Archive for July 2017

A Sundered World: Black Book Primer

Someone asked if Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book had a built in setting. It didn't, and technically still doesn't, but we added a primer for A Sundered World in case you want to use that, because it's at least very much different from a bog-standard pseudo-European-ish fantasy setting (which I figure anyone can do on their own).

(If you have the PDF check it again for the primer file.)

Something to keep in mind is that this is nowhere near the complete setting. We are going to do a full setting book at some point, but since people generally expect different things from Dungeon World and more traditional d20 stuff we're going to add and maybe remove some stuff, first.

If you already own A Sundered World, the only real benefit of the primer is that there's a bunch of converted stuff like races (no classes though), gear, and monsters.

Announcements
It look a lot longer than expected, but we finally released The Jinni. As with our other monstrous classes, this one is more faithful to the mythology (so don't go in expecting elemental-themed jinn).

After putting it to a vote, the next couple of classes on the docket are the warden (think 4E D&D warden) and apothecary (gotta go see what they're all about).

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).
July 31, 2017
Posted by David Guyll

Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book Softcovers...

...still aren't available.

Yet.

We got the print proof in yesterday, but the text is closer to the spine than I (and probably you) would like. Title text is also closer to the top than I'd like. So, I made some adjustments and re-uploaded the files: the next proof should be perfect.




Really like the wizard-talent-cheat-sheet Melissa whipped up. Makes it easy to figure out what you need to pick to do what you want to do.



I think I forgot to mention that everyone that owns the Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book PDF will get print-at-cost discount links when the book becomes available, that way you don't get charged extra.

We'll also send out links for every book format as they become available, so you won't have to pick and choose (and sorry to everyone that's still waiting for them).

Announcements
Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book is out (and you can pick it up for 25% off during DriveThruRPG's Christmas in July sale)!

It's our own take on a D&Dish/d20 game that features (among other things) simple-yet-flexible classes, unassumed magic and magical healing, a complete lack of pseudo-Vancian magic, and more mythologically accurate monsters.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).
July 26, 2017
Posted by David Guyll

Dungeons & Delvers: Age of Worms, Episode 606

Cast
  • Humal (level 10 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 10 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 10 elf rogue/ranger)

Session Highlights
Once they finished resting, the party makes it to the top of the ice tower, where they end up speaking with an ice weird named Sionsiar, who had served Icosiel before they were both slain during the Worm War.

Initially wary of Humal due to his heritage, she became more amiable after he surrendered the Apostolic Scroll—which she immediately and effortlessly destroyed—and learning that Corzale, a worshiper of Bel-Amaranth traveled with him: apparently Bel-Amaranth's followers were pivotal to their success against the worms.

The rod of seven parts came up: the party learned that the fragment contained within Icosiel's true tomb had the power to heal any and all physical and mental ailments. This didn't explain why Humal's father wanted it so badly, until Sionsiar explained that as the rod is reconstructed it gains additional powers.

Sionsiar grew hostile when Humal revealed that his siblings were looking for it (and were in fact waiting for them at the bottom of the tower), but calmed when he stated and confirmed under magical compulsion that he did not wish to surrender it to them. He wasn't sure they could stop them, but Sionsiar agreed to help them if they returned from Icosiel's tomb with the fragment.

She then transformed the tower into a sphere, and within moments they were transported an unfathomable distance across an unknown course to the true tomb's location: it was a great stone sphere, completely surrounded by churning storm clouds. In addition to the powerful winds and lightning, countless rocks of varying sizes and shapes tumbled throughout the clouds.

Sionsiar stated that this was as far as she would take them, before transporting the ice-disk away, leaving them floating just beyond the influence of the storm's winds. After discussing various methods by which they could reach the tomb's surface without being blown apart by lightning or pummeled by rocks, they settled on Humal encasing them in an illusionary box and slowly ferrying them through the storm.

The illusion wasn't strong enough to move against the force of the winds, but it managed to remain intact until they were nearly at the center where it was much calmer. A rock struck the box, unraveling the illusion and—since everyone had oriented their gravity down before beginning their descent—causing everyone to plummet to the tomb below.

Sumia was able to reorient her gravity such that it halted her descent, but no such luck for Corzale. Fortunately Allustan and Humal could fly: the former caught her and softened her landing, while the latter towed Sumia down because she wasn't sure how to (safely) get down.

The surface of the tomb featured numerous holes, but before they could investigate bones rained from above and assembled into six excarnated harpies: after considerable effort (and many failed rolls) they destroyed the harpies (though several were still intact enough for Humal to reanimate). They had finally arrived at the true tomb: now they just had to pick an entrance and see where it would take them.

Design Notes
In the original adventure you're supposed to go down this blood-red river/waterfall, fight some more flying suits of armor (leveled up versions of the ones fought in the first adventure), run into a ghoul I think, and then go through this room with floating pillars and beat up some air elementals before finally arriving at the true tomb.

I think last play report post I already mentioned changing the ice hall to an ice tower (and if I didn't well then now you know). The ice weird was referenced in the original adventure but didn't actually appear, but I figured it would be nice to have its I guess spirit be around for the party to talk with (and give them information), and ideally transport them to the true tomb.

(Otherwise I figured Humal would use his teleportation circle, plus some speak with dead to wrangle the details out of Sionsiar and just beam them over there.)

The other really big change is the tomb itself: it's now a stone sphere protected by lightning, wind, flying rocks, and harpy skeletons. Don't want to spoil what's inside, though (not air elementals that's for damn sure).

The I guess "default" method for getting through the storm-sphere was to try and float, grappling hook, or even jump (if the ice disk was still there) to the rocks as they zipped by. You'd then have to leap frog from rock to rock, dodging lightning bolts and fighting off excarnated harpies before finally getting through, and then either falling or floating the rest of the way to the tomb (distance would have done like 5d6 bludgeoning damage: hurts but survivable for 10th-level PCs).

Flight would also have worked, which both Humal and Allustan had access to: the winds, depending on which way you go, would either slow you or double your Speed. Probably faster than the leapfrog technique, though you'd have to dodge rocks, lightning bolts, and fight/flee from excarnated harpies.

Announcements
Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book is out (and you can pick it up for 25% off during DriveThruRPG's Christmas in July sale)!

It's our own take on a D&Dish/d20 game that features (among other things) simple-yet-flexible classes, unassumed magic and magical healing, a complete lack of pseudo-Vancian magic, and more mythologically accurate monsters.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

It's Christmas in July!

DriveThruRPG is currently running their Christmas in July sale, which means until the 31st you can get all of our PDF stuff at 25% off (like, oh I dunno, A Sundered World or Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book).

The bundle prices are unchanged, so right now it's probably cheaper to buy whatever you want individually.


Announcements
It look a lot longer than expected, but we finally released The Jinni. As with our other monstrous classes, this one is more faithful to the mythology (so don't go in expecting elemental-themed jinn).

After putting it to a vote, the next couple of classes on the docket are the warden (think 4E D&D warden) and apothecary (gotta go see what they're all about).

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).
July 21, 2017
Posted by David Guyll

Enlil-Zi-Shagal's Sky Tomb: Monsters!

So I'm working on this 1st-level intro adventure for Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book that takes place within the tomb of a jinn floating about the Elemental Plane of Air.

I got the maps (four right now) mostly done, but am still working on room contents and also how some of the power generator puzzles are going to work.

Anywho here are some of the monsters that will be featured in the adventure (with some stat blocks and illustrations):

GHOUL RAT
The, ahem, progeny of dire rats and ghouls (who can also transform into dire rats). They're a bit smarter than your typical dire rat, and their faces are a grotesque approximations of the face of the most recent humanoid they've eaten.

Not sure if I want them to talk. Maybe just babble random words and phrases that the victim did. Was also considering having small, muttering faces emerge all over there body the more they eat.

(Stat-wise just go with dire rats, just a tad smarter and their faces are somewhat more human.)

JELLYFISH SPRITE
These elemental creatures erratically and explosively teleport about, releasing halos of crackling electricity each time they appear. Shocks creatures that hit them with melee attacks, and can also discharge bolts of lightning.

MOCK SUN
Plasma spheres bearing expressive golden masks, mock suns are always encountered in pairs. They propel themselves about the Elemental Plane of Air by emitting powerful winds, and attack by lashing out with fiery pseudopods.

Devouring iron causes them to grow in size: they can sense it for miles around, and their magnetic fields make it difficult for creatures wearing or carrying it to escape. They burn anyone that gets too close and explode when destroyed, so as with jellyfish sprites ranged attacks are preferred.



PRISMATIC SPIDER
A crystalline mass that absorbs the light and color from anything it pierces (translates into normal damage plus Charisma drain). It projects flat arms made from shimmering solid light, that it uses to grab things so that it can drain color from them. Once it has enough light and color built up it can emit a weakened prismatic spray effect (usually as a defensive mechanism).


Prismatic Spider
Level 4 Large Elemental
XP 128
Speed 30 feet; flying

Ability Scores
STR +2 DEX +3 WIS +0
CON +1 INT -4 CHA -3

Skills
Athletics +5

Defense
Armor Class 14 DR 1 (crystalline exoskeleton)
Fort +2 Ref +4 Will +0
Immune charm, poison, radiant
WP 20 VP 8 Total 28

Offense
Achromatizing "Bite": +4 to hit; 1d8+4 piercing damage; if the target suffers Wound damage they must succeed on a DC 12 Fortitude save or have their Charisma reduced by 1 until they’re exposed to sunlight for 2d4 hours. While the target is suffering from Charisma loss in this way their body is noticeably paler than usual (nearly white).

Prismatic Spray: 30-foot cone; roll 1d8 for each target caught in the blast. In an effect allows a saving throw, the DC is 12.

  • 1. Red: 3d8 fire damage, or half on a successful Reflex save. 
  • 2. Orange: 3d4 acid damage, and the target's AC and DR is reduced by 1 until they heal (if natural armor) or repair it (if worn armor). A successful Reflex save halves the damage and negates the AC and DR reduction.
  • 3. Yellow: 3d6 lightning damage, ignoring armor. A successful Reflex save halves the damage (but targets wearing armor or made of metal suffer a -2 penalty to the save).
  • 4. Green: 3d6 poison damage, and the target is poisoned for 1d4 hours. A successful Fortitude save halves the damage and negates the poisoned condition.
  • 5. Blue: 3d6 cold damage, and the target is slowed until the end of their next turn. A successful Fortitude save halves the damage and negates the slowed condition.
  • 6. Indigo: The target's Dexterity is reduced by 1d4 points. If this would reduce the target's Dexterity to -5 or lower they're instead petrified. A successful Fortitude save means the target only suffers a -1 penalty to their Dexterity. Lost Dexterity returns at a rate of one point every 1d6 hours.
  • 7. Violet: 3d6 radiant damage and the target is blinded for 1d4 rounds. A successful Fortitude save halves the damage, and the target is only blinded for 1 round.
  • 8. Target is Hit by Two Rays: Roll twice and re-roll additional 8's.

The prismatic spider can't use this ability again until it has a chance to feed: this usually means completely absorbing the color from a Medium or larger creature (or partially absorbing the color from several creatures: mock suns are ideal prey), and 1d4 hours of exposure to light.

Treasure
Prismatic glass (2d4 x 50 sp)

WEATHERED GUARDIANS
Only found inside the Sky Tomb, these are damaged stelae possessed by jinn spirits that reconfigure themselves into roughly humanoid warriors to attack intruders.


Weathered Guardian
Level 1 Medium Elemental
XP 16
Speed 20 feet

Ability Scores
STR +1 DEX +0 WIS +0
CON +2 INT -2 CHA -2

Skills
Athletics +3, Perception +1

Defense
Armor Class 12 DR 2 (stone body)
Fort +3 Ref +0 Will +0
WP 7 VP 0 Total 7

Offense
Stone Blade: +2 to hit; 1d8+2 slashing damage

Special
Last Gasp: When the weathered guardian is destroyed, every creature adjacent to it must succeed on a DC 11 Fortitude save or suffer 1d4 bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone.

Treasure
25% chance for a wind shard (1d4 x 10 sp)

There are also ones that are mostly intact: they are tougher, sometimes larger, and can manipulate wind and fly (because jinn spirits).

Announcements
It look a lot longer than expected, but we finally released The Jinni. As with our other monstrous classes, this one is more faithful to the mythology (so don't go in expecting elemental-themed jinn).

After putting it to a vote, the next couple of classes on the docket are the warden (think 4E D&D warden) and apothecary (gotta go see what they're all about).

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Black Book: Bard Concept

A long time ago Melissa and I played in a Dungeon World campaign where she gave the bard class a shot for like six or so levels.

She hated it so much that we decided to just make our own bard (that a lot of other people also like, so I guess that was more productive than just bitching about it online).

Frankly the only bard I've ever liked (besides the one we made of course) is the one in 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Yeah, the magic system doesn't make any sense (nothing new for D&D) but at least the class isn't spread so thin that it can't reliably do anything besides maybe make lore and Diplomacy checks.

One of the big things with Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book is that I wanted to make the magic systems actually make sense in game (and not be assumed or basically required just to get by). We succeeded with the other spellcasters so far, but the bard was giving me trouble until recently.

For the wizard and sorcerer I gave them Mana points and variable spell drain to simulate unpredictable and dangerous magic. For the cleric and druid I gave them Favor, which is safe and predictable, but replenishes more slowly and they are beholden to their god: piss off your god and you could lose your powers. Warlocks have a mix of magic that can be used at-will, but they can also spend Boon to increase it, and like cleric and druids they have to answer to something.

These all work and make sense in-game, and I'm not opposed to using the same or similar system if it makes sense, but that's just it: none of them really scream "bard".

As with Dungeon World classes, Melissa and I prefer to start from a purely flavor perspective, imagining/explaining how various things work in-game, and then dress it up in mechanics later. When I think of a bard using music, I imagine it requiring some sort of build up in basically two ways.

The first is that the bard just starts playing a song that affects creatures that can hear it. If the bard plays a lullaby, then creatures can get drowsy and fall asleep. Not instantly, mind you: I think of it more like they make a Will save, if they fail they become effectively dazed, and then if they fail again on their next turn they fall asleep.

I could see a fear effect working similarly: you start playing, creatures that hear it make Will saves to avoid being frightened, and if they fail twice start running away from you.

The catch for this sort of stuff is that the creatures can't be hostile towards you before you start playing. Like, if a band of orcs is charging at you, you can't start playing a lullaby to put them to sleep.

The second are effectively spells with longer casting times.

I had this idea years ago when working with Josh on a D&Dish game that never saw fruition. The idea was that a wizard could use a Standard Action to make a ranged attack that dealt let's say 1d4+Int mod damage, but they could opt to build up magical energy for a round, and then on the next round throw out an attack that could deal something like 4d6+Int mod damage.

So, assuming your Int mod was +2, you could take two turns doing a total of 2d4+4 damage (9 on average), or two turns doling out 4d6+2 mod (16 on average). The drawback was that you could be attacked, which would force a skill check or saving throw to avoid losing the spell (or maybe even having it go out of control).

(There was also something like where you could take HP damage or spent  Magic Points or something to speed up the process, but I forget because this was back in 2012 I think, before I was even playing Dungeon World.)

So a bard could have a kind of area-effect cone attack could require 2 rounds of playing in order to build up the song before suddenly releasing it (like a song building up to the chorus). Since a wizard's Burning Hands talent requires only a Standard Action and deals 2d6+Intelligence fire damage (Reflex save for half), the bard's what I'm calling for now the Soundwave talent could take 2 rounds to cast and deal 2d8+Charisma bludgeoning damage (doesn't seem much better but then the bard doesn't have Mana or anything like that to worry about).

Other song spells could have effects that change on a round-by-round basis, reflecting the song reaching its chorus before starting over again. For example, a haste spell could give you a bonus to Speed on the first round, a bonus to AC and Reflex saves on the second, a bonus to hit (or maybe even a bonus attack) on the third, and then it starts all over again.

Of course the bard will be able to do other stuff: scaling bonus on all checks made to recall information (Bardic Lore), actually good in melee (what with the actually flat math), and since the bard doesn't have any sort of currency (like Mana or Favor) you could feasibly make a bard without any magical music what-so-ever if that's really not your thing.

Announcements
Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book is out! It's our own take on a D&Dish/d20 game that features (among other things) simple-yet-flexible classes, unassumed magic and magical healing, a complete lack of pseudo-Vancian magic, and more mythologically accurate monsters.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Dungeons & Delvers: Appendix D Issue 3

The third issue of Appendix D has been added to Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book (for free of course): it adds the vancomancer (a spellcasting class that uses an actually Vancian magic system), necromancer talent tree to the wizard, six magic items (some undead, some drawn from The Dying Earth), and more higher-level undead monsters.

As with previous issues let me know what you think, and also what you want to see in the next issue. Someone wanted to see an enchanter tree for the wizard, but I'm thinking either a primer for A Sundered World (not the entire setting, but enough to run your own games there plus some races and classes) or something to give fighters more options.

Announcements
It look a lot longer than expected, but we finally released The Jinni. As with our other monstrous classes, this one is more faithful to the mythology (so don't go in expecting elemental-themed jinn).

After putting it to a vote, the next couple of classes on the docket are the warden (think 4E D&D warden) and apothecary (gotta go see what they're all about).

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Charmed, I'm Sure

When I was working on the succubus for the second Appendix D update for Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book, I went through various D&D editions to see what they did, and one thing I noticed that she always gets an at-will charm person.

I made a Charm talent for the wizard in an earlier Dungeons & Delvers draft (the Enchanter tree didn't make it into the Black Book), which at the time let you spend Mana, have the target make a Will save, and if they failed treat you as a trusted friend until you proved otherwise.

It originally didn't have a duration, because I honestly thought that the charm person spell didn't have one, either: I thought they just considered you a friend until something happened!

In 2nd Edition the spell (charm person) lasted until the target made a successful saving throw, which was regularly checked at intervals based on the target's Intelligence: the smarter they were, the sooner they got to make additional saves.

3rd Edition had it last one hour per caster level (which is what I also did with the Black Book version), while 5th Edition sets it at a single hour, though the 5th Edition succubus's Charm lasts for a day but they can only have one creature charmed at a time: they can't just keep spamming it until everyone is either charmed or resists it.

With all this in mind I decided on a few things.

The first was that a succubus can only charm creatures that aren't already hostile towards her. This means she has to be subtle and catch the PCs off guard. She can't just run (or fly) around spamming Charm over and over until someone fails a Will save. Unless the party is expecting succubi or catches her with her pants down (since she can't completely disguise herself), this shouldn't be that hard to do (the first time anyway).

(I'm working on the bard for the third Appendix D update, and a lot of their magic so far only works on creatures that aren't already trying to bury an axe in your skull.)

I think 5th Edition's whole "you're immune for 24 hours" is boring, weird, and arbitrary (though still better than earlier editions' just-keep-trying-until-someone-fails model): like, someone else can try to charm you, even another succubus, but no matter what that particular succubus cannot charm you until at least 24 hours have elapsed.

Instead I designed it so that if a target makes their Will save, then the succubus has to basically wait until the target lets their guard down before she can try again. She can follow the potential victim around, and wait until they no longer expect a succubus to try and charm them (could take awhile), or maybe change her shape and trick the person into thinking that she's just a normal person and earn their trust.

The other thing I'd considered was making you immune to the succubus's charm for a random duration, like 1d6 rounds, minutes, or hours (or a random duration after everyone has more or less "calmed down").

So what do you think: good way to handle charms? Prefer how another edition did it? Got something completely different you want to pitch? I could see Enchanter wizards getting a talent that lets them charm even hostile creatures, maybe with a save bonus, higher Mana cost, and/or reduced duration as a kind of emergency charm.

Announcements
Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book is out! It's our own take on a D&Dish/d20 game that features (among other things) simple-yet-flexible classes, unassumed magic and magical healing, a complete lack of pseudo-Vancian magic, and more mythologically accurate monsters.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Dungeons & Delvers: Age of Worms, Episode 605

Cast
  • Humal (level 10 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 10 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 10 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
Busy with lots of stuff (work, game work/stuff, art for various things, kids, general farm crap, etc), so I'm going to keep this as short as possible (which after writing it ended up not being nearly as short as I'd planned).

Picking up from the previous session, the party finds a grievously wounded Allusten suspended in a lightning sphere. Luckily the sphere has him trapped in some sort of stasis, so he hasn't bled out yet.

Sumia takes a shot at a metal spike in the ceiling that best as she can tell is generating the lightning sphere. This causes a bolt of lightning to arc from the spike into the metal floor, conjuring a kind of amorphous creature made from metal shards and crackling with electricity (visually I was going for how watch towers in BLaME! download exterminators).

It propels itself towards Corzale because of her metal armor, but she summons a bunch of roots and plants to hold it in place. This works for a bit, but it quickly burns and cuts its way free and attaches itself to Corzale, shocking and cutting her pretty badly before it is destroyed.

The party then proceeds to pelt the spike with various ranged attacks. They quickly shatter it (luckily before more shrapnel elementals are summoned), which causes the sphere to dissipate and Allustan to fall to the floor. Not wanting to risk killing him via botched Medicine checks, Sumia administers a healing potion before carrying him back to the smaller room where they found the magic chainmail (that was lightning resistant) and stone slab.

While they rest Allustan recounts how he got trapped while exploring the sky tomb, and even attempts to teach them how to reorient their perception of gravity so that they can walk on the walls and ceiling, but unfortunately only Humal picks up on it.

They then tell Allustan about the black dragon, and how it destroyed his home and wants to kill him. Humal explains how he has a teleportation circle primed in the Whispering Cairn to transport them all to Dovin: between the city's militia, wizards, and labyrinthine sewer network he figures that if the dragon even figures out that they teleported to the city, it'll get picked off long before it can find them.

Allustan seems cool with the plan, but he still wants to explore the rest of the sky tomb because his life's work involved the Wind Duke cairns, and now he's found another tomb on another plane of existence. Plus there's probably more magical shit and maybe something to do with the Age of Worms. But, just before they head out they hear something talking in the other room.

It's speaking in Infernal, so only Humal knows what it's saying: mostly it sounds annoyed and tired of looking for something, but while it sounds like it's talking to someone else he only hears the one voice.

Sumia lifts the door slightly, and when Humal looks underneath realizes that it's his half-brother Humata. Small multiverse, right? Humal goes out to speak with him, and learns that their father sent him here to retrieve as best he can figure a wooden stick, claiming that he doesn't know what it can do or why their father wants it. Humata explains that he's checked out most of the tomb, but there's this ice tower that he can't get into because of magical wards.

Humal offers to help, but when he mentions he's here with other people Humata suggests killing them so they don't get in the way or cause trouble. Luckily Humal manages to convince his brother to spare the rest of the party, and they all tentatively follow him to the ice tower. At the tower's base is an open door, but as Humata said it's enchanted so that demons can't go in or damage it.

The wards are too powerful for Humal to dispel (probably: I don't think he wanted to let them in anyway), but since he doesn't have enough demonic blood to be barred entry and the rest of the party doesn't have any, he offers to retrieve the rod for him. This is when Humata's "shadow" is revealed to actually be his sister Seruya in disguise: she extends a black tendril into his shadow, allowing her to communicate with him via telepathy.

Seruya elaborates that the "stick" is a fragment of the rod of seven parts, but she also claims to not know what it can do or why their father wants it. She then produces a square metal seal, stating that they found it in a small room (the one with the stone slab) but haven't found any other indentations where it would fit, which meant they might need it somewhere in the ice tower.

Humal takes the seal, Sumia trades her cursed dagger for a few extra sets of eyes from Humata (who even arranges them like a spider's eyes after Sumia complains about them and Humal uses his illusion magic to explain what a spider looks like), and Seruya warns Humal that if he can't find the fragment that he'd best not return.

Just inside the tower they run into what looks like a walking, talking ice sculpture. It asks for an authorization key, so Humal shows it the seal Seruya gave him, and when it asks for the name of their superior Humal responds with Icosiel (it being the only Wind Duke name he can remember): the sculpture-sentry accepts the answers and warns them about the stairs before returning to its post.

Inside the tower is a central shaft (also made of ice) that runs all the way to the top. A set of narrow stairs winds around it, but they're also made of ice and there's no rail. Not wanting to risk falling (especially near the top), Corzale summons a wall of wood up the entire shaft (eating up almost half of her Favor in the process), and they begin their ascent.

At around the halfway mark a pair of ice golems burst from the walls. Strong and durable, they swat Corzale and Allustan around before they're mostly shattered by the former's hammer and melted by the latter's fire magic (Sumia tried to contribute but didn't do much). Hoping there aren't any other surprises, the party hurries to the top before the wood-wall rots away, stopping for a brief rest just underneath the entrance to the next room.

Design Notes
For some reason in the original adventure there's an oculus demon wandering around the tomb. It's basically a winged humanoid covered in eyes with a paralyzing gaze, I think. I was originally going to scrap it, but then figured why not have a kind-of family reunion? Humata retained some of the oculus demon abilities, but Seruya was made from scratch.

Not that it mattered, because surprise surprise the party didn't fight them (though they might on the way back). I really thought they would because Corzale seems to hate all things evil, and Sumia really loves her some demon horns.

The ice-security-guard thing could have also been a fight. In the original adventure it's supposed to be a kolyarut (which is a magic robot that punishes people that break deals, and has access to a life-draining magic) that for some reason is stationed there to stop intruders from going somewhere, and I figured fuck it I'll just convert it over and see what happens (which also resulted in them talking their way past it).

The ice golem duo was supposed to be fought on slippery ice stairs, with the golems walking on the outside wall so they could hit the PCs and ideally knock them off so they take a bunch of falling damage (or dangle from the stairs), but Corzale played it smart and made a bunch of roots so they wouldn't have to worry about it.

I know some DMs would get pissed, and maybe come up with some bullshit ruling or whatever to make it not work, but I like it when my players monkey-wrench my shit and they probably do, too. So that plus Allustan's fireballs made it pretty easy (though I got some hits in before they were destroyed).

Announcements
Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book is out! It's our own take on a D&Dish/d20 game that features (among other things) simple-yet-flexible classes, unassumed magic and magical healing, a complete lack of pseudo-Vancian magic, and more mythologically accurate monsters.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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