Archive for the ‘Everyday D&D’ Category

One Two, You Know What To Do

Monday, October 30th, 2023

That Otto must have been a fun magic-user to have at a party. At any moment, blam, he could drop his irresistible dance on Crubno the Formidable, and after that, there is nothing he could do but “caper and prance.” There also is a little cavorting involved.

I think it is the latter that causes the -4 deduction in armor class and is responsible for one of my favorite drawings in the Players Handbook.

My Keoland

Sunday, October 29th, 2023

I am not usually a person who loves places like Keoland, with few unexplored dungeons or long lines of hereditary rulership going back a thousand years. As constant readers know, I support a bit more mobility in my social hierarchy, since it seems to allow the entrepreneurial/devious a better chance to rise in society. Additionally, as a person who needs unexplored dungeons to help supplement his murder-based income, not having a tomb to raid or crypt to loot can hurt my coin purse.

Yet, and there is almost always a yet, Keoland is the place in Oreth to go if one isn’t interested in religion. So many other kingdoms and vales and lands have official priestcraft and invisible entities that I am supposed to kneel to, and, more importantly, give money to. Not Keoland, however. It is part of their founding documents not to have a state religion. Sure, old farmer Joha can pray to Berei and Azeth, and the dry goods seller can keep dropping his coins in Zilchus’s collection plate, but no one is making me give anything to any deity, and that is the way I like it.

Maybe it is a place to set up my second home; I guess it will depend on their tax structure and my ability to evade it.

Detect Boring

Friday, October 27th, 2023

Back in Gorgnard times, druids were pretty much the punchline for all kinds of jokes. They couldn’t wear metal armor or use metal shields, they can’t turn undead, and they have silly level titles like “Aspirant” and “Ovate.” However, they do get two first-level spells to start, and by the time they are 4th-level, they can cast four first-level spells, two second-level spells, and two 3rd-level spells. Here are some of the spells that Zifty, Initiate of the 2nd Circle, might get:

  • Animal Friendship
  • Detect Snares and Pits
  • Predict Weather
  • Locate Animal (you have to locate them to be friends with them)
  • Heat Metal
  • Trip
  • Call Lightning
  • Tree

Out of that list, “Call Lightning” is the most impressive, but even then, Zifty still needs some kind of storm about to call that lightning from. I suspect that is why she also cast “Predict Weather” so she didn’t try to summon up the lightning on a sunny day. And don’t even get me started on “Tree.” I get why a certain kind of player might be interested in a spell that allows them to look like a tree and watch whatever is going on happen, but that isn’t me.

Beyond the Gate

Thursday, October 26th, 2023

Last post about cleric spells for a while, I swear to Boccob, but “Gate” also is far more powerful than I assumed it is. I guess I have been paying too much attention to when minor demons or lesser devils try to gate in one of their fellow bone devils or chasmes. This version of gate only works part of the time and usually brings in another creature of roughly the same mayhem potential.

“Gate” the 7th-level cleric spell, however, is a whole other series of words, as probably befits a spell that is going to be cast by an upper, upper-tier cleric. It works all the time, as in 100% of the time when Simo the Patriarch decides to cast “gate,” something hears the summons and is coming through. As the Players Handbook says, the cleric names the “demon, devil, demi-god, god, or similar being” and is there a certainty that “something will step through the gate.” I love the vagueness of that last term: something will step through. Who knows what it will be? Maybe Simo will get Vecna.

Holy Word

Thursday, October 26th, 2023

It must be a fairly holy word because this spell has a lot going on. Not only does Rimbo Xencraft get to send a creature back to its original plane, but that creature doesn’t even get a saving throw to ignore the spell. To bust off a law-talking guy term, “rules as written” would allow Rimbo to send a pit fiend or nalfeshnee straight back to the lower planes without either of these fairly fearsome devils/demons getting a chance to do something that any 1st-level character gets to do: make a saving throw.

After the creature has been thrown back to whatever outer plane they are from, they end up taking some form of damage: under 4 h.d., immediately dead. But what 15th-level cleric is going to waste “holy word” on a measly owl bear? 7 or so h.d? You are paralyzed and better hope that you don’t get returned to some place in Hades where you are likely to be prey. Bit more powerful at 11 h.d.? You are going to be stunned for a while, which is not quite paralyzed but still not great. Over 12 h.d.? Some kind of big tough from the seventh Hell? You are still heading back and you won’t be able to hear when you land because you are deaf.