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Showing posts with label NPC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NPC. Show all posts

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Villainous Cookbook: The Memento Necromancer

Howdy, everyone! While talking on the Discord of Many Things, I got an idea from an acquaintance who mentioned starting a blog about min-maxed characters. I should start sharing my own villains on this blog. I hope you'll enjoy this!

Preface

The purpose of the Villainous Cookbook is to provide cool villain ideas for DMs. It usually utilizes homebrew player options sometimes mixed with the official ones, but it bends the rules a little to work better as a whole. This is not to prove to the players that they are weak and you are strong, that's something anyone can do. "Prismatic rocks fall, everyone dies." Since you're the DM, you can do that. But the fact that you can do that doesn't mean that you should. Sometimes, restrictions breed creativity. Other times, it's nice to push the boundary a little to make the villain more interesting.

There is one thing where I'll be loose on the rulings always, and that's the stats. I leave the stats completely up to you. I will tell you what feats I recommend you to pick though. Because let's face it - Ability Score Improvements are not important for the villains, so why bother.

Each of the builds is split into 4 Tiers, to show how the villain grows in power over time. At any moment, the villain should be at least on the same tier as your players if not higher, since you want them to be challenging. Unless noteworthy, I won't mention the specific spells, ability scores, backgrounds, or skills. All that I leave up to you so that the villain is more customized.

One final word of caution - while these builds might seem overpowered, making the homebrews seem overpowered, bear in mind two things.

  1. We're adjusting the rules a little to make the character builds work better. If this demands an in-world explanation, say that this is an exceptional individual who figured out something others don't know, or has special bloodline/destiny.
  2. We're crossing the homebrew streams. And that can oftentimes go wrong. I'm doing my best to use homebrews that I consider balanced and that I would actually allow my players to use in the games.

Alright! Let's get to our first villain!

The Memento Necromancer

After splitting away from his colleagues to go through the dungeon again for more treasures, the adventurer finds himself alone on the way back to the village. His second delve was far from fruitful, those couple coins were not worth it, and now he has to walk through the misty forest on his own. The Sun has set midway through the forest when the adventurer hears a voice in the distance.
"X'harles? Is that you?"
The mighty warrior looks around until he notices a figure standing in the distance. Once his eyes adjust to the distance, he recognizes it. "M-mother?"
"X'harles, why did you abandon us?" Another voice speaks up, this one masculine, from another direction. "The orcs could have been defeated if you helped us."
"What? H-how are you- this can't be..." The warrior stutters as he keeps exchanging glances between both of these figures.
"You have abandoned us. And we will never forgive you that." Adventurer's mother says as he hears shuffles of feet from all around. Zombies emerge from the mist. Too many of them. Each bearing the face and body of either the adventurer's parents.
"No, you've died! I saw it, you died to the warchief's axe! Stay back!"

Soul summoner, by Nghi Vo

Ingredients List



Tier 1

Let's start with our base. Start with picking the faceless race, which is a secret tool we'll get to use later. One level of rogue doesn't get us much besides expertise and sneak attack, but neither warlock nor wizard gets us anything from the multiclassing so that's why we start with it. You can drop the expertises anywhere you want. I would put them into Stealth, and either Perception if you want them to notice players well, or Athletics/Acrobatics if you want them to be good at getting out of the troubles/getting into places. We follow that up with three levels of warlock, picking the Gelatinous Convocation patron, and Pact of the Tome. Now, it's time to bend two rules, both of which are actually presented in Compendium of Forgotten Secrets: Awakening as possibilities. One is using Intelligence as a spellcasting ability, while the other is ignoring the patron prerequisites on the Eldritch Invocations. Former helps us with multiclassing into wizard later, while the latter will help us in getting the signature tome of our necromancer to work.

We'll need two invocations. Catalogue of Experiences from the Gelatinous Convocation patron, and Ledger of the Deceased from the Forbidden Graveyard patron. The combination of all these means that if the necromancer touches a corpse with their tome, the corpse's name gets written into the tome. If a name is written that way in the tome, it counts as if its corpse was always wherever the tome is. Once per day, after one minute of focusing on a name within the tome, the memories from the last 48 hours of its life, as well as memories of the most important moments during the last year of its life, appear within the tome. While we could go for different invocations, such as Agonizing Blast, or Fractured Soul from CoFS:A, our current build has only 3 levels of warlock. If you want to, you could exchange some of the wizard levels for warlock levels to get more invocations, as well as some extra spells.

I would recommend avoiding showing off the necromancer to your players at this point. Have them act in the background, gathering information on the players' pasts and building up their catalog of terrible memories.

Tier 2

This is where our things get a little tricky. We get to earn at least 4 levels of wizard, and then 2 extra levels that can be distributed between wizard and rogue. We'll go with wizard 5 + rogue 1, because it's optimal, and it gives us our desired necromancy.

With one level of rogue, we get the cunning action. Consistent bonus action is always nice to have, especially for someone as squishy as this necromancer. Disengage, Dash, and Hide can be useful more than often.

The five levels of wizard get us the spell animate dead at last, a lot more spell slots, and an ASI. Our dear necromancer can now go on and produce numerous undead every single day. Since the name in the tome doesn't disappear when an undead is produced with our necromancer's pact tome, they could create infinite copies of the same undead's corpse.

So now we have an information gatherer who can conjure some undead, collect memories, and look like anyone. The next tier is where things get even more frightening.

Tier 3

Our dear necromancer will earn the final rogue level and pick the Hundred Faced archetype. Though, we'll change it in a minor way. Instead of its abilities relying on the Wisdom, we'll make them rely on the Intelligence (again, just to make the villain more interesting). This archetype has got an interesting interaction with the Faceless that I like to call "one-man crowd": if you make a copy of yourself, it looks exactly like you do, along with all of your equipment. So, since you're faceless, you can turn into anyone from the past of a corpse inside of your tome, and make a copy of yourself. This copy will from that point on look like the person whose appearance you copied. Its appearance can't really be changed, but that's fine, this is good enough.

From this point on, all of the levels are invested into the wizard. By the time this necromancer reaches level 16, they'll have 3 levels of warlock, 3 levels of rogue, and 10 levels of wizard. With this, they'll be able to cast spells of 5th level, create more powerful enemies, have resistance to necrotic damage and immunity to effects that would reduce their maximum HP. They'll know 2 warlock cantrips and 5 wizard cantrips, know 4 warlock spells and prepare at most 15 wizard spells, and have 2 spell slots of 2nd level that recharge on short rest, along with Arcane Recovery which recharges 10 levels of spells. By now they should be gathering up quite an army, possibly hiding somewhere and drawing more and more undead from their tome.

Tier 4

With the final tier, our necromancer learns spells of 6th and 7th level and learns how to command the undead. Of course, you could just assume the undead they try to control has failed their saving throw while off-screen, so you could go wild with this ability. Some recommendations for the spells to pick would be finger of death and create undead.

Feats

Our necromancer will get to pick 1 feat during Tier 2, 2 feats during Tier 3, and 1 feat during Tier 4. You might want to choose your feats based on the playstyle of your players, as well as personal preference. The list is of course not exhaustive.

  • For increased mobility, you could consider Mobile (PHB), Mark of the Storm Lord (CoFS:A), and Flying Figure (Faceless).
  • For stealth options, consider the Inanimate Shapes (Faceless), Beastly Forms (Faceless), and Skulker (PHB).
  • For improving the magic, you could pick Elemental Adept (PHB), Spell Sniper (PHB), or War Caster (PHB).
  • For improving their durability, you could go with Mage Slayer (PHB), Resilient with the choice being Constitution (PHB), or Tough (PHB).
  • If you want to drive up the paranoia in your players, consider picking up the Face Stealer (Faceless) or Truly Eldritch (Faceless) feat.
  • For universal utility, you could pick Lucky (PHB). Just don't call it "Lucky" in front of the players. Maybe you could flavor it as Legendary Resistance and just use it for saves.

Story Background

When it comes to the potential connections to the players and the reasons for fighting, there are of course lots of options. Here's just a couple of them:
  • One of the player characters holds a magical item that needs to be awakened and the necromancer really wants it.
  • One of the player characters has murdered someone who necromancer cared for deeply.
  • The necromancer's parents have been killed by parent(s) of one or more player characters.
  • The necromancer used to be in a friendly rivalry with one of the player characters back when they were children. However, the rivalry has grown into enmity as the necromancer started to study the dark magic.
While at it, consider also the personality of your necromancer. Not all necromancers have to be serious and monotone. Maybe your necromancer is eccentric, or actually a social person. Maybe 

So excited to bring back life into those old bones. First success, by Tony Sart.

Anyways, that's about it! Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The Departed Man's Inn

Inspired by the OST of Witcher 3's expansion, a blogpost from GoblinPunch, and possibly other stuff that I forgot about.

The blog's purpose did change over the years, I figured every once in a while I could make another location you could plop anywhere in your world. Mainly when I have an idea that feels like it's worth exploring.

Note: Any similarities to real people or places is coincidental, other than Elza Beth. All of these are fictional people.

The Departed Man's Inn

Somewhere, be it just on a road between big cities, or on the crossroads where several such roads meet, stands The Departed Man's Inn. Far away from any big noteworthy city, this tavern seems to be nothing important at a glance. It's actually surprising they have any regular patrons at all. But those who look beyond the facade presented to the public will find a terrifying truth. The inn has lots of traps hidden all over the place, and it even hides a secret basement underneath the cellar. Some of the beds have mechanical spikes that spring at midnight, impaling whoever is unfortunate enough to lie on them. The subtle drainage system built in those few selected rooms lead all of the blood down beneath the inn, right into a bathtub. What's more, this place is full of highwaymen. A group of outlaws, who just so happen to be... immortal?
The Departed Man's Inn, including its regular patrons, is composed of a group of immortal people in hiding, robbing traveling merchants in their free time, because what else will they do. Each of them is immortal in their own way.


D.A.

D.A. is the goblin with a silver tongue. He managed to convince the Vile Darkness — the lord of hell itself (or another appropriate Lower Plane of your choice) — to grant him immortality. It was supposed to be a devil deal that would backfire, but D.A.'s talent of writing contracts is what has given him this immortality. It's also the explanation for his nickname — Devil's Advocate, D.A. He is the third youngest member of the group, and ultimately his goal is to overthrow the leader and manage the group as the boss.



Dorien

Because of a badly worded wish upon encountering a genie, this male dwarf has been turned into a vampire. He is a patient man, rather slow but also artistically talented, and elegant. With the time he has been given, he is capable of painting the same painting for months, sometimes even years. His life goal is to paint a masterpiece to be remembered by forever.


Elza Beth

Taking inspiration from an actual legend, this young-looking female aasimar lures into the Departed Man's Inn young virgin women to slay them and bathe in their blood. This is what keeps her youth, both in appearance and in age. Her only wish is to keep her beauty and admiration from others. She's actually rather reserved when not on the "hunt", keeping to herself


Jack Hopkins

Legends say, that those who have been denied from every single afterlife are fated to travel across the lands, cursed with eternal life. Jack is a ghost banned from any life beyond death, bound to a simple amulet. He can possess people seen by him, which he usually uses to bring in victims for Elza and Dorien to keep their eternal lives. Whenever he possesses someone, the person visibly wears Jack's amulet. Jack is an eccentric prankster, who just wants to enjoy the life for what it's worth, since he's got unlimited supply of it. Drinking, drugs, and other pleasures that would normally damage the body are of no worry to someone, who can exchange bodies with others.


Jade Hart

It is rather unusual to meet a goliath wizard. Second in leadership only to Thomas, she's the brains behind this whole tavern. Jade has several clones prepared in the secret basement beneath the inn's cellar. She's supportive, willing to listen to anyone who has a problem — patron or fellow highwayman. Reading makes her happy, and scrolls containing any spells that she doesn't have yet in the nearly complete spellbook make her even happier. Rumors between the Inn's employees say that her heart is literally a heart of stone, but nobody can tell for sure whether that's true or not.


Lapis Goldielocks Gyroscope

Thanks to her alchemical prowess, Lapis has managed to successfully create a recipe for potion of immortality, which allows her body to regenerate very fast. She's a gnome with an ambitious goal of creating her very own universe in a box. She's naturally curious about all the travelers, and a good listener since she usually pretends to be the barmaid.


Maximillion Dyson Gyroscope, or M.A.X.

Through complicated research, Maximillion has managed to develop his very own spells, akin to magic mouth or arcane lock, but with telekinesis activated by seen inputs. Afterwards, this gnome has built himself an iron golem body, cast imprisonment on himself, and through his visual commands managed to insert the gem used for the imprisonment spell into the chest of the golem. His wish is to outlast even the gods with his ingenuity, and when he's not pretending to be a bodyguard of this tavern, he's constantly working on new gizmos, under a nickname of "Mechanical Autonomous eXterminator", or M.A.X.


Queen of Aces

Bearing the nickname of a Queen is something only someone very proud of their skills would dare to do. Queen is excellent at all sorts of games, and a very fast learner. It is said that the more she plays against the same opponent, the higher her chances of beating them. This lordly gambler has challenged the death itself to a game, and coincidentally won. Ever since, she's been on a winning streak, with a goal of amassing as much wealth as possible for her own amusement.


Immortal Jim and Lilac "Steel Doll" Hemsi

These two siblings are fairly old, and blessed by the gods with skin that's as hard as steel. Both of them are immortal, but for different reasons. Jim will only take damage that's 3 or less at once, while Lilac takes damage only if it's dealt to the pinkie toe on her left foot, which she usually hides with steel-tipped boots. The two siblings care for each other, and technically aren't even immortal. Thomas took them in for their potential when it comes to being in the fight. While Jim is a bit of an airhead who gets angry quickly at even the smallest things, Lilac fills in for his weaknesses by being exceptionally good at reading people and noticing things.
They don't really get a picture, because this is a blank I'd want you to fill out on your own. Do they look like barbarians from north? Like desert travelers? Do they look like stereotypical adventurers? You tell me!

Thomas Booker O'Ville, also known as The Vile Darkness

The lord of hell (or another appropriate Lower Plane) that D.A. managed to trick. He is the oldest member of this group, the leader, and also the founder. He is a trickster, elegant on the outside but playing mind games at all times with folks. Who knows if D.A. tricked him, or if Thomas got him where he wanted to have D.A. all along. Due to being the lord of hell, he always comes back to life by emerging from the hell after his death. To the public, he presents himself as the owner of The Departed Man's Inn.
Some rumors say that he is the Book of Vile Darkness, manifested into a physical form. Which is why there's only one known way of destroying him permanently — wiping out all of the multiverse's evil.


And I suppose that's it for The Departed Man's Inn! Sure I could go into more details, like the environment, or the tavern's layout, or more detailed roles for the rest of the characters, but I would rather keep the details like that vague so that it fits into majority of the worlds. Imagine having your players start in this inn before they venture into the adventures of the world, having little to no clue as to who manages this inn until way later in the game. You can of course alter the crew of this inn by adding or removing members, editing the existing ones, or doing any other modifications you can think of.

Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

[EoK] 1d8 Characters, part 1

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Filler time! The Legacy System update is almost finished, but it needs some more tinkering... so in the meantime, here's a collection of ideas for random 1d8 characters I wrote up in my spare time for the Ethernet of Keys. Most of them will have Japanese names, because of one of my EoK games taking place in Tokyo.



1. Jarvis Witch Hunter Nakasai. Jarvis is a half-british soldier on a quest to rid the world of magical influence. He is usually determined, silent and calm, acting as if he had a plan every time something goes wrong. He is very good at spotting anyone with an arcane call, and evaluates based on his own judgment whether they should be removed from the society completely, or whether they just need to be 'purified' by an invention he inherited.
Legacy Traits: +2 Con, +1 Str, Athletic, Climber, Poison Resistant
Class: Fighter (Champion)
Background: Discovery (how to tell magic apart, and the purification)

2. Hikaru Honue. Having power over lights and electricity, Hikaru has been working for a secret hacker organization d15c0da (Discoda) for the most part of her life. Although she is not as technologically skilled as her twin brother Masama, she was trained for other kinds of jobs her twin can't really do. Her arcane calls give her some powers over lights and electricity, and her dominant traits would definitely have to be her flexibility and the natural charm with her optimistic attitude.
Legacy Traits: +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Cha, Climber, Electric Ardor, Light Bringer
Class: Rogue (Swashbuckler)
Background: Black Market Contract

3. Masama Honue. An ordinary worker turned into a hacker after leaving the (TL) company due to revelations he made with help from his twin Hikaru. He is naturally curious and can't resist coming up with solutions for any problem he encounters or is told about. He has an arcane call, having some control over the electricity, but also an ability to project images onto other surfaces through minor magic.
Legacy Traits: +2 Int, +1 Con, Amateur Craftsman, Electric Ardor, Uncanny Projector
Class: Inventor (Hacker's Clique)
Background: Researcher

4. Shunto Ichirou. Shunto was a rising star in the martial arts world, with many commenting on his incredibly quick movements. However, he became a fan favorite not through winning, but through his off-screen persona, that of a fast-paced daredevil, always on the move with the fastest cars, fastest women, fastest everything. Shunto’s life is speed. But, if his ties to the Razors gang were to be brought to light, even as he works with them unwillingly, his fans would undoubtedly leave him at a speed that would make even his head reel, and his career would be over.
Legacy Traits: +2 Dex, +1 Con, Quick, Skilled (Athletics + English), Sprinter
Class: Monk (Way of Drunken Master)
Background: Authority
Note: Thanks to Bawdy for helping me rewrite Shunto, making his story flow much better than before! 

5. Shigo. She has overcome the death at a great cost. She forgot her life and tries to remember as much of it as she can. Until then, she got used to calling herself and being called Shigo. The only times she feels emotions is when it is something that relates to her past she's seeking to this very day. Over time, Shigo has realized her knowledge and memories are not completely gone, she just needs to be in the right situation to recall them.
Legacy Traits: +2 Int, +1 Con, Grim Fate, Poison Resistant, Nightly Eyes
Class: Scholar (Philosopher)
Background: Immortal

6. Mari Nakamiya. Ever since she has stolen a magical ceramic watch from the fairy shrine, she has been afflicted by a curse  whenever she touches the iron or steel with her bare skin, it burns her as much as a fire would. She thinks the watch is worth the price, but looks for a way to get rid of her curse. Determined, secretive, and avoiding those wretched metals at all costs, she wanders the world seeking someone who could help her.
Legacy Traits: +2 Str, +1 Cha, Savage Might, Skilled (Arcana, sylvan), Swimmer
Class: Pugilist (Square Circle)
Background: Discovery (the magical watch)

7. Junko Kurobe. Junko is a woman leading double life. One of her lives is a well hidden ordinary job done during the day, but through an elaborate disguise, she's able to lead a nightlife where she acts as the Rouge Cardomancer. Dressed in pinks and purples, and being fabulous, in her Rouge role she gets to do everything she represses during the day by robbing people of their money through various card tricks, well-placed bets and occasionally through cons that involve assistants too.
Legacy Traits: +1 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Int, Skilled (Insight, playing cards), Magical Trickster, Telekinesist
Class: Warmage (House of Cards)
Background: False Identity

8. Hiro Nisan. Ever since he found oil and became a billionaire, he grew more and more bored. And boredom leads to experimentation. He has his own company, and uses it to fuel his various hobby, seemingly a new one every week. Proud, hard to entertain and smug, Hiro is one of the most well-known people in the country. He is also obsessed with the numbers 16 and 23 due to his name translating into them through Japanese wordplay.
Legacy Traits: ???
Class: Warden (???)
Background: Authority, ???


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Cursed Queens Compendium, v1

For quite a while now, I wanted to rework my original warlock patron, the Seven-cursed Queen Arcadia. I've given it good amount of thinking, and came to a conclusion: Why should it be just Arcadia? How could the things have been if she was not to win? Answers to these questions brought me more questions, which were like a pair of tickets for what was the best thought train I've ridden in a long time.

Reddit link
GMBinder link
Google Drive link

Originally, The Seven-Cursed Queen patron was too long and unwieldy for most people to really pay attention to, so I've split her up into six patrons. Eventually I plan to work out dynamic stat blocks for all of the queens so that this can be played out by a DM and players.

Design Notes

Since there's a ton of stuff, I will only address the parts that cause me concerns:
  • Some of the ribbons given out from the winning queen, such as Arcadia's or Lia's ribbon, might be used for something a DM did not expect. For example, producing ashes until there's a heap tall enough to climb up a wall, or attempting to produce rare flowers by stomping on their seeds. Those abilities might need some clarifications depending on feedback I get.
  • Most of the spell lists were constructed rather hap-hazardly without second thought, since I prefer not to add new spells into the game. If however there will happen to be choices that would make the warlock too strong, I will have no other choice.
  • Beguiling Defenses are shared by everyone, because it is a trait I felt fits the queens. I hope people will not see it just as laziness.
  • Names for other features are a bit repetitive, but I felt I should keep the theme between them as it was before to further confirm that these subclasses can really be combined.
  • Healing effect of the cursed gloves might be too weak on higher levels. Bonus action to heal yourself or an ally 5 hit points would be pathetic at levels such as 10 or so, but I'd assume it would be done in case someone falls unconscious.
  • Cursed earrings grant two expertises at level 1, which would play right into the wet dreams of all the skill monkeys out there. Then again, it's for two skills players can't really pick themselves.
  • Capstone of the cursed eyes might be a bit too strong. Then again, it can be kinda weak compared to fiend, who gets their thing instantaneously, while this warlock risks their enemies succeeding on all three saves.
  • Heart's level 1 and 14 feature are just rehashes of level 1 archfey and level 14 great old one features. But hopefully they are different enough.
  • Artworks used don't really resemble the queens. Then again, finding all of those would be too big of a coincidence, and comissioning them for a project that might not even turn out that successful would be very expensive. I hope the Heart's steampunk painting is explained by that brief "queen of skies" note.

That would be all for today. Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kephathosthu the Good, or why I ditched alignments

Fey article is taking too long to write, and one interesting conversation conjured up an idea of addressing my stance on alignments in a form of a story. Generally speaking, I used to use alignments. Nowadays though, I prefer not to.

Long ago, there was a wizard touched by the plane of fire whose name was unknown. This fire genasi was pretty tall and idealistic, with head full of dreams as he went onto his first adventure when he was 17. However, his dreams soon turned bland, as he found that world is not all sunshine and rainbows. Heroes have to make hard moral choices all the time, and this is why he felt lost after some time. He wanted to do good, wanted to be good.
On one of his adventures, when he was already 24, he got a task of slaying a demon that's in an abandoned wizard's tower. He went inside, and saw an evil but sad creature, begging to be let free. Words that demon revealed to him however turned his life upside down - the demon said not only that he is good, but also that the whole village of nearby people is evil, and thus can't enter the tower. Wizard was skeptical at first, but then... he realized that nobody in the village wanted to accompany him to the tower. That there must have been other heroes passing by. He realized that the right thing to do would not be to let the demon free. That is an evil thing, something a good person would never do. He ran away from the tower, knowing the multiversal truth.

Research

He spent several more years researching the good and evil. He stood on the streets to tell people the truth, but nobody believed him. That is, until he found a book about Feywild, which said that there is a particular kind of fairy that's able to tell apart good and evil people.
He went into the Feywild, and after copious amounts of search and research he found it. For the better good, he captured the sprite and did research on it. The legends turned out true, the sprite could tell that the wizard is good, and the wizard used it to check several other creatures too. He then harnessed its power and did lots of experiments until he not only extracted this power, but also evolved it into something much more potent. Thanks to this power, he knows not only that Good and Evil are actual existing things, but also that one's morality is a measurable variable.

Superior Heartsight. Whenever a creature enters radius within 10 feet of Kephathosthu, he magically knows the creature's current emotional state. Additionally, as a bonus action he can force a creature within the range to make a Charisma saving throw (DC 15). If the target creature fails the saving throw, he also knows the creature's alignment. Celestials, fiends, and undead automatically fail the saving throw.

Four deaths of Kephathosthu

Being one of the very few people to leave the Feywild, he afterwards seeked out all evil in the world to remove it, spreading his word once again. His zealous talks did not get any audience though, which brought him to a horrifying realization - who will be here to protect the good and slay the evil once he is gone? Nobody listens to him, everyone considers him mad. That's when he started to seek out a way to become lich.

When Magistrate, the Unfavoured organization of arcane magic research, found out about him, they tried to stop him, but failed for they did not go out on him fully until the very end. When he was about to die, he was contacted by a mysterious voice in his head, who offered to save him if he will serve him. He agreed, and crawled out of his grave, feeling more alive than ever. As the legend of him goes, it took him only a couple more days to become a Lich.

Kephathosthu the Good, as most remember him.

Magistrate tried to stop him, but it was useless now. They first tried to kill him by blowing his house up, but he survived and built a hidden keep away from the Mourningbay. Then they tried to send master assassins after him, who did their job, only to be destroyed by his servants. The Magistrate used divination magic to locate his keep and destroy it, and that is where the tale ends. Kephathosthu was killed once again, but nobody knows whether it was the last time he was killed. No amount of divination magic helped Magistrate this time in finding any answers.

Current opinions on morality and Kephathosthu's state

It was never known what was (or is) his phylactery, what his research said or whether the research was true. Good and evil are ever since forbidden by Magistrate to investigate, for they will make man's mind into a mush, turning him insane. Instead, they say that good and evil are just social constructs, and that morality is truly something mysterious. They do have rules within their organization, sort of a contract that is signed when someone becomes a member, but everyone in Magistrate is discouraged from engaging in philosophy of ethics.

Not many Favoured heard or cared of the problem, for they have their own morality, their gods. Whatever gods say is good surely must be good. Why would their creators lie to them afterall?

Was Kephathosthu the Good right? Is morality an empirical thing that can be measured, or were these just delusions of his mind? Is Kephathosthu definitely dead? These are the mysteries.


And this is why I dislike not only the notion of alignments, but also PCs (or even just players) knowing about the alignments being a thing. Alignments can be used as an excuse to go on murderhobo rampages, boil down the moral dilemmas to math problems, or for players to generally be cruel to one another. What I'm trying to say is that nobody is absolutely evil or absolutely good. The tiniest bit of good can be found even in the lord of hell himself, and vice versa can be said for the lord of heavens. Gods, celestials, fiends and undead too are not good nor evil. Everyone in this world is morally grey.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Oxeye - Iuchra

As I sat down next to her, she blurted "You seek to know your future, right?" As I nodded, she grinned, showing off her old teeth, and held up her hand palm up in front of me expectantly. After handing her a pair of silver coins, she looked deep into the crystal ball, placed on the table in front of her. She removed her bandana, revealing an eye on her head, and as she closed her own eyes, the third eye started moving. Even I could make out that it was just an illusion. Then she opened her eyes, shocked as if she had seen a ghost, reached below the table and pulled out... a bag of fortune cookies. "Here, take one."


Racehuman
Professionfortune teller
Age81 years
LanguagesCommon, Elvish, Gnomish
Behaviorfriendly, mysterious
Desiremaking enough money to live a comfortable life
Fearlosing her job because of bad reputation

Iuchra usually resides at Oxeye's inn, expecting visitors and trying to attract their attention in order to make a coin. Though cheap, her prophecies are notoriously vague. She wears a deep red bandana with purple streaks, and dresses herself up as any other old woman would. Her subtle movements cause a sound of chimes and bells that are barely audible, but she doesn't usually move from her place before evening when she goes to her own house. The color of her hair ranges from gray to white, and her face and hands are visibly covered with wrinkles. She has an old burn on her left palm from a childhood accident. She is friendly towards anyone who hasn’t proven themselves to be dangerous, and flees at even the quaintest sight of danger, unless the well-being of ordinary citizens is at risk.

1d20
 Fortune Cookies (2sp)
1I can see you falling deep into a dark pit.
2Your soul is drowning in a pit of acid.
3 You always know in your heart what is right and what is wrong.
4 Say hi to your mother, it might be your last chance.
5Watch out for the spiders!
6 Your lucky number from now on is 16.
7 You've got seven days of life left. Enjoy it!
8 Avoid the beautiful lady with black hair
9 Beware the wooden door!
10Your uncle is in trouble and needs your help!
11 Your brother is worried about you and misses you.
12 Lots of money can be seen in your future, take care of it and don't forget about me.
13 Buy a used horse and you won't regret it!
14 Next fortune cookie you'll get will happen twice as soon.
15 You'll deal a killing blow to a dragon, good job!
16 Be righteous, and you'll earn a king's favor!
17 You'll meet your true love within a week.
18 Never make a deal with the devil, or else you'll regret it!
19 Your artifact will be known for centuries.
20 (the paper is empty, and when asked about, Iuchra sadly returns the 2 silvers and says "You seem to be one of the few, who are Lords of their own Destiny. I can't do anything for you, so... here, take your coins back.")

Of course, most of thees papers are just stuff made up by this fortune teller. There may be, however, some truth among them...
As a DM, you have the ultimate power to decide if they are true or false. The character doesn't have a relative that the prophecy mentioned? How can the character be so sure? As for the prophecies in relation to death, you can always put them into situations, in which the prophecies become true. A deathly blow to the dragon can be done by letting it die on that player's turn. The fate of any specific thing is entirely up to the DM.


Iuchra
Medium humanoid (human), neutral good

Armor Class 13 (mage armor)
Hit Points 39 (6d8+12)
Speed 30'

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
7 (-2)
10 (+0)
14 (+2)
16 (+3)
15 (+1)
13 (+1)
Skills Arcana +5, Insight +3
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Elvish
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Spellcasting. Iuchra is 2nd-level spellcaster. Her spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). She has the following wizard spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): Chill Touch, Fire Bolt, Prestidigitation
1st level (3 slots): Burning Hands, Color Spray, Mage Armor

Actions

Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5', one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) piercing damage.

Updated: fixed grammar and stylistic errors