Posted on

5e: Arm Wrap

One thing I hear over and over again no matter what edition or variation of D&D, there just are not enough magic items for monks. In an effort to fix that, I started writing some. As usual for this blog when showing off something not yet published in a book, it hasn’t been approved by my editors yet so it is not as polished as it would be when given the final nod.

Tell us what you think of it in the comments below. Support our efforts to bring you more 5e awesomeness by downloading our adventures, races and more at JonBrazer.com. You can also find our 5e game supplements at DriveThruRPG RPGNow Paizo and the Open Gaming Store.

Arm Wrap

Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)

When wrapped around the arms, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls on from natural weapons such as claws and bite attacks as well as martial arts that use unarmed strikes. If you have ki points, you gain an additional ki point.

Download our Fifth Edition PDFs at the JBE Shop. You can also find our 5e books at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow Paizo and the Open Gaming Store.

Posted on

Pathfinder: Playtest at Origins

Yesterday I got my first chance to play the demo of the Pathfinder Playtest, and I couldn’t be more excited to have been apart of it. I played in a 2 hour demo with pregen characters. So I would like to share with you my impressions of the game.

Before I begin, I would like to say that I am not going to talk about the adventure itself since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone that is going to play it. I am only going to limit my remarks to my thoughts on the game itself.

Have you ever played a sequel to a video game you loved and realized from all the changes and upgraded that this was for all tense and purposes that this is a completely different game (none of the original programming code reused whatsoever), but the design loveingly took the time and effort to make sure that the new game still look and felt like it was a successor to the original. Like those working on it loved the original game but knew the code needed to rewritten for modern audiences. That is exactly how this felt, only with a tabletop game. It is undoubtedly a different game than Pathfinder 1e, but it felt the same. That is without a doubt a good thing.

I played the Kira the cleric (my apologies to Paizo if I got her name wrong). The character had the Fire domain, giving her a bolt of fire as an attack. I was able to cure one person in the group with a touch and the whole group with a burst. The fighter moved and attacked. Traps were disarmed and on and on. All of this sounds familiar to Pathfinder 1e fans, but the way it happened is different in 2e. That fire bolt was launched from my pool of spell points instead of X uses per day. The fighter had a specific 2-action option for moving and attacking. Disarming the trap was assisted by the paladin because she had a background that helped in this matter.

All those differences are good and all, but what do I think of it? And more importantly, is this the 5e killer? Well, I like it. It currently appears to be a solid game from the little I saw of it. Is it a 5e killer, I think that is the wrong question to ask. The right questions is, are they going after the same audience? To me, that is an unquestionable, “No.” Fifth edition is an elegant game. It is fun and easy for new players to pick up and learn. It also has painfully few choices for an individual character. Sure you get a subclass in the early levels and can choose to upgrade an ability or take a feat every so often, but that is it. It is all to easy to make one elf rogue look exactly like another elf rogue in that game. Add in the fact that the number of books they sell that are not tied to a specific campaign that contain new player options can still be counted on one hand several years in, and it becomes obvious that Wizards designed their game to be played by casual gamers. They wanted someone that only had the core book five years after launch to not be intimidated by someone with the gym bag library at the table.

That is not the audience Paizo is going after. One year of Pathfinder 2e will see more pages of player options published than 5e has from their respective companies outside of their core books by the same date. Where 5e is covering the basic ideas for you to play, Pathfinder 2e is going to cover all the options, allowing you to make exactly the character you want to play. Between classes, class options, feats, skill feats, archetypes, and more, choices for your character are something you will not be hurting for in Pathfinder 2e.

That is where I see Pathfinder 2e finding it’s home, among gamers that want their character the way they want it and not having characters that are highly similar. Where 5e is the Basic Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder 2e is the Advanced game.

I just want to take a moment to thank Mark Seifter. He ran an awesome game for our group and took the time to answer all of our questions about it after the game. I am sure he had to do that a million times at PaizoCon and he was still fresh and engaging with us at Origins.

Be sure to check out all our Pathfinder and 5e options at the JBE Shop.

Posted on

5e: Vampiric Young Blue Dragon

Today I would like to share with you a fun mash up of two monsters: dragon and vampire. We are so use to vampires being humanoid that we forget that a vampire can be of any shape. So when creating it in another form, why not marry it a creature that is already scary like a dragon. Done like this, it opens up some new design space. You can make adjustments to the standard vampire abilities that fit a dragonic form much better. For example, we changed the ability Legendary Resistance to Legendary Scales. This is both familiar while still being unique for this specific monster.

As always, check out all our Fifth Edition products at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store. Supporting us lets us to bring you more monsters every Wednesday and other blog posts throughout the week.

Vampiric Young Blue Dragon

Large undead, neutral evil


Armor Class 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points 123 (13d10 + 52)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 80 ft.


STR 21 (+5) DEX 16 (+3) CON 19 (+4)
INT 22 (+6) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 20 (+5)


Saving Throws Str +10, Con +9, Wis +9, Cha +10
Skills Athletics +10, Perception +9, Stealth +8
Damage Resistances lightning, necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)


Legendary Scales (3/Day). If the dragon succeeds a saving throw that would normally deal half damage on a successful save, the dragon can choose to take no damage from the attack. Any conditions that would be applied on a successful save are still applied.
Regeneration. The dragon regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight or running water. If the vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampire’s next turn.
Vampire Weaknesses. The dragon has the following flaws:
Forbiddance. The vampire can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
Harmed by Running Water. The dragon takes 20 acid damage if it ends its turn in running water.
Stake to the Heart. If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the dragon’s heart while the dragon is incapacitated in its resting place, the dragon is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
Sunlight Hypersensitivity. The dragon takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack roll and ability checks. .

Actions


Multiattack. The dragon makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d12 + 5) piercing damage plus 5 (1d10) lightning damage and 5 (1d10) necrotic damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 18). The dragon cannot bite another target while grappling. The target’s hit points maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the dragon regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A dragon slain in this way and then buried in the ground or a mound of copper, gold, and silver rises the following night as a vampiric dragon spawn under the dragon’s control. If a humanoid is slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the dragon’s control.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d8 + 5) slashing damage.
Terrify. The dragon targets one dragon or humanoid it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the dragon, the target must succeed on a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be terrified of the dragon. The terrified target regards the dragon as a imposing image that must be obeyed. Although the target isn’t under the dragon’s control, it takes the dragon’s requests orders that must be carried out or suffer the consequences. Additionally, it is a willing target for the dragon’s bite attack.
Each time the dragon or the dragon’s companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until the dragon is destroyed, is on a different plane of existance than the target, or takes a bonus action to end the effect.
Black Lightning Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon exhales lightning infused with necrotic energy in a 60-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw, taking 44 (8d10) lightning damage and 44 (8d10) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Posted on

5e: Scroll of Blinding Ash

So I was leafing through the DMG the other day and I realized that there is a real shortage of awesome common and uncommon magic items. So I decided to start writing some. Magic items, especially low level items, make for an excellent and rewarding experience for players. They can separate an average game from a memorable game. Expect to see this and many other like it in an upcoming PDF release from JBE when we have completed enough to make for an awesome release.

Scroll of Blinding Ash

Scroll, uncommon
Upon activating this scroll, it turns to ash. The ash flies into the eyes of a creature within 30 feet and the creature takes 1d6 fire damage. On a failed DC 13 Constitution save, the creature is also blinded for the round.

You know what else makes adventures memorable? A unique adventure your characters never played before. Download Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin for your Fifth Edition game today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store. Prefer it in print? Order your copy at JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, or Amazon today.

Posted on

5 Questions Every Ranger Should Be Able to Answer

Frequently depicted as the paladins of the natural world, rangers are far more complex than that. They are the fighting force in the places few others dare to tread. They stand on the bridge alone, preventing others from passing. They are loyal to their cause, to an individual, to a group, or to an ideal. While their general mission of protecting those that cannot protect themselves against terrible dangers frequently draws them to the wilderness, they can be found in towns, cities, and royal courts. Some look upon them as vigilantes, working outside of the law while others see them as the only semblance of law where the local guard fears to stand watch.

Join us Fridays as we delve into the classes one at a time, helping you to get in touch with your character. Previously we had similar questions for the barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, rogue, sorcerer, and wizard.

1) Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?

One does not simply walk into the mouth of danger for no reason. Even treasure hunters and tomb plunderers do not seek out terrible danger half as terrible as a ranger encounters on an average Tuesday. You face this danger out of loyalty to someone, some group, or to an idea. What is it that you are loyal to? Describe those you are loyal to. Is it your hometown? Maybe it is just your family. Perhaps it is something larger, like your people who have been persecuted by the crown for generations and no one is coming to help you in your people’s time of trouble? Maybe your kingdom was conquered, and you are one of the last of the royal guard, living in the wilderness to avoid detection by the new rulers, all this time you are carrying out your liege’s final request: protect the people.

2) Why Do You Continue On When Few Others Do?

The obvious answer here is, “because I am loyal to them,” but that is to easy of an answer. Others were loyal as well but they abandoned their such a dangerous situation. You are a ranger and stand your ground when few others do. Something drives you forward when prudence and good sense says to flee. What is it? Are you fighting to earn the respect of the parents of the one you love? Do you seek the safety of your family and your people? Did someone now gone save your life and you are fight on in your memory? What drives you into danger?

3) How Did You Become So Comfortable with Nature?

A ranger works among by the wild places in the same way a physician does surrounded by the sick. Some find those environs so dangerous, they will work hard to avoid them. You, however, fear it not and even find it comforting. That level of comfort does not come without any explanation. It can be as simple as growing up in a small town or as a serf child on a lord’s farm and you played in the woods when ever the adults were not looking. Perhaps you’re an orphan or a runaway that fled a city to avoid those from whom you had no defense, found people that took you in and loved you, so when they were in danger, you stood your ground. Even more, you learned to make friends with animals. Did you share with a wolf some meet from a deer you shot? Did you pull a thorn from a lion’s paw? Did you raise a dinosaur from an egg?

4) What Was The Most Memorable Danger You Encounter Alone?

Remember, this is a world where a hag can disguise a cave as a candy house so unsuspecting children will enter, and it can devour them before the parents realize their young are even missing. So any tale about some deadly foe you encountered should be more interesting than a mundane mountain lion or bobcat. Make it something not from our world like gremlins, kobolds, giants, demons, or a ravaging horde of undead. No matter how you survived, it should not be by strength alone. Relying on your arm strength is for fighters. You should have survived and even overcome by your wits. Did you have the zombie horde run off the cliff edge like lemmings? Did you tie the giant’s shoe laces together when he was asleep? Did you sic the gremlins on the kobolds?

5) Do You Really Like Your Fellow Adventurers More Than Your Animal Companion?

Jokes about rangers loving their wolves a little to much aside, rangers are people that spend less time around others than they do battling monsters. Because of that, they can be socially less adept than other classes. So their interactions with their fellow adventurers should be a little awkward. No place is that better illustrated than in the Lord of the Rings when Aragorn first meets the hobbits. He’s abrupt, gruff, and even off-putting. It is when he proves to the four that he is there to help that they begin to trust him. In the same way, if your character grows up away from civilization and does not choose any Charisma-based skills, then your character should be rough around the edges. While your character should always be well meaning, helpful to the group, and never a jerk, there is plenty of room there for your character to be less than socially graceful. The strong-silent type, always phrasing their thoughts in as few words as possible, is an excellent way of doing this. No matter how you portray your character, remember to be one of the group.

Iragui is our signature ranger. His kind are knows as dragonborn but some call them a dragonspawn or even a wyvaran. He and his kind are no strangers to the wild places far from human civilization. With so much smaller numbers than humans, they have to be brave and delve into deadly places with little backup. Iragui knows the sounds of the woods and the smells of the caves. He know if the smell of mold is harmlessly decomposing something dead or if he should draw his weapon. He knows to be ready for battle when the birds are suddenly silent. All these little cues he constantly pays attention to, sometimes so much he misses the casual conversations of his fellow adventurers. While that doesn’t make him the most friendly of travelling companions, they do appreciate it when he warns then that battle is about to begin.

Find the racial stats on this dragon-based race and all our other nature-friendly races in the Book of Heroic Races Compendium and Advanced Compendium for Pathfinder, Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 as well as Player Races 2 for Fifth Edition, and Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races 1 and Age of Races 2 for 13th Age.

Posted on

5e: Halfling Warlock Skeleton

I just thought I would take a break from my regular posting of expanding the number of creatures you can summon with the conjure spells in your Fifth Edition game and post a monster I made just for fun. How to make NPCs for 5e is a quesiton I don’t have a good answer for since examples in the MM do not coorelate to levels in the PHB and their stats are completely off from what a monster of that challenge level should be in the DMG. The archmage is a prime example, Its an 18th-level spellcaster, is a challenge 12 monster but the hit points and armor class of a challenge 2 monster. Let me repeat that: the 18th level NPC has hit points and an armor class of a monster 16 levels below what it should be.

So how do I adjust that when I make an NPC? Short answer: The level of the NPC is it’s challenge rating. That 18th level archmage should be a challenge 18 NPC. How do I have it meet the stats of a challenge 18 monster? It gets as many hit dice as needed to be in that range. Think of it as that the NPC also has levels of aristocrat, commoner, or warrior—to use a 3.5/Pathfinder-ism. From there I make option choices to get all the other numbers where they should be.

Take the halfling warlock skeleton below as an example. I settled on a level 3 warlock, so I designed for a challenge 3 monster. We placed the 14 (from the standard 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 ability score array) in Dexterity where it gains a +2 from the halfling race, making it a 16. That +3 ability modifier means its armor class is 13, right where a challenge 3 monster should be. Sure it has only 3 levels of warlock, but that few hit points is going to put it squarely in CR 1/8 territory. So we added as many hit dice as necessary to get it in the 101-115 range. Now considering that the skeleton gave it a damage vulnerability to bludgeoning weapons and an immunity to poison, I felt letting it have 10 hit points more than the normal value was wall justified. The attack bonus on eldritch blast is +4 but its 8 damage falls short so we added repelling blast, making it push its opponents away. This will make coordinating attacks more difficult for the players. It does not make up for it fully, but it is a consideration. Having said that, the halfling warlock skeleton casts burning hands as a 2nd-level spell. That will deal an average of 14 damage each time it is used, counting as 28 considering it damages more than 1 creature. That is close enough to the damage expected for a monster of that level and can be considered balanced for its level, as described by the DMG.

I hope you enjoy this monster and remember to download our other Fifth Edition gaming material at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Halfling Warlock Skeleton

Small undead, chaotic evil


Armor Class 13
Hit Points 126 (28d6 + 28)
Speed 25 ft.


STR 8 (–1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 13 (+1)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 16 (+3)


Skills Deception +5, Intimidation +5,
Saving Throws Wis +3, Cha +5
Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Abyssal, Common, Halfling
Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Brave. The halfling warlock skeleton has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Dark One’s Blessing. The halfling warlock skeleton gains 6 temporary hit points when it reduces a hostile creature to 0 hit points.
Eldritch Invocations. The halfling warlock skeleton has the following invocaitons: agonizing blast, repelling blast
Halfling Nimbleness. The halfling warlock skeleton can move through the space of any creature that is size Medium or larger.
Lucky. The halfling warlock skeleton can reroll a 1 rolled on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, but must use the new roll.
Naturally Stealthy. The halfling warlock skeleton can hide behind a creature that is Medium or larger.
Spellcasting. The halfling warlock skeleton is a 3rd-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). The halfling warlock skeleton knows the following warlock spells:
Cantrips (at will): eldritch blast, mage hand
2nd level (2 slots): blindness/deafness, burning hands, charm person, command, comprehend language, hold person, protection from evil and good, scorching ray

Actions


Eldritch Blast. Ranged Spell Attack: +4 to hit, range 120 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) force damage. A creature hit by the halfling warlock skeleton’s eldritch blast is moved 10 feet away from the halfling warlock skeleton in a straight line.

Posted on

5 Questions Every Barbarian Should Be Able to Answer

Conan is the classic barbarian. Most artwork for this class depicts someone from a tribal background in some type of leather clothing covering only the bare essentials to be considered “decent,” wielding a sizable weapon. While there is nothing wrong with that image of a barbarian, it is only one interpretation of a barbarian. The problem with it came in when some versions of the game mechanically reinforced it. As late as D&D 3.5, a barbarian was illiterate unless you took “reading” as a language. This meant that all barbarians are tribal. Personally, I am quite glad this has been done away with. It allows for different interpretations of what a barbarian can be. One such interpretation: the movie Falling Down. In it, Michael Douglas plays a man who has simply had enough, lashing out at the problems he sees in society. This is one reason why I like the 13th Age and D&D 5e idea of background separate from a class and am glad that it looks like Pathfinder 2e is going that route as well. Ever wanted to play a noble that rejects the laws their family set up? Now you can.

When coming up with this 5 Questions I took a long look at modern and even some classic iterations of the barbarian class and decided to focus in on a few aspects that I feel are key: using anger as a way to help them fight, self sufficiency, and a natural instinct to spot danger. To see which aspect of the other classes we focused on for their 5 Questions posts, see what we posted for the bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, rogue, sorcerer, and wizard.

1) Where Does Your Rage Come From?

The classic answer is that you are an uncivilized person and you simply cannot control yourself. While this answer is perfectly fine, this is far from the only available option. You could be cursed (ahem, failed science experiment) that when you get into a fight you lose your head and fly into a battle rage, potentially making you a danger to everyone in the fight except yourself. My personal favorite is the civilized person that use to make biting comments and engaged in sarcasm–letting the rage inside of them out in small doses–but saw their friends and loved ones hurt and finally unleashing the full force of their anger. I like this one because it subverts what many expect a barbarian should be, opening up a range of character possibilities.

2) How Do You Try to Emulate Your Characters Rage?

This question is quite a bit more meta than the other questions we’ve asked in the 5 Questions series, but I think it is important with the barbarian. A barbarians rage is meant to be uncontrolled, reactionary. It is telling Hulk to “smash,” because telling him anything else isn’t going to help. So when you are done with your turn, you have to sit and wait for everyone else to take their turn. That design choice lends itself towards a more thoughtful, tactical approach to your character. If you play it like a tactician, carefully considering every move to figure out what is the optimal course of action, you are not letting your character live as they should. So to help me get into my barbarian more, I intentionally choose less than optimal actions if it means it would be more reactionary. When facing multiple opponents, I generally go after the toughest looking enemy until one of my allies is hurt, then I rush to attack whomever was hurt (prioritizing the squishiest ones first), taking whatever attacks come from leaving an enemy in the middle of a fight. But that is just me; how does your way to attack your enemies reflect being in an all-consuming rage? Do you ignore all but the closest enemies to you? Do you just run through your enemies, one attack at a time, no matter if they drop or not? What is your style?

3) How Do You Reflect Your Ability to Spot Danger?

The barbarian class typically grants some advantage to spotting danger. How do you reflect this in your character? Are you jumpy, ready with a weapon in your hands because a cute, fluffy bunny rustled some bushes nearby? Are you constantly looking g around, trying to maintain a constant vigilance? Are you always listening to everything going on around you? How do you role play your ability to spot Danger?

4) How Did You Learn to Depend Upon Yourself?

Barbarians are frequently have the survival skill and other skills that would help them do well on their own. That is understandable considering the classic barbarian is one that shuns civilized society for the natural world. It even makes sense for the civilized barbarian; getting angry rather quickly tends to drive people away, requiring you to depend upon yourself more. If you’re cursed, you probably do not want many people around you for fear they will get hurt, promoting self sufficiency. So what was that like? If you are a societial outcast, how do you make clothes for yourself? What was it like learning to hunt? We’re you raised by a tribe and they taught you? We’re you always on the outskirts of civilization and had a basic idea of how to survive on your own before, even if it was not previously your soul source of survival before and now it is? Did you almost starve before learning how to use a bow? Do you trade with the local tribes, helping you get what you cannot do yourself?

5) How Much Does It Mean to You That Your Companions Accept You?

No person can exist without interacting with others. Even the most standoffish dwarf still needs friends. Barbarians may be self sufficient, but they still need friends and companions as well. So what does that mean to you? Put it another way: what will you do to protect them and keep them? Being with a person that frequently gets angry is not an easy person to get along with and after you failed to hear the cries for help from your fellow adventurers yet again because you were fighting the toughest-looking bad guy might mean they are not happy with your character. So how far is your character willing to go? Should such a situation arise, how will your character grow and change? Who will you become?

Catfolk are known for being free spirits and Khol Saka is no exception. He roams the plains, playfully pouncing on whatever trouble comes his way, appearing more care free than most humans. Just don’t get him angry; you wouldn’t like him. It is as if he turns into an uncontrollable green rage monster, even if he still looks like a catfolk on the outside. He will scratch the face off of anyone that hurts him or his allies, unable to stop himself even if he wanted to.

Khol Saka is featured on the cover of the Book of Heroic Races: Advanced Compendium. Download this awesome book today at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.

Posted on

5e: Shadow Elemental

In our quest to increase the number of creatures you can bring to the table with the conjure spells, the most obvious place to expand is the number and type of basic elementals in existence. My interests in the shadow lands means a shadow elemental should be in the game. Naturally that also means there’s a light elemental somewhere but we’ll save that for another day. Today I just hope you enjoy this one.

Remember to check out all our Fifth Edition products at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store. Supporting us helps us to bring you more monsters every Wednesday and other blog posts throughout the week.

Shadow Elemental

Large elemental, neutral


Armor Class 15
Hit Points 90 (12d10 + 24)
Speed 0 ft., fly 90 ft. (hover)


STR 14 (+2) DEX 20 (+5) CON 14 (+2)
INT 6 (–2) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 6 (–2)


Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistance bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses see in darkness, passive Perception 10
Languages Shadowspeak
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)


Aura of Darkness. All non-magical light in a 20-foot radius from the elemental is treated as 1 level lower (bright light is dim light, dim light is darkness).
Light Blindness. The shadow elemental is blinded when in bright light.
See in Darkness. The shadow elemental can see in dim light and darkness like a human can in bright light.
Shadow Form. The shadow elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.

Actions


Multiattack. The elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage. The target must succeed a DC 15 saving throw or be blinded by shadows until the start of the shadow elemental’s next turn.
Douse Light (Recharge 4–6). A shadow elemental’s touch puts out nonmagical light sources (such as flames) of Large size or smaller and magical light sources of 3rd level or lower. The elemental can dispel magical light sources of 4th level or higher it touches with a Wisdom ability check against a DC of 10 = the spell’s level; a successful check dispels the light (as dispel magic).

Few things are as symbolic of Shadowsfall as a shadow elemental. They are dark, dangerous, all-concealing, and fatal to those unprepared for such an encounter. Summon one at your own peril.
—Irodia, “Collected Knowledge on the Shadow Realm

Composed of physical darkness, a shadow elemental wings its way about the shadowlands concealed in a deeper darkness. It is truly the horror of midnight imagings, but reports typically describe a black four-legged creature with only a pair of slitted eyes and a toothy grin clearly discernible. The elemental glides through the darkness as easily as a ghost through the ether. Swallowing any light encountered, it prefers to strike targets from this natural concealment catching them unaware.

Posted on

Fort Strange

Officially known as Fort Vanderwalten, many refer to it as Fort Strange because of the numbers of non-humans and less common demi-humans present here. When Kortrill Nightfeather was appointed captain of this frontier fort and military governor over the sparsely-populated region until a noble can be entrusted with this land, she took with her many other non-humans with her—both military and civilian alike. In her new position, she made sure that all under her care have been treated equally and prejudicial actions are prosecuted. It did not take long for word of her commendable action to spread and non-humans that want to live in peace to start flocking to live here. Today, Blacktooth Blacksmith and Glittering Foundry—owned by the orc Gathic Blacktooth and hobgoblin Miktar Deathblade, respectively—may be rivals but their rivalry plays out with them pushing the other to make better blades and other wares, instead of slaughtering each other’s families as many humans would expect of their their kind.

Fort Strange is home to many hagborn, catfolk, gnomes, everborn, tengu, lizardfolk, and even a few umbral kobolds. The majority of them came since Captain Nightfeather took command of the post. Previously, the region was inhabited mostly by humans and elves. Those that stayed when a tengu was appointed commander have been far more receptive of their new neighbors. A small yet vocal minority, however, have been voicing their opposition to so many “weird” creatures living among them. While the military-police force protecting this region have made it clear that voicing such concerns will be tolerated, that is the limit; any hostile actions against another law-abiding citizen will be met with swift justice. A number of attacks against non-humans has baffled investigators considering the military forces are not set up to handle such investigations and Lieutenant Gronk Bloodaxe is looking to hire adventurers to assist in this investigation.

The majority of the humans in this region are serfs, living in the work-farms adjacent to the fort. Their owners—mostly human—are not happy with the current regional government. Normally they hate each other and actively plot against one another, but they are united in their prejudice. If they could be turned against one another, their petitioning to speed up the appointment of a noble (preferably one of human ancestry) would fall apart.

Fort Strange

LG large town
Government military overlord
Population 3,500 (1,000 humans; 400 elves; 350 catfolk, 250 hagborn, 1,500 other)

Notable NPCs


Captain Kortrill Nightfeather, military governor (LG female tengu fighter 9 [13A: 4])
Lieutenant Gronk Bloodaxe, head of special operations (LN male orc fighter 4 [13A: 2])
Faixgrop, Crafter’s Guildmaster (LN female umbral kobold rogue 3 [13A: 2])
Darren Rimeheart, Farm owner and serf master (NE male human bard 6 [13A: 3])

If you want to see more locations like this detailed, please let us know in the comments below.

To find out more about the races mentioned here see the Book of Heroic Races collection for Pathfinder, Fifth Edition, and 13th Age here at the JBE Shop. You can also find out titles at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, the Open Gaming Store, and Paizo.

Posted on

5e: Great Eagle

How many times have we all said that the answer is the giant eagles? I mean, come on. That has been the answer to how many problems in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies? Yet the one in the book is only CR 1 and Large size. There’s no way that thing can go toe to toe with the great flying creatures that the Nine ride. So if you are a druid looking to call upon wondrous help when you cast conjure fey, you will need this choice creature.

Why not have a truly memorable character ride a great eagle instead of just another elf or dwarf. Download the Book of Heroic Races Player Races 2 for your Fifth Edition game at JonBrazer.com. You can also find this at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, the OpenGamingStore and Paizo.com and make your 5e character something truly special.

Great Eagle

Gargantuan beast, neutral good


Armor Class 15
Hit Points 81 (6d20 + 18)
Speed 10 ft., fly 80 ft.


STR 20 (+5) DEX 21 (+5) CON 16 (+3)
INT 9 (–1) WIS 17 (+3) CHA 12 (+1)


Skills Perception +6
Senses passive Perception 16
Languages Giant Eagle, understands Common and Auran but can’t speak them
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)


Keen Sight. The eagle has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Actions


Multiattack. The great eagle makes two attacks: one with its beak and one with its talons.
Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) piercing damage.
Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) slashing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the great eagle can’t use its talons on another target.