DM’s Guild – A Planar Grimoire

Planar Grimoire Cover Image

Pardon the somewhat inconsistency in my posts.  I’ve been trying to revise old work while work on some personal projects I hoped to get out on the web (like this one), while balancing a stressful work life and home life.  But I digress, I was never too happy with my original planar spells posts.  Some were blatant rip-offs of previously existing D&D spells, while others were just poorly worded.  So, I did a fair bit of clean up while making some other not-so-subtle homages!  But, no matter, here’s over 15 pages of extraplanar goodness for your 5E Spellcasters!  Enjoy.

A Planar Grimoire is Pay-What-You-Want, you may find it here.

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(April Fools!) The Next Plotline for D&D 5th Edition!

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I know what day it is and it’s not the right day to be gullible.  Also, I know this blog is about homebrew and the occasional related topic.  That said, since this blog was started, I have made posts about how I fanboy at the idea of Science-Fantasy D&D!  Seriously, do a search, more than half of the posts on this blog are science-fantasy related!  Hell, I made my own adventure that I’ve also been recording for the D&D podcast I’m on (called FlumphCast, look us up!  We play D&D very drunkily!)  But, I digress.  Wizards of the Coast has earned my love back.  How, you may ask?  Through their next plot based adventure, of course!  So, breaking tradition a little, I wanna ramble about Wizards of the Coast’s next big announcement for the Fall 2017 super adventure!

For some context, I’ve grown to dislike the formula they’ve done since 5E’s launch and often felt alienated by it.  Organized Play bores me, the modules feel long winded and just don’t engage me, the organization in the adventures alone just boggles my mind at times.  Their use of the Forgotten Realms setting felt quite uninspired and bland to me, akin to how Greyhawk was handled during 3rd edition’s organized play.  But, enough ranting about the past, let’s focus on the future!  (Yes, that’s a pun.)

And by future, I mean indeed a Science Fantasy adventure!  And not just any is a source of inspiration, one of the greatest classics is!  I’m talking about Expedition to Barrier Peaks!  I mean, come on, they teased a chunk of it in Volo’s Guide to Monsters!  Many saw it coming!  It was likely cut from Tales of the Yawning Portal due to space, but it’s being fleshed out!  The hints here and there likely imply an alien invasion stemming from a crashed ship in what I can only guess will be either Icewind Dale or the Bloodstone regions.  On top of that, many tiers of play will involve the Xeno Threat as it brings chaos to parts of the Realms.  What’s this, Doc?  You’re ranting about Realms-Shattering Events and misuse of lore?  And here you are celebrating a literal alien invasion of the setting?  HAVE YOU GONE MAD?  Well, kinda.  I dunno, I just love this idea in any capacity and D&D doesn’t do it often enough… especially in recent years.  So, this is one instance that I’m willing to let this sort of things slide.  Plus, just look at the name of the event, “The Assault of Radiant Steel!”  It sounds more like a prog-rock song than a D&D adventure, but I don’t care!  That makes me love it even more!

Read onward for more information, including launch info!  WOOOOOO!

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Horrors from Durlag’s Tower – Monster Variants

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We don’t go to Durlag’s Tower.

 

Durlag’s Tower, an abandoned dungeon that sends shivers down the spines of many.  For some, it’s a cautionary tale about love, obsession and paranoia.  For others, it’s a giant grave that acts as a memento for dwarven kind.  For some, it’s the ultimate treasure trove that’s just waiting to be explored!  Eternally notorious for a variety of reasons, this accursed place rests a distance from both Beregost and Nashkel.  If traps aren’t the cause of death, the terrible monsters that lurk in the depths likely are.  Or worse yet?  It could the party’s very vices that lead to their own downfall.  Needless to say, the only people that would explore such dangerous ruins have a death wish.

Author’s Note: The Adventurer’s League has recently released an adventure inspired by the classic Durlag’s Tower dungeon from the Forgotten Realms… but more specifically, Baldur’s Gate.  So, I figure, what better time to revive some of the classic monsters from the original dungeon!  Granted, most of them were easy to build variants of classic/existing monsters already in 5E.  So, without further ado, enjoy!  Also, pardon this one being a bit sparse, I’ll post something for the weekend too, I promise!

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Vampiric Henchmen & Overlords – Forces of the Living Dead for D&D 5th Edition

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“One vampire, I can handle!  But, a whole army?  I didn’t sign up for th- AAAAHHHHH!”

The vampire, an immortal creature of darkness.  These creatures are soulless and damned, cursed by a thirst to leech off of human blood; they are parasites upon the living.  Those who had a fateful encounter with them were likely to either die or worse, become recruited to their dastardly cause.  For the longest time, it was assumed that those who succumbed to a vampire’s dark powers suffered one of two fates:  those who did not drink a vampire’s blood would become a ghoul with some slivers of their original self and those who drank the blood would become vampire spawn that were driven mad and violent by the corruptive power.  Such creatures range from mindless abominations to frenzied and insane mockeries of their former selves.  They are nothing like the true vampires that recreated them as they are now.

This leads to a strange new revelation, it’s more than possible to create more true vampires.  While usually not as powerful as a vampire who has fully mastered their abilities, they are an incredible force none the less.  Such creatures are more than capable of using their talents learned as a mortal with the unnatural abilities of the vampire.  Their progenitors are already a menace to those around them.  Combined with potent magics or martial prowess though and such an opponent becomes all the more deadly.

Author’s Note: Inspired by my “Vampyr” post from last year, I wanted to make a small handful of vampiric minions to throw at players that aren’t like the quasi-ghoulish spawn or the very powerful MM vampire.  Also, I decided to marathon through the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga after the Adult Swim announcement some time back, so I took some inspiration from the first and third arcs… and a little from the second.

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GIANTS – Massive Humanoids for D&D 5th Edition

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The very word “giant” evokes fear and admiration.  In fact, the creatures known as giants practically invented new definitions for the word, in response to their incredible size.  Giants are titan-like beings born of the world in some manner.  They are raw forces given some manner of thought. One giant alone is an engine of destruction, capable of razing several lands in its wake.  To some giants, we are merely insignificant insects that act as an obstacle to our goals.  They have no inherent malice towards us, we’re just annoying to them.  The Church of the Cosmic Colossal preaches these values, proclaiming that Giants are Cosmic Entities that are far superior to other Material Plane creatures.

To some researchers, they are the first beings who emerged from a lifeless world of nothingness and chaos.  Some even say that they sculpted the world as we know it today.  To some, they’re early creations of the Gods that were in time rejected in favor of the smaller folk.  Perhaps they were once humans who embraced incredible energies of the planes, thus being transformed into massive beings of power.  Like many theories surrounding various creatures, they’re not totally conclusive or have too much evidence to support their truths.  All that is known is that each giant holds their own origin stories and epic tales.  Lest you be a fool, never challenge them on their mythologies.

Author’s Note: GIANTS!  I figured I’d write at least one tie-in to Storm King’s Thunder while the module was still relevant.  Since I’m not as into it as I was with Curse of Strahd, this post won’t likely be expanded into a theme of any sort.  No matter, I wanted to convert some classic giants to D&D 5e and this was my excuse to do so!  In fact, many of these come from some of my favorite settings.  In addition, I converted a giant that was made for a 3E campaign eons ago.  Enjoy.

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Stories from the Mists – Gothic-themed Character Backgrounds for D&D 5th Edition

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While many have heard the story of the troubled monster hunter, there are other heroes that struggle against deadly foes and unspeakable evils as well.  These unsung champions of the light do all they can to keep all hope from being extinguished in a dark and desolate world.  Not all heroes are born from myth and legend.  Many are souls who have faced great adversity, pushing them into impossible odds.  Those souls have either become broken or are seeking ways to prevent them from collapsing under pressure.  Whatever the cause, they have witnessed terrible things that pose a grave threat to them, as well as others.  Perhaps the conflict isn’t so much external as very much internal.  These troubled heroes seek retribution, redemption, truth and understanding.

In endless realms where mad lords and mysterious mists survey and control all, hope is all one has.  Without it, one simply cannot live.  And those who cannot hope anymore will likely be consumed.  Many have tried, but many have fallen to the darkness as well.  How will you fare differently?

Author’s Note:  In celebration of Curse of Strahd, I wanted to make some backgrounds with a distinctly Gothic theme to them.  Sampling from history and literature, here’s 3 new ones!  Of course, you could easily reflavor my Researcher and Lost One backgrounds from the Fey post into something more gothic with ease.  Also, I truly love the Haunted One background quite a bit!  It’s why I referenced it in my first sentence, hehe.

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