Don’t Look Now: Handling Fear & Suspense in Fifth Edition, Part 4

Part 4: Deep Dark Places After reading the previous three articles, you now know how to describe things to elicit fear, you have learned how to make a monster frightening, and your players have a group of characters with their own unique fears. Now all you need a spine-tingling place for them to explore and adventure in. This is the easiest aspect of designing and running a horror-themed adventure or campaign. The fantasy middle-ages are filled...

Collection of Curiosities: Inside the Bag of Holding

That dark crimson bag of holding might have a few interesting things in it upon player character acquisition. You can roll randomly for a result below, or use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger. d12. Curiosity A silver ribbon has these words embroidered upon it amid blue metallic flowers: Prissa the Mermaid. A...

The Sundown Eyes Guild

The Rose Stone Manor is the crown jewel of the city’s wealthiest estates. The grounds are private, the windows easy to open, and with so many doors it should be simple enough to find a way inside. Smart thieves have seen the signs with the red all-seeing eye, put their hands in their pockets, and walked away. Stupid thieves thought they were smarter than the Sunset Men, and decided to try the job anyway. They spent a lot of time...

The Iron Horsemen

One of the most common quest hooks in fantasy games is for the party to escort a person or item of importance on a journey. It might be a diplomat on her way to sign an important peace treaty, a prince on his way to be betrothed, or even a relic of power being sought by an ancient death cult. When those in power need security, they seek out adventurers to lend their unique skills to the task. Of course, given how often nobles, politicians, and...

Player Report: Cat and Mouse

Rafael ran the Pathfinder version of Cat and Mouse, and he shared some of his notes about the experience with us! Take a peek at what you might encounter in the adventure, but be aware that you’ll see spoilers! Recently, we played the Pathfinder version of Cat and Mouse. The party consisted of an aasimar bard, a female gnoll barbarian, and a tosculi blight druid. I like this setting because you can have such a diverse and original party...

Prepared!: A Mother’s Face

They listened to her sweet song—a melodious remembrance of a gleaming spire bathed in moonlight. “Alden by the sea, she waits there for me…” the creature crooned, and as they listened, her kin ate from their skulls—none raised the slightest complaint; the owl with a mother’s face. —Hefon, the Mad “A Mother’s Face” is a fifth edition scenario that challenges four 5th- to 6th-level characters, and it includes the owl harpy, a creature from the...

The Wanderer’s Way

Have you ever wondered how normal people send letters in your fantasy setting? Noble lords have dedicated servants, and the government makes use of military messengers, but what about the butchers, blacksmiths, shipwrights, farmers, and hundreds of others? How do they send letters and packages to their loved ones? Well, in your world, they could hand them over to the Wanderer’s Way. What Is the Wanderer’s Way? The Wanderers, as...

Interview with Dan Dillon

Dan Dillon has taken the baton for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition and run with it. He’s designed dozens and dozens of monsters for Kobold Press’s upcoming release, Tome of Beasts, and he’s also been producing player-focused materials. He’s been a key contributor to the association of RPG designers known as the Four Horsemen and an enthusiastic member of many 5E player communities. To celebrate the upcoming anniversary of Kobold Press, he...

Prepared!: The Follow Dark

They came at noon. Walked straight across Demp’s turnip field and directly to the paddock. I been living here for ten years, and not once have those foul things been seen in the light of day. Two of them, walking together with a grim smile on their brutish faces. Behind them, trailing a few paces, was some small shadowy thing—all foggy it was, and wherever the strange being went, an unnatural shade spread in the sky. We hid as the hulks...

Don’t Look Now: Handling Fear and Suspense in Fifth Edition, Part 3

Part 3: The Monster After You Monsters are an important staple of horror-themed games. They are the threat that keeps player characters wary about entering the next room, or nervous about peering around the next corner. Unfortunately, scary monsters don’t frighten characters in fantasy tabletop games quite the same way they do characters in a horror movie. Why? Because experienced players already know their tricks. Werewolves, vampires, oozes,...

Prepared!: Yobb’s Speck of Likely Lightning

We get enough storms this close to the big drink, and more than we need at that. Now, just up the river a ways, where it gets wide and treacherous with rapids, there’s a tuft of dirt and trees out there in the middle. Yobb’s Speck they call it, after old Jan Yobb the woodsman—gods protect him, who first saw the islet’s unnerving quality. Whenever there’s a storm rolling through, the lightning visits there more than is natural. Crows love that...

The Brotherhood of The Brawl

The Headhunters are a renowned band of adventurers, known throughout the nation for their bravery, daring, and at times suicidal pursuit of getting the job done. Gordran Halfhand, the hulking bruiser, has never lost a duel. Semran Nightshade was one of the most infamous graduates of her arcane academy. Edelweiss Lightfingers has beaten a dozen charges for thievery, but never seems to run out of money. Rounding them out is the pious Temple “The...

Your Whispering Homunculus—10 Curious and Mercifully Unique Maladies

Master Pett’s Your Whispering Homunculus presents only the finest in British gaming. Indeed, you are not likely to find a more comprehensive assortment of miscellany anywhere. (So much more than just another bloke in a dress.) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ “Master!” “Again, tape-wormlet, can’t you see I’m busy with this flan? What now?” “Apologies, oh copious one, but my ongoing research into hedge-witches has brought up a list of curious illnesses and afflictions...

Walk the Path of the Trickster

Most tricksters are two steps ahead of the competition. A few know how to win before the race even begins! The trickster is a new Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible class which combines arcane magic with roguish skills. Use your special Forte ability to perform incredible acrobatics, summon a magical familiar to act as an accomplice, beguile enemies, or steal spells as they’re being cast! Outwit your foes and outrun your enemies. New Paths...

Prepared!: Shell Song

We brought the boats in and began unloading as the captain asked. Old man Jul went up the beach a ways to find a place to set the tents. We all laughed at first when he slipped on the rocks and fell flat on his arse, cursing and waving his arms. Now, Holm swears that old man Jul’s fate was sealed the day he spat on the ship’s shrine to Poseidon, but Holm is a zealot and who can say? We watched as the old man tried to stand, but couldn’t. We saw...


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