Here is a question for you:
What sort of publications are people largely interested in:
- Campaign settings;
- New rules.
Just out of curiosity.
Here is a question for you:
What sort of publications are people largely interested in:
Just out of curiosity.
Last night we played the first session of the long-awaited Eternal Empire campaign, using the Lamentations of the Flame Princess (LotFP) Weird Fantasy rules; and it was great!
Iral Darkstar: elf (former cook, vain, has a samurai mask and a pet spider)
Jym Hawke: specialist (former miner, glutton, has a Robin Hood hat, pet canary and a mule called Bob);
Randalf: magic-user (former quack, superstitious, a witch/warlock, with a black cat and a broom).
All Level One. Randalf knows Jym as they use to be in the same mercenary company; Jym knows Iral, because they shared a horse that recently died; and Iral knew Randalf because they were both caught in the treasure vault of a merchant in the town of Bute’s Triangle, barely escaping with their lives. All came together and headed off to the frontier village of Jainesville, following a rumour that the local constable was having trouble with bandits.
Late spring, late afternoon, the three adventurers arrive in Jainesville after trekking along the road from the nearest market town of Appleby (about a week away). They get a few odd looks, mostly curious, from the farmers they pass and head straight to the constable and ask him about the bandits: the friendly constable tells them there has indeed been trouble, and that sightings have been made near the old Baron’s Keep (on the hill, ten minutes walk), the old abandoned inn six or so hours up the northern trail (near the old, empty copper mine), and down south by the strange tower that attracts lightning.
He offers them 5 sp a head (or an ear) for each bandit they take out; more if they get whoever leads them.
They then head off to the local tavern, talk to Barney the innkeepers (getting the same details, plus the fact that the keep is abandoned due to a ‘monster’ that roams the place at night). They also talk to a local farm lad, who wants to join them but is turned down; he lets them know of further opportunity for adventure miles to the west, in the ruins of the old prison, Stonehell. The lad, Douglas, is given Jym’s mule to look after, while they head off and do some scouting.
After a brief discussion, the three of them decide to investigate the old keep first, and wait until dusk to do so. They skirt around the woods, scramble up the hill and as the sun begins to set, Jym throws his rope & grapple up to the battlements, and all three climb up.
Once there, they see there is indeed a monster, roaming the courtyard below and as yet unaware of them: it is a large four-legged lizard with steam pouring off its body. The rest of the keep, as far as they can see, looks empty and largely intact.
A plan is formed: Iral casts his faerie fire spell and outlines the lizard in green flames, giving Randalf time to aim and let loose a rock from the sling he borrows from Jym: he misses, and the lizard spots them and scurries across to the wall; it tries to climb, but fails to gain any purchase.
Seeing that the lizard can’t get to them, the three bold adventurers start slinging and lobbing rocks at it! Some hit, doing minor damage and making the lizard hiss angrily as it keeps trying to scale the wall; but most of the rocks bounce harmlessly off its thick, scaled hide.
Then the lizard finally gains a hold and scrambles up the wall, shoving itself between Iral and Jym; they pull their swords and hack away, but only one hits [I think it was Iral], and then the lizard swipes at Jym: luckily, he raises his shield just in time, but the force of the blow shatters the wooden shield!
Randalf quickly analyses the situation and decides that, what with the thick hide and sharp claws, the lizard can potentially kill them all! So, he casts his memorised spell, sleep, and puts the beast into a deep slumber. They kill the monster before it can wake, and shove it off the wall. It splats on the hard earth.
They quickly check out the walls and towers, finding them empty but spotting signs of recent occupants in the form of booted foot prints. They then start to climb down the ladder that leads into the gatehouse, as night falls.
End of session.
Half a session of role-play, a quarter spent fighting the beast, and the rest exploring. Very old school gaming, and it was fun.
No treasure so far, but some XP from slaying the monster.
The link to the campaign wiki is on the right-hand menu, under Campaigns.
Next session is on Monday, and I’m really looking forward to it.
For some reason the words ‘Goblin Kiss’ popped into my head and made me think of goblins headbutting people; which then made me think of how I could use that in games and have a sort of combat manoeuvre/stunt type of thing, Old School Feat type of thing, maybe.
So I had a thought and came up with these (how does a PC get to use one? Whenever they feel like it):
Head-butt your foe: standard attack roll, on a hit do 1d4 damage and opponent must save versus paralysis or be disorientated for a round (-2 to hit).
Bonus: add Strength modifier to the # of rounds if wearing a helm.
Knock your foe back with your ample stomach: standard attack roll, forgo AC bonus from Dexterity for that round; on a hit, knock opponent back 1d4 feet +1 foot per point of Strength modifier.
Bonus: roll 1d6 instead if opponent is smaller than you, or you have a really big belly.
Nip at those ankles: standard attack, only against foes larger than you; on a hit, hobble your opponent by leaving tooth marks in their flesh: foe is at half-move for the next 1d4 rounds.
Bonus: increase duration by one round for every point of Strength modifier.
A vicious slap with a touch of magic: standard attack, must be a magic-user or an elf; on a successful hit, slap for 1 point of damage, and also leave an imprint of your hand that magically remains there for 1d4 days.
Bonus: add an extra day of duration for every point of Intelligence modifier.
Any more I should add?
I am now on Google+, and I must say that I like it so far; looks cleaner and (so far) seems easier and nicer to use than Facebook.
If anyone wants to be added (or wants an invite), please leave a comment and I shall circle you :) IF you don’t want the to share any details, then I can delete the comment afterwards, before I approve it and it gets posted here.
My Google+ is: “Simon Forster”, nickname “theskyfullofdust”.
I want to try to publish my own RPG, Old School type adventure, supplement, whatever. Mostly to see if I can rise to the challenge, partly because I think it’ll be fun, and also because, well, why not. In this DIY Self-Publishing POD era, more people should give it a go.
So I’ve come up with an idea for, sort of, an Old School Adventure Path/Campaign/Sandbox adventure. The spark of inspiration came when watching Camelot, reading the Deed of Paksenarrion, and thinking about my own game. Then I remembered the Kingmaker adventure path that was out not so long ago.
I am going to give it a try. It’ll be something with an initial hook, a large sandbox region to play in, monthly ‘events’ and geared towards taking characters from Level 1 to Name Level (9, thereabouts). There’ll be plenty of room for DMs to put what they want in it, areas to expand, empty places to fill with their own adventures and locales, but also plenty already there. A mix of lairs and bandit camps, dungeons and ancient temples. They sort of thing.
It’s going to be a lot of work, but I like a challenge. I’ll post my ‘design notes’ as I go along, in case anyone is interested. And feel free to chip in with comments, for good or ill.
As part of my prep work, I’d quite like to build my own mega-dungeon, or at least a micro-mega-dungeon.
Now, I have played and ran games for long enough to have a fairly good idea how to put an adventure together and fill a dungeon with stuff, but what is it that makes a good mega-dungeon that will have players sending their characters back-and-forth? Hooks, multiple levels, factions, impassible entrances that require time and effort to get through and a trip back to town for the necessary supplies? All of that, something more, something else?
I like Stonehell Dungeon, but that already has a place in my campaign. I want something of my own, and probably not something as large as Stonehell (maybe a quarter of the size).
What do you think? In your experience, what makes a good mega-dungeon, or indeed what makes a good old ‘plain’ dungeon. How much history and flavour should I have, how many levels, factions, types of monsters?
Any and all advice, suggestions, links, tips and ideas, welcome and appreciated.
Just finished putting together an OSR adventure, which I intend to run.
Here it is: MischievousMonsters.
It is aimed at low-level characters, and size of the party doesn’t matter as the number of monsters varies according to the number of characters (including henchmen).
Free feel to use it, and if you do, let me know how it turns out.
Haven’t played it yet, so not sure how exactly it’ll work out, but thought I’d share it.
Map for the adventure is (left) also on the last page of the PDF.
Inspired by yesterday’s post by Dyson, about building up relations in the community, I thought I’d do just that and give a shout out to those posts I particularly liked, for one reason or another, and stood out to me personally over the week (in no particular order):
Dreams in the Lich House and his latest notes on his Black City project (which I look forward to the eventual PDF).
Bigger on the Inside, a good read if you have any interest in Doctor Who (especially from a RPG view).
Over at A Dungeon Master’s Tale there is a final collection of the rooms from the Sample Dungeon project that was kicking around, and it’s a good finish. You should check out the rest of the posts too.
The Lands of Ara discussed alignment, and Zak (always a good read) gives a heads-up to The Underdark Gazette, whose blog is a great source of OSR news and I look forward to the return of the Sunday round-up in the future.
There are lots of blogs and posts out there; these are but a sample and those that caught my eye. Most are linked to the right, the rest live on my Google Reader feed and I try to add them when I remember too. If you want me to add you to my list and I’ve forgotten to, just leave a comment and I will remedy that.
Have a good weekend folks.
Inspired by Bear Week by B/X Blacrazor, and after browsing through images on deviantArt (great site for artwork), here is a killer bear to throw at a party of adventurers (be they heroes or not):
Some say that the crazed bear with its many eyes was the result of bizarre magical experiment at the hands of green-skinned creatures that came from the stars.
Whatever the origin of this beast, it is greatly feared by the survivors of the village of Appleby. It has a taste for human and elven flesh (but will not eat dwarf), is fearless in the thick of battle, and has a mesmeric effect on those who meet its many eyes.
Thought to be unique, no one has yet faced this huge bear and lived; and the local Baron has a reward for anyone
foolish brave enough to kill it, skin it, and make the roads safe once again.
Unique beast: Alignment Neutral, Move 60′ (180′), Armour Class as leather & shield (15 for LotFP), Hit Dice 5, Hit Points 36, # Attacks 2 claws, 1 bite, Damage 1d8/1d8/1d6, Morale 10 (but 12 once in combat)
Special: knock-down, on a successful hit victim must save versus paralysis or be knocked prone; crush, against a prone target the bear simply falls and crushes its victim, save versus paralysis to roll out of the way or take 2d6 damage; mesmeric eyes, catching the bear’s eyes requires a save versus magic or else be hypnotised for 1d6 rounds or until hit, counts as surprised in combat with an additional -2 (penalty) to Armour Class.
Yesterday I put the finishing touches to an adventure, for the Old School fantasy games out there (be it D&D or another).
It’s called They Came from the Stars and it is geared for a low-level party (I suggested 1-3 Levels, but it’s not been tested, so not sure how accurate it is), facing off against aliens. Has a flying saucer, mutilated cows, and cyborgs too.
The maps are crude yet colourful, simple and do what they need to. All hand-drawn (badly), scanned, with text and some icons added afterwards. There’s a hex map too, designed on Hexographer.
If anyone wants to download it, read it, run it, and let me know what they think, give advice to improve, offer suggestions or give constructive criticism, then I would be grateful and honoured. Just leave a comment and I shall read them all, and use what I can or think works.
The adventure itself is loosely based on an adventure my dad ran for us back when I was a young lad. We fought the Greenies, got sick from radiation poisoning, and won in the end (I think we drove them off). I made them the focus of a story I wrote, where they were greatly enhanced by battle armour with missiles and machine guns, killing off characters al over the place. Happy memories :)
While making this adventure, I found it really hard to draw the maps. For the past few years most of my mapping has been done on the computer, and whenever I did draw them by hand they were simple lien drawings, sparse on details, the text holding all the necessary information. Such a huge difference to the way I use to draw maps: back in the early days of me running games, I’d spend hours sat at the top of the stairs, technical graph paper laid before me (that my dad obtained from work) and an assortment of coloured pencils and felt tips. I’d use rulers and a pair of compasses to draw straight and make circles, colour in everything, add lots of detail (statues, pots and urns, piles of treasure, discarded weapons and so forth), effectively making small dungeon tiles. I’d sometimes make one large enough for miniatures, such as my infamous ‘Bar Room Brawl’ scene, where the map was labelled as such and any surprise was ruined (the party all went in with smuggled weapons, slaughtering the patrons of the tavern when the fight broke out; only later did they tell me that I’d written the name of the encounter on the map).
I’m out of practice with drawing maps. Something I need to do more of. Time to break out the graph paper, pens and pencils, and try to recapture what I have somehow lost.
How do others do their maps? By hand, computer, or borrowed from the assorted maps and images out in the nether of the WWW?
A while ago I briefly reviewed both Vornheim: the complete city kit, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess Weird Fantasy RPG Grindhouse Edition, and said I’d do another review once I had the physical copies.
Trouble, I’m rubbish at doing reviews. I never know what to say. I got both in the mail when I came back from Brighton, and just got Blackmarsh (by Robert Conley) of Bat in the Attic today.
I haven’t used Vornheim yet, simply because I’m playing D&D rather than running it but I’m looking forward to using it. I’ve enjoyed reading and flicking through it, and am considering taking the Urbancrawl rules and seeing if I can use them to do something similar for dungeon crawls; which is one of the best things about this book, it inspires and motivates you to not only use it, but to take what’s there and make it your own, use it as a source of ideas. And it’s a nicely designed book too :)
The Grindhouse set is also beautifully designed, and I was impressed by the quality of the paper. I think the colour artwork comes across better on the PDF (simply because it’s bigger to look at), but that doesn’t take anything away from the books. I’ve only played one session with these rules so far, but that went well and everyone enjoyed it. One of the things I like most are the spells, chiefly those that are different from the standard ones we’re use to; and I especially like the Summon spell, which is like a guide to monster creation.
Blackmarsh I bought for two main reasons: firstly, because I wanted to do something like it myself, but really needed to see what someone had done to get an idea of what worked; and secondly, if I need a setting I can use it, especially if my own setting isn’t ready in time for my new campaign (still a few months away); if nothing else, I should be able to fit it into my own setting without too much trouble.
Anyway, that’s my review, such as it is. I like all three, I’d recommend them to others, and they’re good value for money. Not come across anything I don’t like or care for, but haven’t fully tested them or played with them yet either. I’ll no doubt comment on each as part of actual play reports in the future.
Now, back to see if I can use Zak’s idea to create something of my own…
The village of Jainesville lies on the edge of the Empire, nestled between the mountains, hills and the Gloomimg forest. It is a frontier village, built out of the remains of a small town once ruled over by a black-hearted Baron who lorded it over the common miners with an iron fist, and a barbed whip. He met his demise when an adventurer by name of Jaine robbed his treasury, and killed the Baron and his eldest son in the process. As this man they called Jaine fled, he was unaware of a hole in his backpack, which let gold coins trickle out. The miners who still lived in the town took the gold, and prospered; they built a statue to him, and renamed their town after the adventurer who has changed their fortune. Over time the miners left, the copper mine in the hills dried up, and the town fell to ruin. In recent years, after the discovery of an old prison in the mountains that promised loot to the brave and foolish, folk have come back and the village has slowly started to grow again.
The map represents a square mile, or 640 acres. That’s enough land to support 180 people, and only 100 live there. The farms are a mix of livestock (220, spread between cows, sheep, pigs and fowl) and crops, vegetables and an orchard of lovely apples. Of the 100 folk, most are farmers and their families. The rest consist of a few shopkeepers, craftsmen and traders; the sheriff and his constables; the clergy of the Church of St Aldwyn; and the 21 man garrison of the 401st Division. These soldiers are the dregs of the Legions, old men and disreputable youths for the most part, led by a captain who has proven an embarrassment to many; they are an ineffective bunch, sent to man this generally useless garrison until they have served their time, or, if possible, died on duty.
This village is going to be the starting place for the campaign. It has personalities to interact with; a traders to buy and sell goods; a church to cause trouble; and outside lies the remains of the Baron’s Keep, a ruin that has a dungeon below it. Opportunities for adventuring right at the start, and pathways to others as well.
Just thought I’d share.
The last rooms of the sample AD&D DMG dungeon.
A locked door opens onto an opulent bedroom with a four-poster bed, silken sheets and plump feather-mattress and matching pillows. A dressing table of bronzewood stands in the corner, with a cracked mirror. At the foot of the bed is a strong iron-bound chest.
A bedroom once used by the wizard’s mistress, it has been abandoned and untouched for years. The dressing table is empty, but the locked (and trapped: poison needle, save versus poison or die in 1d4 turns, painfully) chest holds a silver lock-box (locked) of 250 gold pieces, a bejewelled necklace of emeralds and pearls, worth 1000 gold pieces, and a silver ring decorated with a feather pattern: this is a magical Ring of Feather Falling, but will only work for the female of the species.
These two rooms are full of junk: broken furniture, refuse, shards of glass and crystal, smashed plates and crockery, old blankets with many holes, and so on. They have each become lairs for a family of Ghouls that have come down from the rear entrance (# 39). There are three adults in # 32, and five children (1 Hit Dice each) in room # 33.
There is nothing of interest amongst the junk.
Shelves stand tall against the walls, holding assorted bottles and jars. Most are intact, and dust lies over all.
A virtually untouched storeroom, with a concealed tunnel behind one of the shelves. On the shelves are a number of empty jars, vials and bottles. Some, however, are full and contain a random potion. Each turn spent searching has a 4 in 6 chance of uncovering 1d4 potions; there are 19 to be found in all.
Another storage area, this time sparsely populated with broken barrels and crates.
There is nothing of interest in this room.
A small laboratory with an intact table of glass tubes and other apparatus. A few shelves hang on the walls, holding vials and glass beakers of different coloured liquids.
This small lab has a concealed corridor behind the table, leading to another laboratory (# 37). The wizard used this to do his important, and secret, spell research, and it has everything a magic-user needs to research spells up to Level 7.
On the shelves are enough components for 1500 gold pieces worth of research.
Another small laboratory, but the contents are smashed. A pile of splintered wood leans against the rear wall.
This laboratory was destroyed by looting ghouls, who left nothing of value behind. The pile of wood hides the concealed tunnel. Amongst the debris 1d4 Giant Rats lurk unseen (surprising on a 3 in 6).
A modest bedroom, seemingly untouched, with a simple bed along the back wall, a chest at its foot, and a shelf of books alongside.
This secret room was the wizard’s bedroom. On the shelf are a collection of old spell books, holding every spell from levels 1 through 4, and 1d8 randomly determined spells from levels 5 through 7; there are also 1d4 spells from levels 8 and 9. These books would fetch a high price to a magic-user or a collector.
In the locked chest (trapped with a Glyph of Warding that sends a bolt of lightning into the opener, for 6d6 points of damage; save versus magic for half) are 250 platinum pieces, 2500 gold pieces, and 3000 silver. As well as a large ruby (worth 1000 gold), a palm-sized emerald (worth 750 gold) and a magical Wand of Magic Missiles (15 charges, fires 3 missiles per charge, command word is “Rainbow Blast”).
A set of stairs leading up and out, into a graveyard hidden amongst the hills.
And that concludes the rooms from the Sample Dungeon.
One of the things I’ve never really liked are the rules for knocking people (or monsters) out; not in the games I play. Be it D&D (whatever version), or Star Wars, if a PC wants to knock someone out rather than kill them, the rules never satisfy.
So, with that in mind, here are my simple rules for KO’ing the enemy’ mechanically for D&D variants, Old School ones anyhow (I’ll through a few alternatives in too, why not):
First, you have to hit your opponent. Make an attack roll, as normal, modified as follows:
Next, roll for damage as normal, but rather than dealing that amount of damage to the target, this happens instead:
This works best with NPCs and humanoid monsters. A few other rules follow:
For other editions of the game, use these adjustments:
3rd Edition types
Anyone else out there had a go at making up simple knock-out rules?
Finally, the end of April.
Today, another mini-adventure, this time with ZOMBIES! (Because I couldn’t think of anything else for the last letter).
The storm that had chasing them all day finally broke overhead as night fell. A torrent of rain pounded the ground, pelting the party of travellers as they struggled against the wind. They were soaked in seconds, and there storm was just getting worse. A jagged fork of lightning lit up the night, and in the near distance a small ruin atop a hill could just be seen.
“We need shelter!” cried the cleric. She pointed at the ruin, now fading rapidly back into the darkness. The others mumbled their agreement, and together the party trudged on to the hill.
A ruined fort loomed before them, small but fairly intact. They pressed on into the courtyard, and saw a large monolith standing in the middle, a tear of back stone that rain poured off. Behind it the remains of a building beckoned to them, offering shelter beneath its stone roof. They hurried inside and waiting for the storm to abate.
This can occur at any point during a journey, when a terrible storm hits and forces the adventurers to seek shelter. A convenient ruin provides just that; but the monolith inside the fort is an unholy relic that is summoning the dead to worship. As the party settles down to sleep, or merely wait out the storm, a horde of undead surrounds the fort and begins a slow advance.
A flash of lightning reveals movement beyond the gates, and in the darkness figures are moving. A sea of zombies and others, stumbling and crawling up the hill. They want nothing more than to worship the monolith in peace, and will kill and feast on anything living that they catch in the fort or on the hill, pursuing even into the surrounding plains; for a time at least. The hill is surrounded on all sides, and the party may well be forced to stand and fight against wave after wave of undead.
More from the sample dungeon.
The walls of this large corridor are covered with hung tapestries depicting hunting scenes, but scenes where humanoid animals are hunting humans and elves. The cloth is richly detailed, woven with brightly coloured threads and has not faded over time.
Each tapestry is magical and is worth 500 silver pieces to a collector.
A storeroom full of dusty crates and barrels, sacks of old flour, damp mould on the walls, and cracks in the ceiling.
This storeroom once held lots of food and water, wine, ales, and various ingredients for cooking. The food has long since rotted away, the water dried up and what remains is spoiled and is not edible. Attempts to eat anything requires a saving throw versus poison or suffer stomach cramps and vomiting for 1d4 hours, with no actions possible during that time.
A search of the room may (1 in 6) uncover the following (1d8 roll):
A remarkably dirt and dust free area of the dungeon, the walls devoid of any trace of grime. A pungent smell, acidic, permeates the air.
A Gelatinous Cube wanders this part of the dungeon, and in the corridors around this area, there is a 2 in 6 chance of it being discovered. Any treasure it carries is swept up into its transparent body.
A small tunnel, barely 3′ high, leads out of this plain chamber. Following it leads to a chimney that ascends to the surface.
A small or squeezing medium-sized character can climb in here and up the chimney to reach the surface, where a hidden exit lies buried beneath a thorny bush.
Suits of armour, chain and plate, small round shields, short swords and daggers, halberds and long swords, lie scattered across this long, wide and plain room.
A company of soldiers once slept here, but were consumed by the wandering cube. They left their armour and weapons behind. In all there are 2 suits of plate armour, 8 suits of plate mail, 12 shirts of chain mail, 15 shields, 12 short swords, 9 long swords, and 12 daggers; as well as 15 gold pieces, 23 silver pieces, and 99 coppers.
Damp marks the walls here, drips of water fall from a cracked ceiling, and the floor is scoured as if by acid.
A Green Slime hangs from the ceiling, hidden in the cracks and damp. It falls on anyone walking underneath (surprises on a 3 in 6).
This chamber is a small chapel, with an altar against the rear wall. Silver candlesticks adorn the marble altar, bearing religious symbols rather pagan looking.
A chapel dedicated to a pagan god of magic, the silver sticks are each worth 100 silver pieces. A secret door lies to the right of the altar.
If an offering is left before the altar, the donator is granted the effects of a Bless spell for the rest of the day.
These connected rooms seem to be a museum or display room of sorts. Glass cabinets line the walls, each holding an object. Dust coats everything and the air is stale.
There are 6 cabinets in all, each holding an object. The cases are made of glass, easily broken, and are not locked or trapped in any way. The objects are as follows:
Steps lead down a cobwebby and draughty stairwell, descending over a hundred feet into darkness.
A way down to a deeper level.
More rooms next week.
You stand before a tunnel, it might be a cave, a mine, a covered road; but essentially, it is a tunnel: where does it lead, what’s inside, how big is it? Let’s find out!
The entrance opens into a wide space, with one or more exits leading off to other tunnels.
Roll 1d4 to determine how many exits lead off the room just beyond the entrance. Then, roll on the table below to determine what the next tunnel or tunnels look like; and keep rolling for each new tunnel:
To determine the tunnel’s dimensions, roll on the table below:
For each tunnel, roll on the following table to determine what interesting features there are (if any):
Tonight: Doctor Who! Yippee!
Tomorrow: More rooms from the sample dungeon.
On Monday: the Letter U.
On the western edge of the Dragonridge Mountains, is a towering peak that ascends higher than any other mountain throughout the continent. This peak climbs above the clouds, reaching over 30,000 feet in height. At this altitude is is nigh impossible for normal beings to breath without magical aid, for the air is thin and freezing. Few have ventured so far, and fewer still have ever returned.
Those that have tell of a path of glass that spirals around the mountain, reaching a plateau at the peak, where a strange observatory of glass and metal sits, a telescope pointing at the bright stars that seem so close you could reach out and touch them. It is an eerie place, the ground covered in a layer of ice and snow, and weird creatures have seen through gusts of wind that carry flurries of snow.
Today, the Letter P and …the sky full of dust, is proud to present yet another mini-adventure location, The Pathway to the Stars; once again using the LotFP Weird Fantasy rules as the basis.
You know the ones: the blacksmith that repairs your armour; the innkeepers who smiles as you walk in the taproom, knowing you have gold to spend; the farmer who scowls as you trample his crops chasing a gang of goblins. The ordinary folk you meet on your travels, the merchants and shopkeepers, the barmen and wenches. They have their uses, you even tolerate them, but what do they think of you?
There are times when I’m running a game when I have no idea how an NPC is going to react to the PCs as they saunter up and start asking for directions to the nearest lair. A simple reaction roll goes a long way, but although I am fairly good at improvising, at times I find myself at a loss as to what the NPCs motivation is, or what they think of the grubby party standing before them. Not that it matters all that much, but it should matter more than it sometimes does.
So, I thought to myself this morning, why not create a bunch of tables to generate the motivation otherwise lacking; if nothing else, it covers the Letter O.
First, roll for a Reaction as you normally would (if you’re playing a game that has such rules, I’m going to presume you do, and if not, then it’s easy to adapt I’m sure); I’ve recreated the table below for ease of reference:
 Friendly [3 - 5] Indifferent [6 - 8] Neutral [9 - 11] Unfriendly  Hostile
Then roll 1d12 on the approprioate table below, which covers all but Neutral; since those NPCs have no opinion about the PCs one way or another: Continue reading
More from the dungeon.
Note: the doors to this room are boarded shut by warped planks of treated wood, nailed into place over locked iron doors.
The heavy smell of decay permeates this room. Lights flicker and seem to dim as the beams enter the room. Debris, broken and splintered furniture, is strewn around the chamber; a thick layer of dust and grime coats every surface. Somewhere in the middle of the room faints sobs, of someone trying to cry quietly, can be heard.
Previous visitors to the dungeon discovered an abomination in this room, and although they could not defeat it, they did manage to lock it away. The creature is a left-over experiment, ancient, little more than an animated corpse; but is actually a self-aware construct made of preserved body parts. It is also the size and form of a human child, maybe ten years old. A girl, although it is difficult to tell from looking at the pallid and worm-eaten flesh.
The child sits amongst the debris, on the other side of a covered pit (‘Room’ 18, anyone standing on it has a 3 in 6 chance of falling through, into a 30′ deep pit lined with sharp-edged stones and numerous bones at the bottom: 1d4 damage from the stones, 3d6 from the fall. At the bottom are several rusted weapons, a suit of unravelling chain mail, and scattered coins numbering 3d12 copper, 2d8 silver, and 1d4 gold pieces).
The Child: Hit Dice 5, Hit Points 32, Armour Class 16 (fast and toughened skin), Movement 30′ (90′), # Attacks/Damage 1 bite/1d2 plus possible infection (save versus poison or catch some blood disease), Morale 8; immune to sleep and charm, impervious to non-magical or silver weapons.
The child isn’t evil, but is hungry and needs rotten meat to eat. It cannot speak or understand the common tongue, but it does know a smattering of dwarf. It longs for someone to look after it, and if treated well and fed, it will join the party as a decaying henchman; for a time, at least.
There is nothing else of interest in the room, unless the party needs lots of wood.
A dank storeroom, mostly empty except for a few rat droppings in one corner. A crack in the ceiling lets in a musty draft of air. A door that looks like someone took an axe to it is at the back of the room.
The door is locked, but has been hacked at and opens with a good kick. The crack lets in rats, who seldom stay long. There are none in the room at the moment.
This room has wood panels on all the walls, each carved with images of trees and flowers, herbs growing in gardens, and a sun peering down from fluffy clouds. The wood is chipped and splintered in places, but is mostly intact. Two doors lead out, the left is solid and banded with bronze; the other is made of iron and has score marks from someone taking an axe to it.
This is a peaceful room, once used for meditation, and if used to rest in no wandering monsters will be encountered and a good night’s sleep may be had. Both doors out are locked, the bronze-banded one is also trapped: if the lock is picked or a key used to open it, an electric charge strikes out, doing 1d6 damage unless a save versus magic is made.
The iron door is also barred from inside room (21) and is very hard to open (Open Doors check is at a -2 in 6).
A former bedroom, the remains of a four-poster bed in the large of the two connected rooms. An archway leads to a lounge complete with armchair of old, worn leather, and a glass table that is scratched but otherwise undamaged. A wooden chest, beautifully preserved, rests at the foot of the bed.
Once a bedroom used by the wizard himself, this sees little use or visitors. The only thing of interest here is the chest; it is locked and still solid, with a poison-needle trap that is still potent after all these years (saving throw versus poison if triggered; failure means a crippling weakness overcomes the victim for 1d6 hours, giving them an effective Constitution, Dexterity and Strength of 3, and reducing movement by 75%).
Inside the chest are threadbare cloths of multi-colours, a pair of tatty velvet slippers the colour of bronze, and a crystal goblet that is shaped like a dolphin. This is magical: a Goblet of Blissful Sleep (anyone drinking out of it falls into a restful slumber for 2d12 hours, doubling the number of resting hit points the sleeper would normally recover. Nothing sort of magic will awake them).
More rooms next week.
I needed a way of randomly determining what is on a book shelf, and although I thought I’d read something on one of the OSR blogs, I couldn’t find anything; so I came up with some tales of my own instead (and if anyone knows of such a table elsewhere, please point it out to me, thanks).
Without further ado then, I give you:
First, determine what type of book it is by rolling 1d8:
Next, roll 1d100 and multiple the result by a 1d6 roll. This is how old the book is in years.
A 1d10 roll determines the subject matter of the book, and a then 1d8 to decide what race the subject concerns, and another on the same table to determine the race of the authors and hence the language it is in (or at least the language it was written in):
Next, determine the benefits (if any) of reading the book (assume that, if the language can be read, the time taken to read and understand it is a minimum of 1d100 hours, reduced by the Intelligence score of the reader, to a minimum number of hours equal to the dice roll that determined the type of book):
And finally, generate the title of the book using the tables after the continuation link.
This corridor holds a number of cells, their doors heavy wood treated to preserve it, banded in bronze, with bolts locking each. They used to be cells for the wizard’s experiments. Roll on the table below to determine what is inside each room:
A room with broken furniture (table, chairs, desk) and a rack of rusted weapons. Looks to have once been a guard room. At the back of the room, leaning against the wall, is a bronze statue of a plate armoured men with a spiked mace.
Once a guard room, the original guard still watches for trouble. The statue is actually a Living Statue (bronze: AC as plate, HD 4, #Attacks 1, Damage 1d8+1; immune to sleep, charm, poison and non-magical weapons) that will attack anyone trying to break out (i.e leave) the cells along the corridor. It’s mace is magical: a +1 Mace of Stunning (on a natural to hit roll of 20 the target is stunned and unable to act for 1 round).
This room appears to be a wash-room, with a basin of stagnant, black water, a bench and hooks on the walls that may have once held towels.
This room was where the wizard cleaned both himself and his specimens. The water is not water at all, but rather a pool of Grey Ooze!
A large stone slab occupies most of this room, with a gutter along its length leading to a grill outlet on the floor. Old stains, probably blood, coat the slab’s surface.
A preparation room. The stains are indeed blood, and the grill (1′ square, Open Doors to prise free) leads to a small tunnel that eventually opens out into a underground stream. There is nothing else of interest in this room.
More next week.