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Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF!
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TOPIC: Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF!
#3223
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 12 Months ago  
I'm proud to say that Behemoth3’s Masters and Minions series is designed for use with Master Maze, and that the first two Horde Books will be released at Gen Con on August 19th!

Each Horde Book is a “monster module� dedicated to one of the monsters that made roleplaying great. Our inspiration was the original dungeon modules; we love how each one used the dungeon as the starting point for an entire expansion to the game, including new spells, magic items, and monsters. With Masters and Minions we’ve done this in reverse by taking a classic monster as a starting point for a wealth of new stuff, including related creatures and the dungeons they live in!

Horde Book 1: A Swarm of Stirges features two sample lairs that showcase the new ecology we’ve created for the stirge: one outdoor lair and one subterranean lair based on a Master Maze layout. And Horde Book 2: Maze of the Minotaur has a two-level labyrinth lair designed specifically to be created with Master Maze.

Since the modules have grown out of our tournament, y’all have already seen pictures of the Dwarven Forge layouts for these lairs in this thread, so here’s part of the map for the subterranean stirge lair as it appears in Horde Book 1.
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Masters and Minions: The monsters you grew up with have grown up too - with lairs designed for Master Maze! Now available in print & PDF.
 
#3224
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 12 Months ago  
Here's a sample of the text from Horde Book 1 describing the lair. We're releasing each book as both a print and PDF edition. Owners of the print edition can download the electronic PDF for free, because although we love books and are glad to be in the business of making them, we think PDFs have lots of cool features as well. One of these cool features is that key words in the PDF are hyperlinked to our online database containing the core rules for the world's most popular roleplaying game. Try some of the links in the text below to see what I mean!

Subterranean Stirge Nest

In ages past, a society powerful in druidic magic created a number of subterranean enclaves beneath the Rushmoors. It is believed that they first altered the growth of a mangrove tree. Its roots grew to an enormous size and its trunk hollowed to form a descending shaft big enough to admit a grown human, complete with root-rungs. Once this living foundation was complete, the mud beneath the tree was transformed into rock walls. When drained of swamp-muck, these stone chambers made a secure and hidden living area and workshop complex. For centuries, the sturdy roots of the mangrove have anchored the great weight of these enclaves and prevented them from sinking into the muck.

Although this ancient race of druids is long vanished, many of their creations remain. Most of these ancient enclaves are now completely flooded, but whenever ashmalkins discover one, they joyfully pump out the muck and settle in to breed a nest of stirges.

The stonework of the enclave was finely crafted by its creators. The floors are smooth and the walls are often decorated by carvings, although both are usually hidden under a thick coat of slime and mold. The corridors are perfectly square, 10 ft. wide with 10 ft. high ceilings. Each chamber has a domed roof, which is 15 ft high in the outer chamber and 25 ft high in the central chamber.

Slippery unworked stone wall: 5 ft. thick; Hardness 8; hp 900; Break DC 65; Climb DC 25.

Slippery smooth stone floors: Algae and a few inches of swamp water make the floors of the enclave more treacherous, increasing the DC of Balance and Tumble checks by 5.

Non-Horde monsters that might also be encountered in this lair include:

Small nation:
Badger, CR 1/2
Snake, Small Viper, CR 1/2
Fungus, Shrieker, CR 1

Mighty nation
Crocodile, CR 2
Fungus, Violet, CR 3
Crocodile, Giant, CR 4
Tav_Behemoth
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Masters and Minions: The monsters you grew up with have grown up too - with lairs designed for Master Maze! Now available in print & PDF.
 
#3225
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 12 Months ago  
Tav,

Sounds Pretty Kewl... So This is a Complete System? Or a "New" D&D World?
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"To Succeed We Attack!"
 
#3226
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 12 Months ago  
Masters and Minions is an expansion for existing worlds; it's designed to be useful for any game that has stirges or minotaurs in it, just like the classic dungeon modules were useful for any game that involved descending into holes in the ground with torches and iron rations! We've put in some specific details, like the name of the Rushmoor Swamp and the history of the druidic enclaves. I chose this approach because as a DM I can always toss out the details I don't like and make up my own, but I find it bland and uninspirational when a module tries to be completely generic.

It's not really a complete system; the rules are all up on the web, but you'd still find it mighty handy to have the core rulebooks on hand. The monsters come from ancient myth or the earliest days of the original fantasy adventure, and the new ecology and concepts we've built around them can apply to any roleplaying game. The game stats provided are for the latest 3.5 revision; Rizak the Really Horrible at Dragonsfoot wished us the "best of luck with your bastardized, multi-edition type work", which is a fair enough description! We are planning to release versions of the Horde Books designed specifically to be used with earlier editions, but that's still in the future.
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Masters and Minions: The monsters you grew up with have grown up too - with lairs designed for Master Maze! Now available in print & PDF.
 
#3227
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 11 Months ago  
I Really Like How interconnected the Links are on your Site... By Following a Link in your Last Post, it led me to Creature Stats for that Beastie, (Which one would expect), but then there are Links all over the Place from there.... (Attributes, Additional Critters, Treasure all Kinds of Stuff)... So are these All D&D Monsters? And How did you Decide what to Include? OK... Maybe this is Not the Place for that Full Discussion... So Tell us More about the Dungeons... (Which are Related by Nature of Being of "The Forge" after All)...
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#3228
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 11 Months ago  
Ok... I Just Explored Your Site More Closely... And Most Of My Questions were Answered... So All I Can Really Say is Sounds Kewl... And Of Course the Teaser Pic You Showed of the Modual Art was Recognizable as being One of the Pics already Posted Right? So the Question is Are You Folks Using an Art Program along the lines pf Gridsmith or Dunjinni? Or Something Home Brewed?
MyLordVoid
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#3229
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 11 Months ago  
Yep, the module map is for the floor set lava pit setup we showed in the tournament thread. The maps were done by Sang Lee, the illustrator for both books. He worked from digital camera pictures of the tournament layouts and created the maps using Photoshop and elbow grease, I believe.

More about the dungeons:
- The minotaur lair is a labyrinth with 2 levels; the top level is their hunting ground/killing floor. It incorporates the tomb from the floor set, the mermaid fountain from Wicked Additions #2, and as many tricks and traps as you care to drop in!
- The bottom level is the minotaur's den; my favorite DF piece here is the mouth-doorway from the Wicked Additions set.
- The lairs are designed to work with a scaling encounter table that selects tactical units of monsters to challenge parties across a range of levels. The stirge lair covers parties from level 1-7, and the minotaur level covers levels 5-13.

More about the monsters:
About half the ones in the series were invented by Gygax, and about half are from classical mythology. The goal of Masters and Minions is to create a Horde for every monster in the 1979 MM that also appears in the System Reference Document. That's a big job, so we're starting with our favorites first! Monsters that were illustrated by Trampier in the original MM tend to be among the ones we love best.
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Masters and Minions: The monsters you grew up with have grown up too - with lairs designed for Master Maze! Now available in print & PDF.
 
#3230
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 11 Months ago  
So Can We Expect to See Volume Three "Bastion of the Rot Grub" Sometime in the Near Future? ...<Grin>... Seriously You Guys are Doing a lot of Work here so Kudos on your Labor of Love... (Have No Idea who Illustrated the Rot Grub Pic... But Along with the Stirges, these guys were an annoyance (A Deadly one), that I have always Cherished...<EFG>...)
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#3231
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 11 Months ago  
Sorry that was Me Forgetting to Log In...
MyLordVoid
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"To Succeed We Attack!"
 
#3232
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 11 Months ago  
The rot grub illustration ("Eek! My arm!") is by Donald C. Sutherland III, who did the stirges too. I share your love for the grub, MyLord; Nat and Brian like the big, powerful monsters but I'm drawn to the little, icky ones!

I just re-wrote the back cover text for the stirge book (the proofs we got back from the printer had a screw-up so we got the opportunity to make changes in the process of fixing it):
I am the stirge. For thirty years, you have fought me. I’ve lurked in caverns and wandered through swamps, waiting for the chance to sink my proboscis into your flesh and drink your blood.
Remember me? I’m not just a random encounter�I’m one of the monsters that made roleplaying great. Think you know all about me? Think again.
The Masters and Minions series begins with Horde Book 1: A Swarm of Stirges. With this monster module for the latest edition of the world’s most popular roleplaying game, you can:

* Believe in monsters again with four new creatures that create a complex and plausible ecology for the stirge, and a comprehensive challenge for those who encounter the Horde
* Roll your own legends with two options for player characters: rule the skies with the Wing Jockey prestige class, or get small with the six-inch race of ashmalkins
* Expand the game you’re already playing with adventure hooks, sample lairs, and a fully-rounded NPC displaying the potential of each of the five monsters in the Horde

So I reckon the cover for Horde Book 76: Bastion of the Rot Grub would read something like this:
I am the rot grub. For thirty years, you have been disgusted by me. I have infested piles of offal and dung, trusting that your greed will lead you to search absolutely every last thing in the dungeon, no matter how nasty. Think I'm just an annoyance? Think again; despite having 1 hit point and no intelligence to speak of, my vicious flesh-burrowing has toppled empires...
Unfortunately, the rot grub is a little beyond our mandate, since it didn't make it into the SRD. It is open content, though, by virtue of having appeared in Necromancer Games' Tome of Horrors, so it's not impossible we could make an exception for it (we're already planning to cheat by including the tarrasque, which wasn't in the original MM).

To try to keep this on-topic, though, which DF sets would we use for Bastion of the Rot Grub? I don't imagine the Rotting Meat-Locker set is due any time soon.

A sewer passages set might be just right for the rot grub, though. That's a set I'd love to see & that I think would come out wicked cool! Maybe because I like icky monsters, I've always loved sewer adventures; one of the big disappointments in my life was when my (future) wife wouldn't let me visit the Paris sewers because we had a fancy dinner date later that afternoon...
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Masters and Minions: The monsters you grew up with have grown up too - with lairs designed for Master Maze! Now available in print & PDF.
 
#3233
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 11 Months ago  
Tav,

DF Sets for Hoard Book #76 "Bastion of The Rot Grub"... Well I Think Caverns would be Likely if they Were or had Been Some other Critters Lair... (You Did Say that You Folks are Building Basic Ecological Arguments for these Creatures being in the Environments in which they are encountered right?)... Of Course with the Floor Sets Coming Out there is also the Tomb Floor Piece, Which could be part of a Larger Tomb Complex, and The Rot Grub Could have been seeded there in small numbers in Aeons past as Natural guardians... (Eventually Working their way up through the Sewers and ultimatley Decimating the Population of the Now Desolate Ruins above the Tomb)?...

In Any Event I Agree with the Sewers Idea, Especially if they are Just Generic Enough to Be Useful in a Variety of Different Genre'... (Is That Plural?)... And I Agree also on the Icky Monster Idea... Slimes Molds and Jellies, Snakes and Spiders and Giant Rats are all likely candidates for scareing Young Players, and tricking Older more Experienced Players into letting their Guard down... "Oh Another Lair of Giant Rats? Let me Handle this...?" Famous Last Words of the Ever Arogant Barbarian Fighter Guy...

Also Since MBA produces a Very Nice Looking little Privy... Well You Get the Idea, although this sort of Charater Hook May only Appeal to a Certain specific Audience...<Smirk>...
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"To Succeed We Attack!"
 
#3234
Masters and Minions monster modules designed for DF! 9 Years, 11 Months ago  
I like the caverns idea for the rot grub - maybe it'd still be occupied by the other beasts who were leaving dung and carrion for the grubs to feed on? The tomb grubs might run out of food pretty quickly, although it's possible that the grubs encyst themselves like brine shrimp to survive long periods without food & just emerge from their cysts when light or vibration alert them to the approach of possible prey...

The next monsters on our schedule are remorhaz and otyughs (released at Gen Con SoCal), mummies, troglodytes, medusas, and purple worms (next year). We're eager for suggestions, though; what other monsters do y'all want to see Hordes for?
Tav_Behemoth
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Masters and Minions: The monsters you grew up with have grown up too - with lairs designed for Master Maze! Now available in print & PDF.
 
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