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Mendacious Materials: Amber Prison Trap

amber prison trapAmber Prison Trap     CR 6

Type magic; Perception DC 30; Disable Device DC 30
Trigger touch; Reset none
Effect rendered helpless (DC 21 Reflex negates); helpless target encased in amber* (hardness 5, 25 hp); immobilized target polymorphed into fly (DC 21 Fortitude negates)
*While encased in solid amber from an amber prison trap, line of effect is blocked and the target is helpless, and the target may not leave the Amber Road. The polymorph effect expires when the target leaves the Amber Road or receives a wish or miracle spell to change back to their original form.

The zwerc designed many defenses to protect the Amber Road. They use special bricks—amber prison traps—in areas to create magical minefields that immobilize and weaken targets. Unwary travelers walking down the Amber Road that step on an amber prison trap and become encased in amber and changed into a small fly. It is thought that some of these specimens are kept by the zwerc as trophies, or even made into jewelry or magic items. The zwerc have helped rumors spread about unwanted trespassers being suspended in amber as a means to frighten away would-be intruders, and every zwerc enclave has at least one dwarf familiar with how to make amber prison traps.

 

[Submitted by Rory Toma!]

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Mendacious Materials: Improved Amber Attenuator

Improved Amber Attenuator
Aura faint divination; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 3,800 gp; Weight 6 lbs.

Improved Amber AttenuatorDESCRIPTION
This odd compass is made of many different metals—lead, tin, silver, copper, titanium, and a host of others. Oddly, it rarely seems to point true north.

In addition to operating as a regular amber attenuator when used on the Material Plane (pointing toward the direction of the nearest Amber Road), an improved amber attenuator keys itself to avoid false amber roads (like the shadow amber road haunt) after being within 15 ft. of one for 1d4 rounds. Creatures carrying an improved amber attenuator gain a +2 sacred bonus to AC when fighting creatures of the earth subtype and +2 sacred bonus to attack and damage against creatures of the earth subtype, as well as a +5 ft. bonus to speed while on an Amber Road.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, 3 lbs. Shlyappa ore, know direction; Cost 1,900 gp

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Mendacious Materials: Schewerka

schewerka

SCHEWERKA     CR 7
XP 3,200
CN Medium magical beast (earth)
Init +5; Senses tremorsense 120 ft.; Perception +8

DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural)
hp 60 (8d10+16)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +2
DR 10/—; Immune fire

OFFENSE
Speed 80 ft., burrow 40 ft., earth glide
Melee bite +13 (2d6+5), 2 claws +11 (1d6+2), tail slap +11 (1d8+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.

TACTICS
Before Combat The schewerka is usually dozing off in a warm area; when its territory is trespassed the creature seeks out intruders, waiting to see if they move on.
During Combat The schewerka challenges the most heavily armored foe, trying to sunder the armor from the creature; if it does not succeed in 3 rounds, the schewerka gets bored and either leaves or kills the foe depending on how much damage its opponent has dealt.
Morale After 3 round if the schewerka has more than 23 hp it leaves from boredom, but if below 23 hp it stays and fights to the death over its pride.

STATISTICS
Str 21, Dex 19, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 4
Base Atk +8; CMB +13 (+15 to sunder); CMD 28 (32 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Improved Sunder, Multiattack, Power attack
Skills Climb +13, Perception +8, Stealth +9 (+29 in earth), Swim +8; Racial Modifiers +20 Stealth in earth
Languages Terran

This sleek monster covets warm patches of sun, warming up its cold metal plates. If no sun is present the creature baths in vents of lava or in the areas of the Amber Road it finds pleasantly toasty.

 

5E Rules

SCHEWERKA
Medium beast, chaotic neutral
AC 17 (4 natural)
Hit Points 39 (6d8+12)
Speed 60 ft., burrow 30 ft. (earth glide)
STR 18 (+4), DEX 16 (+3), CON 14 (+2), INT 12 (+1), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 4 (-3)
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing
Senses tremorsense 100 ft., passive Perception 15
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Armorbreaker. The schewerka deals double damage on attacks against armor.
Earthwalk. The schewerka can use its burrow speed to travel through stone.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. The schewerka make makes five attacks: one with its bite, two with its claws, and one with its tail.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, one target.
Hit: 8 (1d8+4) slashing damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, one target.
Hit: 6 (1d6+4) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, one target.
Hit: 6 (1d6+4) bludgeoning damage.

 

[Submitted by Tim Snow! Art by Sara Shijo!]

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Mendacious Materials: Shlyappa Amber Road

shlyappa amber road mapIt takes several days of navigating the Klavekian Grasslands to reach the network of caves where the map Jesker threw at the PCs indicates an entrance to the much greater Underworld of Aventyr. Finding the Shlyappa Amber Road won’t be quite as simple as locating this first passage, however, and PCs making their first trek into the world beneath the surface may be at a disadvantage without ample supplies. Remind the party to prepare themselves for the journey as best they can—foraging in the nearby plains for food, fashioning ad-hoc mundane items, giving animal companions a little while to frolic topside, and whatever tasks they come up with for themselves—before making the descent.

Even with the map in hand, locating the precise tunnel leading to the Shlyappa Amber Road area requires a DC 12 Survival check to properly navigate the underground terrain. Once the adventurers reach this territory of the Underworld there are several different passages they can take, each of which presents its own dangers, but they all lead to the true path that takes the PCs to the Shlyappa Enclave.

Westernmost Tunnel
This passage is a bit of foreshadowing for what’s to come (a journey through an actual Amber Road).
While traveling through this tunnel, the movement speeds of Medium-sized and Large-sized creatures are halved. Dwarves (all subtypes) and Small-sized creatures retain their normal overland movement rate. Huge-sized and larger creatures lacking the compression ability (or a similar ability that allows travel in the confined passages) are unable to enter or travel through this tunnel.
Every 3,000 ft. there’s a crook in the stone that requires a DC 23 Escape Artist check for a non-dwarf Medium-sized creature to pass through; wearing armor imposes a -5 penalty to this check. At each of these crooks, there’s a 25% chance that a gray ooze drips down from a seam in the rocks above to attack a creature when it fails its first skill check to pass through.

Central Tunnel
half-fiend minotaurTwo terrible abyssal creatures, a pair of half-fiend minotaur sisters named Ryhtaeh and Rennifej, rule over the territory of the Underworld near the entrance to the Shlyappa Amber Road in a pact with Mailliw the aboleth master of Long Drink Lake. Both can be bribed—the demonic duo prefer gold (at least 1,000 gp) and magic items, whereas the aberration only wants live, intelligent creatures—but their starting attitudes are Indifferent. A DC 23 Diplomacy check is required to keep either from attacking if payment isn’t handed over after 1d4 minutes of talking. Paying one of these tolls earns the party untroubled passage in this area, and paying both earns them an improved amber attenuator [upcoming Magic Item Monday! -MM]

Eastern Road(s)
Parties that head eastward find a fork in the passage—going to the far east (“taking a right”) brings them to an Amber Road. A DC 10 Knowledge (geography check) confirms that this isn’t the planar passageway leading to the Shlyappa Enclave, taking travelers to the ruined zwerc enclave of Digbarre’s Rest instead. [Digbarre’s Rest is not covered in this year’s AaWBlog Adventure Path and is intended for GMs to use as they see fit! Feel free to change it to whatever locale works best as a sidetrek for your group. -MM]

After this Amber Road (or for PCs that follow along the western side of the fork, “taking a left”) is another false positive (a shadow amber road haunt), and only adventurers that succeed a DC 15 Knowledge (geography check) recognize that it doesn’t head to the Shlyappa Enclave (though this does not reveal that it is a haunt).

 

5E Rules

A DC 9 Wisdom (Survival) check finds the precise tunnel leading to the Shlyappa Amber Road area.

A DC 18 Dexterity check is required for non-dwarf Medium sized creatures to pass through the crooks in the narrow tunnel.

Use the “Mezzoloth” monster statblocks for Ryhtaeh and Rennifej; a DC 17 Charisma (Persuasion) check is required to assuage the entities down the Central Tunnel.

A DC 8 Wisdom (Survival) check recognizes the Amber Road leading to Digbarre’s Rest and a DC 12 Wisdom (Survival) check notices that the shadow amber road doesn’t lead to the Shlyappa Enclave (though this does not reveal that it is a haunt).

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Mendacious Materials – Part 2

escape from mohkba imageThough the adventurers were ambushed by the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. before, they manage to track down where the highly valued contraband is and this time the PCs get the drop on the criminal cabal! Within some barrels in a safehouse, their auras hidden by cunning devices, are several pounds of Shlyappa ore. After returning to Jesker with the mendacious materials in hand, the party have some more time for investigation in the capital of the Klavek Kingdom; hopefully they’ve been paying attention and the strange dream the adventurers share sheds some light on their situation (and forays into noble homes continue to be dubious, so trespassing PCs best be wary).

The great old mage keeps himself busy preparing a ritual to deal with the blood thralls (a leftover from the notorious Cultus Sanguineus), but things go awry and the adventurers have to flee from Mohkba, chased by Mohkba guards trained to deal with spellcasters! PCs that are unfortunate enough to get caught are fitted with special shackles and tried in the courts of the Sanctioned Arcane Practitioners. As long as the party isn’t extraordinarily stubborn, however, they should make it out of the metropolis and on to the Underworld without too much trouble. Musings of the Mage 2Once they get there it’s a different story altogether—provided the PCs can reach the true Amber Road that leads to the Shlyappa Enclave, they’ll need to be careful of false planar pathways. [Full details on the Shlyappa Amber Road area are in tomorrow’s Sidequest Saturday! -MM]

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Mendacious Materials: Amber Roads

amber roadAmber Roads
[The Amber Roads play a critical role for both svirfneblin and zwerc; for more information about the latter get your hands on the Underworld Races PDF, and for more information on both keep your eyes peeled! -MM]
These veins of strange translucent orange crystal are permeable to living creatures, changing how quickly and safely they can travel through Aventyr’s Underworld. What more these pathways are planar, and certain branches lead directly to pockets of demiplane connected to the Elemental Plane of Earth. To the uninitiated and unwary, they can be deadly, but for those who know the Amber Roads, there’s no better means to journey. Finding an entryway to the Amber Roads requires a Knowledge (geography) check that varies in difficulty determined by region (at the GM’s discretion, but typically DC 21).

 

Amber Roads have the following traits (otherwise they operate as the Material Plane does):

Restricted Spaces: The vast majority of passages that make up the Amber Roads are rarely taller or wider than 10 feet across (90% of it is composed of 10-ft.-radius tunnels).

Heavy Gravity: Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, and Swim checks incur a –2 circumstance penalty, as do all attack rolls. All item weights are effectively doubled, which might affect a character’s speed. Weapon ranges are halved. A character’s Strength and Dexterity scores are not affected.

Finite Size*: The Amber Roads are thought to have limitations, though efforts to map their entirety are not yet complete.

Enhanced Earth Magic: Spells and spell-like abilities with the earth descriptor are easier to use or more powerful in effect on Amber Roads than they are on the Material Plane. Zwerc and svirfneblin are aware of which spells and spell-like abilities are enhanced, but planar travelers may have to discover this on their own. If a spell is enhanced, it functions as if its caster level was 2 higher than normal.

Fragile: The Amber Roads have suffered greatly from the doings of the svirfneblin, making them sometimes unreliable. There is a 5% chance every hour that an Amber Road tunnel suffers a cave-in.

Overland Movement: While traveling on Amber Roads, the overland movement speed of a creature can be impeded or aided depending on its size. The speed of Large-sized creature is halved and the speed of Medium-sized creatures is doubled. Dwarves (all subtypes) and Small-sized creatures triple their normal overland movement rate when traveling on Amber Roads. Huge-sized and larger creatures lacking the compression ability (or a similar ability that allows travel in the confined passages) are unable to enter or travel through the vast majority of Amber Roads. Creatures with the Earth subtype always have their overland movement speed tripled and Amber Roads expand to accommodate their size.

Refractions: Non-dwarves, non-gnomes, and creatures lacking the earth subtype are prone to quickly losing their way in the junctions and passages of the Amber Roads. A Knowledge (geography) or Survival check (DC 15 + 1 per previous check) must be made every 8 hours to properly navigate the planar pathway to avoid becoming lost. Parties that are not tethered together somehow (via rope, chains, or other durable material) cannot share a collective navigation check or aid one another.

*The Amber Roads do have hard boundaries, but they are specifically not mapped out to better provide a plot device for GMs to use that allows for faster travel throughout the Underworld when appropriate.