Thursday, 28 January 2016

Three Riddles

I like riddles, but tend to find that in practice, they can be quite hard to fit into a game, without it being rather contrived. However, in the Ormid game, I was able to fit some in organically, and my players loved them and told me I should post them here for you.

So, here you go, three riddles I wrote. To get the answer, highlight the area beneath each one.


“I was clammy in the evening, and hot by dawn. By dusk I was burning, but I was cold by morn. What am I?”

Answer: A fever 


“All the best ingredients, have gone to make up me,
Yet not one of your dinner guests, would want me for their tea.
What am I?”

Answer: Feces or Vomit


“A heavy weight, to crush your soul,
An always lurking, aching hole,
A shock that finds you when filled with joy,
An echo of when your world was destroyed.
What am I?"

Answer: Grief

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Torment - Level 7 Evocation


7th level Evocation

Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard, Warlock

Casting Time: 1 Action (Ritual)
Range: 100 ft
Area of Effect: One bound extraplanar creature
Components: V, S, M (Special scroll that names the entity to be tormented, using its true name, and the caster's own true name. Costs 250gp x the Challenge Rating of the entity to be tormented, and takes 8d4 hours to inscribe. The scroll is destroyed by casting this spell.)
Saving Throw: See Below
Duration: 10 rounds (Concentration – cannot take any other actions or spell ends)

This spell allows you to torment and weaken a specific extra planar entity that you have successfully summoned and bound in another plane. It is often used to punish or to force obedience from such an entity, and casting it forges both a temporary psychic bond between the caster and their victim, and eternal hatred.

The specially prepared scroll is read as part of this spell. If concentration is lost before it ends, the scroll is destroyed regardless. As the caster begins this spell, they must make an opposed Charisma check against the target. Failure indicates that the link they have forged has been used by it to crush them. The caster is utterly controlled and teleported to the target's side. The target, fully aware of what was about to be done to them, will then deal with them as they see fit. The caster may attempt a Charisma saving throw at the end of each of their turns (D.C. Is 8 + the target's charisma modifier + their proficiency bonus) to stop being controlled. Until then, they do anything the target says, even suicidal or morally reprehensible actions. 


On the first round of this spell being cast, the target becomes uncomfortable and struggles to contain their dislike of what is happening. The caster makes a Charisma (Intimidate) check against them, adding twice their proficiency bonus (this does not stack with any existing proficiency bonus). The base D.C. For this is 11 + the targets Charisma modifier + their Challenge Rating. If successful, the target will agree to the terms the caster is offering, though as stated above, will seek every chance to get revenge on them.

Rounds two to four see the targets agonies increase five fold each round. Again, the caster may make an intimidate check at the end of their turn, the D.C. Dropping by a cumulative -1 per round beyond the first.

Rounds five to nine see the target writhing in agony. The penalties mentioned above continue to accumulate (for a total penalty of -8 on round 9), as the pain and turmoil become harder and harder for the entity to bear,

On the final round, the pain is such that the entity will almost certainly believe that it is about to be destroyed. The penalty remains at -8 to the D.C. But the caster has advantage on their Intimidate check.

If the spell fails to force obedience, it is up to the caster what they do. They can however be sure that the entity will be desperate to annihilate them as soon as able. 


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Spiritwrack - Level 7 Conjuration

7th level Conjuration

Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard, Warlock

Casting Time: 1 Action (Ritual)
Range: 100 ft
Area of Effect: One fiend within range
Components: V, S, M (Illuminated vellum scroll with bound entities true name written on it with special ink and dyes made from crushed gems, ichor and other materials. Scrolls takes 8d4 hours to make and costs 6,000 gps. It is consumed by casting this spell)
Saving Throw: See Below
Duration: 3 rounds (Concentration - Can't take any other actions or spells ends)

This spell allows you to torment and weaken a specific fiend that is physically present on the same plane as you. It does this by inflicting increasingly unbearable pain and then harm on the entity, and some will automatically agree to the caster's demands the moment they realise what is about to occur.

Before you begin the spell, you must have prepared the scroll (see material components), and must be within 100ft of the target. As soon as you begin to cast the spell, the target must make a Charisma saving throw. If it fails this, it is paralysed for the duration of the spells, and is almost certain to try and escape to its own dimension if able to. Otherwise, it is immediately afflicted by increasingly horrific pains and distress.

At the start of the second round, the target suffers 11d10 bane damage (or damage equal to 50% of their total hit points if this would reduce them below that amount), and their agony increases still more.

At the start of their third round, the target suffers damage sufficient to reduce them to 0 hit points, and they are banished to their home plane for 1 year per level of the caster of the spell.

Clearly, casting this spell earns the caster the enmity of the target for all eternity. It is often used as leverage when a mage is trying to force a summoned entity to obey their commands or to forge a bargain that suits them. However, most spell casters are loathe to work this spell to its conclusion, for it is very likely that the hate filled entity will soon seek them out when able to return to their plane of existence.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Spell Immunity - Level 4 Abjuration

Another old spell converted to 5e (needed it to flesh out a monster I was converting for the epic game)...

Spell Immunity
4th level Abjuration

Cleric, Artificer

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: Creature Touched
Components: V, S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 10 minutes (Concentration)

As you cast this spell you name one spell of 4th level or lower that allows a saving throw. For the duration of the spell, the target is immune to that spell.

At Higher Levels: When cast in a slot of 5th level or higher, the maximum level of spell that this spell can protect against increases by 1 for every level it is above 4th .

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Three Planar Spells

I'm working up to trying to create a worthwhile and balanced version of Cacodaemon, Truename and Spiritwrack for 5e, because damn, if those weren't the coolest spells in AD&D. However, whilst flicking through the 2nd Edition AD&D Planewalker's Handbook, I came across many spells that deserve a return to 5th edition, three of which I present here for use in your own games.

*   *   *

Portal Beacon
1st level Evocation

Casting Time: 1 Action (Ritual)
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: 1 Portal
Components: V, S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 5 hours

You cause one portal to emit a psychic tone, which can be sensed by up to six intelligent beings (chosen by the caster as they cast the spell). The tone can be used as a reference point and can be detected by the users as long as they remain in one of the planes the target portal connects. The tone also allows the portal to be found without any chance of error.

At Higher Levels: When cast in a slot of 2nd level or higher, one additional creature may be chosen to enjoy the benefits for every level above 1st  

Class List: Artificer, Arcane Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard

*   *   *
Celestial Protection
6th-level abjuration

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: touch
Components: V, S, M (a vial of holy water that is consumed by the spell)
Duration: 1 Hour (concentration)
Saving Throw: None

You anoint the forehead of the target and imbue them with heavenly energy. For the duration of the spell, they gain the following benefits.

* Immunity to Poison damage and the Frightened condition
* Resistance to Acid, Cold, Lightning and Radiant damage
* Resistance to Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning damage from weapons not made of silver

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the duration increases by +10 minutes per level over 6th.

Class Lists. Cleric

*    *    *

No Breath
6th-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: touch
Components: V, S
Duration: 12 Hours (special)
Saving Throw: None

For the duration of the spell, the recipient no longer needs to breathe. More than one creature may be affected by this spell, although the duration is divided amongst them equally (so, if cast on two creatures, it would last for 6 hours instead of 12).

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the duration increases by +1 hour per level over 6th.

Class Lists. Druid, Cleric, Wizard, Sorcerer

Monday, 4 January 2016

Ancient Iron Golem - CR 20 (Huge Construct)

I noticed an interesting thread over at Giants in the Playground, where many were lamenting the loss of some of the deadly resistances and abilities of classic monsters. I agree to a point, that some monsters are strangely weakened in the latest edition, and feel that there is still room for the "old school" style beasts as well as their modern kin.

In my campaigns, if you meet an enemy and I let you know it has the "Ancient" prefix, you know it's an old school version of that monster, complete with the classic immunities and resistances. They are often remnants of previous ages, beasts warped by ancient magics or have other, similarly impressive pedigrees.

Here then is an example - a "proper" Iron Golem! Have fun!

By the way, you may be wondering why I gave it Magic Resistance when it is already immune to spells that allow for a saving throw. The main reason is to ensure it gets advantage when saving against various miscellaneous effects and powers, and to ensure it gets a boon in those strange, usually high-level situations where weird effects change the normal rules. You can utterly ignore this if you wish!

Ha! Don't worry, my sword may not be magical but it is made of adamanti...uh...oh....RUN!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Shocker Lizard - CR 1 (Small Beast)

One of the more overlooked beasties in 3.0, 3.5 and Pathfinder is the humble Shocker Lizard. Delightfully Pokemon, it is a common inhabitant of warm, dark and wet places, and although one is but a paltry threat to a well armed band, a swarm is......shockingly bad....hahahahaha.....take 10 points of dad joke damage. 

Anyway, "Shocker Lizard, I choose YOU!"

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Awesome App - 5th Edition Monster Generator

I've mentioned this before, but as I use it to create the stat blocks here, and as it is getting better and better with every new release, I thought I would mention it again. the 5th Edition Monster Generator is an awesome bit of free software that lets you create beautiful stat blocks. It allows for a range of templates (including custom ones) and has a variety of save / export options.

All in all, it's essential for any 5e DM!

Anyway, grab it HERE

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Grey Render - CR 10 (Large Monstrosity)

There is something adorable about the Grey (or if you American and following the original spelling, Gray) Render; a 10ft tall humanoid mass of solid muscle and heavy bone, that will happily wishbone you for getting too close - because they have the habit of becoming attached to other creatures in the same way a newly hatched chick imprints on its mum. I was actually quite surprised not to see these guys in the 5e Monster Manual, and even more so not to see them since. So, here it is, my take on the Grey Render!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

New Bardic College - The College of Dirgists

Founded in 2nd Age Tillijil, this college teaches its adherents that life is short and filled with pain, and that true beauty lies in accepting that one is doomed, embracing the hopelessness and tragic comedy of existence. These bards typically get asked to sing at funerals, to lament great losses in battle, and to entertain those few rare individuals that find their morbid – many would say pretentious – poems and songs beautiful.

They dress sombrely, and often eschew fancy clothing or the usual trappings of life, seeing such things as pointless distractions. Dirgist recitations can sometimes be heard at night, echoing eerily through the avenues of cemeteries, or ghosting across the mist shrouded fields of recent battles. A few choose to travel with adventurers; only too aware of their oft' brutal and pain filled lives, eager to experience their suffering with them, and to document it in rhyme, song and writing.


When you become a Dirgist at 3rd level, you learn to accept that death is inevitable, even if you are brought back by magic or other unnatural means. You accept that nothing, not even reality itself is truly eternal, and as such, lose any fear of life, death or even suffering. As such, you become immune to all fear based effects, including the frightened condition, intimidation or the effects of spells such as Phantasmal Killer.


At 3rd Level you can infuse those that oppose you with terminal despondency so profound that they actually die a little. As a reaction to an enemy within 60ft of you starting their turn, you may expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration, and inflict psychic damage on that target equal to the result of that dice being rolled. A creature is immune to this if it cannot hear you, or is immune to being frightened / fear effects.

In addition, you can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration ability as a bonus action, to mantle yourself in the aura of death for 1 round. Whilst this is in effect, undead suffer disadvantage on attack rolls against you, and you gain Resistance to necrotic damage.


At 6th level, you have listened to the whispered voices of the dead, and have learned how to speak with them. As an action, you can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to cast Speak with Dead as a spell like ability.


At 14th level, the dead know you and will fight for you. As an action you can expend one use of your Bardic Inspiration to cast Animate Dead at 3rd level as a spell like ability. If you wish, you may expend up to 6 additional uses of your Bardic Inspiration to cast the spell at a higher level (+1 level per use expended).

At 16th level, you can instead choose to sing a dismal song that takes one minute (you cannot do anything else during this time, as if you were casting a spell), after which you may expend two uses of your Bardic Inspiration. By doing this, you can can cast a Create Undead spell. At 18th level you can expend three uses to cast it at 7th level, and at 20th level can expend four to cast it at 8th level. 


Friday, 4 December 2015

Retriever - Huge Construct (CR 21)

Those that meddle in the affairs of the pit should be worried, for if the powers they have offended are strong enough, they may be hunted by a Retriever. Retrievers first appeared in the 1st Edition AD&D Fiend Folio, and have appeared in almost every edition since (though not in 5th Edition yet). Ormid and the gang are currently in the process of assaulting the abyssal stronghold of a nascent daemon lord, and although I have no active plans to send Retrievers after know...

EDIT: Forgot to take its regeneration into account when working out the CR. Corrected (raised CR to 21).

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Olive Slime Creature - Medium Plant (CR 3)

Green Slime is pretty damn terrible stuff. However, it has a monstrous relative that not only converts your flesh into sludge, but stops you feeling it doing so, and even convinces you to let it! Olive Slime was originally in the AD&D Monster Manual II, and has appeared in many books since. I am running an Underdark game at the moment (the PUG are looking for an ancient legendary warhammer, and have found themselves in the deep realms), and I statted these up in case they appear.

Now these guys are tough for their CR, and part of me feels they might be more CR 5 in practice. However, I have already raised it above what the official calculations suggested, to make up for the fact that low level groups won't likely have access to Greater Restoration or similar magics.

Anyway, with that said, here they are.

 Yes, yes I know this is a picture of a Slime Devil...but I couldn't find a good one of an Olive Slime Creature ok? 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Stun Jelly - CR 10 (Large Ooze)

"I'd got past the outer defences; the warding glyphs, the Iron Defenders that spat sparking orbs of lightning, and of course, the old bastard's house guard, and managed to open the ancient vault doors beneath his tower. I'd shut them behind me, and risked a little magic to seal them, breathing a deep sign of relief when it didn't trigger any other hidden wards. I crept down the slippery stairs, the air growing wet and rotten around me, and soon found myself in a sloshing tunnel of mouldering stone, the floor lost beneath a foot or more of slimy water. 

"Wincing at the noise my passage made, I moved in the direction I hoped would take me closer to his resting place, although I was starting to realise I had made a serious mistake. By and by I came to a crossroad, heading down what I hoped would be the western way. Fifteen foot down, and suddenly the wall itself seemed to lunge at me; the stone forming a serpentine tendril of sizzling muck, which swung drunkenly at my head. 

"I lept out of reach and ran away, the image of the thing within the wall's slimy depths etched into my reeling mind...

"The Mage Tethyri, objective of my mission, his face melting into the viscous muck as he tried, futilely to silently scream at me to release him...

"I'd heard he'd had some Stun Jellies shipped in to guard his inner sanctum. I guess he didn't know they move, and got caught by surprise. I'm annoyed that I couldn't get a token from his body to prove he was dead, and more annoyed that the guild wouldn't pay me the bounty they promised for his demise. 

"Still, I'd rather have escaped with my hide in one piece, than risked the horrible fate that vicious old bastard got. Stun Jellies. Horrible things. Avoid them at all costs is my honest advice."

- From "Scamming and Drinking - a Bard's Tale"

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Variety of Poisons

Tornysh (Legendary Poison): Flavorless, water and oil soluble poison created by the Church of Convulos. Target must make a D.C. 27 Constitution save 1 round after contact or be immediately rendered Unconscious. At the start of each of their turns, the victim suffers 110 (20d10) poison damage, half with a D.C. 27 Constitution saving throw.
Spells that normally neutralise poisons only allow a second saving throw.

A victim killed by Tornysh, begins to sweat 1 round after death. Anyone touching the victim is exposed to a weaker form (D.C. 20 save, 25 (10d4) Damage, save at end of each round to reduce damage by 1d4 dice of damage. Neutralising spells work normally). This form of the poison breaks down after 1 minute.

Maldican Dust (Uncommon poison): Bitter tasting whitish powder made from the bulb of the Maldican Tulip. Oral poison. 3d10+30 minutes after consumption, target is Poisoned and suffers 14 (4d6) poison damage at the start of each of their turns. May make a D.C. 13 Constitution save to negate damage, though remains Poisoned for 1d2 days unless the poison is neutralised.

Maldican Blue (Rare Poison): As above but tasteless, stronger (D.C. 18 save, 21 poison danage), and much faster acting (2d6 rounds).

Maldican Yellow (Common Poison): Weaker form of Maldican. Save D.C. 11, 5 (2d4) poison damage. Poisoned effect only lasts 1 hour. Stains fingers and foods yellow.

Sulyk "Cat Scratch" (Uncommon Poison): A weapon smeared with this honey coloured, sticky poison, inflicts bleeding wounds. Poisoned weapons remain toxic for 1d4 hits, the target being forced to make a D.C. 15 Constitution saving throw each time, failure indicating the wound bleeds at the start of each of their turns for 3 (1d6) Damage. The target may repeat the save (one per wound) at the end of each of their turns,success indicating the poisons effects end. A character can, as an action make a D.C. 15 Intelligence (Medicine) check to stop a single wound bleeding.

Synneth (Very Rare Poison): A product of "section 1", this poison was created for use against the warforged - a race normally immune to such substances. It is a very dark orange, oily substance that smells of rotten oranges. One of the poison's benefits is that it only affects warforged. Other creatures are immune.

A warforged exposed to this (usually by a wound) must immediately make a D.C. 17 Constitution saving throw or become Poisoned for 1 round. At the end of that round, they must repeat the saving throw with Disadvantage, or be immediately reduced to 0 hit points. Unless the synneth is neutralised, they cannot be raised above 0 hit points and remain deactivated.

Jaavic Grounds (Rare Poison): The Jaavia bush grows in many tropical Realms, and the berries it produces are used to create the Caffi drink that many enjoy. However, the seed within the Berry can be used to create an unpleasant poison that prevents the one drinking it (in its raw state it is a bitter tasting resin, and so it is usually served with Caffi to mask it's taste) from taking a long rest for 24 hours, due to the paranoia and unpleasant stimulation it causes. A D.C. 11 Constitution save negates its effects.

Ataba (Very Rare Poison): This poison is derived from the brains of those slain by certain tropical parasites. It is delivered through injury and almost immediately affects the target. When exposed to Ataba, the target must make a D.C. 14 Constitution saving throw, or suffer disadvantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma based saving throws and ability checks. Once per hour they may repeat the save to shake off the effects, though additional failures each reduce the victims Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma by 1d4 points. When any of these stats reach 0, the target is Incapacitated until their score becomes 1 or more, although they would not be able to function at any real level (stunned) until a score of 5 is reached in at least two of the three ability scores. Once the poison is no longer active, lost ability points return at the rate of 1d6 points per long rest.

Wrecker (Sheb Paste, Biting Paste, White Oil; Common Poison): Smeared on a weapon, this greasy poison inflicts +7 (2d6) poison damage to creatures hit by it. It lasts for 10 rounds before being wiped from the weapon, and the target is allowed a D.C. 13 Constitution save to avoid the damage it inflicts.

Dybbuth (Very Rare Poison): Created by the Cold Masters of the Diveni'Velonai Mountains, this horrific substance is made from the distilled essences of death and horror. It is a black, dimly phosphorescent substance that smells of mummified flesh. Consumed by the living, Dyybuth forces them to make a D.C. 16 constitution saving throw, failure meaning that they no longer heal after a long rest, and have resistance to all healing spells and effects. If they have Hit Dice they can spend to heal, they no longer regain these after a long rest. Worse, if they die whilst this poison is active within them (it remains so until they are exposed to a Greater Restoration or more potent spell), the individual reanimates as a Ju-Ju Zombie 1 round after death. The zombie is free willed.

Zaikun (Very Rare Poison): Brewed by the alchemists of Kai'Yassan, this poison has a delicious fruity taste, and a light fragrance that has been likened to that of ripe mangos or passion fruit flowers. It is a liquid that varies in colour from pale pink to wine red, and although thicker than water, it is neither sticky or oily. Zaikun is known as the "Dragon that claws from within" or "Tearing Wine". It is usually administered through food or drink, and 1d4 minutes after being exposed to it, the victim must make a D.C. 17 constitution saving throw. If they fail this saving throw, they are Intoxicated (or Poisoned if you do not have the Playtest Documents that included this condition) and suffer 7 (2d6) poison damage. At the start of their next turn, they suffer 14 (4d6) poison damage, and may repeat the save against its effects at the end of their turn. At the start of their next turn, if they failed their save, they suffer 28 (8d6) poison damage, and so on, until they either die (screaming and vomiting blood as their skin bruises and ruptures) or make the saving throw.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Akaname - CR 1/4 (Small Aberration)

Traditional Japanese monsters often run into the bizarre, and the Akaname (or "Filth Licker") is one such monster. Supposedly a spirit representing the fear of going to the toilet in the dark, it was a shy beast that would emerge to slurp up the nastier spills and stains that accumulate around your loo. However, if disturbed, it could turn nasty...

Real mythical beast

This creeper actually appeared in the most recent Pathfinder Bestiary, so inspired, I've converted it to 5th Edition.

Not sure when you would get to use this, but hey, that's half the fun of strange beasties.

Updated on 27/1/2015: Changed type to Fey (spirit) to reflect mythological version.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Land Urchin - CR 1/8 (Small Beast)

It's in the monster manual people (1st and 2nd edition AD&D). Check them out! And here are the 5e stats I did, just in case you want to Urchin it up in your games!

Go on, give the PC's something poisonous to tread on!

 An Urchin earlier today...

Monday, 16 November 2015

Nighthaunt - CR 11 (Medium Undead)

The Nightshades are a group of powerful undead that are raw manifestations of undeath. They come in many shapes and sizes, and the Nighthaunt is one of the smaller ones. First seen in the 3.5 book Lost Empires of Faerun, they are gargoylish obscenities of malevolent shadow, that control both potent magic and necrotic energy. 

Here you go!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Iron Gargoyle - Large Construct (CR 9)

The D&D Creature Catalogue contained these monsters, and I think they came to light in one of the Monstrous Compendiums later. Huge, winged, iron statues imbued with animation and rudimentary intelligence, they are perfect custodians of all sorts of hidden places and important sites.

And they breath fire, which is awesome...and they can stun you with a hit....which is even...errr.... awesomer....???

Anyways, stats...

Google images only had from the days of awesome art!


Thursday, 5 November 2015

A Long Time Ago....Some of an Epic 3.5 Campaign I Ran...

I loved 3.5, though the maths was wonky, and you needed a degree in metaphysics to understand the many abilities and traits of your characters, and how they all interacted, stacked and modified one another. As a GM it was simultaneously brilliant and frustrating. Towards the end of its life, I gathered the greatest heroes of my campaign world, and sent them on a suicidal, reality saving mission into the past. At least one of them (Keenar, a Taurgaryn warrior) fell to the Chaos Spawn, and when we left them, things were looking grim....

....That was almost 11 years ago, as the file was last edited on the 4th December, 2004...

We never have finished that adventure....yet....

Anyway, below is a link to the adventure, in all of its wonky 3.5 Epic level mentalness. I hope you enjoy it, even if only as a burst of nostalgia. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Dolgrim - Small Aberration (CR 1/2)

Sorry for the lack of new stuff lately. I'm in the middle of my night shifts, and to be honest inspiration and willpower kinda' vanish during that time. Anyway, have a small aberration from the Eberron world - the weird beastie known as a Dolgrim!

In my campaign universe, the Dolgrim are usually the result of ordinary gorgryn being exposed to either mutating energies or chemicals, or the bioarcane influence of more potent aberrations, such as Xareth'Chelde (Beholders), the Ur'Leth (Aboleth) or the Mind Flayers. Anyone that has journeyed too long in my world's underdark, or visited the Risen Isles will have met them....or will soon....

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Slimy Demodand - CR 18 (Medium Fiend)

"It regarded me with baleful amusement, a bubbling chuckle rumbling through its armoured chest. 'Tasty mortal morsel, what do you think you are doing trying to stop the inevitable? Come here, and fulfill your destiny to die for my amusement'". 
I drew my blade, uttered a prayer to Solum, and charged. Within moments, I was sure the fiend's words may have truly been prophecy..."

 - From In Service to Our Lord, by Sir Adrus Keth'Solum

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Stench Kow - Large Beast (CR 3)

Ormid and the gang are about to enter a daemonic dimension to try and hunt down the daemon that stole both the Artificer's soul, and that of NPC Ser Quercus. Just in case, I have statted up one of the "normal" animals from that realm - a beast found in the original AD&D Monster Manual II - The Stench Kow (sic).

So yeah, it's a smelly Hell Cow.


"I said Moo."


Oddly enough, I didn't find any art for these things, other than a copy of the original stats from AD&D.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Modifying the Concentration Rules

My players and I are loving 5th edition to bits. However, one of the core rules - namely the concentration rules - are kinda' irritating us. I completely see why they are there. Back in earlier versions of D&D, the spell casters could pile on protective spells and make their targets almost invulnerable, or, could pile control effect on to enemies and cripple them. By using the concentration rules as written, this problem is solved...but at the expense of awesomeness.

In the game last night, two spells - Silence and Hold Person came together (along with a 50ft high tower and a monk) to create one of those memorable moments (paralysed bad guys being shoved off afore mentioned tower by the monk, onto the BBEG, who got whacked by them due to being unable to hear their approach, thanks to a Silence spell).

So far, so awesome.

Unfortunately, I realised today, that both are concentration spells, and yep, they were cast by the same characters. If the rules as written had been used, that moment would not have happened.

This has got me to thinking. I know that the concentration rules were one of the rules we were warned not to mess with but...


As written except as below.

1) You can concentrate on a number of spells at once equal to your spellcasting ability modifier
2) The D.C. to keep concentrating increases by +2 per spell beyond the first you have active
3) At the end of each of your turns, when you are concentrating on more than one spell, you must make a D.C. 10 + The number of spells you are concentrating on + the spell level of the highest level spell you are concentrating on, check using your spellcasting ability, or all sustained spells end.

If this seems too complicated, here is another idea...

1) All concentration rules as written except, you can spend a Hero Point, to maintain concentration without the effort. This means you can maintain at least two spells at once - one with a Hero Point, the other normally. Your GM might even let you expend multiple Hero Points per round to keep multiple spells going....

Personally, I like the second one...I'm gonna' try it!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Flail Snail - CR 7 (Large Monstrosity)

Yep, I'm totally aware that 5e stats for these monsters are already available in a number of books and sites. However, for my games (these guys appear on a random encounter table for one of my campaigns) they didn't come close enough to the original, 1st Edition AD&D version - the one with the shiny shell that could make your spell casters mess up big time, and which got upset in bright light - so I statted up my own version. Being nice, and wanting to share, I thought I would stick it on here, so you have, if nothing else, another variant on the ones already out there.


" Ah hell no! I am NOT being killed by a sodding Flail Snail. Not cool dude...not coooool!!!"

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Shardevax - Tar Devil Captain - CR 9 (Medium Fiend)

Ormid and the gang are deep in a huge pile of conspiracy and plots, and as per usual, it has lead to interplanar portals, insanity and horrible massed battles against abyssal hordes. In the last session, an innocent looking hilltop erupted like a pustule, and disgorged a rather pissed off Goristro daemon, and a pack of vicious and hungry Kalavakus (of Pathfinder fame). Backing these guys up was one of the new Captains of the "Grey Men" of Latram; a Tar Devil warrior named Shardevax.

As the massive siege daemon and his blue furred pals ran to meet the party (who had soundly sent a pack of Type I daemons and a Horned Devil back home), Shardevax lazily lobbed a ball of hellfire at Llewellyn, attracting the rogue's ire. Llewellyn then ran towards him, causing the captain to say (whilst tugging his thorned blade, "The Bastard" from its scabbard), "I always wanted to fight a legend".

Llewellyn then reduced him to 2 hit points with one hit, the poor, deluded fiend being ended by a burst of force unleashed from his armour by Ormid's artifice.

The lesson?

Don't get critically hit by a high level rogue who has used a power to grant him his sneak attack dice...

Anyway, as he never got chance to really do anything, I though I would share his stats.

The Bastard by the way, is a  Very Rare unique sword (martial Weapon), that requires attunement, and inflicts +9 (2d8) necrotic damage on each hit. On a critical hit, it inflicts a total of +21 (6d6) necrotic damage, and the target's total hit points are reduced by that amount until they receive a Greater Restoration spell or better. 

Shardevax - written on his tombstone is "Be Careful What You Wish For"

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Metalmaster (Large Monstrosity) - CR 5

So, it's a slug that can control magnetic fields, a sort of mollusk Magneto...And in the original versions it could badly imitate someone screaming, although I often got things wrong as it isn't particularly smart....

...Yep, it's the Metalmaster Slug!


"We're gonna need salt....a butt load of salt.....and Heal potions...."

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Pennaggolan (Penanggalan) - Medium Undead (CR 9)

No matter how you choose to spell its name, the Pennaggolan is one of the most bizarre and disturbing undead in mythology. For a long time I didn't know that the myths had them soaking their animated guts in vinegar, which I think is just the most awesome (and vile) thing imaginable...and it gives the GM some great potential adventure hooks leading to an encounter with one of these things.

Anyways, here is my take on this particularly gruesome blood sucker. Have fun!

"For goodness sake! You'd forget your own head if it wasn't screwed!"

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Dusanu (Rot Fiend) - CR 2 (Medium Plant)

Rot Fiends are a nice fungoid monster that fits into any adventure set in swampy or thickly forested terrain, or indeed, any fungus themed setting. They have all the creepiness of zombies, whilst being something else completely, and really, are the ancestors of the Cordiceps fungi in The last of Us.

Anyway, here is my take on this monster, which has lurked in D&D since the first edition of Basic D&D. I hope it finds a home in your campaign....and your player's character's bodies...

Chicken Stuffed Dusanu Skull - Take one freshly picked Dusanu and.....AAARGH! NOOO! GEDDITOFFMEEEEEEEE......

Monday, 14 September 2015

Elemental Grue (Chaggrin) - Small Elemental (CR 9)

The Chaggrin is an earth grue, and is the one that has seen the most use in my home campaigns over the years. A sort of evil hedgehog of doom, these beasts have torn up more than a few would be heroes.

Here ye go!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Elemental Grue (Harginn) - CR 6 (Medium Elemental)

I always thought the illustration of the Harginn in the AD&D Monster Manual II was kinda eerie, and for a while ran them as if they were undead. As with many things in those heady days playing D&D as a 15-year-old, I assumed that things worked a certain way based either on their picture (Beholders and Umber Hulks are tiny) or their name (Any spell with the word 'Death' or 'Kill' in its name is save or die), so my conclusions were an ignorant, lazy kind of way.

Much later I forgot about the Harginn. However, my frequent trawls of old adventures and books has unearthed these things again, and I think they, and their other kin, deserve an outing in 5e!


 Beware of rousing the Anger of Ronaldanar'Macdonaldanus

Monday, 7 September 2015

Brigandine Armour (Medium Armour)

Before doing these stats I spent a bit of time looking up Brigandine armour, making sure I understood what it was, and whether it was ever actually used for real. Based on what I read, I came up with the stats below, which places it firmly in the Medium Armour slot. Thing is, really, for your money, you might as well go for Studded Leather (if you have a good Dex) or a Chain Shirt / Scale Armour (although they are slightly more expensive and slightly heavier), so you might wonder why I have bothered.

The truth is, as a GM, there are two reasons. Firstly, my players might not choose it when they create their characters, but they might be tempted by the suit of +3 brigandine they find in the crypt, or when they are in  part of the world where it is commonly worn and they need to keep a low profile. Secondly, Brigandine has been in most previous versions of D&D, so it seems only right that it gets a 5th Edition outing too.

So here you are, Brigandine Armour!

Armour Class
13 + Dex mod (Max +2)
16 lbs