Sunday 30 May 2021

Post Apoc Desert Waste Encounters

Recently I did a beach/coast based post so the other big hole in desert wastes which are most of Australia now and growing daily. I'd love to see Ark2 crew above meet planet of the apes and solve all ape vs human problems in 22 minutes.

Game last night. Players include a 2-h gun-fu mutant fighter and a cockatoo abhuman martial artist and competent with any weapon mostly shotguns and his bodyguard modded sexbot. One great moment was characters in a buried foyer with stairs going up and three elevators with crucified bodies near them. Crept close to see if alive and out of centre lift doorway stepped a creepy moaning long-limbed mutant. Cockatoo threw a grenade into the liftshaft and it bounced back through the party and about 9m. Cockatoo jumped into the lift shaft for cover and glided down into a shark-filled pit. Gunman got some shrapnel and was prone and got attacked by the wounded creature. Party now going on 5th level and have lots of guns including grenades, an SMG and a fancy folding assault rifle. Also found a good old 7d6 laser rifle which the party boss will want if known about. Wondering if we can shoot through lots of weak people in a line. Was a lovely moment when someone sneaked up on a fountain and a crock grabbed them and death rolled them, then the people who came to help ran through giant frog ambush areas.

Anyway here are tables I need for people who try the more inland desert roads instead of away from them. One day will do some stuff on life on southern seas and Antarctica and stuff you might find there on the surface or below. Possibly this will fit in with my Flooded Adelaide.

d10 Quick Encounter Types
01 Weather
02 Plants
03 Game 
04 Geological
05 Preditors
06 Bugs
07 Monsters
08 Tribals
09 Travellers
10 Weird of the wastes

d100 Post Apoc Desert Waste Encounters
01 Red dust cloud sweeps over horizon and rest of day choked in dust, visibility and breathing trouble for 4d days without mask and goggles
02 Dust devils or Willy-WiIly hundreds of yards high, d4 dancing around the area
03 Small dust devils only a 3d4m high dance about erratically
04 Huge storm floods area greening area and attracting and awakening animal life
05 Great heatwave for d4 days of over 40 Celcius, sunburn and dehydration and glare
06 Weird auroras flash in sky at night d4 days look miraculous like polar lights all coms and broadcast power down (laser coms may work)
07 Thousands of bugs swarm in the sky d4 1=huge mutant blowflies 2=locusts 3=mosquitoes 4=carnverous budgies
08 Pleasant mild rain comes and goes giving a refreshing break
09 Strange coloured clouds rain d4 1=mutagenic rain 2=chem tainted rain 3=acid rain 4=narcotic (now people shooting at clouds makes sense) 
10 Hot dusty wind and smell of distant bushfires get worse making sky yellow-red and making breathing harder
11 Wind brings carnivorous tumbleweeds or wolf weeds roll after the scent of meat
12 Delicious scented herd animal like sheep or kangaroo is actually a fungus if eaten save or converted to a similar mass that seeks to be eaten. Tribals know how to cook safely
13 Cactus colony inhabited by small angry cactus people and their pet giant carniverous beetles who live inside cacti together
14 Palm like tree with huge flower on top, when threatened open s and emits strange rays d4 1=radiation 2=microwaves 3=electric arc 4=solar powered laser
15 Large tree that looks shady with huge trunk d4 1=colony of generating morlocks live in roots 2=plant flings explosive fruit at threatening animals and to spread seeds 3=has tentacles and teeth 4=converted into a small prison cell
16 Tree has remains of ancients in branches d4 1=car 2=boat 3=light aircraft 4=crashed forestry robot
17 Desert adapted triffids 2-3m tall that grow with attractive fake berry growths to lure animals close. Often adopt a small watering hole
18 Mass of prickly pear cacti cover several kilometres but has good fruit, edible flesh and homes bugs and lizards
19 Glistening green pond or dam is a living biomass that snatches creatures attracted to it
20 Mutant paddymelon vines can hurl explosive melons and attack with entangling tendrils groun
21 Herd of red mutant kangaroos over 2m tall 1in6 are a huge herd with d4 aggressive males
22 Herd of mutant emus 
23 Wombat waddling along
24 Giant lizard bathing in the sun
25 Mutant camel often alone or 1in4 with small herd valuable if caught
26 Herd of ferals d4 1=goats 2=horses 3=pig 4=deer 5=ostrich 6=rhino
27 Giant desert rabbits warren or lone hare
28 Mutant preditors d4 1=wedgetailed eagle 2=fox 3=cat 4=dingos 3d4
29 Tribal tuber garden seeming just scraggly plants on the surface, giant grubs in the soil eat the tubers and are good eating too. Those with tribal survival skills recognise instantly 
30 Insect colony possibly edible d4 1=Termite mounds 2=honey ant nest 3=group of 2d6 giant native bees each with own burrow and honeyhole 4=
31 Silt sand travellers sink deeper and deeper into, covers many kilometres
32 Broken glass covers vast area burned by atomic fire long ago
33 Rock outcrop with tribal art and a few scragley trees  
34 Stony outcropping with tribal art if ixplored can climb down 3d6+6m pit with spring water in bottom
35 Great open pit with wrecked mining mechs rusted and overgrown with intact mine tunnels
36 Very old mine hole fenced off with warning sign from 1800s
37 Tin shed with bore pump that if repaired can bring up water ground but it requires purification d4 1=radioactive 2=salt 3=minerals 4=mutant micro organisms, survival helps improvise treatments
38 Huge fault in earth producing a cliff 3d6m high on a d6 is a crack forming a canyon with water and vegetation and animals
39 Fenced off sheds from some kind of ancient mining site with d3 robots to keep out intruders and a wrecked mining mech fallen or half buried
40 Old mine entrance with locked barred gate, inside is remains of a shelter and inhabitants last days
41 Sand squid try to snatch travellers
42 Giant golden marsupial mole lunges at moving surface meat
43 Sand sharks telekinetically swim through the sand
44 Giant reptile hunting d4 1=thorny devil 2=bearded dragon 3=goanna 4=frillneck
45 Allosaurus descended from escaped theme park attraction, smaller and feathered
46 Giant desert frog concealed near trail or pool gobbles up anything in range
47 Giant desert bat mutant horror at night travel in packs
48 Giant burrowing desert snake
49 Thylacene pack hunting
50 Colossal mutant lizard can swallow people whole
51 Giant ant colony most 30cm but 1in4 bigger d4m, live in large mounds, 1in6 are a hive mind that has built pit traps sliding into chambers to be studied enslaved or eaten
52 Giant termite mounds 3om high d6 of them with 1m long termites, good food but dangerous to threats
53 Giant praying mantises d4 waiting hidden in vegetation or flying
54 Giant trapdoor spider nest by path
55 Gigantic sand worm or carrion worm
56 Giant antlion sand traps
57 Giant scarab beetle rolling giant ball of dung way run people ove
58 Giant scorpion
59 Giant centipedes or single huge specimine
60 Giant locusts reached carnivorous faze and starved
61 Giant wombat like diprotodons 2d4 wander across desert
62 Terror bird flock hunting, descended from theme park exhibit
63 Hideous mutant slime creature 1in4 disguised as pools
64 Mutant chimera fusion of various animals crazed with hunger
65 Mutant sphynx fusion of various animals and at least one human
66 Tentacled mutant shoggoth hungry for protoplasm
67 Lone insane mutant wandering the wasteland
68 Robot infantryman limping, long past life expectancy with a sniper rifle
69 Robot hovercar with solar cells drives about with dead passengers by day
70 Lone damaged d4 1=cyborg soldier hunting humans for organs 2=android hunting humans 3=exterminator borg on search and destroy mission and confused 4=replicant on the run
71 Tribal campsite 1in6 chance you can dig for water here
72 Small shady patch of trees with an ancient campsite and a pool of water 1in4 chance needs to be dug to reach
73 Cache of tribals with d6 emu eggs filled with water, beeswax, ochre, dried meat, salt 
74 Bushes used by tribal people d4 1=bush berries 2=healing medicine 3=mild stimulant for marching 4=desert limes
75 Lone old tribal on long religious journey chanting
76 Tribal hunters d4 1=looking for monster 2=cooking catch 3=following animal migration 4=secret initiation ritual
77 Tribal gatherers of d4 1=wood 2=grubs 3=worms 4=honey
78 Tribal war party d4 1=hunting raider gang 2=hunting slavers 3=seek rival interlopers on land 4=hunting breaker of tribal lore
79 Tribal abhuman beast folk hunting d4 1=goanna 2=kangaroo 3=emu 4=ant
80 Large camp for ceremonies and feasting, outsiders welcome only some parts and kept away from secret rituals
81 Sail powered buggy with bicycle pedals and solar cells d4 1=lone explorer from colont 2=scout for isolated colony 3=wrecked with sail tangled around dead driver 4=group fleeing raiders with bikes and buggies on an urgent mission
82 Raider gang with d4 buggies 2d4 bikes desperate for food, fuel and mayhem
83 Lone hunter from some community with scrap rifle or bow
84 Traders with wagons and beasts of burden from far away
85 Feral child living in wreckage or ruin uses sling on intruders or tries to rob them
86 Ruined shack with remains of inhabitant, 1in4 is now a lair of a creature d4 1=giant spider 2=giant scorpion 3=mutant 
87 Loner outcaste d4 1=wasteland serial killer, seems friendly travel companion 2=exiled criminal 3=wandering vigilante and pet hunting vicious gangs 4=last survivor of old faction nobody remembers
88 Lost Traveller d4 1=lost child 2=lost traveller with dead camel 3=broken buggy or bike 4=unconcious adventurer dehydrated and sunburnt
89 Robed cultists with hoods and masks watch and follow strangers, may raid for sacrificial victims
90 Aircraft d4 1=scrap built balloon 2=airship trader 3=scrap ultralight scout flyer 4=high altitude spyplane
91 Small house long abandoned with some furniture and photos and rubbish inside
92 Colonial stone wall or small fenced graveyard with d6+4 headstones
93 Small shack with stove and campsite d4 1=creature lair 2=lone outcaste hideout 3=eldely cannibals 4=skeletons and some goods
94 Remains of an emergency airfield d4 1=windsock and radio tower 2=hanger sheds 3=below ground fuel depot with atomic fuel cells and autoloader 4=underground sealed hanger with military hardware and defence robots 
95 Subterranean settlement has hidden cameras and spydrones watching area d4 1=androids sent to hunt 2=scientists send robot for specimen 3=defence send cyborg troops to question intruders 4=send invite visitors to feast is secret pleasure bunker with attractive horny lonely people use a drone or hologram
96 A modern modular structure has been erected crackling with power, is a teleporter pad to an orbital station d6 1=orbidal machine god craves an audience with adventurers 2=space people require experts to find certain goods 3=visitors imprisoned, tested and to be cyborged unless they can escape 4=decedant orbital folk seek to learn about crude emotions of filthy degenerate Earthers 5=organs and data to be harvested and brains used in borgs 6=strange ethereal humanoids from deep space seek to collect DNA and recorded your brain in name of interstellar brotherhood and understanding
97 Land leviathan huge tracked or walking vehicle big enough for small settlement inside, wandering the wastes randomly d4 1=automated mining mech with feral children inside 2=mobile military command now a filthy raider gang base 3=mobile medical command centre now full of mutant cultists 4=construction mech occupied by androids and an AI hostile to humans
98 Geodesic dome mostly full of feral creature, robots, androids and undead. 1in4 are sealed and intact with people living as ancients d4 1=private living complex 2=lab complex 3=sealed town 4=sealed dome town mostly buried 
99 Wrecked semi-buried aircraft
100 Concrete pillbox and bunker door 1in4 not open and vandalised, d4 1=being explored by clan of scrappers and prospectors unwelcoming to new rivals 2=sealed ancient faction base with survivors in habitat deep in the earth 3=morlocks colony with a captured level of ignorant food humanoids living in pleasure 4=A mutant brain inside creates illusions to lure people deeper into the complex and has captured beings kept in comas for dreams are in storage in laboratory vats

Friday 28 May 2021

Automapping. Why don't we have these spells already?

Why didn't this happen earlier. Dyson cant come and map at every game in the world for you.

Cast spell get prop map easy.

Spyball 1st Lv
Comes from the caster's mouth, lasts one round per level, and flies at Mov 16 sending back visual data in a 60 foot long 30-degree cone but cannot pass a closed-door and can be attacked (AC+4 1HP/Lv). If killed the spell expires and the caster takes a d4 damage and is blind in one eye for a d4 rounds.

Slothmogs Lazy Cartographer 2nd level
Draws a 50x50 foot square map showing passages at least a foot wide. 
Shows common map key features like doors, statues, columns, stairs, windows but not hidden or secret ones or trapdoors. As if drawn by a spirit taking a quick look around. Can place the square area starting anywhere you can see in the 300-foot range. Note: considered making mile per level and or feature per level

Konsumterra's Infallible Mapper 5th level
Draws a map of a building map with a 50-foot circle around you as you explore it. Shows common map key features like doors, statues, columns, stairs, windows but not hidden or secret ones or trapdoors. A magical scroll appears in air near caster unfurling as they explore leaving them a long roll scroll of map. The spell lasts a turn per level

Druid Eye 5th Level
Draws a map of a wilderness area four miles ahead or a 4 mile hex on a wilderness map. The map includes terrain, vegetation, roads, bodies of water, elevation, hills and will include a d6 locations of note prioritising biggest settlements then camps, caves and clearings. Monoliths, bridges, lairs may be included in these. You could repeat cast this on the same hex for a d6 more things in the same hex but increasingly will mark animal nests, grazing and herb locations. Eventually, you may get to the point it may be deemed fully explored.

Note: considered making mile per level and or feature per level - thoughts?

Gordians Urban Exposition 5th Level
Creates a basic map of a city with walls, gates, rivers, roads, suburbs and the central square. For each level get one more feature including monuments, palaces, barracks, specific crafters and other detail. Such a map folds from a tiny piece of folded paper into a poster-sized handy folding city map. 

Gordian's Architectural Extractor 7th level
Draws an architectural or blueprint fit for a builder on a single piece of paper or animal hide or wall. The caster stands at the entrance or threshold of the area. Spirits swarm from the caster's mouth and over the subject area for a d4 hours invisibly probe, feel and examine the dungeon level or whole tower or whole mansion or small village in a 300f/100m circle. Well made secret doors may be hidden but spaces and architectural features might use them. You could possibly map an anthill, a rabbit warren, a block of sewer pipes or find termite tunnels. Does not include furnishings but does include architectural features. Sometimes a lair map will reveal a large sleeping creature. Wizards architects can use this to steal designs and copy them

Thursday 27 May 2021

d100 Villain Backstories

I'm a bit Aristotelian with my villains - the best villains are a bit tragic and if only they were good guys, not jerks are part of their vibe. Some might be redeemable some are long past the point but there is some germ in them of past suffering or tragedy. I might need a separate table for mid-tier bosses and bullies with a sort of less sympathetic backgrounds for mid-tier jerks. I guess the master from DrWho is a pretty good villain. He shares an origin with the Doctor and was a friend but at some point went a different path. Sometimes they cooperate and work well together and respect each other mostly conflict but it nice and personal from the shared link. Possibly the tragedy is simply the villain decided to go for egoism, power or forbidden knowledge. Some tragedy might be the villain thinks they know best possibly from some personal experience. Revenge might start a villains career....  Linking to a character is a useful thing too...

I guess edgelord characters might like these too so you can 
justify your terrible deeds.

You could roll a few and try to mess them up.

Maybe you could help some villains and sorta get along.

d10 What happened to family?
01 Killed by a cult
02 Died in prison
03 Starved in horrible famine
04 Died in a horrible war
05 Killed by the plague 
06 Executed for treason by the ruler
07 Killed by bandits or criminals
08 Killed by a bigoted mob 
09 Murdered by family enemies
10 Murdered by evil relatives

d100 Quick Backstory Types
01 Urchinry - left homeless after the loss of family
02 Utopia lost - lived a rare life of privilege and comfort 
03 Crime & Punishment - some cruel torment 
04 Cult crisis - religious drama
05 Love gone wrong - relationships apparently make it ok to be awful
06 War gone wrong - seen the worst 
07 Friends & Enemies - relationships wrecked everything
08 Cursed Taint - something changed them with taint
09 Destined by Fates - omens warn of their coming
10 Magical Mystery - magic stuff

d100 Villain Backstories
 Raised in an orphanage child sweatshop in an industrial city
02 Foundling adopted by mean family treated as a farm slave
03 Was kidnapped and raised by some strange social outcastes
04 Was raised on street and survived off begging and thieving
05 Tormented by a sadistic relative or guardian until escaped
06 Spent time lost and starving in the wilderness
07 Clan or people all exterminated and raised by strangers
08 Left at a shrine as a baby and raised by religion or cult
09 Child slave bought by family and 1in6 eventually adopted
10 Kept in a cage and tormented by d4 1=witch 2=monster 3=rich weirdo 4=relative
11 Raised by a perfect successful family who tragically was all killed suddenly
12 Raised in a palace but escaped siege where the family all killed
13 Raised in an idyllic hidden community destroyed by invaders
14 Raised by simple jolly affluent farmer folk who died suddenly
15 Adopted by kind wealthy family and adopted into the clan before they all died 
16 Raised by hidden magical faerie folk of the wilderness
17 Raised by magical animal folk d4 1=talking animals 2= beastfolk 3=centaurs 4=fauns
Raised by kindly demihumans d4 1=dwarfs 2=elves 3=halflings 4=gnomes
19 Raised by harsh but wonderous humanoids d4 1=goblinoids 2=orcs 3=ogres 4=giants
 Raised in a fairyland by dryads and nymphs, reached adulthood in a year mortal time
21 Spent years in prison colony
 performing hard labour in a faraway land 
22 Spent years in a dungeon beneath a horrible prison complex of a tyrant

23 Spent years in slavery performing hard labour including farming and mining
24 Spent years around gladiatorial fighter pits among slaves and death
25 Captured by humanoids and enslaved as labourer or fighting thrall
26 Born in prison, the whole family in prison for generations
27 Accused of crime and sentenced to death, had to flee life
28 Family dealings with criminals were exposed by enemies, most were killed
Family dealings with criminals all killed by the rival crime group
30 Accused of a crime and had to flee family 
 Family accused of heresy all killed by the mob led by an amateur witch hunter
32 Family members accused of keeping forbidden books and hunted by the inquisition
33 Family had a blood feud with a cult and both sides decimated and scattered
34 Cult seek character for bloody sacrifice and family massacred trying to stop them 
35 Cult raised as a child and saw depraved terrible things
36 Cultists killed family, burned down-home and kidnapped child to raise as own
37 A family member taught villain cult lore in secret then the rest of the family burned for cult crimes they were innocent of
38 Family became cultists and wanted to sacrifice the villain 
39 Family joined fringe religion or sect and were banished and ruined by state
40 Family were rounded up and sacrificed to summon an evil god or demon or monster
41 A mature lover corrupted and abused villain who had to flee
42 A lover was tortured and killed by d4 1=demons 2=church 3=state 4=cult
43 Lover was carried to hell and is imprisoned beyond the ability to communicate with
44 Lover betrayal, allowed enemies to get close and almost was killed 
45 Lover fled to arms of an enemy and spread slander (couldn't be your fault)
46 Lover died in childbirth and child kidnapped by mysterious persons 
47 Lover was really a plant being and they were banished to another realm
48 Lover magically imprisoned or asleep and is helpless, requiring constant protection
49 Lover stole secrets and fled d4 1=charmed 2=possessed 3=insane from black lotus 4=cursed
50 Lover taken hostage by the enemy and never returned
51 War destroyed homeland and friends
52 Years of war made them callous and indifferent to suffering
53 After seeing the loss of war and tyranny determined to do better 
54 Was part of a losing faction that was crushed unfairly
55 Served an incompetent or insane leader who went too far
56 Kinslayer wars over a blood feud decimated two great clans
57 Clan destroyed in war and survivors lived in secret as assassins
58 Grew in poverty in war crushed kingdom in constant danger from warlords
59 Kept as a prisoner of war in torment and escaped into the wilderness for years
60 Beaten in war and people crushed under tyranny in which family vanish
61 Joined with a peer into an alliance but became deadly enemies 
62 Had a great ally who was killed by enemies
63 A former ally betrayed them in a grab for power
64 Came into conflict with the enemy and both have caused each other many enemies
65 Has spent life battling a monster who now seems to now live to torment them
66 An enemy has constantly goaded them into increasingly worse conduct
67 Served a former lord faithfully then turned on them and took their power
68 Was infamous adventurer murder hobo party all turned corrupt and still keep in contact and aid each other
69 Served a dark lord with peers until betrayed and it all fell apart
70 Rivalry with per turned to bloody factional war
71 Found an evil relic that tainted them
72 Came under the influence of a forbidden idol
73 Read too much blasphemous lore
74 Passed through a mysterious portal
75 Came to be served by a sinister pet who seemed to whisper to them
76 Sold soul to hell for revenge and became agent of hell
77 Allied self to demon lord for sinister powers
78 Visited hidden black library of forbidden lore and were never the same
79 Once wielded a powerful relic now lost they will do anything to get back
80 Visited the hidden underground capital of the sinister black lotus empire
81 Born under an evil star sign and prophets troubled
82 A parent vanished after birth, some believe was a magical being
83 Bare signs from a prophecy predicting great evil and troubles to follow them
84 A witch made a terrible prediction of fate when young
85 Performed an act that prophets warned was a sign of dark days ahead
86 Found a follower who gave warnings of the future yet manipulated them to evil
87 Performed a vile act and a saint declared them the enemy of the church
88 Conquered a weird villain and took their home, slowly becoming more like old master
89 A dark power has taken an interest in their career as a patron
90 Came into mental contact with some forgotten evil power
91 Made a pact with planar beings for power through forbidden oaths
92 Went to adventure in other worlds came back bitter and strange
93 Was lost in the Sunderland kingdoms and the dark deep for too long
94 Adventured beneath the sea to the underwater fairyland until cast out
95 Lost in the abyss with the adventuring party, was the only survivor
96 Opened the titanic crypt of a dark god on a strange magic island of kelp
97 Was taken to the stars by outer beings and saw things not for mortals
98 Became chosen of dark dungeon spirit to expand across the world
99 Lost adventuring the planes and made a deal with power to return
100 Someone loved is captive of planar power who demands service

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Slug Caverns of Deceit part 1: Rolling Up A Random Dungeon


I have been playing lots of turned based wargames of late (250 hours on warlords three) as you can do this and watch tv and interact with ppl wanting attention. Have been playing my post apoc game and using Mutant Epoc adventures which are going OK - still finding the choose your own adventure approach a bit broken but maps and references to page and entry numbers helps a bit. In the Mall of Doom players suitably suspicious of the cult and gaining more and more guns and ammo.

Projects in works:
Slug Caverns of Deceit - giving me some ideas for more stuff
Strange Shops of Shadelport (paragraph entry each) 30%
Second-Hand Sex Androids and Robots 60% slow going
Supervillain bosses for espionage/modern/superheroes 76% slow going
The Orc Prince Module 
A-Z desert ruin - sitting a few years
Some huge thinkpiece thing on card mechanics  - sitting a few years
D100 minor mythos museum fillers  - sitting a few years
Meat Elementalism of Xow meat spells of 4 meat elements - sitting a few years

So If I get a youtube thing going one thing I thought about was to show me using random stuff to build settings on the fly. Basically, grab some Dyson and other maps and thematic tables and go.... No time frames as I'm not wanting to give me deadlines right now. Actually, I'm struggling with deadlines and motivation. Some post 51st birthday funk.

Ok so today I'm gonna use my Redbrick Dungeon Zone Book

1st will get Dungeon basics and then will grab some free map or maybe doodle one if I'm bothered. My last few dungeons were overblown in size and I need to get back to small things. 

Random dungeon name bits to something like
"Slug Caverns of the Deceit"
this might not survive but will see

Who built the dungeon?
Prehuman Slugfolk burrowed this rock with their own stomach acid long ago

Who are the Dungeon Lords Now?
A decadent sorcerer Yoric Strangeplough rules this private pleasure pit for followers and rich weirdos, refitted and modified the dungeon with furnishings and murals. Having been driven out of the land the sorcerer works with plotters and traitors against the king to weaken the kingdom.

Dungeon Missions?
A creepy apprentice gives adventurers a list of exotic organs the master wants for spells including unicorn eyes and blink dog tails. Mentions after any drugs available also just bring it all to the master's dungeon. He seems to assume the party are evil mercenaries. The party are given a map to the dungeon a day away with a few weak wild encounters on the way.

Various monsters working for Yoric dress as undead and pretend their master is a lich. A new ambitious sub boss has sent blackmail letters to village leaders demanding protection from undead fees of 200gp a year

A scrap of an adventurers journal, was fighting slug demon here long ago with great power 

Dungeon Persona
Chaotic Evil. Tainted by aeons of slub demon magic then cultists lived here and now the sorcerer is the apparent leader of the first level. Chaotic phenomena and evil hauntings taint the cave, some areas have doppelganger spirits. An ancient slug demon spirit craves release and a new body. The Sorcerer has been having dreams instructing him to bring in sacrifices to revive the slug demon spirit and believes he will receive wishes. The spirit is trapped in an idol on the second level temple. It draws through things from the eternal dungeons of the slug demon dimension to torment humans with the lure of forbidden vice. It is cooly calculating but limited at the moment. The demon can see through any keyhole in the dungeon. It wants intruders to break the seals yet not kill it in its weakened flesh form when released before its petty god abilities return and it can release slug monsters from the dark dimension. It grew from an egg laid in the darkness before the first sunrise. The demons old body has a head in a jar hidden that if wielded protects the user from the demon's powers or gaze. The dungeon can manifest cold viscous disgusting slug slime ectoplasm when it pleases and if displeases it will form over every surface. Any treasure from the dungeon can be made to weigh ten times more inside the dungeon if the dungeon pleases, usually when adventurers try to leave. 

Local bandit gangs have been working with the dungeon especially providing sacrifices and vice, the leader Basil Abbott has been receiving dreams and has become second in the vice and pleasure cult. A bard Minion acts as a spy for the cult in town and to spread lies about the dungeon to attract adventurers. She might even come with adventurers. The dungeon will leave out some easy treasure to tempt adventurers inside. 

Great secrets of personal power and profit await the worthy within!
-promises of vice and pleasure among some 
-promises of magic treasure for special adventurers
Deliberately spread with maps and journal entries
A few zero or 1st lv folk are looking to form a party to investigate
One of the sorcerer's apprentices might give a note
The bard might sing a song about easy pickings from the slug cult

The threshold is actually a gate - the levels partially exist on another plane the lower one moreso. There is a secret passage in nearby rocks used by the cult to avoid setting off traps.

The front door is a bronze gate emblazoned with salamanders but here by dwarves to seal the place long ago. The doors and locks melted away from a magic fire trap set off.

The sorcerer gets a strange pang when adventurers enter sent by the demon slug spirit
Entry Area: 
Past upper floors have collapsed destroying what finery was here, water and slimey muck have trickled in and fungus and toadstools have sprouted. Pools in the rubble and huge slugs as big as an arm crawl on every surface. Giant frogs lurk in the pools near the most obvious path ready to ambush. The path reaches several entrances into 

Non cult areas have become slime encrusted with filth and have puddles of water on the floor, slugs are common and the areas are dark and cool. They smell like an uncleaned subway toilet.

The cult areas are warmer, dry and slime free with carpets and artworks and candlholders everywhere and feels cosy (this is partially an illusion that ends when the demon is free).

2m wide cramped circular stairways from Lv 1 to 2 concealed by secret doors

1st Level is grey fired bricks
-ruined areas
-cult sanctum
2nd Level is smooth carved from rock aeons ago 

Use bound prisoners (preferably sobbing ones) as bait
Illusions protect cult areas
Giant slug ambush in lower areas

d12 Lv 1 Ruined Area Encounters
1 Bandit gang members 3d4
2 Sorcerer cultist lost
3 Apprentice sorcerers d4+1
4 Giant leeches d3  
5 Cries of bound gagged prisoner chained to wall (trapped)
6 Giant frogs d4+1
7 Slugfolk abhuman berserker warriors d4+2
8 Slugfolk priest Lv 4 and d4 1st lv priests
9 Poltergiest spirit
10 Rat or bat swarm
11 Flail snail
12 Inept 1st lv adventurer party d4+2

d12 Lv 1 Cult Areas
1 Lone initiate sorcerer having bad trip
2 Initiate sorcerers kissing d2+1
Initiate sorcerers on way somewhere d4+2
4 Known townsfolk visiting for some vice d6

5 Doppelganger in disguise has been eating cultists
6 Bandits visiting 2d4
7 Cloud of narcotic vapour save or need a nap for d4 turns
8 Brainwashed servant cult member doing chores
8 Brainwashed cultists in dancing costumes d6
9 Brainwashed servants bringing food to cultists 
 Gigantic slugs squeezing in through a crack or vent
 Bandit leader and 2d4 bandits
 Yoric the sorcerer with a d3 Initiates

d12 Lv 2 Slug Caves Areas
1 Giant hungry slug
2 Slugfolk abhuman berserker d4
Slugfolk priest Lv 4 and d4 human 1st lv priests
4 Poltergiest spirit
5 Spectral minions of slugfolk cultists d6
6 Ochre jelly
7 Gelatinous cube
8 Flail snail
9 Cave clam
10 Green slime
11 Carrion worm
12 Giant carnivorous beetles d4

So next to find some maps for these and randomly fill them based on this framework using the rest of the book. Also boss stuff. This worked out pretty well and it was easy to connect some threads in tables. Also will clean up the background stuff but overall turned out ok.

Friday 21 May 2021

Mining, Minerals & Magic

I've done some things like this before but I wanted something quick to make mines or mineral trade goods or commodities so I did this. Useful in a few games but probably I could add 

Dungeoneers survival guide from 1st ed Ad&D was a fave of mine good source for players quitting dungeons and digging for dollars. What if players had to get new ore to save the empire? Have gone for the Kickstarter for a new one. a great pc game for stealing alchemy from

d12 Common Mines
1 Stone Quarry*
2 Tin mine
3 Lead mine
4 Copper mine
5 Silver mine
6 Electrum mine
7 Gold mine
8 Coal mine
9 Salt mine
10 Bronze mine
 Iron Mine
12 Rare Mineral Mines*

*d12 Rare Minerals
1-2 Fossils
3-6 Semi-Precious Gems Mine
7-8 Gem Mines
9-11 Alchemical Mines
12 Magic Mines

d12 Quarried Stone
1 Flint - used to start fire and tools
2 Obsidian - volcanic glass used to make tools
3 Basalt - black volcanic stone
4 Lime - white stone from the ancient seafloor
5 Marble - beautiful stone for artworks
6 Granite - solid stone for tools or monuments
7 Pumice - cleaning, building, cosmetics
8 Shale - ceramics, construction or rock oil
9 Sand - construction, glass, farming
10 Slate - construction
11 Glass - remains of magical apocalypse
12 Brick - remains of a ruined lost civilisation

d12 Fossils
In ancient world before advanced cutting these are precious

1 Tiny sea creatures formed into masses of rock 
2 Trilobites
3 Shells from sea snails and shellfish
4 Chitin from huge crabs and arthropods
5 Crinoids and worms
6 Stromatolites 
7 Coral reef, some semiprescious chunks

8 Mass of bones 1in6 with ivory pieces
9 Trees and vegetation
10 Dragon bones
11 Giant and titan bones
12 Titan monster bones

d12 Semi-Precious Gem Mine
In ancient world before advanced cutting these are precious

1 Amber 
2 Jet
3 Amethyst 
4 Turquoise 
5 Crystal 
7 Moonstone
8 Sunstone
9 Lapis 
10 Beryl 
11 Quartz
12 Carnelian

d12 Gem Mine
1 Jade 
2 Beryl 
3 Peridot 
4 Garnet 
5 Topaz
7 Aquamarine
8 Citrine
9 Saphire 
10 Ruby
11 Emerald
12 Diamond

d12 Alchemical Mine
1 Arsenic
2 Sulphur or Brimstone
3 Manganese
4 Rock Oil
5 Potash
6 Cinnabar

7 ZInc
8 Antimony
9 Alum
10 Nickel
11 Pitchblende 
12 Mercury

d12 Magical Minerals
1 Lodestone - used for navigation
2 Metoric Steel can be enchanted to +3
3 Asbestos - salamander shed skin makes fireproof for shields and suits 
4 Sky Sones - see through bad weather and make lenses
5 Mithril Silver - can be enchanted to +4
6 Koboldium - burning metal used for kobold traps
7 Orichalcum - divine bronze and gold blend can be enchanted to +3
8 Star stones - ward away certain elder evils and beings from the void
9 Seer stones - used for divination and crystal balls and scrying devices 
10 El Metal - from another plane 
can be enchanted to +4
11 Chromatic Stones - magic coloured stones linked to various planes
12 Adamantium - metal of the gods can harm greatest gods can be enchanted to +5

d10 Quick Mine Problem types
1 Labour
2 Equipment needed
3 Air Hazards
4 Earth Hazards
5 Water Hazards
6 Fire Problems
7 Vermin
8 Business bothers
9 Unwelcome guests
10 Strange Things

d100 Mining Minerals & Magic Mishaps
 01 Shortage of labourers 
02 Labourers refuse to work over some problem
03 Labourers refuse to enter the mine
04 Lack o skilled foremen
05 Disease outbreak doctor cant handle
06 Agitator stirring up miners wanting better conditions
07 Miners suffering malnutrition
08 Miners suffering respiratory ailments
09 Miners follow strange superstitious traditions
10 Miners are fighting among each other
11 Require more mood for supports
12 Food shortages of basic equipment
13 Short on blacksmith made tools
14 Short on alcohol
15 Need medical supplies
16 Need improved water
17 Need sanitation works
18 Rope shortage
19 Livestock shortage
20 Means to pump out water from deep
21 Flammable gas seeping in
22 Poison gas seeping in
23 Poor air supply in depths
24 Fire fouled air (some mines burn for years)
25 Explosion from flammable gas
26 Miners sick from foul air require rest
27 Miners die from foul air
28 Mine has chilled air colder than expected 
29 Mine has hot air all miners sweaty
30 Mine has moving air from some deep cracks
31 Loose stones hurt workers
32 Cave in on tunnel complex
33 Miners trapped in area temporarily
34 Tap into natural caverns
35 Tap into giant burrow complex of monster
36 Find a major new resource deposit
37 Find deposit of a new resource
38 SInkhole into deep opens up
39 Found an ancient tomb
40 Found ancient underground highway of Underland
41 Tap underground water flooding area
42 Flooded areas require drainage
43 Humidity high always wet and dripping
44 Uncovered underground well
45 Uncovered cave with a lake inside
46 Uncovered underground river
47 Watterlogged soil causes collapse
48 Mine supports rotting from moisture
49 Sinkhole opens into underground body water
50 Lowest tunnel flooded
51 Low on quality lanterns and candles
52 Low on oil for lamps
53 Storage of lamp oil and candles burns down
54 A guy knows where you can catch glowing fish for light
55 Area in mine has to be kept fire and spark-free 
56 Miners shacks burn down
57 Mine area fire put out bu brave miners
58 Mine fire-damaged area needs new beams
59 Workers demand mine checked for flammable gas
60 Rat swarms thriving in the mine and bite miners
61 Giant rats have attacked miners
62 Carrion crawler has hidden in the mine
63 Giant ticks have attacked (hope no kaiju near)
64 Rockworms attacked some miners
65 Giant toads attacked some miners
66 Bats have colonised quiet mine areas
67 Giant lizard of some kind seen in mine
68 Colony of stirges settled in mine
69 Giant carnivorous beetles in mine
70 Giant ants or termites invade mine
71 Local druids complain about pollution
72 Toxic mine sludge causes local mutations
73 Toxic mine sludge pollutes local water
74 Soil washes into river and changes shape further down
75 Dam of mine sludge possibly unsafe say druids
76 Local wells polluted by mine angering locals
77 Families of miners riot demanding better housing
78 Noble sends a tax collector to set new tax rate
79 Incompetent engineer hated by workers
80 Local tribe or humanoids attacking supplies
81 Gremlins sneak into mine and inflict pranks and sabotage
82 Kobolds have dug into the mine and want it
83 Gnomes claim this mine belongs to them
84 Evil dark elves play sadistic and fatal pranks
85 Dwarves offer to join the workforce
86 Goblin invaders tunnel into mine they claim is there
87 Abhumans from the deep invade lower mine
88 Flaming salamanders from the deep in mine
89 Dungeon dwelling monster moves in
90 Giant worm attacks miners and digs tunnels
91 Miners build a shrine to dead miners lost in an accident
92 Miner saw a ghost and everyone stopped work
93 Passage is haunted by something and crews fear it
94 Rumours of cultists among miners performing rituals in cave
95 Missing miner found sacrificed by cultists
96 Miner has become a lycanthrope and eating peers
97 Shapeshifting spirit has been seducing workers into the wilderness
98 Occult graffiti on walls part of some unknown ritual
99 Imps and spirits from a hidden hellgate in mine causing trouble
100 Elemental creature or spirit hiding in the mine

Thursday 20 May 2021

Recent Post Apoc RPG Shop & Gaming

Mix of review and running my game with products mentioned in previous posts.

Recent Games
Have been alternating my stone age game when players low and we had a nice long session. Also running some solo stuff for planet psychon/brokenhill. Have an editor on Psychon book now. Players who are 15th lv in my stone age game are wary of facing anything with lowered numbers. Ive been running Mutant Epoch adventure stuff which has been pretty good. Aesthetics of body horror mutants and ruin porn are pretty compatible. I got a bunch of the day digs adventures and am hoping to read some later gamma world stuff to see how I could use it. Mutant Epoch, Fallout and Darwins world Mohave desert area stuff works pretty well in Australia with some map shifts.

The mutant epoch printed adventures use a choose your own adventure format to "help" the beginner which has some issues. Actually, the map labels mention page sections and it does work fairly well and players managed. The more I used it the easier it got. It's different to other adventures in presentation and takes a bit of getting used to. The tables under entries can be used to replay the same adventure in different ways (I make players roll). Also, the tables detail what each player finds but might trigger some vermin attack, a trap or some structural collapse while looting. So you can loot lots but risk encounters. 

So the solo character is a mutant trader lad who helped town tinkerer and Sherrif to become a looter with a blunderbuss to a merchant and now has a raider buggy and some more guns. Made travel amazingly faster and avoided various encounters and reached outer areas of Adelaide and hopes to sell broken sex robots at the best marketplace he could reach. Still has an hour at least through ganglands in semi flooded city ruins. While camped in Gawler I ran The Mall of Doom for Mutant Epoch which features an attack in a hotel. Its a bug hunt where the action starts immediately. The hotel is a good location. They ran out of hits and had to back off to heal but scored some loot and reputation. The next section driving through ganglands should be fun. Tried to join the wagon caravan until saw how slow they were compared to the buggy. Has agreed to go with a questionable courier in an armoured sedan.

My main gang having finished claiming a former minor political faction HQ from pre-war have been working for the warlord and running their gun and robot smithy shoppe in the walled settlers area of Silver City. Offered them to spy on a rival warlord town on a sporting event, investigate missing people near farm settlement (and investigate a local cult) and hunting raiders in the ancient mine tailings heaps. They chose option 2 and went to find farmers which led me to use 
Mall of Doom for Mutant Epoch. This had the party appropriately suspicious of the cult and they are currently scouting the ruined mall but moving to find missing people. The main guys are a gun-fu martial artist robot smith and the other a Cyan Galah abhuman martial artist and gunfighter good with improvised weapons. Found lots of guns and cool loot and barely a third through but might finish next session. The shop loot tables could all be recycled. 

I'm hoping on using some Darwins World stuff too and campaigns in a similar wasteland should work well.

I'm a bit interested in detailing subways under Broken Hill. A prewar vacuum tube line connected to three major coastal cities and some smaller lines to tourist attractions are possible places worth exploring and perhaps some could be re-opened as underground trade routes out of the sun. I've started adding some new skills for fun stuff too.

Some Gamma World Readings:
The furriest era of Gammaworld, 4th reinforced a few things in my mind. TSR of this era are more hit and miss and why at the time I quit it. Layouts and space use varies in quality and density. Overall they feel more padded than say GW1 so I never delved too deeply into them till I got POD versions. A series based in a region dominated by Bonapartist revolutionary animal mutants is an interesting choice and a serious attempt to detail the setting was made in this edition. I did not like the eyeball plant cartouches and headers and the page borders. Now I'm older the TSR font size of this era finally for me but between products space between lines varies. The gamma world family-friendly apocalypse ok for cold war teens reads mild vs often bleak and squalid Darwins World (played a bit straighter in grit) or Mutant Epoch with more Chronenburg body horror for mature audiences. I need to get this ed of rulebook because it seems to have setting stuff. Gammaworld makes a good basecoat for adding my planet Psychon stuff. 

I had 1st and 2nd ed gamma world adventure and I love the first two dearly as fave TSR adventures. Legion of Gold is my fave Gygax book and it has so many micro-adventures and a whole campaign region in a small booklet achieving far more than many others. GW2 with the chicken factory AI vs mutant chickens has so much humour and the tribal initiation quest stuff is great.

The Overlord of Bonpar GWA2
So there is a sourcebook of the Bonaparte region, the animal imperialists kingdom. Details on the land used in these adventures with lots of simple communities of the various size you could highjack. Lots of big towns neglected by many settings in this genre. Each gets notes on government or embassies or other quest finding hotspots. I like bunnytown for hoops and frogtown for groaks to trade between land and sea peoples. I think they could have overtly put adventure tips in every town (my players know they can find sidequests everywhere). An airforce base, a cave town founded by humans fleeing animal overlords, a volcano science base and other stuff. Compliment the other books here and good seed for a animal civilisation game. 

Mutant Master GWQ1
The first adventure is simple for a 50+ page book - two explorations one in a science museum with one of those employee hungry AIs (a variant on the theatre in older edition intro adventures). Lots of roleplaying opportunities I will admit. There is a red herring leading to a very bad trap and this is one occasion adventure recommends roll-up new ones which you gotta love in an intro adventure. The second part involves infiltrating a mutant gang that is too deadly to fight through and lets you set off a talking nuke. For a first adventure, it reads easy and would be easy to run from a good skim. A bit deadly though - the big trap scene especially could have other resolutions. The big scenes have style and roleplaying and problem solving emphasized to survive. I think I would have help for the trap scene or id expect players with weird powers to escape somehow even bribing guards or using a power to escape should be possible rather than TPK. It turns out to not have many choices really with lethal punishments for reasonable activity. It hands you stuff to wrap up the bad guy instead of assassinating them and set off several nuclear disasters on your first adventure seems unsustainable. He is a jerk villain, players need to meet or talk to before committing to finishing him.
All Animals Are Equal GWQ2
The second adventure is kind of one of the great RPG oddities. It describes a huge zoo complex full of mutant animals living off replicant food who have a kind of animal farm utopia. You could probably use your local zoo map easily. The human keeper descendants still work feeding and cleaning. Animals have a complex political life highly detailed with a constitution and various addendums over the years in practice. The text is denser line spacing and not many maps and stats for many animals. In the scope of this campaign, this city could be important for zoopremist (no humans) or Bonapartists (animals rule) and has so many furry animal roleplaying opportunities it could be a home base. It feels like I have to read this lots more to really use and I would walk away knowing more about this place than most of the countries of the world. I could imagine this as a garden of Eden where an AI or humans uplifted animals here for survival and make it a garden of Eden where lots of furry races originally came from. Now I could migrate here and pass a civics exam. You could LARP this adventure at a furry con. It has a good mix of humour, upsidedown post apoc society and straight-faced sincerity I like. It's like planet of the Apes meets Animal Farm in a zoo. I keep imagining a courtroom drama set here.
Home Before The Sky Falls GWQ3
This seems denser in layout than one and here you get to work with the army negotiating and battling mutant supremacists while a killer automaton runs loose. Not much art or maps. Way too many pages and I've had several digs through it and not grocking it so will possibly try again later. Brevity and utility are good features in a game product and including stuff you can use in your own games.

More recent Mutant Epoch PDFs Ive had a look at too
These are written a bit more open than the big printed adventures I am running. Still has some random room content/events which I am coming around to for a living dungeon. Tables let certain encounters activate or when you re enter something new is happening inside. The one-day digs are good short lair like episodes with a few pages. Some have bigger scope and seeds than others but they are interesting and offer variety.

Gun Station Gamma: a wilderness trek and explore a nuclear artillery battery. Has cybermutants inside and one of my favourite RPG maps I have seen in ages. Some good mutants and vatt grown rejects. Various outcomes for the villain too and ways to expand and who takes over if left intact. 

Lilac Towers One Day Digs 5: Features a luxury spa with degenerate inhabitants of an ancient buried hotel complex. Lots of horrible wet puppet mutants to explode with shotguns.

Hunt in the Dark One Day Digs 6: Hired to help hunt mutant rat serial killers who fled into a hole. Includes a bit of a convention centre and the hunt makes thorough looting harder. Explore hunt vs some bad guys and the bad guys you meet on the way.

The Ascent One Day Digs 7: Moon cadets crash and must survive on the surface to be rescued. A different sort of set-up and encouraged to shoot everything. Has an option to use as a campaign start too which is neat once you've done the savages playing with ray guns trope.

Baby Bapu One Day Digs 8: A fearsome trash troll is on a rampage, investigate why. Im reminded of the film Gorgo a bit. I like people learning to get along with monsters without killing involved. Might be a good way to get to know local common folk.

Wizard of the Waste One Day Digs 9: This has a desert area with a ruined station connected to a mini theme park with a wizard. Im sold. I could slip this in anywhere anytime. I might use this for the first DnD style wizard players meet.

Final Notes
I am hoping to slip in several of these and my own 3folds. Darwins world stuff will get a leg in too. Once Ive played a chunk and finished off certain writings will go back to more gonzo planet psychon stuff. Id like to have my Planet Psychon Book, Houserules and Broken Hill all finished at the same time but probably should press some smaller projects.

Wednesday 19 May 2021

Lost World Stelae

In the strange jungles of the east or the shambling ruins of their are peculiar stelae used in the age of darkness by monster king wizards inspired by things from the outer void. Truth be told that these are in many lands but in most places they were buried long ago. Such stelae performed strange wonders using the time and space warping powers of the void. 

The lands properties and things like these stela help trap time travelers and bring in victims from other universes. The stelae are part of networks often spaced in some geometric pattern over a region like triangles or hexagons. Some meddle with stelae and a few who destroyed many changed to local climate.

These would be good for planet psychon too. Or my alien articles.

Id probably make a type and make most the same over a region of culture who built them

Past Jungle Bungles of the Lost World
Realised my monster island area a bit neglected for a while and those d50 tables I did before need updating.... 

This stuff could be soon: strange finds in the lost world, wonders of strange locations in lost world

Tv like Land of the Lost and The Lost World have helped make the lost world genre weirder and more full of anachronisms.

d12 Elder Stelae Form
1in6 of these have a lean or tilt from the ages
1 Ancient rocky spike thrust up from the earth
2 A huge sort of round boulder
3 A crude erected 
granite monolith
4 A stack or three rocks into a dolmen
5 A geometrically precise black basalt needle
6 Red or green diorite pillar
7 Jade smooth monolith, can stare into its semi-translucent depths     
An enigmatic stone head, most of the inhuman prehistoric kings
9 Abstract squatting figure, most of the inhuman prehistoric gods 
10 Stone column, often ornamental or with relief carvings
11 Stone figure with a fountain or trough
12 Multifaceted huge coloured crystal 1in6 dimly glow

d20 Common Stelae Decor
roll a d4 of this per monolith
1 Scratched with pictogram figures and signs
2 Carved with spirals and circles
3 Vandalised elder script with a modern holy symbol carved over the top
4 Depiction of elder god or monster king d4 1=dancing 2=trampling slaves 3=fighting in chariot or riding dinosaur or other monster 4=hunting
5 Painted and decorated by some tribe and touched up yearly
6 Thick lichen, moss and vines grow over it
7 Niches with human skulls inside
SIgns of sacrifice and blood splatters and handprints
9 Covered with an earth mound
10 Covered with a cairn earth mound with a chamber inside
11 On a raised earth platform surrounded by stones
12 Surrounded by smaller standing stones 
13 Has a stone altar before it
Fallen over and broken into chunks 
Carved in the hideous shape of a great old one
16 Damaged by some strange weapons
 Seam of possible opening
18 Glowing magical script appears if spell cast nearby
19 Magic mouth speaks in elder language if approached
 Impossible otherworldly geometry like an optical illusion

d12 Stelae Defences
Activated if monolith damaged or repeated attempts to open in same day
1 An elemental is summoned to attack
2 immune to spells of 7th level or less
3 Releases strange sounds for a turn calling a wandering monster
4 Releases cloud of acidvapour 3d6 save for half each round attacked
5 Golem arises from the soil or steps from the stelae
6 Wards cause 20 HP necrotic damage save for half to who attacks stelae
7 Repairs and reassembles self if damaged or broken each dawn
8 Release a positive or negative enegy energy being
9 Summons an invisible stalker to attacker once per day 
10 Lightning bolt 4d6 half if save to any causing damage
11 Teleports attackers who fail a save each hit to the frozen wastes of the north
12 A shoggoth comes out to attack and defiling stelae and to repair it

d12 Minor Stelae Abilities
Can be used without entering the stelae by touch
1 Comprehend languages while touched
2 Detect magic while touched
3 Heal d4 damage once per person per day by touch
4 Detect lies while touched
5 Bless for one day if touched
6 Telepathy with any other person touching it
7 When you touch it hear random voices of loved ones
8 Cure disease once per week per person
9 Clean body and clothes by touch
10 Predict weather by touch for 24 hours
11 Releases exotic floral vapour if touched
12 Plays exotic imperious music if aproached

d12 Major Stelae Abilities
Can be used without entering the stelae by touch
1 Shapeshifters in 100m glow
2 Prevent planar shifting or phasing in 100m
3 Thralls of charm spell who kiss this stay charmed one month
4 Humans or demihumans not charmed or chained in 100m glow
5 Linked geometrically to other stelae allowing other plane to influence area
6 Haunted by spectral spirits and poltergiest activity, more by night in 100m
7 See insubstantial spirits in overlapping dimensions normally hidden in 100m
8 Cast communion/week to specific entity using same process as opening stelae
9 Ancient intelligence offers prehistoric ethics advice, telepathic by touc
10 Laylines +1Lv spell effects to allied cult priests or alignments in 100m
11 Stelae changes form especially if it opens onto other planes
12 Planar creatures can sense this from afar, most shun it

d12 Hidden Dimensional Space in the Elder Stelae
Some pylons can be entered and have a chamber inside 
bigger than outside 
1 Shattered crystal control altar
2 Room with a portal pit into another dimension of the endless void
3 Inside is a dark gravityless void from a broken gate accident
4 Mist inside, if anything goes in an otherworldly strange version comes out
Mist inside, if anything goes in an opposite aligned version comes out
 Strange personal dreamland save to escape own personal trap
7 Gate to another stela in another land
Gate to another stela in another elemental plane
9 Gate to the age monster kings ruled thousands of years ago
10 Weather control crystal altar for the region (failed operation causes disaster)
11 Otherplanar entity trapped inside d4 1=petty god 2=demon 3=minor old one 4=evil spirit
12 Crystal control altar can move door to multiple planes or times or lands

d12 How to Open Stelae
Divination and possibly other clues or research may reveal these
1 Play a certain tune, stelae responds and opens
2 Touch activated with a skill roll to use magic items
3 Ring a tuning fork or crystal to sound a specific note
4 Command word or chant known to ancients
5 Requires a crystal key to be placed above the enterance
6 Insert hand into trapped hole to unlock with a platinum key or try to pick blind
7 Reveal secret entrance with human/demihuman sacrificial blood
8 Severed hand of ancient long dead priest on a panel or living one if found
9 Command correct type of elemental into opening it
10 Open when the stars are right in certain strange constellations
11 Opens if surrounded by force a wall (or some other specific spell)
12 Opens on command of divine being from greater spirit or petty god or greater

d12 False Stelae
These are common alternative stelae, can roll d4 in less weird places
1 Historic memorial monument of some king or event
2 Border stone between several regions with directions
3 List of laws from elder empire and rules for slaves
4 Multifaced carved wooden idol made by local tribes
5 Huge whicker frame humanoid figure woven from vegetation
6 Giant fungus-like toadstool or puffball
7 Growing crystalline creature with strange powers
8 Binding stone pact marker keeping an old one out of this world
9 A huge mimic often dormant eats things resting near it
10 A living blood-drinking stone elemental in a long slumber
11 Giant chaos tick sucking the earth looks like a stone
12 An imprisoned demon bound by a spell in prehistoric times

Monday 17 May 2021

Oathbreaking and Attonement


I have not considered the consequences of breaking oaths much but basically similar to a paladin and I think I did a table like that once? I dunno. RuneQuest had spirits of reprisal for each cult for this stuff.

I find my oath system give players opportunities to roleplay hard and squabble (my last TPK) which done right is good. Mostly players stuck to them and felt terrible if they were forced to come close to compromising so I didn't feel a need to torment them more. But now there are these tables.

There may be contexts or circumstances so If you feel kind roll a lower dice. Normally gods swiftly deal terrible justice for moral betrayal. Some gods are more unforgiving and jealous than others. 

d12 Punishments For Broken Oaths
* until undertakes atonement to earn forgiveness
1 A vision of warning in dreams the next sleep (add a number of oaths to next roll)
2 Healing magic fails to restore oathbreaker*
3 All gifts from powers withheld* or property struck with natural disaster
4 Struck with ailment* 1=disease 2=blind 3=crippled half Move 4=impotent sexless
5 Every interpersonal dealing gives another party a sense oathbreaker is a liar*
6 Fumbler on any roll of 1 on d20 is a spectacular accident or broken goods*
7 Struck with madness* d4 1=paranoia 2=lust 3=obsessive greed 4=murderous rage
8 Increased encounters of wandering monsters and hazards*  
9 Cursed a random attribute is reduced to 3 by strange crippling ailment*
10 Power
s send an invisible spectral hunter or another monster as a punishment
11 Turned into d4 1=animal 2=mineral (salt or stone) 3=monster 4=artwork*
12 Great power appears to strike oathbreaker possibly killing them

Trying to remove curse and such to a punishment invites more reprisals

Usually, an oathbreaker reports to a temple and repents to officers of the church for punishment. Usually, a priest will divine with spells what acts of atonement are required.

d12 Atonement For Broken Oaths
1 Quest to recover d4 1=relic 2=altar piece 3=person 4=holy text
2 Carry scriptures on a long journey to a strange foreign land  
3 Hunt and kill wanted criminals or enemies
4 Capture a criminal and bring them to face public justice
5 Build in a place chosen by powers d4 1=shrine 2=hostel 3=temple 4=monument
6 Recruit 10x your Lv in HD of new followers to the creed
7 Go on a pilgrimage to a faraway land (or protect pilgrims if high Lv)
8 Quest to slay a terrible famous monster
9 Build a mission to help d4 1=poor 2=sick 3=ignorant 4=pilgrims
10 Quest to root out and destroy an enemy cult  

11 Raise as many warriors as you can and fight a battle in a holy war
12 Serve an NPC agent of the faith until they are satisfied and release you

If atonement is unavailable usually requiring priests you can spend a d4 years suffering instead some torment on behalf of the gods. Maybe your god is really sick of your attitude this time or the priests were unconvinced of your sincerity. Or maybe no attempt was made at pacifying angry powers or other failures dealing with the dishonour.

Sometimes the punished are forgiven or even made saints if repentant.

d12 Punishments for Renouncing Oaths
1 Imprisoned for d4 years of torment by enemies then saved
2 Body broken and crippled by enemy torture for d4 years
3 A terrible monster is unleashed and becomes a menace to the land for d4 years
4 Lose any positions or property not carried on a person by terrible luck for d4 years
5 A disaster wrecks area and all know who is to blame
6 A breed of monster interferes in everyday life for d4 years
7 Trapped by labour on some impossible chore for d4 years
8 A personal demon or imp torments everyday life for d4 years
9 Taken to a plane of punishment for a d4 years
10 Taken to serve otherworldly powers for a d4 years
11 Killed horribly and shamefully in public by some enemy, restored to life d4 years later
12 Catastrophic doom like home hit by a meteor or erupting volcano

In many cases, the effects may be healed or treated but sometimes the power may be even angrier and healing or raise the dead will not work unless by a greater power willing to pull rank. Dead oathbreakers are sent to hell for an aeon of punishment for oathbreaking failures.

These might take months if heroes daring or up to a d4 years if done off screen. 
If people wanted to skip campaign time that would be ok with me.

Now get out there and punish the wicked!

Elemental Heresies


So people complain about alignment and pesky gods allied with inhuman morality impose their conflicts on mortals. Everyone knows the gods are jerks. But it's better than what was before alignment. What?

I mentioned older weirder alignment systems and how I might use this in my game. Alignment is all about drawing lines in the sand to pick a fight. I can totally see two chaotic evil bugbear clans that serve elemental cults but one is fire and one is earth so they both hate each other even more than those zero level mooks building a village. This direction in my game might go to strange places yet. 

So the current arrangement of law vs chaos and good vs evil is the new improved alignment mark 2. Before that elementals swarmed among the elemental storm, in the beginning, coalescing from the explosion of law and chaos and light and darkness (this mythos is incompatible with other accounts). 

So the first spirits were manifesting into raw matter and energy before the world was formed. In islands of elemental protomatter these beings lived without need or want. Then the elements began to be aware of the wrongness of the others and began to fight and merge helping to form the world. Early in the world many of the beings worshipped the elements. As gods and other beings became known to creation the elementals and their cults shrunk in influence in favour of the current system.

The elemental heresies are various styles of elemental cults that can fight and squabble over the ultimate nature of reality and why it is unlikely they will ever cooperate again. It is why they lost any power they had and other simple alignments became preeminent.

These could be handy for any quick meeting with elemental cults or initiations.
d12 Common Elemental Heresies 
Use to determine relations to other elements
1 Elementals battles to be supreme in the eternal struggle
2 Elemental opposite enemy must be hunted and annihilated
3 Elementals must unite and work together to birth the new aeon
4 Where two old elements once met a new better hybrid elemental was born
5 One element must rule the others must be thralls
6 Two elements are strongly united against the others
7 One element is the source of all wisdom and life
8 One element is allied to a pantheon of gods
9 One element is best and must outcompete other elements in all things
10 Worship one element but thralls of demons (possibly a deciet or other beings)
11 All elementals cults unite together for conquest in perfect harmonic balance
12 All elementals cults unite together and destroy the outer planes

d12 More Elementalist Schisms
Use to determine conflicts and factions withing elemental cults
1 Lawful - elementals part of matter and energy building blocks of reality
2 Chaos - elementals are the source of all things exploding into reality eternally
3 Balanced - elementals must help harmonise the eternal war of law and chaos
4 Good - elementals serve the life force of the universe and the forces of creation
5 Evil - elementals ruled once and shall again at the coming elemental apocalypse
6 Neutral - most  are about local stuff on their home plane and every day life
7 One element was the first, the rest were by-products and thus derivative
8 Various elements combined to create the material world (d3+1)
9 Hybrid, para and quasi elements are abominations diluting elemental purity
10 Hybrid, para and quasi elements are early steps in creation before the mortal world
11 Restore the multiverse into constituent elements and elemental pre-eminence
12 Elemental nullists break the universe into basic elements before submitting to the void

d12 Common Fire Oaths
1 Test for truth with fire
2 Cleanse impurity with fire
3 Burn homes of enemies
4 Burn bonfires on holy days
5 Prey to flames an hour per day
6 Light a fire daily in prayer
7 Sacrifice daily to fire
8 Don't put out fires
9 Scourge the wicked with fire
10 Keep the fire shrines burning
11 The dead must be cremated
12 Food must be cooked

d12 Common Water Oaths
1 Shun pollution of pure water
2 Wash daily with water
3 Shun letting blood touch your flesh
4 Test for truth by motion in the water
5 Prey to water an hour per day
6 Always carry water
7 Sacrifice daily to a well
8 Anoint the water shrines
9 Drown the wicked
10 Keep water flowing freely
11 Place the dead in a boat
12 Food must be washed

d12 Common Earth Oaths
1 Test for truth with ritual burial
2 Cleanse impurity by anointing with soil
3 Smash the homes and bones of enemies
4 Erect sacred stones on holy days
5 Prey to stones an hour per day
6 Explore secret places in the earth
7 Sacrifice buried treasure to the earth
8 Don't dig holes in the sacred soil
9 Seal the wicked beneath the stones
10 Keep the earth shrines standing
11 The dead must be entombed under earth
12 Preserve food deep in the earth

d12 Common Air Oaths
1 Test for truth by observing weather
2 Expose impurity to the open air
3 Scatter enemies dust to the winds
Sing to the sky on holy days
5 Sleep in the open air
6 Observe the movements of birds
7 Sacrifice daily to the sky
8 Shun clothing go skyclad
9 Hurl the wicked to their deaths
10 Keep the air shrines in high places
11 The dead must be exposed to the air
12 Food must air dried 

Note: In my retro-clone homebrew taking oaths lets you get gifts. Obviously, the gifts from this draw on particular elements and rewards should somehow be connected to the theme of the elements.

Elemental alignment spells are pretty predictable but generally, elements help you resist the same element rather than an opposite. Im happy if elemental cults from different places have different ideas on what their element opposite is. All elements have been allied and enemies or had a turn on top over aeons so any bunch is acceptable. 

Long ago shaman dealt with elementals as spirits and some specialised in dealing with them. Sorcerors came from bloodlines of those who mated with elemental spirit folk. Much later there was an age where elemental templar cults battled necromancers after a dark age of forbidden magic and darkness where monsters ruled. Remnants of these elemental cults are common in ruins, dungeons, magic items even coins. Long-lived and elemental beings remember more than most people who know nothing of this. Elemental wizardry came later and also had a failed attempt to control the worlds magic. They did leave an impression and their remnant schools make up lots of the world's wizards today.

Such cults can be incomprehensible and rival sects might be hostile if their heresy is different. The elementals encourage lots of strong themes and are easy to improvise. One moment they seem to follow some pattern, the next they are doing something inexplicable commanded by alien elemental overlords.

I do like the eye cult in Greyhawk and the temple of elemental evil as a scam for unappealing demons. The point of these elemental cults is they don't seem as weird or bad as demons but they can be pretty weird and arbitrary pleasing their planar lords from beyond. I want them to be unpredictable when you meet them - are these the crazy fire cult who hate water or the fire cult that fight undead or the one who burn human victims?

Elementals have enough problems with other elements and how to treat them but then alignment forces infiltrated and influenced the planes. Its bad enough that you wander the elemental planes and meet lava people where earth and fire meet but good, evil, law and chaos complicate this more. Most elementals are neutral and many of these tend to go along with the efforts of more committed elementals. 

I like Avatar-Airbender show in lots of ways - the elemental continents were big fun and elementalism is easy world-building. Remember other cultures had different elements and some had more or less. Sumerians earth air water was a thing. India added void/spiritual 5th element probably a bit more complex than pithy game systems care about. Wood and metal were elements in China. I like elemental cults squabbling over which was the first element using arguments like early greek materialist philosopher tried.

I considered an elemental war and elemental mutations for core elements posts.