Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Monster: Clurichaun - The Drunken Leprechaun

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone!  This is one of my favorite holidays, because I will take any opportunity to make and eat corned beef.  In the vein of past holiday monsters, thought I would share the holiday joy with you, my loyal readers, by creating this holiday-appropriate monster:

T.C. Croker via Wikimedia
Believe it or not, this is the best public-domain picture available for a clurichaun.
The clurichaun (or cluricaune, or clobhair-ceann, or lugirgadaune) is a leprechaun-like sprite from Irish folklore that just loves alcohol and mischief.  Here are some telling quotes from The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, by Patricia Monaghan (2004: Facts On File, Inc.):

Fond of tippling, the cluricaune would steal into wine cellars, especially those belonging to alcoholics, to steal a few bottles.  He was hard to exterminate, for if an owner tried to move, the cluricaune would simply travel along inside a cask.

One cluricaune named Little Wildbeam, who haunted a Quaker family in Cork, was most helpful if a servant left a bit of beer dripping from the cask; he shrank and wedged himself into the spigot so that not a drop was lost.  If the maids did not feed him well, the fairy came out at night and beat them senseless.  

I swear this is an actual piece of Irish folklore and not a 19th century racist caricature of an Irishman.

The following text in gold is available as Open Game Content under the OGL. Open Game Content is ©2015 Jonah Bomgaars.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Medieval Tournaments on the Tabletop

Spring Tournament at the Royal Armouries, Leeds - photo credit: me
Sometimes you fight people without trying to kill them.  Today, that's called 'sports', but in the Middle Ages it was called a tournament.  Imagine if the winning team in the Super Bowl was the one that kidnapped the most members of the opposing team, or if the winner of the Home Run Derby got a falcon and a sack of gold coins.  Tournaments were a form of mock-combat, ritualized and regulated into a violent and lucrative sporting competition.  So how do you put one of those in your D&D game?  Allow me, d20 Despot and Master of Medieval History, to be your guide to the world of the medieval tournament, including rules for running them at your gaming table.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Advanced Character Sheet 3.0 for Pathfinder

Download it HERE!
Or if you don't need the Spellcaster or Animal pages, click here!

It's that time of year again - the time I roll out a new and improved character sheet for use with the Pathfinder roleplaying game.*  This one marks a distinct break from previous iterations of the character sheet:

Keen eyed readers will note that this character sheet is sideways.  The idea behind the move from 'portrait' to 'landscape' is that the sheet won't project out onto the gaming surface as much, leaving more room for the battle map on cramped tables.  At the same time, I was able to fit even more stuff on each page!  Fans of my older character sheets will notice a lot of streamlining in design.  Let's dig into it page-by-page and check out all the unique and useful features this character sheet offers!