Tales of Mystara - The Palace of Evendur - Episode 2 - Monster Statistics - The Blighted Vine, Possessed Swords, Rug and Armour
During the introduction of the first episode of my second season of the Tales of Mystara podcast, I mentioned that I would be providing various visual aids to accompany the podcast. This will include things like maps, unique monster statistics and tables, as well as short articles explaining my solo role playing game mechanics (I have posted several of these already). You'll have to bear with me as these will come in many individual instalments across the life-span of the season, with the dungeon map coming much later due to my attempt to avoid giving away information that might spoil any surprises. In this post I give you some Monster statistics, which includes the blighted vine growing at the entrance to the Palace of Evendur as well as the possessed rug, swords and armour located in the throne room.
Monster Statistics for the Blighted Vine, Possessed Swords, Rug & Armour
The Blighted Vine is basically a rough BECMI conversion of a Vine Blight, which can be found in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Similarly, the possessed swords, rug and armour are rough conversions of 5E's Flying Swords, Animated Armour and Rug of Smothering. I originally wrote the Palace of Evendur adventure for 5E some years ago before deciding to convert it over for use in my solo BECMI game. This conversion was done very much 'off the cuff' so if I have missed something then please let me know.
I intend to bring all the information about the adventure into a playable version which can be ran as a group game using the BECMI D&D rules once I have finished the second season of Tales of Mystara. I am planning on publishing this content on the DM's Guild website. I will keep you posted on my progress with this in due course.
The statistics for each monster are as follows.
Armour Class 7
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 vines
Save As: Fighter 1
Treasure Type: Nil
Description - A small plant, which is indistinguishable from a tangle of vines while it remains motionless. The plant understands Common but can’t speak, and cannot see beyond a 60' radius. When a character comes within 10’ it is grappled and a Saving Throw vs Paralysis must be rolled to escape. Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the blight can’t constrict another target.
Armour Class: 2
Hit Dice: 2
Damage: 1 - 8
Save As: Fighter 1
Treasure Type: Nil
Description - The swords are indistinguishable from normal swords while they are motionless. They are blind beyond a radius of 60’
Armour Class: 1
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1 weapon
Damage: 1 - 8
Save As: Fighter 1
Treasure Type: Nil
Description - The armour is indistinguishable from a normal suit of armour while it is motionless. It is blind beyond a radius of 60'.
Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: 4
Save As: Fighter 1
Treasure Type: Nil
Description - The rug is indistinguishable from a normal rug while it is motionless. It is blind beyond a radius of 60'. While it is grappling a creature, the rug takes only half the damage dealt to it, and the creature grappled by the rug takes the other half. The rug grapples it's victims, restraining and blinding their target. It can only smother one target at a time. The creature being smothered must make a Saving Throw versus Paralysis or takes 1 - 4 damage per round.
Let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to check back for more content. In the meantime:
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- Check out my YouTube content at youtube.com/c/SoloDungeonCrawler
See you next session...
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Excellent, Tom! Thanks so much!ReplyDelete
You wrote "The rug is indistinguishable from a normal suit of armour..."
I guess it should be "...from a normal rug..."
I hope that helps.
Hi Tom, good afternoon. I have just sent you a small, humble donation. I noticed PayPal takes a large "bite" from your money. I hear (from a YouTuber who has memberships in his channel, not hear-say) YT "only" takes 30% from membership fees. I would be happy to be your YT member should you make that available in your channel. I don't want to tell you how to run your passion, I just don't want PayPal to rip you off. ;-)Delete
Hi Vini. Thanks for letting me know. It's a shame that paypal takes so much. The main reason I opted for this instead of a membership or even a patreon page is because I didn't think it was fair to offer paying members exclusive content that non paying supporters can't access. I wanna try and make sure that whether people donate or not they have the same level of privilege as everyone else. I think if I use YT memberships or Patreon the regular supporters will expect something "extra" and I don't want anyone to feel ripped off in any way. Hope that makes sense!Delete
Hi again Vini. Just to add. I did a little test run by asking my partner to send a pound as a test and it all came through. I think the key thing is to choose "friends and family" and not "goods and services" when sending as goods and services are taxed. But no worries! I also just wanna add, thanks for the donation that is very very kind of you. I try to put all of it to good use to improve the content.Delete
Hello Tom. I guessed that was your reasoning: fairness. I appreciate that very much.Delete
If I may humbly suggest, usually the lowest YT membership tier is bagdes beside one's username on their posts. Hence, if you only have that one tier, it's a simplified way to have recurring donations *and* continuing to provide 100% of the content to everyone. My point is: non-donators would only "miss out" on badges.
I will be happy to support your channel via paypal or YT or Patreon, whatever.
Also, do you plan any celebration for the 3k subs? ;-)
Hi Vini. Thanks for the info. I will look into this :)Delete
Oof ... the armor would have been likely a TPK if the party had to stand and fight it. I loved how a normally maligned 1st level spell like Detect Magic was creatively used to disarm a situation that even Ilyana's sword wouldn't have solved.ReplyDelete
Dying to a rug would have also invoked a 'not like this' moment.
You raise in interesting topic which has vexxed DMs forever, should I assume a glacial movement rate of 60' (heavy armor, slowest character in a party) in 10 minutes (the turn) to include searching, or force a strange game of memory and attention to have the party say, "I check for traps. I check for secret doors.". The latter is in BECMI by the book assumed to take a turn (potentially causing another wandering monster roll and consuming resources like torch time). However anyone who has played a lot of PnP knows it makes for a miserable experience. The DM is never divulging enough detail to ascertain whether a secret door is in a mundane 60' straight hallway. I believe I read Mentzers own words regarding this, and i'll try to dig them up on thepiazza but basically he's said the DM should just roll as though there is a door and trap each turn. In this way players are immersed and not meta gaming. The exact text in the basic player book is
"Though 60’ per turn may seem very
slow, it includes many assumed actions
- mapping, peeking around corners,
resting, and so forth."
A stretch could include "so forth".
This is pretty much put to bed on page 57, but I think Mentzer recognized the banality of this method.
"It takes 10 minutes (1 turn) of searching a 10’x 10’area to find a secret door.
Less time will mean automatic failure."
"It takes 10minutes (1turn) to search for
a trap in a small area, such as a 20’ square
room or a 20’ long section of corridor. If
less time is spent, no trap will be found."
Essentially it forces the DM to give up an interesting bit of narrative to provoke the players into choosing to risk the turn.
"You see an ornate sconce on the wall that looks newer than the rest."
"OK, check for secret doors"
Or you get a excruciating experience of the players scouring every 10' of the dungeon.
Thanks for the comment Ned. Definitely some interesting food for thought in there. I think BECMI rules definitely eat away the time much quicker than more modern and even earlier editions of D&D. I guess I see time a little like I see hit points in the way that you could perceive it as an abstract thing as the main function of time is to impact things like wandering monsters, whether a torch burns out, how much food and water is depleted etc. As far as story telling is concerned I may not necessarily present the impression that it has taken 10 minutes just to see if a door is safe to open and not trapped, but as far as game time is concerned 10 minutes (or a turn) has passed and so it creates a tension or sense of urgency. I won't always roll for wandering monsters though, this depends very much on whether or not the area the party are exploring has any. That won't always be the case and is completely dependent on the adventure. For example, the Castle Mistamere adventure in the Red Box Set recommends adding the wandering monster checks from the second level of the dungeon down (if I recall correctly!)Delete
Yeah, no wandering monsters on level 1. This is part of the brilliance of the approach Mentzer took with red box. Slowly and clearly adding complexity through example play. Regardless the new season is very interesting, and as I said finding a use for a "bad" spell like Detect Magic is a lesson for all players.Delete
I suppose the should the DM check or wait for the player to declare it debate is also different for solo play versus handling a table with let's say 5 pen and paper players. If you had to wait for each of 5 people to muddle about and decide it was bog the game down severely. Players can be notoriously indecisive. In solo play simply using an algorithm costs almost no time and is impartial. You've convinced me!
Hello Tom! Great episode and post as always!Delete
Ned has just recommended me your work at the Piazza (Mystara discussion list). Thanks, Ned.
I always ask myself how to account for all the noise and commotion of a fight when itv comes to the next rooms one is going to explore. I mean, in a silent dungeon (e.g. Mistamere) if you fight, it's so noisy that probably all the monsters in ask the other rooms (maybe even at the other dungeon levels) will barricade, cast defensive spells, hide, move to more strategic positions, wake up, stop eating, etc.
How do you guys tackle that?
In pen and paper I normally put some spare dice out that represent the surrounding candidate rooms at risk of notice. Normally behind the screen. Then each round / turn of noise making (combat, possibly hammering at a door or whatever) I increment them. Then at the end of each turn / round I will roll for each room candidate and if I roll equal or below, that room candidate hears the source. From there, DM fiat to determine what happens (run, move towards the noise, wait in ambush, etc.).Delete
Sorry. Meant to also add, the size of the die represents the likelihood of noise (e.g. 1d6 could be thin walls, 1d12 would represent solid thick stone).Delete
That sounds like a cool way to handle it Ned. This is something I haven't really tackled in depth in my solo games, especially because often the content is emergent so I won't always know what is present in adjacent rooms. Published adventures or pre-written ones are a bit different and I guess I just play that out according to what the text instructs for the most part. But this discussion as definitely brought to my attention that I could be doing more!Delete
I agree it wouldn't make for interesting audio theater. But feel free to take it and adjust / tweak / test and add the concept to your growing library of solo rules. There you are an omnipotent observer and it's an impartial simple way to track the risk the party is taking by idling too long, or pounding away trying to open a stuck door.
I also noticed you have this module at DriveThru ... I bought it, but will refrain from reading to avoid spoilers.
Thanks for the tip, dear Ned. I've then bought Tom's book too.Delete
I'm excited to keep on listening to the episodes and (with Tom's permission) try to humbly suggest a "fanon" location for the Palace of Evendur - so that more fans can play the module, but it, listen to the podcast (and maybe have Robin add it to her excellent 1mile-per-hex map).
On that note, in my solo campaign I am in Sisak, which is only shown on her map, not the other ones. It's a small village just SE of Radlebb Keep.
Maybe Illyana and Yolanda walked close by Sisak on the way to Evendur? ;-)
Vini / Vini / vinimagus
Thanks for buying that module guys. Unfortunately its a really old version of it that was written for 5E and was never really play tested so there might be one or two things I've badly overlooked! I will be submitting a BECMI version when I get through with the current series of Tales of Mystara. I'll put that up as pay what you like and I'd recommend you guys just download it for free. It will be a much more fleshed out version of the one you have.Delete
Could be worse. You could have written it for 4th.Delete
That's funny, Ned !! :-DDelete
Great points, guys.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the answer, Ned.I like your logic. I'll surely use the, but being more heavy-handed on how likely it is for the noise (and delays) to alert the monsters, other parties etc. I just find it unreasonable to have "frozen" monsters in each room just waiting for the party to open the door of the rooms they (the monsters) are in so the can finally unfreeze and have "the time of their lives" i.e. "the moment they had always waited for." That is too much CRPG for me. Does that make sense?
Makes perfect sense to me. I think most D&D rulebooks do encourage DM's to think about this kind of thing.Delete
Tom! Wonderful work with these videos, podcasts, and this site. Your passion and effort really shines through and I appreciate it!ReplyDelete
You have inspired me to try DnD solo. But I began with. 5e because the BCEMI rules seemed difficult to arrange and collate. But I have recently heard of "Old School Essentials" as a really nice organization of original DnD rules. Would you recommend that OSR to get into the style you are doing?
Hi Charles, thanks for the comment. I haven't tried OSE but most of the OSR stuff I have looked at so far is quite similar to OD&D or D&D Basic/Expert rules and these systems are great for solo in my opinion.Delete