Thursday, March 12, 2015

4 encounters you'll only get if you're a 90's kid.

Ok not really.

Actually as winter is wrapping up, I thought I'd list some encounter ideas on that theme, before it's too late.

Next time your party is wandering through the Forbidden Ice Crags and the druid/ranger keeps asking if you're in the woods because their favored terrain is the woods but you've told them like a million times that you're on the tundra but then you describe some stunted trees in your flavor text and they decide that's basically a woods so they should get bonuses, they might be ready for one of these.

dammit olaf get the hell out of here

Roll 1d4, or 2d4 and they're fighting each other when you arrive
1.  Barbarians on dogsleds.  The barbarians are armed with obviously stolen lances, and all the adventurers are slowed due to the heavy snow unless they're on dog sled or wearing snowshoes or whatever. The sled gets slower for each dog they kill, until the barbarians just jump out and release the hounds (1 action) once they're pretty slowed.  The sled dogs fight as wolves, which actually makes these enemies MORE dangerous as they get hurt, which is great.
2. Avalanche Elemental While you're heading up a mountain or slope, your party gets slammed by an avalanche. Pretty bad, but hopefully you can dig everyone out and look for shelter.  Then you notice that the snow is heading back up the mountain.  Right above you. Uh oh.  Show your players a clear gradient on a battle map or i guess just describe it, the avalanche elementals can only attack people that are down slope from them.  They pack a wallop but move slowly, and sometimes have to spend a few turns positioning.  Your players should be terrified of getting caught.      
3. Mountaineer Zombies.  These zombies rise up out of the snow, dressed in anachronistic mountaineering clothing, hair all falling out and skin black with frostbite.  They look kind of like these guys
They're all tied together still and are obviously located right near some sharp crags and drops with scary rocks at the bottom.  If you push them off, watch out you don't get caught by the ropes.  Although they don't seem to want to fight at first, they just seem desperate for the PCs to set up camp and a fire.  Wait are we sure these guys are zombies? (some are though, and remember they're all tied together)
 4. Gnomish ??? and Goblins.  Some sort of old gnomish machine lies abandoned in the snow.  2d10+3 goblins are crawling all over it, ripping it apart, putting it back together (kind of) and loudly arguing.  The goblins look ridiculous with thick coats and big furry hats.  They'll aggressively defend their find, and they've got it working again.  Well, they've got the flamethrower part working.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Druid Magic

All of this is true, more or less.

Druid magic is not like other magic.  It's more than just wild and strange, because all magic is wild and strange.  Druid magic happens because you are blessed.  Blessed by what?

By these guys


Druids are the favorites of a culture of spirits.  Little sprites who live in old birdhouses, kind brownies who clean your hearth unseen.  Big Kami who relax in bathrobes with big Japanese letters, even though your game is set in quasi-Europe.  All of these creatures look like they just walked out of a Miyazaki movie.  They vary greatly in power, but for some reason they all view the druid as a special flower.  Like your favorite aunt or uncle who always gave you gifts, or your literal fairy godmother.

If you're not deathly afraid of this chick, you don't understand druids at all.

Druid magic is the most dangerous because it happens by wanting.  These spirits don't grant you power from afar, like a god does.  The spirits are there with the druid, they crowd around him/her/them, they come out of their hidey holes and spas and follow the druid in crowds of thousands.  People can't see them because they are stupid humans.  When a druid "casts a spell," it's more like they just want something to happen, and the kami see this and just all go do it.  They don't have infinite power, which is why druids can only do certain things, and they won't expend too much energy, which is why the druid can only cast so many times/day.

There are hundreds of these guys around your druid all times. They never help. 

As druids grow in power, they attract more kami followers, and can even start to see them out of the corner of their eye.  By the time they are archdruids, they can see the spirits everywhere.  Every single thing is anthropomorphized, like Howl's Moving Castle turned up to 11.  This is why druids care so much about stuff that normal people ignore, like trees and rocks.  To the druid, these trees and rocks have big cartoon googly eyes, plus personalities, hopes and dreams.  This is also why most archdruids are completely mad.    

Literal big cartoon googly eyes on EVERYTHING
So the next time a druid gives you an earful for skipping a stone in his/her/their lake, imagine how you would feel if someone picked up your friends and threw them in the water.

Also, the druid has a dozen of these huge shaggy guys at all times.  You can't see them, but they can sure see you.