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Out of the Frying Pan: Striking for the Wolfmark

Constant vigilance is life’s price within occupied Krakovar. Here, even wildlife is suspect, any bird or rabbit a potential spy for the vampiric conquerors of this once sovereign principality. And her lean, northern daylight hours are no guarantee against the predatory aristocracy controlling this dismal, fog-drenched region. Encounter 1: Through the Neck Recommended Levels: 11–13 PCs currently follow one of the clandestine trade routes,...

Warlock’s Apprentice: Creatures of War

Intelligent creatures have used beasts and birds as implements of war since the concept of warfare was invented. Easy to train animals are used as mounts, messengers, weapons, and sometimes even siege engines if the creature is large enough. Appendix A of the Monster Manual contains statistics for numerous beasts that one might find on a battlefield. The beasts on the following pages are trained to thrive in a warzone. Many of them can be used...

Expanding Codex: Swolbold

The Expanding Codex series fleshes out monsters from the Creature Codex, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign. Alternate Traits and Actions The following changes allow GMs to alter a swolbold without modifying its challenge rating: Audience-Driven Overconfidence. The swolbold has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the swolbold’s...

Deep Magic Wallpapers

It’s October, and magic is filling the land! So here’s a haunting set of wallpapers for your computer, your smartphone, or whatever electronic device you’ve got. This month, we’ve got a piece from Deep Magic for 5E (awaiting you now at Kickstarter), by Marcel Mercado. Let’s fire up those pumpkins, adventurers! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Please, click on the image you want to download to expand it into a downloadable...

DEEP MAGIC on Kickstarter

Deep Magic Is Here! Nothing says magic like a massive tome of spells—and that’s exactly what we’re compiling. Deep Magic! A tome collecting, updating, tweaking, and expanding every awesome spell, cantrip, and glamour derived from years of the Deep Magic for 5th Edition series—more than 575 new and compiled spells by the best in the business, including Wizards of the Coast staffers and A-list freelancers. And we’re adding a lot more to that...

Welcome to Midgard: The Season of War

The Seven Cities both revel in and depend on war. Customs and laws limit their wars’ gross destruction, provide a season for it, make it a source of status for their generals and nobles that glorifies their power and right to rule, and—not least of all—make war a source of valuable plunder and tribute from weaker states. Fighting a war correctly requires obeying its limits and forms. The practices and rituals governing war in the Septime lands...

Warlock’s Apprentice: Lost Combat Spells of the Red Wastes

Two hundred years of war between the Mharoti Empire and Great Khandaria destroyed the fair country of Sindhu. Rivers of blood spilled from the clash of armies, titanic detonations of alchemical munitions, and arcane corruption from all manner of spells transformed this once fertile land into the Red Wastes. Yet among the hastily buried corpses, shattered skeletons of siege engines, and forgotten encampments, great plunder and lost arcana await...

My Monster Contest

Tell us about a monster to win BOOKS! RPG monsters are the greatest thing ever! (Fight me!) For real, who doesn’t love monsters. They were literally the thing that drew me into RPGs, and there will never be enough of them. The My Monster flash monster contest is your chance to show off yours! And for this contest, we’re going into the dungeon… Share a description (up to 60 words) of your monster with us, and a panel of judges will pick out four...

Beyond the Audience: Team Up

Greetings, travelers! And welcome to Beyond the Audience where we provide tips and tricks for building an RPG show that is loved by both your players and the larger audience beyond your table. This time, I want to focus on a specific narrative strategy that does wonders for both players and viewers: incorporating teams into your storytelling. What exactly does that mean? Well let’s dive in! In the fantasy genre at large, there is a common trope...

Designing with Style: Heading to the Races

In this installment, we’ll talk about headings (or headers, the terms are interchangeable), which are used to separate content into smaller pieces and indicate what information each of those pieces contain. The 5th Edition style guide says, “We expect headings to be used logically and consistently throughout a manuscript.” From my perspective as an editor, this means a few different things. Use Headers Regularly. This one is pretty simple: if...

Appendix M: Advanced Reading in Midgard

As every grognard knows, the original AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide had a section at the end called “Appendix N: Inspirational and Educational Reading.” It was a list of the fantasy novels that inspired Gary Gygax to create the game. But it was also a “further reading” suggestion, the idea being to pay some love backward to the authors who carved out the fantasy genre while also serving up some sources of inspiration to beginning game masters...

Tome of Beasts: Drakon

These winged snakes are coastal beasts and sometimes confused with true dragons or wyverns. They are neither, but quite deadly in their own right. Searing Acid. Drakon fangs do not deliver venom; volatile acid constantly burbles up from a drakon’s stomach and enhances its attacks. A caustic drool clings to creatures they bite, and drakons can also belch clouds of searing vapor. Their lairs reek with acidic vapors and droplets of searing...

Warlock’s Apprentice: The Butcher’s Bill

No matter how sophisticated the civilized races of Midgard become nor how peaceful the times seem, the threat of war is never far off. Just in recent history, the vampires of Morgau and Doresh annexed the former Electoral Kingdom of Krakova whose ruling family in exile now wages an internecine war against their conquerors. In the Seven Cities, where war is a way of life with a specific season for waging it, the Mharoti Empire ceased to be...

The Sorcery Stop: Lábak of Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is one of the great mysteries and a most fearsome wanderer. Though many know her name and many more recognize her legendary dancing hut, few can honestly claim to have met her, and fewer still enjoyed the experience. Almost none can claim kinship with the Grandmother, and no one known can claim her friendship or support. There are a few, however, that claim to use her power. Found mostly among expatriates from the Rothenian Plain, a...

Expanding Codex: Venom Elemental

The Expanding Codex series fleshes out monsters from the Creature Codex, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign. Alternate Traits and Actions The following changes allow GMs to alter a venom elemental without modifying its challenge rating: Air Form. Aerosolized versions of the venom elemental are rarer than their liquid cousins on the demiplane of poisons. The...

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