Friday, October 28, 2016

The Chaos Mace (Pathfinder Magic Item)

the Chaos Mace
+1 Morningstar | Damage: 1d8+1 | Critical x2 | Weight 6 lbs. | Damage: Bludgeoning & Piercing

The Chaos Mace is a +1 Morningstar with the following special properties:
On a natural to hit roll of 7, your attack automatically misses. Roll on Chaos Unleashed!
On a natural to hit roll of 13, your attack automatically hits. Roll on Chaos Unleashed!
On a natural 1 or 20, roll twice on Chaos Unleashed!

Chaos Unleashed! (d20)
All damage is magically reflected back at you! Fortitude DC 20 for half.
Summon an uncontrolled large elemental in an adjacent square. It hates you the most.
(Roll d8: 1. Fire, 2. Water, 3. Air, 4. Earth, 5. Lightning, 6. Magma, 7. Mud, 8. Ice.)
Minimum damage
The magic of the chaos mace paralyzes you! Fortitude DC 20 or become paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds.
For the next 24 hours, there is a 1 in 6 chance you’ll encounter an enraged owlbear whenever you open a door or go into a room by yourself. You instinctively know this.
Miss? Horrible black insect wings grow from your back. You gain a fly speed of 30 for 1 hour.
Hit? The wings grow from your target’s back, and he/she/it gains a fly speed of 30 for 1 hour.
Suffer -4 penalty to random Ability for 1 hour.
Your legs fuse and become a snake body for the next 1d12 hours. Speed reduced by half. Can’t wear boots, belts, or other “made for bipedal mammal” stuff below the belt.
Your sweat smells like wildflowers for the next 2 hours. It’s nice.
Struck blind and deaf (Fort DC 20 negates – if you hit, it’s your target, if you miss, it’s you!)
NO MERCY! Gain +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear. Lasts 1d10 rounds.
Time distorts! Make another attack against your target (if still living) or an enemy in an adjacent square using your full attack bonus.
Roll on Chaos Unleashed! d20 more times, ignoring duplicate results.
Gain +4 enhancement bonus to random Ability for 1 hour.
Deal an extra 2d6 electric damage*
Deal an extra 2d6 acid damage*
Deal an extra 2d6 cold damage*
Deal an extra 2d6 fire damage*
Maximum damage!*
Quadruple maximum damage! KILL KILL KILL!*

*Unless you missed. In that event, nothing happens.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bleak Falls / Stonecroft Campaign Seed

Here's a brief write-up for a dark fantasy campaign that I've finally accepted I'm never going to run. Maybe someone else can get a kick out of it. As a DM, the pitch is essentially Darkest Dungeon: Players go to a remote village to find their fortunes, discover an open portal to a mega-dungeon (in this case, the Elemental Plane of Earth), and must undertake increasingly far-flung and dangerous missions while simultaneously guarding against threats from the "real world," such as corrupt officials, blizzards, wandering mercenaries, etc.

Darkest Dungeon fan art by Art Serge (

Solheim is a far-flung province of the Yorish Empire that borders the Goblin Kingdoms. Bleak Falls is a backwater village in Solheim. Stonecroft is name of the secret part of Bleak Falls that exists in the Elemental Plane of Earth.

Traveling to Bleak Falls/Stonecroft involves traversing the Moldwood. While the road is well-traveled, the forest is expansive and uncharted. To the north of Bleak Falls lay Howler’s Moor, Lake Gwynnet, and the village of Dunnsmouth—further north still lay the foothills of the Mountains of Dread. To the east of Bleak Falls lay the Dismal Bog. To the west of Bleak Falls, on the other side of the Moldwood, lay the Varthus Scrubland.

Bleak Falls is an unimpressive town until one learns of the Stone Gate which leads to Stonecroft and the Elemental Plane of Earth – a secret discovered in recent decades. Bleak Falls proper has a population of roughly 252, whereas Stonecroft’s population is 870.

Lord Crenshaw has a monopoly on trade in the village and oversees the transport of precious gems to and from Bluestone, a Dwarf Citadel ten days’ travel south of Bleak Falls. He is aided by Corwin’s Minotaurs.

Lord Thaddeus Crenshaw is the appointed mayor of Bleak Falls/Stonecroft.
One regiment of soldiers, the 463rd Footmen “Minotaurs,” guards the city. Their captain is the mercenary Corwin. He is on good terms with Lord Crenshaw and Constable Caringol.
Stonecroft has a church dedicated to Lashoon, though currently it is only tended by a single acolyte named Burnham. Burnham awaits news from the High Temple, not knowing what his proper place is in Friar Burton’s absence.
Inglebert von Steigler runs a curiosity shoppe rumored to sell magic items. It’s really just a Roma wagon, but it’s guarded by animated suits of armor and von Steigler is strict, forbidding careless divination magic in his presence.
Thornwell the sage has a vast library. He is a geologist, but knowledgeable about all manner of subjects. He offers the usual variety of sage advice.
Friar Burton, the spiritual leader of the town, has vanished.
Carver Gladstone is the iconoclast dwarf who runs the Quartermoon Inn.
Dyptheria du Monde is the town physician—colloquially, she is called the leech.
Lacy Goodfoot is the Halfling who runs the Copper Dragon Tavern.
Selene is the nymph Lacy keeps as a cook.
The Constable is Walter Caringol.
Flona the Halfling, Magus Bashool, and Hunberg are all mercenaries for hire.

Overseer 1015
is the leader of the Bluestone Dwarf Clan which toils in Stonecroft as part of a trade agreement with Crenshaw. He has a liaison named Tallspeaker 0012.
Stanislaus III is the Duke of Solheim. He has ties to House Lorrin of Yor.

Corfus Gunderhiem is the bishop who is supposedly responsible for the Moldwood region, though he has never set foot so far north. He will visit soon, and if impressed by the heroes, he may offer to sell the heroes a writ of taxation worth 12,000 gold for a paltry 300 gold. Of course, the heroes will need to go to Dunnsmouth to collect it…

Now Playing

Haven't done a post in forever. Here's an update on my gaming life as it stands today (10/10/2016). It kinda looks like I game five nights a week, but at most it's two. Because, you know, people work and sleep at bullshit like that.

Pathfinder (P6). P6 is a variant of Pathfinder in which characters reach max level at 6 instead of 20. Based on E6, it's essentially a way to keep the world feeling gritty and dark, while still incorporating the satisfying mechanical crunch of a third-ed system. I'm running Session 8 of a campaign I'm calling The Hall of Lanterns this evening, and I'm pretty stoked for it. Here's how I do Pathfinder stat blocks now:

Wraith. AC 18/18/15, hp 47, F+6 R+4 W+6, CMB +6/CMD 21. Melee touch +6 (1d6 negative + 1d6 CON [Fort DC 17 negates]; wraith gains +5 temp h.p. on each successful drain). Creates spawn in 1d4 rounds. Notices and locates all living things within 60 feet. Can’t attack and is staggered in sunlight.

Wraith-Spawn: As wraith, but with -2 penalty on all d20 rolls, 37 hp, and 1d2 CON drain.

All the relevant details are there... I already know it's an incorporeal undead because I've been playing D&D for a million years now, but if you're new, you might need more notations or just be cool with the bloated Pathfinder stat-blocks that currently exist. I like these short-hand versions 'cause they let me fit ten monsters on a page of paper.

Anyway, it's heavily influenced by Bloodborne and the Titanomachy. Might be one of my favorite ever homebrew worlds. I have no doubt I'll write about it later.

Nabbed this from the Steam Community page for S.T.A.L.K.E.R, artist unknown.

Mutant Year Zero. I'm playing a Stalker class (see above) who is also a bio-luminescent amphibian-mutant. I have shit for gear, so I basically look like Abe Sapien cosplaying as Paddington Bear. So far I've nearly killed myself by finding every cactus patch in the wasteland and scouting it with my face. My friends are a cannibal chef who is essentially Roadhog from Overwatch, a plant-man dressed like Donald Duck, the amazon villainess from Deadpool only she breathes fire and eats rot and thinks she's Emelia Clarke, and a four-armed musician who will never learn Wonderwall because of the Apocalypse. Two sessions in and we're trapped on a burnt-out hospital roof waiting for literal bee-people to play us a cassette tape that shows us the Truth of the Universe. I fucking love RPGs. We're playing like once every two weeks, and that's perfect.

Iron Kingdoms (Immortality). Neat system. Trying it out on a whim with a meet-up group; we're on session three and we meet like, once a month. I play a Knight-Cutthroat and basically just smash things. The campaign module is pretty much a railroad but the GM is really good at thinking on his feet so he adapts to let us get away with quirky stuff we want to do, and I really appreciate that. We all still go in on the railroad conceit and don't make life too hard for him, or at least, most of us do. The people who aren't me.

Good ol' D&D. Our long-standing Friday night campaign usually falls apart in the late summer, but comes back in November. We're in a kind of hiatus as we sort through odd schedules and try to find a time that works for us. I've been alternating between the deposed King of the Mole-Men and a pyromaniac fire-gnome Sorcerer and I'll be happy to play either character again, when it happens.

OD&D. Old school stuff. This is the Yoon-Suin campaign with Sigilis. We've done about three sessions since April. Scheduling has been rough. Even so, it's a fun campaign and I enjoy it when we play it.

So yeah, 4-5 active player characters and one campaign that I'm DMing. I live a pretty sweet life.