Terrain Toolbox

There’s only a week left to get in on Sneak Attack Press’s latest Kickstarter campaign for Terrain Toolbox! Here’s what Sneak Attack Press has to say…

“The oil-soaked bridge leaps into flames.

Skeletal hands burst from the soil and clutch at your ankles.

The massive stone you stand on flies through the air and crashes into the cloud giant as you leap off and attack.

Every battle takes place somewhere, thus every battle features terrain. Sometimes all you need is a place to stand, maybe some trees or ruins to provide cover, but sometimes you want more. You want your terrain to have a major impact on the story or the heroes’ tactics. You want the Fire Swamp or the Bridge of Khazad Dum.

That’s what Terrain Toolbox is for.

Terrain Toolbox provides 48 sample terrains you can drop into combat, like a blood mage’s circle, solid clouds, and lightning pillars. Each sample terrain includes cosmetic and rules variations, giving you hundreds of possibilities. Plus the book offers advice to create your own terrain.

Terrain Toolbox was originally published for 4E and Pathfinder 1E. Both editions are now electrum best sellers on DriveThruRPG and have great reviews. Now we’re excited to bring Terrain Toolbox to 5th Edition and Pathfinder 2nd Edition.”

 

The campaign funded within 24 hours and has already hit a number of stretch goals, including my own Vile Vapors, a supplement detailing 20 of the most lethal gasses ever faced by explorers of sewers, dungeons, and other subterranean spaces! I’ll also be helping out with the conversions of both Terrain Toolbox and Vile Vapors from 5E to PF2. If you need tools to make your encounters a little more interesting (and a lot more deadly), be sure to check it out!

Patron Tokens

My article Patron Tokens went live this week on EN World EN5ider!

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Art by Sade

Familiars, tomes, and weapons are among the most impressive gifts otherwordly patrons grant their servants. Others are simply baubles designed to delight (or unsettle) the recipient and those around them. Warlocks typically receive these tokens after completing a significant task, such as when they defeat the patron’s enemies or further their interests in the mortal realm. One of the patron’s servants may deliver the gift to the warlock directly, or the gift may appear mysteriously among the warlock’s belongings while their attention is focused elsewhere.

Patron tokens grant their owner a minor magical benefit, but the warlock may unlock greater power at the risk of destroying the item, possibly to their patron’s displeasure. The tokens described in this article include: angel-hide bookmark, badge of seasons, barbed devil’s bracelet, confidante’s journal, fathomer’s ring, focusing eye, hungry quasit, infernal triptych, paramour’s daisy, satyr boots, seven-sided coin, sidereal lens, star milk, and true shape mirror.

Thump, Thump, Thump!

I am both honored and dismayed that my mini-adventure Thump, Thump, Thump! went live today as EN World’s final TRAILseeker adventure!

Thump, Thump, Thump!

The earth shook the day Shototh rose from the underworld. Great heroes eventually drove the firewyrm back into the depths, but now a bone-rattling thumping emanates from the monster’s burrow. Does Shototh rise again? Or is an even more sinister force behind the strange vibrations? In this short adventure, the PCs must descend into Shototh’s burrow and defeat a clan of duergar before the insane dwarves re-awaken the titanic worm.

TRAILseeker2_40_Thump_Thump_Thump

Sadly, it seems TRAILseeker never gained the traction it needed to continue publication, so it’s winding down in the next few months. I get the feeling Pathfinder 2 has been well-received by Pathfinder fans but has failed to break out of that scene. Which is a shame, because it’s a great game. It’s not for everyone, certainly, but I think there’s a sizable sub-section of 5E players who long for a touch more complexity. My home group and I tend to prefer simpler systems (OSR and story-games), but even we itch for a more crunchy game from time to time. PF2 is complex but elegant, and so far we’ve had a blast with it!

The Seven Devils (Barbed Devils for PF2)

My newest campaign (which I’m running over Roll20 and Discord, thanks to the quarantine) is called The Seven Devils. It’s an urban campaign full of intrigue, crypt-diving, and diabolism. My group and I usually alternate between story games and D&D 5E, so for a change we’ve decided to try out the newest edition of Pathfinder.

As its name suggests, I’m going to need a lot of devils for this campaign (not just seven!). While I like that Paizo has made an effort to include a mix of new and classic creatures in their newest Bestiary, they’ve done so at the expense of several useful, if not classic, monsters. (As opposed to 5E’s Monster Manual, which was pretty exhaustive but included no monsters we hadn’t seen before.)

Take these guys, for example…

Barbed Devil
Barbed Devil (from the Pathfinder 1E Bestiary)

Now, I get it: barbed devils aren’t anyone’s favorite monster. They’re not even anyone’s favorite devil. But as a GM, barbed devils are pretty useful. They pose a significant threat for low- to mid-level parties, and serve as excellent minions at higher levels.

So yeah, I’m gonna need some barbed devils…

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Getting to Know Azi Dahaka (DCC)

The DCC rulebook tells us the ceremony to form a patron bond with Azi Dahaka must “be conducted in a desert at high noon where the caster has imbibed no liquid for one day and one night before.” But what leads the caster to the desert in the first place, and what horrors await them once they arrive?

Here’s a short list of adventure hooks/side quests designed to introduce your players to Azi Dahaka, the demon prince of storms and waste. (For Bobugbubilz, lord of amphibians, click here.)

Azi Dahaka

Getting to Know…Azi Dahaka

1 – The party discovers a collection of scrolls in the basement of an abandoned monastery. These Hymns to the Hydra include a ritual to summon a lesser demon who will escort the caster to the location of the bonding ceremony. Roll 1d5 to determine what form the demon takes: (1) a swarm of locusts (2) a starving jackal (3) a dust devil (4) a sun-bleached skeleton (5) a spectral desert nomad.

2 – A passing sandstorm uncovers the bones of a pilgrim who died trying to cross the wastes. The desert air has preserved the pilgrim’s journal, which describes his discovery of a “burning obelisk” three days to the west.

3 – As the characters make camp at an oasis, a hermit with skin charred by the desert sun invites them to a meal of fruit and wine. Characters who accept the meal awaken the next day feeling fully refreshed. Azi Dahaka rewards those who refuse with a night of feverish dreams filled with visions of his crumbling, lightning-blasted palace.

4 – Among the spoils of the party’s latest victory is a brass coin stamped with the image of a seven-headed hydra. No merchant will take the coin, but if pressed they direct the characters to a clan of serpent-eyed nomads, who accept the coin as payment for guiding the party to Azi Dahaka’s temple.

5 – The next time the caster’s magic causes significant ruin (via a scorching ray or fireball, for example), a wavering image of Azi Dahaka appears above the flames. Later, if the PCs search the ashes, they discover a chunk of glowing obsidian too hot to be handled by anyone other than the caster.

6 – The PCs hear legends of the Ophidian Pit, an enormous sinkhole deep in the desert. A forgotten avatar of Azi Dahaka coils at the bottom. In the canyons nearby, a coven of witches captures and flays anyone they deem unworthy to petition their god.