Mind Flayer Alternative

If you need Mind Flayers with an extra dose of creepiness, use the Phrenic Scourge. I run Spelljammer with these substituted for Mind Flayers and it makes a big difference.

For one, you cannot read their mind because it's not one mind but many. You aren't going to win a psionic battle with these space slugs because you are vastly outnumbered already.

They are straight-up alien. No two will be exactly alike. They leave madness in their wake.

As a GM, I feel the inner Bwa Ha Ha every time I include one of these. Go and do likewise. 🙂


Open Game License v 1.0, Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document Copyright 2000-2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Rich Baker, Andy Collins, David Noonan, Rich Redman, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

Unearthed Arcana Copyright 2004, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Andy Collins, Jesse Decker, David Noonan, Rich Redman
The Iconic Bestiary: Classics of Fantasy Copyright 2005, Lions Den Press; Author Ari Marmell

The Grand OGL Wiki, http://grandwiki.wikidot.com Copyright 2008-2011 Purple Duck Games; Authors: Mark Gedak, Alex Schroeder, Joel Arellano, George Fields, Yair Rezek, Mike Whalen, Shane O'Connor, Mike Rickard, John Whamond, Bill Browne, Eric Williamson, Slatz Grubnik, Charles R. Wenzler Jr, John Fraser, Jonathon Thompson, Thomas Boxall.

These guys make a perfect foil to Mind Flayers. Best of all, they are OGL!

On the Open Gaming License

There has been a surprise development today. It appears that the 5e SRD has finally been published! The full link is below:


I am going to be reading this 398 page behemoth at lunch. At first blush, it appears that the Product Identity is the same. Lots of class and race options as well as the standard array of creatures from earlier SRDs.

I have seen comments scattered around saying that certain options are not available. Since I am ignorant of 5e, I really wouldn't know. I hope to have something more intelligent to add.

Not that it was entirely necessary, but you can now use the word advantage to apply to the advantage/disadvantage mechanic. Mechanics themselves cannot be copyrighted, but saying that a character has advantage on a specific roll was not technically OGL until now. Again, that is probably not a big deal to anyone.

One thing of note is that Wizards has provided an option to add to the Forgotten Realms through the DM Guild. My personal preference is to avoid that, but the DM Guild information is something I will want to read. I'm sure there will be plenty of others excited about that.

It almost goes without saying that I feel like making O5R games in the spirit of all the S&W Whitebox games coming out recently. My Thursday night group would likely enjoy White Star translated to 5e. We shall see.

Bwa ha ha ha.

Missed the Deadline, Marked 1 XP

It's one of those lessons in game design I see in a post about once every two weeks. It also appears in writing circles, Lifehacker posts, and at least one TED talk:

Perfectionism will kill a project.

The primary reason the game was not finished on time was that I kept tweaking how the Greek letters would be used in the game. Once I stopped fiddling with that, I only had 24 hours left to edit/revise/rewrite. I know that my health decline over the past ten days contributed, but that was a small part. The lesson here is that Good Enough gets finished on time, Perfect is never published.

I am quite disappointed, but I'll mark an XP and just keep going. Like so many other projects, it will see life eventually. I have it mostly written, but now it requires a severe pruning. I think I can get the basic rules on a character sheet and the full rules in about ten pages. Right now, I'm somewhere near forty pages of notes, so that will take a bit.

I also learned that the cause of my health problems has a more profound affect than I thought. I have sleep apnea, yet despite a fully functional CPAP and the successful treatment of my allergies, I am not getting any sleep at all.

I passed grouchy two days back. I really thought that switching to half-caf coffee (one cup) from decaf coffee (one cup) would be okay. It is not okay and that leads me to lesson two:

Bad ideas happen. Learn from them or everyone around you suffers.

That's about it from here. I hope to most more frequently due to some technological changes, as well as changes to my schedule. That leads me to my third lesson:

Ideas are cheap - Execution of those ideas is king!