Forgotten Souls: A Tomb of Annihilation + Dark Souls mashup

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The so-called Death Curse seemed like a contradiction at first… we were robbed of our ability to die! Oh, how wrong we were! – A tattered letter from Camp Righteous

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!

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DOC’S WRITING SPELLJAMMER!

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Wizards gave the A-OK to drop their news early, so I figured I’d help share the fun.  In short, I’ve been contacted by Wizards of the Coast to help craft their latest product, a world-related expansion book as well as tie-in adventure.  While I can’t say too much, all I can say is that Spelljammer is indeed confirmed.  On top of that, I’m helping the write the sections on it.  As for plot, it will be an overarching multiverse story, akin to the previous modules… but on a much grander scale.  I’m not allowed to disclose further on that though.

If you wanna see more, hop on over here to check the entire announcement on the D&D Youtube page!

Terrors and Trinkets in Chult – Additions for Tomb of Annihilation

Chult Jungle Portal by Rusty001

Welcome back to Chult.

The Jungles of Chult are a place of many things; an incredible civilization that has survived against impossible odds, a realm of ancient and massive beasts and a land of sinister secrets that could very well corrode the world.  Within this jungle lies a conspiracy that could very well cost Toril and its denizens its life.  Delve even further to encounter new foes and new rewards!

Author’s Note:  Well, all of that took a lot longer than I had planned.  The long and short of it was, a lot of things weren’t going right.  On top of that, I had to wait a bit before borrowing this book in the first place.  But enough complaining, I was inspired by some posts on expanding this adventure, so I wanted to see what I could cook up and add in here.  I realize that there are some revisited pieces in here, but I’m always striving to improve my work and find ways to work it into other things, such as Tomb of Annihilation.  And with that, enjoy a sampling of crazy critters and awesome artifacts for your adventure!

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Bizarre Bazaar – Strange Magical Items Revisited

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A familiar face comes into view as patrons briefly part into a narrow opening, it’s a cloaked humanoid with a strange helmet!  The creature gets up from a meditative stance, acknowledging your presence.  His relaxed and idle stance changes into a beckoning yet inviting gesture.

“Ah, Zam’Dul has not forgotten you, traveler!  Many of my old wares are gone… The rest?  Well, a bored mind tries to see what can be done with spare parts.  You’ll see some older oddities as well as some new creations.  Please, relax and observe what the shop has to offer!  Never be afraid to ask questions, Zam’Dul knows all!”

He lifts a curtain beyond his little stand to reveal a massive archive of the wonderful and weird, seemingly infinite space is filled with encased treasures and incredible artifacts.  The helmed monk shuffles to a counter, seemingly observing you wherever you go.

Author’s Note: These were always fun to do!  Also, I’ve been messing around with some of my magic items.  Some needed a fair bit of overhaul, while others weren’t developed enough.  Plus, I have a few ideas I’ve been kicking around in general.  So, let’s get shopping!  (Or something!)  Keep an eye out for the Tomb of Annihilation nods, for any gamers eager to run the major adventure book for Fall 2017.  Also, this post was made in support of the November 2017 RPG Carnival with the theme “The Past, Revisited“.  Check out the post and its contributors!

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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.

(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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