Marsh Tides

Beware the tides of marsh!

This region in Wastaru is filled with mashlands and barrier waters. Looming overhead is a ring of volcanoes which constantly simmer, causing the water to heat up and the local bestiary to panic and stampede. The droopy trees in the marshlands extend out into the ocean about 1/2 mile off of the shore, wherein the water has a black hue and a tar-like consistency. There is death in those waters.

The marsh tides are the home of the kakataur, a prehistoric alligator/lizard/dinosaur beast. These creatures are very deadly, as they blend in to the wilderness and attack with monstrous fangs behind 1/2 ton frames.

The marsh tides are also the home of the slithe, a great serpent of the marsh. These creatures sneak up and then wrap their 20′ long, slender bodies around their prey, leaving them no hope of survival.

The tides rise and fall, leaving the area well ventilated and constantly altered. The paths through the marsh change with each tide, so humans rarely venture into this region, and almost never make it out alive.

(map to follow)

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Ice Kobolds

Ice Kobolds: These Kobolds have a blue-white color to their scales and a natural resistance to the cold (cold subtype: cold immunity). Slightly smaller than other kobolds. They worship the white dragons that live on the arctic shelf and throughout the barrier mountains. There is enmity between them and the beast-men that share these mountians, but they do not make war on each other. They come into frequent conflict with the gnomes and to a lesser extent with the dwarves that live to the mountains to the west of them.

Their king is a fighter 5, sorcerer 8, dragon disciple 5. Also of note among them is a powerful sorcerer who builds fantastic constructs for use as war machines, some in the aspect of the dragons they worship. He often must work with other magic-users to complete these constructs, but has the support of the king and good access to the resources he needs. His constructs always incorporate a magical heart made of a rare and special type of ice-gem that the kobolds mine from the heart of a glacier that looms above their mountain caverns.

Ice Kobold Characters

Ice Kobold characters possess the following racial traits.

* Cold Subtype: Ice Kobolds are immune to cold damage, and take 150% of damage from fire.
* -4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution.
* Small size: +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits ¾ those of Medium characters.
* An ice kobold’s base land speed is 30 feet.
* Darkvision out to 60 feet.
* Racial Skills: An ice kobold character has a +2 racial bonus on Craft (trapmaking), Profession (miner), and Search checks.
* Racial Feats: An ice kobold character gains feats according to its character class.
* +1 natural armor bonus.
* Special Qualities (see above): Light sensitivity.
* Automatic Languages: Draconic. Bonus Languages: Common, Undercommon.
* Favored Class: Sorcerer.
* Level adjustment +0.

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Athiest Domain

An athiest priest does not believe in any gods, instead drawing their power from the faithless and other forces one can believe in. As such, they are a powerful force that works against the holy and unholy powers that be (or be not). Since they do not draw their power from a particular god, they seek not the favors of deities. Instead, they draw power from those in the local populace and vicinity who are unbelievers. Their power differs greatly in different lands. In holy lands, they are neigh powerless, whereas in more godless lands, they usually wield a power equal to clerics of the holier lands.

They wield a non-holy magic, and their spell damage is less healable by their holy and unholy brethren.

They also gain the ability to cast spells to bring about certain non-holy/unholy effects that are otherwise similar to the divine versions. In fact, most spells are available to athiest clerics, though those with holy or unholy in the name or description are strictly forbidden.

The most effective athiest clerics maintain a true neutral alignment, however, all alignments are open to athiests.

At all levels, athiest clerics may attempt to counter any divine magic, called “disbelieving.” This is done similar to the counterspell rules for arcane magic.

Athiest Domain Spells

1st: Shaky Faith – like cause fear but non-holiness.
2nd: Invisibilty to the Faithful – invisibility to anyone of faith. No effect on the faithless.
3rd: Faithlessness – An anti-prayer, same effect but from faithlessness.
4th: Expose – expose one of faith’s hypocrisies.
5th: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt – strike fear uncertainty and doubt in the hearts of men.
6th: Faithlessness Strike – Like flame strike, but with faithlesness as the weapon.
7th: Separation of Church and State – create zones where gods cannot meddle in the affairs of men.
8th: Mass Faithlessness – strike fear, uncertainty and doubt in many hearts of men.
9th: Coincidence – like miracle but emanating from a secular place.

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GenCon part 4

Here are a few video clips from my favorite part of GenCon 2007 – “Monte Cook Speaks”. Here Monte speaks about a variety of things: take a look.

An interview with Monte Cook at GenCon 2007. Monte talks about what it’s like to be at GenCon as a participant instead of a vendor for the first time. He goes on to talk about the removal of demons and devils from D&D in 2nd edition,

Monte talks about “A Paladin in Hell”, and his experience writing that during a time when TSR had removed the demons and devils from Dungeons & Dragons.

Monte talks about the last days of 2nd edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the reasons for the success of 3rd edition, and what that means for the upcoming 4th edition.

Monte gives some advice on getting into the gaming industry.

For more about Monte Cook, check out his site here.

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GenCon part 3

Costumes! There were lots of great costumes at gencon… I didn’t want to just stop people all weekend long and take pictures with my crapy camera, though, so I just took a couple here and there. Here’s a sample of what was to be seen:

So, till next time, here’s me and (young) Old Ben, reminding you to watch who you mess with!

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GenCon part 2

So the True Dungoen was awesome. They wouldn’t let me take any pictures, so sorry about that. I ended up, totally randomly, being put into a party with my buddy Dan who I haven’t seen in a year. I played a paladin. There were two options for the dungeon run, combat and puzzle. We did the puzzle run, which had four or five great puzzles of varying difficulty. Two we just couldn’t figure out at all, and the other three involved some trial and error, and some loss of hit points before we finished them. It was very immersive: everything looked really good, from the decomposed skeleton lying on the ground to the monster costumes, to the floating eyeball and the pitch black “passage through the shadow plane”.

Then, when you were done, you could hang out in the Green Griffon Tavern, a medieval-looking tavern with a cash bar. Dan and I had a drink and caught up. I’m thinking about opening one such tavern here in Austin, right next to the game store, with a bar, snacks, and tables big enough to game on in the back. Whadda you think? Would you come to a medieval tavern, to hang out or to game at?

After that I went to their “black and white” ball, a dance in one of the opulent hotel ballrooms. The DJs were up on a balcony and responded well to requests accompanied by bribes. They kept doing that annoying thing where they’d shut the music off during the chorus, forcing the crowd to shout the words out loud. So basically they hired wedding DJs. But the dance was lots of fun anyway.

So, my favorite parts of the con? Miniatures. I just love those elaborate playscapes, be they large or small. Here’s a couple of pictures of my favorites.

This was the centerpiece of the huge RPGA room: five foot tiles and a life-size troll and beholder.

And of course, lots of small sets (click on any of them for a larger image).

So, check back tomorrow for one more post about my nerd adventures at GenCon, with some of my favorite products I saw there and costumes, costumes, costumes!

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GenCon part 1

So just a few quick notes on GenCon. This is my first time at Gencon but I know already it won’t be my last. I haven’t been to a con in a long time, about 17 years, but I’m really glad I came.

I arrived the first night and just wandered around confused. You’d think that at a gaming convention there would be easier maps. But the real cause of the problem was the sheer size of the thing. GenCon is the entire convention center, all three floors, and all the ballrooms and conference rooms in five or six hotels.

Lots of great costumes too. Another post to come with those pictures soon.

So Thursday was a waste, except for finding out that not only do people still play classic Battletech, but that this company has secured the license and is publishing it, with the rules streamlined, and some sheets for mechs already filled in. It’s like they took all the suck out.

Today was much better. I spent all day going to various forums on game design and publishing, which if you read this blog you can safely assume I’m interested in. I also went to all my favorite publishers in the dealer’s room and talked to them some. The folks at Goodman Games, makers of Dungeon Crawl Classics, and the people at Paizo, who put out Dungeon Magazine, all said they liked the look of the issues of Claw / Claw / Bite! that I brought with me. Plus, I got to touch Monte Cook! So today was a good day.

Look! I’m saying something and Monte is listening to me!!!! —->

Anyway, I’m about to go run through the “True Dungeon”, a life-size dungeon that you actually adventure through yourself! Footage of that coming soon, if all goes well.

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Phase Living

It’s just a phase… he’ll get over it.

This spell was discovered by the elder wizard Faduardo Gantonín in the Phyloctæte, who was hell-bent on prolonging his life. Sadly for him, he never made it very far (only a round forward and a round back), but other mages have since put this magic to good use in less grandiose contexts. Occasionally, mages will need to cast this on themselves to synchronize with items they have phased out of existence, for instance when an object which has had phase object cast upon it is dispelled or otherwise disrupted while the object is out of time (and thus out of mind).

Phase Living (Time / Transmutation) Lvl 7

Transmutation [Time]
Level: Cleric 7, Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Effect: One living being shifts in time in defined cycles
Duration: 1 cycle/level (see text)
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

By waving her index finger and repeating the verbal component, Os-Il-Ayt-Mi, the caster shifts the target in time one round forward or back from the present, alternating back-present-forward-present and so on for 1 cycle/lvl. The caster must continue the verbal component at relative intervals (after each cycle) to maintain the spell. This doesn’t interfere with other spells since the verbal component is so simple.

If cast on an unwilling target, the caster must overcome the target’s willpower.

The Greater version of the spell (9th level) allows the caster to shift a number of beings up to half their level a number of cycles up to their level into the future and past.

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Caesinthurirl, deep forest dragon

This Deep Forest Dragon lives in the far northern reaches of Elsemere Wood.

Caesinthurirl CR 13
male young adult iron dragon
Ng large true dragon
Init: +0 Senses: Listen +?, Spot +?
Aura: frightful presence (DC 23)
Languages: draconic, sylvan, common, elvin, gnome, goblin,

AC: 27 (-1 size, +18 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 27
Damage Reduction: 5/magic
HP: (HD 19d12+76)
Immune: acid and electricity
Spell Resistance: 20
Fort: +15 Ref: +11 Will: +15

MV: 40 ft., burrow 30 ft.
Attack: bite +24 (2d8+6)
Full Attack: weapon bite +24 (2d8+6), 2 claws +19 (1d6+3), 2 wings +19 (1d6+3)
Attack Options: Breath Weapons (wind or electricity)
Space / Reach: 10 ft. / 10 ft.
Base Attack: +19 Grapple: +28

Abilities Str 23 Dex 10 Con 19 Int 18 Wis 19 Cha 16
SQ: DR 5/magic, SR 20, acid and electricity immunity
SA: spells, spell-like abilities, breath weapon
Feats: Name,
Skills: Name +?,

Spells Available: casts as 5th level sorcerer with access to druid spell list and strength domain. Spell DCs are 13 + spell level.
0th: (6/day): resistance, daze, detect magic, arcane mark, read magic, dancing lights
1st: (7/day): shield, mage armor, expeditious retreat, silent image
2nd: (5/day): invisibility, whispering wind

Spell-Like Abilities (Su): 3 / day: calm emotions, wind wall. 1 / day: call lightning. Possessions: horde:

Breath Weapon (Su): A iron dragon has two types of breath weapon, a cone of wind and a cone of lightning. Creatures within a cone of wind must succeed on a strength check opposed by DC 23 or be moved away from the dragon as though bull rushed (1 ft for every 2 points by which the check is failed). The cone of electricity does 10d6 points of damage, and half that on a successful DC 23 reflex saving throw.

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Tinleaf Trupacious

The end result of Faduardo Gantonin’s apprentice Yoranda Delane’s attempts to create an assistant and friend, sinch she had little emotional support from Faduardo or anyone. Locked away in the lab researching Faduardo’s various temporal magicks, she developed the Phase Guardian. Tinleaf Trupacious was meant to be the next step toward more human-like constructs.

It is neither living, nor dead, nor undead. It occupies that space at the intersection of the three. He performs actions as if alive, but cannot think beyond his rudimentary tasks, and does not eat or sleep. It does, however, require maintenance.

Tinleaf Trupacious (CR 4)
Medium Construct

Hit Dice: 7d10+20 (54 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 20 (+10 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+11
Attack: Slam +8 melee (1d6+6)
Full Attack: 2 slams +8 melee (1d6+6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: —
Special Qualities: Construct traits, darkvision 60 ft., find master, guard, low-light vision
Special Defense: Phasing
Spell Resistance: 50%; Immune to all spells when out-of-phase, susceptible when in phase.
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +5
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 10, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 1
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: —
Level Adjustment: —

The tall, lanky figure seems to disappear completely every few seconds, reappearing a few seconds later. For a moment, you can make out the symbol of an hourglass, but only for a moment. Its body seems made of a metallic leafy fiber, which wraps around the carapace like scales or links of a chain.

Forever oscillating in and out of phase with the current time, Tinleaf Trupacious is a slave to time and its master. When one is fashioned, the phase guardian is keyed to a particular magical timepiece. Henceforth, it regards the wearer of that timepiece to be its master, protecting and following that individual everywhere (unless specifically commanded not to do so).

Tinleaf obeys its master’s verbal commands to the best of its ability, although it is not good for beyond simple manual labor and occasionally a simple conversation. It can also be keyed to perform specific tasks at specific times, down to six second accuracy, if it’s in phase when the alarm goes off. The wearer of the timepiece can call Tinleaf from any distance, and it will come as long as it is on the same plane.

Tinleaf is 6 feet tall and weighs a mere 100 pounds. It cannot speak, but it understands commands given in any language, though only in six-second increments, when it phases out of time. Its true master can phase with it, as can any mage with phase self.


Tinleaf was not designed for combat and is thus horrible at it.

Find Master (Su): As long as Tinleaf and its timepiece are on the same plane, it can find the timepiece wearer.

Guard (Ex): If ordered to do so, Tinleaf moves swiftly to defend the wearer of its timepiece, blocking blows and disrupting foes. All attacks against the timepiece wearer take a –2 penalty when Tinleaf is adjacent to its master.

Phase Other (Sp): Forever oscillating in time, Tinleaf must phase through time. If the Phasing is ever dispelled or otherwise disrupted, Tinleaf is trapped in whatever time it is disrupted in, and begins losing hit points at a rate of 1HD/rnd.


Tinleaf is built of tinleaf, a magical plant-metal alloy. The materials cost Yoranda Delane 15,000 gp. The timepiece also runs on two ounces of magesilver, kept within an hourglass that constantly resets itself every round, the amound of time it takes for the magesilver to flow from the top bulb of the hourglass to the bottom one.

Creating the body required a DC 16 Craft (blacksmithing) or Craft (carpentry) check. The keyed timepiece is fashioned at the same time, and its cost (20,000 gp) is on top of the cost of Tinleaf itself. After the body was sculpted, Tinleaf was animated through an extended magical ritual that required a specially prepared laboratory or workroom (she borrowed Faduardo’s). A similar lab, such as an alchemist’s laboratory would cost 500 gp to establish. If the creator is personally constructing the creature’s body, the building and the ritual can be performed together.

CL 9th; Craft Construct, limited wish, discern location, shield, phase other, caster must be at least 9th level; Price 40,000 gp; Cost 32,500 gp + 2,300 XP.


If Tinleaf’s timepiece is destroyed, it ceases to function until a new one is created. If the wearer dies but the timepiece is intact, Tinleaf carries out the last command it was given.

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