Dice Holder Beholder

Crafting Corner: Dice holder, Beholder

A few weeks back while falling down a Pinterest hole I stumbled on these adorable dice holder beholder figurines made out of Sculpey.  I liked them to darn much not to try my hand at making them myself.  So I pillaged the spare Sculpey that was laying around the house and set out to make some beholders.

 

They were a fun little distraction and for the most part fairly easy to make. I had the first one together in relatively short order. That was when I had realized my first dilemma, I just could not seem to get the cute little guy’s eyes to look right. For two reasons really.  For one I did not have the whites for their eyes in Sculpey. Secondly I just honestly was not good enough to make them to my satisfaction.  Right as I was about to give up I had an idea, well more of an inspiration. I recalled having once a monster manual where someone had placed googly eyes on each of the beholder’s eyes.  Eureka, I had a solution!

The Result

Dice Holder BeholderSo I headed to the store and picked up a couple of sets of eyes and returned home to finish up my project.  I stuck the cute little beholders in the oven and let them bake till they were done. Then I glued each of their eyes in place after they had cooled. The result was just as I had hoped.  A little derpy dice holder beholder, success! I decided to glue them down on some large bases so they were less likely to tip or fall over at the table just in case.

As of this posting, I have made four of the little guys and I am getting a little better with each attempt.  I think I will attempt to make another 4 or five and maybe give them away as gifts or sell them at the upcoming MACE con. I may even set one aside and do a little give away on the page.

 

So what do you guys think of them? Which is your favorite?

If you enjoyed this you might also enjoy this other craft blog.

Crafting Thursday, Making D12 Containers

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!

Dead in the Eye (4e)

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Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Pages: 16
Link: Dead in the Eye (4e) D&D Adventure

Years ago this was a free RPG Day RPG that I have run in the past. It was pretty straightforward but a lot of fun. I enjoyed pitting my players against the twisted beholder Omaranathax.
I feel that it also would be pretty easy to convert this to a 5E adventure without much difficulty.

SHOW THIS BEHOLDER WHO’S BOSS

The Keepers of the Celestian Order, valiant defenders dedicated to destroying horrors from the Far Realm, have trapped a beholder in its lair. However, the evil aberration has proven far more dangerous than expected, and the Keepers need the help of adventurers to end the threat of Omaranthax once and for all.

This DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Roleplaying Game adventure, created for Free RPG Day 2012, pits player characters against a mutated beholder and its vile underlings.

Although set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, the adventure can be easily adapted to any D&D® world.

This is an adventure for 4E characters level 8-10.

 

#RPGaDay2017 Day 14: Which RPG do you Prefer for Open Ended Campaign Play?

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I am going to dip old school for my answer for this question. When I think open ended campaign game play I think about the need for a tremendous amount of things that your players can do.  Things that will affect the story but might not “Level them up”. In this case, we are needed to find a game that has several features that will keep things interesting so our players also do not feel like they are in any rush to level up.

My pick in this instance.

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BIRTHRIGHT

Better yet with the current popularity of Game of Thrones, I would imagine that many players would jump at the chance to get in on the politics of a birthright game these days.

We all have seen now the awesome fun that can be hand making alliances moving armies and negotiating alliances. A Birthright game can set the landscape of an open ended campaign for years of play.

Best of all there are active homebrew sites that have adapted the current ruleset to 5E use.

#RPGaDay2017 4th Day: What RPG Have you Played the Most Since August 2016? #DND

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D&D 5E

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This will sound pretty crazy but with 2 every week and 3 games every other week I will have to say it is pretty much a three-way tie this year. So who are the three lucky RPGs? If it was not for the bi weekly D&D game that I joined about half way through the year It would have been very close to a three-way tie between,

  • D&D
  • Shadowrun
  • Savage Worlds

Sadly this year real life had a heavy impact on our game schedule quite often. I think we had more games called off than in the previous two years combined. Let’s hope between now and next year we break that habit and not set a new record.

 

 

 

How D&D Downtime Saved my Game Session

We have all been there come game day; one of your player’s posts to Facebook, or sends you a text, with the dreaded line.

Can’t make it today guys real life is getting in the way of the game.

Most of us still struggle on, trying to make the best of things when a player misses a game night. The desire to have a good time and play a game still exists, so it’s still game on! Then another domino falls, and you end up with more than one player unable to make the game. You begin to wonder, can we press on with two players out? Should we just make it a board game night and hope for better luck at the next game session?

I had to deal with this very scenario recently. Knowing my group in the game had just arrived in town, I decided to press on and focus on side plots and goings on in the city for the session. Bring the Unearthed Arcana (UA) Downtime rules to the table, as well as my setting’s Factions front and center for a game session. This allowed for my players to meet with each of the representative Faction leaders in their home city. With each meeting, I was able to sprinkle a few more story seeds as well as give the players a chance to roleplay and earn some coin with each of their factions. Additionally, one of my players purchased some property and the other player was able to check her property that she purchased the last time the players were in town. With only two players this still resulted in a shorter game, but none the less a productive one.

Now here is the thing; when it comes to downtime I use a whole lot more than just the D&D Downtime rules for my game’s downtime experience. It has taken some time to find the right elements to make downtime feel the way it does in my game. The result can be as simple as my players arrive in town, sell their things, and leave. Conversely, it can spill into a multi game session, if that is what the players want.

Knowing you are going to be curious about what I use at the table for my game’s downtime. Well let’s get into it, shall we.

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UA Downtime Rules

I pretty much love all 14 pages of this product, and I am very excited to see the polished version of it once we get the upcoming Xanathars’s Guide to everything. The rules provided here, along with complications and Foils, ramps up everything you do in town a notch.

For me, it was the glue that bound my downtime experience together. Before this UA, I always had work that my players could do, but this helped flesh the options out and bring it to a new level. If you have not looked at UA Downtime rules yet, and you are a DM that likes to have a city with things to do, other than being a place for the players to rest their heads between hobo murdering, you will find this useful.

Expanded Factions

The DMG, pages 21-23, brushes on Factions and how you can use them in your game. The examples of Renown’s benefits are pretty vague, but gives you an idea on how to use them. In addition to the suggestions of Perks and Downtime activities, I adopted a 5 Rank system for all of my world factions. Players at each Faction level can gain benefits for being faction members. Additionally, players can get loans or other items through Faction contacts. Players in my setting can be a member of as many factions as they wish, risking their Renown to rise or fall depending on their actions. Or worse if they are playing both sides of two factions against one and other.

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The last pillar of my D&D downtime is found on Walrock’s Homebrew page now available on the DM Guild
{WH} Fortresses, Temples, & Strongholds, rules for building and customizing player-owned structures!
I have always loved that I have been graced with players that love to spend their hard earned gold on more than just magic items. With FT&S, my players can now invest in building on a much deeper level than I have allowed in the past.

Walrock the portion from the DMG 127&129 that talks about purchasing and running buildings in your game and cranked this info up to 11. I highly recommend giving this product a look.

 

How do I run downtime during normal games? 

 
With these three things combined, there is always plenty to do when my players hit the city between adventures. That said, I do not always use downtime in my game. If the players are on task and the adventure is moving along at a good pace, I ignore downtime and continue to keep track of how many “weeks” the players have been out of town in the case of shops and other establishments that the players may own.

If my players are returning to sell/purchase goods or are returning from quests, I like to use down time rules. This not only feels natural but gives the feeling of time passing for my players, with events happening in the world, that time is moving in town as well.

Best of all, if my players are in a spot where they can return to town at the end of a session, I now prefer it. If a player can not make it to an upcoming session, I can either have them occupied with stuff going on in the city or I can run downtime activities for the remainder of the party till the next game!

Far too often, DM’s succeeds in making the world around the players feel like it is vibrant and alive, yet the players return to find their hometown in a state of Stasis. The city can feel like an afterthought. With Downtime, complications, and Foils, life is given to the city. Roll in FT&S content and now the players will become invested in these locations and cities.

Finally, one of the reasons why I love developing my Factions is because there is an added element where players can feel part of a Greater Plan. I much prefer this these days than in years past the adventuring guilds that I use to use.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this read. Please feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions.  See you all next time!