Wednesday 27 July 2022

Stuff that is so good I wish I did it Part 1: Kosmosaurs

Kosmosaurs - by Diogo Nogueira 💖💖💖💖
This book is spicy bananas of awesomeness that beats you in the face with a fluro nerf bat. It's a day-glow dino space patrol Saturday morning cartoon that never was. It is a thing of beauty. Mostly I'm more into utility than art game books with limited use but this stands out and is a spectacular product. You could play this with kids or cool adults. I've been slow off the mark on this because it was too awesome and I was a bit envious. Full of 80s breakfast cereal and Kirby crackle and pop. Lots of delightful 80s and other references in amazing art. Although it is simple it does it better than most games and you could use the plot gen tables to adlib lots of adventures. Lots of art games to me have limited appeal for a campaign but this bucks that trend for me. The evil factions are great too. Simple mechanics that don't distract you from play. Inspiring stuff and beautiful design and art. VIP stuff!

Monday 25 July 2022

POD Shenanigans

I have got a few of these longer 80s TSR adventures. All over 60 pages.

This month on Patreon have had #9 of my zine and #89 of my 3-fold adventures which almost finishes my Aegypt series so #90 will be a pyramid. A proper one with realistic wall thicknesses and massive architectural scale traps. Murder Hobo Manual still up also...

X11 Saga of the Shadow Lord Lv5-9 💗💗💥💥
I've heard people speak fondly of this. I found it very railroad and built quite a bit into the setting. One advantage of dungeons is they are easy to relocate. 68 pages, nice maps and handouts. It has two parts the first to stop an evil tyrant and the second they return as an undead monster. It is very linear with railroad episodes but an episode has a 
village location you can do the villager chat roleplay with to get quest information. One thing I like is there are two dragons with personalities who are rivals and you can possibly bullshit them into a conflict which is good. I guess an adventure with a built-in sequel is a good idea. The second part has a hexcrawl and some tombs and a huge long-winded text box for the victory that feels a bit like punishment. Maybe stuff like this is why people hated boxed text. Im not really inspired to run it and it took me a while to read. I gave it this score despite this because mostly it is adequate and has some good story ideas and several magic artefacts.
HWA3 Nightstorm Lv8-10 💗💥💥💥
This is an episode of a multi-part campaign and the others are not yet available for POD. It promises Indian inspired culture area for the Hollow World setting. As I never really got into the immortal's stuff and still barely have an interest now the idea of Greek Thanatos being involved in Egyptian and India bugs me a bit and kinda raises problems of historical derived content mixed with a fantasy setting. So this has all the problems of an 80s product about Asian culture and kinda mashing Islam and Hindu culture and terms oddly. It features a caste system which some gamers wouldn't touch which is fair enough. So in context to the adventure, it doesn't add much being inspired by a historic classism thing, There are portrayals of poverty and uncleanliness too and a beggar king. I did like the culture had gnolls commonplace and them being in the underclass and accepted I guess for disposing of bodies? Also, a % of all the people in charge are shapeshifting creatures who all cooperate to keep on top and once had more influence which I liked. So in other books, the other cultures of the Hollow world got special skills, magic and other goodies and these guys don't really. Stripping amazing religion oh India and slapping in Thanatos was a bit meh too. Ganetra is mentioned as a local immortal. I like my gods to try and fit in locally but I guess D&D immortals are more like Xena superheroes than the gods in Deities & Demigods (who possibly are just a high-level monster manual). The formatting of the Hollow World books with a huge logo on each page border is pretty wasteful and I would have liked a few pages on the culture and interesting encounters. It has above-average maps, especially for a POD book. Some nice art and good locations I will hijack. Weird chaotic humanoid elephant golems would be great in a wargame scenario. Possibly as part of the trilogy, I would think better of it. I would have loved a dnd-ish book inspired by India. Arrows of Indra had a go but I disagree with the writer's take on caste and modern politics and some truly terrible art. Yoon-Suin is a great south Asian flavoured fantasy without many of the problems of other attempts.

WG12 Vale of the Mage 💗💗💗💥 
This one surprised me. As a kid in 84 we thought the valley of the mage sounded very interesting and inspiring like Delecti the necromancer's swamp in Runequest. I never saw this in the day but wish I had. It is a very different module with a good range of starts and could be inserted in another campaign. Basically, it describes the valley, its people and creatures and elaborate defences even in apparent outdoors areas. It has well-described sympathetic characters. One option is that you are pursuing necromancers who have entered the valley seeking power to plunder and adventurers are sent to stop them from enraging the master of the Valley who might punish bordering peoples. It might be possible to even befriend the mage and use the valley as a base or patron or an enemy. The necromancers are a great npc evil adventurer party possibly acting like murder hobos to disturb border relations. Its great because that's what players usually do. It has some good new monsters, a very open structure, and a final battle with the necromancers in a ruined mansion. Arguably it is a magical trap. I quite like this and think it is the sort of thing an 18th Lv magic user should be doing. I would have thought immortality wasn't too hard to find at a high level - I have a spell that as long as you spend a slot on it in memory you don't age and is very tempting even vs a wish spell. Ok art, quite a few npc portraits, the pod poster map is split up but actually usable. Wow, I will happily try and squeeze this in a future game with minimal of work - one of the better surprises of these I have had. Id never considered an adventure like it and impressively sandboxy vs say Basic D&D ones of late I've seen for 1990.

I think perhaps if they did a Greyhawk setting now they could do it and make it deliberately more sandboxy and less linear with all the options like longer rests to be more retro styled and use other settings for say, new players. Just a stupid thought I had.

Sunday 24 July 2022

Horsebread! & some pony economics for elf games

History of Horsebread!

Based on work of William Rubel, author of English Horse-bread, 1590-1800
A good medieval pricelist here
Horse weigh calculator - don't forget to add your armour and equipment and fighting saddles weigh more - 16kg. Horse plate armour 30kg. 

Now I'm wondering if you could turn car wars into a knight combat game.

So apparently bread for horses was convenient for the thousands of working horses and produced more than human bread. I hear an Estonian say in old days (pre WW1 when german aristocrats ran like northern crusade fiefs) peasants as a "benefit" got to make bread for themselves from the leftover chaff horses left. Humans eating horse-breed are seen as animals like the lowest class and desperate. Possibly it is healthier and tastier and better value than posh white bread. Bohemians would probably eat it. Possibly used for welfare food for the poor if not used by horses while good. Posh versions of horse bread exist for rich horses and for training or a horse's birthday or to build up its condition, not every day and luxurious for a common family like cake.

So based on these horrible takes on the value of human and animal labour I'm going to make horse bread a campaign standard and possibly the desperate would eat it. So the purpose of my game it is a 
puck-like loaf convenient horse ration weighing 5lb/2.5kg. 

a horse eats 1.5 to 2 kg of feed per 100 kg of the horse's body weight
riding horse 200+ I would need a 700kg horse apparently and a pack horse
28-45 litres or water or 5-10 gallons

Horsebread loaf 1cp (
2-for-1 if old or mouldy)
Crown Horsebread 1sp (high protein blend with eggs and beanmeal)
A quarter of oats 1sp in a sack 28lb or 13kg

In my setting 1cp gets you a beer, a cheap meal or a days worth of minimal food and lodging. So horses quite a bit more effort to run. 

these numbers kind of work for small horses and larger range horses. 1-2 loafs for a horse a day or a sack of oats lasts 1-2 days depending on size. Imaging a horse carrying all the party horse feed and extra water - be a shame if something happened to it. In Pendragon's RPG a knight has his main war horse and a riding horse and several pack horses. The squire might need a horse or walk. Every year your horse gets a saving throw to live based on how well you treat it.

I have horses and chariots in my current bronze age game and horse riding is rare. Capping the weight of horses can help a DM encourage a more pre-cavalry mindset. Small guys might ride message ponies or konga: wild ass-donkey hybrids. Armoured warriors should be rarer on horseback. I have battle donkeys as more common than horses plus my barbarians have some weird beasts pulling chariots. I always wondered if the Set head beast was an ass with trimmed ears but just wild speculation. I do like the Arab trick of two men on a camel one with a bow at least. Older pre chariot 4-wheeler battlewagons pulled by oxen or bulls can be a thing too. I always like the archaic greek system of chariots with support soldiers that drop off super heavy infantrymen in bronze plate off to strategic points often with long lances. Players will probably end up with multiple chariots in the party. One player is already wanting an upgraded bigger war one and will save his magic light 2 man chariot for other uses. Centaur chariot with a mobile balistia anyone?

Considering horse-keeping logistics a bit makes them much more suited to mid-level characters and having rules for horses and elders appearing in expert sets was probably a good thing.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Carousing in a Bronze Age City State

Realised since all my past blog lists were destroyed that I sometimes have gaps in my poorer sorted current versions. Tried to find all my own carousing posts and the search and even google struggles too. So I made this for my current campaign.

Most recently I am letting players use these on their followers left in the city or wherever. Maybe I could do a few new ones. As party sealed in dungeon and we have an absent player next game we might end up playing followers. Having a new player is good
(yea I lost part 6???)

Any suggestions for more?
maybe one for war or crime hijinx
would make a good little booklet

d100 Quick Carousing Bronze Age Types
01 City Sights
02 Drinking
03 Parties
 Secret Vice 
05 Holy festival
09 Perils
10 Supernatural

d100 Carousing in a Bronze Age City State
01 Got to know the city canal system, floating markets and docks d4 1=saw a fishy looking fisherman 2=sawsomething with a hand swimming underwater briefly 3=met a boat owner 4=saved a child from drowning and invited to dine with paupers in a stilt house over sewage and garbage
02 Circled great walls of the city, seeing watchhouses and defences of the city, got to meet and drink with a veteran sergeant or officer 
03 Visited the greatest temples and various smaller holy shrines d4 1=met a friendly priest with common interest 2=briefly saw a spirit in an alleyway shrine with food offerings 3=found a silver holy symbol worth 30gp 4=priest gave you a d4 healing potion
04 Shopped in many markets and saw various speciality merchant streets & stores d4 1=pick pocket attempts on you 2=saw exotic foreigner 3=made drinking friends with a merchant 4=met a urchin feral kid who followed you home 
05 Visited luscious farmlands around the city d4 1=dined with land owners family 2=attended a rural wedding party 3=met an attractive rural youth with a wink 4=got into a brawl with country bullies who later become bandits and remember you
06 Examined the livestock markets & butcher yards d4 1=drink with local farmers hear about a strange beast 2=barbarian invites you to see tribal camp for feast 3=herders and farmers have a fight you end up on one side affecting all future relations
07 Explored slave markets and auctions finding several possible followers to adopt
08 Explored great monumental buildings, statues and public gardens. Meet and flirt with an attractive person with their chaperone from a good family 
Found a store selling strange idols, poison and exotic foreign weapons
Met a merchant who got you into an auction for petty magic items d4 1=potion 2=scroll 3=small weapon 4=cursed item
11 Got into a brawl d4 1=made friends in the military 2=punched a wrong noble 3d6gp fine and a new enemy 3=got a great black eye and a cut lost d4hp 4=swollowed a tooth, possibly your own
12 Drank palm wine and smoked hash and opium in a courtyard of a rich nomad trader clan
13 Met with priests and drank blue lotus wine with them in priests' quarters 
14 Memory loss after a big night out. Awoke in the street in the morning covered in animal dung and vomit being licked by a stray dog
15 Went drinking beer with students around town d4 1=you get in lockup and they go free because of familes but they send you 30gp for not squealing on them 2=destroy a rented shack in wild party with beer and hash and some holy harlots from a supposed "temple" 3=inducted into their secret society to play pranks on a rival society 4=barley escaped a succubus attracted to the group
16 Had a wild night with a gang and there was a fight, but now you're a gang member and have an enemy gang. You may wear gang insignia and clothes and get the gang tattoos
17 Got drunk with some petty nobility and taken to redlight distinctly for cut price fornication and drinking for 3d6sp but you can shout one of your new friends next time if you don't have money. You have a drunken hang-about bastard from a minor noble clan who has his own shortsword and buckler and helmet with boartusks and two javelins 
18 Met some rich soft old blood minor nobles d4 1=set you up for a fight as part of some weird game 2=showed you entrance to secret catacombs under the city where they drink wine and recite poetry hold ancient skulls 3=ask if you will marry a relative for a sizable dowry and townhouse with a servant 4=offer you top money for exotic creature bodyparts or fresh meat
19 Violently ill next day -4 any roll and you have lice from drinking in all the seediest back street sly grog shops you can find. A doctor cay help but some are fakes 
20 Got drunk with scribal eunachs from the city and temple administration. They know lots about cutting red tape & court gossip and think you are fabulous
21 A beer festival for locals to judge the best gets you involved as a judge and you get terribly smashed. Lots of people in the street smile and greet you after in area  
Met many merchants and guildsmen and invited to a guild ceremonial feast and piss-up d4 1=cannibal cult you just escaped 2=offered a guild informant job 3=given honorary free years membership and can now own a shop 4=hear about a coming market crash in a luxury item
23 Allowed into a perfumed pleasure garden for the rich to play in for a while but now they know your face and don't want you back ever  
24 Meet a young noble at a party who thinks you are fascinating and invites you to the family palace with your friends d4 1=wants to run away and adventure 2=dad needs some contract killers that's why your here 3=chosen you to be a holy sacrifice to a cult 4=wants to meet you and hold hands and read poetry in private 
25 Athletes from games invite you to the great ceremonial feast d4 1=need a fill-in athlete for a team event 2=meet a cute athlete here for games 3=won someone 30gp medal in a bet but they are sore about it and want revenge but if you return it they will be very friendly instead 4=made friends with a famous chariot driver who would be an awesome follower
26 Funeral feast with gladiators and a roast ox and lashings of beer after d4 1=comfort a grieving noble 2=stop a charlatan claiming estate 3=go to a seance with family contacting the dead to confirm will detail 4=see awesome magic items and treasure placed in tomb
27 Wedding party celebrations a city block d4 1=meet attractive possible lover among one of the families 2=recieve a bejewelled token worth 30gp 3=got into a duel but nobody got hurt or bears any grudge 4=Met a long lost relative who is now a house slave
28 Met rival adventurers celebrating and had a boasting contest, plan to meet again in a year to resume it
29 Military victory and the home team fans are cheering, the temple bells are ringing, its chaos in the streets as people party d4 1=save some foreigners from a beating 2=help smash every enemy gods shrine in this city 3=involved in a riot 4=got thrown in prison d3 days, released due to overcrowding
30 Recovery of lost relic or statue and locals have a celebration and feast and the church gives out beer. People sure this will benefit the city after hard times and you meet locals and city cult priests
31 Invited rich orgy in a palace d4 1=masked demon sex cult 2=in a garden with nymphs and satyrs 3=meet visiting demihuman lovers 4=first time you saw a minotaur in a palace 
32 Spent time in a drug & gambling den for the rich and lost a d100 as % of your carry around money blown
33 Spent time in a pleasure garden for the rich d4 1=you owe a noble crime family a 3d4 thousand silver in a surprise bill 2=obtained a map of mysterious foreign land of spices and drugs 3=met a supernatural shapeshifting seducer 4=met member of the royal family and best not to mention you saw them where you did
34 Private party with tasteless entertainment d4 1=monster in a pit fed a naughty slave who spilt wine 2=gladiators with bets 3=torture of a slave 4=monsters fight in a pit with bets
35 Secretive wizard party d4 1=see a wizard duel 2=find an apprentice spell book under a chair 3=see an imp deliver drugs from a portal 4=huff on a wizards hooka and have visions of your favourite elemental plane  
36 Some guys you met licking toads, everybody's doing it d4 1=visions of a your near future death 2=bark like a dog for several hours 3=blind and vomiting for a day 4=you can understand the songs of amphibians now
37 Passed out at party and woke up in some cult room with blurry vision. Escaped cultists in some maze and suddenly you were on the street wearing a loose white robe with a new tattoo
38 Found an exotic hidden pleasure garden with abhumanoid dancers and unfamiliar narcotics
39 Met some local well dressed youths who take you out on the town till late then start showing you contract tablets you can sighn to get a wish for your soul and they say they have an imp
40 A guy offers you magic potions for 25gp each and has d4+1 pottles for sale in the new less adictive formula d4 1=
d4 healing potions 2=+1 STR for one turn then lose d3 HP 3=hangover cure 4=+2 CHA -3 DEX for an hour then diahrea 
A minor deity festival with public celebrating with snackfood and a holiday gimmick d4 1=special holiday snack 2=people with lanterns 3=holiday costumes 4=invited to help with processions
42 Holy harlots from love temples offer special fund raising specials and you give to this worthy cause 3d6gp (or sp if your broke, if that's too much it was a shrine in alleyway in redlight district
43 A temple has announced an athletic contest and the victor will light a ceremonial fire and yo earn a 30gp medal as a finalist if you make a appropriate attribute check - usually a skill of the deity is preferred but several events possible. The temple will take an interest in your career
44 A temple has recovered a long held hostage relic from foriegners, beer and honey cakes and jolly crowds. Get to see the idol on a palanquin return home. It seemed to wink at you
45 A prophet announces some proclemation and you are in the festive crowd. The prophet points you out as destined to perform a great boon for the temple
46 Participate in a temple 
ceremonial parade and many atractive members of the temple invite you to a temple priest d4 1=accused of seducing a celebrate member of the clergy and church police called 2=shown an ancient map with location of lost cities now in ruin 3=priests ask if you can recover a lost relic for a reward 4=have a dream of the benevolent deity approving of you
47 See several shrine idols carried in a parade to see the statue in a greater temple, discover new subcults of your preferred cult 
48 A great festival of the love goddess with a parade of priest, priestesses and prostitutes being celebrated to gree soldiers returning home
49 A sacred ox is paraded through the city to a temple for sacrifice and their is a large public feast d4 1=heard of a lost holy relic 2=saw a great priest call apon rail 3=saw priests have a ritual battle for a certain temple title
50 City war gods are brought out to greet soldiers home who marchtogether with captive slaves, prisoners, treasure and foreign divine idol taken as hostages. People cheer at the prosperity and signs of their greatness. The foriegn leader d4 1=is in chains 2=made a deal and here to pay tribute and swear to the local ruler 3=has his head on a pole 4=with family in cages to have their fate decided by the winning ruler
Joined a hunt with some locals and feasted on boar and deer, new friend will go hunting whenever your able (if a priest can be some minor unholy creature like a ghoul)
52 Joined in the rough games of shepherds, like wrestling goat bucks and intervillage brawls over a pig bladder full of peas 
53 Rural militia invite you for a slinging contest and beer
54 Spent day in estate of wealthy merchant on idyllic farm
55 Chased by a bull on a farm and paid 3d6sp compenstion (gp if your noble)
56 Had an accidental encounter with d4 1=lion 2=wolves 3=bandits 4=giant scorpion
57 Had a tour of the farm lands and satellite villages of the city getting tho know them well
58 Had a boat tour of canals and river d4 1=saw a lion-fish in marsh 2=dines with the marsh folk 3=saw robed fish-cultists in tiny coracles whe fled into a forest of reeds, some had strange fishy hybrid features 4=saw some river fairies bathing on a small island 
59 Met a chariot owner who took you out for a drive around all the main roads then back to their palace for a feast
60 See nomad allies of the city with their herds. Meet some of their leaders touring their camp
61 At a party and you witness an important drunk official being preyed on by a criminal clan merchant. You can help them and make a friend or later on you see the official a ruin in the gutter 
62 While at dinner at a retired adventurers palace d4 1=discovered a half satyr child kept in a secret garden courtyard 2=find secret shrine of a cult 3=uncover a murder plot of old enemies 4=discover part of a treasonous plot
63 Made friends involved in chariot racing teams and uncover s sabotage scheme from a rival family team
64 Help a new attractive friend fight off an assassin. They keep being targeted but don't know why and it turns out they are secretly a noble heir and rivals who know want all bastard killed in secret
65 A noble youth has been sending an adventurer love letters and the family have found out and sent assassins to clean up 
66 A noble needed help recovering a gift to a lover that they now need back for reasons, ingratitude they give you a light chariot and two battle donkeys
67 A new well off friend friend has ogrish family who have killed several adopted siblings for disobedience. The friend needs help overthrowing the tyrannical father and two top sons. The villains former wife is kept in a tower and legally an invalid so he could remarry. Freeing the woman could expose him if the adventurer can get help
68 You have a look alike and some assassins keep making a mistaken identification, the surprise twin is an influential scribe in a great tablet house of the ruler. If male the look alike is a eunach with a costume wig and false beards and fancy makeup
69 A new wealthy friend has had a sibling in their care kidnapped and needs help recovering them d4 1=ran off with forbidden lover 2=kidnapped by a cult 3=hostage of bandits 4=taken by rival family
70 You discover an important runaway rich youth who is drunk. You can return them home for a 100gp reward or try and hold them hostage or convince them you are their only trusted friend to get closer to 
family wealth 
71 Hired to rescue a hostage from bandits leading the families guards and they now treat you like family offering to adopt you if foriegn or poor
72 Helped guard a statue recovered by priests found in an ancient brick mine under the city. A hostile cult tried to get the object and the temple offer you a future healing
73 Aid a merchant who had some stolen goods and made friends with the merchant clan. A thief guild is less amused and send a death threat to keep away
74 Sent to recover a seal of a noble and are rewarded with a small hereditary plot of farmland near city you can lease to farmers
75 Hunted an escaped criminal by leading a angry mob to their hideout. You are rewarded by city guard with a honorary rank and well liked by law and the commoners
76 Helped a slave contact their real family and their freedom was purchased, the family welcome you like a lost child also
77 Aided a confused foreigner in trouble with the law and smoothed things over, they invite you to their country where you will be treated as nobility
78 Recovered some documents from a collector for a patron and saw some interesting maps. The Patron is willing to sponsor an expedition for a cut d4 1=mysterious island 2=underground necropolis 3=desert ruin of snake people 4=gateway to the underland
79 Sent to desert to find some ruins on a map by a temple d4 1=chased by wights in a megalithic tomb 2=saw mummy procession in a storm by night 3=saw hidden non-humans enter a hidden cave 4=trapped by djinn in an eternally recursive palace but escaped their game
80 Asked to aid a village with no worthy champion to fight a strange old lion. The village will be very grateful and friendly to the hero and help to spread the story 
81 On a chariot ride with a new companion and was ambushed and narrowly escaped. You killed and wounded several of them and some of them have a grudge and know you
82 A building you were in collapsed and you were involved in a court case to punish the builders family requiring lots of legal testimonies
83 Brought to court as a witness and had the court agents snooping on your past
84 A tax collector has been tracking you for an audit
85 You fought off some thieves and they took some of your petty items
86 Cultists tried to kidnap you while you were out and you injured some of them and took an unfamiliar silver holy symbol worth 30gp from one in the scuffle  
87 On boat caught in an accident and got soaked and ruined your day
88 Caught in terrible weather had to bunker down in an old shack d4 1=haunted by spirits 2=home of a witch who gave you a prophetic vision with potions 3=found a magic scroll or clay tablet 4=trapped with an atractive commoner overnight
89 You got terrible parasites and had to see a herbalist for a purgative and spent day in the toilet
90 Caught in a vehicular accident in the street when a rich man with a chariot who left the scene, possibly you could claim damages from your d6 HP injury if you can name them and you have witnesses (who may be wary of speaking vs rich)
91 You were assaulted by a bad spirit and helped by temple excorcists who request your aid in the future in return d4 1=disease spirit 2=bad luck spirit (makes all rolls worse) 3=wrong alignment spirit (alters behavure) 4=bad gossip spirit (makes you blab other peoples secrets)
92 An atractive stranger tried to put a glamour on you and you objected and it revealed its non human form and fled d4 1=devilswine 2=incubi/sucubi 3=rakasha 4=doppelganger
93 Saw a spirit by night when you awoke in the night d4 1=gloomy servant 2=wailing widow 3=mysterious coloured figure with a hooded robe 4=a person who died recently crying for justice
94 While in a private pleasure garden saw changelings exit a secret door and change to different human forms then mingle, you escaped promptly 
95 Found an old bottle in sand and released something d6 1=djinn gives you a +1 weapon as reward 2=dust elemental that went on a spree damaging property and made people angry 3=swarm of demonic flies or locusts 4=a djinn takes form of openers sexual preference and offers them a night of passion 5=ghost tells you where you can find treasure 6=efreeti thanks you and rewards you with a cursed item then departs
96 Found a magical doorway only opens on a full moon d4 1=hidden tomb 2=secret race of non humans in a eternally recursive pleasure palace full of mirrors 3=ruin in a distant swamp with multiple other portal doorways still intact built by long lost prehumans 4=a cloud palace of giants with human slaves
97 A messenger from a temple was delivered too you requesting you meet a high priest. They have identified you from a prophecy and have holy quest for you and offer substantial credit with temple healers and divination in the future. They have a fancy ceremony to greet you and a feast with the priests 
98 A wizard of great fame has sent you a list of ingredients they require and a map marking where some can be found and offers better than market prices and a bonus for speed
99 Meet a cultivated well off pleasant companion but you have suspicions they are not what they seem and you discover their secret while visiting their townhouse d4 1=cat spirit changeling 2=ghuul spirit who eats dead by night as a monster 3=they are a mummy who drains breath from the living to restore their youth every few days 4=they are the secret identity of a sorcerer cult leader influencing nobility
100 A deity sent you a vision revealing an unknown secret form your past to awaken a forgotten destiny

Sunday 17 July 2022

Updates and The Sacred Temple of Erwadu Playthrough

Feeling up to date on projects sorta and starting on next phase.
Green guys are 42 petty slimy stupid devilkin, big grey ones are 4 mummies
2 mummies almost did a TPK a while ago
Top left is party retreating to a bottlenck

Zine #9 out now with 2 parts of an adventure and a 5pg post apoc location
Draft of my Murder Highway for upper-tier subscribers shortly
Murder Hobo Book was pretty recent too 

Acid Mines Book Project
Two more Egypt Theme 3-fold flyers shortly - a tomb and a pyramid
Zine #10
Exilon draft start

As Exilon in play now my next Euro style fantasy setting will be up next with Shadelport, The Threefold Land, Sour Hill and Auldwood. Lots of spooky castles and knights and faerie trouble suitable for Midderands and Pendragon type adventure.

Dungeon Delve The Sacred Temple of Erwadu
Not only is this module in the classic style it would rank highly in comparison with the best. Players were exited when I mentioned another dungeon delve so it may also happen after this. Remids my of the old Aztech pyramid module C1 in some respects but is smoother to run. Its one of the best Mesopotaimian themed products ever. Id adapt it to my RQ campaign too. Im biased with the topic being Sumerian/Babylonian inspired which fits right into the current Exilon setting campaign. I have changed the setup a bit.

I had a character aided by Ishtar temple some time ago and he owed them so made an oath to raise a party and go to the fishfolk city a week before the new year to enter the Zigguratt of Enki. The party arrived to a huge crowd after a 10 day river trip across several kingdoms and met the three greatest kings of the cities on the way saving Amazon city for later. Heard of undead vs barbarian hoardes in the waste and southern empires venturing armies into the barbarian wastes to hunt undead. The party were a bit surprised this was a big seal and met the local king and stayed in the new temple of Enki. They heard the adventurers were part of some city renewal ritual and most had failed for decades and the king was old and frail. The palacial conditions were a bit of a prison too. They got the best of everything and some indulged in temple holy harlots from the king. He promised wealth and titles if they returned. They were told only seven could enter. Lucky faimiars didn't count.

The Seven
Beltani the amazon wizard
-her warrior bodyguard Pi-Estar
Sumia-el Enki the snake folk druidic dragon changeling and his minidragon familiar
-his graverobber pal Idinsin
Baalbek the storm barbarian and his pet talking red robin
-Ultani a nun of Ishtar
Gitan Tishtari a priest of Girra the flire god and purifier and smith
-commands fire elementals not turn undead
-joined party in the court of the Sun Kingdom

I will minimise spoilers and be brief here sorry.

Party entered avoided a dathtrap and were sealed inside. Found a great chamber with lots of doors. Searching found a extra door and two wells. Had a fight with an elemental which bothered them a bit. Found a secret panel but it made them wary and go elsewhere first. Found an illusionary coridoor and the draconic shifter turned into a winged human and flew into a wall and hit the floor triggering a trap where he was dumped in water and attacked by four horrible monsters and was even knocked out. Others dragged him out while wizard summoned his wasp men allies to distract the monsters then the fire priest blasted all in the area with holy flames killing all and providing a meal.

Found lots of swarms and some nice treasure and puzzles before finding a tomb. Cautiously opened it releasing mummies and slimy hoardes of damned souls from hell. They were slow, regenerating, idiotic and a horde. Four mummies also a problem especially with other fear aura. The new priest turned out to be hard to hit with a shield spell and the warrior used his anxe and bow to kill lots. The changeling made a druidic firewall that did lots of damage and lots of party got out of the trap zone and into a defendable corridor. The monsters blocked each other and had entangle vines slowing them. Many of the party hit by fear but once mummies gone the last devils were destroyed. Was a long slow resource fizzling battle.

Have been on Facebook getting players to roll up what their followers left outside are up to carousing or whatever. Baalbek's chariot driving bard was turned into a pig and got restored and went up to Lv2 on his own.

Plenty more to follow but players all being cautious, methodical, are challenged, are wary of resource depletion. Have used half spells and HP with plenty of healing magic. Very satisfying.

Thursday 14 July 2022

Pod Review C3 & C5

I remember some more stocking stuffers of the 80s i had seen on the shelf and couldn't afford then. These are unlike most of the Pods I have read is for AD&D and are con scenarios and not so in any setting. 

Im struggling through Saga of The Shadow Lord and Im finding it a bit harder than some to digest. Also I Have all the blackmoor modules to read. Possibly this Sunday game I will be running a recent kickstart old-style module. Possibly tricky as a lock in scenario and I have extra ppl dropping in. I might add a 300 mile wilderness trip by boat or an extra adventure.

The Lost Island of Castamir 💛
💣💣💣 Lv 1-4
So you start at a dungeon door on an island that disappeared in connection with a famous wizard. Now its back. This saves on lots of padding opening scenes. Your go straight in and the rooms in this dungeon are connected by gates so its a map of rooms that indicates where the gates go rather than a traditional map. It's a mad wizard funhouse dungeon. Nice Easly cover and illustrations. Several full-page illustrations. 
The sample characters take up 8 pages and other pages on scoring in a tournament. Part one is the living areas and then the workshops. New monsters a feral slasher, fremlin and ironman are ok. There are a bunch of weird named gingwatzim spirits I don't want to remember the sub-type names. They feature quite a bit and remind me of basic D&D spirits. None of the monsters are really memorable but some well illustrated.Its pretty much a dungeon crawl and ho hum and the content is less than most. You could play it through in a 3-4 hour session though or slip it into any location you could put an island or a hole.

The Bane of Llwelyn 💛💛💣💣
 Lv 4-7
Continuing in the mid-80s tradition of pinup girls for teen boys the cover is all I remember about this despite having read it and played it. I only remembered the hot amazon pterodactyl riders with boomerangs. Every D&D game should have that standard. So your'e helping restores a long-lost king which has a few interesting quests. Once again it's time to help the poor aristocracy and their divine rights to rule. First, go loot some tombs looking for clues for the king. Lots of interesting rulers to learn about. An undead army invades ruins daily also. Next, a tower of weird magic puzzles con games once required. You get a long poem with clues too. Next to the true tomb which is full of undead and has almost a page of turning mods that are tedious and you won't use again. It's another tomb fancier than the early ones. By this stage, they have resolved the prophecy and go to find the king on another plane with dinosaurs and amazons and the king is now a woman for some reason with erased memories, the adventure ends with a legal battle with evidence points which is kind of nice. Maps are good with player ones and the POD process has done a good job - no artefacts or ruined maps. Yes, I like the cover. I must say at least you do a lot and go from like a pseudo Celtic European or several weird magic locations and another world and has an epic aim. I feel its a bit complex at times and wonder if players will get the info the DM has. Maybe a sage could pop up or travel between locations. An old prof type to get in trouble with dinos and amuse amazons might be cute. I would consider running this but might simplify the story. It's the second gender switcheroo plot in a recent module (Castle Caldwell has a reveal that a villain is a woman). Im not sure what to respond to these. I'm guessing some player will try and seduce the woman king and amazons. I would totally adopt an amazon follower if I played this and I feel slightly bad for it.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Found Ancient Finds in the Desert

I just got a big box of Tru-TSR POD (avoid all imitations) books. So some more reviews. 

Some more stuff for desert hexcrawling  

d10 Quick Types
01 Remnants
02 Land
03 Nature
04 Bodies 
05 Ruins 
06 Water
07 Sky
08 Monuments
09 Dungeons 
10 Magical

d100 Found in the Desert 
01 Bones of animals exposed by wind (1in4 extra ancient and hard to recognise)
02 Ancient tree stumps (possibly petrified)
03 Small shack or remains of tents in rags
04 Ancient foundations of a building
05 Remains of a recent firepit and some scraps of camel and rice 
06 Stones pointing in a specific direction as a crude sign
07 Rock with some scrawled graffiti
08 Rubble mounds where ancient mud-brick buildings are reverting back to soil
09 Shattered remains of small tomb utterly smashed by tomb robbers
10 Stone monolith with worn markings, once a place of worship
11 Worn cliff face with imprinted fossil remains of prehistoric monsters
12 Shells and fragments of fossilised marine life in sands
 A strange boulder balancing precariously on a column or softer worn stone, messing with it might result in being crushed 
14 Areas of soft sinking sand left after some storm
15 Erosion in the sand has exposed a huge skeleton of some huge prehistoric beast or fish
16 Strange stone pillars exposed by wind eroding softer stone
17 Eroded hills with many caves (occasionally one is a lair or has once been used as a house, some are haunted)
18 Rock hill with an eroded face forming a rock shelter where desert nomads have camped and carved symbols in the rocks for aeons. A good campsite with possible magic properties
19 A rocky ledge would make a good lookout ahead over lower lands
20 A narrow canyon cuts into a rocky bluff leading deep into the hill. Inside d4 1=desert shrine 2=oasis protected by a nymph or dryad 3=cave used by an evil cult 4=bandit campsite
21 Lots of scorpions all out for some reason (occasionally one is extra big or underfoot in sand)
22 Lots of venomous snakes out for some reason (occasionally one is extra big or underfoot in sand)
23 Distant herd of animals travelling (camels, gazelle, deer, kangaroos, whatever)
24 Someone possibly finds tracks of big predatory cats (lions, cheetah, leopard, sabretooth) sometimes the animal travels in a circle and finds tracks of the party and stalks them
25 Small muddy pool between some hills (often a lone surviving predator is starving and hoping for food or rain. Croc, snapping turtle, prehistoric eryops salamander or a big fish)
26 Giant trapdoor spiders hidden pit or a pit with a trapped giant scorpion
27 Dried easily flammable grasses over area, can be worn or used as tinder 
28 Footprints of some small animals could be tracked to burrow
Swarm of bugs attracted to anything moist d4 1=fleas 2=locusts 3=mosqitoes 4=flies 
30 Small green patches of succulent desert plants shielded by rock bluffs from wind or most sight, useful, edible and water producing plants
Old graves partly covered in sand and worn by wind
32 Skeleton holding an empty waterskin
33 Raised mound of a buried scrawny traveller with tiny clay figurines of their family in hand 
34 Human withered body hanging from a post (execution or strange nomad burial?)
35 Body full of arrows
36 Stone tombs in a rocky hillside, many have been opened and robbed
37 Stone barrow mound burials long robbed but still haunted by shadows, ghouls and wights
38 Wooden frame supporting a desiccated horse and nomad warrior, part of a nomad burial rite
39 Mound, not very old. Is it buried treasure d4 1=cult sacrifice corpses 2=massacre of soldiers 3=slaves murdered when party out of water 4=undead cache left by a necromancer cult for a future plot
40 Dried out old well with a dead animal or person close
Remains of a dried-out oasis (good for false hope, often find remains of travellers)
42 An intact well with a small structure, bucket and rope, some have lids and may lead to deep watery cave networks
43 Find a hidden well under rocks in a cliff cleft
44 Remains of a boat half-buried
45 Remains of an ancient irrigation system (ditches, aqueduct or canal mostly buried)
46 Stone shrine remains with carvings depicting a garden and oasis here long ago
47 Damp depression if dug and strained good for a few drinks
48 Watering holes with wary animals drinking, 1in4 have a predator
49 Succulent cacti drawing on seasonal underground moisture 
50 Predatory creatures attracted by moisture d4 1=sandworms 2=landshark 3=dust devils 4=giant sand flies
51 Broken pottery fragments and remains if you dig find remains of a merchant caravan or marketplace destroyed long ago
52 Bricks scattered around a hill in rubble heaps. Foundations are visible in places. Some bricks are mud and decayed, others are fired and some are glazed in colours. Once a thriving city
53 Remains of a stone or brick wall, some sections have been looted for building materials or worn away as longer exposed
54 Ruin in rubble heaps and some are clay tablets with financial information and letters. If you search longer there are tiny carved gem seals and some more interesting texts
55 A muddy marshy depression with a muddy overgrown hill in the middle, remains of a great building. There are bricks, receipt tablets and wine vessels and broken flint tools in the rubble
56 Stone pillars and rubble in an open
57 Stone sphinx or heraldic beast worn by wind and alone, by night is quite eerie and attracts encounters
58 Small shrine or monolith to some forgotten desert spirit
59 Roofless temple structure with broken columns and statue
60 Abandoned commoner's farm or shack or animal pen
61 Distant bird of prey crying and circling some prey
62 Flock of vultures
63 Blinding sun makes being outdoors in sunlight dangerous for overheating and dehydration
64 Circling vultures around d4 1=dying animal 2=were-vulture 3=bloody mess & bones 4=lost struggling travellers
65 Tiny iron meteoric steel nugget in a small burned crater
66 Air shimmering looks like water in the distance to the ignorant
67 See some clouds overhead that pass, possible tease with some distant rain
68 Dust storm lasts d6 hours
69 Dry hot wind lasts d6 hours
70 See distant dust devils dancing in wind, natural phenomena or elementals?
71 Small ruined fort with curtain wall and building, some old outpost possibly with human remains scattered
Borderstone of some ancient kingdom with symbols of gods and ancient script
73  Ancient necropolis, area full of graves and shunned by locals
74 Abandoned small villages (1in4 also campsites of bandits or monsters)
75 Huge statue of rulers or a god carved into a rock outcrop
76 Relief rock carving of a king and several languages carved in cliff
77 Broken chunks of huge statues
78 Stone heads of ancient gods
79 Obelix or stelae with carved writing, a monument to some past victory
80 Stone circle of large boulders on a hilltop
81 Wind has revealed an ancient rock-hewn tomb (possibly now a lair)
82 A sinkhole into an ancient buried complex, sand from the surface is slowly flowing inside and it is easy to fall in (possibly a giant scorpion or other monsters inside) 
83 See a series of box-like small tombs on a rocky hill but a nest of some flying monsters attack anyone in the area for generations
84 A simple stone building has a blocked shaft inside to some underground forgotten complex where degenerate cannibal survivors live among ruined finery. They are survivors of ancient civilisation
85 A storm uncovered a warn rock but closer you can see it is eroded bricks of a monument. Ancient supernatural creatures guard it 
86 Huge mausoleum has stood for centuries and is shunned 
87 Top of a buried tower, ziggurat or pyramid. May be possible to find a secret entry 
88 Remains of a stadium or theatre with tunnels inside and understructure, haunted by ancient performers and monsters
89 An eroded hill covered in natural stone towers has been hollowed out by some creatures who left long ago. Now an underground complex of monsters
90 Ruined sanctuary of stone temples and shrines and the rest of has long gone
91 A great burning pit, a planar gateway to hell or elemental fire
92 A glistening bejewelled city inhabited by djinn and efreet seeking slaves. Illusion covers a ruin and has planar portals and areas inside magic paintings 
93 Glinting shining beacon in distant rocky hill, actually a trap by supernatural monsters who use the beacon when hungry. The beacon is a magic item and has many traps and wards 
94 Flags and banners in the distance. Some exotic warriors or wizards have camped, and possibly humanoids await a challenger for a wishing ring (actually a cursed delusion ring). If beaten and flaws exposed the warriors are enraged. They have treasure and a map or portal  to their secret home
95 A lone weird rock, a demon was bound here in torment long ago by a stone age wizard
96 In the shimmering distance a strange ruin is seen, an elder pre human city of reptilians with great monuments, tombs and tribal reptilians. Their alien mummies may be found in crypts and a great vault of sleepers in crystal coffins is in the deep where few dare look
97 An ancient worn black stone dome half buried with obsidian pillars surrounding it. There is no opening. If broken through there is an older temple inside like some deep sea crustacean. Inside is a liquid horror guardian of the elder gods guarding strange cursed magic relics 
98 A stone altar on a hill where if a horrible sacrifice is made an elder god can be released. Releating the sacrifice draws it back then to its home plane. The ancient script can be learned like a 5th level spell if decifered. There is no controlling the demon other than sending it back but a wizard might bargain with them
99 A shimmering magical palace most believe is an illusion but really it is an echo from another world. If the barrier can be breached their is a city full of loot and in the great palace dozens of liches are sleeping who killed all life on this world long ago and await the forces of entopy to destroy this world. There are no stars, birds, bugs and not even weather 
100 Clouds above seem to have buildings and towers and garden palaces of them, what mysterious people live up there? Perhaps gods or immortals

Monday 11 July 2022

Pod Reviews I9 & B9

So a couple of quick POD roundups of those mid 90s tru-tsr originals. Also having read through Nights Dark Terror again I think I like it even more than my original review. It has the UK 80s dnd vibe and maps I like. I was surprised to see a UK star frontiers module also with similar map/layout philosophy. 

Day of Al'Akbar I9 👍
I had this a teen and older gamers and adults cracked up at the pinup harem girls. I thought it was ok at time but didn't run it. It is basically like an early version of AlQuadim setting which came later and has all the baggage of that line. Asians represent podcast probably done a better job at this than I could on that product and its flaws. On one hand hand having non western European late medieval alternatives was welcome and a good idea. It has the depth of someone watching Ray Harryhousen Sinbad movies and other western adaptions and then cherry picked some history. Probaly worth a mention, this was in a time of Regan vs Iran terror stuff and deals and so the comical terrorist bomber in the adventure I'm sure was a sensitive decision. So other than the stuff that has dated worse and the issues of orientalism how does it fare as a game adventure and product. It has nice easily cover, some interiors, wilderness, palac, sewer and tomb maps with one of the better TSR poster maps of a trading town on a hill. The POD version has done one of the better jobs. Basically, you visit a dodgy town, enter the sewers to reach a tomb seeking a relic. This fails so you enter city, explore its interesting loosely goosey non-specific locations system then invade the palace. You can do intrigues or stealth or both and dealing with factions and locals can get you some help.  I think you could reskin or improve this in many desert settings and it has a Hollywood vibe. The city map is the best thing in it the adventure is ok. Probably the best Middle East-themed game product depicting Islam I have read is Iron Crown one and it knows its limits and territory is in a Arthur Rackam art 10001 nights orientalist fantasy. Mixing up cultures and religion and nationality for ppl who know would be a deal-breaker for some. The dancing around this fantasy version of Islam without saying it or dealing with it is a bit pantomime. The tomb and puzzles and players involved a religious coup adventure are better than the skin-deep setting.

Castle Caldwell & Beyond 
This is obviously written to be a step by step adventure for young beginner DMs as they had to keep making new beginners stuff. So it like a few B series explained stuff in expert set and spells not in the basic set. So it does waste a lot of time doing this and is simpler than say B1 or B2 possibly aimed at younger new DMs. Its a Caldwell pinup of an unconscious woman no doubt saved by her kindly drooling lizard buddy. A pic of an owlbear with a scanty chained woman too. It feels a bit mediocre. The maps are not very exciting and the towers and castle walls being thin upsets my Archaeology instincts. It does have some worth as a beginner's adventure. It is 5 mini-3-4 hour sessions adventures to clear out a castle for the first two, then serving the king rescuing a princess then a  prison break and finally a relic quest in a mini funhouse dungeon. It has a bit of whimsy of B1 but a bit more sensible and episodic which seems to be the dominant style. Quite a few empty rooms and stuff I would be too busy to worry about detail while escaping. Like a proper B series adventure, it skips travel, outdoors and non-dungeon scenes or a village or worry about details of the king. The religion in it is a bit weird and Im not sure this is a good fit in any setting especially and its minimal to drive the story and for some adventure backgrounds. As a simple coaching 1st adventure/mini-campaign to get through the basic set and possibly for kids to work through into expert set D&D its fine. Less exciting possibilities like diet vanilla ice cream for an adult now but I do like the lady villain at end. Im sorry for the four 1st lv wizards who attack the party with a spell each and then charges with knives. A terrible plan.   

Sunday 3 July 2022

Gamelog: Finished tombs and against the snake folk

Our Heroes:

7th Lv Fighter - Barbarian Archer Lord seeking glory and battle, talks to birds
-Personal Priestess
-Mastif war dog abhumanoid (Mostly guards the priestess)
-Bard chariot driver & herald
-Pet finch has grown huge and bird has become sentient and can speak

7th Wizard Lady scholar working on setting up magic school as way of getting more spells
-Personal Ishtar Priestess
-Bodyguard spearman
-Lots of low level students

7th Level Changeling (draconic with druid spells) who shags Naga wherever he goes
-Spearman bodyguard
-Theif from a graverobber clan
-Familiar tiny dragon
-Several snake changeling children (currently sent home)

This is playing through two of my 3fold adventures.
My Patreon has my new revised 112 page version of the Murder Hobo Manual now

Party went into the tombs reunited with their snake changeling friend and his followers. He was bust shagging Naga again. The wizard burrowed through stone walls from the last plundered room with magic to avoid cursed door traps. Found coins and a silver urn and a ram headed drinking vessel that makes three big drinks of wine or mead or beer or palm wine. Released a succubi who offered to be their slave as a reward but they told her she was free and to piss off we don't want you. The final tomb had four living statues of shedu and each round from each grave came a shadow. Was lots of magical blasting and found lots of money and cool magic weapons. Now everyone on +2 weapons. A few magic shields they have yet to divide up. So back to Ishtar temple, they stayed by regular invitation and as a reward for stopping the tombs evil undead arising. Apparently was part of some scheme of the Death Templars and many of the region's armies seem to be uniting to wipe them out. 

As they sold goods and healed they were sent a message for an audience with the king. He had heard of their good work versus supernatural evil and of the New Year ceremony, they were to participate where they get locked in a magic Ziggurat. If they returned he promised them a reward and titles. He offered them to use a royal ceremonial pleasure barge to the capital city of the Snake nation. The party were pleased and had a leisurely trip over days. When they arrived the red carpet came out and it was assumed they were VIPs. Once customs had cleared the party with divinations they were invited to stay at the Ningizzida Zigguratt enclosure. They were treated as diplomats as they too had heard of the party's new year mission. The city was ruled by snake folk thousands of years ago and the city was full of their carvings and idols. There were lots of Naga cults affiliated with the Ningizzida temples. so the changeling was pleased. The local king called for them to his serpentine palace offering them gifts on their return if they lived. He offered them a royal snake-ship to take them to the Sun kingdom downriver. All he asked is they investigate sabotage at a monument to Enlil to cement the friendship between the party home kingdom and the snake kingdom. So they accepted and the wizard had his priestess use various divination during the four days travel.

He learned there were intelligent monsters at work causing problems in secret and they were not human. Arrived and met the foreman who gave them a floor of a warehouse to stay in and offered they join him for dinner. He showed them the site and explained the sabotage and how the camp of workers moved away from the river and made water come by manpower reducing the workforce and costs.The party visited the medical tent and cured wounds and diseases ompressing the stone workers on the great cliff relief of mighty Enlil. So the wizard used his burrowing spell to move 70 cubic meters of rock and was cheered by hundreds of workers. The miracles improved morale and the formal became more hopeful and helpful. A priest cast detect enemies on the crowd as the party heroes gave speeches and all was clear.

Heard clues of fish-men holy symbols being found so the wizards Ishtar priestess cast History and learned how the medalion was left by robed cultists and was in a box of other symbols for months after being plucked from monster poop, then before that, a fish cultist was snatched by a river monster and before that the item was bought from a silversmith who made it. So they visited the marsh village of suspects and quickly agreed with them that the fish cult was a ruse by another cult. The changeling managed to convince them he was ok and despite his snakey looks and mentioned bad snake men who every few generations attacked the area and had demon servants.

So they arranged for a boat the next day (didn't want to risk kings boat and local marsh folk knew the area better). That night feasting with the foreman he decided the barbarian was actually ok in his coarse disgusting way. They set forth from the river to the island the priestess saw with her history spell where the mystery men came from and collected holy symbols. Landed and headed for ruins and ordered the raft with inflatable animal hides to be dragged ashore fearing water demons. The barbarbarian had heard from the description of the beast and new it was one of the great oar finned sea reptiles of the primordial sea long ago with a long neck. Found the great tell and climbed up noting many food plants and palm trees here. Saw the great snake headed worn collosus 12m high waist up statue with possibly lower parts buried. Saw some ruined tmples but went to see stone huts and met a red robed wizard. He seemed nervous and explained he was a scholar who had camped here for weeks. The barbarian knew this was a lie and nobody had been camping here.

So the wizard tried ESP and failed then prepared her evil eye and charmed him. He was happy to introduce them to his friends and leader in their secret underground bunker.  Party obliged and followed him th a secret hole into a stone tunnel. As it went on found see magic hewed rock with stony texture on walls but floor warped and smooth from aeons of feet. Came to a guard room of six snake folk in bronze scale with spears and shields. The charmed wizard implored cooperation and the wizard implied a terrible plot had charmed them and the leader needed help. So the wizard blasted his own friends with a heat ray. The battle went on and the party wizard was poisoned and losing vitality from venomed blades but the changeling cured her. Explored more about killing serpent folk eating a fish cultist and some of their wizards. Turned out the red-robed charmed magician was actually a snake changeling and the party encouraged him to use his spells up for them. Found a library, laboratory and a room of dino eggs and sleeping snake people the party killed. Was a bell to call the plesiosaur which they left for later perhaps on way home. Took the metallic discs of serpent uniform wizard lore and dinosaur husbandry texts and buried the complex. Returned to the formal declaring mystery solved and there was a huge feast. The local king and their own king heard of these wonders.
After celebrations, they sailed to the city of the sun god.