I haven’t really done an informal post in a while. The last one was quite a few years ago. Anyway, I’m feeling kind of tired with how character skill is handled and the builds around it. I won’t deny that I have fallen back in love with a more classical approach. I like to egg players on for details with their actions, even awarding silent boons for their descriptions and general ideas. Hell, sometimes I’ll outright ignore a roll. While I haven’t gone all out yet, I feel like I’ll get there soon enough. So, rather than a super codified skill system, I have thought of a few ideas beyond that. It’s nothing really groundbreaking. Hell, the DMG has made all sorts of alternatives already, but I think they’re good for something.
In particularly cursed places, the very ground itself rebukes death and damns the souls of whoever is buried there. This could be from the sight of a great war, a disturbed burial grounds or more. No matter the case, the land is tainted. And for those who dare to gamble against the forces of life and death within these corrupted lands? They may become something equally as wicked.
In other cases, the world may just have stacked odds against the heroes. The world may be kept in the clutches of dark forces that conspire to corrode and twist all in their path. Malevolent entities are challenged by heroes of horror, those who take a stand against the darkness at all costs. They too may face trauma when losing an ally… and having them come back wrong.
Author’s Note: This RPG Blog Carnival post came out of a few things. In a game I was part of, the DM wanted to make resurrection a risk. In that world, that sort of art is lost and things tend to not work always right when this is tried. The idea was also going to be used in a Gothic Earth one-off I wanted to do at some point too… Plus, I watched the original Pet Sematary recently. So, here’s my revised take on risky resurrection!
Learn more about the October RPG Blog Carnival theme here!
A dark shroud has enveloped fair Toril, it is not of this world. A powerful force of raw necrotic energy has made its way into this world. What was once a mere Lich is slowly becoming something more, in part from his Death Curse. Worse yet, a powerful artifact is making the effects of this hex far greater and far more widespread too. But, for what purpose? Perhaps to empower him or possibly provide an endless font to create feats of magic locked away from even the gods! Adventurers are needed, as always. Many have fallen to the madness of the curse, becoming little more than empty husks who attack anything with a semblance of life force left. Go forth and bring life back to this world and don’t you dare go hollow on me!
The world of Abeir-Toril is fairing poorly against a strange incursion by a powerful entity known as “Acererak”. Stories travel around other prime material planes. These stories tell of foul magic, undeath and annihilation. Not long after the monster’s arrival, people found themselves somehow alive when they should have been dead. At first, people rejoiced! But soon, they caught on. Their hearts had stopped, their complexion faded, they began to look more like walking corpses. Many lost their mind, aimlessly attacking those who still show some signs of life. Some fear that this Acererak is not alone, aided by a far more malevolent force.
Author’s Note: Sure, the new adventure is coming soon or whatever. That said, here’s an idea I’ve been bouncing around for a while! What if, instead of merely wasting away from the Death Curse, victims would lose themselves to a slowly spreading and corrupting undeath. Then it hit me, this is Dark Souls! So, I mashed the two together in a sense. Below are a retooling of my Curse of Undeath as well as how to mesh it with Tomb of Annihilation. View the original here. Also, find more content for Chult here.
One final thing. This article contains major spoilers for much of the module. Do not read on if you plan on playing this module!
So, I never actually got around to seeing the revised ranger in play until recently. With that, here’s a few concept I propose for fixing a couple of (what I perceive to be) bugs.
UA Revised Ranger – Proposed House Rules List
- Natural Explorer. This MUST tie to a type of environment. At Level 1, choose two environment types. At levels 6, 11 and 16, choose another. Benefits are granted in that environment. Meanwhile, the Advantage to attack enemies only works for ONE ATTACK while in that environment.
- Natural Explorer (ALTERNATE). Add proficiency bonus to initiative checks while in your terrain. 1/Short Rest gain advantage on an attack against a favored enemy.
- Beast Conclave – Companion’s Bond. Companion only gains proficiency in Strength and Dexterity saving throws, not proficiency in ALL saving throws. Alternatively, choose two saving throws instead.
- Deep Stalker Conclave – Underdark Scout. You do not get the extra attack on your first turn. Possibly grant 1d6 sneak attack damage instead.
IMAGE CREDIT: Sojourn by Todd Lockwood, copyright 2015. Drizz’t Do’urden is copyright of Wizards of the Coast and R.A. Salvatore.
EDIT 2019: Some of the math on these is wonky. I’ll get around to fixing them, perhaps for an even larger science-fantasy masterpost or the like! STAY TUNED!!
Here is a complete list of monsters and hazards from the module, in alphabetical order. I figured this post would be useful, since I separated monsters into tons of categories to make conversion easier. So, here’s a handy list of creatures from the module. This post could be used in tandem with Part 5 for running the module in 5E!
NOTE: This does not include the optional new monsters I added to the adventure. Those can be found here. This is meant as an index for pre-existing monsters converted over.
- Androids (Berserk, Boxing/Wrestling, Fencing, Martial Arts, Medical, Physical Fitness)
- Assassin Vine
- Baboonoid (Use Ape stats) – MM P. 317
- Beholder Kin, Eye of the Deep
- Black (Brown) Pudding – MM P. 241
- Brilliant Fish – SEE NOTES
- Bulette – MM P. 34
- Couatl – MM P. 43
- Displacer Beast – MM P. 81
- Doppelganger – MM P. 82
- Giant Leech
- Green Slime – DMG P. 105
- Grey Ooze – MM P. 243
- Horrid Plant
- Intellect Devourer – SEE NOTES
- Lizardoid – SEE NOTES
- Lurker Above
- Mind Flayer – MM P. 222
- Piercer – MM P. 252
- Purple Blossoms
- Retch Plant
- Robots (Police, Servo, Worker)
- Roper – MM P. 261
- Rot Grubs
- Russet Mold
- Scintillating Phosphorescent Fish – SEE NOTES
- Shadow – MM P. 269
- Shambling Mound – MM P. 270
- Shrieker – MM P. 138
- Slithering Tracker
- Spider, Phase – MM P. 334
- Tri-Flower Frond
- Umber Hulk – MM P. 292
- Vampire Rose Bush
- Violet Fungus – MM P. 138
- Will O’ Wisp – MM P. 301
- Yellow Mold – DMG P. 105
There is much more to the Barrier Peaks than a romp against alien monsters. The mechanics and workings of the downed ship are far more complex. Access cards, radioactive hallways, infested hives, among other things await our heroes as they make an… Expedition to Barrier Peaks!
Author’s Note: This is probably the longest post in this series. It’s a bunch of notes on running the module itself, as well as the technological artifacts you’ll find. The cards are in the first part, as they don’t really have much mechanical depth aside from a McGuffin.
To kick off the August 2016 RPG Blog Carnival theme of “Super-Science and Sorcery”, I thought I’d show a part of a conversion I’m working on. This module has always been a special one for me. Not only was it a crazy fun house dungeon crawl, but it’s a bizarre crossover of D&D elements with the likes of Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha. Plus, I’ve always loved conspiracies revolving around Ancient Aliens. With that, I’ll be hoping to transfer Barrier Peaks to 5th Edition to the best of my abilities. After it’s complete, it might go up on the DM’s Guild.
To kick things off, we’ll start the conversion with an assortment of robots and androids. Now, you may be wondering, what do robots have to do with D&D? I’m not entirely sure, as I’m running on coffee and sheer determination. Granted, that hasn’t stopped me from finding a way! Needless to say, the rest of the module is being converted in chunks, to be collected in a megapost in the end.
Author’s Note: You read that correctly! More or less, I’m going to be dumping some time into converting this module. It’s very likely that this will take up a chunk of the month, itself. Luckily, the Playtest made work a lot easier on me. I’ve found help from other bloggers as well, thus making the journey a non-arduous one. Plus, I’ve made a helping of techno goodies in the past too.