Posted on Leave a comment

Infernal Choir

infernal choirInfernal Choir     CR 9
XP 6,400
CE persistent haunt (50 ft. radius)
Caster Level 9th
Notice Perception DC 29 (to notice a barely audible unholy keen)
Hp 40; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 day

Effect When the haunt manifests, a wizard in tattered robes springs from the ground. He waves a baton as if directing a symphony; he points to to the ground a group of demons appear. These demons sing to music that appears from out of nowhere. The melody and the deep baritones of the demons are not for human ears and the high-pitched shrieking of quasits do not make it anymore delightful (quite the opposite). The deep bass voice of the glabrezu lead singer (that wears a sparkling purple tuxedo) is the only thing barely tolerable. Everyone in the haunt’s area takes 2d8 sonic damage from the cacophony of off-key notes and the generally horrifying nature of demonic singing. Furthermore each round the haunt is active everyone in its area takes 3d6 bleed damage as their ears, nose, and eyes start to bleed from the unnatural assault on the senses. Fortitude DC 19 negates the bleed damage (deaf creatures are immune to the bleed damage). The haunt can manifest at different places across the land independently of Perry’s grave’s location. The only clue the haunt leaves behind is a glimmering business card with the text:

Perry Gwibbles
Singer Extraordinaire
Independent Agent for hire

The card disappears at first sunlight after a performance.

 

Destruction Summoning a celestial choir to perform the ballad of the Nearsighted Gnome on Perry Gwibbles’ grave destroys the haunt; hopefully celestials don’t find it beneath themselves to perform the lewd and rude drinking song. The Nearsighted Gnome was, according to Perry Gwibbles, the lowest form of entertainment that ever existed across the planes.

 

Adventure Hook Perry Gwibbles was a promising young wizard studying enchantments at the esteemed Academy of Magical Studies in Owlsburg. A member of the academy’s renowned choir, it was said he would become the choir’s next lead singer. One day Perry was working in an academy laboratory on a potion that would enhance one’s vocal abilities. As he added the final ingredient, it reacted explosively to the other components of the concoction. The explosion threw Perry across the room and as the smoke cleared he opened his mouth to scream for help, but only a feeble croak emerged from his lips.

A professor helped Perry over to the infirmary and all the way the afflicting mage was croaking like a frog. After days of tests Perry was given the bad news—his condition was not reversible. He would have screamed but instead he croaked much to the amusement of the people assembled around him. Perry abandoned his enchantment studies and instead started to study conjuration, but only three months after his accident, he was killed in a summoning accident (a hezrou misinterpreted his croaking greeting as an insult and ate him in front of his stunned fellows.) Perry’s remains were buried outside the city on a hill overlooking his beloved academy, but the mage’s will to succeed at singing was strong, and he is bound to his grave, doomed to perform with a passionate albeit untalented choir.

Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:

1. Anyone can submit an entry.

2. One entry per person at any one time. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must original and not infringe upon copyrighted material.

3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP.

4. By submitting an entry you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.

5. Adventureaweek.com, LLP reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this endeavor at any time without prior notice.

6. All decisions of Adventureaweek.com, LLP and their arbiters are final.

7. There is no compensation provided – any entries are given freely by their creators for use by Adventureaweek.com, LLP in perpetuity.

8. Your statblock must be properly formatted (compare to similar content on the AaWBlog for correct formatting).

Posted on Leave a comment

The Critics

The Critics (CR 11; 12,800)

As the party travels through the wooded area of Mischievous Meadows, they run into the critics—a group of more or less mad individuals whose exposure to art in one form or another has twisted them. Now they roam the region to sate their thirst for vengeance, while pretending to help the world by ridding it of bad art (though their interpretation of such is rather broad). Little do the adventurer’s know that an agent of a mysterious organization watches them from afar, guiding the critics toward the party to once more test their mettle!

(1) Deilarth CR 8

Gary Dupuis -Amaralda-CThis half elven redhead has a mad glint in her wild green eyes
XP 4,800
Female half elf sorcerer 9
NE Medium humanoid (half-elf)
Init +7; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 16 (+2 deflection, +3 Dex, +4 mage armor)
hp 49 (9d6+18)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +7; +2 vs. enchantment spells and effects
Immunities magic sleep effects
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee dagger +4 (1d4, Crit 19-20/x2)
Special Attacks laughing touch 8/day (melee touch attack, target can only take a move action for 1 round)

Spells Known (CL 9th; concentration +14)
0th (at will)—daze (DC 19), detect magic, detect poison, ghost sound, prestidigitation,  read magic, resistance,  touch of fatigue (DC 15)
1st (7/day)—charm person (DC 18), entangle (DC 16), feather fall, mage armor, magic missile, shield
2nd (7/day)—bull’s strength, eagle’s splendor, hideous laughter (DC 21), see invisibility, touch of idiocy (DC 21)
3rd (7/day)—deep slumber (DC 22), fly, hold person (DC 22), lightning bolt (DC 18)
4th (5/day)—confusion (DC 23), crushing despair (DC 23), poison (DC 19)
Bloodline fey

STATISTICS
Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 13
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 20
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Eschew Materials, Greater Spell Focus (Enchanment), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Perception), Spell Focus (Enchantment)
Skills Appraise +8, Fly +10, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Perception +10, Spellcraft +10, Perform (painting) +6
Languages Common, Elven, Sylvan
SQ Cantrips, fleeting glance, woodland stride
Gear circlet of alluring charisma +2, ring of protection +2, handy haversack (4 potions of cure light wounds), 325 gold pieces, a collection of hastily drawn sketches, and a brass spyglass missing one lens.

TACTICS
Deilarth has mage armor cast before any encounter (included in the profile above). If she has time to plan she casts eagle’s splendor, shield, see invisibility, and fly on herself, then bull’s strength on Paddy, Faddy and Olwen. She controls her enemies with crushing despair and confusion, using lightning bolt on targets that seem immune to her enchantments.

BACKGROUND
Deilarth grew up in a small village. One day she started hearing voices telling her to create paintings—she started painting and showed such great talent that her depictions of the beautiful scenery around the village made her a well-known artist in the local area. Alas, as the months went on the voices made her paint more and more twisted versions of the nature around her village, culminating with otherworldly landscapes she saw only in her dreams.

Deilarth locked herself in the workshop and worked feverishly on a masterpiece to reveal to the villagers so they might understand her, like she understood the voices. Finally the day came where she unveiled her outstanding artwork, and the voices assured her that everything would be better afterwards. The villagers gathered in the center of the settlement to see what Deilarth had created—perhaps she had abandoned her weird style of late and returned to her roots, some said.

The painting was magnificent, although today no one knows exactly why—as the villagers were gathered a rift appeared over the artwork and several lithe figures in leather armor surged out. Some of the lookers on were slaughtered, some were taken away, and some were driven mad by the weird energies radiating from the tear in reality.

Deilarth was driven mad by the knowledge that her painting had doomed her birthplace and everyone in it. She cried out in vain to the voices she had heard, but they had grown silent. The mad artist wandered the woods and meadows until she met Olwen Oakenbranch, and she listeneded intently to his ramblings about art. Deilarth thinks art is dangerous to the untalented, as it must have been her lack of talent that created the disaster in her village.

Now she travels with her companions and deems art worthy, or in her case deems people talented or untalented usually on a whim; the talented travel on, and those lacking in ability are sentenced to death. To help her determine if people are talented or not, she uses an old spyglass; Olwen, Paddy, and Faddy believe it to be a magic item, but only Deilarth knows how to interpret the things she sees within it—the truth is that it is just a broken spyglass the insane painter found before meeting Olwen.

(1) Olwen Oakenbranch CR 8

tree creatureA huge tree with blackened bark strides towards you, as it approaches it seems that the trees around you come to life as well. He screams, “show me the art, or die!”
XP 4,800
NE huge plant
Init -1; Senses low-light vision, Perception +12
DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 7, flat-footed 21 (-1 Dex, +14 natural, -2 size)
hp 114 (12d8+60)
Fort +13, Reflex +3, Will +9
Immune plant traits; DR 5/slashing
Weaknesses vulnerable to fire
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +17 (2d6+9/19-20)
Ranged rock +7 (2d6+13)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks rock throwing (180 ft.), trample (2d6+13, DC 25)
STATISTICS
Base Atk +9; CMB +20; CMD 29
Str 29, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 13
Feats Alertness, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Diplomacy +9, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (nature) +9, Perception +12, Sense Motive +9, Stealth -9 (+7 in forests)
Languages Common, Sylvan, Treant
SQ Animate trees, double damage against objects, treespeech
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Animate Trees (Sp) A treant can animate any trees within 180 feet at will, controlling up to two trees at a time. It takes 1 full round for a tree to uproot itself, after which it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a treant (although it has only one slam attack and lacks the treant’s animation and rock-throwing abilities), gaining the treant’s vulnerability to fire. If the treant that animated it terminates the animation, moves out of range, or is incapacitated, the tree immediately takes root wherever it is and returns to its normal state.
Double Damage Against Objects (Ex) A treant or animated tree that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.
Treespeech (Ex) A treant has the ability to converse with plants as if subject to a continual speak with plants spell, and most plants greet them with an attitude of friendly or helpful.

TACTICS
Olwen starts by using his Animate Trees ability and using them to engage the most formidable looking characters. He focuses his attacks on one enemy at a time, unless he is hurt by fire; then he attacks the source of the fire damage along with any animated trees until that threat is gone.

BACKGROUND
Years ago in a small glade two treants made their home, tending to the plants in the area. One day as Olwen returned from a trip to a nearby glade he found his friend was missing. The treant searched for him high and low, eventually finding his friend made inanimate, used as a support beam for a newly built bridge—cut down by woodsmen and used to further civilization’s encroachment on everything Olwen held dear. Furthermore a woodcarver had been hired to carve intricate designs on the bridge and now Olwen stared in horror at the scenes that adorned his friend’s trunk—happy humans dancing and playing music.

The carvings became the focus of Olwen’s rage; he detests everything humans call art and has made it his lifelong job to rid the world of all mediocre works. The treant fully understands that there is magnificent art and he intends to make sure that all humans that create mediocre art, or can’t create art at all, are destroyed along with their works.

Greengully Bridge still stands this day (Olwen cannot make himself destroy his friend’s tomb) but the he still wanders off to chat to his friend for hours. When he is home, Olwen usually stands with his back to the bridge as he cannot bear to see the crude mediocre carvings on it (meaning he hasn’t yet discovered that several people have made their own etchings into the timber and his friend). These carving are of a more explicit nature and their crude vulgarity would most likely send Olwen on a murderous rampage should he see them.

(2) Redcaps CR 8

redcapA small wicked old man, this snarling little humanoid wears metal boots and a blood-red pointed cap.
XP 4,800
NE small fey
Init +8; Senses low-light vision, Perception +12
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (+2 armor, +4 Dex, +3 natural, +1 size)
hp 60 (8d6+32), fast healing 3
Fort +6, Reflex +10, Will +7
DR 10/cold iron
Weaknesses irreligious
OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft.
Melee Medium scythe +10 (2d4+10, Crit x4), kick +4 (1d4+6)
STATISTICS
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 21
Str 18, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 15
Feats Cleave, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Scythe)
Skills Acrobatics +15 (+27 jump), Bluff +13, Climb +15, Escape Artist +15, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (nature) +14,  Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +19
Languages Aklo, Common, Giant, Sylvan
SQ Boot stomp, heavy weapons, redcap
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Boot Stomp (Ex) A redcap wears heavy iron boots with spiked soles that it uses to deadly effect in combat. These boots give the redcap a kick attack that it can make as a secondary attack, either as part of a full-attack action or as part of its movement just as if it had the Spring Attack feat.
Heavy Weapons (Ex) A redcap can wield weapons sized for Medium creatures without penalty.
Irreligious (Ex) Bitter and blasphemous, redcaps cannot stand the symbols of good-aligned religions. If a foe spends a standard action presenting such a holy symbol, any redcap that can see the creature must make a DC 15 Will save or become frightened for 1 minute and attempt to flee. A redcap who successfully saves is shaken for 1 minute.
Red Cap (Su) A redcap wears a tiny, shapeless woolen hat, dyed over and over with the blood of its victims. While wearing this cap, a redcap gains a +4 bonus on damage rolls (included in the above totals) and fast healing 3. These benefits are lost if the cap is removed or destroyed. Caps are not transferable, even between redcaps. A redcap can create a new cap to replace a lost cap with 10 minutes of work, although until the redcap takes a standard action to dip the cap in the blood of a foe the redcap helped to kill, the cap does not grant its bonuses.

TACTICS
Paddy and Faddy always attack enemies wearing the lightest armor; they both revel in the blood spilling and horror of their terrified foes.

BACKGROUND
In the town of Groverton lies a manor shunned by the locals; few if any will speak of it. This estate has always been the seat of the ruling duke, but now it stands empty and deserted. Two years ago the people rose up against the mad Duke Heinan von Twikelsburg (the last of his line and quite off his rocker). Heinan’s madness started showing some ten years before when he ruled that all men should wear purple hats on Sundays on penalty of death—the people chuckled at their duke’s newest idea, but two months later no one laughed when eight men were executed in the village square for unwillingness to comply with the duke’s wishes.

The people quickly adapted and wore purple hats on Sundays afterward, but the duke was bored when no new executions were forthcoming and decided that he himself would decree which weekday it was when he awoke in the morning, so eventually the people wore purple hats every day. The next ten years were a nightmare for the people of Groverton as a variety of weird laws made their duke’s descent into madness clear for all to see, though no one dared to speak out against him.

It was into this town the two redcap brothers Paddy and Faddy came—they were employed as the duke’s personal riddlers. Each would ask unanswerable questions like, “what is the color of the sound of a butterfly on a winter’s night?” No matter what the answer was, the unfortunate soul would only hear the redcaps say, “wrong off with your head!” Heinan von Twikelsburg was delighted with his newest entertainers, but the people had had enough. Paddy and Faddy escaped the raging mobs descending on the manor and during their flight they came across Olwen and Deilarth. The redcaps introduced themselves as comedians—Olwen decided that it was an artform he knew little about and therefore he needed them to tell him if a comedy was mediocre or not (so far, everything has been mediocre to the brothers.)

ALTERNATE SOLUTION
The critics require a performance to help them judge if the party should die or not—a series of five DC 20 Perform checks appeases the malicious impromptu judges.

SCALING THE ENCOUNTER
To modify this encounter, apply the following changes:
CR 10 (9,600) Apply the young simple template to all of the critics (+2 on all Dex-based rolls, -2 on all other rolls, -2 hp/HD)
CR 12 (19,200) Apply the advanced simple template to all of the critics (+2 on all rolls [including damage rolls] and special ability DCs; +4 to AC and CMD; +2 hp/HD)
Not long after the PCs have ended their encounter with the critics, a trio of strange, man-sized birds that appear to be made of fire burst from the treeline and swarm them, raining down hot death on the adventurers! Keep an eye out on the AaWBlog tomorrow to see the stats for pepfralcons and what’s in store for the party in this week’s Statblock Sunday!

Posted on Leave a comment

Pool of Narcissism

Pool of Narcissism     CR 7
XP 3,200
CE haunt ( 20 ft. radius)
Caster Level 7th
Notice Perception DC 25 (to hear the faint smug laughter of a man)
HP 14Trigger proximity; Reset 1 day
Effect A pleasantly looking pool beckons the thirsty traveler with its cool, clear water. When a person approaches the pool they must specifically state that they do not look at their own reflection; if not, they are still allowed a Will save to avoid the effects (see below). Looking at one’s own reflection reveals a fantastically good-looking version staring back—a DC 19 Will save negates the effects of a smug narcissismspell, but otherwise it has a duration of 1 hour. The haunt itself has a special duration and tries to affect anyone approaching the pool and seeing their reflection within five minutes of the first person to do so. Making or failing the save renders the person immune to the haunt for 48 hours.

Škocjan_Caves_lake

Destruction The bones of Gaston Grassion must be retrieved from the bottom of the pool and buried in consecrated ground in a temple dedicated to the goddess of beauty.

Adventure Hook Gaston Grassion was a vain manan artist, a seducer, and caring for no one but himselfand considered himself above kings and priests, quickly making a fair share of enemies. On one fateful day as Gaston was fleeing yet another city after seducing the ruling duke’s daughter, he stopped to fill his waterskin in the pool. Upon seeing his reflection in the pool he stopped to admire this visage of perfection, and his enemies caught up with him. The duke himself snuck up behind Gaston while he gazed at the pool’s surface, grabbing him in a stranglehold and pushing the dilettante beneath the surface to drown. Gaston has haunted the pool ever since. 

SMUG NARCISSISM
School enchantment (compulsion) [emotion, mind-affecting]; Level bard 3, sorcerer/wizard 5, witch 5
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a tiny shard of a mirror)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one creature
Duration instantaneous
Duration 10 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes
You cause your target to become overwhelmed by its own importance, talents, and attractiveness. The target cannot help but look at itself in every reflective surface at every possible opportunity. In social situations, the target always tries to comment about how attractive it is or how ugly someone else is by comparison. The target remains constantly distracted, always looking for a reflective surface to gaze upon (such as a mirror, pool of water, a polished shield, and so on). The distraction gives the target a –2 penalty on all skill checks. In combat, the target worries about enemies damaging its appearance, and focuses on defense rather than offense (casting defensive spells rather than offensive spells, using the fight defensively or total defense action, and so on).

 

Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:

1. Anyone can submit an entry.
2. One entry per person at any one time. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must original and not infringe upon copyrighted material.
3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP.
4. By submitting an entry you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.
5. Adventureaweek.com, LLP reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this endeavor at any time without prior notice.
6. All decisions of Adventureaweek.com, LLP and their arbiters are final.
7. There is no compensation provided – any entries are given freely by their creators for use by Adventureaweek.com, LLP in perpetuity.
8. Your statblock must be properly formatted (compare to similar content on the AaWBlog for correct formatting).