Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Prentice's Foe: The Constrictus

The Constrictus

 HD: 11d8
AC:  2
Dexterity: 7
Move: 40 (swim 120)
Attacks:  4 Bites  or 2 claws
Damage:  4d6 per bite 2d6 pet claw
Alignment: Neutral
Treasure: 1

No one is certain where this nightmarish creature hails from. Never encountered in the wild, rumors guess at fantastic origins, of corrupt Ecomantic experiments performed to combine multiple lifeforms into the perfect predator. At present, only one Constrictus is truly known to exist,  as the pet and punishment of the pirate lord Bloth.  Over 20 feet long, the Constrictus' tough,leathery hide is covered by armored plates.  Within its titanic maw, four pharyngal jaws rest on stalks that extend up to eight feet away. In combat, the Constrictus  will attempt to bite the victim, drawing their prey into their maw. A successful strength check is required to break the hold of any mouth that has successfully bitten its target.

Driven only by blind hunger, the Constrictus cares nothing for treasure. However, the waterways that riddle the Maelstrom are ripe with piles of the thing's excrement, containing bits of the wealth in its supper's possession at the time of consumption.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Prentice's Origin: Monkey Bird

Monkey Bird

Whether the origin of these hybrid creatures lies in the natural realm, or that of Ecomancy, none can say. Raucous, inquisitive and sometimes selfish, the Monkey Birds themselves would rather spend their lives in comfort than in pondering history or the finer arts.
Hit Dice: Monkey Birds roll six sided dice when determining hit points.

Restrictions: Monkey Birds are invariable fighting men or thieves. Due to their odd frames, armor for Monkey Birds costs double that for humans and demihumans.

Wings: Though ponderous, an unarmored Monkey Bird is capable of flight. When aloft, the Monkey Bird can fly for 1d6 turns at a rate of 40 before requiring an hour's rest. Monkey Bird may carry up to 15 pounds per point of strength while flying.

So there you have it. Monkey Birds are a race from Pirates of Dark Water, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that ran in the 80s, one that I watched from a young age.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Prentice's Aspiration: The Witch

The Witch
Magic User Subclass

Requirements: Wis 13+
Restrictions: Cannot be lawful.

Charms:  At the cost of one of her spells cast per day, the Witch is capable of investing a spell into a trinket of some sort (A walnut shell, a knotted lock of hair, a forked twig, a clay tablet etc). This Charm may then be given to another. The Charm remains viable for a number of weeks equal to the Witch’s level, after which it becomes inert. Constructing a charm requires a special ritual performed in a place of power (a natural cauldron formed from a rotting stump that catches and holds the dew, a faerie circle, etc.).

Grimoire (Replaces Magic User spell list):

1st Level Spells:
  1.     Cure Light Wounds
  2.     Detect Magic
  3.     Faerie Fire
  4.     Light (R)
  5.     Locate
  6.     Predict Weather
  7.     Protection From Evil
  8.     Purify Food And Water
  9.      Remove Fear
  10.     Resist Cold

2nd Level Spells
  1.     Hold Person
  2.     Know Alignment
  3.     Obscure
  4.     Produce Fire
  5.     Resist Fire
  6.     Silence 15’ Radius
  7.     Snake Charm
  8.     Warp Wood or Metal

Curses: Potent spells used to humble and to punish, a witch’s curse is no small thing to trifle with. Unless otherwise noted, all Curses have a range of touch, and are permanent until dispelled. All victims are allowed a Save vs Spells to resist a curse, though only the strongest of will or purest of heart have true hope of succeeding. The invoking of a curse requires powerful, wild magic, magic that resists the call of mortals. Each time a curse is invoked, the Witch ages 1d10 years.

The Rose Tongue:
Bane of minstrels and tellers of tells, of those who hide the wicked thorns of intent behind flowery words.  The Rose Tongue curse lays a painful doom on the victim. A number of words equal to the Witch's level (either a short phrase or distinct restrictions) are specified. If spoken, the victim's tongue sprouts painful thorns, cutting their mouth and lips while inflicting 2 points of damage.

The Glutton’s Tomb:
Range: Special
To work this curse, the Witch must prepare some form of food, usually a treat or ripe fruit. Upon consumption, the victim must suffers a tremendous increase in girth, growing to some 400 pounds in weight.  Clothes rip, armor no longer fits, and the victim’s movement rate is halved. In combat, they attack as a 0 level character. Unless armor is custom fitted (an expensive process), the victim is treated as AC 10. Finally, a victim must consume double the normal amount of food for his race to remain healthy, and is unable to lose his excess weight until the curse is dispelled.

Ancestors’ Lament:
Under this bane, the dead look ill upon the victim.  Specters of parents, grandparents, or other lost loved ones haunt the victim’s every moment. Slights and insults both real and perceived are recalled and retold in a swirling cacophony. While under this curse, Magic Users must successfully save vs X to cast spells, while more martial adventurers suffer a -2 penalty to attacks.

Craftsman’s Sundering:
In vengeance’s heart, there is no room for beauty. In the hands of a man cursed by the Sundering, coins tarnish, swords rust, wood rots and stone cracks. Each time the cursed handles an item, they must save vs Spell at a -3 penalty.  If failed, the items they handle waste to uselessness. Even such simple things as food and clothing are not exempt.

The Endless Quest:
The Witch lays a task upon the victim when invoking this curse. Whenever the cursed strays from completing this task, they find the earth itself rebels against them.  Distances double when going against the quest, dungeons more labyrinthine.  The harder the victim strives to refuse the task at hand, the greater the distances become, the more befuddling the path.

The most well-known curse, though the rarest to see actual use. This potent curse transforms the victim into some small creature. Rat or bat or slimy toad. This change is in form only, for the victim retains all memory and modes of thought, in some cases (a roll of 1 on 1d6) the power of speech is maintained. Class abilities are lost, however, and the victim remains in her new form until the witch can be convinced to reverse it. Powerful miracles worked by a cleric are also known to undo the curse, and it is rumored that a kiss from an innocent also serves to undo the spell.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Places of Cadoren: Ostlen

Continuing my series on a Blueholme Campaign Setting. No map just yet, I'm terrible at mapping cities.

Ostlen (01.04)

A bustling city some 20,000 strong, Ostlen serves as home to over two-thirds the population of Cadoran. Nestled on a hilly island in the northwestern waters surrounding Cadoren, Ostlen remains the gateway to the young empire.

Officially, Ostlen is divided into four distinct districts. The Keep, Ostlen Proper, South Ostlen, and the Warehouse District.

The Keep: Situated on a rocky, promontory, The Keep district is the oldest portion of Ostlen, and from which the city takes its name. It was through the keep in past generations that those who would become the citizens of Ostlen were processed before being shipped to the mainland. Well patrolled and boasting few amenities, The Keep District is home to the barracks. One of the least expensive facilities in which to take lodging, the barracks offer rows of simple bunks. For a pittance, an individual may find lodging and a simple, but ample, meal. From the Keep District, visitors to Ostlen can clearly see Ironheim, the island prison that holds Ostlen's more dangerous criminals.

Ostlen Proper: Once farmland that supported Ostlen Keep,  Ostlen Proper is now home to the upper echelons of Ostlen society. Here, well-to-do merchants sell their wares in the shadow of the Council Hall, seat of Cadoren's government. Closer to the wall that surrounds Ostlen, however, conditions decline to what would be considered 'upper middle class' by modern standards.

South Ostlen: To the south of Ostlen Proper dwells the bulk of Ostlen's population. Here, like elsewhere in Ostlen, the guard are ever present, a reminder of Cadoren's violent past. several inns and quality merchants are to be found, and it is in South Ostlen's east wall that the Farmer's Gate resides, allowing the few outlying farms to ferry their goods to the Central Market which dominates the heart of South Ostlen.

Warehouse District: To the west of South Ostle, the Warehouse district broods under the watchful eye of the Keep. Bristling with docks, it is here that the bulk of Ostlen's goods are stored.

Shoretown: Though not recognized as an official district, Shoretown is a well known facet of Ostlen, a face that few wish to admit but none can deny. Huddling in the shadow of the wall to the south of the Warehouse District.  Shoretown is home to the desperate and the forsaken. A ramshackle affair of huts and driftwood homes,  Shoretown's streets are beaten earth, and the only lights to be seen at night are the jealously guarded stubs of candles that flicker through chinks in the walls. The guard do not patrol Shoretown,  leaving the denizens to make their own law. Those who are capable in Shoretown quickly escape, either through taking work at the Warehouses, or by joining the guard.  Those that remain have been known to turn to more sinister trades.

People of Interest

Ellen Foxhair (Level 3 Fighting Man )
Captain of Ostlen's guard, Ellen is a descendent of the mercenary that helped to free Cadoren from Imperial rule. Just, she will not turn a blind eye to Ostlen's problems, but she tries to see that each individual to pass through her keep receives a fair hearing.

Olm Eisley (Noble)
Current head councilman of Ostlen, Olm is a relative newcomer to Ostlen. Arriving some twenty years ago in a small merchant ship, Olm set to work solidifying the merchants of Ostlen as a single, powerful guild. Olm's purse runs deep, and it is murmured that it is oiled with the blood of those he could not buy.

"Jitters" (Level 2 Thief)
The undisputed queen of spies, Jitters is a middle aged woman, addled by the poisons she uses to doctor her knives. Based in Shoretown, Jitters has eyes throughout Ostlen, some claiming even in the Guard itself.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blueholme Campaign Framework: Cadoren

I like Blueholme, I like it quite a bit, enough-so to constantly tinker and homebrew for it as previous entries have shown.  These entries all exist in a relative vacuum, though, so I thought I'd put together a setting, or mini-setting, to let the better bits thrive. Wisely choosing to start small, I present the diminutive island-nation of Cadoren.(Click through for full sized map.) One bustling city, two proper dungeons, and a rough half-dozen other adventuring sites promises a decent sandbox to keep players' interest, at least for a while. Bit of fluff after the jump.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Prentice's Aspiration: The Jongleur

Hate Thieves, hate skill systems. But this seems to fit, so here it is.

Thief Subclass (Halfling, or Human)

The fool in motley, the bland-faced jester with a sharper tongue than any any might believe, the singer of songs and teller of tales, welcome everywhere for the amusement he brings, and often chased away for the irritations he causes.

Requirement: Charisma 12
Restrictions: Unarmored

Buffoonery (replaces find and remove trap): The Jongleur has turned the art of the pratfall, the slapstick and the pun into works of art, one that allows him to distract and befuddle his foes. Those encountering a jongleur engaging in his antics must save vs Spell or suffer a -2 penalty to attack for the next round.