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Stealing Stones: Doc, Underworld Horror

Doc - Gitwerc UnderterrorDOC THE UNDERWORLD HORROR           CR 10
XP 9,600
Male gitwerc underterror 11
NE Large outsider humanoid (dwarf, gitwerc, native)
Init -2; Senses darkvision 120 ft., see in darkness; Perception +8
Aura dreadful presence 11 rounds/day (60 ft., -2 vs. fear, DC 18 Will or shaken 1d4 rounds)

DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 7, flat-footed 23 (+8 armor, -2 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 133 (11d10+68)
Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +6
Defensive Abilities improved evasion; DR 5/chaos; Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5
Weaknesses light blindness

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 claws +16 (1d8+9 plus 1d6 acid, Crit 19-20/x2) and 2 tentacles +11 (1d8+5 plus 1d6 acid)
Special Attacks extra attacks (2), evolution surge 2/day (self only)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (20 ft. with Lunge)

HEL Pool Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +14; 5 points)
3rd (3 points)—baleful polymorph (DC 16)
2nd (2 points)—deeper darkness, dread bolt
1st (1 point)—bane, forbid action (DC 14), murderous command (DC 14)

TACTICS
Before Combat Doc uses his evolution surge ability to grant himself the increased damage (claws), increased damage (tentacles), and energy attacks (acid) evolutions, then activates his deeper darkness HEL power (centered on something small on his person). Alternatively he may choose grab instead of increased damage  and energy attacks (dealing melee damage as below but able to begin grapples on successful hits, with a CMB of +21 to grapple).
During Combat Doc trudges forward into his enemies using Lunge (taking a -2 to AC gaining +5 ft. reach to melee attacks). When a spellcaster or ranged specialist makes themselves known, Doc uses baleful polymorph on the current melee combatant and wails away at the greater threat. As soon as he is visible, Doc activates dreadful presence.
Morale Doc is quite insane (especially after waiting so long between transformations) and fights to the death.
Base Statistics Without his evolution surge, Doc’s statistics are: Melee 2 claws +16 (1d6+9, Crit 19-20/x2) and 2 tentacles +11 (1d6+5).

STATISTICS
Str 26, Dex 6, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16
Base Atk +8; CMB +17; CMD 25
Feats Extra EvolutionB, Improved Critical (claws), Improved Natural Armor, Lunge, Multiattack, Run, Toughness
Skills Bluff +10, Disguise +8 (+18 as dweorg), Intimidate +8, Perception +8, Sense Motive +7, Stealth +8; Racial Modifiers +10 Disguise (dweorg)
Languages Common, Infernal, Undercommon
SQ change shape (alter self, dweorg only), evolution gift (2 evolution points, 1/day for 11 minutes), fiendish resistance, fiendish sorcery, infernal, skill training (Diplomacy, Sense Motive), mutable form (full-round action, 2 evolution points), undershape (Medium humanoid; alter self, 9 forms)
Evolutions (14 points; claws, damage reduction, improved natural armor [2], large, reach [claws], reach [tentacles], tentacle [2])
Gear +2 breastplate, amulet of mighty fists +1, belt of strength +2, ring of sustenance

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Dreadful Presence (Ex) Doc can transform his body into a hideous writhing mass of flesh that terrifies those that behold it as a swift action (lasting for 11 rounds per day). When activated, every creature within 60 feet of Doc receives a -2 penalty on saving throws against fear for the duration of the effect and must succeed on a DC 18 Will save or be shaken for 1d4 rounds. Transforming back is a free action. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.

 

5E Rules

Use the “Xorn” creature entry but with the following changes: Strength 22 (+6), Armor Class 18, Hit Points 80 (7d10+42), Speed no burrow speed, Skills Bluff +3, Disguise +3, Space 10 ft. by 10 ft., Languages Common, Infernal, Undercommon, no earth glide, no stone camouflage, no treasure sense, able to assume form of dwarf (dweorg and 9 other Medium-sized humanoids), Innate Spellcasting Charisma (spell save DC 11), At will: darkness, Attacks increase to hit bonus and damage of all attacks by +3, increase reach of claw attacks by +10 ft., Challenge 6 (2,300 xp).

 

 

The Aventyr Bestiary Kickstarter ends in only days!

Raven Mimura cover art!
Over 100 monsters!
FREE preview PDF!

(also on DriveThruRPG and Paizo.com)

Rising up through stretch goals for celebrity contributors: Brian Berg, Jason Nelson, Owen K.C. Stephens, and Wolfgang Baur!

Pledge now while you still can!

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Stealing Stones: lysyy the Hat Merchant

lysyy the hat merchant

lysyy THE HAT MERCHANT     CR 4
XP 1,200
Male zwerc skald 5
NG Medium humanoid (dwarf, fey)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +3

DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor, +1 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 41 (5d8+15)
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +3; +2 vs. spells and spell-like abilities, +4 vs. sonic or language-dependent effects
Defensive Abilities uncanny dodge
Weaknesses light blindness

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 earthbreaker +3 (2d6, Crit x3)
Ranged shortbow +4 (1d6, Crit x3, Range 60 ft.)
Special Attacks raging song 14 rounds/day (inspired rage—+2 Str/Con, +2 Will, -1 AC, song of marching—60 ft.-radius, overland hustle for 1 hour), spell kenning 1/day, treacherous earth 1/day (standard action, 10-ft.-radius into difficult terrain for 5 minutes)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 5th; concentration +8)
2nd (3/day)—allegro, blindness/deafness, gallant inspiration
1st (5/day)—chord of shards, identify, timely inspiration, vanish
0th—detect magic, know direction, mage hand, mending, prestidigitation, sift

TACTICS
Before Combat lysyy avoids it when possible, but otherwise uses treacherous earth to make the area between him and enemies into difficult terrain.
During Combat lysyy focuses more on enhancing his allies using raging song, timely inspiration, and gallant inspiration.
Morale Unless his hats are on the line, lysyy casts vanish and flees when reduced to 18 hp or less.
Raging Statistics When raging song is active, lysyy’s stats are AC 17; Speed 25 ft.; Will +5; Melee +1 earthbreaker +4 (2d6+1, Crit x3)..

STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Craft Wondrous Item, Dodge, Scribe Scroll [B], Skill Focus (Craft [hat])
Skills Acrobatics +5, Appraise +5, Climb +3, Craft (hat) +12, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (geography) +7, Perception +3, Perform (oratory) +11, Profession (merchant) +7, Sense Motive +3, Spellcraft +5, Use Magic Device +8
Languages Common, Dwarven, Undercommon
SQ bardic knowledge +2, deep magic (+2 to dispel magic or overcome spell resistance), rage power (swift foot), stonecunning, versatile performance (Perform [oratory]; Bluff, Diplomacy), well-versed
Combat Gear potions of cure light wounds (3), potion of invisibility, potion of pass without trace; Other Gear hat of disguise, mwk breastplate, shortbow (10 arrows)

 

5E Rules

Use the “Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin)” entry in the Monster Manual with the following changes: Medium sized (increase weapon attack damage to 1d10 and 1d6, respectively), dwarf subtype, increase hit points to 22, knows Dwarven instead of Gnomish, has the bardic inspiration feature (d8; 3 uses per long rest) and combat inspiration class feature.

 

The Aventyr Bestiary Kickstarter!

WHY YOU NEED THIS:

  • Book Golem and Liberum Golem – If you prefer your golems well read, these constructs are up your alley—just mind the paper cuts.
  • Chicken Coop – Swallow parties whole with this madman’s dream of a chicken mixed with a house.
  • Cold Mutated Ogre Spider, Earthen Spider, Sloth Spider – We at AaW firmly believe there can just never be enough spiders.
  • Exsanguinator the Daemon – Make adventurers really feel the hurt and introduce them to the master of blood.
  • Eye Eater – Give maiming PCs a try and don’t hesitate to rip out an eye or two (it can give them a new perspective on the game!)
  • Mosaic Tile Golem, Mushroom Golem, Pumpkin Golem, Totem Golem, Treasure Golem– There’s a reason Paizo is so fond of these…
  • NITNAM – Remember that time the adventurers had to go inside of the giant, flesh-sac alien monster to kill it? You always will.
  • Pubo, Great Pubo, Jinn Wizard, Tyngdekraften – Explosions, antimagic fields, and gravity wells—who could ask for anything more?
  • Skildpadder – If dwarves don’t belong on top of giant subterranean tortoise-bullettes, what’s the world coming to?
  • Templates: Dark Scion, Eldritch, Fleshdoll, HEL, Titanic – Because you never really can have enough templates.

Get your pledge in and get your game on!

 

 

Vote AdventureAWeek.com in the 2015 ENnies!

We are excited to tell you that AdventureAWeek.com has been nominated for the 2015 ENnie award for Best Website! Please take a moment out of your day to visit the ENnies website and vote for us (make sure to select 1 to mark us as your favorite!).
If you’re also a NERDTREK reader (another website many of the AAW Games crew take part in) that’s nominated for Best Blog and we encourage you to vote not only in that category, but all of the 2015 ENnies!

Thanks for reading and casting your vote! Booths close on July 14th!

 

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Stealing Stones: Shlyappa Zwerc Enclave

There’s no consensus on when exactly the zwerc enclave of Shlyappa first appeared—some scholars claim that it cannot have come into being until after the fall of the Dracoprime, while others point out that the intensely magical demiplane has power locked within that is far, far, far older. Regardless of its age, there’s no denying the power within this planar pocket, no matter how much of it is tied off to the Amber Roads or Elemental Plane of Earth.

Shlyaapa Enclave story locale

Anti-Air
Though breathable air is aplenty and the natives aren’t above using magic to replenish it, there’s a strong discrimination against creatures of the sky and any connection to the Elemental Plane of Air. Creatures with wings or are otherwise associated with air (via a bloodline, holy symbol, or otherwise) take a -2 penalty to all Charisma-based skill checks with denizens of Shlyappa.

Hats, Hats, and More Hats
All zwerc enclaves have certain taboos that cannot be trespassed without great consequence. One of the tenets enforced in Shlyappa only allows spellcasters wearing hats to practice their craft without suffering for it and as a result, every citizen wears a chapeau of some kind. Travelers that come into Shlyappa are offered a hat right after getting off the Amber Roads, and if they do not have a hat or helmet of some kind afterward, are frequently offered one. Creatures that refuse to wear a hat (this includes animal companions, mounts, and familiars) suffer a -5 penalty to all Charisma-based skill checks with denizens of Shlyappa.

Sealing Caves
There are few buildings in this zwerc enclave; every home, shop, and establishment in Shlyappa is part of the earth, housed within hollowed out caves and tunnels. Any zwerc, natural born citizen, or stonespeaker can wave their hand as a swift action to open or close a sealing cave. Other creatures can spend a standard action to open or close a sealing cave by making a DC 15 Use Magic Device check (no training is required for this use of the skill), though the sealing cave does not finish opening or closing until the end of that creature’s turn.

 

The Aventyr Bestiary Kickstarter!

WHY YOU NEED THIS:

  • Book Golem and Liberum Golem – If you prefer your golems well read, these constructs are up your alley—just mind the paper cuts.
  • Chicken Coop – Swallow parties whole with this madman’s dream of a chicken mixed with a house.
  • Cold Mutated Ogre Spider, Earthen Spider, Sloth Spider – We at AaW firmly believe there can just never be enough spiders.
  • Exsanguinator the Daemon – Make adventurers really feel the hurt and introduce them to the master of blood.
  • Eye Eater – Give maiming PCs a try and don’t hesitate to rip out an eye or two (it can give them a new perspective on the game!)
  • Mosaic Tile Golem, Mushroom Golem, Pumpkin Golem, Totem Golem, Treasure Golem– There’s a reason Paizo is so fond of these…
  • NITNAM – Remember that time the adventurers had to go inside of the giant, flesh-sac alien monster to kill it? You always will.
  • Pubo, Great Pubo, Jinn Wizard, Tyngdekraften – Explosions, antimagic fields, and gravity wells—who could ask for anything more?
  • Skildpadder – If dwarves don’t belong on top of giant subterranean tortoise-bullettes, what’s the world coming to?
  • Templates: Dark Scion, Eldritch, Fleshdoll, HEL, Titanic – Because you never really can have enough templates.

Get your pledge in and get your game on!

 

 

Vote AdventureAWeek.com in the 2015 ENnies!

We are excited to tell you that AdventureAWeek.com has been nominated for the 2015 ENnie award for Best Website! Please take a moment out of your day to visit the ENnies website and vote for us (make sure to select 1 to mark us as your favorite!).
If you’re also a NERDTREK reader (another website many of the AAW Games crew take part in) that’s nominated for Best Blog and we encourage you to vote not only in that category, but all of the 2015 ENnies!
Thanks for reading and casting your vote! Polls close on July 14th!
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Featured Artists: Jacob Blackmon

aaw-website many-handed jakk - jacob blackmonWe’ve shone the spotlight onto designers before, but artists are just as important here at AdventureAWeek.com and we wanted to show some love for our illustrators! The first on the list is a personal favorite of mine—Jacob Blackmon! [He’s doing the cover for my world, after all! 😀 -MM]

Spoony Jaws - Trectoyri [Jacob Blackmon] (reduced)If you’re one of the AaWBlog’s devoted followers, you’ve seen Jacob’s work before. He’s one of our premier up and comers, and the illustrator behind Underworld Classes and Underworld Races, which are a fantastic example of his range and continually developing artistic talent.

He is an amazing illustrator and continual delight to work with, his experience as a gamer (and game designer!) giving him an uncanny grip on the subtler elements of visual design that come hand in hand with the peculiarities of game mechanics.

This is of course, however, an artist’s spotlight, and we’ll let Jacob Blackmon’s work speak for itself.

Veranthea Codex cover [Jacob Blackmon]
Veranthea Codex cover art
Quorron Dwarf Smith (from Rise of the Drow)
Quorron Dwarf Smith (from Rise of the Drow)
fgg_cosmicbattle_colors_02_by_prodigyduck-d6ply1i
Stark City Cosmic Battle

 

You can follow Jacob on Deviant Art (http://prodigyduck.deviantart.com/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/JacobBlackmon), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jacob.blackmon.56), and support him on Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/jacobblackmon)!

 

Publishers
Check out Jacob’s extensive line of stock art from Rogue Genius Games!

 

Lovers of Comics
Jacob Blackmon’s got another ace up his sleeve—a comic, The Path Less Traveled! You can read it in the free Pathways e-zine from Rite Publishing.
Issue 1: Pathways #36, Issue 2: Pathways #37, Issue 3: Pathways #38, Issue 4: Pathways #39, Issue 5: Pathways #40, Issue 6: Pathways #41, Issue 7: Pathways #42, Issue 8: Pathways #43
plt_cover001_color_01_by_prodigyduck-d80a4px

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The Veranthea Codex launches today at 6PM EST (3 PM PST)!

Veranthea_Codex_Full-page_Ad

Mike Myler and Rogue Genius Games are launching a Kickstarter later TODAY (6PM EST!) for a book everyone needs in their Pathfinder library—the Veranthea Codex.

Spoony Jaws - Trectoyri [Jacob Blackmon] (reduced)Veranthea is Mike’s mad world, the campaign setting he started playing Pathfinder in years ago, and it’s been developing into a truly amazing project! But why are you reading about it on the AaWBlog?

The answer is simple—Mike’s borrowing some of the crew here to help bring his world to life in a beautiful hardback book!

  • Brian Wiborg Mønster is heading development and writing in Grethadnis!
  • Luis Loza and Colin Stricklin, two module authors from AdventureAWeek.com’s stables, fill out his core group of writers (developing Urethiel and Trectoyri, respectively).
  • Beztekorps - Grethadnis [Indi Martin]Justin Andrew Mason is producing incredible graphics for the Veranthea Codex, doing the lion’s share of cartography (with the exception of Jonathan G. Nelson’s stretch goal), and is on to make some mythic content alongside Rory Toma (another great stretch goal)!
  • Another AdventureAWeek.com veteran—the other MM, Michael McCarthy—is on to develop material for stretch goals and is the lead editor, making sure that all of the content in the Veranthea Codex is top-notch!
  • Finally there’s Julian Neale, the mechanics engineer that worked with Mike Myler on the Underworld Classes product line—with his guiding hand on board, the archetypes and prestige classes throughout the Veranthea Codex are sure to be some of the most balanced material third party publishers have to offer!

Master in Irons - Urethiel cast [Nathanael Batchelor]

This post is to get the word out; visit the Veranthea Codex tumblr for a peek at much of the existing content for Mike’s World, keep an eye out for the four FREE Veranthea Codex PDFs on d20pfsrdstore.com, DriveThruRPG.com, Paizo.com, and RPGNow.com, or drop by the Veranthea Codex Facebook page to get an early peek at the FREE PDFs releasing all throughout September!

If you like what you see, please tell your friends, share the Facebook page, and get ready for the Kickstarter launch TODAY at 6PM EST!

We’ll see you there!

Braxthar Grimdrahk - Scientific Innovator [Indi Martin] (reduced)

 

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Underworld Races: The Hoyrall

Yesterday we gave out a taste of the duplicitous underterror, but today the AaWBlog dares to be even more bizarre with the otherworldly hoyrall! Back in January you might remember The Blessings of Zagn, where the insectile aliens are mentioned in passing. Jacob Blackmon is turning in the rest of the artwork this week, and it’s just too darned good not to share with everyone immediately.

Moreover, this player race takes up a very big role in the near future of Aventyr, and are a major part of PATHMASTER contest winner Michael Allen’s upcoming adventure path! They’ve terrorized Picollo in the past, and infest various regions of the Underworld—but where did they come from? What are their plans for the surface world? Why are they in Aventyr, and what keeps them here?

Today an unwitting band of apprentices dare to learn some of these secrets, perhaps biting off more than they can handle…

It was a rare day indeed, Markos thought. Not only had he, Sylveni, Karris and Jorall managed to sneak out of their rooms beneath the notice of Master Halwoan—he who bemoan, the quartet often joked—but down off of Cape Fin, jammed into a watery cove, they had found a true wonder.

cave-11The capsule (which it was Markos’ idea to call) was actually quite large, maybe 60 feet longways and another 15 across, laying at rest on a sandy beach at the far side of the watery cavern. Its exterior was pocked and marred by rocky abscesses in between chitinous scales that seemed to move ever so slightly of their own accord. Sylveni and Karris were very careful, unwilling to enter into the cove at all—it took foolish Jorall and his mischievous sling to convince them, but when the capsule didn’t show any signs of reacting to his stones their natural curiosity was sufficiently peaked. 

Cautiously, Markos produced a scroll, an invisibility spell he produced when Professor Kambrudge dozed off the other afternoon. As the others waited, he conjured forth the arcane magic and disappeared from sight, leaving only shallow footprints in the wet sand around the cave’s edge in his wake. Initially it seemed as though the entirety of the capsule was solid, but once he was quite sure that it would not react to his presence, Markos ran his gloved fingers along its edges and eventually found a large fold. With a bit of working he managed to work first one, and then both of his arms into it and with a bit of leverage, the whole thing made a large slopping noise and stretched open to make a portal within the capsule.

Giving a thumbs up to his companions, which Markos quickly figured was actually kind of silly given that he was invisible, the apprentice mage carefully peered into the interior of the strange thing hidden in the cove of Cape Fin. A soft orange glow filled the cramped expanse, just enough that he could make out what was on—or rather, in—the walls. Chitinous statues, their eyes made of large red rubies, peered outward from strange insectile faces. Each sculpture was slightly different, but all had antennae and four arms in repose, standing on two powerful legs seamlessly encased in the wall.

Seeing the gems was one thing—Jorall would undoubtedly be pleased—but this was unlike anything Markos had even read of before! One night when they snuck out to a tavern on the far side of the gate, a minstrel told tales of similar bug-men, four-armed warriors that terrorized Picollo before he had been born. Very little was known of them to the scholarly world, however, and suddenly the student in Markos leapt to the fore—this could be his mark of distinction! The founder of an alien artifact such as this was sure to be laden with rewards and laurels for their efforts, were they not?

While the cramped confines undermined his confidence, that urge for academic recognition spurred Markos deeper into the capsule and further on, even after the opening behind him slowly closed back up. The layout made no sense to him and denied a sense of the cardinal directions. Even in so small a space it only took him a few minutes to get lost, but he came upon a room filled with carvings and hieroglyphs that demanded Markos’ attention. A great, strange serpent of some kind sailed across the stars with crowds of dozens of the insect men on its back. Once arrived on the planet, the thing tunneled into and through the sphere as its passengers spread across the surface.  With a sense of dread, the apprentice mage followed the next series of symbols, but they were the same, cycling through the sequence in nonsensical directions that covered every surface of the room he was in.

Yelping in surprise, something in Markos’ peripheral vision caught his eye; a small movement in the hallway. Creeping closer he peered at the carved statue on the wall and breathed a sigh of relief, seeing that the gems on its face were still.

But then the scales above the gem moved, and whatever pretense of safety Markos once had evaporated in an instant.

___________________

Still huddled against the entrance to the cove, Sylveni, Karris, and (most of all) Jorall were getting impatient. He looked at his fellow apprentices sternly and said, “Markos should be back by now; I say we go in and make sure he’s okay.” The conviction of his words matched the resolve on his face, and Sylveni could tell right off he wouldn’t be dissuaded. Markos had always been sweet to her and if one of them didn’t return, she knew that Master Halwoan would be furious beyond description.

“Karris—you stay here near the entrance. If Jorall and I aren’t back within the hour, run back to the academy and tell them what you saw here.” Sylveni pressed her prized hourglass—a silver-gilded ornament bestowed to her for being scholar lariat a few years ago—into Karris’ trembling hands and squeezed them briefly. For her part, the timid novice mage gave a nod and shrunk behind some stalagmites, watchful of her friends as they approached the capsule.

Hoyrall front coverJorral practically sprinted up to it, running his hands along the edge like his friend Markos had done. With a victorious shout he found it, prying his arms inward and unfolding the doorway. Unlike what Markos had seen, however, no sculptures lined the walls—instead, standing insectile four-armed men briefly regarded him with ruby eyes. For one brief moment, everything stood still as Sylveni gaped in horror at the things within the capsule—Jorall’s scream broke the reverie as half a dozen of the creatures leapt out and dragged him inside.

Sylveni began to run for the beach, yelling for her friend to get away. The bug men were on to her too, though, and the last thing she saw as they wrestled her into the capsule was Karris’ cloak flitting out of view, whipping away in the direction of Nyamo.

What did the hieroglyphs mean? What are the hoyrall’s intentions with Karris’ friends? Where are the alien bugs from and why are they on Aventyr?

The answers to these questions (and so much more!) are in the upcoming Underworld Races: Hoyrall! Keep an eye out for it and the other Underworld Classes and Races books hitting the digital selves soon!