Posts Tagged ‘D&D 5e’

I’m fond of chase sequences. The fifth edition Dungeon Master’s Guide has introduced some great chase mechanics for DMs to use in their Dungeons and Dragons games. I’ve had an article published about running chase sequences in EN World EN5ider Magazine which you can read if you pledge a single dollar a month to the Patreon campaign (though I recommend you contribute another buck or two to get their sweet adventures and more). On this very blog I’ve posted the sewers and treetop city chase complication tables. Today I want to add a few new complication tables to the mix, but they’re beyond the usual foot race. I’m talking about chases up in the sky and through water. Below are chase complication tables for a flying chase and saltwater chase.

Flying Chase Complications
d20 Complication
1 A massive gust of wind blows against you. Make a DC 15 Strength saving throw. On a failure, the wind pushes you back 10 feet at the start of your turn.
2 A flock of birds blocks your path. Make a DC 15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. On a failure, the birds count as 15 feet of difficult terrain and you take 1d10 piercing damage.
3 Suddenly the air around you becomes very thin. Make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failure you suffer one level of exhaustion which lasts until the end of the chase.
4 You pass by a giant eagle. Make a DC 15 Wisdom (Animal Handling) check. On a failure the eagle joins the chase and chases after you with hostile intentions.
5 A random atmospheric disturbance occurs around you. Make a DC 15 Dexterity saving. On a failure you are hit by a small jolt of lightning and take 4d6 lightning damage.
6 A cloud is in your path. Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check or use 10 feet of movement to move around the cloud. On a failure the cloud counts as 10 feet of difficult terrain and you are vulnerable to lightning damage until the end of the chase or until you take fire damage.
7 A passing peryton decides to make a meal out of you and joins the chase.
8 You fly into a weak magic zone. If you are using magic to fly, make a DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana) check. On a failure you hover in the air and cannot move by means of magical flight until the start of your next turn.
9 A random atmospheric disturbance occurs around you. Make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failure you take 1d6 thunder damage and are pushed 10 feet in a random direction determined by the DM.
10 Violent winds assault you. Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check. On a failure you are moved 15 feet in a random direction (determined by the DM).
11 – 20 No complication.
Saltwater Chase Complications*
d20 Complication
1 A giant octopus joins the chase and chases after you.
2 You run into a patch of seaweed. Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check. On a failure the seaweed counts as 10 feet of difficult terrain.
3 A sudden riptide grabs you. Make a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. On a failure you are pulled 15 feet in a random direction determined by the DM and suffer one level of exhaustion which lasts until the end of the chase.
4 A large piece of jagged drift wood pulled by a fast current speeds toward you. The wood makes an attack against you with a +5 bonus to the attack roll. On a hit you take 1d8 piercing damage.
5 A coral reef lies in your path. Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Athletics) check. On a failure you are hooked my the coral and take 1d4 piercing damage and lose 10 feet of movement.
6 A large swell or wave is headed your way. Make a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. On a failure you are pushed back 15 feet at the start of your turn.
7 A reef shark approaches you. Make a DC 15 Wisdom (Animal Handling) check. You make this check at disadvantage of you are not at maximum hit points. On a failure the shark chases after you.
8 A school of jelly fish is in your path. You can spend 10 feet of movement to move around the jellyfish or make a DC 15 Dexterity (Athletics) check. On a failure you take 2d6 poison damage and lose 15 feet of movement.
9 A rock lies in your path. Make a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) check. On a failure you lose 5 feet of movement and take 1d10 bludgeoning damage.
10 A you are assaulted by currents in all directions and a small whirlpool forms beneath you. Make a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check. On a failure you lose 10 feet of movement and suffer one level of exhaustion.
11 – 20 No complication.

*Note you may make a vehicles (water) check with the appropriate ability in place of an Athletics check if riding in a water vehicle during the chase.

PDF

Would you like these chase complication tables in a PDF along with all the other fifth edition D&D chase complications I’ve designed for this blog? Grab them below.

Chase Complication Tables

Saltwater Chase Complications Table

Flying Chase Complications Table

If you don’t want to grab them now, but decide you want the PDFs at a future date, head on over to the Free Game Resources section of this site where the documents will live along with monstersmagic items, backgroundsD&D fifth edition rules modulesspellsadventures, and more created by yours truly.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts 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!

I have a bit of a problem. Some of my players have begun to look on dying as a minor inconvenience rather than the big deal it should be. You see, my players are seasoned, and know that when their PC dies, there’s always a raise dead or resurrection spell to be cast. For the most part, I’m ok with this. D&D is just a game after all, and as long as my players are having a blast, who cares if they’re coming back from the dead? But this has really begun to go too far…

When a character dies, he or she may spend a session or two playing another character while their original’s corpse spends its time gentle repose-d in a bag of holding, but eventually they find that diamond, or scroll, or rod and they’re able to bring the old character back to life. They have even begun to see the death of major NPCs as, “Oh well, we can just raise them later,” as opposed to the big story moments they should be.

The Current Penalties

Take a look at how the raise dead, resurrection, and true resurrection spells read from the Basic D&D Player PDF.

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There are some good things going on here. There is no experience point loss, Constitution score loss, or level loss, as in first, second, and third editions. While I may be looking for some more serious consequences when it comes to dying, these permanent draining penalties are no fun. They just give you an underpowered character compared to the rest of the party (unless everyone in the party dies and is raised an equal number of times). Always being a level behind everyone else can be embarrassing for many, and having low Constitution makes it even easier and more likely for a character to die again. While a little shame for dying can be fun, having a constant reminder like that is simply not fun for many players (myself included) which makes folks less likely to take risks with their characters. I would rather see my fictional hero die in a blaze of glory than cower in the back because I don’t want to have to feel the shame associated with being second-rate compared to the rest of the party. These old school penalties are a bit of a pain in the butt as well, since backwards math can take some time to figure out and get used to.

So the fifth edition spells do not have some of the bad drawbacks I personally disliked in older editions. They have a few other drawbacks which make sense to me. Let’s break it down spell by spell.

Raise Dead Drawbacks
  • Price and gem rarity. 500 gp is typically in the reach of PCs within the first five levels, perhaps within the first few sessions if the party pools resources and the DM is a handsome and generous person like myself. But a diamond worth 500 gp is more difficult to find than a few (hundred) coins. Only the most successful big city jewelers, nobles, and royalty are likely to have something like that lying around waiting to be sold. Even then they may not wish to part with the item (or have the characters undertake a quest before they consider selling it to them). Making these diamonds hard to find is the first drawback and it goes hand in hand with the next.
  • Time limit. A person may only have died within the last 10 days for the spell to work. Now in most campaigns that’s a time crunch to find a 500 gp diamond if the party does not already have one, so it does put the pressure on a party find a gem more quickly, which is great fun.
  • Gotta have the body. This makes sense for a fifth level spell. You can be raised from the dead provided you haven’t lost your head or turned into a pile of ash. So if this is the only spell available and you just died via red dragon breath, you are SOL. Also lost limbs stay lost and all magical diseases, curses, etc. remain in effect. So it’s not a heal all spell (like resurrection and true resurrection).
  • Fifth level spell. A fifth level spell for bards, clerics, and druids means the caster must have at least nine levels in one of these classes. So if the party does not have a ninth level caster in one of said classes (or a 17th level Paladin), their options are somewhat limited. Either the party must have a magic item such as a scroll which casts the spell and someone capable of activating said item or be able to find a willing NPC to cast the spell. The rarity of both of these is, of course, up to the DM. Not a bad drawback, but at a certain point this isn’t a hurdle once the party has a caster who can cast the spell.
  • Temporary penalties. I like this one. Coming back from the dead and being dead should take more out of you than having the flu, but eventually you get back to your old self.
Resurrection Drawbacks
  • Price and gem rarity. Now you need a 1000 gp gem, so it has all the drawbacks of raise dead at seemingly double the price, right? Nope! This drawback barely matters because you have 100 years to find the thing if you don’t already have it.
  • Time limit. If we’re talking PCs, in most cases this isn’t an issue. Unless you’re playing a game with a party of elves which spans centuries (actually a pretty awesome idea… called it), if a party member dies this is nothing to worry about. It could come up in other ways in your story, but won’t matter much for dead PCs. However, a caster is taxed greatly if a creature dead for more than a year is brought back to life, which is a little more likely to happen to a PC (though still not very in most cases).
  • Caster taxed. If a creature has been dead more than a year, the caster pays a big price… for a day. This isn’t a huge sacrifice, unless the spell is cast in the middle of a dungeon, which it very well may be, but again, in most cases probably not.
  • Seventh level spell. The spell is seventh level which means, a caster must be a 13th or higher level caster to cast the spell, and in most cases a DM will rule it’s even harder to find a scroll or NPC caster than for raise dead.
  • Temporary penalties. I’m still loving it.
True resurrection penalties
  • Price and gem rarity. Dang! 25,000 gp is a pretty penny and it’s even harder to find in gem form. Even with 200 years, you’re going to have to go through heck to get a diamond of that worth.
  • Time limit. 200 years. Really not a worry for a PC. This is barely a drawback (as it should be for a ninth level spell).
  • Ninth level spell. Good luck finding a scroll or NPC caster in many settings. If you do, be prepared to make some big sacrifices or before you get your hands on an item or a favor granted.

My Conflicting Feelings

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the way these spells play out and their penalties. The pay off and penalties seem to scale well with spell level, but I do want something more. Here’s what I’m keeping in mind as I come up with some modules for death in Exploration Age.

  • It’s A Game. I want my players to have a shot at bringing their characters back from the dead if they truly love them. Characters returning from the dead is a hallmark of fantasy (Gandalf and Harry Potter did it) as well, so I’m cool with the fact that it doesn’t actually happen in the real world. At the same time, sometimes people lose games, so coming back from the dead shouldn’t be a gimme.
  • Death Should Be Scary. Death needs to have consequences beyond what the spells present, for my players have lost their fear of dying, a subject which should really be the main concern of players in most D&D campaigns.
  • Death Should Not Be A Straight Punishment. I want my players to take risks with their characters. Risks should be rewarded with great story, whether or not they pay off. A sweet, fiery death is a lot better than running around a few levels or Constitution points shy of the rest of the party.

With that in mind, check out these modules for death I’m offering in the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. The first makes PC death permanent… eventually. This seems fair as I have never had a PC die more than twice, but it could happen and would make death more meaningful. The second makes coming back a riskier proposition (though still fairly easy to accomplish), and was inspired by some first edition rules.

In an Exploration Age game, GMs can rule that character death has greater consequences than what is presented in the current Dungeons and Dragons rules. These variant rules are meant to make death a more serious threat.

Module: Three Strikes and You’re Out

Each time creatures are brought back to life via magic, a piece of their soul remains in the afterlife. They may only return from death twice, before their souls are permanently anchored in the afterlife. A third death is the absolute final for any creature, after that they may not be brought back to life by any means. In a sentence – every creature only gets three lives maximum.

Variant Module: Escalation Strikes

In this variant of the Three Strikes and You’re Out module, creatures may be brought back to life three times and a fourth death is the absolute final for any creature. In a sentence – every creature gets four lives. In this module a raise dead spell can no longer bring dead creatures who have died more than once back to life, and after their third death only a true resurrection spell may return a character to life.

Module: The Soul is Fragile

Outside of the body, a soul is fragile and can easily be destroyed. The process of bringing a person back to life is hard on the soul and there’s a chance a returning soul could be destroyed in the process. A caster must make a DC 15 ability check using their spellcasting ability modifier. If the check fails, the GM should roll on the appropriate table below for the result, based on the spell cast.

Raise Dead
d100 Effect
1 – 40 Spell works as normal.
41 – 60 Soul is not returned to the body, spell slot and diamond are expended, but soul is not destroyed.
61 – 99 The soul is destroyed.
100 Soul is not returned to the body, spell slot and diamond are expended, but soul is not destroyed. In addition, an outsider (such as a devil, demon, or angel) instead inhabits the body of the deceased. The inhabitant must be removed from the body before the original creature may be returned to life.
Resurrection
d100 Effect
1 – 50 Spell works as normal.
51 – 70 Soul is not returned to the body, spell slot and diamond are expended, but soul is not destroyed.
71 – 99 The soul is destroyed.
100 Soul is not returned to the body, spell slot and diamond are expended, but soul is not destroyed. In addition, an outsider (such as a devil, demon, or angel) instead inhabits the body of the deceased. The inhabitant must be removed from the body before the original creature may be returned to life.
True Resurrection
d100 Effect
1 – 60 Spell works as normal.
61 – 80 Soul is not returned to the body, spell slot and diamond are expended, but soul is not destroyed.
81 – 99 The soul is destroyed.
100 Soul is not returned to the body, spell slot and diamond are expended, but soul is not destroyed. In addition, an outsider (such as a devil, demon, or angel) instead inhabits the body of the deceased. The inhabitant must be removed from the body before the original creature may be returned to life.

Module: A Combination

You could combine the Three Strikes and You’re Out module and The Soul is Fragile module, by limiting creatures to only three lives and asking for a spellcasting ability check and rolling on the appropriate table anytime raise dead, resurrection, or true resurrection is cast.

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!

It’s RPG Blog Carnival time once again! This month’s theme – invasive species! If you’ve been following my blog you know that this is one of my most very favorite subjects. Big shout out to Garrison James over at Hereticwerks for this badass theme of amazingness!

Invasive species have spoken to us as enemies and engines of conflict for a long, long time. Aliens are the obvious example – Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Independence Day, and The War of the Worlds are good examples of little green men as invaders. Yet, the idea of invasive species goes beyond aliens. Monster movies like Godzilla and Cloverfield could be considered to have the invasive species theme. Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds clearly has it. What about microorganisms? Even Y: The Last Man could be considered a story with invasive species. Heck, we see it in our real world all the time! Kudzu in Georgia, African hippos in Colombia, and Burmese pythons in Florida are all examples of real world invasive species.

Even the tagline for Cloverfield ads played on the idea of invasive species.

Anyway, you get the idea. It’s a topic central to many great stories. If you’ve been following World Builder Blog the last few months, then you already know two of its iconic invasive species. Today I’ll be presenting you with the Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition statistics for the half-devil, half-aberrant morchia and the mind controlling, parasitic mystauk.

Morchia

Like this but with more aberrant stuff!

The morchia are known as The Sleeping Ones, since The Reckoning Spell put a majority of them literally to sleep in the Verdan Underdark. Still, some of the beasts have escaped the tiefling’s ritual. These half-aberrant, half-devil monstrosities live to punish all other sentient races who would call Canus home and claim a piece of it for themselves. They have a particular hatred for metallic dragons, whom they see as the oppressors and murderers of their parent races, and for tieflings, who use The Reckoning Spell against them.

Morchia are often hatching plots which involve the destruction of a local people or settlement. While they rarely work with native races of Canus, they will work with aberrants, devils, and weak creatures who are subservient to them. Those lesser beings who know their place will be rewarded.

Because of their aberrant heritage, every individual morchia has a distinct and unique appearance. Some have tentacles, others many stalked eyes, others have multiple, sharp-toothed maws, and so on. Some have many aberrant features, but all have at least one.

Morchia share a common set of traits given to them by their fiendish parents. All morchia have a set of horns upon their heads, clawed fingers, and a fierce, spear-tipped tail. They also inherited some of the devil’s resistances.

Morchia

Large monstrosity

Armor Class 16

Hit Points 157 (15d10 + 75)

Speed 4o ft.

Senses darkvision 100 ft.

Str 22 (+6)

Dex 17 (+3)

Con 21 (+5)

Int 18 (+4)

Wis 17 (+3)

Cha 15 (+2)

Saving Throws Dex +5, Con +7, Wis +5

Alignment lawful evil

Languages Common, Infernal, Undercommon

Traits

Damage Resistance: The morchia is resistant to cold, fire, poison, and damage from nonmagical weapons except those made of silver.

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

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

Actions

Multiattack: The morchia can make two claw attacks, one claw attack and one hurl flame attack, or two hurl flame attacks.

Melee Attack – Claw: +8 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one target). Hit: 14 (2d8 + 6) piercing damage.

Melee Attack – Rend: If the morchia hits one creature with two claw attacks on the same turn, it may use rend against that creature as a bonus action. +8 to hit. Hit: 22 (4d8 + 6) piercing damage.

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

Aberrant Traits

Every morchia has at least one aberrant trait (and many have more). Roll on the chart below at least once to give the morchia a special ability. Unless otherwise specified, the GM determines the exact nature of the morchia’s physical feature. For instance, if a morchia has the four tentacles feature, these tentacles can grow from their head, back, waist, or anywhere else the GM chooses. GMs may feel free to plunder abilities from other aberrant creatures rather than use the table below.

d12 Feature Effect
1 Four Tentacles When using multiattack, the morchia may make tentacle attacks in place of a claw of hurl flame attacks. Tentacle: +8 to hit (reach 15 ft.; one target). Hit: 11 (1d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled. Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained. The morchia has four tentacles, each out which can grapple only one target.
2 Multiple stalked eyes The morchia may use its action to fire 1d4+1 eye rays. Use the beholder eye ray ability to determine the effects.
3 Constantly speaking mouths grow all over the morchia’s body, constantly speaking infernal incantations The whispers drive fear into the hearts of the morchia’s enemies. The creature gains a fear aura. Fear Aura: Any creature which starts its turn within 5 feet of the morchia must make a DC 15 Charisma saving throw. Failed Save: The creature is frightened for 1 minute. Successful Save: The creature is immune to this morchia’s fear aura 24 hours. In addition, as a bonus action the morchia may attack an adjacent creature with a bite attack. +8 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one target). Hit: 12 (1d12 + 6) piercing damage.
4 A foul smelling, purple ooze exudes from the morchia’s pores and absorbs harmful magic The morchia is immune to spells of 6th level or lower, but can choose to be effected by any spells cast upon it.
5 The morchia can float above the ground, propelled by an unnatural force. The morchia gains a fly speed of 40 ft. It cannot be knocked prone and continues to float, even when stunned or knocked unconscious.
6 The morchia’s forehead protrudes, a signal that its mental prowess is beyond that of other morchia. As an action, the morchia can use Dominate Person: The morchia chooses one target it can see within 50 feet. The target must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw. Failed Save: The morchia has access to all of the target’s thoughts and memories, and the target is charmed for 1 day or until the morchia or one of the morchia’s companions harms it, or until the morchia is killed. While charmed, the target must obey the morchia’s commands. The morchia can have only one creature charmed at a time. If the charmed creature takes any damage, it can make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw to end the effect. A creature remembers being charmed by the morchia. Successful Save: The creature is immune to the morchia’s dominate person ability for 24 hours.
7 The morchia grows cat eyes upon its hands, which can emit a mental blast. The morchia emits psychic energy in a 60-foot cone. Mind Blast: Each creature in the area must make a DC 14 Intelligence saving throw. Failed Save: 22 (4d8 + 4) pyschic damage, and the target is stunned for 1 minute, but can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the stunned condition early on a successful save.
8 Purple, protruding veins Once per day, the morchia can enter a Pyschic Rage: For ten minutes, the morchia does an extra 10 damage on all melee attacks and has advantage on melee attack rolls.
9 The morchia has black claws, which are always sharp and stronger than adamantine. When the morchia successfully uses its rend attack, the target must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, or die instantly as its body is torn to shreds.
10 Third eye The morchia’s third eye emits an anitmagic field (as the spell) in a 150-foot cone. All spells, magic items, and magical effects within the area are suppressed – even the morchia’s own abilities (if applicable). At the start of each of its turns, a morchia decides which way the cone faces and whether the cone is active (the morchia deactivates the cone by shutting its third eye).
11 Acid drips from the morchia’s mouth. The morchia gains two new actions a bite and an acid spray. As part of its multiattack it may use its bite in place of a claw or hurl flame attack. Bite: +8 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one target). Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) piercing damage and 7 (2d6) acid damage. Acid Spray (Recharge 5-6): The morchia can breathe acid in a 30-foot line. Each creature in the line must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. Failed Save: 21 (6d6 damage) acid damage. Successful Save: Half damage.
12 The morchia has two aberrant features. Roll twice on this table.
You're gonna need these eye rays...

You’re gonna need these eye rays…

Mystauk

This guy is in your head!

Mystauk – terrifying mind-control parasites which latch onto the brain after entering the skull via the ear, nose, or mouth. Mystauk have only instinct, until the attach themselves to another mind. As host-less bugs they have a speed of 20 feet, fly speed of 30 feet, 1HP, AC 14, and a +6 bonus to Dexterity (stealth) checks. They have advantage on Dexterity (stealth) checks when hiding in dense foliage thanks to their green coloring.

When a mystauk crawls into a host’s head, the host must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw, or the mystauk infects the host. A successful save means the mystauk must leave the hosts head and cannot try to infect that host for another 24 hours. The mystauk has no other attacks.

When attached to a host, the game changes for the mystauk. They are able to fully access the host’s brain, making the parasite smarter, while making the host’s body faster and stronger. The mystauk fully controls the actions of the host until removed.

Historically, mystauk are only known to infect humanoids. Sages and scholars theorize that other species have brains too simple or too complex for mystauk to conquer and humanoids make the perfect host for them so they do not bother using other creatures as hosts. Others believe the mystauk have infected all manner of creatures, even dragons, the world just has not been made aware of such developments, because the mystauk are too deceptive.

A mystauk adopts the abilities and proficiencies of the host. All of the host’s ability scores become 20, as the mystauk is able to unlock the host’s brain and body’s full potential. For the same reason, the mystauk adds the host’s proficiency bonus to all saving throws. The mystauk is also proficient in the Charisma (deception) skill once it has a host as it has access to all of the host’s thoughts and memories. The mystauk can communicate with the host, but the host cannot hear the mystauk’s thoughts unless the mystauk wants it to.

A mystauk can tell when another inhabited host is in their presence and can communicate telepathically with any other awakened mystauk within 25 feet.

If a successful feeblemind spell is cast against the mystauk and host, the mystauk detaches from the host’s brain and cannot reattach itself to that host for another 24 hours. If the host dies, the mystauk detaches from the brain.

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A few months ago (wow, has it already been months?) I wrote about The Damned Lands – an unexplored area of land psionicly irradiated in some unknown incident that was ripe for exploration. Staying within The Damned Lands for too long is harmful as there is a creeping disease, The Madness, which works its way into one’s mind and heart, but leaving The Damned Lands too soon robs a person of its greatest reward – superpowers. Take a look at this excerpt from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide. Let me know if you think the risk/reward balance is correct here.

Note: Every month in Exploration Age is exactly 30 days. None of this 31 sometimes and 28 once a month, except for every four years (looking at you, February).

The Damned Lands (dark gray hexes are uncharted territory)

The Damned Lands (dark gray hexes are uncharted territory)

The Madness

Also, the only thing worse than an extended stay in The Damned Lands!

As adventurers spend more time in The Damned Lands, they risk becoming infected with The Madness. Every ten days straight spent in The Damned Lands, a creature must make a successful DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or contract The Madness. For every ten days beyond the first spent in The Damned Lands, the DC for the saving throw increases by 1, since The Madness becomes more difficult to resist as more time is spent in The Damned Lands.

Once a creature is infected with The Madness, roll on the table below to see how it specifically is affected.

1d4 Effect
1 Target abhors all life except for itself. It attacks and kills any living creature it can sense.
2 Target is called by a mysterious force toward the center of The Damned Lands. Anything that gets in its way or tries to stop it is immediately attacked.
3 Target weeps uncontrollably and sits down. It will not eat or drink, but only sit and cry. Anyone who tries to move or comfort the creature is attacked until they leave the creature alone.
4 Target develops a taste for the flesh of humanoids. It hunts and kills other humanoids whenever it is hungry. The target refuses to eat anything else.

It is advised that if a PC become infected the GM and player have a conversation about what this means and possibly have the GM take control of the character.

There is currently only one known cure for The Madness (though there may be others out there). An infected creature must be killed, have its body burnt to complete ashes or dissolved in acid, and then brought back to life via true resurrection spell. Doing this cures The Madness, however the process is expensive and also removes any psionic abilities the infected acquired from long-term stay in The Damned Lands.

Psionic Abilities

It can’t buy everything… but it comes close!

There are two types of psionic abilities that can be acquired by staying within the borders of The Damned Lands, minor and major. Any creature who survives a continuous month or longer in The Damned Lands has a chance (at the GM’s discretion) to acquire a minor ability. The GM may choose or roll on the table below to grant a creature a power.

1d20 Effect
1 You can use detect magic as an action at-will
2 You can speak telepathically with any creature who has language within 30 feet
3 You can move an unattended object within 30 feet weighing 20 lbs. or less 30 feet in any direction as an action.
4 You can cause an unattended flammable object within 30 feet to catch fire as an action.
5 You can teleport an object being held 50 feet (this includes into the hands of another person) as an action.
6 You can teleport yourself 25 feet as a move. You must rest before doing so again.
7 You can heal yourself once per day an amount equal to your Constitution score as an action.
8 You gain darkvision out to 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, you now see in color in the dark.
9 You can speak with animals per the spell at-will.
10 You can use disguise self per the spell at-will. (DC to resist equals 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency.)
11 You can create psychic claws which are light finesse weapons which deal 1d6 psychic damage. You are proficient with these claws.
12 You gain blindsight out to 5 feet.
13 For one hour per day, you can increase your speed 10 feet.
14 You can use the feather fall spell at-will.
15 You can use entangle at-will. (DC to resist equals 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency.)
16 You can use zone of truth per the spell. You must rest before doing so again. (DC to resist equals 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency.)
17 You can throw psychic knives which act as daggers and deal 1d4 psychic damage.
18 You can create a psychic wall around yourself which acts as the sanctuary spell. (DC to resist equals 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency.)
19 You can use charm person per the spell. You must rest before doing so again. (DC to resist equals 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency.)
20 You can use cause fear per the spell. You must rest before doing so again. (DC to resist equals 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency.)

Any creature who survives a continuous three months or longer in The Damned Lands has a chance (at the GM’s discretion) to acquire a major ability. The GM may choose or roll on the table below to grant a creature a power.

1d20 Effect
1 You gain a fly speed of 60 feet.
2 As an action you can become invisible at-will.
3 You regenerate 5 HP at the start of your turn. If you lose consciousness, you lose your psionic focus and cannot regenerate until you regain consciousness.
4 Your speed is tripled.
5 As an action you can summon a psychic pet which has the same statistics as a triceratops. You may only summon one creature at a time. The creature disappears once reduced to 0 HP. You must rest before using this ability again.
6 As an action you can read a creature’s mind. They are allowed a Wisdom saving throw (DC equals 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency). If the saving throw succeeds you cannot try to read the creature’s mind for another 24 hours. The target does not know you are reading it’s thoughts unless it has magic or psionic means of detection.
7 You can breathe underwater and gain a swim speed equal to your own.
8 You gain a burrow speed equal to your own, tremor sense out to 60 feet, and blindsight out to 30 feet.
9 You gain advantage on saving throws against magical effects.
10 You can blink in and out of the ethereal plane as per the blink spell. You can activate this ability as an action at-will.
11 You can teleport 15 feet as a move.
12 As an action you can use dispel magic at-will. If you have no magic ability modifier, it equals your proficiency plus your Charisma modifier.
13 You can use time stop. You must before you use this ability again.
14 Once per day you can cast true resurrection without any material components.
15 Once per day you can use foresight on yourself.
16 As an action you can create a major image at-will. (DC equals 8 + Charisma modifier + proficiency.)
17 You can use antimagic field. You must rest before you use this ability again.
18 You can use telekinesis per the spell at-will.
19 Your Strength becomes 26.
20 Your Intelligence becomes 26.

Evaluation

So you can see the idea here – PCs can get powers for surviving in The Damned Lands if their GM allows, but they have to risk their sanity and make increasingly difficult Wisdom saving throws, not to mention all of the horrific monsters and environmental hazards of The Damned Lands. Let me know if this all makes sense to you. Did I leave your favorite power off the list? Tell me! I want to make The Damned Lands worth it!

Poll Time!

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