Tag Archives: Dragon

Dragon’s Egg Crack

 

Dragon's Egg Crack

Dragon’s Egg Crack

This cave system is home to a dragon (or the remains of a dragon’s lair), but could potentially house several other animal lairs near the entrance. Near the center of the map is a deep, though narrow chasm. Though difficult to traverse in the middle, it’s much easier further up, though one ought to find the hidden passage in order to move forward.

The lair itself is designed to give the dragon certain advantages. They can use their breath weapon from several raised ledges to prevent approach and a lack of easy access to that upper ledge may slow down unprepared adventurers.

A hidden chamber just off the dragon’s lair could hold just about anything…

“You decide to drop a torch down the chasm to try to gauge how deep it is. As it tumbles down, it clatters against a ledge, sending echoes throughout the cave. A deeper, louder rumble answers it from the cave on the other side of chasm. Rocks tumble over the ledge as something large begins moving…”

 

Special Crafting Materials – Part 1

Dwarf-forged Plate and Warhammer

Alchemical Silver:

Used to create weapons that are mostly metal. Effective against lycanthropes, some demons and some undead. -1 to damage and to Save vs Destruction.

  • +2gp per 20 missiles
  • +10gp Small weapon
  • +50gp One-handed weapon
  • +100gp Two-handed weapon

While weapons bonded with alchemical silver are beautiful, they make the weapon softer. Werewolves, however, will often retreat at the sight of a silvered sword.

Adamantium:

Used to create all armor types, shields, and weapons.

All items are 10% heavier than normal, but retain their size category.

Armor and weapons cannot be destroyed by most natural means, such as acid, rust, or extreme heat, and resistant to magical destruction.

Armor gains -1 AC and wearer reduces damage taken by 1 point / armor category. Shields provide -2 AC bonus instead of -1, but no damage reduction.

Weapons gain +1 to hit and damage. Ammunition gain +1 to hit only.

All adamantium items gain +2 to Save vs destruction (such as by Ray of Disintegration that killed the wearer).

Cost:

  • +500gp Shield
  • +2500gp Light
  • +5000gp Medium
  • +7500gp Heavy
  • base cost x3 cost +1500gp for weapon
  • +60gp per 20 ammunition

This strange metal is only found naturally alloyed with iron in the cores of fallen stars, making this metal the rarest in Ark. However, once purified in a secret process, they may be forged in furnaces kept unnaturally hot by magical fire and molded by adamantium hammers into armor that absorbs shocks and is nearly indestructible.

Beasthide:

-1 AC, -10% weight. Light armor only.

If the beast had extremely thick skin it may provide an additional -1 AC at my discretion.

Cost: +50gp or +100gp, must provide the raw hide.

Some of the larger, more brutal beasts not commonly seen in Ark have thick, resilient hides that can be, with a bit of effort, turned into armor.

Bone and Chitin:

Used to create Scale, Splint, Banded, Shields, and Weapons. Half weight and considered one size category lower (minimum Light) for the purposes of meeting class requirements and movement penalties.

Half cost to Necromantic enchants.

Chitin shields provide a -2 AC bonus instead of -1.

Cost:

  • +700gp Shield
  • +1500gp Medium
  • +3500gp Heavy
  • +1500gp One-handed Weapons
  • +3000gp Two-handed Weapons

Bones and chitin are, by themselves, quite brittle and shatter under stress. However, their organic shapes and light weight fit the humanoid form quite naturally. Historically, they’ve been used mostly as ornamentation. Sometime in the last thousand years, some of the more advanced of the barbarian cultures have discovered a secret process involving natural resins and mineral baths to strengthen bones and chitin to rock-hardness. Some have even created gruesome weapons from large bones. It is rumoured that the Bone-hammer Brigade once bought the secret of bone armor from an Ice Giant Necromancer centuries ago in order to defeat the Fire Giants after the Battle of Numberless Tears; a purchase they came to regret.

Cold Iron:

Used to create weapons that are mostly metal. Effective against fey, demons, and some undead.

Cost: x2 base weapon cost (if enchanted add +1000gp). Include ammunition.

Mined from the deepest, darkest mines in Ark, Cold Iron must be forged at much lower temperatures in order to retain its special property: the disruption of dark magic. Due to its resistance to enchantment, creating magical weapons made of Cold Iron is a much more involved effort, since mithril cannot be used in its creation.

Dragonhide:

Used to create Leather, Studded, Scale, Banded, and Plate armor. Plate counts as Medium for the purposes of meeting class requirements and movement penalties.

-1 AC and energy resistance (1 points / HD of the dragon) based on the breath weapon of the dragon.

A Watsai crafter can make a suit of Leather, Studded, or Scale with an additional +1 point per HD of energy resistance.

Cost:

  • Base +250gp +250gp/2HD of dragon
  • +1000gp Light
  • +3000 Medium
  • +7000 Heavy

Dragon scales and horns were rare even before the Great War, but they are almost unseen these days. The Dragon Lord commanders often wore Dragonhide armor and the captured suits that survived are prized trophies of Conclave generals. Few in Ark know the secret of preserving the scales and leather together, but when successful, the wearer is well-protected from the element the dragon used.

Dwarf-Forged Steel:

Used to create all Medium and Heavy armor types, metal shields and weapons. Armor weighs +25% more than normal and retain their size category, except that, for a non-Dwarf, Scale is considered Heavy armor.

Dwarf-Forged Steel armor and weapons are difficult to destroy and gain +2 to Save vs destruction.

Weapons are built for Dwarven hands, so a two-handed weapon could be wielded one-handed by the larger races with a 15 STR, dealing weapon damage as normal (1d10, for example). This enables a Dwarf, Halfling or Gnome to wield a metal two-handed weapon that would normally be restricted, so long as they meet the same 15 STR requirement.

When worn by a Dwarf, armor and shields provide an addition -1 AC dodge bonus and weapons provide +1 to hit.

Cost:

  • +600gp Shield
  • +2500gp Medium
  • +5000gp Heavy
  • base cost x3 cost +500gp for weapon

Crafter must be a Dwarf or Gnome.

Many centuries ago, the Forge-city of Baruk-Khazad perfected a method of alloying steel with a secret metal to give the steel extreme resilience and strength. Some guess it is a gold-adamantium alloy, judging by the metal’s yellow tint, but every Forge-Master has denied it. The secret of Dwarf-Forged Steel is passed down from Master to Apprentice and never revealed to outsiders.

Ironwood:

Used to create Banded, Splint, and Shields and Weapons that are primarily made of wood. Half weight, but retain size category, half cost to Druidic enchants.

Druids that wear this type of armor move more easily in it, reducing movement penalties by half. Druids gain +1 to hit with Ironwood weapons.

Cost:

  • +100gp Shield
  • +350gp Banded
  • +450gp Splint
  • Base cost x2 for weapons

Found only in the heart of forests in Ark and, it is said, in a grove owned by Emperor of Xi Pai and protected by his Lightning Blade Guard. The wood from these trees takes centuries to grow and Druids are said to ask the trees to shape the armor, which are given to them to finish. Cutting down the Ironwood tree and shaping it yourself (if you have strong enough tools) is a quick way to earn the deadly ire of the Druids.

Mithril:

Used to create all armor types and shields. Half weight for Medium and Heavy armors, but they retain their size category, except Chain is considered Light for the purposes of meeting class requirements and movement penalties.

Half cost and time required to all enchants.

Half loss of mobility penalties (Heavy armor movement is 30’ and Medium armor movement is 35’).

If the crafter is an Elf, Medium and Heavy armor (but not Shields) worn by an Elf gain a -1 AC dodge bonus. Elven weapons gain +1 to hit.

Cost:

  • +500gp Shield
  • +750gp Light
  • +2500gp Medium
  • +4500gp Heavy
  • x2 to weapon cost + 750gp

Resembling silver, mithril is a rare metal used primarily by Elves and Dwarves. Extraordinarily light and strong, it can make armor as thin as a sheet of vellum, but strong as steel. Mithril is also said in Elven mythology to be a residue of the god’s touch during Arkelon’s creation, for it retains magical enchants very easily. Elves in particular have crafted mithril into armor and weapons that flows with them like the wind.

Fortuneteller and Hunter Professions

Fortuneteller and Hunter Professions

For reference, here are links to the pages on Making Skill Checks and Secondary Professions and How to Improve Secondary Skills.

The two skills I’ll be covering this week are Fortuneteller and the Hunter.

The two images above are examples of Haruspicy, the diviner’s art of seeing the future in the entrails of a sacrificed animal. Of course, a Fortuneteller can use any method of divination, but the professions is most useful for Clerics and Magic-users who may often consult with higher powers for advice. Even someone who does not use magic of any sort can gain some occasional benefit from the rituals the profession provides. If you are a caster, even if you don’t use this profession, this may give you some ideas on how to roleplay those times you use divination magic.

The Hunter, naturally, is most useful for Thieves, Druids, Barbarians, and, with a bit of redundancy, Rangers. It also works well with the Animal Trainer profession. If your setting includes gathering rare components from animals and plants, this profession is ideal. I’ll also be touching on special materials in the coming weeks. The Hunter is also one of the most forgiving professions if you don’t have much INT. I believe that a smart hunter is going to be the most successful, but being able to run down one’s prey, sneak up on them, or make use of one’s natural wits will also help.

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Dragonroost Chasm

Dragonroost Chasm

Dragonroost Chasm

Useful for any expedition into the lair of any large, winged reptile with a devastating breath weapon, the chasm in the center goes a long way towards keeping potential invaders out.

The structures in the South West were built by bandits who didn’t know a dragon lived on the other side of the chasm. The quickly discovered the error of their assumptions. Now, it’s a useful place for the dragon to keep a few loyal allies close by. Alternatively, the dragon may have hidden the cave entrance on the other side of the chasm and a clue of its existence (or that of the secret entrance) could be found here, since the dragon is too large to fit inside.

The chasm is wide enough that typical light sources cannot reach the other side, nor can they reach the bridge below them. Of course, the truly sadistic DM would make sure that, one way or another, they encounter something flying around in the dark that they did not expect.

Inside the dragon’s lair is a  large chimney up to the surface. Unless one sees the dragon flying out of it, they’d never spot it and only an expert mountaineer could hope to climb the sheer rock face. At the other end of the cavern is where the treasure horde, a clutch of eggs, or a few young drakes could be hidden.

I really enjoyed using this large, but straight-forward map in my game and I’ll probably use it again. Let me know if you use it too!

Also, Happy New Years to my readers and here’s a toast to always making your saving throw!