Imagine that it’s the year 2009. You’re in your room on a rainy or sunny day (your choice) when you get a pop-up telling you about some obscure comic that is slowly getting really popular. So, you decide to sit down and take a look at it. Who would have guessed the adventure and shenanigans that would follow when you clicked open that tab.
It’s that time of the year again. No, not spring time (even though it is that, which by the way, Happy Spring!). No, it’s when I make good on something I told myself I would do last year at this point on April 13th.
Any of you who know me in real life could easily tell you what I am a fan of: faeries, mythology….and a comic that had gained fame, infamy and a slew of fan works that range from art to soundtracks to cosplay covered in grey body paint. We’re talking about Homestuck.
Last year I challenged myself to convert different facets of the web comic into a format for 5th Edition. And while I was not able to do that with a big part of the narrative at large, this year I made it my goal to tackle something quite ambitious: Homestuck’s Class and Aspect system.
I thought I was going to go insane in trying to figure it out, like someone who stared into the Green Sun and the clouds of Prospit for far too long. But eventually, it dawned on me how to accomplish the task that I had put before myself.
And here, with the Skaian Guide to Class and Aspect, I have done so for all of your tabletop enjoyment! A full level one-through-twenty class with the Skaian Hero with all of the Hero Titles, as well as a comprehensive system for utilizing Aspects into a campaign. My brain can’t believe I did this, by the way.
Hello to everyone of the Internet! I realize it’s been far too long since I’ve actually posted anything, so let’s try to remedy that.
Recently, Wizards of the Coast came out with an Unearthed Arcana that I couldn’t help but to pay immediate attention to. Titled ‘Folk of the Feywild’, this gathers me around it’s light like a moth attracted to the source of magic within. Am I predictable? Yes. Am I excited to see what this means for the game in the future? Also yes.
‘Folk of the Feywild’ focuses on four new races, using the templates established by the recently published Tascha’s Cauldron of Everything (I have my own gripes with that but that is neither here nor there). FotFW, which is the shorthand I’ll be using for this article, gives us playtest material for Fairy, Hobgoblin of the Feywild, Owlfolk and Rabbitfolk. So let’s dive right in to the content, focusing on the race that has gotten my immediate attention.
Finally, now WotC is listening to some of us who enjoy this under-represented creature typing!
Using the new flexible rules for abilities for playable races, the Fairy gets the following:
Creature Type. You are a Fey. Size. You are Small or Medium (your choice) Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet. Fairy Flight. You have a flying speed equal to your walking speed and can hover. This flight is magical and does not require the use of your wings (if you have them). Fairy Magic. You know the druidcraft and faerie fire spells. You can cast faerie fire without expending a spell slot, and you must finish a long rest before you can cast it this way again. You can also cast this spell using any spell slots you have. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is your choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. Fey Passage. You can squeeze through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide.
Now, let’s walk through the entire thing for this.
Creature Typing: Fey. This makes perfect sense, though calling it Fairy as a race is a bit bland. Call it something like the Fair Folk instead to cover a wide variety of sylvan beings.
Size category Small or Medium. Neutral, as many Fey creatures are usually on the smaller side but not all of them.
Walking Speed: 30 ft. The average. No harm here.
Fairy Flight: 30 ft. This checks out with other Fey creatures, though may seem odd in comparison to other creatures with a fly speed. Dragon Wings racial for Dragonborn only get a 25 after all, and I am sure that the variant Winged Tiefling gets the same. The fact that it is inherently magical instead of biological is a bit strange though in terms of ruling for the ability, meaning it can be countered by Dispel Magic and other similar effects.
Fairy Magic: Innate spellcasting of Druidcraft and Faerie Fire. Nothing impressive here, though the typical formula for Innate Spellcasting pre-Tascha’s is a cantrip at level 1, a level 1 spell at 3rd level and a level 2 spell at 5th level. Still, it stays in the same format as the new Innate Spellcasting in Gothic Lineages
Fey Passage: I would think this to be fine if the Fairy was a size Tiny instead of a Small. Even if you are a Small size creature, it is still hard to squeeze your way through such a small space unless you don’t have bones.
While on the surface, you would expect me to be screaming in joy over all the things the presented here, I do have my gripes. The largest being how the Fairy race does not have an ability akin to Fey Ancestry and Darkvision like the Elves and the Hexblood from the Gothic Lineages Unearthed Arcana. There is also how there is no strict limit to the flight speed and how there are no armors that restrict a character’s usage of flight if one wears something heavier then light armor. Fey Passage is also weird, in that if they also give it to the Fairy, then they may need to do a reprint of Gnomes and Halflings with the same trait (though they may eventually re-print all the current races with the Tascha’s guidelines). There is also the how they don’t inherantly get Sylvan as a racial language but again, new format that it falls in line with.
My recommended fixes to the Fairy race are as follows:
Creature Type. You are a Fey.
Size. You are Small or Medium (your choice)
Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet and you have an additional fly speed of 30 feet. The flight is both magical and physical at the same time, giving you a hover speed as well.
Darkvision: you gain darkvision up to 60 feet, where you can see in shades of grey in that range.
Trueborn Fey: you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed and cannot be put to sleep. You also can trance for four hours instead of needing to sleep for a full eight to gain the benefits of a long rest.
Sylvan Know-How: you gain proficiency in one skill from Arcana, Nature, or Perception.
Fairy Magic. You know the druidcraft and faerie fire spells. You can cast faerie fire without expending a spell slot, and you must finish a long rest before you can cast it this way again. You can also cast this spell using any spell slots you have. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is your choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.
What do you think of the UA Fairy race? Agree or disagree with what WotC has presented us here? And what does this mean for Dungeons and Dragons content in the future? Discuss in the comment section!
Hello, everyone! Long time no see, it seems, but what can one do with the state of the world as it is? We retreat to our lairs, and entertain those that we can contact with the magic of a high-speed Internet connection.
Today on this chilly October weekday, I present to you a new monster that is well, absolutely infuriating to my players when I ran it over. I cannot tell you how much fun it was to do this and I will probably make this thing a staple of my campaigns in the future.
The Shatterdrake: a behemoth made of inorganic material, it takes the form of a dragon made completely of glass, diamond and other super-hardened materials. This has lead many to wrongly mistake it as a Dragon, when in reality it is classified as a Construct. It’s size can vary greatly for the areas that it is assigned to patrol and guard, and with all the determination and ferocity as it’s outward appearance.
Vitrification Shatterdrakes are strange, in that despite larger sizes, they use ambush tactics. However, the areas they look after must be properly prepped for them to be truly terrifying at their job.
Shatterdrakes have the unique ability to be able to meld with glass and any other reflective surface, akin to the Earth Glide spell but with different materials. Swimming through it, a Shatterdrake casts no silhouette when gliding through glass. They use this to their advantage, causing surprise attacks on the unwary. Because of this, the swaths of land they inhabit are glassed over so they can make the most out of this.
These creatures also are a nuisance for spellcasters; their reflective surface can still be hit, but most arcane effects that attack at range have a high chance of completly bouncing off the Shatterdrake. Mixed with how they are immune to common damage types, a Shatterdrake should never be underestimated for all of its beauty.
SHATTERDRAKE- Huge construct, lawful evil
Armor Class: 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 240 (20d12+70)
Speed: 40 ft, “fly” 100
Str 22 (+6) Dex 15 (+2) Con 13 (+1) Int 14 (+2) Wis 18 (+4) Cha 17 (+3)
Saving Throws: Str +11, Dex +7, Int +7, Wis +9
Damage Resistance: acid, cold
Damage Immunities: fire, psychic, poison, piercing-slashing-bludgeoning damage from non-magical weapons
Languages: Common, Draconic, Druidic but does not speak
Legendary Resistance (x3): When the Shatterdrake would fail a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Glass Meld: The Shatterdrake can merge with any surface made of glass, and shift from there. Any conditions it is suffering are removed when it exits the glass This can be done as part of it’s movement.
Immutable Form: The Shatterdrake is immune to any effects that would change its physical form or creature typing.
Reflective: A spell that requires a ranged attack to hit the Shatterdrake has a percentage of it being fired back at full strength at the caster. Roll a d20. An odd roll, it is reflected back at the target and an even goes through. All effects that the spell has, including critical hits, take effect on the caster.
Crystallize: On a hit with either its Bite or Claw attacks, the creature must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, they begin to turn into a crystal growth. Over the next 4 turns, the following will happen and all stack on top of one another. 1) Target can only take one Attack per turn, hindering things such as Multiattack. 2) Target’s move speed -10 feet 3) Target is considered Blinded, as crystals crow over their eyes 4) Target is Petrified. At the start of each turn, an effected creature can use its action to make the saving throw again.
Magical Makeup: The Shatterdrake’s attacks are considered magical, and has advantage on saving throws bought on by spells or spell-like effects.
Reactive Strike: The Shatterdrake has an infinite number of reactions that can only be used for its Knockback reaction.
Multiattack: The Sunderdrake uses its Brilliant Visage if it can. It then makes three attacks, choosing between Bite and Claw. It can make also make a singular Hail of Glass attack in that multiattack but no more then once and only if recharged.
Brilliant Visage: Light reflects off of the Shatterdrake’s entire body, causing bright bursts of blinding energy. All creatures of the Shatterdrake’s choice that it can see must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 18) or are considered blinded until the next turn round. Creatures who make the saving throw are immune to the Shatterdrake’s Brilliant Visage for the next 24 hours.
Bite: melee weapon attack, +11 to hit, reach 15 ft, one target. Hit: 22 (3d10+6) piercing damage
Claw: melee weapon attack, +11 to hit, reach 15 ft, one target. Hit: 17 (2d10+6) slashing damage.
Hail of Glass (recharge 5-6): The Shatterdrake thrashes shards off of its body and telepathically commands. It can either choose the shards to: a) be directed in a cone facing ahead of the creature b) circling itself, in a range of 20 feet in all directions
Creatures who are in the range of Hail of Glass must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 17). On a failure, the effected creature takes 6d8 piercing damage. All creatures must also make a Constitution saving throw (DC 17), or be blinded for 1 minute from glass reflecting in their eyes.
Sunder (recharge 5-6): The Shatterdrake can break apart into millions of pieces and shoot outward in the direction of the target who did this. It can move 80 ft in its Sundered form. The Sundered form is 15 ft wide, but can only travel in a straight line. Creatures in the Sundered area as it passes must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw, or take 6d6 piercing damage. The Shatterdrake is un-Sundered if it uses this to meld into glass and re-emerge.
Diving Leap: The Shatterdrake jumps up high and dives down on its diamond-encrusted stomach, screeching and knocking others aside. It can travel 40 feet in any direction due to its serpentine nature. All creatures within 15 feet of its dive must make a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be knocked 20 ft away from where they once were as well as take 4d10 bludgeoning damage. The Shatterdrake then submerges into the glass.
The Shatterdrake can take 3 Legendary Actions, choosing from one of the options below. Only one LA can be used at a time and at the end of another creature’s turn. The Shatterdrake regains expended points at the start of it’s turn.
Perceive: The Shatterdrake can make a Perception check with sight, hearing or smell. In place of this, it can use any of it’s senses to do the same.
Attack (1 LA): The Shatterdrake can move half of its movement and make one Bite or Claw attack. This does not provoke opportunity attacks.
Prismatic Strike: The Shatterdrake slams its claws down into the ground, and spiraling pillars of crystal emerge from beneath all hostile targets. Creatures must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 19) or take 8d8 piercing damage and be entrapped in crystal. As an action on their turn, the trapped creature can make a Strength check (DC 20) to escape the growth, The growths are 15 feet high by 15 feet wide.
Knockback: The Shatterdrake, when a creature makes a melee weapon attack at it, raises a claw and sends the source of the attack backwards. When a creature declares an attack made against the Shatterdrake, the Shatterdrake makes an opposed Strength check (+10). If it is higher then the attack made, it knocks the creature back 25 feet. This does not cause damage.
Good morning, afternoon and evening, my dear friends of the written word!
As November rolls in with the passing of October’s autumnal winds, one can hear the chattering of voices in the mist of the morning; a raucous laughter from tree tops and awaking to find that your right shoe and left sock are now missing. Who could have been afoot last night while you were slumbering?
In nearly every culture, there are stories of crafty spirits who love nothing more then causing mischief for the unwary and sometimes stupid. Loki, Sun Wukong, and other notable names. However, there are older tales (or should I say, tails) of those who take on the forms of beasts and animals to get their schemes across to humans.
For November’s carnival coming to town, Pitfalls and Pixies is proud to host ‘Cat Got Your Tongue’, focusing on tricksters spirits and animals who take up that psychopompic mantle for themselves.
What can you wonderful people provide? Why, these are just some ideas!
Converting mythological figures into stat blocks for enemies and NPC’s to encounter
Got an enticing story of a memorable encounter? We want to hear all about it!
The magical and mundane items that such characters utilize to make their antics happen
Have you ever played a character who could fit into this role?
How have tricksters shaped your campaign world/storylines/etc? Or derailed them for that matter?
Spells that such beings have at their disposal to make merry chaos
Featured Art (Cover): Witch Trell, kenket (DeviantArt)
Long time no see, pixies and sprites! The world is in a hectic state right now, so let’s try to keep our chins up at this point.
I’ve seen a lot of people take on the idea of what I’m presenting here, but figured to take a shot, too. One of my favorite creatures from world mythology are Naga, also called Lamia from time to time. And while this may seem like blatant pandering to those of you who enjoy manga like Monster Masume, I swear it isn’t (okay, maybe just a pinch but not too much).
Naga, Naga or Lamia?
There is a source of great confusion in naming new playable races in 5th Edition, especially when they share their namesake with creatures that would otherwise be called Monsters or monstrous beings. In the case of the playable Naga, this has to do with how there are two pre-existing monsters who have the names of what these beings, in classical mythology, would be properly addressed by.
For the sake of this species, Naga comes from the real-world being in Earth mythology as does an alternate term, Lamia. However, in the world that a player takes on the role of a Naga or that the DM makes this race a part of, the names are always prone to change and adaptation.
However, this species does take insult to being associated with another creature called a Naga (the monster with a serpentine body and face of a humanoid) as well as the Yuan-Ti. They do not associate themselves with the second, and see them as a cruel mockery of reptilian grace and prowess.
“Please, I’m not that terrifying, am I? If so, why can’t you stop staring?” – Anak’tu, male Naga courtesan
Alien in appearance and cunning, the Naga gives new meaning to the term ‘a snake in the grass’. Often met with the same fear as Tiefling and Yuan-Ti,they are seldom encountered in large cities and towns for obvious reasons once explored.
A Naga is a cross between the torso of a humanoid with a serpentine lower body. Usually, they stand between five to six feet tall and up to eight feet in length. Some discoveries have even tagged some specimens that grow to a massive twelve foot length. The coils of their tails are equipped with powerful muscles they use to constrict and kill hostiles with, as well as a mouth filled with fangs.
A lot of people don’t think that Nagas are capable of climbing, and to that they are often horrified when learning they can do this quite well. By tightening their muscles, they can wrap themselves around verticle objects such as trees, cave structures and of course, an upright-standing creature.
Proud of Fear and Mystique. One of the downfalls of a Naga is their pride, specifically in how others seem to be both drawn and terrified of them. It is a source of amusement for most, even if the individual is not terribly egotistical.
As a Naga, you share these traits with others of your species.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, to a maximum of 20.
Size. You are considered a size Large creature, due to the elongated tail you possess.
Move Speed. You can move 30 feet.
Languages. You can read, write and speak Common and one other language of your choice. You can also speak to reptiles as if you shares a language.
Darkvision. You can see in shades of grey while in the dark for up to 60 ft.
Snake Sense. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks made with smell. Flicking your tongue out from your mouth, you taste the air around you for differences in its scent.
Silver Tongued. You have proficiency in one of the following skills: Persuasion, Performance, Intimidation.
Constrict. You can use your tail to choke and ensnare unlucky creatures that are smaller then you. A target must make a Dexterity saving throw against you (you have proficiency and advantage with this ability) equal to 8 + your Proficiency score + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice(. On a failure, they take 2d4 bludgeoning damage each round they are in your coils and are restrained. They must use their action to roll a Strength check to break out. On a success, they do so and if they do not, they can try again on each subsequent turn.
The damage increases to 3d4 at 6th level, 4d4 at 11th and 5d4 at 16th.
When you create your Naga character, you have a number of choices to choose from for your subspecies, which will give you additional benefits.
Commonly found in regions where water is aplenty, these Naga have adapted themselves for such regions. Aqualisks can be located in temperate and tropical forests that use the water as a means of hiding.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by one, to a maximum of 20.
Partially Amphibious. You can hold your breath for 1 hour, and gain a swim speed equal to your base move speed.
Watery Stealth. You have advantage on Stealth checks made in water.
Adept at ambush tactics, Venomfang Naga produce a natural toxin that is injected through fangs that retract to the upper side of their mouths.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by one, to a maximum of 20.
Poisonous Bite. You gain a natural Bite attack that does 1d4 piercing damage and 1d4 poison. A creature bitten by you must make a Constitution saving throw equal to 8+your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus, or inflicted with the poisoned condition. You have two uses and regain expended uses on a long rest.
Venomfang Resilience. You gain resistance to poison damage.
Want the prettier version/all the information in a handy document? I’m happy to provide it! Naga PDF
All homebrew content is the original work of Faith D’Ambrosio, author of Pitfalls and Pixies/Phoenix and Faerie Crafts. Any resemblance to pre-existing content is happenstance.
Imagine this: you are sitting in your room on your thirteenth birthday. You’re waiting for a package to come in the mail, of a video game that you and your friends managed to get into the beta for. Feels fancy, don’t it! SBURB isn’t just offered out to anyone, so the fact that you guys got in at all is a huge honor! Until you start to actually play. That’s when the meteors begin to fall….
Hello, pixies, sprites, Carapaceans and Trolls!
Today’s update is a bit different then the normal content that’s usually posted up here, as the blog is celebrating a fan-created holiday.
In 2009, a man by the name of Andrew Hussie began to pen what came to be known as a comic series whose fans would spread across the globe and still does so today. You’re probably aware of its name but didn’t bother reading it: Homestuck, the story of four friends and an adventure unlike anything they had been on before.
Now, I originally wasn’t into the series. Quite the opposite, honestly: of you told me four years ago that I’d read this, I would have thrown a book at your head and laughed in hysterics. And yet today here I am, writing this on 4/13.
The ‘SBURB Player’s Guide’ is a project that I’ve worked very hard on for this year’s Homestuck Day. And even if no real celebrations happen in person or online, nevertheless I wanted to still challenge myself. Could the game SBURB be converted into an actual tabletop game system? What monsters would come up, what sick loot could you alchemize and find dropped from bad guys? And better yet: how could I get those super comfy outfits the main characters wear?
Okay so I don’t have an answer to that last one because that’s story driven with character development
But other then that, I present to you, the completed SBURB Player’s Guide, for free!
Update 4/28/2020: I decided to make an additional race for this, the Consort!
The inhabitants of a player’s starting world in the Medium, Consorts are not the most book-smart creatures. Small and relatively fragile, Consorts take on the form of reptiles and amphibians. Largely they take on an NPC roll in most sessions of SBURB, but some have made their names as notable heroes in their own rights.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 2 and Wisdom by 1, to a maximum of 20.
Move Speed: you have a move speed of 30. Despite being small, your skittishness has evolved to a faster movement then others your size.
Size. you are Small sized. As such, you can move in and out of creature’s spaces without incurring opportunity attacks and fit with one other creature thats at least Medium sized.
Languages You know how to read, write and speak Common and Consort.
Darkvision. You have darkvision up to 60 feet, seeing in shades of grey.
Hero Worship: you are trained in the Religion skill. Consorts, despite not being the most book-smart, are highly in tune with religious matters.
Bubble Spit: you are armed with a natural attack, taking the form of a glob of blue slimy liquid. It has a range of 15 feet, based on your Dexterity to hit. On a hit, the target takes 2d4 acid damage and must make a Wisdom saving throw equal to 8+ your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, they are stunned for 1d4+1 rounds or until a creature takes their action to wipe the Bubble Spit off.
You regain use of this on a short or long rest.
Credit for characters, names, Aspects, Classes, monsters and items belong to Andrew Hussie, What!Pumpkin and VIZ Media. Any resemblances to any pre-existing people or characters is happenstance.
As we are all pretty much self-contained and the world is shut down, this is the time where we writers bottle ourselves in our inspirational dens and workshops (because frankly it’s the only thing to do in this day and age). But I’m not here to talk about the state of our real world, I’m here to contribute to this months Blog Carnival, held so kindly by DREAD (Dangerously Rare Elixirs and Decorations). If you can’t guess the theme of the March Blog Carnival, perhaps you need glasses.
In a game that’s so damned focused on how magic permeates life, alchemy in a sense can be considered the poor man’s magic: after all, alchemists are claimed to have turned lead into gold, transform materials into others that are in no way related to the original one, and potentially unlock the secret of eternal youth. In my own home setting in Faustus Kil, that’s at least how it’s seen to be.
Alchemical concoctions are simple enough to purchase, as every major city and town and even backwater villages have someone specializing in such remedies. Snake bites, the common cold, even chicken pocks have found a cure in some way, shape or form. Be it liquid or pill, if it can cause harm, then someone’s got a recipe being made.
A general rule of thumb though in my own setting is that if someone wants to replicate the effect of a spell through alchemical tinkerings, they at least need to have something resembling a material component for the spell being dissected. For example, let’s say the spell Dragons Breath is being bottled; you would need hot peppers, and one for each level of the spell you want to use. By that margin, a 9th level Dragons Breath would use nine hot peppers.
More exotic effects that may not be based on spells would most likely have a wider variety of components. For example, in my home game, any sort of spell that has a charm effect typically use the bile, tears or blood of a female dryad or satyr as part of it (though in my own game I run, this has been remedied by a male dryad who grows antlers that produces an aphrodisiac-like effect when consumed).
Common ingredients in alchemy that I’ve utilized in my games include:
Sage, rosemary and thyme. These plants are common spell components in many real-world religions and magikal practices, after all
Snake blood. In spells that restore hit points, like Cure Wounds, for example, the snake blood is there to replicate them shedding their skin and symbolically restoring life force.
Tears, for spells such as Calm Emotions.
As a witch, when I use alchemy in campaigns I use a lot of real world folklore and practices that I’ve seen used and that I have also used myself. Nothing as drastic as snake blood, obviously. This even goes to symbology used in medieval alchemy, including that of the green lion devouring the sun.
Last but not least, I couldn’t do a post on alchemy without including some of my own concoctions in my own games!
Potion of Temporary/ Ancient Frost
A frigid blue and black bottle filled with clear liquid, injesting this potion causes a creature to be immune to the effects of cold iron for 1d6 rounds.
A potion of temporary frost can also be used as a weapon, where you designate is as a potion of ancient frost. Exposing a creature who is vulnerable to cold damage will take 2d6 from the potion that it cannot halve or make an attempt to ignore.
Legendary item, requires attunement
This stone is anywhere from the size of a marble to that of a river rock, but the coloration is always nearly the same: a bright sanguine red with flecks of black and gold deep inside of it. To the untrained eye, this appears as a mere garnet or ruby but to those knowledable in the arcane, it is something so much more.
A Philosopher’s Stone is a +3 magical item, granting the bonus to attacks, damage and saving throws caused by the one who is attuned to it. When a Philosopher’s Stone is created, it gives the attuned individual to cast the following spells once per day each: fabricate, creation, raise dead, speak with dead and lesser and greater restoration. The Philosopher’s can also be used as a spellcasting focus.
In addition, if a person while attuned destroys the Philosopher’s Stone, roll a d20+5. The amount rolled is how many years that person’s age and naturally occuring health is halted.
Creating a Philosopher’s Stone In order for a Philosopher’s Stone to be created, your DM would have you collect rare and exotic materials in order to do so. Once a character has this, the process to create it takes a total of 1d4+1 moon cycles and the DM may require a Medicine skill check for each day you actively work on it. This can be done as a down time activity or on a long rest.
– Abney Park, ‘Two Elixers’, October 10 2014, YouTube
I apologize to you pixies and sprites for the egregious lack of updates. Sometimes I frankly forget that the blog exists with how many projects I am undertaking at once: making stock for two conventions, as well as *deep breath* three campaigns I run plus three that I play in. Needless to say, self-imposed stress is not good and I should learn from this.
REGARDLESS, in my own campaigns I’ve run, one group encountered a party of strange anthropomorphic beasts calling themselves the Troubadour Tricksters. Led by a Red Fox, the whole encounter was based on real-life folk stories of Reynard the Fox: stories from north France about a creature and his myriad escapades. Since this leg of the journey takes place in a similar region to where the original stories were penned, I thought it may be fun to utilize them!
I’ll be (hopefully) making better-looking stat blocks via GMBinder as well. For now, enjoy some tricksters!
Note: Any semblance to the character by the name of Reynard the Fox in the series ‘The Magicians’ or any other fictional work is coincidence.
Reynard the Trickster- small beast, chaotic good
AC 16 (studded leather armor)
HP: 35 (4d8+8)
Move Speed 45 ft
Str 13 (+1)
Dex 19 (+4
Con 15 (+2)
Int 10 (+0)
Wis 12 (+1)
Cha 18 (+4)
Saving Throws: Str +3, Dex +6, Con +4, Wis +3, Cha +6
Keen Senses. Isengrimm has advantage on scent-based Perception checks.
Moorish Appearance. Isengrimm has advantage on Stealth checks
Pack Tactics. Isengrimm has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of his allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
Multiattack. Isengrimm can make two Bite attacks.
Bite. melee weapon, +4 to hit, reach 5 ft, one target. Hit: 1d8+4 piercing damage.
Howl of the Moors (recharge 6). Isengrimm lets out a terrifying bray which chills to the bone. Hostile creatures must make a Charisma saving throw (DC 13). On a failure, the creature is frightened for 1 minute. It can make the saving throw at the end of its turn.
Hound. Isengrimm can make a Bite attack when targeted by a melee weapon attack.
Hirsent the She Wolf- medium beast, chaotic neutral
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP: 35 (4d8+6)
Move Speed 35 feet
Str 16 (+3)
Dex 15 (+2)
Con 17 (+3)
Int 10 (+0)
Wis 12 (+1)
Cha 14 (+2)
Saving Throws: Str +5, Dex +4, Con +5 Wis +3, Cha +4
Hey hey hey, all you mischievous Fair Folk out there! August is here, and it brings it’s oppressive Summer Court temperatures with it, so there’s no way then to cool off with some creative writing exercises.
Codex Anathema is running this month’s installation of the RPG Blog Carnival, with theme of ‘Location, Location, Location’. With how much time I’ve been spending on working on my homebrew world in my campaigns, this seems like something naturally I could write about- maybe not at full length that it would fill up an entire book, but at least the gist of it.
Let’s dive in then, shall we? I suppose for now, we’ll go into detail about a prominent focal point in the last two games I’ve run in said world: the Avehi Arcana Magitorium, located in eastern Chervaux, Faustus Kil.
Those Are Quite the Mouthfuls
To begin with, Faustus Kil is a world that’s been several games in the making: one campaign where I was a player and two as the Dungeon Master. The latter duo of games has it in it’s present, which is a strange magipunk society. Here, technology and the arcane develop side-by-side, and oftentimes merge with one another for advancements that should not be possible.
In this world, there are several primary countries. Smaller ones are being added but they are negligible in size:
Chervaux, the rich and militaristic country who has a majority of the most advanced tech and magic
Saum, to the south of Chervaux. They largely believe in magical advancement rather then technnological but this has not slowed their progress down. Currently in a stalemate with Chervaux.
Petra, decidedly neutral to most conflicts in Faustus Kil. It’s kind of like the in-world equivalent of Austrailia, where most things want to kill you.
The Dreadfangs, a relatively new republic consisting of mostly aquatic and semi-aquatic creatures. There are many small islands here as well which fall under their rulership.
Aggithil, known as the Giant’s Land, is the home of the goliath and does not get along at all with Chervaux. This is territory where those who are hunted by the Chervaux military come to lead safe lives.
Zoraiv are the southern brothers to Aggithil, and is a country steeped in centuries old mysteries. This is where kitsunes originally hail from, and some of the most notable alchemists and druids call this their ancestral homeland.
Criyith, the actual place on the map that says ‘Here Be Dragons’. Four primary deities rule over this land, and most species with scales can trace their bloodlines back here.
Short of it is that Chervaux is scary, hungry for materials and is always expanding, much to the horror of their Saumian neighbors who do not get along with them in the slightest. It is in Chervaux that the crux of this blog takes place: at the aforementioned Magitorium.
Not Your Grandparent’s Wizard College
I can guarantee you that you’re probably thinking to yourself that this is a blatant Hogwarts rip-off. I promise you, its not!
The Avehi Arcana Magitorioum, or just called the Magitorium for a bit shorter, is located in the Terebin Mountains in western Chervaux. The land was chosen for its distance from most major cities (because having tons of magical students could lead to some possible disasters) as well as it being cheap, according to the Headmaster (we’ll get to him in a bit). It has off-site dorms in the capital city of Je’taime, accessed through a portal system installed in each location for ease.
The grounds of the Magitorium have your typical stuff: deep ancient forests, a lake that houses merfolk in it (students are told they really should not swim with them, but adventurous folk do it anyway), and the mountains themselves which are an important part of the terrain. It keeps anyone who would want to run and take over the school away, as well as provide many resources for the school’s staff and student body. Though things still need to be purchased from Je’taime, of course.
Education here is for seven years, though by no means do you need to take them one year after another, nor is there a maximum age you need to be to attend. The minimum you need to be to enroll, however, is ten years old, as prodigies often happen and in a chaotic world of warring goverment factions, a Wild Magic Sorcerer who cant control their abilities is going to cause a liability for anyone not trained to deal with it.
The most dangerous year, by far, is third year.
Third year is where students are divided into groups of four to six, depending on the class size, and given a semester’s long research project. Sounds boring, yes? Not in the slightest, as each group is presented a series of books to serve as the basis of their projects. These topics can range from: finding what happened to the dwarven civilization, a lost druidic culture, documenting different apocalypse mythos across the realm. Needless to say, these are quite dangerous and the staff is willing to admit this themselves.
A Tree and His Dragon
The ever-esteemed Headmaster of the Avehi Arcana Magitorium, Professor Hemlock Evetide is a dryad of peculiarities. For one, one does not often see a male of his species and two, for a dryad to be seen away from their soul-tree (Dryads are bound to a tree that, if they survive the trauma of having it destroyed, are able to wander in the world away from it). This leads to a man of great resolution and pride in his scholarly works.
Evetide is also a rare type of spellcaster in Faustus Kil, a Summoner: a person who dabbles in making pacts with creatures, sort of like a Warlock in reverse. These Pacts are ever-binding and always can be edited by the creature in question and the Summoner, as agreements are always changed depending on the situation one is facing. At least, that’s what Hemlock teaches.
Note: in order to even be considered to attend his courses in Summoning, you need to be at least a Third Year student, as its extremly risky:
“Why do you come to begin your research into this topic, if you know that you will be shunned for it?- not as much as Necromancy, perchance, but still. The life of a Summoner is one of scrutiny and constant clarification: see it less like a normal spellcaster and more like a newspaper journalist.
“We are not soul-binders, devil-worshippers and cultists. That is derogatory to our craft en large. A Summoner is all about consent; I teach that those who you make a Pact with are in a way, in your guardianship when you bring them forth. Equal treatment is the name of the game, and those who do not respect the wishes of the Pact-creatures are not a sort I want to see in my classroom. Ever.”
– Hemlock Evetide, on the premise of Summoning to his Year Three students
And then there’s Minerva, Hemlock’s trusted Shadow-Touched Wyvern companion. Not a familiar but she might as well be considered one, as she’s pretty much never seen without her at his side. ‘Miss Shadow’ as students have gone to calling her, since she has a rather vain personality, need to watch out for her silhouette against the sky: she enjoys dropping things from great heights, including cinder blocks, bricks and deer corpses. She is also affectionately addressed by Evetide and some brave students as Minervikins.
Fun fact: Minerva was named as such due to there being a character in Fire Emblem: Awakening who was a Wyvern Rider. Cherche’s name for her mount was Minerva. In part, she was also named this in honor of Professor McGonnagal from the Harry Potter series.
She has a roost somewhere in the nearby mountains, which she lets no one save her master enter. Even moreso is that the only one who may ride on her back is also the Headmaster.
You’re a Wizard, Harry (But Not Everyone Is)
As a magic school, the arcane and divine studies are the cornerstone features. But what most fail to understand is that the Magitorium serves as a normal college as well (magic is just what it focuses on).
There are classes for just about any subject, along with topics that are covered either in the classroom or in student run activities
Artificing and magical crafting with technology
Clergy studies for those akin to Paladins and Clerics
History classes on all the major countries in the world
Scientific labs for potions making
Performance trick-shots with guns. This one’s a favorite of students.
Theater, and you can bet those with Bardic tendencies will eat this one up.
Biology on both mundane and magical creatures. Hemlock has a soft spot for the latter, due to his profession
Necrobotany, which walks the fine line between conservationism and Necromancy. TLDR; using plantlife to manipulate corpses but not actually raising the dead. This is a Year Three mastery course that very few are approved to do.
There are even trips during the school year as well. One of the most anticipated is exclusively for Hemlock’s Summoning class, and that is the great migration of the Sky Mantas. Yes, they have giant flying stingrays in Faustus Kil. You’re welcome.