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Level Up (A5E) ENterplanetary DimENsions: Lethal LX-13

Today might be the deadliest entry yet for ENterplanetary DimENsions, and though most of the places described in this column are fine for a visit we recommend only the most experienced explorers dare to tread upon Lethal LX-13.

Today might be the deadliest entry yet for ENterplanetary DimENsions, and though most of the places described in this column are fine for a visit we recommend only the most experienced explorers dare to tread upon Lethal LX-13.

LX-13 Level Up 5E DnD Banner SHRUNK.jpg

Illustration by Aaron Lee.

In the vast majority of cosmic archives if the planet LX-13 is designated at all it is marked as too hostile for contact or surveying, labeled with the same warnings as corrosive gas giants or places of constant tectonic upheaval. Yet its surface teems with plants and creatures—all utterly lethal. From the soil to the air and even the bones of the dead everything in this graveyard of crashed ships, doomed survivors, and ambitious fools is akin to an invitation from death itself.

No civilization has been able to develop on this murder planet but local fauna and flora are among the deadliest creatures anywhere in the universe. From gestation until after death the lifeforms natural to LX-13 possess a litany of defenses—serrated eggs and spiked birthmounds, toxic blood, projecting venom sacks, explosive vascular systems, bark or bones that turn into shrapnel underfoot when dried out. What these creatures lack in intellect they more than make up for in brutality, ferocity, and savagery, and no matter the size of the forces or the heights of technology arrayed against them they always prevail when repelling visitors to their world. Several interstellar civilizations expressly forbid visiting this planet, and when a spacecraft is found to have been there it is subjected to quarantine until it is conclusively proven to be safe for contact.

Planar Traits. LX-13 has the following planar traits and the Narrator should make use of the acid, dense smoke, extreme cold, extreme heat, frigid water, heavy precipitation, high gravity, low gravity, memory crystals, miring ground, poisonous plants, rushing liquid, and strong winds encounter elements. When it is possible to do so, noticing one of these encounter elements before it is too close to avoid requires a DC 20 Perception check.

Note. This planet is not appropriate for tier 0 and tier 1 parties.

Playtest Materials. In case ya missed it: Level Up (A5E) - ENterplanetary DimENsions: Amazing Archetypes & Fantastic Feats Playtest.

Aggressive Air

The atmosphere of this world is hostile and unforgiving, filled with particulates that choke anything that breathes it and react wildly when exposed to the sanguine aftermath of violence.

Cloying Spores

Simply consuming the air of LX-13 is a dangerous proposition, the extreme pollination by local plant life gradually filling airways with accumulating spores that slowly choke victims to death. After a number of hours equal to its hit dice a creature breathing the air of LX-13 suffers a level of fatigue. Only creatures that do not have to breathe or have corrosive biology (such as the Caustic Blood of a xenid) are immune to this effect. Otherwise avoiding the suffocating properties of the atmosphere requires a pressure suit (see Guncalta) and fine or masterwork air safe (see Aquestio).

Reactive Atmosphere

Even creatures that do not draw breath are not safe from being savaged by this world’s air. Whenever a bloodied living creature takes energy damage on LX-13, if it is not in an intact pressure suit it suffers an additional effect determined by the type of energy (see Table: Reactive Atmosphere). As long as the energy damage is not part of a critical hit, a creature with at least one free hand can use its reaction to immediately clamp down on its injury and prevent the effects of Reactive Atmosphere.

Table: Reactive Atmosphere
Type of Energy
The creature makes a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or becomes slowed until the end of its next turn as the sudden corrosion’s impact spreads through spores into the lungs.
The creature’s Speed is reduced by 5 feet until the start of its next turn as the spores around its body flash-freeze into miniature obstacles.
Ignited pollen is sucked into the creature’s veins dealing 2 (1d4) ongoing fire damage until it uses a bonus action to make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw.
Localized pressure fluctuates around the creature until the end of its next turn and it has disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity checks.
The creature makes a DC 8 Strength saving throw or becomes confused until the end of its next turn as its nerves are thrown asunder.
The creature makes a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or becomes rattled until the start of its next turn as echoes of the many dead assail it.
The creature makes a DC 8 Constitution saving throw or suffers a level of fatigue as spores are drawn to the wound and into its body.
The creature makes a DC 8 Intelligence saving throw or suffers a level of strife as its mind is overpowered by the death shocks of the miniature lifeforms around it.
The creature makes a DC 8 Charisma saving throw or it is blinded until the start of its next turn as the air reflects bright light around the wound.
The creature makes a DC 16 Strength saving throw or becomes deafened for 1 minute as the atmosphere rebounds with shockwaves that baffle it. On a failure by 5 or more it is instead deafened for 10 minutes, or on a failure by 10 or more it is deafened for 1 hour.

Lethal Lifeforms

Only the most hardy and savage creatures are able to endure the constant threats consuming LX-13 and they are just as lethal as their homeworld. Any area found on the planet is at minimum a tier 3 region, and there are no natural havens anywhere on the planet. In addition, whenever the party takes a long rest with a bloodied creature they are attacked after 2d4 hours.

Exploding Bones

Skeletons that have dried of their marrow are further decayed by plant spores in LX-13’s atmosphere in a peculiar way, corroding the interior of cellular walls until what remains is so brittle that a sudden impact can turn a long-since perished femur into a landmine. When 5 pounds of pressure or more is applied to a sitting skeleton that has been left exposed to the planet’s atmosphere for 1 month or longer it explodes into a 10-foot cloud of bone shrapnel. Each creature in the area makes a Dexterity saving throw, taking 3d6 piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Extreme Excrement

Absolutely everything about fauna native to this hostile world is menacing from shortly after conception to well after death. When collected in too great a concentration the excrement from certain creatures on LX-13 can create gravitic distortion fields (see Darakoa).

Unforgiving Flora

Humanoids that perish are overtaken by nature as the hyper pollinating plants infect their corpses, forcing them to rise anew and group together with other animated victims of LX-13. The Undead Fortitude trait of zombies resulting from one of these dispersed zombie hordes is unaffected by radiant damage.


Xenid Playground

The only creatures known to be able to survive (and even thrive) on LX-13 are xenids, hideously terrifying bioweapons engineered for slaughter—whether or not their origins are related to the planet’s denizens is unknown, it would not surprise the few explorers that have managed to escape this world with their lives. These monstrosities are apex predators that ferociously hunt down survivors from crashed spacecraft and ruthlessly dominate their territories, stopped only by the biting tundra, restless waves, or rivals as dangerous as they are. Whenever a colonization ship crashes a new grand xenid queen arises from the stock of hosts suddenly brought to LX-13, its massive spiked birth hives stretching up into the malevolent sky as a challenge to any of its kind that would stand against it. More information on xenids can be found in Level Up: Voidrunner’s Codex.

Resplendent Resources

Only the supremely desperate or foolish dare to tread on the surface of this planet, and although almost none of them ever leave LX-13 plenty of others follow thinking that themselves luckier (finding out otherwise in a usually horrifying fashion). Typically anyone duped into going here does so at the behest of greedy corporations or unethical scientific facilities, whether to capture xenid specimens, mine the abundance of rare metals, or acquire some other unique bit of life from the hostile world—the hardiness and defensive qualities of fauna and flora native to LX-13 are nearly peerless across the galaxy, and when concentrated or isolated can easily lead to huge scientific discoveries or record annual profits.

Captured Xenids

Despite the obvious stupidity of attempting to capture them, the high price on the galactic market for xenids make them the primary resource explorers try to take from LX-13 (see Table: Captured Xenids). Trafficking in these bioweapons is highly illegal and criminals found with a xenid in their possession receive the swiftest, most severe punishments possible.

Table: Captured Xenids
Xenid larvae​
1,000 gold​
Xenid strangler​
3,000 gold​
500 gold​
15,000 gold​
3,000 gold​
Xenid queen​
50,000 gold​
10,000 gold​

Mining Operations
Every large-scale effort to extract metals from LX-13 has ended in catastrophic failure but there are still miners out there willing to try to drop in for a quick bit of profit. Veins of metal and salvage from those that have already died here can be discovered by taking the Survey journey activity (see Darakoa), except that any failures result in an attack by 1d4 xenids (on a critical failure) or lone xenid (failure) and the rewards from a success or critical success are doubled.

Spacer Salvage

Spacecraft from every era can be found on this hostile planet, and when properly salvaged are able to fetch a good price—or yield some crucial pieces of technology to get another vessel aloft. If it has not been picked over yet, at best a wrecked starship can be salvaged for half its value or the materials required to restore 1/10th of another starship’s hit points (though the Narrator has discretion on what can or cannot be effectively removed and reinstalled). Particularly old starships (of which LX-13 has many) fetch a high price from collectors and museums provided of course that they are delivered without any available knowledge of where they came from.

Sharp Stone

The very rock of LX-13 is said to thirst for blood, so jagged upon every surface that no matter how smooth it may seem it shreds apart flesh with ease. When a living creature touches its bare skin against any natural stone on this planet or makes a Dexterity saving throw on rocky terrain while wearing light armor or no armor, it takes 2 (1d4) slashing damage. In addition, barefoot creatures treat rocky terrain on LX-13 as difficult terrain. Creatures with natural armor (including traits like Draconic Armor: Scales or features such as a berserker’s Rugged Defense) are immune to these effects.
Blood Slicks. When a 5-foot square area of natural stone has dealt 10 points of slashing damage it stops dealing slashing damage until the blood on it has dried (usually after 1d4 hours).

Shrieking Soil

Between the voracious effects of airborne spores and the abundant sharpness of its natural rock formations, the hostile world’s soil has been thinned and winnowed on a cellular level making it extremely responsive to vibrations. When a hunt is afoot the wilderness of LX-13 seems to wail as prey is taken by predator which becomes prey taken by predator in a confusing symphony of artificial and guttural cries—until the vicious and cacophonous cycle is ground to an abrupt stop by something that cannot be challenged.

Animal or Mineral?

Ability checks made to identify a creature by a call or roar have disadvantage as it is difficult to discern what might have come from a throat or the keen of the soil.

Screaming Dashes

Creatures have disadvantage on Stealth checks when moving 30 feet or more in a round across dirt. Should a creature move 60 feet or more, an audible shriek that can be heard as far as 500 feet away emits from its path and it cannot hide from creatures able to hear.

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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

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