Wednesday, May 31, 2017

World of Warcrat: Ebonchill for D&D 5th Edition

This greatstaff was wielded by Alodi, the first Guardian of Tirisfal. He bore the staff into many battles against Legion forces for the century in which he served as Guardian. When stepped down from the role he retained the staff until his death. Upon his passing, the Kirin Tor stored the staff safely away for fear of what might happen if a lesser mage attempted to wield its power without the ability to control it fully.

Magic weapon (quarterstaff), legendary (requires attunement)

• You gain a +3 on spell attack rolls with this quarterstaff.

• You gain advantage on spell attack rolls against fiends.

• You gain advantage on Intelligence (History) skill checks by accessing the memories of the Guardians of Tirisfal locked within Ebonchill.

• You gain a +3 on concentration checks.

• You gain resistance to cold and necrotic damage.

• As a bonus action when you cast a cantrip or a spell, you may deal an addtional 1d12 cold damage and 1d12 necrotic damage to a single target of the spell or cantrip being cast. After you use this ability 3 times, you must finish a long rest.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Lawful Good Rogue?

In one of the Facebook groups I belong to, this question was posed and it got me thinking about it from the perspective of DnD 5E.

For starters we need to look at Thieves' Cant, as written it's firmly rooted in unlawful deeds, but you could easily change it's meaning toward religion or even revolution against a corrupt official or government.

Next, let's start with the Roguish Archetypes from the Player's Handbook:

I see know reason to prevent an Arcane Trickster from being Lawful Good. Their focus on sneaking and the arcane arts, after all. 

And Assassins, especially if they are following the tenets of a cult or even serving in some military role, can easily follow the laws that inform their origin. 

Thieves are tougher though. Could you stretch things that Robin Hood, for instance, was honoring the traditions of the true king in his fight against the apostate? Sure, with DM permission, of course, and it certainly represents an archetypal figure from fiction. Honestly, I see it working, but it feels like a stretch to me, with the Hunter Ranger working better in my opinion.

Now, let's look at the Roguish Archetypes from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide:

Mastermind is super simple by tying the character to any organization that operates under a higher authority, be it a government service, or an agent of a noble or religious order.

And a Swashbuckler? Sure, just because you are LG, doesn't mean your not daring and filled with panache.

In the end, it all comes down to you what you envision and what your DM has in mind, but I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to stretch the Rogue into, for me, uncharted alignment.

Happy Gaming and Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sunless Citadel: A Royal Problem

As the heroes return from their adventures from within the Sunless Citadel more challenges await them.

Prince Miles [2nd Level Human Bard with the Noble background], the eleventh child of Lograd's King Adorn, has come to Oakhurst to celebrate the Midsummer Apple Festival (though the heroes in my game have not yet revealed they destroyed the tree and it's fruit). The Prince's presence has made Garon, owner of the Ol' Boar Inn, very nervous, as he has won the auction for the Apple for the last five years and he hates to lose (rumor has it that he's looking to pay 10 gp for anyone willing to distract the Prince "come auction time"). Additionally, Constable Felosial is concerned about the Prince's reputation for reckless behavior, a short fuse, and rumors suggesting a vicious attitude toward women (Felosial has plenty going on with the Festival and could use an extra hand keeping the Prince "safe"). Finally, Mayor Vurnor Leng, is excited at the Prince's presence and is constantly trying to garner his attention in hopes of negotiating a trade deal with Lograd. Oakhurst has several master carpenters and a growing reputation for the silk it produces and Leng is certain he can negotiate a deal (Leng is looking for freelancers willing to distract the Prince's Royal Guards: Rhinehold and Ivedra [Both are 2nd Level Human Fighters with the soldier backgrounds]).

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

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


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.

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 ...