Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The Goduanil is a region filled with rocky hills, where along the valley floors flows purple ooze in streams that run all the way to the sea. This roost is set in a valley off one of the main streams of ooze. The difficult terrain adds a +1 to the CR of this encounter.
1 Approach through the valley
A steep 100' deep gorge devoid of a river branches off from the main valley, leading off in a direction clearly away from the central valley that runs with purple ooze. Stands of leafless birch saplings cling to the cliffsides in this otherwise barren landscape.
The characters hear the occasional flapping of wings as the wind gusts. Occasional rocks will break loose and tumble from the cliffsides. The party is not in danger of these small rocks, but they are an indication of something being afoot. When the party returns to the main valley, they will need to find a creative way around or over the rivers of ooze.
2 Bend in the rocks
The valley makes a turn to the left here, cutting a rocky path through the mountains. The bend obscures the view of the valley. Boulders cling to the ledges of the hillsides.
The characters see a shadow make its way across the valley floor. By the time they look up, whatever it was that caused the shadows has passed them over and is out of sight.
Three sandstone hoodoos rise like towers from the valley floor, the result of years of extreme erosion in this valley. The scattered skeletal remains of large quadrupeds dot the valley floor. A few large feathers are blown about by the gusts of wind across the landscape, drawing attention to the tufts of hair clumped in small, regular dips in the ground.
In actuality, it is more the doing of the ooze that has caused the erosion and thus the hoodoos, areas of hardness where the erosion has not run its course on the rock. The skeletons and tufts of hair are those of horses, picked up from the lands to the north and east of the Goduanil and flown in to feed the griffons and their offspring. If the characters collect reagents or materials for fine brushes, they will recognize the horsehair and can collect a few horses worth, though not before they encounter the following.
Four griffons protect this valley floor, while the others hunt. They attack the party upon their entering this area. Resolve this encounter immediately after reading the above text.
Creatures: Griffons (4): MM page 139.
If the characters search the edges of the floor, they will find a broken staff and a torn red and white flag. This provides evidence that one of the horses belonged to a local knight.
4 View of Nests
From this vantage, it is clear that atop the hoodoos, large sticks frame 20'x20' bowls filled with oversized, brown and white eggs.
The mound of rocks that form the vantage point have been affected by many years of erosion and the ooze begin to slip out from under the party's feet, revealing a few pockets of a purple ooze that seep up to ground level, its acidic discharge spewing plumes of steam into the air.
Creature: Purple Ooze (see tomorrow's post on CCB!)
The sticks and straw are bound together to make a nest. The sticks have been chewed at the ends by sharp beaks. In the center of the nest is a pair of speckled eggs.
Two griffon eggs are in each nest. The eggs are nearing the time to hatch, and when the characters arrive in this location, there is a 50% chance per egg that it will be hatching.
Development: As the characters explore the first of the nests, the four remaining elder griffons (14 HD) swoop in and attack, with the tactic of lifting them off of the floor of the nests and dropping them from the sky onto the valley floor. They will attack relentlessly until one side is vanquished. After the battle, in one of the nests, the party finds a mace +1 and a helm of alacrity +2 among some shredded metal that once was a suit of plate mail.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The reader must be able to read the language that the book of transport is written in.
Major conjuration; CL 13th; Craft Wondrous Item, teleport and plane shift; Price 50,000 gp; Weight 3 lb.
Minor versions exist that only teleport the reader, restricting the use of the book to the current plane.
Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, teleport; Price 25,000 gp; Weight 3 lb.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Faint abjuration; CL 3rd; resist energy, Craft Wondrous Item, Price 6,000gp.
A greater version of these earrings provides a +10 resistance to sonic damage and also stacks with other forms of sonic resistance.
Faint abjuration; CL 5th; resist energy, Craft Wondrous Item, Price 12,000gp.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Random encounters have gotten a bad name in recent years, and mainly that's because they have not evolved past a simple chart of monsters to be fought. Presented below is a chart of random encounters that I came up with for my next homebrew campaign. Not intended to be the meat of any session, they are more like a quick spice I can throw in when the characters travel from place to place.
The categories and encounters in this list create flavor more than anything: they each allow me to present details that build the themes I want to emphasize in my game. For example, the lands where the game takes place in have been ravaged by war for 40 years, so battlefields and refugees help me reinforce that theme to the players.
Feel free to borrow it and modify it as you like to add a little flavor to your games!
some ancient thing
- -skeleton or skull or creature(s)
- -shrine or roadside statue
- -ruined village / town
caravan or merchants
- -lone farmer(s)
- -long distance caravan (with guards)
- -wedding / funeral / festival procession
- beggars, plague victims and horribly maimed veterans of conflicts begging for alms
- -party of adventurers (only up to 9th? level)
- -typical random encounter (monstrous)
- -farming / fishing / herding community
- -fey community (be careful!!!)
- -demi-human community (goblin etc)
- -wild animals (after parties animals? will not fight to the death: at half HP will run away)
- -pack of starving wolves
- -bear and cub
- -puma / mountain lion, will stalk party and attack one of them (or a mount) when they are alone.
- -domestic animals
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
With a magic word and gesture, your foe is transformed into a bleating sheep. "Bah! I thought you'd be a tougher foe than that!" you exclaim.
Encounter <> Arcane, Polymorph, Implement
Standard Action Ranged 10
Attack: Charisma vs Will
Hit: The foe is turned into a harmless animal of your choosing that is native to the area (save ends). This transformation does not alter the target's stats in any way, except that they can fly or swim as appropriate to their new form. While transformed, the target cannot make standard actions or activate any powers: they only actions they can take are map moves.
Upon three failed saves this effect becomes permanent and must be removed by Remove Affliction or similar magic.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Along the way, he has met up with an eldarin war wizard and traveled from town to town, lending healing powers and fighting off brigands and ferocious wolves.
A playful, yet grounded, working-class elf, Aldric has developed many talents, though none that he pursues with more passion than his faith in Avandra, and healing in her name. he has been called too humorous for serious elven service, and too ill-mannered to ever represent his people abroad, so his only hope is in following his own dreams and desires.
He maintains his own gear, but is not too proud to ask for help in repairing or caring for it. His most prized possessions are a pair of ornate, buckled catgrace boots, a finely-carved shortbow +1 thunderburst, and his holy symbol of Faith to Avandra (+1d6 healing).
In addition, he wears a suit of chainmail with a small cape and carries an adventurer's kit in a backpack.
Aldric in your game: Aldric tells a decent tale, and with his diplomacy will likely have learned some things about the local area. As a healer, he is likely to have learned much of the recent adventurers of others. Aldric could serve as an NPC in a party that did not have a player in the leader role. He would allow the DM to give the party some extra healing without having a character overly bent on seeing his own will done.
Aldric Tréburne: Level 3 Cleric of Avandra
medium fey humanoid - XP 2,690
age (equivalent of 28 in human years)
height 5'10", weight 155, brown hair, green eyes
Initiative +1 Senses Perception +1
HP 35; Bloodied 12 Healing Surges: 9
AC 19, Fortitude 14, Reflex 15, Will 16
* Healer's Lore
* Healing Word (2/Encounter)
* Divine Fortune
* Turn Undead
Lance of Faith - (Standard; At-Will)
Sacred Flame - (Standard; At-Will)
Elven Accuracy - (Standard; Encounter)
Command - (Standard; Encounter)
Beacon of Hope - (Standard; Daily)
Shield of Faith - (Standard; Utility)
Short sword: +4 vs AC, 1d6 + 1 damage
Short Bow +1 thunderburst (40 arrows): +5 vs AC, 1d8 + 3 damage
Languages Common, Elven
Skills: Athletics 4, Arcana 5, Athletics 3, Bluff 1, Diplomacy 6, Dungeoneering 2, Endurance 2, Heal 8, History 5, Insight 3, Intimidate 1, Nature 3, Perception 5, Religion 7, Stealth 4, Streetwise 1, Thievery 1
Feats: Elven Precision, Avandra's Rescue
Str 12 Dex 15 Wis 16
Con 13 Int 11 Cha 14
Sunday, September 14, 2008
A serious and morose elf, the tragedy of his family's end hangs over him like a dark cloud. Noble and honorable, he is a great friend to those he has fought alongside, yet his sadness has made him cynical and hard.
His armor and weapons are kept in good condition, but he has left his blue hauberk, with his family's silver star-tipped spear design, torn and cut just as is was when he was knocked out and left for dead on the battlefield of his family's defeat.
Galonadel in your game: You could use Galonadel's sad tale as the start of a quest, or a series of quests, to drive the Vagyr Beastmen from his lands in the Feywild. He could also serve as an NPC in a party that did not have a player in the leader role. He would allow the DM to give the party some extra healing without having a character that would take over the party.
Galonadel Silma-ehta: Level 1 Warlord
medium fey humanoid - XP 150
Initiative +0 Senses Perception +0
HP 24; Bloodied 12 Healing Surges: 8
AC 17, Fortitude 21, Reflex 19, Will 18
Viper's Strike - (Standard; At-Will)
Wolf Pack Tactics - (Standard; At-Will)
Warlord's Favor - (Standard; Encounter)
Lead the Attack - (Standard; Daily)
Inspiring Word – (Minor; Encounter x 2)
Fey Step (Minor; Encounter)
Longsword: +6 vs AC, 1d8 + 5 damage
Javelin: range 5/10, +5 vs AC, 1d6 + 5 damage
Languages Common, Elven
Skills: Diplomacy +7, Heal +5, History +10, Intimidate +7
Feats: Eladrin Soldier
Str 10 (+3) Dex 15 (+5) Wis 12 (+4)
Con 19 (+7) Int 11 (+3) Cha 15 (+5)
Monday, September 08, 2008
Protection from Dreams
Level: Clr 2, Pal 2, Sor/Wiz 2, Brd 1
Components: V, S, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: No; see text
This spell wards a creature from dreams and dream creatures. It creates a magical barrier around the subject at a distance of 1 foot. The barrier moves with the subject and has two major effects.
First, the subject gains a +5 deflection bonus to AC and a +5 resistance bonus on saves versus creatures from or on the Dream Plane.
Second, the barrier blocks any attempt to sleep the warded creature. The protection does not prevent such effects from targeting the protected creature, but it suppresses the effect for the duration of the protection from dreams effect.
Arcane Material Component
A little pillow filled with down with which you decorate a 3-foot-diameter circle on the floor (or ground) around the creature to be warded.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
There are no native creatures on the Dream Plane, however, everyone spends time there at regular intervals. In a way, this is a way for beings to learn more about their true selves, allowing them to inhabit the projected form of another being for some time.
Everyone has another form on the Dream Plane. These tend to be projections that mirror the state of the being, either long-term or in the short term. For instance, paladins might be represented long-term as pegasi, but in the short term, as they are chased by a marauding horde of goblins and forced to flee, they may have a dream plane representation as a gazelle while pursued. The goblins might be represented as wolves or some other beast. If these beings were somehow transported to the dream plane, they would take on the characteristics of these forms. As a gazelle, the paladin would be able to run fast and leap over obstacles, the goblins as wolves would take on the hunting skills and trip attacks of wolves. If the paladin were to enter the dream plane as a pegasus, she would be able to fly, and so on.
Much like the Prime Material Plane, the Dream Plane is a battleground for the forces of good and evil. It is largely neutral, however certain areas tend toward good or evil.
The Dream Plane has the following traits.
* Subjective directional gravity.
* Subjective temporality. Age, hunger, thirst, poison, and natural healing function differently in the Dream Plane; certain dreams may play upon these human needs and have unexpected consequences.
* Strongly neutral-aligned, with pockets of mild good and evil where these forces have gained footholds.
Dreams - the core of the plane. This is where most visitors to the Dream Plane (and they are all visitors) spend their time.
Visions - where the future plays out in dream forms. Here characters may encounter future selves in altered forms or gain knowledge of upcoming events. The many islands of visions are set adrift upon the Seer Sea.
Memories - where the past plays out in dream forms. In this area, characters may relive certain events in their lives in altered forms. The fragmented islands of memories float upon the Forgotten Sea.
Deja Vu - A region where beings encounter events they feel have happened before.
Vuja De - A region where beings encounter events they know can never happen.
Everything else in the Dream Plane falls into the Region In-between, a void of an abyss of uncertainty. As the Dream Plane is a plane between the planes, there is not much to speak of in the Region In-between. Let all adventurers be warned - do not go there. This is the place of nightmares.
The Helm of Disguise – Level 8
This fabled device, crafted by a greedy dwarven king, is a fine coif of silver chain with a shining silver mask that covers the upper face. With it one can take on the shape of any creature of about the wearer's size.
Item Slot: Head 3.400 gold
Power (Daily; Minor): The wearer can Change Shape (see monster manual p280) to alter its physical form to take on the appearance of another creaure of its size or one size category larger or smaller, including a unique individual (giving a +20 bonus on its Bluff check to impersonate that individual). The new shape lasts until the creature is reduced to 0 hit points or choses to change back. Changing shape in this way does not grant any special powers or abilities.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
These water spirits flow into the mortal world from the elemental chaos. They resemble animate waves about the size of a man, with eyes and mouth visible in their foaming features. Found in streams and rivers, they can calmly babble tunes to the weary or cruelly drown the unwary. They are powerful combatants and can knock their foes down and hold them under.
Stream Spirit: Level 7 Brute
medium elemental magical beast (water) - XP 300
Initiative +15 Senses Perception +2
HP 94; Bloodied 47
AC 19, Fortitude 19, Reflex 19, Will 19
Immunity disease, poison; Resist 5 cold
Wave Slap - (standard melee; at will)
+10 vs. AC; 2d6 + 5 damage, and push 2.
Drowning Tide - (standard; encounter, close blast 2; recharge 5-6)
+8 vs. Reflex, 3d10 + 5 damage, slide 1, knocked prone, and one target is grabbed.
As long as the Stream Spirit is within 1 square of water it receives a +1 power bonus to attack rolls and damage.
Alignment Unaligned Languages Primordial
Str 16 (+6) Dex 16 (+7) Wis 9 (+2)
Con 14 (+5) Int 7 (+1) Cha 16 (+6)
Tactics: Stream Spirits tend to lurk in bodies of water where they are impossible to distinguish from the water – it is a DC 25 Perception check to detect them before they raise up out of the water to attack. When they do attack they try to push opponents into the water and drown them by grabbing them and holding them under, or simply bludgeoning them to death.
Stream Spirit Lore
A character knows the following with a successful Arcana check:
DC 15: These elemental spirits are unpredictable and can be very dangerous.
Monday, September 01, 2008
It is said that this weapon finds a way to lead the wielder into peril, and causes those led by the wielder to behave less faithfully. This sword is also deceptive; the wielder believes she is receiving bonuses rather than the hindrances.
Craft Wondrous Item; CL 11; Curse; Price: 15,000.