Articles By Author - Frank Gori

Lost Magic: Revive Lost Tome

Another spell lost to the ages (or vagaries of lore) has been recovered. This time, Frank Gori gives us an option for acquiring other potentially lost lore. Revive Lost Tome School Necromancy (language dependent); Level cleric/oracle 4, wizard/sorcerer 4, inquisitor 4, bard 4 Casting Time 10 minutes Components V, S, F (scrap of parchment with name of tome) Range Personal Effect Summons a ghostly tome or parchment Duration 1 hour/level or...

Old Hat Monsters: Flavoring an Old Hat Encounter

The dice land and, according to your random encounter, it’s one of those classics your crew has become way too familiar with. Zombies, trolls, giant spiders, goblins, and worgs can fail to excite more experienced players. Maybe you scroll through some of my old templates and add a twist to the monster, but frankly there’s only so many times that’s going to work until they start calling you M. Night Shyamalan. So do you skip it? That isn’t...

Old Hat Monsters: Brawler Crunch

Last week, I introduced some new concepts for bar brawlers to liven up your next dustup. I said I’d present all three if I got enough comments, and you folks delivered. It’s time to pay up! Join me after the jump for your brawler crunch. Some quick build rules I’ll be adhering to: I’m assuming 15-point buy and hero-level wealth (adjust CRs by 1). I’ll present them as CR 7 in the document but I’ll also discuss the builds further here so you can...

Old Hat Monsters: You Spilled My Beer!

Last time we went crusty with the old guy/creature that would kick your butt based on defensive abilities. I was satisfied with this until a commenter pointed out he was hoping to see an old guy that punches you in just the right spot to crumple you. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted that character to come to life. I thought about doing another age-before-beauty-based template to reflect that, but a little voice in my head told me...

Old Hat Monsters: Going Crusty

In Pathfinder, aging is addressed in game mechanics by a slow degradation of the physical attributes and an equally slow gain in mental attributes. I agree that for perhaps the majority of stories this makes perfect sense, but then I think of some of my favorite characters that are older and how they seem to overcome age and defy this. Marv from Sin City, Bruenar Battlehammer from R.A. Salvatore’s work, Flint Fireforge from Dragonlance, and...

Old Hat Monsters: Passing Out Cigars

If you couldn’t tell, I’m an old school gamer and 2nd Edition AD&D was my jam. I held onto the system I grew up with through 3rd Edition, and into the death and rebirth of 3.5. My more progressive gaming friends pressured me to revaluate my position on the system time and time again, but I had invested so much into AD&D. I had all the handbooks, the spells and options, and the boxed sets for just about all of your favorite trademarked...

Old Hat Monsters: Cupid’s Arrow

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” —Lao Tzu The romantic interest hostage is a staple of action movies, fantasy, and comics. The setup is easy, lazy writing, and the good guy always comes out on top, except when he doesn’t and the romantic interest gets killed and the story takes the turn of a revenge piece. WHYYYY? Because, it’s easy, lazy writing and some hack writer doesn’t...

Old Hat Monsters: The Potential Hidden Threat

“Indifference, to me, is the epitome of all evil.” ― Elie Wiesel We gamers like to dwell in worlds that differ greatly from our own. Perhaps this is because the world around us fails to make sense in the way the worlds on the pages of our books and in our mind’s eye can. Despite the fantastical elements, despite the physicality and tangibility of evil, there is a sense of right and wrong our world sometimes lacks. It harkens back to the stories...

Old Hat Monsters: Divinely Monstrous

Last week, a colleague of mine tackled the paper tiger nature that a lot of monster gods have. It had me thinking about how many monsters are intelligent enough to worship a deity (Intelligence 3 or better) but generally lack the statistics to have clerics, inquisitors, druids, or oracles. Where there’s a gap in monster design, there’s a template. Join me after the jump as we discuss the god-touched template (CR +1). The idea is a simple one:...

Old Hat Monsters: A Ritual Madness

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” —Edgar Allan Poe About a year ago, I started a Kingmaker campaign for Pathfinder. Without spoiling much, there’s a location in that Adventure Path that begs for a homebrew dungeon themed around the Dark Tapestry. I drew up a map, came up with a story, then dove into the material to find Dark Tapestry beasties to fill my dungeon. Unfortunately for me, I...

Old Hat Monsters: Voidlings

“They cannot scare me with their empty spaces Between stars—on stars where no human race is. I have it in me so much nearer home To scare myself with my own desert places.” –Robert Frost Last week, I tried to test the interest in an encounter using the two tapestry templates I presented. While the response wasn’t what I hoped for, it was enough where I will offer it either next week or possibly link it in the comments with a public Google...

Old Hat Monsters: Tapestry-Enlightened Template

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” —Aristotle Last week, I wrote a template for this site I wish I could redact or recant. For those fortunate enough to have missed it: Do not click on this link. I was wrong to discuss the “fiction” of H.P. Lovecraft or its impact on the Dark Tapestry in Pathfinder. Furthermore, the template, while serviceable for minions and sacrifices, is hardly representative of those who have found...

Old Hat Monsters: Tapestry-Tainted Template

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” –Friedrich Nietzsche Inspiration can be drawn from many places. In fantasy, Tolkien gets all the press, but I’ve always had a thing for the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. H.P. Lovecraft was a master of horror. As a storyteller, he understood that what lurks in the dark unseen is...

Old Hat Monsters: Companion Treasure

“Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.” —Thomas Carlyle Last week, I wrote an article that was effectively a bandage. Equipping animals with humanoid gear is something I have playtested, and it makes an animal more likely to survive the brutal realities of adventuring life. Although the animal in question survives more encounters using this gear, the mental picture of a horse deflecting arrows because it...

Old Hat Monsters: Lions and Tigers and Bears, Equipped!

Man is a wingless animal with two feet and flat nails.” —Plato Humans dominate the Earth because we use tools, plain and simple. Animals are limited to genetic and behavior adaptations, while humans can adjust to new environmental hazards with technology. Fangs and claws simply cannot compete with swords and guns. We have even taken the sky from the birds and the ocean depths from the fish. In most fantasy settings, the world is not quite as...

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