Ramon’s Guide to the Lower Planes

Just… do as she says.  Fewer people get hurt that way.  Also, please don’t bring up Gehenna!  Other ‘loths anger her.  She won’t say why!

“The multiverse, she is a cruel mistress.  For much time, things have looked up for me.  But for so long, my luck is rather dreadful.  While my poems and records will be the stuff of legends, a break from this figurative and literal hells would be quite nice too!  I preferred my luck with just the King of the Cross-Trade in Sigil.” – Ramon DeLeon, Planar Traveling Bard

 

Of Bards and Bad Places

While I assure you that not all planes are mortifying and deadly, I tend to have rather bad luck.  This luck has sunk even lower, finding myself in the dark planes of the fiends.  Races of creatures built from pure literal evil, formed into physical manifestations.  Only the most noble and just and survive a trek into these wretched places.  As I can assure that I’m not, I have my work truly cut out for me.

Let us discuss The Lower Planes of the Great Wheel.  This is a place for not just creatures made of evil, but the most equally evil souls that find themselves punished or harvested for the creation of more fiends.  The most worthy petitioners even gain the chance to become fiends of their own!  To make matters more hostile, each plane has its own challenges within the environments themselves.  Acidic air, dueling erupting fissures, grey murk and more await the most intrepid and foolish of explorers.

Now, where do I fit into this?  A valid question!  An attempted escape from strange realities proved rather flawed.  My grasp on the planes is quite good, within my rules of reality.  Parallel versions of the Wheel has all sorts of alterations, to say the least.  With some level of luck, this is the “true reality”, however escaping the Lower Planes proves to be far harder than expected.  Even any portals and keys that should work mysteriously fail.  Well, through narrowly dodging fiends and escaping hostile environments, I’ve found my way across the Planes Below.  Impossible as it may be, I find myself not too damaged by this.  But, a Planeswalker has already seen a lot, no?

Author’s Note: I’ve been feeling a little down, so things have slowed a bit as a result.  Plus, I junked a previous post that I couldn’t find myself completing, which slowed things down more.  My apologies.  Anyway, here is something I have been sitting on for a while.  My Look at the Planes have focused too much on Ramon flailing about and finding danger, rather than describing locations and happenings in the planes, with Ramon as your guide.  Let me change that.  Also, I figure I may as well toss out a reference to the recent adventure.  In addition, plenty of references to classic D&D lore, as well as my own mad musings.

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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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Grittier Arms and Armor: Enfeebled Equipment

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Diving into my old and new Dark Sun books (as well as replaying Baldur’s Gate) gives me an interesting idea, a weapon property that characters can obtain (BUT DON’T WANT!)

Feeble: “The quality of you weapon has seriously degraded overtime.  Perhaps the materials that crafted for your weapon were either meant to be temporary or not intended for constant stress.  While wielding this weapon, targets have resistance to its damage.  Targets that have resistance to non-magical weapons are immune to attacks from this weapon.  Furthermore, rolling a Natural 1 on the die destroys this weapon.  In addition, armor with the feeble property grants -1 AC penalty upon any armor above leather.  If a target scores a natural 20 against your armor, it shatters.  However, if either the target or attacker is wielding a feeble weapon and the other has feeble armor, this quality is ignored.  However, the Nat 1/Nat 20 rule still applies.”

Now, this is pretty damn harsh!  How would it be applicable?  Perhaps a recreation of the Iron Crisis/Bhaalspawn saga would work for this?  Maybe the majority of weapons in Athas would carry this trait (considering they’re mostly made of rock and bone, something I can’t imagine taking too much abuse before breaking.)

On top of that, I’d probably replace the Rust Monster’s ability with the ability to make weapons feeble.  Furthermore, if it attacks a feeble weapon, it is automatically destroyed.  5E Rust Monsters are a lot more intimidating than their 4E counterparts, but they’re still not scary.  To be fair, the Tarrasque needs some fun buffs as well.

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Wild Magic – An Arcane Tradition for D&D 5th Edition

Author’s Note:  I’m not sure why, but I’m not overly fond of the Sorcerer as presented.  Plus, I wanted to convert the AD&D Wild Mage (including the BGII version) to D&D 5th Edition.  Without further ado, enjoy.

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Neera, Iconic Half-Elf Wild Mage

New Wizard Arcane Tradition – Wild Magic

Whether this unofficial school of magic was created through a desire to become the most powerful or out of sheer madness, wild magic is perhaps the most misunderstood and confusing method of magic.  WildMagic is understanding the raw powers of arcane energy itself, trying to harness it to the fullest, and seeing where the energy takes you as a result.  For obvious reasons, this school of magic faces more persecution than the necromancy school.

Crunch after the jump

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