Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pinterest-inspired Magic Items I

I've probably never mentioned it before, and truth be told I don't use it all that much, but I do have a Pinterest account. I pretty much use it for gaming inspiration. My favorite of my boards is my "D&D Treasure Inspiration". Here are just a few of the things from the board, with my thoughts on the magic abilities of each. (BTW, I'm labeling this post "Pinterest-inspired Magic Items I" because I am assuming I'll get around to II, III, IV, etc.)

Cup of Perdika
This silver-gilt cup is crafted in the form of a partridge—an animal associated deception, not using its knowledge, and the need to learn new things. Each day, the first time the cup is filled with water and the water is imbibed, the user gains a random ability for a 6 turn duration, as outlined below (roll 1d6 to determine the ability gained for the day):
1+1 temporary point of Intelligence
2+1 temporary point of Wisdom
3ventriloquism (as magic-user spell)
4thieves abilities as 1st level thief
(or, if a thief, then as 1 level higher)
5detection of lies (within hearing range;
does not give knowledge of truth,
only indicates when speaker is lying)
6invisibility (may turn on/off at will throughout duration

Philosopher’s Coin
This large lead coin features a dot-within-a-circle on one side (the alchemical symbol for both the sun and the metal gold) and the other side features an alchemical diagram. When the coin is placed in a bag with other non-gold coins and “shaken,” it will transform the those coins (even pieces of platinum) into gold. The transformation will only affect up to 20 coins per day, and the transformation lasts for only 1d6 hours, at which time the transformed coins revert to their original metal.

Skeleton Pearl
This item appears as a pearl carved in the shape of a skull. When thrown on the ground, a smoke cloud shoots up, a skeleton (armed with shield and sword) steps out from the smoke, and the skeleton attacks the nearest living creature. The skeleton remains until killed. The pearl is consumed by the transformation.

Thorny Gauntlets
These spiked and taloned metal gauntlets strike as +1 magic weapons, and each do 1d6+1 damage on successful “to hit” rolls. Additionally, they may be used to clear brush (or similar overgrowths), allowing the user to move at regular speed under such conditions.

Monday, February 22, 2016

New Oe/1e/BX Monster: Slipperman

I'm a big Genesis fan, particularly of the Peter Gabriel era. For a while now (like a few years), I've been wanting to write up a monster description for the slipperman from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I actually wrote this up a couple of months ago, but had forgotten about it, until this weekend. So I figured I'd go ahead and throw it for New Monster Monday.

Given the perverse nature of the slippermen, it seemed like a natural tie in to Morbiphallugus (petty god of venereal afflictions and sexual disfunction), one of my Petty Gods creations.


Slippermen are members of a subterranean race of slubberdegullions—filthy, slobbering humanoids of vile appearance and depraved intentions. The slimy lumps that cover a slipperman swell and shrink with the inhales and exhales of its heavy breathing. They are driven by an unquenchable sexual desire, and see any humanoid creature of medium size as a suitable sexual mate. If 2 or more slippermen are encountered in their lair, there is a 10% cumulative chance per slipperman present that they will be engaged in a sexual ritual they refer to as “bungabunga” (i.e., group sex).

The touch of a slipperman leaves an acidic viscous residue on its victims. On a successful melee attack, the acid does 1d4 damage during the first round. Unless victim is cleansed of the acid, it will do an additional 1d4 per round for an additional 1d4 rounds.

Slippermen are immune to acid, disease, and all mind-controlling effects (magic, psionic, or otherwise).

All slippermen worship the petty god Morbiphallugus (petty god of venereal afflictions and sexual disfunction)*. If there are 10 or more slippermen present, one of them will have 5+1 HD (fights and saves as 5 HD creature) and be able to use the touch of Morbiphallugus* 3×/day as a priest of Morbiphallugus (–2 penalty on saves against the ability). Since the touch of Morbiphallugus requires a successful touch “to hit” roll, any effects caused by this ability are in addition the slipperman’s normal acid touch (as outlined above).

Slippermen speak their own language, but do know a single phrase in common and elvish—“Please join in.”

* See PETTY GODS: REVISED & EXPANDED EDITION, pages 112 and 328.

FREQUENCY: Very rare
MOVE: 12"
% IN LAIR: 25%
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic neutral
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

HIT DICE: 3+1*
MOVE: 120'(40')
ATTACKS: 1 touch
DAMAGE: 1-4 + special
NO. APPEARING: 1-10 (10-100)
SAVE AS: Fighter:4

Friday, February 19, 2016

d30 Feature of the Week: Fiend Generator

Today's tables are ones I started a while back, and recently pulled out of d30 Development Limbo. They're based loosely on Appendix D from the DMG ("Random Generation of Creatures from the Lower Planes"). The funny thing is, just as I was getting close to finishing these up, Steve Marsh sent me his "Abomination Generator" pages from the Shattered Norns project I'm helping with. Abominations are MUCH different than fiends (demons/devils/daemons), and his tables produce some FREAKY-looking stuff.

But I digress.

These pages (please note there are 2 separate downloads for this) cover everything in the DMG Appendix D, and then some. I'm not saying they won't change or get updated at some point (which is the case for all the d30 charts I post here); e.g., I'm thinking about adding psionics in there somewhere. But these will get you well underway should your game for some lower planes creatures.

BTW, if you don't feel like rolling a d30 (not a situation I can imagine, I assure you), then check out the automated generator over at Land of Myriad.

Feel like rolling some d30s? Download these 2 puppies...

Click here to download Part I
of the d30 Fiend Generator
from MediaFire.

Click here to download Part II
of the d30 Fiend Generator
from MediaFire.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

4 New Basic Psionics Abilities

As I mentioned yesterday in the post of the B/X celebrilith, there were some new psionic abilities coming to be used with the cerebrilith, but that don't appear in the Basic Psionics Handbook.

My favorite of these new abilities (which are B/X adaptations of SRD abilities) is definitely mind trap. If any of the players in my current game are reading this, be forewarned!

Name of AbilityChakra/Type (PSP cost)
Ectoplasmic Formpsychometabolic major science (3)
Detection of Psionicsclairsentient minor devotion (1)
Brain Locktelepathic major science (3)
Mind Traptelepathic major science (3)

Ectoplasmic Form
(psychometabolic major science)
Range: 0' (psionicist only)
Duration: 3 turns
Area of effect: personal

This psionicist and his or her gear becomes a partially translucent mass of rippling ectoplasm that generally conforms to the psionicist’s normal shape. The form allows the user to pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks, along with the items being worn and/or carried in hand before the transformation. This form also permits the psionicist to fly at a speed of 60'(20'), but negates the ability to run (at faster than normal speed).

In this form, the psionicist cannot use any other psychometabolic disciplines, any psychokinetic disciplines, or any combat modes which are telekinetic in nature (i.e., psionic blast, psionic crush, intellect fortress, tower of iron will). The duration of any psychokinetic discipline already in effect when the psionicist transforms will cease functioning immediately. Any armor worn becomes meaningless, although any bonuses to Armor Class from size or Dexterity still apply. Furthermore, in this form, the psionicist loses all supernatural abilities (if any), can’t speak, and cannot make any physical attacks, but takes half damage from any physical attack and is immune to poison.

The ectoplasmic form is subject to the effects of wind, and prohibits the psionicist from entering water or other liquid. The ectoplasmic form can’t manipulate objects or activate items, even those carried along with them. Continuously active items remain active, though in some cases their effects may be moot (such as items that provide AC bonuses).

Detection of Psionics
(clairsentient minor devotion)
Range: 60'
Duration: 2 turns
Area of effect: personal

This ability enables the psionicist to detect psionic auras within range and in line of sight. A psionic aura is given off by any active or permanent power, even on non-psionic creatures or items. Additionally, characters and creatures who possess psionic abilities (including wild psionics and phrenic creatures) possess psionic auras. Each round, the user can turn to detect psionics in a new area. If the psionicist is also using detection of magic, he or she can tell the difference between magical and psionic auras. The power can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it. The amount of information revealed by the manifestation of this power depends on how long the user stuides a particular area or subject.
1st Round: Presence or absence of psionic auras.

2nd Round: Number of different psionic auras and the strength of the most potent aura.

3rd Round: The relative strength (e.g., approximate psionic level of its strongest ability) and location of each aura.
Overwhelming Auras: Detection of an overwhelming aura (an aura that is 10+ psionic levels greater than the user of the ability) dazes the user for 1 round and the power ends. A dazed creature can take no actions, but has no penalty to AC.

Confusion/Concealment of Weaker Auras: Psionically charged locations, use of multiple disciplines, or strong local psionic emanations may confuse or conceal weaker auras.

Lingering Auras: A psionic aura lingers after its original source dissipates (in the case of a power) or is destroyed (in the case of a psionic item). If detect psionics is manifested and directed at such a location, the power indicates an aura of dim (even weaker than a faint aura). How long the aura lingers at this dim level depends on its original strength.

Brain Lock
(telepathic major science)
Range: 60'
Duration: by concentration*
Area of effect: 1 individual

With the use of this ability, the subject’s higher mind is locked away, leaving the subject dazed and unable to take psionic actions for the duration of the power. A brain locked subject is not stunned, so attackers get no special advantage against him. The type of creature that may be affected is based on the user’s psionic level as outlined below:
Psionic LevelType of Creature Affected
1-4small-to-medium humanoid
5-8as above, or an animal, giant, magical beast, or monstrous humanoid
9-13 above, or a dragon or elemental
14+as above, or an aberration or outsider
The target is allowed a psionic saving throw to avoid the effect.

Mind Trap
(telepathic major science)
Range: 0' (psionicist only)
Duration: 2 turns (see below)
Area of effect: see below

The psionicist is able set up a trap in their mind against psionic intruders. Anyone who attacks the psionicist with a psionic attack mode immediately loses 1d6 PSPs. This power’s effect does not negate the combat mode that is currently being used against the psionicist, and the opponent gets no saving throw to avoid the PSP loss. The trap only works against a single attack; once the trap is sprung, the duration ends.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Basic Psionic Creature: Cerebrilith

Well, I know this is not so much a "new" creature, as it is a B/X adaptation of an existing creature (using the Basic Psionics Handbook). You'll notice there are a few psionic abilities listed that don't appear in the Basic Psionics Handbook. Have no fear. Those abilities will be showing up on this blog in the next couple of days, including: ectoplasmic form, detection of psionics (a weaker form of psionic sense), brain lock, and mind trap.


HIT DICE: 8+8**
MOVE: 120'(40')
ATTACKS: 2 claws/1 bite
DAMAGE: 2-12/2-12/2-12
SAVE AS: Fighter:8

Attack modes: id insinuation, ego whip, mind thrust
Defense modes: mental barrier, thought shield
Psychometabolic: S) ectoplasmic form
Clairsentient: D) detection of psionics
Telepathic: S) brain lock; D) domination, mind trap

Cerebriliths are abyssal demons that appear as a gangly, slimy, ogre-sized humanoid with no neck, an elongated skull, and a protruding jaw. Its exposed and elongated brain can be seen under a lattice of spinal bones that extend from the creature’s brow to the middle its hunched back. They normally move around on all fours but will stand erect during combat.

Although they possess powerful physical prowess, Cerebriliths favor psionic attacks, usually beginning a battle by launching a furious barrage of ego whip and id insinuation attacks.

Cerebriliths are immune to electricity and poison, and take half damage from acid, cold and fire. They possess an innate telepathic ability with a range of 120', and have infravision to 90'.

Cerebriliths possess the following spell-like abilities which they may use 1×/day each (as MU spells): darkness, detect good, dispel good, and teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only). Additionally, once per day, a cerebrilith can attempt to summon 4d6 dretches or another cerebrilith with a 35% chance of success (this ability is the equivalent of a 4th-level spell).

A cerebrilith cannot be raised, reincarnated or resurrected, though a limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell can restore its life.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New BX/LL Character Class: Cavalier

As far as I know, no one's really taken the Unearthed Arcana stuff and converted it for BX/LL. So with that goal in mind, here's my take on the cavalier. I know that, at first glance, it seems pretty long (especially compared to some of my 1-pager character classes), but I promise, in my normal 2 column format (per most of the NBD books), it's only 1-1/2 pages.

Illustration by Walter Crane
(from The Faerie Queene by Edmumd Spenser).


The cavalier is the quintessential knight in shining armor. Most cavaliers belong to the upper social class or nobility of a society. The cavalier dedicates their life to the service of a higher authority, such as a noble or sovereign, deity, military or religious order, or a special cause. Theirs is a hereditary honor that comes with the price of lifelong service to their monarch, country, or other object or entity. The cavalier is expected to participate in any wars or other armed conflict in which their lord or cause is engaged. Cavaliers in service to other nobles often serve their master beyond the battlefield as well, performing such duties as their skills, and their noble lord, see fit. The cavalier often pursues such selfless goals as the eradication of evil and chaos from the world, and justice for all the subjects of his land. He can also be a bully and a braggart who uses his status and privileges to pursue only his own self-aggrandizement.

The prime requisite of a cavalier is Strength. Cavaliers with a Strength score of 13 or greater gain a bonus on earned experience points. Cavaliers use the same attack and saving throw tables as fighters. Because cavaliers have the support of their lords or orders, they begin twice as much money as standard character classes (6d6×10 gp, instead of 3d6×10 gp).

RESTRICTIONS: Cavaliers use eight-sided dice (d8) to determine their hit points. They may use any weapon, wear any type of armor except leather or padded (see “Armor” below), and may use a shield. Cavaliers are permitted those magic items normally permitted a fighter. A cavalier must have a minimum Charisma score of 9.


Weapon Proficiencies. As cavaliers rise in level, they receive a number of melee (“to hit”/damage) weapon-based bonuses as outlined below:

Horsemanship. Cavaliers are born and bred for the saddle. As such, they benefit from a number of horsemanship abilities, as outlined below:
At 1st Level: the cavalier is able to vault into the saddle and have the steed underway during the same round.

At 3rd Level: the cavalier is able to coax additional speed out of a steed, increasing its movement by 30'(10').

At 5th Level: a cavalier may ride a pegasus as a steed.

At 7th Level: a cavalier may ride a hippogriff as a steed.

At 9th Level: a cavalier may handle a griffon (or similar creature of lawful or neutral alignment) as a steed.
Cavaliers benefit from a number of other special abilities, including the following:
Fear Immunity. Cavaliers are immune to all fear effects (magical or otherwise).

Strong Will. There is a 90% chance that any attempt to control a cavalier magically or psionically (e.g., charm, domination, hold, hypnosis, possession, sleep, suggestion, etc.) will fail. If the resistance roll fails, saving throws are made normally by the attempt to control.

Charge. The charge of the cavalier is among the most devastating offensive weapons any culture can hope to field. When mounted and using a lance, the cavalier recieves a damage bonus equal to his or her level (e.g., a 5th level cavalier would receive a +5 damage bonus when using a lance while mounted).

Reputation. As a cavalier rises in level, the character’s reputation precedes them, providing them a bonus on all reaction rolls for all intelligent creatures with whom the cavalier is capable of speaking. For example, if the cavalier meets a goblin king who doesn’t speak common, and the cavalier is not capable of speaking goblin, then the reaction modifier does not apply to the roll.

Banner. Beginning at 7th level (as a Grand Knight), a cavalier’s banner becomes a symbol of inspiration to his allies and companions. As long as the cavalier’s banner remains clearly visible, all allies within 60' receive a +1 bonus on saving throws against fear; additional and all companions of the party (hirelings, henchmen, etc.) within that range receive a +1 bonus on morale checks. For each 3 additional levels, the bonus increases by +1 (i.e., +2 at 10th level, and +3 at 13th level). The banner must be large enough to be clearly seen from the 60' distance, and must be carried or displayed by the cavalier (or his mount) in order to function.
ARMOR: To a cavalier, armor is more than protection—it’s a badge of station. With appearance being just as (if not) more important than function, cavaliers will seek to own the best and most elaborate armor they can afford. Plate is the cavalier’s armor of choice, with lesser types of armor ranking increasing lower on the scale of desirability (with banded/splint next in line behind plate, then chain, then scale and ring mail). This succession of desirability for armor supercedes its protective abilities (e.g., a cavalier would rather wear standard plate armor than +3 chain mail). A cavalier may never wear leather or padded armor; being the dress of theives and commoners, such armor is below the cavalier’s station.

COAT OF ARMS: Every cavalier has a coat of arms and armorial bearing (a heraldry design depicted on a shield) which the cavalier wears in order to identify himself in tournaments and on the battlefield. While traveling, the cavalier’s armorial bearing may be hidden, but it must be revealed when an encounter occurs with intelligent creatures that might understand its importance (see “Banner” above).

CODE OF CONDUCT & ETHICS: Cavaliers are required to follow a code of conduct and ethics, or risk losing the prestige (and, to some degree, the abilities) provided by their class.
Serve a Person or Cause: Normally, this is a deity, a greater noble, an order of knighthood, or a similar cause.

Sustain the Knightly Virtues: In all actions, the cavalier must seek to sustain the following chivalric virtues: prowess, courage, honesty, loyalty, generosity, faith, courtesy, and franchise. Franchise is the virtue of practicing the other eight virtues without any though of profit or personal gain. It is the purest motive—selflessness in every action

Adhere to the Knight’s Code: Cavaliers fight not to defeat foes, but to prove their honor, demonstrate their prowess, and win renown. As stories rise from their deeds, they seek to lead by example, and encourage others to live righteous lives. The Knight’s Code, therefore, focuses on fair play; victories won through skill gain more glory than those achieved through chicanery. Any victory won that violates the following code will not earn experience points for the cavalier.
A cavalier never attacks from behind.

A cavalier never strikes a foe that has not prepared themselves for battle. (A cavalier may never attack during a round in which his party has surprise.)

A cavalier never attacks a helpless foe in a manner that will cause the foe hit point damage. A cavalier may, however, strike a foe as long as the damage imposed does not deal hit point damage (e.g., magical effects).

A cavalier of neutral or lawful alignment never uses poison against a foe.
STRONGHOLDS: Beginning at 6th, any cavalier with enough money may choose to build a manor house, but must hire any personnel required to manage it (especially in the cavalier’s absence). Even after the manor house has been constructed, the cavalier is still considered to be in the service of their lord or order. However, beginning at 9th level, a cavalier may petition their lord or order to establish their own lordship or order, respectively. Should this privilege be awarded (and assuming the cavalier has enough money) the cavalier may then build a stronghold (usually a village castle), which will attract additional settlers beyond those in the employ of the cavalier.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Free PDF Download: Exploration Time Tracker

So years ago, when I still worked for somebody else, and we had to keep track of all of our billable hours, I created a personal timesheet/ billable hours tracker. It let me record my time in quarter hour increments by client, so come time to enter my time into the computer for the week, it was all there in front of me and I could enter my data in record time.

So I had this idea the other day... why not create something like that to track light sources, magical effects, etc., in the dungeon. (I'm gearing up for a possible campaign where resource management will be pretty important).

Each circle represents 1 hour of time, divided into 6 turns (6 pieces of hour pie). Every turn, the DM fills in a 1/6 segment of the pie for whatever's necessary (each torch or lantern, residual magic effects, etc.). It takes only a few seconds of real time for the DM to track the resources, and tell the players when it's time to burn one from their inventory.

Click here to download a free PDF of the "Exploration Time Tracker" from MediaFire.

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Oe/1e/BX Monster: Brasghong

Today's new monster started as something Mike Badolato typed mistakingly during this past week's Tavern Chat. "Brasghong about FFG deals," he said. To which Matt Finch noted, "Brasghong? Good word." Then Mike explained it away, saying, "Fat fingers and a tablet, what can I say."

I still have no idea what Mike intended to type, but as the Tavern Chat continued, I sketched away, made some notes about abilities, and voila, the brasghong was born.


The brasghong (actually pronounced BRAH-fong, though often mispronounced BRASS-gong) is a deep dwelling creature that is fiercely territorial. It marks its area with an acrid, smoky-smelling scent; should any creature invade the perimeter set by the brasghong, it will not hesitate to attack. A brasghong will be receptive to sincere apologies for the intrusion, but only has a minimal understanding of deep speech (undercommon), and nothing else. The brasghong itself is not capable of speech, though it can make barking and whimpering sounds to express the most basic of intentions or emotions (sadness, aggression, fear, etc.).

The appearance of the brasghong is quite breathtaking—its flesh and skin are amber-colored, jelly-like, and translucent, allowing hints of its skeletal understructure to be seen. Its eyeless face features a prominent beak that is white in color, and the creature's tongue is a deep crimson red.

The brasghong is technically sightless (no eyes), but is capable of “sight” through an ability akin to radar. The brasghong sends out undulating waves from its body, and reads the “images” that bounce back. This makes the brasghong immune to all sight-based attacks and effects (e.g., gaze attacks, blinding light/darkness, illusions, etc.).

In combat, the brasghong can attack with its massive beak (which does 3d4 on a successful “to hit” roll) or its breath weapon (a 10'L×5'W cloud of chlorine gas that does damage equal to half its remaining hit points; save vs. breath weapon for half damage). During the same melee round, the brasghong may also attack with its tail (which does 2d6 points of damage on a successful “to hit” roll).

The gelatinous structure of the brasghong makes it resilient to any kind of attack except bladed weapons. Against blades, the brasghong’s AC is 5; against all other attacks, its AC is considered to be 0. Brasghongs are also immune to acid and gas, and take only half damage from electricity and fire.

Although native to the Prime Material Plane, brasghongs are often found in the outer plane of Nibiru (a plane riddled with noxious gases, streaked with chemical rivers, and laden with oceans of acid).

FREQUENCY: Very rare
MOVE: 9"
% IN LAIR: 35%
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 3-12/2-12
SIZE: L (8'-10' long)
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

MOVE: 90'(30')
ATTACKS: 1 beak
or breath/1 tail
DAMAGE: 3-12 or special/2-12
NO. APPEARING: 1 (1-2)
SAVE AS: Dwarf:6

Monday, February 1, 2016

Free PDF Download! BX PC & NPC Record Cards (Business Card Sized)

I'm sure somebody has done this before, but I set up a set of BX Character Record Cards and BX NPC Record Cards to print on an Avery Laser Business Cards sheet. The only real difference between the two cards is that the NPC cards have a spot for Morale (as far as I'm concerned, the most important stat for an NPC that's joined the party of his/her own free will). They're set up so you can print the front, flip the paper and use the same file for printing the back (or use the other file, and get 5 out of each type from the same sheet).

CHARACTER RECORD CARDS PDF: Click here to download.

NPC RECORD CARDS PDF: Click here to download.