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AaWBlog Closing, New Adventurer’s Chronicle magazine coming Spring 2016

We regret to inform our avid readers that the AaWBlog is being retired (sans Tales from the Tabletop). We would like to take this opportunity to recognize the entire AaWBlog team: Mike Myler, Justin Andrew Mason, Rory Toma, Lance Kepner, Tim Snow, Stefanos Patelis, Brian Wiborg, Jonathan Ely, and the rest of our fantastic contributors.

AAW Games would like to thank Mike Myler for all his hard work managing the AaWBlog and contributing to many Adventureaweek.com projects including the Aventyr Campaign Setting. Going forward Mike Myler will no longer be working with AAW Games but will continue to be a driving force in the roleplaying game industry, AAW Games wishes him well in his future ventures.

Fret not! Our brand new Adventurer’s Chronicle magazine will release its first issue in Spring 2016. This magazine will be free and have a plethora of content for both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and 5th Edition. In issue #1 we will have a fantastic guest article by Wolfgang Baur (Kobold Press, Tyranny of Dragons) and an in-person candid interview with actress and fellow gamer Jen Page!
Read more about the brand new FREE Adventurer’s Chronicle magazine below and make sure you sign up for our newsletter so you can be notified when it has been released (don’t worry, we won’t spam you).

AAW-eZine-Ad-Adventurers-Chronicle

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Wandering Wasteland: Grave Morass

grave morassWhatever catastrophe or circumstances led to the creation of the Grave Morass ensured the death of an untold number of primitive peoples and primordial beasts that sheltered in its canyon-like confines rather than suffer the prowling undead of NaeraCull’s jungles. Macabre scholars believe it an irony of the gods that these residents have become animated themselves, and none know how many of them persist or where they might tread when beneath the surface of the black. Exploratory parties sent by the warlords of the deserts or Ravine’s politicians rarely return, prompting the rulers of the southern reaches of the Scorched Lands to keep no small amount of anti-undead equipment and holy water close at hand.

Undead of the Grave Morass
Any type of non-cold skeletal undead can rise from the tar of the Grave Morass, but these animated creatures are predominantly humanoids and large primordial beasts (such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and sabertooth tigers). There is a 50% chance that the tar covering the undead that rise here has been magically affected by The Transgression and attacks from these undead have a chance of inflicting the tarred condition; each hit dice an undead possesses grants one such consecutive attack. For example, a 4 HD skeleton with two weapons would grant the tarred condition for one attack after charging, two attacks during a full-round attack the next round, and the first of its next attacks during a full-round attack the following round (but no more afterward). Any undead able to inflict the tarred condition in this way increase their CR by +1.

Tarred: You take a -4 penalty to all Charisma-based skill checks. Spells that target you instead affect a random target within 30 feet (no save) and have a 10% chance per caster level of triggering a random effect from the list below. The tarred condition can only be removed via dispel magic (CL 18th), heal, limited wish, miracle, or a wish. After 2d4+1 days the tarred condition alleviates itself as the substance crumbles away.
1 – Splay: targeted spell now affects all targets within 30 ft. of the original target
2 – Negate: targeted spell is negated and has no effect
3 – Damaging: targeted spell does twice the damage (in the case of spells that do not deal damage, double duration)
4 – Penetrating: targeted spell grants its caster a +10 circumstance bonus to bypass spell resistance
5 – Tricky: the saving throw DC(s) for the targeted spell are increased by +5
6 – Rebound: targeted spell also rebounds back on its caster

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Wandering Wasteland: Mutated Clans of the Fissure

The western portion of the Scorched Lands consists of a massive series of canyons, mesas, and plateaus collectively known as the Fissures. This confusing, uneven landscape is perfectly suited to the reclusive lifestyle led by the many mutant clans who inhabit the area. After surviving the Transgression these transformed savages eke out a living in the wastes, gathering together for protection and to avoid the perils of the mutant slave trade exacerbated by magical experimentations in Timaeus. The Fissures and the ragged, difficult to navigate ecotopes found within have become a rough but safe haven for those escaping enslavement or fleeing from the rulers of Ravine so long as they don’t run afoul of the mutated clans.

the fissures scorched landsTravelers that are obviously enslaved or recently freed (bearing brands, wearing chains, or otherwise obviously a thrall of some sort) gain a +4 circumstance bonus on all Charisma-based skill checks while interacting with the mutated clans of the Fissures and is treated with a starting attitude one level higher than normal. Conversely anyone that is openly a slaver takes a -4 penalty to Charisma-based skill checks with the mutated clans and when interacting with them, finds that the locals have a starting attitude two levels lower than normal.

The societies that have developed within and around the canyons and ravines that make up the Fissures are mostly barbaric and tribal in nature but all share a focus on survival against the harsh environment. Various Pilgrim’s Journals claim different numbers of mutant tribes in the area, some citing only a few dozen, others naming a hundred or more, but none are sure of exactly how many societies persist in this part of the wastes. Below are several of the more powerful and prevalent tribes that explorers might encounter, but there are many more that eke out a life in the shadows of the sands.

Acolytes of the Horned Rat: Explorers of the ravines and canyons in the Fissures are as wary of the Transgression as they are the kobolds, goblins, and other monstrous mutants that make up the Acolytes of the Horned Rat. Marked by the single-horned skullcaps they all wear, these clever savages make great tunnel networks beneath the sands and line their passages with deadly contraptions and traps to subdue trespassers.

Riders of the Wall: Traveling along the tops of the canyons chances a meeting with this nomadic tribe of mounted warriors. Their scouts sprint along the cliffsides on sand lizards as their families follow behind on secure structures built on the shells of giant desert turtles. Their leader is a scion of the flame and not to be trifled with, but the Riders of the Wall are known to be some of the most generous of the mutated clans for those able and willing to overlook physical deformities.

Shardalluk: Easily one of the most mystical tribes in the Fissures, these demented mutants are led by female mystics that emulate the Fiery Lady and believe the Shard of the Sun sets souls free, encouraging members of their flock to face the Transgression again and again. Induction into the ranks of the Shardalluk is open to all but not an easy task as any supplicant must survive a pilgrimage, following the Fiery Lady for no less than a week regardless of where she treads.

[Submitted by Stefanos “netlich” Patelis!]

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Wandering Wasteland: Sea of Shards

The northern reaches of the Scorched Lands are dominated by the Sea of Shards, a stretch of sand dunes that are endlessly shifting at the whim of the winds and dotted with strange ashen stalagmites that rise from the terrain. Traveling is difficult at best and landmarks are rare, always appearing or disappearing with the changes of the sand dunes. The few locals who dare cross this area are also superstitiously fearful of the ashen pillars, so much so that they avoid marking them as waypoints. This almost barren land is quite dangerous for any who brave it.

  1. The Fiery Apparition Haunt 
  2. Desert Terrain Hazards
    Sea of Shards
  3. Advance Scout Spire (CR 9 or 14)
    The servants of the Formian Queen have hidden exits from her vast Underworld empire among the many ashen pillars dotting the Sea of Shards. When close enough (within 500 ft.) telling them apart is simple—constructed mounds are made of hard-packed dirt and gritbut by then it may be too late, chancing that one’s presence is detected by formians scouts that scour the Scorched Lands (6 warriors and 1d4+4 workers who maintain the lair). There is a 10% chance a spire is of strategic importance to the Formian Queen and is also home to a formian myrmarch.
    There’s little to see from afar save for the shifting of patrol warbands that cycle in and out of the spire every few weeks. Adventurers may attempt to sneak to the entrance of the spire, but otherwise the beings within are alerted to their approach by warrior scouts and follow a pre-set plan of actions.
    When prepared for trespassers the six warriors assault intruders while the workers set about in activating a controlled cave-ins. After 1d10 rounds of battle the underground tunnels fall in on themselves, gradually collapsing the entire spire after 1d4 minutes. If a formian myrmarch is present it only takes part in the combat if it seems the party can be easily defeated; otherwise the elite servant of the Formian Queen is the first to retreat before the tunnels are collapsed. This defense ensures no trail is left to the Underworld complexes belonging to the formians.
    When trespassers surprise the creatures (or manage to foil their defense plan and enter the lair before it collapses) the interior of the scout spire has a simple chamber containing no treasure of great worth or any clues to the origin of its warband. [The maze-like tunnels that lead deeper could easily become an adventure arc on their own, but that is beyond the scope of this story. —SP] 
  4. Sand Traps (CR 3) and Sinkholes (CR 6)
    Due to the constantly shifting sands, the dunes in the Sea of Shards are riddled with natural sand traps (as per an ant lion’s ability) and sinkholes (as a camouflaged pit trap but Perception and Disable Device DC 28) to the unwary. The ground is rarely hard packed sand and many times seems to suck a traveler’s feet in, or for the truly unfortunate, one’s entire body.
    At the GM’s discretion, the sand that topples onto a creature that falls into a sand trap or sinkhole might trap them in without allowing them room to breathe. Without help from above the creature must succeed on a DC 22 Climb or Escape Artist check extricate themselves; otherwise suffocation rules come into play (in this case increase the hazard’s CR +2).

[Submitted by Stefanos “netlich” Patelis!]

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Wandering Wasteland: Ravine, City of the Sands

Ravine
Built into the crust of Aventyr in the central portion of the Scorched Lands is the city of Ravine, the largest settlement of the region. Hovels and dwellings crowd the sides of the busy canyon walls, while the surface level is left almost completely barren save for the sheltered guard posts and canyon lifts.. At the lowest level a stream of fresh, cool water runs throughout the canyon floor, created from a natural aquifer deep underground that runs south and west into the fissures. Pilgrims of all sorts have lived and survived here for centuries, each generation building dwellings closer and closer to the surface as space becomes more limited. The most prized and ancient of dwellings near the canyon floor are sought after and conspired for, often in the nearby market level’s giant lifts (spaced sporadically throughout to ferry goods to and from the surface on giant rock-counterweight scales). RavineSilver plated reflectors set up along the sides of some of the canyon walls reflect sunlight into special cutout terraces that, with irrigation from the stream, provide food for the citizens.

Ravine is run by an elected mayor that serves a five year term and all positions of power within the city are elected officials or appointed by the mayor.

RAVINE
N metropolis
Corruption +4; Crime +1; Economy +7; Law +5; Lore +6; Society +6
Qualities notorious, prosperous, rumormongering citizens, strategic location, superstitious, tourist attraction
Danger +20

DEMOGRAPHICS
Government autocracy
Population 75,000 (48,000 humans, 7,000 half-orcs, 6,000 half-elves, 14,000 other)
Notable NPCs
     Mayor Wells Sunprince (N Male half-elf rogue 13)
     Kara the Sun Flea (NG Female human investigator 5/bard 4) [this week’s Statblock Sunday! MM]
     Master Pilgrim Sandra Waster (LN Female half-orc ranger 8)

MARKETPLACE
Base Value 35,692 gp; Purchase Limit 225,000 gp; Spellcasting 8th
Minor Items *; Medium Items 4d4; Major Items 3d4

[Ravine by Scorched Lands writer Lance Keppner!]

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Awake in Alucinar: Sea of Nightmares

sea of nightmares

A great disturbance has been troubling the Plane of Dreams, an invasive presence that can overwhelm even the most powerful creatures on the Dreaming Island: the psyche of a dead god.

The sea of nightmares rests on the edge of Alucinar, created from the nascent thoughts and reflexive synapses of the deific corpse’s brain, prompting miasmas that push and pull on anything that wanders too close or falls into its path. Every 4 hours the sea of nightmares sends out a wave of objective directional gravity that draws creatures into its center (DC 25 Will save negates); roll 1d6 to determine which part of the Plane of Dreams it lashes out at.

Once within the sea of nightmares (which is filled by a pink-purple water-like liquid), creatures are assaulted by a host of terrifying and horrifying images upon entering the hazardous area and once every 10d4 minutes afterward. Some of these are only figmentary but not all, and many ameslari have met a grisly fate to a surprisingly corporeal danger inside the ethereal current of the dead god’s mind. These effects are always reflective of the creature targeting them—treat an effect caused by the sea of nightmares as having a caster level equal to the target’s hit dice and spellcasting attribute modifiers equal to those possessed by the targeted creature. When a resulting effect requires a caster level that exceeds the target’s hit dice, defer to the lowest level effect that does.

1d100     Effect
1-15        shadow conjuration (creature)
16-30      shadow conjuration (effect)
31-45      shadow evocation
46-60      greater shadow conjuration (creature)
61-75      greater shadow conjuration (effect)
76-90      greater shadow evocation
91-100    immediate sleep and nightmare

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Awake in Alucinar: Shadow Overlap

The Plane of Dreams is a dimension that exists on the boundaries of many others—not just the Material Plane but also Limbo, the Plane of Shadow, and the Astral Plane as well. While this interactivity is what sustains Alucinar, there are areas where two or more dimensions interact and interfere with magic, change the nature of gravity, or even alter the flow of time.
Proximity (and thus accessibility) to so many different dimensions has made the Dreaming Island a locale sought after by arcane theorists and magical researchers since its discovery. shadow overlapReaching the Plane of Dreams is not as simple as a slumber, however; only certain creatures (those native to the realm) are able to leave it, and otherwise it is accessible only through very specific locales or the use of rare substances found only in Aventyr.
Though they can be dangerous and unpredictable, locating a dimensional overlap on the Plane of Dreams is a simple endeavor for anyone adept with arcane or divine energies. The convergence of planes is extremely easy to see; a detect magic spell and Perception check (DC 1 + 1 per 1,000 ft. from the overlap) allows a creature to read the ebb and flow of power in Alucinar.

Shadow Overlap
These areas of Alucinar have terrain or shape, gradually turning into just a flat plane spotted with orbs of normal darkness, supernatural darkness, and nothingness. The shadow overlap fluctuates in brightness, leading inexperienced travelers to paths that seem to illuminate but really only serve to cement the terror of losing one’s senses. Knowledgeable explorers know that within a shadow overlap, the safest path to travel is in supernatural darkness.

  • Within a shadow overlap all light brighter than normal light becomes normal darkness. Dim light and darkness becomes supernaturally dark. If an area already has supernatural darkness it becomes nothingness; all visual-based senses cease to function in that area, incurring a 50% miss chance to attacks and a 75% chance to move in a random direction.
  • Light-based spells do not function in a shadow overlap and fire-based effects only provide a dim gray glow, easily visible to creatures within 60 feet. Fire-based damage is reduced by 10 in the shadow overlap.
  • There is a 30% chance each hour that a shadow overlap fluctuates in brightness. When fluctuating the brightness of an area raises by one step up to normal darkness, if already at normal darkness it fades and all visual-based senses cease to function in the area. If a creature is in an area of normal darkness when this happens, that creature takes 4d6 negative energy damage (no save).
  • Any type of aberration or evil outsider can appear in a shadow overlap.

 

[Submitted by Tim Snow!]

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Awake in Alucinar: Limbo Overlaps

The Plane of Dreams is a dimension that exists on the boundaries of many others—not just the Material Plane but also Limbo, the Plane of Shadow, and the Astral Plane as well. While this interactivity is what sustains Alucinar, there are areas where two or more dimensions interact and interfere with magic, change the nature of gravity, or even alter the flow of time.

Proximity (and thus accessibility) to so many different dimensions has made the Dreaming Island a locale sought after by arcane theorists and magical researchers since its discovery. Reaching the Plane of Dreams is not as simple as a slumber, however; only certain creatures (those native to the realm) are able to leave it, and otherwise it is accessible only through very specific locales or the use of rare substances found only in Aventyr.

limbo overlapThough they can be dangerous and unpredictable, locating a dimensional overlap on the Plane of Dreams is a simple endeavor for anyone adept with arcane or divine energies.The convergence of planes is extremely easy to see; a detect magic spell and Perception check (DC 1 + 1 per 1,000 ft. from the overlap) allows a creature to read the ebb and flow of power in Alucinar.

Limbo Overlaps
Most of the time, the overlap into the plane of Limbo is stable. Where these overlaps occur, the area around the overlap seems to be slightly unstable. Visual effects may swirl slightly, and other sensory effects may seem subtly altered. However, in the blink of an eye, the overlap area can destabilize. These overlaps can be found anywhere on the island, but seem to be attracted to chaos magic use.

  • Within a limbo overlap, Perception based checks are at -2 due to sensory abnormalities.
  • There is a 10% chance each hour that a limbo overlap becomes unstable. Any chaos-based magical effects increase this to 25% and trigger an immediate check. When this occurs, Perception based checks within 500 ft. of the limbo boundary are made at a -4 penalty and a creature may make a DC 10 Will save each turn to grant themselves access to subjective directional gravity for 1 minute, though they are only able to “fall” at 1/5th the normal rate (30 ft. in the first round, 60 ft. every round thereafter).
  • There is a 5% chance each hour that a creature in a limbo overlap experiences wildly erratic time flow, their body aging one year in the span of an hour (aging effects accrued while in a limbo overlap do not take effect until a creature returns to its native plane).
  • Spells and spell-like abilities have a 100% chance to be affected by the Wild Magic Effects Table.
  • Any type of chaotic outsider can appear in a limbo overlap.
  • The terrain changes randomly every 1d10 rounds while in a limbo overlap. The change is completely random—it can go from desert to alpine, or anything in between with no rhyme or reason.

[Submitted by Rory Toma!]

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Awake in Alucinar: Astral Overlaps

The Plane of Dreams is a dimension that exists on the boundaries of many others—not just the Material Plane but also Limbo, the Plane of Shadow, and the Astral Plane as well. While this interactivity is what sustains Alucinar, there are areas where two or more dimensions interact and interfere with magic, change the nature of gravity, or even alter the flow of time.

astral overlapProximity (and thus accessibility) to so many different dimensions has made the Dreaming Island a locale sought after by arcane theorists and magical researchers since its discovery. Reaching the Plane of Dreams is not as simple as a slumber, however; only certain creatures (those native to the realm) are able to leave it, and otherwise it is accessible only through very specific locales or the use of rare substances found only in Aventyr.

Though they can be dangerous and unpredictable, locating a dimensional overlap on the Plane of Dreams is a simple endeavor for anyone adept with arcane or divine energies.The convergence of planes is extremely easy to see; a detect magic spell and Perception check (DC 1 + 1 per 1,000 ft. from the overlap) allows a creature to read the ebb and flow of power in Alucinar.

Astral Overlaps
The most commonly found dimensional overlaps on Alucinar are astral overlaps. These areas are shrouded in magenta and violet hues, and normally the least dangerous. Currently they are nearly all enveloped by the cinar boundary, but bits and pieces of astral overlap can be found in the Dreaming Island’s interior.

  • Within an astral overlap, a creature may make a DC 10 Will save each turn to grant themselves access to subjective directional gravity for 1 minute, though they are only able to “fall” at 1/5th the normal rate (30 ft. in the first round, 60 ft. every round thereafter).
  • There is a 5% chance each hour that a creature in an astral overlap experiences wildly erratic time flow, their body aging one year in the span of an hour (aging effects accrued while in an astral overlap do not take effect until a creature returns to its native plane).
  • Spells and spell-like abilities have a 20% chance to be improved by the Enhanced Magic planar trait.
  • Any type of outsider can be appear in an astral overlap, but some are more common than others (aeon, agathions, air elementals, asura, azatas, daemons, div, djinni, d’ziriak, fire elementals, invisible stalkers, proteans, and psychopomps).