Now that Ben’s built the majority of the Granny Mammy Graul family farm, he finds himself in heavy DM housekeeping mode. Thus, he’ll forgo any in-depth how-to’s for this week in favor of some quick-fire D&D goody bits. Party rogues should still be able to find plenty to “borrow” for their own games and terrain aspirations. Lead on…
We decided a great way to reveal the Graul Curse was via a sadistic transformation of the Graul family portrait. By day, it’s just like any other simple oil painting perched on a cottage wall. Come nighttime, the real maniacal identity of the farm inhabitants is revealed.
A simple Google images search revealed the rustic photo we desired. Our game group Photoshop maestro then transformed the image into a diverse cast of misfits. Feel free to download our source file here.
Ben was stressing over the construction of the perfect frame when he realized this wouldn’t have been done by Michaels…so a rickety ol’ casing would actually be more appropriate. He mounted the printouts on simple cardstock and dropped down Hirst Arts wood planks (mold #220) along the edges. Then he glued each frame to some taller fieldstone walls and just like that – the DM trickery was complete.
Granny Mammy is going to have a hidden stash of the precious Graul Goo tucked away under some floorboards beneath an oversized trunk at the foot of her bed. This valuable item is certain to hold some sort of evil trap, right? Ben stumbled across a great idea from DandDPuzzleOfTheWeek. It’s called a Sand Blast Trap.
Simplicity reigns supreme here. Sand Blast traps are typically found on heavy chests. After the container is unlocked, a party strength check is required to lift the thick lid (which just so happens to get a few more victims in the blast area). As soon as the top of the chest is opened, blammo!
Our game group values healing surges like nobody’s business. So, anyone who fails the DC will lose 1d4-1 (minimum 1) heal boosts and suffer a severe case of nausea (-1 to attack) until the next extended rest.
Ben’s elaborate sand blast trap will have a violent, cloud-style area burst of 3. The DM will tell the party that the chest doesn’t seem to be sitting perfectly flush to the floor. As soon as the trunk is slid from its original spot, the floor trigger is sprung which releases a nasty stink cloud from a small hole in the ceiling. The actual trunk and its lock will serve as a sort of distracting decoy as the Rogue will almost certainly check for traps on the container itself but not on the floorboards underneath it (DC 30). Maniacal? Yep. Players who succeed on a Nature DC 17 will only lose one surge.
Sly Flourish is up to his Lazy DM tricks again with a fun new video highlighting his abundant game wisdom. Ben was particularly fond of his story telling dice idea. He even added the Story Cube Actions and Story Cubes Voyages sets in a nice tidy Amazon Prime bundle deal. Great tip, Sly!
Dollar Store Treasures
The Terrainoob did a great video entitled “Terrain Basics” where he shares a host of low dollar hobby toolbox finds. Ben was particularly intrigued with his cutting blade reco. You can grab a single box cutter (with extra blades) for a mere $1 or three of the smaller version for a $1. Ben also grabbed these handy plastic mixing containers (great for combining water and Elmer’s Glue) for paper-mache-style rock terrain builds.
Graul Monster Stats
The Graul Encounter Level was 10 for six 8th level characters. Ben likes the standard formula contained in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (pg. 56): Number of PCs x Standard Monster of the Appropriate Level. That means the Graul XP allotment is 3,000 (or 6 PCs x 500 standard XP).
When DM Ben finally cranked out all his Graul monster stat cards, he ended up with 3,078 xp. This is an intentionally harder encounter (2 levels above the party level) but we are talking about the big outdoor finale. Certainly you can adjust anything to fit your own campaign.
Next up? Well, Ben has one more nature encounter up his DM sleeve – homage to a homebrewed event by his Gen Con DM. You remember Fineas, don’t you? Til next time.
Questions to Ponder: Have you ever made a portrait for your terrain? What’s your favorite chest trap? Ever incorporated Story Cubes into your game? What else do you buy at the Dollar Store? Got any Graul monster stat suggestions?