Any Dungeon Master will be able to tell you how hectic running a fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons session can get, especially when your players go in a totally unexpected direction and you start having to make stuff up on the fly to accommodate them. To make life a little easier, I’m putting together the Flavour Shot series. They are descriptions you can drag and drop into your D&D campaigns to quickly introduce mechanics for players to make use of.
It would be great to hear back about how these go when you use them or get in touch to tell us about your own homebrew material and how you used it to keep your story moving.
Druid ley line portals
Along the roads of the material plane, and in some more difficult-to-reach places such as nestled among mountainous crevasses or atop rocky hills, sit arrangements of three large stone rectangular blocks. They’re roughly hewn and uneven, different lengths and heights and in rare instances even of different stone. They are featureless for the most part, with perhaps a clinging vine or some moss growing along one side.
Two of the stones stand as pillars, the third being placed atop creating a stone archway. The local villages and towns use them as mile markers or landmarks when giving strangers directions, despite rarely giving them much consideration themselves.
Passing through them is something traders have built up superstitions about; a silver piece left in a brass pot at the base of the pillars as you pass beneath the arch is supposed to bring good luck on your journey.
To the wandering druid, however, these archways provide transport to wherever they are needed. By using the druidcraft cantrip on the stones, a druid can make the stones ‘sing’. They give a faint chime like that of a finger running along the edge of a glass, and in the dead of night, they glow ever so slightly.
As the druid and their companions pass under the arch they don’t come out the other side, instead disappearing entirely according to the few onlookers that have managed to get the drop on such travelling druids.
These Standing Stone Portals are instant transportation for druids. By casting druidcraft, the druid opens a portal between these standing stones and the next set along the ley line.
These are rarely in population centres, although an ancient city may have a set of these stones in a temple cellar. If performed on a solstice or equinox, if the druid so chooses they can instead have the portal lead directly to the Druid’s Grove.
The standing stone portals do not provide any evidence of where they lead to, and opening the portal cannot allow one to see into the next area. It all looks mundane until the druid, and any they wish to take with them, travel through it.
Of course, most of the standing stones, while large, rarely have openings larger than a few feet across, limiting the ability to use them for transporting wagons and the like large distances.
Let us know in the comments below if you try out ley line portals in your D&D game, and how it went. Share your ideas and thoughts for your own homebrew content too.
Keep an eye out for more of the Flavour Shot series exploring additional content to plug and play in your RPG campaigns and as always, stay nerdy!