Friday, October 31, 2014


The entire village stood out in the cold autumnal rain, around the open grave. On the muddy ground at their feet lay the body of a beautiful young woman. Her pale face was dotted with rain drops and blood. The shroud drawn up over most of her body did little to hide the terrible wounds she had suffered, or the fact that her head had been cut from her body.

"In traumatic instances, at the moment of death as the soul flees the body, sometimes something else takes it's place." Brother Maynard absently adjusted his grip on the bloody short sword as he cleared his throat. "It seems as if our loved one has survived, but.. but in truth an evil spirit, greedy and selfish, has taken her place. In such cases there is little that can be done."

The rain did nothing to disguise the tear streaked faces of the villagers. Brother Maynard wiped his face with his free hand, smearing a bit of blood across his cheek. "We will always remember her for the person she was, not for the creature that tried to take the memory of the woman we loved and defile it with it's heinous acts. It was a parasite, and we will not grant it any more thought than it deserves. Let us instead grieve our loss, consign this empty shell to the earth, and be thankful for the time we had together."

Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4+1** (M)
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: 2 claws/ 1 special
Damage: 1d6/1d6/special
No. Appearing: 1 (1)
Save As: C6
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: B
Intelligence: 4
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 375

Type: Undead (rare)
These corporeal undead appear much as they did in life, but as time passes, their eyes become as black as their hearts. Because they retain all the memories of the host body's life, they're very difficult to discover initially. Only as time passes, and the new personality emerges is the truth revealed... but only for those that can overcome their intrinsic Charm Person ability, which they can employ every round, in addition to whatever other attacks they make. Those that make their save against the charm effect must then save against the horror of realizing what the creature is (as a Fear spell).

Revenants are solitary undead, but will use their charmed victims without care. As undead they are immune to sleep, charm, and hold spells, and can only be harmed by silver or magic weapons. They are turned as mummies.

While the RC already has a Revenant, it's an 18HD Spirit. This is a lower level version just in time for Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I rolled a 1 for this week

I've not spent the time I want to on blog posts this week. 5e stats for the GordGhost will be along... but not today.

I ended up running D&D again last night, even though Adam was supposed to take over this week... so I gave one of the players lycanthropy. We'll see how that plays out!

And until I can get a real post written, here are some cool pumpkins!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


“I hate this time of year” Rathgar complained as yet another flaming gourd exploded on his shield.

“If we can figure out how to close the gate permanently, we won’t ever have to worry about these things again.” Feris reminded him. 

“Yeah, what are the chances of that?” Nimble asked “These things have been plaguing the area at the end of harvest time for as long as anyone can remember.  Even the elves!”

The mocking laughter of the grinning pumpkins echoed across the field as yet another salvo of the burning gourds rained down upon the adventurers.

Allianora swung her mace at one of the incoming missiles, sending it back to land in the middle of the group of the ghosts.  It exploded, scattering the ghosts from the now burning hay bale fort. 

“Nice swing!” Rathgar cheered.


Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 3* (M)
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 claw or 1 missile
Damage: 1d6/ld6 or 2d4
No. Appearing 1d6 (0)
Save As: F3
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Intelligence: 7
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 40

Monster Type: Planar Monster, Enchanted (Uncommon).
Gourdghosts, aka Pumpkinspirits are an elemental spirit that gains access to the material plane at the end of harvest time, and remain until the first hard frost when they are again banished to wherever it is they originally come from. 

Standing a gaunt 7 feet tall, with shadowy stick like bodies, and a grinning pumpkin (or other appropriate local gourd) for a head, they are vicious though rarely deadly creatures.  They delight in torment, taking sadistic pleasure from their cruel tricks.  When forced into physical confrontation they will rake with their claws or throw burning gourds (10/20/40) which explode on impact.  Targets of the thrown gourds can save for half damage. 

Gourdghosts are never encountered during daylight hours or in dungeons. As they are not undead, they are immune to turning.  They are immunities to sleep, hold, and charm spells. 

This is a resurrection of a post from 2010... Tomorrow I'll post the new 5e stats!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blights and Crabs - 5e Weird New World: session 3

Session 3 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 10/3

The party consisted of the following:
Max, Human Bard 1 (Yann)
Verdt, 1/2 Elf Wizard 1 (John)
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 1 (Nikki)
Riia, Human Ranger 1 (Hanna)

Not in attendance:
Embara, Wood Elf Fighter 1 (Erica) - left the campaign
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 1 (Erik) - sick

Descending the stairs, the party found the lower chamber mostly empty, with a collapsed wall opening into the garden. Through the hole numerous roots intruded into the chamber, some thicker than a man’s leg. The rest of the room was filled with scattered vegetable debris. Within the tangle of roots was an old man who spoke to the party, demanding they depart. Since they didn’t the roots flexed, and the old man emerged and began to walk toward the party.

Verdt shot a flame bolt at the approaching old man, dropping him to the ground with a smoking wound in the center of his bony chest. At this, the roots flexed themselves from the ground, and attacked the party. (2 Twig Blights, 1 reskinned Grick, and 1 Vine Blight). It was a tough fight, in no small part because Riia the ranger (whose favored enemy is plant creatures) stayed on the stairs and tried to attack with a bow for something like 6 rounds (she’s built as a melee ranger). Once the fight concluded, the old man’s body was examined, and a thin root was found wrapped around his neck and piercing the back of his skull.

Battered, bloodied, and bruised, with no sign of the missing children, the party decided to return to town to recover before continuing the search. On the way back, as they passed through the marsh between the manse and the town, several giant crabs emerged from the muck and attacked the party. Due to their lessened numbers and drained resources the creatures were another tough fight, but a bit faster than the blights. They brought one of the dead crabs back with them, and gave it to the innkeeper to cook for dinner.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Whispers from the Well 10/19

Your weekly update of the goings on in Stonehell
As reported by the tavernkeepers of the Ogre Face Inn

Dangers of going it nearly alone

Rare is the greed or the need to brave the depths of Stonehell without the support of a party, yet that’s exactly what Cain and Zook dared to do. Sadly they’ve not been heard from in days, and in spite of their previous success it seems that something caught up with the duo that they were unable to handle. Could it have been the walking dead of the Quiet Halls? A dangerous place without the help of a cleric… Or have they become victims in the war between the Wolves and the Sores? We may never know, but several bets have been placed. Should anyone happen to come across evidence, please be sure to let the barkeep know upon your return.

Nordin becomes lunch

Nordin the torch bearer for the Golden Lions company was captured in a skirmish with the cannibal berzerkers and was dragged off into the darkness. After bandaging their wounds, the Lions went after their fallen hireling, only to discover his severed head in the middle of an otherwise empty hall, and no sign of where the body had been taken.

Whispers from the Well

Unholy screams echoed up the well Tuesday, rattling both bottles and nerves.

The fighting between the Open Sore Orcs and the Howling Wolves Goblins seems to have reached a stalemate. Could the goblins have found an ally? Infighting among the orcs… rumors abound…

One of the stairs heading down to the second level were coated in fresh blood, with drag marks heading down into the depths, and clumps of strange green fur were found in the fresh gore.


Drake Stonehand is looking for his cousin Snori. A reward of 200gp is offered for his safe return, half that for evidence of his death.

Willifred is willing to pay top coin for giant rat tails and hides. 5cp/tail & 5sp/hide. hides must be (mostly) intact.

The Ogre Face Inn is nearly out of Kobold Rotgut, and seeks a fresh cask for those few who indulge. 75gp payment for every 50 gallon cask returned to the inn.

I only had 2 players this past week, and in spite of the danger they headed into Stonehell. Cain the human fighter, and Zook the gnome ranger immediately encountered a pair of berzerkers, who chatted with them briefly about the joys of both long and short pork. The berzerkers tried to round up their friends from their nearby lair, but didn't manage to catch up with them. Zook and Cain continued on to the Quiet Halls, exploring a few crypts, fighting some zombies, then some mostly empty rooms, and then 5 more zombies came bursting out of their crypt and quickly felled Zook. Cain, low on health briefly considered running, but didn't want to leave his friend, and was taken down by the hungry zeds.

I think this makes my 3rd TPK with this group. I talked with them after about some old school dungeoneering strategies like running away (especially from slow things), making use of bottlenecks like doorways, and generally figuring out what's worth actually fighting, and knowing when you're outmatched. And when 5 zombies are attacking you with advantage, it's time to run!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Zombies! #6MMRPC

This week's minimal update is brought to you by Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic. However, in spite of the dark side's temptations, I did manage to get some paint on some minis.

I made a little progress with the Death Knight and the Ghost King. I'm still working on making the runes on the sword awesome. Not sure how it's going. This is attempt 2 in progress.

I also worked on some of the Mantic zombies. This is the blond squad.

They look a little less purple in person. I still need to gore them up some more, and dirty up their clothing. The ones in orange look like escaped convicts whose prison outfits are rotting away.

My goal for this next week is to finish these 12 figures, the grave wraith and maybe even Mr. Bones.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ancient Sagas of Everlance: Cam! There’s no place like it!

This report covers sessions played between 9/14 - 10/12

Cast of Characters:
Kelmar - ½ Elf Ranger
Beska - Human Mage
Myshkin - Human Paladin
Gifilte - Human Monk of Love
Arkane - Human Paladin
Lorain - Human Bard

After recovering from the mud and rats of the previous sessions the party continued on, reaching the final stop on the trip before arriving at the city of Cam, the Three Sisters Trading Post. Kelmar’s hunting skills brought in 3 large deer, which he traded for some smoked meats, a new instrument for the bard, and a deal on a bulk buy of meats to trade/sell in Cam, as well as a job to purchase some good in Cam for the trading post.

Pressing on, the party arrived in Cam half a day ahead of the caravan. They checked in with the market authority to let them know the caravan was on it’s way, then headed immediately to the Temple of Gloriana to confer with Kelmar’s mother about the Eye of Night. She wasn’t directly helpful on that score, but she did put the party in touch with a wizard who could help us figure out what it actually did.

While in the wizards shop (not a magic shop!) the party did a bit of shopping. Bargained about the price of identifying the Eye of Night’s properties. Decided that the shop’s price was worth it. Spent some time wandering around the city and saw:
  • Ax-beak racing through the streets
  • a carnivorous plant next to a public fountain.
  • a variety of weird shops
  • lots of prostitutes
  • ruffians/cutpurses
  • a brothel (we thought it was more of a shop for adventuring gear… boy were we wrong...)

Dinner found almost everyone drunk, and gambling, while our monk of love tried to seduce Kelmar’s mom.

At dinner and around town we heard people talking about:
  • giant bees building a hive in the lighthouse
  • a sunken tower that’s about to be revealed by a once every 10 year low tide. The brothel madam wants the pearl that’s said to be in the tower.
  • trapped adventurers beyond an underground river.

We decided to try to rescue the lost adventurers first since the power wouldn’t be accessable for a couple of days, so we headed to the adventurer’s guildhall for info, and in search of potions of water breathing. Got the info, and were sent to the local druid for the potion. The druid was willing to sell us potions, but at a rather high price… unless we got him some royal jelly.

The last 3 sessions have been almost entirely role playing within the city. We’ve got a lot we’re doing in town, and all getting itchy to start rolling some dice again!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Whispers from the Well 10/12

Your weekly update of the goings on in Stonehell
As reported by the tavernkeepers of the Ogre Face Inn

Able still unable

It’s been weeks now since Cain and company went down into Stonehell with still no sign of where they might be. Focus seems to be on the well known, and oft avoided Quiet Halls, and while plenty of bodies have been checked, none match the description of the party Able is looking for. As before Able was accompanied by the rangers Varis and Zook, and a masked sailor going by the name “Captain Nob-Eared” according to some and “Captain No-Beard” by others. Neither comes close to topping the strangest moniker we’ve seen here at the Well.


Dan the Golden and his company The Lions report seeing and avoiding a troll on the second level of the dungeon during their most recent expedition. The creature seemed uninterested in tackling the well armed group, but beware to any who delve the halls. It is worth pointing out that The Lions did return to the surface with an impressive coffer. No word yet on what the coffer contained, but the call for “A drink for everyone!” as Dan emerged seems to suggest it was something worth having!

Whispers from the Well

Dark robed figures chanting quietly marched through the kobold market this week. Who are they? Where are they going? No one seems to know…

The Open Sore Orcs seem to be making progress against the Howling Wolf Goblins. Desperate looking goblins were seen talking to Chairman Smee. Could an alliance between the kobolds and the goblin be in the works?


Knoffler The Alchemist seeks dragon dung. Must be fresh.

Rentak One-Eye, spearman seeks employment as torchbearer. See Christa at the bar.

Drake Stonehand is looking for his cousin Snori. A reward of 200gp is offered for his safe return.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ghost Kings and Death Knights #6MMRPC Week 6

This really should have gone live yesterday, but last week was a busy week, and weekend was even more nuts. No complaints though... In spite of the lack of blogging I actually have gotten in a TON of gaming. Unfortunately as a consequence I'm now that much more behind on my session reports.

As with the blogging, I didn't get very much done this week on the mountain reduction painting challenge.I didn't touch any of the Mantic minis, but I did work on a number of the Bones undead.

Here you can see the minis getting their base colors blocked out. From left to right: ghast, night spectre, grave wraith, Mr. Bones, Ghost King, Skeleton Champion.

I used an awful lot of the same brown here...

And this was as far as I got with these gents. A bit more work to do on both. The skeleton champion/death knight's cloak will be more maroon, and the armor and sword will have much more detail picked out. I'm going to try to make the runes glow... or maybe make the blade glow around the runes?

The ghost king's cloak needs some cleaning up, and some details on the armor picked out. I'm trying to decide if I want the skull in the helmet bone colored or if it should match the cloak's ghostly green?

My goal for this week is to wrap up the ghost king, death knight, Mr. Bones, grave wraith, and start work on the Mantic Zombies.

Friday, October 10, 2014

GallowsGaunt 5e monster

The body had hung for days, swinging from the tree branch, rotting away. Of course, this wasn't where he died. After being driven from the village, chained and hobbled, beaten the whole way, he was stretched apart, his limbs torn from his body, and what was left had been strung up from the gallows tree, out near the squash fields. He'd deserved no less for his crimes. The only witness to what happened next was the scarecrow, and a black feathered bird.

The body was cut down under a sickly noontime sun, and all through the day, and into the night the worker of dark arts performed his foul ritual. As the new day dawned a ghastly abomination shakily rose up. It's sickly legs wobbled like a newly fowled calf, and it's sightless eyes looked around in malevolent astonishment. With not a word, it's creator sent it forth to terrorize the villagers in death as he had in life.

Large undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 58 (9d8+18)
Speed 40 ft.

12 (+1)
16  (+3)
15 (+2)
6 (-2)

Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Damage Resistances piercing from non-magical weapons, psychic
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, poisoned, unconscious
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages understands all languages it knew in life but can’t speak
Challenge 3 (700XP)

Multiattack. The gallowgaunt makes two attacks: one with it’s chains and one with it’s blades

Chains. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit 10: (2d6+3) bludgeoning damage, and target creature must make a DC 15 Dexterity Saving Throw or be Restrained.

Blades. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit 10: (2d6+3) slashing damage.

Death Clatter. All non-undead non-deafened creatures within 30 feet of the gallowgaunt must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom Saving Throw or gain a level of exhaustion.

Scream of the Damned (1/Day): All non-undead non-deafened creatures within 30’ of the gallowsgaunt must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 13 (3d8) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.

This revisits the GallowsGaunt I'd written up back in the early days of my blog for both Rules Cyclopedia, M20, and 4e.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Edition Wars: The Next Generation

Ah, the simple days of yesteryear, when the OSR gleefully heaped scorn and derision on the 4Er’s and Pathfinders while Grognards bitterly complained that they’d done it that way since the time of Gygax...

Of late there has been a new crop of skirmishes about whether chess is a roleplaying game, what the OSR really is and who gets to say so, whether anyone is trying to crown themselves pope, if OSR is really just a marketing term, somewhere someone is raging against The Pundit, Raggi, and/or Zak S. for doing something outrageous…

The list goes ever on, and recently it's been really distracting for me. It's too much noise!

None of this is new.

But here’s the thing I really want to want to say about it all… Pay close attention, this is vitally important!

It’s all BULLSHIT.

Seriously, all of it. No one I game with, either in person (3 different groups) or online has heard of any of it, and if I told them, they wouldn’t care. Do you know why?

Because it’s BULLSHIT.

It makes not one bit of difference to them that some people think that some of the creative consultants for 5e are assholes. Know what matters to them? Getting that critical hit on the 8th level cleric to take her down before she could get her spells off. Killing the fart demons that poisoned half the party. Finding the children who have gone missing. Finding out what happened to the last group that dared venture the depths of Stonehell. Getting to sit around a table, and roll some dice together.

The games we’re playing, the stories we’re telling, the experiences we’re sharing, that’s what matters. Whether it’s FATE or Star Wars or DCC doesn’t matter. If it’s some FORGE based experimental game, or the granddaddy of all RPGs, as long as you’re enjoying yourself, you’re doing it right. As far as I’m concerned the only bad-wrong-fun is playing something you don’t enjoy, with people you don’t like.

So stop listening to the BULLSHIT, and go have some fun!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take my own advice and write something much more interesting for tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Are Magic Items In 5e Necessary?

I'm currently running 3 games of 5e, and at this point I've only handed out a single magic hammer... which was immediately lost to a TPK and is currently in the hands of -REDACTED- in Stonehell. That group remains at 1st level. The other two groups are 2nd and 3rd level, and thus far none of them have felt very keenly the lack of magic items.

Not that there's a big selection to pick from at the moment - officially. A mere 18 different items grace the closing pages of the DMG basic rules 0.1. Granted, these items provide a pretty clear means of adapting items from other editions to 5th (and by adapting I mean taking without much change at all), but it's still a slim selection.

So what are you doing/experiencing in your 5e games? Have you handed out magic items? Has it made much of an impact?

Monday, October 6, 2014

#6MMRPC - Week 5: The dead walk!

As with last week, I’m going to talk about my mountain and organizing it before getting to this week’s progress. So if all you’re interested in is the pictures, feel free to scroll down.

I had a couple of questions/comments last week about setting up my spreadsheet. I spend a lot of time in real life dealing with spreadsheets, and I know how massively interconnected and arcanely complex they can get. Usually to the detriment of their utility. The best spreadsheets are the ones that are simple and easy to understand at a glance. Next, they should be easy to update without breaking.

It all goes back to utility. If the sheet doesn't help you do what you want it to do without being a pain in the ass, why use it?

My sheet has 2 main goals:
  1. Quantify the mountain of miniatures I’m trying to chip away
  2. Track my progress at chipping away at the mountain
The first two tabs I created for the sheet were for the Bones I and Bones II minis. I picked these first, because I want the Bones minis to be the main focus of the challenge. These sheets were easy to create, since the list of minis had already been compiled by others. I just went and snagged them from the websites listed on each of the tabs. Once I cleaned out the info from the lists I didn’t want (like the sculptor names) I set up a couple of columns to show the info I wanted: number of minis, number painted, and numbed completed as part of the challenge.

Bones II was easy, since I don’t have any painted yet. Bones I took a little bit of time, but not much. Then I added the totals at the bottom. The formula for this one is easy. Type the following into the cell you want the total showing: =sum( then highlight the cells you want to add up, and hit enter.

Getting back to the simple, take a look at my Lord of the Rings tab. It’s a much smaller sheet since many of the minis are all the same type. I don’t need to spell out which warriors of gondor have spears, swords, or bows. I don’t really care for this sheet. Sure, I’ll want to know if I’m playing Lord of the Rings, but honestly the answer is “enough” for whatever I want to field. On the flip side, it’s good to know that I have only 1 Gimli to paint versus 3 Legolas minis. Characters are far more important to note, since they get a far greater level of attention and effort.

If I were focusing on an army specific project, say a space marine battleforce, I might set up my sheet listing each squad & vehicle, and keep track of it that way. My Mantic sheet is kind of like that, especially since I included an “assembled” column. The Misc. tab is for those random minis that aren't part of a specific force or manufacturer. I plan on adding more sheets as I continue my inventory. I know there will be a Battlefleet Gothic sheet, probably 40K and WHFB sheets, and I might even do a Chainmail sheet since I have a lot of those minis too.

The totals sheet was created by listing out each of the tabs, and then pulling the totals for the challenge. The totals are linked to the individual sheets, so as I update my progress on each sheet, the totals page updates automatically.

And now, for this week's progress!

October is in full swing. I've assembled 7 skeletons, 10 zombies, and 10 ghouls from mantic, and primed them. I also worked on some of Reaper's Bone Zombies and Mummy.

Once again, crappy cell phone pictures. I really need to rig up a light box. They were all pretty simple to paint up, but that's 6 more minis done!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Weird New World Maps

A quick post to share 4 maps for tonight's game. Don't worry, these are the areas in the manse they've already explored.

I expect more will be filled in tonight...  If they survive!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

New Magic Item: Blade of Woe

"Be careful of that one." the arms master warned the princeling.

"Why?" his still too high voice asked as he ran his fingertips along the leather wrapped grip.

"It's cursed"

"Cursed!?!" the boy snatched his fingers away.

"Well..." he hedged "Not cursed, exactly. But it's vicious! It's been known to draw the strength of it's wielder to use against their opponent, whether the man holding the blade wills it or not."

"But shouldn't a man use his strength to defeat an opponent?"

"Use? Yes. Drain away, leaving him weakened as if he'd been sliced by his own blade? No... not that."

Blade of Woe
This magical blade begins combat with a +1 bonus to attack and damage. For every round it faces the same opponent it gains an additional +1, however that additional power is drawn from the bearer's own hit points, drawing 1 the second round, 2 the third, and so on. These lost hit points can only be healed magically. When a new opponent is attacked, the enchantment reverts to +1 and the process begins again.

Prop by Folkenstal, and based on the dagger from Skyrim.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bits and Bobs XXIV

Zak S is a well known figure in the OSR, and one I enjoy reading most of the time. I don’t usually bother including his posts here, but he’s gone above and beyond with a 10 part art history overview that’s probably 10 times better than anything you’d get in school, if only because he ties it in with D&D, and also doesn't spend any time worrying about the minutia that no one reading his posts cares about. This post is the overview of the course. I'm linking to it here for myself as much as for you.

Eric over at the Dragon’s Flagon takes a look at hit point modifiers for old school monsters. You know, those random +1 or +3 hp that monsters got for no really good reason. Well, Eric figured out a really good reason for them!  Seriously, if you're playing an old school game, you need to read this post.

Tieflings are an interesting race. Demon-touched humans… Like many, I’m not a big fan of their appearance in 4e and 5e. I like that they’re included in the game, I just don’t like the art direction.
If you want to randomly roll some demonic features, check out this random chart.
If you're looking for more visual inspiration, this is a nice collection of images from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque that better suites my mental image of what they should look like.
For me though, this will always be my iconic image of tieflings.

Gus over at Dungeon of Signs takes a look at OD&D’s orcs, and comes to the conclusion that orcs are actually the result of some sort of disease! It’s an amazingly flavorful take on an old standard, and one I'm stealing for my table!

Did you know 5e works with the ACK economy rules? Paul at Blog of Holding did, and now you do too!

So the party found a secret door, and you don’t know what’s in the room beyond? Elfmaids and Octopi has you covered.