3.5 dnd

Incantations: Powerful Magic, At A Cost...

Incantations are like spells, but they can be cast by characters who are not spellcasters.

This variant enables characters who know the correct ritual gestures and phrases for an incantation to achieve powerful magic effects.

Incantations don’t use spell slots, you don’t have to prepare them ahead of time, and you can use an incantation an unlimited number of times per day.

Incantations have drawbacks: They’re time-consuming to cast, and success isn’t assured.

They are often expensive, and some require additional participants to complete the ritual.

Some incantations work only under certain specifi c conditions, such as during a full moon.

Most important among the drawbacks, an incantation rarely fades away quietly if the caster fails to perform the ritual correctly.

Instead it reverses itself on the caster, explodes with a cascade of magical energy, or weakens the barrier between worlds, enabling hostile outsiders to emerge onto the Material Plane.

This variant gives a measure of magical power to non-spellcasters, but the incantations themselves are usually too specific in effect to increase a character’s power in the general sense.

Because many incantations require academic skills such as Knowledge, the characters best equipped to cast them are often spellcasters anyway.

Incantations provide a useful way to introduce powerful magical effects in a lower-level game under controlled conditions.

PCs will still use spells rather than expensive, risky incantations whenever they can.

Incantations are also more specific than spells, so the DM can introduce them into the game without worrying that they’ll spread beyond the immediate situation.

If you want characters in your low-level game to take a brief sojourn to Ysgard, you can introduce the incantation Hrothgar’s journey.

Because it requires the construction of a thatched hut in the middle of a forest and works only during the winter solstice, you don’t have to worry about the characters exploring the Outer Planes whenever they get the urge.

If you gave low-level PCs easy access to the plane shift spell, on the other hand, they could wander the planes until they ran afoul of the first outsider more powerful than they are (which is almost any outsider).

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I think one of the most amusing/best moments of the D&D campaign I’m in is the fact that early on, with our group being only levels 1-2, we came across a particularly large adamantine door while exploring a crypt. .

A few of our members legitimately took the time to work the door off of its hinges, put it in our wagon, and bring it back to the town we were doing a mission for to sell it.

Needless to say, our group was rolling in gold, the town thrived, and our DM can never live down the fact that we got so much money at such an early level. 

All because of a fucking door. 

like my bulette drawing, i illustrated this owlbear based on famous medieval engravings.

also you can buy prints of my various D&D creatures done in this style on my redbubble page, along with t-shirts and other accessories! just click here!

50 Rumors And Hooks...
  1. A bandit gang preys on wounded and weary adventurers as they straggle down the road from the dungeon to the city. 
  2. A black cloak was stolen from the Burnt Bridge tavern last night; sewn into the hem is a treasure map.
  3. A gigantic egg appeared in the town square last night. No one knows what might hatch out of it, but it’s going to happen soon.
  4. A deity walks the city streets disguised as a humble mortal. 
  5. A hot-tempered knight has promised all his lands to his brother if he is bested at the upcoming jousting tournament.
  6. A leading churchman has announced a heretical doctrine; his fellow priests have demanded that he recant, on pain of excommunication. 
  7. A wrestler named Drón Goldentress will perform three great quests for anyone who can beat her in a match. 
  8. Agitation grows in a neighboring land for a renewed war against the kingdom. 
  9. An eerie dog with glowing eyes stalks the city at night. The magnificent sorcerer Furioso was bitten by it, and now he can barely remember his own name.
  10. Ditchdiggers unearthed an ornate tin casket the other day. They can’t figure out how to open it, but won’t let anyone else try, either. 
  11. Drinking a poison surely meant for someone else, the meek baker Oswald dropped dead in a tavern last night. 
  12. During the day, the headsman’s daughter appears rather homely, but under the moonlight, she is the fairest young maiden in the realm.
  13. Every hundred years or so, a black, venomous rain falls on the city, killing hundreds of people. A recurrence is months overdue. 
  14. The Superordinate Six, a band of famed adventurers, have failed to return from an expedition to the Rat City ruins. 
  15. Goblins tunneled a good distance under the city walls last year, but the authorities covered it up. 
  16. Grave robbers have been digging up the bones of slain adventurers. They must be working for a lich or evil wizard. 
  17. Luriez the horse trader is auctioning off Bravo, a clever and magnificent steed. His former owner, a luckless mercenary, lost him in a dice game. 
  18. Magic items sold by Antesos Three-Beard have a peculiar way of finding their way back to his shop after the purchasers die. 
  19. Many of a famous knight’s heroic feats were in fact performed by his squire, a young girl dressed as a boy.
  20. Mercenaries have taken sanctuary in the temple; the high priests want them out but are forbidden by the tenets of their faith to expel them. 
  21. Pound for pound, the most valuable treasure in town is not silver or gold, but the cache of saffron hidden in the spice merchant’s shop. 
  22. Priestess Ciana has great healing powers, but those she raises from the dead sometimes take on her personality traits. 
  23. Pulsing green lights are frequently observed near the abandoned mines south of the city. 
  24. Recent rains flooded the catacombs beneath the city; strange things are floating to the surface.
  25. Someone is stealing all of the town’s church bells. 
  26. Somewhere in the city, the priceless Altar of Kych is hidden in plain sight.
  27. The armorer Casabon just received a shipment of Zhenish steel, which will make fine blades for those who can afford them.
  28. The astronomer Harun the Subtle reports sighting a circle of new red stars in the sky. The Royal Astrological Society has offered a reward to anyone who can conclusively explain the meaning of this omen.
  29. The beloved singer Dulari has fallen prey to a terrible illness, one the healers can’t cure. 
  30. The bullying city watchman Moyalva has been extorting money from the weak and helpless.
  31. The courtier Vivando has fallen out of favor with the king, who suspects him of having eyes for the princess.
  32. The exiled prince of Cadis unwisely dismissed a churlish servant who knows too much about his master’s business.
  33. The feathers that rained down on Beggar’s Alley last night came from the wings of battling archons.
  34. The floorboards beneath the Trembling Pig Inn are hollow and full of stolen gold.
  35. Pirates have disrupted grain shipments meant for the kingdom; starvation looms if traders cannot resupply in time.
  36. The high sheriff becomes violently enraged if anyone accuses him of having orc blood. 
  37. The king is a usurper who has the real heir to the throne chained up in his basement.
  38. The king plans to build new watchtowers around the city. Laborers, once desperate for work, will soon be hard to hire.
  39. The king’s chief minister plans to step down, making way for his clever but abrasive protégé. 
  40. The philosopher Frabreck has released another pamphlet arguing for the conquest of the orc lands, so that its peoples can be liberated from evil and placed under the king’s benevolent rule.
  41. The rancher Septimus is raising a flock of strange reptilian beasts on his farm.
  42. The retainers of an unpopular knight quelled an uprising on his lands by fi ring crossbows into an unarmed throng.
  43. The rich merchant Zaguant has learned that pirates have sold his son into slavery.
  44. The son and daughter of two rival merchant families eloped a few weeks ago. Both fathers offer a reward for the son: his father aims to protect him, but the girl’s wants him dead.
  45. Whenever a member of the murderous Lampedusa clan is slain, the weapon used to deal the death blow is permanently imbued with powerful magic.
  46. The young adventurer Brialda carries a shield bearing the crest of the Acatero family, even though, as an illegitimate daughter of that clan, she is not entitled to it. 
  47. An ancient throne lies buried in a field nearby. Anyone who sits on the throne for an entire night will rise from it a wise man or a lunatic.
  48. They say that if you listen long enough to the water lapping against the shore near the statue of King Brand, you will hear the name of an innocent person you are fated to kill. 
  49. They’re slaughtering more than just cows and sheep at the old abattoir down by the piers.
  50. Whenever ravens gather on the clock tower, a mighty hero dies. 

Dungeons and Dragons is great. I love being a player and I love being a DM. If I’m not playing D&D, I’m thinking about it. Thinking of interesting character ideas I’d like to play. Thinking up new and creative adventures and encounters to try and kill my players with. Anytime I’m left to myself and I can’t do anything else, I’m thinking about D&D. If I’m walking to the store, I’m probably thinking of D&D. If I’m stuck at a boring social gathering I was forced to attend, I’m probably thinking of D&D. But since I only get to actually play D&D for about four hours two days a week, I now have a backlog of dozens of adventures I’ll never get to run and over thirty characters I’ll never get to play.

Summoning a Great Demon
  • *During a break from character to discuss pizza*
  • Fighter: So, we are all in agreement that pineapple on pizza is delicious.
  • DM: Gordon Ramsey doesn't think so.
  • Fighter: Then can we summon Gordon Ramsey and fight him?
  • DM: *resigned to his fate* Sure, roll a combined summon spell.
  • *The party rolls a combined 12*
  • *A small hellish portal opens up in the Inn the party is staying at, and begins to collapse as they failed the roll, but just before it closes, Gordon Ramsey sticks his head through the portal*
  • Ramsey: You call this a portal to hell? I've seen toilets at Taco Bell that opened up better than this!
  • *Portal closes and leaves the members of the party and the patrons at the inn at a lost for words*
Drugs & Dragons: Fantasy Drugs In D&D

Drugs in the D&D game follow many of the same rules as poisons, allowing saving throws to resist their initial, as well as secondary effects.

Magical effects can negate or end a drug’s effects, but they do not restore hit points, or other effects caused by the substance.

A creature that willingly takes a drug automatically fails both saving throws.

It is not possible to intentionally fail the initial save but attempt to save against the secondary effect, or vice versa.

Save DCs are provided for situations in which a character is unwillingly drugged.

Sample Drugs

Below are examples of drugs that can be introduced into a campaign; many of them are effective against some sorts of mental disorders.

Table 6–12 provides some specifics for each drug, and the text description for each one provides the following additional information.

Initial Effect: The effect of the drug if the initial Constitution Saving Throw is failed.

Secondary Effect: The effect of the drug if the secondary Constitution Saving Throw is failed 1 minute after ingestion.

Side Effect: The side effect (if any) that occurs immediately upon taking the drug.

Overdose: What (if anything) constitutes an overdose and its effect on the character.

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D&D 5E NPC - Valentin Vidal - Wood Elf Vocalist

Art by: Indah Siregar

Name: Valentin Vidal
Race: Wood Elf
Gender: Male
Height: 5ft 8′ / 1.72m  
Age: 113  
Class: Bard (Vocalist)


Level: 6

AC 13, Hp 33 (6d8 Hit Die), Proficiency +3, Speed 35ft

Alignment: Chaotic Good

languages: Common, Elvish. Gnomish, Halfing

Ability Scores:
Str 10 (+0) Dex 16 (+3) Con 13 (+1) Int 12 (+1) Wis 11 (+0) Cha 19 (+4)

Attacks: Rapier (+6 to hit, 1d8+3 piercing damage)

Spellcasting: 6th level Bard, spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 16, to hit with spell attacks +7)

Cantrips (at will): Friends, Minor Illusion, Vicious Mockery,

1st level (4 slots): Charm Person, Dissonant Whispers, Faerie Fire, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter,

2nd level (3 slots): Calm Emotions, Heat Metal, Suggestion,

3rd level (2 slots): Bestow Curse, Fear, Leomund’s Tiny Hut,

Skills: Deception, Perception, Performance, Persuasion,

Equipment: An Explorer's pack, Rapier, Dagger, Mandolin, Bardic costume, A Binder filled with love letters, 40gp, 33sp, 14cp,

Racial Traits: Darkvision (60ft / 18m / 12sqr), Trance (meditate for 4 hours instead of sleep), Fey Ancestry, Mask of the Wild,  

Class Features: Spellcasting, Bardic inspiration (d8), Jack of All Trades, Song of Rest (d6), Bard College (College of Lore), Expertise (Performance), Font of Inspiration,


Valentin Vidal is a Flirty and charming Wood elf singer who never misses a chance to show off his wonderful voice. But he his boastfulness and vanity have a way of upsetting the wrong people.

Ideal: All beautiful people deserve a beautiful song.

Bond: I have spent many an enjoyable moment with  many people but the one person who I want to spent my moments with refuses to see me, one day I’ll prove my worthiness to them.

Flaw: After boasting about my vocal prowess a spiteful witch cursed me. Now everything I say must be in song form. 

1-10: Random Monster Encounter

11-15: A Phantasmal Killer Spell Is Placed On You By The Gods

16-20: All Of The Cards Fall From Your Deck Of Many Things

21-24: A Falling Metorite Deals You 2-10 HP Of Damage

25-30:A Blue Blot From The Heavens Deals You 10-60 HP Of Damage

31-35: Your Wand Of Wonders Suddenly Spews Forth A Fireball That Engulfs You Completely

36-40: You’re Polymorphed Into A Random Monster That Attacks Nearby Players

41-45: A Witch Flies Down From The Sky On A Broom, Snatches You, And Flies Off

46-50: You’re Abducted By Aliens

51-55: Your Alignment Changes To Chaotic-Lawful

56-60: Your Alignment Changes To Good-Evil

61-65: A Huge Mutant Tyrannosaurs Eats You And Then Vanishes

66-70: An Angry Beholder Appears

71-75: You Stumble Upon An Ancient Black Dragon 

76-80: You Suffer From Kleptomania (An Irresistible Urge To Steal) Near Small Objects

81-85: You Suffer From Dipsomania (An Irresistible Urge To Drink Until Unconscious) While In Or Near Taverns Or Bars

86: You’re Swollowed Into The Abbys

87-90: A Tree Falls On You (No Matter Where You Are) For 10-60 HP Of Damage

91-95: You Melt Into A Liquid And Drain Away

96-100: You Lose 1d20 Points Of Intelligence 

I found this gem and thought some of you could find it useful for some of your players. I put the information down here in the description for clarification.

House Rules: Puzzles And Hints

Like many DMs, I put puzzles in my adventures that I want the players to work on at the table.

These puzzles often tax the players’ knowledge and intuition, as opposed to the characters’.

If I put together an elaborate “chessboard” puzzle, for example, I might not want the solution found in just a few die rolls.

It’s unsatisfying.

However, it’s also not fair for me to take the resources of a character away from the player.

If you’re playing an 18 Intelligence, 18 Wisdom character, your character is pretty smart and intuitive and should have some sort of leg up solving puzzles (though I’ve met plenty of intelligent people who can’t even solve a crossword).

It’s just like encounter skills: If I set up a roleplaying/negotiation opportunity and you’ve spent a ton of ranks on the Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Bluff skills, I’d better allow you to make the occasional die roll.

Here’s how I split the difference.

Whenever I construct a puzzle, I pick a few skills that I think would be applicable to solving the puzzle.

If the puzzle has weird runes in it, I might choose Knowledge (arcana), Decipher Script, and/or a particular lan guage (say, Dwarven).

If a character has ranks in any of those skills, or knows how to speak Dwarven, I allow the player at some time during the puzzle-solving process to make a skill check or ability check.

I only allow one such check per character.

Depending on the total, I give the player a hint.

I won’t solve the puzzle for the party outright this way, but I give them enough of a clue to keep the puzzle fun and interesting.

This, of course, restricts the sorts of puzzles I use in my game.

Normally, I construct multistage puzzles with several possible solutions to each level that I can see (and the players almost always figure out one or two solutions I don’t see).

This means that I can give some pretty useful clues to those characters who roll high enough without spoiling the puzzle for the players or myself.

—Ed Stark

D&D 5E NPC - Duchess Vanderbar - Noble Wizard

Art by: Helga Sable

Name: Duchess Vanderbar 
Race: Human
Gender: Female
Height: 5ft 5′ / 1.65m
Age: 42
Class: Wizard


Level: 18

AC 13 (16 with mage armour), Hp 120 (18d6 Hit Die), Proficiency +6, Speed 30ft,

Alignment: Chaotic Good

languages: Common, Elvish. Dwarven, Halfing,

Ability Scores:
Str 11 (+0) Dex 16 (+3) Con 16 (+3) Int 20 (+5) Wis 12 (+1) Cha 14 (+2)

Attacks: Dagger (+10 to hit, 1d4+4 Piercing Damage)

Spellcasting: 18th level wizard, spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 19, to hit with spell attacks +11)

Cantrips (at will): Acid Splash, Mending, Shocking Grasp, Message, Prestidigitation,

1st level (4 slots): Shield, Unseen Servant, Magic Missile, Chromatic Orb, Mage Armor,

2nd level (3 slots): See Invisibility, Scorching Ray, Darkvision,

3rd level (3 slots): Fireball, Fly,

4th level (3 slots): Banishment, Ice Storm, Control Water, Dimension Door , Greater Invisibility, Conjure Minor Elementals,

5th level (3 slots): Cone of Cold, Passwall,

6th level (1 slots): Disintegrate,

7th level (1 slots): Whirlwind,

8th level (1 slots): Maze,

9th level (1 slots): Meteor Swarm, Time Stop,

Skills: Arcana, Deception, Insight, Perception, Persuasion,

Equipment: Dagger +1, Arcane focus, Scholar’s pack, Spell book, Hat of Disguise, Boots of speed, 200pp, A large Estate,

Class Features: Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery, Arcane Tradition (School of Evocation), Evocation Savant (School of Evocation), Potent Cantrip (School of Evocation), Empowered Evocation (School of Evocation), Overchannel (School of Evocation), Spell Mastery (Magic Missile, Scorching Ray)


Duchess Vanderbar is well spoken and carriers herself an elegance customary of those of her status. After years of the finest schooling and access to the greatest library’s in the land it is fair to say that Duchess Vanderbar is well educated, and is never shy to show that fact off.

Ideal: I have no time for bureaucracy and if a problem needs solving I’ll do it myself.

Bond: An item of great importance to me was stolen and I believe the only group with the resources to do so is the Thieves guild. I won’t rest until I have recovered my item and put the Thieves to the spell.

Flaw: I was born with a sliver spoon in my mouth and can’t cope with out my luxuries.


Someone has been a busy bee. Between learning/locking down printing through DTRPG, ordering proofs, freelance writing, freelance graphic design, Red Markets successfully funding, Kickstarter prep, GenCon, and just general 9-5 employment things have been a little hectic. 

So rather than leave you all out to dry I wanted to give you a sneak peek at something we’re working on. Granted, the text is CRAZY rough and hasn’t even been edited once yet but just look at the pretty pictures, pretty layout, and those darn pretty (and balanced) racial stats.

Nereun is something you will (hopefully) be seeing a lot more of in the coming months! It’s a mountainous, arctic, cursed hellhole of a world stalked by immortal Horrors and Cursebeasts. If you like your dark fantasy to be actually dark without going full grimderp then boy oh boy is Nereun for you.

We threw all the core races in the garbage and completely rewrote what most people assume is humanity’s greatest edge in addition to creating five all new races (the zajec being the most vanilla of them all) that live with horrific curses due to their hubris. Isn’t that swell?

The art is by the absolutely wonderful Michael Sanchez (who despite my protests still lacks an internet presence).