Athasian Inklings

Posted in Reviews on August 1, 2010 by apocryphalmusings

If you’re waiting for Dark Sun to come out (in case you’ve been living under a rock, this is the next setting to be getting Fourth Edition-ified, and if by some chance you don’t know what Dark Sun is, well, go look it up somewhere because you’re beneath my contempt) as much as I am, then head on over Critical Hits, who are doing a question-and-answer bit based on some preview copies of the Campaign Setting and Creature Catalog (although; why does Dark Sun only get one campaign book while the Realms and Eberron both got a player’s and DM’s book?  No fair, I say, no fair).  So far, all looks well to me.  The idea of minotaurs as smaller descendants of beast-headed giants is a good one; perhaps they’re beast-headed half-giants and like the one poster on there says, I don’t know why they ever weren’t in the setting.  And I want to see the thri-kreen so bad I can taste it.

All in all, I have to say that it looks like Wizards has come a long way from the horrid mess that was post-4e Faerûn.  The redone Eberron was a step in the right direction and it looks like Dark Sun is the same.  I’ll have to hold off my comments for after I get to see the books myself, but I almost don’t feel funky considering the notion of Ravenloft 4e anymore.

Tomasz Darkhenov, the Voidsoul

Posted in NPCs on April 8, 2010 by apocryphalmusings

A shadar-kai assassin with some extra powers, I tried not to make any crazy powers since the PCs are still fairly low-level.  I gave him elite hit points – my party is composed of 4 level 2s (a swordmage, a druid, a warden and a bard) so if folks in here think a level 4 elite is too tough I can tone the hp back down.

The dagger of decay is basically envisioned as Padan Fain’s shadow dagger in Wheel of Time.  Statwise, I just used the Poisoned weapon in Adventurer’s Vault and redid the damage as necrotic, not poison.

I also do plan on having Tomasz factor into the campaign later, so he has other powers that aren’t reflected here as they won’t effect combat at all (things like a sort of invisibility to non-intelligent undead: he’s seen by them, but seen as a zombie/skeleton/whatever.  Things like liches or vampires can see him for what he is, though).

Level 4 Skirmisher // medium natural humanoid
Defilement of Respite aura 3; whenever a healing surge is used within the aura, it heals 2 hp less and Tomasz gains 2 hp.
INI +6; SENSES Perception +7, low-light vision
HP 74; Bloodied 47
AC 15, FORT 18, REF 18, WILL 15
Resist 5 necrotic, 5 radiant
SPEED 6
* Scimitar (standard, at-will) +6 vs. AC; 1d8+1 damage.
Dagger of Decay (standard; at-will) +6 vs. AC; 1d4+2 damage plus 1d6 necrotic on a critical.  Once per day as a free action, Tomasz may make the dagger inflict ongoing 5 necrotic damage.
* Hand Crossbow (standard; at-will) +8 vs. AC; 1d6 damage.
Dagger of Decay (ranged) (standard; at-will) +7 vs. AC; 1d4+2 damage plus 1d6 necrotic on a critical.  Once per day as a free action, Tomasz may make the dagger inflict ongoing 5 necrotic damage.
Shadow Storm (standard, at-will) +6 vs. AC; 1d8+6 damage plus 1 for each creature adjacent to target.
Shadow Step (move, at-will) As long as Tomasz is adjacent to an enemy, he may teleport 3 squares.
Cloak of Shadows (minor, encounter) Until end of next turn, Tomasz gains concealment and is invisible to enemies more than 5 squares away.
Shade Form (minor, encounter) Tomasz assumes shadow form (insub., vuln. 5 radiant, until attack or end of next turn).
Shadow Jaunt (move, encounter) Tomasz teleports 3 squares and become insubstantial until next turn.

Terrifying Visage (standard, daily) Close blast 5; +6 vs. Will, 2d8+6 psychic damage and the target is immobilized (save ends); on miss, 1d8+3 damage, and only the primary target is immobilized.  Secondary targets: +6 vs. Will, push target 4 (2) squares.
ALIGNMENT Unaligned; LANGUAGES Common, Elven
SKILLS Acrobatics +10, Stealth +13, Thievery +11
STR 13 (+3) // DEX 19 (+6) // WIS 11 (+2)
CON 14 (+4) // INT 14 (+4) // CHA 11 (+2)
EQUIPMENT scimitar, dagger of decay, leather armor, light shield

Fenlurk Choker (Grindylow)

Posted in Monsters with tags , on March 21, 2010 by apocryphalmusings

Level 6 Lurker
Medium natural humanoid; XP 250

Initiative +7; Senses Perception +4, darkvision
HP 54, bloodied 27
AC 20, Fortitude 21, Reflex 22, Will 21
Speed 6, swim 12, climb 8 (spider climb)

Basic Melee/ Tentacle Claw (standard; at will)
Reach 3; +11 vs. AC; 1d10+4 damage and the target is grabbed.

Melee/ Choke (standard; at will)
Grabbed target only, +9 vs. Fortitude; 1d10+4 damage.

Body Shield (immediate interrupt, when targeted by a melee or ranged attack vs. Reflex or AC; recharge with a successful tentacle claw attack or choke)
The grindylow makes its grabbed victim the target instead. The grindylow cannot use this power to redirect attacks made by a creature it is currently grabbing.

Chameleon Hide (minor; at will)
The grindylow gains concealment until the start of its next turn. It can’t use this power while grabbing a creature or while grabbed.

Drown (standard; at will)
Grabbed target only; the grindylow may pull the target creature into the water in which it lairs, causing it to drown.

Alignment evil; Languages primordial
Str 19 (+7) – Dex 18 (+7) – Wis 13 (+4)
Con 12 (+4) – Int 10 (+3) – Cha 6 (+1)
Skills Stealth +12

Grindylow are repulsively eel-like creatures with a perpetually damp, black skin. Their long arms sport equally long fingers, which have a fearful strength. They are a scourge and the subject of many a warning by cautious mothers.

Aughisky

Posted in Monsters with tags , on March 21, 2010 by apocryphalmusings

Level 10 Elite Skirmisher
Large fey magical beast (aquatic), XP 1,000

Initiative +8; Senses Perception +11, darkvision
HP 244; bloodied 122
AC 26; Fortitude 36, Reflex 30, Will 29
Speed 10, swim 10

Basic Melee/ Kick (standard; at will)
+15 vs. AC; 2d6+5 damage.

Melee/ Double Attack (standard; at will)
The aughisky may make two kick attacks.

Feast of the Rent Flesh (immediate reaction, when an enemy is killed)
The aughisky may feast upon the body of a fallen enemy, gaining a measure of its strength; the aughisky gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the level of the foe.

Combat Advantage
If an aughisky has combat advantage against the target, the target is also knocked prone on a hit.

Alignment chaotic evil; Languages Common, Elven
Skills Athletics +17, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +12, Insight +11, Stealth +11
Str 24 (+12) – Dex 13 (+6) – Wis 13 (+6)
Con 17 (+8) – Int 10 (+5) – Cha 14 (+7)
Action Point 1

An aughisky, or water horse, is a fey creature resembling a massively-built black stallion. Being a supernatural creature by its very nature, there are countless minor variations on its appearance; some have a mane tinged green with algal growths, resembling nothing so much as a mat of mere-weed, some are truly demonic in appearance and can be mistaken for evil extraplanar beings.

The Wild Hunt [Skill Challenge]

Posted in Skill Challenges with tags , on March 21, 2010 by apocryphalmusings

With an ear-splitting sound, a hunter’s horn blares out: the ghostly figure of a man leading a pack of hounds materialize from the sky and begin galloping towards you. You turn and start to run – the Wild Hunt is loose tonight!

Setup: To escape Gwynn o’ the Horn and his hounds of the Wild Hunt, a frenzied flight through the forest becomes necessary.

Level: Equal to the level of the party

Complexity: 4 (requires 10 successes before 5 failures)

Primary Skills: Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Stealth

Acrobatics (moderate DCs): You ably dodge out of the way of an arrow shot from Gwynn’s bow. Failing a check means that you have been hit, and the magic of the arrow gives you a -2 to the next Acrobatics or Athletics check.

Athletics (moderate DCs): With a burst of effort, you manage to outrun the Hunt… for now.

Stealth (hard DCs): Using stealth and guile, you hide behind a tree, in the brush or in a small bowl, managing to avoid the Hunt.

Success: You manage to discover a hamadryad, a type of fey which is adept at hiding from the Wild Hunt. The hamadryad leads you to safety and the Hunt moves on.

Failure: You’re caught! Gwynn releases some of his hounds and a combat encounter is provoked at the PCs’ level + 2.

Hippopotamus

Posted in Monsters with tags , on March 21, 2010 by apocryphalmusings

Level 9 Brute
Huge natural beast (aquatic), XP 400

Initiative +4; Senses Perception +9, low-light vision
HP 122; bloodied 61
AC 21; Fortitude 23, Reflex 20, Will 19
Speed 3, swim 4

Basic Melee/ Bite (standard; at will)
+12 vs. AC; 2d8+5 damage.

Melee/ Stomp (standard; at will)
+12 vs. AC; 2d6+5 damage.

Trample (standard; recharge 3, 4, 5, 6)
When charging, a hippopotamus may move through a Medium or smaller creature’s space and make a stomp attack against that creature. The hippopotamus must end its movement on a vacant space.

Alignment Unaligned
Skills Athletics +16, Stealth +9
Str 25 (+11) – Dex 11 (+4) – Wis 10 (+0)
Con 22 (+10) – Int 1 (-1) – Cha 6 (+2)

A hippopotamus (plural hippopotami), or “river-horse”, is a massive porcine animal which inhabits rivers and lakes throughout the Katayingan subcontinent. They are highly dangerous and excessively stupid, and are untrainable.

Aurochs

Posted in Monsters with tags , , on March 21, 2010 by apocryphalmusings

Level 6 Brute
Large natural beast, XP 250

Initiative +3; Senses Perception +8
HP 86; bloodied 43
AC 19; Fortitude 20, Reflex 18, Will 15
Speed 8

Basic Melee/ Horn Gore (standard; at will)
+9 vs. AC; 2d8+4 damage.

Goring Charge (while mounted by a friendly rider of 6th level or higher; recharge 4, 5, 6) • Mount
When charging, an aurochs may move through a Medium or smaller creature’s space and make a horn gore attack against that creature, which is also tossed aside one square to the right or left and knocked prone. The aurochs must end its movement on a vacant space.

Alignment Unaligned
Skills Athletics +7
Str 18 (+7) – Dex 10 (+3) – Wis 11 (+3)
Con 16 (+6) – Int 2 (-1) – Cha 4 (+0)

Aurochs (or urus, as they are known in Goblin) are huge, savage bulls inhabiting lightly forested terrain nearly worldwide, save for the depths of Katayinga. They are oftentimes trained as mounts by goblinoids.