Not everything a person gives you is benign, but then again, not everything someone gives you is tricksy! Today’s column honors the practice of venturing forth to gain candy while dressed up in costume. Or simply celebrating the day of the dead! The duration of some of the effects can vary as the GM wishes. You can roll randomly for a result below, or 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.
School divination (scrying); Level druid 1, ranger 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (handful of earth)
Range see text
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes
To cast this spell, you must have placed a handful of earth upon the creature you wish to track. Druids often attach small bags with earth to creatures they wish to protect or keep an eye on, and rangers may slip it in pouches or inside boots, usually without the target noticing.
When you cast this spell, magical tracks appear on the ground that can clearly be distinguished only by its caster. Depending on your preference, the tracks may appear as a silver thread, a golden footprint, burning marks upon the earth, or your own design. The magical tracks remain visible for the duration of this spell. If the target is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, its tracks disappears.
Miscellaneous vials can show up in a lot of places in your game. You can roll randomly for a result below, or 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.
A sand gorgon is a massive metallic bull surrounded by a swirling sandstorm. Its thick hide is covered in golden plating that crackles with electricity. When angered, the beast stamps its feet and snorts blasts of salt crystals from its nose.
Desert sages believe that sand gorgons are forces of nature created by dark spirits or angry gods to punish civilization. There seems to be some truth to this belief, since sand gorgons despise the presence of humanoids. A sand gorgon will often summon lashing winds and sandstorms for weeks to drive settlers away from its territory. Those foolish enough to stay behind are rewarded with a brief glimpse of the beast before their demise: a shining bull galloping atop a storm of blinding sand.
Monsters have been teaming up since the dawn of D&D. We’ve seen unlikely allies emerge from the game’s rogues gallery as far back as the famed Keep on the Borderlands. But what happens when villains actually get in the way of each other’s ill-gotten gains? Well, brave readers, I hope to answer this question by taking a look at a few timeless tales from the pulp masters.
My previous essay, Eight Frightfully Eerie Pulp Fiction Adventure Hooks, offers a primer on the weirder side of the pulp genre with a selection of spine-tingling stories whose influence on the tabletop RPGs of today is resolute. Here, we’ll revisit one of those writers who defined the genre, Robert E. Howard, with what is perhaps his most accomplished Cthulhu Mythos tale — “The Fire of Asshurbanipal.” We’ll also take a quick look at a key scene from the 1958 classic The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, a film born of the pulp legacy but rather based on stories that influenced Howard and so many of his contemporaries.