"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's That Smell? , Improved Magic Mouth

"What's That Smell" is a module released by WICKed Press in 2001.  It is another D20/OGL released for the 3e of D&D. The module was  written in part by John Wick who is not an unknown in the gaming  industry. The module is 32 pages long and it is intended for  characters of 4th to 7th level and is the first in what is  marketed as a multi-module.

The multi-module concept is supposed to allow the same module to  be run multiple times and each will be different. It sets forth to  accomplish this by strategic elements in the module being variable  and letting the GM choose between them and then the module will  flow differently from there. I like this idea though I see it as  more of a benefit for the DM as there is rarely a reason to run  the same module for the same group more than once.

The adventure portion of the module is broken down into two  parts. The first is the village of Nobbletog Grove. This is normally a thriving halfling village that the adventures now find  abandoned. The module uses this part to set up a feeling of  uneasiness and dread. There are suggestions provided in the module  to further this along. The adventurers will also find clues here  that will aid them in the second portion.

The second part of the adventure will be the catacombs that are  below Nobbletog Grove. The reason for the village being deserted  is located in the catacombs. Without giving too much away the  cause is a spell that has gone wrong and opened a portal to a  space between worlds. Being a fan of Lovecraft I love the idea of  extra-dimensional beings as antagonists. The weirder the better and  a fine job of making them weird is done in the module.

Under the multi-module concepts much of the adventure is variable.  This includes the maps. The effect of the portal causes the rooms  to shift locations. I am going to steal this idea for a dungeon  sometime and merge it with the movie Cube....back to the review  though. The dungeon portion is a little on the smallish side will  be more than enough for a nights playtime. The maps are presented  in a geomorph format which can be copied and enlarged and then used  as needed.

The module will end up throwing some curve balls at the  adventuring party. These could end up causing a TPK situation if  the DM plays it right and to its full extent. I would temper this  in some fashion. It might even be possible for the players to  figure out what is going on first and turn the tables on what is suggested in the module.

At the end of the module there are a number of appendixes that  will aid the GM in running the module and understanding how  various portions should be played. They will also contain stat  blocks for the new creatures and information on the NPCs the  module contains. There are also a number of tables spread  throughout the module which a DM could take and use later for  other purposes.

One final note is about the encounters in the module. Each is  presented in a four part fashion. The first is the "Run-down"  which will provide the DM information on the encounter and what it  is about in game terms. The second is the "Set-up" which will  feature the traditional real aloud portion that seems to be  ever present in modules anymore. The third is the "Action" section  that describes the events that could happen in the encounter. The  fourth and final is the "Follow-up" which suggests the possible  means to further the adventure along. I got the feeling it was  close to being a script and in this module naming the characters  Gorman, Vasquez, Hudson and Hicks might be appropriate.


Spell:

Improved Magic Mouth


Level: Fifth
Range: 1/2"/Level
Duration: Special
Ares of Effect: One Object
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 2 Segments + Other Casting Time
Saving Throw: Special

This spell allows the magic user to cast a version of the standard  Magic Mouth spell. This version will be in all ways identical to  the original spell except that it will allow the Mouth to carry a  spell payload.

The spell will still only allow the mouth to speak for a message  of twenty-five words which can last no longer than one turn. The trigger  effect can also be either very simple or very complex based on the  desire of the caster. The trigger event also must occur within the  range based on the level but can be made to be less than that. The  material component is still the piece of honeycomb but the other  spells components will be required as well.

The difference is that this version will have the mouth reactivate  the round after the message is delivered. It will then cast the  spell the magic user cast into it. There is no save for the magic  mouth but the cast spell will have its normal saving throw.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the  write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the  80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other  than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be  slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of  spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :)  Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on  me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please  let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.

1 comment:

Mystic Scholar said...

I really like the twist they put on the Magic Mouth spell. Should allow for some very interesting situations . . .especially for those less familiar with Magic Mouth, as in, those who haven't seen it too often in a game.

Nice.

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