Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday NPC - Wind Duke Armathagoras

Wind Duke Armathagoras, master of winds, ruler of a million slaves, duke above all other dukes, and first cyclone to touch down at the great siege of the air elementals against the material plane is a wise and powerful djinni. Djinnis, most powerful among air elementals are to be feared and respected normally, but the Wind Duke Armathagoras should be feared and respected above all others. He is constantly increasing his sizable collection of mortal slaves, through trade, spoils of war, raiding parties, and by his own genasi children through his numerous mortal wives.

Many djinni are under his command, and nearly all others greatly respect him. Controlling the largest parts of the elemental plane of air isn't good enough for him, he has conquered certain portions of the plane of steam that exists on the borders of the planes of air and water, and has turned his eyes to the other non-elemental planes.

During a raiding party to capture slaves in the material plane, he was overcome with anger. Armathagoras wanted to increase his realm of control throughout the multiverse, seeing himself almost as a god, but nothing disgusted him as much as the balance of the elements of the material plane. The upper and lower planes seemed to diminish his powers, so he was at a loss. By pure happenstance, a weakness between the planes was opened near his raid, possibly by the powerful gusts of wind that usually accompany him. This manifested itself in a gate to the Feywild.

The whimsical Feywild, ruled by the unpredictable Queen Titania, was the perfect location for him. Strange rules governed the Feywild, making the elements less at peace as they were in the material realm. The native inhabitants, having had no contact with elemental beings were completely powerless against Armathagoras and his invading scourge.

Thus began the war of the Wind Dukes against Queen Titania and the Feywild. The fantastical, nature-loving, sylvan fought valiantly, but they were unable to protect the skies from the air beings from another world. Armathagoras' base of operations in the Feywild is a portal he has created in the center of a titanic storm cloud, high in the sky. The soil and nature disgusts him, and he spends his time scheming with the other Wind Dukes to find a way to obliterate it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday Quick Adventure - Skeptic's Guide to the Realms

Dr. No'velha is a studious, human genius, fed up with the world of magic and wonder surrounding him. The adventurers find him out in the wilderness excitedly watching birds through some sort of glass eyepiece of gnomish design. He is so entranced by the birds and the notes he is writing that he fails to notice anyone watching him for long enough for someone to sneak a peek at his open notebook. It reads:

Too much time has been wasted on magic. Too many great minds spend their time fiddling wands and communing with devils. Hard to believe that, although generations have been spent studying griffons, hippogriffs, dragons and even birdmen, I cannot find a single tome on the lifestyle and migratory patterns of the common NON-MAGICAL birds. So little attention has been given to them that many species I've found to have no proper name. This blue one I am witnessing now I will call a Jay.

The notebook then goes on for several more increasingly boring paragraphs about the daily habits of common birds. The reader, quickly becoming too bored to continue reading, likely begins to wonder why someone would study birds when there are so many more interesting monsters in the area.

The strange man notices anyone reading over his shoulder and lets out an excited shriek. Dr. No'velha always tries to address the character with the highest intelligence, except (as is usually the case) if they are a wizard, warlock, or any magic-focused class. 

"Well look at you all sneaking up on me like that. I see that you appreciate the work I'm doing, well of course you do, it is very important work. Those ignoramuses at the college want to spend all their time on the study of magical fire and alchemy. BAH! Saiggin warned me about false intellectuals like them.

"Now I'm going on a tangent, you look like you could use some work. I have money! As long as you promise not to spend it on any stupid wizard spells or something preposterous like that," Dr. No'velha eyes up any magic users in the adventuring party suspiciously. "Well, I suppose its to be your money anyway and you can do with it what you will."

The eccentric professor goes on to explain that his life's work is to understand the natural rules and history of the world. He is fed up with all of his colleagues explaining everything away with magic. How did the birds get to this island? Magic. What created this volcano? Magic. Why are there so many different types of birds? The gods liked it that way, why don't you spend more time reading up on the history of dragons?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Roll Table - Oddjobs

This week I've tried something different, formatting the roll table as an image for easy saving and sharing. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tuesday Quick Tip - How To DM Infographic

For this Tuesday Quick Tip, we have our first ever Infographic here are Master of Dungeons! Feel free to share this to anyone who wants to try their hand at being a dungeon master. This infographic shows that DMing is actually very simple, and hopefully with the skills you learn at this blog, and elsewhere online, you'll be more than prepared.

More importantly this shows that its good to just start. You don't need a ton prepared, you will have a ton of fun no matter what.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Non-Combat Magical Item #4 - Assorted

This week the newest entry in the Non-Combat Magical Item series will contain two smaller entries. These aren't big exciting items, but they definitely spice up the campaign world, while keeping combat balanced. As always these are system agnostic, but really fit well into 5th edition, because of bounded accuracy, and how easy it is to unbalance your combat.

Elven Moonlit Wedding Platter

Wondrous item, uncommon

This platter is commonly given  as a wedding present among wood elves. When placed in direct moonlight the plate will be magically filled with food. Each plate has a different magical food that it summons, dessert, fruit, meat and cheese are all very common. In fact, wood elves rarely eat meat that isn't summoned from one of these plates, as they find the act of killing an animal to eat distasteful.

Each plate can only summon food once per night, and the food must be eaten in the vicinity of the platter, any food brought too far away from the platter will vanish. If the food is eaten it provides normal sustenance, and is very delicious. The more expensive and well-crafted the platter, the better tasting the food.

It is rare for a non-elf to carry one of these plates, and if one were to come into legitimate possession of one, they could count themselves among the elf-friends.

Bloody Quill of the Imposter

Wondrous item, rare

This is the perfect item for the sneaky fraudster, blackmailer, or imposter. It appears to be an intricate but normal looking quill pen, but when blood is placed in the ink well, it allows the writer to perfectly impersonate the person from whom the blood belongs. 

The quill will not only perfectly impersonate the handwriting of the victim, but also the mannerism in which they talk, including but not limited to any spelling mistakes they tend to make, any colloquialisms they frequently use, or any other way that a reader could identify the author. The blood is changed to the appearance of whatever ink the victim usually uses.

The user of the quill still has complete control over what is written, but writing in the hand and voice of the victim seems completely natural while using the quill and blood ink. The victim would even find themselves questioning whether they wrote anything that was written by this pen, and magical means would be required to determine the forgery.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday - Review

This Sunday Blog post isn't going to be the stories from my personal table I had planned. I'm thinking of switching up what gets posted on Sunday's, so I'm going to experiment a little bit. For this post it will be a review of a book I recently bought. Although this blog is mostly focused on 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons (although I think it could be useful for DMs and players of any system), this book was written for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons back in the 80s.

 The Book of Marvelous Magic

The book of Marevlous Magic, written by Frank Mentzer and Gary Gygax was definitely an entertaining read. I bought it used for pretty cheap on Amazon (link included above), so it wasn't a lot of money out of pocket. For entertainment purposes, and a look at where the came has come from, I definitely recommend it. Plus it is cool owning one of the older D&D books.

That isn't too say that by today's standards this book is fantastic or anything. Magical items found in the Dungeon Master's Guide, (or even a certain Non-Combat Magical Item Series) are far superior. One thing I'm particularly not fond of, is that every item comes in 4-10 variations. For example, when the player finds a pipe, the DM rolls a d6 to determine whether the pipe is an aromatic pipe (can make any smell, including garlic to deter vampires), pipe of puckering (permanently causes the lips to be stuck in a pucker position, all talking must be done in grunts or things motions that don't require the moving of the lips), the bubble pipe (bubbles fly out and stick in everyone's eyes, causing a penalty on rolls for one turn, except for the user for whom it is permanent).

At first having variants of each item seems like a good idea, the user doesn't know if they're going to get something good or not. However, these items seem very heavily slanted for bad items, so many of the items cause a very annoying permanent curse on the player, only removable by a remove curse spell. Since all of the pipes are supposed to look about the same, and the player doesn't know whether they have an aromatic pipe or a bubble pipe, they won't know until they get cursed. And at least to me, bubbles being permanently stuck in your eyes causing a penalty seems less like a fun curse, and more like an annoyance, besides also being a stretch on the imagination.

The book itself is soft-cover paperback style, although about the same height and width as modern books. It's organized well, but contains much less artwork as similar, more recent books.

The book isn't completely useless, I'm happy that I bought it. Not only is it a piece of history, and very cheap. It is a great source of inspiration for future items in my campaign, as well as the Non-Combat Magical Item Series. The Nail of Building is a single metal nail used in construction of a building, the nail can be pried out after construction, causing the entire structure to disappear. It can then be easily transported and a magic word can make the structure appear in its new home.

The Ether Oar appears to be a normal wooden oar, but when a magical code word is uttered, it opens a magic gate on the water to the ethereal plane, the canoe or other wooden vessel can enter the ethereal plane, travel a distance and repeat the code word to return to the material plane.

Many other items are less likely to be directly imported into a modern campaign, but reading through them gave me a large list of inspirations for items that I will try to write about on this blog. If you're looking for inspiration, and a piece of Dungeons and Dragons history, for a pretty affordable price, then I would recommend this book. If you're looking for items that fit modern guidelines, or books with roll tables where every single item can be easily added to your campaign, this book isn't for you.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


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