Spawn of Death – Creatures born and reborn from the dead

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You are a creature created from the impossible, either unnatural life given back to a body or from a birth most foul.  In either case, the death infused are considered abominations by many.  In some cases, they were created from revival rituals and necromatic magic gone awry.  In other cases, merely the results of trying to achieve immortality… with horrific results.  Arcane experiments in general are the source of the half-undead, either to crossbreed horrors or to create a new form of unlife entirely.

While the Death-Spawn are tainted by different forms of negative energies and dark power, they tend to share similar aspects in traits.  They convey a sense of lifelessness or at least an uncanny sense of life.  They typically lack the warmth of a living body, feeling clammy and/or cold to the touch.  Some are lucky enough to have bodies perfectly intact, looking indistinguishable from other average humanoids.  The unlucky look akin to shambling corpses and disheveled zombies.

Author’s Note: I wanted to take a crack at races again.  So, here’s a new race of undead-touched creatures inspired by a handful of resources: The Raven Queen, The Crow, Pathfinder’s Dhampir, the Half-Undead from Dragon Magazine and so on and so forth.  Just a heads up, this is a rough draft and none of these have been tested yet.  I am likely to revisit this at a later time though.

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Even more DOOM Monsters!

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Even more evils of the underworld invade your games!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: My last offering was kinda sad, so let’s finish off the rest of the monsters from DOOM I and DOOM II!

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Strange Things in Bloodied Wyvern Peak Adventure Report: Part 2 & 3

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“THEY ARE AMONG US!”

At long last, the players are ready to embark into the mountains ahead, unsure of what strange things await them within the jagged lands beyond.  What dangers will they face?  Will their ranks thin?  Will some go mad?  Will they awaken new horrors upon the land?  Only time will tell!

Author’s Note: Due to a handful of things, part 2 was cut very short.  As such, I decided to merge the recap with part 3.  Stay tuned for more after the jump!

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Monsters of DOOM, Revisited

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Hell.  Many thought of it as a mere theological concept, written in ancient scripture.  A team of scientists, corporate representatives and military conglomerates one day discovered that there was so much more.  On martian base, an experiment was conducted to reach into other realities.  They got an alternate dimension the denizens called Hell.  Perhaps it wasn’t what many considered, but Hell had come to that reality and tore it asunder.  Thanks to the impossible efforts of one space marine, referred to as “The Doom Guy”, the forces were pushed out of our world… for what we hoped was for good.

Since that incident, the malevolent armies of this underworld realm have discovered other Prime Material Planes and have continued a campaign of multiversal conquest!  Parallel realities and other planes entirely have faced off against these things.  It has even been rumored that some of these fiendish terrors have faced off in the eternal battleground known as The Blood War.

Author’s Note:  I wasn’t too satisfied with my original creations, so I decided to have a bit of a do over!  On top of that, I wanted to expand the monster list a little more by adding a few essential classic creatures.  Enjoy.

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Smokepowder Shootist – A Gun-Focused Fighter Archetype

Fantasy Rifleman by BrotherOstavia

Time for a change.

Smokepowder, a powerful substance that has changed the landscape of battle, has become more and more popular as its name spread throughout wildspace and beyond.  This powder can ignite and produce a powerful explosion.  Many have sampled its alchemical properties for a new weapon, the firebrand.  In some realms, this projectile weapon is revered in religious circles as both a sacred artifact and testament to their craft.  For the less religious, many soldiers and warriors have trained in the art of the firebrand.  Honing their talents with these advanced weapons, a new breed of ranged combatant was born.

The smokepowder shootist is a fighter or ranger whose focus is melding firing of guns with sophisticated martial techniques.  While a rival to the battlemaster, this type of fighter is far more focused on perfecting their gunslinging.  Understandably, their knowledge of this school of fighting has caused ire among other classes of warrior and martial tactician.  Some harrumph in disdain, for they find no honor in these new weapons.  Some seek the very same weapons for power or fortunes, hoping to pry it from the fighter one way or another.  As such, the order of the shootist is a rare and secretive one in many lands.  In places more adept to firebrands, or “firearms” as they’re likely known there, some orders are willing to train other warriors deemed responsible enough to handle guns.

For those that have banded together, the firebrand is a symbol of many things; technological advancement, futurism, terrifying new grounds in warfare, liberation from the elite, power to the people and more.  Their order wields this weapon with intense precision and finesse, pulling off elaborate displays that are equal parts tactical gun fighting and martial arts.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m still not fully content with my shootist sub-class and I’ve received requests to have it branch out to other classes.  I’ll likely expand this over the next week to do just that, once I really figure out what makes classes like The Ranger tick.  To be fair, even WIZARDS OF THE COAST doesn’t know!  (Yeah, I know, low blow.)  In the meantime, I’m willing to test this as is for Rangers and see what breaks down in the process.  Lemme know if you try! 

ALSO, this sub-class assumes that firearms are considered martial weapons or that your character is trained in them already.  If not, there is a campaign option to become proficient in a kind of firearm upon taking the sub-class.

Also, to answer a quick question of what’s with the name…  Well, a “Shootist” is a term dating back to the American Old West.  It refers to an expert hunter or gunfighter, often outside of the law.  In fact, infamous gunman and cattleman Clay Allison originated the term in the mid 1800s.  So, there you go.

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The Ancient Magi – A Patron of Arcane Remnants for D&D 5th Edition

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Many incredible mages exist throughout the multiverse.  They have unlocked the secrets to incredible power, twisting magic into spells rarely seen by fellow spellcasters… if at all.  Those of great power tend to be reclusive, for a powerful mage makes many enemies.  Some even take their magic to new and epic levels.  Whether they become archmages, demigods or just powerful spirits locked in some dimension; some yearn for a student to pass their work onto in some capacity.  After all, while some magical secrets should die with their creator, other gifts should be passed on.

The Ancient Magi Patron provides one such method.  Those in service to the ancient magi are typically scholars of the arcane, seeking ways to expand their knowledge and craft.  Many are devotees to the very arcanist they serve, while some are just greedy and desire to steal forgotten magic for their own benefit.  More often than not, their arcane superior is aware of their intentions and will use them accordingly.  Many ancient magi aren’t even on this plane anymore.  Many of them have long since passed away or are locked in other realities.  Some have been stranded in the Astral Plane, effectively frozen in time; while others are permanently sealed in unknown demiplanes.  Some lucky ones dwell on material planes, but try to make their presence as nuanced as possible.  Great mages like Mornenkainen and Elminster are examples of such magic-users.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Looking back, I wasn’t really too happy with my original draft.  The general idea was solid, but I tried to make it feel too much like a binder vestige instead of a patron.  Plus, some of the mechanics were made when I didn’t fully understand the warlock class.  Now, some of the ideas here are heavily experimental.  Giving a class ability to cast a certain spell 1 – 2 per day… and at the strength of the warlock’s level?  That might be a bit strong, but I wanna see where I can develop this.  None the less, I wanted to make a warlock patron that carries both a bit of sorcerer and wizard flavor to it.  Plus, I created a quick-n-easy class variant for those of us who are nostalgic for the Archivist from the 3.5 Book, “Heroes of Horror”.

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Notes and Whatnot on UA: The Ranger, Revised

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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.