Friday, 14 October 2016

Fantastical Beast Visual Generator

Much easier to navigate google doc version: 

Roll a d4 and a d10 for each table (There is two: Form of the Beast and Aspect of the Beast).
Combine results for a fantastic beast. 
Examples at bottom of post. 

Form of the Beast: 

Aspect of the Beast: 

A roiling and bubbling suit of animated armour, ever melting and reforming. 


Giant flying bugs that feed on magical energy. Becoming visible and active when spells are cast and burrowing themselves into the closest wizard. 


Ghosts of long dead wyrms that form in the dying ashes and coals of a campfire. They will completely coalesce in the early hours and wreck havoc with a mocking grin.  

All images are royalty free, gathered using the very, very useful:

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Hirelings in The City

The City  teems and surges with untold bravos, sell swords and unscrupulous lunatics, willing to accept gold in exchange for blood and mortal danger. Guild Dogs may seek the service of these unaligned thugs, to assuage the threat of doom and death their career bears upon them.

Mechanically hirelings in Guild Dogs sit some where between HD creatures and a fully fledged PC. They roll a d8 for their Hit Points. They attack and defend using their own STR/DEX statistics that are rolled up using 3d6. Other statistics should only be rolled up when they are needed (using 3d6). Hirelings all have a "Morale" statistic, determined by 3d6, the player employing the hireling must roll a d20  under this score if asked to do something particularly dangerous or confronting. Each hireling will have something unique about them which is rolled up on the "Hireling Aspect Table". If it is a high statistics other than STR/DEX it is probably worth while rolling up straight away. Hirelings level up but do so much slower than PCs and can only do so 5 times. Hirelings use my HD creatures AC rules for The Black Hack. The amount of hirelings a Guild Dog can employ is dependent on their CHA.

Where to find Hirelings: A healthy roster of hirelings can always be found lurking around the perimeter of the Bone Fortress, drinking, dusting or perusing the Transient Bazaar . In a perfect world, a GM would have about 6 rolled up ready to go and roleplay out the hiring procedure. I'll probably just roll them up as players need them though... 

CostThe cost of employing an individual hireling is as follows:

(Equipment Score x Hit Dice) + Morale Score = Cost per day, in Gold Pieces. 

Equipment Score: Roll a  d4:
1) Empty handed (no weapons), clothed in rags
2) Makeshift weapons and sling (d4 damage), light armour (+1 to STR/DEX when defending)
3) Well made weapons and crossbow (d6 damage), medium armour and shield (+3 to STR/DEX when defending)
4) Excellent weapons and crossbow (d8 damage), heavy armour and shield (+5 to STR/DEX when defending)

(Upgrading equipment: Hireling's equipment can be upgraded for the following costs. Once a hireling's equipment is upgraded , their daily rate increases to reflect their new equipment score (maintenance is expensive!).
Upgrading to Equipment Score 2) 100 Gold
Upgrading to Equipment Score 3) 500 Gold
Upgrading to Equipment Score 4) 1000 Gold.
Hirelings can be gifted clothing, costume, magical items, specialty items and the like without cost - the equipment score purely reflects how well equipped they are for battle.)

Hit Dice: Roll a d6, the result is the hireling's Hit Dice (Roll a d8 for each Hit Dice to determine Hit Points).

Morale Score: Roll a 3d6, this is the hireling's morale (morale must be checked when the hireling is asked to do something particularly dangerous or confronting. A d20 roll under the moral score is required or the hireling will flee, refuse the order, ask for additional danger money, etc).

While equipment score costs can change over time, Hit Dice cost and Morale Score cost remain the same even if they improve.

Hireling Aspect: Each hireling will have a special ability or strength roll on the table below to determine this:

Good Natured, roll CHA on 4d6 but test morale when asked to do something "evil".
Cleric, has access to Divine Spellcasting
Wise, roll WIS on 4d6, WIS tests relating to knowledge rolled at advantage.
Calming Bard, soothing songs gives each party member back an additional 1d6 hit points when resting.
Golem, costs an additional 20 gold a day but morale never tested/fails.
Thief, test DEX with advantage when engaging in thief-like activities.
Tireless, roll CON on 4d6, CON tests relating to athletics rolled at advantage.
Fleet footed, always passes initiative tests and goes first.
Lurker, tests DEX with advantage when hiding.
Honest, always tells the truth. INT tests relating to remembering rolled at advantage.
Ascetic, doesn't eat, doesn't talk, doesn't drink, dust or indulge in any other vices . Only drinks water.
Reptilian, + 1 to Armour from scales, can regrow lost limbs.
Rich, incredibly wealthy but enjoys the life of a hireling - will sometimes pay for feasts and provide opulent accommodation.
Wizard, has access to Arcane Spellcasting.
Blood thirsty, attacks with + 2 to STR/DEX but WIS test required after any kill to sate blood lust (other wise will attack next closest entity).
Twins, two identical hireling for the price of one. Expect traumatic breakdowns if one dies.
Vengeful, must kill anything/one that causes them harm.
Brave, all morale checks rolled at advantage.
Acid chemist, creates 1d6 vials of acid or similar chemical a week.
Ex soldier, hirelings equipment is upgraded one level for free and does not affect daily cost.
Vine person, man shaped woven mass of vines. Can climb sheer surfaces without any test. Communicates telepathically.
Beast person, Roll STR and CON on 4d6, + 2 to damage, roll morale at disadvantage.
Moss Druid, has access to the Mossen Craft
Mutant, roll on mutation table of choice.
Anarchist, creates 1d6 grenades a week.
Magitecht, has access to City Spellcasting.
Goro, has an extra set of arms, attacks twice in a round.
Visionary, has dreams of the future can and can re-roll a failed roll once a day.
Monster, a terrifying sight, roll with double advantage when attempting to intimidate.
Giant, + 10 Hp, roll STR at advantage.
Voluptuary, roll at double advantage when attempting any form of seduction/pleasure giving.
Lock cracker, roll at advantage when picking locks.
Dark vision, can see perfectly well nearby in the dark.
Skilled, has a randomly determined skill statics (see specialist below).
Ebonstone man, natural + 2 to AC.
Royal blood, from a once great lineage, has Status statistic (see specialist below)
Cruel, does not require a morale check when asked to do something despicable.
Cultist, has access to Elde Spellcasting .
Haunted, something great and terrible happened in the hirelings past.
Cursed One, all statistics rolled with 2d6 but hireling can't die.

What does the Hireling look like? Use "The City Visual Generator". 

Leveling up Hirelings: Hirelings receive level up points (explanation of level up points is found here) as would any other Guild Dog but require twice as many level up points to gain a new level. Hirelings may level up 5 times, gaining an additional d8 hit points each time. They may also test each of their statistics once to see if they increase (roll a d20 for each, if the result is more than the hirelings current score that statistic increases by 1.). 

Maximum Hirelings: While there is no test to see whether a hireling will accept the offer of employment or not, the amount of hirelings a Guild Dog is dependent on their CHA. Uncharismatic Guild Dogs will find they are unable to procure the services of hirelings. 

Charisma Score:
Maximum Number of Hirelings:
10 - 12
13 - 15
16 - 18

Other things: Hirelings need to eat and rest just as any other entity would.  

Specialists : Specialists are available for a single, specific job. They are hired through agents who source the specialist for the Guild Dog. The more skilled, connected and popular the specialist is, they more expensive they are to find and hire. The cost of hiring a specialist for a single task is as follows:

Specialist Sourcing Agent's Fee (paid up front) + ((Equipment Score x Hit Dice) + Morale Score) x Status Statistic x Clout Statistic x Skill Statistic  = Cost for job, in Gold Pieces. 

Specialists are assumed to always have an Equipment Score of 4 but Hit Dice and Morale Score are still determined randomly. Status, Clout and Skill are statistics determined by 4d6 that simulate how good a specialist is at a certain type of job. Not all specialists will have all three statistics. When wanting to hire a specialist, a Guild Dog indicates which of the three statistics they need in the specialist they wish to hire. An order is then given to an agent who will source the specialist. Requesting a specialist with any of the Status, Clout or Skill statistic costs 250 gold for each separate statistic (ie; requesting a specialist with all 3 costs 750 gold). The specialist sourcing agent's fee is paid upfront and non refundable, but the specialists services can be cancelled once sourced.

Determining the specialists success in the job set for them is a matter of testing their Skill by rolling d20 under their Skill statistic. When appropriate the Status and Clout statistics can be tested instead of, or in place of the Skill statistic. The Status, Clout and Skill statistics are intended to cover a wide range of possible specialist jobs and it is up to the GM to determine the most appropriate statistic to test and the result of the job attempt.

Status: Reflects the social standing of the specialist and their position in their guild, class, family, church, etc. It is their legitimate and official position, rank or title, backed up by tradition and history. A specialist with a high status has the weight, power and gravitas of ancient social hierarchy behind their demands and actions.

Clout: Reflects the network of influence the specialist has. Through charisma, threats, blackmail and the like the specialist is able to bend others to their will. A specialist with a high clout will know exactly who to bribe, who to threaten and who to kill to get things done.

Skill: Reflects the specialist's ability in a specific activity.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Guild Dogs House Rules for The Black Hack


Rather than armour giving "armour points" that reduce incoming damage, armour in Guild Dogs adds its value to a defender's DEX/STR statistic when being attacked. A Guild Dog wearing Light Armour (+2) with a STR of 12 would attempt to roll under 14 when defending. If a piece of armour prevented a Guild Dog taking damage (rolling above their DEX/STR, but below the armored DEX/STR value), they must check if it falls apart at the end of combat. Each type of armour has a usage die, rolling a 1 or 2 at the end of combat will reduce the armour's usage die by 1. Roll a 1 or 2 on a d4 means the armour is destroyed.  

Armour values:

Light: 2 (d4 usage die)
Leather: 3, requires medium armour ability but can be used for sneaky activities (d6 usage die)

Medium, Heavy armour and shields are all metallic and noisy, inhibiting sneakiness.
Medium: 4 (d6 usage die)
Heavy: 6 (d8 usage die)
Shield: 1 (d4 usage die)

HD Creature's AC and Attack Bonus:

HD creature's AC is added to the attack test/roll of a PC (as well as their HD above the attacking player for the Powerful Opponents rule). This is to allow lower HD foes to be a little tougher/varied. HD creatures never have their armour tested to see if it falls apart, so the mechanical bonus is slightly less than PC armour. The rules for working out HD creature's armour listed in The Black Hack are no longer used.

HD Creature's Armour values:

Light Armor: +1
Medium Armor: +3
Heavy Armour: +5
Shield: +1

Additionally, HD creatures a can have a bonus to attack, reflecting a number added to a PC’s DEX/STR test when defending.

Monday, 3 October 2016

d4 Jungle Foes (From the first level of "The Fortress of the Fungus Chemist".)

The following statistics are designed with “The Black Hack” in mind but it should be relatively easy to use these statistics on the fly for any d20 based tabletop game. Players, rather than the Dungeon Master, generally do all the rolling in “The Black Hack” combat, attempting to roll under their STR or DEX. The AC listed for foes here is added to the player’s attack roll when attacking that creature. The ATK listed for foes here is added to the player’s defending roll when being attacked by that creature. These additional monster statistics are designed to make lower HD creatures slightly deadlier. Abilities refers to any special abilities/powers/defenses the creature has. The Emanation table for creatures is designed to give players clues/foreshadow foes. Players should always encounter the emanation of a creature before the creature itself, in previous room/corridor and the like. Use these to stock the dungeon with additional flavor. Additionally, the creatures emanation couples with the Reaction Roll result may indicate to the Dungeon Master what that creature will be doing when encountered by the party. Each creature has its own individualized Reaction Roll table, use these to avoid encounters always ending in combat.

1) Jungle Dwarf, Beardless, Pygmies, Mad Dwarf, Painted Dwarf
Number Appearing: d6 HD: 2 AC: +1 (Nigh naked but short and nimble)
ATK: +1, d6 crude machete/axe
Abilities: Poisoned blow darts, test CON or unconscious d10 rounds

Emanations, d4: 1) Roughly hacked foliage or animal corpse 2) d6 abandoned darts or poison vials 3) Vines woven into rigid geometric shapes 4) Makeshift branch and leaf lean to, housing plant samples in cloth bags, crude knives and vine ropes

Reaction Roll, d6: 1) Welcome others to partake in their vision inducing brew ceremony 2) Wants to exchange jungle knowledge for chemicals 3) Hides and watches, re-roll when party is in a compromised position 4) Demands chemicals, plant samples or a sacrifice in exchange for free passage 5) Attempts to disappear from view then stalk, firing poison darts from hiding places 6) Attacks, bellowing and foaming at mouth

Description: Heat maddened dwarves that have shed their beards and armor and now run naked through the jungle. They decorate themselves with plant dye tattoos and bone piercings. When lucid, they complain of a constant thrumming beneath the moist earth that prevents their thoughts being clear. On rare occasion the thrumming whispers to them the secret power of plants.  

2) Barracudamen, Foulfish, Sharpthooth, Shedders
Number Appearing: d6 HD: 2 AC: +1 (Thick, shiny scales)
ATK: +2, d8 razor sharp claws or teeth
Abilities: Can breathe under water and are incredibly swift swimmers  

Emanations, d4: 1) d8 human sized scaly husk suits of shed Barracudamen skins 2) d6 dead jungle dwarfs, bodies racked with claw marks 3) Animal corpse quivering, claw wounds pulsating with fish eggs 4) Mud and muck covered stick hut, receptacles of shaped mud hold rotting flesh.  

Reaction Roll, d6: 1) Stands perfectly still, eyes following party, hissing softly 2) Walks slowly backwards to the nearest body of water and submerges, hissing the entire time 3) Attacks for one round then attempts escape to the nearest body of water 4) Attempts to remove a limb from party member, will retreat once successful 5) Attempts to kill one party member, then retreat with corpse 6) Attacks, hissing loudly

Description: Vaguely intelligent fish humanoids with the head of barracuda. Barracudamen find all other species repellent and deserving of death. They shed their skins like snakes and use the corpses of other creatures to lay their eggs.

3) Shrub Horror, Bush Devil, Leaf Bug, Rustler, Knife Bush
Number Appearing: d6 HD: 1 AC: +1 (Spindly limbs and distracting foliage)
ATK: +2, 2 x 1d6 razor sharp claw limbs
Abilities: Immune to fire

Emanations, d4: 1) Old, burnt out camp fires with small perfectly intact, unburnt branches and leaves 2) Saplings growing out of animal corpses 3) Saplings and shrubs rustling softly when walked by 4) Leaves and sharpened sticks, strewn about   

Reaction Roll, d6: 1) Softly and slowly needling a dead jungle dwarf with claw limb, oblivious to anything else 2) Tapping and clacking limbs and claws on the ground in a merry jig 3) Splays claws and stares intently with compound eyes 4) Rustles leaves and clacks claws threateningly, not allowing passage 5) Attempts to kill one party member, then obliviously needle corpse 6) Attacks, branches and leaves rustling violently    

Description: A spindly, insect like creature that hunts using its branch and tree like appendages as camouflage. It’s thin needle like claws act as straws for fleshy nutrients.

4) Giant Lizardman, Modo, Jaws, Whimpers  
Number Appearing: d4 HD: 4 AC: +2 (Thick, plated scales)
ATK: +2, d12 bite from massive jaws
Abilities: Thick scales prevent ½ damage from slashing weapons, test CON if bitten otherwise wound is infected, Skittish and very easily scared, will flee at the sight of anything unusual or particularly loud noises.

Emanations, d4: 1) d6 Jungle dwarf corpses, missing huge bites of flesh 2) d20 palm sized lizard scales 3) Incredibly heavy and loud footfalls in the distance 4) Deep, but terrified, wailing in the distance

Reaction Roll, d6: 1) Dozing next to a fire place, content from a recent feast (covered in chunks of gore and blood), will growl lazily if awakened 2) Averting eye contact, shying away, walking backwards away from contact 3) Standing still, avoiding eye contact, half mewing and half growling waiting for moment to flee 4) Growling fiercely but moving backwards away from contact, ready to flee 5) Rushing past party to escape something else, will attack on way through 6) Rushing past party to escape something else, will attempt to kill plumpest party member and escape with corpse

Description: Towering 8 foot tall lizard man, thickly muscled with an enormous devouring maw. The mouth leaks with green saliva that sizzles acidly. The eyes are wide and dart about feverishly, seemingly terrified by everything it sees. 

This will come out day when I get the other 2 quarter finished projects I'm working on done...

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Player Research Rules (Guild Dogs)

The following research system is intended to be used by these guys, but will probably work with any d20 based tabletop system with a setting that allows such things, so I thought I would share.

Research: Before embarking on a research project a player will be notified of the projects difficulty level. This determines how long research takes, and how well resourced the project needs to be. Once the resources have been sourced and the research time passed, the researching Guild Dog will attempt a INT test to see if research is successful. Most research projects will have a penalty to the INT test to reflect their difficulty. A failed research attempt may be reattempted after d6 days have passed. Research can be paused, but a full day of research is required for progress to be made on a project (ie, a Guild Dog must spend a full 24 hours researching, they may not engage in other activities in that time). Samples are used up and exhausted in the research process.  Research equipment  must be tested on a usage die after a successful project to see if it needs replacing. Each 1000 gold worth of equipment must be tested on a d6, a result of a 1 or 2 means that equipment needs replacing. If the equipment does not need replacing it may be re-used for new projects.

Sages, Mossen Crafters, Wizards and the like may all be hired to undertake research for a Guild Dog, but this will be expensive. Some research projects may draw the ire, interest and attention of specific Guilds...

Research project difficulty:
Research Project Requirements :
1, Banal.
Research Time: 1d6 days.
Completion INT Test Penalty: None.
Sample Requirements: d10 handfuls.
Equipment Requirements: A flat bench, with 1000 gold worth of researching equipment.
2, Interesting.
Research Time: 1d20 days.
Completion INT Test Penalty: +4 to roll.
Sample Requirements: d6 sackfuls.
Equipment Requirements: A room, with 5000 gold worth of research equipment.
3, Innovative.
Research Time: 1d6 weeks.
Completion INT Test Penalty: +6 to roll.
Sample Requirements: d10 sackfuls.
Equipment Requirements: d4 rooms, with 10’000 gold worth of research equipment.
4, Evolutionary.
Research Time: 1d10 weeks.
Completion INT Test Penalty: +8 to roll.
Sample Requirements: d20 sackfuls.
Equipment Requirements: d6 rooms and an additional room for storage,  with 10’000 gold worth of research equipment
5, Revolutionary.
Research Time: 1d6 months.
Completion INT Test Penalty: +10 to roll.
Sample Requirements: 1d4 room fulls.
Equipment Requirements: d8 rooms with an additional d4 rooms for storage and d4 researching assistance staff, with 15’000 gold worth of research equipment
6, Paradigm Creating.
Research Time: 1d10 months.
Completion INT Test Penalty: +12 to roll.
Sample Requirements: 1d8 room fulls.  
Equipment Requirements: d10 rooms an additional d6 rooms for storage and d6 researching assistance staff, with 20’000 gold worth of research equipment. A project specific magical field or ancient entity is also required to help guide and reshape reality waves.

Friday, 15 July 2016

The Transient Bazaar (A Merchant and Marketplace Generator for Guild Dogs)

An updated version of the below PDF is now available as a PWYW PDF on RPGnow/DriveThruRpg. It uses all public domain images (the one below has 4 chopped up images that weren't public domain). Find it here: 

Growing against the outer walls of the Bone Fortress (the ornate octagon housing The Law) is an amoebious market, The Transient Bazaar. The bazaar is fueled by the voracious appetite of the Guild Dogs, settled on the muddy grounds of the Bone Fort’s courtyard. They hunger for treasures rare, dangerous, unusual and arcane to assist them in their dubious careers. As the dark seasons of The City pass, new merchants erect makeshift stalls against the white walls. Merchants leave when their scant stock has been exhausted, journeying afar in search of new oddities.  

Use the PDF below to find out what is being sold in The Transient Bazaar, and who is selling it. 

(Stall and merchant results will no doubt work for other urban fantasy settings). 

An example:

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Random Encounters in The City

Who are they and what do they want?

 What do they look like (and how many is there and how are they armed)?

Notes and Instructions on 1 way to use The City Visual Generator: 

I used the visual generator to brain storm unusual entities whom might be wandering the city by combining a randomly determined square from a "People" grid with a square from an "Aspects" grid (the pages I used are seen below). It was fun (and very quick) squishing the disparate visual elements into a single cohesive entity and I'm looking forward to creating more entities and places using the Visual Generator.