Final Post

New Years Day 2018, fin.

Everything has a course For me this Blog has run it's course. It's time to close the door. I have a few thoughts about why  now i...

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Monster 1: Mosstaro

The Mosstaro:

Physical:
Size Small: Less than 4.5 feet tall, usually very broad shouldered. The do not have necks and can not turn their heads.
Coloration: molted greens and browns.
Skin is leathery with leaf like flaps which vary in color from dark black to bright green.
Eyes range from dark black to deep red with have two retinas each.
Thick arms end in broad hands each with two thick digits.
Trunk like legs end in flat three toed feat.
Speed: 30 feet per round walking, They may sprint at 50 feet per round but only in bursts of a single round with a "rest round" in between. They may climb vegetation at 30 feet per round vertically or horizontally.
They are simply not slowed or effected by difficult woodland terrain. The move very natural through forests.
Hit points / Health: Depending on your system of choice. Use the hit point statistics given for  Dwarves, or their nearest analog.
Difficulty to hit: Again depends highly on your system, again use armor statistics for dwarves or their nearest analog.

Senses:
Sight: They can see both  normal light and heat.
Thier vision is good out to about 30 feet. From 30 to  90 feet they can only see movement
They have infravison at a range of 60 feet in front of them.
The also see roughly twice as many colors as a human, making  normal modes of camouflage in forest environments less effective against them. (in fifth ed use advantage on perception checks in wooded environments, in other games use a +5 bonus to see camouflaged targets)
Wind sense: they have sensory organs above their eyes which look like  curled eye brows, theses organs are very sensitive to changes in the  direction and  force of the air. This makes the creatures difficult to surprise. This gives them an odd sort of "hearing" where in they can sense noise from  air vibrations out to  20 feet in a  cone shaped area emanating directly in their front.
Hearing: their hearing is extremely limited to only subsonic sounds. The can senses the notice of heavy  animals or other disturbances in the forest, often before a creature with ore human type hearing can. Mosstaro will often put their mouth organs to the ground and make very deep bellowing calls that other Mosstaro can  "hear" from miles away.
Reproduction:
When a mosstaro dies it's body leaves behind several 1d6 golf ball sized spores. These spores grow in the decomposing litter of the recently passed  Mosstaro, budding into small Mosstaro "sporlings". These small creatures will  feed off moss and lichen. For this reason  when a Mosstaro feels its health waning it will oftne find a dark , damp , mossy place to  die in order to best support it's next generation. Once large enough (about 6 months)  to respond to calls from nearby adult mostarro tribes. The young Mosstaro will move towards which ever adult calls they hear first and will join that tribe upon finding an adult mosstaro. An adult which  finds a sporling  will become its mentor and protector. Many Mosstaro young fall prey to predication  during this  early period. If an adult mosstaro finds spores in the forest they will make camp where they are found and protect them  doggedly until the sporlings grow large enough to travel. These "protection camps" are the  only semi-permanent Mosstaro camps.

Mental / Social:
Mosstaro are nocturnal, and often found alone.
They live in tribal societies made up of up to  20 individuals per tribe. Due to their subsonic methods of communication their "tribes" might spend many weeks at a time living fair distances apart. Each tribe develops their own individual calls and  bellows which other tribes respect and do not duplicate. Due to the wide dispersion of individual tribe members it is not uncommon for  tribe territories to over lap. Mosstaro have an intricate set of  rules and treaties among their tribes which determine exactly which tribe has rights to which resources in any given area. These treaties can be centuries old and almost innate knowledge to the mosstaro. A human let in on the rules would find them unnecessarily intricate, obtuse, and  cumbersome.
The rank of individuals can be told by the  overall brightness of their "foliage" like skin. It can be assumed that the more color sensitive vision of Mosstaro can pick out even more information for the markings of another  individual, though that is impossible for us to know.
ON rare occasions whole tribes or even multiple tribes will gather in particularly resource rich areas and discuss the  needs of their tribes and set out even more treaties and rules.  Thees meetings are rare but are also the best time a human party  might have of  brokering any kind of assistance from the mosstaro.
Communicating with Mosstarow:
Tribal leaders sometimes know an equivalent of the "know language" about a 1 in 6 chance. These leaders will always be used and  envoys to other races and will often be adorned with  intricate stone and  feather necklaces.
Otherwise communication  may  be achieved through pictographs drawn in dirt or with charcoal or  through barter. Some simple hand signals may also  be  effective though air movements caused by hand signals might confuse a Mosstaro. Verbal communication will be beyond human sensory range, and the air sensing communication of Mosstaro is completely beyond normal human abilities.

Intelligence: 
Mosstarow are highly intelligent in a highly  non-human way. They communicate complex ideas with  waves of their hands, and  deep subsonic rumbles. The innately know the forest and it's rules far better than any human, often doing  complex survival and or animal handling actions with a practiced ease which  rivals the finest human efforts. They are deeply wise and often consider the possible consequences of actions several level more deeply than other creatures. If a deal can be brokered with the  mosstaro they will follow it t the letter, leaving no room for obtuse interpretations. For example "Show us to the  water fall" might end up with your guide taking a route that charters would have a very difficult time following. While "show us a route we can use to get to the water fall" might yield better results. As guides they are unrivaled often cutting travel times by half or more, however they move through the forest with such ease that human parties will often have difficulty keeping up in difficult terrain.

Many  high ranking mosstaro individuals have access to spells from the druid sphere up to level 3. These spells vary widely among individuals, and can be seen  as innate "spell like" abilities not memorized spells. It seems that they may cast up to thee level of druid spells per day, meaning one third level spell, three first level spells for  any other combination of one second level spell and one first level spell.

Combat:
They are extremely slow to violence , and will disappear into the forest if provoked. Knowing fighting is often far more destructive  than productive for their race. They use their knowledge of the forests and their natural camouflage to best effect. These features make them extremely difficult to chase or track, and they will often lead a pursuer into the  deepest most dangerous areas of a forest, then let nature do the fighting for them. A party might be tracking a Mosstaro only to find them selves face to face with a cave bear wile standing in swampy terrain.
If forced to fight they may attack twice per round. using their very strong fore limbs, for moderate damage. Rarely they will employ blow guns with exceptional accuracy, adding sleep inducing poison for effect.  Another favorite tactic is to use spore filled mushrooms like grenades. The spores can have several effects from vertigo, rash inducing, or simply to obscure a targets vision.  Mosstaro do not fight to kill rather they fight for the opportunity to  retreat.

They are extremely slow to violence , and will disappear into the forest if provoked. Knowing fighting is often far more destructive  than productive for their race. They use their knowledge of the forests and their natural camouflage to best effect. These features make them extremely difficult to chase or track, and they will often lead a pursuer into the  deepest most dangerous areas of a forest, then let nature do the fighting for them. A party might be tracking a Mosstaro only to find them selves face to face with a cave bear wile standing in extremely swampy terrain.

Rumors about the Mosstaro.
(these may or may not be true)


  1. Rangers in the  area say that the Mosstaro all worship one great mushroom grove, and that water from the grove has healing and growth  powers.
  2. It has been written that mosstaro are actuality a long lost race of dwarves that were once stranded in the forest centuries ago.  Their ancient horde laying moldering somewhere in the forest.
  3. It may be true that the blood of a Mosstarow acts as a plant growth potion.
  4. Once said: At their tribal meetings Mosstaro can be bargained into doing  some tasks using bushels of  mushrooms.
  5. A Druid once told of a far more aggressive breed of Mosstaro who live in  the fungal caves deep in the forest.
  6. The touch of a Mosstaro can remove the effects of any poison.
  7. There is a legend that says if you kill a Mosstaro and gather it's spores the resulting sporling will bond to you and be a companion forever. 
  8. The same legend tats if you kill a Mosstaro the resulting  smell left behind will mark you as an enemy to the race forever.
  9. Some Mosstaro are known to raise all manner of forest creatures. While they never ride the beasts,  animals raised by Mosstaro make excellent mounts.
  10. A well traveled scamp once told me Mosstaro love simple games of chance such as dice.
  11. There is a legend that if two  tribes of Mosstaro conflict with each other they will settle their differences by having their tribal leaders debate. These debates can take days. During this time all activity in the tribes stops. If  you have a Mosstaro guide during one of these debates expect it to stop what it's doing and just wait.
  12. Many say that certain Mosstaro can control the  animals around them. If you  start a fight with a Mosstaro you may quickly find your self fighting the  whole forest.

Thank you  for reading:
-Mark



Sunday, March 18, 2018

Dirty Boxing D&D 5th edition Monk Tradition


Explanation:
Yes, this is a dead blog and i'm not writing new material, but occasionally I will find something on my hard drive I think is worth cleaning up and throwing on here. In fact I wrote this months ago and never finished it. I think I stopped because I found better options. I don't remember.
This material is presented unfinished, unbalanced,and untested. I'm hoping it may give someone a tingle of inspiration. 

Disclaimer: because the internet is full of martial arts experts: This work is not meant as an accurate representation or simulation of the  Filipino martial art Panantukan /Suntukan which is sometimes called "Dirty Boxing". I did some reading about them, but I don't know enough about them to claim any level of expertise. Don't correct my usage of the  term "dirty boxing" in the comments I just thought the term sounded better than "Huggy Fighty"
Again it's a dead blog..no one is reading the comments anyway.

For the record, There is nothing presented in this monk tradition that can't be done more efficiently using Dungeon Grappling: by Gaming Ballistic
(Also: I never did affiliate links, I just post products I think are cool... go to another blog then go to drive through too give an active blogger a few pennies.)




Dirty Boxing Monk Tradition:

Who would Enjoy this School?
Some one who enjoys taking down humanoid opponents regardless of their arms and armament. Monks who want to be brawlers, more Bolo Yeung and less Jet li. If the idea of stacking effects on a single target appeals to you.

This will not appeal to:
Those who don’t want to keep track of conditions. A player who wants to take down multiple targets each round. A player whose vision is more Wuxia or wire-fu based. A player who wants to do mystical monk effects at higher levels.

Dirty Boxing: 
Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you like to get in very close to your opponent hindering their ability to attack with weapons and creating opportunities to take them to the ground.

Step in:
If you are already in melee rage with an opponent you may choose to step in even closer.
Immediately after taking the Attack action on your turn, you may spend 1 Ki point "to step in."
You can impose one of the following effects on that target:

TAKE DOWN: It [the target] must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw Vs your Ki save DC, or be knocked prone.

CROWD: The target has disadvantage on any armed melee attacks against you. If the targets weapon is 2 handed or has the "reach" quality it may not attack you without first Making a STRENGTH saving throw vs your Ki save DC to push you back into normal melee range.

To break your “closer” stance a target must make a STRENGTH saving throw vs your Ki save DC to push you back into normal melee range, use a disengage action, or attempt to grapple you.

Step in can only be used against targets the same or one size class smaller or larger than you. Furthermore targets that have a morphology that is not at least loosely humanoid are not effected by step in. (AKA gelatinous cubes, Manticores, dragons, puddings, and so fourth. GM’s discretion and common sense should rule here)

Mount:
At 6th level:
You may only mount a target one size class larger or less than your own.
If the target is prone at the start of your turn you may make use your attack action to make an opposed strength check (as per the normal grapple rules)to enter a special form of grapple called a Mount:
Effect of mount:
Your target suffers all the normal effects of being grappled except you may not freely move your mounted opponent.
The target must make a successful opposed strength check to break the mount. (As per normal grapple rules)

While in mount:
You may add your monk level /2 to to the damage caused by any successful melee attacks while in mount.
As an attack action You may attempt an opposed strength check (as per grapple rules) to inflict the "restrained" condition on your target, but not on yourself.


Damaging grapple:
Beginning at 11th level:
You may automatically inflict your melee damage rate vs any target you currently have grappled or mounted. This is achieved through either a joint lock or another form of hold. It is a free action.
Or: (pick one)
Devastating throw:
You may spend 3 Ki points to throw a grappled opponent in a manner meant to inflict as much damage as possible.
This is an attack action.
Your opponent must be grappled.
Your opponent takes 5d6+strength damage.
The opponent may make a Dexterity / Acrobatics check vs your Ki DC to reduce the damage by half.
This ends the grapple condition.

Pin point strikes:
At 17th level:
You gain the ability to pick apart your opponent while in tight quarters.
If you have the “Step in” feature active, the critical range of your unarmed strikes is increased by the total of your wisdom modifier.
Furthermore:
If a natural 20 is rolled on any physical attack durrign step in , grapple, or mount the target must make a CON save vs your Ki save DC or be rendered unconscious. (given the “unconscious” condition)


For reference:
Ki save DC= 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier.

Key statistics:
strength (for grappling) and Wisdom (for the Ki save DC.)

Suggested Feats: (reprinted from various 5th ed sources)

Grapple:
prerequisite: Strength 13 or higher

You’ve developed the skills necessary to hold your own in close-quarters Grappling. You gain the following benefits:

You have advantage on Attack rolls against a creature you are Grappling.
You can use your action to try to pin a creature Grappled by you. To do so, make another grapple check. If you succeed, you and the creature are both Restrained until the grapple ends.

Tavern brawler
Accustomed to rough-and-tumble fighting using whatever weapons happen to be at hand, you gain the following benefits:

Increase your Strength or Constitution score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You are proficient with improvised weapons.
Your unarmed strike uses a d4 for damage.
When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to grapple the target.

Charger:
When you use your action to Dash, you can use a bonus action to make one melee weapon attack or to shove a creature.

If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line immediately before taking this bonus action, you either gain a +5 bonus to the attack's damage roll (if you chose to make a melee attack and hit) or push the target up to 10 feet away from you (if you chose to shove and you succeed).

Mobile:
You are exceptionally speedy and agile. You gain the following benefits:

Your speed increases by 10 feet.
When you use the Dash action, difficult terrain doesn't cost you extra movement on that turn.
When you make a melee attack against a creature, you don't provoke opportunity attacks from that creature for the rest of the turn, whether you hit or not.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Years Day 2018, fin.

Everything has a course
For me this Blog has run it's course.
It's time to close the door.
I have a few thoughts about why  now is the right time to shutter this blog but to write a 5000 word eulogy about why I'm not going to blog anymore seems a bit strange.
It's not important anyway.
Not blogging doesn't equal not  playing, talking about, or writing games.

Thanks you to everyone who read, commented on, or shared the things I posted over the past 4 and a half years.

Of course special thanks to the two actual friends I have gained from the blogging experience. Charles Akins and Jens D. They have been constantly supportive of this blog. I appreciate that. I would gladly share a drink with either of them given the opportunity.

I have to also thank Neal Tanner who has done more for my games than I have, and  honestly believes my designs are better than I think they are. We will continue to work together to finish projects and put material on the website and to distribute said projects through  Drive through.

And thank you to  Russ, Jay, Otto, and Chris who have played in the games I have run over the years. Your infinite patients and enthusiasm have been  greatly appreciated.

The blog will remain here for as long as here is a thing. I will still use it for and update the blogroll and links. I will still answer questions and comments when I see them. I will update this blog if something new for Dustpan games appears on Drive through RPG.

You can find further / future Dustpan games material on the  Dustpan web page.
And on Drive through RPG.
Want to talk RPG's ?
Find me as Mark Van Vlack on G+
Find me as Mark Van Vlack on Twitter.

The pages at the top of the  blog provide internal links to the best parts of this blog.

Hope you enjoy your day.
Thanks for reading,

Here's a rabbit for your troubles.


-Mark.

2017 stats:
57 Posts.
About 11 more than last year.