Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ft. Wood Area Map

This map shows the area around Ft. Wood. There will be a series of posts related to an upcoming Unicorn Rampant release over the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dindle Keep - Level 2

On level 2, most of the entrances to the rooms need to be approached through the hallways that line the outer walls. This means that the keep is dark on the inside, except when the torches are lit. These are found in the center of each of the hallways and hanging at the top of each stairwell. This floor is full of secrets, passageways leading to caches of items and information.

T1-T7 Towers: Each of the towers contains a small, wooden sitting chair at the top of a circular flight of stairs. The chairs face small windows through which guards keep watch on the surrounding countryside.

Hallways: The hallways between the towers are empty save torches in sconces which provide moderate light and decorative crossed swords behind wooden shields hastily painted with the logo of Dindle Keep. Spent torches are propped up against the wall. The exception is the hallway between T1 and T2, which features two guard chairs, one on each side of the door leading to 6, where the daughters are being kept under Silas' orders, who fears that goblins will otherwise take them.

1 Master Chambers

The plushness of this room has faded with time. It appears the master has not kept up with recent trends which have swept the Jæruel, as the hardware is decades old. An unmade bed lies in the center of the room, the concave mattress showing signs of heavy use. On the floor in front of the bed is a brown bear rug. Under a colorful woven fabric, a wide armoire fills the eastern wall. An old dresser lines the southwest wall, its mirror rimmed with a black smudge.

The armoire is filled with dirty clothes. At the bottom are a leather belt with a fancy belt buckle and a pair of fur riding boots.

In the drawers of the dresser are an ornate dagger, a pouch of gold dust, and a small key. The key fits in a small, invisible keyhole in the west wall hidden by the dresser, which the party will find on a successful DC 30 search check combined with a detect invisibility spell. An 8'x5' door opens inward once the key is placed in the keyhole and turned.

1a Secret Walk-in Closet

Chests line the walls, two deep. Hanging above the chests are ornate outfits from various events in a man's life. Across from those are a set of outfits befitting a lady, from age eight to twenty-eight.

Creature: Babau (See MM page 40) Living here is Silas Dindle's demon, Nadas Baran, or if you have the need to make this a more powerful encounter, substitute this demon for a marilith or other, more powerful demon. This demon will occasionally masquerade as a merchant, bringing ill news from the surrounding forests, and driving Silas into his fearful state. Nadas Baran's minions bring plunder from surrounding lands, and this is traded for writs and other powerful pieces of paper. Nadas Baran's ultimate goal is to lure Silas into conflict with the goblins on their terms, in their lands, or at least to convince him to send his guard out and leave the keep alone, so that he may acquire the keep.

Two of Silas' seven guards work for Nadas Baran as do countless other merchants who operate both inside and outside the Jæruel merchant collective. Nadas Baran's men are very loyal, and will fight on his side if he is challenged.

Silas knows nothing of this demon; Nadas Baran has been able to successfully hide from him and his men for months now, patiently running the operation of influencing Silas from the shadows.

Nadas Baran will only attack if the party has already explored much of the second floor of the keep. Otherwise, he will remain hidden until the dramatically-appropriate moment.

Treasure: various coins, gems, and jewelry totalling 2,500gp.

2 Interior Hall

This dimly-lit hall is lined with small paintings of rustic objects - a hoe, a still-life of fruit and a loaf of bread, and the portrit of a multi-generational family dressed to work the land. Sturdy-looking wooden doors lead in various directions and a man-sized mirror at the east end of the hall makes this room feel like it is larger than it is.

If the party studies the mirror in great detail, they will notice that along the frame is a latch. Flipping the latch, they are able to remove the mirror from the wall, where whoever removes it will need to make a DC 15 Balance or Strength check, due to the topheaviness of the mirror, or drop it and have it shatter. If it shatters, the various pieces attack the party as mirror shards (to follow in a future post).

In the space behind the mirror is a small archway hiding a makeshift closet.

2a Secret Hall Closet

A pile of papers fills this closet. Among them are many unsigned writs of passage and recommendations filled out in Silas' name, as well as personal letters.

Treasure: scrolls full of information and unsigned writs. These can be sold or used to curry favor with other merchants and landowners. They would need to be signed and stamped with the Dindle seal to be made official.

The letters tell the story of Silas Dindle as a series of personal communiques. If the players read through these papers in depth, they will find out that Lady Dindle was the true keeper of the fortune, and that Silas took her surname in marriage. He once considered leaving her, but feared the wrath of her father. Then, when she took ill, he felt guilty for having considered divorce, and began to see his twin daughters as her, and thinkinghe was seeing double, began turning mad. The latest letters are written in an illegible hand.

It turns out these last letters have been written under the influence of his demon. They have, luckily, not been sent, but Nadas Baran is trying to get him to send them through legitimate channels to legitimize his claim to Dindle Keep.

3 Small Nursery

The walls are a pleasant color resembling a robin’s egg, which is slightly faded. Off to one side is one crib, and off in the room's corner is another. The musty smell mixed with the stench of rotten eggs and the large amount of dust and cobwebs throughout the room indicates this room has not been used in years.

If the cribs are searched, down below the cobwebs which hang over them, they each contain a shiny, black egg with brown speckles. These are Babau eggs. Nadas Baran is already acting as if he owns the keep, turning this room into his nest.

4 Large Room

This room is set aside for children's studies, with two desks facing opposite walls stacked with books.

Reading the books on local history and geography will improve the characters' knowledge skills. If the party searches the desks closely enough, they will discover a small latch behind one of them. The latch opens a child-sized door leading to a secret cache.

4a Secret Cache

A bookcase is nestled into the corner, and a chest lies on the other end of this secret cache.

Treasure: Among the children's books on the shelf is a minor tome of ensnarement. In the chest are various toys and dolls.

5 Long Room

This bedroom contains a bed, a chest of drawers, and a small chest serving as a footlocker at the end of the bed. A pile of rugs occupies the far end of the room.

One of the rugs contains a pack of rug rats (see future post), which rise up from the rug if anyone pulls the rug from the pile and steps upon it. The bed is normal. The chest of drawers is full of female young adult clothes.

6 Long Room

This chamber is sparsely decorated with a pair of cots, a small lantern on a wooden table. Two tomes lie open in the light.

This is where the daughters have been kept behind lock and key. They are still here, unless some other event has caused them to be moved. As the DM, use your judgment here. The books are fantasy novels that the daughters have been reading, something like Wuthering Heights but backdated to match your campaign world.

If the party is able to enter this room, they will have to have convinced Silas to let them speak with them (difficult), occupied or disabled the guards (moderate challenge), or used some form of magic or sneakery to accomplish the task (less difficult).

The daughters both know the story of what has transpired, but are unaware of much of the secret information found in 2a. They are both ready to escape the keep; living as captives in their home is unacceptable. However, because of their love for their father, they will want to help him first. Once he is freed of his demon, they will leave, Emmaigne with Lieutenant Hass and Antaigne with Captain Danus.

7 Bedroom

This bedroom contains a fine bed, a dresser, and an old rocking horse.

The bedpost farthest from the center of the room contains a small, hidden compartment, visible with a DC 30 Search check. Within the bedpost is a small scroll. Upon the scroll is a love note written in a finely-printed male hand.

The note is from the lieutenant, who is in love with one of the daughters. If pressed, he will admit this and beg the party to help him free her so they can leave this haunted place, even issue an order to the guards to let the party see the girls. He will help in the battle against the Babau if the party agrees to let the lovers leave.

The dresser contains a woman's clothes, mostly dresses and floral tunics. The rocking horse is masterwork, built by one of the master wood workers of the Jæruel at his shop in Tannen.

7a Secret Cache

The dresser slides away, revealing a wood-paneled room. Weapons are stockpiled in this triangular room, stuffed haphazardly into the corners of the room.

Treasure:Among the weapons are a long sword +1 and a masterwork dagger. Both belong to the Dindle household.

8 Lieutenant's Quarters

This neat room is sparsely decorated. The white sheets on the bed are clean and pressed. The keeper of this room is very organized. A lone armoire stands at the other end of the room.

Inside the armoire are two tunics and a jerkin, folded neatly. Hanging above them is a canvas uniform with multiple honors pinned upon the lapels. In the bottom of the armoire is a pair of leather sandals.

This is where Lieutenant Hass sleeps.

9 Captain of the Guard's Quarters

The elements in this room are slightly dissheveled. Apparently the room is not regularly cared for as its 15'x15' size deserves. The room is filled with wall-to-wall shelves, some open, some closed, some half-open, half-closed.

The open shelves reveal trophies from past battles, including chalices, small figurines, and other trinkets taken from the battlefield or potentially traded for. The closed shelves contain items considered more personal to the captain - clothing, a small, jade figurine, and various writs of passage and commendations from nobles across the Jæruel.

This is where Captain Danus sleeps. He has been troubled of late by needing to follow his liege's orders to imprison his love, Antaigne in 6.

10 Head Archer's Quarters

This room is decorated with a collection of feathers from various flying and non-flying avians. Used bows are hung on the wall, trophies of battles past. Leather straps and bowstrings are scattered atop the desk which serves as a workbench for a bowyer.

The head archer keeps watch not far from this room (hallway between T3 and T4), where he can see down over the south-facing cliff that faces the road below, so if the party spends much time here, he will come and watch them as they peruse his items. He also has a few uncommon items for trade if the barter is right.

Pernice is one of the more accurate archers in the Jæruel, and has worked for their organization for some time. He secretly works for the Jæruel administration in Tannen and has been stationed in Dindle Keep to keep watch on Silas. The Jæruel seeks an excuse to have him arrested so that they may take control of the keep. In this, Pernice is not evil, he is merely serving his true master. For this, he is well paid. he carries an official writ from the Jæruel which grants him the authority to make arrests in their name.

This will lead to a tense moment that the party gets to involve themselves in. Once the action reaches the climax, where Nadas Baran is exposed, Pernice will attempt to haul Silas off to Tannen, citing treacherous behavior. Of course, he has committed no crime, so this is a false accusation. The discussion will be handled in the follow-up post, The Story of Silas Dindle (part two), coming soon!

(To reiterate, the conclusion of Silas Dindle's story is to follow in a later post!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ale Break: Use of the written word

It's nice to take a break every now and again and reflect upon running role playing games in a way that adds drama and excitement to the experience.

The written word doesn't tend to take place so much in fantasy worlds, partly due to the historical precedent of illiteracy in Medieval European societies. However, most player characters end up interacting with the upper classes and powermongers of the societies they roll in, so at some point, they will likely encounter the written word.

This can provide a fun game element, especially if many of the characters do not read the official written language. Present your characters with a riddle, cryptogram or a set of hieroglyphs and watch the players try to solve the puzzle. This will likely lead to various competing interpretations, which, if your players are really role playing, will play out in their interactions. A cleric may consider it a message from a god and consider it his word and thus up to him to interpret. A rogue may see it as a coded message leading to a treasure. A fighter may see it as a document of surrender. An elf may find it primitive dribble. Hopefully your players will find a more nuanced position, assuming you present the right symbols.

For sources, check out books in the library or have a look online in old books for something that looks right. Or make one up yourself. It's easy to sit down and write something up. For instance, in a recent session, I presented my characters with a sheet that was nailed to the door of an abandoned keep. What was written wasn't as important as that fact that it was written in three distinct languages. So I made up some characters and used them in ways that looked like a fancy, almost magical script, a character-based language, and a hieroglyphics-inspired pictoral representation.

In addition, consider using writs of passage and official documents that travel the land, as well as secret messages sent out during the night. These present opportunities for characters to be sent on missions as couriers, and end up starting or preventing a war upon delivery, involving them very directly in the overarching story of the campaign and thus have the players feel agency in the game itself. These scenarios also allow the party to discuss the ethics of opening mail before it arrives at its intended destination, etc. Some may find this despicable, others may consider it the only way to ensure that the right things is done. Still others may be dastardly rogues who just want to meddle in other people's affairs. All of these are welcome (nay, encouraged) in fantasy role playing games!

This drama is harder to sustain and play out with the common use of message, sending and other spells. Limit the use of these spells in your campaign if you want the written word to have any use. I recommend it; in my opinion, convenience kills role playing. It is urgency that propels storylines, not convenience.

The same is true for the use of multiple spoken languages. One way to spice up your game is to give NPCs who do not speak so-called "common," or perhaps speak a different common than the PCs, strange accents and broken use of the language. Imagine a Frenchman or German speaking English. Even when they do speak it well, there are regular pronunciation artifacts that tag someone as having a "French or German accent." This can be a great way of linking an NPC that the party knows nothing about with a specific region, based entirely on accent, no in-game "Where are you from?" "I hail from the Kingdon of Blah" dialogue, which can be cumbersome, and not necessarily realistic. Why would this person who doesn't know you tell you where he's from or even more fundamental, why would this NPC parley with the party in the first place? But if the characters overhear him gloating about killing a giant, they learn much about where he's from and what's been doing.

Of course, spells like tongues can completely negate the use of different languages in your game. This is why it may make sense to remove these spells entirely from the game, or have them only be able to be learned after a considerable amount of work or a quest.

Questing for spells is another way to add texture to your campaign. More on that in a later post.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dogs of War

Dogs of war and men of hate
With no cause, we don't discriminate
Discovery is to be disowned
Our currency is flesh and bone
-- the bard band Floidus Pinkus

Dogs of War
Size/Type: Medium Outsider (Neutral, Extraplanar, Lawful)
Hit Dice: 8d8+16 (52 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 22 (+3 Dex, +6 natural, +3 hide armor), touch 13, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+16
Attack: Bite +13 melee (1d8+3/19-20 plus 1d6 electricity)
Full Attack: Bite +13 melee (1d8+3/19-20 plus 1d6 electricity)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Breath weapon, electric bite
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., immunity to electricity, scent, vulnerability to water
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +6
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 4
Skills: Intimidate +15, Jump +16, Listen +12, Spot +15, Survival +8*, Tumble +7
Feats: Alertness, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Lawful plains, battlefields
Organization: Pack (5-12)
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always lawful neutral
Advancement: 9-12 HD (Large); 13-16 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: +3 (cohort)

A typical dog of war stands 5½ feet high at the shoulder and weighs 160 pounds.

Dogs of War are never encountered alone. They travel only in packs, and are often conscripted to fight both sides of large battles. They do not speak but communicate through a series of barks, yelps, and growls and can be taught battle commands.


Dogs of war are trained to fight as tight packs, using their strong initiative and skill with their razor-sharp teeth to swarm and flank their opponents. They are also often used as artillery, breathing bolts of lightning into melee.

The natural weapons of dogs of war are treated as neutral-aligned and lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Breath Weapon (Su): 10-foot-long bolt that travels up to 100 feet, once every 3 rounds, damage 2d6 electricity, Reflex DC 17 half. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Electric Bite (Su): Dogs of war deal an extra 1d6 points of electric damage every time they bite an opponent, as if these bites are electric weapon.


Dogs of war have a +5 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks, though these are rarely used, except in surprise raids.

*They also receive a +8 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent, due to their keen sense of smell.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Omnibus 1 Released!

The first fifteen issues of Claw/Claw/Bite for the price of five!

Welcome to our world of strange and wonderful things, traveler. Bizarre treasures, cunning adversaries, powerful adventurers, and mystic realms are waiting for you. This omnibus is a collection of some of our best work over the past two and a half years.

It's been a great joy to bring this material to you for the past few years, and we have every intent to continue this magazine, even as our new periodical, Tailslap, is gaining in popularity alongside the new edition of the core rules.

Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for you, the storyteller. All of our creations are designed for d20 3.5 rules. Many of the game elements that you see in this periodical will find their way into modules published by Unicorn Rampant, which will be available on RPGnow.com!

Go pick up your copy at rpgnow.com

Saturday, January 17, 2009


first you wanna kill me, then you wanna kiss me... blow!

The Silverhorn is an instrument famous for its powers of aiding negotiation. When blown, the horn emits an enchantment that encourages compromise. Those within earshot (including the blower) must make a DC 25 Will save or end up under the enchantment that finds middle ground between a buyer and a seller, or between multiple parties in a political negotiation.

A strategy employed by previous owners of the Silverhorn is to ask a ridiculous price for an item up for sale, then blow the horn, waiting for the best offer to come in. Of course, the Silverhorn does not guarantee that the average of the prices be affordable to the buyer, nor does it necessarily compel them to make a purchase.

The Silverhorn itself is tarnished from years of use, but is just as potent as when it was wrought a hundred years ago by a dwarf high in the mountains, one who participated in the conquest of a dragon. This is how he spent his horde, in the hopes of taking the other dwarves' shares slowly, one financial transaction at a time. Whether or not he was successful is lost to the winds like so many story endings.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cone of Silence

Illusion (Glamer)
Level: Brd 1, Clr 1
Components: S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Area: 30-ft.-long cone that emanates from the caster
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates; see text or none (object)
Spell Resistance: Yes; see text or no (object)

Upon the casting of this spell, complete silence prevails in the affected area. All sound is stopped: Conversation is impossible, spells with verbal components cannot be cast, and no noise whatsoever issues from, enters, or passes through the conic area. The effect emanates from the cone held aloft by the caster. An unwilling creature can attempt a Will save to negate the spell and can use spell resistance, if any. Items in a creature's possession or magic items that emit sound receive the benefits of saves and spell resistance, but unattended objects and points in space do not. This spell provides a defense against sonic or language-based attacks.

The material component is a small cone that the caster holds in her hand when casting the spell.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dindle Keep - Level 1

The party will arrive from the trail to the south, having had the guards in the toll houses far below signal up that they en route on business. This trail wraps around the front of the keep, which is inaccessible from the side facing the road.

Note of course that if the party is caught stealing anything or is deemed dangerous and unfriendly by Silas, the guards will attack the party, taking custody of them, and preparing them for delivery to Jæruel headquarters in Tannen.

If the party decides to sneak into the keep at night, Silas will be sleeping up in his room, his daughters both awake and sending messages to one another through a series of taps on the walls. Guards will be posted in many of the towers, in the entry hall, and outside their three rooms, two for Silas, and one for each of his daughters.

Towers – each of the hexagonal towers contains a small bed a the bottom of a staircase leading up. There is no level to the keep below ground; the bedrock was too hard to easily build into when the keep was built over a hundred years ago.

1 Outside the Keep

The tall door leading into the keep is nestled in between two towers on the uphill side of the keep. Tight clusters of cypress line the walls in patches along a neatly-fitted brick and stone walkway. The tall door is emblazoned with the emblem of the profile of a woman's head and shoulders on a deep yellow shield. A man in impressive field plate with the same emblem upon it steps forward, says "Ho!" and waits for the party to bow.

Once they do, he steps forward, introducing himself as Lanx and holding his arm out, pointing the way to the door.

2 Entrance Hall

As the party approaches, read the following:

The oversized door creaks on its hinges as it opens, leading into the keep from the uphill side. A man who introduces himself as Lanx bids the party, "Welcome to Dindle Keep. Keep your troubles outside!" As everyone steps through the door, two armed guards wield the heavy portal and latch it shut with a large caber. They turn to watch the party.

3 Study

This moderately-sized room is lined with short bookshelves. Atop the shelves are various houseplants taken from the fields and forests in the local region. Upon the walls are landscape oil and watercolor paintings of sunrises and sunsets in brilliant hues. A lone candelabra illuminates a table in the center of the room. A book lies open in the central reading chair.

The book is on the local folklore, containing small, hand-drawn maps from storytellers. There are annotations pencilled into the margins, and the names of places underlined.

In the early evenings, Silas retires to the study to improve his knowledge of history, geography, and religion. He will be found here if visited in the evening.

4 Library

An impressive collection of books lines the walls of this room, the leather spines like the scales of a dragon. In the center of the room is a large table upon which rest a collection of maps.

If thoroughly searched, the party will find books on the local geography and history, which if studied, raise those skills by a point each.

5 Statuarium

Worn, humanoid statues occupy the two hard corners of the room, with the far walls coming together at 45 degree angles toward the rest of the keep. The stone ceiling rises another two feet above the floor to accommodate the tall statues.

The two statues have the emblem of the Dindle family etched in them. A careful inspection of the statues reveals small sets of wings on both of them, jutting out just past the shields slung over their backs. This hints at a relationship with the celestial.

6 Back Chamber

Passing under another large arch, the wooden ceiling lowers to a more normal height. A stone fireplace occupies the center of the exterior wall, with a gold leaf framed, life-sized oil rendition of a middle-aged man eerily staring out across the keep back toward the entrance.

7 Small Hall

Between two arches, modest paintings of former denizens of the keep find refuge in a dark corridor with wooden doors at either end.

Artistic renditions of multiple generations are represented in the frames. In a hidden alcove behind one of the paintings of the twin girls is a key ring with extra keys to each of their rooms (on Level 2).

8 Wide Hallway

Paintings of old relatives line this wide hallway, including as the most illuminated one, labeled "Lady Dindle." Doors are set in opposite ends of the hall, and one is also set in the center of the hall. Three archways keep the hall fairly open-feeling, like the rest of the keep.

If the painting is studied in any detail, read the following:

Lady Dindle was an beautiful, yet austere woman. These traits come out in her appearance, with a scornful scowl scratching the surface of her glowing skin.

9 Closet

This moderately-sized closet is adorned with wood-paneled walls. Jacket, coats, mittens, hats, two sleds, tack, and other sundries are hung here on various metal hooks that jut from the walls.

Treasure: In the pocket of one of the jackets is a pair of gloves of storing.

10 Throne Room

Eight alabaster columns line the fine carpet leading up to a pair of sitting chairs etched with the Dindle arms.

If it is daytime, and there are guests in the keep, Silas will be here, providing them an audience. If Silas is here, he will be flanked by two guards armed with swords at their sides. Merchants pass through, bringing stories, which Silas is eager to hear. He has been known to reduce the toll on the road for those who provide him with quality entertainment. (more in a later post)

Treasure: A masterwork instrument called the Silverhorn hangs to the right side of the throne.

11 Dining Room

A large table is set in the center of the room, requiring everyone to walk along the walls to navigate the space. A large brass candelabra rests upon the table, illuminating the room in a warm glow. Along the floor, paralleling the impressive table, is a finely-woven rug.

Treasure: The rug is worth 1500gp, the candelabra 500gp.

12 Den

Small tables and chairs are tastefully laid out in the room facing each other, with a simple rug in the center.

Treasure: There are a few loose coins in the seat of the chairs.

13 Kitchen

Years of caked on grease and other food cling to the walls, leaving them black toward the ceiling, where a tapered ceiling has led thousands of plumes of smoke out of the keep. A large oven and multiple stoves line the exterior brick walls of this room. Pots and pans hang suspended from the ceiling in the center of the room.

Various foodstuffs can be found throughout the kitchen.

14 Pantry

This oddly-shaped, dusty room is full of large crates, barrels, and bags of flour and wheat. Tiny flour footprints lead in all directions.

Creature: There are 3 large rats in this room.

Treasure: A potion of charm person lies at the bottom of a crate otherwise full of hay.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Unicorn Rampant is going to Owl Con!

We are proud to announce that we'll be attending our first ever convention as a vendor this Feburary 6-9th at OwlCon, at Rice University in Houston Texas!

We'll bring along some of our wares to peruse in printed form, and if you mention seeing this announcement on our blog, we'll give you half off on all of our products! We'll also be set up to give you discounts on any of our products you'd like to buy from RPGnow.com.

And of course, we'll be set up to play some games right there at our table, so come on down and say hi!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Feather of Falling

This feather is plucked from a flying creature's wing, and is enchanted with a featherfall spell. It acts exactly like a feather fall spell, activated immediately if the wearer falls more than 5 feet.

Faint enchantment; CL 1st; feather of a flying creature; featherfall; Price 1,800 gp.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Story of Silas Dindle

Silas Dindle is a local baron with a keep along the road between Tannen and Chez. The small barony has profited from the trade route that runs from Westfort to the capital.

Lately Silas has been acting strange, insisting that his twin teenage daughters (who look only remotely alike) remain in his keep out of fear of having it overrun with goblins if they leave. It's as if he sees them as guardians of the keep, though he employs a full retinue of soldiers to guard the keep itself. This has created some friction between him and his daughters, who wish to travel to Tannen to enjoy the prime of their youth. The Jæruel is beginning to threaten to step in if he is unable to gain control of the situation and explain why his daughters cannot leave the keep and why his men have been unable to provide escorts along the nearby roads. They too have been pressed into a new service, that of protecting the daughters so they can protect the keep.

Lady Dindle is long gone; she died during their birth some fifteen years ago. Silas has mourned her ever since. If the party visits the small graveyard at the rear of the castle, they will learn this, and her ghost will visit the party and tell her side of the story, a tale of wanting to keep her man happy while at the same time losing herself in him. They were unable to conceive, and instead she was impregnated by one of his god's angels, giving birth to the half-angel beings that protect the keep. At least that's her side of the story.

Plot Resolution

It turns out, they were able to conceive, but Lady Dindle died with the twin daughters, who were replaced with angels (Antaigne and Emmaigne) on earth due to Silas' devout nature. Recent events, including his joining the Jæruel have led him to question his god and perform acts which are considered less devout by his god's followers, including overtolling the local merchants and imprisoning a merchant who asked for one of his daughters' hands (Emmaigne, the younger of the two) in marriage. The party will need to restore Silas' faith by helping him perform a series of heroic deeds. This will enable him to retain the angels and thus his sense of fatherhood, and maintain a reason for living.

(map of the keep to follow in a later post)

Friday, January 02, 2009


Living physically sheltered lives in cloisters and monasteries, these true monks known as scholars receive exemplar educations. Others call them bookish, but when the need for ancient knowledge or other long-dead lore arises, they are often the only ones able to provide the proper perspective for the situation.

Adventures: Adventuring is often the first "real-life" experience these scholars have seen. They are not suited to travelling alone, and usually travel in groups of scholars or in mixed parties. Scholars are well-suited to stepping forward when the time is right, an then slinking back to the middle of the group when battles break out. They tend to have a distaste for combat and war in general, and often attempt to convince those around them to put down their weapons unless the need is dire.

Characteristics: The scholar is often an excellent advisor, except in situations outside their training. They often become diplomats when they find their niches, but until then remain frustrated when others do not respond favorably to their recommendations.

Alignment: Scholars are nearly always lawful or true neutral, believing in the truth of their theoretical studies over the messiness of reality. Occasionally a scholar will go rogue, developing a chaotic neutral or evil alignment, and there is no penalty for this change of alignment.

Religion: Many scholars received their initial training in monasteries and other religious settings, so they tend to begin following a religious regimen. However, as they move from their initial place of worship and experience more of the world, many drift from the devout and take on more secular beliefs. Since their powers are almost entirely secular, this change incurs very little penalty, unless the scholar had acquired a significant amount of knowledge from a divine agent. Such knowledge may be removed from the scholar if the deity in question is angered by lack of devotion.

Background: Scolars come from regimented lives of academic toil, where three meals are prepared daily, and where the discussion of strange and lesser-known ideas is commonplace. A scholar may be spurred into adventure by a quest to learn about an undocumented part of the world, or to acquire some artifact they have researched. They may also seek first-hand accounts of events and people. Scholars may also be forced out of their simple lives by the closing of an academy or monastery, either by war, famine, or flood.

Races: Any race can produce a scholar. Elves are particularly adept at scholarship due to their intelligence and long life. Gnomes are also well known for producing scholars. Human scholars are able to blend in the most, and are the most common race among scholars.

Other Classes: Scholars are most comfortable around classes which prefer knowledge over might. Thus, they feel most at home among wizards, sorcerors, and clerics. However, they have been known to partner with rogues, especially when they seek artifacts which are held behind arrays of traps, locks, and riddles. In addition, they have been known to take jobs as advisors to diplomats and leaders, where they can dispense their knowledge without scorn and ridicule. Other classes are not always to welcoming of their unique perspective.

Role:A scholar's primary role is that of note-taker and researcher. No other characters pay as close attention to detail as scholars, and none has the mental acumen to put to the task.

Game Rule Information

Scholars have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Intelligence and wisdom are the two abilities treasured most by scholars. As such, they tend to be weaklings and klutzes, stumbling around the battlefield. A high charisma makes them more likely to find work as advisors, and thus live long enough to avoid the battlefield.

Alignment: Usually lawful and neutral, but any are possible. In general, the more chaotic, the worse the scholar at performing the critical tasks for which they are known.

Hit Die: d4

Class Skills

The scholar's class skills are: Alchemy, Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Forgery, Knowledge (any), Profession, Ride, Rope Use, Search, Sense Motive, Use Magic Device
Skill Points at 1st Level: (8 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Int modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features for the scholar.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Scholars are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with armor or shields. Armor tends to get in the way of their research. However, some scholars have devoted time (a feat slot) to learning how to wear armor for better protection when they find themselves on the battlefield.

Read Arcane and Divine Magic: At first level, scholars can read both arcane and divine magic. This does not bestow upon them the ability to cast spells.

Write Arcane and Divine Magic: At second level, scholars can write both arcane and divine magic. This does not bestow upon them the ability to cast spells.

Research: At third level, scholars can perform research in large information repositories, such as libraries and the Plane of Knowledge, receiving a +5 bonus to gather information or on knowledge checks in these environments.

Spells: Beginning at fourth level, scholars acquire spells according to the Paladin table on page 43 of the PHB. These spells can be either arcane or divine. In addition, scholars receive additional spells based on their Int and Wis bonuses, as per wizards, sorcerors, and clerics. Scholars choose one cleric domain and receive one free spell and power per day as per their chosen domain.

Advanced Research: At 7th level, scholars can perform research in large information repositories, such as libraries and the Plane of Knowledge, receiving a +10 bonus to gather information or on knowledge checks in these environments.

Plane Shift to and from the Plane of Knowledge: At 9th level, scholars can plane shift to the Plane of Knowledge. This requires 10 minutes to cast, and requires reading a passage aloud from a book of knowledge.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Silken Scarf

These come in many varieties, colors, and textures. Most are smooth, and of a solid color or a basic pattern. The more exotic the scarf, the more powerful the incantation. In order to activate the magic contained in the scarves, the wearer must place them over their mouth, usually accomplished by wrapping them around the neck and slinging them over the mouth. When not activated, they serve a decorative purpose.

Common silken scarves include:

* Black - invisibility
* White - protection from evil
* Green - sustenance
* Blue - water breathing
* Red - fire resistance +5
* Gold - diplomacy +5
* Silver - bull's strength

Of course, these common options are supplemented by various variations upon themes, for as varieties of silken threads are woven together in different patterns, different wondrous results arise, not unlike the variations found in alchemy and potion-making.

The price of silken scarves varies, based on the nature of the enchantments upon them. In general, the more complex the pattern, the more enchantments, and thus the more expensive the silken scarf. To craft a silken scarf, one must start with enchanted silken threads, and have Craft Wondrous Item and a weaving skill of at least 5.