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Play By Post / E8: Sword&Sorcery with some MotU-like SF elements
« on: December 25, 2023, 04:20:48 PM »
So, I want to tool up an Epic 8 sword&sorcery game, with some SF elements as found in Masters of the Universe. This will use material from MotU d20, World of Xoth PF1E and Arhosa Ritual Magic.

The tone will be more gritty and bloody than MotU, but it's not R.E. Howard purism like Xoth. There is room for flashier magic as in Golden Axe.
The original MotU mini-comics pre-dating the cartoon (in terms of look&feel) and Primal are good examples for what I am looking here.

Homebrew and House Rules (D&D) / [3.5] [Equipment] Elemental Ray Guns
« on: December 23, 2023, 01:01:53 PM »
These are closer to the kind of ray guns seen in He-Man & the Masters of the Universe, relying more on being elementally attuned and having special effects than on raw damage.

Use Eiji's Heat Pistol, but with the following adjustments:

- damage is 1d6 regardless of size
- you can pick the elemental damage type: acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic
- on a natural 1 for damage, some ray guns have an additional rider effect. These effects are all extraordinary and not affected by anti-magic fields, dispel magic, spell resistance and the like:
Acid: On natural 1 for damage, 1d4 acid damage next round
Cold: On natural 1 for damage, slow 1 round
Fire: Extra die for damage (2d6 total). On natural 1 on either damage die Hotfoot effect
Electricity: On natural 1 for damage, half damage arcs off to one other viable target within 10ft (damage can't arc off a second time)
Sonic: No special effect

Ray Carbine: As above, but range 120ft, weight 8lb, two-handed, and base price 300gp

Heavily inspired by the original Golden Axe, with stats based on the drakkensteed.

Riding lizards of either type can be acquired as a first level animal companion (as for druids and other classes copying their feature) or as a 4th level steed (as for paladin and other classes copying that feature).

Riding Lizard, Large (CR 3)
TN large animal (dragonblood)
Initiative +2; Senses: low-light vision, Listen +6, Spot +5
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 13
HP 30 (4HD)
Speed: 50ft
Melee: bite +8 (1d8+6)
Space: 10ft
Reach 5ft
Base Attack +3
Grapple +13
Atk option: depending on color

Abilities: Str 23, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 12
Feats: depending on color
Skills: Listen +6, Spot +5

Riding Lizard, Medium (CR 3)
TN medium animal (dragonblood)
Initiative +3; Senses: low-light vision, Listen +6, Spot +5
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 13
HP 26 (4HD)
Speed: 50ft
Melee: bite +7 (1d8+3)
Space: 5ft
Reach 5ft
Base Attack +3
Grapple +10
Atk option: depending on color

Abilities: Str 17, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 12
Feats: depending on color
Skills: Listen +6, Spot +5

Riding Lizard Colors

Replace melee options with: Tail slap +8 (1d10+6 + trip; reach 10ft), bite +3 (1d8+6)
(Medium: Tail slap +7 (1d10+3 + trip; reach 10ft), bite +2 (1d8+3)
Trip (Ex): A Pink Riding Lizard that hits with a tail slap attack can attempt to trip the opponent (+14 check modifier for large lizard, +7 check modifier for medium lizard) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the riding lizard.
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Trip

Breath Weapon (Su): 30ft cone, 4d4 fire damage, Reflex save DC 18/17 for half damage, 1d4-1 rounds cooldown. Treat it in every other regard as a dragon's breath weapon.
Feats: Ability Focus (Breath Weapon), Recover Breath

Fire Dart (Su): As the spell lesser orb of fire (ranged touch attack, 2d8 fire damage), but range of 60ft, and any target that gets damaged by the attack has to make a Reflex save DC 14 or get knocked prone. Useable at-will.
Feats: Ability Focus (Fire Dart), Precise Shot

Ravenloft 3.5 Revised / [Monster] Uncle Skeleton (CR6)
« on: March 12, 2023, 01:51:23 PM »
(originally published in Book of Sorrows, p. 101f)

Fluff can be found on the Kargatane website, archived in the Wayback Machine:

Uncle Skeleton (CR 6)
Medium Fey
Alignment: Often chaotic neutral
Initiative: +3 (+3 Dex)
Senses: low-light vision, Listen +12, and Spot +15
Languages: Common and Sylvan, often additional ancient languages
AC: 19 (+3 Dex, +4 deflection, +2 natural), touch 17, flat-footed 16
Hit Dice: 9d6+9 (34 hp)
Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +9
Speed: 40 ft.
Space: 5 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +4; Grapple +4
Attack: Claw +7 melee
Full Attack: 2 claws +7 melee
Damage: Claw 1d6
Special Attacks/Actions: spell-like abilities, spells, maneuvers
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 17, Con -, Int 18, Wis 17, Cha 19
Special Qualities: DR5/bludgeoning, spell resistance 12, undeadish
Feats: Improved Toughness, Martial Study (Shadowhand - Shadow Jaunt), Mentor (Criminal), Weapon Finesse
Skills: Balance +5, Bluff +16, Concentration +16, Diplomacy +8, Hide +15, Intimidate +6, Jump +2, Knowledge (nature) +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Listen +13, Move Silently +15, Perform (buffoonery) +16, Sense Motive +15, Sleight of Hand +17, Spot +15, Tumble +15

Advancement: 10-16 HD (Medium)
Climate/Terrain: Any subtropical to tropical
Organization: Solitary
Treasure/Possessions: Standard

Spell-like abilities (Sp): at-will - speak with dead, 1/week - animate dead. Caster level 9th.

Spells: An Uncle Skeleton casts spells as a 9th level Bard.
Spells per day: 3-4/4/2
Spells known:
0 - Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Mage Hand, Mantissa's Banana Peel, Prestidigitation
1st - Charm Person, Expeditious Retreat, Grease, Hideous Laughter
2nd - Alter Self, Glitterdust, Minor Image, Mirror Image
3rd - Confusion, Fear, Haste

Undeadish (Ex): Despite the fact that they are not undead, Uncle Skeletons have some powers and weaknesses that resemble those of the living dead.
Uncle Skeletons are immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects.
They are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. They are immune to damage to their physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects.
Uncle Skeletons are explicitely not immune to mind-affecting effects.
Uncle Skeletons cannot be turned, but may be held at bay by a good holy symbol presented with conviction. A vial of holy water inflicts 2d4 points of damage if splashed on an Uncle Skeleton. They are healed by negative energy and hurt by positive energy, as if they were undead.
Furthermore, for reasons that are not quite clear, uncles may not approach within 30' of a large constricting snake, such as a python, boa, or anaconda.

Maneuvers: Uncle Skeletons use, ready and recover maneuvers like a 1st level Crusader (Tome of Battle) with an effective initiator level of 4. They have access to three disciplines out of the following selection: Border of Life, Dancing Fox, Fallen Anvil, Oncoming Storm, Shadow Hand and Star Dream.
They know and ready 5 1st level maneuvers and have access to a single 1st level stance.


Location: Szepreszyl Manor, audience chamber

The court componist loudly tapped his baton against the ground three times as he looked at Fuyuko, Hank, Niko and Yuki.

"The Right Honourable Lady Baroness Tanyaaa vooon Szepreszyyyyl-Jurjevicaaaa! Oberstabsärztin of the Reserves of the Red Guuaaard of Her Eminence Artemisiiiaaa! Defender of the True Faaaiiith, 3rd claaass!"

There entered Tanya, very different from the novice nun she once was. She was decked out in full courtier dress, her blonde hair was curled into ringlets, her pose regal, and her mien slightly frowning at you as she took her seat at the wooden throne. Keen eyes could spot a budding baby bump.
Those who didn't bow fast or deeply enough received an unfriendly poke from one of the guards behind them along with a hissed command.

"Lady Miiist, advisor of Her Right Honourable Lady, and
Luuusicaaa, Inspector of the Red Guard of Her Eminence Artemisiiiaaa!"

Mist, bejeweled and finely dressed, entered along with Lusica in her usual guard outfit, taking standing position to the right and left of the Baroness.

"Various lackeys and domestics of the above."

Nadja Zakaria, in her uniform of a head maid entered, her head submissively bowed, accompanied by two strangers: A red-haired man and an oriental-looking woman, most likely from the Jade Islands.

Baroness raised a hand to order silence, then spoke up.

"Inspector Lusica, court componist, guards, feel free to leave. Lady Mist, lackeys and domestics, I order you to stay."

Lusica, the court componist and the guards understood the politely worded order and left through the side doors. When the door closed, Tanya relaxed her stiff pose and smiled at her audience.

"Relax, friends. In public need to keep up appearances, but now we are among ourselves.
I miss talking to normal people in the way normal people do, so please let us do so, without 'Her Right Honourable Lady' this and bow-at-least-to-chin-depth that."

Mist doesn't wait long after that invitation and tousles Tanya's hair, making her briefly giggle. The Baroness turns her head around to Nadja.

"That also goes for you, auntie Nadja. Actually this meeting is about you. So why don't you step forward and tell us of your problem?" Knowing Nadja, she warmly adds: "If you are comfortable with that. I can also ask your husband to do that for you."

Nadja raises her head and smiles a bit insecure at being so put into the limelight. She still has a long way to go, but she has grown a good bit of confidence over the course of the last year, so this time she doesn't hide behind Niko to take care of her matters.

"I will, in a moment. I thought we would be among ourselves. What has Lucy to do with that, and who are those two... lackeys?"

The ginger maid looks at Kasumi and Hans and extends a warm smile, offering them a chance to tell of themselves.

[D&D 3.5] Krevborna / OOC Chapter 7
« on: March 02, 2023, 06:35:18 PM »
Music for setting the mood:
Händel: Wassermusik - 1st Overture

Play By Post / Krevborna II: Nadja Unchained (D&D 3.5)
« on: February 26, 2023, 12:07:37 PM »
Krevborna is a gothic horror setting created by Jack Shear of the "Tales of the Grotesque & Dungeonesque" blog. There was already a previous game here:
Previous game description:

This game will continue where the last one finished. Baroness Tanya is restored to her rightful place, but there is still the issue of Nadja being enthralled by her archfey patron. This game will be about setting your redhead companion free.

  • Level 6
  • Generally all of 1st party 3.5 is fair game if it can be fitted into the gothic horror frame (re-fluffing and re-skinning is fine), as is my Ravenloft material. (Exceptions and modifications will be detailed when the game takes off.) - Dragon Mag and Homebrew will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • Partial Gestalt with the heterodox mix of 1//-, 2//6, 3//5 and 4//4. (PrCs will have their Tier gauged depending on entry.)
  • Up to 2 traits
  • 4 bonus feats
  • Chopping Down The Christmas Tree with regular WBL but 5x prices for permanent magic items
  • WBL: 16,000gp
Interested players so far:
- Dmanus
- Nanshork
- Raineh Daze
- Skydragonknight

Krevborna is a gothic horror setting created by Jack Shear of the "Tales of the Grotesque & Dungeonesque" blog.

First beginning with how it is different from Ravenloft: It is set on a regular material world without any omnipotent Dark Powers mucking about. There are neither darklords nor domains (meaning if it bleeds, you can kill it, and kill it for good), nor is there corruption for bad deeds (meaning necromancers, assassins, poison-users and so on are fine as PCs without ending up on the fast lane to NPC status). There might even theoretically be hope for this world to get cleansed of all evils eventually.

Krevborna itself is a faux-Eastern European country. Once under the protection of The One and the Kaiser, The One has turned his back to humanity and abandoned them, and the once mighty empire has crumbled, leaving behind a crazy quilt of lawlessness, robber barons and bickering petty lords. Undead, fiends, wolfmen, witches and other things that go bump in the night have pierced and overrun the lands, and in some places even rule openly.

The closest thing to an overarching pillar of civilization is the Church of Saintly Blood, praying to a canon of venerated martyrs and miracle workers to intervene on behalf of mankind. It is equally divided as the temporal rule, and also undermined by fanaticism, corruption and intrigue. - Others have turned to old primeval gods, sought out the fair folk, struck pacts with archdevils and demon princes, or have even turned to unspeakable things from far beyond the stars and far below the waves and soil.

The fluff premise:
You all have been wrongly sentenced to death by a corrupt judge. Someone has resurrected you as revenants, and brought you into a posse with the sole purpose of killing that judge and his cronies.

Chancel would be an obvious prime spot for this premise, but I have already used Chancel in the last game. Maybe vampire-infested Lamashtu or Sibersk instead. Maybe. Maybe one of you guys will provide me with an overwhelming reason to pick one over the other.

  • Level 6, Pointbuy 28
  • Generally all of 1st party 3.5 is fair game if it can be fitted into the gothic horror frame (re-fluffing and re-skinning is fine), as is my Ravenloft material. (Exceptions and modifications will be detailed when the game takes off.) - Dragon Mag and Homebrew will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • Partial Gestalt with weak tier classes - you can either mix Tier 4 and 6, or Tier 5 twice
  • You gain the Revenant template (but without the forced alignment change and without the loss of any familiar)
  • Up to 2 traits
  • Two bonus feats
  • Chopping Down The Christmas Tree with 1/5 WBL

[D&D 3.5] The Terror of the Red Mountains / Fluff
« on: October 18, 2022, 08:41:29 PM »

A brief history of Colorado
Colorado, named after the reddish hue of its mountains, has been for a long time a stronghold of savage and aggressive indians keeping off Europeans but for a few brave trappers and Spanish explorers. This changed in 1850 when European prospectors discovered gold in the area, starting a gold rush and laying the foundation for many short-lived boom towns that turned into ghost towns as soon as the resources where depleted.

Throughout the remainder of the 19th century, the railroad accessed increasing parts of the territory, accelerating the life cycle of its boom towns as it became easier and easier to move larger and larger quantities of precious metals.

The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act in 1893 led to a staggering collapse of the silver market, killing off many previous boom towns that had been relying on silver.

The early 20th century saw a sharp rise in labor dispute in the mining sector, pitting the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and other socialist movements against the state national guard and federal troops. The socialist side ended up being crushed, with many ending up dead or jailed.

By 1916, many in the Colorado temperance movement primarily associated Germans with the production and consumption of alcohol. Believing all evil began with the drink, prohibitionists cracked down on "un-American" activity and in 1916 alcohol was banned in the state. Many saloon owners and brewers lost their jobs and with the outbreak of World War I, many others were fired and ostracized. German stopped being taught in schools and many Germans abandoned their heritage to avoid conflicts. Many individuals within the prohibition movement associated the crime and morally corrupt behavior of the cities of America with their large immigrant populations. In a backlash to the new emerging realities of the American demographic, many prohibitionists subscribed to the doctrine of "nativism" in which they endorsed the notion that America was made great as a result of its white Anglo-Saxon ancestry.

By 1924, the Ku-Klux-Klan has become a dominant political power in Colorado. Denver's mayor Stapleton is an open KKK member, and so is Colorado's most likely upcoming governor Morley.

Noteworthy natural dangers
The Rocky Mountains in Colorado reach elevations of up to 14,440 feet, with the usual dangers of thin air at high altitudes. Even in summer, cold weather hazards like avalanches and snow storms can become a thing.

Dangerous wildlife in the Colorado Rockies includes mountain lions and grizzly bears.

English takes the role of Common.

Modern languages spoken in Europe and the US are generally useful (such as Spanish, French or Mandarin), as are old scholarly languages (such as Latin, Ancient Greek or Hebrew), the latter especially in context of Mythos tomes.

In Colorado, sizeable immigrant groups with their own languages include Spanish, German, Hebrew, Mandarin. Swedish, Polish, Modern Greek and Italian.
The resident Native American population of the Ute people speak the Ute language.

Favored Enemies
Creature types likely to come up as favored enemies:
- humanoid (human)
- animal
- plant
- magical beast
- aberration
- ooze

[D&D 3.5] The Terror of the Red Mountains / Characters
« on: October 03, 2022, 01:24:28 PM »
The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.
- H.P. Lovecraft

[D&D 3.5] The Terror of the Red Mountains / Rules
« on: October 03, 2022, 12:04:45 PM »
  • Level 12, PB28
  • Generally all of 1st party 3.5 is fair game (re-fluffing and re-skinning is fine), as is my Ravenloft material and my other homebrew. (Exceptions: Artificer class, Leadership feat, Bloodlines (UA) and Item Familiars (UA) - and I reserve the right to ban d2 Crusaders and similar cheese) - Dragon Mag and Homebrew will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • Hitpoints: First level full die size, then half die size +1 (d4 => 3, d6 => 4, d8 => 5, d10 => 6, d12 => 7).
  • 2 bonus feats taken up at lvl1/12 respectively. Also note the extra feats available:
  • Chopping Down The Christmas Tree with WBL cut to 1/5. 1 1920s $ = 1 D&D gold piece. D&D price lists take precedent where the exist. (So $17,600 per lvl12 character barring Vow of Poverty, Aristocrat levels and other mods.)
  • Fractional BAB / Saves are used (UA p.73)
  • There are neither Favoured Classes, nor multi-classing restrictions (as for Paladins and Monks)
  • Nightsticks cannot be stacked
  • Every rank in Perform grants proficiency in one art form, as in 3.0 - not a separate Perform skill for every art form
  • Diplomacy uses the Rich Burlew fix, except that synergies remain as usual and DC is 20+HD+Wis
  • The applications of Open Lock are rolled into Disable Device
  • There is one extra skill, Profession (Yog-Sothothery Philosopher). It is very useful, but makes you more susceptible to fear and madness (see next bullet point)
  • Fearstacking works very different, and can lead to insanity or heart attacks: (Note: Class features, creature abilities etc that grant immunity to fear instead grant dread resistance. Dread resistance grants the creature a +5 bonus on saving throws against dread. In addition, when unaffected by dread, dread resistant creatures treat their starting dread stage as –2 rather than 0.)
  • PF Human (as 3.5 human but with +2 to any one ability score, essentially)
  • Ghoul, Lovecraftian
    (click to show/hide)
  • Abberations (probably best sourced from Osle's Monster Classes)
Armor is not used anymore in 1920s America. There are some surplus flak vests and steel helmets from WW1 floating around, but they are neither practical.
Characters with light/medium/heavy armor proficiency gain a armor bonus of +2/4/6, +1/3 per class level granting that proficiency. Unlike Dragonscale Husk this doesn't impede movement, but neither does it provide any of the other advantages of DSH like damage resistance.
  • Flak Vest (vest slot): Maximum Dex bonus +2. +2 Reflex save. On a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, the wearer instead takes 1/4 damage. Slows down movement as medium armor. 40lb. $200.
  • Steel Helmet (head slot): +1 Reflex save. -2 to Spot and Listen checks and to initiative. 5lb. $5.
Use d20 Modern rules. Use this table to convert Purchase DCs to modern dollars, then divide by 20 to get the value in 1920s dollars. (E.g. a Pathfinder revolver (Purchase DC14) would be worth 350/20 = $17.50)

Thompson M1921 stats, $200

Note the extra spells in the world of H.P. Lovecraft:

Partial Gestalt
Partial Gestalt with the heterodox mix of 1//-, 2//6, 3//5 and 4//4. (PrCs will have their Tier gauged depending on entry.)
Note that there are no T1 and T2 base classes in this game.

Tier List:
(click to show/hide)

Taxation Is Theft
Feat taxes are lame, so everyone gets the following feats for free:Additionally, the following feats are automatically gained on certain tresholds:
  • Track - 4 ranks in Survival
  • Urban Track - 4 ranks in Gather Information
Changes to Classes
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Play By Post / 12th level fixed-lister casters vs the Cthulhu Mythos
« on: September 26, 2022, 04:54:48 PM »
First, for the mechanical premise: Tier 1 casters are completely banned. Their place is taken up by homebrew fixed list casters. (Unsure yet if I should keep T2 spontaneous casters à Sorcerer in or also put them onto the chopping block.)

As usual, I'd use Partial Gestalt and cut down on magic item micromanagement through Chopping down the Christmas tree. I might also do a dragonscale husk-like replacement of armor, as there isn't much armor that is still used in 1920s America other than some surplus WW1 flak vests and steel helmets.

I'll also borrow monsters and other crunch from Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder.

* * *

For the setting, I'd base this loosely on the Witcher of Salem - a 1980s West German dime novel series where characters each are gifted with a different kind of magic (the so-called "witchers") take on the evil forces of the Cthulhu Mythos. The tone is more pulp-y than the stories of H.P. Lovecraft - it's not about turning mad over reading forbidden tomes, it's about casting Magic Missile at shoggoths.

The setting is America in the 1920s, probably the NE in and around Arkham.

Option 1: Group Good
The team consists of good-to-neutral human witchers taking on the forces of darkness. If there are any clerics, they would have to worship one of the Elder Gods (as described by August Derleth, not the Elder Gods of the D&D multiverse).

Race selection is very much limited to humans.

Option 2: Equipe Evil
The evil-to-neutral PCs are serving an outer god or a great old one, and fighting the cults of other eldritch evils. Any clerics would have to serve the group patron. Ritual magic (as per Arhosa) is also an option.

In addition to humans, PCs may be aberrations or Lovecraftian ghouls (although they would still do well being able to hide their true nature). Depending on the patron there may be more options, like Deep Ones for followers of Cthulhu or Yuan-Ti for followers of Yig.

Off Topic Fun / R.I.P. Shamus Young
« on: June 25, 2022, 07:47:21 PM »
Shamus Young, author of the DM of the Rings webcomics, has passed away on June 15th:

[D&D 3.5] Nightfiend's Zest / Chapter 1 - Out of the Dark
« on: June 11, 2022, 10:33:20 AM »
The atmosphere in Balefire is tense and dense enough to be sliced. The town marks the last holdout of the Endymian Empire, and Nightcrawler Canyon is the only thing keeping it from being openly overrun.

You have been housed at Baron Feparki's court, but by now even there the provision situation has grown grim with all supply lines being besieged by the Destroyers.

Vargil Kortath, Commander of the City Watch, personally approaches you: "We were happy to accomodate you, but alas our supplies are running low. Fortunately, we could secure the services of Macabra Meadowsweet. She has seen every part of the land, and will no doubt be eager to lead you to places that can accomodate even her hearty halfling appetite. And soon at that, very soon I hope."

(click to show/hide)

"Ouch! No need to pull my ear! I'll be happy to help out even without being pestered like that. For first, I'm getting bored of Balefire, and second and more importantly, since last week there is no longer strawberry cheesecake. Can you imagine!?!? A place without strawberries is hardly worth living."

Vargil subtly rolls his eyes at your wilderness guide behind her back and goes on. "You will need to decide to go either west toward Thessa or east towards Epithumias, for alas we are down to our last Nightcap Candle. Nightcap Candles make you invisible to the nightshades haunting the Nightcrawler Canyon that surrounds our town, but we lack the supplies to make more of them. Dyslimenos and Swivelsmouth both provide the raw materials to create more of them for a skilled alchemist, if you can secure a supply line to either of those towns.

Whichever way you turn, we expect a roadblock on either beacon breadcrumb. The Destroyers have decided against assaulting Nightcrawler Canyon head-on. and are instead starving us out."

"What-eeeever. First I need strawberries. You hunks can handle such a pedestrian obstacle for a poor starved little beauty like me, yes?"

Rumors & Reports

Thibie Blackflower, a shadar-kai gleaner, reports that the gnoll attack struck like lightning. If it hadn't been for her blessed pet duskmane discorporating just in time, she would have joined the many corpses that day.

"I was there when it happened, and it really happened fast. The gnolls came over us like a tsunami. I had to leave behind one of my favourite dresses to turn invisible for long enough to get away - and I had to abandon my buried stash. If you could help me to get back, I could help to to mos... som... a token of appreciation from it. I even had a Nightcap Candle in it, if you want to turn around and try the other circuit before we are forced to cross Hrathorbosk."

Deadwing Cabal:
- no recent reports -

"Stuffy buzzkills, the whole lot of festering fairie fires. (Misty excempted of course.) Wouldn't let me poke around, and the waitresses' demeanour was as bone-dry as the stuff they call 'wine'. There's not really a lot to do, unless you are, like, an onyx merchant or something. Booooring!"

There was no visible struggle when the town changed hands. From one day to another, the populace decided to change their allegiance, and what little protest there was was quickly subdued by the angry mob. The most visible sign was when Urthra-Khan personally strangled dread pirate Roberts.

"'Disreputable gods'? Hah! The Street of the Pantheon has some of the very few gods even I need to respect, but they are obviously too fun for whatever stuffy scholar wrote those prissy accounts. If you ever need to have a fun time, let me show you around Epithumias. And if you afterwards ever need some alone time, the Temple of Unattainable Desire is avoided by any local. My eyes will be prying what it does to you... From a safe distance."

The old khayal genie emir was killed in the defense of the settlement, and replaced by Emir Nuhasrabal, a brass golem. Strangely enough, the brass golem is intelligent, communicating with the rest of the world through a specifically constructed ouija board.

The town is filled with reveling Destroyers on shore leave. Spirits are high, as if they expect to be only one final push away from winning the whole land.

"Now that's a fun place to be - as long as you can pay for it. Was never a problem for me, belly-dancing can earn you quite a few crowns as long as you don't mind to be ogled by fat merchants, especially for us halfling girls with their extra pounds in all the right places. ;) "

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Melk Zumber, a caravan guard who had accompanied a onyx delivery at the time of Throben's submission, reports that the change of allegiance went largely unnoticed.

"Nearly as boring as Deadwing Cabal. Visitors at least are free to go to Commemoration Cemetery, where you can find a headstone shrine dedicated to any death god you can think of, and some you have never even heard of. In fact, devotions there are welcome, which works perfectly for me and makes this a mandatory stopover whenever I cross the western desert. Not much else to do after you have been there for the day - I'll rather brace the desert and stab a cactus then to endure that embalming liquid those stiffs call 'booze'."


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[D&D 3.5] Nightfiend's Zest / Music for setting the mood
« on: June 11, 2022, 10:30:50 AM »
Stealing this idea from Psysama.

Plotting in Balefire to learn all you can and then head out:
Batman Returns - Prologue (Part 2)

[D&D 3.5] Nightfiend's Zest / OOC Chapter 1
« on: June 11, 2022, 10:23:14 AM »
OOC specific to the beginning chapter.

Homebrew and House Rules (D&D) / [PrC] Knave of the Bat
« on: June 09, 2022, 09:14:04 AM »
A simple evil adaption of Knight of the Raven (ECS). As I need this for an E6 game I didn't bother to adapt features beyond lvl5.

Knave of the Bat

Base Attack Bonus: +4
Alignment: Any non-good.
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 1st-level divine spells.
Special: Must ritually sacrifice a bat to a evil deity, biting its head off.

Level  BAB    Fort  Ref   Will   Spellcasting                                   Special           
  1    +1     +2    +0    +2     -                                              Bat harrier (harry), speak with bats
  2    +2     +3    +0    +3     +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class Deadly Touch
  3    +3     +3    +1    +3     +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class Rebuke undead, Undeath domain, bat harrier (baffle)
  4    +4     +4    +1    +4     +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class Darkness focus
  5    +5     +4    +1    +4     +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class Bat harrier (falter), Enduring Life

HD: d8
Skill points: 2+Int. Class skills are Concentration (Con), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Spot (Wis) and Survival (Wis).

Class Features

Knaves of the Bat are devoted to battling alongside the undead, and they gain a number of abilities to help them in that quest. They also have a unique sort of animal companion, a fiendish bat trained to harry foes and interfere in combat to the knave's advantage.

Spellcasting: At each level above 1st, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming a knave of the bat, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Bat Harrier (Ex): At tst level, you call a fiendish bat into your service. This creature aids you in combat by distracting foes, and it gains additional abilities as you advance in level. Its statistics are normal for a bat (MM 268) with the fiendish template (MM 107), except as noted here. Your bat's hit point total equals one-half of your full normal hit points. For the purpose of effects related to number of Hit Dice (including the benefits of the fiendish template), use your HD total. The bat uses your base saving throw bonuses plus its ability score modifiers (Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +2). It has an Intelligence score of 3. The bat is incredibly agile. It never provokes attacks of opportunity for moving into an opponent's square or for leaving a threatened area. If it is killed, a replacement appears at the next dusk. You suffer no special penalties should your bat fall in battle.

Your bat harrier has the following special abilities:

Harry (Ex): As a swift action, you can command your bat harrier to distract a single opponent within 30 feet of you. The bat enters that opponent's space. The target must then make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Cha modifier). If the save fails, that opponent takes a -2 penalty to its AC for 1 round.

Baffle(Su): When you reach 3rd level, you can command your bat harrier to prevent an opponent from taking advantage of lapses in your defenses. If at the start of your opponent's turn the bat is in its space, the opponent must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your cha modifier). If the save fails, that opponent cannot make attacks of opportunity for 1 round.

Falter (Su): At 5th level, you can command your bat harrier to keep an opponent off balance against enemies. If your bat occupies its space, that opponent provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening foes even when it takes a 5-foot step. Your bat harrier automatically follows a target that makes a 5-foor step.

Speak with Bats (Su): You have the ability to speak with bats, including bat familiars and your own bat harrier. If a bat has Intelligence above 2, you can communicate with it as you would with a (rather stupid) human, using a language you both share. If the bat has animal
Intelligence (int 1 or 2), you can communicate with it if you were using the speak with animals spell, though this ability does not have a duration.

Deadly Touch (Su): When you reach 2nd level, you can cause wounds with a successful touch attack. Each day you can deal a total number of hit points of damage equal to your knave level x your Charisma bonus. An opponent subjected to this attack can make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 knave level + knave's Cha modifier) to halve the damage dealt.

Alternatively, you can use any or all of this power to cure damage to undead creatures, just as an inflict wounds spell does. This power otherwise functions identically to the paladin's lay on hands ability.

If you already have the Deadly Touch feature from another class (like Paladin of Tyranny or Paladin of Slaughter). the pools stack, and you use the more favourable save DC when inflicting damage on others.

Rebuke Undead (Su): At 3rd level, you gain the ability to rebuke undead as a cleric of two levels lower. If you can already rebuke undead, add your effective cleric level from this class for the purpose of rebuking to that from other classes.

Undeath Domain: At 3rd level, you gain access to the Undeath domainFRCGS p.66. If you have cleric levels and do not already have access to the Undeath domain, you gain the domain's granted power (Extra Turning) and can choose domain spells from the Undeath spell list as well as from those of your other domains. If you already have access to the Undeath domain, you gain another Extra Turning feat. If you do not have cleric levels, then you can use the granted power of the Undeath domain normally. Add the Undeath domain's spells to your class's spell list. If you are a spontaneous caster such as a favored soul or sorcerer, then you can select a Undeath domain spell whenever you have the option to choose a new known spell. Once you know the domain spell, you can cast it freely.

Darkness Focus: When you reach 4th level. you become adept at casting spells with the darkness descriptor. Any time you cast such a spell, you can choose one of the following effects to enhance the spell:
1.) Double the radius of darkness, and treat the spell as one level higher for the purpose of countering or dispelling a spell with the light descriptor.
2.) Increase its saving throw DC by 2.
3.) Increase your effective caster level by one; for example a Darkness spell lasts an additional 10 minutes, or a Darkbolt spell potentially deals an extra 1d8 of damage.

Enduring Life: At 5th level, you gain Enduring LifeLM p.26 as a bonus feat.

[D&D 3.5] Nightfiend's Zest / Campaign Fluff
« on: June 02, 2022, 05:49:00 PM »
A long time ago, the Endymian Empire barely escaped great peril. A large army of Destroyers came from a neighboring universe. The creatures of the Endymian Empire were no match for the powerful Destroyers. Just when everyone had given up hope, a great fire swept over the realm, wiping out the Destroyers' army.

Several hundred years have passed and the realm is threatened once again...

What's the Endymian Empire?

The Endymian Empire is a confederacy of 10 independent settlements on the Plane of Shadow who are not as evil-aligned as the rest of the plane - or at least lawful enough about their evil to practice it in predictable ways.

The heads of the towns elect an Emperor whenever the original one dies or 20 years have passed, depending on which happens first. But while the Emperor gets a fancy magic crown with powers, he doesn't get much say - the town leaders abhor the idea of voting for someone with enough power to overrule them and force them to do things they don't want to do. That's a thing all town leaders agree on, so they usually settle for a weak candidate with neither much personal power nor social backing in any member city.

Up until recently, they've found the perfect candidate in Ladislaus XV of Castle Thrymbyte.

Who are the Destroyers?

The Destroyers come from the lower planes. Not all of them are fiends (in fact, fiends compose a relatively small portion of the invasion force), but most are monstrous, and even the most human-like are wicked to the core.

The Destroyers emerged from a portal near Thrymbyte, laid waste to the castle and assassinated emperor Ladislaus XV. From there, they took out the disorganized towns one by one, either destroying them, conquering them or forcing them into vassalage. Balefire is the last bastion of the Endymian Empire.

The shadowy leader of the Destroyers is the Nightfiend Emperor, a huge fiendish monstrosity straight from the lower planes. He dwells on his own private island in the east of the milieu and leaves it for now to his underlings to run the Destroyer Realm for him.
Access to the island is barred through a mix of the fortress being sunken down the waves, encased in thick life-draining purple ice and ravaged by equally purple vile lightning storms. A sort of terminal must be activated with four keys to turn off the measures and face the Nightfiend Emperor.

Known Key Locations
  • Ash Key: Worn by the ice troll general Hrnhrkr who had participated in the original assault on Castle Thrymbyte. Last seen months ago during the attack on Winterdreamer Cabal.
  • Dust Key: Worn by the great gnoll warchief Urthra-Khan leading the attack on Bogside. Rumors speak of her and her tribe roaming the south-eastern desert.
  • Salt Key: Unknown whereabouts.
  • Vaccuum Key: Worn by the brass golem governor Emir Nuhasrabal of Thessa. Still lives and rules there openly.
Beacon Breadcrumbs and getting lost on the Plane of Shadow
With its lack of celestial light sources and its evershifting landscape, it is easy to get lost on the Plane of Shadow. Due to the shifting landscape, every environment is as difficult to navigate as moors on the material plane (Survival DC 6). Those without darkvision suffer constantly from poor visibility. Whenever you move through an area that would trigger an orientation check on the material plane, the DC is increased by +4.

Important routes are connected through beacon breadcrumbs: Permancied dancing lights 300ft up in the sky, with one set every 10 miles so that as long as you are on the right track, you can see both the next beacon and the beacon behind you. Someone following a beacon breadcrumb needs no Survival rolls to navigate.

Many of the breadcrumbs have been dispelled by the Destroyers. Those still working and publicly known are marked on the map.
Allegedly there are a few secret breadcrumbs, there start and ending points out in the wilderness only those in the know can find, or shining light only visible with the right tools.

Click for large map (3.7MB)

Political Map
(click to show/hide)

[D&D 3.5] Nightfiend's Zest / Dice Rolling
« on: June 02, 2022, 02:06:50 PM »
Should you need it during character creation for some weird reason, it already exists.

[D&D 3.5] Nightfiend's Zest / OOC General
« on: June 02, 2022, 02:06:14 PM »
For all general out of game purposes.

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