Legendary Owlbear!

One thing that I absolutely love as a gamer and a game master is finding inspiration in the oddest places. Last night was a perfect example of one such instance as I stumbled on an owlbear out in a monster hunter style game.

So last night I was hanging out in Twitch watching an awesome streamer and gamer that goes by the name of Zippy_Zippo on Twitch and @gamingdotEXP on Twitter. Well, Zippy was playing the Beata of Dauntless when I swung by to hang out and watch their stream. It turns out Dauntless is an MMO Monster hunter Style game.

This caught my interest as I love some of the conversions I have seen for monster hunter out there for D&D. Zippy comments that he is going to join a group and go on a Shrike hunt. This did not really get my attention as I had no idea what a Shrike was in the game. Moments later he and the group of players round a corner and there it is the Shrike… Yet to my surprise I have known it by an entirely different name for the last 30 years.
The Owlbear!

At this point I am paying full attention as this party of four is locked in combat with a HUGE owlbear. I am loving the encounter and right at that moment when it seems that the battle will turn out to be nothing more than four players dancing around in a claw, claw bite fest to the death… the owlbear does something surprising. Something that over the years once or twice I have considered doing in my encounters as a DM. The Owlbear Stood on its hind legs let out a mighty flap of its wings and took to the air.

via Gfycat

Instantly I thought to myself.. that would be an AWESOME Legendary Actions! As the battle continued I penciled in some of its other attacks and came up with what I would love to share with you all today that I think would make for an enjoyable Legendary Owlbear encounter.

So here ya go, I hope ya all enjoy it! Please let me know if you decide to use it in any of your 5E games. (Note: I literally pulled all of this info from watching this battle. I just used my understanding of D&D to translate this into a fun game mechanic that I hope you enjoy. I am not claiming this as my idea lol)

Owlbear

My intent was to make a cool slightly more difficult alpha version of an owlbear.  I did not want to create a crazy CR 15 monster. Just something with a few legendary ticks up his sleeve to surprise a party.

SO there you go! Please feel free to let me know what you think about it? Or if you have any other comments about it. I slapped him up on D&D Beyond for any of you that have D&DB and would like to add this to your own homebrew collection.

Until next time!

If you enjoy my work and would like to see more of it!

Homebrew Monster: Scorpion Moth Swarm

Earlier this year I asked my readers what you all wanted to see more of. The resounding answers were homebrew content and the return of creature features in my blogs. You asked and I am more than happy to oblige.

So I reached back into my bag of tricks from when I was working on the concept of my homebrew world. There I found an interesting note about the dangers of flying scorpions. I recalled running a game session where the players came across a swarm of what at fist looked like butterflies on a log. On closer inspection, they realized two things. The log was not a long but a decaying corpse. The second thing they realized was that the butterflies were not butterflies but flying scorpions feasting on the body!

So the first thing I wanted to do for the blog was to update the Scorpion Moth for 5E. Additionally, I am a fan of two frames of thought when it comes to creature creation. First If possible, I prefer to reskin creatures so as to ensure the monster I am crafting is balanced for the encounters I will be using them in. Second if possible I try to find creative ways that I can use a creation over the breath of several levels.

In this case, I was successfully able to not only reskin once creature but introduce several forms that the GM could implement them in play. I am pleased with the result and if you bring these to your table you should be able to fit them in a wide range of encounters CR’s.
I hope you enjoy the Scorpion Moth.

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A few years later I found this wonderful piece of art over at Deviant art so I clipped it and kept it around for future sessions.

Homebrewing My Pantheon: Goddess of Winter First Draft

My homebrew world has been around the block for awhile now. It has gone through some changes over the years but the one thing that has always remained the same in my world is the majority of my Pantheon. Four gods stand apart from the rest in my setting and they are they Dragon Gods.

If you have given my world creation myth a look you will know that my world is heavily inspired by Dragons. The world was created by a Dragon God who created it from the elemental lords that he defeated. My map of the world is the corpse of that same Dragon god.

For a long time, my world only had one Overgod. Eventually by way of trickery and with the assistance of a fragmented essence of the Dragons divinity. Humanity rose up and slew the Great Dragon Overgod. This event would be forever known as “The Sundering”. All who took part attained a piece of divinity and became the gods of my world. But they did not take all of the Great Dragons power. In the moments before his end, he split his essence into several pieces. Thus creating the four dragon gods. Each of these gods became the draconic embodiment of seasons in my world.

The first of the Dragon Gods I am pleased to share with you is Winter. For one reason or another, she gets a lot of play at my tables of the years. With only the Dragon of Spring likely seeing more players who have followed one of my Dragon gods. I think part of her draw is she is a god of death but is against the creation or existence of undead.

I hope you all like Winter.

I used Natural Crit Homebrewery to make the page.

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Recently I picked up the Rise of Tiamat 5E Campaign and it inspired me to use it in my homebrew. Wanting Tiamat to be a false representation of my Dragons of the seasons. I introduced a new Dragon God. Giving me five Dragons and one for Tiamat to Masquerade as while she grew in power in her attempt to enter into this new world.

My Homebrew Three: Race Lupa

Today’s update race for my homebrew setting is the Lupa. Formerly know as the Canis. I have kept the Canis but the are now a subrace of Lupa. Overall this one was a tough one to put together. A lot of thought went into how many subraces I would do. One of the issues with making a Canine race was the concern that there are so many “Breeds” of Canine that it could have gone on forever with a plethora of subraces if I had chosen to go wild.

In the end, I chose to focus on two subraces. The name Lupa replaced Canis because I honestly was not a fan of the name even after all these years. I needed to keep some aspect of the name around so I decided to make Canis one of the two subraces.

I once again had to address the issue I had done years earlier and remove the Canis and Badgen hatred. Where with the Badgen it was a fairly simple task I found that with the former Canis.. It was a tremendous part of their background. Between that and the attachment to the Canis nation that I wanted to pull out as well so they felt more worldly. I pretty much had to start from scratch with this one again.

Just about all I had left at one point was the Canis hate for lycanthropes and gnolls. So I did some research and looked up the “Lupin” from back in 3.5 D&D. They were Featured in the Dragon Mag. I found some interesting parallels’s between the two and I added them here and there into my new write up. Honestly, I normally would not do this.. but It saved me time and it’s not like I am going to post this for money. So I paid homage to some of the write-up and went with it.

So the Canis were the second of my exotic races that I created nearly 20 years ago. I wanted to make a race in the game setting would be more advanced than some of the rest of the world and not be a standard race. So the Canis was born, inspired from the Roman Dog Soldier. They were the backbone of the Canis Empire also a Roman style nation. They were far more advanced then the rest of the world having the beginnings of steam power as well as gunpowder.

They were also kind of my villains. According to my world, they had chased the Badgen from their homes and were at war with them. Many of the Gnome lands had been conquered and the Canis had them cranking out tinker creations for the Canis armies. Halflings as well fled the part of the world to get away from the Canis’s might.

Fun fact…
Before I made my own race and named them Canis. I nearly did not make a unique race and just went with Gnolls. Hobgoblins likely would have worked well also. Instead, I decided to make my own race and have them hate both Gnolls for being Primitive Savages. As well as Lycanthropes because they were easily confused for them.

 

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Homebrew Part Two: Race Badgen

Today’s feature in my ongoing Homebrew blog posts is the Badgen. The Badgen are nearly as old as my homebrew setting itself. I wanted from the very beginning to add one or two nonhumanoid races into my game world. The fist was the Badgen and the second the Canis. Back when I created the races I also wanted to make sure that these races did not overflow my table with players wanting to play them. So I had the genius idea to make the two races Hate one and other. Likely my biggest mistake in the history of my homebrew worlds creation.

Having done this, players few and far between ever opted to even give the races a look. For two main reasons I learned. One if one player decided to make a Badgen, then no one at the table could make a Cainis. As well as if  you played one of either of the races it would limit your party’s interaction with the other races of these types in the game world. I kinda shot myself in the foot right out the gate.

So in my rewrite, I set to pulling out the racial hate between the two so that parties could play both races without any limiting factors to the rest of the party. I hope it fixes things.  This works on a few levels with my existing group as well, because I have moved the storyline ahead a few generations since the “war” that sparked off their hate of one and other. As we have seen in real life time heals wounds.

The Badgen were inspired early on to be designed as a replacement to the Half-Orc in my homebrew setting. So I built them very much like Half-Orcs. But due to my creative self-inflicted gunshot wound to the race. Half-Orcs continued to be played in my world regularly due to the points I made above.

The Badgen has been through several incarnations over the years. One version had the scent ability as well as powerful build. Another was given the ability to rage once a day as per a barbarian. The Pathfinder incarnation gave them Ferocious and Bestial Racial traits. Of all of them, I think this one is the version of the Badgen I am the most pleased with.

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Giving my homebrew a fresh look Part 2. Creation Myth

When I fist began to put the pieces of my world into play I started with only a few things that were constants.

  1. Primordia was a young world and it’s pantheon of gods was new.
  2. The main land mass of the world would look like the corpses of a continent-sized dragon.
  3. The Great Dragon had defeated elementals and claimed the world for itself.
  4. The Great Dragon created the races of the world to serve it and they later would ascend to godhood and slay the Great Dragon.
  5. The Death of the Great Dragon would split it into several other Dragons that would become the seasons.

So I put my thoughts down and years ago this is what I came up with…

“The world began in fire. The whole of Primordia was a churning sea of volcanic fire. Glowing like a jewel in the sky. Ruled by great colossal fire elemental’s there was only fire. Primordia had no balance. Then the Great Dragon came to Primordia from the Sea of Stars. With one beat of its mighty wings the dragon snuffed the flames that raged across the world. Looking on the volcanic landscape finding it now suitable for his designs. The Great Dragon circled the worlds for untold time as the volcanic flows cooled under its passing shadow. With the land now still the Dragon Expelled a great breath and gave the world life.”

I wanted more and over the years I have scribbled down some new ideas. As the story has grown in my own mind as well as in the minds of my players. One thing that always came up was “Just Fire Elementals ? ” This valid question eventually heavily influenced a new more detailed myth of my worlds creation.

This also interestingly enough, not only cemented a firm creation myth but gave me my version of the Titans for my world. Beings that were there before my gods with God-like power themselves So ending one era and heralding in a new era.

So here is the story of my first Era and the myth of my worlds creation.

 

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Crafting a World. From scratch to Fosters Leathercraft

Late last year I had shared with many people my home-brew world setting Primeordia. A world once dominated by Primordial elemental’s. Later ruled as a cherished jewel by a dragon god. Only to find its end as its creations rose up to take his life and power. Ending with his apocalyptic death and the forming of the new world. The ancestors of the survivors that sought his power now live on the land that was once the great dragons remains.

With this world creation myth I set forward nearly 2o years ago and began spinning the tale that is my home-brew game. Not one with any map making skill, I did my best. I had a good idea of what I wanted and I knew that a majority of my campaign’s would take place in one location. So I drew a sizable map of one region. That region would be known as, The Maw.

For years my games took place it this region of the world and still do. It is a massive stretch of land after all. This land was home to many games took place between the gaping maw the once great dragon. A game literally played in the dragons mouth. As time would go on in the last few years I have wanted to expand the world. The biggest thing that was holding be back as silly as it sounds is I can not for the life of me draw .. pretty much anything. So I reached out to my friends.

In time the world began to take shape. A Great friend Nick helped put my vision to paper and give it the first whole images. He did a wonderful job, and the rest of my world began to take shape on paper and no longer just in my mind.

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I later would learn that one of my friends who is a great artist also had a passion for drawing world maps. I saw some of his work and I knew he was the one that needed to take my map to its next evolution. I asked him if he would take on the task and bring it to life. He agreed and I told him to take what ever creative licences that he wished as long as he left the maw as it has always been. He agreed and set to work. What he came back with stunned most who see it. My world re-imagined yet still very much a personification of the spirit of my game world.

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For the better part of a year I thought this was the last phase of this worlds evolution. Then I bumped into Fosters Leathercrafts on my twitter. He saw my map and loved it as much as I did. He wanted to bring the map one step further. To craft this final version of this map in leather. We spoke and when I was sure that I wanted to this to happen we began talking about the crafting of the map. He has made several maps and wanted to bring this epic map full circle. Not just to be a map. But a piece of art. And by no stretch of the word that is exactly what he did.

 

Once I gave him the go ahead I got to experience something that I had not thought about up until that part. Fosters Leathercraft after all is a business. He has his own Etsy store and everything. I knew this but had not thought about it up until the time that I sent him the image to begin work on. Something I want to make a note of for my readers. The level of profession and passion is bar none. The passion to do the work was so great that at no point did it ever feel like we were even in a business transaction.

The other thing that I never thought about was the tremendous amount of work and preparation that was going to go into bringing this map from paper to leather. I was impressed by the flow of information between Fosters Leathercraft and I. Daily often twice a day or more I would get follow-up emails as test samples were being prepared and the map was being drawn up and leather ready.

Over the course of a two-week period we exchanged nearly 40 emails discussing the maps creation! I could not have asked for more info if he was making this map next door. Not an entire country away!

I will leave you with this slide show of some of the steps of this epic creation that was only made possible because Fosters Leathercraft wanted to see this come to life in leather and up until then my map was just a map. Now my map is a piece of art! Thank You!

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If you want to contact Fosters Leathercraft you can reach him at any of the following.

His Etsy Store. HERE

His blog HERE

Twitter is @fosterlather