Saturday, July 30, 2016

Zatannurday: Justice League Dark Animated

Justice League Dark is coming to video!

Matt Ryan as Constantine. Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Deadman, The Demon and ... Batman? Ok.  That is still cool.

Check out the video sneak peak.





SO looking forward to this one!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Kickstart Your Weekend: Gaslight 5e

Without realizing it I made this a 5e themed week.  Not just 5e, but unofficial add-ons to your 5e game.
So I'll end the week with a 5e-based Kickstarter for a setting/system I am very familiar with.

Gaslight has been out of 3.x based OGL and Savage Worlds.  Now there is a 5e version coming out and I am quite excited.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/battlefieldpress/gaslight-victorian-fantasy-for-5e-fantasy

Here is what I said of the 1st edition of the OGL and SW Gaslight RPG:

If you enjoyed the old Masque of the Red Death game, or just Victorian Gothic games in general then this is a great choice.  What is particularly nice about this nice about Gaslight is how much history is included in the book.  While that might be your thing, this is quite important for a Victorian game.  There is also a great overview of the whole world, not just England.  For these alone Gaslight is a worth the price as resources for any other Victorian game. Gaslight does give you more than that.  There are new races you can play, such as werewolf and vampire, which are found in many games. But also the more uncommon Beast Men (which I have only seen in one other game) and the unique (as far as I can tell) Wildlings; or unaging wild children.
There are plenty of new options for all sorts characters, of any race or background. Not to mention new magic, groups, and plenty of foes to face.
I compared this game to the old Masque of the Red Death. Well if MotRD is "Dracula" then Gaslight is "Varney the Vampire"; less familiar, but maybe a touch darker.
Personally I think this game will work much better under 5e than 3e.  So I am really looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Classic Modules Today

A tip of the hat to Armchair Gamer for sharing this.

There is a group online that are converting classic D&D adventures over to 5e and putting them up for sale on the DM's Guild.

Classic Modules Today has a website, a Google+ group and of course modules for sale at DM's Guild.  They are working through a list of modules and you can see their progress on their website.

I grabbed their updates for the Drow series, D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth and D3 Vault of the Drow for a buck each.

Sure there is nothing there I could not figure out on my own, but it's all here and only a buck.

I also grabbed their conversion of B4 The Lost City.  It has conversion file (which I don't really need) but also the OpenOffice document files you can use to create your own conversions.

Maybe one day I will do the conversions of the D&D4 Orcus vs. the Raven Queen adventures. They are not exactly classics, but I would still like to run them some day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Class Struggles: The DM's Guild Witches

Initiation Ritual by Trishkell
I'm very deep into my D&D5 game right now and I have already scribbled out a notebook full of ideas of how to convert my Witch class to 5e.  So much so that I feel like I am in a good place now to look at other people's interpretation of my favorite class for 5e.

While there is a lot of fun D&D5 information out there, I focused my attention on the DM's Guild online store.   This is not an exhaustive list and it is not in any particular order.   Well...they are in the order they opened up in Acrobat.

General notes.  There is a lot of things you can get away with in the DM's Guild that would never fly under the OGL or in the OSR.  I am going to have to judge these on their own merits and not the merits of professional designers or even the enthusiastic amateurs of the OSR/DIYD&D crowds.

Witch Class, D&D 5e (inspired by Dragon #114 witch)
Christopher J. Ferguson, 9 pages, $1.00
I love the art for this one, but the background image makes it harder to read and difficult to print.   He starts with a bit of history of the witch in D&D, but I am not sure if the author knows how far back this class actually goes.  That's fine the focus here is on the Dragon #114 witch.
This witch uses both Intelligence and Charisma for spellcasting and is a divine spellcaster.  There is a distinction between White and Black magic witches.  I like the "A Blessing and a Curse" idea here. It's a nice touch.  The witches also get a lot of powers in addition to their spells.  Some, like the candle magic powers, really do invoke the memories of the old Dragon Magazine witch.   There are even 5 new spells.  I had hoped that since this was inspired by the Dragon witch that there would be High Secret Order spells too, but the author did not include those.
There are some good ideas here.

Witch Class (5e)
William Russell, 13 pages, PWYW (paid $1.00)
I rather like this one.  The layout is really nice, very professional. The witches here as presented as natural spell-casters; learning through natural ability and experiences. Wisdom is the spellcasting ability for this witch and are natural Ritual Spellcasters.   This witch also has a number of witch traditions; fey, hedge and shadow.  All provide the witch with background and provide some powers. This witch also can assume animal shape and has a spirit kin; something like a spirit animal.  There is a list of spells, but no real new ones.
There are a lot of great ideas in this one to be honest.

Witch Class
Todd D, 6 pages, PWYW (paid $1.00)
This witch is more like a warlock, but that is what it is advertised as.  These witches appear to be manipulators of Fate.  These witches also use Wisdom as their spell casting ability.  Instead of pacts or traditions this witch has "Heritages"; the Traditionalist, the Blighted, and the Clarivoyant.  Each one gives the witch some different sorts of powers.  Ends with a spell list.
At six pages it seems a bit thin, but does exactly what it said it was going to do.

The Shaman - A New Take
From A Point of Inspiration, 8 pages, PWYW (paid $1.00)
Not exactly a witch, but close. This class has spellcasting foci, like a fetish or idol, which gives it a nice feel.  Wisdom is the spellcasting ability.  This class also has some spirit based powers that are interesting.  The relationship here is similar to the cleric and druid is similar to the Sorcerer-Wizard-Warlock one.  I think I would have liked to have seen this class use something more like the Warlock style spellcasting to be honest, but what is here works fine.  It is a good class, but I am left wanting more.

Spells of the Unapproachable East
From Polaron Posadas, 12 pages, PWYW (paid $1.00)
This collects various spells that have appeared in some Forgotten Realms books in previous editions focusing on the lands of Thay, Aglarond, Rashemen, Thesk and the Great Dale.  If these names do not mean anything to you, don't worry, I only am vaguely aware of them myself.  The point here is that there are a lot of "new" spells for you.   The spells comprise the last 8 pages.  Some are familiar enough to me just because I have been playing for 36+ years, but some are new to me.  Twelve pages for a buck (or less) is not a bad deal really.

Glamour Mage Class
From Phoenix Bryant, 12 pages, PWYW (paid $1.00)
This one is nice since it comes in both screen and print ready versions.  While not exactly a witch, it covers a lot of the same ground.  Spellcasting is like a warlocks and a emphasis is given on glamour and flashy spells.   There is actually quite an interesting and unique class here and one I'd like to try playing.  Maybe an NPC would work well.

New Warlock Invocations
From Mad Le Fou, 8 pages, PWYW (paid $1.00)
Four pages of new Warlock invocations and two pages of a new Fighter archtype, the Hexblade. The Hexblade obviously gets some ability from the Pact of the Blade Warlock, but some martial ability as well.  The artist is not listed, but I found his work here: http://rodimus25.deviantart.com/art/Fantasy-Warlock-174156589

Pacts & Patrons (and eldritch invocations!)
From Pilleri Federico, 12 pages, $1.50
Two new pacts and five new patrons for warlocks.  The art and layout is nice.  The Aegis Pact is similar to Pact of the Blade.  The Pact of Concoctions makes the warlock into a brewer of potions.  The patrons are for me the more interesting part of the book.  These include The Archmage, The Ascendent (almost a god), Fate, Mother Nature and the Phoenix.  Each comes with some flaws and an expanded spell list.  The last couple of pages are devoted to new invocations.

Druid Circle - Circle of the Eremite
From Nathan England, 3 pages, PWYW (paid $0.50)
Potion brewing druids. Comes with printer friendly and screen versions.  This class has a Hedge Wtich feel about it to be honest. A bunch of new potions are listed at the end.
Not a bad idea, but feels a little off to me somehow. I have not put my finger on it to be honest.

3 Archetypes #04 - Druid
From Diego Bastet, 4 pages, $1.00
What is says on the tin. Three new Druid circles including a Circle of Witchcraft.  Interesting ideas, but not entirely sure it works for me. The Circle of Rebirth and Circle of Seasons are more interesting and come a little closer to what is expected from a druid.

Archetypes for D&D
From Donald Stelling, 7 pages, PWYW (paid $1.00)
Five new archetypes including a witch (sorcerer) and the witch hunter (any).  The witch gets some new spells (from other classes) and four new powers. If I were to use this with other witch classes I might call it a Witch-kin or a Witch-blooded.

The Dungeon Master's Handbook II
From Andrew Cawood,  94 pages, $4.99
The largest book downloaded from the DM's Guild so far.  Lots of lists of monsters and encounters, most of which I have no need for. Sadly that accounts for about 40 some pages.  There are about 30 pages of monster stats with minimal descriptions and no art.  If you are running Curse of Strahd I see that there is some use in this.

Wizard Tradition: The Witch
From Devlinus Productions, 7 pages, PWYW (paid $1.00)
This presents three witchcraft Wizard traditions: White, Black, and Gray and two Patron: the Fiend and the Earth Mother.  This one is more in-line with other TSR/WotC versions of the Witch, esp the 2nd and 4th editions where the witch was akin to the Wizard.   The author even states that the 2nd ed Witch kit was one of his favorites and I can see that here. The Patrons and the traditions offer mostly role-playing favor to the witch, but that is fine.  The witch gains ritual casting abilities and boons.  The odd thing about this one are the minimum ability scores required.  I don't recall any D&D class having minimum ability scores required in 5e.  There are some good ideas and certainly a witch I would like to try playing.

I think I will do something I did for Necromancers in 3.x and later witch-like classes in 4e. I'll print these all out, but them in a binder and make a character using each class.  It would be a lot of fun. Well...fun for me anyway.

I can even throw in this one from the DnD-5e-Homebrew Tumblr.
http://dnd-5e-homebrew.tumblr.com/post/138019533480/witch-class-by-zarieth


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Getting ready to start running the Giants series next week!




Since I am going to be running this under 5e I made some conversion notes and print outs to help me along.




Not to mention some great user supported material online from various sources including WotC.






It's all coming together rather nicely I have to say.

I put these all together in a binder and opted to print one side per page so I could right notes on the other blank side.   It is nice to have over 36 years of material created for these adventures to help me along today and make the experience one I know my players will enjoy.  Can't wait to get into to this!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: D&D 5e Homebrew Tumblr

Typically I don't pay much attention to Tumblr. But this is something that has popped up a few times on my feed that is too cool to ignore.

The D&D 5e Homebrew Tumblr page has a ton of really nice material for a D&D 5 game.  Including a lot of monsters.


The pages are well done and there is a lot of material here.
Including some new dragons:


http://dnd-5e-homebrew.tumblr.com/post/147797832343/how-to-train-your-dragons-nightfury-by


Princess Mononoke/San

http://dnd-5e-homebrew.tumblr.com/post/144553345402/spirit-of-the-wolf-by-jonoman3000


It's fun blog and worth your time if you play D&D5 at all.


Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

It's A Great Time to be a Geek!

If I could send one page of my blog back in time to my younger self, it would be one where I list the dates all the major tech companies had their IPO...but  the second page I would send would be this one.  Two DC movies, four DC TV shows (more if you count Lucifer, Gotham, I Zombie and Preacher), Doctor Strange and a new Blair Witch movie.  Was Comic Con going on or something? ;)

Here are all the goodies...tip o' the hat to Tim Knight at Hero Press for most of these.




This is so good! And Etta Candy!



Aquaman looks like a bad-ass, plus a double dose of Wonder Woman?  Yes please!





Flashpoint!



Justice Society!



Not a fan of the ship design, but if it is pre-Kirk then I can live with it.


Been waiting for this one for YEARS!




Not to mention great things already out like Stranger Things, Star Trek and the new Ghostbusters.

Friday, July 22, 2016

End of July! (Sorta)

Almost.

The ENnie Voting is done.  Thanks to everyone that voted for me.

RPGNow has their Christmas in July Sale going on now and for the next week.  Check that out.
On sale, in particular, is my Sisters of the Aquarian Order for White Star (which is also on sale).


Today is also my 21st wedding anniversary.  So I'll be celebrating that today with the one thing we have done since 1987...going to see a Star Trek movie!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Class Stuggles: The Thaumaturge

I am a sucker for new classes, especially magic-using classes. So I was very pleased to hear that +Matthew Skail was releasing a new class designed to replace the magic-user in OSR games.
The Thaumaturge is a 20-level spell casting class in 10 pages for any OSR-like game.

The main feature of the titular class is their non-Vancian spell casting system.  Now  I will admit that I am a fan of Vancian magic. It is part and parcel of playing D&D in my mind.  That being said I have experimented with a number of non-Vancian and spell-point enabled systems over the years.   But I keep coming back to Vancian magic.   The Thaumatuge is a well thought out class though and the system has merit.  There is a bit of 3.0 in this class' DNA, namely extensive use of the ability modifiers, but not so much as to drive away die hard Grognards.

The class is well written and could easily be dropped into any OSR game.  In fact I think such things should be encouraged; different lands should have different types of magics.

The main feature of this class though is not just the spell-point system, but rather a system that gives the magic-user the means to do some dice-rolling just like the melee types.  Having seen this more in 4th and 5th edition for arcane types, this is not something to be underestimated.  People love to roll the dice to see if they hit or, in this case, a spell's success.   There is even something in this that I normally call a "repeated casting modifier" (called Overcasting here).  The idea of the "Mastered Spell" is also a nice one.   Again, nothing we all have not seen elsewhere, but still nice to have in one place.

Since this is designed to replace the standard Magic-User it still uses Intelligence as the primary ability.  I think though a strong case could be made to replace that with Charisma and make it a unique class.  They can use the same spells as the Magic-user does, much like how the magic-user and elf can in Basic, or the Wizard and Sorcerer in 3rd edition.

There are also a couple of new spells and some new magic items.  All for less money than a 20oz bottle of soda and a bag of chips.

There are some formatting issues with the document.  Page numbers would also be nice and I'd put in a manual page break over Optional Rules.

Thoughts on Expansion
While reading this I could not help but think that is actually two classes.  First, there is the stated design goal, an augmentation of the magic-user class.  But there is also a completely new class here as well.  We can call them the Thaumaturgic Wizard and the Thaumaturge respectively.  Now on paper there is no real difference here, but the concept opens up new possibilities.
The Thaumaturgic Wizard implies there can be Thaumaturgic Clerics, Thaumaturgic Illusionists or even a Thaumaturgic Witch.
The Thaumaturge, however, is a different sort of caster.  To go with the dictionary definition of Thaumaturgy you would almost need to add a little bit of clerical power to them without necissarily invoking some diety.  Or at least a couple of the cleric's spells.   Again, I'd base his spellcasting ability on Charisma at this point and make him something like a counterpoint to the witch.

This class as written would also gain some benefit from some of the ritual casting as presented in +Kasimir Urbanski's Dark Albion: Cults of Chaos.  If you use spell points then places of power is a nice logical extension.

I have to say there is a lot of ideas here, certainly more than it's page count suggests.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Vote! (and a test post)

We are in the last few hours of voting for the ENnies. So here is my last ditch attempt to beg for votes.

Also, I wanted to test out this Facebook embed functionality.


So yes please. Vote for me!


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I am up for an Ennie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Plays Well With Others: Dark Albion: Cults of Chaos

The newest supplement for Dark Albion is now out, Dark Albion: Cults of Chaos.  With a name like that how can I possibly say no?

A bit of history, I worked with author Dominique Crouzet quite a bit back in the late 90s and early 2000s.  I know what sort of thing he likes (or at least liked) in this area, so I know I was going to be pre-disposed to like this.  +Kasimir Urbanski is also the author and his contributions were going to be a bit more of a mystery. But I liked Dark Albion so my expectations were pretty good.  Like Dark Albion, this book can be played with any flavor of D&D you like. It is simple enough and light enough on the "crunch" it can actually be played with just about any RPG really.  While reading I Was thinking about it in terms of Pendragon, Cthulhu Britanica and other games.

Dark Albion: Cults of Chaos is the cults and cult-like groups book for the Dark Albion campaign setting/rules.  The book itself is 92 pages (94 with covers). This includes 2 pages of character sheets, a cult sheet and the ogl.  Minus title page and various bits we are looking at 80+ pages of solid content.
The art is all black and white and is a mix of newer art and woodcut designs.  I am rather fond of the woodcuts myself, I love seeing these in books.  I recognize a number of pieces as belonging to Dominique; so he is one of the artists as well as one of the authors.
The first part of the book deals with the cults.  In particular their size, composition, what social class they come from (very important really) and of course their motivations and where their secret lair might be.  Life of the cultist within the cult is also detailed to a degree.  Enough anyway to get you thinking more about them. In particular what they do in the cult, why they might have joined and possible mutations.  That one needs some more explaining.
Some cults are so exposed to the forces of Chaos that their cultist can begin to mutate.  A great idea that I am glad to see here.  Dom and I did something similar for Warlocks back in my 3.0 edition of my Witch book.  So immediately I grabbed on that as something to use.  The idea though has a lot of traction. There are similar ideas in Lamentations of the Flame Princess and I believe Dungeon Crawl Classics.
The next section covers running advnetures involving these cults.  Obviously these cults are not menat to be a one-time adversary. They are meant to be reoccuring antagonists and potentially even the "Big Bads" of your game.  This includes a number of NPCs, mostly normal level humans, that are involved in the their cults.  Don't assume though that "0 Level" = powerless. Nobility wield a lot of power regardless of level, a noble in a cult can be very bad for a party of adventurers.
I might as well acknowledge the inclusion of the "Frog Cults".  I still think "Frogland" is kind of dumb to be honest, but I don't mind these cults at all.  In fact wasn't "Temple of the Frog" the first real adventure played in D&D and certainly one of the first ever published.   The "Keepers of the Frogs" from Blackmoor could certainly fit as a DA cult.


Packed amongst all of this information are also tables of rumors and other information PCs can learn.  I thought of this as the "Scooby Doo" section of the book; the PCs split up and search for clues.

We next get some sample cults and some examples of some cults in various dungeon settings.  These are split up into low, medium and high level.

The appendicies are very interesting and include a section on Elves in Albion.  This section reminded me a bit of a similar direction given in Castles & Crusades Codex Celtarum.  Indeed, one could use both books together to get a large, more detailed picture of the elves/fae/sidhe.  DA tends to be low-fantasty compared to the C&S High(er) Fantasy.  Still in niether case are these "D&D Elves", they still have more incommon with the likes Obereon, Titania and Puck than Tanis or Legolas.

The next appendix details a score cults of various types. All ready to drop in your game.  The last appendix details sorcerery and chaos and the strange things that can happen when they mix.
We end with a cult creation sheet and a character sheet.  The character sheet should be offered for free download, I think people would like it.

All in all a fun book.  There is nothing here we have not seen before in one form or another, but to have it all one place with this particular presentation is great.   I am reminded a bit of the old Witches and Pagans book from White Wolf that covered similar territory. I even pulled out my Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade to see if this would work well enough with it.  It would take some work, but it could be done.


What strikes me most is how easiy it is to integrate this into any game you like.  The crunch that exsists is easily converted. Since a lot of the die rolling deals with tables and their results, conversion is a simple process.

I mentioned in the past that Dark Albion is particularily friendly to +Jeff Talanian's Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Using a page from DA:CoC one could easily add DA style elves (and of course their cults) into the world of AS&SH.  AS&SH style witches and warlocks seem particularily suited for the the chaos magic of DA.


In the end I thought this was a fun purchase. Glad to have it and glad to mine some ideas from it.

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Who You Gonna Call in 2016?

So last night I was inspired to crack open my long forgotten Ghostbuster RPG books.  I will go into this system in some detail later (I have some D6 stuff planned) but for now I want to represent the new cast with the classic 1986 rules.
The 1986 version of the Ghostbusters RPG uses a proto-version of their later to be the wildly famous D6 system.

The nice thing about this version of the system is it so damn easy to use that I could recreate the characters in a very, very short time.

The system has you build your characters on a 12-point economy.  Well, I took some cues from the cast as presented in the books and went with a 13-point economy on points. Maybe a little less for Kevin.  One of the features (it's not a bug) of the Ghostbuster movies and cartoons is the characters are all pretty much characters.  Look, I don't care how much you love the first movie. I love it more and Venkman is pretty one dimensional.  Two-dimensional at best.  Egon? The same.  Ray has a bit more going on I think and so does Dana.  Louis Tulley? No.  BUT that is fine!  It works for this game really, really well.  So representing this cast with only 2 hours to get to know them is not a big deal.

So here they are, the class of 2016!  I am presenting them in the style of the Ghostbuster ID Cards (dropping "telex" and putting in email).



Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy)
TRAITS (Talents)
Brains 5 (Paranormal research)
Muscles 3 (Brawl)
Moves 3 (Throw things)
Cool 3 (convince)

Brownie Points: 20
Goal: Prove Ghosts are real
email: DrAbby@gbi.net

Dr. Erin Gilberts (Kristen Wiig)
TRAITS (Talents)
Brains 6 (Physics)
Muscles 2 (Run)
Moves 2 (see)
Cool 3 (orate)

Brownie Points: 20
Goal: Pure Science
email: egilberts@gbi.net

Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon)
TRAITS (Talents)
Brains 6 (Engineering)
Muscles 1 (Brawl)
Moves 2 (fire weapon)
Cool 4 (charm)

Brownie Points: 20
Goal: Build cool stuff
email: SciBabe@gbi.net

Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones)
TRAITS (Talents)
Brains 3 (Local NYC knowledge)
Muscles 3 (Break Things)
Moves 3 (Drive)
Cool 4 (Charm or Fast Talk)

Brownie Points: 20
Goal: To protect her friends and city
email: pattyNYC@gbi.net

Kevin (Chris Hemsworth)
TRAITS (Talents)
Brains 1 (Basic life skills)
Muscles 4 (Lift)
Moves 3 (Attract Attention)
Cool 3 (Bluff)

Brownie Points: 20
Goal: To be a Ghostbuster, and maybe figure out the phone
email: yournamehere@gbi.net

I like it. They fit well.
I'll need to delve deeper into this system in the future.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Alas, 4e (Part 2)

Over a year and a half ago I lamented the final loss of Fourth Edition D&D.
Whether it was the loss of the plans I had for the game, the game itself or the sizable investment I made in the rules I am not sure.

Tonight it is late, and I am working and looking across the room from my office to my game room where my Fourth Edition collection sits.


I loved the art. I loved the attention that was made to the design of the game.  Was it D&D?  I can't answer that for you.  For me it was "near D&D" just like Pathfinder was/is.  In some ways Pathfinder was more D&D 4 than D&D 4 was. They were cousins, born at the same time and whose grandparents had trouble telling apart as their favorite.

Since that post, I have been dipping every so little back into 4e.  I am not planning on getting back into it anytime soon that is for certain.  But I do wonder if someday I will.

I am also wondering about going all digital with 4e.

DrivethruRPG has a sizable collection now of Fourth Edition PDFs.  A few I have already bought.
I could simply unload a few of those books, not sure how or where, and then rebuy them on PDF.

I love that 4e was very modular in layout.  I very easily could cut up all the books and reshuffle them to have all the classes in one place, all the skills and feats in another. All the monsters, mostly alphabetic in yet another.   The organization appeals to my innate sense of order and collection (or is that OCD?).

The real question is, is it worth it?  Obviously, if I played the game more then yes.  But I only dabble. Here and there now. I like the fluff.   One day maybe I'll run the HPE Orcus vs. the Raven Queen arc in the Forgotten Realms under 4e.  But not anytime soon.

Meanwhile, till I decide it is going to sit there and stare back at me.  Taunting me.

What would you do?

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Review/Preview: Crimson Dragon Slayer 1.11

+Venger Satanis has been producing material for a long time. Longer I think than most people really know.  I Remember talking to him back in the early part of the 2000s.  He had some cool, weird, interesting stuff back then, but not all of it was ready for prime time.  In the last few years he has put some quality product and made a name for himself in the RPG/OSR sphere.

A while back I reviewed the Crimson Dragon Slayer game.  I had some nitpicks with it but overall I liked it.  This new Crimson Dragon Slayer, version 1.11, is a little different.  IT is free, and if you bought the old one you can also get a combine version for the price of a click.

This "new" game streamlines CDS into a game that can be setup, taught and play begins in one hour.Not a small feat really.  The new game distils everything that made the first CDS different and makes it work.   The die system revolves around a d6 set of rolls, sometime 1d6, 2d6 or 3d6 (or even a 4d6) depending on the difficulty or even the new 0d6.

Everything is stipped down. Three basic races (human, elf, dwarf) and four classes (warrior, cleric, wizard, thief).  Everything from combat to leveling up is designed to be simple.   I see the same design philosophy here that I see in other stream-lined games.  There is enough here to really attach some very interesting ideas to not counting the built-in campaign view.  There is even a simple 3-page adventure to get your characters from level 1 to level 2.

There is still some work that needs to be done before this is a full product but so far there is a lot of promise here.  I am very interested in seeing where this goes and what sort of options are available for higher levels.  Right now the game is very fast and open and has a lot of potential.

For the right crowd of gamers this would make for a great afternoon diversion and for others it would become their game of choice.  For the price you really can't beat it.

I think there are somethings here (and the promise of others) that I could steal for my own OSR games.

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I am up for an Ennie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".


Monstrous Mondays: Baby Bestiary Vol. 1

Baby Bestiary Handbook Vol 1

A while back I posted support for the Baby Bestiary vol 1 and 2.  Volume 1 is now up for the Best Interior Art and Best monster/adversary ENnies and it is no surprise.  The book is absolutely gorgeous.

+Andreas Walters has put together a fantastic book that is part monster manual, part field guide, part ecology book and a huge part art book.

The book is a densely packed 81 full-color pages.  Easily one of the best-looking books to be nominated for an ENnie.   Each monster description comes with details on what the young of each monster is called (a baby Hippocampus is known as a "fry" for example), how hard it is to train the young and other vital facts such as danger and intelligence levels.

The book would make for a great coffee table book really and I hope there is a nice leatherbound option in the future collecting both volumes.
Of course, the obvious choice here is the older gamer that has kids that LOVE monster books.
I have forgotten how many times I have had to go on rescue missions to my kids rooms to find my D&D books.  I still have a Pathfinder book that I can't account for in fact!  For younger kids a "baby monster" game, ala Pokemon, gotta catch them all, would be fantastic.
Since there is little to no "crunch" in this book it is compatible with a wide variety of games.  Play your favorite game, use this book as your guide and go monster hunting with your kids.

In any case, this is a really fun book and I am really looking forward to Volume 2.

Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

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I am up for an Ennie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ghostbusters (2016)

This weekend we went and saw the new Ghostbusters movie.   Before I get into that I want to talk about the original Ghostbusters from 1984.
I love movies. I have seen thousands over the years, and Ghostbusters is one of my favorites. I love comedy and horror and grew up on a pretty steady diet of Saturday Night Live.  Because of Ghostbusters I picked up my first psychology book.  Ten years later I was getting a Ph.D. of my own in Psychology.  I spent hours going over the paranormal section in my town's small, but fairly decent library.  I was already a fan of horror and the occult by then, Ghostbusters made it all cool and new again.
For my games, I tried to make my cleric into the rough D&D equivalent of a Ghostbuster.  I created two new spells, the sixth level "Father Werper's Crystal of Containment" and the seventh level "Father Werper's Crystal of Disruption".  Both spells needed a pure quartz crystal, a round one for the containment spell and a prism-like one for the disruption.  Yeah not really all that original, I was 15.
I even tried adapt bits of Chill for my use.
For years Ghostbusters ruled as my favorite all-time movies.  I even recall sitting in my basement office about six or seven years ago wrapping Christmas presents while watching the Ghostbusters DVD commentary thrilled like it was brand new to me.

So it was with no small amount of trepidation and a lot of excitement when I heard about the new Ghostbusters.

I should not have worried.

The new Ghostbusters is every bit as good as the first and in some ways even better.


Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones are brilliant in their respective roles.  McCarthy and Wiig make a great team that paly well off of each other.  Plus I could totally buy into them being friends and rival scientists and then friends again.  Leslie Jones is fantastic and Patty is a great and logical addition to the team, she certainly (as a character) hold her own with the crazy mad-science antics of the other three.

But I have to say this.  Kate McKinnon steals every single scene she is in.  Dr. Jillian Holtzmann is now my new favorite Ghostbuster ever.  She is not just fantastic in her acting, but in everything, she is in and does.   I have been a fan of hers for a while and this movie is finally allowing others to see how great she is.

The movie, by the way, is fantastic. The trailers do not do it any justice at all.  There is a good story here, which the trailer never gives away, and a great villain.  The cameos are fantastic and a nod to the true fans of the 1984 movie.  Stay for all the credits for all the cameos. Unlike the first movie, this movie sets everything up for a sequel.  A sequel that is very likely to happen given this weekend's box-office.   Anything that gives us more McKinnon and more Holtzmann is fantastic in my mind.

If you are one of those complaining about an "all woman remake" because it is all women.  Get over it.
This movie is great on its own merits and one I want to see again.
If you don't like remakes on general principle, well I can't help you there save to say that you should see this anyway.

The prevailing wisdom in Hollywood has been that an all-female cast is box office poison.  I hope this starts to change things.

I grew up with Ghostbusters.  Now my kids have a Ghostbusters they can grew up with.  I think they have a pretty good deal.


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I am up for an ENnie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Friday, July 15, 2016

Kickstart Your Weekend: Strange Magic 2

Interjection Games and Bradley Crouch are Kickstarting an update to their wildly successful Strange Magic called, appropriately enough, Strange Magic 2.



This book looks great and it will be for Pathfinder and D&D5, so that is cool and a nice value add in my mind.
They even have a preview up on RPGNow that you can grab as Pay What You Want.
Strange Magic 2 - Preview.  The Druid and Cartomancer look really cool.

Check it out!

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I am up for an ENnie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review: Chill Quickstart - Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Chill Quickstart: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

I am woefully behind on all my reviews.  None am I more late on than reviewing what should have been something I jumped on right away, Chill 3rd Edition.

I was very disapointed when I saw that Chill was not up for a ENnie for Best Game this year.  The consolation though is that the rather excellent Quickstart for Chill is up for Best Free Product.

This is good since you can experience Chill for the price of a couple of clicks.

Now my love for Chill is WELL documented here on this blog. When everyone else was playing Call of Cthulhu (and watching their characters go mad or die) I was playing Chill (and watching my characters die).  Or more to the point I was creating elaborate scenarios involving SAVE.   I loved Pacesetter Chill and even drove out to the old Mayfair Games warehouse to score a brandnew hardcover a few years back.  I own pretty much everything for Chill and even Rotworld/Cryptworld/Majus.

On to the product as hand.
Chill: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is a 46 page "Quickstart".  It has everything you need to play the game now except for people, dice and some tokens.  Don't have 10-sided dice?  Fine, get a deck of cards, remove the royals, put all the black suits in one deck and all the red in another.  Shuffle them.  When you need to roll choose a black card and a red card.  Count tens as "0" and aces as "1".   Save the face cards, the royals, for your tokens.

With this Quickstart author +Matthew McFarland has distilled Chill down to it's essence. It's a game about fighting the Unknown.  There are a couple of pages devoted to the mechanics of the game; find a target number, roll that or under. Avoid botches (doubles over) but hope for a Colossal Success (roll doubles and under).  Tokens are also covered.

An overview of the character sheet comes next breaking down the Attributes, Skills, Edges, Drawbacks and where you record damage.  There is also a spot for The Art, or some magical/psychic abilities.  This edition seems to focus a bit more on this than the previous, normal-human-centric point of view of the previous, but that will wait for a full reveiw.

This makes up the first half-dozen or so pages.  The next dozen covers Combat and The Art. Combat is just another type of test/roll and The Art are "fancy" skills.  The nice thing is when one system is learned the rest are easily picked up.

The rest of the book is the adventure.  I don't want to give out any spoilers for potential players, but the adventure is a classic one for Chill.  What kind of adventures are good for Chill? Well anything you might see on "Supernatural", "Grimm", "Kolchak" or "The X-Files" would make for a great Chill game, but also the stories you told as kids about the haunted house, or the mean old neighbor lady or the monster in the sewers.

The quickstart includes some characters to get you up and running fast. There are maps, artifacts and investigation sheet to make this feel like a real investigation into the paranormal, or what Chill calls The Unknown.  Enough background is given on SAVE to make it interesting and to make you want to know more.

For the price you can't beat it. If you ever told a scary story to others with a flashlight under your chin, dared a friend to go into a "haunted house" or watched a Hammer Horror film then this is a great game for you.   An ENnie win for it would let others know that too.



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I am up for an ENnie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Class Struggles: Cthonic Warlocks and The Return of Tharizdûn

Working through my "end game" for my Come Endless Darkness campaign.  Like the Gygax book of the same name my main Big Bad is Tharizdûn.  Also like the books I am sure that the universe is going to look very different when I am done.

Through the various adventures, the big plot emerging is that Orcus, Lolth, Yeegnohu and others are taking advantage of the death of all the Sun Gods, but no one has yet confirmed or not if they have any actual involvement in it. They suspect Orcus.

In truth it is all going to be Tharizidûn.  This is something I have built up over the last couple of campaigns.  The "Dragonslayers" (the generation before the "Order of the Platinum Dragon") uncovered the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdûn.  His big plan, of course, is to get free.

Currently, I have him in a cage deep in the lowest part of the Nine Hells. Asmodeus is still his jailer and in many ways is the very first Warlock of Tharizdûn.  He has been siphoning off Tharizdûn's power for centuries, it is how he took control of Hell in fact.  But Tharizdûn knows this and while Asmodeus has been doing this, Tharizdûn has been pulling him deeper and deeper into his thrall.

In my games Tharizdûn also has another title, "The Whispering God".  This comes from his warlocks who say their god whispers in their ears and tells them secrets. And convinces them to do terrible things.  He is also known as the Elder Elemental Eye and worshiped by elemental-demon cults. He is also worshiped by the Drow that do not follow Lolth.

Recently Strange Brew: Warlocks was released.  It includes a version of the Whispering God that I used in my games. I am particularly proud of it to be honest.
WARLOCK PATRON: THE WHISPERING GOD
Deep in forgotten tombs, hidden in forsaken forests, and haunting long-abandoned churches of long-dead gods, you can hear it. It is soft, but it is there. Once you hear it, then it is always with you—day and night, sleeping and waking. It is the voice of the Whispering God. No one is for sure who or what the Whispering God is.
There are no churches or priests dedicated to him. No stories of creation. No heroes. No tales of battles. Just the constant whispering. Those warlocks who follow this entity are blessed and cursed: blessed with great power and cursed with the voice of their patron in their ears forever. No one knows what the Whispering God wants or even why he/it needs warlocks and not clerics.
The speculation is that he is a god trapped in prison so dark and so perfect only his voice can escape, but just barely. He needs these warlocks to spread the word so he can escape. Others claim that the god is nothing more than the madness that will consume all “his” warlocks.
For Pathfinder this is a "Cthonic" Patron.  For D&D 5 this would be an "Old One".
For my players, it means trouble.

Here is a Cthonic Tradition for the Basic Era Witch.

New Tradition: Cthonic

Witches of the Cthonic Tradition honor and some say are slaves of, very, very ancient powers. Some are inhuman powers from beyond our reality and understanding. Some are ancient Primordial Beigns from before the times of gods or mortals. A few are Dead Gods whose worship continues and whose power remains.

More so than any other witches, these are most often called Warlocks.

Role: These witches and warlocks represent a tie to the ancient past or to other unworldly powers.  They represent classical villains or the scholar that has delved too deep into things that mortals were never meant to know.

Joining this Tradition: To join one must either discover the Cthonic Patron of be discovered by one.  For example, the Cult of the Whispering God hears their Patron's whispers when they uncover hidden knowledge about the God or venture deep into areas that were formerly His centers of worship.

These witches tend to be Solitaries or be involved in small cults.
They are for the most part are chaotic, with some gravitating towards neutral. Rare is the lawful Cthonic witch, but it is not unheard of.

Leaving this Tradition: Often there is no way to leave this tradition; not even in death.

Occult Powers
Minor - 1st Level: Grimoire. The warlock does not gain a familiar like other witches, but rather a semi-aware tome known as a Grimoire.  These tomes replace the Book of Shadows for these witches. These Grimoires are often sought after by occultist, magic-users.

Lesser - 7th Level: Immune to Fear. Exposed to so many horrors or alien minds warps the mind of the warlock to a point where normal fear has no effect on them.  Magical fear is also given a -4 bonus on saves.

Medial - 13th Level:  Alien Mind. The Cthonic witch has become so accustomed to dealing with alien and ancient minds that she becomes immune to charm and hold spells. Her mind can't be probed or read via telepathy, ESP or similar powers.

Greater - 19th Level: Curse. The warlock can place a powerful Curse on a single creature. She can only do this once per day (for a single creature). The curse can be of any sort, but usually the curse will bestow a -4 to all to-hit rolls and -2 to any saving throws. Other curses may be allowed, such as the Bestow Curse spell. Witch curses are quite powerful and require the use of two (2) remove curse spells to be fully removed.

Major - 25th Level: Shape Change. Once per day, the witch may change her shape to any type of aberrant monster, like the spell Shape Change. For 1 turn per level, the witch may move freely back and forth between her aberration and human forms. Once the form is chosen, that is the only form she can use for the day. So, a witch may choose to change between the forms of human and a roper but cannot go between roper, human and bird. Once the duration has expired, the witch reverts back to human form.  The witch does not have the special abilities of the aberant form save for those that she can manage with the form.  So the roper's tentacles would be replicated, but not the basts of a Sphere of Many Eyes.

Superior - 31st Level: Apotheosis.  The witch becomes something else. This new form and powers are dependent on the Patron she serves.  For witches of the Whispering God her voice barley rises above a whisper, but her voice can be used as a Command spell once per day, a Charm spell 3 times per day, and a suggestion seven times per day.


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I am up for an ENnie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Maze of the Blue Medusa

Maze of the Blue Medusa is the latest book from +Patrick Stuart (of Deep Carbon Observatory) and +Zak Sabbath ("Red and Pleasant Land" among others) and published by Satyr Press.

All of that is relevant to the review that follows. First, you can see the DNA of both DCO and RaPL in Maze of the Blue Medusa (MoBM hereafter). Not to say this is the child of the other two, unless it is a child the same way a medusa is the child of an arch-devil, but there are fingerprints all over it.

Satyr Press is important too. Not because you have heard of it (I hadn't) but because they are not known for their RPG books. In fact this is their first and only one to date.  You won't find MotBM on DriveThruRPG or RPGNow. I have no idea if my favorite local game store carries it (though they did have RaPL).  So already we should know from all of this we have something different. And we do.

I have had MotBM now for a little while but I have been purposefully holding off on reviewing it till know for a very specific reason.  I want to review it now so you can vote for it at the ENnies.  Yes, I know that calls my bias into question and my intentions.  But there is the Product (which I am reviewing here) and there is the Philosophy (which is why I want you to vote).  I am going to review the Product, but I want to talk about the Philosophy.

Ok brass tacks.  What is Maze of the Blue Medusa?
Extremely simply put MotBM is an adventure.  It is a huge dungeon in the very, very classical sense that for what ever reasons your characters will investigate.  The PDF is 296 pages. This contains a map of the "Maze" (spoiler: it's not really a maze), both Zak's lavishly painted version and a utilitarian numbered one that is also hyperlinked (Philosophy vs. Product right there).  The PDF is massive, hyperlinks everywhere and the art is, as expected, top notch material from Zak.   I can't help compare it to Red and Pleasant Land, and favorably so.  The art is central to the map. OR the map is central to the art. They are one and the same really. So don't come to this product if you want grids or blue borders on your maps.  I love all that stuff, I do, but that is not this product, nor would it ever be.
The maps remind me also of the board game Dungeon! a little bit.  Same sort of color, same sort of "flat yet, multi-dimensional" feel to it.  I will be honest that was what attracted me most from the start.
The Maze is both explicitly and implicitly multidimensional.
The only thing I can relate it too was this multivariate regression course I took back in grad school where we tried to replicate 4, 5 and more dimensional multivariate axes on two-dimensional paper.
For me, at least, not only is the PDF hyper-linked, the Maze itself is hyperlinked.


We are given a brief history and a timeline involving an immortal medusa and three perfect sisters.
There is insanity all around them, thus the Maze.

Or whatever.

I like the background and it pulls me into this world, but it happened (game wise) so long ago how can any of the PCs be sure?  Implicit in the design is that you can do what you like here.  This is evident in the coding of the monster stats in some Ur-D&D. Designed to be flexible and compatible with a wide variety of editions and games.

Which gets me to my first big point on Philosophy.
The Maze has no meaning save what the reader/player puts on it.
I am not trying to discount what Zak and Patrick wrote in the book. Not at all, quite the opposite. They worked very hard to provide a copious amount text and background.  But like the medusa who changes people with her gaze, the Blue Medusa is changed by the gaze of others.   The details are enough to get you going but how it works in your world with your players and your style of gaming (not to mention the ruleset you choose) will change it.  The language used here is less "I am telling you what is happening" to "I am inspiring you to tell what is happening".  The difference is profound.  It made the work Zak and Patrick had to do harder, but more rewarding.  It is not their domain (or dare I say even their right) to tell me why the Medusa or Chronia don't age, it is enough that they don't and the world moves on.  Do you need to know for your game? Maybe, that is up to you.

The monsters, or really NPCs, are unique and tailored to this. Same with the magic items.  Sure there are some liches, but that seems to be expected given the rules of the Maze to be honest.  Hell I might throw in a couple more and have them be former adventures from my gaming groups of the neolithic days of D&D just amuse myself.   But in truth no-one is there without a reason.
One could, based on the surface features, call this a dungeon crawl but that is nowhere close to what it really is.  Yeah you can use it as that, but that is a waste of material.
Plus, unlike the great adventures of yesteryear (which I am still inordinately fond of) there are good reasons why these monsters/npcs/characters are hanging around here.  There is no sphinx guarding the corridors as in White Plume Mountain. There is no monster here because it fit the challenge rating of the rest of the dungeons.  Things are here because they serve a purpose in the Maze itself independent of whether or not the PCs are there.

There are also enough things going on in this dungeon/book that I could not help but be amused by knowing the histories and interactions of the designers.  I nearly spit out my coffee at the Canibal Critics.   I also have to admit I adore the Glyph Witch.

Now personally I am huge fan of the PDF. It is hyperlinked and I can jump all over the Maze in a way that is both utilitarian (Gods...I just called a Zak Sabbath book "utilitarian")  but also aesthetically pleasing.   I want to say though that the pictures of the hardcover are absolutely gorgeous.  It's the type of book you leave out and hope your non-gaming friends find a leaf through.

Sometimes They Get Lost
With so many characters (both senses of the word) wandering the halls of the Maze I can't help but have two thoughts. 1. Is this the authors' idea of what hell is? It has all the features of the Greek Hades or even Dante's Inferno. I am quite certain that all the NPCs represent real people in the lives of the authors. I have not identified them all and I am not likely too, but it is a fun exercise.  Also 2. Is this where all the lost characters go?  Sometimes when you play with a group, players come and go, what happens to their characters?  I am not talking about inbetween major adventures, but in the middle of one.  One session there are there and the next...gone.  Maybe...just maybe some of them end up here. They are lost in the truest sense of the word. Not evil, not good, but lost.  Maybe they have wandered the halls for a thousand years but still think that it was only minutes ago they got here.  Maybe they are all too painfully aware of what is going on but are powerless to do anything about it.

Why Should I Buy Maze of the Blue Medusa?
Buy this if you are the type of gamer that loves a new and unique challenge. Buy this if you are the kind of gamer that is bored of the typical dungeon crawl where you kick in a door, kill the giant rat and collect your 2,000 coppers.  After 36+ years of gaming, precious little seems "new" to me.  This feels new.  The ideas are old, but the presentation and the execution are new.
Buy this for the jaded gamer who thinks they have seen it all.
I am going to pick up the hard cover because I also think this adventure makes for good reading.  There is an implicit story here I would love to tease out for my own world.

Why Should I Vote For Maze of the Blue Medusa?
Obviously, I think the product is worthy of such consideration. This why I am posting now as opposed to last week or after I get my hardcover.  This is my next big point on Philosophy.  You buy MotBM for the Product, but vote for the Philosophy.  Zak's writing, work and much of his blog is about how games can and should be better.  MotBM is the tangible artifact of that ideal.  Now my "better" and your "better" and his "better" might not all be the same thing, but the effort to do something different needs to be rewarded.  The effort to try out adventure design where one designer paints and the other writes and they go back and forth should be rewarded and acknowledged.  There is also the fact that this is essentially a D&D product. If this were (gods I am going to catch shit for this) FATE adventure or something from the Indie Press Revolution, the style would be heralded and pedalstooled by that faction of gamers. This is the Indie RPG aesthetic applied to DIY D&D.

Maze is up for the following ENnies:
Best Adventure
Best Cartography
Best Electronic Book
Best Writing
and Product of the Year

Personally, I think it is worthy of all of these. Foremost Best Adventure and Best Electronic Book.
Buying sends the message to the authors that you appreciate their work. Voting sends the message to other authors that this is the sort of thing you like and you want to see more.  So please, vote for this.

We need more adventures and supplements like this.

I have no idea where I am going to use this, but I will use it.

Good job +Zak Sabbath and +Patrick Stuart.  Looking forward to seeing what is next.
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I am up for an Ennie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".


Monday, July 11, 2016

ENnies 2016 - Vote for The Other Side

Voting is now open for the ENnies Award and I am up again for Best Blog.



Is this just a popularity contest? Sure. But so are the Oscars, the Presidental Election, and Miss America.  Since I am not up for any of those, I'll focus my efforts here.
But in truth it is also an honor to be nominated. My peers think that my work here is good.
Voting for me also sends that message. It means something to me. It means you like what I do.

So if you can, please give me a vote. It is really appreciated by me.



Click the link, choose “1” from the drop-down menu under my blog’s name and click Vote.

Since I live in Chicago, vote early and vote often! ;)

I will have some of my own picks later this week.

Monstrous Monday: Camazotz & Weekend Round-up

This weekend I took the Order of the Platinum Dragon through the classic module C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.  I ran it semi-tournament style. That is I focused on the areas from tournament play where suggested, but I did not keep the scoring.  Given the trap crazy nature of this module I also gave XP for clever ideas on how to defeat the traps.

I changed it a bit to fir the current "Come Endless Darkness" storyline. The party was teleported there after the Council of Greyhawk scryed for anything that might help them re-ignite the sun.  The crystal pointed here and off the party went.
They appeared in a jungle with a pyramid of into the distance and an opening in front of them.

Yeah, so it was an Egypt project my son did...
Entering the tunnel the soon where confronted with traps of a sort.

I played up the "Temple of the Sun" bits and focused a lot on the various god depictions in the dungeon. In particular the ones with the bison, coyote, bear, serpent and eagle heads.   They encountered the evil neried and decided to drain all the water out of the room with a portable hole. That convinced her to tell the party what was a "safer" route.

They mangaed to find their way up to the temple where a sight of horror was found.  On the temple floor were hundreds of dead humans and among them four dead gods. Each god was dressed in Olman garb wearing sylized headgear of the bison, coyote, bear, and serpent.  All of their hearts had been cut out.  On the altar was a god wearing the Eagle head gear, his heart was also cut out.
They party recognized the gods not only as the gods from the frescoes, but also they were the Cinco Hermanos, their retainers from the Keep on the Borderlands.  Standing over Eagle/Cinco/Ixion was the demon bat god Camazotz.  In his hand was the heart.


The paladins attacked right away and managed to force Camazotz back to his home plane of Xibalba in the Abyss.  But Cinco (as always played by Danny Trejo) was dying.  He told the Order that he tricked Camazotz into taking his liver instead of his heart (gods can do the sort of thing), but he was dying anyway.  He convinced them to take his heart so they could use to relight the Forge of Moradin.  This would give them enough magic to at least keep the world from frezzing to death.

The forge was relit with the help of the only surviving members of Greyhawk's great wizards, Bigby, Tenser and Mordenkainen. But at the cost of their own magic.

Now the Order has been sent to investigate the possible outbreak of attacks by a group of giants.

This adventure was a big one.  It set up the next act of the campaign, it brought back the Cinco Hermanos (though only for them to die) and revealed the Orcus connection to the death of all the Gods of the Sun.

It also allowed me to bring in Camazotz as a demon lord.
Here are the stats I used, Maybe not 100% accurate for 5th edition, but it worked yesterday and the kids did not have to fight him much.

Bat King by FangWangLlin
Still getting the hang of these monster stats, but they are based on my Labrynth Lord/Petty Gods stats for Camazotz and the D&D5 stats for Yeegnohu.

All in all I like it.  Can't wait for the kids to run into him again in Throne of Bloodstone!


Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!
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