Season of the Dragon: A Preview

Hello, Pixies and Sprites!

With summertime coming up on us fairly quickly (at least in my hemisphere, that is),  I’ve started a new project that will hopefully be done on time with the first  day of it. Titled ‘Season of the Dragon’, it has- you guessed it- TONS of dragon-related material.

I wanted to give you guys a sneak preview at what it has to offer. Including new deity-like dragons for your party to encounter. Note: they will most likely kill the party without trying.


 

Mecadiah the Undying Pyre: first born of the god Indorva, lord of magic, he rules over all fire in any form it may  take. A intellectual and a scholar, do not be fooled by his shapechanged appearance: that of an elderly elven man dressed in simple robes.

Mecadiah 2

Azureth the Brilliant Dephs: a capricious daughter and the second born, Azureth presides over water in its many forms. She is not to be trifled though, as her scorn is as dangerous as her actual draconic form.

Azureth

Volnarveh the Everstanding: the third born and second daughter, her personality is jovial and hearty, much like the dwarves she shares her terrain with. However, do not let her smiles and her guffaws trick you into letting your guard down.

Volnarveh 2

Saqueth the Ever-Billowing: the final son of Indorva, he is a mystery for he rarely comes down from the skies which he presides over. However, if encountered he is more then happy to stop his atmospheric flight patterns and talk to the curious land-dwellers.

Saqueth


Want more? These beasties of a divine nature and more will be released with ‘Season of the Dragon’, including two new subtypes for Monk and Warlock!

In other news, I wanted to thank players and Game Masters on Dungeon Master’s Guild for supporting my work! In the past couple of months, you guys have shown your support for my content over there and I can’t be more thrilled! Below are links to my published PDF’s on the site.

The Summoner: A Conjuring Class for 5th Edition. My first stab at a new class for the system.

The Night Market: An Adventure for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

The Big Book of Fey: Expanded Faerie Themed Content for 5th Edition  A HUGE document of faerie-related stuff, including new races and subtypes for races, items and a slew of monsters.

Shifting Sands: Egyptian Themed Content for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. This includes several new backgrounds as well as a whole host of monsters, including the serpent Apophis and the guardian of the underworld known as Ammut the Devourer.

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Faith Reviews: Volo’s Guide to Monsters Part 1

Hello, sprites and pixies of the Internet!

Today, we nerds couldn’t wait to get our grabby little claws on a new release from Wizards of the Coast. All around the ‘net, I have been seeing pictures and teaser images floating around: of froghemoths, a spam of too many giants to count (probably due to the release of Storm King’s Thunder) and rumor that there are new playable races that are considered ‘monstrous’.

After going on a fetch quest that lasted most of the early afternoon, calling two stores and going to two more, I finally was able to track it down: a book called ‘Volo’s Guide to Monsters’, and the version with the nice Mind Flayer hard cover.

Admit it. Your jealous. H.P Lovecraft, eat your heart out.

The fictional author of the book, an explorer named Volo (and remarks and quips by famed NPC Elminister Aumar), goes through many of the iconic Dungeons and Dragons monsters with more lore and information on them. This includes giants, gnolls, hags, beholders, yuan-ti, orcs, goblinoids, and kobolds. Later on, we  get a slew of new races along with some items/weapons, lairs for each of the races covered, and a massive beastiary of monsters to have at your disposal as the Game Master.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s do this review in sections. The first part here is going to be on some of the lore sections, because let’s be frank, there’s too much info to cover in one blog post.


A Giant Chunk of Text

I’ll skip to one of the larger sections of the book, which spans fourteen total pages. That’s overkill, and I think someone at Wizards has a serious hard-on for giants. We get it, your favorite story when you were a child was Jack and the Beanstalk.

Surely spurred on by Storm King’s Thunder, Volo describes giants according to their original Monster Manual entries and expands upon it. Given in the giant passages are first impressions about them, how they were born of a creator named Annam the All-Father along with their origin stories. This also includes some detail about why dragons and giants do not exactly like each other.

The language of giants is odd to me. They are largely inspired, from what I can tell, from Norse mythos but one of their key ideals is called Maat. Now, maybe it’s because I’m a geek and a perfectionist about these kinds of things, but ma’at is Egyptian, and is the name of a goddess in their pantheon. Having this mingle with primary Norse influence just puts a sour taste in my mouth. Nothing else about the giants reflect Egypt. Their language uses silent and hard j sounds, as well as  in general very harsh, contrasting letters.

The Ordning is a cultural aspect to the giants which has not been mentioned in previous books (at least, that I’m aware of). I get the impression it’s a caste-like system or a way to keep rule, though I could be missing something here. Ordnings vary from giant subraces, which was in itself interesting to see. If not that, it could just be something that they hold important. Fire giants consider craftsmenship one of their highest importances.

For some reason, what a giant carries in it’s bag is a part of this section, and how  what is carried inside of it is used for. I never really imagined giants having a backpack save for maybe Hill Giants, but I’m not one to judge.

Interest Rating 1-5: Two. I never did like giants terribly much, and to that extent, goliaths. But at least if I were to use one, I have more insight to them.

No More Gnoll Matriarchs

gnoll
Yes, gnoll matriarchs have six breasts. Your welcome for the visuals.

 

First, I want to apologize to my friend Doctor Necrotic at Daemons and Deathrays for ever telling me about gnoll matriarchs and their six breasts. Second, apparently Wizards had enough demand for the hyena people to warrant an entire chapter of the Guide to Monsters. Let’s head right in then, shall we?

 

Lore says that the first gnoll were created by a demon named Yeenoghu, who comes to the Material Plane quite often and leaves a path of death and decay in his wake. Hyenas are his chosen animal of preference, and those who ate the corpses of the ones he killed became upright-walking hyena people. What a lovely origin.

Insatiable killing machines, I get the impression that they belong in Scar’s pack in the Lion King. They crave violence and blood over all else, especially the blood of intelligent creatures. It also says that while Yeenoghu cultists amongst gnolls is all too common, finding one that is not of canine lineage is rare.

We are given also a look into the pecking order of a gnoll war band or tribe. Pack Lords come over all others save for the Fangs of Yeenoghu. And even in death and dire situations, devoured gnolls (called Witherlings) are useful. Like their hyena origins, they are scavengers. Yet, in the war band, they will not attack non-gnoll devotees of Yeenoghu so long as they “join in the slaughter when the band finds prey” (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, page 37).

There are also ways to create a gnoll war band, which is a nice little touch since more tribal societies can sometimes be a hard thing to flesh out. From names for the band itself to those in it’s ranks, later on we are even given stats for gnoll Flesh Gnawers, Hunters and Witherlings. So in case your players don’t like these fleabags, they can try to kick them down and perchance fail.

Interest Rating: three. I did not know  terribly much about gnolls up until this point, only loose information and the unyielding interest of one of my friends (I’m looking at you, Cody). They still seem like your average raider band.

 

Hags: No Damsel In Distress

Bheur hags: the cold never bothered them, anyway.

Okay, I have a deep-seated love of hags. Why would anyone have that, though? They’re ugly, cruel and could make your local lunch lady wretch in horror at their mere sight. Maybe it’s because they’re fey creatures who are a little more formidable then a pixie or dryad.

Your typical hag is the archetype of an evil witch: living in desolate places, luring mortals to their doom and gaining rewards for tricking said adventurers into falling into their own traps. Yet hags are also cowards, and won’t actively go looking “for people to make deals with” (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, page 53). Maybe Night Hags, since they are considered fiends and prefer stealing the souls of sentient beings.

Lair effects and actions, in case you need a super powerful witch queen (perhaps Baba Yaga would suffice then?) are provided, and run through the entire list of provided hag species; annis and bheur hag (included in Volo’s Guide), green, night and sea. They all vary, and makes each of them seem not so cut-and-copy. Make sure you laden these lairs with their minions, which are often times corrupted by vile magics.

And just as I mention Baba Yaga, we are also given a bevy of provided mounts and vehicles for hags. A normal creature such as a horse won’t do. Instead, odd animals like giant pigs, cows and goats are used. If your a hag who’s feeling particularly egotistical, they can always opt for a clay statue, giant cauldron or roc’s nest. Hags have nearly no bounds in creativity for non-living vehicles, which will obey only her command. Now I want to ride a peryton skull across the night sky.

Hags are also largely solitary, but will form covens together if they see a goal is worthy  for such cooperation. The more hags in a coven, the more powerful each member becomes. Given also in this portion are alternate coven spells, and there is a chance that a non-hag can join their dark sisterhood with possible  dangerous effects on the newcomer.

Interest rating: 5. Any new fey content is always a plus to me, and having expanded options for hags is something I desperately wanted from Wizards.

 

Monsters of D&D: The Sanderson Sisters

Hello, pixies and sprites!

I realize that I have been largely absent as of late and lax with content. But, Halloween/Samhain is quickly approaching and I am in a rather witchy mood.

As a kid and an adult today, one of my all-tine favorite seasonal films is still 1993’s ‘Hocus Pocus’ (if you’ve never watched the movie, shame on you!). I still get all giddy when I talk about it! And as such, you are in for a spooky good time when you encounter the Sanderson Sisters for yourselves!


Twist the bones and bend the back

Itch-it-a-cop-it-a-Mel-a-ka-mys-ti-ca

Trim him of his baby fat

Itch-it-a-cop-it-a-Mel-a-ka-mys-ti-ca

Give him fur black as black, just

 Like

 This!

Deep within the forests of Salem lies an abandoned hut, caution tape strewn across it’s door. For it is known that odd occurances have happened on the night we know as All Hallow’s Eve; Samhain, the Witches’ New Year; Halloween. Legend goes that a virgin who lights the Black Flame Candle that sits within summons an ancient evil from the sleepy town’s not-forgotten past.

Setting the Candle alight summons forth a trio of black magic practitioners, well known for their tendencies of stealing human life force specifically from children. The Sanderson Sisters, as they are known as, are responsible for the passing of many.

Quirky Coven: While their actions deem them foul, the Sandersons are not as angry or violent as other hags in existence. Unlike other covens, they have a familial attitude towards one another, despite the times where their coven leader, Winifred, constantly berates Sarah and Mary. They are not to be underestimated, however.

 

Winifred Sanderson- medium humanoid

Winifred.jpg

AC: 16

HP: 120

Move Speed:30 ft., fly 60 ft.

Strength: 13 (+1)

Dexterity: 17 (+4)

Constitution:11 (+2)

Intelligence: 20 (+5)

Wisdom: 14 (+2)

Charisma: 18 (+4)

Skills: Intimidation +9, Perception +6

Saving Throws: Intelligence +10, Dexterity +9

CR: 12


We Witches Three: Winifred Sanderson has advantage on ranged spell attacks when Sarah and Mary Sanderson are within 30 feet of her.

-Out of All the Witches, I’m the Worst!: Winiftred Sanderson has advantage on Intimidation skill checks, and effects which would cause her to have the Frightened status effect.

-I Put A Spell On You: Winifred casts a vile spell on one target she can see. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against her spell save DC (17), or be frightened by her for one minute.

-Oh, Book!: As a bonus action, Winifred Sanderson calls out to her Hellish Tome which comes flying towards her. The Tome cannot be target by opportunity attacks in such a manner, and takes the fastest course to reach her. It can have it’s movement halved or negated, or a spell causing it to be grappled can keep it from moving.

When Winifred Sanderson has the book, her AC goes up by one, and she regains two spell slots of level three or lower. She must use an action to activate the effects, and they last until her next round. The Hellish Tome flies away from its mistress after the effects, and she cannot use this feat two turns in a row.

The Hellish Tome has an AC of 15, immunity to fire and cold damage, resistance to piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage if weapons are not magical, and 71 hit points.

-Spellcasting: Winifred Sanderson has the following spells prepared.

At Will: Mage Hand, Detect Magic

1st Level (4 slots): Hex, Sleep, Ray of Enfeeblement, Magic Missile, Witch Bolt

2nd Level (3 Slots) Blindness/Deafness, Hold Person, Locate Object

3rd Level (2 slots): Lightning Bolt, Fear, Counterspell, Fly

4th Level (2 slots): Blight, Polymorph

5th Level (1 slot):  Dominate Person, Insect Plague

Actions

-Multiattack: Winifred Sanderson makes two Witchy Cackles or one Witchy Cackle and casting Hex.

-Witchy Cackle: Winifred Sanderson laughs maniacally, targeting two creatures who can hear her. They must make a DC 17 Intelligence saving throw, or take 5d8 damage and half on a success. In addition, they also suffer one of the following (Winifred Sanderson chooses when she makes the attack)

  • The target’s Speed is halved.
  • The target cannot make more then one Attack.
  • The target cannot come within 20 feet of Winifred Sanderson
  • Sarah and Mary Sanderson have advantage on their next saving throw.

The target of the Cackle can make the saving throw again when they are attacked. On a success, the effects end.

-Soul Siphon: Range 15 feet, one target. Damage: 6d4 damage, and  Winifred Sanderson regains hit points equal to that damage.

The damage increase by one d4 if the target is under the effects of a Witchy Cackle.


 

Sarah Sanderson- medium humanoid

sarah

 

AC: 15

HP: 130

Move Speed:30 ft., fly 60 ft.

Strength:10 (+0)

Dexterity: 18 (+4)

Constitution: 12 (+1)

Intelligence: 13 (+2)

Wisdom: 11 (+1)

Charisma: 20 (+5)

Skills: Intimidation +9, Perception +6

Saving Throws: Charisma +10, Dexterity +9

Damage Resistances: Fire; piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage from non-magical weapons

CR: 10


-We Witches Three: Sarah Sanderson has advantage on ranged spell attacks when Winifred and Mary  Sanderson are within 30 feet of her

-Pretty Ditzy: Sarah Sanderson has advantage on Wisdom saving throws against being charmed.

Spellcasting: Sarah  Sanderson has the following spells prepared.

At Will: Mage Hand, Detect Magic

1st Level (3 slots): Sleep, Charm Person, Hex, Witchbolt

2nd Level (2 Slots): Alter Self, Suggestion, Locate Object

3rd Level (2 slots): Fear, Counterspell, Fly

4th Level (1 slot): Blight, Polymorph

Actions

-Multiattack: Sarah Sanderson makes two Witchy Cackle attacks.

-Witchy Cackle: Winifred Sanderson laughs maniacally, targeting two creatures who can hear her. They must make a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw, or take 4d8 damage and half on a success. In addition, they also suffer one of the following (Winifred Sanderson chooses when she makes the attack)

  • The target’s Speed is halved.
  • The target cannot make more then one Attack.
  • The target cannot come within 20 feet of Sarah Sanderson.
  • Winifred and Mary Sanderson have advantage on their next saving throw.

The target of the Cackle can make the saving throw again when they are attacked. On a success, the effects end.

-I’ll Take Thee Away: Sarah Sanderson can lure a target towards her, charmed. The target must make a DC Charisma saving throw 17 or be charmed. Usually, she lures them far astray from the rest of the group, where she casts debuffing spells upon them.

While under the effects of Sarah’s charm, her sisters have advantage on any non-damaging attack to that target. Sarah Sanderson may end the charm effect as a bonus action.

-Soul Siphon: Range 15 feet, one target. Damage: 4d4 damage, and Sarah Sanderson regains hit points equal to that damage.

The damage increases by one d4 if the target is already under effect of a Witchy Cackle.


 

Mary Sanderson- medium humanoid

mary-sanderson

AC: 15

HP: 139

Move Speed: 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

Strength: 15 (+2)

Dexterity: 14 (+2)

Constitution: 20 (+5)

Intelligence:12 (+1)

Wisdom: 11(+0)

Charisma: 10 (+0)

Saving Throws: Constitution +10, Dexterity +7

Damage Resistances: Fire; piercing, slashing and bludgeoning damage from non-magical weapons

CR: 11


 


We Witches Three: Mary Sanderson has advantage on ranged spell attacks when Winifred and Sarah Sanderson are within 30 feet of her.

-I Smell Children:Mary Sanderson has advantage on scent-based Perception rolls to sniff out children. Here, that is defined as a person who is 15 years old and younger.

-Robust: Mary Sanderson has advantage on Constitution saving throws and Strength saving throws against be grappled or pushed.

Spellcasting: Mary Sanderson has the following spells prepared.

At Will: Detect Magic, Goodberry

1st Level (3 slots): Mage Hand, Detect Magic

2nd Level (2 Slots) Locate Object,

3rd Level (2 slots): Lightning Bolt, Fear, Counterspell, Fly

4h Level (1 slot): Blight, Polymorph

Actions

-Multiattack: Mary Sanderson makes two Witchy Cackle attacks.

-Witchy Cackle: Mary Sanderson laughs maniacally, targeting two creatures who can hear her. They must make a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw, or take 4d8 damage and half on a success. In addition, they also suffer one of the following (Winifred Sanderson chooses when she makes the attack)

  • The target’s Speed is halved.
  • The target cannot make more then one Attack.
  • The target cannot come within 20 feet of Mary Sanderson
  • Winifred and Sarah Sanderson have advantage on their next saving throw.

The target of the Cackle can make the saving throw again when they are attacked. On a success, the effects end.

– Soul Siphon: Range 15 feet, one target. Damage: 4d4 damage, and  Mary Sanderson regains hit points equal to that damage.

The damage increase by another d4 if the target is already affected by a Witchy Cackle.


Hocus Pocus (1993) Belongs to the Walt Disney Company. Stats for the Sanderson Sisters’ conversion belong to Brynvalk at Pitfalls and Pixies. Dungeons and Dragons belongs to Wizards of the Coast, as do terms/spells/etc. of 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).

Monsters of D&D: The Phoenix

In the genre of fiction, there are iconic creatures who are recognized time and time again: ferocious dragons, majestic unicorns, and the like are all represented in the 5e Monster Manual. However, one that is missing completely is a beast that is one of my favorites.

The Phoenix, a fiery avian who is widely known for it’s rebirthing from it’s own ashes, proves to be a challenging elemental force which strikes fear into the hearts of men and woman who witness it for themselves.


“Ancient legend paints a picture of a magical bird, radiant and shimmering, which lives for several hundred years before it dies by bursting into flames. It is then reborn from the ashes, to start a new, long life. So powerful is the symbolism that it is a motif and image that is still used commonly today in popular culture and folklore.”

–  Ancient Origins of the Magical Phoenix

Desert nomads have witnessed such a wondrous beast from afar, only to perish by fire if they dare to wander too close. The Phoenix, also called the Firebird and the Benu Bird by long-gone civilizations, is an elemental force whose plumage is among some of the rarest available. Wizards and magicians desire it’s feathers for potions, and blacksmiths know it is a requirement to create a magical ever-burning forge.

A Phoenix may not be as intelligent as a fully grown dragon, it is none the less dangerous. They are still smart enough to sense a threat to them, and will see to that threat is eliminated completely, their body the same texture and consistency of sand.

 

Phoenix – Large Elemental

AC: 16

Hp: 210

Speed 20 ft, fly 120 ft

  • Str: 14 (+3)
  • Dex: 22 (+6)
  • Con: 22 (+6)
  • Int: 15 (+3)
  • Wis: 15 (+3)
  • Cha: 12 (+2)

 

SavingThrows: Dex +11, Con +11

Skills: Insight +8, Perception +8, Intimidation +8

Damage Heal Factors: Fire (see Flame-Blooded)

Condition Immunities: Petrification, Paralyzed

Senses: darkvision 120 feet, passive Perception

Languages: Auran, Ignan , understands Common but does not speak it

CR 15

 

TRAITS

Heated Body: A creature who touches the Phoenix’ skin takes 2d6 damage.

Phoenix Regeneration: The Phoenix magically regains hit points by nesting in a great mass of flames. The bonfire must be a size Large or bigger (in this case, enough to completely submerge the Phoenix in fire). This also applies to lava as well. Burying itself in this manner restores 30 hit points, however it must move immediately afterwards upon doing this. The Phoenix may return to that location after its turn is over, not merely if it has move speed left.

Flame-Blooded: When the Phoenix takes damage from a flame-based attack, it heals that many hit points that it would have taken in damage. This applies to magical fire as well. Attacks deemed as “cold fire” do not apply to this.

Magic Weapons: The Phoenix’s weapons are considered magical for the sake of overcoming armor and spells.

 

ATTACKS

Multi-Attack: The Phoenix can attack three times: one with its beak, one with its talons and one with it’s Burning Rain or Awe-Inspiring Beauty. If it has both Burning Rain and Awe-Inspiring Beauty used, it can choose to use either another Beak or Talon attack.

Beak: +11 to hit, reach 10 feet, one target. Hit: 210+5  piercing damage plus 2d6 fire damage (due to Heated Skin).

Talons: +11 to hit, reach 15 feet, one target. Hit:  2d8+6  piercing damage plus 2d6 fire damage (due to Heated Skin).

Burning Rain (recharge 5-6): The Phoenix soars up into the sky, and lets out a barrage of flaming feathers in a 60 foot cone which burst upon impact with the target. Targets must make a DC 18 Con save, or take 16d6 fire damage, or half as much on a successful save.

Targets must also make a DC 16 Dex saving throw, or the light of the fires will illuminate them. The Phoenix has advantage on all checks made against them.

Awe-Inspiring Beauty (recharge 5-6): In a dazzling display, the Phoenix lets out gouts of fire out to impress and potentially strike fear in onlookers. Observers who can see the Phoenix must make a DC 17  Wisdom saving throw or have disadvantage on Wisdom and Intelligence saving throws. The affected creature may make the save again when it takes damage.

 

Legendary Actions

The Phoenix can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Phoenix regains spent legendary actions at the start of it’s turn.

Detect: The Phoenix makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.

Beak Attack (1 Legendary Action): The Phoenix can make a beak attack.

Pools of Hell (3 Legendary Actions): The Phoenix calls upon it’s innate magical nature, causing gouts of flame to erupt from underneath it’s foes. It can target up to 5 creatures as well as itself (only one of the flames can be to the Phoenix however). Targets must make a DC 18 Con saving throw or be engulfed by the magical flames, and take 4d6 fire damage. The Phoenix heals this much and does not need to make this saving throw.

In addition, these flames stay on the field. Beginning a turn in the flames causes that person to take 2d8 fire damage.

A Phoenix’ Lair

Dwelling in the most inhospitable locations on the Material Plane as well as that of the Elemental Plane of Fire, they are known far and wide for building their nests in sweltering locations. From deserts to even in the hearts of active volcanoes, the Phoenix never is seen with others of it’s kind save to mate and produce offspring.

The Phoenix builds a nest from aromatic cedar wood and peppers it with frankincense and night-blooming flowers: when the beast combusts from death, the scent can be smelt for miles upon end, carried on heated winds in the wake of it’s own funeral pyre.

A Phoenix encountered in it’s lair has a CR rating of 17.

 

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (loosing initiative ties), the Archfey can take a lair action to cause one of the following magical effects: the Archfey can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row.

  • The Phoenix an call up a great sandstorm which impedes movement and vision of all excluding itself and allies. Move speed is cut by half, targets have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) rolls, and also have disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws. The first time a Phoenix calls up a sandstorm, targets must make a DC Dexterity saving throw of 14 or take 4d4 damage from the course sand flying about.
  • A whirl of flame is conjured up, engulfing a target of the Phoenix’ choice. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw of 15 or cannot move until it’s next turn. Attacking while captured by the fire impedes disadvantage on rolls which require a d20 roll to hit the target.
  • The Phoenix can summon orbs of flame which locate the closest creatures to them, and fling themselves at that target. A target must make a DC Constitution saving throw or take 4d8 fire damage, or half on a successful saving throw. The motes the dissipate.

 

Life Death, then Life Again

A Phoenix has the ability to come back from the dead in due time, born from it’s own ashes of defeat. This though takes time, but when it does, the creature will re-emerge as a hatchling.

In the wake of the Phoenix’ demise, remnants of it’s former self may remain in the charred nest.

  • 1 through 30: nothing remains in the Phoenix’ nest.
  • 31-60: roll 1d6-1. This equates to how much phoenix ash is left in the nest.
  • 61-90: roll 1d6-2. This equates to how much phoenix ash is left in the nest. There is also 1d4-2 phoenix tail feathers left as well.
  • 91-99: roll 1d6-1. This equates to how many phoenix tail feathers are in the nest. In addition, there may be a minor magical trinket in the nest as well.
  • 100: a newborn Phoenix Hatchling emerges from the nest.

phoenix-feather-21680004

 

*Stats for a newly born Phoenix Hatchling will come soon*

 

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Bubble, Toil and Trouble: Hags for 5e

I think I’m a bit deranged for saying that I adore the hags in DnD 5e. There, I said it. I love hags, even though they are terrifying, hideous witches who are the embodiment of putrid female aspects and the typical witch figure. So why would I ever want to make an entire blog post about hags?

Because I can and will.

So, without further waiting, here is a new background for your players as well as a playable Hag race! Keep in mind that due to how it is a monster  conversion, it may not be terribly balanced and it was an attempt at making a “plausible” hag PC race.


COVEN-RAISED

59ea14001bc7d838509ff5729eeb013fAs a child, you thought that your upbringing was normal, until your eyes were opened to the world that it was anything but. You were raised amidst a hag coven, as one of their own. Perhaps you were stolen from a human family in order to play a trick on your blood relatives, or the leader of a coven wanted someone to pass their ways down through. Regardless, your life has been full of sorcery, hexes and charms amidst a circle that some would deem downright monstrous.

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Nature

Tool Proficiencies: Alchemist’s tools

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A small ritual knife, a piece of bone jewelry, the symbol of your coven, and a pouch containing 5 gp

Feature: Circle Connections

Other hags or those in wicked covens and/or cults can pick up on your ties to their mysterious way of life, and you find it easy to converse with its members. A hag will treat you as a friend, or at least someone who can be trusted easier than others who do not understand coven-life, and will provide shelter and food of a reasonable accommodation that they can provide. Hags also find comfort in speaking to you, and are much more likely to reveal secrets and information to a fellow hag associate.

Coven Role:

In each coven, every person has a dictated role ranging from the mundane to the head of their arcane circle. Roll a d6 at random or choose from the table below

1: Head of the coven 4: Animal handler
2: Herbalist/ expert of plantlife 5: Blood-letter
3: Oracle to the gods/spirits 6: Lore-keeper

Suggested Characteristics:

Those raised in hag covens, be it Green, Night or Sea, all share a thirst for dark knowledge and magic. They like to bring mischief and ruin upon others, but hold their coven as their closest companions through thick and thin. A person raised by a hag community often is the coven’s link to the outside world beyond their circle, as they are not shunned and hated by mere appearance alone. No, that is when they find out who their family is.

D8  Personality Trait

1 The rules of the coven are absolute.
2 If anything is shiny or looks vaguely interesting, it belongs in my pocket.
3 Nothing comes between the success of my family.
4 I am the most beautiful creature in the land. If someone disagrees with this, I pity them.
5 The more wealthy you are, the less of a friend I see you as.
6 Sometimes I wish that some would see us beyond our skin appearances.
7 Wearing the guise of another fills me with glee.
8 Who can resist a little blood sacrifice?

D6       Ideal

1  If one is above you in the coven, then their word is law. No questions asked. (Lawful)
2 You are one of us. That is reason enough for me to trust you. (Good)
3 Vanity is like a virus that needs to be purged completely. (Chaotic)
4 Through any means necessary, I shall rule the coven and hag-kind possibly. (Chaotic)
5 You scratch my back, I’ll return the favor. (Neutral)
6 Whoever said I can’t raise hell clearly hasn’t seen my past times! (Evil)

D6      Bond

1 It is my obligation to see my fellow coven-members are safe.
2 My life is a mystery surrounded by enigmas. I must see that they are deciphered.
3 I once had a familiar who I treated like family. I wish I knew where he/she went.
4 My lover is a man who I can never be with, or else the child would be a monster.
5 Isolation brings me peace and insight.
6 My revenge for a person will be as fiery as an inferno.

D6      Flaw

1 I will do just about anything for knowledge. Anything.
2 That which is more beautiful then me will feel my wrath in full.
3 I fear that I will never be a contributor to my coven, and will falter.
4 I hold a deep-seated hatred for another coven member. I feel they overshadow me.
5 The meager amount of money I have is spent on alcohol.
6 The potions I make I exchange for… other such goods on the black market.

 

Race: Hag

Stat Increase: Intelligence by 2

Move Speed: 30 ft

Size: Medium.

Dark Vision: You can see in the dark with no light up to 60 feet in grey colors.

Magic Resistance: The hag has advantage on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.

Languages: Common, Sylvan

Innate Spellcasting: A hag knows these spells at the corresponding levels

1: Dancing Lights

3: Faerie Fire

5: Crown of Madness

Illusionary Appearance: The hag can cast the illusion of a size medium a smaller creature on itself. Its stats remain the same as the hag has in their true form. The illusion breaks when the Hag is dead, unconscious or when she wills it done.

Hag Sub-Races:

greenhagGreen Hag: The atypical ‘witch’, Green Hags love bringing ill fortune upon those and find wicked glee in causing ruin. Building their homes and lives in misty moors, overgrown forests and peat bogs, they conduct their magic in the groves of trees. Pox-marked with moles, boils and scars from their ritualistic behavior, they seldom reveal their true form when socializing with others.

Stat Increase: Wisdom +1
Additional Language: You know the Draconic language, as being some of the most leaned hags in comparison to others.

Mimicry: The Hag can make in imitation of any creature, humanoid or not, that it has heard. Anyone within hearing range of the Hag’s call must make a DC 13 Wisdom save to identify that it is a mimicry and not a real creature.

Sharp-Handed: The Green Hag, unlike others, has deadly sharp fingernails that it uses like swords or daggers. Your Unarmed Strikes do 1d6 + your Strength modifier.

Invisible Passage: The hag magically turns invisible until she attacks or until her concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell). While in such a state, the hag leaves no physical evidence of her passage and can only be tracked through magic. Her equipment as well is invisible.

 

annisNight Hag: Like all hags, these terrifying creatures are just as hideous but with one caveat: they have become more then just malevolent fae creatures, and now are tainted with the darkness of the Nine Hells. They take terrifying joy in the torture of others, moreso then others, from being corrupted even further by demons and fiendish creatures.

Stat Increase: Charisma +1

Additional Language: You know Infernal as a language, the language of demons and fiends.

Nightmare Spells: In addition to the spells available to all hags racially, you may use the following spells a certain number of times during the day. You regain these at dawn the following day.

Twice a day: Magic Missile, Detect Magic

Once a day: Sleep

Change Shape: The hag magically transforms into a Small or Medium female humanoid or back to her true form. Her stats are always the same and her equipment she is wearing is not transformed. If she dies, she reverts back to her true form.

Nightmare Haunting: While on the Ethereal Plane, should you have the ability to do so, the hag magically touches a sleeping humanoid on the Material Plane. A protection from good and evil spell cast on the target prevents the contact as does magic circle. As long as contact persists, the target has terrible visions: if they last for 1 hour, the target takes no benefits from it’s rest and it takes 2d6 psychic damage. If the concentration is broken by an outside force from the hag, it instead takes the damage. If she kills the target in their sleep and it is of an evil alignment, the soul is trapped in the hag’s soul bag.

 

sea_hagSea Hag: Lonely even by hag standards, these are by far the most hideous of the three sub-types. Isolating themselves in ship wrecks and dismal coastlines, the first sign of beauty will drive the Sea Hag blindingly mad or at least extremely jealous. They want to corrupt anything beautiful, no matter what the cost.

Stat Increase: Dexterity +1

Additional Language: You known Aquan, the language of water elementals.

Amphibious: The Sea Hag can breathe in and out of water. She also has advantage on Grapple checks underwater and her move speed is not slowed down by swift currents. In addition to this, your swim speed is 40 feet.

Horrific Appearance: A foe that starts its turn within 30 feet of the Hag and can see it’s true form must make a DC 11 saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened for a minute, and the creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each turn with disadvantage if the hag is within sight. If the save is successful, the creature is immune to the hag’s Horrific Appearance for the next 24 hours.

Grave Stare: The hag targets one frightened creature she can see within 30 feet of her. If the target can see the hag, it must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or take 2d6 psychic damage. If this reduces the target to 0 HP, the hag gains 1d4+ her Constitution modifier temporary hit points.


 

Additional Night Hag Items: As says the Monster Manual, Night Hags carry on them two magical items. It is your Dungeon Master’s decision to allow a PC Night Hag to begin with these items, however they may choose to let a PC craft them later on. As well, your DM may allow any Hag to have such items or have variants for both Green and Sea Hags.

Heartstone:  A black gem that allows a night hag to become ethereal while in her possession. It cures any disease as well, but takes 30 days to craft.

Soul Bag: When an evil humanoid dies due to a Night Hag’s Nightmare Haunting,  the soul is caught in a black bag made of flesh. It can hold only one evil soul at a time and only the hag who crafted the bag can catch a soul in it. It takes 7 days to craft as well as a humanoid sacrifice (whose flesh is used to make the bag).


 

A lot went into this very complex monstrous race, but I think I pulled it off! If you want to play this and give me feedback, please do!

 

On the Fourth Day of Christmas…

…I gave my parties a session with yuletide cheer and a cranky Krampus like figure named Gurki trying to boil Saint Stefan (Santa Clause) alive. Thank goodness the heroes freed him!

And I give you some more monsters!

There will be at least one more update before my workload gets busy again, but for now I wanted to share with you: the Sugar Plum Faerie and the Ghosts of Lost Children!

*Note: the versions of the Sugar Plum Faeries I used for my own session were modded for the players but you may edit this to suit your own game*

 

424d5b79f4fc64f743d4b0ccc02bb342Sugar Plum Faerie (Tiny Fae)- Tiny women in maroon and rose hued dresses, they flit around and sing in the air seasonal tunes. But for all of their small demeanor, they do not kindly like it when their homes are invaded and will attack with frosty intensity. Then can be placated with sweets and chocolate: the richer the better!

 

AC: 17 (natural)

Language: Sylvan

Str: –  Dex +5  Con +1  Intel +2  Wis +2  Cha+ 4

Immunities: Cold, charmed

Resistances: Poison, lightning, thunder, piercing, slashing or bludgeoning damage from non-magical weapons

Small Stature: The Sugar Plum Faerie gets advantage on checks to avoid a melee or ranged attack due to their tiny size

Fae Ancestry: The Sugar Plum Faerie has advantage on being charmed by spells or spell-like effects.

Spell casting: the Sugar Plum Faerie is a caster with the following spells prepared.

Cantrip: Magic Stone, Prestidigitation, Frostbite,

1st (4 slots): Catapult, Earth Tremor, Chromatic Orb, Ice Knife

2nd  (3 slots): Snilloc’s Snowball Swarm

Sugar Bomb: 10 foot range or can be dropped from above. The Sugar Plum Faerie throws a single berry bomb at a target. On a successful attack, it does 5d4 damage and the target is coated in a glittering substance that makes them unable to benefit from invisibility or stealth. The Sugar Plum Faerie has 10 Sugar Bombs on her persons.

Superior Invisibility: as a bonus action, the Sugar Plum Faerie can become invisible, and attacks that it makes do not break the invisibility. The faerie may use another bonus action to turn visable once more. This ends if  the Faerie dies or is knocked unconscious. She cannot be affected by another Sugar Plum Faerie’s Sugar Bomb.

 

black-eyed-children-1

Ghost of Lost Children- spirits of young boys and girls who have passed in the winter months, they are unhappy with their fate and now try to wreck havoc on those often times in the same way that they passed.

Str -3  Dex +3  Con +1  Wis +2 Intel +2 Cha +3

AC: 12

HP: 30

Skills: Stealth +4

Resistances: Acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder, bludgeon, slash and pierce from non magical weapons

Damage Immunities: Necrotic, poison

Condition immunities: exhaust, grapple, frighrened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

Mimicry: See hag Mimicry in MM

Dexterity Drain: Melee weapon attack. +4 to hit, reach 5 feet, one creature. 2d6 +2 necrotic damage and the targets dex score is reduced by 1d4. In addition, the Ghost adds this number to it’s own Dex. The target is knocked unconscious if Dex reaches 0. The reduction lasts until the target takes a short or long rest.


So there you have it! I may do a post on magical items I have crafted for my games for people to enjoy, but for now, have a very happy holiday season! I wish you all 20’s on yours rolls!

Monsters of DnD: The Archfey

What severely disappointed me is how in the Warlock part of the Dungeons and Dragons 5e Players Handbook, we get these lovely chunks of information about the different kinds of Pacts: Great Old One, Fiend and Archfey. Yet, we do not have any stats on these powerful beings to see why we would not want to get our masters angry at our pathetic mortal selves.

I have solved the problem! At least for my personal favorite. With some time and effort as well as needed research into my guides for this edition, I present a stated-out Archfey enemy! For when you need  to tell your unruly Warlock servants who’s in charge.

—-

“You dare set foot in my court, desecrating this place we Fair Folk find sacred no matter what walk of life we choose. You will wish that your toes had never stepped here in the first place.” – Archfey Nuada the Silver-Handed

It is known that the fey are strange, miraculous beings, but their power is dwarfed by that of the Archfey. In the eyes of sylvan beings, none compare in their mastery of the arcane and of trickery. They keep grudges for what seems like eternity, and will not let up on the chase for something even if it means watching from a distance their prey weaken and diminish. Always with a other-worldly grace to them, they look similar to elves but have wings that take the form of either ones belonging to insects like dragonflys or birds. Some even have wings resembling those of dragons and demons.

For all of their power, they seldom travel out of the world of Faerie, and due to this they enlist Warlocks to serve them in whatever way they wish. Some seek ever-growing knowledge while others wish to spread mischief and chaos wherever they go. They grant great power: power that makes  their servants fear if they should ever fail their patron or even dare to go against their will.

The Crow King

Armor Class: 18 (wears armor plus Dexterity)

Hit Points: 250

Speed: 35 on foot, 60 in flight

Strength: 14 (+2)

Dexterity:  18 (+4)

Constitution:  13 (+2)

Intelligence:  13 (+2)

Wisdom:  18 (+4)

Charisma:  20 (+5)

faerie_king_by_dizzylizzy101-d5tau6x Skills: Arcana +12, History +12, Perception +9,      Deception +15

Damage Resistances: Fire, Lightning

 Damage Immunities: Necrotic, piercing, bludgeoning    and slashing from non-magical weapons

Condition Immunities:  Charmed, frightened,        paralyzed, petrified

Senses: Truesight 120 feet, Passive Perception 19

Languages: Common, Sylvan, three others

 Legendary Resistance (3/ day): If the Archfey fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance: The Archfey has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Spellcasting: The Archfey is an 18th level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 20, +12 to hit with spell attacks). The Archfey has the following spells prepared, from the Sorcerer and Warlock spell lists.

Cantrip (at will): Eldritch Blast, Fire Bolt, True Strike

1st level (4 slots): False Life, Magic Missile, Hex, Chromatic Orb

2nd level (3 slots): Hold Person, Shatter, Blindness/Deafness, Mirror Image

3rd level (3 slots): Dispel Magic, Lightning Bolt, Vampiric Touch, Slow

4th level (3 slots): Greater Invisibility, Hallucinatory Terrain

5th level (3 slots): Cloudkill,  Dominate Person

6th level (1 slot): Chain Lightning, Eyebite

7th level (1 slot): Prismatic Spray, Finger of Death

8th level (1 slot): Power Word Stun, Earthquake

9th level (1 slot): Power Word Kill

Actions

  • Euphoria Breath: The Archfey breathes out a cloud of euphoria gas at one creature within 10 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC Wisdom saving throw of 15, or for one minute the target cat take reactions and must roll a d6 at the start of each turn to determine its behavior for that turn.

1-4: The target takes no action or bonus action and uses all of its movement to move in a random direction.

5-6: The target doesn’t move, and the only thing it can do on its turn is make a DC saving throw of 15, ending the effect on itself on a success.

 

Legendary Actions

The Archfey can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Archfey regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Cantrip: The Archfey casts a cantrip.
  • Conjure Fey (costs 2 Actions): As the Archfey, he can summon other Sylvan creatures to fight alongside him in combat or to aid in any myriad of tasks. The creatures he can summon include Blink Dogs, Satyrs, Green and Sea Hags, Faerie Dragons, Pixies, Sprites and Dryads. These summons have the same Charisma and Dexterity as the Archfey, while all other stats remain the same.
  • Reversal (costs 3 Actions): Until the Archfey’s next turn, all incoming attacks have the chance to backfire and cause damage to the person who initially attacked the Archfey. Roll a d100: anything below a 50 backfires upon the player and above 50 does not. The damage is at the full amount that it would be used at by the player character, and affects them no matter what spell or AC is at that time.

An Archfey’s Lair

forest fey

An Archfey often resides in a location of their choice, which is normally a place where the realms of mortal man and the fey overlap. These can be ruins, ancient castles or sacred groves of trees where no one sane dares to wander to. Guarded by all manner of sylvan creatures, they make sure to keep them in a state of eternal beauty and grandeur.

Its lair reflects the individual personality of the Archfey: while a benevolent and kind one may adorn it with everlasting trees and bird feathers, one with ill intention may cast shades of purples and greys over all that resides in its domain.

Due to their long-lived lifespans, many Archfey hoard some sort of valuable similar in the way dragons do in their lairs. It could be jewelry, magical artifacts or rare books. These beings are rare to give these up without a fight, but if granted something from their stock, consider it your luck kicking in.

An Archfey encountered inside of its lair has a challenge rating of 22 (41,000 XP).

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (loosing initiative ties), the Archfey can take a lair action to cause one of the following magical effects: the Archfey can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row.

  • The Archfey rolls a d8 and regains a spell slot of that level or lower. If it has no spell slots of that level or lower, nothing happens.
  • The flow of time is altered such that every creature in its lair must reroll Initiative. The Archfey can choose not to reroll.
  • Magical fog billows around one creature the Archfey can see within 120 feet of it. The creature must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the Archfey until Initiative count 20 on the next round.