Saturday 27 February 2021

Awesome Fantasy Drug Abuse In Shadelport For Murder Hobos

Of course, good adventurers never use performance-enhancing potions,
that would be unfair and unheroic. There is fantasy drugs, not real ones so don't quote this to ppl in your care or you would be a horrible person. You don't need to roll all of these. Higher numbers are generally weirder rarer etc. Change anything at any point you like. Make something tempting enough to try a few times before users melt or explode or whatever magic pills do.

Basic Drug Form -----------------------------------

d100 Ingredients 
Roll once or d3+1 for compound
01-10 Mineral (Alchemical)
11-30 Fungus (Fungus Lore)
31-70 Plant  (Herbalist)
71-80 Animal (Beast Lore)
81-90 Monster (Monster Lore)
91-95 Elemental (Elemental Lore
96-100 Planar (Cosmic Lore)

Common - d3 ingredients from d80 
Uncommon - d4+1 ingredients from d80
Rare - d4+3 ingredients from d100
Very Rare - d4+6 ingredients from d100

d12 Mineral 
Ingredients Sub Table
Many more used and often just in a preparation process
1 Rare salts
2 Crystal or gem
3 Rare Metal
4 Rare Earth
5 Quicksilver
6 Naptha
7 Manganese
8 Cinnabar
9 Aqua Regia
10 Pitchblende
11 Brimstone
12 Philosophers stone

d12 Fungus 
Ingredients Sub Table
1 Spores
2 Mould
3 Mushroom
4 Toadstool
5 Slime mould
6 Bracket fungi
7 Yeast
8 Puffball
9 Water mould
10 Symbiote (like lichen)
11 Parasite (grow on animal)
12 Necrotic (grow on undead)

d12 Plant 
Ingredients Sub Table
1 Seaweed
2 Flower
3 Fruit
4 Seed
5 Root
6 Bark
7 Stem
8 Leaf
9 Twig
10 Resin
11 Sap
12 Cactus

d12 Animal Ingredients Sub Table
Rarer or more dangerous animals more desirable
1 Horn or antler
2 Testacles or glands
3 Venom of bug or snake
4 Whale ambergris
5 Tooth or tusk
6 Scale or skin
7 Amphibian secretions
8 Bile or liver
9 Brain or pineal gland
10 Heart
11 Blood
12 Eyes

d12 Monster Ingredients Sub Table
Like body parts from animals but more exotic
1 Basilisk venom
2 Demihuman blood
3 Troll blood
4 Sea serpent tongue
5 Carrion worm tentacle
6 Hook horror droppings
7 Peryton antlers
8 Troglodyte gland
9 Wyvern sting
10 Manticore feet
11 Unicorn horn
12 Dragon scale

d12 Elemental Ingredients Sub Table
Like body parts from animals but more exotic
1 Firetoad skin
2 Water weird fluid
3 Salamander scale
4 Stone giant tooth
5 Sylph hair
Winter wolf fur
7 Mermaid eyes
8 Rockworm blood
9 Sky ray sting
10 Elemental crystal
11 Elemental essence
12 Elemental lord blood

d12 Planar Ingredients Sub Table
Like body parts from animals but more exotic
1 Hellhound tongue
2 Devil horn
3 Angel feather
4 Faerie tears
5 Larvae skin
6 Nightmare hoof
7 Daemon spittle
8 Demon ichor
9 Wyvern sting
10 Ghost ectoplasm
11 Chaos slime
12 Dead god bone dust

d12 Drug Form
Skilled apothecary can roll to consume any in one round
1 Inhalant powder from snuffbox or vapour from bottle 1 round
 Inhalant vapour from bottle 1 round
3 Liquid injected with syringe or needle 
d3 rounds 
4 Resin smoked in pipe, hookah or cigar d3 rounds
5 Pill often in box d3 rounds
6 Biscuit, wafer or cake in a tin d3 rounds
7 Liquid eyedrops from a bottle d3 rounds
8 Cordial in tiny bottle to drink 1 round
 Supostary in a tin or box d4 rounds
10 Paultice on skin d3 rounds
11 Gum, candy or resin chewed d3 rounds
12 Ointment in a jar rubbed on body d3 rounds

Finding Drugs -----------------------------------

d12 Scarcity
81+ on ingredients table roll d6+6 instead
1 Common - find easily with 4 hour search d4 cp in the village store
2-6 Uncommon - find in a day of searching d20 sp in town specialist merchant
7-11 Rare - only found in specific places or seasons or week to find d100gp city
12 Very Rare - risky strange unique locations, month to a year to find d10x1000gp

d12 Common Sources
1 Guy in a pub
2 Stranger in an alley
3 Friend of a friend
4 Village store
5 Farmer
6 Wandering Tinkerer
7 Wise woman
8 Local drunk
9 Youth gang
10 Guild pusher 
11 Barbershop
12 Beggar

d12 Uncommon 
1 Guild dealer
2 Apothecary shop
3 Alchemist shop
4 Healer
5 Smugglers
6 Black Market
7 Herbalist shop
8 Grand Bizzare Markets
9 Foreign merchant
10 Noble
11 Monastery
12 Cultists

d12 Rare Sources
1 Demihuman traveller
2 Menagerie keeper
3 Shapeshifter 
4 Druid cult garden
5 Hidden shrine or temple
6 Underland merchant
7 Goblin market
8 Strange being in a sewer
9 International crime syndicate
10 Wizard shop 
11 Undersea race
12 Explorers guild

d12 Very Rare Sources
1 Palace of a great star spirit in the sky
2 Angel from the celestial city
3 Wandering immortal
4 Elemental lord
Faerieland market
6 A gatekeeper in hell
7 Demonic noble
8 Spirit lords court
9 Hidden lich tomb
10 Dragons lair 
11 Petty godling or demigod
12 World tree merchant

d12 How Long to process?
1 mix in a bowl in a turn
2-3 mix in mortar and pestle for an hour
4-5 cook on campfire overnight
6-9 week fermenting after cooking in a kitchen
10-11 month fermenting in laboratory
12 after fermenting takes a year to sit ideally in industrial alchemical apparatus

Drug Effects -----------------------------------

d12 Lesser Effects
Common drugs with brackets being uncommon superior versions
  Heal 1hp (1in6 heal d4 hp)
2  +1 temporary hp (1in6 +d4hp) 1 Turn
3  +1 Initiative (1in6 extra d3 Mov) 1 Turn 
4 Night vision (1in6 infravision) 1 Turn
5 Euphoria (1in6 immune to fear) 1 Turn 
6 Pleasant sleep (1in6 weird inspiring dreams) 1 night sleep 
7 Pain killer (1in6 +1 AC) 1 Hour  
+d3 save roll like poison or disease or fire (1in6 last hour) 1 Turn  
+d3 skill roll like poison or listen or spot once in turn (1in6 saves whole hour) 1 Turn
10 Detect magic (1in6 last hour) 1 Turn 
11 Detect spirits (1in6 last hour) 1 Turn
12 +1 attribute point (1in6 last hour) 1 Turn  

d12 Major Effects
Rare drugs with brackets being very rare superior versions
1 Heal d4 1=2d8 2=poison 3=disease 4=restoration (1in6 raise dead)
2 Haste +1Attack double speed (1in6 last turn) lasts 3d4 rounds
3 Protection From from one alignment as spell (1in6 last hour) 1 Turn
4 Berserker +2 hit and damage, fight to -10HP (1in6 laste turn) lasts 3d4 rounds
5 Resistance one element +2 save half damage (1in6 last hour) 1 Turn 
+2d6 temporary hp (1in6 +d6+6 hp for hour) 1 Turn
7 Temporary mutations d4 minor & 1 major (1in6 permanent if fail save) 1 Hour
8 Detect Invisible (1in6 last 4 hours) 1 hour
9 +d4 Attribute point (1in6 last 4 hours) 1 hour
10 Detect gate or planar beings in sight (1in6 last hour) 1 Turn
11 Phase needs a magic weapon to hit +4 AC (1in6 plane shift) 3d4 rounds
12 Augury answer yes/no question hour trance (1in6 Contact Plane 2d6 hour trance)

Lesser Side Effects
Save or suffer the effect
 Diareah for 2d4 rounds helpless after effect if fail save
2 Nosebleed for the duration or d4 rounds minimum
3 Constipated d4 days -2 all rolls
4 Sleep for d4 hours after the effect 
5 Vomit for 2d4 rounds after effect 
6 Minor poisoned d4 damage after effect
7 Skin and hair changes colour d4 hours
8 Slowed for hour, 1/2 move, -4 initiative 
9 Alignment changes for d4 hours
10 -4 on one saving throw type for hour
11 -d4 on one attribute for hour
12 Haunting otherworld visions prevent rest or sleep 24 hours

Major Side Effects
If save roll fails to suffer the main effect, success suffer mild effect, healing magic can fix
1 As kicks in bleed 1hp round until treated for poison, if save lasts 3d6 rounds  
2 After effect save or possessed by a malicious spirit if save -1 all saves for the day
3 After effect ends save or can't cast spells for the day, if save only d4 turns
4 After effect lose 1 attribute point if save only lasts day (restoration) 
5 After effect lose d3 hp from maximum, if save only lasts d4 days (restoration)  
6 After effect infected with lycanthropy, if save only lasts d3 nights (cure disease) 
After effect infected with mummy rot, if save only lasts d3 nights (cure disease) 
After effect loses level as energy drain, if save only lasts d3 nights (restoration)  
9 After effect sleep d4 hours but a soul in nightmare dimension, if save just bad sleep
10 After effect mutate into new species over 24 hours, if save gain minor mutation
11 After effect sterilised and lose all desire if save only lasts a month
12 After effect a planar being will desire to torment you and ruin life until it is killed if save only makes one prank and abuses the user briefly then loses interest

Mundane Addiction
Common Drugs - save if use 4 doses in a week
Uncommon Drugs 
- save if use 2 doses in a week
Rare Drugs 
- first use safe, save each use after
Very Rare Drugs 
- save each use

Once addicted you want a daily dose or suffer the random effect
A month in a monastery, temple or locked in a cell might earn a new save to recover
Restoration, cure disease or remove curse can cure minor addiction. ADiction effects vary from person to person mostly but some might be the same for all users.

Mundane Addiction Effects
1 Scratch self and leave marks, lose 1 Charisma pint after a month 
2 Hungry all the time, eat double food and drink
3 Discover being drunk all day helps pain -2 all rolls
4 Your drug of choice has no effect on you now just mild buzz which you still crave
5 Trouble eating and weight loss, cant naturally heal from rest 
6 Nightmares haunt dream, save each night sleep to see if you benefit from rest  
7 Sweat constantly require double fluids to drink and urinate hourly   
8 Headache and cramps -2 all rolls to hit, save or skills 
9 Out of breath, march and labour only half as much
10 Joint pain halves Movement
11 Tempted to lie, flee, steal or kill for a fix if get a chance, save each temptation
12 Distracted -2 initiative, all perception rolls are harder 

Weird Addiction
Once you recovered from the addiction to rare or very rare drugs and you try to use them again, a failed to save results in strange addiction. These require a year of confined treatment or high-level priest spells like remove greater curse spell or healing spell. Once addicted you require a fix per day or roll here to see what tragedy befalls the addict. This same effect kicks in each time you need drugs, only roll again if hooked on a new drug.

Weird Addictions Effects
1 Gain a minor mutation permanently each day craving when you have more than half your Level if your not a mutant you become a shoggoth  
2 Lose a random attribute point each day craving
3 All food and drink causes vomiting unless you are high on the choice drug
4 Immune to healing magic to recover lost HP, only natural rest works
5 Petrify into stone whenever fail to save from daily craving
Cannot cast spells while craving drug
7 Gnaw your own flesh, no natural healing and lose 2d4 hp per day 
8 A devil gives you a d4 dose for a soul contract, now lawful evil
9 A planar being or strange horror begins to grow inside addict, after seven failed saves they explode in gory mess and monster parasite flees to do new evil deeds
10 Alignment becomes chaotic evil and will do anything required to score drugs, eating human flesh or possibly just brains helps soothe your cravings
11 If die while craving become a drug hungry undead d4 1=revenant 2=mummy 3=vampire 4=wight
12 Now native to another plane,  being on mortal world hurts and you are vulnerable to spells and powers vs other planar beings like protection and banishment. If chaotic cold iron is painful to touch if lawful it is silver

Sample Drugs -----------------------------------

yeast-based injected drug common 2cp 
brewed culture maintained to keep yeast growing
the tiny amount used in a batch takes a week to make
Side business of some brewers and popular in prison
Pain killer 1 Hour
Sleep for d4 hours after the effect

Uncommon variant takes one month to brew 2sp
Requires a dash of mandrake root juice gives +1AC
Also causes Diareah for 2d4 rounds helpless after effect if fail save

blend of ambergris, bloodeye toadstool, twigs from trees from the plane of fire
boiled for a month in apparatus a dose 24gp a drop of liquid or a crystal that dissolves in mouth, used by dwarf smiths, then became too popular and now fairly rare
+2 save half damage vs fire last one hour, every ten minute turn lose 1gp from bleeding gums 
Drinker feels warm, heart races and after the effect ends save or violent diarrhoea for d4 hours

Blue Haze
Rare blue pipe resin 30gp a hit or a resin bar for 360gp for 12 doses
Distilled in a lab takes one month
Manganese, rare seasonal berries, amber, manticore blood
Burns with flash and blue sparks
Popular with wizards and alchemists
Recover a d4 cantrips or a 1st level spell used per dose
After effect lose d3 hp from maximum, if save only lasts d4 days (restoration fixes)

Tuesday 23 February 2021

d12 Dirty Cops

Halfway through a bunch of stuff but not much feels finished
Finished one dated project and started dealing with medical/tax stuff this week
A bunch of finished art came through

Handy for lots of modern era rpg shennanigans with law

d12 Dirty Cops
1 Lazy and doesn't want to be bothered with danger, looks for soft and easy targets
2 Extreme militant faction, has an unauthorised weapon, tattoos and insignia
3 Mobsters friend gets tips on rival gangs and helps own syndicate
4 Power tripper, likes to humiliate soft targets to see if they flip out or cooperate
5 Crooked and independent, steal goods, blackmails and receives payments
6 Protection racket and receives gifts from community businesses
7 Violent and prejudiced, keen to find favourite targets to result in violence
8 Involved in police cover-ups and occasional murder of witness or informer
9 Victimises vulnerable people to gain favours, info, services
10 Drug dealer, deals with peers and exploits vulnerable to deal and obtain drugs
11 Forges paperwork and fakes or takes evidence for gain and make the paperwork easy
12 Social climber, keen to please elites with cover-ups & odd jobs for cash and influence

Thursday 18 February 2021

Goblins of Zarth 5e Module Buy this Book!

Buy It Here

Recently I saw my friend Herbie was involved in this book which is a fascinating thing. I'm hoping it gets more distro but Im glad to see a local indy game retailer in Oz too. 

So I weaselled for a looksie and to show off here. Herbie ran a club I lived above for a few years and did lots of art carny shenanigans. Money from this probably helps him operate city art warehouses full of freaks who have all had a bad year for income being in arts and entertainment. Herbie will do art quickly and reasonably and DMs online. While talking about this he encouraged me to dnd5 more and I had the longest effort to read it than I have before.

There are lots of fascinating features to this a long term game collector will like. While it states is for 5th ed it offers a super streamlined dnd5 with features id seen proposed by a few oldschool gamers. like just "have only attribute bonus" on the character sheet as the stat number does nothing" school. There are some elements here that are very old-school and the simplified dnd approach is done well. Lots you could recycle or use or steal from. Some f the art and style remind me of 80s Warhammer too, So while its sorta 5th ed any streamlined dnd skeleton game would work.

The art varies from sketchy to tonal and the portrayals of characters and creatures are a delight. Im reminded of films Legend or Labyrinth or Brian Fraud art in tone rather than style. Some look almost, Hieronymous Bosh inspired. 

In this you play goblins, part of a demented civilisation. You have to navigate goblin culture and there are lots of interesting encounters, situations and events for Bizzaro goblin roll playing. Lots of NPC illustrations and interesting location illustrations. I think you could get a lot of humour out of this. There are numerous episodes in the early section. The later part of the book details factions, culture, detail on locations, rules simplified notes and lots of stats. Goblin battledress descriptions are amazing. The main operator is usually visible on top with the dress like a 17th c metal plate ball gown with holes for weapons for the goblins in the lower half who also provide motion. 

The goblin culture here has its own dimwitted strangeness that goblin fans will enjoy. Certainly, you could avoid fighting and enjoy roleplay goblins. If you already have you own goblin thing happening you can always have these as belonging to a region but it is certainly inspiring. Some of the setups like getting bad goblin propaganda is wonderous.

One of the best things about this book is it is not like anything else dnd5 or retro-clone. For this alone it deserves a look. Its nothing like what I would do but I like it. I look forward to more. It includes assets like tokens that an old meatspace gamer doesn't get but friends do and pregen sheets and other stuff. The layout is a bit basic but gives you lots of space and is functional. Id like to see in print. There is one column. on other hand as a made-to-print at home a sheet of a4 per page you can pull apart and bundle as you like into sections ita good. That way you can hop from the adventure section to the locations section and stats section and have loose handouts for players. As I used to print lots of pdfs like this to run in a game and this seems deliberate here to do that.

I don't know if you could rin in a con session possibly 2
If your player goblins roleplay hard this could last three months

Lots of bits to adlib from and steal for a game even interesting goblins on call. One thought I did have was GURPS goblin book might help you adlib more stuff. What is in the book with goblin civilization, court, factions, and startling NPCs you could play a while ad-libbing from the content here? Lots of good retro DND gamers into goblin markets tables and of course that goblin poem about goblin drug pushers tainting children with goblin fruit. Possibly i would play with jethro tull and hawkwind to this cos i get a bit of 70s weird tock album art fanyasy.

Price here might be in Australian dolleroos before you frak out, Drivethrough RPG and LuLu options night happen. Im sure will benefit Herbie and lots of cool freakers.

Wednesday 17 February 2021

Free PDF zine Castle Crab + Patreon

Link to Castle Crab

A reader pointed out this link was dead and needed it for urgent crab content.
It was on my Patreon. Ive stopped posting a bit as readership and money was declining and feedback was slim. Sad to have made a 130 page book and not got one any feedback. Occasionally I have the natural thirst for attention for my efforts. Patreon kept me in-game stuff while homeless and broke in 2019. A few people at time were generous when my plight was public and it definitely helped me survive that year im barely over. Currently, I am materially comfortable except i am probably pretty isolated. I have tried and failed engagement and G+ I used to talk with other designers and my peers and it was an inspirational environment I miss. A few kind followers on the elfmaids FB group have been good too.

Good feedback helps me make better stuff!
I have made quite a few things readers requested.
Patreon didn't really get me doing this when it was a top tier reward
Comments keep me motivated and working (remember when I was daily or more?)
Hearing how people use my work is inspiring and makes me very happy

I published over 50+ scenarios and a few books on Patraen which was good.
Was a big period I had to rebuild my blog index here which helped me get back into compilation books. Almost half what I want to be compiled has been now. The Sea themed book on Patreon 130 gages is up currently. The broken hill book was prior to that and my adventures were getting increasingly bigger. Patreon money post 2019 hell have all gone to gaming artists.

I have 2 projects im working on I need to kill before Pateon resumes.
If my sponsors got back to 100 a month I would probably be motivated to restart faster.
I have been recording sound for working on a media project that may lead to me doing video.

Ive one review and an adventure to finish which im feeling a bit blocked on but working on. Im still working my homebrews - mostly my high level spells and final skills. Reading the Empires Gazeteer has made me consider some substantial combat revisions.

One thing Ive considered is a free adventure but you only get it if you answer a poll or tell me some story of my work in your games. That's how needy and starved for attention I've become. Im lucky to see 4 people a fortnight plus the woman in my chip shop who has a family wedding this weekend so no chips and gravy form me for a few days.

Loving the upturn in readers here of late and occasionally I get a glimpse of several people researching stuff by topic (currently its d100 book tables).

Enjoy Castle crab and thanks for everyone who read this far. 
Thanking you in advance for your feedback.

also Knock! still around get it if you don't
Review on questing beast

Next Round Of Art Shopping

August last year I commissioned a few artists and put my artist brief here.

Basically for my EMO Broken Hill/Planet Psychon.

So out of the 5

1 got me all work in within days and pretty much what I imagined and had good price
2 who charged most and seemed business-like with fastest response
-was 4 months late and gave me in a format I still have not been able to use but its good
3 got muddled up and started on next project and ive since reminded them they are 8 years late on another job for me so as much as I love them they have some issues with priorities. Id buy a sketch a week if I could and they came to party. Buying them meals has been more effective than nagging them but I basically cant rely on them and just have to see what happens/
4 was within 30 days as requested and art is good - not quite what I want but very good 
5 who I was helping out because he's a family man without work due to covid hasn't done anything 

My offer to lease existing work resulted in one item leased and another one I had more clothes added (possibly still not enough for some) and is an amazing piece from no 3. No5 I offered to lease/pay for work id seen in sketchbooks as are and they seem reluctant,

Having been a pro art director/publisher/managing editor Im pretty sure I can write a brief. I also choose artists on the basis they already have tho look so a few surprised when I said yes do that - that's exactly why i chose you. I guess like casting an actor you pick the ones closest to what you want already (but you can still be surprised). Ive been an artist and I get that clients expect artists to be psychic and do what the client cannot express and does not really know. Every client who doodled on a napkin and suggested fave fonts proved to be awesome to work with. Having been an assistant artist at 16 and hear my boss complain about clients for years and then 20 years of my own clients I get some of the issues, Now I have been the employer of that first boss I realise many of their complaints are their own fault. Goalpost shifting on both sides is usually the biggest problem. Web design was so bad for this I quit. Print design I found better. When I worked employing designers some didn't realise I knew all the software and I saw them trying to use tech BS to baffle clients and do what they want (and from my time on board of an art school I saw they seemed to teach this). Sometimes they cut text and got captions wrong because they cared more about design than the text. So i would fix stuff and often they wouldn't notice. I occasionally sneaked comics sans fonts into projects to annoy them and they didnt notice it despite joking about how evil it was daily.

Building good relationships is good so when you find that smooth collaborator keep them and be kind. Clients wanting free work or offering tiny shares on a project when they have no history or experience and the artist does is one of the worst. I know artists who will punch a client who offers "exposure" vs money. Clients like this need art more than the artist need them. Artists especially under covid need to live without food or rent.  

I'm recalcitrant on 2 writing projects myself - one a review and one an adventure but for some reason to use the assets given I feel I have to write mechanics as well to represent stuff. 

Nobody was forth-coming on a capsule bio for book or even an offer of an advertisement. It's Ok they are probably busy and im just another job. One artist recently when I asked about a rate card did so promptly with styles matched with prices clearly. Artist no1 gave me a text version immediately. Both these were very helpful and encouraged me to work with them. It is a very good tool for artists and employers. One artist kept moving quality goalposts - increasing quality (i want just line art and I was a comic colourist) to tonal realism then being resentful about quality I expected and timeframe when I would have been happy with their sketches (which are amazing). I chatted a bit with other artist who had worked with us in a studio and he confirmed all my suspicions and more. The same artist and another said they were too busy to take on new work which Id rather here than have my projects delayed while they keep taking new clients and starting new gofund me projects again and again.

So currently I'm commissioning more works by artist no1.

Im hoping for 
A4 ish B&W special forces SAS canetoad 
A4 ish B&W Bearded prospector collecting trash while zombies arising behind them
Spot Illo - mutant rat with sores and tentacles 
Spot Illo - Unexploded bomb in pile of trash 

One other artist I hope to lease lots of old work for future Psychon stuff.
I need to get that project happening again.

Im super happy with the work I did for Knock! and the rates.
Most pro gaming project I have been involved with.
Mostly this was effectively leasing old text and art and letting it be edited which they did really well with and I have zero complaints and regrets so awesome client and outcome.

Obviously, Im not saying who they are but you might see my book project and some Patreon supporters might have seen some. My Patreon is another whole can of worms for another post and Im suspending new posts for a bit until my obligations Im stuck on are resolved.

Hoping you all doing fine out there.
Blog hits have been very healthy here of late so thanks.

Monday 15 February 2021

The Fallen Empire

Having been a bit inspired by the Dawn of Empires Gazeteer (reviewed last blog) Ive been thinking about the alternate AC system in that book id never heard of for dnd and the general idea of expanding my setting with some more detail. One thing I think BECMI dnd did was have high levels in the world, especially of wizards. As I'm playtesting my rules more for higher-level play this is interesting.

Basically, the current third Empire has been locked in a civil war since the Mad Emperor drove all the vassal states into rebellion. After thirty years the civil war has burned out most of their might. The great central wilderness has been expanding. With humanoids and demihumans reasserting their prehuman territories when in the past the Empire persecuted them. 

In past campaigns, the Empire was a source of interference from the south and had been sending convicts and colonists to the southern part of Exile Island. The Governer there since the empire fall has been holding on to their original mission from the prior empire. Shadelport's pirate fleet have thrived and have been plundering and trading all around the greater middle sea.

Auldwood was detailed a bit here 
Sour Hill the north of Auldwood was first detailed here 
About 20 3fold adventures are written in the north here.

This current map and names supersede older ideas which never contacted players. 

While these territories imply control over a large area many of the borders are barley inhabited wilderness and wasteland. Especially if further from the coastline.

d12 tables for each are for rural, wilderness and frontier travel not urban or farmlands. They are to give you a taste of what kinds of things might be a problem. Obviously urban areas are different and many frontier monsters like wyverns, peryton, luecerotta hunt the borderlands and the wasted regions.

I will fill out detail as needed but this is fine for now. My players currently running round a few thousand years to early in my setting at moment before the 1st empire. This is a framework I can work off later. I like idea of adventurers having to travel around coast or through island. Also from this project discovered my world map scale is wrong and needs halving.

Quick notes on other lands across the sea.
The north is a frozen waste little changed for millennium but vikings and nomads are known to have colonies. Civilised folk have no idea beyond mountains is a prehistoric land unchanged for aeons. The East has various warring kingdoms, the wizard Island of Waerlund. The south is sprawling jungles and deserts with ancient theocracies, empires and city states famous for incredible stone monuments. West has rich jungle civilisations, great plains and river valleys many under the thrall of the Black Lotus emperor in his underground city. Only once did my players consider visiting as they thought they could take over the drug trade but settled for working with the Baron of Shadelport as a middleman for the drug kingpins.

Formerly this province was the personal property of the emperor. Now it is the only part of the former Empire resembling the ancient ways. A sunny prosperous land of wine and love groves and barley fields. With decades of a failed war, the land is a shadow of itself. With shortages of money and labour, irrigation has fallen into ruin and the interior has become lawless and full of rebels. The Emperor Tarimaxus is not well-loved and his forces waste time collecting taxes and the borders with rival powers have remained static for years. Elves, goblinoids and orcs are slowly overrunning the interior wilderness. The great Solar church was based here and the Emperor is technically the leader of the church but heresy in opposition to him has arisen to help the poor and shun the wealth of the church. The capital once had half a million people and world-famous monuments but the population has decreased as trade died and lives were squandered in war. Also, many people have been fleeing this land to other states or even the wilderness.

d12 Lamnutainia Borderlands
1 Soldiers on patrol
2 Merchant caravan with guards
3 Knights on way to battle
4 Rebels stealing from crown
5 Bailiffs and tax collector or magistrate
6 Goblin wolf or bat riders
7 Hobgoblin soldiers raiding
8 Bugbear hunting humans
9 Sun priest and cleric guards
10 Pilgrims on way to holy place
11 Holy hunter of evil evil d4 1=hermit 2=paladin 3=healer 4=saint
12 Monks or nuns with cleric escort

This wild land has suffered in the war early on and the northern part of the land around the old city of Sour Hill collapsed. The west is having a great elven forest spreading unnaturally fast. Most of the kingdom is controlled from the south where many feudal knight territories thrive in great forests, mines in the hills and several large trading towns. As the knights grew in power and the war to the south with the empire slowed, the royal court of Seaton has grown. Many of the nobles have homes in Seaton to be near King Leopold to gain his favours and attention. The court increasingly is troubled by decadence and intrigues. Many isolated forest manours have become strange in isolation. Criminals and bandits have been streaming into the north from Valadran and the knights have little interest. Of all the lands since the empire fall, druidry and elf cults have thrived, especially in the wild north.

d12 Auldwood WIlderness
1 Bandit archers want money or your life
2 Kobold or goblin raiders
3 Druid priest with barbarian guards
4 Stag or boar abhuman raiders
5 Elf scouts planting trees and harassing travellers
6 Knight on the road with followers seeking a fight
7 Tree folk destroying human structure or road
8 Travelling merchants with wary guards
9 Travelling farmers on the way to market town
10 Loner d4 1=Prospector 2=trapper 3=hermit 4=hunter
11 Wolves 1in6 at night led by werewolf
12 Barbarian raiders

Formerly the centre of the empires military orders who first revolted from the emperor. Knight and clerical orders found the empires conduct unbecoming to their honour. Castles and monasteries cover the land and the population are devout and loyal to the estates. The Grand Master of the orders elected for life and the current Grand Master Malleus Thorn has a secure grip on Dormand. They keep the border with Lamnutainia secure, keep humanoids in the north under control with borderland keeps and send ship loads of crusaders to holy wars by ship on other continents. Probably the most orderly and stable of the former empire states. Most land is controlled by orders established to wage war to the south. The people increasingly question why waste food and lives on this when they could dethrone and replace the emperor instead and save the empire.

d12 Dormund Borderlands
1 Marching soldiers of the military order
2 Templar clerics guarding trade goods
3 Templar clerics guarding pilgrims
4 Orc boar or dire wolf rider raiders
5 Orc barbarian raiders
6 Tribal raiders
7 Strange robed cultists
8 Angry bear
9 Pack of wolves
10 Knight and entourage
11 Cultists in disguise as clerics
12 Doppelgangers disguised as clerics

A dry coastal rock coast with castles and knights serving King Alanbrethol and Queen Auzalla. A rich decadent court life has emerged and the knights are fairly free to do as they please while those on the borders of the great waste are poorer and have to fight more against humanoids and barbarians. Kastria is considered corrupt and at times highly inefficient prone to waste resources and depend more on prayer than good management. Bandits and monsters are quite common on the wilderness areas which keep the people reliant on the knights.

d12 Kastrian Borderlands
1 Goblin warrior raiders
2 Orc barbarian raiders
3 Kobold scouts skirmishing
4 Knight and entourage
5 Merchant caravan
6 Hyena or lion beastfolk raiders 
7 Farmers on way to market
8 Bandits on horseback
9 Knight looking for fight
10 Robber knights demand loot
11 Orc slavers with kidnapped peasants
12 Barbarian raiders

A rich green land with many castles and knight who have clan struggles over power and influence. The Current High King Saraminor grasps to hold his territories and keep potential rivals weak enough that they cannot usurp him. Heresy runs wild here and many ancient cults and gods are still worshipped here since the official solar faith collapsed with the empire. These used to survive in secret or the wilds and borderlands but many have become influential over territories. Every few years and every time a duke dies succession conflicts break out and the complex patterns of influence change. Five years of peace is as much as they manage. Soldiers from here are commonly veterans and serve as mercenaries in other lands. At any time there are regions having petty wars that sap the strength of the kingdom.  

d12 Aeostran Wilderness
1 Hungry troll hunting
2 Orc raiders riding dire wolves
3 Knight and entourage
4 Mercenaries on way to war
5 Merchant caravan
6 Cultists pretending to be merchants
7 Bear or weasel beastfolk raiders
8 Farmers to market or herding animals
9 Bandits plundering rich to help the poor
10 Orc slavers with prisoners
11 Orcs with trained war troll
12 Band of ogres robbing and eating travellers

A stormy mountainous land with many knights and barons operating in relatively isolated holds. King Vager Kromguard has been building a modern army and has superior metal arms and armour. Many stories of corrupt and cruel nobles have given the land a sour reputation and the serfs here are among the most miserable and traded like cattle. Some of the frontier warlords have been recruiting non-humanoids as troops and many lords employ some giants or trolls. Of all the the former empire, Tulan has begun to use matchlock and even newer flintlock muskets and blackpowder. While limited in mass combat use so far there are starting to appear small squads of gunners and small cannons. The churches here are weak and some places openly worship wicked gods. Torture and secret police are frequently used on the people

d12 Tulanian Borderlands
1 Giant or troll demanding food
2 Orc warband with troll or giant ally
3 Mutant bandits desperate for food
4 Robber knights on way to gruberhole
5 Knight and enterage
6 Marching soldiers
7 Witches and a supernatural pet
8 Goat or bat beast folk cultists
9 Dark templar clerics on way to evil cause
10 Wolves (1in6 led by werewolf)
11 Hungry ghouls hunting
12 Robed cultists performing black rites 
Always a frontier area with rampant poverty and crime, Valadran is a land of warlords and criminal cartels and merchants who keep the commoners poor and pressed. Since the empires fall humanoids and orcs are now common and employed as mercenaries. Old King Mordu is weak and the nobles do as they please. Elves and reptilians wage war on the borders constantly and the land corridor to Lamnutainia used un old times for trade than more recently for war has become increasingly overgrown in elven forestry. Reptilians with their ancient secrets are frequently blamed for all kinds of plots and schemes against humans. Orcs and humanoids are often employed to fight elves and reptiles. Malicious agents from Tulan undermine local authorities and some fear the pirates of shadelport might be infiltrating the vast criminal organisations.

d12 Valadrian Wilds
1 Bandits attacking poor 
2 Merchants with an armed escort
3 Merchant really thieves guild agents
4 Giant rock lizard hiding in roadside rubble
5 Elf skirmishers planting magic trees and harrying travellers
6 Lizardfolk riding pterodactyls spying 
7 Orc mercenaries hunting elves
8 Nervous poor farmers with meagre goods to market
9 Rat or lizard beast folk raiders
10 Goblin skirmishers (servants to wood elves)
11 Wolves (1in6 led by werewolf)
12 Starving beggars swarm anyone with food

The Great WIlds
This forested mountainous were always not under empire control and the borders were always a problem. Bandits, barbarians, demihumans and humanoids were always raiding from these wilds.Cultists always kept hidden dungeon and ruin temples on the borderlands and caused trouble. Since the empire fell these problems have constant swarms. The barbarian and tribal people have poured into the former empire states. These people were unwelcome but once it became apparent that elves had unleashed orcs and goblins to harry humanity and were rapidly growing forests to smother humanity. Dwarves formerly in their fortresses have been mining into Dutania because their technology is considered stolen secrets. Reptilians unseen for most of the third Empire have been seen with their huge lizard terror beasts. Some say snake folk wizards have infiltrated crime gangs, guilds and noble houses. These races all see the empire fall as their time to get revenge for a thousand years of empirical domination. 

d12 The Great Wilds
1 Elven knight and courtiers 
2 Goblin wolf or bat riders
3 Orc war band
4 Giant or troll or band of ogres
5 Barbarian or tribal folk who shun civilisation
6 Beast folk d4 1=stag 2=boar 3=goat 4=auroch
7 Mischievious sprites who turn nasty if you cant take a joke
8 Elven scouts patrolling for unwelcome humans
9 Dwarf craftsmen prospecting or cutting wood
10 Reptian warriors with war dinosaur
11 Magical faerie beast that leads hunters to doom or a curse
12 Tree folk watching woods for intruders

A vassal state of all three empires, the southern land had thriving coastal cities with splendid ancient palaces. The north were always rougher smaller citadels who would wage war without empire intervention.  The mountain interior was always wild and occupied by beast folk and monsters. Over millennia many wizards had settled on estates here and instead of knights, the nobility here are wizards. There were great magic schools and might magics made here and most of the empires wizards came from here. Then the empire fell and the wizards stopped paying taxes and sending wizards and magic weapons and ships to the emperor. Now Zorda is thriving and agents and wizards are going to the various former states seeking work and estates and influence for Zorda. Their trade has performed well and they have come to rival the warring west and Shadelport pirate fleets. They are a growing world power and increasingly godless. Many think Zorda may seize Lamnutania and make a 4th empire. Others think somehow Zorda aims at re making the blasphemous age of black magic. Merchants who have seen the decadence and drug abuse of wizards doubt both these fears.

d12 Zordanian Interior
1 Wizard and enterage
2 Tribal folk who hate wizards
3 Orc warriors who serve a wizard
4 Rebel bandits robbing wizards
5 Fish or ape beastfolk raiders
6 Slavers looking for victims
7 Soldiers in service to a wizard
8 Merchant caravan
9 Reptile folk led by a serpant folk wizard (possibly hidden by illusion)
10 Homeless mutants
11 Wyvern hunting
12 Flying wizard d4 1=pegasi 2=griffon 3=flying boat 4=broom or rug

Friday 12 February 2021

Post Flu Reviews: something new something old

I had a few days of hell sinus pain which is a new addition to my ailments over the last years that crush my spirit and reduce my creativity and dreams but at least now I know how to beat it in a few days instead of what was hitting me a year ago. Salt water sinus flushes worked better than nasal spray and hayfever tabs I know to take sooner.

Im still 2 projects late.

If you have not seen Knock yet get it - pdf now here
Its one of fave old-school products (top10)

While obviously, I am the d100 god I do admire some table-oriented gamebooks occasionally to or ones with interesting generators. In this case, Aaron A Reed had done covered territory I have but these books are so good they will expand my own stuff in strange new ways. Im just skimming from PDFs here till prints arrived (my Spelljammer book didnt make it from last year so hunting that - first problem with Drivethrough)

This I procedural cave crawl generators. If you like Veins Of The Earth or my own underland tables this will carry your player's strange new places. Some solo players might even enjoy but I guess generators are a kind of DM minigame soloplay for prep. My favourite table is for underground race generator so you can skip the whole dnd underdark stuff and have every race unique and never to be seen again bred in isolated caves in the deep.  This suggests and I do as well is let players do the rolling and DM improves the result if your that kinda DM who can use tables in play as in-game prep instead of pre-prep (if that makes sense). Lots of adventure generators, npc generators plus there are examples of pregen campaign regions, caves, npcs, and races for quick use or examples. Fungi name table good too. Get it or be left behind in gonzo underworld adventure.

This suckered me in from a FB post Diego did and as I have a game where party have a flying giant castle and are starting to plane travel to my own cloudland inspired by magic faraway tree/Ygdrasil and the various wolds it intersects with. So a book of weird sky stuff is exactly what I wanted. This book touches on a sky-fantasy realm but goes far weirder than me and will inspire me lots. The Azure is a realm of infinite sky with little words, suns, mineral lumps with alchemical properties, strange aerial life, generators for campaigns, journeys, ship combat, weird weather/terrain, weird ship generators, strange realms to visit and the races who inhabit them. Some of this could squeeze in spelljammer or the elemental plane of air or even for ideas for normal sea travel (I think Aaron would do a sea book well). You probably need it so dont resist.

Some Micro Reviews

Dragon Magazine
I got a pile of my fave issues of dragon which most were in better condition than ones i got in shops. Only a few more I want and of course some of them are pricey. Ill do a write up on these. Partly this was nostalgia but those issues made me the gamer I am today (wraaaar!!!). I might try grab some dungeon mags too and I think dragon skipping the areas sections and middles killed dragon for me. I guess back then even ads seemed cool. Now I dont think ads are cool (well modern ones). Steven fabians dreamy art kept me collecting TSR a few more years.

Im hoping all will be out one day as the prices for these are terrible. They really added to BECMI/BX DnD and many rules in these became part of Cyclopedia rules. Ill try to do by number but some POD are not numbered. Clyde as a teen was my fave artist of TSR (im a bit over giant glassy gems now im 50) and these covers are among his best and really set product tone. I did find with the early 90s the TSR History inspired stuff became so common I just started reading real history instead. These were good some using real culture art styles some more DnD fantasy Europe. The maps vary book to book how well they were scanned. Its sad some were rescanned and Wizards didnt have own copies so one book has a printed a scanned puncture wound I could fix on photoshop in under 30 seconds. Many fold out maps sadly are not printed in a comprehensible manner. I wish Drivethrough would do all the tsr maps as folded posters. Id nab all the Marvel ones if I could. Many introduced new rules expanding and modifying becmi/bx rules.

GAZ1 The Grand Duchy Of Karameikos - this has the start of skill systems with d20 stat rolls i kinda still use and prefer to current dnd. The setting is very classic dnd and leans into horror slightly. Only one map is split badly here the rest are solid. 3 pages of adventure ideas.

GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri - Inspired by Venice, a canal filled kingdom where clerics are banned and all kinds of weird rulers of the realm. This was the best of the series by far. The magic specializations are amazing and If I played straight BX i would use these - alchemists, dracologists, Elemantalists, Illusions, Necromancers, Cryptomancer, Witches and the secrets of the radience. The city is one of the best in gaming period. Castle Amber fits in here too if you have the Goodman games reprint. Under the city is a ruined magical spaceship reactor making the radience and the shadow elves live under here (book of this below). 14 pages of adventure ideas, some player handouts too. Maps here a mess - all colour ones broken up badly. My fave of series and one of my fave TSR things.

GAZ6 Dwarves of Rockhome - no GAZ6 on cover on POD. Dwarf clerics for basic dnd here, clans with unique helmets, skills, dwarf artillery illustrated, hiring dwarfs, armour and weapons, science, geomorph cities, cool ventilation vents (honestly), several cities, new monsters, campaign lore, player handouts and more. Im not a mega dwarf fan but this has a few interesting bits and pieces. Maps all intact on spreads here too  

GAZ7 The Northern Reaches - viking setting with horned and winged hats. Lots of wilderness here and several nations. 27 pages of adventure ideas. Handouts. A trait system, reputations, domains, more skills, affliction/accident tables, status, rune spells for clerics. Maps a bit of mess and i never liked to fold out card stuff in modules. I used 3-sided tsr card minis for years until in Sydney gamers mocked me for them and now Im all plastic baby. The Viking settlement map looks cool for minis but is broken and not usable as a battlemap. Smaller maps of towns are mostly on one page and ok.

GAZ13 The Shadow Elves - sick of drow then get this. A whole elf culture with own class and spell list, secrets of the radiance and more. Mine has different shinier paper than other volumes which i am weird about as some paper stock i find unpleasant to touch. They are a bit like goth-Aztecs hiding pterodactyls. 8 pages of adventure ideas, lots of magic stuff including alt elf spells and shaman. One city map a bit broken up but rest all fit on a page and makes me wonder was it laziness rest were not made to fit pages.

GAZ14 The Artruaghin Clans - basically Native Americans. This gets the most abuse online. The culture appropriation could upset some people as any game made by white people about and indigenous culture they have a history of plundering. I worry more about tribal peoples culture more than other people for reasons Ill talk about another time but for now it is an issue given if done with intention. Gaming is still doing this while crying about products from 80s when it is alive and well now (which is a bigger problem than 30 year old products from olden days) when ignorance was a bit more predictable. Larry elmore art has a few dream catchers and indian inspired things which I understand for Americans making a fantasy including them and I dont think it was intended as disrespectful. Nowdays Id say let indigenous people tell there own stories and if they dont want to you should probably listen more why. I like the art and attempt to cover a wide range of people from the Americas. Totemic magic, a shaman class. To be honest Runequest does the better shaman but it interesting. The world elevator to the hollow world is fun and connects to the Americas analogs there. It seems odd to have a tiger clan (puma or jaguar id get). Maps here all on 2 pages which is nice. The layout seems a bit padded compared to earlier dense works and the TSR stuff under the gold badge logo seemed plagued by big borders and extra spacing and designer padding. Despite all these flaws it is interesting and lots of interior illustrations. I doubt Id use much of this book though but the elevator is cool. As I work with indigenous people Im obligated (and happy) to treat them differently to most people. I dont expect people to get this or do as I do. 

Dawn of the Emperors - was a box set which I have handled. This in a book is a fatty twice as big as others. Maps all intact. Seems more fantasy bronze age with greek and Assyrian fused with euro dnd. This is ook which scanned damage. Some of the interior illos have lost some mid-tones but still good. I like the Empire themes and remnants of past lost empires. Some islands are more Polynesian and probably near the Isle of Dread or reusable. 16 pages of adventure ideas. Flying creatures and ship rules, triremes several class varients (forester, and rake) and magic-user mods. The people seem more Mediterranean than other realms. Characters start with prejudice and we are told female adventurers frowned on in places. It has extra options for fighters too like sheilds. So AC is dex mod plus shields (4 types) and armour reduces damage, criticals, bows and crossbows half armour, hit locations, combat maneuvers, gladiator combat and other weirdness. New magic spells and magic item making, and flying ships. There is a lot in here and it will take a bit of reading. The flavour here shines through and the many rule mods would really change your dnd game. I had no idea this book had stuff like this. I might try some like the AC system. 

I hope will be more of these.Drivethrough POD have all been reliable and If they help destroy crazy prices that would be good. will do some more of these while my brain recovers.

Dawn of emperors proving very inspirational.

Footnote: When known world was called mystara and the princess arc stuff in Dragon was out I lost interest in setting. Glad to see lots of young ppl hate flying ships. Not that I would never do it but it but it wouldnt be like this. I respect all the work fans have done on it and do follow it but I find over development of RPG settings is a problem not an asset.

Tuesday 9 February 2021


Im considering building into my game stuff for extra benefits of classes at 20th level and mechanics to destroy the campaign and the characters lives if they continue. Cos I really want to go back to a low level game but see how broken my current game can get.

20th Lv max. Once you hit 20th lv you risk apotheosis like mutants do in my game. But this will be a score which triggers gods and planar beings interacting with you and meddling your life until your score reached a point the god's plot to end you to join them or punish you if you reject them and make your life as tragic as possible. I guess if in my game you put extra points into alignment and this would tap into what kinds of beings might become interested in meddling with you. Once the gods notice you your days are usually numbered. So some people would avoid ever becoming 20th lv and become a lich at 18th...

I guess somehow every time you do something awesome you get a chance of drawing the gaze of the gods - some great doom where the gods will try to fix your destiny.

Roll on Apotheosis Each When You:
Defeat a mighty foe
Make a major campaign advance (save kingdom, find a thing, finish dungeon)
Destroy any monument or monster placed by a planar power
Rescue kingdom or world or plane from a threat
Operate artefact or control apparatus of the gods
Win a war versus a superior opposite aligned enemy

Something like this: 

d12 Possible Apotheosis For 20th Level Characters
1 A power is angered that heroes slew one of their chosen
2 A power finds the hero attractive and offers risk free divine love 
3 A powerful titanic monster is sent by the gods to punish hubris
4 A cosmic being directs mighty enemies at the hero to be executed
5 A cosmic being offers power if you change the alignment, may use tricks ot blackmail
6 A horrible being from beyond is drawn hungrily to heroes power
7 A deity or planar power attacks the hero personally
8 A power gives you the gift of ageless immortality to wander the world never changing
9 A power brings you to another dimension to punish you 
10 Powers kill a loved one or follower even sending them a new friend prior
11 Several powers gather to transform hero into a petty god
12 A power invites you to join an eternal utopia for your alignment, refusal is death then take your remains to your new home and remake you there from otherworldly matter as a planar native  

Each player would get own usually when alone over some time if possible. Possibly players contriving to cheat the gods of destiny will cause everyone to be entwined in each other messes. Getting to top tier game equals comic enemies out to get you or destroy you with their fatal love. A god might think they are helping you sending elder abominations from before the world loose at you. 

d12 Why do the powers torment me so?
1 Powers had an assembly and agreed to target hero 
2 Some supplicant to a mighty power was heard to gaze on the hero
3 Powers have made a game out of your fate and intertwined it with others
4 Power wants to test your worthiness for godhood with ordeal or foe
5 Power wants revenge over some harm done to a favourite
6 Power plots to have the hero come into conflict with another power
7 Power had an interest in the soul in a previous incarnation
8 Power is a primordial ancestor of hero
9 Power finds hero attractive as a lover or as an obstacle to be jealous of 
10 Powers have chosen hero to be nexus of a cataclysmic war or conflict
11 Powers have chosen hero to be nexus of a kingdom-wide disaster 
12 Power seeks to trigger the apocalypse and wants to use the hero

Monday 8 February 2021

Tundra Protogods vs Lichsent Demons

Cave game amazingly surviving and players deciding what shenanigans to get up to. Having to define cosmology and history more now planeshift is available to 14th level party. 
Rulings for today:
-followers from charisma can get 2 alignment oaths, others just follow their hero blindly
-demons make summoning demon rolls until they fail
-demons with separate % for summoning each type of demon can fail each type separately 
-demons on mortal plane as 1st ed AD&D MM and on home plane dnd5 MM

Reaction rolls with race mods got referred to as prejudice saves 
Orc bard follower got a reduced reaction roll with the dwarf king who never talked to an orc in 400 years. As players did lots of diplomacies with various strange peoples and demihuman clans these sorta happened a bit. Each player and sometimes key followers got reaction rolls and each had different reactions. Giants are pretty unpopular.
Todays Game
Party of heroes satisfied necromancer driven away and his temple destroyed and people scattered or eaten by a dragon. The dragon has a year pact and claimed the coast. So there is peace. Considered visiting other dimensions but instead flew castle from the north most land to the middle of the world looking for where these trouble makers might have come from and hoping to hunt and kill the lich who escaped by 8hp. 

Sourberry the Elflord of the Twilight Clan - hobbies: plane travel, magic craft
Lanos the Sky Giant - hobbies: smiting wicked, raising giant intelligent dogs
Boron the Warrior Lord of the sky ziggurat of red ape valley 

Said goodby to ziggurat of Red Ape Valley and Sunderhill Cavern village. Weeks over the sea they came across a great rock wall and rose over a great mountain land. Did spot a giant valley and saw glacial forts, giant redwood log cabins, and huge caves where giants dwelled. A shapeshifter changed from a dove to a frost giant and party got pretty aggressive at visitors taunts about what lawful and good people should do to an ambassador. Ambassador demanded castle handed over to his legitimate clan. Party said they took it from formarians not frost giants and nobody wanted to admit being kin to them or losing to them. Some chaotic evil giants think other chaotic evil giants take it to far and spoil it for all demonic fanatics.  Giant turned in a dove and flew away with an agreement they would fly away. The frost giant seemed confident party would die eventually and then they would claim it. 

Flew past a vast elf kingdom then over mountains and some mammoth tusk huts and a vast evil swamp the sky castle dubbed Lanoshiem flew over. Met a swamp tribe then found the former vast sprawling City of Skulls, the slave lords of the world under the monster kings used this port a thousand years ago to enslave the world.

Flew over the sprawling cursed ruins of the city of slavery and someone called a demon to attack. It was one of those boar headed ones with tiny wings and fur. Players made preparations and a spell had no effect on the projected image. The demon was bad enough but it summoned one of the Balor demons to it's aid. This battle was a mess. The melee specialist Boron and Lanos couldn't reach the flying demons mostly and they used their first missile attacks in a while. The griffons proved quite handy and resilient. The demon made a fear symbol and Lanos ran and got chased by the Balor who tried to tear out mace of Lanos from his grip with telekinesis. But Lanos had his loyal big dog ran over and cast +1save fear cantrip and he got a new save with protection from evil and resisted. Lanos tried climbing castle walls and running on the top and the demons easily got out of his way. Sourberry meanwhile found chain lightning fizzled on the Balor's superior magic resistant and broke the chain effect pssst! The boar demon slashed the elf and that demon got a griffon on its back. The Balor got a griffon on its back too. The castle sky priestess and Lanos fired light rays at the Balor hoping it's fire and darkness would be affected but it couldn't beat the magic resistance. The magic missile ended up destroying Balor and Boron got on his griffon and finished the boar headed horror. Heroes took little damage but were shit scared and freaked by the difficulty of magic and the necessity of flight. 

Hid in a close mountain area and met dwarfs of local under the mountain town. They met the king and the great librarian, the alchemist master who sold them metal magic weapons and grenaides and the dwaft archbishop. Studied various things dwarfs knew as a spybase watching the ruins. Some 60 lich lived in the ruins in mostly sealed towers. Only the recent most less than a thousand years were humans and Arthraxus the enemy lich was one of them. He was a founder of the necromancer templars after the monster empire fell that made most people hate wizards. The dwarfs were going to help players access a tunnel with Sourberry using earth elementals to unblock it. This made a nice walk to the city ruin faster than climbing and kept the flying castle hidden from the city in the mountains. The orc bard follower of Boron proved a bit of an obstacle but he was the best orc the dwarves had ever met and found it confusing to meed a charming, witty one with courtly manners.

Party all prepped and moving into the underground road to get to the city ruins with less peril and possibly enter the tower via the celler as long as its not a cursed death trap. Using elementals to clear underground road to get close to the tower of the Lich. Might try and see if there is an underground entrance....