Monday, 19 April 2021

The War Against the Amphibians Part 1

I think this new remake of Thelma and Louse has promised with casting. Now I use the internet mostly for amphibian appreciation I've been using lots of (non-frog) social media less. Had failed attempt at the game today. Sitting looking at a 20cm thick pile of  Patreon stuff and in the process of working out a new direction there and listening to Bacharach. One big writing gig I'm stuck on because I'm developing lots of new content to make it work which is harder than what I used to vomit up daily here. Also, have a couple of things I'm working on and I'm finding it harder to unsympathetic to monsters and trying to work out how. The Orc Prince is my main baby. Also spent 100 hours on Warlords3 (90s turn-based fantasy wargame where heroes loot ruins for relics and can get quests or help armies).

One day I will compile all my war series articles with many more war ideas like several simple battle systems - one event-based obstacle dramatic (with of course random d100 battlefield events) and a couple of simple rules sets for scale.

The War Against the Amphibians Part 1 (Also Gone To The Frogs 3)
This deals with forces of the wars factions and how the war begins. Water features heavily in the tale of the frogwars and the great spawning. But many fell to chaos and worship of the outer void and necromancy  and were part of the rulers in the age of darkness lording over the bug and the worm for aeons before the dawn age in the primordial waters. They occupy the wet fens, bogs, lakes, streams, marches, swampy forests and any wetlands. The most ancient will occupy the seas and coasts. The most sophisticated look more reptilian and some took the leap aeons ago and defected to the reptilians. Now reptiles are their rivals and sometimes enemies but often amphibians cope with cold, deep dark places under the earth and cold mountain waters. Many later amphibians instead of chaos defected from the amphibian ancestors of the water elements and joined fire or air or earth or frost or darkness or others. 

So over last few years some heavy extra long wet seasons have formed new bogs and the sound of frogs on their logs in the bogs have grown louder for four years. Finally as huge rainstorms begin the frog gods ritual wedding is re enacted by priests. Enraged frog kind pour from the swamp choking waterways, hiding in sewers, raiding riversides snatching food.

Often the frogs of chaos or demon cults or the void enrage other thriving frog folk who grow to fighting ready in a few years. A few parents could raise and armoy of ten thousand in a few years given food. Stopping them can help to calm or confuse the frog hoardes. Sometimes a froglord will declare they are the amphibian messiah and unify amphibians of all kinds even ones slumbering for aeons since before the world dried out after the first dawn.  

The first tables help generate some amphibian factions.
You might decide on a default basic few types and use them half or three quarters the time which saves lots of time. You might want hoards of coloured chaos poison froglings with blowpipes or bullfrog or toad folk abhumanoid barbarians or 

Part of series
The War Against the Amphibians Part 1 Amphibian Forces Forces
The War Against the Amphibians Part 2 Amphibian  Encounters & Wonders
The War Against the Amphibians Part 3 Amphibian Rumours & Treasure

Random Amphibian Factions

d12 Amphibian Bloodlines
1-4 House of the Anurans (hopping ones)
-1-2 Frogs (d4 1=froglings 2=frogfolk 3=frog spirit 4=werefrog)
-3-4 Toads (d4 1=toadlings 2=toadfolk 3=foad spirit 4=weretoad)
6-11 House of the Caudatans (false lizards)
-6-7 Salamander (d3 1=salamanderlings 2=salamanderfolk 3=salamander spirit 4=weresalamander)
-8 Newt (d4 1=newtlings 2=newtfolk 3=newt spirit 4=werenewt)
-10-Olm (d4 1=olmlings 2=olmfolk 3=olm spirit 4=wereolm)
-11 Axalotl (d4 1=axalotlings 2=axalotlefolk 3=axalotle spirit 4=wereaxalotle)
12 House of the Caecilians (false worms or false snakes)
- 12 Caecillians (d4 1=caecilings 2=caecillian Folk 3=caecillian spirit 4=werecaecillian)

-ling suffix denotes halfling sized animal folk like froglings or newtlings)
-folk suffix denotes huge beastial humanoid warrior race like frogfolk
animal spirit folk spirits able to adopt human or animal form or anything in between
were- prefix are lycanthropy victims or bloodlines who change into amphibian hybrids

d10 Amphibian Cults

1 The Great Amphibian - the eternal ancestor who awoke in the primal damp darkness hugry d4 1=esoteric wizard sages 2=druidic nature priesthood 3=aquatic priesthood 4=primordial darkness
2 Petty Frog Gods - many minor frog saints, heroes and primal ancestors who are often approachable deities who live among their cults from time to time
3 The Great Frog Gods - a pantheon of lesser gods d4 1=Lorthar the Hunter of Bugs and Foes 2=Maran the Great Spawn Mother and provider 3=Bonkob the waiter in darkness 4=Uula
4 The Amphibian Order - a wizard cult preserving ancient amphibian spells from the dawn of time recorded in sacks of living slime incomprehensible to most races and delicious to some. This cult entrap human and elf wizards with free spells and free entry to a secret wizard cult
5 Elemental cults - most water is the sacred element but earth, air and even fire have their places. Lesser elements such as cold and lightning and wood and metal and crystal 
d100 1-75=water 76-85=earth 86-90=fire 91-94=cold 95=lightning 96=metal 97=plant 98=vapour 99=crystal 100=slime
 Alum and Ulam the two cosmic frogs always in struggle, one darkness one light, sometimes they fight over bugs and worms and attack each other sometimes they sit on top of each other and lock in amplexus spawning new realities d8 1=bright wizards 2=dark wizards 3=balance wizards 4=law wizards 5=chaos wizards 6=nuetral astronomer wizards 7=druidic natural harmonists 8=priests of the balance 
7 Hellish cult - bound to hell often with toad imp advisors, all initiates have sold souls to frog devils and hope to rise ranks in a nice maggot or worm infested swamp in hell where they will torture their enemies and eat forever
8 Druidic Swamp spirit cults of the wetlands especialy the dark fearsome evil bog spirits and swamp hags, protect fertility of marsh as haven for amphibians 
9 Daemon of primal chaos often clouds or pools of primal chaos tentacled toad beings who fight the daemons of Law like Archons
10 The great old ones - primordial toadlike squamish gods elder gods like Tsathog 
11 Daemon of the outer void - alien gods from beyond seek entry to our world
12 A demon cult with hooded robes and masks serve a demon as a lesser god d4 1=frog demon 2=slime demon 3=cannibal flesh demon 4=fungus demon 5=darkness demon 6=

d10 What Started war?

1 Insectoid critters and bug folk refugees appeared in kingdom seeking refuge
2 Weather for a few years caused an amphibian population boom
3 Amphibian elder wizard has awakened ancient hibernating amphibian clans
4 Chaos has made the croak of chaos calling amphibians to wage unholy war
5 A demonic amphibian council has aroused clans to violence and gluttony
6 Human villagers refused to handover useful giant bugs amphibians demanded
7 Human industry polluted holy waters calling frogs to fight vile pollutors
8 The frog folk have been dealing vice and crime through traders
9 Starving amphibians started eating people and poorest humans ate frogs
10 Someone attacked or poisoned sacred spawning pools enraging amphibians (was it really d4 1=humans 2=reptilians 3=chaos cults 4=foriegn rival kingdom

d10 Objectives of Invaders?
1 Gobble up everything edible, loot, burn houses, take livestock and slaves back to wetlands
2 Ruin everything to setback civilization, especialy use floods and weather magic
3 Unite various frog folk of present age under a single ruler (and possibly dominated by one cult and clan). War is just a means to an end by ambitious amphibian boss  
4 Take the land then awaken the ancient sleepers from before the dawn age when all was moist and dark and safe, these ancestors may be strange and fearsome and many are ignorant 
of current ideas like alignment or elements other than water and darkness 
5 Plant prehistoric stela across the land and restore a prehistoric age when amphibians ruled
6 Cannibalist cults thrive and the amphibian pope calls a crusade to gobble up the humanoids one and all before this cult destroys their people
7 Awoken ancestors from primordial age are offended by damned dirty naked talking apes and wish to eradicate them in the name of amphibian supremacy
8 Amphibian criminal vice syndicates have intend the mobs and gangs and pushed for war to profit from arms, drugs and slavery and have teamed up with the kingdoms crime guilds and most corrupt nobles. Their frog grog and frog pipe weed is popular and and humans even while fighting the amphibians are becoming adicted to "captured" wagons of amphibian vices. They even have allied with the mysterious black lotus cult of narcotic dealers who carry slaves off across the world where they are never seen again for return for drugs. Surrendered frogs will set up smuggling rings, black markets and gangs in prison
9 Amphibians need to grow and so land is needed to flood and slaves are needed to 
build dams and tend tadpole ponds and grow food and tend farms of huge bugs
10 The fabled age of darkness the world was covered in giant fungus forests and these amphibians preferring the bugs who live in these conditions like to spread spores of fast growing fungus forests. Any occupied area will grow damp and foggy and develop fungus forests over weeks creating a new ecology where the frog king will sit firmly on the mushroom throne forever

d10 What ends the war?
1 A great fearsome fiery god of hot summer winds if released to drive away amphibians but demands a quest to be satisfied (Nergal, Set, Mars, Sekemnet, Ninurta might all do)
2 Snow comes surprisingly sending amphibians into digging burrows to hibernate
3 A dedicated brotherhood united against amphibian genocide develops huge popular, political and church support. They amass huge assets, trade, operate a bank and use the amphibian event to gain unprecedented new powers over multiple kingdoms
4 A peace treaty where certain marshes and wetnands are made amphibian areas and tensions where they meet with humans may continue bitterly for years, some dont want to leave and even join amphibian cults or deliberately get lycanthropy
5 The amphibian master is killed and ruied by scandal and dishonour and the warlords fight over what they have and return home to enjoy plunder 
6 Amphibians take certain goods and strip metal and even stone and use it to launch a new level of technology for their rapidly progressing civilisation
7 The frog magicians who advise clans, aid the common fighting amphibian in battle and have own secret reasons call for withdrawal which puzzles the kingdoms experts
8 A swarm of delicious bugs attracts marching frog armies back to their home wetlands
9 A holy amphibian elder calls for all to join the ancestors in the secret frog vaults to sleep another aeon to await humanity to be extinct, most of armies follow this elder
10 The amphibian prophet commands all the faithful folk to return to the safe places of home and prepare for a new enemy on the way to destroy the kingdom and the amphibians know this greater evil and are hopping it. At first the kingdom celebrates till interogated amphibians fear the doom that comes  

d10 Factions within Amphibians?
Individual amphibian troops have other more imediate subgroups in a force
1 Has a gripe with humanoids and reptiles and mammals and birds due to d4 1=ancestors killed 2=sacred spawn polluted 3=massacred innocent tadpoles 4=has had lots of close calls with lots of people mostly bad
2 No idea whats going on, a bit thick and sticks with own kind, lots of exites amphibians on migration, just follow there must be bugs or new spawning or something. Whats alignment neutral? 
3 Been in sleep for aeons knows nothing about humans but believes stories of their terrible crimes on amphibians
4 Gourmet gluttons, where are the bugs around here and things to eat? Whats that guy eating I wonder? lets go forraging
5 Frightened just follows others around and does whatever told, a bit freaked out and hanging with like minded and avoid bullies together
6 Deeply religious cult member attends and preys daily services and has holy symbol or tatoo
7 Where are the best places to spawn? where are the interesting new love interests to meet in new lands with a warband and come home a conquering hero who toadaly owned those tailess monkeys
8 Got exited in some storms and formed a mob at home and next thing was a warrior on an adventure, its all been a hellbender really
9 So many back home with these good years weather so time to spread out and recolonise places long abandoned. Consider lands belongs traditionally to amphibia since pre reptile times
10 Personality cult believe the leader is so awesome and blessed by the great ones, it makes sense to to do what they say. No matter how strange or unhappy the feckless beings we invade seem to dislike it. The benevolent one knows all and must be followed

d10 Factions against amphibians?
1 Newthunters, a branch of inquisitors who hunt for amphibian sympathisers, cultists and spies. They know the taints of wereamphibians and which warts come from toads, exiting new field of bigotry and wild speculation
2 The Frogstompers encourage mobs of violent drunks to attack amphibians in the name of propper humans and harass any they think loog a bit froggy
3 The Riverwardens are a sort of inspector of the kings waterways official that also perform espionage activities and pass down the warning signs for generations of a amphibian invasion, they act as scouts and spies of the kindgom and enter amphibian homelands even
4 Arcane Order of Vivesectionists are exited about a war with amphibians and aid the war effort of the kingdom just so they can direct amphibian corpses. Then they get curious about live prisoners in the name of scholarliness. They get worse as the war goes on and by end are over the taboo versus human disection
5 The Primordial Order of Wizardry look to the secrets of prehuman magic and thus amphibian magicians and lore is to be plundered and shared with the order to unlock the secrets of the pre-dawn age
6 Knights of the Wyrm are a clerical order of warrior monks and noble knights of the kingdom who band together to fight amphibians and raise money for this crusade with banks and trade and tax exemptions. The creature they serve is some kind of draconic-worm like creature, actually a snake as the order are really dupes of snake people as part of some plot. Snakes keep amphibians down with human pawns and get amphibians blamed for their evil plots
7 The Cathretan League preach frogs and reptiles are bad creatures and birds and mammals are good. They want all amphibians stamped out and like to poison waterways low doses th harm amphibians too. They also attack beavers who help the amphibians spawn with their dambuilding. Their name comes from a family killed by filthy frog and lizard mercenaries. The groups try to make this family a martyred saints and claim they can perform miracles in the name of killing the spawn of chaos
8 Tanners & Dyers Guilds benevolantly dump toxic chemicals from industry into the water helping to keep amphibians away. They even bottle and sell the tainted water as cure vs all amphibian diseases and skin aflixions that the peddlers invent
9 The Sewer Keepers go inspecting sewers, wells, dams, drains, cisterns and latrines for infestations of amphibians and charge communities who the drive into hysteric fear by bringing out evil amphibian filth to publicly torment and burn alive
10 The Benevolant Guild Of Amphibian Reformers preach amphibians can be put to work as slaves in river oyster farms and lake fisheries and cleaning drains and sewers. They build sweatshops for amphibian prisoners of war to teach the brutes useful jobs
11 Witch Hunters know many witches keep frog and newt familiars and perform illegal castings on innocent victims using these parts for spells. Witch hunters are keen to help the war effort and root out cults or enemy magicians
12 The Toad Trappers catch giant toads and amphibians with traps to skin and for meat which they sell. Members wear their toadskin jackets and boots and carry clevers and knives and nets

d10 Quests?
1 Eliminate a fanatic prophet magician urging amphibians and their leader into war
2 Alter the magic by releasing might spirit divinities of hot dry or cold icy winds to drive amphibians away
3 Convincing the amphibian overlords there can be peace
4 Make a pact with reptilians or invite some other amphibian enemies to the kingdom to aid us in these dire times
5 Travel to a great elder amphibian vault and sound the great bell that calls the amphibian kinfolk to the shelter over a huge areas, it signals some new apocalypse is coming to their kind
6 Find a ancient amphibian relic and use it to buy off the amphibians for peace
7 Awaken the seven dragons of Mount fang who ate and drove off amphibians long ago oh and worry about dragon problem after or how to pay them off later
8 An amphibian lich king has been spurning on amphibian kind and spreading his necromancy to evil amphibians for aeons, kill the lich and this power will be denied 
9 In a far away volcanic island crater lake lurks an amphibian demigod who is aiding local amphibian hoardes with magical power. Stopping the being in it's lair may make the other such beings hidden around the world withdraw support for the current hoarde
10 Find the great vault where sleeping amphibian elders await the extinction of humanity and take it hostage or force amphibian forces to come to its defence

d10 What does the Amphibian Lords do to its prisoners?
1 Chop them up and eat them and herd to markets in own lands
2 Give them to sacrificial cults to gain favour of these hungry gods
3 Take them to be transformed into amphibians or made into were-amphibian
4 Make them toil as slaves herding huge bugs and caring for tadpoles
5 Turn them into bugs and eat them or use for bug or rat food
6 Make them work in harsh places amphibians dont like using chemicals
7 Has them taken away to a distant land to some secret amphibian stronghold
8 Disolve them in pits of horrible boiling acids, salts and hot tar or mud
9 Drown them in a ritual to a elder water elemental spirit of geat power
10 Use as food in great spawning pits of giant amphibian war beasts. Some very ancient pre dinosaur ones including ones more resistant to cold and salt than modern known ones

d12 Who are the Amphibian Overlords?
1 Warrior king - legendary status common hero arisen to chief then king seeks eternal glory
2 A cabal of amphibians of different clans and breeds and magic united in common versus the kingdom who meet seldom but rely on messengers and agents
3 Ancient ancestors communicate their desires, some sleeping ones send dreams or those long dead appear as spirits or liches, the current leaders feel obligated to obey
4 The elder amphibian is impatient for humans to pass away on their own and every so often they are granted good weather for 4 years and bugs and rodents to eat allowing numbers to swell in thousands rapidly. The elders incite war to spread their kind as part of long term survival strategy
5 A criminal cartel have been promoting warrior spirit and faking miracles to inspire the hoard
6 Ancient elders in a great ark carvern normally sleep but one such bastion an elder has been commanding war for reasons of their own and not in accordance to the majority of elders
7 The elemental gods have sent down power to the amphibian cause with new wizard spells and pet amphibian monsters with elemental powers. Elemental priests, sorcerers and druidry has returned
8 A cabal of chaos cult of amphibian warlocks have incited the war and blamed mutations they spread on human alchemists to incite the war
9 A cabal of demon cults have united and have incited amphibians to war with promise of power and revenge against humans for the last failed war, promising demon power will help
10 A human wizard in disguise as a amphibian prophet and faking relics has incited all the forces of amphibian (the pre dawn amphibian kingdom) to arise in a holy war against upstart species but mostly humans. The wizard is using it as a scheme to take control of the kingdom and has been raising amphibian zealots in his own wizard lair spawning pit 

d12 Strange Schemes of Amphibian Overlords
1 Amphibian changelings are kidnaping people with charm spells and taking to a secret place in amphibian territory 
2 Human prisoners are being used to awaken the sealed ark cave of sleeping race of elders who enjoy salt and sea conquest, they just need a spawning place in some sea caves to make an army of thousands
3 Young amphibian couples are being sent out into human lands and trying to set up secret colonies in wells, ponds, canals, cisterns and sewers. This plot could fill area with amphibian terror cells in region for decades. The couples are given nothing and driven from home
4 A amphibian wizard found the truename of an evil god who wowed the amphibian elder empire a service and requires a certain ruin, a relic and sacrifices to call the being
5 An amphibian druid has been spreading a form of amphibian lycanthropy that eventually turns victims permanently into amphibian folk. He has been giving the taint to warriors and tadpoles of amphibian war beasts he plants in the kingdoms creeks, pools and wells
6 A newt necromancer has been creating undead in human lands for years and leaving them to rest in their graves, now is the time to gather his army, each village the army grows
7 A salamander hero has become the avatar of fire, merged with a fire elemental and is father of a clan of fire newts who plan to colonise volcanic areas and prepare an army bu spawning in lava and taming of fiery salamander spirits from the sacred flames
8 Youths have been discovering toad or newt licking can get you high and it has become common across the kingdom many secretly keeping such a creature. Parents are scared and the law concerned of amphibian influence on the next generation. An amphibian bard has been secretly spreading the secrets of the fad in disguise as a cool young human playing croak-hop music
9 Froggy romeos have been reported roaming the land spreading hybrid amphibian horrors. They seem to be using magic to hide and charm victims. The truth is there are seductress frogfolk ladies too but they sling away to have possibly thousands of tadpoles but people dont see this
10 Amphibian commanders have sent messengers to various other kin not in the war already and messages to far away lands or the Sunderland or under some lake could be called on

d10 Amphibian Mercenaries?
1 Goblinoids of wetland or cave tribes who dont mind frogs, fungus, darkness or attacking humans 
2 Reptilians especialy marine iguanas from swamps and serpent folk changeling sorcerers and even some dinosaurs will serve espiacially in dry or salty places
3 Insects are often used as slave troops, ants can be farmed and trained to defend amphibians and other breeds can be domesticated for food or war or transport
4 Worms while old enemies might be enslaved or will work for chance to eat bodies of the fallen
5 Troglodyte cave dwelling stinking reptilian folk willingly fight for silver and platinum and can be found deep underground, plus they like eating humans
6 Necromancers with skeleton and zombies hired for the promise of lost forbidden lore 
7 Hell cults including human cult agents and toad-imp advisors and wizards and priests
8 Demon cults including human cultists and lesser demons and undead are willing to release their chaos champions and warbands to war
9 Ratfolk assassins, spies and sabotuers  are available as well as specialists who spread disease or plant siege mines in walls and under houses of enemies
10 Cults of the old ones bring shoggoths and tentacled horror and vapourous entities from beyond and prey on the kingdoms loyal magicians

Amphibian Forces
These include human cultists of amphibian cults, amphibian demons, amphibian elementals or other spirits. There are also swamp folk who fate the city folk and take men and live as inbred backward swamp clans who come to prefer the frawg buddies to human kings.

These former humans have become tainted by mutagens which mysteriously in this war are amphibian traits. Such people if noticed are chased by mobs, outcaste and now tragic homeless living in the worst conditions. The biggest worst cities have a mutant district and many restrictions on mutant rights. On the bright side nobody want them as slaves. Patriotic to the kingdom mutants exist and are still treated poorly. Many mutants join the amphibians who offer them shelter and the possibility fo going full frog.

Werefrogs, weretoads, weresalamanders, werenewts, wereolm, were axalotl, were
caecillian are all possible. Sometimes frogs spread these as a form of colonisation. Some clans who frequent with amphibians willingly become these tainted creatures. Lycanthropes are encouraged to the frontier to terrorise humans. They willingly spread the disease and taint their pets mouths with it also. Some become serial killers or form canabalistic cults. Some become agents of the amphibians who offer a cure for the taint. They can turn you into an amphibian folk permanently free of the magic disease and incoporating them into their new kin. Fullmoon wetland in human areas rapidly become infested with these human flesh craving creatures.

Various beastfolk mercenaries often aide amphibians and can appear in their warbands or as heroes. They bring their war beast also. Reptilians despite some past wars and often think they have more in common with amphibian than humans amphibians. Various reptilians include d12 1=troglodytes 2=turtles 3= ghekkos 4=skinks 5=marine iguanas 6=snake 7=tegu 8=komodo dragon 9=bearded dragon 10=dimetrodon 11=dinosaur 12=dragon. Rat and mouse are often enemies and slaves and food of amphibians. Bug and worm are slave and food to amphibians who they defeated from power before the first dawn. Spiders and snakes are special enemies for ampbia especialy 
Caecillians  who they are confused with both often

Frog Folk 
The common humanoid seven foot tall frog folk warriors of the wetlands able to breed a mature adult in four years and can have 10000 tadpoles in a heroic night of amplexus. They once ruled and shall again. Once they built huge earth mound cities and grew crops and bugs in great lakes for their global empire when the world was wet and young and dark and safe. Seek to undermine humans through lycanthropes and cults and spreading monsters. Not all frogs are jerks and plenty older ones know better than to go off on a amphibian crusade and some even become accepted in human lands after the war. Frog haters may endanger these these frogs with mobs sometimes.

Most frogs are irregular and undiciplined
Wild warriors are wild naked clans with nothing but clubs and rocks
Barbarian warriors wear fish leather and use shields, javelins, hand axes, clubs, maces
Warrior elte wear turtleshell armour and sheilds, use spears and axes  
Scouts wear leather and have daggers and shortbows 
Frog Knights wear metal armour and weapons and ride prehistoric amphibian brutes
Frog Wizard 5th with pets and d4 1st Lv aprentices
Frog Assassins with poisoned knives in hooded robes 

Toad Folk
Dwell in caves, deserts, and anywhere earthy may often overlap in range with frogs and are even room mates quite often. Toads may look dour and grumpy and give scathing looks at anyone grabbing a bug before them but are mostly quiet loners. Some specific toad cults have existed that raise toad hoardes for conquest and have spread them over many lands. Older ones he outlive these wild fads learn to drop out to live quite lives hunting bugs and worms and fishing. They often get along with other creatures in their area and like to dig more and swim less than frogs do having dry skin. What they lack in the swimming speed of a frog they gain in being poisonous.

They have similar units to frogs but tend to be more materially advanced with metal use and gadgets learned from gnomes and dwarves. Toad Alchemists are also a thing.

Toad Tunnrl Fighter with scale armour, shield, crossbow, maxe or axe or sword
Toad Musketeer with a musket with a bayonette and a backpack of supplies
Toad Grenadier with a d4 caste iron grenaides, a match and a tinderbox, dagger
Toad Pistoleer rides a prehistoric amphibian mount has 2 pistols and a short sword
Toad Alchemist carries d6 loaded pistols, a d4 grenaides and cast as a wizard

Froglings & Toadlings
These are diminutive small halfling sizes anurans (frog and toad folk). Unlike their more barbaric warrior kin who love to wage war on humans these are shy hiding in tiny secret wilderness houses and villages. Different ones live in differnt places and live much like halflings and even mix with other smaller beast folk freely and co habit villages. The poison frogling clans are still naked brightly coloured and often chaos cultists using their venomous secretions on arrows and blowpipes and attacking from vegetation. They also carry almost mature tadpoles on their backs to plant monsterous amphibian war beast.  

Frogling or Toadlings mostly use darts or blowpipes and clubs up close
Some ride small creatures like bugs or turtles or giant dragonflies

Frog & Toad Spirit Folk
These spirit folk are sacred ancestor race spirits who serve spirit courts and supernatural lords of nature. They were sent into the world to watch over sacred places of nature like spawning pools and good waterholes. Many have come to take human form and dress and even live among humans. They are less hostile to humans and elves and faeries being kindred and will protect commoners who care for waters and the ancient pacts with the land divinities. They will cause trouble for those who defile and cause them problems. Ocasionaly some are mischievous out of boredom, others are sworn to demons and evil gods and seek personal power over humans or amphibians

Other spirit folk meddle in in amphibian affairs including water and tree and mushroom spirits. Rodentsm turtles, reptilians occasionally are worked with. Bats and snakes are one of the great enemies.

Caudatan Clans
Ancestors of synapsids and reptilians these lizard like amphibians have tails and some especially newts have crests. Unlike reptiles they depend on water to live and breath more but they can live in cooler darker places than reptiles and thrived when the world was like that. Prehistoric breeds were several metres long. 

Salamanders are flamboyant colourful and common caudatan clan amphibians. May local colour variants indicate where they are from and their rank. They are quite poisonous and curious about magic. Many are allied to fire elementals and planar fire salamanders and become fire-newts. The smaller halfling size ones often act as spies or sabotuers on waterways Larger slamander folk are warriors who dress in fancy tribal and unitand clan colours to show their bravery and ferociousness. Spirit slamander folk are more peaceful wilderness guardians and will want stop violence, but some have turned bad and become poisonous killers.

Salamanders wear ornate scale armour with crested helments, with shields swords, spears, tridents and nets but some clans just use spears and clubs
Salamander Knights wear scale and use lances and composite bows on backs of their prehistoric mounts 

Newts are mostly black aquatic crested and influential type of salamander that has thrived for aeons. They have their own coherant code and have become the most common slamander tribe. They dont object ti being called salamanders despite being lawful or chaotic. The largest cast are the warriors who fight for newt cause. Smaller halfling slize newtlings are labourers and farmers and home makers and sprit newts are their reverend ancestoral newt living gods. They dont dupe their own kind for foolish wars, they fight to build permanent newt strongholds for newt knights. The spirit newts when not living as gods go out to spy on humans from time to time and are also used to negotiate trade. Humans in the past would kill the newt warriors and magic spirit newt folk and enslave the small newtlings which provided dominatable slaves who could be eaten. When such slaves began to outnumber their masters many would establish secret colonies and breed new warriors and spirit newt folk and destroy their humans. The newts even have their own gods of war and wrath. Some describe them as more reptilian than other clams which often comes from their crests

Newts wear chain, shield and ornte helms all in black with spears and swords and shortbows
Newt Knights wear chain and shield with full helms with sword and lance
Newt Wizard 5th Lv with d4 1st Lv aprrentices and a d4 pet amphibian monsters  

Fire Newts are salamanders allied to fire elementals in a cult ceremony or born into the clan. They live involcanic places underground or on the surface or underwater where lava can be found to spawn in. They are a martial breed advanced with stone and metal. They build castles and their firenewt knights ride fire loving bipedal lizard-birds. They have the fastest amphibian cavalry, can build forts and open cracks to the fires below to sustain them. Other amphibians like the newts who can act without fear deserts or fire but also they seem to be developing reptilian traits. Smal fire newtlings are abused slaves and rejected runts unfit for war. They killed all their own spirit ancestors long ago when they became fire cultists. They often keep firetoads as guards and pets. 

Fire Newt Warrior wear scale with shield and axe or spear or sword or mace
Fire Newt Knights ride bipedal strider beasts and use lances and composite bows
Fire Newt Wizarsds with d4 firetoads, a fire salamander, d4 1st Lv aprentices
Fire Lizard Team with huge fire breathing lizard and 5 warriors to train and feed it 
Fire Newtling Bomber runs into enemies with incendiary d4 bombs in bundle and lit fuse
Olm are deep dark dwelling marined albino cave salamander like amphibians. Many are blind from lack of light. They live for a long time and cand eat very little even once a year. They know the deep elder magic. Many are canibals so the smaller olmlings live in harder to reach caves and cracks. Being aquatic they use simple tools only of stone and bone and sinew, They rarely come ashore if they must in a cave or surface at night is best.

Axalotl are a savage mostly marine species that occasionally Swarm to the surface to build pyramids and sacrificial altar to the angry primordial storm god ancestor urging them to war. Their civilisation rises and falls every few generations spring some people of their bloody conquests. Most of the warriors are fearsome and naked with shields and obsidian bladed war clubs and spears and darts and arrows. Many are tattooed and come in a variety of colours from gold to pink or black or grey. The smaller ones are often eaten or abused by the larger ones and often live in smaller secret ponds away from their kin. Axalotle spirit folk are kin to their wrathful ancestor storm-lake god who went on to battle everyone even humans but also made water that swept away enemies and spread plagues. His children are everywhere often living as bandits or court officials 

Axalotle Warriors wear cotton quilted armour, fur, feathers and shell with obsidian spiked clubs, spears, darts, clubs, shortbows, slings
Axalotle Priest with giant prehistoric salamander pet, and 12 warriors guarding a 7th Lv priest who will call elementals and other creatures often using human sacrifices

These are often called worm like or snake like and various breeds are more or less like either. People often think they look strange and horrible on sight often confusing them for snakes or worms or tentacles.  Some are even blind living under the soil. As humanoid beast folk they more wary and prefer ambush from tunneling if possible or traps as they are wary. The smaller ones are more secretive but can burrow under a house and listen for months eating bugs and rats. The spirit folk Caecilians are quite strange and repulsive often seeking to aid ancint evils return and spread the darkness. As sappers and siege warrior tunnel fighters they are especialy dangerous.

Caeleams are sneaky preferring to dig under foes, see ambush or traps

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Gone To The Frogs 2 : Rewards From Frog Patrons

So when your benevolent rewards you for some delicious bug quest what are some other rewards? Frog petty gods in the book of the same name probably would like these too. Also, I have considered my potion type tables in psychon (potions, snuff, pills, suppositories, etc) might need some new types like large bugs or honey ants with potions effects from eating them or slurping bug juice in swolen coloured bodies.

d12 Rewards from Froggy Patrons
1 Magic Bug Jar - once a day can pull out a delicious 500g delicious live bug, a different one each day worths a meal. Humans prefer to cook bugs generally but they can be used for pranks, distractions and more
2 Shroom Staff - 50+d100 charges, touch surface with staff and say magic word and a 20cm mushroom sports. If used on a living being as struck the fungus is rooted into the victim and causes d4 damage. Can be decorative, fashion, food (not ones grown on living people) or to feed your giant bugs
3 Ring of Spawn - worn by one parent during amplexus or lovemaking to double the amount of children or eggs produced
4 Pipe of the Frog - allows you to smoke all kinds of herbs, minerals or drugs without addiction
5 Rod of Fungus - three powers use one per day 1) make a bracket fungus ladder or staircase grow on a surface 3m/Lv 2) cushion a fall with puffballs that cover a 3m circle, save or sneeze d4 rounds, huge fungus will grow in the spot for years 3) cure fungus related poison useful for for tasting mystery fungus or your pet bugs or worms who ate wrong type
6 Cricket Crank - a gold cricket shaped broach, squeeze once and crickets in 100m will start chirping for 3d6 rounds helping you find snacks or obfuscation efforts or if squeezed twice silence them useful on giant cave crickets. 
7 Wand of insect detection - d50+50 charges each lasts a ten minute turn and detects bugs by size in 100m even through soil or 3m stone useful for snack or monster hunting
8 Frog Ring - hold breath underwater a turn per level and can drink through your skin especially your belly
9 Frog Wax - a jar of d4 doses of sticky goop can rub on skin or clothes all over. Anything biting user save or mouth attack useless for d4+1 rounds as the mouth is glued shut and painful. Many animals require a morale check to avoid fleeing. Good for only one giant bite, or 2d4 human size or smaller bites
10 Toad Stone - gem worth at least 1000gp bonds to the forehead of the user for life, +1d4HP, shatters on death. Tends to attract trouble but looks cool
11 Frog Flute - a brass pipe once a day can cause all in 6m to dance if they fail a saving throw for 2d4 rounds, -2 to attack and AC while dancing unless a skilled dancer who can ignore penalties
12 Frog Pill - after eating shed skin over an hour and gain +d4HP and a point of Charisma that lasts a d4 days

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Some Reviews From Recent Shopping

Spending more time with amphibians than gaming online now but this is my recent bedtime reading. I seem to get more interactions there. Getting more dungeon and dragon mags so will go through some of these in future.

Metamorphosis Alpha: Doom on the Warden
A goodman games adventure by Jim Ward. It id similar to the B&W adventures that first came out for the Goodman Games edition of the game. But it has a colour cover hardback. Art and maps are great. It doesn't feel like an adventure with a story or a plot. It explore a new area which is a common play mode for the game. It features a level map and a very powerful bunker in the middle and a military AI at odds with the warden. The wilderness area has lots of weird mutant flowers and berries that lots of gamers might find fun and could be re-used. The enemies are pretty tough.  The art and maps are good but I'm not sure if the value is high especially with the current Kickstarted book in production (hoping lots of art was just placeholders for the final version - a mix of amazing and bad and retro pulp and pretty inconsistent). Its not great value and Im unsure if hardback was worth it for a 30pg adventure plus pregens. 

FrontierSpace RPG
I like the 2 book covers connect into one artwork. In anyways a creation based on Star Frontiers vibe but obviously without IP like races. A few differences are the core races, antigravity (i liked star frontiers lacked anti-gravity and effect on ships), its own setting and some other stuff. It has the vibe quite well. I have played and read lots of travellers but always found it obsessed with heists and military and a few things I find clunky in the setting despite the incredible effort to rationalise and detail. Star frontiers I found cleaner and it felt like an earlier phase of space civilisation vs the thousands of years in Traveller over a vast area you could never see in play. Star frontiers stuff felt new and exciting and you could get to know the frontier and it felt like you were exploring new stuff for the first time. FrontierSpace continues these ideas, is clean and simple. Well illustrated for equipment and vehicles. Missiles and drones seem dated and limited in choice. I do like the summaries of equipment and the tables are very readable. I like the layouts and most of the art. Robots are good. The Referee Handbook has lots of options and tools to make planets, alien races, creatures, psionics and more. It does have tables to generate flawed and improved tech designs for guns, robots and robots. Lots of good space hazard details on table,  mechanical troubles, artefacts, prototype tech, bases and some very nice maps I was inspired by. I would consider playing this more than many SF games as it is clean, organised and has good detail. Skills are interesting too. Id still use BRP Ringworld cos I only know BX, BRP and TSR Marvel but I did enjoy star frontiers box sets (Zebulons guide core mechanic changes and some tech was not for me. The fandom of Star Frontiers is pretty good and the magazines have been stunning (plus lots of Dragon and Ares magazines). Looking at my shelves Star Frontiers and seems more appealing than most to play.

Afterthought: Has bizarre comment about sentient humanoids must be standard for possibly god reasons which i found out of tone with whole game. Precursors or something but seemed out of place in sf game.

Mutant Epoch:
The Mall of Doom
Beyond Red Crater
The Flesh Weavers
(Content Warning)
So I have written fondly of this game before. I use bits of this game and Gammaworld and Darwin's world. The Illustrations are one of the best features and the dense content. A few features of these adventures. They are written like choose your own adventure books and could be solo played and it would help a new DM. You could even re-run them with different results. Box text is less handy for the experienced referee but ok for solo or noob. I've found a few modern games that go for this approach. It is less useful for veterans and it can be hard to find stuff or change if you want it. Despite the huge detail of the world sandbox, these adventures are more linear. It is worth pointing out from reading these they have ethical problems so unsuited to children and some adults. I have commented this game deals with the consequences of being captured. The game features lots of thing like body horror and I was connected to a club where women asked no more alien pregnancy plots in games because they were sick of it. In some ways, the game is brave and realistic for detailing what the monsters do to players and there are reminders in the setting everywhere. Quite a few things for the game include slavery, rape, prostitution, drug abuse, cannibalism amped up beyond any other game. I regret stupid stuff like this in my younger days and how I handled it and would be more careful now. I wouldn't run it with strangers at a con or an open club game - id want players who I knew would react without traumatising them. Autonomy removal in games has lots of problems that most games give you more freedom than you enjoy in life. So in Mutant Epoch if monsters get you they will have sex with you, enslave you, kill you, eat you or all the above. Lots of stuff features say gratefully women you save falling into your arms (no twinks sorry), sexual situations and women victims. 

So my mum ran prisons and I imagine she would say something like this. The monsters won't care about your gender, men will be sex slaves and raped too like the film Deliverance and I'm pretty sure many male players would freak out if their characters were raped. These are encounters where monsters will target attractive females so as the game Is I might be reluctant to play one as the game is. Darwin's world has women less common for reasons and I don't think people consider the effects on sexual culture. The game features lots of monsters that prey sexually on humans using them as reproduction puppets or using appearance to lure (men mostly in this case). If you think your male players won't enjoy being raped your female players will like it less too. As my Mum said men get raped in war and prison and possibly cope worse than women do especially as it doesn't fit the narrative of male mythology. Men in prison don't think of themselves as gay or bi despite sexual conduct and this is a huge can of worms that shouldn't come up in games with your friends. These Issues can destroy your gaming group. Despite these problems, the game is still interesting but having read 3 more books inline the elephant in the room got bigger. Using slavers and sexual predators as villains might be ok but just the issues can trigger some people for mentioning these things. Some of these issues open more cans of worms Villains who don't do anything to deserve killing are a problem too so navigating between these for your group is a thing. 

I prefer to have adventures with a non-fiction approach to locations so I can do as I please with them but there is plenty here to plunder for post apoc games despite the format of the adventure. These adventures have stories and narrative. 
The Mall of Doom has players hired to find missing people in a village. The village has a thriving cult which turns out to be connected to the problem. It has lots of good exploration, hazards and the mall shop tables could be reused for any ruins and this makes the book a good sourcebook. The bad guys are bad and killing them and saving people and rewards are good and there are some good climax boss fights. There are notes on expanding the adventure, maps and art are excellent.
Beyond Red Crater features a dome complex with lots of secrets and great maps and scenes to show players at some key crossroads with a referee map with section numbers to the adventure text which is brilliant and needs to be seen more. You get a chance to go to space here which I always like (then goto metamorphosis alpha setting).  

The Flesh weavers start in a hotel in town where players are resting subject to a horrible monster attack. The monsters are very wet-puppet John Carpenter Thing-like and gross with lots of details and variations. The monsters are really horrible and If you get bitten you might meet it later with your face. So the players are awoken by violence then recruited to hunt and kill these horrible creatures. I'd possibly make them a bioweapon gone rogue and link to some of the Darwins World campaigns detailing such things in The Last God. It's shorter but has a film vibe and could be run in a session or longer. 

All three use the Pitford setting area. There are other smaller adventures for the game available also which are pretty good read also. I do recommend this game but not for squeamish and I recommend some caution with presenting them. They do read well and organisation works sometimes I wish was more modular. Crossroads gazetteer is a huge thick book with post-Apoc settings for years and each location even building has its own encounter tables I would like to be more accessible. Value for money with content and art is good and even though text is crammed in it is mostly readable.

I found another game referring to autism as a partially retarded mutation.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Gone To The Frogs 1 : d12 Mysterious Frog Patrons & Quests

As I'm only inspired by frogs and as a lead up to a book for my birthday on April the 30th im just doing frog stuff for a bit. My FB and Tumbler now mostly frogs and I watch live toad feed vids. Its a nice distraction from writing problems im having.

The photo and text were from a FB frog group and I memed them together. The poster seemingly approved with a like at my request to share. I was inspired by adorable green garden buddhas tol do tables for a bit on Anuran folk and amphibians

Expanded Petty Frog Gods (i did ones in the book)
-causes and forces
-encounters and 
-treasures and gossip
Amphibian races and monsters
-frogling a halfling reskin
-mighty amphibian abhumans
-mysterious faerie frog changelings
Frog chaos cults

d12 Mysterious Frog Patrons
Describe mysterious frog patron and possible rewards
1 Sagatious frog hermit lives in a hollow tree or cliff cave above ground 
offers d4 1=spell 2=secret technique 3=eldrich lore 4=slime ability (use/Lv per day 30m save or move halved d4 rounds)
2 Wise frogling druid and holy leader of a hidden village of small hardy frog folk offers d4 1=healing berries 2=magic herb 3=reincarnation spell 4=location of snake wizard cave
3 Charming frog  folk bard with fine clothes and a lute offers d4 1=treasure maps 2=erodite magic lore 3=a faerie gate location 4=invite to secret butterfly ball for magic animal folk 
4 A frogfolk monk from far off land on a pilgrimage of worlds important ponds offers d4 1=teach exotic skills like hold breath 2=alchemist pills of water breathing 3=swamp treasure map 4=teach exotic martial technique
5 Elderly frog changeling lives in underwater cave, appears human at times to humans in home area offers d4 1=magical mushrooms 2=lost famous artwork 3=holy pondweed eaten causes skin shed for 2d4 years youth if eaten 4=map of the forbidden swamp secret locations   
6 A drunken frogfolk priest drinks in a tree offer d4 1=bottles of frog grog 2=pound of frogweed and clay pipe (will show you top roll into cigars) 3=frog masks that stop penalties to sneak or hit in water 4=information about black market or swamp smugglers
7 A mysterious bearded frog folk wizard who knows details of adventurers past offers d4 1=exiting secret origin backstory change 2=scrolls of elder lore about magic treasure 3=hat of comprehending frogs 4=spawn ring that if wearer killed they are reborn in sacred spring as frog folk tadpole 
8 A cackling frogfolk witch and her spider familiar fly around in a cauldron in forests at night offers d4 1=babies stolen by faeries 2=a pet imp in a bottle 3=slave zombies 4=riding snails 
9 Mysterious frogfolk faerie warrior knight in magic lightweight aluminium plate armour comes forth from a pond offers d4 1=frog sword +1+3 vs snakes 2=frog shield +1 +2 save vs fire 3=frog spear+1 no penalties in water 4=inflate ability (inflate can float 10min/Lv per day or inflate to appear twice as big making harder to swallow and intimidating)
10 A frog Aquamancer in robes with silver skullcap and staff offers d4 1=waterweird in a bottle 2=giant frog tadpoles 3=acid potions 4=frog cloak keeps wearer always hydrated and does not need to drink
11 A frogfolk mutant chaos cultist in robes offers d4 1=chaos mushrooms that cause mutations 2=location of rival chaos cult with treasure 3=location of secret chaos caverns 4=location of a wanted criminal warlock
12 A brightly coloured frogling with a grass hat, staff and blowpipe offers d4 1=venom for darts or arrows 2=potion lets you see and enter the spirit world 3=+1blowpipe 4=shrunken head +d4hp while wearing on belt, neck or in hair

Mysterious Frog Quests
Who can fathom the strange alien motivations and desires of magic frog patrons 
1 Fetch a precious bejewelled opalbug that comes to feed on a rare flower in a cursed bog once a year full of carnivorous giant plants
2 Fetch a live bonesucker bug in this basket, don't lit it bite or will liquify your bones and suck them out. They live in the undead filled tomb of the Nightlord
3 Lick this frog and when your sleeping spirits enter the nightmare realm, catch a dreambug and bring it back to the waking world for the first time in aeons
4 The wicked wizard Kullthax has a giant fly familiar, it is essential it is snatched in secret and brought here for contemplation
5 A frightful carrion caterpillar lives close and the frog requires it have its toxic tendrils removed and brought here alive in time for an important frog meeting
6 Some giant ants are bothering a frogling bug farm, defend the bugs and kill the ants, bring ant larvae here for study
7 A great book of bugs was lost aeons ago identifying all the bugs properties and secret lore known to dawn age frog scholars (also called the buganomnomicon), with moving illuminated art. The book was lost to evil in the Burning Bog of Crater Lake, find it
8 An evil wererat has taken some innocent tadpoles from their sacred spawn pond, go fetch them back and grab any captive rats for you can while at it for research reasons
9 A magic frog idol was lost in the septic tank of the Doomlords and no frog has returned, find the idol required for the frog cause
10 The humans changed the river, go rescue these giant beavers from the circus and settle them just downriver from here 
11 A terrible hooded evil cult has used hellbugs to tempt young froglings into the thralldom of hell, kill the cult and smush these terrible evil bugs
12 Gather some certain giant mushroom spores from the Goblin Caves of Null and plant them where directed by frogs. In wetlands instead seek giant lilypad seeds from a drugged-out confused druid in the Hellbogs

Friday, 2 April 2021

d100 Cave Trail Side Passage Follies

These are small things to encounter exploring caves isolated from where they are found. I made them for long cave treks but off a beach cliff or in any cave possible. Probably I am making more high level stuff due to current game needs.

d10 Cave Types
01 Lairs
02 Camps
03 Water
04 Fire
05 Air
06 Earth
07 Mine
08 Ruin
09 Monuments
10 Magic

d100 Cave Trail Side Passage Follies
01 A visible 1m wide side passage crack and a dripping shaft and lump visible at the end. The lump is piles of clothes, rusty equipment and possibly some treasure. A cave fisher lurks at the top of the shaft 24m up
02 Side niche with a low ceiling is filled with mounds of loose soil with some bones scattered and giant rat faeces. A large nest of giant rats live here and remains of past victims is scattered in the nests
03 Large side cave with claw scratch marks of some beast and bones scattered inside, some cave art is visible. Lair of a d4 1=albino cave bear 2=albino sabretooth 3=giant carnivorous ground sloth (may have other dug tunnels inside) 4=Small albino allosaurus, lost pet of some reptilian sleeper colony 
04 High cave roof with niches, largest has a cave not visible to the ground where a beast sits on its treasure. It reaches by flight or climbing and snatching prey below. d4 1=wyvern 2=black dragon 3=behir 4=fire lizard
05 Piles of dirt and rubble with a path around a low mound. A giant toad hides here and will gobble up the first person to cross it (or the shortest). If attacked will flee to water or dig backwards while biting and screaming. Can eat several people up to its own starting mass 
06 Hundreds of bats swarm here and the ground is covered in guano. Several giant vampire bats live above hidden among the tiny ones and rocks 12m above. If they attack the whole area is filled in confusing swarms of bats while the vampires attack and carry of victims to drain on the ceiling
07 A cluster of fungus grows here including the giant shrieking variety, and some rotting armoured humanoid remains. A deadly violet fungi lurk on top of the corpses blending into mould and toadstools until prey gets close 
08 Some metre high holes are visible, d4+4. Carnivorous giant beetles swarm out to ravenously attack any meat walking past. Humanoid remains and grug grubs in the holes
09 High above among webs a giant spider lurks and will drop a mass of net-like a web spell before dropping on a line to poison wriggling prey. Bundles of past victims are in the webs in the ceiling
10 Giant crickets gnawing on fungus will chirp noisily and avoid adventurers, but the noise calls d4 1=firelizard often semi-buried 2=ankheg giant bugs 3=giant frogs 4=bullette land shark
11 Goblin camp with a wise woman, common fungus and bug farmers and some traders with hobgoblin guards, a bugbear taskmaster with a whip and goblin dogs. A d4 pack bugs or lizards. Will hail strangers "trade or trouble?" 
12 Orcs squad led by hero orc on a dire wolf camping. On a mission for their evil wizard master seeking a rare item, the wolf will alert them to intruders
13 Degenerate cave troglodyte lizardfolk camp, stir at the smell of meat and prepare an ambush with clubs, stone axes and venomous darts, keen to eat and sacrifice to Tsathogua
14 Dark elf camp with pet spiders with pack lizards and zombie slaves, often hide in magic darkness but consider kidnapping a weak party or offer hospitality to interesting strangers. Offer strange delights, drugs and deserts of the dark fey   
15 Group of beautiful people dressed as nobles having picnic, spirit folk or spectral minions in disguise, happy to meet travellers and swap stories and news, may give a gift to charming adventurers or information
16 Dwarf merchant camp with the old dwarf boss, an alchemist advisor and a squad of warriors. Wary of trolls and goblinoids will welcome "proper" travellers 
17 Degenerate mutant scum camping here as other peoples chase them away. Swarm non-threatening travellers for food, water, medicine will grasp with their grubby hands and pickpockets
18 Cave folk clan camp, may trade but unlikely to be friends or welcome to their fire, healing their sick or gifts of food and tools will impress them enough to join them and will offer some craft goods of flint and tusk and crystal or taken from others
19 Sad grey gnomes with tools and pack lizards with ore, on mission collecting mineral samples. Wary of strangers or communicating without the master or a superior. Eat fungus gruel and yeasty blobs at camp cooked on a tiny stove
20 Strange rare race of the underland, they are shy and wary and may have strange magic that has kept them hidden or surviving so long. May recognise gifts as friendly and only speak weird ancient languages. You will probably never see their like again
21 A bubbling hot spring with mineral salt secretions formations with amazing colours, passing creatures bathe here and reptiles use to warm up and shed. 1in6 of these pools are inhabited by some encounter
22 Pool of ancient brine from the most ancient of seas buried long ago, strange shrimp creatures swim in it and salt crystals attract creatures looking for a lick of salt. Walls have pick marks from where bricks of salt have been mined here. The pool is unfathomably deep. Sometimes a black slimy blind seahag crawls out for food, ignorant of most of history she has been alone for most of the world
23 A fetid chaos tainted pool that causes minor mutations or worse, water weirds swim in it and 1in4 visits a gaggle of chaos mutants are here to worship
24 A waterfall from above fills the cave with mist, some scattered bones are on the ground and in rockpools. A few shiny trinkets can be seen in the water from past visitors. d4 1=marine troll lair 2=marine umberhulk 3=dragon 4=frog demon
25 Pool with a whirlpool, must be crossed to pass carefully, a thing lurks beneath d4 1=chaos cave octopus 2=water elemental 3=hydra 4=marine dragon 
26 A bridge of stone over a ravine with a river, a tight chokepoint for travel d4 1=orc bandits 2=
27 Sunken boggy cave with ferns and fungi, dim luminescence and fog make it seem eerie. d4 1=pack of giant frogs 2=giant beetles 3=albino crocodiles 4=agressive fungus pygmies
28 A spectacular fountain depicting gods in a high vaulted chamber. A guardian protects the water and is reborn daily anew d4 1=dragon 2=giant 3=sphynx 4=faerie noble. It keeps unworthy away from the water d4 1=healing spring 2=grants divination question 3=glowing relic in the water 4=allows you to see far away places
29 Strange coloured pools each has different strange effect, smells like chaos magic
30 Frozen cave full of blue ice, frozen things are in the ice including remains of travellers from thousands of years, inside is a lair of a d4 1=frost salamander 2=ice toad 3=cold elemental 4=ice devil
31 Hot dry cave with dedicated corpses d4 1=hellhound 2=firetoad 3=firelizard 4=fire salamander
32 Cave connected to burning coal seam, toxic smoke pours from vent and is sucked into another, dedicated smoked bodies and ash heaps are scattered about
33 Pit with bubbling lava, used by some creatures for heat, rubbish or as entry to the magma stream, d4 1=magmafolk warband 2=firebats 3=fire elemental 4=imp looking for trouble
34 A rock bridge over lava guarded, various defenders halt unworthy d4 1=bronze golem 2=fire giant 3=dragon 4=barbed devil
35 Bubbling pool of stinking sulphur d4 1=dwarf collecting chemicals 2=ochre jellies but yellow from pool 3=imps bathing d4 with a pet larvae 4=yellow dragon
36 Path through a waterfall of lava, d4=fire giant 2=red dragon 3=fire lizard 4=Firetoads
37 Great flaming pit with stairs down to bronze doors below, an efreeti with pet salamander lives here with lava folk servants. Guests with gifts get an audience
38 A pit of burning gas with crumbling ruins in the rubble in the bottom where treasure might be found d4 1=fire elemental 2=fire salamander 3=fire snakes 4=fire toads
39 Black glassy castle with lava moat inhabited by firenewts led by a knight, they have striders and fire lizard pets
40 A flowing lava river with bridge collapsed, requires repairs or jumping from rock to rock to pass
41 Great windy chasm into deep, a narrow ledge road runs alongside it
42 A great windy chasm with a bridge d4 1=gatehouse operated by gang or kingdom 2=broken and hastily repaired 3=one person flimsy rope bridge with pterodactyl abhuman nest in area 4=narrow rock bridge but creatures prey on travellers usually cloakers or cavefishers
43 Passage covered in slippery ice and with a cold wind, easily slip down to deeper depths
44 Great chasm requiring climbing to cross, giant bats swoop at intruders
45 A shaft reaching to the distant surface but a hard climb, some remains of surface creatures scattered about
46 In high ceiling of cavern is a structure wedged in rock d4 1=sailing ship 2=shattered fort 3=broken bridge 4=mass of wagons. Inside are some remains of bodies and d4 1=giant spiders 2=trolls 3=mad old hermit outcaste or survivor 4=werbats
47 A great windy pit goes up and down with a narrow walkway around the shaft, occasionally an air elemental attacks
48 Strange vapours come from a crack causing unconsciousness and otherworldly visions, if left unconscious will eventually asphyxiate. Small pets and local animals chitter when close
49 A round cave with several passages, a whirlwind circles the room and sweeps any caught up a shaft into darkness
50 Long ago an invisible stalker was set as a guard here of buried treasure, old bodies torn apart lay about
 Chamber of delightful huge crystals with dripping water, crystal creatures hide here 
52 Chamber partly flooded by thick mud, needs to be waded through to cross 
53 Huge balanced rocks require careful climbing to cross a pit into the deep
54 A large chamber with boulders and some crushed traveller remains, living boulders and piercers lurk here 
55 A vast lake of sewerage with tentacled monsters feasting on the muck
56 A subsidence in cave splits it and one level is a serious climb to reach and is difficult to see
57 Cave of clay with a clay golem that seems to be relief art guards it against intruders, the clay has magical properties used in enchantments
58 Stone giant guards a prehistoric stone circle imprisoning a demon, cultists pilgrims come to fight the giant and free the demon bound in a buried idol in the circle
59 Broken ruins of a fort used by prehumans, strange huge broken crystals used to be some power source. Earth elementals guard the ruins and some chambers have been sealed for aeons
60 A great chamber of crystals with a huge one in the centre that drains HP of any who pass, attacking it releases several wraiths to defend it
61 Glistening minerals in walls have been gnawed by some creature, 1in6 chance xorns are here eating and they might smell tasty gems on travellers
62 Scaffolding and tracks for a minecart are here, long neglected
63 Zombie miners are working a seam for someone to collect their ore
64 Scaffolding and minecart tracks here with busy goblins busy mining, willing to trade rather than fight
65 Gnomes working to cut large crystal pillars down, wary of thieves 
66 Dwarves working a seam of ore to be shipped away by pack lizards
67 Remains of a collapsed mine entrance, if opened undead ghoul miners or out starving for flesh
68 An old mine shaft with glinting silver nuggets in the dark. Old mining equipment is scattered about, Darkstalkers within wait to ambush intruders
69 Mounds of mining rubbish and rubble and visible signs of collapsed mine tunnels. Giant ants here have been collecting gold left in a nest complex
70 Partially buried gate exposed by a recent rockslide
71 Remains of a tower here with the magical residue of the former gate here, possibly secret rooms exist

72 A giant stalactite on a high ceiling is an ancient watch post mostly hidden with chambers within. d4 1=squidfolk mentalist 2=darkstalker clan 3=fish folk cult 4=demon worshiping mutants
73 A castle on a higher level fell through a sinkhole and is mostly rubble. Buried ancient treasures ay be here under rubble
74 Ruined gatehouse of underground kingdom, often occupied. d4 1=troll  2=orc bandits 3=goblinoid gang 4=goblinoids
75 A great black crypt imprisoning an ancient evil from the dawn of time, cult pilgrims come to worship it and try to open it
76 Ruined citadel reaching into a huge chamber lit by a great light in the ceiling, remains of unknown race with some mummified remains. Their writings reveal they meddled in blasphemous lore of the outer void
77 Remains of a ruined village, a failed colony that was destroyed by a disaster 
78 A ruined fortified manor house crawling with monsters that have moved in
79 Crumbling ancient bridge with statues, entrances to chambers into the interior are visible where creatures have made lairs
80 Gates to an ancient elevator shaft used to move lots of people long ago into the deep, some have remains of mechanisms like cogs and chains
81 Dozens of shrine niches many to forgotten and lost gods, some defaced and unrecognisable
82 Huge serene sitting god relief carving with ancient script carved, enigmatic god and language unknown to the current era
83 Relief carvings and text badly smashed and faces smashed of
84 Two statues of monsters facing each other with path between them 
85 Demon statue holding stone braziers with huge cursed crystal eyes, touching them summons demon guardians and wrath of the being
86 Huge gallery of cave art depicting creatures being hunted by figures, some depictions are strange and depict unfamiliar beings
87 Huge stone statue reaches up into mist-shrouded ceiling
88 Huge statues collapsed and parts of them recognisable in huge rubble heaps
89 Gigantic stone heads, mostly non human monster kings of old
90 Squat toad demon of the outer darkness statue, if disturbed a formless guardian horror oozes from a dark well before it
91 Great stone design on chamber floor once used for gates or teleporters
92 Broken stone ring structure one used as a portal long ago

93 Cave of strange crystals producing magic null zone
94 Bubbling pool of primal chaos in a pit. Strange things crawl forth from time to time. Locals try to block it every few months but things in the pit and cultists destroy these efforts 
95 Strange glowing veins of minerals pulse here emitting rays that weaken and confuse minds

96 A magical barrier here makes a target alignment or species unable to cross without a save, stone stelae maintain the barrier and some have been damaged
97 Chamber with dozens of frightened statues where some petrifying monster like a basilisk or a gorgon lived. Long petrified beings could be revived
98 An ornate door if touched glows with magical symbols. If puzzle can be solved the lock can be opened d4 1=demon 2=petty god 3=shoggoth 4=lich  
99 Black sphinx statues (or other creatures) guard a long-unused passage. The statues shoot disintegration rays at any who try to enter 
 A huge devil head whose mouth is a gate to hell, imps tempt passers to enter for free wishes

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Deep Underground - Ancient Cross Country Travel Tunnels

Ug had an idea for new contents. Inspirational reading helps.
Blogs used to do it for me. Exhausted on youtube vids

Working on the last project on my list for a product.
Possibly escaping from this will spur other interesting ideas.

This will fit in with other projects featuring underground exodus and exploration.
Dungeoneers survival guide was a favourite of mine that helped me dnd a few more years. Veins of the Earth and Downcrawl are handy books. Operation Unfathomable handy too. A version of this for ancient sub tunnels possible but on a bigger scale than what I have done before. (map)

Possibly encounter tables for various depths of the earth
1 - subsurface realms where surface and underlanders meet
2 - the underland realms where kingdoms trade and war 
3 - the deep dark depths of ancient eldritch evil and banished horror
4- borders of underworld and hells entry gates in a great cavern under the earth where the world tree has its roots gnawed on by dragons and hydra

Deep Underground - Ancient Cross Country Travel Tunnels
In ancient times the Underland and the surface world mixed more often. Subsequent apocalypses and sea rising ended this age but great underground highways remain crossing seas, mountains and even the great nations of humanity. Mostly they are forgotten but demihumans, humanoids and a few humans know the secrets. 

The humans who still know are often nomad minorities, secretive cults and rangers who mysteriously travel these secret but potentially deadly secret highways. They tend to be between ancient rivers as the builders used waterways separately. Sea levels changed and rivers moved so this is not always true. The underhighway often connected ports and great crossings. Those rare humans know certain routes but not the deeper safer ones where the underland folk trade connecting great chasm regions and strange folk. In ancient times peoples fled great calamities via these passages, some remained in the Underland, others came to the surface. Many areas are lost to monsters, not just goblins or kobolds but the worst horrors and eaters of humanity. 

Intact great underhighway of the deep link underland regions and kingdoms

Mark several of the main routes across your campaign map. It's ok to connect islands or sites of sunken cities and the most ancient ruins and places where underland races dwell. 

d12 Tunnels Dark Deep
1 Thin narrow crawlways, many natural caves following underground streams
2 Sprawling irregular tunnels once mined following veins of metal left by bleeding gods
3 Tunnels dug by ancient huge creatures possibly directed by intelligence
4 Crude megalithic tunnels with supports and tunnels through rock
5 Magnificent naturals wide cave tunnels with bridges over water and obstacles
6 Great chasm crack with water features and fungus forests, often very high ceilings
7 Bored by some great apparatus used long ago with variegated textured walls
8 Lava tubes of jagged black basalt and cooled lava formations
9 Great wide dressed brick-lined tunnels made for trade by kobolds or demihumans
10 Cyclopean black stones with symbols of chaos and darkness made in age of darkness
11 Smooth wide tunnels melted with wizardry, even and glassy
12 Dug by a god or giants, wide and high, with great stone supports in places 

d12 Condition & Usability
1 Crawling with 
forgotten horrors and evils of the elder darkness, areas sealed
2 Forgotten, badly damaged and broken into segments by blockages
3 Worn and damaged with some blockages, only used by desperate
4 Seldom used by anyone and some areas damaged or about to collapse
5 Damaged by constant warfare between intelligent species 
6 Several secretive peoples use and make repairs but leave some hazards for unwary
7 Travellers us and occasionally repair and provide warnings of hazards
8 A colony of humanoids or demihumans maintain and use for their daily business
9 Used by several underland kingdoms who maintain parts and operate checkpoints
10 Used by several civilisations who maintain it and have toll stations
11 Maintained by secretive beings for aeons
12 Maintained by ancient magics automatically

d12 Blocked Tunnels
1 Cave-in caused a partial blockage
2 Huge cave-in and a change in orientation
3 Barricaded by someone and forgotten
4 Colony of humanoids or demihumans
5 Flooded by waters
6 Poison gas, smoke or lava
7 Colony of monsters
8 Hidden under fungus forest
9 Monster filled eco system
10 Humanoid or demihuman gatehouse, fort or toll station
11 Planar gate to elemental worlds or roots of the world tree
12 Planar gate to lower planes, underworld or hell

d12 Side Passages (Per Day)
1 Surface air vent d4 1=hidden hole 2=rocky shaft 3=cave 4=well
2 Surface passage d4 1=tiny crack 2=secret door 3=hidden gate 4=dungeon
3 Cavern complex d6 1=dead 2=ruins 3=thriving ecosystem 4=colony 5=art 6=burial
4 Ancient mines d4 1=ancient mine 2=quarry 3=cursed mine 4=occupied dig
5 Ancient ruins d4 1=prehistoric city 2=megalithic site 3=ruined tower 4=ruined fort 
6 Holyground d4 1=graveyard 2=megalithic tombs 3=ruined temple 4=ruined fort 
7 Settlement d4 1=fortified house 2=tiny shack 3=village 4=outpost
8 Colony of humanoids or demihumans who control a surface gateway
Dead ends d4 1=monster lair 2=humanoid camp 3=outpost 4=bodies 
10 Junction to another highway system
11 Decent to the deeper highway network
12 Strange Cavern with some wondrous sight 

d12 Common Caverns
1 Barren but beautiful cave 1in6 chance of water, 1in6 chance of a lair
2 Lake chasm with islands 1in6 with ruins, 1in6 chance of a lair
3 Fungus gardens and forest rich in cave life
4 Ruins of ancients, an outpost or colony abandoned or destroyed by a disaster
5 Home of a loner or a group of exiles living in seclusion
6 Outpost of humanoid or demihuman kingdom
7 Colony of humanoid or demihuman kin to a local kingdom
8 Cavern is a battleground with resources that kingdoms fued over
9 Estate of some being with a servitor race and a mansion or palace or castle  
10 Area with water, fish and fungus where traders meet in peace
11 Remains of diggings d4 1=quarry 2=mine 3=ruined temple 4=forbidden crypts
12 Roll on rare caverns or prehistoric art and megaliths

d12 Rare Caverns
1 Artificial light from a great ruined citadel at the centre of the dead cavern
 Artificial light from great thriving citadel at the centre of a populated cavern
3 Giant crystals, exotic minerals and strange earth creatures
4 A fiery lake of lava, ash heaps and smoke. Lava and fire creatures dwell here
5 Lake and water feature (d4 1=island 2=waterfall 3=whirlpoor 4=sunken ruins) populated by aquatic creatures
6 Great windy cavern with flying and air creatures 
7 Ice cavern with frozen tunnel ridden glacier and creatures of cold and ice
Artificial light from cavern roof, grows strange fern forests and albino cave dinosaurs
9 Imprisoned ancient evil elder in the vault with occult warnings 
10 Artificial light on a great ruined citadel at the centre of the dead cavern
11 Great redoubt where some beings fled to preserve themselves from some apocalypse,  now a colony or asleep by some means
12 Remains of some ancient god or titanic kaiju, some attract cult pilgrims, wizard looters or treasure hunters. Petty gods or guardian spirits may protect such sites 

d12 Common Underland Folk
1 Dwarf 
2 Gnome
3 Elf
4 Halfling
5 Goblinoid - d4 1=goblins 2=hobgoblins 3=bugbears 4=
6 Orc - often made by wizards during ancient wars now free and hate wizards
7 Kobold - tiny goblinoids with many sub-breeds and types
8 Reptilian folk - d6 1=lizardfolk 2=iguanafolk 3=pteradactylfolk 4=snakefolk 5=turtlefolk 6=dinofolk
9 Animal abhumans - d4 1=batfolk 2=molefolk 3=lampreyfolk 4=fishfolk
10 Animal abhumans - d4 1=crabfolk 2=bugfolk 3=lampreyfolk 4=fishfolk
11 Mushroom folk  - d4 1=shroomlings 2=toadstool folk 3=mushroom folk 4=shroom giants
12 Giantkin - d4 1=ogres 2=trolls 3=cyclops 4=cavefolk or roll on Rare Underland Folk

d12 Rare Underland Folk
1 Giants d4 1=cave 2=stone 3=lava 4=formarian
2 Undead d4 1=skeletons 2=zombies 3=shadows 4=spectral minions 5=ghouls 6=mummies 7=wights 4=undead giants or other monsters
Earth abhumans d4 1=ironfolk 2=crystalfolk 3=rockfolk 4=clayfolk
4 Other elemental abhumans d4 1=mistfolk 2=icefolk 3=waterfolk 4=magmafolk
5 Rare Goblinoids d4 1=norkers 2=darkstalkers 3=gremlin 4=nilbogs
6 Underground feyfolk d4 1=mushroom fairy 2=cave nymph 3=cave hag 4=dark elves 
7 Evil spawn of the deep d4 1=doppelgangers 2=troglodytes 3=mongrelfolk 4=ogre magi 
8 Amphibians folk d4 1=newtfolk 2=frogfolk 3=toadfolk 4=olmfolk 
9 Elder race of the depths d4 1=amonitefolk 2=trilobitefolk 3=scorpionfolk 4=spiderfolk
10 Elder horror race d4 1= squidfolk mind mages 2=eldritch slugfolk 3=elder newts 4=catfishfolk sorcerers 
11 Rare unique race, a remnant of the past, unlikely to ever see species twice
12 Unique doomed rare race, only tribe left in the world

d12 Gates & Seals
1 Sealed by tons of rock rubble or a single huge stone block
2 Huge fort gate barred on inside weighs ton to move
3 Huge complex trapped mechanical lock
4 Huge magically sealed gate
5 Hive of some monsters blocked opening
6 Magic illusion covers the opening
7 Gate only visible under certain stars or full moon
8 Barricaded with rubble and improvised tracks
9 Bricked up long ago by isolationists
10 After a massacre gate haunted by undead
11 A dragon has moved in and charges toll to pass
12 Devils converted to a gate to hell, often devils guard now