Rise of the Machines – Robots and Androids

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Robots – 1, Organics – 0

The Machine.  A testament to engineering and ingenuity.  Artificial life taken to the next form!  Whatever the case may be, these constructs are forged from a truly advanced form of artifice.  Many are made through a high technology not unlike many forms of magic.  Some are even crafted through rare forms of magical infusion.  These constructs are far more capable of thought that many predecessors.  Beyond their elaborate programming, some prove more than capable of having souls.  Such constructs truly achieve the joys of sentience.

Author’s Note:  ROBOTS!  I made a post many moons back, that I have since wanted to remake.  Plus, here are a few more ideas I’ve tossed around for general science-fantasy robot fun!  Plus, I decided to tie the Pathfinder settings(s) into Planescape/Spelljammer… for some reason.  Since my schedule is limited this week from preparation for and volunteering for a fair, things are broken up into chunks.  Expect more soon!

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(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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Strange Things in Bloodied Wyvern Peak – A Mini Adventure for 5th Edition

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“That’s… not supposed to be there.”

Background:  All of you have been summoned on account of a king’s desperate plea for aid.  Resources have been running low for his people and attempts to trade with outside lands has been shut off completely.  The routes you’ve all taken are too unwieldy and out of the way for caravans to use often, in part because it is longer, far more hazardous and ideal locations for bandits.  All that is known is that the wider passage ways to Bloodied Wyvern Peak have been sealed off and going there is far too dangerous.  Attempts at leaving have been, more often than not, futile as the people feel trapped in their once cozy land.  To make matters worse, the soil and water have slowly been poisoned by something in the mountains.  King Orvalt Delinandor will reward handsomely for your efforts.

Inside the lavish meeting room, a temperamental man in kingly garb fidgets with his fingers as he attempts to give off a composed look.  He ushers each of you to take a seat at one of several ornate chairs, adorned with plush cushioning and fancy stitched patterns.  He rises from his comparatively large chair, himself, as to make a grand speech.

“I would like to thank all of you for making your way to my great kingdom.  Forsaking the usual pleasantries, I’d like to get to addressing our main concern.  The prime routes for trading and traveling has been completely cut off in the last couple of weeks.  Why?  I can’t really say, as most of my scouts haven’t returned for many days.  And those that are either died moments after returning or worse…  On top of that, imports are running low as our commerce has been thrown into peril.  Our soil has also turned bad, poisoning those who have used it.  Any mining operations have been halted, due to reports of collapsed tunnels and monsters.  Any workers, traders or scouts that came back alive from the mountains have returned scarred, plagued or driven mad.  Worse yet, entire towns have vanished lately.  People proclaim they see horrible things and disappear instants later!  Please, explore the cause of this; whether it’s bandits, monsters or worse!  Some blame our miners for unearthing something foul, but I have my doubts.  I’ll award a bonus if you bring any captured subjects back… dead or alive.”

After the meeting with the king, his guards escort you to rooms to equip all of you with proper provisions; climbing equipment, coats and other survival essentials.  After everyone is set with equipment, everyone is taken outside where a carriage sends them towards the outskirts of the mountain.  This ride take about 1 hours time.  The landscape changes from a bleak winter forest into jagged mountainous rock jutting from the earth.  The carriage driver indicates on a map given to you that the route follows the dirt path ahead, in through a canyon-like divide.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Inspired by my Barrier Peaks conversion and Epicroll’s short adventure, as well as a lot of retro/pulp sci-fi, here’s my take on the classic sci-fi spaceship into fantasy world crossover.  This adventure is meant for characters of 7th level.  A WORD OF WARNING!  This module gets more and more deadly as time goes on.  Some encounters aren’t meant to be fought, but are meant to be part of a puzzle.  Either way, this is a bit of an experiment for me.  Enjoy.

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Expedition to Barrier Peaks Creature Masterpost

EDIT 2019: Some of the math on these is wonky.  I’ll get around to fixing them, perhaps for an even larger science-fantasy masterpost or the like!  STAY TUNED!!

Here is a complete list of monsters and hazards from the module, in alphabetical order.  I figured this post would be useful, since I separated monsters into tons of categories to make conversion easier.  So, here’s a handy list of creatures from the module.  This post could be used in tandem with Part 5 for running the module in 5E!

NOTE: This does not include the optional new monsters I added to the adventure.  Those can be found here.  This is meant as an index for pre-existing monsters converted over.

 

 

Expedition to Barrier Peaks – D&D 5th Edition Conversion (PART 5) – Technological Artifacts, Exploration, Odds ‘n’ Ends

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“I want to go somewhere nicer, like The Tomb of Horrors…”

There is much more to the Barrier Peaks than a romp against alien monsters.  The mechanics and workings of the downed ship are far more complex.  Access cards, radioactive hallways, infested hives, among other things await our heroes as they make an… Expedition to Barrier Peaks!

Author’s Note:  This is probably the longest post in this series.  It’s a bunch of notes on running the module itself, as well as the technological artifacts you’ll find.  The cards are in the first part, as they don’t really have much mechanical depth aside from a McGuffin.

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Expedition to Barrier Peaks – D&D 5th Edition Conversion (PART 4) – Pre-Existing Monsters and Custom Stuff

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“I want to get off Barrier Peaks’ Wild Ride.”

EDIT: Many of the linked monsters no longer exist.  Plus, a lot of new monsters need an update.

 

Much of the art of conversion can be much more simple than one thinks.  Minimalism is something I’ve been meaning to toy with, as well as looking at my previously available options.  With that, here’s a list of existing monsters to modify for the adventure as well as creatures that already exist in some capacity.  Enjoy!

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Expedition to Barrier Peaks – D&D 5th Edition Conversion (PART 3) – Mutants and Monstrosities

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“Two of our party members died, but check out this shiny ray gun!”

“It looked like some sort of badger-like animal, until I noticed the eight legs!  Each of them had barb-like claws attached.  As the creature faced us, its jaws dettached and let out the most horrid of shrieks.  It pounced upon and tore apart the bardic minstrel in moments before we managed to put it down.  What other twisted beasts dwell here?”

-A survivor’s brief encounter with the Aurumvorax

Beyond machines and flora, countless species of fauna populate the strange wreckage.  Whether they’re organic forms from realms unknown or mutated experiments gone horribly wrong, their alien nature and ferocious abilities make them formidable foes to fight off.

Author’s Note: Beyond some easy to convert monsters using the monster manual, here’s a helping of monsters and beasts that roam the downed ship.  Some of these were pretty easy to tackle, considering many of them had been ported over to other systems (beyond the Next playtest) such as Pathfinder.  Stay tuned for my take on pre existing monsters as well as adding new monsters to the ship!

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Expedition to Barrier Peaks – D&D 5th Edition Conversion (PART 2) – Flora Folk and Mold Men

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“Why did the wizard explode into mold people?”

“The Grand Duchy of Geoff has sent a messenger out to you with an urgent alert! Sightings of strange creatures and stranger devices have been found somewhere beyond the hilly range known simply as “The Barrier Peaks.”  All parties sent to investigate have failed to return for a while now.  Rewards will be negotiated, alongside relics you may find in the threatening area you are sent to explore.  All demands and discussion will be handled with the Duke of Geoff.”

We continue our conversion, this time with plant-based life forms and related creatures.  Included is one of my favorite monsters, the vegepygmy.  Sure, their name is weird, a bit too cutesy and possibly a tad racist; but I’ve always liked the ever strange mold men.  Not to mention, their thorny companions were always fun too.  With that, I give you more monsters from the Barrier Peaks.

Author’s Note: I’m still chugging away at the monsters from this module.  Don’t worry, after this post, I’m over half way completed!  After that, I’ll tackle some room specific bits as well as treasure.  Stay tuned!

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Expedition to Barrier Peaks – D&D 5th Edition Conversion (PART 1) – Robots and Androids

RPG Blog Carnival LogoTo kick off the August 2016 RPG Blog Carnival theme of “Super-Science and Sorcery”, I thought I’d show a part of a conversion I’m working on.  This module has always been a special one for me.  Not only was it a crazy fun house dungeon crawl, but it’s a bizarre crossover of D&D elements with the likes of Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha.  Plus, I’ve always loved conspiracies revolving around Ancient Aliens.  With that, I’ll be hoping to transfer Barrier Peaks to 5th Edition to the best of my abilities.  After it’s complete, it might go up on the DM’s Guild.

To kick things off, we’ll start the conversion with an assortment of robots and androids.  Now, you may be wondering, what do robots have to do with D&D?  I’m not entirely sure, as I’m running on coffee and sheer determination.  Granted, that hasn’t stopped me from finding a way!  Needless to say, the rest of the module is being converted in chunks, to be collected in a megapost in the end.

Author’s Note:  You read that correctly!  More or less, I’m going to be dumping some time into converting this module.  It’s very likely that this will take up a chunk of the month, itself.  Luckily, the Playtest made work a lot easier on me.  I’ve found help from other bloggers as well, thus making the journey a non-arduous one.  Plus, I’ve made a helping of techno goodies in the past too.

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