Posts Tagged ‘ 5E D&D ’

Day 6: Red

The red pestilence originates in twisted alchemical laboratories overseen by thralls of Orcus. On the Material Plane, certain of Blood Lord’s most favored servants have the ability to animate a zombie infected with the red pestilence. Such a zombie is no mindless slave to spell’s caster. Instead, demonic intelligence motivates this zombie to spread the red pestilence.

1E Stats

A living creature of the same type as the zombie was in life may contract the red pestilence from the zombie’s bite. The base chance of contracting the red pestilence is 10%, plus a cumulative 2% per hit point of damage inflicted by the zombie’s bite. Other modifiers related to the chance of contracting a disease also apply (see page 13, DMG).

The red pestilence is a magical malady that affects the brain/nervous system. It is always chronic and terminal. Each hour, the victim loses 1 point each of Intelligence and Dexterity (no saving throw). If either score reaches 0, the victim dies, and rises again in 1d4 rounds as a red pestilence zombie. Also each hour, the victim must make a saving throw against spell or become mad for 5d12 minutes (treat as confusion, rolling to determine effect every minute). An infected victim may expose others to the red pestilence, especially during violent fits of madness, as determined by the DM.

A good-aligned cleric may cure a victim of the red pestilence by casting both cure disease and remove curse on the victim prior to the victim’s death. Lost points of Intelligence and Dexterity are not restored by this means. A victim who dies from the red pestilence cannot be restored to life except by extraordinary means since the victim’s soul becomes imprisoned by Orcus in the Abyss.

Frequency: Very rare
No. Appearing: 1-8
Armor Class: 6
Move: 9″
Hit Dice: 4
% in Lair: Nil
Treasure Type: Nil
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attack: 1-6/1-6
Special Attacks: Diseased bite (1-8)
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Low
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Size: M
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defens Modes: Nil
Level/XP Value: IV/175 XP + 4 XP/hp

A red pestilence zombie is faster, stronger, and smarter than a normal zombie. It attacks with its clawed hands. If both claw attacks hit the same target, the red pestilence zombie makes a bite attack with a +4 “to-hit” bonus. The bite inflicts 1-8 points of damage and exposes the victim to the red pestilence as described above.

A red pestilence zombie can be turned as if it were a wight. It is immune to poison. Sleep, charm, and hold spells do not affect this monster. It takes half damage from cold, electricity, and fire. Holy water vials score 4-10 hit points of damage for each one which strikes.

5E Stats

A target bit by a red pestilence zombie must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become infected. Symptoms manifest 1d3 hours after infection. The infected creature becomes irritable and sensitive to sensory stimuli. The infected creature also gains one level of exhaustion that cannot be removed until the disease is cured. Each hour thereafter, the infected creature must make a DC 15 Constitution save to avoid gaining another level of exhaustion that cannot be removed until the disease is cured. A failed saving throw also temporarily deranges the creature for 1d4 minutes (as per confusion). If the infected creature dies from exhaustion, the creature rises again in 1d4 rounds as a red pestilence zombie.

Lesser restoration does not cure the red pestilence, but greater restoration cast by a good-aligned cleric does. A victim who dies from the red pestilence cannot be restored to life except by extraordinary means since the victim’s soul becomes imprisoned by Orcus in the Abyss.

Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 45 (6d8+18)
Speed 25 ft.
Ability Scores STR 14 (+2), DEX 10 (+0), CON 17 (+3), INT 8 (-1), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 7 (-2)
Saving Throws Wisdom +2
Damage Resistances cold, electricity, fire
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, poisoned, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Diseased Bite: As a bonus action against a target hit by its claws, a red pestilence zombie can make a diseased bite attack. It makes this attack with advantage. A target damaged by the monster’s diseased bite may contract the red pestilence.

Undead Fortitude: If damage reduces the red pestilence zombie to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 5 + the damage taken) unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the red pestilence zombie drops to 1 hit point instead.


* Claws: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) slashing damage.

* Diseased Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) piercing damage.

December 8th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Day 5: Snow

In the distant south, steaming jungles vanish as rocky highlands become dominant and the climate grows cooler until the world turns in little more than sparse evergreen forests, rocks, ice, and snow. Those few clans that scratch out a life from this inhospitable land call it Arktinis, a word that translates into Common meaning something like “home” or “suffering”.

Legends say that once upon a time Arktinis was a warm land full of wild game, sweet water, and abundant berries and nuts. Whether it was a frost giant shaman’s curse or an ice-devil-haunted portal to some frigid hell, winter came to the land, and it hasn’t left since. Arktinis is truly cursed, and few travel far into its interior and return again to tell the tale. Those rare survivors bring back stories of fearsome monsters, such as trolls that breathe fire and giant furred serpents with venom that turns blood to ice. The interior is difficult to navigate, and sources of food and potable water are scarce.

Foraging & Not Getting Lost: In the interior of Arktinis, Wisdom (Survival) checks to forage and to not get lost are made with disadvantage. Should a party become lost due to a failed Wisdom (Survival) check, it takes 1d12 hours before the party’s navigator can repeat the Wilderness (Survival) check in order to get back on course.

Freezing Cold: The temperatures in Arktinis seldom rise above 0 degrees Fahrenheit for long. Whenever the temperature is at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, a creature exposed to the cursed cold of Arktinis must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw, made with disadvantage, at the end of each hour to avoid gaining one level of exhaustion. Creatures with resistance or immunity to cold damage automatically succeed on the saving throw, but creatures wearing cold weather gear (thick coats, gloves, and the like) do not. Creatures wearing cold weather gear must still succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw to avoid gaining one level of exhaustion, but they do not suffer disadvantage when doing so.

A creature can be immersed in frigid water for a number of minutes equal to its Constitution score before suffering any ill effects. Each additional minute spent in frigid water requires the creature to succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw, made with disadvantage, or gain one level of exhaustion. Creatures with resistance or immunity to cold damage automatically succeed on the saving throw.

Treacherous Footing: Slippery ice is difficult terrain. When a creature moves onto slippery ice for the first time on a turn, it must succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check, made with disadvantage, or fall prone. Thin ice has a weight tolerance of 3d10 x 10 pounds per 20-foot-square area. Whenever the total weight on an area of thin ice exceeds its tolerance, the ice in that area breaks. All creatures on broken ice fall through.

Of course, the monsters native to Arktinis never suffer the negative effects of the region’s curse. Speaking of those monsters, those who die of starvation or exposure in Arktinis may rise again as Evils-That-Devour.

1E Stats
Frequency: Rare
No. Appearing: 1-12
Armor Class: 8
Move: 12″ (see below)
Hit Dice: 1+1
% in Lair: 25%
Treasure Type: B (x1/2), T
No. of Attacks: 3
Damage/Attack: 1-3/1-3/1-6
Special Attacks: Rake for 1-3/1-3, surprise 1-4
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Low
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Size: S (3′ tall)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defens Modes: Nil
Level/XP Value: III/52 XP + 2 XP/hp

The horrid evil-that-devours appears as an emaciated, dessicated humanoid creature the size of a young child or halfling. It moves quickly and silently, surprising targets 4 times in 6. It attacks with its claws and fangs. If both claws hit, it rakes with its back claws for two more attacks for 1-3/1-3 points of damage. The evil-that-devours moves across snow and ice at normal speed. It is immune to cold, poison, charm, and sleep.

5E Stats
Small undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 22 (5d6+5)
Speed 30 ft.
Ability Scores STR 10 (+0), DEX 15 (+2), CON 13 (+1), INT 6 (-2), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 7 (-2)
Skills Stealth +4
Damage Resistances necrotic
Damage Immunities cold, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Iceborn: The evil-that-devours treats ice and snow as normal terrain.


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

* Fangs: Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d8) piercing damage.

* Voracious: The evil-that devours is always starving. If it hits with its bite, it grapples (escape DC 12) its target. Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained, and the evil-that-devours cannot use its fangs on another target. The evil-that-devours can use its claws, but it makes melee attacks with disadvantage against a target other than the one it is feeding on.

While attached, at the end of each of its turn as a bonus action, the evil-that-devours cause its target to lose 4 (1d8) hit points due to blood and tissue loss (no attack roll necessary). The evil-that-devours can detach itself by spending 5 feet of its movement.

December 5th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Day 4: Carols

College of Cheer and Good Tidings
Bards associated with the College of Cheer and Good Tidings celebrate joyous events and help others celebrate those events as well. These festive bards sing folk songs, carols, birthday ditties, and so on, performing in homes, around campfires, in taverns, in royal courts.

When times turn troubled and situations become dire, bards of the College of Cheer and Good Tidings go out among the stricken to help bolster spirits, to encourage the frightened, and to bring light-heartedness to darkened places.

Bonus Proficiencies
At 3rd level, you become proficient with Athletics, Religion, and Vehicles (land). You add double your proficiency bonus to Athletics and Vehicles (land) when the activity involves ice or snow.

Enliven the Spirit
Also at 3rd level, when you use your Song of Rest to help revitalize wounded allies during a short rest, those allies regain extra hit points as normal, but they also gain inspiration.

Unavoidable Sing-Along
At 6th level, you can perform a catchy rendition of a popular tune. Each enemy within 30 feet of you that can hear your performance must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature becomes charmed for a duration equal to concentration, up to 1 minute. While charmed, the creature does its best to sing along with you. The charm ends for an affected creature if it takes any damage or if someone else uses an action to shake the creature of its musical reverie. This feature expends one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration.

Indefatigble Soul
At 14th level, your joie de vivre reaches its highest level. You have advantage on ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws against effects that control or manipulate your mind or emotions. When you use Charisma (Persuasion) to influence a creature, you double your proficiency bonus so long as the creature can understand you and what you’re persuading the creature to do involves cheer and good will.

December 4th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Day 3: Bells

Far to the east in the rugged mountains of an uncivilized land, jungle tribes of humans live in simple villages, growing rice, peas, sugarcane, and spices, some of which find their way into civilized markets, brought by ships or caravans. Centuries ago, this land of rice and spices was ruled by belligerent princes, the sons of a great king who in his twilight years divided his land and turned his mind toward heavenly things. This king reckoned that he could secure a place in the Upper Planes by honoring the gods of those planes, something he had failed to do throughout his life.

And so the king commissioned foreign bell founders to cast an enormous bell that would sound on the anniversary of his death. He sent out soldiers to his provinces and rounded up hundreds of able-bodied men who, under threat of torture and mutilation, set to the task of building a great mausoleum and temple. In its former capacity, it would hold the king’s body, his most valued possessions, and two score specially chosen servants and wives who would be interred alive with their monarch. In its latter capacity as temple, it would honor the deeds of the gods of the Upper Planes, serving as a place of pilgrimage for the faithful. Thus, the gods would be pleased with the king and grant him a place among their ranks.

The bell was completed first and installed some three hundred yards to the east of the mausoleum-temple. By this time, slaves had labored for a nearly a decade on the first floor and crypts of the king’s grand folly. The suffering of the slaves was a blight upon the land, and the costs of the bell and the construction threatened to bankrupt the kingdom. The people murmured against the king, and the king’s sons met to discuss what to do.

First, the princes’ spies confirmed the rumors of the king’s madness. The gods, far from pleased with the king’s arrogance, touched his mind, stirring up obsessive thoughts about ever more elaborate ways to please the heavens. Dozens of bizarre rituals consumed the king’s waking hours. He had to eat three eggs every morning as the sun rose, eating each one facing a different direction, but never facing the west. He wore mismatched boots. Every other door in his palace had to be bolted, and every other window was left unshuttered.

When an earthquake struck the region of the mausoleum-temple, a falling tree hit the bell, causing it to sound. The facade of the mausoleum-temple cracked. The princes seized upon this event, convincing their deranged father that the gods were displeased with his wasteful ways. Construction was halted, and those men who survived the years of hard labor returned to their homes.

A few days after construction was halted, guards burst into the king’s bedchambers and murdered him. The princes interred his body according to the king’s instructions, selecting several of their enemies to serve their father in the next life. In short order, the princes took to squabbling and then warring among themselves. Civil war destroyed the kingdom. The jungle reclaimed much of the land. The king’s bell and unfinished mausoleum-temple remain. The jungle tribes know the place is cursed, and they avoid it entirely. Their elders believe that the king’s bell will sound again, heralding the dead king’s return.

Whatever sleeps in the mausoleum-temple possesses great power and greater evil. Its presence has twisted the environment within and around the mausoleum-temple.

Lair Actions

When the dead king fights inside his lair, he can invoke the ambient magic to take lair actions. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the dead king takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects:

* The dead king calls forth the angry spirits of those who died building his lair. The spirits attack one creature that the dead king can see within 60 feet of him. The target must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw, taking 36 (8d6) necrotic damage and being dragged 120 (7d6 x 5) feet away from the dead king on a failed save. On a success, the target takes half as much damage and is not dragged away by the wailing cloud of spirits.

* The dead king’s undead servants within the lair act as the dead king’s eyes, ears, and voice. As a lair action, the dead king can bolster one of his undead servants by having it act as his proxy until initiative count 20 of the next round. The bolstered undead makes attacks and saving throws with advantage, and it gains 14 (4d6) temporary hit points. The temporary hit points fade after the dead king stops using the undead creature as his proxy.

* The dead king warps the structure of his lair at will. He chooses one creature he can see within 60 feet. The target must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw to avoid being entombed, surrounded by stone walls (as per wall of stone).

Regional Effects

The region containing the mausoleum-temple is profaned by the dead king’s evil, which creates one or more of the following effects:

* Giant spiders and monstrous insects infest the region. These creatures act as the dead king’s eyes and ears if they are within a 1 mile radius of the dead king’s lair.

* Within the 1 mile radius of the dead king’s lair in which giant spiders and monstrous insects act as the dead king’s eyes and ears, the jungle assumes a hostile quality as well, making it easier for the dead king’s eyes and ears to move unseen and unheard. Giant spiders and monstrous insects within 1 mile of the dead king’s lair make Dexterity (Stealth) checks with advantage.

* The jungle shifts and twists within a 6 mile radius of the dead king’s tomb. Trespassers in the area always treat the jungle as at least a lightly obscured area, which imposes disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight. Wisdom (Survival) checks to avoid getting lost or to follow the tracks of another creature are made with disadvantage.

If the dead king is destroyed, the supernatural link between him and the giant spiders and monstrous insects breaks immediately. These creatures lose the ability to make Dexterity (Stealth) checks with advantage as well. Within 3d10 days, the jungle around the dead king’s lair ceases to shift and twist.

December 3rd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

December 2: Cinnamon

Since at least 20 centuries before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, people have used cinnamon. It was a gift fit for a king or even a god. Its sources in places like India were carefully guarded secrets, and cinnamon growers exported this valuable spice via merchants who had no hand in the spice’s growth and harvesting. Wikipedia claims that Herodotus wrote that cinnamon sources were guarded by winged serpents, but Wikipedia errs. It is frankincense that is guarded by winged serpents, as Herodotus makes clear by writing, “For the trees which bear the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents, small in size, and of varied colours, whereof vast numbers hang about every tree.”

Herodotus notes that Arabian merchants cannot say where cinnamon comes from or from what tree the spice originates. “Where the wood grows, and what country produces it, they cannot tell”. Herodotus relates that cinnamon’s origin might be Phrygia. The cinnamon sticks are harvested only after large birds have used those sticks to make their nests. The nests “are fastened with a sort of mud to a sheer face of rock, where no foot of man is able to climb. So the Arabians, to get the cinnamon, use the following artifice. They cut all the oxen and asses and beasts of burden that die in their land into large pieces, which they carry with them into those regions”. The merchants then “withdraw to a distance, and the old birds, swooping down, seize the pieces of meat and fly with them up to their nests; which, not being able to support the weight, break off and fall to the ground. Hereupon the Arabians return and collect the cinnamon, which is afterwards carried from Arabia into other countries.”

So, to sum up, somewhere cinnamon trees grow. The location of those trees is a secret guarded by cinnamon growers. Cinnamon sticks are presumably cut and left to dry during the harvest season. At this time, large birds take the sticks to build nests on sheer cliffs. The middlemen cinnamon merchants lay out fresh meat beneath the cliffs. The large birds swoops down, carry the meat back to their nests, but the nests cannot support the meat’s weight. The nests fall and break, and the merchants collect the cinnamon sticks.

No wonder cinnamon was so valuable!

Pliny the Elder says in The Natural History that cinnamon cost 10 denarii per pound, but that price is controlled by a single monarch who restricts the supply in order to inflate the price, which once caused cinnamon to sell for 1500 denarii per pound, although this extreme inflation may have been the work of barbarians who burned the cinnamon forests or due to “the south winds that prevail in these parts [that] are sometimes so hot as to set the forests on fire.”

Fixing the relative value of ancient units of currency is tricky. During the period of the Roman Republic (approximately 509-27 B.C.), a legionary was paid about 0.3 to 0.6 denarius per day, but he probably had pay for his own food. In other words, using Pliny’s lowball price for cinnamon, one pound of the spice would cost about a legionary’s entire month’s pay. The 1E DMG sets the salary for a heavy footman as 2 gp a month; therefore, a pound of cinnamon costs 2 gp, which is what the 5E PH sets the price at on the Trade Goods table.

Unfortunately, inflation has ruined the cinnamon market in 5E. Maintaining a modest lifestyle costs 2 gp per day, which is twice what an unskilled worker made per month in 1E. According to the 5E PH, soldiers are among those who live modest lifestyles. This means a soldier makes 60 gp per month, which is 30 times what he made in 1E. It only seems fair in keeping with cinnamon’s history that the spice’s price should increase as well. In 1E, a pound of cinnamon costs 2 gp. In 5E, due to edition inflation, that same pound of cinnamon costs 60 gp.

Also, about those birds: Here’s the cinnamologus for you to use.

1E Stats
Frequency: Rare
No. Appearing: 2-12
Armor Class: 7
Move: 6″//24″
Hit Dice: 3
% in Lair: 75%
Treasure Type: Nil
No. of Attacks: 3
Damage/Attack: 1-4/1-4/2-8
Special Attacks: Dive attack
Special Defenses: Eyesight
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Animal
Alignment: Neutral
Size: M (4′ tall, 12′ wingspan)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defens Modes: Nil
Level/XP Value: III/65 XP + 3 XP/hp

Cinnamologi build their nests out of cinnanom sticks, adhering these nests to cliff walls with a mixture of mud and grass. Their eyesight is such that they are never surprised unless encountered in their lair or at night. If they attack by diving 50 or more feet, they add +4 to hit probability, do double claw damage (2-8/2-8), but get no beak attack. They can carry up to 1000 gold pieces at half speed.

Cinnamologi are aggressive raptors that prey on a variety of animals smaller than they. These birds also scavenge carrion. If a nest holds young (25%) or eggs (50%), cinnamologi attack any creature that approaches too close. There will be 1-4 young or eggs per nest, and one nest per pair of cinnamologi. The nest of cinnamologus weighs about 500 pounds, and roughly half of that weight is cinnamon sticks.

5E Stats
Medium beast, unaligned

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 55 (10d8+10)
Speed 15 ft., fly 60 ft.
Ability Scores STR 12 (+1), DEX 17 (+3), CON 12 (+1), INT 2 (-4), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 8 (-1)
Skills Perception +4
Senses passive Perception 14
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Keen Sight: The cinnamologus has advantage of Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Dive: If the cinnamologus moves at least 50 ft. in a straight line toward a target and then hits it with its talons attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 8 (2d6+1) slashing damage. If the target is a creature not larger than the cinnamologus, the target must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.


* Multiattack: The cinnamologus makes two attacks: one with its talons and one with its beak.

* Talons: Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d6+1) slashing damage.

* Beak: Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8+1) slashing damage.

December 2nd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »