Articles By Author - Stefen Styrsky

Gibbering Oracles (Part 4 of 4)

(Illustration by Chris McFann) How can a god be mad? Some sages claim all the gods are mad, and we are but the figments of their raving intellects. Yet madness does not just mean a disordered mind caught up in its own delusions and faux-reality. If madness is one man’s illusion, perhaps sanity is also an illusion, but one shared by many instead of relegated to an individual. The psychotic simply perceives a different illusion or pierces the...

Gibbering Oracles (Part 3 of 4)

How can a god be mad? Some sages claim all the gods are mad, and we are but the figments of their raving intellects. Yet madness does not just mean a disordered mind caught up in its own delusions and faux-reality. If madness is one man’s illusion, perhaps sanity is also an illusion, but one shared by many instead of relegated to an individual. The psychotic simply perceives a different illusion or pierces the common delusion to reveal a deeper...

Gibbering Oracles (Part 2 of 4)

How can a god be mad? Some sages claim all the gods are mad, and we are but the figments of their raving intellects. Yet madness does not just mean a disordered mind caught up in its own delusions and faux-reality. If madness is one man’s illusion, perhaps sanity is also an illusion, but one shared by many instead of relegated to an individual. The psychotic simply perceives a different illusion or pierces the common delusion to reveal a deeper...

Gibbering Oracles (Part 1 of 4)

How can a god be mad? Some sages claim all the gods are mad, and we are but the figments of their raving intellects. Yet madness does not just mean a disordered mind caught up in its own delusions and faux-reality. If madness is one man’s illusion, perhaps sanity is also an illusion, but one shared by many instead of relegated to an individual. The psychotic simply perceives a different illusion or pierces the common delusion to reveal a deeper...

Dead Eyes and Battle Scars (Part 2 of 2)

There’s a flip side to chronic injury. The same experiences that permanently wound adventurers also mold them into superior combatants. Even the most fumbled attack by a paragon-tier PC deals some damage. Below are several feats open to paragon tier characters that reflect this expertise. Ache of Wrath Prerequisite Cleric or Invoker Benefit If you miss with an encounter attack power with the divine keyword and you wouldn’t otherwise still deal...

Dead Eyes and Battle Scars (Part 1 of 2)

By paragon tier, PCs have made it out of the neophyte stage and are professional adventurers. They walk with a confident strut, and their words carry the weight of experience. However, one thing always gives away an accomplished adventurer: the numerous scars. In fantasy games, wounds are often a transitory condition, represented through the abstract concept of hit points and lasting only as long as it takes the party cleric to get warmed up....

Metron, Angel of Knowledge and Truth

This man of gears and steel plates stands 10 ft. tall. A green metallic eye stares from the tip of each of its four wings. Angel of Knowledge and Truth Inevitables tasked with enforcing the laws of truth, metrons seek out and punish those who use deception to attain wealth, power, or advancement. They target dishonesty in all its forms, including any attempt to change a creature’s true state using magic. As such, beings who exploit or indulge...

Ritual Life: Stone Communion

Dwarves are not all hammers, shields, and axes. They possess a strong—some would say almost divine—connection to earth and stone. Wielders of ancient magic, dwarf spellcasters manipulate stone as if it were clay, and their rituals reflect this. Chasm to the Abyss and Seal the Ways protect the halls from beasts and creatures crawling up out of the dark. Earth Glide is known only to a few dwarf wizards and druids, thanks to understanding the true...

Ritual Life: The Way of the Derro

The derro are masters of ritual magic. Their mad insights and devious, malignant nature allow them to craft rituals unknown on the surface world. Derro rituals reflect the intellects behind their inventors and grant the ability to torture other creatures, lay better ambushes, and protect the approaches to their home caverns. Clever or daring adventurers might discover a derro ritual after driving the vermin out of their hiding holes. Of course,...

Death’s Door: A Few Diseases More

As promised in Kobold Quarterly  #12, here are more diseases to throw at unsuspecting adventurers. Iron Rot (Level 3 Disease) Rusted metal of all sorts, from old sword blades to discarded nails, carries iron rot. The victim’s joints slowly stiffen until movement of any kind, even speech, is impossible… Attack +6 vs. Fortitude Endurance improve DC 15, maintain DC 10, worsen DC 9 or lower The target is cured. < Initial Effect The target...

Ritual Life: Everyday Life of the Dwarves

The dwarf cantons of the Iron Crags are so successful, one might be forgiven for believing subterranean life is easy, no harder than a surface dweller’s existence on the farm or in a city. Of course, dwarves are not solely an underground race—they cultivate the land and hunt and fish in the sunlit world—but most of their life is spent in their stone halls. In times of danger or war, a dwarf might spend years inside. To make subterranean life...

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