Tuesday, 16 December 2014

d6 Weretoad Variants

Weretoads are cursed inhabitants of the swampy Ruinlands. Without check from brave genocidal adventurers the Weretoads population has  grown, spread and mutated. The "regular" Weretoad is found here, and a mini dungeon from which these vile creatures spill forth upon the world can be found here.

All Weretoads have two forms, the change in these being triggered by the morning and evening movement of tides in the closest body of fresh water. During the day they will appear as naked, wart covered men with bulging eyes and lolling tongues. The Weretoads described here all have specific, pronounced and bizarre changes to their human forms stemming from their toad-form mutations. In this form Weretoads are vaguely intelligent and encountering them may prompt a reaction roll (at a penalty of 6). In the evening hours Weretoads appear in their much more grotesque, true toad-form. At this time their human intelligence has melted away and they are aggressive to any they encounter.

Every 1 in 6 Weretoads will be one of these variants. Assume Chaotic alignment for all Weretoads. All Weretoads traverse land and water at the same rate. All Weretoads have the following special abilities (unless otherwise noted); As a man: Ability to hide or scale sheer surfaces/climb, 4 in 6 chance. As a were-toad: Ability to hide, 4 in 6 chance, ability to scale sheer surfaces/climb with impunity.  

AC is ascending with unarmored human base of 11.  

1) Surinam:

Human Form: Bent over double, hands basically dragging across the ground, hunchbacked, weeping sores and popping boils cover backside.

HD: 1, Movement: 100',
AC: 10 (clumsy, slow from hunchback),
Attacks: 1 (Spear or Bow), Damage: d6,
Save: F1, Morale: 6, XP: 100,
Special: Ability to hide/scale sheer surfaces/climb diminished due to deformity, 2 in 6 chance.

Weretoad Form: Bulging, pulsating, quivering backside. Countless pockets of slime hold squirming sacks of  thin, black, spine and spike covered toads. Hunched over, thickset and slow moving.

HD: 1, Movement: 100',
AC: 12 (thickened blubbery skin, often walks backwards with back as shield),
Attacks: 1 (Spear or Bow), plus ability to release spawn (see special), Damage: 6,
Save: F2, Morale: 8, XP: 200,
Special: Once per round, forgoing other attacks, a Surinam can unleash a barrage of d6 spine and spike covered black toads to a distance of up to 40'. The target of this barrage must make a Save Vs. Breath or  find themselves being bitten and cut by the toads now covering their body (each toad doing 1 HP of damage per round, including the round they were launched). d4 toads may be removed if a victim focuses on this task for a round and passes a Dexterity check. Surinam Weretoad's ability to scale sheer surfaces/climb is diminished to a 4 in 6 chance

2) Chythrid:

Human Form: Suffers from a constant hacking cough and wheeze, Skin and hair is white, scaly, dusty and shedding. Clumps, clusters and colonies of  fleshy fungus cover the body.

HD: 1, Movement: 120',
AC: 12 (hardened skin from constant fungal infection),
Attacks: 1 (Spear or Bow), Damage: d6,
Save: F2, Morale: 6, XP: 150,
Special: Engaging in melee combat for more than 3 rounds results in possible transfer of fungal infection. Save Vs. Poison or suffer a fungal infection of the (d4): 1) Skin, 2) Eyes, 3) Respiratory System, 4) Armpits/genitals.

Weretoad Form: Mushrooms, puffballs and bracket fungus cover the body. The extremities, especially the hands, have become near useless due to fungal growth and infection.

HD: 1, Movement: 120',
AC: 12 (Fungus covering body),
Attacks: 1 (club like fist). Damage: d4,
Save: F2, Morale: 8, XP: 200,
Special: When struck by any martial weapons the Chythrid will release a 20' cloud of spores (which other Weretoads are immune to). Those caught in the cloud must Save Vs. Poison or suffer one of the following d4 effects: 1) As per Sleep spell, 2) As per Confusion spell, 3) d6 rounds of psychedelic hallucinations (-5 penalty to all actions), 4) d6 rounds of severe hacking cough (-3 to all actions). Chythrids do not have the ability to scale sheer surfaces/ climb.

3) Paratoid:

Human Form: Constantly sweat profusely, an oily, slippery type sweat. Emit a severe stench (rot, urine, chlorine). Are friendlier than most other Weretoads (always wears a smile, no reaction roll penalty) but appear confused and deranged.

HD: 1, Movement: 120', AC: 13 (Blows will often glance and slide along oily skin),
Attacks: 1 (Spear or Bow), Damage: d6,
Save: F1, Morale: 10, XP: 150,
Special: No longer has the ability to scale sheer surfaces/climb but is an excellent contortionist/escape artist (4 in 6 chance).

Weretoad Form: A constant torrent of milky slime and mucus leaks from the skin. Puddles and pools of the milky, oily substance form wherever the Paratoid goes. The mucus of the Paratoid has a variety of properties that the Weretoad has control of (see Special).

HD: 1, Movement: 120,
AC: 14 (Extremely slippery, wet skin),
Attacks: 1 (Spear or Bow). Damage: d6,
Save: F4, Morale: 10, XP: 400,
Special: They're are three main Bufotoxins produced by the Paratoid Weretoad all inducing their effect when coming into contact with another beings skins and that being failing a Save Vs. Poison. 1) A toxin which complete stuns the body for d6 rounds. 2) A toxin which produces severe d12 rounds of severe psychedelic hallucinations (all actions taken at a penalty of -5). 3) An extreme adhesive mucus that can fuse together any material whatsoever for d12 rounds (ambulatory beings receive a Save Vs. Paralyze to avoid being stuck in place).  The Paratoid may splash these substances on targets within 10', create pools and puddles as traps, or encourage other Weretoads to dip their weapons into the mucus to augment their attacks. Paratoids no longer have the ability to scale sheer surfaces/climb or hide due to the massive amount of liquid they produce at all times. 


4) Tongue Priest:

Human Form: Very long, lolling tongue, reaching down to rest on the sternum or draped over a shoulder (resulting in an obvious speech impediment), obscenely bloated stomach. Less aggressive and more intelligent than other Weretoads (only a penalty of 2 to reaction roll). Will be holding/wearing crude religious symbols/artifacts. Will appear as the natural leader in a group of Weretoads.  

HD: 2, Movement: 120, AC: 11,
Attacks: 1 (Spear or Bow), Damage: d6,
Save: F2, Morale: 8, XP: 200,
Special:  Can cast Cure Light Wounds 3 times a day, has the ability to communicate with swamp/aquatic animals as per Speak with Animals spell at all times. Will be accompanied by some sort of swamp creature as an animal companion.

Weretoad Form: 5 to 10 foot tongue emerges from mouth and is draped across body or head as a turban or shawl. Skin crawls with insects and smaller amphibians who are docile and timid. Treated with the utmost deference and respect by other Weretoads.

HD: 2, Movement: 120', AC: 11,
Attacks: 1 (Spear or Bow), Damage: d6,
Save: F4, Morale: 10, XP: 300,
Special: Same special ability as per Human Form, plus the following: Gives all other Weretoads within visual range +1 to hit, damage and all other actions, these Weretoads will never attempt to flee combat while the Tounge Priest is alive. If slain all Weretoads in visual range must make a Moral check. Can direct hordes of stinging insects, flys, frogs and any other minor creature to waylay/irritate targets as the GM sees fit (ie: a horde of mice eating supplies, a horde of flies reducing vision/movement (-1 penalty to all actions), etc).


5) Queen:

Human Form: Obese pregnant woman, bowed over under the weight of bulging stomach, feet are swollen severely as to be nigh immobile. Other Weretoads nearby to a Queen.  are extremely protective and aggressive.

HD: 2, Movement: 40',
AC: 9 (Very slow and cumbersome, difficulty in movement),
Attacks: 1,(Spear or Bow), Damage: d6-1,
Save: F1, Morale: 6, XP: 50,
Special: If a Queen flees all other Weretoads in visual range will follow and protect her.

Weretoad Form: Massive bulging pustules and flesh sacks cover the lower half of the body. Legs have either disappeared or been hidden by pustules, giving a slug-like appearance. Dark, pygmy toad-men can be seen floating in some of the translucent flesh sacks.
HD: 3, Movement: 40', AC: 11 (Thickened, blubbery skin),
Attacks: 1 (Bite or Claw). Damage: d4,
Save: F3, Morale: 6, XP: 300,
Special: Once per round, forgoing other attacks, a Queen may release d4 pygmy toad-men (1HP, armed with d6 claws or bite). These pygmies will rush and randomly attack any non Weretoad beings within sight, seeking new targets until killed or collapsing from exhaustion. A Queen may release a total of d20 pygmies a week. The birthing process of the pygmies leaves behind an extremely slippery mucus that any non Weretoads must make a Save Vs. Paralyze to avoid slipping and falling prone in. Queen Weretoad's ability to hide/scale sheer surfaces/climb is diminished to a 3 in 6 chance.


6) Ornata:

Human Form: Armless and obese, severely limited intelligence. Bald with an oversized mouth accompanied by massive, low hanging jowls. Will squeal and moan unintelligible while rushing to attack anything non Weretoad that it encounters.

HD: 2, Movement: 120',
AC: 11,
Attacks: 2 (Kick and Bite). Damage: Kick: d6, Bite: d4,
Save: F2, Morale: 8, XP: 150,
Special: Inability to scale sheer surfaces/climb.  

Weretoad Form: Squat, very thickset, low to the ground - almost crawling and squirming in the dirt propelled by large muscular legs. Oversized head and mouth accounting for nearly half of body mass, no arms. Head counterbalanced by obscenely large/protruding rump. Wild, erratic and solitary - often ostracized and abandoned by other Weretoads. Will often burrow slightly in the dirt or mud to appear as a rock or log, then surprise and waylay passerby's.

1 in 6 chance at the beginning of each combat that an Ornata will attack friend rather than foe. 

HD: 2, Movement: 120',
AC: 12 (Thick, blubbery skin, muscular),
Attacks: 1 (bite), plus the ability to swallow (see Special), Damage: d8,
Save: F8, Morale: 10, XP: 200,
Special: Ornata's can swallow anything Halfling size or smaller, or happily engulf half of a Human, after a successful bite attack. The creature being swallowed has a Save Vs. Paralyze to avoid this. Once swallowed, beings Halfling size or smaller have d4 rounds before they suffocate and die, larger beings suffer an automatic d8 bite damage every round until death. Ornata Weretoads can not attack other beings while swallowing another. If an Ornata attempts to swallow anything larger than a human, it must make a Save Vs. Poison to avoid suffocating itself on its oversized prey.  Ornata Weretoads no longer have the ability to scale sheer surfaces/climb but can hide on a 5 in 6 chance. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Lord Purpon, The Hoarder

Inspired by a classical being from Demonology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purson), here's a supernatural creature (demon) intended to alter and affect the area around him. Ideally tucked away behind a secret or locked door on a megadungeon level Purpon will change the contents of the rooms nearby (Emanations), set in motions his owns plans and plots (possibly interfering with an adventuring party's plans) (Plottings), and offer deals and contracts for goods and services (Bargains)

d6 Names:Not every group or individual that is aware of Lord Purpon's existence will know him by the same name (this applies to most strange beings), roll a d6 to determine what he is called by a specific group/region: 1) Lord Purpon 2) Master of Keys/Secrets 3) The Chest Keeper/Gardener 4) The Hoarder 5) Liar's Bane 6) Old Snake Head.

A party of adventurers may be directed towards Lord Purpon if they are searching for lost or hidden things, if they require secrets or intelligence on a specific person or being, if they need to know the specific history of an area or a prediction for the future.  

Description: Standing 7 to 10 foot tall, Lord Purpon has the horned head/neck of a python, and a thickset, shaggy fur covered body of a bear like humanoid. The matted, dreadlocked long fur on his body is knotted about uncountable keys which either stick close to his body or hang loose, jingling as he moves. He also wears chains of keys around his neck, arms, waist and legs. He will often be seen clutching a small wooden chest, apparently filled with tattered and filthy notes and cloth scrolls. His legs end in cloven hoofs. 

Lord Purpon is well spoken in all the world's languages. When conversing he has the unsettling habit of echoing the final three words of the being he is speaking to, as those words are said. This gives the impression that he knows exactly what some one was going to say and when they were going to finish speaking. This habit dissipates when he converses with beings from far away lands and he also exhibits much more enthusiasm in talking to them. Though well spoken and some what fond of conversation, Lord Purpon prefers communicating at a distance to those he is not familiar with, through notes and his army of Mimics. 

Lord Purpon is accompanied at all times by 22 Mimics camouflaged appropriately in whatever environment Lord Purpon is in. This gives any space Lord Purpon inhabits a disconcerting effect as these 22 camouflaged mimics shift and scamper, making the room appear transitory and in constant movement. Additionally to these 22 mimics Lord Purpon has a vast army of mimics under his command, employed as spies to gather him secrets. Lord Purpon also has knowledge which enables him to raise and train more mimics.

Lord Purpon has a perfect photographic memory, and will never forgot anything he has ever seen or heard. 

Lord Purpon seems most preoccupied with the gathering of secrets, specifically knowing where other beings hide their most valuable possessions. This knowledge is contentment enough for Lord Purpon who will very rarely snatch valuables for himself. This fact has not stopped the rumor that he is in the possession of an invaluable horde of lost treasures. A byproduct of Lord Purpon's mimic spy network is he learns of many secretly planned events, giving him foresight into the future. He also has an interest in cartographic knowledge, but prefers to remember and mentally visualize maps  rather than keeping or reproducing physical ones.  

Often, Lord Purpon will take a disliking to an individual he has been spying upon (most especially liars - whom he hates), at which point he will either steal their most valuable possession, or take a friend or lovers most valuable possession and plant it upon that person for discovery. He relishes hearing one of his spies mimic the exclamations in misfortune of those he does not like. Further he takes great pleasure from creating elaborate series of events that lead to the seemingly random death of those not in his favor. 

Statistics: HD: 12+10, Alignment: Neutral, Movement: 160', AC: 20 (keys form metal hide), Attacks: 3 (claws x 2, bite). Damage: d10 claw, d8 bite, Save: F12, Morale: 10, XP: 3000xp, Special: Lord Purpon will probably allow his Mimic's to fight for him while he attempts to escape any physical confrontation, He will know of any weaknesses his foes have if that weakness has been verbally discussed within a day's travel of his lair, He has the ability to Open Body: Taking a key from his person Lord Purpon inserts the key into his enemy's flesh (he must score a hit on an attack roll), if the target fails a Save Vs. Magic their body will open as if on a hinge, internal organs falling loose upon the ground, resulting in death. If the target passes the Save they simply take d8 damage. 

Purpon Mimic: Ambulatory, carnivorous mushrooms with very rudimentary intelligence and the ability to disguise themselves as inanimate objects (furniture, masonry, rocks, other vegetation, etc) . They excrete a extremely strong adhesive goo which can be used to stick to ceilings and walls or trap prey. Purpon mimic's have the ability to talk and have inherited their master's perfect memory - allowing them to recite things they overhear as if recorded. Their voice box and lips are concealed in a locked pocket of flesh, only open-able with a specific key designated by Lord Purpon (the mimics themselves can not open this pocket of their own accord).  Purpon Mimics, like other mimics have an aversion to sunlight (weakening and stunning them), so will travel overland in the evening. They attack with a hidden club-like appendage. The "default" appearance of a Purpon mimic is that of a round, mushroom-like chest.

HD: d10 (the HD of the mimic will be reflected in its size), Alignment: Neutral, Movement: 100', AC: 12, Attacks: HD divided by 4 rounded down. Damage: d10, Save: F in HD, Morale: 10, XP: 50 x HD, Special: Any thing striking a Purpon Mimic (weapon, fist, foot), must make a Save Vs. Paralysis to avoid being stuck to it for d6 rounds.

Lair: 

The entrance to Lord Purpon's lair will be hidden behind several secret doors, all secured with a number of extremely elaborate locks. Though hidden, the entrance will be close to a major thoroughfare or high traffic area. The lair itself will have an extremely spartan presentation, a column or two, a stone throne, a stone bench. Most notable will be the mounds of empty chests, discarded throughout the area and the floor carpeted in keys of all types, ages and varieties. A nursery of young mimics will be growing towards the back of the lair. A bonfire will smolder in a corner with evidence of burnt/burning documents/scrolls. The walls of the lair will be honeycombed in small tunnels, leading to grates, pipes and other small apertures in the area - a transportation network for mimics.  

There is only 1 treasure in the lair, an open chest filled with recently acquired notes, scrolls and maps all of highly secretive and sensitive nature - those that Lord Purpon has not yet committed to memory and destroyed.


d12 Emanations:

1)  A Purpon Mimic appearing as a low wooden table bearing an engraved map of the immediate area is to be found in an otherwise bare room. The map is accurate and marks some points of interest. The mimic will follow any one displaying an interest in the map, recording their conversations and movements. Lord Purpon may swap the Mimic for a very similar appearing Mimic while the followed group rests. This new map will either be completely inaccurate or now mark traps rather than profitably points of interest. 
2) d8 malformed, rogue mimics fill a room. They are no longer under the control of Lord Purpon. They are confused and mad, as such they are attempting to disguise themselves as several different things at once. Half chests will poking out of door arches, rocks will jut out at weird angles supported by blades, half doors will be connected to a mushroom cap, etc. These mimics will attack any that enter their room. 
3) Mimics will follow the party, the same seemingly mundane furniture keeps re-appearing in every room. This furniture will be disconcertingly identical and missing from previous rooms if the party checks on such a fact. Over time there will be a large mass of mimics following the party, every piece of mundane dungeon dressing they have encountered previously will be crammed into each new room they enter while previous rooms become bare. 
4) Two factions in the area are in open conflict with one another, both claiming the theft of a precious treasure belonging to their leader by the other. Their energies will mostly be spent on violently reclaiming said treasure, rather than regular dungeon duties. During the conflict an unusual amount of chests are to be seen clinging to the ceilings. 
5) A team (d10) of large (HD 8-10) mimics have been tasked with disguising the normal doors and passageways of an area to confuse and baffle travelers. Every time a group leaves a room the mimics will hide or reveal different exits and entries, giving the illusion to the architecture of constantly warping and changing. 
6) The weaker, lower HD entities in the area (of at least minimal intelligence) and even some of slightly larger stature will sneak about and spy upon the party, rather than openly engaging them. They will be jotting down rudimentary notes. If caught and interrogated the spies will claim "the furniture told me to do it!". 
7) Transcripts of the party's conversations (from any where with in a days travel of the current location) written in ink on fine scrolls of parchment are to be found conspicuously placed in rooms they enter. Preferably these conversations are of a sensitive nature. 
8) Small mimics (1HD) appearing as singular letters or words made of wood or stone spell out messages to the party as they enter a room, then scamper away down the small pipes and tunnels that form the mimics transportation network. 
9) Unlocked mimics, open their flesh pockets, scream and wail with intensity whenever the party enters a room. When approached they scamper and disappear in small, nearby pipes and tunnels.
10) An inhabited area nearby to Lord Purpon, a village, town, etc, has been thrown into chaos recently through the release of  all inhabitant's  secrets. A chest of secrets was delivered in the dead night to every individual home or dwelling. Tensions are high, as are fist fights, murders and riots. 
11) Many locked doors and locked chests, sometimes leading to further locked doors and chests, containing nothing, empty. 
12) Mounds of abandoned, empty, discarded and open chests. 


d6 Plottings: 

1) Through a set of messages and gifts left in passive, unlocked mimics, Lord Purpon encourages the party to steal an important item from a prominent individual in the area. 
2) Lord Purpon is currently on an expansion effort of his intelligence network, either a particular dungeon location or a settlement. He is hoping to blackmail certain individuals to carry out some of the heavy lifting.   
3) Lord Purpon is experimenting with the mobility of his Mimics, ideally to give them more of a resemblance to wild animals. Stemming from this are reports of bizarre animal/inanimate object hybrids, or wilds animals that stay frozen stiff in place. Regular wild animals are disappearing at a rapid rate. 
4) Lord Purpon has set his army of Mimics to steal vast stores of food. Mimics filled with grain and meat have been seen scuttling into the wilderness and further underground. Lord Purpon is interested in further reducing the local food supplies via black mailed individuals. Ultimately he wishes to record the depravity/camaraderie the famine brings out in people. 
5) Lord Purpon has been delivering chests of gold, goods and weapons to those impoverished in an area. These chests are also filled with sensitive secrets of those in more powerful positions. He wishes to record the outcomes of his meddling. 
6) Lord Purpon has placed Mimics at the entrance to churches, public buildings and stores with recordings of their occupants clearing saying vile, despicable, or otherwise horrible things. These voice pockets are unlocked, and their small lips emit the voices loudly, audible from some distance. 

d4 Bargains: Those dealing with Lord Purpon in any way will undoubtedly be a future focus of his spying efforts. With those he does not know well, he prefers to communicate via distance through unlocked mimics with written notes. Lord Purpon can offer secrets of local identities, treasure maps, treasure locations, some insight into the future, complete knowledge of previous events/history in the area and mimic companions for recording/storage/transport. 

For these goods and services he will ask; 

1) Secrets he does not know or maps of areas he has not been to be written/recorded and placed in Purpon Mimic chests. 
2) Wagon loads of chests or keys. Interesting/unique keys/chests and other lockable receptacles may interest him singularly. 
3) Provide an escort for one of his mimics to a sensitive/difficult to reach area. And/or the need for escorting the Mimic back to his person. 
4) Help with the excavation/installment of mimic transportation networks.


Monday, 6 October 2014

Not dead, just studying!

Sorry to anyone disappointed by the complete and utter lack of activity of late, I’m studying this semester and it’s been a surprising burden on the amount of free time I have to think/write about RPG stuff. The part of my brain normally devoted to day dreaming about D&D has been overrun with the study of Ancient Greece, The Roman Empire and WW2. Hopefully all this study will fertilize my mind for an explosion of D&D stuff as soon as semester is over! I thought I would be able to maintain some semblance of regular blog posting, but alas it was not to be!

I’m also working on a Hexcrawl-based adventure PDF, The White Isle. I’ve already received some really creepy, weird, awesome artwork  from some fantastic artists and I’m really looking forward to getting some time to put the thing together. There may be a sneak preview post of some of the pieces shortly.  As for the PDF itself, it will be a hexcrawl adventure, with  4 or 5 mini dungeon’s presented in the same style as my first PDF, The Towers of the Weretoads (http://www.rpgnow.com/product/133726/The-Towers-of-the-Weretoads).  It will include a number of tables and generators to ensure each game session is dynamic and interesting, with two weird, semi-undead factions fighting each other for control of/escape from the White Isle.

Blog posting resumption/ The White Isle release should be ETA a couple of months!

Here’s some images for flavour/excitement;






Thursday, 21 August 2014

News!

Underworld Lore Issue 4 (features my writings): 

Underworld Lore Issue 4 is out. It's a fantastically presented OSR community zine which nails the mixture of humor and horror that (I feel) old school D&D is about. I wrote an article in this issue about LAM , the mystical grey alien looking figure that Aleister Crowley allegedly summoned into our own world in 1918. If you've ever wanted to put the grey's into your campaign but couldn't find the right bridge to get them there, this article is for you (also the illustration of LAM by Darcy Percy is awesome). There's lots of stand out stuff in this issue, but I particularly liked the Delver's Dictionary. It's a guide to the slang words dungeoneers use. The example dialogue cracks me up, ie: Kloon. n. The inexplicable appearance of an above ground feature in a dungeon. "Don't think about why the tree is here. It's a friggin's kloon! Just think about how nice it is to finally find some firefood."

Download it here and on the cover below. 


The Towers of The Weretoads is now on RPGnow: 

The Tower of the Weretoads now downloads from RPGNow. It's for sale there as a Pay What You Want Purchase (meaning you can still get it for free!). If any one feels like chucking me a couple of bucks to encourage me to make another PDF, you now have an opportunity to do so. I'm not expecting a lot, but 100% of whatever comes in will be spent on paying for some art for the next thing I do. If for whatever reason you don't want to download the PDF from RPGnow, get in touch with me and I will get you a copy.

I would love to see some reviews on on the RPGnow product page, so if you felt like giving it a rating and a couple of sentences describing what you thought of it, that would be great!



Tuesday, 19 August 2014

New House Rule for Dying and Near Death

I've decided my old house rules for dying and death are no good. 

(My long, rambling description of said rules can be found here: http://lizardmandiaries.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/house-rules-for-death-or-near-death-in.html

I have two major issues with these rules. Firstly, I was I was never applying the "negative value of HP" to the CON check/saves that people had to make. It always felt too mean/messy to ask that of a dying player, so I would always revert to just asking for unaltered CON saves. Secondly, I was always a loose with the rules, and the dying process seemed to be conducted in a slightly different way each time. 

Death requires strict, simple rules!

The new rule is based on Save Vs. Death (which should work out to be the same as Save Vs. Poison in your OSR rules of choice).




Dying: 

If a character is damaged as to be on 0 or less Hit Points they are dying.

Each round they must make a Save Vs. Death to see if their injuries cause them further damage. If they fail this Save they take d6 extra points of damage. 

Each subsequent round the dying character is left without medical aid they continue to attempt Save Vs. Death at a cumulative penalty of 2 (ie, a penalty of 2, then 4, then 6, etc).

Additionally the damage caused by a failed Save increases by 1 die type each round (ie, d6,d8,d10, etc). 

A character going below the negative value of their Hit Points dies.

Characters may attempt to stabilize the dying character by spending their turn tending to them, and making a successful WIS check (apply appropriate situation modifiers to the roll). Being stabilized by another character requires the dying character to make an additional Save Vs Death (the cumulative penalty is ignored). If failed they take the appropriate die worth of damage and must attempt to the Save Vs. Death each round until they are successful and are then unconscious but stabilized. The cumulative Save attempt penalty is not applied when another character is attempting to stabilize a dying character. Each round of stabilization attempt requires the non-dying character to make a successful WIS check otherwise the cumulative save penalty will apply. .  

Characters successfully passing 3 Save Vs. Death rolls (including cumulative penalties) stabilizes themselves through sheer force of will to live.

Stabilized means the character is not in immediate danger of dying from bleeding/internal injuries, but they are still unconscious and at 0 or less HP. They will not heal naturally. 

Each day a Stabilized but unconscious character must make a Save Vs. Death. If they fail they are once again dying (repeat the above process). If they make the save, they are in a stable (albeit comatose) condition for another 24 hours.   

Thoughts:

The 3 Save Vs. Death rolls represent 30 seconds. This seems like a decent amount of time for a body to decide if it's going to stop working and die, or keep on trucking as best it can.

 A dead party member doesn't present much in the way of choices for the other party members (other than deciding if it's time to run or not). A dying party member does: Will the parties' resources be rerouted to stabilizing their dying comrade? Or do they just pray and hope the unconcsious, bleeding dwarf pulls through on their own accord and get to them once the fighting is over? 

Dwarfs and Halflings (in Labyrinth Lord) are appreciably harder to kill using this system. At level 1 a Dwarf or Halfing has 20% less chance of dying than a Fighter. I like that. 

High level adventurers become pretty hard to kill. Hubris coupled with the cumulatively save penalty and the ever growing dice values of the death damage will get to them eventually though. 

I like this rule because it uses Saves. I want to use Saves more often in my games.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Guild Dogs Rules!


Recently +Karl Stjernberg took an interest in the posts on my proposed D&D/Shadowrun setting mash-up "Guild Dogs" (Post 1, Post 2).

He's gone ahead and written/collated a bunch of tables and rules that would make running and playing Guild Dogs a reality using the D&D chassis of your choice.

The full document is available here! 

I might get my act together and use this document to actually play Guild Dogs sometimes soon! Thanks +Karl Stjernberg.


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Mountainous Jungle Generator

My G+ FLAILSNAILS game has well and truly left behind the mountainous jungle valley of Forgotten Gorgzu's Valley for the time being. As such I thought I would share the generator I was using at the table to generate hexes/areas on the fly as the party explored the valley. It only gives you a vague idea of what's happening in an area, acting more as a spring board for your imagination to start doing the heavy lifting. 

It's not too focused on the "Mountainous" aspect, so I'm pretty sure it would work fine as straight up Jungle Generator (or as I like to call them, Jungle Jenerators). 

Roll on table 1,2 and 3 to create an area. Tables X,Y,Z are for additional treasure breakdowns and inspiration.



Table 1, Basic Area:

0-6) Hidden water/pool/puddle (Hidden by algae carpet/moss/vines/rocks).
7-13) Gentle Hill/Valley.
14-20) Impressive view/lookout/raised land or platform. 
21-27) Ruins or decrepit statue (Dwarven).
28-30) Ruins or decrepit statue (Non-dwarven).
31-37) Grove/clearing. 
38-44) Waterfall.
45-51) Lake/river/pool. 
52-58) Swamp/swampy. 
59-65) Rock hollow. 
66-72) Sheer rock/cliff. 
73-79) Hidden hole/drop/tunnel (Hidden by moss/vines/vegetation).
80-86) Rocks/boulders. 
87-95) Ravine/cliff gap.
96) Very deep pool/flooded tunnel/flooded mine. 
97-99) Giant vegetation. 

Table 2, Descriptor: 

Roll a d6, the result will determine if the contents of the area are;

1) Bad/troublesome/dangerous for the party.
2-5) Neutral for the party.
6) Good/helpful/rejuvenating for the party.

0-6) Heavy steam. 
7-13) Insects.
14-20) Birds. 
21-27) Overly thick vegetation. 
28-34) Vines. 
35-41) Flowers/herbs. 
42-48) Rocks/hills/mountainous.
49-55) Fruit.
56-62) Ropes (arranged by intelligence, abandoned or in use).  
63-69) Makeshift intelligent habitation. 
77-83) Mushrooms. 
84-90) Weird atmosphere.
90-95) Death.
96-99) Weird weather. 

Table 3, Contents: Include an additional random encounter check to see if there is any interaction/conflict between the contents of the area and a possible random encounter entity.

0-30) Empty/abandoned.
31-33) Disease/sickness. 
34-38) Non-hidden treasure (See Table X). 
39-47) Hidden treasure (See Table X). 
48-56) Shallow Cave: Check if contains each of the following (Roll in order, stop checking once something comes up, unless you want a busy cave); Monsters (30%), Animals (30%), Travelers (20%), Treasure, See Table X (20%). Alternatively use this Cavern Generator.  
57-65) Entrance to Jungle Mountain Underground  (Alternatively use this Cavern Generator). 
66-74) Entrance to Dungeon. 
75-83) Animals. 
84-92) Travelers or Jungle Dwarfs. 
93-99) Monsters. 



Table X, Overland Treasure: 

0-25) Gold (See Overland Treasure Value Table below).

26-51) Trade goods (See Overland Treasure Value Table below).
72-77) Gems/jewelry (See Overland Treasure Value Table below).
78-99) Magic item.

Table Y, Overland Treasure Value: 


01-35) 75 x 1d10 GP

36-65) 150 x 1d10 GP
66-85) 250 x 1d10 GP
86-00) 1000 x 1d010 GP

Table Z, Aspect Table: 

00-9) Good/holy/light
10-19) Air/ethereal/wind
20-29) Tiny/invisible/intangible
30/39) Value/thought/internal organs and reflection
40-49) Water/equalization/cleansing
50-59) Wild/bestial/nature
60-69) Fire/destruction/limbs and external action
70-79) Monstrous/gargantuan/enormous
80-89) Deep/earth/solid
90-99) Evil/profane/darkness


Friday, 1 August 2014

The Towers of the Weretoads, An OSR Mini-Dungeon PDF

News as of 21/8/14: The Tower of the Weretoads now downloads from RPGNow. It's for sale there as a Pay What You Want Purchase (meaning you can still get it for free!). If any one feels like chucking me a couple of bucks to encourage me to make another PDF, you now have an opportunity to do so. I'm not expecting a lot, but 100% of whatever comes in will be spent on paying for some art for the next thing I do. If for whatever reason you don't want to download the PDF from RPGnow, get in touch with me and I will get you a copy.

Here is my first PDF, a mini-dungeon you can plop down in the edges of any of the lakes/fresh water bodies in your campaign world. In my campaign world the Towers of the Weretoads are located in The Ruinlands. Feel free to download it, print it, and let me know what you think (although in regards to printing the margins might be off - a little more tweaking is in the works).

The way I've presented the dungeon is the way I present them in my own campaign notes. I like to be able to take in as much information with a glance as possible. I can't really cope with flicking between alternate pages of maps and room descriptions. As such the descriptions are sparse. Don't be afraid to elaborate with your own details as required. One advantage I find with presenting the dungeon like this (that can make up for the sparse description) is being able to take in and understand what's happening in rooms that are nearby to the party. This can be used to make the dungeon a much more dynamic, reactive place. Don't be afraid to move the Weretoads around! Also, the Horde page references are from the Labyrinth Lord (LL) core rule book. 



If you get sick of Weretoads, feel free to whack some of these guys into the dungeon. 

Some notes: This is my first attempt at presenting something as a PDF, it didn't exactly come out as I envisioned but close enough that I'm happy with it. Some of the design is a little wonky but I think you can take in an entire dungeon floor with a glance and that was my major goal. I will doubtless be updating and editing the PDF in the future (also the possibility of adding more Weretoad variants).

Please let me know if you have feedback/actually run it!

Edit: Did some changes so the damn PDF wasn't 30 megabytes and the fonts weren't going crazy.

d20 Things Found in a Giant's Kitchen Cupboards

Pretend it's a giant!
+Claytonian JP announced a Displacerklaus in July Festivus earlier this week (like a small scale Secret Santicore). I was gifted with an awesome Freelancer ship and crew generator from +Ed Hackett. In return here is my gift to +Chris P.;

d20 Things Found in a Giant of a Gourmet Persuasion's Kitchen Cupboards:  

1) Giant's magically sharpened cutlet knife. Does d4 damage but ignores armor on To Hit rolls for d8 strikes (at which point it returns to being a simple mundane over sized knife).

2) Large jar of extra strength pickling juice. Splashing it on a being's face causes them to be stunned for d6 rounds unless a Save Vs. Poison is made. Ingesting the liquid will reduce a being's intelligence to 1 unless a Save Vs. Poison is made.

3) Eyeball extractor. A mean looking implement, rusted with time and stained from use, vaguely resembling an elongated ice cream scoop with an exaggeratedly sized handle. A fighter wielding it may attempt to take out a target's eye by making a To Hit roll at a negative 6 penalty. If the fighter hits their target and the target fails a Save Vs. Paralyze the eye is plucked from the socket with a meaty plop. Otherwise the Eyeball Extractor can be wielded as d4 blunt weapon.

4) Huge chunks of jerky, as long as man's leg. Indeterminate meat source.

5) Barrel sized glass jars of pickled/pickling organs and limbs.Variety of sources.

6) An extremely odorous and stained half barrel sized iron pot.

7) High quality butter, super enriched. May be used to enhance the taste of any meal dramatically or as smoke-free lantern fuel.

8) Seemingly curdled milk in very ornate brass jugs. Is in fact dreamilk, which causes the drinker to have an extremely restful nights sleep in which they dream of what their heart desires most. Additionally they mutter about the object of their heart's desire the entire evening, completely audible to those around them. The ornate jugs may be of value to oddity collectors.

9) Huge, silver cutlery. Some may have gems embedded in their handles. Valuable.

10) d20 pygmy mushroom men trapped in a breathable wooden box. If somebody has the ability to communicate with them, they will know much of the giant's secrets. They are also quite testy at being trapped and may be aggressive (1HD, D4 attack with clubbed hands).

11) A block/blocks of ever-ice. Always frozen, always cold.

12) A sack of an extremely peppery, nose-stinging spice. Can be thrown in a target's face to blind them or send them into fits of hacking coughs for d4 rounds.

13) A rotting boar carcass, held in large wooden crate. It is sprouting a forest of black corpse mushrooms. They taste like raw meat and restore 1HP, there is d30 of them if any is asking.

14) A giant bloodstained masher. Appears to be able to handle things tougher than boiled potatoes.

15) A large glass jar filled with floating pickled brains. Save Vs Magic to avoid hearing the whispered voices of the owners of the brains. They will be jabbering nonsensically, unaware of their disembodied predicament.

16) A sack of flour, quivering every few seconds. If prodded/investigated a mass of plump pink worms explode from the sack. They are harmless and delicious.

17) Delicious smelling schnapps in a dusty, old bottle. If drunk, make a Save Vs Poison. If failed pass out into merry sleep for 8 hours. If passed the drinker is roaring drunk for 8 hours and in that time feels no fear.

18) Melon sized onions, the slightest whiff of their exposed flesh causes tears to stream from now severely stinging eyes.

19) Pile of rusted, used and discarded (giant) knives.

20) A sack containing d10 handfuls of sweet smelling ground crystals. Allowing them to dissolve in your mouth results in d8 combat rounds of automatically getting first initiative and plus 2 To Hit. After the d8 rounds are up the consumer of the crystals will automatically go last in initiative and attack at a minus 4 to hit for 2 combat rounds.  They taste so delicious a Save Vs. Magic is required to not immediately scoop another handful of crystals up into your mouth once their initial effects wear off. If there is no crystals left and somebody fails there Save to helplessly eat more, they pass out unconscious for 12 hours.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Undead are Pockets of Stopped Time

Organic bodies are bullets of flesh shot out across the two dimensional plane of the past, present and future. Flesh, meat and blood is specifically designed to best deal with the harsh realities of linear time. Organic beings are consciousness's on a one way track with a clear beginning and end. Their fleshy masses are the best vehicles of this existence - constant reminders of time's rotting entropy.

How is it ever possible for something be alive and dead at the same time? It could only happen if the thing stopped being affected by the passing of time. If this was to happen then that thing becomes Undead, neither alive nor dead. It is detached and disconnected from time's one way track. The thing would become an abomination to those still victimized by time's passing, but their outrage would truly come from a deep,dark jealousy.

If organic beings are given respite from the drag net of time, their flesh happily melts away, no longer necessary. Only the lithe, mineral form of the skeleton remains. The organic components of the being are still subject to time's clutches and their deterioration will be noted by those still living in time's domain. The Undead being will pay no heed to their useless rotting flesh. Those Undead of a seemingly impossible vain streak will adorn their forms with gold and diamonds, symbolic of their timelessness.

The Undead have no need for verbal communication because when time has stopped everything has already been said. All Undead implicitly understand all other Undead, they have infinity to discuss an infinity of matters. The machinations, plans and purposes of the Undead are completely incomprehensible to organic time-experiencing beings. Organic beings are unable to escape their preoccupation with efficient resource allocation brought on by their ever-looming annihilation. The Undead alternatively have an eternity of freedom and unlimited resources - though this fact gives some the appearance of wanton lethargicness to time challenged observers.

Time is a force that heaves like the ocean - tides and waves of it crash over conscious observers. Though it doesn't seem possible for those drowning in time's ocean, there exists dry land. Great tracts of timelessness stand in defiance of time's fury, serene and calm bastions of stillness in the otherwise chaotic multiverse. Time's violent bashing and trashing on these place's shores cause bubbles and chunks of stopped, ceased time to hurtle back through time's ocean. The Undead climb aboard this flotsam and jetsam of stopped time and are able to look out over the horizon of time's ocean with a startling clear view of existence's horizons. The Undead are imbued with the infinite wisdom of the timeless lands.

Conflict erupts between organic beings still enthralled by time's greedy clutches and the Undead due to an nigh insurmountable difference of perspective. Some Undead seek to bless the multiverse with the total eradication of time, which ceases to exist without conscious beings to experience it. Other Undead wish only to save organic beings from the crushing embrace of time, to make them like themselves. Time itself views organic beings as its property and instills within them an overwhelming disgust for the Undead. This is an unconscious defense mechanism which only organic beings capable of the deepest form of self reflection are able to overcome. With the realization that time's inescapability is an illusion comes the appreciation of the beauty and serenity of the Undead form, followed by overwhelming desire to escape time themselves.



d10 Abilities for the Undead, Escapees of Time:

1) Any one attacking the Undead must roll To Hit twice, if either roll misses the attack is a failure. The Undead has the advantage of already being aware of the incoming attacks before the atackee even decided to attempt them.
2) The Undead can never be surprised or snuck up upon and are immune to sneak attacks. The Undead are well aware of their enemy's intentions an eternity before they occur.
3) The Undead can recite a person's entire life, well past the point of the present day. This is audible to the person as a calm, even whispering within their mind. A Save Vs Spells or Insanity is required to avoid clambering as far away from the source of the whisper as possible. If the Save is made the whisper is still highly distracting and all actions are taken at a -4 penalty.
4) The Undead know, for a fact, the weather forecast for the rest of eternity. This can always be used to their advantage.
5) The Undead will reveal, through a calm, even whispering within the mind, the secrets of every person in their presence which is heard in unison by everybody.
6) On destroying an Undead's physical form, Save Vs Spells. If failed the destroyer is cursed with never-ending deja vu. While novelty at first, in d6 days the cursed must make begin each day with a Save Vs Insanity to not commit suicide.
7) The Undead rots all food/supplies and dissipates all drinking water of its attackers.
8) The Undead emits a 10' field of anti-consumption. Oil and torches cease to burn, food, drink and potions cannot be drunk, Scrolls can not be read, etc.
9) On destroying an Undead's physical form, Save Vs Spells. If failed the destroyer is cursed with d6 days worth of visions. The visions appear whenever the cursed person closes their eyes, and what is seen is their own death, over and over again. The cursed will be unable to sleep due to this. Save Vs Insanity or the final day of the curse to avoid permanent mental disfigurement.  
10) The Undead simply can't be hurt. It is aware of all possible actions an enemy can take against, it knows its physical form can not be endangered. It is also completely passive but will attack in self defense (ceasing it's retaliation after one round of not being attacked).