Aug 232016

Alchemists has chased the Philosopher’s Stone along the way their research has uncovered many fascinating and dangerous discoveries. One such revelation is the Elemental Golem. These creatures appear as an animated suit of plate armor but that is where the resemblance ends. The armor is actually the creature’s body and is specially forged in an alchemical process to harness and contain the power of all four primordial elements. Elemental golems are nearly impossible to control. Once animated, they have one goal. Destroy anything in it’s path. The golem has no need to eat or sleep and will go on a rampage until it is destroyed. There are legends of special crystals that could be used to control an elemental golem but that is legend. Right?

Hit Dice: 8
Armor Class: 2[17]
Attacks: 2 Fists (1d6+3) plus Elemental Fury
Saving Throw: 8 (+4 vs Magic)
Special: Immune Mind Control, Fire, Electricity, Cold, Poison and Diseases. Elemental Fury (see below)
Move: 12
Alignment: Neutral
Challenge Level/XP: 12/2,000 XP

Elemental Fury: At the start of each of it’s rounds, roll a d8 on the following chart to see what additional effects occur.

1. Fire Blast: Fire erupts from the golem. All within 20 feet take 5d6 damage (Save for half damage). It’s fist attacks do an additional d6 damage plus any opponent who is struck must make a Saving Throw and be on fire (taking an additional d6 each round until extinguished).
2. Static Discharge: Bolts of lightning lash out at all targets within 20 feet and take 3d6 damage (Save for half damage). The golem’s speed is doubled for this round and it makes two additional fist attacks.
3. Frost Skin: The elemental golem is covered in a thick layer of ice. It gains 3d6 HP. These extra HP only last for this round and absorb any incoming damage first. Additionally, anyone struck by the golem must succeed on a Saving Throw or be frozen in place (petrified).
4. Rock Hard: Improve the golem’s AC by two. Additionally, it’s first attacks do double damage (2d6+6).
5. Gale Force: A blast of wind knocks opponents away from the golem. Anyone (and any loose objects) and knocked back so that they are 30 feet away from the golem. Characters may attempt a Saving Throw to avoid being knocked prone.
6. Calm Before the Storm: No effect this round but roll twice next round.
7 to 8: No effect this round.

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Aug 222016

It’s been a while since I found some neat stuff that was really cheap but this weekend I finally got lucky and found cool stuff.
First, I always wander by the toy section at Walgreen’s only to see what ends up on clearance. After a long dry spell, I got lucky. They had some Skylander “Traps” on sale for around a buck. I looked at what few they had left and grabbed one up that looked pretty cool for some dungeon dressing. Eventually, I’ll make a more permanent base for it.
This also illustrates why every DM should have a couple of Legos in his little box of wonders. And of course, there’s some standard mini’s for scale. Heck what adventurer wouldn’t want to mess around with some strange crystal structure in the middle of a dungeon. It screams. TOUCH ME!
Moving on. I had to run by the Dollar Tree. (Note: I’ve grabbed a lot of handy things there over the years but nothing new has shown up in a while.) This time a double shot was had. This first item was a small pack of barnyard animals for a buck. There’s also a horse, a couple of cows, a pig, and a collie in the pack I got. But what I really wanted is sheep. Why? Well, if you keep with me on G+, you’d know that last week the sorcerer in my 5E game had the fortune of turning himself into sheep. Next time, I’ll have a mini for that.
Finally, just like an adventurer, I can’t just walk by shiny gold coins without investigating. These are always handy as tokens and props. Now, the little pouch in really cheap and pretty darned useless but, hey, got some gold coins with skulls on them, an Aztec-looking medallion, and a ring. Sure they are out plastic but at dollar just couldn’t walk on by.
Finally, like so many holidays, stores start putting out stuff earlier and earlier. I’m already starting to see Halloween decorations and those usually offer up some cool little things. Which also means school is starting soon too. Yep, back to school sales for all those gaming needs but if you don’t need right away wait some stores do clearance sales after the big push. I’m still going through that stack of composition books I bought last year for a quarter each.
Roll dice. Kill monsters. Take their stuff. Have fun. And shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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Aug 092016

So yeah. I’ve been playing a lot of 5E lately and have been having a blast. So figured what the heck, let’s pick up Ultramodern5 and see what this edition could do outside the normal fantasy realm. Overall, I’d say it’s pretty darned cool. There isn’t a whole lot of additional rules and there’s some pretty neat stuff that I’d like to use in my normal fantasy 5E games.
So let’s get the bits that I wasn’t that crazy about first. The classes seemed kind “meh” and designed for a particular style campaign. The RPGnow blurb does that it’s suitable for many genres but for some there’s no key underlying stuff. Space Opera sure but no aliens or starships. Cyberpunk yeah sort of but no cyberwear. Urban fantasy, yeah maybe if you do D&D in modern or near future times nothing like World of Darkness or Dresden Files. I’m not really too upset about this since I view this as core book that will or spawn various setting/genre supplements.
Now the really good parts in my humble opinion. Just like regular 5E rules, you have your class and background but Ultramodern adds a couple of more neat things. Archetypes. Yes, these are in the core rules but I like they way they’re done here better. You see Archetypes have nothing to do with your class. You just choose one. This creates a lot more options for character customization. Then’s there’s the Ladder. This is something that’s chosen at 1st level and adds another layer of customization. Think of it of picking a string feats right way. The character gains bonuses based on their Ladder as they level. These don’t replace Feats. Heck you can use those too. But my gut tells that might lead to pretty powerful characters.
So what would I use this for? Well, that all depends on players and what they want to play but my imagination is going with this one and seeing potential to do a crazy space opera or even a simpler sword & sorcery type game with it. In both cases, I’d redo and customized some classes. Replace the normal Feats with having the players choose a Ladder (which I’d also probably make some just for the setting) and probably do some custom archetypes.
So yeah. It was worth it. So go check it out at RPGNow. And. oh I’ve heard a rumor, but the PDF and you’ll be able to get the hardcopy at cost when it comes out.

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Aug 082016

If you’ve been following me closely on social media, you’d know that I’m running a 5E game at the FLGS. Yes, I still have a love for those OSR games as well as others like Savage Worlds but it’s the game du jour and it’s pretty darned good.
A couple of the players are pretty new at the whole D&D thing. 5E is simple enough that they don’t have any problem grasping the basics of the rules. That will come in time. What’s really cool is to that bit of wonder, imagination, and fear that appears in their eyes when a “new” monster shows up. They don’t have the Monster Manual memorized. Some of the stock monsters they’ve never faced before. All that old stuff (even though it’s a new edition) is new to them.
Sometimes us old grognards forget that wonder we felt back in the day. The first time we faced a gelatinous cube or a troll. When we didn’t know the standard strengths and weaknesses of monsters. When it was new and weird. So yeah. Maybe sometimes it’s good to forget those things you’ve learned over the years and look at the old “classics” with wonder that we once had.

Roll Dice
Kill Monsters
Take Their Stuff.
Have fun.

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