Making things report

So I have been busy making things. Lots of things.

Last month I worked on World Anvil Summer Camp and am going to transition my world bible over to that instead of forcing a blog into doing it. (It is basically a Wiki custom designed to work with awesome map functionality and templates for story peices).

World Anvil Home Page: The Cradle of Worlds

Recent RPG playing. My son was the Dungeon master for a game with his sisters and myself. Of course my daughter wasn’t playing, but she was helping her stuffed liger named Larry play a character named Larry.


Not sure if I posted this earlier but we had an Epic conclusion to our our extended campaign for Rise of the Runelords.IMG_0230

An intro to wargames for the kids and cousins. Mine too, actually and I am intrigued. Age of Sigmar might be fun to try.


Adding to my decorative storage for terrain by crafting a giant tree.

IMG_0243IMG_0251 (1)




Travel Skill Challenges

Recently Matt Colville mentioned using Skill Challenges in 5e for travel. This was somewhat on my mind as we are starting a low level campaign that will need something for travel. So here is my take.

Travel has three types in gameplay: Day trip, Getting from A to B, or Exploration/Scouting

Day Trip Single random encounter roll
From A to B Skill Challenge Challenge Level determined by difficulty of the path
Exploration/Scouting Procedural Dungeon-like Skill Challenge  Mix of fixed encounters and random encounters. Each day, hex, or week becomes it’s own skill challenge with at least one each of Scouting, Navigating, Quartermaster. and Foraging check

Common Checks

Role Check Why Skill Used Bonus Tools (conditional) Drawbacks
Weather Check Determines Current Weather (preroll) Special Table
Event Check For What Happens Special Table
Scout Travel Check  For travel complications Perception Spyglass / flying familiar  sprains, equipment breaks, etc
Navigator Direction Check  For getting Lost (most likely to not use) Survival Compass / Map getting lost (losing time, losing way)
Quartermaster Camping/Condition check  For how well you are able to rest. Survival Camping Gear No long rest, sprains, equipment breaks, etc
Foraging Foraging Check (option) How much food you can gather Nature / Athletics / Survival / Dex  attack  non improvised hunting traps equipment breaks

Other checks in the skill challenge may be terrain dependent, such as fording a river, getting across a gully or scaling a cliff. This may be a good place to make players come up with something they want to focus on doing.

Terrain and Weather DC’s are as follows: If they are proficient, with good weather, and in grassland the only thing we are looking for are critical fails or successes.

Grassland, meadow, farmland, sea coastline 5
Arctic, desert, hills, or open sea with clear skies and no land in sight 10
Forest, jungle, swamp, mountains, or open sea with overcast skies and no land in sight 15
Overcast, light fog, light rain/snow +5
Heavy Fog, Heavy Rain/snow, Storm +10
White out conditions, Complex Illusory Terrain with a failed save +15
Role: Scout Roll: Travel Check

Tools that grant advantage: Spyglass, Flying Familiar

d6 Failed Failed by 5 or more
1 Scratches  (1d6) Sprained Ankle (disadvantage dex saves)
2 Scratches  (1d6) Scratches  (2d6)
3 The difficult Route  1 lvl fatigue Sprained Elbow (disadvantage str saves)
4 Insect Bites  (1d6) Broken Item wielded
5 Insect Bites  (1d6) Broken Item Worn
6 Sinkhole  (1d4) Broken Item in pack
Role: Navigator Roll: Direction Check Skill: Survival

Tools that grant advantage: Compass, Map

Critical Success: Faster Travel is possible move an extra 50% or shave a quarter of the time off

d6 Failed Failed by 5 or more
1-2 Lost some time (lose half your movement) Went the wrong Way (lose half your movement)
3-4 Lost some time (roll for extra event) Went the wrong Way (lose all your movement)
5-6 Discovered something unwanted Went the wrong Way (go a random direction)
Role: Quartermaster Roll: Camping Check Skill: Survival

Tools that grant advantage: Special Camp gear/ wagon

Critical Success: Party Advantage

d6 Failed Failed by 5 or more
1 Got wet and cold (sluggish start to the day, lose half the next day distance) Bad Sleep (No long rest, only short)
2 Smoke in the eyes. (Next day’s scouting check has disadvantage) Fire out of control (1d6)
3 Can’t Light a fire Bad Sleep (1 lvl of fatigue)
4 Vermin Infestation Freaks you out (No long rest, only short) Broken Wagon/camping equipment
5 Fey play tricks on you Really Bad Sleep (No long rest and 1 lvl fatigue)
6 Animal or Vermin decides your pack/wagon is a new home Haunted Campsite (1 lvl of fatigue)

Or check:

Role: Hunter / Gatherer Roll: Travel Check Skill: Nature, Survival, Dex Attack etc

Tools that grant advantage: special Traps 

Critical Success: Gain an extra two rations worth of food

Failed Check Table

d6 Failed Failed by 5 or more
1-2 No Food/Water gathered Tainted Water gathered (Con 15 save or poisoned for half the day)
3-4 as 1-2 and Animal Steals some Rations Bad food makes you sick (Con 15 save 1 lvl fatigue)
5-6 Food comes to you, a herd invades your camp Prey Attacks Back (monster or 3d6)
Roll: Weather Check d6
inclement weather moderate to major 1
inclement weather minor 2
regular for season 3-4
a bit colder/cloudier than usual 5
a bit warmer /sunnier than usual 6

Moderate /Major Inclement Weather:   roll d6 1-4 moderate, 5-6 major


These can be scripted, but at times may be random. Generating random events may take some time. I would roll the event check with players but not all the other rolls. I would roll for half a dozen interesting encounter and half a dozen problematic encounters to be available as DM notes, cross them off in play and generate more for the next session as needed.

Roll:Event Check d6 Number of Events
Nothing 1-2
Interesting 3-4  d4-1  (min 1)
Problematic 5-6  d4-1  (min 1)
Interesting Table d4
Roll on DMG Monument Table 1
Roll on DMG Weird Locations Table 2
Generate with Random Generator 3
Friendly/ Neutral Table 4

For Nothing do nothing.  For Problematic roll on a monster random table appropriate to the terrain. For Interesting / Problematic roll a d6 to determine the time of day the encounter takes place.

Time of Day Event Occurs d6
Dawn 1
Mid morning 2
Noon 3
Afternoon 4
Evening 5
Night 6
Friendly and Neutral d6
Settlement/ Hamlet 1
Animal Group 2
Animal Solo 3
Intelligent being Group 4
Intelligent Being Solo 5
Caravan 6


What Scares You People? (Blog Carnival May 2018)

I often play with a younger set of players so most “scary” stuff is alluded to or made up like an 80’s cartoon villian. Playing against the character’s fears is not a big deal, but playing up the fears of the players can be a difficult proposition, so I tread lightly on those.

For my upcoming campaign, set in my own world, I have some ideas on how to distiguish races by some specific phobias and traits. For example, dwarves are for more prone to Agoraphobia and less prone to Claustrophobia which is why they tend to build in underground spaces. Check for details on these fears. Mania’s and Philias selected from Alphadictionary philia list and Alphadictionary Mania List

I may have my players pick a severe or mild phobia, mania or philia as part of their character description.

  • Humans
    • Baseline for the commonality of Phobia’s (Fears), Mania’s (Obsessions) and Philia’s (Loves).
    • Some of these can be imagined come from biology and others culture.
  • Dwarves
    • More Prone to Agoraphobia (open spaces), Acrophobia (heights),  and Astraphobia (thunder/lightning)
    • More Prone to Trichomania and Chaerophilia (Hair), Crystallophilia (crystals and glass) and Symmetrophilia (symmetry)
    • Less Prone to Claustrophobia (closed spaces), Gamophobia (commitment), and Chaetophobia (hair)
    • More prone to inner ear imbalances and migranes, a typically strong robust gut biome helps against poisons and indigestion.
  • Gnomes
    • More Prone to Disposophobia (getting rid of stuff), Apiphobia (bees),  and Enochlophobia (crowds).
    • More Prone to Altomania (heights) and Astromania (Stars), Osmophilia (smells) and Kainophilia (novelty)
    • Less Prone to Technophobia (technology), Acrophobia (heights), and Ligytophobia (loud noises)
    • More prone to ADHD and compulsion disorders, but more resistant to vertigo/nausea.
  • Halflings
    • More Prone to Taphophobia (being burried alive), Bathophobia (the depths), and Aerophobia (flying)
    • More Prone to Oenomania (wines) and Botanomania (plants), Logophilia (words) and Microphilia (small things)
    • Less Prone to Agoraphobia (open spaces), Entomophobia (bugs and insects), and Cacomorphobia (fat people)
    • Less prone to heart disease and more resistant to endocrine disruptors, leading to less diabetes etc.
  • Elves
    • More Prone to Mysophobia (germs), Autophobia (abandonment), and Thanatophobia (death).
    • More Prone to Choromania (dancing) and Ambulomania (walking), Mythophilia (myths or gossip) and Patroiophilia (heredity)
    • Less Prone to Glossophobia (public speaking), Nyctophobia (dark), and Aerophobia (flying).
    • Longer life but more likely to miscarriage and more pregnancy issues. More likely to burn in heat and the intense sun.
  • Tieflings
    • More Prone to Athazagoraphobia (being forgotten), Coulrophobia (clowns), and Photophobia (light)
    • More Prone to Xyromania (razors, sharp edges) and Vestimania (clothes), Thanatophilia (death and dying) and Phonophilia (sounds, voices)
    • Less Prone to Pyrophobia (fire), Entomophobia (bugs and insects), and Achondroplasiaphobia (midgets)
    • Unusual anatomical features and a wide range of odd physical conditions can affect them. Their horns or other devilish features are found to be assymetrical fairly commonly.
  • Aasimar
    • More Prone to Kinemortophobia (undead), Entomophobia (bugs and insects), and Nyctophobia (dark).
    • More Prone to Theomania (gods and religion) and Ophthalmomania (being stared at), Bibliophilia (books) and Chorophilia (Dancing)
    • Less Prone to Glossophobia (public speaking), Phasmophobia (ghosts), and Photophobia (light)
    • Glowing skin, so much they are more prone to narcolepsy and insomnia.
  • Dragonborn
    • More Prone to Anatidaephobia (ducks), Omphalophobia (belly buttons), and Allodozaphobia (Opinions about them)
    • More Prone to Musculomania (muscles) and Kinesomania (movement), Dikephilia (justice) and Hydrophilia (water)
    • Less Prone to Thanatophobia (death), Monophobia (being alone), and Metathesiophobia (change)
    • Scaly hides lend protection but are prone to mites and skin conditions. They are less tolerant of cold environments.
  • Half Orc
    • More Prone to Ophidiophobia (snakes), Achondroplasiaphobia (midgets),  and Catoptrophobia (mirrors)
    • More Prone to Lygomania (darkness) and Sideromania (iron/steel), Pterophilia (birds) and Ophidiophilia (snakes)
    • Less Prone to Ergophobia (work), Psudodysphagia (chocking), and Pogonophobia (beards)
    • Beefy but with less than standard melanocytes, this produces an increased chance of muscle cramps and tone deafness. Their liver processes alcohol faster, leading them to have a higher tolerance.

This month is hosted by Reckoning of the Dead

Hedge Maze

Below the palace of Titanshome is a decorative hedge maze, used for private family events and other small gatherings.


A. Maze Entrance

B. Rose Court

C. Summer Picnic Court

D. Thorn Court

E. False Court

F. Arborvitae Court

G. Grand Court

H. Far Court

I. Secret Covered Court

J. Dancing Court

K. Rear Court



Masks of Madness

Outside the city of Obscurus lives a women obsessed with masks. A sorcerer and metalworker, she makes ornate metal masks and helmets that are prized for their artistry and occasionally a magical quirk.

The love of masks extended to her house which is built to look like a mask itself from  a height.


A.  Entry Hall

B. Closet

C. Mask Repair Shop

D. Storage

E. Grand Gallery (No roof)

F. Mask storage

G. Viewing Rooms

H. Kitchen

I. Gallery

J. Storage

K. Dining Halls

L. Butler’s Pantry (Stairs to servants quarters in the basement)

M. Wine Cellar

N. Reception Room

O. East Sitting Room

P. West Sitting Room

Q. Bedrooms

R. Master suite



The Enclave of Waters is well named, the Gnomes tend to live in family/business enclaves and they are known for their ship building capability. Here is an example compound of the Sihle family in the fishing boat making industry.


A. Storehouse

B, D, F, H. Family House

C. Kitchen/Dining

E. Important Family House

G. Repairs/Building Shop

I. Multi-Family House

J. Stables

K. Office for tools and plans, Head of the Family Residence.