Shields, the piece of metal or wood between you and pain, and the thing that turns your fighter from a bucket of hit points into an indomitable tank. Because it’s not dealing damage it often gets overlooked by today’s modern bloodthirsty types, and it might take more than a hefty plank with handles to convince your players to maybe drop a sword in favour of some protection.
Presented below, five examples of shields with story, magical power, secrets, or just present something more interesting than a boost to armour class. The rules referenced are for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, but can be readily modified for other editions or systems. (more…)
Let us suppose a variation of magic that does not manipulate a natural force ever-present in the world. Instead let us consider a school of magi who pull their power from the realms beyond the material, reaching into the turning gears of Mechanus, the glorious light of Celestia, the feral twilight of Ysgard, or – as presented here – the twisting tunnels, the ever blowing gales mingled with the howls of souls as they shred and dissolve into the headwaters of the Styx, Pandemonium.
The spells here are selected with a view to their aesthetic relation to Pandemonium, which borders the roiling chaos of Limbo and the demonic halls of the Abyss. Pandemonium itself is predominantly home to demons, a handful of damned souls that endure the winds, and a few evil or mad gods who have come to build their realms within. The spells are heavy on necrotic forces, death, madness, and eternally howling winds. (more…)
This Tuesday I got hold of my copy of the new Monster Manual, quite literally as soon as it was delivered to my local games shop. The Monster Manual (MM) is a catalogue of creatures that can be used in Dungeons and Dragons campaigns and is the second book that comprises the “core set” essential to play, although truth be told an experienced DM could start running a full game right now, especially as your players have now had a month to play around with the Players Handbook that I reviewed shortly after its’ release.
Now let me be absolutely clear here. I’ve made no small issue of how much I love this edition, and I really tried not to gush too much over the PHB, clearly that didn’t work out very well. I also love Monster Manuals. The first ever game of D&D I played I was thrown in at the deep end and asked to be the DM, and after a quick flip through the 3.5 edition PHB and Dungeon Masters Guide I found myself flipping gleefully through the collection of Monster Manuals I’d been presented with. Now my actual role-play chops were pretty weak back then, and combat was one hell of a beast to get to grips with I’ll admit, but as I leafed through the fantastic menagerie a world of possibilities opened up for me.