Ice Domain – A Chilling Cleric Domain

“We come from the land of the ice and snow, From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.” – A passage written by a traveling skald companion accompanying a communion of frost clerics.

Elemental Powers circle throughout known reality.  Heat can transform into fire or lightning, gusts of wind can carry even the mightiest of rock and the water itself can become a solid sheet of ice.  In a sense, a rival to the Tempest Cleric, the Ice cleric is at home in the realms of bone chilling temperature, the stinging sensations of ice and the comfort of powdery snow.  For them, the cold isn’t just the absence of warmth, but a holy communion among frigid elements; a raw and unforgiving form of nature.  Like the northern air, a frost cleric can travel gently like a light flurry or bombard foes like the harshest of blizzards.

Many Ice Clerics accompany hunters or are hunters themselves.  Through their devotions, they can trap creatures through sheets of ice, hollow snowy holes or other wintry tricks.  Like the ice cold, many of these clerics tend to be rigid and devoid of emotion and often passion too.  To some, it’s as if the cold has influenced their own convictions and values as well.  As such, neutral alignments tend to be the most common among their orders.  Likewise, neutral elemental gods of ice empower such clerics.  That isn’t to say that beings like Auril don’t use such power for evil though.  Many dress modestly, bundling up at almost all times.  In warmer regions, many of these priests might quickly feel out of place.  The idea of shedding layers is foreign, outside of bathing.

Author’s Note: There are plenty of elemental niches covered in the cleric, but a cold one is lacking.  So, let’s tackle that!  Also, I found my set of Reign of Winter books for Pathfinder.  So, there’s a big inspiration.

It looks like someone channeled the same idea as me several months beforehand.  Well, this is an awkward coincidence.  But, I assure you that this is literally the first instance of seeing another homebrewed take via D&D Beyond or the like, as I don’t go there for homebrew.  None the less, here is the version I stumbled upon a couple hours before posting this.  But, how much can you do with an ice theme, I guess?  Well, I may as well not name this Frost Domain anymore.  On to something more generic, I guess!

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Monsters of Reality – Yes, Even More Planar Creatures!

City of Doors by janroth

“Give ya the dark for some good jink! I know tons, lots of things about distant sights and travels. Don’t let the grungy look dissuade you, I know all about the realms beyond the cage!” – Lanky, Ultroloth-blooded Tiefling Rogue/Planar Fighter, The Hive of Sigil

I’m back at it once more, bringing in some more classic monsters of the Planescape Campaign Setting. While Wizards might eventually port all of these over, I thought I’d bring my take here in the meantime. While I’ve made a reference to the current layout, I should note that my take on Planescape looks back to the AD&D take on it, mostly ignoring any newer creations (such as Post-Spellplague Forgotten Realms, new cosmology elements a la Shadowfell and Feywild, newer takes on races like Tieflings and the like) outside of respective settings such as the Nentir Vale. But, I’ve tried to make that apparent as much as possible in previous posts.

Author’s Note: December is Planescape Month, I guess? Why? Because I love Planescape, that’s why! Also, I noticed I haven’t really tackled enough lawful monsters, so here’s some more from planes of law. Plus, I wanted the squeeze in the Hellcat and the Bladeling in last time, but ran out of time. Also, I wanted to convert a creature from the Dungeon Adventure, “Deep Freeze” (again). Enjoy! Happy Crimbo!

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Things of the Multiverse – Even More Planar Creatures

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“Endless planes, endless ideas, endless possibilities!  That doesn’t mean a berk should go sniffing out any planar out there.  Tons of nasties will pen you real good in the book, but all of you have the common marbles to listen to the dark beyond!  For starters, some planars will want you for supper, others will ask you pay the music and enjoy a good garnish, some are just barmy psychotics!  And with that, we begin.  Don’t worry, the good scrape comes later!  Also, no interruptions.  I’m very hungry and not against eating poor listeners!” – Geber Reynardt alias “Pew Pew”, Chaotic Evil Foxfolk Lupin Alchemist Sensate, Lecturer at the Civil Festhall in Sigil

As always, one must be careful when wandering the planes.  Beyond the beautiful and scary sights to behold, there are denizens that are much like their surroundings.  Some can be invaluable allies, while others are the most fearsome of foes.  Great good and evil have there places in reality, places you can find if you look hard enough.  But, it begs the question, is it worth wandering too far off the beaten path?

Author’s Note:  What’s an homage to Planescape without Planescape Torment!?  Besides the usual planar beasties, I tossed in a reference or two to one of my favorite games.  On top of that, a creature inspired by my Bloodied Wyvern Peaks adventure and more!  Plus, some obligatory gothic horror that is one part Frankenstein, one part The Golem and one part Doppelganger.  Also, a twist on a Lower Planes classic!

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It Came From Another World – More Planar Creatures

There are a lot more strange planar creatures where that came from.  In fact, we’ve only just scratched the surface.  From technomagical bioweapons to distant watchers to strange experiments, the planes offers many mysteries.

Author’s Note: Last week had all Planescape stuff…. and this one has a couple that, well, aren’t.  I dunno what prompted me to convert an obscure Pathfinder monster from Reign of Winter adventure path, but it’s in there too.  Likewise, I added a jokey monster my sister came up with.  Enjoy!

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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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July 2017 RPG Blog Carnival – Post-Apocalyptic House Rules

Most creations of the apocalypse are accidental.

The end of the world happened as we expected, too many people squabbling over too many things.  And with their super weapons, a new breed of terror was unleashed.  Not only did the radiation spread, it became aware, it gained its own life.  And what followed?  I dare not say…  All that is certain is the horrors of this war spawned all of them.  Protect yourself at all costs, should you run into such a mockery of life.

The post-apocalypse, a staple of darker science fiction.  There are few greater fears than not only one’s own death, but the death of the world we live in.  Or at the very least, the death of civilization.  In most cases, we wouldn’t have roaming raiders, so much as starved out and depressed barbarians.  But, since science fiction gives some leeway, we’re able to explore the grittier side with the likes of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to the more gonzo like Mad Max and all of the bootlegs and homages that it inspired!  (And ’70s/’80s Italian post-apocalyptic bootlegs are simply incredible.)  Or go even further with the likes of Adventure Time, especially in the more recent years as the old world was further expanded upon.  Even if settlements are rebuilding the old world and some semblance of stability comes to the wastes, there are still many hazards that roam the blasted out reaches.  Just like the dungeon crawls and treks of D&D fantasy, the world has regressed into an age of buried secrets, monstrous threats, lost knowledge and high adventure!

With that, today I’m going to focus on retooling some old ideas I’ve had for post-apocalyptic settings.  Effects of radiation, as well as enfeebled equipment and ruins of buildings are given some spit and polish.  Plus, I wanted to bring back a fair share of gruesome and ghoulish creatures I had worked on in the past.  Whether it’s an elemental power of radiation itself or the many mutants that is probably created, there are tons of familiar faces.  While I wanted to make a scrapping based craft mechanic, I couldn’t really settle on a base craft mechanic.  To be fair, neither has core D&D really.  And until we have an expanded idea, there are tons of concepts floating throughout the web.  So, I’ll likely come back to that in the future.

Author’s Note: Here’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while!  In fact, it’s part 1 for that matter.  Expect a heaping helping of horrifying mutants within the next couple of days to next week!  Stay glowing, my radioactive muties!

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Bizarre Bazaar Returns from the Planes! – More Planar Items

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The hustle and bustle of the market gives way to something you’ve seen before.  Ahead lies a familiar tent and sitting underneath is a figure wearing spacefaring gear over robes.  Their head tilts in your direction, acknowledging your presence and expecting reaction.  Upon getting closer, the creature straightens its back as it lifts from the ground with seemingly little effort.  Facing you, they extend a cloth covered arm in greeting, it is Zam’dul the Plane Traveler.  The thick breathing from a chamber in his mask lightens up as you can hear sounds like a throat being cleared.

“Hail, friend!  It has been a while, has it not?  Please, do not shy away.  Since your last visit, I have procured many new items from the distant cosmos and beyond.  I open my collection for you, if you can handle a potentially steep price.”

The dusty, wrinkled merchant shuffles over as an arm extends to highlight various wares.  Much like before, you bare witness to a wide variety of truly odd looking crafts and artifacts.  Some resemble items you’ve seen in your travels, others are far too alien for you to fully comprehend.  Zam’dul surveys the crowd while ringing a strangely shaped bell, hoping to garner interest.

Author’s Note: We’re slowly closing out our planar theme for the time being.  However, I figured it would be fun to return to another installment of Bizarre Bazaars!  This time, I’m going back to my roots and doing another planar theme, including the truly bizarre and perhaps even horrifying aspects of the planes.  But, if you wanted normal items, you wouldn’t have come here.  As a bonus, I’ve converted over some items from Planescape Torment.  No matter, take it away, Zam’dul.

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