Monday, August 31, 2009


As the dust from the swordfight clears, there is one man standing. In profile, he is tall and slender, and when the light of the re-lit lanterns fills the room, his bruises become apparent. He holds one hand over his eyes squinting in the brightness of the light, a stoic expression over the rest of his face.

Lars and his traveling companion Faris hail from the eastern edge of Besht, where they live in an intentional community of woodsy folk. His skills in leatherwork give him a keen eye for craftsmanship, and his long hours of toil have tightened his muscles.

Mild-mannered and soft spoken, he is not quick to respond to stimuli, unless he feels immediately threatened, but when he does speak, his words ring with the wisdom of one who has lived on his own for much of his life.

Male Human; Medium Humanoid ( Human )
Fighter2 Expert1
Hit Dice: (2d10)+(1d6)+3
Hit Points: 29
Initiative: +6
Speed: Walk 30 ft.
AC: 16 (flatfooted 14, touch 12)
Attacks: Dagger +4; Dagger (Thrown) +4; Shortbow +5; *Sword, Short +4;
Damage: Dagger 1d4+2; Dagger (Thrown) 1d4; Shortbow 1d6; *Sword, Short 1d6+2;
Face / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Special Qualities:
Saves: Fortitude: +4, Reflex: +2, Will: +4
Abilities: STR 15 (+2), DEX 14 (+2), CON 12 (+1), INT 12 (+1), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 8 (-1)
Skills: Appraise: 1; Balance: 0; Bluff: -1; Climb: 3; Concentration: 2; Craft (Leatherworking): 2; Craft (Untrained): 1; Diplomacy: -1; Disable Device: 3; Disguise: -1; Escape Artist: 0; Forgery: 1; Gather Information: -1; Handle Animal: 3; Heal: 2; Hide: 0; Intimidate: 3; Jump: 1; Knowledge (Geography): 2; Knowledge (History): 2; Listen: 4; Move Silently: 0; Ride: 6; Search: 1; Sense Motive: 3; Spot: 2; Survival: 2; Swim: 1;
Feats: Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Improved Initiative, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Tower Shield Proficiency, Weapon Focus (Shortbow)
Challenge Rating: 2
Alignment: Neutral Good

Possessions: Arrows (50); Backpack; Bedroll; Buckler; Caltrops; Dagger; Flint and Steel; Outfit (Explorer's); Rope (Silk/50 Ft.); Sack; Shortbow; Studded Leather; Sword, Short; Torch;

Friday, August 28, 2009


There is a quick double thwap sound, and the boar falls to the mud before you, its snout landing on your chest. Rolling out from under the beast, a young man giggles as he approaches. "You're not bored, are you?" he quips. As he retrieves his spent arrows from the deceased beast, you note his well-kempt features and the standard of a far-off land tattooed on the insides of his wrists.

Medium-size Male Human
Hit Dice: (3d8)+3
Hit Points: 27
Initiative: +3
Speed: Walk 30 ft.
AC: 15 (flatfooted 12, touch 13)
Attacks: Dagger +5;Dagger (Thrown) +6;*Shortbow +6; ;
Damage: Dagger 1d4+2;Dagger (Thrown) 1d4;*Shortbow 1d6; ;
Face / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Special Qualities: Archery Combat Style, Favored Enemy (Giant) +2, Wild Empathy (Ex) +4
Saves: Fortitude: +4, Reflex: +6, Will: +2
Abilities: STR 14 (+2), DEX 16 (+3), CON 12 (+1), INT 11 (+0), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 13 (+1)
Skills: Appraise 0; Balance 3; Bluff 1; Climb 5; Concentration 3; Craft (Untrained) 0; Diplomacy 1; Disguise 1; Escape Artist 3; Forgery 0; Gather Information 1; Handle Animal 2; Heal 4; Hide 4; Intimidate 1; Jump 4; Knowledge (Dungeoneering) 1; Knowledge (Geography) 4; Knowledge (Nature) 4; Listen 4; Move Silently 6; Ride 3; Search 3; Sense Motive 1; Spot 5; Survival 5; Swim 4;
Feats: Armor Proficiency (Light), Endurance, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Track
Challenge Rating: 3
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Possessions: Arrows (20); Leather; Dagger; Outfit (Explorer's); Shortbow;
Spells per Day: (0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/0/ DC:11+spell level)
Ranger - Known: None, as in Proppia, all magic is learned in-game.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kamgai Parzi

Kamgai was trained in a martial monastery on the border of the Fjordlands, a region inhabited by hordes of orcs that patrol the hills. He received his best training wandering those hills, picking fights and knowing when to flee before orc reinforcements arrived on the scene. His ability to sneak in behind enemy lines has been put to use on multiple occasions by the militias keeping sentry over the border between the Central Valley and Orkrun. This has won him a medallion of honor from the shared governance of Central Valley.

His history picking fights makes him come off as abrasive when he is first met, but over time he warms to groups who show themselves full of valor and thus worthy of his respect. Beating him in a feat of strength, dexterity, or combat will instantly win him over.

Kamgai Parzi
Medium-size Male Human
Hit Dice: (11d8)+33
Hit Points: 97
Initiative: +8
Speed: Walk 60 ft.
AC: 25 (flatfooted 21, touch 18)
Attacks: *Flurry of Blows +11/+11/+11/+6; ;
Damage: *Flurry of Blows 2d8+3; ;
Vision: normal
Face / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Special Qualities: Diamond Body (Su), Greater Flurry of Blows (Ex), Improved Evasion (Ex), Ki Strike (Magic and Lawful), Purity of Body (Ex), Slow Fall (50), Still Mind (Ex), Stunning Fist attack 12/day (DC 16), Wholeness of Body (Su) 22 hp/day
Saves: Fortitude: +12, Reflex: +13, Will: +10
Abilities: STR 16 (+3), DEX 18 (+4), CON 16 (+3), INT 12 (+1), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 7 (-2)
Skills: Appraise 1; Balance 11; Bluff -2; Climb 5; Concentration 9; Craft (Untrained) 1; Diplomacy 2; Disguise -2; Escape Artist 11; Forgery 1; Gather Information -2; Heal 1; Hide 12; Intimidate -2; Jump 20; Knowledge (Arcana) 4; Knowledge (Religion) 4; Listen 4; Move Silently 14; Perform (Dance) 2; Profession (Soldier) 3; Ride 4; Search 1; Sense Motive 8; Spot 6; Survival 1; Swim 5; Tumble 16;
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Mobility, Multiattack, Power Attack, Stunning Fist
Challenge Rating: 11
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Possessions: Belt, Monk's; Ring of Water Walking; Boots of Levitation; Bracers of Armor +5; Cloak of Resistance +2; Flurry of Blows; Outfit (Monk's); Medallion of Honor from Central Valley (AC +2)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Medallion of Honor

As a means of introducing campaign flavor, we recommend using Medallions of Honor. these medallions exist in many forms, and are awarded by communities and organizations to those who perform honorable deeds, for instance a party which saves a village from a marauding goblin army or saves a favored daughter of the hamlet.

Most common Medallions of Honor grant a +1 AC bonus (Sacred) to the wearer. However, they range through +5 bonuses, and can also bestow a number of other powers to the wearer. For instance, Medallions of Honor in aquatic communities often grant waterbreathing.

Prices range based on ability as dictated by the DMG, with additional cost bonuses for the stones which adorn them, be they turquoise, copper, or diamond.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gloves of Choking

This normal-looking pair of leather gloves is laced with a set of extra-long laces. Once worn, the long laces wrap around the wrists and arms of the wearer, binding the gloves to the wearer. Once this happens, the wearer must make a DC 20 Will check or be forced to choke the nearest creature as if under the affect of a charm person spell. If the wearer successfully chokes his neighbor, he will move on to his next-nearest neighbor until the enchantment is broken.

This is particularly deadly when characters try on the gloves while their companions sleep.

Moderate transmutation, CL 7th, Craft Wondrous Item, charm person, Price: 2,000gp.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Gnomish barbarian

Hey, all. Just got back from GenCon this sunday, and I must say the experience was awe inspiring. I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided to take a try at a character that is bereft of the min/maxing typical of players of Dnd/4th ed. This character is, in particular, specific to Pathfinder (which just came out officially. If you like 3.5, it is a significant improvement. Especially the fighters and barbarians). You can see the 4th ed version over at our sister blog, Tailslap.

Luk was not born terribly lucky, despite what his name would tell. His parents were outcast from gnome society while his mother was with him. By the time of his birth, they were destitute, and forced to abandon him in the heart of the Naljin Forest. There, he was rescued by a pack of wolves, whose alpha female happened to be awakened. Life for Luk was fine, until the day the wolf he called "mother" was killed in the jaws of a hidden trap. He brutally avenged her death by fur collecters, and left the pack to seek his fortune.
This gnomish warrior could be considered strange even by the standards of his race. Mercrurial and tactless, Luk will pick the absolute worst time to speak the truth with nary a negative intention. But while the insulting replies he receives will roll off his tough hide, the mistreatment of animals--especially wolves and dogs--will immediately send him flying off the handle in a violent rage.

Male Gnome Barbarian 1(favored class)
Chaotic Neutral Small Humanoid
Init: +1 Senses: Perception +4 Low-light Vision
Languages: Common, Gnome, Sylvan

AC: 17 (+5 scale +1 size +1 dex bonus, ) touch 12, flatfooted 16
+4 dodge bonus vs. monster of the Giant type
HP: 18 (HD 1d12+2 con+3 toughness+1 favored class)
Fort: +4 Ref: +1 Will: +0
+2 morale bonus to Will while Raging, +2 racial bonus to Will vs. illusions

Speed: 30 ft.
Attack: +1 (+2 to damage 1-handed)
Full Attack: Great Club +3 (1d8+3 / x2)
Attack Options:
Battle Axe one handed +3 (1d6+2 / x3) slash
Spiked Gauntlet one handed +3 (1d3+2 / x2) pierce
Space / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Base Attack: +1 Grapple: +2 (Pathfinder: CMB: +2, CMD: 13)

SQ: Illusion resistance, Keen Senses, Obsessive, Weapon Familiarity: Gnome
SA: Rage 6 rounds/day, Fast Movement
Feats: Toughness

skills & abilities
Skills: Intimidate +4, Knowledge (nature) +3, Perception +6
Abilities Str 15 Dex 12 Con 15 Int 8 Wis 11 Cha 11

Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day-
dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation, and speak with animals

Possessions: Scale Mail(note, in Pathfinder, barbarians are allowed the use of medium armor), Great Club, Battle Axe, Spiked Gauntlet, Backpack, Belt Pouch, Weapon Harness, Waterskin, 10 days rations, torch x3, 50 foot hempen rope. Total weight: 35 lbs.--light load (note: in Pathfinder, a small creature's weight allowance is 3/4 that of a medium creature)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

GenCon 2009: Saturday

This day was all about two events -- our Arena of Death Battletech game and a late night playing of Tower of Gygax that ran until 7am. I didn't know I could sit that long! Well, actually, I stood for most of the Battletech game, giddy with excitement and playing, and also at co-running the event.

Odd thing happened most of the way thru the game tho -- the fire alarm went off and we all had to vacate the premises. When we returned, we were almost out of time to complete the game. This was too bad; we had a bunch of smaller 'Mechs taking on two Marauders and I was still sneaking about in my Commando. Oh well, at least everyone ended up okay, save a guy who got a little run over in the excitement. He seemed okay tho; I saw him being carried out on a stretcher as I walked back into the Convention Center.

Tower of Gygax redux... played a Monk this time, and feigned death after getting my ass handed to me by a Minotaur/dragon. While the rest of the party were slaughtered, I snuck back and retrieved the Blueprints of the Tower from the beast's chest behind his throne. Then, after hiding in the shadow of one of his tapestries, I snuck my way back out after he returned to his throne. Two nights, two powerful artifacts. I was proclaimed the Ultimate Champion of the Tower. Huzzah!

Good times both nights. I would play Tower of Gygax a hundred more times. I even became attached to my characters in this meant-to-go-through-characters-by-the-dozen adventure.

That was all I had time for; by the time I'm getting to sleep in the morning (8:30am), there will only be time to wake and bus to the airport.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

GenCon 2009: Friday

What can I say? Tower of Gygax rocked my world. A return to old school 1st edition D&D, before everything got so complicated. Before the terms taint, bloodied, and grapple entered the scene. Back when you just took 2 actions -- move and attack, move and cast, or double move. Back when dungeons consisted of puzzles rather than long battles.

The main premise of Tower of Gygax is that you've entered this tower that was built by a wizard, and that constantly shifts and changes. But this Nethack-like dungeon is not dull; the room description s are rich and the puzzles challenging. Some rooms need to be pushed through with combat, but most require the lining up of symbols or the solving of a riddle, or even just the careful use of the elven ability to search for secret doors. Tread softly; there are deathtraps around every corner! So the premise if fairly ridiculous, and you're expected to die as if you're in a Paranoia game, but this experience is too fun to pass up. You must try it next time you're at a con where it's being offered.

Of course, I started the day playing a nine hour game of Advanced Civ, coming in 3rd out of 7 players. Since I've never seen the end of a Civ board game, it was nice to have this run to completion. When it comes to board games, this may be my favorite; it's definitely in the top five.

A good two games of Pompeii later, I was ready for Tower of Gygax. You know the rest. I emerged from the game at 7am after almost 5 hours of playing and then chumming with the DM afterward. I was the lone survivor and had the Crown of Paradise to show for it, providing command abilities and the ability to open up pocket planes at will. Good times!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

GenCon 2009: Thursday

Ugh, the day started early. 7am is earlier than I'd normally drag myself from slumber, but for tickets to fun, I suppose I could do it. Signed up for a Diplomacy game at 10am, a SF film by Richard Garriott and others actually filmed in space, and picked up 10 generic tickets at $2 apiece for use all over GenCon.

The line took forever. If it's possible to line up generics beforehand, that's the plan for next year. I mean, sheesh, why waste valuable time in line!?!? Luckily, this gave me time to figure out my schedule for the next few days. Also a good thing that I tried to sign up for things on Friday afternoon, so the dude behind the counter could remind me that the Civ game is actually Friday, not Saturday. Good thing he told me or I'd have missed it!

Then off to games, and the exhibition floor. I found the floor a bit overwhelming, with all these vendors pushing their products with vim and vinegar. Nice to see the gaming world pushes ahead full throttle despite the many reports of a dismal economy out there. WotC had a glossy exhibit; Crazy Egor had a nice warehouse of all you'd ever want feel. There was everything in-between. Next year, we may try to get a table if we start printing our modules. Stay tuned for news of this over the coming months.

Got into a few games over the course of the day, including Diplomacy, Pompeii, and Junta. I'd say the Junta game went best, with everyone really getting into it. Pompeii is a nice 45 minute fire-and-forget kind of game. Diplomacy is hard if people come in as a strong voting block. I got screwed by a strong Turkey/Austro-Hungary alliance and my Russian people were forced to take Berlin at the cost of losing Sevastopol to Turkey, Warsaw to Austria, and St. Petersburg to Britain. Can you say "squeezed?!?"

Back to the focus of this blog. I was excited to see so many role players, people dressed up (photos perhaps to follow), and general goodwill toward gamers all in the first day of the con. Looking forward to tomorrow, where I hope to get in some good old fashioned role playing after an 8 hour Advanced Civ game. Where else other than GenCon can you get in a game?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

GenCon 2009: Wednesday

Today, three of us from Unicorn Rampant hopped flights from Austin to Indianapolis. Had to figure out Indy's public transit system, which isn't terribly well documented. In the end, I discovered the Green Line 7, which heads from the airport to the downtown area, passing by the Convention Center and most of the hotels, including the Hyatt where I'm staying for the next few days.

We'll be running a few games, most notably For Love of Evil all day Thursday and Friday. Though it's already sold out, this is highly recommended for you 4th Edition gamers out there! We'll be releasing this as a module soon.

After an okay meal at a sports bar across from the Convention Center, we headed back to get tickets to get involved in some fun. There were a number of things already going on Wednesday; if I'd known this, I might've flown out late Tuesday night to partake. Unfortunately, they cut off the line right in front of us, so we weren't able to get into the Wednesday night games we'd hoped to play. But we did get in a Battletech session in a two-on-two battle which was almost resolved.

Now to get a (mostly) good night's sleep before getting up by 7 to get in line for tickets!

GenCon 2009 Preview

For those of you heading to GenCon, Unicorn Rampant will be running two sessions of our new 4th Edition adventure, For the Love of Evil, one on Thursday from 8am-10pm, and one on Friday at the same time. We'll be running a Battletech game, Arena of Death on Saturday from 1-10pm. Come join the excitement!