A Notion on Alignment

Every good blog / magazine / forum devoted to fantasy gaming needs to address alignment eventually, especially if it can find a way to annoy its readers in doing so. Today is the day for The Land of Nod …

And before I go any further, this entire blog post is declared Open Game Content.

Law Means Sacrifice
Let’s assume, for the moment, that human beings, and therefore characters in an RPG, have free will. They can choose to kill the goblin children or leave them alive, steal the sacred goblet or leave it alone, etc. Adhering to a code – call it Law or Good or Lawful Good or whatever – means choosing to sacrifice your freedom to do things that might seem tactically or strategically wise, or just emotionally satisfying, in deference to a higher authority. In AD&D there was a hint of this in terms of which alignments were allowed to use poison and flaming oil. Clearly, poisoning a weapon (especially when poison usually meant save or die) was tactically a smart thing to do for adventurers. Kill your opponents more quickly, save your hit points for later battles, collect more treasure and thus collect more XP. The paladin, however, chooses not to do such a thing – just isn’t cricket you know! So, the notion here is that characters who choose to obtain their XP the hard way receive “compensation” from the higher powers.

Assumptions
Besides the assumption of free will above, an alignment system like this one makes a couple other assumptions that probably make it anathema to many campaign worlds and play styles. Understand – I’m only proposing this as a notion of how an alignment system could be modeled, not how an alignment system should be modeled. Therefore, if you feel the need to comment something like “No, this system is wrong, alignment shouldn’t be handled this way at all”, save yourself the trouble – I already know.

Assumption #1 – The God/Goddess/Deities of Law created the universe. This isn’t too far afield for a fantasy game – many mythologies work on this concept. First their was chaos, then there were titans/giants who gave birth to the gods who destroyed their parents and used them for spare parts while creating the universe and setting up its laws physical and spiritual. If you’re working on a more temporal universe or a Lovecraftian universe, this alignment system is almost certainly not for you.

Assumption #2 – The good gods are doing their best to hold back or defeat the bad gods/demons and they reward mortals for toeing the line. This alignment system operates on the idea of XP rewards for good behavior, which means experience points don’t just represent training and skill, but also the blessings of higher powers. It also means there is a universal establishment of right and wrong in the campaign, and those who submit themselves to it gain a palpable benefit. If this does not fit with your or your player’s sensibilities about life or how things should operate in a campaign, then this system is probably not for you.

Virtue and Vice
Now that we have the assumptions out of the way, we get to the system. Since this is a blog for rules light, old school gaming, the system is simple and draws on an existing system in the game – XP bonuses. You can use this system alongside XP bonuses for high ability scores or have it replace the existing system as you like.

Before we get into the rewards, let’s discuss virtue. This article will present virtue on quasi-Abrahamic grounds, since the Abrahamic religions were kind enough to put down things like Commandments and Cardinal Virtues and Seven Deadly Sins in writing. The point here isn’t to promote one faith over another. Feel free to rewrite the commandments.

Using the medieval concept of the chain of being, I’m going to put down a few commandments for adventurers in an order based on how difficult these rules would make dungeon delving. Commandment 1 is the most difficult to keep, Commandment 10 the easiest. I am then going to write down three systems of rewarding player characters with XP bonuses based on how they interact with these commandments.

Ten Commandments for Adventurers
1. You shall not murder/kill
2. You shall not steal (even from evil temples, though feel free to destroy their idols)
3. You shall defend the innocent and helpless with your life
4. You shall donate a minimum of 10% of your acquired wealth to the poor / the temple / etc.
5. You shall not use wicked tactics in combat (i.e. poison, flaming oil)
6. You shall not lie
7. You shall share treasure equally with other adventurers
8. You shall obey legal authority anointed with legitimacy by Law
9. You do not have improper relations with tavern wenches / stable grooms / etc.
10. You shall only worship (i.e. tithe, sacrifice to, call on) Law

Note that you can interpret “Law” in the above commandments as The God of Law, Creator of the Universe or The Deities of Law, Creators of the Universe or however it makes sense in your campaign.

Reward System One – Humans are Basically Evil
System one establishes that human beings are basically wicked and incapable of following any of these rules, and therefore rewards adventurers for adhering to any of these commandments. After an adventure, the Referee should award a +3% bonus to earned XP for each commandment an adventurer obeyed, working up from #10. As soon as you come to a broken commandment, the accrual of bonus XP stops.

For example, Sir Rodd of Todd gets back to town after delving in the Caves of Chaos. During that foray, he never called on Neutral or Chaotic gods, had no improper relations with men or women, obeyed the castellan and paid his taxes, shared treasure equally with the other adventurers, but did tell a lie to an orc sentry. So, he managed to obey the first four commandments, and thus earns a +12% bonus to earned experience points on the adventure.

Reward System Two – Setting Saintly Standards
In system two, we divide the commandments into the Greater Commandments (1-5) and Lesser Commandments (6-10). This scheme works much as the first, except one starts with an XP penalty and gradually lessens the penalty before it becomes an XP bonus. So, the commandments now look like this …

1. You shall not murder/kill [+15%]
2. You shall not steal (even from evil temples, though feel free to destroy their idols) [+12%]
3. You shall defend the innocent and helpless with your life [+9%]
4. You shall donate a minimum of 10% of your acquired wealth to the poor / the temple / etc. [+6%]
5. You shall not use wicked tactics in combat (i.e. poison, flaming oil) [+3%]
6. You shall not lie [-3%]
7. You shall share treasure equally with other adventurers [-6%]
8. You shall obey legal authority anointed with legitimacy by Law [-9%]
9. You do not have improper relations with tavern wenches / stable grooms / etc. [-12%]
10. You shall only worship (i.e. tithe, sacrifice to, call on) Law [-15%]

With this scheme, you again look for the highest level of “goodness” you manage to achieve, and are rewarded accordingly. Using the above example of Sir Rodd, the best he manages to do is share treasure equally, so he suffers a 6% penalty to earned experience points.

Obviously, this represents a much more severe attitude by Law to vice and virtue, and chaotic types had better make sure they score lots of experience points with their evil, because the universe is going to be acting against them at every step of the way.

System Three – Karma
Our last system is a modification of system one. In this case, you receive a +3% bonus for each commandment you obey and a 3% penalty for each commandment you break. All commandments are considered equal in this scheme – there is no chain of commandments from low to high – every one kept is a bonus, every one broken is a penalty.

Let’s again look at Sir Rodd. In our first example, we know that he kept the first four commandments and then broke the fifth. Perhaps he also abstained from wicked tactics, gave 10% of his treasure to the poor and defended the innocent with his life. That would give him 7 commandments kept (+21% XP) and 3 broken (-9%), giving him a total XP bonus of +12%.

Conclusion
Obviously, this is not a system for everyone. Take it as nothing more as a notion that struck me one day about how one might design an alignment system based on deeds (i.e. what you do) rather than words (i.e. what alignment you profess). If you find something of value in it, feel free to play with it, modify it and use it. If you think it sucks, feel free to ignore it.

On the Gods of the Golden Sea

The native deities of the Golden Sea region are based on the mythologies of the Eastern Mediterranean, especially the Phrygians, Dacians and Thracians. Almost everything that is known of these entities comes to us from the Greeks and later Romans, and is viewed through their lens. Most of these gods and goddesses were adopted by the Greeks into their own pantheon, usually in positions that were no doubt inferior to the positions they held in the estimation of their native worshipers. Because there were many gaps in the knowledge of these divinities, I did my best to fill them in a suitably pulp-fantasy style.

Besides the deities listed here, several of the deities of the Motherlander pantheon (to be published in the near future) originated in this pantheon, including Bacchus (Dionysus), Hecate and possibly Proserpina (Persephone).

Note: The spells below, and only the spells, are designated Open Game Content.

Kubeleya (Cybele)
Also called Great Mother, Mountain Mother
Deity of Nature, Mountains, Caverns
Wields a staff
Served by earth elementals, fairies of a grim humor
Symbolized by the lion, bees
Aligned with Neutrality
Druids can cast Victory Chant (see below)

Kubeleya, also called Cybele and Rhea, is the grim goddess of the mountains and mother of the gods. She appears as a stately woman with a dour expression. She wears a long, belted dress, a high, cylindrical headdress called a polos, and a veil covering her entire body. One of her hands rests on an attendant lion while the other holds an instrument that resembles the tambourine. She is often pictured in a lion throne or a lion-drawn chariot.

Kubeleya’s consort is the demigod Attis. Attis has a bizarre origin. The demon Agdistos was a creature that was half man and half woman. It so terrified the gods that they killed it in a suitably bloody manner, and from its castrated male organ grew and almond tree. The remainder of Agdistos became Kubeleya.

One day, Nana, the daughter of the river god Sangarius, picked an almond and laid it on her breast, where it promptly disappeared and impregnated her. Nana abandoned the infant, who was raised by a he-goat in the hills and later adopted by human parents. As an adult, his beauty was godlike and attracted the attention of Kubeleya. Unfortunately, Attis had already been promised to the daughter of the local king. As the wedding songs were being sung, the jilted Kubeleya appeared in all her transcendent power, causing the wedding-goers, including Attis, to go mad and castrate themselves. Attis died, apparently of blood loss, but Kubeleya relented and resurrected him as a pine tree. This occurred on March 25, and is celebrated in the Hilaria festival, an orgiastic ceremony of wild music, drumming, dancing and drinking.

Kubeleya’s priests are called korybantes. They are male eunuchs (self-castrated, like Attis) who worship the Great Goddess in full armor with rhythmic stomping and the clashing of spear on shield.

VICTORY CHANT (Druid Level 2): The druid, by chanting and stomping, gives his allies a +1 bonus to hit and damage for as long as he keeps it up.

Adrasteia (Nemesis, Invidia, Erinys)
Also called Implacable, One from whom there is no escape
Deity of Protection and Righteousness
Wields a long sword and scourge
Served by inevitables (see NOD #3)
Symbolized by a scourge
Aligned with Law
Clerics can cast Unerring Huntress (see below)

Adrasteia is the goddess of the cosmic sea, dispenser of justice to the wicked and protector of the righteous. In some myths, she is the nursemaid to the infant Jupiter, who grants him a golden ball containing the universe as a toy. In others, she is Nemesis or Invidia, the goddess from which escape is impossible. She appears to her worshipers as a winged maiden with a face unmarred by pity. She might carry the scales of justice, or simply a sword and scourge. Adrasteia is a patron of magistrates and judges, soldiers and gladiators.

UNERRING HUNTRESS (Cleric Level 3): This spell allows the cleric to follow the path of a wanted criminal or blasphemer unerringly for a number of days equal to her level. During this time, she has no need of sleep and feels no hunger. If she has not captured or killed her quarry by the time the spell ends, she collapses into a deep slumber for a full day and cannot be roused.

Kotys (Cottyto, Cottytus)
Deity of the Moon, Caves, Darkness, Lust, Hunting
Wields a spear
Served by bacchae, demons, satyrs
Symbolized by the full moon
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics can cast Benighted Revelry (see below)

Kotys is a lunar goddess of hunting and wild revels. All of her sacred rituals are conducted at night, preferably by the light of the moon. These rites include raucous midnight orgies accompanied by shrill piping, the clashing of brass cymbals and the thunderous roll of drums, and nighttime relay torch-races on horseback.

Kotys appears as a woman wearing a foxskin cap and short chiton, wrapped in a leopard skin and holding a spear in one hand and a torch in the other. She has a hooded mantle on her shoulders fastened with a brooch and high, leather boots.

Kotys’ priests are called baptai due to the purification ritual they undergo to join the priesthood. They are not unlike the baccae who worship Dionysus / Bacchus.

BENIGHTED REVELRY (Cleric Level 3): This spell affects all sentient creatures within sight of the cleric who fail a saving throw. For the duration of the spell (1d6 rounds per person) they will act in one of three ways:


1 – The person enters a drunken stupor, falling over themselves and finding it impossible to do anything.


2 – The person becomes a raving lunatic, attacking whomever the cleric desires with their teeth and claws. The lunatic attacks twice per round but suffers a 2 point penalty to their Armor Class.


3 – The person acts like a love-starved satyr, attempting to grapple the nearest creature they find even remotely attractive and, well, what they do if successful depends on what kind of game you run.

Men (Lunus)
Also called The Lunar Bull
Deity of the Moon
Wields an axe
Served by nocturnal fey
Symbolized by the crescent moon or an ox skull
Aligned with Neutrality
Druids can rebuke/command lycanthropes as a cleric two levels lower than their druid level

Men is the so-called Lunar Bull, a deity presiding over time and the changing seasons. He appears as a rugged man with crescent horns, like those of a bull, atop his head, and sometimes with the head of a bull in the manner of the minotaur. He wears a Phrygian cap and a belted tunic, and is accompanied by white bulls and white lions.

Sabazios (Karabazmos)
Also called Great God, the Horseman
Deity of Health, Vitality, Abundance, the Underworld
Wields a staff or spear
Served by barghests, demons, wraiths
Symbolized by Hand
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics can cast Ghastly Steed (see below)

Sabazios appears as a black-skinned rider on a white horse. He wears a himation and is depicted carrying a staff of power or a spear. Sabazios is the conqueror of the Lunar Bull and the Solar Dragon, and represents male vitality. Games are held in his honor every five years. Sabazios is believed to by the father of Dionysus. Motherlanders associate him with Pluto.

Sabazios rules the Land of the Dead, emerging with a party of cthonic fey and wraiths to conduct hunts on the nights of the new moon. On these nights, villagers stow away their animals and keep indoors, for all night they hear the baying the barghests and the blowing of spectral horns.

Sabazios’ is the patron of horsemen and his priests are all skilled at riding and mounted combat. They blacken their armor and conduct ritual sacrifices of white bulls and ritual hunts of great beasts like chimeras and manticores. Sabazios is also a psycho-pomp, and thus represents the transmigration of the soul after death. This makes him a patron of magic and magic-users. Such scholarly followers honor sabazios by tattooing their right hands with so many sigils and designs that they are nearly black.

GHASTLY STEED (Cleric Level 2): This spell summons a ghostly white steed with the stats of a warhorse with maximum hit points. The steed is tireless, and serves for a number of hours equal to the cleric’s level divided by three. The cleric can exchange one hour of the spell’s duration for one minute of etherealness, but only while mounted on the steed.

Zalmoxis
Deity of Thunder, Strength, War, Incantation
Wields an axe
Served by berserkers, demons
Symbolized by his axe
Aligned with Chaos
Clerics can cast Thunderstruck (see below)

Zalmoxis appears as a handsome man, unclothed, wielding an axe or lightning bolt. He is a sky father and a deity of masculine power, a god of uncontrollable passions that are often unleashed as violence.

Zalmoxis’ most fervent worshipers believe he is the one true god who accepts their souls after death. Because they do not believe they can ever truly die, they fight as berserkers, gaining two attacks per round and suffering a 2 point penalty to their Armor Class. Zalmoxis is also skilled in the arts of incantation and singing, and thus is worshiped by bards.

Zalmoxis’ clerics wear no armor and only a small amount of clothing. They cultivate a wild, feral appearance and are permitted to wield axes and chopping blades in battle. Because they do not use armor, their Hit Dice are increased to 1d6+2 and +3 hp/level after 9th level.

THUNDERSTRUCK (Cleric Level 2): This enchantment is placed on the cleric’s weapon. The next time it hits in battle, it unleashes a terrific peal of thunder. The victim of the hit must pass a saving throw or be stunned for 1 round. Everyone within 20 feet, including the victim of the hit but excluding the cleric, must pass a saving throw or be deafened for 1d6 minutes.

Medieval Bestiary – Part Six

European folklore holds a candle to none in the breadth and depth of its imagination. Europeans populated not only their own countries with all manner of strange beasts and monsters, but extended their imaginations over the entire globe. While a good many of these creatures have been given game statistics, several have not. Some of these creatures are, to be sure, simple variations on existing monsters – ogres, giants, fairies, spirits, etc. Others are just not threatening or interesting enough to demand statistics. Those monsters of the folklore of France, Germany and the Low Countries, and those of medieval bestiaries and heraldry, that I thought both unique and challenging are presented below.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five

This post is declared Open Game Content.

Pegasus, Ethiopian
Medieval bestiaries told of a breed of pegasus from Ethiopia that had two horns. These creatures can be treated as normal pegasi with the addition of a gore attack that deals 1d6 points of damage.

Revenant
The revenant is an animated corpse that has returned from the grave to terrorize the living. The name comes from the French and means “returning”. Revenants are always wicked in life. Creatures struck by a revenant in combat must make a saving throw or be infected with a disease that resembles mummy rot. Revenants regenerate damage in the manner of a troll at the rate of 1 hit point per round. A revenant can only be destroyed completely by cutting off the head, removing the heart, and burning them and the body separately.

Revenant: HD 4; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 slam (1d6); Move 9; Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Regeneration, disease.

Snakes
The writers of medieval bestiaries imagined many interesting serpents, many that were probably based on fourth-hand accounts of real animals. The hydros was a viper whose poison caused a person to swell up. In game terms, his poison causes the person to have their movement and dexterity scores cut in half. The hydros’ poison could only be cured with the application of ox dung. There’s a fun quest! The hydrus, on the other hand, was a water serpent of the Nile River. It would swim into the mouth of a crocodile and then down its throat. Once in the stomached, it would eat the poor beast from the inside out. In game terms, it is probably immune, or at least resistant, to acid. The hypnalis was an asp that killed its victims in their sleep. In game terms, perhaps it can cast a sleep spell one or several time per day. The scytale was a snake with such brilliant markings that those gazing on the creature are hypnotized and lulled into inaction. The scytale’s body is so hot that those touching it or touched by it suffer 1d4 points of burning damage. The seps, on the other hand, has venom so acidic that it liquefied its prey; assume normal viper poison plus an additional 2d6 points of acid damage.

Waldgeist (Woodwose)
The German “woodland spirit” is the custodian of the forest. It dwells in woodlands and protects it as well as lawful creatures within the woodland. Waldgeists resemble gnarled old dwarfs with skin like the bark of a tree and hair like a tangle of leaves and twigs. They dwell in the branches of trees and, though mischievous, are not by any means evil. Waldgeists can use the spells bless and bestow curse. They blend in with the foliage, and thus surprise foes on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6. Despite their small size, they are exceptionally strong and dangerous to provoke.

Waldgeist: HD 5; AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 slam (2d4); Move 15; Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Bless, curse, surprise.

White Ladies (Wise Ladies)
The white ladies of the woods are elven amazons of the ancient and powerful blood. They are tall and beautiful, with white skin and hair like gleaming platinum. They dress in white cloaks and gleaming armor and wield spears tipped with silver and bows with silver-tipped arrows. White women are capable of casting spells as 3rd level clerics, druids or magic-users. They are capable of using the spell Light at will and always radiate an aura of Protection from Evil in a 10 ft radius. They usually appear in bands of 5 to 10 individuals and might be encountered in the company of unicorns. White women have the same immunities as normal elves. They are skilled in herb craft and healing, and under their care a person’s natural healing rate is doubled and he enjoys a +2 bonus to save vs. poison or disease.

White Woman: HD 3; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 spear (1d8) or 2 arrows (1d6); Move 15; Save 14; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Spells, immunities.

White Worm
The white worm, or Indus worm, was a giant, pale worm that dwelled in the Indus River. It was carnivorous and capable of swallowing a man whole when it scores a natural ‘20’ on a bite attack.

White Worm: HD 7; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (2d6); Move 9 (Swim 12); Save 9; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Swallow whole.

Wild Man
Wild men are hairy humanoids that dwell in deep woodlands. They are called wilder mann by the Germans and homme sauvage by the French and wodewose by the English. They are associated with gods and goddesses of the wild such as Silvanus and Fauna and with the death god Orcus. In fact, they are known as orkes or lorkes in some parts of Italy.

Wild men run in bands of 20 to 30 individuals. Their entire bodies are covered in a tangled coat of brown hair and the men wear long, unkempt beards. They behave as though mad and fight as savagely as berserkers, gaining a +2 bonus to hit and damage. Despite their savage appearance, wild men are strict vegetarians, eating nuts, berries, roots and leaves.

Wild Man: HD 1+1; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon or fists (1d4); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: Berserk.

Wraiths
The erlking, or “alder king”, was a pale, gaunt humanoid who rode a black horse and preyed on women. In game terms, it can be treated as a wraith. In truth, the name “erlking” was a mistranslation from the Danish for “elf-king”.

Yale (Centicore, Eale)
The yale is a black, horse-sized goat with the feet of an elephant and the tusks of a boar. It has large horns that it can swivel in any direction, thus allowing it two attack two different targets each round. Yales are immune to paralyzation and poison, thus making them a natural enemy of the catoblepas and basilisk.

Yale: HD 5; AC 6 [13]; Atk 2 gores (1d6); Move 15; Save 12; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Immunities.

Medieval Bestiary – Part Five

European folklore holds a candle to none in the breadth and depth of its imagination. Europeans populated not only their own countries with all manner of strange beasts and monsters, but extended their imaginations over the entire globe. While a good many of these creatures have been given game statistics, several have not. Some of these creatures are, to be sure, simple variations on existing monsters – ogres, giants, fairies, spirits, etc. Others are just not threatening or interesting enough to demand statistics. Those monsters of the folklore of France, Germany and the Low Countries, and those of medieval bestiaries and heraldry, that I thought both unique and challenging are presented below.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four

This post is declared Open Game Content.

Melusine
Melusines appear to be exceptionally beautiful young women that, in place of legs, possess two mermaid-like tails. Melusines live in rivers and lakes. They crave the companionship of men, but are easily insulted if not given proper respect. The offspring of unions between humans and melusine are always melusines if female, or future magic-users if male. Melusines are fierce protectors of their children. Melusines can polymorph themselves at will into human females or small bronze dragons. One day per week they must assume their natural form and must submerge themselves in water.

Melusine: HD 2; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon (1d4); Move 6 (Swim 12); Save 16; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Polymorph.

Monocerus
The monoceros is an animal of the savanna often mistaken for a unicorn. It has the face of a sheep, the body of a stag, the rear feet of a goose, the tail of a dog and a long horn growing from its head. They are expert at spearing fish from rivers with their long horns. Although a monoceros horn has no efficacy against poison, it is worth approximately 20 gp on the open market.

Monoceros: HD 3; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 gore (1d10); Move 15; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: None.

Monopod (Sciapod)
The monopodes are dwarves with one leg and a massive foot. They live in sunny highlands and use their foot as an umbrella when they take their afternoon naps. Monopodes are extremely strong (+2 to hit and damage) and they can control animals (as charm monster, but up to 6 animals). Monopods are as skilled at blacksmithing as other dwarves. They wear chainmail hauberks in combat and wield heavy maces and spears. Monopod tribes are led by 3 HD chieftains wearing platemail. The chieftain’s bride is always a druid. The chieftain will be guarded by four 3 HD bodyguards.

Monopod: HD 1; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 kick (1d8) or 1 weapon (1d6); Move 9; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

Muscaliet
This odd creature from medieval bestiaries has the body of a hair, the tail of a squirrel and a boar’s tusks. The muscaliet is about the size of a large dog. It’s body gives off a blistering heat that eventually kills the tree in which it builds its nest. Muscaliets are not terribly aggressive, but they do respond violently to threats and attacks. The muscaliet is surrounded by a 10 ft radius of intense heat. Creatures within the heat aura of a muscaliet suffer 1d3 points of damage each round. People in metal armor or wielding metal weapons suffer an additional point of damage each round.

Muscaliet: HD 1; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 gore (1d4); Move 15; Save 17; CL/XP 2/30; Special: Heat.

Musimon (Tytron)
The musimon is a cross between a goat and sheep, having the feet and body of a goat and the head and wool of a ram. The creature has four horns on its head, two curved like a ram and two straight like a goat. Musimons are incredibly strong and will quickly charge creatures that approach their herd. Their gaze acts as a hold person spell on a single creature or a cause fear spell on up to 10 creatures. In any case, a saving throw is allowed to avoid the effect.

Musimon: HD 4; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 butt/gore (2d6); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Gaze attack.

Myrmecoleon
The myrmecoleon has the body of a giant ant and the head of a lion. Because the lion head is only attracted to eating meat and the ant body is designed for digesting grain, the creature is usually in a foul mood. Like giant ants, they inject a poison with their bite attack. The poison does 2d6 points of damage if a saving throw is failed, 1d4 points of damage if the saving throw succeeds.

Myrmecoleon: HD 5; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 bite (1d8 + poison); Move 18; Save 12; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Poison.

Panthera (Pantere, Love Cervere)
Pantheras are intelligent, supernatural felines with iridescent coats and sweet-smelling breath. Pantheras are roughly the size and shape of a leopard. They spend most of their time sleeping in their caves, but emerge once or twice a week to hunt. Pantheras are lawful creatures that will not attack non-chaotic creatures unless seriously provoked. Panthera females are capable of breeding only once, so the breed is quite rare.

Pantheras have a breath weapon that can be used three times each day. The panthera’s breath is a cloud of perfume that fills a 20 ft radius centered on the panthera. Any creature except dragons that breathes this perfume must make a saving throw or be affected as by a charm monster spell. Dragon, on the other hand, are affected as though by a fear spell. Spells like stinking cloud or a troglodytes maliferous odor are neutralized in a 30 foot radius around a panthera. A panthera’s hide, if reasonably intact, retains this property and thus is quite vauable. If a panthera successfully bites a victim, it gains two additional attacks with its rear claws.

Panthera: HD 7; AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 claw (1d4) and 1 bite (1d6); Move 12; Save 9; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Breath weapon, rear claws.

Parandrus
The parandrus resembled a shaggy ox with cloven hooves and a large rack of antlers. Although unintelligent, the parandrus is capable of changing its color and shape. A parandrus will change its color as a means of camouflage, surprising on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6. In general, a parandrus that surprises will choose to flee, rather than attack. If forced to fight, the creature is capable of changing itself into any natural and supernatural beast. The parandrus can change shape each round and still attack.

Parandrus: HD 4; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 gore (1d6); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Change shape.

Peluda
A peluda is a river beast that resembled a giant, green porcupine. Its body is covered by stinger-tipped tentacles that can be made erect like quills. It also has the neck, head and tail of a serpent and the legs and feet of a tortoise. The peluda is capable of attacking with its poisonous stingers. Any creature in melee combat with the beast is subject to 1d3 stinger attacks each round. Each stinger inflicts 1d4 points of damage, or half that if the victim succeeds on a saving throw. The creature can also fire off one stinger each round as a missile attack with a range of 60 feet. A peluda has one of three possible breath weapons. The first is poisonous gas, like that of a green dragon. The second is a fiery breath, like that of a red dragon. The third is a gout of acid, like a black dragon. Each peluda will have one of these breath weapons, which it can use three times per day, inflicting 6d6 points of damage.

Peluda: HD 8; AC 2 [17]; Atk 1 bite (2d6), tentacles (see above); Move 9 (Swim 15); Save 8; CL/XP 11/1700; Special: Breath weapon, poison tentacles, only harmed by magic weapons, magic resistance 15%.

Medieval Bestiary – Part Four

European folklore holds a candle to none in the breadth and depth of its imagination. Europeans populated not only their own countries with all manner of strange beasts and monsters, but extended their imaginations over the entire globe. While a good many of these creatures have been given game statistics, several have not. Some of these creatures are, to be sure, simple variations on existing monsters – ogres, giants, fairies, spirits, etc. Others are just not threatening or interesting enough to demand statistics. Those monsters of the folklore of France, Germany and the Low Countries, and those of medieval bestiaries and heraldry, that I thought both unique and challenging are presented below.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three

This post is declared Open Game Content.

Ghouls
The nachzehrer, or “afterwords devourer”, is a foul undead creature from German folklore. Usually the risen corpse of a victim of suicide or disease, the nachzehrer consumes dead bodies in the manner of a ghoul. The creature assumes the shape of a large pig after leaving its grave, and initially targets its own family for consumption.

Gnolls
Through one means or another, the gnoll of modern fantasy games has come to be represented as a humanoid with the head of a hyena. In medieval bestiaries, two creatures can be used as variant gnolls. The first is the chromandi, a hairy, savage humanoid with the teeth of dogs. The second is the cynocephalus, Latin for “dog-head”. These dog-headed creatures were long claimed to have hailed from the mountains India. The dog-heads were hunters who communicated with barking and wore animal skins. Although of ancient Greek origin, they persisted into the Middle Ages. Saint Christoper was often depicted as being a cynocephalus, for he was a member of the tribe of Marmaritae, who were believed to be large and to have the heads of dogs. In game terms, Christopher would be a very rare high level lawful gnoll cleric! In the late Middle Ages, there were stories of such people living in Central Asia. King Arthur had a band in his retinue, inhabitants of the mountains of Eidyn, or Edinburgh. The Chinese admiral Hui-Sheng described an island of dog-heads, a “dog kingdom”, to the east of Fusang. Clearly, the gnolls got around in the days when giants still walked the earth.

Gorgad
Gorgades are hairy demi-humans believed to inhabit islands off the Atlantic coast of Africa. First described by Pliny the Elder, they feature in many medieval bestiaries. In Pliny’s description, it seems likely that what he was really describing was an encounter with apes. There is no reason, of course, that the gorgad cannot be portrayed in a fantasy game as a new race of hairy, primitive humanoids. After all, one can only encounter orcs and hobgoblins so many times before they yearn for something new.

Gorgades are primitive humanoids that are covered in shaggy fur. They dwell in large, extended families of 20 to 50 individuals and are usually led by one or several powerful males (2-5 Hit Dice each). Gorgades use primitive weapons, usually clubs and stones. They are known to be fleet of foot.

Gorgad: HD 1+1; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon (1d8+1); Move 15; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

Gulon (Jerff, Vielfras)
The gulon appears to be a large, brown, shaggy wolf with the head of a wild cat and the tail of a fox. The gulon kills quickly and then gorges itself on its prey, eating rapidly and until swollen. A frenzied gulon can devour most of a man-sized corpse in three rounds. Once gorged, its movement is reduced to 6, it suffers a -2 penalty to hit, and its Armor Class is reduced by 2 points. A creature devoured by a gulon cannot be raised from the dead or resurrected, but can be brought back to life with a wish.

Gulon: HD 3; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 bite (2d4); Move 15; Save 14; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Devour corpse.

Humans & Demi-Humans
Pliny the Elder described many strange humanoids who can statistically be represented as bandits or men-at-arms. The hippopodes, or “horse-feet”, were a tribe of humans with equine feet that lived on an island with two other strange tribes. The panotti were humans with ears so large and long that they could cover the creature’s entire body. The other tribe was the oeonae, humans who only ate oats and marsh bird eggs (but not the eggs of the barnacle goose, for that creature does not lay eggs!) The struthopodes are a tribe of humans in which the male has very large feet and the female very tiny feet. The machlyes are a race of hermaphroditic humanoids that look generally like human beings with male and female halves.

Ichneumon (Echinomon)
The ichneumon was believed to be the enemy of dragons. When the creature spotted a dragon, it would cover itself with mud and close its nostrils with its tail in order to surprise the dragon and pounce upon it and swiftly kill it. The name was later used to designate the mongoose, legendary enemy of poisonous snakes. For our purposes, we’ll consider the ichneumon to be a giant mongoose that is incredibly swift (per the haste spell) and immune to dragon breath and poison. Against dragons and other reptiles, the ichneumon enjoys a +2 bonus to hit and damage.

Ichneumon: HD 6; AC 3 [16]; Atk 2 bites (2d4); Move 18; Save 11; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Haste, immune to dragon breath and poison.

Klabautermann
Klabautermann are aquatic gnomes of a kindly disposition who aid fishermen and sailors at sea. These gnomes are expert sailors and musicians. They appear to be small, gnomish sailors in yellow clothes, woollen caps and gripping a sailor’s pipe in its mouth. Unfortunately, a klabautermann is naturally invisible, and will only appear to sailors if their ship is doomed to sink. A klabautermann is skilled at the hornpipe, and can play a tune that grants the sailors of a ship a +2 bonus to hit, damage and on all saving throws.

Klabautermann: HD 1d6; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 weapon (1d4); Move 9; Save 18; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Invisibility, rousing music, only harmed by silver or magic weapons.

Mandragora
A mandragora is a little doll or figurine in the shape of a beardless man. They are given to magic-users by the nether powers to act as familiars. In terms of game statistics, the mandragora can be considered a homunculus. Its possession allows a magic-user to Contact Other Plane once per week. The mandragora must be fed the blood of an innocent to keep it alive. They are immune to fire, and can actually travel back to their hellish plane of origin by entering a fire.

Matagot (Mandagot)
The matagot is an evil spirit that takes the form of a black cat, rat or fox. Matagots can bring wealth to a person, but in turn condemn their soul to torment after death. If the owner of a matagot gives it the first bite of food and drink at every meal, it is rewarded the next morning with a single gold coin. Each gold coin the person collects condemns his soul to torment for 1 year, thus making it impossible to resurrect or raise that person from the dead until his soul is freed. Moreover, the owner of a matagot suffers a -1 penalty to Armor Class and 1 extra point of damage per damage dice in combat – all the better to hasten his soul’s arrival in Hell.

Matagot: HD 1; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d3); Move 15; Save 17; CL/XP 2/30; Special: Only harmed by silver or magic weapons, misfortune.

Medieval Bestiary – Part Three

European folklore holds a candle to none in the breadth and depth of its imagination. Europeans populated not only their own countries with all manner of strange beasts and monsters, but extended their imaginations over the entire globe. While a good many of these creatures have been given game statistics, several have not. Some of these creatures are, to be sure, simple variations on existing monsters – ogres, giants, fairies, spirits, etc. Others are just not threatening or interesting enough to demand statistics. Those monsters of the folklore of France, Germany and the Low Countries, and those of medieval bestiaries and heraldry, that I thought both unique and challenging are presented below.

Part One, Part Two

This post is declared Open Game Content.

Caleygreyhound
This odd beast of medieval heraldry had the body of an antelope, the head of a wild cat with the antlers of a deer, the forelegs of an eagle and the hind legs and tail of either a lion or ox. The caleygreyhound is a predator with amazing speed; in effect, it is always under the effects of the haste spell. A similar creature is the enfield, with the head of a fox, chest of a greyhound, body of a lion, hindquarters and tail of a wolf and forelegs of an eagle.

Caleygreyhound: HD 3; AC 1 [18]; Atk 2 bite (1d4) and 4 claws (1d3); Move 18; Save 14; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Haste.

Carcolh
The carcolh is one of the folkloric beasts that makes you half-wonder if our medieval ancestors did play fantasy roleplaying games, because it is simply made for them! The carcolh is a giant serpent with a mollusk shell on its back. It is covered in sticky slime. Around its gaping mouth, the creature has dozens of long tentacles – some as long as a mile. The beast dwells in a cave and unfurls its tentacles, extending them well into the countryside. When something approaches too close to a tentacle, it is grabbed and squeezed and pulled back to the creature’s waiting mouth. In game terms, these tentacles might be found anywhere in a dungeon, and in fact 90% of random carcolh encounters are actually with a tentacle. The tentacles surprise creatures on a roll of 1-4 on 1d6. If a tentacle successfully attacks, it wraps around its victim quickly, squeezing for 1d4 points of damage each round and dragging it back 10 feet per round to the creature’s mouth. The tentacles have an Armor Class of 6 [13] and can be severed by inflicting 8 points of damage on them. The bite of the carcolh is +5 to hit a grappled creature, and if the bite attack beats the victim’s Armor Class by more than 4 points, the creature is swallowed whole.

Carcolh: HD 9; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 or more tentacles (1d4 + grappled) or 1 bite (2d6); Move 9; Save 6; CL/XP 11/1700; Special: Tentacles, swallow whole.

Chichevache
This odd creature began as an unkind joke of Geoffrey Chaucer. The creature is said to resemble an emaciated cow with a human face. Its diet consists entirely of obedient and faithful wives, and the scarcity of such women, according to Chaucer, explains why it is so thin. The word may be a play on the French chichifache (“thin face”). In game terms, the creature can be turned into a fairly disturbing creature. Imagine an emaciated grey cow with a human face (a good start, in terms of being disturbing). Now imagine that this creature is an undead spirit, roaming the countryside looking for lawful females that it might devour their souls. In essence, it becomes a wraith wrapped in a new form.

Chichevache: HD 4; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 touch (1d6 + level drain); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Drain 1 level with hit.

Dipsa
The dipsa is a tiny serpent or worm, covered in a mucus membrane and so poisonous that its victims die before they are aware that they were bitten. The dipsa is a perfect creature to have lurking in swamps or dank dungeons, often buried in the soft mud or living in a puddle of water. It gets a single attack that forces its victim to save or die. The creature is so small that it can be killed with a single hit.

Dipsa: HD 1 hp; AC 9 [10]; Atk 1 bite (poison); Move 3; Save 18; CL/XP B/10; Special: Deadly poison.

Dragons
Dragons feature prominently in French folklore. Gargouille was a river dragon that spouted water. It was tamed by Saint Romain and then slaughtered and burned. Gargouille’s head and neck, however, would not burn, and were instead affixed to the cathedral, thus beginning the use of carved gargoyles as water spouts. The Tarasque was a legendary dragon from Provence. It was a dragon with six short legs, like those of a bear, an ox-like body covered by a turtle’s shell, a lion’s head and a tail that ended in a scorpion’s sting. The Tarasque was the offspring of the Biblical Leviathan and the Onachus, a scaly, bison-like beast from Galatia that burned everything it touched. The beast was impervious to the armies thrown against it, but was finally charmed by Saint Martha and led back to a city where it was killed by the people, offering them no resistance. The city was then renamed Tarascon. La Fertre’-Bernard, France, was terrorized by a dragon called Peluda, or “Shaggy Beast”. Peluda is unique enough to deserve its own entry below.

Note: Some fantasy games include rules for subduing dragons. Using these legends as a guide, a Referee might allow lawful or good clerics in his campaign the ability to charm dragons as though attempting to turn undead. If successful, treat the dragon as though it has been subdued.

Drude
The drude is a strange spirit from German folklore. It appears as a hag, and is in fact the evil portion of a virginal or holy woman’s soul. Sometimes, these women voluntarily undergo the Drudenfluch, or drude‘s curse to split their soul in two, and other times it is forced upon them by a demon or witch. The drude is very heavy and is as powerful as an ogre. It has a foot print that looks like a pentacle, and this symbol, called the Drudenfuss, can ward them away as a protection from evil spell. Drudes are capable of assuming gaseous form and seeping into a house through the tiniest cracks. Once inside, they attempt to suffocate their victim by sitting on its chest; in essence, this is handled as a fist attack. If successful, the victim must succeed at a saving throw or be grappled and suffer 1d3 points of constitution damage each round. When the victim is reduced to 0 consitution, the drude possesses them, bringing them back to full health and gaining complete control over them until forced out, which can be done by a cleric’s turn undead attack or with other spells.

Drude: HD 4; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 fist (1d6); Move 12; Save 13; CL/XP 7/600; Special: Grapple, possession, only harmed by silver or magic weapons.

Forest Cattle
Pliny the Elder placed these cattle in Ethiopia. Forest cattle are twice the size of normal cattle and bright red in color. They are capable of turning their horns in any direction, thus allowing them to make two separate horn attacks each round. Bulls inflict 1d6 points of damage with each horn, while cows inflict only 1d4 points of damage. The forest cattle may be related to the yale of English folklore.

Forest Cattle: HD 6; AC 5 [14]; Atk 2 gores (1d6); Move 18; Save 11; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Can gore two different creatures in the same round.

Ged
Ged was the original word used for the pike. It is derived from the Old Norse gaddr, or “spike”. For our purposes, the ged is a giant pike that lurks in lakes and rivers. Ged are quite sneaky, and surprise on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6.

Ged: HD 4; AC 5 [14]; Atk 1 bite (3d6); Move 0 (Swim 24); Save 13; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Surprise.

Medieval Bestiary – Part Two

European folklore holds a candle to none in the breadth and depth of its imagination. Europeans populated not only their own countries with all manner of strange beasts and monsters, but extended their imaginations over the entire globe. While a good many of these creatures have been given game statistics, several have not. Some of these creatures are, to be sure, simple variations on existing monsters – ogres, giants, fairies, spirits, etc. Others are just not threatening or interesting enough to demand statistics. Those monsters of the folklore of France, Germany and the Low Countries, and those of medieval bestiaries and heraldry, that I thought both unique and challenging are presented below.

Part One

This post is declared Open Game Content.

Barbegazi
A creature from the folklore of the Swiss, the barbegazi resembles a dwarf covered in white fur and sporting a long beard and two enormous feet. They dwell in large, extended families in the highest mountains, traveling through the snow cover using their feet as skis or snowshoes. In the summer months, they doze away in caves and tunnels, not awakening until the first snowfall. The barbegazi are generally kind, warning people of impending avalanches and helping shepherds find lost sheep. They are usually encountered in bands of 6 to 10 individuals traveling from one community to another. These parties are armed with clubs and darts made of ice. They are not slowed by the snow, and can reach high speeds when skiing down hill.

Barbegazi: HD 1; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon (1d4+1); Move 9; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: Immune to cold, weapons cause +1 point of cold damage.

Birds
Several strange species of birds are described in medieval bestiaries. Most of them are not fit for a combat encounter, but they make for interesting non-combat encounters, or the goal of quests for magical ingredients.

The avalerion was a bird without a beak and with stumpy, feathered legs. After two avalerion mate and lay a pair of eggs, they drown themselves.

The barnacle goose is another interesting creature of European folklore. It was a small marsh goose that was believed to be born from a piece of driftwood, in much the same way that it was believed that flies were born out of rotting flesh and mice out of grain.

The hercinia was a bird of the Hercynian Forest. Its feathers glowed brightly, illuminating the forest at night.

Bishop Fish
The bishop fish, or sea bishop, is a bipedal fish with a human face and a pointed head that resembles a bishop’s mitre. A couple specimens were said to have been captured in the 16th century. One, while being studied by a group of bishops, plead to be released through gesturing. When the bishops acquiesced, the bishop fish made the sign of the cross before disappearing into the waves.

In game terms, the bishop fish can be treated as a more lawful version of the locathah. Bishop fish communities are led by low- to mid-level clerics of lawful deities. The bishop of a community is served by a bodyguard of 3 to 6 monk-fish. Monk-fish have maximum hit points for a bishop fish and can cast spells as 2nd level clerics. Bishop fish cannot speak out of water, but are capable of making themselves understood to humanoids with hand gestures.

Blemmye (Acephali)
Blemmyes are a race of headless men and women who have their faces in their chests. Pliny the Elder, the champion monster creator of his day, placed them as inhabitants of Nubia, Kush or Ethiopia. Others placed them in India. Sir Walter Raleigh wrote about a tribe of the creatures living in the Caribbean.

The blemmyes are humanoids without heads. They have eyes, mouths and noses in their chests, but are without ears and thus deaf. They live in small bands of 20 to 40 individuals, living by hunting and gathering. They are known to eat sentient humanoids, so one must take care when interacting with them.

Blemmye: HD 1+1; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon (1d6) or 1 bite (1d4); Move 12; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: Surprised on 1-2 on 1d6, immune to affects that work through sound.

Bonnacon (Bonasus)
The bonnacon was believed to be a species of bison native to the steppes of Asia. The bonnacon had curled horns and a most unpleasant form of self-defense. When attacked, the creature flees and sprays behind it a cone of acidic dung. Pliny describes the creature as a bull with the mane of a horse and horns curled back in such a manner as to be useless for fighting. The bonnacon’s “cone of dung” is 120 feet long and 50 feet wide at the base. Creatures caught in the shower suffer 1d6 points of damage (or half with a successful saving throw). Creatures hit by the dung suffer an additional point of damage each round thereafter, as it adheres to the skin and can only be removed completely by washing with some form of liquid.

Bonnacon: HD 3; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 bite (1d3) or 1 kick (1d4); Move 15; Save 14; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Cone of dung.

Bugul Noz
The Bugul Noz, or “Night Shepherd”, is a fairy of Brittany. The last of its kind, it lives a solitary life due to its incredible hideousness. Any creature that views the face of Bugul Noz must pass a saving throw or be affected by its frightening visage. Creatures who fail their saving throw by 10 or more are killed on the spot. Those who fail the saving throw by at least 5 points faint dead away, and remain unconscious for at least an hour. Upon waking, they will discover that their hair has turned snowy white and that their sanity has been ever so shaken. Those who fail the saving throw by less than 5 are merely panicked and flee at top speed in a random direction until they collapse from exhaustion. Should one manage to control themselves, they will discover that the Bugul Noz is a kind and generous creature, and very knowledgeable about its home forest. Attacking so pitiable a creature may draw the ire of the seelie (i.e. holy) fairy court.

Caladrius (Dhalion)
The caladrius was represented in medieval bestiaries as a white bird that would take sickness upon itself, thus curing the sick. The bird would then fly away, dispersing the sickness to others. In game terms, the caladrius seeks out strong individuals and attempts to divest it of whatever disease it is carrying by pecking at them, in the hopes that they are strong enough to withstand the disease that a weaker person could not. The bird will appear in the sky, dive at the humanoid with the highest constitution, and attack until making a hit. At that point, the victim must make a saving throw against the effects of a cause disease spell (the reverse of cure disease). Whether the victim saves or not, the caladrius will flee, looking for another victim. The caladrius’s high Armor Class is due to its speed and savvy.

Caladrius: HD 1d4; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 beak (1 + disease); Move 9 (Fly 24); Save 18; CL/XP B/10; Special: Cause disease.

Medieval Bestiary – Part One

European folklore holds a candle to none in the breadth and depth of its imagination. Europeans populated not only their own countries with all manner of strange beasts and monsters, but extended their imaginations over the entire globe. While a good many of these creatures have been given game statistics, several have not. Some of these creatures are, to be sure, simple variations on existing monsters – ogres, giants, fairies, spirits, etc. Others are just not threatening or interesting enough to demand statistics. Those monsters of the folklore of France, Germany and the Low Countries, and those of medieval bestiaries and heraldry, that I thought both unique and challenging are presented below.

This post is declared Open Game Content! Enjoy.

Abarimon
First described by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the abarimon lived in a country, also called Abarimon, in a great valley of Mount Imaus (i.e. the Himalayas). Despite their feet being turned backwards, or perhaps because of it, they were incredibly swift runners. The abarimon were terribly savage, and lived alongside wild animals. The air in the valley of Abarimon is so pure, that once one has become accustomed to it, they cannot leave the valley again without dying.

In game terms, the abarimon are humanoids who have backwards pointing feet. They dwell in mountain valleys and live the life of hunter-gatherers. They are swift runners, and as cunning as any animal. The abarimon speak a simple dialect of grunts and gestures, and place no value on treasure other than weapons.

Abarimon: HD 1; AC 7 [12]; Atk 1 weapon (1d6) or 1 unarmed (1d3); Move 18; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15; Special: None.

Alce (Keythong)
The alce is a wingless griffon, the offspring of a true griffon and a lion. Although lacking the ability to fly, it makes up for this with a coat of spikes, not unlike that of a hedgehog. Because of these spikes and the beast’s vicious disposition, creatures engaged in melee combat with an alce must make a saving throw each round to avoid suffering 1d4 points of damage from the spikes. Alces usually live in highlands bordering mountains inhabited by griffons.

Alce: HD 6; AC 2 [17]; Atk 2 claws (1d4), 1 bite (2d6); Move 12; Save 9; CL/XP 7/600; Special: Spikes.

Allocamelus
The allocamelus is the offspring of an ass and a camel. The allocamelus has the head of an ass and the body of a camel. The creature is used as a pack animal throughout Venatia and the Golden Coast. It is not as tolerant of the desert heat as the camel, but can in most respects be treated as that creature.

Alp (Schrat, Walrider)
In German folklore, the alp is a creature that resembles the incubus (the male version of a succubus) and the vampire. The word “alp” is related to the word “elf”.

The alp is a minor demon that appears as a demonic satyr wearing a hat in a style common to the region. The female version is called a “mara”. In either case, the creature attacks sleeping people, controlling their dreams and trapping them in terrible nightmares. While the victim is unable to rouse himself, the alp sits upon his chest, making it difficult to draw breath. The alp might also attempt to suckle on its victim, male or female, drawing blood if no breast milk is forthcoming. Alps can change themselves into the form of a boar, cat, viper, wolf or a small, white butterfly, and it is in this last guise that it often infiltrates a home. The alp’s hat, or tarnkappe, acts as a cloak of invisibility, though the hat itself always remains visible. Besides being able to use the nightmare spell at will (but only at night), the alp’s gaze can either cause disease or bestow a curse. In either case, a saving throw is allowed to negate the effect.

Alp: HD 5; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 horn (1d4) and 1 bite (1d3); Move 12; Save 12; CL/XP 7/600; Special: Nightmare, gaze attack, change shape, cap of invisibility, only harmed by silver or magic weapons.

Alphyn
The alphyn’s name means “chaser”. A heraldic creature, it resembles a large wolf with the forelegs of an eagle and the hind legs of a lion. It has a long tail that is invariably knotted in the middle, and a long, flicking tongue like that of a snake. The alphyn is a powerful predator of the forest and highlands. As large as a tiger, it has multiple, vicious attacks and the tracking abilities of a wolf. In combat, an alphyn that hits the same target with both foreclaws gets two additional attacks on that target with its rear claws. Alphyns often run in small packs of 2 to 5 monsters. Their baying can be heard for miles. Up close, it causes fear (saving throw to negate), but even from afar is makes ones hair stand on end. Some hold that the alphyn is the executioner of the fairy court.

Alphyn: HD 6; AC 6 [13]; Atk 2 claws (1d4), 1 bite (1d6); Move 15; Save 11; CL/XP 7/600; Special: Rear claws, immune to fear, can track creatures on a roll of 1-5 on 1d6.

Amphiptere
The amphiptere is a small, legless wyvern. The creature is faster and more flexible than the wyvern and it is also more clever. An amphipteres is capable of folding its wings close to body and hiding in small (for a large creature) spaces and then springing out. This gives it the ability to surprise on a roll of 1-2 on 1d6. The amphiptere retains the wyvern’s stinging tail.

Amphiptere: HD 6; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 bite (2d6), 1 sting (1d6); Move 9 (Fly 24); Save 11; CL/XP 8/800; Special: Poison sting, flight.

Apes
The callitrix, or cericopithecus, was a monkey with a long beard and wide tail that always gave birth to twins, loving one and hating the other. While this does make it something of a jerk, it doesn’t make for an interesting encounter. If the need arises, use the gorilla’s statistics for a callitrix.

Aspidochelone (Fastitocalon, Jasconius, Pristis)
The aspidochelone, or “asp-turtle” is either a whale or sea turtle or an amalgam of the two, that has grown to such a massive size as to be, in essence, a living island. In game terms, the creature is a massive sea turtle with a craggy shell that can easily be mistaken for a small island. The shell is caked with soil from which grows trees and flow small streams. The aspidochelone is among the largest creatures in creation, its shell having a diameter of approximately 300 feet. Unfortunately, the aspidochelone is a cruel beast. It surfaces and allows desperate sailors to land on its back. After they have tied their ships down and made camp, it suddenly submerges again, plunging them into the ocean and then gobbling them up as they flail about helplessly. A victim of the creature’s bite attack must pass a saving throw or be swallowed whole. Creatures inside the aspidochelon’s stomach suffer 1d6 points of damage each round from the stomach acids and poisonous vapors. From the inside, the creature has an Armor Class of 6 [13]. Escaping into the esophagus requires an open doors roll.

Aspidochelone: HD 20; AC 1 [18]; Atk 1 bite (3d6); Move 3; Save 3; CL/XP 21/4700; Special: Swallow whole.

On Magic-Users and Illusionists – Part Two

Here are the rest of the illusionist spells. All of these spells are released as Open Game Content.

Level 5

  1. Dream
  2. False Vision
  3. Mass Suggestion
  4. Nightmare
  5. Persistent Image
  6. Seeming
  7. Shadow Evocation

Dream

Level: 5

Range: Unlimited

Duration: See text

You, or a messenger touched by you, sends a phantasmal message to others in the form of a dream. At the beginning of the spell, you must name the recipient or identify him or her by some title that leaves no doubt as to identity. The messenger then enters a trance, appears in the intended recipient’s dream, and delivers the message. The message can be of any length, and the recipient remembers it perfectly upon waking. The communication is one-way. The recipient cannot ask questions or offer information, nor can the messenger gain any information by observing the dreams of the recipient.

False Vision

Level: 5

Range: Touch

Duration: 1 hour per level

Any scrying spell used to view anything within the area of this spell instead receives a false image, as defined by you at the time of casting. As long as the duration lasts, you can concentrate to change the image as desired. While you aren’t concentrating, the image remains static.

Mass Suggestion

Level: 5

Range: 150 ft

This spell functions like suggestion, except that it affects one creature per level. The same suggestion
applies to all these creatures.

Nightmare

Level: 5

Range: Unlimited

Duration: Instantaneous

You send a hideous and unsettling phantasmal vision to a specific creature that you name or otherwise specifically designate. The nightmare
prevents restful sleep and causes 1d10 points of damage. The nightmare
leaves the subject unable to regain magic-user spells for the next 24 hours. Dispel evil
cast on the subject while you are casting the spell dispels the nightmare
and causes you to be stunned for 10 minutes per caster level of the dispel evil.

Persistent Image

Level: 5

Duration: 1 minute per level

This spell functions like phantasmal force, except for the duration. The figment follows a script determined by you and without your having to concentrate on it.

Seeming

Level: 5

Range: 50 ft

Duration: 12 hours

This spell functions like change self, except that you can change the appearance of other people as well. The spell can affect one creature per two levels of the illusionist. Affected creatures resume their normal appearances if slain. Unwilling targets can negate the spell’s effect on them by making a saving throw.

Shadow Evocation

Level: 5

Range: See text

Duration: See text

You use shadows to cast a quasi-real, illusory version of one of the following magic-user spells: Magic Missile, Shocking Grasp, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Ice Storm, Wall of Fire or Wall of Ice.

Spells that deal damage have normal effects unless an affected creature succeeds on a saving throw. Each disbelieving creature takes only one-fifth damage from the attack. If the disbelieved attack has a special effect other than damage, that effect is one-fifth as strong (if applicable) or only 20% likely to occur. Nondamaging effects have normal effects except against those who disbelieve them. Against disbelievers, they have no effect.

Level 6

  1. Irresistible Dance
  2. Mislead
  3. Permanent Image
  4. Programmed Image
  5. Project Image *
  6. Shadow Walk
  7. Veil

Irresistible Dance

Level: 6

Range: Touch

Duration: 1d4+1 rounds

The subject feels an undeniable urge to dance and begins doing so, complete with foot shuffling and tapping. The spell effect makes it impossible for the subject to do anything other than caper and prance in place. The effect imposes a -2 penalty to Armor Class and a -5 penalty on saving throws and it negates any AC bonus granted by a shield the target holds.

Mislead

Level: 6

Range: 60 ft

Duration: 1 round per level and concentration + 3 rounds (see text)

You become invisible (as greater invisibility) and at the same time an illusory double of you (as phantasmal force) appears. You are then free to go elsewhere while your double moves away. The double moves as you direct it (which requires concentration beginning on the first round after the casting). You can make the double appear superimposed perfectly over your own body so that observers don’t notice an image appearing and you turning invisible. You and the figment can then move in different directions. The double moves at your speed and can talk and gesture as if it were real, but it cannot attack or cast spells, though it can pretend to do so.

The illusory double lasts as long as you concentrate upon it, plus 3 additional rounds. After you cease concentration, the illusory double continues to carry out the same activity until the duration expires. The invisibility
lasts for 1 round per level, regardless of concentration.

Permanent Image

Level: 6

Duration: Permanent

This spell functions like phantasmal force
except that the illusion is permanent.

Programmed Image

Level: 6

Duration: Permanent until triggered, then 1 round per level

This spell functions like phantasmal force, except that this spell activates when a specific condition occurs. The event that triggers the illusion can be as general or as specific and detailed as desired but must be based on an audible, tactile, olfactory, or visual trigger. The trigger cannot be based on a quality that is not normally obvious to the senses, such as one’s philosophical or ethical stance.

Shadow Walk

Level: 6

Range: Touch

Duration: 1 hour per level

You and any creature you touch are then transported along a coiling path of shadows to the edge of the Material Plane where it borders the Plane of Shadows. The effect is largely illusory, but the path is quasi-real. You can take more than one creature along with you (subject to your level limit), but all must be touching each other.

In the region of shadow, you move at a rate of 50 miles per hour, moving normally on the borders of the Plane of Shadow but much more rapidly relative to the Material Plane. Thus, you can use this spell to travel rapidly by stepping onto the Plane of Shadow, moving the desired distance, and then stepping back onto the Material Plane.

Veil

Level: 6

Range: 600 ft

Duration: Concentration + 1 hour per level

You instantly change the appearance of the subjects and then maintain that appearance for the spell’s duration. You can make the subjects appear to be anything you wish. The subjects look, feel, and smell just like the creatures the spell makes them resemble. Affected creatures resume their normal appearances if slain. Unwilling targets can negate the spell’s effect on them by making saving throws. Those who interact with the subjects can attempt disbelief saving throws to see through the illusion, but magic resistance doesn’t help.

Level 7

  1. Greater Shadow Conjuration
  2. Mass Invisibility *
  3. Maze *
  4. Simulacrum *

Greater Shadow Conjuration

Level: 7

This spell functions like shadow conjuration, except that it can duplicate any magic-user conjuration or summoning spell of 6th level or lower. The illusory conjurations created deal three-fifths (60%) damage to nonbelievers, and non-damaging effects are 60% likely to work against nonbelievers.

Level 8

  1. Greater Shadow Evocation
  2. Permanency *
  3. Scintillating Pattern
  4. Screen

Scintillating Pattern

Level: 8

Range: 60 ft

Duration: Concentration + 2 rounds

A twisting pattern of discordant, coruscating colors weaves through the air, affecting creatures within it. The spell affects a total number of Hit Dice of creatures equal to your caster level within a 20-ft sphere. The spell affects each subject according to its Hit Dice.

6 HD or less:
Unconscious for 1d4 rounds, then stunned for 1d4 rounds, and then confused
for 1d4 rounds.

7 to 12 HD:
Stunned for 1d4 rounds then confused
for 1d4 rounds.

13 or more HD:
Confused
for 1d4 rounds.

Screen

Level: 8

Range: 60 ft

Duration: 24 hours

This spell combines several elements to create a powerful protection from scrying and direct observation. When casting the spell, you dictate what will and will not be observed in the spell’s area. The illusion created must be stated in general terms. Once the conditions are set, they cannot be changed.

Attempts to scry the area automatically detect the image stated by you with no save allowed. Sight and sound are appropriate to the illusion created. Direct observation may allow a save (as per a normal illusion), if there is cause to disbelieve what is seen. Even entering the area does not cancel the illusion or necessarily allow a save, assuming that hidden beings take care to stay out of the way of those affected by the illusion.

Greater Shadow Evocation

Level: 8

This spell functions like shadow evocation, except that it enables you to create partially real, illusory versions of the following magic-user spells: Cloudkill, Death Spell, Delayed Blast Fireball, Disintegrate, Wall of Iron or Wall of Stone. If recognized as a greater shadow evocation, a damaging spell deals only three-fifths (60%) damage.

Level 9

  1. Prismatic Sphere *
  2. Shades
  3. Weird

Shades

Level: 9

This spell functions like shadow conjuration, except that it mimics magic-user conjuration and summoning spells of 8th level or lower. The illusory conjurations created deal four-fifths (80%) damage to nonbelievers, and non-damaging effects are 80% likely to work against nonbelievers.

Weird

Level: 9

This spell functions like phantasmal killer, except it can affect any number of creatures, no two of which can be more than 30 feet apart. If a subject’s saving throw succeeds, it still takes 3d6 points of damage and is stunned for 1 round. The subject also temporarily loses 1d4 points of strength.

On Magic-Users and Illusionists – Part One

This post is released as Open Game Content.

THE MAGIC-USER

The magic-user is a mysterious figure, a student of arcane powers and spell casting. Usually cloaked in robes woven with mystical symbols, magic-users can be devastating opponents. However, they are usually physically weaker than other adventuring classes, and are untrained in the use of armor and weapons. As magic-users progress in level, they generally become the most powerful of the character classes. Perhaps one day, though, you will rise to such heights of power that you can build a mystically protected tower for your researches, create fabulous magic items, and scribe new formulae for hitherto unknown spells. Such arch-mages can sway the politics of kingdoms, and command respect and fear across the realms.

Prime Attribute: Intelligence, 13+ (+5% experience)

Hit Dice: 1d6-1 (Gains 1 hp/level after 9th level.)

Armor/Shield Permitted: None.

Weapons Permitted: Club, dagger, staff, and darts.

SPELLS (1st): A magic-user casts arcane spells. Each magic-user can cast a limited number of spells from each spell level per day. The table below lists the number of spells per day a magic-user may cast of each spell level. For example, a fifth level magic-user can cast four 1st level spells, two 2nd level spells, and one 3rd level spell. A magic-user must prepare spells before casting them by studying from a spell book. While studying, the magic-user decides which spells to prepare.

The magic-user keeps his spells in a spell book, or grimoire. The number of spells that a magic-user has in his spell book at the beginning of play is up to the Referee, but usually includes read magic, plus three additional spells – one offensive, one defensive and one practical.

Spells Per Day (By Spell Level)

Level

Experience

Hit Dice

Attack

Save

Title

1

2

3

4

5

6

1

0

1

+0

15

Adept

1

2

2,500

2

+0

14

Soothsayer

2

3

5,000

3

+0

13

Evocator

2

1

4

10,000

4

+1

12

Mage

3

2

5

20,000

5

+1

11

Spellbinder

4

2

1

6

40,000

6

+2

10

Enchanter

4

2

2

7

65,000

7

+2

9

Marvel

4

3

2

1

8

95,000

8

+3

8

Archimage

4

3

3

2

9

135,000

9

+3

7

Wizard

4

3

3

2

1

10

190,000

+1

+4

6

Wizard

4

4

3

2

2

11

285,000

+2

+5

5

Wizard

4

4

4

3

3

12

385,000

+3

+5

4

Wizard

4

4

4

4

4

1

The Illusionist Sub-Class

The illusionist is a sub-class of magic-user that specializes in illusions. Illusionists are tricksters and charlatans. Illusionists tend to make their homes not in isolated towers but in towns, where there are people on whom they can practice their art. A high-level illusionist might open an emporium or found a traveling wonder show, attracting young apprentices with a yen for trickery. Where magic-users are scholarly, illusionists have an artistic temperament. They are often “bohemians” and may be agents of chaos and freedom, confidence men looking to make a dishonest gold piece, or even philosophers attempting to grasp the true meaning of reality.

Prime Attribute: Intelligence & Charisma, 13+ (+5% experience)

Hit Dice: 1d6-1 (Gains 1 hp/level after 9th level.)

Armor/Shield Permitted: None.

Weapons Permitted: Club, dagger, staff, and darts.

SPELLS (1st): An illusionist casts spells from the illusionist spell list. Each illusionist knows a limited number of spells from each spell level. These spells are learned through practice and invention, and new “spells known” gained via level advancement are gained without study or expense.

Unlike a traditional magic-user, the illusionist does not have to prepare spells each day before casting them. When an illusionist casts a spell from her repertoire, she must pay for it with spell points. A spell costs a number of spell points equal to its level. The chart below shows how many spell points the illusionist has at each level.

SHARP SENSES (1st): An illusionist’s innate ability to perceive the real from the unreal imparts a +1 bonus to all saving throws against illusions.

SILVER TONGUE (1st): Using her natural charisma and a bit of fast talking, the illusionist is a capable manipulator of people. Potential victims of the illusionist’s silver tongue receive a saving throw to see through her. If the saving throw is successful, apply a -2 penalty to reaction rolls with the NPC. If the saving throw fails, apply a +2 bonus to reaction rolls with the NPC.

Spells Known (By Spell Level)

Level

Experience

Hit Dice

Attack

Save

SP

Title

1

2

3

4

5

6

1

0

1

+0

15

2

Quacksalver

2

2

2,600

2

+0

14

3

Humbug

2

3

5,200

3

+0

13

5

Prestidigitator

3

1

4

12,000

4

+1

12

9

Mountebank

4

2

5

24,000

5

+1

11

12

Pharisee

5

2

1

6

48,000

6

+2

10

15

Tregatour

5

3

2

7

70,000

7

+2

9

21

Charlatan

5

3

2

1

8

100,000

8

+3

8

28

Virtuoso

5

3

3

2

9

140,000

9

+3

7

33

Illusionist

6

4

3

2

1

10

195,000

+1

+4

6

42

Illusionist

6

4

4

3

2

11

290,000

+2

+5

5

51

Illusionist

6

4

4

3

3

12

400,000

+3

+5

4

66

Illusionist

6

5

5

4

4

1

Illusionist Spell List

* Indicates an existing magic-user spell

Level 1

  1. Change Self
  2. Color Spray
  3. Dancing Lights
  4. Daze
  5. Flare
  6. Ghost Sound
  7. Hideous Laughter
  8. Hypnotism
  9. Prestidigitation
  10. Silent Image
  11. Ventriloquism
  12. Wizard Mark

CHANGE Self

Level: 1

Range: Personal

Duration: 10 minutes per level

You make yourself, including your equipment, look different. You can seem 1 foot shorter or taller, thin, fat, or in between. You cannot change your body type. Otherwise, the extent of the apparent change is up to you.

COLOR SPRAY

Level: 1

Range: 15 ft cone

Duration: Instantaneous

A vivid cone of clashing colors springs forth from your hand. Each creature within the cone is affected according to its Hit Dice. Creatures with 2 HD or less is knocked unconscious for 2d4 rounds, then blinded and stunned for 1d4 rounds and then stunned for 1 round. Creatures with 3 or 4 HD are blinded and stunned for 1d4 rounds, then stunned for 1 round. Creatures with 5 or more HD are stunned for 1 round. Sightless creatures are not affected by color spray.

DANCING LIGHTS

Level: 1

Range: 150 ft

Duration: 1 minute

You create up to four lights that resemble lanterns or torches (and cast that amount of light), or up to four glowing spheres of light (which look like will-o’-wisps), or one faintly glowing, vaguely humanoid shape. The dancing lights
must stay within a 10-foot-radius area in relation to each other but otherwise move as you desire. The lights can move up to 100 feet per round. A light winks out if the distance between you and it exceeds the spell’s range.

DAZE

Level: 1

Range: 30 ft

Duration: 1 round

You cloud the mind of a humanoid creature with 4 or fewer Hit Dice so that it takes no actions for 1 round.

Flare

Level: 1

Range: 30 ft

Duration: Instantaneous

This spell creates a burst of light. If you cause the light to burst directly in front of a single creature, that creature is blinded for 1 minute unless it makes a successful saving throw.

Ghost Sound

Level: 1

Range: 30 ft.

Duration: 1 round per level

Ghost sound
allows you to create a volume of sound that rises, recedes, approaches, or remains at a fixed place. You choose what type of sound ghost sound
creates when casting it and cannot thereafter change the sound’s basic character.

Hideous Laughter

Level: 1

Range: 30 ft

Duration: 1 round per level

This spell afflicts the sentient subject with uncontrollable laughter. The subject can take no actions while laughing, but is not considered helpless. After the spell ends, it can act normally.

Hypnotism

Level: 1

Range: 30 ft.

Duration: 2d4 rounds

Your gestures and droning incantation fascinate nearby creatures, causing them to stop and stare blankly at you. In addition, you can use their rapt attention to make your suggestions and requests seem more plausible. Roll 2d4 to see how many total Hit Dice of creatures you affect. Creatures with fewer HD are affected before creatures with more HD. Only creatures that can see or hear you are affected, but they do not need to understand you to be fascinated.

Prestidigitation

Level: 1

Range: 10 ft

Duration: 1 hour

Prestidigitations are minor tricks that novice spell casters use for practice. Once cast, a prestidigitation
spell enables you to perform simple magical effects for 1 hour. The effects are minor and have severe limitations. A prestidigitation can slowly lift 1 pound of material. It can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round. It can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material. It cannot deal damage or affect the concentration of spell casters. Prestidigitation
can create small objects, but they look crude and artificial. The materials created by a prestidigitation
spell are extremely fragile, and they cannot be used as tools, weapons, or spell components. Finally, a prestidigitation
lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects. Any actual change to an object (beyond just moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.

Silent Image

Level: 1

Range: 600 ft

Duration: Concentration

This spell creates the visual illusion of an object, creature, or force, as visualized by you. The illusion does not create sound, smell, texture, or temperature. You can move the image within the limits of the size of the effect.

Ventriloquism

Level: 1

Range: 30 ft

Duration: 1 minute per level

You can make your voice (or any sound that you can normally make vocally) seem to issue from someplace else.

WIZARD Mark

Level: 1

Duration: Permanent

This spell allows you to inscribe your personal rune or mark, which can consist of no more than six characters. The writing can be visible or invisible. An arcane mark
spell enables you to etch the rune upon any substance without harm to the material upon which it is placed. If an invisible mark is made, a detect magic
spell causes it to glow and be visible, though not necessarily understandable.

Level 2

  1. Blur
  2. Darkness, 15 ft Radius *
  3. Hypnotic Pattern
  4. Invisibility *
  5. Magic Mouth *
  6. Mirror Image *
  7. Misdirection
  8. Phantasmal Force *
  9. Silence, 15 ft Radius *
  10. Suggestion *

Blur

Level: 2

Range: Touch

Duration: 1 minute per level

The subject’s outline appears blurred, shifting and wavering. This distortion grants the subject a +4 bonus to Armor Class against opponents with sight.

Hypnotic Pattern

Level: 2

Range: 150 ft

Duration: Concentration + 2 rounds

A twisting pattern of subtle, shifting colors weaves through the air, fascinating creatures within it. This spell works like hypnotism, except it lasts for as long as the illusionist concentrates, plus 2 rounds after.

Misdirection

Level: 2

Range: 30 ft

Duration: 1 hour per level

You misdirect the information from divination spells that reveal auras (detect evil, detect magic, discern lies,
and the like). On casting the spell, you choose another object within range. For the duration of the spell, the subject of misdirection
is detected as if it were the other object, with no saving throws allowed.

Level 3

  1. Blink
  2. Detect Invisibility *
  3. Dispel Illusion (as dispel magic, but only works against illusions)
  4. Displacement
  5. Enthrall
  6. Illusory Script
  7. Invisibility, 10 ft Radius *

Blink

Level: 3

Range: Personal

Duration: 1 round per level

You “blink” back and forth between the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane. You look as though you’re winking in and out of reality very quickly and at random. Physical attacks against you are at a -5 penalty. If the attacker can hit ethereal creatures or see invisible creatures, the “to hit” penalty is reduced to -2. Spells that target you fail to work on you 50% of the time, and spells cast by you have a 20% chance of not working. You take half damage from area attacks and falling, and you gain a +2 bonus to hit in combat.

Displacement

Level: 3

Range: Touch

Duration: 1 round per level

The subject of this spell appears to be about 2 feet away from its true location. The creature benefits from a 50% miss chance on attacks.

Enthrall

Level: 3

Range: 150 ft

Duration: 1 hour or less

If you have the attention of a group of creatures, you can use this spell to hold them spellbound. To cast the spell, you must speak or sing without interruption for 1 round. Thereafter, those affected give you their undivided attention, ignoring their surroundings. They are considered to be friendly while under the effect of the spell. Any potentially affected creature of a race or religion unfriendly to yours gets a +2 bonus on the saving throw.

A creature with 4 or more HD or with a wisdom score of 15 or higher remains aware of its surroundings and remains indifferent. It gains a new saving throw if it witnesses actions that it opposes.

The effect lasts as long as you speak or sing, to a maximum of 1 hour. Those enthralled
by your words take no action while you speak or sing and for 1d3 rounds thereafter while they discuss the topic or performance. Those entering the area during the performance must also successfully save or become enthralled. The speech ends (but the 1d3-round delay still applies) if you lose concentration or do anything other than speak or sing.

If those not enthralled
have unfriendly or hostile attitudes toward you, they can collectively make a saving throw to try to end the spell by jeering and heckling. The heckling ends the spell.

If any member of the audience is attacked or subjected to some other overtly hostile act, the spell ends and the previously enthralled
members become immediately unfriendly toward you. Each creature with 4 or more HD or with a wisdom score of 15 or higher becomes hostile.

Illusory Script

Level: 3

Range: Touch

Duration: One day per level

You write instructions or other information on parchment, paper, or any suitable writing material. The illusory script
appears to be some form of foreign or magical writing. Only the person (or people) designated by you at the time of the casting are able to read the writing; it’s unintelligible to any other character, although an illusionist recognizes it as illusory script.

Any unauthorized creature attempting to read the script triggers a potent illusory effect and must make a saving throw. A successful saving throw means the creature can look away with only a mild sense of disorientation. Failure means the creature is subject to a suggestion implanted in the script by you at the time the illusory script spell was cast. The suggestion lasts only 30 minutes.

Level 4

  1. Confusion *
  2. Greater Invisibility
  3. Hallucinatory Terrain *
  4. Illusory Wall
  5. Phantasmal Killer
  6. Rainbow Pattern
  7. Shadow Conjuration
  8. Zone of Silence

Greater Invisibility

Level: 4

Duration: 1 round per level

This spell functions like invisibility, except that it doesn’t end if the subject attacks.

Illusory Wall

Level: 4

Range: 50 ft

Duration: Permanent

This spell creates the illusion of a wall, floor, ceiling, or similar surface. It appears absolutely real when viewed, but physical objects can pass through it without difficulty.

Phantasmal Killer

Level: 4

Range: 150 ft

Duration: Instantaneous

You create a phantasmal image of the most fearsome creature imaginable to the subject. Only the spell’s subject can see the phantasmal killer. You see only a vague shape. The target first gets a saving throw to recognize the image as unreal. If that fails, the phantasm touches the subject and the subject must succeed on a saving throw or die from fear. Even if the saving throw is successful, the subject takes 3d6 points of damage. If the subject of a phantasmal killer
attack succeeds in disbelieving and is wearing a helm of telepathy or is a psychic with the telepathy power, the beast can be turned upon you. You must then disbelieve it or become subject to its deadly fear attack.

Rainbow Pattern

Level: 4

Range: 150 ft

Duration: Concentration + 1 round per level

A glowing, rainbow-hued pattern of interweaving colors fascinates those within it. Rainbow pattern fascinates a maximum of 24 Hit Dice of creatures. An affected creature that fails its saves is fascinated by the pattern. With a simple gesture, you can make the rainbow pattern move up to 30 feet per round, moving its effective point of origin. All fascinated creatures follow the moving rainbow of light, trying to get or remain within the effect. Fascinated creatures who are restrained and removed from the pattern still try to follow it. If the pattern leads its subjects into a dangerous area each fascinated creature gets a second saving throw. If the view of the lights is completely blocked creatures who can’t see them are no longer affected.

Shadow Conjuration

Level: 4

Range: See text

Duration: See text

You use shadows to shape quasi-real illusions of one or more creatures, objects, or forces. Shadow conjuration can mimic any magic-user conjuration or summoning spell of 3rd level or lower. Shadow conjurations are 20% as strong as the real things, though creatures who believe the shadow conjurations to be real are affected by them at full strength. Any creature that interacts with the conjured object, force, or creature can make a saving throw to recognize its true nature. Spells that deal damage have normal effects unless the affected creature succeeds on a saving throw. Each disbelieving creature takes only 20% damage from the attack. If the disbelieved attack has a special effect other than damage, that effect is only 20% likely to occur.

A shadow creature has one-fifth the hit points of a normal creature of its kind (regardless of whether it’s recognized as shadowy). It deals normal damage and has all normal abilities and weaknesses. Against a creature that recognizes it as a shadow creature, however, the shadow creature’s damage is one-fifth (20%) normal, and all special abilities that do not deal lethal damage are only 20% likely to work. (Roll for each use and each affected character separately.) Furthermore, the shadow creature’s AC bonuses (i.e. points of Armor Class better than 9 [10]).are one-fifth as large.

A creature that succeeds on its save sees the shadow conjurations as transparent images superimposed on vague, shadowy forms.

Zone of Silence

Level: 4

Range: Personal

Duration: 1 hour per level

By casting zone of silence, you manipulate sound waves in your immediate vicinity so that you and those within the spell’s area can converse normally, yet no one outside can hear your voices or any other noises from within. This effect is centered on you and moves with you. Anyone who enters the zone immediately becomes subject to its effects, but those who leave are no longer affected.