Saturday, August 31, 2013

D&D 30 Day Challenge: I'm In!

A few are trying the 30 Day Challenge this month, and I think I'll give it a go. I'll be using my whole gaming past and present, which include BECMI, AD&D 2nd Edition, 3rd Edition, and even a fling with 4E.

(At the same time, I'll still be writing Lost Library of the Deathspeakers, and will start the series Faces of Pretomournon. Looks like the blog will be busy!)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Three Sad Wizards available in print!

My adventure module Three Sad Wizards is now available in print from Lulu!

Check it out HERE!

The wizards in the village of Tealief have horrible problems! • Terrible carnivorous plants make the garden of Bymen the Botanomancer unsafe. • Giant insects are running free in the underground laboratory of Ermard the Entomomancer. • Monstrous birds escaped from the tower of Ostal the Ornithomancer. Only a group of courageous adventurers can help them. Is your party brave enough? Three Sad Wizards is an introductory module, designed for characters of 1st and 2nd level. Written for use with old school RPGs, this module can be fitted into almost any campaign or played as a stand-alone adventure.

The PDF is still available for Free HERE!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Uncaged: Faces of Sigil

This book describes over 40 NPCs from the Planescape setting in detail, every one illustrated with awesome Tony DiTerlizzi art. Most of the entries are two pages, some are four. Now, 17 years after publication, those entries seem a bit long, but in 1996, game accessories were for reading as much as for gaming, so I guess it does what was expected.

There are some original, exciting NPCs. My favorites are A’kin the friendly fiend, Patch the self-aware razorvine, and Farrow, the elf with 15 personalities – one for each faction. The book doesn’t give you noblemen or important faction high-ups, but it gives you common folk who can be met on the street. Many of them provide useful services for Planescape PCs: sell the location of gates, sell gate keys, sell maps of the mazes, sell books, or sell other stuff. These are NPCs the Referee can actually use, no matter the level of the PCs.

Some of the NPCs are not very original and do not stand-out enough: Kylie the tiefling tout is a tough-talking, street-wise cliché, there is a dwarven armor smith, the rogue modron is like all rogue modrons, and Unity-of-Rings is a deva. Some don’t seem very fun: for example, if the PCs get access of Milori’s Dabus Phrasebook, doesn’t that negate the whole point of the Dabus speaking in rebuses?

Each characters’ story is connected to the others, in a network of plots and conspiracies. This makes for great reading, and after reading a few entries you will start to see how everything connects. However, there are hardly guidelines to pull the PCs into the web of intrigue. In my Planescape campaign, I mainly used the NPCs as walk-on parts: if the PCs needed the location of a portal, they would see Lissandra, for example.

Why my interest in this very cool Planescape book?
It seems to me the format would be excellent for presenting NPCs on my blog. Obviously the entries will be shorter, and they won’t have awesome DiTerlizzi art, but the NPCs will be usable in non-Planescape settings and the connections between NPCs can be hyperlinked. I think it might be pretty good.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Maps for Lost Library of the Deathspeakers

For the past couple of days, I've been brainstorming and outlining for Lost Library of the Deathspeakers, including assembling the maps.

This are the sea caves that give access to the library. The sea is invested with vampire mermaids. The ancient evil in the library attracts other evil beings, and demons, ghosts and shadows can be encountered deeper into the caves.
Click for bigger picture!
This is the library itself, and the crypts under it. The big square hall in the middle is the reading room, where the Player Characters can gain access to many ancient books of power if they find a way to communicate with the undead librarians.

The library is dangerous as well: The water leaking from the caves above is contaminated with the spirits of the dead, and a Xaoclost starts to hunt down the characters through time.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cover Art for Three Sad Wizards

This art will be on the cover of the print version of Three Sad Wizards. It will be available from Lulu soon.
The PDF version is still available for free HERE.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Three Sad Wizards is Released!

My adventure module  Three Sad Wizards is now available as a free download. The module describes the village of Tealief and environs, three mini-dungeons, and the dangerous forest surrounding them.

You can download it HERE.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Magic Items from ‘Three Sad Wizards’

Since I'm busy finishing my adventure Three Sad Wizards, a bit of a lazy post. Here's the new magic items that can be found in the module:

Badger Cloak: When worn, this cloak changes the wearer into a badger. A human-sized person turns into a giant badger, while smaller creatures like dwarves and halflings become normal badgers. Except for the duration, this transformation works the same as the polymorph self  spell.

Ioun Crown: When this ornate golden crown is put on, it floats about a foot above the head of the wearer. It immediately changes the alignment of the being that it’s placed on to Chaotic. The crown cannot be removed except by the spell remove curse.
The wearer of the crown gains a +1 to Int, Wis and Cha abilities. However, he will feel a terrible hunger. As long as he wears the crown, he should eat at least three times the amount of food as normal, or else he will lose 1d4 Con until he eats enough. However, eating this much has its effect, and after a month the wearer starts losing Str and Dex, at a rate of 1 point every two weeks.

Slumbering Candles: When lit, this candle smokes excessively. Anyone standing within 30 feet of the candle inhaling the smoke must save vs. spell or fall into a deep sleep. Victims stay asleep until the candle is extinguished.

Friday, August 2, 2013

New Monster: The Xaoclost

The past and present are separate places. The timestream is constantly turning Now into Then, but they have no influence on each other after that’s done. It might be possible to travel from the present to the past, but it is impossible to change the Now with your actions in the past. You can travel to the past to kill the mother of your greatest enemy, but as the murder happens in the past, it doesn’t have any impact on the present. If you return he’ll still be alive, and so will she.

That is, if you return.

For the past is the domain of the Xaoclost, a species of nightmarish reality-defying creatures. These 50-feet-tall monstrosities roam the past, ever looking for ways to break into the present. With difficulty, they can come within milliseconds of Now, but they can never fully reach it. The Xaoclost are always just behind you.

Unfortunately, people go into the past all the time: Chronomancers have their spells, Time portals are known (like the one below the city of Vulture), and ancient dungeons like the Library of the Death Speakers are often so old the Now no longer has a grip on them. The Xaoclost cannot come here, but they lie in waiting for adventurers to come to them.

No. Enc.:
1 (1)
90’ (30’)
Armor Class:
3 (base)
Hit Dice:
10 (base)
1 claw or weapon/1 whip/1 bite, or breath weapon
1d8 or by weapon/1d8+poison/3d8, or 2d8 (base)
Hoard Class:
2100 (base)

The stats above are the weakest possible Xaoclost, one more than 1,500 years in the past. When they move closer to the present, they grow stronger and more powerful. However, it costs them a lot of effort and it does hurt them terribly. When a Xaoclost moves close to the present, use the table beneath to determine changes to his stats.

Years in the Past
Hit Dice
Breath Weapon
Special Abilities
0 – 5
Suggestion once per day
6 – 15

16 – 25
Hallucinatory terrain once per day
26– 50

51 – 100

101 – 250
Half damage from normal weapons
251 – 500

501 – 750

751 – 1000

1,001 – 1,500

1,500 or more
Breath weapon, fear aura, poisonous whip

Breath Weapon: Xaoclost have powerful breath weapons. Every individual Xaoclost has a different kind of breath. Usually, the breath weapon of a Xaoclost other effects besides the damage it does. All breath weapons are usable every 3 rounds. All victims of a breath attack may attempt a saving throw versus breath attack for half damage, and maybe an additional saving throw for the secondary attacks.

Breath Weapon Examples:
1 - Cloud of Hate: 50’ long, 40’ wide cloud of black smoke. In addition to taking damage, all chaotically aligned characters must make a save vs. spells or instantly attack lawful and neutral characters. Lawful and neutral characters must make a save vs. death or suffer an additional 2d8 damage.
2 - Mud Stream: 80’ long, 30’ wide cone of mud. In addition to doing damage, the mud stream contains 1d4 small earth elementals. These have 6 hD, AC 4, and do 1d8 damage.
3 - Napalm: 70’ long, 20’ wide cone of napalm. The napalm does normal damage on the round of the attack, and half that again the next round (save for half).
4 - Negative Fog: 50’ long, 40’ wide cloud of grey mist. The Xaoclost’s breath weapon is a living creature from the negative plane that feeds of the warmth of its victims: Move 90’(30’); AC 2; hp 25, #attacks 1 per creature; attacks as a ten HD monster; Dmg 1d6; M n/a.
5 - Phantasmal Killers: 100’ long, 5’ wide line of terrifying illusions. In addition to suffering damage, the victim must try to disbelieve the illusion once by succeeding in an INT attribute check, or die from fear.
6 - Rat Swarm: 80’ long, 30’ wide cone of living rats. There’s 4d10 rats in the pack. In addition to normal damage from the breath weapon, the rats get to attack. They get 1 attack per 10 individuals, inflicting 1d6 hit points of damage per hit. If a character is swarmed by a whole pack, he must make a save versus death or fall to the ground under the horde. The victim can make no attacks until he gets back on his feet.

Fear Aura: Xaoclost have a fear aura of 250 feet. Creatures of fewer than 1 Hit Die within the aura flee automatically. Others may save vs. petrification or are stricken with fear (-2 penalty to attack and damage).

Whip: These creatures also attack with a stinger-tipped whip for 1d8 damage. Victims must additionally save versus poison or fall in a coma for 2d10 days. Unless the victim is very lucky, the Xaoclost will probably eat the victim before he gets out of his coma.