Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Using 4e Fortune Cards to Reward 5th Edition Characters

So, we, like many groups, do not use XP to advance the characters. In my games I prefer to advance them at the appropriate moments, which stops the "mid adventure" level up, and allows me to accurately gauge the approximate power of the groups when writing. However, this sometimes leaves me feeling a bit cruel - usually after a series of challenging tasks or battles.

5e Version: You move an additional 10ft

In the Ormid et Al games, and now, in the PUG, I intent to start, when I feel the group deserves something, to hand out minor boons that last until a member of the party uses it, or until the end of their next long rest. These boons are actually those written on the 4e "Fortune Cards" - most of which translate seamlessly into 5e. It allows me to give something a bit different (and as it will involve rolling to determine the boon from a possible 440 boons) exciting and oft' different reward.
What do you think?

5e Version: As written, but you ignore all the "Vulnerability equals one-half you level" stuff, you just get Vulnerability

 Last night, the group got to re-roll any 1's they rolled for damage once. It allowed Ormid to inflict +7 damage with a spell ('twas a night of poor rolls).

5e Version: You can move an ally in any direction up to 10ft, then you move, without provoking opportunity attacks, up to 10ft.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Star Rose Tincture (Positoxin) - Rare Consumable

Positoxins were first introduced in the 3.5 Book of Exalted Deeds - the opposite tome to the wonderful Book of Vile Darkness. They were basically poisons that were dangerous to the undead, that paladins could use without taking the shine off their halos. Here is a quick one I dreamed up whilst brushing my fangs...enjoy!

Star Rose Tincture (Positoxin – Rare Consumable): As a general rule the undead are immune to poisons. However, there are certain substances, distilled from celestial materials and infused with the radiant energies of life, that act just like toxins to them. These “Positoxins” are rare, but valuable substances that can greatly aid those that hunt the unquiet dead. 

Image from https://staticdelivery.nexusmods.com/mods/110/images/19174-2-1340299286.jpg


Star Roses are a species of empyreal flower that sprawl across the lower peaks of several heavenly mountains. Their soft blooms glow with a blue-white light, much like moonlight, and their pollen fills the fragrant air with tiny specs of silvery light. When the essence of these divine flowers is infused into blessed water, and mixed with certain other substances baneful to the undead, the result is this substance – a faintly luminous, clear positoxin, that smells quite strongly of rose blossoms, and is slightly thicker than water.

Harmless to the living, it deals 13 (3d8) points of radiant damage to the undead when delivered on a weapon (D.C. 15 Constitution saving throw for half). A vial of this substance inflicts 27 (5d10) radiant damage if smashed against an undead creature (D.C. 15 Constitution saving throw for half). This substance resonates at a strange dimensional frequency, and is able to harm incorporeal targets as readily as corporeal ones. In other words, such targets do not get their usual resistance to this substances damage.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Composite Longbow and Shortbow - Martial Weapon

Composite Longbow – Martial Weapon

Cost: 65 gp
Range: 165 / 660
Damage: 1d8 piercing
Weight: 3lbs
Properties: Ammunition, Heavy, Two-Handed, Special
Special: A composite bow allows the bearer to add either their Strength or Dexterity modifier to damage.

Composite Shortbow – Martial Weapon

Cost: 30 gp
Range: 90 / 355
Damage: 1d6 piercing
Weight: 2lbs
Properties: Ammunition, Two-Handed, Special
Special: A composite bow allows the bearer to add either their Strength or Dexterity modifier to damage.


I'll be honest, I hadn't really realised that these weapons had not been redone in 5e, and I decided to change that. So here they are, a nice choice for your melee fighter, for when they need something at range. I did think about using similar rules to 3.0 / 3.5, and making it so there were grades of bow that allowed for greater amounts of strength based damage, but it seemed overly complex. Anyway, let me know if you think these are awful or great. 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Dread Wraith - Medium Undead (CR 15)

"Err guys, I am gonna' up the CR on these things. They really kicked far more ass than I thought they would. I was expecting that encounter to be a roadbump, not a near TPK."

- Me, last game

Although they may have been floating around (pun intended) in earlier editions of D&D, the first time I remember seeing them statted up  as a separate entity was in 3.5, and I am fairly sure I faced them again and again in DD). 

Ormid and the gang are currently very close to facing the legendary Lich Gimble Brandersnatch (name created when I was 17, please allow for this), and are starting to face some of his more vicious minions. In the last game, they set out to destroy one of the anchors holding an epic spell in place over Lorehaven, and before the encounter around the anchor itself ran into a group of undead that were supposed to let them "warm up" a bit before the main event. The encounter involved a Bone Golem and four Dread Wraiths....things got messy....really, really messy. Constitution drain is VICIOUS in 5e, and things only got nastier when one of the NPC's died and returned as a Wraith..

Art from here https://www.pinterest.com/fig0012/tattoos/
They see me floatin' they hatin'....


Hit point drain + Constitution Drain is utterly, utterly horrible, especially if you don't have ready access to the spells needed to remove it (which the group don't). 

Anyway, the Dread Wraiths proved themselves to be a truly deadly opponent, and as I have their stats, I thought I would share, so other GM's can unleash the pain on their players!


Erdeen (Earth Elemental of Chaos) - Large Elemental (CR 8)

The four "Elementals of Chaos" were from the Mystara setting, and I first encountered them in the 2nd Edition AD&D Monstrous Compendium that detailed monsters from that world, although I may have missed them being elsewhere. The Erdeen gets a conversion as I might need it in a game soon, and, as I have been pretty busy lately, I thought I would share it as I've not posted much of late.

From the 2nd Edition AD&D Monstrous Compendium "Mystara"

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Slithering Tracker - Small Ooze (CR 3)

"People assume I am terrified of the dark and deep places after the horrors of Meshari's tomb. It makes sense I suppose. However, they are wrong. I hated the deep places long before I ever crossed the threshold of that cursed vault. 

"So what, you may be wondering, cemented my loathing? Something I never saw. Something that came into our crude camp, and whilst we slept, slew two of my companions, leaving them little more than dehydrated husks. 

"Never did work out what did it; what could be smart enough to sneak into our camp, and to silently drain the life from my more than capable companions without them even uttering a word. I never could work it out, and I admit, I have no intent of ever finding out. From now on, the horrors can keep the deeps. I'll stick to the light realms above. It's safer."

- From the Journal of Kelvos Storr (three days before being eaten by a Roc in the wide open spaces).


Slithering Tracker by Bill Willingham

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Deathbringer - CR 18 (Large Undead)

When you reach the epic tier in 5th Edition, you need a accept that you are going to face some badass enemies. These hulks, pulled from the 3.0 Monster Manual II are just that - undead tanks, that can steamroll a party, heal their allies and still find enough things to do to keep your high level heroes more than busy just trying to stay alive.

Created or summoned by Liches and other potent dark masters, these brutes tower almost 12 feet in height, and strike at enemies with their hideous bone flails. Only the strongest or bravest souls will try and take one on - and they are often met in groups....

 "I've come about the flailin'"


Thursday, 10 March 2016

Expanding on the "Weakened" Condition

I'm a fan of 4e's Weakened condition, and indeed, created a 5th Edition version right here. However, I was thinking today, whilst creating a vile Tome for the Ormid game, of how the same mechanic could be expanded to all statistics.

So,  here are seven new conditions (well,  six, as I've repeated the Weakened condition for completeness).

Lemme know what you think.

*    *    *    *

Weakened: Disadvantage with all Strength based ability and skill checks, and attack rolls. Strength based damage is halved (rounded down)

Clumsy:  Disadvantage with all Dexterity based ability and skill checks, and attack rolls. Dexterity based damage is halved (rounded down)

Debilitated:  Disadvantage with all Constitution based ability and skill checks, and attack rolls. Constitution based damage is halved (rounded down)

Vexed:  Disadvantage with all Intelligence based ability and skill checks, and attack rolls. Intelligence based damage is halved (rounded down)

Foolish:  Disadvantage with all Wisdom based ability and skill checks, and attack rolls. Wisdom based damage is halved (rounded down)

Withdrawn:  Disadvantage with all Charisma based ability and skill checks, and attack rolls. Charisma based damage is halved (rounded down)

Unhinged:  Disadvantage with all Sanity based ability and skill checks, and attack rolls. Sanity based damage is halved (rounded down)

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A Feast of Fantastical Foods

Although most foods are just that, some, either through deliberate enchantment or because of their exotic and arcane ingredients, bestow boons on those that consume them. Most boons are short lived though useful, whilst others are potent and permanent. What follows are a small selection of magical foods encountered in Gatespace. Hope you enjoy!


Bloodspear Carrot (Rare Consumable): Found in mountain valleys below the snow line, these rare plants are most common in Calsor and Uppper Malgoroth's eastern reaches. Several roots must be consumed raw for them to be effective, this taking 2 minutes. Once finished, they cause the consumer to heal 5 (1d10) hit points at the start of each of their turns for 1 minute. The vegetable gets its name from the red colouration of the roots, and the slightly coppery taste of its juices.

Bulette Steak (Very Rare Consumable): This rare delicacy is served (in the Second Age's closing years) in Dulduthrak, the “Trull's Bane Arms”, famed home to the legendary hero (and later, herald of Thorduin) Brundor Trullslayer. In later ages, it is a very rare feature on more adventurous menus, or a bonus for those adventurers that fight and slay a Land Shark (A character can make 1d6 steaks from a slain Bulette with a D.C. 12 Intelligence [Cooks Utensils] check). Thick and succulent, it takes a full 20 minutes to consume on of these. However, the one doing so gains 20 temporary hit points, and for the next 24 hours gains a +2 bonus to all Strength and Constitution related skill checks, attack and damage rolls, and saving throws. If they use either of those statistics to calculate the D.C. Of an ability, that is also increased by +2. Finally, their total and current hit points are increased for the duration by their level x2.

Cave Fisher Claw Meat (Rare Consumable): This rather smelly, oily meat is pale yellow, and quickly spoils if not stored in either strong brine or oil. It takes 5 minutes to consume a piece, and grants the one doing so 10 temporary hit points and +1 AC for 12 hours, as well as advantage on any checks or saving throws to escape being restrained.

Dendwyr Cheese (Rare Consumable): This rare soft cheese is made by the Synd'Aelwyn using certain creams and pollens. Delicately flavoured, it is usually spread on sweet breads or biscuits, and once consumed (which takes 1 minute), grants the diner a sense of peace that allows them advantage on saving throws against being frightened, or in any other way affected by their emotions. The effects of the cheese last for 3 hours.

Duron Cheese (Uncommon Consumable): Non dundiir must make a D.C. 12 Constitution saving throw when trying to eat a piece of this, or be unable to do so due to the repulsive stench and foul texture. Furthermore, they are so revolted that they become Poisoned for 1 hour due to their dry heaving, involuntary twitches of disgust and general feelings of having put something utterly toxic in their mouths. Assuming they manage it, it takes 1 minute to consume a piece of this cheese, which grants the one doing so Poison Reduction 5 for 12 hours.

Earth Salt Sprinkled Baked Flour Root (Uncommon Consumable): Flour Root is a rather common plant in subtropical regions, and forms the basis of many folks' diets. However, there are some that manage to instil them with a wholesome energy as they bake, sealing it in with certain salts and spices. These roots take 10 minutes to eat, and grant the diner a +1 bonus to Constitution checks made to resist Exhaustion for 1 hour.

Giant Cockroach Eggs (Common Consumable): Many deep realm communities consume these surprisingly strong tasting, but quite disgusting things. Doing so takes only 2 rounds, but unless they are cooked properly, there is a chance that the diner may be exposed to Sewer Plague. Even well cooked eggs are not that helpful, for although they keep a medium or large character sated for 2 full days, during that time, they cause the diner to suffer a -1 penalty on saving throws against diseases.

Mud Pudding (Uncommon Consumable): This rather gritty textured but sweet pudding is considered a delicacy by the dundiir. It takes 1 minute to consume, and grants the one doing so Tremorsense 10 for 1 hour.

Rothe Blood Sausage (Common Consumable): These gamy, black sausages take 1 minute to consume, and grants the one doing so 5 temporary hit points for 1 hour.

Ssylvyir'Thyssai (Rare Consumable): This delicate, sweet pudding is prepared by the Lir'Aelwyn, and can only be properly made under the light of a full moon. If consumed (which takes 1 minute), it grants the one doing so, Darkvision 30ft (or adds 30ft to existing Darkvision) for 1 hour. If eaten under the light of the full moon, its effects last 3 months.

Stonebread (Common Consumable): This stuff seems inedible, and requires a lot of chewing and fluid to wash down. This means it takes 5 minutes to eat a slice (2 if eaten by a dundiir). However, each slice grants the one eating it 5 temporary hit points and a +1 bonus to Constitution saving throws for 1 hour.

Tarrasque Tongue (Legendary Consumable): The Tarrasque itself is an immortal beast created during the Primal Wars, and then put into an eternal slumber and sent into space. However, the Tarrasques spoken of by legend are not one beast, but instances of multiple creatures – lesser (though still utterly monstrous) entities based on the original, created by the Daemonori as siege engines, beasts of burden (seriously) and even as a food source. One of the few areas of a Tarrasque edible to most mortals is the tongue, though managing to eat some and survive is a trial. A piece of Tarrasque Tongue requires an hour to consume, and the one doing so must make 2d4 Constitution saving throws (the first is D.C. 15, and each subsequent one is +2 more difficult). If they fail at least half of the saving throws, they are unable to finish the meal and it is ruined. If they succeed, they must make a D.C. 22 Constitution saving throw, or die; torn apart by the blindly regenerating piece of Tarrasque in their body (which will reach 1 hit point – and awaken – in 1d12+12 rounds). If they make the save, they are able to digest the meal, and gain a permanent +1 bonus to both Strength and Constitution (maximum 30), a permanent sheen of hardened scales over their body which causes all non-magical damage inflicted on them to be reduced by an amount equal to half their Constitution score (rounded down and applied before any resistance). Finally, they gain Regeneration 10, a +5 bonus to their Armour Class, and increase in size by one category (if the GM is happy to allow it, such character may increase their reach by +5ft, and be able to wield larger weapons in one hand – though items do not change size to match the characters new form unless their description says they do) for 24 hours. Whilst changed, they are clearly infused with power, and appear reptilian and bestial.

Thorn Bread (Uncommon Consumable): The vyrleen of fey know how to make this lightly spiced bread, that has a layer of caramelised thorns on top of it. They also know it is particularly good at helping others overcome their worries. Eating a slice of this takes 1 action, and the diner gains a minor luck effect for the next 3 hours. During that time, they may re-roll any single failed saving throw. Multiple slices do not allow for multiple uses of this ability, and at least 3 hours must pass between uses of the boon.

Vasp (Rare Consumable): Vasp is a sharp spice, made from the ground up stings of a species of tropical ant. On its own, it is nothing but an astringent addition to a meal. However, when added to a food that grants a boon or curse of some kind, it acts to extend their effects, increasing their duration by 50%. Applying Vasp is usually a standard action.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Eye Stinger - Medium Monstrosity (CR 1)

I am lucky enough to own a copy of Out of the Pit, a guide to the monsters of the amazing Fighting Fantasy world Titan. Many of the monsters in the original Fiend Folio came from the same brains as those in that tome, and so, I decided I would do a few conversions; partly because there is some seriously weird stuff in there, and partly because I think many of my older, long term players would appreciate encountering a Blood Beast or an....Eye Stinger?

The Eye Stinger then is a sort of cross between an Eye of the Deep and a Gas Spore....covered in toxic spikes. Its a nasty little fella' and I hope I am not invoking any daemons of copywrite by posting this conversion to 5e here (If I am, send me a note and I shall remove it).

Anyway, here it is! The Eye Stinger!


 Mistakes were made, and the final round of this year's Conker Knockout competition was one of the bloodiest....


Friday, 19 February 2016

Juggernaut - Huge Monstrosity (CR 14)

The Juggernaut is one of those monsters that I have always wanted to make use of, and somehow, never did. I loved it in the original Temple of Elemental Evil, and later, when I ran a 4e conversion of the Tomb of Horrors, noticed there was one in there....not that they got that far. I vaguely remember having one ready to roll out and grind my player's characters into paste in an adventure set in a Lich' lair, but again, they somehow never ran into (or unfortunately, under) it.

Bah!

Fortunately, I have plenty of new opportunities to unleash one (or more) of these on my current players - although that requires me to get it converted....

...DONE!



Thursday, 18 February 2016

Lock Lurker - Tiny Monstrosity (CR 1/2)

Errr....so, the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar seems to be the first place I find these odd little critters. They seem to come from the same school of evolution as Xavers, Mimics and other monsters that look like things you might want to touch, and, yeah, I like 'em.

Enjoy!



Sunday, 14 February 2016

Wyvern Watch - 2nd Level Evocation

Wyvern Watch
Level 2 Evocation

Cleric, Druid

Casting Time: 1 Action (Ritual)
Range: 30 ft; Wyvern Watch guards an area with a 30 ft Radius centred on the construct
Components: V, S, M (Sting from a scorpion or Wyvern)
Saving Throw: See Below
Duration: 8 Hours

When you cast this spell, a vaguely visible medium construct of insubstantial force that resembles a curled wyvern appears where you command, within 30ft. Hard to spot, it can usually be detected with a Wisdom (Perception) check made against the caster's spell save D.C.

As the spell is cast, the caster may name up to 8 individuals apart from themselves that the construct ignores. Once conjured, the construct watches over a 30ft radius area, doing so with a Perception check equal to the caster's spell attack modifier, and with advantage.

The construct has darkvision.

if an enemy is detected in this area, the construct makes a single attack roll against them, using the caster's spell attack modifier. If it hits, the target is Paralysed for 1 minute, although they may make a Constitution saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end the effect early.

Once the construct has made one attack, the spell ends and it dissipates.

At Higher Levels: When you use a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the area watched over by the construct increases by +10ft for every level higher than 2nd the slot is.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Stirge's Bane Spaulders - Very Rare Heavy Armour

Requires Attunement

Worn by the Paladin Sorcerer Enkuban "The Relucent"  these highly polished Spaulders are crafted from silvery metal, and decorated with sigils inlaid with gold and Sunstone.

Designed to replace the shoulder armour of plate armour, they can be used by anyone in any kind of heavy armour, and once attuned grant the wearer Damage Reduction Vs Piercing 10, as well as Resistance to Piercing damage. Only legendary weapons can bypass this protection.

Furthermore, 1/long rest, the bearer may gain advantage on a single Strength or Dexterity based roll made to escape being restrained.

[damage reduction is applied before resistance]

*   *   *

Hello! Sorry for the dearth of new stuff. I have been slacking quite a bit, thanks to some rather addictive games on the Xbone, and have not been writing as much. Anyway, I'll not let that continue. Here is an item I came up with whilst waiting for my lads to come out of school. A potentially potent little item that would be of great benefit to any character that often finds themselves at the pointy end of things...

 

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.

RIDDLE #1

“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 

RIDDLE #2

“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

RIDDLE #3 

“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

Torment

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

Spiritwrack 
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.

ACCEPTING OF DEATH

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.

LAMENTATION

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.


VOICE OF THE DEAD

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.

CALLER OF THE DEAD

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 them...well....you 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 this...art from the days of awesome art!