fredag 9. september 2011

Death frost doom

During the summer I ran Death Frost Doom at a con in Oslo. Actually it was at the con bar, and the players were two friends and four drunken strangers who had been too late in joining a midnight session of some game I had never heard of. These guys were fond of narrativistic indie games, and hadn't played anything close to DnD for about ten years. That didn't stop them from jumping right into the spirit of the game from the moment I uttered the word "treasure".

Hats off to Raggi, for making a system easy to comprehend even after the consumption of large amounts of alcohol.

Party: Fat elf, paranoid magic-user, bawdy fighter, thiefish halfling, compassionate specialist and a completely insane cleric.


The party began by searching the entire graveyard and finding the shaft. The the cleric commanded the halfling to enter the shaft, and used magic when he refused. As we all know entering the shaft gains you nothing.

They entered the cabin, and the magic-user started experimenting with the clock. While he was winking in and out of time the rest of the party began stealing everything that wasn't nailed down.

Down in the shrine they started using the mirror to look for cursed items and evil magic. Then the cleric smashed it for being an obviously unholy artifact, but he was smart enough to bless the cursed items before picking them up.

The specialist played the organ, but made his save and didn't kill anyone else. The fighter (I think) understood how to open the sealed door almost immediately, and inflicted d4 damage to himself tearing out one of his own teeth. No one drank the unholy water.

The party destroyed the inkpot before anyone could tattoo themselves. They then spent about an hour in game robbing graves. When they reached the eye of many eyes, the halfling tossed a handful of coins into the well, earning him one point of dexterity and a lot of losses to other abilities. They left all of the doors open and cursed themselves at every opportunity.

In the altar chamber they burned the singing briars, before reading the altar text and trying to sacrifice the poor halfling. He escaped, but when the compulsion left the party and he returned the cleric tried to sacrifice him anyway. Luckily they managed to open the way without any bloodshed.

The halfling tried to kill the cleric, and succeeded with the help of the specialist and the fighter.

At this point the group had learned not to read stuff aloud, so no one threw themselves down the bottomless pit.

Then the dead arose. The magic-user and the fighter escaped through the shaft in the tombs. The specialist refused the vampires offer and died fighting zombies. The elf and the halfling struck a deal, and carried the coffin until they met with the reapers. At that point they realized they were probably about to become accessories to mass murder, changed their minds and died like dogs.

mandag 23. mai 2011

The most complicated hiding place I could think of for a plot item

I had an idea for a puzzle for my lotfp;wfr campaign. A big one, which would take up a lot of a session to figure out, and could easily make the advendure shit if I botched it.

There's a room full of seemingly normal items. A vase full of flowers, a painting on the wall, a grandfather clock etc. In the middle of the room is a portal, leading to a never ending battle.

The goal is to find a magic sword, or some other important item, and the players know that the item is being used by someone on that battlefield. The item has to be desirable enough that the players are willing to wade through a lot of crap to get it.

Finding this one item in a sea of people trying to kill each other is next to impossible, so if the players just decide to wade into the mass of sweaty men and sharp edges, it should be immediately made clear that they're unlikely to find anything before they get killed.

However, the PCs can influence the battle by interracting with the objects in the portal room. Each object has it's own bizarre function, turning the painting sideways, for example, makes the entire battleground turn sideways, and fiddling with the clock affects time in the battle. Picking a dead flower kills off every last soldier, (except the PCs, if any of them should be on the other side of the portal) while picking a fresh one wakes them up again. The fruit bowl stops the fighting and makes the warring factions start feasting to celebrate their newfound friendship.

The players should know a little bit about the battle before encountering the puzzle. Maybe it's a magical reenactment of a historic siege or something. This way they can combine their knowledge with the tools at hand to try and create favorable conditions for exploring particular areas. Or they could have some idea about who owns the item in question, and be able to deduce where that person might be based on what happens.

"Look, someone cut off the trebuchets counterweight. Everyone knows Durgon the Shadow was one of the imperial army's most devious saboteurs. Stop time so we can go investigate."

"But that's beyond the castle walls. We can't climb them, and the gates won't open if we stop the clock."

"Then turn the painting left, I'll walk up the wall, and then down the other side once you turn it right."

I'll have to go over this a few times before using it, but I hope it can provide a nice incentive for the players to let loose and be creative. My biggest worry is that they'll find some easy way to blow through it quickly. I'd hate to have them finish it in fifteen minutes because I overlooked some detail or combination of elements that solves the problem for them.

The way I'm constructing the event is to provide the tools at the PCs disposal, and clearly determine what they do and how they interract if used together. Then I'll draw a map of the battlefield and a rough step by step account of how the battle will go when not meddled with. Then the players can ravage it at their own pleasure.

fredag 8. april 2011

On whining players and drunk driving

John plays a halfling named Horst. Horst is a monk/drunken master, and also half green dragon.

Last session the players assaulted the lair of Worscha the fiend-wyrm and his manticore sons, and enlisted the aid of a tribe of goblins and a flight of dire eagles. The eagles bore the party into aerial battle while the goblins pestered the wyrm with volleys of javelins.

Horst has wanted to open up a monestary for a long time. Being small of stature and tolerant of strange species, he has allways seen goblins as his equals, and the newfound alliance with their tribe opened up the possibility to recruit members for his monestary. He asks Kutyak the goblin chief permission to train three of the tribes strongest young men in the ways of drunken fighting. Kutyak complies, having long known Horst for being a fearsome warrior. Now Horst has his very own order of monks.

Peter plays a druid named Aran. Aran likes to train animals. He has trained the soldiers horses for war, has taught his dog to be a devil on the battlefield, and he now has his eye on the dire eagles. He wants to train them as mounts, and over time build an aerial cavalry to protect the town from it's enemies. But for this he need riders as well as steeds. Horst volunteers his monk order.

We discuss the prospect of eagle riding goblin monks for a little while. Images are conjured of eagles bearing whole regiments of tiny drunkards, dropping them like bombs on their enemies. Of aerial battles versus bat riding skymages, the goblins wrestling the enemy off their steeds or sending the bats tumbling to the ground with stunning fist attacks.

My conclusion is that alcoholic goblins riding birds ten times their size is something I want to see in my game. After an entire evening of hurtful words and whining because I wouldn't resurrect someones character, this is what makes me want to keep DMing.

tirsdag 1. februar 2011

SAGE play report part 2

Part 2 of Temple of the Sunken Moon.

You might have noticed how it took me several months to complete this session report (My lone follower, you know who you are). I realized since writing the last part that writing a sessions worth of roleplaying as a complete narrative is taxing. So taxing, in fact, that I never ever want to do it again. You have to remember a lot of stuff, especially when the game in question was played over half a year ago. You also have to try to emulate the mood of the game, since you cant actually recall each and every action taken and line said.

Instead of trying to remember exaclty what everyone did and said and what order it happened in, I'll provide a brief account of events and jump into excruciating detail whenever something funny or interesting happens.

Quick recap 'cause i know you're too lazy to read the whole first part: The gnolls demean themselves by asking for help defeating Asung Takat, a monster that likes killing their kids and destroying their homes. PCs accept and run around in the mud until they meet the monster, a golem like creature in the shape of a tall, skinny stone man with no face. (one player joked that i was describing myself) They destroy it, but do not know that it is actually a spirit bound to eight stone statues, and only by destroying a statue while the spirit is inhabiting it can they kill the thing for good. Nevertheless, they decide to find out where it came from.


So, party roster (the same really, but I like repetition):

Terjon - human, lvl 3 cleric, lvl 3 church inquisitor, lvl 1 divine oracle (yay 3.5)
Volatile Log - half elf, lvl 3 rogue lvl 4 wizard
Aran Beyron - human, lvl 7 druid
Cromweld hardtwerk - human reincarnated as halfling turned wight, lvl 6 sorcerer

The monk was still absent.

Log sent his familiar, a great tit named D-cup, into the skies to look for a giant sinkhole (if anyone reads this that didn't write the adventure, the link is right there at the top).

She came back several hours later and led the group north, and before they knew it the ground opened up before them. As soon as the first party member descends into the hole, a massive bulette attacks. They slaughter it like a pig, a rather entertaining battle including mountian lions pouncing from above and scorching ray critical hits.

On into the buried temple. This part was really awesome for me, since it was the first time the players were really scared. Which is right and proper. Any small to medium sized creature should be scared shitless of a large construct that manages to out-stealth them. Between secret passageways, doors under the surface of 5' high water and a creature that can switch bodies at will, the players were soon frantic.

The group fought off Asung Takat a few times while making their way throught the temple. They were utterly unable to find the trap doors it was using to ambush them, but found the tunnel in the water and started to put together the pieces. They also spent about an hour examining the murals ans symbols found throughout the temple for clues, going as far as comparing the cults holy symbol with the layout of the temple in case it would reveal the location of hidden passageways in the lines. It didn't. Someone said to move on and they did.

They barricaded themselves inside the room outside of the altar chamber and waited to be besieged. They weren't, making them even more scared. Soon they realized noone would attack them while prepared, and they decided to be less passive. They examined the immediate area for magic, and found a necromancy aura in the next room(the crypt of the priests). This prompted them to go the other way(the altar chamber). They first sent Log in to scout, and he was very nearly mauled to death by one of the eidolons. They had noticed how Asung Takat responded to halflings, so Cromweld was next up.

The undead halfling entered the room, and saw eight pedestals. I think six of them were housing eidolons at this point. I then did a thing where all the eidolons were speaking to him, but only one at a time. They sometimes finished each others sentences. Cromweld managed to maneuver the conversation onto their relationship with halflings, and found out that they served a cult of halfling priests. So he tried to get them to obey him as their leader. Asung Takat was too dumb to understand the difference between a live halfling of the cloth and an undead halfling pyromaniac, but he was still smart enough to ask to see a holy symbol. Cromweld had not been looting anything from the temple yet (thats Log's job) but he remembered a symbol he had seen chiseled around the place, and so he tried drawing it on a piece of paper and presenting it. He was lucky to escape the ensuing beating with his unlife.

Oh, I just remembered something. On their way into the altar chamber there was two doors that could only be opened one at a time. Like an airlock. Someone suggested just smashing the mechanisms so they would both open. The room erupted in spiteful laughter. Back to the story.

Hokay, the PCs barricaded the door into the altar chamber. Then they checked out the room with the necromancy aura. Thats right, the crypt of the priests. The aura was from the gentle repose spells on the clergys corpses, and the anticlimax hung in the air like cigarette smoke. Lots of swag could be found on the corpses of the cult, so everyone was happy. However, instead of leaving the place in the dust like any normal, mostly non-good adventuring party would do the group decided that they have to defeat the eidolons to stop them from terrorizing more of the wilderness' innocent inhabitants (gnolls, goblins, werewolves etc.). Noone picked up on the subtle clues I layed out hinting that only one of them could act at a time, so they thought they were going into battle against six rogue eidolons.

The group decided they needed help, and so Terjon cast lesser planar ally. The call was answered by a hound archon, who agreed to be buffed up and smacked around like a piñata. All he asked is that the PCs leave everything they found in the temple behind. I remember wording that so they only had to leave gold, silver and magic items, not for instance those clay tablets. (right up at the top, folks)

The battle went well, the archon survived some heavy hits and Asung Takat got crushed like last paragraphs allegorical piñata. The group lamented not getting to loot the place. They also found that secret chamber with the clay tablets, easing their pain a little bit. And Aran the druid was turned permanently insane by the ordeal.


My players were very happy with the adventure. It was the kind of gaming session where at the end it is so late people have made peace with not getting to work the next day, but they still want to keep playing since they want to know what comes next. They were pumped enough to keep playing even after the dungeon was finished.

I haven't yet told them that the module wasn't my own creation. I will one day, but the plot hasn't come back to bite them in the ass yet, and some of them read Zaks blog on and off. They know where to look, and I honestly fear they will. It stings a little every time someone pull out "that underground temple with the moon amulets and stuff" as one of my best adventures ever. I try to bring up the Evangeliste, a shipborne intrigue I ran them through in Dark Heresy once and that I'm still very proud of, but someone still likes this one best. I'll tell them, I promise. Just not yet.

onsdag 1. september 2010

SAGE play report part 1

Play report of Temple of the Sunken Moon, the response to my SAGE request.

Although the response to my SAGE request was excellent, and mr. Walsh is indeed a gentleman and a scholar, there was one thing I definitely had to change. My players are good, really good. They coordinate their attacks very well, and get as much mileage as possible out of their spells and class abilities. This means they can best a CR 9 monster pretty easily in a fair fight, even without five gnolls to use as meatshields.

I made one major change. Asung Takat now has eight bodies (the statues in the inner shrine), but only one spirit to control them. It can jump between bodies at will, and can only be destroyed by killing the one containing the spirit. This made it possible to add multiple eidolons to the complex without having to throw them at the party all at once, and as a bonus it made the final battle really weird.

I also added a lot of setting specific fluff.

Cast: Cromweld Hardtwerk, undead halfling sorcerer.

Volatile Log (usually referred to as Log), half elf rogue/wizard.

Terjon, human cleric.

Aran Beyron, blind human druid (plays blind on principle, because he feels the druid class is overpowered and he needs a handicap. Has repeatedly proven himself right, the bastard)

There is also a monk in the party, who was absent during this session.

The campaign takes place in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, in the kingdom of Cormyr. The players live in an encampment far into the Stonelands, a desperate attempt to retake the region from barbaric tribes and monsters and settle it with good taxpaying folk. The camp contains about 75 people, with military and trade caravans visiting sporadically.

The party was already between adventures, and since it is fall in my campaign and it had rained off and on for a long time, I could start off Walsh’ adventure right away.


The party is woken in the middle of the night (except for Cromweld, who needs no sleep), by the shouts of one of the guards.

"Alert, alert! Gnolls by the North gates!"

Terjon, Cromweld and Aran march up to the gates, while Log follow carefully behind them.
About half of the guards have gathered in front of the gate, standing in formation with their shields forming a protective wall. The PCs can see a group of five gnolls a few hundred feet up ahead, walking towards them at a slow pace, heads hung low, weapons sheathed. Terjon break up the phalanx, as the gnolls clearly mean no harm.

When the gnolls reach the gates, one of them steps forward and speaks in a broken dialect of the common tongue. “Chief Arakashoko greets you, hairless ones. Our people are in peril, and he asks for your help.”

About this time, father Halfar has managed to rouse himself from sleep, and emerges from the war tent. He looks sternly at the gnolls but remains passive, observing. (I’m not going to start negotiating with myself when the PCs could have something to say)

Terjon asks the gnolls about their troubles. They tell him of a great spirit that hunts their tribe, a creature they call Asung Takat. It has been ravaging their encampments for a little over a week, and the gnolls have had no success in finding a way to kill it. They claim it came from the ground itself, and is working its way south through their lands and towards Deadgoblin.

The PCs are eager to help, and even the xenophobic Halfar agrees, saying the creature should be killed while the casualties are still being taken from the gnoll tribes (saying this aloud in front of the gnolls causes Terjon to flinch visibly, and some murmur can be heard among the gnolls). However, Halfar refuses them to bring any soldiers, in case the whole scheme is a distraction to draw forces out before a gnoll attack.

The gnolls ask the PCs to follow them to their village. They refuse, proposing that they instead meet on neutral ground. They all agree to meet with chief Arakashoko by a great landmark called the Moonstone, in one day's time.


While the other packs the necessary equipment and supplies, Aran takes the shape of a bird and flies into the woods. He makes his way to the great tree where Kutyak took him to perform the ritual of oak, ash and thorn, to look for Bitriel, the leader of the forests druids. He leaves his dog Garm in the care of the other PCs.

He finds her after much wandering around and a few divinations. She has little light to shed on the subject of Asung Takat, whatever he may be, but promises the help of the druids should the creature make its way south to Deadgoblin. Aran says goodbye and curls up beneath a big oak to sleep. (while the player comments sourly on the druids lack of knowledge about eldritch abominations)


In the meantime, the rest of the group marches north along the forests edge, towards the moonstone. The party made a point out of trying to get to the meet before the gnolls, in case it all turns out to be a trick. They reach it at dawn, a perfectly round, white boulder protruding out of the ground on top of a small raise in the terrain. They examine the landscape for possible hiding places and ambush spots, and make a camp when they feel good enough about their chances should the gnolls attack.

A few hours later, they see a group march towards them through the rain, eight gnolls and a big, black bear. The group consists of the same five gnolls that spoke to them in Deadgoblin, plus an old, wretched gnoll accompanied by two more, and his animal companion. (Most of the tribal leaders in the campaign are barbarians, druids or clerics).

The party has no reservation against helping the gnolls, and so negotiations go fairly quickly. Apparently the PCs want to build good relations with the gnolls, or something. Arakashoko tells them that Asung Takat came from a huge chasm in the earth, a long way to the north. He explains that he has brought a survivor of one of Asung Takats attacks, and pushed a maimed gnoll towards the PCs. He has been patched up with the most primitive of medical techniques, but refuses healing magic when Terjon offers.

He describes the attack as quick and sudden. A giant of purple stone with black hands pounced his hunting party and slew one of them before the others could react. It then sprayed black blood from the rune on its face, drenching another gnoll and making him attack his comrades. The beast tore through the group while it turned on itself. The surviving gnoll was hit by a massive fist, and awoke hours later in between the corpses of his friends.

By now, Terjon has heard enough to identify the creature as one of the Rogue Eidolons, divinely constructed guardians of temples and holy sites, turned mad by time and the perversion of their beliefs. The party takes a time-out and exchange wild speculation about its origins and affiliations.

They agree to take a stab at Asung Takat, making the gnolls visibly less tense. Forced pleasantries are exchanged, and Arakashoko takes off, leaving the five original gnolls standing uneasy beside the PCs.


Log sends his familiar, a great tit, to scout the plains looking for the Asung Takat, and the party gets comfortable and waits for her to return. Hours later, she returns from the northeast. She has seen a giant purple creature wandering south from the wreckage of a gnoll camp. The party immediately break camp and set off.

After trudging long and hard through the mud, they reach a large patch of boulders, and the gnolls tell them the ruined camp is getting close. They decide this will be a good place to fight Asung Takat. Log goes off alone to look for the beast, to try and draw it back to the group. He searches the rocky terrain with the help of his bird, and suddenly Asung Takat is upon him. It looks like a statue more than twice his height, long and gaunt, with purple skin and black hands, as described. Its surface is rough from erosion, and where its face should be is a rune that bleeds black.

He runs back between the boulders, just in time to avoid being torn in half. It follows right on his heels, until he manages to maneuver into hiding and flee to a greater distance. He proceeds to shoot a few arrows at it now and then to draw its attention, and draws it slowly towards the groups ambush position.


Log comes running towards the group with the beast hot on his tail. Cromweld throws a fireball from hiding, and it leaps behind a boulder. The gnolls move forward alongside Garm, and Aran start summoning bears, but Asung Takat is nowhere to be seen. Terjon moves to higher ground and sees it lurking out of view from the rest of the group, ready to jump the gnolls. He yells for Cromweld to toss more fireballs in its general direction.Asung Takat rises into view and spews a torrent of black liquid at the gnolls. They start fighting among themselves, but Terjon remedies the situation with a magic circle against evil. Log then enlarges one of the gnolls, doubling its size and forever assuring its role as the leader of the group.

The gnolls keep poking at Asung Takat with their spears, while it tears them down one at a time. Log shoots arrows, Tejron keeps buffing people, Aran produces and buffs a few more animals and Cromweld creeps closer to attack with his more precise spells. He floods its face with a burning hands spell, and for the first time Asung Takat catches a glimpse of the little creep. It screeches and lounges backwards, taking droves of opportunity attacks while it runs panicked between the boulders. The party pursues, and after being hit by arrows and fireballs and rabid wolves, Asung Takat crumbles to the ground. (its spirit fled in the nick of time to inhabit a new body, but the party didn’t know that)


Terjon uses what magic he has left to heal the surviving gnolls, gathering puzzled looks from gnolls and PCs alike. The gnolls bow before the party, and scuttles off home, their mission accomplished.

With Garms help, Aran finds a dry spot under an overhang. The rest of the party wants to press on to check out the hole Asung Takat came from, but Aran refuses. He says they are in no shape to handle whatever may be lurking inside, and when they try convincing him to at least have a look, he scowls and lays down to sleep.

End of session. Also level up for everyone but Cromweld

Note: It may seem like the party simply decided to ambush Asung Takat and then did so shortly after. The fact of the matter is that they spent several hours and many die rolls looking for it, and then discussed both in and out of character how to proceed for half an hour more. Log drawing it out was resolved as a combat situation, with the rounds drawn out to represent several minutes each.

This particular group simply enjoy planning a battle as much as actual combat, and I prefer to let them use their time accordingly instead of on even more fighting.

tirsdag 27. juli 2010

SAGE response

Response to this.

Original request: I'd like to request a small complex of a few rooms featuring a unique and interesting encounter and/or dungeon fixture, i.e. something weird. The encounter itself could require any combination of puzzle-solving, diplomacy, et cetera. The encounter should be unusual enough to inspire curiosity and challenge the players enough to hold their interest.

Ok, what I’m reading is a small part of a dungeon where something interesting happens. I’ll try my darnest.


The following is a small prison (or small part of a prison that has somehow been displaced) for containing elemental creatures of earth, such as mephitis, xorns and gargoyles. There is a spell on the prison that keeps all such creatures in hibernation, and to get further the PCs have to break the spell and get the key from the jailor.

The characters enter a hallway covered in smoke. It has a high ceiling, and it is hard to see anything but smoke overhead. At the end the hallway opens into a room. There are cells set in the wall on the left, and a door on the back wall. Inside the cells lie sleeping earth mephits, and a huge gargoyle with closed eyes is carved into the wall next to the door. There is also a hidden door on the right wall.

The door beside the gargoyle leads to a winding corridor with more cells along it, also covered in smoke. Two large cells contains a big xorn and a stone giant, and there are dozens of smaller cells containing mephits, smaller earth elementals and xorns, and thoqqua. The cells containing burrowing creatures have walls strengthened with metal. All of the inmates are sleeping, and the bars to the cells are magically locked. The players could get through the locks with anti magic or exceptional strength, but normal lockpicking won’t work unless the rogue in question is a true master.

The last cell is locked but empty, and a rough corridor leads right through it as if some enormous burrowing creature entered through the wall and devoured the prisoner. Just beyond the hallway has collapsed, likely because of the same creature burrowing through. The PCs can see a faint light coming from the burrow through the cell bars, and it should lead to wherever you want the PCs to get next. To get out of the prison the PCs need to open this cell.

The hidden door in the first room can be found by examining a few holes in the wall that continually spew smoke. Behind it is a tiny room so full of smoke that the PCs can barely see. In the middle of the room stands a silver chalice with an emerald inside, which is the source of the smoke. A tiny clockwork creature sits in the corner with a box of emeralds in its lap, and every once in a while it will get up and put another gem in the chalice. The box is marked “sleep” in terran, the language of earth. Beside it sits two other boxes, one marked “dream” which is full of rubies, and one marked “anger” full of sapphires.

The automaton will protest madly of the PCs try to take anything from the room, but will otherwise ignore them. It will flee if attacked, leaving all three boxes and the chalice.

The chalice works like this: If you put a precious stone in it, the stone will slowly dissolve into a smoke which has a certain magical effect on earth based creatures. Emeralds make them sleep, rubies make them hallucinate (treat as insane) and sapphires send them into a violent rage.

If the PCs take the emerald out of the chalice, the smoke will quickly clear out of the prison. The mephitis in the cells will be awake when they exit the room, shouting and pleading the PCs to get them out, and the gargoyle will have open eyes.

It will present itself as the jailor, and ask the players what they are doing in the prison. The jailor is very gullible, and the PCs can easily fool it into believing they have a purpose there. However, it is under strict instructions to escort anyone but guards and inmates out of the prison (the way they came), and if it believes they are prisoners it will take them to a cell. If the PCs convince him they are guards, the jailor will inform them that prisoner number 9(choose an inmate appropriate for their level) is awaiting execution. The jailor will attack if they protest any of its orders.

If they kill the inmate, the jailor will do what they ask within reason, such as lending them the keys to the cells (needed to get out). If they kill the jailor, they can just take the keys, and free whatever inmates they wish. Anyone freed will escape immediately, through the wall if they have the ability.

The prisoners will all be trying to get the PCs attention, but the only one with an actual offer is the stone giant. Should the PCs want to talk to him, he will offer a monetary reward suitable for their level and your DMing style. In return, he asks them to kill the jailor and take the keys to the cells.

The last alternative way to get out of the prison is the chalice. The PCs can make the jailor insane with ruby smoke, leading him to drop the keys or ignore the PCs while they steal it. In the meantime he will attack the walls, talk to the air, hurt himself or do whatever you can think of. Making the prisoners hallucinate makes little difference, other than making the whole place stranger.

If the PCs subject the jailor to sapphire smoke, he will try to kill them unless they have convinced him they are guards. In the latter case, he will unlock the cells and start killing prisoners one at a time until one of them defeats him.

If they subject the prisoners to sapphire smoke they will tear at the bars of their cells until they break, and then go straight for the jailor. They will then escape, unless the PCs have attacked one of them, in which case they’ll jump the PCs.

It’ll be hard to subject only one creature to the smoke at a time, since the smoke spreads rapidly through the prison. Most likely, if the PCs put sapphires in the chalice, the prisoners and the jailor will be at each other very quickly. Regardless, the resulting chaos should be more than enough for the PCs to grab the keys.

If the PCs have any other kinds of gems in their inventories, you can either make up other fun effects, or indicate that the gems found in the prison are special in some way, and made for this purpose.

søndag 11. juli 2010


The oldest and most wretched of the fair folk are the hags.

Female fairies mature into hags if they survive past a certain age, usually 100 years. Because of the long lives they have to lead to become hags, most fairies have multiple class levels when they reach this age.

Goblins, pixies, dryads and grigs age to become witches of the woods called green hags. The green hag is wise and cruel, and possesses much knowledge of things that should not be known. They live in deep forests and on secluded hilltops, scheming against the civilized folk and contemplating vile magic.

Nymphs and nixies are fey of unearthly beauty closely linked to the water, often a specific lake or pond. They are incredibly vain creatures, and as they age and their beauty begins to fade, many of them lose their minds to despair and shame. Embarrassed by their appearance, they flee to the water and hide from prying eyes. As they grow old beneath the surface, fish gnaw at their bodies and water seeps into their skin. They transform into hideous crones, so awful to behold that those who do see them become physically ill. These are the least powerful of the hags. They waste their youth playing, dancing and fornicating, and seclude themselves in despair when they become older instead of searching for power.

The few ogre and troll women who live to old age become annis’. The annis is a sadistic predator, taking even greater enjoyment in the suffering of others than their younger counterparts. While the fair folk can digest almost anything and survive on very little food, the annis like to gorge themselves on raw meat and prefer eating the flesh of intelligent beings. Despite their eating habits, annis invariably look thin and famished, and get thinner with age. Exceptionally old annis often resemble undead humanoids.

The oldest and most powerful of the fair folk sometimes enter into dangerous pacts with evil spirits and become night hags. Feared even by other fairies, these creatures live to corrupt the souls of both the living and the dead. They enjoy the emotions inspired by bad dreams, and delight in causing them by riding on the backs of sleeping men. The night hags are the only ones of the fair folk who are not actually mortal, and they never die of old age. Most night hags move on to other worlds when they tire of the prime, others are destroyed by the same forces that gave them their power.

Male fairies almost never survive this long, but the rare few who do undergo similar transformations. For example, while practically all ogres are killed by accidents, humans or other ogres, some possess the wits to stay alive and rise to become ogre mages.