Socerous Scrolls: Alter Alignment

Alter Alignment (Reversible)

Level: 7
Type: Enchantment/Charm
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
AoE: Creature Touched
Comp: V, S, M
Speed: 1 turn per hit die of victim
Save: Neg.

Description: By means of this dweomer, the spellcaster is able to change the alignment of a creature. The spellcaster can seek to determine exactly what alignment the victim will become, in which case the victim receives a +4 to his saving throw. Otherwise, the new alignment of the creature is determined randomly:

Lawful Good
Lawful Neutral
Lawful Evil
Neutral Good
Neutral Evil
Chaotic Good
Chaotic Neutral
Chaotic Evil

If the alignment rolled is the same as the alignment of the victim, then the alignment of the victim remains the same. A remove curse, limited wish, or wish can reverse the effects of an alter alignment spell. The reverse of this spell is restore alignment, which can also be used to restore the original alignment of the victim.

Note that creatures such as animals, insects, and so on are not effected by this spell, nor are undead, golems, or other unnatural, non- or animal intelligence creatures, or supernatural creatures for which an alignment change would radically alter the very nature of the creature. Only those beings that are able to freely choose and determine their own alignment, or change their alignment through the consequences of their actions, are effected by this spell.

The material components for this spell are a compass or a weather vane, a set of knucklebones, and a personal item belonging to the intended victim (a strand of hair, a drop of blood, fingernail, etc.; or an item that has been long-possessed and favored by the victim, such as a ring that is always worn, a favorite weapon, etc.)

Copyright GA Norris 2011

Finders Keepers: Key of Thievery

The following text & stats are designated Open Gaming Content as per the terms of the OGL:

Key of Thievery: This small, nondescript iron key can be employed to open any door that has been locked with a normal lock, padlock, and the like, as well as manacles, chests or boxes, that have hidden or trick locks, and so on. Further, once per day, the key of thievery can be used to employ a knock spell to open magically held or wizard locked doors, as well as secret doors (as per a knock spell). Note that a key of thievery will not effect in any way traps that may have been placed upon a door, chest, or box, unless the unlocking of such would also serve to disarm the trap. Nor does a key of thievery reveal hidden or concealed doors, secret doors, and the like; it is merely capable of opening them once they have been detected in some manner.

Finders Keepers: Lenses of Blindness

The following text & stats are designated Open Gaming Content as per the terms of the OGL:

Lenses of Blindness: These lenses, when placed on the eyes, will cause the wearer to become immediately and irrevocably blind. Only a cure blindness followed by a remove curse cast by a cleric of at least 9th level, or a heal, limited wish, or wish spell can restore sight to the victim and allow the victim to remove the lenses.

Note however that those who have been afflicted by these lenses, and have subsequently successfully removed them by the requisite means, will gain a permanent +3 against all gaze attacks.

N.B. Lenses of blindness will appear to be of some other beneficial type (charming, detection, seeing, etc.) unless an identify spell has been employed by a magic-user of at least 13th level.

Wandering Monsters: Losel

I wrote this up a long while back after rereading Gary Gygax's Artifact of Evil, a "Gord the Rogue" novel set in Greyhawk. I tried to hue as closely as possible to the description of these "ape-orcs" as possible, although certain amount of interpretation was necessary in order to shoe-horn them into AD&D stats. The following is not an original work, is merely "fan-fiction" based on a monster as described in one of Gary's novels, and I certainly make no claim to copyright on this entry.



FREQUENCY: Very rare (uncommon)
% IN LAIR: 20%
MOVE: 12” @ 12”
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic evil
TREASURE TYPE: Individual: K; Lair: O, P, Q (x5)
LEVEL/XP: II/20+2/hp
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 or 3
DAMAGE/ATTACK: By weapon type, or 1-2/1-2/1-4
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Surprise 1-3 (d6)
SPECIAL ABILITIES: Infravision 60 feet

Losel, or “lost ones,” are arboreal simian-orc crossbreeds, rather stupid and favoring their simian origins. They are as at home in the tree tops as they are upon the ground. They mainly inhabit the Vesve forest, where they are quite commonly found, and it is said that they are bred by Iuz or one of his minions.

They are usually armed with throwing clubs or hand axes for ranged weapons, or occasionally with light crossbows. In melee, they will fight with scimitars, axes, clubs, daggers, or short swords. They wear leather or hide armor, but they don't use shields. If unarmed, they will scratch with their weak claws, as well as bite with their fangs. Losel are adept at moving quietly and ambushing from the tree tops; whenever attacking from such a position, they surprise opponents 1-3 on a d6.

Losel run at a shambling gait, swinging their long arms much as an ape would do. They are covered in dark, matted fur, and they smell worse than true orcs if that is possible. Losel are quite cowardly, groveling and sniveling whenever they are bullied by a strong master. They speak a broken form of common that is often difficult to understand, as well as their own orcish dialect, both of which are often intermixed with simian-like chatterings and snarls. They have infravision out to a range of 60 feet. Losel crave man flesh, and will gladly accept such as payment in lieu of treasure whenever possible. Losel often hunt using bird whistles or mimicking the sounds of other animals as communication between different hunting bands.

Finders Keepers: Boots of Hindrance

The following text & stats are designated Open Gaming Content as per the OGL:

Boots of Hindrance: These cursed boots will make the wearer feel a sense of potency and confidence, particularly when contemplating battle. However, once the boots are donned they cannot be removed, reduce the movement rate of the wearer to a mere 3”, cause the wearer to be treated as though encumbered, and cause the wearer to always strike last in combat regardless of the initiative roll.

Beneath the Earth

An inauspicious start to what will hopefully be a regular feature, Beneath the Earth will by a weekly article on dungeons, or an encounter area for use in a dungeon, that is inspired by pictures or drawings I've turned up on the internet, books, games, and so on.

This week I'll simply state my love for the dungeon environment in role playing games. While the dungeon is certainly not the only setting or environment in which to explore and adventure in a fantasy role playing campaign (the other major tropes being wilderness and city adventures), it will always be the most iconic and interesting to me. The mystery and wonder of exploring the "mythic underworld" holds an abject fascination for me that, quite frankly, goes beyond mere gaming and into the furthest realms of imagination.

A lot of digital ink has been spilled in the old school community concerning dungeons over the past several years, in particular with regards to the megadungeon concept, and it is my opinion this is because the dungeon offers up the most versatile and fertile area of exploration for fantastic role playing. Rather than being the "confining, worn out, cliched, nonsensical" environment that offers up little more than "hack and slash," as some in the new school claim, the dungeon in my opinion has the greatest potential for long-term game play. The tricks, traps, encounters, "specials," and so on that are found there are only part of the imaginative magic that occurs Beneath the Earth and challenges the players; the concept of the "mythic underworld," in my mind, conjures up images of lost subterranean worlds vis-a-vis Edgar Rice Burroughs or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; ancient civilizations of malign aspect as depicted by H.P. Lovecraft in his stories The Mound and At the Mountains of Madness or by Gygax in his seminal D series of adventures (Descent into the Depths of the Earth, Shrine of the Kuo Toa, and Vault of the Drow); mythological and religious overtones and allusions given the nature of the subject matter (the notions of the underworld and hell are very strong themes); and quite simply the sense of mystery and the unknown in a realm where literally anything is possible, given the other-worldliness of the underworld when compared to the realms above that are illumined by the sun.

In short, the game for me always comes back to the dungeon delve, and when I have the time for gaming or for creating material for a gaming session, it is the dungeon that consumes me, that fires my imagination the most, and offers that touchstone with my gaming youth that spurred a lifetime of interest in the fantastic, the mythological, the horrific, and the episodic adventure.

Enter all ye who dare...

Wizardawn Tabletop Games

What's not to love about a site that can generate an entire dungeon map AND a key for it with just the the click of a few buttons, using excellent dungeon geomorphs that keep the generated maps from getting that "cookie cutter" look?

That's what we have over at Wizardawn Tabletop Games.

Wizardawn Tabletop Games

Back in the day, many of us would have paid for access to tools like these, but they are offered up free of charge!

Be sure to check the sidebars for all kinds of great map generators, encounter generators, tables, and so on.

The Ultimate Dungeon Creator alone is a worth a visit to this site, but there really is so much more available to peruse.

Excellent stuff.

A Long Hiatus

Its been a long while since I've updated this blog. Strangely enough, I've had blog posts saved as drafts ready for publication since the last time I posted (Sept. of 2011). Real life got very busy between work and some other things going on, then the holidays came along, and before I realized it several months had slipped by without any posts.

Whether there will be any interest in a blog that has "gone dark" for so long remains to be seen. However, the gaming bug always bites even after lying dormant for a span of time, so I'll forge ahead and maybe a few folks will find my meanderings interesting enough to check in from time to time.

Sorcerous Scrolls: Ray of Frost

The following text & stats are designated Open Gaming Content as per the OGL:

Ray of Frost

Level: 1
Type: Evocation
Range: 1”
Duration: Instantaneous
AoE: 1 creature
Comp: V, S, M
Speed: 1 segment
Save: Neg.

Explanation/Description: A ray of frost deals 1d4 points of damage, plus 1 point per level of the caster, against a single opponent. A saving throw against breath attacks completely negates the damage.

Finders Keepers: Ring of Untrained Magic

The following text & stats are designated Open Gaming Content as per the OGL:

Ring of Untrained Magic: This powerful items allows the wearer to cast a single magic-user spell of any level once per day. Note however that there is always a base 5% chance of any spell cast from the ring going awry, modified by the variables on the following chart:

Intelligence 4 or Less: Unusable
Intelligence 5-6: +45%
Intelligence 7-8: +25%
Intelligence 9-13: +10%
Each Point of Intelligence Over 12: -1%
Each Magic-user Level: -2%
Illusionist: -1%
Cleric or Druid: -1%
Fighter: +15%
Thief: +10%
Spell Being Cast is 1st Level: +0%
Spell Being Cast is 2nd Level: +5%
Spell Being Cast is 3rd Level: +10%
Spell Being Cast is 4th Level: +15%
Spell Being Cast is 5th Level: +20%
Spell Being Cast is 6th Level: +25%
Spell Being Cast is 7th Level: +30%
Spell Being Cast is 8th Level: +35%
Spell Being Cast is 9th Level: +40%

Note that regardless of the variables, the base chance for a casting to go awry will never fall below 5%.

If a spell cast from the ring does go awry, then there are several possible outcomes: the spell might fail completely, in which case the ring cannot be used again for another week; the spell may be miscast, resulting in the opposite effect occurring other than the one desired by the wearer, if the spell is reversible or can have an opposite effect; spells with detrimental effects can harm the wearer of the ring, rather than the intended target or victim of the spell; a portal or gate opens up, forcing the ring wearer into another dimension or plane randomly determined by the Referee; a strange effect as dictated by the Referee can result, rather than the desired effect of the ring wearer.

Sorcerous Scrolls: Forked Lightning

The following text & stats are designated Open Gaming Content as per the OGL:

Forked Lightning

Level: 5
Type: Evocation
Range: 1”/level
Duration: Instant
AoE: Special
Comp: V, S, M
Speed: 3 segments
Save: ½ damage

Description: Similar to the spell lightning bolt, this spell allows the magic-user to expel a blast of electrical energy from his outstretched hands. However, the caster is able to hit multiple targets as long as they are within the range of the spell, as the lightning charge will split and extend to hit them. When this spell is initially acquired, a magic-user is able to hit up to 3 opponents for 1d6 points of damage per level, gaining another “fork” with which to strike another opponent every 2nd level thereafter. No to hit roll is necessary. A save against breath attacks reduces the damage by half. The material components for this spell are a steel rod and wool.

Finders Keepers: Dart of Wounding

The following text & stats are designated Open Gaming Content as per the OGL:

Dart of Wounding: These magical darts cause the same amount of damage as others such mundane missiles, but a +2 to hit is granted when employing them. Further, every round thereafter the victim of such a dart will suffer 2 hit points of damage until healed in some manner, or until a full turn of time has elapsed. The employment of such darts will actually reduce the efficacy of creatures with the ability to regenerate hit points by a like number of points. Thus, a troll that would normally be able to regenerate 3 hit points per round would only be able to regenerate 1 hit point per round for a full turn. A creature that would normally regenerate 2 hit points per round would not regenerate for a full turn. A creature that would normally regenerate 1 hit point per round would actually lose 1 hit point per round.