Saturday, January 31, 2009

Three first-level spells: Vine Truth, Messenger, Flash

Vine Truth
Range: 0
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: One conjured flower for divining truth

This spell produces a small coiling vine that wraps around the wrist of the Magic-User, ending in a showy blossom held between the fingertips. Until the spell's duration runs out, if an individual within 30' of the Magic-User knowingly tells a lie, a petal will fall from the blossom to signal the untruth.

Range: 200'
Duration: 5 rounds or until delivered
Effect: One message of ten words or less

This spell conjures a tiny construct of magical energy, to which the Magic-User gives a message of no more than ten words. The construct immediately makes its way to the recipient chosen by the Magic-User despite apparent barriers such as walls (unless blocked by metal); when the recipient comes into contact with the construct, the message is delivered and the spell ends.

Range: 50'
Duration: 1 round
Effect: A burst of multicoloured light

When casting this spell, the Magic-User points at a chosen target. An orb of rainbow colours races from their fingertip towards the target, erupting into a brilliant burst of multicoloured light that causes 1-4 hit points of damage and blinds for two rounds.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ten Poisons --

Aah, how a few days can turn into almost two months. Or something. *grins*

But here they are, ten poisons a little less lethal, for your lower level types --

Midnight's Sting – a distillate of crushed vortik snails and lesser belladonna; transparent, with a blue-violet tint. Midnight's Sting causes 1-8 hit points of damage.

Caveblight: Whitish, cream-like, and stays slick, cave ooze combined with the fruiting bodies of albino dungeon lichens. Caveblight causes a loss of 4 points of Strength for four hours.

Tomb Centipede Essence: Exactly as it sounds; reddish and thin, it dries quickly. This essence causes paralysis for five turns.

Seshen: A magical poison of crushed white lotus seeds and the ashes of a spellbook; a thin, milky resin that causes a -2 penalty to all rolls for an hour.

Green Slime Extract: Shellac-like, bright green mixture of green slime heavily diluted into vinegar that inflicts 2-16 hit points of damage.

Enchanter: A magical poison that resembles rusty mercury, created from the remnants of cursed magical items. Enchanter causes a -4 penalty to all rolls for two hours.

Methys: A glittering, iridescent liquid drawn from imperial star jellies. Methys forces the victim to move at half speed and have one action/two rounds for four turns.

Little Death: A thick, violet gel; maceration of wyvern-bone and death thistle. Little Death causes an unbreakable sleep for six hours.

Emperor's Rebuke: Brilliant crimson and cloying, of cinnabar dissolved in dragon's blood. Emperor's Rebuke inflicts 3-12 hit points of damage.

Nex: Thick, syrupy and brownish-black, made from zombie dust and consecrated oils corrupted on an altar to Chaos. Nex causes the loss of one point of Constitution.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Dragon debate.

I think it's time to mull over the point and purpose of dragons in my Classic game; now, while we're still happily in Red Box territory and before they get to be actual threats.

More to the point, I think I want to replace the old traditionals with a different set of dragons. It might not make a lot of difference aside from flavour; it might make a great deal of difference, I can't really guess right now. But differentiating dragons by something other than colour (elements? biomes? resemblance to other beasts? number of limbs ...?) would make a nice change.

As I skim through my posts here on the ol' blog, it seems to me that -- even though not all of these critters and widgets have seen my game yet, not by a long shot -- they seem to have some thread in common. So, says I, why not work on some dragons to go with that not-quite-articulated theme?

Another small point I've been debating is giving dragons some more obviously related or derived critters associated with them, and also writing up a generic "hatchling" or "dragonet" that happens to be more suitable for low-level parties.

I've been rather taken by the idea that dragons spawn much more than is normally assumed, but only the best and brightest and strongest live long enough to become a true (adult) dragon -- maybe some kind of nifty metamorphosis in involved. Maybe it's almost impossible to guess what type of adult dragon a dragonet will ultimately become, or it's easy to confuse identification ...

Hell, maybe the dragonet gets to make its own decision on the matter, or the metamorphosis is determined by the most frequent environment it lived in.

The flipside of this is the notion of some kind of humanoid servitors or dragon-derived race that doesn't necessarily involve spawning from corrupted eggs (a la draconians) -- although unfertilized eggs, now that could be interesting depending on how one explained it -- or convoluted magical rituals. This one requires more thought.

If I have a few ideas over the weekend, maybe next week will be dragon week ...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Variant Arcanist Spell Lists

The “flavour” of the arcanist class is easily varied by substituting the base spell list for a more specialized one.

Presented here are two such variants for Basic Red Box arcanists, plus spells as needed; one from a semi-generic archetype for a spellcasting warrior, the other an adaptation of a familiar class from another source --

Magic Knight

With a few exceptions, the spells of these arcanists focus on dealing exotic damage effects in melee – and making that melee easier.

First Level

Detect Magic
Elemental Blade I
Read Magic

Range: 0
Duration: 2 turns
Effect: The arcanist's next attack is more accurate

This spell is cast upon the arcanist's ready weapon, enveloping it in a visible sheath of magical energy. The next attack that the arcanist makes with the enspelled weapon is granted a +3 to its roll to hit.

Elemental Blade I
Range: 0
Duration: 1 turn
Effect: Adds elemental damage to a weapon

A simple elemental enchantment, this spell bestows a bonus to damage the next time a weapon with the spell cast upon it is used in battle. The weapon will do an additional 1-3 hit points of elemental damage, exact type chosen by the arcanist at the time the spell is learned, until the end of the spell's duration. Additional variations of elemental blade I may be learned by the arcanist.

Alternately, the spell may be cast to cause all damage inflicted by the weapon to be of the specific elemental type. This version does not grant additional damage.

Entanglement (Black Iron Briars)
Range: 40'
Duration: 4 rounds
Effect: One target is held in place

When this spell is cast, a mesh of magical energy coils around the legs and lower body of the chosen target -- which must be no larger than an ogre -- and roots it to the ground. For the spell's duration the target cannot move from its spot, though it may still attack, defend itself, cast spells, etc.

Range: 0
Duration: 2 turns
Effect: Grants a stunning effect to a weapon

When this spell is cast upon the arcanist's ready weapon, the weapon is sheathed in a dully shining field of magical energy. The next successful attack made with the enspelled weapon will cause the target to be stunned for two rounds in addition to the weapon's normal damage.

Crimson Arcanist

For those who want their fantasy to be a little more “Final”, the crimson arcanist is a true Renaissance spellcaster, fitting between the cleric on the one hand and the magic-user on the other.

First Level

Cure Light Wounds
Detect Magic
Protection From Evil
Read Magic
Remove Fear

*Bolt may use any form of energy, chosen when the spell is cast. (traditionally, the choices are fire and electricity.)

**When the caster is a crimson arcanist bulwark may be cast on any target, with a range of 50'.

Range: 150'
Duration: 3 turns
Effect: Worsens the Armour Class of one creature

When this spell is cast, a ruby orb flies from the arcanist to strike one chosen target. that target's Armour Class immediately worsens by three due to the magical interference of the spell. Carbuncle does not allow a saving throw.

Class: Arcanist

It still needs some tweaking and polishing up, but here's the arcanist class (which needs a different name like whoa), with everything needed for a Classic Red Box game. I hope *grins*

After further tweaking, I'm planning to expand the class into higher levels.

(Mageblade, Spellblade, Magic Knight, etc etc)

Some individuals have the knack for magic, but not the potential to be apprenticed as a full-fledged magic-user. Others are disinclined to commit to the years of training required of a magic-user's student, or would prefer to know a smattering of magics to supplement their other talents. Of these individuals some choose to combine their talent for magic with weapons-skill, and these people become arcanists.

An arcanist is a multitalented adventurer. A respectable combtant, though not the equal of a fighter, an arcanist also possesses knowledge of a variety of magic spells with which they may aid the party or augment their ability to combat the denizens of dungeons.

With fewer hit points and a more limited selection of armour than a fighter, an arcanist needs to be more cautious in combat – at least until the enemy is softened up by a few choice spells or attacks. Many arcanists choose to mix it up a bit, darting in and out of combat as opportunities present themselves and so keep out of harm's way – at least some of the time – until the time is right to land a strategic blow.

The magic of an arcanist is more limited than that of a magic-user; arcanist's spells never attain the sheer power of a magic-user's enchantments. Neither can arcanist cast as many spells in a day. The versitility of the arcanist lies in making use of magic and martial skill both, not relying on one or the other.

Like a magic-user or elf, an arcanist learns spells from scrolls, spellbooks or other arcanists, recording them into their own spellbook. In addition to new spells, arcanists stay alert for magical weapons and armour that they can use during adventures.

Prime Requisite: An arcanist has two PRs, Strength and Intelligence. If either score is 13 or more, the character gains a 5% bonus to XP gained. If both scores are 13 or higher, or one score is 16 or higher, the character gains a 10% bonus to XP gained.

Hit Dice: Arcanists' Hit Dice per level are determined using 1d6.

To Hit: Arcanists use the Cleric to-hit table.

Saving Throws: Arcanists use the Fighter Saving Throw table.

Armour: An arcanist may use only leather armour or chain mail (may not wear armour granting a base Armour Class better than that of chain mail). They may not use shields.

Weapons: An arcanist may use any one-handed bladed weapon, plus spear. In addition, they may use daggers, flasks of oil and vials of holy water as missile weapons.

Special Abilities: Like magic-users and elves, arcanists cast spells memorized from spellbooks; they use all rules for magic as applied to magic-users and elves. Arcanists have fewer spell slots, however, and a more restricted spell list.

[Even if the spell lists are broadened by the addition of new or newly-discovered spells, arcanists should never be given access to spells that harm or incapacitate whole groups of enemies, or that deal massive amounts of scaling damage.]

XPLevelTitleNumber of Spells / Spell Level
01Disciple1 First
18002Initiate1 First
36003Duelist2 First

First Level Spell List

Detect Magic
Floating Disc
Hold Portal
Protection From Evil
Read Magic

* see below
**alternately, ventiloquism may be replaced with bulwark (see below); this is suggested against, though the spell would be in-theme.

Range: 150'
Duration: 1 round
Effect: Creates one bolt of energy

A bolt is a pulse of magical energy (usually of a specific kind chosen by the arcanist when the spell is learned, such as fire, ice or lightning), shot towards a target from the arcanist's pointed weapon or finger. A bolt has a +3 to hit its target, and inflicts 1-6 hit points of damage. Multiple versions of the bolt spell may be learned, gaining access to more types of energy.

Range: 0
Duration: 2 turns
Effect: Defensive barrier on the arcanist

As shield, save that bulwark instead grants a flat +2 bonus to the arcanist's current Armour Class rather than granting a blanket Armour Class vs. normal attacks and missiles. It does not defend against magic missiles until the arcanist is third level.

Out on a limb with a personal thought ...

Or, "How the old-school grognard thing really makes me uncomfortable sometimes".

Over on Grognardia, there's a new post about Traveller. Being recently drawn into the Traveller game phenomenon, I happily settled down to read it; I generally like reading the posts over there in any case. Except for little moments like what I'm writing about now.

Now, a little bit of babble first -- I grew up reading Asimov, Pohl, and the rest. I like me some classic science fiction, and I still often prefer it. This was something that drew me to Traveller (for my cyberpunk needs, I have Shadowrun. Yes, Shadowrun. Deal. ;3), and I'm making the statement because I feel the need to lay out my stance ahead of time. Many apologizes if it doesn't make a lot of sense ...

I disagree with the gist of James' post, essentially. Not what kind of setting Traveller is emulating -- on that we agree, pretty much -- but the drift he goes into about how the older-gents-with-mortgages is somehow more "legit" as a classic sci-fi rpg than more recent, "glamourous" iterations. Even though he does say outright that he knows it's just his own opinion, it still sat uneasily. Especially the "glamourous" part, though I can't really articulate why.

I blame that unease on my having followed an in-post link to an earlier Traveller post of his before I finished reading the new one. There's a statement in there that just set my teeth on edge:

"What [the quoted passage from Traveller] means is that characters don't improve in Traveller but players do. How old school is that?"

I'm not "old-school". Given I'm at my happiest playing 2e AD&D and BEMCI, I probably wouldn't be accepted into old-school grognard-dom if I tried. I ran 3e for a number of years, even; and it was the number-crunching that did me in, not play-style -- our play-style never changed from 2e, which was what I learned from my first DM who ran a 1e/2e hybrid.

But, you know? The offhanded implication in that quote above -- intentional or not! and I lean toward unintentional or at least not fully weighed -- that if "old-school" means improving as a player, maybe the "new-school" doesn't? Or doesn't know how?

Yeah. That makes me a little uncomfortable.

And it's that kind of thing that puts me off the real "old-school" ... even people like James, who otherwise try really hard to foster a positive outlook for inviting others into the old-school community. It's hard to feel comfortable or welcome with little throwaways like that; because if it's that easy to slip into, well --


Monday, January 26, 2009

Monster: Living Statue, Cinnabar

Living Statue, Cinnabar (Burning Knight)
Armour Class: 3
Hit Dice: 4***
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 weapon
Damage: by weapon + special
No. Appearing: 1-2 (1-2)
Save As: F4
Morale: 11
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 225

A cinnabar living statue is a larger than human-sized magical construct of deep ember-red crystalline stone; unlike most forms of living statue, cinnabar statues commonly have the form of an unidentifiable humanoid in a baroque suit of plate armour (hence the alternate name of “burning knight”). Cinnabar statues carry weapons made of the same stone as themselves.

Any successful attack by a cinnabar statue causes 1-4 hit points of burn-like damage in addition to the weapon's damage; additionally, there is a 4-in-6 chance that a toxin is introduced to the victim's bloodstream. This poison causes two points to be lost from Strength and Constitution for six hours. Nonmagical weapons damage a cinnabar statue, but any nonmagical weapon that makes a successful attack corrodes into uselessness on a 1-in-6 roll.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Monster: Pyravi

Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 1/2
Move: 60' (30')
fly 240' (80')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-4
No. Appearing: 1-6 (2-16)
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 6 (8)
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 6

Pyravis are white-feathered birds with brightly coloured beaks, feet and eyes that greatly resembly sleekly round ravens. More intelligent than most birds, they travel in small groups -- rarely larger flocks -- and may infest buildings or dungeons looking for food or objects that attract their curiosity.

If feeling threatened or trying to attack a likely (and still-moving) meal, a pyravi will dive at it, suddenly sheathed in flickering multicoloured flames that cause 1-4 points of damage on contact. The pyravi will continue to attack so long as it is not in immediately obvious danger. In a larger flock, a pyravi's morale increases from 6 to 8.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Monster: Killer Book

Killer Book
Armour Class: 5 (2)
Hit Dice: 2+5
Move: 0
Attacks: 1
Damage: 2-8 + special
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: M4
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: O
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 25

A special sort of creation, half construct and half trap, a killer book is a bane to Magic-Users and Thieves who aren't wary enough when confronted by an apparently easy prize. Usually prominently displayed -- open on a podium or pedestal, perhaps -- a killer book resembles a large, ornate spellbook with its pages open to some tempting magical notation.

Should anyone not keyed to the book attempt to move it or turn its pages the book animates and lunges, clamping onto the miscreant with teeth of magical force that cause 2-8 hit points of damage. It will hang on and continue to inflict 2 points of damage per round until destroyed.

Some killer books are bound in metal, resulting in an Armour Class of 2 instead of 5.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

For the Love of Minidungeons

I've always had a fondness for the small and compact in my D&D experiences where dungeons are involved. I've run games from one end of the multiverse to the other -- I happily design entire crystal spheres -- but when I want dungeons, I want small ones, whether pre-designed or scratched out on graph paper as the ideas flit through my head.

These days I find myself working on an even smaller scale; "microdungeons" might be a better name. With time constricted and my games designed for a single player (at most, a single PC and an NPC companion), I'd rather focus my energies on a themed, explorable-in-a-session minidungeon than on one small chunk of a sprawling complex that -- due to real-world constraints in time and attention spa, given the length of time between sessions -- will probably never quite hang together properly in my player's mind.

But when I get right down to it, I just like tiny dungeons. The smallest I've designed recently was two and a half chambers plus connecting passage and descent stairwell; most of my dungeons hover around the six-to-ten count for chambers, plus access routes. I've even made multiple-level minis with this room count. It's a nice comfortable number that I can readily apply a theme to if I wish.

And themes have always had an appeal to me. Random rooms don't have the same feel; I want a tomb for a specific individual or organization, a delve generated by a certain sinister power, a temple dedicated to some long-dead (or not so dead!) godling. All of these things can and have been done with larger dungeons, of course! But it's still a factor in the minidungeon appeal for me.

Of course, there's always the potential for adding more. Slip a secret door or a previously-unpassable blockage (or a warp-glyph, or a magical archway, or, or ...) into the design, and minidungeons can be daisy-chained together into a larger complex if I suddenly find myself wanting or needing more playspace.

I do think there's a certain finesse (that I haven't achieved, alas) to a really good minidungeon, in the same way that there's a flair and finesse to a finely designed megadungeon. The minis, unfortunately, seem to be neglected at times; used as a throwaway or a quick diversion rather than a worthy pastime in their own right.

Even during this renaissance of the megadungeon, I maintain that there's a place for the small and the compact.

Five Fanciful Fungi

What can I say, I like little lists like this. There'll probably be more of them in the future, if I can collect enough notions --

Earthsblood: A strange, deep crimson branching fungus with tiny, almost spherical black caps, earthsblood resembles coral in appearance. It is found in deep forested areas, and -- oddly enough -- in the depths of the undercaverns.

Earthsblood will raise Strength by 2 for an hour if eaten, but when the effects wear off Dexterity is lowered by 2 for four hours.

Aabraia: Aabraia grows in thick, fleshy ruffles in cracks and on walls, its flesh a pale nondescript colour tinged with blue along its crimpy edges. It prefers dank, rough or crumbling stone and thus is best known in dungeons.

Consuming an "ear" of aabraia grants Invisibility as per the spell, including the chance of breaking it, for five turns.

Sightdust: A species of puffball the size of a man's eye, sightdust has a dusty-brown, papery outer skin enclosing coppery spores. It grows in small numbers wherever old magic has been seeping, and may even infest scrolls and spellbooks given the chance.

One "ball" of sightdust spores sprinkled over an object or area (no more than five square feet) will act as a Detect Magic spell on the said object or area.

Neshti: Squat, thick-stemmed mushrooms with equally thick caps as wide as a man's hand, neshti are a dull blackish-brown with reddish gills. Unpleasantly, they grow in graveyards and other places where many dead lie under the ground.

One neshti will nourish for twenty-four hours, though water is still required.

Jade Mushroom or Jadecap: This long- stemmed, broad-capped, brilliant emerald green mushroom is extremely rare. It is most commonly found growing in the protected corners of destroyed temples and other such ruins.

A jadecap will heal 2-16 hit points or any disease or poison affecting the individual who eats one, but they are hard to preserve without a jealously-guarded alchemical formula. The emerald-black spores must be removed before the mushroom is eaten, as they are exceedingly poisonous.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Magic Item: Black Iron Elixir

Black Iron Elixir: This haematite-flecked, syrupy, dull black fluid is most commonly found in faceted crystal vials or flasks. The elixir is heavy, much heavier than would be expected.

A dose of black iron elixir provides a +2 to Strength, a +1 to saves versus poison and a +1 to Armour Class. In addition, the imbiber takes one less point of damage per die from cold for the dose's duration. While the elixir is in effect, the imbiber appears to have flesh of flexible black iron.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Magic Item: Ring of the Beast

Ring of the Beast: This magical ring, of horn or bone rimmed with silver, allows the wearer to transform into the shape of an animal for four turns per day. Allotted time may be broken up, and equipment worn or carried by the wearer of the ring is “absorbed” into the animal body for the duration of the transformation. The transformed wearer may speak, but not cast spells or use class abilities.

The specific animal shape granted by the ring is determined by the following table:

1bear, black
4-5cat, mountain lion
6-7rat, giant
8-9snake, giant racer
12bat, giant

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some stir-fried random.

There are a few things I am tempted to try and knock out for the BEMCI ruleset. Most of them are just little additions and whatnot; and many many more critters, of which I seem to have too many sometimes.

I want to be able to tinker more with spellbooks. I blame the part of me that always wants to play a spellcaster for that one ...

Then there's the dim and hazy notion of a psionics ruleset. Somewhere between 2e, 3.x and the simplicity of BEMCI surely I can work out something that will appeal to me and actually function.

I am also seriously tempted to strip the "elfishness" from the Elf class and turn it into an actual usable-by-humans class. Whether this would turn out to be some strange critter that cast spells through a weapon, or into something more resembling the Red Mage of Final Fantasy fame, I'm not sure. (But I favour the Red Mage, I do admit ;3)

In keeping with my theme of minidungeons (of which more anon), I'm tempted to write up a little miniature "campaign sandbox". Like a tiny microcosm version of The Keep on the Borderlands, or summat.

... and who knows what else.

Monster: Mesri

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 2+2**
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 claws / 1 sting
Damage: 1-8/1-8/1-6 + poison
No. Appearing: 2-12 (3-30)
Save As: F3
Morale: 6 (11)
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 45

A two-foot long scorpion of snow and blue ice, a mesri is an elemental creature from the Plane of Water usually found in the company of an aeshna. Mesri are semi-intelligent and congregate in large swarms when not under an aeshna's command.

A mesri attacks using its claws and glittering stinger. Its claws cause -18 hit points of damage each; its stinger, though inflicting only 1-6 points of damage, forces a save vs. poison or the victim loses a point of Dexterity to its icy venom. Multiple stings are cumulative; lost Dexterity returns after twelve hours. Mesri are immune to cold and take no damage from non-magical weapons. When under the command of an aeshna, its morale is 11 instead of 6.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monster: Aeshna

Armour Class: 2
Hit Dice: 6***
Move: 180 (60')
swim 240' (80')
Attacks: 1 fist or 1 bolt
Damage: 2-16 or 2-8
No. Appearing: 1 (1-4)
Save As: M6
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: M
Alignment: Lawful
XP Value: 950

An aeshna is a creature from the Elemental Plane of Water that seeks to turn any environment around it into its frigid preferred terrain; humanoid in shape, it resembles an androgynous human with ice-white flesh and deep blue hair and eyes. It is usually dressed in robes of snowy white and partial armour of pale golden ice. Proud and terrible when provoked, aeshna are attended by a swarm of 2-12 mesri and will order them to attack any who cause offense before wading into battle of its own accord.

In combat, an aeshna attacks from distance by hurling bolts of ice and freezing wind up to 100', causing 2-8 hit points of damage. If closing to melee it will bring its ice-hard fists into play; each blow from an aeshna causes 2-16 hit points of damage. Four times daily it may create a field of freezing air that acts as a hold person spell. An aeshna is immune to cold, and takes no damage from non-magical weapons.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Magic Item: Warding Seal

Warding Seal: A heavy stamp-seal carved from ornamental stone, the warding seal measures a good two inches across its ornately inscribed base. Its shank, large enough to grip comfortably between the fingers, is pierced for a golden tassel for securing it to a belt or similar.

Warding seals are discovered with 2-20 charges. When the seal is pressed against any surface and a charge expended, a seal impression is left behind; if the surface is then disturbed or moved, the seal's energies inflict 1-6 hit points of damage on the source of the movement before expending themselves.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

First Level Spells: Sigil, Carbuncle

Range: 30'
Duration: Permanent
Effect: One sigil or mark

This spell creates a tiny sigil, glyph or other emblem no more than an inch in any one dimension. It may have any appearance, or even glow faintly, but it must be a single coherent mark. Sigils may be used to create false traps.

Range: 150'
Duration: 3 turns
Effect: Any one creature

When this spell is cast, a ruby orb flies from the magic-user to strike one chosen target. that target's Armour Class immediately worsens by 2 due to the magical interference of the spell. carbuncle does not allow a saving throw.

Monster: Hidden One

Hidden One
Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 1+1
Move: 180' (60')
dig 90' (30')
Attacks: 2 claws or 1 weapon
Damage: 1-4/1-4 or weapon
No. Appearing: 3-12 (4-40)
Save As: F2
Morale: 8 (10)
Treasure Type: D
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 15

Hunched and thin, hidden ones are subterranean, nocturnal humanoids perpetually concealed by layered wrappings of ragged cloth and leather. Their faces are masked, and no flesh is exposed save for their long, metal-dense claws. Hidden ones fight with their claws in combat, or else use stolen weapons that are often poisoned.

For every ten hidden ones in a pack, there is one 2+2 hit dice sub-chief, and a tribe is lead by a shaman of 4 hit dice who has the spell-casting ability of a third-level Cleric. As long as the leader of any pack or tribe of hidden ones is alive, the morale of the whole is 10 instead of 8.

Should the wrappings be stripped from a hidden one, it will be discovered that roughly half are emaciated and bestial, half stunningly beautiful.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Monster: Rosenwulf

Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 5+4*
Move: 180' (60')
Attacks: 2 briars / 1 bite
Damage: 2-8/2-8/1-6
No. Appearing: 2-8 (3-12)
Save As: F5
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 400

Possessed of a surprising cunning, rosenwulves are large, rangy wolf-like beasts with impressive jaws; their pelts are a thick reddish-brown and laced with long lace-like thorns, and their eyes are a brilliant amber. Rosenwulves roam in small packs, and will stalk chosen prey relentlessly once they have the taste of blood.

Before closing to bite its prey, a rosenwulf attacks with long briar-like tendrils that erupt from its thorny hackles. These briars have a length of 10' and cause 2-8 hit points of damage; if both briars successfully hit a singe target that target is entangled in the thorny grasp and the rosenwulf may bite with a +4 to hit. The victim suffers a -2 to all rolls while entangled, and may escape with a successful Strength check or by cutting themselves free.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Magic Item: Star of the Sun

Star of the Sun: Forged to be as much of an impressive piece of regalia as a formidable weapon, the Star of the Sun was commissioned by the Church of Asterea as reward for Sir Denfain upon his recieving a knighthood for his service to his Church and kingdom. It was last seen borne by Sir Denfain when he ventured into the northern peaks to fight against the Ghoul King.

Star of the Sun is a mace +1, +3 vs. undead. A magically-reinforced star-shaped head of crystal bearing eight spikes caps the polished steel haft, and the grip is wrapped with golden wire and set with ivory scales. The pommel-nut, a dome of amber, unscrews to reveal a compartment perfectly suited to holding a vial of holy water.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Monster: Wichtling

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 1/2*
Move: 240’ (80’) (flying)
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-2
No. Appearing: 4-40
Save As: M1
Morale: 7
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Any
XP Value: 6

Tiny spirits of elemental energy, wichtlings are fist-sized globes of softly-glowing light of a colour representative of their element: orange for fire, white for air, blue for water, and green for earth. Curious creatures, they like to travel in flocks and investigate strange things or creatures. Unfortunately, their touch is dangerous to non-elemental beings.

Non-magical weapons deal no damage to a wichtling. They take double damage from their opposing element.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Monster: Blood Slime

Blood Slime
Armour Class: Can always be hit
Hit Dice: 1*
Move: 3’ (1’)
Attacks: 1
Damage: See below
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: C1
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: K
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 13

The brilliant red of arterial blood, this slime – which, like its “cousin” green slime, often attacks by surprise from a clinging perch on a wall or ceiling – may only be damaged by holy water or the strike of a holy symbol (which will cause 1-3 points of damage to the slime).

A blood slime may dessicate cloth and leather and thus destroy it, doing so in one round. Once it gains contact with flesh, it sticks and cannot be scraped away, as it leaches into the body and dissolves bone and blood to absorb into itself. If a blood slime is not removed within 1-3 rounds, it will have drained all fluids and dissolved bone from its victim, leaving behind a dessicated mass of fleshy collagen fibres.