The Fist of the North: Crafting for Tabletop Gaming

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Last November, I began playing Dungeons & Dragons for the first time. Over this year, I’ve gotten really into the game–writing my own adventures, painting miniatures, constantly talking about it with friends, reviewing other adventures, creating characters, and using it as a prompt to write more broadly about ideas.

This’ll be my last D&D post for the year encompassing the two projects that have taken me the longest to complete–the painting of a set of minis and the construction of a large paper model.

 

The Red Banks Village of Brokaw

The setting I’m currently writing adventures for is called Red Banks. It’s not too much different than most campaign settings only more northern. It’s a sort of mixture of the North American Ice Age and pre-settler Wisconsin. I decided to take the name of the town where my grandfather worked in a paper mill and insert it in.

Then I collected what I thought would be a nice mixture of paper model buildings. Most are Dave Graffam Models but some are Lord Zsezse Works purchased via DriveThruRPG.com, printed at home on cardstock, and assembled over a week or so. I also went to Lowes, got some squares of vinyl title, and affixed the completed buildings to them so they’d be modular. I’ve five pieces total. There are several buildings where the roof can be removed for players to see and move their minis inside.

 

 

The Fist of the North

Currently, I’m writing a module or one-shot adventure involving a gang of ogres who have taken control of a town and are slowly draining it of its resources. Ogres are huge brutes typically depicted as stupid and lumbering. I don’t know if this really gives them enough credit. Ogres aren’t just blunt instruments used in battle by more savvy captains, rather they are their own gruesome and cruel entities. What ogres have is an astute sense of simplicity. Why take hundreds of hours to forge a greatsword, then hundreds of hours more to learn how to enchant it let alone wield it with maximum efficiency when you can just rip a small tree from the ground swinging it in the same motion to obliterate foes? 

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So, I created a gang of foul tempered ogres who’ve left the warring behind in favor of brutal exploitation. There are five of them (hence the ‘fist’) and they’ve descended upon Brokaw terrorizing it. The gang is camped outside of the town coming in together every five days or so to exact tribute. Occasionally, one of the gang will venture into Brokaw alone usually because they’re bored or feel like rectifying an imagined slight.

It took me about a week and half to finish these minis gotten from Reaper Miniatures. I finished them before I began writing the adventure or constructing the model setting. It was fun to paint them and draft the story to go along with each.

I’m hoping to have the adventure available for download come January. Until then, here are the stats I’ve made for each.

 

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Bastard Thun

The leader of the gang, Thun carries a ‘shield’ that is the door of the first tavern he ever destroyed, the Flaming Gullet whose patrons made the mistake of teasing a young Thun for not knowing what ale was. Since then, Thun has served as a soldier in multiple mercenary armies learning all the goblinoid languages, dwarvish, common and undercommon, as well as draconic. Covering in plate armor and chain, he swings a thick mace and has a knack for strategy. It was his idea to put down roots and lord over the tiny races in Brokaw. 

Large giant, chaotic evil
Armor Class 20 (plate & shield) 

Hit Points 10d10+21
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 8 (-1) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 7 (-2) 7 (-2)

Senses darkvision 60 ft. 
Languages Giant, Common, Undercommon, Goblin, Dwarvish, & Draconic

Martial Advantage. Once per turn,can deal an extra 2d6 damage to a creature it hits with a weapon attack if that creature is within 5 ft. of an ally that isn’t incapacitated.

Actions 
Multiattack.
Makes two Great Mace attacks.

Great Mace. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2d8 + 4 bludgeoning damage.

 

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Draggle

Technically, Draggle is a half-ogre, sometimes called an ogrillon (mix of orc and ogre). He is the smallest, angriest, and filthiest of the gang. Coming from the far north, Draggle made a name for himself in his region by hunting mammoths. Thun found him in an open field one day covered in mud having been unlucky in a confrontation with an unusually strong bull mammoth. Draggle was literally nearly stomped to death and so far into the ground Thun almost had to dig him out. Since then, Draggle follows Thun unquestioningly and delights in carrying out his leader’s cruel commands. Along the way, Draggle discovered an enchanted piece of wood he fashioned into a club. The weapon has a face on it perpetually letting out a silent scream, that is until Draggle enters combat and a blood chilling bellow comes from his weapon.

Large giant, any chaotic alignment
Armor Class 14 (breastplate) 

Hit Points 10d10+8 
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
17 (+3) 10 (0) 14 (+2) 10 (0) 9 (-1) 10 (0)

Senses darkvision 60 ft. 
Languages Common, Giant

Martial Advantage. Once per turn,can deal an extra 2d6 damage to a creature it hits with a weapon attack if that creature is within 5 ft. of an ally that isn’t incapacitated.

Actions 
Murderous Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8 + 3 bludgeoning. On a hit, it emits a shriek audible within 100 feet dealing 3d6 psychic damage to all creatures hostile to it and able to hear it. The target, whether hit or not, must succeed a DC 11 Wisdom check or be frightened for 1 minute.

 

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Xert

The elder brother of Irk, Xert fancies himself a musician carrying with him a war drum made from the bones and hide of past enemies. As the only magic user of the group, Xert is usually called upon to literally drum up healing and buffs for the gang. His love of beating his drum has led him to embrace thunderous spells. Xert is protective of his little brother and has been known to make irrational decisions when he suspects Irk is in trouble.

Large giant, chaotic evil
Armor Class 12 (hide) 

Hit Points 10d8+21 
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 8 (-1) 16 (+3) 10 (0) 7 (-2) 10 (0)

Senses darkvision 60 ft. 
Languages Giant, Common

Martial Advantage. Once per turn,can deal an extra 2d6 damage to a creature it hits with a weapon attack if that creature is within 5 ft. of an ally that isn’t incapacitated.

Bard: A 3rd level caster of bard spells, Xert knows the following:
Cantrips: Blade Ward, Thunderclap, Vicious Mockery 
1st level (4 slots): Healing Word, Cure Wounds, Thunderwave, Earth Tremor
2nd level (3 slots): Shatter, Locate Object, Blindness/Deafness
3rd level (3 slots): Sending, Fear

Actions 
Morningstar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2d8 + 4 piercing damage.

 

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Irk

Xert’s younger brother Irk adores battle and like his brother enjoys a song every now and then joining in with his Horn of Blasting. He also carries with him a +2 shield with the screaming giant’s skull fused into it. Like Thun, Irk loved soldiering soon becoming a mercenary looking for the most bloody of battles. Irk carries with him a piece of black, jagged metal (Vicious Longsword) that he likes to unsheathe when facing off against impressive opponents. 

Large giant, chaotic evil
Armor Class 19 (splint & shield) 

Hit Points 10d10+21 
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 8 (-1) 16 (+3) 10 (0) 7 (-2) 7 (-2)

Senses darkvision 60 ft. 
Languages Giant, Common

Martial Advantage. Once per turn,can deal an extra 2d6 damage to a creature it hits with a weapon attack if that creature is within 5 ft. of an ally that isn’t incapacitated.

Actions 
Multiattack.
Makes two attacks with either Morningstar or Vicious Longsword.

Morningstar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2d8 + 4 piercing damage.

Vicious Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8 + 4 slashing damage/ 1d10+4 slashing damage two-handed. When a 20 is rolled with this Magic Weapon, the target takes an extra 2d6 slashing damage.

Horn of Blasting. As an action, blow the horn emitting a thunderous blast in a 30-foot cone audible 600 feet away. Each creature in the cone must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 5d6 thunder damage and is Deafened for 1 minute. On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage and isn’t Deafened. Creatures and Objects made of glass or Crystal have disadvantage on the saving throw and take 10d6 thunder damage instead of 5d6. Each use of the horn’s magic has a 20 percent chance of causing the horn to explode. The explosion deals 10d6 fire damage to the blower and destroys the horn.

 

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Red Thom

Red Thom hates you. While many believe Thom got his name from his unique skin color, he actually earned the name due to his habit of pounding foes until they were a mere jam-like substance. Overkill is Red Thom’s watch-word. Thom join the gang because Thun convinced him he’d never have to hold back ever again and could attack any and everything he wanted. Since then, Red Thom has been on a gleeful murder spree. His only real weakness is having just one-eye but his own ferocity makes up for it.

Large giant, chaotic evil
Armor Class 12 (hide) 

Hit Points 10d10+21 
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 8 (-1) 16 (+3) 7 (-2) 7 (-2) 7 (-2)

Senses darkvision 60 ft. 
Languages Giant, Common

Poor Depth Perception. Disadvantage on any attack roll against a target more than 30 ft. away.

Martial Advantage. Once per turn,can deal an extra 2d6 damage to a creature it hits with a weapon attack if that creature is within 5 ft. of an ally that isn’t incapacitated.

Actions 
Multiattack. Makes three Greatclub attacks.

Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3d8 + 4 bludgeoning damage.

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