Tales of the Astral – The Gith

Dak'kon by Grosnus

“Endure, in enduring grow strong.” – Dak’kon, Zerth Disciple

The endless struggle in the planes beyond.  This is brief summary of the Gith, a displaced and wounded people.  Long ago, they came to know suffering under a domineering race of creatures known as “Illithid”.  The horrid creatures broke and enslaved these beings into servitude, harvesting them when it became convenient.  In a showing of will and defiance, rebellion lead to the gith breaking free.  However, factions arose over what to do with their newfound freedom.  The split lead to the rise of many new groups rife with their own strange philosophies and viewpoints.

Despite this fracturing, each respective faction remains strong and proud in their own manner.  Each continues onward in their ideals.  Each finds their place in the multiverse.  However, they remain sullied by hatred and biases of the past.  Many refuse to deal too much with their kinds, lest they risk getting dragged into Gith politics.  However, a wise and powerful ally is usually welcomed within a team.

Author’s Note:  Wouldn’t you know it?  I’m not overly satisfied with a non-core book on races, once more. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is by all means a great book in terms of conflict inspiration as well as monsters, but I was eager to do my own take on things.  As I’m a master of reinventing the wheel, here’s my own take on the Gith.  But, in all seriousness, I’ve been wanting to this for a while.  Even before Tome of Foes was announced, I wanted to do a whole assortment of Planescape races.  The new book just encouraged me to get to it.  Mind you, most of this was already pondered when the initial unearthed arcana article came out.

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Horrors of Khorvaire and Beyond – Dal’Quor

The Darkness Comes... Loading screen by proud-pyramid
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Beyond the realm of Khorvaire lies many horrible things. Some exist upon the Prime Material Plane, while others are haunted remnants of old conflict. The wasteland of Cyre lures curious onlookers hoping to know more of the Last War. An empire of the undead waits patiently while assembling its forces. A deadly draconic power below prepares for an onslaught like none have seen. However, these threats and more are far more terrestrial. Within the realms of a sleeping mind lies a gateway into a dark unknown. It is here that the Mi-Go flutter, elementals of dream gather and the Quori plan their dreadful deeds.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I love Eberron… a lot! Now, I wasn’t the first to convert some monsters over to 5E and I won’t be the last! Given my posts about dream-related content, it’s likely Dal’Quor content will show up in something else if Eberron isn’t unleashed to the public any time soon. So as always, continue to divine in the realm of dream and you too might learn a thing or two. For more dream wandering content, check out The Dreamlands tag.

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May 2018 RPG Carnival – What Scares You?

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Heya, Doc here!  I wanted to do a slight change of pace from the norm.  In support of a theme I have been waiting to look into for a while, here is a sampling of creatures based on fears that I’ve come across at some point in my life.  Now, which ones genuinely effect me?  I’d rather not say.  But, here are some creepy critters inspired by various existing bits from the D&D multiverse as well as my own twisted psyche.

If you wanna jump on board this month’s theme, the theme is “What Scares You?”  Read on here!

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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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Planetouched: More Options for the Aasimar, Genasi, Tiefling and Others

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I loves me some Planescape and I wanna make sure my creations get out there to an audience who loves it just as much!  So, here’s a look at what my three posts have to offer!  Part of this is to help drum up interest in a revival for one of my favorite settings and prove that planar versions of these races are still viable in the modern era of D&D!  Please, take a look and help to spread the word!

Aasimar:

  • Angel Bloodline
  • Astral Deva Bloondline
  • Guardinal Bloodline
  • Eladrin Bloodline

Genasi:

  • Basic Inner Planes (Fire, Air, Water, Earth)
  • Hybrid Elemental Planes (Ooze, Magma, Ice, Smoke)
  • Positive and Negative Planes (as well as their variants)

Tiefling:

  • Various Devils and Infernals (including variants of the PHB)
  • Demonic Bloodlines
  • Daemon/Yugoloth Bloodlines
  • Other Fiends/Lower Planes related creatures

Other Race Variants:

  • Celadrin (Elf)
  • Fey-Ri (Elf)
  • Tanarukk (Half-Orc)
  • D’hin’ni (Halfling)
  • Azer-Blood (Dwarf)

A Tout’s Look at the Extraplanar (Part 1): Tieflings Expanded

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“I’ve never had someone make a portrait of me, so I guess we’re even on that favor…” – Rhys, Factol of the Transcendent Order, to Kylie the Tout

The Planetouched, truly incredible beings.  Such people can trace their ancestry to a powerful planar phenomena.  Perhaps they were literally born from an ancient union of mortal and creature.  Perhaps they are the result of arcane dabbling with such powers.  Maybe they’re the consequence of a warlock’s pact!  No matter the cause, the planetouched are usually the result.  Outside of hubs like Sigil, the City of Doors, such beings are extremely rare.  Some can be found in more accommodating locales like Mulhorand on Abeir-Toril or The Rock of Bral in Wildspace.  Either way, it’s likely that the average person will either never encounter such people or never know that they have.Image result for planetouched

Despite contrary claims, it is quite challenging to pin the plane-touched to a unified species or entity.  While some are indeed more unified than others, this is not the case as a whole.  You may see a Tiefling with horns and a tail; another with large monstrous clawed feet, a serpentine tongue and scales traveling parts of their body.  Likewise, you might see the most gorgeous Aasimar in existence, while another one is uncanny and horribly alien.

No matter whatever the case may be, I’m so glad you chose me as your Tout…  That’s cager for (usually paid) source of information, a guide of sorts!  So, plant your hind in a decent enough seat, now’s your time to learn a thing!  (It might save your head later!)  Also, please focus on me.  My little friend Dib will behave himself, I promise you… as long as you cork your bone-box and open an ear.

Author’s Note: This was one I’ve always wanted to do.  While not much of a “challenge” for me to tackle compared to other stuff, it mostly came down to filling gaps I noticed in 5E.  A lot of awesome planar flavor was missing and I wanted to remedy that the best I could.  So, here’s some extra options for planar races and then some!  Many tend to stick to a formula of sorts, but that’s what you get from sampling from similar races from various similar sources such as the Planescape setting, various Dragon articles and Pathfinder.  Sure, it’s not as open as the original charts, but this is a compromise of old and new.  Also, with the amount of attention touts such as Kylie have gotten recently through podcasts like Commander Holly’s “Trapped in the Birdcage”, I had to borrow her for an article! Enjoy.

*XGtE refers to Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
*SCAG refers to Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.

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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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