Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5E Monk Monastic Tradition: Way of the Soulknife

WAY OF THE SOUL KNIFE

You follow a monastic tradition that teaches you to focus your ki to form a blade of psychic energy. Each soulknife's personal blade, referred to as a mind blade, differs in color and shape according to his personality, mental strength and even mood.

MIND BLADE
Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level you learn to form a semi-solid blade composed of psychic energy. As an action, you can form the mind blade. The mind blade is identical in all ways (except visually) to a shortsword. The mind blade is considered magical for purposes of overcoming damage resistance. The mind blade is also treated as a monk weapon. The mind blade does slashing and psychic damage. By spending 1 Ki point, you may throw the mind blade as a ranged weapon up to 30 feet. Whether or not the thrown mind blade hits the target, it dissapates after the attack is made.

EMPOWERED STRIKE
At 6th level, you can empower the mind blade with a build-up of psychic energy. For each Ki point spent, the mind blade does an additional 1d6 damage (maximum 4d6). This extra damage is only for one attack. However, after the mind blade is charged with the extra damage from spending ki, you can hold the charge until it is used in an attack.

BLADEWIND
At 11th level, you can momentarily fragment your mind blade into numerous identical blades, each of which strikes a nearby opponent. You make one attack against each opponent within reach. When using bladewind, you forfeit any bonus or extra attacks granted by other abilities.

KNIFE TO THE SOUL
At 17th level, when making an attack with the mind blade, you can spend 6 ki points and if the attack hits the target, it is subject to a Feeblemind spell. The save DC is 8+proficiency bonus+ Wisdom modifier.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Monster Conversion Tools for 5E

Just in case people aren't aware I have been using this tool that Brent Newhall made to convert AD&D and 3.5 edition D&D to 5E monsters.  The original basis of the tool was originally created by Stan Shinn.

It's nice to have tools made by people who have done the heavy-lifting.  Thanks guys.

I plan to do more conversions of monsters from the Fiend Folio and which are encountered in Barrowmaze for 5th Edition D&D.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Pathfinder Xhuul: Game 3

Today, we continued my Pathfinder game set in my homebrew setting of Xhuul.  We did not get to play last month because of a scheduling conflict with two of the players.  The last game ended with the party inside the Emerald Spire dungeon where they had just finished a battle with Kobolds and had entered a room to the south.

Our cast of characters as follows:

Brogan, Dwarf Rogue level 1
Arkon, Human Cleric of Gorum, level 1
Runar "Malik" Liefson, Human Fighter, level 1
Kord Taan, Gnome Sorcerer (Fire Elemental Bloodline), level 1

The game started with the party deciding whether to investigate a door leading east or going back to a room to the north to check out a door also leading east.  Brogan decided to head to the door in the room they were in and listen for any noise.  He did hear several whispered conversations of Kobolds beyond the door and returned  to the party to tell them.  A plan was decided that the party would back up into the room behind a wall the divided the room into two sections and they would send Malik to the door and open it and have him yell and run back to wards the party.  They felt that maybe this would goad and entice the Kobolds beyond to chase him and lead them into an ambush.  As soon as the door was opened, only two of the four Kobolds in that room reacted enough to fire their bows at the fleeing Malik.  Both arrows missed, but they did not pursue, but instead sent one of their number out another exit to raise the alarm of the party's position.

The party waited for the Kobolds, who they were sure were going to be charging after Malik.  Malik took a position down the east west corridor that conatained the store-room they found last game and the double-doors that lead the the spiral stairs leading downwards.  The party continued to wait and that gave the Kobolds enough time to send another group of Kobolds to come up behind Malik from the room to the north.  They attacked with suprise firing arrows from their bows.  When that attack began, about two rounds later, the remaining Kobolds from the room that Malik opened the door to, exited and managed to get in a position that enabled them to fire upon Kord.  The party was being attacked to two flanks and things were getting tense.

Arkon cast an Enlarge Person spell on Malik that allowed him to block the way south to the rest of the party from the Kobolds attacking from the northern guard-room.  He had taken several hits from arrows and so could not capitalize on his new size and strength that round and had to spend it by consuming a Cure Moderate Wounds potion.  The rest of the party had thrown a flask of oil into the corridor leading south and lit it to created a hazard for the approaching Kobolds coming from the south.  One of the Kobolds risked running through the flames, slipped and died horribly to the flaming oil.  Another Kobold following behind him tried the same thing and managed to survive the flames, but was struck down by Arkon's longspear as it tried to move past him.  There was another Kobold in that group, but I don't remember which party member managed to kill it, but that was a round later.

Meanwhile, Malik and Kord were holding off the Kobolds attacking from the north, and killing them one at a time.  Malik was flanked by the Kobolds in one round and took several hits from their spears after they had dropped their bows in order to engage in melee.  They wouldn't have been able to use their ranged weapons without provoking oppurtunity attacks because of Malik's reach.

Eventually, the party killed all the Kobolds, but at the expense of all of their healing potions and oil flasks and acid flasks.  They had started the game low on spells, but they decided to press onwards.  Heading to the room the Kobolds sallied forth from to the north, it was discovered to be a mess hall with a door leading out to the east.  A quick search revealed nothing of value in the mess hall, so Brogan once again approached the door and listened for any noise beyond.  He did not hear anything so he opened the door and it revealed what appeared to be a kitchen, but there was a metal humanoid construct and a Kobold behind it wearing robes.  Brogan quickly closed the door and told everyone what he saw.  Then the door opened and the construct came in and attacked Malik.   Brogan struck the construct with a light mace and the thing began to spark and sputter with arcs of electricity, but it was still attacking.  The Kobold in robes stayed in the room beyond, and cast fire bolt from it's hand to strike Malik.

Things went south for the party very quickly.  Malik was at zero hit-points after taking a fire bolt attack from the Kobold, meaning he was staggered and could still move, but not able to attack without falling unconcious.  Brogan was slammed by the construct the next round after he struck it with his mace the previous round and he too went to zero hit points, but then took damage from the Kobold's fire bolt and that brought him to negative hit points.  The following round saw Arkon drop unconcious when the construct exploded sending electrical damage out in a 10 foot radius.  Kord panicked and ran away, seeing that the situation was at this point was dire.  He made it out of the dungeon and the rest of the party died as they were all unconcious and slain by the Kobold.

So not a Total Party Kill, but close enough.  Kord made his way back to Throxia in order to recruit new adventurers to help him take up the quest to find the two missing wizards that the wizard Ilaria Storen had hired tha party to find.

So at this point three of the players will be making new characters.  One of the contributing factors to the hardship the party faced was that the player who played Arkon the cleric, channeled negative energy, so was not built as a healer.  He was a follower of Gorum, so was more combat oriented.  Also, though their plan to try and lure out the Kobolds into an ambush was a good idea, the Kobolds were dug in to defend their positions until they knew where the party was at and then would call upon reinforcements to try and attack the party from two directions.  If the party had charged in, they would only have had to deal with 4 Kobolds instead of the 8.

At this point they did manage to clear most of the 1st level at this point, when the new party returns, they will only have to deal with the Kobold Cleric that was flinging fire bolts and the Kobold Leader whom they haven't encountered yet.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Module Research: L1 The Secret of Bone Hill

I've been reading the AD&D module, L1: The Secret of Bone Hill, to see if it would be a good place to run a 5th Edition D&D game.  It would take some tweaking for sure, but it would have to wait until the Dungeon Masters Guide comes out so I can see how monsters are designed/built and see how the magic items have changed for the new edition.  Also I would need to see how treasure distribution is implemented.  In skimming through the module, there are a bunch of magic items and loads of treasure I think would imbalance the game.  It may be okay for the 1st Edition of AD&D, but might not fit the design philosophies of 5th Edition.
Scarlet Witch scores a crit!

I went to the internet to see if others had run a campaign using this module and any reviews of it that might be helpful in running the game in general.  I found this blog The Restenford Project that discusses the module and provides some interesting insights and suppositions to the rumors tables and the NPCs in the module.  This really helps to flesh out the sparse NPC backgrounds and provides some food for thought.

Though it is never really stated what exactly the "secret" of Bone Hill is, there are certainly mysteries within that an enterprising DM can expand upon.