Free Fantasy eBooks for October 2022

I periodically have book sales (usually half price) and also free ebook offers. During October 2022 there will be a number of ebooks that will be either free or on sale (sales available in the USA and UK only).

And because Halloween is coming the big theme during October is "Dark Fantasy", and thus my Lilith Bloodstone series is on full display.

The following books will be free on the corresponding dates:

October 1st to 5th

  • "Lilith Bloodstone: The Black Rose" - A young necromancer fights undead, murderers and demons in this series of three Dark Fantasy short stories. (Stories 1, 2 & 3.)

October 8th to 12th

  • "Lilith Bloodstone: On Death's Door" - A young necromancer fights undead, murderers and demons in this series of three Dark Fantasy short stories. (Stories 4, 5 & 6.)
  • "Hunting Hitler" - A historical spy thriller about a NATO Intelligence agent sent to Argentina in 1955.

October 15th to 19th

October 22nd to 26th


1/2 Price eBook Sales, October 1st to 7th

  • "The Blizzard's Daughter" - Hunter and tracker Wrathgar is tasked with tracking down a missing daughter and bringing her back safely in this pulp fiction length Heroic Fantasy.
  • Regularly $5.99 for the ebook, on sale for $2.99.

 



  • "The Girl in the Red Hoodie" - Teenager Yasmeena confronts white supremacist terrorists hellbent on destroying the city of Toronto in this boxing themed Action-Adventure set in an Alternative History version of 2020.
  • Regularly $9.99 for the ebook, on sale for $4.99.

 


Free Fantasy eBooks, September 17th to 21st

I periodically have book sales (usually half price) and also free ebook offers. Currently the following fantasy ebooks are available from September 17th until September 21st:

 

Dark Shadows in the Moonlight

The Bogatyr knight has been hired by a Habbel village to track down a forest demon that murdered three children and kill it, but can he defeat the huge beast? And why did the demonic Leshy attack the Habbel village in the first place?

"
The Adventures of the Bogatyr" is a series of short stories, novelettes and novellas, telling the tales of a wandering Bogatyr knight who encounters strange magical phenomenon, unusual creatures (both living and undead), and the sometimes mean spirited humans, elves and other humanoids who live in the kingdom of Korovia.

Learn more about the kingdom of Korovia by visiting fiction.charlesmoffat.com/korovia/


The Cult of the She-Bear

Wulfric the Wanderer has traveled back in time to Korovia's Stone Age, when it is on the cusp of the Bronze Age. He has earned the trust and respect of the chieftain Ko Margus, and Wulfric has accepted that he is somehow destined to be trapped in this time period for the time being. But trouble is afoot. The priest of the tribe doesn't trust him and is growing suspicious. Worse, the tribe is being splintered between those who worship the tribe's horse god and a cult within their ranks of those who worship a she-bear goddess.

When the tribe finds megalithic carvings of bears in the side of a mountain the two sides begin to bicker about whether to destroy the carvings. Wulfric decides to investigate the nearby caves and the cave art within, finding more caverns that delve deeper into the mountain. What he doesn't know is that the bear carvings outside are magical wards that prevent a demonic entity inside the mountain from escaping. If the carvings are destroyed the entity will be freed and it will be able to feed once more...

 


The Quorum of Kaŝe

Books I and II of The Quorum of Kaŝe duology by Charles Moffat.

The Dragontree of Kaŝe

Adaoma is working in her crystal ball and magical orb shop in the mystical hidden city of Kaŝe off the coast from Lagos, Nigeria when she receives a strange phone call from her twin sister Adaora. Her twin tells her that terrorists have escaped from Rura Penthe, the extra-dimensional prison for housing criminal wizards and witches. But to escape the clutches of the law the terrorists need a portal to another world and only one such portal exists: The Dragontree of Kaŝe.

Join Adaoma and Adaora on their adventures as they travel from Nigeria and Greenland to London to Nigeria and back to the hidden city of Kaŝe as they struggle to stop the terrorists from escaping. But the terrorists didn't escape by accident. They had help from the biggest dragon anyone has ever seen. They might be skilled witches, but they are no match for a gigantic dragon that is immune to magic.

The Dragonslayers of Kaŝe


Adaora wants revenge on the huge ancient dragon who destroyed the mystical hidden city of Kaŝe that lies off the coast of Lagos Nigeria. Her home is in ruins and while the survivors are rebuilding the city it will never be the same. The scars run too deep. She isn't alone either. Others like her want to kill the dragon, but killing the dragon is no easy matter. It is almost completely immune to magic. Witches, war wizards, archmages... It doesn't matter. Their magic is useless against the dragon.

"Like trying to kill a fish by splashing it with water." So says her twin sister Adaoma. Her twin is resistant to getting revenge on the dragon, but together Orry and Oma must find a way. They know how to get to the dragon's home world via the Dragontree of Kaŝe, and they know how to find the dragon using a new Dragonorb that Oma is making. Once they are there however they need to use some mundane means to kill the dragon - and without getting killed themselves.

 

WANT MORE FREE EBOOKS OR SALES?

Check amazon.com/author/moffat once per week to see what is available for free or on sale.

Many of the stories are also available in paperback format if you prefer paper over digital.


WANT TO ADVERTISE YOUR FANTASY BOOKS ON NERDOVORE.COM?

Only $20 USD per post. Contact lilithgallery@gmail.com for more details.

Weird Westerns by Charles Moffat

A Dark Road in Louisiana

By Charles Moffat

Release Date: October 1st 2022

The Atchafalaya Basin is a home to giants.

Alligators, boars and other strange things that an unwary traveler may fall prey to when traversing the swamp alone. Such foul creatures stalk the waterways and pockets of dry land, shrouded by ancient trees that survive amongst the muck, that only a fool would travel through such a place on foot. Let alone late at night.

The sucking sound of mud on boots added to the deluge of noises in the twilight of the swamp. A narrow path made its way through the swamp, but the man from Salem, Massachusetts, was unbothered by the noises or the fading light of the sun in the west. What nocturnal creatures fed here, or during the day, didn't seem to bother him. Even the mosquitoes stayed out of his way.

The most dangerous creatures in this swamp were likely men after all. Thieves. Bank robbers. Murderers. From both west and east of Louisiana, it mattered not where they came from. There was a long list of outlaws who would seek refuge in such a place, braving the alligators rather than face the long arm of the law.

But the man from Salem was no law man. He was tall and well built, handsome even, despite the black beard and wavy black hair, with a lean waist and scars on his well muscled arms and hands. His piercing grey-blue eyes stared into the darkness, shrouded by the brim of his black stetson. How old he was was anyone's guess. Thirty? Forty? Fifty? There were touches of grey in his beard and hair, but his face seemed to be grizzled more by the mileage he had traveled rather than by the years he had lived.

One might have mistaken him for a law man, perhaps, but just as likely they might think he was an outlaw too. An outlaw down on his luck as he had no horse, but carried over his left shoulder a dark brown saddle speckled with dried blood. He could be a Confederate soldier too, or a deserter, judging by the twin LeMat revolvers snug in their holsters of his well worn gun belt, but he bore no other markings of such a man.

...

Want to keep reading this historical dark fantasy / weird west short story by Charles Moffat? Order the ebook from Amazon: A Dark Road in Louisiana.

+

Folly of the Forlorn
By Charles Moffat
Release Date: December 1st 2022
"The Man from Salem" is visiting Niagara Falls, on the American side of the border, and settles down for an evening of playing poker. His opponent? A tall, thin and handsomely dressed stranger that has somehow enthralled all of the staff at an inn that overlooks the falls...

...

A Weird Western / historical dark fantasy short story by Charles Moffat. Order the ebook from Amazon: Folly of the Forlorn.


Free Fantasy eBooks, September 10th to 14th

 I periodically have book sales (usually half price) and also free ebook offers. Currently the following fantasy ebooks are available from September 10th until September 14th:

 

Portal of Destiny

Wulfric has grown weary of hunting in the Snowfell Mountains of Korovia and decides to head south, looking for danger and adventure. What he finds however is a portal that takes him back in time to when legendary warriors walked the land, and when great dragons ate warriors like himself as a snack.

The legendary origin story of Sword and Sorcery hero Wulfric the Wanderer.

 Visit fiction.charlesmoffat.com/korovia/ to learn more about the land of Korovia and other books by Charles Moffat.

 

The Bogatyr & the Rusalka's Lament

The Bogatyr knight hears the haunting singing of a Rusalka before arriving in the Habbel city of Shorin, where he later learns that there is a wanted poster for the Rusalka. Short on coin, he hatches a scheme for how to defeat her, but killing her and actually getting paid for his hard often requires a little extra effort.

"
The Adventures of the Bogatyr" is a series of short stories, novelettes and novellas, telling the tales of a wandering Bogatyr knight who encounters strange magical phenomenon, unusual creatures (both living and undead), and the sometimes mean spirited humans, elves and other humanoids who live in the kingdom of Korovia.

 



The Dragontree of Kaŝe

Adaoma is working in her crystal ball and magical orb shop in the mystical hidden city of Kaŝe off the coast from Lagos, Nigeria when she receives a strange phone call from her twin sister Adaora. Her twin tells her that terrorists have escaped from Rura Penthe, the extra-dimensional prison for housing criminal wizards and witches. But to escape the clutches of the law the terrorists need a portal to another world and only one such portal exists: The Dragontree of Kaŝe.

Join Adaoma and Adaora on their adventures as they travel from Nigeria and Greenland to London and Lagos and back to the hidden city of Kaŝe as they struggle to stop the terrorists from escaping. But the terrorists didn't escape by accident. They had help from the biggest dragon anyone has ever seen. They might be skilled witches, but they are no match for a gigantic dragon that is immune to magic.

Canadian author Charles Moffat explores AfroFantasy, Urban Fantasy and High Fantasy in this fast paced fantasy adventure for all ages. Learn more by visiting fiction.charlesmoffat.com.


The Sunken Castle

Wrathgar and Soljargon are venturing south towards the capital city of Oraknev and are hired by a group of four gnomes to help them navigate through a flooded swamp in order to create a new trade route. The gnomes suspect the region is now populated with snake worshipers who follow the snake god Set, but much worse than snakes now populates this forbidding trek of swampy land. When they arrive at a castle sunken into the swamp they decide to make camp for night... And then things go from bad to worse.

Part of The Adventures of Wrathgar series of novels and short stories. Visit fiction.charlesmoffat.com to see the reading order.


WANT MORE FREE EBOOKS OR SALES?

Check amazon.com/author/moffat once per week to see what is available for free or on sale.

Many of the stories are also available in paperback format if you prefer paper over digital. 



1/2 Price Sales!

The following two ebooks are also currently on sale (half price) from September 10th to 16th. However these particular sales are only good in the USA and the UK.

The Assassin's Trail

$2.99 (regularly $5.99) per ebook.

$9.99 per paperback, $19.99 per hardcover.

Five years after undergoing the Test of Manhood, young Wrathgar has come of age and is tasked with bringing back the head of the murderer Muddenklaw who sought vengeance against his own people and murdered innocents. But Muddenklaw has escaped from the Snowfell Mountains and fled south past the dreaded Ogre Swamp to the more civilized lands to the south, becoming a murderer-for-hire.

Will Wrathgar be able to find the murderer, and bring about justice for those who were killed? Or will Muddenklaw escape into a world of assassins who hide in the shadows waiting to strike? Who will win in the showdown between the barbarian ranger and the assassin?

 

The Coven's Wolves

$4.99 (regularly $9.99) per ebook.

$15.99 per paperback, $29.99 per hardcover.

Wrathgar has decided to wait out the harsh Korovian winter in an inn south of Oraknev, home to legendary hot springs said to have healing properties. But not everything at the hot springs are as they seem. First one of the guests is mysteriously murdered and the bite marks suggest they were mauled by some kind of large wolf. Dark forces are at work at the hot springs and the other people staying at the inn to wait out the winter are in for more danger than they bargained for at a place that is supposed to increase your longevity.

With bow and arrow, Wrathgar and others set out to kill the mysterious wolf that is killing the inn's patrons, but there is more than one wolf - and some of the wolves are possessed by some kind of dark magic. They begin to fear they are but lambs to the slaughter.

A fantastical murder mystery story by Charles Moffat set in the kingdom of Korovia. Learn more by visiting fiction.charlesmoffat.com


Free Fantasy eBooks, September 3rd to 7th

I periodically have book sales (usually half price) and also free ebook offers. Currently the following fantasy ebooks are available from September 3rd until September 7th:

The Dragonslayers of Kaŝe

Adaora wants revenge on the huge ancient dragon who destroyed the mystical hidden city of Kaŝe that lies off the coast of Lagos Nigeria. Her home is in ruins and while the survivors are rebuilding the city it will never be the same. The scars run too deep. She isn't alone either. Others like her want to kill the dragon, but killing the dragon is no easy matter. It is almost completely immune to magic. Witches, war wizards, archmages... It doesn't matter. Their magic is useless against the dragon.

"Like trying to kill a fish by splashing it with water." So says her twin sister Adaoma. Her twin is resistant to getting revenge on the dragon, but together Orry and Oma must find a way. They know how to get to the dragon's home world via the Dragontree of Kaŝe, and they know how to find the dragon using a new Dragonorb that Oma is making. Once they are there however they need to use some mundane means to kill the dragon - and without getting killed themselves.

Book II of the Quorum of Kaŝe Duology. Part of Moffat's "Alt-Earth" series



Black Monoliths of Al-Kazar

Tahira, Wulfric's great love, is dead and the barbarian from Korovia decides to strike out on his own. His journey brings him to a Quinian trading post on the coast of Al-Kazar... But what he encounters there however is black magic and 'Black Monoliths of Al-Kazar'. Forced into slavery Wulfric the Wanderer must unlock his own rage within the dark abyss of his soul.





The She-Wolf of Eraska

The Bogatyr knight, Ilya Bogdanovic, regales the minstrel Valeska with a story of werewolves while waiting for service at the Griffon and Gables. But the story takes a dark turn when he reveals the werewolves are led by a She-Wolf, one of the legendary progenitors of lycanthropy, who have other more devious means for turning men into werewolves...

"The Adventures of the Bogatyr" is a series of short stories, novelettes and novellas, telling the tales of a wandering Bogatyr knight who encounters strange magical phenomenon, unusual creatures (both living and undead), and the sometimes mean spirited humans, elves and other humanoids who live in the kingdom of Korovia.


WANT MORE FREE EBOOKS OR SALES?

Check amazon.com/author/moffat once per week to see what is available for free or on sale.

Helene Half-Elven of Weyvin - 3rd Edition D&D Pregenerated Character

I am currently in the planning stage for running a 3rd Edition (3.0) campaign set in Korovia, which will be a comedic fantasy, in contrast to some of my previous campaigns which focused on:

  • The Stone Age-Bronze Age Cusp
  • The Dark Ages
  • The War of the Usurper (Heroes)
  • The War of the Usurper (Time Paradox Survivors)

In order to facilitate comedic storytelling I have opted to use pregenerated characters during the comedic fantasy campaign, which will also be set during the War of the Usurper. Below are the stats for one of the characters who will be appearing in the comedic fantasy campaign.

 


 

Helene Half-Elven of Weyvin

3rd level Half-Elf Cleric of Metrequia, Neutral Good

  • Str 9
  • Dex 15
  • Con 13
  • Int 11
  • Wis 17
  • Chr 14

Physical Description - Helene is very short and very skinny, which is reflected in her low strength. She is 4'7" tall and 82 lbs. (Her height/weight varies a bit by Edition as it is literally the absolute smallest height/weight allowed by the edition for a female half-elf.) Her armour, weapons, shield and clothes are decorated with symbols of Metrequia, such that they also double as holy symbols.

Personality - Helene is obsessed with fashion / collecting clothes and her devotion to the silver moon goddess Metrequia, arguably in that order. She has a bubbly / talkative personality, but can also be serious and even a good leader when forced to be. (I modeled part of her personality from Quinn Morgendorfer from the TV show "Daria", so feel free to watch a few episodes of that to get a feel for her character.)

Background - Helene was raised by her half-elven parents in Weyvin, a port city where half-elves are relatively common. Both of her parents were scholars and academics, and as such she was expected to go into academia, but instead chose to join the priesthood of Metrequia.

Tactics - Helene sees herself as a dedicated healer and support to other characters, especially any characters who worship Metrequia, Valmaria or Belnark.

Hit Points - 9 per level (27)

Belongings of Note - Banded Mail, Steel Shield, Small Warhammer. She has a tendency to travel light.

Base Attack Bonus +2

Saving Throws

  • Fort +4
  • Ref +3
  • Will +6

Half-Elf Abilities - Immunity to Sleep spells, +2 vs Charm spells, Low Light Vision, Elven Alertness (+1 to spot, search, listen).

Cleric Abilities - Turn Undead, Divine Spellcasting, Domain Spells (Good and Healing).

Feats - Improved Shield Bash, Extra Turning.

Skills - Concentration, Diplomacy, Fashion Knowledge, Heal, Religion Knowledge.

Languages - Common (Korovian), Elvish.

Preferred Spells

0 (4 per day) - Cure Minor Wounds, Detect Magic, Light, Virtue.

1 (3+1) - Cure Light Wounds, Bless, Command, Protection from Evil.

2 (3+1) - Cure Moderate Wounds, Hold Person, Silence.


Notes

  • Starting Stats for All Characters - 17, 15, 14, 13, 11, 9.
  • All characters (and baddies) have Max Hit Points.

Wrathgar Dungeons and Dragons Stats - 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Editions

Wrathgar Baarstammderstark (aka Wrathgar, Son of Wulfric) is the main character from "The Adventures of Wrathgar" book series by Charles Moffat (yours truly).

So far I have published 5 books about the character and 1 novelette (The Sunken Castle).

The book series includes:

However I have also played Wrathgar in a number of Dungeons and Dragons campaigns during the past two decades, including a number of Adventurer's League games, as well as versions on DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) and Skyrim. I have played Wrathgar in every version of D&D except 4th and Basic.

Description of Wrathgar

Wrathgar is 6'2" tall with wide shoulders, bearded, with wavy black hair, and a darker complexion. Sporting a helmet with antlers, fur/hide armour, a longbow, a huge sword (called a Grosseklinge it is considered a sacred weapon amongst his people) and a bearded axe he is a physically imposing warrior, weighing approx. 220 lbs.

Despite his name, Wrathgar almost never loses his temper (no spoilers here). In D&D terms he sounds like he is a barbarian, and indeed was raised amongst a barbarian tribe (the Baarstammderstark) in the Snowfell Mountains of Korovia, but he is actually a ranger.

Wrathgar is friendly to most people, but in the early books he is naive and his personality changes gradually over time. His interests revolve around woodcraft, tracking, hunting and to a lesser extent herbalism and animals (notably dogs, wolves, horses, owls).

Note - Some of you may recall that I gained a Hero Forge Miniature of Wrathgar back in 2015 and painted it. Shown here on the right. I have used it in various D&D campaigns since then as Wrathgar's miniature.

Alignment of Wrathgar

Neutral Good: Wrathgar obeys the law, most of the time. He isn't reckless or untrustworthy, quite the opposite. His tendency is to be cautious and wise about his decisions, despite being naive in his younger years. Likewise Wrathgar is bound by his sense of good and ideals concerning heroism, having been raised by his father (Wulfric the Wanderer) with stories of far off adventures in strange lands, and also being raised by High Shaman Korflex (who was effectively Wrathgar's surrogate father after Wulfric departed in an attempt to find his missing wife/Wrathgar's mother).

Wrathgar has his own personal sense of honour and how people should behave, and as such he actively tries to avoid being rude to other people - unless he feels they deserve it. Likewise Wrathgar is capable of violence, but he doesn't actively seek it out. Rather he is a natural protector and leader, more concerned with safeguarding those around him than going off in search of revenge/etc.

1st Edition Vs 2nd Edition Wrathgar

The rules for 1st Edition and 2nd Edition are almost identical, but with a number of key differences that affect Wrathgar's abilities, hit points and skills. For example in 2nd Edition a system for choosing skills was introduced and Weapon Specialization was introduced for the Fighter class.

Thus below I will be presenting the 2nd Edition version of Wrathgar, but for anyone familiar with both it is very easy to convert 2E Wrathgar into 1E Wrathgar. Just drop the skills, adjust the hit points, and no dual-classed Fighter level so he has Weapon Specialization.

Levels vs Books

Obviously Wrathgar would be a different level depending upon what stage of his life he is in, or in book terms it varies upon what book you are reading. For narrative purposes Wrathgar "levels up" roughly once per book. However I am not going to go into great detail here with respect to hit points, level, magical items gained during his career, etc because that would possibly include spoilers for people reading the books

2nd Edition Version of Wrathgar

Wrathgar, Human Ranger, NG

Str 18/66, which notably includes a +2 to hit and +3 to damage.
Dex 12
Con 15, which notably includes +1 to his hit points per level.
Int 13
Wis 17, which notably includes a +3 vs Charms/mind magic/etc.
Chr 10
Cms 11*

* I decided to include his Comeliness stat for anyone curious about that. Comeliness is an optional stat that was popular in 1st Edition. 

Armour - During book one of the series Wrathgar starts with hide/fur armour, and a wooden shield. This changes gradually overtime. No spoilers!

Weapons - Grosseklinge Two-Handed Sword, Siegmut (Bearded Axe +1), Composite Longbow, Dagger. Again, Wrathgar's choice of weapons changes gradually overtime. After gaining Siegmut he starts using the axe more often and the Grosseklinge less.

Ranger Abilities - Ranger Tracking, Ranger Alertness vs Surprise, Favoured Enemy (Giants and Giant kin).

Skills - Bowyer/Fletcher, Read/Write, Hunting, Survival, Herbalism. (He doesn't necessarily start with all of these, but he definitely gains them all over time, plus others. No spoilers.)

Languages - Korovian (Common), Elvish (he speaks it with a Wood Elf accent), and two other languages learned later (no spoilers).

Notes

If I could make one important change to the above stats, it would be to have Wrathgar start off as a Fighter, take 2 levels of Fighter, have him Specialize in either Battleaxe or Longbow, and then dual class as a Ranger. So Ranger 20/Fighter 2. Since there is no specialization in the core rules for 1st Edition there is no need to do this, but if it was a 2nd Edition game then it would be worth it.

Note also that his Wisdom is also sufficient for him to dual class as a Cleric if he wanted to, which is relevant because I once played a 3rd Edition version of Wrathgar who had levels in Cleric. Likewise as a Ranger he does gain access to various spells at higher levels, but it is my feeling that those spells should feel like they are more extensions of his ranger skills that benefit his combat and stealth abilities.

3rd Edition Version of Wrathgar

The one and only time I played a 3rd Edition version of Wrathgar he ended up being partially a cleric, mostly because the group needed a healer. However if I was to redesign the character for 3rd Edition here's what I feel his stats would be:

Str 18
Dex 13
Con 15
Int 12
Wis 17
Chr 10

So as you can see I have copy/pasted the 1st/2nd Edition stats and swapped the Int and Dex scores because I feel that it makes more sense for his character to meet certain archery related prerequisites... and since 3rd Edition doesn't have Comeliness, that is just plain gone.

Another change I would make would be with respect to his class. In my opinion he should be a Ranger/Fighter. Or possibly even a Ranger/Fighter/Rogue. Or... Ranger/Fighter/Rogue/Barbarian. Or even a few levels of Cleric. Honestly, it is rather difficult to choose which direction to go in. Wrathgar (despite his name) almost never loses his temper. But being able to Rage like a barbarian once in a while would be useful. Likewise a level or two of rogue doesn't sound out of character for him. Thus for anyone recreating Wrathgar you could either go with a more vanilla version, or a more bizarre version with Rogue, Barbarian or Cleric levels mixed in.

But ultimately I think the combo that makes the most sense is Ranger 14/Fighter 6. I feel this is the most accurate to his character because I don't see Wrathgar as being a spellcaster type, although he certainly gains that at higher levels.

The big difference for 3rd Edition is the introduction of Feats, and you will see why I swapped the Int & Dex.

Feats

  • 1st level - Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot
  • 2nd level *F1* - Weapon Focus Longbow
  • 3rd level *F2* - Improved Unarmed Strike, Precise Shot
  • 5th level *F4* - Weapon Specialist Longbow
  • 6th level *F5* - Mounted Combat
  • 7th level *F6* - Mounted Archery
  • 9th level - Weapon Focus Axe
  • 12th level - Weapon Specialist Axe
  • 15th level - Leadership
  • 18th level - Far Shot

Skills - Animal Empathy, Craft (Bowyer/Fletcher), Craft (Herbalism Poisons/Poultices), Handle Animal, Hide, Move Silently, Ride, Swim, Use Rope, Wilderness Lore. (At lower levels he might only have a few ranks in certain skills.)

Magic - At higher levels Wrathgar would also gain spells, but as mentioned further above (and below) I see such spells as being merely an extension of his ranger skills in terms of stealth and combat. So try to pick spells that relate to those two things.

5th Edition Version of Wrathgar

When playing in Adventurers League I made a 5E version of Wrathgar, during which he took 2 levels of Rogue so he could be stealthier. This was ultimately a wise decision because in combination with his other abilities, certain magical items and Ranger stealth magic it made it possible for him to hide at will, often in plain sight, and made it almost impossible for other people to notice him without magical aid. (In some respects this ends up being akin to the DDO and Skyrim versions of Wrathgar who was also a stealth archer.)

Like the 3rd Edition version it makes a bit of sense that Wrathgar might also have a few levels of Fighter or Barbarian, but since my AL version had 2 levels of Rogue we will follow that instead.

Obviously that means Wrathgar was restricted to the base starting stats for Adventurers League, but since my goal here is to push the idea of Wrathgar's "official stats" I am instead going to ignore the AL stats and instead use the same stats from the 3rd Edition version of Wrathgar. (Plus it has been over 5 years since I played Wrathgar in AL so I cannot be bothered to find his character sheet. I think it is in the basement somewhere...)

Str 18
Dex 13
Con 15
Int 12
Wis 17
Chr 10

Also it should be noted that Wrathgar won't be getting the stat increases at various levels and will get 5E Feats instead. Likewise we will ignore the Variant Human Traits (5E PHB page 31) bonus to his ability scores. See the list of Wrathgar's Abilities further below.

Background

One of the big changes in 5E D&D is the introduction of different backgrounds. The following backgrounds all make sense for Wrathgar:

  • Acolyte (since he was briefly trained to possibly become a shaman);
  • Hermit (feels closer to his shamanic training plus comes with a Herbalism kit tool proficiency);
  • Outlander (because he grew up amongst barbarians and considers himself to be a barbarian).

Of these 3 Hermit makes the most sense, even though Wrathgar is obviously not a hermit. The skills match what he does. I see Wrathgar as being more of a hunter/woodsman, which is similar to a hermit.

Skills/Languages/Tools - Animal Handling, Athletics, Medicine, Nature, Religion, Stealth, Survival, Thieves Tools, Herbalism Tools, Common (Korovian), Elvish, 1 bonus language (no spoilers).

Abilities

Many of Wrathgar's abilities depend upon what level he is.

1 - Favoured Enemy (Giants), Natural Explorer (Forest), Feat (Sharpshooter).
2 - Fighting Style (Archery), Spellcasting*.

* I see Wrathgar's spellcasting ability as being more like "skills" rather than magic per se. Example: One of his spells is "Pass Without Trace", which allows him to move stealthily without leaving a trail. For story reasons I treat that as essentially being part of his stealth skill as opposed to an actual spell. Similarly the spell "Jump" is effectively just part of his ability to jump further than normal people, and Hunter's Mark representative of his archery skill.

3 - Ranger Archetype (Hunter / Colossus Slayer), Primeval Awareness.
4 - Feat (Heavily Armoured).
5 - Extra Attack.
6 (Rogue 1) - Expertise (Stealth and Athletics), Sneak Attack +1d6, Thieves' Cant.
7 (Rogue 2) - Cunning Action (usually used to Hide or Dash).
8 - Favoured Enemy (Undead), Natural Explorer (Mountain).
9 - Ranger Archetype (Hunter / Escape the Horde).
10 - Feat (Tavern Brawler), Land Stride.
11 - NA.
12 - Natural Explorer (Coast), Hide in Plain Sight.
13 - Ranger Archetype (Hunter / Volley).
14 - Feat (Skulker).
15 - NA.
16 - Favoured Enemy (Fiends), Vanish.
17 - Ranger Archetype (Hunter / Evasion).
18 - Feat (Lucky)
19 - NA.
20 - Feral Senses.
21 - Feat (Mounted Combatant)
22 - Foe Slayer.

Wrathgar's "Spells"

  1. Animal Friendship, Hunter's Mark, Jump, Longstrider
  2. Find Traps, Locate Animals or Plants, Pass Without Trace
  3. Protection from Energy, Speak with Plants, Water Breathing
  4. Freedom of Movement, Locate Creature, Stoneskin
  5. Swift Quiver

Magical Items + Notes

While playing AL Wrathgar gained a number of magical items, including a Cloak of Elvenkind, a magical axe, a flaming holy two-handed sword (Flametongue), a magical longbow, shield, armour, various potions... and a shrunken pet bear (about the size of a house cat) called "Blooddrinker", and a few other items. (Click the link on Blooddrinker to learn more.)

Since I am opposed to the idea of characters having too many magical items (and possible spoilers) I am not going to go into great detail regarding any magical items Wrathgar might gain eventually.

Things like his magical axe Siegmut and his obsidian snake dagger (which isn't magical) are well established in the books however.

But because the 5E version of Wrathgar is more focused on Stealth, I do feel that anyone remaking him in 5E should still have him gain the Cloak of Elvenkind eventually. So just the axe and cloak are essential.

For spoiler reasons I cannot go into detail regarding any objects he might gain over time. Siegmut isn't really so much a spoiler as he gains that very early in his career.

I remember when I played 3rd Edition Wrathgar had a LOT of magical items. Far too many in my opinion... One of the downsides of 3E in my opinion is that it is super easy to gain magical items... and consequently completely unrealistic. Plus it is very easy to make or buy magical items in 3E. This creates a level of "showering" of magical items. So much so that characters end up selling them, buying them, and developing unrealistic expectations that every large city must have a magic shop where you can buy +5 swords.

This is effectively a matter of storytelling and realism. If every problem can be conveniently solved with magic (as per deus ex machina) then there isn't any point in the character problem solving. It ruins the story if a character can just solve every problem using magic. The character becomes just another boring cog in the story as they're now effectively unnecessary to the story. Magic is now the "hero", while the character now lacks heroicism because every problem is too easily solved.

I did think about organizing everything in a large chart, but I opted not to because his stats are slightly different for the different editions so it would have made the chart more complicated, plus I would have been tempted to give his full stats at different levels... I feel that what I have provided here is more of the bare bones of what a player would need to replicate Wrathgar as a character if they want to play him in their own game.

Friends and Allies

Wrathgar gains many friends during the book series and as such they deserve a mention here. The characters he is surrounded by makes a deep impact upon him as a character. Some of these include:

  • High Shaman Korflex
  • Vertia (elf archer / giant owl rider)
  • Soljargon (necromancer)
  • Bizbald (gnome illusionist)
  • Wren/Arwen (Blizzard/cryomancer)
  • Sir Dobrynya (Bogatyr knight)
  • Costache (dwarf merchant-warrior)
  • Gyburn (elf archer)
  • Helene (half-elf cleric of Metrequia)
  • And others...
Some characters I don't want to talk about for spoiler reasons. I am doing my best here to inform possible players, but honestly if you really want all the details you will want to read the books.

Lego Creations - Volume I

 Lately I have been building a variety of things out of Lego with my son Richard. Here's some of the things we have built:

#1 Yellow Dragon

This particular dragon is highly articulated and has a variety of moving parts.

  • Articulated tail that moves in three different places.
  • Articulated wings and wing bones that move.
  • Articulated neck.
  • Articulated jaw/teeth that opens and closes.

Really the only thing that doesn't move is the torso and legs. But maybe I can fix that in a future version.

The knight / dragonslayer with the lance goes well with it.


#2. Yellow Construction Vehicle

I built this a few days ago, and because my son likes to have "speed boosters" on everything this particular vehicle comes with a rocket on the rear. The shovel, tracks and the cabin all move.

Note: I am apparently going with a colour theme today: Yellow, Orange and Red!

#3. Orange Monster Truck

Asides from the abundance of flames coming out of this fiery monster truck (again with "speed boosters" on the rear) this particular monster truck benefits from some very large shocks and an elastic band on the bottom so it can go over rough terrain.


#4. Red Racecar / Rocket-Powered Dragster

One part Formula 1 racecar, one part dragster, one part rocket.



Notes

I can tell when my son really likes something. It is when he doesn't immediately break it within the first 5 to 20 minutes of playing with.

Eg. The Yellow Dragon got destroyed within the first 5 minutes. I asked Richard why he broke it and he claimed the Lego guys were hungry and wanted to eat it, and also because he thought the dragon was too scary.

The Orange Monster truck lasted about a week before being broken.

The Yellow Construction Vehicle and the Red Racecar are both still holding together.

I have more Volumes of these Lego Creations to show in the future (more photos of past work), but I decided to only post these for now because I ended up going for an Autumn colours theme of red-orange-yellow.

What is Heroic Fantasy?

Heroes (and anti-heroes) make up the pages of Heroic Fantasy. It is defining quality of the subgenre set in worlds where magic and monsters exist, modern technology may or may not exist, and where heroes usually save the day.

The classic example of this is the Sword & Sorcery hero "Conan the Barbarian", but therein lies some interesting arguments because some people argue that Conan is actually an anti-hero because he doesn't exactly fit the description of a flawless hero.

Yes, Conan is strong, usually honourable, but he is also a thief, a pirate, a mercenary and a freebooter.

The defining characteristic of Heroic Fantasy therefore is the central hero (or heroes) as part of the plot.

The Sword & Sorcery subgenre however does differ somewhat in definition, because a Sword & Sorcery book doesn't necessarily need to have a hero. It could have a villain as the main character. Sword & Sorcery really just needs a swashbuckling-type protagonist, who could be a hero, anti-hero or villain, and various obstacles to be overcome - one of which is usually magic or dark magic.

Heroic Fantasy differs because it doesn't need the magic element. It could have monsters instead, or perhaps horror elements, but no magic. Magic isn't a necessity for it to be Heroic Fantasy. It does however require a Hero or Heroes (or Anti-Hero[es]). That part is at least mandatory.

Heroic Fantasy, as implied, also means that good needs to triumph over evil... Unlike dark fantasy where evil sometimes wins. Sometimes, not always.

SPOILER ALERT

A good example of this is the Michael Moorcock series of Elric of Melnibone books (Stormbringer, etc) in which Elric often tries to do good, but the intelligent sword Stormbringer is doing evil during the process and often winning in the long run.

Thus that particular series is a good example of Sword & Sorcery and Dark Fantasy, and Elric himself is an anti-hero, so it technically also qualifies as Heroic Fantasy even though the sword is usually winning in the long run of things.

Bram Stoker's Dracula technically falls into the category of Heroic Fantasy. The heroes win. Dracula loses. It is a Dark Fantasy / Heroic Fantasy story.

Multiple Subgenres often peacefully co-exist. Hence why Sword & Sorcery books are often also Heroic Fantasy.

Eg. High Fantasy just means that there is a lot of magic, monsters, etc in the story. Harry Potter for example is definitely High Fantasy. But it is also Heroic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and Contemporary Fantasy. Some of the books even qualify to be Dark Fantasy due to the theme of evil winning in that book and/or an abundance of undead / dark fantasy themes.

Heroic Fantasy often focuses on characters who come from humble beginnings. The farmhand who becomes the Dread Pirate Roberts and saves a princess from being married to an evil prince. The moisture farm boy who goes off to fight the evil empire and becomes a Jedi Knight. The swordsmith's apprentice who ends up going on a high seas adventure fighting undead pirates.

Yep, The Princess Bride, Star Wars, and the Pirates of the Caribbean are all technically Heroic Fantasy.

Shrek? Heroic Fantasy. Definitely an anti-hero.

Many heroes from fairy tales, fables and myths are also playing a role in Heroic Fantasy stories. Jack and the Beanstalk.

Sometimes the hero will be of royal stock but not know it. Or perhaps they are simply really short and are farmers. Or gardeners.

Bilbo? Frodo? Samwise? Yep, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are also Heroic Fantasy (in addition to being Epic Fantasy).

Basically if it has a hero in the story and it is a fantasy story (due to magic, monsters, etc) then it is Heroic Fantasy.

The film "Avatar" is arguably a Heroic Fantasy because of the "magic" abilities of the trees and animals of that world. So are Smurfs. He-Man. Hercules. Xena. Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The term "Heroic Fantasy" was coined by author/editor L. Sprague de Camp. Below is his definition of the hallmarks of the subgenre.


"Heroic fantasy" is the name I have given to a subgenre of fantasy, otherwise called the "sword-and-sorcery" story. It is a story of action and adventure laid in a more or less imaginary world, where magic works and where modern science and technology have not yet been discovered. The setting may (as in the Conan stories) be this Earth as it is conceived to have been long ago, or as it will be in the remote future, or it may be another planet or another dimension.

Such a story combines the color and dash of the historical costume romance with the atavistic supernatural thrills of the weird, occult, or ghost story. When well done, it provides the purest fun of fiction of any kind. It is escape fiction wherein one escapes clear out of the real world into one where all men are strong, all women beautiful, all life adventurous, and all problems simple, and nobody even mentions the income tax or the dropout problem or socialized medicine.

— L. Sprague de Camp, introduction to the 1967 Ace edition of Conan (Robert E. Howard), p. 13.

Escapism.

Yes, that is another important aspect of Heroic Fantasy. Escapism is wonderful. We live in a world which is entirely too realistic sometimes and it is really nice to escape to a world where heroes usually save the day.

How Rare is a Paladin? (By the Numbers, 2nd Edition AD&D)

How rare are paladins? Or rather, how rare should they be?

If 2nd Edition AD&D is the reference, paladins are pretty rare. The stat requirements alone indicate that paladins are certainly not average:

Strength 12, Constitution 9, Wisdom 13, Charisma 17.

Getting a 9 Con isn't hard, and while 12 Str and 13 Wis is certainly above average, they're not difficult to get. It is the 17 Charisma that everyone knows is a challenge.

When rolling 3d6 getting a 17 Charisma requires rolling two sixes plus either a 5 or a 6 on the third dice. Getting a 17 or 18 are equally difficult when rolling 3d6 because there's only 2 ways to do it. Either 665 or 666. That's it. As anyone who has studied Finite Math knows, the order doesn't matter. 566 is still as equally hard to roll as 665. We are just organizing them in numerological order to keep it simple.

In contrast rolling a 16 is much easier. There are two ways to do it: 664 or 655.

And 15? Three ways to do that: 663, 654, 555.

Any character class with a stat requirement of 15 or higher is therefore pretty rare, as there is only so many ways to roll the stats needed to be a Druid or a Paladin, with paladins obviously being far more rare. Druids only need a 15 Charisma and there are 7 ways to roll that on 3d6. Paladins need a 17 or higher, so druids logically would be 3.5 times more common than paladins. At least that, because don't forget the paladin also needs to fulfill the Str, Con and Wis requirements.


And compared to commoners walking around with average stats of 10.5? Well, let's just say that being a peasant has no stat requirements other than being alive.

14: 662, 653, 644, 554

13: 661, 652, 643, 553, 544

12: 651, 642, 633, 552, 543, 444

11: 641, 632, 551, 542, 533, 443

10: 631, 622, 541, 532, 442, 433

9: 621, 531, 522, 441, 432, 333

And so on.

Basically there are twenty-four different ways to roll numbers between 9 and 12 on 3d6, but there are only sixteen ways to roll a stat of 13 or higher. And consequently, only sixteen ways to roll a 8 or lower. So only 56 possible rolls. Out of which only a 17 or 18 Charisma can be a paladin, so there's only 2 out of 56 ways to get the necessary Charisma requirement on 3d6.

So 3.57% of people would have the necessary Charisma.

Only 22 of 56 rolls would garner at 12 Str or higher, so 39.2% of people would be strong enough.

40 out of 56 would have 9 Con or higher, so 71.4%.

And 16 out of 56 would have 13 Wis or higher, so 28.6%.

The chances of getting ALL four of these stat requirements???

Roughly 0.286%. I ran the math twice to double check.

So out of 400 people rolled using the 3d6 dice method, only 1 person would have the necessary stats to potentially become a paladin.

So what about Alignment?

Not everyone is fit to be a paladin, even if they do have the necessary stats.

Being Lawful Good should be fairly rare, depending upon the fantasy world. Eg. Practically non-existent in a world like Dark Sun, but more common in a region like Solamnia in the Dragonlance world of Krynn. Or very common in a world like Eternia (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, etc).

But if we fudge the averages a bit for argument's sake, the "average fantasy world" should have lots of people who are Neutral in alignment, with almost equal numbers of good and evil people.

Say: 30% good, 40% neutral, 30% evil.

It is fairly safe to say that in an "average" fantasy world there should be more neutral people than there is good people, and likewise evil people. But not necessarily more than both.

Likewise not everyone is lawful or chaotic. Many people are neutral in that respect. Thus it would be safe to say that lawful, neutral and chaotic people might be divided like so:

30% lawful, 40% neutral, 30% chaotic.

So even amongst a society of only Good people, only 30% of them would be Lawful Good.

And that compared to the average fantasy world only about 9% of people would be LG.

Taken together?

So only 1 in 400 people would have the necessary stats to be a paladin, but only 1 in 11 people would have the alignment requirement.

So only 1 in 4400 people could potentially become a paladin because they have the stats and alignment requirements.

But this assumes that person would even choose to BECOME a paladin. They might instead be a farmer, or a merchant, or a blacksmith. Any number of things.

If forced by circumstances, it makes sense that people might HAVE to become warriors, and potentially paladins if they had the right combination of stats and alignment. But it should still be really rare.

In a kingdom of perhaps 1 million people only 227 people would have the necessary alignment and stats. But what if most of them ended up becoming priests, warriors, farmers, merchants, etc?

Suffice to say, paladins, these paragons of virtue, should be almost as rare as unicorns.

And in certain worlds, like Dark Sun, paladins don't even exist. There are no paladins in Dark Sun, instead they have far more gladiators.

Some other worlds, like say one based on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, well, paladins might be far more common.

And then there's the matter of the rolling system. Some DMs allow 4d6 drop the lowest, which skews the results and statistics.

And of course, what edition of Dungeons and Dragons a group is playing. It is far easier to become a paladin in 3rd or 5th edition. But for realism's sake there should only be so many.

And I didn't even touch on the topic of the death rate of paladins...


Publishing a fantasy book? Make sure you get a professional fantasy book editor.

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