Mover and Shakers of Faustus Kil

Hello, beloved pixies and sprites of the Internet!

You can’t have a good campaign without beings in the world who cause things to happen. Not necessarily good or bad, just prominent figures who hold some level of clout among  their peers.

These would be the movers and shakers of a world, which is the topic of the July RPG Blog Carnival held over at In My Campaign. Make sure to drop by, post a comment and participate in the carnival this month, if you’re so inclined.

I wanted to provide a list of some NPC’s that have appeared in my own home campaign, ‘The Many Eyes of the Magi’, which you can listen to the first episode of up here.

There are also just some important  figures from some character’s backstories as well. If you’d like to use any of them, ASK PERMISSION FIRST.


Ahri 1

Ahri: Ahri is a white fey fox, the familiar of the Warlock named Kaiyu Ashpaw in my Many Eyes of the Magi campaign. Sneaky and as full of snark as her master, she is currently roaming Faustus Kil looking for a way to return to her family in the Realm of Wonder after master Ashpaw met his death.

Ahri has two forms: one is her standard fox form, which she started the campaign as. However, due to silliness from Kaiyu and the events of the story, she had gained the ability to take on a kitsune-esque pixie form. Since she was an innately magical creature from Faerie-Land, she was able to shapeshift between each form at will. This allowed her to blend in even with mundane populations.

Ahri 2


 

Pine.jpg

Pine/Mandrake: Pine, also known as Mandrake by those who do not know the truth of his real identity, is an agent of the Winter Court and Aiosidhe (translating to Archfey in the Common language) and the lead assassin of Aiosidhe Nim the Permafrost Heart. He is a charismatic Dryad, bearing the Major Arcana mark of the Lovers and appropriately enough, the boyfriend of a fellow winter agent named Thistle.

He uses numerous fake names when interracting with people on the mundane world, including Mandrake (after all, Dryads often take their names from plantlife and animals). His favored dagger, Venomspite, is a gift from the Archfey herself.

Pine stats.jpg


 

Related image

Pitch: a small Faerie Dragon of a unique shade, midnight black scales and purple-blue wings, Pitch is the familiar of a Kobold Summoner named Drisk. He shows little care for laws, and considers only the words of his scaled master as rules to  follow…but only more as guidelines.

Pitch will do things such as stealing platinum from gambling tables and lemons from food stalls, to harassing studying mages by turning invisible and causing them to hear kazoos ringing in the back of their heads. He does have Fey blood in him, after all.

Pitch stats

 

jEZZU

Jezzu: a Eladrin hailing from a desert nation, Jezzu serves as the purveyor of Triple Moon Mystic: a fortune telling shop and seller of magical implements. His pupilless golden eyes though betray a secret, along with the constant scent of patchouli and vanilla around him.

Jezzu, in actuality, is a Brass Dragon of the Adult variety. He finds that running a store and having people give/trade their magical items for his business is much easier then having to fly around and seek out a hoard. Whatever tickles his  fancy, he keeps for himself. Whatever he doesn’t have a need for, he simply sells.

Having to stat him out was a bitch, by the way, in that I had to make not one but TWO stat blocks. I really don’t want to think out Lair Actions as well.

Jezzu class 1

Jezzu class 2


 

Image result for weretiger

Danzen, the Lunar Tiger: a Zoraivian myth, the Lunar Tiger was once a mortal half-elf named Danzen. Through feats of great physical strength and bravery, he ascended to demi-godhood after punching the moon back into orbit (dont ask…).

Unfortunately for him though, he got stuck on the moon in the aftermath. But somehow he managed to survive, with deep meditation and unlocking cosmic abilities that were once locked away from him. He now is the literal Man on the Moon.

During a full moon though, the Lunar Tiger is able to send a physical manifestation of himself down from the heavens to find worthy opponents to fight. This either is in the form of a white Weretiger (his usual form) or that of his once-mortal appearance.

 

Lunar Tiger stats


 

Witch Hunters Amanda and Makao: hired assassins of the royal family of Chervaux, the notorious Fairglen family, Amanda and Makao are what are known as Witch Hunters: men and women who are sent to detail and (if necessary) kill ‘halfling spawn’. This includes: Dragonborn, Dracovecta, Half Elves, Half Orcs, Aasimar, Tieflings, Genasi (because actual Halflings do not exist in Faustus Kil).

Amanda is the stealthy leader of the duo, while Makao is the back-up with a full roster of summons at his beck and call. Makao also is a Charcardin (an anthropomorphic shark man).

Makao’s list of summons is as follows:

  • Barlgura (CR 5 demon, MM pg 56)
  • Swarm of Cranium Rays (Cr 5 tiny beast swarm, Volo’s pg 133)
  • Elder Quickling (modified Quickling). HP 40. Cant be charmed or put to sleep through magical means. Weapons are considered magical.
  • Owl Harpy (Tome of Foes, pg 246)
  • Hulking Whelp (Tome of Foes, pg 252). The large grey dog Rilith saw with Makao
  • Sandman (Tome of Foes, pg 333)
  • Lindwurm (Tome of Foes, pg 276)
  • Ratatosk (Tome of Foes, pg 319)
  • Shadow Beast (Tome of Foes, pg 345)

Witch Hunter Amanda

Witch Hunter Makao


This is the closest I could find to her actual appearance, because it’s impossible to find Faerie Dragonborn artwork (or at least anything that resembles such a concept).

Syrilith: a professor at the Avehi Arcana Magitorium, lady Syrilith is affectionately called ‘The Librarian from Hell’. She is a strict Faerie Dragonborn who teaches about dragons and their long history, as well as the School of Illusion.

Her sword she weields,  a Fey enchanted blade called the Glamorblade, matches her fickle nature in that it causes Syrilith to project phantasms of herself, allowing the woman to go in for the kill.

Syrilith stats

RPG Blog Carnival: Friends from the Faerie-Side

Welcome back, friends of the realm!

A apology from my end, for being stupidly lazy with posts. Life is hectic for the Lady of the Fae, so let’s hope that my sporadic posts make up for that.

To bring some variety to  the Fey we see presented in Dungeons and Dragons, here are some that are taken directly from faerie lore across the world as well as some custom things created for my own amusement and games. These are also a sampling of creatures from a larger project I am currently working on, and only really have had the time to make any sort of real headway with.


Bwca

 

Related to friendly household spirits such as Brownies, the Bwca is the much more mean-spirited version of these diminutive, helpful Good Neighbors.

The Bwca, as a house faerie, will do chores while the inhabitants are not around or blissfully unaware of its physical presence. However, if it is not thanked en masse for its hard work, via an offering of alcohol or a saucer of cream, it will soon become destructive and wreck havoc across the property it works to maintain and live in.

Bwca 2


 

Deepwoods Guardian

Vaguely resembling bipedal tree-like forms, Deepwoods Guardians are aptly named: nomadic shaman-esque fey creatures who are skilled in pacifistic magic and guiding the lost.

Though they are capable of great destruction, violence is never their first reaction. Often, they would rather talk to someone and figure out the reasoning to their actions before choosing a proper course of action. And sometimes, if one is lucky, a wanderer would gain it’s s favor by doing such small things, like planting a flower.

Deepwoods Guardian


Image result for jack-in-irons

Jack-In-Irons

 

One does not often think about giants as being Fey creatures, but such is the case in two beings: the kind-hearted Firbolgs and the much-less pleasant Jack-In-Irons.

Wandering lonely causeways and passages in the dead of night, the Jack-In-Irons is a malign thing. It does not take kindly to  those it crosses, especially humanoids who lack faerie blood.

Their most well-known attack is when they lob one of many heads at wanderers, which they seem to never have any less then five heads total of things which they have recently killed.

Jack In Irons


The Nualavae

A horror if there ever was one, the Nuckalavae is a chaotic beast even amongst the wild faeries.

The Nuckalavae is something which is unimpeded by water and terrain, the ocean proving just as easy for it to navigate as  the roaming hillsides it stalks. Sailors know to avoid the territory it claims as its own, and that the only way to keep away from it is by crossing a rather mundane threshold: a simple brook of running water will stop it dead in it’s tracks.

Nuckalavae stats

 

All artwork belongs to their respected artists. All creatures are either created from homebrew or are actual mythological figures: if they resemble anything previously created, this is by sheer chance. 

All content by Pitfalls and Pixies belongs to Faith D’Ambrosio (Brynvalk.Wordpress.com) 

The 2019 RPG Blog Carnival: The Third Fey March

Featured Art: ‘Faerie Boy’ by Evanira 

Ah, the warmer months of spring and summer. When life comes about, new and refreshed after the cold winter’s reign. It just makes you want to dance and flit about, doesn’t it?

Well, that sort of merriment comes to Pitfalls and Pixies for the month of June. Once more, you, adventurous homebrewers, set foot into the mysterious Realm of Wonder in this month’s installment titled The Third Fey March.

The Third Fey March is part of an expanding network (or should we say hivemind for some of the creatures) to provide the tabletop gaming community with more Faerie/Fey  themed content, as it seems to be drastically small in comparison to things like demons, dragons and the like. And certainly, lady Titania and lord Oberon are none too pleased by this.

What Qualifies For ‘The Third Fey March’? 

As the world of the Good Neighbors is stretched far and wide, and their mythology as varied as the cultures they come from, any sort of topic can be chosen, including but not limited to:

  • How do the Fae and other sylvan beings interact with your home world/personal setting?
  • Tricks and traps that faeries use to befuddle and trick mortals
  • Of course, new monsters inhabitants of the Faerie Realm. Everything from bwcas to the mightiest of Archfey, nothing is held off!
  • How you incorperate real-world mythos of the Faerie Folk into your games/stories
  • Sylvan-themed player options; races, backgrounds, feats and items (both normal and cursed: the Faerie Folk do love curses and tricks, after all!)
  • Fairies in popular culture  and media, and how this has influenced them across the media spectrum
  • Show off your fantastical art with a sylvan motif! Fine art, writing, cosplay? Everything and anything goes!
  • Re-branding existing content as fey themed
  • Taking characters from pop culture who have such faerie ties and statting them for actual play in games, as either hostile or friendly NPC’s

 

But Brynvalk, How Do I Sign My Soul to the Fae   Participate? 

Easy!

All you need to do is create content befitting of June’s theme,  and post a link to this blog post in your contribution.

After this, you leave a link to said post in the comments of the hoster’s own page. At the end of the month, said hoster will compile all posts into one master post and show off this homage to the residents of the Realm of Wonder, hoping they will take kindly upon our offering to them.

Remember: if using someone’s art, always give credit where credit is due! ‘Tis just common courtesy.

Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again: I look forward to seeing what your creativity brings about!

The RPG Blog Carnival is hosted by ‘Of Dice and Dragons’. All past posts can be seen here, or if you would like to host the Carnival in the future,

 

The Art of the Character: April RPG Blog Carnival

Hello, pixies and sprites, to the warmer start of the year. The blog has been rather silent here, mostly because I run two campaigns in my free time (so I dont have much time in the slightest bit).

Codex Anathema is running the RPG Blog Carnival this month, and its topic is a bit different then most: this time around, it deals with DM’s/GM’s bending the rules a bit for thematics. And while I generally stick to RAW (Rules As Written), I do like to alter things to be more interesting from both a mechanical and story point of view.

Monsters: Variation is the Spice of Life

So when you have multiple friends who 1) have the Monster Manual and 2) are not so good at keeping meta information from blending in with the knowledge that their character would have, it can be a bit frustrating to plan encounters. I found that there are some relatively easy ways to keep those inquisitive sort on their toes, not aware of threats.

To better explain, I’ll use examples of how I’ve changed up the dynamics of how certain monsters work.

Shadows: Shadows are literally that. Hazy blackened figures (if you’ve seen Dementors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you know what a Shadow is). However, to a character who does not focus on Strength as a stat of importance, they can be generally shrugged off.

I have made my Shadows a bit worse. Seeing as how there are so many PC options that rely on Dexterity, I made my Shadows either drain a PC’s Strength or Dexterity. The chance of death, when either stat reaches 0, is still the same but it strikes fear into Rogues more then you could imagine.

Hag Covens: ask any of my players, and they’ll tell you that a monster I use somewhere in all of my games would be Hags. Now, I generally don’t use hag covens, mostly because that means more that I have to keep track of.

However, in a recent game that I am running for some in-person friends, I finally used the optional Hag Coven rules in the Monster Manual, but with a bit added. Instead of the standard spells the Coven would get, I swapped them out to be more thematic with each hag in the group. In this case, it was one Night Hag, Green Hag, and a Sea Hag (who should not be working together at all).

While the combat ended shortly, they were able to use some of their coven spells to throw them for a loop. Not to mention, with the variation of each Hag’s innate abilities, it was a fun combat to run for both me and the players.

In addition, each room in the complex of the group was themed after one of the Hags in the group, and the party was trying to figure out what was the deal with this eerie trio of women who were stealing selkie skins.

The Fey: I personally don’t like how 5e treats creatures with the Fey typing  as diminutive tree-hugging hippies, as actual faerie folk are actually terrifying in theory and abilities.

In my game worlds, I don’t go off of their Monster Manual/Guide to Monsters/ Tome of Foes listing, but the actual mythology behind the creature and the culture it comes from (if it has a real world equivalent).

Cold IronSomething I have added to any creature that has the Fey Ancestry trait or has any racial association to faerie is an actual downside to playing it: Cold Iron Vulnerability. In folklore, the Faerie Folk/Good Neighbors do not like iron, which keeps them from crossing thresholds, doing certain actions, etc. I utilize that in my games as the note I have on the side. As many races in my worlds do have some sort of ties to this mysterious, magical creature typing, this is an extra threat to these characters. I also have rules for making a weapon coated and made from the material.

Player Characters

Now this is going to most likely be a small section, as to how I have had a need to do this much, but to better fit the build or story of a PC, I have made minor changes to a race to better fit the theme.

Naiads, a homebrew race which I say are fey water spirits, were changed to minor elementals, as the player didn’t see their Naiad character as fey-associated. So, Keth was Related imagechanged to an elemental similar to how Genasi could technically be considered that. Instead of knowing Sylvan, Keth had Aquan as a racial language. 

Elves/half elves and Firbolgs, as well as Kitsunes, Dryads and Selkies, (the last three are all also homebrewed) were all given Cold Iron Vulnerability. This has led to a kitsune PC taking damage from touching dwarven made cold iron mining tools being harmed, and both a Dryad PC and NPC being terrified of cold iron bullets from fey who were immune to that most unholy of materials. The NPC also has still-visable scars from cold iron plated swords striking his skin. It is something that not even the Archfey can avoid. 

In a game I am sporadically playing, the DM has allowed all of a PC’s spells to largely do acid damage as they have become known as the Acid Wizard. This makes jokes in-game hysterical but his spells are going to be useless when we get to an enemy who’s immune to that….

Dragonborn have tails as well as Dark Vision. Stylistically I like the idea with tails a lot better then lacking, and why wouldn’t they have Dark Vision if their ancient, powerful ancestors do? Thematically, it doesn’t make sense (at least in my head it doesn’t).

Druids in my worlds can Wild Shape into Swarms and not just singular creatures. This is because like classic faeries, druidic type characters in folklore and mythology were able to do this sort of thing, including the Celtic goddess Morrigan, goddess of death, war and magic (overall, a complete bad-ass).


 

If you would like to join in on the fun with this month’s Blog Carnival topic, head on over to Codex Anathema’s post and participate for the month of April! 

Tabletop Tales: The Story of Hemlock Evetide

Hello, everyone, once more to the blog!

I highly doubt that any of you have watched the Flumph Cast YouTube channel, which I am a part of, but if BY CHANCE you have listened in, you probably have seen a previous campaign titled ‘Wrath of the Tyrant God’. For this installment, I’ll introduce you to a character that you’ve met in the later parts of the game. Guys, let’s go talk to some trees!

The character I speak of comes in at around the 59 minute marker in the video above.


“This was a very, VERY, bad idea”-  Hemlock Evetide, Dryad Summoner

So, some of you may or  may not know I play in the games on the Flumph Cast YouTube channel  (which you guys should totally check out, along with our Instagram page).  A while back, we had recorded our very first full length campaign on the channel, run by our fellow Flumph named Julian.

The campaign which followed, titled ‘Wrath of the Tyrant God’, had the party searching desperately for a way to bring down a mad deity by the name of Uber: a creature who had destroyed the rest of the pantheon of Cruxis. Whatever he could not destroy, he nerfed. The major catagories of creatures he had this happen to were the dragons, the demons and fiends, and the fey.

Of course I wanted to play a fey creature. Enter Hemlock Evetide, a rather skittish dryad who is skilled in the strange arts of Summoning. A pirate by survival and circumstance, Hemlock’s small crew rescues the party once their glass boat (yes, you read that right) shatters in the ocean in an attempt to return to the mainland. Evetide’s crew rescues them from a most certain watery doom, and they tend to the party to the best of their abilities.

Through the adventure, they find out several things about the mysterious plant-like fey creature. Hemlock is a rare kind of spellcaster, a Summoner, who for all his life had to live the life as a pirate out of necessity. The other crew members, aboard a floating tree-vessel called the Mangrove Supremacy, served as a safe haven in the world of Cruxis after the Tyrant God wrought his terror. In his time fighting for survival, he had fallen in love with a fellow dryad, named Foxglove, and they intended to soon be wed.

But tragedy struck before such a time, and they soon witnessed a ship with dark purple masts upon the horizon. This though was not a mere friendly ship: this was a vessel belonging to paladins to Uber himself. With this hostile ship swiftly approaching, they made an attempt to flee. But their vessel could not escape the rapid fire of cannons, and they were shot down with little to no way to defend themselves.

Foxglove, who was the captain of their little ship, as well as the other fey creatures, were taken down in a matter of minutes. Hemlock was lucky, in that he was single sole survivor, sent adrift on spare planks and hoping for the best.

But continuing to the present state of things.

Hemlock, once rescuing the group, joins them in their quest to slay the deity. And through many trial and tribulation, they actually succeed in this with the world of Cruxis being safe once more.

His story doesn’t end there though. He actually revives the love of his life, begins a career as a naturalist as well as opening up a Mage college. He also ascends, after death, to the role as a deity of life along with Foxglove and his favored summon, Minerva: a shadow-touched Wyvern.

Hemlock
Lovely art of Headmaster Hemlock Evetide, done by Lesluv on DeviantArt.

Many Eyes of the Magi

Hemlock’s story is not quite done, however.

On the channel, I run a new campaign where Hemlock serves as the headmaster of a school known as the Avehi Arcana Magitorium. This is where the party meets, as third year university students assigned to one another for their big semester long project.

The group consists of:

– Theren, Wood Elf Rogue (Arcane Trickster)

– Kaiyu, Kitsune Warlock (Archfey)

– Keth, Naiad Runic Knight

– Rilith, Dracovecta Bard

– Tilgi, Selkie Paladin (Oath of Redemption)

– Taku, Charcardin Monk (Kensei)

Hemlock is rather approachable, if students can get past the initial fear of how Minerva rarely leaves his side on the university grounds. Some people have even gotten attached to the wyvern, especially Keth and Rilith. The entire time when the group was getting their third year assignment, at least one person was playing with ‘Minervikins’, as Hemlock affectionately calls her. Anyone else doing so would result in their hand being bitten off.

Just like the original character, Evetide’s past is not pleasant. He was forced into the Chervaux Royal Military Corps, and told to perform horrifying experiments in making chimeras for the battlefield, which often utilized dying humanoid soldiers.

The most terrifying project though was overseen by Hemlock, and known as Project Sandstone. This was a covert operation in making siege machines that had all the firepower as well as appearance as dragons. It was brutally effective. Once Hemlock’s four of service was complete, he took all his notes on Project Sandstone with him as well as four intact Brasswings (the machines). The government also gave him a plot of land in the middle of nowhere. This later became the grounds for the Magitorium.

Why I Love This Character

Hemlock does a lot of things. He combines my love of summoners, the fae and magic together in one character. He’s also quite different from others who I’ve played as up to that point in that he is in no capacity brave. Heck, he started out as an absolute coward. But as things began to become more dire, he lost that part of him and became the wise Dryad he is known as today.

I also have a lot of sentimental feelings with him because of his story. He lost everything before the game even started: I usually don’t make such tragic backgrounds but in that campaign, it made sense given what was going on. Equally, his background as an NPC as well needed to match the situation in Faustus Kil: equally dark and tragic but not something you’d expect on the surface level.

He is in no way a fighter first, and would rather take a tactical role should combat break out. He first tries diplomacy to win over a foe before unleashing his summoned death machines to wreck the field. Besides, if he wins over an enemy, that means a possible new summon to add to his arsenal.

My homebrew Summoner class can be found here at Dungeon Master’s Guild.

Featured image belongs to ArenaNet (Guild Wars 2). 

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. 

 

Something Appears!

Hey, pixies and sprites of the Internet!

First, happy New Year to those of you who are in 2017 already. And to those who will be celebrating the end of 2016, I hope you have a good evening and party (responsibly, of course)!

Second, I just completed a major project of mine. There is a website called Dungeon Master’s Guild, run by Wizards of the Coast. Here, you can post your homebrew content and sell it to people who want to use it for their own games.

While I do love my little piece of the World Wide Web here, I made an attempt to publish something on the DMG (not the Dungeon Master’s Guide, but the Guild). In tune with much of my other content I produce on Pitfalls and Pixies, it revolves around the Fae.

I present to you, the Night Market! http://www.dmsguild.com/product/196052/The-Night-Market-An-Adventure-for-Dungeons-and-Dragons-5e

The Night Market was a random occurrence that I produced for my current 5th Edition game, ‘Masks of the Archfey’. I have run similar sessions like the Night Market on different occasions, and each have been called my player’s favorite game nights of the many they participated on. That made me think, that this might be something  I can sell.

Based on stories such as ‘Neverwhere’ and movies like ‘Labyrinth’, the Night Market is a monthly bazaar of the bizarre (see what I did there?). It sells everything from the mundane to the macabre: spices, shrunken heads, cursed items and bent spoons. And each time the Market comes into town, the merchant are all different. It leads to repeated visits and all of them are different.

In the Night Market document, there are two new playable races: Dryad and Selkie. One is a displaced spirit of the forest, while the other are shapeshifting seal-beings hailing from Irish and Scottish folklore. There are also NPC ideas, plot hooks, inspiration points to run a Night Market as well as traps to foil your players! All priced at just a single dollar.

If you purchase The Night Market, please let me know what you think! I’d love feedback of the content inside of it!

Everyone, have a good New Year! Stay magical!