casting wall

What Goes Up...

The group I DM for, mostly levels 4 and 5, had been asking if they could do a quest that involved sailing. So I dusted off Stormwrack and settled of The Sable Drake. They had tracked the ship to the pirates hideout and were engaging in a sea battle offshore. The crew were all still alive but Captain Naki had all but crippled the ship and were preparing to board.

Cleric casts Wind Wall

Cleric: “That will keep them from shooting us but they can just walk through it.”

Ranger: “Yeah but the captain’s a wererat. If she gets on board she could bite us. I don’t want to get bit!”

Bard OOC: hey *DM* is the catapult still loaded?

DM: Yes, but the Sable Drake is too close to use it.

Bard OOC: Can I tie my rope to the rock.

DM: Yes? It takes 5 feet to wrap the rock. May I ask why?

Bard: I tie the rope and tell the crew member to prepare to fire. Hey, *Ranger* can I borrow your rope?“

Ranger: “Uh, sure.”

Bard: I tie her rope onto mine and say “Get ready.”

Captain Naki proceeds to board the ship after the party surrendered.

“So nice to have an easy capture. Just hand over the valuables and I’ll make your deaths quick.”

Bard: “Now *Ranger*!”

Ranger throws the rope at Naki and the bard casts Animate Rope on it to ranger her. Naki fails her save and is tangled.

The DM suddenly realizes what the rope is for.

Bard: “Fire the Catapult!”

The catapult is fired and Naki goes sailing towards the beach. The DM didn’t even bother to roll for fall damage.

“Good job. You’ve Tom and Jerry’d yet another boss fight.”

Entire table is losing their shit.

The party then proceeds to capture the Sable Drake and for themselves renamed it The Flying Goblin.


Before any interview, I have to sit with myself for five minutes and breathe and get centered because I get so nervous. Interviews are kind of like therapy, except all your answers are being written down and printed. I always want to be on the other side of it. I don’t want to be deconstructed for millions. I’d rather do the deconstructing.

.... And your intelligence score is 15?

I’m currently one of the 6 DMs in a 36 player mega-campaign, following (loosely) the Tyranny of Dragons campaign world. The players have mostly split up into about four parties, which are each following their own trail to track down the cult. Three of them are off doing their own thing, but one of them is in the city of Elturel and has decided to split up in order to cover more ground. Thankfully, we have enough DMs to cover them.

Then, a Dwarf Wizard decides to wander off, and I, as the last DM without a group at the moment, am sent to cover him.

For brief context, our version of Elturel has a tower beneath the town’s massive orb of undead-killing light, a temple of Sune. Her symbol is a candle, it now looks like a giant candle, all good. So, the dwarf decides to go there. 

PC: I’m going to head to the tower, all the way to the top.

Me: Cool, well, you get most of the way up, but there’s no obvious access to the roof. 

He then snags a nearby cleric and begins to ask him about the orb of light.

PC: “So, what’s causing that light?

NPC: “The Holy Light of Sune, it is light born from her magic.”

PC: “Yes, but where is it coming from?”

NPC: “… Her magic.”

PC: “But what’s in the middle?”

NPC: “Nothing is in the middle.”

PC: “Can I go up and take a look?’

NPC: “No, you can not study, prod, or examine our holy site to sate your own curiosity, you damned irreverent mage.”

PC: “So, can you tell me what’s casting the light?”

To save quite a bit of headache, he eventually had it explained to him in dead simple terms that there was just a floating ball of light, there was no crystal or sun or whatever, it was much like the light spell he himself could cast. The cleric walked away very annoyed. Being a dwarf character, he then got interested in the stone of the tower.

PC: “What’s the stone?”

Me: It’s something you’ve never seen. Smooth, joinless, white, almost like wax or bone.

PC: “But I have stone-cunning, and-”

Me: Yes, I know. You don’t recognize this. It’s definitely not local stone, and it might be unnatural.

Eventually, he also managed to get that it was made by magic, when another cleric repeated the story of the tower he had been told earlier. Kelemvor and Sune made the place together, so the Candle was brought into being by Sune, and lit by the pair, creating a light that destroyed undead. I thought he would be satisfied by this answer. I was incorrect.

PC: I want to cast identify on the tower!

Me: Roll intelligence. *Rolls* That would probably piss them off, given they told you flat out not to fuck with this place. 

PC: “Right, I’m going to hide somewhere against a wall then cast Identify on it!”

Me: “Roll Perception to find a place and Stealth to hide there.”

PC: *Rolls* *Nat 20 and Un-natural 20 on Stealth*

Me: “… Alright, so, you hide under a table with a large tablecloth in part of the library. When you cast Identify, you are suddenly near-blinded by an incredible white glow coming from every direction. The outline of a winged, angelic figure is all you can make out, which speaks to you in a thunderous voice in a language you do not know. The gist is there, however. "Do a stop it.”

PC: I cast Detect Thoughts on it!

Me: … I’m sorry, what?

PC: What is it thinking?

To summarize: This clown, a third level wizard, proceeded to cast Detect Thoughts on an unprepared-for-that-level-of-dumbfuckery Solar. A CR: 21 Angel of a major god. Due to how the spell worked, there was nothing actually stopping him from hearing the thoughts. The end result was being dropped to 1 HP, at 5 Levels of Exhaustion, and he was Blinded, Deafened, Stunned and Unconcious for nearly 18 hours after. He was only awoken when a priest happened to make the perception check to stumble across him, after his party had come and gone looking for him. He comes to, surrounded by a lot of clerics and several paladins, all of whom look quite pissed. 

Paladin: “What in the goddess’s name are you doing under there?”

He looks around blearily, and decides to repeat the words the Solar said to him. There’s a pause, and then an old elf pushes his way to the front. 

NPC: “Where did you hear that?”

PC: “The god told me that after I cast identify on the tower.”

NPC: “… That means, in Celestial, "Meddle not in affairs beyond your Ken, upstart mortal.” I’m sorry, you were doing WHAT to our tower?“ 

He then proceeded to explain what he had been doing. 

Long story short, he is now considered a Heretic and Defiler by the temple, was thrown out the front doors, and several of the game’s clerics are considering challenging him to duels of honor for his sheer ineptitude. Meanwhile, the rest of the party managed to accomplish the mission they were in town for.

What he had been doing had nothing in any way to do with their job.  

Dinner for the Dead Ritual

We are now in the dark time of the year. From Mabon to Yule, the nights grow longer, nature drifts toward sleep, and it is time for introspection. The veil thins, and it is easier to reach across to spirits and the souls of the dead.

This is my favorite time of year, the closest I get to my true nature and to home, so I am going to provide instruction for A Dinner for the Dead, known also as a Dumb Supper. So named because it is conducted entirely in silence.

With this ritual, you will be able to call forth departed loved ones and feel their presence, perhaps even hear them. Be advised, this is an intense experience and should not be undertaken lightly.

A dinner
Wand or athame
One more chair than the number of living people participating
Memento Mori, reminders of the dead. 
Candles, lanterns, or other dim light.

Step One: Preparation.

Make sure you will be undisturbed for at least a couple of hours. Ideally, this ritual should be performed in a house which is empty of non-participants, or else that everyone else present is respectful, knows what you are doing, and has agreed to remain silent in another room for the duration of the dinner. At the very least, be certain any roommates or family won’t disturb the dinner. The effectiveness of the ritual depends upon silence.

Set a table for the number of living people attending dinner, plus at least one additional place setting. This may be as simple or as fancy as you like. Any number of people may participate, or this ritual may be performed alone.

At the additional place setting, which should (if you have a rectangular table) be at the head of the table, the seat of honor, place items which remind you of lost loved ones – at least one for each specific person you wish to honor. These may be photographs, belongings, gifts from the person in question, or just something which reminds you of them.

Prepare a dinner. This should be the best that you can reasonably put together in terms of personal effort if not expense, but whatever you have available to you is sufficient. If possible prepare favorite foods of the deceased or foods which remind you of them. Foods traditionally associated with the dead are also appropriate. I usually make fried apples and include pomegranates, both fruits associated with the dead.

Be sure to consider drinks. Wine or apple cider is traditional. So, in fact, is tequila or rum in some traditions. Pomegranate juice or apple juice is also a good (non-alcoholic) option.

Optionally, you may wish to include music for part of the ritual, specifically songs which you associate strongly with specific loved ones. This year I intend to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, which I first heard when my grandmother played it for me as a child.  The music should be soft enough to fade into the background.  Some may feel that music disrupts the mood, and the dumb supper has traditionally been held in total silence.

Plate your food before moving on to the next step.

Step Two: Casting

Begin with cleansing yourself of negativity as much as you can. Then, cast a circle. I will not provide instruction here because there are many resources on the subject. How you do this is up to you. The intention is to secure the space so that only spirits of good intent may enter. It is best to “cast to the wall”, which is to say extend your circle casting to the edges of the room so that you may move freely in the space. It doesn’t matter that this will not actually be circular.

Facing west, use the athame to trace the shape, and visualize the opening of a door in the west wall of the space. Invite well-intentioned spirits to enter through this door and join you for a meal in their honor. Specifically, name and invite anyone you wish to attend. If you wish, you may only invite specific people. I have a personal preference for open invitations. Optionally, you may also specifically invite the good-intentioned souls of the dead who have been forgotten and have no one else to remember them. This is an aspect which is very important to me personally as a servant of Hekate. If you have multiple participants, you may have each of them speak and invite specific people if they wish, or have one person do so for everyone.

You may also wish to invite deities or protective spirits before you invite anyone else. I always ask Hekate to be in attendance.

You should write your own evocation, but here is an example:

I/we hereby pierce the veil and open the gates.
I/we welcome good-intentioned spirits who wish to communicate to enter this space.
I/we welcome all whom I/we have loved who have passed on to enter this space.
I/we welcome [name of person] to enter this space.
[repeat as needed]
Join me/us for a dinner in your honor. 
Join me/us in celebrating the thinning of the veil at this time when the living and the dead may come together.

Step Three: The Dinner

From this point forward, remain as silent as possible. If anyone speaks, the energy is disrupted and the tenuous connection to the other side may be easily broken.

You may begin playing music now if you wish. 

Sit and begin your silent meal, contemplating the people who have passed on, and your memories of them. Eat slowly and take your time. Be open to feeling the presences around you and receptive to any messages you may receive. In most cases these will be feelings, sensations, or pure emotion. Articulate messages in the form of sudden thoughts and realizations do occur. One should not expect anything as extreme as audible voices.

This is a very intense experience for most people. It is not uncommon for participants to experience the food that they eat as having little or no taste, as the spirits experience the food through us.

After the meal, you may sit for as long as you wish before ending the ritual.

Step Four: Closing

Do Not Forget This Step! If for any reason your ritual is interrupted, you must come back and do this as soon as possible. If this is not done, the gate remains opened and there is a very real possibility of unpleasant consequences in terms of uninvited guests in your space.

Bid those in attendance farewell and thank them for spending the evening with you. You may invite specific souls to come and go as they please if you wish. State firmly in whatever way you wish that the ritual is at an end and you are ready to return to your normal routine.

With the athame, visualize and announce the closing of the door you opened. Finally, close the circle, and ground yourself.

Again, you should write your own, but here is an example:

I/we offer thanks to all who have joined us in my/our feast.
It is a joy to be in the presence of the other side
But all things must end, and we must return fully to the realm of the living.
Go in peace and love, farewell.
The ritual is complete, and the gate is closed.

Grounding is very important. Enjoy a glass of water, a bite of food which was not part of the ritual, and/or whatever visualization suits you in order to return to a mundane state of mind. Again, there are many other instructions for this, so I will let you do your own research.

You may keep leftovers at your discretion, but it is mandatory that you dispose of the food from the place setting for the dead in a respectful and responsible manner. Tradition is usually to bury it, or else to leave it in some wild place for nature to reclaim. The food can also be fed to domestic pets but should not be given to other humans.

I hope that this ritual serves you well.


Dylan Sprayberry for DA MAN Magazine by Mitchell McCormack lockscreens with psd

• Yeah people y’all can calm down now because i just made lockscreens of the new Dyl’s photoshoot *yep you all can scream a lot now* (jesus this guy needs to stop)

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• Click on the pic to save it in HQ


Game Revealed: Season 7 Episode 6

I love them!!

It’s so dumb because everyone and their grandmas saw Suicide Squad just because of the BIG NAME CELEBRITIES in the movie , the action, and maybe the sound track and it was literally just a movie that was made just for the money and had racist stereotypes but when Power Rangers (2017) has a diverse cast and never assigned a specific race to any of the characters BC ppl are more than stereotypes and they really invested time into developing the characters and ppl dont care ? High key when do u ever see a cool flirty Chinese character like that (when y'all kno the stereotype is that they’re supposed to be awkward and nerdy) or a Black autistic teen that all of his friends love and respect or a Gay Latina superhero, or an Indian character who isn’t restricted by any stereotypes and kicks ass like bro …this movie is a gold mine, when are u ever gonna see characters like this? And the message is that all these teens who experience life differently and better together. Everyone loves a good story abt misfits becoming friends and begs for diversity and yet? Ppl aren’t watching it BC Trini “isn’t gay enough “n don’t understand how a franchise works bc they’re not gonna put all character development in the first movie and like she was questioning her sexuality and has homophobic parents, she’s not gonna automatically be all out and that’s okay u freaks. Its realistic and ppl say they don’t care abt diversity BC "its power rangers” as if y'all never was into power rangers ever and don’t care abt every other superhero movie that kids enjoy smh