Tuesday, 15 August 2017
So a bit of a update on some plans and projects. My brother in Western Australia is getting married so I have a trip and will get to hang with my niece and her hubbie who play games. Lots of medical stuff last few months to deal with but my lifestyle amendments seem to be mostly working but I need to get out more and make more new friends in Sth Australia. Not getting much response for regular gaming.
Have been shopping for a net pc tower Ive been saving for on my interstate work trips - should hopefully sort something next week with a printer and scanner a bit later. Hopefully I will get started with a artwork a day project for the first month as I haven't done much for a while. Very inspired by book toybox time machine of retro style faux toy ads. Seen another couple of books of adult film posters and a blaxploitation poster book i would like to get.
Im hoping to get more serious with design and layout and illustration which Im a bit rusty on. Hoping to do more work on my books and some work with others. I used to work on lots of periodicals for unis, graffiti stuff, zines and comics so Ive been wasting my skills mostly. Will set up a donor box and a paerton page, even if its to enjoy works of Dyson and paperspencils.com and some artists I like.
I made a format for 1 a4 sheet double sided zine with map one side and notes on other that folds into a small booklet. I could do one a month. Could also do some hand done maps and d100 requests and a monthly compilation book of old tables too. I wont stop doing this blog or freebies.
My ongoing book projects aimed at commercial quality release include:
Redbrick Dungeon Zone - been pottering away at this for over five years. Doesn't need lots of work.
Hell The Spiral Path - probably about 40% done and some contributions from others. Basically a procedural generated hellcrawl that plays differently every time and lets the DM be lazy.
Xor which Im mostly writing up spells now and some character gen stuff and hopefully will be ready to edit in a few months. As long as dont get carried away and try and rewrite the Basic redbook or something. There is a substantial section by some other bloggers too.
Have had requests for Planet Psychon and a version of my Homebrew Players book with some of my campaign would be nice too. Lots of people were keen on my road war compilation but as little chance of me running it motivation not there at the moment. I was given some amazing art to use but It wasn't quite the mood I intended mostly. I like gonzo with a straight face and my roadwar setting is intended to be more gritty. It Isn't gamma world and has more in common with Cyberpunk and Mad Max. I enjoy the look of MCC but it isn't quite the feel I want but I will see.
As far as blogging goes I am trying to get through my list of old projects in my drafts list or stillborn posts as I call them.
80s DnD Hell - summarising Ed Greenwood's hell articles and monster books as a helpful guide. I just bound a copy of them for my use and this will be coming soon. The Jusges Guild versions of Dante's hell and modern versions worth a mention too. My own hell is pretty different and inspired by medieval art more than literary ones.
d100 Amazon tribes almost done after six months
A magic Item post which I've over written and the remaining 80 or so entries will be time consuming and Im not in a position to use it. I seem to come and go with interest in magic items. Ive made up so many and used so few.
I started writing up a pantheon for my Exile Island setting but I fell into old habits with pantheon design trying to make them too orderly and similar to old work. Possibly will scrap and start again. Have lots of sketches of the setting I could work on too.
I have a list of about 200 blogs on my to do list but after Xor and Hell Finished I would like to play with a setting based on a cosmic tree full of fayfolk, talking animals and divine beings.
Some of my ideas for compilations of past blogs include my dnd space patrol setting, exile island wilderness guide, shadelport city guide, my various dungeon guides and other.
I also want to scan maps from at least 4 settings I developed in 80s and 90s. Lots of old content in two 40 litre tubs of game notes half including lots of superhero stuff.
My main things holding me back from doing things properly will be editing and some awkward issues surrounding that and possibly licensing requirements for the commercial stuff. If I can make a bit of money I can pay some artists too.
Sunday, 13 August 2017
So since I started this setting Decopunk the term has been increasingly used. I seem to often get an interest in things slightly ahead of the curve. Today a few links to lots of films. Also Kim Newman did a good Metropolis Superman mash up short story which might have been in Famous Monsters of Film Land but i'm not sure. It is better than the Superman-Metropolis Comic by DC anyhow. I've been digging and filing more stuff so here is some of my shiny streamlined booty.
Part of the point of the setting is a celebration of silent and early SF and Supernatural genre films.
Russian SF 1929 Some great city scenes and cars
Russian SF 1924 Aelita Queen of Mars
Things to Come (I use as 20th c history plus deco tanks)
Just Imagine - I use this a bit for america
Metropolis - I use this for central Europe 2020
Woman on Der Moon
Der Golem - good moody horror
Dr Caligari - good asylum horror - modern remake 2005
Original Caligari 1920
Call of Cthulhu
Algol - alien gives someone ultimate power
The Tunnel - boring but some good tech
I did eventually get the Agent13 novel from TSR but they didn't survive one read
I liked it but wished that all books in one volume
Read like Juve books but had some pulpy torture I wouldn't endorse for the kids
TSR Top Secret/SI Agent13 Sourcebook is a great pulp rpg book - one of best
This is a good genre article mentioning some books
Terminal for cable cars needed to reach higher city areas rapidly
I forgot what this film is called but I have been meaning to see it
The Shadow movie is pretty cool, one of the better pre modern hero movies and hundreds af shadow pulp images have great dilemma shots begging a story for inspiration. I quite like mens sweat mags and mars attacks for the pregnant with possibility story telling. Norman Saunders was a great.
Popular mechanics and lots of pulp mag covers are very inspirational.
Cars in metropolis not very futuristic but were some cars in later years with deco tear drop shapes that suit the setting. The above cars are nice especially the armoured one but both would make nice pulp hero cars.
Noir and deco go well together.
Lots of darkness and smoke and fog
Shiny reflective surfaces like cars, windows or water
Hardboiled citizens drink, smoke and imbibe drugs
Pre war fallout might have been like this
Actually a game set in pre fallout might be fun
Lots of great bits of building interiors even party shots or fim still can add to the deco universe. Something like this makes for a good important scene in a drama. Architecture and party images are good to use in game.
Nocturne city is a feature of Strange Aeons comics which i cant seem to find.
This page has a feature on it with a dead link but has it's own interesting stuff
Lots of industrial imagery for factory level and inside mighty machines
This chic deco adventuress is a great image - lots of good examples of world exploring women and female aviators.
Lots of great urban city scapes available especially nocturnal ones
Im still finding gold like this - ocational retro future cities
Idea that huge bridges, elevators and cablecars would be needed and that underground space would all be ocupied is amazing. Lots of exiting scenes could use these modes of transport.
TopTen and Tom Strong comics had lots of fantastic architecture
Some styling streamlined trains to look at too for inter city travel. You could probably lie and say it had a atomic boiler.
Plenty of mad science images in hollywood and interesting pulp heroes to steal from old serials and pulp
This shows the paradise of open public space located for the rich on topmost towers. I suspect suicides might be daily occurrence often predicted by market changes.
I dont know if this would be real but would suit my ww1 games pretty well. Make a great riot control vehichle
Some great cosplay out there - probably inspired by sky captain and the world of tommorrow. A bit mor diesel than decor but has many great scenes - shame they cut bits out that explained the story
This luxury complex seems a bit more west coast to me butt would be a good location
Of course factories and worker housing even lower than this. Pollution didnt seem to fit in these dreams. I guessing more areas like gardens for the rich would be sheilded by glass
Airships are a great part of the genre and military battles in aerial dreadnauts and carrier actions might be quite thrilling. Moorcock has wonderous bulletproof fabrics in warlord of the air and real weather might be a problem because it killed such dreams in reality.
This monstrosity might be good to feature in a adventure. Colossal mobile sea cities for the rich could be entertaining adventures and were featured in some novels.
I like the advanced tech here has retained victorian housing
The transport shown here is a great example. I imagine some would never visit lower levels and some spectacular stunts, chases and accidents could occur
Saturday, 12 August 2017
My idea of trolls is more like John Bauer, Moomintrolls and Brian Fraud. I do quite like RuneQuest trolls and always felt the green ones in dnd were a bit basic. In my setting they are heretic chaos trolls who took regenerative abilities but became insane living cancerous clones enraged with hatred.
In my setting gods and jotun or titans appeared first on the world and were at war long before man existed. Trolls descend from yotun or even spontaneously grew from the remains of the great giant whose corpse made the world (some say a dragon). Trolls evolved into many variants big and small and are the ancestors of dwarves, gnomes, halflings and elves. Humans came at the end of the dawn age to be servants of the gods.
The extent of this is to make trolls in my BX based game you can reskin the basic races
House Trolls = Gnome (stove trolls, barn trolls, cellar trolls, attic trolls)
Hedge Trolls = Halfling (hill trolls, bush trolls, garden trolls, marsh trolls)
Cave Trolls = Dwarfs (mountain trolls, pit trolls, bearded trolls, rock trolls)
High Trolls = Elves (arcane trolls, elder trolls, moon trolls, star trolls)
You can also reskin goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, ogres and giants
Trolls have tails which is the main identifying feature rather like a cow tail
Many have horns, tusks, huge teeth, hair, big eyes
Some have pointy ears, other are less visible or more human
Many have pot bellies and huge noses
Most are covered in fuzzy soft down, some are shaggy all over
Some have long hair from heads down to their waist
Most prefer to be naked but wear loin cloths, hats, fur capes, jewelry sometimes robes
High Trolls are most human or elf like, and even attractive at a glance but facial features are smoother and simpler
Trolls are slow to anger or react at times. They can remain still and hide for hours but can be angered by swearing, destruction of property or trespassers. Some are stupid greedy and evil. Most are harmless and possibly helpful but best avoided as some can be moody. The larger ones tend to be more belligerent.
As trolls don't like clothes or armour much but have basic armour like leather
They also heal a extra HP per level per day which makes them dangerous skirmishers
Trolls are more populous in the north replacing the ecology of elves and goblinoids in the frozen mountainous north. But trolls are returning. Occupying bridges, caves, ruins or old mines. They know they are ancient and kin to old magic of giants and gods. They regard many lands as theres since prehuman times. Huge trolls are more likely to think of lesser beings as food. Smallest trolls don't mind living near humans and humans might leave them offerings. House trolls live inside humans homes often helping humans out of sight. It is best to ignore them and leave them some food or milk out but exposing them might drive them away. They might be offended by bad language and beat a foul mouth child or drunken parent. Forest trolls might tolerate hunters but they also might expect good behaviour, respect to game and might punish swearing. Swearing is blasphemy to trolls, especially those mock the divine. Trolls dislike lightning or storms or the thought of the sky falling. Trolls worship elements, ancestors and titans of old. The know the gods of man and respect them but might not like them. Some gods drove trolls away to make room for man.
Trolls know elder magic and do make magic items, weapons and potions. Many trolls being long lived might adopt a magical character class. Troll language is deep, poetic, profound and long winded. Troll rock carvings can be found everywhere.
Are Trolls coming back. In recent years many elder races have returned and demihumans are common sights. Trolls have been seen in the wilds more and more and rural folk have increased contact. Some humans fear trolls and insist on hunting and killing them all as if they are all horrible killing machines. In these areas the nastier trolls swarm. Bad trolls might think some of their kin are soft but will avenge them and wage war on man happily. Most of the older demi human races no longer fight having battled too much to their mutual destruction long ago. This is why man rules now.
1 Gnome - tiny trolls often live around humans or in houses helping their hosts
2 Goblin - small troll folk often live in caves or woods, quite shy and wary of man
3 Halfling - smaller friendly trolls mostly live in holes under hills in comfort
4 Dwarf - resilient fighting trolls at war with goblins and humanoids in underground places
5 Elf - high trolls, the arcane and mystical race who are masters of magic
6 Hobgoblin - humanoid also called troll men, compete with humans for room in wilds
7 Bugbear - large trolls but curious to occupy human lands like settling under a bridge
8 Ogre - dwell in caverns, hills, mountains hunting smaller creatures to eat
9 Giant - mostly roam mountains fighting and throwing rocks
10 Gargantuan - tend to resemble land features and many are hidden and sleeping in plain sight
d6 Troll Characteristics
1 Horns often ram or goat like or short lumps
2 Tusks sometimes curled and large or just short stubs
3 Teeth or fangs or a overbite, some have rows of blunt stubby grinding teeth
4 Pointed ears, huge ears, human ears, long hanging ears
5 Wooly long hair or shaggy hair all over
6 Webbed feet, bird feet, huge ugly human feet or goat hooves
d10 Troll Decor
1 Loincloth or rope belt
2 Ear or nose rings
3 Necklaces or teeth or gold rings or torc or beads
4 Arm rings or bangles
5 Ankle rings
6 Fur cape
7 Tattoos often runes or spirals
8 Hat or circlet or wreath
9 Trinkets of all kinds hanging from hair or straps
10 Tattered robes or shirt or vest often of fur
1 Hates humans and newborn races
2 Humans are food animals and fair game
3 Humans and their gods cant be trusted
4 Humans are best avoided
5 Humans can be dealt with
6 Humans need help and kindness like any animal
d6 Troll Magic (1in6 chance for smarter breeds)
1 Clerical magic, priest of a god or titan
2 Wizard spells with a ancient wooden book or spells on cave walls
3 Shaman deals with local spirits
4 Druidic priest deals with nature
5 Sorcerer has innate magic from bloodline
6 Alchemy knows several potion recipes or magic item formula
Trolls have often like to employ curses and one of these is to make men into trolls or taint them. Part troll children are often mighty and strange. If neglected by human kin will grow vindictive and dangerous. I will do troll mutations sometime.
I could have just called this low level mysteries for rural dnd but goat appeal wins
Goat agents in the secret service of Nanny Binx hunt chaos, cults and evil in the countryside or normal low level adventurers encounter mysteries in the countryside.
Or whenever you pass as village roll here so players have sidequests.
Too many in the same village means burn the village down.
d100 Goat Quest Missions
01 Find a senior agent who has disappeared undercover02 Find a cult of chaos hiding in a comunity
03 Lead lawmen to a chaos cult site without giving mission away
04 Free a barn of animals from a farm turned to chaos and needing sacrifices
05 Search a haunted house for evidence of witchcraft
06 Take over a farm run by chaos cultists
07 Recruit new agents in the area to keep eyes and ears alert
08 Some local source has been contaminating man and beast with mutations
09 Find where local witch cult meet and inform authorities
10 Find a local cave believed to hide a demon shrine
11 Find a chaos goat that has infiltrated the local herd
12 Find a sorcerer who has been operating out of the area
13 Find the chaos goatmen lair
14 Find and destroy a chaos shrine or altar
15 Find the ruined temple in the woods that have been active again
16 Find the standing stones used by local cults
17 Search and destroy a chaos plant or mushroom growing in woods
18 A building in village has a secret chaos shrine
19 A village had chaos cult long ago, check it is inactive
20 Find a evil black dog menacing area by night
21 An evil witch familiar has been corrupting villagers
22 A favorite goat herder or milkmaid has gone missing
23 Local children have been singing strange rhymes someone taught them
24 Something is mutilating cattle
25 Something is haunting the moors by night
26 Villagers have falsely accused old woman of witchcraft
27 A self appointed witch hunter is stirring up mob and charging exorbitant fees
28 A missing old man was last seen in the forest
29 Who is tainting village milk?
30 Someone in the village is a shapeshifter causing trouble
31 Someone disturbing local graves
32 Investigate rumours a necromancer is living in the forest
33 Phantom has bee seen in the village at night
34 Wolves in area and a stranger in town
35 Bat fluttering and laughter heard by night from the sky
36 A strange chaos rooster has been seen in the woods, where did it come from
37 Something is stealing and playing cruel pranks
38 Cows are scared and stopped giving milk
39 Something stealing chickens and hurt a village dog
40 Something has been beating hired labourers in their shack by night
41 Rats in the walls scaring people and bit a baby
42 Something taken village cats
43 Local man has a strange large cat and has become prosperous
44 Local man with black poodle has found buried treasure twice
45 Something ruining fences by night
46 Something stealing from old woman's root cellar
47 A baby has been replaced with a goblin and parents upset
48 Gremlins infesting village find where they come from
49 Several children are lost in the forest
50 Ravens hanging around village, sometimes seem to say horrible things
51 Strange eggs found in hen house
52 Unicorn hunters have been operating in area against the law
53 Cackling goblins have been heard in woods up to some no good
54 Something upstream has stopped all the fish
55 Local water supply has been tainted making some sick
56 Someone is offering money for dead or alive pixies
57 Sacrificed farm animals found in meadow who dunnit?
58 Dark elves have killed inhabitants of farm and made man and beasts into zombies
59 People claim a troll has moved under a bridge in the high meadows
60 Someone let pony into food store and it ate itself to death, who dunnit?
61 Mysterious blood stains found on village trails
62 Blood found in laundry on line and bailiff has locked up old woman falsely accused of evil
63 Strange goings on and several villagers have conspicuous luxury items
64 A man sold strange beans that grew goblins and caused trouble, who was he?
65 A stuttering hunchback who was kind to children and animals has been accused of crime
66 Butcher and pie shop selling inexpensive mystery meat
67 Murder hobos left cursed item in village causing trouble
68 Body awaiting burial stolen and everyone living in fear
69 Strange voice by night has been asking children permission to enter homes
70 Old person vanished and house doors open
71 Someone is burning haystacks
72 Two teen lovers found murdered in barn
73 Several cows pregnant yet no local bull away on village show circuit
74 Someone digging mysterious holes as if looking for something
75 Someone clearing bushes found a craggy hole littered with bone fragments
76 Something stealing animal tails
77 Empty grave with strange stinking hole in bottom found
78 Strange sounds heard from the ruined old mill
79 Strange sounds and rumblings heard from underground and earth mounds found
80 Village festival coming and prize pig or beautiful festival queen missing
81 Horribly mutilated human or animal corpse found in creekbed
82 Strange noises coming from village septic pit
83 Strange mutant fish found in local creek
84 Lights seen around old faerie mound outside of village, was once a burial place
85 Lights seen on moors at night and strange noises heard
86 A wicked chaos goat has been luring nanny goats and kids away from the herd
87 Someone saw several unrecognised children performing a ritual in the woods
88 Someone in village is informing bandits when traders pass through
89 Someone is drawing witch signs around the village in chalk
90 Someone saw a hideous crone living in a wrecked shack in the woods
91 Something killed several sheep and the shepherds best dog
92 Goblins have been tempting children with strange fruits
93 Someone has found a adorable baby monster, hilarity ensues
94 Shadow from a dead priest born in village has been haunting street by night
95 A forest creature has been persecuting villagers as an act of revenge over something
96 Mysterious hooded men have been searching countryside
97 Strange stain on grass seems to be in shape of a demon
98 Someone cutting turf to make demon symbols in hillside
99 Murder hobos have hired a abandoned shack and locals fear they will stir up monsters
100 A local farmer has been seen growing a strange new plant
Friday, 11 August 2017
Xor Bio Mutations
The mutation system im working with now is working pretty well. Will do a paladin, troll, fungus, demon, cyborg and more yet. A mutation class is viable yet as part of a 4 class futuristic set including robot, cyborg, mutant and possibly psionic
So if you get too many mutations there is a chance of leaping to the next stage of evolution. Which might be fatal or inconvenient or retirement. RQ has a good system like this. It is to stop you being too greedy and eating every chaos shroom you can. Although a plyer in my thief in my Xor game became a manitaur with 4 extra pegs and buds tiny clones off himself which the ones he catches in time become his followers. Now he carries two halfling archers on his rump in battle.
Every petty mutation more than your CON score requires a save roll or apotheosis
Every major mutation more than your level requires a save roll or apotheosis
Possibly in play i might make mutant class more resistant or everyone else worse
Paladin one is a teazer for paladin mutations for painfully good people
d12 Xor bio mutations
1 Devolve into a ochre jelly
2 Devolve into a shoggoth
3 Evolve into a sphinx or chimera - a human faced amalgam monster
4 Breeder will grow bigger, hide, eat, breed rapidly a new species or race
5 Autophage will eat everyone in sight then eat self if no edible victims
6 Rapidly expand into hideously obese land mass eating everything in reach
7 Tear flesh from others adding to your mass and becoming a insane flesh golem
8 Split into a d6 duplicates from total body mass and scatter in opposite directions
9 Break down into biological slime mass with melting skeleton left
10 Grow a tap root into the earth and become a massive living dungeon full of tentacles
11 Become glowing enlightened being whose spirit soars to new realms never to return
12 Evolve into perfect alchemical hermaphrodite and stride of with confidence of a god
d12 Necro Mutations
1 Become a poltergeist or spectral minion
2 Become a skeleton
3 Become a zombie
4 Become a ghast
5 Become a ghoul
6 Become a shadow
7 Become a wight
8 Become a wraith
9 Become a mummy
10 Become a spectre
11 Become a ghost
12 Become a lich
d12 Reptilian Mutations
1 Devolve into a dimetrodon
2 Devolve into a pteranodon
3 Devolve into a plesiosaur or tylosaurus
4 Devolve into brontosaurus
5 Devolve into allosaurus
6 Devolve into a anaconda, sea serpent or other giant snake
7 Evolve into a lizard man of various species
8 Evolve into a serpent man of various species
9 Evolve into a dragon man of various species
10 Evolves into a wyvern egg that rapidly hatches
11 Evolves into a naga egg that rapidly hatches
12 Evolve into a dragon egg that rapidly hatches
d12 Diabolic Mutations
1 Devolve into a larvae
2 Devolve into a gibbering insane lemure
3 Devolve into a mass of insects, lizards and frogs
4 Devolve into a Imp
5 Devolve into abishai in the army of hell
6 Evolve into a erinyes devil the persecutors of hell
7 Evolve into a major lesser devil like a barbed or bone devil
8 Evolved into a greater devil like a horned or ice devil
9 Evolved into a pit fiend
10 Mouth opens and body grows forming a hellmouth gateway
11 Evolve into a unique devil and declared a outcastes banished to hell
12 Evolve into a low ranking unique noble of hell in service to one of the lords of hell
d12 Plant Mutations
1 Grow roots then turn into a giant flower that dies after releasing seeds into the wind
2 Grow into a tree with recognisable features of human face
3 Crumble into dust then flowers grow in area ever after
4 Root into soil and become a carnivorous giant plant
5 Root into soil and grow into a huge thorny bramble hedge maze
6 Collapse into mass of compost and arise as a shambling mound
7 Fall dead and a d6 plant people burst from corpse and scatter
8 Root into soil and grow into a pod then hatch reborn as a vegetal humanoid
9 Grow into a humanoid plant spirit that can turn into a tree and back
10 Grow into a giant tree man a guardian of the forest
11 Crumbles into compost and a mighty forest grows from the location over a day
12 Grows into a mighty giant tree over a hundred yards tall and ten yards wide
d12 Faerie Mutations
1 Devolve into a goblin
2 Devolve into a hobgoblin
3 Devolve into a bugbear
4 Evolve into a halfling
5 Evolve into a gnome
6 Evolve into a faerie changeling
7 Evolve into a faun
8 Evolve into a elf
9 Evolve into a dryad if female and a satyr if male
10 Evolve into a pixie or brownie or nixie or sprite
11 Evolve into a sylph or nymph if female or leprechaun if male
12 Evolve into a faerie
d12 Mental Mutations
1 Spirit abandons the body to explore the multiverse
2 Enter a coma but does not age or awaken
3 Body dies and mind becomes one with the collective consciousness
4 Overcome with desire to conquer world by any means
5 Body falls into coma while spirit now dwells in the dreams lands beyond the wall of sleep
6 Called by alien intelligences to join them in overspace
7 Planar beings call you to join them exploring secrets of higher realms
8 Reject enlightenment so as to aid others, become obsessed with alignment conduct
9 Charged with cosmic energy the new being soars into space never to return
10 The archons come to take you to another plane because the world is not ready
11 Illumination, prepared to become one with universe by meditating till body passes away
12 Illumination, heart filled with bliss now beyond desire, wealth or worldly attachments
d12 Paladin Mutations (a sneak peak)
1 God rewards you with a mission to invade the infernal realm and fight a archduke
2 God rewards you with mission to thwart demon kind in your world
3 God rewards you with mission to destroy a evil god and thwart there worldly schemes
4 God makes bet with enemy deity and they torment you with awful sufferings
5 God strikes you dead so you can serve in the afterlife
6 God sends a horrific land ravaging monster to punish you for hubris
7 You are made a saint so god plans a terrible ordeal of suffering for you
8 God commands you to lead a crusade against a enemy or herasy
9 A enemy of your god declares your death sending their minions to ruin your life
10 God takes all your loved ones to paradise so they are safe for you to enjoy in the afterlife
11 God sends a test where you curse or aid the world depending on your success
12 God calls you to afterlife to serve in celestial court of the gods
Thursday, 10 August 2017
This was a thing I responded on a thread on a G+ by Richard G expanded here.
DnD considered as rooted in fantasy lit or mythology is a failure and i cant really be bothered caring anymore - im far more upset by what it did to mythological monsters that is now accepted as cannon by millions who don't even play the game - I prefer wikepedia monster descriptions to say second ed long winded ones - at least 1st ed is brief and I prefer lots of the BX versions and creatures like salamanders and devil swine.
If I want to be more literary or mythic or historical gritty i play RQ. DnD is its more oafish cliched older brother but the simplicity and heroic scaling is a different kind of fun and its better not to ask too much about it's credentials in realism and focus on having fun. Part of DnD fun is power gain from puny to so mighty i can jump off a cliff or kill a hundred orcs by myself. In RQ a kid with a rock might kill you still and killing a hundred men at once is always going to be a risk and an effort. In stormbringer I could release a god of chaos into the world to get out of a pit. Im ok with DnD being a bit kitch like star trek and starwars.
Paladium RPG and some dnd knock offs handled weird classes better. I really liked diabolist and elementalist. 95% of my rpg collection is classless.
Lots of debates online flooded with bard and cleric haters.
Im fine with clerics though not convinced they were quite right - the shukenja in OA seems more priest like - the dnd one a mash up of templar and prophet and miracle worker and hammer horror holy man. But for dungeon adventuring it works. I think the new eds handle cleric as healbot worse - second ed specialty priests were promising but lots of work to create for every cult in your setting.
Im not sure if paladins are needed as well - id just let a fighter pick up some levels as priest in a specific order
Outside 4 classes gets harder to justify
I like druid monk sorcerer bard as second tier specialists and have hesitated for years introducing more - but have considered witch/alchemist/mystic/shaman - assassin/knight/barbarian/ranger/paladin/seem just slightly modified versions of existing classes and not that distinct, possibly created with some dual classing and skill choices while
witch/alchemist/mystic/shaman could require radical new abilities or spells. I have a whole psionics system done as standard spell list because I hate having crazy new broken mechanics when the spell-level system works and is already a feature of the game.
Ive allowed elves to pick one spell list like wizard or cleric or druid or psionics in game and it worked fine. In fact better than fine and has had no problems and made interesting sub races and reskinnings. Wood elves use druid spells, bright and dark Elves use wizard spells, high elves use cleric spells. Has made for interesting characters.
Nobody played a thief or halfling in any of my games from 85-2010 until I modded them with a few more hp, made them the skill specialist class and gave them luck points to make them take incredible skill risks. In BX they are only good for sneaking and as puny as wizards. Gord the Rogue in Gygan books didn't fit the puny backstabber mould very well.
Too many specialized and setting specific classes are silly but racial classes are more interesting but i probably have enough of those too - dwarf/elf/gnome/halfling are fine but ive considered scrapping halfling but ive had fun reskinning basic races except the dwarf which doesnt seem to be as reskinnable - elf makes a good half demon, dark elves, angelic all kinds of snooty magic folk. Halfling can be ratlings or hedge trolls and possibly goblins. Gnomes I use for ppl who wanna be short and magical and because players kept marrying them and interacting with them and getting reincarnated as them.
As for other races I have giants (who gain a d12 inches a level and go from humans to mutant horrors and usually change class when getting in doors a problem. Changelings which has many subtypes from animal, to planar to nature spirits based on OA spirit folk and animal spirits. I did beastmen which i had to rename abhumans because ppl wanted to do them as rock men, ice men and we also found them pretty good for barbarians and orcs.
Changeling unicorns and angels were interesting characters and the above art tells me psionic dolphin changelings on Psychon could be a thing.
My final race is Tako - japanese octopus fairies who moved onland and are most alien and players use for strange sex acts. Also because my game is elfmaids and octopi. I can resquid i mean reskin them as squid, nautilus, ammonites and possibly as insect men.
For some reason I have to make all my new races/classes as sets of 4. Some weird compulsion to do things in fours and make myself work harder. This is a weird problem I have with lots of my projects and is slowing me down in Xor too.
Nowdays I ask can a proposed class or race "could it just be a reskinned old one" test.
Im pretty happy with my reskin everything as troll types last blog.I love RQ trolls and moomintrolls and love idea of nicer trolls in all shapes and sizes behind stoves or in barns (dnd classic trolls are chaos cult living cancers gone insane from black magic). I can reskin the basic versions of races to make trolls - elves for pretty snooty magic race trolls, halflings for hedge trolls, gnomes for magic roof trolls, dwarves without size abilities as warrior trolls. I could do talking animals also possibly with reskinning.
I have been playing LOTFP with Xor for a while because I have only played intermittently the last 18 month not my own house rules and classic setting but hope too again. My next house rules set will be about cutting back rules and stacking abilities and only viable classes without reskins are magic list based or goats.
these tables are my core classes
I have considered witch might have access to all spell lists but has some radically new mechanic like spells require premade fetish objects that are expended when cast or have a skill roll or something and until i find it witches better done by sorcery or wizardry or even druidry. Witches could just be a legal term for illegal spellcasting. Alchemy I consider because I remember seeing a good Dragon mag class I still might use as inspiration when I feel like writing up a hundred odd alchemical potions including making dragons and hermaphrodites. Alchemists seem a bit like they would summon elemetals and golems too. Speaking of which should be 1HD elementals. A class that spent money to make magic could be a problem and I need to be careful.
If I do what I plan with trolls and shamans Im dangerously turning my dnd into RQ a bit. Shamans are alot like shukenja just need to work out how to jig turning into spirit wrangling. I want more spirits in my DnD like OA has. Strangely my psionics list suits them well. Ive considered a psionics class the mystic based on this spell list that comes out a bit like some of the more modern takes on magical assassins. Anyway all these class ideas take more work than reskinning my existing proven ones. Im happy for anyone to change class a number of times = to INT bonus so this lets me get elf theives and dwarf clerics and giants to become fighters when dungeons start getting too small. I have toyed with system to let people get a few cleric spells if they prove to gods and powers they are alignment fanatics who take a oath or taboo every level. I made one of the worst of my spell per level tables (on the flickr links above) future ready in case I do make paladins or rangers a thing.
Nothing set in stone as yet and most of these are problems which can wait till I have a long term game that choices will enhance. With short term games LOTFP, BX or even my simplified Fighting Fantasy system are fine. Though I am for STR = damage bonus which made me strike blueholme ed from my list for kids because they all want damage bonuses and I don't believe it enhances roleplaying to not make strong people effective at damaging.
I did do a robot class with the robot "spell" list applicable to cyborgs too so a cyborg class would work. A mutant class is pretty viable with all the mutation lists i have done and needs testing. A psionic class would fit here possibly too as I need to do classes in fours.
A note on my settings
Planet Psychon is for gonzo, genre mash up anything can happen but less suited to horror or subtler moods.
Exile Island/Shadelport is based on 80s UK games - a bit more gritty and horrible than anything TSR would do and influenced by nastier end of history - its a world made for murder hobos and better for classic fantasy and horror.
If I do gritty historic or mythic fantasy its off to BRP/RQ...
I did once use Marvel superheroes for a game which was great for magic but and characters semi divine heroes but they kept tearing dungeons apart and destroying architecture and scenery which is something superheroes do but doesn't quite feel fantasy or mythic when every fight destroys a building.
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
Birds are worth mentioning in my dnd game
I will do a doc of my game birds spec up in my format soon up here but this is sketch of birds ive been staling on. Obviously my definition of bird is a bit different. I thought i had worked on stats for moa, ostriches,emus, cassawarriorers and other giant flightless birds
Chaos Dungeon Birds
Chaos Humming Bird HD 1HP AC16 Att peck d3 + burrowing in flesh Mov24"fly
Chaos Parrot HD 1 AC14 Att Peck or Spell Mov6"/24"fly/
Spit Bird HD 1 AC 13 Att Spit 2d4 acid or other types Mov24"fly
Stirge Bird HD 1+1 AC12 Att Peck d3 + auto hit d4 blood drain round Mov3"/18"fly
Crimson Ibis HD 2 AC13 Att Peck d4 + special Mov6"/18"fly
Chaos Kea (Blood Beak Birds) HD 2+2 AC15 Att Peck d12 Mov6"/12"fly
Chaos Vulture (Demon Birds) HD 3 AC14 Att peck or claw 2d4 Mov3"/18" fly
Terror Bird (Axe Beak) HD3 AC14 Att Claw x2 Bite d3/d3/2d8 Mov18"
Pterodactyl HD3 AC13 Att Peck 2d4 Move3"/15"fly
Chaos Chicken (Chaos Cockrel) HD 2 AC+3 Att Peck d6 Mov12"/6"fly
Chaos Turkey HD 4 AC14 Att Peck d6 Move12"/12"fly (short only)
Chaos Owl HD 4+4 AC16 Att 3 Bite/Claw x2 d4/d4/d6 Mov6"/18"fly
Chaos Puffin HD 12 AC13 Att Bite or stomp or club 4d6 Mov12"/12"swim
Harpy HD3 AC13 Att Clawx2 Bite d3/d3/d6+diseased Mov6"/15"fly
Siren HD3 AC13 Att Clawx2 Bite d3/d3/d6 Mov6"/15"fly
Cockatrice HD5 AC14 Att peck d3+stoning Mov6"/18"fly
Bat HD 1hp AC12 Att bite 1hp Mov1"/24"fly
Giant Bat HD 4 AC15 Att bite 2d4 Mov3"/15"fly
Doombat HD 6+3 AC16 bite tail d6/d4 Mov3"/18"
Chaos Bird House Tree
HD x5 of breed AC of breed Att 1 spawn bird Move 0
Based on breed of normal bird and acts as home to 2d6 birds. If threatened or birds chirp angrily will produce one extra bird per round. A living pulsing dripping chaos tree with organic structures and orifices that house and spawn monster chaos birds. If bird population reaches more than 12 without a fight the flock split and half travel away to plant a seed for new colony. Mostly with smaller breeds like stirges or humming birds.
Chaos Humming BirdsTiny jeweled humming birds that burrow into your flesh but only 7 at a time will burrow into human (more in a bigger creature). To kill inside a host you must strike the host to hurt the bird. This does half damage to bird and the other half to the host
Horrible featherless owl like bird with no feathers, hideous wing membranes and long thin piercing beak that impales victims. Once they hit they suck blood till they or prey die or till they drink 12 Hp and are swollen with blood
These colourful evil parrots travel often in groups. Each parrot knows a 1st level spell. The parrots are cruel and evil, enjoy taunting and teasing but they also can copy wizard spells cast in their presence. If wizard spells used in presence each parrot can copy one level of spell. If spell is higher level the parrots work together each parrot providing a power level. So three parrots could together copy a third level spell like a fireball. Spells mimicked are forgotten 24 hours later
Hideous featherless birds with bat like wing membranes making hacking coughs to spit offensive secretions at enemies. There are many varieties that spit different substances. Some spit webbing requiring a save every to minutes or fire to escape. Acid inflicts 2d4 damage and burns for 2d4 more rounds at one point per round (save for half). There are fire, disease and poison spitting ones but they are more rare.
Huge ridable creatures have a d4 or more mutations each (see gamma gobblers for another version)
Sticks beak in body often through digestive tract and sucks innards for a d4 damage per round. They attack only while on the ground and give off a horrible honking sound
Huge jolly bloodthirsty parrots that hop about mirthfully shredding flesh and tearing apart buildings and waggons. Can on a natural hit roll pf 20 tear off a fragment of armour reducing AC by one point. Very inteligent and social, capable of ambushes and communicating with own kind
Night predator owls that adopt human form or in between forms who murder people by night. Can cast priest spells as a 4th level evil priest. Often lairs in a haunted place and may have evil followers. Some like to seduce then eat men. Sometimes they might increasingly start turning into a owl monster while lovemaking starting with the feet. Many mistake them for witches
Chaos PuffinA giant sized 12 foot tall humanoid puffin often armed with a log as a club. Live in seaside caves attacking intruders or ships that come near. Also throw 2d6 damage rocks up to 6"
Disgusting hideous crone women birds from waist down with wings. Their touch is diseased and they often fling diseased excrement from above on targets from 6" up. Will use weapons like a club or discarded human weapon or javelin or sling or rock instead or bite or for a missile weapon. They spoil anything edible shitting on fruit trees, hung meat or corpses. The diseases are horrible supernatural ones. Often a double HD one will act as a queen and able to cat spells as a 5th level spell caster of some type
Attractive women, birds from waist down with wings. They have a attractive song that lures in prey including animals or humans. They can charm by touch often using a kiss. Slaves are often eaten or used as guards or tormented for fun. Many wear jewelery. Often a double HD one will act as a queen and able to cat spells as a 5th level spell caster of some type
Horrible chaos roosters that turn prey into stone. They tend to degrade and poison areas they live in killing plants and poisoning streams. They have tiny gold crowns gifted to them by demons worth a 1000gp
Small screeching devil faced cave horrors with wing membranes instead of feathers. Bats use echolocation and are not effected by blindness, bright lights or attacks on eyes but silence spells will blind them and area of effect of silence spells appear as solid objects
Huge bats that are often used as mounts by goblins. All within 6" must make a save vs horrible screeching or will cover ears and try to escape, only one such save is needed per encounter
Giant bat with a flailing 12 foot long spiked tail also usable as mount by chaos warriors and man sized creatures. They dislike magical light. Their screech lasts d4+1 rounds per encounter and all within 10" cannot cast spells and have a -1 on all dice rolls with no saving throw
Law Temple Birds
Flame Hawk HD1 AC14 Att d6 touch Mov3"/36" fly
Flamingo HD2 AC13 Att d6 peck Mov6/15"fly
Stymphalian Birds HD4 AC16 Clawx2 Bite d8/d8/d12Att or Feather d8 12" range Mov3"/18"fly
Blood Hawk HD1 AC14 Att Clawx2 Bite d4/d4/d6 Mov3"/24"fly
Sacred Ibis HD1 AC13 Att Peck d3 or spell Mov3"/15"fly
Golden Pheasant HD3 AC13 Att Claw/x2 Peck d3/d3/d6 Mov9"/15"fly
Golden Goose HD3 AC13 Att Wing and peck d3/d4 Mov6"/15" - lay gold eggs, cast spells know lore
Great Eagle HD4 AC13 Att Clawx2 Bite d6/d6/2d6 Mov3"/48"fly
Roc HD18 AC16 Att Clawx2 Bite 3d6/3d6/4d5 Mov3"/30"
Lesser Pheonix HD6 AC20 Claw Clawx2 Bite d8/d8/2d6 Move 6"36"
Greater Phoenix HD20 AC23 Clawx2 Bite 2d8/2d8/3d10 Mov6"/39"
A burning hawk from the plane of fire. They will start forest fires if loose in the mundane world with their flaming bodies. Their touch counts as magical spell fire nor natural fire
FlamingoExotic sunset coloured birds like to wallow in swamps. They are quite intelligent and each one knows a first level spell, preferring fire spells. Wizards might catch them to obtain their secrets but the birds most of the time die from melancholia if alone before revealing any secrets. They mostly defend themselves preferring to flee or guard temple fountains
Stymphalian Birds (Iron Bird)
Iron feathered bird that can use it's iron claws or beak or it's feathers. They are sent to guard locations sacred to the gods and are very lawful. They are intelligent enough to understand human speech but quite inflexible in their duties. Prefer to swarm around targets in the air and shoot them with iron feathers than get close
Savage bloodthirsty birds who like human flesh. Tend to live in out the way places or guarding something for the gods. They can be trained and stand a yard tall. Nonhumans might use them. There are 4HD giant ones that can be ridden but they eat a HD a day of meat
These holy birds are highly literate and can write with their beaks. They can take dictation and copy books and letters. Each one knows a first level cleric spell and they can read magic scrolls. They often live in temples and most frown on harming them. they do like eating garbage if not near wetlands and might graze a fe hours a day in a midden heap and like human food. They like to nest in palm trees and their mere presence keeps away flying bat winged snakes who dread them
Is king of the meadows and grasslands and is protected by law allowing only kings to hunt them. Their flesh heals a d6 damage to up to four eaters and their gold feathered skin is worth 30gp. The females are duller and mostly avoid humans and hve HD2 and only a d6 peck. They will protect natural animals and their mates from evil.
These divine geese lay a d6x10gp gold shelled egg once a month making them desirable for evil beings to kidnap. Unfortunately they might stop laying if unhappy. If captor lets eggs hatch and keeps the shells (only 10% value) the goose will tolerate captivity more. The geese are geniuses and know many tales of ancient lore to entertain and inform. They will care for children and baby animals as if were there own. Each can cast spells as a 4th level cleric. It is more effective to protect their nests, feed them and heed their advice than to torment them
This ancient race have aided the good since the dawn age and often cooperate with elves against evil humanoids. They will eat orcs and goblins in favour of more natural prey. Some elder ones have druidic spells
Are gargantuan eagles which eat elephants, sea serpents and smaller dragons. Some will menace shipping and snatch crew for snacks or carry them to their nests on mountain tops or islands in far away lands
These divine birds are said to be the ancestors of all birds born from the gods and primal elements. They are genious and immortal and can plane shift. If killed they are reborn and may seek to avenge their deaths when grown to suitable size. The lesser phoenix can cast spells as a 6th level wizard, causes 2d6 heat damage per round within 2" and explodes as a 6d6 fireball. The Greater Phoenix casts as a 18th wizard, causes 4d6 fire damage within 3" per round and explodes as a 12d6 fireball on death. All the magical fire and heat damage can be halved with a saving throw. They make nests of gold, jewels and valuable spices like cinnamon. Sometimes they guard temples and relics for the gods.
Sunday, 6 August 2017
Murder Hobos and Mayhem
Started to think how a murder hobo town might be needed to accompany a goblin mine and realized i had done lots of this before. But here is some extra detail and tables for bigger towns. Also thinking need some maps and a year by year growth diary of a town. Had good weekend brainstorm session too.
People call these shambling heaps towns but one could mistake them for ruins struck by earthquakes, mudslides and storms. Everything covered in mud, often from recycled materials made by incompetent unskilled labour. They stink of piss, vomit, rotten food and old beer. Many locals are in states of alcoholic or drugged stupors or nursing wounds in between expeditions. Those less brave simply labour and carry loot and dig holes as directed by more experienced murder hobos. Many runaways and orphans are atracted to lives of adventure and are pressed into service as linkboys, lantern bearers and pole holders. Half the population is usually outside working some absent for days at a time. When dungeons and mines dry up murder hobos move out. When families, farmers, church going folk and law turn up most murder hobos move on. Ive also considered some former dungeon monsters would in some towns be slaves but also when nobility and cults destroyed might join the shanty town as labourers, mercenaries and prostitutes. Many murder hobos don't care if your human or not other would hate non humans murdering them and and organising genocidal raids on nonhuman camps. Women are treated poorly and might need to kill quite a few people to get respect or have aggressive defenders.
Old murder hobos - d100 tragic old murder hobos you can meet
Murder Hobo Shanty Towns - d20 businesses, d50 problems, d50 seasonal visitors
Murder Hobo hirelings - d100 mercenaries for hire in murder hobo town
Murder Hobo Shanty Town Events - d100 street encounters
Murder Hobo Shanty Town Problems revised - revised problems up to d100
Murder Hobo Shanty Town Seasonal Visitors - revised visitors up to d100
Murder Hobo Types and Roles - d10 murder hobo types and trivia
Royal dungeoneer corp - notes on how empire does it
Most start as camps with tents but these can grow into hundreds or more, turning area into garbage strewn stinking muddy bog. Some progress into bigger things and get more permanent fixtures. Ones that are started by military or guild are usually better planned as are ones where a strong leader emerges. The bigger town more law and order there is and many grow into normal towns. When big industry arrives and banks and streets and temples and law arrived and set up permanent buildings the days of murder hobos are over and the scum leave. Destroying all local monsters makes area safe enough that farming families move in also the beginning of the end.
d10 Settlement Types
1 Tent town with a few traders and poor health and sanitation, plenty of drunken violence
2 Crude wooded shacks and tents with a few traders and
3 Fortified building surrounded by shacks and tents
4 Wooden pioneer fort in centre of shacks and huts
5 Sprawling out of control town hopelessly disorganised chaos
6 Neat well planned main street with buildings and several two story buildings
7 Fortified town with improvised wooden walls, barricades and watch towers
8 Company town with kit houses, second story buildings, good walls and fences
9 Military town with trenches, good walls and strict grid and organised camps and shacks
10 Church town with temple in centre on hill and good walls with orderly buildings
1 Anarchy reigns and people do as they please with violence often resolving things
2 Close knit brotherhood cooperate and share for survival and profit against monsters
3 Leader has emerged by brute strength with gang of cronies
4 Leader has emerged by cunning, charisma and political intrigue including dirty tricks
5 Leader has proven to be right, given good advice and earned respect and allegiance
6 Leader with money has invested in town and bribed way to top with paid thugs
7 Theives guild has taken over in secret with a expendable puppet leader
8 Secret police secretly run with a puppet who makes sure best goods go to the Barron
9 Town elect a leader who makes outrageous promises and is lynched or flees if they fail
10 A veteran adventurer runs town based on experience and superior might
d10 Non Murder Hobos
1 labourer works dirty jobs digging or building or felling trees
2 Drunks damaged by horrors of the pit trying to muster bravery to go back
3 Cripples and sick injured and awaiting chance to get better or no way to leave
4 Orphans and runaways looking for work or too young to be taken below
5 Trader selling booze and food from the city to treasure laden adventurers
6 Shifty thief looking for opportunity disguised as labourer or servant
7 Servant or baggage handler looking after adventurers tent or shack while away
8 Slave or possibly non human caring for masters property
9 Opportunist selling grob and drugs and possibly a prostitute for right price
10 Old timer prospecting for new dungeon holes, hunting game collecting scraps or loot
d20 Industry for bigger murder hobo towns
1 Foundry where dozens of workers melt metal, make tools, manacles and weapons
2 Lumber yard where dozens of workers cut wood and make walls and shacks and other goods
3 Worker Dormitories with rows of beds, latrines and kitchen for poorest workers
4 Barracks for military or mercenaries slightly better than labourers and fortified
5 Slave yard where slaves are bought and sold and caged up when not at work
6 Waggon maker makes all kinds of wheeled vehichles, pulleys and winches for mining
7 Junkyard where town refuse and dungeon rubbish thrown and sorted by poorest workers
8 Brewery where most beer comes from employing dozens making mash and bottling beer
9 Hospital as there are so many injured and sick at anyone time with many beds
10 Prison where drunken brawlers and killers locked up if they cant pay and put to convict labour
11 Slaughteryard where animals are killed, hacked up, salted and pickled
12 Docks and fisheries where boats provide transport and provide locals with fish
13 Tanners yard where leather is made and made into goods for locals
14 Freight yard where waggons of goods come and go and crated goods are stored for shipping
15 Hotel several stories with accommodation, meals, bathhouse, saloon, gambling and hookers
16 Graveyard in a busytown will be huge with coffin makers, undertakers, crematorium and shrines
17 Builders busy serving increasing demand for specialized construction with brick and stone
18 Rendering yard where monster and humanoid corpses are boiled up to make flammable oil
19 Warehousing for stored goods, freight handlers and travelling traders, storage for hire
20 Bank and fortified administration for company owned business usually manager lives inside. Most banks are set up by merchant or banking guilds or even churches or big government and they usually bring in more law and order
I am considering making a map with several example towns - a clean developed one run by guilds from the city on the verge of becoming legit. Another horrible crime filled one and a few small satellite tent towns. These maps, all set on a 6 mile hex in the mountains a day away from Shadelport with some adventure plot seeds will make a nice book for my next landmark or sometime. Gives me a little easy to complete project for some time and a starting point for my next campaign. Another possibility is to write a ten year diary of events of how a murder hobo tent camp turns into a respectable mining town over say ten years.
I have run this with a few new player groups who wilsey didn't trust many locals and were horrified by brutish behaviour and filth. Not for nice adventurers but a buffer between monsters and the world of man. I'm not sure If I could sell a novel based on this.