Jun 8, 2016

Wondrous Wednesday: Rosethorn Censer

This item is one I've used in games for almost twenty years. I remember an illustration of a magic-worker surrounded by streamers of incense, gazing intently into a mirror that was part of a box; I think I saw it in one of those 80s encyclopedias of the Occult which used to clutter the shelves of Waldenbooks and B. Dalton back in the day. In any case, the image stayed with me and I used it as inspiration for a fortune-teller my players visited in a marketplace. Since I portrayed a lot of fortune-tellers as shifty con-artists, a couple of players decided it was the box itself that was magical. I came up with the details of the potential magic item, but never needed it as more profitable larcenies occupied the group.

Jun 6, 2016

Monstrous Monday: Classic Characters 1 - Allies

I was sick last week, so there were no updates. That gave me time to do a little work on some conversions I'd planned of classic characters from previous editions of D&D. Part of the fun of a new edition is converting favorite characters and seeing how they turn out. With the new edition's focus on simplicity, for a lot of characters I find the proper way to do a conversion that captures the spirit of the character is to start from scratch. That seemed to work pretty well with the classic characters I've converted: Aleena (from the Mentzer Basic Dungeons & Dragons book of 1983), Morgan Ironwolf (from the Moldvay Basic Dungeons & Dragons book of 1981), and Gutboy Barrelhouse (from the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide of 1979).

May 25, 2016

Wondrous Wednesday: Elven Drum of Armor

So, I was fooling around online (as you do), and came across Dinkum’s Random Magic Item Generator from Rusty & Co. I let it spin a few times, and it came up with this: "Elven Drum of Armor. This slender hide drum surround the user with an unseen field of force, providing some protection while a rhythm is maintained on it. Additionally, the user sprouts pointy ears while wearing it. The protection doesn't stack with any armor the character may be wearing." A little whimsical for most campaigns, but I like using random generators to get the creative juices flowing and seeing where it goes from there.

Blog Spotlight: North of Reality

As a service for my readers (the few, the proud...), I thought I'd spotlight a very useful blog called North of Reality. It's a fiction blog written and edited by Uel Aramchek, and it is just chock full of fantastic inspiration for fantasy gaming. Each entry is a snippet of his bizarre, wonderful imagination, and many of them have gaming application -- in fact, they're written in a way that I think he games in his spare time.

For narrative gamers (using, say, Dungeon World), many of the entries could be used as written (look at, for example, The Understeel). The next time your group finds a potion, choose something from the archive that's been tagged "bottled goods." Introduce binari into a remote city's economy. Some snippets are dripping with potential character backstories.

May 23, 2016

Monstrous Monday: Aquatic Death Worm

Jason Fogleman posted a link to the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Facebook group about the Bobbitt Worm, an aquatic predator more properly known as Eunice aphroditois. It's a nasty creature, and has popped up in fish tanks and aquariums when owners add coral or other natural decorations that contains a larval worm. The attacks of the creature are particularly savage, and, as Jason put it, "This needs a stat block so badly... Small, Medium, and Large versions too." I'd love to oblige.

Apologies to Shane Smallwood for stealing his idea for the creature's name.

May 18, 2016

Wondrous Wednesday: Rope of Winds

So, personal stuff went past the weekend, which meant I was too busy to post a Monstrous Monday entry; those will resume next Monday.

For today's Wondrous Wednesday, I'll post an item inspired by fairy tales and folklore (a source of inspiration heavily used by Gary Gygax back in the day): the rope of winds.

May 11, 2016

Wondrous Wednesday: Minimaton

I figure, if there's "Monstrous Monday," then why not "Wondrous Wednesday" where we post magic items? So, here's one that's I did decades ago, reimagined and reinterpreted for 5E: the minimaton.

May 9, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Wormwood, the Treant Lich

Apparently, several Old School bloggers do something called Monstrous Mondays, where they stat up a monster for OSR games. I run and play D&D 5E right now, and it could use a few new ones. The game has been out for a while now, but the release schedule is slow, and a lot of effort on making monsters in the 5E Homebrew community either revolves around converting monsters from previous editions to the current one, or converting monsters from other properties (video games, movies, etc.) to the RPG side. Here are a couple of good sources I've found online:

I'd like to see some new monsters. There have been some good repositories, but I guess I should put some content on here. So, without further ado, here's my first contribution: Wormwood, the Treant Lich. (I'm still working out the kinks, so the experience value I have put in is based on the lich's value from the MM; per the DMG, it might be closer to the lich.)

Apr 29, 2016

One Page Dungeon 2016 - Magic Shop Mayhem

This year has been the worst so far, at least as far as dithering over my One Page Dungeon Contest submission goes. It's the same story every year: I have a million ideas, but none of them really gel, and as the deadline looms I end up polishing the shiniest turd just so I can get something done.

Anyway, without further ado, I present Magic Shop Mayhem.

Apr 26, 2016

Tenkar's Tavern: Fundraiser for Charles "Chuck" Wright's Medical Expenses

I read over on Tenkar's Taven about a Fundraiser for Charles "Chuck" Wright's Medical Expenses (he's the Frog God Ganes Art / Layout Director). He's got diabetes (as do I) and as a result is having surgery to remove all or part of his foot (which is something that can happen to the best diabetics). As gaming companies are not exactly swimming in capital, his friends in the gaming industry have gotten together to create a GoFundMe page to cover the medical expenses, and have donated a lot of fine PDFs and product that will be given away to random donors.

As a fellow diabetic (albeit probably with better health insurance), I think this awesome, and I encourage anybody who feels like it to donate to the cause. You have a really good chance to get some free stuff (the list of "prizes" keeps getting bigger, which is awesome) and it's for a good cause.