Heraldry Template

2023-02-06
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More Heraldry - Crockport

2023-02-04
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Atlas of the Flanaess & Hepmonaland 598 CY - 2022 Edition

2023-01-26

MeyerHawk - Furyondy

2023-01-20

My campaign is now at late Sunsebb 598 CY and the fall of the Great Kingdom have been an established fact for some years now and I have started to go over how that have affected other part of the setting. My current campaign is focused on the Shield Lands and its bigger neighbour Furyondy plays a role too, and as a part of campaign planning I updated the map of it. Here comes a presentation of the updated map and and my thoughts behind the changes.

A More Assertive Furyondy

It has been independent for centuries but still it kept a few traditions inherited from its creation under Rauxes. One of them was that Ferrond was only a province of the Great Kingdom, so the constituent parts often had a lower status like viscounty and barony. Their status a minor noble holdings persisted for many years, despite the fact most of these holdings where bigger and more powerful some many a country.

The wars became a (despite all the losses) a national strengthening event. Not in military- or economic might, but in social and cultural sense. Furyondians  fought, suffered, died and won together and that created a true sense of nation hood and independence. As a concrete symbol of this its provinces where all elevated to major noble status, on par with a province of sovereign full realm.

The viscounties  and baronies are now earldoms, counties or archbaronies. Even Verbobonc was recognized as a major noble hold, by all its neighbours and are now a full county in its own right. There are rumors that Nyrond and the Urnst states are in similar discussions, but nothing concrete have come out of it yet.

More Details

Upgrading the provinces laid the groundwork for adding Furyondy's sub-provinces. To flesh out this sub-provinces I've added towns, villages and more. The names are my inventions and I tried to use names that fit the setting. It is definitely a work in progress and I will add more to it as part of campaign prep, or when I get inspired. A few more baronies are needed I think, there should be more in some of the provinces.

You can get the map here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/j3brzo7bcpum5hp/Furyondy-2.jpg?dl=0

Open D&D - Part 2: Thoughts & Plans

2023-01-19

The Role of the Setting

For most role players you either play D&D, Pathfinder DCC or some other RPG. For me its a bit different, it is not the rules that are the key, it is the setting. Playing in Greyhawk is more of a key part than using a particular set of rules, I've run my Greyhawk games using AD&D1E, AD&D2E, D&D3E, D&D4E, Pathfinder 1E, Pathfinder 2E, D&D5E and now using Level Up A5E. So changing the rules every five to 10 years have been the norm, and something I can look forward to as it brings new possibilities and variation to my campaigns.

To play in a new setting would be a much bigger change for me, like moving to a another country, not something you do lightly. This is ironic since I have worked and lived in many countries and now moved permanently, for me it is easier to move country than it is to change the setting I run my games in. Worldbuilding in a familiar setting are for me kind of reassurance that is hard to replace.

The ongoing debacle where WotC have really tried hard to alienate D&D players and made it almost impossible to support them in any way, have struck a nerve with me as a long time Greyhawk fan and D&D player. Thankfully I have already moved away from D&D5E and never had a D&D Beyond  subscription. The last thing I bought from WotC was the Ghost of Saltmarsh hardback, and I received a copy of Mordenkeinen's Tome of Foes as a gift when I visited WotC HQ. The way WotC is run and how they conduct business have made me take a hard stance against buying anything from them, and I don't see them change any time soon so that will be for the foreseeable future.

What to do?

Several aspects are important to consider here. Greyhawk's creation and publication history goes back way before WotC was created, and previous regimes at WotC have been great caretakers and proponents of the setting. The fictional world created in the early days of D&D by Gary Gygax and his fellow gamers, added to by great writers and artists over half a century deserves to live on beyond the executive greed and shortsightedness of the current leadership.

This means that during all of its existence, now it is more dependent on us, its fans to, keep it alive and thriving than ever before. This so future generation of gamers can experience its legends, quirks and rich tapestry of lore. I'm sure there might be future products set in the setting when things have changed but now the setting we love needs us more than ever. I urge you to abandon WotC until things improve, but equally important is keep Greyhawk alive and thriving. Play using rules and lore you already have, help your fellow gamers by creating an sharing more of it and support the publishers who have pledged to support true Open Gaming.

I will try my best to support Greyhawk as a setting and at the same time stay away from supporting WotC until they support a truly Open Gaming approach again, which might take years and never even happen. Thankfully there are better RPG's out there that you can use to play in Greyhawk with very little or no modification.

Picking a Rules System

If it where for running my games with my friends, having fun and enjoying it, this would be much of a question any of the many RPG rules sets I already ow would do with some house ruling. Being a creator who intend to share a lot of my monsters, house rules, spells etc, make this a much more of a choice, I want my content to support and be part of an Open Gaming community. I've tried to sort out my needs when it comes to a new rule system.

D&D "ish"

It should be based on, or generally adhere to the basic D&D terms and mechanics. This is important so I can use existing D&D content, and share new spells, monsters and the like to the GH community. This is also important when recruiting players, making it a lot easier to learn and get into.

Publishing Format

I need the rules and other content legally available in both PDF and online format. PDF format so I can learn and reference it using my android tablet or computers. An online database with all (or most of them) available to copy (legally) so I can use them in Obsidian as part of my campaign management.

"Fully" Featured

With this I mean make use of the full range of rule inventions of D&D, meaning skills, feats etc. Even if a rule system doesn't have all the features as standard, I intend to house rule a lot, so a simpler system that can plug in features might be preferable over one that has everything from the start.

"Old" or "New" - "Crunch" or  "Fluff"

I've played using everything from Basic D&D, Pathfinder 1E and 2E, to 5E , and thoroughly enjoyed every edition I've used. In fact I still like to play in games using both old and new editions. When it comes to run my long term campaigns the rules need to do more than just entertain me, they need to be a effective vehicle for worldbuilding, storytelling as well as character development, run encounters, combat and exploration.

When it comes to emphasis of Crunch vs Fluff, that doesn't necessary have to be a limitation of the rules. Rules can certainly cover everything but that in itself can often cause "rules overload" and hamper story telling. It took me a long time to see this and realize that absence of rules can be a virtue and guide the game play as well a wealth of rules. Rules are important both in how they do things, what they cover, and what they doesn't cover.

Old school gaming had a lot of GM fiat to allow the "tit-for-tat" style games where it was the GM's duty to place intricate and creative obstacles in front of the characters, and the players job to outwit the GM by coming up with smart ways to overcome those obstacles. This requires a set of rules to make this fun, quick and resolve the inevitable conflicts in a reasonable way.

My style is much more "world immersion", exploration and storytelling. The goal is not for me to outsmart the players. It is to present a rich detailed world with inhabitants and environment reacting to what the characters are up to in interesting, believable and consistent ways. This requires a system of rules with less emphasis on limitations and conflict management, and more on discovery, categorisation and varied outcomes.

I prefer story based play a bit over tactical management, but I see this as a long sliding scale and not binary. I rather have more rules for crafting or knowledge and less complicated crit-tables for examples. The crafting rules are more for me as a guide for who create what artifacts and what the characters need to do do destroy it. A lot of the rules I desire are guidelines for me as a GM to help me create and manage rather than being used to control what the characters can do in encounters. Of course a combat system and rules for initiative etc are needed, but I'm willing to sacrifice in this department for a more robust system for magic use on in the Feywild or the limitations of divine magic.

When it comes to the encounters and combat I want to have rules that have a grit and danger in abundance, but not necessary more deadly. Varying conditions that are easy to implement, and add variety to encounters without being crippling. I have some ideas for how to house rule this that I'm going to test out as well.

Non WotC

The past couple of weeks have shown that relying on a large corporation's benevolence and willingness to play fair and consistent can force you as a creator to rethink what you do. If all I intended to do was to play with my friends and nothing more, I would just pick any of the D&D editions. I already have the rules for them all on my bookshelves and on my computers. Being a creator who would have to relay on it professionally as well, the license it is published under is a key thing. It needs to allow me to share and even monetize content I create for that rule system.

With the uncertainty around WotC controlled OGL, I cannot use a game system published under that license. Might be a problem at the moment but should be solves fairly soon since most third party publishers are moving their products away from the OGL.

Top Contenders

Level Up - Advanced 5th Edition

I'm currently using Level Up or Advanced 5E, from EN Publishing. A5E is a slightly enhanced clone of 5E, very much like PF1 was a development of D&D3.5. I'm happy with it, it fulfills most of my key requirement listed above, except that it is published using OGL v1.0a. If EN Publishing can come out with a new version not dependent on the good will of WotC it is a contender as my system going forward.

Pathfinder 2k

Used PF2 for over a year when it came out and it is a great system that fulfills all of my key requirement, and most of them very well. It remains a top contender, now more than ever.

Castles & Crusades

C&C might be a bit too old school for me as it stands, but it is easily modifiable, great publisher, and is well supported and used in the GH community.

Core Fantasy (Black Flag)

Kobold Press up coming system that is will be ready for playtest very soon. This will probably be a similar to A5E and very 5E compatible, from a publisher I worked with and love so it is a top contender as a future system for me.

Honorable mentions are Savage Worlds, Cypher System, Symbaroum, True20 and probably another half dozen or so that have peaked my interest but is probably not enough to fulfill my needs for one reason or another.

Open D&D

2023-01-11

I was going to wait until we had more facts and knowledge before addressing the big turmoil in the TRPG, but I think this issue is so big and important that I need to address it now. First let me state my support for Open Game Content, and being a person whos main source of income is to create TRPG content and giving it away for free I try my best to live up to the idea of a free and open gaming community.

For information on what is going on and add your name to the open letter to support the Open Gaming framework that have been the foundation for most of the TRPG industry for over two decades, please go to:  https://www.opendnd.games

What does these changes mean for me and the content I create?

My Greyhawk related content is not released under OGL, it is released under the less known Fan Creation Policy (https://company.wizards.com/en/legal/fancontentpolicy). If the OGL v1.1 takes effect as written I can still continue to do this, as long as I publish it using the Non-Commercial OGL v1.1. The sacrifice would be that I would have give WotC the right to use all my content for any purpose without attributing or compensating me. An OGL v1.1 world would force me to change how I do things and what I focus on. The lore related content will be something I keep away from my patreon and website, and even names and labels might need to go. It depends on the Fan Creation Policy and what additional requirement that might come with it.

Like I wrote in my last post, edition changes are never easy, but this is the worst one (yet). Just the uncertainty around all this is causing a lot of problems with publishers and creators scrambling to work on contingency plans and seeking legal advice. And yes I'm trying to figure out what I want to do in an OGL V1.1 world as well. Thankfully this is all speculative, we don't know if WotC will try to overturn the current order under OGL v1.0a, and if they could succeed if they try to.  The date stated in the OGL v1.1 for it to be published was January 13th and it we still haven't got anything from WotC, so whatever comes will probably be different. I expect more leaks and cat and mouse games before we know for sure and even a statement of "we are not going to change anything" will be hard to believe when the trust is no longer there.

I was set to run a series of games for D&D in a Castle in England, but opted out of it. Now that feels like a good decision, being paid to take part in an officially sponsored WotC event is not something I want to be connected with. The last product I bought from WotC are the Ghost of Saltmarsh and that might very well be the last D&D product I will ever buy.

I will continue to work on and publish my maps for the community as Fan Content using the Creative Commons license, as long as WotC doesn't officially change the rules. What happens if they change the policy depends on what those changes are, we don't know yet. Rendering the first set of textures for Altimira for Troll Lord Game's and work on Shield Lands and more is going on right now. My new computer is rendering while I'm writing this!

Turmoil and Opportunity

Change means that there are also opportunity and I'm sure that we are in for a time of huge changes in the TRPG hobby, in many ways. The digital revolution is coming big time which are changing how we purchase out games, learn the rules, prep and play our games.

I played Pathfinder for until two years ago, then had a short stint with 5E before switching to Level Up. Today Kobold Press announced  a new Core Fantasy tabletop ruleset -  Project Black Flag, definitely something I will look into for running my games.   https://koboldpress.com/kobold-press-a

Troll Lord Games are discontinuing all their 5E products and that seem to be the trend in the TRPG industry. Paizo is going to announce something soon so stay tuned, lots of change is coming.

For me all this means business as usual while I'm keeping an close eye on the developments and keep an open mind for the future. Thank you so much for all the help and support for small independent creators and publishers like me, it is you guys who keep our hobby alive and thriving!

New Year - New Horizons 2023

2023-01-03

In the Beginning - 25 Years Ago

My fantasy cartography efforts started 25 years ago when I decided to start mapping the World of Greyhawk. Bryce was a new program back then and I was also just a complete newbie in the world of computer arts, graphics and 3D.  Despite my shortcomings there are some features from this embryo of a map that are still on the map in its 2022 Edition.

Corel Draw was the first program I used to to label the terrain renders I made in Bryce, and the beginnings where humble here as well. Here is an early attempt that has some features still on the latest edition of the map. The symbols have had several iterations of development, as has the heraldry, but this is when I started to learn and I have progressed slowly but steadily over the years.

Internet and the digital realm was still in its infancy back in the late 1990's so my goal was to make a map that could be printed, and computers where very limited in power which also limited maps size and complexity. Until 2013 my Greyhawk maps where still published like this.

After having used Illustrator for a some years a stable 64bit version came out and it made it possible for me to merge all the small maps together into a single large one and I was ENNIE nominated, my first. Been involved in several projects that have been both nominated and awarded since, which is a great honor even if the Best Cartography Award still eludes me.

In 2019 my main project was an overhaul of the terrain map that hade been around for 20 years without much changes. Here is what it looked like before the update.

The overly saturated and garish colors of the 1990's desperately needed some tweaks and the terrain lacked tonal range and variety seen in the real world. After several months of very tedious work an overhauled version was ready for the 2019 map Edition, and I'm very happy with the result.

In 2020 Hepmonaland was added in full and the map now covers a significant part of the whole Oerth.

This version of the terrain map will live on for years to come and will be gradually replaced as I create detailed maps of areas using modern tools. First out was parts of southern Shield Lands in 2021 and next year it will be the area around Altimira and more of the Shield Lands as they get done.

2022

Last year for me was shaped by a new ways of doing things, both when it comes to my maps and how I interact with all of you. A slew of new and updated tools entered in my workflow and often replaced tools I've been using for a long time. Streaming have helped me so much and given me an online presence which is both a fantastic opportunity, a lot of fun, but also increases the amount of comments, notifications, messages and email I have to go through on a daily basis. Like so may I'm lacking in this department and need to shape up!

I've started to seriously dip into a wider field of content creation with heraldry, and campaign lore. This have been a success both in positive feedback and Patreon backing, it is also both fun and very inspiring for me to create so expect more of it going forward. For the first time since I started playing in the setting I know feel I'm starting to really understand it. I've read and stied it enough to start to make connections and observations, and draw conclusions for my own games.

To keep "MeyerHawk" a bit separate from the standard version of the map and other content is something I'll try my best to uphold going forward, encouraging you to cherry pick the parts you like and ditch the rest. So far it has been a first look at how gods are created, Iuzian Zombie Goats and a first batch of heraldry of Shield Lands and Iuz. I'm working on a customised version of  Level Up Advanced 5E from EN World Publishing. I choose to base my campaign on this rule set mainly for its 5E compatibility and that is it fully available both in Print (which I haven't used), PDF and on their website. This makes it easier to use Obsidian.md as my campaign management tool. It is the tool I have always dreamt of having for my games notes.

Community, Industry & Technology

D&D is again in flux with a new edition looming in the future, eagerly awaited by some,  or viewed with suspicion, hatred or fear by a significant part of the community, or ignored all together others. For us who have been around editions changes before this is nothing new,  what I think is new this time is that it will not be the rules that are the most important change, it will be the business model and how it is published. It will be interesting to see this unfold in 2023. In our Greyhawk community editions play a much less of a role, we have been spread out over multiple editions and variants of the game for decades, we can incorporate one more!

2022 was a bit of a year when science fiction became a reality for me. I got a computer powerful enough to create the virtual terrain I dreamt of 25 years ago, and to run flight sims real enough to make me happy flying around the world in my virtual XCub using VR.

With my new computer I can now render many thousands of square miles of terrain in one go instead of a few hundred, at the same resolution. With software updates this can be increased even more, making continental and even planetary terrains within reach.

A discussion of technological advances in 2022 wouldn't be complete without mentioning AI art and text generators. General Artificial Intelligence broke through into general use and have caused, and rightly so, a big debate over its moral, political and legal implications. The technology is amazing, powerful and will change (for good and bad) how a lot of things are done, and it will force a lot of people (including me) to be very ready for change. It took decades for the personal computer or the Internet to change society, AI will probably  things faster with more disruption.  The invention and quick growth of social media serves as a good example, it has been very useful and entertaining for a lot of us (including me as a creator), but also scary, disruptive and divisive. Hopefully we as a society are a little bit more prepared for the AI onslaught.

2023 and onwards

Main Mission

This year have taught me a lesson about trying to be everywhere, I'm not that good at it. It been a lot of fun dipping into a lot of different projects and helping out in various places, but it makes me feel torn and inadequate and that is not good in the long run. So my main goal for next year will be to try and concentrate on what I do best, map Greyhawk. This means that I will retire my $50 Custom Map Tier, and making sure I finish the projects for those who have been supporting me on that level instead of branching out even more.

I have hopefully 20-25 years ahead of me that I can work on mapping Greyhawk, my goal is to try and make the most of this time. This means:  Map Greyhawk, Get Better at it and Teach Others how to do what I do! The getting better part is really important, I've gotten this far by both embracing new technology and learning proven knowledge from old. This is something I intend to continue to do, I'm currently studying both GIS (Thank you Troy!), The History of Cartography (over 3000 pages in 7 volumes!) and dipping my toes into Unreal. I want to understand how maps have been made and used through history, today and into the future. Then pair this knowledge with my RPG experience, needs as a DM as well as draw from real world use of maps for hiking, aviation and military use.

GIS

This will be my biggest project this year, the mammoth task of brining my current maps into the world of Geographical Information System technology. This means georeferencing the content, meaning give all the data, terrain, settlements, roads etc, location data so it can be placed and styles as needed for each future map.

GIS is way to manage data for geographic purposes simplifies a lot of things and opens up a lot of new possibilities that I intend to make good use of. A big one is to keep track of all the things on the map, and to add meta data to it, and import and export it easily. What took me more than a hundred hours to do when I did the index for the Atlas will be a simple data export done in a few minutes using GIS.

Using different symbol sets and terrain versions it will be fairly straight forward to create historic versions of Greyhawk. I'm working on the first one already The Era of the Flan which shows my vision of what the Flanaess looked like around two to three thousand years ago.

There are whole range of new types of maps I want to start working on when the my current stuff is georeferenced, player handout versions, heat maps for all sorts of things and more. An idea that has been on my to do list for a long time are weather maps. They are way too much work to be feasible now, but using GIS I plan to start making them. Like a Greyhawk weather service with regular updates on the weather that you can use in your games. Working out the details will take time, but I want it for my own games and of course I want to share it with you guys.

Standards - Creative Commons

Maps that are more than a pretty pictures should be a key part of my work that I aspire to, but not really live up to yet. With this I mean that creative DM's should be able to download the content from my website, customize it to suit their games and then share it again if they like. For this to work well, usable and persistent file and data formats, as well as intellectual property rights  needs to be thought of from the planning stage to finished content.

I've used Creative Commons as the base all my Greyhawk content publication for the last 10 years, this gives everyone the right to download, alter and share my content for non commercial purposes. In return they need to acknowledge the source and publish using the same CC license. I see this as fair and as a way to make sure that my Greyhawk content stays open and usable by the Greyhawk community in the future.

The technical side if this is to try and publish using open and standardized file formats, and keep the data standardized over time and between projects. This means lower costs and and other barriers to use and customize it, and that the end user can mix and match different content as much as possible. I'm working on a refined base set of symbols and stiles that I will use on my future maps. This will come in at least two scale variants for large and small scale maps.

There will be a need for more symbol sets for handout maps, data maps and more. I would love to make special version of handout maps made by Elves, Dwarfs, various Humanoids and others, that will be a fun creative challenge. When all the base symbols are ready to be used I'll start look into the others.

Real world data behind maps like OpenStreetMap, Google map etc need to be standardized across the globe and also over time for things to work. I'm working on the standards needed to best map the World of Greyhawk, what formats, resolution and data types are best suited for the task. Things of this nature is always a balancing act between what is desirable and what is obtainable. With limited amount of time, computing power and storage the right balance and the focus on what what type of data, and the quality of that data, we need for our games. When it comes to this it is very much up to play style and how we as gamers and DM's get inspired and play. I run very "setting centric" games where detailed geography plays a big part in both inspiration and execution of my games, but I hope that my "overprepping" in this department can be of use to you as well.

For planning and running overland games I have found PortaPotty Scale works really well for me, meaning each pixel is a 5 feet square. It gives both an overview of a town or a large chunk of terrain, and at the same time detailed enough to plan encounters and other obstacles and happening while traveling. Individual buildings and trees are discernible, and it is even relatively easy to use it as a base for encounter and settlement maps.

Using a bit of Photoshop magic and some effort with my Wacom pen my PortaPotty Scaletm map can be turned into a decent looking encounter map with 10 or 20 pixels/feet resolution that can even be used in VTT's.  An added benefit is that they are automatically accurate without tricky tracing.

It is amazing to see a large part of a country in Greyhawk come to life like this, explore it and create settlements, roads, fields and even buildings and orchards. I hope you want help out and join me in exploring the wonders of the setting we cherish. Thank you so much for your support and I look forward to a new year of more cool maps and other content for our community!

Thank you all!

Anna

Heraldry Compendium - Vol 1: The Classics

2022-12-31

Here are the first in a series of my take on the Heraldry of Greyhawk, and first out are the classics from the 1983 golden boxed set. The inside covers of the guide had the heraldry that I'm sure is one of the main reasons we fell in love with the setting in the first place.

This is my homage to those wonderful illustrations redone using modern day Photoshop trickery to try and make them look even better. This first part comes either as a direct re-creation of those two inside cover pages, or a a vertical panorama of the two.

Thank you again for your support making this possible!

Gabbin special - Spells with Ed Greenwood

2022-12-26

Tomorrow at 8pm EST Jay Scott and Me will have a discussion about Spells with Ed Greenwood on the https://www.twitch.tv/lordgosumba channel.

I'm sure this will be a good discussion, that is a guarantee with Ed Greenwood on the show. I will try and add my bit to the topic well with a few custom spells from my campaign.

First is a low level spell used by Iuzian priests to torment their subjects:

Pain of the Old One

Level: 1
School: Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Target: One creature
Components: S
Duration: Concentration (1 minute)
Saving Throw: Charisma halves (special)

Your patron is giving you fell energies that torment the target. You need to succeed on a melee spell attack that deals 1d10 psychic damage per round. And it turns the targets eyes red and bloody.

The target can make a saving throw each round and only suffer half damage when successful. The bloody eyes persists until the spell ends or the target takes a life. On a round the target kills someone (or something) no save needed and the pain goes away.

The spell can be ended using a Remove Curse.

Cast at Higher Levels
Increase the duration by 1 minute per level above 1.

Conduit: Divine Strain: Fiendish Taint: Evil 

I converted some of the spells from the AD&D2E Complete Book of Necromancers:

Detect Death

Level: 1
School: Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 1 mile
Target: Self
Components: V, S, M (sensory organ of a creature)
Duration: Concentration (10 minutes)

The caster can sense deaths within a mile. Creatures or areas that are protected from scrying are also shielded from this spell. The information gained from this spell are whether the dying creature had a soul or spirit and the power of it (CR or level), and only creatures with a CR or level are powerful enough to register

This spell can be used to target a Corpse Link spell, but as that spell is cast the concentration is shifted to the Corpse Link and the Detect Death spell ends.

Conduit: Arcane, Divine Strain: Necrotic Taint: Evil

Corpse Link

Level: 1
School: Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 1 mile
Target: Self
Components: V, S, M (sensory organ of a creature)
Duration: Concentration (10 minutes)

With this versatile spell, a wizard establishes a sensory link between him- or herself and a corpse, or a mindless undead like Skeleton or Zombie within a mile. This link allows the caster to gather sensory information from the vicinity of the cadaver or undead being.

Conduit: Arcane, Divine Strain: Necrotic Taint: Evil

An offensive favorite among the Iuzians are the Wall of Pain. This is an old D&D3.5 spell that I have converted to fit my campaign.

Wall of Pain

Level: 5
School: Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Long (120 feet)
Area: 60 feet Sphere
Components: V, S, F, M (drop of blood)
Duration: Concentration (1 minute)
Saving Throw: Charisma and Wisdom (special)

You fill an area with horrid energy that inflicts severe pain upon any who pass through it. The area can be up to 30 feet in any direction from the spells origins, creating a 60 foot sphere. The Wall of Pain can be detected as Evil or by using Truesight, or by a Perception DC 18 check.

Affected creatures takes 9 (1d8+4) points of psychic damage per round to anyone caught in it. Creatures affected makes a Charisma Saving Throw and are Frightened on a failed save, forced to either retreat, or trying to push through.

Creatures who failed their Charisma Save can try pushing through on a successful Wisdom Save, but suffers 12 (2d8+4) psychic damage. Failing the Wisdom Save the creature suffers 20 (4d8+4) psychic damage and are Paralyzed for 1 round.

Cast at Higher Levels
The damage increase 1d8 for each slot level above 5th.

Conduit: Divine Strain: Fiendish Taint: Evil

Next is a very powerful spell in the Iuzian arsenal that only the most powerful of his clerics can cast:

Dome of Despair

Level: 9
School: Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: self
Area: One square mile
Components: V, S, F, M (an intelligent being killed within an hour of casting the spell)
Duration: Concentration (1 hour)
Saving Throw: Wisdom (special)

You fill a square mile sphere with horrid energy that inflicts gradual pain upon any who are caught in it. The Dome of Despair can be detected as Evil using Truesight, or by a Perception DC 18 check.

Affected creatures takes 1 point of psychic damage per round in the first minute. This damage increase by 1 per two minutes up to 5 points of psychic damage per round after 10 minutes of the duration.

Victims who accept the damage can continue to function as normal. Victims who become obsessed with getting away can make a Wisdom Save of become Frightened and on a fail they are forced to move and take the Dash action in whatever direction they think will get them to safety.

There are a few possible ways to avoid the effects of this spell. An obvious way is to somehow force the caster to loose Concentration. Iuz demands pain and suffering and there is a risk the spell might affect the caster, if there are no other creatures taking damage the caster will suffer the wrath of the Old One with no save.

One is to do Iuz bidding and kill a creature, which will give you immunity for a number of minutes equal to its CR, and Good creatures gives you double length immunity. This spell is also cast by Iuz priests to make sure their own troops are motivated and effective on the battlefield.

Radiant Shield will reduce the damage by half.

Beacon of Hope will provide advantage on Saving Throws and maximize effect of healing.

Holy Aura will give complete protection from the effect of Dome of Despair

Miracle will dispel a Dome of Despair

Conduit: Divine Strain: Fiendish Taint: Evil

Another Iuzian specialty is:

Exterminate

Level: 9
School: Necromancy
Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 300 feet (special)
Target: Any number of creatures within range
Components: V
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Constitution halves (special)

You send out a wave of smoky black necrotic energy in all directions that travel 100 feet per round inflicting 30 points of necrotic damage.

Creatures within 100 feet save at disadvantage, within 100 - 200 feet save normally, and beyond 200 save with advantage.

This spell damages all living creatures not immune to necrotic damage, it heals undead.

Conduit: Arcane, Divine Strain: Necrotic Taint: Evil

I hope these spells will inspire your villains to some more foul deeds in future adventures!

See you on Twitch tomorrow!

Happy Holidays!

2022-12-25

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I hope you will find some to game a bit among all the celebrations.  After a couple of weeks with a terrible cold, flue or something (not covid) I'm now back feeling well again and will celebrate with wrapping up the last projects of 2022.

I'll be back in a few days with a major update and more.

Thank you so much!! 

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