Tag Archives: RPG

Yomi, The Japanese Land of the Dead

Yomi is the Japanese land of the dead. It was mentioned in the ancient Kojiki, a collection of myths and legends purportedly composed in the 8th century. In Yomi, the dead live out a muted, eternal existence, regardless of their past deeds.

RPG Blog Carnival

It’s Orktober… ahem… October, and that means time for another RPG Blog Carnival. This month’s carnival is hosted by our good buddy Kim, over at Beyond the Horizon Games (he also plays Orks). The topic for October is “Worldbuilding“, which is serendipidious since that was exactly what we were looking at in our latest edition of the newsletter.

Campaigns in Yomi

We must always be respectful when setting games in places that are significant to others. We must go as respectful travelers, realizing that we are journeying into a land that others understand better than we do. This short guide can only introduce you to the world of Yomi, but its lore is truly vast, so it might be the perfect inspiration for your own campaign.

Yomi is more like Limbo or the Shadow Plane in Pathfinder than Hell. People do not go there because of their sins or lack of faith, they go there because it is the next step of their journey. People do not usually return from Yomi after they have feasted in Yomi, but that probably won’t stop your players from trying.

Yomi is both a land of shadows and corruption. You might find people covered in maggots or pass through a stranger like a ghost. Yomi is as cold as a tomb, but its residents seem only dimly aware of the cold. The rain hardly ever falls on crops unless it floods the land, the wind never moves ships unless it throws them against the rocks, and the sun is forever pale and powerless.

The responsibilities you had in life might remain in death, but they are no easier. A farmer might work a field that grows only rotting rice, or a baker might put bread into an oven that never gets hot enough for cooking. Emperors still reign, but they too must suffer the entropy that pervades Yomi, as their kingdom falls apart no matter what brilliant decrees they might enforce.

Travelers wandering through Yomi navigate by landmarks rather than distances. While two places might be considered “close” to each other, their true distance is in constant flux. A journey might take a day or a month, and a traveler that strays from their course is doomed to wander aimlessly until they discover a known landmark.

NPCs from Yomi

The Tetsuakuto and other NPCs will appear in the Grimdark Pamphlet.

Tetsuakuto (Iron Bandit)

Encased in black iron plate, tetsuakuto wear hideous menpo face masks bearing octopus designs.

The Tetsuzaku, or Iron Bandits, were feared outlaws that menaced major trade routes throughout the Empire. When they were finally captured they were boiled alive in their iron plate before being offered to a kami of the ocean cliffs. Through some occult bargain, they returned from Yomi to plague those who live near the sea, before returning back to the lands of the dead.


Tetsuakuto

Medium undead, lawful evil

Armor Class 18 (plate)
Hit Points 76 (8d8 + 40)
Speed 30 ft.
  STR
  DEX
  CON
  INT
  WIS
  CHA
  18 (+4)   12 (+1)   16 (+3)   10 (+0)   14 (+2)   12 (+1)
Saving Throws Con +5
Skills Athletics +6

Damage Immunities cold
Condition Immunities frightened
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the tetsuakuto to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the tetsuakuto drops to 1 hit point instead.

Actions

Multiattack. The tetsuakuto makes two attacks with its naginata.
Naginata. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 4) slashing damage. On a successful hit, the target must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity save or fall prone.

Reactions

Spike Rake. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4 + 4) slashing damage.

Three Stone Stories: Solo Narrative Roleplay is here!

Three Stone Stories Cover

Your Greatest Tale

Three Stone Stories is a solo narrative role-playing game where you’re the Storyteller.
Tell heroic tales using your own imagination, these rules, and three regular six-sided dice.

Roll the Stones,
Determine the Will of the Dice,
Choose your Destiny.

It’s Your Story

The full 64-page book, including several adventure chronicles, tips for getting the most out of the game, and D6 generators is available wherever we sell the game, and you can get it from Drive Thru RPG for 20% off using this coupon code.


Mini Monday #15: Painting Yochlol

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’re painting Yochlol from Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game.

Mini Monday Logo

We’ve already painted a few minis from this great game, and we’ll be painting loads more in the weeks to come. Yochlol is a pretty simple model, but it’s also perfect for highlighting a few techniques that we’ll come back to in the next few projects. Today is all about washes! (No, not handwashing, though you should be doing that too.)

Step 1: Clean and Basecoat

I base coated Yochlol white. I used to love black as a base coat, but white is nice and bright and, in this case, it’s a perfect base for step 2…

Step 2: Mellow Yellow

I painted the entire model yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow), except for Yochlol’s eye.

Painting Yochlol 1
Custard Monster!

Step 3: Flesh Wash

Paint the entire mini with Flesh Wash.

Painting Yochlol 2: Flesh Wash
A little definition goes a long way.

Flesh Wash isn’t available from GW anymore, but Coat d’Arms still sell the original Citadel Flesh Wash, now called Ink Wash: Flesh. It’s a terrible wash for skin tones, but I discovered a bunch of great uses that make this is a great paint to add to your collection. Yochlol is our first test subject.

Flesh Wash pools in the recesses of the mini and gives a nice contrast with the yellow. If too much wash pools in one spot, just use a dry brush to mop up the excess. When you’re happy, leave the mini to dry.

Step 4: Details

Paint the eye white. When that’s dry, add a little blue to your white and paint a line along the top edge of the eye. This provides a slight shadow. Paint the whole pupil and iris black. When that’s dry, paint the iris orange, being careful to paint within the “lines” or edges of the iris you painted black before. Lastly, paint the base to fit the rest of your collection.

Painting Yochlol 3: Detail
Here’s Looking at You.

Step 5: Varnish

Varnish with gloss varnish. Two coats works best. The gloss gives Yochlol a wet, slimy look. You can use a matt varnish on the base to create some variety.

That’s it, you’re done!

Painting Yochlol 4: Finished
Done!

Yochlol is a quick and easy model to paint, which also makes it perfect for trying out new things. This was the first time I’d found a good use for Flesh Wash, and the techniques I used on the eye were a first for me too. Overall, I’m very happy with the results.

Home Alone? Here’s a Free Solo Adventure!

Can’t get out to roll dice and smack skeletons? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a free copy of one of our top-selling solo adventures for D&D 5e. Please like and share.

Use the coupon code “HAPPYSOLO”

 

Stay safe out there everyone!


Adventurer, Take This… — RPG Blog Carnival

RPG Blog Carnival

‘Tis the season to be jolly
To deck the halls with boughs of holly
Then loot the corpses for lots of lolly!

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival is all about the players and their characters. The theme is “Adventurer, take this… ,” we hope it will inspire you to join in the fun and post an article on the subject. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  1. An adventure idea based around a magical item, such as an evil ring of invisibility or a magical sword from a lake.
  2. New magical items, gear, weapons, vehicles, or spells.
  3. A look at the role magical and mundane items play in a campaign.
  4. How to deal with overpowered items and the ramifications they can have on your campaign.
  5. An article aimed at the most important people in our games: the players.
  6. A miniature painting tutorial aimed at player character figures.
  7. A devious trap based on a magical item or bit of loot.
  8. A review of a player-focused RPG supplement.
  9. An article appropriate to the season of giving and related to RPG player characters.
  10. A discussion or rules for crafting items or in-game economy.
Adventurer, take this - RPG Blog Carnival
Adventurer, take this…

Be sure to put a link to your post in the comments below. Because of spam moderation and holidays, please allow 48 hours for your post to go live. I’ll post a summary of all the articles at the end of the month, to take us into the new year, on Rising Phoenix Games’ birthday! Let’s end the year with a bang!

If you’re travelling this season, travel safely. Have a Merry Christmas, a happy festive season, and a Happy New year, and we’ll see you next year for more adventures in the worlds inside our heads.

Till next time, play good games!



The Horde is Coming! — Take a Sneak Peek

Horde is a hack and slash game for 1–4 players. Stand against masses of enemies without lucky dice rolls to save you. Horde’s rules emphasize the need for clever tactics to stay alive long enough to protect the Flame of Life and defeat the deadly hordes.

Horde includes two modes: Defender, for a shorter game, and Dungeon, for a full dungeon crawl through caverns teeming with enemies.

Horde is currently in playtesting, and I’m hoping to release it by the end of the month. Here’s a peek at the cover:

Horde Cover Concept

Horde’s Concept

I wanted a game where you play a powerful hero wading through masses of enemies, where dice rolls didn’t determine the outcome of attacks, but tactics meant everything. I wanted to use as much of my growing collection of fantasy miniatures as possible and put hordes of figures on the board. Horde is my answer to that.

Playtesting Horde
Playtesting Horde

The game also had to be playable solo, quick to set up, and — most importantly — loads of fun.  Horde is checking all those boxes in playtesting, and I’m excited to share more about the game with you, soon.

Horde is being created for the A Game By Its Cover game jam, inspired by the Youkai Project famicase cover art done by Yowan Langlais.

Winter Is Coming

Aurora’s Whole Realms Catalogue was a second edition D&D book for the Forgotten Realms, and we’ve brought it back for fifth edition. Aurora’s Whole Realms Winter Catalogue is out now:

Aurora's WHole Realms Winter Catalogue Cover
Aurora’s Whole Realms Winter Catalogue

You can find the Summer and Autumn catalogues on the Dungeons Masters Guild.

Print Books Coming Soon

We’ve done print cards for a while now, mainly for maps and dungeon tiles. Now we’re adding our first print on demand (POD) titles, which will be available from Drive Thru RPG in a few months time. The first two books we’re setting up are Griffins — A Field Guide (D&D) and Anaximander’s Adventuring Studies (Pathfinder). Going forward, new titles will be available in POD, if the platform allows it.

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Undersea Fantasy Names, the Ultimate Guide

We’re busy putting the finishing touches on our first Undersea Sourcebook (that’s a big reveal),  which will be a player’s guide to undersea adventures in Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition (that’s two big reveals). The guide features loads of races, each with a list of names like in the Races chapter of the Player’s Handbook. Here are a few undersea fantasy names, to help you name your next underwater character.

Undersea Fantasy Names
Photo credit: Nsey Benajah

Merfolk Names

Merfolk parents choose names for their children that reflect the nature of the sea, invoke images of the ocean, or signify freedom or purpose. Merfolk also have a tribal name, which they’ll use when dealing with merfolk from another tribe. Merfolk rarely use their tribal name around other races, and then only if they have significant reason to do so. Even among friends, merfolk regard mentioning their tribal name as an unnecessary vanity.

Male Names: Adrian, Aegir, Aukai, Bellerophon, Calder, Celsion, Clarion, Dorian, Dover, Drake, Ezeel, Kai, Lachlan, Marlowe, Merrick, Oceanus, Poseider, Ridley, Rio, Tritonis, Zale, Zander

Female Names: Adrianna, Aeriel, Athena, Azure, Azurine, Coraline, Diana, Dione, Doriana, Echo, Eldoris, Fontanne, Galiana, Lana, Madison, Marinella, Nerio, Oceana, Pearl, Ria, Umiko, Undina, Ursula

Tribal Names: Aquillon, Deepfin, Gaion, Laviathon, Moontide, Moray, Nautilon, Neptune, Oceanor, Titanus, Waverider

Naiad Names

Naiads choose their own names when they come of age, and prefer names that are lyrical in nature. They have no clan or family names, though they may name themselves after the body of water they have recently bonded with, such as Khev of Dessarin and Loreley of Lac Dinneshere.

Male Names: Akdish, Bhom, Dakdoov, Dashion, Dhegor, Dhev, Dibam, Ebdordon, Embohz, Ghaaja, Jenjor, Khaav, Khajon, Khev, Memendev, Nagnesh, Naash, Omden, Shevshin, Vahz, Vanvin, Vor, Zekovion

Female Names: Ahni, Avya, BaIrafen, Basheena, Bura, Cerenya, Cini, Faadhi, Felfe, Ferrafin, Fifavi, Hamnaa, Laffuuna, Lidyh, Loreley, Lyrdu, Merdimy, Mirizan, Phibi, Rulfaya, Semfe, Welladuuna, Weni

Selkie Names

Selkies often adopt names similar to those of the people who live near to their colonies. As such, selkie names vary greatly from region to region, though they almost always prefer shorter names. Selkies have no clan or family names, and may refer to the region their family inhabits when introducing themselves, such as Runn of Boatscrape Cove, from Waterdeep.

Male Names: Albi, Coll, Conn, Bhim, Blake, Brenn, Brian, Bert, Des, Don, Dylan, Finn, Harper, Jock, Kay, Kel, Lloyd, Mort, Neal, Rhone, Rob, Runn, Ted

Female Names: Ada, Adele, Celeste, Ceridwen, Cordelia, Enid, Fiona, Gail, Gioga, Kay, Kaylen, Loreley, Lynn, Moon, Muriel, Myfanwy, Nadine, Ondine, Raine, Sapphira, Saraid, Thora, Ursilla, Varona

Make Your Own Undersea Fantasy Names

If you’re looking for more ideas for you own undersea fantasy names, I found loads of inspiration on fantasynamegenerators.com. Start there, find a name you like, then change it to suit your needs. Look for shorter, easier to pronounce names, since those are more memorable and far easier to use while roleplaying.

More Undersea Adventure

If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy the free monster preview available on the Dungeon Master’s Guild:

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

 

Path of the Slayer (Barbarian Primal Path)

Since pirates took over, I haven’t been allowed to blog much, but I managed to sneak this barbarian archetype past those black-hearted scoundrels. This archetype is compatible with the 5th edition SRD. If you like it, give it a play and let us know what you think in the comments below.

The line between bravery and stupidity may seem razor-thin to some, but to barbarians of the Path of the Slayer, bravado is a powerful tool for destroying even the most deadly monsters.

You may choose this primal path at 3rd level instead of another primal path, and gain its features at 3rd, 6th, 10th, and 14th level.

Fearless

At 3rd level when you choose this path, you become immune to fear and cannot be frightened.

Bravado

At 3rd level, while raging, if you are adjacent to an enemy that is larger than you and not adjacent to any of your allies, you gain a 1d6 Bravado die at the end of your turn. You may spend your Bravado die in the following ways:

Dodge. As a reaction, you can spend your Bravado die to roll it and add it to a saving throw.

Parry. You can, as a reaction, spend your Bravado die to roll it and add it to your armor class against one attack.

Dig Deep. You dig deep into your strength reserves and, as an action, spend up to two Bravado die. You heal hit points equal to the roll of the die.

Slaying Strike. You can spend any number of Bravado die before you make a melee attack roll. If you hit your target, roll the Bravado die and add it to your weapon’s damage roll.

You lose any unused Bravado die when your rage ends.

Your Bravado die changes when you reach certain levels in this barbarian primal path. The die becomes a d8 at 6th level, a d10 at 10th level, and a d12 at 14th level.

Belly Ripper

Starting at 6th level, when a creature at least two sizes larger than you attempts to hit you with a bite attack, you can, as a reaction, make a Dexterity saving throw. The DC for this saving throw depends on the creature’s CR, as given in the table below.

If you succeed at this saving throw, you jump through the creature’s jaws and down its gullet. On your following turns, while inside the creature, all your attacks have advantage and any hits are treated as critical hits. You gain Bravado dice and may spend them while inside the creature, even if you are not raging.

If you fail at the saving throw, and the creature successfully hits you with its bite attack, it automatically scores a critical hit against you, regardless of the number shown on the die.

While inside the creature, you cannot avoid any breath attacks it makes and you cannot breathe. If the creature is destroyed, you are able to cut yourself free on the following turn as an action. Creatures without a discernible mouth, such as most oozes, are immune to this ability.

Belly Ripper

CR Dexterity saving throw DC

0–3: 13

4: 14

5–7: 15

8–10: 16

11–12: 17

13–16: 18

17–20: 19

21–23: 20

24–26: 21

27–29: 22

30: 23

Slayer’s Armor

Beginning at 10th level, you gain proficiency with heavy armor and can rage while wearing heavy armor.

Goad

Starting at 14th level, when a Large or larger creature within 5 feet of you makes a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature. If your attack hits, the creature’s next melee weapon attack is with disadvantage.

Did you enjoy the Path of the Slayer? You can find the updated version of this path in the Undersea Sourcebook: Race & Class Guide, or in Kim Frandsen’s Keeping it Classy: the Barbarian.

Till next time, play good games!

Miniature Japanese Torii – Mini Monday, Ep 1

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kit bashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I’ll show you how to build a miniature Japanese torii gate for Steampunk Musha, Legend of the Five Rings, or similar East Asian inspired settings.

Here she is, folks. This miniature Japanese torii can easily accommodate most Large sized D&D or Pathfinder figures in the center.

Miniature Japanese Torii
The base is 2 x 4 inches: perfect for using on a grid map.

Steampunk Musha – Shangti Factory Hub

This project is the first part of my Steampunk Musha terrain project that will consist of several factory pieces set in the mega city of Shangti. Since it’s steampunk, I figure this set will work well for both my Warhammer 40k games and for fantasy gaming, so this is a “two birds with one stone” type of deal.

The torii gate we’re making today is highly customizable, but is perfect for a Japanese themed game. You could use a similar technique to make gallows or other structures featuring a prominent wooden frame.


Getting Started

You’ll need balsa wood for this, but popsicle sticks will work well too. A sharp hobby knife, wood glue, and sandpaper will do all the heavy lifting, then you can paint and varnish the gate as you see fit when it’s done. I used hardboard for the base.

Prep

Make a paper template for the top piece of the gate (the kasagi and shimaki). Cut 3 of these. Cut 1 long crossbar (nuki), and 6 poles (to make the hashira). We’ll add more bits later, so keep any extra wood aside.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Torii Frame

Place 1 top section on top of 2 pillars. There’s no need to glue it yet, but you can if you like.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Glue the crossbar onto the pillars, with a small space between it and the top piece.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Connecting Things

Score lines on 2 more pillars under the crossbar, like so:

Miniature Japanese Torii

Then cut along the scored lines.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Glue the longer sections of pillar below the crossbar. Glue the short sections of the pillar over the top section. This forms the very center of your Japanese torii gate.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Don’t worry too much if the glue is causing all the pieces to float around. When you’re done you can move everything nicely into place, and sanding will clean it all up when we’re done.

Bulking Up the Top

Score lines to match the location of the pillars onto the second top piece.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Glue the pieces of the second top piece onto the first top piece. In the end, this gives the model more strength and bulk.

Miniature Japanese Torii

Finishing Up your Miniature Japanese Torii

Now glue on the last of the pillars and top piece. If your glue is still wet at this stage you can move things around, then put a heavy book on the gate and let it dry.  Miniature Japanese Torii

Next, add a small down piece between the top and the crossbar. Then cut 2 identical pieces to form the very top section of the tori. These will look like slightly curved french fries.

When it’s dry, use your hobby knife to make everything flush along the edges, then sand the model. An emery board (used for fingernails) works very well for this.

Miniature Japanese Torii
There are 25 ninjas hidden in this image. Really!

I base coated my model white, then painted the whole thing red. I washed it with a purple wash to pick up the natural wood texture of the balsa wood, and to age the model a bit.

For the base, I used hardwood covered in two grades of sand, the finest for the path. I painted and dry brushed this before adding flock. I varnished everything when I was done, because I like harder wearing gaming pieces.

Pro Tip: Suppliers of Shinto religious goods will often have miniature Japanese torii for sale. Personally, I prefer to make my own.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

RPG Christmas Stocking Fillers

Ho, (and a ho, ho, ho), Adventurer!

We’ve got four Christmas stocking fillers for the players and GM in your life this festive season.

Aurora’s Whole Realms Summer Catalogue

For D&D fifth edition, Aurora’s Whole Realms Summer Catalogue is a fresh take on Aurora’s Emporium, which some of you might remember from AD&D. The book’s 50 pages include loads of interesting, flavourful, summer-themed items that won’t break your game. And yes, we know it’s probably winter where you are, but here in Africa we’re melting.

Christmas stocking fillers

Griffins – A Field Guide (D&D)

We’ve also got Griffins – A Field Guide, which offers 6 subspecies of griffin, a new paladin archetype, and rules for griffin animal companions and familiars. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout and would make a stunning player aid for a party of griffin riders. The book is $2 off until Christmas.

Christmas stocking fillers

Tentacles of the Deep

Tentacles of the Deep is a PWYW title with statistics for tentacles that act as individual monsters but are connected to a larger creature deep below the ocean’s surface. Grab it free, and if you like it, you can always leave a tip in the tip jar, or a review.

Christmas stocking fillers

Steampunk Musha: Races of Rosuto-Shima

Lastly, for Pathfinder this time, and not from us but from our friends at Fat Goblin Games, is Steampunk Musha: The Races of Rosuto-Shima. The book introduces several East Asian inspired races, such as the tanuki, pandajin, jinteki oni, and kappa, as well as steampunk inspired races such as the clockwork ronin.

Christmas stocking fillers

These Christmas stocking fillers are a great way to show your appreciation for a year of great gaming.

We’ll be back next week with more exciting content, but if we miss you, have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

The Quick Win – Leveraging Goals for the Big Win

I’m a big believer in the quick win.

Especially when it comes to hobby gaming.

The Quick Win
Photo credit: Andre Hunter.

Quick wins, as the name suggests, are small projects that don’t take much time, or effort. The miniature you paint in an hour, the terrain you bang out in 3 hours, or the monster stat block you write in 5 minutes all fall into this category.

Why the Quick Win?

Getting things done is very motivating. My recent post about painting RPG miniatures gets into that more. The reverse is also true though, that having too much on your plate can turn you off of your hobby quicker than a quickling in hyperdrive.

It’s also great having something to show for your efforts, and with a string of quick wins you can easily build up to a much larger goal. It’s a lot like how I write now. My current RPG book — teasers here, here, and here — is being written in 2-hour bursts. In each session, I aim to finish one section of the book. Sometimes I’ll get 2-3 monsters done, sometimes it’s most of a background, but every session that I finish something is another thing off the checklist.

How’s this different from how I used to write? Before, I didn’t break down my tasks much, so in 2 hours I often worked on a bunch of sections, got demotivated, and lost my concentration. That kind of thing can lead to burnout. In other words, I’m talking about the tortoise’s approach to winning the race: slow and steady, and about breaking down that race into milestones. Each milestone is a victory in and of itself.

Life also takes up much of our hobby time, so when we have time, we need to use it wisely.

Your Next Quick Win

I’ll leave you with this thought. What small hobby project would give you the most satisfaction. Is it drawing that dungeon map you’ve been planning? Making a handout? Stating up an NPC? Or do you just need to run a short session over Google Hangouts to get everyone ready for a longer session?

Plan it. Do it. Celebrate your quick win.

Black Friday with Rising Phoenix

This Black Friday we have a massive 50% Off Sale on Drive Thru RPG.  This includes books compatible with Dungeons & Dragons and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, as well as stand-alone games, map tiles, and all of our Solo Adventures.

Looking for some unique gaming gift ideas? D20Radio.com has some excellent gamer gift ideas worth checking out.

Till next time, play good games!

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Undersea Adventures in D&D, Part 2

The Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual all provide great resources for undersea or ocean-based D&D campaigns. Last week we offered an Undersea Guide to the Player’s Handbook. Today I’ll run through the Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide to help you dive into your undersea adventures.

undersea adventures
Photo credit: Sagar

Undersea Fantasy

The Flavors of Fantasy section in chapter 1 includes a short coverage on swashbuckling fantasy, which offers some inspiration. An undersea campaign might just as likely contain elements of dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, or epic fantasy too.

Undersea fantasy might focus on the otherworldly aspect of the ocean, giving special attention to the wonders of this new world, or emphasizing the alienness of the sights and creatures found there. The sea has a clearly defined border, and crossing this threshold for the first time is almost always a significant event. On top of that, many things we take for granted are not readily available or don’t work in the deep, such as fire, paper, ink, drinkable water, or air. Gravity is less pronounced, and capable swimmers can move in three dimensions, much like flying creatures can do above the waves. Take these aspects into account when building your own undersea campaign.

Planes

The Plane of Water section in chapter 2 describes the elemental plane of the same name, which offers an excellent setting for your campaign as well as inspiration for one set on the Material Plane.

undersea adventures
Photo credit: Nsey Benajah

Adventure Environments

Chapter 5 contains a wealth of information that can be applied to undersea adventures with a little work. The Underwater section is particularly noteworthy and includes a table of random undersea encounters, expanded swimming rules, and rules for underwater visibility. The Sea section includes rules for navigation, weather at sea, visibility, and owning a ship, along with a table of random encounters at sea and statistics for airborne and waterborne vehicles.



Magical Items

Notable magical items include the apparatus of Kwalish, cap of water breathing, cloak of the manta ray, folding boat, gloves of swimming and climbing, mariner’s armor, necklace of adaptation, potion of water breathing, swan boat feather token, ring of swimming, ring of warmth, ring of water walking, and trident of fish command.

The sentient weapon, Wave, makes a great template for a similar trident in your campaign.

undersea adventures
Photo credits: Irina Kostenich

Monster Lists

Appendix B provides a coastal monsters list and one for underwater monsters.

Maps

Appendix C has a map of a ship including the deck and a level below.

Next week we’ll look at the Monster Manual as we continue to build our ocean campaign for undersea adventures.

 

Rodney Sloan
Rising Phoenix Games

Check out our store, subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates, and visit us on our blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.