Friday, March 27, 2015

Dark Creeper

Here's another by Chris Scaturo, a 5e conversion of the Dark Creeper.

Dark Creeper
Small Humanoid (underdark) , NE
Armor Class 16 (Rag Armor +2, Dex +4)
Hit Points 13 (3d6+3)
Speed 25 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
8 (-1)
18 (+4)
12 (+1)
8  (-1)
12 (+1)
8  (-1)
Saving Throws:
Skills Stealth  +7, Sleight of Hand +7
Senses Darkvision 60 ft (see below)., passive Perception 11
Damage Vulnerabilities Sunlight (see below)
Damage Resistances Resistance
Damage Immunities Immunity
Condition Immunities Immunity
Languages Common
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
Superior Dark Vision.  Dark Creepers can see in magical darkness  out to 30’.


Sunlight Vulnerability.  Dark Creepers have disadvantage on all attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks when in direct sunlight.


Sneak Attack:.  If the Dark Creeper has advantages on its attack  the target takes  an extra 7 (2d6) damage from the attack on one attack per round.

ACTIONS
Dagger. Melee (or ranged) Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit:  6 (1d4+4) piercing damage.


Cunning Action: You can take a  bonus action on each of your turns in combat. This  action can be used only to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.


Extinguish Flame:  As a bonus action, Dark Creepers can extinguish any mundane light source or magical light created by a 1st level spell or cantrip


Drow Dagger:   One Dark Creeper possesses a Drow Dagger.   The dagger is a +1 weapon when used underground and can cast WEB once per day as a 2nd level spell.

W eb
2nd-level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (a bit o f spiderweb)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour


You conjure a m ass of thick, sticky webbing at a point of  your choice within range. The w ebs fill a 20-foot cube
from that point for the duration. The w ebs are difficult  terrain and lightly obscure their area. If the w ebs aren’t anchored between two solid m asses (such as walls or trees) or layered across a floor, wall,  or ceiling, the conjured web collapses on itself, and the
spell ends at the start of your next turn. W ebs layered over a flat surface have a depth of 5 feet.


Each creature that starts its turn in the w ebs or that enters them during it s turn must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC14) . On a failed save, the creature is restrained as long as it remains in the w ebs or until it breaks free.A creature restrained by the w ebs can use its action to make a Strength check against your spell save DC. If it succeeds, it is no longer restrained.


The webs are flammable. Any 5-foot cube of w ebs  exposed to fire burns away in 1 round, dealing 2d4 fire damage to any creature that starts its turn in the fire.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shard of Wintertide

The Shard of Wintertide

by Chris Scaturo


The Shard of Wintertide, small, powerful, better in cold weather.  Like this kid  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abU372BCSCc if you exclude the Hawaii part.

Some say is was crafted by a long forgotten gnome clan who unsuccessfully tried to defend their homes from a Fire Giant clan.  Other’s claim it is a Frost Elemental trapped in cage.    Either way, the Shard of Wintertide is a weapon with potency, a mission, and a little bit of an attitude.

Appearance:   The Shard of Wintertide is a  blade roughly 18 inches long (46 cm) that magically attaches to any hilt it touches. The blade appears to be made of pure ice but metal can be detected in it by either a trained eye or magic. Every time the Shard of Wintertide is found, it looks different.

Intelligence:   The dagger has an “awareness” if not a true intelligence.  It cannot communicate with the owner but grants advantage on perception check to spot any fire related creature.   It has a particular dislike of Hell Hounds, Fire Elementals, Salamanders, and Fire Giants.   The wielder can never be surprised by a group that contains one or more  of these.

Game Mechanics:   The Shard of Wintertide is a +1 dagger that does an extra 1d6 cold damage on melee attacks.   When wielded in an environment below 32 F (0 C) the bonus improves to +2 and the bonus damage becomes 2d6.

The Shard can also be used as a ranged attack.   On a hit, the target takes normal damage. Hit or miss, the shard then explodes. The target and each creature within 5 feet of the point where the ice exploded must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw  (DC 11 + wielders DEX) or take 5d6 cold damage.

The shard reappears in the owners hand at the start of the next round.  The range attack cannot be used again until a long rest by the character is successfully completed.

Attitude: The owner must attune to this weapon to use the range attack option.   The Shard of Wintertide will  break the attunement if the wielder casts a fire spell.

The Shard also does not like warm weather.   Unless special precautions are taken, the Shard will teleport to the closest area with snow on the ground if it spends more than 48 consecutive hours in temperatures above 72 F  (21 C).  The Shard leaves the pommel it which it was attached.

This weapon is a based on the  Ice Knife spell found on page 17 of Elemental Evil Payers Companion.


Ice Knife
1st-level conjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: S, M (a drop of water or piece of ice)
Duration: Instantaneous 

You create a shard of ice and fling it at one creature within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 piercing damage. Hit or miss, the shard then explodes. The target and each creature within 5 feet of the point where the ice exploded must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 2d6 cold damage.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the cold damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Encounter at Blackwall Keep/Tomb of the Lizard King mashup. Part 1

With scheduling conflicts caused by a busy Girl Scout Weekend, we were able to only squeeze in a short session for our Age of Worms campaign that I run with the three kids.  They were a bit scattered at the beginning of this game as well, which kept us from moving along as much as I would've liked, but sometimes you need to let them get it out of their systems.


Our previous Age of Worms sessions are here.

With only three players, each is playing two characters.

My daughter has:
Lylas, drow elf rogue thief, level 5
Third, human fighter sentinel, level 4

One of my boys has:
Narcisso, half elf life cleric, level 5
Dravin, human moon druid, level 4

My other son is playing:
Jackson, human earth wizard, level 5
Kargash, half orc hunter ranger, level 4

In our last session, they were able to deal a crushing blow to the Ebon Triad in the Three Faces of Evil, wiping out cults of Vecna, Hextor and Erythnul.  That victory brought a period of peace to Shingas, which gave the campaign a year of downtime, and a chance to make use of the downtime activity rules.

Lylas used the year to extend her criminal contacts in Shingas, train her rapidly growing young owlbear, and learning proficiency with the poisoner's kit.  Third learned proficiency with leatherworking tools, since they had found a set down in the Dourstone mines.  Narcisso preached to the elven inhabitants of Shingas, laying the groundwork to build a temple.  Dravin went to the druid's grove outside of town and tended to the wilderness.  Jackson spent the time crafting and selling alchemical items.  Kargash went back to patrolling the woodlands with the Quippa Rangers.

Their friend Alustran the Mage contacted them.  He's been doing research on items they pulled from the Whispering Cairn and information that they got while in the Dourstone Mines.  He'd like to investigate further.  However, a friend of his, the battle mage Marzena from Blackwall Keep has contacted him about green worms in the Cairn Hills.  This seems to tie in with the Ebon Triad, so he wanted the party to come with him to Blackwall Keep to investigate.

The first couple days of the journey were quiet, full of pleasant conversation with Alustran about his adventuring days and the sharing of riddles.  The second night they stayed at The Robin's Breast, a roadside inn.  The place was nearly deserted, with only a handful of locals, and a minstrel who played "The Ballad of Sakatha", much to the displeasure of the locals.

On the third day, the party were ambushed by lizardfolk while crossing a bridge.  A dozen lizardfolk attacking from all sides, even climbing out of the water and over the sides of the bridge.  They were surrounded!  Jackson and Dravin started with thunderwaves to the rear and right of the party, while Alustran hit the left side with an ice storm.  Kargash attacked the wounded ones to the rear, further wounding two of them with his hoard breaker ability.  Narcisso, Third and Lylas joined melee with the lizardfolk to the front.  The lizardfolk started hitting hard with their great clubs and bites, Third taking two critical hits!  Alustran, Jackson and Dravin were rushed by two lizardfolk each, who attempted to grapple the spellcasters.  Jackson and Dravin managed to slip away, but Alustran was grabbed and pulled over the side of the bridge.  Lylas disengaged and rushed over to help, killing one of the lizardfolk holding the mage, but he still struggled to escape the other's grasp.  Kargash managed to hold the rear, killing another, while Third and Narcisso the front, each slaying one.  Jackson launched another thunderwave, killing two, while Dravin finished off the last on the right with a shillelagh.  The party was gaining ground, but Alustran was still being drug downstream, unable to escape, while Lylas was struck by a series of bad rolls and was unable to help.  Jackson started throwing chromatic orbs to free up Third, and she was able to kill the one dragging off Alustran.  Kargash and Narcisso finished off the last remaining lizardfolk.

That night, while on guard duty, Third saw an ominous sight...
She woke the rest of the party, but it flew off.

Things looked grimmer the further they traveled.  They came across a wounded soldier, Barto Trume.  His patrol from Blackwell Keep was also attacked by lizardfolk, a group of over forty, while his patrol was all either slain, captured, or scattered.  Barto himself was captured for a time, and drug into the swamps before he managed to escape.  He joined the party for the trip back to Blackwell Keep.


Later that day they came to the village of Waycome.  Most of the buildings and all of the farmlands burned to the ground.  The town was deserted, except for one, Busby the innkeeper, who was in the process of packing up the last of his belongings.  He told the group of lizardfolk raids upon Waycome, which forced the inhabitants to flee.  He was joining them, the only inhabitant left behind a crazy old hermit that lived near the edge of the swamp...

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, part 3, The Sea Ghost

My boys and I continued the game with the three of us where we are playing through the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.

After defeating the smugglers that were hiding at the old abandoned house outside of Saltmarsh, the adventuring group was hired by the town council to take care of the sea bound side of the smuggling operation.  Lacking proper funds to pay the heroes, the council offered that if they killed or captured the smugglers, and handed over any contraband, the party could keep the smuggler's ship and any personal goods found aboard.  Lacking other means to get out of this small backwater town, they readily agreed.

Our party consists of 4 members.  Each of my sons is playing two characters, still at 3rd level.  We've used some backgrounds and subclasses from around the blogosphere, and I'll be linking them...

Henk.  Half orc raider barbarian with the duelist background.

Garret Tealeaf.  Lightfoot halfling con artist rouge with the criminal background.

Faen Firegem.  Half elf pyromancer alchemist with the tinkerer background.

Ander Highhill.  Stout halfling water domain cleric with the pilgrim background.

The Saltmarsh town council provided the services of 8 excise men from the town.  Six will stay on shore, acting as lookouts for the ship's signal.  The other two, brothers Will and Tim Stoudtly, will help sail the party out in the jolly boat to meet the ship.  According to plans they found, the ship would send their own jolly boat to shore, loaded with silks and brandy, while the smugglers in the house will sail out to load up.  If the men left on shore outnumber the smugglers, they would attempt to capture them.  If even strength or outnumbered, they will unload the boat and play along.

Garret used his disguise kit to make up Faen to look like Ned, a "prisoner" that they had rescued at the house that was part of the smuggling group.  They would sail out, hoping the disguise would get them on board, when they would start loading their boat and attack if they time was right.  Luckily for them, Bjorn, the first mate met them.  He was familiar with Ned, but didn't really know him, so the plan was working.  Will stayed in the jolly boat, to secure the goods, while the others climbed aboard to load, assisted by four smugglers on the main deck.  More smugglers were in the hold below passing goods up.  

About half way through the loading, Garret slipped away and went below decks to the cargo hold.  Sneaking around, he saw six smugglers below, as well as Frithoff, the bosun.  He attempted to slip through a door and I rolled a natural 1 on his Stealth check.  The hinges shrieked loudly, catching Frithoff's attention.  "Hey!  What are you doing over there?" the bosun called.  Garret slipped through the door quickly, shutting it behind him.  Seeing he was in the barracks, he counted up another 10 sleeping smugglers, before finding a ladder back up to the main deck.  Frithoff and another smuggler ran up on deck, chasing him.  Garret hid behind Henk, but Frithoff was agitated and pressing the issue of someone sneaking around below decks with Bjorn.  Garret stepped out, and used his con artist smooth talker ability on Bjorn, having the effects of a charm person, pretty much explaining that he got lost looking for the head.  Bjorn bought the story and shooed Frithoff away.  Needless to say, Garret stopped further exploration.

Once their jolly boat was nearly loaded, they attacked, gaining a surprise round.  Faen started off with a thunderwave, clearing most of the crewmen on deck, while Garret attacked Bjorn.  Ander ran to the door that lead below deck and barred it to keep the crew from coming up, while Henk slammed shut the hatch to the cargo hold.  Tim attacked the last standing crewman on deck.  

The next round Henk, Garret and Tim finished off Bjorn and the last smuggler from the main deck, while Will climbed aboard.  Suddenly, crossbow fire started hitting the group, one smuggler on the for'castle, one in the crow's nest, and another smuggler and the Captain firing from the rear deck.  Punketah, the ship's mage, fired a web spell, blocking the deck from the mast to the railings, covering Faen, Henk and Tim.  The barred door did not hold, with four smugglers rushing out, with more huddled behind, waiting to get out.  Fain blasted them with another thunderwave, killing most of them, and blocking the ladder with bodies.  The jolly boat lashed on deck was destroyed in the blast.

Then the smugglers started to gain some ground.  Crossbow fire peppered the group, as well as magic missiles from Punketah.  Will, reduced to 1 hit point, climbed back over the railing and back to the boat.  Four bullywugs came hopping out of a cabin, leaping around the deck and attacking.  Their bites and spears hurting everyone.  Cap'n Sigurd lept from the for'castle and started hacking with his greatsword, dropping Garret.  A failed death save kept everyone on edge until Anders cast word of healing, healing up the entire party.  Will climbed back up to join the fray.  Henk, in his rage, went toe to toe with the captain, but thanks to his damage reduction, was able to stand up to the attacks.  Faen loaded up a scorching ray to target Punketah, while Tim scurried up the mast to take on the smuggler in the crow's nest, grappling and throwing him onto the deck below.

Punketah, severely wounded, backed away from the railing and out of sight on the rear castle, while the party focused on the bullywugs and Cap'n Sigurd, dropping them.  The main deck temporarily cleared, Frithoff the bosun and the remaining nine smugglers came out on deck and saw the carnage, and promptly surrendered.  They were taken into custody and tied up, to be turned over to the Saltmarsh council.

A search of the ship turned up some valuables, Punketah's spell book, and the captain's magical greatsword.  A few healing potions were also found.  Letters in the captain's cabin shed light on the bullywugs on board.  Seems that the smugglers had taken on a contract to smuggle weapons to the bullywugs, arming them for war.  An aquatic elf prisoner was also found, Oceanus, who was sent by his tribe to check up on the Sea Ghost, since it had been acting suspiciously near the elves' colony.  Thankful for the rescue, Manaan has agreed to join with the party for the time being.

Once the Sea Ghost had been explored and looted, the party found that their jolly boat, which had been loaded with contraband silks and brandy, was missing.  Seems that Punketah, gravely wounded, cast spider climb on himself, shimmied down the side of the ship and into the jolly boat before casting off and sailing away.  He may have lost his spell book and been forced to flee, but a boat full of goods will provide a fresh start and a chance to plot his revenge...

Sailing back to Saltmarsh, the remaining smugglers were imprisoned to stand trial, and the contraband turned over.  The Sea Ghost needs some minor repairs from the battle, and a crew needs hired before the party can sail off.  Unfortunately, none of the characters have any background in sailing, and in such a small town there are not enough willing sailors to get even a skeleton crew.  They'll have to just wait until the next merchant ship comes in and hopefully can hire some sailors away.  Until then, they may just have to investigate the goings on of the bullywugs.  The council fears that the bullywugs are planning an attack on Saltmarsh!

Overall, this was a pretty easy conversion to 5e rules.  I used bullywugs instead of lizardfolk because I like bullywugs.  Same CR, so an easy change to make.  Punketah I just sort of lowered the power of the Battle Mage NPC, making him the equivalent of a 3rd level caster, and using the spell list from the original adventure.  For Cap'n Sigurd I used the Knight NPC, and First Mate Bjorn and Bosun Frithoff I used Thugs.  The rest of the smugglers I used Bandits.  For Tim and Will, who joined the party, used the Guard stats.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Allip

As I promised awhile ago, here's my conversion of the allip to 5e rules.  I based it mostly on the d20 SRD and the Pathfinder SRD, but changed the Wisdom drain abilities to conditions.  The touch of insanity attack I based off of the harried condition created by Brandes Stoddard over at Harbringer of Doom.

Allip
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 14
Hit Points 26 (4d8+8)
Speed 0 feet, Fly 30 feet


STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
10 (+0)
12 (+1)
14 (+2)
11 (+0)
11 (+0)
18 (+4)


Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses Darkvision 60 feet, passive Perception 10
Languages none
Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Babble.  An allip constantly mutters and whines to itself, creating a hypnotic effect. All sane creatures within 60 feet of the allip must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom save or be affected with the charmed condition for 2d4 rounds.  Victims get a new Wisdom save at the end of each of their turns.  Creatures that successfully save cannot be affected by the same allip’s babble for 24 hours.


Madness.  Anyone targeting an allip with a thought detection, mind control, or telepathic ability makes direct contact with its tortured mind becomes frightened.  A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight.  The creature can’t willingly move closer to the source of its fear.


Actions


Touch of Insanity. Melee weapon attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: The target must pass a DC 14 Wisdom save to leave its current space. On a failure it may still move, but if it chooses to do so, it takes 1d6 damage.  The target gets another saving throw at the end of each of it’s turns.


The creature suffers disadvantage on all Concentration, Intelligence, and Wisdom checks (not saving throws in general, though)..




Those who fall prey to madness and take their own lives sometimes find themselves lost on the path to the afterlife, trapped in a state between life and death. These unfortunates, known as allips, suffer from the violent and incurable insanity they faced in life and take out their terror, confusion, and rage upon the living. They reach out to those they encounter—possibly in wrath, but also perhaps oblivious to their own insane nature—spreading the psychoses that led to their own untimely deaths.


In combat, allips relentlessly attack the nearest living creature, relying on their babble to let them close in before attacking with their touch of insanity. Many seem to be driven to states of ferocity upon witnessing the terror living creatures exhibit when facing their spectral forms, or when faced with the intangibility of their incorporeal states. While allips have no way to kill creatures, those knocked unconscious by an allip's Wisdom-draining touch often emerge from the state suffering from insanity—a fate that many would say qualifies as worse than death.


Allips often seek to harm those who played a part in causing their mad, unholy condition. When faced with such foes, an allip ignores all other targets that confront it in favor of its hated enemies, attacking them until its tormentors have been forced into a vacant stupor. Alas, such vengeance does not put the allip to rest, but simply serves to further fuel its madness as it finds itself trapped in a world now no longer even holding the satisfaction of vengeance.

An allip cannot speak intelligibly.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ancient Fishing Village


World's Coolest Picture
by Chris Scaturo

 I love the internet. Okay, it may not be the coolest picture but it might be top eight, no more than ten, twelve max.   Anyway, I often spend hours looking at pictures on google (no, not those pictures) trying to create a vivid setting for my D&D games.   This beauty is the result of the search "ancient fishing village".

You might use this as a pirate cove or home to a neolithic society but in my world, this is an old fishing village that met an unpleasent demise.    Home to twentyish humans, the village thrived on the fruits of the sea until they came.   They are a set of twin elves with a little bit of power in necromatic and enchanting spells and a lotta bit of a bad attitude.   The brother and sister charmed, and de facto enslaved the native people.  In time, the villagers rebelled against their new masters and in the fight for control of the village everyone perished.

The pair of elves rose from the dead as banshees and the humans are now zombies.   Both groups stay away from each other and are confined to the village.  The banshees cannot travel more than one mile from their elven bones and the zombies, fuelled by their anger, stay close to their former enemies.  If the banshees are destroyed the zombies will unanimate (deanimate?) as their spirits move on.

If for some reason the banshee's bones are moved  off the island, three zombies will transform into revenents in one week and search the bones down.

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