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Stealing Stones: Getting Lost

Rounding yet another bend in the never ending tunnels of the thrice-damned zwerc enclave, Mykail was certain that they’d lost the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S.’ trail and pushed down the thought that whatever plans the nefarious criminals have for the Shlyappa ore are another step closer to fruition. “I told you not to let Tekkittir into the tunnel first, and we’ve had the ‘no trees inside’ conversation too many times.”
Tekkitir’s tree has proven itself many times,” the barbarian yells from behind, “and there is much room for tree here!
“Well,” the bard says, rolling his eyes in frustration, “we’re not in that escape tunnel now, are we?” Stretching his arms out, spinning to accentuate the space inside the main thoroughfare, “we’re in the central tunnels again, my half-orc giantess. We have LOST the bad people we’re following—the ones that tree just so liberally smashed. Worse yet, oh wielder of tree, we have no idea where they are going!.”
With a woosh the massive dead plant swings overhead and for a brief instant, Mykail thinks he’s taken things too far. Before the improvised club slams into him, however, it stops a few feet above his head and Tekkittir points down a junction. “Do not worry, funny man. Maybe that waving dweorg knows?
Tekkittir“I do!,” the young dwarf yells, waving his other arm down a side tunnel cutting off the thoroughfare. “I am a dweorg and I do know! They went down there, giant lady!”
“Quickly!”, Steph yells as she dashes down the passage, slinging her shield across her back. “Double time it before we lose them again!” Tekkittir stares down Mykail as he ducks into the passage, which fortunately has enough width for the half-orc as she drags the tree in behind her and the rest of the party follows suit (along with their new dweorg friend).
“They weren’t far behind you,” the boy yells, sprinting his fastest to keep up with the adventurers, “not far at all! You are so swift, you will certainly catch up to them soon!” Something about his voice caught Mykail’s ear, however (the right one—ostensibly the elvish one), as though it dropped an octave. It must be the caves, the bard thought, and turned his senses forward in search of any sound of the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. or a sight of their passing.
After a few minutes of hard running the group reaches a junction of tunnels and Steph yells for a hold. The dweorg boy lags behind, but he calls out from behind them in the passage, “oh, don’t stop now, you are so close!” getting lostOnce a pleasant and melodious pitch, the dwarf’s voice drops an octave as he rounds the bend, hunched down with one shoulder high. Suddenly his arm bursts open to reveal hard red sinew beneath as chunks of bone shred open his skin, the rest of the organ ripping apart as he—it, a freakish creature from the nightmares of a madman—sloughs it off his infernal body like one would a trenchcoat.
“We wouldn’t want you getting lost.”

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Stealing Stones: Graceless Cackle Haunt

Graceless Cackle Haunt      CR 7graceless cackle haunt
XP 3,200
CN haunt (30 ft. by 30 ft. grove)
Caster Level 7th
Notice Perception DC 21 (to hear the lamentations of a suffocating dwarf and maddened dwarf)
hp 31; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 day

Effect When the graceless cackle haunt is triggered, creatures within its area must make a DC 14 Fortitude save or take a -6 penalty to Dexterity as they become noticeably clumsy for 3d4 minutes. Creatures that make this initial Will save are forced to make a DC 14 Will save or laugh uncontrollably for 2d6 minutes (creatures laughing from the graceless cackle haunt are unable to cast spells with verbal components).

Destruction The graceless cackle haunt can only be destroyed by a mute dwarf grinding Shlyappa ore into a fine powder before being mixed it into mead it then drinks until intoxicated, at which point the mute dwarf must walk the perimeter of the haunt’s area of effect, heel to toe, while pulling on its ears.

Surdus and Gavisus were dwarven brothers that traveled the length and breadth of Shlyappa centuries ago. The younger of the duo, Surdus was born a mute with a propensity for clumsiness and when a mining accident orphaned the pair, his older brother Gavisus was made to become the caretaker. Known to be a jovial fellow always found with a red-cheeked smile, Gavisus also liked to partake of dwarven ale in a manner that even other stout folk found obsessive.
The older brother eventually became dependent upon brew and rather untoward his sibling, and eventually Surdus’ spirit—one evening while camping in a grove the young mute poisoned Gavisus’ ale, hoping the drunkard would fall into a stupor from which he’d never wake. Unfortunately for Surdus duplicity was in their blood and his older brethren had decided that same night to murder him as well. After asphyxiating his brother, Gavisus paced in a circle around the grove laughing and crying maniacally until he succumbed to the poison ale and death’s embrace took hold, and the thump of the dwarf hitting the ground and or his younger brother’s deathly cackle can still be heard by travelers that wander the tunnels of Shlyappa.

[Submitted by Michael Smith!]

 

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Stealing Stones: Festering Crown Fireball Trap

Festering Crown & Fireball Trap - Imperial_Crown_of_Napoleon_BonaparteFestering Crown Fireball Trap     CR 7
Type magic; Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31
Trigger touch; Reset none
Effect spell effect (mass fester for 11 rounds if a target touches crown; DC 19 Fortitude reduces the effect to one round); multiple targets (up to 11 targets within 80-ft.-radius); spell effect (fireball 5d6 damage; DC 17 Reflex for half damage); multiple targets (all targets within 30-ft.-radius)

An ancient statue has been erected here along the Amber Road depicting a long dead monarch. Although the carving has been eroded by time a jeweled gold crown is fitted over a pristine velvet cap that perches atop the statue, lending it a royal appearance. The crown itself is worth a king’s ransom, and appears not to be the least bit tarnished (and indeed, ever so slightly magical). Once removed however, not only does the mass fester activate, but the crown itself explodes in a ball of flame that leaves behind 2,000 gp of jewels.

 

[Submitted by Rory Toma!]

 

 

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Stealing Stones: Maculos Mask

Maculos Mask
maculos mask
Aura faint necromancy; CL 5th
Slot head; Price 23,000 gp; Weight 4 lbs.

DESCRIPTION
This eerie mask is carved from the dried and nearly mummified hollowed out head of a maculosfunglet.

A maculos mask’s leathery texture stretches to fit its wearer’s head, obscuring their features and covering everything but their main sensory organs (ears, nose, mouth and eyes for a humanoid being). After being worn for 1d4 hours, the wearer of a maculos mask starts to feel minute tendrils borrowing inside their skin as rhizomorphs slowly extend towards the creature’s glands.
The wearer of a maculos mask gains low-light vision, darkvision 90 ft., a +2 resistance bonus to saving throws against mind-affecting, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep and stunning effects. However, the wearer is automatically dazzled when exposed to bright light and takes a -2 penalty on saving throws against effects with the light descriptor.
Additionally, after wearing a maculos mask for 24 hours the wearer gains the toxic quality as long as it remains on their head. Poisonous rhizomorphs slowly grow throughout the wearer’s body and allow the creature to envenom a weapon they wield with toxic saliva or blood. Using blood requires the wearer to be injured for this ability to be used. The wearer can produce poison for a number of times per day equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum 1). Applying the venom in this way is a swift action.

Weakening Venom—Injury; save—Fort DC 10 + wearer’s hit dice + wearer’s Constitution modifier; frequency—1/round for 6 rounds; effect—1d2 Str; cure—1 save.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, head of a maculosfunglet, gentle repose; Cost 11,500 gp

 

[Submitted by Stefanos Patelis! -MM]

 

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Stealing Stones: ignis the Stonespeaker

ignis the stonespeakerignis the Stoneshaper     CR 7
XP 3,200
Female zwerc stonespeaker 8
NE Medium humanoid (dwarf, fey)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +3

DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+6 armor)
hp 48 (8d8+34)
Fort +9, Ref +2, Will +10;
Defensive Abilities stoneblood
Weaknesses light blindness

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 heavy mace of impact +9/+4 (2d6+4, Crit x2)
Ranged exploding pebble +6 touch (8d6 bludgeoning, Range 20 ft, Reflex DC 23 halves; costs 2 uses of exploding earth)
Special Attacks elemental shape 2/day (small earth elemental), exploding earth 13/day (8d6 bludgeoning. Reflex DC 19 halves, range 45 ft.), exploding pebble, flaking armaments 2/day (+4 bleed to melee attacks)
Spells like abilities (CL 6th; concentration +4)
3rd (8/day)—stone shape
2nd (8/day)—binding earth
1st (8/day)—grease, stone shield
240 ft./day—dimensional steps (underground only)

TACTICS
Before Combat ignis buffs herself, chows down on a granite snack (gaining DR 3/— for 1 minute), and washes it down with a potion of mirror image.
During Combat ignis stays back, using exploding earth and exploding pebble at the nearest foe. Once out of uses she moves in brandishing her heavy mace.
Morale ignis tries to flee when reduced to below 10 hp using stone steps to get away, drinking a potion of invisibility after reaching a place safe enough for her to do so.

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 11, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 9
Base Atk +6; CMB +4; CMD 14
Feats Craft Wondrous Item, Destined by the Stone, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Bluff +4, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (engineering) +6, Knowledge (geography) +9, Perception +14, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +5
Languages Common, Dwarven, Terran
SQ favored terrain (+4 underground, +2 mountains/hill, +2 Plane of Earth), stone steps, elemental shape, Stone lore
Combat Gear potions of cure moderate wounds (3), potion of invisibility, potion of mirror image; Other Gear +2 hide armor, granite snack (6), P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. cypher note

Exploding Earth (Su) Stonespeakers can cause the ground to explode, dealing damage to those standing upon it or airborne as far as 5 feet away from it. A stonespeaker can use exploding earth a number of times each day equal to his class level + his Wisdom modifier. Using exploding earth is a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. It affects a 5-foot square of ground, and has a range of 25 feet plus 5 feet per two stonespeaker levels. Exploding earth inflicts 1d6 + the stonespeaker’s Wisdom modifier points of bludgeoning damage (Reflex DC 10 + ½ stonespeaker level + Wisdom modifier to halve the damage). The damage of exploding earth increases by 1d6 points every stonespeaker level. Exploding earth has no effect on flying creatures that are not standing on the ground.
A stonespeaker may expend two uses at once to add their level to the damage of an exploding earth attack, increasing the save DC to avoid it by +1 per 4 class levels (minimum 1).
At 5th level, a stonespeaker may expend an additional use of exploding earth with a swift action as part of a regular use to imbue the attack with more seismic energy, forcing their target(s) to also avoid being knocked prone (treat this as as a trip combat maneuver, using the stonespeaker’s level and Wisdom modifier to determine their CMB bonus). The stonespeaker does not provoke an attack of opportunity as normal for this trip attempt or be tripped in return when using this ability.

Stoneblood (Ex): At 3rd level, a stonespeaker’s vitals begin to calcify and her blood takes on many of the qualities of stone. She adds her stonespeaker level on checks to stabilize at negative hit points and gains a 25% chance to ignore a critical hit or precision damage. This does not stack with fortification armor or similar effects.

Stone Steps (Sp) At 5th level, a stonespeaker gains the dimensional steps ability (see the 8th-level conjuration school ability in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook). This ability only works underground or at ground level, for both departure and arrival points.

Elemental Shape (Su): At 6th level, a stonespeaker can transform into an earth elemental. This functions as the druid wild shape ability (see Pathfinder Core Rulebook), but when determining their uses per day of the ability, the stonespeaker’s effective druid level is equal to their stonespeaker level -2. A stonespeaker can only become an earth elemental.

Exploding Pebble (Su): As a standard action, you can create and throw a pebble (or other stone of similar size) that detonates when it strikes a target; this requires a ranged touch attack, and cannot inflict critical damage. The pebble has a range increment of 20 feet and has a +1 enhancement bonus to attack for every four stonespeaker levels you possess. Any creature struck by the pebble takes damage as per exploding earth but receives a Reflex save to half the damage (DC 10 + stonespeaker level + Wisdom modifier) If the attack roll misses, the pebble harmlessly dissipates when it hits another surface. This ability is activated by expending two uses of exploding earth.

Flaking Armaments (Su) Once per day as a swift action, your wielded melee weapons become covered in bits of sharp stone that inflict bleed damage equal to 1/2 stonespeaker level after a successful hit. A bleeding creature continues to take bleed damage each round until it receives a Heal check (DC 10 + stonespeaker level + Wisdom modifier) to have obsidian flakes removed from its wounds; cure spells and other healing magic only halves the bleeding damage (minimum 1) until the flaking armaments enchantment ends.
In the event of a critical hit from a weapon with this enchantment, the target also suffers from a slow effect (as per the spell, using your stonespeaker level as caster level; no save or spell resistance). After a number of rounds equal to twice your stonespeaker level, your weapon’s obsidian flakes fall off and dissipate; creatures suffering from bleed damage inflicted with this ability now only require a DC 15 Heal check or any kind of healing magic to stop taking bleed damage.
At 8th level and every 4 levels after, you may use this ability one additional time per day. You must be at least 3rd level to select this ability.

 

5E Rules

Throughout the entire battle ignis stays in her earth elemental form; use the statistics for the “Earth Elemental” and treat her CR as 5. In addition, ignis can spend an action to activate either one of a copper dragon’s lair abilities as though she were the lair. ignis can only do this twice per lair ability per combat.

[Submitted by Tim Snow! More information on the zwerc dwarven subtype can be found here (subscriber link | shop link) and the stonespeaker base class is over here (subscriber link | shop link)!]

 

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Stealing Stones: Granite Grotto

granite grotto mapAfter finding the granite dust in lysyy the hat merchant’s storage cave, the PCs are led to the only area of Shlyappa where that type of stone can be found with any reliability: Granite Grotto. Fortunately there’s no traversing of the Amber Roads required, but it still takes the adventurers 1d4+4 hours of trekking through caves and tunnels to reach this area of the zwerc enclave.

Using the geomancy abilities of lysyy’s former paramour [A stonespeaker! Tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday! -MM], the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. have been transporting Shlyappa ore from a vein elsewhere in the demiplane and now the PCs have compromised the drop site! Unbeknownst to the other zwerc, the earth mage has hollowed out the three stone pillars here, spiriting away the magical rocks for clandestine transit back to Aventyr. Fortunately for the criminals, they’re prepared to leave and are only waiting on their leader to return—Doc is due to arrive any day now but with the party approaching, everyone has quickly prepared for a hasty exit through a secret tunnel in the southeast corner of the map. The nefarious smugglers don’t leave until they have to, however, and remain hidden inside the granite columns until the adventurers find them.

When the PCs reach Granite Grotto, read the following:

The trail leads to a cavern of a hue that gradually fades away from the ever present amber of Shlyappa, turning gray and gritty. Curiously the tracks go dead—what looks like the work of someone hastily spreading dirt about—but something about the three pillars of granite ahead seems off, though what exactly, you can’t be certain.

As soon as it became clear that they would need to hide both themselves and their contraband, ignis created numerous air holes in the granite columns to prevent her cohorts from suffocating (found with a DC 18 Perception check). PCs that make a DC 16 Survival check find the tracks of several people here, all of them fresh, and gain a +2 circumstance bonus to notice the air holes.

granite grottoignis had to work fast and the walls of the granite columns are less than an inch thick (supported by struts thicker stone) and can be broken through quickly (hardness 4, 8 hp); however, there’s a 20% chance any of the melee attacks against a granite column strikes a supporting strut instead of the wall (hardness 12, 30 hp). When the first wall is broken through, all of the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. Hirelings bust out of their hiding spots and make for the secret door.

Each column has four P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R. Hirelings inside with two 20 lbs. chests filled with Shlyappa ore, though only the revealed criminals engage (and the last two in the secret tunnel stay back to hold the retreat). ignis stays long enough to be reduced to half hit points or until all three groups of her allies have escaped.

Finding the secret door requires a DC 35 Perception check and should the party travel down it, after 1 mile it loops back to a side corridor of a main thoroughfare in the network of tunnels that is Shlyappa (and meanwhile, the P.R.A.N.K.S.T.E.R.S. make their escape 1d4+1 minutes after the PCs are out of sight).

 

5E Rules

Finding the air holes in the granite columns requires a DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check.

Locating the recent tracks around the granite columns requires a DC 14 Wisdom (Survival) check and grants the PC a DC 14 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice the air holes; the PC makes this check with advantage.

A DC 24 Intelligence (Investigation) check detects the secret door on the southeast corner of the map.

 

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