Blog Archive

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Giff - Heavy Hippopotamus Humanoid

Spell-Jammer is a great setting and I miss the zaniness. I love the idea of crazy stuff flying to differing worlds and battling things and getting space-pirate treasure. But some of it, well, some of it isn't just goofy fun but when I looked at it, it just kind of fits my game world. The Giff, magicless but brutally strong enforcers is a nice idea. Sort of updated, so I can use them at higher levels. They tend to congregate in cities where there are teleport gates. There's a reason why they are there, but they generally don't know the full story.

Nyssian Giff

Medium Sized Humanoid
Hit Dice: 2d10 + 2 (14 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 25 ft
AC: 16 (+2 natural, -1 dexterity, +5 chain mail)
Attacks: +5 (melee)
Damage: By weapon (Mace, Halberd, Long Sword)
Special Attacks: Headbutt (1d6+3)
Special Qualities: SR 13, Darkvision 60ft, +5 on saves to avoid being stunned
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +0, Will +0
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 8, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 9, Cha 8
Skills: Knowledge (History) +4, Craft (Armor or Weapons) +4, Perception +4
Feats: Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Any 1: Mace, Halberd, Long Sword)
Climate/Terrain: Any Land
Organization: Unit (2-8) or Platoon (21-40)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually Lawful Neutral

The Giff are a race of well-muscled, six-foot tall hippopotamus-like humanoids that naturally disdain magic. Their legs and arms are short and stocky. Their chest is broad, and it's head flat - very good for smashing into things and people. They range in skin colour from pale, gray, light green or gold.

Their strength has always pushed them to a life of military activity working as a team rather than the spoils of exploration or magic. They understood rules and order and follow them to the letter.  Often found in large cities, where they hire themselves to forces of order. Because they do not utilize magic are often used by temples as guards, or raiding mercenaries or enforcers to caravans.

Giff mate for life and usually give birth to small liters every 4 or 5 years. Non-Giff rarely can tell male from females apart, but to Giff, almost everything from voice, dress, attitude and the way they carry their weapons is distinct. They can live up to 150 years, but are fully mature at ten years of age. When two Giff first meet each other will boast of its military achievements then will want to go share a pint. Giff never attack their own kind unless it is personal.

Giffs pride themselves both with their weapon skils and their knowledge of military history. Many wear tattoos to display their personal history of combat, to lament comrades lost in combat as well as their rank or insignia.

There are some stories that speak of Giff sailing in ships that sail through the Aether - Giff just laugh at these jubetales and leave the bards alone to tell their stories.

They gain the skills, HP, feats and saves of a fighter as they increase in HD.

3 HD +1 to Strength, +1 on AC
4 HD +1 to Strength, +2 to any Other Ability Score
5 HD SR Add +5, Running Headbutt (1d8+ / X3)
6 HD +1 to Strength, +1 on AC
7 HD +1 to Strength, +2 to any Other Ability Score
8 HD Grow to Large Size, Gain +1 to Strength, +1 on AC
9 HD SR Add +5, Running Headbutt (1d10 + double strength / X4)
10 HD  +3 to Strength, +4 to any Other Two Ability Scores, +3 on AC

Running Headbutt: They need at least ten feet of running space, but otherwise treated like a charge

Friday, 17 April 2015

Charity and Hopes

One of my oldest original creatures, that I have used in my games for a long time. Unlike many others, their appearance of a happy woman never really grabbed attention, she was just there usually in towns acting as a conduit, often leading players to another quest or to shield them from the evil-doers in town. I often use them as a source of connectionss...they are the ones indirectly who help good-aligned adventurers find employment or a contact.

Charity                                                                               CR 10
An overweight lady whose exuberance hides her determination and magical prowess is somehow continually surrounded by colourful butterflies 

N Medium Outsider (Good)
Init +13 Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12

AC 24 touch 19, flat-footed 15 (+9 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 90hp (12d10 + 24 con)
Fort +12, Ref +17, Will +9
Defensive Abilities    DR 5/evil
Immune  Persuasion, Charm Spells and Effects, electricity, petrification; SR 20

Speed 30 ft.
Melee Light Mace or Dagger +12 (1d6)
Ranged One-Handed Crossbow +21 (1d6)
Special Attacks Aura, Charismatic Boon, Spells, Turn Undead (as 20th level)
Spell Like Abilities (CL 10th)
At will—aid, continual Light, detect evil
Spells Prepared (CL Cleric 10th)
        4th—dismissal (DC 19), Holy Smite, neutralize poison (DC 19), spell immunity
        3rd—cure serious wounds, daylight, invisibility purge, protection from energy, Remove Curse
        2nd—consecrate, cure moderate wounds (2), Delay Poison, Enthrall
        1st—cure light wounds, divine favor, Obscuring mist, sanctuary (DC 16), shield of faith

Str 10, Dex 28, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 21
Base Atk +12 CMB +12 CMD 31
Feats Combat Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will,  Persuasive
Skills Bluff +12, Craft (Alcohol) +10, Perform (Any 4 Instruments) +12,  Knowledge (Nature) +12, Knowledge (Geography) +10, Knowledge (Planes) +10 Perception , +12 Sense Motive , +18
Languages Celestial, Common, Elf, Faerie, Dwarf

Environment          Any (Tends towards Urban Landscapes)
Organization          Solitary, Duet or Trio
Treasure Value      Quarter of Standard Wealth

Divine Music: Can turn undead as twice their effective level when playing an instrument
Aura of Bliss:All creatures within 100 ft must save vs Will DC 21 of fall into a bliss like state 
Charismatic Boon; Kiss bestows 1d3 Charisma Bonus 
Ever-Full Goblet: Limitless alcohol or eight vials of any type of magical potion every day
Summon Hope: Summon 2-8 spirits of protection 1/day

Charities appear as cheerful, rotund human females who regardless of season, are surrounded by 3-18 brilliantly colored butterflies. They are comic figures, famous for their boisterous laugh, playful demeanor, clumsiness and unending generosity. They are often accompanied by a coterie of followers, good aligned creatures and sycophants seemingly there to enjoy the Charities gifts and hospitality. Their giddiness is only one side to these figures, as they are also incredibly dedicated to the causes of good, justice and kindness. They spend their lives travelling, making contacts and giving favours to weaker or trying to convince others to do the same. Children and animals flock to Charities instinctively sensing their goodness.

Few realize a Charities size is not an indication of personal indulgence rather of their generosity, as they share their gifts they increase in size. The reverse is true, as they see greed and selfishness, their gloom drains them, both spiritually and physically. Charities are among the most graceful and dexterous beings in existence; few can tell by their playful and seemingly clumsy demeanor outside of combat.

A Charities aura of calm puts everyone around them in a joyous mood, few creatures could contemplate attacking these charismatic celestials (or anyone else) when near a Charity. They often travel with a contingent of followers so few foes can get close enough to them to have a real chance of hurting them. If they were ever pressed, charities could call upon their spells and spirits of protection (see below) until the tide was turned.

Aura of Bliss: All creatures with a 100 ft radius of a charity must make a will check DC 24 or fall into a state of joy, losing all violent tendencies. This does not make them laughing idiots, as they are still able to think and react normally even able to defend themselves; however, they are unable to make the first aggressive move. Barbarians can not rage in this radius, and all creatures receive a +8 bonus to mind or emotion affecting spells while in the aura. The aura is a continuous effect, beings within the radius must make a saving throw every round to avoid the bliss.

Charismatic Boon: their kiss bestows a temporary bonus to charisma (1d3) for the next 24 hours. Once a month, charities may bestow this blessing for a one week period. They usually only do this for eye-pleasing male paladins who they see doing an act of kindness. They can do this once a day.

Everfull Goblet: With her magical goblet, a charity can summon a limitless supply of food or drink. She shares this with anyone in the aura of bliss not causing disruptions. The goblet will run dry for anyone who tries to drink to excess. It can summon 8 draughts of any type of potion once a day.

Divine Music: While playing their musical instrument, Charities can turn undead as a cleric of twice their effective level. They turn as clerics of their HD if unable to use their divine music.

Hopes or Spirits of Protection

Diminutive Size Fey
Hit Dice:                                1/6 HD            (1 hp)
Initiative:                               +6
Speed:                                    30 ft Fly (Great)
AC:                                        30 (+6 dexterity, +4 size, +10 natural)
Attacks:                                 nil 
Damage:                                nil
Special Attacks:                    Aura
Special Qualities:                  As fey, Detect Evil, Improved Evasion
Saves:                                    Fort +0, Ref +16, Will +1
Abilities:                               Str 1, Dex 22, Con 11, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 16
Alignment:                            Always Neutral Good
CR                                         1/4

Spirits of protection are fey butterflies that seemingly exist only to fly around celestials. Their favorite leads are Charities, delighting in the celestial’s bliss aura.  Children adore these fey insects, and may spend hours chasing them around but never actually catching them.  Charities often give these fickle fey to good aligned adventurers, to give them a brief enhancement to their skills.

They never fight, as they merely flutter around good-aligned adventurers, using their beneficial aura for their protector. These butterflies, constantly whiz in the region of their protector, never more than two feet away and never obstructing their charge’s vision. They may momentarily land on their protector, but it does not in any way hinder their protector. Their innate detect evil ability enables them to shun all forms of evil.

These spirits are rarely seen away from a Charity. Adventurers would like to find and use these creatures, as their powerful protection auras are amazingly useful, and have often been called “living ioun stones” by good aligned adventurers. Since they will not abide the presence of evil, they are called “crunchy snacks” by anyone unable to use their charms. 

Hopes never survive for no more than a day. They die every night, dissipating into faerie dust before hitting the ground. The next morning, Charities seem to have a full assortment of hopes with them once again. Their colour determines their aura's abilities.

Red:              Adds + 4 to strength
Orange:         Neutralize Poison (Range: touch*, No more than 7 times a day)
Yellow:         Adds +4 to dexterity
Green:           Adds +1 competence bonus to all attacks, saves and checks
Blue:             Improved Alertness (+4 listen and spot; stacks with standard feat)
Purple:           True Sight Spell    
Crystal:          Non-Detection Spell
Pink:              Adds +4 to charisma
Scarlet:          Adds +3 to spellcasting levels for non-evil or non-necromantic spells
White:           Speak with Animal, Plant or Fey (Range: Touch*; 7/day)
Grey:            Adds +7 psionic power points
Black:           Adds +5 to necromantic spell saves (7/day)
Brown:         Absorbs up to one 4th level spell. (Only one spell can be absorbed, targets discretion.  All excess is wasted.)

* Those indicating a touch range, the protector and not the butterfly must touch the intended target.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Elemental Options - Pick Your Own: Plug and Play Beasts

Have long liked the idea of heroes facing elemental threats...not just a blob of  the elemental. This enables you to face any variant of elemental, an animal, a four legged beast or even a humanoid
made of the element. This is mix and match, enabling the DM to create on the fly.


AC           14 (+1 / 3 additional HD)
Base Int: 6, Con 14, Wis 10, Str 16, Dex 14, Cha 6
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Base Damage: 1d6 / 1d8 / 1d12 / 2d8/ 2d12
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Mobility
Traits: Darkvision 60 ft., Elemental Traits
Skill Points 16 points at base, 4 points per HD higher than 2nd*
Most common Skills: Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana, elemental, nature), Perception, Spellcraft, Stealth, Survival
Alignment               Neutral
*Gain Knowledge (Own elemental Type) free the same as their HD

Aether Gain Non-Detection, Gain Elemental Resistance to any one type for 24 hours
Air Gain Elemental Traits, Whirlwind
Earth Gain Elemental Traits, Forceful Blow
Fire Gain Elemental Traits, Enflame
Water Gain Elemental Traits, Whirlpool,

Small 2 HD +6 Int, +4 Con, +6 Wis, -2 Str, -2 Con, +8 Dex
Medium 6 HD +4 Int, +4 Con, +4 Wis, +2 Str, +2 Con, +6 Dex
Large 10 HD +0 Int, +4 Con, +2 Wis, +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 Dex
Huge 14 HD -2 Int, +4 Con, +0 Wis, +6 Str, +6 Con, +-2 Dex
Gigantic 18 HD -4 Int, +4 Con, +0 Wis, +10 Str, +8 Con, -  4 Dex
Titanic 24 HD -6 Int, +8 Con,  +0 Wis, +16 Str, +10 Con, -6 Dex

Bestial         +2 Str, +4 Dex, Scent, Light "Fur"
Quadraped         +4 Con, +4 Wis; 4 legs, +20 movement, +2 HD, Heavy Fur
Multiple-Headed +4 Con, +4 Wis, -2 Cha, +1 HD / extra head (Rarely more than ten heads)
Avian         +4 Con,  + 6 Dex for thin body, Fly: Good (Never bigger than large)
Spider         +8 Dex, Climb & Balance+20, Spray Poison (Weakness DC 14 / Dc 16  / DC 20 /                                 DC 22  / DC 30)
Whale        +40 Swim, +8 Con, +4 Str, 10 HD (Min)

Watcher +4 Int, +4 Cha, Read Surface Thoughts, Distant Viewing, Mind-Link,  Mind-Blast
Basher + 4 Str, +4 Con,  Base Dmg, (+1d8 / +1d10 / +2d8 / +2d12 / +3d10)
Archer +4 Dex, +4 Wis, Gain two Elemental Arrow (Dmg 1d4 / 1d6 / 1d8/ 1d10 / 2d8)
Tripper         +4 Str, +4 Dex, Trip Attack DC (DC 14 / Dc 16  / DC 20 / DC 22  / DC 30)
Breath weapon +4 Cha, +4 Dex, +6 HD, (Dmg: 3d6 / 6d6 / 9d6 / 15d6 / 25d6) (As dragon for ranges)

Elementals are a variety of beings that have communities in pocket universes that border on both the elemental planes and the mortal worlds. Their existence is much the same as humans, creating products for external use, raising mindless livestock and flora as well as raising armies to defend themselves. Unlike other communities, they do not consider only humanoids intelligent - all elementals of a certain awareness are considered citizens. Generally elemental communities are
closed, they contain only creatures of the one shared elemental type. Individuals of other species may be found there if they have become allies with individuals elemental beings, but it is never of a another elemental type.

Water is the most commonly found element on prime worlds, deep in the ocean and little known by outsiders. Aether is the next most common, often found in cities with a native citizenry barely if at all aware of their existence; they often make allies in libraries and temples. Air and Earth elementals are uncommon but always there, there are a few on any given prime world, found by the experts in their fields.  The most rare is the Fire Pocket Universes, they are sometimes portals are created spontaneously during forest fires or other extraordinary events, but closed as soon as the fire closes.

What is the most understood by non-elementals is that elemental beings are not bound by one form. Individuals can switch between animal or humanoid forms when needed. It is not a quick or simple process, they can go to their Essence Temple and undergo a cerement to switch from forms. The only thing that doesn't change is their HD, feats and skills; their personality and memories always remain intact.