Thursday, 26 May 2022

The Golden Age: Pulp49


































Have been reading and learning about public domain heroes of early comics and pulps and wanting to run some superhero games in the future. My RIver CIty setting won't need much work just more low tech. Or at least like batman and superman cartoons have lots of things look retro but high tech still can fit in. Alan Moore's Forty Niners and some of his other homages to vintage characters have been an influence on postwar heroes. Ministry of Space comic also.

Themes Id likes to touch on:
Wartime heroes returned to wage war on crime and some overdoing it
Sidekicks are common but the public is turning on them
Governments that used heroes in wartime now want tighter reigns
Communism is a growing spectre and petty fascist dictators expect allegiance
Heroes will be able to influence the character of the city and the people
Aliens have invaded and are in secret creating a new 20th century

Basically will use TSR Marvel with a few mods including a Charisma stat for when your charismatic hero is on an alien planet and popularity is irrelevant. I did Just use popularity but it broke down with espionage stories or not being able to use your hero ID. We played more like the x-series modules set in a nastier alternate future all the time. Probably more like the Ultimates, Martial Law, Zenith, The New Statesmen than a mainstream marvel 616.

In most campaigns, I write new character gen systems. 
So for my Golden Age Gilded Cage setting:

The Eight Ability Scores FASECRIP
-Two of eight Excellent
-5 of eight Good
-One of eight Typical
6 Talents
4 Contacts (can select a language also as an option)
4 Background options 
Typical Resources or as per occupation
Starting popularity = Charisma score

Each Hero Needs the following background material:
What did you do in the war? (or did you miss it and are too young to fight?)
-where were you when the war ended?
What have you been doing since the war?
What is the source of your powers? (science or magic?)
When did you get your powers? (always? in an accident or experiment?)
If not in the war have you killed?

If you have been a public hero your heroic ID gains +10 popularity
If you were a public hero with the allies in WW2 +10 popularity (-10 if served axis)
If you have a fearsome reputation as a ruthless killer vigilante -10 popularity

Tables are suggestions for ideas or roll if you are in a hurry or like the challenge of working with random number

Occupations
Roll one of the sample ones below with recommended skills. Contacts generally only have two Talents. Lots of people have no talents. 

d100 Quick Career Talents
01-10 Veteran (Poor Resources)
Demolitions, Drive, Guns, Heavy Weapons, Military, Martial Arts B
11-20 Technician (Typical Resources)
Electrics, Engineer, 
Mechanic, Radio Operator, Repair, Salvage
21-25 Scientists (Good Resources)
Biology, Chemistry, Engineer, Research, Physics
26-30 Medical (Good Resources)
Bluff, Doctor*, Biology, Chemistry, 
Research 
31 Spy (Good Resources)
Carousing, Drive, Espionage, Geography, Guns, Martial Arts C
32-40 Police (Typical Resources)
Drive, Guns, Clubs, Law Enforcement, 
Martial Arts B, Streetwise
41-45 Ace Reporter (Good Resources) 
Journalism, Bluff, Streetwise, Photography, Radio Operator, Geography
46 Explorer (Good Resources)
Animal Handling, 
Geography, Martial Arts C, Survival, Hunting, Tribal Weapons (knives, clubs, spears, javelin) 
47-50 Playboy/Playgirl (Excellent Resources)
Business, Carousing, Finance, Bluff, Drive, Geography 
51-55 Martial Artists (Typical Resources)
Martial Arts A, B & D, Oriental Weapons, Streetwise, Tumbling
56-60 Pro Athletes 
(Typical Resources)
Carousing, Horsemanship, Fencing, Martial Arts B, Tumbling, Wrestling
61-65 Celebrity (Good Resources)
Bluff, Business, Carousing, Performance, Publicity, Tumbling
66-70 Criminal (Typical Resources)
Bluff, Drive, Theif, Slight, Streetwise, Street Weapons (knives, clubs, chains, pistol)
71-72 Ace Pilot (Good Resources)
Aerial Combat, Military, Pilot, Geography, Heavy Weapons, Radio Operator
73-75 Investigator (Good Resources)
Criminology, Detective, 
Drive, Law, Martial Arts B, Streetwise
76-80 Scholar (Good Resources)
Archaeology, Bluff, Occult, History, Research, Geography
81-85 Cowpoke (Poor Resources)
Horsemanship, Martial Arts B, Ropes, Survival, Animal Handling, Cowpoke Weapons (dagger, revolver, lasso, rifle) 
86-90 Sailor (Poor Resources)
Pilot Boat, Mechanic, Ropes, Sailor, Geography, Swim
91-95 Carny (Poor Resources)
Balance, Martial Arts B, Thrown Weapons, Tumbling, Juggling, Streetwise
96-100 Homeless (Poor Resources)
Bluff, Geography, Repair, Streetwise, Survival, Salvage

**Tribal Weapons are like oriental weapons but include the following but I usually set to four weapons from darts, bows, spears, knives, javelins, hatchets, clubs, blowpipe and machete)
Cowboy Weapons (dagger, revolver, lasso, rifle) 

d100 Quick Contact
01-10 Military (former war buddy)
11-12 Media (radio or newspaper or TV)
13-15 Law Enforcement (police officers, prison staff, federal investigators)
16-18 Scholar (teacher, academic or occultist) 
19-20 Inventor (scientist or tech expert) 
21-25 Industry (business owner or manager)
26-30 Underworld (criminal informant)
31-40 Dependant (sick, infant or elderly person depends on your care each session +10 karma/session)
41-50 Youth (child gang, orphanage, a plucky ward, copycat sidekick, teen fanclub)
51-60 Love Interest (lover who you must date at least once a session +10 karma/session)
61 Pet Mascot (sometimes useful unusual animal that uncannily follows you)
62-64 Mystic (expert on magic like a wizard or scholar)
65-67 Espionage (know a secret government agent)
78-82 Government (politician, lawyer, judge)
83-85 Servant (butler, secretary, manager, driver or bodyguard) 
86-87 Inventor (working on a profound field of super science)
88-90 Technician (can make gadgets and fix things)
91-94 Veteran Hero (know a retired hero possibly a mentor who has useful advice and secrets)
95 Secret Society (have contact with a vast secret empire with otherworldly secret powers)
96-99 Enemy (enemy often appears and may interfere in your actions or could provide information or even aid you vs a mutual enemy. They might want to kill you and allow no other to do so) 
100 Otherworldly (some ghost, alien, AI computer, minor deity, brain in a jar, unreliable and infrequent)

d100 Quick Background Options
01-05 Contacts Everywhere +4 contacts and new one's half karma cost
06-10 Rm weapon or armour can be stolen beyond normal technology
11-15 Ex power attached to the body, obvious and can be tampered with, beyond normal technology
16-20 Gd power with no obvious visibility if not in use or add to an attribute (Ty+Gd or Gd+Gd = EX or Gd+Ex=Rm)
21-35 Utility Belt carry 20 useful contemporary gadgets in your costume (or 10 if not normally available except to secret agents or inventors)
36-40 Incredible Vehichle beyond normal technology (possibly stealth, supersonic, spacecraft, amphibious, sentient)
41-47 Secret HQ  d4+2 Special rooms can buy more with karma
46-50 Costume provides Gd instant change and Gd protection vs kinetic and energy attacks. Self-repairing, stainproof, and mask can't be removed accidentally. You can develop feats such as claws, glider wings, shadow-blending, cling, disguise, air supply, filter mask, etc). Such suits have their own strange origins and secrets such as magic or living alien  
51-58 Agent with official standing with government agency bonus Espionage and your agency as the bonus contact for professional skill. Have access to RM funds and additional agents if your superior agrees
59 Extraordinary science or magic beyond normal persons to obtain or understand
60-70 Veteran +1 Fighting & Strength and choose Military, Agent or Law Enforcer talent
71-75 Rich Rm resources +10 popularity
76-80 Famous +30 popularity +Gd resources
81-90 Exotic Training +2 talents and an extra contact, usually a special teacher or organisation
91-95 
Kill Code don't lose karma for killing people according to their code. They may kill an enemy in combat or leave them dying and only lose 20 karma instead of losing all karma.  Their companions and allies may suffer karma losses so it's polite to only kill in secret when alone or with another killer. Villains with this lose 20 karma for executing one of their minions usually to exhort them to work harder or face a hero 
96 Lost Civilisation know a secretive civilisation as a contact who adds +Gd to your resources and has unusual resources, creatures, transport and agents. Mystical monasteries, a wizards tower, aliens on the moon, a hollow earth empire, secret intelligent apes village in dinosaur valley, hidden Aztec people in a volcano, a Roman colony in a cavern or whatever
97 Patron Power of science or magic aids you with advice and can for 10 Karma heal 10 Health once a day or for 50 Karma will offer aid to avoid death or escape under mysterious circumstances. Your entity may comment on your progress and may offer terrible advice from an alien god. Lots of villains get help from demons or other villains 
98 Serial Immortality, if killed a new body awakens. Androids, clones, hijacked and modified corpses or some other method is required to be restored to life
99 
Lucky roll d10s for d100, declare dice order as please, double digits are a spectacular failure with side effects
100 Immortal will not age or die but does feel pain and takes time to heal and regenerate missing or damaged parts. Class 1000 sense other immortals in sight range

So the idea is you Min-max stuff like resources could get to national wealth levels. Or min-max stats and options to get in the superhuman range. I cap most humans at Excellent stats and nobody could be excellent at everything. Someone could stack some low-rank powers effects like defence or melee. 

Quick Play Test

LIGHTNING LADY
Playgirl Patricia Parker
former meddling kid
mystic agarthan swordswoman

F Excellent
A Good
Typical
E Good
Good
R Good
I Excellent
P Good

H 50
K 46 (+20 contacts)
P 10/20 Hero ID
Rs Rm (Including +1cs Finance)

Talents
Business, Carousing, Finance, Bluff, Drive, Geography, Sword Specialist
Contacts
Elderly Grandmother - dependant +10 karma 
Baby Milo - dependant +10 karma
Candy Clarity* - mystic who might sense 
preminitions & occult stuff  
Judge Clayton - night court judge, ex army (Law, Military)
Ladybugs - girl skipping gang all over the city
Flint Fine* - Radio Journalist (Journalism, Drive)
Fred Ford* - Federal Investigator for F.O.R.C.E. (Detective, 
Law Enforcement)
Linda Lemon* - pilot adventures (Pilot, Mechanic)
Master Chanduru* - lama teacher of secret Agarthan powers
Options
Secret Base - Under mansion 
Contacts Everywhere - recruits followers into her war on crime and evil
Exotic Training - Sword Specialist taught by mystic blind lama
Lightning Sword - 
Remarkable (30) Magic 

Property
The Lightning Sword
City Mansion in Old Town with a secret base
-
Radio Monitor & Media Room
-Garage for vehicles & workshop
, keeps a chromed tommygun &hand grenaide
-Costume Room (paratrooper, winter, scuba, stealth, racing suit & helmet)

Silver Lightning Mobile (high performance armoured car)
-Speed Rm Control Ex Body RM Protection Ex 
Silver Lightning Cycle (made for urban mobility with detachable sidecar)
-Speed Rm Control Ex Body Ex Protection Gd (front only)
Costume
-Blue leather armoured suit Poor (4) vs melee not guns
-Domino mask, yellow cape, blonde wig

Belt
-Flashlight, handcuffs, rope, flare pistol, .44 revolver, dagger

Things To Work On
Stunts for her sword - bolt, hyperspeed, invisibility, forcefield
and more stats handy, streetwise later would be good
More more mooks for her army of helpers each with a lightning medalion

Background
What did you do in the war? Worked in Army Headquarters
-where were you when the war ended? Darwin
What have you been doing since the war?  Fighting crime
What is the source of your powers? sword ancient advanced technology
When did you get your powers? met master in Nepal
If not in the war have you killed? only an evil yeti and zombies 

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

d100 Things Falling From The Stars


Some crap fell from the sky and wow adventurers do a hero. The End.

Players hanging in a pub too long or want to visit every shop keeper in town. Time to drop a star stone overhead and locals can all panic and stay in their homes in fear. Nobody will be cooperative until the mystery is definativley dealt with.

Survived a week in lockdown without being ill more than my normal amount so every time I thought I finally had it id take a pill and it would be ok. Turns out I just spent a week reading comics and 80s modules. Now to get my previous momentum that I had after 2 years of being a slothmog back as I took to being a bum way too quickly like an old skin. Been gardening and watching baby frogs lots. Stay well readers or else. 

d10 Size of Meteor
01 Arrowhead
02 Knucklebone
03 Chicken egg size
04 Baseball or cricket ball size
05 Ostrich egg size
06 Football size (there is only one true type of football obviously)
07 Watermelon or schoolbag size
08 Engine block of family car size
09 Cow size 
10 Car size

d10 Quick Things Subtypes
01 Wonderous metal star stones
02 Unearly weird star stones
03 Perilous wonders
04 Frightening disasters
05 Alien monsters
06 Strange travellers
07 Star people colonisers
08 Death from the stars
09 Alien Ecology
10 Divine providence

d100 Things Falling From The Stars
01 Nugget of pure bronze +1 that can be fashioned by any smith into objects, arms & armour
02 Nugget of cold iron that can be enchanted to +1 arms & armour even if not enchanted harms many undead and creatures like lesser demons or faeries
03 Pure meteoric nickel-iron star metal meteor good for making up to +3 arms & armour
04 Nugget of star copper +1 electrical damage can ignite flamables targets as extra critiacal hit effect on a 20 to hit roll +d3 damage and morale check if animal
05 Nugget of lunar silver can be enchanted to +1 arms & armour even if not enchanted harms lycanthropes, some undead and lesser devils 
06 A nugget of gold from the sun can be enchanted to +1 arms & armour and torch like glow in the dark (only candle for small item like arrow head lantern for suit of armour)
07 Orichalcum a platnium-gold-bronze alloy used by minions of the gods can be enchanted to +2 arms & armour  
08 A piece of mithril from the heavens can be enchanted to +4 and has half encumberance
09 A piece adamantine can be enchanted to +5 and required to harm beings of divine power, requires magic or adamant tools to shape it
10 Nugget of leas from the night sky part of one of the celestial seals between our world and the outer void. Makes weapons blunt weapons like maul or sling bullets do +1 damage. Can be enchanted for +1 arms or armour. Weight doubled and if not enchanted -1 initiative
11 Strange eerie glowing mineral that begins to melt, the area has mutated life forever after but certain alchemist and chaos cults will try and get it before it is gone, handling it is risky 
12 Weird green eerie glowing stone that causes sickness and even hurts to look at
13 Crystaline mass begins to grow especially if exposed to water, form towering structures that crumble and shatter eventually changing the terrain to an alien world
14 Glowing crystaline monolith, actually a sentient psionic being. It would like to have thralls to move it somewhere safe and provide it with certain minerals and sand
15 Nugget of Koboldium, metal that burns organic matter to the touch and can be used to make matches and incendiaries. Kobolds will come from miles to use it for traps and weapons
16 Great droplet of amber from the sun can be enchanted to +1 arms that cause +d3 damage vs chaotic beings and +1 to armour that ads +3 HP while worn 
17 Molten burning glass from beyond that cools into sky obsidian can be enchanted to +1 arms that cause +d3 bleeding damage (1pt per round) on a critical hit, it cannot be used in armour but has other properties for magic items and can have a surgicaly sharp edge 
18 Violet glowing shard of Umbratherium the metal from the eternal night beyond the void. Can be used to add power to summoning outsiders from the void and negative energy beings. Using it as an inhalant, incence or smoked. Usually it is called down by a darkness cultist or priest of the old ones or a chaos witch. It arives in a sheath of darfforce which opens and farms shadows to guard it
19 Fragment of Ultraranium a poisonous heavy black metal can be enchanted to +1 arms that cause +d3 poison damage per blow and the wearer is advised to wear lead guantlets and a lead scabbard or case or must save each day or permanantly lose 1hp from maximum. Armour made from it poisons the wearer and gets hotter when struck blows +1 damage per attacking blow. If cursed it cant be removed 
20 Splinter of Kronium the metal found in the time vortex can be enchanted to +1 arms and +1 initiative & +1 armour which has no weight worn but double normal amount as baggage. It is also a useful componant for magic affecting time 
21 Stone statues fall from the sky many shatter, they were living beings once in some sky kingdom but petrified and hurled to the earth. If one is revised they seek to revive others
22 Strange lights and shooting stars are in the sky, several collide and smash. Two minor sky divinities crashed their star chariots together and lay dazed in the shattered remains
23 A great slowly tumbing rock flies across the sky and some say they can see buildings on its surface, it passes weekly for a few nights before finally hitting a mountain
24 A flying mountain with a giant castle decends slowly before crashing with a might booming sound 
25 A glistening objuct drops from the sky and amazing those who see it. When found it is a glass elevator to the sky world
26 A great bank of clouds begins to drop trailing mist and crashes. A cloud island from the sky world has crashed inhabited by strange peoples, creatures and structures
27 A comet falls showering the area with snow and unseasonal arival of winter 
28 A strange tower the likes of which you have never seen, there is one door and no windows and strange symbols d4 1=alien worm wizard 2=insect-centaur sorcerer 3=chaos champion blessed by demons 4=trickster divinity wants to test your sense of humour which will decide if the god helps or hinders humanity 
29 A wonderous temple at the heart of a garden with sweet music. If you enter you are transported away to be tested by the gods as sport
30 A great dark bottomless pit has opened into the underworld. Things try and escape and it is easier to comune with the dead here 
31 A frozen mound of green slime that comes to life when thawed out and grows
32 A burning fireball from sky starts a forest fire endangering settlements 
33 A great stone from the causes a huge rift to open
34 A great stone from the sky falls and explodes covering area for miles in a dustcloud
35 A great star stone causes flooding, possibly ruins a dam or creates one or moves a river or makes a tidalwave
36 A fireball explodes like the sun fusing the blast area into glass and covering a vast area in ashclouds
37 Glowing coals rain from the sky starting spot fighters and depositing sulpher in fields
38 A great explosion and fiery cloud fills the sky and some see the face of some great gleeful evil being 
39 A great fireball explodes leaving a crater and ruins of some settlement and perhaps a lone survivor?
40 A great mountain falls from the sky shattering the surface and collapsing into the various subtereanean kingdoms and caverns, layer by layer. From the great smoking pit survivors of all kinds crawl form the rubble. A great exodus of underground peoples flood out by night as lowest levels are flooded
41 A crystal egg shatters releasing baby crystal oozes
42 A stone egg releases a space monster or space version of a regular monster
43 Monolith with imprisoned demon - cultists will seek it
44 A glowing iron cube when cools transforms into an iron golem and goes on rampage
45 A glowing egg releases a furious angel here to see if life worthy of heavenly perfection or fiery destruction
46 Purple worm eggs shower from the sky
47 A great rock in a crater shatters releasing a collosal flying space squid from the void, it may have living creatues inside it like parasites that use it as transport between the celestial spheres
48 A crater forms and inside is an elemental node and gateway with elemental guardians d4 1=water crater lake 2=fire volcano 3=sinkhole to a vast cavern mushroom forest 4=a howling whirlwind
49 A great scarred stone sarcophigi falls from the sky and when people come to see it, finally it starts to open
50 Gigantic sphere begins to have a pulsing light and sound which intensifies until a Kaiju hatches (hope its parents not looking for it). Rapidly grows then trashes region before swimming or burrowing away
51 Crystal pod with a star spirit, various forces want the star spirit and heavenly forces are watching also
52 Crash of some complex astrolabe like apparatus with strangeley dressed burned humanoid bodies inside. Did any survive? Who are they?
53 Shattered wooden magical skyship crash d4 1=crew all killed but some automatons remain 2=crew are undead 3=gargantuan elemental from engine room relesed 4=no crew as they escaped but its syrange builders plan to salvage the vessel 
54 Crashed greycap gnome airship, a vast metal wrecked frame and tattered fabric with shattered gondola and strange engines. Many crew are dead but some parachuted out or used magic to escape harm. There is good salvage but the meloncholic gnomes protect their gloomy secrets 
55 A crashed titanic butterfly like creature with a gondala atatched has crashed and strange explorers from the land of dreams tried to visit the waking world and their magic has failed them leaving them colourful carnvalesque helpless fools. One might think they are costumed or made up as carnival clowns or mimes but they always look like this 
56 A crater crashed but the fantastic alien space arc was in a stasis field on impact. Now the steel automatons and flesh golems have been offloading the poor alien animals 
57 A ship from the dreamy kingdom of the moon! Moon people are here to explore and erect a flag for the moons rulers d4 1=white big eared moon goblins seek plunder and slave children 2=lunar gnomes come to perform tests on lower life forms using sleep and paralasys inducing psionics and memory editing feats 3=snooty moon elf noble renegades fled to the mortal and mud wold 4=protoplasmictentacled alien moon beasts come to take slaves and trade with cultists of chaos and the void   
58 A wrecked burning star vessel in a crater but severl living and dead silver suit and helmed strange people are found who have psionic abilities but d4 1=touble breathing air 2=vulnerable to local disease 3=require implanted gold life support devices 4=require strange food 
59 Some titanic creature like a whale has crashed a mass of gore and strange organs. Alien pirates ocupants have lost their ship and will seet to build a fort to raid the countryside. Salvaging the whale and their built structures on its body 
60 Burning orb from heavens contains a daemon who escaped celestial prison and has been trapped on the mortal world and fears destruction. Seeks a physichal way of getting to the underworld but idea of conquest and worship might be tempting
61 Strange giant moth from the moon lands and moon goblin colonists get to work building home and planting a giant fungus forest
62 Spiked metal sphere crashes and a orc warband exits with a wizard in charge intending to build a base for a foriegn wizard nation
63 A great coiled shell from the stars crashes and when it cools a titanic chaos snail comes out with a hideous squid folk. Snail folk soldiers also come out and seek to set up a colony with their titanic war snail as a mobile home
64 A gigantic alien seedpod in a smoking crater, from withi the shell vegefolk colonists and sordiers with seeds for various domestic ambulant carniverous plants, giant thorn hedgemazes and giant tree houses
65 A great moon rock with dim palid glow rests in a crater and a clan of idiotic boggles come out with bobbling heads and creepy gait. They seek some dark caves or swamp to live in but can be curious about mortal world inhabitants and like to spy on them. The group have 4 guardian willow-the-whisps which are meaner in spirit than the boggles
66 A great moon rock lands and squads of selenite insect folk from the moon exit carrying their great queen and brainier thinkers with help of their giant caterpillars (use purple worm stats and eventually they become titanic moon moths who long to fly to the moon like all moths dream). The selenites beileve ground bound civilisations mean them harm so have sent out a colony force 
67 Strange metalic pod smoulders in a crater and inside machines can be heard. A great metal tripod piloted by three alien octopi one with a 7d6 laser rifle, one operates three 12m grappling tentacles and other drives. Three of these walkers come from one pod. They have come to conquer and go to unite with other units o the same continant destroying all in path and snacking on humans and animals on the way. Their own slave humaoids will deplete quickly (I use Tako and make them psionic). Later arivals will have other machines like gatherers a huge iron scorpion that collects prisoners into a cage on its back or a flyer which soars over the sky with a laser supporting ground machines. The will use poison gas canisters but have a limited amount and plant rapid growing alien weeds that will change the worlds atmosphere given time 
68 A strangesilver fortress has apeared in a smoking crater ocupied by weird almost skeletal once humans now they are strange psionic knights warped by aeons of generations on the astral plane. This is a first bastion in this world where they hope to gain resources by trade or war. They have a gate inside and from the spirit world you can see all kinds of psionic wards and guardian spirits protect the fortress. They have many grudges with other strange elder species
69 A great golden sphere lands and a bastion of templars of law with clockwork automatons and their alien geometric daemons of law aliies and advisors. They have come to take an area they believe will be important in the cosmic war versus chaos. The templars have gold arms and armour and some have mechanical or metal limbs, eyes or other bodyparts after centuries of service
70 A great sphere of slime quivers and burts releasing various slime creature first to clear the area while in the great pool of slime linked to the realms of chaos come hideous mutant hybrid creature. Many are idiotic monsters, but those that are humanoid form a warband who use their idiot spawnmates as war beasts and baggage bearers. Prisoners will be thrown into the slime portal to be reborn as chaos mutants or possibly slime creatures
71 A grim iron tower has landed in an open area, swarms of bats and mist surround it and thorn bushes are rapidly growing over the pointy tower and grounds, forming a defencive wall. The tower is ruled by a space nosferatu who can also visit the ethereal plane at will to spy on and ambush people. The vampire sleeps in its steel coffin in the command room on the top floor and keeps several thralls as lackeys. Some of these thralls by the first night will scout for human victims that can be charmed into becoming peasants for this new strange being. The lord works to revive many skeletons stored in great ossuary in the tower from a former species of thralls all drained. The master besides wanting blood and power wants to fill the space towers tanks with blood that allow the tower to fly through the stars again if needed, currently they are empty each requiring a thousand adult human victims but any animal blood will do really 
72 Stone pyramid crashes and in the remains three alien mumies using a sun powerered relic resurect their ancient followers who have been stored as dust in jars for this voyage. The greatest mummy has terrible supernatural powers operates the relic and plans to establish an empire on this world. Many wonderous chambers and items can be found in the pyramid and even alien spellbooks (I use psionic space elves for the people with big eyes)
73 A great mass of earh has been chrned up by a falling object revealing a collosal necropolis. The bodies begin to arise animated by the violet crystal meteor. They will enforce a perimter to protect the area and excavate trapped dead clawing to reach the surface. Eventually they will seel a human they can use as a vessel for the inteligence in the crystal, the spirit of a necromancer who escaped a barbarian wizard purge long ago 
74 A strange green stone falls from the sky and strikes a bandit camp in the wilderness. The men are seel shambling undead infested with alien glowing worms who seek to spread their infestation, if desperate they may use animals too
75 A great black mass falls from the stars crashing in the distance and is buried under the earth. Inside the vast burried great machine a lich and his ghoul queen lover with their undead crew have returned from an aeons long journey seeking godhood. They gained the relic they needed but then had to return to the world to find living sacrifices to activate their collosal artifact. The ghoul queen and her spawn are hungry also and scout the region for prisoners
76  A strange baleful burning star falls and many dead arise near where it passed and head for where the star fell which is part of some old prophecey people only half remember
77 A hairy star flies over a settlement leaving a dreadful miasma of plague. As the first few mass graves are being filled the dead begin to arise causing chaos. It is said a monastic order warned of this evil star years ago
78 A black monastary of undead templars have landed after being blasted into the night sky aeons ago
79  Collosal black tree with violet leaves has appered where a star fell and undead dark elves lost for aeons have finally returned. They will be shunned from their own kind
80 Craggy mountain or mesa in a crater whith a great gatehouse of black hat wearing evil dwarves. These dwarves have malicious intentions and crave slaves to abuse
81 A strange lumpy white fungal material begins to grow from the meteor.
82 Alien seedpods have been scattered over the area d4 1=ambulant carniverous trifronds 2=pod plants that grow human doppelgangers 3=podling plant people 4=shambling mounds
83 A thing falls from the sky into the mountains. A beating fleshy heart-seed of Xor the living universe of flesh has come to colonise this puny world by growing flesh and strange creatures 
84 A palid comet soars over the land and alien spores rain down growing giant fungus and encouraging giant bugs and goblins soon arive to this promised land 
85 Reptilian eggs and prehistoric seepods rain from they sky releasing all kinds of reptilians, dinosaurs and draconic beasts. Only babies for a while these rapidly grow and trouble by following spring. Monster hunters and reptilian cults and species will be drawn here
86 A great machine crashed from the stars and modular geometric daemons of law are capturing life and converting it to mechanical and clockwork and steam automatons. Even trees turn into windmills and smoking chimneys
87 Crystal monolith with tentacles that lures in life with a strange sound and psionics then grasps them and turns them into crystal animals and abhumanoids
88 A mat of alien vegetation smothers everything then from from a seedpod then releases plant creatures. Normal plants begin to animate and become hostile. 
89 Imps rain down and the critteres menace people while invisible and help the wicked. Lesser devils and diabolic cults are increasingly seen until hunted and destroyed. A class of imp huntng fanatics arise and some fakes secretly taking advice from imps
90 A great slimy pit of malevolant ooze that responds to strong emotions making it release slime creatures. The pool is a portal to the demon god of slime's disgusting palace
91 In a smoking crater a great star stone has a weapon of the gods stuck in it and a crowd gather to try and to listen to the wild stories of prophets and hedge wizards
92 A mysterious marble portal with shining metal gate awaits who can open it and no doubt placed by the gods for some purpose
93 Great demon hatched from stone egg and goes on a rampage. A divine being meets explorers telling them the monster must be slain by a certain means
94 From a broken star stone a great unatural flaming spirit of evil comes out and seeks a host to grant its evil powers too. It may have come here as it sensed some outlaw, cult leader or humanoid king
95 A great crashed sky castle with dead and stunned giants inside lays scattered over a crater. They were just battling a god in the sky and they are angry fresh from battle
96 A great branch from the world tree has somehow fallen into the mortal realm. In the wreckage are homes of gnomes, goblins, animal folk, halflings and elves and a few odd forest spirits. They might unify or scatter. Allies from faerieland might come
97 A great crypy from the stars opens and a undying alien elder god stmbles out, awaiting cultists have brought themselves as sacrifices and are performing a ritual to aid the gods awakening
98 A great rock in a crater with a great charred dead god corpse. Other gods arrive to investigate and revive their kin. Mortals in area require investigation and some cultists or evil forces might crave parts of the god making its rebirth harder and giving them wicked power
99 A great statue of some evil god or demon or devil appears housing a hellgate with guardian troops and damned thrall cultists, Gods send visions to various heroes in the area
100  A ring of monoliths have fallen from the sky and sunk into the ground forming a ring. The stones have glowing sigils and used by cultists on their way can activate it to call down the cosmic cancer from beyond into out universe to uncreate it, curious distant gods watch and might encourage killing the cukltists swiftly

There are some inconsistancy bugs in here as was written in haphazzard manner. Let me know if you find any bad typos or confusing bits

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Gamelog: Shopping & Graverobbing



So the party after a good recent loot spree had option of being near their snake cult allies in ruins, home village or Coppertown. Many probs in getting game up for a while - birthday and covid and mothers day so been a while. Party chose Coppertown to sell loot and but some new loot. They had armed their whole village (and their nomad tomb robber clan pals) with bronze weapons. What was left they got an ok deal but it was quick and all sold. A few gems, a magic trident and some other items sold and divided. Sold Peryton pelts for good money. Bought magic arrows, healing potions and some other stuff. Got a job in 4 days with a merchant caravan to the capital city. So went to the Ishtar temple and sold off rare incense and some other petty magic, books and an evil magic skull. They were offered "insurance" pre paid medical plans with the priesthood. They were too poor but they heard a good description of some barrow mounds near the old Bat folk ruins that covered about 8x4 miles area.

Party recruited some acolytes of Ishtar to join them. So now the party has:

Dragon changeling with druid magic and a familiar who has a spear carrying bodyguard and grave robber follower.

Barbarian warrior with a tiny bird friend and a cleric of Ishtar.

Wizard with a spearman guard and a cleric of Ishtar.

As they had time they went to rob barrows. On way attacked by a giant river serpant which they turned into a nice cape. The first they broke into and had macabre and gloomy scenic paintings of hell's torments on the walls and they found a statue with a puzzle and went to check out a door and awoke a wraith who drained the dragon changeling. But they destroyed it. Managed to solve the puzzle and got a wizard killing shortsword the wizard gave his bodyguard and a fancy amphora with a historic painting. So back to Ishtar by lunch to heal the Changeling who could not pay but instead took an oath that he would travel to Ikathon the coastal city and present yourself to the ZIggarat for a festival within a year (future adventure hook). So back to the ruins. 

The next tomb had a passage with several doors and they moved inside to battle a gem golem that almost destroyed them all with a blast of gems in a corridor. Tired but decided to get one more room after finding some jade statuettes. There was an upright sarcophagus and a mummy awoke making most of the party flee. They tried fire magics and it ignored them due to a magic amulet. They managed to get outside and prepare an ambush making the slow mummy walkthrough entangling vines, slippery grease and a swarm of crawling insects that gnawed at the mummy quite a bit making it easy to finish outside. Its fireproof medallion, gems and a cup fit for a king made good loot.

Returned to Ishtar's Temple, got a prepaid raise dead spell for the future and decided to rest a few days before joining their caravan to journey to the great City guarding the kingdoms from barbarian hordes. After some levelling up to 6th some more followers were recruited. The changing had 3 snakes delivered who were his offspring with several Nagas he had mated with who will one day be able to turn into humans and be sneaky agents. The Barbarian is keen to get a chariot and recruited a distant kinsman to be his driver and assistant. The wizard is keen to recruit apprentices and get a school going back home. The first time the party saw majestic buildings and monuments that were not cursed ruins.

I used some old module for the barrows for appropriate power for them and they made good money. Befriending the Ishtar cult has been a good move for them. 

I can start bringing in the big campaign arc now. The undead templars retreat to their castle and are besieged by the Arcane Empire who believe they can move towards the kingdom of the party. Barbarians who hate wizards will be sure to gather to fight the Arcane Empire. It all helps to make life a bit harder for wizards who remain in urban areas defending settlements. Going into the wastes is more risky for all spall users.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

More POD reviews



































Today we have been reading more POD BECME era D&D (the one before so-called AD&D that outlasted it). Those box sets and Cyclopedia were as good as it got to me with simplicity and speed and optional complexity and the gazetteers. Its a good and bad thing. The Known World setting of D&D was used so heavily but Mystara as it came to be called was a mix of alternate history and high magic with over a thousand 36th lv wizards in the world running one empire. I guess its the drug addiction that stops them ever helping you when you're saving the world again from a god in Master box adventures. 

Both of these have great design, nice art and maps. They are railroads like a choose your own adventure book with fewer choices but I guess lots of kids had money to collect and you need people getting into it to have the latest stuff for noobs to buy not stuff already printed and sold. It's like maybe successful companies and capitalism are not always going to make art. I liked the module as a format and it was very different by 91. The thin box set with cards props and mini-adventures in a booklet never grabbed me as much and the POD versions feel flat.

As I have played with dungeon tropes and the genres for years now (I've written over 100 adventures since I got back to my hometown mostly through patreon over 3 years) Im interested in trying some more mid 80s style adventure writing like the Pharoh Trilogy with modular scenes/locations players can visit and revisit. as part of some bigger plot. I will have more paths though not a straight line pretending to be giving people choices. Maybe calling these railroads cinematic might be kinder vs sandbox modes. I think Barrowmaze and its sequels were fantastic with backgrounds, a village of locals, gods, mini locations, then lots of dungeons then a freaking huge dungeon is a good approach and expands from the Keep on the Borderlands setup. You can also just plunder the bits as you see fit or need. With Highfell and The Forbidden Caverns books you have plenty of wizard towers, barrows and dungeons for games for years even if you can't get a 2-year play the whole book campaign. I also hope the smaller more fabulous scene/episode/location method might be good for blog and Patreon (oops I'm shaped by demands of capital once again).  In a way, I have used lots of my 3fold adventures like this in play. Setting them in a mapped area players can explore as they wish with nudges towards what they have the levels for. The NPCs like enemies made in play and local friends help bring out more memorable setting spaces. I will see what comes of my attempt to do a Hickman or Zeb Cook mid 80s adventure but not Dragonlance which my players and friends all said nope to pregens & no cleric spells. No to railroads. And just no way.....

But they did have great art maps and an interesting world just such a railroad goodguys campaign. One day I will run it with young kingdoms sorcerers invading or run a dragonlords campaign where you hunt troublesome heroes and stop their fetch quests. You probably want to read up on boat rules and make up some tokens of boats and monsters for these Nautical adventures. Quagmire and The Isle of Dread would slot in as an ok campaign.

91 I gave up on TSR and Marvel comics for similar reasons. Making too much subpar and lazy work with the space-wasting design. Plus the history fad was nice but I ended up playing Runequest (non-glorantha mostly historic). I ended up just reading a few comics by creators I liked not by company or character and I was doing some comic studio work.

X7 The War rafts of Kron 💓💓💥💥
This is somewhat of a railroad. The Triton race are depicted as all resembling Son of Satan from 70s marvel comics with Namors pants. But is still good. Backstory has you recruited and tested with a chance for an Island and a ship as a reward for 9-12 level characters. Eventually, with a loan naval crew you sail off to investigate the threat and immediately get attacked. So you get lots of interesting marine magic encounters and your ship could get destroyed first encounter. I feel going out in a dingy prepared for being captured might save lots of money. So you end up getting to the underwater Triton city where you can deal or hit them. Most of them are also 5th Lv wizards and lightning bolts are worse in water apparently. This has elaborate underwater wilderness encounters and spell effect rules that I would probably curb because local creatures might want to summon sea snakes or marine invertebrate swarms not have you summon dead animals. Lots of new monsters. A friendly giant. Dolphins apparently can tell you where everything is if you ask which is a first for a useful dolphin in a game. So it turns out the Tritons are not all bad and hopefully, you don't genocide them before finding out but better handled than part 2 of saltmarsh. The factions have like DrWho have a helper ready to help players which is nice. Then visit the war raft of Kron for some more possible reform or destruction. Then its off the real baddy in a sunken city dungeon. Yes its a combat railroad but it has notes to expand sections and you do get to befriend or purge the unclean underwater scum and possible to roleplay more than fight if that's your bag. Deliberately being captured could get you all the way through this and bypass the wilderness travel as badguys escort you around. Actually Id like to play it with different people to see how they would handle it. Its a railroad but your choices have consequences. If you get that Island being hated by underwater people and sea nomads might suck.     

M1 Into The Maelsrom 💓💓💓💥
This for level 25-30 which I have never got to really and I think 20th level is time to retire characters to divinity but the Companion and Masters adventures keep surprising me with fantasticness and foes. Yes they feel like a film script sometimes or a choose your own adventure with 2 possible outcomes but this one is pretty wow. So once again you are called on by the ruler of Norwald to get in a fleet and attack a country to enrage an empire vs empire war based on little evidence. Apparently, gods can mess with divination and you cant fact check this invasion plan over who is releasing poison gas over the kingdom from the sea. So you go out with a fleet and possibly get destroyed then sucked into space to sail about strange space islands in a region made by one of the empires with lots of wizards long ago. So you get to visit various islands and meet monster often inspired by mythology which is nice and based on your choices three gods gain or lose points and when they get certain scores they might help you or turn on you. I think I would have 3 bowls with glass bead tokens and use in front on the players next to my hourglass and refuse to explain what they are for. Its a good way to have variable outcomes on a linear adventure. You can even have gods restore lost ships and crew in your fleet or give you stat points. Lots of spectacular weird places and battles and honestly Id like to run it. Sort of proto-spelljammer and I like the fact wizards made the space with elements brought in to make air and land and water. It's mindboggling and would make an ok movie. I do like the idea by this level you are mostly messing with gods giving the DM weird options to deal with not-quite-godlike players. I'm learning from some of these adventures strange things. Maps and art here do a very good job of showing some of the amazing scenes. There are a few moments where I wonder If bad guys cool ships were captured by adventurers what fun they could have with dimensional and phasing warships.


B5 Horror on the Hill 💓💓💓💥
A bit underrated and I had it sitting around before I fully read and appreciated. Its a nice beginners scenario with a skimmed over tavern scene, shopping then straight to the Hill. It is a fairly large cliff and hilly area that is a bit of a maze and probably where you should spend time and level up before getting to the dungeon. Lots of locations and an opportunity for some allies and extra healing if you work through these. There are a great couple of elderly lady spell users who haggle for magic that are quite fun and Id re use in a campaign every time players racked up some loot. The ruins and the dungeon monastery has a level where the plotting monsters are preparing an attack and you get xp bonuses for destroying their stockpiles. There is a bit where you get dumped to level two and find lv three and get out then go back to the monastery to get the monster boss who dumped you below. It is a good intro scenario that gets down to business and has lots of content. Oddly there are two new swarm creatures as if basic swarms were not bad enough. Im quite keen to play some time. 

X10 Red Arrow, Black Sheild 
💓💓💥💥
This is more a campaign than a module adventure. The bad thing is it's just not a dungeon adventure you can knock of in a day of play. It is a military campaign using the Known World setting of Basic D&D and this one although Expert uses Battlesystem and the combat System in the companion set or cyclopedia. It is a world-spanning quest to visit the courts of the world and convince them to join. If you have finished various adventures in B and X series you will find it easier to get kingdoms on your side. Also the baddies the master of the desert nomads (from x4 x5 who mysteriously look like a religious leader of Iran a fave bogeyman of America in the 80s). Helping you out are the incompetent minions of evil whos diplomatic breaches against the party like assassinations only help the hero. Each kingdom has som event you can help with to secure the support of a kingdom. It's a great way to see the campaign world and as diplomats, you get to meet the rulers of the world. By the end of this characters should be world-famous lords and heroes which is a good position. Actually, a computer game of it would be kind of nice. If you don't use the world it is still a good example of building and running a massive setting war. I like it goes into detail if you don't help or flee you get to see the world burn under the master as he approaches godhood and works to kill everyone over 5th level, not his allies. I like that if you get certain allies on board it hinders your chances to get others. Getting both big empires on the side is tricky. Some rulers ask for your loyalty in future adventures. I'm guessing that as a POD the huge world map will be less impressive and once again I say - please get options to print full-size TSR era maps. If you played the previous two adventures vs the Master this would be icing on the cake. You could stretch this out for your high-level play campaign for years with local adventures in each kingdom. One thing Im liking with these old high level adventures is examples of what high level play looks like. In high expert to companion, you influence nations. By masters set your battling gods and on your own path to immortality. Ad&d has campaign building like this but adventures seemed not to utilise it as much as Basic BECMI D&D in published adventures. There is a hat tip to the old DnD toyline characters. Id do more and have you kill of the badguy ones serving the master and throw in Venger and Tiamat for some reason.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

d100 That funny time at the bathhouse - Carousing while being clean


























This for those civilisations that have public baths like Rome or the Indus and possibly could be a steam bath or other similar social communal hangout. You could scale down for that backwood Viking Sauna or murder hobo shanty town bathhouse. My Grandpa was raised in one and ran away to go to school instead and was adopted by Jews in the city. In some cultures, these are important places for business and politics but also just every day. Look up some of the roman baths for ideas and look at the Town Bath in UK where a roman bath was revived in more recent times with a different era of decadence and quack therapies. Some species might like to do business in a bathhouse or even if for frog folk hold court in a royal bath.

The pick is my pobblebonk enjoying her bath

d10 Event Types
01 Meeting friends
02 Good times
03 Exiting gossip
04 Scandal surprise
05 Vice is nice
06 Business meeting
07 Political meeting
08 Sinister meeting
09 Strange secrets
10 Magical events

d100 Bath House Carousing
01 Meet a long lost childhood friend now working locally
02 Meet a professional gladiator or soldier 
03 Go to bath meet local merchants then out for lunch then back to bath then out drinking again and now you know lots of shop keepers
04 Meet some friendly adventurers who try to get you to join them
05 Meet some drinking buddies you can hook up with whenever your in town
06 Get an invited to a fancy party with a better class of people 
07 Joined a local club at the bathhouse with professional and social connections
08 Got into a lively debate and humiliated a local who sulked off in a storm
09 Gave a rant and managed to draw a crowd with your challenging words
10 Met a group of radicals intent on changing society
11 Got into a jolly sing along followed by pub crawl and vomiting
12 Got a bit exited while being oiled/flogged and a few laughed at you
13 Hung over from night before you fouled bath and were kicked out
14 People notice an amusing birthmark or scar on your body
15 While exercising invited to compete in local athletics event 
16 Kissed some stranger 1in6 chance you meet again awkwardly
17 Have an attractive flirty friend you meet at bathhouse
18 Invited to a feast in a well off household 1in6 its in the country bring your friends
19 Invited to a costume party in a fancy household
20 Nominated to play a traditional character role in a local festival parade
21 Hear about a sure bet in a sporting event or fight for cash
22 Hear about restless dead in a certain burial place
23 Hear about unrest in government and of a factions extreme actions
24 Hear an embarrassing story about a leader
25 Hear about some local ruins where robed strangers seen at night
26 Hear about a reward for a local wanted criminal and a lead to their location
27 Hear about a strange shunned cave in the area
28 Hear about a strange old house said to be haunted by ghosts and witches
29 Hear about accusations of lone local leaders being in a secret cult
30 Hear about local disappearance in certain locations
31 Got into a duel d4 1=broken up by law 2=they send a hired duelist 3=wanted for murder by their family 4=banned form town
32 Got into a brawl d4 1=kicked out of bath house 2=made new enemy 3=they pulled a knife 4=wanted by the law for violence against a local
33 Got caught having sex in a public area and banned for a week
34 Witness a quarrel between two nobles over a local issue
35 WItness a stabbing at bath and investigators require you to not leave town until the watch captain clears you
36 Saw someone cast a spell on someone in secret
37 Saw a servant of a noble selling something to a smuggler
38 Had a torrid affair until you were caught by their legal spouse
39 Question raised in a chat about a nobles legitimate ancestry
40 Saw someone important have an affair with someone they shouldnt
41 
Invited to a rich orgy d4 1=fantastic 2=not what you expected 3=had to escape 4=really a daemon cult
42 Got high with local addicts of strange forbidden drugs
43 Lots of gambling, make a gambling or gaming roll, win=gain d4x100gp lose=debt 
d4x100gp 
44 Wild night on town and now your friends with the towns redlight district sex merchants
45 Spent hellish night trying to score drugs, chased by gangsters and made some new friends to party and score with 
46 Got caught in illegal club raided by the law, imprisoned d4 days and fined d4x10gp
47 Stumbled onto illegal fight scene d4 1=bareknuckle boxing 2=topless women swordfighting 3=bloody pit fights 4=monster gladiators using illegally bred or captured monsters
48 After a d4 days of debauchery with a wild out of control hellrake gang an angry mob petitioned the local judge to have you and your new pals in prison d4 1=rich kinsman bailed you all out 2=a new friend bribed the lawmen 3=tarred and feathered and driven out of town 4=daring escape from prison 
49 Invited to a secret show d4 1=goblin sex acrobats 2=dawf has sex with a donkey 3=dryad scam to charm new thralls to her cult of lovers 4=stripper is a medusa, she works with an evil garden supply merchant for the rich who lures in the future ornaments
50 Invited to a secret display of forbidden art securing your status among rich edgelords d4 1=erotic poetry 2=witness a summoning of a succubi or incubus just for thrills 3=undead dancers with necromancer coreographer 4=patients from an invalid asylum being hunted for sport by rich 
51 Meet a restorer of old mansions seeking vintage decor such as furniture, old paintings, carpets, candleabra, old suits of armour, weapons
52 Meet a hardware merchant who can have a crew strip any dungeon for every profitable scrap for a good contract 
53 Merchant tells you about a profitable goods shortage in area adventurers were going to visit
54 A farmer needs blood and bone for his tired old fields and understands adventurers might know a good supply. Also looking for new source of pig food, any old meat will do 
55 A merchant works for a soap and candle company and is always looking for things to render down in his vats to make new tallow
56 Met a merchant selling beehive in a box or maybe just a wasp nest
57 Merchant has many unclaimed adventurers storage lockers you might want to buy at an auction, who knows whats inside when you remove the lock
58 Went drinking with wine merchants and now you have newfound appreciation for lots of fine wine and new put downs for cheap rubbish
59 Stable owner has some used donkeys and carts if you need any at a low low price
60 Coin changer offers you a special exchange rate for changing old coins for new ones and pay you proper for special collector coins (could be any specialist item really even pottery or pewter teaspoons)
61 Meet some bailifs who work for the magistrate and sheriff having time off
62 Family members of the mayor
63 Meet some local guld masters who invite you as a guest to a guild feast
64 Met d4 local nobles who were impressed by your brutish adventurer lifestyle
65 Noble asks you to champion them in a duel for a handsome reward and eternal friendship
66 Overhear town elders desperate and seek adventurers to solve a strange problem
67 A local religious leader has been irritating the nobility and they are complaining bitterly about this holier than thou fool demanding nice things for the poor 
68 Meet a local racontuer who is always trying to arouse a mob to acts of violence, eventually secret police come for them and aquaintances
69 Meet a publisher of political pamphlets whos work is banned in some cities
70 Meet an important senior statesmen and have a conversation
71 See a civic official meet in private with a robed assasin
72 See someone leave a note behind a loose brick with a map and a time marked
73 See a civic official talk with a crime guild senior agent and give them money
74 See two known robed mighty wizards and their deciples meet in private 
75 See two crime guild family leaders meeting
76 See a man selling cheaply printed pamphets in secret to youths d10 1=pornography 2=slander about a noble or priest 3=unflatering political comedy (dangerous kind kings dislike) 4=treasonous claims 5=demonic occultism 6=moral warning of vice and witchcraft 7=tru crime 8=cannibalism recipes for magic powers (false) 9=how to sell your soul to an imp 10=treasure maps
77 Overhear town elders discussing a plan to force someone from their legal property
78 Overseer of an orphanage making a deal with a slave trader (or a exploitative indentured service contract)
79 Nervous elder paying a randsome to crooks who laught at them and take the money leaving the elder sobbing
80 Important local meeting a drug dealerpushing illegal magical drugs
81 WItness someone teleport to and from the baths
82 Saw one of the bathers for a moment had a tail and possibly a changeling
83 Saw an imp sneak into a sewer pipe
84 Saw a strange man talking to rats inside air vents 
85 Saw a spectral figure bathing when left alone a while
86 See someone enter a secret door in one of the bathing rooms
87 See a massuse conceal an assassins weapon (possibly foil an assassination)
88 A famous bard enthrals an audience and takes an interest in your adventures
89 See a slime creature disolve a corpse then ooze down a drain
90 
 See a bath attendant drag and dump a body in a secret trapdoor then move away like nothing happened
91 Meet a wizard who has a d3 potions or scrolls at home he can sell you
92 
Saw a visitor mark occult symbols with chalk on walls referring to a local cult
93 Saw a wizard change another patron into a frog and leave 
94 See a spectacular woman who seems to disappear and look at you, she is a nymph of the spring who sometimes notices a patron
95 See a strange hairy humanoid enter by a secret panel take a bar of soap and a bucket and towel and leave
96 See tattoo showing membership of a cult on patron
97 Found a strange wing never found before and spoke to lots of old timers wise in old ways but you never found it again and nobody knows what your are talking about
98 Discovered a patron you met was really a ghost that lives inside a mozaic and offers to show you
99 Make telepathic contact with a being in the deep sewers under the bathhouse, in return for rotten meat and faeces it will give you unwanted magic items and platinum coins
100 Found a unconcious body with puncture wounds in the neck who remembers nothing

Monday, 9 May 2022

Some Quick Reviews...

















EMO zine #8 and 3fold on the Necropolis of Yor recently on Patreon 

Like a few people I have been getting the POD releases for 80s D&D books I probably never saw in the day and as I was a propper boy with bigboy pants I probably snubbed basic dnd when we started AD&D. All these are POD on drive-through and Im pretty happy with them in most cases.

Maps are one of the main problems and in some cases, it was the map I remember and to have them made useless then print up my own in some cases from a non legal PDF its a bit rough. I wish they did poster maps from old products as separate items so you could get all the TSR marvel maps but that seems unlikely. In the case of the Dragonlance DL1-4 compilation, it is quite bad. Some gazetteers at least shrink maps to be readable while others have random bits printed that at least from the PDF you might work out what was happening. Some do better than others in Gazetteers Some of those later poster maps like the High Clerist Tower would be nice or the wargame map from DL series. Sometimes the cover art is overly dark on these prints.

Gazeteer series detailing the DnD Mystara known world has been great to have them all again and a few I never saw. Still reading some but its a wonderfully imaginative series. I hope they get all the hollow earth stuff now as they complete the setting a bit. For the flaws of its time, it at least was imaginative. I was anti flying boat myself for most of my gaming days (sorry steve next game you can have a flying boat). Possibly the empires book/box of these changed my mind when I saw the cost and economy to run them. I prefer a flying castle myself.

Are a few I'm struggling with - long winded, little art. lack of strange content. But more like this coming. I have been reading lots of old comics too.

My house on lockdown and feeling off - unsure if my normal bad hayfever and medical problems. Ive written a bit

Arkham Gazette Issue 4 Kingsport Dreams 
💓💓💓💓
The best Call of Cthulhu magazine ever - each reads more luck a supplement expanding Miskatonic county and full of titbits and trivia. Lots of locations, hints of stuff, characters and trivia that helps you fill out the setting for sandbox play or to develop your own adventures from these fragments. Feels more disciplined than most magazines and lacks bad fan art, reviews for stuff I have or other stuff I am a bit over with magazines in general. 

WG5 Mordenkainens Fantastic Adventure 💓
💓💓💥
This assumes you will play the famous wizard and his friends. The hook is there is a strange door in a castle ruin adventurers found and gave up on. Some disappeared. Thats it. You arrive by magic carpet at the door with an artifact in hand (no mention of using your own characters). It talks about magic keys and some artifact key hints to drop in your setting for clues and then refers to location as key locations lots. Some redundant writing and three situational damage tables for specific effects seem overly complex and a bit petty. Once inside its a mad wizard funhouse with an implausible geomorph looking map. By level three you would know this place is increasingly insane. I am inspired by historic architecture and function over gaming tropes. The art and design on this is good and shame they dropped the look of this module on later ones in series like Puppets. I do like the minions are depleted by being sacrificed and already suspicious of their mad demon using boss. The new monsters are mostly good, especially the demon and the evil book described (one of the best in DnD lore). As it's for levels 9-12 its a good example of a high-level dungeon and I like the idea a high-level party can ignore wilderness crawl and just turn up at the door. It feels like you could do this in a long session and have a good old wizard butt-kicking fun time. On the other hand, this is a late appearance of one of those crazy old dungeons at a time when the railroad cinematic adventures with mini locations were all the rage. I would like to run this without too much modification. It has some very strange funhouse stuff like the Purple Stone. I like it tries to add lore, items, and monsters to the canon which is a plus.

N4 Treasure Hunt 💓💓💥💥
This is almost an early DCC character funnel for zero to first level characters. Your commoners in a bad spot must escape and depend on what they do they get to adopt a class through play. It has Ad&d rules for zero Lv for those not using some version from Dragon for years by this time. It could be a good start to a campaign but is a survival railroad. Letting people take several characters and having a few die would be fine. Players are kidnapped, escape, then told the island will have everyone killed soon and a narrow window to escape. Having a god involved in a first adventure might not be to everyone's taste but its an unusual situation and one of the more memorable moments. If only the god would just teleport you away. Has some good art and maps you can reuse for certain buildings and good player handouts. Actually, this could be a prequel to the slavelords saga modules and why players hate slavers.

HWR2 Kingdom of Nythia 💓💓💓💥
This is peak cyclopedia era D&D with an Eqpytian flare with the fantasy on high. It has some interesting early weird combat skills I might steal and weapon mods that go in a different direction to AD&D. Some weird magic systems for local use that could help your bronze age empire compete with other peoples. The layout and art are good but the whole line featured wasted design space as a feature with big borders and logos. Adding Egyptian stuff to your setting is pretty old and this take has some unique twists. Has some good maps and lots of ideas to plunder even without the hollow earth stuff. I wouldn't try everything in here but it feels like it made some interesting efforts for unique new magic. Not as good as the Iron Crown games fantasy Egypt but that is an especially awesome product that would work well with this for a setting. The Old Empires setting in the Forgotten realms has some overlap here also like lots of sand spells.


N2 The Forest Oracle 💓💓💥💥
This is a good beginner adventure. It is a wilderness railroad with lots of prescripted scenes but better than many that do this and it would be ok for a first time DM. Good maps and handouts, basic minimal layout. It does have D&D gipsies but I'm sure this is an easy fix to avoid some of these old tropes. I would just make them more upfront about their desperation and why they have been doing their shenanigans. I'm not sure I would return their pegasus to them if I was a nature lover. It offers lots of dynamic locations in a short time and is well-balanced encounter wise. Im not sure I would run it unless I had some noobs or as a speed run for vet gamers possibly. 


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