September 23, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Monsters] Mangy wolf

I needed a low level wolf to make road travel a little more dangerous.
Here we go:

Mangy wolf; Level 2 skirmisher {XP 125}
Medium natural beast
A starving wolf, looking at you like the Christman buffet.
Initiative:+5; Senses: Perception +7; low-light vision
HP: 37; Bloodied: 18
AC: 16; Fortitude: 14; Reflex: 13; Will: 12
Speed: 8
Bite (Standard; at-will)
Although clearly weakened by the hunger, his bite is still pretty strong
+6 vs. AC; 1d4+3 damage.
After biting you they try to bring you down
If two mangy wolves are flanking an enemy and both their bite attacks hit, the enemy is also knocked prone at the end of the second attack
Now there's nothing between your neck and their teeth.
A mangy wolf deals +1d4 damages against an enemy who was prone at the start of the mangy wolf’s turn.
Alignment: Unaligned
Languages: -
Equipment: -

The art is provided by Crystalthespaz.
Here his DeviantArt page

Comments will be welcome as usual!

September 19, 2008

[4E] [Rules] Mage's familiar

This is a rewrite of my mage's familiar rule from the 3.7 experiment, just for the Blog Carnival.
Here the details.

A familiar is the soul of a small creature stored in an energy body shaped like the creature's old form.

Any tiny creature can become a mage's familiar. The familiar is "stored" inside the caster's body and can be taken out at will.
Summoning or dismissing a familiar is a free action, but if summoned in combat the familiar can act only the next time the caster can act, with the caster’s initiative.
When summoning a familiar the caster must give some of his hit points to the familiar, with the minimum of 2HP/caster's level.

Until the familiar is dismissed the caster's maximum hit points is lowered of the same amount of the Hit Points given to the familiar. When dismissed the maximum hit points of the caster goes back to the previous value.

When dismissing a familiar, the caster is not healed in any way, just the maximum hit points value increases, not the actual value. If a familiar dies, the caster does not regain his maximum hit points value until the next dawn. He can summon the familiar again, paying another time the HP cost although.
In any given moment a caster cannot have more than one familiar summoned.

The caster can command the familiar with his will, using free actions, but cannot see with the familiar' eyes or feel what the familiar feels.
The caster can cast through the familiar any close spell, but to do so he must have the familiar in line of sight. Once the spell is cast the familiar can abandon the line of sight. (e.g. to follow an enemy)

Familiars have the same attack bonus as the caster and AC of 10 + half of the caster's level + the caster's INT bonus.

All familiars have a base land movement of 6 squares.
Every familiar type has a special ability that he can use freely like a normal creature.
Bird: Fly
6 squares.
Cat: Half of the caster's level + the caster's INT bonus ranks in Stealth skill
Fish: Swim
6 squares.
Spider/lizard: Climb 6 squares.

September 13, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Design] Dungeon design pt.1

-----If you are one of my players, go away!

How do you design a dungeon?

Let's start from the beginning. My campaign was the Paizo's Rise of the runelords and last year we played the first module. When the 4th edition came out my players asked me to switch, so I have to convert all the campaign to 4E.

Some of the players changed PC, some players joined and some are sticking to a conversion of their old ones, so I need to run a couple adventures to connect the 3.5 part with the new characters.
I was reading a couple of promising adventures from Paizo: Hollow's last hope and Crown of the kobold king, ready to modify them introducing my plot elements and redesigning all the encounters.
The good side is that some of the plots, some of the ideas, some of the fighting scenes are really cool.
The bad side is that around every corner some random monster are waiting for the PCs. Around EVERY FUCKING CORNER some FUCKING RANDOM monster I've said.
Let's make an example: in Cotkk the PCs enter in a kobold infested dwarven outpost (keep the kobold-themed dungeon in mind).
First room: some kobolds minding their business. Ok for me.
From this room the PCs can take 3 passages:
- One leading to a Grick
- One leading to 2 Shocker lizards in a fountain.
- One leading to 5 Stirges.
The PCs can ignore the first three doors and continue in the corridors just to find.
- A trap with 2 vargouilles.
- A wandering Gelatinous cube.
None of these monsters are trained, enslaved or friendly with the kobolds, by the way.

For me that's a really BAD DESIGN.

So, I've decided to keep the structure of the adventures and redesign all the dungeon design, 4E empowered.

Here we go again with the first question: How do you design a dungeon?
Last night I've invited a friend of mine (an architect fiend of mine) to play Wii and tricked him into dungeon design first.

STEP 1. What do you want?
First of all he made me list everything I know about the encounter I was planning to do on it.
The following fights are for sure:
- Forge spirit
- Gelatinous cube
- 3 kobold encounter
- 2 kobold boss encounter
- 1 dragon mommy encounter
So I need an 8 encounter dungeon. Way better than the 33 room dungeon of the Cotkk (31 encounter on 33 rooms -.-')

STEP 2. What do you know?
Then we listed everything I know about the dungeon. That's the hard part. I don't know yet so much of it. I know it was a really ancient dwarven stronghold, I know there's a forge (haunted), I know underneath the stronghold there are some tunnels.
Ok, putting all together we have a Stronghold built on a mine, well known in the ancient times for metal extraction and weapon (normal melee) crafting.

STEP 3. What the dwarf need?
The idea is to make a 2 level dungeon.
The first level will include the following:

  • A forge
  • Kitchen+refectory
  • Entrance to the mine
  • Storage rooms
  • Sleeping quarters
  • A guard post
The second level is still to be designed...

STEP 4. Rough Sketch
Here we go:
>click to enlarge<

Nothing of what you see is in scale, so don't be too fast with the criticism.

On the next post: The map explained, the encounter areas and the first encounter version 1 and 2.

September 10, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Monsters] Mech-a-Kobold

Hi to everyone! Back from my holidays I'm ready to finish the kobold series (3 to go!). We have met all the standard troops. Now it's time for the elite one.

A Mech-a-kobold is a mix of traps and mechanisms made of wood and iron somehow shaped like a big humanoid. Inside a very small and thin kobold controls it with levers and ropes.

In metagaming terms is a wooden, low-technology mech (never heard of something called Mechwarrior?). Yeah, this sounds crazy, but try to think of the faces of you players when they see him for the first time.

Mech-a-KoboldLevel 5 Elite Soldier
Large Natural HumanoidXP 400
Initiative +6Senses Perception +4; darkvision
HP 132; Bloodied 66
AC 23; Fortitude 20, Reflex 17, Will 19
Saving Throws +2
Speed 6
Action Points 1
Jump (Move; at-will)
The mech-a-kobold can teleport 4 squares.
c Hammer smash (Standard; recharge 56)
Blast 3; +10 vs. Fort.; 3d6+4 damage and the target is stunned (save ends)
m Throw (Minor; at-will)
Grabbed target only; 1d10+4 damages and the target is pushed 5 squares
m Claw (Standard; at-will)
+12 vs. AC; the target is grabbed (until escapes)The mech-a-kobold cannot make claw attacks whilegrabbing a creature, but it can use the hammer smash.
M Kick (Standard; at-will)
Reach2; +12 vs. AC; 1d10+4 damages
Alignment EvilLanguages
Str 18 (+6)Dex 15 (+4)Wis 15 (+4)
Con 18 (+6)Int 15 (+4)Cha 15 (+4)

Crappy artwork by me