Archive for July, 2014

Holy crap, ya’ll. 25 podcasts! The latest episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.

I sit down with Joe Lastowski, Topher Kohan, and Round Table (but by no means Tome Show) newbie Mike Shea to get different perspectives on the latest D&D news. In this podcast we cover a Legends and Lore article about the Living Ruleset in the new edition of D&D, the Wizards Live Unboxing of the D&D Starter Set, and magic items in the D&D Adventurers League. This podcast was recorded on June 29, 2014.

slyflourish.com

Topher’s Google+

What the Average Joe Thinks

dungeonsmaster.com

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Hey, everyone, I’m on vacation with my lovely girlfriend in Chicago this week, so I’m going to keep this intro brief. About a month ago, I did a post about the cosmology of Exploration Age. This post was by far my most viewed ever (thank you!), so I’m going to share a few more of the world’s planes from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. So without further adieu, I’ll go back to eating meats and deep dish pizza, and you can get onto the good stuff!

Battleguard

The thrill and excitement of war is alive and well in Battleguard. For reasons unknown, the greatest warriors of Canus first arrive in Battleguard when they die. These warriors here are in one final contest for the thrill of battle. Those who kill 100 others in Battleguard are sent back to Canus, reincarnated. Those who die on this plane are forever dead and cannot be brought back to life through any means. Warriors here are often gleeful, delighting in one last clash before passing into the unknown. The plane itself is an infinite field of tall grass and hills with cool temperatures at night and warm spring temperatures during the day.

Overlap Zone

Anytime a creature is killed by another creature’s attack, the attacker regains 20 hit points.

Blood Plains

The ever-raging Blood War between demons and devils has most of its battles on the Blood Plains – an infinite place of volcanic jungle islands surrounded by seas of lava. These mighty fiends clash on air, land, and sea on a plane which overlaps with both the Abyss and the Hells in many places with permanent portals abound. The Blood Plains are the unfortunate bridge between these two awful worlds.

Overlap Zone

All creatures in the area resist acid, cold, fire, and lightning damage.

Biatopia

The hands never fail to freak me out.

Biatopia is a plane covered in two sides perpetually at war. The rakshasa fight the deva in a never-ending battle of opposed dichotomies on the infinite sea of sky and islands of solid cloud which create Biatopia. No side seems to ever gain the upper hand in this exhaustive war as the participants are constantly reborn – sometimes as the thing which they claim to hate the most.

Overlap Zone

Creatures who die here are reincarnated per the spell.

The Cage

An infinite plane of barren mountains is referred to as the Cage. Initially, when this plane was discovered it was empty. The strange pink mists within the plane serve as sustenance for any living creatures who stay in the barren land. However, the rocky terrain is mind-numbingly boring and there is no natural beauty to the arid wasteland. It has become a place for people to throw prisoners they never wish to see again. Any permanent portals on the Material Plane to the Cage are heavily guarded or have been sealed, since the Cage is full of dangerous criminals and others who the various governments of Canus do not wish to see walking free.

Overlap Zone

Creatures in the area to not need to eat or drink.

Angelia

The rolling, clean mountains of Angelia are the homes of the angels. In Exploration Age the angels do not claim to serve specific gods, but rather serve as a force for good within the multiverse. They make their homes amongst enormous palaces and castles high atop the cloud-covered peaks of Angelia. Rarely do they insert themselves into the affairs of mortals and the Material Plane. It is but one world amongst many in the multiverse which the forces of evil might consume. The angels look at the multiverse as a whole, and they focus their energies mostly on disrupting activity within the Hells and the Abyss.

Overlap Zone

Spells and rituals which summon angels have their durations doubled.

Swirling Chaos of Mispuria

An infinite maze which constantly rearranges itself via floating walls, floors, ceilings, staircases, doorways, and more. This place is home to the slaadi and other creatures of chaos. It is difficult to find a way from one area to the next with the world constantly rebuilding itself. One must be careful, since the Swirling Chaos of Mispuria’s maze is suspended in an infinite sea of swirling colors and elemental madness. Falling into this strange sea is not advised, since none have ever returned. Since the world is constantly rearranging at anytime a pathway into this sea could open beneath a creature with little warning.

Overlap Zone

The landforms in the area are constantly changing. There is a 30% chance every round of a random landform being created or destroyed. The GM may roll on the table below for a random landform, which can appear or disappear from the area.

1 tree
2 lake
3 hill
4 valley
5 river
6 volcano
7 swamp
8 mountain
9 glacier
10 desert
11 thorn bush
12 cave
13 marsh
14 hot spring
15 cold spring
16 canyon
17 sinkhole
18 lava lake
19 lava river
20 roll twice on this table

Stringent Lands of Mechanique

In Mechanique, rules and order are king. The lava filled plane is home to fire-resistant metal cities built inside inactive volcanoes. Everything within these cities is clockwork, mechanical, and orderly. The world is full of living constructs who abhor chaos and go about their predictable daily routines. Any who break the strict laws are punished harshly. Even outsiders must know the laws for Mechanique, for no exceptions can be made if order is to stay.

Overlap Zone

Any creature who tries to lie must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be compelled to tell the truth.

Poll Time

So those are some more planes for you! Let me know what you think. Also, if you have a moment, please let me know what your favorite plane is and if you think I should include it in Exploration Age.

Speaking of letting me know stuff, if you’ve been following the blog, but haven’t filled out the poll below yet, please do. I want to know if your interested in Exploration Age and if you’d buy the PDF of the campaign guide I’m putting together. Thanks!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Well, fifth edition has been released! The D&D Starter Set hit local friendly game stores last week and the D&D Basic rules are up… for FREE! Go download and check out over 100 pages of new D&D content for $0. In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting many a podcast about my thoughts on the new edition, but spoiler alert… I feel very positive about it. Maybe you’re not feeling these new rules or maybe you agree with me that this could be our finest D&D yet. Let me know if you think I’m right/wrong and sound off in the comments or hit me up on Twitter. I love to hear others thoughts and opinions. Remember, in the coming days of discussion and possible disagreement – just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean he or she is a Nazi. Be polite and respectful and people will respect your own view-point more. In the end this is just a game.

Preach!

Anyway, with this release I know the DMs out there are beginning to craft worlds of their own. I thought I’d talk with you all a bit about how I built some adventure sites into Exploration Age and then give you some examples (which you can feel free to pillage for your home campaign).

Write Down What You Got

Before you begin adding adventure sites to your world, make a quick list of all the ideas for cool dungeons, forests, castles, and more that you have. You don’t need more than a line for each site and the description only needs to make sense to you. For instance, maybe you’ve got an idea for red dragon’s volcanic lair which also serves as a portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire. You could simply write – red dragon, volcano, portal and know what that meant. The important thing is to get any ideas you have down on (virtual) paper so you don’t forget them.

As you know I love Google Drive, so I recommend starting a document there, so you can add ideas as you get them. You never know when you’ll feel inspired! If you don’t have any ideas, have a good old-fashioned brainstorm session, or have no fear and continue on. Tips for idea generation are below!

Map It Up

My latest map of Canus... still needs some tweaks

My latest map of Canus… still needs some tweaks

I’ve already written about how I made the maps for Exploration Age. Once you’ve got all of your continents and oceans created, it’s time to start dropping in adventure sites. I had my idea list, but it wasn’t enough to fill the giant world I had created. I began adding ruins, castles, and more to the map. I didn’t do this totally randomly, I looked for places that might make sense. A dangerous ruin might be in a swamp, away from a lot of other areas of civilization, and a fortress might sit with its back to the mountains or on a border between two countries in a defensible or valuable position.

Once I had placed these sites I went around naming them. I tried to look at the names of some of D&D most classic adventure sites. The Tomb of Horrors, The Temple of Elemental Evil, and Castle Ravenloft all have names which evoke a particular feeling of grand adventure while also giving you little hints about what to expect from the site. So for the sites that weren’t part of my original list, I came up with their names first and concepts second. Sometimes their names were based on the location in which they were found. For instance, within a patch of dead forest in Taliana I placed the Deadwood Castle. Other times these names were something evocative that popped into my head that I knew I would sort out later – like Gnome Graves in Parian’s Niro Swamp.

Make Your Lists

Once I had all my adventure sites and my map finished, I wrote down every single site I had placed on the map. In my case, since the map is so large, I divided my list into sublists by country. However, your map may be smaller than my own, so you may just make one list or perhaps your map is way bigger than mine and you want to find some other method of dividing your list (maybe by terrain or region – really whatever is easiest for you). Any notes or ideas I had about what the sites might be, I included on the list.

Once I had that master list of adventure sites, I set it aside. It’s always good to shift gears and let the mind rest for a bit. Many of your best ideas come when you brain is just wandering so let it (but keep that list handy so when an idea comes up you can add that detail or note to the list so you don’t forget).

A lot of folks get their best ideas in the shower. So get cleaning yourself!

Adding the Details

Finally, I began detailing each site. Obviously, with so many adventure sites on the world map, I wasn’t going to create a unique dungeon map and stat out every single resident monster for each. Besides, I want to keep things a little more open so I can tie an adventure site into the larger campaign’s story arc as it unfolds. However, should my players decide to travel through a site, spend the night in one, or just go delving into some dungeon on a side mission, I wanted to be prepared. I decided I would write at least a quick paragraph for each adventure site to have the basics covered. This will also help me if I’m running a more sandbox style adventure where the players feel free to roam all over the map.

In my mind, good adventure sites need three details.

  1. History How did a ruin become ruined? What was it before? Who built the structure? What are the stories locals tell about the place? If it’s a natural land formation why is it special and different from other places created by nature? What is unknown about its history? Who is alive today and still tied to the history of the place? Do they want people delving into the site or not? Giving a site history roots it solidly in the game world. It gives adventurers a chance to hear about a place through word of mouth instead of just stumbling onto it and it can inspire the dangers and draws of the place.
  2. Danger It wouldn’t be much of an adventure site if it weren’t dangerous. If you’re playing D&D 99% of the time that danger is one or more monsters, so think about the kind of baddies that populate a place. Is this one creature’s lair or home to a host of baddies? Of course, danger need not always come in the form of killer claws and jaws. Maybe the danger is some ancient curse, magical phenomena, natural hazard, supernatural disease, or mechanical trap. Your players may be more curious and probably more terrified if they wander into an adventure site and find no one at all… because an ancient curse drives any intruders so mad that they throw themselves into the tar pit in the basement.
  3. Draw What makes delving into the adventure site worth while? Are there riches to be uncovered? A dragon’s treasure hoard? A vein of mithral? Is there someone to be rescued or liberated in the site? Is the defeat of the evil inside the draw, because that evil is threatening a local village or something greater? Is there information that can only be learned within the site? Is traversing the adventure site the only way to get from one area to the next? Whatever the draw, every adventure site needs one, otherwise why bother risking life and limb to explore the place?

Excerpts

Here are some examples of adventure sites from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide.

  • Sunken Hold of Hymore (Aeranore) Even the trolls of the Cold Marsh won’t go near the Sunken Hold of Hymore. The old estate which once belonged to a noble family known for their gold jewelry collection is now buried three-fourths of the way into the marsh. It is said that Hymore, a well-known angry drunk, struck the life out of his wife one night. His young daughter, who had shown great psionic ability, buried the house into the ground, suffocating her family and the servants. Some travelers and treasure-seekers who explored parts of the hold say they’ve found undead with strange psionic abilities and heard the voice of an eerie little girl singing a lullaby throughout the house.
  • The Wastes (Bragonay) Bragonay is mostly desert, rocky in the North, sandy in the South. The Wastes are vast expanses of dangerous sandstorms, killer predators, warforged bandits, and countless other dangers. However, merchants constantly cross these wastes when they cannot transport their goods on the Jackrabbit due to cost, limited space, or their destination not being one of the stops on the line. Adventurers may be hired to protect a merchant caravan crossing The Wastes as guards or simply be getting from point A to point B themselves. They better bring plenty of food and water… and a good weapon. There are other reasons to go delving into The Wastes.
    • There are magical twin cacti right outside Mt. Thraxallis. The needles of these cacti can be collected and be used as magic arrows. Stripping both cacti yields 10d10 +2 arrows, however adventurers who do so risk angering the volcano’s resident, an ancient red dragon named Thraxallis who believes the cacti are his alone.
    • It is said that a camp of djinn nomads wander the desert waiting for travelers to happen upon them. If a traveler can best their champion in combat, he or she is granted a wish per the spell.
    • Sand krakens attack from below, but have beaks of solid diamond that can be harvested once they are killed.
  • Troll Lake (Verda) The scrags and trolls who live on the banks of Troll Lake are not to be trifled with. There is an odd magical effect within the waters of the lake and the surrounding lands – elemental magics cease to function. Melf’s acid arrow quiver is empty, lightning bolts do not crackle, and flame tongues cannot produce their fire. This has made it the perfect sanctuary for the denizens of Troll Lake, as only natural fire and acid can be used against them in that area. It is best to avoid the huge lake all together, as the trolls have begun to multiply. The monsters now have an army and the areas around Troll Lake have grown crowded. It is only a matter of time before they march.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.

In this special double-sized issue, I sit down with Andrew KaneRudy Basso, and Alex Basso to discuss the D&D Starter Set character sheet preview and the latest FAQ and Origins updates on Codename: Morningstar – the D&D digital companion. Then I have a killer interview with Benjamin Loomes of Syrinscape as we discuss Syrinscape’s new partnership with Paizo’s Pathfinder RPG and the Rise of the Runelords adventure path. This podcast was recorded on June 21and 22, 2014.

Links:

Syrinscape Burnt Offerings SoundPack

The DiceStormers

Arianne Elliot deviantART

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Hello, friends!!! I’m getting psyched for the release of the D&D Starter Set and Basic D&D rules today! TODAY IS THE DAY!!!! In honor of the gaming glory I present to you magic items from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. Go ahead, add them to your game. Who doesn’t want a Belt of the Monkey?!?!

Don’t fight now! There’s enough for everyone.

Flying Disc

Very rare magic armor (shield)

This steel shield’s face is always bright and shiny. Dirt and grime seem to simply fall off its surfaces and any dings or dents received in battle disappear overnight. The white angel wings emblazoned on its front are always showing and Elven runes are engraved in gold and diamond around the shield’s perimeter. When the flying disc is activated the letters move in a circular motion around the shield and the wings begin flapping. This shield was made by the elves during the Arachna War to help specialized warriors reach their eight-legged enemies.

Property: You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you wield this shield.

As an action, you throw the flying disc on the ground and stand on top of it. Using the disc this way allows it to carry you through the air and as a result you gain a fly speed of 30 feet.

You can use the shield to fly up to four hours each day, all at once or in several shorter flights. Attempting to fly beyond that time causes the magic to gradually fade, and you descend at a rate of 10 feet per round until you land.

For every uninterrupted period of 12 hours the flying disc is not being flown, the shield regains 2 hours of flying.

While using the shield to fly, it does not grant you any bonus to AC.

Tortoise Shell

Rare armor (hide)

This green and brown hide armor is actually constructed of tortoise shells and a wearer feels slightly more secure and safe when it is donned. This armor was created by the shamans of Verda’s tribes to protect themselves during battles and raids from enemies. Any non-shaman wearing this armor will probably be met with distaste by members of the tribes.

Property: While wearing this armor you gain a +2 bonus to AC.

In addition, the armor can cast sanctuary (DC 14) on you as an action once per day.

Revolver of the Dragon Hunter

Very rare weapon (aberrant revolver)

Forged by the aberrants themselves for battling their greatest enemy, this adamantine revolver has blue sapphires inlaid in the grip and is pure midnight black everywhere else. When used in a fight, the revolver grows warm with excitement and small red runes spelling out the phrase “death to lizards” in the aberrant tongue appear on the barrel.

Property: You gain a +1 bonus to the attack rolls and the damage rolls made with this aberrant revolver.

Property [Attuned]: If you are a non-dragon, the weapon’s bonus increases from +1 to +3.

In addition, this weapon ignores any acid, cold, fire, or lightning damage immunities of enemies.

Belt of the Monkey

Uncommon wondrous item

This metal belt is made of silver monkeys locked arm in arm with tiny pieces of jade for each primate’s eyes. While wearing it, one feels the tickling urge to treat the world as a playground and swing on objects and climb trees and buildings.

These belts were supposedly crafted by a Verdan tiefling who was jealous of the monkey’s tail being prehensile. He crafted this belt for himself and after showing it off, many of his friends wanted one too. So, he crafted more. Eventually the Spire Council caught wind of his activities and taught the tiefling to be proud of his own non-prehensile tail and scattered the belts across Verda.

Property: While wearing this belt you add double your proficiency to Strength (Athletics) checks to climb.

In addition, as an action any tail you have becomes prehensile for an hour. If you do not have a tail, you grow a 3-foot prehensile tail out of your posterior for an hour. You can hang from your tail, provided it has something to hold onto. Your tail also acts as a third arm and hand, allowing you to manipulate and wield objects which weigh 5 lbs. or less. In this state you could hold three weapons at once, but you can still only fight with two at a time. You cannot use this ability again until you have completed a long rest.

Box of Shrinking

Wondrous Item

These plain boxes are carved with dwarven runes, surprisingly light, and roughly the size of a loaf of bread. Inside, the box is much more extravagant, lined with crushed velvet and studded with gems. An old dwarf nursery rhyme plays when the box is open – “The Legend of Calibra Daliq,” a dwarf wizard thief, who shrunk herself to sneak past guards and locked doors in order to get her riches. She was, of course, beheaded in the end for her crime.

Property: The GM either rolls to determine the box’s type or chooses one from the options available.

d100 Type Original Object Space Rarity
01 – 50 Iron No larger than 5-foot cube Rare
51 – 80 Steel No larger than a 10-foot cube Very Rare
81 – 95 Mithral No larger than a 15-foot cube Legendary
96 – 00 Adamantine No larger than a 20-foot cube Artifact

You can use the box of shrinking’s Grow and Shrink abilities once per day each. You must be holding the box to use either ability.

Grow: As an action, any item previously shrunken by a box of shrinking of equal or lesser rarity and power may be grown. The item must be placed in the box of shrinking and its original size must be within the parameters on the table above. Once the command word is spoken the object appears in an unoccupied space adjacent to the box of shrinking. You must be holding the box of shrinking to use this ability.

Shrink: As an action you may speak a command word and one non-living object within 50 feet of the box of shrinking has its size reduced to a 1-inch cube and is teleported into the box. The item stays this size until it is grown by a box of shrinking. The shrunken item may be no larger than specified on the table above.

Shoes of the Party Lord

Very rare wondrous item

These fine green, silver, and blue silk slippers are crafted with emeralds on the heel and made by Aeronre’s mages for the more clumsy members of the royal court. The pleasant jingling of tiny bells can be heard when you dance in these shoes in front of an audience.

Property: While wearing these shoes you add double your proficiency to Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks to dance or tumble.

Property [Attuned] : While wearing these shoes, any creature who makes an opportunity attacks made against you makes that attack roll at a disadvantage.

Tongue of Contentment

Rare bioorganic item

This disembodied black tongue is studded with rubies and warm to the touch. It twitches as if it were still alive. It is believed the tongue of contentment was invented by whatever strange race lived within The Damned Lands before it was destroyed to prevent folk from starving on long journeys.

Property: You must remove your own tongue and replace it with the tongue of contentment. This process can be done during a short or long rest.

In addition, you do not suffer from hunger or thirst and do not need to eat or drink.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcast on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

July 3rd is right around the corner and that means so is the release of the D&D Starter Set for the fifth edition as well as the first iteration of the Basic D&D PDF. Holy crap, this Summer is going to be amazing. To honor all you DMs out there who will be hungry for lots of monsters to pack into your campaigns, here’s a few baddies I’ll be throwing into the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. Check them out and use them in your world if you want. Most of all, game and enjoy, my friends. Game and enjoy!

Blazing Wraiths

I’m on fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire!

Blazing wraiths are undead who had their lives ended in terrible fiery ways. When a village is burned and pillaged, a massive fire spreads throughout a city, or a volcanic lair inevitably spews lava onto its inhabitants, those who die may return as hateful spirits, wishing to inflict the same fiery fate upon others.

Blazing wraiths abhor the living and wish to burn all live flesh which crosses their path. They are specters made of pure fire, existing in the Material Plane and Ethereal Plane at the same time.

Wraith, Blazing

Medium Undead

Armor Class 14

Hit Points 26 (4d8 + 8); see Traits below

Speed 60 ft., fly 60 ft.

Senses darkvision 60ft.

Str 6 (-2)

Dex 16 (+3)

Con 14 (+2)

Int 10 (+0)

Wis 11 (+0)

Cha 12 (+1)

Alignment chaotic evil

Languages Common, Infernal

Traits

Immunity: The blazing wraith is immune to disease, fire, necrotic, and poison. It cannot be charmed, frightened, paralyzed, turned to stone, or put to sleep. It does not need to sleep, eat, or breathe.

Incorporeal: The blazing dread wraith is incorporeal.

Actions

Melee Attack – Life Drain: +4 to hit (reach 5ft.; one creature). Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) necrotic damage, 3 (1d6) fire damage, and the target must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the target’s hit point maximum is reduced by the damage dealt by this attack. This reduction lasts 24 hours.

A creature whose hit point maximum is reduced to 0 by this attack dies. The wraith can choose to raise the creature as a specter under its control, but a blazing wraith can have no more than seven specters under its control at one time.

A remove curse spell restores the target’s hit point maximum to its full amount.

Ranged Attack – Hurl Flame: +4 to hit (range 50ft.; one creature). Hit: 10 (3d6) fire damage.

Wraith, Blazing Dread

Medium Undead

Armor Class 14

Hit Points 91 (14d8 + 28)

Speed 60 ft., fly 60 ft.

Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.

Str 10 (+0)

Dex 16 (+3)

Con 15 (+2)

Int 12 (+1)

Wis 13 (+1)

Cha 16 (+3)

Alignment chaotic evil

Languages Common, Infernal

Traits

Detect Life: The blazing dread wraith gains a +5 bonus on Wisdom (Perception) checks to detect the presence of living creatures.

Immunity: The blazing dread wraith is immune to disease, fire, necrotic, and poison. It cannot be charmed, frightened, paralyzed, turned to stone, or put to sleep. It does not need to sleep, eat, or breathe.

Incorporeal: The blazing dread wraith is incorporeal.

Actions

Multiattack: The blazing dread wraith makes two life drain attacks, two hurl flame attacks, or one life drain attack and one hurl flame attack.

Melee Attack – Life Drain: +8 to hit (reach 5ft.; one creature). Hit: 36 (6d10 + 3) necrotic damage, 7 (2d6) fire damage, and the target must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save the target’s hit point maximum is reduced by the damage dealt by this attack. This reduction lasts 24 hours.

A creature whose hit point maximum is reduced to 0 by this attack dies and immediately rises as a free-willed blazing wraith untidier the GM’s control.

A remove curse spell restores the target’s hit point maximum to its full amount.

Ranged Attack – Hurl Flame: +8 to hit (range 100ft.; one creature). Hit: 21 (6d6) fire damage.

Eldritch Fire (Recharge 5-6): The blazing dread wraith chooses a point within 50 feet of it. Each creature in a 20-foot radius cloud centered on that point must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save the creature takes 35 (10d6) fire damage, and half damage on a successful save.

The fire ignites any unattended flammable objects and damages objects in the area.

Sand Kraken

Who already hates this?

A sand kraken is exactly what is sounds like – a kraken who makes its home in the sand of desert wastes instead of the sea. Sand krakens are rare indeed and encounters with them are even more unique. These beasts are mostly reclusive, interacting with creatures above the sand only when hunting for food – or items of great power.

No one is exactly sure why sand krakens seem to want powerful items beyond the normal reasons, but two things are clear. The beasts have a sixth sense which draws them toward items of great power, and these items have a significance to the sand krakens greater than their use and function implies. Do the sand krakens have a greater purpose for these things? Are they working together or individually? No one is sure, since these creatures are not studied and avoided at all cost.

Sand krakens revel less in the chaos of killing and destruction than their sea-faring cousins, so they can sometimes be seen traveling just beneath the surface of the sand without harming anyone observing them. Don’t get in their way though. They do not hesitate to harm those they see as inferior creatures – which is everything else.

Sand Kraken

Huge monstrosity

Armor Class 15

Hit Points 198 (17d12 + 85)

Speed 5 ft., burrow 90 ft.

Senses tremor sense 500 ft., true seeing 120 ft.

Str 25 (+7)

Dex 11 (+0)

Con 20 (+5)

Int 15 (+2)

Wis 18 (+4)

Cha 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Str +12, Con +10, Int +7, Wis +9, Cha +9

Alignment lawful evil

Languages Common

Traits

Immunities: The sand kraken is immune to lightning, thunder, and damage from nonmagical weapons. It cannot be frightened, paralyzed, polymorphed, or put to sleep. It does not need to breathe.

Siege Monster: The sand kraken deals double damage to objects and structures.

Telepathy: The sand kraken can communicate telepathically with any creature within 100 feet of it that can understand a language.

Actions

Multiattack: The kraken makes three melee attacks, each of which it can replace with one use of fling.

Melee Attack – Bite: +11 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one target). Hit: 23 (3d8 + 10) piercing damage.

Melee Attack – Tentacle: +11 to hit (reach 30 ft.; one target). Hit: 20 (3d6 + 10) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled. Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained. The kraken has ten tentacles, each out which can grapple only one target.

Fling: One object held of creature grappled by the kraken’s tentacles is thrown up to 60 feet away from the kraken and knocked prone. If a thrown target strikes an object, such as a wall of floor, it takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown. If the target is thrown at another creature, the target must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.

Firestorm: The sand kraken creates three columns of fire, each which rise up from the ground and can strike a target within 150 feet of the sand kraken. A target must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Lingering Havoc

A towering colossus made of a mass of corpses and terror, the Lingering Havoc stalks the South Pole looking for victims to add to its form. Any living creatures from animals to dragons the Lingering Havoc finds and kills become incorporated into its rotting mass.

No one is sure how the Lingering Havoc came to be. Is it an aberrant experiment gone awry? A necromancer’s ritual gone haywire? Some force that came out of The Damned Lands and swam through the ocean to the South Pole? Or is it a purposeful creation some secret individual or cabal has unleashed on the world? The South Pole could just be the testing grounds or a feeding place for the Lingering Havoc to grow until it is ready to take on the world.

Lingering Havoc

Colossal undead

Armor Class 17

Hit Points  277 (26d8 + 160)

Speed  80 ft.

Senses darkvision 200 ft., true seeing 120 ft.

Str 30 (+10)

Dex 20 (+5)

Con 26 (+8)

Int 18 (+4)

Wis 23 (+6)

Cha 20 (+5)

Alignment chaotic evil

Languages The Lingering Havoc does not speak, but understands all which is spoken to it.

Traits

Absorb the Dead: Whenever the Lingering Havoc kills a creature, its remains join the Havoc’s form and the Havoc regains 30 hit points.

Damage Resistance: The Lingering Havoc is resistant to damage from all weapons, except those made of adamantine.

Fear Aura: Unless the Lingering Havoc is incapacitated, any creature that isn’t the Havoc’s ally that starts its turn within 50 feet of the Havoc must succeed on a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if the Havoc is within line of sight, ending the effect early on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the Havoc’s Fear Aura for the next 24 hours.

Ice Walk: The Lingering Havoc takes no penalty to speed while traversing ice or snow.

Immunities: The Lingering Havoc is immune to cold, disease, and poison. It cannot be frightened, paralyzed, polymorphed, or put to sleep. It does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe.

Magic Immunity: The Lingering Havoc is immune to spells of 7th level or lower.

Magic Resistance: The Lingering Havoc has advantage on saving throws against magical effects.

Actions

Multiattack: The Lingering Havoc makes two slam attacks and can also use death eye ray, cold eye ray, corpse drop, or poison breath.

Melee Attack – Slam:  +12 to hit (reach 30 ft.; one target). Hit: 39 (4d12 + 13) bludgeoning damage.

Ranged Attack – Death Eye Ray: +7 to hit (range 150 feet.; one target). Hit: If the target has 150 hit points or fewer, it dies; otherwise it takes 20 (2d12 + 7) necrotic damage.

Ranged Attack – Cold Eye Ray: +7 to hit (range 150 feet.; one target). Hit: The target takes 26 (3d12 + 7) and must make a DC 21 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed until the end of the Lingering Havoc’s next turn.

Corpse Drop (Recharge 5 – 6): The Lingering Havoc shakes its massive form and 3d4 medium humanoid corpses fall off the creature and rise as Death Knights on the Lingering Havoc’s next turn.

Poison Breath (Recharge 5 – 6): The Lingering Havoc breathes poisonous gas in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a DC 21 Constitution saving throw, taking 34 (6d8 + 7) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

So there’s a few monsters for your game, and there’s going to be more in the coming weeks along with magic items, backgrounds, and other fun stuff to bring into your campaign. On July 3rd be sure to stop by your local friendly game store and pick up a copy of the D&D Starter Set and/or download the first iteration of the Basic D&D rules. Happy gaming!

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