A Wandering Occultist’s Guide to Racial Curses

Hello, Pixies and Sprites!

Its been some time since I’ve readily posted anything (I have been doing a lot of work on stuff on Dungeon Master’s Guild), but I figured ‘let me dust off the ol’ WordPress and see what I can do over here for everyone’!

Curses: whats not to love about them? If you’re a player character, a lot. They can be annoying or downright deadly.

But what if not all curses operated the same? Here, I’ve decided to step away from the usual and make cursed items that are specific to different races.

Keep in mind, theres only a few shown here. If you have a “fun” idea of your own, post it in the comments section: I’d love to see what you make.

 


Aasimar

Ancestor’s Armor (requires attunement, very rare): this divine armor, with the images of angels in flight upon it, can only be worn by Aasimar. While attuned to it, you have immunity to the damage type you usually have resistance to, based on your Aasimar subtype.

Curse: while attuned to the armor, you have vulnerability to one type of damage out of the following: fire, cold, lightning, thunder, poison, force.

Dragonborn

Token of Tiamat (requires attunement, very rare): this brooch, made of five different types of gemstones, glistens in the sun when held up to it. When attuned to the Token of Tiamat, you gain advantage on weapon attacks against creatures with the dragon subtype as well as Persuasion and Intimidation.

In addition, when you are struck by the same elemental damage your Breath Weapon does, you take no damage and heal for half of the damage you would have taken.

Curse: when attuned to this item, you have vulnerability to a specific elemental type. At the beginning of each day, roll a d6. The roll of the die dictates what you are vulnerable to.

1: Fire

2: Cold

3: Poison

4: Acid

5: Lightning

6: Nothing happens.

A spell such as remove curse can remove the Curse from the person affected by it.

Dwarf

Weapons of Elf Slaying (rare, requires attunement): the dwarves are known for their general dislike of elves, which even is applied to some weapons. While attuned to a weapon of this kind, you deal an extra 2d8 to creatures considered elves.

Curse: you have disadvantage on spells and spell-like effects cast by creatures considered elven or fey in nature.

Elf

Opal Spider Charm (Dark Elf/Wood Elf)(Rare, requires attunement): An obsidian trinket, carved to resemble a predatory spider, shines with facets cut by a skilled hand. When attuned to the Opal Spider Charm, you gain the ability to walk on walls akin to a spider. In addition, surfaces covered in webs do not count as difficult terrain for you.

Curse: once you are attuned to this ring, your vision is greatly impeded by sunlight. You gain a modified Sunlight Hypersensitivity. When you start your turn in sunlight, you take 1d10 radiant damage and you have disadvantage on checks to sight-based Perception checks and attack rolls.

A spell such as remove curse can remove the Curse from the person affected by it.

Firbolg

Miria’s Ring of Beastly Wonder (Rare, requires attunement): This wooden ring, embedded with black sapphires, gives off druidic magic. Once per day, you may use your action to Wild Shape into a beast who’s Challenge Rating is equal to half your total character level. You may use this item once per day, regaining use at the start of the next morning.

Curse: once you use this ring, your stats are replaced by the stats of the beast you turned into for the next day. This wears off at the start of the next day.

A spell such as remove curse can remove the Curse from the person affected by it.

 

Kobold

Meepo’s Dragon Fury (dagger, requires attunement): this dagger, which is too small for most standard races to wield, has the image of a deadly White Dragon etched onto the blade. While you are attuned to this weapon, you have immunity to cold damage, and you can use your Grovel, Cower and Beg feature an extra time, regaining it on a short or long rest.

You also gain a Dragon Breath Weapon which deals cold damage (standard Dragonborn Breath Weapon recharge time and range).

Curse: when you are attuned to Meepo’s Dragon Fury, creatures with the dragon subtype as well as Dragonborn, Half-Dragons, Draconic Bloodline Sorcerers, and any creature predominately affiliated with dragons has advantage on attacks to hit you as well as saving throws.

 

 

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February Blog Carnival: Time Marches On

Hello, fellow friends of the gaming community!

The month of February’s RPG Blog Carnival is being hosted by my good friend and general ally in weirdness, Doctor Necrotic, over at Daemons and Deathrays. The theme tackles the subject of time in it’s many different broad terms and spectrums.

I have, at the table, had players and NPC’s who are a wide variety of ages. From young adults and barely-there teenagers in my latest 5e game to a wizened “seventy-something year old” wizard in a desert campaign (not something to be snuffed at, by the way, in that setting!), it only makes sense that their skills and capabilities are going to be vastly different due to age range.

What throws a wrench into this even more is all of the various races that 5th Edition has. How would a grizzled old Half Orc chieftan be different from his younger tribe-members? How do you tell the difference in Elven ages when all of them look eternally youthful? Here, I’m going to offer racial feats not just for different  races but also age groups as well!

Note: not all playable races are listed, as some are harder then others to craft racial-based feats for. If you have any ideas, feel free to share them in the comments section. 


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Any Race

Youthful Enthusiasm: prerequisite 14 years and under 

While not as experienced as others your age, you see the world in a more positive light.

You have advantage on fear-inducing saving throws.

Elf (any)/Half Elf

Elven Perfection: prerequisite: must be at least 300 years of age if elven and if half-elf, 150 years. 

Your age has honed your skills to more sharp ways, getting closer to perfection.

Choose one Skill you are already proficient in. You gain double proficiency in that skill.

In addition, the Ability Score that that skill is based on increases by one, to a maximum of 20. Example: the Performance skill is chosen and that character has double proficiency in it. Their Charisma score is then increased by one.

 

Dragonborn

Lineage Weapons: prerequisite: Dragonborn, over the age of 50.

Your age has made you hearty, and finding how to use your predatory gifts to great effectiveness.

Choose either your Strength or Dexterity. You increase that stat by one, to a maximum of 20.

You gain a natural Bite or Claw attack. Your Bite is 1d8 piercing damage and your Claw 1d6. You may chose this feat twice to gain both a Bite and Claw attack.

If you choose Bite attack, your Strength score increases by one, to a maximum of 20. If you choose Claw attack, your Dexterity score increases by one, to a maximum of 20.

 

Kenku

Mouthy: prerequisite, Kenku and at least 50 years of age

As you age, you have honed your vocal talents far beyond that of others of your race.

Your Charisma increases by one, to a maximum of 20.

Creatures who are trying to see through your Mimicry racial feature also have disadvantage on the roll to do so.

 

Yuan-Ti Pureblood

Serpentine: prerequisite Yuan-Ti Pureblood, 40 years and older

Tapping into the  magic of your race, you adapt yourself to become more snake-like.

Your Dexterity increases by one, to a maximum of 20.

You also gain the ability to shapechange into a Constrictor Snake once per short or long rest, regaining this feature on either one. Your stats are the same with the exception of your Armor Class and hit points, and you are unable to use your equipment in this form.

 

Firbolg

Naturally Druidic: prerequisite Firbolg, 300 years and older

Being a Firbolg, you have a more intimate connection to the wilds of the realm.

Your Wisdom increases by one, to a maximum of 20.

You also learn one Druid cantrip of your choice, and have advantage on one of the listed Skills of your choice from these listed: Nature, Survival, Animal Handling.

 

 

Apologies from the Faerie Woman

Hello, pixies and sprites!

I do have to apologize for being so quiet as of late. I’ve been rather uninspired to create much lately, not to mention life has been getting in the way, including both a new Dungeons and Dragons campaign for the Flumph Cast YouTube channel and a job, and just general craziness that reality won’t let me ignore.

So, I’m going to ask you of the Internet: what would you like to see on the blog? Class options? Backgrounds? Reviews? More playable races? I am always up for ideas to spark creativity in me!

Again, hopefully I’ll get out of this slump sooner rather then later.

On To A New Chapter: The Blog Wrap-Up

Hello, pixies and sprites, to the year 2018!

blog carnibalWith the new year comes the close of Pitfalls and Pixie’s playing host to the RPG Blog Carnival for December.

The theme of literature was the month’s topic, so a big thank you to the handful of folks who participated! Everyone’s works can be seen below:

Thank you to the site Roleplaying Tips for hosting this event! 

The Lady of Thorns: ‘The Ancient Magus’ Bride’ Homebrew

Hello, pixies and sprites, and welcome to December!

I must admit, I don’t update the blog as much as I used to and even more rare do I stick to a theme, but after discovering a manga/anime series that I fell in love with, I couldn’t help but make some of the characters from it into statted out Dungeons and Dragons characters. Also to contribute in my own way to the ‘It’s In a Book’ theme for this month, because I consider manga to be a form of literature in it’s own way.

‘The Ancient Magus’ Bride’ is a new anime series which I am absolutely hooked on, and follows the story of a young Chise Hatori as she studies as an apprentice mage to the mysterious Elias Ainsworth, also known as the Thorn Mage or just simply ‘Thorn’. She is given a new shot at life, and her world changes in unforeseen ways.

 

In the PDF file provided, I have made Chise, Elias and Chise’s familiar, Ruth, into creatures for you to use in your Dungeons and Dragons games. If you use them, let me know how you wove them into your campaign setting!

Ancient Magus Bride Homebrew

‘The Ancient Magus Bride’ is copyrighted to Kore Yamazaki.  Foremat of PDF is courtesy of the Homebrewery. This is a fan creation only. 

 

December RPG Blog Carnival: It’s In A Book

blog carnibal.jpgWizards know the allure of parchment-filled tomes: after all, it is here where their most prized and powerful spells are. Not only for those who learn the magic that course through the realms, books are gateways to knowledge previously not known or misunderstood.

They invoke a strange aura to them, books. Whether they be scrolls, leather-bound things found in ancient monasteries or kept in the collection of an eccentric businessman, we, as gamers, oftentimes find ourselves drawing inspiration from the books in our own lives.

No doubt that the creators of Wizards of the Coast were inspired by Tolkien’s hobbits for their Halfling race;  the dryads of Greek mythology lay in the Monster Manual as does the half-bovine Minotaur and Medusa. The noble Griffin too, seen oftentimes as a terror of both land and sky. And who can forget dragons, seen in everything from the final encounter with Beowulf , to the Hydra fighting Hercules, and the three “children” of Danaerys Targaryan of Game of Thrones fame.

Which is where you come in, dear readers.

For the month of December, the RPG Blog Carnival is coming around: its caravan decked with silver bells, Faerie Fire lights aglow to ward off the winter chills, and the sound of jovial singing is on the wind. They invite you to their firesides for a yuletide celebration of merrymaking and storytelling, and who knows? You may go to your own home, passing on a story of your own.

THE BASIS: Write an article based on the theme of the month, which is literature in its wide formats. Post it up on your blog, and include a link to this post for the month of ‘It’s In a Book’. At the end of the month, when the carnival leaves this part of Faerieland, all of the submitted posts will be compiled and posted on one master page.

Special thanks to Roleplaying Tips for hosting the year-long event! https://www.roleplayingtips.com/rpg-blog-carnival/ 

 

Oddities and the Occult: Cryptoids for 5th Edition

Good evening, pixies and sprites!

I know I’ve been absent for a while now, but alas! Real life seems to suck the fun out of everything.

Due to the month of October being full of witches, vampires and general spookiness, the theme of this month’s Blog Carnival (hosted by Of Dice and Dragons ) is all about superstitions!

But, what about creatures which cause such rumors and fears to arise? Surely there is something at the route of a werewolf’s bite, the sounds in the night? And who better to push forward to see the truth then brave-hearted adventurers.

For this month’s contribution, I provide to thee a host of cryptid creatures who are sure to inspire superstitions of their own! Note: all of these are actual cryptoids, some more well-known then others but all frightening.

Game on!


The Blackbird of Chernobyl/Mothman: A crpytid of humanoid shape, the Blackbird of Chernobyl and the Mothman are believed to be the same “species”, if one can call them as such. Regardless of where it is seen, whether it be a quiet West Virginia town or in the fallout of a nuclear power plant, whatever this species is haunts the nightmares of fans of cryptozoology all around the world.

Bloody Mary stats

 

The Jersey Devil: In the Pine Barrens of the state of New Jersey stalks a creature which has captured the imaginations and fears of the residents who have lived there. Such a monster has risen to its own sort of fame in the state, being New Jersey’s most well-known urban legend. But its mystery is just one thing which makes it frightening: encounters with it are even more so.

Jersey Devil stats

The Capitol Demon Cat: an urban legend specific to Washington D.C., the Capitol Demon Cat is a creature which only is seen and talked about during election season. It is seen as an omen of political unrest and madness. For its secrecy and shadowy ways though, it’s fangs can be felt: oftentimes, the passing of politicians are believed to be traced back to the rather unassuming black feline.

demon Cat stats 2

Shoot for the Stars: 5E’s Issue with Archers

Let me add before this that I love characters who use bow and arrow. I think they’re a lot more classy then a person who just swings a longsword around with reckless abandon. A well-placed arrow can eliminate a threat far before the Barbarian can get up into a horde’s threatened area, saving your Hit Points from being decimated early on. Popular culture has given us similar characters: Legolas from The Lord of the Rings, Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games, and the main protagonist of the next Assasssin’s Creed game have all shown their skill with this implement.

So why does 5th Edition seem to skimp out on ranged weapon users?

This isn’t limited just to bow and arrow but also crossbows as well. It seems that they don’t have much added flair or ‘oomph’ to keep them up to power level in later tiers of play. You either do 1d6 or 1d8 piercing damage, and at max level (depending on what class you are) can do at least 4d6 or 4d8 base-line. By that time, you have spells on magic-users like Prismatic Wall, Meteor Swarm and True Polymorph being handed out like candy. So what’s the deal?

Most would be quick to say magic items can quickly fix that. But many have to be homebrewed, due to the Dungeon Master’s Guide having shockingly little that can benefit arrow and bolt-using characters. Let’s look at the following:

1) The Oathbow. Oftentimes the most sought-after item for end game archers, compared to other items of its rarity and tier, the Oathbow is quite underwhelming. Yes, you have advantage on a target that you mark as your quarry, but when you hit them, again you are doing a piddly amount of damage.

At least, that’s my opinion on the item.

My revision of the object to make it more viable would be that when you hit your marked target, that the target takes an additional 3d6 or 3d8 damage (depending if its a short bow, long bow or even a cross bow). Ammunition fired from it is also treated as magical, for the sake of damage resistances and Immunities.

2) Bracers of Archery. If you’re already proficient with short and long bows, this is kind of a waste. But the +2 to attacks and damage is at least a nice thing. I found that a longbow wielding Warlock is actually pretty dang fun.

3) Gloves of Missile Snaring. These are more suited to say someone like a Monk or a primary spellcaster, or even a Rogue (or really any class save for bow Fighter or Ranger). You’d be holding your long/shortbow or crossbow with both hands. Though if you wield a light crossbow, I can see this coming in handy rather then if you currently use the heavy variety.

Out of over one hundred magical items, there are only three in the entire Dungeon Master’s Guild that could really be of prime focus for the Archers in the game. The highest rarity a person could get is Very Rare with the Oathbow, and there are plethora of other items of its same rarity which push it out of the water (Robe of Stars, just about every Ioun Stone, bronze Horn of Valhalla, all for example.

FE_Heroes_Intro_TakumiBut it isn’t just items which get in the way but classes and subclasses. For that, we won’t be looking at the Ranger (which has been revised and re-revised constantly as much as dragons are slain in combat) but the Arcane Archer subclass. First released in the Unearthed Arcana articles and then revised for later play (I suspect it’s going to be in the forthcoming Xanathar’s Guide to Everything), the Arcane Archer is a subclass which has the player firing magical ammunition upon enemies at range.

When I imagine this scene, I think of a person shooting bolts of raw power and causing chaos to the person beneath them, blacking out the sky with how many arrows are being shot. What we get with the Arcane Archer is significantly more underwhelming.

Looking through each ability it gets at certain levels. I’m not going to go into depth about all of the Arcane Shot options because there are a lot of really interesting ones and some that are not so good.

  • Magic Arrow (level 3). Having ammunition which is always considered magical as well as an instant +1 weapon is an amazing feature to have, especially at low levels of play. But when other party members begin to gather +2 or even +3 weapons, you quickly begin to feel a bit slow.
  • Arcane Archer’s Lore (level 3).  A bonus Proficiency is always a nice thing.
  • Curving Shot (level 7). Being able to redirect one of your Arcane Shots is interesting and it has it’s place, but for a level 7 ability it seems a bit underwhelming.
  • Ever-Ready Shot (level 15). Regain a singular usage of something that is the core of your subclass, and essentially what defines your adventuring career, seems weak, especially when classes such as Druids can really put out the pain on enemies.

“But Faith”, you may be asking yourself. “It sounds like Arcane Archers are awesome! Why do you have a gripe with them?”.

My issue is not with the subclass themselves, rather how they fall behind other classes in later levels of play.

Let’s assume that my character has a maxed out Dexterity score, is 20th level and wields primarily a longbow and at least one or two miscellaneous magical items. At the last level, I would be able to do maximum of 4d8 (the total of times I can attack in my turn) + 5 (for my modifier on each attack). This isn’t including Action Surge, which I have two uses of at 20th level. I could either divide my arrows between targets or pepper a single target with the pointy ends. Since I take levels in Arcane Archer up until the very end, all shots are considered +1 magical ammo.

But the group Paladin now has an obscenely high Armor Class, a Holy Avenger as well as the ability to partially heal others and a maxed out Strength score. His damage threshold increases significantly over other melee users, quickly having you wait behind him until he takes out the entire field before you even get your first shot off.

Casters won’t be compared to very much, since you are not one and utilize magic in long-range arrow shots.

archer 2.jpg

How could the Arcane Archer therefore be better prepped for battle?

1) Increasing Magical Arrows. When I say this, I mean by what your arrows and bolts count as, depending on what weapon you main. At 3rd level it begins as a +1 weapon, but to keep up to others in your party and enemies you encounter, they should increase to +2 and finally +3 weapons. This makes investing time into this subclass more rewarding and these sort of items can be of great assistance.

2) Increasing Arcane Shot Options. Furthering down the path of this class will only ever see you with two Arcane Shots per short or long rest. While this may not sound like a big deal, it doesn’t exactly invoke the imagery of magical arrows piercing into foes.

In tandem with this, as well as making the Intelligence stat useful to others that aren’t Wizards, there are two methods that could be done to increase the number of times you can use your Arcane Shots: either based on your Proficiency modifier or equal to your Intelligence modifier. Basing it on your Proficiency modifier will keep you relatively balanced with other classes as you go along, while the Intelligence modifier comes from putting the hard effort of learning to master your craft. Either one could be utilized, though the Proficient modifier seems more balanced.

3) Rotating Arcane Shot Options and Creating New Shots. The Warlock, when leveling up, can switch its spells out for any on the Warlock spell casting list. So why couldn’t this method work with the Arcane Archer?

By your nature, you infuse magic into ammo and at level 20, you have six options to play with. But they are all permanent and set into stone, so if you don’t choose the right ones, you’ll be stuck with them for the entire game. Trial and error is a part of playing the game, seeing what skills are more useful then others.

A fix to this is being able to chose a different Arcane Shot option when you level in that class. It lets you explore the full width of what is given in the Unearthed Arcana supplement, tailoring it to your play style.

However, you may find that depending on your table, that your tactics for your Arcane Shots don’t come up very often or you are limited by what they can do. We players love variety, after all! We may be inspired by various spells and spell-like abilities that creatures have, and want to incorporate those into our own usages as well. But making magical arrows takes a long time, and most effects disappear after a single use of them.

My recommendation is to be able to mimic spells and whatnot in your Arcane Shots through a ritual, essentially letting you break down the basics of that spell or ability and having it reformed into an Arcane Shot. Like crafting, you would still need to have the material components on hand in order to do so, but at the end you would have a surplus of shot options which could keep up with the enemies you encounter.

A second idea would be an ability which lets you temporary enchant your arrows and bolts with the effects of a deciphered spell and applying it to the arrow you shoot, which then dissipates when you hit your target. You would have as many uses of this equal to your Intelligence modifier (again, going off of the theme that you need to be learned to do this sort of skill). However, it would need to be a spell which you already dissected.

The time it would take to take apart a spell or ability depends on its normal level. For each level the spell is, it would take two hours to figure out. So a level 1 magic missile would take two hours of time while something more complex such as blight would take eight hours. While this seems harsh, a person could easily  take downtime or even a bit longer then a full rest to decipher the secrets to these magical Shots.

Take my words with a grain of salt, since this is largely just my thoughts and analysis, but I do hope you guys enjoyed this! Perhaps I’ll do more entries like this in the future. What do you think?

 

 

 

A Nerd A-Traveling: DexCon 2017

Amongst my friends, I’ll hear them talk about various events: AnimeNext, MAGFest, DerpyCon, etc.  Most of them I have little to no interest in, for that matter, because I’m super picky about the sort of things I enjoy.  But then they utter an event: DexCon.

Described on the website as “where America comes to play!” (Exclamation point and all), DexCon is a four and a half day event revolving around tabletop RPG’s, card games, indie developers, LARP and the gaming community in general. I have never been to the event mostly due to shedules in the past but decided that, hey, its close enough to me where I don’t need to get a hotel in the room. I might as well pony up 70 dollars for the entire weekend.

The Hyatt Regency in Morristown, New Jersey is absolutely massive. Even with over 100 games, there was still plenty of space that could have been used better. I felt like half of the convention area was like walking through a relatively abandoned parking garage, though it was attatched to an AMC theater which explained the scent of popcorn by the vendors room.

Speaking of parking garages: the parking area at the Hyatt was complicated and confusing. There are no clear signs of where ramps to the other levels are, some areas have little to no lights on them (which read as very unsafe to me), and many times at night there was no one by the gates to get in and out. At least you didn’t need to drive many places to get food: Morristown is packed with great, relatively inexpensive places for grub.

In regard to that, I suggest Saigon for Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches and Tito’s Burritos. Can’t go wrong with those.

But on to the convention itself.

Having one hundred plus events was daunting to hear, and looking at the registration wall (yes, you heard me right) displayed that in full force.  By the time I arrived on Thursday morning, half of the games were already filled, though you could still arrive and hope you got in as an alternate in case everyone didn’t show up. The same format occurred for roleplaying games. Apparently you could have signed up in advanced on the DexCon website to guarantee you got into an event: this was not made clear on either the website or emails.

The vendors room was also relatively small. I’m used to major conventions who have twenty plus vendors. DexCon had twenty in a ballroom which threw me for a loop. There was even less artists there. I counted perhaps fifteen over all three days I attended. This saddened me, due to how I was looking for costume stuff (there was plenty of LARP there so you would expect that sort of thing). There was only one small costume vendor there.

Note as well, that you will probably only get to play two or three things in a day: not because you are locked out of events butthe length of some of the games. A breakup of time is listed for each day.

Thursday

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Witch: where everyone is a terrible person!

Thursday was day one for myself. The first game which ran between two and six P.M. was titled Witch, and it revolves around escorting a confessed witch to be burned at Lindisfarne. Choosing from a selection of six characters, the players tell the story along the way to the pyre. It is a narrative storytelling game, requiring no dice at all. A word to the wise: the game can have very dark themes and is for mature players.

Second of the night was a significantly different game. Titled Aurora: What Do You Believe?, this was the creator’s first time showcasing it at any convention. Thursday’s game was packed completely, and that session was largely focused on character creation. Due to this, we were only able to get two or so hours of play in. The session ran for four hours.

In Aurora, players are in control of a being known as Chosen. Humans are not the dominant species in this game: that title goes to supernatural entities known as Spirits. Spirits pass on their knowledge and magical abilities to a select few humans: they are therefore known as Chosen and are exiled from their respected communities. But Chosen have a decision to make at some point: do they pledge themselves to a particular Spirit type (Sun, Moon, Tree, Wind, Star, Earth, Metal) and give up their humanity to become all-powerful?

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Spirits and Cupcakes. Sounds good to me!

From midnight to two in the morning, I then played Mystic Vale: a deck building game where you play as a Druid trying to restore the land. Players take turns building up their cards, purchasing Vales (which act as if-then cards where certain prerequisites must be met). Whoever has the most points at the end of deck building wins. I enjoyed this game so much, that I purchased it from the vendors room along with the Vale of Magic expansion (there are two expansions total, but the vendor only had the core game and VoM).

Friday

Friday I managed to convince some of my friends and fellow podcasters to come join me: FlumpCast crew Brian (or Doctor Necrotic, as you guys may know him as on WordPress), Brennan and Jeremy). Arriving just after lunchtime, we set out for the convention.

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You’ll need at least six d6 for Aurora. Jeremy went all out with his.

People found at least several things in the dealer’s room. The day before I picked up an expansion for Red Dragon’s Inn which included two new characters Keet and Nitrel. I also snagged some Egyptian themed miniatures and set of blue lapis lazuli-esque dice. I have affectionately named them my Scarab dice.

The four of us mostly went off in separate directions for the convention. Me and Brian went to play a writing game called WritersBloxx. Think of it like Mad Libs, but harder. Each player has to write a story in six minutes which utilizes six randomly generated prompts using a d20. You must then use those somewhere in the story. Halfway through through, a Plot Twist card is drawn and you must also use what is listed on that card as well in your story. You can either give out points in the game or not: we decided not to, because we just wanted to hear everyone’s stories they wrote.

Afterwards, it was time for another game of Aurora (do you think I like the game?). Having a squad of older gamers rather then two kids at the last session let us delve into harder themes which we were not able to do the prior evening. It was also sped up significantly with how we had pregenerated characters for this running of the game.

Saturday

The last day I would attend, Saturday very much played out like the other two days. I had

purchased my copy of Mystic Vale and its expansion after requesting Vale of Magic from the dealer. Luckily they had it in stock in their store!

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Unlike Thursday and Friday though, this time I participated in a LARP. Called Knights Vale, it was a one-off to test their revised rule system and also to get people interested in the game itself. Playing the role of a druid in this, I and a group of other adventurers were tasked to take down a vile necromancer who was bent on sapping the life out of the world. We were successful: solving puzzles to bring down arcane wards that were protecting the cultists of this god-like being. Magic was dealt with in the form of pouches of sand: when you wanted to cast a spell, you declared what spell it was and threw the bean bag (if it was offensive). If it was a spell meant to cure, you needed to roleplay it out and it would take effect after.

And of course, I round out the day with yet another Aurora game. However, this game was probably my most enjoyable. With two twenty-something year olds (myself and one other) and an older gentleman, we were really able to tackle hard subjects. For this game, it was ‘is deception ever justified’, which in-game was aligned with aspects of Moon. We found out that a Chosen who used both Sun and Moon magics was behind a plot to kill a Council leader in the settlement of Grange, under threat by a Sun Spirit named Ruby. We eventually saw through his plot, a child not much younger then ourselves, and adopted him into our group. Celeste, our resident rabbit Moon Spirit, did not exactly like how he had been affiliated with Ruby but accepted how we established a longer line of peace then she had intended.

Conclusion

It has been going on for twenty years come this weekend, which should say something in itself. In an area which does not have much gaming related events, DexCon definitely brings out new talent and even more fans for a four day event of play time.

There also was the Con Suite, which had free drinks and snacks to attendees. Saturday was the Candy Bar, which was just tables of (you guessed it) candy. SweetTarts, Pixie Sticks, Dum-Dums, you name it, they had it. Of course the Cupcake Lady was over there too: she would push a cart around all the game rooms and ask people if they wanted to purchase some. Spoiler: the cherry limeade and double dark chocolate ones were the best.

Pros: a wide variety of new things to learn. Small-time creators always willing to talk about their projects. Good food in the area (because who likes eating overpriced chicken tenders at the con itself?). Able to jump into just about any game provided there were still slots available. Knowledgeable staff members (such as where certain events were, where the nearest bathroom was, etc.).

Cons: horrendous parking system (I spend nearly an hour fixing a parking issue on Friday night). Not enough artists and dealers who weren’t game stores in the area. Confusing layout, even with maps on the back of programs (they weren’t very concise and often I would find myself referring back to the main map in the lobby of the hotel to figure out where things were).

I would give DexCon a solid 6.5/7 out of 10. While not perfect (and let’s face it, its nearly impossible to get to perfection), it was still a damned fun event. I came away learning games I did not know even existed and met some pretty cool people .

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Have you ever been to DexCon? What are some of your favorite tabletop card and board games/RPGs/ LARPS?

 

‘Aurora: What Do You Believe?’ belongs to Sam Hotchkiss ( https://about.me/hotch)

‘WritersBloxx’ belongs to Gary Zenker (http://www.writersbloxx.com/

The misadventures of the Flumph Cast crew can be found on the official FlumphCast channel.  FlumphCast is also the Instagram handle. 

Monsters of D&D: The Iaraan ​​Fuar

Hello, Pixies and Sprites!

My good friend/ally/general weird person has his end of the monthly RPG Blog Carnival for the month of July. And in true Doctor Necrotic fashion, the theme is gritty and bleak Grimdark.

Now, Grimdark isn’t my choice I’m subject matter. I like my fantasy exactly that: fantastical with distinct elven notes to it, but I decided to give myself a mental and thematic whirl by combining grundgy Grimdark with the Fair Folk themselves.

Enjoy the madness!


img_5743The Iaraan Faur, also known as Metal Faeries, are the supposed remnants of a pure and elegant race of magical sylvan creatures. Reknowned for their knowledge of gems and precious stones, they were sought out highly by any number of beings: dwarves for commission partners, humans for trade, dragons out of nothing but pure greed.

But their reign came to an eventual end by the hands of progress. Mortals made advancements in their technology and science; these leaps and bounds ran off into the rivers, the canyons and the secret passages of the Fey Folk.

Over time due to this exposure, to the toxins in soil and rock, they began to change and for the worst. Their skin changed to light grey which often was bespeckled with fluorescent green due to radiation; limbs grew to extremely gangly lengths over generations. But the most noticible change though was a complete immunity to the dreaded substance known as cold iron, which to many fey creatures was seen as certain death.

Iaraan Fuar – medium fey, lawful evil

AC: 18

HP: 217

Move Speed: 35 ft., burrow/dig 60

Strength: 22 (+6)  Dexterity: 15 (+3)    Constitution: 25 (+8)   Intelligence:  19 (+4)  Wisdom: 16 (+3) Charisma: 17 (+3)

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Saving Throws: Strength +11, Dexterity +8, Constitution +13

 

Skills:  Perception +8, Intimidation +8, Persuasion +8

Damage Immunities: cold, weapons made or covered in cold iron, piercing, slashing and

 

bludgeoning damage from nonmagical weapons

Damage Resistances: poison, acid, necrotic

Condition Immunities: charmed, blinded, petrified, paralyzed

Senses: tremorsense 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception

Challenge Rating (CR): 13

Innate Spellcasting: the Iaraan Faur can cast the following spells without material

 

components. Charisma is its casting stat.

At will: poison spray, toll the dead, ice knife

3/day each: faerie fire,  vampiric touch, moonbeam

2/ day each: blight, contagion 

Magical Weapons: the Iaraan Fuar’s weapons are magical.

Tremoresense: the Iaraan Fuar can sense movements in the ground. They do not need to see a target to know where they are.

Earth Glide: the Iaraan Fuar can move through the earth without disrupting it.
Actions

ACTIONS

Multiattack: the Iaraan Fuar can attack three times with its Meteor Hammer.

Meteor Hammer: Melee weapon, +11 to hit, one target, range 10 feet. Hit: 2d12+6 bludgeoning damage. On a hit, target makes a DC Strength saving throw 18 or be knocked prone.

Sinkhole (recharge 5-6): the Iaraan Fuar utters an ancient sylvan command which causes the earth to open up below a designated target. The hole is 15 feet across in all directions and can be up to 50 feet deep. The Iaraan Fuar can use a bonus action then to utter the same phrase in reverse to close the hole.

While the creature is stuck in the hole, they can hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution modifier. After such, they begin to take incremental damage on their turns. It begins at 1d6 and increases by 1d6 for each round they are submerged.

The Iaraan Fuar can move into the area of the hole once it is closed and attack the target with advantage.

Summon Swarm (recharge 6): the Iaraan Fuar summons 2d4 Swarms of Cranium Rats. They go on the Iaraan Fuar’s initiative.

The Iaraan Fuar belongs to Faith D’Ambrosio. 

The Grimdark Blog Carnival belongs to Doctor Necrotic of Daemons and Deathrays.