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Days 23 & 24: Toys & Eve

Well, I might not have posted consistently on-time, but I’m finishing on time. Here’re the last two days of the OSR Christmas Calendar. If you’ve never watched the short film from where the image below comes, you’re wrong. Click on the image to start being right.

Evil things hide in the dark. They haunt lightless places, hungering and waiting for a chance to terrorize and hurt, and children are all too often these monsters’ preferred prey. If only champion toys were more common.

1E Stats

Frequency: Very rare
No. Appearing: 1-12
Armor Class: 3
Move: 12″
Hit Dice: 3+3
% in Lair: 90%
Treasure Type: Nil
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: 1-8
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: Any good
Size: S
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defens Modes: Nil
Level/XP Value: IV/185 XP + 4 XP/hp

A champion toy appears to be a normal toy, usually some sort of stuffed animal such as a bear or a dog. Indeed, much of the time, a champion toy is nothing more than a child’s plaything. At night, in darkness, or when evil is near, however, a champion toy comes alive to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Legends say that champion toys are brought to life by the spirits of holy warriors who died in battle.

A champion toy can detect evil at will. It makes all saving throws as a 5th-level fighter with a +2 bonus on the dice. A champion toy is immune to all diseases, including magical ones. It can use cure light wounds twice per day and cure disease once per day to heal another creature. When within 10 feet of a noncombatant or otherwise helpless creature, a champion toy continually emanates protection from evil in a 1″ radius.

It attacks with natural weapons or a perhaps a toy weapon. Regardless, its attacks are treated as a magical weapons for determining what creatures it can damage, and a champion toy’s attacks inflict double damage (2-16) against the undead and evil extraplanar creatures.

A champion toy is fearless. It cannot be affected by fear or similar magic, and it never fails morale checks. When reduced to fewer than 6 but more than 0 hero points, a champion toy attempts a saving throw versus death magic. If it succeeds, it immediately recovers 3d4+3 hit points (but its hit point total cannot exceed its normal amount).

5E Stats

Tiny celestial, any good

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 18 (4d4+8)
Speed 30 ft.
Ability Scores STR 10 (+0), DEX 18 (+4), CON 14 (+2), INT 11 (+0), WIS 16 (+3), CHA 15 (+2)
Saving Throws STR +2, DEX +5, CON +4, INT +2, WIS +5, CHA +4
Skills Perception +5
Condition Immunities charmed, diseased, exhaustion, frightened
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Celestial, Common
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Champion Aura: When within 10 feet of an incapacitated creature, the champion toy and the incapacitated creature are affected by protection from evil and good. The champion toy does not have to concentrate to maintain this effect.

Champion Fortitude: If damage reduces the champion toy to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is necrotic or from a critical hit. On a success, the champion toy drops to 1 hit point instead.

Champion Weapons: The champion toy’s melee attacks are magical. When the champion toy hits a fiend or an undead with a melee attack, the attack deals an extra 9 (2d8) radiant damage.

False Appearance: While the champion toy remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary toy.

Innate Spellcasting: The champion toy’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 11). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components.

At will: detect evil and good
2/day: cure wounds (other creatures only)
1/day: lesser restoration (other creatures only)


* Champion Attack: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, depending on the champion toy’s specific form of attack.

December 24th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Days 21 & 22: Winter & Surprise

Before today’s post, did you know that I wrote an OD&D style dwarf class for 5E D&D? Well, I did. You can find the playtest draft at this link.

And now, a new monster:

Abominable snowmen hunt icy landscapes for the sheer pleasure they derive from inflicting pain. These monsters hail from the Paraelemental Plane of Ice, a frozen waste formed where the Planes of Elemental Air and Water intersect.

1E Stats

Frequency: Very rare
No. Appearing: 1-6
Armor Class: 6
Move: 15″ (see below)
Hit Dice: 4+4
% in Lair: 10%
Treasure Type: O, Q
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attack: 1-6/1-6
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: Neutral evil
Size: M
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defens Modes: Nil
Level/XP Value: V/325 XP + 5 XP/hp

An abominable snowman attacks with its claw-like fingers. If both claw attacks strike the same creature, the snowman’s target must make a saving throw versus paralyzation. A failed saving throw means the target becomes slowed for 1-3 melee rounds. Each of these rounds, the victim also suffers 1-6 points of damage from the unnatural cold caused by the snowman’s elemental powers. Twice per day, a snowman can form a wall of ice from snowy or icy terrain, and once per day it can use cone of cold. These powers function as if the snowman were a 9th-level magic-user.

In snowy, icy terrain, an abominable snowman is invisible and silent so long as it does nothing but move no more than 15′ per round. When stealth is not desired, a snowman moves across predominantly icy or snowy terrain with remarkable speed and agility. Otherwise, its movement rate is 12″. A snowman takes half damage from piercing and slashing weapons, but bludgeoning weapons inflict normal damage. Of course, a snowman is immune to cold-based attacks, but it is very susceptible to fire, suffering 50% greater damage from such attacks.

5E Stats

Medium elemental, neutral evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 67 (9d8+27)
Speed 30 ft.
Ability Scores STR 18 (+4), DEX 13 (+1), CON 16 (+3), INT 10 (+0), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 12 (+1)
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Aquan, Auran
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Arctic Adaptations: In icy or snowy terrain, the abominable snowman is magically invisible and inaudible so long as it does nothing but move no more than 15 feet per round. The abominable snowman treats ice and snow as normal terrain.

Innate Spellcasting: The abominable snowman’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 11). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components.

2/day: wall of ice (only in icy/snowy terrain)
1/day: cone of cold (9d8 cold damage)


* Multiattack: The abominable snowman makes two claw attacks. If both attacks hit a target, the target must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 14) or be slowed (as the spell). A creature affected by this ability makes another Wisdom saving throw at the end of its turn. On a successful save, the effect ends, but the effect lasts no more than 3 rounds.

* Claws: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10+4) slashing damage.

* Unnatural Cold: A creature slowed by the abominable snowman’s claw attacks takes 9 (2d8) cold damage at the start of its turn.

December 24th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Days 19 & 20: Sweets & Guests

As every adventurer learns, often the hard way, the “magical mixtures and compounds which comprise potions are not always compatible” (1E DMG, page 119). Mixing two potions, whether externally or internally, may cause devastating results. Everyone has heard about how Grunner the Gluttonous exploded after he imbibed both a potion of dragon control and a potion of fire resistance in rapid succession. If only he had eaten one of Mely’s Munificent Morsels before quaffing that second potion.

1E Stats

Mely’s Munificent Morsels: Usually found in a simply decorated wooden box about 1 foot wide, 1 foot long, and 3 inches think, Mely’s Munificent Morsels appear to be a selection of 10-20 fine chocolates that radiates magic if such can be detected. The candies are tasty and do not melt or spoil so long as they remain protected by their box. A creature already affected by a potion should consume a morsel before imbibing a second potion. If the creature does so, the d% roll on the Potion Miscibility Table (1E DMG, page 119) is modified by +25% if the dice score is less than 26. If the dice score is 26 or higher, the morsel has no effect (although it is tasty).

5E Stats

Mely’s Munificent Morsels
Wondrous item, uncommon

“A character might drink one potion while still under the effects of another. …. The strange ingredients used in creating potions can result in unpredictable interactions” (5E DMG, page 140), but these magical morsels can mitigate the possible negative effects. By consuming a morsel before drinking a second potion, the d100 result of the Potion Miscibility table is modified by +25% if the d100 result is less than 26. Otherwise, the candy has no effect other than pleasing the palate. Mely’s Munificent Morsels are usually found in a simple wooden box that preserves the chocolates from melting or spoiling. Such a box typically contains 2d6+8 chocolates.

Many cultures, especially those dwell in extreme environments such as the arctic or burning deserts, often place great emphasis on the importance of hospitality, even hospitality to strangers. Refusing a traveler lodging for the night during the winter months may be tantamount to a death sentence. At the same time, appearances can be deceiving. That haggard, sunburnt traveler may be some sort of monster in disguise. Such malevolent creatures violate the rules of hospitality, spreading xenophobic caution that has more than once caused an otherwise good person to refuse shelter to one in need. More than once, the one rejected has gone on to die of exposure, sickness, or hunger.

And so one evil causes another that gives rise to a third, a gwrthod, an undead monster motivated by conflicting desires to find acceptance and to terrorize those who offer hospitality to others. Gwrthods are not common monsters, but they are almost always encountered in communities. They hide during the day in lightless places, emerging at night to terrorize and murder.

1E Stats

Frequency: Very rare
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 8
Move: 9″/9″
Hit Dice: 6+6
% in Lair: 50%
Treasure Type: D
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attack: 1-4 plus 1-4 cold/1-4 plus 1-4 cold
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: 30%
Intelligence: Very
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Size: M
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defens Modes: Nil
Level/XP Value: VII/1,075 XP + 8 XP/hp

A gwrthod appears to be haggard, emaciated humanoid with distorted features and twisted limbs. Its eyes are lightless holes. It prefers sleeping victims, but its gaze causes sleep capable of affecting creatures up to 8 Hit Dice (no saving throw). A sleeping victim can be simply murdered. Against conscious foes, a gwrthod attacks with its supernaturally cold claws. A victim who suffers cold damage from a claw attack must make a saving throw against death magic or lose 1 point of Wisdom and become slowed. The Wisdom drain is permanent, and a creature whose Wisdom drops to 3 or less becomes obedient to the gwrthod (as if affected by charm monster). A creature remains slowed for a cumulative 1-4 rounds per failed saving throw.

Once per day, a gwrthod can use phase door as if it were a 14th-level magic-user. It uses this power to gain access to victims as well as to riddle its lair with invisible portals. A gwrthod is immune to sleep, charm, and fear. It takes no damage from fire and cold, and it cannot be harmed by nonmagical weapons. A gwrthod can be turned as it were a spectre.

5E Stats

Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 55 (10d8+10)
Speed 25 ft., fly 25 ft. (hover)
Ability Scores STR 11 (+0), DEX 15 (+2), CON 13 (+1), INT 12 (+1), WIS 16 (+3), CHA 14 (+2)
Skills: Perception +5, Stealth +4
Damage Immunities cold, fire, necrotic, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, frightened, poisoned, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Any languages it knew in life
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Innate Spellcasting: The gwrthod’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 12). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components.

At will: charm person (only against a target damaged by its cold touch), misty step

Magic Resistance: The gwrthod has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Sleep Gaze: When a creature that can see the gwrthod’s eyes starts its turn within 30 feet of the gwrthod, the gwrthod can force it to make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw if the gwrthod isn’t incapacitated and can see the creature. If the saving throw fails, the creature falls unconscious (as if affected by a sleep spell). Unless surprised, a creature can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If the creature does so, it can’t see the gwrthod until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If the creature looks at the gwrthod in the meantime, it must immediately make the save. Undead and creatures immune to being charmed are not affected by this ability.


* Multiattack: The gwrthod makes two attacks. It either uses its claws twice, or it makes one claw attack and one cold touch attack.

* Claws: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d10) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.

* Cold Touch (Recharge 5-6): Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d8) cold damage.

December 23rd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Days 17 & 18: Dance & Mistletoe

Come now, a roundel and a fairy song. / Then for the third part of a minute, hence— / Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds, / Some war with reremice for their leathern wings / To make my small elves coats, and some keep back / The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders / At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep. / Then to your offices and let me rest. — Act II, Scene 2, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

You find yourself in the land of faerie attending a dance in the court of the Faerie Queen. What happened during the dance, and how long were you there?

Of course, take some time to roleplay the dance, the specific event that happens during the dance, and the effects of the difference in time between the land of faerie and the mortal world, especially if time passes differently for each character that attends the party.

The mistletoe, however, is but rarely found upon the robur; and when found, is gathered with rites replete with religious awe. This is done more particularly on the fifth day of the moon, the day which is the beginning of their months and years, as also of their ages, which, with them, are but thirty years. This day they select because the moon, though not yet in the middle of her course, has already considerable power and influence; and they call her by a name which signifies, in their language, the all-healing. Having made all due preparation for the sacrifice and a banquet beneath the trees, they bring thither two white bulls, the horns of which are bound then for the first time. Clad in a white robe the priest ascends the tree, and cuts the mistletoe with a golden sickle, which is received by others in a white cloak. They then immolate the victims, offering up their prayers that God will render this gift of his propitious to those to whom he has so granted it. It is the belief with them that the mistletoe, taken in drink, will impart fecundity to all animals that are barren, and that it is an antidote for all poisons. Such are the religious feelings which we find entertained towards trifling objects among nearly all nations. — Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Book XVI, Chapter 95

1E Info

Once a year, a druid of at least 9th level can ritually harvest 2-8 uses of consecrated mistletoe. When used as a material component for a druid spell, the druid gains the full and best effects from the spell. For example, a cure wounds spell heals the maximum number of hit points, spell effects are of the broadest area possible, saving throws against the spell are made with a -1 penalty, et cetera.

5E Info

Once a year, the druids of the Circle of the Moon harvest mistletoe in a special ritual that starts at sundown and culminates in the sacrifice of two white bulls. This consecrated mistletoe has powerful effects when used as a material component for a druid spell.At the end of the ritual, make an Intelligence (Religion) check. For every 4 points in your total, you harvest one point of Metamagic, with each point representing a certain amount of consecrated mistletoe. You can use the consecrated mistletoe to cast spells, expending points of Metamagic to affect a spell in a manner similar to the way a sorcerer can twist his or her spells (see pages 101-102, PH).

December 20th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Days 15 & 16: Sleigh & Reindeer

According to legend, a famous bishop of a distant land earned the love and respect of the people through his unstinting generosity and unwavering commitment to justice. Where the customs and laws of his land were hostile to true law and good, he took bold action to help the downtrodden and oppose tyranny. After his death, new tales told of his benevolence delivered to the needy from beyond the grave.

1E Stats

Silver Sleigh and Reindeer: These figurines of wondrous power, cast from purest silver, depict a tiny sleigh and four reindeer. Upon speaking the command word, they transform into a full-sized sleigh and four clockwork reindeer. The sleigh and reindeer can be used a maximum of 1 day each week, either continually or in any combination of periods totaling 24 hours. At this point, or when he command word is repeated, the sleigh and reindeer return to their original form.

A single reindeer pulls the sleigh at a 12″ movement rate either over ground or flying. Each additional reindeer used for this purpose increases the speed by 12″, for a maximum speed of 48″. A single reindeer has an air maneuverability class of E. Each additional reindeer improves the air maneuverability class by one category (two reindeer equals D, three reindeer equals C, and four reindeer equals B). A reindeer can carry 280 pounds, and the sleigh can carry up to four man-sized creatures with a combined weight of 1,120 pounds. Reduce speeds by -1″ for each additional 14 pounds carried.

The clockwork reindeer can detach from the sleigh in order to fight or obey simple commands (AC 5; MV 12″/12″; HD 6 (27 hp); #AT 1; D 2-12; SD half damage from nonmagical weapons, immune to effects that require a living target; INT semi-; SZ M). A reindeer reduced to 0 hit points cannot be brought back from statuette form for 1 full week.

5E Stats

Silver Sleigh and Reindeer
Wondrous item, very rare

Upon command, this set of silver figurines of wondrous power becomes a full-sized sleigh pulled by four clockwork reindeer. They can be used for up to 24 hours in a one week period. Each reindeer has a carrying capacity of 280 pounds, which means the team can move up to 5,600 pounds when the sleigh is full (see page 155, PH). The reindeer pull the sleigh at a speed of 30 feet, plus 15 feet for each additional reindeer after the first (for a maximum speed of 75 feet either over ground or flying). The clockwork reindeer can detach from the sleigh upon command in order to fight. If a clockwork reindeer is reduced to 0 hit points, it immediately reverts to figurine form and cannot be used again for one week.

December 19th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »