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Monday, May 28, 2012

Swamp drake

Drake, Swamp
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class: 13
Attacks: Bite  (2d4) or claws(1d8) or tail (1d10)
Saving Throw: 13
Special: breath weapon
Move: 12
Challenge Level/XP: 6/400

Swamp drake is a distant relative to the Dragon. Its body is 9 feet long covered in purple scales. His Head is covered with horns and his elongated skull ends very thinly.Typically it hides in the mudy parts of swamp where it's waiting for its prey. While endangered it fiercely attacks with its long claws or tail or with its long fangs. While outnumbered it uses its acid breath - spreading a sick yellow liquid that can digest a plate armor within a glimpse of an eye.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Graphic inspiration XX

Dreamlands of the Barbaric Frontier

Dreamlands of the Barbaric Frontier work somewhat different than its Earth counterpart. The way Dreamlands can be accesed vary in terms of where they are accesed. Those places of entrance are corelands, borderlands and weirdlands. First one are civilised territories, where the only mean to enter Dreamlands is dreaming while sleeping. In very rare occurances, some powerful entity can bring one to the Dreamlands. Borderlands somewhat differ in that matter, the access to the Dreamlands is better, they can be entered not only by dreaming, and being brought there by a powerful entity but also by small reality holes which can be anywhere - in the big shadow or in the center of a meadow or behind a tree. Weirdlands go even further in terms of access to the Dreamlands - there you can get there by many such a sinkholes as mentioned above. Additionally entities   from the Dreamlands can enter the real world and cannot be banished as It could be done anywhere else.

Realms of the Dreamlands:

Labirinthia - vast - multi-level complex of labyrinthine structures of non-euclidean nature(think of the labyrinth plane from the Hellraiser II)

Grey Wastes - land covered in ash-like soil, with flat hills and fossilized forests, habitat of furry worms, ghouls and other foul creatures(remember Bettelgeuse movie?)

Korykeian Highlands - hill country of lost cave cities and dwellings of demons(Cavern cities of Cappadocia anyone?)

Moonlit Mountains - very high mountains made of black bazalt rock, habitat of white apes and moonbeasts(Mountains of Madness)

Choking Jungle - vast very humid jungle full of weird insects, unspeakable horror and cyclopean ruins(Jungle from the Fire & Ice movie)

Inner Sea - waters inpenetrable by sunlight, where sunken city lies and when stars are right will once again arise from the depths of the sea

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Skraeling Snake Cult Warrior

Skraeling Snake Cult Warrior
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 14
Attacks: Bite  (2d4) or weapon (1d6)
Saving Throw: 16
Special: berserker, poison
Move: 9
Challenge Level/XP: 6/400

Skraeling of the Snake Cult are the most dangerous amongst Skraelings. Many secret rituals involving being bitten by a special specie of snake makes them very resilient. This comes, however with a cost. All those horrific rituals have driven them insane. Because of this and overdosage of halucinatory mushrums they get enraged during every combat(everything else as per the barbarian class) they enter. Also during the very often exposure to the snakes' venom they have immunity to most of the venoms. Additionally their bites are venomous(1d6 additional damage if saving throw vs. poison is not passed). 

New house rules concerning spellcasting

To cast a spell caster must make a saving throw with penalty equal to the level of the spell that is being cast. Following table must then be consulted.

saving throw  effect
         1          spellcaster must immediately make a saving throw vs. death
      failed       sanity loss: 1-3rd level spell 1d4 sanity loss; 4-6th level spell 1d6 sanity loss; 7-9th level spell          
                     1d8 sanity loss
     passed      target: -1 to ST vs. spell
        20         target: no ST vs. spell

Despotate of Aegea

Precis: Fantasy mix of late Byzatine Empire with Atlantis and classic greek period

Conspectus: Despotate of Aegea is a descendant of Aegean Empire, which was the only human-ruled empire during the demonic rule over the Continent. Ruled by Despot Auloios Karantimos IV is a small but prosperous country of elaborate social structure and bureaucracy. Despotate has the most powerfull fleet in the known world. Place of ancient lore and orgin of modern science and thought.

Taste, sound, image: greek folk music, greek mythology, Gene Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer

Friday, May 25, 2012


Hit Dice: 3
Armor Class: 15
Attacks: Bite (2d4) or weapon (1d10)
Saving Throw: 14
Special: poison
Move: 12
Challenge Level/XP: 5/240

Fungimen are a vile race of sentient fungi that lives beneath the Barbaric Frontier in vast complexes of caverns. Their race is divided into two sub-species - male fighters and female spore-queens, whose sole role is to spread the plague of fungimen across caves. Each tribe of fungimen typically consists 4d20 of male warriors and one spore-queen which is fiercly worshiped. Fungimens' victims are mere fertilizer to feed the spore-queen. While attacking they very often bite their enemies with their poisonous teeth(saving throw vs. poison to overcome the effect of the poison which deals otherwise 1d6 damage).

Graphic inspiration XIX

Dwarven outpost map

In next few days I'll post key to this map. This is the first part of my megadungeon set in the Dragon Mountains.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Backgrounds and Themes for the Barbaric Frontier

After reading D&D Next playtest files I've decided to steal some bits from it to enhance my S&W/LotFP mashup. All the bonuses are used during task saving throws as per Crypts & Things rules.


Soldier(+3 on intimidiation,athletics and survival saving throws)
Mercenary(+3 on intimidiation, bargaining and survival saving throws)
Peasant(+3 on animal handling, bargaining and folklore saving throws)
Burgher(+3 on gathering information, bluffing and bargaining saving throws)
Noble(+3 on diplomacy, bluff and etiquette saving throws)
Aristocrat(+3 on diplomacy, bluff and etiquette saving throws)
Raubritter(+3 on diplomacy, intimidiation and etiquette saving throws)
Bandit(+3 on intimidiation, stealth and saving throws )
Alchemist(+3 concocting potions, occult lore and natural lore saving throws)
Cultist(+3 on intimidiation, occult lore and religious lore saving throws)
Priest(+3 on religious lore, diplomacy and history lore saving throws)
Sergeant(+3 on strategy, diplomacy and intimidiation saving throws)
Craftsman(+3 on craft, bargaining and evaluation saving throws )
Mountbank(+3 on bluff, gathering information and diplomacy saving throws)
Sage(+3 on three types of lore saving throws)
Assasin(+3 on stealth, acrobatics and disguise saving throws)
Bounty Hunter(+3 tracking, bargaining and gathering information saving throws)


Hand of the One(+1 on saving throws vs, magic, +1 on damage rolls against undead, demons and magic-users)
Crusader(+1 on morale rolls against pagans, undead, demons and magic-users)
Man of Woods(no movement penalties while travelling in wooded areas)
Lurker(enemies suprised on 1-2 on 1d6 roll)
Berserker(once per day, while in combat character goes berserk; -1 AC, -1 on attack roll, deals double damage dice while rolling for damage)
Chosen of the Spirits(once per day character can pass any saving throw)
Animal friend( -2 on reaction tables while dealing with animals)

I've read D&D Next playtest files...

... and to my bewilderment I like it. It seems D&D is going to its roots,or maybe that's just my impression. The way skills are handled is very much to my likings. Backgrounds and themes seem to be nice additions, however, I hope they will have a very different feel from each other. 

I think I also like magic system, It's easy and neat. That's all I can say. I hope It won't change much in the final version. As for combat rules, I like them very much, easy and straightforward. I love the advantage/disadvantage rules! No fiddly modifiers just roll two d20s and choose higher/lower score, really elegant and stylish.

The one thing I don't like, or well, hate is the way saving throws are handled. I prefer 3.x Fort/Ref/Will or Swords & Wizardry way.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Snake arrow spell

Snake arrow
Level : 3
Duration: instantaneous
Range: as used bow

The spell transforms a 1d4 wooden sticks into snakes, which can be used as arrows. If caster makes a succesful attack roll with a bow, his/her enemy must make a saving throw vs. poison. If he makes a succesful roll, he only recieves damage as per bow, If not he also gets 1d3 damage from venom  during next 1d4 turns unless he do pass saving throw every next turn.

Some new illustrations for the Barbaric Frontier booklets

Underworld I

Lately I've been working on the underworld beneath the Barbaric Frontier. Since the surface of the Barbaric Frontier is a quite standard sword & sorcery/ fantasy world, I've decided to give it's underworld a sci-fantasy twist. Since every sentient race came from the stars - one way or another(this will be later discussed), it gives me a good reason to place some gonzo bits underground. Yes there will be hi-tech(akin to this from Tekumel), mutants, morlocks, fungimen and other abberations. Here's map of the populations of the Barbarbaric Frontier's underworld:

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My new custom mini dm's screen

Here's my new dm's screen made out of two cd boxes glued together and painted in black with a first of three inserts.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Legends & rumors: Wine of enflament

This was on a sunny morning of a late summer, when Heinz Gutwurst brought to his home a bottle of dark red liquid. He did not know, what was that. He found it near the door of his shop. So he opened it, smelled it, and realized that he came into possesion of a wine of great quality. Taking a smal sip of the wine he felt like a wave of warmness came through his body. At first this feeling was very pleasant. The taste, was delicate, with richness of its underflavours. However those waves of warmness became gradually hotter, to the point were he felt as if he was burning. He was running all over his house, yelling and screaming in agony. He was burning inside out. flames were getting all over his body, and his entire body was like a sizzling pork on a great bonfire. Suddenly he felt on the floor never to get up again.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Legends & rumors: Living Hill

Maybe a year ago a famous scoundrel and great bard of the north - Thomas Jakobsohn came by a strange hill, somewhere far in the north of the Neuburg. The day was passing sleeply into the darkness of night, while he was travelling through grassy hills. He could not find any proper place to establish a camp to hide from whatever might have been dwelling around there. So he placed his tent on a big grassy hill,hidden in the wild tufts of grass, where he could see everything around it for a few miles. The evening was cold so he warmed himself up with a nice bottle of wine, and he fell asleep. Weird things he have dreamt of, and when he finally woke up the other day and opened his eyes, he saw a huge big eye glaring at him. Within a glims of an eye, he got up and run from the hill to look at it from a safe distance. He could not believe, what he saw. This was a big hill with at least - five huge eyes as big as himself. Suddenly he felt that the ground was shaking, so he ran away, never to see this hill again. Up to this day he speaks of it in every inn or tavern of Nordmark he visits.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Notable NPCs of Neuburg

Margrave Johann von Goethe
Johan von Goethe, margrave of Nordmark, of Goethe kurfirst family. He's a middle-aged man sent by his family to the Nordmark becaouse the scandal he has made - 14 years ago was revealed his incestuous relationship with his sister, to prevent political turmoil he was relegated by kurfirst von Goethe to the outskirts of the Groβe Reich.

Archbishop Gotlieb of Nordmark Archbishopry
This elderly man is the chief example of decadence that has spread among the clergy of the Church of the One. He's obese old man whose sexual lust is incomparable. People say that he has over 40 children with many of his mistresses.

Horst Geldmann - Tradeguild
Horst is a well-built man in his 40s. He is the guildmaster of the Tradeguild of Nordmark. He is the most influential and the wealthies single person in the Nordmark. It is said that his influence and wealth was acquired by means of black magic and demonic pacts.

Ulfi the Swift(dwarf lvl 5) - Leader of the Black Company
This dwarf in his 80s is the leader of the biggest mercenary company composed exlusively of dwarves in the Known World. 

Crom MacApple -elder of the halfling community of Neuburg
This elderly halfling aged 100 years is the most influential member of his race possibly in the whole Known World. His the leader of the halfling community in the Neuburg for 30 years. He is the only demi-human to be the komtur of the Ordo Malleus auxiliary contingent.

Graphic Inspiration vo. XVIII

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Physical description: Barbarians are typically taller and more muscled than their souther counterparts. Their skin color is lighter also. Their hair color range from light blond to reddish brown and black.

Society: Barbarians live in a society divided in to tribes. Each tribe has a patron totem - e.g. wyvern, dragon, wolf etc. Each tribe have a council of elders, who govern the tribe in time of peace. During the tribal wars and other conflicts a warchief is chosen, who gains for the time of a war an absolute rule over his tribe. The most striking difference between barbaric society and of the civilised ones is the role of women - more specifically, a certain group of women who are spirit-sworn warrior-maidens, who are equal in their rights to their male counterparts. As long as they're virgins they can reach the highest strata of the barbaric society. 

Religion: Religion of barbarians of the north is an amalgam of shamanistic and animistic concepts. Those who conduct religious rituals are shamans who contact spirits of the otherworld.

Relations: Barbarians treat other peoples at least with suspicion. This especially refer to the elves, whom they are deeply afraid because their magic. As for the nordmarkians and halflings, they are ambivalent for them, some times are allies, sometimes enemies. The later also refers to beastmen, whom they deeply hate. 

Male names: Aibhne, Ailill, Aimhirghin, Ainníleas, Bairrfhionn, Baoth, Beag, Bearach, Brocc, Calbhach, Cassán, Cian, Cináed, Conán,  Cormac, Coinneach, Daigh, Deaglán, Diarmaid, Dubhgall, Éamonn, Earnán, Eoghan, Feardorcha, Fearghus, Fial, Fionn, Gobán, Iobhar, Irial, Lachtnán, Laoidheach, Lochlann, Lorcán, Maolán, Meallán, Morann, Murchú, Niall, Nuadha, Ógán, Oillín, Oisín, Osgar, Ríoghán, Rónán, Ross, Ruarc, Sárán, Scannal, Sé, Seanán, Torcán, Tuathal, Uaithne

Female names: Aillean, Áine, Áinfean, Ana, Báine, Bébhinn, Bláthnaid, Bríghid, Caoilfhionn, Ceara, Clíodhna, Damhnait, Deirdre, Éile


Elven Warrior
Physical description: Elves stand average 5 feet tall, their posture is slim, but often with visible muscles. Except hair on their heads, they lack them on the other body parts.

Social structure: Elven society is divided into tribes, which are governed by the council of the tribes lead by the Queen. The society is matriarchal. Male elves' domains are war, hunting and craft, everything else is up to their female counterparts. Elves are nomad people. They wander around the Forest of Fae all the year except  for the winter when they  live in a underground dwellings. All the rest of the year they live in teepees. Their main soure of food is game and gathered fruits and roots.

Elven Shaman
Religion: Elves do not have a pantheon of gods per se, instead they revere nature in its wild aspect very often calling upon spirits of nature. Their typical religious proceedings resolve around doing choirs and many other forms of group chanting and singing sometimes accompanied by fluets, drums and kanteles.

Relations: Elves are a mystery in the known world, they seem to embody each and every aspect of nature itself, both graceful and wild, of untamed passion and secretiveness. They seem so human, yet, their culture and mentality seems very alien to other races, which cause many conflicts in the relations with other races. Usually they shun company of other races sporadically trading with the dwarves and barbarians. As for the nordmarkians no long-lasting relation has been established. They deeply hate beastmen as they think of them of a perversion of the nature.

Elven Teepee

Male names: Ahti, Aimo, Aki, Aku, Armas, Arvo, Eero, Eino, Ensio, Heino, Ilmari, Jalo, Kai, Kaleva, Kauko, Mainino

Female names: Aamu, Aino, Ansa, Eija, Enni,  Hella, Hilja, Ilma, Ilta, Impi, Kielo, Kiira, Kirsikka, Kukka, Kyllikki

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Barbaric Frontier isn't dead...

... so as I, I'm merely drawing some illustrations for the first book of the Barbaric Frontier(i.e. house rules and new classes, spells etc.). As soon as I scan them I'll post 'em. In the meanwhile see this(sorry for the low quality, but I can't scan a3 sheets):

It's a handout for players, which some day they'll acquire.