Sunday 31 January 2016

d100 whats in a hobgoblins war trunk

Had requests for Paetron and PDFs of late which i will look into when i move. I always wanted do do a number of my dungeon zone books (redbrick one mostly done but i haven't touched it for a year - also most of a Gothic and goblin mine one). Editing rally my biggest bug - i had volunteers but i wasnt even happy with my draft too pass on to others. I even have some commissioned art but getting this late was a big discouragement. One piece I waited 2 years for something that didn't follow brief. Still when i can afford it I know lots of amazing out of work artists who's politics have ruined their careers. I'm happy to work with and be friends with ppl who disagree as long as they don't hate and blame women or other races for their problems. I mostly feel sorry for conspiritards especially when you can see it makes them more powerless and ruins their lives.

While I consider the monster manual versions i like the wikepedia monster descriptions too.

Hobgoblins are the bigger more aggressive and warlike big brothers of goblins. While more serious and disciplined they are still goblins, prone to mischief and tantrums. While more disciplined and brave they can be provoked by insults. At best they are hard working labourers, good at digging, tree felling and carrying loads.
 At worst they are cruel and vindictive. Less skilled at agriculture than goblins but alright gardenersYou might hire them as farm workers but mind your tongue. Elites use heavy plate armour and halberds. Alone they are more wiling to talk and be recruited. En mass they conform. While their martial order might seem lawful they are more willing to disobey orders on battlefield if angry or overconfident. While goblins enjoy subterranean life hobgoblins prefer rural living. When not fighting and working they relax with stories, jokes, saucy poems and games. While a bit rough they can be more fun and cultured than orcs. Hobgoblins ar more likley to have individual hobbies and collections than orcs.

Hobgoblins carry trunks with them and these are the kinds of things they store in them.

d100 whats in a hobgoblins war trunk

01 Dead goblin with chewed fingers and expression of dispair
02 Collection of hobnail war boots

03 Thick studded leather belts and harnesses
04 Collection of helmets from other species
05 Collection of skulls from various animals and humanoids
06 Trowel, watering can, seeds and bulbs
07 Blood stained work clothes
08 Sack of straw for animal feed, bedding or pillow
09 Bedroll and tent
10 Tin cup, plate, bowl and spoon

11 Cast iron pot with lid and wooden spoon
12 Bags of different types of beans

13 Bag of onions or garlic
14 Dried mystery meat
15 Dried mushrooms
16 Pipe with exotic dried weed and fungus
17 Ceramic pots and plates wrapped in hessian bags
18 Collection of sacks and bags
19 Collection of rope, string and twine
20 Dried and salted fish
21 Bags of nuts and berries
22 A live hornet nest in a sack
23 A pot of slippery oil for tricks and traps
24 Collection of brushes
25 Wooden dentures stolen from someone
26 Collection of left or right socks
27 Collection of gloves and gauntlets
28 Collection of stolen beards
29 Collection of doorknobs and novelty knockers
30 Sack of goose or duck feathers
31 Knitting needles, yarn and incomplete projects
32 Collection of stolen children's dolls with tea set
33 Broken cogs and winches from siege weapons
34 Wood carving tools, several incomplete projects and good wood
35 Leather working tools, several incomplete projects and hide
36 Copper bucket, hops, yeast, large spoon, roasted barley for brewing
37 Dozens of empty ceramic bottles
38 Collection of cooking pots, cutlery and 
39 Strange cult robes or costume, idol and holy symbol
40 Collection of sheep or goat horns and deer antler
41 Roasted acorns
42 Dried eels
43 Hatchet, spool of twine and bundle of firewood
44 Jar of ointment for boils
45 Sack of blood and bone for garden
46 Bundle of pulleys and rope
47 Blacksmith hammer, tongs, small anvil and iron ingots
48 Old armour saved to give to kids
49 Donkey head with surprised look
50 Dog hides
51 Manacled goblin slave 
52 Mushroom compost with sprouting shrooms
53 Nail clippers and collection of nail clippings
54 Collection of ear wax, some moulded into stinky candles
55 Set of files for wood and metal work
56 Clay bottle of potent distilled grog
57 Tarnished copper coins from far of places and long gone kingdoms
58 Maps of hobgoblin hidden camps
59 Maps of goblin villages, caves and hidey-holes
60 Map of human villages worth robbing
61 Pickled elf or dwarf head
62 Slave contracts of family goblin serfs
63 Sleeping goblin baby wrapped in cloth with nappies and bottle
64 Spinning top, leather ball, cup and ball and other toys
65 Musical instruments d4 1=drums 2=horns 3=flutes 4=cymbals
66 Obscene set of prints banned in the city
67 Strings of clay, wood and bone beads and trinkets
68 Heads off ancient statues and idols
69 A tavern or shop sign
70 Clay jars of house paint and brushes
71 Pewter or horn beer stein with lid
72 Ceramic beer steins with erotic relief art with articulated breasts
73 Jars of vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves and pickling clay jars
74 Block of rendered lard wrapped in cloth
75 Bacon bones for stew
76 Goblin to orc phrasebook of insults
77 Sack of chicken heads
78 Taxidermy tools and stuffed squirrels and rabbits and rats
79 Tattered playing cards, bone dice, and box of clay tokens
80 Incomprehensible goblinoid board game
81 Set of 2d20 four inch carved wooden soldiers in box
82 Rolled up old rugs
83 A slightly soiled potty
84 Collection of stolen love letters 
85 Collection of saucy poems in hobgoblin with quill and ink
86 Lewd statuette of hobgoblin prostitute
87 Collection of insects pinned on cork inside box
88 Honeycomb wrapped in cloth
89 Bottle of good mead
90 Urn with parents ashes
91 Collection of hats stolen over many years
92 Pots containing tree resins with various craft uses
93 Collection of dog collars and bones
94 Box of military iron rations 
95 Box of biscuits
96 Small keg of molasses 
97 Crude portraits on wood panels and tin of art paints and brushes
98 Goat fur leggings for ceremonies or cold
99 Whips, manacles and slave branding irons 
100 Fancy outfits stolen from human dandy

Saturday 30 January 2016

d100 whats in a orcs satchel

Im still stumped on my magic farm animal tables so more stuff from my goblin mine sourcebook to do list.
Orcs are a young race kin to humans, elves and goblinoids but a product of gods and wizards. Mostly live to fight and plunder preferring hunting and theft for food. Gathering wild food like grubs and fungi is tolerable but they would prefer to eat a humanoid than look for low food. Most orcs travel light and carry everything with them in a warband.

100 whats in a orcs satchel
01 Severed human hands 
02 A wolf pelt with head attached
03 A war horn 
04 A small iron cooking pot or fry pan with lid
05 A bag of large white wiggling grubs
06 A bag of 2d6 live rats
07 A bag of old turnips
08 A lump of horseradish root
09 A knuckleduster
10 A bullwhip

11 A stone dagger
12 A obsidian amulet with a evil beings insignia

13 A jar of pickled eyeballs  
14 Bag of d6 dried salted fish
15 Bag of dried mushrooms
16 Sealed pot of weak beer
17 Length of rope
18 Length of chain
19 Bundle of 2d6 torches
20 Bundle of 2d6 candles
21 A brass or clay hand lantern
22 Flints for cutting and starting fires
23 Crystal or flawed gem with carved into eye
24 A boar tusk
25 Haunch of wild boar, bear or dog
26 Rivets and hammer for repairing armour
27 Skin of stale water
28 Jar of maggots for fishing or first aid
29 Unholy symbol
30 Bottle of unholy water
31 Skull of friend or kin
32 Roll of bark with evil sigils painted on
33 Pack of hide buiscuit rations, add water for horrible stew
34 Stolen groats
35 Wooden bowl and spoon
36 Gourd full of edible seeds
37 Bag of onions 
38 Elf undergarments folded neatly
39 Crude map of area with troop movements
40 Bag of dried broad beans
41 Bowl of birds eggs
42 Hammer and nails
43 Crude hatchet
44 Wooden mallet and chisel
45 Short trench spade
46 Grubby bandages from torn human clothes
47 Elf bone, usually femur or  
48 Dried squashed faerie
49 Finger with a ring stuck on
50 Large beetle in in tiny wooden cage
51 Manacles
52 Long rag used as blindfold or gag
53 Bag of poison berries (well to humans)
54 Bag of crab apples
55 Bird or fishing net
56 Bundle of reeds good for weaving into various tools
57 Skinner's cutting and scraping flint tools
58 Bag of coal
59 Bag of saltpeter
60 Bag of sulphur 
61 Cast iron black powder hand grenade with fuse
62 Black powder land mine requires smouldering coals to work
63 Demolition breaching mine for destroying doors
64 Incendiary fluid with fuse in clay pot
65 Irritant gas bomb in clay pot with fuse
66 Smoke bomb in clay pot with fuse
67 Bag of sacks
68 Brick mould for emergency building projects
69 Handful of black powder in small leather bag
70 Box of 2d6 crude hand made matches
71 Weak d4 healing potion or pill, causes diarrhea 
72 Messenger bat in small cage
73 Bag of 4d6 arrow heads in flint or iron
74 Ear ring with ear attached
75 Powdered stimulant to aid marching and guard duty
76 Body paint, various colours even glowing available
77 Brass door hinges pilfered from someone
78 Brass tap pilfered from someone
79 Live door mouse sealed in clay pot for fattening
80 Tortoise tied in string for later eating
81 Fake quack shaman medicine d4 1=hair restorer 2=healing 3=strength 4=love potion
82 Tooth pulling pliers, bloody rags and some horrible teeth
83 Carved boar tusk with lid for keeping things in
84 Tattoo needles and squid ink
85 Angry gremlin in bottle good for sabotage
86 Hair oil, bone comb and collection of nose rings
87 Piglet in a sack operated on to stop squealing 
88 Bag of bogweed and pipe, makes users irritable
89 A palm sized demon or devil idol
90 A stone with a long forgotten wizard mark 
91 A elven ring that reminds them of shameful old life before conversion
92 A collection of a d6+1 looted crude weapons
93 Quiver of 2d6 arrows with flammable pitch heads
94 Quiver of 1d6 arrows with crescent heads for cutting flags, banners or ropes
95 Quiver of 2d6 arrows with disease tainted heads
96 A string of 3d4 mystery sausages
97 Dried sheet of skin with interesting tattoos
98 Small bundle of firewood
99 Bag of dried animal dung for making smelly fires or dodgy first aid
100 A crude signal rocket provided by former masters

Friday 29 January 2016

d100 whats in a bugbears backpack

So post xmas had work cut, evicted, lost pension benefits without being informed, and generally coping poorly. Possibly moving to Canberra for a fresh start as working 4 or 5 jobs on call and varying rosters too hard and rent too close to benefits to be able to live if i get worse. Working through a list of stuff to help myself but here is a quickie for bugbear bags. One project after i move is to scan 32 years of gaming notes, journals and drawings so i can throw them out which should give me a few meters of space.

Bugbears are the mightiest of goblioids and en mass or by ambush scary into high levels. Solitary ones enjoy head hunting and scaring people for fun. Groups are often elite goblinoid special forces. Parents warn children about bugbears who delight in kidnapping and acting like bogeymen. While they dont mind eating kids they prefer to traumatise them for life. Other practical jokes and home invasions like getting under a child's bed or pooping in a farmers boots are a test of their sneaking skills and earn them honour. They get prestige from best joke stories around the clan hearth.

d100 whats in a bugbears backpack
01 Collection of shrunken heads
02 Pickled head in jar, pot or small barrel
03 Ear necklace
04 Head cheese - compressed preserved head sliced for sandwiches
05 Collection of garrotes
06 Collection of teeth
07 Bottles of hair dye to keep looking young
08 Ceramic jar of pickled d6 1=fingers 2=cabbage 3=radish 4=eggs 
09 Flayed and oiled human skin to keep of rain or scare people
10 Scalp collection

11 Bag of toenail clipping useful in afterlife to build boats to cross the Styx
12 Collection of used bandages

13 Dried dead rats for stew stock
14 Jar of leeches for first aid
15 Iron fire poker
16 Iron slave brand
17 Length of chain and leg irons or manacles
18 Whetstone and oil for sharpening blades
19 Tinderbox and human tallow candles
20 Bone needles and woven hair thread
21 Bone fishing hooks and line
22 Jellied eel or lampreys in jar
23 Pipe and dried mushrooms
24 Soap made from human tallow
25 Jar of animal urine for hunting or jokes
26 Bag of catnip and rolling papers for smoking
27 Gremlin in a jar
28 Scented oil to drive away fleas
29 Dried children's bones for toothpicks or snacks
30 Jack O Lanterns and candle
31 Bitter melons
32 Bag of mushrooms
33 Chunks of mystery dried meat
34 Jar full of honey
35 Jar full of hallucinogenic fever inducing honey
36 Henbane and other mild ingested poison 
37 Jar of fermented feces, urine and blood for coating weapons
38 A chewed up dead young goat
39 Necklace of children's skulls
40 A drugged stolen sleeping baby being kept for later
41 Jar of toxic salt for preserving skins
42 Bag of unwashed socks
43 Crude ancestral miniature of ancestor
44 Collection of mercenary contracts from many different races
45 Cat O Nine Tails or bullwhip
46 Bundle of darts
47 A giants toenail
48 Shaving kit
49 Collection of cheap necklaces
50 Leather bag of loose change
51 Treasure map 
52 Collection of pretty rocks
53 Pickled wizards tongue
54 Blood sausage
55 Fragment of statue
56 Demonic cult medallion
57 Camouflage cloak covered in dead leaves and dirt
58 Blowpipe, darts and 
59 Bone whistle makes scary noises
60 Horn for signalling
61 Drum with human skin
62 Fat 40lb bugbear baby, indignant but quiet
63 Musk attractive to bugbears seeking love
64 Exotic coins from underland
65 Troglodyte musk glands fermented in sealed pot
66 Bottle of terrible bugbear grog
67 Skin of fermented hog milk
68 Dried bats or stirge
69 Huge eggshell containing wine
70 Human skull oil lamp
71 Stolen children's toys
72 Bag of dried barley
73 Fancy grog d4 1=dark elf wine 2=dwarf brandy 3=hobbit beer 4=spiced rum
74 Bottle of phosphorescent slime good for making scary decoys
75 Bag of sawdust
76 Stinking flea ridden bedroll
77 Length of woven bugbear hair rope
78 Wooden mallet and iron spikes
79 Wooden clogs
80 Nail polish
81 Dented pewter tankard
82 Cooks clever
83 Thieves tools set
84 Bear or fox trap
85 Length of twine for fishing or traps 
86 White sheet with eye holes for ghost impersonations
87 Black soot makeup for recon missions 
88 Slingshot
89 Bag of huge thorns for traps and torture
90 Bag of dried beans
91 Bag of onions or garlic
92 Loaf of bread with mice cooked in it for flavour
93 Plush bugbear toy for kids back home
94 Bag of children's clothes or nappies
95 Crude wooden mask
96 Carved wooden ladle and birch bark cooking pot
97 Winter fur cape
98 Sealed bag of bedbugs or fleas
99 Ring of keys from past guard jobs
100 Bagged and gagged kobold or goblin slave

Thursday 21 January 2016

d100 Strange Wells

Been making a d100 magic animals but found part of this in notebook and got kids on field trip to help me. Popped out pretty quick. I have gained enough hours at work to stay in town so looking for affordable rent space where i can paint and make art. If not I will move to canberra where a buddy has a house and garage. Had so much fun last sun gaming will squeeze in another BRP sunday of Roadwar and Cthulhu Rome. Got a few more minis and toys too. Ran my Zombie Rush game with kids and have fairly well worked out now so will post sometime.

Most commoners hav sayings like "if the waters good dont ask" or "only a fool questions a good thing". Commoners avoid murder hobo traits like curiosity and seldom look in a well unless a child falls in.

d10 Well Shaft Type

01 A hole in the earth hidden to most by rocks or grass muddy and narrow
02 A crude carved hole in the stone cramped and winding hidden by rocks
03 A sinkhole entering into possible cave complex and ancient remains
04 A clean shaft into earth with cleared space around it in open
05 A smoothly carved stone shaft with chiseled hand holds in stone or ladder
06 A square shaft lined with crude stones which increasingly become slimier
07 A shaft of neatly carved stone blocks fitted with great precision
08 A brick lined shaft with a rusty iron staple ladder going into depths 
09 A slime covered winding shaft caked in living matter surrounded by mud
10 Perfectly smooth shaft in obsidian, cleared area around it and shaft marked with sigils

d10 Fittings

01 None - bare and primative, BYO rope, bucket etc
02 Rope with crude bucket tied to rock
03 Wooden lid with padlock, rope and bucket inside
04 Iron bars locked with chain and bucket
05 A shadoof with irrigation ditch leading to fields or a catchment pond
06 Wooden hut with rope winch and bucket
07 Crude stone shelter with rope and bucket
08 Old fountain with statue, a hand cranked pump, iron bars cover well
09 Well dressed carved stone bricks with chain winch and bucket
10 Carved stone shrine visited by pilgrims, chain and bucket

d10 Water

01 A shallow dirty pool
02 A rapid flowing subterranean stream
03 A underground river
04 A deep dark pool
05 Ancient stone cistern
06 Slimy contaminated pool
07 Muddy puddle but water regular and can be filtered
08 Swirling pool of churning foaming water
09 Sweet pool of clear water seeping through rocks
10 Slightly magical well, sparkling, glowing or weird colour 

d10 Whats below?

01 Small cramped chamber
02 A natural grotto covered in calcium formations
03 A series of caves with d5 chambers
04 A complex of caves d10+2 chambers
05 Cavern complex connected to local dungeons
06 Cavern complex connected to local subterranean underland
07 Winding cramped root filled passages
08 Man made complex d4+2 chambers  d4 1=cellar 2=tomb 3=hideout 4=shrine
09 Man made complex d10+2 chambers d4 1=granary 2=temple 3=dungeon 4=armoury
10 Complete dungeon complex

d10 Quick contents
01 Rubbish and remains
02 Vermin horrors
03 Ancient caves and ruins
04 Hideout 
05 Humanoids and demihumans
06 Monsters
07 Haunted
08 Magic
09 Cursed
10 Weird

d100 Well Features
01 Strewn with garbage, broken tools and mud
02 Garbage and sacrificial animal bones
03 Remains of animal bones and human sacrifices 
04 Remains of murder victims and unwanted children
05 Children in hiding from cruel family, disaster, cult or slavers 
06 Homeless hobos hiding from local thugs and landlords
07 Hermit living in solitude to meditate
08 Thousands of corroded copper coins from well wishers
09 Thousands of broken pots and bottles with some intact
10 Pots of chemicals and reject potions dumped by alchemists servants

11 Hundreds of rats crawling everywhere possibly some giant ones
12 Filled with cobwebs and huge spiders, possibly a giant one or two

13 A huge snapping turtle trapped here and always hungry
14 Crawling with snakes, some huge and venomous
15 Lizards crawling everywhere possibly a giant one like a gecko or cave lizard 
16 Carnivorous ripper fish swarm, biting and hold on to prey
17 Gigantic frog king and hordes of fist sized followers that croak loudly at night
18 Scorpions crawling about possibly a giant one
19 Giant centipedes possibly some huge and gigantic specimens
20 Aquatic carnivorous insect larvae possibly parents like giant dragonflies near by
21 A ancient druid cave shrine with delightful grotto hidden from humanity
22 A shrine with a elderly hermit caretaker seeking a place of solace 
23 A gallery of stone age paintings and mud sculpture, with ancient animal remains 
24 A secret cult shrine possibly still used, often cursed and possibly with treasure 
25 A crypt hidden here long ago 1in6 defiled with undead
26 A secret jail cell with remains of prisoner from long ago
27 A tarpit with remains of ancient animals possibly a few tar infused undead animals
28 Remains of a dilapidated lost temple to some forgotten god
29 Ruined remains of lost civilization with cyclopean rocks and sigils covered in rubble
30 A geothermal pool bubbling cozily, used by ancients as bath and steam room 
31 Gang of bandits hideout with secret entries to surface
32 Gang of thieves hideout for loot and members needing to be hidden
33 Band of inbred cannibals live here occasionally kidnapping surface folk 
34 Band of homeless murder hobos live here to keep loot safe 
35 Adventurers hidden base in here to keep loot safe
36 Wanted criminals hiding here till hunt for them blows off
37 Serial killers live here with collections of human skins and bones
38 A guild use as a secret store room with possible secret entry to local business
39 A witch coven meets and hides here from the patriarchy
40 A magician hides here from the mob 
41 A gang of kobolds building stuff like waterwheels, traps and nests
42 A goblin garden cult have planted food and medicinal fungi
43 Hobgoblins lair here, robbing and stealing by night
44 Bugbears family home, like to creep about by night scaring people especialy kids and oldies
45 Orc bandits lurk here by daylight hours 
46 Dwarves live here with pets and sound proof workshop
47 Elves lurk here d4 1=exiles 2=spies 3=refugees 4=always lived here 
48 Hobbits live here crafting and gorging and possibly theiving
49 Gnomes clan live here operating a d4 1=workshop 2=general store 3=farm 4=alchemy lab
50 Monstrous humanoid lair d4 1=ogre 2=troll 3=stoopid giant or ettin or cyclops 4=formarian
51 An ancient golem commanded to guard well chamber aeons ago
52 A long trapped albino dinosaur placed here by lizard men, some are undead fossils 
53 Dragon with stunted wings and serpentine features, injured and thrown down well as hatchling
54 Gargoyle guardians hidden among stalactites guarding a mysterious calcified door
55 Lycanthrope lair to cover up murder sprees also to keep clothing, treasure and victim bodies 
56 A stone sealed box with a basilisk or cockatrice inside, if escapes will poison well and area
57 A tentacled well kraken horror planted by cultists long ago, mostly it hibernates in hiding
58 A great underground worm or burrowing bug nests here
59 Monstrous bat creatures like giant vampire bats or doombats lair with thousands of ordinary bats
60 Giant albino freshwater crayfish with impressive pincers nips and eats travellers 
61 A sinister old hag or witch dwell here with her pets, adopted children or sisters
62 A ghost, spectre or phantom hovers over the remains of corpse or sarcophagi
63 Piles of human corpses if disturbed arise as zombies, possibly of a superior kind left by a cult
64 Piles of human bones if disturbed arise as skeletons, guarding some ancient necromancer trinket
65 Pits where ghouls sleep by day before nocturnal feasts, defend lair to death if awakened
66 Phantoms reenact their glory days repeatably, ignoring the living
67 A poltergeist spirit where a angry murder victim was dumped 
68 A petty demon or devil lairs here trying to spread local evil and influence (possibly imp or quasit)
69 Mummy crypt from prehistory intered here, keen to murder intruders
70 Withered corpses frozen in agony distract intruders while the unliving shadows arise and ambush
71 Sorcerers lair with dug gen and stoned followers seeking thrills and enlightenment
72 Wizard who moved here for privacy long ago studies here with aprentices
73 Priest guards this spot 1=sacred site 2=holy grave 3=cult treasure hole 4=remains of ancient evil
74 Druid cult meet here and gods demand intruders are sacrificed
75 Necromancer lair with exotic assembled hybrid undead, master might be living dead
76 Summoners lair with animal cages and mystic circles carved into stone floor
77 Elementalist lair with summoning sigils carved into ground and elemental beast guardians
78 Evil sect of spell users meeting lodge with magical guardians
79 Alchemist lair with laboratory, a great monster awaits unborn inside a huge glass apparatus
80 Tribal shaman with guardian and ancestral spirits lairs here since clan was destroyed long ago
81 A hiding spot for a long lost evil relic or magical item forgotten from minds of mortals
82 A temple of a prehuman primordial god of darkness, a guardian lurks for unwary 
83 Doorway sealing a great evil away, tempting voices and illusions bid intruders open the door
84 Strange archway d4 1=class swap 2=gender swap 3=race swap 4=turns you into a monster 
85 Bizarre archway d4 1=alignment change 2=teleporter 3=turn you undead 4=time travel
86 Relic drains magic items, imprisoned in stone mostly and difficult to remove and has a guardian
87 Pool, mirror or crystal ball that allows you to commune with a evil lost god
88 Evil relic used by infamous antihero in past, only works for evil and difficult to destroy
89 Pool of bubbling primal chaos guarded by oozes mutates those who touch it
90 Evil talking relic is imprisoned here will give bad advice and tell half truths to create problems
91 Underground casino operated by locals or non human
92 Goblin market selling strange shrooms and petty magic
93 Hidden monastery where monks train in secret fighting arts 
94 A long forgotten lab with preserved brains and other organs in jars
95 A magical being asleep since dawn times d4 1=titan 2=sphynx 3=dragon 4=angel
96 Healing magical spring hidden from main water source
97 Magical fountain with strange properties
98 Being asleep since dawn times d6 1=titan 2=sphynx 3=dragon 4=angel 5=elder god 6=
99 Spirit or dragon appointed to control local weather by heaven
100 Dimensional gateway with other planar guard 

Saturday 16 January 2016

Roadwar Game pix

Have to move house and get new job double whammy - considering moving state
So gaming will suffer sorry folks

Saturday 9 January 2016

Black Science - Notes for a Cthulhu Superhumans RPG

A New Aeon of Black Science 
A setting for more than human investigators against the forces of dark alien science. This is something with my psychic rules I once thought i would write up as a monograph or game book years ago. Thought I would drag it out here. I could be convinced to run this or write a proper sourcebook or show my mechanics I guess. Possibly bits written on commodore Amiga on 3"floppy.

IntroductionWelcome to the world of black science. Where things walk among men that ought not to have. Where secretive cutting-edge science is just a pawn of alien gods and their unfathomable goals. Where with great power comes an even greater price. Where a bright spark in the infinite darkness can offer humanity a brief respite.
Call of cthulhu, basic Role playing and Superworld mash up pretty well and there were mag published superworld adventures with Dholes (where i dropped light artillery from orbit on them thanks to broken falling damage rules. I played a bit of superworld and it was probably my first BRP game and I quickly preferred it to Champions. I think now I would get rid of point system and have lists of created powers set at different levels and linked to origins. Once I got into TSR Advanced  Marvel Superheroes I never went back but the point of my Black Science Setting would be horror and fragility which BRP does well. Would fit into Laundry setting too. The pulp setting for CoC which never came out probably has some overlap. Zenith comic by Grant Morrison was awesome. Plenty of HPL in DC and Marvel long before he was cool.

In this setting the government know about they Mythos but keep it under wraps. Dozens of cults around the world have been wiped out but children taken from cults have been raised by agents. Many are tested for inhuman abilities but some cases have avoided screening despite best efforts so the subjects are monitored for life and even used as cultist bait. There are other background types but initially would start all off as cult kid hybrids being sent with handlers under false pretenses into former mythos areas to see if subjects react. Handlers may be required to kill subjects gone out of control.

My Inspirations for all thisPart of this evolved from having run several extended Coc campaigns which left the party with high sanity scores, artifacts aplenty, money and self published spell books for dummies in their secret clubhouse. They ran bootleg hooch through a gate from Boston to England (using donkeys to pass through the gate to minimize sanity loss). They had a lethal arsenal of mausers, trench guns, browning automatic rifles and tommy guns. A gangster character had never read a mythos tome yet had his many teachers had mastered and passed onto him every binding and banishment spell before going themselves went mad. At one point on their voyage to Ralyeh, I had them battle the many characters who had become monsters and madmen over the years. This kind of resembled a superheroic battle scene. With star vampires, byakee and creatures which had once been investigators. With shotguns loaded with elder sign slugs and powder of ibn ghazi. Even a great race lightning gun. When enough investigators survive long enough they will often amass enough firepower, magic and worldly resources to terrify any state authorities. Part of this campaign book is to provide the next leval of challenges for such campaigns.

Once every one knows all the basic monsters and methodology of 1920s terrorism standard CoC loses it's zing a bit.

My other inspiration came from my first Coc Keeper (Justin or Spike)who let players be psychic or a vampire (or even blind on one occasion) and managed to make every player regret it. It’s hard on sanity when you sense otherworldly beings nobody else can. Or you can see a grisly murder performed on site decades ago. Or you are contacted by a lost god from beneath a lake. One player thought it would be cool to be a vampire until his SAN diminished and he couldn’t help but brutally murder humans. This left dangerous red herrings for his teammates for a while. Fate whittled down his sanity till he had to be put down by his former friends, after he killed his own family. Still the star that burns twice as bright but half as long can be entertaining to play.

Lovecraft versus the SuperhumansMainstream superhero comics have elements of the Cthulhu Mythos. These comics were fueled by ideas in found in Amazing Stories and Weird Tales and other pulp periodicals. Older comic universes like DC and Marvel have many ideas inspired by pre WW2 pulp. Thus you see Marvel and DC include elements such as primordial continents and lost civilizations inspired by other mythos writers such as clack Ashton Smith and Robert E Howard. Dr Strange and Dr Fate battle supernatural horrors best left imprisoned aeons ago. X-men have battled demons trapped under stone circles. While Magneto for a time lived in a sunken alien city he raised from the ocean floor with his powers.

The Wild cards shared world novella series feature many mythos like elements from the Egyptian freemasons to the star faring Tiamat organism hidden in space and raining monsters down on the earth.

Hellboy straddles the world of supernatural horror and superheroes also with a rich mixture of history and mythology. Although few Dark Science players would trust a fishboy amid their ranks.

More esoteric comics dealing with the supernatural have become all too common from Hellblazer to swamp thing to Sandman thanks to UK writers. The English 2000AD comics featured likewise many Mythos inspired demons and aliens.

Writer Grant Morrison is especially noteworthy. The Invisibles featured a unique and esoteric view of the modern occult adventurer who occasionally deal with mythos like phenomena. His other noteworthy effort in this genre was of particular inspiration: Zenith – a serial story from 2000AD in the 80s.

In Zenith the superhumans were byproducts of the Thule society plot to breed host bodies for alien gods from other dimensions. The British gained German secrets and produced their own. The series deal with Zenith – a spoiled media darling and brat who is forced to confront his parents disappearance and battle the god Iok Sottoth. Eventually this leads to a multiversal war where heroes destroy whole universes to stop the old ones. Eventually it is revealed the former heroes of yesteryear were even more intimate with the elder gods than earlier imagined. Morrison mixes history, pop culture and the occult in a manner comparable to HP Lovecraft. Mixing elements of Nazi occult history with pop conspiracy created a mythic authenticity to his project of creating a unique English super hero strip.

Explorers of black science – more than human

Most Coc campaigns feature frail and vulnerable heroes alone in the dark. But there are a few mythos characters which could fit in quite well. Brian Lumley’s Titus Crow, August Derlith’s Dr Shrewsbury and Lovecraft’s Dreamer. These men acted without the mind destroying shock of the supernatural and even called on powers beyond the ken on mortal men against the mythos. The tone of Derleths Mythos is different to lovecrafts and traditional Coc (calling apon Byakee to fly to alien planets and Nuking Cthulhu is pretty hardcore). Lumley has organised humans who fight back and have many resources to call on like psychics and elder sighns.  Ceramic elder sign shotgun slugs anyone?

While many superhuman settings emphasize heroism, action and optimism aplenty this one doesn’t. Anyone who has real powers is either a product of alien black science or is abnormally open to the other dimensions they occupy. Conspiracies, cults and the government will hunt them to study and exploit them. Otherworldly beings seek to devour their godlike flesh or use them as hosts or worse. If the public even know they exist then they hate and fear them. Others fawn before them like worshipers before false idols – the masses swooning before state manufactured superstars.

Everyone expects super humans to be angels or devils, but not human.

Beings of more than human power may seem like the wonders of recent DNA technology but extraordinary men dwelled in primordial ages before recorded civilization. Have scientists just been duped to recreate the prehistoric order by hidden forces. Various sorcerers like Eibon have their traveled to other worlds, some even like other of Clark Ashton Smith’s heroes may travel in time or be immortal. Howard had Eternal champions and flashbacks to primordial prior incarnations. Fragments of this ancient world of sorcerers and supernatural near humans from time to time pierce the veil of time and haunt the super humans of today.

Investigators with powers will be more focused on survival and self interest than saving the world for its own sake. super humans cant ignore that mythos and state forces will take an interest in them. You cant stop the monsters that lurk beyond the veil of sanity but you can make life harder for them and protect yourself. On a good day you can save the world too.

While intended to suit a modern or near future campaign there is no reason ideas here could not be incorporated into a 1920s or gaslight campaign. Of course being able to shoot explosive beams might be quite hazardous on a vintage plane, airship or boat. One could also play this material as a source for new threats and leave investigators unchanged from standard campaigns but instead investigating a black science super human operative program or cult breeding farm.
Elite veteran investigators
Well armed knowledgeable mythos investigators recruited from field or trained by agencies. Freelance investigators are considered threats to be recruited watched or assassinated.

These individuals resist mythos induced insanity and can even restore sanity. While less of a public danger they are desirable to recruit and vulnerable to blackmail. Tend to be repulsed by violence.

ImmortalsMost immortals are cult sorcerers but some have been found sane and recruited by force. Can be hard to kill and cannot be completely trusted.

Monster and God Hybrids
Including deep ones, spawn of Iquatha or YogSothoth and others may be recruited but not to be trusted. When their sanity shatters their inhuman abilities increase. Psychic residue may also stimulate their powers. Some may preach hatred of their inhuman heritage but hat wont stop them monstering out.

Humans modified by mythos agent contamination. Many are hostile to mythos but still may become monsters when the last of their sanity breaks.

Meta Humans
Humans modified into living weapons by mythos entities. Abilities often latent till exposed to life threatening stimulus. Power makes them arrogant and many are unstable.

Symbiotes - Biological
Humans bonded with a biological entity living off the hosts body. They increase survival odds of host to a point, even transforming them or extending monstrous appendages from host body. Eventually entity may violently exit the host to enter a new phase of life or find a new body.  

Symbiotes - Psionic
Mental entities posses a host human and use them as a vessel. Might include aliens, sorcerers, yithians and others. Many entities have powers

Dreamers are humans who travel to other planes in their sleep and are sensitive to psionic impressions of mythos activity. Interpreting their experiences in waking world dificult

These sensitives can be invaluable for agencies and best not left for rival agencies or cults or monsters to find. Powers are invaluable but sensitivity may make them witness sanity shattering events others cannot perceive.

Use magical knowledge from elder tomes and cults or even dream sendings of gods. Sorcerers are highly unstable and prone to madness and treachery. Some prepare for life after death and may manage to return as living dead or as crawling masses of worms or worse. Sorcerers have a number of spells and deals directly with demons and horrors beyond normal men. While such is a path to madness – some sorcerers for a time manage to dominate the forces of evil

Artifact WielderSome people become bonded to alien or mythos artifacts which may provide exotic abilities. Some can operate them safely while others suffer "curse effects". Some may appear as machines or organic or as magic artifacts.

Vampires, ghouls, werewolves, proto-shoggoths and other forms may exist but most deteriorate into madness rapidly.

Time Travellers and Plane TravellersSuch travellers may know interesting information and may jaunt to other planes or times to escape or find facts. Such travel is dangerous and attracts gods. Some might only mentally travel like a dreamer.

Powers being used for first time might cause SAN loss. Also witnessing another character explode someone might cause losses even for grizzled war vets. Heroic powers might induce insanity such as overbearing ego, arrogance, sexual mania, paranoia, sadism, unreasonable fearlessness etc. Isanities might suit certain types like a vampire even the psychic kind might feel a need to leave bloody corpses in public. Some types might change or evolve taking on a major physical change with each insanity.

Scenarios ideas

Super cultists making supermen – fanatics will do anything to get ultimate power – try strange science, black magic, bond with an alien symbiote, be a guinea pig, serve alien gods, trust ultraterrestrials, even train hard with a unknowable secret society. Some are just beginning in their black labs, some have been doing it for thousands of years with alien symbiotes and breeding programs. You can,t always believe where your powers come from. Government may well lie about that radioactive spider to the son of the spider goddess.

Investigations are common adventure mode but agencies often send in tainted agents to expose mythos activity in area or a agents tainted genes as a test. Sending investigators into long dormant sites might awaken dark powers on site or in a investigator. You might start off as x-file agents only to discover something real and have a more secret agency adopt you.

Corruption, conspiracy and Cthulhu – smoke and mirrors, wheels within wheels – flee or fight the secret organizations which smother the lives of super humans. Betrayal, hunted by mysterious enamies and cunning escapes are the rule here. Origin subplots can be separate or linked to campaign meta narrative.

The Quest – in Coc investigators seek to find knowledge and relics and spells to fight horror. Superhumans likewise search to find the mysteries of themselves and invariably come to hunt and battle others like them. An enemy is exposed and the super-naturalist must find a foes weakness, secret or lair to have a chance of stopping them.

Adventure and exploration – the adventurers find a location beyond the experience of normal men. Some lost world or place separated by space or time is glimpsed and has a chance to make amazing discoveries. Primordial lands, exotic beings, natural hazards and obstacles await them. Outre Worlds might be accessible through gates or transport by a entity. Limbo, dreamlands

Overspace entities are constantly breaking through and a bit of help from a sensitive dreamer or a cult can unleash horrible entities. Clues from local history may reveal past incursions.

Real world historyA possible influence on Grant Morrison is the book Morning of the Magicians – a supposed non- fiction pop occult and conspiracy book which deals with ideas found in late 19th and early 20th century occultism and claims Lovecraft was right all along. It tries to connect ideas like Athurian mythos and Nazi eugenics to actual alien space gods and beings from overspace who want to occupy our bodies. Super humans, mental powers and lost civilizations abound in Theosophy, Scientology and Ohm Supreme Truth. There is plenty of real world “non-fiction” ideas and beliefs to inspire and blend in with your own Black Science scenarios.

Some Game System notesI have gone for providing a wide range of character mods which could be applied quickly to generate new characters rapidly like the original Call of Cthulhu. If superhumans don’t die every session many may well go mad and become new obstacles for their friends, thus necessitating fast character generation. These mods are simpler to slap on a basic character than those point systems in Superworld or BRP but are compatible with both. These mods could be taken in multiples if the Keeper is alright with it – like a veteran investigator turned sage or an immortal with a symbiote.

In such a campaign anything from any BRP product could be used to describe other types of paranormal abilities. Even Nephalim or Stormbringer elements might be useful. Also any power might be adversely affected by interactions with different powers. A shaman might posses your sybiote. A sorcerers magic blade might ignore technological armors. Champions of antagonistic gods might involuntarily attack each in public. Agencies might pit gods and their cults against each other.

Black Science Campaign
One of the principle challenges of Dark Science is that it offers a new role playing experience and uses familiar and new menaces. Unlike many investigators, superhumans may fight back and may win. While superhuman investigators may include information gathering or combat abilities beyond
the norm the threat of madness and danger is ever greater. You could have to deal with a character whose psychometric abilities saw too much and is now screaming madly about the blood everywhere. Being bulletproof and stronger than ordinary men might make you take out the rank and file of cultists – but they too may have their own superhuman agents, monsters and sorcerers whose powers might regard you as just a normal. Dark gods might sniff you out as different all along. Nyarlathotep might be grooming you all along planning for your flowering into madness.

In the world of dark Science cults and governments also have more active presence on the investigators lives, actively pursuing them with elite trained agents then increasingly powerful superhuman operatives.

If you destroy a deep one nest and leave clues, you might find sailors, naval intelligence and fishermen all glare at you knowingly everywhere you go. Exotic assassins might strike after cult thugs fail a kidnap attempt. Deep-one Hybrid Sorcerers’, proto-shoggoths and other increasingly weird threats will assail them. Eventually investigators agree to never cross open water and the elders of Insmouth plots are saved for a more opportune time. Later the Investigators are later fleeing the Cthonians must cross the water, only to have a horde of deepones and Father Dagon attack. Likewise polar regions and Iquatha could be a hazard.

Also in Black Science, journeys to other worlds is more common. Dreamlands, Limbo the interstitial void of overspace are more accessible. Journeys to other worlds or primordial epochs are all possible. In Grant Morrisons Invisibles, characters dodge an explosion by jumping into another universe. William Hope Hodkinsons House on the Borderlands inspires one of the included scenarios. Many Haunted locations could exist on multiple planes at once. Possibly only the investigators can perceive creatures lurking in in an overlapping dream reality.

CharactersSome expanded notes on character types and stuff.

*Characters could be taken as vetran investigators from a traditional campaign. Even from a different epoch.

*Or they could be a standard character made as per your usual rules with one or more add on power options – noting that each of these have their own unique flaws and risks.

*Generate a character as per non-human race description like a ghoul or proto shoggoth or deep one or vampire

Power levels do vary. Some of the more deadly types might not be so useful to have around when their minds finally snap. Some types go mad faster.

In context of a campaign, keepers may wish to limit the availability of types to only a few, or limit which can be played. For an introductory campaign giving everybody a shared origin story is fairly straightforward. Perhaps different governments use different technologies from different gods. A team could all be military research prototypes or perhaps all modified by an alien species needing hosts for something else.

Mixed types are fine too. Some types are complementary or have particularly useful abilities. For example a Psychic, a Dreamer, a Veteran monster hunter and a Sage might work well together and be a fairly subtle able to hide among mortal men.

An experienced player group might have ideas for weird characters of their own after a while but you could introduce different more types. You could keep abilities obscure introducing character abilities gradually (as san drops). Let them solve the mystery of their power type. Perhaps pick backgrounds which suit their skills. A psychic investigator might actually be psionicly sensitive. A marine archeologist doesn’t know his dad was adopted from some Insmouth girl. A soldier finds he is invulnerable but takes longer to discover he has an alien god symbiote keeping him from harm. Players can have backup characters ready to go in event of injury, insanity or worse.

Vetran monster hunters and mythos busters
A team of vetran or elite mythos investigators who have weapons, magical relics, money, spells, sanity to spare and even magical healing is a dangerous force. When characters begin to act like super terrorists, clouding the minds of millitary base armoury guards to steal arms or killing a town sherrif in cold blood, or blowing up the silver twilight lodge while full of city officials then its fair to say they have crossed the line between men and monsters. They often work in teams from a central organization. This allows new investigators to be trained by experts while older ones had therapy. Their fellow humans would ordinarily turn on them and wouldn’t understand. Veterans might take minimum SAN loss for a few minor species or human gore.

The Theron Marks Society – most of the organization was killed and their headquarters burned to the ground. But perhaps some survived and with cashes and new identities be still active, more careful than ever before. They even have their own manual of methodology, which new groups may adopt as their inspiration. Whatever killed the original society or original survivors might not approve.

The Shrewsbury Guild – Students of Shrewsbury’s celano fragments who gathered to use his methodology to stalk the mythos. At one time a schism developed when one leader claimed that Shrewbury was an agent of hastur battling cthulhu. The Group was shattered and an many slew each other in the fued. The original team survivors have a new generation of students ready to fight. The Hastur Schism still haunts them and thus they hunt Dr Shrewsbury to solve the matter. Brief possible contact with Shrewsbury has not cleared the issue only confirmed his mysterious and increasingly inhuman nature and war against Cthulhu and his cult.

The Wentworth trust – After his first sanity shattering investigator, retired English colonel and even one time acting colonial governor recruited an organization to battle the mythos internationally. Using many of his own children before he himself died facing Ygolnac. One fateful evening one insane member claimed the whole trust organization was dangerous cult and that there were no monsters. A resulting gun battle in the library killed most of the original members. Wentworth’s friend Aubery Wilson has taken the reigns of the group and plans a new campaign to exterminate the old ones schemes.

SagesA forgotten feature from early editions of CoC.
Sages persons who for unclear reasons are different than ordinary men. Often living simple lives Sages take no sanity losses from any source and can also heal sanity losses in students, superior to normal therapy. Sages have many unusual skills and specialties. They spend their time researching, contemplating and just being. They can be capable of self defense but try to not fight unless pressed. On the downside sages usually do not interfere, they try to not stand out and avoid violence. Some mythos sorcerers, aware of what a sage is may negotiate leaving a sage alone if they do not interfere. A sage who gets in their way or has valuable artifacts is fair game. Many Sages have an elder sign.

Immortals have through some means been made immortal they may have extraordinary skills and firsthand knowledge. The older the immortal the more enemies they will have accumulated.
Immortals may need some exotic means to sustain themselves.

Immortal Wanderer – the character takes sanity loses from doomed relationships with people or places so they keep moving every 20-30 years. Immortals can obtain more power through ritually slaying their own kind. They recover most injuries and can reattach limbs but decapitation or massive torso damage or incineration might kill them dead.

Eternal Champion – reborn in new bodies in different times and places to do battle with chaos. May meet other incarnations of enamies, lovers and friends all doomed by fate to relive their battles again and again. May recognize events from the primordial age being reenacted. Some might actually remember past incarnations and be reborn again if killed. They will have immortal enemies.

Immortal Wizard – Using some kind of ritual, rare substance or spell the wizard maintains immortality. Most require yearly treatments and are expensive and rare. Some grow ever rarer or more illegal every year. Potions with 3-4 exotic ingrediants and formula, ritual sex with virgins, draining the life force from others, human sacrifice, swapping bodies, contact a god or worse. d. 

Meta Humans
Bred them to be hosts for alien embrios or gods from overspace who tend to explode lesser bodies. Also made by races such as MiGo or Old ones or by scientists inspired by gods for their schemes. The processes which created these species were made from only a few species at first which were bred into newer sub species in more recent generations. There was a genetic arms race which these species were fought over for control. Perhaps old gods of myth were such beings. Such appear most like superheroes or gods of old. Each type has specific attribute bonus’s and a minor power in common with their types. While each has several additional powers at extreme level selected from a list for their type. Most meta-humans start naive as to their true status unless raised by state or a cult.

While frighteningly powerful – learning to harness their own powers often drive them mad. Also someone or several forces consider them property. Many metahumans have failsafe codes, weaknesses, phobias and other built in defects for their makers to control them.

Many metahumans have symbiotic costumes which assist their survival and are actually packaging made by their makers to brand and protect them.

Mutants have been exposed to some agent, possibly from the mythos which has resulted in the mutant having random featutres. While some are freaks, some manage to hide their exotic features. Many have odd hair and skintones. More mutations means higher risk for defective or distinguishing deformity. The taint of their mutation may have other symptoms and problems. Some have the taint in their bloodline, others have been exposed to strange radiations, weird slime or alien spores. Some mutations are consistant from one source others more random. Some mutants are a product of being in a contaminated environment which aids their bodies in adaption. Hidden caverns with strange radiations may create a race of albino mole people mutants. Some mutants evolve rapidly in play becoming inhuman.

Humans with an alien life form bonded to them giving the extraordinary abilities. There are many kinds including biological and non-copreal entities. Some need humans to survive in our world. Some are familiars capable on independent action but needing the host to feed. Some are extra internal organs, possibly embrios of alien beings. Some are skinsuits providing protection from harm. Some are always invisible, others change shape or appear in moments of crisis.

Other symbiotes are spirit beings who normaly inhabit nonmaterial worlds. A shamans fetch or the spiritual twin of an Iraqi mysic could be examples. A georgean ghost ancestor or alien spirit might provide knowledge, see otherworldly beings and warn the investigator. Some spirits might give misleading or unclear messages or just not be present because they are hiding from something worse. Some have abilities to interact with the world or just one location. Some might be able to open a door or fling a pan of boiling water like a poltergeist. Some entities are malevolent and selfish exhorting the investigator to act unlike themselves. Some might be able to use your body when you deplete magical energies to unconsciousness or sleep or mind controlled.

Users of mental powers using psychic energy to attain feats like magic to most people. The first uses of psychic powers may be a SAN damaging event like a personal tragedy. Psychic children with second sight are born through all history – some are praised and others are shunned. Some have their powers appear after an accident or exposure to another psychic. Some learn themselves, others belong to secret schools or had a master. Many forces may take an unhealthy interest in a psychic .

Explorers of the dreamlands – those of HP Lovecraft and others. The dreamer may interact with others dreams or even those of supernatural beings like Cthulhu. A dreamer may have used drugs, been a natural or used an artifact or ritual. To some dreaming is something which draws them evermore away from the waking world. To others it is a nightmare which makes them fear to sleep. A dreamer merely sleeps and lets the psychic residue of his location influence his dreams. What he sees may be allegorical or shrouded in metaphor – or possibly he is able to interact with some local entity.

Magical and Technological Artifacts Technology of some alien race, cybernetic implants from the government or a functional time scanner might all be possible. Occult technology like a ring which makes you near invulnerable to impaling attacks, a summoners flute that calls byakee and helps being them or a magical enchanted blade which has an elder sign in the pommel. Such relics have a risk of attracting original owners but makes user able to fare along side other powers.