Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Fantasy Trip: Manaconda

Art by Jeremy Hart

Manacondas are frighteningly efficient hunters who stalk the forests of Chui. ST 13, DX 11, IQ 10, MA 12. They use many different types of weapons, and can do 1d of damage with their body. They are generally found in groups and will not leave a fallen comrade behind.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Dungeon Mastering 101: Listen More


I've written recently about some of the challenges I've been facing as a DM. I'm glad to say that I'm overcoming them and moving forward with a campaign I was pretty close to scrapping.

A key moment in our first session back to the DnD 5th Edition game was when the players decided to use guile and stealth instead of violence to overcome some sleeping chimera. I had this epiphany that these wonderful players at my table had enough creativity and drive to move the game along and all I had to do was shut up. I didn't have to bear this world on my back, the players were propping it up with boundless ideas and shenanigans.

It was very freeing for me. And it's allowed my to focus on the players instead of plots, which is something that has really helped me get back into enjoying being a DM.

Understand, every table is different, even every session. But if the player are keyed up and ready to move things along, its okay to let your ideas take a back seat to theirs. I've found when I do this, often I can still insert ideas I've had and their strengthened because their tied into the players goals and actions.

As an example, I came up with a plot line that looked like it wouldn't work with the current goals of the characters, but after a few sessions, I'll be able to return to it and the players laid the ground work for its appearance. How cool is that?

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Blackest of Deaths: Rolling Ability Scores


Eric Bloat of Bloat Games is a pretty swell guy. He gave me access to an ashcan copy of Blackest of Deaths, his new Dire Old School Fantasy RPG that will be Kickstarted on April 9th.

You might think that you don't need another Old School RPG and you'd be wrong. There are some cool ideas that Eric has presented and I wanted to focus on Rolling Attributes in this post:

Blackest of Deaths has the same six Attributes you've grown to love, however Attribute Scores have been removed and only the bonus (or penalty) is used.

Each player rolls 6d6 and sets aside any 1s. 

Each 6 counts as a 3 and should be assigned to your most important attributes. Each 4 and 5 counts as a 2 and should be assigned to your second most important attributes. And each 2 and 3 count as a 1 and should be assigned to your third most important attributes.

Now re-roll any 1s you got. Each 4, 5, and 6 counts as a 0 and needs to be assigned. Each 2 and 3 counts as a -1 and needs to be assigned. Each 1 counts as a -2 and needs to be assigned.

On top of that, both Race and Class provide bonuses to Attributes.

Pretty slick, in my opinion.

What I love about Blackest of Deaths is that it takes the familiar and approaches it from a new perspective throughout the game.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Counter Culture: Wizards Changing Rules



As a retailer working at a local gaming store (that I make as friendly as possible), I appreciate it when Publishers remember the direct market that they distribute their products too. It makes me feel good, appreciated.

For years, Wizards of the Coast did this. But things have been changing and I don't think for the better. Late last year, WotC stopped being a distributor to local game stores as part of their initiative to make sure that Target, Wal-Mart, and Amazon could have better access to their products. 

Yes, you read that right, they stopped selling directly to me, the little guy, to strengthen their share in big box stores. No, its not shocking, but it hurt. Its not like I have a ton advantage over big box stores, so I enjoyed the benefits that a direct account with WotC gave me.

One of those was that we got DnD releases 10 days over everyone else and eventually exclusive covers.

However, that 10 day lead time is now gone. Its tough. What makes it tougher is that, according to people on the internet, GameStop is selling the Dungeons and Dragons Stranger Things box right now, a product that I and even Amazon don't get until May.

I love what I do and I'll find a way to adapt, but when a company seems to turn its back on you, it can be a tough pill to swallow and at the moment, thats what it feels like Wizards of the Coast has done.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Man-Bat





Man-Bat
Medium humanoid, chaotic neutral
________________________________________________

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 13 (2d8 + 4) 
Speed 25 ft., fly 30 ft.
__________________________________________
   Str                  Dex                Con           
14 (+2)          16 (+3)         14 (+2)  
   Int                  Wis                Cha
10 (+0          12 (+1)         9 (-1)
__________________________________________

Senses Blindsight 60 ft., Passive Perception 11
Languages Common
Challenge 1 (100 XP)
__________________________________________


ACTIONS

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. 
Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Vigilante City: MODOK





MODOK for Vigilatne City
STR: 20 
INT: 24 
WIS: 11
DEX: 9
CON: 16 
CHR: 14
Armor Class: 16
Hit Dice: 8 (48 HP) 
Move: 12 
Actions: 3
Attack Damage: Energy Beam (3d6), Slam Attack (d8 to two targets)
Special: Outsmart x6 a day
Bonuses: +5 to attacks, +2 to Melee Damage, +1 to Initiative, 
+8 to all non- Physical skills, +10 to Spot, +10 to Listen
Morale: 14 
Terror: 14 
HDE: 8

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Devil Dinosaur





Devil Dinosaur
Huge beast, unaligned
________________________________________________

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 13 (11d12 + 4) 
Speed 40 ft.
__________________________________________
   Str                  Dex                Con           
23 (+6)          9 (-1)         17 (+3)  
   Int                  Wis                Cha
3 (-4)          12 (+1)         9 (-1)
__________________________________________


Skills Perception +4
Senses Passive Perception 14
Languages --
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
__________________________________________


ACTIONS

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. 
Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) piercing damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 16). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the devil dinosaur can't bite another target.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. 
Hit: 25 (4d8 + 7) bludgeoning damage.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Vigilante City: A.I.M. Agent


Advanced Idea Mechanics Agent for Vigilante City
Armor Class: 15
Hit Dice: 2
Move: 15
Actions: 1
Attack Damage: Pistol (1d6+2)

Bonuses: +1 to Melee attack, +3 to Range attack, Computers +2, Knowledge: General +3, Science +3
Morale: 9 
Terror: 7 
HDE: 2

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Vigilante City: Hydra Agent




Hydra Agent for Vigilante City
Armor Class: 13
Hit Dice: 2
Move: 16
Actions: 1
Attack Damage: Pislto (d6+1)

Bonuses: +2 to Melee attack, +2 to Range attack
Morale:
Terror:
HDE: 2

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Back This: Arcana of the Ancients on Kickstarter



Monte Cook Games makes some well written and gorgeous books. And the setting of Numenera, the Ninth World, is exceptional.

They have taken the last several years of working in science-fantasy and have a new Kickstarter for Arcana of the Ancients to bring all they have learned to Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.

The KS is live and I urge you to back it. They are already very close to funding.

You can back it here.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Beast Man




Warriors of the vine jungle who have hired onto the Horde.

BEAST MAN
medium humanoid (beast man), neutral evil
________________________________________________

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 13 (2d8 + 4) 
Speed 35 ft.
__________________________________________
   Str                  Dex                Con           
16 (+3)          13 (+1)         15 (+2)  
   Int                  Wis                Cha
10 (+0)          12 (+1)         11 (+0)
__________________________________________


Skills Animal Handling +3, Perception +3, Stealth +3, 
Survival +3
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Sylvan
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
__________________________________________

Beast Master. A beast man has advantage on Wisdom (Animal Handling) skill checks.
__________________________________________

ACTIONS

Flail. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. 
Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Cosmic Enforcer's Blaster




COSMIC ENFORCER'S BLASTER
Magic weapon (laster pistol), Very rare
• The blaster deals 3d8 force damage (range 40/120, reload 50 shots)

• When you hit with an attack wielding the blaster and roll a natural 18-20, the target is knocked back 10 feet.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Dungeons & Dragons: Aquatican Buccanneer




Warriors of the Sea Kingdoms who have hired onto the Horde.

AQUATICAN BUCCANEER
medium humanoid (aquatican), lawful evil
________________________________________________

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 39 (6d8 + 12) 
Speed 35 ft., swim 40 ft.
__________________________________________
   Str                  Dex                Con           
14 (+2)          12 (+1)         15 (+2)  
   Int                  Wis                Cha
11 (+0)          13 (+1)         10 (+0)
__________________________________________


Skills Perception +3, Survival +3, 
Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Primordial
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
__________________________________________

Amphibious. The aquatican can breathe air and water.

Fish Telepathy. The aquatican can magically command any fish within 30 feet of her, using a limited telepathy.
__________________________________________

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The aquatican buccaneer makes two attacks.

Long Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) slashing damage.

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Monday, March 4, 2019

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Cobra Infantry




Foot solders for the COBRA terrorist organization.

COBRA INFANTRY
medium humanoid (human), lawful evil
________________________________________________

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


Skills Perception +3, Survival +3
Senses Passive Perception 13
Languages Common
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
__________________________________________


ACTIONS

Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Hunting Rifle. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 80/240 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d10 + 2) piercing damage.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Deadite




A "Deadite" is a evil demonic zombie hybrid.

DEADITE
medium undead, chaotic evil
________________________________________________

Armor Class 11 (natural armor)
Hit Points 13 (3d8) 
Speed 30 ft.
__________________________________________
   Str                  Dex                Con           
11 (+0)          10 (+0)         11 (+0)  
   Int                  Wis                Cha
10 (+0)          11 (+0)         10 (+0)
__________________________________________

Damage Immunities Poison
Condition Immunities Poisoned
Senses Passive Perception 10
Languages Common, Abyssal
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
__________________________________________

Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the deadite to 0 hit points, it must make a Death saving throw. On a success, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead. On a failure, it is dead.
__________________________________________


ACTIONS

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. 
Hit: 3 (1d6) slashing damage.

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Saturday, March 2, 2019

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Chainsaw Hand




CHAINSAW HAND
Magic weapon (chainsaw), Very rare (requires attunement)

• This magic item replaces one of the wielder's hands permanently.


• The chainsaw deals 2d8 slashing damage.

• When you hit with an attack wielding the chainsaw and rolls a natural 19-20, the target gains a level of exhaustion.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: Gar Magus



The Gar are evil beings from another dimension who serve Hordak and his Horde in his effort to rule the Polyverse.


GAR MAGUS
medium humanoid (gar), lawful evil
________________________________________________

Armor Class 13 (leather armor)
Hit Points 22 (5d8) 
Speed 30 ft.
__________________________________________
   Str                  Dex                Con           
13 (+1)          12 (+1)         11 (+0)  
   Int                  Wis                Cha
16 (+3)          14 (+2)         10 (+0)
__________________________________________


Skills Arcana +5, History +5
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Draconic, Infernal
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
__________________________________________

Spellcasting. The gar magus is a 4th-level spellcaster that uses Intelligence as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 13; +5 to hit with spell attacks). The mage knows the following spells from the wizard’s spell list:

Cantrips (at will): chill touch, mage hand, shocking grasp

1st Level (4 slots): cause fear, magic missile

2nd Level (3 slots): darkness, hold person
__________________________________________

ACTIONS

Havoc staff. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 30/60 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+1) force damage.


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Jarlsburg: New Rumors

It's literally been years since I wrote about Jarlsburg , my ode to Sanctuary, Lankhmar, and Ankh-Morpork. Here are some new rumors...