Friday, October 24, 2014

Rabbit Folk in 5e

Art by Jerome Jacinto
The Hara or Rabbit Folk have their own subkingdom within the Country of Yanth, though wandering swords-rabbits and minstrels of their kind may be encountered all over Azurth.

The Rabbit Folk live in underground warrens they call commots, where the peace is kept by knights led by a reeve. All the warrens are ruled by a king, currently one Lapin XXII who spends his days at leisure in the opulent burrow he shares with his harem.

Rabbit Folk balladeers tell of the tragic fall of a sister Hara kingdom whose warrens were invaded by a giant rattlesnake. In the tales, the undying king, maimed by the snake's vemon, roams the land in disguise, searching for a noble Hara (or any other hero, really) to restore his kingdom.

Hara are shorter than humans and thinner of limb, but sometimes plump in body. Their fur may be any color from white to black, with some shade of brown being the most common.

Art by Tony DiTerlizzi

Hara Traits
Ability Score Increase. Dexterity increased by 2 and Charisma by 1.
Age. Rabbit Folk live shorter lifespans than humans on average with only a few living beyond their 70. They are mature by their early teens.
Alignment. Hara tend toward good but can lean toward Law or Chaos.
Size. Hara are between 3 and 4 feet tall. Small.
Speed. Rabbit Folk are fleet of foot and have a base walking speed of 30 feet, despite their size.
Leaper. Rabbit Folk can make a running high jump or long jump after moving only 5 feet on foot.
Lucky. A Hara can reroll a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
Nimbleness. A Hara can move through the space of any creature of larger size.
Languages. Rabbit Folk can speak and read Common. They also speak their on tongue, which they write in the standard Azurthite script.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Strange Stars: Welcome to the Outer Rim

There aren't too many more updates before we'll be done with the Strange Stars Setting Book. Here's the rough layout for the Outer Rim:

There are a couple of typos there, but it looks great overall. I worry a bit about the type size. It's always a struggle between cramming as much info in and the aesthetics.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Comics: Artesia

My Artesia review will return next week. For now, here's a few illustrations from Artesia Annual #1.

Here are some bannermen.

And the King's Guard.

Monday, October 20, 2014

New to Rivertown

Yesterday was the inaugural session of my 5th edition Land of Azurth campaign. Kully Keenstep (Jim, bard), Kairon (Eric, tiefling sorcerer), Waylon (Tug, frox thief), Dagmar (Andrea, dwarf cleric), and Berekose (Bob, fighter) all happen to arrive on the same keelboat, Berta Mae. After stopping an extortion attempt by river rats (the mostly human kind), the five draw the attention of Mayor Yrrol Gladhand.

Gladhand gets them put at the top of the list of audiences with the Clockwork Princess, Viola, and also gets them rooms at the Dove Inn. He wants them to get in the Princess's good graces, and then report to him and the City Council on things that might be of financial interest. Not knowing what else to do, the group agrees.

The next morning, they take the ferry over to Mechanicstown, the collection of laboratories around Castle Machina. The gnome guards usher them into the audience chamber, where a pre-occupied Princess soon enters. She agrees to help them with their various requests, but asks them to perform a simple task for her first: take a small velvet bag to a man in the third level beneath the castle. She shows them on a map where to go but warns them against going any place else, lest they run afoul of the tribes of Looms. None of them known what Looms are, but they are assumed to be quite dangerous based on the context.

After perform the ritual they are given, the Lift rumbles downward to "L3." They make their way down the hallway, but right before the doorway, Waylon and Erekose notice a glistening: a gelatinous cube blocks the way! The group goes around to another entrance. This one is blocked by old furniture, but it's easily movable. All the while, they hear the sounds of chanting and ritual, but they never see what they assume to be the Looms.

Through the grimy window of the laboratory, they can see a pale, flickering light. They enter and find a path amid the old laboratory and alchemical equipment. They can hear strange, distorted voices. They come upon the source of the light: an odd large, magnifying glass-like lens, and a man-shaped thing of metal looking into it. The metal shape turns toward them.

A voice emerges from a grating in its chest, and it asks if the group brought "them." They hand the bag over, and it dumps the contents on the table--tiny, metal pieces. It turns back to the lens and says: "we can renew our game."

Dagmar sees inside the round, glass opening in the thing's body to see a motionless old man with tubes stuck in him.

The group returns to the surface, where the Princess agrees to look into the things they asked about, and gives them a few leads.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tales of the Weird and Fantastic

Just in time for Halloween, Pulp Mill Press has released a second volume of Libram Mysterium edited by Sean Robson, this one subtitled Tales of the Weird and Fantastic. While the first volume was Sword and Sorcery tales, this one focuses on horror and macabre in the pulp vein. I haven't read this one yet, but I'm looking forward to checking it out.

It's available for the Kindle and most other electronic formats.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Azurthite Bestiary: Death Dwarf

Death Dwarfs are repulsive creatures inimical to all other life. When the Anti-Sun was invoked by the Gloom Elves' ancient spell, the Death Dwarfs followed it into Azurth and made their home in the subazurthian depths. They hate all life, but respect power, after a fashion. The have no allies; only enemies and masters.

Death Dwarfs speak a strange, backwards sounding language, which can be crudely interpreted if a Subazurthian listener views the Death Dwarf in a mirror as they are speaking. Death Dwarfs can understand Undercommon fully well. Their eyes glow in darkness, but are blackest voids in even dim light. Their blood is equally black and mildly caustic. They subsist on a diet of corrosive minerals and poisonous ore.

In a rage, Death Dwarfs can release their anti-energy and swell to a monstrous size, like some funhouse mirror negative image.

Death Dwarfs are the Land of Azurth version of Duergar. They are statted the same, but have the following regional effects around their lairs:

  • Plant life sickens and dies, adult animals weaken, and their progeny are born deformed within 1000 ft.
  • Food brought into a liar becomes rancid within a day and water becomes poisoned.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three Rivertown Criminals

Honest Jon
If you need something illegal, not quite legal, or just not something to be inquired about in polite company, then Honest Jon may well be of assistance to you. He also specializes in finding a buyers for items of complicated provenance. All for a fee, naturally.

Calico Bonny
She is the Queen of the Floating World, and her palace is the only true ship among it's ramshackle flotilla, the Queen Azura. Bonny is never seen (though she is rumored to have met the Princess), but conducts her business through a succession of lissome girls all called "Fleur." No new gambling barge or pleasure boat opens without her approval. And the Queen always gets her tithe.

Art by Dan Norton
Mapache "Cleanhands" Took 
There is no "raccoon thieves' guild" in Rivertown. The very notion is absurd. Even if there were (which of course, there most certainly is not), it's ringleader and mastermind wouldn't be a shabby, gentleman of the road like our Mapache Took. Ridiculous. Completely ridiculous.