Hello and good evening all. Welcome to the the second post of Dice-ember where we look at the Animated Snowman. This month is shaping up to be quite a chill one indeed and while my country warms up for Christmas the other half of the world is getting colder.
So sit back, grab a drink and read on!
The Animated Snowman are slow unless they are on a roll. About as fast as a halfling or dwarf when they are hungry and sprinting.
The creatures themselves are ferocious and bloodthirsty when near the living and as long as they can sense the warmth in them they will hunt them down. However, they wont move through doors for some reason.
When the creatures stand still they look as if they were cheerfully created by children. However when warm blooded creatures draw near their evil disposition is revealed.
Thanks for joining me tonight for the second night of Dice-ember. Don’t forget to come back every night this month for Dice-ember as the Animated Snowman aren’t the only things causing havoc in Snowtown town… See you tomorrow night and don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe
Friday is here and tonight I have a small update which really is just exploring the concept of Aerial Terrors. For me this is fitting for not just D&D but any TTRPG as well as for my other passion, Warhammer. The idea of creatures flying down from the sky to harass and disrupt not only enemy archers but wizards and sometimes warriors is really appealing. It creates an extra level to combat and it doesn’t have to be a dragon, corrupted vulture, griffin or something else terrifying but even something like a flock of ravens or bats can pose a risk.
So let’s briefly explore Aerial Terrors together tonight.
Now the following statblocks are something that I would recommend for any level campaign, from mundane to legendary. The difference really is that at lower levels these can also be deadly where as later levels it will pose more of a nuisance rather than risk for the party.
The idea behind these creatures is two fold. Swarms surround the party member, ranged or otherwise and act as a distraction for hard hitting ranged party members. They also can swarm on melee combatants and force the choice, disengage and move towards another target and suffer attacks of opportunity from the swarm OR stay and fight something whose purpose is to tie you down.
Individual targets can fly down and attack one by one before flying out of reach as a way of creating distractions or forcing people to expend readied actions or reactions to counter. These creatures, and these additions to encounters, are relatively low in threat so adding these to a few encounters are summons, minions or just natural inhabitants to a cave could spice up encounters.
That’s all we have for tonight. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for more content and the end of month write-up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to Fight night where I have something perhaps a bit exciting to reveal. Both the Shadow Born Ogre and the Shadows Avatar stat blocks! So sit down, have a coffee and lets go through the creatures lurking in the shadows.
Shadow Born Ogre and the Shadows Avatar
Shadow Born Ogre
The Shadow is very selective in who it trusts and loans its power to. This Ogre through sheer strength, malice and willingness to spread the shadows corruption was one of the favoured ones. Engaging the party quickly and with great sweeping blows I would set his initiative to 15 and keep it there. The shadow didn’t just bless this brute with more strength and shadow infused blows but with a cunning intellect. It knows when its in trouble and will act accordingly. Willing to grab, grapple and hold hostages this should be a tough warmup fight.
The Shadows Avatar
Bit of a spoiler – the ritual goes off but not half as much as it would have wanted. By drawing the life from all its minions (through its back up plan) it manages to scrape by at this power level – not the full force of a deity but close enough for the average mortal.
Fast, intelligent, charismatic and having the ability to induce fear upon the entire party this is a mean creature. Immune to damage unless magical or dealing radiant damage this will take some chunking before it goes away.
Having a unarmed attack that can turn into a free grapple is good, as a legendary action it can help make this creature feel stronger and more imposing that it should. The scimitar is also quite strong with its strength drain ability. Party members will start to fear this attack if the fight goes on too low as instant death is a rare thing in D&D5e.
This weapon deals a lot of damage and it intrinsically linked to the Shadow – if someone else uses the sword it loses the negative damage but will regain its ability to reduce strength scores – for a prince. The shadows corruption. But I will cover this later.
Thanks for dropping by to have a look at this weeks stat blocks. I am quietly confident that we will have a few good fights in this weeks adventure as we wrap up the 11 month campaign so don’t forget to check out the finished product this weekend. I will also be looking at a creative write up on Saturday so don’t miss out on that as well and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to a Friday Fightnight where we have a look at some reoccurring stat blocks, a new one and the option our party have to take. The decision is either a frontal assault or taking a path that light fears to tread itself, the hidden way through the darkness of the mountain. This weeks encounter section of the Friday Fightnight may be disappointing. I would say that this due to the fact that we have a larger monthly content next week so this week may be light but this week is simply not as exciting as whats in store
A path that light fears to tread
Oni, Bakegamoto, Butatō, Oni Sentinels and bound river trolls guard the front entrance. The Butato provide ranged support from the walls and pepper the ground with arrows whilst Oni defend the gate, wall and operate the defence. The Bakegamoto act as shock troops and charge in to disrupt the party.
The trolls are interesting, they are chained a little way from the wall in a small trench. When those foolish or unaware walk near them the trolls attack with a ferocious hunger but they are chained to the trench. These chains however can be released by mechanisms that the Oni control (but the trolls attack Oni and humans alike).
The Oni sentinels are the best marksmen of the Oni. They are positioned in watch towers and are crack shots with a heavy crossbow. However there are not many of them. As the mountain fell many of those on watch were lost as the towers were crushed by the rock.
The hidden passage is along the wall towards the north of the entrance. This requires the party to cross a trench, dodge crossbow shots before entering into it. Having or memorising the notes from the Oni camp will enable them to find the entrance with no issue. Once in there is nothing within the passage way itself apart from some Giant rats and perhaps a starved Oni or Butatō
I hope the new creatures are enough to tide our party over this week. There is a lot more planned for next week so don’t forget to come back for that and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe
Welcome to Friday fightnight where tonight we are looking at The Bakegamoto. Not only do we have a new creature to look at we also have the environmental conditions to look into to. So sit down, have a bit of fun (maybe a coffee) and lets have a look through the weeks encounter.
The Bakegamoto is a large dog like creature with a pushed in snout, large bat like ears and at least two large tusks jutting from their bottom jaw. The males are generally endowed with larger tusks and are a mixture of faun with a ruddy brown light mane that sprouts from the neck.
Females are generally lighter in colour without the mane but their tusks are shorter and generally thinner and sharper than the males. Trained bakegamoto are extremely obedient, strong and powerful. Normally kept by Oni captains or chieftains as a sign of power and strength they defend their master completely and obey orders to the best of their ability.
The snowy hills
The snowy hills pose an interesting mechanic for us. One way difficult terrain. Moving up the hill through the snow towards the camp is considered difficult terrain where as moving down isn’t. Patches of snow pose a further hindrance as fighting in these areas would impose disadvantage to dexterity checks and strength contests (not checks) due to the slippery mud and shin-to-knee deep snow.
That’s it for tonight. Tomorrow we will look at a improv night which I am looking forward to. As always don’t forget to come back this weekend to see the full picture and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe
Tonight we add to one of the horde and introduce the Butatō, a board headed small goblinoid who follows the war parties of the Shadow. Fearful and cowards by nurture they were once fearsome and proud warriors who would wage wars with the Oni – now they are little more than slaves for their more powerful cousins.
Tonight’s introduction of a new race can be used in any previous session with Oni however more specifically in this months adventure and the next. So let me know what you think of The Butatō!
The Butatō are boar headed humanoids who inhabit the shadowlands to the north or Ryokughan. Much like the Oni their ancestors entered into a contract with the being and since them have been bound into servitude. However the Butatō were once a proud race and through centuries their once proud stature and position in the world had diminished to a fraction of what it once was. They are now most commonly seen amongst the war parties of Oni, looting corpses and firing arrows at the enemies of their much larger and stronger warrior caste.
They were once the size of Oni and would frequently engage in conflict with the other goblinoids however they are mainly slaves to the Oni now. Cowards by nature they will fire an arrow haphazardly at the enemies before running away as fast as they can. They share the same survival sense of Goblins from Faerun and ill occasionally have a leader of sorts, a boss, who leads the battlefield scavengers.
Away from the battlefield they are slaves and used as such by the larger servants of the Shadow. Neither wilful enough or brave enough to stand up against their masters they are seen as little more than cattle to be used.
This marks the end of another week here with Brazen Wolfe Tabletop. I will look at introducing a few more variations of The Butatō in the coming weeks so make sure you come back for that if you like what you see here tonight. Also don’t forget to come back this weekend for the end of month wrap-up and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe
Fight night is here and we find ourselves with enemies at the wall. Tonight we look at the multi-staged (potentially) encounter for the week which we highlighted on Wednesday. While the rain continues to fall in Australia and much of our Southern and eastern states prepare for flooding I wanted to take a moment to wish those bracing for another wet weekend the best of luck. If I had a lucky dice, or inspiration I would send it out to all of them so that they may use an extra dice when they need it most. Take care Australians.
Enemy At The Wall
Tonight the encounter was balanced assuming that our party would have levelled up after reaching the wall and the fights along the way. This sets us at around 30000 xp for a daily encounter budget and around 6400 for an encounter.
Our first lot of encounters is the wall – Oni (hobgoblins), a captain and some lesser creatures (gnats or zombies.. something that is CR1/4) can flesh this part of the encounter out. If we treat them as coming in waves with the waves being 5 rounds apart it can make it feel like the tides are endless – just need to describe the creatures taking some time making it across the fields.
The second encounter is when the party realise that they are being torn apart by the Yuki-onna and so they leave the wall to take the fight to her. Now if the party has ranged weapons, abilities or spells it makes this part of the fight easier so I would enforce that the spikes summoned (see last nights map Sieged under snow) provide 3/4 cover for the ice queen from range where there is spikes between her and the attacking party.
Apart from fighting through the waves of Oni, the captains and zombies or lesser Gnats once they reach the ice queen she is quite formidable. I would have the waves still come, our party is level 9 after all, but maybe have supportive arrow fire dwindle the horde a bit from the wall.
For the Onikage as this one is meant to be huge, a more impressive specimen, change the size to huge and HP to 60 and that will just about do it for us.
As for the other parts of this encounter treat the shadow as something that can be spotted and targeted as a creature.
This creatures sole purpose is to find holes in the wall and act as a way of channelling ice magic from the Yuki-onna to damage, bring down the wall and act as a bridge and ladder for the warriors on the ground. Or those on the wall to go down to the ground.
Well that’s it for us tonight in Ryokughan. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for more content and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe
The Wrath Wraith is another interesting creature. On its own it isn’t that terrifying but when you implement how it fights, its tactics behind the encounter it becomes quite terrifying.
This week the Wrath Wraith is under the influence of the Shadow. Like many fiends it will barter its way out of where it lives into the material plane in order to sew chaos. This creature has been tasked with breaking the wall and by using hit and run tactics and wearing out the defenders it is slowly doing so. But, it still loves to sew chaos and by afflicting creatures it hurts with an unquenchable rage.
The affliction enables the Wrath Wraith to to see chaos on top of the wall as well as on the battlefield below when the humans decide to send their allies away. This also creates glorious chaos within the humans hearts and mind as they watch their friends and family turn into feral creatures.
A win for the Wrath Wraith.
The Affliction is more of a curse than a disease or poison. Remove curse will abolish it but also those who are strong of body can resist it as it attempts to wrestle control from their mind.
Those also afflicted by it can attempt to force the curse out of their body by will power alone. It is more difficult but one who can reign in the wrath curse is also immune to it.
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 Friday #fight-night where tonight we are looking at some of the stat blocks that we can use for this weeks encounter. Now the trouble with beacons is simple, they literally signal to anyone who is looking for it (or not) that something is there. Now these magic items, the Dragons Tears, all have very strong beacon like abilities and especially since the minions of The Shadow are looking for them too. This week we have two planned encounters and another stat block that could be bit of fun.
As always the stat blocks are created in Tetra-cube (can’t leave the game table without it) but the rest is up to me (or from DND core books).
The trouble with beacons
Now the giant vulture in this instance of it looks like its not that strong but having a few ambush the party could be an interesting way to start us off. It will hint to the party that they are being watched or at least searched for.
The mastiff is part of the night time encounter, a few of these could be quite the challenge for the party. In fact this is especially so if they attack a party member who is isolated and drag them off into the darkness to be… well… eaten.
The Quasit is a funny one. I use these critters are comic relief normally but they can be quite dangerous in groups. The shape change will play havoc with the party (especially with the Paladins divine sense only picking up a fiend nearby where there is clearly a toad, centipede or a roosting bat. Could be a way to harass the party without causing them any real danger by having a few of these creatures playing tricks on the party.
Thanks it for tonight. Don’t forget to come back this weekend for the end of week writeup, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe
Tonight I wanted to share with you the idea of permanency. Now I think I have addressed Permanency once before as an optional rule but I wanted to address living phantoms. Now what I mean by living phantoms isn’t a singular enemy that you can roll for and best in combat. Oh no, living phantoms are different. These are what the mind does to try and cope with what it has seen.
I would imagine that adventurers would have more than a few stories to tell after what we have thrown at them. But what if they didn’t want to relive those stories. What if their minds fought against those memories and in the effort to protect themselves made it worse?
The pressure on his chest grew as slowly he began to flicker towards consciousness. As the adventurers eyes flickered open the immediate situation was revealed as they came face to face with a shadowy mass floating above their chest. A large skull with exaggerated canines and no eye sockets snarled down at the party member. Two impossibly thin arms crept forward to suddenly dart forward to grab and squeeze on either side of the adventures chest.
As the last of the air within the adventurers chest was forcibly pushed out the adventurer began to have panic set in. Crying out towards the other shapes in the room for help was met with deaf ears as slowly a dark shadowy mist crept from the creature. As the mist spread up the adventurers body the pressure on their limbs increased. With a satisfied snarl the creature released its grip from the adventurers chest as the mist took its place. Slowly the creature reached its spindly fingers up his torso as the mist began to apply pressure to the body.
As the skeletal fingers touched the face of the adventurer the jaw spread wide on the creature and with a sickening lurch it plunged towards the face of hero.
Sitting bolt upright and looking around the familiar room the adventurer was drenched in sweat. prying their own hands away from their throat they looked around the room. The creature they had seen but instead were greeted with nothing but silence. In fact the other party members who they had adventured with for quite some time now were still peacefully sleeping. There was indeed no trace of the nightmarish creature they had seen so vividly in their dreams.
Adding elements of horror and long lasting side effects to conflict are one of the tools in our belt. This shouldn’t be used for every encounter or situation but it can drive progression of plot and discovery.
Perhaps someone in their current town knows of what is going on. Maybe these Living Phantoms are not just in their mind but others have seen them before. Perhaps they have a common link or maybe not. What we can do though is weave something slightly different into the minds of the adventurers. Each person in the party will see something different at a different time or not see it at all.
I see these things very similarly to the Wizarding worlds Dementors in appearance but really – they are all figments of the mind trying to process something unpleasant. Something like a field that can make you see anything it wants with a thought. Throw in the fact that the party where you fought it in a lightless realm and saw their allies attack them and you have a good recipe here for some mental scarring.
This condition could be long term, short term or take any form you so choose but the feeling and effect should be the same. Powerlessness, imminent danger and the feeling of insecurity.
Thanks for visiting tonight. As with anything in this blog if there is something that you try out don’t forget to let me know. I am always keen at improving my craft and feedback is always appreciated. This weekend is a big one being the end of the month so don’t forget to come back for that and as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage, The Brazen Wolfe