significant time and focus to cast, as well as maintain, these spells. As powerful as these spells are for the purposes of defending or laying siege to a fortress, the spellcasters behind them will need to be defended in order to maintain them adding an additional layer of complexity to the defensive plans of the owners of the keep. Some of these spells include:

  • Breaching Force
  • Heal Stone
  • Elemental Barrier
  • Field of Pits
  • Ring of Fire
  • Salt and Smoke
  • Sky Palace
  • Summon Seige Engine
  • Zone of Anti-Cling

Weapons of War

While vehicular combat is handled in its own sections an array of siege engines are outlined in Magical Warfare for your players or invading forces to use against the magical keeps outlines in this section. These siege engines range in size and scale from magical ballistas and catapults to mobile fortresses. Some of the larger and more dangerous of these devices may better suite your campaign as plot points in the hands of adversaries than something under the control of your player characters. However, we don't want you to shy away from experimenting with giving your players access to some of these features, and remind you that just because your players have a mobile fortress, doesn't mean it will always be easy to keep it.

Armies and Large Scale Combat

Despite its wargaming roots, 5th Edition is not a tabletop wargame in the traditional sense, so an expansive set of rules for commanding large armies seems out of place. However, we felt it was important to provide some rules and context for armies that might share the battlefield with your players. So we've developed system for determining the shifting tides of a battle and how armies fight against each other. Under this system, armies have morale and combat strength, which serve as stand in for hit points. In this system, armies are treated as larger scale swarms that are fighting against one another. Armies have their own turns at the end of initiative, however we've also provided a series of tables that can effect the morale and combat strength. When combat strength drops too low, the army will have to succeed on a check to determine if it is routed, or when morale is too low, it will have to check to see if it calls for a retreat. Dropping to zero combat strength is an automatic defeat, and zero moral is an automatic surrender. The important thing to remember will be that the armies are not creatures working along side the players, they are quasi-entities operating in the backdrop of the player characters actions. While the success and failure of the sides they support can provide advantages and setbacks to you player characters, the stats we provide for armies are not meant to be used as actual monsters. Using this system we also hope to provide prebuilt encounters in the future and incorporate these concepts into future modules that we produce. 


Obviously there will be a lot in this section of the book, and there's a lot that we could deep dive on here, but I wanted people's general opinions on the outline before we got into the weeds on things like the tables and specific features. Please feel free to comment below with your questions you might have. I look forward to hearing from you all, and I hope you have yourselves a great weekend. 

Talk to you soon!


Pro Grappler and the Road Warrior
over 1 year ago – Sun, Jan 09, 2022 at 04:57:04 PM

Good Evening Wonderful Internet People,

Sorry for the late posting, I meant to have this out for noon, but Kickstarter did not save the draft and I have to re-write everything. That'll teach me to write an update here in Kickstarter and not in a google doc first. 

As previously mentioned we're here with a belated update on two of our new classes from Ro'Lok's Guide to Violence. We’ll go over some of the lore and features of each, however these will not be the full list of features available to each class.


Pro Grappler

"The Pro Grapplers are competitive warriors, who pit themselves against each other in athletic grappling matches to see who among them is worthy of bearing the golden belt and becoming the campion. The exact rules of these competitions are known by few, but they seem to have a more open ended structure compared to most other sporting events, given how often tables, chairs and other random objects are allowed into the ring."


Pro Grapplers are based on the very real and totally not scripted matches between real life professional wrestlers. This class is heavily focused on both Strength and Dexterity, making significant use of both athletics and acrobatics. These masters of performance combat thrive off of the crowd and revel in the limelight. The Pro Grappler class rewards roleplaying in both their Gimmick, and the Luchdor's Ideal and Heel's Enmity of the Crowd. Pro Grapplers are proficient in Acrobatics, Athletics, and Performance.

Unarmed Strikers: Pro Grapplers are proficient in unarmed strikes and do not gain any other weapon proficiencies. The damage die for their unarmed strikes is a d8.

Pro Moves and Performance Points

Pro Grapples have a number of unique actions and manuver they may perform based on their level, however these pro moves cost performance points to use. Pro grapplers do not start off each day with a number of points and must generate them through their performance combat and staying true to their gimmicks. A few ways to generate points and perform their moves are featured below.  Stay tuned for a playtest of these features in the near future.

  • Gimmick: Each pro grappler must have a gimmick. A nickname, a color, an animal, a theme. When reolplaying, if the Pro Grappler is able to work in their theme they may make a Charisma (perfonamce) check. The DC for this check is determined by their level, and they gai na number of Performance points based on their success. However to keep from oversuing their gimmick, the pro grappler is restrickted from using this gimmick too many times per day. The number of times they can use this increases with their level.  
  • Roar of the Crowd: While in combat, the Pro Grappler makes a Charisma (performance) check at the end of each of their turns. The DC for this check is based on the number of non-hostile creatures that can see the Pro Grappler, and they are awarded a number of Performance Points for their success.
  • Signature Moves: Each Pro Grappler has a signature move that they can perform for free once per long rest. This move is selected from the moves available to them at their level and can only be changed when gaining an ability score improvement. Signature moves are always made at advantage and with a bonus equal to their Charisma (performance) modifier.

The Luchador: Masked Warriors of Legend

The Luchador is a masked subclass of the grappler. When the Pro Grappler chooses the path of the Luchador and don the mask for the first time, they commit themselves to an ideal. They may choose from several masks each with different effects, that will also grow as the grappler levels up. 

  •  Mask of the Falcon. This mask grants the user a bonus to their Dexterity (acrobatics) checks and saving throws equal to their Charisma modifier. Additionally the mask grants an additional 5 ft. of movement.
  •  Mask of the Couatl. This mask grants a bonus to grapple checks equal to their Charisma modifier. Additionally, when you have a creature grappled, the creature takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage at the beginning of each of their turns. (This damage increases with the Luchador's level)
  •  Mask of the Tiger.  This mask grants the user a bonus to Strength (athletics checks) and saving throws equal to their Charisma modifier. Additionally, the wearer gains advantage on attacks against targets that are prone. 

The Cost of Donning the Mask: The Luchador loses all the abilities associated with their subclass when they remove their mask for any reason. Additionally, should a hostile creature remove the Luchador's mask while in combat, the Luchador will suffer sever penalties and will take time to recover. Replacing a destroyed or stolen mask will take a long rest, but the shame of the loss of their mask will remain until the recover their ole mask, exact revenge on their assailant, or perform a noble act in accordance with their ideal.  

Luchador's Ideal: The ideal from the luchador's background becomes a sacred oath. When performing actions in accordance with their ideal, they gain a number of performance points (based on level)  

The Heel: Blatant Bad-Guys

The Heels are the bad boys of their profession and revel in the jeers and boos they receive from those who see their malicious acts. For them rules were made to be broken, and while other pro grapplers seek strength from the approval of the crowd, they crave to antagonize their audiences. 

Improvised Weapon Proficiency: Heels have a habit of making use of illegal items in combat, be it a steel chair or a folding table. As such, Heel's are proficient in improvised weapons and any bonus they would gain to an unarmed strike applies to their improvised weapons as well. 

Enmity of the Crowd: When using the Roar of the crowd feature, the heel instead makes their check based on the number of hostile creatures that can see them. In addition to their normal performance points they gain a single point of heat whenever they succeed on this check.

Heat and Dirty Tricks: In addition to their normal moves, Heel's have a number of dirty tricks that they require heat to perform in addition to the performance point cost. Heat can also be used in place of performance points for their standard moves. 


The Road Warrior.

“These Rash Roadsters master the horses, drive the getaway vehicles, circle the wagons and more. They excel at combat while using their vehicles. These pesky pilots tear across the outer reaches of Ro'Lokalypse. Ro'Lok delights in watching them destroy each other in roving caravans, fighting over massive tankers of flammable liquid.”


The Road Warrior is a class built around vehicular combat and specialized maneuvers at high speeds, and making use of vehicle for the good of the whole party. You'll wonder how you got by without them once you jump on board their war-wagons and air skiffs for the first time and out run and out maneuver your enemies. 

Expert Handling: The Road Warrior gains proficiency in a vehicle of their choice, from Vehicle (Land), Vehicle (Sea), or Vehicle Air), and may double their proficiency bonus to any check related to that vehicle. 

Vehicle of Choice: The Road Warrior starts with a vehicle at level 1 of medium or large size. 

Vehicular Combat: The Road Warrior has advantage on any attack they make while operating their vehicle.

Smooth Ride: The Road Warrior and any friendly creatures onboard the Road Warrior's vehicle gain a bonus to attacks and saving throws while riding in the Road Warrior's vehicle. This bonus is equal to the road warrior's proficincy bonus.

Wastelander: Builders of Vehicles on a Forgotten Plane.

The Wastelanders prowl the outer edge of Ro'Lokalypse scavenging parts and building new features onto their vehicles. These madmen twist their vehicles into weapons of war and brutally race across the plane causing mayhem and destruction. 

Special Features: The Wastelander can build a number of special features into their vehicle that allow them to perform new abilities while behind the wheel. Adding new features requires a long rest and the parts to build them. Some of these upgrades are simple additions such as tire spikes or a cow catch, while others add weaponry and other gadgets to their craft. 

A Custom Job: Only the Wastelander that built their vehicle knows how to operate it and is safe from being stolen or hijacked by others.

Engine Jocky: Radical Racers and Movement Manipulators

The Engine Jockey makes use of a magical vehicle unique to them, and have a number of vehicular maneuvers they may perform while piloting said vehicle. Quick maneuvers and drive by tactics will be this subclasses bread and butter.

Vehicular Maneuvers: The Engine Jocky have a number of maneuvers that they may perform while operating a vehicle that increases as they level up. These abilities greatly change the flow of chases and movement in general. For Example, "Stop Short" allows the Engine Jockey to use their reaction to bring their vehicle to an abrupt halt, causing any other creature or vehicle moving at their speed to rush past them, and then allow them to make an attack of opportunity while they pass. "Focused Rush" allows the Engine Jockey to dash through threatened squares ignoring attacks of opportunity.

Playing a Road Warrior in a Dungeon Crawl?

Obviosly if you plan to run a campaign that spends most of their time in claustrophobic dungeons and cramped corridors, then you should probably discourage your player from taking this class. Similarly to how no one expects your mounted combatant to bring their warhorse into the secret passage through he sewers. However, Ro'Lok's Guide to Violence will feature many vehicles and offer ways to incorporate them in both the vehicular combat and magical warfare section, so those of you who want to ride a war wagon across the wilderness or race an arcane cycle under the legs of a rampaging Tarrasque-a-lich may do so to your heart's content. 


That's all for tonight. As always, if you have any questions please let us know in the comments below! 

Our next update will be in a few weeks and will be focused on Magical Warfare and all the exciting content we have planned for it. We'll be updating again soon with another poll so keep an eye out and follow us on twitter so you don't miss out. 

Thanks, and have a great rest of your weekend!