5e Hybrid Animal the First: The Sharktopus

Hybrid animals are just animals! Why is an owlbear a “Monstrosity” in the 5e Monster Manual? Is it an unbalanced creature? No. Does it do something supernatural or extraordinary? No. It is a bear with a beak!
So. Certain hybrid animals will be “Beasts” in my 5e settings from now on.
There are, of course, a couple of ground rules:
  1. The creature must be composed of the parts of no more than 2 real animals (or dinosaurs). An owl and a bear! Okay! A badger and a chicken! Uh... Yep. A dragon, goat and lion with a snake tail.... Nope. No chimeras. (Yes. Yes. Potayto. Potato. See #4.)
  2. It must be composed of currently existing animals in the Monster Manual.
  3. It must have an unaligned nature. No death dogs. They are evil (or seriously misunderstood).
  4. It can not have any supernatural abilities. It can breathe lightning and fly in a bubble of aetheric energy. What?!? No... Awesome. But, no.

The sharktopus is a strange and rare hybrid animal that is popular among the KuoToa. While they lack the cleverness of the octopus, they have the ferocious bloodlust of a shark! Rare giant sharktopuses have been known to reach lengths of up to 40 feet.

Sharktopus (CR: 3)
Large beast (monstrosity), unaligned
Armor Class 11
Hit Points 71 (8d10 + 27)
Speed 10 ft., swim 50 ft.
20 (+5)
12 (+1)
17 (+3)
3 (-3)
10 (0)
4 (-3)
Skills Perception +3, Stealth +5
Senses blindsight 60ft., passive Perception 13

Blood Frenzy. The sharktopus has advantage on all melee attack roll against any creature that doesn’t have all its hit points.
Underwater Camouflage. The sharktopus has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made while underwater.
Water Breathing. The sharktopus can breathe only underwater.
Multiattack. The sharktopus makes two attacks. One with its tentacles and one with its bite.
Barbed Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 5) bludgeoning OR piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it is grappled (escape DC 17). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the octopus can’t use its tentacles on another target.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d8 + 5) piercing damage. If the target is grappled or restrained by a tentacle, the sharktopus has advantage on the attack.
Ink Cloud. A 20-foot-radius cloud of ink extends all around the sharktopus if it is underwater. The area is heavily obscured for 1 minute, although a significant current can disperse the ink. After releasing the ink, the sharktopus can use the Dash action as a bonus action.


A to Z of Alliterative Alchemy, Part 2: F through K

A to Z of Alliterative Alchemy, Part the Second
The eccentric professor of alchemy, Arkhom Zayta, compiled a number of his student’s greatest works into a single tome, essentially stealing their hard work. And while his body and will were never found, the tome was recently recovered and restored. This is a sampling of the entries found within.

Fade Foilyk’s Foci for Fantastic Final Fatalities
These black crystals are enchanted by wizards that know the end is nigh.
  • Reagents: Black lava salt, drop of human blood, pure water
  • Catalyst: Whispers of the Dead
  • Effects: Cast any spell upon the crystal and place the salty, black stone in your mouth in place of a tooth. When you expire, clench down upon the crystal to give your enemies a last breath of comeuppance.
  • Side Effects: Your demeanour grows somewhat erratic and you are prone to extreme mood swings. You are also more death-prone while keeping such an ill-fated item in your mouth (-1 to instant death saving throws). Premature castings are uncommon, but not unheard of... the final fantastic fatal fireball of Fade Foilyk is one such case.

Grommet Ginkoll's Gassy Grim Gorgon Ginger Ale
This pleasant fizzy beverage provides a modicum of resistance to petrification and paralysis.
  • Reagents: A ginger ale, grimly gristed gorgon eyes (or basilisk, in a pinch)
  • Catalyst: Ginger Bug (a rare insect)
  • Effects: Gain a major bonus to all saves vs petrification and paralysis for 1 hour.
  • Side Effects: Gassy and sweet smelling. You attract wandering monsters with loud belches and the strong scent of your breath.

Holly Helfer’s Holy Haggis of Hallowed Harmonious Healing
When shared among friends, the haggis creates a bond of healing and trust. Any healing that one gives to another is amplified with this bond.
  • Reagents: haggis
  • Catalyst: The haggis is not enchanted. The sheep that is used in the preparation of the haggis is massaged with holy oils and blessed each day for a fortnight. It grazes on cloister grasses and drinks from a blessed fountain.
  • Effects: Any time a group shares a haggis, they are heal-bonded. Whenever a healing effect is cast between two or more heal-bonded targets, the healing effect is increased by one die type and gains an additional +1/die. A spell healing 1d8+1 becomes 1d10+2. Any healing potion or medicinal ministrations performed by one member of a heal-bond upon another gains the same advantage. If an effect has no dice of healing, increase the effect by 2.
  • Side Effects: Holy Haggises are lawful and will have dire effects if shared with someone of a diametrically opposed faith or alignment.

Inigo Inerro's Incredible Incense of Invulnerability

Placed in a brazier and set to smouldering, this incense will endow any who engulf their body in its smoke with temporary imperviousness to harm by all manner of non-magical weaponry.
  • Reagents: spikenard, elemi, bay laurel
  • Catalyst: ironwood powder,  
  • Effects: You suffer no harm from non-magical weapons. This effect lasts 6 hours.
  • Side Effects: As with Achilles, no one is completely immune to harm. Roll a d6 and add this number to your armour class. This is your magic number; the number required to pierce the magical protection that surrounds you. You will only suffer damage if this number is rolled, any number above or below fails to deal damage. (Optional side effect: this magic number damage is always critical.)

Jacynthe Jelly of the Jackalope
The Jackalope was a strangely shaped wizard from an unnamed land. He was known for his beautiful scent, prodigious horns and incredible leaping.  
  • Reagents: jacynthe petals, moondew, honey
  • Catalyst: a cricket
  • Effects: The jelly, when spread on the soles of boots or bottoms of feet, has the same effect as a pair of boots of striding and springing for 1 hour. You also have a strong floral scent that is pleasant and alluring (+1 to social rolls).
  • Side Effects: Repeated uses of the jelly can cause deer horns to grow from the forehead.

Keg's Kettle of Kobold Kryptonite
As a Dwarven Cleric of Moradin and master brewer, Keg Ironstein has brought much joy to the many people he has crossed paths with. Except kobolds. Keg keeps a cold closed-off compartment in his crusty old keg-shaped heart for kobolds.

  • Reagents: lilac wine, rose petals, beetleberries
  • Catalyst: a drop of vinegar
  • Effects: When drunk, the alcohol has a strange but please aftertaste. When drunk by Kobolds, it is a potent toxin causing paralysis and in some cases death. If evaporated in large quantities, it can be used to "smoke out" Kobold caves.
  • Side Effects: Apparently, this beverage has an aroma not unlike dragon pheromones. Use with caution.


A to Z of Alliterative Alchemy, Part 1: A through E

A to Z of Alliterative Alchemy, Part the First
The eccentric professor of alchemy, Arkhom Zayta, compiled a number of his student’s greatest works into a single tome, essentially stealing their hard work. And while his body and will were never found, the tome was recently recovered and restored. This is a sampling of the entries found within.

Aian Aram’s Alabaster Admixture of Armadillo Ablation
Administering the Admixture of Armadillo Ablation is an amazing answer to avoiding abuse amidst aggressive assaults. The admixture is smeared all over the body and then heavy leather plates of the alabaster armadillo begin to grow up from under the skin, providing amazing protection against enemy blades.
  • Reagents: armadillo shell and claw (alabaster is preferred, but pink is acceptable), liquid silver
  • Catalyst: spittle of the target user.
  • Effects: Rubbing the admixture into the flesh has several effects. The user gains a random bonus to AC and half that bonus as damage reduction (rolled or determined by DM, +2 AC equals 1 point of damage reduction) for 1 hour. Also grows claws that deal 1d4 damage and a confer a burrowing speed of 5 feet (or 5’ per point of Strength modifier).
  • Side Effects: Target’s skin is magically sheared off as plates of hard, leathery shell emerge. This requires a saving throw to avoid losing consciousness due to EXTREME PAIN (out for 1d20 - Constitution minutes)! After one hour, the leathery plates and digging claws drop away painlessly and begin to dissolve into a brackish mess. The freshly revealed skin underneath is raw, pink and ultra-sensitive. Excessive use has led to change in dietary habits, turning to insectivores.

Bilious Brognark’s Bitterbrew of Bombastic Belching
Being a brash buck, Bilious Brognark botched his “better” bottled batch of best bitter into a bombastic belcher's brew. This beer has several interesting side effects that can be detrimental/beneficial to the drinker: loud bursts of thunderous burping, extreme gastric distress and incidental levitation.
  • Reagents: bat’s wing, boiled destrachan gizzard. Brewed in a bitter beer for two weeks.
  • Catalyst: A pinch of ground Yrthak horn added before bottling.
  • Effects: The drinker can push 1 enemy 15 feet as a bonus action every round (lasts 1 hour). This push causes 1d4 thunder damage (or sonic, if you prefer) and creates a sound that can be heard up to 300 feet away.
  • Side Effects: Extreme gastric distress and bouts of bouyancy. If the drinker does not use this ability on their turn, they begin to fill with bombastic gases. For each round they "hold it in", additional effects occur. Round 1: discomfort. Round 2: visible gastric expansion. Round 3: LIFT OFF! (As a spell of Levitation), 1 damage. Round 4: Higher! Higher! 1d2 damage. Round 5: Boom! Save versus explosive death. 1d10 damage on save. If killed, the thunderously exploding body showers all within 25' for 1d4 damage/hit dice of the creature and produces a booming shock wave that knocks prone all within range (no save) and echoes loudly for 2 miles. Belching reduces condition by one level and can be used to steer levitation with a successful Intelligence check.

Cassowary Candide’s Cakes of Cacophonous Corruption
Consuming Cassowary Candide’s Cakes of Cacophonous Corruption causes the creature to cough cascades of calamitous cadence. Cassowary Candide was a bard of some skill until her voice was smote from her by a humourless paladin. Nowadays, she makes hateful pastries and sweets with her witchcraft.
  • Reagents: Bleak Cake (flour, eggs, butter, buttermilk, vanilla, black fairy wings) and Screech Frosting (honey, butter, dried shrieker)
  • Effects: the eater can screech necrotic soundwaves as a bonus action for 1 minute. Range 15 feet. Single target. Deals 1d8 necrotic damage, DC 15 Constitution save (or breath weapon)
  • Side Effects: The player must also speak at *all times* in a strange voice. Failure do so means, that the corruption has tainted your uvula. All social rolls for 1 day are at disadvantage due to the horrid stench emitted when you talk.

Daria Dirkendrake’s Dreaded Deadly Dreaming Duo-Draught
A dram of this deadly dream-draught will draw despicable death and devastation to denizens of desolate dreamscapes.  
Undeniably the weapon of choice within the Society of Somanautic Slayers, a guild of dream assassins. With this draught, a strong-willed or charismatic killer can enter the dreams of another and while there inflict grievous and even fatal wounds on them. The victim is filled with dread as they arrive in an unfamiliar and terrifying dreamscape. The attack will begin pursuit, which the dreamer can not escape and eventually the victim is overcome and usually killed.
  • Reagents: keif, nightshade, prismatic lotus root, a hair of the intended victim and a tear of the assassin.
  • Catalyst: both dreamers must drink the same draught and fall into a natural sleep.
  • Effects: the assassin enters the dream of their victim, and attacks them as normal. However, all attacks deal charisma damage and are modified by wisdom or charisma (not strength or dexterity). When the victim drops to zero Charisma, the fall into a permanent vegetative state. At this point, the assassin can choose any one of these permanent impairments to inflict upon the victim: blindness, mute, deafness, reduce any one ability score to 5 permanently or  (usually) death. To prevent the victim from waking during an attempt, the assassin must restrain their persona. A contest of will (Wisdom) or personalities (Charisma) will determine whether the victim can escape their assailant (attacker uses higher score, victim uses lower).
  • Side Effects: Nightmares. For 3 days, you suffer horrid rest-interrupting nightmares. During this time, there is a 5% chance of being attacked in your dreams by the shade of your victim.

The Edumancer’s Elixir of Exceptionally Extraordinary Excellence
Efforts to evince effective educational exploration are easily earned with the Edumancer’s Elixir of Exceptionally Extraordinary Excellence. A burst of inspiration and a dash of luck go into every elixir. The imbiber finds his attempts to acquire information wildly successful.

  • Reagents: juice of a forbidden fruit, feather and scale from a couatl tail.
  • Catalyst: tears of a tutor.
  • Effect: All lore checks gain a bonus. Any research work or library hunting will garner good leads and excellent results.
  • Side Effects: distraction by deep thoughts will make the drinker of the elixir mostly useless in most other situations. Massive penalties in combat and social situations. After use, the user will suffer terrible withdrawal headaches and possibly addiction.


Space Fantasy Backgrounds

Space Fantasy Backgrounds 
These ideas were crowd-sourced HERE with aid from:

+Chris P. +Harald Wagener +Reece Carter +Andrew Y. +Reginald Mc Reynolds 

For use with any Space-fantasy game, a list of 64 archetypes or backgrounds. Entries are listed by title / trait / additional gear.
Just roll 2 D8s!

Roll d88:
11. Space Lawman / always gets his mark / robotic horse and laser sixshooters
12. Displaced Whately Family Member / disgusting character and horrid unibrow / a dangerously flawed copy of the Necromomicon and your degenerate sibling sealed in a can
13. Big-eared space merchant / greedy but shrewd negotiator / Ross Perot Fan Club card
14. Hairy Sasquatch bodyguard / 'RRRAARGGH"  ( only speaks in animalistic screams, but is seemingly still understood) / a big honkin' laser cannon and gun-belt
15. Moon dwelling club owner / smuggler / freeze dried chihuahua (a small but vicious dog)
16. Clone of a jazz musician / clone blues / trophy signifying the worst use of a trope pun ever
17. Clone of a clone of a.../ wonky and wicked / a picture of a photograph
18. Mad gnome tinkerer / eccentric genius with a few random obsessions / a toolkit of various bits and bobs
21. Space samurai or knight / follows a code of honor / an heirloom sword made of stronger-than-titanium metal
22. Grown-up Former Boy Genius / brilliant but lazy and neurotic / doctoral degree of dubious quality and decaying corporate empire
23. Tech-worshipping Ubersoldier / "I AM THE LAW!" / BFG 3000 and a pair of shades
24. Bounty hunter / badass professionalism but secret Achilles' heel / power suit and laser blaster
25. Sagely psychic warrior / views passion as weakness / energy sword
26. Unethical smuggler / jerkass with a (secret) heart of gold / space vessel
27. Psionic Dark Overlord / preaches embracing negative emotions in private but pretends to be an altruistic government official in public / anachronistic dark robes
28. Gluttonous, obese alien crimelord / hedonistic but shrewd / CHOOSE: a flying platform OR mechanical legs OR a set of chains to keep slaves in line
31. Wimpy communications droid / Nervous Nelly / built-in polyglot language module
32. Multitool droid that appears as a garbage can on legs / Communicates via snarky beeps and boops / built in tools such as razor saw and laser welder
33. Self-rescuing Princess / tough, foul-mouthed / disguise kit
34. Former galactic herald / regretful about the past / hover board
35. Color-coded ring-bearer / Strong ideals / Cosmic ring that manifests power in all one color
36. Menacing space dictator / Obsession or love affair with vague cosmic entity or force / gauntlets of power
37. Cloned flunky / can't hit the broad side of a barn / white armored uniform and energy rifle not proficient in
38. Unnamed subordinate / highly disposable / red shirt
41. Musclebound outlander hero / Always appears just in the nick of time / Mystical sword to transform back into innocuous civilian
42. Mineral Rhinoceros / surprisingly gentle / many rocks to shoot out its horn
43. Brain in a bulky artificial body / trademark annoying laugh / laser blaster and hover chair
44. Invertebrate medical doctor / creative ideas of human anatomy / a scalpel, hacksaw, and medical bag
45. Intelligent ooze being / Makes hilarious semi-human grunting noises / A smaller buddy of its kind
46. Diminutive alien wizard / Comedic incompetency / Hat that always overshadows face and a jawa-lookalike costume
47. Cat-Ninja / cheerfully vengeful / black suit and starlight knife
48. Swashbuckling Space Captain / Acrobatic and a smile so shiny it makes a "plink" sound / a fancy sword and hat
51. Burly hippo-man / Speaks in a surprisingly good British accent / guns, guns, and more guns
52. Cat-eating next-door neighbor from space / smarmy attitude / TV remote control
53. Comedic relief blue monkey / insufferably annoying / attempt-at-cutesy jumpsuit
54. Cargo hauler / put your back into it / exo suit for lifting
55. Tentacled Alien / Just wants a hug / many tentacles.
56. Red-blooded earthman / arrogant / leather vest (no shirt)
57. Scientist / over-prepared / scanalyzer unit
58. Pointy-eared pacifist / trustworthy / portable communications array
61. Metal man / infallibly logical / rocket feet and heat-ray eyes
62. Solar crusader / self-righteous / plasma sword
63. Alien savage / brute strength / pouch of alien herbs and iron club
64. Green-skinned incubus / irresistibly attractive / fans and veils (for sexy dancing)
65. Space Dandy / dumb luck / fashionable jacket and boots
66. Gunslinger / true grit / blaster and a great hat
67. Earth Animal / incredibly smart / wired into a computer
68. Military Advisor / shrewd tactitian / Impressive Uniform, Tool Watch
71. Space Ranger / dashingly fearless / K9 Robot Companion
72. Grey Alien / dangerously intelligent / Telepathy Pendant
73. Laser Princess / defiantly independent / bubble helmet and twin laser pistols
74. Scoundrel / smarmy charm / blaster and vest
75. Tech Savant / "Mr. Fix-it" / tool belt
76. Void Monk / inscrutably mysterious / robe with hood
77. Space Sorcerer-ess / imperious gaze / repository of mystical power (a locket, bracelet, box or...)
78. Spaceport Urchin / "... like the back of my hand" / strange memento of parents
81. Killbot / "Exterminate" / defective disintegration ray (only deals mortal wounds, no longer disintegrates)
82. Damsel / distress and deception / so many clothes, durable luggage
83. Bio-wizard / a flair for aberrations / jPad with a library of eugenics texts, diminutive mutant assistant
84. Irregular Militia / scrounging and jury-rigging / patched medium armour and rifle, memento of your sweetheart back home
85. Former Redshirt / calculated cowardice / military issue weapon and a red shirt folded up in your pack.
86. The Saviour / power of vague prophecy / mundane object of indiscernible power (meant to destroy the Dark One or lay low the greatest evil in the known universe)
87. Courtesan / persuasion and wiles / attire for any occasion
88. Roll twice. Combine the entries.