Monthly Archives: March 2015

100th Post ! Crash Course in Magic #1

I can’t believe it! The 100th post thanks for everyone whose supported an followed me so far. I will keep putting more content on all of my projects and better incorporate my WordPress with my other social media stuff.

So here is the content that I promised, the revised explanation of the magic system in my projects the Arcane Realm and Shu Ru


Do you believe in Magic?

Magic itself is defined as the extra-ordinary manipulation (either consciously or unconsciously) of natural, preternatural, or supernatural forces towards an intended result.

There is a multitude of ways to define, categorize, and refer to different types of magic but what we are going to focus on today is how magic has been looked at throughout the history of the Arcane Realm.

On a more philosophical level, one of the great debated questions is the true nature of magic. While Magi, Seers, and Shamans and similar types are a common fixture in Kaf society, knowledge of the truth behind their powers was until recently, was hotly debated throughout history. All that was commonly accepted was that spirits and some sort of ‘other-world’ or spirit realm were involved. Several schools are:

The Clerical School believed that spirits are divine beings (‘gods’ might be a better word) who guard the world against demons. Magic is power granted by the spirits to those they consider righteous. They believe books of laws must be followed, and certain rituals performed, in order to achieve this level of righteousness. Evil spirits (demons) exist and can possess people, or grant powers to those of evil will.

The Ritualistic School contended that magic is an impersonal force that obeys a set of fundamental rules, like gravity. ‘Spirits’ are either humanity’s attempts to personify this force, or beings who dwell within it, but are otherwise just as real and classifiable as any other mundane animal or plant. Their studies are devoted to learning these rules and attempting to test them by performing spells. Their name comes from the elaborate systems they have designed for trying to call upon these powers, which include things like playing particular musical notes, drawing mystical shapes, burning certain types of incense, or consuming various mind altering substances.

The Mentalist School is unique in that it stated that there is no independent ‘spirit world’. They believe that magic is simply an extension of the human will, and spirits are voices within one’s own head, giving voice to subconscious knowledge. All sentient beings are theoretically capable of performing magic, they simply need to unlock the hidden potential within their own hearts and minds. Mentalist practices include intense meditation and physical exercise, which is dedicated to giving one as much control over their body and mind as possible.

A fourth (relatively minor) classical faction is the Death School, whose practitioners are known as necromancers. They believe that spirits are the souls of the dead, and the other-world is a realm where the collected wisdom of every being who has ever died is collected into a single whole. Their studies centered around attempting to contact the dead and questioning them in order to gain access to this unlimited pool of knowledge. A few more extreme members even believe that it is possible to become one with this store of knowledge while one is still alive, and thus achieve physical immortality.

It should be noted that with a lot of explanations for phenomena, there are multiple theories that together help paint a clearer picture than they could alone.  Even if the philosophies were not 100% accurate in all cases, all of them have contributed a significant amount to the advancement of knowledge in the subject.



Crash Course in (Arcane Realm) Magic

So this week I’ve basically had spotty WiFi reception to explain my lack updates lately. I had a special week long series I wanted to do but I’m pushing it back to next week. From the title, you might be able to guess that I based it on the popular Crash Course Series on YouTube.

Basically I’m revamping the types of magic that is used in my Arcane Realm project as well giving ideas for others to build their own magic system. I’ll see you guys next week.

SCBWI Comes to Decatur

Readers Unbound

Wake Up and Read: Second Graders in Wake County, NC read donated books. News & Observer File Photo ( Wake Up and Read: Second Graders in Wake County, NC read donated books. News & Observer File Photo (

A new literary wind blew into our town last weekend. That’s when Decatur, GA, already a book lover’s Mecca, thanks to Decatur Book Festival, became permanent home to the annual spring conference of the Southern Breeze chapter of the SCBWI. The what? The SCBWI. Sometimes spelled out, other times pronounced “skibwee,” this long and clumsy acronym stands for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a goldmine of resources, education, opportunity, and support for those who aspire to write or illustrate for kids.

A non-profit international powerhouse founded in 1971 by two writing friends in San Francisco, Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser, SCBWI is now the largest writing organization on the planet, with over 22,000 members in 80 regional chapters. Its mission is to “support the creation and…

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Writing For Children And Young People

A writer's top tips

Children and young people read just like adult do. They might enjoy epic space battles or lust filled romances or post-apocalyptic civilisation, just like adults. Writing for the younger generation is by no means easier than writing for adults. In fact, it may take a little more effort and planning, and here are some tips to help that along.

  1. Know you’re age range

It goes without saying, but writing for a three year old who will have the story read to them by their parents is not the same as writing for a fifteen year old. Before plot lines or characters must come your target audience. Who do you want to be reading your book? The age of your reader is going to determine some pretty important aspects of your story: the words you use, the characters, maybe even the plot line or message, so it’s important to have a…

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Vanessa Fly Trap Comics: Get Out There

This week is the first Vanessa Fly Trap Comic I did, “Get Out There”. I made it with the intent of establishing the relationship between Vanessa and her brother Victor. Victor doesn’t like particularly like other people and certainly doesn’t go out of his way to accommodate them or go out to meet them. He would much rather spend his time at home reading books, browsing the web, or working on an invention. His sister is basically the polar opposite and is constantly trying to get him outside and bring him along when she goes to see her friends. This comic plays with that particular dynamic show how each sibling tries to work with the other, Enjoy!

Page 1(Text)

Vanessa Fly Trap Comics: Cover Page

Hello there fellow readers! Some of you might know I’ve been working on writing and drawing my children’s book but what if I told you that I actually drew a few comic pages revolving around the main characters. This week I will be showing 1 per day with a brief look into what I was thinking at the time. If those get a lot of comments, likes or support, I might start drawing more comics with more characters from this project.

So with further ado, the cover page of the comic I made all the way back in 2012, unedited with the old logo.

1Vanessa Cover(New)

Advice vs Example: How Best to Write Dialogue


The Tricky World of Children's Fiction The Tricky World of Children’s Fiction

Ever since I started taking my writing craft seriously, I have read a lot of advice on how to write dialogue. Specifically on dialogue tags.

Whether I’m reading writing advice books, studying creative writing, or perusing blogs on what to do and what not to do, the advice is all the same.

1. Don’t be afraid to use ‘said’.

People don’t see ‘said’. More importantly, don’t suffer from Dialogue Tag Thesaurus Syndrome.


“Where are we?” Marina whispered.
“I don’t know,” Jacob answered.
“It looks like a cave,” Marina replied.
“It’s too dark to tell,” Jacob murmured.

This is good advice. There’s nothing worse than the obvious ‘trying too hard to avoid said‘ you see in some writing. Although I think there is a place for using some of these words sparingly to help add to the description and texture of the dialogue. Especially…

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Creature Subtypes


Some creatures have one or more subtypes. Subtypes add additional abilities and qualities to a creature.

Air Subtype

This subtype is usually used for beings with a connection to the element of Air. Air creatures have flight capabilities and usually have perfect maneuverability.

Angel Subtype

Angels are a race of spirits, native to a separate realm they call heaven. An angel possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Darkvision and low-light vision.
  • Immunity to acid, cold, and petrification and poison.
  • Resistance to electricity and fire.
  • Protective Aura: Against attacks made or effects created by evil creatures, this ability provides a deflection and resistance to anyone within 20 feet of the angel. Otherwise, it functions as a magic circle against evil effect and a lesser globe of invulnerability, both with a radius of 20 feet.
  • Truespeech: All angels can speak with any creature that has a language, as though using a tongues spell. This ability is always active.

Aquatic Subtype

These creatures always have swim speeds and aquatic creatures can breathe water. It cannot breathe air unless it has the amphibious special quality.

Augmented Subtype

A creature receives this subtype whenever something happens to change its original type. Some creatures (those with an inherited template) are born with this subtype; others acquire it when they take on an acquired template. The augmented subtype is always paired with the creature’s original type. For example, a wizard’s raven familiar is a magical beast (augmented animal). A creature with the augmented subtype usually has the traits of its current type, but the features of its original type. For example, a wizard’s raven familiar has an animal’s features and the traits of a magical beast.

Clockwork Subtype

Clockworks are constructs created through a fusion of magic and technology. They have the following traits unless otherwise noted.

  • Winding: Clockwork constructs must be wound with special mana-charged gemstone keys in order to function. As a general rule, a fully wound clockwork can remain active for 1 day per  chargingsession, but shorter or longer durations are possible.
  • Vulnerable to Electricity: Clockwork constructs have electronic components sensitive to electric fields take 150% as much damage as normal from electricity attacks, unless they are immune to electricity via other special defenses like shielding.
  • Swift Reactions: Clockwork constructs generally react much more swiftly than other constructs.
  • Difficult to Create: The time and money cost required to create a clockwork is 150% more than a normal construct.

Cold Subtype

A creature with the cold subtype has immunity to cold. It has vulnerability to fire, which means it takes half again as much (+50%) damage as normal from fire.

Demon Subtype

Demons were once-spirits, faye, humanoids, magical beasts, and animals now corrupted and altered by the dark magic of mutagenic ectoplasm or vengeful deceased. Some demons arise from large amounts of magic/spiritual energy in a highly polluted area.
Demons possess a particular suite of traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry) as summarized here.

  • Immunity to poison and undead negative energy and further exposure to mutagenic ectoplasm.
  • Resistance to acid, cold, and fire.
  • Summon: Demons share the ability to summon others of their kind, typically another of their type or a small number of less powerful demons.
  • Telepathy.
  • A demon’s natural weapons, as well as any weapon it wields, can generate negative energy.
  • Dark Magic Affinity: Demons have an affinity to dark magic spells and take more effort to properly perform blithe magic.

Dragon Subtype

A dragon is a reptile-like creature, usually winged, with magical or unusual abilities. A dragon possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Immunity to magic sleep effects and paralysis effects.
  • Proficient with its natural weapons only (unless capable of assuming humanoid form), in which case proficient with all simple weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
  • Have natural dermal armor.
  • Elemental Breath: Dragons can project blasts of a single elemental force in a way that allows them to shape it into bursts, streams, spheres or mist  from the mouth.
  • Dragons breathe, eat, excrete and sleep.

Dryad Subtype

A dryad is a nature spirit nymph that inhabits the body of a specially grown plant, typically trees and become the guardian of it and its native region. Regardless of their kind, all dryads share the following traits in addition to those granted by the plant type (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Immunity to nature and light damage.
  • Resistance to electricity and water and plant derived toxins.
  • Change Shape: All dryads can transform into plants, most commonly that of the tree it is bonded to. In this form, the dryad appears as a particularly healthy specimen of that particular plant. A dryad can also become a female humanoid that is composed of plant matter like wood and leaves. A dryad can assume plant form or revert to its humanoid form whenever she wishes.
  • Plant-speech: All dryads can speak with plants as if subject to a continual speak with plants spell, but only with species they are related to.
  • Verdant Burst: When its corporeal form is slain, a dyrad explodes in a burst of fertile energies. All plant creatures within 30 feet of a slain dyrad heal and plant life of the same type as the dryad itself quickly infests the area. If the terrain can support this type of plant, the undergrowth is dense enough to make the region into difficult terrain for 24 hours, after which the plant life diminishes to a normal level; otherwise, the plant life has no significant effect on movement and withers and dies within an hour.
  • Regeneration: Dryads can reform their corporeal bodies if damaged. The rate of regeneration and damage type that suspends it depends on the type of dryad, but is typically acid or fire.
  • Tree Bond: A dryad is mystically bonded to a single tree that is connected to its life-force, thus guards with its life, and must not stray more than 300 yards from it. Most dryad trees are oak trees, but other trees function as well (often having subtle influences on a specific dryad’s personality and appearance). A dryad who moves 300 yards beyond her bonded tree immediately becomes sickened. Every hour thereafter, she must resist becoming nauseated for an hour. A dryad that is out of range of her bonded tree is sickened every 24 hours—eventually, this separation can kill the dryad. If her tree is destroyed while a dryad is merged with it, the dryad dies. If her tree is destroyed while a dryad is not merged with it, the dryad loses its merge with tree ability and its regeneration, and becomes permanently sickened (until it finds a new tree). A dryad can forge a new bond with a new tree by performing a 24-hour ritual.
  • Tree Meld: A dryad can meld with any tree. She can remain melded with a tree as long as she wishes.
  • Dryads do not need to breathe, eat, excrete or sleep (although they can do so in a corporeal form if they wish). Dryads need to drink water to stay healthy.

Earth Subtype

This subtype is usually used for beings with a connection to the tectonic energies with the Earth. Earth creatures usually have the burrow ability, and most earth creatures can burrow through solid rock. Earth creatures with the burrow ability possess the ability to sense underground vibrations.

Electric Subtype

This subtype is usually used for beings with a connection to natural sources of Lightning or generate excess electricity. Electricity creatures always have fly speeds and usually have perfect maneuverability. They have immunity to electricity. Electricity creatures have vulnerability to water, but only when their electric powers are active (or if they are composed of electricity).

Elemental Subtype

An elemental is a spirit who manifests its corporeal form composed entirely from one of the four classical elements: air, earth, fire, or water.

An elemental has the following features.

  • Immunity to bleed, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning.
  • Not subject to critical hits or flanking. Does not take additional damage from precision-based attacks, such as sneak attack.
  • Proficient with natural weapons only, unless generally humanoid in form, in which case proficient with all simple weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
  • Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Elementals not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Elementals are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
  • Elementals do not need to breathe, eat, excrete or sleep (although they can do so in a corporeal form if they wish).

Fire Subtype
A creature with the fire subtype has immunity to fire. It has vulnerability to cold, which means it takes half again as much (+50%) damage as normal from cold

Fungus Subtype

The fungus subtype applies to creatures that are fungi, opposed to plant creatures. It distinguishes common plant creatures like treants from other creatures such as phantom fungi. The fungus subtype simply identifies creatures that may be vulnerable to spells, psionics, and effects that specifically target or affect fungi.

They have the following traits unless otherwise noted.

  • Fungi breathe and eat but do not need to sleep.
  • Fungi avoid direct light and some are vulnerable.
  • Fungi creatures will often absorb various nutrients from other (usually decaying) organic beings.

Henge Subtype

Henge are magical beasts who descended from animals who found some of the secrets of spiritual enlightenment to ”elevate” themselves. Their offspring start off as typical animals but accrue mystical energy with age, eventually unlocking intelligence and shape-shifting abilities if they live long enough. Henge have the following traits unless specified in their entry.

  • Shape-shift: The ability to shape change is natural to most henge and thus also have the shape-changer subtype. A henge can shape-shift between three different forms: animal, biped, and human.
  • Animal form: When in animal form, the henge is indistinguishable from natural animals of its kind as the change in form is genuine. They also acquire the ability to speak with normal animals. Conversations with normal animals are usually limited to a few simple phrases and concepts, depending on the sophistication of the animal. He cannot wear armor, use weapons or equipment, or cast most spells. He may be mistaken for – and hunted as – a normal animal. He cannot speak any languages other than those of the henge and normal animals, though he can understand any languages he knows.
  • Henge/Biped form: When in bipedal form, the henge looks like a humanoid animal. He stands on his hind appendages to the height of a normal man. The front appendages (wings, paws) change into hands, capable of gripping and using normal weapons. The rest of the body retains the animal’s general appearance, including fur, feathers, wings, a tail, and other characteristic features. In bipedal form, the henge can speak any language he knows (including human and animal languages), have any special senses of their animal form, can cast spells, and can use weapons, equipment, and armor. However, the bipedal henge cannot use the special movement abilities of its animal form, regardless of its appearance. Furthermore, the bipedal form is distinctive, and easily recognized as a henge.
  • Humanoid Form: When in humanoid form, the henge looks like a normal specific humanoid being (Human, Elf, Faye, Amazon, etc.). Like his animal form, the human form is genuine and cannot be detected by spells that reveal illusions. However, the human form always retains one or more distinctive features of the animal form. For instance, a fox henge may have slanted eyes and a triangular face. In human form, the henge can cast spells, wear armor, and use weapons and equipment.  However, he has no special animal vision and he cannot speak to animals, although he still can understand their speech.
  • Henge breathe, eat, excrete, and sleep.

Incorporeal Subtype

An incorporeal creature has no physical body. An incorporeal creature is immune to critical hits and precision-based damage (such as sneak attack damage) unless the attacks are made using a weapon with incorporeal touch magic or made of etheric matter. In addition, creatures with the incorporeal subtype gain the incorporeal special quality.

It can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons or creatures that strike as magic weapons, and spells, preternatural abilities, or supernatural abilities.  Although it is not a magical attack, holy water can affect incorporeal undead. Corporeal spells and effects that do not cause damage only have a 50% chance of affecting an incorporeal creature. Force spells and effects, such as from kinetic crush, affect an incorporeal creature normally.

An incorporeal creature can enter or pass through solid objects but not those made of ethereal matter (however corporeal beings can easily pass through ethereal material). It can sense the presence of creatures or objects within a square adjacent to its current location, but enemies have total concealment (50% miss chance) from an incorporeal creature that is inside an object. In order to see beyond the object it is in and attack normally, the incorporeal creature must emerge. An incorporeal creature inside an object has total cover, but when it attacks a creature outside the object it only has cover, so a creature outside with a readied action could strike at it as it attacks. An incorporeal creature cannot pass through a force effect.

An incorporeal creature’s attacks pass through (ignore) natural armor, armor, and shields, although armor enhanced with an etheric aura and force effects (such as mana armor) work normally against it. Incorporeal creatures pass through and operate in water as easily as they do in air. Incorporeal creatures cannot fall or take falling damage. Incorporeal creatures cannot make trip or grapple attacks, nor can they be tripped or grappled. In fact, they cannot take any physical action that would move or manipulate an opponent or its equipment, nor are they subject to such actions. Incorporeal creatures have no weight and do not set off traps that are triggered by weight.

An incorporeal creature moves silently and cannot be heard if it doesn’t wish to be. Non-visual senses, such as scent and blind-sight, are either ineffective or only partly effective with regard to incorporeal creatures. Incorporeal creatures have an innate sense of direction and can move at full speed even when they cannot see.

Jinn Sub-type

Jinn are spirit creatures that don’t represent or embody a concept, they are considered to be distinct individuals with their own personalities and paths in life. Also their spirit forms can be influenced by strong electric and magnetic fields due to their etheric energy interacting with electromagnetism in a similar fashion to plasma. A Jinn possesses the following traits unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry.

  • Manifested vessels: The physical forms that jinn can manifest are composed of a uniform magical substance that takes on their desired appearance. Their vessels function via their internal/external mana. If their vessels are severely disrupted or destroyed, an ethereal wisp is forced to find conducting material to recover.
  • Shape-shifting: All Jinn have the shape changer subtype when manifesting or possessing a physical from.
  • Charged Spirit: All Jinn are affected by strong electric and magnetic fields and can be bound by most metal containers.
  • Psychic: Jinn have the ability to use a variety of psionic abilities and have the psionic subtype
  • High Magic Affinity: Their high affinity to magic means they can’t resist any summoning or binding ritual if the spell-caster performing it is strong enough. Their high affinity to magic also means that any anti-magic zone can greatly hinder their innate abilities and can quickly sicken them.
  • A Jinni’s innate shape-shifting nature can allow it to breed hybrids with any other race.

Kami Subtype

Kami are spirits who are the manifestation of special geographic areas, often places of power or emotionally symbolic places know as a ward. Kami, in their natural form, are invisible and intangible. When they wish to be seen they can manifest as a humanoid, animal, or elemental of its own size and composed of one particular element within its territory. A kami possesses the following traits unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry.

  • Kami have the shape changer subtype.
  • Kami, in their natural form, are invisible and intangible and have the incorporeal subtype.
  • Immune to petrification, and polymorph effects.
  • Fast Healing: As long as a kami is within 120 feet of its ward, it gains fast healing. The amount of fast healing it gains depends on the type of kami.
  • Regional Bond: A kami has a bond to a location with the objects, materials and plants that are native to the region. Whether the bond is with a building, temple, bodies of water, mountains, and other natural geographic features depends on the type of kami.

Living Construct Subtype
A living construct is a subtype of construct, a created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments. Living constructs combine aspects of both constructs and living creatures, as detailed below.

Traits: A living construct possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Unlike other constructs, a living construct does not have darkvision.
  • Unlike other constructs, a living construct is not immune to mind-influencing effects.
  • Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, and energy drain.
  • A living construct cannot heal damage naturally, most have mystic or technological means to fix damage.
  • Unlike other constructs, living constructs are subject to critical hits, death from massive damage, nonlethal damage, stunning, ability damage, ability drain, and death effects or necromancy effects.
  • Unlike other constructs, a living construct can run.
  • Living constructs can be affected by spells that target living creatures as well as by those that target constructs. Damage dealt to a living construct can be healed by a cure light wounds spell or a repair light damage spell, for example, and a living construct is vulnerable to a harm spell.
  • A living construct responds slightly differently from other living creatures when disabled.  His movement and dexterity is greatly reduced, but strenuous activity does not risk further injury. Any more damage will cause him to become inert, He is unconscious and helpless, and he cannot perform any actions. However, an inert living construct is not at risk of dying unless more damage is dealt to him, as with a living creature that is stable.
  • Can be raised or resurrected like other living creatures.
  • Does not need to eat, excrete, or breathe, but can do so if they wish and function better doing so and still benefit from the effects of consumable items such as potions.
  • Does not need to sleep, but must rest for 8 hours for optimal performance.

Psionic Subtype

This subtype is applied to creatures that can innately manipulate psychokinetic energy (PKE) or have psi-like abilities that are normal to their species. The following abilities are available to

  • Telepathy: Transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals.
  • Precognition: Perception of information about future places or events before they occur.
  • Clairvoyance: Obtaining information about places or events at remote locations.
  • Psychokinesis/Telekinesis: The ability of the mind to influence matter, time, space, or energy by means unknown to current science.
  • Intelligence Increase:  Extremely heightened and enhanced intelligence and other mental abilities/skills.

Robot Subtype

Robots are machines that use their programming to make decisions. Although some people call them things like “automatons,” “metal men,” or the like, these technological creations are all robots, and as such, they share similar traits. Robots share some features with clockwork constructs, and as with clockworks, you can simply remove the robot subtype from a robot (along with its attendant traits) to transform it into a typical construct animated by magic. A single construct cannot possess both the robot and the clockwork subtype.

All robots gain the following traits.

  • Components: All robots have sensors for input, control systems for decision making, and end effectors for output.
  • Intelligent: Robots have skills and feats as appropriate for their programming.
  • Vulnerable to Electricity: Robots have electronic components sensitive to electric fields take 150% as much damage as normal from electricity attacks, unless they are immune to electricity via other special defenses like shielding.
  • Difficult to Create: Increase the time and money cost required to create a robot by 50% over normal for a construct, unless the creator has access to a significant amount of technological resources.

Shapechanger Subtype

A shapechanger has the supernatural ability to assume one or more alternate forms. Many magical effects allow some kind of shapeshifting, and not every creature that can change shape has the shapechanger subtype.

A shapechanger possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Proficient with its natural weapons, with simple weapons, and with any weapons mentioned in the creature’s description.
  • Proficient with any armor mentioned in the creature’s description, as well as all lighter forms. If no form of armor is mentioned, the shapechanger is not proficient with armor. A shapechanger is proficient with shields if it is proficient with any type of armor.

Undead Subtype

Undead are once-living creatures animated by spiritual or supernatural forces .An undead creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
  • Immunity to bleed, death effects, disease, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning.
  • Not subject to nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability, as well as to exhaustion and fatigue effects.
  • Cannot heal damage on its own if it has no intelligence, although it can be healed. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal undead creatures. The fast healing special quality works regardless of the creature’s Intelligence score.
  • Not at risk of death from massive damage, but is immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points.
  • Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. These spells turn undead creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming undead.
  • Proficient with its natural weapons, all simple weapons, and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
  • Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Undead not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Undead are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
  • Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.
  • Per the spell magic jar: “Undead creatures are powered by negative energy. Only sentient undead creatures have, or are, souls.” This is an important sentence when considering any spells or effects which reference “souls.”

The following are a few facts that are considered common knowledge among civilized peoples.

  • Most undead were once living. Knowing details about the phase of existence that preceded a creature’s undeath is often invaluable in determining its motives.
  • Holy water damages undead as though it were acid. Distributed by religious orders the world over, holy water is the only line of defense against undead for many commoners.
  • Undead are invariably evil, as are the means to create such beings.
  • Undead are healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy.
  • Undead are immune to numerous magical effects, including mind-affecting effects and abilities that affect a creature’s physical constitution.

Water Subtype

This subtype usually is used for elementals and similar creatures with a connection to water. Creatures with the water subtype always have fast swim speeds. A water creature can breathe underwater and usually can breathe air as well.

9 Worldbuilding Lessons Learned (So Far)

World Builder Blog

I originally wrote this article for Johnn Four’s free roleplaying tips newsletter you can and should sign-up for over at

There is no task for a game master more daunting and gratifying than worldbuiding. Creating a universe in which a group of PCs can romp around in is very gratifying, but the seemingly Herculean effort it takes to get there can be miserable especially if you have many life commitments outside of gaming. For the last decade I’ve been running Dungeons and Dragons and other RPGs in published campaign settings, but it was always a dream of mine to create a new world. I mean a full, rich world with a huge history. We’re talking original rules modules, big honking maps, new monsters, intrigue, dungeons, rivalries, and more open-ended story than the closing chapter of a Goosebumps novel. The kind of thing I had the time to do as…

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1001 Mythic Setting 4: Magic

Disclaimer: Remember this is only about how magic works in the majority of Arabian Nights tales. Being orally told for a long time, some did deviate from this. Also you can have a Middle Eastern setting which does necessarily follow this.


The traditional term for a sorcerer in Arabic is “kahin,” and they are strongly associated with djinn. In Middle Eastern folklore magic is strongly tied to invoking spirits. A sorcerer may command and bind djinn, ordering them to perform tasks for him. If a sorcerer claims his powers are purely innate, he is usually thought to be lying. For example, if he claims he is flying, he is usually just being lifted into the air by invisible djinn. If he claims he can tell the future, it is because djinn have flown to the gates of heaven, listened to the conversations of the angels, and relayed them to him. You get the idea.

Magical items are often associated with djinn as well, based on the idea that a sorcerer could bind them to physical objects. In this case, you did not need to be a sorcerer yourself to command a djinni, you simply needed to own one of these items. Sometimes you also needed to know an incantation that would summon the djinni and let you control him, but most of the time simply holding the object was enough.

There were other cases when people could use djinn to further their own ends. Very holy men, like King Solomon, were thought to be able to command them through divine authority. Djinn who fell in love with people might sometimes offer to do them favors. And some sorcerers claimed djinn aided them willingly, that they had been born being able to see the invisible creatures, and that they were drawn to one another.

Keep in mind; this is just a rule of thumb. Most belief in magic in the Middle East might have involved the invoking of spirits, but there was room for other beliefs. Alchemy, for example, flourished in the region (the word itself is Arabic), and its practitioners were sometimes regarded as semi-supernatural.

Andrew McDowell

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