Happy Pi Day!

In celebration of Pi Day 3/14 and its irrational constant 3.141592…etc. I have taken the scientist Archimedes, who is generally considered to be the greatest mathematician of antiquity, and gave a remarkably accurate approximation of Pi, and translated him into a D&D Next character. He comes complete with skills, and a new Background called Tinkerer.

Human (+2 to one ability score and +1 to all others)

Str-13 Dex-11 Con-9 Cha-14 Int-17 Wis-15

Background: Tinkerer

Skills- Knowledge (sciences), Disable Device, Profession

Trait- Inventor- Tinkerers have a penchant for crafting small devices, tools, traps, and clever objects that you sell or keep as you please. As an inventor, the townsfolk often seek you out to view or inquire about your wares, trading information, food, parts, or coin in exchange for goods.

In addition, you have a small clockwork or mechanical messenger. Typically these are built like an owl or sparrow to fly, or even small rodents to travel into small places avoiding detection or destruction. They are built to travel to places that they have been before, carrying messages or picking them up to return them to their creator.

A clockwork owl.

You gain the benefits of Tinker Talk. You are able to use your Int modifier plus profession skill bonus when bluffing. This check is made versus the opponents wisdom score. The amount by which you succeed or fail determines how strongly the target believes what you say, or is able to discern the truth behind your fabrication.

Equipment- crafting tools, large compartmentalized backpack, ledger and sketch book, collapsible telescope.

The man himself.

Isle of the Storm Giants

In my campaign some of the characters/players have been obsessed with the idea of claiming a floating island as their own and building a magnificent stronghold there. Well they have caught hold of a rumor that one exists but is currently inhabited by giants. They have decided that they will crush said giants and take what ‘should’ belong to them. Part of me thinks that they don’t quite understand what they are getting into!

IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY PLAYING IN MY CAMPAIGN DO NOT READ THIS POST! Thanks 🙂

By Frank Tedeschi ( DnDiy.wordpress.com)

Adventure Synopsis:

There is a stronghold carved into the peak of a mountain on a floating isle, caught in an unending storm. This airy mountain castle was forged by storm giants lead by the titan Crakshar. His undying loyalty to the primordial Saeta-The Devoured, has brought him to this place because here he plans to finally unbind his former primordial master. In this floating isle the material between the planes is weak, allowing Crakshar to open a transient portal to the Elemental Chaos. The divine bonds that hold Saeta are nigh unbreakable, and only can be undone by great unholy power. That is why Crakshar has enslaved Cultists of Orcus to summon the Prince of Undeath himself and persuade him- by any means – to use the mighty Wand of Orcus to free his master.

The adventurers must make their way through the Sunken Pass, parlay with an unusual village of Orc and Goblin Monks, devise a way onto to the floating isle, and stop Crakshar before he frees a being of such catastrophic destruction and power, even the gods couldn’t kill him.

Background:

Mt. Evensil lies just beyond what is known at the Sunken Pass, a shortcut passageway through two mountains known as the Sentinel Peaks. The Sunken Pass is named for the large war galleon which is shipwrecked between the peaks a hundred miles from the nearest body of water. The path to Mt. Evensil lies through the heart of this cryptic ship whose origin has passed into myth.

Beyond the ship marks the base of Mt. Evensil, a 1000 foot sheer cliff. At the base of the cliff dwells a small village of huts and caves belonging to a mountain cult. The cult is an eccentric bunch of isolated men led by a tribunal of spiritual half-orcs which worship those found within the deep belly of the sunken galleon.

The floating isle itself was created during a devastating event at the end of the Teifling Empire, which led to the peak of Mt. Evensil breaking away from the rest of the mountain leaving a deep valley behind. A furious broil of thunder and lightning enveloped the isle which eventually drew Crakshar and the storm giants to claim it as their own. However Crakshar is not working alone he has enlisted the aid of a living glacier, who was once part of the holy glacial lattice which has imprisoned Saeta. Together they have begun to strengthen their numbers with both storm and frost giants.

The storm giants built many of the peripheral rooms open to the elements and storm outside. The red lines denote the absence of wall (and presence of cliff-like mountainside). The two circular rooms are slowly turning in the indicated directions.

A-Armory and merchant B-General storage C-Dining Hall  D-Kitchen E-Barracks F– Interrogation room G-Dungeon H-Cultist study/preparation room I-Summoning room for Orcus J-Throne/audience room K-Crakshar’s chamber L-Room of the stormstone golem whose magic keeps the isle afloat M-Large amphitheater like room, channel in center of room is used for entry/exit of the castle. This room is also used for grand storm rituals if they are to ride the wind into battle. N– Portal to Elemental Chaos and Saetia P-Tower of the Elder Elemental Eye

Due to the storm and seepage from the elemental chaos all rooms open to the outside are subject to random weather. Roll 1d10:

1.       lightning storm. Hazard rolls initiative. Every round on its turn each creature in area rolls a d20 any natural ones are stuck 3d10 +5

2.       Unusually fierce wind and snow. Movement at half speed -5 to ranged attacks.

3.       Driving rain. Sight is halved. -2 to atk rolls for obscured vision

4.       Ice. Half speed. Or acrobatics for full speed DC=16. Failure=prone slide three squares

5.       Fog. -5 perception checks. 6 squares away have partial concealment. Rogues have automatic combat advantage in this area and a +2 bonus to steath checks.

6.       Raging Wind hazard (the plane below 4e supplement)

7.       Very pleasant indeed.

8.       Overcast and quite chilly.

9.       Fist sized hail. Hazard rolls initiative. Attacks everyone on turn. +12 vs Reflex: 10 damage.

10.   Acid rain. Melee weapons deal 7 additional acid damage on hit. All armor wearers (except cloth) is at -1 AC

This is still a work in progress, one of which I hope will include many interesting encounters, side quests and unbelievable dangers. Once finished I hope to compile this adventure into a pdf module complete with some nice maps, monster stat blocks, and plenty of random generation table fun. I hope you guys enjoy this preview and check back later for the completed work!

Soon I will be making a post about the first two sections of this adventure: Coming to the village of New Village home to the strange Orc and Goblin Monks and the exploration of a crashed airship.

REVIEW: Tomb of Horrors. By Gary Gygax

1. What kind of adventure is it? (Location based? Dungeon? Town? Etc.)

This is a thinking man’s meat grinder style dungeon crawl in a trap infested tomb of a legendary demi-lich.

2. How long is it?

It is fairly long, took me roughly 5 (maybe 6), 4.5hr sessions to get through the entire dungeon. This includes additional roleplaying, dream sequences, random monsters I dropped in for my pleasure, and a unique “Dungeon Collapse” game sequence I created where the players had to flee the dungeon before they were irreparably crushed by the crumbling tomb.

3. Were there any particularly noteworthy things in it? (Monsters, traps, plot ideas, mechanics, etc.)

This is mother of all Death-Trap Dungeons. The Tomb of Horrors was created by the evil Demi-Lich Acererak not as a tomb or stronghold, but literally to entice heroes to overcome the obstacles within and attain great treasure, so that when they die, their soul is siphoned into the magical aura of the tomb strengthening Acererak and his eventual ascension to Godhood. If this sounds rather brutal, it’s because it is. Everything is a trap, or misleading, or dangerous in one way or another. Thus making it a delight to run.

Of particular note is the elemental vortex trap. Players here sounds of many people, laughing talking and playing music down a corridor, just beyond a door. When the door is opened they see a long hallway and the sound of people running away. Once they move into the hall, BAM, the floor drops down on the far end creating an intense slope, culminating in an elemental vortex attempting to suck them in and destroy them.

The caveat to this trap is that it is not THAT hard to escape from, however, if a player takes lots of damage and gets sucked into the elemental vent, and then dies. HE IS WHOLLY CONSUMED. Body, armor, weapon, and soul, nothing is recovered from his death. This makes it exceedingly difficult to Raise Dead since it requires a piece of the body. Yes dangerous indeed.

There are too many interesting traps and monsters to go through but most of them were enjoyable such as the many pillared hall, and room with three vats.

4. What sort of vibe is going on in it? (Creepy? Gonzo? Sword and sorcery? Chivalry? etc.)

This whole dungeon is a creepy sorcery feel to it. Once they enter and set off a few traps and realize just what kind of sadistic and deadly dungeon they are dealing with, the mood changes accordingly.

5. Would you run it? Why or why not?

Absolutely. This is the dungeon that I wish someone had run for me. There are puzzles galore and lots of fun and interesting details that went into making it. (Thanks Gary). However, it must be run correctly for the right group. If you have a hack and slash party, which just wants encounters every session, you should think twice about this dungeon. I sprinkled in a few extra minor encounters just for that reason, since there can be considerable time before monster based combat.

6. Does it resemble anything we might’ve seen before?

This is the original Deadly Dungeon, however I am sure there are other similar deathtraps out there. The neat part about this is that was written by Gary Gygax himself, and his a unique flavor to the text as well as the art. I will say though that death comes easily in this dungeon but not unwarranted. There are no instant death, no save, for no reason, traps herein. Things that cause severe injury usually are triggered by something a character does specifically. Like touch the altar, walk through the portal, pull the lever, etc. I fine balance of caution and bold action will create a memorable and dangerous game the likes of which are hard to top.

NEW MONSTERS: Displacer Croc and Giant Snake

Variety is the spice of life, and for DnD that can translate to creature variety. Not long ago I thought of something that I found interesting but did not exist. Rules and/or a stat block for a displacer crocodile. Thus, I made one. Its a little intense when it comes to chomping down on enemies and grabbing them. That’s why I like it. Throw three of these bad boys into a lagoon while the players wade through and things will get REAL.

These guys are certainly a little treat but what really freaked out my players was 30 foot snake gliding through the water unseen. Again, I searched for half an hour for some stats on a giant snake, and came up with nothing. So I took a few minutes and drew up some attacks and made this:

Its simple and to the point, paired with the crocs it makes for a nice little swamp encounter. Enjoy.

Surprising your players

At times it is hard to keep your players guessing. They think they know how the game works, what to expect, where they are going to go. And then, the world happens. Then the Demon Lord Ezzeron descends upon Fallcrest riding an enormous bone dragon, which crushes parts of the town every time it moves to make an attack. ..and they just wanted to go to town and buy a few things. 🙂

Image

Adventure Time.

I begun development of an adventure Module inspired mostly by D&D 4e materials but heavily reliant of my own design. I am putting this module for 9th-11th level characters. The plan is to have it not as text book walkthrough like the current 4e modules, rather, more location and sandbox based, while still achieving a nice story arc.

I will post little snippets here, however my goal is to make something which i can transform into a nicely laid out intuitive design layout.. much akin to how a real published module would be produced. The best part though is that once finished. You can has fo’ free.