April 2013 Archives

Concept: Skittering Skewerer

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This creature is tentatively called the skittering skewerer. I haven't quite worked out the details of this crustacean's place in the dungeon ecosystem, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a smaller, nuisance creature. In the final illustration, I'll have to add something to provide a sense of scale. Part Alien facehugger, part Half-Life headcrab and part blue land crab, I have yet to figure out what it does besides attack adventurers with its scythe-like front claws and make creepy clicking sounds. It should probably be able to jump long distances like a giant tick and appear in swarms.

Sword of Wizardry


Artifact Type:
Magic Sword
Very Rare
3 lb.
Magical Effect:
Attunes to an element based on the wielder's true elemental nature. Functions as an energy sword, doing 2d6 damage, plus lingering effects of the energy summoned by the weapon.

1d6 Element Planar Source
1 Frost Gray Glaciers
2 Lightning Ten Thousand Storms
3 Fire The Unquenchable Pyre
4 Light The Bright Wastes
5 Caustic Slime Seven Cisterns of Godless Slime
6 Disease Festering Plane of Unending Rot


The Sword of Wizardry is an arcane blade that channels an elemental force directly from the source plane. The surface of the blade is actually a microscopically thin planar portal through which only elemental energy can pass. The sword is attuned to the true elemental nature of the wielder, and changes depending upon who holds it. Even the runes on the hilt will reconfigure themselves when the blade changes hands.

It is both a powerful energy blade and a source of insight into one's true nature. A fire mage, for example, may find out he is truly attuned to the frost of the Gray Glaciers. A warrior of light may find himself wielding a foul smelling blade coated in viscous ichor from the Seven Cisterns of Godless Slime. This sword does not require knowledge of magic to use.

This is my (somewhat last minute) contribution to "Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day."

Reaper of the Rows


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Armor Category:
2 [17]
Monster Type:
Health Dice:
Malevolent Order
120′ (30′)
No. Appearing:
Attacks & Damage:
† Claws(2)1d6 -- † Bite 1d6
Special Attacks & Abilities:
†  Larval Sphere:  (Save: Toxins) Once a victim is in the Reaper's grasp, it will attempt to implant a larval sphere in their abdominal cavity. If successful, a larva will hatch, bond with the host's tissue and begin to mutate the host into an insectoid thrall.
†  Flesh Rending Whirlwind:  Once per combat, the Reaper flails its razor-sharp limbs in every direction, doing maximum melee damage (2d6) to each creature within a 10′ radius.
Sinister Suggestion:  (Save: Spells) Dominate 1d6 individuals. Victim who fails save will be able to attempt a number of times per day equal to its intelligence bonus (minimum 1). Dispelled once victim is 5 miles from source.
Treasure & Possessions: 3d10 gold pieces. 20% chance of alien artifact or magic item.

AC [Desc] 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
To Hit 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
AC [Asc] 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Blast or Breath Toxin or Disease Ray or Gaze Magical Device Spells
10 11 12 13 14

Buried beneath the earth for countless millenia and dormant until inadvertently disturbed by a farmer tilling his field, the Reaper of the Rows is an insectoid alien entity worshipped as a god by the residents of a small village. Whether it is a lone exile or the precursor of an invasion force is unknown, but through a combination of fear, mind control and gradual genetic mutation it maintains absolute control over the village beneath which it sleeps.

The Reaper sleeps beneath the field, ever aware of its surroundings. Through much of the year, the village is the very picture of an idyllic farming community.

During the autumn harvest, however, things take a turn for the sinister as the Reaper awakens. Powerful energy beneath the field causes crops to flatten in orderly, symbolic patterns. The residents of the village begin to behave strangely and become hostile to outsiders. Evil tidings culminate on the autumnal equinox, when several villagers are selected by the Reaper during a midnight ceremony and taken below the earth, never to be seen again.

Ecology & Tactics
The Reaper is not fully adapted to the planet's atmosphere. As a result, it spends much of the year hibernating in its lair out of necessity. This lair might be a spacecraft, hive or catacomb depending upon which is most appropriate for the setting. Despite this, it still maintains awareness of its surroundings and will arise if its lair is discovered. If encountered during harvest time (especially during a blood moon), it will be at full strength and will attack with a deadly combination of melee and psychic attacks.

If the characters enter the lair (whether voluntarily or not), they will discover that the missing villagers have been mutated into pathetic half-insect, half-human hybrid thralls that will fight to the death for the Reaper. This is the fate that awaits them as well in short order should they fail to escape.

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