Friday, March 1, 2019

Fassulian Encounters

Fassulian Encounters 1d8 + 1d20

1: Lone Travelers
1 Warrior traveling the land hoping to enact vengeance
2 Duelist seeking worthy foe to clash swords with
3 Mercenary seeking fortune by the blade
4 Sorcerer's assistant who pulled his master's grimoire off of his beheaded corpse
5 Magic-User possessing a scroll of a single spell from an ancient ruin
6 Apprentice of the Tower of Cal'Khuwa sent out for fake errand due to his annoying character and complaining tone
7 Astrologist seeking to climb tall peak in order to read the future written in the stars
8 Linguist seeking to compile means of translating one tongue to another
9 Archaeologist seeking to find fossils of ancient beasts to sell to rich folk
10 Wounded man seeking to find lost traveling companions
11 Curse-bearer seeking method to free self from doom
12 Dyer searching for means to craft new vibrant colors
13 Alchemist hunting potent herbs to distill and refine
14 Artist traveling to find beautiful maiden to act as his muse
15 Master thief for more treasure to steal
16 Monster slayer seeking to aid the weak and powerless
17 Aged magician enacting sacred rite
18 Informant of The Ravens taking notes and secrets
19 Musician playing music softly
20 Adventurer seeking location of the Lymos the Hungry City

2: Caravan
1Merchants traveling in a trail of wagons hauling common goods and ample foodstuff
2A merchant wagon train moves silks and fine clothes 
3Wagons carry leather bound tomes and texts to sell to scholars and sorcerers 
4Porters trail alongside draft animals hauling numerous clay urns scavenged from a ruin
5Porters trail alongside draft animals hauling both the weapons and armor of a band of warriors and the corpse of the monstrous lizard that slayed them are carried by the servants of a merchant
6Porters trail alongside draft animals hauling a series of strange iron staves with sharpened mouths on one end and baubels of amber glass and handles on the other (weapons of the Cold-blooded ones)
7Armored men from Phavea bearing the banner of the queen ride onwards to survey the lands for threats and dangers 
8A band of Phavean knights ride in search of the missing prince 
9The banner of Phavea is carried by a band of men hunting a criminal
10Guards travel alongside a carriage of a Phavean Noble
11Armed men travel alongside an opium peddler's wagon
12A Phavean Court wizard travels with his bodyguards
13A crowd of people shambles onwards, refugees of a village now abandoned
14A congregations of cultists are lead onwards by their master
15
16
17
18A band of tribesmen will charge a toll for passage in the form of food and rations
19Steeds carry minor nobility and their servants on a hunting trip
20A court attendant travels alongside a few knights, all disguised, to enact secret workings

3: Beasts
1Small scorpions the size of man's thumb swarm here
2A black viper slithers silently, it's tongue emerging intermittenly
3A giant pincer bursts from the ground as a scorpion the size of a horse emerges from its hiding place
4A herd of goats stand over the corpse of their shepherd
5A single camel with several packsaddles on it's back wanders reins still hanging from his mouth, his rider missing
6A muscle bound bull snorts and paws at the ground
7A herd of peacocks meander their feathers shimmering blue and green
8A chameleon the size of a goat shimmers into view
9White apes with a maw of broken teeth search the ground sharpened sticks and chipped stones in their hands
10Two male lions roar and shake their manes, growling at one another
11A large lion struggles to breathe here, an arrow in it's eye
12A hunting party of lionesses slowly paces forward
13Bursting from the earth is an ugly worm too rudimentary to be a serpent it spasms the it’s body out form below 
14An ugly worm, bearing a heavy stinger on it's tail bursts from the earth and unleashes a shrill scream
15A reptilian beast known as a Sickle-Claw half the height of a man, standing upon it’s hind legs and shows a maw of sharp teeth and two pairs of large claws
16 Sword-Gallop, a lizard he size of two horses standing end to end, swings it's heavy maw forward propelled on two pairs of sprinting legs
17A true terror emerges, a Horse-Swallower it’s maw is the size of a horse and it’s body the length of six horses on end, covered in heavy scales
18A band of hyenas cackles over the corpse of a ox, their faces covered in blood
19A herd of Camels meanders slowly, a single hump upon their backs. They gaze at you with contempt as they loudly chew
20A Skin-Kite descends form the sky, a terrible lizard the height of a man, a wingspan as long as a tree great flaps of skin, like a bat, beneath them

4: Ghuls + Bandits
1A band of ghuls with filed teeth and brass swords laughs and screams
2A band of ghuls has enslaved men and ride on their shoulders
3Ghuls fly in the sky upon wings of feather and wax, bows and arrows in hand
4Men lost to the grinning madness unearth great stones from the earth in order to stack a ladder with which to climb to heaven
5A green-blooded Fassulian lost to the grinning madness has been imprisoned by their retinue who are to scared to spill royal blood
6 Men lost so long to the madness that they now have elongated snouts like that of a dog and heavy claws huddled around a pit communing with an awful wyrm below the earth
7A single figure struggling with the grinning madness have chained themselves to a stone, an inscription in the dirt before them to not approach
8A man hides the progression of the grinning madness with a mask, wishing to find companions who would help him free himself
9A sorcerer, lost to the grinning madness, performs a ritual that would call down an emissary from the stars
10A band of ghuls have abandoned humanity fully and turned into pale gaunt entities with claws and maws of teeth
11Men have degenerated to beasts crawling on all fours and grinding broken teeth, their eyes bleeding
12 Brigands who lay traps and hide in wait to strike from afar. They are lead by a old-man who knows how to make snakes straight to be shot as  arrows which latch on to their targets with venemous jaws
13 Brigands mummified in wraps and each wearing a brass mask, all are lepers. Their leader emphasizes non-violence and they will merely restrain and knock-out their foes
14A band of women travel clad in bands and veils. They will beg for protection and declare that they are chased by men on horseback. Both groups collude together to ensnare travelers, the women throwing incendiaries at the backs of their saviors
15Bandits returning from a Cold-Blood One Ruin, have armored themselves in serpentine armor and wield swords of quick-silver. They strike under nightfall pretending to be ancient ghosts
16 Bandits returning from a Qasiran Ruin, have found a Man-Opener, which their leader wields, and a control key to a golem which they direct onwards
17 A trio of sorcerers, surviving apprentices of the Circle of Aldha, travel upon the back of an undead Horse-swallower
18 A woman who was once beautiful but now lacks an eye, accompanied by a band of marauders, will ask victims to remove all items and leave them naked but alive
19A man pretends to be a sorcerer, paints half of his men red to appear as ifrit and attempts to extort travelers under threat of violence
20Bandits are lead by a single muscle-bound leader, as wide as two men, he hardly speaks but will invite warriors to join his band and betray their companions

5: Demons
1A man like thing crawls with chains weighing it down, its mouth replaced with a long proboscis which leaks a bright green liquid which boils as it falls to the ground
2A muscle bound man here is missing a head, instead his torse bears a wide maw and a single eye where throat would be
3 heavy cannon the length of two men standing atop another extends from the body of a lion crafted from iron where a lion's head would be, claws pacing the ground
4The restless dead still walk here, weapons still tight in their hands
5A least Ifrit, a man with skin red as blood with fires blazing instead of eyes and reeking of smoke. In his hand he holds a heavy sword and a iron sack containing a beautiful maiden
6A heavy brass urn is pulled by a Least Ifrit, inside the Urn is a bound Least Ifrit
7A Least Ifrit wanders the lands, setting fires and writing crude things in ash
8A Least Ifrit pilfering a graveyard for valuables interred along corpses 
9A Lesser Ifrit, twice the size of a man, walks ahead of a retinue of men with heavy iron collars on their necks, each bearing sacks and chests of treasure
10The corpses of a warband lie burnt and ripped into pieces, a Lesser Ifrit sitting amid the carnage and laughing
11A half-dozen maidens, chains on their ankles, follow a Lesser Ifrit riding upon a flying Carpet
12Greater Ifrit, triple the size of a man, is surrounded by dozens of men prostrating themselves in adoration, a sacrifice in a cage nearby
13Corpses slowly stumble forwards, fire burning in their skulls, a Greater Ifrit standing over hundred corpses into which he whispers flame animating them  
14Greatest Ifrit, large enough to fill the sky a student of the Black King himself free to travel from the plane of flame to the the land of the men, trading souls for three wishes
15Local Threat Table: Lesser
16Local Threat Table: Lesser
17Local Threat Table: Lesser
18Local Threat Table: Greater
19Local Threat Table: Greater
20Local Threat Table: Unique

6: Spirits
1A large ogre which wishes to dine on the flesh of fellow travelers, hides within the guise of an elderly woman
2A clockwork automaton which feasts on coals rather than food wrapped in a cloak attempts to pass as a man. 
3Queen of Songbirds and a dozen of her fellow birds, hiding within fine silks and masquerading as a maiden, are sought after by a band of Ghuls and a band of Demons.
4Lamassu, with the head of men upon the body of a lion and wings of a bird, which falls from the sky upon travelers to cast judgement upon those who are aligned with chaos
5Assur, bearded man clad in silver scalemail, upon two pairs of wings, a bow in his left hand descending from the heavens As a herald with holy decree to command ontu men
6Within a smoking crater lies a screaming man thrice the normal height with the skin of pearls, his eyes removed from his skull and two great wings upon his back broken
7A tetragram of orbs of flame, an emmissary from another sphere, slowly pulsates and floats above the ground
8Pale flesh of man bloated to the size of a house roars, rather than a face a flat surface can be seen, each arm replaced with blind serpent stretching outwards, rather than a sex a massive vertical maw which opens up to a blazing furnace
9A shimmering bird descends from the heavens it lands and you can now see that it is the size of two horses and speaks like a man
10A phoenix falls from the sky in a plume of flame
11 Beur, lion which has five legs arranged in a circle, spinning like a wheel and breathing out flame, rolls 
12Griffon, a lion with an eagles head and wings screams
13Manticore, a lion with the face of a man, wings of a bat, and tail of a scorpion.
14Leng-man - Guant figure clad in robes which seeks to acquire human blood. It has two pairs of arms and is deahtly pale. Beneath the robes are several faces weeping. It is able to exit into the dream-lands and when it does so it summons a copy of 1d4 party members. 
15Cold-Blooded Vestige - A transparent figure, only seen because of the displacement of it's sillouete and a pair of serpentine eyes. It is immune to physical damage. It is able to poison by summoning serpents to cover it's enemies. 
16Spirit of Famine - An amalgamation of numerous starved figures crawls like a misshapen insect. Many heads atop of the abomination moan and weep. All rations will spoil in it's presence and it will attempt to eat people. Those who stand in the presence of the spirit must save or be overcome by hunger and paralyzed. This creature moves slowly half the speed of an unarmored man. If it is able to strike it's target and deals 4 or more points of damage, it will drag the target beneath it and deal 1d12 damage to it as it attempts to tear it into swallowable pieces.
17Maiden of the Sky - A beautiful woman is covered in pearls the size of a man's fist and walks without sound. She is able to telepathically communicate with every being and spells have a 5 in 6 chance of dispelling themselves in her presence. 
18Shaitan - An ash skinned giant clad in golden jewelry, a heavy mace in his hand, his lower body a gout of great flame. He leads a procession of chained corpses into a fissure of the ground.
19Marid - A jade skinned giant in opulent robes, a heavy grimoire slung over his shoulder, his lower body a silent waterfall of green water. He plants trees and conjures them to grow.
20Djin - A azure skinned giant, with hair and eyes which shed light as the full moon, his lower body a pillar of hundreds of twinkling stars.

7: Conflict of - Roll again twice

8: Corpse of a - Roll again 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Visions of Fassulia


Visual Summary of Fassulia


The following is a visual summary of Fassulia, a land where my players are heading. You should listen to this in another tab as you scroll down.



Man

Woman

Child

Farmer

Warrior

Sage

Priest

Merchant

Noble

Plains

Swamps

Hills

Mountains

Waters

Forests

Village

Town

City

Keep

Ruins

Festival

Wedding

Funeral

Home

Ship

Clothes

Coin

Food

Jewelry

Art

A Set of Unified Wilderness Travel Procedures

Wilderness Travel Process:

-
1. Players are given current weather, date, and information about current hex 1 and daylight left 2
2. Players declare travel intent (We head northwards through the forests)
3. Hex Weight 3 is calculated from conditions, terrain of current hex, and party actions
4. Hex Weight is subtracted from party's Travel Pool 4
5. Player with highest Journey skill is checked against (in secret) if failed see 5a
5a. Roll for Wilderness Complication 5
6. Wilderness Anecdote 6 is rolled for if an encounter see 6a
6a. Wilderness Encounter 7 is rolled for
7. Players are moved into destination hex and are given information about the current hex and daylight left
8. Players make take other actions within a hex 8

Weather

Rather than having a unique mechanic for weather, I simply substitute weather as an encounterable monster, which generally fits in with the folklore of many cultures viewing the weather as an entity itself. The reaction table below determines if the weather is gonna be pleasant or hostile.



So the distribution is 2-5 as poor, 6-8 as neutral, and 9-12 as fair. It's pretty simple to assign different effects on the weather. I've also added the categories of bad and terrible for the effects of rolling multiple poor reactions in a row, rolling poor weather while in poor weather resulting in bad weather and rolling poor weather while in bad weather resulting in terrible weather. For bad and terrible weather treat further reaction rolls of neutral and fair reactions as a reset into neutral weather. Every time you roll for the weather also roll a 1d6, the value of that die determines how long the current weather situation lasts.

SeasonFairPoorBadTerrible
SummerCloudyHotDroughtFlash Fires
Spring/AutumnCoolRain StormsFlash Floods
WinterSunnySnowfallHailBlizzard

Weather Mechanical Effects Table
for those traveling outside or in wilderness without shelter
TypeEffect
Fair+1 to Wilderness Traveling Skill
Poor-1 to Wilderness Traveling SkillIncrease hex weight by 0.5
Bad-2 to Wilderness Traveling SkillIncrease hex weight by 1.0
Terrible-3 to Wilderness Traveling SkillIncrease hex weight by 1.5
HotUnless you have water supplies
Save or take 1d4 damage from the Heat* 
DroughtAs Hot, but 2 water rations needed per day
Flash FireAs Drought and a 1 in 6 chance of  Flash Fire
Flash Fire: all must save or 3d10 damage
RainUnless you have cold weather clothing 
Save or take 1d4 damage from the Cold* 
StormsAs rain and 1 in 10 chance of Lightning: 
Lightningrandom member must Save or 3d10 damage
Flash Floods
As Storms and 1 in 6 chance of Flash Flooding. 
Flash FloodingSave or swept away and begin drowning
SnowUnless you have cold weather clothing
Save or take 1d6 damage from the Cold* 
HailAs Snow and Save or take 1d6 damage from Cold
BlizzardAs Hail and 1 in 6 chance of Blizzard.
Blizzardthose outside take 4d10 damage save for half
*This damage cannot reduce a character below 1 HP

Date


So the effects of weather changes based on the season and we have a way to track the days so why not simply combine the two into a calendar. Each season is composed of three months and each month is composed of 30 days. This gives us a year with 360 days, and is honestly good enough for me to use in game as a referee. Many cultures used lunar calendars and it is a useful heuristic for making a gameable calendar. So in real life the moon changes from New Moon to Full Moon over 14 days. I'll use 13 days between the New Moon to Full Moon, 1 day of New Moon, and 3 days of Full Moon. You can start every month on the New Moon which causes days 15-17 to be the Full Moon. This gives us a 30 day cycle and three usable states of the moon the effects of which are detailed on the table below.

Moon StateEffect
FullMonsters get +2 HD and Undead treat each HD as having rolled an 8
NewComplete Darkness at Night 100% chance to be surprised
ChangingNo Effects


Information about current Hex


The following information is given to players while in a hex:
1. The terrain of the current hex
2. What terrain they can see in the cardinal directions
3. What hex contents they can see

Example:
You are all in the New Rind Timberlands: The trees here menace from numerous wild angles, each one primordial by its girth, and their limbs a tumult of bifurcated extensions. To the north are mountains, to the east and south is a large lake, and to the west are more of the New Rind Timberlands. You can see the town of New Rind from here as well as the Harpy's Road heading northwards.

Daylight

There is enough daylight for an average man to cross 3 hexes across plains in daylight. As there is extra light in summer which grants an additional hex to cross, there is more night in winter which grants one less hex to cross.

Daylight is dependent on the season
4 hexes Summer
3 hexes Spring/Fall
2 hexes Winter

Pressing on in darkness:

If a hex is traveled in under darkness it requires a Journey (wilderness travel skill) roll on a 1d12 instead of 1d6. Further encounters are rolled for twice and each character who doesn't burn a torch counts as surprised in an encounter.

This information would be given qualitatively instead to of quantitatively to the players.

Example:
The sun is setting in the sky, night will fall soon. If you don't make camp soon you will end up traveling under darkness.

Hex Weight

Hexes of different terrains have a different weight to cross them.

Terrain of Hexes Crossed:
Plains counts as 1.0 Hex
Hills/Forests/Lakes counts as 1.5 Hexes
Swamps counts as 2.0 hexes
Mountains counts as 2.5 hexes

Certain conditions may also alter the weight of a hex

Traveling conditions alter conditions:
Traveling on horseback: Decrease hex weight by 0.5 to a minimum of 0.5
Hex has a road: Decrease hex weight by 1.0 to a minimum of 0.5
Traveling during Poor Weather: Increase hex weight by 0.5
Traveling during Bad Weather: Increase hex weight by 1.0
Traveling during Terrible Weather:  Increase hex weight by 1.5
Hunting while traveling: Increase hex weight by 2
Searching a hex while traveling: Increase hex weight by 2

Travel Pool

As previously mentioned an average man can cross 3 hexes of plains a day. This number can be referred to as his Travel Pool and be subtracted from as he crosses hexes which are not plains.

Example:
It is summer so the man has a Travel Pool of 4. He chooses to travel along a road through hills while also hunting. 1.5 - 0.5 + 2.0 = 3.0. Upon doing so he would have a Travel Pool of 1 left, and if he choose to simply travel without hunting he would be able to cross another hills hex before night falls.

Wilderness Complications



Character Skill

The other part of wilderness travel is how well a character can navigate the wilds. As far as I know only LotFP has a dedicated skill (Bushcraft) for determining how well characters travel through the wilderness (if this an incorrect way of using this skill let me know). In my games characters have a 1 in 6 skill which they can improve for traveling through the wilderness. If characters are successful in their travel attempt, nothing happens. Otherwise consult the table below.

Wilderness Complication Table
1 Stalked - Wilderness Encounter strikes in 1d4 nights or at sign of advantage
2Dire Circumstance - Next Wilderness Encounter roll is at a +6
3 Misdirection 1 in 6 chance of being lost, 2 in 6 for Swamps
4Incelement Weather - Weather worsens by 1 category
5Menacing Landscape - Next encounter occurs in Compromising terrain
6Miasma - Save or Disease


Wilderness Anecdote



For each hex traveled through a wilderness anecdote occurs.

Wilderness Anecdote Table
1Find a Lair of something
2Find a Spoor of something
3Find Tracks from something
4Find Traces 1 of something
5Find Traces 2 of something
6Find Monster encounter

Further while traveling through the wilderness, characters may take actions on their journey (such as searching a hex or hunting) each such attempt or traveling through a hex with a lair within it incurs an additional roll of the Wilderness Anecdote Table. 



Wilderness Encounter

So in a dungeon, a wandering monster check is resolved rather elegantly in regards to location. However, in most wilderness expeditions there is a great deal of locational abstraction in regards to how far the players travel. In order to not adjudicate every monster from attacking them in their sleep, the following procedures generate a more varied and randomized placement of wilderness monster encounters. There are present rules for Surprise and Reaction rolls so there is not a further need to describe them here.

Wilderness Monster Encounter Location Table

1As you sleep in a camp
2As you rest in a camp
3As you rest for a moment on the trail
4While you're moving through the wilderness
5While you're moving through harsh terrain
6While you're moving through compromising terrain

This roll should be done in conjunction with the surprise, reaction, and distance roll. Each terrain gives a different effect and this should make the wilderness more memorable if not more horrible.

Distance of Harsh or Compromising Terrain:

Harsh: Safe terrain 1d6*10 feet away
Compromising: Safe terrain 2d6*10 feet away

Harsh Terrain Effects Table

PlainsTall foliage hides holes in the ground, 1 in 6 chance of falling prone if you move
Hills Loose dust is kicked up by the wind here, characters not using a hand to cover their faces must roll under their constitution or start hacking for 1d4 rounds with a -2 to hit and armor
ForestDense foliage 1 in 10 chance of taking an additional 1d4 damage from a damaging attack
Waters (Fresh)Your back is to waters 1d4*10 feet below you with nowhere to turn
Waters (Sea)As waves crash against the boat rocking it mercilessly 1 in 10 chance of save vs falling into the sea every time you move
SwampsMire up to your knees, Movement is at two thirds speed and your armor is at -2
Mountains Perniciously near a precipice with a 1d6+3*10' deep drop

Compromising Terrain Effects Table

Plains
The horizon stretches far and wide here, if fleeing a monster. The monster rolls morale twice and takes the higher in continuing to pursue.
Hills
Crumbling stones menace below your feet, must roll under movement or slide 2d4*10' away from your companions
Forest Vicious Foliage 1 in 6 chance of taking an additional 1d6 damage from attack
Waters (Fresh)Your back is to waters and large stones 2d4*10 feet below you with nowhere to turn
Waters (Sea)Massive waves crash against the boat rocking it mercilessly 1 in 6 chance of save vs falling into the sea every time you move
SwampsMire up to your chest, Movement is at one third speed and your armor is at -4
MountainsUpon a minuscule ledge if you take damage you must roll under third dexterity or fall down 2d8*10 feet


Weather effects on Encountering Monsters in the Wilderness

DroughtAll participants takes 1 point of damage* at the end of every round of combat
Flash-Fire All participants takes 1d4 points of damage* at the end of every round of combat
Storms Missile fire occurs with a -2 penalty
Flash FloodsAs Storms and 1 in 20 chance of lightning strike at the end of  every round of combat
Hail Missile fire occurs with a -2 penalty
BlizzardAs hail and visibility limited to 30'
*This damage cannot reduce a character below 1 HP


Actions within the wilderness

A character may attempt to roll under half of their wisdom in order to Hunt, Forage, or find Herbs, this takes as much time as
Hunting costs 1d4 arrows and gives 1d4 rations if successful.
Foraging gives 1d3 rations if successful.
Herbalism gives a single beneficial herb which can act as medicine if successful.

A character may roll under half of their wisdom in order to search the hex for anything.

A character may roll under their wisdom in order to search the hex to find the location of something they are aware like a dungeon or another hidden hex feature.

Each of these actions incurs another wilderness anecdote roll and takes up as much time as traveling through a hex with a  Hex Weight of 2.0.

SELLING MONSTER PARTS!


In real life, animals are hunted for their materials. Certain creatures are eaten while others are turned into usable materials. Below are simple abstractions for the usage of monsters once they are hunted.

Usable Corpses:

If a monster is brought down to 0 hp, then there is a 1 in 6 it took excess trauma and it's corpse is unusuable. Any attacks which deal over 10 points of damage or poisons, fires, magics, and similar awful effects increase the chance of a corpses being unusable by 1 in 6.

Eating Monsters:

Certain monsters with a magical or truly awful nature cannot be turned into consumable rations. If the monster has poison or inflicts disease, then it cannot be turned into field rations. Otherwise a monster slain can be turned into a number of field rations equal to it's HD. Thus a Giant Elk which has 4 HD can be turned into 4 field rations. Field rations last for only two days.

If one has access to salt, fire, and tools one can turn a monster corpse into regular rations. This process takes a number of hours equal to the HD of the monster and grants a number of rations equal to its HD squared. Thus the Giant Elk could be turned into 16 rations. Monsters that have poison have a 1 in 6 chance of each ration being safe to eat.

Valuable Parts:

A quick measure of how much one can fetch for the valueable parts of a monster can be determined by the table below. Any monster can be rolled on the Corpse Value Table to determine how much it's parts can be sold for.

Corpse Value Table 1d6

1-3Worth HD^2 * 3 Silver
4-5Worth HD^2 * 6 Silver
6Worth HD^2 * 9 Silver

Each time a is monster encountered the corpse value should be rolled for only once on the table, unless one such monster is encountered with more HP than 5 * the number of HD it possesses. This would represent an especially magnificent specimen of higher value, resulting in an increase of the multiplied silver value by 3. In the case of the Giant Elk previously described above for eating rations, assuming it was rolled to have a corpse value of (4)^2 * 6 = 96 silver, one having more than 20 HP would have a magnificent crown of horns which would be worth 144 silver.

Venoms Sacs/Special Organs:

Monsters which deal poison can have their venom sacs or other special organs harvested in order to make doses of that poison. Such an organ harvested contains a number of doses of poison equal to the HD of the monster. The value of selling such poison can be reflected as costing half of the corpse value.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Why Stabbing Random Townsfolk Has Less Repercussions Than You Think! On Justice In The Iron/Viking/Medieval Age

I don't know who made this

In modern society, you can commit a criminal action if you break a law set out by the state forbidding certain actions. This would be like tax fraud, possessing drugs, or murder. In the iron/viking/medieval age things were different as criminal law wasn't as well developed.

So we have mainly two types of law in our society. Tort and Criminal. Tort refers to actions which harm someone or deprive them of something. Criminal refers to actions which harm the state or deprive them of something. Many crimes one can commit are both. For example if you murder someone you both deprive them of life and also break the law of the state.

In the iron/viking/medieval age instead of a state or society you instead had a king or ruler and there was much less overlap between the two. So if you killed a random peasant you wouldn't necessarily harm the king but you would greatly harm their family. So the family would likely take revenge but the king would likely not take an action. Instead of the king's men investigating the murder, the family would take actions against you either in the form of more murder or payment.

So for people during the iron/viking/medieval age it’s essentially just paying damages to someone else or the king or you specifically do something banned by the king. It’s up to you and your clan to atone for actions or damages made by you.

Here is a collection of the actions which would carry repercussions in the iron/viking/medieval age and how they would be solved:

Crimes vs Man

Murder - Pay a weregild (man price) if their family doesn't try to kill you vengeance. Sometimes you'd also have to pay to the king as well.

Injury/Assault - So accidental injury wasn't a thing outside of Rome (I think), so you would have to pay a fine to the family or individual you harmed which would be proportional to the damage.

Larceny - You would have to either give the item back and may be assaulted from who you stole or pay a fine for what was stolen.

Crimes vs The King

Murder of a king's man - There is a much higher price here than a normal weregild. I'm sure he could also kill you for this but I don't know the specifics.

Crimes against the community - This is like arson, livestock mutilation, or disturbing the peace. Technically this is all the king's property and you're injuring him/stealing from him.

Forbidden action - If the king forbids something and you do it it won't end well.

On Crime Prevention

So a iron/viking/medieval age settlement wouldn't have police who would seek out crime and prevent it and solve it. You would have people who would patrol the town in order to keep order but it wouldn't be to prevent crime. If they came across a murdered body they wouldn't necessarily investigate but instead would maybe clean it out of the way. Further if someone had wronged you it was up to you to fix that wrong. You might petition your king for help but who knows what happen there? If someone stole from you you could possible get a thief-taker to track them down or you could possibly get someone to help your family gain vengeance. But most wealthy people would have guards walk the streets with them for protection instead of trusting the policing force to protect them.

Further if accused of a crime there wasn't much recourse for what you could do. In some soceities you simply needed witness to dispute it, in others you could try to have an ordeal to prove your innocence but the king would never have to prove your guilt. He's the king.

Other Stuff

So you have to pay taxes and may have to become part of an irregular militia in times of war. Certain things may be taxed more as well, but generally you pay with items not with wealth, like a baker may pay tax with bread instead of coin. Foreigners had less legal safety, but their hosts could grant them protection or an extension of their family. Also this could go for orphans or such as well.

Some places also have "outlawing" which is when legal protections don't apply to you anymore, but that does come later historically. However, a similar concept that someone could be killed like a dog with no repercussions wasn't unheard of.

Conclusion/In Practice

So in your games by altering such laws per kingdom you could add more verisimilitude or differentiate each area more. Further, the inclusion of the iron/viking/medieval age justice system could emphasize the nature of your setting.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Abandoned Mines above the Caverns: Procedural Tiny Dungeon Generator 2

Below is a generator for some small dungeons which can be used to construct abandoned mines as well as cavern complexes. These will result in less treasure than most dungeons but can be the source of troglodytes which may spread out from their awful homes to menace the country side. These dungeons are created procedurally and can be rolled for as the party enters them. For the Caverns, you fill the cavern table with monsters, and then roll for room contents.

Abandoned Mineshaft Complex Generator


Mines Layout


Tunnels extending out from central hub room from which the mine complex is entered.
1-32 Tunnels of 1d6 Rooms
4-53 Tunnels of 1d6+1 Rooms +
 1 side path between two shortest tunnels
64 Tunnels of 1d6+2 Rooms +
1 side path between two longest tunnels +
1 side path between two shortest tunnels

Outermost room of the two longest tunnels will allow descent into random rooms of the caverns below

Mineshaft Room Contents 1d8 + 1d8 (Roll twice per room)

1-3Empty
1The shaft here is supported by numerous wooden pillars.
2The ceiling buldges down from above, as if about to collapse inward.
3A wheelbarrow has been abandoned here, its wheel broken.
4A lantern lies broken here, now a cracked shell of glass.
5Three wodden pillars have fallen from the wall here, and now lie as rubble.
6From this wall ore was once taken, all that is left is a gaping orifice.
7 A deep hole has been dug here and a ladder leads down into it.
8The walls here is broken, its stoney flesh littering the floor.
4-6Trap
1-3Unstable tunnel, rocks fall from ceiling for 1d8 damage
4-5Tunnel Collapses and exit into room covered by stone only passage further inwards, can be removed with 2d4 manhours of labor (assuming a roll of 4 three characters and a hireling could remove the stones in 1 hour and one character in 4 hours)
6-7Collapsing floor into random room of caverns below, fall deals 2d6 damage
8Blackdamp - Open flames snuff out while encased lanterns dim further there is a 1 in 6 chance of a damp requiring a save vs poison or unconciousness and death if they remain in that area
7Monster
1-4Crazed Miner who has been trapped here some time ago 
(Stats as bandit with 2 HD and undead morale)
5-7Swarm of Bats 
(flees after taking 1 hp but is able to attack entire party at once for 1 hp)
8Monster from Caverns Below
8Treasure
1-31d10 nodules exposed of precious ore 
each worth 1d6*10 silver and requires 1d6 turns to remove all
4-61d6 nodules of exposed gems 
each worth 1d4*20 silver  and requires 1d6 turns to remove all
71d8 nodules of mined precious ore 
each worth 1d6*10 silver
81d4 mined gems 
each worth 1d4*20 silver

Wandering Monsters 1d8

1-4Crazed Miner
5-7Swarm of Bats
8Monster from Caverns Below

Caverns Below Generator




Rooms: 2d6+Number of Tunnels Above

Cavern Layout*

1-3Two linear rows of equal rooms connected to each other by
 sidepaths equal to number of tunnels above
4-5Two floors and two staircases that connect between them. 
Top has number equal to tunnels+1d6. 
Bottom has the other 1d6
6Many floors each has number of rooms 
equal to number of tunnels above
*To construct a Larger Cavern, simply fill the mineshaft columns above with cavern room contents

Cavern Room Contents 1d6 + 1d6 (Roll twice per room)

1-4Empty
1A massive pool of water covers the majority of this cave.
2Numerous stalactites hang from the ceiling above.
3The roof of the cave hangs low limiting your ability to stand tall.
4The cave here is barely wide enough to walk through.
5Water falls from a ledge above.
6The cave winds about instead of being easily visible and understandable.
5Monster*
1 Lesser Inhabitants 1st roll
2 Lesser Inhabitants 2nd roll
3Lesser Inhabitants 3rd roll
4Greater Inhabitants 1st roll
5Greater Inhabitants 2nd roll
6Terrible Inhabitants
6Treasure
1-3Fossils embedded in the wall 
worth 1d8 * 50, each 100 silver corresponds to 1 encumbering item requires 1d8 turns to remove from wall
4-5 Exit out of the cavern
6Strange Protohuman Relic carved from pale stone 
worth 2d6*30 silver

Wandering Monsters* (1d4)

1Lesser Inhabitants 1st roll
2 Lesser Inhabitants 2nd roll
3Lesser Inhabitants 3rd roll
4Greater Inhabitants 1st roll

*Determination of Cavern Inhabitants

Lesser 1d8 

(Stastics unless specified as different are 1 HD, Armor as shield, 1d6 damage, movement as unencumberd man, average morale)
1 2d4 Armored Trilobytes crawling out of a stagant pool of water
(armor as chain and shield)
21d4 Giant Bats unfurling their wings from the cavern's roof 
(2 HD, low morale)
3 1d2 Cave-Fishers reeling themselves towards their filaments
(attack from range and if successful embeds filament strand within target)
41d6 Claw Shrimp floating up form the water below
(Two Claw Attacks for 1d6)
51d3 Giant Centipede spiraling downward from stalagtites
(Attacks with poison, high morale)
6Stone Mimic silently ambushing as it opens its eye 
(surprises on 5 in 6, and morale as undead)
71d2 Snapping Slamanders swimming out of some submerged hole
(On hit pulls target into water, dealing 1d6 every round)
81d4 Opilions converging along the walls
(Crawls on wall, if fails morale plays as dead)

Greater 1d6 

(Stastics unless specified as different are 3 HD, Armor as shield+leather, 1d8 damage, movement as unencumberd man, high morale)
1-3Double number of appearing Lesser inhabitants
4 1d2 Serpent Bats screeching and flapping their awful wings from above (Attacks ignore shields, Movement as double that of unencumbered man)
5 1d3 White Apes howling and  as they feast on the corpse of a 
(Roll again for monster) (No reaction roll are always hostile)
6 Scythe Trilobyte lunging a blade out of a pool of water 
(Armor as Plate + shield, 2d6/2d6 damage)

Terrible 1d4

1Double number of appearing Greater inhabitants
2Terror Mole bursting forth from the walls of the cavern
 (as Troll with burrowing speed equal to man in plate) 
3Banished Jotun thrashing and screaming out of chains and shackles
 (as Hill Giant but half movement)

Bonus: FANTASTIC DUNGEON DENIZENS



The following can be applied separately or in tandem to make the caverns inhabitants more fantastic

Sentient Creepy Crawlies:
Each Lesser and Greater Inhabitant has a 1 in 6 chance of being sentient and being able to speak.

Cave-dwelling men dressed in creepy crawly skin:
Each Lesser Inhabitant has a 1 in 6 chance of a man dressed in leather/chitin (Stats as bandit + modifications of inhabitant) One Cavern room has secret entrance to small hamlet at bottom of cave.

Troglodytes:
Each Lesser Inhabitant has a 1 in 6 chance of being a demi-human race (Stats as lesser inhabitant with Double HD) One Cavern room has secret entrance to small village at bottom of cave.

Goal of Procedures

Procedural generation of mines and caverns beneath. Alot of inspiration was taken from the film The Descent and a mechanical incentive of "we have to go lower to escape" was emphasized. For this reason a treasure listed within the caverns is an exit from the dungeon which has a slightly greater than 12% chance of appearing within a room. With an average of 7 rooms within a cavern (not counting the additional rooms from the tunnel) this means that there is a 64% chance of the average caverns below having at least one exit out of the mines. There is a 9% chance of a mine shaft being collapsable which has a 2 in 6 chance (trap chance) of triggering per party member who travels through it. Assuming a party of 4 PC's and 2 hirelings there's a 91% chance of that party triggering a collapse of stone behind them which means they would have to either go deeper into the mine to search for a way out. Further each room has a 9% chance of being trapped to collapse downwards into the caverns. Assuming the previous party there is a 91% chance that one of them collapses downwards into the caverns and as there is a 64% chance of the caverns having a secondary exit there is only a 34% chance a party would have to travel upwards to exit the mines. The mines contents were weight towards being filled with traps rather than monsters and the caverns below infact are the opposite and have no traps. This was to create two states of the complex with the abandoned mines being desolate and the caverns teeming with life but both would still pose a threat to those who would explore.

The mines and caverns are further filled with treasure which is weighted to be produced as within the walls of the mine instead of on the floor. The intent here is to create reasons to return to the dungeon at a later date with hirelings and pickaxes to excavate it. The different value of gems and ores within a dungeon are randomized so that multiple dungeons could be created differently. Thus a referee could create a mine for iron or gold and have their contents feel different for the players. The creatures within the caverns (without modifications to make them more fantastic) are constructed to have a variety of different inhabitants which would change per cavern complex. This would allow multiple cavern complex to feel different from one another lest each cavern complex encountered would have the same trogodyte denizens. Lastly the stats of the denizens are arranged in such a way that the fantastic elements could be easily consturcted. For instance the cave folk who wear the chitin of trilobytes would be better armored and the demihuman centipede folk would be easily made rather than intricately written out.

Playtesting and Adjustments

I have run three sessions of exploring such abandoned mine sites. The only significant change from the initial draft was to reduce the amount of lethal blackdamp found in dungeons to facilitate movement downwards into the caves below. The players reactions to the valuable nodes of gem and ores as well as the fossils embedded in the walls of the dungeon was to fomulate plans to return and excavate them later instead of recovering them during the first dungeon expedition. The abandoned mines greatly reward cautious exploration and preperation beforehand as the danger of avoidable traps is much greater than that of monsters.