30 January 2021

Temple of the Elements - Free adventure for parties of level 7-9

I've been wanting to make this adventure for months. It's taken a while to build this adventure for a few reasons; firstly, I tried making maps multiple time, and hated them all. Secondly, I kept changing my mind on how I wanted the puzzles to function, this is the final version only, though I may post a number of the other ideas I had in a future post. The final reason is that I didn't know how I wanted to end it; the final fight against the Elemental Guardian is a recent idea I had, and I am really happy with the whole flow of the adventure.

This is also the first adventure I have ever released that uses the Air Mote creatures, and is also the first one to include all four of the Elemental Motes. They really are one of my favourite creatures, and I really hope they add something to your adventures too!

Build Up

Does your party need to find a special magical item? Are you looking for something a little different to the normal adventure? Do your players simply like dungeon delving for treasure? Do you want an adventure you can run in nearly any campaign setting, as well as in a one shot scenario? If you answered “Yes!” to any of the above, then this adventure is for you!

Four unique elemental enemies, five incredible combat encounters, four new puzzles, complete with solutions, skill checks, and handouts, and a brand new boss fight against a powerful construct, wielding the power of the elements. 

If you want to fit this into an existing game, you can place it anywhere. The beauty of mad sorcerers building puzzle dungeons to protect their treasure, is that they’re mad! They can build that dungeon just about anywhere that takes their fancy. Underneath a city? Sure! In the middle of a haunted forest? Perfect. On the coast? Lovely view, why not? You get the picture. Easy to fit into any setting.

The only thing you will need to do to allude to this dungeon is let the players hear rumours of an abandoned temple somewhere nearby (or far away, if you want to make them travel), that contains incredible magic items, and equally incredible magic defences. All previous adventurers that have attempted to loot the place have either died trying, or limped away with their tails between their legs (sometimes literally, that poor tiefling).

The Dungeon

As they approach it, the party can begin to make out some details on the outside of the building. The structure, ancient, yet immaculate, stands towering above them. On the walls, there are images, each representing one of the four base elements; Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Despite the fact that it stands so proudly, and with its doors wide open, it does not look like many people come by here, not even in search of treasure any more.

From outside, they can’t make out much beyond the doors, but the interior seems well lit, and welcoming. The flickering light against the doors seems to suggest a fire inside, though surely that can’t be right? This place has been abandoned for years, right? 

The Map

28 January 2021

New Schedule

 For a while I've just posted whatever I seem to be feeling on any given week. That's about to change! After looking at how long it takes to create certain resources for this blog, and what I enjoy making the most, I have decided to start working to a regular schedule.

From now on, every Saturday there will be a new post. Unless there are extenuating circumstances (which I will attempt to explain in the event they happen), I hope to keep to this plan.

On the first and third Saturdays of the month, I will post a Battlemap, along with a number of encounters you can run on it. Each of these will be completely new and unique from my other works, and each on will come with at least one brand new creature, and one or more terrain action. Some of these maps will be easier to fit into certain campaigns than others, but every one should be able to inspire ideas (whether those are running my monsters in a different setting, or running your own adventure/encounter on my map).

On the second Saturday of the month, I will post an art based resource. These will nearly always be a map pack of some variety. Some months these will be a modular map pack you can use to build your own dungeons/encounters, and sometimes they will be packs of pre-made maps - either for dungeons or encounters, that you can use for whatever purposes you want in your games.

The Fourth Saturday of the month will be the day I release a new complete adventure. These will be full dungeons with unique enemies and features, planned encounters, and even plot hooks you can use to incorporate them into your games. They should all work perfectly fine as part of a larger campaign, as well as on their own as standalone one-shots. 

Occasionally a month will have five Saturdays in it. On these rare occasions, it will be my usual; whatever takes my fancy that week! I could release a second full adventure, I might create another map pack or art asset, I may have another Battlemap along with encounters, or I may have something completely different! It's really anyone's guess where those months will go.

I will still occasionally post funny stories at random, and will continue to provide other assets for DMs to use in their games throughout, including more Terrain Action posts, monster spotlights, and more. So don't worry about these elements of the blog disappearing, I just wanted to get a little more organised.

This new schedule will begin in February, and this Saturday, I will be releasing my latest adventure; Temple of the Elements. It is a full dungeon you can easily slot into most campaign settings, and complete with puzzles, combat encounters, and a unique boss fight, complete with lair actions! I'm really happy with this one, and I really hope you all enjoy running it as much as me!

23 January 2021

Lava Rivers Battlemap + Encounters

Not a full adventure, but it’s certainly something! This week we have another battlemap, in a volcanic location. This could really be anywhere, from the centre of an active volcano, to an evil villain's lair, to even the elemental plane of fire. Included with the map, I have also included 8 encounters you could easily run here, for parties of different levels (from 1 through to 12). I won’t lie that I’ve been inspired
into a lava themed map since the last session I actually got to play in, and we had one ourselves.

Lava, Stone, and Bridges - This weeks map
The Map

The map itself consists of two different levels, as well as rivers and pools made out of lava. Obviously, if a character falls into the lava, that is bad. Very bad. I would probably have it deal 10d10 fire damage, setting them on fire (2d6 fire damage at the end of the creatures turn, and costing an action to put out), and count as difficult terrain. Essentially killing most lower level characters, and seriously hurting higher level ones. The higher levels of the map are high enough above the lava that the party won’t take any environmental damage, but the lower levels are hot. If a creature starts its turn on one of the lower levels, they must succeed a constitution saving throw (set this depending on the party level - be reasonable), taking 2d6 fire damage on a fail, and half as much on a success. 

21 January 2021

Modular Plains Pack - 30 More Tiles for Map Making

Here it is! Map Pack number three. This time, focussing on the great outdoors. Plains, Rivers and Woods, whatever you need, you can find it here! Included in this pack, you will find 30 unique tiles for building maps for any simple outdoors encounter.

A sample map (20x20), made using 4 tiles - Including a cave entrance
One of the most common settings for encounters and combats is on the road. As well as that, most campaigns tend to be set in temperate areas. Taking both of these pieces of information into account, it is safe to assume that most campaigns will include at least one or two encounters in the wilds. Whether or not that is on the road, in the woods or along a riverside, most parties will encounter enemies somewhere fitting this description.

If you are looking for any inspiration when it comes to building a plains based encounter, consider using some of the Terrain Actions mentioned in my post from a few months back. As well as the terrain actions from that post, any of the encounters mentioned in my Waterfall Battlemap post from October.

18 January 2021

Modular Sewers - 53 Modular Map Tiles for Map Making

Unusual for a resource post to go up on any day other than a Saturday, but here we are. In a bid to release both of my first two map packs before this weekend (as I have an adventure built using both of the two of them coming on Saturday), I have opted for a weekday release!

This Map Pack is a sewers style tile set. As with my Caves pack, each tile is 10x10 squares (though the un-gridded version can be warped to any dimensions you should need), and can be fitted together in hundreds of different ways.

A sample map, made using 9 tiles from the map pack
When I first started this blog, and began releasing DnD adventures, the very first adventure I posted was also set in the sewers. I find sewers are a brilliant urban dungeon setting for so many different campaigns, as they can be made to fit into almost any large town or city, as well as being a widely sprawling maze underneath the characters feet at any given time. There is some kind of inherent mystery to the sewage systems in fantasy, and some incredible adventures can happen in them.

If you are looking for any inspiration in building a sewage adventure in your games, then this pack is a great place to start! Whether you build a map first, and let the ideas come from the layout, or you write the story, and then build the map to fit it, I can guarantee that these tiles will help you build an incredible adventure for your players.

16 January 2021

Modular Cave Map - 30 10x10 Tiles

It's been a while, but here we are again! Osrynn's back (after my third unannounced hiatus) with yet another new idea for the blog. After October (and my Halloween Adventure), the UK went into yet another lockdown. Whilst this should be the best time to create more content for my blog, my productivity and enthusiasm went down the drain (as well as my mental health). I always tell players in my games: "Your mental health is more important than anything!", and always encourage them to be open about problems. I would rather re-schedule ten weeks in a row than have a player (and friend) suffering because they feel pressured into playing a game their heart isn't in. So I took my own advice, and took some time away!

A sample map - made using the pack

This time, however, I am back with yet another new idea; Map Packs! In this weeks offering, you can get 30 pre-made map tiles for use in online tabletop software's (such as Roll20), for building cave maps for your games. Each tile is designed to be 10x10 squares (though I have included both gridded and non-gridded versions - in case you would prefer to use a different scale), and can be fitted together with one another in any orientation (as long as you fit the openings together). The full tile-set is available for free on my store (pay-what-you-want - including nothing) on Ko-Fi.

04 January 2021

The Bargain Bucket: A fun magic shop idea for markets

Now, I know it's a controversial topic to include, but I love to have Magic Shops in my games. In the homebrew worlds I run my games in, magic is commonplace; not only are sorcerers and wizards well known and widespread, but magic items are bought and sold as commodities in every major town and city. Obviously, you can't just start selling every item imaginable, as that would be game-breaking and ridiculous, as would selling the party items that are clearly above their level.

One of the things I like to include is the option to buy fun magic items. The kind of item that could easily have a use, but might require a very specific situation, or maybe just a creative player. One of the first ways I incorporated this into my magic shops was with the "Apprentice Shelves". The Apprentice Shelves were a shelf or two inside most of my (larger) magic shops, which the shopkeep would stock with items bought from, or created by, students at the local magic school/college. These items would invariably be a selection of "Common" magic items from books such as Xanathar's Guide to Everything (p136-140).

These items would always get a good laugh from my players, and a few actually got bought (though usually as joke items that anything else). More recently, however, I wanted to try and incorporate some other way of getting some gag items into my games. My players love to visit markets, and they had just arrived in a city that (historically) had made a name for itself as a hub for trade and commerce in my world. It was the perfect chance to really go to town (as it were).

Eventually, after a few different ideas, I settled on a lucky dip style of shop, at which the party could pay their gold (50 gold pieces), and get something different for their adventures. Obviously, it couldn't all be absolute crap, but I wanted there to be a larger chance of a laugh than something actually helpful. To achieve this goal, I typed up two tables: the Item table, and the Effects table.