Blog Archive

Showing posts with label D&D. Show all posts
Showing posts with label D&D. Show all posts

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 9

Roll # 1 - Going thru the halls DC 11 Fail 8
Roll # 2 - Wandering Monster Check (10/20) Result 5 (Success), Finding (D), Result (9/100) - Jackalla
                                 A - 20% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 20%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 50% Monster (3d20)
                                 D - 10% Monster (1d100)
Roll # 3 - Room Check 1d100 - Sequestered Room via stairs heading down

In a few more moments, the rest of the unit joined Caventh in the corridor, content that there was nothing else to be found or looted in the cultist hideaway. The Ranger led them south, through a curve heading north.

There was an unusual kink in the road, a joint turn, one leading ahead straight, the other towards the west. Investigating, they found plenty of debris, but this time from soldiers. Tips of spear-heads and arrows and bits of charred hederak meats and dried vlums, a place of rest or meal. "Half a dozen boot prints. They weren't here long, and not too long ago."  

They headed west not specifically following but still going in the same direction of the boot tracks.  The path narrowed, making it much harder for them to go two abreast. The hallways were more polished, nearly shiny, quite unusual. Ennos, near the back of the group stopped to touch the walls, Unnos watched her quietly. Her blue skinned hand reached out slowly to touch the walls, and she seemed to hesitate. were the walls here? Were they real? She touched the not-so-cool walls, some heat in them, but reflective, very apparently so, when she got very close.  Her Master, Unnos came over to her, and started to peer at the same subtlely mirrored walls - it wasn't obvious, but both believed these walls either caught or reflected magic; was this a natural phenomenom, or was it a trap, neither were entirely sure.

The Ranger asked them to stay put then went up ahead, he was hearing something, an echo of some sort. Going down another side passageway, he say the magical trace of a ward, a very strong or recent one. Going further, there was a furred humanoid standing tall and ready with a large curved sword in his paws. Not much further, another one of these furred humanoids, this one he could see the animal like face, but he had a long two-handed warhammer in his hands smashing down on group of cadavers, a common type of undead found in many dungeons. He look a step forward but the creature near the back of the large room, held up a hand, motioning him to stop. He understood, this wasn't a battle, these threats were minor and was safely in their paw.  `No need, Climber. This is ours to handle.` the creatures voice was calm and non-threateningm just a simple statement in full command.
Caventh realized these creatures were the Jackalla, the morticians known for their dedication to hunting undead creatures.

In almost every large community their Towers of Sorrow stood to intern the dead, as citizens paid a silver to place the True Dead in a peaceful resting place. Adventurers knew them much better for their perpetual hunting of undead, to keep the land and dungeons free from the undead scourge, ever threatening to overcome communities or places of magic.

`My team...` Caventh wondered for a moment if he should share their true goals with the slayers, he didn`t think they would find offense, but Rillo probably wouldn`t like it. 'are here to explore the dungeon.'

The slayer nodded, 'Your activities are of little interest to us, unless you strengthen the undead - either knowlingly or not. We care little for your treasure or politics as long as you maintain the Balance of Life.`

He understood that these lawful beings would turn agaisnt them or anyone that messed with magic that could boost undead creatures. `We are looking for a commander of Tower soldiers, have you seen anyone or any group that fits this general description?'
Yes, we passed one, three hours ago. Head north, the group is on a standardized path.`

Caventh`s attention turned to the sole hunter of the Jackalla group, using his warhammer to pound the creatures apart. `Are there many of those things in this Tower?' Caventh asked.

`No. For a Tower of this size, there are many warriors that do our bidding, willingly. The undeads numbers are small, but now and then, a new group is found.`

'You know this Tower?'

'Very well, for most...` the Jackalla priest hesitated for a moment, looking over to his brothers then back to the Jahlen again, `stages. Most stages have known themes, as creatures have similar interests tend towards each other, sometimes deliberately sometimes by accident of the environment. We study these places, to best seek out our foe.`

'If you know these corridors, can you guide us?'

'No. We maintain an alliance with many...creatures.`the cleric said balancing his words carefully. 'If we were to help you, you could come up agaisnt our would-be-allies. Your struggle with evil or politics or social ills is of no importance to us, we mantain the Balance of Life, nothing else. if we were to help you, our balance would be moved, and that is not for the best. The only one way, is payment in advance and eliminate an undead, whether a remnant, a student or an item. Then we repay, action with knowledge of what you are seeking.'

The ranger nodded, he didn`t like, but few civilized people begrudged the Jackalla, and understood their point, appreciating them for the betterment they did for civilization and peace. Caventh looked  over, and realized the combat was over. Three of the Jackalla had begun to gather the dozen bodies into a pile. Another took out a sack, and began to sprinkle dust on them, seconds later, the dust had buried them, immediately. As soon as he saw the Dust of Peace, Caventh had remembered that this was another reason Jackalla were so popular among adventurers, undead were a common threat, and immediate internment was the best way not to face undead repeatedly, as they often rose hours after defeating them. He negotiated with the cleric for a pouch of dust, then headed back.

The ranger explained the events, and none said a word of protest. Few intelligent creatures ever judged a Jackalla and their duties harshly. They were unforgvinging, hell-bent on an honourable duty - attacking the undead scourge. Best to know that they were here, the liklihood of running into an undead, especially powerful ones were much decreased with their ever-present activity. It also helped them understand why their outside figure needed to secret something inside, there were lawful eyes making sure no contraband came from outside. That's what they were carying, they all knew it, but didn't want to admit it to themselves. Sure, it wasn't something that dealt with evil spirits or undead, but it was still borderline illegal among the lawful groups and churches above.

They forged ahead, taking a side passageway, that split again in four, all going north. They took the one that looked the most travelled, plenty of bits of broken armor and weapons. As they through noticed plenty of small side rooms, some used, many looked abandoned. Continuing on, they saw a side-path, one that led to even more pathways. It would be so easy to get lost in here, not exactly a maze but close enough. They continued on, keeping generally the same direction.

They soon stopped, seeing a messy pile of debris on the ground, mostly weapons again, except this time in one of the side rooms.  Rillo looked carefully at the pile, and then realized they weren`t just battered, many of them were partially melted. She picked one of the pieces up, then bashed it on the ground, and it broke in half quite easily. `Caventh - these weapons are partially melted...why would they be piled up like this?`

The jahlen kneeled down and grabbed smaller bits, 'Rusters, I think. Snake like creatures that feed off metal.' He looked up, then put his arms out, Rillo walked back at his quiet insistence.  The Jahlen took a running jump, then bounced agaisnt the wall to hurl himself much higher. He grabbed the ceiling for a few moments then dropped back down. 'There are nets placed above. If we were to rush into them, it would drop the nets...They are hunting the rusters. Dwarven designed traps.'

'So our instinct was good to leave them alone.' Rillo said.
But if they are dwarven, then they probably would have a way to see or detect if something was triggered. Unnos?' Caventh spoke out, 'Can you scan the room?'

The sorcerer nodded, and began mumbling that turned louder each second. His eyes glowed purple, then shot out of him as he scanned the room. His eyes stopped and he pointed to an area, he went over and began scratching a the wall, until he caught on to something and threw it on the floor, a small hidden room, with a humanoid figure sitting down. For a second, none of them knew if this was a construct or even a golem or perhaps a living person.  Rillo walked over to it, a metal humanoid figure, sitting still, no motion at all.

'Is that alive?' Rillo asked Unnos, who shook his head.

'It could be a living metal, but we are not doing its activation mode...the trigger to ...'

Rillo nodded, 'Yeah , I get it. So nothing here...'  She waved her hands, motioning for the team to move further into the tunnels, looking for their contact or even better, a magical loci.

Roll # 1 - Going thru the halls DC 15
Roll # 2 - Wandering Monster Check (9/20) then D100 for below
                                 A - 10% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 10%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 70% Monster (3d20)
                                 D - 10% Monster (1d100)
Roll # 3 - Room Check 1d100

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Fairyland Cookie Monster

This was one of the many fairyland monsters I created to run an adventure at a con last year. Didn't actually get a chance to use them.

Biscuit Beast or Cookie Monster
CR 1
N (G); Humanoid (Fey)
Init +1; Perception +5

AC 12, touch 11, flat-footed 11 (+1 natural, +1 Dexterity)
hp 21 (2d10 +8)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +1

Speed 30 ft.
Melee Bite +2 (1d6+1)


Morale 17 – they very rarely retreat when hungry

Str 13, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 12
Base Atk +1; CMB 2 CMD 13
Feats: Connoisseur (Double all food related skill rates)
Skills: Perception +5,Survival +5, Knowledge (Food) +12
Weapons: Short Sword or Dagger (Typical)
Languages Faerie, Elf, Dwarven & Common

Location Usually Fey Forest
Alignment Neutral (Good)
Advancement: Bard, Ranger or rogue

Special Abilities

Unending Hunger: While Cookie Monsters can eat a standard amount of food, they are never fully satisfied. If given the opportunity, they eat an unending amount of food without suffering from the ill effects of excess consumption.

Stomach of Iron: Cookie Monsters are not harmed from bad food or natural poison. They may temporarily suffer the ill effects, but once the poison is consumed, it is slowly dissolved into a natural harmless by-products.

Cookie Monsters are five feet tall, blue furred humanoid creatures. They have large eyes and wide mouths. They are welcomed in almost every type of racial community, as dwarves, elves and halfling enjoy their company with open arms for their knowledge of food and food culture. They are infamous in fey communities for their sense of smell and unending hunger – they are never satisfied and will always eat more when offered. While they have an unlimited appetite, they do not need to consume, they merely enjoy it.

Most cookie monsters are quite happy to spend their time in the community or kitchen, but some adventure in order to help friends and allies. A few increase in HD / levels in order to locate rare ingredients.

Raising HD
Increase +5 skill points every HD
+1 in natural AC every HD until 7th, every second HD until 13th, and every three HD thereafter
New feat every second HD
Increase bite damage to higher dice every three HD
Increase attributes every four HD
+1 to Perception and Knowledge (Food) skill ranks every HD

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Gargoyle Brood ('Goyle or Cross-Breed Template)

One of my favorite creatures in a Tower Dungeon is the Gargoyle and the core idea of this beast was to mix the race to create a mixed variety of them. I really like this template and its one of the most useful templates in my gaming world. The idea is that the Gargoyle brood, referred to as Goyles, is a mish-mash of different creatures, winged warriors with minotaur, elven or dwarven abilities.

I will be honest, it was only after thinking about the whole process that I kinda grossed myself out. It made sense but its ugly. It's not really something that has come up in -game, but its a neat process that works out stylistically.

Gargoyle Brood (Template)

Size and type: Change to Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: +1d8
Speed: As original creature; gains fly 20 (Poor)
Armor Class: +2 natural AC on top of base creature
Attack: Gains Claw Attack (2 X 1d4 dmg)
Feat: Gain Multi-Attack

1-3 HD: 1d4 dmg; +2 Natural AC Bonus; 1 Dmg Red; Fly 20 (Poor)
3-6 HD:1d6 dmg; +3 Natural AC Bonus; 3 Dmg Red; Fly 30 (Average)
7-8 HD: 1d6 dmg; +4 Natural AC Bonus; 5 Dmg Red; Fly 40 (Average) + Tail Atk (1-3 dmg)
9-10 HD: 1d8 dmg; +5 Natural AC Bonus; 7 Dmg Red; Fly 50 (Good) + Tail Atk (1-6 dmg)
11-13 HD: 1d10 dmg; +6 Natural AC Bonus; 10 Dmg Red; Fly 60 (Good) + Tail Atk (1-8 dmg)
14-16 HD: 2d12 dmg; +8 Natural AC Bonus; 15 Dmg Red; Fly 80 (Perfect) + Tail Atk (1-10 dmg)

Special Attacks: Tail Swing (1d3) at 7 HD
Special Qualities: Dmg Reduction/by HD, Darkvision, Plus feature from maternal side
Abilities: Str +4, Dex +2, Con +4 at birth; +2 / every HD higher
Skills: Gain base skills as per their matron species. Then +4 bonus on acrobatics, intimidate, perception, +8 fly skill check bonus; +6 / every HD higher
Environment: Spirelands or Lonely Towers
Organization: Wing (3-6 gargoyles); Brood (11-20); Family (23-80)
Treasure: Half Standard
Alignment: Always Evil (Tend towards Neutral)
Level Adjustment: As base class +1

Appear quite similar to the standard gargoyle race, but these are the by-products of gargoyle’s ability to inter-breed with other species. Most have small horns, tough leathery skin, long but lightweight wings which appear folded while on foot. While most gargoyles use claws, the brood will use short swords or short bows to gain an advantage on their foes. They prefer smaller weapons as it is easier for them to carry in the air.

A gargoyle has two ways to reproduce: the first is through a rookery, which creates the standard gargoyle found in the Monster Manual, with small broods every year. As a fecund species, they can mate with any other humanoid species to create a cross-breed with features of both. Many tribes expand their numbers by forcefully mating with humanoids for specific traits to grow their tribes abilities.

For example, a dwarf-breed would be short and squat with abilities mimic their home species ability with precious stones. While a minotaur-breed would be larger and stronger. However, Goyle types are infertile, they cannot reproduce to form their own distinct racial group.

Most times, the "other" or mother species, are kept prisoner in the gargoyle lair, as their gestation period is half the time of the non-goyle. Sadly, due to the birthing process, most mothers do not survive the birth, thus there is always a need for more slaves. Mother is a generic breeding term, as the carrying breed does not actually have to be a female, but since the gargoyles are always looking for a mate that can survive the gestation and birth process, they look for female volunteers.

The brood have long been hated through-out the domain, as their slavery and mating process angers many peoples who have suffered at their hands. Their raids occur in a cyclical pattern usually every five to ten years. They attack towns at night to steal females away. They prefer smaller towns because the defenses are usually a lot less, and it is much easier to travel to and from them without being noticed.

Most packs have lairs in abandoned ruins. They will sometimes work with a lamia or medusa, but they really have no need as they have a wide group of brood members with various abilities. Goyles are fiercely territorial, claiming a mountain or Tower as their own territory and defend it to the bitter end.

Every Goyle pack is unique. Some work wing-on-wing with standard gargoyles, others are seen to be servants to the stone masters, in non-combat roles. They are strongest when the Goyle Brood forms a pack on their own.

Goyles do not gain the Freeze ability of full-blooded Gargoyles naturally, however after 7 HD they can gain it by taking using a feat to gain the ability.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

AC 17 touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, -1 size) 
hp 60hp (8d10+16 con)
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +6
Special defenses  8 Dmg reduction

Speed 30 ft.
Melee Heavy Axe +11  (2d6+6/×3) and gore +4 (1d6+2) or +9/+9 claw (1d10+4)
Special Attacks powerful charge (gore +12, 2d6+6)

Str 19, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 7, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +8 CMB +13 CMD 25
Feats Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack, Multi-Attack, Track
Skills Fly +8, Intimidate +10, Perception +10, Stealth +2, Survival +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Survival
Languages Minotaur, Gargoyle

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Thirteen Questions - City Intrigue

The Thirteen Questions

1. Tell me about a church, temple, ashram, etc. in this neighborhood

There are no holy buildings in this city, instead there are obelisks that are dedicated to a particular idea (justice, equality, etc.) Here in the Orag, is the obelisk of Truth. Once a ten-day, they gather to hear sermons from priests, lecturers or others on this or related subjects. Clerics gain a boon if they have a truth based spell memorized. Best place to obtain scrolls or potions in the area.

2. Tell me about a shop that sells standard equipment and one of the shopkeeper's quirks

An'Ram - A Jahlen, former adventurer well recognized for his stake in a multitude of adventuring parties. Is willing to equip or sell at a discount, but only until he hears the parties plans and intents. Some say he has hundreds of maps from his former patrons.

3. Tell me about someone who sells something illicit in this neighborhood

Quenno, a Tenderfoot (Halfling) notorious for his expertise in poisons. Has every recognized antidote in his shop, but its open only once a month for three days, and he never seems to be there. Lawful groups question why nobody has ever tried arresting him.

4. Tell me about a powerful wizard or warlock in this neighborhood

Shirik D'Kamag - Of the Elven Kamag Family. Was sent away for formal schooling, but came back with an understanding of Imps. Rumoured to be able to summon them almost at will, he sends them far and wide on little missions. On at least two occasions has summoned a horde of them for his own purposes.

5. Tell me about a feared warrior who lives in this neighborhood

Bruthos, Minotaur, 9th High Quartermaster. A former beloved gladiator who was ridiculed for cheating, and then came to the backwaters due to banishment. Has helped numerous times in bringing fugitives to justice if they have bounties, but has also been warned for bullying others. A notorious drunkard.

6. Tell me about someone who is wealthy in this neighborhood

Fanyen  D'Kamag - half-elf trader, who was originally an adventurer, but was the lone survivor of an expedition to the Yaross (Islands), who came ashore with a sizable stash. Bought his way onto the city counsel, and has kept a paw in the antiquities trade ever since.

7. Tell me about someone you can go to for help in this neighborhood

City Knights of the Purple Shield.  These former soldiers patrol every area in the city and are comprised of honourable or rich anyway men who survived local port battles. In order to keep their Walking Rights (non-taxation status) they must do two hours of patrol every week. They ensure all laws, customs, and civic duties are adhered to with absolute precision. They are the only ones that can kill someone in non-lawful combat without interference.

8. Tell me about someone somewhere  you can go to for information in this neighborhood

Head Post - A site of a former hangman`s noose, where the formless dead seem to gather. They watch the living, then whisper secrets based on what script is read. Some adventuring groups use this as a way to gather secrets about local dungeons. Others say the undead can inhabit the living to get their revenge by hopping into the would-be heros.

9. Tell me about a gang or criminal organization operating in this neighborhood

Four Fingers - a group that operates throughout the region. They have their spies in virtually every group, cult or order. If you want to know or get a small favour done, they are the ones to go to. Long tolerated, as they don't bother the ruling elites, who use them to spy on the lower classes.

10. Tell me about a pub, club, cabaret, gymnasium, bathhouse, etc. where adventurers hang out

Eye of the Bull: A pub that formerly was a cults HQ which is infused with magical influences, as the trace of magic energies from days or weeks gone by, are apparent to everyone. Strangely, spellcasters glow spectacularly, and even worse, they get drunk within minutes of coming into the Eye. Lots of games are played here, as it is one of the few places where magic cannot influence the outcome. 


Dorrine's, the lounge of choice for illusionists, who have been come here to get paid free drinks to change the apparent identity of the customer's to cavort with leisure.

11. Tell me about an ongoing problem in this neighborhood

Sekkets - a vile poisonous snake long thought wiped out in the wild, its venom is a popular mixture when processed as a dreaming potion, a very expensive draught. But these wild snakes seem to be causing the dream madness without the alchemical processing. Dreamists, the official group, who own the rights to the dream potion are upset that citizens are Drezzing without their concoction. But lots of teens and soldiers alike, are coming here for the freebie experience.

12. Tell me about a popular form of entertainment or a popular entertainer in this neighborhood


13. Tell me about a food or drink that is popular in this neighborhood

Dried Vennth, made from the Venn Bat, one of the local bat species that haunts the neighbourhood. Some say it can turn the hair or face a hot-pink colour if properly prepared.

 Inspired by :

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Nemesis or Evil Magical Twin - Template

A long time ago but still in this same galaxy, I loved playing the old Prince of Persia computer game. I adored the jumping, running and timing mechanics of the game. There was an enemy you created by going through a mirror, a magic duplicate. That was the inspiration for this monstrous template.

The Nemesis are often created by interaction with an artefact, powerful magical items that seek to protect its presence or influence others. While similar to a curse, it doesn't exactly manifest like one. It doesn't or shouldn't need a player to fail a saving throw, instead it is done by action, setting off a grisly turn of events. The Nemesis has only one objective, ruining the life of its generator.

A Nemesis can be used for a one-shot or specific dungeon. That's why it has the damage reduction and deflection bonuses. It is a perfect mirror of the character (attributes, skills, etc) except for the magic items so they should still be significantly weaker than the base character. While set up as a short-term dungeon foe, another way to use this enemy could be a long-term one. The creature sets out to ruin the PC by committing treasonous acts, not necessarily excessively evil ones so allies will know its not the individual. If you intend to use this type of creature, tone down the AC and damage reduction aspects, as it will have time to properly gear oneself.

Nemesis [Template]

This template can be added to any living Humanoid or Monstrous Humanoid. It happens when
good creatures are touched or affected by evil magics which creates an exact physical duplicate of the creature but it’s an evil, version; existing only to destroy the original creature.

Size and Type: It retains the creature type of the base creature. Do not recalculate hit points, skills, saves or BAB.

Speed: The base creature's speed is increased by 10.

Armor Class: Gains a deflection armor bonus of +4 versus it’s main target, +12 versus all other
creatures. It may have items that are common in an area, so give the creature weapons or items that typical humanoid creatures in a dungeon might have found.

Attack: A Nemesis retains any natural attacks it had before, and gains two natural slam attacks,
both of which are treated as primary natural attacks. If fighting in melee, a Nemesis prefers to
use it's slam attacks.

Size Slam Damage
Small       1d8 + any dmg for high strength
Medium    1d10 + any dmg for high strength
Large       1d12 + any dmg for high strength

Full Attack: A Nemesis fighting without weapons uses both of its slam attacks when making a
full attack, as well as any secondary natural attacks it might have. A Nemesis usually only uses
ranged weapons as part of a full attack.

Special Attacks: A Nemesis retains any special attacks from its base form.

Special Qualities: A Nemesis has the special qualities of the base creature, plus the following

-Darkvision out to 60 feet
-Damage reduction 5 /-- against its primary foe
-Damage reduction 20 / -- against all other foes

A Nemesis has near perfect immunity from creatures that are not it’s mimic copy. However, it has a 5/- against it’s original creature.

Frightful Presence (Ex): A Nemesis can radiate an aura of fear within a 50 foot radius around it. The Will saving throw DC for this effect is equal to 10 + the Nemesis' total HD plus any positive Charisma modifiers.  Those who fail the save, do everything reasonable to avoid the creature's presence. If they are unable to leave the presence, they cower, taking no actions against the Nemesis.
It's mimic copy is never affected by its fright ability.

Unique Weakness (Su): Many times a nemesis has a unique, personal weakness due to its own history. A childhood toy, a wedding ring, etc that if confronted with can make them hesitate, causing a -3 penalty to its attack for the next hour. Give a Will DC 18 to avoid this connection. Additional times being confronted by this item will required will save by 2. (DC 16 on the second time, etc.)

Abilities: Adjust from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Con --, Int -2, Wis +2, Cha -2.

Skills: A Nemesis has skill points equal to its base creature despite the changes in it’s ability

Challenge Rating:As base creature +1

Alignment:Always Neutral Evil or Chaotic Evil. Lawful Creatures will always have a Chaotic
version of themselves, all other creatures have a Neutral Evil mimic.

Dedicated to the my beautiful wife, one day I'll be brave enough to ask if she's the evil twin or not.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 8

Roll # 1 - Checking out the cage and lock DC 16 Succeed - DC 20
Roll # 2 - Further check on the room         DC 17 Fail 13
Roll # 3 Wandering Monster Check (6/20) Result 10 (Nothing substantial)
                                 A - 25% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 25%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 50% Monster (3d20)

Ennos removed her cowl as she approached the area. The immaculately white statue caught the others eyes, but it was the prison that caught her own. She wanted to touch it, but hesitated, her hands already up in the air, reaching out, looking for the information this location held. Intuitively, she tried to grab the mana, the magic - it often existed away, off from dweomered items, leaking from objects. It feed her, and she lapped it up, deliciously fragrant, aromatic to only her. There was much of that mana here, around this cage, it tasted old but still strong.

Her completely white eyes started to dazzle, as she peered at the cage, she saw fragments of the past. Glimpses into what was. Her hands expanded, as she looked into the item, droplets of red mana solidified on her, she saw the pounding of the light blue metal in the past. she saw images of the cage, in other places, not here, nowhere close to here. She saw flashes, on tall metal men, and war, and cages, prisons for other creatures. She closed her eyes, trying to shut them out, but it took her time. She saw a long history of the cage, but the statue... the dweomer from the cage blocked any history. "This is not from here, not from..." she hesitated looking for the right word, "here. It is planar, and old."

"The prisoner?" Rillo asked, caring only about the person inside. The beautiful, elegant, marble eligy inside. she was mostly nude, one of her hands holding her skirt to cover her lower half, her upper body twisted hiding most of her features. Her hair was long. Her features so small, so fragile, for a statue, yet still so stunning. The shackles were also stone, in a style not anything anyone recognized, chaining her to the floor. She was five feet away from their end of the cage, in the center of it.

"Nothing, it may not be alive..." Ennos said looking at the statue then Unnos then Rillo. "We have no way of knowing."

"The cage is old." Unnos said touching the blue steel frame. The cage was thin, the frame built in a style he didn't recognize. There was no apparent frame opening, or, it wasn't in their front at the least.

She nodded, the living mana-eater was certain about that. It was not from this world. It could be enchanted, but most likely not, it was the metal that had the qualities.

"Trapped?" Rillo asked, as she came forward, hesitating to touch it, "Is the cage trapped? Are there enchantments?"

Unnos spoke, as his student froze, looking at their commander, "She can tell us about the magic, not that. She is a reader..."

Rillo put up her hand to silence the Sorcerer, she didn't care, she wanted in. She took out her dagger and tapped the cage, watching for any subtle change. She waited a few more seconds and banged it - hard. It clanged and gave her a sharp shriek back, an electrical charge. She took her dagger and snapped at the cage, there was a light, but no discharge this time. She waited longer...still staring at the cage, then grasped it with both hands, it gave her a buzz again, but not enough to make her release. She yelled and banged her dagger up agaisnt the metal cage again and again until she stopped, her entire party was staring at her.

She stopped to look at it again...then shook her head. She closed her eyes, and tried to solve the problem in her head. But she didn't know where to attack it, where the cages weak spots were.  She looked it over again, looking for something to give her a clue. "Check the room...quickly." Rillo began diving into the property around the cage, looking for anything to give her a deeper understanding of what this was.

Unnos and Ennos spread out, to go over the storage areas. Debris from many meals, many visitors. This place seemed to unused for a long time. It was an odd mixture of faith but also knowledge, of magic, containing elements of both. There were hiding places, in the corners, where papers had probably been kept, but nothing here, all cleared out long ago.

Caventh had mostly ignored the area, then realized the wizard's familiar hadn't actually come into the sanctuary yet. He glanced around, looking for any signs of debris from pests or vermin. While not kept up, there were no small pools of animals came inside here.

The cleric had intuitively taken out his mace, and held it up to his shoulder. He was nervous to have the magic eater with them - but Rillo had insisted on it, she seemed so intent on getting their mission done as quickly as possible. Vasano had curiosity but more important didn't want his team mates hurt. He saw his commander frustrated, but he didn't know what to say or do, so he stood silently by. This temple of magic, which was a dreadfully odd phrase, seemed out of sorts, at least there was no signs of mana. The only possibility was, "This was a cult?" Vasano asked. In Nyssian terms, a cult was the worship of a deity not found on this world, there was many different or alternative forces that could be followed, with different names or rituals or focuses but the Being followed was on the Nyssian realm of existence. Officially a cult worshiped an outsider force.  This mixing of the rituals with arcana best fit what this could be.

"Uh-huh..." Rillo responded, which none of them knew exactly if that was a positive or not. she grabbed some debris and threw it on the floor, the old papers and writing materials."Nothing!`she screamed, frustrated and angry at not finding something, anything here to give insights as to how to get the cage open. "YES," she yelled at Vasano, "Most likely...' she calmed down, and sat at one of the benches.

"Did you expect to find a key, Rillo?" the ranger asked her, "How long do you think this place has been abandoned? 100 years, 500 years? How long have the patrols passed through here? Maybe 50 years, in that time how many of the scroungers have been here, how many times have this place been picked clean. Not just taking magic but anything, anything they can sell. There's nothing here."

"Damn it, Caventh, shut up! I know all that!" she said grasping at some of the debris and threw it towards him. "Still, we gotta try." She looked at him and smiled, then laughed. She nodded and was about to give them an order when Ennoss came over to stand immediately in front of the party cleric. She stopped for a moment to see what will happen.

"Follower of Darras." Ennoss said plainly and very slowly, as she addressed Vasano the party cleric, "You said, if I ever had a question of the gods, I could inquire to you." she said the words, and looked directly at him, straight into his medallion of faith, what he often referred to as his holy symbol.  The cleric nodded, and looked mostly at Unnos but kept at eye on Rillo as well.

"Why did you call this a cult? Why is this any different from your group of faithful?"

The cleric grasped his holy symbol of a hand glorified by by a star. Here, in this dark unholy spot it was little more than a medallion, but in cities it shone with magical energy the literal mana from the heavens. "They aren't different." the priest said, "from all of the faithful. From mine, yes, very different. From the core tenets of the Lord of the Poor, yes. They are holed up in this place, far from the city, far from community, plotting or sharing sinister secrets, vile rites. Others, from the earthly deities, may share some of the vile elements. But the difference is that these gods, even the worst ones, are still from here, from this land. These outsider powers, to get their power, their majic, they must be willing to offer a sacrifice, usually a dark and grisly ones. An evil force, based on this land can give their followers their boon without it. These outsiders, cannot. It is born of dark, sacriligious evil elements.

"It is why they come to these dark holes, to do their sinister actions away from the cities and the glorious obelisk temples. Shun that which hides in the dark."

"Is that why, clerics murder wizards? Why clerics kill others who do not worship their gods" Ennos said. Her wizard companion looked at her with some confusion, and the others did the same. She looked and sounded most times like a member of the party, someone that followed orders, but there was something that she obviously didn't follow.

"We don't. We stop those who hurt or kidnap or steal or kill from others. We don't hurt the weak - ever. " Vasano looked at her, plainly, simply saying the words, trying to understand what she was trying to learn.  Was it a true question, or goading him into saying something. He took his time, "Good aligned creatures won't do any of these things, unless it is to stop suffering of others."

"I have your word." Ennoss said, "And I know that you will not mislead us." All of them stared at her blue skin, so very alien to them at times.

"Is that a question? You don't ask questions, I do" Rillo said, coming in between Ennos and the cleric. "I pick the team members, and I trust each of you. Do your job and we will end this curse. Maybe not today or tomorrow but we will find a way. And that is enough. "

The ram-horned humanoids ears tweaked, he heard something. His hooves skittered across the stones, out into the hallway. His eyes adjusted to the darkness, enough to pick out a few shark fins skating across the walls. Shakrins - the wall rats, a nuisance for many underground inhabitants, unless they come in large enough numbers to cause problems.

Roll # 1 - Going thru the halls DC 11 Succeed - DC 20
Roll # 2 - Wandering Monster Check (8/20) Result 10 (Nothing substantial)
                                 A - 20% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 20%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 50% Monster (3d20)
                                 D - 10% Monster (1d100)
Roll # 3 - Room Check 1d100

Friday, 24 February 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 7

Roll # 1 Track Check +8 (vs DC 16) Succeed Find Evidence of lots of Dwarves
Roll # 2  Random Monster Check # 1    4 / 20 (2d10) Fail (+2 on next roll)
Roll # 3  Encounter A - 15% Location Roll - 2d10
                                 B - 15%  Monster (2d10) - Action determined (# 24)
                                 C - 50% Location
                                 D - 20% Monster (2d20)

Caventh was already stepping away from the party in the opposite direction as the dwarves went. There were so many boot prints from the various dwarven patrol, as this was not the start but in the middle of a long route they followed.  The  Ranger started to head down the pathway, motioning for his teammates to follow. The remaining members did as asked, keeping very quiet. Unnos motioned to Zounnos, his familiar, a winged snake to take flight, and watch their backs. Rillo and Unnos had small magicked devices that gave out a little light, but the rest of the party didn't need them.

The tunnel was approximately ten feet wide, and a little higher. They could have gone down side by side but the Jahlen led more than fifty feet ahead of the others and the others got into a standard formation zig-zag. Caventh's hoofed feet made barely a mark in the sand on the floor.  Every few minutes, he disappeared going ahead to scout, then returned to tell them that there were smaller rooms ahead, none of them with little interest.  They went down and passed the three rooms, all around 15 by 30 feet, and a quick glance revealed nothing, then came up to a turning corner, heading south.

They continued down the path, but switched so the Finder and commander of the party led. She went much closer to the walls, slower and a more deliberate step, she went around the corner and waved them forward. In the middle of the long passageway, was a 30-40 foot hole, and up from it many kinds of vines, with small bright colourful flowers. The vegetation didn't seem to match anything in the geographic region, much more vibrant.

Slowly continuing, Rillo turned to Caventh, `Is this natural?`

But it was their Sorcerer that answered, `Yes, it's called a bolt, a break in realities. It's not what we need.`

"It's not a portal?" Rilla asked, turning to Unnos.  Caventh started moving closer, very slowly, he took out his large axe and scanned.

"I doubt this goes to another world. It`s most likely somewhere else here, on Nyssarria."  Unnos explained, he closed his eyes and started to hum, concentrating. He opened his eyes moments later.

The Jahlen ranger came closer, and started smelling something...a wonderful bouquet of fresh vegetation, so many plants, and vines and flowers. The smell made him hungry for fresh food.
He hesitated, and as he looked into the jungle canopy, he swore he saw a pair of black eyes, staring at him, hiding behind some of the leaves.

The Ranger spoke in Elven, the most likely language of a plant based creature, welcoming the thing out. But it was not a puny, pointy eared humanoid, but a large, black furred ape, carrying a large metal sword, in a style of armor that he didn't recognize, walking carefully out.

His party members grabbed their weapons...but Caventh put up his arms to ward them off. He was not, a danger, or, not an immediate one. The ape held his weapon at bay, he growled something, and Vassano acknowledged in another language. the cleric held up his holy symbol, and there was no energy emanating from it. Not a threat, just not an ally.

'He's telling us to go.' the cleric said, 'very bluntly.' The ranger moved up, and grabbed some of the leaves to break them off, then brought them up to his mouth to take a bite. This was real, it was really there. When he looked up, he saw the ceiling. But when he looked down, there was a jungle. The ape shifted towards him, and he took a step back. Another motion in his periphery...this ape was not alone.

The cleric stated plainly, 'We don't need to confront him, he's not an enemy.' He looked at the ape, who had slightly moved towards the ranger, ready at any moment to strike him down

The Jahlen ranger stepped back, there was enough room on their pathway, then continued walking backwards. When he was safe, and passed the hole, he called out, 'Are you still seeing this?'

'What?' Rillo asked.

'Come over here and look at this!' Caventh said in wonder, and the human Finder slowly walked past, never losing the ape in her vision. But when she was three steps passed, the bolt, the ape, the plants, were all gone.

'Unnos, why are we not seeing it from where we are?' She took a slow swipe with her weapon, but there was no affect.

One after another, they all stepped past, and again it dissapeared quickly from their view. It wasn't just the view, Caventh heard, and smelled the bright living energy of this far away land. But now, none of it was there.

Unnos looked back and then added, 'The bolt is directional, it only works heading south, if we were to pass by it heading north...we may never have noticed it.' His eyes glowed brightly, as he hummed a spell, his eyes now cast a light outward. 'And there's no mana, no tell-tale sign of any magic anywhere.' He blinked, then moved back in the other direction, slowly until he could see the bolt hole again, he reached out to grab some of the vines, and tore it off.

'Toss me some of those plants again, very tasty!' the goatman said, most of his kin, the Jahlen, were herbivores, and those leaves were certainly fresh.

"How often does something like this occur?" Rillo asked, taking a few more steps away.

"Very rare." Unnos said, "But it can naturally occur. Many fae say this is how they travel between forests, but in small bolts. Not what we need."

"Vasano, what language was that?"`Rillo asked, turning to the heavenly cleric.

"It was a derivation of the natural Plant tongue. The Thornes taught it to me."`he said, "He certainly understood my reply." the cleric replied.

"Plant?" Rillo responded, "Plants talk?"

The heavenly cleric smiled, "No, but they do sing, a lot. Almost continuously in some places. You just have to know how to listen."

"Well we," the ranger replied, rocks thump. Like a drumming sound."

Their leader shook her head, trying to wrap her head around it. Then remembered her mission, "We have someone to find...move it!" Rillo said, and took the lead again heading south, again the tunnel turned, and lead to three smaller rooms on the left side. These, for the most part looked

like natural formations in the caves, they had sections that were more worn out, but, nothing seemed to be alive in them. The passageway took a sharp angle down, still passable but they needed to slow their pace to avoid tumbling over, the Jahlen again led the group.

 As they headed down, he began seeing something on some of the stones. He leaned in to see some of the natural grooves filled with a pusy orange colour, then he looked up, scanning around, seeing a break in the rock. He motioned up to the others, then preped himself in order to jump. His people were considered the best jumpers, but normally it was to find footing during an escape or battle. His strong limbs let him take two small steps and bounce upwards, high enough to grab onto the upper surface and look in.  Quickly he dropped the thirty feet back down to tell the others, "Slime trap. Follow my lead, stick tight to the walls." The party did as requested, staying very close to the walls. Caventh wasn't sure if this was a natural trap by some barely conscious slime creatures, or one set up by someone using these creatures.

Not long after the slime trap, they noticed the tunnel sloped downward again, not exactly a slide, but if one were too heavy or too fast that could always trip. Rillo took over, scouting up ahead, she motioned for the group to stay put. Coming back a few minutes later, she explained that there was a slime pit up ahead, and the passage way split off.

They took their time headed down the stone tunnel, as the slime trap was not natural, but it was fairly easy to understand and avoid. The pit they passed down was very deep, fifty feet down, and it was well designed as to have no notice before the drop. Rillo indicated she wanted to go down and see if there was anything left over, but Caventh hesitated. In other traps like this, it was used to capture and kill invaders, then take their equipment, and at that depth, most likely all but coins or magic trinkets wouldn't be able to survive the fall.  The slimes in the pit did not seem to notice them, they were barely aware of anything other than their natural tendencies to slog and hunt.

They had two choices of immediate path, one going mostly west and the other immediate east. Since the west one had much more footprints from boot marks, that seemed to be the most logical. heading along, they found a much larger room than any of the other areas they had seen so far, when Caventh looked in, he reined the others over. There were benches, two aside and a dozen deep, all lining up with a small pedestal. There were no other symbols on it, so the group wasn't sure if this was a religious area or not .The area was in disarray, though no immediate signs of magic.

Caventh noted the four dark tapestries along the back wall, so faded, it would be easy to miss if one wasn't paying attention. As in the upper Tower, windows were up around fifteen feet, though no light was pouring in. The two tapestries on the outer rim showed generic battle scenes at first glance, the interior two showed elegant display of hundreds of rings. They opened them up, showing three mostly empty storehouse, containing broken items, books, small figurines. Mostly garbage. But the last one contained a cage, and in the center of the locked room was a solid, white stone statue of a woman held in chains.

Roll # 1 - Checking out the cage and lock
Roll # 1b - The Statue (DC 19)
Roll # 2 - Further check on the room (DC 13, DC 16, DC 22)
Roll # 3 Wandering Monster Check (6/20)
                                 A - 25% Monster (2d10)
                                 B - 25%  Monster (2d20)
                                 C - 50% Monster (3d20)

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The Enzalmed Skull of Kaiddor'Vec

I love it when someone posts an idea that inspires me into game tinkering. Thanks +Christopher Mennell

The Enzalmed Skull of Kaiddor'Vec

Zalming is an ancient and generally outlawed practice of taking bones from spell-users and creating a spell focus from them. Most often, practitioners of this vile art take complete bones from fallen spell-casters (Mages, Clerics but any other is possible) and coating them in plaster just after their deaths. The idea being since magic never truly leaves the body, so it acts as a focus for spell-casters, giving a spell a +1 or to the DC of one of their spells once a day.

While this is generally the understood practice, stories tell of the ultimate instance of this magic when a renown magic user named Kaiddor began enzalming himself before their death. His family, the di Vec* clan were regognized artists and had vast fortunes from their work with royalty. There are various rumours about why he did this, the one most believed is that he was trying to change himself to lich in a unique fashion, enzalming himself while alive. Instead of taking his own life to complete the ritual, he was kidnapped by a group of dark cultists and executed, his head removed. Since he had already prepared himself, they they had a complete and powerful Enzalmed Spell-Head.

Mechanically it can either provide three additional spell levels of a caster's lowest spells they can cast per day, or it can provide +5 on spell focus for non-healing or fire related learning spells.

Cost: 10,000 gold pieces, Spell Level: As 7th level Caster

*di XXX is the designation of honoured families in any given area. Many have specific rights over non-honored families, including taxation and voting. Thus when he was alive, his recognized name would be Kaiddor of House Vec or Kaiddor di Vec in common usage. Stripping him of the recognition of the family is a significant embarrassment to him and potentially any offspring who could also lose these same rights.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 6 b

The party settled into the back of the unit, but two dwarves immediately walked behind them as they came up to the front of the Tower. From just a few hundred feet away, it looked like a solid grey stone wall, but this close, they could see the many colours of the stone meshed together,

There was a group of black armoured human soldiers at attention there, elaborate weapons at the ready. One of the Keranites greeted the Dwarf First Axe commander and his herald shouted the proper responses, and the guarding soldiers stepped back, letting the party through.

Almost immediately there were in a large high room, filled with weapons rack, armor and crates. The circular room was more than 500 feet around, no pillars or other support networks, ceiling was fifty feet high, and three  stairs lead up to differing parts of the upper levels.  A dozen or more triangular windows streamed light in, yet there were no windows on the outside of the Tower, certainly none less than 400 feet high.

There were around a hundred human men, most wearing armour in the various colours of their faith. The Black Kerintes, Gold Quannians, Purple Casnians, and Orange Japethians mostly kept to themselves in their groups, all huddled around a ladder, in four ends, each directly opposed to each other. Most of the soldiers were not at attention, they were laying down or sitting, playing card games or drinking, doing what soldiers did everywhere.

The Dwarves headed to the Orange Coloured followers of the god Japeth, Holy Knight and Defender of the Weak. His followers were the strictest of the good aligned gods, many of them strove to be Paladins, but even those that did not abide by the rigid code, still tried to be dedicated to good causes. One of the Orange suited human soldiers came out and greeted one of the Dwarves, and then a few others came out and did the same, shaking hands and having polite words. No one said anything to their company who were among the Dwarves.

Vasano knew who each of these groups represented and why they were here; every soldier, knight, or even priest and many others often came to the Obelisk churches in the city for healing or curse removal, most often they would be sent to these locations to serve in lieu of coins. If not for the formality, he could strike up conversations with probably a dozen of more of the men here, who like him served one of the gods - yet among the rigid formality, he could not, they could not. Peace was more important than arguments, even polite ones. They served together because they had to, in case anything from below the tunnels again. They each had their role, and out of formality tried to avoid making any kinds of political waves. There was magical energy here, but unlike most he was exposed to, it was not aligned, it was a chaotic, uncontrolled, and a taint of evil.

The sorcerer realized what this place was, and it overwhelmed him. In every city, there were two or more obelisks that provided the magical energy from the gods, these were the centres of faith.  All magic users used this energy, whether as the faithful clerics, or the mages that usurped the energy, or even sorcerers that was gifted access. But this Tower brimmed with more energy than any place he had ever experienced...he could cast his spells repeatedly without losing them in his memory, exactly like clerics in large cites. The question came to him. if this placed exploded with such magical energy, why were there no spellcasters here? He looked around, and he saw a few clerics or paladins here, but where were the Wizards?

Some of the Dwarves pulled out coins and threw them down the hole beside the ladder, they were gifted with magical light, and they began to go down the stairs. Even before their party reached the ladder, the dwarves were already at the bottom level, and began to move in a rhythmic manner, going thru the pathways, towards another ladder. They moved into another room, another tunnel, another ladder. Their train went on, and on, a dozen times. The entire party going through the steps.following the Dwarves who knew this path.  Sometimes the ladders descended twenty feet, other times, more than a hundred feet. The rooms, the floors, the ladders, no patterns but the Dwarves knew where to go without delay.

Eventually, going down one of the larger ladders, the party noticed the dwarves had remained firm, circled around the ladder until everyone came together, The leader, the First Axe spoke to them. `That was two hours to get here, it will take us three to go back. There are other ladders, but this is the quickest path, and you wont get lost. Get back here in five hours, and you can travel back. If you deviate, you will get lost. We won`t go looking for you, and I doubt your employer will either.`

Rillo, the smallest of the party had already taken out her two daggers, placed them at her side as she looked around, `So, if we see something - we can kill it? If we find something - we can take it?'

The First Axe nodded his head, 'I would give you more precise suggestions, but I know you won`t listen. Don`t take anything nasty or evil out, leave it down here - those soldiers above won`t just kill you...they can do much worse. Trust me on this...anything more than a trinket they will confiscate it.`

Rillo nodded, and so did the rest of her party in agreement. Almost in unison the dwarves lifted their axes and pushed out an 'ooph' and then began their route.

As soon as the Dwarves left, Unnos spoke up, `You may not feel it, but there`s mana here. Pools of raw magic. Unlike anything I've ever felt. Do you feel it Vasano?`

The cleric looked at him and shook his head, `Do you understand, Freecaster,` using an old pejorative term for any magic user not dedicated to serving the gods, 'This isn't mana. This is Not from the gods. It is chaos from the depths, from the Darkness.` He took out his holy circlet, his connection to the divine, without it he could cast no spells or affects. Anytime he was around divine energy, it would glow, to indicate the magnitude of the energy. If Unnos was correct, it would sparkle with energies, but it was blunt, no sparkle, no light. 'Any divine energy, I would feel it. This is dangerous... Avoid casting spells.'

Caventh grabbed his hammer tightly, and looked away from the others...he was sensing something, what was near them?

'So..`' Rillo said, `'You have less energy' she said pointing at Vasano, 'And you`re drunk with it.' motioning to Unnos. She shook her head. `'We have two missions in six hours. We find the guard Renthok, and if we have enough time we... look for what we came here for. we are not engaging unless we have to.`

`Tracker...'  Rillo motioned to Caventh who had already stepped away, looking for signs of movement.

Roll # 1 Track Check +8 (vs DC 16)
Roll # 2  Random Monster Check # 1    4 / 20 (2d10)
Roll # 3  Encounter A - 15% Location
                                 B - 15%  Monster (2d10)
                                 C - 50% Location
                                 D - 20% Monster (2d20)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
DMs Note: Up until now, I haven't been using the characters actual skill scores for checks, they are only in use while in dungeons / gameable situations. Also, the way I use them is each time a character succeeds in a check, they get a -1 for the next identical skill roll by that character in the same day. 

Example: Caventh the Ranger has +8 in his track skill. If he attempts to simply identify a set of tracks and succeeds, then on his next roll, he gets a +7, etc for the remainder of the day. If, on his roll he fails, but tries immediately (5 rounds or less) thereafter on the same check, he would get a -5 penalty assuming everything else remains the same.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

"Company of the Hardened Anvil" PT 6 a

"Company of the Hardened Anvil" PT 6 v1

Roll # 1  Meeting the Patrol Leader (DC 11)  +5 - Result 9 (Fail)
Roll # 2 First Level In (DC 12)  +4 - Result 6 (Fail)
Roll # 3 Stairs Down (DC 14)  +3 - Result 14 (Succeed)
Roll # 4 - Any other suggestions?

At the appropriate time, the party made their way toward the Tower, trying to ignore all the distractions on the path. There were many, anyone with coin in their pocket or longing in their heart or a dry mouth, could find something to better capture their attention. But the early moon was out, it was early evening and they had somewhere to be.  The Tower knights paid them little attention, but a few of the marching soldiers looked directly at them.

A hundred feet outside of the site, a group of well armed and heavily fortified Dwarves, around twenty or so, stood ready, but not in attention, their flag had the markings they were looking for. All of them had very similar weapons, an axe, hammer and crossbow, and their armors mirrored each other in precision. This was not a rag-tag bunch of volunteers = these were soldiers, professional ones. They looked old and rugged and marking of experience across their faces.  A few of them looked over, but there were no welcoming shouts.

The party stopped, and Rillo stepped forward, looking for someone who looked different, someone who looked in command. None of them spoke, or lifted a hammer, the most traditional way for Dwarves and their allies to greet one another. Rillo wasn't sure what these men, these Dwarves were told, if anything. 'Is there a Lead in this group?' She waited for a sound, but a few guffaws greeted her, but they all stood silently still, looking at the party.

'Wee're heere to elp ye in yer search.' Rillo spoke again, changing her accent to the Spirelands, the mountains of rock that bolt up from the earth to high above the sky, hoping that this would get a better reaction from them. Again nothing.

The ranger, Caventh came up to her, and put a hand on her shoulder. 'First Axe' he said in Dwarven. His people the Jahlen were called Stone Brothers by their mountain Dwarf kin, in many places, he hoped they would recognize him as an ally.

'Ye be Raiders?' came the reply by one of the Dwarves in the same tongue, who stepped out. No weapons in his hand, but his armor semed a little different than the rest.

"No. We're working for Vorrecknos the Bull" A bunch of the dwarves jeered and turned away. The leader said nothing and did not move, at first.

"Your first mission for him?" the fighter asked... Caventh nodded. "Do you know his reputation?"

Caventh hesitated, "We're We need to get below, he was..."

The Dwarf commander finished his sentence, "The easiest way to get below."  The jahlen froze, he could tell the Dwarf disapproved. The First Axe commander turned away, but spoke, "Follow us. Don't get in our way...when we get down to the 20th floor,  you'll have five hours, maybe six. Whatever you want done, do it. No slaves, no undead...If we get bounty, you don't get a share."

"Got it." Caventh said slowly. He wanted to go up and shake the dwarves hand, but hesitated. The commander wasn't angry, but his contempt was heavy. So the dwarves weren't allies, probably knew they wouldn't turn them away,

Ennoss stepped forward to speak with him. 'They cast belief spells...they don't trust us.'

Their leader, Rillo said bluntly - 'First steps. We may stumble but we need to get down there.'

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil PT 5

"Company of the Hardened Anvil" PT 5

Roll 1 - Required DC 15 (+6) = Getting to Vorrecknos; Rolled 22 - Success
Roll 2 - Required DC 20 (+4) = Dice Games; Rolled 8 - Strong Failure

The entire party started making their way through the camps, filled with the soldiers and rogues from across the region. Most of these men were here for short periods and did their honour bound duty. Others came for the pitiful pay or a chance to make it rich down below. The most desperate were these scoundrels, not used as explorers or guards but a living barricade, thrown into the mass combat, if something were to re-appear out of the Tower or its catacombs. Most served a few years and saw no action, then returned to a normal prison having served a substantial part of their sentence. For others, there was no return, if they did face an encounter from the caverns most likely they would be dead.

The Casnian guards were very light around here, a few soldier standing in groups of three or four, paying little heed to anything except their conversations with each other. If one didn't recognize the purple flags, one could almost assume they were regulars, here fighting for glory or wealth. An assortment of creatures, Dwarf and Human were the majority of the prisoners and a few others like Tender, and Minotaur, and some more that couldn't be immediately identified. Some had small

Vorrecknos sat at a table with a group, who he pushed away with a snort when he saw the adventurers approach. The whole party started to come closer, and he put up his hand, to say that only one need come forward.  Caventh did, and the two had a brief conversation, the Minotaur told his Jahlen associate what to do, deliver a package to a guard, and return for half the pay tomorrow evening. Nothing was really illegal, just frowned upon as Vorrecknos explained it. Caventh left for a moment to speak with his group.

Unlike the rest of her party, Ennos was hard to recognize, she deliberately dressed in dark cloaks to limit potential recognition. Few non-casters would ever know of her people, but she had been accosted many times in cities before having to flee, and didn't want her party to suffer with her, especially among the most technical and lawful, the faithful of Casna. She did her best to get a view of the Minotaur, but what she saw was the bold red skin and hair, a paid of magnificent white horns - Vorrecknos was Knothian Minotaur, a true-born. His grey skin and black feeble was horn was probably due to poisoning. This was a bad sign... she explained it to Unnos, but he sushed her, not a point right now, but certainly intriguing.

Rillo asked if anyone had problems accepting the deal, and all but Vasano agreed immediately, while they all wanted to get below, the cleric was unsure. He still didn't trust the Minotaur but the others were trying to convince him to take the risk. The cleric looked down at his holy symbol circlet, which had a slight brown glow emanating from it, there was danger but he was unsure if this Minotaur bastard was what he felt ... he nodded agreement, they had to get below.

The ranger stepped back and said the group consented. Immediately thereafter, the Grey Minotaur dropped two bags down. One he explained is half the payment, the other was to be delivered to Renthok, a Dwarf guard on the 20th floor. The best way to get below was with one of the patrols, he gave them a badge that would enable them to work with one of the Dwarven patrols. All of the party knew this wasn't strictly above board, it skittered the lawful structure in the Tower guard - probably not enough to get arrested though.

As the party headed back to their camp, Rillo noticed a small tent outside the prison area, a place with considerable movement. She slowly made her way closer and recognized this as a small gambling den. She made careful observation of where the watchers were, and who the patrons were, a majority of Tender, Elves and human soldiers. The dealers she couldn't recognize, but she was sure that this was a place of action. She made her way there but was stopped by two guards in black armor, long tall black feather, they carried flails and elaborately decorated crossbows; they were obviously from the Church of Keran, one of the largest lawful groups in the realm, strictly lawful and usually very evil.

They asked her about the third moon...and she had no proper reply, she didn't know the correct passwords, so they dismissed her and said it was a busy day and she couldn`t make it into the gaming tent. She knew if she had the time she would find the passwords by talking with enough people in the area, Was this a casino of Fatanus she wondered, but why would the Keranites be guarding this? This was something to remember for another day.

Roll # 1  Meeting the Patrol Leader (DC 11) +4
Roll # 2 First Level In (DC 12)  +3
Roll # 3 Stairs Down (DC 14)  +3
Roll # 4 - Any other suggestions?

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil Pt 4

1. Implore the tent of Darras for permission to enter the Tower in one of their patrols? (DC 12) +4  Roll # 1 - Required DC 12 (+4) = 8 = Result Fail

2. Can they find a way to sneak into the tunnels or Tower? (DC 15 / 18) +3 Roll # 2 - Required DC 15 / 18 (+3) = 5 = 8 = Result Fail

3. Can they make a connection in one of the pubs? (DC 18)  +2 Roll # 3 - Required DC 18 (+5) = 22 = Result success

4. Any other suggestions?

The night went quiet, only the lone bugle of formation broke the otherwise silence. All of them, focused on their goal, did not go out until early morning, all intending to get sleep.

The spell caster and his ally went out before the screech of the cochin, the early morning soldier ritual. They wanted to scan the Tower in different light, to see if there was any not-so obvious way into the Tower or tunnels. A group of early morning clerics, from an assortment of the churches made their way round the Tower, stopping at designated points to do both shared and quiet prayers. Unnos, the Sorceror and Ènnoss, went with them. Their path was obvious so the two could hop out of line easily enough, do their scans and head back into order without raising too many questions. Again, like their previous scans, nothing in the Tower or the path grabbed their attention, nothing sparkled with magic or energy or possibility. This was a closed point. People, not magic or energy came from the Tower. Both of them were perturbed, neither had seen anything like this in any of the town or dungeons they had been to in their career. By the time the prayer circle was over, both were even more determined to investigate the Tower from within. (Roll 2, failed)

Just before the two returned to their tent, the cleric Vassano made his way back to the stables of Darras, hoping to make a connection to get into Tower soon. Again, fairly quickly he was greeted by Lei-Lanna. She explained that she had not found a suitable group for them to accompany into the Tower. There were soldier squads they could join, but they all had missions away from the Tower. She assured Vassano she had connections, but it would take a few more days. He noticed there were many more followers there today, many of them in brown cloaks or tunics, but others as well, many in military uniforms.  Most were there to arrange transportation of items to or from the location, he tried to weigh everything in his mind, could he come up with a deal that could help his party out. (Roll 1, failed)

Rillo and Caventh went to some of the large feeding tables, group meals for some of the poorest assigned to the Tower. While many of them were sponsored by the churches or militia groups, others were much smaller, and this one with a purple circle surrounding a tower, distinctly different then the Tower here. Purple represented the colour of Casna, Lord of Laws, the strictest church with ever-exacting laws, rarely known for forgiveness. These were convicted criminals...not the best sort for most things, but, perhaps for what the group wanted, a chance to get inside.

Caventh asked around, and found that one of them, a convicted warlord by the name of Vorrecknos, was looking for some volunteers. Asking around, he saw the brute of a Minotaur, a grey skinned beast, bulging muscles, who looked like he could tear a human apart...except for the glowing purple tattoos that proclaimed him a criminal, he would want to share an ale with him. When asked what the job was, the monster smiled and said delivery inside the Tower tonight, the pay was 100 crowns. (Roll 3, Success)

The ranger and rogue didn't entirely trust Vorrecknos, but did any of the others have a better chance at getting them inside? They returned to their team, and they each explained their findings. At least right now they felt the grey Minotaur offered the best chance. Caventh explained what most of them already knew, his people, the Jahlen were blood-kin to Minotaurs, not exactly allies, but not blood enemies either. His people were of the spires, tall mountains in the north. He didn't recognize this type, if it were a true type. The standard Knothian type had red flesh and many of them lived near the Western Seas or High Forest, nowhere near here. They all seemed to be willing to meet Vorrecknos to hear what the job was and could it help them get inside?

Roll 1 - Required DC 15 (+6) = Getting to Vorrecknos
Roll 2 - Required DC 20 (+4) = Dice Games
Roll 3 - Any other suggestions?

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil Pt 3

"Company of the Hardened Anvil" Pt 3

1. Investigate the tent of Darras for details on patrols? (DC 12) Roll 1 - Required DC 12 (+2) = 24
2. Can the wizards gain any inkling into the area, tunnels or Tower? (DC 12 / 15 / 18) Roll 2 - Required DC 12 / 15 / 18 (+2) = 11
3. Any weapons or equipment they can find that could be useful?  Roll 3 - Required DC 15 (+3) = 20

Vassano was excited as Caventh told him that there was a tent belonging to his church. His faith more so then the others was not an adventurers one, most of the clergy spent their lives in the towns and cities, serving the needs of the common citizen. They helped to organize and protect, or, that's what his brethren did. Churches, even those worshiping the same deity, often focused on different aspects of the god's portfolio, so not every priest had the same list of prayers or spells or rituals. While rarely enemies they did not always help each other. Certainly the other good faiths had much more specific requirements from their members, even for the visiting clergy from afar, but his, at the very base of belief, was to share, so he believed that many of his own parties most common simple needs would be covered.

The young celestial man made his way towards the small tent that was the centre of the Brown Lancers, the organizing militia group for his faith. Brown, was the colour of the faithful, as all gods had a colour associated with their groups. He realized that the tent was so much farther out, as there were large stables surrounded it. The first soldiers he saw around it wore gold and purple in their insignia, followers of Quanna and Japeth, other Quadrane, or good-aligned gods.  The stables had large openings near the top, griffon stables.

He dropped a small offering into a pot placed near the opening of the shared tent as he entered the tent that help fewer than a dozen men, far smaller than many of the others around the Tower.  A young priestess, Lei-Lanna, dressed in a simple brown tunic came over to welcome him, and after a short discussion he realized their job here was but to serve the other groups near-by, especially the couriers. Their conversation drifted and he learned bits more about the customs and processes of the various groups, with her help, he could find someone to help them skip the queue, get into the Tower relatively quickly. In the middle of the talk, both of their holy symbols, universally worn as neck medallions, both glowed brightly, he looked around to find something  or someone different coming into the area, something of considerable power, Lei-Lanna closed her eyes and smiled. She promised that she would give him the names of contacts in a day or two that would assist.

After being told bits about of the area, Unnos the Sorcerer and Ènnoss, the monk were both nervous, something was very wrong about this place. Unnos was a student of spells, and the other, an eater of magic, someone that could steal mana or magic energy from items, they worked together for longer than any of the others in their group.  Spellcasters should be more obvious, as there was no Obelisk to act as a central focus. In cities, even without magical academies, wizards could utilize the magic being emanated from the churches obelisks to cast their spells, even if they never came physically near one, the magic was everywhere. Here the energy was everywhere, the same as being on holy ground, but there was no central focus. It would make sense if it came from the Tower,  but it should be glowing brightly with the spiritual or even arcane energies, but it wasn't, there was no signs. So where was this mana coming from. And was anyone controlling it?

They made their way around the various compound, as Unnos had cast detect magic, hoping to find another large obvious sources in the camps. While he found dozens of sources, but they were like him, low level spouts, there shouldn't be enough mana here for him to recast his spells continuously, yet even without an obvious source, he had the energy. Ènnos came to the conclusion that if there were any cabals of spell-casters, they were inside the Tower, as none of the tents, none of the humanoids emanated the energy required.  They decided to keep the facts to themselves, they needed to get deep inside to learn more.

Rillo and Caventh did their best to scout around looking for some vendors selling more rare items. As soon as they saw the three red ogres outside a delicate silver tent, they knew they had found what they were looking for. They came in to see a copper coloured dwarf, dressed in scarfs covering his body, a small axe by his side and a whistle around his neck. In most cities, a Zinth, or Sand Dwarf was often the best source of magic, but there was usually a catch, they only traded enchanted items, they cared little for the gold or silver pieces most others groups used. Jor-Cannah spoke at length, about places from far and wide, of the deals he had done. But his conversation was slanted, asking questions about them and their needs.  They settled on two magical items, an Astral Stone (which opened portals) and a Scream Stone (which screamed in the presence of predetermined objects, such as gold or myricke) and the payment was five bright feathery plumage of Zaooriche, an elegant land avian they had hunted in the Zoork desert. Their last question for him, left them bewildered, as he wouldn't state when he would stay in the spot, travelling was his response.

By the early evening the team regathered at their tent, to share their info and plans. They needed to get below, they didn't have many days before their opportunity was lost.
What next steps should the party take:

1. Implore the tent of Darras for permission to enter the Tower in one of their patrols? (DC 11)

2. Can they find a way to sneak into the tunnels or Tower? (DC 15 / 18)

3. Can they make a connection in one of the pubs? (DC 18)

4. Any other suggestions?

Thursday, 19 January 2017

2nd monster listing

Here is my most recent listing in the last year and a bit. Many of them were created for a local con in which I intended to run a series of my version of Candyland Adventures, a mixture of silly and dangerous creatures. It didn't end up going the way I wanted to, but I did get some sessions in, so that was fun. Much of the blog are updates of creatures that fit into my game world or to update them to various HD levels so I can use the monster in a more varied way than the standard beast.

Spire Giant - The most typical Giant in my world
Novarin - Dungeon Caretakers
Maedar - Male Medusae with HD levels
Iron Salamander - In replacement of the Fire Giant
Ferrasil - Forest neutral aligned Minotaur,with horns that grow and do higher damage
Heeler - Healing Snake
Jackalla - Undead Hunter
Inhuman Subtype
Aether Mist - Powerful Hunting Mist that can be summoned
Dral - Shadow Elves, Good & Honourable Dark skinned Elves
Oompa Loompa - Candyland Theme from Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka
Cupid - Small Angelic Figures & Candyland Theme
Eggston - Egg Man; Candyland Theme
Winged Monkeys, Wizard of Oz; Candyland Theme
Tin Man - Wizard of Oz; Candyland Theme
Teddy Bear Golem -  Candyland Theme
Bon Homme  - Candyland Theme
Gourd Men (Scarecrows) - Wizard of Oz; Candyland Theme
Pinnochio - Candyland Theme
Munchkin - Wizard of Oz; Candyland Theme
Card Soldiers - Wizard of Oz; Candyland Theme
Care Bear - Candyland Theme
Candyland Witch - Wizard of Oz; Candyland Theme
Thorne-Kin  - Sentient Plant Humanoid
Fiddling Cat - Candyland Theme
Zunnel - Hair Beast (Rapunzel`s Daughters) Candyland Theme
Night Gremlin - Candyland Theme
Moother Goose  - Candyland Theme Boss Lady
Strangling Jack - Candyland Theme
Nighttime Lurker - Candyland Theme
Little Piggies - Candyland Theme
Advanced Flumph - Flumph with monster HD levels
Phaetox - Powerful Lawful Aligned Humanoids with fire wings
Candibodies - Magical Dr Who / Sci-Fi Themed Version
Clockwork Clicker - Wind-Up Clockwork Animal
Nyssian Choker - Creature with humanoid levels
Blue Bees - Magical Bees
Smurfling - Candyland Theme
Vined Soldier - Low Level Plant Creature
Jann - Advanced Version with HD levels
Snoopy - Candyland Theme
Infected Lycanthrope Template
Chund - Hunger Beast Head with tentacles
Doposylla - Dr Who / Sci-Fi Themed Version
Fuul - Pokemon / Candyland Theme
Restless - Undead Template
Nyssian Sylph - Leveled Fey Humanoid with wings
Displacerus - My Displacement Beast
Snow Cloakers - My snow version of a cloaker
Nutcracker - Candyland Theme
Aspect of Bacchus - Magical figure representing the musical god

Sunday, 15 January 2017

"Company of the Hardened Anvil" Pt 2.

Play by Post Game
"Company of the Hardened Anvil" Pt 2.

Roll 1 - Required DC 12 (+2) = 22
Roll 2 - Required DC 15 (+2) = 7
Roll 3 - Required DC 18 (+3) = 15

With very little prodding, Caventh was lucky, finding some old friends of his in one of the few small tent pubs set up to serve the soldiers. Bowyers he fought with years before, who gave him a good inkling of the groups found here. Officially the Savinyon Kingdom required every family to send no fewer than two male children to serve for two months (100 days) every Cycle (Year) in the military. Almost half served with the religious groups that came, from all of the good and lawfully aligned faiths. The Quadrane, the four holy gods of good alignment were the most worshiped and represented here, and Vassano, one of his own group served, Darras, Lord of the Downtrodden.

After the human churches, the dwarven military consisted of the next highest in number and might.  Apart of a multitude of families and clans, coming in here in equal numbers to serve a Power or to collect a pay - unlike the human volunteers who served their kingdom. Many of them hundreds of years ago were the workers and warriors that were stationed here. Their tents were larger in size and stayed to themselves mostly. Unlike the humans who helped to patrol both the tower and the ground around it, the dwarves stuck to the lower reaches. Considerably smaller in size, an elven and tenderfoot (halfling) and jahlen (ram-humanoids) also sent soldiers to serve alongside either dwarven or human counterparts.

Lastly, there were the scum, the lowest file, the mostly human mercenary bands that came for the legendary hordes of riches found in years past. Quite a few of the bands had an open place on their ranks, but most of them would have conflicting views with his own party members. There were dozens of these groups, almost as small as his own, that found a way to wedge themselves into the patrols and hunts.

If stuck, Caventh believed the faithful of Darras were the most obvious way to get permission to enter the Tower.  They would probably have to wait from two to three weeks on their own before being permitted to go into the Towers below...unless they could make some sort of arrangement.

Many stories have long been told of the Dark Tower as it has been a source of both legends and struggle for more than two hundred bloody years. soldiers first came to fight creatures that periodically emerged, then once the initial waves were pushed back, they mortals went inside, only to find more otherworldly creatures, which would eventually come back out in hordes. This up-down struggle kept on, as the mortals have never been able to find the primary portal to end the eternal dance. Students of the magical arts came here, some seemingly able to cast spells without effort, without losing the spell in their memory, but other times, in other places, lost spells or unable cast anything at all. Finders came with both of these, to find the unlost magic trinkets from other worlds. It was Bards that were favoured here in camp and in the tunnels, as songs were often heard in many of the rooms with no apparent musician or instrument. In camp, it was unlucky to refuse a favour. The musicians often called this place the Tower of Song. Clerics often came to the site, but many preferred to stay outside in the camps to care for the faithful instead of inside the Tower.

Rillo and Vassano go to the soldiers logs, where postings and messages were listed. This was where different groups were looking for servants or soldiers to join their ranks. None of them showed promise to get them closer to their goal  to enter the tunnels beneath the Dark Tower. Most were to run patrol or messages on the outside, not their preferred task. They gave up rather quickly, to have a few ales.

What next steps should the party take:

1. Investigate the tent of Darras for details on patrols? (DC 12)

2. Can the wizards gain any inkling into the area, tunnels or Tower? (DC 12 / 15 / 18)

3. Any weapons or equipment they can find that could be useful?  (DC 15)

4. Any other suggestions?

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Company of the Hardened Anvil - Play By Post Style Game

"Company of the Hardened Anvil"
Twenty days to get through the Lair of Sancgen

A small company hired to find a new entrance to the Sancgen, an infamous dwarven site, abandoned years ago for an unknown reason. Dark, evil creatures are rumored to infest the site. The Tower is an infamous site of many battles, but it is the mountainous lands underneath that the party is much more interested in.


Rillo -short haired human female, can appear as a male...quick with blades, heavily tattooed, a former slave with city contacts. Role: Finder (Rogue)

Vassano - male, naive face, halo around his head at certain times, comes from a noble family. Follower of Darras. Role: Spiritual and Combat

Caventh -Hunter - Jahlen ranger, without his golden horns...looking for a way to them to be reborn, has a helmet that copies his innate shape. Role: Animal Trainer and Pathfinder

Unnos - Mystic, bald human male, robed, snake for a familiar that never leaves his arm: Role: Sorcerer

Ennoss -Slender, blue skinned humanoid female with white hair; thin rapier, two daggers. Role: Combat

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The Black Tower loomed high over the cascading camps - dozens of organized groups of soldiers hunkered down in their tents. War had come again and again for the soldiers here, as each generation a new monster, a new threat emerged from the depths. Each city and many other had sent small groups here, both to help in the defending and the reaping, to find the unlost treasures among the hordes.

The town of delvers concerned itself with the comings and goings into the Tower, to the Sancgen, where the lost riches of the Dwarven peoples reside. This was the center of the Trade, trails into the heart of the mountains. The tunnels is where many an adventurer are pulled to make their name and find riches.

This party, this small circle of five, came to search, using secret knowledge known only to themselves, of a cache of riches. They assigned themselves jobs here on the surface to learn what they need before going below. The only one among them who had been here before, Caventh, went among the ramshackle tents, to see if he could find a tavern, or a place to find rumours.  Rillo and Vassano went among the soldiers, looking for any contacts or connections. Ennos, the otherworldly wanderer and Unnos, the sorcerer, stayed behind in their wagon, trying not to cause commotion.

What next steps should the party take:

1. Find a contact to learn about the camped soldier groups

2. Learn more about the legendary Dark Tower

3. Look for an ally

4. Any other suggestions?

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *