• Justin Handlin

Emery's Log of Legendary Eminences

Black Dragon fighting Wizard

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Emery's Log of Legendary Eminences

So many iconic Dungeons & Dragons monsters are steeped in rich lore and history, but those details are rarely reflected in mechanics. Today we discuss Legendary Eminences! A new Kickstarter that offers us an opportunity to place these narrative details at the center of your encounters in the 5th Edition of D&D. We are joined by Raymond O’Connor creator to talk about Emery's Log of Legendary Eminences.

Who is Emery the Eclectic?

Emery is a powerful Archmage who retired as an adventurer long ago. Emery's Log of Legendary Eminences is written from their perspective and includes anecdotes of how they fared against the powerful creatures contained within their log. Perhaps one day your party might cross their path...

What is a Legendary Eminence?

A Legendary Eminence is a powerful ability or feature that becomes weaker or inactive when a monster uses a Legendary Resistance. Emery’s Log of Legendary Eminences is a 5th Edition toolkit that will revolutionize Legendary Resistances at your table. No longer will players be disappointed by monsters simply "choosing" to succeed against their most exciting abilities. Now, the monster makes a significant sacrifice to keep themselves in the fight with immediate mechanical and narrative consequences.

Why did the team feel like Legendary Eminence was necessary?

The design team felt that many 5E stat blocks do not tell a story. So many iconic monsters are steeped in rich lore and history, but those details are rarely reflected in mechanics. We used Legendary Eminences as an opportunity to place these narrative details at the center of your encounter. In some cases, we use Legendary Eminences to cover a glaring weakness. For example, the Tarrasque can now interact with players trying to attack it at range out to 450 feet. The team designed Legendary Eminences for 36 monsters total including all 23 monsters with Legendary Resistances found in the Standard Rules Document. We liked Legendary Eminences so much that we added a few extras for monsters that we thought could use a single polymorph insurance policy.

Green Dragons in Forest

Here are some fantastic examples from the upcoming D&D 5e Supplement.

Adult Green Dragon - Wicked Hallucination.

Green dragons are known for their infamous guile and befuddling magical prowess. The dragon can create illusory duplicates of itself equal to the number of remaining uses of its Legendary Resistance (no action required). These duplicates surround the dragon and mimic its movements, shifting position so it's impossible to track which image is real. The illusory duplicates follow the same rules as those produced by the mirror image spell, however, the dragon regains illusory duplicates at the end of turn until the number equals the number of the dragon’s remaining Legendary Resistances. Each time the dragon uses its Legendary Resistance, one illusory duplicate disappears.

Adult Copper Dragon - Theater of Champions

The air surrounding the Copper Dragon ripples with dramatic tension. It is said that those that fight alongside these braggadocious metallic companions can hear the events of the battle narrated telepathically in their minds in epic fashion as events unfurl. The Barbarian does not “slash at” the enemy Death Lord, She “Cleaves His Breast Plate in Twain!”

While the dragon has its Legendary Resistance available, each creature of the dragon’s choice that is within 45ft of the dragon becomes affected by its Theater of Champions feature. When a creature affected by Theater of Champions makes an ability check or attack roll, the creature can roll a d8 and add the number rolled to the result. Each time the dragon uses its Legendary Resistance, the area affected by Theater of Champions decreases by 15ft.

They even enhance a few monsters that do not traditionally have a Legendary Resistance. Such as the Fire Giant below.

Fire Giant - Explosive Parry - 1 Legendary Resistance/Day

Fire Giants hail from a rich tradition of smithing and martial discipline. The most talented among them have emblazoned their weapons and armor with powerful runes that blast attackers with the volcanic flames of their forges. While the giant has its Legendary Resistance available, all weapon attacks with its sword are considered magical. When a melee attack targeting the fire giant misses, it collides with the giant’s empowered equipment instead, triggering a concussive burst of flame. The attacking creature is pushed back 5ft, and all creatures within 10ft of the giant must succeed a DC14 Dexterity saving throw or take 2d4 fire damage.

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Dungeons and Dragons Unearthed Tips and Tricks

for DMs and Players

Monster: Shadow Hag

Origin Statblock: Archmage

Lost/Altered Features: Mage Armor (AC stays 15), Damage resistance list, spell list, Swap Int and Dex Scores.

New Features:

Skills. Stealth

Damage Vulnerability radiant

Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks

Damage Immunities necrotic, poison

Condition Immunities exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

Amorphous. The shadow hag can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.

Shadow Stealth. While in dim light or darkness, the shadow hag can take the Hide action as a bonus action.

Sunlight Weakness. While in sunlight, the shadow hag has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws.

Strength Drain. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 To hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 26 (6d6 + 5) necrotic damage, and the target’s Strength score is reduced by 1d4. The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest.

If a non-evil humanoid dies from this attack, a new shadow rises from the corpse 1d4 hours later.

Channel (Recharge 5-6). The shadow hag uses one of the following channel features.

Shadow Bolt. The shadow hag releases a blast of purple and black enervating energy in a 90-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw, taking 66 (12d10) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Additionally, a creature that takes damage from this effect deals only half damage with weapon attacks that use Strength until the end of their turn after 1d4 rounds.

Veil of Shadows. The shadow hag and each creature she chooses within 20 feet are cloaked in shadows and silence that radiates out from her. For up to one minute (as if concentrating on a spell), each creature (including the caster) has a +10 bonus to Dexterity (Stealth) checks and can’t be tracked except by magical means. A creature that receives this bonus leaves behind no tracks or other traces of its passage.

Innate Spellcasting. The shadow hag’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). She is an 18th-level spellcaster and can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: mage hand (legerdemain), chill touch, minor illusion

3/day each: cone of cold, counterspell, banishment, mirror image, misty step,

Legendary Actions:

The shadow hag can take 2 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The shadow hag regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The shadow hag makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.

Attack. The shadow hag makes one attack with Strength Drain.

Suppress Magic (Costs 2 Actions). The shadow hag targets one creature with an ongoing magical effect and makes a DC 17 intelligence check. On a success, one magical effect on the target becomes inactive until the end of the shadow hag’s next turn.

Encounter: God Ripper

Virtiaschula, the Fetid Torrent slumbers deep within her subaquatic lair. Your divinations have revealed that the “God Ripper” a magic halberd capable of removing Legendary Eminences resides in her hoard. If your word is to survive the coming of the GigaTarrasque you will surely need this weapon in hand.

Virtiaschula’s lair is a gigantic subaquatic cavern. The lair has many naturally formed columns and stalagmites that the players can hide behind, but as Virtiaschula uses her acid breath, the columns crumble and the walls of the cavern start to let in water from above. As the water level rises, the battle will quickly turn to Virtiaschula’s favor as dry land becomes a valuable resource. Can the players find the God Ripper before Virtiaschula melts the flesh from their bones?

Depending on your party level, Virtiaschula is any of an Ancient, Adult, or perhaps even a Young Black Dragon armed with a Legendary Eminence.

Magic Item: (Emery’s Log of Legendary Eminences)

Armament of the Glory Seeker

Weapon (any), very rare

This magic weapon was forged by the ancients for slaying ancients. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with this weapon, you may choose to remove one use of its legendary resistances. If you do, you immediately suffer one level of exhaustion.

Dungeon Master Tip: Memory Troubles

Do you feel like your players aren’t remembering key character names and plot elements? Apply Memory Slots to your planning. Players can keep a limited number of ideas in their short-term memory (roughly 6-8 elements). Once those ideas move to long-term memory those slots free up and this typically happens between sessions. This is ENORMOUSLY important when running for new players because the rules of the game are competing for their memory slots.

I’ve run the game for about 30 new players now and a really effective technique for introducing them to the game is to remove as much from their character sheet as possible, and anything that needs to be on there, pre-load at least a day before the session. Memory slots are precious and you don’t want them to be occupied with things like:

What is my character’s name?

Which of these math rocks is a d8?

What is a spell slot?

What is AC? Etc…

On the day of play I will actually make a labeled piece of paper with spots for the different die sizes so that the players don’t need to worry about this.

Oh, you want to play a spellcaster, but you actually only want to be able to blast things with magic? Here is a warlock character sheet with JUST eldritch blast and “Sith Lightning” that you can use twice today. You can also change your appearance at will. (Don’t worry about invocations, spell slots, spell slot recovery, choosing spells etc…)

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick The Limiting Lie

When it comes to character development, NPC or PC, we know that setting both short-term and long-term goals is the name of the game. These goals give our characters something to strive for. During a campaign, we hope to develop our characters through roleplay and choices the characters make. While some of this is limited based on what the GM offers to us, much of it is within our control. We believe that some of the best character stories end in the character obtaining that goal. But did you know that you can make that success far more potent and memorable for both you and the other players?

Here is a simple technique that will make the character’s achievement of the goal something that will not only allow your character to evolve, but also cause emotional reactions. What we are talking about is a limiting lie. When building your character consider this simple question. What is a lie or untruth that your character believes so strongly at the beginning of the story that prevents the character from achieving their goal? Think about it, this question forces us as players to develop our own plot twists that the GM can leverage in the story. How will this affect your character when they learn the truth of the lie they have believed since the beginning? The most common example is a teacher or mentor who has always been by the character’s side, providing guidance to help them better themselves. In the end, learning that the mentor was only using the student as a tool to achieve some other goal. A great example of this is in the CW show, Flash. Spoiler alert. In it, we learn his mentor Harrison Wells is helping to train Barry Allen to become as fast as possible. He aids Flash in becoming a hero. In the end, the Flash learns that the whole reason for Well’s support was so he could steal the Flash's speed for himself. This turns Barry’s trust of all into a more volatile trait. He becomes far more untrusting and struggles with it throughout the rest of the series. His lack of trust makes it difficult for him to achieve certain goals that may require the aid of another.

Shrine to Talos - A Wild Beyond the Witchlight Adventure

Stop a group of evil druids from unleashing chaos upon the domains of delight in this expansion for The Wild Beyond the Witchlight! This adventure is designed for the Wild Beyond the Witchlight campaign and is intended to give your players extra content during travel. It will bring your party in contact with Sovebin, a druid of Talos pretending to be a druid of Silvanus. He asks them to collect a relic for an important ritual, which turns out to be a bit darker than they had bargained for...

Winner: caramos386

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