Dragonlance Classics Volume I (2e)

17370-thumb140Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

Pages: 128
Link: Dragonlance Classics Volume I (2e)

 

 

Calling all Dragonlance saga heroes!

 

At long last, the first four Dragonlance modules are back.

Together for the first time, play the entire adventure of the first book of the Dragonlance saga!

Starting from the Inn of the Last Home in Solace, journey throughout the lands of Ansalon and defy the evil that threatens to overwhelm an entire continent. Explore the Lost City of Xak Tsaroth, defeat the mighty black dragon Khisanth, and recover the Crystal Staff of Mishakal. Penetrate the fastness of Pax Tharkas and face the evil Verminaard and the red dragon Ember. Can you survive the dangers of Skullcap, hounded by the undead minions of the wizard Fistandantilus?

Your journey, should you survive that far eventually takes you to the subterranean wonders of Thorbardin, the kingdom of the dwarves. What waits for you there is known only to those who dwell within!

The immense, world-sweeping Dragonlance saga awaits you. Answer the call to save the world of Krynn from the threat of ultimate evil!

An epic adventure for 3rd- to 8th-level characters.

 

RISE OF THE LOOT BOX!

RISE OF THE LOOT BOX!
dnd_loot_box

Following on from the massive popularity and success of Loot Boxes in MMO video games such as Star Wars: Battlefront, WotC has announced that they will be coming to D&D! Loot Boxes, which are priced randomly, will be available from your local game store. Inside, customers will find a randomized selection of items, including inspiration dice, bonus levels, and automatic free completion of the current adventure.

Amongst the bonus items, you will find in a D&D Loot Box is a special Critical Hit Token. WotC lead developer Mark Morles said

“We’ve done a lot of study on this. We discovered that the two things players love most of all about D&D are collecting things and critical hits. So we’re combining the concept and allowing them to collect critical hits for a fair price”.

WotC’s Jeremiah Crowford has been answering “sage advice” rules questions on social media and in a semi-regular column for years now.

“I’ve always felt we don’t do enough”, Crowford observed. “As a modern role-playing games company, we should be even more accessible than we currently are. To that end, in a number of uncommon Loot Boxes, the cell phone numbers of Mark Morles, Christine Firkins, and myself. You will be able to call any of us at any time, day or night, with your rules questions.”

I managed to get hold of a partial list of items:

  • Rare Miniatures. Included are the Nuclear Flumph, Intangible Weasel, Giant Giant, and Polka Dragon.
  • Super Advantage Dice. These come in d4s, d6s, d8s, d10s, d12s, d20s, and d100s, and can be used in combat to add to attack rolls. Seasonal color schemes will ensure that players can only use their super advantage dice during the season for which they were produced.
  • Critical Hit Tokens. Play these tokens during play to automatically turn a hit into a critical hit.
  • D&D Designer Cell Phone Number. Use these numbers to ask for rules clarifications day or night.
  • DM Overrides. These special items enable you to override a DM’s decision.
  • Level Up. Your character instantly gains a level.
  • Skip Adventure. Using this item enables you to immediately skip to the end of the current adventure.
  • Edition Change. Morles explained this one — “We recognize that there are many fans of older and future editions of D&D, so we are offering those people the ability to switch the edition of the game for a session. As we all know, it’s illegal to play a previous edition of D&D, but these special licenses provide an exception to the usual rules.”
  • New PC Classes & Races. Including the Chef, the Clown, the Pacifist, and the Snowman (the latter only available for the Summer season).

You can expect to see four Loot Box seasons per year, and you will need to use your rewards in the correct season.

 

 

 

~ April Fools

Shadows of the Dusk Queen for 5th Edition

238224-thumb140

Publisher: Kobold Press
Pages: 36

Link: Shadows of the Dusk Queen
Includes a 12-page art and map appendix to speed play; heavily illustrated.

 

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

Before you is a dark forest with trees rising as much as a hundred feet into the air. Foreboding and sorrow seem to emanate from within. Occasionally, shadowy creatures are glimpsed moving among the trees. Slow, plaintive howls echo among the dark branches as a cool wind begins to blow as if whispering barely discernible words…

“She has returned. She has returned. She has returned.”

 

Shadows of the Dusk Queen is a 5th Edition adventure for 8th-level characters that take players deep into a forest out of a dark fairy tale, where a long-imprisoned fey queen has returned – and evil creatures are stirring.

Featuring full-color art by Brian Syme, Shadows of the Dusk Queen is great for groups who love dark fantasy adventure, or for GMs looking to shake things up by bringing a little fear to the table.

The whispers are getting louder. Do you dare take the forest path, and learn the secrets of the Dusk Queen?

 

#RPGaDay2017 Day 18: Which RPG Have you Played the Most in Your Life? #StarWars #DND

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For as much as I talk about D&D and as many years and editions of D&D that I have played. It might be surprising to hear that even having played D&D since I was 9, Star Wars RPG might just edge out D&D slightly for the game that I have played more than any other. Truly I can’t be sure. D&D probably is the real winner of the two because as a child we would play D&D everywhere.
Riding on Bikes heading to our friend’s house with no dice, Pick a number 1-10.. nothing stopped us from gaming. My players and I frequently had character sheets in back pockets and wallets. We were never unprepared.

Fast forward to my years in the armed service and D&D fell out of favor. The gaming friends that I had made were playing Star Wars, Rifts & Shadowrun. For many years I played and ran games every day. The vast majority of those games were Star Wars.

From the 90s all the way up to the introduction of 3.5 I continued to play a far more amount of Star Wars than any other game. God, I love that game.

Since 3.5 was introduced and West End Games went into hibernation D&D was back to the game of choice all the way up to FFG. It has seen a fair bit of play at the table as well over the years. So there you go. I’ll call it a Tie.

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

fb_img_1500709153124 HI REZ

D&D 5E

dungeons_and_dragons_40_ampersand_detail
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.

 

 

 

Thoughts on D&D Beyond Tiers & Rates

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When this project started I blogged that I thought that this project was dead in the water. I felt that D&D had missed the boat and that it was too late for them to find redemption. When they later went into phase one I blogged I was hesitant but impressed but hopeful.
Well, today the long awaited announcement has come out, no longer do we need to speculate the costs. Here they are.

BADEYE (D&D BEYOND)

I can also now share full details on pricing:
D&D Beyond provides flexible purchase options for both official digital content and subscriptions.
Players will be able to unlock official Dungeons & Dragons content in digital format for a one-time purchase that is integrated into the toolset. Players can also purchase individual game elements or bundled content within any official source. Like to play barbarians? You can unlock that class and all of its options only.
Want to run “Tomb of Horrors” from Tales From the Yawning Portal? Unlock that single adventure. Digital sourcebooks (such as the Player’s Handbook or Volo’s Guide to Monsters) will be available for $29.99, while adventure modules (such as Curse of Strahd or Storm King’s Thunder) will be available for $24.99.

For the first week after launch, the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual will be on sale for $19.99 each!

Players can get the most out their D&D Beyond experience by signing up for one of two subscription tiers.
The Hero Tier at $2.99/ month is intended primarily for players. It removes ads on the site, allows players to create an unlimited number of characters, and add publicly-shared homebrew content to your collection to use within the toolset.
The Master Tier at $5.99/ month is intended primarily for Dungeon Masters and full groups. It grants all the benefits of the Hero Tier, and also allows a DM to share all her unlocked official content with other players within a campaign – so content does not have to be unlocked by every player.
So, let’s walk through my thoughts on what we have been given as of today. So let’s attack this in some bite sized portions, shall we?

Toolsets & Bundles

Players will be able to unlock official Dungeons & Dragons content in digital format for a one-time purchase that is integrated into the toolset. Players can also purchase individual game elements or bundled content within any official source. Like to play barbarians? You can unlock that class and all of its options only.

We still do not have a price on this but I imagine I will make the prediction that it will be between  $2.99-4.99 per bundled element. Thus it will make it more expensive to pick up all of the classes in this format than it would be to just purchase the PHB. It only makes sense that they will want to encourage you to think that the PHB is a deal.

Moving on to the cost of books.

 

Want to run “Tomb of Horrors” from Tales From the Yawning Portal? Unlock that single adventure. Digital sourcebooks (such as the Player’s Handbook or Volo’s Guide to Monsters) will be available for $29.99, while adventure modules (such as Curse of Strahd or Storm King’s Thunder) will be available for $24.99.
For the first week after launch, the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual will be on sale for $19.99 each!
Players can get the most out their D&D Beyond experience by signing up for one of two subscription tiers.
Well looks like we will be asked again to hand out $30 bucks a book for source books. This was met with most including myself with a groan of disgust. Yet there are many people that have been defending the price point. On a note of comparison of costs.

 

Sourcebooks (Using Volo’s Guide for Example)

D&D Beyond: $30.00

Dead Tree book: $49.95

Roll20.Net book: $49.95

Fantasy Ground book: $49.99
D&D Beyond will be giving you a searchable database of the sourcebook you purchase. These are not PDF’s but if you purchase them you will be able to access this content with or without a D&D Beyond subscription.
So we can see that Source book wise D&D Beyond at least is considerably cheaper than the other options. But there are a few things to point out when you look at these prices. First of all, it is a fair assumption that most all of the PHBs that will be sold have already been purchased this deep into the edition. More will sell of course as more players come into the hobby and some players replace used books. But the vast number of books are done being bought.
To compare further the Dead Tree version is not arranged in an online searchable format. But it does have one of the age old time honored search features. The index and table of contents. Arguably if you have the book in hand and you know your way around the book. You can even find rules references in the book before you can look it up on D&D Beyond. ( Fun Fact, Chris Perkins out searched the Program during the Stream of Annihilation.) Down Side, you can’t store your Dead Tree online and unless you have a nice bag you can’t take it with you in the rain. 

As far as both Roll20.net & Fantasy Grounds platforms it is considerably cheaper than both of these formats.  BUT, Each of these platforms currently are the premier Digital RPG platforms for games. They each also include tokens for all creatures contained in the product as well as handouts and maps in some cases. D&D Beyond unless updated once they roll out their Game Platform does not have any of these things.

Modules (Curse of Strahd)
D&D Beyond: $24.99
Dead Tree: $49.95
Roll20.net: $49.95
Fantasy Grounds: $34.99
As of this blog we have no info that I was able to track down on how Modules will be presented in D&D Beyond. I can say I would imagine we will have a Module that would look very similar to a PDF with hyperlinked and searchable content to data on the site as well as maps content. even that is speculation as to how they will be presented.

Edit- D&D Beyond Tweeted me when asked.

@DnDBeyond What feature will be in Modules that you purchase. Will it just be a database of the adventure? Will we have maps w/quick links?

Replying to @RunklePlaysGame

All the tooltipping/ crosslinking that is found throughout the site + all interior art + hi-res maps + all NPCs, monsters, items in listings

Dead Trees we all know how this works. Anyone here reading this likely owns one, has owned one, or has flipped through and given one a look. You get it.
This is where you need to step back and really see the value that Roll.20 and FG are bringing for that extra money. With Roll 20 you will get.
  • Over 350 hours of campaign preparation completed for Roll20 users.
  • Over 30 battle-ready Maps, enhanced with Dynamic Lighting.
  • The High, Common, and Complete Tarokka Decks is included in this purchase and also sold separately.
  • Original Castle Ravenloft maps in top-down format, exclusive to the Roll20 version for easier use with the virtual tabletop.
  • Isometric Castle Ravenloft maps included for reference as player handouts, and also as interactive maps on the tabletop.
  • Rollable Tables of all shapeshifters in the adventure. This means that you can easily click to change Strahd von Zarovich’s tabletop token from his human form to his wolf, bat, or mist form.
  • Rollable Table of the Gothic Trinkets table. Players can make a single click to use this table this during character creation to get a trinket of some special significance.
  • Deck of Illusions as a playable card deck. Players can draw a card from this deck and it will immediately place a token of a random creature on the tabletop!
  • Statted Tokens featuring original artwork from Dungeons & Dragons. Tokens are linked to Character entries in the Journal, with Roll20 5th Edition OGL character sheets and clickable actions.
  • Cross-linked handouts throughout the adventure

That is a lot..

Fantasy Grounds Modules include

  • the entire contents of Curse of Strahd adventure
  • image handouts that can be shared with players collectively or individually
  • maps containing information for the Dungeon Master (DM) only and with all locations pre-linked to story entries which may contain additional DM notes, boxed text, encounters, images and treasure parcels
  • maps with all hidden information removed and resized for use as tactical combat maps. * The maps of the interior of Castle Ravenloft are presented in an isometric format that won’t align with a typical top-down map format.
  • tokens for many of the monsters in the module. When no token is available, a letter token is used to represent the NPC
  • XP for encounters that can be dragged to the party sheet and awarded to the players as they complete them
  • Searchable monster indexes by CR, type and in alphabetical order

Overall my thoughts land that with both Roll20.Net and FG you may be paying more but you are getting a considerable amount of features to use in their respective digital platform. Currently With NO info on the upcoming Twitch Integration for D&D Beyond you are getting a long less for a lot less.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions run in two tiers for D&D Beyond. Hero and Master.

Hero Tier

The Hero Tier at $2.99/ month is intended primarily for players. It removes ads on the site, allows players to create an unlimited number of characters, and add publicly-shared homebrew content to your collection to use within the toolset.

Now at the Hero Tier for $36 a year you are getting a digital home for all of your characters. Additionally, you will be able to any shared Homebrew content to your account. I could see this being a very nice and worthwhile and affordable high-end digital option. If you only use content from the PHB and you jump in on D&D beyond in the first week you would have digital access to all the content you would ever need for D&D as a player for $55 the first year and $36 a year every year after. Or $66 in the first year if you do not get in in the first week of D&D Beyond.

Master Tier

The Master Tier at $5.99/ month is intended primarily for Dungeon Masters and full groups. It grants all the benefits of the Hero Tier, and also allows a DM to share all her unlocked official content with other players within a campaign – so content does not have to be unlocked by every player.

 Okay so for the Master Tier we are looking at $72 a year in subscription costs alone. The reality of for DM is going to be the cost of entry that you will need at least the holy trinity of books to start. The DMG/PHB&MM are going to run you $60 in the first week or $90 after the first week. Taking a look if you are going to get started with D&D Beyond it will run between $66-$96 bucks in your first month.
After that, it will run you $72 a year if you chose not to make any purchases after that. Or if you decide to pick up one adventure a year and one of the 3 other sourcebooks you don’t have yet on your account to begin catching up. ( I think that is a conservative example )  It will run you $127 bucks a YEAR!
Now we could call it $12 bucks a month and say it’s not that bad, call it an MMO. But at 12 bucks a month you still would be missing several books for years to come at that rate.
On the other hand, if you are a completist, up front D&D Beyond is going to cost you…
PHB/MM/DMG=$60/$90
Volo=30
Sword Coast=30
Xanatars=30
Tiamat=25
POA=25
OTA=25
CoS= 25
YP=25
SkT=25
ToA=25
Total cost= $325 on starting week $355 after the first week.
($380 if Tiamat needs to have two books to complete)
 Or  $150- $180 plus sub if you decided as a DM you are only going to stick with the core books. Again followed by the $72 per year sub costs after that or $97 if you buy only 1 adventure a year.
Now, one benefit you will have at this Tier that they speak about is that this is a “Group/DM” Tier. You can share all content of this tier with up to 12 players in your campaign. Additionally, the DM can share this info with free players also.

My Thoughts

Okay, that was a lot and I have taken a long time to think about how I feel about all of this. Overall I think that I will have to roll this into two rankings. One for Hero and one for Master Tier.

I decided to give both Tiers a Ranking on my Runkles Ranking scale. I am basing my score off of WOTC 4E D&D Insider. The D&D insider was a subscription service that in the last months cost $10 a month by month or $6 per month via year sub.
D&DI gave you access to a Character Creator, a Monster Customizer, and a searchable Database of the rules. Additionally, DDI gave you access to both the Dungeon and the Dragon online Mags. Lastly, it is very important to note that with DDI you had access to ALL D&D rulebooks as they were added. They were not required to purchase extra.

Hero Tier Rank, 

I think after taking into account the cost for a year as well as the options and features that this tier offers is a great value. I think that if you pick up a PHB and a year sub this is a 14. on my Ranking scale.

Master Tier Rank, 

There is just so much here that has me concerned. There are just so many costs that add up quickly on the DM end of this project that makes me not nearly as thrilled by the total costs that begin to mothball quickly and no matter how you slice it the costs continue to stay upwards of $100 dollars a year.
For that reason, I think I will give the Master Tier a 9 Ranking. Overall I think the pricing misses the mark for what it offers. The Subscription fee is on target but the overall costs that slowly mothball into a very high price tag will put it out of reach to the casual DM.

GROUPED MASTER TIER

 

Well, I wanted to address this as I have seen multiple comments about just having your group combine spending power to make it all cheaper to buy. I give that idea 5 due issues that I have spoken of in the past. Who gets the Master Account in the event of a Break in the group. If more than one person at the table moves away and joins other groups who get to use the accounts if the account crests over 12 in a campaign. At a rank of 5, that means I just plain think this is a Terrible idea.

Final Thought

I was nearly done with this and I stumbled on something that I find very worrying and that is as sample price breakdown that we will see if you want potentially purchase at the Hero Tier with Ala Carte Bundles. And let me just say WOW… I am not a fan.

This sample was to explain how a bundle package would work to make an Aasimar

So, are you saying that if all I ever wanted to do was to create an Aasimar Paladin with the Oath of Vengeance subclass, with the Purple Dragon Knight Background, equipped with a Dawnbringer and a Blod Stone in his inventory, that I would have to purchase:

  1. Player’s Handbook for $29.99
  2. Dungeon Master’s Guide for $29.99
  3. Volo’s Guide to Monsters for $29.99
  4. Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide for $29.99
  5. Storm King’s Thunder for $24.99
  6. Out of the Abyss for $24.99
  7. In addition, say I subscribed at just the $3/mo for the next 12 months to see if this actually develops into a proper service and add a homebrew magic shield that the DM created to this character

For a grand total of $205.94 

BadEye from D&D Beyond corrected him but I sill find it concerining. 

Quote from BadEye >>

  • Aasimar Race – $2.99
  • Paladin Class (with all PHB options) – $3.99
  • (Purple Dragon Knight is actually a fighter subclass, but let’s assume that you mean some kind of background from SCAG): Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but you will be able to customize a background entirely, so if you don’t mind a little bit of typing, then the cost is $0. If you reallywanted to buy one, then it’s $1.99.
  • The two magic items for $1.99 each

For a total of $12.95.

There will also be other “bundles” that will give you those things and other things like them for a good bit less than your original assessment.

The model has flexibility. Again, this is framed using your words of “if all I ever wanted to do.”

Thanks!

Interesting I will say that I was happy to see that I nailed the class price. But what worries is to see that it seems that they have directed the D&D game into price points. $2 bucks for each Magic Item and $2 for a background… NOT A FAN.

What are your thoughts on what has been announced so far? Like it, love it or hate it? Feel free to comment below!

Lazy DMing Use This Monster instead of…Zombies!!

Zombies, Zombies, Zombies: they are everywhere. They are on the TV and in the movies. They are the undead horde that just refuses to die, again. These shambling monstrosities come in all dead shapes and sizes these days. For a long time, the best way to get away from the shambling waves of the undead was to outpace them. Until the fast Zombie, or Zombie runners, came sprinting their way into movies and game tables everywhere.

As Game Masters, some of the most enjoyable monsters we can throw at our players are the uncaring, unfeeling, ever hungry undead. Second only to maybe Vampires, Zombies are iconic. Everyone knows what a slack-jawed, shambling, brain craving Zombie wants when they encounter one. The problem far too often is that they are overused and cliché. Granted, zombies are cool. I love them myself!  Yet, this does not stop me from making sure they are not my first choice in making an encounter, but my best choice!

So, what other undead can we use that will strike fear into the hearts of adventures and fill a similar role that the legendary Zombie does? I say flip your Monster Manuals from the back of the book to the front and set your players against…

GHOULS !

ghoul_by_thedjib

On the surface, there are many similarities that make it a good choice for an alternative to the Zombie. Both of these monsters can be found in large numbers; Zombies travel in hordes and Ghouls in packs.  Both are Undead and have a similar appearance at a first glance. They both crave flesh; zombies are just a bit more specific on their favorite tasty parts to eat.

Stat wise, they have a couple things in common as well. Both have roughly the same Strength and Hit points. Ghouls have a slightly higher AC, which is matched by the Undead Fortitude ability of the Zombie. From this point, the differences of the Ghoul begin to become much more creepy and deadly.

Ghouls move considerably faster with a speed of 30 feet compared to the Zombies 20. Allowing them to catch a party by surprise that believes they are facing a Zombie when in fact it is a Ghoul. The touch of a Ghoul can induce paralysis in a target. They strike for considerably more damage with their claws. And their bite can be nothing short of deadly to a lower level player.

In addition to Zombies being largely overused, one Ghoul is worth two Zombies by challenge rating. Action economy is not changed, because Ghouls have two attacks vs the Zombie’s one. Another encounter factor to consider is the total encounter HP. Ghouls may be more deadly, but a Ghoul encounter will likely get you and your players in and out of combat much quicker.

Zombie
STR 13 (+1) DEX 6 (-2) CON 16 (+3) INT 3 (-4) WIS 6 (-2) CHA 5 (-3)
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)  Armor Class 8  Hit Points 22 (3d8 + 9)  Speed 20 ft.
Saving Throws
WIS +0
Damage Immunities
Poison
Condition Immunities
Poisoned
Senses
Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 8
Languages
Understands the languages of its creator but can’t speak
Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the zombie to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the zombie drops to 1 hit point instead.
Actions
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage.
Ghoul
STR 13 (+1) DEX 15 (+2) CON 10 (+0) INT 7 (-2) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 6 (-2)
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Armor Class 12  Hit Points 22 (5d8)  Speed 30 ft.
Damage Immunities
Poison
Condition Immunities
Charmed, Exhaustion, Poisoned
Senses
Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 10
Languages
Common
Actions
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) slashing damage. If the target is a creature other than an elf or undead, it must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

ghast_by_wjh3

Unlike Zombies, who shamble and stagger their way into combat fearless of damage, Ghouls throw themselves into combat with reckless abandon. They are an agile foe and with just one strike from a claw attack, the battle can go from bad to worse as paralysis sets in. All this while Ghouls are speaking to you about how delicious you will be to feast on.

So why should you use them?

They have a cool origin history….

Abyssal Origins. Ghouls trace their origins to the Abyss. Doresain, the first of their kind, was an elf worshiper of Orcus. Turning against his own people, he feasted on humanoid flesh to honor the Demon Prince of Undeath. As a reward for his service, Orcus transformed Doresain into the first ghoul. Doresain served Orcus faithfully in the Abyss, creating ghouls from the demon lord’s other servants until an incursion by Yeenoghu, the demonic Gnoll Lord, robbed Doresain of his abyssal domain. When Orcus would not intervene on his behalf, Doresain turned to the elf gods for salvation, and they took pity on him and helped him escape certain destruction. Since then, elves have been immune to the ghouls’ paralytic touch.

Ghasts. Orcus sometimes infuses a ghoul with a stronger dose of abyssal energy, making a ghast. Whereas ghouls are little more than savage beasts, a ghast is cunning and can inspire a pack of ghouls to follow its commands.

AND….

Ghouls are a great monster to use instead of Zombies because they create the opportunity for a more memorable encounter. With the ability to speak alone, this automatically makes for a more disturbing, deadly encounter. Fold in paralysis, and suddenly what might be a relatively easy encounter can turn deadly with one bad roll.

Ghouls also are intelligent, and should be played with intelligence. Where Zombies will shamble forward into waiting blades to be cut down or overwhelm their foes, Ghouls might opt to dart around plate clad tanks and engage much softer targets. A Ghoul’s biggest advantage lies in their paralysis strike. As intelligent beings, Ghouls will gang up on foes, improving the chances that their prey will fall victim to the effects of their claws.

ghast

Lastly, if you want to up the Ghoul game, add a Ghast to the group as a leader. Including a Ghast introduces a whole new host of concerns. Any Ghouls within 30 feet of a Ghast gain Turn Defiance, granting an advantage on Turning Saves. Ghasts also have a horrid stench that if a player within 5 feet of the Ghast fails a save, they become poisoned until the start of their next turn.

Ghasts attacks are slightly stronger than Ghouls and are even more intelligent than Ghouls, making for a very deadly foes. Now lets take a moment or two and set asside Stats and Abilitys. Let get to the reason why as a Game Master Ghouls and Ghasts stand out as a much better choice between the two.

As Game Masters we strive to make memorable moments for our players. Nothing compares to hearing your players reminisce about past encounters and adventures. Creatures like Ghouls and Ghasts give you a better creative device to drive a more memorable encounter than a zombie.

As a player, I have cut down countless Zombie hordes and I honestly can’t recall one major story moment that involved a zombie encounter where the Zombie was the key part of the encounter that made it memorable.

On the other hand, when it comes to Ghouls and Ghasts I have several. What made these encounters both different and memorable was the terrifying way they were run and the environment of the encounter. Also, each time that inevitable bad roll vs paralysis. Suddenly the party is tensely fearing fro their lives. Knowing that if things turn hopeless they will soon be Ghoul food.
Frozen healthy and helpless to aid your comrades as they one by one subcum to the paralyzing touch of the Ghouls one by one. Or making the clutch save and breaking free of the paralyzation to get back into the fight and maybe save the day. These are the moment’s players remember.

NOTE: I am encouraging the creative use of the Ghoul when you have an encounter area where it is a suitable consider using it as a replacement to a Zombie. Zombies are a great monster just avoid overusing them.

Please Feel free to comment and add any suggestions on other monsters that are overused or do not get enough attention at the table.