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Ulraunt's Guide to the Planes: The Shadowfell

Ulraunt's Guide to the Planes: The Shadowfell

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Marching Modron Press presents to you a very special 250+ page tome, aimed at both players and dungeon masters.

It is narrated by none other than Ulraunt, the Keeper of Tomes at Candlekeep, and also supports epic level play (as introduced in Epic Characters).

Here is a summary of what you will find: 

  • Detailed overviews of three prominent Shadowfell locations: Gloomwrought, Evernight, and Thultanthar, as well as a description of the Fugue Plane.
  • Five Domains of Dread, each with a tragic story tied to a specific Darklord.
  • Statblocks for two powerful elder evils and five well-known deities, complete with lair actions, roleplay guidance, as well as Ulraunt’s own narration of their backstories!
  • Four thematic playable races.
  • Fifteen unique subclasses, including flavor tables to tie your character to aspects of the Plane of Shadow.
  • Over 40 new spells, giving a taste of what arcane secrets lie hidden in the darkest corners of the world.
  • Over 140 new stat blocks for monsters and NPCs native to the Shadowfell, the Fugue Plane, or a Domain of Dread.  
  • A monster-generation table intended to help guide the creation of your own CR 30+ monsters (all the way to CR 45), as well as sidebars to help guide creation of deities and avatars.
  • And lots more including unique creature templates, maps, random encounter tables, and notes from other prominent readers of this tome (such as Elminister Aumar). 
  • Besides the book itself, you will also find a zip folder containing handouts for your players, as well as a document with links to several surveys regarding the contents of the book.

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Table of Contents Gloomwrought The Burning Peaks Character Options Shadow of the Void Skiurids Sorrowsworn Vampires Osterneth

Playtest

Titles in the Epic Campaigns Series

Epic Characters  Ulraunt's Guide to the Planes: The Shadowfell

Titles in the Oriental Adventures Series

Heroes of the Orient  Monsters of the Orient: Complete Bestiary  Heroes of the Orient: Unearthed Kensai

Available for Fantasy Grounds

Epic Characters  for Fantasy Grounds 
 
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Reviews (7)
Discussions (36)
Customer avatar
Callum R May 15, 2019 7:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
How come Jergal is listed as a Greater Deity and has the corresponding trait? I thought he was a Demigod under Kelemvor. Also, I really like your gods, do you think that, in the future, you’d ever do a big book of gods?
Customer avatar
clive S May 06, 2019 10:21 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you Marc, I am holding thumbs for 1.1 POD
Customer avatar
clive S May 04, 2019 6:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there any news on Print on Demand yet.

Same question about for Fantasy Grounds
Customer avatar
Marc A May 06, 2019 10:10 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Clive,

We're working hard on making v.1.1 which we're very much hoping will come into consideration for POD.
As for Fantasy Grounds, we want to find a solution that makes sense as we'll need help from a third party to do the conversion.
Customer avatar
Jason M April 14, 2019 4:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Marc I have a question about the Karsite's abilities. do they seal all magical properties of the weapon their target wields or just the bonus to attack and damage rolls?
Customer avatar
Marc A May 06, 2019 10:08 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Jason,

The karsites attacks remove all magical bonuses that magical equipment grants.
For example, a flametongue would stop dealing additional fire damage and an adamantine armor would no longer turn critical hits into normal hits.
As per v.1.1 (which isn't done yet) the effect will be described to last 1 hour.
Customer avatar
Jason M May 17, 2019 9:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Okay that makes so much more sense! Because there was no time limit given it was either assumed to be permanent (If that was the case why isn't the challenge rating higher? XD) or removed after a short or long rest. The one hour limit does help as I am going to use a modified Karsite against my players.
Customer avatar
James C April 14, 2019 2:53 pm UTC
Would love to see this put into Fantasy Grounds like the Epic Character stuff was! This is really awesome and would love an easy way to allow my PCs to use the stuff but also use it myself!
Customer avatar
Marc A May 06, 2019 10:02 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi James,

We'll investigate if we can achieve this in a way that makes sense.
Customer avatar
James C May 10, 2019 3:05 pm UTC
Might want to get in touch with Rob2e
Customer avatar
James C May 10, 2019 3:06 pm UTC
He has worked on alot of conversions and stuff
Customer avatar
Jacob W April 02, 2019 3:18 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Marc and everyone at Marching Modron, you've done a wonderful job with this! And I can't wait to see what plane Ulraunt invites us too next!
Customer avatar
Marc A April 02, 2019 3:46 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Jacob,

Thank you very much for your kind words, it means the world to all of us.
And I'm sure we'll learn soon enough. I know for a fact that he's working hard on it already ;)
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 15, 2019 5:47 pm UTC
Hi, Marc, do you have a twitter or discord thing I could message you on?
My comments and discussions seem to keep getting buried here.
Customer avatar
Marc A March 15, 2019 6:47 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Daniel,

They're not buried :)
It's just that more comments continue to roll in.

Epic wildshape is a complex issue and I wanted to have ample time to look at it thoroughly before answering you further.
I'll go into this in the original thread further down.
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 15, 2019 9:47 pm UTC
Cheers, I know I can seem a little insistent at times.
It's just that, as things stand, all Druids are now half- Moon druids, and the actual Moon Druids don't seem to be getting anything out of it at all.
Moon Druids are my favourite thing to play, as two things I love in games is shapeshifting and minions, and it frustrates me to see things like that.
Customer avatar
Marc A March 15, 2019 11:38 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Daniel,

I left an extended answer to your question further down in this thread.
Hope that helps!
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 16, 2019 1:50 am UTC
I've responded to your comment :)
I'm curious to see what your own response will be.
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 22, 2019 1:54 am UTC
Hey, Marc, I've left a response to your last comment, and there are two particular points to draw attention to.
The Guulvorg you draw attention to is huge, and the size limit for monstrosities in Epic Characters is large.
Treating the Wild Shape Improvement as a +1 to CR and therefore treating all subclasses equally, which would have the Moon Druid top out at CR 14, one below the contentious Purple Worm.
Customer avatar
Carlos G March 15, 2019 3:41 am UTC
great book, i'm just a little bit disappointed that we don't have a section dedicated to the Raven Queen in this marvelous suplement.
Customer avatar
Marc A March 15, 2019 7:35 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Carlos,

We would have loved to include her but sadly the dmsguild content agreement is keeping us from doing so. We're simply not allowed to use Dawn War material.
Customer avatar
Callum R May 13, 2019 8:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I thought that Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes reinvented her as a phantom of sorts. Does this affect the ban at all?
Customer avatar
Marc A May 13, 2019 9:37 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Callum,

Sadly not, no.
Customer avatar
John R March 09, 2019 11:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Marc,

I tweeted you guys, but noticed the discussion here seems to be the best way to contact you. I want to see whether it would be possible to obtain the official art for the monsters in a digital format so that I could make roll20 tokens for the campaign I'm running? I'd of course be willing to buy it or share any tokens I made with you guys. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Marc A March 11, 2019 9:42 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi John,

Other commitments have kept me from replying as fast as I'd like to.
Regarding your question, I think it would be a better solution if we create some tokens and make them available with the pdf.
I'll talk it over with the team. Cheers!
Customer avatar
vincent L March 09, 2019 4:14 am UTC
Are there any "epic monster manual " planed ? and/or a way to buy the tables for creating cr30+ creatures without all of the shadowfell related stuff.

thank you for the great content loved the epic character pdf cant wait to see more
Customer avatar
Marc A March 09, 2019 8:46 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Vincent,

Thank you for your kind words.

Almost half of this book is a monster manual with many of the monsters being intended for Epic Level play. Version 1.1 (coming soon) will even include a few more monsters.
With the next book, we plan to have Ulraunt visit another plane of existence where we'll again have locations, character options, deities, and monsters.

We opted to go this route instead of a pure bestiary in order to give context to the various monsters and to be able to include deities in a way that makes sense.
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 06, 2019 4:15 pm UTC
Hey Marc, any chance of a revision to your Epic Character PDF now we have the newest revision of the artificer out, or are you waiting to hear more about them?
Also, does the Druids Wild Shape Improvement also improve the Moon Druid's Wildshape ability too, or is it limited to other druids? If so, would Moon Druids then scale to an eventual CR 14 (from the increases at levels 21, 25, 27, and 30) or to a more rounded CR 15?
Customer avatar
Marc A March 09, 2019 9:01 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Daniel,

We won't be editing the actual pdf to include playtesting material. Instead, we'll be making separate PDFs.
As you might imagine, figuring out the ins and outs of an entirely new class takes time. But we want to make it happen.

Regarding Wild Shape Improvement, the CR for beast shapes increases as the table shows. Moon Druids ignore the table, as they continue to benefit from their Circle Forms feature.
This enables Moon Druids to end up at CR 10 for their beast and monstrosity shapes (and plant shapes if Floral Wild Shape is chosen).
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 09, 2019 3:16 pm UTC
Cheers for the response!

I'm gad to hear that the others will be available eventually! I actually quite love both Mystic and Artificer quite a bit.

Regarding Moon Druids and Wild Shape, I've always imagined it as non-Moon druids don't go farther than regular sorts of animals (cats, dogs, wolves, etcetera) whereas Moon Druids delve deeply into it and get much higher rewards in return. CR5 beasts, like the Hulking Crab have AC 17, 76 HP, an average damage output of 40, with a to hit of +7 and auto-grapple on a hit. At CR10, you have only the Giganotosaurus, with AC 14, 217 HP, an average damage output of 60, and a to hit of +12, also with auto-grapple on a hit. The HP and AC aren't as relevant past level 20 due to all druids getting infinite uses of Wildshape, so we're left to compare damage output. Even with the Primal Savagery Cantrip, there's an average damage output of 33 per turn with it using your Wisdom modifier to hit, so it's apples to oranges whether a non-Moon druid would use...See more
Customer avatar
Marc A March 11, 2019 9:55 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi again,

The artificer is now available with Epic Characters in an additional pdf called Epic Characters Extended.
You'll find some other UA material in there as well.

Originally, druids didn't get any wild shape improvements but the feedback was overwhelming in this regard. This is why all druids get to transform into CR 5 beasts eventually.
As for hit points not mattering, I must say I disagree. Most beasts at CR 5 and lower have less than 100 hit points, making them exceptionally vulnerable to Power Word Kill.
There's also the sheer versatility to think about and not simply damage output for combat. Moon druids are exceptionally versatile, especially with monstrosity shapes and plant shapes (if chosen).

Allowing the druid to cast Guardian Naga spells without consuming the druid's own spell slots would effectively make the moon druid the best caster in the game, as they'd simply wildshape into the naga any number of times necessary, effectively gaining...See more
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 11, 2019 12:01 pm UTC
Cheers.

I agree that allowing free spellcasting would be ridiculous, it was just something that needed clarifying as no beast ever gets spellcasting so it wasn't something covered in the PHB and wasn't addressed in the Epic Characters PDF. Regarding the flexibility and versatility of WildShape forms becomes tricky at beyond level 20. This is because there are fewer options towards the top end of the scale (CR 7 - 10), and a surprising number of them are due to spellcasting, like the different Nagas.

Comparing Wildshape for different druids at level 20 is very straightforward. Non-moon Druids top out at CR 1. A Brown Bear is generally considered the CR 1 form of choice, and it has AC 11, HP 34, an average damage output of 19, and a +5 to hit. Moon Druids top out at CR 6 with the Mammoth, and it's only redeeming feature is trample. Either a Giant Crocodile or Hulking Crab is more preferable, with the latter having as I've said before an AC of 17, 76 HP, an average damage output of 40, and...See more
Customer avatar
Marc A March 15, 2019 11:29 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Daniel,
The Improved Wild Shape for all druids doesn't affect the moon druid because they are able to assume the forms of superior creatures (for example, elementals, and then monstrosities with the Monstrous Wild Shape).
In addition, moon druids have superior action economy and the ability to deal magical damage while in such forms.
Before we examine these closer, I want to preface this by saying that you are free to modify the supplement however you feel would enhance fun at your table. Anyway, let’s address the points:

Firstly, a moon druid’s wild shape ability allows it to deal magical damage is one of the most powerful and overlooked features in this discussion, because other druids don’t receive that.
Higher CR monsters that you face at epic levels (like in this supplement) are mostly resistant or immune to nonmagical damage. As such, the wild shape capabilities of non-mood druids are still quite inferior, irrespective of the lack of a CR gap.
This...See more
Customer avatar
Marc A March 15, 2019 11:32 pm UTC
CREATOR
Continued...

Druids can certainly assume the forms of such creatures with a spell like Shapechange, which is self-managed by the concentration mechanic.
Our playtest data reveals that creatures like planetars are a favorite choice (makes sense, given the heavy undead focus of our first title in the Epic Campaigns series, and the fact that they have the Magic Weapons trait).
While your druid could use this spell to turn into a purple worm, the main drawback here is that it does not receive the Magical Attacks feature.
However, if the main purpose is to harass lower CR mobs or an army the DM is throwing at you, or simply for theatrical effect, this would be very cool!
The purple worm also has a high bonus to Constitution saving throws (+11) so it is unlikely to lose concentration unless it take one blow of considerable damage.

The moon druid already has a healthy supply of hit points and unlimited uses of Wild Shape. The current CR cap of 10 for moon druids...See more
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 16, 2019 1:43 am UTC
Cheers for the response, now for my own comments in return :) I actually like these discussions as it allows me to understand where you are coming from, as well as allow me to explain my own thoughts in return.

1. While Moon Druids can take the form of superior creatures (my example of the Giganotosaurus - or however it is spelled - from Beasts of the Jungle Rot being the sole CR10 beast there is), they do not get improved spellcasting, whereas Druids that have chosen land as their domain get all the features of their subclass, as well as a not insignificant chunk of what makes the Moon Druid unique. This, in my opinion, is somewhat unfair to the Moon Druids, as others can now do what they spent 15 levels to achieve (CR 5 forms), with seemingly no drawback. This is my primary gripe with what is going on here, that it seems Druids that chose Circles other than Moon get something that should really only have been available for Moon Druids (in my opinion at least).

1b. I will admit that...See more
Customer avatar
Marc A March 17, 2019 8:29 am UTC
CREATOR
1. We don't spend a lot of time looking at what is fair or unfair as that is completely subjective. Instead, we spend our time designing and testing for balance.

1b. "there's nothing stopping a non-Moon druid taking a Wild Shape form prior to combat and maintaining it until combat actually occurs".
There can be plenty of things stopping a non-Moon druid from doing so. At a meeting with some high lords? "Get that bear out of here!"
Also, on subsequent uses during combat, non-Moon druids will be unable to do much else if wildshaping again, while Moon druids will be able to do it all still.
Comparatively, the Moon druid pulls far ahead here.

2. 6d10 is an average of 33 damage and it requires them to be in melee. All the ranged druid cantrips deal d6s except for produce flame (d8s) and poison spray (d12s). Fire and poison also happen to be the most resisted damage types.
And yet, Moon druids can do this too, except from many, many more shapes....See more
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 17, 2019 12:41 pm UTC
1. That's a fair point, but it still feels like Moon Druids get shafted a bit here.

1b. Also a fair point, but at the same time, social situations don't always precede combat. For example, once I gain unlimited wild shape, the first thing I do when I leave a settlement is transform. I will, however, change back if we encounter a non-combat situation. Point about action economy too, I guess, though there are a few bonus action spells a druid can use that are somewhat useful that the non-Moon could still cast there.

2. I was actually comparing the melee damage from the CR5 forms here and what a Druid of any stripe could cast. That is one particular reason I chose a melee cantrip to compare it with. On top of that, the cantrip to-hit rolls are based off proficiency bonus and wisdom, which should be a +6 and + 7 respectively, making a total of +13 to hit.

3. I suppose it is true that Moon Druids do get some versatility out of Elemental Wildshape. However, the only specific ones...See more
Customer avatar
Marc A March 22, 2019 8:07 am UTC
CREATOR
1b. I know social situations don't always precede combat. You said "...there's nothing stopping a non-Moon druid taking a Wild Shape form prior to combat..." and I gave you an example to show there is something.
4b. Size can be an issue. Brontosaurus is specific enough for a DM to just never show it to you if they don't want you to wild shape into it. Having said that, it's physiology makes its potential for grappling rather limited.
5b. You're much too focused on what is available now. We need our design to be future proof so it will continue to work even after the next five official monster books.

I went from memory with the Guulvorg, didn't remember it being Huge.
Again, individual monsters fitting isn't the point though. It's about future-proofing the design.

Thank you for all of your suggestions though. We'll consider them all and pay close attention to what possibilities open up to the moon druid going forward. Especially in our own titles.
Customer avatar
Daniel R March 22, 2019 10:55 am UTC
Cheers.

While future-proofing is important, currently there's just not much available at CR 8-10 for the Moon Druid with your restrictions in place to actually make use. This gives the Moon Druid an effective limit of CR 7 or so, and with you giving non-Moon Druids access to up to CR 5 forms, this does not make for balanced subclasses.

My suggestion for using the Wild Shape Improvement as a +1 to current CR (giving non-moon Druids access of up to CR 5 forms and Moon Druids up to CR 14 forms), is to balance things out between them, especially if there are other shape-shifting types of druids in future. Given that the 21-30 levels are, I assume, balanced with everything assumed to contribute to their power level, this would allow them to actually benefit from it like other subclasses.
Customer avatar
Criss T March 01, 2019 12:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Marc :) how does scaling work for spells like elemental weapon, shadow blade, etc. when using level 10, 11, and 12 spell slots?
Customer avatar
Marc A March 01, 2019 10:12 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Criss,

We didn't include details on it because it's hard to go with a general rule there, especially since we don't know what spells will see the light of day in the future.
I'd say use your best judgment.

My take on the spells you mention would be something like this:
Elemental Weapon - 10th level or higher, +4 bonus and 4d4 extra damage.
Shadow Blade - 10th level or higher, 6d8 psychic damage

Upscaling it like that should never be a problem at those levels.

Now, you might make the argument that you'd want to upscale at 10th, 11th, and 12th level, rather than just at 10th level.
We haven't tested that at all, however. Try it at your own peril :)
Customer avatar
Criss T March 02, 2019 4:32 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for this detailed answer Marc! Wish you guys all the best!
Customer avatar
Marc A March 11, 2019 9:55 am UTC
CREATOR
Thank you, Criss, and likewise!
Customer avatar
dray S February 28, 2019 3:06 am UTC
I'm certainly looking into purchasing this, I was just wondering if there was any chance of this being published into a physical copy such as a paperback or hardcover book form.
Customer avatar
Marc A March 01, 2019 10:04 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Dray,

Thank you for your interest. We absolutely want this to be a hardcover book.
We're working hard on v1.1 which has a ton of fixes and some new content. Once that is done, we'll see if we can't get it to print.
Your feedback can help us get there faster though. If you want to help out, please have a look at the surveys included in the Surveys.pdf file.
Customer avatar
Gale W February 25, 2019 6:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Best $25 bucks I've ever spent.

Is it possible to have a handout to give my players in PDF form that only has the character options and spell in it?
Customer avatar
Marc A February 25, 2019 7:59 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Gale,

Thank you for your kind words. It's great to hear that you're happy with your purchase.
And what a great idea. We'll absolutely do that. Thank you!
Customer avatar
Gale W February 27, 2019 4:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the quick reply! I'll be looking forward to the addition, as well as your next products.
Customer avatar
Ryan P February 23, 2019 6:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey Marc,
Not asking for specifics but are you guys planning to do books on areas besides the planes such as the far realm?
P.S. Love all your work so far
Customer avatar
Marc A February 23, 2019 9:03 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Ryan,

Thank you for your kind words. That means the world to us!

Regarding your question: the Ulraunt's series will focus on various Planes.
I can't reveal anything about our plans beyond that at this point, but I can say that I'd love to explore the Far Realm at some point.

As for the Ulraunt's series, we do want to include a few subtle nods to the Far Realm and Lovecraftian horror where it makes sense.
In the Shadowfell book, a certain entity makes a brief appearance in the Burning Peaks chapter. There's also the skean, an original monster inspired in parts by the xenomorphs of the Alien franchise.
Also, v.1.1 of Ulraunt's Guide to the Planes: The Shadowfell might just include a statblock for a Great Old One that fits thematically in the book.
Customer avatar
Arumando S February 18, 2019 4:53 pm UTC
I would like to buy a Fantasy Grounds version of this. Any plans?
Customer avatar
Marc A February 18, 2019 5:18 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Arumando,

Not at the moment, no. Sorry.
We might look into it down the road but our first priority is trying to get it to print.
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