Wow in depth, with enough info to base an entire campaign around. It's nice to see an unusual enemy that has a fresh approach to achieving their goals, and really make players struggle to get a grasp on their capability and motivations.
A couple quick ideas to improve the appearance/presentation:
Putting the headers such as appearance, confrontation etc.. in bold would help a bit to highlight the different sections of the article and make it easier to find a particular area when skimming during a game session.
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Also, putting a line break in between each plot hook and bolding their titles would make the last text area a bit easier to read/navigate. (as it is it's a bit of a wall of text towards the end)
A unique take on a gnomish subclass, and can make for a refreshing change in the usual wilderness encounter.
Perhaps giving them some type of musical related magic would help fill in the missing gap? Perhaps they have found a way to combine bardic magic with that of regular mages?
A song of burning passion may possibly set a target on fire, or one of a raging river make those enemies in ear shot feel as if they are drowning?
Giving them a little bit of offensive power (which they learned so they don't suffer the same fate as their ancestors) could make the odd group who looks at them as little push overs rethink their assumptions rather quickly. (Having a group of singing gnomes come to the rescue from a bandit ambush would also make for a fun encounter.
It's integral to the setting. Basically humanity was all humans until a virus, combined with the reawakening of magic across the world caused a % of humans to mutate into either Dwarves, Orcs, Trolls, or Elves.
The history of the setting goes on to mention that occasionally two parents one race will give birth to a child of a completely different race due to latent genes. (referred to as "spike babies.")
There's also a small % of people that undergo mutation during puberty from human to a different race because of the same latent genes.
I'll see about working a brief "as you know Watson" explanation into the back story for readers unfamiliar with the setting, thanks for the suggestion.
An interesting piece I'd like to see expanded upon and fleshed out more. (pardon the pun) For example, it's mentioned they are very knowledgeable, but where did they get the knowledge from? Did the lich have an old repository of arcane tomes in a library they;ve obtained access to? Or did the Lich imbue them with knowledge mystically?
I'm also curious back the back story behind how they first were discovered by the surrounding villages and befriended enough to be named grave born rather then feared as a village of "walking dead," especially due to their xenophobic nature.
It reminds me a little of the town of friendly ghouls players encounter in Fallout 2 near a nuclear reactor, which always stood out in my mind and one of the more unique encounters in an rpg game.
A useful 30 sub, with enough variety it's easy to find one that will fit their current campaign.
I especially like the ambiguity of these phropecies, a evil GM could simply toss a random phropecy into theri game near the beginning of the campaign and then watch the fun unfold as the PC's keep tryign to fit whatever events come to pass into the framework of the phropecy.
(Some of these work well for higher tech games too that still ahve phropecies and such, like the BSG rpg.)
An interesting pool although I fear most intelligent characters will quickly capitalize on the pool to become incredibly rich. (Immersing copper or iron cookware to make all but the handle gold would be fairly simple, as would immersing weapons up to the hilt) Also, with the inclusion of magic, fishing bodies from the depth would be fairly simple. (using levitation magic especially)
Perhaps changing things so the item has to be fully immersed for the change to take effect would help? (although then smart characters would immerse a small hand sized rock let go of it until it turns to gold then pick it back up)
The idea of gold items turning back to water is a good one, although I would change it to make the gold effect a temporary enchantment that would wear off as soon as the item sufficiently dried off, or after x # of days.
This could lead to short term wealth gain to near by merchants that later comes back to bite them in the ass when the merchants treasure turns back to normal items. (If it turned to water the merchant would likely think he only got robbed.)
(of course after rescue the newly re-fleshed person would come with considerable complications/plothooks for their suitor to deal with.) Go to Comment
It can also lead the more kind hearted characters to devise a means to rescue the poor saps who had been turned into gold at the bottom of the lake. (Especially if one or more them was an attractive member of whatever sex the characters found appealing) "Thank you for saving me, I'm forever in your debt brave adventurer!"
A unique and surprisingly subtle demon that is likely to catch most groups by surprise, and ill prepared. One of these nasties in disguise as a rich merchant with a few indentured servants, (that loathe the merchant) being escorted by the party can lead to all sorts of misadventures. (When discovered it can also lead to some false accusations and a fun role playing scene.)
4.5 over all and +.5 for their unusual origins and the methods these demons sow the seeds of chaos.
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A small suggestion to improve the visual appeal would be to perhaps put the individual plot hook titles in bold so they each stand out a bit more?
I nice simple one shot that can be good to showcase the rules of your favorite fantasy rpg to new players without worrying about them wandering too far off the expected path.
I am curious though what you meant though with the comment "So far, it has weeded out a few undesirables and scored a few keepers." What did you design into the adventure to weed out the undesirables with? (I'm guessing to check and see if the group lets the lizard men have the treasure or just slays them all and run off with the loot?)
The nasty curse for his followers to cast would be to force people to see visions of the future deaths of their loved ones. (a possible future only but the victims likely won't know that.)
This would work well on multiple levels. In game, its likely more horrifying for the characters to foresee the death of those they care about then of themselves.
Out of game players usually don't worry much about the gm railroading the deaths of their characters (rarely used tactic by any gm) but forcing the death of npc's in a particular manner happens plenty often, making this far more likely to be believed as an absolute future, rather then a possible one.
Not very often I give a 5.0, but this is well presented and well written, makes for an easy plug in to any horror game out there.
(Eso terrorists and Supernatural it would fit into easily)
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It'd be nice to see the god of eyes written up sometime, as it would make for an unique and nasty deity for characters to oppose.