Friday, June 30, 2017

Creature Loot: C and starting D



That looks like a pretty arid climate for metal armor, just sayin'

It's time for the letter C! And the first three of the D monsters. If you just got back from another plane, check out my explanation.

Cambion (5) – fiend (religion)
  • 1 Tattered Spear
  • 1 Tattered Scale Mail
  • 2 Cambion Horns: No immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Potion of Fire Resistance.
  • 1d2 Cambion Wing: No immediate use. 4 wings can be mastercrafted (leatherworker’s tools) into a Cape of the Mountbank.
  • 1 Demon Heart: While holding the heart, it can be used to cast Plane Shift as a ritual. Only the creature holding the heart may shift. This consumes the heart. When the spell is cast, roll 1d20. On a 1, the bearer is shifted to Graz'zt's layer of the Abyss instead of the intended destination.
  • 1 Cambion Tongue: Requires attunement. While attuned, the wielder can cast Charm Person (save DC 14) once per day.

Carrion Crawler (2) – monstrosity (nature)
  • 1 Crawler Tentacle: Acts as a whip. On a hit, target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for one minute.  Until this condition ends, the target is paralyzed. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end the effect. On a success, the target is immune to this effect for 1 hour.
  • 1 Digested Corpse: The DM selects 1 humanoid. 1 item from that humanoid can be salvaged from the Carrion Crawler’s guts. This could be adventuring gear, a weapon, or loot that would have been otherwise salvageable from the creature.

Centaur (2) – monstrosity (nature)
  • 1 Tattered Pike
  • 4d4 Arrows
  • 2 Centaur Hooves: No immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Potion of Healing.




At least it doesn't argue with itself. That'd be annoying. (Or hilarious!)
Chimera (6) – monstrosity (nature)
  • 1 Dragon Head: Requires attunement. While attuned, a creature can cast Fireball (save DC 15)once per day from the head.
  • 1 lion head: Requires attunement. While attuned, a creature can cast Fear (save DC 15) once per day from the head.
  • 1 goat head: Requires attunement. While attuned, a creature can cast Dispel Magic (at 3rd level) once per day from the head.
  • 1 Demon Heart: While holding the heart, it can be used to cast Plane Shift as a ritual. Only the creature holding the heart may shift. This consumes the heart. When the spell is cast, roll 1d20. On a 1, the bearer is shifted to a random location in the Abyss instead of the intended destination.
  • 1d8 Chimera Claws: No immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Potion of Fire Breath.
  • In lair: 1 Treasure Hoard (challenge 5-10)

Chuul (4) – aberration (arcana)
  • 1 Chuul Carapace: Acts as a shield. Can be carefully crafted (Smith's tools) into Scale Mail that glows with dim light when within 60 feet of a magic item.
  • 1 Chuul Tentacle: Acts as a whip. On a hit, the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for one minute.  Until this condition ends, the target is paralyzed. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end the effect. On a success, the target is immune to the poison for 1 hour.
  • 2 Chuul Pincers: Act as shortswords. 2 pincers can be mastercrafted (smith’s tools) into a greatsword that glows when within 60 feet of a magic item.

Cloaker (8) – aberration (arcana)
  • 2 Cloaker Wings: Act as blankets. 4 wings can be mastercrafted (Illusion) by a spellcaster into a Cloak of Displacement.
  • 1 Cloaker Tail: Acts as a flail. Withers away when exposed to sunlight.
  • 1 Cloaker Head: No immediate use. Can be carefully crafted (leatherworker’s tools) into a horn that can be blow to cast Fear (save DC 13) once per day.
  • 1 Cloaker Claw: Acts as a cloak clasp. Can be attuned to, and an attuned creature can cast Minor Illusion once per day (Intelligence check 13 to detect).
  • 1 Vial of Cloaker Blood: No immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Potion of Stealth, which grants advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks for 1 hour.
  • 2 Cloaker Eyes: no immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Potion of Darkvision (Darkvision to 60 ft. for 1 hour)

Cockatrice (1/2) – monstrosity (nature)
  • 1 Vial of Cockatrice Venom: Acts as basic poison (PHB pg. 153). Can be carefully crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Poison of Petrification. If ingested, a creature must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw against being magically petrified. On a failed save, the creature begins to turn to stone and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends. On a failure, the creature is petrified for 24 hours.

Couatl (4) – celestial (religion)
  • 1 Couatl Hide: No immediate use. Can be carefully crafted (leatherworker’s tools) into hide armor that grants resistance from radiant damage.
  • 1 Vial of Couatl Venom: If ingested, a creature must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 24 hours. Until this condition ends, the target is unconscious. Another creature can use an action to shake the target awake.
  • 1 Couatl Heart: While holding the heart, it can be used to cast Scrying as a ritual. This consumes the heart.
  • 1d4 Holy Feathers: Each acts as a Holy Symbol. When touched, they char the skin of any creature with an alignment different than the Couatl. Each can replace 500 GP of Diamonds for the material component of a Resurrection Spell.



Introducing the new mascot for Red Bull

Crawling Claw (0) – undead (religion)
  • 1 Desecrated Hand: Acts as an arcane focus for casting necromancy spells.

Cyclops (6) – giant (survival)
  • 1 Tattered Greatclub
  • 1 Cyclops Eye: No immediate use. Can be carefully crafted (abjuration) by a spellcaster into an amulet that requires attunement. While attuned to the amulet, a creature can cast Protection from Evil and Good once per day.
  • 2d4 Giant’s Toes: No immediate use. Sought as trophies by hunters and heroes, and can be sold for a good price to collectors or admirers.
  • 1 Cyclops Heart: No immediate use. Can be carefully crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Potion of Hill Giant Strength.

Darkmantle (1/2) – monstrosity (nature)
  • 1 Darkmantle Tentacle: Acts as a whip. If used to attack a ceiling or wall, it sticks to the wall for 1d4 rounds. During this time, the wielder of the Tentacle cannot be moved further than 10 feet from the point where the tentacle is attached.

Death Knight (17) – undead (religion)
Note:  Unless the Death Knight has been redeemed, after 2d8 days, the Unfulfilled Heart will regrow into the Death Knight. This transformation takes 1d10 rounds, begins at the last strike of midnight, and cannot be stopped except with a Wish spell. If the heart is destroyed, the Death Knight will regrow from another item looted from it. Loot crafted into another item is exempt. Loot worn by a character will regrow without harming the character. At the time of transformation, any non-cursed loot loses all magical properties. If all items are destroyed, the Death Knight will be reborn at the site of its original death.
  • 1 Tattered Shield
  • 1 Death Knight Longsword: Acts as a magical longsword that deals an additional 18 (4d8) necrotic damage on a hit. If wielded by a creature with a different alignment than the Death Knight, on a critical failure the weapon fuses to their body, triggering a horrific transformation that cannot be stopped except with a Wish spell. The creature sheds their mortality and becomes a Revenant, who gains all its stats and abilities and has full hit points. The revenant seeks to destroy all those who lead to the fall of the Death Knight. The transformation takes 1d10 minutes, and kills the original creature. 
  • 1 Unfulfilled Heart: Requires attunement. Grants advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • 1d6 Charmed Ribs: No immediate use. If buried in non-hallowed ground, a Skeleton will unearth itself in 1d4 days. The Skeleton is lawful evil and will not betray its alignment, but it will attempt to follow the orders of whoever is carrying the Undead Banner.
  • 2 Death Knight Eyes: Can be crushed as a bonus action to cast Searing Smite. Can be crafted (alchemist’s tools) into a Potion of Necrotic Resistance or Potion of Poison Resistance.
  • 1 Death Knight Hand: The holder of the hand can cast Banishment once per day. At the next sunset, the hand turns into a Crawling Claw and can no longer cast Banishment.
  • 1 Undead Banner: Requires attunement. A creature attuned to the banner can control undead within 60 feet as if they had been summoned by an Animate Dead spell. Undead within 60 feet of the banner have advantage on saving throws against features that turn undead.
  • 1 Belt of Undying: Requires attunement. While attuned, the wearer can cast Death Ward on themselves once per day. If the belt is wrapped around a corpse or other remains, the sash acts as the spell Animate Dead, turning the body into a zombie or skeleton (at the DM's discretion) which obeys the commands of whoever is carrying the Undead Banner. If the belt is removed, the body returns to being an inert corpse.
  • 1 Plumed Death Knight Helm: Requires attunement. Allows the wearer to cast Compelled Duel and Hold Person once per day each. Curse: Whoever wears the helmet is compelled to not remove it, and after 4d4 hours the skin and muscle on their head has completely melted away. Their skull is all that remains, still filled with organs but glistening white. Can be cured with a Remove Curse spell.
  • 2d8 Death Knight Bones: No immediate use. Can be crafted (jeweler's tools) into cubic dice that always come up 6’s.
  • 1 Midnight Cloak: Requires attunement. While attuned, the wearer is immune to exhaustion. Curse: If attuned to for more than an hour, the wearer’s body begins to become thin, and medical examination shows their heart has stopped beating. After 1 day, the wearer no longer needs food, drink, or sleep. If the attunement is ended after the cloak is worn for 1 hour or longer, the wearer will go into shock for 1d4 hours as their body restarts.
  • 1 Set of Black Plate armor: Requires attunement. If a creature attuned to the armor would drop to 0 HP, they instead drop to 1 HP and take 1 death saving throw failure. Once they reach 3 death saving throw failures, they die. If a creature dies while wearing the armor, they are immediately resurrected as a Revenant, who continues to wear the armor and is hostile to the living. Saving throw failures caused by the armor can only be removed by a long rest while not attuned to the armor.
  • 2 Unholy Symbols: Acts as a holy symbol for Death domain clerics. Chars the skin of any creature that is not of an evil alignment. Can act as 150GP worth of Black Onyx stone for the material components of a Create Undead spell.
  • 1 Undead Mount: The DM chooses either a Warhorse Skeleton or Nightmare. All loot from that creature can also be discovered with the Death Knight.
  • 1 Death Knight Skull: Reqires attunement. An attuned creature can cast a Hellfire Orb once per day. Hurl a magical ball of fire that explodes at a visible point within 120 feet. Each creature in a 20 ft. radius sphere centered on that point must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw. The sphere spreads around corners. A creature takes 35 (10d6) fire damage and 35 (10d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.



His name is Mister Death and he's here to kill you
Demilich (18) – undead (religion)
  • 1 Demilich Skull: Requires attunement. Can be used as an arcane focus and grants immunity to necrotic, poison, and psychic damage. After 1d10 days, the skull reforms into the Demilich with full HP and abilities. If the Phylactery is destroyed, this item crumbles into useless dust.
  • 4d4 Demilich Teeth: No immediate use. Can be carefully crafted (alchemist’s supplies) in one of the following potions: Potion of Necrotic Resistance, Potion of Poison Resistance, Potion of Psychic Resistance, Potion of Magic Resistance, Potion of Evasion (for 1 hour, if subjected to a Dexterity saving throw to take half damage, take half damage on a failed save and no damage on a success), or Potion of Truesight (grants truesight out to 120 feet for 1 hour). When the Demilich reforms, all un-crafted teeth return to the Demilich. If the Phylactery is destroyed, these items crumble into useless dust.
  • 2 Vials of Ectoplasm: No immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Potion of Invisibility or an Oil of Etherealness.
  • 4 Pinches of Spirit Dust: Acts as Dust of Disappearance.
  • 2 Demilich Eyes: Requires attunement. A creature attuned to the Eye can can, once per day, drain the life from a creature. The target must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or take 21 (6d6) necrotic damage, and the attuned creature regains hit points equal to the damage dealt. When the Demilich reforms, this item forcibly ends its attunement and returns to the Demilich. If the Phylactery is destroyed, these items crumble into useless dust.
  • 1 Phylactery: This item is not found with the Demilich unless the check made to loot the body was a 30 or higher. At the DM’s discretion, this loot may simply be a clue to the phylactery’s true location, not the phylactery itself. No immediate use. If not destroyed, the Demilich reforms after 1d10 days.
  • 4 Sets of Armor and 4 Weapons: The DM determines what weapons and armor are present. 1d4 of the items are magical in some way.
  • In Lair: Treasure Hoard (17-20)
  • (Variant Only) 3 Acererak Demilich Crystals: Each of these gems can be used to trap a creature's soul. The target must make a DC 19 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the target's soul is magically trapped inside the gem. While the soul is trapped, the target's body and all the equipment it is carrying cease to exist. On a successful save, the target takes 24 (7d6) necrotic damage, and if this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, its soul is trapped as if it failed the saving throw. If the soul is trapped, the soul is released when the gem is broken. If the soul is not trapped, the gem shatters upon use. When the Demilich reforms, all gems that have not been shattered return to the Demilich. If the Phylactery is destroyed, these items crumble into useless dust.

That's as far as we'll go today. Next week, tune in for all the Demons and Devils!


Nasty, nasty boys
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Let's polish and play the adventure!

http://brown73.deviantart.com/art/MINOTAUR-VS-DRAGON-267834321
The plot, basically.
We finally made it! The adventure is complete!

Well... not yet. D&D is a collaborative game. Until the players interact with the world, we have no idea what will happen. So, this will be a bit of a recap, and a bit of explanation about what changed between when I finished writing the adventure and what happened by the time we finished.

First, though, the characters.

One of my regulars, Shannon, played a gnome cleric of Ilmater named Tinyanna, or "Tee" for short. She was friendly and considerate, as many of Shannon's characters are, but Tee was ready to sacrifice for her God, being a cleric of the God of Martyrs. Another regular, Megan, played a human wizard/artificer named Oszifur, or "Oz". He was 85 years old and rarely said things that made complete sense. I had let Megan know ahead of time that there was a possibility of character death at the end of the adventure, so she played a character that she wouldn't mind only playing once.

My two other players were folks that I play with less often. Bria is in my Dragonborn game, and she played a half-orc wizard named Slough (rhymes with "off"). She was smart but a little awkward, and her Relentless trait compensated for her wizardly low hit points. Quinn, who was in my previous campaigns but hasn't been around as much, popped in to play Arkan, a human paladin sworn to Heironious. He was eager to murder things in the name of his God, which I guess is all you can ask of a paladin.

Additionally, since my world, Ahneria, is a high-magic setting (and their employer was a powerful spellcaster), I decided to let each player choose an uncommon magic item for their character. For the most part these didn't come into play, but I have to mention it because Slough decided to pick a group of Cranium Rats as her item. I decided that the rats weren't quite smart enough to cast/control magic or communicate (they were less than a full swarm), but whenever Slough cast a spell, they would do their best to imitate her. Which means they rolled on the wild magic table. Hilarity ensued.

What Changed


The real stars of the show
Before I get into the hilarious antics that the players added to the game, I want to cover the things that changed from my initial concept of the game. Because there were quite a few.

First off, we didn't start with the ship landing on Craitane. Rather, I had a couple player-directed scenes on the ship before they landed. I did this to introduce NPCs, and to see which ones the PCs would pick as their "favorites". That doesn't mean they necessarily liked them, but if they would engage with their concepts.

Also, a few minutes into the game I realized that I completely forgot to name the halfling geologist. So he became "nameless" and diverted any attempt to find out his name. Any port in a storm!

When the players landed, I forgot a bunch of things they were supposed to find. I missed the walls, as well as the first minotaur statue they would have found. Also, I forgot to place the ship with petrified dwarves in it at the start. So, I decided that there were networks of ice caves below the surface of the continent, and the ship had been dragged there before they had formed. They found it by rappelling into the cave, and discovered a single remaining dwarf statue on board. Finally, the abandoned camp they were supposed to find ended up being moved to the ruins. I guess the dwarf expedition got further than I planned!

The blizzard turned out not to work as well as I thought. I reduced the successes needed to 6 because I could tell the players were getting frustrated. I also reduced the DC to 15 - this group of wizards and holy folks was definitely not equipped for wilderness travel.

I learned a lesson here. For skill challenges, you have to have something new and different happen for every single round of checks. The classic example is a chase scene - you "place" each round of checks in a different location with its own obstacles and features. Obviously a winter wasteland affords less opportunity for variety, but at least I could have mixed up the terrain a bit.


http://pindurski.deviantart.com/
Slough: Fireballs like nobody's business
We ended up with 2 NPC survivors: the mute carpenter, Hollis, and the chaos-worshipping mapper Ketie. I really wasn't expecting that any of the NPCs would survive, and I did my best to fit them into the group. Ketie became a voice of reason, and Hollis became an extra pair of hands when Arkan couldn't do something alone. Plus, I decided they would have a background romance. Just for fun.

In the entrance hall, the players completely skipped the lore written on the walls. I'm okay with that - I think I over-emphasized the importance of finding a path down into the bottom of the ruins instead of hinting that there were secrets to be uncovered. Also, the dice pool worked well as a means of determining when the floor would break out from beneath them, but I think I should have made the players more aware of it.

The players went through the rest of the ruins as expected (well, along the path I planned. Nothing was expected). They decided to help the rogue dragon Byrru kill his brother Azzyr, and received the Orrery. Then, they made their way to the final valley.

In making their choice about the final fate of their group, they sought guidance from Ilmater, Heironious, and Pelor. I decided to give them a little bit of extra lore here, but not enough to reveal any of the bigger plans I have for Ahneria. Of course, Ilmater encouraged Tee to sacrifice herself for the good of the world, and Heironious encouraged Arkan to stay alive and fight in the war between Dragons and Minotaurs. So their choice wasn't really any easier.

I also helped them figure out that the trigger for the petrification was intelligence. None of them had an INT score of 5 or less, however. They briefly considered reducing the Rats' numbers to lower their collective intelligence, but then realized the Rats could Wild Magic into the astral plane during the solstice and then return.


Tee: as adorable as she is devoted
In the end, they decided to place the Orrery and turn to stone. They left notes, a helm of telepathy, and Slough's rats to warn the world about the danger of the item. Not that they expected it to last, but they didn't want a follow-up expedition to accidentally start a war.

Overall, I think the game went fairly well. The first part of the game could have been planned better, and the NPCs were an unexpected development. But the latter half of the game, as well as the final choice, was quite excellent.

What the Players Did


No game is complete until the players get there. So, here's some fun highlights of how the players brought the game world to life.

Slough refused to abandon or eat their sled dogs. In fact, she carried one under each arm to keep them safe. Also, she connected with the nameless halfling geologist, and demanded to know his name as he was dying. Since I had already established he wouldn't say it to just anyone, I had to make it embarrassing. So I texted Bria the halfling geologist's name - Brock Rocky Rockerson Rockrocker.


https://www.artstation.com/artist/hualu
Check out his horse...
Arken used his Find Steed spell immediately, and proceeded to use his horse to destroy every minotaur statue he came across. They also used the steed to carry dwarf statues, and move quickly when needed.

Slough's Cranium Rats became a hilarious addition to the group simply by the virtue of rolling on the Wild Magic table. They summoned tiny unicorns, burped pink bubbles, and turned in to sheep a few times. The most memorable roll definitely came when Hollis and Ketie's romance was reaching its peak, and they shared their first kiss. The Rats began to shoot into the sky and explode, like little meat-filled fireworks. Though it certainly added to the mood, Hollis and Ketie were then showered with rat meat, which Tee then gathered and healed until Slough had her Rats back.

Oz was constantly taking notes and talking about game mechanics in-character, a classic source of hilarity which had the other players believing the 85-year-old wizard was indeed unhinged. However, the notes came in handy in deciphering lore and leaving warnings for future adventurers.

Tee used "Bestow Curse" on one of the dragons they fought, which manifested as leather bindings due to her God's... preferences. She also nearly used the Minotaur shaman's cursed journal to consult Baphomet before they made their decision. However, they worried that they might attract unwanted attention in that case.

In the end, it's the players that make D&D fun. The Rats, the steed, the meta-comments, and the final decision all contributed to an enjoyable game.


http://jeffleejohnson.deviantart.com/art/old-school-12244980
Until next time, Oz!
I think we've talked about this adventure quite long enough! I'm glad it's over, but I also enjoyed talking through my process. Maybe in a year I'll do this again, and see how my process has changed!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Recap: Nice Day for a Dead Wedding

www.zaxart.com/
Swan is the loneliest gander that you ever knew...
We finally got back together to play Maze of the Blue Medusa! I'm hoping the next break isn't nearly as long.

I also started to institute a "no phone/low phone" policy at the table. I know, that's like GM'ing 101. And it really does help the game. I just didn't really have a problem with it before!

Anyway, on to the recap...

Maze of the Blue Medusa: Nice Day for a Dead Wedding


Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Megan: Aniria Lightningblood, Firbolg Tempest Cleric, accidentally destroyed her home, now an adventurer, rushes in to things
Makayla: Coria Kelvardil, Moon Druid Elf, traveling the world and cataloguing all the animals she can find, cartographer
Jackie: Derrik Evanwood, Human Bardbarian, punch things, woo women, deal with alcoholism, collect magic swords
Tom: Alan Xanthudides, Human Phoenyx Sorcerer, secretly a noble with a bad family, trying his best not to burn the place down, actually quite good at talking to nobility

The group had just stumbled upon the bride and groom of the wedding, frozen in time a moment before their first kiss. Aniria and Derrick, disliking the ashen dead that were slowly wandering the room, began punching them into small ash piles. Alan discerned that the Time Stop effect must have been performed by a powerful spellcaster. And Coria, still in Allosaurus form, was being pulled by the small ghost-child Tyko Wort into the next room.

In the next room, they found a little loop that had been carved into the floor and filled with wine. Floating in a circle in the wine was a glass swan, about the size of a child. It glowed with an unusual aura. Derrik began to drink the wine, much to everyone else's disgust, but it seemed unspoiled.

Alan told them that this was part of an old tradition among nobility - the happy couple's souls were placed in the swan until they were married. This was partially due to a misunderstanding about how souls worked, but also to keep the young couple from breaking off the ceremony or eloping. Everyone thought it was a bit creepy.

Tyko urged them onwards, and the group explored the gift room. Derrik wanted the incredibly valuable chandelier, and decided to toss Alan upwards to cut it down. Alan discovered that the chandelier was stuck in place, unable even to swing. It looked like a magic item they would have to come back for.

Meanwhile, Tyko pulled Aniria over to a bookshelf in the corner of the room, pointing at it. Coria wanted to read the books, but Aniria simply began pulling on them, hoping to find a secret lever. Surprisingly, her plan actually worked! The bookshelf slid to the side and revealed a door behind it.

The group cautiously opened the door using Derrik's mage hand. He was a bit drunk, though, so it took him a few tries. Inside, they saw another blackened corpse, but this one seemed cognizant, and was wearing a golden crown.


www.zaxart.com/
Wonder what would happen if she met Torgos Zooth, just sayin'
The corpse told them she was a lich's phylactery, only in need of some candles to light her way. She knew the secret history of the three God-sisters, Chronia, Zamia, and Charity, and would exchange that information for the candles.

Coria had doubts about the undead creature's story. However, as an Allosaurus, she couldn't communicate without losing her Wild Shape. So, a quick game of dinosaur charades ensued, and Coria told the others that she was positive there couldn't be a creature functioning as a phylactery.

Caught in a lie, the corpse revealed its name: Sophronia Wort. (The players wouldn't realize the relation to Tyko Wort until several hours later. Stay tuned for that exciting development.) She said that the truth was she had stolen the crown, and was stuck here because her soul had been captured by "The Empty Knight". If they brought her information about "The Golden Beast", she would tell them how to restore all the misplaced spirits in the wedding.

Coria had already peeked into the next room, and the party correctly deduced that the suit of armor standing in the corner must be the Empty Knight. They went into the room to fight it, partially to help Sophronia, partially because it was the next room on their path.

Alan started the combat be leveling a Firebolt spell at the Knight. It seemed to bounce off harmlessly, but that didn't stop the Knight from announcing that assault is a crime, and now Alan would have to die.

The group converged on the Knight, who proved to be a formidable foe. Derrik, armed with his three magic swords, decided to test out the sword with grapes on it (the grapesword). This made the Knight announce that it was a crime to attempt to impair or intoxicate a law enforcement official, which meant the grapesword made people drunk. Derrik was extremely pleased.

Alan decided to change into a Gaseous Form, slip inside the armor, and then change back to try to control the suit by wearing it. However, when he slipped through its visor, he found himself not in the suit of armor but in the infinite vastness of space. Needless to say, he was a bit overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, the knight successfully dispatched Coria's allosaurus form, and turned its powerful blade onto Derrik. Aniria cast Shatter, hoping to break the armor, while Derrik just kept raging.

Alan found a rock in the space he was in. It was moving very quickly. He followed it in his cloud form, eventually watching it crash into Ahneria. As this happened, his form was jettisoned out of the armor. He realized that this Knight had been formed by a meteorite, an extremely rare thing.

With that in mind, after his companions had worn down the Knight quite a bit, Alan yelled, "You can't enforce Earth laws, you're from space!" and destroyed the construct with a Scorching Ray.


www.zaxart.com/
Sad space knight is sad he can't do earth laws
The group went back to Sophronia, hoping she would help them now that the Empty Knight was destroyed. However, she began telling them more and more lies, contradicting herself and making empty promises. Aniria slammed the door shut in her face.

The party continued North, passing through a prison chamber and a room with a mysterious clockwork golden ball in it. Tyko kept pulling them forward, carrying them towards an unknown goal.

The group found a room that was set a bit lower than the others, and filled with murky grey water. A man-sized black fish glowing with holy light swam around in the room, and the group recalled Sophronia had mentioned an "Angelfish" in one of her rambling lies. Aniria didn't want anyone to hurt the creature, as it was from a higher plane and therefore sacred.

Their first plan was to have Aniria distract the fish while the others swam past on Coria's back, but they realized it would be easier if they all just held on and Coria swam as fast as possible. Still, the fish had a chance to attack them, doing quite a bit of damage. Coria was bit on the ear, which apparently turned her right ear holy.

In the next room, they found piles of boxes and furniture that Tyko seemed to be leading them to. Derrik and Aniria dug through the boxes, trying to figure out what exactly they were lead here for. Alan and Coria kept watch, and noticed that the door to the North was starting to rattle and leak Gold.

Aniria found what they were looking for just in the nick of time: fat, white candles that Tyko seemed to be excited to see. As more and more gold poured out of the door frame, they leapt back on Coria's back and swam across the Angelfish's pool, taking more damage from the fish. This time, Coria's left arm was turned holy.


www.zaxart.com/
"Holy" doesn't always mean "won't eat you"
When they had crossed the water and turned to look back, a bloated monster made from liquid gold was watching them from the other side. It told them its name was Torcul Wort, second son of Sophronia Wort (this is where the players figured out Tyko was the first son. Funnily enough, Makayla, whose character has the highest Int score, was the one who put the pieces together. Everyone else was like, "oooooohh!") and construct of pure gold. He called them names and told them to kill Sophronia, but at this point the players were beaten up enough that they needed to rest badly.

Tyko lead them back to the room with the golden sphere, and gestured for them to light a candle near it. They knew from speaking to Chronia that the candles sent spirits back to their bodies, and so they had Tyko stand far back form the candle. The moment they lit it, the machine's clockwork gears broke down.

The party went to Tyko's room for a short rest, fighting some more golden specters along the way. One of them possessed Derrik and he nearly killed Zacchaeus the mechanical peacock. Afterwards, Derrick found a mysterious letter, addressed to him. Oddly, it was written in common, and used a nickname for him that nobody had called him since he was a child. The letter read:
I assume you are reading this after your encounter with the aurum specters... if so you are only a little behind schedule. Obviously, her mask cracks mirrors, but I'm sure you've worked that out already. Try to keep up. Will see you at the end. - Levalliant G.

The group made their way back to the bride and groom, frozen in time. They tried lighting the candle near the pair, and something extraordinary happened. The ashen corpses regained their souls and died of old age, and the happy couple regained their souls and were just about to kiss when the bride screamed "oh my goddess, is that a dinosaur?" and fainted.

The groom demanded to know what was going on, and the adventurers tried their best to explain what they knew. He introduced himself as Marquis Aeolis, and upon hearing that Sophronia Wort was alive, demanded to be taken to her. The party was hesitant, but the Marquis demanded it.

They went to Sophronia's vault and opened it. The creature was already prepared with more lies, but Marquis Aeolis wouldn't have any of it. He demanded to know what was going on.

Coria, for nearly the entire game
Sophronia responded by casting Feeblemind on the Marquis, rendering him incapable of thought or speech. Derrik drew his blade and began to fight her toe-to-toe, as the group realized she was actually a lich. They desperately began to prepare their spells and weapons.

Aniria, realizing that the wedding swan was still glowing (despite the married couple's souls being out of it), ran back to the swan and cast a powerful Shatter spell upon it. However, the swan was untouched. Coria tried biting it with her powerful Allosaurus jaws, but with similar luck.

Alan, however, realized that the swan could only be opened once the marriage was complete. He grabbed the Marquis (still feebleminded) and the bride (still unconscious) and shoved their faces together.

The swan opened its beak, and Sophronia Wort's soul flew out of it. She howled in pain, and her body collapsed into black ash, leaving only her golden crown.

The group, with the Bride and Groom in tow, went back to Tyko's room to rest for some time. Tyko seemed upset at the death of his mother, and Aniria did her best to comfort him. The bride introduced herself as Lady Torc, and the Marquis explained everything he knew.

Long ago, the Triarchy (a civilization with the three God-sisters at its helm) was on the verge of collapse. Sophronia Wort, the scholar Xanthoceras, and Ambassador Draco Scabra decided to take the sisters and a portion of the nobility into the Maze for safekeeping, to wait out the collapse.

While in the maze, Aeolis and Torc fell in love and became betrothed for marriage. Obviously, they invited everyone in the nobility, which meant that the rest of the Triarchy's nobles were dead. The Marquis only remembered up to the wedding ceremony, and couldn't explain anything that happened afterwards.

He did know a few other things, however. He knew Torcul Wort was a constructed son of Sophronia, built to find liars and cheats. The "boy" never called people by their names, just by how they gained their fortunes. He wasn't popular with the nobility.


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And now he's a monster. Just goes to show!
Aeolis also told them that the golden sphere was called the Golden Engine, and was used to dispose of enemies of the state by turning them to gold. The Marquis guessed that it had been activated, and Torcul Wort had survived due to his golden form. But how it was activated and what happened afterwards were still a mystery to him.

The group went back out into the wedding one last time, gathering the pieces of the Golden Engine and the chandelier that Derrik wanted, then made their way back to Lady Crucem Capelli. Tyko, the Maquis, and Lady Torc decided to stay in Tyko's room until they figured out what was going on.

As they brought their prizes into Lady Capelli's room, her face lit up with glee. She told them to tell her exactly how they found such treasures. So they did.


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Guess who's back
We stopped there for the night. The characters had another chance to level up, since they had found the wedding candles and lit them. I'm guessing they'll be heading to the gardens next, since Coria really wants to go and it's the other half of the "starting areas".

I'd say the group is about 1/3rd of the way through the dungeon, and for 4 sessions that's pretty good. They have more information now and should be able to move quicker through the areas, and the final areas shouldn't take too long. I'm really curious what they'll do when they meet the various inhabitants of the dungeon. There are a lot of open-ended problems in this dungeon that the group will really have to figure out.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Creature Loot: B




Like a wind on the leaf
Carrying forward with the letter B! If you're suffering from a Confusion spell, check out my explanation.

Banshee (4) – undead (religion)
  • 2d6 50GP art objects
  • 1 Vial of Ectoplasm: No immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a Potion of Invisibility or an Oil of Etherealness.
  • 1 Pinch of Spirit Dust: Acts as Dust of Disappearance.

Basilisk (3) – monstrosity (nature)
  • 1 Basilisk Eye: When held, a creature can use the eye to cast Stone to Flesh (save DC 12). This consumes the eye.
  • 1 Basilisk fang: Acts as a dagger. Can be crafted (smith’s tools) into a dagger that deals an additional 3 (1d6) poison damage on a hit.
  • 1 Basilisk Stomach: No immediate use. Can be mastercrafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a salve that ends the petrified condition on a creature it is applied to.

Behir (11) – monstrosity (nature)
  • 4d4 Behir Claws: Act as daggers that can cut through dragon scales, dealing an additional 3 (1d6) piercing damage when it hits a Dragon. 20 claws can be mastercrafted (smith’s tools) into a Dragon Slayer.
  • 2 Behir Fangs: Act as daggers. Can be crafted (smith’s tools) into a dagger that deals an additional 5 (1d10) lightning damage on a hit.
  • 1 Behir Hide: Acts as a tent. Can be mastercrafted (leatherworker’s tools) into 2 sets of studded leather armor that grant resistance to lightning damage.
  • 1 Behir Tail: Acts as a whip. Can be carefully crafted (leatherworker’s tools) into a whip that deals an additional 5 (1d10) lightning damage on a hit.
  • 3 Half-digested Corpses: The DM selects one humanoid, one beast, and one dragon. One item from each can be salvaged from the Behir’s guts. This could be adventuring gear, weapons, or loot that would have been otherwise salvageable from the creatures.
Beholders

I found a big pokey stick and it's going in your eye, buddy
Beholder (13) – aberration (arcana)
  • 1 Large Beholder Eye: Requires attunement. While attuned, the holder can cast Antimagic Field once per day. The holder cannot be surprised while attuned to the eye. Because of the feeling of being watched, everyone within 30 feet of the eye takes an extra hour to gain a long rest. Can be mastercrafted (smith’s tools) into a grotesque Sentinel Shield. The holder of the shield cannot be surprised while attuned to it. Because of the feeling of being watched, everyone within 30 ft. of the shield takes an extra hour to gain a long rest.
  • 4 Small Beholder Eyes: Acts as an arcane focus. An eye can cast a particular beholder ray once per day. The ray is chosen randomly by the DM upon receiving the eye.
  • 1 Vial of Beholder Slime: Acts as Oil of Slipperiness.
  • 4 Beholder Eyestalks: Acts as a club. 4 of them may be mastercrafted (conjuration) by a spellcaster to summon a Spectator to guard a location for 101 years.
  • 3 Sets of Armor: The DM selects 3 sets of armor left from a Beholder’s victims.
  • In Lair: Treasure Hoard (11-16)

Death Tyrant (14) – undead (religion)
  • 1 Large Death Tyrant Eye: Requires attunement. While attuned, the holder can cast Circle of Death once per day. Any creature killed this way becomes a zombie, which obeys the holder of the eye as long as they are attuned to it. The holder cannot be surprised while attuned to the eye. Because of the feeling of being watched, everyone within 30 ft. of the eye takes an extra hour to gain a long rest.
  • 6 Small Death Tyrant Eyes: Acts as an arcane focus or holy symbol. An eye can cast a particular death tyrant ray once per day. The ray is chosen randomly by the DM upon receiving the eye.
  • 2 Vials of Ectoplasm: No immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a potion of Invisibility or an Oil of Etherealness.
  • 4 Sets of Armor: The DM selects 4 sets of armor left from a Death Tyrant's victims.
  • 1 Death Tyrant Skull: No immediate use. Can be carefully crafted (alchemist’s tools) into a Potion that acts as a Raise Dead spell, except that the target must currently be undead for the spell to take effect. This potion returns the creature to life as per the spell, despite the fact that the creature is undead.
  • In Lair: Treasure Hoard (11-16)

Spectator (3) – aberration (arcana)
  • 1 Large Spectator Eye: Acts as an arcane focus. The eye can cast a particular spectator ray once per day. The ray is chosen randomly by the DM upon receiving the eye.
  • 1 Spectator Hide: No immediate use. Can be mastercrafted (leatherworker’s tools) into a shield of spell reflection. The shield requires attunement. If the bearer of the shield, while attuned, makes a successful saving throw against a spell, or a spell attack misses it, the bearer can choose another creature (including the spellcaster) it can see within 30 feet of it. The spell targets the chosen creature instead of the bearer of the shield. If the spell forced a saving throw, the chosen creature makes its own save. If the spell was an attack, the attack roll is rerolled against the chosen creature.
  • 1 Spectator Tongue: Acts as a whip that deals necrotic damage instead of slashing damage on a hit.

Blights

'Bout to drop the hottest rap album in the Haunted Forest
Needle Blight (1/4) – plant (nature)
  • 1 Gulthias flower: Gives a smell that attracts Needle Blights. If it is planted, by next nightfall it will grow into a needle blight. If it is not taken from the body of the Needle Blight, it will plant itself after 1d4 hours.

Twig Blight (1/8) – plant (nature)
  • 1 Gulthias twig: Curls unnaturally. If it is planted, by next nightfall it will grow into a twig blight. If it is not taken from the body of the twig blight, it will plant itself after 1d4 hours.

Vine Blight (1/2) – plant (nature)
  • 1 Gulthias seed: Can be heard murmuring very softly. If it is planted, by next nightfall it will grow into a vine blight. If it is not taken from the body of the vine blight, it will plant itself after 1d4 hours.

Bugbear (1) – humanoid (survival)
  • 1 Tattered Morningstar
  • 1 Tattered Hide Armor
  • 1d2 Bugbear Ears: Acts as a trophy among hunters and adventurers. 
  • 1d2 Bugbear Tusk: When held, grants advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks made against goblinoids.

Bugbear Chief (3) – humanoid (survival)
  • 1 Tattered Chain Shirt
  • 1 Strong Bugbear Heart: No immediate use. Can be crafted (alchemist’s supplies) into a potion of Hrugguk. Grants the user advantage on saving throws against being charmed, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned, stunned, or put to sleep for 1d4 hours.
  • 1d2 Bugbear Ears: Acts as a trophy among hunters and adventurers. When held, grants advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks made against goblinoids.
  • 1d2 Bugbear Tusk: When held, grants advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks made against goblinoids.
  • 1 Bugbear Chief's Morningstar: Acts as a Morningstar that can cast Augury once per day.

Bulette (5) – monstrosity (nature)
  • 1d6 Common Items: Adventuring gear or Trade Goods once owned by a Halfling
  • 1 Bulette Head Plate: Acts as a shield. Can be carefully crafted (smith’s tools) into a shield +1 that grants its wielder tremorsense out to 10 feet while holding it.
  • 2 Bulette Claws: Act as daggers. Can be crafted (smith’s tools) into daggers +1 that require attunement, and can cast Jump once per day on a creature they are attuned to.
  • 1 Bulette Tendon: No immediate use. Can be carefully crafted (weaver's tools) into a shortbow +1. On a hit, the target must make a DC 16 Strength or Dexterity saving throw (target's choice) or be knocked prone.


They just want to have a good time, why'd you have to kill them...?
Bullywug (1/4) – humanoid (survival)
  • 1 Bullywug Bladder: Acts as a balloon. Can be crafted (leatherworker’s tools) into a waterskin.

Next week, we'll get through all the C's, and start on the Ds. As I mentioned at the beginning, there will be a LOT of monsters under the D category.


Let's ride!
Thanks for reading!