Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Intellect Glutton - CR 9 (Large Aberration)

Holy Hell! Has it really been nearly a month since I last updated here? Sweet Namaea! I do apologise. I have been busy as. However, I hope you think the wait was worth it, for today, I bring you a monster from 4e'a Monster Manual 3, that I never got to use, but really wanted to - an advanced form of the Intellect Devourer that has some really nasty abilities beyond the usual.

My epic (21st level) guys will be facing packs of these tonight, mixed with Chaos Beasts (from 3.0 / 3.5), various Quori and probably a few other nasty psionic monsters, as they are trying to acquire some psionic means of flying, so they can storm a Beholder hive and fly without fear of anti-magic putting them down (I use the "psionics is different" idea in my games).

Anyway, here it is - a much larger, nastier Intellect Devourer the size of a bear, shimmering with psionic energy and shrouded in a fog of deflecting psychic force.


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Astereater - Gargantuan Aberration (CR 22)

Spelljammer rocked, and that's just a fact. It was an insane mishmash of madness, and featured some of the stupidest and weirdest cirtters in AD&D. I love it, and indeed, have a group running through Discord that is a Spelljamming campaign.

Although that group are a long long way from being tough enough (even in their ship) to battle one of these, I came across it whilst browsing the old Monstrous Compendiums, and thought I would convert it.


Astereaters are debased Beholder-Kin, and float through space with their huge central (and only) eye shut, pretending to be an asteroid. However, as soon as a possible meal comes close enough - CHOMP!!!!


Friday, 11 August 2017

Piecemeal Armours

Right, before we go any further, this is really just me vomiting up something after getting all misty eyed for the old 2nd Edition Piecemeal Armour rules from Combat and Tactics. Its not been playtested, and has not been checked for balance. However, given the additional considerations I've put in, I can't see it being horribly unbalanced.

Ok, so, this is also one of those "Why would I use this?" type things, and again, I'm not saying you should. I like the idea of building a piecemeal suit of armour from scraps you find, and can see how I could use these rules to create "Set Items" like those found in Diablo or similar. I also like the idea of enchanted versions of piecemeal armour, where you might be tempted by dropping some AC to get some properties, without having to completely sacrifice wearing at least some parts of your current armour.

These rules awould also work well for any game where survival and conservation of resources is a theme, allowing you to modify your armour as you find scraps here and there.

Anyway, enough of me babbling on. Here's the rules.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Masterwork Weapons and Armour

The following are my homebrew rules for Masterwork Weapons. These fine examples of superior craftsmanship are rarely available for sale, but when they are, sell for 200% the normal price.

Masterwork Weapons: These beautifully crafted items inflict +1 damage.

Masterwork Armour: Though they weigh the same as their mundane counterparts, when worn, they are considered to be 25% lighter due to their fine balance and materials. Furthermore, the reduce non-magical slashing, piercing and Bludgeoning damage, the amount depending on the category of armour;

Light Armour: 1 point
Medium Armour: 2 points
Heavy Armour: 3 points.

This stacks with similar reductions from feats or similar.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Gloomwing - Large Beast (CR 3)

Firstly, sorry for the slow down of new posts. I have been damn busy, and will probably continue to be for some time, although I have some annual leave incoming, and hope to get some time to write then.

Anyways, as promised, here is what the Tenebrous Worm grows up to be (if it isn't hacked apart by rampaging adventurers of course); a Gloomwing - a ghostly, shimmering thing with warped and flickering wings who's patterns can confuse and distract those that see them.

As far as I know, the Gloomwing first appeared in AD&D 1st Edition in Monster Manual II, and it has had a version in most subsequent versions - though not 5e yet, and I don't remember them being in 4e off the top of my brains...

Anyway, here ya go!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Photobucket? Photobuttocks more like...err...yeah

Unfortunately, I have just noticed that a huge amount of the old 4th Edition posts have fallen victim to Photobucket's latest money grab. There is absolutely no way in the Nine Nights that I am going to pay them, so unfortunately, that stuff is gone. If there is ever anything you really want, let me know, as I have it all saved.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Tenebrous Worm - Large Beast (CR9)

Today we consider the larval stage of the creature who's stats I shall post in the next day or so. Found in the original Monster Manual II in AD&D, these vast, spine-furred caterpillars are native to the Shadow Planes, though they do frequently slip into the Physical Universe. Dwaer'Syth and other deep races may keep them, both for their deadly venom (which can be extracted with the right skill, equipment, and a D.C. 22 Intelligence (Alchemists Kit) or D.C. 18 Intelligence (Poisoner's Kit) check, and because the wings of their adult form can be used to craft a number of magical items and components.

Ah, 1st Edition Art, I do actually, genuinely miss you...

I have used these in game, and they proved to be a good challenge for a well equipped band of adventurers - the poisonous hairs almost claiming one life. I hope you like! Enjoy!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Spelljammer Spells

The Concordance of Arcane Space was one of the tomes included in the original 2nd Edition AD&D Spelljammer boxed set, and amongst many, many other things, contained numerous spells unique to that setting.

I am currently running a 5th edition game through the Discord app with a number of players, and their charcters are about to enter Wildspace. This, obviously, has lead to me having to come up with rules for spelljamming, ship combat and a load of other stuff (I have for example done away with the Crystal Spheres, as they don't fit with my world, the Phlogiston now being a different "level" of the Physical Plane, where distances are warped; an explosive Hyperspace if you will*)

Anyway, I have converted a bunch of spells from this tome, and would like to present them here for you today. Enjoy!

Chill Fire
2nd level Transmutation

Artificer, Sorcerer, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 30ft
Area of Effect: 120ft radius burst
Components: V, S, M (sliver of glass or ice)
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 30 minutes

This spell only functions in the Phlogiston. When enacted, it reduces the flammable nature of the flow. This enables flames and sparks to be created in that plane without causing an explosion.

At Higher Levels: The duration of the spell increases by 20 minutes for every level higher than 2 the spell slot used to cast this spell is. 

Create Major Helm
8th level Enchantment

Artificer, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Hour
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: One chair, stool or similar
Components: V, S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 24 Hours

You temporarily enchant a normal chair, stool or similar, granting it the powers of a Major Spelljamming Helm for the duration.

At Higher Levels: For every level higher than 8th the spell slot used to cast this spell is, it's duration increases by +24 hours.

Create Minor Helm
6th level Enchantment

Artificer, Cleric, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Hour
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: One chair, stool or seat
Components: V, S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 240 Hours

You temporarily enchant a normal chair, stool or similar, granting it the powers of a Minor Spelljamming Helm for the duration.

At Higher Levels: For every level higher than 6th the spell slot used to cast this spell is, it's duration increases by +240 hours.

Create Phlogiston Portal
5th level Conjuration

Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 action (Ritual)
Range: 300 ft
Area of Effect: 1 portal 200ft diameter
Components: V, S, M (Piece of silver wire wrapped around an Amber)
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)

This spell can only be cast at least 1,000,000 miles from a planetary body, and causes a portal to the Phlogiston to be formed, or, from the Phlogiston to the Physical Plane.

A vessel or individual caught in the portal as it collapses suffers 55 (10d10) force damage.

Enhance Maneuverability
5th level Enchantment

Artificer, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: 1 spelljamming helm
Components: V, S, M (Vial of wind from either an air world or an elemental air plane)
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)

This spell allows the targeted helm to provide enhanced maneuverability to its ship. For the duration, the helmsman currently attuned to the affected helm has advantage on all Helm Checks

 Enhance Rating
3rd level Enchantment

Artificer, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: 1 Spelljamming Helm
Components: V, S, M (Small ivory arrow)
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 2 (1d4) rounds

You imbue a Spelljamming Helm with energy, allowing it to briefly work more efficiently. For the duration of the spell, it provides +2 SR.

At Higher Levels: the duration of this spell increases by +2 (1d4) rounds for every level higher than 3rd the slot used to cast the spell is.

Locate Phlogiston Portal
2nd level Divination

Sorcerer, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action (Ritual)
Range: Personal
Components: V, S, M (Conch Shell)
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 1 Round

On casting this spell you become aware of the location of every Phlogiston Portal within 2d10 days flight. On average 1d4 portals will be located.

* In my games Spelljamming helms that function in space do not necessarily work in other dimensions,the energies of those planes - for example, the Shadow Planes, natural choices for a Hyperspace type realm otherwise - disrupting the flow between the helmsman and the helm. There are however, modified helms that function in planes, so we still get Githyanki scouring the Astral Seas in their spelljammers, and some will work in both the Physical Plane and other dimensions. However, this means we still have a place for the Phlogiston, a realm that is simultaneously a part of the physical plane, and which acts like a shadow plane, reducing vast distances to much smaller ones.

Friday, 16 June 2017

New Player Race - Ghovian (Giff)

Yes - those Giff!
I'm about to launch my Discord "Daily D&D" 5e group into Wildspace, and the captain and first mate of their ship are Ghovians - the race known officially as Giff. 

Now, I know that I have often complained about the over abundance of anthropomorphised animals in D&D (apart from the Fey Corgi, 'cos damn, those things are cute), and as a general rule, I still shudder each time a new "Ratman" race or *shudder* "Cat People" race gets vomited up. However, the Giff had a cool background, and outside of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles weren't overused or totally trite.They also fit very well with the madness of Spelljammer, and so, they made the cut and are found in my games. 

Cut to the current game, and I wanted to ensure that I had a based on which to design the NPC's of this race, and, should a player lose their minds and want to play one, stats to cover that. 

And it is those that I want to share with you now. I hope you enjoy!


Ability Score Increase: +2 Con, +1 Str

Age: Ghovians age at a slightly faster rate than humans, and tend to live until their mid to late 50’s.
Alignment: Ghovian’s come from very ordered societies generally, and tend to lean towards lawful alignments.

Size: Ghovian’s stand between 7-10ft tall, and have a bulk about four or five times that of a human. As such, they are large creatures. Their reach is 5ft.

Speed: Your speed is 30'. Ghovians also have a Swim Speed of 15’

Magic Resistant: Ghovians may re-roll a saving throw they have failed against a spell or other magical effect. Once they have used this ability, they cannot use it again until they have taken either a short or long rest.

Hold Breath: Ghovians can hold their breath 5x as long as other creatures.

Head Butt: There is no such thing as an unarmed Ghovian, for they may make a melee attack with their heavy heads. They are proficient with this attack, and it inflicts 1d8 bludgeoning damage. If they hit the target by 4+ more than was needed, the target must make a Dexterity or Strength saving throw (their choice; D.C = 8 + Ghovian’s Strength Modifier + Ghovian’s Proficiency Bonus), or be pushed 5ft and knocked prone.

Martial Weapon Proficiency: Firearms: Ghovians are trained from birth to understand how to maintain and fire firearms, and as such are proficient with them

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Malboro - CR 17 (Huge Aberration)

Out of all the Final Fantasy monsters there are, my absolute favourite is the Malboro. I think they scratch the same itch as Beholders and their kind (and indeed, in my game world are a kind of cheldean abomination). Anyway, here is my 5e take on them. It HEAVILY uses the conditions I detailed HERE, so make sure you have a copy of that if you decide to use these things. 

Hope you like. Enjoy!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Weapon Enhancement Oils

here are a few new consumable magical oils to add to your collection. They all grant abilities related to various house rules (all explained somewhere on here, but also fully explained in the document)

Monday, 15 May 2017

Worker Android - Medium construct [robot] - CR 1

2019 will see the 30th anniversary of my first ever game of D&D as DM, and my players and I (many of my players were there for that fateful game - the one where I pitted 20th level characters against...a single Troll) are hoping to organise a special weekend game to celebrate the thousands of hours of fun and death we have shared together.

To do this, I am converting the 1st Edition module S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks to 5e, with the hopes of running it over a weekend. I'm still doing the ground work - converting monsters and items, and I thought I would share the stats for one of the monsters from that module - the Worker Android.

I've done my best to keep the vulnerabilities outlined in the original, and have tweaked it to better fit in with the more modern mindset. All in all, I am quite pleased. Hope you are too!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Ethereal Slayer - Medium Monstrosity (CR 7)

"We were just sat there, trying to negotiate a deal with Abbeth when suddenly, without any kind of warning, the air behind and above him warped and shifted and...this....thing...came through and grabbed him. It was like a spider and a lobster had the child from Hell, and it leaned into our world from wherever it came from, hauled the crime lord up, and retreated back, taking him with it!
"Then, the air just fixed itself, and it, and Abbeth were gone.

"All in all, probably the best outcome for our meeting really." 

- "Nighthawk Jimmy", Rogue

Ethereal Slayers are found in 3.0's Monster Manual II, and are monstrous hunters that lurk in the Border Ethereal, waiting for prey to come "close" in the physical plane. They then drop into that reality, grab them, and retreat back to their own universe with their prize. 

Anyway, I statted these up for one of my games and thought I would share. Enjoy!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Reaperthorn Scarecrow - Large Construct (CR 9)

In my PUG, the "heroes" are currently trapped in a fey dimension, and are tangling with cannibal aelwyn / plant folks so terrible, that they have been cast out by their own foul kind. Leading this group is a potent witch, and she has learned how to animate the deadly thorned plants known  as Reaper Thorns, creating shambling, razor taloned constructs known as Reaperthorn Scarecrows.

We left the last game here....the Scarecrows aint' doing too well!
I thought you might like the stats for these things, as I must admit, I rather like them (don't be fooled by the screen grab, these things have been kicking arse - the last round was almost all spent with folks healing or gritting their teeth). 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Dwemer Sphere - Medium Construct (CR 5)

By way of an apology after a period of poor posting regularity (no excuse - been playing a lot of ESO when I should have been writing D&D stuff), I thought I would post the stats I did for another Elder Scrolls staple - the Dwemer Sphere.

God, I hate these things so much, and invest in stealth heavily as much to avoid having to face these armour plated douchebags as anything....

...However, they are cool, and my hate for them only reinforces the need for them in D&D, you know, to upset your players....

Irritating - like a thrush infection


Anyway, enjoy. Oh, and if you haven't played any Elder Scrolls games....why?

Thaniir Ancient (Huge Fey Plant) - CR 25

The Uld Thaniir is the strange tree God of the Tal'Mir; a race of feral, plant infused aelwyn, similar to the Syra'Syth Aelwyn of Arbel'Verdaniss - though more savage and given to using poisons and torture to change natural creatures into horrific servants and guardians. The Tal'Miri Forests that are home to these creatures (which dwell in Synnok, a fey dimension of 13 sundered realms...ah, you don't need to know this do you); are a vast, wild realm of luminous Glymwoods, Fey Candles and other strange, magical trees, and as a result, they are scattered wildly.

To help them stay in contact with their deity (who resides deep in the Forest in the Court of Thornheart - Tal'Jonde), the Uld Thaniir sends fragments of his essence out, which create the vast Thaniir Ancients; Treant like beings that defend Tal'Mir settlements, and relay the word of their God to the people.

Art is not my work. Artists' credits on picture.
This, but with more animal skulls, blood and stained rune stones around it.

My PUG have managed, mercifully, to avoid contact with any real Tal'Mir entanglements (although that is about to change most likely), and so, have not been close to one of these things (which would annihilate them in a round or less).

In your own games, an Ancient would make a great end boss for adventures centred around dark druidic cults, aelwyn (elven) attacks or anything of a similar nature.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Hoarvor - CR 2 (Small Beast)

Another Elder Scrolls monster, the Hoarvor are some kind of tick / beetle thing that tends to lurk in dark, unappealing places, just waiting to gross you out as your light falls on their damp, brain-like shells.

According to the Elders Scrolls wiki, they are actually a mutated giant tick, notorious for draining the blood of drunkards unlucky enough to draw them to them whilst unconscious, and leaving them cold and dead for the morning watch to find.

This naturally makes them awesome, and so, in need of a 5th Edition version.

And as if by magic, a...Oh crap! What is that...? Ah...no...NO.....NOOOOOARGH!

Monday, 27 March 2017

Dwemer Spider - Small Construct (CR 3)

I have been playing a LOT of Elder Scrolls games over the last few months, including Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and one of the things I love about that universe is that fact that the Dwarves (or Dwemer) are a dead race, and that their ancient technology is both badass and scattered across the world. One of the more common Dwemer minions you encounter in these games are the Dwemer Spiders; scuttling, metallic things that have ripping talons and brutal lightning based attacks. Although not all are created equally, I have statted up the most basic version; a foundation from which to build more potent and sophisticated versions.

And I thought I would share it with you all!


Obviously The Elder Scrolls and all that belongs to Bethesda, just in case you thought I had, you know, single handedly created that franchise :D

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Dwaercraft Items and Decay - Houserules and New Items

Ever since at least 1st Edition, the drow (or Dwaer'Syth as they are in my games) have been masters at binding the strange and subtle energies of their subterranean home world to certain metals and other materials, in order to craft potent weapons and fabulous armour. It has also always been a fact that these items, once removed from that environment (or in some editions, once exposed to sunlight) begin to decay.

I've always liked this rule, as it meant I didn't have to worry too much if the group got their hands on their enemies items. They may enjoy a temporary (and sometimes necessary) power bump, but nothing was permanent. I also loved how it fit in with the idea of the dwaer being creatures of darkness; creatures so wicked that even their gear was bound to the darkness of the deep realms and perished once exposed to the cleansing light.

In one of my current games, the group have gotten embroiled in all kinds of Dwaer'Syth stuff, and have obtained a few choice items (spoilers: one item is cursed, but has yet to reveal its nature) . These "Dwaercraft" items are quite potent, but are destined, now they are away from the subtle power of the underdark, to begin to slowly unravel. Yes, even the cursed one.

Here are my rules for just this. I hope they are useful to someone.

Dwaercraft items are crafted in eerie forges of silence and shifting arcane pressures. Dwaer smiths use strange alloys and dark magics to bind the unnatural radiations of their home realm to these items - energies that rapidly dissipate when the item is removed from the depths for at least 10 consecutive days (5 if exposed to sunlight for even an instant).


Once such items have begun to decay, nothing short of a Wish can stop it, though certain other items have been created that delay or prevent this happening..

Once an item begins to decay, it loses one point of bonus every 10 days. Once the bonus reaches zero, the item crumbles into strands of inert, useless ash. Items that do not have "plusses" decay dependent on their rarity. Common items Rot after 5 days, uncommon 10, Rare 20, Very Rare 30 and Legendary 60.

To.combat this decay, various individuals have crafted items over the years that delay or prevent it. Here are two examples.

Dark Charged Resonant Shard (Very Rare Wondrous Item) These shards are imbued with the essence of the deep realms, and can be slotted into a Dwaercraft item to prevent it decaying. They are slender, twisted flecks of darkly iridescent, glassy material that subtly crawl with dark energy. One slotted (usually in a slip silver or permanent slot worked into the item) to an iten it becomes immune to the decay associated with being removed from the deep realms and / or exposed to sunlight.

Night Infusion Oil (uncommon consumable) An application of this darkly luminous oil covers one medium sized weapon or carried item. Two are needed for a large weapon or suit of medium armour. It takes 1 minute to use, but once applied delays the onset of decay caused by being removed from the deep realms or by exposure to such light for 1d4+1 days.

Nightbond Oil (Very Rare consumable) An application of this shimmering, volatile fluid grants a single weapon or set of armour a permanent +1 bonus (max enchantment +4). However, that item becomes a Dwaercraft item, and has all the weaknesses common to such items.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Indomitability - Level 5 Abjuration

Another spell from (I think) either 2nd or 3rd Edition, that any adventurer would be only too pleased to have cast upon them before a major battle!

5th level Abjuration

Cleric, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: Creature Touched
Components: V, S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 1 hour

This spell protects the target against damage that would take them to 0 hit points or less. It remains until it's duration ends or until it is triggered.

The first time the Warded individual suffers hit point loss that would take them to 0 hit points or fewer, the spell triggers and they are reduced to 1 hit point instead. This spell does not protect against any additional effects of the triggering attack, such as a Ghoul's paralyses or a Spider's venom. It similarly does not protect against effects that bring death or other woes without reducing hit points.

At Higher Levels: If cast with a slot of 6th level or higher, the spell lasts for an additional hour for every level higher than 5th it is. If an 8th level or higher slot is used, the Warded individual also gains temporary hit points equal to the spell slot level x2 when the spell is triggered.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Absorption - Level 9 Abjuration

The 2nd Edition Cult of the Dragon source book was a great little tome, packed full of new spells, monsters and magical items. The spell below is one of the more potent castings described in there, and would be a great use of a high level spell slot for any mage lucky enough to find a copy.

The original makes no mention of the effect this apparently has on lady clothes...um...yeah...

9th level Abjuration


Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Personal
Components: V, S, M (Amulet worth 1,000gps)
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 12 Hours or until used

You create an invisible weave of magic around yourself, that allows you to absorb up to 10 levels worth of spells and to use them to cast your own prepared spells.

When you would be affected by a spell, you can choose to absorb it instead. The spell has no effect on you, and you can store the energy in the weave. If you do not have enough "room" to absorb a spell, it works normally, although you have advantage on any saves you make against it. You can choose to lower the weave temporarily to receive beneficial spell effects.

When you cast a spell you have prepared, you can choose to expend spell levels you have stored in the weave instead of a spell slot (so you could use 5 stored levels to cast a spell that would use a 5th level spell slot).

The spell ends when a total of 10 levels of spells have been absorbed and used, or when 12 hours have passed.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Swordwing Cogivore - Medium Humanoid (CR 11)

"Whilst the armoured fighters of their kind held us at bay, slashing and ripping into us with savage and precise effect, the slightly smaller ones darted here are there, dodging out of the way of our archer's fire, and unleashing unseen bursts of crushing psychic power. What had started as an ambush, quickly dissolved in abject chaos, and then a rout, and I am not ashamed to admit that I was part of that mindless, panicked retreat."

- From battle report of Undurgoin Khozzakar, Daelndorin Warlord. 

Art from: http://nathanrosario.deviantart.com/art/Mi-Go-Concept-5-187231557
Best I could find...(from http://nathanrosario.deviantart.com/art/Mi-Go-Concept-5-187231557)
The Swordwings come in a number of varieties, apparently evolved to fulfill different roles in either day to day life, or in defense of their hives. The cogivore is somewhat smaller than their warrior kin, and over all is substantially less of a threat. However, they wield potent psionic abilities, and can easily destroy an enemy physically and psychically, although their role tends to be to hang back and to snipe at enemies whilst their more physically potent brethren tear into them. 

The Illithids of Arbel'Verdnaniss have tried several times to control these things, in order to use them as watchdogs or even the hosts for their foul larvae.However, these have always ended in disaster, as the beasts are immune to any kind of magical or psionic control, and their distress was somehow sensed by the rest of the hive, who sent soldiers to rescue their lost brethren.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Swordwing - Medium Humanoid (CR 18)

"I grow increasingly irritated with my peers and their short sighted unwillingness to consider the evidence. Contrary to prosaic ideas, there is plenty to suggest that the Settari, Daemonori and Ael'Shar were not the first races, and that they may, in truth, have been either travelers to this universe, or creations of the true progenitor races. 

"I have not only found impossibly ancient fragments suggestive of a truly ancient race (or races), but have also encountered contemporary species that seem to echo the form and mindset of those pieces. For example, the "Swordwings" of the deepest umbra; a race as alien and strange as any, which are clearly of this world, and yet, not so. I believe that they are the product of one of these true ancient races - soldiers or guardians perhaps - that have endured and thrive, unknown to most, in the deepest and most hostile regions of our world."

- From the personal Journal of Eskarr Rhammoth, Adventuring Mage

"Overgrown bloody bugs were after me' axe. So, I gave it to 'em."

- Brundor Trullslayer; Vengeful Cleaving Axe of Thorduin

"Hello? Is this thing turned on? This is then worst smart phone I have ever used."
Swordwings first  appeared, to my knowledge, in 4th Editions' Monster Manual. They were aberrant humanoids from the deepest reaches of the Underdark, that looked like Scyther on crack, and had some nasty powers to punish the more mobile 4e classes. To be honest, I never really got past their pokemonish looks, and so, never really thought about using them. 

However, my campaigns are writhing, tentacled things, that often burrow and reach into spaces I had never envisioned (And - DM Hint - this is both ok and cool), and suddenly I am aware that these guys (for I am dreaming up a number of variants, including the deadly Cogivore and monstrous Executioners) could be very useful....veeeery useful.....

Anyway, in my worlds they are largely unknown, for they occupy places so deep and forbidding that they make the lightless delves of the dwaer'syth, dwaerdorin, suben'duun and dismordiir seem airy and close to the surface in comparison. They may (or may not) be a creation of the true progenitor races (assuming they existed), and may, or may not be waiting for something to "come right" before they fly forth and make their presence known. 

This particular beastie is designed to be more than a little "tanky"; High AC, lots of hit points, and a butt load of ways to prevent enemies from getting away from its withering and accurate attacks. Throw a couple at your players whilst squishier, ranged monsters do their thing, and watch the carnage unfold. 


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Vial of Shared Fates - Very Rare Wondrous item (Requires Attunement)

Vial of Shared Fates (Very Rare Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement by up to three living creatures): This item resembles a finely crafted crystalline vial, which is stoppered at both ends with graven seals of bloodstone, transientum and Vitalwood. 

From one end protrudes a fine needle, which easily enters the flesh of any creature applying even the slightest amount of pressure. If an attuned individual does this, magic draws a single drop of blood from them, which is suspended within the vial. If only one creature does this, then the item has no effect, for it needs at least two creatures to add their blood, in order for it to function.

When more than one creature adds a drop of their blood, their life force (in the form of hit points) become combined, meaning that instead of having their own separate hit points, they add their totals together, and any damage they suffer comes from that shared pool of hit points. This means that should the pool be depleted, all connected creatures are rendered unconscious, and begin to die.

Healing works in the same way, restoring lost hit points to the pool.

Whenever any hit points are lost from the pool, all connected individuals feel it as pain. They may, as a bonus action, attempt a D.C. 10 Wisdom ability check to see if they can determine who has been wounded.

Temporary hit points still only benefit the one gaining them.

There are some limitations. If any creature is separated from the vial by more than 100 miles, the link is broken. Similarly, if a creature is on a different plane to the vial, the link is lost. No more than three creatures can be linked to the vial, and if any are exposed to any effects that can cause instant death, all linked individuals are similarly exposed to it.

Image From: https://www.etsy.com/listing/237278852/vial-of-fire-glowing-vial-bronze-vial
"Billy Bob? That vial o' yer blood ye giv me', be glowin' all spooky like agin!"

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Black Blade of Disaster - Level 9 Conjuration

I've been converting some high level spells from the 3.0 Magic of Faerun book, and thought I would share some of the results. Here is the first; a potent spell that conjures a mobile dimensional rift, which is under the casters control, and which can be used as a weapon with terrible disintegration powers.

It's tough, but it's also a 9th level spell.

Have fun!

*   *   *

Black Blade of Disaster
9th level Conjuration

Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 60ft
Components: V,S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 1 Minute (Concentration)

You Conjure a planar rift shaped like a slender blade, and may use it to make devastating attacks. Using a move, you may command the blade to fly up to 30ft, and may use a bonus action to make it attack a target.

The sword gains a +4 bonus to attack rolls (use your spell attack modifier) and on a hit inflicts 2d12+4 bane force damage. It scores a critical hit (which ignores all Fortification) on a natural 18, 19 or 20, and on such a hit inflicts an additional 10d6+40 bane force damage. Creatures slain by the blade, and objects destroyed by it are turned to ash as if disintegrated. The blade ignores any damage thresholds, and can only be destroyed by casting a Gate spell upon it, or a successful Dispel Magic. Exposure to a Sphere of Annihilation also destroys the blade.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Quell - Medium Undead (CR 3)

Ormid and the gang are currently fighting for their lives against an ancient Lich (and former player character). One of this bastards legendary powers allows him to summon a number of undead, and in the next game, I suspect that a Quell - an undead originally found in the 3rd Edition Libris Mortis - will soon by getting called in order to deal with a cleric of Namaea'Isaala who is causing the Lich some headaches.

"Ok, ok, so can we please decide which of these I shall be known as, as I am sick of being known as the undead formerly known as Quell"

Quell appear as shimmering, floating humanoids, surrounded by swirling symbols which speak of blasphemy and disgust for the Gods. Though physically little threat, their true power comes from their ability to temporarily cut a deist off from the source of their power.

In my games, it is unclear where the first Quell came from. Some suppose they were forged during the Primal Wars, or that they arose from a great apostate or heretic of some ancient power. What is known is that they are rare, and are a menace to be wiped out at once - or bound and made use of.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

A Pile of Converted Items!

Hey, hey! So sorry for the lack of recent updates. As said before, we have a new baby and I work a full time job, so life is hectic to put it mildly.

Anyway, I have been converting some 4th Edition Magical Items from the Adventurer's Vault to 5th Edition, and thought I would share them.

Hope you enjoy!

*    *    *

Bracers of Bold Manoeuvring (Uncommon Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement): As a bonus action you can activate these bracers, which grant you a measure of protection against Opportunity Attacks. Once activated, such attacks suffer Disadvantage on the attack roll. This effect remains active for 3 rounds. Once used, this power cannot be used again until you have a short or long rest.

Bracers of Iron Arcana (Uncommon Wondrous item; Requires Attunement by a spell caster): As a bonus action you can activate these bracers, which, until the end of your next turn grant you a bonus to your AC equal to your spell casting attribute modifier. Once you have used this power 3 times, you must complete a long rest before you can use it again.

Cat Paws (Common Wondrous item; Requires Attunement) Once per long rest you can, as a bonus action, climb at your normal speed.

Gauntlets of Blinding Strikes (Uncommon Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement) Once per long rest you can activate these gauntlets as a bonus action, and immediately make two melee attacks, though both suffer disadvantage on their attack rolls. If both attacks hit the same target, you have advantage on your next attack roll against them before the end of your next turn.

Gloves of the Beneficent Healer (Very Rare Wondrous item; Requires Attunement) Once per short or long rest, you may, as an action, expend as many of your hit dice as you wish, and use them to heal an adjacent creature you can touch instead of healing yourself. Until the end of your next turn, you gain a +1 bonus to AC after doing this.

Abyssal Adornment (Rare Wondrous item; Requires Attunement) This bauble grants you a +1 bonus when saving against the attacks and effects of fiends, and allows you, once per long rest as a reaction when you suffer acid, cold, fire, lightning or thunder damage, to gain resistance to that energy type (halving the triggering attack’s damage). This resistance remains active for 1 minute.

Cloak of Distortion (Rare Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement) Ranged attacks from 25ft away or further suffer disadvantage on their attack rolls against you whilst you wear this cloak. 

Cloak of the Phoenix (Legendary Wondrous item; Requires Attunement) Once per day when you are reduced to 0 hit points whilst wearing this cloak, you vanish, and all enemies within 15ft of you suffer 17 (5d6) fire and 17 (5d6) radiant damage (D.C. 17 Dexterity save halves this damage). On your turn the next round, you reappear in the same place you vanished from (or the nearest empty spot if this is occupied), on full hit points and with all conditions removed. If you had any hit dice left when the cloak’s power was activated, they are removed as if spent.

Tattered Cloak (Uncommon Wondrous item; Requires Attunement): This cloak grants you Advantage on any Stealth check, or Charisma skill check made to appear as a commoner, pauper or transient. Furthermore, once per long rest as a bonus action, you can activate its magic to force all enemies within 25ft of you make a D.C. 14 Wisdom saving throw, failure indicating that they will not see you as a threat. This is a charm effect, and at the end of each of their rounds, they may repeat the saving throw to end it. If you attack a creature affected by this power, they may immediately repeat the saving throw with advantage.

Vengeance Sash (Uncommon Wondrous Item): Once per long rest, when you are reduced to 0 hit points, you may, before you fall unconscious, make a single attack, or cast a single cantrip at the enemy that has just wounded you.

Rogues Belt (Uncommon Wondrous item; Requires Attunement): Whilst attuned to this belt you can make a check to escape being grabbed, swallowed, restrained or any similar effect as a bonus action.

Pouch of Frozen Passage (Rare Wondrous Item): Once per long rest, as an action, you may sprinkle some of the algid crystals from within this pack into any fluid, causing it to immediately freeze solid out to a 100ft radius. Creatures at the surface of the fluid must make a D.C. 16 Dexterity (Athletics) or Strength (Athletics) check to escape begin Restrained by the freezing fluid (and may repeat these checks as an action on their turns if caught). The surface formed is thick enough to support up to 10,000 lbs of weight, and lasts for 4 hours unless somehow thawed. This pouch works on any fluid, even dangerous fluids like lava or acid.

Zealot’s Armour (Rare Armour [any]; Requires Attunement by an individual proficient with that type of armour): When an undead hits you whilst you are wearing and attuned to this +1 armour, they suffer Radiant damage equal to your proficiency bonus.

Veteran’s Armour (Very Rare Armour [any]; Requires Attunement): When you spend a Hero Point whilst wearing this armour, you may add an additional +2 to the result. Furthermore, once per day, you may spend a Hero Point to recharge one ability of another item as if you had been through a long rest with it.

Warsheath Plate (Rare Armour [Plate Armour]; Requires Attunement): Once per long rest, as a bonus action, you force all enemies within 20ft to make a D.C. 15 Dexterity or Strength saving throw (their choice), failure indicating they are pulled adjacent to you.

Stoneborn Armour (Uncommon Armour [Any Heavy Armour]; Requires Attunement); Once per long rest you may activate this armour’s power as a bonus action, gaining Temporary Hit Points equal to 10 + Your Constitution Modifier. If you spend one of your Hit Dice when activating this power, the amount of temporary hit points granted increases to 20 + Your Constitution Modifier.

Soulwarding Armour (Very Rare Armour [Any]; Requires Attunement): Whilst wearing and attuned to this +1 armour, you gain Resistance to Necrotic damage, and effects that deal Necrotic damage cannot reduce your maximum hit points.

Armour of Durability (Uncommon Armour [Any]; Requires Attunement): When you spend a hit dice whilst wearing and attuned to this armour, you gain twice your constitution modifier to each dice rolled instead.

Armour of Starlight (Very Rare Armour [Any]; Requires Attunement): This armour grants you +1 AC when worn, and once per long or short rest, when an enemy hits you, you can, as a reaction blind them. They may attempt a D.C. 16 Constitution saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end this effect.

Crystal Armour (Very Rare Armour [Any]; Requires Attunement): This +2 armour activates when you are at 50% or less of your total hit points, granting you advantage on all Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma saving throws.

Gem of Colloquy (Uncommon Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement) This gem floats around the user’s head, and grants them a +1 bonus to all Deception and Diplomacy checks and the ability to speak and understand one language (chosen at the time the gem is created).

Cynic’s Goggles (Uncommon Wondrous Item; Requires Attunement) Whilst attuned to and wearing these goggles, the wearer has advantage on all saving throws and checks to recognise Illusions.

Force Shield (Uncommon Shield; Requires Attunement) At the start of a battle, the bearer gains a +2 bonus to AC and Dexterity saving throws. This bonus remains until they are damaged by an attack that targets either AC, or requires a Dexterity saving throw.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Butcher - Huge Fiend (CR 25)

"Ah! Fresh Meat!"
- The Butcher

Diablo turned 20 years old recently, and I was too busy to recognise that on here. So, to remedy that, here are my stats for a very epic version of everyone's (least)favorite daemon - The Butcher. 

I played Diablo when it first came out, and remember the ABSOLUTE FURY of being repeatedly and mercilessly murdered by this prick! I also remember the frequent scenario of trying to run away from him, and ending up in an even worse situation as I stumbled into large groups of enemies elsewhere. 

Ultimately of course, it was worth it when you finally killed him - but still. 

In Diablo III the Butcher is back, and this time he is a hulking monstrosity that has a new array of vicious tricks. He's actually not the hardest guy to beat (not by a long chalk), and if you want to recreate him "as is", you might want to strip away all the legendary stuff in this build (it hugely ramps up his CR). 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Creeping Doom - Large Swarm of Tiny Beasts (CR 8)

Who remembers the spell Creeping Doom? No, not the reigned in 3rd and 4th edition ones, I mean the earlier ones that could inflict 1d6+4 x 100 points of damage, that one?


No, this one is nothing like that. Cool though wasn't it? I fondly remember some 26th level (or so) heroes in my 2nd Edition AD&D game facing off against a Yochlol, in the heart of a dwaer'syth's spelljamming vessel, and things coming unstuck really quickly when it vomited a double strength Creeping Doom at them (Traveller teleported back to his own ship, leaving poor old King Brundor to take the brunt himself. He was skeletonised...not for the first or indeed, last time).

"Ha ha ha! This is fun. The pain is excruciating."

Anyway, this may or may not have been created because one of my groups are in the middle of (loudly) infiltrating a dwaer'syth house compound, and are very likely to face against Creeping Dooms, and those able to summon them.

Obvious variants would have climbing or flying speeds, and may be poisonous.

You may have noted that I have taken quite a few cues from 4e's swarms. That's because I actually think 4e did swarms perfectly. Swarms are, and should be seen as, terrifying things.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Still Above 1 Hit Point

Sorry for the lack of new stuff lately. We had our fourth baby last October, and between kids, work and trying not to go insane, I have not had much time to get anything done for here. Hopefully, once stuff calms down a little in real life, I can get back to regular updates here.

I will still be aiming to get a couple of bits and bobs on here each month in spite of everything.

Hope that's cool.

- Seftonius Rex

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Krampus - Large Fey (CR 15)

Ah Krampus. The internet loves him, and so do sites like this one. I have always resisted statting the happy little bugger up, as it gets done almost everywhere else at this time of year. However, as a father of four children, there are times when his ministrations would be welcome (I joke).

The next season of "Super Nanny" is going to be epic according to this publicity photo

So, although Krampus is a decidedly fiendish fellow, I decided that it actually made more sense for him to be Fey, as he hangs out with the likes of St Nick who is blatantly Fey (or angelic I guess). This also allows him to take children to his realm for moral realignment, without necessarily exposing them to the primal viciousness and evil of the daemonic dimensions.

Happy Yule Timmy. It's whippin' time!
For those that prefer Krampus to stuff kids into a sack, give him a special Bag of Holding that can hold up to five medium children at a time. 

Krampus hasn't really features in my games. There have always been dark entities that steal children, but this is usually for deeply sinister and nihilistic purposes. It seems likely however that he could be summoned with specific magics and bound to steal away specific naughty children, using ancient and unique spells of conjuration.