Morgan’s First Dungeon Crawl (DngC 1)

Well, it’s a day late due to unforeseen circumstances (sometimes life likes to hide in the bushes…), but I have finished my edits and I am currently uploading my first dungeon crawl in PDF form. I’ve learned quite a bit from the creation of this (including a couple of “relearns” of techniques I had forgotten about). Hopefully I’ll be able to create a template to streamline the creation process (such as not including pregens, those two took a comically amount of time and brain power and were the primary reason for the delays).

Morgan’s First Dungeon Crawl

A group of adventure’s are hired by a poor village to retrieve their religious idol from a band of thieves! Will they be able to triumph over the dreaded Potato Demon and other dangers? Or will they succumb to the terrors and die a horrendously spudtactular death?
Intended for a party of 4 players between levels 3 to 5.

I’m thinking that with summer rapidly approaching, something ice themed is appropriate!


So one of the issues I have with a blog is that there’s no-one reading it because it sucks (probably…plus I’m horrendous at advertising). I don’t do anything to attract people, my biggest and best post was a critical rant about an older game…so that brought to mind, what is going to bring people to this site and make them want to read through the stuff I write. Randomly rattling on about topics is fun for me, but if I can’t maintain a readership it’s just me goofing off (and while I do enjoy goofing off, there’s got to be a limit). This brought me to a singular point, I need content. Regular content that is fun and fills a niche no-one else does! If I can produce content that causes people to come back over and over I’ll get a few that read everything else. Now…what content can I produce on a regular basis that I’ll stay engaged with, will attract people to it AND be fun to do. That’s a tough questions. I think I’ll be trying to write a dungeon crawl every single week. Nothing massively huge, but a one-page map, 5 or 6 rooms, a vague setting and a bestiary so that anyone can download it and run it without worry about having books X, Y, and Z.

So yes, this will be my regular content. Let’s put the first one out on Friday (5/29/15) and see how things go from there…wish me luck!


Something that I came up with as an extra in my first adventure (which is coming soon!). I thought other people might have a little interest in a playable construct race (I would recommend adding in as arcane spells repair light/moderate/serious/critical damage that are identical to the normal selection of cure spells if you do decide to incorporate clockforged into your campaign).


“To believe that there could be more than one of me…now that is pure madness!”

-Atoll, the ancient clockforged, on the suggestion that there are other clockforged.

The art of creating clockwork constructs is one that is well known across the world. Wizards often create clockwork assistants or guardians that outlive them by generations. The lost secret of how to imbue a construct body with a viable soul is something that even the working Clockforged have little idea about. Often concealing their true identity to preserve their own precious freedom, Clockwork adventurers travel the world looking for companions and seeking the answer to the enigma that is their existence.

Clockforged Racial Traits

+2 Intelligence, +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma: Clockforged are intelligent, agile creatures but they struggle to relate to other, more normal forms of sentient life.

Humanoid Construct: Clockforged are humanoids with the Construct subtype.

Normal Speed: Clockforged have a base speed of 30 feet.

Darkvision: Clockforged can see in the dark up to 60 feet.

Low-Light Vision: Clockforged can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.

Constructed: Clockforged cannot benefit and is not healed from positive energy (such as Cure Light Wounds or a paladin’s Lay on Hands). Clockforged are healed through use of the Craft (clockwork) skill or spells such as Make Whole.

Mechanical Mind: A Clockforged gains a +4 racial bonus to saving throws against any mind-affecting effects.

Mechanical Body: A Clockforged is immune to disease, exhaustion, fatigue, poison and sleep effects. Further, a Clockforged does not breathe, eat or sleep and cannot gain any benefits from consumable items such as potions. A Clockforged caster must spend 8 hours contemplating the nature of magic and spellcasting to prepare spells (this functions identically to an 8 hour rest period for normal casters).

Mystical Soul: Unlike a normal construct, a Clockforged benefits from moral bonuses and can be raised from the dead normally.

Fragile Construction: A Clockforged has no immunities against mind-affecting effects, death effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain and nonlethal damage. A Clockforged has a constitution score and gains saving throws, proficiencies and hit dice based on classes selected.

Mending can be cast upon a clockforged, healing 1d4 points of lethal damage (and the same amount of nonlethal damage).

The City of Skyhold (part 1)

One of the first cities I’m designing from the ground up is the city of Skyhold. I haven’t really undertaken city mapping before (it’s a different set of skills from dungeon mapping) so the scale of the buildings fluctuates somewhat (I would say that everything is within 25% of one another). Anyways, here’s the first draft of the map (no color, I have a color copy, but it ugs in the ugly).

Giant image is giant!

Curse of Unexpected Death

More fun from Numeria, Zyphus (patron deity of accidental death) has gotten some wonderful love, details and support. He got a spell, a herald (that guy is tons of fun!) and a few other things. Sadly, the spell is woefully awful.

Curse of Unexpected Death

Range touch, fortitude partial

You curse one living creature with a chance of instant and unexpected death. When you cast this spell, your hand seethes with eerie gray fire. You must succeed at a melee touch attack to touch the target, at which time the fire buries itself within the target’s body and disappears. On the round you touch the creature and once per minute thereafter, roll 1d100. On a result of 01–05, the spell is triggered and the creature takes 8d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level; the creature can attempt a saving throw to reduce the damage to 2d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level. On a result of 06–100, nothing happens.

Once the spell is triggered or if the duration expires before it triggers, the magic ends and no further 1d100 rolls are made. If the target has spell resistance, a caster level check is made when you succeed at the touch attack. A creature can be affected by only one instance of this spell at a time. The untriggered spell can be removed with dispel magic, remove curse, or similar effects.

I want to like this spell, I do! I really want to! But I don’t. Mainly, I think that this spell needs a little patching. A little analysis, this spell procs once a round, every round, checking a 5% chance to proc a chunk of damage. On average, this spell procs once every 2 minutes (you’re fishing for a 1 on a d20). Once it procs, the target gets a fort save to reduce the damage and the spell ends. Now, if Paizo didn’t hate Save or Die spells, this would be a fine spell BUT this only deals some damage when it procs. Now here are my proposed changes:

  • A proc does not end the spell.

That’s it. This makes the spell much more Zyphus-like, a long duration random chance of getting slapped with damage. The touch range of the spell pulls it into line with other curse spells, and the fact that on average it’s 2 minutes per proc or 2.45 damage per round.

Save or DIE! (or Why Destroy Robot is a stupid spell)

One of my favorite kinds of spells are the SAVE OR DIE spell. It just feels so good to cast one at some big bad and watch it fall down all dead. D-E-D, dead. But Paizo doesn’t like save or die spells (its true! They don’t!). I was recently sorting throw some Numeria stuff that was in my “stuff to thumb through”-queue and tripped across this spell:

Destroy Robot – druid 5, sorcerer/wizard 6

Range close (25ft + 5ft/2 levels), fortitude partial

You must succeed at a ranged touch attack to affect the target. The target takes 12d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level, or 3d6 points of damage + 1 point per caster level on a successful saving throw. A cyborg or android can be damaged by this spell, but takes half damage and gains a +4 bonus on the saving throw to resist the spell’s effects.

Wow…just…wow. I can’t think of any level 6 spell I’d like to cast less. This spell is based on Paizo’s version of Slay Living (identical but touch ranged, vastly inferior to 3.5’s because its again Save or Damage, not death). This spell deals 53 (average) damage if the target fails a fort save AND requires a ranged touch attack.  Let’s compare this to other options.

As a level 6 spell we can empower AND change it to any element we want. The average damage of an enpowered fireball cast at level 11 is 52.5 damage of any element the caster wants. This is comparable to Destroy Robot, but it nails ALL of his robot buddies! (It’s just gravy that we can that we can hurt other things aside from robots).

Scorching Ray
So, this level 2 spell cast at level 11 deals 12d6 damage (as a level 4 spell, we can empower it to result in 63 average damage per cast). That means its already matched the level 6 spell in terms of average dice damage. This spell has a much better range which also requiring a ranged touch attack. This spell also doesn’t care about target type.

So what does this all mean? Destroy Robot is clearly not at a power level that is reasonable for a level 6 spell (we’re talking in the range of things such as Chain Lightning, Spellcrash, and Circle of Death). When cast on a CR8 Robot (it was just a random one in the back of the AP books) who had 103 hp, it deals about half their hp in damage. I would peg this spell as level 3 in power. The damage is significant at that level (CR5-ish mobs) and actually stands a chance of functioning as an instant death spell. The narrow scope (constructs), fact that it requires a ranged touch attack and has a save to reduce the damage means that this spell is really not worth using.

Eberron, yes! (part 2, day 2)

We left our three heroes having just turned in their first bounty. We have an uneventful (and undescribed night) and awake in the morning looking for more adventures and more bounties. Returning to Dane’s tavern, the Dwarf and the Summoner entered only to find a massive line of adventurers waiting for bounties of their own. Established a pecking order based on “brawn” and “popularity”, the Dwarf and the Summoner ended up in the back of the line, otherwise known as last. All of this was being observed by a stranger to the three of us, a shifter gunslinger (our fourth party member, returned from managing a crisis in the real world). He was a shady character, unkempt and gruff. Knocking back another shot, he rose and addressed the dwarf and the summoner in a drawl.
” ‘erd you two were looking for ‘nother party member. It just so ‘appens I’m looking for party.”

The dwarf looks at the summoner. The summoner looks at the dwarf. The Wizard looks on from outside through a window. The gunslinger looks at the dwarf. The summoner looks at the gunslinger. The gunslinger looks at the summoner. Finally the dwarf grunts, “yer not an elf are ya?”

“Course not.” replied the gunslinger. “Just a shifter looking for some work. Gotta keep the drink coming somehow.”

The dwarf grunts, “good man…speaking of which…” the dwarf trails off and wanders to the bar.

After another period of indeterminate waiting, the summoner and gunslinger get in to talk to Dane. Dane looks rather unimpressed at their presence.

“Are you still working with that…thing?” asks Dane, glaring at the dwarf and summoner.

“Errr…yes, we are.” Says the Summoner.

Dane glares in silence for several moments. “Fine.” he growls. “Just keep it out of my bar!” Shuffling through the papers on his acid-stained desk, he scoops up four slips. “These are the bounties I have left. They aren’t much, but it’s what I have left.” Tossing the papers towards the summoner, Dane stands and paces behind the desk.

“The first of those is a simple job. Some farmers are having issues with a pair of dire boars. Normally the farmers can ward them off with a little fire and some loud noises, but it’s mating season so the pair has become extremely territorial and needs to be put down.” Spinning around on his heel, Dane paces the other direction. “The next job is to render aid to one of the city patrons. She refused to give me any details beyond “She needed professionals.” and that the reward was was “substantial.”…” Dane pauses. “Its an odd request. Generally patrons already have retainers to handle any oddities that arrive in their own households.”

“The third of these jobs…well there are those that would take advantage of what is being attempted here in the Lost City. There’s a group of thugs that have set up camp near one of our main roads. They’re proving to be a little more cunning, avoiding caravans that have hidden guards within.” He shrugs and sits down behind the desk. “There may be someone inside feeding information out to them, or they might have a magic user that can read the minds of those in the caravan. I’ve recently received word that they’ve hired a pair of ogres for extra muscle to boot. If I knew where they were hiding out, I would’ve put an end to them myself. As it stands, I’m too busy to go crusading around the wilderness to bother with a gang of thugs.” Sighing, Dane picks up the last piece of paper. “There’s no monetary reward for this job…a number of children have gone missing from the lower district. The city guard have looked into it but haven’t come up with anything. Those families are desperate, but don’t have the coin to offer a proper reward. If you lot are feeling charitable, you can look into it.” He chuckles darkly, “you’d be the first set of mercenaries I’ve met to think with your hearts instead of your coin belts though.” Looking up, Dane makes a face of annoyance. “Do what you will, but please get your compatriot out of here before he causes me more trouble.”

Spinning around, the summoner and the gunslinger watch as the bartender slowly tucks a large shotgun back under the bar and serves the dwarf another drink.

Gathering all four members of the small team together, the Summoner presents each of the bounties to the other party members.

Breaking here, there’s at least this much text for the rest of this session AND I’ve got another session tonight.