Archive for October, 2020

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All Hallows to All Saints, October to November

31 October, 2020

Some black cats bring good luckHappy All Hallows Day and Eve all!  Enjoy costumes, food and whatever else you and yours does on this lovely holiday!  At least as much as you can when such terrible disease stalks the land.  Avoid Masque of the Red Death reenactments.

November begins with All Saints Day and, in the traditional Irish calendar, the start of Winter.   Tomorrow is also the beginning of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which I will be participating in, as usual, to spur me to write.

In light of that, and seeing no obvious theme to November I will just write about whatever inspires me.   I will keep up with the Tuesday magic items and whatever else I can fit.  However, if you have any requests, anything you would like to see or any theme you would like me to expand upon, please let me know and I will try to fit it in.

October, 2020, saw the following posts here:

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Tuesday Magic Item – Cannibal’s Crown

27 October, 2020

Found someplace like this perhaps“We must leave this place quickly, all of us,” whispered Gollaon, his hand dropping to his sword hilt.

“Agreed,” replied Voddick. “This place reeks of death. And no one more than the garish lord of this place.”

“We do not want to add to its reek. I will ready our mounts, you gather the others.”

“Meet at outside the stables?”

“Exactly what I was thinking.”

Cannibal’s Crown

From a distance, this crown seems opulent and valuable, all gold and red gems. On closer examination, it is composed of gilded bones, from humans and other sentient beings, bound together with red gold wire and set with blood red garnets.

Wearing the crown provides its wearer with a variety of protections: they gain a +2 natural armor bonus and a +4 resistance bonus to saves against death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects. Additionally they are not at risk of death from massive damage. However, their flesh becomes rubbery and unpleasant to touch.

The owner also finds that only flesh has any taste to it, all other foods taste like ashes, and they never feel satiated . . . unless they eat the flesh of other sentient beings, others of the same kind as the owner are the most satisfying. Eating a full meal of such flesh is invigorating to the owner, gaining them 1d10 + their level in temporary hit points that last for the next eight hours and grants a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls for the same duration.

The more sentient flesh they consume, the more they crave it. After a year of such a diet, the owner flesh becomes grey and the become immune to disease and ghoul paralysis, the natural armor bonus provided becomes +4, and the owner’s teeth become sharp and tearing causing 1d6 piercing damage and carrying ghoul fever (Bite—injury; save Fort; onset 1 day; frequency 1 day; effect 1d3 Con and 1d3 Dex damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Charisma-based).

If the owner is killed, if they have consumed sentient flesh, they will rise again in seconds, as a ghoul of some nature; the more powerful the owner, the more powerful the unliving being it becomes.

If the crown is given away before the wearer consumes the flesh of a sentient, gradually their sense of taste will return. However, once they partake of sentient flesh, the desire for it will remain until the curse is broken (and their body will be more likely to rise as unliving upon their death).

Aura strong necrourgy; CL 15th; Weight 3 lbs.

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item (crown), very rare (requires attunement)

First paragraph as above.

Wearing the crown provides its wearer with a variety of protections: their base AC becomes 11 + its Dexterity modifier and their gain advantage to saving throws against charm, death, disease, exhaustion, fear, paralysis, poison, sleep and stun. However, their flesh becomes rubbery and unpleasant to touch.

The owner also finds that only flesh has any taste to it, all other foods taste like ashes, and they never feel satiated . . . unless they eat the flesh of other sentient beings, others of the same kind as the owner are the most satisfying. Eating a full meal of such flesh is invigorating to the owner, gaining them 1d10 + their level in temporary hit points that lasts until their next long rest.

The more sentient flesh they consume, the more they crave it. After a year of such a diet, the owner flesh becomes grey and the become immune to disease and ghoul paralysis, their base AC becomes 13 + its Dexterity modifier, and the owner’s teeth become sharp and tearing causing 1d6 slashing damage and the target must make a Constitution save or suffer a level of exhaustion.

If the owner is killed, if they have consumed sentient flesh, they will rise again in seconds, as a ghoul of some nature; the more powerful the owner, the more powerful the unliving being it becomes.

If the crown is given away before the wearer consumes the flesh of a sentient, gradually their sense of taste will return. However, once they partake of sentient flesh, the desire for it will remain until the curse is broken (and their body will be more likely to rise as unliving upon their death).

Notes: And to end October’s magic items with one that turns you into a monster.

Photo edited from “File:Capela dos Ossos Chapel of Bones – Apr 2011.jpg” by Ken & Nyetta is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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New Magic Item – Soldier Stones

20 October, 2020

An army in your pocket“We seem rather outnumbered,” said Voddick ducking back to recock his crossbow. Two arrows shattered on the stones behind him.

“I believe our companions have some tricks to help even the odds,” said Gollaon releasing an arrow and fading back as arrows broke around the stones. “Though there are even more of them than I thought.”

“I hope you are right about our companions.”

“Me too.”

Soldier Stones

These items are carved from stone, wood or bone in the form of a soldier. The materials to make them must have been taken from a battlefield, training ground or similar place that has a spiritual resonance to soldiers of the past.

Cast to the ground, the soldier stone becomes a stone soldier that will obey the person who cast it to the ground. The stone soldier will stay for 5d6 minutes then discorporate back to the figure, if the soldier is undamaged, it will return unbroken and can be used again in the future, but any damage will break the figure and the magic when the duration expires.

The echoes of the spirits tied to soldiers remember those who summoned them and sometimes the broken fragments will spontaneously generate stone soldiers that will seek to perform unfinished tasks or seek revenge against those who misused them.

Aura moderate conjuration [earth]; CL 7th
Slot none; Price 2,800; Weight 1/4 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, heroism, summon monster IV; Cost 1,400

For D&D 5E:

Wondrous item (carved figure), uncommon

As above.

Notes: To go with the earlier posted Stone Soldiers, obviously.

Photo A selection of pieces from the Lewis chessmen at the British Museum, photo by Andrew Dunn, found on Wikimedia Commons and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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New Monster – Stone Soldiers

20 October, 2020

Before fully manifestingWhile called stone soldiers, these elemental beings draw from the surrounding area and replicate what in nearby for their form, be that earth, stone or wood, if there are equal amounts of such material around the summoner can choose which material they form from.

They are tied to the spirits of soldiers of the past, gaining instinctive insights into tactics well beyond that of most elementals and appearing in the forms of such soldiers with the apparent armor and actual weapons of such. Without other instruction they will fall back on their historic tactics and seek to continue their half remembered duties.

For D&D 5E: Stone Soldier

Medium elemental, neutral

Armor Class 14 (or 16 with shield, see below)

Hit Points 47 (5d8+25)

Speed Walk 25ft.
STR 16 (+3) DEX 8 (-1) CON 20 (+ 5) INT 6 (-2) WIS 10 (+ 0) CHA 5 (-3)

Saving Throws Str + 5

Skills Athletics +5, Perception +2

Damage Vulnerabilities thunder

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons

Damage Immunities poison

Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 12

Languages One known and chosen by the Summoner, Terran

Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Formation Fighter
The stone soldiers are used to fighting as a unit and when adjacent to another stone soldier, may use the help action for a adjacent stone soldier as a bonus action. They also gain advantage on Wisdom and Charisma saving throws when in a formation with at least two other stone soldiers.

Soldier’s Soul
A stone soldier gains one of the following fighting styles:

Dueling. When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon. These stone soldier appear with weapon and shield.

Great Weapon Fighting. When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit. These stone soldier appear with two-handed weapons, usually polearms.

Actions

The stone soldier makes two weapon or slam attacks.

Melee Weapon. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, by weapon (note soldier’s soul ability above)

Ranged Weapon. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage (for earth or stone) or piercing (for wood). Range 20/60.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

The statistics above are for an earthen warrior, a stone warrior has -5 foot speed but +1 Armor Class and a wooden warrior has +5 foot speed and +2 Dexterity and disadvantage on saving throws against fire.

For Pathfinder: Stone Soldier CR 3

XP 800
N Medium elemental (earth)
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +7

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 9, flat-footed 17 (–1 Dex, +8 natural) may have a shield as well (see below)
hp 34 (4d10+12)
Fort +7, Ref +0, Will +4
Immune elemental traits, DR 3/Magic, Formation Fighter

OFFENSE

Speed 25 ft.,
Melee by weapon (see below) or slam +9 (1d8+7) or ranged +3 (1d6+5), Range Increment 30 ft. (thrown)

STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 8, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 11
Base Atk +4; CMB +9; CMD 18
Feats Cleave, Improved Bull Rush[B], Power Attack
Skills Appraise +2, Climb +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +3, Perception +7, Stealth +3
Languages One known and chosen by the Summoner, Terran

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Formation Fighter (Ex)
The stone soldiers are used to fighting as a unit and when adjacent to another stone soldier, may use the aid another action for a adjacent stone soldier as a free action. They also gain a +2 morale bonus on Will saves when in a formation with at least two other stone soldiers.

Soldier’s Soul (Ex)
A stone soldier gains one of the following fighting styles:
Sword and Shield, gaining the following bonus feats: shield focus and weapon focus in the weapon they are summoned with.
Two-handed Weapon, gaining the following bonus feats: great cleave and weapon focus (weapon they are summoned with)

The weapon they are summoned with is considered to be masterwork but only in the hands of a stone soldier.

The statistics above are for an earthen warrior, a stone warrior has -5 foot ground speed but +1 Natural Armor and a wooden warrior has +5 foot speed, +2 Dexterity and -2 Natural Armor.

Notes: To be summoned/created by Soldier Stones. And finally an actual new monster for this October!

Photograph of some of the Lewis Chessmen from the British Museum collection found on Wikimedia Commons and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Death-Eating Gloves

13 October, 2020

“The commander’s duelist seems twitchy and pale,” said Voddick quietly. “Not a good combination. Addiction or curse . . . or both?”

Gloves to die for

“Both I fear,” replied Gollaon equally quietly. “I finally managed to get a good look at his gloves. Necromagi work without a doubt.”

“Damnation.”

“Almost certainly,” agreed Gollaon. “We need to make a plan to remove him from the board before he turns into even more of a monster.”

“Alleyway ambush?”

“That usually works,” nodded Gollaon.

Death-Eating Gloves

These gloves are made of fine grained leather dyed a dark color, red and purple are common but black or blue are not unknown. They are close fitting, almost as a second skin. To those knowledgeable of such things, the gloves are obviously made of the tanned skin from a human or similar being.

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Sisters of the Swan for D&D 5E

12 October, 2020

The Abbey on the Lake of White Lilies was famous for the honor and learning of its sisters and the beautiful swans that populated the lake. They were not warriors but healers, scholars and gardeners. When the Dragons launched their attack on the gods, all the sisters could do was pray.

Fly with meWhen the Empress visited the Abbey after the sundering, a fragment of a heaven had lodged in the lake and the lilies had changed to gold and the sisters and the swans had been melted together. The transformation was rough for some, wings for arms or exceeding long necks, others had been killed outright, their new bodies unsuitable for the world. The Empress used her magic to heal and reform them, making the form of woman and swan, separate but joined allowing them to switch between the two.

The Abbey on the Lake of Gold Lilies remains under Imperial jurisdiction and remains a center of learning. It exports fine lace, goose down and illuminated manuscripts.

Physical Description: The Sisters of the Swan are willowy and graceful with long necks and usually pale skin, pale hair is common as well but their eyes are dark. Every generation there has been a black or gold Sister hatched but they have been occurring more frequently. Their faces tend to be narrow with large eyes. They have long delicate fingers and long toes on their feet, with webbing between their toes.

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Tuesday Magic Item – Shade Manifesting Ring

6 October, 2020

Shadow of life and deathVoddick leaned heavily against the wall of the stairway. “If we never see another killer shadow, it will be years to soon.”

“Agreed,” said Gollaon wiping the blade of his sword with a blessed cloth. “But I suspect their master cannot have many more of them to throw at us. Such magic consume their user.”

“Well, let us finish this. Any using such foul magic deserves to be slain.”

“Truth.”

Shade Manifesting Ring

These rings are usually made of some mix of bone, ivory and silver, usually tarnished black, with skull or other death motifs common. To the wearer, they feel warm and then can sense the flow of their blood, other others, it is as cold as a frozen corpse. Shadows seem to gather improbably around the wearer.

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New Beastkind for D&D 5E – Ypisarian Serpentfolk

4 October, 2020

Distant ancestor?The Serpentfolk are the children of the goddess Ypisara, though she is now only acknowledged as the great mother of their race. A minor race, they weathered the war of against the gods and the Sundering better than most due to the act of submission and self-sacrifice by the goddess Ypisara in exchange for the protection of the Empress, she gave her life willingly to the Dragon Queen; in exchange her children have been protected and since then, they have thrived, in a restrained fashion, under the eye of the Empress who acts as their patron and guardian.

Serpentfolk are a dedicated and loyal people, devoted to their communities and, in a vague sense, the Empire as a whole. While each of the serpentfolk is their own person they often think of themselves as part of a chain of community and tend to weight the good of the group over the good of the individual.

Serpentfolk are humanoid, tending toward slender builds, and covered in a network of fine scales usually in shades of green but other colors show up on occasion. Their eyes are dark and their heads are decorated by low crests. Most have slender tails. Serpentolk have claws but they are not usually large or strong enough to be effectively used as weapons.

The serpentfolk are warm blooded but lay eggs.

Serpentfolk Lands: The Serpent folk have a large island that is theirs, though under the direct rule of the Empress, it runs from the Bitter Hills, mined for salt and copper, to the mangrove swamps of the Darksea Marsh and the Darksea beyond.

The Serpentfolk are not well known outside of Imperial circles, they only having really begun expanding outside of those confines in the last few centuries. Their position as direct Imperial subjects means that their homeland is essentially inviolate but they do trade salt and items made of salt for what imports they need.

Religion: The Serpentfolk venerate Ypisara as their ancestral mother and the Empress as their protector with their ancestors being revered and offering made for them. They have an idea of rebirth in a continual ouroboros of life and spirit. Rumors of a secret sect that continues to worships Ypisara as mother-goddess are entirely unfounded.

Names: Names in the Serpentfolk tongue are difficult to pronounce for non-serpentfolk so they tend to attract monikers when dealing with them.

Adventurers: The Serpentfolk increasingly are seeking posts with the Dragon Imperium outside of their homeland and a few of those have decided to explore the greater world on their own.

Your Ypisarian Serpentfolk character has certain traits deriving from your ancestry.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You cannot discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Age. The serpentfolk mature slightly more quickly than humans, reaching adult development around fifteen. They live as long as humans or slightly longer.

Alignment. The serpentfolk are group people, working together to build a society to honor their ancestors and Patron. They are loyal, hard working and stoic. They tend to weigh the needs of their society over that of the individual.

The Serpentfolk are organized in family groups and in clutch-cohorts, all of the serpentfolk who were hatched in the same season, it is a loose structure but it works. They are very community oriented and tend to defer to their elders.

Size. The serpentfolk are slender and lithe, rarely taller than five feet tall when reaching adulthood but continue to grow (slowly) throughout their adult life and often reach over six feet tall. Your size is Medium.

Languages. Serpent speak their own language, handed down from before the Sundering, and also learn the Imperial Tongue and Low Draconic in honor of their Patron.

Friend of Fishes. Serpentfolk are natural swimmer and at home in the water, gaining advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks related to swimming.

Salt Resistance. Due to their constant exposure to salt, Serentfolk advantage on saving throws against salt and have resistance against salt damage.

Scales. Serpentfolk have tough scaled skin, when not wearing armor, your AC equals 11 + your Dexterity modifier.

Shaper of Salt. Raised with salt as the primary building material, they become adept at working it from an early age, gaining proficiency with all tool checks involving salt.

Notes: You can find a version for Pathfinder here.  Have had D&D players interested in the Beastkine races so wanted to start getting them transferred over to 5E.

Photo Gulf Salt Marsh Snake (Nerodia clarkii) Florida by Glenn Bartolotti found on Wikimedia Commons and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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