Claw/Claw/Bite is a resource for storytellers and gamemasters to help create thrilling worlds of adventure for your players to test their mettle in. In each issue, you’ll find new characters, creatures, magic items, encounters, and locations for use in your campaigns. We also include little nuggets that will enrich your world with interesting details and intriguing features.
Our goal is to be a “one-stop shop” for you, the gamemaster. With little or no tweaking on your part, you will be able to drop any game element from Claw/Claw/Bite into your adventure setting and run it how you see fit. All of our creations are designed for d20 fantasy rules. And of course, everything is carefully reviewed and balanced to fit into your game without disrupting your play balance or angering the old ones.
This issue of Claw/Claw/Bite includes:
* A new feat, Coordinated Attack
* A new bard ability, Inspire Truth
* A new domain, Sound
* Twelve new spells including Anti-Magic Missile and Vitriolic Blast
* Two new creatures, Birdswarm and Wallflowers
* Nine new magic items, including Buckler of Hum and Robes of the Sea
* A new artifact, the Sorrow of Ard Shurel
* Two mundane items, Mage Purse and Tweed of Blending
* Two encounters, the Chamber of the Old One and the Witch’s Watchdog
* And introducing Ale Break: The DM’s Editorial, first impressions of 4th ed.
Posted in news and tagged CCB issue by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
The topic of this first editorial is a popular one these days: the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Like many of you we got our hands on the new rule books earlier this month and started up a new campaign to play “Keep on the Shadowfell”. We’ve played two sessions of that game so far and I have been enjoying it immensely. Of course the caveat is that this is just my first impression as we’ve only hit 2nd level and had less than ten encounters so far. But overall I think 4th edition is excellent. The writing is clear and imaginative, and things are clearer than they’ve ever been in D&D. The downside is that that clarity and simplification of parts of the game has eliminated a lot of the fun flavor that has always made Dungeons and Dragons capture the imagination so strongly.
The thing I like about 4th edition the best is the balancing of the classes. I’m playing in this game, but I usually DM, so I really appreciate the effort they’ve made to keep power levels even across the classes, and the work they’ve done to keep the rules exploits to a minimum. Even the powergamer in our group seems happy with it, and every character has an important role to play in every fight we’ve been in. One of the central tenants of the design seems to be strictly limiting each player to one standard action per turn. Unfortunately this streamlining seems to have eliminated druids altogether, along with summoning spells. More on that below.
I like the way they’ve changed the non-combat magic into rituals that any character can potentially use. My character is a dragonborn warlord with the multiclass wizard feat, and I’m excited to be in a party that doesn’t need a wizard or a cleric to benefit from powerful magics.
And I like the way combat flows in 4th ed, with character’s turns going quickly, no more durations to track, and the ability that many powers give you to act on other’s turns, helping allies and hindering foes. The addition of minor actions is also a big improvement. The game-rules aspects of the game are stronger and in many ways more fun.
On the downside, some of the work done balancing the classes and feats can make the characters feel a little cookie-cutter compared to 3rd edition. It’s nothing like 1st or 2nd though, where every 10th level fighter is exactly the same. But the choices, especially in the feats, feels limited. Even worse are the skills, where I really miss the profession and craft skills. Of course, the 3rd edition skill system had problems in these areas as well (ie- there’s a ride skill, but no sailing skill), but 4th edition leaves the players and the DM to work these things out for themselves. I could definitely see a group of inexperienced gamers asking “my character wants to re-forge his father’s broken sword!” and the group getting bogged down in weather or not his character can know how to do that. Hopefully good groups will roll with it and role-play it out somehow, but it was nice to have non-conflict-oriented character details presented to you as an option. It lent substance to my claim when I said my wizard grew up a goat-herd for him to have a few skill points in Profession (farming). In terms of game play, I worry about non-combat challenges being viable with such a limited set of skills.
The lack of Druids, Bards and Barbarians is lamentable. I assume there is another book in the works, or perhaps one for each class, to cover these fantasy staples. The lack of evil clerics in the player’s is also disconcerting. For me a big part of D&D has always been the scariness of the bad guys, and clerics that can’t raise an army of the dead just feel wrong. The DMG suggests replacing their radiant damage with necrotic, but it feels like a poor solution. Maybe October will see another edition of the Book of Vile Darkness to cover these things (are you listening, Monte?). And the lack of summoning spells is also distressing. Other than a flaming sphere, you can’t really call powerful allies from beyond to aid you, and neither can the bad buys. One of Claw Claw Bite‘s first posts in October will be a power that summons elementals. This power will be designed to stay within the rules balance of 4th edition and bring back my favorite thing from 1st edition about summoning them. Stay tuned to see that.
So why all this talk of October? In October this year Wizards of the Coast is planning to release a new OGL-style rules-set for 4th edition that updates the d20 license and allows 3rd party publishers like us to release material for 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons. So while we’re already writing material for 4th edition, and plan on releasing adventures for both 3rd and 4th edition, we can’t release any of that material until October when that license is made available. Under the terms of that license we can release products for both editions for 6 months at which point we are only allowed to release material for one edition or the other. So we have to make a decision in April 09 about which version we’ll continue to support. We hope to hear from you about which you’d prefer, but we have almost a year to see what the gaming community in general thinks about 4th edition, and 6 months putting out material for 3rd and 4th edition.
So, what do you think? Leave a comment here at clawclawbite.com, or write us at email@example.com to let us know.
Posted in 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons, Editorial by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Prankster Pixie CR 10
poison pixie sorcerer 8
chaotic evil female small fey
Init: +2 Senses: Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages: Sylvan, Common
AC: 20 (+2 dex, +4 mage armor, +4 shield) touch 12, flatfooted 12
HP: 28 (HD 10d4)
Resist: +2 vs enchantment & charm, Spell Resistance 23, Damage Reduction 5 / cold iron, %50 miss chance from blink
Immune: magical sleep
Fort: +3 Ref: +5 Will: +8
MV: 30 ft.
Attack: +7 dagger (1d4-1) or +7 shortbow (1d6)
Space / Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Base Attack: +5 Grapple: +4
SA: sorcerer spells, spell-like abilities
Feats: weapon finesse, spell focus enchantment, greater spell focus enchantment
Abilities Str 8 Dex 15 Con 11 Int 12 Wis 13 Cha 19
Skills: Bluff + 17, Concentration + 6, Knowledge (Arcana) + 1, Spellcraft + 5.
Spells Available (DC 13 + spell level, +2 vs enchantment)
0th (6/day): guidance, ray of frost, prestidigitation, daze, ghost sound +4
1st (7 /day): sleep, color spray, reduce person, shield, mage armor
2nd (7 /day): hideous laughter, invisibility, scorching ray
3rd (6 /day): hold person, blink
4th (4 /day): dimension door
Spell-Like Abilities: 3 / day – disguise self, suggestion, command and charm person. (DC 13 + spell level – saves are charisma based)
Possessions: dagger, shortbow, 10 arrows.
Familiar: snake familiar.
Posted in Creature and tagged fey by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Presented here is the first encounter in the upcoming adventure “Anointing the Seer”. Here, a group of giants have taken up residence in a cursed cathedral. Dangerous magic briers guard the exterior, and within the brutes feast on the trapped townsfolk. Feel free to drop it into your games to use as you see fit.
Seat of the Seer
This temple is much transformed after the attack on it. It is surrounded by magical briars, and inside giants feast on the townsfolk, who have been polymorphed into animals.
In order to enter the temple via the doors one must somehow pass through the patches of brier brambles that block the doorways. If the plants are not killed then they must be defeated in an opposed strength check (DC 19) in order to open the doors. Other methods of entry include teleportation or flying or climbing up and breaking through some of the stained glass windows on the east face of the temple. Either method requires navigating the brambles, which will attempt to grapple the intruders.
The smell of offal, greasy cooking fires and death permeate this area. The interior of the temple is also sparsely overgrown with patches of the thorny brambles which push up through the flagstones. Several dead peasants and acolytes are caught in their branches. The stone walls are adorned with tapestries of the Seer’s visions and the stories of the petitioners helped by them. Several carcases worth of bones lie upon the floor.
Creatures: Nearly 100 domestic animals cower in the temple. They are the temple priests and townsfolk who had come to observe the coronation, polymorphed into sheep, pigs and dogs. Several giants and and an air elemental have been left behind by the vengeful family to ensure that the temple is not re-inhabited.
Tactics: The brutes will likely be roused by anyone entering the temple and will have assembled to defend it. The giants may attempt to push intruders into the brambles as they fight, and will mercilessly bludgeon anyone caught in them. Similarly, the air elemental will attempt to scoop up the rear ranks of any intruders in its whirlwind form and drop them into the brambles. If the group is defeated, the air elemental will return to the warlock to inform him that someone has reclaimed the temple. The giants will fight to the death.
Traps: The exterior of the temple and portions of the first room are overgrown with the effects of the brier brambles spell. Anyone entering the area of the spells effect risks entanglement and the plants sleeping poison.
Treasure: Almost the only thing left in the temple’s treasury is a scroll of break enchantment that the temple priest (in his form as a ram) will bring to the party if they are otherwise unable to disenchant the villagers. The giants have little of value on them.
Development: Once the giants are slain and the elemental has fled, the party should be able to disenchant the remaining animals, who creep cautiously up to the PCs once the violence has ended.
Once freed they will relate what happened: the new priestess was in the process of being anointed when a holy trance came upon her. Her eyes rolled up into her head and she began speaking in a strange, strained, voice. “I see… doom! The drake… he is brought low by his son…” The peasants go on to inform their rescuers that a witch and two warlocks, one young and one of middle age, suddenly appeared in a burst of flame and interrupted the anointing of the new Seer and turned them all into animals. One of the older villagers, the abbot of the temple, will angrily go on to identify the witch as the evil old witch who used to live in the village, but was driven off years ago. Some say she inhabits a farm nearby in the wild woods, and the players will be given sketchy directions by one of the village’s hunters.
Posted in Encounter and tagged Anointing the Seer, Location by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Size/Type: Medium Monstrous Canine (Earth)
Hit Dice: 8d8+25 (64 hp)
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares), fly 60 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 18 (+3 Dex, +5 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+8
Attack: Claw +11 melee (1d6+7)
Full Attack: 2 claws +11 melee (1d6+7) and bite +9 melee (1d8+6) and gore +9 melee (1d8+6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Trip
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/magic, darkvision 60 ft., freeze, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +5
Abilities: Str 25, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 7
Skills: Hide +9*, Listen +6, Move Silently +2, Spot +8
Feats: Multiattack, Toughness, Fly-by-attack
Organization: Solitary, pair, pack, or wing (5-16)
Challenge Rating: 6
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Advancement: 7-9 HD (Medium); 10-14 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: +6
Wargoyles often appear to be quadripedal winged stone statues, for they can perch indefinitely without moving and use this disguise to surprise their foes. They require no food, water, or air, but often eat their fallen foes and their mounts out of fondness for inflicting pain.
Wargoyles speak Common and Terran, and also communicate as canines.
Wargoyles either remain still, then suddenly attack, or dive onto their prey from above, as they hunt in the night sky. When they work in pairs, packs, or wings, they often attempt to flank their opponents, taking advantage of the confusion and low light. They have also been known to scoop up their prey and drop them from high elevations.
A wargoyle’s natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Freeze (Ex): Much like a gargoyle, a wargoyle can hold itself so still it appears to be a statue. An observer must succeed on a DC 20 Spot check to notice the wargoyle is really alive.
Trip (Ex): A wargoyle that hits with a bite attack can attempt to trip its opponent (+11 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the wargoyle.
Wargoyles have a +2 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot checks.
*The Hide bonus increases by +8 when a wargoyle is concealed against a background of stone.
Posted in Creature and tagged magical beast by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
These arrows are magically held snakes with fletching on their backs (provides aerodynamics) that are released from their stasis upon impact with a target, dealing 1d6+3 damage. Targets struck by the arrows must make a fortitude save or be afflicted by poison. Which type and the DCs for the rolls depend on the snake.
Slow poison DC 25 – delays 10 rounds before 1st save, then 2d4 strength damage.
Fast poison DC 20 – delays 5 rounds before 1st save, then 1d6 dexterity damage.
Instant poison DC 15 – 1st save when struck, 1d10 constitution damage.
The snakes may engage the target (%50 chance, attacks as a small viper), or slither off into the grass, back to meet up with their owner.
Moderate Necromancy and Minor Enchantment; CL 9th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, poison and charm animals; Price 1,500 gold
Posted in Magic Item and tagged missile, poison by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
A bard of 5th level or higher with 8 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use music or poetics to create an effect similar to zone of truth for all those in range of the song. The song or poetics must continue for the effect to continue, requiring the concentration of the bard playing the song or reciting the poem. The bard playing the song is not affected, and other bards who recognize this song receive a +5 bonus on their Will saves to ignore the effect.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged ability, song, sonic by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
This armor is made from the same magical mix of adamantium and diamond that Glass Swords are constructed from. As armor, this material is not only as tough as the finest steel, giving a +1 enhancement bonus to AC, but also protects the wearer from magical effects.
When targeted by a spell there is a %50 chance that the spell is reflected. This operates like spell turning, with the exception that the spell bounces off the plate mail’s surface in a random direction (roll d8 for scatter direction) and distance (2d12 -1 squares). If a creature is in the square that the spell is reflected into, it is instead the subject of the spell. This ability is the equivalent to a +4 enhancement bonus in terms of magic item price.
Major Abjuration; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, spell turning, caster level 17; 25,000 gold
Posted in Magic Item and tagged armor by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Prerequisite: either sneak attack +1d6 or Intelligence and Wisdom 13
Benefit: This feat allows two or more characters who have this feat to coordinate their attacks. To use this feat, all characters who wish to coordinate their attacks must delay their actions until the last character in the coordinated attack. Then, for each melee attack that any of the characters are successful in landing, the characters can choose to deal a single temporary point of damage each to either strength or constitution.
Posted in Uncategorized and tagged feat, melee by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.
This +2 hammer, when slammed to the earth deafens those within 15 feet. A DC 20 is required to avoid this effect within 5′, a DC 18 for those within 10′ and a DC 16 for those within 15′. Those wielding the hammer are immune to this effect, though they tend to be a bit hard of hearing after a few uses.
Minor Evocation; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, sound burst, caster level 7; 10,000 gold
Posted in Magic Item and tagged sonic, weapon by Stephen Hilderbrand with no comments yet.