Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dragon for DMs 365


The second issue of the 4e run of Dragon has some nice bits ready to steal for a homebrew.  Including 1 article that caught me by surprise.

Backdrop Cormyr

I will admit that Cormyr is one of my favourite kingdoms in the realms, full of realmsian flavour, but still generic enough to transplant into a homebrew if you need a standard faux European kingdom.  This article brings some nice flavour to the realm, with some really nice plot hooks in the descriptions of the nobles and military.  Well worth a look if you going to be designing a chivalrous state.

Ecology of the Dragonborn

What looks like an article for players is full of ideas for a Dm to plunder,especially in the Dragonborn culture section.  Nice way to bring a dragonborn tribe, town or kingdom to life.

Codex of Betrayal Beleth

This article discusses Beleth, the spymaster for Glasya, daughter of Asmodeus, a powerful demon who excels at being overlooked while keeping his fingers in as many plots as possible. More plot hooks and adventure ideas for a high paragon/low epic adventure than you can shake an imp at.  This article is definitely going to see some use in my campaign as Asmodeus might just be involved somewhere...

Roll vs Role Snake Tongue: The Coils Below
A neat article looking at a typical cult of Zehir.  Suitable for a low paragon campaign as written you can easily stretch the cult out as a long running for into mid paragon.

Dolruths Dawn
An unexpected treasure of an article, a town populated by reincarnated epic NPCs who remember nothing but their names.  I could easily see this being used as a setting in itself for a short epic tier campaign, the characters waking in the village, with no memories of their past.  Plenty of opportunities for social intrigue as well, as the npcs cover the full range of alignments.

Not as many articles as 364 to highlight, with 2 aimed solely at characters (The Artificer playtest and Character Concepts).  Bazaar of the Bizarre is worth looking at as a DM for ideas for giving magical items back stories and histories.

Till next time good gaming and may the dice spirits be kind.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dragon for DMs


A little project from my side.

I am currently putting together a 4th ed campaign, based in a points of light world.  One thing I have been doing is going through the Dragon and Dungeon magazines, looking for articles which can be used to enhance a homebrew campaign.  So, I will be posting a review of each edition on a weekly basis, starting at Dragon 364, looking at which articles I have found useful from a dming perspective.

Dragon 364
Demonomicon of Iggwilv; Yeenoghu Demon Prince of Gnolls

Interesting article, although I am not planning to use Yeenoghu as a main adversary in my campaign the information on his cults and followers might make their way into gnollish adversaries that the party run into.
The adversaries covered in the article are best used for the epic tier, with the exception of Crocottas which make for a nice variation in Gnoll encounters for upper heroic tier encounters.
Vor Kragal City of Ash
Another good article, detailing the ruined city of Vor Kragal, the capital of the Tiefling empire of Bael Turath.  Awesome article if you are looking for a creepy demon infested ruined city to include in your campaign, especially at early Paragon.  I will keep this bookmarked as an adventure site, a hidden library could yield knowledge of ages past.
The Ashen Convanent
This article details a cult of Orcus with a particularly sinister motive.  The article includes the cults leaders, magical items and new undead mosters.  I will be using this article extensively, as reference to what a powerful cult might look like.
Wolves of Maldeen
This article provides the information on a mercenary guild which fights against evil, protecting the innocent.  It has a slightly underground, feel, more like Robin Hood than knights in shinign armour.
This article has already found its way into my campaign world.  My players have suggested some kind of fighters guild within the starting area.  Unknown to them, the guild which hires out mercenaries to guard merchant traffic in the valley has links to the Wolves, keeping an eye on the valley and its inhabitants and watching for the rise of evil.  They may take note of a new band of heroes in the area, and react depending on these heroes actions.

Creature Incarnations; Kobolds
More kobolds than you can shake a sword at, including a kobold swarm.  The article also goes into some details on designing kobold lairs.  As a bonus there is a chart to roll against in the unlikely event that a kobold manages to drop a pc.  Very amusing, and going to be useful.

Alchemical Imbalance
This article featuring an alchemically altered goblin tribe, shows how with a few simple changes you can create a unique encounter for your players.  Useful as is, or for reference for modifying monsters to a theme.

Expeditionary Dispatch Forest of Flesh
This is an Eberron article featuring a creepy, haunted forest.  Ripe for steeling for homebrews if you are looking to create an area where the terrain is as dangerous as the creatures inhabiting it and clearly designed to keep the curious out.

All in all many interesting articles for a dm to steal and use in his campaign, several of the articles are likely to see extensive use in my homebrew Enemy of My Enemy, all in all a strong and promising start for the 4e edition of Dragon.

Till next time good gaming and may the dice spirits be kind.