Extra Words #1 – End of the summer

Nothing new for today, just a mass of thoughts.

As I mentioned last week, university exams are approaching. This means that I’m quite busy with studying, especially since this might be the last time I have to go through them – just 2 courses to pass and I’ll have my degree. Then a semester of probably doing nothing (meaning I’ll have lots of free time to do something with the blog) and then most likely I will enter the postgraduate program.

Other than that, during the summer I was also cooperating with The Kind GM for something DnD-related we’re looking to release in the DMs Guild. Too early to have something concrete, but we’re getting there. Speaking of, we had released a Rogue archetype called the Saboteur a year ago, so feel free to check that out if you feel like it.

Back to the topic of the blog, I have plenty of ideas that I don’t have the focus/courage/whatever to go for, but I’m hoping that once the exams are done with I’ll be relatively free to experiment – that’s what i was planning for the summer too though, so hopefully it’ll go better this time. I’m definitely planning more Worldbuilding Thoughts and articles in that style, as well as some other things. Besides that, I should also probably be a bit more active on Twitter, besides simply announcing new blog posts.

Moving on to the topic of gaming, I would have definitely liked to play some more – I GM’d a game of Open Legend and played a one-shot adventure in DnD 5e at a local shop, and I was hoping for a few more sessions, but it just didn’t seem to happen. I did play quite a bit of MtG Arena though, which I enjoyed, and I’m also looking forward to Path of Exile’s new Delve league beginning September.

That’s all I have to say today – sure, it was more of a short update than an actual post, but it’s something. I’ll try to see you next week!

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Spider Broodmother

As the title clearly states, today we’re looking at giant spiders – a classic monster that can make an appearance in lots of places. Forests, swamps, crypts, caves, ruins, and more are all valid locations for a giant spider to settle down. However, what I have in mind for today needs quite a bit of space to set up.

The Spider Broodmother is a giant spider that has survived long enough to create a proper lair, with plenty of space and a steady food supply. The spider grows massively in size, losing most of its mobility as it lays hundreds of eggs. Most of them will be cannibalized by their siblings when they are born, but the ones who survive, stay back to hunt and tend to the broodmother, rather than leave to find their own fortune. The explosive population growth that follows is usually enough to decimate the local ecosystem, as spiders hunt more and more to sustain the “colony”. While rare, it is not unheard of for groups of spiders outright attacking villages or small towns as well.

You can find the DnD 5e statblock here. If you plan for your players to stumble upon a broodmother’s lair, make sure to include lots and lots of normal giant spiders (Monster Manual page 328), large areas covered by webs, and piles of desiccated corpses. It’s definitely not going to be a fun experience for them; and if they think they can cheat this out by burning the webs, then they’ll have to deal with enraged giant poisonous spiders on fire – and lots of poisonous smoke as well. For extra spider creepyness, you can also have the broodmother burst upon death, releasing a swarm of smaller spiderlings and a few big ones.

On another note, university exams are slowly approaching. I’ll still post every week, but probably not a new creation every time – maybe some general talk or something like that for the next month.

See you next week!

Tether Gun

Originally I was planning to have something else for today’s post, but the idea for an item randomly popped in my head and it was too good to pass up.

 

The Tether “Gun” (or Staff, or whatever else), as the name implies, creates a physical connection – a tether – between two objects. These tethers can be either visible or invisible, with a maximum length of 30 feet. Linking two items with a tether exerts a force on both of them, pulling them together with a maximum speed of 15 feet per turn – normally, the lightest object is drawn to the heaviest, but if they are of similar mass, you can distribute the speed between them (for example, if they have approximately the same mass, both of them would have a speed of 7.5, if one was slightly heavier than the other, the distribution could be 10 and 5, et cetera). The gun has a range of 100 feet, and you can have as many tethers active at once as you want. The tethers break after 1 minute.

 

Creating a tether is a normal/major action – to make it invisible, you must also expend a minor action. However, to apply one side of the tether to a creature, you must make a normal attack roll against their AC or Guard. As such, if you want to tether two creatures to each other, you must use two turns to hit them both.

 

The effects of the tether can be counteracted with a DC/CR 16 Strength/Might roll, and the tether itself can be broken with a DC/CR 20 Strength/Might roll.

 

As you can probably already imagine, you can have a lot of fun with a tool like this; you can disarm opponents, stick them to walls, stick them together, pop a tether on yourself to climb a wall, tether something to an opponent’s face to blind them, etc. With a bit of imagination, it’s going to be great fun, without I think being too powerful – you can’t directly damage someone with it, so it’s mostly a supportive tool.

 

I hope you have fun with it, and thanks for reading!

Scranton Reality Anchor

A somewhat unique item today, with quite the story behind (and ahead) of it. The Scranton Reality Anchor (SRA), also known with the earlier name Lang-Scranton Stabiliser (LSS), is an item that originates from the SCP fictional universe. For those of you unfamiliar with SCP, it is a collection of short stories written about a fictional secret organisation, called the Foundation, which has the mission of protecting humanity from anomalous or paraphysical items, creatures, and phenomena. Each SCP – Special Containment Protocol – has information about what is actually contained, what it can do, and often also has several extra information such as testing logs, interviews, and more. With almost 4000 SCPs on the site, and numerous other stories, it is an extremely rich universe that can suck you in for days, alternating between absurd, comical, and grimdark (or all at once).

 

The SRA in particular is not an SCP on its own, but its origins are mentioned in SCP-3001, detailing the fate of Doctor Robert Scranton, the creator of the LSS, the object’s precursor.

 

Scranton Reality Anchors, as the name implies, are used to stabilise reality in an area, neutralising reality-warping objects or powers and helping (sometimes) with the containment of dangerous (Keter-class) SCPs. There is a whole lot of “theory” about how reality is measured and manipulated in the SCP universe, including a metric called “Hume” – you can read more here and here.

 

A normal SRA is a not something that can be carried around. It has tremendous power requirements, as it relies on wormholes leading to alternate dimensions to siphon Humes. However, it is also an incredibly powerful piece of technology, able to neutralise all but the most powerful of reality warping phenomena.

 

Open Legend

 

Legendary Item

 

Every creature or item within the Scranton Reality Anchor’s area of effect with an extraordinary attribute of 5 or lower has that attribute’s level reduced to 0. If the extraordinary attribute is at level 6 or higher, the creature must make a Fortitude roll with a CR of 30 or have that attribute reduced by 5.

 

The Anchor’s range can be up to you to determine, depending on the SRA’s construction and power supply. It can range from a few dozen feet, to up to a few miles.

 

I’m not going to include a DnD version, because it already has its own version of SRA in the form of antimagic fields.

 

Thanks for reading!

Berserker Axes

A few days ago, I was playing some Open Legend with a couple of friends, and I had a couple of items for them to stumble upon. Well, more accurately, they’d find only one, while it’s pair was lost centuries ago – but there would be a chance for it to turn up later. These items were a pair of enchanted battleaxes, belonging to a legendary Viking berserker (that I, in a flash of unparalleled inspiration, named Olaf). I thought about not posting the second axe to avoid spoilers for my players, but they’re kind of a set, and it wouldn’t do to keep them separate.

 

Blood and Thunder

Battleaxe, WL 5

 

Once per day, you can enter Battle Trance. If you already have access to Battle Trance, you can instead ignore the Fatigue bane applied to you the first time your Battle Trance ends each day.

While under the effects of Battle Trance, you can use Reckless Attack once per combat.

While under the effects of Battle Trance, you defenses increase by 3 against lightning damage.

While under the effects of Battle Trance, once a day when hitting or being hit by an enemy, you can summon a bolt of lightning that deals 1d6 damage to that enemy.

 

Fire and Fury

Battleaxe, WL 5

Once per day, you can enter Battle Trance. If you already have access to Battle Trance, you can instead ignore the Fatigue bane applied to you the first time your Battle Trance ends each day.

While under the effects of Battle Trance, you can use Destructive Trance once per combat.

While under the effects of Battle Trance, you defenses increase by 3 against fire damage.

While under the effects of Battle Trance, once a day when hitting or being hit by an enemy, you can summon a burst of flame that deals 1d6 damage to that enemy.

 

If a character holds both weapons, they gain added benefits. There are the following:

Both axes gain the Deadly 1 property.

If you kill your target through the use of Reckless Attack granted by Blood and Thunder, you instantly regain the 5 HP expended to make the extra attack.

If you kill your target through the use of Destructive Trance granted by Fire and Fury, you can use it a second time this combat.

Your defenses against fire and lightning damage increase by 5, instead of 3, when under the effects of Battle Trance.

 

You can have your players find one of the two axes – I went with Blood and Thunder – and tease the existence of the second one, sending them on a quest to claim it. This quest can be a grand, important adventure or just a quick side trip. I still don’t have a concrete version for DnD 5e, but it will most likely involve the barbarian’s rage feature. Speaking of rage, while Open Legend’s Battle Trance is a bit more open-ended in interpretation (for example, it can be a sniper or monk getting in a state of extreme focus etc), I think it’s more fitting for the Battle Trance granted by the axes to take a more primal, bloodthirsty form, especially for characters with access to some other form of it. It doesn’t have to actually impact the player’s decisions, but if they roleplay it that way, well, more power to them (and maybe a Legend Point to them as well).

That’s all for today, thanks for reading!

Riot Police Squad

For today, rather than a single creature, I have a full group prepared. If there’s big trouble in the streets, or if your players are being a bit more confrontational than you want them too (or, to put it clearly, they’re being vicious murderhobos), maybe it’s time for a police squad to make an appearance – one that’s suitably trained and equipped to deal with the situation, of course.

 

The main concept for this group is that they are a team – they compliment each other’s strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses. The one i’m talking about here might be a police squad, but it can easily adapted to be military, mercenary, or criminal -the principles remain the same.

 

The team is composed of 5 members. First, we have a Pointman: heavily armored and with a riot shield, they protect the other members or disrupt enemy groups by going into melee. Second, a Grenadier: armed with a grenade launcher, their main arsenal consists of tear gas and flashbang grenades to incapacitate the team’s targets. Third, a Drone Specialist: they control a large variety of mostly support drones, using them to oversee the battlefield and direct the team to the proper positions. And lastly, two Marksmen, armed with low-power electrolaser rifles (acting as tasers and blinders).

 

Total level for this group is 12, making it a moderate difficulty encounter for a 4-person level 3 party. Only Open Legend stats for this encounter, since it’s a modern/futuristic group.

 

Pointman

 

NPC Level: 3

HP: 22

Guard: 16

Toughness: 16

Resolve: 15

Speed: 35’

 

Attributes

Might 5 (2d6)

Agility 3 (1d8)

Fortitude 4 (1d10)

Protection 3 (1d10)

 

Special

Filter Mask: The Pointman has Advantage 2 on checks to resist the effects of poisonous or debilitating gases (chemical weapons, tear gas, etc), and enemies have disadvantage 2 on attacks or banes that rely on such effects.

Barrier Emitters: The Pointman has Advantage 1 to invoke the Resistance boon, but can only affect themselves.

Sprinter: The Pointman’s speed is increased by 5’.

 

Actions

Resistance 3: Protection 3 (1d10), Advantage 1

Baton Strike: Might (2d6) vs Guard, single target.

 

Grenadier

 

NPC Level: 3

HP: 16

Guard: 15

Toughness: 15

Resolve: 14

Speed: 30

 

Attributes

Agility 4 (1d10)

Entropy 5 (2d6)

 

Special

Grenade Launcher: All of the Grenadier’s attacks use grenades, with medium range (75’) instead of close range (25’).

CS gas canisters: The Grenadier can ignore up to 2 levels of Disadvantage for area multi-targeting for their Barrier action.

Flashbang: The Grenadier can apply the Blinded bane with area multi-targeting on a 10×10 cube, ignoring area multi-targeting Disadvantage.

 

Actions

Barrier 5 (Damaging, Obscuring): Entropy 5 (2d6), 10×10+ area.

Blinded 5: Entropy 5 (2d6) vs Toughness, 10×10 area.

 

Marksman

 

NPC Level: 2

HP: 18

Guard: 15

Toughness: 15

Resolve: 14

Speed: 30

 

Attributes

Agility 5 (2d6)

Energy 5 (2d6)

 

Actions

Blinded 5: Energy 5 (2d6) vs Guard, single target, medium range.

Stunned 4: Energy 5 (2d6) vs Guard, single target, medium range.

Laser Rifle: Energy 5 (2d6) vs Guard, single target, medium range.

 

Drone Specialist

 

NPC Level: 2

HP: 15

Guard: 13

Toughness: 13

Resolve: 14

Speed: 30

 

Attributes

Agility 3 (1d8)

Logic 3 (1d8)

 

Special

Scanner Drones: The Drone Specialist carries up to 5 drones on him, but can have up to 3 on the air at a time. He can see through their on-board cameras as if using the Seeing boon, using a Heads-Up Display in his helmet. The Drones have Prescience 5, Perception 5, 5 HP, and 10 to all defenses.

 

Actions

Blindsight 5: Prescience 5 (2d6)

Truesight 5: Prescience 5 (2d6)

 

As you can see, each one of them might not be much of a threat on their own, or even if there’s more than one – but their abilities combined make them quite the formidable opponents. Grenadiers for area denial and crowd control – tear gas forces people to move to positions they might not want to, opening them up for the marksmen to take them out. Tear gas can also act as a smoke screen, concealing the pointman as he rushes the enemy or the marksmen moving to a better position. Meanwhile, the drones can detect most enemies, even through smoke or walls, allowing the team to coordinate and plan accordingly.

 

Since we’re talking about a police group, none of them would resort to lethal measures unless seriously pressured; any time someone gets to 0 hit points from their attacks, they are simply unconscious instead of dead. In case you want a more lethal group, consider adding normal fragmentation grenades to the Grenadier, as well as a normal handgun. You can also equip the Pointman with a shotgun or machine pistol – and of course ignore the incapacitation part i mentioned just before. You can also equip the Marksmen and the Drone Specialist with a variant of the ALFA weapon system, removing the Deadly 2 property.

The Return

After more than a month of inactivity, I’m back. Free from the cruelty of college exams, I now have all the time in the world to focus on the blog and other stuff (like Path of Exile and MTG Arena).

 

I’ve made a short reconstruction of the blog – changed the theme, and added some pages to consolidate everything i’ve created so that you can easily find it. I’m still playing around with how exactly everything will be presented, but for now it’s a solid improvement over the previous layout.

 

On the “Creations” menu up top, you’ll find every item and creature I’ve posted, organised and with links to the original article as well as an image with just the stats. They are divided into fantasy and scifi – as well as an extra category for items converted from Path of Exile.

 

Speaking of, i have a few more contributions to that particular list; more specifically, i now have the following items converted as well:

 

 

For now, only DnD 5e conversions are listed, but Open Legend will be there by next week too. I’m also considering looking into some other systems – Pathfinder, Shadowrun, WH40k – for the items and creatures. Nothing set in stone yet, but something i’ll look into.

That’s all for today. Regular posting schedule resumes: new posts every Sunday, with the next few posts probably leaning towards the modern/science fiction side of things.