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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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) 
   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)
   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.


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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Monday, April 3, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: B is for Hex 0102

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

To the north, bandits, mostly deserters and criminals who have fled the Old Empire, have overtaken an abandoned cave system, once known as the gnomish settlment of Arden (Silver Garden in gnomish). The gnomes grew various fungi and mined silver there for 200 years, until a Spore Master cross-bred a new type of fungus whose spores were deadly. While that section of the caves was sealed off, it was too late and all the gnomes perished from the sickness the spores caused.
   The bandits are led by Paula (DnD5: 3rd Level Human Mastermind Rogue; DnD B/X: 3rd Level Thief) and Pierre Hooper (DnD5: 3rd Level Human Battlemaster Fighter; DnD B/X: 3rd Level Fighter), siblings from Naiad and former Imperial Legionnaires who fled their Phalanx after their Captain ordered the slaughter of a farming village because it could not afford the full amount of the bribe he demanded.
   20 bandits (1 Cleric of Avandra, 12 Fighters, 6 Rogues/Thieves, and 1 Wizard/Magic-User, all our 1st level) share the cave system with the Hoopers. Argyle Fayde (DnD5: 2nd Level Tiefling Abjuration Wizard ; DnD B/X: 2nd Level Magic-User) has been studying journals left behind by the gnomes of Arden and has begun to solve the mystery of what happened to them. He has shared his suspicions with the Hoopers and they have talked about ways to see if the fungi species still exists and how to best use it. 
   The bandits are utilizing the fact that the nearby Rangers of Fort Buckler are dealing with the growing hobgoblin threat to make bolder forays into the surrounding areas.

In the east, a parliament of 1d6+1 owlbears are very active in the hills.

A druid of Melora, Zula Blackflint (DnD5: 2nd Level Dwarf Druid of the Grassland; DnD B/X: 2nd Level Cleric) has been assigned to investigate poachers who have been hunting in the south and west for several weeks. The poachers are eladrin from the Feywild, who belong to the Bloodstone Lodge, and have chosen the area as their new hunting grounds.

Terrain is a mix of grasslands and steep hills dotted with cave systems.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017: A is for Hex 0101

I want to apologize for being late to start, yesterday was my 17th Wedding Anniversary and I had a date night with my better half.

This year for the A to Z Blog Challenge, I'm working up a Hex Crawl for the many editions of Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing Game and it's Retroclones amongst the Old School Revival.

In Table Top RPGs, some settings or adventures are described as Sand Boxes, where the story is driven by where the player's decide to go. A Hex Crawl is a Sand Box that is broken into numbered hexes on a map. 

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

Without further ado:


The Boneweaver Clan of hobgoblins have established a stronghold in the northwest known as Skymetal Keep. It is an ancient fortress established by the Old Empire which they have renovated and reinforces. The fortress was the sight of the massacre of Imperial General Heroditus Kemp and 400 of his most loyal soldiers who failed to hold back the barbarian hordes of Chief Gorgo Ebonmaul's Great Alliance, which went onto sack Marowick and Ember Hall
   The Boneweavers are being led Yvelda Rivenheart (DnD5: Hobgoblin Warlord, Wis 15; DnD B/X: HD 3+1)who claims to be the grandaughter of their dark god, Maglubiyet. The Clan is 300 strong and the Rangers of nearby Fort Buckler claim she has sent diplomats to the Angry Maw and Stonekiller hobgoblin Clans to the North and West, respectively.

Lucard Montclief(DnD5: 5th Level Half-Elf Hunter Ranger; DnD B/X: 5th Level Fighter) commander of Fort Buckler, which is south of Skymetal Keep, is imploring the nearby Duchy of Saint Cuthbert for resources and reinforcements, but the only aid given thus far are bonus funds for those willing to serve two years with the Rangers at the Fort.

Many adventurers have also sought the location of the cairn of Chief Ebonmaul, as legends say he was buried with many treasures (DnD5: 2d10 50 gp Gems; DnD B/X: Type I) and the legendary weapon (DnD5: Giant Slayer Maul; DnD B/X: +1 Mace) whose name he took. It is in the west, marked by larger boulder with a star-shaped hole that goes completely through it.

Terrain is a mix of grasslands and gentle, sloping hills.

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 ...