Tag Archives: forgotten friday

The Many-Eyed Bear of Appleby

Bear_Monster_by_Pocketowl

Grrr!

Inspired by Bear Week by B/X Blacrazor, and after browsing through images on deviantArt (great site for artwork), here is a killer bear to throw at a party of adventurers (be they heroes or not):

The Many-Eyed Bear of Appleby

Some say that the crazed bear with its many eyes was the result of bizarre magical experiment at the hands of green-skinned creatures that came from the stars.

Whatever the origin of this beast, it is greatly feared by the survivors of the village of Appleby. It has a taste for human and elven flesh (but will not eat dwarf), is fearless in the thick of battle, and has a mesmeric effect on those who meet its many eyes.

Thought to be unique, no one has yet faced this huge bear and lived; and the local Baron has a reward for anyone foolish brave enough to kill it, skin it, and make the roads safe once again.

Statistics

Unique beast: Alignment Neutral, Move 60′ (180′), Armour Class as leather & shield (15 for LotFP), Hit Dice 5, Hit Points 36, # Attacks 2 claws, 1 bite, Damage 1d8/1d8/1d6, Morale 10 (but 12 once in combat)

Special: knock-down, on a successful hit victim must save versus paralysis or be knocked prone; crush, against a prone target the bear simply falls and crushes its victim, save versus paralysis to roll out of the way or take 2d6 damage; mesmeric eyes, catching the bear’s eyes requires a save versus magic or else be hypnotised for 1d6 rounds or until hit, counts as surprised in combat with an additional -2 (penalty) to Armour Class.

Enjoy!

Arabian Themed Sandbox Campaign

Campaign Map
Land of the Free

Land of the Free

Back before I started working on my Eternal Empire campaign, I was thinking of doing a small scale campaign for our 3.5 D&D group. Something set in an Arabian styled desert, with merchants ruling three city-states, which were established by those fleeing the shadowy kingdom from beyond the mountains (a vampire-ruled kingdom, full of death and slavery).

I never got very far with it, as we started a different campaign instead, but I did get as far as creating a map (over to the left, in case you missed it) that I was going to expand upon.

My premise for this campaign was to have the party thrown into the desert, as a result of a summoning spell that goes wrong and traps them in this unknown land. They’d be free to travel where they wished, and aside from wandering/random encounters, there’d be timed events, location-based adventures, and triggered encounters depending on where they went.

I still might get around to fleshing it out at some point. Maybe using my steampunk ideas to create some sort of hybrid beast. The map is a good starting point, and is small enough to create something meaningful without putting too much detail in it.

Now, what I really need is something books on life in the desert, ideally around the Middle Ages or Renaissance period, but for the life of me I can’t find anything decent. Anyone got any ideas?

Forgotten Friday: The Wizard’s Brain

steampunk-mouse-with-brain-by-peter-balchThis strange contraption of brass, wood and glass holds a brain inside a glass dome. Wires connect the brain to a clockwork mechanism built into the base of the contraption.

One one side is a winding key. When turned and released, the contraption generates miniature lightning that powers the device and activates its magic.

When wound, the brain comes ‘alive’ and can be questioned as if it were a sage or scholar with specialised knowledge of magic, history and the arts (of whatever the DM choosees): each winding allows five general questions to be answers, three more specific questions, or one detailed answer. In all cases there is only a 60% chance that the answer is accurate, and a 10% chance of an outright lie.

The contraption is quite fragile and be easily broken. It weighs as much as a suit of chain mail, and if carried when activated there is a chance (2 in 6) that the movement will cause a chain reaction that incinerates the brain. A new brain would then need to be installed, after the gears and cogs are realigned.

The device can be wound three times a day without damaging the brain. Further winding has a cumulative 1 in 10 chance of causing brain damage, thus ruining the brain.

Infectious Zombies

Inspired from the tutorial adventures (last post) and numerous zombie films, thought I’d play around with an infectious zombie for D&D related games (using LotFP Weird Fantasy for this).

Zombie

Are you?

Infectious Zombie

Hit Dice 2
Armour Class
14
Movement
20′ (60′)
# Attacks
1 bite
Damage
1d4
Morale
12
Special:

The bite of an infectious zombie can spread the plague of undeath that animates said corpse. Anyone bitten must make a save versus poison or catch the dreaded, and ultimately deadly, disease.

Infection: every hour make another save versus poison or lose 1 point of Constitution and Strength. When either drops to zero, the victim falls into a coma and dies in 1d12 hours; after death they rise as an infectious zombie in a further 1d12 hours, with an insatiable desire to spread their disease and eliminate the living.

Forgotten Friday: Poor Man’s Jug

Jug

Poor Man's Jug

Porthus shook the jar, peered inside, and saw there was nothing. ”There’s nothing, not even a drop of water. Are you sure this is magical?”

The man nodded, taking the green bronzed jug in his hands and holding it up to the dim light. “Sure it is. Look at the way the light shines on it. Got it from a peasant in the local village. He told me a witch had given it him, in exchange for a place to sleep and a good meal. Said it helped him out of poverty. Try it.”

Porthus gave it a go: he tipped it, and with a plonk something fell out. “Hmm. All right. I’m convinced. Not sure if it’s worth the price though,” he said as he looked down at the small kitten peering back.

This magical jug looks like a verdigris container from some old tomb, or dig site. It has little obvious worth, but detects as magic. There seems to be nothing inside, but when tipped something falls out (roll on table below). Unless otherwise noted, the effect is permanent, and the jug can only be used once per day.

1d30 roll (because people seem to like d30s):

  1. A kitten, blue-furred and extremely cute, tumbles out and becomes very attached to the tipper;
  2. A freshly baked loaf falls out, larger than the jug’s neck allows, and is both edible and very tasty;
  3. Several (1d6) blueberries roll out, each tastes lovely and also heals 1 point of damage if eaten within a turn of rolling out;
  4. A single gold piece spins out;
  5. A flow of beautiful, full-bodied elven wine pours out. It is both delicious, refreshing, and highly alcoholic (save versus poison, or become drunk for 1d4 hours);
  6. A wind-up toy dragon, about the size of a human adult’s fist, coloured red;
  7. A glass vial gently falls out, containing one dose of a randomly determined potion;
  8. A day’s worth of iron/dry rations plops out;
  9. Water, about a gallon;
  10. Ale, heady and bitter, with a hint of cinnamon. Enough for four drinks;
  11. Seeds for planting (DM’s choice);
  12. Cheese, several (1d6) tiny wheels;
  13. A dagger, sharp and with a hilt bound in supple leather dyed green;
  14. A collection (3d8) of glass marbles in a variety of colours;
  15. 2d4 silver coins;
  16. An egg (if left somewhere warm, it will hatch into a chick in d4 days);
  17. A bronze mug decorated with images of laughing dwarves (holds a pint);
  18. A bundle of carrots (2d4) tied with string;
  19. 20′ of hemp rope;
  20. A wooden bucket;
  21. 2d6 copper pieces;
  22. A tiny gemstone (Moon or Blood stone) worth 1d10 gold;
  23. A ceramic jug (1 pint) of fresh cow’s milk;
  24. Out rolls a small black bead (ebony, worth 5 silver) that, if consumed, casts a randomly determined and beneficial 1st level magic-user spell upon the consumer;
  25. A thin chain of copper, a plain but expertly crafted piece of jewellery worth 1d4 gold;
  26. Several pieces of random fruit (1d4);
  27. An iron key that has a 1 in 6 chance of opening any mundane lock (once that lock is opened, the key is useless for any other lock);
  28. Two cloth balls, one green and one blue, useful for juggling;
  29. Dolls, about an inch high, of an adventuring party (cleric, fighter, magic-user, thief), crude but adored by children;
  30. A treasure map (1-2 is real, 3-4 is false and leads only to danger).

The jug was created by a witch in exchange for a meal and place to rest, although her magic was somewhat chaotic. It served its purpose well, and the poor man who was gifted with it managed to use or sell the things that came out of the jug, and although he was never rich, he lived a modest yet happy life.

Forgotten Friday: The Cutting Stone

The Cutting Stone

The Cutting Stone

Krath picked up the piece of stone and gripped it tightly, the edges cutting into his skin. Blood oozed over the stone, then diminished as it absorbed the red wetness. Immediately, the dwarf felt stronger, heartier, and a red veil drew across his eyes as rage welled up inside his chest and exploded into his mind.

This ancient piece of sharpened stone look like a primitive cutting tool, a crude knife or axe head. It feels warm to the touch, has an aura of Chaos to those who can detect such things, and when held the holder feels a spark of anger; either voluntarily, or a saving throw versus magic fails, the holder can give in to this anger. When they do so, their hand tightens around the stone, the sharp edges cutting into their flesh, causing a point of damage. That blood is then absorbed, and the magic is activated:

The stone grants the user a +1 attack and damage bonus to melee attacks, and temporary Hit Points equal to the user’s Constitution modifier (if any). This lasts for a round, but at the end of the round the user must succeed in another saving throw (or voluntarily continue) or give into the rage, triggering the effect once more, at a further cost of a single point of damage. This continues until the user makes a save, falls unconscious, or is subject to a Dispel Magic or Remove Curse. When the effect wears off, the temporary Hit Points are lost, effectively inflicting further damage if all the points were expended during the rounds. When enraged, the user must always seek out a fight, or something to let loose their anger on, be it friend or foe, never surrendering nor retreating.

According to legend these stones were found in the graves of a tribe of goblins that were slaughtered without provocation, an act of genocide that imbued the stones with the rage the goblins felt at the time.

Tome of Many Tongues

Forgotten Friday: the Tome of Many Tongues

The book was ancient, coated in a thick layer of dust. Upon closer inspection what Porthus thought was cracked leather covering the book, turned out to be dried tongues sewn together with silver threads. There was no title, just the symbol of of a mouth full of lolling tongues and needle-like teeth.

Porthus opened the book, showering the room with dust. As soon as he opened it a torrent of whispers poured forth in a babble of different languages, all speaking at once, none making any sense. Inside the brittle yellow pages were covered in tiny calligraphy, different languages again, symbols and diagrams intermixed. Gently he flipped through the pages until he reached a script that matched the sigils on the scroll he had unearthed from the tomb. He focused on the words and they swam before his eyes, seeming to lift off the page and enter his eyes.

In a blink of the eye he could suddenly understand the words, and before the magical effect could wear off, Porthus picked up the old scroll and hurriedly read it.

Tome of Many Tongues

Tome of Many Tongues

The Tome of Many Tongues is an ancient tome written by a large number of different magic-users, clerics and sages over a period of some thousand years. The book always looks and feels old, but never seems to further age. It is remarkably tough, despite its fragile appearance, and makes any saves as though it were a 10th level cleric.

A magic-user or cleric can use the book to learn a language, for a limited time, and only the ability to read said language. They must have a copy of that language written down, as an example of the text. Flipping through the tome takes 1d6 rounds until the right language is found, and then a further round to absorb the knowledge contained inside. The user can then read that language for a number of hours equal to their Intelligence and have a 1 in 20 chance of being able to read the language forever after (once chance only, regardless of how many times that particular language is accessed).

Forgotten Friday: The Flail of Biting Insults

With a howl full of rage and hate, the orc swung the flail at Phat Kobra’s* head. The barbed chains bit deep into the dwarves flesh, and while the sting of the wound was painful, it was nothing compared to the insult that suddenly sounded from the magic weapon, spoken in Kobra’s own dwarven tongue: “Take that, elf-lover!”

The Flail of Biting Insultes

The Flail of Biting Insults

The Flail of Biting Insults was created by a bitter craftsman who hated everybody. Gifted with magic thanks to some early days spent as a tomb-robbing adventurer, Gristle Bane forged this weapon in the hope that it would cause both insult and injury wherever it went.

The weapon is a +1 Heavy Flail (1d8+1 damage) that, when it hits and scores damage, also utters an insult in the victim’s own language. This has the effect of disheartening the wounded party, giving them a penalty of -1 to their attack rolls for the next round.

The DM us encouraged to be as creative as they like, insulting the character hit by whatever means, or can roll on the table below to generate ideas:

1d8 roll

  1. “You [insert hated race] lover!”
  2. “Your mother was an ogre [or pixie, if an ogre]!”
  3. “You hit like a halfling!”
  4. “My God, you are so ugly!”
  5. “Weakling! Coward!”
  6. Cruel laughing
  7. “You smell like a troll [or an elf]!”
  8. “May you live in interesting times! Or die!”

 

* thought I’d use a character from Dreams in the Lich House for this (hope that’s ok, Beedo).
Dia Marfoir: God Slayer Sword

Forgotten Friday: Dia Marfoir, the God-Slayer sword

Dia Marfoir: God Slayer Sword

The dia-marfoir

From the history of the World of Iona:

In the end, the war climaxed at the spot where the town of Rifton now stands. Ruin itself faced off against King Cian, who wielded a powerful artefact, a sword forged in the Heart of the Gods itself: dia-marfoir, the god-slayer sword. It was a gift from the dwarven theocracy, a weapon designed to slay Ruin.

This it did, but at a cost: as the blade bit deep into Ruin’s body, slaying the demon lord, a terrible explosion ripped the land apart, levelling the capital city and splitting the earth. A great fissure, known today as the King-killer Chasm, cut through the land to the sea, destroying great swarths of the already suffering kingdom. Earthquakes shook the world from end-to-end, causing widespread destruction. The war ended with victory for the allied forces, but it spelled the end of the Kingdom. The remaining townships and distant cities were forced into independence, left to forge ahead alone.

Dia-marfoir is an ancient longsword forged by the dwarves that guard the Heart of the Gods, a divine forge used by the creator himself. It is a magical +3 longsword with a keen edge, doing double damage whenever a natural 20 is rolled. Against demons and their kin, the sword will banish them back to their home plane if a natural 20 is rolled and they fail a save versus magic.

In the hands of a descendent of King Cian, the sword acts as a +5 longsword with the abilities above, and radiates an 10′ aura of Protection against Evil/Chaos (as the spell) when unsheathed. However, these extra powers and bonuses only function if the descendent pursues his ancestor’s quest: to defeat Ruin and banish/destroy all demons that roam the remnants of the Kingdom. Continue reading

Forgotten Friday: The Tomb of Sandlin the Great

A weekly post about lost tombs, mysterious ruins, and forgotten lore.

The Tomb of Sandlin the Great

Nestled in the foothills of the Twilight Mountains lies a small copse of old oak trees, their heavy branches bent with age. In the midst of this woods is a clearing, a small hillock dominating the grassy plot of land. A pitted, weathered stone door marks the entrance to a small tomb of a once great chieftain and warrior: Sandlin.

Tomb Map

The Tomb of Sandlin

The stone door is difficult to budge (Strength check to open), and inside lies a large stone slab, on which the dry husk of a corpse lies in state. The body of Sandlin has been preserved by mundane and magical means, and radiates a faint, lingering aura of magic if detected. There is also a whiff of Evil/Chaos about the corpse, which is the result of a curse placed on the tomb.

At the back of the barrow is a collection of ceramic pots, urns and a rusted iron chest that crumples at the touch. Inside are the decayed remains of offering of food and flowers, as well as ancient beads from a necklace (worth 15 gp to the right person). There is also a tarnished silver brooch, shaped like a hunting dog, that has a pin to clasp it to a cloak or shirt. The brooch is magical, and grants anyone wearing it the chance to re-roll a single attack or saving throw once per day.

The corpse of Sandlin has also been lain to rest with his armour and sword. The once brilliant chain shirt has long since rusted to scraps, but the sword remains as sharp and as clean as if it were forged yesterday. It is a straight-bladed two-handed sword with a hilt bound in silver wire, and a pommel shaped into the snarling face of a hunting dog. It functions as a +2 two-handed sword and grants the user a +2 saving throw against fear effects. According to legend the sword was called Bravery.

However, anyone attempting to take the sword or the magical brooch activates the curse, and the corpse of Sandlin the Great animates and attacks all that dare intrude in its tomb:

Sandlin the Great (Undead Guardian)

HD 4+8 (36 hps)
AC as chain
Move as unencumbered man
Attack/Damage 1 / 1d4+2 (grasping hand) or 2d6+4 (sword)
Notes can be turned, but is treated as 6 HD. Immune to spells or attacks that target only living creatures; half-damage from piercing weapons; vulnerable to fire and takes 25% additional damage; can see perfectly well in the dark, even magical darkness.

A Bless spell cast on the corpse before removing any of the items keeps Sandlin still for a number of rounds equal to the caster’s level; but then, if the items have been taken from the tomb, the undead guardian will track down the thieves and attempt to take back the brooch and sword, to return them to the tomb.

A Remove Curse spell, followed by a Bless, removes the curse completely and allows Sandlin to rest in peace.