Blog Archive

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

District - Sea of Stones

One of my districts that I have used in many games.

Sea of Stones

An area in the South East naturally protected from the cold, containing the only known large body of unfrozen water. A tropical temperature dominates with jungle environments found on many small islands that dot the region. It is also the last living vestige of the Hembrian Empire, the people blamed for bringing the Great Winter to the land. Those who live here best exemplify the ancient traditions, both good and bad, of the lost people.

Two main nations exist, Tharon & Lazell, each represent an extreme opposite outlook. Lazell is ruled by a mix of clerics and knights, voted into power by all of the citizenry. Isolated to one island, they represent an ideal as they are the only known location that has a compliant dragon population to help keep them safe. They do not accept an influx of refugees or visitors, only those of noble heritage or those of extreme wealth are permitted to reside here, outside of their citizens. 

The strongest nation, certainly in terms of size and population is Tharon, a human empire ruled by wizards, according to the ancient Hembrian customs. Everyone in Tharon society belongs to a caste; wizards are on top, followed by knights, priests, nobility, soldiers, guild-men and serfs. Each has a distinct set of responsibilities, but only the male wizards truly have power. Most bureaucracies in Tharon are determined by local counsel, and controlled by a family clan or house. Both the clan and bureaucrats keep these lucrative positions for as long as they prove successful.

The eldest male wizard has complete control of their noble house if they can manage it. If they cannot, family members may kill them without political or criminal consequence. Family issues are considered an in-house problem, and only failure of duty brings official prosecution. In fact, the eldest son is required by tradition to kill their fathers to grab the ring of power. The fathers do not resent them for trying, only for failing to do so. It is a weird power game that most non-Tharons fail to grasp. Fratricide is common, as positions within the family are also fought for as is the political connections for specific bureaucracies. Women, as a general rule are outside the political arena, thus, they are not prey to the same kind of machinations. However, once women throw their hat into the ring, they are fair game. Most women do not however play these games, many prefer to work behind the scenes to get wealthy rather than for pure power. Others try to gain power by getting involved in the church of Keran.

Beyond this, while other Tharon nobles cannot directly use force to gain new positions, there is much bloodshed and sponsored violence to eliminate other threats and failures. Those playing this game must be careful, for while murder in the family is ignored, between houses it is not; and failure is punished on both the individual and the house.

On a wider scale, there are seventeen districts each ruled by a Lord, and each has complete authority in their region. While district competition is rife violence is frowned upon the High Counsel. Each Lord has the requirement to attend the High Counsel at least three times a year where regional disputes are settled. They elect a High Lord, who essentially acts as a judge between the regions, and has direct taxation powers. The High Lord has, in theory, complete authority but there have been times when these kings have been silently replaced if they fail to act in the best interest of the Tharon people. Of course, those who try with a coup must make sure they are successful, as those who fail lose more than their power.

Knights fall under the auspices of the local houses, while not officially the power-arm of the nobility they are often treated as such. There are three kinds of knights; lesser nobles who fail magical training, guild-sponsored knights who serve a specific purpose for a special group, and lastly, military knights who arose from successful service in the military to be awarded their positions. All three types are in a given bureaucracy and serve their masters with great autonomy. Violence between knights is forbidden. The only way to grow beyond this position is through valuable service.

Priests are next on the line of power, but they serve a very limited function of succor, aid and advice. While in previous times, the priesthood could also serve as nobles, this was taken away as too many Keranic priests used their position to serve the church before the needs of the nation. With this being said, most family members do try to sponsor a few clerics in addition to their wizards, as it is useful for the house armies to access the healing and prophecy capacities. Most families tend to worship two or three of the powers, and make sure that some of their family members are in the hierarchies of these groups. Women, in particular are asked to serve and almost 65 % of all clerics are priestess. Often the youngest sisters of powerful older brothers in line for the knife…or ready to backstab the father are asked to serve. Sometimes, however, these priestess’ realize the futility of the entire Tharon power structure, and turn away from their family and their role, which is an utter disgrace to the house. Another role the priests serve, especially the lawful ones of Casna, Zalia, and Keran is to act as judges between houses in times when the local lord does not have to get involved.

Next are the noblemen and women - most serve charities or non-military functions. This is probably the most ignored and safest positions, as there is very little violence for those who don't seek power. Left alone, they help guide the nation in their quiet ways. They are always encouraging trade and communication between both the island districts and various races. They are one of the few groups that can hire independent soldiers, body guards and bounty hunters as long as things are recorded in the bureaucratic towers. They are one of the few groups to have strong non-family connections, so knight, wizard, priest and guild-man all have a few nobles as comrades, ready to bribe to sway things their way.

Soldiers and guild-men are next, and these form the bulk of the lower classes. They do every role except for farmer, which is usually reserved for tenderfoot slaves. Guild-men in particular while having no significant rights do have great chance for wealth if they are cunning or just lucky. Commerce is open in Tharon, and while they can not compete with a Noble House directly, what often happens is that two or three Houses tear each other apart (either literally or just in business) while the lower guild-men come up through the middle, having a fine business in dealing with the non-nobleman. Business is cut-throat and many guilders like it this way, as Nobles are just as busy with politics to realize what is going on. An even more so, due to the strict Tharon laws, many items are expensive and there are vast amounts of crowns (gold coins) to be made with smuggling.

Soldiers serve either in a bureaucracy or serve as part of a house’s standing army. Their lot is cruel; they get paid little and asked to risk their life constantly. Many flee, and willing to risk their lives among the pirates and monsters of the seas as sailors, than serve in a death march. For those who survive, the chance of becoming a knight with a lower house and all the privileges awaits.

At the bottom of the soldiers are two forms of scum: sailors and slaves. Sailors are treated as miscreants in Tharon, there to serve on the waters and be tucked away in the worst areas of the cities. They risk their lives every time they go to sea. Their pay is significant, but then again it has to be to get anyone in the open water. When they are on land, they live to drink and whore and waste their lives with jube and crake…and then when out of coin, to go back to the sea. This is actually the only half way decent life an elf can make officially in Tharon; usually they are killed when coming into the Common. But this is also a great way for criminals and escaped slaves to make a living.

Below even sailors, are slaves, or better put anyone other than human, dwarf or Minotaur. Tharon are slavers and do not give these non-humans full rights. Tenderfeet have an open bounty for capture. Elves are usually killed on sight, unless they are under a sea captain. Anyone else, they are usually captured, imprisoned and if they are not found to have a useful skill, are put to work in the fields. This is their life, unless they can escape.

Dwarves are the only race to have full rights within Tharon, and one of the reasons is that Tharon need the political and commerce connections that many Dwarven nations can provide. They are seen as guilders without guild, and do not need papers to walk freely in the cities. Many cities in fact have Dwarven ghettos, or the largest, actual embassies. Dwarven knights and mercenaries, while having no place under Tharon law, flourish for the same reason as guildmen - they can be trusted to do their job, and not betray their employer for wealth or prestige.. 

Minotaurs were the only significant threat the Tharon Empire ever faced. (Lazell is a political & philosophical enemy, while they may have fought skirmishes, they have never been at war.) However, more than five hundred years ago, after a millennium of war the Tharons finally won. They respected the Minotaurs for their strength and battle prowess, and rather than reducing them to mere slaves, they created a place for these hulks in their society. As spell-less creatures, Minotaurs serve a unique role for the nobles, body guards, without the usual fear of magical reprisals. Those who grow to maturity serve the nobles directly for significant pay. 

Taxes: Paid once a ten-day, depending upon role. Reasonable rates; most pay with service not coin
Prostitution: Officially sanctioned; much cheaper and non-reported in port areas
Weapons: Soldiers and knights only. Sell-swords only with a mark of standing.
Jube and other drugs: officially banned, but readily available in port areas
Magic Items: officially banned, many are readily available
Necromancy: banned, ruthlessly enforced by Jackalla who also hunt undead
Slavery: Any non-Tharon human or dwarf; without a Mark of Freedom, can be seized for service 
Thievery: Imprisonment or loss of rights.
Psionics: Banned and imprisoned/killed on sight
Wizard Spells: Rigidly controlled. Non-Tharon Nobles will be arrested on sight.
Clerical Spells: Taxed 300% at any obelisk or Temple
Sorcerer Spells: Treated the same as clerical spells
Gambling: Open; but no official guilds
Duels: Only soldiers, knights, men of standing and nobles. Note it is illegal for a non-noble to duel a noble unless it is sanctioned during Sword Day. This is the only way to legally kill a noble.

Style: The Sea of Stones is reminiscent of the Greek islands during the days when their city states ruled the Mediterranean. In terms of the military, nothing comes close to threatening their rule; while the green elves, giants, and lizardith harass the fringes, they are insignificant challenges to Tharon dominance of the region.

The greatest danger nobleman face is internal, as the rich and powerful outwit each other for wealth and favor. While there are many laws that prevent virtually any danger or vice, corruption is rampant, many cities have marketplaces set up to cater to the needs and whims of the criminal element. Assassins, poison, black magic, and even marks of authority or nobility are available without too much effort. Nobody acknowledges what lurks beneath the veneer of Tharon society.

Officially, adventurers exist to protect the borders, but many make their living by facing each other in the alleyways at night, sneaking into their rival houses, sabotaging trade or even planting evidence of betrayal. For those that can play the game, there is much profit to be made. The two side activities are pirating and adventuring in the desert Pharonic lands where there seems to be an endless supply of riches to find. Nobles lead in both of these activities, sometimes publicly but most often quietly. Virtually every noble house has at least one pirate ship, and they attack their rivals, especially traders in other districts. As long as cities are safe, and are not invaded, the royal houses allow the petty nobles to play their games.

Coin is not the most important tenet of Tharon society, but it is critical. Nobility understand that wealth is a means of showing and acquiring power. Territorial gain is exceedingly limited, as to the south the phastian desert lies, to the north and east – the wasteland, and to the west, the Endless Sea itself. So, those who provide tribute, are the ones who keep the favor of the royalty.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Spell Caster Feats

Spell Caster Feats

Level Enhanced Spell: all incremental spells are available to study or cast as without gaining the higher level spell in either their repertoire or spell-book such as Monster Summoning I – IX. This is particularly useful for a sorcerer. Required: Ability to cast 3rd level spells.

Domain Spell: Just like clerics, many wizards have domains or areas of specialty. While a cleric gains extra spells, wizards gain the ability to trade memorized spells for spells of the same level of their domain. For example, if a wizard with a war domain finds he does not need to cast dispel magic, he can cast magic vestment instead as long as he has both of these spells in his spell book. Note that specialists can not take domains in a restricted school(s). Required: Ability to cast 2nd level spells.

Guild Member: Add +1 spell per new level when advancing a level. Normally, a wizard learns two spells to add in their spell-book of the highest level they can cast. With this feat, a wizard gains three instead of two. Pre-Requisite: must have at least one vow; This does stack with Guild member. Restriction: Only for 5th level and lower spells.

Noble Birth: Add +1 spell per new level when advancing a level. Normally, a wizard learns two spells to add in their spell-book of the highest level they can cast. With this feat, a wizard gains an additional one. Restriction: Only for 5th level and lower spells.

Spell-Born: One of your parents was a spell-caster; you gain one extra spell per level, but the DM chooses which one is added to your spell-book. Normally, a wizard learns two spells to add in their spell-book of the highest level they can cast, with this feat an additional one is mysteriously added.
Restriction: Only for 5th level and lower spells. You can take this feat twice.

Non-Lethal: Change any spell damage to non-lethal damage.

Replace: Replace one spell of a higher level with a lower level spell as long as you memorized the lower level spell during the same day. You can utilize this feat any number of times every day.

Ritual of Casting: If you are able to cast a spell for one minute per spell level of uninterrupted time, the spell lasts for one hour instead of its standard duration. For example, a bull’s strength takes two minutes of casting for one full hour. You can utilize this feat no more than your natural intelligence bonus per day. Prerequisite: Able to cast 3rd level spells

Flowing with the Frequency: With a successful spell-craft check and ten minutes per spell level of uninterrupted time, you cast the spell without losing it from your daily repertoire. You can utilize this feat no more than your natural intelligence bonus per day and no more than once every hour. You still require spell components. If you fail the spell-craft check, the spells is cast normally at that moment.
Prerequisites: Spell Craft +11; Ritual of Casting

Bane: Inflict extra damage when you cast a damage spell versus a designated creature. Pre-Requisites: 2nd level spells;
1st thru 4th level: +1d6
5th thru 9th level: +2d6
10th thru 14th level: +3d6
15th level +: +4d6

Steady: Anytime you need to make a concentration check, take +10 on the roll. Prerequisites: Combat Casting

SteadfastAnytime you need to make a concentration check, take +20 on the roll. Prerequisites: Steady, 5th level spells.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Inhuman Subtype

Many of the creatures that I create could in other game or styles be called mutants. I have mixed feelings about that term. Instead, in my fantasy games I prefer to use Inhuman to designate creatures that have been altered through either accident or perversion to be something beyond the human type creature.

Inhuman Subtype
A humanoid subtype that has two arms, two legs, and one head; many are initially undetectable as different than a typical human from the geographic region they are from, Inhumans have a minimum of one supernatural or extraordinary ability that helps define them. They rarely form entire societies as they reside in small numbers. Most survive in specialist niches a part of larger societies within urban environments.  They breed with other humanoids, their offspring is noted in their description if they breed true or revert back to their original form. They are Medium sized.

Start as humanoids with 1 Hit Die and can grow in power level and stature in their Inhuman Hit Dice. They can abandon their Inhuman advancement and grow in an NPC or PC class but if they do then they are unable to further advance in their natural Inhuman talents.

Inhumans have the following features:

  • d8 Hit Die.
  • Base attack bonus equal to 3/4 total Hit Dice (medium progression).
  • One good save, usually Fortitude.
  • Skill points equal to 6 + Int modifier per Hit Die or by character class. The following are class skills for those without a character class: Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (Any 1), Profession, Stealth and Survival. Humanoids with a character class use their class's skill list instead. Humanoids with both a character class and racial HD add these skills to their list of class skills.

Traits: A humanoid possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

  • Proficient with all simple weapons.
  • Proficient with light or medium armor. They are able to take heavy armor as a feat at higher levels. Unless the Inhumans are noted for a shield proficiency in their description, they will not be proficient with them, 
  • Inhumans breathe, eat, and sleep.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Aether Mist

This is inspired by a famous monster in a storybook that I love. I've never used it in a game, as a feared legend. They have a weakness but you need to have read the story...or if you haven't read the story, just make up your own.  

Aether Mist

Large Sized Outsider
Hit Dice: 20d10 (150 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: Fly 50 ft (perfect)
AC: 42 (+30 natural, +2 Dex), 42 touch, 40 flat-footed
Base Attack/Grapple: +19 / +0 (Can not be grappled or tripped)
Attack: Automatic Hit (40-AC dmg)
Full Attack: Automatic Hit (40-AC dmg) or +33 Penetrating Attack (5-50)
Special Attacks: Automatic Damage, Double Damage
Special Qualities: Astral Jaunt, Immunities, Dmg Reduction 20/Adamantite, SR 35
Saves: Fort: -, Ref: +14, Wis: -
Skills: Knowledge (Astral, Magic, Religion) +20, Perception +40
Abilities: Str 28, Dex: 14, Con: -, Int: 10, Wis: 10, Cha: 10
Environment: Deep Ethereal, Aether Domains
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 20
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement: 25 - 50 HD (Huge)

An immense sized, deeply coloured mist.

These living clouds are approximately 30 feet in radius and 10 feet high. Their origin is somewhere in the deep ethereal. They come to prime worlds when summoned by spell casters using a Monster Summoning VII or greater spell. Spell casters must sacrifice a single magical item worth at least 75,000 g.p.  which is consumed in the casting.

The only other time they can be recruited, is in the minutes after they have successfully completed a mission, they can be requested to stay and complete another mission if a Diplomacy check of DC 30 is made along with the offering of a magic item or gem worth at least 25,000 g.p.

The Ether Mist has never communicated with any other creature. When summoned their instructions must be exactingly precise, or they will interpret it sometimes with dangerous effects. If they have a weakness, it is unknown to scholars.

The colour of its mist determines purpose, when they have a new mission, they change colour.
Grey - guards an item for ten years; they pursue if the item is stolen
Red - Executioner, summoned to execute one creature on that same plane.
Purple - guards a location for ten years unless password is spoken


An ether mist doesn’t attack, just like a swarm, anytime creatures are in it’s radius, they are automatically crushed.

Swarming: An Ether Mist automatically hits all creatures that is within their radius. They inflict 40 - Victim’s Touch AC every round acting as a +4 weapon. All creatures affected must make a winded check (Fort DC = dmg taken) to remain fully active. If they fail, they are winded and are able to take partial actions for that round and any round they fail their save when in the misty cloud.

Penetrating Attack: This is a focused attack on a single creature, doing 5-50 crushing damage, acting as a +4 weapon. They can take this attack action even if they are using their swarming action, but only one creature is attacked in this manner. Victims cannot be the target of both the penetrating and double damage attack on the same round. A penetrating attack is most done on the second round, if a particular foe seems to have taken less damage than the others,

Double Damage: The Ether Mist on any round can designate any one creature that has taken damage from its swarming as it's primary target. This primary target must save vs a Fort DC 25, or take double damage from its swarming affect. A Red Ether Mist will always use this special attack on their target. They do not stop their crushing until the target is a blood smear.

Astral Jaunt: Ether Mist can re-enter the astral plane as a free action from anywhere. Any creature in the mist at this time must make a Will DC 33 or be transported to the ethereal plane at the same time. Creatures transported do not take swarming damage in the ethereal. It takes one hour for the Ether Mist to come from the astral plane to a material world, and can only be done in specific locations, such as a wizards lab or church with an active obelisk,, etc.

Immunities: Immune to mind-affecting spells, elemental effects, energy effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromancy spells or any fortitude or wisdom save unless it affects objects. They are not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain or massive damage.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Sash Knight - Singular Knight Dedicated to Promoting the Peace

These are non-political knights that are in virtually every civilized location in my game world. They ensure peace and stability, as their position allows them to be above the political fray. They are respected for both their duties and their dedication to a cause. Not officially bound by law but by tradition to do what's right. They are the first to volunteer when a nation is faced by an internal magical threat.

Sash Knight

Adventure: Primary role is to promote peace, and serve a city or nation. They are not apart of a standing military, rather they are men-at-arms, professional warriors with free standing to travel and take up cause. This unique position allows them to find and confront the enemy anywhere, or assist individuals and groups to do the same. Each Sash Knight group has their own leadership, but it is expected to give aid, training and support to each other, and very loosely to give specific direction to other knights on shared dilemmas.

Virtually every country, state and city has their own sash knight, and can be recognized by the colour of the sash they wear. Sash knights fight in defense of their homes so they do not attack offensively outside their home region. In theory, at least in terms of war, they should never engage in combat with each other. If they ever were to face each other, their code would dictate both knights would walk away - they do not have to be friends or allies, but they will never willingly fight each other. It is said, if a Sash Knight were to ever kill another Sash Knight, regardless of reason, they would immediately be stripped of their Sash Knight status and levels.

Most are supported by tithe from a local lawful group usually a specific church - a small weekly stipend that takes care of their basic needs. There are few knights, not supported by the citizens, many are often given alms wherever they go as they usually hold the people's respect.

Characteristics: Many are stern warriors that prefer simple and effective weapons over flashier ones. Half of these knights come from the upper classes, and they are taught from an early age the importance of defending the nation, but perhaps even more importantly, know the effects of in-fighting, and do everything they can to remain above the political fray. Others come from the lower middle class bureaucratic families that see the city or nation as both their employer and source of stability. Ranks are given only from mission success, above the political and monetary gifts that often taint other groups.

Requirements: +3 BAB; any lawful alignment; Diplomacy +5
Oath: Obedience *
Alignment: Any Lawful alignment to join. There are neutral aligned knights if they chose to drop their lawful beliefs, but they cannot gain new levels.

Class Benefits

Hit Die:

Class Skills
: Climb, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (history, local and religion) Perception, Ride, Sense Motive, Ride, Stealth, Survival, Swim

Skill Points:
 6 + int modifier

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
 Knights gain no new weapon or armor proficiency.

1st+1+2+0+0Authority, Detect Lie (1/level), Smite Enemy (1/day)
2nd+2+2+0+0Divine Grace, Lay on Hands
3rd+3+3+1+1Aura of Courage, divine health
4th+4+3+1+1Command (as spell. 2/day)
5th+5+4+2+2Smite enemy (2/day)
6th+6+4+2+2Lesser Ward
7th+7+5+3+3Summon Temp Mount
8th+8+5+3+3Command (as spell. 5/day)
9th+9+6+4+4Greater Ward (2/day)
10th+10+6+4+4Smite Enemy (3/day)

: They can order the common folk to act in the name of the crown. This does not take the form of epic quests but short simple actions, such as holding a man, running to tell other knights, etc. There should be no immediate danger in these requests.

Detect Lie: A Sash knight can detect lie as per the spell. The knight must be the one to ask a short direct question. The respondent gets a will check (DC 12 + level of knight + cha bonus) otherwise the knight knows if the respondent did lie or is trying to evade. Some spells and Magic Resistance prevents this effect from working.

Smite Enemy
: A sash knight can inflict damage on enemies as a paladin can on evil. They do not stack, but can be used in different rounds in the same combat as long as all conditions apply.

Divine Health
: Not affected by disease

Command: Similar to authority, except it is simple requests for action by any non-enemy to aid the paladin in a cause. It should be a reasonable, simple and direct request made to an individual and can be performed within ten minutes. It can be resisted by a will check (DC 12 + level of knight + cha bonus) but most citizens are generally happy to oblige an honoured knight.

Divine Grace
: +2 on saving throws. This does not stack if the Sash Knight happens to have prior paladin levels.

Lay on Hands
: Per paladin ability. Stacks if the sash knight happens to be a paladin before becoming a sash knight.

Lesser Ward
: Can create a temporary glyph of warding in an area no larger than 20 ft by 20 ft which lasts one hour per knight level. If individuals try to cross it they take (unnamed) damage at 1d6 / Sask Knight level - there is no saving throw. This does not remove the glyph, that individual simply takes the damage. For example, if the glyph is used to barricade a tunnel, going through it once from east to west inflicts the damage. Exiting it will not inflict damage, but if again they enter the warded area, again they will take the same damage.

Greater Ward: Can create a temporary glyph of warding  in an area no larger than 30 by 30 ft which lasts one day per knight level. If individuals try to cross it they take (unnamed) damage at 1d10 / Sash Knight level. Otherwise as lesser ward.

*Oaths are in my campaign world are magical promises which knight, clerics and monks are required to swear in order to advance in levels. An Obedience Oath means that they are bound to obey a direct command given to them by an elder in their knighthood. It is uncommon for a knight of one sash colour to give an order to an individual of another colour, though they are still bound if this happens.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Holon - Goddess of Balance (Druids, Land, Nature the Holy Circle)

This is the druid`s goddess of life, whom many believe is the incarnation of the world itself.


Alignment: Neutral
Follower's Alignment: Any (Usually Neutral based)
Favored Color: Green,  Associated: White, Beige, Black
Holy Days: None - local fests are used to promote
Sacrifice: Time - payment is their primary payment
Patron: Druids
Familiar Form: Any animal
Domains: Animal, Community, Plant, Air, Earth, Fire, Water; 

Prohibited Domains: Evil, Good, Law and Chaos 
Titles: Brother or Sister (of the Land, of the Circle, of Balance)

Earth Mother. Druid Guide, Spirit of the land. Bosom of life. Lady of druids. Lady of balance. Blessed Lady. Cradle. Gaia. Holon has more names and titles than any other power on Nyssa, because many believe she is Nyssa herself. She is life, or perhaps better described, she is the cosmic balance that offers life. Law, Chaos, Good, Evil and all shades of neutrality exist inside of her, and she and her followers ensure that balance is always maintained.

Life and the living are her primary cause, especially creatures and plants with sub-intelligence. Druids, her direct and closest followers, say that animals and plants are more blessed because they do not rationalize their devotion to the mother goddess – for they are always beholden to her in all of their actions. Other beings – the civilized races and the most powerful monsters that pervert the blessings. Holon provides everything they need to exist, and while she doesn’t want payment or adoration, she does expect them to respect the balance. Anyone living their life in harmony with the land, and the creatures within it is following her ways, perhaps more than even the druids, who follow her by contemplating nature and how to best to serve her. True instinct, past the mind or will, is guided by her, or so, nysarians of all types believe.

When these intelligent races or creatures, pillage the land, the elements, and take more than they need, that the balance is tilted. Some might say she sends animals and elements to punish these intelligent creatures who would upset the balance, but this is not entirely true. She allows the balance to take care of itself, and the land does what it must. But even when the land is harmed, by beseeching to the eternal mother, many communities can save themselves from harm.

Because her worship is so all encompassing, there is little to distinguish her followers from each other. Their rituals, dress and prayer substantially vary according to the regions. Druids often wear green, with an assortment of other local colours. She is the only faith that doesn’t specifically require obelisks, but some do in fact create wooden obelisks as a way of explaining her devotion to others accustomed to these traditions. They are far from the only ones who worship her, some in fact claim that druids themselves are a civilized order and a much older faith truly represents the Blessed Lady.

Druids in her service, usually live communally, sharing their basic needs. They don't give titles based on power levels, rather its service and success, so in many groves, low level druids can lead the community. Unlike other religious communities, the faithful don't participate or lead in religious services with prayer or song, the faithful need only to meditate in any rural area to complete their daily devotional. Druids from every race openly welcome each other, and share information, gossip and spirit. Each may have distinct personal or local traditions, but druids never hold an ideal, knowing that all ways are true if they serve the balance, they change just as the seasons do. While many circles, as their communities are called, hold fests on certain days - especially during seasonal equinoxes, these are unofficial, the ideal is how you live your life, and taking time each day to cherish and promote balance.

Her familiar form is any animal, however, its eyes are totally a bright glowing green. Her avatar form is unique because she doesn’t really have a specific one. When she needs an avatar to act, she directly inhabits the body of the faithful. Because she is of the land, her spirit can not be dismissed or banished. However, death to the avatar means the spirit of the slain will be reborn within another, willing to serve the cause.

Her blessing is the ideal players should try to uphold. How they keep these ideals should be left to the player.

Holon’s Blessing
Life perseveres
The balance is a dance
And we all sing the music
Actions done or undone
Words spoken or left unsaid
The balance will be held
Raw emotion or calculated logic
Steps out of key
For balance is the way
Action, re-action a child’s game
Cause, effect played by the fool

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Nyssian Creature Listing

One of my favorite things about gaming is the creation of both the story adventures and monsters, well, especially the creatures. I have so many new, different or just modified creatures that I will make up on the spot. Others I have been using for a long time, some more than 20 years.  Others, are creatures I thought of and wrote up just for my blog posting. In case you want to peruse, the listing of what I posted to the blog over the last few years to this game blog are below. Many more are to come!

(A) Alt Creature - Nyssian Version of creature
(B) Base Race - Generally open to players
(C) PC Race - Open to players but not at lower levels
(F) Fan devotion

1 Jahlen - Golden Horned Ram Humanoid   (Horn Kin)                                                 (B)
2 Charr - Barbarian with supernatural tribal weapon                                                       (B)
3 Nyssian Piercer                                                                                                              (A)
4 Purple Owl - Favoured Creature of Lawful Forces
5 Leaf-Kin, Children of the Forest                                                                                   (C)
6 Medusa Elder - More snakes, more spells                                                                     (A)
7 Phaetox - Flame Winged Phoenix Humanoids,  Unable to tell lies                              (B)
8 Shal - Enhanced Lizardith-female
9 Nyssian Imp - Long-Tailed Imp                                                                                    (A)
10 Chaonaos - Orb of Magical Chaos
11 Nyssian Troll                                                                                                                (A)
12 Clockwork  - Golem Like Intelligent Machine                                                            (C)
13 Snow Nymph                                                                                                                (A)    
14 Nareg Gargoyle                                                                                                             (A)
15 Cat Sphinx - Common pet, smart and magical
16 Wooren - Furred, Strong Armed, Noble Savage aka wookies
17 Gammorec - heavy-set, green brutish thugs  aka Gammorean or Alt Orcs                   (A)
18 Jawatha - Desert bandits & Traders - Jawas
19 Tuthken -Desert Nomads & Raiders -Tusken Raider
20 Primal - Racial Animal Humanoid   aka Lycanthropes                                                  (A)
21 Nyssian Leprechaun                                                                                                       (A)
22 Ter Falcana - Magical Avian
23 Fae-Nom:  Faerie Race                                                                                                   (C)
24 Necrites - Undead Character Race                                                                                  (C)
25 Shandar-Kai - Shadowy Urban Fey
26 Favoured of Keran -  Warrior Servant of an Evil God
27 Lego d20  - Small-sized block humanoid                                                                        (F)
28 Lizardith  - Lizard Man PC                                                                                              (B)
29 Vottinna - Blue Skinned, Magic-Item Destroying Humanoid
30 Elemental Options - Pick Your Own: Plug and Play Beasts                                           (A)
31 Charity and Hopes - Angelic figure spreads goodwill with magical butterflies
32 Giff - Heavy Hippopotamus Humanoid                                                                          (A)
33 Abandoned - Lost Dabus, From Planescape, surviving in mortal lands                          (A)
34 Cenobite - Cool Horror Movie Monster                                                                           (F)
35 Skin Devils - Ability Score Thieves
36 Tenderfeet (Nyssian Halflings)                                                                                        (A)
37 Tame -  Avian Headed Noble Creature with artistic bent
38 Sharavan - Pleasure Genie
39 Minion -- Communal Yellow-Skinned Golem-like Servant                                            (F)
40 Rogue Modron - Abandoned Visitor from Lawful Worlds                                             (C)
41 Corona Salarius - Magical Aura that helps adventurers
42 Sand Dwarves (Zinth) Dwarves whose magical abilities revolve around sand               (B)
43 Spawning creatures and their never lonely Creator Mistress
44 Orynix - Gazelle Humanoids (Horn-Kin)                                                                        (B)
45 Nyssian Centaur                                                                                                               (A)
46 Orange Slaad                                                                                                                    (A)
47 Nyssian Beholder (Black, Blue, Gold, Purple, Red, Black)                                            (A)

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Pack of Useful Items (Simple Magic Item)

I am planning to institute this as a gifted item for all players of 3rd level or higher, especially for one shot games.

All players have a small, unadorned Pack of Useful Items when examined has virtually no weight or items within. Any item from the players handbook of worth less than 20 gp, less than 1 foot in diameter and 10 pounds in weight and are considered common and non-magical to their home location is assumed to be in their pack. It is a standard action to reach into their pack to grab any single item a player will want. The owner can retrieve any specific item 2 times a day (or 4 for small items) but no more than 10 items total can be retrieved on any given day. These packs will only work for their owner or an ally, if stolen, they cease functioning after 24 hours. Items that are not listed in the players handbook are not available until added by the character. Some items, the DM can rule, are too rare to be added to the pack. Items such as cloaks, which can be folded into a one foot diameter, can be summoned in this way.

These items are assumed to be payments for previous missions completed for churches or magic users. Individuals with oaths of poverty or other restrictions with wealth may not have one of these crafted items. These gifts are meant to assist the character in completing missions, not to make wealth, trying to summon items just to sell will make the pack go inert.

Aura faint (gray or rust) or moderate (tan) conjuration; CL 7th
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest; Cost 1,250 gp

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Nyssian Beholder Types - (Black, Blue, Purple, Gold, Red, White)

One of my favorite creatures in virtually every game edition were the round eyed masters of magic - beholders. These were probably the first creatures that I adjusted so many years ago more as a way to use different magic and lesser strength versions. (I dislike that you can't use cool powerful creatures at lower levels.) As I used them I started to define their personalities which turned them into the monsters that you see below. Just as a note purple and gold are set alignment colours in my campaign, Purple is always LN and Gold is LG. Black is virtually always LE, but its not preset as the other two.

Nyssian Beholder

LE (Varies) Medium Aberration
Init +6 Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +8

AC 16 touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 Natural) (plus +1 natural AC /new HD)
hp 30hp (4d8+12 con)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +4

Speed  fly 20 ft (good), 6-9 eyes (40 ft fly), 10+ eyes (60 ft fly)
Melee Natural Attack +3 (1d6+0)
Ranged Weapon +5 ranged touch, Bite +0 (1d6)
Special Attacks Eye Rays Attacks (CL 4th +1/HD)

Str 10, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +3 CMB +3 CMD 15
Feats Improved Initiative, Flyby Attack
Skills Skills: Intimidate: +6, Fly +15, Knowledge (arcana)+8, Perception +8, Move Silently +9 (Bonus: Gain +12 in Fly)
Languages Xaositic, Common, Giant, Minotaur

Environment   Usually Remote Locations
Organization    Solitary, pair or clutch (4-12), Hive (10-200)
Treasure Value  Standard
Advancement Range: by eye magics, 8+ eyes (Large)

Nysarian beholders begin with four eye magics and they increase in skills & new eye powers as they advance in HD. Their eye magics are not fixed, so no two beholders have the same powers, though each colour has a defined range. Most hives are made up of a mix of HD. 75% are 6 HD or lower, and the remainder are usually evenly distributed. Usually there is no more than one hive Master at 12 HD or higher.

There are at least seven known beholder types: white, red, black, blue, purple, gold and pariahs. The first four have hives across the domain, each controlled by a singular Hive Master. Obsessed with prestige they endlessly scheme for wealth and position while obeying their Master’s rules. Each believes they are the ideal beholder type, killing any other they see of a a different colour. Pariahs are those who fail to fit into the other standard beholder groups, hunted down by all others including their own. These are sexless beings, seemingly random beholders in the tribe become impregnated by magic and give birth to dozens of mini beholders, the strongest ones usually devour the weaker ones within a few hours of their expulsion from their dead parent. The common eye magics for each type is below, most individuals of that colour have those powers.

Many beholders must leave the hive tribe in order to survive, as beholders rarely tolerate anyone who fails or doesn't obey the will of the hive. Some will ally with external leaders and excel in humanoid military or church hierarchies, quickly moving up the ranks for their powers and cunning. Seeing weakness as an opportunity, they eliminate anyone who has failed to live up to expectations – either former subordinates or masters in the humanoid hierarchies.  Depending upon their success, the adopting group may not accept the beholder very long before sending them out on a disguised suicide mission. Those of 9 HD or higher will most often return to a hive.

Humanoid communities mercilessly hunt and destroy beholder hives. Nobody really takes the time to know who or what these things are, they just attack and hope that there are no higher level monsters there. Though few have seen a violent beholder as the Purple colour type are predominant in large communities, virtually everyone in the land has heard stories of entire cities being taken prisoner by these vile abominations.

As they age they gain more eye-powers, to randomly determine their powers the DM should roll to determine which eye stalks. Roll 2d4, (then 2d6, 2d8 & 2d10 on each new HD) to determine the eye power for their HD. Duplicates eyes are possible. Since beholders, unlike a spell-caster, never has to worry about running out of spells, they can freely use their most powerful power on the most dangerous individual every round. They can use no more than 1/3 of their eyes in any direction at any time, except for pointing at something directly above or below them.

Beholders should have +1 eye power, +1 AC, increase in skills (4/level) and feats per HD. They also gain +1 in two ability scores every HD. Their telekinesis eye-ray can move 25 pounds per additional HD after their base.Their spells saves are determined by the spell level plus HD. Hive Masters have 16 or more eye-stalks plus the unique middle eye ability as determined by their colour.


 Black Beholders:  The most well known of beholders for adventurers, they use their middle eye to drain dexterity. Opulence is a major motivator to these creatures; they enjoy showing off their wealth. Incapable of taking a joke or criticism; black beholders remember insults for decades. These beholders prefer creatures in total submission, eliminating servants who deviate from their exacting orders.

Blues Beholders: One of the most active beholders, they are experts at evasion and stealth. Unlike many of the other types of beholders, they prefer to work alone doing missions. They do not work well with others, and generally do not take orders from others they consider beneath them. Blues have a short polymorphic self effect that they use to talk with others and to eat, as they are the only type not to naturally have telekinesis as one of their primary powers. They are unable to use any of their eye-effects while polymorphed, but they can change back to their natural form as a free action. Individual Blues prefer to lair in cities, hiding from anyone that might hunt them down.

Gold: The only known good aligned beholder, assumed by many to be merely legend. They usually reside near remote planar portals as their preferred goal is to make allies or find a safe home.  Unlike every other type of beholder, gold beholders are not born, instead they are individuals who have gone through a transformation - all of their eye magics are changed although they do not lose HD levels. Next to the pariahs, they are the most despised so they do not advertise their locations. Most are gregarious creatures, adoring innocence, youth and the zeal of faith - they can be gracious hosts when given a chance, but they do not abide evil. Their middle eye induces a blissful relaxation, negating the desire or thought to do harm to others.

Pariah Beholders: This is the standard type found in other Monster Manuals. They are mostly individuals, who are rarely found in hives. However, since their average HD is much higher than a typical Nyssian Beholder, they are safe as long as they do not make their presence well known.

Purple Beholders: Quite sophisticated and civilized, as devout worshipers of lawful deities they often serve lawful neutral churches or other groups. Accepted in many cities, they are frequently employed as bodyguards or wardens in prisons. They are the least likely to kill an opponent, preferring to capture and interrogate foes. Their primary residences are in Phaetox or other humanoid cities; they are by habit social creatures and understand that one individual is more easier accepted as opposed to groups of them.  Always use their View Alignment ability to makes other creatures alignment visible to gauge ally from potential foe.  Their middle eye acts as an unerring dimensional anchor in a 200 ft radius.

Red Beholders: Considered mad by the other types, they are the least likely to team up with others, including their own kin. They lair in the most inhospitable locations; partial to commanding evil races to co-ordinate strategic attacks. Reds enjoy playing sadistic games with both their minions and enemies, but they also have manic tempers causing them to go on unpredictable murderous rampages. They have a soft spot for physical art, and many will secretly sponsor painters & sculptors as it is said they understand an artists temperament. Their middle eye creates a confusion field wherein all non-chaotic creatures do not get a save; chaotic creatures can save every round to avoid the affect.

White Beholders: Perhaps the most powerful type, they seek isolation over wealth. Their middle eye creates a powerful Domination effect, non-lawful creatures do not get a save to avoid. While isolationists, they plot attacks, raiding once or twice a year to eliminate rivals or seize items. They never converse with enemies eliminating them as expediently as possible and then speak with dead if needed. In addition, the middle eye also controls undead as a priest of their same level.   Dead creatures in the range of a beholder’s central eye for five or more rounds arise as zombies under their control. They can control five times their level in undead HD.

Black Middle Eye: Drains 3-8 dexterity, then 2 additional points every additional round
A Charm Person 10 Dominate Person
B Ray of Enfeeblement 11 Enervation
C Hold Person 12 Feeblemind
D Telekinesis                                 13 Interposing Hand
2 Magic Missile 14 Confusion
3 Inflict Moderate Wounds 15  Forceful Hand
4 Sound Burst                              16  Blasphemy
5 Fear                                          17  Mage's Sword
6 Lightning Bolt 18  Disintegrate
7 Meld into Stone 19 Flesh to Stone
8 Stoneskin                                   20 Spell Turning
9 Gaseous Form

Blue Middle Eye: Baneful Polymorph (only as long as the creature is in the ray field plus 1d6 rounds)
A  Charm Person 10  Confusion
B Ray of Enfeeblement 11 Inflict Serious Wounds
C Hold Person                         12  True Seeing
D Polymorph Self (5 minutes) 13  Slow
2  Pass thru Stone (1d4 rounds) 14 Dimension Door (1d6 rounds)
3  Vampiric Ray 15 Ethereal Jaunt
4  Blindness                             16 Finger of Death
5  Hypnotic Pattern 17 Divert Energy
6  Discern Lies 18 Flesh to Stone
7  Telekinesis                          19 Feeblemind
8  Suggestion                           20 Disintegrate
9  Hold Monster

Gold Middle Eye: Bliss, unable to take violent action, negates rage or other mind control affects.
A  Know Alignment 10  Legend Lore
B  Ray of Enfeeblement 11  Inflict Serious Wounds
C  Hold Person 12  True Seeing
D  Telekinesis                          13  Dismissal
2  Hideous Laughter 14  Repulsion
3  Irresitible Dance 15  Forced Cage
4  Blindness                            16  Grasping Hand
5  Hypnotic Pattern 17  Divert Energy
6  Discern Lies 18  Flesh to Stone
7 Searing Light 19 Feeblemind
8  Suggestion                          20 Conversion  - changes alignment to LG, lasts d6+cha bonus           9 Hold Monster                                                                after ray is focused on the target.

Purple Middle Eye acts a Dimensional Anchor (No saving throw)
A  Charm Person                                 10  Legend Lore
B  Ray of Enfeeblement                       11  Pain
C  Hold Person or View Alignment       12  True Seeing
D  Telekinesis                                      13  Analyze Magic
2  Hideous Laughter                            14  Repulsion
3  Acid Arrow                                      15  Forced Cage
4  Blindness                                        16  Grasping Hand
5  Arcane Sight                                   17  Disintegrate
6  Discern Lies                                   18  Flesh to Stone
7  Searing Light                                  19  Feeblemind
8  Suggestion                                      20  X-Ray
9  Hold Monster

Red Middle Eye: Confusion, no save for non-chaotic creatures unless protected by magic
A  Telekinesis                                  10  Chaos Hammer
B  Ray of Enfeeblement 11  Dimension Door
C  Charm Person 12  Flame Strike
D  Hold Person 13  Discord
2  Command                                     14  Animate Objects
3  Hypnotic Pattern 15  Irresistible Dance
4  Heat Metal                                   16  Ethereal Jaunt
5  Hold Monster 17  Reverse Gravity
6  Deep Slumber 18  Finger of Death
7  Inflict Serious Wounds 19 Flesh to Stone
8 Slow                                             20  Baneful Polymorph
9 Vampiric Ray

White Beholder Middle Eye: Domination, no save for non-lawful creatures unless protected by magic
A   Telekinesis 10  Divert Energy
B  Turn Flesh to Ice 11  Dismissal
C  Blade Barrier 12 Baneful Polymorph
D True Seeing                                    13 Wall of Ice
2 Shocking Ray 14  Cone of Cold
3  Charm Person 15  Mind Fog
4  Chill Metal                                    16  Freezing Sphere
5  Clairvoyance 17  Harm
6 Ray of Enfeeblement 18 Finger of Death
7 Hold Person                                   19 Spell Turning
8 Deep Slumber 20 Disintegrate
9 Dispel Magic

Please note this is not intended as an infringement of anyone's rights, especially big, cool, wonderful gaming companies. This is a work from a fan - if there's any problems, I'll take it down.