Posts Tagged “Steal this for Your Game”
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A bag of holding is a coveted prize for an adventurer. In one small sack, a person can carry an entire armory of weapons, more potions than a wizard could brew in a year, and enough riches to buy a kingdom. Never does the bag grow in size, or become any heavier than a skin filled with water. Few know how these marvelous devices work, but the truth is that each bag accesses a small pocket of the Astral Plane. The infinite nothingness which flows between the dimensions, holding them together into a single multiverse. Each bag of holding is a small portal into a pocket of that void.
As precious as these items are, they’re also a great liability. It’s a simple task for a thief to rob you of your entire fortune, if you’re foolish enough to put it all in one place. Thieves are not even the greatest of an adventurer’s worries. A far greater danger is that posed by a stray blade, or arrow. A whizzing bit of steel which, while it may fail to harm the adventurer, damages their bag. When a bag of holding is broken, it does not simply split as a bag of canvas would. A bag of holding implodes, sending its contents whirling into the astral plane in all directions, and the unfortunate adventurer will be lucky if they’re not sucked in along with their lost treasures.
Over the centuries, countless bags have burst into the astral plane. Since the acquisition of such a bag in the first place is a dangerous–or at least expensive–proposition, the items contained in them are often quite valuable. Powerful magic items and artifacts float aimlessly throughout the vast nothingness.
But the astral plane is not entirely empty. Planar travelers use the astral plane as their road between worlds. The alien Githyanki even call the astral plane their home. There are many astral phenomena as well. Young wizards preparing to travel the planes for the first time are warned of the dangers of sonic rain, and transformative clouds. Worst of all is the bridge lightning. Arcs of energy which are drawn towards physical matter. They appear as if from nowhere, and move so quickly that by the time the eye has seen them, they are already gone.
If a person can survive the shock of being struck by bridge lightning, they’ll suddenly find themselves somewhere completely different. The lightning draws anything it touches to an area of intersection, where the astral plane overlaps another plane. Whatever the lightning strikes is unceremoniously dumped into a seemingly random spot somewhere in the multiverse. It is said that the astral plane’s natural state is emptiness, and the gods created the bridge lightning to enforce that.
Lost treasures are far more numerous than travelers in the astral plane, though. The lightning is often drawn to a mighty sword or magic potion lost by an adventurer who trusted their magic bag a little too much. Sometimes the items fall into the fires of hell or the endless fields of Elysium. Occasionally, they even end up in the depths of a dungeon, only to later be found by another adventurer. And other times, the items are zapped to a rock.
It’s not a particularly interesting rock. It’s just a stone in the middle of a field, which happens to intersect with the astral plane. Every so often, some item appears on the rock without warning. One day, a magical sword might appear, and six months past that, a dozen gold coins. A week after, a collection of goblin teeth, then a year later a powerful suit of plate armor.
A century or so ago, a clan of nomadic orcs were wandering through the wilderness, and came upon a small pile of gold and other treasure. They fell upon it eagerly, and took it as an omen that they should make camp around the stone. They intended to stay only a few weeks, but while they were there, they noticed that magical marvels continued to appear. The shamans declared the rock to be a manifestation of the orcish god, and the tribe cast off their nomadic ways to remain with the godstone.
To this day, the Tribe of the Godstone guard their land viciously. They are impossibly wealthy and well equipped, and eagerly offer outsiders as sacrifice to please their deity.
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Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. One of the most badass women in film.
No matter who you are, life in the Land of Admon is harsh. The God-King tortures the royal family, encouraging them to betray and murder one another to prove their worth to him. The royal family uses the nobility as pawns in these games, manipulating them, and commandeering their property or lands whenever it is convenient. The nobility oppresses their serfs, forcing them to work themselves to death and selling their children to other nobles if they need to raise some money. But as bad as everyone has it, no one suffers more than the women of Admon. They are insignificant baubles, regardless of their station. The God-King’s own daughters would be no better off than peasant women if they weren’t useful to their father. And when the God-King dies and one of his sons ascends to the throne, the best the new God-King’s sisters can hope for is that they’ll be sent to live out the rest of their lives amongst the peasants.
Forty years ago, the women of Admon had enough of their slavery. There was an uprising. Wives slit their husband’s throats while they slept, harems smothered their noble lords, and slave owners were strangled by the very chains they had used to assert their control. It is still unknown how the attacks were conceived of or coordinated, but the death toll was massive. Tens of thousands of men were killed, and the unbroken line of God-Kings seemed poised to give way to the reign of a God-Queen. But the God-King was ruthless, and summoned his armies to him. The vile orders which he gave to them that day have echoed throughout history.
“There seems now to be a great excess of women in my kingdom. Bring me the head of every woman of childbearing age. Fill the courtyard with their skulls, and let the imbalance be corrected.”
The slaughter which followed is unspeakable. There were enough remains that every building was required by law to display a decapitated head above its door for a decade after the uprising ended. With all the women gone, it was years before any new children were born. And after the brutality of the God-King’s counterattack, no one dared whisper a single word of dissent.
No one knows her name, who she is, or where she came from. No one who has ever gotten a clear look at her has survived the encounter. Her crusade began shortly after the uprising was put down. The heads of women displayed throughout the town would be taken in the dead of night. In their place would be the head of a man noted for his brutality. On most mornings, a would-be assailant’s body is found, skull crushed by a brutally heavy object. For lack of a better name, the people took to calling her the Ghost of the Uprising.
Numerous attempts to ensnare or kill the Ghost of the Uprising have been made over the years, but to no avail. For decades she has eluded the authorities, waging a private war against oppression. Giving the men of Admon reason to fear. But in recent years her attacks have slowed. No one can fight forever. She has grown old, tired, and bitter. For all her work, the system she fights remains in place. If she’s ever going to bring the God King to his knees, she needs to find help…
Henrietta Thaeblum, the “Ghost of the Uprising” (CR 14)
Female Human 15 (Fighter 10 / Rogue 5)
Init +10; Senses Perception +18 (+2 v. traps)
AC 26, Flat Footed 19, Touch 120 [10 + Dex(6) + Dodge(1) + Armor(6) + Ring(3)](+1 v. traps)(Cannot be flat footed)(+4 v. attacks of opportunity)
hp 107 (10d10 + 5d8 + 25)
Fort +9 Ref +13 (+1 v. traps)(If 1/2 damage, No damage) Will + 4 (+3 v. fear)
Melee Flail/Flail + 20,15,10/20,15,10 (1d8 + 11 + 1d6 Fire, 20/x2 + 1d10 Fire)
Melee Greataxe +20/15/10 (1d12 + 9, 19-20/x3)
Sneak Attack +3d6
Str 18 (+4) Dex 22 (+6) Con 12 (+1) Int 16 (+3) Wis 11 (+0) Cha 08 (-1)
Base Atk +13/8/3; CMB +17; CMD 33
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (Flail), Weapon Specialization (Flail), Greater Weapon Focus (Flail), Quick Draw, Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Slice, Weapon Focus (Greataxe), Weapon Specialization (Greataxe), Dodge, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Greater Two Weapon Fighting, Combat Reflexes, Mobility
Skills Acrobatics (+24), Craft (Arms & Armor)(+13), Disable Device (+19), Knowledge(Local)(+21), Perception (+18)(+2 v. traps), Sleight of Hand (+14), Stealth (+24)
Languages Common, Admonan, Thieve’s Cant, Tongue of the God King,
–Stand Up: May stand up from a prone position as a free action.
–Fast Stealth: May move at full speed while moving stealthily without penalty.
–Armor Training 2: Armor check penalty decreased by 2. Maximum dex increased by 2. May move at normal speed in heavy armor.
–Weapon Training 2: +2 attack and damage with Flails, +1 attack and damage with Axes.
–Combat Reflexes: May make 6 attacks of opportunity per round.
Gear Masterwork Hide Armor, Ring of Protection +3, Two +3 Flaming Burst Flails, +2 Keen Greataxe
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Laril Kraul spent his early years in a small village on the Venusian coast. For generations his family–along with most other families in the village–had been fishermen. Laril was taught to use a net and spear from a young age, and proved adept in their use. During his teen years, he even created and popularized a form of gladiatorial jousting within his village which used the tools (the spears were blunted, of course). As he grew older, however, he became increasingly aware of the fact that he was different from the others in the village. The responsibilities he was expected to shoulder were awkward for him, and he often fantasized about what it would be like to be other people within his village. To experience their lives, and everything that went with that.
When Laril reached manhood, he took his leave of the village. He had always been strong, and the call of adventure gave him ample opportunity to explore his feelings of discontentment. Mastery of his unusual weapons proved beneficial to adventuring life. After a handful of minor successes on his own, Laril was approached by a small band of dungeon delvers who were impressed with his deeds. They asked if he would like to join them as they hunted for treasures hidden in crypts beneath the earth, and Laril was happy to accept. Adventuring life was dangerous, and he’d been hoping to find some companions to mitigate some of that danger.
The group traveled together for several months, and their excursions were largely profitable. Laril took pleasure in the excitement of the hunt. The fact that he’d recovered more gold to than anyone in his village had ever seen before didn’t hurt either. Yet his discontentment remained. Even in the life he’d made for himself, he felt out of place.
About a year after joining the group, Laril and his companions were exploring a particularly dank cavern. They’d slain the troll who lived there, and were beginning to worry that the treasure the beast had supposedly hoarded was fake. It took them nearly an hour to find the chest, modestly sized, hidden under a pile of rocks. Its contents were hardly worth their trouble. A measly few bags of silver coins, a pair of jewels, and a jade-studded leather belt with a silver buckle. Everyone agreed the belt must be the greatest prize, and they rolled bones to see who would get it.
Laril won, and immediately began putting the belt on while his companions set about dividing the rest of the loot between themselves. He was surprised by how comfortable it felt. In fact it affected his comfort much more than he would have imagined a belt could. He began to comment to his companions that the belt seemed to be magical, only to have his thoughts interrupted by the sudden and hysterical laughter of his friends. He asked what was funny, and noticed that his voice sounded strange in his ears. Worried, he went to his pack and began to fumble around for the steel mirror he kept there. As he rummaged through his bag, he noticed something else:
He had breasts.
“It’s a belt of gender changing!” the group’s wizard called to him, having finally regained his breath. “A cursed item. You won’t be able to take it off without a spell ofRemove Curse.” Laril was silent for a long moment as he pondered this development. Despite a change which should have upset him, he still felt strangely…comfortable. More comfortable than she’d ever felt in her life. The nagging discontentment which had pestered her in otherwise quiet moments was nowhere to be found. She felt whole.
Laril remained silent for the moment, unsure of how to broach this issue with her fellows. But when the morning came and the wizard had prepared his spell, she knew she couldn’t go back. She refused to allow the Remove Curse spell to be cast upon her, stating that she was happier this way. The party was confused, and concluded that the belt must have additional magical properties they were unaware of–some manner of mind control. They took hold of her and held her in place while the wizard performed his spell. Laril protested, but the others were certain they were doing her a favor, and held fast.
The spell was completed, and the belt destroyed. Laril again found herself in a male body, once again disconcerted, once again less than whole. She was so overwhelmed by rage and loss that all she could do was sit and weep over the ruined remains of the belt that had changed her life. Her companions were concerned for her, and opted to remain another night without traveling, to allow her some time to work out whatever was wrong. The following morning, she informed them that she had come to two decisions.
The first was that she would no longer remain with them. Now that she’d found what she’d been looking for, she intended to waste no time in figuring out how to get it back.
“And the second thing?” they asked.
“My name is Laura.” she answered. Then left.
Laura Kraul (CR 5)
Female Human Fighter 6
Init +8; Senses Perception -1
AC 20, Flat Footed 14, Touch 16 [10 + Dex(4) + Armor(5) + Dodge(1)]
hp 53 (6d10 + 24)
Fort +7 Ref +6 Will + 1
Melee Shocking Burst Longspear + 9 (1d8 + 3 + 1d6 Electricity/x3 + 2d10 Electricity)
Melee Net +10 (Causes the Entangled condition)(Ranged Touch Attack)(10ft)
Str 16 (+3) Dex 19 (+4) Con 14 (+2) Int 11 (+1) Wis 9 (-1) Cha 13 (+1)
Base Atk +6/1; CMB +9; CMD 23
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (Spear), Weapon Specialization (Spear), Dodge, Weapon Focus(Net), Quick Draw, Lunge, Toughness
Skills Craft (Boatswain)(+11), Knowledge (Engineering)(+11), Ride (+10), Survival (+5)
Languages Common, Dwarven
–Lunge: Can increase the reach of your melee attacks by 5ft in exchange for a -2 AC penalty.
Gear Slick Lightly Fortified Hide Armor; Mithril Shocking Burst Longspear; 3 Silk Nets; Backpack; 842 GP, Dagger, Bedroll, 10′ pole, steel mirror, 3 weeks rations, 1 lantern, 3 flasks of lantern oil, small jar of salt, fishing line, 3 hooks.
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