Level Up (A5E) Live, Laugh, Monsters: Pannerok

Get ready to have a good time! ENterplanetary DimENsions today is all about laughter and magic, and there are definitely not monsters everywhere in Plagued Pannerok!

Pannerok Level Up 5E DnD Banner SHRUNK.jpg

Illustration by Wootha.

A potent magical phage plagues Pannerok yet this is only the beginning of what troubles the medieval realm—its peoples and societies are trapped by their own fears, living and dying in a bleakness all the sadder for the strictness to which nearly everyone adheres. In all other ways this world is an often pleasant place of mundane kingdoms that occasionally struggle and vie for power, though almost none dare rely upon the spells of mages or priests to overcome their rivals lest they invite doom. Instead an unquiet peace reigns, and although existence offers little wonder or cheer life trudges ever onward.

The horror of sickness unleashed has forced civilization on Pannerok to not only forbid the use of magic but to outlaw mirth as well, for laughter is the mark of the most egregious transgressors of all. Terrorized by the catastrophe brought in their wake, people everywhere dissuade cheer and punish humor, actively seeking out anyone that embraces either mirth or magic. When amongst the wrong people even a casual joke can become a death sentence, and as a result gloom pervades. The minstrels of this land—few as they are—strum dirges that epitomize the mourning imprisoning this place, foretelling the doom that awaits as their rulers shroud themselves in a dread that only ends with society’s last breath as it gradually diminishes into nothing.

Planar Traits. Pannerok has the following planar traits and the Narrator should make use of the brown mold, green slime, memory crystals, and yellow mold 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 18 Nature check.

Comedic Court

Were it not for a trio of monsters that relentlessly maintain it, the suffering from the magiphage of Pannerok would have ended long ago. These creatures (called the Court of Diamonds for the gemstone eyes of their true forms) rarely number less than three for when one perishes the others reach out to individuals with a gift for magic. With unexpected cheer and surprising jokes the nobles of the diamond easily persuade a new member to join their ranks—even if the full weight of that undertaking is not known until too late.

To fight this threat the people of Pannerok rely on the strength of the Knights of the Diamond. Ever suspicious of the mirthful and miraculous alike, when accepted into the order these dedicated warriors consume a small part of one of their peers to transform into something akin to the very things they hunt. This cursed blessing grants them great power as well as the means to seek out magicians of all kinds, and whether king or peasant all pay reverence to these austere knights.

Curious Cloak. The last bit of a slain knight of the diamond’s essence becomes trapped in its knight’s cloak.​

Knight’s Cloak

Wondrous item, rare (requires attunement; cost 5,000 gp)
Crafting Components: Soul of an aberration from Pannerok
No magical aura emanates from this simple brown cloak. You are unable to attune to this cloak while attuned to any magic items other than the knight’s halberd, knight’s hat, and knight’s spade. While you are attuned to and wearing the cloak, you are able to use the Magic Negative property.

Magic Negative. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to sever its connection to magic. For the next 1d4+1 rounds the creature is affected as if in an antimagic field. The creature makes a Charisma saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier) at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.​

Once you have used this property, you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest. While on the plane of Pannerok, you can use this property a number of times equal to half your proficiency bonus, regaining expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.

Knight of the Diamond FANCY.png

Knight of the Diamond Challenge 5

Medium aberration 1,800 XP
AC 16 (padded leather)
HP 90 (12d8+36; bloodied 45)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft. (45 ft., swim 30 ft. while mounted)
13 (+1)​
18 (+4)​
16 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
13 (+1)​
13 (+1)​
Proficiency +3; Maneuver DC 15
Saving Throws Dex +7, Con +6, Wis +5
Skills Athletics +4, Insight +4 (+1d6), Intimidation +4 (+1d8), Perception +4, Survival +4 (+1d8)
Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities confused, frightened, poisoned, rattled
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Aklo, Common, Draconic

Combat Expertise. The damage of the knight’s attacks includes a d4 expertise die.

Detect Magic. The knight senses a magical aura around any visible creature or object within 120 feet that bears magic.

Evasion. When the knight makes a Dexterity saving throw against an effect that deals half damage on a success, it takes no damage on a success and half damage on a failure.

Glamered. Until it is bloodied or laughs because of a successful Performance check opposed by its Intimidation check, the knight and its mount appear to be a normal humanoid knight and warhorse.

Magic Resistance. The knight has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Mounted. The knight rides a four-legged aberration able to sniff out magic (use the statistics of a chuul with a speed of 45 feet).

Multiattack. The knight attacks three times.

Rapier. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d8+1d4+4) piercing damage.

Cunning Action. The knight takes the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.

Magic Negative (1/Day). When the knight hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, it can sever the creature’s connection to magic. For the next 3 (1d4+1) rounds the creature is affected as if in an antimagic field. The creature makes a DC 14 Charisma saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.

Spellshatter Charge (5/Short Rest). When the knight sees a creature casting a spell, it can move up to 30 feet. If it ends its movement adjacent to that creature, the knight can make a melee weapon attack against it. On a hit, the creature makes a Wisdom saving throw or the spell is interrupted (expending the spell slot) and has no effect.

Nobles of the Diamond FANCY.png

Noble of the Diamond Challenge 16

Legendary Medium aberration 15,000 XP
AC 18 (mage armor)
HP 246 (29d8+116; bloodied 123)
Speed 50 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)
15 (+2)​
20 (+5)​
19 (+4)​
19 (+4)​
14 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
Proficiency +5; Maneuver DC 18
Saving Throws Str +7, Int +9, Cha +8
Skills Arcana +9 (+1d8), Deception +8 (+1d4), Performance +9 (+1d6), Religion +9 (+1d8)
Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, psychic, thunder; damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities confused, frightened, poisoned, stunned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages all

Disturbing Humor. When casting hideous laughter the noble can target any creature regardless of Intelligence score or concentrate on the spell (included below). In addition, the noble has disadvantage on saving throws it makes against hideous laughter.

Glamered. The noble appears to be a normal humanoid until it is bloodied or incites laughter by making a successful Performance check opposed by an Intimidation check from a creature able to hear or see it.

Innate Spellcasting. The noble’s spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 17, +9 to hit with spell attacks. It can cast the following spells with no material components:
At will: chill touch, detect magic, hideous laughter, misty step, vicious mockery
3/day each: bestow curse, counterspell, detect thoughts, hold monster, invisibility
8/day: blindness/deafness, contagion, mage armor, searing equation
5/day: dispel magic, greater invisibility, irresistible dance, power word stun
2/day: divine word, inescapable malady

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). When the noble fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. The noble has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Multiattack. The noble casts a spell and attacks twice.

Royal Halberd (Jack Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10+2) magical piercing or slashing damage plus 4 (1d8) psychic damage.

Royal Wave (Queen Only). Melee Spell Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10+4) psychic damage.

Royal Scepter (King Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6+4) magical bludgeoning damage plus 9 (2d8) psychic damage.

Chill Touch (Cantrip; V, S). Ranged Spell Attack: +9 to hit, range 120 ft., one creature. Hit: 13 (3d8) necrotic damage, and it cannot regain hit points until the start of the noble’s next turn.

Hideous Laughter (1st-Level; V, S). A creature within 30 feet of the noble makes a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or falls prone, becomes incapacitated, and cannot stand for 1 minute. Until the spell ends, at the end of each of the creature’s turns and when it suffers damage it repeats the saving throw (with advantage if triggered by damage), ending the spell on a success.

Crack Wise. The noble casts hideous laughter.

Royal Pratfall. After taking damage the noble casts misty step.

The noble can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Attack. The noble makes a melee attack.

Quick Joke. The noble casts hideous laughter.

Royal Mind (King Only). The noble casts detect thoughts or searing equation.

Spell (Queen Only). The noble casts a spell of 5th-level or lower.

Step Lightly (Jack Only). The noble moves its Speed without provoking opportunity attacks.

Royal Siphon (King Only; Costs 2 Actions). The noble chooses a creature it can see within 60 feet. The creature must make a DC 17 Intelligence saving throw or take 26 (4d12) psychic damage. The noble regains hit points equal to half the damage dealt.

Royal Joke (Costs 2 Actions). The noble casts hideous laughter and its target has disadvantage on the saving throw.

Lethal Laughter

Even a chuckle is enough to draw the suspicion of one’s neighbors in Pannerok. Performances of all kinds are highly scrutinized for subversive humor and clumsy people are shunned lest their unintentional antics incite giggles—for laughter is the favorite weapon of the Court of Diamonds. The monsters stalk through settlements, carefully choosing a patsy and then spreading their forced mirth to whoever first tries to turn their initial stooge into authorities. It doesn’t take long for the somberness of society to fall away, and by the time a Knight of the Diamond arrives it often seems like everyone is inviting doom. Many outposts and villages have been washed through with the blood of the innocent thanks to these tactics, and the people have come to call these calamities the Laughing Death for good reason (though some fully embrace this deranged joke and find it enlightening).

Magic Items. For millennia the people of Pannerok have destroyed magic items whenever they are found. For the purposes of finding and purchasing magic items, the rarity of a magic item in Pannerok increases by 2 steps (using the minimum cost for a magic item of its new rarity).​
Technology. Anything more complicated than a child’s toy or lumber mill is regarded with suspicion, and the work of artificers is considered to be just as heretical as a mage’s arcane spell or a priest’s divine blessing.​

Scarred Soil

Something about the underpinnings of reality, a catastrophe in ages past, or an unfortunate whim of fate has made the use of magic in Pannerok a dubious proposition. What research has been done on this phenomenon indicates it is somehow related to the Gyre, but little else other than that it both spawns and grows exponentially when exposed to magic.


Whenever a creature casts a spell on this plane, if it is not at least 100 feet above the ground the Narrator rolls a secret d20 and adds the spell’s level. On a result of 20 or higher, roll 1d100 and refer to the Magiphage table to determine the nearest unattended object to become infected with magiphage.

An object of Small size or larger already infected with magiphage instead progresses to its secondary effect, or if already under its secondary effect the infection rapidly spreads increasing the magiphage’s size by one category.

Magiphage Mimics. Alternatively, when there is a mimic or swarm of mimics created by magiphage within range using False Appearance, it increases the magiphage’s size by one category (rendering the mimic back into an object, or for a swarm multiple Small objects). When magiphage transforms an object into a mimic it immediately attacks an adjacent creature, or it uses False Appearance and waits to ambush.​

Unless transformed into a mimic, magiphage has resistance to acid, cold, fire, lightning, and thunder damage.

Table: Magiphage
d100Magiphage SizeACHPInitial EffectSecondary Effect
1–25Tiny1017Pink flesh covers the object.The infection spreads to the nearest Tiny unattended object and after 6 are affected they slam together into a swarm of mimics.
26–46Small1134As above and the object grows roving eyes.Magical auras from magic items become visible within 100 feet of the object.
47–65Medium1252As above and the object pulses like a beating heart.The object transforms into a mimic.
66–78Large14102As above and fleshy tendrils spread out from the object like vines.The object transforms into a greater mimic.
79–86Huge15152As above and the object emits a noticeable smell within 50 feet.Magical auras from spells become visible within 100 feet of the object.
87–94Gargantuan15202As above and being within 25 feet of the object causes headaches.The object transforms into a spawning mimic.
95–100Titanic16304As above and a creature takes 10 (3d6) psychic damage when it damages the magiphage.At the end of every hour the magiphage ejects a spore 500 feet in a random direction. Wherever the spore lands it deals 28 (8d6) bludgeoning damage and unfurls into a Large magiphage.

Special Thanks: props to Sarah Breyfogle, Andrew Engelbrite, and @Steampunkette for helping figure out magiphage!

Note: When you see a monster in here without any statistics or references worry not—they’ll appear in full in Planestrider’s Journal!
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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

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