dungeon-and-dragons

Cetus

(Illustration by Wayne England comes from the Paizo Blog and is © Paizo Publishing.)

Sea dragons are blustery but basically good-hearted commodores, forever wandering across the vast domains they protect.  Krakens are slave takers and empire builders, grasping for more power above and especially below the waves.  Sea serpents are practically natural disasters, violent irruptions (it’s a word) that shatter a captain’s calm, control, and keel.

But when you want the classic sea-monster-that-holds-a-city-hostage, that’s when you turn to the cetus.  

This is the monster that Perseus fought, and I admire Bestiary 5 for being willing to go to the mat to make this monster live up to its mythological rep (even if there are no mythic ranks in its stat block).  It’s Colossal in size.  It regenerates damage.  It can control water, winds, and weather, allowing it to box opponents into their own harbors and foil aerial attacks. Speaking of aerial attacks, it can leap 1,200(!) feet in the air to lunge at flying opponents…and even if the cetus’s victims are not unlucky enough to get fast-swallowed whole, the cetus’s dispelling bite is bound to ruin many of their enchantments (including possibly the ones keeping them aloft).  Heck, the cetus is even just plain bad luck—literally just being in its vicinity can be enough to screw up your dice rolls for the next minute (an eternity in combat).

In other words, this is a beast truly out of legend.  Normally I don’t like monsters that seem specifically designed to foil PC (and player) actions and drain their spell reserves (I’m looking at you, golems). But for the hostage-taking, sacrifice-devouring, city-extorting cetus, it feels right.  The designers even throw the players a bone straight from the Perseus myth—the cetus is vulnerable to petrification.  So the next time your adventurers are at the flea market, keep an eye out for pickled medusa head…you know, just in case.

Petrified does not mean dead.  Adventurers race to stop a locathah terrorist from resurrecting a legendary cetus, currently lying like a stony statue at the bottom of the Devilfish Deeps.

What’s more terrifying than a cetus?  Any being powerful enough to use a cetus as a mount. A greater dullahan antipaladin rides a cetus into the mouth of Hellbone Harbor, bringing dark tidings from below. The cetus also bears a howdah containing all the souls of the dullahan’s many, many victims.

The Afterlife is a river—one that flows every onward toward Oblivion.  Even what mortals conceive of as the Four Blessed Heavens or the Thirteen Precincts of Hell are merely ports of call along the river’s course.  But one rule of the Afterlife is ironclad: No vessel may travel upstream.  Individuals may sometimes escape the River of Death through powerful magic, fell bargains, or even dogged, determined fording upriver (usually resulting in undeath by the time the pass back into the mortal world).  But any attempt to build and sail a ship upstream is met with a fiendish cetus determined to crush the blasphemous vessel and all aboard.

Pathfinder Bestiary 5 54

Speaking as someone whose eldritch knight nearly single-handedly took out an ulgurstasa courtesy of fireballing while flying, I can tell you the cetus’s Impossible Leap (Su) ability is terrifying.

One fact I didn’t tackle above is that the cetus is technically a dragon.  I’m a huge fan of one-off dragons, and I like the idea of one of these crashing an otherwise stately gathering of metallic, chromatics, and imperials…

Have I mentioned yet how much I enjoyed the Pathfinder setting sourcebook Distant Shores?  In that book the mythic hero-gods of Aelyosos have a thalassic behemoth problem, but in your campaign maybe a cetus would do the trick instead.

Also, I’m repeating myself from my last entry, but the cetus is an excellent monster for a Scarred Lands campaign.

4

I was very sneaky recently and made these character portraits as surprise gifts for my D&D friends! (Brief descriptions are included with individual images.) They belong to @johnshoe, @bluedelliquanti, @abbulark, and @furioussterling respectively.

I’m working on a matching one for my own character, but since I’m not trying to surprise myself, I’m taking my time. I’ll be sure to post it when it’s finished!

http://geekandsundry.com/5-inventions-that-turn-our-beloved-dice-into-shiny-gadgets-from-the-future/

It may not surprise you to learn that dice, our favorite neighborhood rolling implements, have been around for centuries—since around the 24th century BC, to be specific. While ancient Egyptians probably weren’t rolling intelligence checks to see if their clerics could successfully mummify the ph…

More adventures of the My friend the dwarf psion battle mind was setup to never die and had a damage resistance of about 12 per hit so if you hit him four times he ignored 48 damage. Incredibly useful as he was the tank. We called him the cork. He also had battle minds demand, which was a mark(4th edition) that once a enemy was marked, if the cork was not included in the attack l, would give damage equal to what was taken by the target but as psych. So on solo bosses we would let him go first and it would half the encounter. One fight we fought an astral sea giant squid. One attack was the squid would eat you. So the cork jumped in the mouth and spent the whole encounter hitting the squid in the mouth. And because he could not be included in any giant tentacle attacks he took a lot of psych damage in four rounds. After this encounter the phrase stick a cork in it had a whole new meaning to us.
luke62156

Part 1 of the Dwarf Psion Battle Mind can be found here

doodled my new dnd character in between assignments!

Maelor Forgedawn is a half-elf sorceress, raised by a scholar named Garrick Hartley in Brookehaven with her adopted human brother, Cody. Her magical powers awakened when she nearly got killed saving a fae from a beast, dubbing her a folk hero in her town. She was travelling to Landemere to broaden her magical studies at the Arcane Society when she ran into her new companions, and the rest is history.

Joey: Is everybody in?

It’s time for the séance to begin.

Joey: Excellent!

A tip of the hat to Jim Morrison: “Is everybody in?”

Joey: Most definitely.

Sabine, did you sing along to Heart on the radio as a kid?

Sabine: Oh man! I was just listening to a song by them in the car and remembered when I did! The newer 80’s stuff at first for sure!

Joey: Before we got the band together, Sabine and I covered a few Heart songs. I really love “Little Queen.” Been a while since we hit the Heart, though.

Sabine: …or “Barracuda”!

Joey: “Crazy On You” was the one we used to rock back in the late 90’s early 2000’s. I have video somewhere with our pal Dan on drums.

Ok I sense the band has some roots in the bands of the 70’s. The last EP, ‘On Through Portals’ (2014) reminded me a lot of Acid king, Electric Wizard, and closer to what Windhand have become. The new record is the real Disenchanter for me. I can hear the thrash, NWOBHM influence more. Was this conscious or just a development in your abilities as musicians?

Joey: I would say when we started out with the original EP’s, we were more influenced by the Portland stoner/doom scene and bands of that kind, while the new album is more true to my personal influences, like Maiden, Priest, Grand Magus, and The Sword. And, of course, Ozzy, Sabbath, old school early-80’s Slayer, more melodic thrash.

Sabine: Joey and I definitely had a thrash metal background growing up.

Joey: But not the newer double-bass, heavy/growly thrash. More of the early 80’s melodic sound. NWOBHM, for sure.

You guys are all over the Dungeons & Dragons vibe on the new record. Sabine, is the new record actual, physical proof that what Manowar are missing is a feminine touch? Feel free, Jay and Joey, to add to this theory.

Sabine: A little feminine touch is almost always needed.

Joey: i like a feminine touch. (winks) (everyone laughs)

“Feminine Touch” would be a great name for a band.

Sabine: I was going to say that. (laughs)

Joey: hmmm…side projects, huh…? Sabine and I actually grabbed the name “Disenchanter” while flipping through the fiend folio - the same D&D manual Kyuss got their name from, coincidentally.

Jay: I’ve only heard one Manowar album, but the drumming was incredible. As for Dungeons and Dragons, where would metal be without it?

What would Disenchanter likely be called if you didn’t have D&D?

Sabine: It’s a Bible of sorts.

Joey: Well, I’ve been playing D&D since 1979, so hard to say for me. At one point, we were calling ourselves 'Many Moons,’ just after our first incarnation with Dave Dixon on guitar and Chuck Scarpelli on drums. That band was called Black Machine, but never gigged. Many Moons was just Sabine and I, temporarily.

So, who is the Dungeon Master in Disenchanter?

Sabine: Joey. He’s always Dungeon Master. (everyone laughs)

Joey: I’ve got vision, man!

Jay: He’s like the conductor.

So when Joey or Sabine bring in a riff to the rehearsal space, where does it go from there?

Joey: Well….Sometimes we’ll be in between songs and a riff will happen and we’ll jam it for a few, but mostly Sabine and I tend to get a song pretty well composed before we present it and then we’ll adjust it as necessary. We’re not much of a “jam band” for writing, but we always have something to record on in the studio when inspiration strikes.

Sabine: Yes, especially lately. We’ve jammed a bit more, but Joey and I usually will compose songs and bring them to the studio.

Jay: Yeah, most of the songs are pretty well conceived and then shaped and molded as a group.

Sabine and Jay, do you have to roll two ten-sided dice each to determine your answer?

Sabine: Where are my dice?!?

Joey: Yours are by your side of the bed, most definitely. Let me go grab my dice bag….I feel like this interview has just entered Luke Rhinehart “The Diceman” territory. (everyone laughs)

Okay, the first song I would like to talk about off the new record is “792.” Sabine sings about knights and battles as if she where a real life Joan of Arc on that one. Does she kick arse for the Lord in real life? Also what the hell does 792 refer to?

Sabine: 792 is around the time the Vikings went a Viking….basically the song is about cursed Vikings. I’ll kick some arse for sure, though!

Joey: Yeah. Apparently 793 is the year the whole Viking thing is dated to, from what I’ve looked up. So in a sense, 792 is the prequel, the cause - a curse which drives them to leave their homes and head to other lands.

Joey: I wrote it around a riff Sabine had recorded a while back and then it just grew from that. That happens a lot. I’ll harvest from old riffs we’ve recorded some time ago. I’ll listen to old recordings of riffs, write maybe a bass line or lyrics, and then present it to Jay and Sabine to add to, adjust, or progress from. Sabine may come up with lyrics or both of us together.

My favourite song on the record is “Sorceries.” The line “cast in the night, revealed to me though witches sight” interests me a lot.

Sabine: That’s one of my favorites to play.

Your guitar playing is spectacular. Did you write the lyrics?

Sabine: Thank you. I did not write the lyrics to "Sorceries.” Joey was the master on that one.

Joey: That whole first verse is in reference to a Michael Moorcock story. It’s about when Elric finally kills Theleb K'aarna (I think from the book 'Bane Of The Black Sword’).

“I gaze upon the broken from of a sorcerer whose time has come.”

I think if you read the story, I almost lifted words directly from the book, slightly altering them, but pretty much a direct portrayal of that moment when Elric finally slays his nemesis. My favorite author and stories in all sci-fi/fantasy, for sure.

I just bought my first Moorcock book 'Jerry Cornelius,’ so I am a newbie here on that subject. Those are perfect lines for Sabine to deliver.

Joey: Yes, those are more sci-fi than fantasy, but all of them revolve around the eternal champion. Jerry Cornelius and Elric are aspects of the same being in different realities in the 'multiverse’

I agree. Sabine fully delivers on that one, even with some wicked growl in her voice! I can see you really are the Disenchanter Dungeon Master, Joey.

Joey: Literally and figuratively. I taught D&D during summer camps and also was hired to run private games for grade school kids, all before 3rd edition came out. I’m a nerd.

Sabine: Yeah, you are!

Holy cow! Okay, I better ask this question I had saved now, 'cause you sort of just answered it. What is in the water in Portland and who is the best person to play D&;D with? Red Fang seem like they are well-versed in the forgotten realms? Is D&D added to the water in Portland that makes so many incredible doom bands?

Joey: Cloudy skies, rainy, dark, cold weather - just like Sweden, where some amazing stoner-doom comes from, in my opinion. I think it stems from that, but not being a native Portlander my perspective may be different from the locals.

Sabine: Great weather for gaming, too.

Joey: Portland is full of D&Ders for sure. As for playing D&D, our pals in Right Hand Of Doom are the most consistent gamers I know, especially Brian Smart (one of their guitarists). He’s always got a game going.

Obviously Joey is most qualified to be the Doom genre’s DM. So what bands would you most want to play D&D with?

Joey: I’d want to play with Nate from Witch Mountain. I think just for the sheer nostalgia of playing with someone who “gets it.”

Witch Mountain’s sleeve to 'South of Salem’ looks like a D&D map.

Joey: Yeah, it does. A D&D map of Oregon. (laughs)

Sabine, would Mike Scheidt be a monk in the D&D doom universe?

Sabine: Mike would probably be a multiclass monk/bard/seer.

Joey Mike is definitely a wizard, among other things!

Jay, What type of characters would the band be in D&D if they truly reflected your real life personas?

Jay: I am the odd one out. I’m not really much of a gamer…but we all like using magic.

Jay drops the bomb!

So Jay, do your magical practices impact on your musical works?

Jay: my drumming is my magic practice! (laughs)

Joey: In magic, silence is power. So unless Jay is bashing the cymbals and such, he is the one - and Sabine, too - who understands the power of silence…I am the talker.

I am sensing you have both the art of silence and drumming mastered, Jay?

(Jay purposely doesn’t answer. Everyone laughs.)

Sabine: You incantate.

Joey: But there is power in words, as well, so…

The word “grammar” derives from “glamour,” which gives a deeper meaning to the word “Spell.” So you must carefully consider which words you “cast.”

Sabine: You incantate, too.

(Gram “The shit Bard" explains “incantate” is a series of words to make something happen. Sabine is obviously pretty smart)

The band has taken a huge step, not only in releasing a full-length record, but in making such a powerful statement of musical expression and songwriting. What are the next steps for Disenchanters career?

Joey: I think we are excited to release 'Strange Creations’ on vinyl and tour in the US and elsewhere. I would love to get some support for touring and bookings, as well as some label support for the next recording, if possible. On this one we did a fundraiser, but we covered most of the costs out of pocket.

Vinyl?

Joey: I think we’d benefit from working with a producer who was really into our music and shared our vision, but also has the wherewithal to lead us into new and creative directions, while remaining true to our original intentions.

Well, funny you should say that, because this was my next question: Perfect world, you get signed to Nuclear Blast or some such label. Who would you like to produce your next record?

Sabine: One man? Perfect world, right?

No. A team or a woman, whoever…

Joey: well, obviously Billy Anderson would be the go-to guy in town. Tony Reed from Mos Generator would also be rad to work with and Steve Jones from Ancient Warlocks/Chiefs is also top of mind for me, but I think in my imagination working with dudes like Rick Rubin or other majors like that would be quite the experience. Mutt Lange, Martin Birch - in my dreams! Or the producers for Grand Magus and The Sword, would be ideal. However, for me, I need someone who actually cares about our music and has interest in our vision.

Jay: As long as it’s someone who is into our music and works to help us meet our goals, but can bring us to our best potential.

Sabine: Yes! The Grand Magus guy….and what Jay said. Jay nailed it. I need someone to invest time into us, not just do it and then be on a schedule. I mean, I know we’ll be on a schedule, but I’m pretty attentive to detail, so it would be nice to work with someone who cares about us somewhat - a win-win situation.

Joey, Sabine, and Jay, thank you so much for joining Doomed & Stoned for a chat. It’s been great. Before you go, do you have any vinyl release information or tour dates for us?

Joey: We are releasing 'Strange Creations’ as a double vinyl album on DHU Records and the EP’s on CD via NoSlip Records.

Congrats, guys that huge.

Sabine: we’re very excited!

As you should be. I am excited. I want one! Do they have a scheduled release date?

Joey: No release date yet, sometime in 2016. However we have a big West Coast tour in the planning stages, but can’t say anymore at this point. There are also high hopes to be visiting Europe in 2016.

Looks like 2016 is shaping up to be even bigger than 2015 for Disenchanter. Couldn’t be more well-deserved.

Joey, Sabine, Jay: Thanks Gram!



Must-Listen Records From The 80’s!

By Disenchanter

  • Black Sabbath – 'Mob Rules’
  • Black Sabbath – 'Heaven and Hell’
  • Iron Maiden – 'Number of the Beast’
  • Iron Maiden – 'Piece of Mind’
  • Judas Priest – 'Screaming for Vengeance’
  • Dio – 'Holy Diver’
  • Rush – 'Moving Pictures’
  • Metallica – 'Ride The Lightning’
  • Heart – 'Heart’
  • Jane’s Addiction – 'Nothings Shocking’
  • Motley Crüe – 'Shout at the Devil’
  • Ozzy Osbourne – 'Blizzard of Ozz’


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