In this episode I discuss the mechanics of classes, magic, and magical items pertaining to Adventures in Middle-Earth.
After watching the new Castlevania series on Netflix couldn’t help thinking it would make a great setting for a very dark Dungeons and Dragons campaign with some cool steampunk elements. I’m actually working on a short module that takes players through a brief adventure in that world. However creatures from that setting can be folded into almost any D&D game with a little imagination.
For folks who have yet to see the show please stop reading now if you care about spoilers.
I’d also like to let everyone know in advance I am not a longtime fan of Castlevania, I’ve been aware of the franchise for many years but I never played any of the games. If I get any of the terminology wrong please forgive me.
Also Castlevania is the property of Konami and the Netflix series is the property of Netflix, I claim no ownership of either. All of the art pictured here is from the Netflix series and belongs to their artists, it is also pretty great and definitely helps make the show worth your time. So without further ado…
I’ve seen these things called imps and goblins, to me they look like Red Court vampires from The Dresden Files. At any rate they seem to make up the bulk of Dracula’s demonic army.
Medium fiend, chaotic evil
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 18
Speed 60 ft., climb 20 ft, flight 40 ft.
Str 10 (+0) Dex 16 (+3) Con 12 (+1) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (+0) Cha 8 (-1)
Skills Perception +2, Stealth +5
Damage Vulnerabilities Cold, radiant
Damage Immunities Fire
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Abyssal, Common
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) slashing damage.
Infernal Blast. Range Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, 60/100 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d8+6) fire damage. Creatures within 30 ft. of the target must make a DC 14 Dexterity Saving throw, on a failed saving throw they take half as much damage as the hit target, on a successful saving throw they take no damage. All objects in the radius of the attack that are not being held burst into flames.
Shock troops for Dracula these summoned monsters serve as the foot soldiers in his army. They are capable warriors able to spread violence throughout cities and the surrounding countryside with ease.
Please note, Infernal Blast is meant to be a powerful attack capable of dealing huge damage. It can kill or seriously injure an entire low-level party if they aren’t careful as well as setting fire to everything in the immediate area. I designed it that way because we see these things peppering cities with these blasts and setting them ablaze in minutes. You may want to warn the party by having one of these things fire off a round at NPCs or buildings before opening fire on your players.
I love seeing a cyclops used as a monster, and this one is a bit like a beholder crossed with a cyclops. Easily the best monster in the Netflix series so far in my opinion.
Huge fiend, lawful evil
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 82
Speed 20 ft.
Str 18 (+4) Dex 12 (+1) Con 16 (+3) Int 10 (+0) Wis 10 (+0) Cha 8 (-1)
Skills Perception +5
Condition Immunities Petrified
Damage Vulnerabilities Radiant
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Abyssal, Common
Feast on Terror. The Stone-Eye Cyclops feeds on the terror of those it has turned to stone, it regains 1d4 hit points each turn for each living victim it has turned to stone. It also adds +1 to any roll it makes for each living victim it has petrified.
Thundering Footsteps. Creatures and objects within 5 ft. of the Stone-Eye Cyclops when it moves take 1d4 bludgeoning damage.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d8+6) bludgeoning damage.
Eye Ray. Range Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, 30/60 ft., one target. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creatures turns to stone and is petrified. Petrified creatures can only be returned to normal by killing the Stone-Eye cyclops that turned them to stone.
Powerful guardians that can be utilized to protect valuables or locations from unwanted visitors these towering behemoths are terrors to all. Although they’re more than capable or tearing treasure hunters limb from limb whenever the mood strikes them, they usually prefer turning intruders to stone so that they can feed off of their fear. The lair of a Stone-Eye Cyclops is almost always marked by the petrified bodies of their victims.
As I said this thing is like a cyclops and a beholder crossbreed, which amazing and horrifying all at once. The eye ray requires the cyclops to hit the opponents AC and then the players gets to make a dex save to avoid being petrified. This is, again, a savage attack that can take a player out of the action in one stroke. The cyclops shouldn’t be able to sneak up on a party so they’ll have some warning of what is coming. I went this direction because unlike the beholder who slowly turns victims to stone I wanted to give a more cinematic feel to the cyclops. A huge beam engulfs your wizard and they’re just gone in an instant.
Anyway I hope someone out there finds these amusing if nothing else, thanks for reading.
Before diving back into the adventure I wante to share our character creation sesssion for Adventures in Middle-Earth.
In the 2nd introduction to our Adventures in Middle-Earth campaign we join an elf on parol deep in the southern reached of Mirkwood.
Our friend Joelle Mellon wrote a short story for a contest sponsored by winetourismspain.com. It is about some strange creatures from another world who stumble upon Earth and have a close encounter with Spanish wine. I thought it was funny, and she wanted to share it with our readers. So, without further ado:
Aliens of La Mancha
Glog had been piloting his ship all night, but reluctantly, he pressed the navigation stick steadily down to the floor, causing the craft to land.
“Are we finally home?” his wife demanded, “We only have one bottle of Ikoe left!”
He knew they should have packed more. Glog and Xemvahr derived all of their nourishment from alcohol-based beverages, just as plants photosynthesize sunlight.
“I’m afraid not, dear,” he ventured, timidly.
“I told you to let the ship drive itself, but would you listen?” she demanded, “Where in Drahkt’s name are we?”
“According to the navigation module,” he said, squinting, “We seem to be on — Earth. Specifically, Spain. Even more specifically — La Mancha.”
“Why does that sound so familiar?”
“Not sure,” Glog replied, “Something from intergalactic broadcast?”
“That’s it!” she exclaimed, “The film from that Earth director with all the bright colors, remember?”
“Oooh, yes,” her huband agreed, “Almodovar.”
“Almodovar,” the ship’s computer repeated in a monotone, thinking that the shouted name had been a request for entertainment. Almost instantly, it queued up Volver and began playing it on a screen.
“We know there’s alcohol here, anyhow,” she said, “Let’s go find some.”
Xemvahr, ever the more practical of the two, took the precaution of strapping the last bottle of Ikoe to her belt, in case they didn’t find anything suitable to drink soon. At the push of a button, the ship’s hatch opened, and the two aliens ventured out into the night. She led them toward an area where the most lights seemed to still be twinkling, assuming that would be their best chance at finding some drinks. Soon, they came to a friendly looking cafe with the words,
“La Fabula” emblazoned over the door in silver script. Several tables had been set outside on the sidewalk. Hurrying over to one of them, they zeroed in on two half-full bottles of wine, which had been mysteriously abandoned by their owners.
“Tempranillo,” Glog read aloud.
Tipping the bottle into his mouth, he was filled with a sense of unabashed pleasure as the wine warmed and filled his translucent body. Almost immediately, he turned a deep shade of burgundy red. If just a mouthful was this much more nutritionally efficient that Ikoe, he realized, what remained in these two bottles would keep them going for weeks.
“Malvar,” his wife pronounced, reading her label.
She swallowed, and a pale golden color suffused her, almost seeming to make her glow with happiness. After a moment, however, an expression of concern settled over her features.
“We don’t have any local currency,” she said.
An hour later, one of the cafe employees came outside to bring the tables in for the night. Much to his surprise, he saw that a full bottle of some exotic blue liqueur had been left behind.
“Hey,” he called back into the restaurant, “I think Manuel’s been ordering some weird stuff again. Want to try it?”
To find out more about the competition and explore the idea of Spanish wine tourism, be sure to check out: Winetourismspain.com