Archive for November, 2010

The Loremaster’s Curse

This week’s adventure is a tribute to Matt James and his website, loremaster.org. Matt regularly creates new and interesting D&D content for DMs and players alike, and his website name inspired an easy encounter based on his exploits. Visit his site and contribute to the forums, or follow him on twitter.

The Loremaster’s Curse is a standalone encounter designed for five 12th to 14th-level adventurers. The soul of an ancient dragon has cursed a scholar, forcing him to release monsters contained within the books of a long lost library. The players must fight back several waves of legendary creatures before taking on the dragon in an attempt to release the loremaster from the library’s grasp.

Download: PDF | PDF (no map)

The winding canyons of Jemas hold many secrets, but even more dangers. Built long before history could remember, the canyon walls give way to intricate sculptures and ornately-crafted temples, carved into the canyons and leading deep into the surrounding mountains. Those brave—or foolish—enough to enter these ancient buildings will tread through the tunnels and hallways left by a forgotten culture; there are few answers as to why the temples are now vacant, or why they were ever there at all. Each room holds antiquities, history, and treasure for the taking, though local tribes warn against such thievery—those who do remove items often disappear without a trace.

Many scholars are drawn to the temple to learn from its history and artifacts, hoping to gain more knowledge and understanding of the past. One such visitor is a scholar known as Mathas, a prominent mind in the world of ancient lore and history. Using his keen mind and experience, it wasn’t long before Mathas discovered a secret chamber within the canyons—an expansive library known as the Halls of Knowledge. Within these annals are seemingly endless scrolls of history, chronicles of ancient battles, and archives about Jemas, years ago, under the rule of a cruel group of dragonkin known as the Pantheon of Urlux.

Entranced by his magnificent find, Mathas began to digest the knowledge within the books and scrolls, eventually stumbling upon an ancient book adorned with draconic emblems. The book, somehow free of dust and the decay of time, seemed to speak to Mathas, intimately guiding him through the history of Jemas and the Pantheon of Urlux and leading the unsuspecting loremaster through a series of magical phrases and rituals that released a soul fragment of one of the pantheon’s malicious leaders—General Xaldraxis.

Freed from the book, Xaldraxis possessed the body of Mathas, using his magical prowess and knowledge to release the legendary monsters contained within the pages of the library. Now, beset upon by the mythical creatures of the cursed loremaster, the people of Jemas look to others for help. Each day, Mathas discovers more powerful entities within the annals; the canyons won’t be able to hold them back for long. It’s only a matter of time before the future of Jemas becomes lost to its own history.


The Golden Hand

This week’s post is a 3-encounter adventure based on the first post I made here back in January. I’m a little embarrassed by the writing/mechanics/damage errors I made before, so I had been planning to update this one for a while. Enjoy!

The Golden Hand is a short adventure designed for five 9th to 11th-level adventurers. The city of Macetol is a paragon of peace, a shining example of justice and order. But beneath its golden streets lies a terrible secret; a violent past that threatens to reclaim power and return the city to tyranny.

The players will descend below the city to stop the ghosts of an order of fanatical knights, fighting off restless souls, a cabal of conspiring clerics, and finally the spirits of the knights and their zealous leader.

Download: PDF | PDF (no map)

Led by a dedicated order of paladins following the will of Bahamut, the city of Macetol is a paragon of peace, justice, and order in a world rife with chaos. But things were not always so calm inside the golden walls. Long ago, during a period of civil unrest, a paladin named Arturius was given absolute power to deal with the rampant crime and corruption.

Calling themselves the Order of the Golden Hand, Arturius and his council of knights decreed a state of martial law upon the city, believing the only way to bring back peace and order was through controlling the population and destroying those that opposed their rule. Serving a perverted sense of order, Arturius and his knights ruled from an ornately decorated table, perfectly round­—indicating that all men are equally accountable to the laws of Macetol.

The Order of the Golden Hand ruled the city without tolerance; those accused of dissent and sedition were executed, and the smallest crimes given excessive sentencing without a trial. After years of oppression, the denizens of the city fought back against Arturius and his council, subduing them. As a punishment for their atrocities, a group of wizards bound their souls to the round table, imprisoning Arturius and his council within. The temple itself was buried, and a new temple of Bahamut built on the remains.

Centuries passed, and the people of Macetol began to create a fiction in order to forget their darkest hour—a virtuous story of Arturius and his noble order, who defended the city during its golden age and now rest in a sacred chamber beneath their beloved temple. There are few left who know the truth of Arturius, and they dare not mar the memory of the city’s greatest hero.

But now, the past threatens to return. After a devastating earthquake, the entrance to the temple below was unearthed, the table broken, and the knights released. Those brave enough to investigate have been lost, and those above speak of a dark presence—whispers heralding the city’s return to true order.


Dragoon Paragon Paths

I’ve updated the Dragoon class with 4 Paragon Paths and 10 class feats, as well as updating and tweaking a lot of the damage and abilities. I’ve been doing a lot of testing with it lately, and all of that has finally been implemented. I’m especially proud of the Cloudwalker path and Super Jump (FF tactics fans will appreciate it), so hope you all enjoy it. I have many of the paragon and heroic powers finished, but I’ll post them when testing is complete.

Download: PDF

Major changes were:

  • With Skysoul Focus, you can jump an additional 2 squares with Leap the first time you use it in an encounter. This makes it easier to initiate combat and still have momentum.
  • All of the non-weapon attacks now target non-AC, as it was harder to hit with those attacks without the weapon bonuses and feats.
  • Drake hit points and damage have been adjusted.
  • One of the paragon paths allows you to dump the drake companion. In exchange, you can reroll 1s and 2s on the Momentum damage dice and jump farther.
  • Coupled Strikes has been adjusted so as not to be as ridiculously overpowered as the Ranger’s Twin Strike.

By Skin & Teeth

By Skin & Teeth is a standalone encounter designed for five 4th to 6th-level adventurers. A horrible curse has returned, transforming the residents of Remulos into monstrous werewolves. The players must fight off the monsters and bring an end to the horror, while trying to resist the curse’s power.

Download: PDF | PDF (no map)

The town of Remulos has a dark past. A century ago, as legend tells it, a strange disease crept over the city’s residents, triggered by moonlight and transforming many people into fearsome monsters. These abominations slaughtered most of the population, flaying the skin from their victims and devouring the rest. The townsfolk fought back and killed all of the monsters, burning the bodies and dumping the remains into a nearby chasm, condemning the monsters, and the memory of them, to the depths of the abyss.

Ever since, the ancient mine shafts leading to the abyss have released a ghostly wind, howling incessantly as it swirls through the tunnels below. There are few alive who believe the story, though even the skeptics were unwilling to enter the howling mines of Remulos, and, when the moon is full, the streets are empty—doors locked and windows bolted.

Now, a hundred years after the events supposedly transpired, strange things have started happening. Bodies have been found, partially-eaten, the skin removed. People have become ill, often disappearing within days of the sickness. Rumors of monsters­—giant wolf-like creatures—prowling in the forest surrounding Remulos, have been spreading throughout the houses of the terrified townsfolk—rumors that are all too familiar. And a full moon shines so very bright.