Archive for January 2010

Mor Aldenn FAQ

January 16, 2010

I’ve just added a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to this Design Blog, a place to gather extra information from the questions that people ask me.

However, to call them “frequently asked questions” is something of an overstatement, afterall, the City of Mages isn’t that famous… yet!


Barrowdelve, Area 1

January 15, 2010

I’ve actually had this writeup of Area 1 of the Barrowdelve for some time (meaning at least a few months). The idea is to present the area without any specific storyline. Later on, I will be able to add specific encounters. Some areas, though, will have specific encounters not associated with a specific storyline.

Those of you familiar with Monte Cook’s Dungeon-a-day project will recognize the area layout. For more information about Monte’s project, please follow this link; (and yeah, I’ve become a fan of this megadungeon).


Area 1: Entrance Hall 

Summary: This ancient hallway leads to the fabled Hall of Bones and offers a visitor insight into the history of Mor Aldenn, the City of Mages.

Sights and Sounds: Magical braziers along the walls provide plenty of light in the entrance hall. The braziers also provide dim lighting in area 1A and 1B. There are no sounds to be heard as the PCs walk down the corridor.

An ancient hallway displaying the history of Mor Aldenn stretches before you. Wizards, dragons, harpies, hags and sword-wielding adventurers fill beautiful landscapes seemingly carved from the very stone walls. You are witnessing more than 300 years of history in this very hallway.

Braziers set along the walls provide you with enough light to see all the astonishing details, revealing that even the ceiling is carved in intricate patterns. Not a speck of dust litter the floor, as if removed by magic.

Four tall statues rests in alcoves set along the walls. A large knight, two wizards and an elven sorceress. The statues are obviously carved from stone, yet the details are amazing and very vivid.

Background: Most moraldenns believe that the enormous stone relief here was created by magic, when it was actually created by elven artisans from Ossindil. It has changed over the years, and every year new details are added to complete the history of the city.

The city wishes not only to honour its dead, but also to remember them. The entrance hall was always meant to tell the history of the city and that is exactly what it does.

Statues: There are four tall stone statues in this hall, each displaying a famous hero of Mor Aldenn. Each description lists a Knowledge (history) DC that allows the PCs to identify the person depicted in the statues.

Sir Brennick Shieldworth: A tall muscular man wearing a full plate and wielding a fiery greatsword. Sir Brennick fought in the first Marsh War, alongside the elven wizards from Ossindil. He saved many lives by sacrificing his own. (DC 25)

Alendar Shadorash: A lean and proud wizard clad in a flowering robe wielding a quarterstaff with a head carved to look like a dragon skull. Alendar Shadorash was a child of the human and elven alliance, one of the first half-elves to live in Mor Aldenn. He is one of the few people to actually wound the night hag of the Spindlewood Marsh. (DC 27)

Hakael the Blind: An elderly man wearing a simple tattered robe and who carries a strange rod and an orb. The Blind Wizard was once a great diviner, the apprentice of Grey from the Lonely Tower. He helped the city by anticipating the attacks of the night hag. He vanished in the Spindlewood Marsh and his body has never been found. (DC 29)

Lady Liassara: A beautiful elven lady holding a flame in her right hand and a shard of ice in her left. Like most of the elves, Lady Liassara came from Ossindil more than 200 years ago. She was in love with a human wizard, an archmage, and joined him in the battle against the armies of the night hag. She was one of the greatest sorcerers who ever lived in Mor Aldenn. (DC 25)

1A: This small antechamber holds a wooden bench and a stone relief. The warrior depicted in the relief is actually Sir Brennick Shieldworth fighting four harpies and an army of hill giants. (DC 26)

1B: There is nothing in this antechamber, besides a stone relief depicting a gargantuan dragon surrounded by a horde of wyrmlings. This is Taraathalorm Wyrmmother, who once inhabited the site where Mor Aldenn is located today. (DC 23)


If you want to know more about the Barrowdelve, you can find more information, and some pretty cool maps here;

New Spell: Wizard’s Rest

January 14, 2010

It’s time for me to get this Design Blog up and running again. I’m currently working on a few things, one of which is a Spell Compendium, so here’s a little spell that I created yesterday.

As always, comments are more than welcome!



School conjuration (creation, healing); Level bard 1, sorcerer/wizard 1

Casting Time 1 minute

Components V, S, M (a piece of silk)

Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)

Effect one invisible floating bed

Duration 12 hours (D)

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This spell creates a floating bed that can only be used by the caster. The bed is invisible to everyone, except the caster, and looks very much like he desires. The bed also comes with pillows and a blanket. While resting, the caster heals an additional 3 hp per day.

The bed hovers up to 3 ft. above the ground and is unable to move horizontally. The caster could stand on the floating bed, but it would start to descend, hovering 1 ft. above the ground.


Designer’s Notes: I got the idea for this spell during a recent game in which I played a mid-level wizard. I was buying equipment for him and couldn’t really see him carrying either a bedroll or a blanket. What if he had a magical bed? What if he had an invisible floating bed? What a strange sight to see…

This spell could only be a cantrip, and yet, what a waste, since the caster would (probably) only need to cast the spell once per day. What if I made it 1st level and a bit more powerful… that got me thinking about adding a little healing.

However, is healing exclusive to clerics and other divine casters? And yes, I am asking… 🙂

Computer breakdown…

January 2, 2010

The day before New Year’s Eve, my computer crashed badly. This forced me to reinstall everything, but of course, I had lost hundreds of important files! Yes… this is bad! Really bad. This should teach teach me to backup my files!

However, I’ll try to bounce back and see what I can recover, illustrations, files etc.

This will set me back a little, so don’t expect new Mor Aldenn material any day soon. 😦

The Spell Compendium project is still, however, going strong! If you want to participate, feel free to drop me an email with some spells (see earlier post).