Sunday 30 September 2012

Artist for future Elfmaids and Octopi cover

 This is some of my good friend Michal's art from the lost in space comic. I did some colouring on the second digitally, the upper one is old school on coloured paper. Stan Lee said it was luscious. Michal has 4 images on my flickr that have had a huge amount of hits over the years. Ive commissioned Michal to make some cover art for the final Elf-maids and Octopi Book. I'll post updates here when I get them. One of Australia's unsung geniuses.

Friday 28 September 2012

Dungeon design prep for session

It aint really a mega dungeon maybe just a huge single level complex. I have noted new school DnD seems to have less encounters. Since i started running this game I have not looked up a single monster. But sadly I can still locate 80s dragon articles on anything (ditto for x-men, new mutants or moonknight comics).Im looking for this to last 4-6 levels and possibly a diversion to the city. Found thieves world tables. Sigh PDF is easy in i tiny apartment.

Hidden behind a waterfall, the complex was on a castle on a hill covering the only pass through the mountains. Since then the castle has been destroyed and a river run over it depositing a hundred yards of soil on top and wearing away the land beyond the castle into a low laying swampy forest. The castle didn't really last long or leave much evidence. Some say it was a forgotten outpost of the early empire over 4000 years ago but actually it is one of thousands of nameless lost kingdoms less than a days ride across.

The castle was in fact built on top of an entrance to the underworld 6000 years ago. It was the site evil dwarves had built a formal temple and administrative complex for their expansion. They worshiped Erishkigal, in her aspect as Dungeon keeper and mother of monsters. Good human barbarians, elves and dwarves destroyed the cult and built the castle. Humans stayed on and enjoyed the gifts of metal and civilization the demi-humans showed them. After a thousand years of benevolent human occupation someone found the dungeon Lv of the castles entrance the the dark waters of the underworld. Undead evil Dwarves and demons broke out and destroyed the kingdom and the castle. Demihumans re-directed the river and destroyed the forces of evil and retreated to their secret strongholds.

About 300 years ago the shanty town of prospectors was born. Prospecting for isolated clumps of metal to be found was profitable. Bit then the tombs of a previous dwarf kingdom began to be found. A fortified Village was built with empire funds. The empire built 100 yards of road then lost all record of the outpost. They even have their bonfire tower to signal for help ready at all times.  The current rulers hope the empire will contact them still and consider themselves loyal vassals (who haven't paid tax). The new common scum of fighters and thieves who go prospecting think the locals idiots. But most of them die in the wilds from goblins or undead dwarves.

Life in the Dungeon has been more active of late. Multiple factions occupy sections of the maze.

Undead (Common) - areas are silent, lifeless and dark, with smell of death. Control the underworld entrance, Most are common mindless undead, but a dwarf vampire lord and his succubi lover control the ferry to to the underworld entrance. They serve Ereshkigal and do some surface world business on her behalf. There will be a few wraiths, mummies and wights too. Should be the last part to explore - most constantly renewed by the underworld ferryman. Human undead are more recent weaker types of undead, some of the Dwarf undead are thousands of years old. Minor Undead 40-60, Major Undead 10-26. The Undead may leave you alone if you hold a symbol of Ereshkigal and think piously, which the bugbears and cultists use to get around. A few evil dwarves use this and get missions from the Vampire and cause trouble in Dwarf town.

Dwarf town (Uncommon) - area smell of smoke, forge and booze, well lit by lanterns.
Modern dwarfs have controlled 8 room in the center. They have placed protection from undead wards. Most are Black and Red dwarves but a Silver runs the tavern-forge which runs the town. He made the wards and is LN. Other dwarves vary in alignment and may join the party. They will sell some grenades, cold iron quality weapons, and perhaps a door-charge to the party. 15-30 Dwarfs are here any time. They are exploring the region to see if ancient evils are returning. Several wield guns. Humans who buy shares may enter and stay and eat all the canned dwarf slurry and grog they can handle. They may even cross train with dwarves if the company like them.

Cannibal Chaos Cult (Common) - lit torches, cult graffiti, rubbish, chewed bones and dung. This cult of man eaters comprises of several character classes. They were formed by a mad priest of Erishkigal as the Devouring Maw that eats all. They were driven from the city and appeared locally to start eating the prospectors and ancient dwarf remains. Until the town hunted and drove them here. This is their promised land and they feel close to the goddess. The even eat undead. Purify food and other spells prevent them all dying but they are very mad. They fight and stalk as mad killers not rational warriors. There are 30-45 in the dungeon and some prisoners and converts undergoing brain washing. 20% have 1d4 Lv of some class. All are Chaotic.

Wham Bam Bugbear Clan (Common) - pictogram and drawings, bugbear musk, candles lit. With a few goblin slaves, hobgoblin flunkies and a few pet Yeth hounds this Bugbear clan were called by Erishkigal and have been living off goblin communities and prospectors since. Their Witch Doctor has warded Their zone from undead but is willing to create his own. They also feed off the Slime Gods lair. They already hate the adventurers for bothering goblins. They harbor the survivors who could not fit on an escape bat. Chief Grumchala will enjoy sacrificing eating and mating with the party but he could be bribed. 16 Bugbears, 24 Hobgoblins and 8 goblins. Goblins mostly young and old but willing scouts but will surrender or flee.

Super Kobolds Adventure Team (Rare) - leave scattered kobold tags around dungeon. These dont live here but are semi divine heroes of the tin mine clan. They are all 4HD and have other magical powers. The 7 are all brothers, spawned by the Kobold God choosing the prettiest kobold born in generations as their mom. They spend their time trapping the dungeon and hiding in air vents and drains. Each has a blue cap and a cute little red salamander skin cape which halves fire damage. They also like attacking weakened and retreating parties. They may even use Kobold poison, burning metal floors and radioactives which dont harm them. They hope to get some magic then spawn a kobold master race to cleanse the world of big folk. Any who kill one is branded by the kobold gods so all kobolds can sense them within a mile. If they are all killed the slayers whole band recieve an extra random minor curse.

Hungry Gnolls Adventurers - (Uncommon) leave demonic rune tags and urine and feces marks. These gnolls seek horrible things to eat and treasure or pay homage to the underworld goddess and their demon father. Some also bring a pet 8HD Hyenadon (but he has trouble turning tight spaces) or 1d4 some 4HD 2d4 bite Hyena . The team will re stock losses and return, they will never fight to the death. They may track the party and stalk the home. Typically parties of 8 with a few pets. Plenty of Gnolls out there to spare.

Curious Lizard Men (Uncommon) - little impact and no signs of passage, hide in slime gardens. Guided by their Serpent Man Wizard 6th Lv, Snurgrump the chieftain and his pet Cave lizard are gathering exotic food species in the Slime gods grotto. They dont really want to fight but characters may well attack them on sight. The Serpent man Smergroth may suggest attacking the party for spells or items. He is also seeking remnants of pre-dwarvern serpent man ruins. Usually party of 8 plus Snurgrup and a Smergroth. They could be reasoned with but dont realize humans are sentient. Draconic might be a good language to impress them.The leaders can replenish their troop daily as long as they escape.

Mystery Wizards (Common) - Some may leave strange signs or booby trap spells. For some reason various forgotten elder races of humanoid spell casters have been awakening and coming to these ruins. Their motives are unfathomable but they are a threat to any adventurers. 1d4+1 some may have charmed or summoned minions too.

Rival Adventurers (Common) - personal or party names and "was here" graffiti and etching. Plenty of small bands of rogues and warriors come here looking for loot. Most fear the undead and think adventurers are monsters or rivals. A few have a priest or wizard but most have no magic (1-45% Warrior, 46-90% Rogue, 91-95% Wizard or Sorcerer, 96-100 other class. Some may wish to join if they are weak. Some might ambush the party on the way out. After a few raids from the party a new band from the city may arrive, even led by ex-henchmen. 1d6+2 in a group of 1d4 Lv each.

Slime Gods Grotto (Common) - fungal blooms coat everything, dripping wet. Rugose columns of slimy fungus and fetid ooze, dripping with humidity. Howling fungus is everywhere hooting and squealing when players come near. The river leak here making the level a dank stinking mildew trap. A Druid of the underworld fungi order spread an ecology of fungi and slimes, attracting giant bugs and lizards and frogs. Some of these creatures wander about the dungeon hunting for food. Some dungeon denizens speak of a slime lord of fungus but actually it is a remnant of the Lv10 Druid, now a ogre sized shambling horror. He uses spells to enlarge critters and spawn monsters every day. He is invisible when motionless and blending into fungi walls. He will aid lizard men and leaves them healing berries (mushrooms in his case). His cult praise Jubilex but see him as an elemental being of nature and neutrality rather than demonic. New monsters can be spawned from here daily. A Druid might get a chance to talk.

The Underworld ferry dock. For a coin per person and reading the multilingual monolith aloud a ferryman will take them to the underworld. Not really sensible to get there yet. Party left a magic mirror somewhere earlier. Most searchers never find the secret door. Its guardian Dwarf Vampire and Succubus are a big challenge and will have some nice loot. The succubi may be sent to entrap the party when they are seen as a threat to the dungeon order. Whatever the outcome - this site will continue to attract evil.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Some nasty spell casting lost races

As my players pretty much have been avoiding real danger fairly well im going to pull out the rug a bit more. Currently they are about to do lv 4 book keeping - and some carousing rolls. Many henchmen will be considering leaving since the Priest died (an a a horrible undead, his soul destroyed forever).

Our sorceress, overcome by remorse for the LG pries is considering becoming a Lawful Good necromancer instead of an alignment change. The blood druid after bagging the priest has been forced to learn healing spell. So now he wants to lean meditation proficiency so he can abuse various Druid spells (like having 10 batches of healing berries plus new fresh spells at the start of the dungeon.

I going to replace the planned dungeon with a mega dungeon - grabbing a few themes from the adventure but going all out gonzo. I'm also hoping to trap them in the dungeon and see how well they cope without retreating every time they feel slightly at risk. Heavy handed I know but players will enjoy more slaying and less shopping for a bit. Besides its a long weekend.

Special Encounters - Humanoid spell casters
These appear as robed humans at a glance but groups will have uniformity making them seem like members of a cult or order or even kin. The reality is more horrible. They are the forgotten elder races, thought long dead. Of late small groups of 1d4+1 have been seen across the island in the oddest places. They generally 4-6th Lv and have additional abilities. Most do not ever try to communicate.

1 Wizards of Nekhaba - Black robed wizards wear gold masks, covering their blank pallid faces. How they sense the world or communicate as faceless beings is a mystery. They are silent moving in unison and with sinister purpose as in a dance. They may be involved in a sacrifice or questing for some magical component or arcane text. They can fire a 1d6+1 Magic Missile per round at will. When they use magical disguises they can talk as a normal person. When they die they shatter like porcelain. They favor charms and illusions.

2 Hags of Gerbarrak - These robed hags keep their distance but occasional use their natural mask spell to get close for an embrace. Their true form of their face is a single fleshy tentacle that implants eggs inside a victims stomach. If able they will take the victims to their lair and feed them till their giant maggot like spawn burst free (fatal) hatch. Cure disease kills the egg. Their power works like the Mask spell but a sober victim gets a save to realize whats happening and see the truth. When they die they scream and thrash around vomiting and bleeding till -10HP when they explode into a sticky mess. They favor charm, illusion and damaging spells.

3 Mindlords of Zon - Tall gold robed figures seem like normal but at times impossibly lean. They hold ornate jeweled staffs and up close you can see their three sucker finger hands. Their tentacled eyeless faces are a horror. Their staves are +3 hit, damage and on spell dam per dice. When killed they break down into smoking chalky rubble which slowly turns to smoke untill nothing. Any human trying to use their arcane starves are inflicted with a curse and a madness roll. When the new wielder dies he is replaced instantly by a healthy Mindlord. They favor charm, illusion and damaging spells.

4 Worms that Walk - Humanoid colony of maggots, who maintain a human form and lurk in dark places feeding on remnants of wizards. They gain new spells by devouring a wizards brain. They regenerate 1pt per round like a troll and crumble into a mass of worms at 0HP. At -10 most worms have been killed rendering them slain. They are survivors from the age of necromancers. They enjoy necromancy spells.

5 Clockwork Sorcerers - Daemons of Law, constructs from another world or some kind of spell using golem. These sorcerers are a mass of cogs and gears whose magic is intuitive unchanging. They apparently don't age or improve. They often attend places where chaos is unleashed and try to contain it. They see adventurers as disorderly and as a source of interesting loot. Their corpses break into a heap of cogs, wire and scrap brass. They like to summon clockwork versions of animals and monsters.

6 Hells Hags - Hell spawned she devils have been sent to earth to sew ill omens and to kill meddling heroes. Short stunted toothless crones, they may try to act as lame old women, even begging or asking to be carried over a river or some such scheme. An death they explode into a brimstone cloud and a scream as their essence returns to hell be reborn as larvae. This is a 10ft wide stinking cloud.  and cast a curse over the whole party if a whole group is killed.  They like damaging and elemental spells best.

7 Elder Slugs - Slime covered man slugs who pass as robed wizards from a distance. They normally move slowly and cannot run. They can temporarily adopt more humanoid form and move as a human for a few hours a day if weather is not too dry. Some wear special pressure suits to keep up the effect longer. They dislike salt, a handful inflicts 1d4 damage. A circle of salt may ward them back if unsuited. At death they vomit mucous and foam for 1d10 rounds. Each round they may spit a Melfs acid arrow up to 3x a day. Occasional they carry alien technological relics. They like human flesh and regard men as slaves. They use any spells but are more careful with fire.

8 Serpent Men - Some groups may use shape shifting to seem human. Some have degenerate lizard men as followers or even a dinosaur. A few use relics of their ancient technology like ray weapons. Interested in magic items and simply keeping dumb apes down, they have many variants surviving from different epochs. Possibly an adventurer group from many epochs or civilizations nay band together. They occasionaly are looking to dissect a species to learn about the upstarts. Many magical traditions exist.

9 Scions of Hastur - Silent bulky misshapen figures watch the adventurers from mists, yet avoid direct contact for some time. They will hear haunting whispers: "have you seen the yellow sign?". Eventually the characters find illegal blasphemous books before discovering a maddening sigil in their own home, cursing all the party.  Finaly the party will be attacked at home, the figures are lumpy, fungal humanoids who don't react to blows until they are killed. They take 1/2 damage from blunt weapons. Many use priest spells instead.

10 Flayed Masters - Look human up quite close, but a bit inexpressive and awkward. At some point they tear off their shredded human skins and attack, relaying on horror effects. They seem human but have invisible skin, looking like horrendous undead skeletons with muscle and organs inside. They eat human flesh and flay peoples skins to use as disguises. They are utterly insane and only feel peace when killing. They use any magic spells they can find.

11 Children of the Flesh - Passing as comely hedonists who invite party to relax and swap spells.  They will use drugs, alcohol and sex appeal to get close to the party. If the party dally long enough the children will begin an orgy. At some point characters must save or fuse together into a lake of laughing flesh. Those fused are lost, the rest may flee or attack. When fused combine all the children's HP. They can redistribute points in the group to heal or use absorbed victims HPs. Once they have fed they will separate and fight any lingering non absorbed party members. They melt into a flesh colored sticky liquid on death that artist say makes the best flesh coloured paint.  Charm spells and elemental spells are popular.

12 Scythe Slayers - Appearing as hooded female humanoids with cloaks. When ready to attack they reveal 2 additional arms. The use up to 4 dagger missile or melee attacks and many learn exotic martial abilities. Their sweeping motion of their multiple attacks earned their name. When injured shredded flesh sloughs off them till their ornamental metallic bodies are exposed. At half hits their robes and flesh are totally discarded. A wounded group might pretend to be statues. All are female, believed to be servants of a lost god. They are feared assassins but their target selection is unfathomable. Adventurers and isolated frontier outposts are common targets. At death they explode as a fireball of equal lv. They prefer combat spells, many are sorcerers rather than wizards.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Strange High House in the Stars

Space Cthulhu running shortly - this is for a scenario I was writing or a contest but I got too hung up on gravity. I imagine this tethered to an other rock with a refinery and fuel dump and antenna array. At some moment the tether will break, damage any parked ships and loose all gravity (only about .4G anyway - with special rotating sleep pods with .7G to extend crew occupation).

The crew are a team of low G-modified first in rescue specialist investigating this mining station currently building a massive antenna array orbiting Saturn. Their ship is a tiny fluid filled high-G emergency ship capable of traveling 4G for several days. The team of 6 also has a bio drone atmospheric tester and cleaning mascot.

As the rescue ship decelerates and adjusts its spin to dock, they make contact with the station computer. They get the option of rebooting the AI or booting the old out of date mining AI. Some of the crew have cross motives.

One of the asteroid staff running the high energy deep space antenna project has been operating unsupervised ultra high frequency experiments and has been running unusual computations....

more drones

I also wrote a list of scenarios and a big list of little ideas i might put here
One day i will work out how to put pdfs in my toolbars here

Saturday 22 September 2012

How to negociate with a posse

We were a bit tired and crook. One player had been doing a security course that day.

Knock knock
"who is there?"
"the sheriff of Greenfen Village"
"I don't recognize your authority in this village - go away!"
"I need to question you regarding the murder of our barkeeper"
"Tell us how much money you want and we will slide it under the door"

The posse have an argument. They talk terms with the so called heroes and carry off a wagon of pornographic furniture and erotic dark elf tapestries back to Greenfen village.

The heroes leave short on cash (or things they can sell to country folk). They reconnoiter a new village Thingfall. It is a lost frontier town of all rogues and warriors, even the villagers. They even meet a gnome, a dwarf and and elf and find an elf body. The team head for the hills and attacked a cave lair of the local batrider clan of goblins. Coping well with the goblins the find a demonic statue which they strip of jewels and smash. The Druids brown bear knocks it over easy. The find a well full of corpses and Pug the sorcerer senses a magic thing. So the priest and the thief go down ready for undead. A shadow attacks but the priest turns it into a corner and the thief flees screaming "dooooom!"

Which panics all the usually reliably henchmen warriors. The druid jumps down to help the priest and the priest is drained dry. The reluctant wizard and sorcerer jump down and burn their fighting spells and kill the horror, as a new one arises from the dead priest Sontag. Luckily the new Shade was weaker than its maker and only lasted a few rounds.

The wizard was heart broken as the other lawful good party member was dead. She is considering converting to chaotic to cope with her peers better. His ogre convert will probably react to the news too. He had just agreed to 70 years of service for his 3 generational crime spree too.

They found an elf sword and some potions, then collected their friends corpse and marched back to town. Also they are all going on 4th level.

Well they survived low level and officially are tough enough for the most horrible city in the world.
Under my rules if they stick to class proficiencies they level up in 3 days of contemplation. Or they can learn exotic cross proficiencies and pay big cash to learn other skills. This will take 3 weeks instead.They will need a teacher or expensive books too. I can see some characters doing different things so id better finish my time to kill tables. I should look for my old thieves world and a RQ2 city table book both using really good city tables.

The druid who learned longsword to use a cold-iron and silver quality sword, now wants to learn to use an elven long bow+1. Recent experiences with goblin archers may have prompted this. The party have a +1 black sabre which never makes a noise and a pre-human elf spear +1 and a short sword defender+1 so several players may choose new weapons. Pug the sorcerer has short bow skills already are deadly, but Ulf the horse archer is better by far as a warrior he should be.

The followers are all uneasy with profit losses, party alignment shifts from recent death and legal trouble will challenge their loyalty. But the main player characters, their pets and new followers should make a survivable team at 4th. I always admired Ars magica for running all parties as magicians with flunkies.

Will be some Space Cthulhu coming soon here soon and ive gone back too doodling my Gamma World universe.....

Thursday 20 September 2012

Upcomming Mayhem

The party enemies have organized! A local posse of angry village folk and some dark elves want revenge. They could be bribed, dealt with or payed off so ill find out what the heroes do tonight.

The Posse
Sherrif Biggs F4
2 Beadles F2
4 Balifs F1
A variable amount of militia men
Clambert the Druid D5 - with his pet possum
Clamberts two wolves
Clamberts Brown Bear
Village Blacksmith F2

Pretty much ready to arrive on players doorstep
A large amount of gold would pay off the sheperd
The Druid wants to duel the Party Druid no matter what
The Blacksmith is outraged if the posse back down and will provoke violence

Dark ElvesAll are sorceror type casters but one is an evil priestess
Elf Magician Lord E5
- Sleep, Charm, Web, Ice Knife
Priestess E7
- Animate dead, Locate Object, Hold Person, Bless, Dark, Hold Portal
Elf Captain E4 - Sleep, Charm Person
Elf Luiteneant E3 - Charm Person
Elf Sergeant E2
12 Elf scouts
10 skeletons
4 giant wasps with goblin riders with short bows who will kidnap any downed foes

The elves want their magic items back and money - they would prefer to bargain than fight. If a deal cant be made the elves will leave - then attack one night with sleep spells, web, arrows and fire.

While the party could fight them both (possibly within same day) consequences will haunt them. There is a forest of dark elves and the local Barron will intervene if a village has all its adventurer class persons killed.

Also - My elves can cast as a wizard, sorcerer, druid or priest depending on their elf type - only choose once. It hasn't caused any problems.They get only cantrips first few levels

Thursday 13 September 2012

Tako octopus faerie folk

Sir Octavius, modestly using only sword and shield - he likes to throw shuriken or the odd spell

Tako make my world a little weirder. I wish i could get the octopus cardboard figs from steve jackson games with armored octo warriors. Id also like to know why they existed while most others were typical DnD creatures...

I revised this post here New version Tako character class

Mysterious octopus race from the Eastern sea claiming dry land

Tako moved en mass to the land after aiding sea elves in a horrible under sea war in the Elder age. In return Land elves offered them some uninhabited land. Tako were only a trickle at first but now are moving on land en mass. Some humans and other races spread lascivious lies about these mostly gentle creatures. Others mock them and resent their growing kingdoms. While a few turn to chaos and evil, most are lawful, practicing their own chivalrous code.

Tako have 8 limbs, 4 are used for walking, for hands four feet, on males one is his reproductive organ which at lv5 can detach find a mate.. These limbs regenerate if cut off and are very tasty. All tako can use all 4 hands for fighting and may use proficiencies to reduce penalties. Could use hands to hold a missile weapon, or two shields (cant use large) or just make 2 2-h weapon attacks or 2 bow attacks. Only live to about 40, some last 60.

-Colour changing skin good for +4 hide or camouflage if not armored, also for Taco sign language
-1d6 less falling damage due to being squishy
-They move 9 or 12 in water – all can swim and breath water
-No prone position, can’t be tripped or knocked over, but can be pushed
-At 10th lv a tako can cast with 2 hands and fight with other two
-Can use 2 sheild and cover different faces
-If scared squirt ink once per day base range 1F/Lv, -4 to hit unarmored head will blind 1d4 rounds
works better in water

Tako Arms                Attack 1     Attack 2    Attack 3      Attack 4
Normal                      -2             -4               -6                -8
& 2-weapons attack   0              -2               -4                -6
& Ambidextrous         0                0               -2               -4

regional breeds
-tree tako have a lichen like skin texture favoring vegetal chamo
-snow tako have fur like texture favoring seasonal colour schemes
-cave tako have stony looking skin favoring earth hues
-sea tako are the standard and can vary in color
-jungle tako are colourful savages who are very passionate
+1 per 1gp spent on conspicuous status symbols like castles, statues, fancy armour and weapons, libraries, public spectacles and festivals glorifying Tako-kind
+100 for aquatic relics, pearls, sunken treasure, finding exotic aquatic places
Double for defeating aquatic enemy species

HD: 1d6
Prime Stat: Dex 
Weapon Proficiences:
3+1/2nd lv  
Non Weapon
: 3+1/2nd lv 
W penalty
: -3  
: 1d6+1/3rd lv
Spell List: Any one
Spell Progression: As Elf, Bard & Tako table
(1 cantrip lv 1, 4 cantrips lv 2, 1st lv1 spell at 3rd etc
+Int bonus Spells)

Saturday 8 September 2012

Against the Elves

So our band of heroes pass into the Blackwood where dark elves from the underworld have been gardening for several thousand years.  Our friendly blood druid decided trade with elves was desirable. Some of the others scoffed but followed his lead. A trumpet shroom set off a signal alerting the elves. Finches warned the party about incoming elves who were swiftly taken down. Then their hidden corporal popped a sleep spell and zonked Ulf, the parties best archer. Too little too late. The elves were tied and questioned. The Druid and the sorcerer Pug set half free and demanded parley. One young dark elf named Blackfoot convinced the heroes he was a traitor and wanted to follow Pug. Anyway a deal was made with a dark elf lieutenant and the party managed to tempt them with offers of gilt baroque pornographic furniture they had previously looted from the manse of the adventurers three. The heroes wanted to buy a license to cross the forest at will.

Blackfoot was sent with them to witness the furniture. Then he told them how the elves would charm and enslave and otherwise betray them. He recommended attacking another clans tree fort. The party was lead to the fort and led to its blind spot. Nick the snake crawled into the kitchen drain and poured a horrible gastro potion into their food supply. When sure the guards morale was shattered the wizard spider climbed onto the topmost branched and helped the rest follow with Nick the thief. They sneaked past the giant wasps on the way and a wizard knock took them to the 4000 year old great hall. It was dusty and disused, but from the ornate doors came smell of drugs and incense and music.

Nick in a good mood offered to sneak in and stab somebody. So in he went. There was some yelling and sounds of a spell. The party burst in to find Nick was charmed. Two high dark elves - one with a black soundless magic sabre and black elven chain. The other a lady with a mace and whip. While they hit the male with every spell and missile possible, Nick back stabbed Ulf the horse archer. While the elf warlock was stunned they poured hate on him. His wife paralyzed the Wizard with a spell. They turned to her and she paralyzed Ulf. The odds were getting worse. While they attacked her again she healed her husband. While they turned back to him she animated undead making 10 skeletons from bodies buried under the floor. At least skeletons only do so much unarmed damage. She healed him again and he was pummeled again. Pug blasted her with a fire shuriken and she dived out the balcony. While the rest whittled down skeletons the Druid tried a last entangle spell. They looted the Elflords armour and sword and loaded up a tensers disc worth of rugs, tapestries and spidersilk fabric, all covered in depraved designs. Some nice candle sticks and a bunch of silver change. They fled and young Blackfoot (only 150) started telling them about other clans they could hit.

Hmmmm thought the Druid, methinks we have been used. They propped up the elflords unconscious body on his throne. The Druid still thinks he can make evil elves respect him.

Back home the group split up again. Sondar the priest, Nick the snake, the Druid and wizard went exploring. They saw the city from afar and saw the famous Wolfwood hunting lodge were the rich come to hunt Unicorns. The guards were rude and taunted the party off. They climbed a mountain and looked over new regions.

There were the great sylvan forests where humans were outlawed to the west passage and the .scrubby hill tribe lands to the north east. They saw the evil swamp wood they had heard of and went to marshwood village. The wizard got talking with some young noble about her illuminated poetry of the parties travel and made many friends. The Druid smoked swamp weed with the local sect who have battled the swamp since the dawn age. The weed from the swamp put you in contact with the swamps evil presence.

They checked out the mountains and met friendly bandits, actually runaways from the city. Not evil rather desperate and selfish they proved pleasant company. Heard many new rumors of local lands.

So they traveled onwards to an unexplored region to the south, past a posse out hunting them. They found a tiny lost kingdom and rescued a baby from some goblins and are just settling into the town, getting to know the new local area.

I am enjoying how some locations hate the party already. The wizard heard the pop of Bloodbeach whaling and sealing harbour is 99% male and refused to go. Also you can smell it a days walk away from all the rendering plants.

While they haven't killed one elf they sure have started something....

Friday 7 September 2012

EMO House Rules Sheet

Yes and proficiencies aplenty but no separate feats or saving throws as I use stats as much as possible. Languages define lots about cultural knowledge a character has. They get native spoken and common spoken plus more from their class. Bards get most but most occupations learn new languages constantly, some being very specific like Druid animal languages or thief gang cant, or even hobo signs. You need to take written and spoken so wizards might have lots or weird written languages, while an illiterate barbarian might speak to many different tribes and humanoids. Druids don't really use written language. Then there alignment languages which are mostly used by otherworldly beings and priests and a few wizards. Priests are the main authority on alignment matters and dont always agree..

You might query my weirdo alignments. Basically you can tick one alignment per column or one tick in one column. Pure cleric style priests acknowledge the whole pantheon of good and evil gods and various abstract philosophical ideals. They follow Alignment philosophy and church or nation edicts, often with cosmological monotheist tendencies. Alignment determine where your souls goes or how it is recycled or not. Priests can join a particular sect at any point worshiping one god and changing his holy power and weapons and other things depending on the cult.

Any way my gods are oriental in character - basically Babylonian-Arcadian-Sumerian as if they lasted into a Byzantine material technology and Carthage never fell. They've  had several meltdowns of their ancient languages and art forms and merging with other barbarian versions of the gods the empire absorbed. But basically their material technology is late roman - 10th century and a few anomalies. Gods have different aspects with different alignments (they are mostly above alignment but have basic tenancies). For example an Ishtar priestess could be a blessed virgin, a gore covered amazon berserk or a criminal prostitute. People of all walks worship some aspect from queen of heaven to bar goddess form. Nergal doesn't just mess shit up, he keeps you safe from calamity and underworld power and lets your enemies suffer plagues and droughts. Priests specializing in one god are usually more mellow and less restrictive than the crusading common clerics.

Alignment seemed one of the most troubling confusion but I like some elements of old Gygax cosmology and decided to make it even more crazy/ With this system you could be just Good, or neutral hood, or balanced evil or neutral neutral or just neutral. The modern game acts like it doesn't know what Moorckock''s chaos vs law is all about. Some might prefer to believe their is a role for chaos and order, then there are those who refuse to deal with that axis of cosmic struggle.

Basically the whole mess is a bit more loose and more good reasons to feud or befriend others. My current player party yet might have some violent trouble as a result. The LG wizard contemplating her naivete and a possible alignment shift as she left the blood druid with an unconscious person. Moral dilemmas will be a frequent feature of the game. Im working up a d1000 curse table to help.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Island Map

 So to keep track they started at Kraken cove, killed the ogre at Green Wood Vale (pop 50) and got a house, went around the forest and currently around the village of Oakfen (pop 500)

.Mostly recap from first post:
So Exile Island or X-Isle is where the fleeing people go. Most have never heard of it. In fact it is where all the empires pirates under letter of marque are based. A filthy anarchist pirate city populated by the scum of the empire (Lv4-6). Crawling with Empire spies and worse. Really the Island is a fragment of the previous world where several pantheons of gods were slaughtered and a universe was destroyed. Ruins of previous Empire occupation have beneath them ruins from the Elder age when Inhuman Monsters ruled. Strange cults and non human races still dwell here. Enchanted forests hide fabulous creatures. The unexplored mountains hide lost tribes, cave men, hidden kingdoms perhaps. The Wild unexplored north coasts have Vikings settlements, trolls and Dwarves. A large Island off the east coast has a giant Volcano leading to the underworld and Tiamat's Lair (Lv 8-12). It maintains a prehistoric ecosystem and the last strongholds of the elder races.

Most of the Island is surrounded by impassable rock walls and difficult to navigate reefs. Only a few ways to land are possible. Foul Skullport is one safe landing but your well being there is unlikely. Blood Beach - the island whalers and sealers town, attracting sharks and making giant stinking clouds from their animal rendering cauldrons. You can land here but actually its worse than skull port. Home to almost all men of the worst types, rejected from ship crews for being too unstable. The north coast has some secret Viking landings which their longships can safley use but empire war galleys cant. The south coast has ruined lighthouses all along the coast. Fishing villagers of desperate inbred cultists dot the south coast.

The forest above Marshwood village is an evil sentient swamp, where a chaos god bled into the earth. Above that is a stretch of mountains where old way tribes and goblinoids and orcs battle for supremacy. Ruins abound too. The hidden lands are a giant Sylvian woodland where elves, goblins, werewolves and unicorns play. Woolfwood Lodge is one of the most famous hunter fraternities in the world and nobles from across the world come here for the deadliest game. Wizards come here looking for exotic ingredients, and even villagers poke around for healing unicorn truffles (aka poop). A very dangerous borderland where humans are not welcome.

Quick Session

Quick catch up session with a few players

I lost the Wizards character sheet and party treasure list which I haven’t done in a very long time
as carolina is a newish player I let her remake her character and was fairly generous

Let players roll on dungenesque & grotesque catch up tables and carousing table to Leval up

So the Druid and the Wizard had a Solo apiece in the Village

The druid had an affair with the blacksmiths wife. He said the blacksmith should be grateful but the blacksmith wants to kill him. She was hoping druid would run away with her. While hiding in his bear cave he met a famous mad wizard who mysteriously liked him and flesh sculpted his face to be more attractive and less recognizable.

The wizard was hired to cast a few spells by a passing noble and was paid with some art and given an address in the city to visit which impressed everyone. The city pretty much has a sign: you must be at least 4th level to enter. While carousing she offended the local sheriff when attempting to entertain the rednecks with tales of her decadent court life in the tower of birds back home. She managed to avoid trouble but the sheriff pretty much has it in for the party.

So having pissed off lots of townsfolk they went to look for their thief. With his old poor clothes for a scent the druids mangy wolf tracked back to the tavern. While the druid went in the front, blasted the tavern with a gust of wind and had a few beers. The second beer was poison but he didnt notice. Meanwhile the wizard and the wolf went out back. She opened the beer cellar padlock with a knock and went in. The wolf got very excited about one barrel but she couldn't find the secret latch. Meanwhile the Druid waved a bag of gold and asked to see the cellar. The barkeep took him down and the while reaching for the snake wine, the Druid tried to ambush the barkeep. At this moment the previously dim barkeep stopped acting and skillfully fast drew a knife. As they battled (the Druid using his new sword and sickle combo), the wolf and wizard came out of hiding and surprised the barkeep. The wolf tore a foot long shred of flesh from the barkeeps belly and a chromatic orb stunned him. They pummeled him into unconsciousness and the Druid grabbed the snake wine while the wizard found the barrel secret door. The theif was bound gagged at 0 HP and black and blue all over. Their missing jewels, some torture tools and a badge of the City Barron secret police were also found. The heroes fled, the wizard taking the nice padlock too. While the wizard and the wolf dragged out the thief, the druid collected the barkeeps blood in his bowl to thank the forest with.

So will play again on Sat. Now they've alienated the whole village and possibly the Barron. The party are committed to dark elf hunting in the black forest rather than go to the kobold mine. A posse will be hunting them now. The black woods could either provide a fast route to the nice village or to worse trouble.

Its pretty clear to all now the druid is mad and his advice is actually only for his blood crazed interests. He is pretty keen to start driving back civilization. He has heard rumors of his original cult in the north which he is keen to visit. His own sect were a much watered down and hidden one in the empire (currently outlawed). Finding the old school blood druids is his dream. The druid has befriended some birds too, to follow his wolf and act as a messenger. A pet wolf is a pretty good ranger - this one is extra scary looking. The local Druid will probably be pissed off at the heroes and come looking for a duel.

The wizard has explored her former life as a bird loving air school wizard from the court of the empire. The masters of the tower of birds all have birds heads (at least in teaching hours). I’ve allowed her summon monster and swarm spells to summon birds, so she is hoping to fly about on a giant owl soon and menace enemies with a cloud of Galapagos vampire finches.

My language lists and proficiencies have worked well giving everybody lots to do and making interesting teamwork. Now the party is going on 3rd lv and has some feet in the world, I can probably start making some of their NPCs leave. So they can have the fun of recruiting and maintaining a shield wall of followers. The original NPCs will be good contacts in the future when they meet again later.


I’ve considered that as monster and gang graffiti is such a useful source of information, perhaps it needs a skill (Graffiti Lore) or a language slot (Gang Signs). Allows the interpretation of unauthorized marks on walls to assess local gang activity, political activity and a communities unwholesome interest in sex, drugs and scandal. It could be used to "cap" monster or gang graffiti to assert your dominion of a territory or could be used to fake other styles and trigger inter gang violence. Understand how to make crude home made art implements and paint.

I can see teen Kobolds now, rolling the local store for jars of paint to draw dicks on the church murals.

Some monsters probably do this with scent all the time but humans never have a clue. Standard language for any scent mark making species. Druid shape shifters would probably get this. Druids could learn Scent Marks as a non spoken language. Knowing what top animals turf is, what species in area, males, females, state of arousal, health and age of animal. Its kind of common for many animals. Druid could brew up animal scents for hunting, false trails or to make animals attack someone (deer attack hunters misusing their scent). Pee of course is the golden ingredient here. The druid will probably grow territorial himself, considering every toilet stop a chance to mark turf. He snorts at people taking a dump just anywhere in the Forrest.