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Wandering Wasteland: The Parched Pilgrim

The PCs arrive in the Scorched Lands hot on the heels of the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S., though where exactly the cabal’s agents are at work and how precisely to stop them is still a mystery. On the other side of a metallic puddle the adventurers find Jesker the Great, the wizard the party met in Mohkba some time ago. The mage has been tracking the criminal network since the PCs’ disappearance and narrowed their recent activity to the Scorched Lands; while divining what to do next he discovered that the adventurers would be nearing a way to return to Aventyr and stopped to lend a hand.PRANKSTERS coin

In short order he explains that there is a city in a nearby canyon, an oasis of safety from the hazards of the Scorched Lands. Jesker is certain that the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. are active in Ravine—he’s acquired the coin to prove it—and has made a contact in the settlement. While he searches the breadth of the Scorched Lands he wants the PCs to meet with Kara the Sun Flea [tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday! —MM] and learn what they can in the metropolis, disabling or disrupting whatever nefarious operations they find.

To aid them in their efforts Jesker gives the party a coin and a dozen scrolls of locate object (CL 20th) to help them track down agents of the criminal cabal, as well as directions to a mid-level cliffside tavern called the Parched Pilgrim. The Sun Flea frequents the establishment and regularly takes on new clients, acting as an impartial information merchant—anyone that approaches her with enough coin is welcome to become a customer so long as they are willing to prove their mettle. Part of Kara’s network relies on cliffrunners, messengers that traverse and swing across the cliffside houses and shops of Ravine.

pepfralcon - phoenix__malcolm_mcclinton - shrunk (transparent)As of late someone (or something) has been disrupting her employees’ duties, causing several to fall to their deaths; the current task to earn the Sun Flea’s favor is to fill these recently vacated positions and deliver missives across the city. All told she has 2d4+2 messages for the PCs to courier and aside from the various dangers presented by Ravine itself, there’s a 10% chance when delivering any of these that the adventurers garner the notice of Viddivendi Calabrez, a P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent. He and his pepfralcon wait for a party member to become isolated from their allies or for one of the adventurers to put themselves in a precarious position (such as on a canyon lift, in a spot one might fall to the river far below, or near a bit of the metropolis that receives exposure from The Transgression) before striking [More on that deadly wave of sunlight later this month, folks! —MM].

Using the scrolls of locate object with the coin or simply asking Kara about the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. merits nothing, but asking about locales that the scrolls lead to allows the PCs to discover areas where the criminals have been (then with the Sun Flea’s help, where they might be going or what they might be up to).



Use the two Gladiator NPCs and four magma mephits in place of the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. agent and pepfralcon.



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Awake in Alucinar: Nightmare Dragon

nightmare dragon

Adult Nightmare Dragon       CR 14
XP 38,400
CE Huge dragon (extraplanar, nightmare)
Init +4; Senses dragon senses; Perception +25
Aura frightful presence (180 ft., DC 23), nightmare eater (60 ft.)

AC 31, touch 10, flat-footed 29 (+2 Dex, +21 natural, –2 size)
hp 212 (17d12+102)
Fort +16, Ref +12, Will +15
DR 10/magic; Defensive Abilities negative energy affinity; Immune cold, confusion effects, death effects, energy drain, paralysis, sleep; SR 15

Speed 40 ft., fly 150 ft. (poor)
Melee bite +22 (2d8+7, Crit 19–20/x2), 2 claws +20 (2d6+3), tail slap +20 (2d6+7), 2 wings +20 (1d8+3)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with bite, tail slap)
Special Attacks crush,  nightmare breath (50-ft. cone, DC 18 Will save)
Spell-like Abilities (CL 17th; concentration +22)
     At will—darkness, nightmare (DC 20), shadow walk, sleep (DC 16)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 7th; concentration +12)
     3rd (5/day)—deep slumber (DC 18), dispel magic, inflict serious wounds (DC 18)
     2nd (7/day)—command undead (DC 17), invisibility, web (DC 17)
     1st (8/day)—grease (DC 16), inflict light wounds (DC 16), reduce person (DC 16), shield
     0th—detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead (DC 15), mage hand, ray of frost, read magic

Str 25, Dex 14, Con 22, Int 20, Wis 21, Cha 20
Base Atk +17; CMB +26; CMD 38 (42 vs. trip)
Feats Critical Focus, Hover, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Multiattack, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Stealth), Snatch, Vital Strike
Skills Bluff +25, Diplomacy +25, Fly +18, Knowledge (arcana, local, planes) +25, Perception +25, Sense Motive +25, Spellcraft +25, Stealth +20, Survival +25
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Undercommon
SQ ghost bane, umbral scion

Ghost Bane (Su) A nightmare dragon’s natural attacks act as though they have the ghost touch property.
Nightmare Breath (Su) Three times per day, a nightmare dragon can breathe a 50-ft. cone of shadows. Creatures that fail a DC 18 Will save are put to sleep for 1d6 rounds and when awoken they are confused for a number of rounds equal to half the amount of time they were asleep (minimum 1 round; no save).
Nightmare Eater (Su) The gluttony of the nightmare dragon allows it to spend a swift action to cause horrific dreams to invade the minds of sleeping creatures. These nightmares deal 2d6 negative energy damage and do not prompt a creature to awaken, healing the nightmare dragon the same amount of damage. The nightmare dragon can heal past its maximum hit point total though any additional temporary hit points vanish after an hour.
Umbral Scion (Ex) Nightmare dragons have negative energy affinity and are immune to energy drain and death effects.


[Submitted by Tim Snow!]

5E Rules

Huge dragon, chaotic evil
AC 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 191 (18d12+74)
Speed 40 ft., fly 70 ft.
STR 22 (+6), DEX 14 (+2), CON 19 (+4), INT 18 (+4), WIS 20 (+5), CHA 20 (+5)

Saving Throws Dex +5, Con +8, Wis +10, Cha +10
Skills Deception +12, Insight +12, Perception +12, Persuasion +12, Stealth +10
Damage Immunities death effects, negative energy, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Damage Resistances bludgeoning from nonmagical weapons
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive perception 22
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)

Legendary Resistance (3/day).
Nightmare Eater. As a bonus action, a nightmare dragon can deal 2d6 psychic damage to a sleeping creature, gaining a number of temporary hit points equal to the damage dealt. This does not awaken sleeping creatures.

Multiattack. The nightmare dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes four attacks: one with its bite, two with its claws, and one with its tail.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, one target.
Hit: 17 (2d10+6) slashing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, one target.
Hit: 13 (2d6+6) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, one target.
Hit: 15 (2d8+6) bludgeoning damage.
Frightful Presence. 120 ft., DC 20 Wisdom saving throw
Nightmare Breath (Recharge 5-6). The nightmare dragon exhales shadow in a 50-foot cone. Each creature in that line must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw, falling asleep for 1d6 rounds on a failed save. When they awaken they are confused for a number of rounds equal to half as long as they were asleep.

The nightmare dragon can take 3 legendary actions.
Detect. The nightmare dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Ghost Bane. The nightmare dragon’s attacks count as magical for the purposes of overcoming damage resistances. Creatures immune to bludgeoning and slashing damage treat the nightmare dragon’s attacks as if they only had damage resistance instead.
Tail Attack. The nightmare dragon makes a tail attack.

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Awake in Alucinar: Inside the Dead God’s Brain

After surviving the galate, a shadow bomb trap, and the suicidal shadow haunt, the adventurers are drawn into the very center of the Sea of Nightmares where they find the massive brain of the dead god—the lair of the dream dragon’s evil double. The effects of the ephemeral waters end within 100 ft. of the dead god’s brain and the area is under the effects of the Subjective Directional Gravity planar trait, giving the PCs an opportunity to briefly rest and collect themselves.

inside the dead god's brain mapGray Matter
The wrinkled and decaying gray folds of neural tissue surrounding the dead god’s brain are virtually impervious but still supple, creatures that press against it to sink inside of it. Any creature touching the gray matter surrounding the dead god’s brain makes a DC 15 Strength check or become pinned until they extricate themselves, a movement action that requires a Strength check (DC 15 + 1 per previous check). After being caught inside of the gray matter for 1 minute and every minute afterward, the creature takes 1 point of Wisdom damage and 1 point of Charisma damage. When either attribute is reduced to 0 the creature dies and becomes a piece of gray matter. Creatures not caught in the gray matter can attempt to help a pinned creature with a DC 12 Strength check, but failure by 5 or more causes them to slip and touch the gray matter (possibly becoming pinned themselves).

Inside the Dead God’s Brain
The whole of the dead god’s brain is exposed to Alucinar, half of it having rotted away already. An evil copy of Sleepless Sonuvanje dwells within, resting and consumed with manipulating the dreams of creatures presumably in Aventyr. As soon as it detects the PCs (it has a -20 penalty to Perception checks until an adventurer enters the pinkish parts of the dead god’s brain) it attacks, ferociously defending the area and chasing down anyone that flees into the Sea of Nightmares.

Attacking the Nodes
Instead of attacking the nightmare dragon [Tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday! —MM] directly, the party can target the purple nodes within the dead god’s brain. Even after the draconic monster is killed the nodes must be destroyed to completely destroy the perished deity’s psyche.
While the nightmare dragon lives the four nodes have DR 10/adamantine, resistance of 10 to all types of energy (excluding force damage), and 40 hp, though after it is slain the nodes’ DR and resistances are reduced to 5. Any attacks against a node made with a dreamblade deal double damage and ignore the node’s DR.

Once the nightmare dragon and the nodes of the dead god’s brain are destroyed the entire structure discorporates into nothing, an effect that spreads to the Sea of Nightmares and many of the other recent dangers in Alucinar. Soon afterward Sleepless Sonuvanje—now well rested, alert, and not at all deserving of the title—seeks out the party and promises to take them to a place that will bring them home to Aventyr. The dragon believes the  P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. are enacting the final steps of their insidious plot and though he can’t be sure, he believes they are perfecting the creation of creatures called skurgxon, abominations made from the maddened designs of a demented biomancer working his craft in the wastelands of the Scorched Lands.

5E Rules

Resisting the gray matter is a DC 15 Strength save (or DC 15 + 1 per previous check).

The nodes have 30 hp and until the nightmare dragon is destroyed, resistance to all types of damage except for force and psychic damage.

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Awake in Alucinar: Galate

galate_nic-cloisterThis terrifying creature is a towering monstrosity that looms nearly twenty feet into the air. Six ears sprout from behind the curved horns at the top of its striped red face, the bone the same color as its hooves, the three claws extending from its arms, and the spined ridges running down its back to the end of its powerful tail.

XP 19,200
CE Huge outsider (chaotic, daemon, evil, extraplanar, fire, nightmare lord)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 120 ft., detect good, see invisibility; Perception +16
Aura fire (5 ft., Reflex DC 21 halves or on fire), fear (60 ft., DC 21), frightful presence (60 ft., DC 21)

AC 25, touch 9, flat-footed 24 (+1 Dex, +16 natural, -2 size)
hp 132 (16d10+64) regeneration 5 (good, silver)
Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +9; +4 vs. illusion-based effects
DR 10/good; Defensive Abilities illusion resistance; Immune acid, death effects, disease, fire, illusions, poison; Resist electricity 10
Weakness cold

Speed 60 ft.
Melee gore +22 (2d6+8), 2 claws +20 (1d8+4 plus grab and 1d6 bleed, Crit 17-20/Ă—3), tail +20 (2d6+4)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks night terrors, rend (1d8+8),
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th; concentration +19)
Constant—detect good, elemental aura (fire), protection from good, see invisibility
At will—dispel magic, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only)
3/day—deep slumber, detect thoughts, dream (DC 22), fly, invisibility, nightmare (DC 22), plane shift (from Aventyr to Alucinar or back again), shadow walk (DC 23), stinking cloud (DC 16), suggestion
1/day—feeblemind, modify memory, shadow conjuration (DC 21), shadow evocation (DC 22)

Before Combat The galate hides in the shadows or out of sight, using deep slumber and then nightmare on anyone that falls asleep.
During Combat Using its tremendous speed and strength a galate runs out to grab any spellcasters with its claw attack, dragging them away with shadow walk the next round and then deep slumber and its night terrors attack. It teleports back and knocks any remaining enemies unconscious, using night terrors and dream slave afterward.
Morale Galate fight to the (feigned) death and until they are completely destroyed.

Str 26, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 9, Cha 17
Base Atk +16; CMB +26 (+30 grapple); CMD 37
Feats Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (claws)B, Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack, RunB, Sickening Critical, Spring AttackB, Vital Strike
Skills Escape Artist +20, Intimidate +26, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (planes) +21, Perception +18, Sense Motive +18, Stealth +16, Survival +18
Languages Abyssal, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ critical claws, dream slave, feign death, nightmare magic

Environment Alucinar
Organization solitary
Treasure double

Critical Claws (Ex) A galate’s claws have a regular critical threat range of 19-20 and a critical modifier of x3, and galate receive Improved Critical (claws) as a bonus feat.
Dream Slave (Su) Instead of killing a target with its night terror ability, a galate may instead enslave it with a permanent dominate monster effect. The enslaved creature is healed of all Charisma damage taken from night terrors.
Feign Death (Ex) Whenever a galate is unconscious, it appears dead. A conscious galate can also make itself appear dead as an immediate action. Any creature that physically interacts with a galate feigning death must succeed at a DC 21 Heal check or DC 21 Will saving throw to recognize it is actually alive.
Frightful Presence (Su) This ability activates when the galate charges, attacks during a surprise round, or succeeds at a DC 15 Intimidate or Perform check. Its frightful presence has a range of 30 feet.
Night Terrors (Su) Once a galate enters a target’s mind with its dream or nightmare spell-like ability, it can attempt to control the target’s dream. If the target fails a Will saving throw, it remains asleep and trapped in the dream world with the galate. Thereafter, the galate controls all aspects of the dream. Each hour that passes, the target can attempt another saving throw to try to awaken (it automatically awakens after 8 hours or if the galate releases it). The target takes 1d4 points of Charisma damage each hour it is trapped in the dream; if it takes any Charisma damage, it is fatigued and unable to regain arcane spells for the next 24 hours. The target dies if this Charisma damage equals or exceeds its actual Charisma score.

5E Rules

Huge outsider, chaotic evil
AC 17 (natural)
Hit Points 126 (12d12+48)
Speed 60 ft.
STR 22 (+6), DEX 12 (+1), CON 19 (+4), INT 14 (+2), WIS 9 (-1), CHA 17 (+3)
Saving Throws Str +10, Wis +7, Cha +7
Damage Resistances lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities acid, death effects, disease, fire, illusions, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive perception 13
Languages Abyssal, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)

Dream Slave. When a galate kills a creature under the effects of its dream spell, it can instead choose to revive that creature. The creature is under the galate’s control, as if it had cast dominate monster.
Feign Death. A DC 22 Wisdom (Heal) check is required to tell that an unconscious galate is not dead. A galate can feign death as a bonus action.
Innate Spellcasting. The galate’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17). The galate can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: dream, see invisibility
3/day each: eyebite (asleep only), invisibility, fly, sleep, teleport
1/day each: phantasmal killer, suggestion
Night Terrors. A galate can automatically succeed on one attack a round made against a creature affected by its dream spell. The galate can make this attack from any distance and through any barrier, so long as it is on the same plane as the target affected by its dream spell.

Multiattack. The galate makes four attacks: one with its gore, two with its claws, and one with its tail. Alternatively, it makes one attack and casts one spell.
Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 15 (2d8+6) piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target.
Hit: 8 (1d10+3) slashing damage. If the target is a Large or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 16). The galate has two claws, each of which can grapple only one target.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, one target.
Hit: 10 (2d6+3) bludgeoning damage.

[Submitted by Tim Snow!]

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Awake in Alucinar: Traversing Dead Dreams

traversing dead dreams

A day after freeing themselves from the trapped city of Ullast, as the party wanders across Alucinar (running into the sea of chaos haunt or a shadow overlap—which they encounter is up to the GM) a strange anomaly appears nearby, one that will lead the adventurers into traversing dead dreams in the decaying mind of a god.

There’s a change in pitch to the otherworldly winds of the Dreaming Island, coming from just west of you. Glancing in that direction you see a few bits of rock and detritus rise from the ground, sliding away toward the coastline. Suddenly much larger rocks begin to “fall” that way, rapidly disappearing from sight, and then you feel an inexorable force that rips your sense of gravity laterally!

The PCs have been gripped by the sea of nightmares [posting on Thursday September 24th! —MM] and are drawn toward the psyche of the dead god on the outskirts of Alucinar. After falling for 5d4 rounds the adventurer’s “descent” slows immediately as they each slam into and through shadowy doorways, taking 6d6 nonlethal damage (no save). On the other side of the dark barrier the party finds they are re-united and in a cave shaped much like an outstretched hand. An ameslari is asleep on the floor, but after the arrival of the last PC it gets up and attacks; use the statistics for a Scheming Fencer (CE Human fighter 11) from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: NPC Codex, but with ameslari racial traits.

This is not the most dangerous enemy here, however, and the true threat—a galate [tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday! —MM]—prowls on the edge of combat, abducting PCs and dragging them to the chambers’ edges for a foul ritual. Any attempts to teleport out of the cave automatically fail and the shadowy doors are impossible to open or harm in any fashion until the galate is killed.


5E Rules

Instead of one figure asleep in the cavern, there are three: an assassin and two gladiators, each of them ameslari.

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Awake in Alucinar: Dreamghost Template

dreamghostSome creatures find themselves in Alucinar due to unfinished business in the waking world. Most were obsessed with something in their waking life and whether dead or alive, they manifest themselves as dreamghosts while on the Plane of Dreams. This obsession becomes an “anchor effect” that must be resolved or the dreamghost is doomed to spend eternity on the Dreaming Island.

Dreamghost (CR +2)
Dreamghost is an acquired template that is only added to a creature that manifests itself in Alucinar.

CR: Same as base creature +2.
Alignment: Same as base creature.
Immunity: The base creature becomes immune to sleep effects.
Special Defenses: The base creature gains the incorporeal special quality and its attacks (both manufactured and natural) gain the ghost touch property. When destroyed, the base creature reappers within 1d4 hours unless the “anchor effect” that keeps them in Alucinar is resolved.

Special Attacks: A dreamghost gains two special attacks as detailed below. The save DCs for the attacks are equal to 10 + ½ of the dreamghost’s Hit Dice + the dreamghost’s Charisma or Wisdom modifier (whichever is higher).
Mass Sleep (Su) As a standard action the creature may cause a magical slumber (as the sleep spell) to come upon a number of creatures equal to the dreamghost’s Hit Dice (Will negates). This ability affects targets of any hit dice and is only limited by the number of targets the dreamghost can select.
Nightmare (Su) As a standard action, the dreamghost may cause a nightmare (as per spell) to a number of sleeping creatures equal to the dreamghost’s Hit Dice (Will negates).

Ability Scores: Int +4, Wis +4, Cha +4.
Skills: A dreamghost gains a +8 racial bonus to Knowledge (planes), Perception, and Stealth checks.

5E Rules

Dreamghost Template
Any type of non-undead creature can become a dreamghost. When a creature becomes a dreamghost, it retains all statistics except as noted below.

Senses. The dreamghost gains darkvision 60 feet.
Resistances. The dreamghost gains resistance to acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons.
Damage Immunities. The dreamghost gains immunity to cold and poison damage. The dreamghost gains immunity to the exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, and restrained conditions.
Challenge Rating. Increase by +2.
Incorporeal Movements. Dreamghosts can treat other creatures and objects as difficult terrain to move directly through them but takes 5 (1d10) force damage on any turn it that ends with it inside of an object.
New Ability: Alucinar Sight. The dreamghost can see 60 feet into Alucinar (the Plane of Dreams) when it is on the Material Plane, and vice versa.


[Submitted by Rory Toma!]