Sunday, September 20, 2015

Humans of Eska

I would like to first give out a big thanks to everyone that reads these posts.  Looking at my blog statistics, out of my top ten viewed posts, 7 of them have come in the last two months.  I'm excited about this expanded audience.  If you like what you see, consider supporting my Patreon!

It's been pointed out to me a while back that it seems that they could very well be no humans on Eska, that it seemed very elf-centric.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  I felt that recent events (if you could call a 1000-year elf war recent), formed the core of what is going on in Eska, and that the elves story needed told first.  Actually, human mercanaries formed the bulk of most of the elvish armies.  The elves viewed human lives as more disposable than the elves, and often it was cheaper to pay for mercenary companies then to use their magic to create the hobgoblins and huan'apanonar.

The history and core of Eska does revolve around elves, but theirs is a society on the decline.  Humans are on the upswing, with true human kingdoms and and empires ready to rise for the first time. Right now, though, Eska has a very Mad Max/Fallout vibe going for it right now.  The land has been devastated by war, and life is a struggle.  The elves used their magic to summon and create many different creatures to fight for them, and many now roam the land unfettered.  If anything in your worlds are the result of "cocaine wizards", blame the elven industrial war machine to be responsible here.  Expect wandering monster charts to have more monstrosities and  aberrations than anything else.

I'd also like to give a shout out to James Introcaso as well, since I'm pretty much lifting his grenade and arcane cannon rules wholesale.  While humans have made use of explosive powder to fire cannons, it is far too unstable to be used in rifles and handguns, though.  

Eska is still pretty fluid in my brain at this point.  I find that ideas that I have and start working on change and mutate while I write.  Things will probably continue to change as other ideas pop into my head.

Humans of Eska

Humans were the first people of Eska, wandering tribes of hunter-gatherers that roamed the land.  Eventually they started settlements and a few small city-states had popped up when the orcish ships landed on the shore and found the land ripe for the picking.  

The orcs and goblins laid waste to Eska for generations, enslaving most of humanity.  They brought their dwarven and gnomish slaves with them to better capture the abundant natural resources that were present both above and below the earth.  

This intense and persistent ravaging of the land uncovered the hidden but abundant magical energy that crosses the land.  Ley lines surged, bringing both the Feywild and Shadowfell closer.  

It’s when gates to the Feywild opened that the elves crossed over, and the Orqu'ohta, the Orc War, began.  The elves slaughtered the orcs to the last, and subjugated the goblins.  The humans, dwarves and gnomes were freed.  The humans formed several small kingdoms, most pledging fealty to the elves that decided to stay in the land they freed.

When the Kinslayer Wars started, most of these human kings raised armies, and being opportunists, used them as mercenary forces to whoever gave them the best terms.  The human mercenaries proved most versatile, each unit finding areas of specialization.  Grenadiers and those that had cannons were in highest demand, and those with arcane cannons devastated battlefields.  Human sorcerers seem the most closely connected with the ley lines as well, gaining additional benefits that other sorcerers can’t.

Since the Kinslayer Wars, the elves have become insular and withdrawn, and the humans, and their newfound war power, have looked to fill the void.  With generations of humans knowing nothing of life but war and struggle, and no funds coming in to pay the mercenary companies, most have taken to banditry and iron fist rule.  In the year after the truce they swelled, merged, organized, spread, and operated with ever more license. Seizing a castle, they would use it as a stronghold from which to exact tribute from every traveler and raid the countryside.

They imposed ransoms on prosperous villages and burned the poor ones, robbed temples and shrines of their stores and valuables, pillaged peasants' barns...As the addiction took hold, they wantonly burned harvests and farm equipment and cut down trees and vines, destroying what they lived by, in actions which seem inexplicable except as a fever of the time.  In most settlements, visits from bandits and strange rampaging creatures outnumbered those from merchants.  

No true kings have risen up, however.  No great kingdoms have taken place.  Small city-states and bandit kingdoms rule.  A ruler may have a few hundred soldiers and whatever land can be held with that size of a force, usually within a day’s ride.

Humans, by their mercenary nature, can get along well with any of the other races of Eska, though personal and regional prejudices do hold sway.  

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Village of Forest Green, by Dave Black

Found a great free resource, The Village of Forest Green by Dave Black.
"In the outskirts of the Shale Mountains, bordering a great forest, lies the village of Forest Green.  The village has been many things over the years: a logging camp, a wizard’s refuge, a military outpost and now a blossoming gathering place for adventurer’s looking to plunder hidden ruins and test themselves against the dangers of the deep forest, or to seek passage through the great swamp to the peaks beyond.

This module was originally created for my AD&D world of Uruth, but I have converted it for use with D&D 5th edition rules. Inside you will find maps, plot hooks and details of the village and its major personalities so that you can use Forest Green in your own campaign."

You can locate the Village of Forest Green here.
n the outskirts of the Shale Mountains, bordering a great forest, lies the village of Forest Green.
The village has been many things over the years: a logging camp, a wizard’s refuge, a military
outpost and now a blossoming gathering place for adventurer’s looking to plunder hidden ruins
and test themselves against the dangers of the deep forest, or to seek passage through the
great swamp to the peaks beyond.
This module was originally created for my AD&D world of Uruth, but I have converted it for use
with D&D 5
edition rules. Inside you will find maps, plot hooks and details of the village and its
major personalities so that you can use Forest Green in your own campaign.

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

26 New Ioun Stones

I've stepped away from blogging to start cleaning up my files.  I've been using Google Drive to build up my own personal SRD.  It's a combination of rules from the free Basic Rules as well as things I copy and paste from other blogs and message boards that I like. Those that follow me on Google+ see the things that I add, since I always make it a point to share the things that I use.  I've spent the time fixing up my organization of my files and folders.

Here are some Ioun stone variants from Dragon Magazine #174 that I was waiting on the DMG to come out to convert.  Matthew P. Hargenrager wrote the original article about Ioun stones, and where they come from, as well as some new ones.  I converted most of them.  He had a few that provided saving throw bonuses against certain types of damage, which I changed to resistance, and added some to cover each damage type.proxy

Comprehend Languages (Uncommon).  This light blue prism allows you to understand all spoken languages.

Darkvision (Uncommon).  This deep purple prism grants you darkvision to a 60’ range, or doubles existing darkvision.

Etherealness (Legendary).  You can use this bright silver cylinder to go ethereal for a one-hour duration.  You can only go ethereal once per long rest.

Free Action (Very Rare).  While this cerulean blue rhomboid floats around your head, difficult terrain doesn’t cost you extra movement.  In addition, magic can neither reduce your speed nor cause you to be paralyzed or restrained.

Gaseous Form (Rare).  Using this brown rhomboid the user and 200 lbs. of possessions can assume gaseous form for a one-hour duration, once per long rest.

Levitation (Rare).  You can use this lavender ellipsoid to levitate at will.

Light (Common).  You can command this yellow sphere to shed light, as the cantrip, on command.

Life Protection (Very Rare).  While this soft black rectangle rotates you are protected from life draining attacks.  Your hit point maximum cannot be reduced by spells or attacks that lower your hit point maximum.

Magic Resistance (Very Rare).  With this clear sphere rotating around your head, you have Advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Polymorph (Very Rare).  Using this rainbow spindle, you can polymorph for up to one hour.  You can only polymorph once per long rest.

Vitality (Uncommon).  You can command this brass lozenge to add 2d4 + 2 temporary hit points that last for an hour.  You can use this ability once per long rest.

Water Breathing (Rare).  This blue green spindle gives you water breathing at will.

Water Walking (Rare). You can use this pale yellow lozenge to water walk at will.

Acid Resistance (Uncommon).  A sizzling orange hexagonal prism that provides resistance to acid damage.

Bludgeoning Resistance (Uncommon). A purplish sphere that provides resistance to bludgeoning damage.

Cold Resistance (Uncommon).  A flickering white snowflake that provides resistance to cold damage.

Fire Resistance (Uncommon).  A pulsing red star that provides resistance to fire damage.

Force Resistance (Uncommon).  A crackling blue triangular prism that provides resistance to force damage.

Lightning Resistance (Uncommon).  A silver rod that provides resistance to lightning damage.

Necrotic Resistance (Uncommon).  A deep black sphere that provides resistance to necrotic damage.

Piercing Resistance (Uncommon).  A dusty rose prism that provides resistance to piercing damage.

Poison Resistance (Uncommon).  A green sphere that provides resistance to poison damage.

Psychic Resistance (Uncommon).  A clear crystal that provides resistance to psychic damage.

Radiant Resistance (Uncommon).  A shining white star that provides resistance to radiant damage.

Slashing Resistance (Uncommon).  A magenta prism that provides resistance to slashing damage.

Thunder Resistance (Uncommon).  A onyx rhomboid that provides resistance to thunder damage.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Surface Dwarves of Eska (Sabrak)

The dwarves of Eska came a bit easier this time around.  I felt like the elves were a bit of a roadblock, being as they are a "keystone" on Eska.  The dwarves also had a chance to percolate a bit more in my head and finally come together.

Since I've been trying to give each race a unique weapon and a unique mount.  That's the parts I was stuck on with the dwarves, but then the solutions are almost painfully obvious.

Surface Dwarves of Eska
Before the Kinslayer Wars, the dwarves of Eska were pretty much your typical stereotypical dwarves.  They lived in their great hall Drukat Khaz.  They spent their time mining, forging, and feasting.  

When the Kinslayer Wars began, they stayed out of it, considering it “elven affairs”.  They turned away all offers of alliance from the different factions, and even refused offers to be mercenaries, considering such work beneath them.  They hoped to just wait out the Wars, secure in their halls.  

The mori’edhel, the dark elves, were losing badly and cornered in the Karak Maurr, the southern mountain range that dwarves called home.  They once again contacted the proud dwarves of Drukat Khaz, seeking either aid or asylum, but were given neither.  Faced with overwhelming odds from the hobgoblin forces that had been harrying them, the dark elves had no choice, and attacked the dwarven hall.  

Dwarf Berserkerby mattforsyth

It was a bloody battle on both sides, but the mori’edhel quickly overtook the great hall of Drukat Khaz.  Refusing to take prisoners, the dark elves exiled all of the dwarves from their underground home and took over.  

Unarmed and unarmored, the dwarves asked the gray elf led hobgoblin army for help taking back their home, but were ignored.  The mith’edhel simply reminded the dwarves that when they were asked for aid, they were ignored, so that they were merely repaying the favor.  The hobgoblins found this infinitely funny and escorted them from the mountains, setting the dwarves out to wander the lands.  They now refer to themselves as the Sabrak, the dwarven word for cracked, or flawed.

Dwarf Battleragerby Isandir

Separated from their homes, their halls, and their ancestry, the Sabrak have become a shadow of themselves.  The clans have split, finding no new homeland and unable to get back to their old home.  Now the dwarves roam in clans, lost and confused.  

Dwarf berserkerby Law Stinson

They are not doing well with life on the surface.  The lucky ones have developed a twitch, or a stutter.  A vast majority of them fall into rages while fighting, which they often do.  They fight for loot, for food, and for homes.  Many clans and families have taken surface strongholds, but others roam the land, raiding and pillaging.  

Dwarf berserkerby Vishnevetsky

Ironically enough, they have tamed packs of wild axebeaks that they use as mounts.  The Sabrak attack with brutal efficiency, with each dwarf wearing a grenkarat into battle.  These “poison stones” are a lump of burning charcoal, treated with foul chemicals that are carried in censers around the neck or swung around in battle.  They give off a sickly green smoke that puts down as many foes as dwarven axe and hammer.  The dwarves are also affected by the smoke, but with their high Constitution, Advantage on poison saves, and resistance to poison damage, they are rarely harmed by them.
Like this, but with smoke, and axes, and beards.


Anyone within 5 feet of a grenkarat is surrounded by smoke.  The creature must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage.  

The dwarves have a hatred for the mori’edhel, who drove them out of their homes.  The mith’edhel are seen as arrogant and meddlesome.  They cannot forget what they perceive as the insulting way the hobgoblins treated them.  Since they had no real interaction with the taur’edhel and the huan’apan, the sabrak are indifferent toward them at first.  Goblins are mostly unknown to them.

They get along well with the rock gnomes, seeing some kinship there, and like the engineering of the warforged, which they are fascinated with, and a bit jealous of.  While they have fought with both humans and the saurians since the Kinslayer Wars, they have a grudging respect for both races.

The Sabrak can use either the hill dwarf or mountain dwarf statisics.

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