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Time Magic Groups

John William Waterhouse

The Clock-Watchers

Time magic is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous and unpredictable forms of magic, especially if it gets out of hand. It’s one thing to dispel a blighted area or fling fire into the faces of your foes; it’s quite another to try and rewrite history on a regular basis to suit your whims, and it only gets worse when multiple time spells are cast against each other. The Clock-Watchers work to prevent damage to time itself by opposing the misuse of time-affecting spells and protecting the timestream from harm. The Clock-Watchers have a particularly good relationship with the Bythos-type Aeon Outsiders, and the two are often found working together in pursuit of their shared goals.

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Collection of Curiosities: The Tavern

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoToday let’s venture into a beloved adventuring site: the tavern. All kinds of adventuring stories start, continue, and end in taverns, and you might find some interesting details to add to your tavern below. Again, these details are easily noted by visitors, and you can use them 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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Loaded Dice: Fight Smarter, Not Harder

Egyptian dice (600-800 BC)There’s an old saying that no battle plan survives the first touch of actual combat. For players who want to make a party more than the sum of its parts, one of the key ingredients is strategy. While any adventurer might be a force to be reckoned with by himself or herself, no one is tough enough to take on a slavering horde of the undead or a poison-spewing archfiend all by their lonesome.

DMs, pay attention; these suggestions work just as well on your side of the screen.

Hammer Out a Plan

The first thing a party needs to do is get together (in-character mind you; this is prime roleplay stuff right here) and discuss what different adventurers can and can’t do. Ability determines everything from marching order, to what needs to happen once initiative is actually rolled. For instance, while it might seem like common sense for Lightfoot the rogue to be on point, in some circumstances it might be a better bet to let Harak the half-orc barbarian lead the party; like when it would be smart to let the bruiser with darkvision scope out what’s happening so as not to give the party away with a light source in a tunnel. Alternatively, it’s a smart idea to let the evoker know that the inquisitor is going to be stalking along on the party’s right side, roughly 40 feet out in case the fireballs start flying. Terrain is a big concern in the planning stage, since having a ranger in a tree, or a gunslinger in position behind some rocks can be a huge asset.

Planning sessions should ideally happen before any kind of adventure is undertaken as well. For instance, characters should pool their knowledge about what they’re fighting, and how best to fight it. If there’s a map, get together and discuss things like entry points, possible ambush spots, and who should be stationed where. This is especially true for camping, since it’s a time for the DM to pull all kinds of shenanigans on an exhausted, occasionally depleted party. Come up with code words, hand gestures, or language everyone in the party speaks other than Common for combat communication.

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Collection of Curiosities: The Apothecary

"Jiro the Kobold" by Pat LoboykoToday we delve into the potential strangeness you might find within the local apothecary’s shop. Again, these details are easily noted by visitors, and you can use them 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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Mountain Druid Magic Groups

18th-century engraving reproducing a bas-relief found at Autun, France, depicting "two druids"Until 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 Solitary Ones

Only a group in the broader sense of the term, the Solitary Ones are a loose collection of patient and thoughtful mountain druids who seek to better commune with the land by getting far away from other people. However, there are few lands that don’t have at least a few inhabitants, so the members of this group have (grudgingly) agreed to meet on occasion and share the things they’ve learned about their area. The biggest goal of the group is finding new areas for druids to live, since many of them prefer to have no company while wandering freely across the land. Though they prefer to be alone, they’re not averse to guiding travelers away from danger and back toward civilization. Thoughtful travelers generally give a token of appreciation for the service; it’s not necessary, but the Solitary Ones really do like information about the world around them, especially if it will impact their learning.

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