Thursday 25 November 2021

Psionics Revision Lv Two

Ongoing spell list revisions. I did have schools for psionics but I have abandoned it as rules limiting people that take lots of space and fiddling for bugger all benefit or enjoyment is out. My current conception of these is a mix of illusionist, druidic, shaman, bardic kind of stuff but basically a bunch of spells taken from cleric, druid and wizard lists that could fit. Is designed to work in say a dnd setting, a victorian supernatural setting or SF. It ought to be the main spell list in my Psychon games, especially for some classes. Entering all these into a table is kinda slow too but probably needed. Also jiggling how many spells exist per spell level but probably priest magic with lots of reversible spells is handy. When this is done I will put it in a booklet and then go onto robot spells/apps. 

Second Level Psionic Spells

1 Alter Self [RT][DT][SN] illusionary disguise +or-5%/Lv larger or smaller, if form a specific person their friends spot flaw with Illusion on a Talent save

2 Animate Item [R6][DT] bring an inanimate object to life so it may attack or labour AC+4 HDd4/Lv Att d6 Mov 6 (may swap Mov points for more AC if use more solid materials)

3 Animate Rope [RT][DR][SN] control 3m/Lv rope by touch, entangle a victim per round

4 Bless (Attribute)* [R6][DT][SN] each attribute is a separate spell, increases ability score +d4 Break (Attribute) ray drains -d4 on one ability score (half if saving)

5 Blur [RT][DT] +2 AC if wear armour and +4 if wearing none, subjects identity is unclear

6 Conjure Petty Spirit 
[R6][DR] Conjure a violent spirit manifestation AC+4 2HD Att 1 Ram d6 Mov12 levitates and can pass through normal walls or earth while screaming or moaning

7 Commune With Spirits [RS][D1H] hour ritual to contact local spirits. With good reactions spirit is helpful, neutral desires service or sacrifice, hostile will attack

8 Curse Metal [R9][DR] metal weapon per level or one suit of metal armour turns hot or cold a round/level in 6 range. Victims touching take d3/round, removing armour round per AC point. Magic items get a save to resist usually 12+bonus if any

9 Displacement [RT][DT] caster 1m away from apparent visual location +2 AC, a first missile from attack an enemy always misses, other forms of ambush or a surprise attack might also fail

10 Dream Gaze [R3][DH][SN] see into dreams of one sleeping being touched

11 Detect Traps [R6][DT] detects a deliberate trap, hazardous crossing or risky footing

12 Elan [RT][DT] +1/Lv points they may spend to add to any save or to hit dice rolls

13 Enthrall [RS][A3][DR][SN] one HD or less speaking beings in range save or listen to caster speak for duration. Used to preach, trap a crowd, distract or get an audience

14 ESP [R6][DR][SN] read surface thoughts of one person at a time who fails Will save

15 Enfeebling Ray [R9][DR][SN] victim failing Vigour halves Might and Mov

 Guffaw [R9][DR][SN] target gets a Will save per round if fail laughs heartily for the remaining duration which can be difficult for spell casters or people who should not be laughing. Victim struggles to communicate anything but can fight at -2 to hit while effected 

17 Hawk SIght [RT][DT] Can see distances as if you had a telescope or can enhance your ability to find clues or hidden things

18 Hex [R12][DR][SN] target struck by malignant effect, make a Will save or -4 all success or skill or save rolls for the duration

19 Hold Person* [R9][A3][DR][SN] paralyze targets round per Lv, 1 target only -4 save, 2 targets get -2 save each, 3-4 foes normal save Unhold Person reverses paralysis on up to four targets

20 Infravision [RT][DT] subject can see 12 range in darkness with black and white heat vision and can detect invisible creatures with body temperatures, or strong hot or cold spots

21 Invisibility [RT] subject unseen till makes attacks, uses spells, drops or grabs an object

22 Levitate [RS][DR] float Mov1 across or Mov3 up each round while concentrating or can float in position while casting a spell or some other action like using a missile attack

23 Mindflail [R12][DI][SH] Lv+2d8 mental damage save vs will for half, can harm any being with a mentality including spirits, and any undead but not inanimate objects

24 Mindfort [RT][DT] Resist fear, sleep or charm spells for the duration

25 Mindlink [RT][DT][SN] can link to the mind of a sentient being or magical device and communicate silently which can be useful with allies

 Mirror Image [RS][A3][DT] creates d4 illusionary duplicates for the duration or until attacked

27 Phantasm [R9][A2][DR][SN] advanced illusion with sounds like talking person or a mooing cow, if the reason to be suspicious viewers get a Talent save to notice something odd or if they touch the illusion

28 Regenerate Moderate Wounds* [RT][DI] heal one HP per round for Lv+2d6 rounds

29 Speak With Dead [RS][D1H][SN] hour ritual over a corpse or body part or tomb to answer questions a minimum of one word/Lv. If hostile spirit will get a save to resist

30 Thunder Strike [RS][DR] 4d extra damage per level on one successful hit made within duration with a loud crack sound

d12 Rubble Youth Gangs

After the apocalypse there were many age-specific weapons of mass destruction and millions of other petty deaths that left many orphans across the wasteland.

Numerous gangs of children formed. Many of these gang members were recruited by adult gangs and many kindertibes reject members who reach certain ages. These gangs mostly are wary of adults and adult tribes and gangs. Oldest and larger children are often in charge but also all know these biguns will have to leave soon. Different tribes have different rules and style and will have some positive relations with several factions. Some people let their children join as they act as childcare and the kids will be protected while away.  

Children are good characters to be around as hopefully, your players are decent sorts who would rather start an orphanage than a sweatshop. Post-apocalyptic social workers are bound to have exciting adventurers. Hopefully, when battling children your players will make an effort to not just kill them.

If a player was a juve ganger they would know a few of these or might have been one.

d12 Rubble Youth Gangs
1 Blood Orphans - a savage gang of cannibal kids who mostly aim to join older gangs. Often lure adults into traps so they can catch and eat them. Bigger groups will raid farms and isolated loners. They are very keen to perform atrocities and worship the "Lord of the Flies". They wear cast-offs of older gangs and what they take from victims. They also fight other chapters often with different gang colours
2 Koala Scouts - paramilitary survivalist youth group who have claimed various parks and wilderness camping areas as bases. They violently protect nature and are famous for firebombing settlers and vehicles. Wear uniforms with a military structure, uniforms and merit badges. They often have good caches and some technology like robots and clothing printers and light firearms. Members leave tortured crucified bodies as warnings near protected areas and for the merit badge
3 Feral Kids - younger members of adult ferals who have been abandoned or left home as adults just told them what to do. Usually, adults didn't want kids at their dance parties and orgies. Live in the isolated or hidden lair and scavenge scrap from ruins and may beg or steal from a community. They are quite organised and plan these raids and have helpers on hand. Locals are sick of this but some try and catch the kids to reform them. All their clothes and equipment are made from scrap and trash or discarded. Jewellery and hair decorations from interesting trash are common and woven hair. Only a few ever have firearms  
4 Rubble Crawlers - youth tech gang who hide and work over ruins and rubbish dumps. Famously technically proficient and they produce many mechanics, technicians and smiths. In secret sweatshops, they clean up scrap they sell on and build what they need and a few fun things. Occasionally a gang have a high tech weapon or scrap built a robot or motorised go-carts. Mostly wear trash costumes to hide in rubble or working overalls, hardhats, goggles and tool belts. Locals appreciate the kids and their trade. 
5 Foundlings have a hidden or isolated lair and they hide from adults. They often try to recruit kids from settlements promising wild free lives with no troubles. In reality, they live life rough in wastes hunting, scavenging and stealing to survive in a strict age hierarchy. Once children are in it is very hard to escape the group cult. The oldest children eventually take a trek into the desert looking for a promised bunker paradise and when they find it will take the whole tribe. They keep this fairly secret and veiled in ritual. Wear scrap and animal skins with mix of tribal and scrap technology
6 The Cadre - originally defective military clones from a bunker clone vat and raised by an AI. They live life as in military BootCamp and practice brutal and cruel rituals to bond their close-knit communities. Mostly they dress in camo uniforms and many have printed basic firearms often of plastic in style of 20th-century style. Some still are conditioned to serve the AI others eventually break free and become mercenaries or raiders who are notorious for efficiency and professionalism. The AI running these bunkers sometimes wear down and surviving children scatter spreading their kind. Highly aggressive and dirty fighters
7 Childrens Crusade - originally a religious youth camp children sent to as war are close with the robot and AI caretakers to indoctrinate them in religion. Using a medical process the children never mature and live extremely long and even regrow limbs and organs slowly. Some children try to escape and without drugs, they begin to age normally. The crusader children in secret bunkers mostly go to school, play sport and prey but recently missionaries in sensible clothes and basic firearms have been going outside to save the souls of heathen mutants and other scum with bibles. They believe they are better and always know best
8 Mutant Youth - the gang of juvenile mutants who hid in a VIP children's schools and developed a pacifistic religion aimed at uniting all peoples despite their DNA or electronics. Influenced by the AI reconstruction of an ancient philosopher they are unusually idealistic yet practical enough to train in combat. Most hide and train to support the clan but some with most extraordinary powers go out performing vigilante actions to give mutants a good name. They even attack evil extremist mutants in the name of unity. They recruit troubled teen mutants which are pretty common. When on missions they wear colourful jumpsuits and use special codenames
9 Chosen - children raised by androids and used as troops and spies. The children are cloned and raised by androids then sent out on anti-human missions. Often they leave a child as bait or in hopes humans adopt the child who can be a sleeper agent. When they reach a certain age they are sent to join android anti-human forces as fanatic vassal troops. The androids lie about human culture to make themselves the good guys. They use human poverty, ignorance and violence as reasons. Mostly they wear jumpsuits unless on a mission where they wear filthy feral trash made rags
10 Scrap Urchins - common filthy children in various outposts and towns who live by begging and petty chores for scraps. Really they are trained and cared for by criminal guilds who train them as spies, pickpockets, burglars and more. When they are old enough or prove themselves in the gang they are promoted to an adult gang. Such children investigate drifters and people they gangs might want to know about. Usually, some local adult like a homeless drunk working for the mob looks out for the kids and can call a gang of maniacs if needed. Very few know about this but a few teachers or other adults who try to catch and civilise them may find threatening thugs warning them off. Most of the kids are orphans collected in bigger settlements or bought from slavers by the gang. Most wear scrap and trash clothing, especially rain ponchos and packs. Often have flick knives and a group have a d4 pet dingos
11 Gremlins - masked cannibal children who live in burrows. Often will lure abhorrent adult predators and opressors into traps so the kids can overwhelm and eat them. Secretive but originally a child Spartacus led a revolt in a slaver compound where children were sold. After escaping and killing the slavers they hid in ruins and survived and spread. They hate adults especially slavers and exploiters and drive out older children into the wasteland who mostly become wasteland gang members. Very cult like they teach all adults are horrible and will kidnap children in towns to "free" them from bondage and reveal to them the truth. Life is hard so they eat some of their enemies out of spite and to scare away enemies. Have attacked towns by night raiding for food and to liberate children. Attacking slavers is a high priority and a few shifty characters who disappeared were attributed to them. Most wear typical recycled trash clothing but make use of lots of giant rat skins. Live in secret tunnels with traps to deter enemies in secret. Infamous for hand to hand combat skills
12 Bunker Buddies - originally from a child only cryonics bunker where children are raised by plush androids and comical robots in a simulated safe envirodome. Children mostly slept for centuries with only a few escapes until the AI and bunker fell into decay and the system revived them and raised them as best it could. Some decentered clones instead. 
In some cases, the machines manipulate the children to leave every generation and contrive events to encourage them to leave so they can make a new batch. Some prepared the children as best they could despite safety protocols avoiding difficult topics. Some AI used drug therapy to motivate their tiny masters. Children wear colourful cute costumes often with animal designs or hoods. Some even wear the shells of familiar mechanised educators of their early childhood. Children are naive, spoiled by machines and clueless about where the juice dispensers and restrooms are. They love singing and dancing and pretty shiny things. Some groups may be accompanied by a robot or android nanny that will use lethal force to protect children. Children forced outside may be equipped with whatever weapons the AI has files they can print but usually plastic light automatic rifles and pistols in fun colours

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Bridges of Shadelport

Shadelport has two of the worlds biggest bridges in use and they are almost suburbs in their own right. Based on London bridges but longer and wider and taller. Plus I have taken bits from different time periods and mashed them together. Some other great cities have copied the two great bridges but non will succeed. The base part of the bridge is thousands of years old built by giants. There is another bridge higher up the river closer to Elfland but it is not occupied.

The great mile-long city bridges have been used as foundations for centuries for shops, apartments, arcades, factories, tombs, cathedrals, palaces and more. The northern bridge has two main lines one for the lowest of the low for workers, slum dwellers, goblinoids, orcs and mutants and costs 1cp per person plus some tax for goods or livestock. The second road is 1sp and is used by well-heeled persons. The regular users pay a yearly licence. The poor lane is named the sewer by better persons.

The royal bridge has three roads and simply does not allow them a processional way used only by nobility whose servants show documentation like a seal, lineage documents or royal documents if not recognised. Servants often do this well before their masters arrive to avoid delaying or embarrassing their masters. The second lane is for the monied classes and costs a gold to pass and a third lane for the better off merchants.

Sometimes a person is trapped on a bridge for years because their papers are stolen or lost (probably stolen) and it can be very difficult to prove your status and leave. Luckily each bridge is a thriving community with work, accommodation and places to eat and during. Some structures on the bridge are luxurious and fashionable.

Every section has its own guards and a fire station. The firemen also light street lamps. In most of the city firemen charge to help or dues prepaid and may offer to buy a burned-out property. The bridge firemen with work to save the bridge and will destroy any building or attack suspected arsonists with axes while performing their duties. They also inspect businesses to make sure fire risks are minimised. They are brutal fanatics who chop up people on the spot for offering them bribes. Of course, the law and firemen treat the nobles best then the rich and the lesser sorts are unimportant unless they serve important masters.

All sections can be sealed in event of an emergency or an urgent manhunt with priority to richest lanes to escape first or be inconvenienced less. Sections have burned down with all the poor trapped inside killed before.

The graphics above can be cut and pasted, reversed and rearranged for more bridges.

Decide how many segments you want for a bridge and roll or choose functions and choose which bridge bits best represent them. The long strip on the bottom has probably 12 segments. Usually, the road of the bridge merges straight into the local streets and it is possible to cross over and not see any river or even a seagull.

d12 Bridge Segment Structures
1 Shops & apartments - with open streets 
d4+2 stories
2 Townhouses - well off houses
 with open streets
3 Religious - d4 1=cathedral 2=church 3=shrine 4=monastary
4 Shopping arcade - market places of goods with several floors above the road
5 Sweatshop factory - often with water wheels or dump lots of waste
6 Palace complex - often several built against each other stories above the road
7 Fortress - with d4 1=drawbridge gate 2=prison 3=millitary base 4=knight order HQ
8 Gatehouse - militia act as police stations on bridge and monitor water traffic
Arts & Education - some sections infested with scholars apartments and bookshops d4 1=boarding school 2=bohemian district 3=magic academy 4=library
10 Open section - d4 1=fair ground for frequent festivals 2=park with trees for commoners 3=open market area 4=parade ground
 for executions & military drills
11 Ruined building - d4 1=fire damaged 2=collapsed 3=hainted 4=construction
12 Monument - d4 1=private menagerie 2=private museum 3=famous tomb 3=

d12 Rooftop Encounters
1 Flock of waterbirds d8 1=gulls 2=pelicans 3=pigeons 4=puffins 5=ducks 6=crows 7=ibis 8=
2 Lone Bird d4 1=sehawk 2=shag 3=cormerant 4=talking parrot
3 Rooftop animals d4 1=rats 2=giant rat 3=roof frogs 4=monkeys 
4 Chimney stacks with choking smoke cloud
5 Weakened roof easily collapses inwards
6 Difficult weather usually rain but in summer roofing gets got
7 Watchman in post or on patrol takes note of strangers
8 Tradesmen working on a rooftop with permits d4 1=roofer 2=builder 3=rat catcher 4=plumber
9 Criminals d4 1=theives d4 2=gang d4+2 flee the watch 3=two gangs fighting 4=gang on move, will note any witnesses to clear up later
10 Stranger d4 1=roof gnomes 2=robed cultists d10 3=masked serial killer 4=roof hermit
11 Strange critters d4 1=giant roof frog 2=panther 3=carniverous ape 4= 
12 Flying d4 1=knight on griffon 2=orc secret police on wyvern 3=magician riding magic item 4=druid riding giant bird

d12 Corridors of a Posh Building
1 Servants carrying goods
2 Important lady with a d4 maids and two guards
3 Knight with d4 servants, a squire and a pageboy
4 Geriatric d4 noble with a servant each and two guards 
5 Guards on patrol for riff-raff or thieves
6 Young noble with a servant
7 Noble youths d4 with an elderly chaperone and d4 servants
8 Loner skulking about d4 1=burglar 2=grifter 3=spy 4=assassin
9 Attractive charlatan and servant seeking rich lover to fleece
10 Magician with d4 students and four guards
11 Attractive friendly strangers d4 1=faerie changeling 2=animal spirit changeling 3=hungry doppelgangers 4=planar visitors in disguise like a devil or demon
12 Strange sights d4 1=cultists 2=an imp possibly in animal form 3=hell cat 4=witch up to magic crime

d12 Corridors of a Common Building
1 Resident working chores d4 1=crafting 2=childcare 3=cooking
2 Residents relaxing d4 1=gambling 2=drinking 3=chess 4=practicing fighting
3 Resident children d4 1=skipping and singing creepy songs 2=questioning strangers 3=playing ball 4=chasing a rat
Bailiffs d4 1=looking for someone 2=with prisoner 3=searching house 4=seizing property
5 Elderly person living in corridor with all worldly goods
6 Landlord with guards shaking down tragic tenants for cash
7 Shady figure offering deals d4 1=drugs 2=magic items 3=magic pets 4=magic pets that are really imps
8 Gang loitering and charging tolls for non-locals
9 Gang of thieves sacking an apartment while helpless residents were held at knifepoint
10 Robed cultists on the move d4 1=on the run 2=with a bound prisoner 3=intimidating a resident with aggressive proselytising 4=collecting for some strange charity
11 Shifty strangers d4 1=lycanthrope 2=doppelgangers 3=vampire 4=
planar visitors in disguise like a devil or demon
12 Spirit seen haunting the halls may be contacted with magic, locals have a nickname for itm personality varies wildly d4 1=wants justice 2=angry 3=gloomy 4=helpful protector of residents

d12 Common Street
1 Wagon of goods d4 1=fish 2=vegetables 3=crates 4=barrels
2 Street vendor d4 1=food 2=scrap 3=saucy pamphlets 4=used goods
3 Busker with a small audience
4 Local crier spreading news brought to you by local sponsors
5 Pickpocket often working with a team, often a child who cries help if caught 
6 Beggar d4 1=elderly 2=child 3=crippled war vet 4=mutant
7 Preacher on soapbox d4 1=church 2=cult 3=paranoid pundit 4=miracle medicine
8 Militia d4 1=chasing fugitive watching street 3=searching suspicious people 4=arresting someone 
9 Filthy street urchins d4 1=theiving 2=spies for a gang 3=playing games 4=being chased by a professional child catcher who wants to sell them to an orphanage or sweatshop
10 Locals d4 1=throwing rubbish off side 2=fishing 3=chatting 4=playing a game 5= having loud fight 6=gossiping
11 Wanted criminal seen on posters d4 1=highway robber 2=pirate 3=traitor 4=tax evader
12 Someone tells of a strange sight seen on bridge d4 1=ghost 2=monster 3=masked murderer 4=cannibals 

d12 Posh Street
1 Vendor from a shop presents luxury items to view or sample while bowing
2 Nobles having a duel
3 High ranking palanquin cor carriage coming through, lesser people make room or guards strike with halberds
4 Window displaying delicious treats or luxury items
5 Nobles shopping d3 with d4 servants and 2 guards
6 Posh people dining outside restaurant with servants to shoo away the riffraff
7 A thief or squalid urchin or giant rat has got loose in a nice place for rich people
8 Nobles run over a servant d41=horses 2=carraige 3=chariot 4=exotic mounts
9 Nobles having public argument over a topical issue draws a crowd as they make more personal attacks
10 Procession with many armed guards and a noble coach
11 Large procession of an important person with forty-odd servants and guards
12 Fancy dandies wearing outrageous new fashion

d12 Interior Tunnels
1 Rats d4 1=a few harmless 2=swarm 3=giant rats 4=bear size colossal sewer rat
2 Animals d4 1=cats 2=owls 3=bats 4=toads
3 Sewer workers unblocking drains or chasing rats
4 Secret police with orc guards investigating something
5 Gang of criminals moving unseen
6 Filthy homeless tunnel folk d4 1=hermit 2=urchin 3=beggar 4=witch
7 Militia with penal work gang in chains repairing the bridge
8 Filthy dodgy adventurers
9 Cultists with a prisoner d4 1=sacrifice 2=initiate undergoing test 3=hostage for blackmail 4=possessed maniac in need of exorcism
10 Primitive creatures d4 1=ooze 2=jelly 3=ambulant fungus 4=algoid
11 Dangerous vermin d4 1=giant frog 2=stirges 3=giant bat 4=giant lizard
12 Horror of the tunnels d4 1=wight 2=lycanthrope 3=troll 4=beast abhuman wizard with minions

d12 Interior Chambers
1 Storage area or warehouse d4 1=abandoned 2=homeless squatter families 3=cult ritual place 4=beggers guild
Storage area or warehouse d4 1=merchants goods 2=city siege supplies 3=building supplies for bridge and workers tiny shelter with stove 4=theives guild occupied  
3 Storage area or warehouse d4 1=black market 2=monster lair 3=fungus filled 4=vermin infested
4 Sweatshop often operated by guild with workers locked in depths of the bridge for years workers are d4 1=blind elderly 2=children 3=convicts 4=slaves 
5 Prison d4 1=secret police station with a torture chamber and cells 2=temporary cells for militia 3=fancy private prison for nobles 4=tiny dark cells where victims kept for life in dark
6 Sealed chamber d4 1=prisoner living off scraps dropped through a hole 2=long lost hidden treasure 3=secret wizard lab 4=?
Graves d4 1=Mousoleum 2=stacked coffins 3=victims bricked into walls 4=ossuary for storing flensed bones 5=crypt 6=prison for supernatural evil being
8 Secret society hall for elites with secret hidden doors and guards d4 1=power & influence 2=occult knowledge 3=hedonism 4=exploration & learning
9 Non-human species have colonised area d4 1=demihuman 2=goblinoids 3=orcs 4=beast humans
10 Hidden hideout d6 1=serial killer 2=cultist 3=wanted criminal 4=witch 5=druglab 6=torture chamber
11 Lair of a monster d4 1=marine troll 2=sewer octopus 3=giant mutant salamander 4=friendly neo otygh eating poo 5=mimic 6=pudding
12 Secret lair of a supernatural creature d4 1=demon 2=lycanthrope 3=kelpie 4=hag

d12 Pylon Exterior Features
1 Landing and boat wharves and rickety wooden ladder to street level through a sewer tunnel
2 Fishing jetties where workers catch fish and trash
3 Mudlark colony of people who make a living at low tide sifting for good scrap in the mudflats
4 Private Landing d4 1=gang of river hoodlums 2=wealthy or noble family 3=church use 4=river militia station
5 Waterwheels with some close chamber using power a mill or other machinery
6 Notorious for stabbings, hauntings and wild stories, only the most desperate sleep here
7 Colony of creatures d4 1=puffins 2=sealion 3=bats 4=giant frogs
8 Society for river rescues where well-meaning persons with boats and untrue first aid and medicine rush to aid any falling off the bridge. From clubhouse and wharf, they patrol the bridge and try to save drowning or helpless people. Using pipes of tobacco smoke and saltwater enemas to revive the unconscious is the current fad  
9 Church built into pylon with own mausoleum level, ossuary, temple, library and residence. This ancient shrine has a famous relic and is quite poor and modest. Popular with the poor
10 Prison built into pylon with some windows visible where criminals bricked in for years. Heads of executed men are displayed here also so river traffic can see pirates and river bandits punished
11 Customs wharf where suspicious boat cargos are searched by tax agents and their orc guards. Other food vendors and peddlers also sell goods to those waiting for searches or tolls
12 Secret police wharf with own prison, torture chamber and boat shed disguised as private troops of the ruler

d12 Pylon & Deeper Chambers
1 Stairwell to higher levels of bridge
2 Enterance to partially flooded caverns under part of bridge
Sweatshop often operated by guild with workers locked in depths of bridge for years workers are d4 1=blind elderly 2=children 3=convicts 4=slaves 
4 Semi collapsed chamber with prehistoric art depicting mammoths and humans fleeing into the bridge interior from hungry giants, no buildings on the bridge back then
5 Forgotten cell with chained skeletons
6 Cult secret chamber highly decorated in prehuman fashion with remains of ancient bodies
7 Haunted section crawling with undead from crumbling old tombs
8 Fungus filled chamber with giant bugs
9 Giant frogs in semi flooded chamber
10 Strange tunnel to a deep chamber of the forgotten old ones before the giants built the bridge
11 Lair of sad minor river goddess shackled by the bridge for thousands of years now she look like old woman covered in mud and trash. She could be useful to know and is still dangerous
12 Lair of a river dragon lives here in human form in remains of a forgotten decaying palace

d12 Encounters in the Deepest Bridge
1 Abhumans up to no good d4 1=frog folk 2=fish folk 3=frog folk 4=rat folk
2 Beast abhuman magician with d4 guardians and a pet d4 1=lamprey folk 2=catfish folk 3=bat folk 4=snake folk
3 Cultists chanting for a ceremony heard d4 1=summoning 2=sacrifice 3=sound poetry night 4=secret magician training
4 Demihumans d4 1=sewer gnomes 2=river elves 3=chaos dwarf cultists 4=feral drain halflings live in secret luxury burrows
5 Gelatinous horrors d4 1=ooze 2=jelly 3=slime 4=pudding
6 Prehistoric horrors d6 1=giant trilobites 2=giant chaos mutant hermit crabs 3=giant salamander 4=cave fisher 5=giant cave lobsters 6=giant sea scorpion
7 Undead roaming hungrily d4 1=3d4 zombies 2=2d4 ghouls 3=wights + d3 thralls 4=wraith + d3 thralls
8 Undead roaming hungrily d4 1=4d4 skeletons 2=mummy 3=2d4 shadows 4=vampire
9 Prehuman automaton often modelled on some prehuman species, exposed and might awaken d4 1=bronze golem 2=stone golem 3=clay golem 4=clockwork golem 
10 Dinosaur ghosts from the distant past create all kinds of haunted phenomena before manifesting in person from the ethereal plane
11 Eldritch abomination d4 1=gibbering mother 2=grell 3=shoggoth 4=baby froghemoth
12 Mutants! d4 1=hidden village of mutant outcasts 2=ordianry marine creatures mutated by alchemical waste like giant cave clams, lobster 

Monday 22 November 2021

Playing the Classics: M5 Talons of Night

So Im getting and playing later BECMI D&D adventures and most recent and the last year I have been tweaking my homebrew for high level play more. My campaign maxes out everyone at 20th, you can change your class or even species in play but being 20th level makes you at risk of divine attention and unwanted apotheosis so some try to cheat this by changing class and finding other weird influences or divine relations. Its been a much needed test for my homebrew rules/

I finally got all four players for the first time after completing another old module and players 19th lv. This game started as cave era game on tundra but the players have made their mark on world, recovered lost ancient technology and are the most advanced people in the north.

Boron the warrior and his wife Radon the cleric have been living in Red Ape valley ziggurat developing the first deity centred religion in the north for aeons. The building is a regular stop for the party flying castle and friendly griffons roost there too.

Lanos the giant has a nearby cave where he lives with his dogs when he is not flying the castle about and hopes to go to giant land and try to recover his long lost civilised giant kin from thousands of years ago. All the giants people are familiar with were not around in his day. Has a pet helion from the plane of law now as a current assistant and various giant and magically altered gigantic pony size talking dogs. He has also young Roc ally from a family of controlled ones the party freed.

Sourberry is now on conversing terms with the pine elf queen on the players continent. He got word all the followers they sent to help her in faerie land and is currently lost in time. He is now accepted as a clan leader of his twilight elves who are shifty but chaotic good. They have used their castle to map the mountain valleys, Lanos with his maul of the titans has been making roadways. Linked up many weird non human beings in the northern mountains and eliminated several hostile unpopular tribes like the hyena folk and the snake and spider cults. The nearby blue dragon has been accepting cash bribes to make reforms and behave and as north folk use no currency yet they don't mind giving the dragon a million gp. Sourberry did recently seduce a red dragon and she's sitting on eggs in her volcano. Lanos has been tempted to kill dragons but they have been non-threatening and making some progress thanks to greed.

Orco the wizard has one school in the castle and another with his friends in the elk tribe. As far as he knows he is the greatest wizard of the age but has helped kill a few liches. He has been increasingly allied to fire elementals and has been visiting the plane and built a stronghold there. Has met various fire element lords including the prince of evil fire elementals.

So the party have two people who can cast wishes and they have hothouse all their lower attributes up to acceptable risk free amounts. My wish system has a recommended safe wish list and if you wish too hard the entity gets a save to add additional problems or conditions and other jerkery nobody wants.

With my weird alignment system of having alignment scores that increase as you make oaths and take gifts the party have been mostly increasing their good scores and leaving their law and chaos inclinations in the dust. Im pretty sure most didn't intend to be good but it has been good for cooperation and resisting urge to exterminate people not quite worshipping the right gods. Boron and Lanos both raised good far above their law scores and so resisted purging.

The party together had a big dive into their treasure vault and divided up some more loot and handed items to their many minions.

So current adventure started when the party were placing a finger of a death demigod in a magically trapped chest in a stasis bubble with an invisible basilisk in the bottom of their septic tank their friendly neo otyugh lived in. The sky goddess appeared to thank them for averting this evil for an age then told them how the evil night spider was working on restoring the age of night and freeing herself to act on the mortal plane. So the party got their finest minions and a hundred orc archers and monster friends.

So the module is typical of that era is for 20-25th level and I have been using them as I have rarely had play this hight - got to 14th level 5 years ago and in 80s as kids who played at least a whole day a week we got players to 18th which were our fists BX characters adapted to Ad&d and played many classic modules. One feature of more to mid 80sadventure is instead of sandbox games they are dragonlance like railroads for a novice DM to play through even if they don't read it thoroughly. As I'm slapping some of the lore of this adventure for Mystara Im applying these places to the unexplored south and they worked fine. Dishing out various clues was good s they worked given my alt geography and players made links I had not which was good. Im hoping to try and write some more mid 80s style episodic adventures with lots of small locations and plotting. The adventure besides lots of poems has a boardgame which I worried about as I stupidly didn't test it and the player who played the villain got quite tense over their mistakes and losing and the element worked better than I thought even though I worried it was complex. As the adventure is part of a series some of those elements didn't work. The adventure assumes boat and land travel and my party currently tease people who still walk on the ground and don't just fly and airwalk or teleport about. One player saw me skip pages in adventure and commented something like his players were not only ones to run off the rails. Adventures for this high level that assume people walk is mildly amusing. I had to change a few things on the fly.

So on the way they battled a flying iron trireme full of undead they blasted into oblivion sent by the evil forces to stop them. Lanos has a skill with the castle and could have tried rmming or boarding but the lead heroes flew invisibly to the enemy and used a bunch of spells to burn all the undead. The surprised lich admiral was destroyed and his wraith and spectre minions lasted an extra few rounds and poor orco lost a level. As younger player had never had this before but other shrugged it off. Cleric will fix that back home no worries.

Later they arrived at an Egyptian style culture in between several empires and they hung back, polymorphed themselves into local humans and wandered the city. Used wishes to learn local speech and had a look around. Turned away from the library. Came back pretending to be colonials from one of the empires and mingles with other foreigners for peace conference and went to a big feast for foreign delegates. Tried some diplomacy and one of the visiting impressed 20th lv wizards eyed off Lanos as suspicious. Met other very high-level people and made friends with a colony delegate who explained all the conference factions. Saw the local Queen they were suspicious of, and presented her and Pharoah with a chest of gold. Used their noble visitor identities to get into the library, used clairvoyance and teleport to get into the forbidden section then spent the night teleporting books in and out to be copied by orcos apprentices and originals returned. Found more poems and history and went back to the sky castle and flew up the river to the temple of dawn. A spectacular location and airdropped down to explore the complex.

Met the vampire pharoh and played the spider game which as the player placed pieces the other party members vanished into spacial mazes. The cleric tried word of recall to the castle temple and it failed. s Orco lost against the master gamer players in the maze were sent to various tests and uncovered ,ore clues. Its designed so if you don't get them here there are are other sources. Players used previous clues to succeed and took the whole thing well accepting this was god level magic. When returned from their dimensional tests the cleric teleported back to her temple, her spell effect delayed not neutralised. She quickly ran back to the others.

The vamp got away and it was implied he was naughtily using the gods power to play games instead of killing the party. The party had to face a rightwing a horrible BECMI monster that killed Sourberry (he got better). On a plus he was now caught up with the frontline fighters for deaths and being killed by death spell was better than that time a beholder petrified then disintegrated him. This monster besides 20HD, resistances, death powers and more also can just leave the plane at will and has been spying on the party and causing problems with minions and the gang are very keen to stop this horror and rush the adventure even faster. Possible they will work out certain spells cn make this harder for the beast. Did get a cool pyramid capstone with interesting powers and flew the castle to the humanless mountain plateau and met the furries of the forest who explained more history and secrets for finding the nightspider.

So about halfway. Players enjoyed it and put up with the railroad and personal magic perils in pocket dimensions. Hopefully, we can get all four again to conclude the campaign. Im expecting the game to wind up but I have considered the option of using a version of BECMI immortals rules. Also, have an adventure for the followers lost in faerieland on quest for the elfqueen.

Hoping over xmas we get some long day games and to start something new - either post apoc or my dnd so I can playetest stuff. Getting a hankering for some SF possibly BRP/ringworld based. Id like to write my epic sf setting once more.

This is of course a Jaquay adventure and Im impressed it ran so well despite my changes on the fly for my setting and the players flying everywhere. Also, I ran it on two and a half skim reads which I did all the time as a kid when we ran modules the same week we bought them. As a DM you can input some flare and change elements of this and still run it. I didn't feel I was quite ready for it but it worked and playing it made more sense. The parts came together and the players pointed out stuff from handouts I didn't quite get and the elements all came together anyway. Quite a bit of roleplay opportunity and was amusing to having polymorphed stone age superheroes pretending to be posh bronze age nobles. They also have seen these empires use money and fancy farming methods they will take back home.

So I will get come more companion and masters modules. Like monty haul mixed with Russian roulette. I've had lots of players deaths running these and death is mostly an inconvenience when your sidekick is a 14th Lv cleric and resurrection is easy. Some of the traps and monsters have been fun. I like the early use in d&d of templates you slap on other monsters like the one to create 8x size regular monsters for kaiju like chaos. Bring back those 1st level dungeon things as house size horrors and they are fun again. Some of the traps and puzzles ate interesting and if a teen can solve them a more grizzled older player who hates puzzles should cope. Talons of Night is pretty amazingly flexible and interesting vs say other tsr stuff like Dragonlance.

I guess seeing how video games scale power is also a good lesson. Unique bigger weirder legendary monsters not just some sample of a species you turn into sushi.

The adventure assumes you have domains and have certain national allegiances but the extra factions and my player's magical disguise strategy got them right to the meat. I added the diplomats feast in pharoahs palace as an extra scene to set up all the national stakes. I had gods in the beginning nudging players for peace or humans will be backwards for thousands of years to get them invested early and added the extra-cosmic horror threats of night spider returning the age of darkness the players have found fragments of the whole campaign. I'm gonna get some more of these gonzo old beauties I missed in the 80s.

Sunday 21 November 2021

The Secret Paths

In the great fantasy tradition of running away and long-distance questing knowing some shortcuts is pretty good. But not those common ones the strange ones where most people would not dare go. Mountains slowing you down find the ancient underground fallen dwarf kingdom highways and natural tunnels that riddle the earth instead. Forests are usually best avoided and some forests are even worse with supernatural menaces like elves but a few druids and rankers know certain trails and secret crossings. Need to avoid some political hotspots perhaps a rural trail used by smugglers.

Usually, when I plan a wilderness crawl I know I don't want 3+ sessions of suffering, diarrhoea, orc swarms and higher level giants with no respite and no civilisation or even friendly people. I like the feel of exploration but not every great voyage needs to be based on suffering. Finding strange sites, characters and creatures is part of the fun of travel. 

Mostly I would think about how much gametime the journey should take. If the campaign is constant travel that's fine bet even then breaking things into small steps is a good thing. By breaking a journey into a few at least three encounters or discoveries it makes it playable. Ive also done long distance travel with an encounter or event per day for  long trek. Just dont let it be dreary and go on too long and its ok to have a montage and skip peril too.

Part of the point of this is to have various secret paths that are faster and bypass obstacles others go around. Such paths are unusual, dangerous, possibly magical and only known to uncommon persons. Obviously rangers, druids, scouts, elves and demihumans.

Such routes could be like a long thin dungeon or have various points for set locations and some random encounters. Not all encounters have to be bad, some spooky close calls where your not sure how many passed you are good.

By dividing a trip into segments you can put in various memorable events for your journey which could be 3-12 parts depending on how long you intend it to be. In an exploration-based game, I would do daily encounters or possible a chance every 4 hours. I might pretend to roll random encounters for a planned encounter or pre roll the encounters if I had prep time so I'm not looking up stuff as much. 

I ran a campaign for years with players travelling continent by such paths and discovering every country had a different cult and monster related conspiracy and players often travelled where ordinary people would not. A mix of random encounters and a few standout segment events made journeys memorable and players would sometimes debate which path was the best or worst to take as they became familiar with the world.

I think trying to let large amounts of time in a game pass especially at higher levels and make the seasons more important. Pendragon RPG still has the best use of this season and domain play.

d12 Secret Paths
1 Ancient underground highway of the fallen dwarf kingdom
2 Caverns and tunnels beneath the earth from before humans existed
3 Secret path through the fearsome woods minimising contact with supernatural beings
4 Hidden mountain passage that can save days of travel through a range
5 Smugglers road bypasses various cliffs with secret landings and hidden tidal caves that can drown you if you get it wrong
6 Elf paths through the woods, not a road as people know but trails used by animals and that have wild food plants prolific the whole way and have minor faeirie and plant guardians on route
7 Secret valley an isolated plateau or valley with prehistoric creatures and peoples thought long extinct 
8 Troll tunnels that are so old they pass as natural caverns to the ignorant, some restricted by uplifting land masses but those who know see the old troll symbols and paintings
9 Underiver road made by accessing the underwater faerieland in a river and using it as a road
10 A series of stone arch gateways are connected by long lost trails and using them you can travel vast distances if you know the magic. Some segments may be lost or damaged
11 Goblin mines cn be vast hollowing out mountains and travel many miles where goblinf followed seems or strategically connected mines over vast distances
12 Hellgates were used by agents of hell and devils but a few brave adventurers use them despite the risk of contacting other users and of falling into hell or getting attention from some great evil power

d12 Segment Problems
1 Supplies or equipment lost or damaged
2 Obstacle needing removal or to go around or over (river, rubble, snow)
3 Tribal people of species occupy the area and require parley, combat or stealth
4 Tempting side path or quest looks easier or tempting
5 Remains of previous expeditions
6 Guardian creature with local lair guards passage
7 Hazardous weather makes travel harder
8 Confusing path could get lost and take bad path or dead-end
9 Game animals or strange beast hunting opportunity

10 Villain causes trouble using obstacles or inciting other enemies 
11 Find a distracting ruin or cave or ancient monument
12 Supernatural being like nature spirit or demon causes mischief

Saturday 20 November 2021

d100 Magical Pond Fishing Catches

My own campagn projects are mostly done at moment and making more comps for me to use of tables. If you think I need to d100 anything let me know. I have a big to do list still but basically, this blog is for stuff I feel like at the time and trying not to have too many megaprojects at the same time. 

So lots of people I know say more fishing in RPGs and I agree. Although I had one good week fishing on the Hawkesbury River and so much more life filled than the edge of a desert, polluted sludge, algal blooms and salt. Plus we get dregs three other states let us have. My other fishing alas is reduced to the dreamcaster console game with the rod controller. Also the computer game torchlight there are pools with magic fish and a mini-game using timing to catch them. Many if fed to your familiar turn it into some strange creature like slime for a while. With kids today fishing in-game gives you something else to do when avoiding all combat looking for pets to adopt and conversing with villagers.

Handy Gear
line reel 1cp/10m
heavy duty reel and line 2sp/10m
bark bucket 1cp
wooden bucket 2sp
metal bound wooden bucket 5sp
bag of worms or maggots 1cp
chumbucket filled with fish guts 1cp
joint of meat for monster bait 2sp
cheap fishing pole + line 10cp
quality fishing rod with reel 4sp
heavy fishing rod for sharks and sea serpents 5gp
deluxe fishing rod for nobility 15gp
small bone hook 1cp
small metal hook 1sp
large metal hook gp suitable for giant fish
whicker eel trap 2cp
lobster trap 4cp

All permanent abilities and attribute boosters only work on you once they don't stack, but same benefit from another type of fish can be cumulative. 

Many of the d100 results should only happen once some could be repeated and better suited to say a pond that has one type of fish. So in some cases, I will use this to find one interesting fish that a few could be caught in between some adventure scene. In other cases I want a Russian roulette kind of random gonzo slightly world and character breaking weird stuff.

d12 Where are good places to find a magic pool?
1 In a dungeon complex especially the more magical and chaotic kind
2 In a sacred druid grove, usually a dripping spring in a hidden cave
3 In sewer downstream from alchemist district
4 On borders of faerieland or near a faerie gateway
5 In a cave hidden in the deeps
6 Mear a place tainted or blessed by chaos beings 
7 Forms in ancient magical ruins
8 In a shrine of a fishfolk cult
9 Wilderness guarded by giant d6 1=frogs 2=dragonflies 3=otters 4=beavers 5=turtle 6=snake
10 WIlderness guarded by d6 1=nymph 2=water weird 3=elemental 4=naga 5=troll 6=dragon
11 In shrine guarded by d6 1=wizards 2=knights 3=barbarians 4=crime syndicate 5=witches 6=cultists
12 In a ruined temple guarded by d4 1=demon 2=faerie being 3=local land spirit 4=angry angel 

d12 How do you find out about a magic pool?
1 Part of a quest to find a specific magic fish for someone
2 A secret fishermen lodge where they share secrets and secretly deal with fish folk for the sex
3 Dungeon monsters have been coming to town to buy or steal fishing supplies
4 A hunter found it and will help you find it but wants a fee or help with a sidequest
5 A fishing mad noble offers you a reward to locate it and bring him there for the big score
6 Had mysterious dreams about your destiny unfolding in a strange pool
7 Meet an adventurer who tells you the story of visiting a pool once
8 Found a magic fishing that indicates local magic pools
9 Druids demand you try your luck to see if you are worthy, the fish you catch is a sign of your worthiness
10 A wizard wants rare fish for the menagerie and gives you a dusty ancient fishing almanack of where to find a magic pond
11 A magical being whispered the secret so your destiny will unfold as the desire of the otherworldly power
12 Record of a hero in a book or artwork depicts them fishing and several known landmarks

d12 Properties of a magic pool?
1 Fed from a sheltered spring deep in the earth
2 Water drips into the pool from strange stalactites
3 Has had a well with a bucket installed
4 Has pleasant herbs or fungus around it almost like a garden 
5 Pond sparkles and shimmers and glows in the moonlight
6 Ancient stone megaliths with carved symbols
7 Lit by fireflies or glowing fungus or lichen in the dark
8 Pond has vegetation and some strange Water Lillies and lotuses
9 Pond has unusual flavour d4 1=pure 2=sweet nectar 3=mead 4=demon ichor taint
10 Pond water is holy, keeps for d4 hours if removed
11 Shrine do some ancient divinity
12 Supernatural guardian d4 1=imp 2=sprites 3=cherebim 4=fairies

d10 Quick Catch Types
01 Item discovered
02 Pests critters
03 Arcane alchemy tainted
04 Mutant fish
05 Pollywogs
06 Faerie fish
07 Monsters
08 Draconic
09 Prehistoric
10 Planar

d100 Magical Pond Fishing Catches
01 An old boot

02 An old pot
03 Large fish with a gold coin in the tummy
04 Rusty ancient weapon
05 Human skull or corpse
06 An ancient warrior helmet
07 Scroll tube d4 1=treasure map 2=nobles secret 3=dungeon map 5=lost poetry
08 Small chest worth d6x5gp in mixed coins
09 Ring worth 3d6x10gp, 1in6 has minor magic
10 Petty long lost magic item
11 Waterbeetle attack
12 Giant leech attack
13 Giant dragonfly larvae
14 Giant pike or catfish attack
15 Giant snake attack
16 Giant lobster attack
17 Tentacled horror attack
18 Giant eel attack
19 Giant turtle attack
20 Giant frog attack
21 Arcane Redfish if eaten fire-resistant one hour 
22 Arcane Bluefish if eaten cold-resistant one your
23 Arcane Green fish in eaten acid resistant for one hour
24 Arcane Yellowfish if eaten resist all fear for one hour
25 Arcane Piebald fish if eaten cn breathe water for one hour
26 Arcane Magenta fish if eaten +d4 on all saves for one hour 
27 Arcane Indigo Fish if eaten heals 2d4 damage half if dried
28 Arcane Violet fish if eaten resist poison for one hour
29 Arcane Catfish if eaten reduces age by d4 years
30 Arcane Rainbowfish if eaten gain random spell one use d4 levels
31 Mutant 3-eyes fish if eaten gain a minor mutation
32 Mutant Slime fish if rubbed all over and eaten cures one disease 
33 Mutant Bog fish if worn on the head provides protection from evil one day
34 Mutant Oracle fish if eaten can comprehend languages as spell
35 Mutant Lamp fish glows as lamp for d4 days
36 Mutant Fang fish if eaten next fight or anger triggered go berserk
37 Mutant Trapjaw fish if eaten your unarmed damage bumps one dice for hour
38 Mutant Stinger fish if eaten the fish replaces your stomach and taxes you for food, making you immune to ingested poison or diseased food
39 Mutant Tentacle fish if eaten eater gains d4+2 facial tentacles and they can detect poison or bad food and allow you to track as a bloodhound
40 Mutant Polyp fIsh if eaten ugly lumpy fish devourer becomes white and lumpy but gains night vision and water breathing 
41 Huge tadpole will grow into giant frog of your very own or could be a tadpole form of a giant prehistoric euryops salamander
42 Tadpole heretic sorcerer will cast spells for you if you keep it in a bowl. Treating it better gets more results. Wears a tint pointy hat and cape with stars or occult symbols, 
43 Large tadpole offers you a golden ball with 120gp if you let them go but a talking tadpole is probably worth more and develops into a frog folk
44 Tadpole with a magic symbol on its head that keeps storks and nasty birds away even strange magic or demon ones if they fail a save. Tadpole must be kept in a jar but a frog deity claims it on adulthood to take to the celestial swamp
45 Magic tadpole that detects magic and can talk, can be kept in a bowl, eventually, it morphs into a frog folk sorcerer and loses the ability
46 Big tadpole offers to show you a mysterious cave in the bottom of the pool if you let them free with a d4 1=lost tomb 2=hidden treasure 3=hidden frog folk temple 4=stone monument indicating location of a dungeon
47 Royal tadpole with tiny gold crown begs for mercy claiming family important clan and they can offer a ransom of a suit of plate armour, a warhorse that swims well, shield and a d4 weapons. If betrayed a frogfolk army from faerieland ravage the kingdom
48 Large tadpole with insect wings, is a faerie frog creature able to shift from tadpole to frog or sprout dragonfly wings. It can be a mount good for land or water or air and it may rider the carry to faerieland but must be treated well and fed bugs on demand
49 Strange giant tadpole with intelligent eyes is a were frog tadpole and when touched it turns into a human baby. Eventually, as older likes eating bugs and has urge to perform a secret mission for the frog king
50 Large strange tadpole turns into a Nixie and if treated well and released rewards kind humans if mistreated it screams and more mixies come to save kin and might enslave or punish trouble makers 
51 Spirit Fish offers to marry you if you don't eat it. Gain d4 hp permanently if you do. Fish spirit folk fish can turn into a human or elf or fish or any combination
52 Elf Soul Fish if eaten reincarnates eater into an elf on death returning from elfland fully adult moments after death
53 Dryad fish if eaten eater can turn into a tree at will or back. They have the same mobility and sensory abilities as a normal tree
54 Mermaid caught and grievously offended. If suitable efforts to apologise like pearls gifts are made she will reveal a hidden magic item if offended she cries out for aid calling d6 1=water spirit folk in uniforms of underwater faerie ruler 2=tako octopus folk some in armour others are wizards 3=shapeshifting see dragon 4=seawolves that can adopt a wolf-shark form on land or part-human form 5=kelpie lover 6=aquatic dragon with shapeshifting ability from the court of underwater faerie noble
55 Nagafish if eaten opens your mind so you can see invisible faerie folk, faerie gates and phenomena most cannot as well as recognise faerie landlines, stones and mushroom rings
56 Monkfish if eaten gain an extra unarmed attack each round, also lose all body hair if any
57 Faerie pike of gold inside is a magical child who will become a mighty champion with extraordinary powers and friends if given a good upbringing will be good
58 Fish turns into a marine faerie if you can keep a hold of it it must serve you for a mortal year 
59 Glamourfish if eaten gain a point of charisma
60 Faerie Eel if eaten can transport eater to faerieland or if addicted to faerie food this can be cured in salet, vinegar or oil and last for a week, some smoke it for this effect. Tiny amounts can be taken as a drug with euphoria and flashes of mild otherworldly visions 
61 Slime fish if eaten eater turns into an ochre jelly for one hour
62 Goblin fish if eaten turn into a goblin for one hour
63 Horrorfish looks nasty if eaten save or turn into a marine ogre, some use on starving enemies 
64 Trollfish tastes horrible but you can keep it and eat half the fish daily and it regenerated nightly if fed any stray meat
65 Brainfish eating it swells your cranium with brain-shaped grooves, +1 INT, filled with fragments of ancient elder horror lore  
66 Gargoyle fish if eaten makes eaters skin stony +1AC 
67 Ogrefish if eaten grow muscles, sloping forehead, flatulence and d4 damage tusks, fangs or a horn +1 STR +1 CON -1CHA 
68 Vampire fish, snappy and can drain levels with a chomp, if eaten when you die you become a vampire the next full moon
69 Titanfish are vicious like a shark but if eaten gain +d4HP on permanent total
70 Seawolf a lycanthrope mixing werewolf with a shark (freshwater pike or catfish instead) if caught attacks. When killed it turns into a human. Eating it will only turn you into one
71 Vicious draconic tadpole of an aquatic species, if defeated can be captured. Eventually, other dragons will look for their child in human form. If eaten gain +1AC scaly skin with a metallic sheen
72 Dragon newt a young dragon living aquatic while small if fed and cared for will be friendly. Also is worth a lot of money but if mistreated other dragons will smell an unhappy baby dragon from miles away and may investigate
73 Spirit folk dragon from underwater faerieland is most unimpressed and demands apologies, change from a small dragon to human to full sized dragon, name drops its friends in court
74 Huge hideous snapping wyrm, will grow into a voracious serpentine limb and the wingless dragon and try and escape. If killed and eaten eater will regenerate 1hp/hour
75 Amused dragon pops from water with the fishing line in mouth, crosses arms and awaits your response
76 Aquatic faerie dragon pops out with fluttering insect wings, has a sense of humour but a bit mad. If befriended can grant a wish
77 Chromatic fish are metallic coloured shimmering fish unusually pretty, eating one reduces your age d4 years and gives your skin a lustrous glow, some say they came from Tiamat's blood
78 Platinum carp are huge ornate fish that glow like a lamp, if eaten the eater glows dimly as a candle for life. Some say they come from the tears of the celestial dragon of heaven. Carp dealers sell them for 1000gp to mostly wizard collectors
79 Jade heaven fish a majestic deep translucent green fish escaped from the garden of sky dragon, the dragon will reward who returns it and kings, collectors and cults will seek to bet it by any means. If eaten the dragon noble will be your enemy but you will no longer age. ALchemists can refine it into an elixir that can be kept longer than a dead fish 
80 Dragon Carp part dragon part fish and very pretty docile ornamental fish. If eaten you gain +1 Con but celestial and land spirit dragons will know and think you are a jerk. Highly valued by all kinds of spirit beings noble gardens
81 Trilobite if eaten devolve growing into marine arthropod with B&W vision +1 STR +1AC 
82 Jellyfish if eaten you become a jellyfish for one day but keep your intelligence 
83 Golden Crab will beg for release and will offer its 300gp crown, if wronged swarms of crab folk riding giant crabs and swarms of tiny crabs come from the pond to eat everything 
84 Blue royal lobster looks like lapis lazuli with golden claws and a crown. For freedom will offer aid from the giant faerie lobster kingdom if released and gives you golden horn to call for a rescue
85 Chaos leech if you let it drink your blood offers a pact where it clings to you and protects you from disease and poison as long as you eat extra. Sometimes it offers selfish and evil advice especially if it thinks its best for it and the host
86 Marine scorpion attacks, if killed and eaten the eaters become resistant to all scorpion venom
87 Small prehistoric marine monster could make an interesting pet d4 1=plesiasaur 2=tylosaur 3=kronosaur 4ichthiosaur
88 Baby catfishfolk unseen for aeons and worshipped by regular fish folk, will develop sorcery powers when an adult and has inherited lost prehistoric wisdom
89 Snake spirit in snake form that turns human and offers its wisdom and sorcery. It is a shapeshifting sorcerer from prehuman times and wants to travel the world hoping to find remnants of his species he can revive
90 Octopoid tako adventurer a bit lost d4 1=sea knight 2=water wizard 3=evil cultist 4=marine druid
91 Doomfish a black and slimy eldritch fish whomever eats this fish travels to the borders of the nightmare and shadow dimension and is given a border fiefdom of nightmare shadow keepers
92 Firefish burst into flames in the air and are hard to cook, if eaten become resistant to non-magical fire and half magic fire damage
93 Earthfish tastes like potting mix, if eaten become resistant to petrification
94 Skyfish tastes like metallic gas if eaten gains permanent feather fall ability which can be turned off while concentrating in case you want freefall or to do acrobatics
95 Waterfish tastes like the sea if eaten the consumer can walk through the surface of any water into underwater faeriland and can breathe and act freely until they leave the water
96 Hellfish swings on the line and smokes, offers to help you sell your soul to hell, it is an imp really its willing to help you out and tempt you with the benefits. If dismissed it offers a harmless large black hell kitten or red hell puppy. If killed and eaten in fish form your soul will be promoted to imp status when you go to hell
97 Chaos fish if eaten gain a major mutation
98 Law fish if eaten can make automatic success on one dice roll per day
99 Voidfish an anglerfish like horror from beyond tries to drain levels and if eaten become immune to negative energy attacks and when you die you become an eldrich undead knight
100 If you catch this fish minor divinity appears asking you to spare the life of the fish and offers a wish in return. If you offend the god it curses you and appoints an annoying petty god or demon is appointed to make your life difficult and not go to your plans

Saturday 13 November 2021

Some small bridges

A bridge isn't just a passage it also controls river traffic like a fort and can stop enemy raiders by boat or collect tax. River fees might have so many tolls that land travel and freight can be cheaper. Vast rafts of goods with crafters huts ply some big rivers. Streamlined barges pulled by horses even through tunnels. Bridges can restrict foot traffic and fishing boat rights too. Some squatters might live on pylons or use bridges as shelter. In some places this is unwelcome. 

Bigger bridges are fortified and have toll stations run by local authorities, Sometimes bad guys take over, it's hard to tell really. Trolls and gangs and others might squat a bridge and charge tolls. Knights and barbarians hang out looking for fights.

Bigger bridges have cavities to reduce weight and these have lots of uses.

There are other cruder types and the bigger again giant built bridges of shadelport,

d4 Bridge
1 Single arch style - mostly rural or to allow bigger boats 
2 Dual arch style - for directional river traffic 
3 Ornate style - fancy but also stop enemy boats 
4 Tri-Span Style, possible VIP lane 

type 1 may have one lane or be more narrow
don't tend to have cavities in brings but shore foundations might
type 2+ are larger and may have a d4-1 cavity and two lanes

d12 Rural Bridge Encounter
1 Farmer moving livestock or goods on the wagon
2 Merchant wagon with escort
3 Hermit lives under bridge d4 1=mad 2=holy 3=drunk 4=runaway youth
4 Animals using the bridge on own d4 1=goats 2=deer 3=sheep 4=auroch cattle
5 Bandit gang or highway robber charges a toll
6 Hostile raiders have taken bridges to block and rob traffic
7 Warrior looking for a peer to challenge d4 1=knight 2=barbarian 3=monk 4=wizard
8 Tax collectors or official toll collectors with soldiers
9 Holy travellers d4 1=high priest with servants and guards 2=lone country friar 3=monks or nuns with escort and holy books or relic 4=inquisitor hunting witches, ghosts, cults, undead or lycanthropes  
10 Itinerant workers camping and drinking
11 Monster has occupied bridge to charge toll d8 1=troll 2=ogre 3=giant 4=wyvern 5=manticore 6=harpies 7=sphyx 8=dragon
12 Supernatural being d4 1=deceased spirit in disguise 2=nature spirit 3=demon demands sacrifice to pass 4=angel brings a message for mortals you will do

You might want to choose a bridge-type based on the encounter if you are world-building as you go.

d12 Hidden Bridge Cavities
1 Storage place sealed for wartime emergency by the crown
2 Large space occupied by d4 1=homeless 2=children 3=vermin 4=gang
3 Entombed remains d4 1=criminals sealed inside alive 2=sealed tomb 3=undead haunted crypt 4=prison for vampire or mummy weakened by flowing water
4 Sweatshop with miserable workers locked in under contract or slaves
5 Workshop and storage for road and bridge works
6 Secret cult meeting place with hidden entrance nearby
7 Lodge or meeting hall of local society or club or guild
8  Animal lair d4 1=giant frogs 2=giant otter 3=giant river rats 4=giant leeches
9 Abandoned secret chamber d4 1=treasure 2=oubliette 3=shrine 4=cavern entrance
10 Secret home d4 1=witch 2=druid 3=mutant 4=thief
11 Monster lair d4 1=kelpie 2=algoid 3=kappa 4=hag
12 Supernatural being d4 1=spirit folk 2=faerie 3=imp 4=hainted spirit with remains sealed inside

Thursday 11 November 2021

Spot Reviews Nov 2021

Ok got some kickstarters and POD stuff and sold some things, Issue 2 of zine out Patreon and will be hopefully working on the second ed of my murder hobo manual and pulling the 1st version from circulation on my downloads page. 2nd ed has more on crime and punishment and prison life plus more lady murder hobos. Sending some stuff to a vid review show too mostly for interest in Patreon.  My internet got fixed early only after a month, Many trees out front need a trim and touching lines and over my house. 

The Temple of Elemental Evil - 2 vol slipcase 
Goodman Games Harback 
I'm enjoying reading this and looking over differences in maps, the new content, revised maps and all the old-school style artists depicting scenes I have played dozens of times. Actually, I play the videogame yearly and am surprised this was not mentioned. I'm selling my original this is a great mix of nostalgia and quality. Also now I have aged since vol 1 in this edition I appreciate large type and clear layouts mostly. They are still doing monster stat blocks with zero lore which is a bit odd. Also, art depicts old-school adventurers vs modern Ankheg which my grok 80s backbrain feels incongruence. Bring back fat monsters. Im still reading but it is pretty good and ringing all the surface bells. I will report more detail later but probably will rate 4th best in the 6 similar revisions series so far (s3 was worst to me).

Slumbering Ursine Dunes & Fever-Dreaming Marlinko POD
Two awesome PODS and yes I had PDFS. Was waiting for one book does all but got impatient and got these. A mix of the campaign setting, hexcraw and several adventures. A Slavonic feel but also some weird stuff like tech I could probably have this a plane or bit of planet psychon. Both 68 pages laid out illustrated with good maps and the kind of dense weird DND you would get out of G+.  Inspiring stuff not like your average western European + Americana fantasy. 

Neverland (on sale online quite a bit so I nabbed it)
Its a beautiful book and a weird setting. While I have since a child been creeped out by peter pan and think of Wendy as a kidnap victim. And those runaway kids well apparently some died fighting pirates or something. This setting draws on those books and brings out the horror and weirdness a bit more and you could amp it up or down as you please for kids or your edgelord gamers. It is beautiful as an RPG artifact and has great information design well actually some of the best in any game product and you could run it from a skim partial read and find things. Kinda old-school agnostic playable. You could easily change elements or take out some hexes and locations and re use in any game. The dungeons and locations are very stylish. You could do some weird crossover games with this like mix with Hotsprings, or Gygax Dungeonland, Blue Medusa, or Ravenloft. Pretty amazing despite being a literary franchise I have life long dislike of.  Inspiring stuff.

Arkham Gazette Issues 0 1 2 & 3 for Call of Cthulhu POD
Recently I expressed some disappointment in a mythos RPG mag as being too much about collecting the game and having some design flaws. This in contrast is one of the best. The design is like 1980schaosium layouts, boxed text and works. It's beautiful to me and easy to digest than coffee table colour books. You can especially use them to run the classic campaign books of the game dealing with Dunwich, Arkham, Miskatonic University, Innsmouth and Kingsport. As I ran a sandbox game using these adventures for years these would have many fine bits and pieces. They mention products briefly when they feature locations and apparently they will update these. 

The first 0 deals with The Aylesbury Pike location with some good rural road historic details and things to explore for amateur folklorists. There are interesting NPCs, a possibly haunted train tunnel, fake and real pictographs and monoliths in 42ish pages.

Issue 1 features Arkham and includes new locations, lore, books, an encounter, adventure seeds, diners with maps and locations in Arkham. The section linking location to published scenarios is extra big here. 

Issue 2 is on Innsmouth and has some Polynesian inspired relics, local graves, a shipwreck, Dagon facts, a useful marine scientist, other Innsmouth like places, books, lore, feejee mermaids, Innsmouth weird curios, deep one gold, Newburyport and a fairly long scenario at 115ish pages. 3 Features Witches and Witchcraft are possibly usable in a few games. Mix of history and mythos fantasy. Nice folk magic section of creepy things and familiars. Changelings, faeries, mythos witch cults and more 118ish pages. These are dense and I love them.