Sunday, 20 June 2021

d100 Terrible Village Customs





































So reading the new Ravenloft book and has some inspiring stuff for dnd5.

I appreciate it openly invites readers to make their own realms of dread which I think Modern DnD needs more encouragement to create - for me ita half the fun of the game.

I'm gonna ignore the babies who cry it isn't nasty enough - it's an easy fix if you wanna go there. The folk horror bit I liked and reminded me of films Midsomer and The Wickerman. 

Most villagers know these customs are odd and conceal them possibly to get unaware victims. Some places try and argue their customs are traditional cultural treasures. Priests of the modern church scold such customs and preach against them. 

Stopping a bad custom is an adventure too
A village might have multiple customs or combine several to stretch your creativity

d12 How To Stop The Custom
1 Arrest or kill the ringleaders
2 Help missionaries settle and establish a good influence
3 Call the Inquisition
4 Get a stricter priest
5 Insist proper laws on outdated customs enforced
6 Convert locals to more modern cults
7 Bribe or appease 
or make a pact with local monsters
8 Bribe or appease or make a pact with faerie
9 Restore an old shrine or monument
10 Defeat a mysterious beast
11 Defeat a spirit in a strange magical location
12
 Remove an ancient curse d4 1=witch =demon 3=evil cult 4=quest

d10 Quick types of secrets
01 Festival - jolly celebrations with dancing and singing
02 Burials - strange funeral rites  
03 Seductive Rites - flirty fishing for flesh
04 Ritual Parades - costumed parades 
05 Feasting Days - unusual celebrations of food
06 Farming Rites - celebrations of harvest
07 Ritual Executions - public executions of wrongdoers
08 Spirit Days - where spirits are appeased and dealt with
09 Monument Rituals - perform rituals or work on a local monument
10 Faerie Rites - appeasing beings of faerieland

d100 Terrible Village Customs
01 An outsider is lured out of sight at the festival, murdered and blood used in the feast 
02 A stranger is required at the festival to be burned alive in a thicker figure or ceremonial bonfire
03 Each festival someone is given a special potion, turned into a pig then spit roast and eaten
04 Singers in the festival create a strange trance and the feast is laced with alien spores. All have strange dreams and some are taken to the nightmare lands where alien demons torment them. By dawn at least one person has hair turn white and is mad
05 A singing and dancing festival is joined by satyrs who often try to kidnap someone they fancy
06 A popular festival for tasting sweets made from beet sugar and apples and honey and pastry has been known to attract strange witches and candy creatures from the dreamlands nightmare lands
07 Animal fights of all kinds including cocks, cats, dogs boars, bulls and bears being tormented while visitors come to gamble. Nasty organised crime guilds try to work over the event and make contacts with rustic country folk
08 Competing visiting village team versus locals wrestling over pigs bladder full of dried peas. Game is very violent and some drown wresting over the ball in water features on the field like rivers. Locals may be asked to relieve local team members. Game lasts until a goal is scored wich can take a d3 days 
09 Donkey cart races bring local village contestants and shunned by the rich, increasingly corruption, gambling and dirty tricks mean each team hires guards and saboteurs
10 Games gay with various events including goat carts, tug of war, poleclimbing, barrel riding. wife carrying, bull chasing, archery and foot races where the local lord gives prizes of beer. Some losers have bad attitudes and may try and beat up a not local competitor
11 Any dead buried in the area have hearts removed and heads removed as per custom 
12 Dead are sealed in a stone crypt at dusk and a bell rung, then all go home. Any watch will see ghouls coming to dine
13 Dead are hurled into a dark pit with a locked iron hatch door
14 Dead are flayed and stripped of flesh and incorporated into an undead flesh colossus under construction to help the town in emergencies
15 A strange monk hacks the corpses apart for buzzards to eat while singing in a giant iron cage
16 Bodies are weighed with stones and dropped into a marsh to sink
17 Bodies taken to a dark-robed man in a cave who makes them into a zombie workforce in a secret mine
18 Corpses of locals cut open and a strange worm is released and taken in an urn to a secret cave
19 Bodies are mummified according to ancient rites and buried in an ancient barrow. Inside sleeping undead lay awaiting a prophecy. As the body placed in one of the last niches undead awake eyes glowing and chant to welcome the new gravemate
20 Bodies at a funeral are enchanted to arise if intruded and interred in a great hill tomb complex from prehuman times. Villagers keep strangers away from the funeral hall while a dark priest or necromancer prepares the body
21 Local dance where local girls invite visiting men to dance, the girls will seduce most worthy men and lead them to a dryad grove for their goddess to charm
22 Local youths invite strangers to drunken frolics in an old ruin, will try to drug or get visitors too drunk to escape then robed cultists will take to underground temple to sacrifice 
23 Local wedding feast and visitors invited, a strange wild knight arrives demanding a sacrifice and villagers point to the visitors
24  Visiting young women invited to join maypole dance. If selected as queen will be drugged and married to the forest lord 
25 Visiting young men will be invited by young women to visit grannies house. Granny is a night hag who lusts after young males and eats ones that don't cooperate
26 Attractive youths invite visitors to see a charming waterfall, once there ogres ambush visitors and release locals 
27 Squealing youths invite visitors for a swim, lead to pond with tentacled horror and stay in certain areas while encouraging guests into the deep end with a dare or a ball
28 Local youths invite you to drink by the forest bridge hoping to lure guests to sate the hunger of the bridge beast so locals may use it problem-free
29 An attractive youth tells you about a party in a barn with lots of beer, will try and trap visitors inside and ignite while villagers sing to the fire gods
30 Local beauty contest with various events will crown the prettiest contestant, after festivities the chosen one is staked out by a dragon cave to keep the monster happy
31 Naked procession carry the largest woman in the village as goddess for the day, in evening drunken orgies break out
32 A hobbyhorse (obbyoss) comically is led about town and given coins by locals, if the horse is denied villagers throw animal faeces. In old times the horse was actually a wyrm and the faeces was blood marking the victims as food for the monster. Oldest locals fear the beast will return
33 Tarrasque festival where a wooden Tarrasque is led through the town to the temple where the priest daubs it with holywater "killing" it and then a feast begins. Some villagers who fear the Tarrasque might return strangle sacrifice victims in the shed the Tarrasque is kept in while others feasting and dancing. Victims corpses are thrown in the river and chosen from outsiders who often come to the festival. Unknown to cult a piece of this monster is inder the village and will regrow the monster when its current form is killed 
34 Villagers gather with robes and candles to march around the village seven times then march to the secluded pool where they drown the oldest villagers who willingly walk into water covered in flowers
35 Villagers lead a procession of disabled and insane through the streets laughing and jeering and throwing rotten food at them
36 Villagers in a long serpent costume dance through streets to face men riding broomsticks with horse heads. After a battle locals feast and dance and sing. Local snake worshipers infiltrate the festivities and find a suitable sacrifice for the ouroboros eternal serpent in a secret cave temple under the village
37 Villagers and musicians lead a wooden "horse" with snapping tooth jaws that scares local children unless they give the horses companions with treats (parents usually provide to good children) 
38  Villagers dresses as huge shaggy monsters come from woods and chase children, some costumes so good kill happy adventurers might make a mistake
39 Krumplethrash parade celebrating a devil who punishes the wicked, villagers in devil costumes chase and beat children and put them in sacks and carry them off. In woods a villager dressed as an angel "saves" them and gives them a warning and last chance to be good. Occasionally some villagers present a slain child to scare the others straight having sacrificed the naughtiest child to Krumplethrash  
40 Witch Night is celebrated by village with costumes, songs and spooky decor but all in bed by midnight but a few villagers invite shapeshifters and other beings of evil into the village and direct them to visiting strangers who won't be missed. This pact keeps the village free from mysterious murder for a years
41 Spirit feast where villagers dine outdoors with hundreds of candles then take food to the graveyard and leave as offerings for the dead. Occasionally a traveller or passing drunk ignorant of locals takes some food left out and is torn apart by undead
42 Wedding feast of local couple attracted whole village and even yokels from the surrounding woods. Some of these outlanders practice strange backwoods ways and will kidnap some victims to carry home and marry  
43 Great Beast Feast where locals celebrate a mysterious beast that was slain many years ago and devour a wild boar with its grisly bloody head paraded through town. A deranged loner hunter has come to the feast to murder someone. This happens every decade for centuries
44 Feast of lambs where itinerant farm labourers feast on lamb tails and testicles, drink beer and tell tall tails till late, while sad lambs limp about crying 
45 Heroes Feast where villagers thank a former local who became a instrumental hero against a evil cult. As the jolly locals praise truth and virtue evil cultists plan revenge with mass poisoning and then a bloody massacre                           
46 Eel Feast - locals hunt eels and make eel dishes like stew and pies and smoked eel and lots of beer under the light of eel skin lanterns. Locals throw a baby goat in sack into the stream (confusable with a human child) otherwise a were eel comes ashore with a swarm of angry eels attack 
47 Feast of the Briny Deep where fishmen sing about the fish folk and the ancestors meeting and making a pact long ago, some of the locals look fishy and maybe someone in your group seems to fit in. By night the fish cult march into a cave and summon their tentacled god and fish abhuman minions of the sea lord
48 Pilgrims Feast where travelling revellers come for prayer and the starting point of a popular pilgrimage. Pickpockets and bandits and local thugs all flock here to take advantage and templars come to keep the peace arresting for church court any who sew chaos or cast spells unlawfully 
49 Tree Feast where locals dance around oaks and pass through a cleft in an ancient tree struck many times over centuries. All dine of acorn cakes with honey and pigs and goats are fed acorns. Occasionally a victim is kidnapped from travellers and is murdered in a horrible bloody fashion and hung in a tree away from the festival
50 Goat Festival where locals dance in goat hide chaps and cloak with goatskin and at night goat horn hats. As the night goes on with noisy drums, flutes and bleating more goat costume elements are added as people get wilder. More goats join in as the moon rises until several were-goats arrive and demand victims to eat in the name of their dark goat demon lord 
51 A king and queen are needed for a charming turnip festival and visitors are preferred. Once chosen they are dressed in violet and white and given turnip crowns. After the feast, the king and queen are taken to the turnip shed where a turnip golem murders them and sprinkles blood in the fields 
52 Cornucopia of whicker full of prise fruit and vegetables is gathered and villagers come to line up at a hut for a blessing by suckling from an earth druid priestess. Villagers encourage people to join the line but will be offended if anyone backs out and a cross mob will form
53 Vegetable Festival in a secret hut a figure made of plant matter is fed human blood for a good harvest
54 Earth Festival a victim is required to be buried alive to please field gods
55 During the festival a small shack decorated with wood carvings is avoided and locals shun. Anyone curious enough for a peek are caught by the mob and thrown in, a horrid elder idol within comes to life to eat intruders. Outside the mob sing
56 Turnip festival parade where turnip face masked performers pretend to be turnip spirits and give people small sweet turnips to eat. If you don't eat the gift performers get angry and try to beat the non-turnip eater into bloody unconsciousness
57 Deer festival where hunters perform secret lodge rites all day and night and villagers gather to watch a reindeer pass through the village to receive apples and bread. If any deer harmed in the village local mob wail and gnash their teeth fiercely and join the deer in hunting them
58 Cider festival where locals drink and play folk music and dancing. Many local lads delight in beating up visitors and especially fancy uppity ones. They will try to get victims drunk first and may rob them also as outsiders don't deserve nice things
59 
60 Bears Day where village gathers and bang pots to scare away bears who once a year gather to invade the village seeking beer, mead, honey, jam, sausages, cake and other good things. With a combination of noise and 
61 Hangingman's Day with a mob, bailiffs, a judge, elders. hooded hangman and a convicted prisoner who swears they never dunnit. Mob and various stalls selling snacks have come out for the day
62 Headmans Day where a mob and Sherrif watch a brutal beheading by a masked man with a blunt-tipped great sword or axe. Many on the crown rush up to touch the bloody remains and the head is put on a spear by the village entry or local crossroad. The crowd det in splatter range and enjoy the mess more than usual. Headless ghosts wander by night
63 Gibbets Day where a criminal is bolted into a gibbet or cage and hung from a chain from a tree or pole or gate or bridge where they starve and die and decay as a warning to them all. Locals cheer the process. Past corpse in cages twitch  as they have been made into zombies by some passing necromancer or dark elf
64 Stone day where a criminal is crushed under a monolith said to have been placed by giants. The monolith is raised by 30 people and a plough ox team into place with scaffolding then allowed to drop on the victim bound to a ground level. The crowd chant as the rock is raised and dropped. Local elders explain this quaint custom to disturbed visitors 
65 Local execution by drowning as victim bound with rocks or simply held under by executioners or with an apparatus like a witch's stool. Some use a special pond or well and some say the water used is cursed and haunted
66 Defenestration Day where criminals, old or useless are hurled off a cliff while villagers sing. the old or sick are encouraged to volunteer. Most visitors are horrified and the elders try to placate guests with this being the local way 
67 All Fires Day where the most wicked local is caught by the mob and burned, often they employ a witchfinder to absolve themselves of guilt and be impartial. The victims are often elderly with no children and own land. The villagers enjoy burning victims greatly and have always done it and will show rock carvings of the firebringer spirit
68 Grimsday where criminals are hung drawn and quartered, flayed alive, boiled in oil, impaled and tortured each method more gruesome than last where the bloodthirsty crowd cheer on. As day goes on audience cut and pierces themselves with blades and skewers. Many flagellants and murder cultists visit
69 The Flayed Man feast locals flay the skin from a criminal with whips then hang them from a tree by one leg with a hook until they die. The bodies of previous years hang like horrible fruit from the tree of woe 
70 Oublette Day where a criminal is hurled into mysterious door in the hill then bolted inside. Villagers say it is a place of torment and some say they can hear the beast in the hill making noises. Possibly a dungeon complex is inside or a undead filled crypt
71 Late after the festival robed villagers call a star demon to take a human to its master in the void
72  During the festival a great green flame shoots from the bonfire, locals won't mention it and will seek a questioner to sacrifice to the eldrich green flame elemental demon
73 Weasel festival where all swear to be good and drink and sing and praise their pet weasels. All then go to bed early leaving out bowls of milk. At night the hairy imp Mr Bitey crawls inside walls and roof and may abuse people or bite them through cracks in the wall.
74 Spirits day where locals leave offerings and say prayers for the dead then drink heavily. Most are wary and melancholic thinking about lost loved ones. Spirits are seen at midnight so most hide indoors and go to bed early except necromancers or evil cults
75 Witching Eve where all have a holy mass to ward away switched and ring bells and place charms on their houses. Imps and cackling hags are often seen or heard and pets vanish if left out
76 All Chaos Eve where the dead damned spirits of chaotic cultists and armies from long ago try to return to the world. All prey by day then makes prayers together by night on guard for danger. Some chosen meet in secret to hold a door in a hill shut to stop the undead from arising
77 Scarecrows day where scarecrows are blessed and rewarded with a treat and a bottle of beer so they don't rise up and attack the village. Visitors scoff and might even touch the offerings. Children especially take this seriously and go to bed early
78 Jack Frosts Day where locals prepare for the first frost and tell children warning store  
79 Idiots Day where the local idiot is crowned king for a day and if they're more than one idiot they hold an idiot-off to find the best one. Mischievous gremlins and former idiots spirits play pranks by night as poltergeists. Anyone mean to idiots tends to get nastier pranks. The whole village dress strangely and act like idiots drinking and gorging on treats  
80 Masked Rites day where locals all wear costumes and masks they all know each other by sight. Local families and guilds have similar designs. Visitors come for the carnival especially bards and clowns to celebrate this strange day. Puppets shows and doll gifts please children. Cultists use this to find victims
81 Pole Day where the village cut a tree, trim it and carve a old gods likeness in a geometric folk style. Then it is decorated and erected and a local youth is married to it and it is offered food. If the new idol god is not satisfied it comes to life seeking blood or the youth it was married to it
82 Oxen Day where villagers with oxen move a giant block of stone singing, moved a d4x100m 5d4 tonne weight then after they feast on boar and deer and acorn cake, by night secret blood druids anoint it with animal blood but are obligated to kill witnesses  
83 Quarry Day where villagers work chiselling a huge stone monolith then anoint the stone and prey to the rock spirits. By night special chosen guard the rock from evil minor demons who come to taint the rock this night every year. Only 1in8 years do they finish a rock 
84 Monolith Day where a monolith is reacted or a finished one is worshipped yearly. Villagers gather to sing and hear druids speak the return home to eat. Secret druid rites held at night are death for outsiders to witness
85 Holy Trail day all wear white and march around various local standing stones, ancient hill forts and cairns and dolmen returning late for beer. Some late stragglers vanish every year
86 Moss Vale Day chosen robed people go to a certain place in the woods to meet wild forest people who are naked tattooed hairy folk to trade gifts like marvellous flints for small iron items. If offended it can lead to lots of shrieking and possible violence. Most villages await the chosen return so they can start drinking beer
87 Robed villagers ask strangers to stay indoors while robed cultists gather and bring out a strange idol on a palanquin. They perform outer ceremonies and late at night a beam of light comes down and a chosen sacrifice floats up into the stars. Witnesses are hunted and killed
88 Locals gather for a picnic at a strange rock they say was some elder giant, demon or god of olden times then return home to hear stories. Any remaining by night see cult gather attempting to awaken the petrified being
89 Sarcen Day where strange stones are visited and cleaned of weeds and grass. By night a cult brings victims and tie them to the stones that drain their blood. If not fed one or more stones will move and glow hungry for blood on own
90 Locals come to pray to a black monolith and all are blessed to protect locals in their dreams from the god of the black stone. Some have wild dreams of joining ancient sorcery cults in service to this squat toad-like elder daemon
91 At the festival a faerie comes to claim the prettiest baby to be a servant in faerieland 
92 People prepare lanterns and treats by night and watch distant dancing faerie lights and processions often from rooftops and trees. Carry sweets to bribe faeries in case you meet one and have to appease it
93 Orcsday when orc warriors and humans meet in nearby woods to discuss grievances. Then they play a dangerous game where they take turns throwing spears at each other until one side hits then give the other side a boar for a feast. They roll dice to to see who goes first
94  Goblins Day when goblins meet on the common to set up a market and trade strange goods, children and pets are kept indoors and given treats so not replaced with changelings, so children love the attention that gets from frightened parents
95 Changeling Day where locals hunt for secret elves and faeries among them, all must hold a horseshoe and touch some dung and eat some blood sausage. Found changelings are chased and hurled in a bonfire if caught. Demihumans and species with pointy ears avoid this event
96 Sports and games in folk costumes decide a festival king and queen who are fed honey and milk and drugged and left on a stone table overnight in case the faerie need new mortal servants
97 All Faerie Night where villages wear masked costumes then drink and dine by lantern light and fireflies swarm area while crickets and frogs croak. Frequently faerie beings sneak among the town in human or invisible or animal form. Some guests bring strange faerie food and music
98 Cavern Day festival where people leave offerings by mines and caves for ghosts of dead miners, dwarves, gnomes, trolls and kobold to keep the peace for the year. Each type requires a specific offering cake recipie
99 Barrows Day where locals dance in robes singing around an ancient grassy mound praising ancestors and faeries they say live in the hill. They then feast and stay indoors an wights walk the streets by night
100 Faerie Queen Festival where all dance and wear flowers and leave offerings of cakes for elves. Almost every year some foolish person tries to catch a faerie for a lover which mostly ends in several generations of tragedy

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Living Walls & Drama Bombs





























Before I get onto the meat of this post a few notes. I'm trying to finish three big posts some taking months - desert ruin a-z, village horrible customs, 100 strange shops of shadelport. Recovering from a foot injury and fluid on my lung and grumpiness post my birthday. Playing in a new CoC game and met several new gamers who seem keen and I enjoyed the company of so that's a good outcome.

My to edit list is years ahead of me now and hardcopy prints are bigger than my head and none really came close to my satisfaction to publish properly. Had some more ragequit thoughts (not the first time and blogger issues like deleting a few thousand links I had to rebuild was one of them). Playtesting a pretty important editorial step for games. Several of my book ideas I have sat on have had similar (possibly derivative in places) works released 

I've stopped my Patreon at moment (but money crept into the amount again I will start again soon). Im pretty unsatisfied with recent work and lack of engagement. To the 4 or 5 who do give me feedback and encouragement thanks. Im rethinking what I do and branding again at moment. I'm taking any immediate action but I don't feel a need to write daily on this blog or watch metrics like I'm trying to game outcomes. Possibly I have scared ppl away with my deliberate dickhead filters. I've turned down several teaching jobs because I don't feel I can teach when I don't believe in my authority or the institutions.

I do like collaborations and have had some good dealings on some jobs writing for others but lots of these experiences were awkward and weird and ended promptly on completion. Various dramas in the scene just confirm to me that the creator you enjoy the work of might have harmful beliefs and to assume they don't seem risky. People telling me I should murder family members and co-workers for their false beliefs did not encourage me to participate in a few groups. Groups complaining they are nonpolitical but drop hatebombs and complaining about young people every post I can't follow anymore.

This stuff happens when you are creating for decades. I don't really feel safe discussing lots of these thoughts with the"community" and quite a few ppl I know have backed away and I am feeling this urge. In G+ days I spoke to creative peers lots and got support and inspiration and now It doesn't really happen. Even someone who said happy to talk anytime never replied to my immediate reply. I'm not looking for support or any feedback on this it is what it is. Really I do this for myself and my own use so other peoples interest is a bonus.


Actual content for Tax:

I don't know why this didn't already exist....a mimic relative but dumber and not sticky.
Imagine the Thing but hid as stone walls.

Stone Devourer
neutral dungeon monster


AC+ +4 HD 7-10 Att 1 Bite 4d4 or grapple Mov 3
Appears as a typical wall for a surprise attack. More cunning older ones will fake features like a secret door or relief art of open-mouthed faces or may have a chained prisoner or treasure as bait. Once a victim is close will bite or grapple them. Once grappled get a free bite every round or attempt strangulation. Larger 10 HD ones are 3mx3mx1m to 
block tunnels the 7HD ones only 2mx1mx30cm thick and will cover doorways. They have low intelligence and often don't notice movement outside their ambush reach. When they give up mimicking dungeon decor they are slimy mucous covered shambling grey masses with eyes and mouths. Rumour of entire living dungeon complexes are just drunken tavern talk. They eat mimics and consider them rivals. Often they block strategic choke points or even dungeon exits. They can ooze through bars and drains and enter through openings of only 10cm but it can take time.

1in4 think dwarves taste disgusting and spit them out
1in6 have a d4 tentacle attack d6 damage or grapple range 3m
1in6 can duplicate detailed inscriptions, artwork and have higher intelligence
1in8 can spit a glob of lime range 6 each round, save or glued to ground d4 rounds or STR feat, if save MOV slowed d4 until cleaned off with vinegar and ten minutes of scrubbing
1in10 is tougher with +5AC and 12-16 HD and 4d4 damage
1in12 learn to assume the form of a bridge or floor or ceiling
1in12 have paralysis touch save or paralysed for 2d4 rounds
1in20 are conjoined twins with an extra attack and face in monster form
1in20 undead constructs with all defences and weaknesses
1in20 can heal a d3 damage by touch once per person per day some use as a form of bait eating only a few people

d12 Adventure Hooks
1 Quarry workers have been vanishing where have they gone?
2 The local goblin hole has been abandoned, go make sure it is cleared out and nothing valuable is left
3 A new strange bridge appeared over a stream and locals surprised and curious
4 A local dungeon boss has had minions vanishing and wants some adventurers to help, will try paying or kidnapping them
5 Local necromancer has lost all his favourite zombies he left in a crypt and needs help finding them
6 While at a tavern the innkeeper sends servants into the cellar for more beer and they vanish without a trace
7 A local thief ran around town screaming with no hands then died of blood loss. Investigations reveal he was planning on breaking into a gate in the garden wall of an old sealed manour house
8 A wizard has sent several expeditions to collect rubbings of ancient stone wall in a cave
9 A prison warden thinks prisoners are escaping, needs undercover agents to join the population to find out how (make warden who knows scheme disappear and other wardens don't know for extra fun)
10 A menagerie got a recent delivery of creatures and many missing from cages and nobody knows how they got out
11 A miraculous wall with prophetic signs on it appeared in the region and many pilgrims see it daily. Some pilgrims never returned and the church thinks heretics are killing them. They say touching the wall in prayer with eyes shut helps gods hear prayers
12 A building site has had some workers finished after they completed a wall section, locals are worried they have been pressganged

Monday, 14 June 2021

Gamelog: Murder of the Fire Giant King


crossing a lava moat in firegiant gatehouse

Had something stuck in foot and was going to Dr. Then got pleurisy from hayfever (keeps me awake lots of nights drooling and drowning in phlegm). Then I kicked my bed and couldn't walk so gave up going to Dr. Week later 90% normal. Watched almost all of Land of the Giants. Got invited to 2 games on at the same time. Sigh will try and work something out. Trying again to play online but I'm an idiot.

Writing my homebrew has taken odd turn. So was working on the digest version for years (started in 2012). Revising the digest has had problems as I started writing longerspelldescriptions and skills and more default example alt characterbuilds from basic classes. So I started a a4 size more detailed version intended for play up to Lv20 and covering apocalyptic stufflike psychon and my broken hill. When its done will go back to making digest version for making new characters and for up to name level. I also for another project making another simpler clone with only a few pages of rules, with no spell memorisation or spell lists - just lots of increasingly weird abilities up to level 4 max. For kids and short games which are increasingly norm so you can go from 1st fairly normal to feeling high level by 4th. Level gain fun is the main asset of DnD to me. Will be playtesting soon.

Currently playing fortnightly with 2-4 players. When we have at least 3 we play our now 15th Lv cave era game and if 2 players I run post apoc psychon/broken hill. So we got 4 players this game which is most since covid i have had. 

Currently, players had flown their flying castle from the frozen north Pleistocene tundra to the centre of the world Exile Island where long before Shadelport are prehuman ruins of the elder empire of monster kings that ruled for an aeon. Party had come hunting a Lich who escaped in their first war and managed to kill him by getting his Phlacentry from the well of the god Byatis under the lich tower. So they killed the current form of Byatis and crushed the lichs soul-killing it. So the heroes decided they would explore the world a bit while working on what to destroy and rob next. 

The flying castle has a population of former stone age trials and orcs and have learned to enjoy agriculture, archery and stone buildings under the party of heroes. The orcs many former giant slaves bought copper to the mix and metal weapons. They had tens of thousands of pretty discs that the ancients hoarded and mostly used them to make pretty costumes.

The wizard Orco has been busy creating firenewt abhumans as a servitor race
 and "improving"orcs (less afraid of surgery to gain might than humans) and a gate to the plane of fire in his tower and other research on fire lore.

The giant Lanos has been been breeding talking dogs and his main followers now bigger than a dire wolf and a 5th Lv cleric.

The fighter Boron has been building his sky cult with his priestess wife and is the champion of the faith he has restored to humanity.

The elf Sourberry the self-declared twilight elf and his followers has been dabbling in shadow magic and making magic weapons for warlike fireball wands.

So while wandering the world (can cross the world 10x in a year) so spent 3 months exploring the mysterious west (possibly controlled by some strange secret force), the warring tribes and beastfolk of the east and the burning lands of the south. 
Humans were uncommon. Demihumans were all hidden. They found a fire Giant volcano castle. Lanos was keen to destroy evil giants and the wizard fancied their magic lore.

So they arrived at the gatehouse crossing a bridge over a lava flow. The wizard put a water wall to make a missile free corridor over the bridge so it could be crossed free of giants hurling rocks. Then battled four giants and two huge fire lizards. During this battle Boron went berserk and as foes fell he went inside to see a lava pit with drizzling lava flow. Seeing giants beyond he lept over, was badly burned and started killing two giants and their lizard and elemental. The rest caught up to save Boron who got to -9HP to help finish off the foes. The wizard telekinetically parted lava shower letting others through with a leap over the pit.

Moving on Sourberry spied on complex invisibly and made a rough map. They attacked the mess hall with giants and a visiting cloud and stone giant and had a huge battle. First, they blocked doorways with ice walls and blasted the table with ice storm and managed to run through the cloud giants back before he could react. Several red orc servants were trying to flee and Lanos killed one for being red not like proper orcs back home. They captured the other one and he was willing to squeal on his mean masters. Meanwhile, one corridor blocked by 10 panels of ice to the lava bathroom had 4 naked giants smashing through and splashing lave to get through. Orko knocked the icewalls over with telekinesis like dominoes and the party poured through killing the naked giants. Found fire lizard egg incubator in the bath house and Orko teleported loot and eggs to his tower.

Cleaned out servant area capturing more red orc slaves and a fire giant cook. She agreed to help if they spread non-combatants and children. Party agreed and went straight for the throne room. Guards saw them coming and locked gates which Sour berry disintegrated. Party barged into throne room with king, priest, two vet guards and six lesser guards. Orko and Sourberry blasted them with chain lightning and other magics softening them up for the fighting men. Both frontline fighters Boron and Lanos took nasty hits and worried a bit but did win. All aware luck had helped. All healing depleted and Borons wife with her blade barrier had to flee as giants threw rocks at her. Had to chase the priest down who had summoned another fire elemental and called on the giant god Surter and the Prince of fire elementals to avenge him.

The last few in the complex fled and the heroes got their castle to fly closer and the stripping of all valuables began. Got a maul of the titans Lanos was keen to use the destroy the complex when looting was done. Got a horn of fire elemental summoning, tons of bronze, salamander wool cloak of fire immunity, bound efreeti ring of the fire giant king, wisdom boosting circlet (changes size), and a ring with the soul of its giant wearer inside and some other stuff. 

When players wondered what bronze for and knowing their orc tribe were copper users thought they might help. The new red orcs offered to teach the tribe redsmithing taking the tribe into the bronze age and most advanced humans in the known world.

Killed over 3000 hp of foes and all enjoyed their pre-emptive attack. Did discover giants were contemplating reconquering the mortal world as the recent floods at the start of the game had wiped out so many humans. So the giants were up to no good and it turns out killing their king in his home was slightly more justifiable. Yay!

Lanos learned a lot about the fall of giant land and it's pretty clear when he came to the mortal world he skipped many thousands of years and missed lots of stuff. He remembered giantland as a god-like paradise, an infinite giant castle with whole forests and kingdoms in courtyards. Now it's an endless ruin for the dim-witted descendants of the former rivals of the gods. The party stripped all the books scribed on fireproof salamander skin vellum too. Then they ruined the giants joint with the titan weapon weakening the fire giant kingdom forever.

Turns out more gods are noticing the party from this and the killing of Byatis in its current form.

Moving onto 16th Lv Sourberry wants to become a changeling and get into darkness/light clerical magic and the dreamlands and nightmare land. He says 8th Lv spells suck and not worth it. I'm 
having to pad out my higher-level spell list now. Orco doesn't mind and is now building an apparatus to grow monsters in his lab. 18 months of this campaign now and I never dreamed would last this long. The stone age start is more or less irrelevant to the game now. 

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Local Harmless Cults



Neutral and Ambivalent Cults that locals know about and have yet to be associated with crime, murder or serving the elder evils. Mostly they are harmless less popular religions with shrines and small groups who meet. The petty god's book is full of stuff to fit in. Describing cults like this I want to be standard in my regional gazetteers.

d12 Local Harmless Cults of Shadelport
Black Lotus Cult - drug peddlers from the wicked underground empire of the west, formerly illegal but now delisted from forbidden cults now Barron gets a cut
2 Mani Green Tooth 
The River Hag - angered by the polluting city but helps orphans, she was a beautiful nymph once and shrines to her old face adorn city bridges and wharves, fewer notice the mud idols that wash away in the tides
3 Spindleshank Gulpfoot - lanky marsh spirit who helps boating folk cross the river 
4 Gloomfang - strange baleful glowing eyes are seen in fog helping ferry crossings 
5 Glorp - mutant idiot slime god who jiggles when pleased and cult eat gelatinous dishes 
6 Grubbles - cult of a hairy stove troll who gifts old dried bread to the poor and beggars 
7 Ripper Roof Jack - strange cloaked figure who jumps over rooftops laughing, people sell pamphlets of his fanciful bloody adventures at shrines and sell collectable idols
8 Bleakclaw- a huge black cat seen everywhere hunts stray dogs and giant rats, it follows people and seeing it is considered lucky, some say it talks and gives advice 
9 Vinegar Tom - an imp who steals vinegar from open pickle jars and has amusing antics
10 Jenny Fangbone - a strange clawed hairy thing familiar who lives in walls of old houses and mutters abuse at occupants, demands treats and makes threats
11 The Headless Watcher - a ghost of a watchman who roams streets with his lantern searching for his head 
12 King Jackdaw - a blackbird who warns commoners of trouble with violence or evildoers   

d12
 Local Harmless Cults of Rural Exile Island
1 Nanny Binks - a popular goat cult (spread intelligent animals to hunt cultists in secret)
2 Bogrump the turnip king - the terrible turnip lord feeds and protects the chosen

3 Jonny Hopper - some know as (Jenny Hopper)  a seductive bard frog with manny funny adventure stories
4 Jack Rabbit - a rascally rabbit who torments poachers, hunting dogs and fights unfair agents of the crown, beats victims and dogs with a club
5 Bright Elf Cult - worship the king and queen of fairyland, considered a charming source of fairy-day holly-days and tales of people taken to elfland to serve faeries forever
6 Black Alice - frightening hag locals fear but she sometimes punishes the wicked
7 Jenny Cutter - weeping female troll said to have formed a water-filled cave with tears
8 Krell - a hard-working hobgoblin labourer who when angered by abuse of power or swearing goes on murder sprees, wandered the land working hard for a pittance, rare cult where goblinoids and farmers share and farmers meet and hire goblin farmworkers they pay poorly but must house and feed to a minimum standard 
9 The Gibbet Phantom - lurks at crossroads where the body was left in cruel gibbet, attacks those who travel by night and is warning to the wicked  
10 The Beast of the Moors - the baleful beast who howls and has glowing eyes like sources, people pray to keep away and make children safer 
11 Saint Clarion - growing popular attractive new saint who still lives, keeps commoners safe from undead, lycanthropy and false witch hunters who stir up trouble and murder for money
12 Firefang - a great red dragon who lives in smoking dragon, worshipped by local kobolds and villagers who believe sacrifice halts draconic disaster


d12
 Local Harmless Cults of River Kingdoms of Exilon
1 Fishmother - she gives a bounty of fishes to common folk and meets in boat sheds, she saves drowning and takes worthy to her underwater palace forever in glory
2 Father Hydra - a great titanic beast of underworld sea who brings fertility and the wisdom of many heads to surface, healer who fights and tricks tyrants, father of dragons

3 Galeb - shaman-healer dwarf trickster, who aids childbirth and preserves respect of ancestral lore, helps commoners face evil and mocks rich  
4 Bull of Heaven - worshipped by cattle folk and appears in seasonal festivals, special perfect bulls are chosen and sacrificed
5 King Crocodile - sacrifice helps keep crocodilians away, they also protect their young and faeces used for medicine and birth control, the shrine has sacred crocs who are mummified on death, cult warn of were crocodiles when a problem 
6 Girdan - the great bird who waged war with gods and devours whole elephants and dragons, has aided kings and youths (ones he didn't eat anyway) and let some gods ride him since reformed from serving chaos, also the god of redemption and travel
7 River-Cow - hippo goddess, devout jolly mother and defender of the night
8 Lilit - hairy night beast mother of monsters and child killer, requires appeasement 
9  Pazu - wind demon who scares demons away from beds and cribs, helps exorcists
10 Girian - great cobra who protects saints and young gods with her hood 
11 Mara - ancient snake goddess, known for prophecy, drumming and ecstatic dance rituals 
12 Polestar - an old god, grandfather of stars, kindly old wise king, helped separate earth and sky with strength, helps navigators or young find destinies 


d12  Local Harmless Cults of the Forest Knight Kingdom Auldwood
1 Tommy Elfdart - naughty sprite who plays tricks, appease his shrine to avoid trouble
2 Grumbleduke - devil from hell who comes to take wicked children to hell, scare the borderline and perform mean pranks on the good children to scare them straight as a warning

3 The haunted hunter - mysterious being who stalks night travellers with petty hauntings and sometimes kills an evildoer or one who escapes justice 
4 The Red Lady - a ghostly spirit whose appearance means danger and trouble ahead 
5 The Questing Beast - a mysterious beast grants wishes if caught but can lure you to death if unworthy, many knights and hunters tried to catch it, a few heroes did. Leads youths to adventure
6 The Beekeepers - a fraternal order who meet seasonally to talk bee business and thank the great bee queen and judge honey and discuss movements of thieving bears
7 The Devil Hound - roams roads killing travellers especially those who owe devils their due, sometimes comes into village to kill someone who cheated hell, you can hear it some nights howling for the wicked
8 The Woodcutter - spirit that sometimes comes from the woods to save a lone commoner 
9 The Lady of the Wood - a much-loved dryad who volunteer to serve these beings as lovers and compete in sports, music, poetry and dance to get a chance to be chosen  
10 Zurian - beast of the woods, 4m tall hairy spirit in wolf pelts who protects the worthy and slays the wicked, swearing in the forest or breaking the hunter's code of game enrages it 
11 Wild Ones - these hairy wild folk of the woods are shunned mostly but some have been cavorting with them and joining their strange prehuman rituals 
12 Lord of the Dance - an elflord in a chariot pulled by wyverns accompanied by musical dancing satyrs comes to celebrate and spread cheer, spreads the dancing plague. The cult build stages and put on music in anticipation and help it pass with a festival. A few say as a few die at such events yearly the cult should be banned and kept away from cities

Friday, 4 June 2021

Common Cults of the Elder Evils


Cults are common enemies in my games.

Who ever gets tired of wiping out unpopular fringe religions?

Following from my new god's pantheon (the poor gods currently responsible for keeping the universe apocalypse free and suppressing the old evils), I thought I would do some naughty cults for specific campaign areas/periods. Will do some more neutral and ambiguous cults to follow. 

d12 Forbidden Cults of Shadelport
The great pirate city, the great university of wizardry and the 800-year rule of the Barron are its sources of fame now. But also the prehuman ruins of Shadelport and the many enemies the city made in Aeons of occupation. The prehuman ruins remain from what was once the capital of a global slaver empire of evil and many wicked secrets remain in its sealed vaults, deep sewers and enigmatic monuments. Many cults seek the good old days of domination from necromancers and forgotten gods. 
1 Rat Cult - rat demons and were rats in city sewers, spread plagues 
2 The Dweller in the Well - a primordial old one lives in a well under the city, cult seek to find, contact and release
3 Garlor the Giant who built city walls and bridges but was betrayed instead of paid and bodyparts in walls and bridges, cult seek to destroy the city
4 The Infernal - arsonist hellfire devil cult, unrepentant sinners and enemies of city
5 Dark Elf Cult - worship king and queen of the dark forest
6 Lich Cults - necromancers who seek living liches under the city to worship, black templars make missions to monster country and dungeons to spread undead
7 Slime Demon Cult - hideous father of slimes is said to winter in the city sewers
8 Fish Cult - secretive hybrid fishfolk infiltrate the city and serve secret undersea civilisations 
9 Frog Cult - linked to crime, narcotics and vice rings in cities underworld 
10 The Dark Lord - servant of evil titan, patron of witches and failed conqueror 
11 Demon Goat Cult - lord of the undead seeks return to old evil ways
12 Bangarigor - the dreaming titan lord of chaos mutants and decay

d12 Forbidden Cults of Rural Exile Island
The civilised farm and woodland areas of Exile Island but also for Sour Hill and other parts of the great southern empire. The common farming folk deal with cults more connected to nature and harvests. Many are remnants of heretical sects of old gods religion requiring blood sacrifices and pits of monsters to feed victims.
1 The Beast - a savage monster that kills by foglight dark nights
2 The Forbidden Tree - evil druid cult worship flesh eating walking demon plants  
3 The Black Monolith Cult - a dark druid brotherhood sacrifice to elder chaos toad daemon
4 Serpent Cult - worship degenerate elder snake creatures and demons
5 Dark Elf Cult - worship king and queen of the haunted dark forest
6 Wolf Cult - cannibalistic bandits and werewolf worshipers
7 The Dark Mother - dark fertility cult offering unnatural growth and mutations  
8 The Haunted Hunter - dark helmed hunter with fire whip with demons and monsters 
9 Frog Cult - linked to crime, narcotics and vice rings in cities underworld
10 The Dark Lord - servant of evil titan, patron of witches and failed conqueror 
11 Demon Goat Cult - lord of the undead seeks return to old evil ways
12 Verkas - bloody druid harvest cult, feed blood to plants and make living scarecrows 

d12 Forbidden Cults of Desert River Kingdoms of Exilon
Ancient Exilon was a vast and sprawling ancient pre flood civilisation on the southern rivers. There are similar serving lands in the distant south preserving all the demons and spirits and cults of old. Ruins of such peoples and cults are found all over the south and even under the sea. Fisherfolk occasionally bring up strange cult relics in nets.
1 Scorpion Queen - great mother demon of scorpion folk who devours all
2 Shandar the Great Worm - devourer of the desert, cults feed it so it spares the cult
3 Mara - ancient mother of evil and monsters, eater of children, haunts ruins and night roads
Serpent Cult - worship degenerate elder snake creatures and demons
5 Demon Fly Cult - sends swarms of stinging flies and giant fly monsters and demons 
6 The Desert Demon - great spirit of sand storms who hides raiders and monsters
7 Great Hydra - draconic ancestor imprisoned in hell, caused droughts and floods 
8 Fish Cult - secretive hybrid fishfolk infiltrate the city and serve secret undersea civilisations 
9 Frog Cult - linked to crime, narcotics and vice rings in cities underworld 
10 Ulughu - the drowner an evil water elemental cult that provides water for souls
11 Kellis - vampire queen, servant of the dark lords of the monster age 
12 
Verkas - bloody druid harvest cult, feed blood to plants and make living scarecrows 

d12 Forbidden Cults of Auldwood the Forest Knight Kingdom
The forest kingdom is full of tiny forest shrouded knight estates earning money for lords often away in Silverton or foreign wars or on knightly quests. Most commoners never leave their dark wood shrouded estates and the roads are perilous with bandits, cults and robber knights. Many knights roam roads looking to joust and duel for glory and there are supernatural knights who roam the lands killing heroes. These weird knights have cults who hate the nobility and the kingdom.
1 The Black Knight - who roams by knight challenging knights and making them undead

2 The Red Knight - challenges knights at crossroads and drinks blook of the loser 
3 The Green Knight - challenges knights and beheads them unless they renounce new gods
4 The Blue Knight - challenges knights who make water crossings and drowns them
5 Dark Elf Cult - worship king and queen of the haunted dark forest
6 Wolf Cult - cannibalistic bandits and werewolf worshipers
7 The Hooded Ones - rebellious bandit cult really serve the old god of hunt and revenge 
8 The Night Hag - witch cult sewing chaos and darkness against the kingdom nobility 
9 Frog Cult - linked to crime, narcotics and vice rings in cities underworld 
10 The Dark Lord - servant of evil titan, patron of witches and failed conqueror 
11 Demon Goat Cult - lord of the undead seeks return to old evil ways
12 Green Dragon Scions - secret dragon cult seeks to replace knights with dragons

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Ye Gods! Cosmological Musings on the New Gods



So Far....

Doodling some more mythic timelines in my setting which is always fun and I can always claim any version is just one school of thought and revise again and again. I used to have a very complex mythology in my 90s games which was nice for RPGing and had years of work. In my present era of DnD since 2012 I have been very loosey goosey on the subject often using Babylonian gods mostly as I know them well just change names and reskin. It worked fine for years 
but was rigidly weird and I'm in favour of something simpler and less complex. I don't mind heaps of petty bad guys or lots of irrelevant minor gods but about a dozen main popular gods are enough. These will be for my Shadel Port, Exile Islands, and the Fallen Third Empires Knightlands.

I've always liked the tension in say Gygax games was St Cuthbert vs the Old Religion in Homlet setting up a conflict with druids and clerics. Possibly you could do something like this with a Roman type ancient setting where rural peoples gods might have been different or even druidic. 

Spirits of the Void
These old spirits lived in the void for aeons until some formed elements, then great ancestral dragons and titans appeared. Fish, worms, bugs and amphibians ruled. Many of these spirits gained purpose as the world developed and changed into beasts or land spirits or dragons. 

The Titans
I am making my older pantheon now distant Titans who just don't interact with mortals anymore and their time was over by the time the world was finished and operational. They had a feud over law and chaos at some point which accelerated creation to the start of the Dawn age on the mortal world.

The First Gods
These children of titans revolted from their parents then feuded among each other bringing ruin to the world and inviting in the gods of the outer void and the great darkness.

The Elder Evils
This followed by an age of evil that spawned most of the surviving evil cults we know today. The age of monsters and darkness brought forth a proliferation of horrid gods and demons and things from the elder darkness. Rebel spirits grabbed leftover fragments of creation as territories and became demons. Ancient beings from the primordial darkness or even things from beyond the void came to crawl into the mortal world. Evil elemental cults thrived and waged war but failed and their strange ideologies crushed.

The Ancient Gods
After the darkness and time as we know it began proper, there was an age of worship of new gods helping humanity overcome the old evils. All the modern alignments as we knew them were established by this time. These are the ancient gods and nature worship that has fallen out of vogue in the most advanced kingdoms.  

Since the world recovered from the dark age great nature spirits and heroic rebel ancestors became tribal and city patrons. Some of these gods became related forming extended clans or pantheons who supported empires and acted as any royalty would with scandals and conflict.

The New Gods
In the current modern age with miracles like gunpowder, trade and exploration across the world, printing press many old gods are increasingly irrelevant. The current most popular new gods might just be new avatars of old ones. They freely change their gender, age and cultural effects at will. They can appear simultaneously as male and female or other arrangements with multiple bodies. They are not dedicated to elementals and they may have sects that vary in alignment and behaviour. These gods are under a thousand years old and in some places are normal but in most frontier, wilderness areas they are not. In rural areas, they frown on older cults and sometimes cause them of being evil cults. They are depicted as human mostly with the contemporary noble dress. They are gods for modern occupations and adventurers and less connected to elements or nature than older gods. They are more nebulous and inconsistent in basic appearances when they make an avatar to appear before humans. These gods are still young and fresh and meddling in world affairs and spreading.

Elves, dwarves and others prefer the millions of spirits or thousands of petty gods or ancient gods or titans to the current favourite human gods. Shadelport has over 10 000 registered shrines to various gods. These popular new gods are about 10%.

Will think through some other distinctions of the new gods other ways they differ from older gods. 

d12 Divine Manifestation
1 Appears as natural phenomena like gusts of wind, ripple in a pool, face in cloud
2 Appears as a mundane animal all the better to spy on mortals
3 Appears as a normal person often a child or elderly to spy on mortals
4 Appears magical manifestation such as a spring, rainbow, in stars or statue or artwork
5 Appears in disguise as an attractive well-dressed stranger
6 Appears invisibly but may speak or whisper to someone
7 Appears as an inhuman creature like an abhuman or giant or faerie or dragon
8 Appears in disguise as a stranger but with some signs and clues some might spot
9 Appears as a mysterious humanoid with strange 
partially hidden features 
10 Appear as a deity in form expected for recognition, often glowing and taller
11 Diad of deities (d4 1=twins 2=married 3=parent and child 4=siblings)
12 Triad of deities (d4 1=parents and child 2=siblings 3=child, parent & grandparent 4=parent two children)

A god can show you their terrible true form
If you are mortal your skin and flesh will burn to ash instantly
The god will often snatch your soul

DIY God Decor (roll one or none as you please)
d8 1=baby 2=child 3=youth 4=adult 5=mature 6=middle aged 7=elderly 8=decrepid
d6 1=male 2=female 3=hemaphrodite 4=sexless 5=androgynous 6=enlarged and/or repeated sexual characteristics to absurd supernatural degree
d6 1=halo 2=horns and tail 3=coloured skin 3=3m tall 4=glows 5=wings 6=beastial features
d6 1=weapon 2=tool 3=instrument 4=holy symbol 5=pet 6=herb, flower or fruit
d6 1=attract/repel certain animals 2=booming voice 3=exotic scented vapour 4=flowers bloom/die 5=has fabulous mount or vehicle 6=fabulous servant or pet

Meeting a New God
Make a reaction roll when meeting a God
Clerics and high Charisma help the odds
Doing deeds the god loves or hates can give some modifiers
Angry gods cruelly kill people in a way everyone will remember
Unhappy gods cruelly curse people d4 1=cripple 2=hunted by monsters 3=turned into monster 4=turned into something useless like a rock or a plant or a bug or artwork
Happy Gods may give you a gift d4 1=magic relic 2=magical creature as pet 3=fame and glory 4=a purse with a 2d6 x 1000gp (or better)
Enthralled gods like you too much d4 1=want a lover 2=want a house servant 3=have a mission for you thousands of miles from here more important than anything you were doing 4=want to hang around and help you and make life easy like a wish drunk djinn

d12 The New Gods
1 Slorax - God of Light (Law, Truth, Healing)
Patron of scholars, scribes, witch hunters, inquisitors, templars, hospitallers, paladins
Deeds: 
Uncovered evil corruption and hunted the wicked using rule of law
Apotheosis: Carried by angels up to heavens when crowned hierophant of church
2 Talan - God of Swords (War, Nobility, Judgement) 
Patron of knights, kings, templars, soldiers, servants and agents of the crown
Deeds: United kingdoms waging war on the dark lord and his orcs and undead
Apotheosis: Killed by demons, torn apart by dragons, then ascended to heaven

3 Atan - God of Artifice (Craft, Wheels, Tools)
Patron of smiths, crafters, drivers, shipbuilders, millers, clockmakers, gun-smiths
Deeds: Built wonders and machines and a golem house of wonders
Apotheosis: Tricked old gods in a contest, deified to avoid gods shame 

4 Vetar - God of Scholars (Writing, Magic, Divination)
Patron of teachers, scribes, scholars, librarians, historians, professors, doctors
Deeds: Uncovered ultimate occult and alchemical secrets, stole the book of fate
Apotheosis: burned by an angry mob in a library, saved to save wisdom

Brion - God of the Wilderness (Hunt, Beasts, Death)
Patron of hunters, farmers, foresters, gravediggers, explorers, hermits, trappers
Deeds: Founded bandit freedom fighters and given supernatural aid
Apotheosis: shot with arrows then drawn and quartered by wicked king  

6 Brek - God of Vegetation (Fertility, Forestry, Grain)
Patron of farmers, foresters, bakers, pastoralists, woodcutters, carpenters
Deeds: Brek met elves and dryads and nymphs and made a treaty for mortalkind
Apotheosis: Taken to fairyland and tormented by elf queen and made her lover

Katar - God of Hearth (Home, Craft, Family)
Patron of commoners, householders, farmers, parents, grandparents, childbirth 
Deeds: After a great volcanic disaster helped thousands of people find new homes
Apotheosis: Murdered by orcs using crying children for bait  

8 Vora - God of Dawn (Love, War, Magic)
Patron of brewers, lovers, diplomats, soldiers, amazons, barmaids, dancers, singers
Deeds: Saved unicorns from hunters and joined demihumans waging war on goblinoids
Apotheosis: Shot by hunters, chopped into pieces and buried all over forest  

9 Kerak - God of Sky (Herds, Ancestors, Weather)
Patron of herders, barbarians, farmers, sailors, labourers, warriors, berserkers
Deeds: Raised a horde to slay an ancient lich who knew the old dark ways
Apotheosis: Giant allies cut into pieces ground bones and ate as a betrayal  

10 
Pirek - God of Poetry (Music, Pleasure, Mischief) 
Patron of bards, singers, lovers, musicians, gossips, gourmets
Deeds: Led a terrible dragon to slaughter and drew plague rats from a town
Apotheosis: Poisoned by a jealous king but gods wanted to save the songs

11  Lumet - God of Travel (Coins, Hospitality, Luck)
Patron of merchants, shopkeepers, bureaucrats, sailors, caravaneers, waggon trains
Deeds: Rediscovered lost sea trading routes, explored strange lands and treasure
Apotheosis: Islanders unhappy with trade deal for land threw them into a volcano

12 Loran - God of Night (Secrets, Water, Darkness)
Patron of spies, sailors, thieves, spelunkers, navigators, miners, assassins, astrologers
Deeds: Tricked death in a chess game, hid in caves and travelled seas avoiding death
Apotheosis: Amused older gods took pity on heroic death and escapes from the underworld


I have some regional evil cult tables for eras of my campaign setting done
Neutral ones will follow for local weird religions and cults 

I'm reading old becmi dnd for high-level adventures and the immortal's book that was free a while back for the 90s version of becmi basic dnd. Im getting cosmos prepped for plane travel adventures in party castle and might use time travel.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Slug Caverns of Deceit part 2: Bosses & Locations





So amalgamating all this random detail will take more work and makes me wonder about the order of things in the book I'm using. But I wrote it so its my fault. All using my Redbrick dungeon book downloadable from my downloads page.


Recap:
Rumours of a local dungeon abound and a shifty evil apprentice mistaking adventurers for murder hobos make immoral offers and invites them to the dungeon. The dungeon features a cult who have hidden a bubble of luxury and vice in a slug filled ancient cave. The caves were carved by acidic mouths of elder slug abhumans long ago as an act of worship. Their elder slug ancestor became a full demon later and now uses vice and corrupting dreams from its prison. 

The sorcerer Yoric on the run from court for treason has made a vice cult to gain money and spread influence. Unknowingly the elder slug demon and cult of the lower caves has been having a strange influence.

Yoric knows several nobles, plotters, local merchants who attend the cult for sex and drugs. 

He rescued a woman Suulin from a mad druid she had loved and robbed and she has joined the cult as an agent. She introduced the bandit leader Basil Abbot notorious for robbing the elderly and other soft targets. The lower temple has been awakening, attracting creatures and slug abhumans. It wants adventurers to enter and free the god from its prison.  

The Sorcery Cult Faction


d12 Vice Cult Temple Room Events
VIP guest if needed 
d4 1=elder 2=guidsman 3=magistrate 4=merchant
1 The master takes lots of drugs and has to go to his meditation (treasure room)
2 Live in students dance in skimpy costumes before the master to earn his love
3 VIP guests from town having feast watching naked cultists dance
4 Drunken cultists in neer stupor drinking beer and wine and laying around
5 Local bandits enjoying food, drink and dancers with the master
6 Initiating new student, examined for blemishes then given cult robe
7 Master negotiating with slug abhumans about some deal about adventurers
8 An orgy with various townsfolk and cult members, guests welcome
9 A party of battered adventurers dragged by slugfolk warriors before the master
10 Orc leaders have come to negotiate increased cooperation
11 A thieves guild are being traded with by the master over stolen goods
12 Cultists are chanting in trance to strange burning fungus incense hearing the whispers of the demon slug telling them to revel in whatever pleasure they want in their minds

Yoric Strangeplough the sorcerer leads a hedonistic vice cult for the rich
-involved in royal plots thus is hiding out as the master of this cult
-has been guided by slug demon visions while sleeping or high or drugs
-has 4 1st lv followers and a score of live-in students
-food tasting charmed slave on a chain
-rides a giant slag mount with a chair with cushions and a hookah
-slug spirit can see through keyholes and warn Yoric of enemies
-has taken to sleeping and having sex on his treasure heap
-hates adventurers and wants to be feared for killing them
-has killed several groups of youths who gathered to get the easy treasure

Suulin bard ally Yoric saved and love,
-acts as spy, gossip and provisioner for the cult and bandits
-she is really a fox spirit woman out for money and mischief
-she might join a party to sing inspiring songs
-claims she is provisioner for distant loggers and miners camps
-she might betray Yoric or flirt with several adventurers to make trouble

Basil Abbott and the Granny Grabbers of Brighton or the Abott Gang
-gang rule the local area, a dozen dim-witted youths and ex-convicts 
-he really likes tattoos and the whole gang have them, older have them all over
-Baldy, Spike and Tabitha are his closest allies in the gang

Markgnor Untarg Orc Hirelings from Clan Grimskull
-ex minions of necromancer and lich, they paint themselves as skeletons
-tell everyone the master is a lich as they are embarrassed by this new job
-has two brothers and a 4th Lv necromancer orc uncle
-they have a camp of allies nearby and may use skeletons

The Demon Slug God Faction
-served by abhuman slugfolk warriors, berserks and priests
-high priest sluglord Gorlax has come to return glory to slugs
-some human worshippers have appeared keen to spread corruption 
-draws in servants with vice and corruption to release it and serve it

Slug Demon Idol
-prison of the old slug spirit, once three locks broken can manifest a body
-in the meantime sends messages to Yoric and high priest of the Slug Temple
-wrapped in a rich golden cloak worth 800gp (lock no 1)
-coins and semiprescious stones around base of statue worth 360gp
-if you touch coins the slug statue spits acid 
-gem eyes are the second and third key each is worth 800gp
-piles of bones of the sacrificed are piled before it
-slugfolk warriors swear oaths here to become berserkers 
-cultists who touch the keys die thus they need ignorant dupes
-when
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1st Level
Main entrance - semi flooded chamber with steps to entries
Slug chambers - wet windy cramped tunnels most of this level, many creatures live and feed on giant fungus and mould. Slugfolk sleep here blending in with slimy rock walls
Bandits room - where bandits who stay here sleep
Spare room where travellers servants stay with baggage
Kitchen - where cultists prepare food with a charmed cook Samantha Mooney
Wine room - locked with skeleton guards, famous wine, beers, drugs
Cells - for punishing cultists and randsoms, a few battered teen adventurers
Orcs Room - full of skulls, headstones, creepy paintings, occult symbols
Orc necromancers room - several skeletons guard this
Well room -  where slugs crawl out leads, to level 2
Slave room
Sign - temple of Infinite Desires
Temple entrance - silken curtains 
Guard Niches - two slubfolk bersers
Guestrooms
Suulins bedroom
Basil Abotts Room
Masters bedroom and secret entry to Lv2
Masters private dining room
Meeting Chamber - fine 8 sided table with ornate chairs where leaders meet 
Masters contemplation vault - panic room and treasure vault, favourite place for sex
Cult courtroom - with pillows, fancy lamps, wall hangings, hookas and incense, cushioned low seats and couches
Incomplete casino room - under construction, orcs here working and playing dice
Incomplete fighting pit - orcs have been using it already and have a rust monster, a giant gekko and an angry bugbear in wooden cages
 
2nd Level
Main entrance 
Slug chambers - wet windy cramped tunnels most of this level, many creatures live and feed on giant fungus and mould. Slugfolk sleep here blending in with slimy rock walls
Slug temple chamber - idol here is sealed with salt and slugfolk lose 1hp here around, if they touch the keys on the statue they die. If a purely greedy person robs the robes and gem eyes only will the spirit be released?
Slug lab - where a human placed in a stone sarcophagi with a silicon sphere in an apparatus and can painfully make a human into a slugfolk abhuman in a d12 painful hours. The slug demon speaks to them his wishes.
 
d12 Rare things found in the slug maze
1 Body of the orc cook who was making pickled slugs snacks
2 Body of a dopey cultist who wandered down too deep
Sleeping flailsnail
4 Sleeping slug abhuman priest d4 Lv
Sleeping giant slug 
6 Giant snail shell
7 Adventurers journals calling these tunnels caverns of deceit
8 Dead adventurers with clothes only 
9 Bag of hidden silver coins 3d6 x Sgp hidden by cultist or bandit
10 Onyx slug idol worth 40gp
11 Obsidian knife d3 +1 magic
12 Cultist body with a bottle of blue lotus win and a d4 empty ones

d12 Common things found in the slug maze
1 Hundreds of finger size slugs
2 Area covered with glistening dried slug slime tracks
3 Sleeping regular slug abhuman warriors with spears d4
4 Sleeping berserker slug abhuman with a halberd and armour 
5 Giant slug eggs, some creatures find delicious
6 Strange stone sphere carved with elder slug folk script
7 Wet hole full of slugs in wall
8 Skeleton with some huge slugs crawling on it
9 Silver coin dropped by a cultist or bandit
10 Several human skulls d4
11 Slug as big as a human arm
12 Obsidian tool 1=scraper 2=arrow head 3=hand axe 4=spearhead

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Gladiator battles and testing out rules















So my off-work friend since 91 has been doing some editing and playtesting and has been helpful. We spent arvo generating 6th lv characters and got out minis and monster colosseum box set for RQ with a fold-out arena map (will blog on Monster Colosseum). So we tested a 6th lv mutant vs a 6th lv fighter in my rules. My poor fighter even though he cheated with his single magic missile spell and movement abusing avoidance got torn apart by the mutant in one round. So the mutant had a flagellum arm and a crab claw arm and a metal headbutt attack. Fighter won next time. Lucks and crits were big deciders so I guess a success. So then tried a few monsters. First up let's try an owlbear as John had never met one. So in sound one the owlbear did thee hits and got that extra sweet spot of hug attack and toe him into sheds while fighter wailed on beast back and just reduced it. My owlbears as pointless bears with reskin was proven wrong. Ok what next a bullette. In the First round mutant shredded and fighter hurt in next round fighter torn to shreds. A fun project to playtest and play with rules. Interestingly the fighter needed money and stuff more while the mutant just needed a loincloth and possibly needed help eating and going to the toilet. Will do more of this.

Normally I do side vs side initiative once in the start of a fight to speed but with player vs player, we did round by round initiative that was interesting. Both these NPCs we made need names and would be good villains.I played with a lighter quickstart version of my game with weirder classes 1-4th lv and no Vancian spells just abilities some with rolls most uses per day based on level. Sort of an exercise in going light for shorter campaigns. If you wanna go past 4 change class.  or I could do more later. As most ppl don't play higher level dnd. As kids we wanted to and got up to 18th in BECMI and a few times since then got tp 16th or 14th or 12th. More often games last from1-9 (I'm guessing don't quote me I'm a loser). I love 1-4 best as its more horror resources and 5-7 is cool. My friend Richard hates low levels and would prefer we start at 3rd. So this lite version for some products might be interesting. Every adventure would come with 6 characters that were like a class and had abilities that increased every level with 4th being weird and flashy heroic.

Partly my recent hack was using bx class as a race but now any class can change to any other class in play and move back and forth as they please. This has made a panoply of strange class combos making my system plenty more gonzo. Letting ppl reskin races has been weird too. It's amazing what opening doors in DnD oddities can do. If you spend more pages and rules limiting what ppl can do instead of letting them do stuff that could be interesting it's sad. It's a test I sometimes use. Gunpowder I let in my games after a stint of 1600s gaming a few years and it had no bad effect on my campaign. I have just added three types of firelance possibly good for goblins. I make it all expensive and a bit risky and ten. Dwarfs are resentful humans stole fire, various metals and gunpowder and keep their best stuff hidden. Only the warring kingdoms are they just uncommon everywhere else they are rare. Maybe some other prehumans might have used it. Now I want lizard women with muskets turning up as elites helping her low tech kin.

2nd session

Did a 4th level multiclass build off. My martial artist halfling-1 thief-3 vs Johns Earth Abhuman-1 Dwarf-3. Broke my vs larger creatures rule so I'm amending it to creatures over double your size get giant size mods (making 1 foot gnomes possibly worse with halflings being a bit better off than a dwarf).

My poor halfling failed in a fair fight and even given a chance to do 15 damage in the first round by surprise was killed. In the first fight we had my poor halfling ran out of tricks and tried to sprint away but dwarf had extra ENC abilities and a higher CON so thief had to drop that plan and try and fight and died. The thief needed less equipment and money to be effective and would have thrived say a bar fight or with advantageous terrain of his choice. Golbo Sackend I dubbed him. More useful as undercover hitman or with a dungeon and some interpersonal skills. I'm keeping them as NPC in a diary.

Next as established monster fights. As JB more of an RQ gamer he has only heard of lots of dnd monsters or what the dnd equivalents like. So first did a giant scorpion. My thief died of poison the round the earth-dwarf won and he made all saves.

Next an Umberhulk. My thief got smashed then the earth dwarf who was berserk got confused and hacked up poor thief till in pieces to be torn apart by the hulk.

Next, the Luecrotta was fair and they beat it soundly with some damage. Two might have been harder.

It's a nice playtest gaming improv fun. Will do more.

Did see a video parallelling with my reskin it approach and they had expanded the idea further with the principle of "keep mechanics but change context and the story"
then hijack these mechanics for other purposes.