Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dangerous Magic: Alternate Magic Rules

With great power comes horrible consequences

Greetings! Will here with something that's not a Failed Magic Items article for once.

A little while back, Jon ran an epic-level evil campaign. Long story short, our evil characters were ultimately given their own alternate multiverse to shape and rule over as the evil gods of evilness that they were. Where Good has lost, men's hearts have darkened, and misery reigns. of these.

Following that campaign, I started another one set in this multiverse. Where the mortals of the Material Plane were locked in an epic struggle against an unstoppable army (that my evil character was the patron deity of by the way) and the hope that good would return to the world was the central focus. And the whole thing turned out be...well, kind of depressing. And pretty onerous. And honestly not that fun to write. So we stopped.

Remember my fellow DMs: You are allowed to end a campaign if you are not having fun.

Thankfully, lessons were learned and I walked away from it having created a number of homebrewed mechanics, settings, and monsters that could prove useful in future, albeit less grimdark, games. One of which was an alternate approach to the rules of magic.

Dangerous Magic

Prior to starting my ultimately doomed campaign, Jon tipped me off to this article over at Last Gasp Grimoire. In summary, it details a mechanic where it's not a question of how many spells a magic user can cast, but how many they can cast safely. Where the overuse of magic could potentially invite hardship and possibly death on the user.

Additionally, it touched on the idea of every spellcaster having a fluctuating "pool" of magical energy at their disposal, one that was as chaotic and shifting as the winds themselves.

It made perfect sense for a setting ruled by selfish and treacherous entities that were perhaps unwilling to share the magical energies of the multiverse, and now the lowly mortals of the Prime Material Plane are forced to pick off of their scraps.

Unfortunately, as well written and compelling as that LGG module is. It's...a lot. And perhaps skirts a little close to being "random table porn" that would be unwieldy during your typical D&D session.

So, I sought to keep the spirit of this mechanic intact while also simplifying it into something an average player could easily wrap their head around.

So what does this mean for said player? Well for starters, there are no longer spell slots. The magic a spellcaster can safely use is determined by Spell Points, the value of which is calculated at the end every long rest by rolling 1d6 per every traditional spell slot level (refer to the official PHB for spell tables).

For example, a 3rd Level Wizard traditionally has access to 1st and 2nd level spell slots, so this character would roll 2d6 to determine their Spell Points until the next long rest. The level of spell a spellcaster may use is also determined by the class’s traditional Spell Slot allotment.

Using the previous example, a 3rd Level Wizard traditionally has access to 1st and 2nd level spell slots, so this character would be able to cast spells at 2nd level or lower. Players may safely use spells for as long as they have the Spell Points to spend on them, the level of spell cast being the determining factor in how many Spell Points that spell costs (i.e. the 5th Level Cone of Cold spell would cost 5 Spell Points).

Cantrips and Ritual Spells can be cast as normal and do not require the use of Spell Points.

Flirting with Disaster

If a spellcaster decides to push their power beyond what their Spell Points would allow, they must do so by drawing energy from other, more dangerous areas of the multiverse, and the entities therein do not look kindly on those who meddle with their power without their permission. This invites hardship upon the offending spellcaster in debilitating and occasionally deadly ways.

When a player runs out of spell points but still makes the choice to cast another spell, they must roll on the Broken Limits Table (listed at the bottom of this article) and suffer the consequences of the result. The level at which the spell is being cast determines the type of dice that is rolled:

Spell Level 
  1. 1d4
  2. 1d6
  3. 1d8
  4. 1d10
  5. 1d12
  6. 1d20
  7. 2d12
  8. 2d20
  9. 3d20
Additionally, if the spellcaster decides to cast a level of spell higher than what Spell Points they have remaining, the Spell Points are subtracted from the spell level and they will roll the appropriate dice. 

For example, A 5th Level Wizard knows the 3rd Level Fireball spell and wants to cast it on a group of encroaching Orcs. Sadly, the Wizard only has 1 Spell Point remaining. Knowing the risks, the Wizard decides to use the spell anyway. This is calculated in the following way:

3rd Level Spell - 1 Spell Point = 2

Therefore, the Wizard would roll on the Broken Limits Table with 1d6. The spell is successfully cast, the Wizard rolls on the Broken Limits Table, and after rolling a 4 gets the following result “You briefly forget where you are, what you’re doing, and have disadvantage on all saving throws until your next turn.”

The Orcs burn, and the Wizard is briefly debilitated for figuratively and literally playing with fire.

Changes by Class


Arcane Recovery

Instead of regaining Spell Slots during a short rest the Wizard instead rolls half of their Spell Point dice (rounded down) to regain Spell Points. A 1st level Wizard rolls 1d6 and divides the result by 2 (rounded down, minimum of 1)

Spell Mastery

The spells you choose for this perk may be cast without spending Spell Points. All other rules still apply.

Signature Spells

The spells you choose for this perk can be cast once in between rests without spending Spell Points. All other rules still apply.

Expert Divination

Instead of regaining a Spell Slot, you regain a Spell Slot worth of Spell Points. All other rules still apply.


Natural Recovery

Instead of regaining Spell Slots during a short rest the Druid instead rolls half of their Spell Point dice (rounded down) to regain Spell Points. A 1st level Druid rolls 1d6 and divides the result by 2 (rounded down, minimum of 1)


Flexible Casting

Instead of your Sorcery Points being used to buy Spell Slots, they can be exchanged for Spell Points. The exchange rate is at a 2:1 ratio (2 Sorcery Points = 1 Spell Point). You may also use Spell Points to buy Sorcery Points, but the exchange rate is reversed (2 Spell Points = 1 Sorcery Point)


Mystic Arcanum

Your arcanum spells can be cast once in between long rests without spending Spell Points. All other rules still apply.

Eldritch Master

Instead of regaining Spell Slots, you regain all Spell Points allotted to you from your last Spell Point Roll.


Divine Smite & Improved Divine Smite

Instead of spending Spell Slots to add 1d8 you spend the appropriate number of Spell Points (i.e. 1d8 = 1 Spell Point). All other rules still apply.

Changes by Race


Your racial spells do not cost Spell Points and are still cast on a “per-day” basis.


Your racial spells do not cost Spell Points and are still cast on a “per-day” basis.

Changes by Feat

Magic Initiate

These spells are still cast on a “per day” basis.

Note for DMs

Monster Spellcasting

A monster’s Spell Points are determined in the same manner as a player’s. For example, An Eye of Gruumsh has access to 1st and 2nd level Spell Slots, therefore this monster would roll 2d6 to determine their Spell Points. All other spellcasting rules still apply.


If there is ever a question or dispute pertaining to spellcasting that this guide does not cover, refer to the PHB and replace any mention of “Spell Slots” with “Spell Points” to determine a course of action. More often than not, if a particular skill or ability does not mention the use or recovery of Spell Slots it is likely that traditional rules still apply.

Broken Limits Table (1d4-3d20)
  1. Your mind strains and you take 1d4 psychic damage.
  2. You become stunned until the end of your next turn, this ignores any resistances or immunities to the “stun” condition.
  3. You feel weak and your speed is reduced by 10ft. for 1 hour.
  4. You briefly forget where you are, what you’re doing, and have disadvantage on all saving throws until your next turn.
  5. You become confused (See the Confusion spell for details)
  6. Your vision fades and you become blinded for 10 minutes.
  7. Your skin inexplicably lacerates, causing 2d6 slashing damage.
  8. You begin to vomit uncontrollably and cannot take actions on your next turn. At the end of your next turn you must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw. If you succeed, you regain your composure and may act as normal on your next turn. If you fail, you continue to violently throw up. This continues for three turns or until you pass the save.
  9. For 1d4 hours your breathing is no longer automated. Each of your bonus actions must be spent consciously remembering to breathe, if you choose to not use your bonus action for this purpose you take 2d4 damage.
  10. You lose all feeling in your legs and fall prone. For the next 2d4 hours you are unable to walk or stand and can only use your arms to drag yourself at a speed of 5ft.
  11. Any action you take happens 5 seconds after you decide to take it. For the next hour your Initiative bonus is -5, you cannot take reactions, and all attack actions and saving throws are rolled with disadvantage.
  12. You suddenly burst into green flames and take 3d6 fire damage. The fire is otherworldly in nature and cannot be extinguished through conventional means (i.e. water). You continue burning for two turns reducing the damage by 1d6 each time until no dice remain.
  13. You speak in unintelligible gibberish for the next 2d4 hours. You think you make perfect sense in your mind, but no one else can comprehend what you are saying, even through magical means. Spells with the “verbal” component become impossible to cast.
  14. All damage you take for the next 2d4 hours reduces your maximum HP. Your maximum HP returns to normal after this time. If your HP is reduced 0, you die instantly without death saves.
  15. Life energy dissipates out of your body in a bright blue mist, your speed is reduced to 0 and all ability scores drop to 3 for 1 hour.
  16. You are unable to regain HP for the next 2d4 hours.
  17. Animate Objects is cast on the nearest 5 Medium sized objects. They become hostile toward you and any allies that are with you.
  18. An item you are holding, carrying, or wearing permanently vanishes.
  19. You share the effects of the spell cast on the target as if it was cast on yourself.
  20. Your mind and body give out, instantly dropping your HP to 0 and rendering you unconscious but stable.
  21. You instantly suffer 4 levels of Exhaustion
  22. Your hands vanish for 2d4 hours. You cannot grab anything and spells with the “somatic” component become impossible to cast.
  23. You become Petrified for 2d12 hours. This cannot be cured by Greater Restoration.
  24. You cannot regain Spell Points during your next long rest.
  25. You suddenly begin to have masochistic tendencies. Every hour for 2d6 hours you must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw. If you succeed, nothing happens. If you fail, you deal 5 damage to yourself. Each failed save increases this damage by 5. In addition, all damage you take from enemies is doubled. This effect ends if your HP reaches 0.
  26. A vision of an apocalyptic cataclysm flashes across your mind, the sheer horror of the vision causes you to take 8d8 psychic damage.
  27. For 2d4 hours, Critical Hits instantly kill you. You cannot make death saves.
  28. You permanently forget the spell that was just cast. You cannot re-learn it. (Note: This does not lower your maximum “spells known” and you may learn back up to your maximum amount on your next level up)
  29. For 2d4 hours, anything that dies within 60ft. of you rises again with full HP. If they die again, they do not rise.
  30. You and anyone within a 20ft. sphere are stripped of any remaining Spell Points until the end of your/their next long rest.
  31. Your mind and body withers and atrophies. All ability scores are permanently reduced by 1.
  32. Your eyes burst from your skull, causing 3d6 force damage and permanently blinding you.
  33. Your left arm turns black, shrivels with decay, and falls off.
  34. Your AC drops to 0 for 2d6 hours.
  35. For 2d4 hours, you shrink to 1/6th of your normal size. Your HP, Speed, all ability scores, and any remaining Spell Points also reduce to this amount (minimum of 1)
  36. The bones in your legs permanently vanish. You fall prone and can drag yourself with your arms at a speed of 5ft.
  37. All damage you take from now on is increased by 50%.
  38. You or a random creature (including allies) within 60 ft. of you vanish into a formless demi-plane for 1d100 hours.
  39. You are inflicted with a creeping decay. For 1d100 hours, your maximum HP is reduced by 1 every 2 hours. Your maximum HP does not recover when this effect ends.
  40. A fiery explosion erupts from your body, dealing 10d10 fire damage to you and anything in a 30ft. sphere.
  41. You instantly and permanently age 1d4 x Character Level years.
  42. Feeblemind is cast on you, it automatically succeeds and only be cured by the necessary saving throw every 30 days.
  43. All knowledge of speech permanently fades from your mind. Spells with the “verbal” component become impossible to cast until you learn how to communicate again.
  44. You are True Polymorphed into a black house cat and must make a DC 18 Charisma saving throw. If you succeed, you revert to your original form after 1 hour. If you fail, the change is permanent.
  45. Good news! You never have to roll on this table again because your connection to the arcane energies of the multiverse is permanently severed. You are no longer able to cast spells.
  46. You briefly blackout and awaken feeling like a completely different person. During your next turn, use the appropriate Background table(s) to re-roll your character’s Personality, Ideal, Bond, and Flaw traits.
  47. All memory is permanently erased from your mind.
  48. Your soul becomes corrupted and your alignment permanently shifts to Chaotic Evil. What is to be done with your character is at the DM’s discretion (i.e. turn them over to the DM, keeping playing as an evil character, etc.)
  49. You become keenly aware that your soul is now condemned to the worst punishment the afterlife has to offer. In addition to taking 4d8 psychic damage, you cannot be resurrected in any way once you die.
  50. You watch your body fall away from you as your soul is released from your mortal form. Until you are returned to your body through magical means (i.e. a Resurrection spell), you are effectively dead and exist as a helpless ghost. You can still be seen and can communicate but cannot affect the Material Plane in other ways and you cannot venture more than 5ft. away from your body. Every 4 hours you remain a ghost your body decays for 4d8 necrotic damage. If your body’s HP reaches 0, your soul is released into the afterlife.
  51. All damage you take from now on permanently reduces your maximum HP to a minimum of 1. This maximum HP cannot be regained (leveling up still adds to your maximum HP like normal)
  52. You feel the eyes of an unknown and incredibly powerful malevolent entity staring into your soul.  You take 10d10 psychic damage and are stunned for 1d4 hours.
  53. Any conditions you suffer from now on become permanent and cannot be dispelled or cured.
  54. You become possessed by a malevolent spirit from beyond the Material Plane. It acts on your behalf (DM control) and you must make a DC 20 Charisma saving throw at the start of your next turn. If you succeed, the spirit is banished back to its plane of existence, your HP is reduced to 0, and you fall unconscious. If you fail, the spirit remains in control until your next turn where you will need to make the saving throw again. Upon failing the throw three times, the spirit permanently takes control.
  55. You expend all of your remaining life-force over the course of 1 minute, rapidly aging and decaying before crumbling to ashy dust. Your character dies.
  56. An inky black tentacle bursts from the ground at your feet and pulls you into the dark ether between multiverses. You die horribly in a manner beyond mortal comprehension.
  57. Your mind breaks and you become convinced that a glorious treasure resides within your chest cavity. Every action you take must be made with the goal of excavating it by any means necessary. No matter how deep you dig, you are sure that the treasure is deeper.
  58. You are violently and painfully torn apart from the inside as a Shadow Demon emerges from your body. Your character dies.
  59. Every vein and artery in your body ruptures causing you to bleed internally for 10d10 damage each turn. In addition, your speed is reduced to zero and you cannot take any actions. Only a healing spell cast at 6th level or higher can stop it. Upon your HP reaching 0, you get no death saves and your character dies.
  60. Your body tears at its seams and erupts in a cataclysmic explosion, killing you instantly and dealing 40d10 fire damage to anything in a 120ft. sphere.
And there you have it! A more simplistic way to make magic dynamic and dangerous. The Broken Limits Table was incredibly fun to come up with, and I encourage anyone who decides to use this mechanic to alter or expand said table with new and horrible ways to punish your players.

Until next time!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday Recap: Chaotic Grand Finale

The Lord of Chaos is coming...
Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, elves, kobolds, and others, this is it. The end of Chaos Quest. Their prank-filled journey finally comes to a close, just in time for the holidays. And of course, the crew decided to go out with a hilarious ensemble of pranks and battles that will certainly lead into the next campaign.

This story is part 9 of a series. The campaign is complete.
Previous Campaign | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 |

Campaign of Chaos: Chaotic Grand Finale

Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Shannon: Cressen Juhl, Fallen Aasimar Trickery Cleric of Ralishaz, hates their dad Pholtus
Cody: Myst, Tabaxi Rogue, likes the shiny and shoots the arrows
Quinn: Jakky, Darkling Shadow Monk, sneaks into places to do a murder
Wade: Agne, Kobold Warlock of the Great Old Ones, killed his family for creepy powers
Wes: Magic Man, Drow Transumation Wizard, kind of creepy, teaches magical life lessons
NPC: ArtoriusVoid Dragon Wyrmling, hangs out with Agne

When we last left the crew, they had finished helping out a Mind Flayer colony on the moon and were beginning construction on their very own moon base. Mr. Lizard was building a huge structure hidden beneath large construction sheets, which the crew didn't know anything about. However, they had heard nasty rumors that dozen of Mind Flayers had already died in its construction. The base would take a few weeks to build, so the crew decided to keep themselves busy with a series of ever-escalating pranks on their companions and each other.

It all started when an arrow Myst had absentmindedly shot into orbit came back down and hit Magic Man in the back during dinner. Magic man responded by transforming into a giant tentacle and slapping Myst across the face. Cressen thought this was hilarious, and modified Magic Man's memory to make him share tons of tentacle pictures with an unsuspecting Agne. Agne, who was using his void dragon's Gravity Breath to send random Mind Flayers into space, was also accosted by Jakky, who used his playing cards to pretend to give a deathly portent of doom to Agne. Agne, unconvinced of the validity of the reading, threw the "tarot" cards into space as well.

Meanwhile, over a game of moon-badminton (which is nearly impossible to play, the shuttlecock goes really high and the boundaries of the court get really out of hand), Mr. Lizard mentioned that he had been receiving stolen magical research from the Yuan-Ti named Ilsa the crew had left back in Auraglow. He had learned that there were many other planets in the multiverse, and nearly all of them have patron Gods. A planet under the control of Pelor would only have humans, a planet under the control of Moradin would only have dwarves, etc. Ahneria was a bit different, in that it was a contested planet, and a large variety of sentient creatures could be found there. There must also be a God for the moon, and Mr. Lizard wanted to figure out who it was.

Over the next few days, the prank war escalated. Myst helped Agne fake his death to trick Jakky into thinking his tarot reading was real. Cressen joined in the fun, making it rain on Jakky's robes and telling him not to be a wet blanket. Jakky, realizing who was behind the deception, proceeded to knock over Myst's water bowl. Meanwhile, Agne decided to turn the Elder Brain's brine pool into a nice bubble bath, which Magic Man immediately went skinny dipping in. He tried to seduce the Elder Brain, but since he was allergic to love, his attempt failed when he swelled up grotesquely.

While Magic Man recovered, Mr. Lizard and Cressen sat down for a game of Chaos-Chess (a terrible game with few rules that usually devolves into who can kill their opponent first using only chess pieces). Mr. Lizard mentioned (while eating Cressen's rook) that if they could find the Moon God and kill/banish them, the moon would be without a patron. The Chaos-God Ralishaz had been banned from setting foot on any world in the material plane, but if the Moon-God was gone, they might be able to summon Ralishaz to help the cause. Cressen was quite excited about this, until Mr. Lizard stabbed them with a queen.

Over at the partially-completed moon base, Myst had responded to the previous pranks by knocking Jakky's water off the table. Jakky tried to retaliate, but everyone was put off by Magic Man following them around getting drunk on blood-and-onion beer. Jakky instead turned to whispering things at Agne right before he fell asleep, and Agne began using the frozen corpses of Mind Flayers as puppets to never appear alone. Cressen decided to bless the engine room of the Skyfortress, making it a monument to Chaos, a place for their Word of Recall spell to return to, and effectively an engine of Chaos.

Giant steps are what you take, walking on the moon
That evening, over a game of Trivial Pursuit (the categories of which were "Mr. Lizard", "Fabulous Dragonborn", "Chaos Sorcerers", "Red Dragonborn of Evil", and "People Using Pseudonyms"), Mr. Lizard laid out his plan. Soon, his big building - a Chaos arena - would be complete. He would use his magic to summon servants of the Moon God, Thoth, until Thoth was annoyed enough to show up himself. Then, they would banish him (without killing him), leaving the moon uncontested. With that, Ralishaz could come forth and the crew would become truly chaotic! Everyone agreed this was a good plan. Mr. Lizard Disintegrated Cressen's game piece.

Jakky, now able to enter the outskirts of this Chaos arena, decided to graffiti it up with "Pholtus was here" memes. Myst gave Cressen a book titled "Gothic Music to Feel Sad To" (by famed musical group My Acidic Romance) but was actually filled with corny romantic ballads by the notoriously cheesy bard Col D. Play. Cressen put it to good use, though, following Magic Man around playing songs from the book to annoy him. Meanwhile, Magic Man tricked Agne into eating super spicy curry, so spicy it made his brain hurt. Agne took his frustration out on Myst by convincing him the moon was made of cheese. Myst saw through the ruse, however, and Agne responded by launching Myst into orbit. There, Myst played poker with frozen Mind Flayers until he came back down. By the end of it, he had lost quite a bit of money.

The arena was nearing completion, and the pranks were only getting worse. Myst took a page out of Agne's book and tried to convince everyone that the moon was actually just a fake room, concealed by an illusion. Cressen used their spiritual weapon to make a laser pointer and distract Myst, while Jakky used his Shadow Step to pull off the ultimate shoulder-tapping prank. Magic Man ended up pranking himself by turning his pet slugs (which he had the whole time) into spiders and then letting them crawl all over him. Agne made the spiders much larger to crush Magic Man, but the odd elf didn't seem to mind in the slightest.

Finally, the day came for the ultimate showdown between the Chaos Crew and the Servants of Thoth. Mr. Lizard played MC to a packed arena, filled with Mind Flayers both aligned with and opposed to chaos. Every minion the crew had collected was there, cheering, and even the Elder Brain had showed up to watch the Chaotic Crew be put in their place.

The first champion summoned forth was a planetar angel called Austinius the 316th. He seemed upset to realize that Mr. Lizard had tricked him into being summoned, but didn't have time enough to do anything before the Chaos Crew attacked. They blasted away with spells, hammers, swords, and arrows at the angel of knowledge. Magic Man summoned a giant fist (with tentacle fingers of course) to slap the angel around, while Myst did backflips and fired arrows from his magic bow.

Jakky used his hammer, Whelm, to smack the angel in the face, and began to draw the support of both sides of the crowd. Because he was covered in ornate robes, the crowd simply began chanting "Blanket!" to cheer him on. Meanwhile, Agne and Artorius attempted to hold the celestial down with their gravity breath and grasping tentacles. It was a very tentacle-filled evening.

Yeah, this guy looks like a real chump.
Finally, Cressen, using their spiritual weapon (in the form of a Mind Flayer the group had dubbed "Gary"), ran the angel through and he discorporated. The crowd cheered and booed, and the crew was lead back into the locker rooms to prep for their next big fight. Blanket had to shake off his adoring fans, and Cressen cast Beacon of Hope to help the party heal up. They also came up with wrestling names to use in the next match. They were as follows:
  • Myst: "Rogue"
  • Agne: [eldritch muttering]
  • Artorius: Bob
  • Jakky: Rug Mysterio
  • Cressen: Mind Freak
  • Magic Man: Underweartaker

A bell rang, and the crew came back into the arena. Mr. Lizard introduced them by their stage names, and most of the crowd cheered. Of course, the Mind Flayers could telepathically tell who the crew was, so the names were more for show. Mr. Lizard began the ritual to summon another creature of Thoth into the arena, and the crew tensed for battle.

This time, two angels appeared, who called themselves Randall and Hogana. Mr. Lizard declared the match a Tag Team battle, and the crew leapt forward.

Hogana immediately rushed into the back lines of the crew to attack Myst, while Randall stayed in the front against Cressen and Jakky. The angels attacked with maces, and could heal each other with a touch. The crew decided to focus on one of them at a time, and try to keep them separated.

Cressen turned the tide of battle by infecting Randall with the terrible disease Slimy Doom. Randall began bleeding out of everywhere, and Hogana tried to rush to save him. However, as she did, she was pummeled to death by hammers, swords, arrows, and magic from the entire crew. The group made quick work of Randall afterwards, ending the fight even more quickly than the first.

The crowd was going wild, and even the stoic Elder Brain seemed to be getting into it. Chaos was infusing the entire stadium, and as the crew left for their inter-match respite they could hear the crowds roaring at their stellar performance.

This time, during the break, Mr. Lizard came down to the locker rooms and gave the crew a pump-up speech. He told them that their next fight would be a big one, and probably would end with Thoth himself showing up. They needed to be on their game! The crew healed up using some potions and Cressen's magic, and got everything prepped to head back out into the arena.

As they returned, the crowd roared. Mr. Lizard had been hyping up the next match, and now the entire arena was on the edge of their seats with anticipation. The Planar Ally spell was cast once again, and this time a resplendent angel was summoned into the ring. Not any angel, though - Capitosus, the Solar of Knowledge, one of the 24 Aspects of Pelor. Mr. Lizard announced him as John Capitosus-ena, which annoyed the celestial. After a quick assessment of the situation, the angel turned invisible, and the match began.

Less chump-like... perhaps we should be afraid instead
The crew cautiously looked around for the celestial, getting into position and preparing attacks in case he reappeared. When he did so, he appeared in a flash of light near the top of the anti-escape dome that covered the ring. He fired down arrows upon the crew, wounding Cressen and Artorius, the two who could clearly fly up and reach him.

The crew began to launch magical attacks and projectiles up towards the angel, but his position and speed were great enough to stop nearly all of the assault. Myst got a lucky shot with his Oathbow, which he used to designate the Solar as his sworn enemy. Finally, Cressen and Arotrius reached the zenith of the arena, only for Capitusus to teleport away, releasing his sword to fight Artorius in midair.

He reappeared in the middle of the ring, where Jakky and Agne had set up camp. Jakky leapt forward, dodging in and out of shadows to strike with Whelm, while Agne tried to restrain the angel and slip away. Magic Man unleashed his giant hand once again, this time grabbing Capitosus and crushing him as best he could. However, the celestial responded to this assault by teleporting away once again, leaving a bright flash that temporarily blinded Jakky.

With a flash of light, he reappeared at the edge of the ring, close enough to try to blind Myst. While his sword fought Artorius high above the arena, he fired off a shot from his magical longbow. Myst dodged, but desperately wanted the longbow for himself. Cressen landed and took a swing with their sword, but not before Capitosus teleported away once more.

The group couldn't keep up with the angel, and Jakky took his chance to throw Whelm once again. He scored a hit so powerful that chaos magic began to swirl around Capitosus, stripping the Solar of his ability to teleport. The enraged celestial responded with a shot from his longbow, and although Jakky managed to catch the arrow, it exploded in a burst of light that slew Jakky on the spot. The crowd gasped. Blanket had been destroyed!

However, even with such a victory, it was too late for Capitosus. Agne restrained him with grasping tentacles once again, and Magic Man's giant fist slammed into him. Without the ability to teleport, the angel had no way to escape the assault. Myst fired off an arrow that nearly killed him, and Magic Man finished the job with a blast of fire. The longbow that Myst had coveted went up in flames, and the sword and celestial disappeared in a flash of light.

The crowd went wild, and Mr. Lizard descended on the ring. He told everyone that the final match was coming up soon, and the crew had only a few minutes to prepare. To help them out, he cast the Catnap spell on the group, allowing them to rest and recover in only a few minutes. Meanwhile, he brought Jakky back to life. The chaotic nature of his magic, however, meant Jakky returned as a High Elf instead of a Darkling. The crowd ooh-ed and aah-ed as Jakky stood up from underneath the blanket, revealing a lithe and beautiful high elf form. The crowd was shocked: their hero, Blanket, was a gorgeous high elf! Jakky's fan club doubled immediately.

Just as the rest of the crew was waking up, Mr. Lizard got on the microphone once again. Thoth himself was coming, and it was time to fight! Mr. Lizard flew up to the top of the arena, preparing a spell to weaken the God down to a manageable form for the Crew to fight.

Sure enough, the God of the Moon, Patron of Knowledge, Thoth, showed up and looked around the arena a bit. He was a small, robed man with glasses, and seemed worried about all these angels being summoned here to the moon and not returning. Mr. Lizard immediately blasted him with a terrible spell to weaken him, and the crew leapt into action one last time.

Thoth calmly walked over the Jakky, while causing terrible illusions to appear to Myst and frighten him. Jakky threw the hammer at him, but it harmlessly passed through the God. The group was worried for a moment, but fortunately Cressen realized that Thoth had merely cast a Mislead spell as a duplicate of him appeared next to Agne. The crew quickly figured out which Thoth was an illusion, and resumed their assault.

He doesn't look like a God...
Cressen, hoping to get direct support from their God Ralishaz, prayed for divine intervention to help them against Thoth. After all, stopping Thoth would allow the God of Chaos to return to the mortal realm. However, there was no answer to Cressen's prayer. Instead, Mr. Lizard shot down a Harm spell, claiming that he was all the help they needed. Meanwhile, Agne began dispelling the nightmarish illusions affecting the crew's senses.

Thoth used his mind to grapple Artorius, while casting another nightmare illusion at Jakky. He tried to confuse Magic Man with a spell, but Magic Man's behavior barely changed. He stood there for a few seconds and then went back to blasting spells. Myst loosed an arrow charged with magic (since now Thoth was his favored enemy as well), and the Confusion spell ended.

Magic Man sent a blast of fire at Thoth, and chaos magic caused the two of them to switch vision for a moment. Magic Man closed his eyes, blinding the God, while through Thoth's vision Magic Man saw the true form of Mr. Lizard. However, Thoth quickly dispelled the effect and caused more frightening illusions. Jakky, who had been using his hammer Whelm to great effect, was now grappled by Thoth's mind. But the God was starting to weaken, and Mr. Lizard reminded the crew they needed to take him alive.

Myst decided to look under the staged arena and pulled out a Vorpal Sword, which seemed like just the thing to conk Thoth on the head with. But before he could, Artorius took a bite out of the God that was infused with the cold of the void. Thoth collapsed, barely on the edge of life.

Mr. Lizard rushed down, demanding an object, any object, to put Thoth into before he recovered. Magic Man threw out the Wand of Wonder, an artifact of ultimate Chaos. Mr. Lizard shrugged, then put Thoth into his Chaotic prison.

With that, the arena crowd burst into applause, even the lawful Mind Flayers cheering for the victory of the Crew. Cressen was very excited - they were going to summon Ralishaz, the God of Chaos! Mr. Lizard smiled, and then exploded into a mass of chaotic energy.

The crew was shocked, but the swirling form quickly coalesced back down into the familiar Red Dragonborn form. Mr. Lizard revealed that he had chosen to become the avatar of Ralishaz not too long ago, and now that the moon was God-free, the Lord of Chaos could return and get to work conquering reality. But first, Ralishaz could grant the wishes of those who had served him so faithfully.

The entire crew suddenly felt themselves surging with power. Their abilities were sharper, they gained new and better magic, and their gear was decked out in chaotic magical bling. Cressen, who had long prayed for Ralishaz to grant them the power to go to the Nine Hells and rescue their mother, was sent off immediately. Jakky, unpleased with his elven body, was transformed into a Darkling Elder. Myst got a pile of chocolate-milk-making goblets and shiny objects, and Agne and Artorius gained supercharged magic and became near-immortal.

Finally, since someone had to go back in time and make sure the skyfortress was built, Magic Man was sent back to when the Mind Flayers were first colonizing the moon. They asked him who he was, and he told them he was Magic Man, here to place a huge order.

As chaotic homunculi rained down from the moon towards Ahneria, Mr. Lizard's plan finally came to fruition. And if he isn't stopped, the world, or reality itself, will turn completely into chaos.

(Evil Laughter)
Well, that's it! the Campaign of Chaos is complete!

Of course, this and Dragonborn Quest are both setting up for the next campaign, but with the holidays coming up I don't think we'll have much time to play until 2019. Maybe the blog will be back by then! Who knows? Not me (yet)!

But the massive amount of funding Kreev found at the end of Dragonborn Quest will allow him to fund the search for the greatest heroes known in Ahneria, and then send them on a whirlwind adventure to stop the forces of Chaos raining down on Ahneria. Of course, I'm already getting started on the prep work, but we won't see recaps for that until next year.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Failed Magic Items: Dungeon Master's Guide Part 16 (W)

Sidenote: Wile-E-Coyote would absolutely use these items

Greetings, it's Will (and Jon) again. It's finally here! The last Failed Magic Items article! It's been quite the pun-filled journey hasn't it?

Well, no use in tarrying any longer than needed.

Here we go!


Wand of Blinding

Wand, rare (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

This wand has 7 charges. It regains 1d6+1 charges at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

You can use an action to expend one charge and produce a 60 foot blinding nova of bright light. Every creature that can see the wand (including you) is then Blinded for 1 minute.

Wand of Self-Incrimination
Wand, uncommon (requires attunement)

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action and expend 1 charge to speak its command word. For the next minute, your thoughts are loudly and telepathically broadcast to every creature within 120 feet.

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

Wand of Cheer
Wand, uncommon (requires attunement)

This wand has 7 charges for the following properties. It regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

You can use an action to expend one charge. Expending a charge caused the wand to shoot festive scraps of colorful paper in a 15 foot cone, this is accompanied by the sound of a small horn. It has no other effects.

Wand of Fire Balls
Wand, rare (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more charges and target a point you can see within 150 feet. Each creature within 20 feet of that point must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be affected by a terrible genital pain and become incapacitated until the end of their next turn. Female creatures, constructs, undead, and oozes are unaffected by this wand. The radius of the effect increases by 5 feet for each additional charge spent.

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed, and you are affected by the fire balls effect if you normally could be.

Wand of Cloth Bolts

Wand, uncommon (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to produce a bolt of cloth. The type of which is determined randomly from the table below...

Cloth Bolt Table (1d6)
  1. Cotton
  2. Wool
  3. Silk
  4. Muslin
  5. Burlap
  6. Cashmere
The bolt consists of a 5 by 30 foot sheet of the determined cloth. The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

Wand of Magic Deletion
Wand, uncommon

This wand has 3 charges. While holding it, you can expend 1 charge as an action to store a spell that you know. Unfortunately, storing the spell in this way causes you to forget said spell until you are able to relearn it either through leveling up or recording it in a spellbook. The wand regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn.

Wand of Erratic Missiles
Wand, uncommon

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action and expend 1 or more of its charges to cause 3 erratic magical bolts to fly from its tip. The target of each missile is selected randomly from all creatures (including you) within 60 feet of the wand. Each missile automatically hits its target, and deals 1d4+1 force damage on a hit. The number of missiles increases by one for each charge you spend beyond the first.

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

Wand of Self-Paralysis
Wand, uncommon (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action and expend 1 charge to cause yourself to become paralyzed for 1 minute. At the end of each of your turns, you can choose to make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, ending the effect on yourself on a success.

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

Wand of Mighty Morph
Wand, very rare (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

This wand has 3 charges. While holding it, you can use an action and expend up to 3 charges to target a group of willing creatures which are all the same race. The number of creatures you can target is determined by the number of charges spent: 1 creature (1 charge), 3 creatures (2 charges) or 5 creatures (3 charges). Each creature targeted by this affect gains brightly colored armor designed vaguely to look like a dinosaur, and each creature's armor is a different color. For 10 minutes, the target's armor class can't be less than 18, each target gains 15 temporary hit points, and the target's attack does an additional 1d8 force damage, or 2d8 against oozes. At the end of the duration, the target loses all of these benefits.

The wand regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ashes and is destroyed.

Wand of Secretions
Wand, uncommon

The wand has 3 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 of its charges, and if another creature other than a construct or undead is within 30 feet of you, the wand pulses and you can smell the creature immediately. The wand regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn.

Wand of the Whimpy Mage, -1, -2, or -3

Wand, uncommon (+1), rare (+2), or very rare (+3) (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

While holding this wand, you gain a penalty to spell attack rolls determined by the wand’s rarity. In addition, the wand makes pathetic whimpering noises every time it is used.

Wand of Skub
Wand, uncommon (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 of its charges. Expending a charge forces every creature within 120 feet of the wand to make a DC 12 Charisma saving throw. Every creature that succeeded on the saving throw becomes unreasonably hostile to every creature that failed the saving throw, and visa versa. This effect lasts for 1d4 minutes, until the wand is destroyed, or until only one "side" is left standing.

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand melts into a weird paste, the origin and purpose of which is unknown.

Wand of Wander
Wand, very rare (requires attunement by a spellcaster)

This wand has 7 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 of its charges and choose a target within 120 feet of you. The target can be a creature or an object. The target is teleported to a random location, determined by rolling a d100 on the following table. If the target is an unwilling creature, they can make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw to avoid the effect.

The wand regains 1d6 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the wand's last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into dust and is destroyed.
  • 1-10: The target's current location, but the target is now upside down. If they are a creature, they must succeed on a DC 20 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check or fall prone.
  • 11-25: The nearest unoccupied space to the target's current location.
  • 26-30: The target's current location, but the target is now facing the opposite direction they were before.
  • 31-35: The nearest unoccupied ceiling space to the target's current location. If the target cannot fly or crawl on ceilings, they begin falling.
  • 36-40: The nearest unoccupied wall space to the target's current location. If the target cannot fly or crawl on walls, they begin falling.
  • 41-55: The nearest unoccupied space to the target's current location that is also at least 30 feet from all creatures hostile to it.
  • 56-70: The target's current location, but they are now in the border ethereal plane. They appear ghostly and translucent, and cannot affect or be affected by objects in the material plane. If this result is rolled in a place where there is no Ethereal plane (such as the Outer Planes), treat the result as a roll of 11-25.
  • 71-75: An unoccupied space in Avernus, first layer of the Nine Hells.
  • 76-80: An unoccupied space on the lowest peaks of Mount Celestia.
  • 81-90: A random location in the Astral Plane.
  • 91: A random location in the Elemental Plane of Earth.
  • 92: A random location in the Elemental Plane of Fire.
  • 93: A random location in the Elemental Plane of Air.
  • 94: A random location in the Elemental Plane of Water.
  • 95: A random location in The Abyss.
  • 96: A random location in Carceri.
  • 97: All of the target's vital organs are teleported to the nearest unoccupied space to the target's current location. The target falls unconscious, and unless their organs are replaced within 1 round, the target dies. If the target is an object, it is teleported into pieces.
  • 98: All infectious diseases are teleported out of the target. Wounds are teleported closed. The target regains all hit points, and any ongoing conditions end on it. If the target is an object, it is resorted to pristine condition.
  • 99: A random location in the space between the stars.
  • 00: The target is teleported into your space, and directly intersects you. You and the target are now considered a single creature for the purposes of magic and targeting. If the target is an Ooze, an incorporeal creature, or an object smaller than your fist, make a DC 25 Constitution saving throw. On a success, you take 5d10 necrotic damage, and the target is absorbed or consumed by your body. On a failure, or if the target is not one of the things listed above, you drop to 0 hit points and are dying. While the target is within you, you cannot be stabilized. If you die and the target was a creature, the creature appears in your space. The target can be removed from your body by Regeneration or similar magic.

Weapon, -1, -2, or -3

Weapon (any), uncommon (+1), rare (+2), or very rare (+3)

You have a penalty to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. The penalty is determined by the weapon’s rarity.

Weapon of Warming
Weapon (any), uncommon (requires attunement)

This magic weapon warms your hands. While holding the weapon, you have advantage on Constitution saving throws made to avoid the effects of cold weather.

Well of Many Words
"Wondrous" item, rare

This fine black cloth, soft as silk, is folded up to the dimensions of a handkerchief. It unfolds into a circular sheet 6 feet in diameter.

You can use an action to unfold and place the Well of Many Words on a solid surface, whereupon it creates a large mouth. The Well begins retelling The Ballad of Bilky the Bard, an incredibly boring saga about a bard with nothing better to do than write down every single thing that happened to him. The saga takes a full year to read out loud, and the Well continues at a monotone drone for this entire duration. Any creature that spends 10 minutes within 60 feet of the Well must succeed on a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or fall unconscious. A creature may use their action to shake an unconscious creature awake. You can use an action to close the Well of Many Words by taking hold of the edges and folding it up again. The next time the Well is used, it assumes you haven't heard the story before and starts over at the beginning.

Fan of Wind Fans
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

While holding this fan, you can use an action to flap it in any direction. Upon doing this, the fan summons a small Pixie for 1 hour. The Pixie then proceeds to loudly and enthusiastically cheer you on for using the fan, and sing praises for the wind in general. Once used, the fan shouldn’t be used again until the next dawn. Each time it is used again before then, it has a cumulative 20 percent chance of not working and tearing into useless, nonmagical tatters. This then causes all summoned Pixies to turn violently hostile toward you.

Weighted Boots
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

While you wear these boots, your speed is 0 and you are incapable of jumping. As a bonus action, you can attempt a DC 14 Athletics check in order to move 5 feet in any direction. Additionally, all falling damage taken is doubled and you sink twice as fast in liquid.

Wings of Falling
"Wondrous" item, uncommon

While wearing this cloak, you can use an action to speak its command word. This turns the cloak into a poorly constructed pair of wooden wings held together by honey and chicken feathers. The wings almost immediately fall apart and the cloak is then destroyed.


And that's a wrap! Thank you all so much for reading. It is incredibly likely that we will have a single PDF of all of these items available at some point in the future, so be on the lookout for that.

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Innate Magic People Part 13

Our last artist is David Keen. His style mixes the magical and the mundane, extremely well
In Ahneria, nearly everyone can cast a little bit of magic, but some people can cast full-on spells. I decided it would be fun to detail out a set of NPCs based on the first level spells. As I said in the previous article, these are people who are somewhat common, but might have gained notoriety or fame based on their abilities.

These NPCs form an ongoing set of articlesThis is the thirteenth and final article in this series, and covers the final ninth level spells. These spells are so powerful, that anyone who can use them innately will likely cause a lot of crazy things to happen before they can control their power. These are the type of people that could define entire settings, worlds, or beyond. Obviously, some of these folks aren't going to be found on Ahneria anymore.

Nestariel of Merilwen
Spell: Power Word Heal (PHB pg. 266)
One day, everyone in the world of Nephoria stopped dying. Wounds healed, poisons were neutralized, even those who had withered and grown old felt their strength return to them. Attempts at harvesting crops or slaughtering livestock failed to kill the plants and animals, but people suddenly felt no need to eat. Or sleep. Or drink. Overnight, the world changed immensely. Though hesitant at first, after a full year had passed, ranchers released their herds, war had become all but pointless, and the population exploded. With nobody dying, there were suddenly a lot more people. But since nobody needed to be fed or cared for anymore, the land could suddenly house many more people.

Deep in the Daeralda forests, an elven child named Nestariel of Merilwen had been born with incredible power. Their simple presence in the world had eased all suffering, stopped death, eased hunger and exhaustion, and restored the vitality of the elderly. The elven clan of Merilwen hid the child, unsure what would happen if the world learned of their existence. Though many people were satisfied to never die, many rulers were losing control of their subjects. Without the fear of death or starvation to keep the lower classes subservient, they were hoping to find someone to blame for their misfortune. The wise clan of Merilwen decided to raise the child ignorant to their own powers, fated to try to fit into this strange new world like everyone else.

For 750 years, nobody died. Eventually, humanoids had filled every corner of the world. Stone or ice buildings became the only viable option, and plants grew tall and strong between and within the structures. Animals and humanoids lived in harmony, with no need to eat to survive. Most people stopped aging in their first century, and after that retained an healthy elderly glow. There was much wisdom and art, little quarreling, and powerful concordance among all beings. The only one who seemed to be getting older and older was Nestariel of Merilwen. Their body hurt, their eyesight faded. They became frail and sluggish, and finally, they died. And suddenly, everyone in the world became extremely hungry for the first time in centuries.

Shīyu Mot
Spell: Power Word Kill (PHB pg. 266)
Shīyu Mot wanders the world, looking for comfort and fearing his past. He passes as a mute person, taking small kindnesses from those who give him shelter or sustenance. His eyes are deep wells of sorrow, and he never stays in one place too long. For eventually, as they always do, someone finds him. Sometimes they seek to kill him, sometimes they demand he come back to Gliros and lead their people. To either request, he flees, but if they pursue he leads them to a place far from civilization. Then, with a single word, he kills them.

Shīyu began life as a slave. From a young age, he was in chains, forced to work back-breaking labor and serve the wealthy of the country of Gliros. It was not long before the pain and fear of his daily torture made his powers manifest. Always a quiet child, he was surprised when the taskmaster who made him yelp in pain suddenly dropped dead. When questioned what he had done, his meager excuse made the guard captain die on the spot. Unsure of his own powers and actions, Shīyu grabbed the keys and ran, shouting anyone who stood in his way to death.

The king of Gliros, a cruel man known as Kgosi Yijun, immediately put out a bounty on the child. Shīyu became known as the harbinger of death, and murdered every soldier and bounty hunter that tried to eliminate him. Eventually, frustrated by the constant attempts on his life, he slaughtered his way into the royal castle and slew every person there. The commoners, free of Yijun’s oppressive reign, declared Shīyu their leader and took up arms in his name. He became known as the Reaper, but by the time the country had fallen, Shīyu had vanished. Now, those who seek him out wish to get revenge for old blood, or hope that he might return and become the leader of the greatest military force in history.

Ain't no grave can hold me now
Vaiva Dalton
Spell: Prismatic Wall (PHB pg. 267)
As Vaiva Dalton died at the hands of the assassins of Lanari, she swore that the Gethins, the royal family of Lanari, would be visited by seven plagues, the likes of which had never been seen upon the world of Sastroa. What Vaiva did not say, or perhaps she too was unaware, was that the plagues would not only visit the country of Lanari but the entire world. The consequences that followed were far beyond anything the Gethins could have imagined, or indeed the entire world expected.

The world began to suffer terrible heat waves, destroying crops and livestock and causing sea levels to rise. The heat became worse and worse, until the League of Ailill Wizards summoned forth a powerful blizzard to cool the planet. But the snow of the blizzard quickly turned into rain that was infused with acid. Buildings of stone and steel, spared by the heat, began to rust and melt away. Citizens began hiding in caverns, the wealthy built magical bunkers to protect themselves. The Druids of Mazinri Forest banded together and began purifying the rain, turning the terrible acid into normal water. But the skies were not done yet. The natural storm suddenly began spraying down lightning, killing anyone who hadn’t taken shelter from the acid rain. Food became scarce, and few people were able to survive.Finally, a faction of wizards known as the Brotherhood of Ammon finished their plan to erect a barrier around the surface of the world, blocking out the devastating storms once and for all. People began to emerge, and rebuild their lives. And for a few years, people believed the worst was over, despite the fact that only three plagues had occurred.

But soon those with weak constitutions began to die prematurely, and people realized that the air within the barrier had become poisonous. Clerics of the Holy Order of Naomne finally broke the barrier, releasing the poison outward. But the massive air pressure that had been building up in the bubble suddenly caused the world to plunge into winter, forcing the Sorcerers of Cináed to enact a ritual that brought warmth back to the world. The entire planet was now wracked with storms, and the sun barely shone through the clouds. This made things all the worse when the entire planet’s population turned to stone, only undone when sunlight touched them. It was centuries before enough druids had become un-petrified that they could calm the skies and restore the population. However, shortly after the world expected to return to normal, the final plague struck. Half of the world vanished in an instant, the other half went completely blind. With no way of dispelling this magic, the world has been locked in this dark, hellish state since then. Each day, hope dies a bit more, and the name of Vaiva Dalton is spoken on hushed lips and fearful tongues.

Manas Kamon
Spell: Psychic Scream (XGtE pg. 163)
Long ago, there was a terrible apocalypse that visited upon the world of Shigur Fos. Manas Kamon, a metallurgist with a booming laugh and a kind heart, had been arrested by King Adil the Just. King Adil had decreed that anyone who helped the barbaric Bandit Lord Waltraud should be put to death, after the widespread genocide caused by Waltraud’s bandit hordes. It was discovered that Manas had been supplying weapons to the bandits, though he had simply thought he was providing swords and armor for knights and hunters. The bandits had tricked him, and now, by King Adil’s decree, he was to be put to death. He pleaded for his life, claiming his family would die without his labor, but the knights of King Adil responded by slaying his wife Masuma before his eyes. Manas let out a terrible scream, so loud and long that it could be heard across the entire world.

Those who heard this scream felt it pierce their minds for only a brief instant before they died. Even Manas, who was unaware of his own power, was slain by this mighty wail. Entire cities dropped dead, ships suddenly began to steer along currents without their crews, and even Lord Waltraud was stricken down by its mighty power. There was no escaping the scream, except for those rare few creatures who had already shielded their minds from such assault, and those to simple-minded to comprehend the overwhelming pain it contained. The world became a dark and silent place, save for the growls and barks of the animals that had been spared a sudden and terrible death.

However, some people managed to survive. The Warlocks of Jespa, long practiced in speaking to eldritch horrors, were untouched. Sphinxes summoned from other planes of existence resurrected their masters, if only to honor contracts they had made to guard their possessions. The few liches existing on Shigur Fos began to bring people back to life, if only to ensure their phylacteries were filled with souls. Civilization was now in ruins, and a new world of natural dangers and unclaimed riches had begun.

I want to be a Queen of the Animals
Spell: Shapechange (PHB pg. 274)
In times long past, the known world was threatened by Oswald, a barbaric warlord who promised to conquer every civilization known to man. His warriors were strong, and well-fed on both meat and the gory tales of victory for the Gods of the tribe. They believed by eating animals, they gained their strength, and fought harder and longer against their foes. The warriors of Oswald were indeed a force to be reckoned with, and swept over any inhabited land they could find. However, that all changed one day.

The Warlord was taking his personal bathing time away from his servants and concubines, when a rabbit snuck into view. Oswald, swift with both axe and bow, nocked and arrow and fired at the beast, hoping to claim an evening snack for himself. To his surprise, however, the animal transformed into a beautiful woman. He was transfixed, and called out to her, but she turned into a mole and fled underground before he could react. From that day on, the barbarian was changed. He forbade the eating of meat, in fear that one of his hunters might see his love before he did and steal her away from him. The warriors, confused by this new change in their deeply-held traditions, revolted and the army was weakened from the inside. This allowed the Oscal Empire to finally make their move, and struck back with their full force.

Once the dust had settled, General Fulton of the Oscal Empire was visited by a mysterious hawk. The beast transformed into a beautiful woman, thanked him for his actions, then turned back and flew away. The General was shocked, even more so when he learned the truth about the revolt within the barbarian ranks. He brought this tale back to Empress Min-Ji, and the legend of the Goddess of Animals was born. Since then, even to this day, it is considered wise practice to not kill more animals than absolutely necessary, and to whisper a prayer of forgiveness to Themisa when you do so.

Amihan Tondra
Spell: Storm of Vengeance (PHB pg. 279)
When Amihan Tondra was born, terrible storms were already brewing. His parents, Varsha and Barak, were fortunate enough to live in a sturdy home, but there was no stopping the torrents of hail, rain, lightning, and wind that assaulted their town. The child seemed to draw the storms to himself, and before long they moved out of Snorus town and to the larger city of Oblia. But the storms continued, only now with more casualties. And the storms hadn’t even left Snorus town, only slowly expanded until both settlements were within its radius. The more the family moved, the larger the storm became, until it covered nearly a quarter of the world.

Of course, such a storm upset the natural balance of weather quite a bit. Around the world, people were dying in droves, forced into buildings or caverns, depending on their wealth. But even the sturdiest of structures couldn’t stop the massive hailstones and acid rain that pummeled them from the skies. The weather pounded at the very foundations of civilizations, destroying the walls and buildings that kept them safe from the monsters of the wilderness. Before long, most of the civilized races had descended into the dark caverns beneath the surface, praying to their Gods that the weather would soon cease.

Fortunately for the world, Amihan, Varsha, and Barak were eventually slain by the very weather they kept attempting to escape. The storms took years to settle, however, and the skies were still turbulent for some time. Finally, after about a decade of hiding, the peals of thunder ceased, the skies brightened, and humanoids of all kinds began to risk emerging from beneath the ground. Some chose to stay, unwilling to trust the skies ever again. But those who found purchase in this new, washed-clean land tried their best to restore some of the civilization they had lost. The monsters still roamed the land, of course, and the task ahead of them is great. But slowly, they are recovering.

Ito Miku
Spell: Time Stop (PHB pg. 283)
When Ito Miku turned 18, she vanished into thin air. Her family and friends were distraught, and began to search for her. However, they didn’t get far before they heard the news. Every evil lord, every domineering queen, every single slave-owner, and every orcish and goblin warlord had been assassinated, all at once, at the same moment Miku had disappeared. Some were stabbed through by hundreds of blades that were formerly held by the very guards protecting them. Some were suddenly teleported into lava, monster dens, or deadly traps. Miku’s family was confused and distraught, but decided to keep their suspicions secret when they found a huge pile of gold coins in their basement.

At the zenith of her coming-of-age, Miku discovered that time around her had stopped. She tried in vain to get her family to listen to her cries, to make anything move again, to hear another human voice. It was all in vain. She went on a tantrum, knocking over market stalls and kicking time-frozen buckets. However, she soon realized that there was nothing she could do to change her fate, and carefully, sorrowfully, replaced everything she had disturbed. She sent several years wandering, safe in her frozen time from monsters and natural dangers. She explored the known world, then traveled beyond that to places too dangerous to visit for most.

As she entered her later years, Miku realized that her life, despite her explorations, had little meaning. She hadn’t loved. She couldn’t lose anything or face challenges. She revisited her old village, and sadly reflected on her life. That’s when she realized there was one last thing she could do. She went around the nearby countries, slaying any tyrants and slavers she could find. With little real-world experience, she didn’t realize that the political turmoil she might cause would be worse than the rule of a tyrannical lord, but that didn’t stop her righteous crusade. She also stole a small amount of gold from each one, bringing it back to her family’s home as consolation for her tantrum and disappearance. Her final act was to visit the explorer-queen Isra vi Andoles, famous for mapping the known world. She anonymously left her journal, which detailed safe passages to dangerous parts of the world, at his feet. She then found a quiet place to die, which kicked off the most tumultuous and exciting era of exploration and revolution the world had ever seen.

Bucket is in the background of this shot
Spell: True Polymorph (PHB pg. 283)
Bucket was crafted with little love or regard by a blacksmith named Gobán Blake in the city of Maglesh. Gobán was filling orders of buckets for the local meadery, and completely failed to notice that one particular metal container was slightly more magical than the rest. Bucket could not speak, hear, or even see. It simply knew it existed, and pondered this thought for some time. It had no way to understand the world around it, and little care for those who picked it up, filled it with mead or grain, and swung its handle. It could feel the weight of its contents, and the grinding of its handle on its sides as it swung, and over time these small discomforts provided both a sense of annoyance and loneliness to Bucket. Bucket wanted to find out who was swinging the handle! Who was filling and emptying it! And perhaps, then, it could be a bit less alone.

Bucket waited patiently for someone to pick it up and fill it. At the moment its handle lifted, it reached out to the thing holding the handle, trying desperately to communicate. And for a moment, Bucket was successful. It could feel the life within the creature holding it, A living breathing thing that it could be with. And at that moment, the thing holding Bucket turned into a bucket themselves, and Bucket took on the form of the thing. Bucket was suddenly filled with strange thoughts it had never had before, images that it couldn’t stop thinking, sounds it couldn’t stop hearing, and strange limbs that weren’t handle-like at all. Bucket was so confused, it didn’t realize this body required air to breathe, and the townsfolk later found a pile of clothing next to two unusually similar buckets. They assumed the boy who was carrying Bucket had gone off somewhere naked, but he was never seen or heard from again.

Meanwhile, Bucket began to realize what had happened. It had turned into another life-form, one with many more senses (and bodily needs) than itself. It waited patiently until another creature touched it, and tried again. This time, Bucket’s body was slightly different, but it quickly figured out how to breathe before the body died. Bucket began running around, touching things to change them into buckets. Each of these buckets were just as sentient as the original, and soon Bucket and its allies were stealing bodies and turning all sorts of things into Buckets. A plague of buckets swept across the land, forcing several armies to try and stop these strange bucket warriors. They seemed only to wish to make more buckets. The world fought back, but after a few decades the entire world had been transformed into buckets, a planet covered in nothing but dirt and buckets. And now they are all that is left, and each Bucket wallows in its dark, silent misery, waiting for someone to come along and pick them up.

Zdravko Tasios
Spell: True Resurrection (PHB pg. 284)
The world of Hozira had experienced a tumultuous few centuries. The elven wizards of Zeelin had tried to divide the planet (literally), the warlords of Savas had risen up and nearly conquered all of Zeelin, and the lich lord Yudogo had slain hundreds before she was stopped. Such times produced great heroes, many strong and noble warriors, and kind-hearted wizards who stopped these evildoers at every turn. Time after time, the forces of evil were held at bay, and the successful heroes lived happily ever after, dying at ripe old ages.

However, in a small unimportant town called Ulun, a young boy named Zdravko Tasios was born. In his youth, he was visited by a seer, who told him he would shape the fate of the entire world of Hozira. Zdravko laughed, since he was nothing but a simple farmhand, and planned to take over his father’s farm when he came of age. And sure enough, his life was simple, full of love and labor, and when his time came, he passed on to the next life. He died believing that the seer must have been wrong, but satisfied that he had provided a fine life for his wife, children, and grandchildren.

But the moment Zdravko died, his innate magic ability activated. Suddenly, every single person on Hozira who hadn’t died of old age in the past 200 years was brought back to life, hale and healthy. The wizards of Zeelin, the warlords of Savas, the lich lord Yudogo, and many more. The world was swept with terror as the villains from legend and story came to life, with nary a hero in sight to stop them. Those few heroes that had died tragic deaths were returned as well, but were so scattered that without their allies, they fell once again to those who had bested them before. The world suddenly had to handle an assault the likes of which they had never seen before. If they will survive is for time to tell.

Zilya Dabria
Spell: Weird (PHB pg. 288)
Zilya Dabria was a famous bounty hunter known as the Lady of Nightmares. She could cause someone’s worst fear to manifest into reality, terrifying her victims, sometimes even to death. She lived her life surrounded by other people’s nightmares, and they obeyed her every command. Her strength grew day by day, and before long she could summon the worst fears of any creature within hundreds of yards. She realized she could demand whatever she wanted, and before long became the de facto ruler of Pagrax city, where she lived.

However, the nightmares began to take on a life of their own. The newly-branded “City of Bad Dreams” was no longer ruled by one woman, but now a menagerie of terrifying aberrations crawling through its twisted streets. Even Zilya, once lauded for her mastery of these illusions, had vanished, perhaps in hiding from the terrors she had herself created. The streets were empty except for the sounds of flesh-rending claws stalking the night. Windows were boarded shut, houses abandoned, businesses empty. People fled, but the monsters kept following them, further and further away from the city.

Soon, the monsters had spread to everywhere in the world that people lived. Those who didn’t know about Zilya and the City of Bad Dreams tried to fight back, but they couldn’t bring their swords or bows to bear on the things that scared them most. The nightmares swarmed city after city, country after country, tearing people apart with their hands of those they loved and feared most. Now, only a few people remain, hiding against the ever-stalking nightmares. Their goal is to find Zilya and kill her, ending the incessant terror the world has succumbed to.

Please check out and support the artist!
Spell: Wish (PHB pg. 288)
Mr. and Mrs. Owen, from Pataskala, Ohio, were expecting a child, a boy. They had selected the name Andrew, after Mr. Owen’s favorite baseball player from his youth. Mrs. Owen had heard many horror stories about pregnancy and the strange behaviors and cravings it brought about in the human body, but her term had been incredibly easy so far. The child was quiet, and seemed to be growing quite healthily. Eventually, the time came to birth the child, and the happy couple were whisked off to the nearby Mount Carmel hospital. The doctors predicted a smooth and easy delivery, and Mrs. Owen went into labor. Andrew Owen was born a healthy baby boy, whose first desire was for the strange, bright new world he had been thrust into to stop existing. And so it did.

Andrew Owen drifted in nothingness. He was not hungry, for his belly filled with food when he desired it. He was not cold, for his skin was warmed at a thought. Images and sounds flashed through his mind. Who were the men in bright white robes, with green and blue skin, ringed in burning light? Who was the voice who had spoken to him, comforted him, while he was in the womb? Why were they gone? Why did he exist? Andrew grew, like all humans do, and he pondered these thoughts and more. As he did, images of them flashed before his eyes, and he realized that he could control these images. They had mass, and warmth. They were his thoughts, made real. He began experimenting, creating creatures like himself, like the strange men, like the comforting voice.

He watched as the creatures he made became independent. He made a strong male voice, warm and reassuring, that represented light. He made a wispy elderly voice, cold and hollow, to control the darkness. These two fought endlessly, and Andrew was pleased. He decided to give them the power to create as well, and they began to build a multiverse. There were people in white robes ringed in light, which Andrew called angels. There were comforting voices, called Gods. And there were people who looked just like Andrew. There were people who looked a bit different than Andrew. They laughed, grew, lived, and died. Gods made them, or sometimes Andrew lent a hand. They filled Andrew’s creation, and he watched them with utter and total fascination.

Andrew decided to call himself AO, though he barely knew why. Once he had reached an old age, he wished to stop aging, and he did. He wished for somewhere high up, a mountain, where he could view all of his creation. And here he sits, watching his grand experiments, creating new multiverses at will, attempting different combinations of gods and sciences, trying out new forms of matter and magic, and forever consumed by his simple curiosity. For all his power, he cannot see the future, and his experiments may never cease as he tinkers endlessly with the multiverses. He is AO, creator of all. He sits on his mountain, unsure of what he is searching for but endlessly searching nonetheless. And so it shall be, for all eternity.

And that's it! That's every spell! Yeah!

I'm thinking about putting these NPCs into a huge PDF for posterity's sake. It's much easier to search through a PDF than it is to scour through articles.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Monday Recap: Inclined Pain

Daring, Dashing, Caring and Clashing
Hello everyone! It's Makayla again, bringing you another recap of Jandar's Lions. It's been a bit since the last recap... But let's not worry about that for now and get back to the adventure!

(Jon here. Apologies for this coming out on Tuesday! I didn't get a chance to edit it until today. However, it's a great adventure that is definitely worth it.)

This story is part 5 of a series. The campaign is ongoing.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 |

Jandar's Lions: Inclined Pain

Jandar's Lions Crew:
Makayla: Dungeon Master
Jon: Captain Jandar Monroe, Human Paladin, Captain of "The Golden Duchess," Explorer of the Horizon (As of 2 weeks ago), tries not to kill things.
Wes: Barry the Basher, Mountain Dwarf Barbarian, has many memories of his mother, superb angler, can't write.
Tom: "Barth" Perth, Human Rogue, likes to challenge Jandar with moral quandaries, can't take a hit or drink alcohol.
Shannon: Otaroinae “A’ro’wan” Kalepeach, Water Genasi-Halfling Coast Druid, thoroughly enjoys being in and around water, likes to 'kelp' people.
NPCs: Lin and Dekkard: High Elf Blade Bard and Mountain Dwarf Eldritch Knight, First-Mate and Purser, respectively. Jandar's Friends.

When we last left off, our heroes were in the Elven port city of Jium searching for adventure. The morning after Otaroinae's kidnapping, Jandar gathered his crew and they resolved to find adventure by checking around at any of the local merchant guilds. The group eventually came across a guild that was to send out a caravan the next morning into the mountains, and they were looking to hire adventurers to help protect them from a group of bandits that were known to be on the path ahead.

After some quick preparations and purchasing items in the market, the group was ready at dawn the next day to set off with the caravan. After Jandar met with the leader of the caravan, Ailluin Maghorn, and discussing some basic information, the group set off.

The slight rain in the morning did not dampen the group's spirits as they traveled with the caravan. While in the forested area, the group had a run in with a fairy dragon that played a few pranks on them. Otaroinae tried her best to befriend it by playing with it using some water, before it flew off again.

While the caravan rested overnight, the crew took shifts to keep watch and resting. While Otaroinae and Barry were on watch, Otaroinae heard an owlbear and roused Jandar and Barth. After a quick planing discussion, the group decided to enter the forest to try and lure the owlbear in a direction away from the caravan.

Otaroinae used Druidcracft to make a smell of meat in an area where an owlbear appeared to have just passed through. After spying the owl bear, Otaroinae heard another owlbear hoo from some distance away. She then used Entangle to attempt to ensnare the owlbear, while Barth and Jandar fired arrows at the owlbear. The group launched another volley of projectiles at the owlbear, enraging it. The owlbear came up and pecked Jandar in the chest, while Jandar drew his rapier and used Divine Strike on the owlbear, hurting it a significant amount and exclaiming "Do not impede our journey!"

Barth managed to shoot an arrow into the owlbear's paw while Barry brought his hammer down on the owlbear's skull, finally killing it. Otaroinae and Jandar both cast Cure Wounds on Jandar while Barry set up a hunting trap. Barth climbed into a tree and prepared to attack again with his bow when the second owlbear appeared.

Barth managed to get off a solid shot while the rest of the group hid, and Jandar attempted to shoot at it with his crossbow. The owlbear ended up activating Barry's hunting trap, restricting it to a tree. Otaroinae turned into a panther and prepared to pounce at the owlbear. Barry pushed forward and hammered it with his maul, causing it to turn around and peck and slashed at him with it's claws. Barth dropped down onto the owlbear and buried his rapier into it's backside while Otaroinae pounced on it. Jandar ran up and lays his hands on Barry, healing him. The owlbear failed to shake off Barth, but it was shaking to vigorously for Barth to hit it. Jandar prepared a Divine Strike again, feeling a large surge of power flow into his sword as it glowed brighter than it had ever before. He thrust his rapier into the owlbear, causing a burst of light, and the owlbear collapsed shortly thereafter.

Looks like he couldn't bear it at owl
The group gathered themselves as Otaroinae turned back into her normal self, and they set to work taking what they could of the spoils. After heading back to the caravan's camp, the group finished their night watch and rested as the night passed in peace.

The following morning, Ailluin Maghorn came over to the group after noticing that they had an owlbear pelt and thanked them, saying that his mind was at ease for having such strong traveling companions with the caravan. The travel was quiet overall for a while, with only mountain goats around for the next few days.

In the afternoon of the 4th day, Jandar and Otaroinae noticed a few rocks coming down from an area on a slope to their right, and they were able to make out a few hidden figures behind some rocks up higher on the slope. Jandar asked "Are you friend or foe?", to which one of the figures responded with an attack order.

Otaroinae started off by casting Entangle on the middle group of bandits. Barth and Jandar shot a few bolts and arrows at the bandit groups, managing to down one bandit, while Barry sets up a bear trap in front of one of the side groups. The bandits entangled at the top of the slope slowly started helping each other out of the entangling seaweed. Otaroinae and Jandar engaged the group of bandits at the front of the caravan, while Barry and Barth engaged the group at the back of the caravan. One of the bandits was so unobservant that he ended up in Barry's bear trap.

Otaroinae and Jandar are surrounded by bandits and fail their attempts to hit them. Barth and Barry managed to get a good few hits in on their side, knocking out the bandit in the bear trap. When Jandar finally landed a hit, he knocked another bandit out and tried to perceive if the bandit that he dropped with an arrow was doing okay.

Barth dropped a bandit, and Otaroinae managed to Poison Spray one of the bandits. Jandar knocked him out immediately afterwards. Barry and Jandar then both took some hard hits from the bandits. Otaroinae recast entangle on the middle group, but only the one that hadn't been freed yet was restrained again. Barry hammered another bandit unconscious with his hammer, and the caravan guards managed to do enough damage to take out one of the bandits on Barth and Barry's side. Barth then proceeded to brutally back-stab the final bandit on that side through the neck, outright killing him.

Otaroinae Poison Sprayed another bandit, while Barry tried to intimidate the remaining bandits higher on the slope that were starting to flee back up to the top. Jandar knocked one of the two remaining bandits unconscious, and had everyone surround the final bandit. Jandar began interrogating him, and eventually convinced him that honest work is better over all.

The crew went around, rousing the bandits that were unconscious while Barry gave the two that died a proper burial. Jandar managed to convince all but one that honest work is the answer. He then had Barth and Barry intimidate the one that absolutely wouldn't listen to reason into at least coming with them to show him that honest work is better than banditry.

After a long day, the group took a well earned rest. Barth, who had killed someone, was told not to drink alcohol, so he imbibed instead. The following morning, Otaroinae was awake first and was outside looking around at the scenery of the mountainous landscape when she noticed two monstrous bird like shapes circling overhead. She decided to wake Jandar and have him take a look. After Jandar and Otaroinae confirmed that these were not birds, but were a monstrous creature they could not identify (Peryton), Jandar went and tried to rouse Barth and Barry and went back outside.

They are not your friends
After returning outside the tent, one of the two Peryton swooped down and tried to attack Jandar. Barry sleepily walked out of the tent with his hammer. while Barth was struggling to get up due to being exhausted after imbibing too much alcohol. Otaroinae managed to cast Create Water over the Peryton and soaked it's feathers, forcing it to land. Jandar used Ensnaring Strike to cover the Peryton in magical ice vines. It failed to hit Jandar with it's horns, but managed to kick Otaroinae hard. Barth walks out of the tent with only his bow and fires an arrow at the creature. Meanwhile, the other Peryton dove down and attacked somewhere else on the caravan.

Jandar told everyone but Barry to go to the other side of the caravan, while Barry was left to smash the grounded Peryton. Otaroinae threw an Ice Knife at the Peryton before heading over to the other part of the caravan that was being attacked. Barry brought his hammer down on the semi-frozen Peryton while the others took off towards the other side of the caravan. Barth and Jandar shot an arrow and a bolt respectively at the second Peryton.

Otaroinae cast Cure Wounds on one of the two guards fighting off the other Peryton. Said Peryton pecked the other guard, and he dropped to the ground. Berry once again brought the hammer down on the Peryton he was fighting and managed to kill it. Jandar finally reached the other Peryton and used Ensnaring Strike and Divine Strike at the same time to begin his attack against the remaining Peryton. Otaroinae turned into a spider and prepared to attack, while Barry dashed over to join up with Jandar and Otaroinae. Barth meanwhile walked over casually, knocking another arrow and shooting the Peryton from a ways back. Jandar and Otaroinae, now a spider, continued their attack against the Peryton, however the guard that Otaroinae healed managed to get in a good solid strike on it, finally bringing it down.

The group continued their travels, healing the few wounds that they took. In the afternoon, there was singing heard coming from down the slope to the caravan's left side. Three harpies flew up out of the valley. Otaroinae cast Ice Knife at two of the harpies who then began singing. Barth, Barry and Jandar ended up getting charmed by the harpies and were forced to walk and fall a short way down the slope trying to get closer to the harpies. The harpies then tried to claw at Jandar and Barry. Jandar eventually broke free from the harpy that charmed him, grasped and plunged his rapier into it, killing it. Otaroinae and the elven archers managed to kill off the other two harpies with a moonbeam and arrows.

After a long day of being attacked by flying creatures, the group breathed a sigh of relief as they finally spotted the village they were bringing supplies to. After arriving in the village of Sunjao, Jandar decided to visit the Sunjao monastery to talk to one of the samurai leaders. A female samurai named Seere Utoren met with Jandar over tea and explained briefly about the workings of the monastery.

Jandar then remembered something important and dug into his bag...

And pulled out a puzzle box and asked, "What do you know about this box?"

The coolest elf samurai
And that's where I'll end the recap. There was some other stuff that happened, but I'll put it in next time because this felt like a good spot to deliver a cliffhanger, especially after all the mountains they traversed and nearly were charmed into walking off of.

Apologies for this being posed so late... Life gets in the way of many things at times.

Thanks for reading!