Lego Ideas Considers Dungeon Masters Set

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , ,

Greetings and salutations all today I want to highlight a rather interesting development which may excite some of you master builders out there.
Now over the years many groups (including my own) have often used Lego minifigures as characters and monsters on their game boards and battle maps, some ambitious Dungeon Masters have even created whole dungeon from Lego and even developed games such as BrickQuest by Peter F. Guenther.

Brickquest at Gencon 2003

The Lego company themselves have taken tentative steps in a similar direction with their release of the Heroica, a game very similar to Games Workshops 1989 game Heroquest and it has proven popular enough to have numerous different adventures such as the Caverns of Nathuz, Ilrion, Draida Bay, Waldurk Forest and Castle Fortaan. Each of these sets can be connected and while costly like many Lego products are far cheaper and easier than trying to obtain a copy of Heroquest which at a minimum is over £100. Also much like the original Heroquest it seeks to emulate Heroica has attracted the attention of the gaming community especially /tg/ and has had additional rules created for it to further expand its gameplay.

So with this in mind with the introduction of Lego Ideas in 2008 it was really only a matter of time until a Dungeon Master Set was suggested, for those of you unfamiliar with Lego Ideas it is a website run by Chaordix and The Lego Group, which allows users to submit ideas for Lego products to be turned into potential sets available commercially, with the original designer receiving 1% of the royalties.

Submitted on the 22nd of January 2017 by a user named Ymarilego, the Dungeon Master Set reached the 10,000 supporter requirement at such a record pace even the Lego Staff commented on its popularity:
Dear Ymarilego,
What just happened?! We're pinching ourselves to make sure it wasn't a dream, as your project spread like wild fire over the weekend seemingly backed up by all of the internet. In fact, the countless  "Well, that escalated quickly" internet memes spring to mind for some reason. Your very well presented project forms the basis of an interesting role-playing based game through which players can express their creativity in different ways. From your comments we can see the neat touch of having yourself and your sons as the heroes of this journey. Well, you're already heroes to 10,000 supporters that's for sure!   
You can a foot off the gas pedal and relax as we're glad to now officially advance this project to the Review phase.

What happens now?
This project moves from the Idea stage to the Review stage. A "LEGO Review Board" composed of designers, product managers, and other key team members will examine the idea. We'll build concept models and determine if the concept meets our high standards for what it takes to be a LEGO product. This includes factors such as playability, safety, and fit with the LEGO brand. Every potential LEGO product goes through a process like this and must meet the same standards.

The LEGO Review Begins in May
This project qualifies for the First 2017 Review, which includes projects that reach 10,000 supporters between early January and early May. For more information about the LEGO review process, please see the Project Guidelines and House Rules.
The review is a thorough process and from its start it can take several months. When finished, we make a "go/no go" decision to develop and sell a product based on the Dungeon Master.
When the review is complete, we will inform you of our decision. If green-lit, this project goes into the longest phase of the project; the Development phase. During this time, LEGO model designers refine the product and develop it for release, we create the product materials (box, instructions, marketing), and get everything ready for a production run. This also takes several months.
We will post follow-up information and our decision here.

As you can see from the screen shots its modular design means that a large variation of dungeons can be designed and clipped together sturdily, not to mention the rooms themselves can be easily customised. So when May rolls round I will be greatly surprised if Lego fail to acknowledge the support and demand this has as a produce, not to mention wit their previous designs of Medieval, Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit sets many of the required blocks are readily available.

If you like this idea and want to support it further then check out Ymarilego's next project, a smaller expansion for the Dungeon Master Set called The Mine.  

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3rd Party Showcase: Aerial Cavalier

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , ,

The still waters of the lake shimmered with the reflections white starlight and the waning crescent moon that escaped the wispy clouds, the sight before her seemed fey like almost as if taken from a story book even as the night breeze returned with a cold caress sending ripples and a shiver through both Tiasel and the lake.   
The sound of fluttering wings returning on the wind and a quiet rustle made twitch at the sudden realisation she wasn't alone, not ten paces from her in the shadow of an old willow the unassuming leader of this band she found her amongst was sat watching the lake. A Hawk rest upon his arm swallowing the remains of a unfortunate creature it had captured, Duncan acknowledged her with a faint smile and a nod before returning to his watch with a unwavering gaze.

Remaining composed even as a hot rush of embarrassment at been caught unaware chased away the evening chill Tiasel returned the gesture, her own eyes puzzled and curious in equal measure as she joined him. Settling upon a large root drawing her legs up to her chest to keep out the cold she continued to watch the pair, fascinated not only by the beautiful creature but also trying to examine this man of such quiet and unassuming disposition.
Fingers unfurling with a slight tremble, her hand began to reach out towards the Hawk gingerly, biting her lip in a moment of self doubt the young rogue started to retreat only to find the Duncan's hand upon her own holding her steady. "Remain calm and she'll allow it, if you twitch or fear then she too will be restless." 

Welcome to another edition of 3rd Party Show Case, this series of articles aims to highlight some of the more interesting 3rd party and homebrew creations available online. When able to we will credit the original creators and post links directly to the material.

Today is a little different as I am focusing upon a prestige class from Scarred Lands Campaign Setting: Ghelspad though much of the setting reliant requirements have been removed from the class to make available to other settings and games by the D&D community.
The Aerial Cavalier is an expert at fighting on an aerial mount increasing their mounts manoeuvrability and evasion, attacking their foes from afar or with devastating charges. In addition to their martial training, Aerial Cavaliers are frequently used as envoys and couriers, and thus they are versed in the skills of statecraft.

Becoming a Aerial Cavalier

Cavaliers due to its ability to gain a Riding Hawk or Riding Eagle as a basic mount will find themselves with the earliest accessibility to the class depending on their feat choices, whilst Paladins have the next easiest time with access to flying mounts such as Hippogriff's or Giant Owls becoming available from 6th onward (DMG3.5 page 204, there has not been an equivalent rule in Pathfinder yet).
Druids and Rangers may also enter but with no appropriate low level Animal companion and a onging general debate leaving it unclear on which animal companions increase in size categories they will normally have to wait until later levels, in addition the loss of spell casting levels usually makes this class unappealing to most Druids.

Fighters have several interesting methods of obtaining the mount required for entry into the class, the simplest method (bar simply loaning a party members mount.) is to purchase one with the Giant Owl been one of the cheapest at about 5000-6000gp (4000gp for a chick and 1000gp for the trainer + expenses). However they take 6 weeks to train which combined with the fact they are not the hardiest of creatures in Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder and lack the ability to improve like a Special Mount or Animal Companion as the Fighter increases in level he may find his mount been repeatedly cut down from under him as he faces stronger foes.
Alternative methods to fulfil this requirement could be the use of the Leadership Feat or Dragon Cohort Feat to obtain a intelligent magical beast cohort or dragon to use as a mount though both require the cooperation of the DM. Other prestige classes which provide mounts such as the Aglarondan Griffonrider or Dragon Rider though both these classes are setting specific and again require some alteration and permission from DM.

It should be noted that smaller races actually have an easier time fulfilling the entry requirements.

With full Base Attack Bonus and good Fortitude and Reflex Saves and reasonable selection of Class Skills the only thing that the Aerial Cavalier truly suffers from is their reliance upon their mount to make use of many of the class features and that the class features focus upon aiding a mounts survival.


Skills: Ride 8 ranks, Handle Animal 8 ranks.
Feats: Proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, Armour Proficiency (light, medium), Mounted Combat, Lightning Reflexes, Shield Proficiency.
Special: The character must own or have access to a flying mount.

Base Attack Bonus
Saving Throws



Aerial defence, Flyby Attack, mount
Aerial evasion
Aerial archery
Enhanced manoeuvrability I
Crash land
Empathic link
Spirited charge
Enhanced manoeuvrability II
Extended empathic link
Improved aerial evasion

Hit Dice: D10

Class Skills:
The Aerial Cavalier class skills are: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Geography) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Aerial Cavalier prestige class:

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Aerial Cavaliers gain no additional proficiency with weapons or armour.
Aerial Defence (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, whenever an Aerial cavaliers flying mount is required to make a Reflex saving throw, the Aerial cavalier may substitute her own Reflex saving throw, if her bonus is greater than the mount's.
Flyby Attack (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, while flying upon her aerial mount, an Aerial Cavalier and her mount both benefit from the Flyby Attack feat. They may attack before, during, or after the mount's move.
Mount: A paladin or cavalier whose special mount is also an aerial mount may add her Aerial cavalier levels to her paladin/cavalier levels when determining the abilities of her special mount.
Aerial Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level, the mounted Aerial cavalier gains the ability to use her mount's three-dimensional movement capabilities to avoid magical and unusual attacks. If, while flying on her mount, the cavalier makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, the cavalier instead takes no damage from the attack. While the cavalier is mounted on her flying mount, the mount also benefits from this ability—if the mount makes a successful Reflex saving throw against the same attack.
Aerial Archer (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, while flying upon her aerial mount, the penalty that an Aerial cavalier suffers when using a ranged weapon is halved. Typically, this penalty drops from -4 to -2 if the mount is taking a double move, and -8 to -4 if the mount is attempting difficult manoeuvres (loops, barrel rolls).
Enhanced Manoeuvrability (Ex): At 4th level, the Aerial cavalier can increase her mount's flying manoeuvrability rating by one ranks, so that a manoeuvrability rating of clumsy becomes poor, poor becomes average, average becomes good, and both good and perfect become perfect. At 8th level, this ability improves so that the cavalier increases her mount's rating by 2 ranks (maximum is still perfect).
Crash Land (Ex): At 5th level the Aerial cavalier whose mount is blinded, blown away, dazed, deafened, disabled, dying, entangled, held, paralyzed, stunned, or unconscious may have her mount continue to move when it might not otherwise be able to do so. The mount may continue to take make single-move partial actions for one round per level of the Aerial cavalier. While moving in this manner, the mount's manoeuvrability rating is reduced one rank, so for example a rating of average becomes poor (a mount that is clumsy remains clumsy). If the mount is still aloft after the time limit has passed and it could not otherwise remain flying, if will fall.
Empathic Link (Ex): At 6th level, the Aerial cavalier may establish an Empathic Link with a single aerial mount. This is treated exactly like a paladin's Empathic Link with her special mount. If the aerial mount is killed, the cavalier must wait a year before establishing an Empathic Link with another mount.
Spirited Charge (Ex): At 7th level the Aerial cavalier gains the Spirited Charge feat for use from her flying mount. If she already has the Spirited Charge feat, she may increase their Spirited Charge to 3x damage with melee weapon, and 4x damage with a lance.
Extended Empathic Link (Su): At 9th level, the Aerial cavaliers Empathic Link with her mount improves. It now has an unlimited range, provided that both the cavalier and the mount are on the same plane of existence.
Improved Aerial Evasion (Ex): At 10th level, an Aerial cavaliers mounted Aerial Evasion ability improves. She and her mount still take no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks such as fireball, but now only take half damage if they fail their saving throw.

Using the Aerial Cavalier

While prestige classes such as the Aglarondan Griffonrider could be considered superior it should be noted that the Aerial Cavaliers abilities can be used on any flying mount (with the exception of the Empathic Link) they are riding regardless of its race giving the Aerial Cavalier a degree of flexibility not available to other similar themed prestige classes.
The Aerial Cavaliers strength comes from the Enhanced Manoeuvrability it grants the mount, allowing mount and rider to attack larger more cumbersome foes and deliver devastating charges further empowered by Spirited Charge and Flyby Attack or harass them with ranged attacks while keeping out of reach. Specific tactics for an Aerial Cavalier are difficult to recommend due to the reliance upon the mount to plan them and this also highlights the classes greatest weakness. Every class feature is focused upon improving the Aerial Cavaliers abilities upon their mount so if the campaign forces the Aerial Cavalier into a confrontation on the ground they can find themselves with much few options available than a regular Fighter or Paladin. 
Outside of combat the Aerial Cavalier's Diplomacy and Knowledge skills can certainly help in military planning, noble gatherings and general travel though most Aerial Cavalier's will prioritise the Balance, Ride and Spot skills above all else.
With the background of been envoys and couriers an Aerial Cavalier NPC is a great way to have a lord or noble family contact the Players and showing the great prestige or wealth of the lord in question. While not expected evil Aerial Cavaliers make surprising good antagonists ranging from the spoilt nobles son who abuses his position to intimate and insult, to a group of enforcers imposing their lords will upon a series of isolate villages. 
With my review of the class I've noted some growing interest amongst some of my group in updating the class to make it more comparable in strength alongside Pathfinder class and more viable choice for Pathfinder players.
For further information on making the most of mounts and mounted characters the Mounts Handbook is a good place to start.

Her fingertips toying with the long feather in her grasp marvelling at its softness, a soft giggle left the young woman's lips before she tucked her prize into one of her leather tunics many deep pockets for safe keeping. The Hawk now roosting in the tree above her attention now turned to its 'owner' though he had denied as such claim as he guide her fingers across the bird even when she teased him for information, "Tonight feels like a story book, you and that Hawk remind me of tales my mother used to tell me in the evenings about the Griffonriders of Evermore.."

"It must of been difficult growing up in the Elven tenements in the capital with all the bitterness from the old wars." His voice hardly above a whisper regardless the words were louder than a scream to her ears "How.. how did you.. do the others know?" the half elfs voice almost broke breath catching in her throat, eye wide with a very sudden awareness that she was alone and unarmed as the panic set in. 
"When you were on the altar your hair was swept back enough to reveal your ears.. Sandell may of noticed but you needn't worry neither of us will say anything unless you speak of it yourself." Duncanss eyes leaving the lake for the first time now focus entirely upon her as he offered her his outstretched hand, his voice steady and calm with no hint of duplicity or malice as he continued. "In my village we had a half orc smith, regardless of the insults and slurs thrown his way he never once rose to them and was one of the kindest and bravest men I had ever met.. To judge another by their birth is foolish and forces others down paths they may have otherwise avoided."

Her mind a blizzard of conflicting thoughts and fears the normally self assured rogue hands clenched as she fought within herself, the words seeming almost too good to be true even within the guild and her few friends there her bloodline had been something to note, to mock or abuse. With one final deep breath and a low huff her hand darted out, the calloused palm of the ranger turning white where her fingers bit into his skin as she gripped with all her strength fuelled by the anxiety and doubt that ebbed from her. "Damn it you really are trying to make it a fairy tale.. Okay I'm going to trust my ears on this one and trust you, don't make me regret it."   

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