Saturday, July 15, 2023

If You Build It They Will Play: Hedrons

I started playing Magic: the Gathering with the Antiquities 1994, I guess? I've always found many of the game's Planes fairly interesting and Zendikar is among them. In the setting, a geomancer, created these floating monoliths or Hedrons, to imprison the game's riff on the Great Old Ones known as the Eldrazi.

Since the Craglands have been dealing with the threat of expansion of the Far Realms I decided to use the Eldrazi as a change of pace.

The Hedron appears, passing through a newly formed Rift, moments after an unexplained explosion within a nearby mine and immediately begins floating at about 15' in the air where it remains stationary and vibrates at a frequency that is just barely audible (DC 13 Wisdom (Perception) check).

The Rift, which appears as a night-black oval set into the ground, is a slightly larger than an average human and is 15° cooler than the rest of its environment. Looking directly into the Rift requires a DC 12 Wisdom Saving Throw which causes a level of Exhaustion on a failed roll.

Anyone who succeeds on a DC 12 Intelligence (Arcana) check knows what the Hedrons are and that they are rare on this Plane. If the total is a 15 or higher then it is known that the Mage King Suleiman III of Khersia wrote that our Plane and Zendikar's were somehow linked during the sinking of Hem-Hoomod, the Ivory Seat of the Woodeel Empire, which marked the end of the 7th Age and the beginning of our current one. With a total of 18 or higher it is know that Ur-Hukar, the High Vizier to the Ivory Seat, came upon the Invector Prima, a foul tome devoted to the Higher Ungods, the name of the Eldrazi during the 7th Age, which corrupted him body, mind, and soul. If the total is 20 or higher then it is know that that Hussars of Vim use a strange form of magic to detect, track down, and destroy Hedrons and then cleanse the area via the Meteor Swarm spell.

Monday, July 10, 2023

If You Build It They Will Play: A Simple Start

A few months back I put our Tuesday Deadlands game on pause and started a Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition game with mostly the same players.

I chose 5E because two of my players hadn't really had much of a chance to try it, DnD Beyond is a HUGE time saver, and if I'd run B/X or ADnD I'd have used a fair number of house rules to make it somewhat closer to 5E.

I decided having a good introductory adventure to get things moving worked really well with Deadlands so I looked for something similar for 5E. With DL I used a sandbox setting but I feel more comfortable with DnD fantasy so something simple would just fine. We were starting at Level 3 and I chose the 4th Level adventure A Deep and Creeping Darkness from Candlekeep Mysteries because two of my players had play tested the 3rd Level adventure before. 

Without going into too many details the adventure gave me two locations the town of Maerin and the abandoned village of Vermeillon. Additionally, I know that I will be dealing with the Feywild and the Far Realm. I cut the part about Candlekeep and have the Players being hired by an older woman who is looking to return her Mother's ring to enhance the dowry of her great-grandaughter.

I'm going to take a step back and share that some goals this campaign: I want this campaign to be 99% player drive and since I have some very active players they make this easy for me to accomplish.; I'm not looking to make the Big Damn Heroes who have to save the world; the rules are far less important than fun -- again, my players have all kinds of ideas if sounds good why not do it? For example: our wizard had an idea to distract an enemy and while he knew Color Spray he didn't have it prepared, so I let him make an Arcana check and since he succeeded he was able to cast it. I think there should be some extra incentives for utility spells that might get overlooked and I've enhanced this process by giving him a magic item with several utility spells he can cast once per day.

We are couple sessions into this campaign and I've been sketching out the setting as the Craglands. There is something sinister trying to turn a nature portal into the Feywild into a hole to the Far Realms and they have met someone from 50 years in the future of Vermeillon whose exposure to the aberrant energies of the Far Realm have twisted him physically and impaired him mentally and there has been some concern about Hill Giants making deep forays from their mountain strongholds.

More soon.

Thundarr the Movie

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