Beyond the Wall, Converted Elemental Spells

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Back in my Separch’s Tower series, I included elemental-themed spellbooks, and found out that the existing spells and rituals in Beyond the Wall didn’t have enough appropriate magic to cover an equivalent range of options for each of the four elemental schools, so I grabbed some placeholders from the 5e spell list. Last night, my players actually started learning those spells, so I had to finally convert them to Beyond the Wall‘s style. It’s interesting to convert the standard D&D magic mindset (everything is leveled and usually pretty instantaneous to cast) to the BtW mindset (quick-cast magics aren’t leveled, while leveled magics take hours to cast so need to make sense in that context).


Acid Arrow

Range: Near
Duration: 1 round/level
Save: Yes

The caster produces a bolt of glowing green acid and flings it at a target, who must attempt a saving throw to dodge the caustic missile. If the save is failed, the target takes 2d4 acid damage, plus an additional 2d4 damage at the end of each of its turns while the duration lasts.

Misty Step

Range: Near
Duration: Instant
Save: No

With but a word, the mage teleports to a location she can see within range, leaving behind a burst of silvery mist in the location she vacated. This spell may be cast on a turn in which the mage has takes another action (except casting another spell).

Scorching Ray

Range: Near
Duration: Instant
Save: No

The mage creates a ray of flames that streaks between her outstretched hand and a target within range, against whom the caster must make a ranged attack (which ignores physical armor). If the attack hits, the ray deals 2d6 fire damage to the target. The caster produces one additional ray per 3 levels, and may direct these additional rays at the same or different targets (each ray is its own attack roll).


Range: Near
Duration: Instant
Save: Yes

The caster causes an intense and painful ringing noise to erupt from a point she designates, causing damage to targets within 10 feet of the point (and making noise that can be heard for quite some distance further). All creatures and inflexible objects close enough to take damage must make a saving throw to steel themselves against the sound, and creatures and items made from brittle materials automatically fail the save. The spell deals 2d4 sonic damage, increasing by a die size for each additional level of the caster up to 2d12 for level 5 casters, and then adding +2 damage for each additional level of the caster past 5th. Targets that successfully save take half damage.


Level 1

Produce Flame (Wisdom)

Range: Self
Duration: 1 hour/level
Save: No

This ritual allows the caster to summon a palm full of elemental flame. It casts light as a torch, and can ignite touched objects like a torch when the caster desires (but does not otherwise harm touched or held items). While the ritual persists, the caster may make unarmed attacks that do an additional 1d4 fire damage, or make a ranged attack up to Near range that does 1d4 fire damage (and does not add or subtract damage from Strength). The flame is not consumed by making such a ranged attack.

A mage wanting to cast this ritual must begin with a handful of ashes made from exotic wood that was burned by a fire elemental (which may be found for an average of 10 silver pieces from a merchant).

Level 2

Hellish Rebuke (Intelligence)

Range: Self
Duration: 1 day/level (Instant after trigger)
Save: Yes

Inscribing her flesh with runes of retribution and fire, a mage uses this ritual to prepare punishment for any that assault her. Upon taking damage from an attack made by a target within Near range that the mage can see, she may instantly speak a command to end the ritual and rebuke the attacker, the runes upon her skin immediately burning away. The attacker must make a saving throw to dodge the burst of flames at his location, or suffer 2d10 fire damage.

The runes scribed during this ritual require the blood (or equivalent essence) of a creature that is immune to fire (which may be found for an average of 50 silver pieces from a merchant). The caster may only have one instance of this ritual active at any given time.

Level 3

Purify Food and Drink

(So, of course BtW HAS this and just totally renamed it so I wouldn’t notice it. Replace this in the Water book with the Feast’s Blessing level 2 ritual and the Nepenthean Drink level 3 ritual.)

Wind Wall (Intelligence)

Range: Near
Duration: 1 day/level (Concentration after trigger)
Save: Yes

The mage walks a straight line, chanting and casting ritual materials upon the ground, preparing the site for defense. Once the ritual is complete, the caster has prepared a line (both ends of which must be within Near range of one another) to rise up upon her command. Upon uttering this command from within Near range of the line, a furious torrent of wind spews vertically from the ground along the length of the line and up to sixty feet in the air, for as long as the caster maintains concentration.

Anyone caught in the line or attempting to cross it must make a saving throw to fling themselves through without being caught in the wind. Those that fail are flung high into the air, likely taking damage from falling back on the side from which they started (medium-sized creatures are flung around 30 feet into the air, and comparatively lighter or heavier creatures may be flung more or less distance).

Flying creatures of smaller than medium-sized and projectiles lighter than from a siege engine are automatically deflected harmlessly when attempting to pass through the wall, and gasses or gaseous creatures cannot pass through. Boulders and similar siege projectiles may pass through, but are likely to have reduced accuracy.

The ritual materials include various easily-found objects ground into powder, but they must be mixed with the physical remains of creatures or items strongly tied to elemental air (which may be found for an average of 100 sp from a merchant).

Level 4

Enhance Ability

(I forgot that BtW still had the individual ability-boosters as rituals, which 5e had combined into Enhance Ability. Replace this in the Earth book with the Heart of the Ox level 4 ritual.)

Flaming Sphere (Wisdom)

Range: Near
Duration: 1 hour/level
Save: Yes

Through long casting and chants, the mage uses this ritual to create a small but stable hole deep into a realm of elemental fire, resulting in a self-renewing bonfire as heat and flame erupt forth in all directions. As part of her own movement, the caster may mentally direct this hole (and thus the flaming sphere) to move at up to walking pace, but the ritual ends if the mage exceeds Near range to the effect, and it must remain within five feet of the ground (and ends instantly if directed to try to cross water that it cannot boil away).

The sphere easily ignites touched or nearby flammable objects as if a five-foot diameter bonfire had rolled over them, and is otherwise treated as a hot bonfire (e.g., for cooking). If the fire is directed onto a target, that individual may make a saving throw to dodge out of the way and takes 2d6 fire damage on a failure. Any creature that ends a turn touching the flame similarly takes 2d6 fire damage.

This ritual is surprisingly easy to cast, requiring only a ritual space and a very hot bonfire made of normal materials to “prime” the connection to the plane of fire.

Water Breathing (Wisdom)

Range: Touch
Duration: 1 hour/level
Save: No

Blessing each of her companions in turn, the mage imbues them with the ability to breathe water as easily as air. The caster may affect all of her companions, including herself, that she can touch upon completing the ritual (up to a dozen individuals). Each affected character may breathe water for the duration of the ritual.

In the casting of the ritual, the mage must sacrifice a healthy wild animal for each target to be affected by drowning it in the body of water that is to be breathed.

Level 5

Heat Metal (Intelligence)

Range: Touch
Duration: Instant
Save: No

Upon completing this ritual, the mage touches an object made of metal. This object and any attached metal objects (up to a ton of contiguous metal) instantly heats to the temperature needed to forge steel (over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit). Most metals bend easily at this temperature, though it may not be safe to get close to a sufficiently large volume of metal (such as a gate or door).

Any creature in contact or extremely close proximity with the metal takes fire damage at the end of each of its turns based on the degree of exposure (1d6 for a single hand, arm, or leg, up to 4d6 if encased in heated plate armor). There is no saving throw to avoid the damage, though it may require an attack roll to touch a mobile target (in addition to the target waiting for the casting of the ritual), and depending on the type of exposure the target may be allowed an ability check to escape the metal quickly. Constructs made of metal may not take damage from the effect, depending on their normal reaction to fire, but will certainly lose all armor class gained from rigid skin until they cool off.

This ritual requires the caster to undergo an ordeal of burning for the duration of the casting, taking 1d6 fire damage per hour of the casting.


Resetting the Party: Adventure Path Adrenaline

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The High Concept

In times of crisis, heroes can accumulate great functional skill and power extremely quickly. There’s little time to think, only time to act, limitations falling again and again without the indulgence of hesitation. The gods look on from the great beyond, subtly lending their weight to their champions and granting them access to magics beyond what should be possible, and insights into the universe that would normally take years to understand.

Yet when the crisis ends, there comes a crash. Just like a surge of adrenaline in a fight, you can blow past your limits for a time, but you cannot keep it up indefinitely. Inevitably, the crisis is averted, the constant fear and stress abates, and the gods turn their wills upon another area of the cosmos. The heroes take a much-needed rest, and find much of their monumental power quickly slipping away. Not long after their victory, they remain more powerful than they were when they started, but not nearly as powerful as they were when they faced their primary antagonist.

In short, they can go on more adventure paths without being massively overleveled.

The Motivation

I’m not the biggest fan of the speed of leveling in D&D, particularly since 3e. If I recall correctly, 3e assumed about 13 average encounters per level, of which you could handle around four per day: around two months of constant action to hit 20th level from 1st. 5e is even faster: if you consistently hit the expected XP per adventuring day on page 82 of the DMG, it takes 23 days to get to 20th. Combined with the consistent deprioritization of downtime, this means that most campaigns can race to high level very quickly in world time.

Obviously in real time this is probably multiple years of play, and the numbers were chosen for maximum fun. But it’s still weird. Most of the settings of D&D have the assumption that high-level NPCs took most of their lives to get there, but all the players ever see is their teenage PCs consistently becoming movers and shakers while still teenagers. So something that brings setting assumptions in line with played experience has been a quest of mine for a while.

This is also not just a D&D problem. In Brandes’ Mage: the Awakening game, we had some problems with XP expenditures. Particularly, the game didn’t stop us from just dumping nearly all of our XP into upping gnosis and primary arts, so we were very quickly able to go toe-to-toe with what were meant to be the biggest threats of the setting. The strongest mages in the setting books had a much more robust array of character traits, with high values in multiple abilities and powers, but PCs can go a long way when all they have is a giant hammer looking to figure out how to make every problem a nail.

One of the solutions Brandes and I brainstormed after the campaign ended was the seed of this post’s idea: mage PCs could only buy gnosis and arts with per-session XP, but periodically most of this XP would be ejected from these powers and spent on other character traits, resetting the powers to a more reasonable level.

Ultimately, this mechanism lets you give the PCs a rush to great power, but also a longer term play that lets them go through multiple adventure paths and gradually grow into characters with a lasting integration with the setting.

The Justification

Normally, if you want to both keep your PCs and play published adventure paths with minimal tinkering, you have a big problem. Paizo and WotC mostly make adventure paths that start at 1st level and go to the mid-teens. If you finish one of them and want to do another, you’re going to have to either re-stat everything to higher level or just assume that they’re going to blow through most of the first several books with no challenge. At best, if you prepare early you can slow down level progression and alternate between similarly-leveled modules in multiple adventure paths (straining your creativity to explain why the plot jumps around so much).

However, the trick of D&D‘s XP progression is that it’s geometric: you can start out significantly more powerful than the path intends, but it doesn’t take long before you’re only slightly higher level than expected. If you start at 6th level instead of 1st, by the time the modules expect you to be 10th level… you’ll be 10th level. Admittedly, you’ll hit 11th significantly sooner than intended, but you’re still within one level of what is expected. 5e doesn’t have the truly expansive differences in level at the high end that earlier editions did, but even if you started at 10th, you wouldn’t hit 20th level until the modules expected you to be nearly 18th level.

This means that you can leave the PCs with some sense of progression: they aren’t as high level as they were at the end of the last AP, but they’re still higher level than they were when they started it, and they get to keep their best magic items.

The Mechanics

Figure out what level the PCs are likely to end the first AP at, and at which level you’re comfortable with them starting the second path. Divide the first path’s max XP by the second path’s starting XP. That’s your ongoing divisor to generate each PC’s “true” level.

For example, in my game they ended the first AP at 17th level, and I wanted them to start the next at 6th. 17th is 225,000 and 6th is 14,000. That means that there’s an approximate divisor of 16. With 225k XP at the end, the PCs’ “true” level was based on 225k/16 (a little over 14k) XP, and, thus, 6th level.

During subsequent APs, level the PCs up normally from whatever level they got reset to (e.g., if they started it at 6th, act like they started with 14k XP and it’s 9k XP to 7th). Then at the end of the AP, remember what effective XP total they started the current AP at and subtract that out when you recalculate their true total at the end of the path. In the 17th to 6th example, if they ended the second path at 239k effective XP, you know that that was another 225k after removing the initial 14k, so they have 450k total (e.g., now at true level of 7th based on that 450k/16 = ~28k).

Could you also just have the PCs start a level higher each subsequent AP and not have to do all the math? Yes. But a lot of players are happier if they know there’s some kind of objective calculation going on in the background (even if you deliberately fiddled with the calculation to get the results you wanted, which was basically an extra level per AP).

The PCs get to keep at least three of their favorite pieces of gear they had at the end of the last AP. Assume the rest got sold for investment capital or given to a museum. In 5e, this is very easy to manage because many PCs are only going to care about their three pieces of attuned gear anyway. Give them an arbitrary amount of starting cash: the rest got spent on living through the downtime, and possibly spent on investments (in most APs, it really doesn’t make a difference if the PCs are building up impenetrably fortified home bases, since they’re traveling around wherever the adventure needs them).

Each time through, consider giving the PCs an option to rebuild their character slightly stronger. I’m giving my players an extra point-buy point and/or bonus feat/stat improvement, and also letting them rearrange class ability choices and multiclassing based on their updated conception of the character (rather than just resetting them directly back to what their sheet was when they were that level the first time). If I was still running in Pathfinder, I’d consider gradually opening up expanded class options, lowering entry requirements for prestige classes, or tacking on mythic levels.

In setting, the PCs’ accomplishments weren’t undone. They still have the fame/notoriety earned, even if they can’t still back it up with high-level spells and abilities. While if an NPC asked, they might not be able to take out a dragon like they could before, since subsequent APs are going to ask them to handle only low-level threats for a while, they’ll probably still feel like pretty big damn heroes for a long time. 6th level characters go through goblins at a hell of a clip.

The Synergy

One fun synergy of this system is that it makes the retired adventurer NPCs make a hell of a lot more sense. Modules are full of post-arrow-to-the-knee characters that supposedly adventured for years and yet are within a couple of levels of wherever the PCs are expected to be at that point. It’s likely because if they were genuinely high level, the players would be like, “if the barkeep is a 14th level Fighter, why doesn’t he just go clear out the mines of kobolds?” But it further strains suspension of disbelief in many cases.

However, under this system, it actually makes perfect sense. These characters never shot up to high level like the PCs did, because they never dealt with a world-threatening crisis: their “true” level and effective level were usually really close. It takes a lot longer to get to hundreds of thousands of XP when you’re only fighting low-level stuff. Those 4th-8th level barkeeps that used to be adventurers could have had many years of dealing with small-time local problems to get to that point, and feel fully justified in their retirements.

D&D 5e: Bonus Familiar Abilities


In 5e, the owl is often way more attractive than other familiars: between high-speed flight, darkvision, and flyby, it’s just really good at all the things you mostly want a familiar to be good at. I put the following together to try to level the playing field a bit, such that a player wanting to take a different animal as a familiar for roleplaying reasons won’t feel like it’s a bad mechanical choice.

It’s up to you whether you want all versions of the animal to have these abilities, but it’s definitely intended to be something that a familiar version of it gets.


Night Flier: The bat has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks and attack rolls (to deliver touch spells) at night in dim light or darkness. Attackers have disadvantage on opportunity attacks against the bat in these circumstances.


Nimble Escape: The cat can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.


Big Claw, Little Claw: The crab may reroll a failed attack roll to deliver a touch spell, and may take the Help action as a bonus action on each of its turns (allowing it to effectively Help on two attacks per round).

Dog (Little Dog)

(Treat stats as Cat that doesn’t have a Climb speed, has Keen Hearing and Smell, and its attack is Bite instead of Claw.)

Pack Tactics: When the dog delivers touch spells, it has advantage on its attack roll if at least one of its allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
Fierce Protector: While taking a short or long rest, if the dog succeeds at its Wisdom (Perception) check to notice an approaching threat, none of the rest of the party can be surprised.

Frog (Toad)

Lashing Tongue: The frog has 10 foot reach for delivering touch spells.
Hopping Defense: The frog may take the Dodge action as a bonus action on each of its turns.


Swift Striker: The hawk may take the Dash action as a bonus action on each of its turns, and has advantage when delivering touch spells during any turn in which it’s used the Dash action.


Detachable Tail: When the lizard is reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, it can drop to 1 hit point instead. It can’t use this feature again until it finishes a long rest.


Clever Tentacles: An octopus can manipulate an item for its master with as much or more dexterity than human hands. When within 5 feet, it may grant the Help action on any of its master’s actions involving manual dexterity.


The owl is already really good.

Poisonous Snake

Venomous Delivery: When the snake successfully delivers a touch spell, it can also inject venom if the master desires. The target must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or take 2d4 poison damage.

Fish (Quipper)

(The fish’s Blood Frenzy applies when delivering touch spells.)


Streetwise: When inside a city, town, or building, the rat may take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.
They’re Everywhere: When it is reduced to 0 hit points by a ranged attack within an area that has other rats, it is instead missed (the attack killed a different rat). The rat may only use this ability once per day in the same location (approximately within the same 100 feet).


Gregarious: In any location that has other crows or ravens, the raven exchanges gossip with others of its kind. The raven automatically becomes aware of threats the corvids know about, and can take 1d4 hours to make a Wisdom (Perception) check to discover more specific information for its master. The DC of the check depends on how easy it would be for local corvids to uncover the information.

Sea Horse

Surprising Speed: The sea horse can take the Dash, Disengage, or Dodge action as a bonus action on each of its turns.


Patient: If it is not moving, the spider gains advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide.
Venomous Delivery: When the spider delivers a touch spell, it can also inject venom if the master desires. The target must make a DC 9 Constitution saving throw or take 1d4 poison damage.


Nimble Escape: The weasel can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.
Weasel’s Intuition: The weasel can Help its master with Charisma (Deception) checks if it is within 5 feet.

D&D 5e: Items of the Runelords

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I converted a bunch of the gear my players had at the end of Rise of the Runelords for… reasons that may become apparent if I actually run the followup campaign I think I’m running soon.


Koruvus’ Prize

Scimitar, rare

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this silvered, magic weapon. It deals an additional 1d6 Radiant damage to Fiends. On a critical hit against a Fiend, you may immediately cast Banishment on that target as a bonus action with no components (the saving throw DC is based on your Charisma). Servants of Lamashtu have disadvantage on this saving throw.

This sword was an ancient human relic that was found by the goblin hero Koruvus and kept by him when he was corrupted by Lamashtu cultists. It was later wielded by a Varisian hero that used it to slay many fiends, awakening its nascent hatred of the breed. It glows in the presence of fiends and servants of Lamashtu, and stokes the wielder’s distaste for these targets.

Res Judicata

Longsword, very rare

You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this adamantine, magic weapon.

When you use an action to accuse a target that you can see of a crime, the blade ignites with cold blue flames that shed bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet. You must genuinely believe the target is guilty of the declared crimes, and that they are sufficient to demand maiming or death, or the flames will not ignite. The target gains an empathic sense of what she is being accused of, even if she does not understand the language you use to speak the crimes.

While the flames are active, the sword does an extra 2d6 radiant damage to this accused target. The flames go out after a single hit to the target if she truly believes herself to be innocent of the declared crimes. They also end upon killing the target, or when the blade is sheathed. You cannot strike to incapacitate when the flames are active: when a target is defeated by a strike from the blade, that defeat almost always means death.

If the target has been officially sentenced for the crimes you accuse her of, and that sentence carries the death penalty, damage from the blade ignores any of the target’s damage resistances and immunities.

This sword was originally created by the church of Aroden, passed to the Order of the Crux after His death, and was taken by the Order of the Scourge in the Chelish Civil War. It bears the eye of Aroden on its hilt. It may have a role yet to play in the saga of Aroden. The wielder always feels a vague sense of loss at the death of Aroden, or perhaps due to the fact that the sword bore other powers before His death that are no longer capable of being accessed through attunement.

Shadow’s Pain

Shortsword, rare (requires attunement)

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this adamantine, magic weapon. You can cause it to become sheathed in barely-visible electricity; when active, whenever you hit with an attack, the target takes an extra 1d6 lightning damage. This electricity’s glow is not sufficient to cast visible light, but it extends the range of Darkvision by an additional 10 feet for anyone that has Darkvision and is within 10 feet of you.

This sword has a mostly-dormant Runeforged Sadistic enchantment. When you critically hit with an attack made with this weapon, any target currently protected by an Abjuration effect must make a Constitution saving throw (against a DC of 8 + Your Proficiency Bonus + Your Charisma Modifier) or be Stunned until the end of your next turn.

Crafted by a Shoanti mage for a Gnomish hero, the weapon may gain additional powers as it is used for greater deeds.

Shadow’s Thirst

Shortsword, rare (requires attunement)

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this adamantine, magic weapon. You can cause it to become sheathed in flickering shadows; when active, whenever you hit with an attack, the target takes an extra 1d6 thunder damage. This doesn’t make any sound, as it actually absorbs the noise of its impact, and the target is momentarily silenced while touching the blade (this is sufficient to muffle any screams from the blow, but not to prolong inability to communicate or cast spells).

The shadowy flickering of the blade allows you a retroactive feint: if you miss with all attacks made with the weapon this turn, you regain the action used to make the attacks. You cannot use the regained action to make attacks (but may use it for other actions in combat).

Crafted by a Shoanti mage for a Gnomish hero, the weapon may gain additional powers as it is used for greater deeds.


Longbow, rare (requires attunement)

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this magic weapon. You can cause any ammunition it releases to be sheathed in coruscating energy; when active, whenever you hit with an attack, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage. All damage from the attack is treated as Piercing, Lightning, or Radiant, depending on which would do the most damage to the target. When you critically hit with an attack made by this weapon, the target is Blinded until the end of your next turn.

This bow has a mostly-dormant Runeforged Dominant enchantment. When you critically hit with an attack made with this weapon, any target that is a Transmuter wizard or has the Shapechanger trait must make a Constitution saving throw (against a DC of 8 + Your Proficiency Bonus + Your Charisma Modifier) or be Paralyzed until the end of your next turn.

Crafted by a Shoanti mage for a Varisian hero, the weapon may gain additional powers as it is used for greater deeds.


Belt of Hellish Perfection

Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)

This wide belt is made of a chain mesh of a variety of precious metals, each large link scribed with subtle runes of speed, strength, and health.

The belt has 8 charges. While wearing it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it with yourself as the target: Cure Wounds (1 charge), False Life (1 charge), Enhance Ability (2 charges), Lesser Restoration (2 charges), Protection from Poison (2 charges). You may spend an additional charge when casting a spell from the belt to gain advantage on rolls to maintain Concentration.

The belt regains 1d6 expended charges daily. There is no ill effect for exhausting its available charges (though you cannot spend more charges than it currently possesses).

This belt is actually created by ancient, giant-sized creatures, for whom it was meant as a gorget, and is too large to serve as even a belt for small creatures or medium-sized creatures with narrow hips. The runes are foreign to the magic of Avistan, looking vaguely Tien in construction, and it is likely that this was ornamental war regalia for a powerful creature whose inheritors may want it back. The wearer can understand Tien speech, but not speak it, and can detect the presence of nearby Kami as an incessant, inarticulate whispering. The links regularly exchange positions when not being looked at directly, forming odd shifting patterns and glyphs in the rings of differently-colored metals.

Belt of the Claimer

Wondrous item, legendary (requires attunement)

The wide, golden buckle of this belt is inscribed with Thassilonian runes, particularly those of Greed. Its leather is made from the skin of the first Rune Giant. While wearing the belt, you gain advantage on any saving throws you make to resist any hostile spell of the Transmutation school. It absorbs any coins the attuned owner places into it, and can return them at need, and can hold up to 1,000 coins in this manner with no additional weight (this does not count as an extradimensional space).

The belt has 10 charges. While wearing it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it with yourself as the target: Jump (1 charge), Longstrider (1 charge), Alter Self (2 charges), Enlarge/Reduce (2 charges), Levitate (2 charges), Spider Climb (2 charges), Fly (3 charges), Haste (3 charges), Water Breathing (3 charges). You may spend an additional charge when casting a spell from the belt to gain advantage on rolls to maintain Concentration.

The belt regains 1d6 expended charges daily. There is no ill effect for exhausting its available charges (though you cannot spend more charges than it currently possesses).

A symbol of power of Karzoug the Claimer, many who see it may be afflicted by a greed for the item and the status it represents, causing them to challenge the bearer for it. The wearer can hear the faint sound of a chiming bell when an onlooker is about to attack to claim the belt, granting Advantage on Initiative.

Bindings of the Black Monk

Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement)

This fifty-foot long, foot-wide ribbon of silk was manufactured by the ancient Therassic monks, and still bears subtle embroidery with images from their school of martial arts, though it has darkened to near-black over the ages. It can be easily wrapped around the body and stays in place, forming loose clothing as placed by the wearer. The wearer has advantage on all rolls to escape a grapple, as the cloth automatically detaches and slips from hostile grasps to make it hard to get a grip upon the wearer.

The unarmed damage of the attuned wearer increases by a die size (to a d4 if the wearer does not otherwise have a source of unarmed damage). An attuned wearer who has access to Ki gains an additional point.

The ribbon is practically unbreakable, and can be used as rope to climb, tie up an opponent, lash objects together, and the like. It automatically releases when desired by the attuned owner, or when no part of it is within ten feet of the owner.

Boots of the Rune Law

Wondrous item, legendary (requires attunement)

These understated sandals are made of intricately-embroidered silk, with the pattern detailing, in Thassilonian, the entire legal system of Xin. When worn and attuned, you gain advantage on saving throws against any Enchantment effect designed to compel you to take an action that is illegal (including any Geas not applied as a properly mandated punishment).

When you are in a direct and immediate foot chase to pursue a fleeing fugitive, you cannot be slowed and ignore difficult terrain.

Additionally, they function similarly to boots of Elvenkind, Speed, and Striding and Springing:

  • Your steps make no sound, and you have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks that rely on moving silently.
  • When you use the Dash action, your walking speed is doubled for the movement granted by that action, and attacks of opportunity against you have disadvantage on the attack roll.
  • Your walking speed becomes 30 feet if it is not higher, and cannot be reduced below 30 feet by encumbrance or armor. You can jump three times the normal distance (though not further than your remaining movement would allow).

Due to its use in the legal system of Thassilon, the attuned wearer gains an intuitive understanding of the legal system of that ancient land, granting Advantage on any relevant rolls. The sandals never get dirty.

Cloak of Xin-Shalast

Wondrous item, legendary

Converted from the robes of Karzoug the Claimer, this deep-green cloak had its magic refocused for the use of non-wizards. While wearing it:

  • You gain advantage on all saving throws against spells.
  • You gain advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide (it changes colors to blend into its surroundings).
  • You gain resistance against Cold. After you take Fire, Cold, Lightning, or Necrotic damage, the resistance of the cloak changes to that energy type until you take a short rest or you take another kind of energy damage (after a short rest, it reverts to Cold resistance).
  • You can always breathe, even underwater or in locations where there is no air.

By tightly wrapping the cloak around yourself, you may pull yourself and your carried possessions into an extradimensional space. The cloak collapses onto the ground. It is dark inside, and you can hear faintly in the outside world. Because you can always breathe, you are in no danger of suffocating. Whenever the cloak is disturbed, you are dislodged from the plane and refill your space, wearing the cloak. You can exit the plane at will, wearing the cloak in its current space.

Those who recognized Karzoug may recognize this cloak as a symbol of his power, and some may take offense at the alterations to it. The material never gets dirty, and is made of some strange transmuted material that grants it many of its properties.

Hellknight Plate

Plate, very rare (allows attunement by a Hellknight)

This suit of plate armor is made of adamantine: while wearing it, any critical hit against you becomes a normal hit. It is decorated with infernal ornamentation designed to intimidate criminals and enemies of Cheliax.

When attuned and wearing the armor, if you have been invested with the authority to wear it by the Hellknights, you have resistance to Fire and gain the benefits of the Devil’s Sight warlock investment (you can see up to 120 feet in darkness, even if it is magical).

Celestials will find the presence of this item repulsive. Even moral bearers are provided a subtle temptation to wickedness by the infernal emanations of the armor, which tends to make even the most fair-minded Hellknights overzealous in the enforcement of their duties. This is not helped by the fact that the armor also bolsters the bearer’s self confidence.


Sihedron Tome

Wondrous item, artifact (requires attunement)

The first Sihedron Tomes were said to have been crafted by a dragon in the service of Emperor Xin. Each of these books has a unique appearance, and hold an infinite number of pages for spellcasters to inscribe spells upon.

The book may only be opened willingly by its owner, and closes inevitably when it leaves the immediate presence of its owner. It can only pass on to a new owner when the old one is slain, or willingly gifted. Unless gifted, the knowledge stored in the book is forever locked away, perhaps destroyed, for its later owners.

It comes instantly to its owner’s hands when summoned, and can cross any space or dimension to do so. It cannot be teleported away so easily, of course, but is so secure that its owners rarely think much about leaving it around.

Any spellbook-using spellcaster who prepares spells from a Sihedron Tome, which potentially holds libraries worth of arcane knowledge, may prepare three additional spells (or five additional spells if no prepared spells are of schools that oppose any other in the Sihedron diagram; e.g., Divination plus up to three adjacent other schools).

Greed (Transmutation) – Sloth (Conjuration) – Envy (Abjuration) – Lust (Enchantment) – Pride (Illusion) – Wrath (Evocation) – Gluttony (Necromancy)

Major Beneficial Property: While attuned to this artifact, you can’t be Blinded, Deafened, or affected by Feeblemind.

Minor Beneficial Property: While attuned to this artifact, once per day you can use an action to cast Comprehend Languages.

Minor Detrimental Property: While attuned to this artifact, any spells you scribe into any other books or scrolls besides this tome immediately fade into illegibility. You may tear pages from the book to create scrolls, but they are recovered into the book whenever you summon it (you must tear them out again, but not recreate them) and will disappear upon your death like its spells.

Tattoo Magic

Mark of Wrath

Tattoo, very rare

This faintly-glowing tattoo-like rune of Wrath upon your forehead allows you to cast Fire Shield once per day. Additionally, upon your next turn after taking damage, if you hit the target that dealt that damage, you may expend a hit die as a free action to add that die to your damage total (the die only, not the Constitution modifier).

Order of the Scourge Investment

Tattoo, very rare

You may expend one hit die to generate the following effects (requires the listed type of action):

  • Vigilance: As an action, you gain truesight for one minute, and Darkvision to 60 feet (if you do not already have Darkvision). While this is active, you can get a vague sense of any threats in a room on the other side of a wall or door you are touching.
  • Onslaught: As a bonus action, until the start of your next turn increase your speed by 10 feet, gain advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws, and 1d10 to melee damage rolls.
  • Wrack: As an action, make a melee attack roll to touch a target. If hit, the target takes 1d10+Cha Modifier Psychic damage and must make a Constitution saving throw (DC based on your Charisma) or be Stunned for one round.

Therassic Tattoos

Tattoo, very rare

You may use an action and expend one or more hit dice to generate the following effects (to a maximum of half your hit dice spent on a single effect):

  • Heroism: You are immune to being frightened and gain temporary hit points at the start of each of your turns. The temporary hit points gained are equal to the hit dice you expended. This lasts for one minute and does not require concentration.
  • Fireball: You throw a ball of fire that explodes at a point within up to 150 feet. It has a radius of five feet for every hit die expended (to a maximum of 20 feet). Each target in the radius takes 1d6 damage per hit die expended (Dexterity saving throw for half). The difficulty of this save is based on your Charisma.
  • Fire Shield: You wreathe yourself in hot orange flames or cold blue flames (chosen at the time of activation) that shed bring light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet. These flames last for one minute per hit die expended, and this does not require concentration but can be cancelled early if desired. While active, you have resistance to Fire (for cold flames) or Cold (for hot flames). Whenever a creature within 5 feet of you hits you with a melee attack, the shield erupts with flame. The attacker takes fire or cold damage equal to the number of hit dice you expended (based on the type of flames). You also add this damage to your unarmed attacks (including damage dealt while grappling).

Tattoos of the Traveler

Tattoo, very rare

As an action, you may expend one hit die to cast Alarm, Detect Poison and Disease, Longstrider, or Speak with Animals.

D&D 5e: Mystic Domain

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I wasn’t thrilled with the Unearthed Arcana implementation of the Mystic Theurge as the Theurgy School for wizards, so this is intended to come at it from the other direction.

Certain gods view mystical knowledge as a sacred journey rather than a gift of service. Instead of opening themselves up to all the possible prayers available to their deity, their followers instead write their scriptures down, notate them, and try to glean new meaning from the magical forms inherent in the words of faith. This special form of devotion makes them seem much like wizards to others of the faith, obsessed with books. But it is hard to deny that this obsession gives them access to magic beyond that available to their peers.

Mystic Domain Spells


Mystic Spellbook

Unlike other clerics, you cannot prepare spells from the full cleric list. Instead, you maintain a mystic spellbook that contains the cleric spells you know, and you can prepare spells from this book. At 1st level, your book contains five 1st-level spells from the cleric spell list, and one additional 1st-level spell from either the cleric spell list or the wizard spell list. Each time you gain a cleric level, you can add two cleric spells of your choice to your mystic spellbook (each must be a level for which you have spell slots).

In addition to the spells you gain from leveling, you may copy spells in the mystic spellbook using the rules for wizard spellbooks on page 114’s sidebar. You can freely copy spells from wizard spellbooks (but must still follow the limitation of wizard-only spells per level) and from either arcane or divine scrolls (as long as the spell appears on the cleric or wizard list) using the rules for copying scrolls.

You may copy a cleric spell into the book if you are mentored by another cleric who is willing to explain it to you for the entire time it takes you to copy the spell (the teacher must cast it for you at the completion of the demonstration). The cost for copying in this way is the same as copying from a wizard’s book.

While you are not limited in the number of spells from the cleric spell list you can add to your mystic spellbook, for any particular spell level it cannot contain more spells that do not appear on the cleric spell list than your Intelligence bonus (minimum 1): this sets the limits of your capacity for understanding outside your sphere. For example, if your Intelligence bonus is +2, you may copy up to two spells at each spell level that appear on the wizard spell list but not on the cleric list.

Mystic Spellcasting

Using your normal preparation slots (Wisdom modifier + cleric level), you may only prepare spells from the mystic spellbook that normally appear on the cleric spell list.

Instead of the normal spells gained from a divine domain, you gain one additional prepared spell per cleric level (maximum of 10) that can be used to prepare any spells in your mystic spellbook.

Arts of the Wise

At 1st level, you gain an additional cantrip that can be from the cleric or wizard list (it is treated as a cleric cantrip for you). You also become proficient in Arcana.

Channel Divinity: Mastery of Magic

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to exert mastery over the fabric of magic itself.

As an action, you present your holy symbol, and all creatures or items with active spells or inherent magic within 30 feet of you acquire a visible, glowing aura similar to what you would see if you cast Detect Magic. This field lasts for Concentration, up to 10 minutes, and travels with you. Anyone seeing these auras who is trained in Arcana (or who can cast Detect Magic) can identify the school of magic for each effect.

This effect gains additional powers as at 6th level, as described below.

School Focus

Starting at 6th level, choose one of the eight schools of magic as your focus. The gold and time you must spend to copy a spell of that school into your mystic spellbook is halved, and if you use one of your spell choices from leveling up to pick a spell of that school, you instead learn two spells of that school.

Additionally, when you use your Channel Divinity: Mastery of Magic, you may choose to take an action at any point while the effect is active to target a creature or item that is being affected by an effect of your focus school (and which has been identified by the Channel Divinity). The target is treated as if you had cast Dispel Magic upon it. This spell is of a power level as if you had cast it at your highest level spell slot. The Channel Divinity ends upon using this power.

Potent Spellcasting

Starting at 8th level, you add your Intelligence modifier to the damage you deal with any cleric cantrip.

Spell Synthesis

At 17th level, you discover deep secrets of the similarities of magic. On the same round you have used your action to cast a spell from one spell list (cleric or wizard), you may use your bonus action to cast a cantrip upon at least one of the same targets as the spell. You may do this a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier before completing a short or long rest.

D&D 5e: Pact of the Blood (Warlock Pact Boon)

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Some Warlocks come by their pacts by inheritance, rather than deliberate choice. Straddling the line between Warlock and Sorcerer, their fell agreements are inherent in their blood. For some, this is actual descent from a pact-granting entity or one of its servitors. For others, it is a contract, geas, or curse that has been passed down a family line. In either case, this source of magic works as a pact rather than sorcery: the power is coming from the original entity, not the caster’s own blood.

In many ways, such an implicit bargain is more dangerous than a formal agreement: the Warlock has little idea of how much credit she’s taking out until the bill comes due. Some may seek to broker an actual contract later in their careers, switching to a different pact with a straightforward accounting of the bargain. She may even switch patrons completely: a blood-pact Warlock of a Fiend may swear her blade to an Archfey to save her soul (though she may learn that vassalage to the fey is a greater bondage in many ways).

Blood pact Warlocks are more likely even than other Warlocks to suddenly get notice that a patron has a quest that must be accomplished, and credit cut off cut off if it’s not completed in a reasonable time frame. Sometimes this is a mission no darker than any other quest. Others, it’s the inspiration to finally formalize the contract. Some such Warlocks never receive such a request… which may lead them to believe that they’re somehow accomplishing their patron’s goals without even intending to do so.

And that’s before the echoes start…

Pact Boon

At 3rd level, you learn two of the Metamagic options of the Sorcerer. These can be used only with spells cast with your Pact Magic.

To cast a spell using metamagic, treat your Warlock Slot Level as if it was 1-3 levels lower (based on the sorcery point cost of the metamagic), or half-level for Twinned Spell. For example, most metamagics are cast at one level lower, Quickened is cast at two levels lower, Heightened is cast at three levels lower, and Twinned Spell is cast at half its level (round down).

You can only cast spells of equal or lower level to the reduced slot (e.g., if you have 4th level slots and the Quickened and Subtle spell metamagics, you can cast any spell of 2nd or lower with Quickened, or any spell of 3rd level or lower with Subtle).

You may use metamatic with your Mystic Arcanum spells: treat the arcanum slot as working equivalently to a pact magic slot for this purpose. If the arcanum is reduced to 5th level or below, use it to cast any applicable spell you can cast with your pact magic slots. If it’s reduced to 6th level or higher, use it to cast the arcanum you have at that level.

Eldritch Invocations

Lesser Echoes

Prerequisite: 7th level, Pact of the Blood feature

You have begun to transform into a supernatural creature in service to your patron. This may be an echo of your ancestor, or the form your patron intends for you once your life as a mortal is complete. Choose a monster of a type related to your patron (e.g., devil or demon for the Fiend, fey for the Archfey, aberration for the Great Old One, etc.). You take on some minor cosmetic and personality features of the monster (possibly replacing one of your characteristics). Additionally, choose one of the monster’s traits and come up with an equivalent version for yourself that seems reasonable to you and your GM.

Suggested powers include gaining a resistance to an energy the monster is resistant or immune to, gaining a climb speed equal to half your normal speed, gaining a special attack equivalent to another attack at 7th level (or an enhancement to your attacks that can be used a limited number of times per rest), or gaining a special power equivalent to a 4th-level spell that you can use once per long rest.

You also choose another metamagic option (your third).

Greater Echoes

Prerequisite: 15th level, Lesser Echoes, Pact of the Blood feature

You have continued your transformation into a proper servitor for your patron. Choose even more obvious cosmetic and personality traits of the monster type (replacing another characteristic). Additionally, choose another power with your GM based on the monster’s capabilities.

Suggested powers include immunity to an energy type the monster is immune to, gaining a flight speed equal to your normal speed, gaining one of the monster’s special attack types (even really powerful ones), gaining a special power equivalent to a 2nd-level spell that you can use at will, an equivalent to a 4th-level spell that you can use once per short rest, or an equivalent to an 8th-level spell that you can use once per long rest.

You also choose another metamatic option (your fourth).

The Septarch’s Tower, Part 5

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Floor B4


A fantastic battle ranged throughout this level. Charred and smashed bodies lie in the main hallway and throughout the rooms. Most of them show some strange accumulation of earth: crystal growths, stone nodules, and the like. All the beds and tables have been smashed throughout. Pictograph carvings lined with crystal in the walls give instructions for bonding to earth at one of the summoning circles.

The door to the southeast bedroom has been magically sealed. Only an order key will open it. Within is Hieronymus’ library collection from the rest of the tower.

Earth Dorms Note

Well f*** me with a Hedge thorn! They just kept coming but I think I got them all. I think the earth mages never fled, but somehow bonded themselves to the earth to stay behind as guardians. They… weren’t rational about it. I’m not sure they could even still speak. This is insane. I’m moving on.


You didn’t get all of them. I got the rest. They were like zombies that used earth magic. I found and destroyed the ritual that did this to them. It was supposed to grant them agelessness and imperviousness to harm, perhaps as one last risky attempt to win the war. It worked, to a point, but I suspect they didn’t expect it to destroy their intellect. I can’t abide the idea of anyone else doing this to themselves or someone else. I’ve put the rest of the secrets of this tower in the southeast. Use your key.


Earth Bonding Cantrip (Wis)

Earth supports and nourishes. This cantrip allows the caster to fortify loose earth, hardening it or increasing its nourishing capabilities to life.

The hardening application causes a cube of earth up to five feet on a side to calcify, gaining the strength of sandstone. This can be used to slowly mold loose earth or sand into a freestanding sculpture, make mud easy to walk upon, hold back floodwater, or shore up a tunnel or sapping. The caster may take a -3 penalty for each additional cube to be affected per round. The effect lasts until the affected earth takes a meaningful impact, change in pressure, or change in humidity (i.e., it can last indefinitely if nothing would upset the chemicals bonds created in the soil).

The nourishing application draws lifegiving nutrients to the top of soil. This application is maintained, and can be sustained even while sleeping (but precludes other magic that requires concentration). A single living individual heals at double the normal rate while sleeping partially buried in this soil (and this can also repair damage to plants). The caster may take a -3 penalty for each additional target to affect.

Library Room

This contains the compiled higher level spells that Hieronymus took from Salome’s folios. The lower-level spells may still be available in the upper levels.

Air Spells and Rituals

Feather Fall, Whispering Wind; Misty Step*

  1. Unseen Servant
  2. Call Storm, Summoning
  3. Wind Wall*
  4. Invisibility
  5. Storm’s Wrath
  6. Wizard’s Flight

Fire Spells and Rituals

Burning Hands, Flame Charm; Scorching Ray*

  1. Produce Flame*
  2. Hellish Rebuke*, Summoning
  3. Continual Light
  4. Flaming Sphere*
  5. Heat Metal*
  6. Fireball

Earth Spells and Rituals

Pass without Trace, Petrifying Gaze; Shatter*

  1. Goodberry
  2. Endure the Elements, Summoning
  3. Skin of the Treant
  4. Enhance Ability*
  5. Ritual of Healing
  6. Shape of Stone

Water Spells and Rituals

Abjuration, Obscurement; Acid Arrow*

  1. Gather Mists
  2. Cleansing Ritual, Summoning
  3. Purify Food and Drink*
  4. Water Breathing*
  5. Dispel Magic
  6. Full Restoration

* Not a normal part of Beyond the Wall (converted from 5e version)

Floor B5


The deepest floor of the tower is heavily warded and organically carved from earth and stone. Unless otherwise noted, all walls, ceilings, and floors are smooth granite traced with endless glyphs of quartz that glimmer enough to produce low light throughout each room of the complex. The ceiling of each room is at least 20 feet high, leaving room to maneuver for even the tallest of prisoners.

The sphinx, Taheret, is responsible for guarding this floor. However, based upon her contract, she’s pretty sure that simply destroying most or all of the inhabitants is enough for her to get out of her contract. While she’s not allowed to attack them herself unless they try to escape, she is simply tasked with keeping them from escaping and doesn’t have to prevent invaders from killing them or stealing. She knows what’s in every room, and might help by giving answers and bargaining for additional assistance. However, she can’t help but talk in riddles, because she’s very, very bored.


  1. Entryway: Taheret the Sphinx
  2. Brass Golem
  3. Hellhound x5
  4. Salome’s body and possessions
  5. Room is covered in polished mirrors to disorient the Aatheriexa
  6. Aatheriexa
  7. Room is heavily warded against abominations
  8. Room is covered in strange glyphs that make this a dead magic area
  9. Hellhound x6
  10. Belker x3
  11. Mihstu
  12. The room has powerful winds set up to blow into the northwest corner. Non-flying creatures must succeed at a Strength (Athletics) check each round at +5 to avoid being moved into the corner; flying creatures must make the check at -5. At the end of the round, any creature within 10 feet of the northwest corner takes 1d6 cold damage.
  13. Animated Armor x8
  14. Magically-powered Forge (Lair Treasure 1)
  15. Troll anteroom: Proto-Troll outcast (who will nonetheless fall back quickly upon being hurt)
  16. Troll bathroom (very gross)
  17. Troll Living Room: Proto-Troll x4
  18. Troll Sleeping Room: Proto-Troll x3 (will reinforce 17 after 2d4 rounds)
  19. Troll Kitchen: Troll Cow
  20. Room is heavily warded against abominations
  21. Dead beholder (killed by Salome years ago)
  22. Byakhee
  23. Ancient storage room (everything here is long-ruined or taken by Salome)
  24. Locked door (Succeed on 2 out of 3 lockpicking at -10): Lair Treasure 2
  25. Sand Golem
  26. Magically Shaking Room: Reflex save each round in room or take 1d4 bludgeoning damage by slamming into pillars in the room
  27. Crysmal x10
  28. Efreeti (trapped in heavily-glyphed room with one wish left to grant before being freed)


Salome’s Body (4)

Mummified in the dry air, Salome was clearly a dark-haired woman of early middle age, slight, agile build, and nondescript appearance. She carries:

  • Another teleport key
  • 66 cp
  • 120 sp
  • 6 gp
  • 150 sp of ritual components
  • Infiltrator’s Athame: Functional (easily hidden in knife form, useful as a ritual tool), Life-Drinking; Contingent Situational (Deals damage): Increases to Longsword until Life-Drinking triggers; Contingent Code (Sworn to Service of the Order): Magic, Spell Storing
  • Bracelet of Biting (3 charges)
  • Gloves of Thievery (2 charges)
  • Amulet of Deception (3 charges)
  • Spellbook (Order):
    • Spells: Burning Hands, False Friend, Flame Charm, Feather Fall, Healing Touch, Magic Missile, Masked Image, Misty Step*, Mystical Shield, Obscurement, Pass without Trace, Spider Climb, Whispering Wind
    • Rituals: (1) Arcane Experiment, Circle of Protection, Mage Armor, Steed of the Sorcerer, Wizard’s Mark; (2) Endure the Elements, Summoning; (3) Continual Light, Friends; (4) Alter Self, Invisibility; (5) Arcane Sight, Dispel Magic, Heat Metal*, True Identification; (6) Fireball; (7) Wall of Flame; (8) Storm of Ice

Forge: Lair Treasure 1 (14)

This forge produces a never-ending flame whose heat can be adjusted by dials on the wall. A complete set of anvils, quenching pots, and forging tools are neatly arranged. The valuable ingots are hidden deep in a cabinet where they were missed by mages clearing the tower (or too heavy to fly away with)

  • 2 ingots of Adamantine
  • 4 ingots of Mithril
  • 10 ingots of silver (50 sp value each)
  • 40 ingots of steel (8 sp value each)
  • Masterwork Longsword x5
  • Masterwork Spear x10
  • Reinforced Shield with Volkov heraldry x20
  • 3,000 sp of miscellaneous plates that could be assembled into a suit of plate armor (or used to repair other armor)

Lair Treasure 2 (24)

This room was used to hide any treasures that couldn’t be taken away. It contains miscellaneous ancient art furnishings (too bulky to move easily) worth 2,000 sp for pure material value, and potentially worth up to three times that to collectors of ancient Imperial art.

Troll Cow (19)

A cow bound to an earth spirit in the same way as the proto-trolls, this poor beast has suffered for over a thousand years as the trolls used it as their primary source of food: ripping off hunks of beef and letting the cow regenerate. The cow wears a Nosering of Sustenance (4 charges) which is sufficient for the cow to be fed and continue serving as a food source for others, and seems to have been designed for this purpose. It’s unclear what kind of effect eating the cow’s meat would have on humans. The cow is long-adjusted to its lot in life, and quite docile. It suffers the same difficulties moving through dead magic and sunlight as the trolls (it has 20 HP).


(Additional stats for Beyond the Wall. Most of these are based on creatures from Pathfinder.)


Summoned from a foreign star, this immortal tangle of thin, tentacle-like eyestalks travels by floating in the air, but must remain within a few feet of a solid surface or water. It is slightly larger than a man, and it can reform its mass to attack or manipulate items. Though indefinitely cruel, its intelligence is inscrutable to humans; it cannot be commanded nor does it try to communicate.

Hit Dice:    10d4 (25 HP)                            AC:    12    XP:    2,350

Attack:        +10 to hit, 3d4 damage (tentacle)

Notes:        Grab (a target hit by an aatheriexa’s tentacle attack must make a Reflex save or be grabbed and pinned; if pinned, the target must use its action to make a Strength check to escape on its next turn; on the aatheriexa’s next turn, it can engulf the target, dealing damage automatically while still being able to attack another target), Withering Aura (any living creatures within 15 feet of an aatheriexa must make a Fortitude save each round; failure deals 1d4 damage), Gaze of Many Eyes (any creature that looks at an aatheriexa must succeed at a Will save to be able to attack it; critical failure on this save results in the attack instead being directed at an ally)

Animated Armor

Formed of cast-off plates of armor in various ancient styles, these creatures are created from fallen warriors. Not exactly a ghost, the spirit that animates it is much closer to an elemental of the astral plane: the idea of armored combat itself. They proved difficult to command on the battlefield in the best of times, and especially hard to keep idle while waiting for battle. When used, they were typically stored apart from others and deployed as close to the enemy line as possible.

Hit Dice:    3d10 (16 HP)                            AC:    18    XP:    150

Attack:        +5 to hit, 1d10+2 damage (greatsword)

Notes:        Armor (animated armor can absorb armor from fallen other animated armors by passing over them, healing 1d10 hp; defeated animated armors count as suits of double-broken plate armor)


Hybrid elementals of air and fire, the process that created these creatures accidentally tapped the demonic realms: in addition to looking very demonic, the creatures proved malicious and impossible to trust to not attack their own allies. They appear as man-sized demonic figures made of smoke and shadow. Defeated belkers congeal into fist-sized smoky gems useful in rituals related to air and fire, and worth 50 sp each.

Hit Dice:    5d8 (22 HP)                            AC:    14    XP:    150

Attack:        +5 to hit, 1d8 damage (claws)

Notes:        Smoke Form (belkers can enter smoke form at will at the beginning of their turns; they become incorporeal so they can only be affected by magic and iron weapons, but cannot make physical attacks), Smoke Claws (while in physical form, a belker can make two claw attacks and a bite attack; while in smoke form, it can attack by engulfing a character and that character must succeed at a Fortitude save or take 2d8 damage from internal attacks)

Brass Golem

Forged of brass and nearly twenty feet tall, this warrior sculpture has been bound with a fire elemental and ancient arts of golem making to be a powerful protector. Due to the fire of their construction, the scroll that animates a brass golem will often become singed through use, causing the creature’s behavior to become erratic an no longer useful in war. When defeated, much of the brass can be salvaged, producing at least 1000 pounds of scrap brass (easily worth 3 sp per pound).

Hit Dice:    8d6 (30 HP)                            AC:    15    XP:    1,300

Attack:        +11 to hit, 2d6 damage (falchion)

Notes:        Regeneration (golems regenerate 3 hp per round, even after being reduced to 0 or fewer HP, unless their animating scroll is removed; for brass golems, this regeneration is paused for a round after taking cold damage), Cinder Breath (brass golems fill the area around them with smoke and cinders from their breath, causing everyone within 15 feet or an entire enclosed room, to make a Fortitude save each round on their turn or take 1d6 fire damage), Brass Body (brass golems are healed by fire damage and immune to electricity)


Evil spacefaring creatures from a distant star, these man-shaped insectoid creatures are so wrong that most thinking people have trouble looking at one directly or comprehending what they are seeing (making them very difficult to hit). While seldom summoned directly, they may simply appear, inscrutibly, on worlds that have contacted foreign stars. Immortal and ineffable, they are content to wait for the stars to be right.

Hit Dice:    5d4 (12 HP)                            AC:    17    XP:    550

Attack:        +5 to hit, 1d8 damage (claw)

Notes:        Shriek (As its action, a byakhee can shriek to take 1d4 damage and then summon 2d4 additional byakhee that each have only 1 HP; these duplicates cannot themselves summon others unless they are healed enough to survive the self-damage)


Small, scorpion-shaped arrangements of crystal, these earth elementals aggressively seek out gems to form into new crysmals. Annoyingly aggressive, the ancients kept them essentially as truffle pigs for valuable stones. They can normally burrow easily through earth and stone, but cannot easily penetrate metal. Immortal, they do not need to eat, and will wait endlessly for an opportunity to continue their burrowing.

Hit Dice:    2d8 (16 HP)                            AC:    15    XP:    95

Attack:        +2 to hit, 1d8 damage (tail spike)

Notes:        Brittle (crysmals take double damage from bludgeoning and sonic attacks), Tail Spike (crysmals can launch their tails as a ranged attack that does 2d8 damage if it hits, but they subsequently only do 1d6 damage on regular attacks)


Complete jerks from the plane of Fire, Efreeti can grant wishes, delight in perverting the wish as much as possible. If thwarted, they are quick to attack, but also willing to accept surrender and continue negotiations. There is no greater threat than a twelve-foot tall genie on its last wish.

Hit Dice:    10d8 (45 HP)                            AC:    16    XP:    625

Attack:        +10 to hit, 3d8 damage

Notes:        Creature of Fire (efreeti are immune to fire, can create fire at will as an action (dealing 1d8 damage to everyone in the area), and can create illusions at will), Spellcaster (efreeti may cast spells (up to 10 per day) and ritual magic)


Perhaps the most tameable of demons, these big fiery dogs are sometimes kept for their uses in detecting spirits. Immortal and cruel like their progenitors, they can be an unfortunate surprise in ancient buildings in which they were previously penned.

Hit Dice:    2d8 (9 HP)                            AC:    14    XP:    70

Attack:        +2 to hit, 1d8 damage (bite)

Notes:        Demonic Sight (hellhounds may see spirits and invisible things), Immune to Fire (hellhounds may not be harmed by fire of any kind), Demonic Skin (hellhounds ignore the first five points of damage from sources that are not magic or cold iron)


Bizarre air elementals, mihstu appear as clouds of mist that, upon closer inspection, is made up of razor-sharp shards of glass. Not filling much more space than a human, they can contort into many different shapes, easily escaping non-warded confinement. When they can be commanded, they make excellent strikers, as they can fly to wherever they want in a battlefield, with little worry about ranged attacks. Their targets are only fortunate that they do not have ranged attacks of their own. When killed, the dust wrapped up in a mihstu falls into a powder useful in rituals and worth 100 sp.

Hit Dice:    6d8 (27 HP)                            AC:    14    XP:    425

Attack:        +6 to hit, 1d8 damage (tentacles)

Notes:        Swift (a mihstu can make four tentacle attacks, but cannot attack the same opponent with more than two), Draining Pin (if a mihstu hits the same opponent with two tentacle attacks, that target is pinned; the mihstu can automatically hit that target with one or both attacks on subsequent rounds; the target may use her action to try a Strength check to escape), Wind Defense (a mihstu is immune to physical ranged attacks), Incorporeal (a mihstu has no physical form and is only affected by magic and iron weapons), Susceptible to Cold (a mihstu loses its next turn upon taking magical cold damage)


Formed by binding an earth elemental to a volunteering warrior, the hybrid creature so created was not what anyone expected. Mutated and distended by the process, they proved to be ageless and immortal as long as they remained fed. However, they also proved irrational, vicious, and no longer capable of voluntarily following the orders of their previous commanders. Even more of a problem, the binding left them strangely vulnerable to disruption: fire, acid, lack of magic, and even sunlight could upset their regenerative abilities and cause them to calcify. The most docile of them were bred, eventually losing some of their greater weaknesses and making the modern troll, but pockets of the proto-trolls still live as long as they have access to food.

Hit Dice:    5d10 (27 HP)                            AC:    15    XP:    300

Attack:        +6 to hit, 1d10 damage (bite), 1d6 (claws)

Notes:        Regeneration (trolls regenerate 3 hit points per round unless they have been wounded with fire, and may even come back from death in this manner), Swift (trolls may attack once with their bite and twice with their claws), Unstable Magic (proto-trolls have their regeneration reversed while exposed to sunlight or non-magical areas, taking 3 damage per round and turning to stone upon reaching 0 HP)

Sand Golem

Originally a stone or clay golem that was repaired too many times, this golem has reached a failure state where it is simply a vaguely man-shaped, ten-foot-tall pile of sand held together only by magic. This has some interesting effects on its fighting ability, as it is already shattered and can simply grab onto melee weapons. Unfortunately, it also loses a lot of its programming, and most of these eventually become as much a danger to their creators as to their intended targets. When defeated, the golem collapses into around 2,000 pounds of magically-infused sand, which might go for as much as 1 sp per pound to the right mage.

Hit Dice:    7d6 (30 HP)                            AC:    11    XP:    300

Attack:        +9 to hit, 2d6 damage (slam)

Notes:        Regeneration (golems regenerate 3 hp per round, even after being reduced to 0 or fewer HP, unless their animating scroll is removed; for sand golems, this regeneration is paused for a round after taking electric damage), Clutching Sands (hits against a sand golem with a melee weapon require the attacker to make a Reflex save or be disarmed, or pinned until succeeding at a Strength check for unarmed attackers), Sand Body (sand golems take double damage from water-based attacks, and are slowed to a crawl for one round by electricity or fire attacks)


Denizens of a distant faerie dimension, sphinxes are often summoned to the earth for use as immortal guardians. While they enjoy eating, they do not need to do so to maintain their lives as long as they continue to fulfill their contracted role. Their intellect is capacious, they can easily learn any language, and they often entertain themselves through the long interludes in their guardianships by planning riddles for the next people they meet. While their catlike natures make them seem somewhat cruel, they are able to be negotiated with, particularly by adventurers that might be able to end their contract and free them.

Hit Dice:    8d8 (36 HP)                            AC:    15    XP:    1100

Attack:        +8 to hit, 1d8 damage (claws)

Notes:        Swift (a sphinx may make two claw attacks, and follows up with a rake for an additional automatic 1d8 damage if it hits the same target with both), Spellcaster (a sphinx may cast spells (up to 8 per day) and ritual magic)

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