A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

19 April 2014

[A to Z April] Q is for Quick, Somebody Teach Me To Play!

OK. Comic Con must have really thrown a wrench into my system. I'm still in physical pain from the "crowd-waddling" on a concrete floor for 9 hours. I'm clearly no longer as young as I used to think I was. I'm physically exhausted, sleeping through the night for the first time in years these past two nights. And I'm apparently mentally exhausted; I'm pulling and pulling on the rope, but the bucket's coming up dry from the bottom of the well.

I seem to be addicted to FFG's X-Wing Miniatures Game too. And I haven't learned how to play it yet. I just have to find the time to sit down and crack open the box, I'm sure, because everybody tells me it's easy enough to learn.

Time? Hah.

But to continue, I need to learn how to play soon, because the purchase I talked about yesterday arrived in the mail today. I've already unboxed one. Took some pictures, too, as you can see.

The Millennium Falcon is, needless to say, one of the two iconic ships from the Star Wars trilogy. I'm pretty confident when I say that nearly every man my age at one time or another dreamed of flying in this starship. The X-Wing and the Falcon were my early starship loves, followed later by the A-Wing. Of course, there was also the Viper from the original Battlestar Galactica and the Earth Directorate Starfighter (piloted by Buck Rogers). Those were my top four when I was young (again, adding in the A-Wing later on).

"Why'd you get two of them?" I hear you ask. "After all, there's only one Millennium Falcon, right? Awww...silly reader. Of course you realize that the Corellian Engineering Corporation manufactured the original Falcon, under the designation YT-1300. The light freighter that was to become known as the Millennium Falcon started life no differently than any other YT-1300. Fortunately, the model comes with multiple pilots, not least of whom are Han Solo and Chewbacca. That allows a player to envision and enact a scenario where the Rebellion (or perhaps a pirate organization) has obtained an additional YT-1300. I've seen a couple players report that a dual YT-1300 force is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Here she is, one final time, with the X-Wing flying alongside in formation for scale purposes. It's really a nice model, although I was a bit chagrined to realize it was hollow, and not an overly-thick feeling shell, either. But, I plan on being careful with these beauties. I can't wait to see what it looks like to have two YT-1300s on the starfield facing a squadron of TIE fighters. Even TIE Interceptors. I'll take 'em all.

So, please. Anyone. Anyone at all. Can someone quickly teach me how to play?




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Previous "Q"s:
2013: Q is for Quickvale (locale)
2012: Q is for Quickdeath (monster)
2011:Q is for Quaint Folk

18 April 2014

[A to Z April] P is for Plans and Passengers: the Story of a Consular Ship

Still heady (and head-achey) from Comic Con yesterday, I want to share with you what I found. I hinted at it in yesterday's post, but I now have pictures and can share the bounty!

What we have here is a "vintage" Tantive IV, a.k.a. "Rebel Blockade Runner, from the Star Wars Action Fleet, circa 1997. It lacked its box, but has all the other parts, including the mini-fig Rebel Trooper and Princess Leia.

Here it is, in all its nerdtastic glory: the Tantive IV! We see it here as it first appears (OK, wrong angle and with the addition of a giant space calculator...) in the original Star Wars movie.

It's also known as the Corellian Engineering Corporation's CR-90 Corvette. I always knew it as the "Blockade Runner" but now that I think about it, I'm not sure WHY. My best guess is because that's what Kenner called it on all their products. Hmm. Interesting question. But then, Kenner is responsible for some "alternative" names to products that are worse than this, I suppose.

Here it is from another "famous" angle, the camera shot as it is enveloped by the Star Destroyer Devastator high above Tatooine. Mostly, I just wanted to look at the detail on this little guy. The display stand is a bit awkwardly placed, and covers up the aft ventral laser battery. I will admit that I may have it on incorrectly, but this is the only placement that actually holds the ship up. From this view you can also see the forward ventral laser and the pull-out "landing gear."

And I should also confess at this point that, while carrying this around with me all day yesterday, I had two thought ringing constantly through my mind:
"If this is a consular ship, Where. Is. The. Ambassador?"
and
"Commander, tear this ship apart until you've found those plans and bring me the passengers. I want them alive!"
Hence (obviously) the name of today's post....

Here's a look at what it looks like next to one of the X-Wing miniatures from FFG's X-Wing Miniatures Game. Yeah. The scale is WAAAY off. But I purchased it intending to use it in this game, and knowing that the scale was off. I've seen others use the bigger version that Kenner produced in their Collector's line--it's a lot more massive. (I actually saw one of those for sale at a STEAL yesterday, but it was late in the day and I talked myself out of it. It was gone this morning when I was ready to buy it. :( Isn't that always the way?)

Those bigger ones are a lot closer in scale than this. However, I've also seen the MicroMachines Action Fleet versions of the capitol ships used as stand-ins for a senatorial shuttle, for example. When I lucked into this at a great price (more than half of what the same, unboxed versions are going for on e-Bay) I couldn't resist. I've also picked up a couple of the so-called "Republic Cruisers" from Episode I for the same purpose. I'd seen these used online by a couple different players, and thought I'd pick them up at another STEAL. (It helps the cost that I don't need them MIB, I suppose.)

Now, I acknowledge that FFG is releasing its own version of this craft. Mine is a bit smaller than the "announced"/estimated size of the official FFG version. I'll probably still use this as a stand-in or as a replacement for another craft and eventually pick up FFG's version (if for nothing else than the extras in the box--templates, mission, etc.) if I can find it at a bargain. I'm still searching today for another Kenner version; I'm not having much luck at finding an affordable one, though. THAT one is much closer to scale and looks impressive with the smaller ships around it. (OK. I'm a geek. I just grabbed a ruler and a calculator. According to Wookieepedia an X-Wing is 12.5 meters long while the Tantive IV is 150 meters. The miniature X-Wing is 1.75" long; That means the Tantive IV model would have to be 21" long to be in scale. Mine is only 7" long. However, on a high note, Amazon lists the Kenner Collector's version at 16" long, which is much, much closer to the correct scale. I can see now why FFG includes this little blurb in its description of its version of the Tantive IV:
The Tantive IV and Rebel Transport will be the first X-Wing starships released outside of the game’s 1/270 scale. Simply too big to function in the game at that scale, they left us with two options. We could change their scale, or we could leave them out of the game. In the end, we decided these ships were simply too iconic and exciting to ignore, and we invented a new “relative” scale, carefully balancing each ship's playability against its presence on the table.
(Emphasis added.) The cost alone for such a "miniature" would make it altogether prohibitive for most but the hardcore gamers to accept.

Now...I just need to learn how to play the freakin' game....



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Previous "P"s:
2013: P is for Pond Stalker (creature)
2012: P is for Pyramid of Swords (locale)
2011: P is for Poushif Bonereader (npc)

[A to Z April] O is for Oh My Gosh, What Have I Done?

In lieu of a campaign-specific post today, and because I'm standing in the crush of great unwashed (in some cases literally) at the Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Experience, I'm just giving a quick heads up to y'all that I've gone and done it.

I've jumped from fantasy gaming for a moment and picked up a new game. A sci-fi game.

Fantasy Flight's X-Wing Miniatures Game.

How could I not? I mean, great minis and Star Wars? Not to mention the chance to make "pew pew" sounds across the table at another grown man without either of you laughing at the other? C'mon...it was meant to be!

I just waited a while until I gave in to the urges. I had read one too many battle reports online and it all just built up until I found a coupon for Barnes & Noble, swooped in, and grabbed it at a discount. That broke the dam.

I now have six more expansions, with two more on the way in the mail (more on these in just a moment), and already looking at storage options. I'm also making some third-party purchases with an eye to beefing up my game a bit.

Now, the two I have in the mail? I have to boast: I managed to find a seller on e-Bay selling the Millennium Falcon Expansion Pack for about 40% of MSRP. I bought two, and even got free shipping. The third-party purchase(s) I'll discuss in the coming days.

All for now. I have to go feed my hunger by wandering the exhibit halls of Comic Con.

Excelsior!



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Previous "O"s:
2013: O is for Omen Wine (beverage)
2012: O is for Oath of Righeous Magic (spell)
2011: O is for Opening Doors

16 April 2014

[A to Z April] N is for Nestspirit Caverns (map)


Something different for today's map: Due to some sudden upheaval in my personal life, I've not had time to prepare any background info on the Nestspirit Caverns; neither have I had time to do any tagging or stocking. I'm a bit saddened by this, because the name Nestspirit Caverns just seems to SCREAM for some cool backstory. Maybe I'll revisit this once the A to Z is over this year.

Then again, I'm still waiting to get back to some NPCs from the September challenge from 2012. So...yeah. There's that.


Anyway, hope you enjoy. I enjoyed getting back to some caverns. Added some extra little chunks of rock mid-corridor here and there, too. It's one-dimensional; the next level (if there is one) may have some height changes here and there. Maybe a pit or a pool, too. We'll see.

The usual applies to this image: free to use, just drop me a note to let me know if, where, when, and how it was used. The PDF can be grabbed HERE.


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Previous "N"s:
2013: N is for Nalicon's Plague (spell)
2012: N is for Noises in the Dark (table)
2011: N is for Nano-dice

15 April 2014

[A to Z April] M is for Marsh Blade (item)

Forged at the behest of the Venerable Tirai Derus II centuries ago, the blade now known as the Marsh Blade was a beautiful scimitar. Its entire surface–hilt and blade–was crusted with engraved designs and precious stones. Needless to say it was purchased for a small fortune.

The blade itself was imbued with magic sufficient enough to be considered a +1 weapon. An error was made at the forge, however, and the magical infusion was never correctly concluded. As a result, when Tirai Derus II was killed in the Ghoulbourn Fen and the newly-forged scimitar sank into the disgusting marsh waters, it began to absorb the qualities of the swamp around it.

Newly re-discovered and dubbed the Marsh Blade, the scimitar is now more deadly than Tirai Derus II ever considered. The centuries of submersion in the marsh has imbued the sword with diseases from the water. When wielded, the sword literally drips with filthy marsh water.

On a successful critical hit, the blade attempts to infect the target with one of six diseases commonly found in the foul waters of Ghoulbourn Fen, as if it was a poisoned blade. On the roll of a natural 1, however, the wielder of the sword is targeted by the possible infection. (Note: despite the infection methods and incubation periods normally associated with these diseases, upon wounding with the Marsh Blade, the target must make a successful save against the disease’s DC. Upon an unsuccessful save, infection and damage occurs immediately.)

Marsh Blade Effects

d6 Roll
Disease
1
Blinding Sickness
2
Cackle Fever
3
Filth Fever
4
Mindfire
5
Shakes
6
Slimy Doom


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Previous "M"s:
2013: M is for Middlemurk Church (map)
2012: M is for Myth Voice (feat)
2011: M is for Maerl Dardar (npc)

14 April 2014

[A to Z April] L is for Lell (npc)

To all those who know her, she is known only as “Lell.” If she has a family name, she has hidden it well. In truth, she is the youngest child of a five-child-household. Her parents remain alive, last she knew, but both are in poor health. It has been a dozen years since Lell looked in on her family on anything more than a cursory manner. Her family feels the same way and avoids her whenever possible. Lell emigrated to Coldtreath to get further away from her family home in the village of Anazel, off the Coter Straits. She currently calls no one “family” and few creatures “friend.”

At one time, Lell had a very comfortable, stable life at home. The Anazel Fire of 1312 ruined her happiness, however, taking her favorite grandparents from her.

She was helpless to save them, despite having bragged only that morning about her survival and adventuring skills. Her family held her partially responsible; blaming herself as well, she reacted to the accusations poorly, losing her temper. The resulting rage completed the alienation of her entire family. Because of the loss of her grandparents, and the subsequent loss of the rest of her family’s love, Lell cannot feel at home or settle anywhere for long. She is jealous of those around her that seem to have the happiness she lost. Although she tries to keep her anger tightly in check, she will occasionally give in to mindless bouts of reckless anger. The "fits" last anywhere from minutes to hours; afterwards, she is spent physically and emotionally, with no knowledge of her actions during that time.


She is considered of average beauty among halflings. She is average height for her race, standing just a titch under 3' tall. She has a skull-cap of black hair pulled into a braided ponytail, with the sides of her head shaved to the skin and long bangs framing her face. Her eye-color changes with her mood, although her most common mood is “annoyance.”

Lell is ambitious, always trying to prove herself to others. She is a sucker for lost causes, feeling that she can somehow atone for her grandparents’ death by succeeding where others have failed. She worships no deity, but believes only in fate and luck.

Lell, HALFLING Fighter 6CR 6
XP 2,400
LN Small humanoid
Init +4; Senses listen +2; Spot +0
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +1 size, +2 armor, +1 shield)
hp 43 (16d6+32)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3
Special: Fearless
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee Sword, short +9 (1d4+3/19-20)
Ranged Blowgun +14 (1+4) range 20
Full attacks Sword, short +7/2 (1d4+3/19-20) or blowgun +12/12 (1+4) range 20
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 9
Base Atk +6; Grapple +3
Feats: Armor Proficiency (Heavy, Light, Medium), Martial Weapon Proficiency, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Tower Shield Proficiency, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (blowgun), Weapon Specialization (sword, short), Weapon Specialization (blowgun)
Skills: Climb +10, Hide +7, Intimidate +6, Jump +9, Listen +2, Move Silently +5, Ride +4, Spot +0, Swim +4
Languages Common, Halfling, Gnome
EQUIPMENT
Bracers of Armor (+1), Cloak of Resistance (+1), +1 Blowgun


**Many thanks to WotC's "PC Portraits" Archive for the image.

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Previous "L"s:
2013: L is for Ladder, Nature’s (spell)
2012: L is for Lung Leech Swarm (creature)
2011: L is for Lehman Caves

[A to Z April] K is for Kell's Force Tonic (beverage)

Kell’s Force Tonic is modeled after a libation created a century ago by the Mad Wizard Kell, who was determined to create a beverage that was both delicious to drink and, because of his paranoia, an effective way to better see corporeal undead. In his honor, those few enterprising individuals who still mix up a batch of tonic for sale market the Force Tonic in the same kind of small brass bottle that Kell was known to use. Like Kell’s, each bottle contains one dose of the Force Tonic. To pay their respects, these bottles have an etched image of Kell on their side.

The Tonic is a grey-colored liquid that has a barely-noticeable smell of fresh-baked bread and a smooth, pleasant vanilla taste. A single dose provides a slight buzz; the “side effects” take effect in 3d4 rounds. These “side effects” allow the individual the ability to see and touch incorporeal creatures for its duration; namely, 5d6 rounds. The Tonic does not come cheap, however, at 400 gp per dose.



**Due to Blogger-related issues beyond my control, this post apparently didn't actually publish on Saturday as scheduled. So, I repost it today.

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Previous "K"s:
2013: K is for Kith, Sin (creature)
2012: K is for Kel, Scokin (npc)
2011: K is for Key, Skeleton (item)

11 April 2014

[A to Z April] J is for Jade Temple (map)

The Jade Temple is a subterranean temple carved out of an enormous lode of magnificent jade. The temple was originally dedicated to the worship of Daiurai, the Goddess of Spring. Recently, however, it has been taken over and corrupted by worshipers of Thosli, the God of Destruction and Wrath. Thosli desires the secrets and treasures he is sure reside in the temple. For every 10 minutes the adventures are in the Jade Temple, there is a 25% chance of encountering a group of 1d4 followers of Thosli. Each group will contain one magic user or cleric.

1. The 10-foot-wide hallways in this entryway and the parallel hallway to the east are lined with ornate bas relief sculptures depicting epic battles between avatars of Daiurai and Thosli and their followers. Worshipers of Daiurai attain a morale bonus to any combat maneuvers performed in line of sight of the sculptures. In the eastern hallway is a representation of Daiurai falling to Thosli’s sword. The floor immediately in front of that image is trapped; any creature that stops to pay respect to Thosli and his victory over Daiurai triggers the pit trap.

2. This chamber is entered by one of four doors. Each door is locked with excellent locks and are trapped with one of four different traps: explosive rune, acid spray, poisoned needles, and electrical discharge. The stone floor forms a cross and is suspended over a bottomless chasm. In the center of the cross is a small pedestal on which rests an urn. The urn is purported to contain the ashes of Daiurai’s first prophet, Fawai the Bountiful. Removing the urn from the pedestal will cause the room to be filled with a pillar of divine fire. Stone golems stand in the four alcoves in the hallways around this chamber as protectors of the urn; if they sense the urn’s presence outside the chamber, each of them will become active and seek to (1) recover the urn and (2) punish those who are responsible for moving the urn. They will pursue and attack until either their target(s) are destroyed or they are destroyed.

3. The door to this chamber is protected by two of four different traps: rune of disintegration, spiked floor, spore cloud, and a falling block trap. Inside the chamber is a stone circle suspended over a bottomless chasm. The floor of the chamber is treacherous and covered with ice. At the north end of the stone circle is an altar on which rests a frozen heart, rumored to be a trophy taken from an avatar of Thosli after his death at Daiurai’s hands. The air temperature itself will cause cold damage every round to any creature that spends more than one minute in the chamber. If allowed to close, the door will automatically lock and the alternate two traps will be set.

4. Four sarcophagi fill this chamber. They are the final resting place of four of Daiurai’s greatest clerics: Enoundro the Learned, Bez the Faithful, Nol Adouk the Unlucky, and Krop the Silencer. 1d4 of these sarcophagi have been infiltrated by rot grubs. Each of them contain various minor treasures and oddly well-preserved funerary vestments.

5. This is the treasure room for the temple, where donations were stored. There is a 50% chance that the bulk of the treasure has already been removed from the temple by looters or followers of Thosli.

6. The chapel of Daiurai has been desecrated. The altar has been doused with the blood of some unidentifiable creature–possibly even human–while the pews and statuary have been vandalized, broken, and burned. A crude image of Thosli has been drawn in soot over the altar. Any evil creature will attain a significant morale bonus to attack rolls while in this chamber, while any good creature will suffer a similar morale penalty.

7. A massive stone guardian fills this alcove and will immediately attack any non-good creature it sees. It will pursue and attack until it either destroys its target(s) or is itself destroyed. Gore and shredded cloth is scattered around the alcove, floor, and ceiling.

8. Followers of Thosli have, apparently, somehow found their way into this room, the living quarters for the current priest of Daiurai in residence, Dominus Jere. Upon entering this room, one will immediately see the tortured, slaughtered remains of Dominus Jere hanging from the wall over his personal shrine to Daiurai. A thorough search of this chamber will uncover little in the way of typical treasure. However, a letter significant to one of the adventurers’ personal quests will be found in Jere’s desk. In addition, there is a massive tome entitled “Revised Inscriptions of the Hallowed.” Taking at least one hour to read this tome will impart knowledge of Daiurai to one reader. If read by a good cleric, it will also grant the knowledge of a random minor clerical spell of the DM’s discretion.

9. The doors leading to this hallway are locked from the outside. Warning runes are scribbled hastily in chalk on each door. Within the corridor are 2d4 ghouls who followed the smell of carnage into the temple and who were trapped in the corridor by followers of Thosli, some of whom were trapped with the ghouls and have been killed and partially consumed.

The long hallway bisecting the temple from east to west contains two pit traps for the unwary infidel. There are signs on the ceiling above each trap that warn of the traps to those whose eyes are turned heavenward seeking for Daiurai’s assistance and favor. Unfortunately, they are in the ancient language of Obi and can only be read and understood by a student of Obi or Daiurai.

The usual applies to this image: free to use, just drop me a note to let me know if, where, when, and how it was used. The PDF can be grabbed HERE.


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Previous "J"s:
2013: J is for Jade Skull (item)
2012: J is for Jalbion’s Liquid Jewel (spell)
2011: J is for Juniper Ale (beverage)

10 April 2014

[A to Z April] I is for Island, Oraoss (map)

The island nation of Oraoss lies approximately 1500 miles southwest from the continental port of Coldtreath. It lies in a temperate zone and has a wide range of climates and terrains for a relatively small island at 15,000 square miles. The island is characterized mainly by the sharp division created by the central mountain range–the Dazao Mountains–which separates the lush, wooded eastern side from the gently rolling plains and barren desert on the west. The southern tip of the island is an enormous marshland, the Raekri Marshes, which are nearly impassable without an expert guide. The island is surrounded by four smaller islands as well as a small island range, the Uabal Islands.

The capitol city, Raolde, is an average size city by continental standards, large by Oraossian standards. Its population of 3,254 adults is dominated by elves (92%) followed by humans at 2%. Another 5% is made up of an equal mix of dwarves, halflings, gnomes, half-elves, and orcs. Walled by stone, Raolde is famous for its scholars (its major export followed closely by blueberries) and its courtesans. Many travel to see its beautiful architecture and experience the thrill of the gladiator rings. Most who visit realize only later that the locals grossly overcharge outsiders for their experience.

Despite the dominant elvish population, crime is out of control in Raolde. Three separate thieves’ guilds operate in Raolde under the nose of its governing official, the Lawgiver Kera Pata. Nominally an elected official, the Lawgiver heads a corrupt government. Raoldian officials, while ostensibly the most cultured and refined of the population of Oraoss are still largely seen as bumpkins to their counterparts in Coldtreath and other large cities on the continent.

Most of the other towns and cities on Oraoss are embarrassed to be associated with those from Raolde. The Uabals have unofficially declared independence; the Lord of Cear Keep, Bik Iloamai (known as “the Subjugator” to many throughout Oraoss) is the self-styled Lawgiver-in-exile, claiming to be the heir to the deposed once-Lawgiver. Seeing himself as the “true government” of Oraoss, Bik Iloamai occasionally sends decrees across the Uabal Strait to be distributed by messenger to the various Oraossian cities; these decrees contain more than a hint of madness and irrational mandates.

Oraoss also boasts a large population of dwarves who inhabit Kilfik Hall, nestled at the base of Fivejade Peak, the tallest mountain on Oraoss (soaring 1,200 feet above sea level). Snow is often seen on the very top of Fivejade Peak during the rainy season. The dwarves of Kilfik Hall harvest the snow and ice and export it throughout Oraoss. Nestled in the arms of the Utui Hills, the passageways and chambers of Kilfik Hall are rumored to extend throughout the center of Fivejade Peak, although few outsiders have ever been invited into the Hall and no outsider has been known to be allowed past the Asssembly Room just within the main gates.

The usual applies to this image: free to use, just drop me a note to let me know if, where, when, and how it was used. The PDF can be grabbed HERE.


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Previous "I"s:
2013: I is for Ice Quartz Caverns (map)
2012: I is for Iron Hide Zombie (creature)
2011: I is for Inkeeper (npc)

09 April 2014

[A to Z April] H is for Heart Filth (poison)

Heart Filth is typically found–at least when purchased from semi-reputable dealers–in a ceramic flask. The flask itself is traditionally stopped with a plug of tree sap/ the bottom third of the flask is wrapped from neck to base with a fine cord.

The main ingredient in heart filth is filtered ocher oil, which lends the poison its signature orange color and its aftertaste of mint. The distillation process gives the liquid a faint burnt meat smell.

This vicious poison quickly debilitates any creature that ingests it. Because of its strength and its relatively slow-acting effect, its use is favored by groups such as the Black Wolves of Halldale and the Assassin Monks of Wanbei Shi.
Heart Filth Poison
Type: poison (ingested); Save: Fortitude DC 15
Onset: 1 minute; Frequency: 1/hour for 12 hours
Initial Effect: 1d2 Con and Str damage
Secondary Effect: 1d2 Con OR Str damage (alternating) 1/hour for 12 hours

Cure: 2 consecutive saves

Cost: 500 gp per dose (liquid)

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Previous "H"s:
2013: H is for Heths' Jeacky Fleter (beverage)
2012: H is for Happy Birthday
2011: H is for Hargrim, the Soulhammer (item)

08 April 2014

[A to Z April] G is for Ghostcall, Eroutoa (npc)

Many know the elvish armorer called Eroutoa Ghostcall, but if anybody truly knows her, they’ve yet to be discovered. She is a tall, gangly elf with alabaster skin and long, straight, golden blonde hair. She’s attractive, despite missing her left eye; her right eye is a pretty honey color.

Stories abound about her background; in the absence of the truth, any of those stories could be the truth. The most prevalent story is that she is on the run. From what? No on is quite sure. Even though she knows all of the gossip, she has neither related the true story to anyone, no has she let it affect her personality. She remains polite and helpful to all, especially her customers.

The few people that have seen her hidden storerooms will attest to her nature as an inveterate packrat. She loves to tell stories and will often keep customers well past their transaction’s close, just to tell “one more story.” In spite of her loquaciousness, she lives a secret life. She has no close friends, only acquaintances and customers. No one is even sure where she sleeps; there’s no apparent living quarters attached to Eroutoa’s Arms and no one has ever seen her spend the night elsewhere.

One thing that is for sure, any who know her know of her paranoia against the gnomish race. Her paranoia lends her a mild bias against the short folk. She doesn’t let it affect business; she’ll sell to them just as readily as any other individual. Finally, Those that consider her a friend are extremely loyal. No one wants to believe the worst of her and will fiercely protect her, her store, and her reputation.

Eroutoa Ghostcall, ELF Expert (Armorer) 16CR 8
XP 4,800
CG Medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses keen senses; low-light vision; listen +10; spot +1
DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +1 Dex)
hp 88 (16d6+32)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +9
Immune: Sleep; Resistance: Enchantments (+2)
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee longsword +17 (1d8+5/19-20)
Ranged longbow +13 (1d8 x3) range 100
Full attacks longsword +17/12/7 (1d8+5/19-20) or longbow +13/8/3 (1d8 x3) range 100
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
STATISTICS
Str 17, Dex 13, Con 10 (+4 = 14), Int 12, Wis 9, Cha 8
Base Atk +12; Grapple +15
Feats: Armor Proficiency (Heavy, Light, Medium), Combat Reflexes, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Persuasive, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills: Appraise +20, Bluff +20, Craft (Armorer) +20, Handle Animal +8, Hide +4, Intimidate +22, Knowledge (Nobility) +12, Listen +10, Profession (Merchant) +18, Ride +12, Search +3, Spot +1
Languages Common, Elven, Sylvan
EQUIPMENT
Bracers of Armor (+2), Cloak of Elvenkind (+5), Longsword +1, Chain shirt (Mithral)
Buffing Spells Pre-cast: Bears Endurance (CL 16)


**Many thanks to Birosca Nerd for the image.

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Previous "G"s:
2013: G is for Grey Spirit Blade (item)
2012: G is for Green, Mage (item)
2011: G is for Grick

07 April 2014

[A to Z April] F is for Flying Frost (spell)

Flying Frost

Transmutation [cold]
Level: Druid 4
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area of Effect: 50-ft.-radius-circle
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates (object)
Spell Resistance: Yes (object)

Flying frost causes a thick layer of hoarfrost to form and settle over everything within the area of effect.

This spell is essentially a "mass effect" version of the spell chill metal. The description is essentially the same as chill metal with the following differences:
  • The damage dealt during the second and next-to-last round is increased to 2d4 points. The damage dealt during the middle rounds is increased to 3d4 points.
  • If a creature is not wearing or wielding a metal item, it takes minimum damage (increased to 2 or 3 points).
  • Flying frost counters and dispels primordial spark


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    Previous "F"s:
    2013: F is for Frost Wound Patch (locale)
    2012: F is for Flesh Alliance (spell)
    2011: F is for Found Items
  • 05 April 2014

    [A to Z April] E is for Eroutoa's Arms (map)

    Eroutoa's Arms is, to those in the know, THE place to acquire your finest arms, armor, and as the sign out front says, "miscellany." Eroutoa Ghostcall has been the proprietor here for as long as any can remember. Over the decades of proprietorship, Eroutoa has gathered together a fine inventory of weapons, armor, shields, and miscellaneous equipment, both mundane and magical. Prices run from reasonable to outrageous to outright "OUCH" depending on your needs (and your personality).

    The Armory itself is a large single-story dwelling. There are no discernible living quarters on the premises; no one is quite sure where Eroutoa Ghostcall resides when she is not minding the store. The building itself is made of thick, strong stone with a flat stone roof. Every attempt at piercing the outer wall has failed, sometimes spectacularly.


    Upon entering through the heavy iron doors one immediately sees two waist-high (to a human) counters and various bits of equipment hanging on the walls. At any time there may be a variety of weapons, armor, or miscellaneous items strewn about on the counters. This is the "showroom." Behind the counters is a door to the warehouse. The interior doors are all thick iron-bound wood. They are always locked and each of them are heavily warded with magical protections. Only Eroutoa and those customers she trusts ever pass through any of the interior doors. The floor is wooden, but magically strengthened and fortified against breakage, prying, digging, or burning.

    The first "storeroom" is dominated by three long rows of shelves that reach from floor to ceiling. These are where the more common and mundane items are stored and displayed. The secondary storeroom have a pair of similar shelves; these hold the basic magical items. A secret door on the north end of the secondary storeroom leads to what Eroutoa refers to as her "inner sanctum." A series of shelves line three of the walls; these are filled with rare and special items.

    A secret door in the floor of the inner sanctum leads to Eroutoa's true storeroom. The hard-packed dirt floor and dressed stone walls keep her rarest and most unique items safe and dry. Crates and barrels from around the continent are stored here, filled with items of wondrous power.

    Unbeknownst to Eroutoa, a family of ghouls have discovered her lower storeroom, unexpectedly breaking through the walls while digging the foul tunnels that make up their nest. They have concealed the entrance to the storeroom and rarely visit the civilized space in the basement of the Armory. The risk of discovery is too great for them to enter the storeroom except as a retreat in extreme cases.

    [Aside: This map came about from doodles on two 3x5 cards while sitting at court waiting for my client's name to be called. Scanned, GIMPed up a bit, and thrown out to the world. I'm still trying to get a handle on GIMP. Every time I get a process I like, I let the program sit for months until I've forgotten just what I did last time. Let me know what you think. End aside.]

    The usual applies to this image: free to use, just drop me a note to let me know if, where, when, and how it was used. The PDF can be grabbed HERE.



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    Previous "E"s:
    2013: E is for Enik, Lord of Maltrai (npc)
    2012: E is for Elder Oath (spell)
    2011: E is for Erol Otus


    04 April 2014

    [A to Z April] D is for Delightful Drink of Draconic Darkness (beverage)

    Delightful Drink of Draconic Darkness

    The alliteratively-named Delightful Drink of Draconic Darkness is served in a standard pint jar-shaped vessel made of dragonhide. The liquid itself is a dull, black color and is rumored to contain dragons’ blood and other various ingredients of draconic or reptilian oriign.

    The brew has a strong smell of roses, yet tastes lemony with a weak sulphur undertone. It has a thick texture, almost as if it were congealing. Even one glass of the Delightful Drink of Draconic Darkness, or “D4" as it has been nicknamed, is incredibly alcoholic and can cause rapid drunkenness in all but the hardiest drinkers. Most find themselves in a compromised state within one round of consumption. A side effect caused by the various monstrous ingredients is a numbness of the lips for 4d6 rounds after the pint is finished.

    **Many thanks to my buddy Simonathi Starym for game testing, advice, and tweaking on this year's A to Z.


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    Previous "D"s:
    2013: D is for Duk (npc)
    2012: D is for D’leth Inemas (npc)
    2011: D is for Drake, Carrion (creature)

    03 April 2014

    [A to Z April] C is for Cradle, Exotic (spell)

    Cradle, Exotic

    Conjuration (Healing)
    Level: Clr 5, Drd 6, Healing 5
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: Creature touched
    Duration: 2 hours/level
    Saving Throw: Special
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    This spell increases the efficiency of healing while resting. The target creature feels soothed and comforted, as if being held in a mother’s loving arms. The spell allows the recovery of 2 hit points per character level each hour, to a maximum of 150 total recovered hit points.

    The spell also has a soporific effect on willing targets, much like the sleep spell. A target can voluntarily waken prior to the termination of the spell by making a successful Will check. This applies whether it is the target himself wishing to wake or a third party attempting to wake the target. The caster can terminate the spell--thus waking the target--at any time.


    **Many thanks to my buddy Simonathi Starym for game testing, advice, and tweaking on this year's A to Z.


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    Previous "C"s:
    2013: C is for Cleft Helm (item)
    2012: C is for Charred Brimstone Mist (beverage)
    2011: C is for Chiala Ereand (npc)

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