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.

30 April 2013

[A to Z April] Y is for Ynx (creature)


A tall, slender humanoid approaches you from the end of the corridor. It reaches out its four arms, equidistantly placed around its torso. The creature has an equine head with donkey-like ears and shark-like skin. Its eyes glow an eerie green The creature flails its arms around as it nears you; one touch of its hand and it vanishes, as does the corridor around you. When your vision clears you find yourself in an unknown place.

Ynx CR 4

CE Medium Monstrous Humanoid
Init: +5; Senses: darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +4; Spot +4

DEFENSE


AC 18 (+4 Dex, +3 Studded leather, +1 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 14
hp30 (6d8+3)
Fort +5; Ref +10; Will +7

OFFENSE


Speed 30 ft.
Melee +8 Slam (1d6+3)
Special Attacks Displacement burst
Spell-like Abilities (CL 8th); 3/day -- quickened dimension door

TACTICS


A ynx attacks with all four arms, slamming its foe repeatedly. It will first target its foes with its displacement burst, or the largest group of its foes. It will flee if it is reduced to less than 5 hp.

STATISTICS


Str 19, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 18
Base Attack 4, Grapple 8
Feats: Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack, Mutliattack
Skills: Concentration 6, Escape Artist 7, Hide 5, Intimidate 7, Jump 5, Listen 4, Move Silently 2, Spot 4
Languages: Common, Ynx, Telepathy 100 ft.

SPECIAL ABILITIES


Displacement Burst: Once per day, a ynx can teleport all creatures within 50 feet of it to randomly determined locations. The ynx can only affect creatures of which it is aware and to which it has line of sight. A successful DC 16 Will save negates this effect. An affected creature is teleported in a random direction (roll 1d8, with 1 indicating north and the other numbers indicating compass going clockwise) and a random distance (1d10 × 100 feet) away from the ynx; determine each creature’s direction randomly. A teleported creature arrives in the closest open space to the determined destination, but must appear on a solid surface capable of supporting its weight. If there is no appropriate destination in that direction, the creature does not teleport at all. The save DC is Charisma-based.


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Previous "Y"s:
2012: Ylder's Timid Divinity (spell)
2011: Y is for Yllseriad, The Shrine of


27 April 2013

[A to Z April] X is for Xal's Dire Brown (Beverage)

Xal’s Dire Brown

This brew is the insane creation of a dwarven brewer known only as “Xal.” His name does not translate into any known language, so it is rumored that he changed his name after being cast out from his Clanhold. There are also those who say it was actually created by a well-known dwarven brewer who changed his name for the original brew so that he would not be blamed for its horrible and unappetizing appearance. The recipe has been handed down through the generations, but is believed to be identical to that originally created by Xal. The brew is not common, but can be found here and there across the realm, usually on dusty back shelves in finer drinking establishments. Only a true connoisseur knows that the ugly and dingy bottles contain a truly magnificent treasure.

The brew itself is a murky brown color that has a thick, viscous texture. It smells of wax and sulpher but tastes of grapes with a hint of citrus and spice. After drinking, it has been known to cause momentary giddiness and dizziness. These are side effects from which a drinker will recover in 1d6 rounds. Although safe to drink, if spilled on an object or a creature, the brew will melt or burn similar to the effects of acid. When spilled, it will cause 1 hp damage, regardless of amount spilled. This damage is not incurred when the liquid is consumed.

The typical bottle is an iron flask with a metal cap. The label is fastened to the bottle by a silk ribbon tied around the neck. The label itself is written in an ancient dwarven dialect, not commonly spoken. These bottles, when new, each contain ten servings of the brew.

Xal’s Dire Brown, 50 gp/bottle

**Many thanks to Dyson Logos and his Random Table of Potion Containers, used to create the bottle for this particular brew.

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Previous "X"-es:
2012: X is for Xouvyus (New NPC)
2011: X is for X'rr

26 April 2013

[A to Z April] W is for Wild Drip Crater (locale)

Wild Drip Crater is a unique feature of the landscape in the prairie in the geographic center of the continent of Dran. While those who have not seen the Crater for themselves routinely refer to it as "simply a hole in the ground," those who have witnessed it have never been the same.

The Crater appears to be in the geographical center of the continent. The crater itself is an oval measuring 300' wide by 400' long at the rim's widest points; the walls slope gradually to the floor. A single pathway spirals down the outside edge making two complete circuits before it reaches the inner floor, some 400' below. The substance making up the floor and walls defies identification: it is neither dirt, nor stone. It most closely resembles bleached bone. All attempts to sample or break the surface of the crater have failed: it is impenetrable and unbreakable. Other than the pathway, the entire surface of the Crater is smooth, unbroken, and featureless.

While the surrounding plains are green and verdant, the crater itself is dry. Bone dry. Any water or liquid that is spilled or poured out onto the surface of the crater vanishes, presumably from evaporation, before it touches the ground. No matter the weather on the outside, no precipitation ever finds its way to wet the surface of the Crater. No matter the season on the outside, the inside of the Crater is always at a constant 71º. There are no winds or weather patterns within the Crater; even magical weather fails within the Crater.

Perhaps the oddest feature of the Crater is that which gives it its name: the wild drip. While inside the Crater, individuals report hearing the distinct sound of dripping water. There is no discernible source for the sound, but -- without fail -- one can hear a single drip every second while within the walls of the Crater.

Some have gone mad listening to this sound.


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Previous "W"s:
2012: W is for Wyrm, Slimeclaw (monster)
2011:W is for Waulker (npc)


25 April 2013

[A to Z April] V is for Varra Turnskull (npc)

Next to Shosh, the Goddess of Wrath and Forests, Varra Turnskull reveres her parents. In fact, it is safe to say that she idolizes her parents. She carries with her a miniature painting of the two of them. Of late, it has been a time of sadness for Varra: her mother is critically ill, suffering from an as-yet incurable case of Pit Canker.

Unfortunately for all involved, it has been some time since Varra has spoken with her family. She has spied on them to ensure their safety and welfare, but has been made to feel unwelcome by her older brother who has appointed himself guardian and caretaker over their parents and the family home. To make matters worse, she must be careful about the attention she draws to her parents, as they fled their ancestral home in Warntell Dale when Varra was still a baby. She has never been told the full story about their pre-dawn flight from Warntell Dale beyond the fact that they did so with the constable and a posse hot on their tales. She vaguely remembers the frantic, meandering travels from the Dale to Quickvale where they now reside.

The persecution did not stop with their arrival in Quickvale, however. Even though they have long resided in Quickvale and have established a beautiful homestead, most of the community of Quickvale shun and avoid them. Through her work and associations, Varra has cultivated a relationship with a small thieves’ guild who has a small degree of influence within Quickvale. This guild cares for, watches over, and provides for her family -- including protection and groceries -- in her absence.

As a teenager, she found herself in a situation where her older brother and some of his cohorts had her cornered. She had nothing but love for her older brother; she looked up to him as a role model and a hero. As teenagers will do, however, he fell into the trap of peer pressure and he found himself joining with his friends as they mocked and ridiculed Varra for her looks, among other things, and did so without mercy. The harassment continued until Varra could take no more; lashing out she struck one of her brother’s friends in the head with a rock, killing him instantly. Her temper took over control of her mind and body and she thoroughly thrashed everyone near her, including her brother. Since that day her brother has rarely spoken to her, both afraid of what she could do when provoked and angry at himself for being part of the problem. Because of this event, Varra keeps a tight rein on her emotions, controlling and drowning her anger as much as possible. Every so often, however, her control may slip and she gives in to her reckless anger.

She is fiercely loyal and is known for her integrity. She is also known for her pride. In fact, her pride drives her to extremes: she has been known to sneak into estates during fancy parties just so that she can be near people of means and “breeding.” At the same time, she will place wagers on nearly anything, even though she has little patience for those who she believes are devoted to lost causes. She is devoted to Shosh and those deities with whom Shosh associates.

Varra has never been called attractive, even among others of her mixed-race lineage. Her stringy black hair is typically pulled back into pigtails and long braids. She is of average height and build. It is difficult to say what color her eyes might be, as they change with her surroundings. Her dire rat, Reaskeln, is devoted to her mistress and would die for Varra. The two are rarely seen apart.

Varra Turnskull CR 4
Half-Orc Ranger 4
CN Medium Humanoid
Init: +3
Senses: Listen +7, Spot +6
Languages: Common, Orc
____________________________________
AC 16 (+3 Dex, +3 Studded leather), Touch 13, Flat-footed 13
hp 23
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +3
________________________
Speed: 30
Melee: +7 Battleaxe (1d8+3 / 20 / x3) or
Ranged: +8 Dart (1d4+3 / 20 / x2) (range 20)
Full Attack: +7 Battleaxe (1d8+3 / 20 / x3) or +8 Dart (1d4+3 / 20 / x2) (range 20)
Space/Reach: 5/5
Base Atk 4; Grp 6
Atk Options: Favored Enemy (elementals): +2 damage
Combat Gear: Battleaxe +1, Studded Leather
Spells Known: (CL 4)
1st — (DC 13) entangle
________________________
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 7
SQ: Animal Companion -- dire rat (Reaskeln), Wild Empathy
Feats: Armour prof light, Endurance, Martial Weap Prof, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Track
Skills: Concentration 2, Hide 9, Jump 3, Know dungeon 7, Listen 7, Move Silently 9, Search 2, Spot 6, Survival 9, Swim 4, Use Rope 3,
Possessions: Combat gear plus Potion of Cure Light Wounds (x4); Potion of Endure Elements; Potion of Protection from Energy; Potion of Resist Energy

---------------------------------------------------------

Reaskeln CR 1
Dire Rat Animal Companion CR 1
Neutral Small Animal (Animal)
Init +3
Senses: Low-light Vision, Scent; Listen +4; Spot +4
____________________________________
AC 15 (+3 Dex, +1 Natural, +1 size), Touch 14, Flat-footed 12
hp 10
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +3
________________________
Speed: 40, swim 20ft., climb 20ft.
Melee: +4 Bite (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 5/5
Base Atk 0; Grp -3
Atk Options: Disease Filth fever
________________________
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 12, Chr 4
SQ: Bonus Trick, Link, Handle Animal, Share Spells
Feats: Alertness. Weapon Finesse
Skills: Climb 11, Hide 8, Listen 4, Move Silently 4, Spot 4, Swim 11
________________________
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Disease Filth Fever (Ex): DC(12) Filth fever DC Fort incubation 1d3 days
Evasion (Ex): If subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.
Link (Ex): Ranger gains a +4 bonus on Wild Empathy and Handle Animal checks made on animal companion
Share Spells (Ex): Ranger may have any spell casts on self also affect animal companion

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


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Previous "V"s:
2012: V is for Vapor Dwindle (spell)
2011: V is for Vesseth (npc)


24 April 2013

[A to Z April] U is for Ulah of Kaitus (npc)

Ulah is originally from Quickvale, but upon reaching adulthood traveled to the far eastern coast of Dran to the exotic port city of Kaitus. He now claims that halfling haven as his only home, even after having returned to Coldtreath. He dresses in a Kaitian style and uses Kaitian weapons and equipment.

Ulah’s parents are both still alive in Quickvale, although they are reputedly in poor health. Ulah has not seen them or contacted them for years. They were both domineering and controlling people, quick to judgment and anger, especially where Ulah was concerned; as a result, he fears them both. Ulah is the youngest of three children; his older brothers used him as a whetstone for their acerbic wit and mild torture.

The attitudes and personalities of his parents and elder brothers have caused the people of Quickvale to hate and revile the family. Since the community witnessed how Ulah was treated by the family, Ulah is both pitied and respected around Quickvale. They honor him and would care for him and protect him if he was ever in need ... and if he would ever ask. Unfortunately, such a request is unlikely to come; doing so would mean Ulah would have to chance meeting one or more family members.

His teacher in Quickvale introduced Ulah to the joys of learning and reading. Since that time, he has been fascinated by tales of all kinds. He is never without a book or two of his own as well as a journal in which to write tales and stories that he hears in his travels. When in Coldtreath and unemployed, Ulah is likely to be found at the Great Library, browsing through stacks of some of the finest assemblage of scrolls and tomes in leagues.

A number of years ago, before his return to Coldtreath from Kaitus, Ulah stumbled into the forest lair of a colony of immense spiders. He barely escaped with his life and did so with an intense dislike for spiders of all kinds. He always keeps a few potions in his equipment which would allow him to deal with spiders; he is likely to react poorly upon encountering large spiders and would leap into immediate combat.

Ulah is considered to be fairly attractive although many in Coldtreath are taken aback by his Kaitian fashion. He has bright green eyes and jet black hair that is pulled back into a long queue, as is the norm for Kaitian males. He is a towering 6'6" tall, a fact which makes his Kaitian appearance all the more striking.

He is a powerful and effective warrior who rarely fails at a challenge, but a warrior motivated by greed and avarice. He believes in nothing but himself, although he has been known -- on occasion -- to stop and give obeisance at an earth-shrine. Besides reading and listening to tales, Ulah’s great love is hunting.

Ulah of Kaitus CR 5


Human Fighter 5
CN Medium Humanoid
Init: +3
Senses: Listen +0, Spot +0
Languages: Common, Orc
____________________________________
AC 21 (+3 Dex, +5 Breastplate, +3 Shield, heavy wooden +1), touch 13, Flat-footed 18
hp 46
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +1
________________________
Speed: 20
Melee: +7 Greatsword (2d6 +2 / 19-20 / x2) or
Ranged: +8 Crossbow, hand (1d4 / 19-20 / x2) (range 30)
Full Attack: +7 Greatsword (2d6 +2 / 19-20 / x2) and +1 Shield, heavy (1d4+1) or +8 Crossbow, hand (1d4 / 19-20 / x2) (range 30)
Space/Reach: 5/5
Base Atk 5; Grp 7
Combat Gear: breastplate, crossbow (hand) +1, greatsword, shield (heavy wooden) +1
________________________
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 9
Feats: Armor prof heavy, Armor prof light, Armor prof medium, Blind-fight, Combat Reflexes, Exotic Weapon Prof, Improved Shield Bash, Martial Weap Prof, Quick Draw, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Toughness, Tower Shield Proficiency
Skills: Climb 5, Intimidate 7, Jump 5, Listen 0, Ride 5, Spot 0, Swim -2,
Possessions: Combat gear plus Potion of Bulls Strength; Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds; Potion of Neutralize Poison; Potion of Rage; journal; quill pen; ink bottle; three books (Best Loved Tales of the Barbarian Wars, by Dragowulf Wyrponwug; Tales of Bloodshed, by Anric Gunnarsson; The Deeds of Janexa Unnla, by Count Dagran.)


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


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Previous "U"s:
2012: U is for Upper Snarl (locale)
2011: U is for Urosh, Temple of (map)

[A to Z April] T is for Tombstone Blossom (monster)


This flower has a long, reedy stem topped by a small blood-red flower from which protrude sharp branch-like violet spikes. Despite its unusual appearance, it is attractive in an odd way.

Tombstone Blossom CR 2

N Small Plant
Init: +2; Senses: blindsight; Tremorsense 60 ft.; Listen +1; Spot +1

DEFENSE


AC 12 (+1 natural, +1 size), touch 11, flat-footed 12
hp 13 (2d8+4)
Fort +5; Ref +0; Will +1
Immune: plant traits
Weaknesses: vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE


Speed 0 ft.
Melee Sting +5 (1d3 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: poison

TACTICS


A tombstone blossom can sense any living creature within 60 feet. When a living creature comes into range, a tombstone blossom will attempt to force contact and make a touch attack, either through an actual attack (while they are not mobile, they can make an attack on any creature within its range) or through casual contact (the blossoms are quite lovely and attractive, so casual contact is highly possible). Once the touch attack is successful and the living creature is poisioned, the tombstone blossom poison begins its work. Any creature who dies as a result of the blossom’s poison will give rise to another patch of tombstone blossom flowers.

STATISTICS


Str 11, Dex 14, Con 14, Int --, Wis 10, Chr 16
Base Attack 2 Grapple -4
Feats: --
Skills: --
Languages: --

SPECIAL ABILITIES


Poison (Ex): Sting-injury; saveFortitude, DC 13; frequency: 1/round for 6 rounds; effect: 1 Con; cure: remove disease then any restoration spell.

Undead Bane (Su): A living creature who remains still within a patch of tombstone blossoms receives benefits akin to a hide from undead spell. A harvested blossom bestows the same benefit for up to 1d4 days following harvest, if worn on the lapel (or similar area) of a living creature.

ECOLOGY


Environment: Temperate
Organization: Solitary or patch (2-15)
Treasure: --
Advancement: --
Level Adjustment: --

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Previous "T"s:
2012: T is for Thord’s Gore Reach (spell)
2011: T is for Thoklin Oroxel (npc)

22 April 2013

[A to Z April] S is for Suffocation, Immediate (spell)

Suffocation, Immediate

Transmutation
Level: Cleric 7, Druid 7, Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 feet + 5 ft/ 2 levels)
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 round/2 levels
Saving Throw: Fortitude; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes

Upon a successful casting of this spell, the air in the target’s lungs, nose, mouth, and airways turns into a watery mucus-like substance, causing the target to immediately begin to suffocate.

When cast, the target must immediately make a Fortitude save; if successful, the target coughs up and expels the mucus and suffers subdual damage of 1d6 per caster level and may only make a move action for that round. If the Fortitude save fails, the target takes 1d6 subdual damage and must make a Constitution or she begins to suffocate. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hit points). In the following round, she drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she suffocates and the spell ends.

The spell may be countered by dispel magic or heal. Immediate suffocation does not affect any creature who does not require air to breathe, such as an undead creature.

Components: a glass vial of murky water.

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

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Previous "S"-es:
2012: S is for Snake, Howler (monster)
2011: S is for Sheriff

20 April 2013

[A to Z April] R is for Rest

Every iteration of D&D has had rules regarding "rest." Other games have the rule as well. Rest is essential to the well-being of a character, both physically and mentally. Bad things happen when characters get over-tired; likewise, rest makes good things happen.

For example:
  • Swords and Wizardry: a character can regain 1 HP per day by resting; 4 weeks of rest gives full recovery.
  • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: 1 HP per day of rest; after 30 days that increases to 5 HP per day.
  • 2nd Edition: 1 HP per day of rest; 3 HP per day with complete bed rest. A full week of complete bed rest allows a character to add her Constitution HP bonus to the 21 HP recovered for the week.
  • 3.5 Edition/Pathfinder: 1 HP per character level per day for 8 hours of rest. With 24 hours of rest that increases to 2 HP per character level per day.
  • 4th Edition: with a "short rest" you can use healing surges. With an "extended rest" you regain all lost hit points (and all used healing surges.
  • Star Frontiers: 1 point for every 20 hours of rest.
  • Champions, 2E: 1/10 of character's REC in BODY per day of rest.

And those are just the rulebooks I have immediately to hand. Why do I bring this up? In all honesty, today's post was scheduled (pre-April) to be a map of the "Ruins of the Crimson Hunt." Whatever that is. I say "whatever that is" because I have no idea. I haven't fleshed it out; neither have I drawn a map of it. You see, driving home from the office on Thursday, my sinuses began to burn. And when I say "burn" I mean, "as if acid had been poured into my left nostril and allowed to settle there." I spent all of Thursday night tossing in my bed suffering from hallucinatory dreams. And not the good ones. There was no work for me on Friday, only bed rest. I'm not sure how many hit points I've recovered. Certainly some, because I feel better. Not great, but better. I'll be resting the remainder of the weekend in order to recover as many hit points as I can before Monday comes around. You have to have maximum hit points, after all, before you brave the Monday Dragon, right? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Previous "R"s: 2012: R is for Rage Hawk (monster) 2011: R is for Real Life

19 April 2013

[A to Z April] Q is for Quickvale (locale)


Quickvale
CN small town
Corruption: -1; Crime: +1; Economy: +3; Law: +1; Lore: +0; Society +4
Qualities: holy site, strategic location
Danger: +0

DEMOGRAPHICS

Government: Council
Population: 796 (627 humans; 71 halflings; 39 elves; 23 dwarves; 15 gnomes; 7 half-elves; 7 half-orcs; 7 other)
Notable NPCs:
  • Red Mercenary Douta Naendri: (LN female half-elf fighter 4)
  • Summoner Arak Ral Judi: (CE male human sorcerer 8)
  • Prayer Thief Jaskan Fasttalker: (CG male halfling rogue 14/wizard 5)

MARKETPLACE

Courtesy of the Roleplaying City Map Generator
Base Value: 1,100 gp;
Purchase Limit: 5,000 gp;
Spellcasting: 6th
Minor Items: 3d4;
Medium Items: 1d6;
Major Items: --


Get the JPEG of the map here.
Get the PDF of the map here.

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

18 April 2013

[A to Z April] P is for Pond Stalker (creature)


A spindly, spider-like creature scuttles toward you across the surface of the dark, still water. It looks very fragile and completely harmless, until its front two legs pierce your ankle....

Pond Stalker CR 5

N Medium Vermin
Init: +3; Senses: darkvision 60 ft.; Tremorsense 60 ft.; Listen +0; Search +0; Spot +0; vermin traits

DEFENSE


AC 17 (+3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
hp 52 (7d8+21)
Fort +8; Ref +4; Will +3

OFFENSE


Speed 40 ft.
Melee Sting +13 (1d6 plus poison) or Bite +6 (1d4)
Full attack: Sting (x2) +13 (1d6 plus poison) or Bite +6 (1d4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with sting attack)
Special Attacks: web, poison

TACTICS


A pond stalker’s mouth parts are much too small to do any damage to anything larger than a medium-size creature; to a medium creature or smaller, its needle-sharp proboscis can do minimal damage. Instead it prefers to attack with its forelegs which extend out to give the stalker a ten-foot-reach. The forelegs have stingers at the ends which inject venom into its victims. Once the creature succumbs to the stalker’s poison, the stalker drinks the resultant fluids through its straw-like proboscis.

STATISTICS


Str 11, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 0, Wis 10, Chr 2
Base Attack 4 Grapple 10
Feats: Weapon Finesse
Skills: --
Languages: --

SPECIAL ABILITIES



Poison (Ex): Sting-injury; saveFortitude, DC 17; frequency 1/round for 3 rounds; effect 1d4 Str; cure 1 save

Water Skate (Ex): The oil secreted by the glands on the pond stalker’s legs allow it to stand, walk, run, and otherwise move on top of any still or slow-moving water. A pond stalker treats fast-moving water as difficult terrain.

If harvested from a living pond stalker, the oil secreted on its legs can be distilled into Potions of Water Walk, worth 650 gp per dose. A fully-grown pond stalker can generate one dose per leg.

ECOLOGY


Environment: Temperate
Organization: Solitary or colony (2-5)
Treasure: Standard
Advancement: 9-15 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: --

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

17 April 2013

[A to Z April] O is for Omen Wine (beverage)

Often called the “poor man’s divination,” omen wine is a substance that has found its way across the continent from a small monastery hidden high in the desolate Krassmere Mountains. The monks who make this wine are violently protective of the recipe and will take any measures to protect the monastery and the process by which omen wine is created. Rumors persist, however, that omen wine consists in part of griffin blood.

Omen wine comes in single-dose bladders made from some type of animal skin. The bladder is tied shut with a strong but slender cord. A small runestone dangles from the cord; the rune itself is from an unknown language and glows in the presence of divine magic. Each dose costs 375 gp.

The wine itself is a dark green liquid with semi-transparent, silvery swirls. Omen wine smells delicious, like strawberries. However, it tastes of something not unlike spoiled chicken.

Upon drinking a dose of omen wine, the individual must make a DC 25 Fortitude Save. Depending upon the individual’s Save result, omen wine causes different effects.






Save Roll
Initial Effect
Secondary Effect
Less than 15
The individual falls into a coma for 1 hour. This is not a sleep effect, and thus elves are not immune to it.No secondary. During this time, it cannot be awakened by any means short of casting greater restoration on it.
15-20
The individual takes temporary nonlethal damage equaling its current hit points and is staggered for 1d4 rounds, after which the nonlethal damage is reversed.The creature remains shaken for one hour. Heal will negate all effects.
20-25
The individual becomes panicked for 1d4 rounds.The creature remains shaken for one hour. Nothing short of restoration will negate either effect.
26+

Sudden pain sweeps over the individual’s body and it becomes sickened for one hour.
No secondary. The effects can be negated only by a remove curse spell.

Once the initial effects of the omen wine wear off, the individual receives a vision. The result of this vision is comparable to casting divination, with the chance for a correct divination based on the individual’s character level, rather than the caster level.


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

16 April 2013

[A to Z April] N is for Nalicon's Plague (spell)

Nalicon’s Plague

Necromancy
Level: Clr 2, Death 2, Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: one living creature; see text
Duration: 1d6 rounds; see text
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell, originally developed by an evil necromancer named Nalicon, inflicts upon its target a minor, but still debilitating, plague. Upon casting, the target must make a Fortitude Save. On a failed save, the target becomes nauseated for 1d6 rounds and merely sickened for one additional round. If a target’s Fortitude Save is successful, the target is sickened for one round.

The initial spell targets a single living creature; however, on the second round of contagion, any other living creature (other than the caster) within thirty feet of the original target must also make the same Fortitude Save or become infected with Nalicon’s plague. The same is true for the second round of contagion for any subsequent target.

The effects of this spell can be negated by a remove curse, remove disease, or heal spell.

Components: a small scrap of mummy’s linen wrappings through which the caster blows.

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Previous "N"s:
2012: N is for Noises in the Dark (table)
2011: N is for Nano-dice

15 April 2013

[A to Z April]M is for Middlemurk Church (map)

Middlemurk Church

Middlemurk Church is one of the oldest church buildings in Coldtreath. The central portion of the building was once used for religious services. In the later years, and after a large reduction in congregation and service attendance, a wing was added on which now contains the altar and relics as well as the worship areas.

Centuries of members of the Coldtreath noble family, the Middlemurks, are interred in the gated crypts. The Middlemurks are responsible for the financial upkeep of the church and represent the largest percentage of past and current members of the congregation. Recently a pack of ghouls have burrowed up from a set of subterranean warrens, destroying a sarcophagus in the process. They have only desecrated one set of remains...so far. The portcullis on the crypt kept the ghouls from entering the other areas of the church. It is only a matter of time, however, before other remains are desecrated and until they manage to burrow beyond the gates.

The warrens remain unexplored. It is likely that there is at least one hidden entrance from the ghoul warrens into deeper and more extensive subterranean caverns. The Middlemurk family as well as the resident priest are still searching for a suitably brave set of adventurers to enter the crypts, the caverns and the warrens.


Get the JPEG of the map here.
Get the PDF of the map here.

Feel free to use my maps in your home games. You can rename it, modify it, stock it, or abuse it in any manner legal in your particular jurisdiction. If you do use it, all I ask is that you let me know and tell me about it afterwards.

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

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13 April 2013

[A to Z April] L is for Ladder, Nature's (spell)

Nature’s Ladder, Lesser

Transmutation
Level: Brd 1, Drd 1, Rgr 1
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: 10 ft./2 levels; see text
Duration: 10 min./level
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes (object)

This spell causes hand- and foot-holds to spontaneously grow from a wooden source to create a ladder. It also magically reinforces the wooden source object to be able to sustain a climber or climbers with a maximum weight of 500 pounds.

The wooden source may be either harvested wood or a still-growing and living wood source. The area effected can be any wood source that is in continuous contact up to the maximum area; i.e., a series of wooden poles lashed together or a latticework of intertwined branches. The handholds spring out from the sides of the wood source as a series of small, alternating pegs just large enough to grasp and on which to stand.

Creatures made from wood are granted a saving throw to resist the effects of this spell. Magic items aren’t affected by this spell.

Components: the wood source being affected and a strand of cobweb
__________________________________________

Nature’s Ladder, Greater

Transmutation
Level: Brd 2, Drd, 2, Rgr 2
Component: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: one wooden object
Duration: 10 min./level
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates; see text
Spell Resisitance: Yes (object)

This spell has two effects. When cast upon a single, solid piece of wood (such as a quarterstaff or 10' pole) that is planted firmly against the ground or floor, it will cause the wood source to first grow and extend by the maximum length desired by the caster, two feet per caster level (up to 40' maximum). Simultaneously, it will cause hand- and foot-holds to sprout as with the lesser version of the spell.

For example, Alakin, a cleric, and Naotil, a 10th-level bard, need to scale a 30' cliff. Alakin removes a ten-foot-pole from the straps on his back and braces it against the ground and leans it against the wall. Noatil casts nature’s ladder and the ten-foot-pole begins to grow, extending to a full thirty feet in length. Three inch handles sprout from each side of the pole, allowing them to scale the wall.

Components: the wood source and a small metal rod.

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

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Previous "L"s:
2012: L is for Lung Leech Swarm
2011: L is for Lehman Caves

12 April 2013

[A to Z April] K is for Kith, Sin (creature)


You see before you a nondescript, gender-neutral, featureless humanoid. Despite its odd appearance, you find yourself attracted to it on one of many levels. You begin to hear a voice in your head, prompting you to give in to your baser instincts. The voice is irresistible. You take one step toward the creature, and then a second. You feel weaker, but take another step. And another....

Sin Kith CR 13

CE Medium Outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init: +2; Senses: darkvision 120 ft.; Listen +25; Search +17; Spot +25

DEFENSE


AC 20 (+4 Dex, +6 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 16
hp 102 (12d10+13)
Fort +12; Ref +10; Will +9
DR 10/cold iron or good; Immune electricity, enchantment spells;
Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10, SR 18

OFFENSE


Speed 30 ft.
Melee Mace, heavy +14/9/4 (1d8+4) or Slam attack (1d6+4 plus vampiric touch/energy drain)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12)
At will--charm person (DC 16), command (DC 16), detect good (DC 16), protection from good, sleep (DC 16)
3/day--crushing despair (19); fear (DC 19)
1/day--hold person, mass (DC 22)

TACTICS


A sin kith attacks with weapons (preferring heavy maces) or with a slam attack to reduce a foe’s abilities or to heal itself. A sin kith will also mix in spell-like abilities to reduce threats and to sow discord among its enemies.

STATISTICS


Str 16, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 17, Wis 16, Chr 20
Base Attack 11, Grapple 14
Feats: Blind-Fight, Improved Overrun, Power Attack
Skills: Bluff 7, Climb 11, Concentration 11, Diplomacy 9, Disguise 7, Escape Artist 13, Hide 13, Intimidate 18, Jump 12, Know Arcana 12, Listen 25, Move Silently 13, Ride 4, Search 17, Spot 25, Survival 3, Swim 3, Use Rope 6
Languages: All, Telepathy 100 ft.

SPECIAL ABILITIES


Energy Drain (Su): A sin kith, as part of its regular, unarmed melee attack, drains attributes from its victims. Each attribute relates directly to one of the seven sins and will drain 1d2 points from the appropriate attribute, per a d8 roll on the following table. A sin kith can drain each attribute once per day (with the exception noted on the table).

d8
Sin
Attribute
Save (DC 18)
1
EnvyWisdomWill Save
2
GluttonyConstitutionFortitude Save
3
GreedCharisma Will Save
4
LustWisdomWill Save
5
PrideIntelligenceWill Save
6
SlothDexterityReflex Save
7
WrathStrengthFortitude Save
8
Re-rollApply even if sin used.

Tongues (Su):
A sin kith has the ability to speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature, whether it is a racial tongue or a regional dialect. The sin kith can speak only one language at a time, although it may be able to understand several languages. It does not enable the sin kith to speak with creatures who don’t speak. The sin kith can make itself understood as far as its voice carries. It does not predispose any creature addressed toward the sin kith in any way.

Vampiric Touch (Su):
A sin kith, as part of its regular, unarmed melee attack may employ its vampiric touch, per the spell. On a successful unarmed melee attack, it gains temporary hit points equal to the damage it deals. However, it cannot gain more than the subject’s current hit points +10, which is enough to kill the subject. The temporary hit point disappear 1 hour later. A sin kith may employ this 5 times/day.

ECOLOGY


Environment: Any (abyss)
Organization: Solitary
Treasure: Standard

The origins of sin kith are unknown. Some stories suggest they were born of fell magic. Others suggest that they were born of the rampant evils of the world taking flesh. Others believe they were formed from the stuff of the Abyss and are children of demons. Whatever their source, one thing is clear: they feed on the sins and negativity of all intelligent beings.


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Previous "A"s:
2012: K is for Kel, Scokin (npc)
2011: K is for Key, Skeleton

11 April 2013

[A to Z April] J is for Jade Skull (item)




Aura: Moderate divination; CL: 5th
Slot: None; Price: 30,000 gp; Weight: 11 lbs.

DESCRIPTION


This wondrous item is a replica of a human skull expertly carved from an exquisite piece of solid jade. The skull gives off a subtle glow, even when not in use. There is a slight depression in the top of the skull with a small hole in the very center.

Once per day, the wielder of the skull can apply a small amount of blood--a few drops at the most--into the depression and allow the blood to drip inside the skull. Thereafter, the wielder is able to see through the eyes of the individual from whom the blood was collected for two rounds per caster level. The blood-source is allowed a Will Save to resist the scrying; if the Save is successful, the scrying attempt fails and no scry attempt is allowed on that subject again for at least 24 hours.

The skull amplifies your visual and aural acuity and any magical effects so that your personal visual and aural acuity operates through the subject’s eyes and ears. In addition, the following spells have a 5% chance per caster level of operating through the skull: detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, detect magic, and message. The skull does not grant the wielder any insight or special knowledge into the thoughts or actions of the subject.

Per the Pathfinder rules for scrying: you can observe through a creature’s eyes at any distance. The difficulty of the save depends on how well your knowledge of the subject and what sort of physical connection (if any) you have to that creature.

Circumstance
Will Save Modifier

No knowledge of the subject
+10

Secondhand knowledge (you have heard of the subject)
+5
Firsthand knowledge (you have met the subject)
+0
Familiar (you know the subject well)

-5
Drop of blood
-10
Subject is on another plane
+5

CONSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS


Craft Wondrous Item, clairaudience/clairvoyance, scrying; 11 lb. jade block (17,000 gp); Cost: 11,000 gp.

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Previous "J"s:
2012: J is for Jalbion’s Liquid Jewel (spell)
2011: J is for Juniper Ale

10 April 2013

[A to Z April] I is for Ice Quartz Caverns (map)

The Ice Quartz Caverns

The Ice Quartz Caverns are a fascinating oddity. The cavern complex itself is not too extensive or convoluted, yet they are not easily explored. Once an adventurer passes through the cavern entrance, down a narrow corridor, the ice quartz reveals itself. Every surface is composed of this unique crystal formation. There are no smooth surfaces upon which to walk, only areas where the crystal is "somewhat worn." Ice quartz is quite sharp; any creature that should trip and fall while walking will suffer lacerations. A fall of any substantial height is sure to be more dangerous, even fatal.

In addition, the crystals themselves have a dampening effect on magic and magic items. The deeper one goes in the caves, the stronger the effect. In the deepest portions, in fact, the caverns become an anti-magic zone.

Points of Interest:
Point A--The area marked as point "A" on the map is a sinkhole, which drops 300' straight down. The sides of the hole are covered in the same ice quartz that is found elsewhere in the cave.
Point B--Between the bottom of the sinkhole at Point A and the area marked as point "B" the elevation of the corridor drops a total of 100 feet. The corridor between those two points drops at an average 27º slope.
Point C--The cliff at point "C" is a 200' drop-off. As with everything else in the caverns, the edge and face of the cliff is composed of the razor-sharp ice quartz crystals.

Rumor has it that somewhere deep in the caverns lives a race of giant spiders whose exoskeletons are composed of crystals similar to the ice quartz. Pieces of these exoskeletons could reasonably be fashioned into pieces of armor which would not only have offensive capabilities due to the razor-sharp nature of the crystals, but would also share the magic-dampening effects of the crystals.

Get the JPEG of the map here.
Get the PDF of the map here.

Feel free to use my maps in your home games. You can rename it, modify it, stock it, or abuse it in any manner legal in your particular jurisdiction. If you do use it, all I ask is that you let me know and tell me about it afterwards.

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Previous "I"s:
2012: I is for Iron Hide Zombie
2011: I is for Innkeeper

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09 April 2013

[A to Z April] H is for Heth's Jeacky Fleter (beverage)

No one is quite sure who “Heth” was or why he originally called his concoction a “jeacky fleter.” All who imbibe this uncommon elixir agree, however, that he was quite, quite mad. Although the beverage has been around for centuries, new bottles continue to appear at random taverns and inns across the continent. No one knows who distills the brew or where it is distilled. It is a mystery wrapped in a riddle and secured with a question mark.

Heth’s Jeacky Fleter is a clear beverage with a golden color. It has a lot of fizz to it and is usually served in a champagne glass. The drink smells like orc spit and has a taste reminiscent of honeyed mint. Drinking a serving of jeacky fleter causes hallucinations, the severity of which depend on the amounts imbibed. Because of this effect, it is rumored that one of the ingredients is a particular kind of spider venom.
  • After drinking one serving of jeacky fleter, the individual begins to have pleasant hallucinations. (These may include dancing lights, playful animals, music, floating bubbles, talking flowers, and so forth.) These hallucinations continue for one hour. The individual can tell at some level that these hallucinations are not real, but they are distracting, and cause a -2 to all Perception checks during that time. The effects of drinking any amount of Heth’s Jeacky Fleter can be counteracted with a heal spell.
  • If a second serving of jeacky fleter is consumed within an hour of the first glass, the severity of the hallucinations increase. The increased effects last as per the description; the more mundane effects then linger for a total of two hours. The individual must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or suffer the increased hallucinations. A successful save means the individual suffers only 1 hp of nonlethal damage.

    d8
    Effect
    1
    A secret door on the wall nearest you opens up to reveal a treasure hoard. For one round you run at your top speed toward the door, only to crash into the wall for 1d4 hp of nonlethal damage.
    2
    Your skin begins to bubble and melt away. You spend one round attempting to hold your body together and cannot take any other actions.
    3
    You see before you a horse-like creature with four arms and the head of an owl. For one round you attack it with your weapon or bare hands. You are actually attacking the creature or character nearest you at a -5 attack modifier.
    4

    You hear a terrifying ghostly sound that no one around you seems to hear. For two rounds you have the cowering condition, with the accompanying effects.
    5
    You are attacked by a swarm of vermin and spend one round attacking the floor around you with your weapon.
    6
    The ground beneath you has turned to quicksand. You spend one round flailing your limbs as if trying to swim to safety. During this round you cannot take any other action.
    7

    You believe that you have been surrounded by a cloud of some sort (dust, sand, insect husks, poison, etc.) and are suffocating. For two rounds you stand in one place, hold your breath, and clutch at your throat.
    8
    You believe that the ground beneath you has suddenly dropped away leaving open air beneath you, as if a chasm had opened up. For 1 round you flail your arms and make a 5-foot leap in any direction to try and reach “solid” ground.
  • If a third serving of jeacky fleter is consumed within an hour of the first glass, the severity of the hallucinations increase yet again. The increased effects last 6 rounds; the more mundane effects then linger for a total of three hours. The individual must make a DC 25 Fortitude save or suffer the increased hallucinations. A successful save means the individual suffers 5 hp of nonlethal damage. The specific effects cause the mind to experience vivid and horrific hallucinations, causing the afflicted creature to act unpredictably, as if confused (below).
  • A fourth serving (or more) of jeacky fleter, consumed within an hour of the first glass--while highly unlikely--is possible. If any additional servings are consumed the creature must make a DC 35 Fortitude save or suffer 4d20 hp of damage (save for 1/2 damage) and 1d3 Con damage for each serving above 3 within one hour. In addition, whether or not the Fortitude save is successful, the creature automatically becomes confused (as with serving #3).
Wherever it comes from, and whoever continues to distill and bottle Heth's Jeacky Fleter, the bottles in which the beverage is contained has remained the same. Jeacky Fleter comes in a multi-faceted glass bottle sealed with a black-and-red colored cork. A full bottle contains 12 servings of the liquid.

CONFUSED (courtesy of Paizo and Pathfinder)

A confused creature is mentally befuddled and cannot act normally. A confused creature cannot tell the difference between ally and foe, treating all creatures as as enemies. Allies wishing to cast a beneficial spell that requires a touch on a confused creature must succeed on a melee touch attack. If a confused creature is attacked, it attacks the creature that last attacked it until that creature is dead or out of sight. Roll on the following table at the beginning of each confused subject's turn each round to see what the subject does in that round.
d%
Behavior
01-25
Act normally.
26-50
Do nothing but babble incoherently.
51-75
Deal 1d8 points of damage + Str modifier to self with item in hand.
76-100

Attack nearest creature (for this purpose, a familiar counts as part of the subject’s self).
A confused creature who can't carry out the indicated action does nothing but babble incoherently. Attackers are not at any special advantage when attacking a confused creature. Any confused creature who is attacked automatically attacks its attackers on its next turn, as long as it is still confused when its turn comes. Note that a confused creature will not make attacks of opportunity against anything that it is not already devoted to attacking (either because of its most recent action or because it has just been attacked).
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Previous "H"s:
2012: H is for Happy Birthday
2011: H is for Hargrim, the Soulhammer

08 April 2013

Please HELP: Book Bomb for a Good Cause

I don't normally cut in on my A-Z April posts (for one thing, it's usually tough enough to post once a day for me) but today's is in a good cause.

You have probably heard of the author Dave Wolverton. He also writes under David Farland. Well, he's a friend of mine and last week his teenage son suffered a longboarding accident and is pretty badly injured. He has been in a coma since it happened; there's head trauma, lots of broken bones, internal bleeding, etc. He's currently stable, but a long way from "out of the woods."

David is a good guy; he's taught classes for years at the university level, and teaches a lot of private writing classes as well. He is a mentor to a lot of young, aspiring, and rising-star authors. He does a lot to help others. Well, now's our chance to give a little bit back to him.

The medical bills for his son are likely to be astronomical, so some of his students have arranged a book bomb, set for April 10, 2013. I would highly recommend his Runelords series, as well as his most recent book, the YA novel, Nightingale. Anything you can do to help out would be appreciated.
Ben Wolverton, age 16, was in a serious long-boarding accident on Wednesday the 4th, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drum, road rash, and is currently in a coma. His family has no insurance.

We are having a book bomb on behalf of Ben Wolverton, who is the son of author David Farland.

You can learn more about Ben’s condition, or simply donate to the Wolverton family here: http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery


WHAT IS A BOOK BOMB?

A Book Bomb is an event where participants purchase a book on a specific day to support the author, or, in this case, a young person in serious need: Ben Wolverton.


WHAT BOOK SHOULD I PURCHASE?

David Farland’s young adult fantasy thriller NIGHTINGALE has won SEVEN awards, including the Grand Prize at the Hollywood Book Festival--beating out ALL books in ALL categories. It is available as a hardcover ($24.99), ebook ($7.99), audio book ($24.99), and enhanced novel for the iPad ($9.99).

You can purchase it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nightingale-ebook/dp/B006P7SEBY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1365432857&sr=8-2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nightingale-david-farland/1107084747?ean=2940016100463

on the Nightingale website: http://www.nightingalenovel.com/

or, you can get the enhanced version complete with illustrations, interviews, animations, and its own soundtrack through iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/nightingale/id560309064?mt=11


WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness. Others sing to summon it. . . .

Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was--what her people call a "nightingale."

But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know. Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all.


IS IT GOOD?

Authors such as James Dashner (The Maze Runner), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), and Paul Genesse (Iron Dragon series) all PRAISED it. Nightingale has 4 and a half stars on Amazon. Read what other people are saying here: http://www.amazon.com/Nightingale-ebook/dp/B006P7SEBY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1365432857&sr=8-2 Or, purchase the novel and find out for yourself.


WHAT IF I ALREADY OWN NIGHTINGALE? OR I'M NOT INTERESTED IN IT?

If you are a writer, you may want to consider purchasing David Farland’s MILLION DOLLAR OUTLINES. It has been a bestseller on Amazon for over a month and is only $6.99.

As a bestselling author David Farland has taught dozens of writers who have gone on to staggering literary success, including such #1 New York Times Bestsellers as Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), James Dashner (The Maze Runner) and Stephenie Meyer (Twilight).

In Million Dollar Outlines, Dave teaches how to analyze an audience and outline a novel so that it can appeal to a wide readership, giving it the potential to become a bestseller. The secrets found in his unconventional approach will help you understand why so many of his authors go on to prominence.

Get it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Million-Dollar-Outlines-ebook/dp/B00B9JYJ6W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365434120&sr=8-1&keywords=Million+Dollar+Outlines

Or on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/million-dollar-outlines-david-farland/1114285069?ean=2940015965148
Read one of the 26 reviews here: http://www.amazon.com/Million-Dollar-Outlines-ebook/dp/B00B9JYJ6W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365434120&sr=8-1&keywords=Million+Dollar+Outlines


CAN I JUST DONATE MONEY?

You can donate money to Ben here: http://www.gofundme.com/BensRecovery

(Or you could purchase a book as a gift for someone else.)


I WANT TO HELP BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY!

The best way you can help is by spreading the word of Ben’s donation page, and/or this book bomb. Share it on facebook, twitter, pinterest, your blog—anywhere you can. Invite others to the event.


TELL ME MORE ABOUT BEN. WILL HE BE OKAY?

David Farland has been keeping everyone posted on facebook. Subscribe or friend him to get up-to-date information: https://www.facebook.com/david.farland1. At the moment, Ben is stable and appears to be improving.

Thank you!
Ben and his family greatly appreciate your support, and so do all who love and care about them.
As I said, anything you can give would be appreciated. And please, pass the word along, would you?

[A to Z April] G is for Grey Spirit Blade (item)




Aura: strong abjuration; CL: 10th
Slot: none; Weight: 1 lb.

DESCRIPTION

This +2 dagger must be used to take a life every day, or else the wielder suffers a negative level, with all the accompanying issues. These negative levels cannot be restored by any means, including restoration spells; the only way to restore the negative levels is through the taking of a life. Note that complying with the terms of the curse cannot increase the wielder’s levels past their regular level.

The weapon cannot be sold or given away, neither can it be simply stolen or obtained through the use of subterfuge; instead, in order to successfully break the curse upon the current wielder, the blade must be taken forcibly from the wielder in order to transfer ownership. In any other case, the “former” wielder will continue to suffer the curse until she recovers the blade from the new owner and an effective transfer of ownership occurs.

The hilt of this weapon is a grey metal, which appears to be constantly in motion, swirling around as if it were a mist or cloud of spirits. Unknown to most, it is currently owned by Lord Enik of Maltrai, residing in the city of Coldtreath.

CREATION

Magic Items: +2 dagger

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

06 April 2013

[A to Z April] F is for Frost Wound Patch (locale)

A two-day journey outside of Coldtreath will find a traveler at the foothills of the Elarrix Crags. The Elarrix Crags are a strange circular range of mountains with no seeming reason to be where they are located. In a secluded valley in the midst of the Elarrix Crags lies an open space that, under other circumstances, could be called a mountain meadow. This, however, is known as the Frost Wound Patch.

A dale approximately ten acres in size, this area is avoided by all who know of its existence. Strange things happen here and even stranger creatures inhabit the valley. The least of the creatures that call the Frost Wound Patch home are the frusenspöke, a race of vicious, frozen undead.

Regardless of the time of year in the surrounding mountains, the weather at Frost Wound Patch is always well below freezing. Freezing mists and fogs are not uncommon although snow is rare. Occasionally the Patch will receive skiffs of snow; sizeable accumulation simply does not happen. It is truly a wounded patch of earth among the other small fertile valleys scattered among the Elarrix Crags.

No one knows why the Patch is the way it is. There has been no reason or underlying cause found; it is most likely a natural--albeit strange--phenomenon, although rumors persist of an ancient battle between an ancient white dragon and a group of fell necromancers and weather mages. It is nearly impossible to start a fire of any size within the Patch and fire-related magic simply does not work.

ADVENTURE HOOKS

  1. Recently there has been an outbreak of disease in the towns within the foothills of the Elarrix Crags. Rumor has it that dark, loathsome creatures have made their way down from the Frost Wound Patch to infect the citizens with a dreadful plague. This obviously has many locals concerned. The adventurers are hired to get to the bottom of the plague and do what they can to stop it. One of the characters has family that lives in one of the towns; a member of that family has contracted the disease and is dying.
  2. While traveling, the characters come upon a former mentor of one of the characters. A meal at the next town is offered in exchange for willing ears. He tells tales of funerary desecrations and missing bodies. Footprints and other evidence point to the Elarrix Crags. After a lengthy question-and-answer it’s learned that the body of the mentor’s teenage daughter is also missing.
  3. There have been rumors about wild magics and strange lights high in the Elarrix Crags. There are rumors about evil knights and dark summonings. There are also rumors of powerful magic items and treasure hoards.
  4. A city near to the Elarrix Crags was once peaceful and productive. Then a nobleman of questionable character arrived from the mountains and took up residence in the ruins of a town in the foothills. Since then, despite the best efforts of a rich guildmaster and others, seemingly random wildfires have claimed the local farms and forests. The city has promised a great reward of supplies and clothing to any who can stop the nobleman.
  5. While traveling along the foothills of the Elarrix Crags, the party comes upon a campsite tucked up in a thicket of woods. There are a half-dozen families here with their carts and possessions. It looks like they recently suffered an attack. Several of them are wounded: men, women, and children alike. The bodies of two men and a teenage boy are carefully laid out in the center of camp near a roaring fire. Monstrous tracks lead through the woods toward the Crags.
  6. The party is hired by one member's friend to provide security for the wedding of his only daughter in the small city of Elarrix at the north end of the Elarrix Crags range. The party must guard the family's keep--and the daughter's rooms in one tower particularly--against kidnapping attempts of a rival family. In the morning, after an uneventful night, the daughter is discovered missing; her rooms are sub-freezing and filled with a cold mist. Frost covers everything within the room. The party must find the girl or lose face, reputation, money, and a friend.


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Previous "F"s:

2012: F is for Flesh Alliance

2011: F is for Found Items

05 April 2013

[A to Z April] E is for Enik, Lord of Maltrai (npc)

Lord Enik was born and raised on an estate in the city of Maltrai, on the far side of Dran from Coldtreath. He currently lives in rooms on the top floor of the the Yellow Knight Tavern in Coldtreath.

Both of Lord Enik’s parents--the Duke and Duchess of Sharifon Wood--are still alive, although his father is in poor health. He has not spoken to any in his family for nearly three years. The youngest of seven children, Lord Enik is embarrassed by his parents and family; they have made efforts to contact Lord Enik, all of which have been rebuffed.

The Duke and Duchess of Sharifon, as they are called, have many powerful enemies because of their position and influence, as well as the love the people have for them. The Necktree Guild is a clandestine, criminal organization that has stretched its reach from one side of Dran to the other. Simply by being a member of the family, Lord Enik is constantly spied upon and assassination attempts are not uncommon.

Lord Enik carries with him a secret: he possesses a magic blade, but a blade that is cursed. The curse is a dread one, and one he dares not share with even his closest friends. This secret has caused deep rifts between himself and most of the friends he has in Coldtreath. It also keeps him constantly looking over his shoulder.

During his travels from Maltrai to Coldtreath, Lord Enik was arrested and jailed for a murder he did not commit. His guilt seemed certain, but before allowing a sentence to be placed upon Lord Enik’s head, the magistrate in the case was perceptive and sought out the truth, asking a local mage to utilize a rare spell to determine his guilt or innocence. Despite being found innocent, this experience colored his faith in the Courts and legal systems in general. He is convinced that were his secret to be known, he would not be so fortunate as to escape the headman’s axe again.

Lord Enik stands a gangly 6'11" tall, topped by an unruly shock of brown hair with green eyes peering from his gaunt face. Under no circumstances would he be called an attractive man by most people, mostly because of the gold ring that pierces the bridge of his nose--a mark of prestige and nobility in Maltrai, but a practice found distasteful and barbaric in Coldtreath.

He is motivated by curiosity and sloth, but tempers both with a healthy fear of his secret being discovered. He is far from satisfied with his current situation, but lives each day as best he can considering his curse.

Lord Enik of Maltrai CR 11

Human Aristocrat 10 / Fighter 2
CN Medium Humanoid
Init: +3
Languages: Common, Elven
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AC 12, touch 10, Flat-footed 11
hp 6145
Fort 6, Ref 3, Will 7
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Speed: 30
Melee: +12 Rapier 1d6+3 Crit (18-20)x2 or +12 Dagger +2 1d4+5 Crit(19-20)x2 or
Ranged: +9 Dart 1d4 +3 (range 20)
Full Attack: +12/+7 Rapier 1d6+3 Crit (18-20)x2 or +12/+7 Dagger +2 1d4+5 Crit (19-20)x2, or +9/+4 Dart 1d4+3 (range 20)
Space/Reach: 5/5
Base Atk 9; Grp 12
Combat Gear: Rapier MW, Dagger +2*, Dart (quantity 10), Leather MW Armor
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Abilities: Str 16, Dex 8, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 11
Feats: Alertness, Armor Prof. Heavy, Armor Prof. Light, Armor Prof. Medium, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Initiative, Martial Weapon Prof., Power Attack, Quick Draw, Shield Prof., Simple Weapon Prof., Weapon Focus (dagger), Weapon Focus (rapier)
Skills: Appraise 14, Bluff 0, Diplomacy 4, Disguise 4, Gather Information 13, Intimidate 0, Knowledge (dungeon) 13, Knowledge (geography) 13, Knowledge (nature) 3, Knowledge (nobility) 1, Ride 1, Spot 5, Survival 6, Swim 6
Possessions: Combat gear plus Potion of Cure Light Wounds; Potion of Eagles Splendor, Potion of Cats Grace, Potion of Darkvision, 100 gp, 10 sp
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*The dagger is actually called the Grey Spirit Blade. It is a cursed blade.

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


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Previous "E"s:
2012: E is for Elder Oath
2011: E is for Erol Otus




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