Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Solo D&D

The World's Worst Video Game? 

Some people on Twitter (I use Twitter much like an RSS Newsfeed for RolePaying) have been talking lately about Solo Dungeons and Dragons. I don't know much about SDnD, but the concept intrigues me, mostly because my gut says there is no such thing.

Now you can drop Solo D&D into Google and come up with plenty of results, so of course it exists, but is something Dungeons and Dragons just because you have a Dungeon Master's Guide in your lap? My instincts say no. You have to have another person. Dungeons & Dragons, at its core, is a social game. Without someone else playing with you, you've just stumbled into a low tech Balder's Gate.

Yet, the concept does not horrify me. I kept thinking about it, even after my initial research. I like video games. I like Dungeons and Dragons. Enough people are clearly passionate about this. It has its flaws, but maybe we can fix them? Let's take a look at what I see as the immediate issues SDnD.

It's not Social

This is of course it's most distinguishing characteristic. It's a solo game. I don't propose we change this, as then we are talking about another activity all together. However, just because something is single player, doesn't mean it can't be social.

For this matter, the internet provides the key. If one type, model, or source of content, for SDnD was popular enough then people would gather in forums there. They could compare adventures, character builds for solo running (which has to be balanced in whole new way), even compare tactics.

Some adventures could have a way to provide points, or accomplishments along the way. There could then be some kind of scoreboard, or publicly hosted character site. Even the top scores on a pinball machine have a social aspect to it.

Predictable Combat

You've got that stats for your PC. You've got the stats for the monsters. You're trusting yourself to not plan ahead and do your best to really try to kill you're PC, and not act on any knowledge you have about the stats you have in front of you that might not have been revealed to the PC or monster yet. I don't buy it. I mean, look at how long that sentence was.

I suppose the solution would to not present the whole Monster Stat block, but instead a series of what if hidden boxes. Like a spoiler box on a forum, or text that needs to be highlighted. You don't see the Will defense till you try and target it. You have a box that says 'When Bloodied' which perhaps says 'Nothing happens' when revealed, but you just don't know that the first time you play this adventure.

It makes it easier to allow yourself to stay surprised. Its still more like trying to solve a puzzle with limited outcomes. A paragraph on monster tactics will never replace a thinking, not you, DM.


The easiest way to do this is with a very linear story/dungeon. You must go this way, after you finish this, is much easier to write in this situation, because you are the DM, and you don't want to reveal the big secrets till the end.

Yet I am reminded of choose you're own adventure books. They let you make choices. My instincts tell me this could work really well in a wiki format. For door one click here, door two click here.

For places, or people, who may have changed depending on what you've done, you could use coded, tracked accomplishments. When you find the key on the skeleton lords body, a little note tells you to add #1342 to your list of accomplishments. Later, when you get to the baron's basement door there's a box of hidden information labeled 'If you have Accomplishment #1342'. The hidden text reveals that if you try this key the door opens.

Another accomplishment could be something less positive. If you fail to save the Baker's Daughter, you gain an accomplishment for that. Next time you're in the bakery there is a large box of a hidden text for that accomplishment. You find the Baker to be less friendly.

Needs work.

Monday, July 19, 2010

DM Report 07/14/2010

I run an open, Sandbox like world in my current campaign. For the most part, I still strive to make most encounters challenging without being overwhelming. However, I made it quite clear to my players at the start, there are certain things in this world that are established at a certain level. Go there too soon, and it will not scale down to you.

Recently, my players came across a large temple. It was meant to be a bit of a dungeon crawl, where players had to work their way from the bottom to the top. My players decided to fly to the top (they have a hipogriff), and start looking around up there. Never, ever, do I like to discourage creative thinking, so even though I knew I didn't want them to get into the room at the top before the rest of the temple, I didn't stop things. When they made good rolls, I gave good information. Eventually I let them blow off a bot of the wall, in the very last room of the dungeon crawl and go in there.

The rewards present by clearing this room were really great. If they managed to win, pulling off this crazy idea of starting here, they may not bother going down at all. This fight was meant to be a very challenging fight for them at the end, after they had gained two more levels. I did not scale it down. I killed two pcs that night, as they all fled for their lives.There was allot of profanity at the table. Everyone had an awesome time.

Whenever, the party is getting walloped I try to remember my DM tips more so than usual. Getting walloped by someone doing really cool things (described by the DM) and talking to you the whole time, is much more fun than the DM rolling lots of dice.

Now they know what to expect in that room. They've resolved to go back in the front door, and hit that final room hard, with a plan, and no less than a full party. Its going to be great.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Free Orc Friday! Celestial War Paladin

A long, long time ago. . .

There was a band of savage, orc nomads. They wandered barren wastelands, fighting among other nomadic groups and occasionally raiding the nearest towns. One day they crossed paths with a band of adventurers, among them a cleric of a goddess of fire and war. They were beaten so thoroughly, and put in such a frenzy f terrified awe, that they swore themselves to the goddess, and soon became feared in their own right.

Many traveled to the goddess' realm during the Divine War, and their decedents kept up this warrior tradition, being called on, in small groups whenever the goddess wills it.

Celestial War Paladin Level 14 Soldier
Medium immortal humanoid XP 1,000
Initiative +12 Senses Perception +11
HP 141; Bloodied 70
AC 30; Fortitude 27; Reflex 25; Will 26
Resist 10 fire
Speed 5

[m] Longsword (standard; at-will) • Fire, Weapon
+21 vs AC; 1d10 + 6 damage plus 1d8 fire damage, and the target is marked until the end of the Celestial War Paladin’s next turn

[M] Bolstering Strike (standard; at-will) • Radiant, Weapon
+21 vs AC; 2d8 + 6 radiant damage, and one ally within 2 gains +2 to defenses till the start of the war paladins next turn.

[M] Warrior's Surge (standard, usable only while bloodied; encounter) • Healing, Weapon
The orc raider makes a melee basic attack, spends a healing surge, and regains 45 hit points.

Alignment Unaligned Languages Giant
Skills History +12, Religion +12
Str 22 (+13) Dex 16 (+10) Wis 18 (+11)
Con 21 (+12) Int 11 (+7) Cha 15 (+9)
Equipment Plate Armor, Heavy Shield, Longsword

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oathbound: Spellblind Part II

Please note: There was a mistake on the last Spellblind post, where the Oath was written to give the Spellblind only a +1 bonus. This bonus is meant to scale, as you level and has been corrected.


Spellblind Protector

"Even as my allies spout on about how they are in control of their powers and items, so I am called to stand in front and protect them from harms way. Yet I shall do so. A child who knows no truth of the world needs all the more protection."

Prerequisites: Spellblind Oath, Oathbound: Spellbound Feat, Defender Role

You have set an example for others to follow that one not need to dependent on magic to do great things. Not only have you kept pace with your magic wielding counterparts but you continually protect them from the harm. Much if that harm coming from magic, you might add. Over time, you've become more and more adept at the natural art of magical interruption.

Spellblind Protector Path Features

Hidden from Arcane Eyes (11th Level): The DC for all scrying on your person is increased by 5. At level 20 the DC increases by 10.

Intense Action (11th Level): When you spend an action point to take an extra action all enemies in a close burst 3 are marked until the end of your next turn.

Grounded Mind (16th Level): You may roll 1 saving throw at the start of your turn, for any domination, dazed, or fear effect that a save can end. If you are granted a saving throw at the start of your turn through any other feature, you must use this saving throw against a separate effect.

[M] Protective Strike (Weapon) Encounter  Spellblind Protector Attack 11
Standard Action    Melee 1
Target: One Creature
Attack: Strength or Constitution vs AC
Hit: [2]W + Strength or Constitution Modifier damage and all adjacent allies gain a bonus to defenses equal to either your Charisma or Wisdom Modifier till the end of your next turn.

Stubborn Preservation   Encounter   Spellblind Protector Utility 12
Immediate Interrupt   Personal 
Trigger: An enemy hits your Will Defense
Effect: Your will increases by +4 till the start of your next turn.

[M] Aura Killer (Weapon)   Daily   Spellblind Protector Attack 20
Standard Action    Melee 1
Target: One Creature Marked by you
Attack: Strength or Constitution vs Fortitude
Hit: 4[W] + Strength or Constitution Modifier damage and the creatures aura ends (save ends).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Critical Failure's Part 2

Yesterday, I mentioned the idea of a Magical Mishap being added to Critical Failure table. I did this once by accident (having forgotten the option of Fall prone), and while they did not roll the needed '5' I got a very positive "Oh no" response from my players. "Oh no", with possible expletives, is something I want to hear my players say. As opposed to real life, in DnD this is a very good thing. It means the players are paying attention, realize something difficult or different may come up that they need to respond to, and that they're thinking about the situation. In short it means they're engaged.

So of course I needed to add it to my Critical Failure list officially. Here's my new one:

  1. Fall Prone
  2. Drop Weapon
  3. Throw Weapon
  4. Hit Self
  5. Break Weapon/Magical Mishap
  6. Nothing
The deal here, is that if you're wielding a mundane weapon or implement it breaks on a 5. Magical Weapons are tougher, but might give you magical backlash. Rolling a 5 with a magical weapon or implement, means that a Magical mishap has happened, and you need to roll on the Magical Mishap table. It's a d100 table.

That's allot of Magical Mishap possibilities. That means a few things you need to be aware. First off, it means that getting any particular option is very rare. There's only a 1/2,400 of even getting to the Magical Mishap table (not including the possibility that maybe your using a mundane weapon), and only a 1/240,000 chance of getting any individual Mishap. Thanks to Crothian of Enworld for help with the math.

Because there are so many options, they vary greatly in level of effect. Some add temporary minor effects, and a couple might even kill the PC. They're also all, relatively short descriptions. They will need flavor embellishment from the DM for sure. Some will need some rule moderation depending on the situation. Remember when this happens, these may be failures, but we want to lean toward fun if it gets out of hand.

Because each option is so very rare, a few of them break the game. 

Any mention of weapon, is intended to cover implements as well. Swap Burad for gnome or halfling if not using Burads in your game.

Take the time to look through this list and edit it to your liking. Its editable for just that reason. Some of them might not be ok options for your group. Some might be too tame for an epic failure, or too game breaking for accidental effect. 

Link to the list (its long so its a separate document): Magical Mishaps

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Critical Failure's Part 1

 The idea that something truly awesome might happen when you roll multiple natural 20s in a row, or something equally heinous would happen when rolling multiple natural 1s in a row is not something new to roll playing. 

When 4th edition rolled around, my group made the jump and found we liked it. There was something lost in not rolling to confirm the crit, but we never house ruled a change. We did however insists that a natural 1 was always a success, even a level 1 attacking a god, and a natural 1 was always failure. That was just the epic nature of the game. Its always possible to fail or succeed, at least for a moment. Its one of things that makes DnD feel Epic to me. 

Another carryover, was the idea that when you rolled a natural 1, you had to roll that d20 again to see how bad it really was. Roll any number but 1, and it was just a regular, run of the mill, thats too bad, failure. Roll a 1 on that second roll, and things get critical. Out comes the critical Failure Chart. Roll a 1d6 to see what happens.

My old chart looked like this: 

  1. Fall Prone
  2. Drop Weapon
  3. Throw Weapon
  4. Hit Self
  5. Break Weapon
  6. Nothing
You have a 1 in 400 chance of getting to that point and still on a six your in the clear. There is, as of the moment, no positive counter to this chart. My players have never complained. There's something about this that makes failure exciting.

Due in part to the odds of reaching this chart being low, I had a habit of misplacing it. Recently, I was having difficulty working on the fly to redo it for a roll and instead of drop Prone I quickly wrote down 'Magical Mishap' instead of Fall Prone. My players seemed rather intrigued by this possibility, so of course I needed to come up with actual possibilities and modify the way I did things. More on that tomorrow. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Map of Grand Hall

Grand Hall was the capital city in my current points of light campaign. Here we have a a city that was once much larger and prosperous. With the decline of the last great kingdom, the city has suffered many more attacks. In addition, the lack of a unifying government decreased trade with neighboring communities. As population decreased and areas took damage, they were never repopulated and slowly fell into ruins and slums.

The grey is meant to represent ruins, and abandoned areas, while the other colors distinguish different styles of architecture in the city. I've include one with my notation and one without. Enjoy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Free Orc Friday! 3 Orc Feats

For Free Orc Friday, I give you three quick feats to help your Orc player feel like he's part of a bona-fide player race.

Head for Blood
Prerequisites: Orc, Warrior's Surge Racial Power
Benefit: You can use Warrior's Surge, in place of a Melee Basic Attack, if your target is bloodied.

Natural Tribesman
Prerequisites: Any tribal feat, orc
Benefit: Treat the number of allies in range with the same tribal feat as being one greater.

Warrior Leader
Prerequisites: Orc, Warrior's Surge Racial Power
Benefit: You gain either your Wisdom Modifier or your Charisma Modifier in bonus hp when you hit with Warrior's Surge.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Civilized vs Savage

When we think of races that have been included in Player's Handbook or Campaign Setting versus the Monstrous Races we often make a distinction in how those races act and live. The Player Races are more civilized and the Monstrous Races savage. The printed material often backs this up to a certain degree, and may even change their stories a bit when it becomes time for a Monstrous Race to become a full Player Race. Jared von Hindman comments on this with the Minotaur in a recent article for Wizards' website.

Our own prejudice against monsters often takes this on even further though. In 3.X, where I started DMing, one of my biggest grievances was with the low Intelligence score on the Minotaur. I didn't like the idea that all Minotaurs were savage brutes. Even if a minotaur wasn't nice, it should at least be cunning. This understanding has been allot more popular as well, with the popularity of World of Warcraft.

Other races have received similar, or reverse, treatment with setting. Orcs, one of the most loved Monstrous races, is also the one most relegated automatically to savage, but not so with Eberron Setting. The halflings who are so often associated with the peaceful hobbits of Tolkien, are brutal, and dangerous in Dark Sun.

So how do we define a Monstrous Race? It becomes especially difficult with a point of light campaign. No more do goodly races from large kingdoms of peace and light, welcoming in outsiders and defying evil. The norm now  is to distrust outsiders. Adventurers approaching a small town they have never been to before are likely not to be let in without some intimidation or bribe, never mind being welcomed. They may even be attacked on sight.

Is this so different to a pack of gnolls ambushing travelers who had wandered into their territory? 

If its not your level of aggression towards outsiders is it simply the fact that you live in a city that makes you civilized? I find it hard to label all nomadic or tribal people savage. I use catfolk (in 4e use shifter stats) as a tribal people that most people would find quite civilized. 

4th edition has made a big step towards keeping more and more races unaligned. Every race, like every human, can run the gambit. I favor this lingering gray, though certainly plenty of people oppose it. They would very much prefer it to be the good guys vs the bad guys and leave it at that. That can certainly be entertaining. We all like to be heroes at times. I like to make my heroes work a bit.

Just some thoughts for now. If you liked this article check out the one I linked to above and Chris Simms' writing on the nature of canon.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Duergar Enemies

As a follow up to an earlier post about Duergar I've taken the proposed options and created a couple of sample monsters for your players to fight. It's no good if only your players have this options.

Duergar Tunnel Dropper

The Duergar Tunnel Dropper represents the elite of their Shock Troopers. They hold the lines until bloodied, when they become the lines. Tunnel Droppers try and wedge themselves in hallways, giving enemies as little room to negotiate as possible. When they can't find a restrictive space to fight it in, they slam their mauls into the ceiling and floor, to reshape the terrain to a more inhospitable fashion.

The combination of expand and Poison Veins gives them a devastating attack once bloodied, that shows the power of these evil underdwellers.

Duergar Tunnel Dropper Level 6 Elite Brute
Medium natural humanoid XP 500
Initiative +6 Senses Perception +6; darkvision
HP 168; Bloodied 84
AC 21; Fortitude 22; Reflex 15; Will 18
Immune illusion; Resist 5 fire, 5 poison
Saving Throws +2
Speed 5
Action Points 1

m Maul (standard; at-will) • Weapon
+9 vs AC; 2d6 + 6 damage
C Earth Stomp (standard; recharge 5 6) • Zone
Close Burst 1; +7 vs Reflex; 1d10 + 4  and the burst becomes a zone of difficult terrain.
 Poison Veins (minor; encounter (only when bloodied)) • Poison
The Duergar Tunnel Dropper deals an additional 1d8 damage to his next attack, and the target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls and ongoing 2 poison damage (save ends both). This effect ends if no attack is made by the end of you're turn.
 Expand (when first bloodied; encounter) • Polymorph
The duergar tunnel dropper becomes Large, occupying 4 squares instead of 1. Any creatures in the squares that the shock trooper comes to occupy are pushed 1 square. The tunnel dropper also gains reach 2 and a +5 bonus to its melee damage rolls. The tunnel dropper remains Large until the end of the encounter.
Alignment Evil Languages Common, Deep Speech, Dwarven
Skills Dungeoneering +12
Str 19 (+7) Dex 16 (+6) Wis 16 (+6)
Con 14 (+5) Int 10 (+3) Cha 8 (+2)
Equipment Chainmail, Maul

Duergar Frontliner

The Duergar Frontliner sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. Trained to work in large groups, as a unit, and to protect the other members of their squad. They unleash a weakened version of their poison blood and then gladly sacrifice themselves.

Duergar Frontliner Level 11 Minion Soldier
Medium natural humanoid XP 150
Initiative +8 Senses Perception +9; darkvision
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.
AC 27; Fortitude 24; Reflex 23; Will 20
Resist 10 fire, 10 poison
Speed 5
m Warhammer (standard; at-will) • Weapon
+18 vs AC; 8 damage
 Poison Veins (minor; encounter) • Poison
The Duergar Tunnel Dropper deals an additional 1d8 damage to his next attack, and the target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls.This effect ends if no attack is made by the end of you're turn.
 Sacrifice (immediate interrupt; an adjacent ally takes damage)
The Duergar Frontlner instead takes the damage
Alignment Evil Languages Deep Speech
Str 21 (+10) Dex 19 (+9) Wis 18 (+9)
Con 17 (+8) Int 12 (+6) Cha 10 (+5)
Equipment Chainmail, Warhammer

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oathbound: Spellblind

I like the idea of Oaths in the DnD world having a strong bearing not just on the RP of some characters but of the mechanics. The Book of Exalted Deeds had some good ideas for this in 3rd edition. The thing about giving a mechanical benefit for an Oath, is that you really need to find balance with the sacrifice and the benefit. The Oath itself is a feature available to any class or race. It does not have any prerequisites but you may like to add some for your campaign. You gain the benefits simply by approving the Oath with your DM.

I did not specifically block arcane characters from taking these feats, to allow for characters who feel cursed by their own abilities.

The following has not been playtested fully. More options in later posts.


The Spellblind are a group of people not affiliated by any organization but a common philosophy. They see magic in the world as dangerous or unnatural, and would rather intelligent humanoids not use it at all. They have since sworn that they would not let the power of magic sway them in this world, relaying on ingenuity and personal strength wherever possible. Some people take this Oath to extremes, hunting down wizards and sorcerers, sometimes even priests hoping to cleanse the world. Others are peaceful monks, who travel a diplomatic world, showing themselves as an example of what could be, but never interfering directly with others. Some still keep to themselves, taking the Oath due to a personal event in their past, never mentioning to anyone the ideals they hold dearly.

Oath: You have sworn to limit your contact with the magical world. You cannot use or wield any magic items.
Benefit: At level 3, you gain a +1 Item Bonus to all defenses, and to-hit. This bonus increases by 1 every 5 levels thereafter.

Note to DMs: It should be made clear what the first part of the Oath means between player and DM when the Oath is first accepted. Can a character benefit from an allies ritual? If the main entrance into the dragon's lair is a magical lift does this character need to climb the walls instead? I suggest somewhere in the middle of the road. Remember that there is already sacrifice involved here and to keep the game fun. Whatever you decide it should be clear to the player at the start.

Remember to adjust the treasure accordingly. All the other players should not get an extra share, since this player is still getting the benefits of the most common magic items. If the player still takes his share of treasure, try to find places for him to spend that money. Maybe the players could use a base of operations? Lavish luxuries? Fund a school?

Heroic Feats

Oathbound: Spellblind
You have made a personal pledge against the temptation of magic, and your senses have become all the sharper.
Prerequisites: Spellblind Oath
You can use Perception in place of Arcana when detecting the presence of magic. You gain a +2 Insight bonus vs those who use magic as their primary source of power.

Spellblind Destroyer
You have mastered your weapon, unhindered by the crutch of enhancement. You know how to spot an opening and exploit it so that your blows strike with all the more precision.
Prerequisites: Oathbound: Spellblind
Once per encounter, as a free action after hitting an enemy with an attack, they gain Vulnerable 5 to all attacks from you (save ends).

Spellblind Healer
You have looked into the hearts of men and know of their inner strength.
Prerequisites: Oathbound: Spellblind

When you use a power that enables you or an ally to regain hit points, add your current Item Bonus from your Spellblind Oath as extra hp gained.

Spellblind Fearmonger
You enter battle with fierce determination. When your allies realize your power is not enhanced by other means, they soon learn respect.
Prerequisites: Oathbound: Spellblind
Once per encounter, as a minor action, you mark all enemies in a close burst 3. This mark ends at the end of your next turn.

Monday, July 5, 2010

DM Report 07/03/2010

I was sitting in my living room last night watching television when I began hearing fireworks. Looked out the window, and try as I might I couldn't see them, only hear their boisterous noise. This happened several times till my wife firmly declared "You can never see fireworks from here." This didn't stop me for instinctively looking out the window every time I heard the noise.
There's nothing more disappointing than non-existent fireworks.

Chris Sims recently finished up a series of posts on Critical Hits about dealing with solo creatures. One of the practices he encourages is letting people know ahead of time that there's a solo coming to help build up tension. This should make things more fun. Read his post for all his points, its a good one.

However, I'm currently running a deep points of life campaign. Its a pretty dark world where life s less than great. Sometimes, if the PCs aren't careful, they can stumble into some pretty nasty surprises completely blind. So recently the PCs accidentally angered an adult silver dragon. The fight that followed was pretty one sided. The PCs wiped the floor with him. The warden and warlord kept the guy flanked in two zones, and there was grab grass present. Each turn he could either try and reposition himself. Silver Dragons are brutes so his to-hit and defenses weren't all that great. He never got out of the zone, and was prone at the end of every round.

The odd thing is, this fight was a success. The PCs loved it. This was not their first 4e dragon and each time before they had a much tougher times, including one that could have been a TPK, where they decided the best way to fight a blue dragon was on a boat. So this time, even though it was not much of a fight, they loved it. They felt powerful, and that was fun. Its been a long road to mid paragon, and it was great for them to just be awesome. I stopped the fight at one quarter hit points none the less.

So sometimes I think its ok to hear fireworks but not see them. I'll do my best to make sure it does not happen twice in a row however.

I also played with the Oblivion Moss from the MM3. It was good fun. I took the suggestion to make the players roll for their dopplegangers. This was frustrating experience for them. I found the more I described how the Mindmasters were scanning their minds and how the other mosses were beginning to look more and more detailed the more interesting it was for the players. They don't have the book yet and they began frantically speculating what would happen if someone died.

That gives me an idea for a monster. . . 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Free Orc Friday! Orc Demon-Pacted

Some orcs worship gods of destruction, others seek primal routes but many find demons to be truly worthy of their reverence. Demons represent primal destruction and raw power. Demon worshiping orcs can sometimes be now more than a loosely grouped horde of barbarians, asking no more for their reverence than an excuse to obliterate the goodness of the world.

Others though, find themselves to be more clever. They are not content to worship the demon lords but forge pacts of power between them, granting them brief glimpses of the raw, destructive energies of the Abyss. 
The Orc Demon-Pacted can be found in both savage orc tribes and more civilized areas. They may be working with other orcs or other evil humanoids, generally plotting their destruction all the while.

Orc Demon-Pacted (Level 6 Artillery)
Medium natural humanoid  XP 250
Initiative +6 Senses Perception +3
HP 58; Bloodied 29
AC 18; Fortitude 21; Reflex 15; Will 17

Standard Actions
[m] Dagger (Weapon) • At-Will
Attack: +13 vs AC
Hit: 1d4 + 5 damage
[r] Eldritch Blast (Arcane, Implement) • At-Will
Attack: +11 vs Reflex
Hit: 1d10 + 4
Minor Actions

[R] Warlock's Curse 

• At-Will
Ranged sight, nearest enemy; the target is cursed. A cursed target takes 1d6 extra damage anytime Orc Demon-Pacted deals damage with a power.
Triggered Actions 
Dark Recoil Immediate Reaction; Recharge 5 6
Trigger: The orc demon-pacted is hit with a melee attack 
Effect: The attacker is teleported 5 squares and marked by the Orc Demon-Pacted's nearest ally

Skills Arcana +9, Bluff +9
Str 16 (+6) Dex 16 (+6) Wis 10 (+3)
Con 16 (+6) Int 13 (+4) Cha 13 (+4)
Alignment Chaotic Evil Languages Giant, Common
Equipment Dagger, Leather Armor

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dragonborn True Warrior

These fine fellows came up in my RL game recently where I needed strong warriors for an isolated dragonborn village, drifting between savage and civilized. 

When dealing with any kind of minion or type of intelligent humanoid thats going to be used more than once in a fight, remember its ok to break apart from the text. This may seem like old hat for some people but I find myself needing to remind myself. If there are twenty Dragonborn True Warriors coming at the PCs, and they all wield scale armor and bastard swords, your players either thinks:

1. My DM is just reading off the card or
2. This means something. Maybe they're part of a well trained unit, all under the same fighting style, or the bastard sword is important to their culture is some way.

I don't want 1. to be what they think of, because eventually its going to be important that they notice that a group of humanoids are all strangely alike.

So I'll grab some minis with different weapons and go with it, or describe some as wielding two swords or a great axe. No need to change the mechanics to create a vibrant group. Same thing with the dragonbreath. PCs know that dragonborn have several kinds of dragonbreath. They don't all need to breath fire unless theres a reason behind it.

Dragonborn True Warrior
Level 12 Minion Soldier
Medium natural humanoid
XP 175
Initiative +11                        Senses Perception +7
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.
AC 28; Fortitude 28; Reflex 24; Will 24
Speed 5
m Bastard Sword (standard; at-will) • Weapon
+19 vs AC; +21 while bloodied; 5 damage
C Dragon Breath (minor; encounter) • Fire
Close blast 3; +17 vs Reflex; +19 while bloodied; 4 fire damage
 True Warrior’s Strike
When the dragonborn true warrior hits an enemy with an opportunity attack, the target is knocked prone.
Alignment Any
Languages Common, Draconic
Skills History +9, Intimidate +16, Athletics +17
Str 22 (+12)
Dex 16 (+9)
Wis 13 (+7)
Con 19 (+10)
Int 13 (+7)
Cha 16 (+9)
Equipment Scale Armor, Bastard sword
© 2009 Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved. This monster statistics block has been generated using the D&D Adventure Tools.