Saturday, October 6, 2012

Danniver's Fire Beetles

Danniver Crinch, an alchemist of questionable talent, has been working to perfect a Potion of Enlarge. He has tried and failed many times, but feels he may be close to success due to the use of a rather unique ingredient. Through an acquaintance he has secured the gland from a fire giant that fuels its massive growth. He hopes that the essence within can be formulated into a reliable potion.

     Normally, Danniver would use human subjects to test his potions. However, a few recent mishaps have meant that no one - not even the most financially desperate - are willing to take a risk on one of Danniver's concoctions. (The last person who tested Danniver's Potion of Levitation drifted up into the sky and out to space.)

     With no test subjects, Danniver has been testing his potion on some beetles he found in the alley behind his workshop. The beetles have grown at an impressive rate and it appears that their large size is permanent. Furthermore, they have developed red, glowing nodules on both sides of their heads. (This could be the result of the fire giant's fiery essence manifesting itself.) Danniver has locked the dog-sized beetles in his basement, unsure of what to do with them. The beetles are hungry, possess razor sharp mandibles and have been eating the stairs. He's worried that it's only a matter of time before they escape.

Fire Beetles (5); Armor Class: 4, Hit Dice: 1d8+2, Hit Points: 6, THAC0: 19, No. of Attacks: 1, Damage: 2d4, Alignment: Neutral, Move: 12, Morale: 12, XP Value: 35

Notes: The glowing nodules on either side of a fire beetle's head will continue to glow for 1d6 days after it is slain. They cast light in a 10' radius. 
     Danniver is hoping to hire some especially talented exterminators to slay the insects. Danniver is more than capable of doing the job himself, but he does not like insects and giant varieties leave him sickened and panicked. Moreover, he is currently in the midst of brewing a potion and cannot afford any distraction. If they do a thorough, discrete job, he will offer them two of his potions as payment.

     Given Danniver's reputation for treating test subjects poorly, no one has yet to answer his job posting at any of the Baldur's Gate hiring halls. Nevertheless, Danniver has a few potions ready just in case. Below are descriptions of a few potions that he has on hand. He will offer two - the exterminators can choose - as payment.

Potion of Healing
     Danniver's healing potions are derived from troll livers on account that the he believe a troll's regenerative abilities originate from that organ. His healing potions restore 1d6+1 hit points. However, the side effect is that the drinker's skin turns light green for 1d4 days.

Potion of Gaseous Form
     Using a secret process taught to him by his master, Danniver coerces a ghost to pass through an effervescent solution. The drinker will become gaseous for 10 minutes; however, the spectral taint of the ghost will age him one year.

Potion of Barkskin
     Bark from a dead treant is soaked in spring water, then distilled. The person who drinks it will enjoy an AC of 6 for 3d4 rounds as their skin develops a hard, bark-like shell. On the downside, they will grow a patches of moss on their forearms that persists for 1d4 days.

Potion of Charm Person
     Danniver does not like to brew this potion, but it is popular as people are always interested in coercing others to do things against their will. The vocal chords of a harpy are minced, then simmered in the oily secretions from her inner thighs. The foul-tasting concoction allows the drinker to cast Charm Person as if they were a 5th level caster. The following day the drinker will be unable to keep himself from spewing torrents of obscenity. He will also find that his skin is rather oily and malodorous. These side effects last a single day.
Potion of Water Breathing
     Scraping the slime from a merman's gills is a crucial step in brewing this potion. The drinker will be able to breathe comfortably under water for 10dd4 rounds. Afterward, the drinker will have a noticeable fish smell about their person, which lingers for 1d4 days. This results in a temporary decrease of the Charisma score by 1.

Danniver Crinch, Male Human, Mage 9; Armor Class: 10, Hit Dice: 5d4, Hit Points: 22, THAC0: 18 (17 with dagger), No. of Attacks: 1, Damage: 1d4+1 (+1 dagger), Alignment: Chaotic Good, Move: 12

Spells: 1st: Armor, Charm Person, Mending, Sleep; 2nd: Blindness, Invisibility, Levitate; 3rd: Blink, Fly, Hold Person; 4th: Polymorph Other, Polymorph Self; 5th: Shadow Door

Strength: 10, Dexterity: 11, Constitution: 11, Intelligence: 16, Wisdom: 14, Charisma: 11

Nonweapon Proficiencies: Brewing, Cooking, Herbalism, Reading/Writing, Spellcraft

Saving Throws: Parlayzation, Poison, Death Magic: 13, Rod, Staff, Wand: 9, Petrification or Polymorph: 11, Breath Weapons: 13, Spell 10

Equipment: Spellbook, +1 dagger, potions (see above), locked cash box with 550 gp, alchemy equipment worth 2,000 gp


  1. Great post! I like the fact that the side effects are completly logical (given the context).
    Feels like an NPC you could use as a hub for many quests.

    And the potion of levitation-story was hilarious!

    1. I like to think that Thaddeus and Danniver were classmates. While Thaddeus is far more talented, both men have not lived up to their potential!