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Collection of Curiosities: The Sarcophagus

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoThe weird and wondrous might await your player characters when they start opening random sarcophagi. You can use any of these details as starting points to flesh out some other interesting things if the player characters choose to look around a bit more. If you want to roll randomly for one, use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.

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Treasures with a Tale to Tell: The Alchemist’s Lodestone

Tom Murphy VII: Old book bindingsAfter the excitement of a hard-fought battle, many a gamemaster will have the sudden impulse to reward their tenacious players with a few extra goodies beyond the standard potions, scrolls, and coin. But throwing in a +3 flaming battleaxe at the last minute doesn’t always capture the moment the way you want it to. After six or more hours of carving their way through your encounters, puzzles, and traps and then finally defeating a deadly adversary, your players deserve something grandiose. They deserve something with a story. Today you give them the Alchemist’s Lodestone.

Appearance and History

This elegant bauble, about the size of a large grape, is as dark as night, and twined in silver to a bronze neck cord. Beneath this strange trinket are yellowed pages upon which arcane text flickers with unfathomable symbols and agitated diagrams of unknown origin. As you sift through them, you are unsure if the writings are the work of a genius… or a madman.

This unique trinket came from the mind and methods of Dinton Crane, a man proficient in magic and an accomplished alchemist. Crane was, like many of his contemporaries, fascinated by the bewildering properties of the mineral accumulations known as lodestones. Crane saw potential for improvement and refinement in the stone’s properties and spent much of his life in frantic experimentation.

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The Paladin: Expanding the Boundaries of Faith, Part IV

Joan at the coronation of Charles VII, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in 1854Previously I wrote about how the paladin should be expanded to allow different alignments, then laid out rules on how to adapt the paladin for the lawful neutral and lawful evil alignments. While the justicar and despot are much different than the standard paladin, they at least share the same rigid ethical structure. Today I change tack and lay out rules for playing a paladin with the same morals but much different ethics than the standard paladin. I bring you my rules for playing a chaotic good paladin, one I call the free one. To use these rules you will need to have the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook.

The Free One

The free one, or free man or free woman as may be, is a champion of freedom, love, and glory, and is usually found in the service of such gods. Ironically, despite their inclinations, they rarely serve deities with concepts like justice in their portfolios; the tenets of such deities tend to support the laws and courts of the realms, and the free one knows all too well how the letter of the law counts more than the spirit in such places. These paladins believe in the greater good, in bringing evil to heel, and in fighting oppression in all its forms. They are often looked down upon in “polite” society, since their code often views taxes and strict laws as oppression.

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Collection of Curiosities: The Forgotten Family Plot

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoThat old farmhouse that was abandoned ages ago might just have an overgrown family plot upon it. And adventurers are pretty good at finding such things—and discovering that there might be more to the area than they think! You can use any of these details as starting points to flesh out some other interesting things if the player characters choose to look around a bit more. If you want to roll randomly for one, use the handy number provided with each entry to figure out your result on a d12. You can also pick the one that works for the area in which your characters currently linger.

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Dark Folk Magic

Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn MuseumUntil Deep Magic comes out, James Eder continues to provide us with groups and more to help satisfy our craving for magic. Take a look…

The Band of the Black Shroud

A particularly vicious group of Dark Stalkers, the Band of the Black Shroud seeks to rob those who travel on the paths above their homes. Often times, an hour or two before dawn, a greater degree of darkness will fall upon the camp of travelers and the Dark Stalkers will erupt out of the mist, driving minions like the Dark Creepers before them. The most dangerous targets (awake or asleep) are usually targeted first, followed by the rest of the group, though the Black Shroud does prefer to strike at weakly defended targets whenever possible. Treasure is quickly gathered and taken down toward their homes, and cunning traps disguise the entrances so as to avoid pursuit by high-minded adventurers who are sticking their noses into things.

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