Hello and good evening all. Welcome to the the first night of Dice-ember! Tonight we look at one of the maps that I will refer to as Snow Town for the time being. Snowtown Town is where our party will find themselves looking into the nightmares of the night where snow constructs stalk
Snowtowns Town Map
Now to set the scene yesterdays dice-ember post…
The town up ahead looked peaceful in the distance with its slate roofs covered in fresh snow. The sun was high in the sky and the party was glad to be heading towards a town. Judging by their current pace, via back of a farmers wagon, they would make it there just before nightfall.
“A the town of Snowtown. A cosy little place” the man up front said as he urged his horses to go further up a hill. As they moved higher up into the hills towards Snowtown the weather changed with their progress. Soon snow started to fall and the weather outside made it necessary to put the canvas roof over the wagon for the party members to stay somewhat dry.
The snow crunched underfoot as the party strolled into the town. The eerie quiet of the town only broken by the caw of a night bird or the squeal of a rusty sign. As they wondered around the city centre a shadow moved towards them. Raising the torch high the person, covered in snow shuffled towards them like a white ghost. It wasn’t until the figure was within ten feet that its true nature was revealed.
A creature made from snow, pitch black eyes and rotten fruit vegetable was hanging from its nose. As it reached out towards them with shattered ticks and bones for arms a rock smashed through its head, sending the body tumbling to the ground. “Run!” a voice called from a building as the party ran towards the building.
Racing towards the building they dashed through the snow, through the door and slammed it closed behind them. “Don’t let those things touch you. They drain the warmth from you and you soon join them in their frozen march.” the old man said with a shaky voice. “They wont come towards the houses but don’t want anyone on the streets after dark”.
The party made to check the door when they heard the thudding of something heavy on the snow outside. “Shh. That’s the other thing. There is something else. It begs to be let into your house. It appears as a jolly, kindly man and those who let it within their homes are found dead.”
The party huddled around the fire as the creatures outside continued their frozen march.
Thanks for joining me tonight for the first night of Dice-ember! Tomorrow we look at the visitors we have seen in Snowtown town and what they could potentially mean for our party. So don’t forget to come back for this and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to Thursday where today I wanted to spend some time creating a final battle arena for the Shadows Throne Ritual Hall.
Shadows Throne Ritual Hall
The ritual hall has six supporting pillars around the centre pit. A single altar in the middle glows with an unholy power. The room is masked in constant shadows where the eerie blue light from the braziers doesn’t provide more than a glow within 5ft.
The pit itself is 3ft deep, difficult terrain, and if people fall prone in it they will need to make a DC14 con save or become poisoned until they leave the water.
Nice simple quick one tonight just to have a basic map ready for the monthly adventure to be finished this weekend. Don’t forget to come back the next few days and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to Thursday where I turned my hand towards the very familiar effort of drawing a map and this week was the logistics of the throne of shadow. Sometimes its easier to hand draw a map with the features you want in it than to create something online or using software. There is also something satisfying about a map such as the one tonight which brings back the nostalgia of simpler times.
But tonight we are here for a map and whilst not my finest work (still working on about 3 hours sleep a night for over a week now) it will do the job for this weeks encounter.
Logistics of the Throne of Shadow
Bottom of the map
There are some cave ins that don’t look like they can be fixed with a pick and shovel but most of the map is connected. Most rooms are left bare to be filled in as we see fit. There is a mess hall to the left of the ritual hall and on the top of the page there is a set of stairs leading to a balcony where archers could be stationed, perhaps a large table for looking at a map for defence coordination.
Top of the map
The top half of the map is new, roughly carved, uneven ground with sharp edges. Even the walls and square(ish) rooms are uneven and basic however there is evidence of technology and infrastructure taking place in most rooms. A barracks to the left of the large room of the main entrance serves to feed troops to the wall or the the defence of the Ritual hall or southern rooms. The warren where the prisoner cells are could be filled with critters or beasts that get fed the scraps (dead prisoners) or as a sleeping quarters for the lowest of slaves and servants in the citadel.
The prisoner cells located at the top right of the map is where the Ogre encounter happens. The tunnels to the Ritual hall (centre of the map) should be hidden and either investigated and stumbled into naturally or with a guide. The bottom half of the map should be a mixture of old dwarven stone work and newly hewn, rough stone (likely the Oni).
Thanks for coming again tonight. Hopefully my brief moment of nostalgia with a hand drawn map brings back memories of your first days, sneaking a look at your DMs map and working out where the traps, the dragon or the treasure is. Don’t forget we have at least two stat blocks to talk about so don’t forget about them and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to Thursday night where tonight we have some more inspirational images for this weeks adventure as we find our party knocking on shadows doorstep itself. Tonight is a bit of a shorter night as tomorrow there will be more content with the plans for the weeks encounter being revealed. So let’s have a look at what I have cooked up and roll on!.
Knocking on Shadows doorstep
Smoke and dust fill the sky as you gaze up at the entrance to the mountain. The flow of Oni and other servants of the Shadow are constant, scurrying backwards and forth across the rough stone. Deep within the mountain a red glow and the chants of an unholy ritual resonate through the cold stone as you stand and watch. As you look at the remnants of the crumbled façade of the citadel before you its not evident whether it was constructed after of before the rock fell, but you can tell that it was made by a master craftsmen.
The creatures that move through the area don’t pay you any attention but they seem to be directed by an unseen hand. As the pounding of air and chanting of magic continues the feeling of unease settled in your bones. This is not a place for mortals. This is not a place where the sunlight wants to tread for fear of being swallowed up by the shadow that has penetrated the stone.
Thanks for joining me again tonight. Come back tomorrow where I unravel the checks, skills and tasks that await our party this week as we continue on the month. Don’t forget that this weekend is already upon us and next week is the last week of the month, mostly. And, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to bonus content Thursday where tonight we are producing the map for this weeks encounter and mission. Tonight I present to you the Oni’s camp layout and the remnants of the snow brought by the Yuki-onna.
Oni’s Camp Layout
Tonight the map covers a large oni captains tent at the centre of the map with several fires around the camp. The camp is big enough to hold several dozen Oni, their slaves and only Tyr knows what else.
The idea behind this is that the camp is on a general slope upwards where a few tents; a place for eating, a small arms tent and the captains tent being set up on the flat areas of the sloped hill. The idea is to create an environment when charging downhill is normal terrain but charging uphill is difficult terrain and thus slower to move upwards.
Wow… Layering didn’t want to work tonight and I had to spend a stupid amount of time trying to get the background layers to blend to work together. Several passes and tries at the pathways, the areas that the grass pokes through the snow was enough to make me want to call it early tonight. But adding on the muddy trodden areas and the areas for snow, dirt and rock resulted in something I would probably fix up later when I had more patience for the process.
But tonight’s map is definitely useable and my favourite part of this map is definitely the camp fires and the floating ember effects I managed to work through tonight. Inkarnate definitely has quite a few options for adding more to the end product and producing something that can wow players let alone the DM.
That’s it for tonight. As always don’t forget to come back tomorrow to investigate what the creature was in the captains tent and uncover what I have planned for combat this week. And lastly, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to the bonus content night aptly named, Expanded Battlefield – Ice Queen, where we feature a… well expanded battlefield for our battle with the Ice Queen. Tonight we find ourselves with 3 more maps to situate around our initial one from Sieged under snow. So Enjoy!
Expanded Battlefield – Ice Queen
West map (West 1)
More forest-y than the other maps this one would be a good candidate for a “breached wall” part of the battle. Where the wall crumbles and Oni, undead and other creatures who are fighting spill into the woods past the wall. This map links in immediately left of the main map and south (under) west 2 where the walls should just line up nicely.
North-west Map (west 2)
With a more direct imposing section of the wall into the map this map goes in the top left hand side of the 4. A good height on the tower it enables archers and those with ranged capabilities to defend the area and take down enemies with relative safety. Until the tower crumbles that is.
Northern Map (North 1)
Directly north above our first battle map this one here shows what’s beyond the ice queen and is the direct path to the Shadows Throne. Perhaps good for showing where enemies are or how long until they reach the wall (or the Yuki-onna) this map adds more depth into the battlefield.
A nice short one tonight with some additional easy to do maps. However by using Inkarnate to produce these maps I was able to use the same background colours and layers and keep the sizing the same. In fact a lot of the wall section, trees, bodies and hills are the same scale as I duplicated the first image. This enabled me to make sure the scale was consistent across all the maps.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for maybe a random encounter and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
Thursday has come and that means its another day where we look at MAPS! I have some big plans for this weekend, lets see if I can pull it off, but I hope that this first instalment of Sieged under snow is a good indication of what’s to come.
Sieged under snow
A nice short easy night tonight but the next few nights will amp it up a bit. Thanks for joining me tonight and don’t forget to come back in the next few nights. As we ramp up to the end of the month each day is crucial in building up our story for the players. So on that note let’s not lose sight of and forget the end goal, saving Ryokughan, Kyoko and the friends the party may have acquired along the way. And, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
A map giving Thursday is here and tonight we are surveying the battlefield. With tonight bringing some inspiration in Inkarnate I decided to also finish up a map from last week (Road to the Wall) and include it here. So enjoy!
Surveying the Battlefield
That’s it for tonight. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a bonus twist night and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to a bonus Thursday where tonight I have a map for us to use for this weeks encounter, well one of them. This is the map for yesterdays Dark footsteps encounter as the party continue their journey along the Road To The Wall. But it can be used in a few different encounters by making some small adjustments which Inkarnate makes easy for us to do.
Road To The Wall
Nice simple update tonight as I look at the map for one of the encounters for this weeks adventure.
As always created in Inkarnate and relative straight forward with passing through a bit of a forested area.
Thanks for looking at tonight’s map but don’t forget that tomorrow is fight night were we look at the beasties which we are encountering. Also don’t forget as the weeks draw to a close we come closer to the end of the yearly adventure and I am excited for what comes next so don’t forget to stay tuned. And lastly, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe
Tonight I wanted to work on a template for something I mentioned yesterday in Return of the Ice Queen – the Dragons Tears. These magical weapons crafted by masters of forging and blessed by both dragon and elf are designed for one thing. To fight against The Shadow and defeat the minions that it commands.
The Dragon tears is really a template for weapons, sorry spell casters, but the same (or similar effect) should be applied to what ever weapon you have in mind
The below are a suggestion, well the current thoughts I have on these traits for the template but I would need to look at how balanced they would be.
- The wielder of a Dragons Tear item can see in magical darkness up to 60ft. Furthermore they gain superior darkvision (120ft).
- As an action you can cause the item to emit light as per the daylight spell centred in the item.
- A 60-foot-radius Sphere of light spreads out from a point you choose within range. The Sphere is bright light and sheds dim light for an additional 60 feet.
- If it is a melee weapon or ammunition its considered to be +1 against fiends, fey or undead. It also deals an additional 2d6 points of radiant damage against these creatures.
- If the item is a ranged weapon it is considered to be a +1 weapon against fiends, fey or undead. It can also cast guiding bolt as a 2nd level spell slot three times a day using the users ranged weapon attack modifier. This resets on dawn of the following day.
- If the item is a wondrous item (not a weapon) it gains advantage on wisdom and saving throws against being charmed. Additionally you can cast dancing lights at will without the need of concentration checks.
As I have mentioned before in previous posts the more magical items you introduce into a D&D campaign. This is more true in 5e as the game can function with zero magic items. It’s just perhaps less enjoyable even when it becomes harder to make it balanced. This is more detrimental to the player rather than the DM and we want to avoid unpleasant situations.
Note: I plan to create a nice looking template using the homebrewery once I have sorted out the balanced components of this template.
Thanks for joining me tonight. Don’t forget to drop by the next few nights as I tighten up a few last bits for this month. Also I hope to have a few examples of Dragons Tears weapons and items this weekend for the final post of the month so make sure to come back for that. Don’t forget to let me know if you like this content or if there is anything that you particularly enjoyed, and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe