A castle near a backwoods crossroad may be the only hope for the cursed and possessed, but not everything is as it seems where magic and madness intertwine. The doors open for anyone suffering a magical malady or struggle with their own minds, but those deemed too far gone are locked up for their own safety and the safety of those around them. Rumours swirl about the true intentions of those running Raveneye Sanatorium. Some patients are effectively prisoners—are they too dangerous to be let free, or harmless victims of fear run amok? Can Lady Alumora and her staff contain the dangerous powers and dark plans of the monsters lurking among their patients?
Nobody knows Ronak exists. Or, more precisely, nobody remembers. Ronak was the last hope of a dying trade company, a desperate attempt to settle and explore a distant swamp. When the colony found nothing but lizardfolk (exterminated in short order), the trade company did not have enough gold to retrieve their employees. Ronak never heard from civilization again. Centuries later, the dwarves of Ronak believe civilization to be but a myth. Over the generations, they have become more savage, reverting bit by bit to a primitive state. They are haunted and guided by the ghosts of the exterminated lizardfolk who seek the continuation of their culture. The dwarves speak a hybrid of Dwarven and Draconic, build thatch huts amid the colony’s ruins and worship a mixture of half-forgotten dwarven deities and heathen serpent gods. Most disturbingly, some dwarven children now bear scales and jagged teeth. Perhaps one day soon the lizardfolk will be born again, this time from dwarven mothers.
Are you a busy GM? Does session prep take too long? Do you never have time to work on the cool little details that can bring your session to life? Well fear not! That’s where the 20 Things line comes in. Compiled from the free 20 Things posts available at Raging Swan’s website, this short, focused compilation gives you, the time-crunched GM, the tools to effortlessly add verisimilitude and detail to your adventure. Use the material herein either before or during play and bask in your players’ adulation. This instalment provides five tables designed to help you flesh out and bring to life a war-ravaged land.
Great news! It’s been ages since I’ve had an article in Dragon magazine, but a few months ago, I was asked to write a dressing-style article for the Tomb of Horrors! Of course, I immediately agreed and my article has just gone live in the newest issue.
Marvellously, Dragon is now a free read either at Dragon’s website or via the app. If you are planning a run-through of the infamous tomb I’d suggest you take a look…but then I might be a bit biased…
But, let me know what you think, in the comments below!
Dunstone’s granite walls sprawl lazily across a hilltop south of the massive Mottled Spire. In bygone times, monsters sallied from the Mottled Spire’s twisted canyons, their onslaughts only stopped by the brave Dunstonian forces. Now after generations of quiet, the town’s once formidable moat is used by grazing sheep and playing children. The insular community has become peaceful but peace has led the town to become stuck in its old ways. A new ruler seeks to slough of Dunstone’s years of quiet and idleness to usher the town into a new era. Guilds practice their crafts, preparing to send their goods throughout the Duchy of Ashlar. Yet, the Mottled Spire and the environs beyond are never quiet. A vile creature has emerged from Gloamhold’s depths to prey on the unsuspecting townsfolk.
Hard Bay’s fate has ever been tied to the sea. Although blessed with a natural, protected harbour and plentiful fishing, foul weather and a dangerous, unwholesome reputation have conspired to keep the village nothing more than a dreary, isolated place. A vein of smuggling and thievery ran deep through the village until the Sharkrazor pirates were crushed four decades ago. Now administered by three minor noble families, a darker horror than mere piracy lurks within the place. Rumours speak of strange fires set amid a circle of ancient, weathered stones atop a nearby shunned hill when the moon is new and of strange, abhorrent fishmen lurking in the abandoned, half-drowned smuggler tunnels beneath the ramshackle village.
Quey’s Glade is rarely ever in the same place on the map twice, but it is always nestled in deep woods. Whenever a child is lost, alone and scared in the woods, she often finds her way to this village. Just as a terrifying monster bears down on its victim, the victim stumbles into Quey’s Glade with nary a sign of the pursuing beast. The way to this village is through intense negative emotion, but the inhabitants cheerily greet new arrivals to instantly dispel their fears and other troubles. As the world becomes more interconnected and the forests fall to woodcutters’ axes, Quey’s Glade slowly runs out of secluded locations to position itself. Also, the more intelligent monsters losing their meals to the village have begun to learn its secret and lurk in the forest beyond, decreasing the halo of safety around the village.
Walled towns, cities and castles are often besieged, during wars or border incursions. Such engagements are characterised by brief bouts of fighting punctuating long periods of watching and waiting. That doesn’t mean, however, that nothing’s happening…