Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday's Monster Mash #6 - January Contest Entry

Monday’s Monster Mash is a weekly series where monsters are selected from the three Monster Manuals and put together as an encounter group. A situation is discussed where these monsters would have been together and how their powers or status effects work together against the players.

This particular Monday's Monster Mash, and the next few, will be a little different than normal. Today's was written by Simon Mathews for the January Contest: Monster Mash Mania. He can also be found on twitter under @symatt.

The Story
A shallow mist lay across the stone flagged floor of the long dark corridors. Moisture ran down the moss covered walls and old metal bracketed torches hung rusty and light less as if unused and unneeded for decades. The two companions stumbled on, not for the lack of light as both could see clearly from the glow of the luminous moss and their eyes preferred this half light.

"We's be loss agin Bagguk? Exclaimed the larger of the two, in a rusty sounding voice. He coughed then continued, raising his voice above the noise of his metal morningstar dragging against the stone floor.

"We's loss!"

Ignoring his plea Bagguk moved forward, his sharp pointed ears twitched, straining to hear past the chatter and clatter of the large fellow behind him. Bagguks large dark eyes pierced the gloom ahead. He was vigilant...but for what he wasn't sure. He didn't like surprises. He knew humans and their weapon wielding cohorts loved to skulk around ruins looking for anything they could steal from hard working Goblins.

Bagguk was one of those hard working Goblins and the many scars across his tight green skin proved it. Small in stature, no more than half a humans height, but hidden beneath his slight frame was the cunning and grace of a night Raven.
His companion of sorts was Colin, he was a Grabutt or as said in the common tongue, A Bugbear. Thick dirty fur covered and protected his skin, his face was puppy dog like, but with huge teeth and tusks . He was loud and brutish. But as it turns out great to have as a friend. Great in a fight.

The two goblinoids had become separated from their clan a few moons ago when a vicious band of human friends had attacked unprovoked. During the fray an explosion had caused a ceiling to collapse separating them and now they are lost looking to return to their clan and safety.

Deep feeling of hunger rumbled in their bellies. Colin's rumbled the loudest like a Colony of frogs had found a home in his large stomach. Colin was about to complain as he thought he hadn't complained in a while and was about to start when Bagguk hushed him.

Colin murmured.

Bagguk made a gesture for Colin to stay put. Then leaping off ahead the small goblin was quickly out of sight and earshot. Colin stood in silence looking both ahead and behind just in case as Bagguks disappearance had put him on edge. His breathing now seemed way too loud.

Maybe it’s humans?

Thoughts of fresh food ran through his mind and made his stomach rumble again, even louder.

"yuz fid it had tu fulla intrukshun?"

A soft whispered voice close to Colin's ear. In a flash Colin brought his morningstar hard down against the shadow that seemed to appear in front of him only to miss sending sparks and stone flying from the impact and an echo running off in all directions.

Bagguk was back and standing with hand on sword hilt and one foot resting on Colin's morningstar head. All too casual for what Colin thougth was right.

"I's fow'd sput ta ress, fulla mi"

Bagguk lead the way on down a slope and in to a large open space with high ceilings and old tables and chairs, decaying but in good order to sleep beneath. On the walls could just be seen the dirty colours of some old forgotten murals. Some rats lay dead upon a dust covered table with a few flying insects already inspecting them for egg laying location. The Bugbear needed no telling and raced for the food and ravenously devoured the meat, splashing himself and tables in warm sticky blood.

The two settled in a corner to sleep off their food.

Bagguk tried to keep one eye open but eventually both succumbed to restful sleep. Dreams of Humans in shinning metal suits and Elf Kin and their bows filled the goblins mind. Of he and his clan ripping their throats out and in celebration drinking their blood from Golden cups taken from human children. A smile climbed across Bagguks face and he twitched with joy several time.

"It's alive! Screamed an unknown voice in common but with a strange clear ring. Followed by many running steps getting louder in Bagguks ears. He woke with a start, the human fiends where real and here.

A swish sounded just by Bagguk and as if in slow motion he traced an arrow through the air, passed his sword arm, then a wet thud like cutting cabbage. Colin made a grunt as the arrow sunk deep into his back, ripping through fur and cutting a dirty leather harness which stayed on the cold floor as Colin stood, faster than expected given his injury and his massive bulk. His eyes flashed red as he drew his morningstar to bear at the enemies approach.

Bagguk had a short sword and dagger in hand and what seemed without a thought ran towards the human fiends that stood before them with death in their eyes.

The room lit up like the rising of the morning Sun, one human fiend stood towards the far wall and what looked to Bagguk, held a piece of the very same sun in his hands. The humans flowing robes billowed in a nonexistent wind and his golden yet ragged hair whipped and twirled. Then releasing it like a dove for the chase. The fierce sun raced towards the small goblin who at the very last moment placed a foot deftly on the corner of a broken chair and leapt over the fiery ball which then exploded sending splinters of wood and stone showering over Colin.

The Goblin landed lightly upon the table and ran head down, with dust kicked up from beneath his feet. A silent scream from a growling face.

Two more arrows shot past Bagguk. Fired from an Elf kin in green animal hide and a gold circlet about his head as if he was royalty. Standing next to the Elf kin was a human in shinning metal as if the brilliance of the fiery blast still shone upon him. He to raised a hefty mace above his head and spoke unholy words that the Goblin did not understand.

Bagguk ignored them and continued to run the full length of the table.

The clerics mace smashed with a mighty force on to the end off the table where the Goblin, ready to strike stood. The force was so strong it hurled Bagguk three giant strides backwards and smashing the table which shatters and splits completely in two, length ways. Dust and a noise like thunder filled the room.

Colin was instantly standing above Bagguk. With one heave, in one hand lifted him to his feet. The three human fiends prepared again. They saw their chance as the companions were busy helping each other.

The robe of the human fluttered against his arms and legs and again a glowing rod of energy materialised in front of him and flashed across the room striking Colin hard in the shoulder sending him spinning which in turn sent Bagguk sliding across the floor scattering wooden debris before him.

The robed human moved to a dark corner of the room. It made little difference as once again his hands began to glow. The Elf kin pulled two arrows to his bow and rested his leading foot on a broken chair for stability and the one in the metal suit.

Bagguk seemed to know this was going to be the end. A flash of light and Bagguk was forced from the ground, landing hard and with the smell of burnt flesh about him. His burnt flesh. He screamed, a throat curdling scream of excruciating pain. From where he lay he drew in all his strength and anger and threw his dagger. It took the magic one by surprise. It cut deep into his neck missing all cloths and hair. Sending him reeling into the wall where he then slipped to the floor clapping his hands to his throat with blood pouring through his fingers and tears in his eyes. Bagguk felt avenged but knew he needed to fight on.

Colin charged, covering the distance between himself and the Elf Kin but not before the Elf let his arrows fly. Both arrows struck home, one pierced so deep it passed through and out the other side, turning its flight feathers red. Colin brought all his might to bear so hard that the wooden stave on the Morningstar broke. The Elf Kins chest had become a blooded mess and he fell back to the floor with the huge goblin following through with the broken point of the wooden handle.

Bagguk saw what was coming as deftly the Elf Kin drew his sword in a slashing motion across the Goblins stomach then as he fell forward it penetrated his thick hide. Colin had no time to yell but the smell of split wood was in his nostrils and childhood memories filled his mind taking him to a point in his past where he was taught to kill. Kill human fiends. So still with enough life and strength he drove home the stave, deep into the Elf kins shoulder and so hard the stone flag beneath broke like a discarded millstone. Colin breathed deep then, breathed his last.

The weight of his corpse pinned the Elf down.

A fury now came over Bagguk. Ignoring his injuries he flipped his body to it's feet. Snarled an animalistic snarl which spat blood and drool from his mouth. The metal-clad human hesitated, but looked to both his companions on the floor. Considering the outcome he held up a hand as if trying to say Stop to the goblin. The goblins eyes were as red and dark as an abyss. He took a slow step forward. Then another. The raw skin on his knuckle shone white with the pressure with which he gripped his sword. Again the Cleric pleaded but this time in stuttering common.

Bagguk faltered momentarily, then ran at the Cleric, sword and teeth brandished. The Cleric yelped, stepped back readying to take the blow.

The Goblin jumped placing one foot on the humans armoured leg then chest then shoulder and with a scream as from hell itself, bounded over the humans head landing with a roll on the other side. Disappearing down the long dark shallow mist covered stone flagged corridor, his bare feet making hardly a sound.

The Cleric took a deep breath and sighed loudly thanking whichever God had just saved him.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Order of Corellon 1: Ambush in the Mistmarsh

Petrick had long ago given up any hope of getting the stink of the stangnant Mistmarch mud out of his robes.  The thigh-deep muck was as much a mental trial as a physical one; each step required working up the gumption to willingly put his leg back into the sucking, squelching mess he had just liberated it from a moment before.  When the Reverend Father had selected Petrick for the party sent to retrieve the musical score to the Dragonsrise Symphony, he had never imagined that a hike through the swamp could be so... unpleasant.  Not that it would have changed anything, Petrick admitted to himself.  Music was a love second only to his magic, and the chance to recover, and perhaps help perform, a lost masterwork from one of the earliest great composers was worth any price.  Although he would not be surprised to discover that he had grown a pink, curly pig's tail before they got back home.

Amelie shook her head as she heard her clumsy husband stumble over a hidden tree root yet again.  "I'll force him to find a spell for flight before I let him come with us again," she muttered to Lucatro, the half-elf paladin leading the Mistmarsh expedition.  Lucatro gave a small, sideways smile, "Oh, I doubt the local skull-bashers can hear his splashing over the sound of Ghejhann's bellyaching."  Amelie stifled a giggle; she had long since tuned out Ghejann's muttering.  The proud Dragonborn warlord was not fond of the mud, to say the least.  She turned her ears back to Ghejann's steady stream of words for just a moment: "... reeking filth ... foul air and fouler water ... treacherous tree!  My dragonfire is too honorable an end for you! ... pests and pestilence ... my kin should scour this place with a cleansing fire and raise a cloud of steam so great it would rain down in Sharn itself..."

Amelie smiled to herself and turned back to scanning the terrain in front of them for some semblance of dry land to lay camp for the night.  It would be good to take her boots off and dry out her feet by the fire.  A short while later, she spotted some tufts of grass in the distance - actual grass, not swamp reeds.  "There," she nudged Lucatro and pointed out the spot,  "it's the first sign I've seen of anything dry since we entered the marsh." 

Lucatro would have preferred to press on a little longer, but seeing the hopeful looks from Petrick and Ghejhann was too much for him.  There's something subtly unsettling about a Dragonborn attempting to make puppy-dog eyes.  He was only giving up an hour of travel.  It was worth it to keep morale up.  "Looks good to me; let's get the fire going."


Three hours later, the party indeed was in a much better mood.  They had cleaned and dried their clothes and armor as best as circumstances would allow, and the everlasting provisions basket provided by the Reverend Father had helped them all regain their full strength.  The Mistmarsh at night was a different place.  Gone was the incessant buzzing of the insects and the splashes of the water serpents and other reptiles hunting in the light and heat of the day.  The mist which gave the Mistmarsh its name never really cleared, but during the day it was thin enough to manage, no worse than a light fog.  Now, the mist was pressing in on the small, dry island.  The fire held the mist back as much as the cold, leaving nearly solid walls of cloudy gray at the edges of the camp, and giving the impression of being inside a strange house constructed from the essence of ghosts.  The light from the fire cast strange lights and shadows in the mist, causing more than one person to glance off to the side, his gaze chasing after some spritely illusion.  The air was utterly still; in the surrounding waters, small, nocturnal creatures were beginning to swim, creating a constant background of tinkling waves.  Even the stench of the stagnant water seemed less oppressive in the cool night air.

"This is almost peaceful," Petrick mused aloud to the others, "I've never felt so isolated."

"Do not be fooled," Ghejhann growled, "the marsh is home to all manner of things that would do us harm.  This very island worries me.  It has a tainted feel to it."

Amelie frowned, "I was a spy of the King's Own before I ... well, before.  I know how to check for danger."

"I doubt not your skill.  I am seeing it with a tactical eye.  My life's goal is to wage battles of such beauty that Corellon himself would bless my endeavors, and give me the honor of forging a restored Arkhosia, an Arkhosia dedicated to the perfection of all honorable arts, an Arkhosia that ... "

"Ghejhann," Lucatro raised a single eyebrow at his old friend, "we've heard this speech before.  Why don't you just tell us what has you all worked up?"

Ghejhann growled softly in the back of his throat, but decided not to take offense.  "This is the only dry land we encountered in our long day of travelling.  I expected to sleep standing in water this night, and to break rust from the joints of my armor in the morning."

"You think someone wanted us to stop here?" Patrick asked, looking slightly confused.

"No," Ghejhann let out a small huff of steam that might have been a sigh, "If this is the only dry land we found, then it is likely the only dry land that many others have found.  Perhaps it is a well known spot to those who live here, like an oasis in the desert."

"So?  Nobody else was here, there's no sign of a recent camp, and if someone else shows up, they can share our fire."

"I did not think a wizard could be so dim!"

"He's not dumb, you cranky lizard!" Amelie jumped to her feet, "He's just very ... focused in his learning.  Magic and music are both complicated subjects!  And just this week he ..."

"Amelie..." Lucatro cautioned."

"Sorry.  But he's not dumb."

"I take no offense, Amelie.  I have grown accustomed to the hot tempers of humans, and defending one's mate is honorable."

Petrick interjected quickly, "I don't need defending!  Just because I can't guess what you're thinking doesn't mean I won't understand it if you'd just come out and say it!"

"I mean only that it is not just the good and the just that will know of an oasis.  When the lion wishes to hunt, he goes to the water.  If the sons of chaos wish to hunt here, they will come where they know they will find prey."

"Good point," Lucatro interjected, taking control of the conversation, "we'll stand double watches tonight, two at a time.  Amelie, why don't you and Petrick take the first watch.  I'll take over with Ghejhann later when the moon sets; I should still be able to see then as much as anyone can see anything in this mist."


[caption id="attachment_1297" align="alignleft" width="297" caption="Amelie gives Petrick an exasperated look."][/caption]

"I still can't believe he called you dim!" Amelie whispered.  She sat back to pack with Petrick, each of them staring into the mist, looking for any hint of a solid form.

"You know how he is," Petrick answered, "he expects everyone to know what he knows.  It's alright.  I'm over it."

"It's still rude.  Cranky lizard."  Amelie crossed her arms tightly in frustration, "Gah!  I can't see anything past the edge of the firelight! This stupid symphony better be magical or something."

"There's nothing stupid about the Dragonsrise Symphony!  It was written by Nattanyal, the very Nattanyal who wrote nearly half of the pieces that have survived from the time of the Nerath Empire.  Nobody has ever found a musical score to it, but historians note that the Emperor liked it so much, that he declared a national holiday in its honor!  Nattanyal wrote a great account of where his inspiration came from in his memoirs.  He said he was visited by Corellon in the early morning and told to go down to a narrow beach beneath a tall cliff, and ..."

Amelie sighed.  There was no stopping this speech.


Just past the edge of the little dry island, four reptilian eyes glinted in the moonlight.  A long, narrow row of teeth showed itself in the darkness in what might have been called a smile.  A small, scaly arm reached up and settled a pair of magnifying goggles into place.  It was time for some fun.


"... and that's when he knew he needed something really grand for the final movement.  He decided to visit the ..."

"Petrick, hush."

"What ... Why?  It's not like I just babble on all the time about ... "

"Seriously, Petrick.  Hush."  Amelie pointed to a spot off to her right where the little island came to a point.  "I thought I saw something over there on that point, just for a moment."

"Oh.  Well, I'll go check it out.  You keep watch.  You'll spot whatever's in the mist faster than I would, anyway."

Petrick made his way slowly to the far point, keeping his eyes glued to the ground for any sign of recent passage by man or beast.  He didn't see anything unusual, but the tightly woven grass was not good for holding prints.  He reached the edge of the dry land and leaned out over the border between the springy grass and the soft mud, peering into the mist beyond.  He saw a brief, golden glint out of the corner of his eye.  He snapped his head toward the spark, but saw only the swirling mist.  There it was again.  The barest hint of a golden flash from the dim remains of the dancing firelight.  Petrick froze and stared intently into the mist.  He couldn't discern any motion in the swirling eddies of the heavy fog, and he didn't hear anything except for the soft waves of the small local amphibians swimming about in the night.

The wizard decided it must have been a frog hopping along the edge of his vision and turned to head back toward Amelie.  As soon as he turned to leave, a thick, black, scaly tail exploded out of the mist, connecting with his shoulder blades.   Petrick was thrown forward, falling hard to the matted grass below.

Amelie turned her head just in time to see a jagged spike thrust up from the ground and impale her husband's throat.

Her training from her time in the King's Own kicked in immediately.  Dropping to a crouch, she scanned the edge of the island, scouring the mist beyond for any sign of movement.  Petrick's scream was enough to wake the rest of the party, despite quickly being strangled into nothing as the spike shredded his vocal cords.  Amelie knew he had to be dead.  Even if the spike didn't kill him outright, there was no way he could breathe.  The only way to get him back now was to survive, or make sure someone survived, to get his body back to the Reverend Father.  She pushed her grief down deep; she had her mission and her purpose.

Lucatro had moved to her right shoulder as Amelie made her survey of the mist.  "Looks like Ghejhann was right," he spoke softly, "that trap had to have been placed here long before we set foot on this little plot of land."  The paladin's gaze locked on a point in the distance.  "There!  I can see a solid form there.  I would say it's a kobold, but he's way too high off the ground.  Be ready for anything. Defensive positions!"

The half-elf stood up to his full height and called to the mist, "You there!  Stop skulking in the shadows like a coward and fight!  Or perhaps you're too ugly to be seen even by firelight: ugly like the dragons you cling to as parasites!"

An outraged roar pierced the night air as a massive blackscale bruiser charged out of the mist and into the camp, greatclub raised to strike.  "Green dragon not ugly!  Green dragon pretty!" Amelie tumbled out of the line of the bruiser's charge and took refuge behind the low-hanging branches of the ancient willows which stood in an unbroken line on the far side of the island.  She whispered a brief prayer to Sehanine that the shadows would allow her to strike back at their attackers unseen.  Amelie drew her Duelist's Shuriken, her last perk from her time with the King's Own.  The fact that she wasn't technically supposed to have it didn't bother her too badly. 

Ghejann drew his crossbow and fired into the charging creature, only to watch the bolt bounce harmlessly away from the thick scales on the blackscale's shoulder.  The lizardfolk was almost on top of Lucatro when he brought his greatclub down in a mighty blow. The paladin raised his shield to ward off the strike, but the heavy club turned it aside and left a sizeable dent in the thick plate armor beyond.  "Scrape his scales to make a new set of armor!" Ghejhann shouted, as Lucatro brought his longsword around in a wide arc.  Showing no mercy to the creature who had so cruelly killed his companion, Lucatro drove the sword home, biting into the scales beneath the blackscale's shoulder blades and drawing blood.  If the brute even noticed, he gave no outward sign. 

 The lizardfolk's enraged charge took him farther than he intended; he skidded into Ghejhann's reach, and the warlord gave his enemy a furious smash with his shield, knocking him slightly off balance. 

As Amelie watched from the shadows, she took note of two oddities about this particular blackscale bruiser.  First was the long string of plush children's toys hanging around his neck.  The second was the cackling form of a bright green kobold riding him in some kind of clever harness.  Something told her that taking out the little kobold would be in everyone's best interests.  She siezed the advantage Ghejhann's smash had granted.  A deft throw of the shuriken met with success: a high keening scream of surprise and pain as the enchanted shuriken flew back to her hand, taking a chunk of green kobold hide with it.

The little creature held the back of his neck as he turned to stare in the direction the attack had come from.  His eyes were invisible behind his strange goggles, but there was no mistaking the malice in his hiss.

Amelie darted up into the willow, finding a strong limb just above the kobold's eye level.  She crouched down and steadied herself, ready to leap down and at least knock the kobold from his harness.  The little green creature leaned down and whispered some short commands to his mount.  The blackscale turned away from Amelie and began to advance on Lucatro, slowly this time.  Whatever the little kobold had said seemed to have given renewed focus to the hulking brute.  He advanced slowly, swinging his greatclub in short, vicious arcs.  "Blob eat good tonight!  Pointy ears mean tender meat!"  Lucatro moved first, shifting to his left and striking downward in a brutal hack at the lizardfolk's knees, only to watch his sword bounce harmlessly from the thick scales that covered the joints.  Ghejhann had moved in behind the enemy pair, trying to help Lucato encircle their foes.  He did not move unnoticed.  A surprisingly quick pivot by the blackscale sent Ghejhann hurtling backward from the force of the tail strike.  He was thrust backward into the ancient willow Amelie had hidden in, cracking the trunk with the impact and sending the upper branches - and Amelie - tumbling downward.

Amelie used her dagger to cut herself free from the entangling branches and crawled out from underneath the fallen treetop.  She looked up, only to be met with the smiling visage of the green kobold as he let loose a crossbow bolt.  Amelie screamed as the bolt pierced her shoulder.  Lucatro rushed forward to assist Amelie, but he had to circle around the great mass of the fallen willow.  Amelie plunged her dagger into Blob's foot and rolled sideways in a last-ditch effort to buy time to open up the distance between them.  Her blade was deflected by the seemingly impenetrable scales, making her gambit ineffective.  The blackscale lifted her from the ground and tossed her expertly against the trunk of the last ancient willow in the line.  Amelie hit the ground hard, her breath knocked out of her.  Her weight triggered another trap, and a giant boulder fell from a fork in the trunk of the great tree, crushing her abdomen.

Lucatro watched the second member of his party fall with a grimace.  He couldn't be sure that Ghejhann was conscious underneath the remains of the giant willow, but at least he was alive.  The blackscale turned to face the paladin, but it was the green kobold who met his gaze.  Out of the corner of his eye, Lucatro saw a rustling beneath the willow branches.  Determined that the kobold would not notice, Lucatro thought quickly.  By strapping himself to the dumb bruiser, the clever little kobold had given himself a few weaknesses, too.  "Your mother was a gecko!"  It wouldn't win any points for style, but the taunt was enough to get the big dimwit back into his blind rage.  The brute charged again, picking up speed as Lucatro backed off quickly.  The half-elf kept one eye on the toppled willow, willing Ghejhann to break free.  The kobold was frantically whispering into the blackscale's ear, almost pleading.  So intent was he on keeping the blackscale's attention, Lucatro failed to notice when the charge evolved from a straight bull rush to a wide curve.  The paladin kept scrambling backward, interposing his longsword between him and the gnashing jaws of the blackscale.  He felt his footing give way underneath him as a large chunk of the matted grass broke away.  He fell slowly, so slowly, his fingers scrabbling against the soft dirt, but finding no purchase.  The last thing that passed through Lucatro's mind before he was impaled at the bottom of the pit was a vague sense of disappointment.  The kobold had already used spikes once this fight; he had been hoping for some variety.

"Him make funny face!  Blob happy!" the big lizardfolk clapped with thunderous delight.

"Worthless brute!"  Ghejhann, freed from his trappings and standing in the center of camp, waved his battleaxe at Blob.  "I shall ensure your happiness is short lived indeed!"

Blob turned toward the Dragonborn with a sneer.  The kobold licked his lips in anticipation.  Just one last pesky adventurer, and they could collect a very, very handsome purse indeed.  Ghejhann set his feet in a wide stance, digging in to face the lizardfolk's charge.  Blob did not disappoint, running headlong at the warlord, club held high above his head.  Ghejhann reached down deep and connected with his draconic heritage; the power of his great ancestors burst forth as he let loose a mightly flame that engulfed Blob and his master in a raging inferno.  The string of plush toys around Blob's neck caught fire.  He froze; reaching down, Blob grabbed the smoldering remains of what had been a plush lizardfolk doll and watched the last remnants of it turn to ash.  He lifted his snout high in the air and let out one long, mournful howl: "MOOOOKIEEEE!!!!!"  For several minutes, the only sound that could be heard was a series of rattling, rasping gasps.  Ghejhann had a revelation: he was hearing blackscale tears.

The last he saw of their unusual adversaries, Blob was running headlong back into the mists; the frantic cooing of his kobold master's futile attempts at comfort carried on the air for a long time afterward.

Ghejhann surveyed the broken bodies of his comrades.  The Reverend Father would not be pleased.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday's Monster Mash #5 - January Contest Winner

Monday’s Monster Mash is a weekly series where monsters are selected from the three Monster Manuals and put together as an encounter group. A situation is discussed where these monsters would have been together and how their powers or status effects work together against the players.

This particular Monday's Monster Mash, and the next few, will be a little different than normal. Today's was written by Alex Melchor for the January Contest: Monster Mash Mania. He won the contest and a copy of the Dungeon Tiles Master Set - The City.

The Story
Kri'kill was an exceptional kobold. At first glance he was just like any other member of his diminutive species: good with mechanics, bad in the courage department, and green. The latter will be important later.

However, what made Kri'kill stand out was that he was suicidally curious. He would remain behind as the rest of his clutchmates panicked before the advance of adventurers, just to see what made adventurers tick. He would also intentionally lure big prey into his traps for sheer scientific curiosity, then set them free... from a safe distance, of course. He was curious, not stupid.

It was during one of these technological field tests that he found his best friend, Blob. The dire blackscale lizardfolk was not very smart, and fell into one of Kri'kill's traps because he was following a bright green frog across the swamp. He liked the color green. You can see where this is going.

Kri'kill was surprised that his clever trap, designed for human-sized prey, was capable of holding the gigantic lizardfolk, so he came much too close to examine how it was holding out, ignoring the greater reptilian's reach.

"Green, pretty!" Blob crooned and snatched the unsuspecting kobold from the groud, poking him lovingly. Kri'kill panicked as per the norm of his species, but after confirming the futility of his efforts, he tried diplomacy.

"Eh, greetings, fellow scaled being..." He tried, the words in Draconic chortling out of his snout.


"Ah, yes... let's see... If you set me down, I can set you free, how does that sound?"


"Not quite the answer I was hoping for..."

It took the kobold the good part of an hour to talk the lizardfolk to put him back on the ground. Kri'kill was good on his promise and freed his unwitting captive, but the lizardfolk just sat to look at him, mesmerized by his greenness.

And thus Kri'kill came upon his greatest invention. Blob watched him work, puzzled -but not too much- by the occasional measurements Kri'kill took of him.

A couple of days later, Blob was sporting a snappy backpack/harness, and Kri'kill had earned himself a battle mount. It was no ordinary harness, no. True to Kri'kill's wit, it had a net launcher attachment and a crossbow mount.

He didn't return to his clutch; instead, he took... or rode... Blob into hobgoblin lands, hiring out as a trapmaster sentry and hunter of pesky adventurers.

And he (they?) had remarkable success. While Kri'kill lost some mobility by being strapped to Blob's back, he made up with actual resistance. Adventurers were pretty much inclined to take Blob out first, which gave him plenty of time to maneuver them into one of the many traps he set up in advance.

Blob's simple tactics of pushing people around with a mace or knock them down with his tail worked wonderfully with Kri'kill's strategy: adventurers would be pushed into hidden beartraps, or knocked prone at just the right place for Kri'kill to activate spring-loaded spikes shooting from that patch of ground.

Their tactics were straightforward but extremely infuriating for adventurers who wanted to close in, only to find their way impeded by yet another trap, or pushed and lured into more, and more traps. Ranged combatants were only safe for a little while before Blob closed in with his great stride, and couldn't escape by virtue of Kri'kill's nets.

The odd couple enjoyed a good working relationship, the gold they gained serving for Kri'kill to improve his craft and buy bright-colored toys for Blob.

Not much later, tavern tales warned eager adventurers that, should they see a great black-scaled lizardfolk with a string of bright plush toys hanging from his neck and a cackling kobold riding on his back, the best idea was to run the other way.

(Kri'kill - Hobbler Trap Savant; Draconomicon 1. Blob - Blackscale Bruiser; MM1)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January Contest: We Have A Winner!

The first ever Wastex Games contest, Monster Mash Mania, came to a close last Friday with four really great entries! I would like to thank everyone that submitted an entry, all were great to read and will be posted here over the next few Mondays. Now, the moment you've all been waiting for! The winner is...

Alex Melchor!

Here is a short excerpt from his entry, stay tuned until Monday when it will be posted here in full:

Kri'kill was surprised that his clever trap, designed for human-sized prey, was capable of holding the gigantic lizardfolk, so he came much too close to examine how it was holding out, ignoring the greater reptilian's reach.

"Green, pretty!" Blob crooned and snatched the unsuspecting kobold from the groud, poking him lovingly. Kri'kill panicked as per the norm of his species, but after confirming the futility of his efforts, he tried diplomacy.

"Eh, greetings, fellow scaled being..." He tried, the words in Draconic chortling out of his snout.

You can find Alex on Twitter at @Alex_Melchor and at his webcomic Nahast: Lands of Strife, which has been running weekly since 2002!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feats of Fun – Week 15 (Driud)

I apologize everyone for taking so much time off, but the holidays and everything else in life just prevented me from getting back here to finish these. This is the first week that I am posting the FridayFeats here without previewing them on Twitter.

Adam( ), the originator of the FridayFeat idea, has posted the first few weeks of FridayFeats over on which included all those who participated and not just my ideas.

You can find me at & Jeremy at

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="alignnone" width="550" caption="Animal Instinct"]Animal Instinct[/caption]

Animal Instinct
Prerequisites:Call of the Beast
The target is limited to a melee basic attack for its next attack before the end of your next turn.

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="alignnone" width="175" caption="Call Elemental"]Call Elemental[/caption]

Call Elemental
Prerequisites:Chill Wind
Your use of Chill Wind leads an ice elemental to your aid. The ice elemental appears within 5 of the target square and until the end of your next turn the ice elemental can attack adjacent creatures using your attack bonus from Chill Wind doing 1d4/tier cold damage or slow until end of next your next round.

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="alignnone" width="372" caption="Heat Metal"]Heat Metal[/caption]

Heat Metal
Prerequisites:Flame Seed
Spend a minor action, target wearing metal armor takes an additional 1d4/tier damage. Effect: If holding a metal weapon apply -2 to attacks until healing takes place.

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="alignnone" width="261" caption="Defensive Flip"]Defensive Flip[/caption]

Defensive Flip
Prerequisites:Grasping Claws
Until the end of your next turn you may use an immediate interrupt to switch places with the target before being hit by an attack and the Grasping Claws target is instead hit.

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="alignnone" width="361" caption="Somersaulting Pounce"]Somersaulting Pounce[/caption]

Somersaulting Pounce
You may spend your minor action before the charge to knock the target prone and add an additional 1d6 damage and move to the square opposite from where the charge attack occurred from.

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="alignnone" width="275" caption="Distracting Rend"]Distracting Rend[/caption]

Distracting Rend
Prerequisites:Savage Rend
An ally adjacent to the target may make a melee basic attack with combat advantage.

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="alignnone" width="325" caption="Seizure"]Seizure[/caption]

Prerequisites:Storm Spike
Target is also slowed.

[caption id="attachment_1146" align="alignnone" width="320" caption="Embedded Thorns"]Embedded Thorns[/caption]

Embedded Thorns
Prerequisites:Thorn Whip
Until the end of your next turn the target takes 1 point of damage for every square it moves.

Friday, January 7, 2011

January Contest: Monster Mash Mania

I want to start 2011 off with a contest, and hopefully we can continue to run various contests every few weeks here on the Wastex Games website. So, without further ado, I present the first contest of 2011!

Monster Mash Mania!

Last year I ran a 4 part series called Monday Monster Mash where I would take one monster from each of the three monster manuals, combine them together in a short story and discuss their various attacks and powers. To enter this contest, choose at least two of your favorite monsters, put them together in a short story, and discuss how they would use their powers together against a party of adventurers. There is no minimum or maximum word count required. Submit your entry below and tweet the following on Twitter: I just entered the Monster Mash Mania contest at @WastexGames! #dnd #rpg

The winner will get their choice of one of the two following items:

Dungeon Tiles Master Set - The Wilderness
The Wilderness


Dungeon Tiles Master Set - The City
The City

Use the form below to submit your entry, submissions will be accepted until Friday, January 14th at 11:59 PM EST. If you have any questions or comments, ask away here in the comments! Good luck!

This contest is no longer accepting entries.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year from Wastex Games!

We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year from all of us here at Wastex Games. There is a lot of new stuff coming up in the new year with new products, product reviews, contests, and post series! Stay tuned for a big contest announcement later this week!