Articles By Author - Scott A. Murray

Encounter Codex: The Scribe’s Puzzle

Encounter Codex presents encounters you can quickly slot into any adventure. They are system neutral and easily adapted to any edition (and other game systems for that matter) with little effort—just add stats from your favorite monster manual. [previous encounter] __ Features of the Chamber • This cramped chamber has a domed ceiling nearly 15 ft. overhead. It is covered in an elegant fresco of subjects around the edge of the dome worshipping a...

Premonition Mural

Traps. Devices devious and deadly. Understood to be a crypt’s most treacherous wards. Many so ghastly they become emblematic of a particular tomb’s history and character. What the Dust Hides In the spirit of preserving the tomb’s reputation as a place of unparalleled danger, this article series offers 10 macabre new traps for use in tomb adventures at any tier of play. Watch out! [previously] __ The dancing grotesques shown in this mural evoke...

Encounter Codex: The Trial of Fate, Faith, and Fortune

Encounter Codex presents encounters you can quickly slot into any adventure. They are system neutral and easily adapted to any edition (and other games for that matter) with little effort—just add stats from your favorite monster manual. [previous encounter] __ A three-headed skeleton encased in ceremonial plate armor surveys this pillared hall from atop a throne of glass. Features of the Chamber The air in this wide hall is cold and drafty. It...

Dust of Candle Snuffing

For generations, the tomb has endured as the most iconic and menacing of adventure sites. Countless campaigns have been carried out in search of relics and lore secreted away, and few creatures inspire such terror as the undead, which wait forever in a disquieting stillness and silence. However, the rumors spread by adroit explorers and loquacious bards warn of threats more perilous than the touch of a wight or the stench of a ghoul. Traps....

Trap Themes (Part 5 of 5): Tricks of the Medusa Demilich

Trap theme templates can be applied to existing traps to give them a distinct and shared flavor. Each theme introduces new powers—adding one does not affect a trap’s XP value, but upgrade a trap to an elite or solo if you apply two or more themes. [part 1][part 2][part 3][part 4] ___ From her blighted gallery of petrified adventurers and former lovers, the medusa demilich surveys a tomb of most perilous character. A legion of zealous undead and...

Encounter Codex: The Eye of Ihmrahotep

Encounter Codex presents encounters that can be quickly slotted into any adventure. They are system neutral and easily adapted to any edition (and other games for that matter) with little effort—just add stats from your favorite monster manual. [previous encounter] ___ A radiant yellow orb—like a miniature sun—gleams from beneath a veil of crushed rubies. Hieroglyphs inked onto the wrappings of nearby mummies shimmer in kind… Features of...

Trap Themes (Part 4 of 5): Daemonic Implements

Trap themes are templates that can be applied to existing traps to give them a distinct and shared flavor. Each theme introduces new powers—adding one does not affect a trap’s XP value, but upgrade a trap to an elite or solo if you apply two or more themes. [part 1][part 2][part 3] ___ Few places inspire as much terror as the burning cities of the Hells and the infinite yawning layers of the Abyss. Some trade in stories of demons and devils to...

Trap Themes (Part 3 of 5): Psionic Wards

Trap themes are templates that can be applied to existing traps to give them a distinct and shared flavor. Each theme introduces new powers—adding one does not affect a trap’s XP value, but upgrade a trap to an elite or solo if you apply two or more themes. [part 1][part 2] ___ Whether manifested in a young savant blessed with unusual talent or an inscrutable spawn of planes beyond, psionic power is both mysterious and potent. Few understand...

Encounter Codex: The Gargoyle and the Gauntlet

“Encounter Codex” presents individual encounters that can be quickly slotted into any adventure. They are system neutral and easily adapted to any edition (and other games for that matter) with little effort—just add stats. [Previous Encounter] ___ A narrow catacomb stretches toward a T-intersection roughly 20 paces ahead. The jaw and limbs of a four-armed gargoyle statue peek out from the darkness of the left corridor. The repetitive pinging...

Trap Themes (Part 2 of 5): Curses of the Dread Pharaoh

Trap themes are templates that can be applied to existing traps to give them a distinct and shared flavor. Each theme presented introduces new powers—adding one does not affect a trap’s XP value, but upgrade a trap to an elite or solo if you apply two or more themes. [part 1] ___ Since the first expeditions to strange and ancient kingdoms of the desert, stories of the mummy’s curse have captured the imagination of all who hear them. The deific...

Trap Themes (Part 1 of 5): Wilderness Snares

Trap themes are templates that can be applied to one or more existing traps to give them a distinct shared flavor. Each theme presented introduces new powers that can be applied to a trap—adding one does not affect a trap’s XP value, but consider upgrading a trap to an elite or solo if two or more are applied. ___ When one speaks of tricks and traps—often in hushed tones punctuated by the muted clanging of ale mugs—images of the dungeon...

KotM2 Fight! Eye of Tricks and Traps

Welcome to the King of the Monsters 2 finals (see the list of finalists): the eye of tricks and traps is random finalist 9 of 10. These submissions are left almost entirely as they were received with the exceptions that all submissions are posted with an image and are standardized to KoboldQuarterly.com style. Let the fight commence! ___ The eye of tricks and traps is an enchanted construct that appears as a human skull with an iron cog fitted...

Encounter Codex: The Wand in the Watched Hall

“Encounter Codex” presents individual encounters that can be quickly slotted into any adventure. They are system neutral and easily adapted to any edition (and other games for that matter) with little effort—just add stats. [Previous Encounter] ___ An arched, 10-ft.-wide corridor stretches far into darkness ahead. Wispy cobwebs drift on the chilly air, gliding along deep shadows that sink into the recesses of the cracked masonry. The pervasive...

Encounter Codex: Shrine of the Primeval Toad

“Encounter Codex” presents individual encounters that can be quickly slotted into any adventure. They are system neutral and easily adapted to any edition (and other games for that matter) with little effort—just add stats. ___ Patches of ochre fungi illuminate this yawning cavern with preternatural moonlight. A waterfall tumbles from a fissure in the high ceiling, splashing down into a wide pond of murky water shrouded in mist....

Humpday Hazard: Echoing Curse

“Shut your mouths.” Nyx licked the blade of her punching dagger and slid against the wall. The cracks in the masonry felt icy. “Do you hear something, Nyx?” “I said hush, damnit!” Nyx peeled back her halfling braids, put a finger to the back of her ear, and held her breath. The rest of the group exchanged confused glances in silence. Only the tapping of water and the scuttling of dust beetles broke the gloom of the ancient castle’s stairwell....

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