Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dungeon Construction and Stocking in Around 20 Minutes

Hopefully this can help you quickly make dungeons, if something doesn't seem to make sense to you or doesn't necessary fit the theme or tone of your game you can simply change it.

Layout


1d6 Cumulative Dungeon Layout Table

1Level 1a: 2d4+1 Rooms + Entrance
2Level 1b: 1d4+1 Rooms
3Level 1c: Secret Door to 1d4+1 Rooms
4Level 2a: 1d4+1 Rooms + Visible Stairs from Level 1a to Level 2
5Level 2b: 1d4 Rooms + Secret Stairs from Level 1b to Level 2
6 Level 3a: 1d4+1 Rooms + Visible Stairs from Level 2 to Level 3

Explanation: You roll a 1d6 which determines the contents of the Dungeon. If you have happened to roll a 4 for this dungeon it would then have 2 levels. The first would have 2d4+1d4+1 Rooms (Levels 1a and 1b), 1d4 Rooms hidden by a secret door (Level 1c), and 1 set of stairs going down. The second would have 1d4+1 Rooms (Level 2a).

Now, nothing says that Levels 2 and 3 have to be below Level 1. In theory they can be above Level 1 and the overall complex can be a ziggurat or tower ascending upwards.

Layout of Rooms


Level 1a

Imagine the possible layout of the 2d4+1 rooms as a 3x3 matrix. Each room is connected horizontally and then each row is connected by a single vertical pathway.

Level 1b

Imagine the possible layout of the 1d4+1 rooms as a cross. The Level 1b complex is then connected to the Level 1a complex by two random pathways.

Level 1c

Arranged as Level 1b but is only connected to the Level 1a complex by a single pathway from a hidden door.

Level 2a and Level 2b

If there are both Level 2a and 2b then Level 2 as a whole is arranged as Level 1a. Otherwise Level 2a is arranged as Level 1b.

Visible Stairs: A single Room on Level 1 that connects to 3 other rooms contains stairs which descend to Room 1 of Level 2.
Secret Stairs: A random Room on level 1 contains stairs which descend to a random Room on level 2.

Level 3a

Arranged as Level 1b and with visible stairs as previously explained in Level 2.

Example Dungeon: On rolling a 6 on the Cumulative Dungeon Layout Table

So the Dungeon has each part with the following number of rooms
Level 1a 2d4+1 possible, rolled a 4




Level 1b 1d4+1 possible, rolled a 4
Level 1c 1d4+1 possible, rolled a 2

Level 2a + Level 2b 2d4+1 possible, rolled a 6
Level 3a 1d4+1 possible 1d4+1 rolled a 4


Author's Notes: Our example dungeon looks like this


Contents

The Deepest Level of the Dungeon has a single room which serves as the prime function of the dungeon.


Prime Function Table

1Tomb
2Prison
3Treasury
4Reliquary

Tomb Room 25% chance of entombed person to be undead
Entommbed Figure has 1d6+1 HD and is covered in wealth worth Level of Tomb * HD * 10 silver

Prison Room 25% chance to be empty/dead
Prisoner has 2d4 HD

Treasury Room 25% chance of the treasure to be rotted/ruined
Sum of wealth worth Level of Treasury * 1d6 * 15 silver

Reliquary Room 25% chance of the relic to be horribly cursed
Relic may be sold for Level of Reliquary * 1d6 * 5 silver


Author's Notes: For Our example dungeon we rolled a 2 so it's base function was a Prison,  turns out the prisoner also escaped. well have Room 4 of Level 3 be where it was kept.

Aside from this room every other room is filled by the following table
1-5Empty aside from Aesthetics
6Monsters (HD based on Level where encountered 1=1HD 2=1d4HD 3=1d6HD
7Treasure (75% chance of monster) worth Level * 1d8 * 5 silver
8Trapped


Aesthetics

I like to have dungeons as a result of at least two different aesthetics because this allows for a comparison and contrast of each room

General Dungeon Aestheics are based on the Prime Function Table

Tombs often contain: statues of soldiers, mummified servants, emblems of victory, busts and frescoes of ancestors, rusted arms and armor
Prisons often contain: sigils of protection, dire warnings etched in archaic languages, long burnt out candles, rotted scrolls
Treasuries often contain: chests and vases, impressive stone work, inlaid mosaics, beautiful craftwork
Reliquaries often contain: religious artworks, faded paintings, urns of oil and water

Specific Dungeon Aesthetics are added as the result of the environment or the passage of time

Inhabited: Top filled with inhabitants who use the dungeon as a fortified structure
Flooded: Half of bottom level flooded, upper level damp and dripping from roof
Fungal: Walls covered in fungi, spores fill the air, awful stenches
Hiveish: Signs of many insects, empty egg cases, incessant buzzing
Tangible Darkness: Torches shed less light, eyes follow you from the darkness, haunting laughing
Burnt: Many rooms covered in ash, faint remnants of smoke, blast shadows on walls
Once Reused: Many rooms contain artifacts of a different era, remnants of some shadowy purpose
Crystalline: Some floors and walls translucent and can be seen through, each step causes resonance echoes


Finishing Touches of our Example Dungeon


Author's Notes: We rolled a 3 on the Specific Dungeon Aesthetic so our dungeon is Fungal!


Room Contents


Level 1
Room 1 - Empty
Room 2 - Empty
Room 3 - Treasure (10 silver) + Monster + Secret Stairs to Room 3 Level 2
Room 4 - Empty
Room 5 - Empty
Room 6 - 1HD Monster + Stairs Down to Room 1 Level 2 + Secret door to Room 9
Room 7 - 1HD Monster
Room 8 - Empty
Room 9 - Empty
Room 10 - Empty

Level 2
Room 1 - Empty + Stairs Up to Room 6 Level 1
Room 2 - Treasure (70 silver)
Room 3 - Empty + Secret Stairs to Room 3 Level 1
Room 4 - Treasure (40 silver) + 1 HD Monster
Room 5 - Empty + Stairs Down to Room 1 Level 3
Room 6 - Empty

Level 3
Room 1 - Treasure (75 silver) + 3HD Monster + Stairs up to Room 1 Level 2
Room 2 - Empty
Room 3 - Empty
Room 4 - Treasure (120 silver)


Room Contents + Aesthetics

Author's Notes: There is nothing within the prison and it's fungal with a large HD monster at the bottom so I figure that thing will be the cause of the fungus spreading (The corrupted guardian of what was kept here originally). I figure level 1 will be largely well maintained and as you descend down the dungeon there appear more and more fungal and ruined.

Level 1
Room 1 - A vast pair of doors opens into a small chamber filled with lithoglyphs of eyes.
Room 2 - Two vast basins of oil long expunged fill up the room as well as a pile of rotted scrolls.
Room 3 - Covered in grime a elongated vase carved from bronze can be seen in the corner (10 silver) + 3 shambling statues of clay animated by mushroom like tumors [Stats as zombies] + Secret Stairs to Room 3 Level 2 activated by pulling a lever on the wall.
Room 4 - A vast frieze of a giant skeleton with a expanding ribcage and eyes of flame can be barely seen above the various fungal mounds in the room.
Room 5 - What may have been once a cloister is filled with the remains of candles and rotted scrolls.
Room 6 - 2 vast eyes on the south wall + 4 shambling statues of clay animated by mushroom like tumors [Stats as zombies] + Stairs Down to Room 1 Level 2 + Secret door to Room 9 activated by pressing on both pupils simultaneously.
Room 7 - A two headed serpent spilling spores from the numerous gaps in it's body [Stats as snake but with two attacks per round] + water slowly dripping from the ceiling.
Room 8 - The walls are covered in thin mushrooms 
Room 9 - An entirely barren room, clean unlike the other rooms.
Room 10 - A pristine room still illuminated by candles, a mural of a massive toadstool with eyes instead of spots it's center piece.

Level 2
Room 1 - The air here reeks of mildew and as you enter you find the air is humid + Stairs Up to Room 6 Level 1.
Room 2 - A vast candelabra of silver, 2 feet high and 1 foto wide, a miniature silver tree  (70 silver) + spores filling the air
Room 3 - Fungal mounds descending down from the ceiling each dripping spores + Secret Stairs to Room 3 Level 1
Room 4 - A lengthy and ornate silver spear (40 silver) + 8 shambling statues of clay animated by mushroom like tumors [Stats as zombies] + Sigils of eyes at each corner of the room, looming almost watching.
Room 5 - Massive Toadstools half the size of a man make travel through this room slow + Stairs Down to Room 1 Level 3
Room 6 - A broken ceiling and a massive mass of mushrooms emanating from a large corner.

Level 3
Room 1 -  Argus Morel [Stats Below] + bronze diadem with a thick ruby embedded within the Morel (75 silver) + Stairs up to Room 1 Level 2
Room 2 - What may one have been the site of a large tree is filled with rotting wood and the stench of rot
Room 3 - A massive skeletal arm fills up the room. Each digit twice the size of a man's forearm. It reeks of acid.
Room 4 - 40 feet of ruined shackles made of Orichalchum (120 silver) alongside a massive man-sized hole 50 feet deep into the earth

Argus Morel

Description: A vast toadstool the size of a large tree looms before you on a litany of chitinous psuedopods. Where each spot would be on a regular toadstool, this being instead has vast luminiferous eyes. It reeks of ozone and glows in the darkness.

HD: 3
Def: 4
Dam: 1d8 ranged
Move: 1
Save: 14
Morale: 16

Focus Eye: Every 1d4-1 rounds a Argus Morel may open up another one of it's sigil eyes. In doing so it may either dispel an ongoing magical effect or force a target within 10 feet to save or become paralyzed for 1d4-1 rounds.

Feed on Necrosis: If there are any corpses brought within 20 feet of a Argus Morel it heals 1d6 HP and the corpse disentigrates

Author's Notes: This is just a quick guide for making dungeons in more or less 15 minutes. If something doesn't make sense or you want to change something, go ahead.

Traveling Outlanders Post 8/8: Far Distant Outlanders

Name: Cut-Throats

Beneath a furrowed brow, two eyes bulge from a head crudely shaven bald. A peculiar apparatus hangs from the man's shoulders looking like a mask with a thickened proboscis where it's mouth would be. A red gash from an ugly scar is visible across his throat. What appears to be a suit of leather armor hugs his body tightly underneath a large black coat made of some vulgar cloth.

HD: 2
Def: 3
Dam: 1d8 or 1d8 ranged
Move: 11
Save: 11
Morale: 15

Aura of Ruin: Each Cut-Throat is followed by a bane against anything that would harm one. Each weapon attempting to strike a Cut-Throat must save as whomever holds it -4 or otherwise turn to rust in 1d4 minutes.

Breathalizer: Each Cut-Throat carries with them a gas mask and 1d6 spare filters

Lair:  Two wooden Lean-toos meet at a firepit, thin smoke rises from the glowing embers
Spoor:  Thin wisps of whitish cloth hang from nails embedded in nearby trees, rocks, and ground.
Tracks:  Bootprints trace a lengthy journey here
Traces1: Some salt stains the ground white
Traces2: A nail to which a thin white cloth is tied to lies on the ground. Seemingly tossed to the side at random
____________________________________________________________________

Name: Mytikan Exorcist

A white cloth spotted with red splotches sits tightly as a turban upon a man's head. A thick black mustache hangs on the bottom of his face as he raises his gaze towards you. A mantle of red and green cloth hangs from his shoulders over his otherwise white robes. An ornate hammer hangs from his belt.

HD: 4
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6+2
Move: 14 or 3 flying
Save: 14
Morale: 10

Invoke the Astral Guillotine: When in combat a Mytikcan Exorcist may spend a round in invocations setting the HP of everything within 100 feet to 1 for 1 turn.

Lair: A singular pale pillar of stone rises up a dozen feet into the sky
Spoor: Soft chanting can be heard nearby
Tracks:  Few footprints each a wide distance from each other mark the ground here
Traces1: The absence of a tree is notable in the gap it left
Traces2: An abundance of mushrooms grow here

____________________________________________________________________

Name: Fasulian Jannisary

An ornate blond mustache covers half of a man's face as he looks at you. A wild crop of blond hair hangs from his green-skinned head. A coif of tight chain mail covers the rest of his flesh, but from what you can glance the rest of his skin is also green. A pair of scimitars hang from a red sash on his waist as he strides forward upon pristine boots.

HD: 3
Def: 4
Dam: 1d8
Move: 11
Save: 9
Morale: 12

Magic Seed: Each Fasulian carries with them 1d4+2 magic seeds which they can use in one of the following ways:
1. Ladder to the Heavens: A single massive vine that is fifty feet long and climbable grows in some direction and fades in 1d6 minutes
2. Barricade: Creates a fence of vines 15 feet wide and 5 feet tall this fence fades in 1d6 minutes
3. Entanglment: Throws a seed at their opponents 15 foot range who must save or become entangled by vines and incapicated for 1d6 minutes
4. Healing: The Fasulian eat the seeds healing for 1d8+1 hp (if eaten by anyone else these act as a poison dealing 1d4 points of damage)

Lair: A tall tent of emerald and golden silks stands in an open clearing
Spoor: The air is filled by the scent of cooked lentils
Tracks: Heavy footfalls leave a follow-able trail here
Traces1: A singular x shape has been etched into the ground here
Traces2: The sun shines down feverishly overhead
____________________________________________________________________

Name: Thithunwan Spiral Dancers

Smoke proceeds a figure in luminescent dark green robes. A wide brimmed hat casts shadows on their figures, though their teeth can be seen. A carved staff in their hand holds them upright casting their own shadow away from the sun.

HD: 2
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6
Move: 12
Save: 9
Morale: 10

Procession of Smoke: Each group of Thithunwan Spiral Dancers contains 1 holding an heaving goblet of smoke and inscence. In combat this goblet may be commanded to overflow spilling it's contents around the Thithunwan Spiral Dancers granting those that oppose them a -4 to their Attack and Defense scores unless they save

Invoke the Emissary of Waukheon: A group of 4 Thithunwan Spiral Dancers may take 1 turn in order to summon an Emissary of Waukheon for 1d6 turns in order to assist them in some godly task.

Lair: A yurt stretches upwards thrice the size of a man, thick black smoke billows from it's zenith
Spoor: Remnants of smoke and inscence linger in the air tracing grey trails
Tracks:  A series of boot prints are accompanied by the scent of foregin inscence
Traces1: The stench of incsense hangs in the air here
Traces2: Long burnt out coals litter the ground here
____________________________________________________________________

Name: Watchers in the Woods

A female face of hard angles and pale hair stares daggers through you. A cloak of crowquils spread from beneath her neck warding her from the ground and sky. A crown of iron thorns rests on her brow and a singular stiletto hangs on her hip.

HD: 4
Def: 3
Dam: 1d8
Move: 16
Save: 11
Morale: 12

Out of Sight: Any Watcher in the Woods may choose to fade away into the shadows if no-one observes them. Further a Watcher in the woods who roll poorly on a reaction roll surprises the party on a 5 in 6.

Lair: None
Spoor: The sky is darker and heavier here, as if it is the distended belly of a pregnant beast
Tracks:  None
Traces1: Each shadow here seems darker as the clouds cover the sun from shining as bright
Traces2: A single crow's feather is embedded in the earth here
____________________________________________________________________

Name: Islander of the Empty Throne

Few thin strands of hair hang from a balding head above lacquered lamellar armor. A pair of curved swords hang at his waist from a once ornate belt. His head hangs low as he gazes at the ground beneath him.

HD: 2
Def: 2
Dam: 1d10
Move: 12
Save: 8
Morale: 10

Lair: A lean-too stands before you, meticulously cleaned and pristeen
Spoor: As you travel, more and more of the surrounding folliage seems garden like, seemingly constructed for greater aesthetic value.
Tracks:  A series of calm and measured tracks leads parallel to the shrubbery
Traces1: A tree sits before you, each branch full of life and luster
Traces2: A man-made post bears the marks of numerous sword-strikes

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

DUNGEON#1 - Steeples of Erythroxyl



HERE is a pdf of the dungeon, the rest of this post is essentially a long series of Author's Notes of me explaining inspiration for the dungeon and my "vision" of it. I hope this communication will help you as a referee.


Inspiration



The Swedish artist Yung Lean release the album Warlord in early 2016 and I really got into after a break up. One thing that really struck me were the visuals in the lyrics. Lines like "Nine cat lives got nine silver knives, I got big red eyes and I'm feelin' so immortal","What's your blood type, what does it taste like?", and "Ridin' on a horse with a dead man". I thought that these were really cool, but it wasn't until this quartet on Pearl Fountain that I had the idea to make a module based on the album

"SBE, we some vampires, Dracula
I'm in an Acura, hoe I think you stack them up
I'm not good with calculus, I need a calculator
Glass elevator, shoes made by alligators"

So from this point I just went through the lyrics on the album and each one I thought that was especially evocative became a room. I got 29 rooms this way and then I just had to figure out how to put them together. I looked a little into the backstory of this album with the tragedy of Barron Machat's death and Yung Lean's breakdown afterward and got the idea of the dungeon being the remnants of the apartment where Yung Lean stayed during the making of the album.

I think if you just listen to the album, you'll find that each room is essentially a reference.


My Notes 

This is the map a player drew

One of the things I noted different from other dungeons/modules was that the players had an understanding of layout of the dungeon by simply looking at it. The players noted the three towers on their approach and as they explored the interior of the complex they kept trying to figure out which passage led to each. I think the idea that the players knew the general outline of the dungeon gave them implicit goals to reach rather than simply meandering through the dungeon hoping for the best.

The player who play-tested the dungeon seemed very open to the idea of speaking to things to gain information and friends. A player surprised me by speaking to the blind horse roaming near the wreckage and I had to figure out how much a horse, that's blind, would know about a dungeon. They quickly befriended Bladee and despite him being "undead" kept him around to aid them in their explorations. When they met Aldo they sought to become best friends with him and even offered to share their food with him. I'm sure they would have spoken to the first vampire thy encountered if not for the fact that he had killed the horse. There is plenty of opportunity for characters to conversate in the dungeon.

The players kept focusing on trying to travel across the roofs of the module and trying to figure out how to overcome the locks in Room 13. I don't know if that is a result of my dungeon design or if the players were especially perceptive in utilizing lateral thinking to get to different locations. I would imagine that characters with the ability to fly or teleport would attempt similar alternative means to get through it.

Fundamentally this was a top-down approach to dungeon design and I hope that you either enjoy it. If you run this module please let me know how it goes by commenting! The format should be system agnostic enough for you to be able to use it in most OSR systems.

TL:DR I'm James Raggi but with Cloud Rap instead of Death Metal

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

20 Villages and What Goes On Within Them

Art by Randy Asplund

A village appears on the hex-map as either being procedurally generated or when a lair encounter is rolled for a peasants wilderness encounter. Each village is a small sprawl of wooden buildings, rarely is there more than a single two story structure and it's either the village chieftain's house or a large church. A character may spend the night in a village for a rate of 5 silver per night.

1. Sloan - Rebellion against cruel deputies and sheriffs as well as a beauty pageant, the leader of the rebels is the one running the pageant.
2. Brusi - Amnesic Outlander (As encountering one in the Polite Lands).
3. Sandir - Complex of standing stones outside of town, runes upon them teach a spell (Solstafir on the bottom of the page).
4. Myrkir - Fishing contest in nearby lake (A random character who takes part must succeed a strength check of be pulled into the waters by a Giant Frog [Stats as Boar but can swim]{The giant frog is secretly a transformed noble maiden and simply wants to have company, can be dispelled with a kiss}).
5. Kveda - A gang of brigands has descended into the town and seeks to tax it (3d6+10 Bandits and 1 leader with 3 HD and plate armor).
6. Gaman - Village elders seek aide in ousting ruling chieftain by proving him senile.
7. Ellif - Hidden cult within the town worshiping She-Who-Hides-Behind-The-Stars. They are relatively nice people but the church would want them all dead if they have the chance.
8. Mein - Hermit on the outskirts hasn't been seen in weeks. He has been transformed into a tree in the nearby woods by an evil faerie and can only freed by offering a baby. The hermit's mind then enters the baby's.
9. Odasan - The vast majority of this town is deathly ill. They need medicine badly. Anyone spending the night here must save or contract a foul disease (Deals 1d2 damage to a randomly determined attribute).
10. Messa - Houses ruined and destroyed, no living soul left. Roll for a wilderness encounter check: that's what killed everyone.
11. Salem - From the nearby graveyard a corpse was stolen, instead it has animated to kill it's killers (1d4 men in the town).
12. Berborg - Bakery shop offers free pastries (They are delicious).
13. Skyrfela - Wedding occurs in a few days, woman to be married has many suitors who seek to ruin it (1d4+2 Stats as Bandits).
14. Wercheg - A mysterious man in a great coat of blue offers to sell you a "dragon's egg" for 300 silver. It's the size of a man's head, hatches in 1d20+10 days into a cockatrice.
15. Gamling - Numerous errant knights (1d6+3) have settled in here and are causing a great deal of trouble.
16. Skemtun - Fair is going on and many people frolic and enjoy themselves. Anyone who takes part loses 1d4 points of trauma and 1 random possession.
17. Veita - Brewery has been broken into and all of the beer has been drunk. Paranoia abounds.
18. Vald - Children keep going missing. 1 Hex away in a dark cave is the Child-Thief and 1d6 missing children and 1d4 sets of child bones.(Stats as Huldra plus children who hear his song must save or follow him into the woods.)
19. Ruvar - A bounty hunter (stats as Guard plus manacles) in this village begins pursuing a random character thinking they are the infamous blackguard Silbergeld.
20. Jayek - A sleeping bear, twice the size of other bears (Stats as Bear but with double the HP), lies slumbering in the center of the village. Villagers want it to leave so they can return to making loud sounds.


Solstafir
R: 50'
T: Area of [sum] by [sum] feet
D: [dice] + 1 rounds

Rays of soft light crystallize into a tangible fence which is transparent as glass but cannot be crossed through by living things.

The Giant Despair + Horror Isolation Mechanics

Art by Guant-Yang



Author's Note:  I was suggested to make a post about giants, specifically: Stuff you can steal from them, reasons they piss everyone off, what they farm and  why (-10 points if it's mammoths) [I didn't do this], -50 points if they're the remnants of some much more enlightened civilization that slowly degenerated, +100 points if you  make me frightened of them in a visceral way. [These are the goals of this post, let me know if any of them have been satisfied]

Stolen from the Etan Dreaming Castle


Few who wander through the meandering Witchways of the Iron Labyrinth speak of a vast construct stabbing at the sky. The Dreaming Castle of the Etan the Tree of Iron and Stone. That derelict grasp of those who dared to merge stone with the sky, from which the golden bell hangs. Two frail corpses, each a mile long, hang within the golden bell, a princess ravaged and her prince. Between them a century's worth of virgin's blood that's passed through those longing veins speaking of prophecy etched into the bark of the Tree of Iron and Stone by a crowquil in some ancient time. A murmur from the ruins below the tree echos softly and the roots undo again. A long knife that bleeds the sky empty as it shambles upon it's many cilli. The branches becomes a gilded vessel filled by soft spoils of the wounded firmament the eigengrau. That rancorous royalty shall then wade into the vessel and fill their lungs by the flood and reap the promised end to this path. The flood swell, so thank the princess for her tears. A drop of blood to let them in, a drop of blood to welcome them. Let the starving ghosts then feast, from this flesh, from these bones, let them all feast as they did when they were awake.

A few of their trophies stolen from that place are listed below.

Memory of Balor's Horrid Eye - A semi-tangible orb bound in 8 seals and chains. It throbs intermittently, releasing gasps of heat. In order to break a seal a character must roll under their Strength score. Each time the seal is broken the Orb deals fire 1d6 in a 10 foot radius. The range and damage dealt is multiplied by the number of seals broken i.e. the 4th seal broken deals 4d6 damage in a 40 foot radius.

Sylph Trapped in Amber - A maiden the size of your finger clad in filigree and two wings upon her ankles is trapped in amber here. She struggles and often cries. If you can somehow break open the amber she will serve you for one hundred years. Her name is Hringi.

Depatterened Grace - Wrapped in black leather lies a invisible blade. It deals damage as a dagger but is otherwise completely invisible. If you drop it, it would take you 1 turn to find it again.

Sliver of the Panopticon - A series of metal wires wrapped around the sigil of an eye. If you replace one of your eyes with this, you can deal yourself 1 point of damage in order to see through solid objects for 1 minute.

Ordered Stardust - A bottle of three motes of light. Anyone who spends a turn gazing at them may ask one of their ancestors a question. For each turn you stare at the motes you may ask a question a generation back to a limit to 10 generations. After asking the question you take 1d4 points of trauma.

Caged Indecision - A cage containing within a geometric shape which appears the same from any angle viewed. If one is able to sketch the geometric shape caged within it acts as a symbol of sloth. Anyone looking at the shape must save or be paralyzed for 1 minute.

Hermetic Melody -  A sheet of bark covered with etchings which could be mistaken both for musical notes and diagrams of light. A character may take a week studying the bark if able to roll under a third of their intelligence score is able to figure out how to play a woodwind to create an orb of light illuminating 3 feet.

Totem of the Crowquil - A series of crows conjoined together in a linear pattern, inanimate save for their traveling eyes, each unblinking. A character may take a week studying the totem if able to roll under half of their Wisdom score is able to figure out how to unscrew the crows. The three crows are subservient to whomever disentangled them. These crows can each speak 3d6 words each.

Immeasurable Horrors


The shadows cast by the Etans are a mile high. They are where darkness is, their essence the same shade as eigengrau. Their limbs stretch as far down as it takes to steal a man into their mouths. If darkness covers an object they can wish to be there.

Nightmarish


Those dark shapes obscured from sight which steal away whole villages into their gullet spill forth from the nightmares of man. They are but hollows cast from the true cruelties of the Etans. Mere shadows of those who ripped each diaphanous golden wing of Those expelled from the Brightness. Mere shadows of those who put the bit the heads of the child-princes of the Fair-Folk. Mere shadows of those who sought turn the world to ash in spite. Most Etans have faded away, yet their legacy hangs like the ax to fall. Etched in the marrow of each moral being whose ancestors they tore asunder with their noble fangs.

Against The Giant Despair


Lost to the Darkness:

Author's Note: This could easily be adapted to any stalking predator

If a character lacks a light source and leaves the sight of those with light sources they are grabbed away into the darkness by the shadow of a Etan. When this happens, give a folded over note to the player. The top of the note reads: "Save, if successful then return the note to me otherwise open the note". The inside of the note reads, "Your character has been momentarily lost to the darkness, continue playing as you would otherwise until another character turns to speak to you or asks for your assistance." Every character grabbed into the darkness this way gains 1d20 points of trauma and loses every level and is later found grey skinned, shivering, eyes wide, in the fetal position.

Only after the characters decide to regroup into the safety of light or only one with a torch remains does the shadow of an Etan reveal itself.

Statistics

Name: The Giant Despair

An awful visage emerges from the darkness, cast in shadows two luminiferous eyes stare pale at you. There are no tones or shades on the flesh, only a stark contrast to all the darkness.

HD: 12
Def: 4
Dam: 1d12
Move: 15
Save: 17
Morale: 12

Terrible: When The Giant Despair reveals itself all those who see it must save versus terror. Those that fail take 1d6 non-lethal damage when they approach or attack The Giant Despair. If this damage would reduce them to 0 HP they instead flee and hide. They are found as if they had been lost to the darkness. If you are safe (not threatened, out of sight) you gain another save versus terror. Anyone who deals damage to The Giant Despair automatically dispels this effect.

Horrible: Only a magical weapon may deal damage to The Giant Despair. No other source may deal damage to them.


Author's Note: I would love to see someone use these as Grues using Skerpel's Pomerium Rules, only 8x scaling needed. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Plains Wilderness Encounters and Bestiary

Art by Steven Belledin.

When you're traveling through the wilderness of the plains you may encounter many dangerous and weird things. When ever you travel through a hex there is a 1 in 6 chance of encountering a monster but for each other possibility you either find a lair, spoor, tracks, or traces of a monster as shown in the Wilderness Anecdote Table below.

Wilderness Anecdote Table

1Lair of something
2Spoor of something
3Tracks from something
4Traces 1 of something
5Traces 2 of something
6Monster encounter

Wilderness Plains Terrain Encounter Table

13d6 Bandits
2As Plains Terrain Polite Lands Encounter
32d6 Wolves
4 2d4 Tribal Horsemen
5Derelict Ironsmoker
6 Atavist Moth
71d4 Spirits of the Plains
8Krovkulak
91d2 Cockatrices
10Carin Carrier
112d4 Giant Spiders
121d4 Giant Birds
131d8 Harpies
14Psuedogiant
15 Prismatic Owl
16Khimera
172d4 Carapaces
18Nergal
19The corpse of a (Roll Again)
20Conflict of two (Roll Twice)


Plains Wilderness Bestiary

____________________________________________________________________
Name: Bandit

HD: 1
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6 or 1d6 ranged
Move: 12
Save: 6
Morale: 6

Lair: Crude encampment inside of a cave lit by few torches
Spoor: Poorly made traps now broken
Tracks:  Bootprints leading deeper into the woods
Traces1: Corpse with it's throat split, long since looted and now tucked behind a tree
Traces2: Trees with broken arrows embedded in their trunks
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Wolf

HD: 2
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6
Move: 18
Save: 7
Morale: 6

Lair: Wolf's den
Spoor: Loud howling at night
Tracks:  Numerous paw prints
Traces1: Wolfsbane growing in many places
Traces2: A Wolf carcass with it's throat torn out
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Tribal Horsemen

HD: 2
Def: 2
Dam: 1d8 or 1d6 ranged
Move: 16
Save: 7
Morale: 8

Rider: The stats above represent a Tribesman on a Horse. Anytime a horse man takes damage there is a 50% of it harming the horse and a 50% chance of it harming the rider. The rolled HP is split between the horse and the rider. If the rider reaches 0 HP then he dies atop his horse, if the horse reaches 0 HP then the Tribal horseman falls of his horse and is treated as a Bandit.

Lair: Numerous yurts billow smoke, a few horses are tethered to the ground between them
Spoor: A yipping yell is heard in the distance
Tracks:  Numerous horse tracks
Traces1: A strap of leather embroidered with a few beads lies forgotten
Traces2: The ground here bears sign of a campfire burning here a long time ago
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Derelict Ironsmoker

Looking like a metal mockery of a man, a smoking train-thing stands on a pair of blades. Two gangly arms are set into motion by gears and pistons. A trio of chimneys rise along the spine of the contraption, meekly billowing clouds of smog.

HD: 5
Def: 6
Dam: 1d12
Move: 10
Save: 20
Morale: 10

Faster Burn: A Derelict Ironsmoker can burn the fuel within itself to go faster. By dealing 1d6 points of damage to itself, it can increase it's Move score by the same amount. When a Derelict Ironsmoker does so it begins spewing thick black smoke for 1d6 rounds which acts as darkness for all those within 10 feet of it. It can see through this darkness.

Punchcard Innards: There is a 1 in 6 chance that a Derelict Ironsmoker still has the ancient punch-card used to code it's intelligence intact. This gives them 2d6 words they can use to communicate with others to explain their intentions. These punch-cards are made of electrum, are worth 450 silver, and if extracted can be inserted into other Derelicts converting them to the purpose of the Ironsmoker

Lair: A depression in the earth can be seen here as if burned into the ground
Spoor: Billowing black smoke rises from something in the distance
Tracks: A trail has been blazed here, long gashes cover the ground
Traces1: A few coals lie forgotten on the ground here
Traces2: The remains of a wild-fire stain the ground black here.
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Atavist Moth

HD: 4
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6 + effects of dust
Move: 5 or 13 flying
Save: 13
Morale: 9

Lethian Dust: Every 1d4+1 rounds a Atavist Moth may convulse it's body and let lose the dust which covers itself. Those who are within 15 feet, must save or lose all of their memories for 1d6 minutes. Anyone memory less must then save in order to take an action other than ask questions like: Who am I? Where am I? Why is there a massive angry moth in front of me?

Lair: A few rocks here are covered in fine white filaments and pale dust
Spoor: Pale dust churns on the wind
Tracks: A thin trail of pale dust can be seen in sporadic traces
Traces1: A tree's branches have been haphazardly torn off
Traces2: A massive cocoon lies in shambles, it's occupant long gone
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Spirit of the Plains

A shimmering hexagon fades in and out of view out of the corner of your eye. Small white hands extend from it as you see it rummage through your companions bag and steal an iron object. You blink and the spirit is there no longer.

HD: n/a
Def: n/a
Dam: 0
Move: 20
Save: 16
Morale: 10

Sidereal: These spirits are intangible and almost invisible. They occasionally emerge from the dreams of the soil, rocks, and trees seeking to observe new and novel things. Rather than ever trying to deal harm to characters, there is a 1 in 6 chance that when encountered the Spirit of the Plains will replace a manufactured item in a random characters inventory with a beautiful polished stone.

Lair: The wind howls strongly here, stirring sparse vegetation into a tumult
Spoor: Light is scattered off of a cloud in the sky
Tracks: None
Traces1: A singular ray of the sun hangs heavy amid the upturned dust
Traces2: Numerous polished stones lay here arranged in a hexagonal pattern
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Krovkulak

A nearly emaciated figure reeks of rotting flesh. It stands on two legs each bent backwards rising up on it's toes like a dog.  It's two hands end in massive claws that dragging it's knuckles on the ground. Two small yellow eyes rise atop it's bald leathery skull as it snorts from it's distended snout. Saliva falls from between it's irregular teeth as it's maw spills open unleashing a wild howl.

HD: 6
Def: 4
Dam: 1d8/1d8
Move: 13
Save: 11
Morale: 14

Regeneration: Krovkulak's regenerate 1hp/round of combat unless damage is dealt by silver.

Degenerative Infection: Anyone fighting a Krovkulak in melee must save or disease 1 point of intelligence (at 0 points turns into a Krovkulak)

Lair: Deep, dark hole in the ground from which a rotting stench eminiates
Spoor: Trees seemingly ripped out of the ground and eaten
Tracks:  Trail of two foot prints and a long drag mark on either side of the prints
Traces1: A pile of broken bones drenched in noxious bile
Traces2: Numerous tall trees pulled over at a weird angle
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Cockatrice

HD: 5
Def: 4
Dam: 1d6 + save for poison 1d6
Move: 6 or 12 flying
Save: 8
Morale: 8

Lair: Poorly constructed caricature of a bird's nest twice the size of a man.
Spoor: Petrified remains of a horse seemingly torn in half
Tracks:  Claw prints of two claws followed by a thick tail
Traces1: A rock with chunks seemingly bitten out
Traces2: A few ragged, black feathers too frail to be a crow's liter the path ahead
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Carin Carrier

A grey skinned giant thrice the size of man looms ahead. Dark vapors seep from his skin and a massive stone rises high in his grasp. Upon this carin are written dark and foul sigils and words of power.

HD: 4, ATK:1
Def: 3
Dam: 1d10
Move: 12
Save: 9
Morale: 14

Lair: Massive carin stone on top of a hill. Beneath it sits the Carrier
Spoor: No sound save for the wind. A desolate hill in the distance
Tracks:  A mangled canopy of trees as if something twice their size passed through
Traces1: The remains of a man seemingly crushed by a massive hammer
Traces2: A resounding crack emanates from beyond the horizon
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Bird

HD: 3
Def: 2
Dam: 1d6
Move: 8 or 14 flying
Save: 8
Morale: 7

Lair: A nest twice the size of a man is made up of tree branches here
Spoor: A shrill cawing is heard from above
Tracks: None
Traces1: A large feather sits underneath a shrub
Traces2: A single heavy brach hangs broken off a tall tree
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Giant Spider

HD: 2+2
Def: 4
Dam: 1d6 + save for poison 1d4 points of damage
Move: 18
Save: 4
Morale: 6

Lair: Massive funnel web amid a pair of trees
Spoor: Webs cover the trees. Webs cover the ground.
Tracks:  Many holes in the ground
Traces1: Dead fox inside of a massive web three feet above the ground
Traces2: Whisps of spider's silk hang on a tree
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Harpy

HD: 3
Def: 3
Dam: 1d6
Move: 6 or 18 flying
Save: 6
Morale: 10

Lair: Ragged Cliff face full of man size holes
Spoor: Resounding scream of WELL, WELL, WELL from the sky nearby
Tracks:  None
Traces1: Deer with its eyes clawed out stumbling around
Traces2: A pile of bones, picked clean by thin teeth
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Psuedogiant

HD: 7+2
Def: 5
Dam: 2d8
Move: 6
Save: 12
Morale: 14

Heavy Gait: Anyone within 10 feet of a Pseudogiant must save or otherwise fall over whenever the Psuedogiant moves

Lair: A fetid pit lingers before you, a yearning wound in the earth
Spoor: Crashes of what sounds like thunder steadily approach
Tracks:  Gashes in the soil from heavy hammers lead in singular direction
Traces1: Trees cracked and broken litter the road
Traces2: There are no cliffs or rocks here, only pebbles and shards
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Prismatic Owl

HD: 3
Def: 4
Dam: 1d3/1d3
Move: 16 flying
Save: 15
Morale: 12

Blinding Flash: Everyone within 25 feet of a Prismatic Owl must make a save. Those that fail their save are blinded for 1d3 rounds. A successful save does not make the target immune to future uses of this ability.

Strobing Flash: Everyone within 25 feet of a Prismatic Owl must make a save. Those that fail their save fall to the ground and are incapable of any action for 1d3+1 rounds. Those that succeed at their save are completely immune to future uses of this ability by the same Sigil Bird.

Lair: Shimmering and glistening scraps are piled all around a nest twice the width of a man's height. Silver tipped feathers lie scattered around.
Spoor: A cry like breaking glass falls from the sky
Tracks:  None
Traces1: A momentary flash of light is seen in the distance
Traces2: A large rock was once here, now it is simply shattered
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Khimera

This mockery of a lion wanders forwards. A second head slumps from it's neck as blue lightning flickers across it's fur-less skin. Powerful thews force it forward on vicious black claws.

HD: 4
Def: 3
Dam: 2d6
Move: 15
Save: 12
Morale: 16

Internal Dynamo: A crackling coat of electricity covers the body of a Khimera dealing 1d10 to any that attempt to attack the Khimera in melee with a metal weapon and 1d6 otherwise.

Lair: A ossuary covered in black bile sits before you in an open pit
Spoor: A thin hum vibrates in the air alongside the scent of ozone
Tracks:  An uneven stagger of clawed paw prints repeats
Traces1: Three gashes scar the trunk of an aged tree
Traces2: A snake with two heads slithers by before it hides itself in taller grass
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Carapace

Covered in a chitinous shell and a mane of yellow filament this creature rises out of a hole in the ground on 3 pairs of appendages. Numerous black segmented eyes stare at you.

HD: 3
Def: 7
Dam: 1d6+2
Move: 9 or 6 burrowing underground
Save: 9
Morale: 8

Lair: A massive hole gapes before you, a faint glimmer in the dark shines
Spoor: Numerous gaping holes reach deep into the bowels of the earth
Tracks:  A series of hole gape before you, numerous claw marks leading out of each
Traces1: A thin yellow filament lies covered in recently exposed dirt
Traces2: You stumble and fall, finding your left foot deep in a small pothole
____________________________________________________________________
Name: Nergal

Known as those who bathe in the sun, they come forth, spilling fire and leaving white ash in their wake. Wreathed by smokeless flame they float through the air much as serpents glide upon land. Each wields a golden sword.

HD: 9
Def: 8
Dam: 2d12 + save or catch fire taking 1d6 damage every round
Move: 15 (flying)
Save: 15
Morale: 20

Invoke Plague: Every 1d4+1 rounds a Nergal may curse all within 40' with a plague who must save else gain a disease dealing 1d6 damage to a random Attribute

Smite: Every 1d4+1 rounds a Nergal may deal smite a target, the target takes a cumulative 1d6 damage from fires for 1d6+1 rounds. (1st round is 1d6 fire, 2nd round is 2d6, and so on)

Golden Sword: If a Nergal is slain, it's sword may be taken as a trophy of combat. It deals 1d12 damage and those striken by it must save or catch fire taking 1d4 damage every round

Lair: A throne stands elevated before you, seemingly instantly cast from stone. It sits high upon the barren hill before you.
Spoor: Your skin now wet with sweat, your breathing grows more labored under the oppressive heat
Tracks:  None
Traces1: The remains of a great bolt of flame stain the surrounding area black with ash
Traces2: The sun shines it's oppressive rays directly at your eyes

Saturday, July 15, 2017

1 Starting Town, 10 Other Towns, and the Sea


Use this post along side this one to make a map similar to the above.

Starting Town: Hamesgard


Hamesgard is build as a pair of concentric rings. The first ring is a wooden palisade which surrounds the town and has only a central entrance. The second ring is a stone wall, which surrounds the very center of town and may be used as defensible position in times of crisis but otherwise serves as an indicator of where the wealth and power of the town is concentrated. Most houses are built of wood and 1 story tall. People are generally happy and life goes on without much tragedy. There is little corruption or crime. This is the only predetermined town on the hex map. All other Towns and Cities are rolled for if and when they come about as the end of a road.

The notable features of the Hamesgard are dependent upon which classes each player chooses to play as at the start of the game.

If a player chooses to play as an Acrobat then most of the buildings consist of several stories and all have pointed roofs, if there are more than 3 Acrobats a large circus makes it's home within the walls of Hamesgard.
If a player chooses to play as a Barbarian then there exists a district of town which is mainly populated by a tribe of people who at one point used to be nomadic brigands, if there are more than 3 Barbarians then one of the nobles living in the center of town is from the tribe.
If a player chooses to play as a Fighter the outer wall has two towers outside the central entrance where soldiers keep watch, if there are more than 3 Fighters than there is a battalion of soldiers who man stations along both walls.
If a player chooses to play as a Hierophant there is a Cathedral of St. Pale in the center of town, if there are more than 3 Hierophants then there is also a Monastery of St. Pale.
If a player chooses to play as a Knight of Faerie there is a crom lech a small distance outside the entrance into the city, if there are more than 3 Knights of Faerie then each winter solstice there is a tradition for the people to offer a baby to the standing stones.
If a player chooses to play as a Monster Hunter then there is a statue in town to Sigfried, who slew a dragon once living near these lands, if there are more than 3 Monster Hunters the hexes adjacent to Hamesgard don't count as Polite Lands but instead count as wilderness.
If a player chooses to play as an Occultist then a massive crematorium roars nearby the central wall, if there are more than 3 Occultists then the city of Hamesgard has been built over a massive mausoleum.
If a player chooses to play as a Thief then there are public executions by a hangman rather than a headsman, if there are more than 3 Thieves than you can purchase things as if Hamesgard was a city.
If a player chooses to play as a Wizard then a famed wizard Burzum the Insufferable was born here, if there are more than 3 Wizards then half of Hamesgard was once destroyed when the tower of Burzum the Insufferable was rended asunder by foul magic.
If a player chooses to play as a Woodsman then most people in town fear women met in the woods fearing them to be huldras, if there are more than 3 Woodsmen then all the terrain adjacent to Hamesgard is Forest (this includes the hex where Hamesgard is located).

There is a 3 in 6 chance that a character has a benefactor (1: Family Member, 2: Mentor, or 3: Close Friend) in Hamesgard, this benefactor reduces the price they pay for staying a week in Hamesgard by 50 silver. Further there is a 2 in 6 chance that a character has a nuisance (1: Scorned Lover or 2: Resentful Adversary) in Hamesgard, this nuisance imparts a penalty of -4 to carousing checks made within Hamesgard.


Authors Note: The first town the player's experience will set the tone of the setting and their expectations in general. For that reason Hamesgard, will be friendlier to the characters and actively hospitable to them. No characters should be playing an Outlander until they have been met by the party at least thrice, so no character would be an outsider to Hamesgard. Also I really like the idea of the player's choices of which class to play to decide how the world works because it retroactively explains why there were so many of that kind of people from that town


10 Towns


The following is a series of towns (those with an asterisk are on the sea).


Southcove*


Description
Located beyond a sprawl of trees and above a series of sea-side bluffs, a tall vast rampart of numerous oaks rises. Smoke billows from many chimneys and the sea roars. A series of cobbled steps lead down to the seas to a small port built upon sharp stones. A militia practices in open view of the town and a single tower rises from which militia men look for enemies.

Notable Features
Several charcoal kilns burn wood refining it into charcoal. Many carpenters in town have been turned to armorers recently, a sense of coming doom grips the town and now they make shields rather than houses. Many youth seek to leave the town rather than serve in the militia and will become hirelings payed at a reduced rate if they get to leave the town. On a hex adjacent to both the town and the sea, a sea cavern referred to as the Great Hole can be found, here the people of Southcove hunt for seals. 

Traditions
A ritualized hunt for seals occurs under the full moon's light. Many seek to return with a pristine seal pelt, using clubs to simply crush the animal's head rather than arrows or spears. [Southcove Seal, HD 1, Def 1 or 5 if attacking in an attempt to not ruin the skin, Move 8, Save 5, Morale 3] Many caves riddle the bluffs around the cove and often they are used to smuggle illicit goods. 

Unique Purchase
Charcoal - Burns for 4 hours and provides light for 5 feet, can power contraptions. Costs 5 silver and takes up 1/3 of an inventory slot.
Great Shield - Rather than granting a +1 to a Defense scores and can be splintered preventing 1d12 damage, it provides a +2 to Defense scores and can be splintered to preventing 1d12+4 damage. Costs 100 silver and takes up 2 inventory slots.

Velos


Description
A singular bell tower looms over a passage between cliffs. At it's heart a stone fortress stands and outwards many cliff-side roads lead to buildings. Only a single winding road leads into the heart of the fortress passing many choke-points. 

Notable Features
The central bell-tower is now a place of healing, filled by monks who offer to cure the cursed and afflicted. Those visiting the tower may donate 20 silver to cure and curse which has be fallen them and the next curse that may effect them has a 1 in 6 chance of not working. The town of Velos is in is a mountains terrain hex. The hex opposite to the hex containing the road going into Velos is also a mountains terrain hex and is home to a massive man eating ogre. [HD 7, Def 3, Dam 2d6, Move 11, Save 11, Morale 16, 5 in 6 chance of surprising those looking for it, 4 times the size of a man and if killed turns to stone]

Traditions
Many have taken up falconry as a hobby and flocks can be seen flying between the cliffs. Every man born in Velos is trained in how to use the bow and there are often contests to see the best archer. 

Unique Purchase
Sanctified Bell - A replica of the bell inside the bell-tower, shatters in the presence of the undead. Costs 25 silver.
Whistling Arrows - Fly through the air releasing a shrill sound. Cost a silver each, 20 fill up a quiver.

Svassheim


Description
A road passes fields of cherry trees as it winds into a sleepy town. Solidly built houses of fine woodwork rise two stories in the air beside cobbled stone streets. 

Notable Features
Outside of the cherry fields there is not too much notable about Svassheim, except for the fact there will need to be a new Jarl elected after the characters arrive. There are 4 candidates (his daughters who each hate each other) which are described below roll a 1d4 for which one was the one who killed the old Jarl.

1. Astrid - Blond Haired, wants to increase taxes to create a fund for widows and orphans 
2. Gwyndelin - Black Haired, wants to burn down the local church and put up a new one
3. Sigurd - Red Haired, just wants to install her husband and then her son into rulership
4. Brunhilda - Carries a sword with her, only recently got back into town after traveling for a few years

Traditions
Jarl Olar, who was the rightful ruler of Svassheim, was killed a week prior to the characters arriving in Svassheim, now a strict curfew is enforced at sundown. Each cherry tree is planted over a grave the sprawling fields outside Svassheim the site of a once great battle. 

Unique Purchase
Cherry Wine - Only made here, this can fetch a high price elsewhere. Costs 20 silver and 3 take up an inventory slot.

Tokobald


Description
An extended mass of shabby looking homes extends outwards from a vast stone gate. Past the oppressive garrison gate numerous tall buildings of stones can be seen. The town is divided into two parts by the garrison gate. Lower Tokobald is a grimy and sad place full of people who wish they could have gotten past the gate. Upper Tokobald is a pristine and haughty place full of people who think they are better than you. 

Notable Features
Lower Tokobald: There is a 1 in 6 chance of characters wandering through this district get mugged by 1d6 muggers. [HD 1, Def 2, Dam 1d6, Move 12, Save 8, Morale 6]
Massive Gate: Characters wearing fancy clothes may pass through the garrison gate for the price of 100 silver pieces. 
Upper Tokobald: You may purchase things here as if in a city, but everything here costs triple the normal price! Characters who are able to enter Upper Tokobald can buy an invitation to a fancy dinner with the nobles of Tokobald, those who do roll under half their Charisma Score and if successful are able given a token of influence which they can present to any legitimate authority to avoid the consequences of their actions.

Traditions
Tokobald was once a retreat for nobles during a period of conflict. After staying at the garrison along their retinues and guards they decided to simply live here

Unique Purchase
Ticket to Fancy Dinner - Costs 1000 silver and includes a plus one.

Tula


Description
A haze of choking smoke sits above the valley where Tula is located. Vast iron pipes rise out of the ground filling the horizon and releasing waves of heat and nearly all structures are made out of stone. Many soot faced people march carrying pick axes and few children stare out at windows as you pass.

Notable Features
A singular Museum of Artifacts in the center of town holds old things pulled out of the earth, the scholars examining them can help anyone else who brings in old artifacts. Numerous orphanages bear the orphaned children of the many miners who die in the mines. There is a multitude of Mining Companies who dig up precious ores from the earth, each then owns a host of factories where those crude materials are refined into arms, armor, and various amalgams of metal. A bomb distillery lies in the outskirts of town, where a character may purchase bombados and powder satchels.

Traditions
Many of the Mining Companies adopt the children of the miners who die in their mines. It is common for the children to simply then take the name of the company as their own, the last name of a man isn't indicative of them being part of the rich family who owns the company.

Unique Purchase
Gingerbread Cookies - Delicious costs 3 silver for 10 and each package takes up an inventory slot. 
Dynamite - Deals 5d10 damage in a 15 foot radius and creates a deafening explosion making those within 30 feet save or go deaf. Costs 300 silver takes up 1 slot of inventory and if you take any fire damage it explodes. 
Orphaned Child - Acts as a hireling you don't have to pay but cannot aid you in combat. Can be used for convoluted schemes as most people won't give a child a second glance. A fee of 25 silver is need for adoption. 

Authors Note: Yeah, your players can buy child slaves. I've noticed though that any of my players when they encounter children treat them well. I would have any monsters target the children for eating and watch the players react. 

New Rind


Description
Vast towers of stone rise above wooden buildings each bearing a different banner. A thin rampart of stone surrounds the towns and various men clad in armor walk weapons upon their back. A vast arena filled by wooden seats is adjacent to the road flowing into town

Notable Features
What was once a large castle is now know as the Academy of Knighthood where many a sons of nobility are sent to learn the finer arts of chivalry. While the majority of those granted titles of nobility follow these traditions the older generations of men who earned titles of nobility did so by valor in combat. A contingent of them still linger in town decrying "polite warfare waged by a man clad in steel upon the back of a horse" and advocate a return to the time where "slaughter wrought by a man naked save for the blood splattered across his brow was a measure of his worth".  A vast Cathedral named after the Angelic Winged Mirage ushers benedictions to those who pass through. 

Traditions
The arena outside of town hosts jousting and melee tournaments every first of the month, many squires and many passing knights seek to earn valor and fame there. Crippling alcoholism grips the town and many of the men passed out drunk in alleys are in fact prolific combatants regardless of age.

Unique Purchase
Edict of Chivalry - This is essentially an insurance policy purchased from the Academy of Knight hood offering a ransom to those who would instead kill you. Costs any amount of silver and offers ten times that in ransom to those who hold your prisoner and takes up 1 inventory slot.
Journal of Aged Berserker - Reading this memoir takes a month and offers advice on how to slay your foes. After reading it make an Attack Roll and if it would miss then you gain a permanent +1 to your attack score. Costs 250 silver, takes up 1 inventory slot, and is easily ruined.

Rasa*


Description
Calm waves lap at the shores of a wide port. Sandstone has been used for most of the buildings and each roof is made up of red clay tiles. A single stone tower stands on the edge of town and numerous fountains rise in the center of the city.

Notable Features
Two houses of open nobility control most of what goes on in the town. Members of these house can be found in any other town and scheme to change the world. The Noble House Oak owns many buildings and seeks to act in charity for the fellow man. Its members can obtain an invite to most high society functions. The Noble House Silver owns a single stone tower and believes that the noble end justifies the means taken to achieve them. Its members can obtain a dose poison dealing 1d10 damage for 100 silver.

Traditions
All those born in Rasa are encouraged to leave the town and see the world outside. Many have acquaintances in other settlements and there is a 1 in 10 that there is a friendly face of someone who previously met a character elsewhere. 

Unique Purchase
House Oak Emblem - Allows membership to the House of Oak and makes an enemy of House Silver. Costs 50 silver.
House Silver Emblem - Allows membership to the House of Silver and makes an enemy of House Oak. Costs 100 silver.

Chara


Description
Among fetid fens and the vegetation of the swamp a series of wooden platforms rise. Above them sit numerous longhouses. Few boats sail between the platforms ferrying travelers from one cluster of buildings to another.

Notable Features
A wild menagerie exists within Chara and the proprietors seek to obtain new specimens offering 100 silver per HD of creature brought in. A hall of mirrors lies in the center of town, a winding labyrinth of reflective surfaces somewhere in that maze is a trapdoor which leads to a school of assassins. The hex containing Chara and all 6 adjacent hexes are swamp terrain.

Traditions
Many sail shallow boats in the swamps around Chara, dredging the swamps for gold which is said to have been lost underneath the muck. There are no laws in Chara except the weregild and unless seen by others crime is ignored.

Unique Purchase
Assassination Orders - One can pay to have another assassinated. One simply needs to pay double the weregild of their murder in advance. Weregilds for a common man is 200 silver, nobles and clergy have a weregild of 1200 silver, the cost of weregilds are thrice-fold for any man acting in service to the king.

Authors Note: I'd be really interested in a player's reaction if someone gave them their weregild alongside a notice that they are gonna be assassinated soon. If you use this please let me know how it goes.


Jasp*


Description
A tall mountain slowly billows smoke from it's soft slopes. At the base a winding stone wall surrounds numerous houses. The lumbering volcano above the town enriches the soil around Jasp and many vibrant farms surround it.

Notable Features
The hex containing Jasp is mountain terrain, but the terrain of the adjacent hexes is rolled as if they were adjacent to a plains hex. A famous University sits in the center of town, founded by the wizards Fenris the Innocent and Deyd the Euronymous. Those inside are taught occult secrets and those attending have a 1 in 6 chance per year spent in the University to gain a single Magic Dice as a wizard and a 1 in 10 chance per year spent in the university of dying to some awful experiment, like making fireproof clothes. After 5 years one must leave the University. Relic Traders sit at the ports of Jasp and trade with those who arrive from the islands past the sea, these are generally graduates from the University who go out looking for thinks to investigate. A rebuilt Cathedral named after the Ash-Faced Martyr stands in the center of town and numerous clergy men walk the streets. Soldiers are stationed around Cathedral the first was burnt down by an insufferable wizard ages ago.

Traditions
Anyone may attempt to pass the Test of Merit offered by the University for a chance of sponsorship by the nobility to serve as a bureaucrat. Once can pass by rolling under one's Intelligence score three days in a row. Those who pass are encouraged to attend the University. 

Unique Purchase
Test of Merit Cheats - These reduce the amount of times needed to roll under Intelligence by one but only have a 1 in 6 chance of being legitimate. Costs 40 silver.
University Loans - This is buying the debt that a student allegedly still enrolled at the university has so that they serve you as a hireling but with 1 randomly rolled spell. This costs 200 silver per year of the student attending the university, roll to see if they Magic Dice and in fact are alive.


Authors Note: This works out to 1000 silver for a 60% chance of the student (who essentially you buy as a slave) having a Magic Dice and only 40% chance of being dead. These ratios if incorrectly applied as an analysis of a class of a hundred students means that sixty survive and of those sixty who survive only 36 are actually magical. If we apply the mechanics of the university to a 100 students we get the following. In Year 1, ten die and only fourteen gain magical ability. In Year 2, eight die and fifteen gain magical ability. In Year 3, ten die and four gain magical ability. In Year 4, five die and five gain magical ability. In the final year: only two die, only one gains magical ability, and thirty are left with nothing but memories of their friends dying and the need to lie about having magic. I'm okay with an academy of magic existing in an allegedly "low fantasy" setting because the mechanics of the academy produces many of it's students dead and many charlatans. Also I'd let characters who already have 4 magic dice attend the academy because there is a 10% chance of them dying with no guarantee of success.


The Sea


While most of the terrain can be procedurally generated, the sea presents a problem. Oceans are impossibly large and can't be generated one hex at a time. My solution to this is to have the sea be generated by port cities. Civilization tend to spring up near water, so why not simply use that trend in order to invoke the opposite. If a road is generated that leads to a town or city which is on the sea then the hex that city is in borders the sea. Towns and Cities on a sea's edge have been labeled with an asterisk.

Hexes with Towns on the sea are flanked laterally by a pair of coasts 5 hexes long while hexes with Cities on the sea are flanked laterally by a pair of coasts 10 hexes long. Coasts from Towns are 3 hexes deep while, Coasts from Cities are 5 hexes deep. Laterally in this case refers to the hex from which the road enters the town.

This is an ideal outcome with no other nearby hexes being explored


Coastline Mechanisms


Now if there are other explored hexes which have already been noted, then simply adjust the coastline outwards to accommodate those hexes.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Mechanism for Casually Introducting NPC's and 20 NPC's to Befriend on Your Travels

Author's Note: I believe that much like a chance of encountering wandering monsters within a dungeon or a wilderness encounter while traveling allows narrative for both the players and referee to emerge from dice, a chance to encounter a NPC emerging from a dice roll allows narrative for both the players and referee to emerge spontaneously and procedurally. 


Mechanism for NPC Encounters


Every time the party arrives at a safe location (in terms of my procedurally generated hex-crawl system these will be Towns, Cities, Fortified Keeps, and Natural Landmarks) there is a 25% chance of a talkative NPC being there. Depending on the number of such NPC's you have prepared beforehand, it will either be a random new NPC or a random NPC that they have met already. After 20% of the NPC's have been met, there is a 50% chance that the NPC they meet here, they have met before.

List of NPC's


1. Silbergeld

Appearance: Massive sword, many silver rings, flowing red hair, expensive clothing
Temperament: Haughty and Cruel, Thinks of himself as better then others
Goals: Amuse himself with the comedies and tragedies of others
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 4 Acrobat + Massive Sword dealing 1d10+3 damage

2. The Destroyer Stroya

Appearance: Hair full of heavy braids, androgynous, numerous scars visible, a cornucopia of small knives visible on a belt at her waist
Temperament: Wrathful and Sudden
Goals: Find peace from and let go of her great rage
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 4 Barbarian, her daggers explode on a 6

3. Ken Heavyheart

Appearance: Single spear, chain mail and red cloak, hair cut short and clean shaven
Temperament: Humble and persistant
Goals: Prove himself by dueling other great warriors
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 4 Fighter with 30 notches on his spear

4. Nikola

Appearance: Red robes, white scarf, thick beard and mane of dark hair
Temperament: Bellicose and easy to anger
Goals: Recover the relics of St. Klaus
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Hierophant

5. Isabella Nightengale

Appearance: Urami sword at waist, Dress entirely made of massive blue feathers, left hand is made out of gold, Numerous tattoos of snakes cover her body
Temperament: Manic and obsessive
Goals: Find a left hand pretty enough to replace her golden prosthetic
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Knight of Fairie plus may use sword to attack all within 10 feet in single strike

6. Thorfinn

Appearance: Grim scowl, heavy hammer, bone white great coat, numerous charms hang from his body
Temperament: Vengeful and furious
Goals: Slay each foul beast which haunts these lands
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Monster Hunter

7. Keldon the Hawk

Appearance: Bald head tattooed with a great hawk across the back, scar across his right eye, clad in dark clothes
Temperament: Callous and Pretentious
Goals: Find out who stole twenty years of memories and age from him
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Occultist plus 3 bottle ghosts and Dance of Change ability

8. Giovanni "Tombstone" Digornio

Appearance: Long flowing blond hair, shirtless, back is covered in runes of protection and safety
Temperament: Foolhardy and rash, believes nothing can stop him
Goals: Find the man who murdered his two brothers
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 4 Thief

9. In'exist

Appearance: Short hair, fat face, backpack full of numerous books
Temperament: Socially awkward and jovial
Goals: Recover artifacts of magical prowess and importance from out of dungeons
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 4 Wizard with 8 random spells

10. Heinrich

Appearance: Somber clothing and short brown hair, well made recurve bow upon his back
Temperament: Ruthless desire for wealth and power, will gladly screw people over if he thinks he can get away with it
Goals: Wealth and Power
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 4 Woodsman

11. Ferrante

Appearance: Stout and girthy body, beard and hair expertly cut and maintained, snakeskin boots, large belt buckle
Temperament: Optimistic and welcoming
Goals: Make a profit selling  rifles, powder, and bullets
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Son of Nalil

12. Silla

Appearance: Looks like every other Gyre Islander, calm gaze,
Temperament: Drunk wrecking ball
Goals: Find a wife that he may take home to the Gyre Islands
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Gyre Islander

13. Anguil Odei

Appearance: Pristine black suit and white gloves
Temperament: Gregarious and seeks to make friends, calls everyone "my friend"
Goals: Sell as many Elixirs of Virtue as he can
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Hallamite Unlander

14. The Stars At Night

Appearance: High Mohawk of black hair kept up with lye, Numerous leather straps covering his pale flesh, followed by a retinue of patsies and yes-men (1d6+3)
Temperament: Brash and loud, throws away money like it hurts him
Goals: Amass more renown
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Sorcerer of Ozborn

15. Syringe

Appearance: Angelic Beauty upon armor made up of multiple weeping faces
Temperament: Calm yet unnerving
Goals: Give tokens of a brass centipede to offer protection to fellow travelers
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Knight of Lymos plus magic sword: ANTI-WORLD

ANTI-WORLD: Sword which can be swung to deal damage at a target 10* charisma feet away. Deals 2d8 damage to target 1d4 rounds after it has hit a target. 

16. Silodar

Appearance: Wears blindfold and the robes of a beggar
Temperament: Acts to be a traveling beggar and avoids women
Goals: Help others when he can and undo some great crime he commited
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Ophidian

17. Uldar

Appearance: Clad in a ruined great coat and messy hair, appears to be confused by many things
Temperament: Poorly pretends to be a criminal
Goals: Wants to know rumors about mysterious artifacts and the like
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Agent of the Empire of the Alabaster Crown

18. Hera Pesithanatos

Appearance: Beautiful, clad in iridescent armor, and a luxurious cloak
Temperament: Imperious and haughty
Goals: Unknown, she refuses to shed much information about herself
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 4 Fighter plus see in darkness plus 4 Magic Dice and the following three spells:

Steal Soul
R: Corpse Touched
T: Dead Creature
D: 0

You pull the soul out of [dice] corpses, preventing their spirits from ever being contacted again or resurrected.

Fish Horrible Thing Out From Shadows
R: 50'
T: Shadow
D: [sum] turns

A wretched shambling creature of abject darkness spills out of a nearby shadow screaming. It has [dice] HD and deals 1d6+ [dice] damage on a hit, Movement and Save equal to [sum]. This creature is mindless and simply attacks those nearest to a source of light.

Putrified Benediction
R: 50'
T: Creature
D: 0

The aetheric nature of a creature is ruined [dice] adjacent creatures are filled with utter disgust for [sum] rounds and instead believe the target creature to be a traitor

19. Malina Chorna

Appearance: Rugged grin, always smoking, short black hair and dark eye shadow, leather armor
Temperament: Completely reckless
Goals: Find pleasure and comfort 
Abilities/Statistics: As Level 3 Fighter plus may breath fire every 1d4+1 turns dealing 3d6 damage in a 5 foot cone.

20. Ultraviolet

Appearance: Lilac Colored Lampfolk
Temperament: Always excited to be a part of things
Goals: Learn about the world and have novel experiences
Abilities/Statistics: HD 2, Def 2, Dam 1d6, Move 12, Save 9 plus the abilities below

Iron Body
Ultraviolet does not have a corporeal body but instead is holy oil lit and stuffed in an iron lamp. This lantern extends downwards into a thin skeleton of iron. While the lamp light burns, she moves her skeleton like a man might move their body. If she reaches 0 HP, her iron skeleton breaks and her oil can no longer stay inside, it spills outwards and she can no longer do anything but burn. Unless someone is able to scoop her burning oil into a non-flammable container of some kind, her oil burns out. She snuffs out in 1 turn. Any competent metal worker can restore the iron suit for a price of 1d20+10 silver. Her iron suit can be picked up by anyone taking up 4 points of inventory.

Burning Soul
Ultraviolet's face shines (and functions) as a lantern. She does not need to eat, sleep, or drink. She only needs to buy lantern oil to keep herself burning (these function like rations). She can inflict 1d6 points of damage to herself to create a shimmering light which is  twice as bright as a torch (shedding light for 30 ft). She can also choose to throw this flame as a ranged attack which deals 6 - the number of turns the light has been burning points of damage. She have range of 10 feet for this throw.

Corpse Fill
Ultraviolet can shove her burning fuel body down the throat of a corpse and wear it like a costume. Her only limit on the kind of corpse you can wear like a costume is the original HD of the corpse. If there are more than 3 HD in a corpse then her essence is unable to coordinate itself successfully. While she is inside a corpse she still burns, fire emanates from every orifice and wound of the corpse. A corpse burns for 1 day per HD. The clumsiness of a corpse gives her a penalty of 2 to her defense score. A corpse worn in such a way has 1d8 HP per HD and any damage done to her is split between the corpse and her essence. Once a corpse has 0 hp it falls into pieces and cannot be worn any longer.