Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Transmute Wood to Bone

Transmute Wood to Bone
Transmutation [Healing]
Level: Drd 4, Sor/Wiz 5, Clr 5
Components: V, S, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: Up to two 10-ft. cubes/level (S)
Duration: Permanent; see text
Saving Throw: See text
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell turns natural, uncut or unworked wood into an equally-sized bone, complete with marrow. Magically-enhanced wood is not affected by the spell.

If cast on living wood, for instance a tree, the wood must make a saving throw with a DC equal to the caster's level + attribute bonus. Wooden structures must also make such a save. If cast on wands, staves, and other wood in possession of a living creature, the living creature rolls for the item.

The bone remains until a successful dispel magic or transmute bone to wood (reverse of this) spell restores its original subtance but not necessarily its form, especially if the bone has been chipped, fractured, or otherwise broken.

This spell can also be used to turn forests into components or raw material for necromantic magic, as the bones can be animated and turned into giant skeletons.

Arcane Material Component

A rib from a human or demihuman and a piece of bark off of a live tree.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lord Dunsany's The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories

The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories is the influential third book by Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany, aka. Edward J. M. D. Plunkett. Dunsany's stories have been major influences on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula LeGuin and many others writing fantasy today. This collection of stories was first published in hardcover by George Allen & Sons in October, 1908, and has been reprinted a number of times since.

Some of the short stories in this collection are linked by Dunsany's invented pantheon of deities who dwell in Pegāna, which were the focus of his earlier collections The Gods of Pegāna and Time and the Gods. One of the stories, "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth," was afterwards (1910) published by itself as a separate book, a now very-rare "Art-and-Craft" style limited edition. A scene from "The Highwaymen" is very similar to a scene I'd written a few weeks back in one of my Proppian adventures.

To me Dunsany is a true master of the fantastic form. His collection, The Hashish Man has been a major influence on my writing and my own thinking about creating interesting characters in role playing games since I first read it back in 2000. This heightened imagination continues to inspire me to this day.

This collection is well worth finding at a used book store for $2 (thanks, Half Price Books!), but also available for free online at Project Gutenberg. Check it out for inspiration in your fantasy role playing games.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Memory Eater

This floating, mostly-mandible creature eats memories, dealing XP damage rather than normal damage. Watch out for crits!

Memory Eater
Size/Type: Small Aberration (Evil, Psionic)
Hit Dice: 8d8+15 (50 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: fly 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 24 (+1 size, +6 Dex, +7 natural), touch 17, flat-footed 18
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+3
Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d3+1)
Full Attack: Double bite +8 melee (1d3+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Psi-like abilities, steal memory
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., damage reduction 10/adamantine, immunity to fire, power resistance 23, resistance to electricity 15, vulnerability to protection from evil, shift alignment
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +8
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 23, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 14
Skills: Bluff +15, Concentration +11, Hide +16, Listen +16, Move Silently +16
Feats: Combat Manifestation, Toughness, Up the Walls, Wild TalentB
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary or pod (2-4)
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: standard coins of various sorts; double goods; standard items
Alignment: Always chaotic
Advancement: 9-12 HD (Medium), 13-16 (Large)
Level Adjustment: +7

Memory eaters understand common and all the tongues of the Dream and Astral Planes, and can understand any of the languages of prey whose memories they have stolen.


Steal Memory (Su): Upon a successful critical hit (range 18-20) on a creature, memory eaters steal memories from the creature, dealing 5d20 xp damage. Exactly which memories are taken is up to the DM. If the memory eater is killed, the memory is split among the party, who all feel as if they have the memory all to themselves. The XP taken is also split back among the party.

Psi-Like Abilities

Like their rival yet much smaller brethren, intellect devourers, memory eaters have supernatural mental abilities, including: at will—cloud mind, compression, detect psionics, ego whip (2d4, DC 16*), empty mind (+5 on Will saves*), id insinuation (three targets, DC 16*); 3/day—body adjustment (2d12*), intellect fortress, painful strike. Manifester level 7th.

The save DCs are Charisma-based.

*Includes augmentation for the memory eater's manifester level.

Blindsight (Ex): A memory eater can use nonvisual means to ascertain all foes within 60 feet as a sighted creature would.

Alignment Shift (Ex): Memory eaters' alignments shift based on the experiences they have experienced second-hand.


Memory eaters have a +4 racial bonus on Bluff checks. They also have a +8 racial bonus on Move Silently checks and Listen checks. Finally, they enjoy a +8 on all Knowledge checks, since they have learned more than their physical bodies have experienced.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Issue 17 Released!

As you know, Claw/Claw/Bite is a magazine devoted to developing new material for Pathfinder and d20 system role playing games.

This issue of Claw/Claw/Bite includes the following:

  • * 4 new elements of campaign flavor, including medallions of honor!
  • * 6 new characters with backgrounds, including a wandering pair of NPCs!
  • * 7 new creatures, including 2 devious NPC rakshasas and a new construct!
  • * 3 new locations, including Bale Morrow and a lone tree within!
  • * 12 new magic and special items, including sylvanthread armor!
  • * 3 mini plot threads to weave into your campaign!
  • * 1 new presige class, the Arcane Runethrower!
  • * 1 new race, a return to classic storytelling with hobbits!
  • * 2 new spells, including one to bless and fortify structures!
  • * 2 new traps and hazards, including map pins and false traps!
  • * 2 variant rules, including a new attribute, cunning!
  • * and a new comic, the next installment of Trolls and Tribulations!

  • Note the new landcape design, complete with 3-column presentation.

    Buy the new issue at rpgnow, or if you simply must have it for free for review purposes, email us at clawclawbite AT gmail DOT com.

    Monday, January 04, 2010

    DnFnD #1 - Bards

    Bards are the quintessential fantasy role playing characters. They are the ones who tell the stories. They write the songs that make the XP ring. In a way, the players playing DnFnD are bards.

    I'm not suggesting you sing at your games, but you know what I mean. And why rule singing out? It's a heck of a way to liven up a session. Not recommended in apartment complexes with thin walls...

    As stated in Appendix II of the PHB, in 1st Edition DnFnD, ...

    Read the rest of the article here.