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Mischievous Meadows – Lunar Larceny!

Snowy ForestWhile sleeping during the evening and making camp in the forest, the PCs’ magic items are stolen from them as they rest! Each loses one or more wondrous items—and eventually they find they are short an enchanted ring a piece as during the night, the party is  visited and re-visited by strange creatures of the woods that abscond with their goods!

In the unlikely event that none of the adventurers have the requisite items, the smallest (and least powerful) magic weapons targeted first. Otherwise the party loses a total of 1d4+1 random potions and 1 wondrous magic item (minor first and medium second; never any items that hold an extradimensional space) each time they are visited upon by the thieves. The final visit ends with the theft of a ring from every PC that has one in addition to the other purloined items. Only items that weigh 5 pounds or less are stolen—anything heavier is too heavy for theft by the stealthy robbers.

Thieves in the Night!

There are a total of four of the mysterious robberies during the night; the creatures stealing the items are not only diminutive (and thus undetectable with the alarm spell) but also extremely talented at blending in with their surroundings and constantly under the effects of a nondetectionspell. Particularly difficult to see or hear (DC 36 Perception check) and not idiotic (they have an Intelligence of 8), the PCs are unlikely to find them but if they do, their quarry teleports away with a prepared dimension door spell-like ability unless the adventurers are able to hide themselves (though the thieves have arcane sight and see invisibility, so the chances of that are slim; they have a +12 bonus to Perception checks and 120 ft. darkvision).

If the PCs don’t take turns at watch during the night…

As you wake up and take account of your surroundings in the light of the rising sun, something doesn’t seem quite right. Rooting about your belongings, checking your gear, and looking over all your equipment, you realize that some of the items are missing! All of you are similarly dismayed as it becomes clear that everyone has been robbed during the night!

Or give everyone opposed Perception check (vs +12) with a -10 penalty for being asleep as something employs Sleight of Hand against the adventurers.

woods-forest-backgroundAs the initial change of watch occurs and one of the PCs is awoken to take the next shift, read the following:

Stretching your limbs and taking account of your surroundings, you notice that something isn’t quite right and with a little investigation you quickly realize that a potion is missing from your pack! Looking at all of your companions you notice something else—one of your wondrous items has disappeared as well!

You did NOT just do that!


The PCs may be giving you nasty looks as the night goes on, but don’t worry—encourage the party to have faith in their sense of adventure! The AaWBlog might be devouring their loot now but we promise, there are great rewards that await the strong of heart and anyone that endures the whole of Mischievous Meadows!

There’s virtually no hope of catching the thieves in the act without the party actively watching all their goods or keeping an eye out with detect magic. The latter proves fruitless but the former gives them opposed Perception checks (vs +12) for each item stolen as three more robberies occur while the night drags on.

Following their trail is another matter entirely!

Unlikely Trails

The mysterious thieves only steal from a distance (of 30 feet) and take the time to hide their tracks, making them move away at only 20 feet a round and leaving a meager trail—opposed Survival checks (vs +16) reveal the marks of their erratic retreat, but anyone with detect magic receives a +10 bonus to the check as drops of spilt potions appear every teen feet or so.

forest-pictures-8Eventually the PCs are led to a grove and a DC 25 Perception check finds the fresh markings of whatever left the trail leading up into a tree. Detecting the creature in the branches is virtually impossible (requiring a DC 47 Perception check as it utilizes the freeze special quality) and just as in their camp, it teleports away with a prepared dimension door spell-like ability as soon as it feels endangered.  If caught this way more than five times, half the stolen items reappear and the creature flies away until another day.

As the adventurers give up on the chase and realize their quarry is too elusive to find them, a chittering emits from the brush and a small stick-like insect latches onto an item held by one of the PCs—either a bag of holding, glove of storing, handy haversack or other wondrous item that provides an extradimensional space!

Stay tuned to the AaWBlog tomorrow to find out what the 1d4+3 creatures attacking the party are in the first Statblock Sunday for Mischievous Meadows!

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Designer’s Spotlight – Michael Allen and Three Faces of the Muse

B18 COVERWhy should someone check out Three Faces of the Muse?
This is a great adventure to run when the PCs are ready to visit a big city—perhaps even the capital settlement of the lands they are in. It is an intense investigation that has nothing to do with sewers, and there are some nice hooks to tie ongoing plots from your game into the module if you are so inclined.

What makes Three Faces of the Muse different from other adventures?
I like to read the bestiaries and monster manuals to mine ideas. There is a huge amount of grist for a writer to work from hidden in these tomes—I love building on a sentence or phrase in the monster design or ecology. The idea for this adventure was sparked by the boss fight and I chose monsters that fit appropriately with the theme.

Three Faces of the Muse previewDid you put cool stuff in there?
As the back jacket says, “this adventure is a chance for minstrels to shine, and not just through diplomacy encounters.” The sites and themes lend themselves to characters with civilized skills and an appreciation of the arts. Three Faces of the Muse also creates unique opportunities for recurring villains that make it noteworthy.

What was your favorite part of the adventure?
I had a blast researching the “renaissance man” themes throughout. I am a set designer during the day, so much of the architectural, painting, musical history, and craft in the adventure was already known to me, but I delved deeper into the specifics of each to really understand them and bring them out (I even learned some new technical terms.)

Did you focus on Investigation, Encounters, Puzzles or Dungeons?
The whThree Faces of the Muse preview 1ole story is one of investigation—unraveling the how and why, but I definitely spent some time on the encounters and went back after the play test to tweak them. I wanted each to tie into the major themes of the module (even cutting one that felt was a bit repetitive and random) and to have as many unique twists as possible. Some combats require skill checks to get the upper hand, some standard monsters have a nifty thematic effect added onto them, and all contain notes to adjust the challenge rating if need be.

In one sentence, what can we expect from Three Faces of the Muse?
Art is beauty, and the most delicious beauty is one that fosters a sense of anticipation—and, for the most adventurous souls, even a bit of danger.

[Editors Note: Michael is not giving himself enough credit—this module is bursting with creativity. Your PCs will be pleasantly surprised time and again throughout, and I would be very surprised if they don’t truly engage with the very rich tapestry that he’s woven together here. Three Faces of the Muse is a must-play and absolutely deserves a look. -MM]

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The Aawblog’s Diet Evolves!

Image_Portfolio_107_Fantasy Jason Walton 65After how delicious Cultus Sanguineus turned out to be, the AaWBlog has grown particular taste buds: every month is going to be devoted to one user-driven central theme to appease this voracious beast’s appetite!
If you’re stopping by for the previews of upcoming material, author interviews, contests or news on Rise of the Drow, don’t worry; those posts will still be making appearances as snacks and morsels!

So what does this matter? Some of the contributors are already planning things for the future already, but we want to know what you want to see!

Image_Portfolio_107_Fantasy Jason Walton 68More sets of magic items? Wizard schools?
Tentacle horses? Fantasy mechs?
Werecreatures? Airships? 

Say something! Throw it into the cauldron!
AdventureAWeek.com is all about our readers and we want to make the AaWBlog an expression of your tastes as much as ours, so any and all suggestions are on the table!

Comment below with your ideas for what sorts of meals the AaWBlog should consume for the rest of 2014—we’ll work them into the menu for everyone to enjoy!

 

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Sanguine Chalice

Sanguine Chalice preppedSanguine Chalice
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot none; Weight 5 lbs.

This small stone chalice is inscribed with strange markings of a creature breathing forth some kind of creature breathing forth a red mist. When filled with any kind of liquid (a full-round action), the contents change to what appears to be a potion of cure critical wounds and heals 4d8+9 hit points to any creature that drinks it before making a DC 20 Will save. Creatures that fail this save are cursed until they receive a regeneration spell; any time that they are made fatigued or eat food that is not bloody (a very rare stake qualifies) they must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or vomit forth blood, taking 1d4 Constitution damage.
Dhampir, vampire and vampire spawn that drink from a sanguine chalice treat its contents as a potion of inflict critical wounds and heal 4d8+9 hit points.

CREATION
Magic Items any cup or chalice suitable for drinking from 

A character that makes a Knowledge (religion) check to learn about the sanguine chalice identifies the following fragments of lore:
DC 15     This cup was the second calling card of Valthior the Valorous—every tavern he drank in fell silent when this cup appeared at the bar. None but he was ever seen to drink from it and after witnessing its healing properties, countless brawls were said to have broken out because of it.
DC 20     The etchings and style of carvings indicate that the item is no less than 700 years old, though they are otherworldly and difficult to discern easily.
DC 25     Last seen somewhere in the Klavek Kingdom, the thief Gallro’rk the Reckless made off with the sanguine chalice to parts unknown—the rogue was last seen entering the Underworld over a decade ago.
DC 30     An ancient horror, the Exsanguinator, is depicted on this cup. It once belonged to a noble in the terrifying daemon’s bloody court.

 

 

Do you have a chilling idea for a haunt or cursed item? Send it along to us at submit (at) adventureaweek.com, but please, bear the following in mind before you submit anything for review:

1. Anyone can submit an entry.
2. One entry per person at any one time. An entry must be your own work, not being published previously or considered by any other publisher, and it must original and not infringe upon copyrighted material.
3. All entries become property of Adventureaweek.com, LLP.
4. By submitting an entry you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.
5. Adventureaweek.com, LLP reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this endeavor at any time without prior notice.
6. All decisions of Adventureaweek.com, LLP and their arbiters are final.
7. There is no compensation provided – any entries are given freely by their creators for use by Adventureaweek.com, LLP in perpetuity.
8. Your statblock must be properly formatted (compare to similar content on the AaWBlog for correct formatting).

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Sanguine Mace

Sanguine Mace croppedSanguine Mace
Aura
moderate necromancy; CL 6th
Slot none; Price 28,600 gp; Weight 10 lbs.

DESCRIPTION
The head of this regal mace is covered in flowing, floral designs wrought from silver. Crimson metal caps the weapon and is wrapped around the upper haft in more noble designs and a gravitas seems to emanate from it, as though it hungers for combat.

This +1 silver heavy mace is normally just that, but in the hands of a wielder with the the undeath domain its true properties come to the fore—on a successful critical hit, the head of the weapon opens into vicious spikes that automatically succeed with a bite attack that deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage. The wielder gains 5 temporary hit points per point of Constitution damage dealt this way.
In the hands of a dhampir, vampire or vampire spawn, a sanguine mace automatically confirms critical hits.

HISTORY
A character that makes a Knowledge (religion) check to learn more about the sanguine mace reveals some of the unique weapon’s lore:
DC 10     Valthior the Valorous was a fighter of the undead and is still celebrated widely across the land. His mace felled beasts of the night and countless monsters that threatened smaller communities in the wilds.
DC 15     While a hero of the people, holy knights and paladins chased Valthior everywhere he went and this mace quickly became his calling card. It is still sought by their orders and they’ll pay a finder’s fee to anyone that locates it.
DC 20     It’s said that the sanguine mace originally belonged to a vampire king that Valthior slain singlehandedly, though the warrior is said to have disappeared decades ago in the same keep the undead lord once occupied.
DC 25      Valthior the Valorous was in fact a dhampir and is said to live still—he is believed to exist in the keep, kept there by the slain vampire king’s spirit to save the surrounding communities from tyrrany.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, vampiric touch; Cost 14,300 gp 572 xp

Do you have an idea for an enchanted sword, arcane-empowered armor or unique magic item? Take a look at the submission rules and send a brief summary of your proposed enchanted item titled ‘Armory of Adventures submission’ to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with the following:

  • the nature of the item (weapon, armor or wondrous)
  • one or two sentences about its appearance
  • what the item in question does
  • the components and spell(s) used in its construction
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Cultus Sanguineus: The Exsanguinator

efreeti__malcolm_mcclinton

Exsanguinator the Daemon CR 11

XP 12,800
NE Large outsider (evil, extraplanar)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; blood scent, detect good, detect magic, see invisibility; Perception +19
Aura hemophilia (40 ft., Fort DC 21)
DEFENSE
AC 25, touch 17, flat-footed 20 (+4 deflection, +4 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 151 (14d10+70); fast healing 2
Fort +14, Ref +8, Will +13
Defensive Abilities outsider traits; DR 5/good; Immune acid, bleed, death effects, disease, fire, poison; Resist cold 15, electricity 15; SR 20
Weaknesses cure spells
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 claws +18 (2d8+5 plus 1d4 bleed)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks exsanguinate
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +18)
Constant—blood scent, detect good, detect magic, protection from good, see invisibility, tongues
At will—blood biography, blood blaze, boiling blood
3/day—teleport
STATISTICS
Str 20, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk +14; CMB +20; CMD 38 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Bloody Assault, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Bluff +21, Diplomacy +21; Intimidate +21; Knowledge (arcana) +19; Knowledge (nature) +19; Knowledge (planes) +19; Perception +19; Sense Motive +19; Spellcraft +16
Languages Abyssal, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft., tongues
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Exsanguinate (Su) As a full-round action (that provokes attacks of opportunity) the Exsanguinator can grip a living creature by the very blood within their bodies. Targets must make a DC 21 Will save to resist his control and on a failure are paralyzed. Paralyzed creatures are forced to make a DC 21 Fortitude save or take 2d4+2 Constitution damage as the Exsanguinator rips the blood from their body through orifices as well as the pores of their skin. For every point of Constitution damage dealt this way, the Exsanguinator gains 2 temporary hit points (up to his normal maximum number of hit points).
Hemophilia (Su) Any creature suffering from a bleed effect while within 40 feet of Exsanguinator must succeed on a DC 21 Fortitude save or take twice the normal amount of damage from bleeding wounds that round. Any Heal checks to stop a creature from bleeding while within a hemophilia aura are made with a -10 penalty.
Powerful Presence (Su) Exsanguinator’s force of personality and ego are so strong that they manifest around him at all times, providing a deflection bonus to AC equal to his Charisma modifier.
Weakness The Exsanguinator does not heal from cure spells; instead he takes double damage from them. If subjected to a heal spell, he dissipates from the Material Realm immediately on a failed save.
TACTICS
The Exsanguinator is a creature borne of pain—he is sadistic and torturous, taking his time to inflict as much pain as possible on an opponent before killing them (preferably in an ineffectual fashion). When dropped to 35 hit points or less, the daemon teleports away—but not too far. After healing back to 130 hit points (his fast healing recovers 20 hit points per minute) he teleports back to wherever he fled from to strike again when his opponents think they are safe. When reduced to 35 hit points or less a second time, the Exsanguinator teleports away again, marking those that survived as enemies for life.

When the battle is coming to a close (after 50 HD of creatures have perished and either Krev Ragata or Countess Veresovich are no more) and the floors of the chamber are bathed in the blood of the dying or fallen, the Exsanguinator finally appears! Read the following when it seems the battle against Cultus Sanguineus has reached an end:

The deranged cultists are falling before you, their corpses piling up as the floor itself becomes coated with the blood of the newly dead. As the battle begins to wain, you notice that the sloshing crimson has risen to cover your feet and is beginning to steam. Booming laughter echoes from the walls of the chamber as the blood flooding the room generates waves from nowhere before forming into an enormous creature in the center of the room.

It floats in the air with its legs crossed, instantly scrutinizing you from behind calculating, immortal eyes. Two curious horns sprout from the red flesh of its head and it wears nothing save a simple, torn yellow loincloth. You can sense its hunger immediately—whatever it is, it instinctively yearns for blood. In an instant, the gallons of it that occupied the chamber are sucked away entirely as the creature fully forms and the maniacal laughter turns into an angry battle roar!

History

770 years ago the planets in Aventyr’s solar system were in a rare alignment as the cosmic anomaly known as the Blooddrop—a floating wave of energies that streaks throughout the universe—made its way into the solar system. The extraterrestrial irregularity is so named because of its red color, making it look as if a drop of blood is streaming across the heavens. These coincidences made the ritual of Sangue Malar possible—what actually occurred during that foul catastrophe has been lost to the vestiges of time but afterward the Exsanguinator was ravaging across Aventyr. His power grew so quickly that it was not long before other powerful entities noticed him and saw that eventually his power would be so vast that none would be safe from his ravenous hunger for blood.

Seven powerful daemons met in secret and agreed to combine their dark powers to cast Exsanguinator into a prison plane, trapping him within the Blooddrop. Their acolytes created a crimson sacrifice that the Exsanguinator could not ignore—they cornered him in the northern mountainous region of the Klavek Kingdom and the battle lasted for days. Despite his great power, Exsanguinator was bested and sent to the passing astral cage, imprisoned by all the wards and rituals the daemons knew. Their intent was to weaken him by starvation but the Exsanguinator’s will is stronger than expected—after 700 years the wards are failing, the planets once again align, and now  the Blooddrop is once again passing across the skies of Aventyr.

OGL Information

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Player Companion: Magical MarketplaceŠ 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: John Ling, Ron Lundeen, Patrick Renie, David Schwartz, and Jerome Virnich.

 

[A Myler/Wiborg Projekt]