Formless

Welcome back to another Friday-fightnight where our party encounter the formless Quaigin. These shapeshifters are known as the scouts and minions of the dreaded skin walkers who serve the Shadow. In fact these shapeless beings take on the shape of others as a way of interacting with the world after all its not easy having no face. In fact its not that they don’t have a face that gives them a bad reputation its that they consist of thousands of finger-length slugs that does the trick.


Formless

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Quaigin - the formless ones who use their inherent magical abilities to take the form of other creatures.
Made in tetra-cube

As she moved forward across the wet grass her anticipation fluttered in her chest. It wasn’t because she liked these creatures, they were below here, far, far below her but they were loyal and obedient. She appreciated their skills, the abilities that made them formless, that gave them an edge when interacting with the real world. These spirit-folk, the fey as the foreigners had called them, were not evil or malicious by nature but they respected their place in the world and did as they were told. The squirming prisoner, a guard that had strayed too far away from their post, looked up at Mugrave with horror in her eyes as she tried to back away from the Oni.

“Hush child,” the Oni said through sharpened teeth, “I wont harm you”.

The faceless creatures near by moved backwards a few feet away from the huddles guard. “Thank you.” she stuttered as she looked around at the creatures around her. “What are you going to do with me?”

“I will release you once I get some information from you.” The Oni said as she squatted down in front of the human, the sheer difference in size enough to make the warrior pale.

“What do you want to know, I’ll tell you anything” the guard caved quickly.

“I don’t want you to tell me anything. I want you to show me everything” Mugrave said as her arms darted forwards. Wrapping her hands around the head of the smaller humanoid she began to extract the information from her memories. Orders for movement of guards from the wall, the size and strength of the battalions and a titbit about Kyoko being spotted coming through the Kunagi ranges. The final piece of the puzzle was the reports of a fair foreigner who could heal wounds and the earth having appeared at Heavens Reach castle.

“The light. She has arrived. Interesting” Mugrave said dropping the human like a dirty dish cloth. “You are free to go” Mugrave said as the quivering human rose to her hands and knees and began to run off towards her barracks.

“Get her.” Mugrave said as the faceless shapes ran after her and dragged her silently into the earth.


Closing thoughts

Developing the Quaigin is an interesting one. Being formless by nature makes their description sway easily from useful (for a DM) and horrifying which can only enrich the stories we can tell.

These creatures being able to mimic, perfectly, those that they touch make them perfect spies and assassins and I look forward to using them in the future.


Thanks for joining me tonight. As always the stat blocks are created in Tetra-cube, a great little web application for us DMs to make life a bit easier. In fact this whole week is about making life easier by answering the simple question. How do I get an Oni inside a fortress. The ability for Mugrave and her Quaigin to shapeshift makes this process an easy one – but more on that next week. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a creative writeup. I am excited to bring another one of these back to the table as I haven’t really timed myself in a while since I have been focusing on improving my writing. So, don’t forget to come back this weekend and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Laelóng – Multi staged Encounter

Welcome to a Friday Fight-night! where tonight we look at the Laelóng in our Multi staged Encounter. Tonight the Stat block is made in tetra-cube as my preferred stat-block creating tool. However I am trying something a bit different tonight as I try and work out an easy way to balance custom creatures. So while I try and work out the maths, let’s see how it works out.


Kunagi Ranges Encounter

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The Laelóng is a large bird like wyvern which in rare cases, when they grow to a old age, develop the ability to summon and control ice. The sages in the lands believe it is a boon given to them by their dragon cousins out of pity but there is some debate on the origins of their powers. Some newer scholars believe that their powers come from The Shadow who gifted the control over ice to the Laelóng as payment for fighting against the ancestral dragons of men. What ever the reason and cause of their powers they retained their vanity of their cousins, and their strength.

Generally social in nature when young their disposition changes dramatically when they reach maturity and old age. Becoming distant, antisocial and paranoid they hide away and only re-join their large flocks to mate – which is more violent than romantic.

Laelóng - Multi staged Encounter stat block for D&D 5e
Created in Tetra-Cube

The Laelóng is a terrifying opponent, preferring to attack from the air rather than join its prey on the ground. The first encounter where its fighting with Ester clutched in its claws it wont be able to use its legendary actions, One of its claw attacks and will fight as if its everfrost claws are broken.

The second phase it will make one claw attack and attempt to push (prone) a target then fly away.

The third phase it fights uninhibited and will use its breath weapon when possible. Focusing on hitting as many targets without provoking attacks of opportunity as possible. When this is impossible the Laelóng will heal its claws or move and launch its breath weapon.


Thanks for joining me tonight for more Brazen Wolfe Tabletop for the final weeks content. Don’t forget that this weekend is the monthly finale and that means one big adventure write-up. So make sure you come back for that and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

No retreat

Welcome to a fight night Friday where tonight I want to keep to very short and sweet to save some of the surprises for the weekend writeup.

Tonight I’ll go over the three stages of this weeks combat and explore what that means for our party, what trials they’ll face and what difficulties they may encounter.

So to get on with it, let’s stop my jabbering.


Calculating predator

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So the first part of the encounter is a slog fest with some hindrance or handicaps on my creatures due to holding Ester. The creature moves slowly, half speed, with disadvantage on attack rolls and dex saves as it’s currently carrying a prisoner and because one of its back feet is occupied in its attempt to stay upright in the snow its a bit more clumsy. This however doesn’t restrict some of its abilities which it will use as often as it can. The goal of the creature is to immobilise or cause as many of the player characters to become restrained by the ice or environment so it can savour their death.

The snow it self makes the players move at half speed but wont affect the creature, as its already slow. This evens the Playfield a smidge and grants a small advantage for the creature as it can cause parts of the battlefield to become hazards where they are nearly impossible to cross over. The goal of this round is to shatter the ice that cover the front clawed sections of wing which will cause it to slip over until it puts down Ester. The creature will also throw Ester at a party member that is within 30 feet as a reaction to their action (movement, attack, spell cast) when its at or below 50% health. Once it does this it will leap into the sky and summon spears of everfrost into the mountain peaks nearby creating an avalanche.

Round 2

Round 2 is avoiding a terrain hazard, the avalanche, whilst fending off the creature as it swoops down to try and kill or drown (in snow) the party. It will always move in, attack once then bonus action disengage during this phase whilst sparing its ice breath. After the avalanche begins they party has five rounds until the avalanche his them and the exit/entrance to the valley is 300 feet away. The in party’s goal is to get out of the valley alive whilst the creatures goal is to prevent them from doing so (but not make it impossible). The wagon is back a further 200ft. If the party are caught by the avalanche they have 3 rounds of fighting a against the avalanche with a mixture of either skill and saving throws before being dumped onto the soggy ground at the end of the valley, just past its walls, from up high a battered creature is now furious for being denied it’s prize, but its now un-inhibited and mad gaining some additional combat options.

Round 3.

Round three is… Coming soon.


More on all of this on the weekend but trying a multi-stage boss fight gives three encounters with the party being swept and moved along by something outside of their control. I find this style of encounter rich and engaging without feeling overwhelming or lacklustre.


Thanks for joining me again for another night. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more content, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Rattled and shattered

Welcome to Friday where tonight we normally investigate the encounter of the week and when combat isn’t an option we try to add some form of encounter that enables our party to use those acrylic geometric shapes that keep us addicted to the hobby – yup dice.


Spooked

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The image of those creatures, large and small alike threaded upon those needle like spikes of ever frost was enough to rattle even the bravest of souls. As the party moved through the valley more large scrapes, cuts, and spikes of ice with threaded animals and creatures were encountered but all other evidence of the cause, natural or otherwise were no where to be found.

As the party turn a bend around a particularly expansive spire of ice a sudden flash of movement in the ice and snow gave them cause to pause and press themselves up against the spire of ice, well close to it at risk of freezing themselves. Focusing on where the movement was, their heart beats fluttering like mad, a tentative white rabbit with little stag-like horns appeared, sniffed the air a few times before quickly hopping from the bush it hid behind to another one further down the road.

This wasn’t the only such encounter that set the parties senses on edge as they continued, slower since they wanted to scout the way for the wagon a few hundred feet in advance, but after seeing, and continuing to see the threaded creatures on spikes of un-melting ice they were not going to take any chances.


The creatures aren’t meant to be ferocious or create a threat for the party – they are the prey in this valley just as much as the party and so they will be doing their best to avoid being seen. As the party encounter them, randomly roll and describe but perhaps starting with the boar, then the goat and wolf then the horned rabbit – then it could set the pace between potential encounter, potential encounter then suspenseful encounter before we move on for the week.


Thanks for joining me tonight and a special call out to the awesome person who suggested a name for the village! So far we have the winning name of Laniidae. Its pretty neat so currently we have the name of our village, but two more weeks until I finalise it so there is still time to put forward suggestions!

Don’t forget to come back this weekend, I have a pretty full social calendar for a change this weekend so I will perhaps not get around to as much as I want to this Saturday but on Sunday we have the end of week writeup which will summarise and knit together the content of the week! So don’t forget to come back for that and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Stampeding hooves across frozen plains

Welcome to the Friday Fight night write-up. Tonight we look at the stat block for the humble Onikage which is nothing our party can’t deal with on its own but when it has some friends with it the battle can come to a head quick quickly.


The Onikage

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The encounter really is settled around the Onikage killing a pack of wolves and then they turning into zombies that attack the party with an undead Choi on top. The stats for Choi will follow the Zombie template.

As for tactics the wolves would charge in first followed closely by the Onikage and Zombie mounted on its back. As the wolves focus on attacking the horses the Onikage and zombie-Choi will attack the party and will ferociously try and take them down.

Ideally it would happen as a surprise round with the ambush happening those with a keen perception may hear the shuffling of feet and such but until the undead and Onikage attack they will be nearly invisible amongst the trees and snow.


A quick little encounter to wrap up the week as I recover from a cold but introducing the statistics of the Onikage and some of the information on the encounter wraps up this section of the adventure nicely. As always don’t forget to come back this weekend for the end of month writeup and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Frozen Dinner

Welcome one and all to a Brazen Wolfe fight night! Friday nights we generally explore the encounters for the week and tonight we have an interesting one – one where the main big bad doesn’t really attack but uses puppets to do her bidding.

For the Queen!

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Yukri Toshimo – the Yuki-onna

Yukri is the focus for this weeks encounter, however she will order her charmed subjects to do her bidding now that she has the opportunity to impress The Shadow. However, she would rather use her abilities and spells to control the battlefield and protect her Lord, Teng, who reminds her soo much of the Young man who she was denied when she was human.

Lucian

Lucian is fully devoted to Yukri and Teng but will deny Teng if it means pleasing Yukri. He fights savagely and takes particular delight in wearing down his opponents with relentless attacks and expert martial prowess.

Toshio Family Guards

Toshio family guards will rush forward to do their leaders bidding. While loyal to Teng Yukri still holds sway with her magical charm and her commands are just followed as if Lord Toshio had given them himself. Although not all that impressive there is a lot of them and they will throw themselves at the party.

The encounter

Fighting

To find out what causes the fight we will have to wait for the weekend, but conflict is inevitable. As we had a few weeks ago the aim of this conflict isn’t to best the big bad but its to survive and escape the dinner hall.

The guards form a wall between the party and their Lord and queen (and blocking off the escape behind them – see below) while Lucian charges into the party outraged at the accusations, true or otherwise. The moment Lucian gets below half HP, Yukri (who is fond of her most loyal warrior), will order them to seize Kyoko and the party for treason and assault on a vassal of the Toshio family. And with a room filled with dinner guests who are more terrified of Yukri than the party witnesses to the Toshio’s side of the story will be in high supply.

The guards will try and keep the party at a distance, using longer ranged spears and forming two walls. There should be dozens of them to stress the dire-ness of the situation.

Once either Lucian falls, or a handful (6~10) of Guards start to crumble then Teng and Yukri will retreat up stairs to avoid the fallout and the guards will press forward to complete their orders.

End of the encounter

Kyoko shouts in surprise as she is grabbed and thrown backwards out an open door, several slain guards lay at the door as the Shadow Cursed and Siu took them out. Kuang beckons the party to retreat and as he does so Lucian stumbles to his feat, a thick coating of frost and ice starting to form on his body as his dead eyes flutter open and he begins to push his way through the guards.

The aim is to force the party out the doors, but as the guards and Lucian get close to the door they start to drop, blades and flashes of golden scales can be seen as Siu and his invisible defenders start to lash out to protect Kyoko and their friends. As the party leaves the doorway Siu and Choi flash into focus as they close the doors, the sound of a beam being pulled down to lock the door is heard before shouts of war and combat reverberate through the thick wood. Tugging on their sleeves indicates Sasha (Hana) is with them with any items that were left in the racks (they were gone if the party looked for them), and a few bags as she urges them to follow her as she runs towards the servants quarters. Once there she takes them through the servants entrance which leads them to a few quaint houses near the barracks.

Flight

From where the party leave the building they can see that the wagon is on fire, however there are a few guards horses not far from where they are standing next to the Barracks and the party are able to approach them with ease – The gates are also open but guarded so the party will need to deal with that (creativity is encouraged!).

As they leave they hear a terrible shriek and they turn around to see Yukri standing on a raised platform as the deformed, scaled horse (that died then came back to life the threw itself in the fire – yeah that one) walks up to her and nuzzles her hand before staring at the party.

Leaving the compound is easy as pursuit is slow (as there is still fighting in the building) and Kuang seems to the know the way as he leads the party east and away from the Toshio family.

Well there is the second last piece in the twist for the adventure – Kyoko and the party were set to start a family war in which they are a few steps behind which will create both opportunity to grow, explore and understand the continent they are now on. Thanks for sticking with me for this longer-than-normal month and I appreciate you all reading what I put up here. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for, maybe some Warhammer as well as our end of week writeup up, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Toshio’s Halls

Hello and welcome to Friday where we look at the encounter for this week, tonight I want to have a bit of a gap between where we last saw our party and what happens this weekend for the write-up so I will put some mechanics here and see what we can work out.


Rimed Halls

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Tonight is entirely based on what the party decide to do. Thinking of a few common items I’ll put down some considerations for this weeks adventure and how to handle it where feasible.

“Stealth”

The halls will be busy so performance, and other social skills (persuasion, deception, intimidation, etc.) are just as valuable to the stealth aspect or this. Moving around the halls will have a good chance at being noticed and quick thinking on the players end and a subsequent contesting roll (with advantage or disadvantages based on what the party are doing, how they do it and/or what they say to try and convince those who discover them that they are not up to no good.

Rumours

Listening to or sewing rumours is both charisma heavy, stealth and perception based. Listening to those in the court, the soldiers, staff and servants or attendants at court could provide valuable information.

Evidence

Whether breaking and entering, casting spells, sneaking, bribing, or persuading this one is really the crux of the adventure. Gathering evidence through what ever means possible to help prove Kyoko and the Harimasu family’s claims that the Toshio family has been attacking through mercenary companies or conspiring elsewhere against the other prominent family in Ryokughan.

Planting

Decoys, forgeries or the real deal – planting evidence to strengthen the point or persuade individuals to side with the Harimasu’s is also an option. A word of warning on making the deceptive evidence too fat fetched as something will be obvious falsified documents or things and it would damage the Harimasu’s reputation.

Other options?

If the party have a good idea this week roll with it, adopting a “thats cool, what does that look like?” Approach will enrich the game for everyone involved.


As you can tell this week we find the parties given the opportunity to sneak around the halls to find evidence or corruption or foul play. While not a major household this manor would be a stopping point before going further North-west and things could be left behind. More to be revealed in this weekend write-up though as there is potentially some shocking evidence.


Thanks for stopping by tonight for, maybe not the most exciting Friday post but still something that sets the scene for next week where we have a bigger reveal. Don’t forget to come back this weekend and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Feral Tricksters

Welcome to Friday where we look at the content for Fightnight! This week we have several creatures, sticking to my post from last week all (except the first one) are nearly entirely based on their template creatures with some tweaks here and there to make it fit with the theme.


The Nats

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The Nat

Nat is the collective term given to lesser few spirits that inhabit the wilds of Ryokughan and their appearance and temperament is as varied as the landscape in which they call home. Some are peaceful and kind spirits that want to help travellers whilst others are malevolent and spiteful wishing harm to all that enter their domain. Regardless of appearance or sociability they are all very protective of their homes whether its a woven nest of leaves, reeds and branches or a grimy hole in the ground – the Nat will defend their homes and will almost do anything to protect their space.

Stoneskin Nat (Gargoyle Template)

A large creature that appears to be made from boulders. Despite its lumbering appearance it is quite quick on foot and can move above and below the ground using its large claws to dig through the ground. Although not naturally hostile the Stoneskin variety of the Nat fey-folk are perhaps more territorial than the rest and strike suddenly like a charging bull when they see a threat encroaching on their turf.

Furred Nat (gnoll template)

Ferocious and malicious the Furred Nat readily leaves its caves and dens to hunt those who are near its hunting ground. Resembling different bestial races they all have predatorial features such as a canine or feline like snout, sharp teeth and long claws – this coupled with the thick, shaggy, unkept fur that coverers their body they readily pick up weapons and have crude armour from things they have killed when they go on their hunts.

Hulking Nat (Orc template)

Thick hide like armour covers these human sized extremely muscular Nats’ bodies. Ferocious and aggressive but less feral than the Furred Nat these creatures bound into battle and readily serve greater powers for the promise of more shiny things for their dens and lairs but also more glory for those who come back victorious from war. Commonly seen with Oni and other creatures that have aligned themselves with the Shadow these Fey are both common and feared across the lands of Ryokughan.

Elder Nat (Hill giant)

While not a normal Nat that has grown to an old age these solitary, peaceful creatures would rather sleep than fight or bicker as long as their few trinkets, normally passed down from family members, aren’t disturbed by creatures entering their den. Not picky where they sleep they can be found in ruins, caves, holes in the ground or other similar lairs and normally not to far from from home. Though not predisposed to violence they can be persuaded with the threat of being interrupted and having their long sleeps disturbed which is what upsets them the most. Their huge size, phenomenal strength and the large club-like forearms they have are enough to turn horses into a shattered pile of meat and gore let alone smaller creatures like humans. Out of all the Nats these ones are the source of childhood stories and tales that warn children to not go into the woods to explore lest you stumble into and Elders Lair.


Thanks for coming back tonight and looking at the re-skin of four creatures from the core rules. This week should be an example of when altering some small details to fit an existing ruleset with a theme can produce a meaningful and memorable encounter for our players. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for a day of musings and our end of week writeup and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Swarm Keeper

Welcome to Friday or as I like to call it, Fightnight! Tonight we have ourselves something a bit fun planned for the weekend and tonight sets the stage for some of it.

As highlighted on Wednesday night Sai won’t deliberately kill a target, unless told do so so, but will ensure that his identify and freedom to complete the mission remain a secret, unless he decides to let part of that knowledge slip.


Sai Tsugen of the Locust

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Sai’s unnatural speed causes him to always strike at initiative 20. This means he can get a defensive spell up or try and take down an opponent quickly.

Sai’s dagger is normal, but for the sake of the encounter lets place a DC12 constitution saving throw when ever damage is done by it or the target becomes poisoned.

When we are looking at the poisoned condition I would also put on a mechanic that it can have levels for this encounter – if someone was to gain 3 levels in poison they fall unconscious.

Lastly any poison damage that they take (spell like abilities) would also be the same constitution save DC and effect on failure.

Sai will cease to attack someone who is unconscious believing that their memory should be foggy at best if and when they wake from the poison induced unconsciousness.


Thank you coming back for tonight’s stat-block. As the party get stronger I find myself having to create stronger and more balanced encounters and this, really, should be a walk in the park for most of our parties but it has a few key considerations in there that should still create something challenging. Don’t forget to come back for this weekends write-up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe

Rotten Crops

Welcome to Friday also known as fight night where this week I wanted to put in a little encounter to occur during the days downtime before the next part of the adventure carries on. It should be no surprise that I love night time encounters but tonight’s one can be run during any time of the day – but night seems more thematic.


Freshly Risen

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As the last of the suns rays disappeared from high above the mountains the farmers returned from their rice paddies and soon the few small huts had glowing golden warmth scattered from the windows.

“It sure is getting cold, unusual for this time of year” the middle aged woman said to her husband and daughter as they set the table – the other farmers were coming around for dinner tonight to celebrate the coming harvest. “I’d say its going to be an early season the way the wind blows from the hills up north”

“We should leave a bigger offering at the family shrine tomorrow, to ward of the spirits,” her husband said as he set down the last plate as a few of the farmers from the other houses walked through the front door. “They say when the wind blows cold from the hills that the spirits are restless.” he continued before he had a scornful glance get shot his way from his wife – but it was too late.

“What do you mean father?” the girl asked as she grabbed a pitcher of water and set it on the table with some clay cups.

The wife sighed as she retrieved a pot and set it down on a woven mat in the middle of the table. “Yes, we’d also like to know as we haven’t heard of a lot of the folklores from Shuimu” said one of the new farmers at the table.

The father sat back in his chair with a grin as he stood and grabbed a shield from the wall. “This was my ancestors shield, Many centuries ago he fought in a great battle in those hills where a dragon and the people of Shuimu fought some of the creatures of The Shadow – an army with Demons and all manner of creatures from the shadow lands – beyond the great mountains far to the north.” he began, taking a swig of rice win as he continued his tail. “My ancestor fought valiantly but unfortunately died in battle, so did many of our men and women from this land as they protected it from the cursed ones. There wasn’t time to bury them properly so they burried them amongst the hills each with a dragon scale placed upon them as they were covered by the soil.” He paused again looking amongst the faces of those around the table, “the following year a spring formed and the plants that grew from that spring were soo bountiful that the farms we work today were formed back then. When the cold wind blows from the hills they say that The Shadow is planning its revenge, that the demons and spirits that fought in that war walk the ground again when the wind is cold.” He said taking another drink from his cup.

“all superstition” said his wife shaking her head at the enthusiastic man across from her. “No spirit or demon will walk amongst those hills, but in the morning we can visit the ancestor’s shrine. Husband, wasn’t Cristine and her husband meant to come as well?” She asked looking out the window towards the third hut.

“yeah, I am sure they will be here soon. Old Hugh can’t ignore a feast.” Her husband said as he helped himself to the stew.

Meanwhile…

Just up the road the tangy and sickly sweet smells of meat was wafting from the farmers hut, the door lay open with two sets of legs laying out of it. Both sets of legs twitched and moved as the horrid creature on top chewed and clawed at the one underneath who was weakly trying to fight and push back at the rotating body on top. A few feet away a much stiller body of a man lay, the creature on top slowly getting up being drawn to the sound of merriment and warmth from the house further down the farms. Pushing past the now both dead creatures in the doorway it joined a mass of other shambling, shuffling dead creatures who mocked and imitated the living.

As the cold wind blew down from the hills the slow stench of death and rot from unnaturally preserved bodies began to mix with the hearty warm smells of stew, wine and cracking wood in a hearth.

Tonight the shadow touched dead followed the wind to add more creatures to their growing ranks.


Nice simple encounter, dead marching from the farms. Party has to stop the dead, foggy morning or clear night a preference. If you want to create it into a mini adventure/session then there would be a creature raising them from the grave, I’d beef up a ghast to CR5 (+1 additional proficiency bonus) and add appropriate amount or hp. Have a shadow taint affect on its bite too for good measure.


Thanks for joining me tonight and looking at tonights encounter inspired by an image in my old copy of Oriental Adventures (3e) DnD suppliment. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for more content, I may mix around the days and have the final write-up come out tomorrow instead of Sunday as I have a full on social calendar this weekend so don’t get too alarmed if the normal schedule os mixed around some! And as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe