Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Elemental Evil: The Nulb Stanza

The Nulb Stanza was written by an unknown author approximately 400 years ago.  Its name comes from the small village where it was composed on the prime material plane of Oerth.

At some unknown point the Stanza was placed inside a copy of Otiluke's Icy Invocations and found its way to a sub-basement of the Readout in the Moonsea region of the the prime material plane of Toril.

The Archivists of Readoubt recently discovered that they were infiltrated by the Elemental Clergy.  Their agent was named Mikuul Kern and in the process of finding the Stanza and fleeing the Readout, he murdered a fellow Archivist named Dolph Lunquist.

Kern was trying to translate the Stanza for the benefit of Prince Cryonax, when he was interrupted and forced to escpape from a group of adventurers sent by Primarchivst Franz without the document.

The Nulb Stanza is written in Flan, the aboriginal human language of the Flanaess on Oerth.  It is purported to bring about the Apocalypse, its verses being a series a events that must occur, in order, to bring about the ascension of the Princes of Elemental Evil and ultimately sacrificing the world to the Elder Elemental Eye.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Releases for 2/24/15

This week's new releases on are:
(A shout out to this great thread on RPG.Net).

Stormwrack (3e)
Dragon #371 (4e)

My Realms: Shadowrock

Shadowrock was an abandoned mine that has become the headquarters of the Thunderstone Mercenary Company and a trading post in the last decade.  The boomtown lies a few hours march northeast along the River Road which traces the River Stojanow.

Merick Stonecunning (descendant of Old King Tragar Stonecunning of long, lost Hammerfall) founded the Thunderstone almost two decades ago and made a name for himself and his crew in the tumult and chaos of the waning days of Returned Abeir and its sundering from Toril.  The Ironheart's have several permanent contracts and take on several shorter term contracts each year.  They are renown for their discipline and loyalty.

Merick was severely wounded several years ago while slaying a black dragon and has since settled in as the "mayor" of Shadowrock and as the Commodore of the Thunderstones, coordinating their missions from afar.  Day to day he runs the Graveltongue Supply Depot and oversees the renewed mining efforts.

Essentially, the Thunderstones as a company own the town which is mostly populated by its members who are recuperating or relaxing there when off mission and their families.  Its earned a reputation as being a tough place for troublemakers or scoundrels to stick their necks into.

While there is plenty of housing, the town itself is made up of The Saloon, Minda's Place (a brothel), Graveltongue's, the Mine, The School (for the kids), Shepherd's Forge, Cooty's (a tavern) and Dowd's Inn.

The Mine was reopened about two years ago, when several veins of mithral were discovered.  It also serves as the headquarters and storage for the Thunderstones.  While Merick is the de facto leader of the Company, its day to day operations are overseen by his sister, Magenta.

All Company members spend at minimum two hours a day training under the watchful eye of Bale Leadhawk, a half-elf ranger who helped Merick and Magenta found the group.

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 Random Things about My Realms

Kiel Chenier proposed DM's sharing 10 random facts about their campaigns as we usher out DM Appreciate Month.

All of these pertain to the city of Phlan in the Moonsea region of Faerun.

1) The Finery, a ritzy tavern on 2nd Street, refuses to serve dwarves in any way.  Currently, a coalition has formed by Mabel Wainwright to seek full rights for dwarves to eat and drink there.  The Finery's owner, David Trumont, has threatened Mabel and her followers if they continue their crusade.

2) The spirit of Sir Garth Ironstar watches over Crucible, one of the roughest neighborhoods in Phlan.  Many would-be victims owe his spirit their lives and a statue in his honor is constantly decorated with flowers and trinkets to show him thanks.

3) The Cult of the Dragon is facing a growing schism within its ranks within the city.  While Jarus Nightwand is directing them to gather treasure and artifacts to raise Tiamat, a holdover from the previous regime, Alyce Truemantle is misusing significant resources to raise a deceased black dragon named Glamdroomechus as a dracolich.

4) A secret portal to the Readoubt was recently unearthed while mining for mithril at Shadowrock, a mine and trading post a few hours northeast of Phlan.

5) Morton O'Rourke, Ladorna Mills, and Turmous Beck run an around the clock craps game in the alley between Benton's Dry Goods and Tulley's Exotic and Misunderstood Pets.  Its know as the fairest game of chance in Phlan.

6) The River Road that traces the River Stojanow is also known as "Wyvern Way" due to the many nesting grounds for blue and green wyverns in the region.

7) The blackmith on 4th Street, John Cabbot, apprenticed at Mithral Hall for a little over a decade.  While merely considered a journeyman amongst the dwarves there, most non-dwarves would name him a grandmaster at his forge.

8) There are a small group of Black Fists, the city's guard, who have grown tired of the corruption within their ranks and formed a secret society of vigilantes known as the Iron Stars.  The group is the brainchild of Sargent Fara Muldoon and they ruthlessly pursue justice behind masks on the streets of their beleaguered city, often battling their own comrades amongst the Black Fists, all on their own time.

9) The Clarion Call on Main Street is renowned for its music.  In fact, prominent and aspiring musicians will travel from all over Faerun to perform there with it's owner, Pinky a veritable savant with any instrument.  Pinky is also a high level enforcer for the Welcomers, the city's thieves guild.

10) When Abeir Returned, it brought with it the ruins and catacombs of Kyr Khan, an ancient dragonborn city beneath Phlan that did not depart when Toril and Abeir were Sundered.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Elemental Evil: Cold Ones for D&D 5th Edition

Durok Valpa, Anathema of Squall and Berretta of the Moonsea, and his Covey have unleashed the Ark of Cryonax to convert their enemies to undead devotees of the Prince of Elemental Ice--into Cold Ones.

Cold One                                                                                      Medium undead, neutral evil                                        ________________________________________________

Armor Class 12 
Hit Points 22 (3d8+9) 
Speed 20 ft.
   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
12 (+1)     10 (+0)     17 (+3)     8 (-1)    10 (+0)     7 (-2)

Saving Throws Wis+2
Damage Immunity Cold, Poison, Necrotic
Condition Immunity Poison
Senses darkvision 60 ft.; passive Perception 10
Languages Primordial 
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)


Cold as Death. Any creature within 5 feet of a cold one has their speed reduced by 10 feet. 

Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the cold one to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the cold one drops to 1 hit point instead. 




Icy Grip. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) cold damage.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Elemental Evil: Frostbow for D&D 5th Edition

Weapon (longbow), very rare  (requires attunement)

You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon and it deals cold damage.

In addition, while attuned to the longbow, when you draw back the string an arrow made of ice magically appears and may be shot*.  Also, creatures who take damage from the the longbow lose their reaction for the round.  Finally, you also gain cold resistance.

This icy bow was the Pytchsmith's gift to Sadara Mirkyn, Godmother of Blizzards and Balpope of the Elemental Clergy.  She awarded it to Froth, Anathema of Gyre and Lifetaker of the Third Sphere, after he won a woeful tournament to wield it.  

*This longbow is a homage to the bow wielded by Hank the Ranger from the wonderful Dungeon and Dragons Cartoon from the 1980's.

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Realms: The Readoubt

An ancient fortress devoted to the preservation of knowledge, its archivists have gladly allowed Candlekeep's reputation to overshadow it's presence in the Realms.  The Readbout is located less than twenty miles southwest of Mulmaster along the coast of the Moonsea.

Its prominence has once again begun to grow after the carnage and destruction that far off Candlekeep barely survived several years ago.  While the Archivists who maintain it's stacks are glad to have an ever increasing flow of new tomes, scrolls, and tracts to add to their collection, they are cautious about widening its reputation.

The Archivists are lead by by Franzorgleamengard, an ancient bronze dragon, who has maintained his human guise of Pirmarchivist Franz for many centuries now.  Franz's desire to acquire new texts and maintain them in peace has fueled the Readbout's desire for anonymity for the last several hundred years.

The Readoubt boasts sole possession of quite a few prominent treatises, such as the Saga of Karl of Two Worlds; The Cacodex translated to draconic by Brother Twill, the butcher of Hillsfar; a journal purported to belong to Cryonax, Elementa Prince of Cold; and several love letters from Elminster of Shadowdale to Nymphadora, First Huntress of the Feywild.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

On Being A Game Master: My Realms

I've found myself, at times, being being overly critical about the direction Wizards of the Coast has taken with the Forgotten Realms.

Even during the announcement of Princes of Apocalypse, a part of me felt that the Temple of Elemental Evil and any form of sequel should be set in Greyhawk.

But, I'm starting to have a change of heart.  You see, the current 5E game I'm running is very player driven and essentially a sandbox.  It started out set in the Dalelands, Derbydale (my own creation) to be exact.  The players could have moved on to the Keep on the Borderlands (of Sembia, Cormyr, and the Dalelands) or north to Phlan.

The players chose Phlan and I ran one of the DnD Adventurer's League adventures set there.  Currently the players are north east of Phlan in a dwarven mining post named Shadowrock (my own creation), and I'm thoroughly enjoying cobbling together inspiration from everywhere and creating my own Forgotten Realms.  I understand the popularity of metaplot and even enjoy the current slate of Realms' novels, but the point of all of this source material and, especially, adventures is for us to tell our own stories with them.

And I think its easy to lose track of that.  I know I did.

Sure, the Silver Marches might currently be dealing with the Darkening in Bob Salvatore's novels and the Cult of the Dragon is trying to raise Tiamat in the table top RPG  and MMORPG, and maybe I'll reference that.  Or maybe I won't.

But meanwhile I have five editions of DnD to draw material from and numerous third party products. And while Elminster and Drizzt are there stomping around, my game is about the growing legends of my players.  Maybe they might cross path someday.  Maybe.

My point is, I'll probably do something with Princes of the Apocalypse (I'm writing up material about it, after all).  And I might even run the Temple of Elemental Evil in a similar span of time.  And maybe it will be set on the Moonsea or maybe it will be in Greyhawk or even outside the city of Jarlsburg.

That's the beauty of this hobby, its up to each group and is all designed simply to be played.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Elemental Evil: Magma Scimitar for D&D 5th Edition

Weapon (scimitar), rare  (requires attunement)

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon and it deals fire damage.

In addition, while attuned to the scimitar, you have advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks and gain fire resistance.

In the pits of Gultha Fen, the Elemental Clergy pay the Pitchsmyth handsomely in souls to forge terrible weapons to be wielded in the coming apocalypse.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Frog God Games are the Best!

If you haven't been paying attention, Frog God Games have been running some great deals over the last few weeks!

I had a slight issue when ordering John Stater's excellent Hex Crawl Chronicles and both Bill and Chris were in contact with me within a few hours and had it fixed soon after.

I can't thank them enough and their excellent customer service deserves some attention.

So, buy some stuff from the Frogs and get some great deals at the same time!

Here is today's deal:

Today's Daily Deal:
Against Tsathogga PDF
Only $2.00! (Regularly $4.99)
Use this coupon code during checkout:

(offer expires Midnight Tonight!)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Elemental Evil: Mother of Infernos for D&D 5th Edition

The Elder Evil Eye requires its Mothers of the Elements to strictly adhere to its doctrines and enforce it's will amongst the Elemental Clergy.  The Mothers of Infernos are the most fearless and demanding of their ranks.  They enforce the Eye's will with pain and suffering, gleefully igniting a funeral pyre before they will brook any deviation from the Eye's will. 

Mother of  Infernos                                                                                       Medium humanoid (human), neutral evil                                        ________________________________________________

Armor Class 12 
Hit Points 44 (9d8+9) 
Speed 30 ft.
   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
9 (-1)     14 (+2)     12 (+1)     15 (+2)    11 (+0)     13 (+1)

Skills Arcana +4, Intimidation +5, Religion +4
Damage Resistance Fire
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages darkvision 60 ft.;Abyssal, Common, Primordial 
Challenge 1 (200 XP)


Fiery Aura Any creature within 5 feet of the mother of the inferno takes 1d6 fire damage.




Multitask. The mother of the inferno makes two melee attacks.

Fiery Scourge. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+2) fire damage.

Heart of the Inferno (Recharge 5-6). The mother of the inferno exhales fire in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 9 (2d6+2) fire damage on a failed save and a level of exhaustion, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Elemental Evil: Elemental Clergyman for D&D 5th Edition

Demoniac servitors of the Elder Evil Eye, the Elemental Clergy enforce the putrescent commandments of their Lord and Master.  Their devotion is total, obeying the Eye with both vicious zeal and depraved passion.  They stalk their congegration clad in leaden black robes, the overwhelming scent of ammonia is a sacrifice's only warning of the approaching doom if chosen for the Clergy's ungodly rites.

ELEMENTAL CLERGYMAN                                                                                       Medium humanoid (human), neutral evil                                        ________________________________________________

Armor Class 13 (hide)
Hit Points 13 (2d8+4) 
Speed 30 ft.
   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
10 (+0)     12 (+1)     14 (+2)     13 (+1)    15 (+2)     11 (+0)

Saving Throws Wis +4, Cha +2
Skills Arcana +3, Medicine +3 Nature +5, Religion +5
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Abyssal, Common, Primordial 
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)




Scourge Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+1) slashing damage.

Evil Eye. Ranged Attack: one target within 60 feet must make a DC 12 Wis save.  Effect: The target loses their next bonus action and on a failed save takes 5 (1d8) psychic damage. Releases for 2/3/15

This week's new releases on are (shout out to this great thread on RPG.Net).

Dragon 368

Monday, February 2, 2015

Unearthed Arcana: Eberron for 5th Edition

Strangely, last night I was looking at Threats of the Nentir Vale and saw a group of Shifters and thought, "hmmm....I guess I'll need to work up a conversion for them to 5E."

But thanks to Mike Mearls' inaugural Unearthed Arcana article, they've done all of the heavy lifting for most of the setting.  And as I suspected they reference the Eberron products on  I truly think they intended to exploit all editions, instead of rewriting the fluff.

I like what I see, I hope they keep it coming.

Thundarr the Movie

As a life-long comics fan and a retailer with a quarter century of experience, I was today years old when I discovered that Buzz Dixon and ...