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Wandering Wasteland: Twilight Ambush

As the party settles into Ravine’s Parched Pilgrim Tavern for the evening, their adversaries have a small surprise waiting for themsometime in the middle of the night, the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.ER.S. launch a twilight ambush on the sleeping adventurers!
Twilight Ambush Map
The attack starts when the majority (if not all) of the spellcasting PCs are asleep. Creatures that are still slumbering are targeted with a nightmare spell (DC 18 Will negates). Immediately thereafter, ten P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. hirelings teleport into the area and attack. The assault is mainly a diversion—the cabal’s agents in the Grave Morass are observing the combat, taking note of the tactics and spells used by the party in order to optimize their own defenses for a conflict they’ve decided is inevitable. This offensive has an ulterior motive, however; each hireling has a wand of hostile morass (2 charges) which the criminals try to use on each party member at least once (DC 18 Will save negates). Agents in the Grave Morass are watching from afar with a scry spell (DC 24 Perception check to notice) and take note of any special attacks used by the party, preparing their defenses accordingly.

The P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. specifically developed the special hostile morass spell and provided the wands to these hirelings.

 

HOSTILE MORASS
School abjuration [evil]; Level sorcerer/wizard 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft. / 2 caster levels)
Target creature touched
Duration 1/day per caster level
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes
Hostile morass is only active while the target is in the Grave Morass of the Scorched Lands. While in the Grave Morass, a creature that fails its Will save suffers the following effects:
     Attract Ash The creature attracts the ash from the Grave Morass, taking a -2 penalty to Dexterity-based abilities and effects, treats all terrain is treated as difficult terrain, and their base movement rate is halved. The ash can be removed with a full round action but 1d6+1 rounds later it accumulates again.
     Attract Oil The creature attracts the oil from the Grave Morass, coating their body in a thin layer of the viscous liquid. Any open flames or fire-based effects that happen within 5 ft. of the creature cause it to catch on fire (taking 1d6 points of fire damage each round). It takes a full-round action to extinguish the flames.
     Attract Sand The creature attracts the sand from the Grave Morass, taking a -4 penalty to concentration checks.
These effects cannot be dispelled, but they can be removed with a break enchantment, limited wish, miracle, remove curse, or wish spell.

 

5E Rules

The P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. cast dream instead of nightmare.
Locating the sensor of the scrying spell requires a DC 30 Wisdom (Perception) check.

HOSTILE MORASS
5th-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 week
You wrap a creature in energies that draw upon the primal fundament of the Grave Morass, causing it to attract the very landscape of that region in the Scorched Lands of Aventyr. A creature targeted by this spell must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or suffer from the following effects:
     The creature attracts ash from the Grave Morass, reducing its movement speeds by half. Removing the ash requires an action and it accumulates again after 1d4 rounds.
     Oil coats the creature, causing it to ignite and take 1d6 points of fire damage each turn until it or another creature spends an action putting out the flames.
     Sand inexorably draws toward the creature, causing it to take disadvantage on Perception checks.
These effects cannot be removed with dispel magic, but they can be removed with a remove curse or wish spell.

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Wandering Wasteland: Ashen Death

The-Transgression_Ashen-DeathAshen Death

The deadly Transgression is covered in more detail in two different Trap Tuesdays this month (here and here!), but not every creature exposed to the powerful effects of the Shard of the Sun is incinerated. Some survive the experience though few are ever left unchanged by the immense ray of energy that rage across Aventyr each day. When the results on Table SL-1: Ashen Death result in a mutation, roll on Table SL-2: Transgression Mutations to see what befalls those who “escape” an Ashen Death (acquiring one of the effects below and therein the ashen template).
transgression mutations table sl-2

[The Transgression and its Ashen Death are by writer Lance Keppner!]

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Wandering Wasteland: Ashen Choker

ashen chokerAshen Choker
Aura strong enchantment; CL 17th
Slot neck; Weight 1 lb.

DESCRIPTION
Before being worn this item appears to be a wondrous piece of magical jewelry; a DC 18 Knowledge (history) check reveals it is from the outskirts of Ravine. As soon as it is worn by a creature it transforms into a thick, rounded piece of ash that attaches to the wearer’s neck, transforming them into a mutant (if they are not already a mutant, roll once on the table below). [More on mutants tomorrow! —MM] Once the painful transformation is complete the wearer is under the effects of a permanent charm monster spell towards whomever attached the ashen choker and convinced via a suggestion effect that any attempts to remove it will result in instant death; these compulsions remain until the ashen choker is removed and the wearer does not receive a saving throw to negate either the charm monster or suggestion effects. After the ashen choker is removed, a transformed creature returns to their natural state after a number of days equal to double the number of days they wore the cursed item.

CREATION
Magic Items necklace of adaptation, necklace of fireballs, necklace of ki serenity

Ashen Choker Mutation Table

  1. The wearer suffers the Ashen Death; roll on SL-2: Transgression Mutations. [Tomorrow! —MM]
  2. The wearer’s skin sags, cracks, and becomes horned, resulting in a -2 to all Charisma-based skill checks.
  3. One of the wearer’s legs expands, becoming a large slab of meat. The wearer can no longer be tripped or go prone but takes a -4 penalty to Dexterity.
  4. Pus fills the wearer’s sweat glands giving the creature the stench monster ability (DC 15, 10 minutes). Unlike normal, this affects the mutant.
  5. Large prongs extend from the wearer’s hands, making it so it can’t use manufactured weapons and suffers a 35% chance of failing to cast any spell with a somatic component. The wearer gains two claw attacks as secondary attacks as well as the attach monster ability.
  6. The wearer’s eyes become large crystals that extend a few inches past their nose, granting darkvision 60 ft. and low-light vision, but sunlight powerlessness as well.

[Submitted by Tim Snow!]

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Wandering Wasteland: Corpse Cactus

corpse cactus (reduced)Corpse Cactus

DC 20 Knowledge (nature) to recognize “the Dead Man’s Rest”
This plant closely resembles its cousin, the firebloom cactus, but though it has a similar size and shape as well as brown skin, short hairs, and an odor of honey, it offers anything but safe respite. Once a creature touches the trunk and brushes up against the hairs of this desert flora, spines shoot out from inside the trunk (Atk +2, 1d2 points of piercing damage + DC 15 Fortitude save or paralyzed and 1d3 Constitution drain per round). Once injected into the victim the spines inject a paralytic poison that traps the creature in place while the tree siphons all nutrients and when its prey is unconscious or dead, the overgrowth on the tree opens and vine like tendrils grab the body, slowly pulling it up and placing it prone on top of the corpse cactus. Here the plant sucks the victim bone dry, adding the remaining bulk to its “sun shield”.

[The Corpse Cactus is one of many exotic flora by writer Lance Keppner! Art by Sara Shijo!]

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Wandering Wasteland: Striding Boots

striding-boots-rick-h1Striding Boots
Aura moderate abjuration; CL 7th
Slot feet; Price 3,750 gp; Weight 1 lb.

DESCRIPTION
This pair of thigh-high glossy black oilskin boots have been meticulously polished but there are still stains of brownish dirt and grit across their tongues and quarters.

Striding boots increase the wearer’s speed to a maximum of 40 ft. for tactical movement, 400 ft. for local movement, and 4 miles (per hour) or 32 miles (per day) of overland movement. The wearer’s speed is not changed when they are traveling at a hustle or using the run action.
The wearer of striding boots also treats all overland terrain as moving upon a trail across plains as long as they are walking. This does not supersede any requirement to climb obstacles. Moving at any speed greater than their walking speed negates the effects of striding boots.
The wearer of striding boots may walk for 12 hours (instead of 8) before entering into a forced march.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, freedom of movement; Cost 1,875 gp

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Wandering Wasteland: Scowl Carver

scowl carver (mutant)Scowl Carver                           CR 12
XP 19,200
Male ashen human fighter 7/rogue 5
NE Medium humanoid (ashen, human)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +13

DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 16, flat-footed 15 (+5 armor, +6 Dex)
hp 80 (7d10+5d8+19) fast healing 5
Fort +7; Ref +14; Will +4; +2 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities bravery +2, evasion, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge; DR 5/ –; Immune radiation

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee +2 cruel dagger +20/+15 (1d4+7, Crit 17-20/x2) and dagger +16/+11 (1d4+6, Crit 17-20/x2)
Special Attacks sneak attack +3d6, weapon training (light blades +1)

TACTICS
Before Combat Scowl attempts to ambush an enemy, attacking from the shadows if given the opportunity.
During Combat Scowl is relentlessly protective of his fellow mutants, focusing his attacks on creatures assaulting his kin before facing a direct threat to himself (even if this leaves him open to attacks of opportunity).
Morale Scowl is relentless in battle, but attempts to flee when reduced to fewer than 10 hp.

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 22, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +10; CMB +12; CMD 28
Feats Dazzling Display, Improved Critical (dagger), Improved Initiative, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Shatter Defenses, Skill Focus (Acrobatics), Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (dagger), Weapon Specialization (dagger)
Skills Acrobatics +30, Bluff +10, Climb +10, Diplomacy +10, Disable Device +14, Disguise +10, Escape Artist +10, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (local) +9, Perception +13 (+15 to find traps), Ride +10, Sleight of Hand +10, Stealth +20, Survival +10, Swim +10
Languages Common, Mutant Hand Sign (exclusive to the mutant enclaves of the Scorched Lands)
SQ armor training 2, bulbous eyes, fractured mind, rogue talents (finesse rogue, weapon training), trapfinding +2
Combat Gear potion of endure elements, potion of spider climb; Other Gear +1 chain shirt, +2 cruel dagger, dagger, solid gold symbol in the stylized likeness of the Shard of the Sun (2,000 gp art item).
Boon Scowl can assure safe passage through the mutant territories of the Scorched Lands and evoke a Friendly attitude from various mutant enclaves.

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Bulbous Eyes (Ex) Scowl has darkvision with a range of 60 ft. and low-light vision.
Fast Healing (Ex) Scowl has fast healing 5.
Fractured Mind (Ex) When Scowl fails a Will save he is confused for 1 round.
Increased Speed (Ex) Scowl’s speed increases by 10 feet.
Rugged (Ex) Scowl has DR 5/—.

 

5E RULES

Use the statistics for an “Oni” for Scowl but instead of any spellcasting abilities, Scowl gains sneak attack +4d6, uncanny dodge, and the ability to make three attacks in a round when using his glaive.