Created in a time of strife by the Great Wizard Namboo to defend the peace loving people of his homeland, these five magical cloaks have a long and storied history as mighty tools in the hands of Lawful forces.
Each cloak is patterned after a type of bird, with a scalloped edge cut to resemble a bird's wing and a hood that forms into a sort of stylized beaked helmet resembling the head of the avian it represents. At a word of command they can magically shift to appear as rather nondescript traveling cloaks with garishly striped linings.
All of the cloaks allow the wearer to make leaps of up to 20' vertically or over a distance of 50'. They are also enchanted to bestow a +2 bonus to Armor Class and Saving throws in the manner of a Cloak of Protection.
In addition, each cloak bears unique requirements for use and each carries a unique weapon secreted in special pockets in the "wingtips".
The Cloak of the Eagle This bright, white cloak will only function if the wearer is Lawful. It comes equipped with a razor edged, crescent shaped boomerang made to look like a stylized bird, which does 1d6 damage, has a range of 10/20/30, and returns to the users hand after each throw.
The Cloak of the Condor This brooding, black cloak allows its wearer to declare a favored enemy, granting a +2 to hit and damage against them. Its hem is lined with 8 throwing darts that do 1d4 dmg, can be thrown at a range of 15/30/45, and which replenish once per day. There is also a 50' line with a collapsible grapple hidden in the right wingtip.
The Cloak of the Swan This elegant, snowy white cloak will only function for female wearers. It comes with a spinning disk weapon attached to a 30' length of line that does 1d4 on impact and can be commanded to explode for 2d6 points of fire damage once per day. It can be commanded to return after each throw.
The Cloak of the Sparrow This tiny, dark blue cloak is sized for halflings, and can only be used by them. Each wingtip contains a bolo with a range of 15/30/45 that can be used to either trip and immobilize a fleeing foe or disarm them. A missed throw with this weapon will return to the user.
The Cloak of the Horned Owl This large, green cloak is wearable by anyone with a Strength over 12. The wingtips are weighted and do 1d6 damage on impact. (The user may make two attacks per round)
Whirlwind Attack When all five cloaks are brought together, the users may summon and control a whirlwind similar to that of a djinni, 10' wide at it's base, 20' wide at its apex and 70' high, which does 2d6 pts to all that it contacts and throws creatures of 2hd or less 10' if they fail a save vs. death. This attack lasts for 5 rounds and can be done once a day.
These magic items are hereby designated as Open Game Content via the Open Game License.
The Arch Mage Quercus is viewed by historians and seers of the mystic arts as both a surpassing genius and a complete and utter maniac.
He was fascinated with finding a relationship between the forces of magic and the very spark of life, and in his studies he made great strides in the development of magical life forms such as homunculi, golems, and in the pseudo-life exhibited by creatures of the elemental planes.
It is said in the accounts of those who knew him that he was also a great proponent of the preservation of knowledge, having lived through the sacking of the Archive of Azure in his days as an apprentice. The accumulation and protection of magical information was one of the overarching goals of his life.
He was known to often speak of finding some way to make magical knowledge capable of fending for itself, without being consigned to fragile paper or brittle clay or stone.
In his twilight years as a Professor of Thaumaturgy at the Vermilion College, these two obsessions came together in a great magical experiment that resulted in Professor Quercus' passing from this mortal plane, along with most of the structures and inhabitants of the College's Zoological Garden, leaving behind a completely new form of magical life in the smoking, sparkling rubble.
These creatures would come to be known as Living Spells, the Dweomon.
No. Enc: Lvl 1-3: 1d8/Lvl 4-6: 1d4/Lvl 7-9: 1
Movement: Lvl 1-3: 60' (20')/ Lvl 4-6 90'(30')/ Lvl 7-9 120' (40')
Armor Class: Lvl 1-3: 8/ Lvl 4-6: 6/ Lvl 7-9: 4
Hit Dice: Spell Level of Spell Embodied
Damage: Lvl 1-3: 1d4/Lvl 4-6: 1d6/Lvl 7-9: 1d10
Save: As Magic User of their HD
Morale: Lvl 1-3: 4/Lvl 4-6: 6/Lvl 7-9: 8
Hoard Class: None
A Dweomon is, simply put, a spell given the form of a living animal. They live and breathe, move about in the fashion of their kind, sleep when tired, fight when cornered, and eat when hungry.
This last function they do quite voraciously and without much discernment, being perfectly happy to feast on animal, vegetable, or mineral matter. As the creatures age, they develop preferences for food, generally depending on what type of creature they resemble. Sometimes, they develop a taste for the exotic, like eating gold or musical instruments or books of poems. Dweomon of all types relish gemstones, and also many find spellbooks a surpassing delicacy.
Some are intelligent enough to learn to speak, although most exhibit animal intelligence at best. Regardless, they all seem to show a high level of self awareness and cleverness.
From nose to rump they may range from a foot long in the smallest, weakest specimens, to nine feet long for the very largest and most powerful types. A good rule of thumb seems to be about a foot in length per level of spell they embody. Weight varies greatly based on form, and the closest equivalent natural life form is a good baseline to estimate from.
Their form and appearance ranges up and down the branches of the great tree of life, from insectoid to birdlike to mammalian to humanoid, with many combinations of multiple types possible as well. They exhibit a wide range of colors and patterns, many not found in any form of natural life.
A Dweomon may cast the spell it embodies once per day, after which it must have a full night's sleep and consume its weight in food before it may do so again. They may gain additional castings if they consume a gemstone of 50 gp per spell level in value.
To create a type of Dweomon, roll randomly on the magic user/elf spell tables using a d12 to determine what spell it embodies. Then take one set of dice (d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, d4) and roll them. This will generate the creature's general description.
Animal Type: Roll 1d20
01 Arthropod - Insect
02 Arthropod - Arachnid
03 Arthropod - Crustacean- May breathe underwater.
05 Reptile - Lizard
06 Reptile - Snake
07 Reptile - Turtle - AC -2
08 Reptile - Draconic - Fly 90' (30')
09 Bird - Songbird - Fly 180' (60')
10 Bird - Raptor - Fly 180' (60')
11 Bird - Fowl - Fly 90' (30')
12 Mammal - Rodent/Mustelid/Lagomorph
13 Mammal - Ursine/Procyonid
14 Mammal - Feline
15 Mammal - Canine
16 Mammal - Bovine/Caprine
17 Mammal - Equine
18 Mammal - Primate
20 Roll Twice, first roll is front end/head, second roll is back end/body
Attitude: Roll 1d12
01 Surly and Uncooperative
02 Flighty and Timid
03 Affable and Friendly
04 Clingy and Shy
05 Listless and Sleepy
06 Aggressive and Irritable
07 Helpful and Obedient
08 Overzealous and Impatient
09 Amorous and Affectionate
10 Oblivious and Distracted
11 Random and Capricious
12 Aloof and Standoffish
Coloration: Roll 1d10
Hide Quality: Roll 1d8
05: Spotted (roll second color)
06: Striped (roll second color)
07: Piebald (roll second color)
Natural Weapons: Roll 1d6
01 Fast Runner/Flyer- Double Movement Rate
02 Claw/Claw: Lvl 1-3: 1d4-2/1d4-2|Lvl 4-6: 1d4/1d4|Lvl 7-9: 1d6/1d6
03 Horns: Lvl 1-3: 1d6/Lvl 4-6: 1d8/Lvl 7-9: 1d12
04 Stinger (Paralytic, Save Vs. Poison)
05 Breath Weapon (HP dmg, 3xDay)
06 Roll Twice
Special Abilities: Roll 1d4
01 Brave - +2 to Morale
02 Wings - Fly 180' (60') If already winged, add 30' (10') to movement
03 Speech (80% Common, 10% Demihuman, 5% Humanoid, 5% Draconic)
04 May cast 1d4 additional spells of 1/2 their level 1 time per day. Range of spells is rolled randomly at creation and remains fixed.
Of course, such manifestly mystical creatures will not be left to wander in the wild. So much power on the paw, claw, hoof or wing will naturally be sought after by the ambitious or foolhardy.
In the years following their creation, a new breed of animal tamer has arisen who's goal is to seek out and capture these magical creatures, turning their abilities to their own purposes. They travel the land looking for wild Dweomon to tame, or to trade or take from others of their profession by barter or battle.
These Dweomon experts follow the last cryptic scrawling left by Professor Quercus on the last standing wall remaining of his laboratory:
Etiam augue omnes.
"Must catch them all."
These men and women are known as Dweomon Masters.
REQUIREMENT: Cha 12
PRIME REQUISITES: Wis & Cha
Hit Dice: d6
Their primary ability is to bond with and command Dweomon. A first level Dweomon master may bond with first level Dweomon, and every two levels after that they gain the ability to bond with a higher level of Dweomon. (Eg: At Level 3 they may bond with Lvl 2 Dweomon, At Level 5 they may bond with Lvl 3 Dweomon, etc. etc.)
This bonding may only occur with a wild Dweomon if the creature in question has been pacified with offerings of food and kind treatment, or has been captured or subdued, and the subject gets a Save vs. Spell with a +1 bonus for every point of non-subdual damage inflicted on the creature. Wild Dweomon will roll a reaction check upon encountering a Dweomon Master and behave accordingly, even to the point of casting their embodied spell if need be.
A Dweomon Master may automatically bond with a Dweomon that has been freely traded from another Master, or with one hatched by one of the Dweomon in his or her service. Hatchling Dweomon will imprint on the first Dweomon or Dweomon Master it sees.
A Dweomon will follow their Master loyally, but they are very much like henchmen. They will roll Morale checks if ordered into danger or unpleasant tasks, will bridle at abuse or neglect, to the point of running away and becoming wild again with a permanent +4 to their Save vs. Spell for bonding purposes. Conversely, if the creature is treated with respect and kindness, the Dweomon Master will gain a faithful and powerful ally.
There is no limit to the number of Dweomon that may follow a Dweomon Master, beyond the (possibly considerable) expense of care and feeding, and the difficulties that may arise between Dweomon of wildly varying types and personalities all vying for their Master's attention and care. The creatures' extreme rarity and high demand makes it uncommon for any but the most extremely powerful to amass much of a menagerie.
A first level Dweomon Master will start with a single Dweomon companion. This one is always the most loyal of their collection and will always have a morale of 10. While Dweomon are truly genderless, they will tend to take on the character of their Master over time.
A Dweomon Master cannot wear armor any heavier than leather, but may use shields. They select from a limited range of weapons more suited for subdual and capture over dealing lethal damage which includes clubs, nets, and quarterstaves, and for ranged weapons slings and shortbows or light crossbows equipped with special beanbag tipped arrows that stun rather than kill. (These cost the same as normal bolts or arrows, but only do subdual damage to unarmored targets.)
They can carry a dagger or shortsword, but only for self defense, and will never use it on a Dweomon or any other magical creature.
Upon reaching 9th. level, a Dweomon Master may choose to set up a stronghold that can serve as a training center, medical facility, and hostel for other wandering Dweomon Masters. 1d6 Apprentice Dweomon Masters will arrive to train under him or her, and any wild Dweomon wandering into the area around the center will be attracted as well by what they instinctually know is a safe and friendly environment for them.
Dweomon Masters use the Magic User table for level advancement, and use Thief saving throws.
All Dweomon regardless of type or appearance are genderless, and reproduce by laying eggs.
This happens once a year, and is marked by a huge increase in the amount of food the creature takes in. (The Dweomon will eat 10X its weight in food every day for a week. Due to their highly omnivorous nature, this isn't too much of a problem unless those keeping them have buildings or belongings they're particularly attached to.)
These eggs are commonly bicolored and spherical, usually red and white (some say this relates to the heraldry of the Vermilion College, although this is largely viewed with skepticism), but other colors are possible. They are nigh-indestructable, and vary in size from as tiny as robins' eggs to about a foot in diameter for the most powerful specimens. A knowledgeable Dweomon Master can estimate the level of an egg on a 3 or less on a d6.
Dweomon eggs are inert, and may remain so indefinitely until a spell is cast upon them, either by a spellcaster or by another Dweomon. If the one who hatched the egg is neither another Dweomon or Dweomon Master, the infant Dweomon will remain dependent until full grown, at which time it will attempt to escape into the wild. For some reason, a Dweomon cannot cast a spell on its own eggs to make them hatch. A pair of Dweomon in the wild may form a "mated pair" of sorts, hatching one another's eggs and raising the offspring to adulthood.
When a spell is cast upon a Dweomon egg, the egg hatches into a Dweomon that is the embodiment of that spell, regardless of what type laid the egg in the first place. A newly hatched Dweomon is 1/3 the size of its adult form, and has only 1 hd, gaining 1 hd per month until reaching their full growth. They lack any special attacks or other abilities until they reach their full growth.
The only limiting factor on this is that the eggs of lesser Dweomon aren't capable of hatching into greater Dweomon, and in fact if a spell of higher level is cast on a lower level egg, the egg will explode doing d6 damage for every point of difference in level out to its level X 10 feet radius.
A higher level Dweomon egg "fertilized" with a lower level spell will result in a matching litter of lesser Dweomon equal number to the level of the egg divided by the level of the spell. Any rounding errors result in a random Dweomon of the remaining levels embodying a different spell of their level.
Dweomon Eggs are highly prized, especially those of higher level, and can command prices of at least 100 gp per spell level on the open market. Dweomon are highly protective and possessive of their eggs, and will not part with them willingly. A Dweomon Master who takes one of his charges' eggs to sell or give away will find the creature suffers a cumulative -1 to Morale every time this is done, until such time as the creature runs away.
Just had a great weekend taking a trip down to Novo Yogo to hang with my good friend Delta and the lovely and effervescent Miz G. They were most excellent hosts, and they have my gratitude. It was a GREAT weekend.
Since this is Delta we're talking about, there was indeed gaming, as well as many other most excellent activities which I may expound upon in an addendum, but since this is a gaming blog I shall highlight the games we played.
I suppose I should note that upon picking me up at the Port Authority Delta was kind enough to help me schlep my luggage as we took advantage of the opportunity to visit some of the city's finest nerd haunts, two excellent comic book stores, as well as the narrow, tightly packed, game filled corridors of the Compleat Strategist, which was cool.
MARVEL SUPER HEROES - THUNDER OVER JOTUNHEIM The gaming aspect of the weekend started with a boom of thunder from the hoary halls of Asgard, as Delta led me through a solo Marvel Superhero's module in the golden haired guise of the Odinson himself, the mighty THOR!
Seeking in the fell land of Jotunheim for the missing Sword of Frey, to gird the forces of Asgard with another weapon against the gathering threat of the Frost Giants who flocked to the banner of the treacherous Loki, the god of thunder didst set out across the blasted landscape of that dark land.
After traveling a day, weary of brow did he lay himself down to slumber, and was met in a dream by the mysterious apparition of Karnilla the Queen of the Norns, who did offer him a boon in exchange for his promise to soundly trounce Loki in her name. Accepting the role of the Lady of Fate's champion, he accepted a lock of her hair as a token.
Thundering forth like … well… thunder upon awakening, the Odinson didst come upon a quartet of foul Frost Giants who had tied a female of their kind to a stone and prepared to slay her. Verily didst the Greatest Son of Asgard layeth down yon smack, and didst he pummelth them aplenty about their misshapen heads.
And lo didst yon maiden joyously thank the Golden Haired one and did she also leadest him to a mysterious hut on the outskirteth of a village of giants, wherein he was led to council with a wise woman under whom the rescued damsel was apprenticed. Verily didst the hag proclaim that the Mighty Odinson may seek beneath the very earth of Jotunheim in some hidden fastness to findest ye dancing sword of Frey wherein the Trickster Loki hadst behidden it. And thence did yon wise witch combust into a cloud of prophetic smoke and vanisheth to the Odinson's visioneth.
Much emboggled, as yon Jotun maid fled the hut, the base trickster Loki didst appear, waxing wroth in his weaselness and seeking to waylay his noble half brother with spells and trickery vile. Thus annoyed a provoked Odinson backhandeth yon ratface twerpeth and fetched he a proper beating upon the treasonous one.
Alas, had yon beatdown occurred outside in view of the giants, the clever one might have been much besmirched in their regard, but yea when the God of Thunder's Asgardian knuckles did vile Loki partake in the manner of a starving man at a great banquet he did hie himself from that place shaking his own bony little fists and vowing to enact surpassing mischief upon his noble half brother.
His regal brow darkened by portents and troubled by ye god of jerks did the Odinson strike forth, clefting yon sky with the thong of Mjolnir the Hammer of Thunder clenched in his fist as he made for the great flaming chasm that splitteth ye breadth of the blighted land of Jotunheim. The thunderous logic of the Mighty One reasoned thus that a chasm may lead underground to the hiding place of the missing sword.
Walking boldly down into the very cleft that split the foul land of giants in twain, did the Odinson findeth a chamber abandoned, what perchance mayhap have held a thrilling encounter had he but chosen a different route at the outset of his adventure. But verily the chamber was empty as the boiling skies above the domain of the giants, and thus did the Mighty Thor step onto a bridge across the boiling river of lava to becross yon chasm.
Lo, when the mighty thonged boots of the Odinson step upon the other side, didst a fell and fiery quartet of magma monsters arise to challenge the god of thunder. While alarm didst disturb the brow of the golden haired son of Asgard, he didst deflect their magmanous hurlings and deflectest their blows with the whirling wall of Uru metal that a wielder of mighty Mjolnir may createstith. Then, as the heat made the sweat embead his godly brow, didst the Odinson pop yon fiery weasels with the hurled hammer of Thunder.
His battle done, the mighty Thor didst clambereth upon the far lip of the chasm, and steppested did he upon the marshy groundeth of yon everburning swamp, wherein the very mud didst burn like kindling in the furnaces of the dwarves.
Whilst he sojourned in the odious expanse of flaming putrescence, did he come upon a strange hut, its very walls builteth of sheets of fire. Much relieved to see an open door, precluding that the Odinson wouldst singe his thunderous knuckles upon having to knock on a door of flame, didst a tongue of fire lick out from the house to burneth ye wandering Asgardian prince. Batting this affront to his unburned state aside with a whirl of Mjolnir did the Champion of Asgard beginneth a fight with a piece of overheated real estate, and didst his hurled assaults with his trusty hammer come to little effect.
Never being one to allow discretion to be the better part of valor, did the Odinson changeth his tactics in a gambit most clever, instead using the mastery of the elements conveyed by his mystic hammer to call down the tears of the storm clouds above, causing them to weep with joy at his upcoming victory as he quenched the flames ensheathing yon hovel and then laying forth the wrecketh upon its tottering walls.
Flush from his triumph over a building, didst the god of thunder wend his way back to the chasm, wherein he saw a giant aflame standing at the prow of a stone boat. The flickering lout didst smile an ingratiating smile and promise yon Asgardian a passage across the expanse of lava.
As the mighty hand of the Odinson stroketh his mighty chin, a bird of flame burst from the lava and cry that the boatsgiant, who was klept by the name of Scrog, was a base liar who schemed to cast the god of thunder headlongeth into yon sizzling abyss when we was not lookingeth.
Twas truly a puzzlement, and one which caused the godly earholes of yon son of Asgard to smolder as the chasm didst as he weighed who may be lying and who may be not telling the truth. Then did the Odinson hie himself to a snapeth decision, wherein yon flaming bird's angle for helping him could not be determined, so didst the mighty one send it screaming upon its way with a toss of Mjolnir.
Boarding the giant's stone lavacraft, did the god of thunder come to rue his choice, as midheim along yon lava floweth did the vile Scgrog smacketh him with his stone pole in foul ambuscade, gloating at the seeming success of his ruse.
But could a giant of flame who would sink to such foul gambits best yon son of Odin.
I say thee NAY!
Verily didst the mighty Thor turn from his seat and tappest in the face the treacherous giant a blow of remonstrance from the enchanted mallet of his birthright. Wailing in brutish despair, base Scgrog was undone and deboated, cast into the very lava he had conspired to betip yon god of thunder athwart. Satisfied that he had made his pointeth, didst the Odinson makest like yon motorboats of Midgard with Mjolnir and power to the other side of the chasm.
Heaving himself upon yon other side, the mighty Thor did find himself in a mist, wherein the towering outlines of four frost giants seekest to findeth him. Two of yon brutes did spotteth ye Odinson, and gave charge, whilst the others did search in vain. Both were laid low by his mystic mallet, and then wisely didst ye god of thunder tiptoeth away in avoidance of ye other two.
Then did the hero of Asgard cometh to a bridge across a great canyon in the rocky abiding place of the lumpen trolls. There by the entry didst he find a weeping giantess, who had been chained thereto.
As he stepped up to rescueth her, did a half dozen trolls leap out to waylay the Odinson. A quick whirl of Mjolnir sent all of them yodeling mournfully to their doom.
The jotun maid lamented her part in baiting any would be rescuers into the troll's terrible trap, and left the golden haired son of Asgard singing of her gratitude.
The mighty Thor did presseth on into the kingdom of the trolls, striding with godly purpose through a cavern carved in the terrible likeness of a the gaping maw of the serpent of Midgard.
Therein, did he findeth the foul king of the trolls holding court over his minions, and thus taking the part of emissary, did the Odinson seek to parley with yon creeps. Frowningly didst the troll king scowl, and vowest didst he that he wouldst not venture to parley with the Asgardians until the mighty one didst show his mettle by besting his champion.
Of course, did the golden haired champion of his own exalted kingdom agree to the hunched monsters terms. Then, from out of the shadows stompeth the worst of trolls, the horrible Ulik, he of the uru forged brass knuckles, and the battle was joined.
Back and forth the titans didst brawleth, but alas did his many travails and the long journey wear the mighty Thor down, until, lo though he didst nearly vanquish the brutish Ulik, was the Odinson cast down upon his godly posterior and then did the troll king achieve the ill wrought honor of capturing the god of thunder for ransom.
And thus did the mighty Thor strike outeth, and then didst he coolest his heels 'til his people didst bail him out.
Overall, a fun adventure, and even though our man Thor got whupped at the end, it was still pretty epic, and I was doin' good 'til I finally ran out of juice against what was probably the toughest foe in the adventure. So all told, a good game. Very mythic in tone.
BOOK OF WAR - FANTASY BATTLE - FIRE & LIGHTNING
(Pics to follow once Delta sends 'em my way...)
The second game I played was another chance to try out Delta's magnum opus, The Book of War. The cool thing for both of us was that this was his first chance to give his fantasy based troop rules a shakedown run.
I chose my forces in kind of a dilettante fashion, choosing to go with a basic wizard armed with a Wand of Lightning Bolts, a Blue Dragon, A Storm Giant, a force of Dwarvish medium infantry, and a smaller but more expensive force of elite Dwarf heavy infantry, as well as a single stand of halfling commandos since I had five points left after all my pricy unit choices. Maybe I was still grooving off of Thor's adventures when I picked 'em. In fact, I'll declare this army Team Thunder in his honor.
Anyway, we were faced off against a much more conventional force of combined elvish archers, human pikemen, a unit of heavy cavalry, and an opposing wizard armed with a Wand of Fireballs as well as a few other spells, which I hereby designate Team Fuego.
Terrain placement kind of favored my strategy. Delta's terrain rolls came up bupkis, whereas mine gave me a hill and a stream, which I deployed to help bolster what I figured would be kind of turtled, pick 'em off with lightning strategy.
Right from the start, things kinda busted bad in my direction. Delta won initiative and skootched his forces forward, and then I led with my dragon, which was my first and biggest mistake. Delta had wisely kept his main pike unit with the sorcerer imbed about an inch back, which was just short of my dragon's range. That left the dumb brute open from a charge from the side, which took it out on his next move, since my dragon couldn't breath on a unit of guys without being in base to base contact. So bang I lost an expensive unit right off.
I used my storm giant's power over the weather to try to turn the already cloudy conditions into rain, which would screw up Delta's archers, but his wizard countered with a weather control spell of his own, equalling out the effect and keeping the weather the way it was.
I'd sent my giant around the hill, while my wizard and his honor guard of hard chargin' dwarf elites climbed to the top for a good view of the carnage, and a chance to start plinking with the Lightning Wand.
Meanwhile, my regular dwarves and my one sorry little attachment of halflings moved up into the gap between the hill and the river ready to receive visitors, while Delta marched his pikes and archers up in a phased advance.
My giant got taken out with a fusillade of elven arrows, and Delta's Fireball Wand started whittling down my normal dwarves. I think I managed to get a little of my own back with a couple shots from my Lightning Wand, and it was looking like it was gonna end up as a wizards duel of magical ordinance.
It was here that Delta made HIS big mistake of the game. He used his wizard's Move Earth spell to shove the hill my wizard and his heavy dwarves were standing on back out of wand range of his main line.
Unfortunately for him, this still left me in range of his advancing heavy cav, which helped me make up my mind what to target with my wand attack. I zetzed his cavalry with a broadside of two shots that wiped out two thirds and sent the survivors galloping for the edge of the board.
This was probably the best offense I managed to make. I think I sent my medium dwarves and halflings across the stream to try to slow down the wave of troops coming my way so that I could start plinking at them with lightning, but I never got the chance, as a round after Delta invoked the Move Earth and dragged the hill back into range, he nailed my sizzling wizard with his Fireball Wand and decapitated the head of my army.
I'm not remembering if it was pikes or bowfire that routed my medium dwarves, whilst trampling my hapless halflings underfoot on the way to get to 'em, but I was soon down to just my elite corps of bad@ss dwarves.
I was ready to throw in the towel, but Delta persuaded me to keep going for the sake of completeness, pointing out the my forces were still mighty mighty, being 3rd lvl elites who required a 6 to even hit. I think they held their ground and managed to even rout a couple of the weaker units facing them, but eventually numbers overcame my doughty defenders, and the board was wiped clean of Team Thunder.
Even though I had chalked up another loss, it was no biggie for me. A: I was helping Delta test out his masterpiece, and B: I'd fully expected to get my clock cleaned. I had the dice bust ugly on me a few times in the game, and that had an effect on my success (like his wizard managing to just make his save against a couple lightning strikes and surviving to toast my guy's sorry kiester.)
There's kind of received wisdom that if you just pick "cool" units for your forces in a war-game, you're probably asking for grief as you tie up big wads of points or quatloos or whatever into flashy units that hemorrhage your advantage as your enemy concentrates on them and takes 'em out.
That being said, though, the game actually was pretty close, and Delta and I agreed that even playing a whim based army build can be effective with his rules. Thats not to say actually thinking things through isn't the preferred option, it's mostly that the ruleset is honed to the point that a beginner isn't gonna get bucked off too hard making less informed choices, which then leads to them sticking with it and becoming more experienced and thoughtful, which really is a good thing for a good game to encourage, 'fya ask me...
So all told, a jolly good day's gaming.
SHADOW LORD Our third game was a choice driven by nostalgia, the obscure Parker Bro's board game Shadowlord, which came out in 1983 and that I remember fondly from owning my own copy. It just so happens that Delta has a copy, and after a day of active adventuring we returned home and laid out the board to play.
Now, my memory of the game itself was kind of garbled. There were these four color coded elemental space lords who could recruit all these groovy fantasy heros for their space armada in that wonderfully loopy fantasy meets SPACE Flash Gordon/Xanadu style of the early 80's.
I seem to remember playing it a couple times with my brother, Mom & Dad, and since I was all of 11 years old and my brother was 8, I think it was a bit too complex for us kids and we never played it much, although all the bits and the funky portraits of the space heroes were cool.
So after perusing the rules and getting our heads wrapped around them, we started playing a 3 person game, with myself as the Earth Lord with a coterie of critter headed allies, Delta as the Water Lord with a proper force of chaps, and Miz G as the Fire Lord with her all chick hit squad of galactic kneecappers. We were all faced off against the sinister Shadow Lord, who'd usurped our birthright, the Star Crystal, and had amassed a sinister armada of space bastards to cloak all the galaxies in darkness.
(One note, I was always kind of bummed that the Shadows never had portraits like the Element Lords and their comrades. I'd have liked to have seen how The Invincible Darkness, Baron Cruel, or the Iron Claw's ugly mugs looked. I guess being cloaked in darkness made it hard to get a good shot for the Shadow Lord's "Employee of the Month" plaque.)
The game itself was pretty fun. Surprisingly so. I think while it was too heavy for a young kid, it was kind of light and fluffy and easy to grok for a much more experienced gamer.
It sort of played like Starfarers of Catan (a.k.a. Sternenfaherers Auf Catan to my home-slices in the former GA crew) with all the Catan-ity taken out (i.e. No resource noodling or trading. No getting space wood for their space sheep).
You set your dudes up in these space rings and added space ships to 'em which told you how many moves you could make, and you had to have a guy in a space to keep moving thru it, so you moved your forces around to leapfrog your guys. A class of character called a Diplomat, who had no fighting power, was needed to flip over a chit placed in each galaxy space. If it was an unattached potential ally, you could get 'em to join your side. If it was the name of one of the sinister Shadows, they'd be plunked on the board and kitted out with black ships.
If a fight happened, your space ring and the enemy's would be transported to the DIMENSION OF BATTLE!!! where you'd count up the guy's number, the number of ships, and then draw a power card with a number. The defender could also play cards they'd cached under their dude's portrait. Once the numbers were added up, the higher one would emerge victorious, the number of ships destroyed would be calculated by a draw from the deck, and the loser would fall prisoner to the winner and they'd all re-enter galactic space.
So the game went down like this. We spent the early innings recruiting space dudes and adding ships, and there was some early setbacks for the Fire Lord's forces as she rumbled with some of the Shadows and lost, her allies facing capture by the vicious Baron Cruel.
The Water Lord played a pretty canny game, but then got in a tangle with the Shadow Lord's worst minion, the Invincible Darkness. (Why did you attack the darkness?) Ol' Invincible got some pretty good power draws and managed to whup the Water Lord, thereby taking him out of the game. (Your leader was a big vulnerable point. While they had the best number (8) on the good side, if they were lost you lost the whole enchilada.)
In the confusion following their brother's defeat at the hands of the Invincible Darkness (something about the baddy's name might indicate why…) the Fire Lord found an opportunity and struck at the Earth Lord with her forces, bringing him down as well and ending the war of succession with her victorious.
Now, technically this meant that the Fire Lord had won the game, but since the Shadow Lord was still crouched at the center of the board, and still had a bunch of henchmen floating around space and still held the Power Crystal, we decided after a brief break to play the game out as a final battle between the Fire Lord and the Shadow Lord, with yours truly doing the funny voices for the Shadows, and Delta refereeing.
This was satisfying, but we house ruled some things that tipped things pretty strongly in Team Fuego's favor. I wasn't able to move the Shadows, and since the Fire Lord could take turn after turn, she was accumulating power cards (POWER!) at an amazing rate.
She eventually lured all the other Shadows out of the Forbidden Zone (It's just a name, like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return. All the Zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror) and went in and whomped the Shadow Lord off the throne and planted a flaming boot in his nethers before walking off with the Power Crystal. The forces of good, obnoxious in victory tho they may be, had carried the day.
I enjoyed this game a lot. I suspect the copy I got when I was but a tender lad has long since been thrown out or flea marketed away, so someday when I get a little free-er financial flow, I may try to dig it up on Ebay or whatever. While it's a bit too esoteric for a young audience, for my fellow children of the 80's it's pretty fun.
(Delta's got some pics of this game too. There's also some other things he may share from this session, so stay tuned to this blog and his as well...)
In addition to all the awesome gaming I did with my good friend Delta this weekend I:
Talked and joked and generally just relaxed with some seriously copacetic folks.
Saw "Captain America". Loved it! Best Marvel movie thus far, in my opinion. I'd see it again. Really spot on! The tone was right, the references were deep and rich, and it just worked on all levels for me.
Read a bunch of Delta's vintage "Shogun Warrior" comics. The adds were almost more fun than the book itself. It reaffirmed that the monstrous "Hand of Five" is one of the awesomest monster foes out there and deserves to be dug up as some kind of monster encounter.
(When Tiamat the Dragon and a Bigby's Grasping Hand love each other very much…)
(Okay, that's freaking me out…)
Ate excellent Chinese, a darn fine burger, and all weekend Delta fired my morning rampaging with bacon and chocolate chip pancakes! And there was copious fine sodas and ice cream cones with chocolate sprinkles. Truly a feast for the very champions of yore!
Checked out the hip bohemian scene down on the Lower East Side. Also checked out a lot of the cool artwork that Miz G was up to.
Rode the ferry to Governor's Island. Stomped around the fort and its ramparts and checked out some awesome underground ammo magazines. Saw some neat environmentally inspired art projects there.
Saw a neat show of Lee Ufan's zen inspired minimalist painting and sculpture, a neat little sampling of Kandinsky's Bauhaus drawings, and a room papered with dollar bills at the Guggenheim.
Rode the subway a lot. Delta proved his mettle as a gentleman and a scholar on Sunday when he guided me through the rain soaked chaos of the subway to get me to my bus for the return trip.
So all told, a most excellent adventure and an immensely satisfying visit with some dear, dear friends.
"I don't like this. Getting in here was too easy."
The stocky, chestnut colored Earth Pony muttered to his companions as he shuffled his shaggy hooves skittishly on the smooth granite floor of the vast underground tunnel.
His chainmail barding clinked softly over the rustling of the long copper colored braids that ran down his thick neck to his powerful whithers, as he turned his head to look at them. "A dragon's lair should be much better defended."
A slight, grey furred Unicorn Pony stallion stood facing a massive, iron banded doorway set into the living stone of the tunnel, his darker grey traveling cloak draped over a well worn set of leather barding. His horn glimmered a silvery color, as he levitated a set of lock picks and dug them around in the keyhole set in the portal's face.
He didn't turn to look at his much larger comrade as he replied, his yellowish eyes narrowed in concentration. "I always knew you northerners were backwards. Down in the civilized lands we're usually happy when its easy."
The Earth Pony snorted derisively and turned back to peer down the cavernous tunnel, his braided tail lashing behind him in irritation.
The diminutive Unicorn Pony's lips compressed into a sardonic smile as he worked the lock picks. "Well, once I get through this beastly contraption we'll soon have you cheered up. There are so many gemstones on the other side of this door my horn feels like it's going to pop right off of my forehead." He lapsed into silence as he continued to fiddle with the lock, his tongue beginning to creep slowly out the side of mouth.
Cob Farrier chuckled to himself as he leaned against the wall next to the doorway with his spear propped against the stone beside him, holding a flickering torch out so that the small equine could see what he was doing without tying up his horn with a light spell.
He'd been traveling with Drafter and The Dowser for the better part of a year, ever since he'd first met them in the Equestrian city of Lankmare, and their constant banter always amused him. He'd never imagined a seasoned warrior like himself would enjoy the company of these little ponies so much.
His brow furrowed in a more serious expression as he turned his attention back down the other branch of the corridor. There would be plenty of time to laugh later, especially if they made it out with the wealth that the small grey Unicorn Pony was promising they'd find. But for now, it was time to keep an eye out for trouble.
Trouble, however, announced itself to their ears rather than their eyes, as a low, base rumble sounded from down the hallway that Drafter was watching.
A pair of emerald green eyes glinted in the darkness, and something large and terrible with claws that sparked on the granite and footfalls that shook the trio up to their knees approached. The torch in Cob's hand shook as a huge reptilian head with glossy purple scales snaked into the pool of light it cast.
An impossibly deep voice echoed in their ears. "And what do you little mammals think you're doing trying to break into my pantry?"
Cob and The Dowser stood transfixed, as Drafter spun on his hooves and shouted at them. "Run you wretches. I'll hold it here!"
He craned his flexible neck as coppery braids flailed about his head and shoulders, and yanked a broadsword out from a sheath on his harness. He turned back toward the dragon, snorting and pawing at the ground with the handle of the blade clenched in his teeth.
The great purple scaled monster rolled its glinting eyes and snorted as well, in what could be called a dismissive tone if it didn't make all three adventurers want to wet themselves. "Really? You want to do it this way, do you?"
The chestnut Earth Pony whinnied a battle cry tinged with stark terror, and charged at the dragon as his grey Unicorn Pony companion shouted after him in desperation. "NO! Backwards! Run AWAY from the peril! DRAFTER!"
His cry rose hysterically as a cone of green flame blossomed in the hallway. The warrior pony vanished in a puff of black ash, as his companions stared in stark horror. The dragon shook his head in what could almost be imagined to be sorrow, before fixing its gaze on the remaining two invaders of its lair.
Cob Farrier's spear clattered on the stone floor as he turned and took to his heels, the torch clenched in a white knuckle grip in his hand. He dared a look back over his shoulder and saw the great beast looming over the tiny, trembling form of The Dowser, who appeared to be frozen in fear. Before the fleeing human could cry out, the dragon coughed another emerald colored apocalypse, and his other little pony friend was gone.
The lone adventurer ran pell mell down the cavernous hallway, hot tears streaming down his cheeks as his breath came in terrified sobs, grief and fear mixed bitterly in his heart.
Were it not for the guttering torch in his hand, he would have slammed face first into a wall of rock that completely blocked his progress, trapping him. He shouted incoherently and pounded on the unyeilding stone, before the dragons footfalls behind him replaced his hot panic with cold terror. He turned at bay, pressing back against the wall as the huge creature once again stepped into the torchlight. All he could do was wait for his end.
The dragon settled itself down on its haunches and forelimbs and stared at him with its piercing green eyes, tapping its long graceful claws on the floor as Cob trembled and breathed ragged, shuddering breaths in the echoing stone space that would become his tomb.
Still, no death came, as the creature sat with what could almost be termed a rather bored expression on its reptilian face. Eventually, the man at arms could take it no longer, and in a strangled voice called out to the dragon. "Wh-why don't you strike? What are you waiting for?"
In reply, a rumble issued from the depths of the great, purple scaled beast's belly, and it looked at him with a glint in its eye. "Just this."
A moment later it belched forth another gout of green flame, this time tinged with a thousand glittering, sparkling motes. Cob shielded his eyes and shrank back against the wall. And then it was over.
He shook his head. It wasn't over in the way he'd expected at all. The heat and green flash just stopped, leaving just the light of his torch, still held tightly in his hand in a death grip. No searing pain. Nothing. He dared to look up and his jaw dropped in shock.
There, huddled before the dragon with drooping ears and tails stood his two equine companions, their heads held low in a posture of contrition. While slightly singed, they were otherwise unharmed. The huge beast tapped one of its claws and narrowed its gleaming emerald eyes. "Well?"
Drafter petulantly nudged The Dowser, who spoke up with a sullen, defeated tone. "Her Majestic Solar Highness sends her regards, and has commanded us to convey our heartfelt apologies for disturbing your lair. We're all very, very sorry, and we promise it will never happen again, and that we will try to think of others before breaking into their homes and trying to make off with their valuables."
The dragon gave the three of them a long, appraising look, then nodded to itself in satisfaction. As it rose to its feet, it jerked a scythe bladed thumb over its shoulder. "Good. Now get out, and don't ever let me catch you in this part of Equestria again."
With that, it turned, and stalked away into the depths of the tunnel. Cob stood dumbfounded as Drafter turned and walked over to him with his hooves dragging on the floor. He grabbed a corner of the man at arms' cloak in his teeth and gave it a tug. "Come on. Lets get out of here while the getting is good."
The human could only stammer a reply as he began to shuffle forward. "By the g-g-gods…"
The Dowser sighed and frowned, kicking at a pebble with his hoof as he slouched down the hall ahead of his comrades. "Yes. We were just sent to see ours, and she gave us quite a stern talking to…"
Number Encountered: 1d4(1d4)
Movement: 90(30) Fly: 240'(80')
Armor Class: 0
Hit dice: 9
Attacks: 3 (Claw, Claw, Bite) or 1(Breath)
Horde: XV (With 100% chance of gems)
Habitat: Rolling Hills & Plains or Underground
Probability Asleep: 10%
Probability of Speech: 90%
Breath: 70' long, 30' wide, Cone, Green Teleportation Flame
Spells: Lvl 1: 5/Lvl 2: 5/Lvl 3: 3
Purple Dragons, sometimes known as Royal Dragons, are a rare subspecies of dragon thought to share kinship with both Blue and Red Dragons, with a Blue's tendency towards Neutral behavior and the Red's love of hoarding treasure, particularly gemstones, which they eat with great relish. Purple Dragons prefer rolling plains and low hills for their lairs, but are excellent diggers and are quite comfortable in underground catacombs.
They are highly magical in nature, which is most prominently manifested in their breath weapon, a cone shaped gout of green flame that magically teleports the target to a location chosen by the dragon, causing them to appear in a cloud of sparkling green flames completely unharmed. This can either be some location in its lair, or within 10' of another powerful creature that the dragon has attuned to. This recipient can be another dragon, or some other powerful magical being like a god or goddess, a titan, a storm or cloud giant, a genie, a lich, or an elf or wizard of 9th. level or higher. It takes about a year in the dragon's presence for it to be attuned to a non-dragon in this way.
A non-dragon of sufficient power can learn a variant of the Teleport spell that allows them to send creatures and objects to the Purple Dragon's location, causing them to appear in a gout of flame spontaneously belched forth by the dragon. A Purple Dragon can use its teleportation breath weapon three times a day, as normal for dragons, but can receive sendings without limit.
Any target caught in this green flame may avoid teleportation if they make a successful Save vs. Breath Weapon. This results in them taking half damage as if they'd instead been hit by a Red Dragon's fire breath.
Purple Dragons are highly intelligent, and use their teleportation breath to its full tactical advantage. At the very least, they will drop their targets into lakes, cages, or monster lairs if they have a cruel streak. Two or more Purple Dragons working in tandem can send reinforcements to one another, causing fearsome guard beasts like manticores and owlbears to appear before interlopers as if conjured. Some rumors persist that these creatures are even able to breathe upon themselves and escape from danger, but this has never been proven.
Some more magically advanced kingdoms retain young specimens of this breed as messengers, using them to send small packages and letters across vast distances instantly. When these courier dragons come of age, they are generally released with a rich pension, and are under the protection of the kingdom they served, able to call upon them for aid. Purple Dragon clans will often adopt out, or sell, their eggs to such kingdoms to strengthen alliances and increase their gem hordes.
A flurry of motion at the door of the tavern caught Lars Kettlebeck's eye and he looked lazily up from wiping down a flagon. A cloud of yellow trail dust was settling out on the front porch, shaken off by some sort of animal that proceeded to come inside.
It was roughly a yard high at the shoulder, equine in configuration, and encased from snout to tail in dully gleaming plate mail barding that showed the patina of knocks and dents that only came from long service in the field. Some kind of crest depicting a horseshoe and a bunch of berries was painted on the flanks of the barding, the bright colors scratched and faded with use and travel. What glimpses of the little animal's hide there were visible under the metal shell and padded blankets were covered in dirt dulled cobalt blue fur, with a tightly cropped tail of purplish midnight blue that looked for all the world like the end of a well used broom jutting up from the creature's hindquarters through a gap in the steel plates.
A pair of travel stained saddle bags hung over its back, with a coil of rope, an empty waterskin, and a map case dangling from straps on its harness. Lars' sharp eyes furrowed a bit as he took note of a weapon, a common instinct among the tavern keepers in the border towns. What looked like the handle of some kind of falchion or cutlass protruded from beneath the creature's left hand saddlebag, its simple wooden grip marked with indentations that looked like tooth marks.
The barman resumed wiping down the flagon as the creature made its way toward him, the clack clack of the metal soles of the boot like contraptions it wore on its hooves echoing in the relative quiet of late morning. Some of the drunks sobering up in the corners winced at the noise, while others merely gaped at the spectacle of what looked like a tiny knight's destrier walking purposefully across the common room. Lars merely kept a stolid expression as the thing vanished from his point of view, obscured by the bar.
He heard the clinking sound of buckles being undone, followed by a soft clatter of iron soles dropping to the floor, and then the slightly grating sound of the barstool before him being moved. A moment later the little armored creature hove back into view, pulling itself up onto the barstool and sitting up on its haunches with its blue furred fore hooves resting on the eroded varnish of the bar.
A gravelly voice, deeper than Lars would have expected, issued forth from beneath the rounded sallet with its v shaped eye slit. "Do you have any cider, my good sir? I've got the bits to pay for it."
It turned and craned its neck to the saddlebag on its right flank. With deft use of its muzzle, it opened the flap and rooted inside, soon drawing forth a small cloth pouch that clinked softly when it hit the surface of the bar. It then nosed the pouch open and pulled out a silver coin pinched between its front teeth, which it laid carefully before the barman before gathering up the pouch again by its strings and flipping it back into the saddlebag.
As Lars peered down at the silver coin, marked on its face with the profile of a unicorn wearing a small tiara in front of a crescent moon and star, the creature reached up with its fore hooves and grasped the sides of its sallet, lifting it off of its head and setting it gently down on the bar beside it. A pair of large, intelligent, amber colored eyes looked expectantly up at the grizzled barman, a shock of midnight blue mane plastered down to the broad forehead by sweat and the weight of the helmet. It gave him a weary smile.
Lars gave a curt nod and slid the coin across the scratched surface of the bar and into one of the pockets of his apron. He turned and stepped up to one of the kegs along the wall, filling the flagon in his hand with a dark golden liquid that smelled faintly of apples, raisins, clove and cinnamon. "One cider, comin' up."
As he set the sweet libation down in front of it, the creature's smile widened as it looked up from the flagon to him, a note of gratitude to be heard in its scratchy voice. "Thank you kindly, sir."At that it was suddenly racked with a fit of coughing, causing it to raise one of its hooves to its mouth and avert its muzzle. It turned back to him with an apologetic smile. "I'm sorry, I've been breathing trail dust all day on the king's highway from Stopton. I'm a little hoarse."
Lars nodded laconically, returning the creature's smile with a kindly smirk of his own. "I can see that."
He leaned amiably on the bar as the small equine fished in its other saddlebag and produced a lacquered reed which it lowered into the flagon and began to drink. "So what brings you to Wayford, Mister…"
After a pause as the blue furred creature closed its eyes and licked its lips with a contented sigh, it returned his gaze. "Buckberry."A bold smirk spread across the equine's expressive little face. "I'm just a wandering stallion at arms, looking for adventure and fortune. More the latter than the former, but whatever comes along first is fine with me."
The Ponies of Equestria are an odd breed of sentient, magical equine who live in a highly civilized yet bucholic fashion comparable to that of halflings and elves. They come in three distinct types, the most common being known as Earth Ponies who are renowned for their strength and industriousness, the winged Pegasus Ponies, and the magically gifted Unicorn Ponies.
While generally content to live in their own idyllic kingdom, under the protection of a pair of patron sister goddesses associated with the sun and moon, many a pony of a more adventurous type has taken up the call of the open road and the thrill of treasure hunting, and have been slowly spreading across the wider world.
Common features shared by all types of Equestrian Ponies are a small size, about four feet at the shoulder for the very largest specimens, and bright coats, manes, and tails of a wide range of colors, often in combinations not found in the rest of the natural world. They are notably equine, but with a much more rounded and delicate appearance, with large, expressive, forward looking eyes set in short muzzled faces.
Equestrian Ponies are peace loving and friendly and tend to have good relations with civilized neighbors, especially when Pegasus Ponies and their weather controlling abilities are present. Earth Ponies get along famously with halflings, and often more adventuresome specimens of both races will partner up, with the halfling riding their equine ally into battle like miniaturized heavy cavalry. (This is viewed as adorable by many foes, up until a lance held at crotch level is encountered, followed by a thorough stomping by four tiny, iron shod hooves.) Elves have a special affinity for Unicorn Ponies and often mingle with them in study and song.
The chaotic races of humanoids and evil monsters universally loathe Equestrian Ponies and often consider them a delicacy. Trolls in particular will attack Equestrian Ponies on sight. The gentle demeanor of the Equestrian Ponies belies their courageous nature, and they will fight back fiercely if attacked. More often than not they will not be alone in their battles, as their almost magical ability to make friends means they have many allies.
Equestrian Ponies speak the Common tongue, their alignment language, and a language used by all types of ponies known as Poneise, which sounds to most listeners rather like Common spoken by a small horse with a mouth full of cake frosting. Unicorn Ponies often can speak Draconic, with just enough facility that most dragons can resist the urge to pinch their little cheeks and tell them how precious they sound, which can be anything from annoying to downright terrifying depending on the age and size of the dragon in question.
All Ponies who come of age are marked by a special pictograph that appears by magic on their flanks. This is referred to among them as a "cutie mark" (albeit grudgingly by the males, who would prefer something a bit less effeminate). This mark carries with it a special talent that manifests when the Pony in question realizes their true calling. This ability is in addition to any other abilities gained from the pony's subtype. Roll once on the following table when creating an Equestrian Pony character.
CUTIE MARK GENERATION TABLE:
01: Detect traps on 2 in d6 if actively looking.
02: Detect hidden gemstones on a 2 in d6
03: Detect poison on a 1 in d6
04: Hard bargainer, can get 3/4 value back for resold equipment rather than half.
05: Can predict changes in weather up to four hours in advance on a 2 or less on a d6.
06: Detect fresh water on a 2 or less on d6
07: Detect lies told in presence on a 2 or less on d6 if actively listening for them.
08: Detect secret doors on a 1 in d6 if actively looking.
09: Pony is unusually sure footed, and can maintain their balance even on slick or treacherous surfaces without any move penalty. They're also excellent skaters.
10: Choose a basic crafting skill like baking or knitting or dressmaking. The pony is able, given time and proper facilities, to take 1d20 gp per day and double it producing and selling the results of their labor. Weapons and Armor are not available crafting abilities for this, although other forms of smithing may be.
11: Detect presence of magic in general area on a 1 in d6. Cannot pinpoint this magic unless pony is a Unicorn Pony.
12: Kind demeanor adds a -2 to reaction checks from creatures of animal intelligence.
13: Pony knows 1d4 additional languages. Draconic and Elvish are most common, but others may be available per the campaign world.
14: Forage for enough food to feed up to 4 companions for the day in wilderness areas on a 2 or less in d6
15: Pony may cast a very weak Charm Person effect once per day. The subjects of this Charm may make checks to resist every hour. Doesn't work on actively hostile foes. Subjects of this ability will find themselves going along with what the pony wants despite their better judgement, especially if the pony starts whining.
16: Sound of the pony's laughter allows second save vs. Fear based effects to all allies within earshot.
17: Natural healing ability, may heal 1d4 points of damage to one creature once per day.
18: Twitching premonitions of danger, this pony is only surprised on a roll of 1 on a d6, and gives their group a -1 bonus to surprise rolls.
19: Pony can cause a mild form of Confusion by raising a patter of rapid fire speech at the intended target, causing them to forget to attack or take an intended action for each round the pony prattles at them. The victim may make a Save vs. Spell to break loose from this effect. Victims get a -2 to their save if they can actually understand and think about what the pony is saying to them.
20: A piercing stare that causes those fixed with it to suffer a +2 penalty to Morale checks and -1 to combat rolls. If the pony makes a Charisma check to verbally tell the foe off in a language they understand, they must make an immediate Morale check or flee. Creatures that use gaze attacks must succeed a Morale check to make such an attack on this pony.
REQUIREMENT: Con 9
Prime Requisite: Str
Hit Dice: d6
Maximum Level: 12
Earth ponies are immensely strong for their small size, and can carry loads of up to 300 lbs. without suffering any movement penalty. They may carry a maximum of 600 lbs. at a maximum rate of 60' a turn. They can wear any kind of armor but cannot use shields. They can also wield one handed melee weapons clenched in their teeth, although they suffer a -1 penalty to hit due to it being an ungainly form of attack. It is impossible for them to use bows or other ranged weapons.
Their preferred method of attack is a powerful kick with their hind legs, which can do 1d6 damage per hoof. (Roll an attack for each hoof) If both hooves connect on one target, they are forced to make a save vs. breath weapon or be knocked back 1d4X10 feet. Adventuring Earth Ponies may choose to purchase a special set of iron shoes that increase the damage to 1d8 per hoof. These cost 5 gp for a pair and add 6 lbs. to the amount of weight carried.
They may also use this buck attack to open doors on a 3 or less on a 1d6, with Strength bonus' applying. Any type of door may be opened this way, including magically held or locked doors.
Upon reaching 9th. level, an Earth Pony adventurer may petition their Princesses for a charter to found an outpost town in an unclaimed hex of wilderness. Once the surrounding territory is tamed, ponies of all three types will arrive to settle, setting up farms and orchards around a central village. The founder will be expected to defend and nurture their community, acting as its guardian with their goddess' blessing.
Earth Ponies use the Dwarf table for level advancement, and the Dwarf/Elf/Fighter/Halfling column of the combat matrix. They have their own set of saving throws, with emphasis on their physical hardiness giving them high resistance to poisons and body altering magics like petrification and polymorph.
REQUIREMENT: Dex 9
PRIME REQUISITE: Dex
Hit Dice: d4
Maximum Level: 12
These flying ponies are some of the fleetest creatures in the air, with a magical bond to wind and weather. They are capable of flying at a speed of 480' per turn (160' per round), and are extremely maneuverable, able to attain these speeds even in dungeon tunnels and narrow spaces due to their small size. A pegasus pony is capable of entering and withdrawing from melee combat without suffering an attack to do so, so long as they have movement to do so.
A pegasus pony only takes half damage from falling from any height. While they are too small and weak to carry any riders, they may attempt to rescue allies from falls with a successful attack roll, followed by a Save vs. Death. The distance of the fall is reduced by the difference between roll and target number X 10.
These creatures are capable of walking on any mass of cloud, mist or vapor that is thick enough to obscure vision as if it were solid (albeit spongy) ground.
Their preferred method of attack is a kick with their hind legs, which does 1d4 per hoof. They may wear iron shoes to increase this to 1d6, but tend to disdain such hoofwear as it weighs them down. They may make a buck attack against masses of cloud or vapor, dispersing a 10X10' area in a round. The hooves of a Pegasus Pony can strike creatures from the elemental plane of air for damage without penalty, even if the creature in question possesses resistance to normal weapons.
This speed and maneuverability comes at a cost of the strength of their earth bound kin, and they are incapable of flight if encumbered. Armor heavier than light leather barding restricts their wings and thus they cannot wear it. (The royal guards of Equestria's ruling sisters wear enchanted plate mail that is almost weightless, and are hoof picked for their unusual size and strength.) They can carry and use one handed melee weapons in their mouths, with a -1 penalty due to its ungainliness, preferring light blades like daggers or short swords.
Upon reaching 9th. level, Pegasus Ponies can petition their Princesses to build a stronghold in the sky that tends to drift over a designated (usually friendly) area of land. Pegasus ponies will soon arrive to settle, creating their homes out of the stuff of clouds. The skylord will often be allied with friendly airborne creatures, and since a community of Pegasus Ponies can control the weather out to 20 miles radius, they are often courted for friendly relations by the lands below them.
Pegasus Ponies use the Halfling table for level advancement, and the Dwarf/Elf/Fighter/Halfling column of the combat matrix. They have their own set of saving throws, that emphasize their ability to dodge and maneuver, giving them high saves vs. breath weapons and wands.
REQUIREMENT: Int 9
PRIME REQUISITE: Int and Wis
Hit Dice: d4
Maximum Level: 12
A highly magical breed from an already magical race, the horned unicorn ponies are exalted even among the egalitarian society of Equestria. They are capable of casting spells in a similar fashion to Elves and Magic Users, up to the 9th. level of ability. This magic is focused on their horn, which glows brightly when in use. Spells up to 2nd. Level do not need to be memorized, and may be chosen at will on the fly up to the Unicorn Pony's slots per day for spells of those levels. Spells of 3rd. level and higher are studied and memorized from spellbooks in the same fashion as other Magic Users.
In addition, they exhibit a low power form of Telekinesis that they can use at will to lift and manipulate small objects up to 10 pounds at a radius of 5' around their horn, which glows with a soft light when they use this ability. They may manipulate one object at a time, with additional objects for each +1 granted by high Wisdom.
Unicorn Ponies may wear any kind of armor and wield any shield or weapon with their telekinesis, provided their wisdom allows it. (i.e. Two handed weapons like pole arms or bows require that they be skilled enough with their magic to manipulate more than one object at once.)
They may also choose to kick with their hind legs for 1d4 per hoof (1d6 if they are wearing iron shoes) or stab with their horn for 1d4 damage. (This latter attack is only done in desperation, as damage or severing of their horn can cause them to lose their magical abilities.)
Upon reaching 9th. level, Unicorn Ponies can petition their Princesses to establish a town on a hex of settled land. These towns attract Equestrian Ponies of all kinds, with higher populations of Unicorn Ponies. More often than not, such communities will establish a college of magic, where mages of all species are welcome to study and exchange theory and practical applications of magic. This high concentration of magic makes them a very tough nut for chaotic raiders to try and crack.
Unicorn Ponies use the Elf table for level advancement, and the Cleric/Thief column on the combat matrix. They have their own set of saving throws, that reflect their natural magical nature and resistance to such effects.