Using My Monsters

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Three Riddles

I like riddles, but tend to find that in practice, they can be quite hard to fit into a game, without it being rather contrived. However, in the Ormid game, I was able to fit some in organically, and my players loved them and told me I should post them here for you.

So, here you go, three riddles I wrote. To get the answer, highlight the area beneath each one.


“I was clammy in the evening, and hot by dawn. By dusk I was burning, but I was cold by morn. What am I?”

Answer: A fever 


“All the best ingredients, have gone to make up me,
Yet not one of your dinner guests, would want me for their tea.
What am I?”

Answer: Feces or Vomit


“A heavy weight, to crush your soul,
An always lurking, aching hole,
A shock that finds you when filled with joy,
An echo of when your world was destroyed.
What am I?"

Answer: Grief

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Torment - Level 7 Evocation


7th level Evocation

Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard, Warlock

Casting Time: 1 Action (Ritual)
Range: 100 ft
Area of Effect: One bound extraplanar creature
Components: V, S, M (Special scroll that names the entity to be tormented, using its true name, and the caster's own true name. Costs 250gp x the Challenge Rating of the entity to be tormented, and takes 8d4 hours to inscribe. The scroll is destroyed by casting this spell.)
Saving Throw: See Below
Duration: 10 rounds (Concentration – cannot take any other actions or spell ends)

This spell allows you to torment and weaken a specific extra planar entity that you have successfully summoned and bound in another plane. It is often used to punish or to force obedience from such an entity, and casting it forges both a temporary psychic bond between the caster and their victim, and eternal hatred.

The specially prepared scroll is read as part of this spell. If concentration is lost before it ends, the scroll is destroyed regardless. As the caster begins this spell, they must make an opposed Charisma check against the target. Failure indicates that the link they have forged has been used by it to crush them. The caster is utterly controlled and teleported to the target's side. The target, fully aware of what was about to be done to them, will then deal with them as they see fit. The caster may attempt a Charisma saving throw at the end of each of their turns (D.C. Is 8 + the target's charisma modifier + their proficiency bonus) to stop being controlled. Until then, they do anything the target says, even suicidal or morally reprehensible actions. 


On the first round of this spell being cast, the target becomes uncomfortable and struggles to contain their dislike of what is happening. The caster makes a Charisma (Intimidate) check against them, adding twice their proficiency bonus (this does not stack with any existing proficiency bonus). The base D.C. For this is 11 + the targets Charisma modifier + their Challenge Rating. If successful, the target will agree to the terms the caster is offering, though as stated above, will seek every chance to get revenge on them.

Rounds two to four see the targets agonies increase five fold each round. Again, the caster may make an intimidate check at the end of their turn, the D.C. Dropping by a cumulative -1 per round beyond the first.

Rounds five to nine see the target writhing in agony. The penalties mentioned above continue to accumulate (for a total penalty of -8 on round 9), as the pain and turmoil become harder and harder for the entity to bear,

On the final round, the pain is such that the entity will almost certainly believe that it is about to be destroyed. The penalty remains at -8 to the D.C. But the caster has advantage on their Intimidate check.

If the spell fails to force obedience, it is up to the caster what they do. They can however be sure that the entity will be desperate to annihilate them as soon as able. 


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Spiritwrack - Level 7 Conjuration

7th level Conjuration

Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard, Warlock

Casting Time: 1 Action (Ritual)
Range: 100 ft
Area of Effect: One fiend within range
Components: V, S, M (Illuminated vellum scroll with bound entities true name written on it with special ink and dyes made from crushed gems, ichor and other materials. Scrolls takes 8d4 hours to make and costs 6,000 gps. It is consumed by casting this spell)
Saving Throw: See Below
Duration: 3 rounds (Concentration - Can't take any other actions or spells ends)

This spell allows you to torment and weaken a specific fiend that is physically present on the same plane as you. It does this by inflicting increasingly unbearable pain and then harm on the entity, and some will automatically agree to the caster's demands the moment they realise what is about to occur.

Before you begin the spell, you must have prepared the scroll (see material components), and must be within 100ft of the target. As soon as you begin to cast the spell, the target must make a Charisma saving throw. If it fails this, it is paralysed for the duration of the spells, and is almost certain to try and escape to its own dimension if able to. Otherwise, it is immediately afflicted by increasingly horrific pains and distress.

At the start of the second round, the target suffers 11d10 bane damage (or damage equal to 50% of their total hit points if this would reduce them below that amount), and their agony increases still more.

At the start of their third round, the target suffers damage sufficient to reduce them to 0 hit points, and they are banished to their home plane for 1 year per level of the caster of the spell.

Clearly, casting this spell earns the caster the enmity of the target for all eternity. It is often used as leverage when a mage is trying to force a summoned entity to obey their commands or to forge a bargain that suits them. However, most spell casters are loathe to work this spell to its conclusion, for it is very likely that the hate filled entity will soon seek them out when able to return to their plane of existence.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Spell Immunity - Level 4 Abjuration

Another old spell converted to 5e (needed it to flesh out a monster I was converting for the epic game)...

Spell Immunity
4th level Abjuration

Cleric, Artificer

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: Creature Touched
Components: V, S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 10 minutes (Concentration)

As you cast this spell you name one spell of 4th level or lower that allows a saving throw. For the duration of the spell, the target is immune to that spell.

At Higher Levels: When cast in a slot of 5th level or higher, the maximum level of spell that this spell can protect against increases by 1 for every level it is above 4th .

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Three Planar Spells

I'm working up to trying to create a worthwhile and balanced version of Cacodaemon, Truename and Spiritwrack for 5e, because damn, if those weren't the coolest spells in AD&D. However, whilst flicking through the 2nd Edition AD&D Planewalker's Handbook, I came across many spells that deserve a return to 5th edition, three of which I present here for use in your own games.

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Portal Beacon
1st level Evocation

Casting Time: 1 Action (Ritual)
Range: Touch
Area of Effect: 1 Portal
Components: V, S
Saving Throw: No
Duration: 5 hours

You cause one portal to emit a psychic tone, which can be sensed by up to six intelligent beings (chosen by the caster as they cast the spell). The tone can be used as a reference point and can be detected by the users as long as they remain in one of the planes the target portal connects. The tone also allows the portal to be found without any chance of error.

At Higher Levels: When cast in a slot of 2nd level or higher, one additional creature may be chosen to enjoy the benefits for every level above 1st  

Class List: Artificer, Arcane Cleric, Sorcerer, Wizard

*   *   *
Celestial Protection
6th-level abjuration

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: touch
Components: V, S, M (a vial of holy water that is consumed by the spell)
Duration: 1 Hour (concentration)
Saving Throw: None

You anoint the forehead of the target and imbue them with heavenly energy. For the duration of the spell, they gain the following benefits.

* Immunity to Poison damage and the Frightened condition
* Resistance to Acid, Cold, Lightning and Radiant damage
* Resistance to Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning damage from weapons not made of silver

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the duration increases by +10 minutes per level over 6th.

Class Lists. Cleric

*    *    *

No Breath
6th-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: touch
Components: V, S
Duration: 12 Hours (special)
Saving Throw: None

For the duration of the spell, the recipient no longer needs to breathe. More than one creature may be affected by this spell, although the duration is divided amongst them equally (so, if cast on two creatures, it would last for 6 hours instead of 12).

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the duration increases by +1 hour per level over 6th.

Class Lists. Druid, Cleric, Wizard, Sorcerer

Monday, 4 January 2016

Ancient Iron Golem - CR 20 (Huge Construct)

I noticed an interesting thread over at Giants in the Playground, where many were lamenting the loss of some of the deadly resistances and abilities of classic monsters. I agree to a point, that some monsters are strangely weakened in the latest edition, and feel that there is still room for the "old school" style beasts as well as their modern kin.

In my campaigns, if you meet an enemy and I let you know it has the "Ancient" prefix, you know it's an old school version of that monster, complete with the classic immunities and resistances. They are often remnants of previous ages, beasts warped by ancient magics or have other, similarly impressive pedigrees.

Here then is an example - a "proper" Iron Golem! Have fun!

By the way, you may be wondering why I gave it Magic Resistance when it is already immune to spells that allow for a saving throw. The main reason is to ensure it gets advantage when saving against various miscellaneous effects and powers, and to ensure it gets a boon in those strange, usually high-level situations where weird effects change the normal rules. You can utterly ignore this if you wish!

Ha! Don't worry, my sword may not be magical but it is made of adamanti...uh...oh....RUN!