Dungeons & Delvers: Age of Worms, Episode 703

  • Humal (level 11 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 11 dwarf war cleric/druid)
  • Sumia (level 11 elf rogue/ranger/wizard)

Session Highlights
I'm going to abridge this session report since it was several weeks ago (haven't had a chance to play since because everyone has had something come up/go wrong), still busy with art (and other things of course), aaand by now I can't remember much beyond the broad strokes.

So the party fought and defeated most of the shadow-hyena creature. During the fight Corzale trapped it in a tangle of crushing roots, but a few of the heads peeled free of the body, transforming into shadowy-gnolls attached to the original body by a thin, black tendril.

Humal charmed one of shadow-gnolls. It severed its tendril before attacking the others, which is probably why it didn't dissipate along with the rest after the body was destroyed.

Luckily it could communicate, and at Humal's request explained that they were originally the gnolls that had been poisoned by elves during their stint at the arena. Since the party had failed to kill the elves, they managed to return to try and exact revenge themselves. Problem was they couldn't really tell elves apart, so were just going after any elf they could find, figuring they'd eventually get it right.

Humal was fairly certain that the elves were already dead after the whole arena fiasco, but the shadow gnoll wanted to see for itself. That worked out great because, being undead and all, it could scout out the arena understructure for them without immediately dying. It agreed to do so, and while it was away the party rested and picked up their souped-up magical loot.

Corzale also took Sumia to visit the only elven priest in Dovin to request aid. It was only thanks to Sumia that they were able to meet him, but he was very...disoriented and ultimately of little assistance (though he did directly offer to help Sumia re-learn how to commune with nature). A very frustrated Corzale soon stormed out, but before Sumia could follow a voice whispered instructions for her to travel east and find the source of the worms.

The shadow-gnoll returned to their lair a few nights later: apparently it couldn't maneuver well during the day. It told them that there were people, like them, down there that looked normal, but were "very hungry". Humal initially took this to mean ghouls (they had fought an entire pack down there already), but when he showed the shadow-gnoll an illusion of a ghoul it said that they didn't look anything like that.

They tried describing various types of undead with no success, so eventually Sumia resorted to using her telepathy to glimpse some of the shadow-gnoll's memories: from what she could tell, yeah, the people looked like normal, living people, but they just staggered about the halls up until they spotted the shadow-gnoll, after which they began almost desperately chasing him.

It was clear that they weren't zombies or ghouls. Maybe...vampires?

Design Notes
Again can't really remember much about the actual session at this point.

System wise the only issue I can recall is that Humal can now fire off three 1d4+Intelligence Magic Missiles per round (10th-level wizard, yo), which Kelly (Corzale's player) pointed out seems pretty damned good in comparison to Burning Hands, which inflicts 2d6+Intelligence fire damage. Yeah, you deal damage every time (Reflex save for half, can't miss), can potentially hit more creatures, but it also costs Mana.

One thing I didn't put in the Black Book are talent ranks, because it only goes up to 5th-level and figured you would already have numerous choices. I still have a Google Doc filled with talents and ranks, which I created because a few players wanted to (understandably) just focus on a few things, but also because it got tiresome trying to come up with more names (and I wanted to avoid just prefixing Improved and Superior).

For example, a fighter could take Slayer (+1 damage with two-handed weapons), and then the next time you got to pick a talent you could choose rank up Slayer (upgrading it to +2 damage with two-handed weapons). They aren't all simple number upgrades: Rank 2 of Defender increases your AC and Reflex save bonus when defending, but Rank 3 lets you use the Defend action any turn you don't move.

In this system, Rank 2 of Burning Hands could increase the damage to something like 3d6+Intelligence fire damage, and increase the range to a 30-foot cone, while Rank 3 could ramp up the damage to 5d6+Intelligence fire damage. The drawback would be an increased Mana cost, so that the best tactic isn't to just rank up an early magic talent, though it would probably only be +1 or +2 points (for Rank 2 and 3 respectively). You'd choose if/how you want to boost the spell each time you cast it.

The next Appendix D will feature classes up to 20th-level along with ranked talents, just to see what everyone thinks. Going to also at least add more monsters to account for that.

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want!

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).

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