Sunday, November 30, 2008

Magic Item: Nasri's Burning Grace

Nasri's Burning Grace: This magical item is a large, sumptuous shawl or scarf of deep red and heavy silk. It is finished along all of its edges with red and golden silk tassels, and is embroidered with outlines of stylized flames in golden thread.

The shawl, when worn, may be used to cast rays of brilliant flame at a target up to 30' distant; or, draped across a chosen target, may be used to heal with a surge of warmth. Nasri's burning grace can produce 2d6 points of flame or healing per day, divided up by dice (1d6 of flame and 1d6 of healing, or 2d6 of one or the other).

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Monster: Greenfang

Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: see below
Move: Nil
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: see below
No. Appearing: 1-4
Save As: F of equivalent Hit Dice
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: U
Alignment: Neutral
XP value: see below

Greenfangs are a particularly hardy and stubborn form of carnivorous plant. Capable of rooting themselves almost anywhere – even into stone – they normally appear like a large round mass of foliage (something like a giant cabbage) surrounded by ragged dark green leaves.

When potential prey moves within ten feet of a greenfang, the central globe shoots forth on a long flexible stalk, opening up into a maw lined with sharp woody fangs intent on devouring the meal.

Hit DiceDamageXP Value

Friday, November 28, 2008

Magic Item: The Cobra King's Warding

The Cobra King's Warding: Sometimes found in an ordinary potion vial but most commonly stored in small flasks of amber glass stoppered and sealed with wax, this emerald green draught is effective only when the inbiber is wearing no better than chainmail.

For the next hour, the draught grants a magical +4 bonus to the imbiber's Armour Class – but for the duration and an hour afterwards the imbiber sports thin, flexible scales of greenish-gold.

A sip from the draught causes a single scale to grow on the back of the hand, moulting away in a few minutes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Monster: Water Jelly

Water Jelly
Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 2**
Move: 60' (20')
[swim 90' (30')]
Attacks: 1 bash or engulf
Damage: 2-8
No. Appearing: 1-6
Save As: F2
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP value: 30

A translucent, blue-green amoeba, a water jelly is competely transparent in water and almost impossible to see, as if invisible. It attacks by engulfing or extending a pseudopod, and its acidic touch causes 2-8hp of damage and will eat through organic material.

A water jelly takes double damage from fire, and no damage from bludgeoning or piercing weapons. Electrical attacks will cause it to divide into two 1 Hit Die monsters.

Monster: Chiktik

Chiktik (Ratling)
Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: ½ (4hp)
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 weapon -1
Damage: As weapon
No. Appearing: 2 – 12 (4 – 40)
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 6 (8)
Treasure Type: P (J, K)
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 5

Ratlings are exactly what they sound like, two feet tall, bipedal rat people -- with brilliant green, mottled fur and dark grey skin where exposed. Ratlings prefer forested and overgrown terrain, but some tribes (with a grey-brown cast to their fur) are found underground where their infravision grants an advantage.

Most ratlings fight with spears or oversized knives (treat as short sword). Elite members of the tribe will fight with bows. A Rat King of 1+4 Hit Dice and three feet tall will be found in the ratling's lair, and fights as a 2 Hit Dice monster; the Rat King is attended by 1 – 6 bodyguards of 1+1 Hit Dice. Ratlings in the presence of their King have a morale of 8.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monster: Brass Dragonfly

Brass Dragonfly
Armour Class: 3
Hit Dice: 1/2
Move: 360' (120')
Attacks: 1 bite + scorching
Damage: 1 + 1d2 (see below)
No. Appearing: 1d6
Save As: F1
Morale: 11
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP value: 5

A brass dragonfly is a one-foot-long brass and glass sculpture of the insect is it named for, intricately crafted and animated by magic.

Brass dragonflies are often found dormant, waiting in alcoves or treasure chests until a predetermined action triggers their animation; once activated, they fly at their targets -- usually the creature that triggered them -- and attack. A brass dragonfly bites with magically-heated crystal mandibles, causing 1hp of damage plus an additional 1d2hps of damage from the coal-like heat of their jaws.

More mental meanderings: oldschool, editions, and the hamster

As the "retro" phenomenon picks up speed at the same time that 4e is launched and appealing to many, I'm finding myself caught in the middle. With my preferences falling in 2e AD&D and BEMCI D&D, I don't really speak the language of the "old-schoolers" enough to fit in well and I'm not that fussy about the newer editions -- even if I did give 3e a try.

Luckily for me I suppose, I really don't mind most editions of (A)D&D. I'm loving the retro phenomenon, and happily snap up servings of 0e, 1e, 2e, Basic, BEMCI ... I've been spending time reading old-school blogs here and there, and picking things up at Dragonsfoot by reading the forums. My 2e books see plenty of love, and I've kept a good pile of 3e because I like to borrow ideas from them. I've happily chewed over Labyrinth Lord, Swords and Wizardry, OSRIC ... and on and on. I like it all.

I don't want to say this is an old-school blog, because it really isn't by the definitions currently being used by the retro, old-school movement. I came late to D&D, and late-ish to 2e (in the early-to-mid ninties) at that. I like the pulpish swords-and-sorcery feel of the movement, but my posts here probably aren't really going to reflect that feel in their "fluff" all that much. My game style is more old-school than new-school, but it's not truely old-school because I'm a 2e player and DM at heart. (Please don't shoot me!)

Still, I hope that my bits and snips appeal to someone out there -- and hey, fluff can be changed. Rules can be tweaked. That's the whole point, isn't it? ;3

Some mental meanderings: the purpose of this blog

I could make two different claims to how I started with D&D.

My first game and campaign were 2e AD&D (in honesty I suppose a 1e / 2e hybrid), and I stuck with that until 3e came along. Tried 3e, eventually gave up on it and went back to 2e where I was happy.

But my very first exposure to D&D was the Mentzer red Basic box, borrowed from a friend at school. I'd never played D&D but always wanted to, so when a chance to snap up the Rules Cyclopedia rolled around (after failing to find a Red Box) I leapt at the chance. And now I have two Red Boxes to go with it -- one of which was promptly given to my housemate -- and I'm happy as a clam.

The BEMCI edition of D&D makes me happy. So does 2e AD&D, but right now my creative notions are in D&D mode so that's what I'll be posting. I might start adding AD&D bits if something catches my attention, though.

I'm sticking with low-level things, in the main. The Red Box was what I was craving, so high-level widgets probably won't do it for me *grins* In an ideal world I'll be posting every day or every two days -- but knowing myself all too well, I'm not making any hard and fast promises.

Getting there

Damnit, I need to get the hang of this thing ...