Haven: Seeking Luath Draoidh’s Tomb

On July 24th, Year 12, some of the leaders of the Vale, seasoned adventurers all, set out to seek the tomb of Luath Draoidh. They are infuriated by the slaughter the Ar-a-mach carried out in the village of Druim Cridhe and concerned that they are only one key away from being able to break the seals after a team of them tried to take the last key from the Clouded Citadel.

  • Rovert (TrS): Level 22 Human Necromancer (Level 5 Tower)
    • Drej, Level 5 Psuedodragon Familiar
    • 50 foot undead purple dragon (mauler)
  • Verdis (HuS): Level 17 Human Fighter (Level 5 Keep)
  • Conan (MiM): Level 15 Elf Vampire Magic-User (Level 5/1 Establishment/Keep)
    • Skarr, Level 7 Hawk Familiar
    • The Crew of the Clouded Citadel including 30 archers and various henchmen

Following a copy of the map taken from Glic’s tomb many years ago and having consulted Dargos on the names of many of the mountains east of Stalla Airgid, they travel on the Clouded Citadel up river, through Slighe Airgid, over Stalla Airgid, and around the north side of Dia Thairneanach, the mountain they believe the map indicates.IMG_20180901_180751
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Biweekly Item-Peephole Coin (AD&D)

This coin, when pressed up against a wall or door or other solid object up to 10 feet in thickness, can be looked through like a peephole by the user. It is blocked by any amount of lead. The field of view is appropriately limited for seeing though a small hole in a material so thick, with the character able to see almost perfectly well through a thin sheet but able to discern little more than light or dark through a 10-foot wall. 

Caveats and Limitations?
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Rise of Lolith S11-Evren’s Clone

As soon as Argent hears the sound and starts to move, the intruder on their camp rushes directly toward where Evren is hiding. To his surprise, it is a dark-skinned, female elf, only the second he has ever seen. While the newly arrived drow dodges a fire gout and Argent hurries to catch her, Evren meets her head on.

  • Evren (BiW): Level 6 Drow Psion Thief
  • Labkost (ByW): Level 6 Gnome Magic-user
  • Argent Smith (RiH): Level 6 Human Monk

As they wrestle, the new arrival’s clothes change to match Evren’s. Argent isn’t sure who to attack, but Labkost starts taking his chances on fire gouts as he does the best he can to pick a target.

Who could it be?
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Product Release: Pretty Pennies

Just a little late to my monthly release for July, I present Pretty Pennies: Making Copper Pieces Worth the Encumbrance. I’m very pleased with the outcome for the month, even if I needed a little extra time. A continued effort in the next month should produce another big one, or maybe I fail and fall back on a small one. Anticipate!

This document is designed to help add value to denominations of coins below gold pieces. It does so in three ways: magic coins that can be found in piles of coins, a new NPC expert hireling who can increase the monetary value of hoards of coins beyond face value, and example of how emotionally charged coins can enhance the powers of the fey.

Need More?
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Biweekly Monster-Phantasm (AD&D)

PhantasmPhantasm
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
NO. APPEARING: 1-4
ARMOR CLASS: 8
MOVE: 9″
HIT DICE: 2
% IN LAIR: 90%
TREASURE TYPE: S, T
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-8
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Phantasmal force
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: See below
INTELLIGENCE: Semi-
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Neutral
SIZE: M
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

Phantasms resemble zombies in most ways except for in their ability to move slightly more quickly and to cast phantasmal force at will (one active at a time). They use this primarily to create false walls in dungeons for their own amusement, though it is possible for them to create other illusions such as fire to cause greater confusion if the opportunity arises.

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Haven: Back to the Top of the World

On July 17th, Year 12, Snass and Polly justify to themselves that they need more funds to finance their pursuit of the dryads as they have sworn to the Great Rakshasa. They decide to seek those funds by returning through the fey to get more soaring stones to sell to Rovert, in case they can run into more useful information. They enlist Gorg for the use of his wagon and have another tag-along:

  • Gorg (HuS): Level 7 Orc Thief
    • Shergi: Level 1 Goblin Magic-user Henchman
  • Snass (TrS): Level 6 Kobold Monk
    • Irsshdanish: Level 1 Awakened Wolf Brawler Henchman
    • Minsshdanish: Level 0 Awakened Wolf Henchman
    • Level 3 Wolf Animal Companion
  • Polly (MiM): Level 5 Dwarf Brawler
  • Hugo (CoS): Level 1 Kobold Thief

PXL_20210718_001031341Already the victim of two fey oaths, Snass wants to achieve the mission while spending as little time as possible in the fey. They find they edge of the Green Wood and, assuming it to be circular and having tested the relative distances inside and out, set out tangentially to it and travel 15 miles (the distance in the fey they hope to avoid travelling). Their travel is greatly slowed by heavy rain and rough terrain not suited to the wagon. They attempt a right angle turn back toward the Green Wood but by nightfall are concerned that they may have gone far enough away that they are on course to pass it completely. They camp without any incident.
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Play Report: Keep on the Borderlands, Session 5 (Hunting Bandits)

While my Saturday night group has been online for maybe three years, we got together in person for the first time in forever to continue Keep on the Borderlands with Rick Stump’s unfinished AD&D Clone (a step beyond Far Realms). When they sold the Quasqueton statue to the Castellan, they also promised to hunt the bandits to the south of the keep. A week or so after those events, they are ready to go find them:

  • Hary (JaH): Level 2 Halfling Scout
  • Bunrum (ByW): Level 2 Dwarf Fighter
  • Eden (BiW): Level 1 Human Cleric

Henchmen:

  • Rubin: Level 1 Human Man-at-arms
  • Dullis: Level 1 Human Man-at-arms

Not able to cross the river or the swamp with their cart, they leave it at the keep and head out. Hary scouts ahead and soon finds their camp with about half of the bandits there. They decide to try to catch the bandits who are out, circling the hill.

Who will find whom
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Grappling Hand Totem

This life-size wooden statuette of a hand can be thrown with an attack to hit armor class 10. On a hit, the hand grows to a massive size and holds the target as a Bigby’s grasping hand spell for as long as 10 rounds, taking 25 hit points of damage to destroy it. When destroyed, it burns away. Otherwise it returns to statuette form after the duration and recovers any damage at midnight.

Experience Point Value: 1,000

G.P. Sale Value: 7,500

I thought it was a monster week and lay in bed figuring out what monster to do on short notice, guess that will wait until next week.

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Lorem School of Excellence: The Tower/Dungeon

Today, Episode 6 of Harbinger of Excellence goes live. It’s named “The Dungeon” after the lower floors of the Occult Building, home to the School of the Occult (Math, Science, Lore, and Magic), as well as the school’s library (The Dungeon). I might have redrawn the map from this one I did for myself nearly a decade ago, but I’m actually pretty pleased with how it depicts the building:

You may have noticed notes about the number of professors and such. Three professors in the Lore and Magic Department: Malack (Head), Victor, and Helga, and four in the Math and Science Department: Winston (Head), Sadicus, and two more I haven’t named and who I don’t anticipate needing to name in the book. I want the school to feel fleshed out and real with the number of professors it actually takes to run a small college. This is just the smallest School with its two departments. The Humanities School is the largest (4 Departments, 15 Professors) and the Martial School is the other (3 Departments, 13 Professors).

The first three episodes are the largest, and you can access them for free! They should quickly give you an idea of whether you’ll like the book: Harbinger of Excellence.

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Announcing: Harbinger of Excellence

This blog has been a project since 2013, with fluctuating levels of dedication over the years. In 2012, I started a different project that didn’t receive the attention this project received during the transition to graduate school and a career. It’s back, now, though.

Harbinger of Excellence has launched on Kindle Vella, an experimental service for publishing stories in a serial format. There are currently 5 “episodes” up (the first 3 are free and especially long), and 3 more are in the hopper to go live on the 16th, 19th, and 23rd. This will be the regular publishing schedule, Mondays and Fridays (I have no option to pick a time, so I have no idea when exactly they will release). I currently have 8 more written and ready to feed in after one more editing pass. I don’t intend for the blog, or monthly RPG releases, to be neglected during this new project. Obviously, something has to give and while getting the buffer built up, I’ve managed to make that thing video games. Fingers crossed.

I suppose you probably want to know what the story is about. It is a low fantasy setting: Ipiera, and the central conflict revolves around the a professor of ethics, Amaedus, and one of his former students, Rorrik, as the student threatens to upset the world order in the name of a philosophy of self-actualization.

I hope you enjoy it. I hope for this writing/blogging/designing cadence to work out so I can write many more books after this one.

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