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Statblock Sunday (Forsaken Frontier): Syfforack Zoi

Final-Revoker-C (Syfforack Zoi the lich) PNGA gaunt, skeletal figure with glaring red eyes dressed in sumptuous crimson robes.

Syfforack Zoi     CR 13
XP 25,600
Lich conjurer 12
NE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +25
Aura fear (60 ft. radius, DC 20)

DEFENSE
AC 25, touch 16, flat-footed 22 (+3 deflection, +3 Dex, +4 mage armor, +5 natural)
hp 90 (12d6+48)
Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +10
Defensive abilities channel resistance +4, contingent fire shield (see tactics), rejuvenation; DR 15/bludgeoning and magic; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee touch +7 (1d8+6 plus paralyzing touch)
Ranged acid dart +9 ranged touch (1d6+6)
Special Attacks acid dart (10/day)*, paralyzing touch (DC 20)
Arcane School Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +19)
At will—dimensional steps (360 ft./day),
Conjurer Spells Prepared (CL 12th; concentration +19)
6th—acid fog, disintegrate (DC 25), flesh to stone (DC 25), summon monster VI,
5th—cloudkill (DC 23), cone of cold (DC 23), waves of fatigue, summon monster V (2)
4th—bestow curse (DC 21), black tentacles, enervation (2), summon monster IV
3rd—fireball (DC 21), displacement, haste, stinking cloud (DC 21), vampiric touch
2nd—false life, ghoul touch (2), glitterdust (DC 20), levitate, spectral hand,
1st—grease (DC 19), mage armor, magic missile (2), ray of enfeeblement, shield
0—acid splash, detect magic, resistance, touch of fatigue (DC 17)
Opposition Schools enchantment, illusion

TACTICS
Before Combat Syfforack Zoi casts displacement, false life, levitation, and spectral hand. He keeps an active contingency set to cast fire shield when attacked in melee.
During Combat Syfforack Zoi is always willing to turn intruders into assets, open to negotiation with everyone. Those unwilling to accept his authority are subjected to waves of fatigue as he levitates out of reach, flooding the battlefield with summoned monsters (fiendish bison, large elementals, erinyes devil). Syfforack Zoi casts haste on his minions, continuing to use spells from range and targeting obvious spellcasters with flesh to stone and disintegrate. He delivers bestow curse upon warriors or rogues to cause them a 50% chance to take no action. Syfforack Zoi makes liberal use of his dimensional steps to keep his distance from combatants who can fly and focuses on flying and ranged attackers first.
Morale Syfforack Zoi flees via dimension door if reduced to 30 HP or less; he is not overly concerned with falling in battle, as he’ll reform near his phylactery (a portrait hidden in a lead-lined compartment in the dining hall of his ruined palace).

STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 17, Con —, Int 24, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +6; CMB +7; CMD 23
Feats Augment Summoning, Craft Wondrous Item, Greater Spell Focus (transmutation), Spell Focus (conjuration, evocation, transmutation)
Skills Bluff +16, Craft (alchemy) +22, Knowledge (arcana, planes, history) +22, Linguistics +22, Perception +25, Sense Motive +25, Spellcraft +30, Stealth +26; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception, +8 Sense Motive, +8 Stealth
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Ignan, Infernal, Terran
SQ arcane bond, summoner’s charm (7 rounds)
Combat Gear dust of disappearance, headband of vast intelligence +2 [bluff], ring of protection +3 [arcane bond], robes and jewelry worth 1,500gp.

This malevolent lich rules the once-prosperous city of Valindar. Syfforack long reigned with an even hand, and his family brought him great joy; his decline came during his twilight years, when rivals sensed the king’s waning strength. He watched in dismay as his hold on the city slipped and he grew paranoid—desperation pushed him over the edge when an assassin nearly claimed the life of his only son. Binding a shadow demon in a bargain for his family’s safety, it seemed as if fate conspired against the king as new dangers emerged at every turn. Syfforack desperately forged fresh pacts and called upon new demons, damning himself by inches at a time while allowing evil entities to seep into his beloved home. The state of Valindar eroded, and Syfforack knew the demons would soon collect their due. To stave off his looming damnation, he turned to even darker measures to save his soul.
Syfforack bound his essence to his portrait of the royal family and became a lich and as the years wore on, Syfforack’s twisted mind saw this change as the salvation of his people. His dark magic spread undeath throughout the kingdom, and now even his wife and children live on as spectres roaming the empty halls of his dilapidated castle. The undead king, now taking on the surname of Zoi, keeps his demons on a desperate tether, marshaling the fiends against his enemies. Though Syfforack Zoi sees this state of affairs as a triumph, he knows in his cold, still heart that his victory is incomplete—only with the power of Salamangka can they be made safe.

Apotheosis
If Syfforack Zoi claims mastery over Salamangka, his body explodes in a violent eruption of arcane energy. His skull survives, encrusted in magnificent jewels that once graced his rings and robes. Syfforack becomes an awakened demilich. Further, the demonic pacts he forged break, leaving the demons bound subservient to his will with no claim to his soul.

skeleton-skeletal-wizard-mage-bruno_balixa

Izali Komandri     CR 10
XP 9,600
Forsaken lich sorcerer 9
CE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9
Aura delusory aura (100 ft., -4 vs. fear)

DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 18 (+4 mage armor, +1 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 natural)
hp 97 (9d6+63)
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +9
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, soul shield, spell storm; DR 15/bludgeoning and magic; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 25

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee disembodied strike +6 touch (1d8+4 negative energy)
Ranged javelin +6 (1d6+2) or ray +7 (by spell)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (disembodied strike 10 ft.)
Special Attacks disembodied strike, soul lash (240 ft. line, 4d6 plus paralysis, Reflex DC 21 halves damage and negates paralysis)
Bloodline Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +16)
7/day—heavenly fire (1d4+4 divine energy)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 9th; concentration +16)
4th (4/day)—remove curse, wall of fire, fire shield
3rd (6/day)—fireball (DC 20), magic circle against evil, ray of exhaustion (DC 20), slow (DC 20)
2nd (6/day)—false life, mirror image, pyrotechnics (DC 19), resist energy, scorching ray
1st (6/day)—bless, burning hands (DC 18), mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement (DC 18), shield
0 (at will)—acid splash, bleed, detect magic, light, ghost sound (DC 17), read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue (DC 17)

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 14, Con —, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 24
Base Atk +4; CMB 6; CMD 20
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Empower Spell, Eschew Materials, Mobility, Point-Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (ray)
Skills Diplomacy +8, Handle Animal +8, Heal +6, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Knowledge (religion) +1, Linguistics +1, Perception +9, Spellcraft +10, Survival +3
Languages Celestial, Common
SQ bloodline arcana (summoned creatures gain DR 4/evil), wings of heaven (9 minutes/day)
Combat Gear wand of scorching ray (CL 7th), 250 gp worth of scorched jewels and melted coins; Other Gear javelins (4), ring of protection +1

Izali was once a benevolent traveler who stumbled across the Forsaken Frontier, a misguided soul that sought to ease the endless strife before running afoul of Syfforack Zoi. Attempting to turn Izali into a lich, the undead king broke the poor wretch’s mind with hideous demonic torments in a disastrous process. Izali is no longer a creature infused with the righteous fire of the heavens, but a force of incendiary slaughter which Syfforack Zoi delights to let loose upon his enemies.

 

Syfforack Zoi’s forces include skeletons and zombies supported by wights and hordes of dretch. The dretch are often driven by more powerful individual demons such as nabassu and shadow demons.

DRETCH           CR 2
CE Large army of dretch
hp 22; ACR 4
DV 17 (27); OM +7 (ranged)
Tactics sniper support
Special darkvision, significant defense
Speed 1; Consumption 2
Commander: Syfforack Zoi; Charisma Modifier +7; Profession (soldier) 0 ranks

WIGHTS          CR 5
LE Large army of wights
hp 22; ACR 5
DV 17; OM +5
Tactics dirty fighters
Special create spawn, darkvision, energy drain, undead
Speed 2; Consumption 2
Commander: Syfforack Zoi; Charisma Modifier +7; Profession (soldier) 0 ranks

 

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[Submitted by Dan Dillon!]

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Sidequest Saturday (Forsaken Frontier): Doc Fell’s Deal

The PCs follow Sulcera as she picks her way carefully across the badlands, steadily heading northeast.  If the party follows her closely they avoid many skirmishes of the different factions—mainly those between the ghasts and ghouls against the undead hordes of Syfforack Zoi. Even if the adventurers ask about lending aid, Sulcera steers them clear of the battles, sometimes taking them off route enough that they lose half a day worth of travel time.

Doc Fells Deal - 151-Prestbury-Old-Hall-q50-1493x1212After a journey lasting 1d6+2 days the adventurers arrive in Fallowfield. They’re invited to rest and relax, entertaining themselves with drinking and gambling at the saloon, a sometimes-neutral ground between these two warring factions. The popular game of choice is Last Azlant. The undead purposely lose at the game as a means to lure the PCs into having a great time. A few hours later (or as soon as the adventurers want to leave) the ghasts start to wage more gold pieces, or even magical items, but now they play to win; a DC 32 Perception check notices that animated creatures are cheating! The night ends when either the party is ready to quit or they after run out of money (or if the ghasts run out of their 45,000 gold pieces, spread randomly between 9 different undead).

The next day Doc Fell meets up with the PCs just after noon, welcoming them with a sturdy hand shake.

“Howdy partners, what can a simple barber do for such fine folk?” the fellow called Doc says with a confident smirk. “Wait maybe I know this—could you people be from that fine craft that everyone saw fall from the void? You must be here for the parts that we commandeered from that no good Syfforack Zoi.”  As he states the name his eyes flash red with malice and hatred. “I reckon that since we did you a favor you, might be good enough to return it. You see that horrible lich to the north, we’re planning a raid against his army to stop him once and for all. If you join us, we’ll give you back your parts; we’ll call it a debt paid.”

A DC 35 Sense Motive check reveals that Doc Fell was taking the parts for himself, but if the party accepts these terms and conditions he grins broadly, saying, “now all you have to do is follow my lead and do as I say.” The instant the PCs take Doc Fell’s deal they are treated like old friends, waiting in luxury for three days before the march north. If the adventurers don’t take the deal he loses his cool, almost yelling at them.

“A perfectly good deal and you ruin it! You burned me, in a way—I disdain those who burn others.” Doc paces a few meters while spinning his hat on top of his head.
“Hey, I got it,” he yells gleefully, “what about a good old contest, one for fun and games. We’ll acquire those parts he stole from yins, but what can you offer in return? We don’t really need money out here, but what about your services—I mean it’s perfect, almost like you don’t lose anything at all! But how to decide on the contest…back in the good ol’ days they had a quick draw event. First hit wins”
Doc pulls out a small flask and takes a quick gulp of the liquid, adding gravely, “and if not, I don’t think we have any other deals for you fine folks.”  

ghoul1__storn_cookWhen the party agrees to the duel, he tells them to arrive in the center of town just before high noon the next day. The whole town has shown up to watch by the time the PCs arrive. As Doc Fell arrives give the adventurers DC 40 Perception checks to realize that something about him is off—it isn’t the pale stranger at all but Syfforack Zoi’s lieutenant, Izali Komandri! Oddly he says nothing, waiting for the party to make the first move; as soon as they do the illusion of undead ringing the ghost town disappears, replaced by seven zombie spellcasters (NE juju zombie half-orc sorcerer 7) activating scrolls of force cage.

Afterward the undead rush the party (imprisoned in the barred cage effect of the spell), unleashing four doses of aerosolized oil of taggit (DC 15 Fortitude save each round until unconscious for 1d3 hours) each and, for those resistant to the poison, salvoes of magic missiles until the PCs are unconscious.

[Submitted by Tim Snow!]

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Story Locale (Banlan Backlash): Nyamo Wall

Underground_tunnel_RCW_02Nyamo is a walled city; years of outside threats necessitated the construction of a sturdy barrier hundreds of years ago. Originally designed to repel intruders, it now serves a slightly different purpose—as the settlement became a center of commerce, traders from all over the world arrived in Nyamo to sell their wares and exchange ideas.
While the goods and money were welcome, the ideas were not.

The visiting merchants and migrants were mostly housed in the migrant district, which was composed of most of the northern half of the city. Construction began on a new section of the Nyamo Wall that effectively split the city in half, running down the middle and connecting each end to the original outer wall. Taller and thicker than the original wall, the huge gatehouse built into its center gave each side of the barrier its own portcullis.

Traffic between the sections of the Nyamo Wall is strictly regulated—in order to pass, the person must provide an acceptable reason, a gate tax must be paid, and a stamp issued. Those wishing to stay overnight must obtain permission and purchase a special permit to do so. Guards from the Order of the Staff search each and every person that passes through the gate, ensuring that no contraband makes its way into Nyamo (normal magic items are not illegal, but may not pass through the gate; these items must be surrendered or passage is also prohibited.) Usually, traveler are given the option of simply turning around and not passing through the Nyamo Wall if they do not wish to surrender their items—in this city of Timeaus, this is just the cost of doing business. Those that pass through the gate are often followed by a member of the Order of the Staff, who make careful notes on interactions they make and often follow up questioning where searches occur (often using Nyamo scribe orbs).

Those that wish to enter the city from outside must go to the Migrants’ Gate on the outer wall (unless they are a Timerian citizen) where they are still subject to search and seizure, declaring all of their enchanted items; undeclared magic items are subject to confiscation. Those that wish to stay more than 24 hours must apply at the gate or at a Timerian embassy for a permit, and anyone found entering the city under false pretenses are subject to expulsion or arrest.

Only Timerian citizens are allowed entry through the Timerian Gate. They must present the proper papers and declare any magic or valuable items obtained outside of Timeaus. Generally speaking, most citizens comply and seizures at this gate are rare.

When the Nyamo Wall was constructed, the sewers under the city were modified, blocking passages with bars and grates, and in some cases blocking tunnels altogether. Over the years enterprising smugglers and other criminal elements have reopened some of these sealed passages to facilitate the burgeoning black market in Nyamo. While some goods are sold, it is most often news of the outside world that is traded, as well as books and other forms of publication. Several competing guilds operate underneath the Nyamo Wall, including those that support revolution; simple thievery and smuggling are often overlooked, with the occasional blatant offender caught and made an example of. However, the revolutionaries that deal in information and subterfuge are almost always put to the death when caught.

Entry into the tunnels that connect the two sides of the cities is a closely guarded secret. A select few safe houses on each side contain concealed entrances to the underground labyrinth—these are moved on a regular basis, the old entrances sealed up. Few people know of the existence of more than one way into the network under the Nyamo Wall, and even some of the guild masters do not know every entrance under their control.

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Magic Item Monday (Destiny Derailed): Curious Ink Well

ink quill

Curious Ink Well
Aura strong universal; CL 17th
Slot none; Price 61,200 gp; Weight 20 lbs.

DESCRIPTION
This ink well can hold about a quart of ink, though it’s much heavier than its size would suggest.

Once per day a batch of blood placed in a curious ink well becomes enchanted, enhancing the prophetic properties of the fortunetelling press. When this treated ink is run through the press, it gives the doppix inhabiting it a limited ability to shape the future. Stories that are printed with ink from a curious ink well become more likely to occur with additional influence. These are only minor changes to reality—such as a suggestion effect to sway an action one way, or a minor illusion here or there—are generated with this process. The save, if applicable, for these effect is DC 14 + spell level of effect duplicated.

HISTORY
DC 15     Lately, stories printed in the Steamtown Herald have been related, as if telling a long-running narrative.
DC 20     Every week, the newspaper is printed with blood that arrives in special vials.
DC 25     Alligotonium is known to heighten magical effects.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, wish, 10 lbs. alligotonium; Cost 30,600 gp

Blood for the press is first brought to a secret location where the curious ink well is located, where it is processed almost every day. Typically it takes between five and six applications of ink to produce a run for a single newspaper; as such, the doppix is limited to producing one of these stories to about once a week.

 

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Magic Item Monday (Destiny Derailed): Fortunetelling Press

1134-Ancient-Printing-office-q75-1453x1020Fortunetelling Press
Aura overwhelming divination; CL 20th
Slot none; Weight 100 lbs.

DESCRIPTION
Made up of gears, wheels, levers, and rollers, this mechanical beast can produce a paper every few seconds.

Once per day, a fortunetelling press can produce 10d100 identical newspapers. Most of the copy for each newspaper must be meticulously laid out prior to printing, a process that takes 2d4 hours. If a blank section is left on the paper and it is filled with humanoid blood, it is filled in during printing with a story about an event that will happen in the near future (1d7 days). Such events occur, but can be averted if direct action is taken to circumvent them.

HISTORY
DC 15     The Steamtown Herald often publishes stories that are yet to happen.
DC 20     The press is reported to be demonic in origin, and has a small goblinoid cult associated with it.
DC 25     The press requires blood as its ink in order to foretell the future.

DESTRUCTION
A fortunetelling press is destroyed if it is ever filled with the blood of a demon.

The fortunetelling press was recovered by a goblinoid excavation crew some months ago. A short time later its function was discovered and a small cult formed around, their main function to collect blood for the printing of new stories. Borys the Timerian does not yet know where the papers are coming from, or about the existence of the cult.

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Sidequest Saturday (Destiny Derailed): Goblin Rocket Car

Norte_FCNC_boxcarThe party has a newspaper from the future, salvaged from the train wreck they discovered last week. Whether or not they act on the foreboding article within it , an PNE employee approaches the party and shows them the paper.  The company man shows the adventurers an article on page 3, which has a picture of the group alongside an article entitled, “Laborers Repel Adventurers Returned from the Grave“. He gives the PCs a quick glance and says, “well, I see you’ve arrived. The Timerian wishes to speak with you—this is not optional. Follow me.

He leads the party over to Rail City, and the personal car of Borys, opening the door and gesturing for them to enter. The rail car is sparsely furnished—a bulky file cabinet is secured to the back wall, behind a simple wooden desk with a single wooden chair in front of it. Borys sits behind the desk reading a sheaf of papers; he pauses for a moment and looks up at the party, unconcerned at the lack of seating or the PCs’ perceived discomfort.

So, aren’t you supposed to be dead? I read it in the newspaper. This is a problem, yes?

Borys explains that recently, they have found that one of the printing presses predicts the future, spitting out The Steamtown Herald once a week. At first whatever it printed came to pass but they tended to be minor stories—a murdered goblin here, or a worker death there. Lately however, they have been getting major.

The stories being reported have been big enough to affect the construction schedule—this cannot happen. So they started acting on some of the stories, and although difficult, there were times when the foretold press did not come to pass, although it was clear that without interaction and foreknowledge, the event would have happened. I believe that you, by your mere presence here, averted your own deaths—with a little help from us, of course. I suppose you think that train crashed on its own?

“Now to the business of why you are here; you’ve seen the latest headlines for next week?”

Borys shows the PCs a copy of the paper that they probably already have, reading, “Goblin Boxcar Explodes, Showering Steamtown with Rust Mites, Construction Halted.”

We are well equipped to handle worker uprisings, even a goblin or orc raid. But rust mites? That would be devastating—devastating enough to derail this project. No pun intended, of course. Investigate this article, prevent it from happening, and there’s a 1,000 gold pieces in it for you.

Borys can pay, too; his initial offer for averting the catastrophe can be bargained up to 10,000 gp with a progressive skill check.


Skill Check
Diplomacy DC 20, DC 25, DC 30
Success The checks go until failed.
Each success raises the reward by 3,000 gp, so if all three checks are successful, the reward is 10,000 gp.

If the party accepts the job, Borys informs them that three days ago a boxcar went missing in the middle of the night from near the loading docks. The strange thing is that the cargo was unloaded and left on the ground near the location of the missing boxcar. Obviously there are few places to hide it, and even less to move it to—it has to be on or near the rails. If the party suggests that they search the rails with an engine, he tells the PCs that the engines are refusing to cooperate right now, suggesting instead that the adventurers follow the tracks to the east (the tracks were blocked to the west so it is unlikely that the boxcar was taken that way).


The Trains of Pradjna
The trains of Pradjna run on allogotanium. [detailed later this month on Magic Item Monday – RT] Items associated with allogotanium, among other things, possess the chaotic essence of demons—as such, sometimes the items act quirky, malfunction, or just don’t work at times.

About 1/2 mile to the east of Steamtown, the party encounters the Goblin Rocket Car. Before the boxcar is visible, have the party make a DC 30 Perception check, or a DC 25 Knowledge (engineering) check. If they succeed, they notice that the tracks have begun to vibrate a little and they have 30 rounds before the railcar arrives—if not, they soon notice a railcar coming towards them on the rails at high speed, giving them 20 rounds to act before it arrives at their location.


Goblin Rocket Car
The goblin rocket car is the stolen boxcar, measuring 50 ft. long by 10 ft. wide. It has been jury-rigged with several rockets and moves at a rate of 100 ft. per round. The doors are on each side, exactly in the middle, and the larger 8 foot sliders are closed.

6 orcs are positioned on the roof. Inside the boxcar, there are 10 large ceramic containers, each one holding a single fiendish rust mite swarm. When the goblin rocket car gets within 500 feet, one of the orcs hops down into the boxcar through an opening in the roof and opens the door. A DC 20 Perception check reveals that he has rolled a large ceramic container to the edge of the door, presumably getting ready to roll this out on the party as the car passes them.

The boxcar is rigged with several small explosive devices on each ceramic container. A fuse runs from each rocket on the outside to the cluster of bombs on each container. When the rockets expire, they light the fuses, causing the bombs to destroy the ceramic jars 4 rounds later, freeing the swarms. A DC 20 Perception check of the fuses reveals to the PC that they are rigged to light if removed. A DC 16 Disable Device check is required to keep them from lighting but of course, they can be easily severed, bypassing the problem.

The party has several options here.

  • They can block the track somehow in an attempt to derail the train, for which a DC 50 Knowledge (engineering) check is sufficient. For each round spent preparing, a cumulative +1 circumstance bonus is applied to the check.
  • The tracks themselves can be destroyed. Each section of track has 80 hp and 20 hardness.
  • The track can be pulled away with a DC 23 Strength check, however, removing a section of track exposes the party to the effects of a frozen ore railroad spike.

Any of these methods causes the car to derail. The containers inside are pretty strong, so if it does derails, each container has only a 5% chance of breaking, freeing one of the rust mite swarms.

The PCs may also try to cause the car to crash by using something like a wall of force, wall of ice, or something similar. The GM should use their best judgement here—something very solid causes a crash, while something like a wall of fire or thorns does not.
If the car crashes, the chance of each container breaking rises to 15%.

If the players come up with something else, determine whether it is a derailment or a crash, and use the appropriate mechanics. In either case the orcs are killed and the fuses become detached from the rockets, immediately lighting them.

 

Another option is to board the boxcar as it passes. A successful DC 18 Acrobatics check lets the PCs board the goblin rocket car, hanging on to one of the sides. If they try to jump in the open door, the orcs attempt to stop them, adding +2 to the difficulty of the check. When the PCs board the goblin rocket car, there are 26 rounds before the it arrives on the outskirts of Steamtown and the rockets expire, lighting the fuses. 4 rounds after that, the boxcar is in the middle of Steamtown as the ceramic jars are destroyed.

Rick Orc 1Boarding PCs have to face the orcs. Fighting while holding on to the side of the car imparts a -4 penalty to attack rolls.
The adventurers can either climb in the open door or climb to the roof. Moving laterally along the side of the car requires a DC 15 Acrobatics check to move 10 feet, while climbing to the roof takes a DC 20 Climb check. The orcs interfere, however; each orc interfering with a character’s movement increases the difficulty of the Climb or Acrobatic check by 2. Failure means the PC falls from the boxcar, taking 3d6 points of damage and going prone.

Once inside the car (either through the roof or the door) the fuses can be removed or cut as described above. The orcs try their best to block access, using melee or bull rush on opponents near the door. The brake handle has been broken off inside the car—10 rounds and a DC 15 Knowledge (Engineering) check can fix them well enough to stop the goblin rocket car. If applied, the car comes to a complete halt in 5 rounds.

If any swarms were freed, they spend 3 rounds devouring the metal on the railcar, then they follow the adventurers. If the party’s metal is destroyed, they then begin to rust the track headed to Steamtown, destroying it at the rate of 5 feet per round.

 

When the players succeed in stopping the car, Borys happily pays them the agreed upon sum and sends a work crew to salvage the car. He offers them contract positions as part of his enforcer squad, complete with a caboose in Rail City as accommodations.
If they fail, however, they aren’t very welcome in Steamtown—they aren’t outright banned, but they are harassed by the workers and overcharged by the merchants.
Shortly after arriving back in town, Borys produces another headline: “Tense Standoff Between PNE Police and Workers as Strike Looms and Work Stops“.

 

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Tribal Troubles: Gyeongsa Warp Storm

aaw-website - gyeongsa warp storm - gary dupoisThe shifting winds of a violent tempest rustle above as a tan swirl appears in the sky. It quickly grows in size, from only a few inches across into a sphere dozens of feet across. Gusts carrying fine grits of sand whip against you as the howl of the winds reaches a fevered pitch and the thing in the sky begins to drift towards you.

Gyeongsa Warp Storm     CR 10
XP 9,600
CN Colossal construct
Init -2; Sensesdarkvision 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +2

DEFENSE
AC 12, touch 0, flat-footed 0 (-2 Dex, +12 natural, -8 size)
hp 151 (13d10+80) fast healing 2
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +6
DR 5/magic, DR 10/magic and ranged; Immune construct traits, fire; SR 12

OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee two tentacles +13 (2d8+8 and grab)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks pull (tentacle 30 ft.), whirlwind (3/day, 10–30 ft. high, 2d8+8 damage, DC 24)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 13th; concentration +15)
     Constant—gust of wind
     At will—control winds
     2/week—greater teleport

TACTICS
Before Combat A gyeongsa warp storm appears from out of nowhere with its greater teleport spell-like ability, approaching the closest creatures it can find and changing into its whirlwind form.
During Combat The gyeongsa warp storm attempts to suck every opponent in view into its body. Once captured, it uses greater teleport again to bring whatever it’s caught to the Disputed Lands.
Morale Gyeongsa warp storms have no intellect and their motivations are a mystery to all; they do not relent until they’ve captured more creatures to carry away with them.

STATISTICS
Str 26, Dex 6, Con, Int, Wis 14, Cha 1
Base Atk +13; CMB +29; CMD 37 (cannot be tripped)
Feats
Skills Fly +0, Stealth -18; Size Modifiers -8 Fly, -16 Stealth
Languages
SQ Amorphous

ECOLOGY
Environment any (normally the Disputed Lands)
Organization
Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Punishing Winds (Su) Gyeongsa warp storms are constantly enshrouded and surrounded by severe winds. These winds automatically extinguish unprotected flames, have a 50% chance of extinguishing protected flames, and incurs a -4 penalty to ranged weapon attacks and Perception checks.

Many believe the anomalies to be no more than a myth, but those that survive a trip back from the heart of the Disputed Lands know otherwise. Of them, none can claim to have felled the thing; it persistently brings new creatures and travelers to the forsaken reaches of Aventyr. Those strong enough to survive the trip find that their new locale a demanding one—the Tribal Lands.

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Maddening May: Quicksilver Amulet

Quicksilver Amulet

Aura weak transmutation; CL 9th
Slot neck; Price 49,000 gp; Weight 0.5 lbs.

aaw website - AAW_Blog_Quicksilver_AmuletDESCRIPTION
Suspended from a simple knotted sinew cord, this intricate amulet has been crafted from a combination of gold, copper, and electrum. Each face of the palm-sized talisman is opened and securely sealed behind a lens of clear quartz crystal that exposes a strange stone-like object (a petrified karz slug gland) floating in quicksilver. The bottom of the amulet is a clear crystal beaker, and the front is adorned with three spherical gemstones: one sapphire, one ruby and one emerald. The reverse boasts three small holes that appear to have needles tucked securely within.


ACTIVATION

To activate the amulet, the wearer must wear it beneath armor and clothing, allowing the flat back of the amulet to rest against their bare chest, and then depress the three embedded gemstones which function as tiny buttons.
Upon activation three small needle points project from the back of the amulet and into the wearer. The quicksilver is sucked out of the amulet and is injected into the wearer’s body. This causes the amulet to be physically attached to the body, and triggers a random (or several random) arcane effects. While the arcane effects triggered by the amulet are active, tendrils of silvery metallic veins protrude from the amulet and extend across the wearer’s chest, up the neck, and around the sides and back of the cranium—expanding and contracting in rhythm with their heartbeat.  
This physical attachment of the amulet to the user lasts for the duration of the arcane effects triggered by the amulet. Afterwards, the quicksilver creating the silvery veins retracts back into the amulet and the wearer reverts to normal.
Active arcane effects activated by the amulet cannot be dismissed at will, and the only way to stop these triggered effects while their durations persist is to forcibly remove the amulet. If the amulet is forcibly removed while in use, the quicksilver instantaneously retreats back into the amulet and the user must make a DC 25 Fortitude save or suffer 3d4 points of Constitution damage and be stunned for 3d4 rounds. If the saving throw is successful, they instead take 3d6 points of damage and are stunned for 2d4 rounds. In either case, the wearer involuntarily screams out in agony as loudly as possible.
The amulet can be activated 5 times per day. When activating the amulet use the following chart to randomly determine the arcane effects activated:

d100   quicksilver amulet effect
1-5       
resistance (1 minute)
6-10     detect magic (2d4 minutes)
11-15   detect poison (instantaneous)
16-20   endure elements (24 hours)
21-25   protection from [opposing alignment] (2d4 minutes)
26-30   mage armor (2d4 hours)
31-35   obscuring mist (2d4 minutes)
36-40   comprehend languages (2d4 x10 minutes)
41-45   detect secret doors (2d4 minutes)
46-50   detect undead (2d4 minutes)
51-55   enlarge person (2d4 minutes)
56-60   expeditious retreat (2d4 minutes)
61-65   jump (2d4 minutes)
66-70   reduce person (2d4 minutes)
71-75   protection from arrows (2d4 hours)
76-80   resist energy (2d4 hours)
81-85   detect thoughts (2d4 minutes)
86-90   tongues (2d4 x 10 minutes)
91-95   Roll for 2 additional random arcane effect *
96-99   Roll for 3 additional random arcane effect *
100       Roll for 4 additional random arcane effect, and double durations if applicable. *

* Rolls for additional arcane effects do not stack. If this option is rolled as a result of a previous roll, assume whichever option allows the most additional rolls as the new total number of effects to be randomly determined and roll again. When rolling for multiple arcane effects in a single activation of the quicksilver amulet, if the same effect is rolled more than once, roll again for a different power.

 

Adverse Insanity Effects

Image_Portfolio_104_Fantasy Jason Walton 59When activated there are strange sensations as the user is affected by various sorts of madness. After each activation use the following activation sensation chartto determine what the particular sensation (and associated mental effect) is for the activation:

d100    Adverse Insanity Effect
1-10
       A cold rushes through your veins, buzzing in the back of your mind.
A momentary lapse of memory that passes after a few seconds. No negative effects.
11-30   Your body is covered by a warm tingling sensation followed by a sharp chest pain.
Stunned for 1d4 rounds, amnesia for 1 hour (DC 20 Will negates).
31-60     A burning sensation runs through your veins and your ears ring.
Stunned for 2d4 rounds, amnesia for 2d4 hours (DC 20 Will negates).
61-90     Dizziness and debilitating chest pains overwhelm you.
Drop prone, stunned for 2d4 rounds, amnesia for 1d6 hours (DC 20 Will negates).
91-99     Adrenaline floods your body alongside a crippling sense of vertigo.
Drop prone, amnesia for 2d8 hours (DC 20 Will negates), immediate paranoia (DC 17 Will negates) for 1d4 days.
100         The world goes black. You awaken with a migraine that lasts for hours.
Unconscious (helpless) for 3d20 minutes, awaken with permanent amnesia (no saving throw), 1d4 points of Constitution damage.

Note: Multiple mental effects from multiple activations of the quicksilver amulet are stacked for the longest duration.

 

Optional Permanent Augmentation

An additional use (a method of permanent augmentation) for the quicksilver amulet is revealed with a DC 35 Spellcraft check. The quicksilver amulet can become a permanent augmentation to a creature’s physical body with the right preparations!

First, a special oil that induces the karz slug gland contained within the item must be slathered upon the creature’s chest. This oil is created using the slime of a karz slug that has been fermented for 2 weeks (DC 20 Spellcraft check). Once the oil has been applied to a user, the quicksilver amulet has to be activated upon their chest while permanency is simultaneously cast upon it.

Finally, as the amulet is activated and the permanency spell is cast the creature must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 5 + spell level of the effect rolled upon amulet activation). If the creature the quicksilver amulet is being augmented to fails this saving throw their Constitution is reduced to 1 and they are afflicted with a permanent phobia of quicksilver (no saving throw). Upon a failed attempt to permanently augment the quicksilver amulet to a creature, it shatters and the karz slug gland within withers to fine dust before blowing away on the wind.
If the creature succeeds the Fortitude saving throw, the quicksilver amulet shatters and the petrified karz slug gland contained within it burrows deep into the chest cavity of the creature, becoming a functioning, non-magical organ. The pulsating silvery veins become a permanent attribute of the creature, and whatever arcane effects were rolled during the activation in the augmentation process become the options for a permanent supernatural ability called “Shroudtouched” that can be used 5 times per day.

The quicksilver amulet is destroyed as a magic item by the attempt of permanent augmentation regardless of failure or success. Crafting a quicksilver amulet requires no less than 3 weeks of time and a DC 25 Spellcraft check.

HISTORY
The quicksilver amulet was first created by the alchemist known as Vyn Durgrugan, the Slug Hunter of Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh. He crafted it while investigating the strange abilities of the karz slugs that inhabit the caverns near the Shroudstone, caused by their consumption of the flora and fauna surrounding the mysterious locale. He was never satisfied with its functionality as the quicksilver amulet also inherited the adverse effects that are common maladies where the veil between sanity and insanity is faint. The instructions for its creation can also be found in Vyn’s alchemical formula journal.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, 0.5 lb refined quicksilver (2,500 gold worth), karz slug gland, precious metals (gold, copper, and electrum), binding, polymorphCost 24,500 gp

DESTRUCTION
The quicksilver amulet has a built-in self destruction contingency. Casting the permanency spell upon it shatters the amulet, and reduces the karz slug gland within to dust.

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Maddening May: Story Locale – Tangleroot Forest


aaw-website - fantasy-art-wallpaper-36Large swathes of the western Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh are covered in unnaturally dark trees that fully extend over the bog. Many creatures don’t notice the abnormality; only those that make a
DC 19 Perception check see that what they walk upon is heavily matted moss covered in dirt, all suspended on the roots of numerous trees! Underneath the “ground” is a 10 to 15 foot drop into murky, disgusting bog water, filled with rotting matter and worse (DC 17 Swim check).

Strange smells that pique your curiosity but defy identification seem to emanate from everywhere and nowhere all at once as you head deeper into these subterranean groves. Skeletal trees are everywhere, their roots disappearing beneath furred moss of greens, browns, and sooty blacks. Despite their lack of foliage, the ebony and dark grey bark are so dense that they block out any sight of the roof of the cavern.


All of the ground in the Tangleroot Forest is considered difficult terrain. Every minute outside of combat or every movement greater than a 5-foot step during combat requires a
DC 10 Acrobatics check; on a failure, a creature gets their feet caught in troublesome roots. Any creature weighing in total more than 100 pounds increases the DC of this check by +2, and a creature weighing more than 200 pounds increases the DC of this check by another +2 and a creature weighing 300 pounds or more increases the check by another +2 (to DC 16). Creatures with a climb speed and creatures of a size of Tiny or less are immune to this effect.

Once affected by the ground of the Tangleroot Forest, a creature cannot take any movement until freed.

aaw-website - Final-Arboreal Menace-CCreatures that snag their feet on the floor of the Tangleroot Forest must succeed on a CMB, Reflex, or Escape Artist check as a swift action to free themselves (whichever is best) against the same DC as the Acrobatics check + 5. Attempting this as a move action reduces the DC of the check to free themselves by -5. Failure on a check to free itself knocks a creature prone.

During combat the danger of stepping into or through the floor of the Tangleroot Forest increases dramatically. Movement of any kind in between squares requires an Acrobatics check as described above (DC 10, 12, 14 or 16 depending on a creature’s weight). Additionally, when a creature reaches the end of any movement during a combat round in the Tangleroot Forest, there is a chance the ground they stop on breaks beneath them! Creatures of Tiny size are immune to this effect, but there is a 5% chance for each size category larger than Tiny that a creature falls through the roots and into the dirty bog water below (5% Small, 10% Medium, 15% Large, and so on).


Monsters of many kinds wander the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh (indeed—
grick swim all over the bog underneath the Underworld groves), but the Taaaw-website - Mark Hyzer Purple Wormlngleroot Forest is almost exclusively ruled over by crazed fey. For the most part, they are not much of a danger. They do constitute a threat, however—PCs that camp on the “floor” of the Tangleroot Forest may fall into the bog underneath, the squares they occupy undermined by the mischievous fey (25% chance). Other dangers like the souls of those that have died here and angry, intelligent, territorial plants stalk the Tangleroot Forest, and many who cross the region waste no time in doing so lest they draw their unwelcome attentions. Whatever the creature

d100      Creatures Encounters
1-22       6 sprites, 2d4 nixie, 1d4 grig
23-46     2d6 quickling
47-64     1d4+2 redcaps
65-82     1d4 will-o’-wisps
82-96     1d4 quickwood
91-100    carrion crawler [see this week’s Statblock Sunday!]