Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Giant WHAT IF? Planescape & Known Worlds MegaBundles



For those that haven't heard, the Dungeon Master's Guild has three MegaBundles going on right now for ADnD 1E, Known World, and Planescape.

All three are exceptional deals at $14.95 each.

But what if Wizards of the Coast is gauging interest in Planescape and Known World as settings to be published for 5E? Heck, what if they're using the sale to decide which setting to develop first?

Personally, I think that could be cool. I love Greyhawk, but it's not that different from the Realms in many ways. Planescape is very different and the Known World has that gonzo feel with some science fantasy if you include Blackmoor.

I have no inside information that I am correct, just a hope, an incredible amount of hope, that maybe we're getting a glimpse into 2018 or 2019's publishing schedule.

Either way, check out the bundles, they are incredibly good deals and if we are lucky, WotC will put 5E in PDF sometime soon.

The worst that happens is you get some great side material and the Rules Compendiun, ADnD 1E or 2E.

D&D 5E: Simon Belmont's Vampire Killer



VAMPIRE KILLER
Magic weapon (whip), legendary (requires attunement)

• You gain a +3 on attack rolls and damage rolls with this whip.

• Vampire Killer has the Reach property.

• You deal an extra 2d6 radiant damage to fiends and undead you hit.

• You deal an extra 2d6 radiant damage to vampires you hit.

• As a bonus action, Vampire Killer catches fire and you gain advantage on attack rolls and deal an extra 4d6 fire damage to a creature you hit. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until your finish a long rest.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Before playing Battletech, Champions, or ADnD 2E I read comic books and wanted to be a comic book artist. As a high schooler in Indiana I sat in my room, listening to the radio, and drawing (when we moved there from KY, we didn't have cable anymore). I even went got my degree in graphic design at the University of Mounts Saint Joseph (I was too nervous to apply to the Joe Kubert School of Art). But by the time I graduated I didn't really draw anymore. Yeah, I had found RPGs, but somehow I moved away from it.

As a player at the table, I find myself drawing again. In the past, I was very insecure about my abilities and kept trying to draw based on how my favorite artists did. These days though, I just embrace what I do and I decided to share an image today.

Wether you like it or don't like it, let me know. Growth occurs through feedback.  Thanks!

Eddard Hume, 6th Level Evoker Wizard

D&D 5E: Using A New Initiative System In Play

Tonight I used a variation of my Optional Initiative System.

After feedback, I attached it to classes.



• A character's Dexterity Modifier is NOT applied to initiative rolls.

• Lowest roll goes first and you count up, you roll initiative each round.

• Fighters and Rogues rolls a d6.

• Barbarians, Monks, Paladins, Rangers rolls a d8.

• Every other class rolls a d10.

• If you took the move action last round roll an additional d6.

• If you took a bonus action last round roll an additional d4.

After using it, I found tracking move and bonus actions clunky. I'm not sure if I liked it better than traditional initiative, but I will try it again.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

D&D: An Optional Initiative System

In an AMA on Reddit, Mike Mearls spoke about an Initiative system he's been using for DnD and ENWorld posted it today.



After looking at it, I have my own thoughts on an optional initiative system:

• A character's Dexterity Modifier is NOT applied to initiative rolls.

• Lowest roll goes first and you count up, it resets each round when new rolls occur.

• Fighters and Rogues roll a d6.

• Other classes that are NOT casting a spell or a cantrip this round roll a d10.

• Other Classes that ARE casting a spell or a cantrip this round roll a d12.

• If you are changing gear gain a +1 to your initiative roll.

• If you are using a bonus action this round gain a +1 to your initiative roll.

• If you are moving this round gain a +1 to your initiative roll.

• If you are using a reach weapon gain a +1 to your initiative roll.

• If you are using a weapon with two-hands  gain a +1 to your initiative roll.

Feedback would be appreciated.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Queen of Chaos: Ataxia

Many wrongfully believe the Queen of Chaos lies forgotten, even helpless, trapped in her lair in the Abyss' Steaming Fen. But the Queen wants other to think she is lost and powerless, merely ancient history. She knows that her greatest strength is her obscurity, but she has retained one hallmark as her legacy, Ataxia



Looking at the worlds of the Multiverse and you will see many similarities amongst them, celebrations of the Summer and Winter Solstice, the end of the year and the beginning of the next, and finally the Harvest Moon, Ataxia, as some of the elders tell it. While most believe the full moon during harvest each year is merely a celebration of summer's end and preparing for the hardships of winter, it is in fact a ritual that has existed for countless ages. It is, in truth, a celebration of change, of embracing the uncertainty--the chaos of the coming struggle to survive the long nights and cruel environments of world on the brink of ruin. It is a secret holiday, the high holy day, for the Lady of Discord, a moment, strewn across countless worlds, that reminds the Queen that her moment will yet come and that her presence is still felt by untold numbers of fragile, foolish mortals.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunless Citadel: Oakhurst

As the heroes return from their adventures within the Sunless Citadel, they have found one of the Hucrete Signet Rings and are hoping for a portion of the reward.

However, a strange plague has stricken the town's halfling population, dubbed the Red Pox because of the red pustules that appear all over the body, it's proven lethal to 30% of it's victims.

While no other humanoids have taken ill, there is a great amount of fear that it could eventually affect more than halflings.

Currently, victims are being treated at a small shrine outside of town, that has been converted into a make-shift treatment center that is run by Corkie Hoolahan, a Priestess of Pelor, her acolyte Prod Tupor and several local midwives and folk healers.



Fear and uncertainty tears at the heart of the city in the face of this outbreak. Corkie has recently had a vision and feels that a rare herb, Summer Bloom, made hold some hope for a treatment. Unfortunately, Summer Bloom is found in an area dominated by orc tribe, the Bone Thieves, led by Kriga the Vicious. The Pelorite is looking for heroes, fearless and daring, in this hour of need.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sunless Citadel: Belak's Study

In tonight's adventure, my player's found Room 53 of the Sunless Citadel, Belak's study. While one book in particular is specified, I decided to work up a few others to add to the encounter.



The Teachings of Auk, is a scroll on papyrus, written by the Archdruid, Auk the Tender. It is an exploration of nature and the a list of 71 tenets he lived by. Any druid reading it may learn detect poison and Disease, darkvision, and spike growth.

The Eternal Cycle, is a small book, bound with ash wood covers with bleached leaves as pages. It is written by a druid who turned to necromancy, Deana the Pale. She explores the essential nature of life and death and discusses why druid's use necromantic spells, such as the blight spell. Any wizard or sorcerer reading it may learn the chill touch cantrip, as well as the spells false life and ray of sickness.

The Cthonic Verses, is a large book, bound with black leather and sigils in Primordial revealing it's name. It's author is unknown and the work explores the fallacies and failures of druidism, claiming that the earth is a powerful, ancient and dark master who has little tolerance with the fleas that scurry upon it, the humanoid races. In truth, only the strong should survived and the weak deserve nothing but to be preyed upon.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

1,000 Faces: Odric Ravenskraft

Odric is a sage in his late 50s who operates the Bookery, which has become known as the region's best source for rare and exotic tomes. For the right price and enough time Odric has proven capable of locating whatever rare work he is tasked with.




A benefit of his work is that it allows the pursuit of his own interest,  conjuration magic. While Odric has studied arcane magic, he's a 4th Level Conjuration Wizard/Magic-User, he has always had a fondness for the field of conjuration and summoning and collects any work on the field that he comes across. Thus far, he has a personal collection of 99 books and has feelers out for a new title he's learned about, Summoning From the Lower Planes by Pedagogue Mueller.

Odric is 6' tall, but he stoops, he has occasional tremors in his left hand and walks with a slight limp due to an injury he sustained on horseback in his youth. He is fond of using large words and clicks his tongue on the roof of his mouth while talking. He is also a devout worshipper of Bane and keeps a small shrine to Black Lord in his attic. He closes up shop at 3pm at midweek to perform rites to the God of Tyrrany. He is a widower and has no children, but his nephew Poul visits from time to time. Poul is scribe and has found a solid patron due to his uncle's influence.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

D&D 5E: Gods of Amonkhet for Magic: the Gathering

DEITY                             ALIGNMENT              DOMAINS
Bontu the Glorified                    N                           Grave, Death



Hazoret the Fervent                  CN                          War



Kefnet the Mindful                   LN                          Knowledge



Oketra the True                         NG                          Life 



Rhonas the Indomitable            NE                          Nature



Sunday, May 7, 2017

Queen of Chaos: Chaos Cults





Throughout the Multiverse, the Queen of Chaos waits for clues to the whereabouts of the Rod of Seven Parts from her home in the Abyss, the Steaming Fen. Miska, the Wolf-Spider was her consort and general, a master tactician that led his spyder-fiends and the demons that he pressed into her service like a tsunami across the Planes, giving his enemies no quarter. But when the Rod was used to banisher her lover, the Queen, unable to keep her forces united, fled. To wait. To stew. To plot. To watch.

Over the eons, she has come to believe that by finding the Rod, she can free her lover from his prison and finish her campaign.

To that end, she has spread her will across the Multiverse, perverting those with a bent toward Chaos, nudging them to form cults dedicated to being ever vigilant for the Rod. For her lover's freedom. For her final victory.

She looks for those who are broken and beaten down, people who cannot abide Law or order. Renegades and outcasts who she can twist, giving them the gift to find others of like mind.

Once a cult has been cultivated, the Queen typically gifts it's leader with a manifesto, in the form of a demoniac treatise, to spread the cult's message, gathering new followers and creating new cells. The manifesto typically features foul and monstrous rites in the name of Chaos. Such works have found their way into the hands of many powerful Archmages, such as the Path of Discord, the Cacodex, the Ruinous Rubric, and Misrules.

Sometimes, the Queen will even pose as powerful demon and offer the willing a warlock's pact, she especially enjoys this solution for would-be adventurers, knowing that their actions inevitably will aid her free the Wolf-Spider and undo whatever good they might achieve.

As much as she enjoys corrupting and destroying mortal lives though, her most important goal is for her cultists and warlocks to remain ever vigilant for any clue or Part of the Rod.

The Queen is ancient and she has learned patience, much to the chagrin of her enemies, and it's merely a matter of time before one or more of her agents collect the Parts of the Rod for her. And then the Multiverse will tremble at her vengeance.

A cleric who worships Chaos gains a +1 to Saving Throws and is trained in Persuasion.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Queen of Chaos: Sapper [UPDATED]

Scattered throughout the multiverse are zealots dedicated to the worship of the malignant Queen of Chaos. Their dark dedication driving them to sew chaos and warp the world in which they live. They practice obscene rites, inviting things from outside their world to wreak havoc and invoke terror. Some amongst these chaotic crusaders have gained a greater understanding of the thresholds between worlds and have practiced their foul invocations to the point that they can permanently weaken the barriers of their world in certain locales. Amongst scholars and arcanists they are often referred to as Sappers, as they sabotage the walls between worlds.




Sappers are feared amongst the learned and wise as their only mission is to empower Chaos by destroying the Laws that protect one world from another. Too often the inhabitants of one world are ill prepared to face the threats from a different one and once a Sapper has begun destroying the threshold in one area, their work seems to accelerate in a different one. Many sages believe them to be a pandemic that can doom a world in a few short years.

Sappers are Mages/9th Level Magic-Users and any creatures they conjure/summon have an additional 20% Hit Points and a +2 to damage.

Additionally, the area within 120 feet of a Sapper is considered a Wild Magic Zone. When any creature besides the Sapper casts a spell roll a d20, on a 13 or higher a Wild Surge occurs. Feel free to use the Wild Surge table in ADnD's Tome Of Magic, the 5th Edition Player's Handbook, or check out this page.

Friday, May 5, 2017

D&D 5th Edition: Wand of the Invoker



WAND OF THE INVOKER

Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)


• You gain a +1 on attack rolls with this wand.

• The damage dice of cantrips you cast while wielding the wand are increased by one step. E.G. The Firebolt cantrip deals d12s for damage, instead of d10's.

• The wand has 1d4 charges and regains 1 charge each day. You may expend 1 charge to change the damage type of any spell you cast to cold, fire, force, lightning, thunder, or radiant. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Side Quest: The Clearing






The Set-Up
The characters have made camp, close to a road, when they begin to see strange lights and hear a cry for help.



The Setting
An angry, baleful female ghost haunts the clearing. The presence of the group nearby makes her attempt to lure them to their doom.


The Twist
The clearing is haunted. Years ago, Lady Brianna Hawthorne, the daughter of Baron Kletus Hawthorne had her carriage diverted from the road where she was murdered. Her fiancee, Duke Albrecht Kirk was responsible, after he found out that Brianna had poisoned his original intended, Lady Meleena Napier. The Duke had men loyal to him assigned to the carriage and paid them handsomely for the gruesome deed.

The only way to completely destroy Brianna is to find a strange tree nearby where her remains have stuffed. They must be salted and burnt.

Green Ronin Announces Modern AGE




I've been a big fan of Green Ronin and the Adventure Game Engine for years. They just announced Modern AGE and a setting, Greg Rucka's Lazarus to release simultaneously this fall.

But, I'm a bit perplexed. First, with only a handful of releases for Fantasy AGE, why a whole new rule book for Modern AGE? Why not just tie it into the Lazarus setting? Also, what about the Fantasy AGE Companion that has seemed to disappear from the schedule?

And as someone who has waited, impatiently, for GR to release something, we're supposed to believe that this fall will see the Critical Role World Book for 5E AND a new branch of AGE with two books? Personally, I doubt it.  

I'm not sure how to feel about this announcement. A few weeks ago, I'd probably be chomping at the bit about it, but I just don't see any of it happening on time. Especially considering their plans to publish the Tales of the Citadel fiction line AND the setting book for 5E.

I guess we will see.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Best Laid Plans

Due to a combination of unexpected work stuff and some health issues, I don't know if I can finish the A to Z Challenge this year on time.

It's been an odd week and I think there is still more to hurdle.

I'll try to get things on track soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: O is for Hex 0303

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.



0303
The Duchy of Saint Cuthbert continues to dominate the region, with Leiber River flowing through it. The Alabaster Bridge crosses the River here, with the town of Haversham thriving on both sides. The Duchess' youngest brother, Cassius Malifaux (DnD 5E: Male Human Inheritor) has been named Duke and been ruling the town for several years. Cassius is a visionary young man and has many progressive ideas that have proven very successful, thus far.

   However, the Scarlet Brotherhood has been very active in the town, viewing the Bridge as a major strategic holding, and their agents have already begun to manipulate the Duke. Additionally, if they cannot sway Cassius to their cause by year's end, they intend to assassinate him.

In the southeast is the fishing village of Periept, a quaint and friendly place blissfully unaware of a terrible secret. The waters of the River near Periept are surprisingly deep and 300 years ago, long before the village, the Company of the Iron Phoenix battled the Vampiric Sorcerer, Thurston Van Kirk, there. Four of the  seven heroes fell before Qarnak Bonespeaker, a Priest of the Raven Queen, called upon his goddess to curse Thurston, plunging him into the deep waters to trouble mortals no more.
  However, a young woman, Airika Belmont (DnD 5E: 2nd Level Female Tiefling Order of the Awakened Mystic; DnD B/X: 2nd Level Magic-User), has contacted Thurston and he has convinced her that he was wronged centuries ago and needs to be freed. Belmont, whose never been treated well by the villagers since she is a tiefling, has been an easy target for the charming vampire.
She is looking to find help from any nearby adventurers in seeking several items that Thurston assures her will free him. 

Terrain is flat green plains.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: N is for Hex 0302 [UPDATED]

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.



0302
The Duchy of Saint Cuthbert dominates the region, with Leiber River cutting cutting through it. Black Gate, a small city on the northwestern banks of the River, is a major hub of trade for the entire Duchy. The smuggling ring known as the Red Door have paid Baroness Michela Dundry (DnD 5E: Human Female Noble) and her Onyx Guard handsomely to turn a blind eye to their operations. However, the Red Door are also slavers and some recent missteps on their part has forced the Baroness to start dealing with an inquiry from the Duchess.

   Additionally, the three prominent figures in the Red Door are lycanthropes: Alea Pinwhistle (wereboar), Jajaka Mahawop (werepanther), and Elon Thrump (werewolf).

To the east is Uberwald Keep, which at one time marked the eastern most border of the Old Empire. The Keep is maintained Commander Brianna Haubner (DnD 5E: 4th Level Human Female Oath of Devotion Paladin of Pelor; DnD B/X 4th Level Fighter) and a crack force of 30 knights, their squires, and 20 yeomen.
Commander Haubner maintains good relations with the wood elves of the Twilight Forest to the northeast. 
   Four times a year, a special banquet is held at Uberwald Keep where the Commander and her personnel host the wood elf Elders for a three days, where both sides discuss current and future plans.


Terrain is flat green plains.

A to Z Challenge 2017: M is for Hex 0301

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.



0301
Pseudodragons call the light forests of the entire region their home and occasionally students from the Hexenschulle can be found looking homing to locate one as a familiar.


Anyone in the region should be weary of the fine and deadly webs of ettercaps waiting to trap their prey.

Moving southwest, following the Leiber River, trappers continually warn of the threat of Naya, a banshee that has haunted the River's eastern banks for 200 yars. Legends say that a Naya was a tiefling girl whose fiancee drowned her after discovering her fiendish heritage.

 is an ancient ring of 13 standing stones, each 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide and covered in oaths to a being known as Bavmorda in Sylvan. At the base of the 7th standing stone is an emerald statuette carved to look like an owl, lightly covered by dirt.

The statuette will offer a pact to whoever finds it, allowing Bavmorda, an ancient hag, to become their Archfey Warlock Patron if accepted.


To the south is a small pond, a secret holy place blessed by Sehanine. and nestled within a light forest. Any Good person who bathes in it's waters for 1 hour experiences the benefit of a Long Rest and a Greater Restoration spell being cast upon them. A Neutral person experiences the benefit of a Short Rest for the same amount of time. A Good or Neutral character cannot regain these benefits until 30 days have passed. A unicorn (it will be resurrected at dawn if killed) who protects the pond will attack any Evil person. An Evil person who drinks from or bathes in the pond gain 1d6 levels of Exhaustion.





Terrain is light forests and grasslands.

A to Z Challenge 2017: L is for Hex 0206

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.





0206

To the west is an ancient ring of 13 standing stones, each 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide and covered in oaths to a being known as Bavmorda in Sylvan. At the base of the 7th standing stone is an emerald statuette carved to look like an owl, lightly covered by dirt.
   The statuette will offer a pact to whoever finds it, allowing Bavmorda, an ancient hag, to become their Archfey Warlock Patron if accepted.

To the south is a small pond, a secret holy place blessed by Sehanine. and nestled within a light forest. Any Good person who bathes in it's waters for 1 hour experiences the benefit of a Long Rest and a Greater Restoration spell being cast upon them. A Neutral person experiences the benefit of a Short Rest for the same amount of time. A Good or Neutral character cannot regain these benefits until 30 days have passed. A unicorn (it will be resurrected at dawn if killed) who protects the pond will attack any Evil person. An Evil person who drinks from or bathes in the pond gain 1d6 levels of Exhaustion.


Terrain is light forests and grasslands.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: K is for Hex 0205

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.





0205

The Leiber River runs through the north of this region and an abandoned mill, the Hankenshank, still stands there. Local taverns still share it's tale about an powerful curse placed upon it by an wood elf nearly 50 years ago. As the story goes, Gilliad Hankenshank successfully negotiated a lumber treaty with the Limb Strider clan, wood elves who had lived in the forests for centuries. Gilliad had adventured with the clan's chieftain, Arak Silverglen, and only took trees that the Limb Striders allowed. However, when Gilliad suddenly passed away, his daughter Marith, began to break the agreement with the wood elves leading to several months of conflict with them. Eventually, she hired mercenaries to slaughter them and upon his death, Arak uttered a death curse on his friend's daughter. Within a year, Marith had died of illness and the Hankenshank shut down beacause woodcutters and mill workers refused to work due to Marith's spirit haunting the mill as a specter.
   
A family of ogres has spend several decades dwelling in the abandoned Limb Strider structures. There are seven ogres living there and hunting the forest and small hills of the whole region. They are being led by a half-ogre named Gedda, a warlock who has made a pact with Zargon the Returner and she uses her magic to manipulate the other members of her twisted family. Gedda has taught her family new ways to hunt and systematically cover their territory. 70% of the time an ogre notices intruders within their territory, it will gather wait to attack and ambush their enemies in group of 1d4+1 and there is a 60% chance Gedda is with them.

Terrain is thick forests and sloping hills.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: J is for Hex 0204

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.





0204

Many think the corruption at the heart of the Doommeet Coven to the west is beginning to spread to this region. Plants are smaller and less healthy and it seems that more areas fail to grow any plant life each passing year.

To the southeast are nearly a dozen ancient barrows that glow with a baleful, blue light when the moon is full and on both solstices. Those unfortunate to find themselves in the area tell stories of vile spirits, terrible wailing, and shadowy winged horrors haunting the sky.

To the northwest is a large pack of gnolls nearly 70 strong. A druid of Melora, Lars Proknow (DnD 5: Level 2 Male Half-Elf Circle of the Moon Druid; DnD B/X: Level 2 Magic-User)
has been keeping an eye on the growing threat and is planning to head toward Hommlet to report his concern's to Madeira Romney.


Terrain is filled with unhealthy grass and large patches of little to know vegetation with barrows in the southeast..

A to Z Challenge 2017: I is for Hex 0203



Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.








0203

The Duchy of Saint Cuthbert continues to dominate the region, to the north is the Hexehschule, one of the most prominent schools of arcane magic on the continent. It is run by Mastermage Viola Putin (DnD 5: Level 11 Female Half-Elf Trasnmutation Wizard; DnD B/X: Level 11 Magic-User). Several years ago, Emperor Creed XI's 8th son, Herodotus, enrolled at the school. Since then, many noble families have tried numerous methods to get their children enrolled, hoping to curry favor with a (distant) heir to the throne. However, Putin has no time for such nonsense and neither does Herodotus who hopes to make a name for himself as an arcane researcher.

Adventurers can often find work at the school by participating in an experiment, providing security for an experiment, seeking particular spell components, or hunt down a rogue experiment.

The Harkness is a secret society that has been existence for 2 centuries and is the worst kept secret in the Duchy. While there are many nefarious rumors surrounding it, the members spend most of their time playing practical jokes on non-members and a production of the King In Yellow each Summer Solstice.


To the east is Hommlet, a village of nearly 150 souls. Most who live in the Duchy have heard bawdy tales of the Inn of the Welcome Wench and the adventurers it attracts from the west and south. There is also a church of Pelor here known as Sun's Gate, which rumors claim has 1 of the 4 Dawnstars hidden under it's cornerstone. Sun's Gate is served by Radiant Servant Maderia Romney (DnD 5: Level 4 Female Human Life Cleric; DnD B/X: Level 4 Cleric), Crusader Garren Hoff (DnD 5: Level 2 Male Half-Orc Paladin; DnD B/X: Level 2 Fighter), and Maderia's Acolyte, Viola Thurston (DnD 5: Level 11 Female Half-Elf Acolyte). A Druid devoted to Pelor, Egar Mortenson (DnD 5: Level 3 Male Circle of the Grassland Druid; DnD B/X: Level 3 Cleric) keeps a close watch the surrounding area.

Just south of the village is a ruined moathouse that has become the home of a pack of gnolls. The village is very concerned and has put up a 5 gp reward for driving the monsters out of the area.


South of Hommlet is the small village (less than 80 people) of Nulb whose folk have long been known for their uncertainty for strangers and peculiar ways. Egar has noticed some strange newcomers in the area who seem to be making in-roads within the village. While he has not witnessed anything untoward, he finds the strangers slightly unnerving.

Terrain is dominated by farm lands growing corn, cotton, wheat, and barley and the occasional ruin from a bygone era.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: H is for Hex 0202



Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.








0202
The Duchy of Saint Cuthbert dominates the region, with Duchess Katarina Malifaux's (DnD5: 4th Level Human Fiendish Pact Warlock; DnD B/X: 4th Level Magic-User) estate, Highpoint, Sherwald Keep, and the village of Brighten to the east. The Duchess has been a widow for five winters now and her subjects have grown to accept her situation, though rumors persist that she murdered the Duke and was seduced by her court magician, Verilous the Wise (DnD5: 5th Level Human Abjuration Wizard; DnD B/X: 5th Level Magic-User)


Sherwald Keep is the headquarters and training facility for the Royal Guard, led by Captain Morgan Stroud (DnD5: 3rd Level Human Champion Fighter; DnD B/X: 3rd Level Fighter).


Brighten is a town of 400, with much of it's industry directed at raising cotton and shearing wool. There are several public houses and inns, with Plum's having the best mead and Mistress Luvelda Mor's (Young Bronze Dragon) bordello, The Orchard, is renowned for it's culinary and carnel delights.


To the west is a peculiar monolith with ancient carvings that opens into an underground temple. Three years ago, a Wyrmlaird named Utark Firedrinker (DnD5: 7th Level Human Red Draconic Sorcerer; DnD B/X: 7th Level Magic-User) came to the Duchy and began recruiting members into his cult dedicated to Nilat the Corrupter (an aspect of Tiamat), know as the Corrupted. He had advanced knowledge of the temple and has been using it as their meeting place and base of operations. The cult has grown to 23 members and have managed to secure a blue dragon egg and are attempting to hatch it.


Terrain is a mix of green fields with sheep and cattle grazing and swaths of farm lands growing corn, cotton, wheat, and barley.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Villains & VIgilantes: Sekhmet




Codename Sekhmet
Name Abigail Hajjar
Birthplace Egypt
Species Human
Culture Modern
Age 26
Gender Female

Strength 41
   Save 12
   Carrying Capacity 61,440 lbs.
   Base HtH Damage d10+d12
Endurance 12
   Save 11
Agility 9
   Save 10 (+3 to Hit)
Intelligence 13
   Save 11
Cool 15
   Save 11
   Initiative d6+1
Hit Points 25
Healing Rate 1.6

Power 70
Physical Defense 3
Mental Defense 7
Movement 14
Inventing Points 7
Weight 150 lbs.
Mass Roll d6

Background (City Planner)
   Engineering +3
   Government +3
   Finance +3
Motivation Glory Hound
Wealth d8+1

Origin Mutated
Offensive Abilities
   Heightened Strength 20/ +20 Strength, +3 to Hit
   Flame Blast 20/ 2d6 damage, 17" range (Costs 2 PR)
Defensive Abilities
   Heightened Defense 20/ +4 to Both Defneses
   Flame Aura 10/ d6+1 damage (Costs 1 PR) 

Miscellaneous Abilities
   Fiery Flight 20/ 16"/256" (87 mph/mach .11) 
Weakness
   Low Self Control (Never backs down from a fight) 10

Abigail's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt when she was 2 and her father, a professor of economics, and her mother, a successful real estate agent, helped foster her interest in inevestment and politics. She is both the youngest and first Muslim City Planner in Rhine City's history.

What Abigail did not know until she was 19 was that her parents chose to emigrate from Egypt when the learned that their daughter was a mutant and they feared the increased prejudice in their homeland.

Abigail remained blissfully ignorant of her unique genetic gifts until she was attacked going to a night class on the campus of the University of Rhine City. Her strength kicked in first and she knocked her attacker back nearly 30 ft. By the time her flame powers erupted the man was whimpering and begging for mercy. However, just before the Metro Police arrived, fear of what she had just done made her flee the scene by flying off.

Over the years, Abigail has dedicated time as the costumed vigilante, Sekhmet, but her career has always been her priority. She currently is wanted for questioning by the Metro Police due to eye witness reports that she assaulted Ares 9, a vigilante visiting from Atlanta.

Villains & Vigilantes: Chiarscuro

I backed the Villains and Vigilantes 3.0 Mighty Protectors Kickstarter and received the advanced PDF a few weeks ago.
I finally got around to making a character and I have to say I'm impressed. I tried running VnV 2E back in the day and I wasn't ready for the "old school" mindset.

This version of the rules preserves that mindset, while unifying everything.

I also appreciate a Supers game where I don't have to roll 15d6 (and count them for Stun and Body) and that has Hit Points.




Codename Chiaroscuro

Name Ethan Clark
Birthplace Union, KY
Species Human
Culture Modern
Age 20
Gender Male

Strength 10

   Save 10
   Carrying Capacity 60 lbs.
   Base HtH Damage d4
Endurance 12
   Save 11
Agility 18
   Save 12 (+4 to Hit)
Intelligence 14
   Save 11
Cool 16
   Save 11
   Initiative d6+1
Hit Points 11
Healing Rate 1.6

Power 54

Physical Defense 2
Mental Defense 1
Movement 14
Inventing Points 7
Weight 170 lbs.
Mass Roll d6

Background (Police Sketch Artist)

   Law +4
   Commercial Art +4
   Mysticism +4
Motivation Justice
Wealth d4

Origin Mystical Accident

Offensive Abilities
   Heightened Attack 20/ Specialized (Power Blast)
   Power Blast 20/ 2d10+9 damage, 11" range (Costs 1 PR)
Defensive Abilities
   Experience Levels 10/ +1 to Hit, Defense, and Skill Bonuses
   Personal Force Field 20/ Kinetic, Energy, Bio, and Entropy 6
      Threshold 36 (Costs 16 PR)
Miscellaneous Abilities
   Dimensional Travel 20/ Travel to Mystic Realms (Costs 5 PR)
   Revivication 10/ Task Check 10, 2d4 turns (Costs 24 PR)
Weakness
   Distinctive (Silver Hair with a Black Stripe) 10
   Phobia (Fear of snakes) 10

Ethan Clark's parents always wanted him to become a lawyer, and he tried, he even went to Law School, even though he loved his Art classes more. And investigating the paranormal kept calling to him, he and his friends even formed an amateur society to do it together. They'd gotten wind of a cult operating in the woods within an hour of their hometown and decided to check it out. However, as they approached the cult, six goth teenagers chanting, smoking, and drinking around a fire, something with wings landed out of the sky and began ripping the teens apart. Ethan froze, while his friends were smart enough to run. The winged being, all pale skin, angular features and shadowy wings locked eyes with him and he passed out. When he woke up his hair had turned silver, except for a slight streak of black.


Over the next few weeks, he began to have weird visions and strange nightmares. Eventually, he would wake up in his nightmares and realized he could move through dimensions. This led him study Magick, real spells that allowed him conjure energy, create a personal shield, and even bring the dead back to life. Eventually, he met a real Sorcerer and Super Hero, Doctor Verboten, a member of the Regulators who took him under his wing.


These days, Ethan, who adopted the codename Chiarscuro, is going to Law School part-time, working for the Metro Police as a sketch artist and keep an eye out for that mysterious winged being.


His parents are getting over it, but he's pretty sure they'd freakout more over his new identity.




Saturday, April 8, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: G is for Hex 0201

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.





0201

To the north are the ruins of an ancient ziggurat that several noted scholars, including the Old Empire's Mon Quell (DnD5: Half-Elf Sage; DnD B/X: 1st level Magic-User) of the Imperial Historical Society, attribute to the worship Zehir. They believe it was once known as Va-Zeno Tor, which means "Stairway to Darkness", and was constructed by yuan-ti millennia ago. The majority of the structure is believed to have sunken underground centuries ago after a massive earthquake. Gruf Shadowglass (DnD5: 7th Level Mountain Dwarf Battle Master Fighter; DnD B/X: 7th Level Dwarf), a member of the Company of the Gryphon, says he is the last survivor of an expedition to the ziggurat, where he and his companions faced yuan-ti spectres and derro guarding a withered and blind beholder, it's guardians referred to as Avo.

To the southeast, along the Leiber River, is the fortified town of Dunsany, which marks the northernmost border of the Duchy of Saint Cuthbert. The town's primary commerce involves shipping and receiving goods to and from Jarlsburg to the northwest along the river. Baroness Fionna Crough (DnD5: Human Noble)is the current ruler, but the young woman actively takes counsel from Seeress Octavia d'Unlow (DnD5: 1st Level Human Knowledge Cleric of Ioun; DnD B/X: 1st Level Cleric)and Leftenant Angus Stroud (DnD5: 2nd Level Human Fighter; DnD B/X: 2nd Level Fighter), a member of the Duchess' Royal Guard and head of the town's yeomen.

In the hills to the west, a roc fills the sky, it's nest of broken trees dominating Bulger Hill.


Terrain is a mix of grasslands and steep hills.

A to Z Challenge 2017: F is for Hex 0106

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.





0106
The Leiber River slices the region in half, to the northeast are two tribes of lizardfolk who continuously fight over territory. 
   The Greenwater Tribe are Shazak, who possess natural psionic talent with nearly 10 mystics out of 60 members. Shazak are smarter than typical lizardfolk and have built a fortified home, with rough-hewn 8 foot tall wooden walls to protect them.
   To the southeast are the Bloodhunter tribe of Lizard Kings, demon-blooded lizardfolk who are 40 strong and led by a cambion named Rek Redscale
   Last summer both tribes endured heavy casualties in their battles over territory and Rek has a new shaman, Gess Sunstealer who has promised to summon demonic reinforcements from the abyss to aid in their war. What neither Rek, nor Gess realize is that several among the Greenwater tribe have psionic talents that allow them to use clairvoyance and astral projection to spy upon their enemies. This has led the Greenwater's War Council, headed by Sha Der, to begin discussing the possibility of entreating with devils from the Nine Hells, eternal enemies of all demons in the Blood War. However, a minority within the Council's seven members have implored the tribe to seek allies amongst celestials.

West of the Leiber River is the demesne of the lich, Agatha Kavorkian. Numerous skeletons patrol her lands, brutally dealing with trespassers while Kavorkian is entrenched within her research. Rumors claim that Agatha is obsessed with creating an atropal. further rumors link her to the abduction of over 100 women in the pursuit of her goals.

Terrain is a willow, burch, and oak trees tower over the muddy and deep swamplands.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Flashback Friday: A Magic Quarterstaff, Bastion, for D&D 5th Edition





BASTION
Magic weapon (quarterstaff), very rare (requires attunement by a Mystic)

• You gain a +2 to your AC when using this magic weapon.

• As a reaction, you have advantage on a saving throw, once you you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

• When you are hit by a melee attack, as a reaction, the attacker takes 1d4 psychic damage.

A to Z Challenge 2017: E is for Hex 0105

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.





0105
To the east is the fishing village of Covenant which was founded 70 years ago by expatriates of the Old Empire fleeing from Emperor Annex LXXVIII's  genocide of Hondrus.
   Life in the swamps surrounding the Leiber River is tough, but the village has 70 residents and has survived by digging in and putting up a fight. There is no mayor or sheriff, as the people in the village watch each other's back, yet keep out of each other's business. Additionally, strangers in Covenant aren't welcome for more than a day or two, unless they are formally asked to stay by at least 2 of the 5 village Elders (Anna Maria Espinoza, Juanita Morales, Luciana Morado, Camila Marin, and Ana Ortega).

To the southwest is the Vurt, a tribe of bullywugs, ruled by Roi Krane. The Vurt have been converted to the worship of Wastri by Janus Zon (DnD5: 2nd Level Male Human Bard; DnD B/X: 2nd Level Thief), who has become Krane's advisor and is also a member of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Zon's mission is to spread Suel Doctrine in the region, but found he was not welcome in Covenant at all. This led him to approach the Vurt and begin manipulating the bullywugs to sack Covenant. While the humanoids have no love of the villagers, the bullwugs have been beaten back by them so often that Zon is having a harder time than he thought mobilizing them. He's getting desperate enough that he's been formulating a plan to hire adventurers to assassinate Krane and then blame the village Elders for hiring them.

A hydra, that is known is the area as Ol' Lucky because of it's seven heads, lairs in the north in an area of the swamp that is as deep as 50 feet. Vigilant travelers immediately note the lack of sounds in the area and a subtle smell of vinegar.

Terrain is dominated mostly by thick and murky swamp. The Leiber River is a fast flowing source of fresh water filled with numerous types of wildlife.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: D is for Hex 0104

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.





0104
The Coven of Doommeet, 3 green hags (DeoiridhMor, and Seonaid) have dominated the area for the last 20 years. Their presence and the foul rites they perform to their goddess, Cegilune, have twisted and tainted the ancient forest found throughout their domain.
   When the Coven moved into the forest two decades ago, they waged a bitter battle against a treant who dwelt there named Grune. After 2 long years, the hags overpowered him, slaying Grune and using his wood to build a sweat lodge and shrine to their evil goddess.
   Seonaid has twin displacer beasts (Broehain and Oidhche) that she can communicate telepathically with and who act as her scouts through their dominion.
   The hags have a black dragon wyrmling named Meurtre that they are aising the dragon. It's lair is a deep cavern behind a waterfall to the east. The cavern served as a barrow to some Olde Empire Noble and the wyrmling has begun to build it's hoard there.

Random Encounters (Roll a d10)
1. Giant Poisonous Snake
2. Swarm of Ravens
3. Giant Spider
4. Ghoul (1d3)
5. Will-o'-wisp
6. Swarm of Poisonous Snakes
7. Ghast 
8. Mud Mephit
9. Stirge (1d4)
10. Wight

Terrain is a thin forests with dying trees covered in fungi and mold. Any water found in the area is stagnant and unsafe to drink.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: C is for Hex 0103

Each Hex is 6 miles, and I used Hexographer to create my map.





0103
To the east is Wake a trading post founded by the Old Empire, though it has fared mostly for itself for the last 150 years and these days has deeper ties to its eastern neighbors in the Duchy of Saint Cuthbert.
   Wake is run by Sheriff Janey Kraus (DnD5: Female Human Folk Hero) and her two Deputies Mara Perine (DnD5: Female Half-Orc Outlander) and Oak Hammerswing (DnD5: Male Dwarf Mercenary Veteran). The town's normal population is 90 with miners in the surrounding hills taking that number up to 150. However, during peak trade season, a tent city surrounds the area and the population swells to 300.
   Platinum was discovered in the area and led to Wake's founding 180 years ago, though those mines have been dry for at least 50 years. However, less than a decade ago, iron and adamantine were discovered, leading to a resurgence in mining interest. 
   Wake has a large inn, the Den, owned by Rupert Mert (DnD5: Male Gnome Guild Merchant); the Lily, a house of ill repute owned by Tiera Gunney (DnD5: Female Half-Elf Courtier); and a general store, known as the Fix, owned by Coal Moaa (DnD5: Male Dragonborn Far Traveler and a spy for the Scarlet Brotherhood who has been told to keep an eye out for information pertaining to a tome, Thoda Primeval).

A manticore stalks the north and rumors about the Boneweaver hobgoblins seeking to recruit it have found their way to Wake.

A small flight (2d6) of pegasus graze to the southwest, and a hulking hermit (DnD5: Zepha The Vigilant, a Female Goliath Acolyte of Sehanine) has been guarding them for the last several years and even travels with them.

A colony of 20 thri-keen make their home to the south, though they are reclusive by nature, the Rangers of Fort Buckler have established a rapport with them and receive scouting reports on the Coven of Doommeet to the south from the colony.

Terrain is a mix of grasslands and flowing hills, but as you head south the land flattens out and the vegetation becomes less healthy as it encoaches on the lands of dominated by the Doommeet.

Sunless Citadel: The Dragonpriest

This post extrapolates on an encounter in the early areas of the Sunless Citadel for DnD 5th Edition as found in Tales From the Yawning Portal.

There are SPOILERS below for the SUNLESS CITADEL below!









You have been warned.











In Room 12 the players encounter the Tomb of a Failed Dragonpriest, who was imprisoned for delving into profane magic and turning himself into a troll. 

The Dragonpriest, Agnon Sa'Tok, came into possession of a blasphemous scroll left behind by a troll mercenary during the Dragon Cult's reign in the Citadel. The scroll, written in Undercommon, briefly described the Pantheons of the Giants, but focused mostly upon practices and rites to worship Vaprak the Destroyer. At first, Agnon found the work amusing at most, but he could not keep it out of his mind. As he began to study it, he discovered a hidden cypher that allowed him to unlock deeper secrets about the giant deity. Eventually, he became completely obsessed with the scroll and  even began communicating with Vaprak, who offered him a pact, giving Agnon fiendish power in exchange for Vaprak's patronage.





Agnon, at this point had completely turned his back on the worship of Tiamat and failed to notice the whispers of his fellow Dragonpriests that had been circulating through the Citadel. One of his bitter rivals, finally brought to his odd behavior to their Superior's attention, in a bid to replace him.

Agnon had just finished Vaprak's final task to gain the god's Patronage, which transformed him into a troll, when the Dragon Cult acted, subduing him and encasing him, still alive, in the sarcophagus of Room 12.

For the Encounter, the DM could allow the Dragonpriest to use the Eldritch Blast Cantrip.

In Room 11, not only is the inscription in place to warn others about Agnon Sa'Tok's transgression, but on a shelf, just below the runes is the original scroll that he had found and his journal containing instructions on how to make contact with Vaprak the Destroyer and eventually gain the deity's Patronage as a Fiendish Pact Warlock, in Giant.