Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Greyhawk Mini Map: Adri Forest

Greetings Greyhawkers! It's Low Summer, everyone I know but me has vacation plans, and this week there is no Legends & Lore stream. So for this post I decided to break up the monotony of my Ull and Sea Princes NPCs and do a quick mini map (pen and colored pencil). While this map of Adri Forest may look big, it's really only the size of a postcard. I don't know why I chose to draw this map, maybe it's because I've been staring at the color green the last few days while I paint my house! 

At any rate, the Adri is a huge, dense forest with a lot of history and geography going on. This map is a hex-to-hex copy of the Darlene map with elements from Ivid the Undying thrown in, like the Coldwood which I first became enamored with in Dragon #208 when they did an excerpt of Carl Sargent's work. I also know places like Knurl and Innspa are well discussed these days in the Greyhawk community. Those are two local towns that I know relatively little about. If you like my "cartoony" style of maps suggest another region I can zoom in on and try next time I'm bored. Enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2022

Ull: Land of a Thousand Villains - Khafir the Slicer

Well met Greyhawk faithful! This week's entry to Ull: Land of a Thousand Villains is a baddie drawn from the original Fiend Folio. Despite the book's reputation for some of most vile creatures in all D&D fandom, let's see if this particular antagonist ends up being sympathetic to you and your players. This is Ull after all...  

Life in Kester is harsh, and tragedies are all too common to the point locals can become inured by its daily presence. This makes the back alleys of the city a haven for all manner of dangerous creatures”.

Khafir the Slicer (skulk, male)

   A few years ago, news of a back-alley serial killer known as Khafir the Slicer first spread among the rumor-mill of Kester. The Slicer, nicknamed by fearful beggars who discovered his eviscerated victims, has allegedly never been seen, nor has his home been found. Despite this, locals know the Slicer as Khafir, because the name is often marked in a grisly fashion on his victims or on nearby walls. Another calling-card of the Slicer is broken mirrors, leading some to wonder if Khafir is a vampire, though no blood is ever drained from the deceased. The truth is even more strange, in truth Khafir lives among the commoners of Kester yet beneath their notice. The only person who has claimed to see the Slicer is a nine-year old street urchin that considers Khafir an imaginary friend and protector, much to the scorn of other street gang youths.

   DM’s Campaign Notes: Khafir the Slicer is a lone Skulk. (see Fiend Folio, AD&D, or Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, 5E) The Slicer has been living in Kester for a long time now, thus he has advanced knowledge of the city’s roads, alleys, and shortcuts. Due to his natural “invisible” camouflage, the Slicer can move about day or night unseen by all but those with mirrors, or at times by certain small children. Lonely and generally paranoid, Khafir used to kill indiscriminately in order to survive, but he has now become skilled enough to inhabit the town without bringing too much attention. Khafir leaves his name scrawled at murder-sites not only to scare away troublemakers who get to close to finding his hideout, but also in hopes that another skulk recognizes this and makes contact.

   Khafir’s hideout changes as needed, and he has got exceptionally good at concealing his presence. His current home is in the shop of an apothecary, that according to signs hung on the entrance is either “closed” or “will return shortly”. All doors to the shop are locked, and the windows are dark and curtained. Persistent customers are directed by another sign to leave written orders with some payment through a slot in the door. So far, these rare orders have always been fulfilled, though no customer has ever seen who delivered the goods. In reality the skulk made the apothecary vanish and is now doing his best to keep up appearances as long as possible. The Slicer has no use for money, being able to take what it wants with ease. He has taken to watching over local street children, stealing them food and money and leaving it discreetly to be found. So far only one child has actually glimpsed Khafir. Surprisingly this development has now led the skulk to become protective of the kids, indeed more than a few adult thugs have met their end after harming these street youths.

   Khafir the Slicer makes an excellent villain for an urban-based murder mystery plot, as PCs follow the trail of bodies and clues to their inevitable source. The Slicer also makes a good foil for roguish characters who sneak about Kester at night or become too rich and arrogant. Given circumstances of the campaign, this villain could even become a valuable ally for certain character classes that are not so quick to judge.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Greyhawk Monsters: Thessalworg

Welcome back Greyhawkers! I tried my hand at 5E monster design recently with the Briar Golem. My next attempt, the Thessalworg is based on my love of the creepy weird Thessalhydra which first appeared in MM2. Thessalhydras are a magical combination of a hydra and some stock "thessal-monster" with a huge maw a pincer tail and acidic drool. Other monsters have gone on to reproduce with the progenitor Thessalhydra leading to weirder things like the Thessalmera and Thessalisk. We later find out in Age of Worms AP that a lich named Thessalar originally from Faerun but currently living in Rift Canyon is responsible for their genesis. So yes, DMs feel free to add the Thessalworg to your monster toolbox. If your players complain, blame it on the Forgotten Realms. Enjoy!

This horror is an unforeseen branch in the family of magical hydra hybrids called thessalmonsters. It partly resembles the thessalhydra, except that instead of the giant maw in the center of the ring of snake heads, it has a large wolfish head. Unlike sentient speaking worgs, the thessalworg is a slavering beast, that in particular attacks normal worgs and other canines on sight. Thessalworgs can be found in most any climate or terrain, either singly or in packs.

Large monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 45 (6d10 + 12)
Speed 40 ft.

STR 16 (+3)
DEX 13 (+1)
CON 15 (+2)
INT 5 (-3)
WIS 9 (-1)
CHA 7 (-2)

Skill Perception +3
Damage Immunities
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, stunned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Language -
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Keen Hearing and Smell. The thessalworg has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.


Multiattack. The thessalworg makes two attacks: one Bite attack, and either one Flurry of Bites attack or one Tail Pincer attack. Alternatively, it may use its Acid Saliva.

Flurry of Bites. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage plus 5 (2d4) poison damage.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Tail Pincer. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage, and the target is grappled. As an action, the target can escape the grapple by succeeding on a DC 13 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (its choice). Until this grapple ends, the thessalworg can’t use its tail pincer.

Acid Saliva (Recharge 5-6). The thessalworg spits a glob of acid at a point it can see within 30 feet of it. Each creature within 10 feet of that point must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.