(Context: Shit is going down in the town, and the impulsive grippli slayer decided to take a swig of alcohol magically enhanced to be way stronger than 200 proof, and is down for the count. The summoner decides to call in a favor from his skeletal demon acquaintance to help.)
DM: Unfortunately, I can’t get the voice filter working.
Fighter: Just do your best Skeletor voice.
Slayer: (In Skeletor voice) You fool, I am the master of EVIL!
DM: …Why should I do it when you can do it for me?
(So the DM starts posting the lines in the chat for the Slayer to read. In-character lines are in quotations.)
Slayer reading Demon’s lines: “Needing my help twice in two days? My, but you rack up debts!” Nyeh heh heh! “What do you wish of me?”
Summoner: “Oh this is simple. There’s a fight going on, but my friend is too drunk to do anything. Could you help with that?”
Slayer as Demon: “Thou art more akin to chaos than order, to risk defilement for curing drunkenness.”
Summoner: “I’m willing to risk defilement for a lot of things.”
Slayer as Demon: “Very well, I shall cure the frog. However, this is the second time thou hast imposed upon mine good graces.” Come my next conquest we will best that He-Man, and you will help!
Fighter: You need to add more innuendoes.
Slayer as Demon: My magic staff is reserved for the most high quality individuals, with the most high quality assets!
Slayer as Demon: “They say three times pays for all, so I shall give thee a third boon, one fitting for your temperament.” You have to help me awake my stupid brother Sans! He has been asleep for three days and refuses to do the dishes!
Fighter: That’s not a boon, that’s a chore!
Slayer as Demon: It’s the gift of charity, he gives it to you so you may give it back!
Was your character part of a noble military group at some point in their past? Perhaps they had an act in a wandering circus troupe? Or maybe they performed unspeakable deeds at the behest of a sinister religious organisation?
Perhaps you are a DM who has given your players a mysterious benefactor, but haven’t decided their true nature. Or maybe the Queen needs a group to call on to take care of these pesky adventurers who are threatening her plans!
Primary Purpose (1d10):
Manufacturing or Farming
Wildlife exploration or expertise
Diminutive: Five or fewer members
Small: Fewer than twenty members
Medium: Between twenty and one hundred members
Large: Hundreds or thousands of members
Both lawful and good
Willing to do anything for coin
Willing to do anything to achieve a particular goal
Lackadaisical but good intentioned
Mischevious but not evil
Outright evil; full on maniacal laughter type stuff
Signiature Feature (1d10):
Members wear a uniforom
Members recite a mantra or quote a manifesto
Members’ bodies are decorated or altered in some way
[For context, the party is in a cave, and has just got done with combat and needs to make perception checks. The party includes a gunslinger and a magus, and combat included gunfire and lightning bolts. Sims is our ranger.]
In a world of non-standardized parts, the rarity of skilled
craftspersons, and the limited spread of technology, make life difficult for
gunslingers and others that live on the bleeding edge of technological
However, some have it even worse than other gunslingers, to
the point that they cannot afford to get rid of a single scrap, regardless of
being broken or prototype, lest it come in handy later, and are constantly
tinkering, often without proper tools, with their weaponry to try and improve
them, or at least maintain their functionality.
These might be tinkers cut off from resources, amateur
gunsmiths desperately trying to keep the weapon that saved their lives so many
times operational, and the like.
To other gunsmiths, the weapons of these scavengers are an
absolute nightmare of cobbled-together and imperfect parts that somehow still
manage to function together. As such, all others, even those trained in
firearms, have trouble using them. Furthermore, the imperfections make it
impossible to fully negate the chance of a misfire.
Thanks to the new deeds of the archetype, however, the
mishmashed parts of their weaponry, and their knowledge of how firearms fit
together, plays to their advantage.
When a weapon in their possession misfires, they can quickly
fit replacement parts to it, often granting new abilities or enhancements at
the same time, but also making the gun more unstable and prone to misfiring
again, destroying the new addition.
Furthermore, they can rig their weapons to fire
unconventionally, temporarily altering the way they fire in a way that seems to
mimic certain magical enchantments, such as increasing the effective range,
leaving nasty powder burns on foes, disguising the weapon as a benign object,
or sounding with a deafening boom, or even able to make micro-adjustments that
make them all the more precise and deadly.
Finally, the unstable nature of their weapons are incredibly
difficult to predict the timing and trajectory of, vexing agile foes that might
Interested in a tinkerer/gadgeteer gunslinger? This is
certainly an option, particularly for one based mostly on fiddling with junk. Reclaiming
useful objects and items out of broken detritus is right up their ally, making
them perfect for games set in tech-heavy wastelands. I recommend a flexible
build able to adapt to any situation quickly.
This archetype reminds me of the experimental gunsmith for
gnomes, albeit without the resources. Imagine what they could come up with if
given the chance to experiment and tinker with new parts? Its up to the player
and the GM to figure out what that would end up resulting in.
Ever since Great Sultan Ebihir forbade innovation, the city
of Am Parash has stagnated under the cruel efreet’s rule. However, there are
those who still practice their science in secret, the inventors of gunpowder
making due with secondhand parts to provide for and outfit a ragtag rebellion
of sorts against the unjust and unsolicited rule of their invader-despot.
Constantly tinkering with junk from the ruins, Jehmira makes
a living selling junk. However, rumor has it her last expedition uncovered something
that could change the course of the world. Such a prize is only one more reason
to come after the lucrative ratfolk tinker, but she is more than prepared to
face thieves, wielding a refurbished laser pistol with a few modular additions
of her own.
A gun scavenger can be an unpredictable foe. A CANNON
scavenger, on the other hand, is an entirely different story, as rumors of a
giant cobbling crude pistols out of bombards and cannons spread, fear comes with
them of if or when the giant will decide to test his newfound weaponry on the
Dungeon dragons are a monster that exists to answer the
question, “Why are there so many dungeons around here anyway? And what’s with the dragons?” Because there are dragons who live to build
dungeons, fill them with treasure, and then lure creatures in with loot and
jaunts into the countryside in humanoid form to watch them struggle with the
monsters and traps therein, that’s why.
There’s an element of playing affectionately with the genre here. It’s hard not to notice when one of the
sample stat blocks is named “Gargax” as a tip of the hat to one of the
roleplaying game’s founding lights. For
a lighthearted or deconstructive take on the world’s oldest roleplaying game or
its offshoots, the dungeon dragon is a straight-up explanation that works on a
lot of levels. In a more cartoonish game
or the sort of treatment where the monsters are clocking out and holding union
meetings in between encounters with the putative heroes, dungeon dragons fit
right in as the site managers and investors.
For a more serious take on the dungeon dragon, it’s not
necessary to change a thing about what they do or their stats except maybe the
alignment. No, seriously, bear with me
here. Take a step back and think about
this for a moment. We are dealing with a
being that thinks it is absolutely alright to put sapient beings into
life-and-death situations for its personal amusement, possibly dragging in
other sapient beings to present said life-and-death situations and possibly at
those other beings’ mortal peril for good measure. There is a degree of dehumanization, of
refusing to recognize the personhood and fundamental rights of existence on a
level that good and neutral people do not extend to others they consider
“people” and most people these days won’t extend to animals, either. This is not setting traps for denying
entrance or exit to an area. That’s not
a fundamentally evil act, whatever glee your average kobold might take in it. Neither is putting monsters in to keep people
out if they’re treated reasonably. You’re
also not rolling out the red-carpet yelling, “Come right on in, treasure’s down
the hall, just past the death traps!”
Doing this for no practical purpose, merely for entertainment? That’s chilling. When you add mind control with all the charm and suggestion spells, it just gets worse.
There are certainly other ways to take on the dungeon
dragon’s powers. They can be
manipulators and deceivers, the ones running an empire from the shadows by
scrying through crystal balls and bending minds to move society toward their
ends. Dungeon dragons might be guardians
of specific sites, a lower octane answer to the guardian dragon in the Bestiary 4. They could even be greedy scholars jealously
hoarding knowledge instead of the more usual treasure. But whichever way you look at them, sometimes
it all comes back to a dungeon with a dragon inside.
The development of a
virtual industry of dungeon delving in Teocia has perplexed many, as sages
and scholars cannot identify the supposed sites, nor is there historical evidence
for tomb or other underground construction on the scale necessary to explain
the number of places. The truth is
Teocia’s rich history and diverse architecture have attracted an extended clan
of dungeon dragons, competing informally among themselves to create more
interesting dungeons as an aesthetic pastime.
Adventurers trying to penetrate them is just part of the fun. Some of those few who realize the truth
ponder if the dragons’ true aims are somewhat more pragmatic – sharpening
blades and wielding spells against some darker power, perhaps, or an elaborate
distraction from some mystery the dragons want obscured. No one has recorded an answer from the elder
of the clan, Gargax.
Among the valorous
dead of Valhalla, competitions of skill in battle are common, be it by
force of arms or the cunning of magic. Dungeon
delving is a way to stage great deeds and commonly accepted as a worthy
challenge for those whose bravery and righteousness won them a place in the
halls of Woden. Dungeon dragons alternatively
compete and cooperate to devise baroque and designer dungeons for specific
contests or to appeal to certain heroes, some of them even rising to celebrity
status when they join the risen dead for feasts in the twilight hours. In an afterlife where every grisly death is
undone by the blessing of the gods, though, the idea of “safety culture” is an
afterthought at best, and when mortals come seeking some lost treasure from
their world or its heavenly echo, the results often form the heart of tragic epics
of fate gone wrong. (The greatest
accolades for those works go to bards and skalds who recite their own follies
in life after winning their own place among the einherjar.)
individuals forged by adversity, dungeon delvers are often paragons of one
sort or another, rising above the common ranks in deed and legend. To encourage this development of the
excellence and often transcendent skills and powers of the mightiest of heroes
in an age when the greatest of challenges were conquered long ago by ancient heroes,
dungeon dragons cultivate terrible threats and dire dungeons. To the dragons, this is paying a compliment
to other races, offering them a place to better themselves in the fury of
battle without setting nations to war and a chance to pit their greatest
talents against the ingenuity of the dragons and their kobold and dwarven
- Tome of Horrors
Edition’s Manual of the Planes
suggested starting a campaign in Ysgard to capitalize on those same cultural
ideas I was playing with in the second seed up there. It’s an idea that’s still worth looking at.
context: the players are trapped in a room and the only way to get out is to perform the 7 deadly sins. previously, the players kidnapped a bandit who attacked them and are now carrying him around in handcuffs.
cleric: okay, so there’s lust, right? *cleric passionately kisses the bandit*
omnipotent voice: LUST
alchemist: I had a crush on the cleric, so now I’m jealous
omnipotent voice: ENVY
cleric: I cannot just have one love, I hunger for more *kisses the alchemist*
omnipotent voice: GREED
cleric: I am proud of my romantic endeavours
omnipotent voice: PRIDE
cleric: I punch the bandit in the dick
fighter: maybe he liked that
cleric: what the fuck
omnipotent voice: WRATH
fighter: well, there’s still gluttony. I guess I have no choice *eats the bandit’s arm*
cleric *WAIT NO-*
omnipotent voice: GLUTTONY
omnipotent voice: SLOTH
fighter: wait who was sloth
*rogue is still lying down in the corner and hasn’t helped since we entered the room*
Not a ton of time today, so I’m holding off on working on the dragon concept in favor of doing another lil DnD character!
Snickery’s parent was a dungeon (older mimics can take of the form of caves, houses, dungeons, etc.) that they were separated from as a teeny baby mimic. As an adult they want to find out about their parent and learn more about mimics in general, but have come to enjoy living amongst non-monsters as well, and try their very hardest to be a brave adventurer! As one might expect, they have a bit of an edge when it comes to dungeoneering.