Blog Archive

Friday, 29 August 2014

Gammorec - green-skinned, heavy-set, brutish pig-like thugs

My fantasy version of the piggish Gammorean Guard from the Star Wars in a desert environment. These are lazy buggers, but they are too lazy too be too much of a menace, kept around to do the dirty duties that few other creatures dare to do.

Gammorec CR 2
CN Monstrous humanoid (Desert)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENSE

AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 13 (+ 1 natural, +3 Studded Leather)
hp 13 (2d8+2)
Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +0

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee: Battle Axe +5 (1d8+3)

STATISTICS

Str 15 Dex 9 Con 13 Int 7 Wis 9 Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 14
Feats Skill Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Axes)
Minor Skills: Handle Animal, Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Profession, Survival +2
Major Skills:Intimidation +5
Feat Choices: Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Precise Shot (Range Feats always With Throwing Axe), Power Attack, Cleave, Imp Bull Rush, Overrun, Imp Sunder, Weapon Specialization
Languages Dwarven or Common

ECOLOGY
Environment: Desert
Organization: Guarding Group (1-4) or Scouting Party (5-12)
Treasure Half

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Magical Rejection: Gain 10+HD+Bonuses as Magical Resistance (MR). Roll agaisnt this even for positive magical spells or affects such as healing spells. Gammorec cannot lower their resistance.

Advancement as Fighter for Saving Throws, and BAB
3 HD +3 in skills; Gain 1 Feat; +1 in Natural AC
4 HD +2 to Str or Con score; +3 in skills; +1 in MR Bonus
5 HD Gain 1 Feat; +3 in skills; +1 in Natural AC
6 HD +2 to Str or Con score; +3 in skills; Intimidating Presence
7 HD +1 in Natural AC; Gain 1 Feat; +1 in MR Bonus
8 HD +2 to Str or Con score; Gain 1 Feat, Gain Desert Adaption **
9 HD +1 in Natural AC; +3 in skills; Gain 1 Feat; +1 in MR Bonus
10 HD +4 to Str and Con score; +5 in skills, +3 in Natural AC; Gain 1 Feat; +3 in MR Bonus

Intimidating Presence: Gain a bonus to intimidation checks equivalent to their HD if they are either physically taller (medium or smaller) or have higher strength score (more than +3 ranks or higher) to creatures that are 4 HD or fewer.

The Gammorec are heavy-set, green-skinned, brutes that naturally reside in desert areas. While they can scavenge with fair success, they have long utilized brute strength to force their way into uneasy pacts with reluctant allies. In a cosmopolitan fantasy society, few dare turn these creatures away, as you might not like them but your armies could always use extra arms to wield another weapon. One of the primary reasons for being accepted into many societies is their utter lack of magical finesse thus they may make adequate warriors. Under a strong, decisive leaders they can become fair at their duties. Under sloppy or mean ones, they tend to match in tendencies.

Having low morale and quick to flee is matched by their boorish, mean tempered attitudes almost everywhere else. They make poor workers in non-combat fields, as they tend to shirk duties to go drinking or gambling or even to sleep. But if they have a strong leader that is involved with them on a daily basis they can be motivated to be a tolerable military force.


Eighty percent of their population is male. Females enter fertile stages around a half dozen times in their lives; when they give birth to their litters five to ten births are common. Otherwise the females are barely better then slaves, kept as servants and birthing conduits. They have fairly stable relationships with each other, as long as the clan leaders are obviously dominant and successful. Challenge for position is uncommon but happens when failure brings potential hardship to the clan.  

Monday, 25 August 2014

Guessmith - Master of Riddles and Ryhmes

This was from a forum contest on the giantitp website a few years ago.

Guessmiths

Uname looked at the gynosphinx as if she had three heads. The riddle she had rhymed off made no sense to him. If only the bugger had horns instead of the upper body of a woman, he could be justified in striking the beast down. But she had given him a reasonable request to pass into the pyramid, and as much as he would have liked to, he could not bash her head in. This was her duty, just as it was his to find and return the scepter.

Uname left the sphinx and the pyramid for another day. Returning to Lomer, the city on the edge of the desert took most of the gold in his pack. All the time, he repeated the riddle to himself. He hated the desert almost as much as his steed Rashop, but he promised the Lady Monique that he would retrieve the scepter inside the pyramid.

Asking around, while none of his comrades could give him an answer to the riddle, they did direct him to a small gnomish pub far from the hectic market place. After cleaning himself off, he ventured in. While it was in a gnomish section in town, there were many others here, including dwarves, elves and halflings. All of them sat around with half-empty tankards either rolling the bones, playing cards or hunched over a piece of paper repeating simple riddles to themselves. A harmless lot, Uname thought.

A serving lady came over to ask him what he wanted, "Umm, I need help with a riddle." The entire crowd in the pub seemingly stood still, as two dozen faces turned towards him. A young gnome raised his hand and approached, "Yes, Wastelander, how can we help?"

Uname looked at the gnome strangely, without any apparent weapon or holy symbol, who had seemingly guessed at his little recognized heritage. "How did you...?" Uname's question was left unsaid as the gnome both finished his question and answered it at the same time:

"Heritage, oh that's easy, your hair colour for one. Most desert people don't have red hair, besides your weapons seem to have a slight greenish tinge to them, an often noted side effect from the cold tempering used in the cold wasteland. Geography is one of my many interests."

After a brief introduction Uname learned that Bromsby, this gnome, was one of the guessmiths, a group of riddle and lore masters who gathered here at the Laughing Lass pub to test each other in games of chance and riddles. Explaining his predicament, Bromsby eagerly volunteered to accompany the elderly Wastelander into the desert.

Less than a week later, Bromsby and Uname were back at the pyramid.
“So,” said the large imposing gynosphinx, “I see you are back, and brought a friend.”
Uname nodded.

“I ask thee again: What runs all day, but never walks. Often murmurs, never talks...”
In the middle of the riddle, Bromsby joined with perfect harmony with the sphinx, “Has a bed, but never sleeps. Has a mouth, but never eats?”

Rather than saying a word, the little gnome threw a waterskin up to her, she easily caught it with her claw, and opened it, letting a stream of water flow into her mouth.

“What you need here in the desert; the answer is a river, my lady.”

The gynosphinx roared with laughter, “How right you are little one!”

Seven hours later, as Uname emerged from the pyramid with a scepter in hand as well as newly found cuts and bruises from the undead inside the tomb, he saw the gnome and gynosphinx still in conversation, sharing riddles and laughing at glee in one another in a friendly game of one-up-manship.

Guessmith: Prestige Class

A guessmith is a student of riddles and games of chance. While they have no formal training or organization, their shared love of riddles and guessing games unites them in a loose circle of friends. While some may use these talents for riches, most are intrigued more by the challenge than wealth.

Most who take this class are rogues or bards, but a smattering of others can take this prestige class if they can qualify. Barbarians because of their starting illiteracy are extremely rare.

Hit Dice: d6

Requirements: To qualify to become a guessmith, a character must fulfill all the following criteria: Decipher Script 6 Ranks, Any two Knowledge skills +3
Special: Must be able to read and speak in a minimum of three languages

Class Skills: Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (all), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Swim and Use Magic Device.

Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A guessmith gains no additional proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Special Abilities

Minor Trivia (Ex): A guessmith excels in being able to remember things they have previously read or heard. They add their class level to any one knowledge check, chosen at first level; once chosen this is based on their charisma does not change.

Skill Focus (Limericks) (Ex): Since many riddles are in the form of limericks, a guessmith learns to repeat all kinds of limericks or jokes in an entertaining way.

Friends of the Game (Ex): Because most guessmiths are not motivated purely by wealth, they can easily make friends of other creatures who also enjoy games of chance or riddles, such as gynosphinxes, fey or any other creature the DM designates. On these creatures, a guessmith has a +6 charisma bonus.

Second Guess (Su): Once a day, a guessmith can make a second try at guessing an answer without repercussion, even if a second attempt would normally negatively affect the outcome. This may be in regards to any trained intelligence or charisma based skill check or any type of riddle.

Major Trivia (Ex): Like minor trivia, except they add their class level to any two additional knowledge skills. This does not stack with minor trivia, so there is no benefit in choosing the same knowledge skill twice.

Second Chance (Su): Like Second Guess, except this re-roll applies to any skill check or saving throw. They must use this ability immediately after the failed roll. They can use this ability as many times as their charisma bonus.

Level
BAB
FORT
REF
WILL
Special
Casting Level
1st
+0
+0
+0
+2
Minor Trivia, Skill Focus
+1 Effective level
2nd
+1
+0
+1
+3
Friends of the Game
+1 Effective level
3rd
+1
+1
+1
+4
Second Guess
+1 Effective level
4th
+1
+2
+2
+4
Major Trivia
+1 Effective level
5th
+1
+2
+2
+5
Second Chance
+1 Effective level

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Jawatha - Desert Dwarven wanderers & bandits

Jawas from Star Wars were always a favorite creature of mine. A friend and I had created our own language and made so many jokes about their size, demeanor and cuteness. They were always seen by me as dwarf or gnome-kin when I thought of them in the fantasy gaming genre, so here is the fantasy version.

Jawatha

Sand Dwarves (Jawatha) CR 3
CN Small monstrous humanoid (Desert)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, + 2 natural, +2 leather)
hp 16 (3d8+3)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +1

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft.
Melee: Dagger +2 (1d4)

STATISTICS

Str 8 Dex 14 Con 13 Int 13 Wis 10 Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Skill Combat Expertise, Imp Trip
Minor Skills: Appraise, Diplomacy, Knowledge (Magic), Knowledge (Desert), Handle Animal, Stealth +2
Major Skills: Disable Device +5, Use Magic Device +5
Languages Dwarven, Elven, Tenderfoot, Any 3 others

ECOLOGY
Environment: Desert
Organization: Scouting Party (1-6), Caravan (100-300)
Treasure Normal

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Stone Immersion: With one round of concentration, a Jawatha can temporarily merge themselves with stone or sand. They cannot travel or walk through the stone, merely step into it. They can perceive their surroundings with 75% reduction in range. They are able to stay in the stone for ten minutes per point of constitution.

Immortality: A Javatha`s spirit upon physical death leaves their body and returns to their spirit crypt, and if family has raised their stone copy, they are reborn. It takes ten days after rebirth for them to have full control and emerge from their stone crypt. There is a 75% + 2% / level chance that any Jawatha will have their stone copy ready. Reduce this by 25% if they had died in the three months previously.


One of the first generations born in the Phastian desert, they are unique because they are considered both mortal AND planar beings. Shorter and thinner than regular dwarves, they cover themselves in heavy robes, usually only their hands and glowing eyes can be seen. They cannot grow beards and no one can ever recall seeing any female Jawatha, they do exist but seem to be at most 20% of the population.

As planar beings, they are technically immortal as they do not die from either starvation or from old age.
They erect stone statues that perfectly imitate one of their kin, when that specific person is killed their spirit is reborn; but if their statue is not ready, their spirit is lost forever. Sometimes, one will awaken though it is not a old spirit, this very infrequent event is treated the same as a birth. 

They do not eat or drink in a traditional manner, they absorb their nutrients via touch, usually during the hour before sunrise or sunset. This is a highly personal act that they rarely share with outsiders. While many stories are told of them swimming in pools of refuse, this is untrue, they merely need to touch the food with any part of their skin, usually the hands or in the company of non-kin with mouths. While they do not starve, when overwhelmed by their surroundings, they go into a comatose state emerging when the environment is safer. 

Wonderful carvers, fighters, singers with a curiosity around magic especially crafted items. For the most part, these dwarves live in caves far from civilization. A smaller number roam the desert in caravans, eternally searching for items to buy and sell.

Advancement as Humanoid for Saving Throws, and BAB
4 HD +2 to any ability score; +3 in skills; +2 to Desert Reaction
5 HD Gain Any 1 Minor Feat; +3 in skills; +1 in Natural AC
6 HD +2 to any ability score; +3 in skills; +2 to Desert Reaction
7 HD +1 in Natural AC; Gain Desert Adaption
8 HD +2 to any ability score; +2 to Desert Reaction
9 HD Gain Any 1 Minor Feat; +3 in skills
10 HD +2 to any ability score; +3 in skills, +1 in Natural AC; Gain Any 1 Major Feat
11 HD Bypass Magical Traps or Locks, +2 to Desert Reaction
12 HD Gain Any 1 Minor Feat; +3 in skills, +1 in Natural AC, Magic Resistance 20 on traps
12 HD +8 in skills; +1 in Natural AC; Gain Any 1 Major Feat **
14 HD +4 to any two ability scores; +3 in Natural AC;

Desert Inhabitants Bonus Reaction: Jawatha's have terrible initial reactions from desert inhabitants, as their fame for scrounging for food, magic or simply their curiosity leave many feeling upset at just the sight of these scavengers. However, as they age and gain experience, they learn how to temper their unseemly ways and to reach out to others. These reaction bonuses are the daily total bonuses from desert creatures that are aware of the Jawatha's. Thus a 10 HD Jawatha can use one +10 reason bonus once a day, or any combination, so two +5 bonues, etc.

Minor Feats:
Speak with Stone: as per the spell, twice a day
Stone Teleport Level I: Twice a day during their stone immersion, they can jump from one stone to another as long as it is within 100 feet.
Stone Teleport Level II: Five times a day they can jump from one stone to another within 500 feet
Walk thru Stone: After stone immersion they can walk through stone at ten feet a round. They can stay moving in the stone 1 round per 3 points of constitution. They can do this once a day
Stone Elemental Minor Resistance: 10

Major Feats
*Stone Shape: Able to change stone shape as per spell of the same name three times a day
*Stone Familiar: Create an animal familiar that lasts for 10 minutes. As base animal, except may have one unusual feature: +5 AC, Fly (Speed 30), Attack +2, Dmg +4
*Stone Elemental Resistance 20

Stone Teleport III: Twice a day during a stone immersion they can teleport themselves and allies within twenty feet of them to another stone within 100 miles.(Require ST I & II)

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Tuthken - Desert Humanoid Nomads, Scavengers, Raiders and sometimes Reluctant Heroes

This is my take on the Tusken Raiders found in the desert parts of my fantasy world. Not cruel, just hungry and desperate that are well know for their attacking anyone that approaches "their territory." They can make temporary allies, if the other group keeps their word and has something the Tuthken need. In the desert, they are a constant threat, in the pyramids, they maintain a delicate treaty to ensure things are better left undisturbed.

Tuthken CR 2
LN (Tend to LE) Medium monstrous humanoid (Desert)
Init +2; Senses: Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5

DEFENSE

AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 13 (2d8+4)
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +0

OFFENSE

Speed: 30 ft.
Melee: Gaffe Club +3 (1d6+1)
Group Back Stab: +1d6

STATISTICS

Str 13, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats Skill Power Attack. Combat Expertise
Minor Skills: Acrobatics +2, Climb +2, Ride +2
Major Skills:  Intimidate +5, Perception +5
Languages Phastian (Local Humanoid Language)

ECOLOGY
Environment: Desert
Organization: Patrol (3–6), Hunting Party (11-16)
Treasure: Half

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Grouped Back Stab Attack: A Tuthken if apart of a team of group surrounding a foe in melee combat, can inflict back stabbing bonus of +1d6.  Another Tuthken must succeed on an attack, then if another scores a hit in the same round, treat as a back stab. This can happen only once every round, regardless of how many Tuthken surround or attack their victim. This increases to +2d6 at 6HD and +3d6 at 10HD.

Advancement as Humanoid for Saving Throws, and BAB otherwise as below
3 HD   +2 Str or Con; +6 in skills; +1 Damage Reduction
4 HD Gain Any 1 Minor Feat; +1 in Natural AC
5 HD +2 Dex or Con; +6 in skills; +2 Damage  Reduction
6 HD Gain Desert Adaption; Gain Double Damage with Back Stab
7 HD Gain Any 1 Minor Feat;  +3 Damage  Reduction
8 HD +2 Str or Dex or Con; +1 in Natural AC; Gain Any 1 Major Feat
9 HD +6 in skills; Increase Gaffe Club Threat Range (18-20), +5 Damage Reduction
10 HD Gain Any 1 Minor Feat; Gain Triple Damage with Back Stab
11 HD +6 in skills; Gain Any 1 Major Feat **
12  HD +4 Str & Con; +3 in Natural AC;

Lesser Feats:
Imp Disarm, Natural Armor (+2) Imp Feint, Imp Trip, Improved Initiative, Gaffe Club Proficiency (+2 to hit)

Advanced Feats (Higher than 7 HD)
Imp Natural armor (+2), Critical, Stunning Head-Butt, Greater Combat Adv - Gaffe Club (+4/+2 dmg)

Tuthken are powerful and despotic desert raiders who prey on any other travelers that are smaller in numbers that they believe they can defeat. Similar to humans in appearance, but they cover themselves in grey or sand-colored rags both to conceal themselves and protect themselves from the harsh desert winds. Their body is covered by brutally horrid scars that occasionally erupt in pus if exposed to extreme heat. If they start to suffer, they are helpless for long periods to their infections, it is their hands and faces that continually breakout. For the few who reach higher age and skills, they become immune (Desert Adaption at 6 HD)

They have a strong clan type of organization that welcomes any singular Tuth, but those who join are treated terribly until they prove themselves. Any adult male can be sent out on hunting expeditions that has only one rule - do not come back empty handed. While they use keen tactics to hunt fearsome beasts, they sometimes must rely on raiding towns or caravans to ensure they are not punished or shamed by their clansmen.

They have multiple tactics that they reuse such as rigging a bridge, or stalking a road with pits, they time their attacks when victims will be most disadvantaged. Tuthken are smart enough to scavenge anything that falls into their clutches, often sold again to other raiders, they sometimes make exceptions for weapons or magic. They are often seen trailing caravans, and many experienced desert folk attack these raiders on sight.

When they make contracts they keep their promises. In most instances they are extremely favorable for them. If they believe the other side is not keeping their word, will look for a chance for revenge at an opportune time.

While many stories tell of their dark appetites, fortunately these are mostly jube-tails, told to inspire fear. They attack for profit and slaves are not their preferred spoils; usually they prefer to end fights by letting individuals flee. These nomads never enter the Phastian pyramids scattered throughout the desert except in dangerous times when they have no other option. Their tales tell of horrible monstrosities that if disturbed would bring misery to the world.