Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tempest Everlasting: Survival on the Strange Seas

+Joey Lindsey has a contest on his METAL vs SKIN blog for a copy of  Doom Cave of the Crystal-Headed Children, an adventure written for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess RPG. Plus another adventure written by Joey himself and other runner-up prizes.
    This map of encounter ideas is my entry

TEMPEST  EVERLASTING

Ancient Legend
    Air. Earth. Fire. Water. Since time beyond mortal understanding the primal elements of the world have struggled for dominance over one another.
    At the forming of the world, Earth called out to a mountain from beyond the sky.
The mountain pierced the Air, boiled the Water, embraced the Earth and awakened the Fire below.
    The balance of the elements is inevitable . The mountain was shattered, leaving a colossal wound in the Earth. Water rushed in to claim the new void. Fire boils and churns from beneath, never allowing the scar to heal. Still to this day Air lashes the area with raging storms and blasts it with bolts of furious fulmination.
    A tempest everlasting.

Current Events
1. The Puzzling Desert - This dry waste was once home to a thriving civilization that was long ago conquered by wizard allies of the elemental plane of Earth. The people were transformed into living husks who don't need to drink water to survive. They are trying to deforest the surrounding landscape and expand the desert.

2. Port Underfoot - This town is a known smugglers den. Anything goes as long as a hefty tribute is paid to Nix and Nox, twin ogre magi. They control an impressive fortress on Mount Overhead to the south. Any who disrespect the ogre magi or their enforcers are thrown into the shark infested reefs nearby.

3. Island of the Astrologer - On the southern shore stands an ancient stone lighthouse. A huge enchanted telescope has been built into the top of the light house. The astrologer wizard who lives here can summon creatures represented in the constellations to do his bidding.

4. Segar Isle - Rose the sea hag and her vulture familiar make their home here. She is served by a small army of degenerate pink tropical  kua-toa. They believe she is an avatar of the Sea Mother, their elemental water goddess. She can also be found terrorizing the seas in her pirate ship, the Black Barnacle.

5. Lost Adakkor - Here lie the ruins of the civilization that suffered the curse of the Puzzling Desert to the north. A few noble families and their retainers remain here in the hopes of finding a way to defeat the elemental earth wizards and reclaim their people and their country.

6. Aerie of Megaira - Megaira the gynosphinx rules these mountains and commands an army of corsairs. She resides at the peak of the mountain in an ancient temple of the air elemental Boreus. She and her pirates ply the seas in search of weaker ships to plunder.

7. Brakoora Isle - Despite its sparse vegetation, this island supports a small human population.Traders who frequent the island tell tales of nocturnal rituals on the beaches and the hunched silhouettes of huge, clawed beasts that crawl from the surf.

8. Aerie of Aella - Aella the gynosphinx makes her home here in the ruins of an ancient college on the slope of this dormant volcano. She spends most of her time studying occult tomes in the library. It is built like a vault, with walls of adamant steel and sealed with sturdy locks and magical wards.

9. Knucklebone Isle - A family of oracles makes this island their home. They are famous for casting the knuckle bones of their ancestors to foretell the future. It is said to harass them is to invite calamity and doom.

10. Aerie of Kimon - The criosphinx Kimon guards a forgotten prison at the top of the mountain. For the right price one can bribe Kimon to abduct one's enemies and lock them in a cell here to rot. He is constantly trying to impress and seduce the sphinx sisters, Aella and Megaira.

11. The Quickmire - This island is covered in brackish swamp and deadly quicksand. There is spring near the north shore of the island whose waters are said to make the drinker invulnerable to the stone gazes of the basilisk and medusa. Giant shark-form lamias hunt the waters around the island.

12. Jub-Nelumbo - Villages in this area produce a variety perfumes from rare tropical flowers. The plants are also sought by alchemists and poisoners for their toxic properties.

13. Muckmarsh - The soggy wilds of Muckmarsh are dominated by insects of every sort. Explorers tell tales of dense swarms of bugs that imitate the shape of men and speak an alien language in buzzing voices.

14. Charmaw Peaks - This entire mountain range boils with volcanic activity. The tribes here are lead by shamans who channel and transform into fire elementals. They have dire plans for the kingdom of Akandwa to the south.

15. Mount Jak'Irby - Jak'Irby the storm giant resides here in a palace carved around the entire mountain. He does everything in his power to protect travelers around his home. Some believe he has the knowledge, if not the means, to banish the Tempest.

16. Lush Lea - These verdant farmlands are home to settlers from the west. They are very superstitious  and fear the spirits of the surrounding jungle.

17. Gurunga - Tribes here have legends of men who live underground. They are said to steal children and replace them with changelings.


18. Akandwa - A noble kingdom in the heart of the jungle. Their monarch uses his natural prowess and magic items to emulate the abilities of the savage mantygers who stalk the night. The enchanters here make magic items using a strange metal unique to the area.

19. The Brashwash - This rocky land is unable to support anything but a few fishing villages. The lack of any strong central authority makes it the perfect hiding place for all manner of criminals and malcontents.

20. Greymist Bay - This well defended fortress is a foothold of law for those who travel here from the east.

21. The Tempest - Abandon all hope...

Things Yet to Pass
    The tables below will hopefully help in generating some interesting situations by rolling on each. Some of the combinations may be vague or nonsensical, but they are meant only to provide the germ of an idea. The basic result is some detail about an NPC and something they want.
 
    How an adventure actually starts or who instigates it is not defined and is best left to the individual DM. Maybe whomever completes a number of missions is rewarded a great treasure. Or perhaps it could all be part of an epic quest to find a way to dispel the Tempest Everlasting.
 
    As an option, objectives could be presented by consulting the oracles on Knucklebone Island (Area 9). For a small fee or favor the oracles will recite the following ritual:

Five pale knuckles shall we cast,
A crook'd pentagram to frame.
Within this starry pattern lined
Our inner eye shall quickly find:
A Form, a Fault, a Place, a Past,
An Appetite to claim.
 
    Then they will allow the characters to ask two or three questions to determine some detail about the five aspects of their prophecy. In other words, of the five (Form, Fault, Place, Past, Appetite) they will discuss only a few. The rest is a mystery to be solved through wisdom and endeavor.
 
A Form
1. Human
2. Elf
3. Dwarf
4. Hobbit
5. Giant
6. Naga
7. Ogre Magi
8. Aarakocra
9. Genie
10. Rakshasa
11. Lammasu
12. Shedu

A Fault
1. Drunkard
2. Cowardly
3. Death Mark
4. Gluttonous
5. Blind
6. Insane
7. Hoarder
8. Phobia
9. Lame
10. Paranoid
11. Megalomaniac
12. Polymorphed

A Place (Where the NPC may be found)
1. The Puzzling Desert
2. Port Underfoot
3. Island of the Astrologer
4. Segar Isle
5. Lost Adakkor
6. Aerie of Megaira
7. Brakoora Isle
8. Aerie of Aella
9. Knucklebone Isle
10. Aerie of Kimon
11. The Quickmire
12. Jub-Nelumbo
13. Muckmarsh
14. Charmaw Peaks
15. Mount Jak'Irby
16. Lush Lea
17. Gurunga
18. Akandwa
19. The Brashwash
20. Greymist Bay

A Past
1. Fighter
2. Cleric
3. Magic User
4. Thief
5. Sailor
6. Artist
7. Fanatic
8. Escaped prisoner
9. Outcast
10. Local hero
11. Sage
12. Feral

An Appetite (What the NPC wants to do or prevent)
1. Research something
2. Deliver something
3. Steal something
4. Destroy something
5. Rescue a person or monster
6. Capture a person or monster
7. Kill a person or monster
8. Defend a place
9. Spy on a place
10. Attack a place
11. Create something
12. Contact the Gods


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 Drawing Post #2

Hey! I drew stuff two days in a row!
Got to keep the momentum!
Normally this is a blog about RPGs that I never play.
More of that stuff later.

 



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Filling White Space


I told myself I would draw more stuff this year.
Since my scanner isn't working right now, here's some digital stuff that slid out of my brain, down my arm and onto a tablet.
Yeah. I'm still learning to draw with a computer...





Saturday, June 1, 2013

Working On A New Game: GUTS & LASERS

This is just a start of an idea for a game I've been working on.
No details yet, just the basic concept of some abilities and how die rolls would work.
****************************************************************

GUTS & LASERS

0. INTRODUCTION
The goal is to create a pulp science fiction role playing game that presents a wide variety of adventure and character options while remaining fast and easy to play.

1. Ability Scores
There are ten ability scores that help define a character or creature within the game.

> Eight of the ability scores are grouped into four pairs:

Guard / Agility
Unflinching / Strength
Temper / Empathy
Senses / Reason

These ability scores have a range of 1 to 10  for normal humans.
> The first ability in each pair is mainly used in a passive, reflexive or defensive manner.
They are normally subtracted from action rolls made against the character, though in some instances  they are added to action rolls.
> The second ability in the pair is used actively or offensively.
They are added to action rolls.

> The remaining two abilities, Luck and Stamina, are variable ability scores, changing often during the game.
These two abilities have an initial range of about 1 to 10 for humans.

> This is how they would appear on a character sheet. The first letter in each ability make up the acronyms, G.U.T.S. and L.A.S.E.R.S.

….....................Luck
Guard.............Agility
Unflinching...Strength
Temper.........Empathy
Senses.........Reason
…..................Stamina


2. Skills
Skill scores range from 0 (No training) to 3 (Mastery).
The score is added to dice rolls when the character attempts an action roll.
It also indicates a potential level of effectiveness when a success is achieved.

Some skills, such as culture, science or tech, are broad ranging in their area of knowledge. Options during character creation may allow for more focus or specialization.

>Agility Skills
1. Climb
2. Drive
3. Pilot
4. Ride
5. Shoot
6. Throw

>Strength Skills
1. Fight
2. Jump
3. Lift
4. Run
5. Swim
6. Wrestle

>Empathy Skills
1. Culture
2. Disguise
3. Language
4. Medicine
5. Merchant
6. Persuade

>Reason Skills
1. Research
2. Science
3. Sleight of Hand
4. Sneak
5. Technology
6. Track

3. Action Rolls
Make an action roll when a character or NPC is attempting something that has a chance of failure.

> Roll 3d6 and add (Ability + Skill + Modifiers (for situation, equipment, assistance, etc))
> Before the action roll is made, the player may spend one Luck point to roll one extra d6.
> If the action is being taken against or is opposed by another character or creature, subtract their (Ability + Skill + Modifiers)
>If the action is not opposed, determine the Risk Factor, which modifies the die roll total.
 * THESE ARE PLAYTEST VALUES *

RISK FACTOR    MODIFIER
      Easy.......................+2
     Average....................0
     Risky.......................-2
     Tough..................... -3
     Heroic.....................-5

> If the die total including modifiers is greater than 13 the action succeeds.
> If triples (three of the same number) are rolled, the character gains one Luck point,
regardless of whether the action roll succeeded or failed. *UP TO MAX?*

4. Roll Results
The skill score is used to determine the level of effectiveness for a successful action roll.
This is done by reading a specific number of the dice that were rolled for the action.
In other words, when you roll the dice for an action roll do not pick them up immediately.

SKILL LEVEL        RESULT DICE READ
0  No Training...........Lowest Die
1  Novice...................1 Highest Die
2  Expert....................2 Highest Dice
3  Mastery.................3 Highest Dice

Other factors may modify the result total, such as weapon type, armor, situation or special abilities.
*****************************************************************************

Much more work to be done on character types, equipment, combat, adventure ideas. All that jazz.

Any comments or questions are most welcome.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Playing More Gamma Red Death World

So I haven't written anything in quite awhile.
I've been continuing my quest for the "Perfect Game".
The one that just jumps off the page into my brain. The one that inspires me to be the most creative mo'fo in the universe, dazzling the players with the sheer brilliance and excitement they experience while exploring this weird new setting.

Here's what I've found.

It doesn't exist. For me.
Maybe others have found this holy Rosetta grail in their quest.

But fun isn't found in a box or a book. You can't just turn on the fun machine.
I mean, I could just plop down a stack of Gamma World or Ravenloft modules, try to come up with some sort of big ol' map and be done with it.
But it couldn't work like that. For me.
I want to create something that will surprise even myself.

Over the years I've loaded up the ol' grey matter meat grinder with chunks and gristle. Stuffed my noggin with the kind of things that I want to see more of in the world. Bits of weird wonderment found in musty book stores and rescued from cheap comic book boxes.
It's been fermenting in my brain pan. Simmering so strangely.

Now I have to find the focus and fortitude to hold my nose and scoop out some heapin' helpin's for potential players.

And so I return once again to the inspiration of my blog, that little section in the Dungeon Master's Guide which provides guidelines for combining AD&D with Gamma World. Mutants and Magic.
I want to examine it closely, because even though I haven't actually played that much over the years, I keep returning to this idea of mashing different games together. Splicing them like some sort of cyborg chimera.

But I want to look at it from a totally active point of view. Before I would just get enjoyment from reading a game and imagining the potential fun I could have if only I could combine it with just the right parts and pieces from other games.
I know it's weird, having fun thinking about having fun. I think it stems from extreme shyness and social avoidance. It's hard to admit that I collect so many games and rarely play them.

Now I need to play. Open Pandora's books and let the dice determine what they may.
_________________________________________________

Gamma Red Death World. Here's the thing.  I tried to play this before.  I didn't plan things out very well or do much prep at all.
I want to give it another go and try to flesh things out a bit more before play.
Oh and I was totally kidding about the Gamma World and Ravenloft modules.
I'm gonna rip that shit off big time.

For reasons I may explain at a later date, I've decided that Gamma Red Death World is not our historical Earth. But there still will be mutants, magic and martians.
Oh, fine. Call it steampunk.

Also, I have decided to use Swords & Wizardry as the core rules with Mutant Future and the Pathfinder Advanced Race Guide thrown into the mix. Among other things what grabs my attention.

 
____________________________________________________________________

               

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Swords & Wizardry Apreciation Day: Five Weird Monsters

Here is my meager contribution to Swords & Wizardry appreciation day.
I hope you all like weird stuff. Enjoy!


Brain Coral
Hit Dice: 3
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d3)
Saving Throw: 14
Special: Confusion
Move: 18
Alignment:  Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 6 / 400

    Brain coral are small amphibious predators that hunt tropical and subtropical tide pools and beaches.
Swirling patterns on their heads act as a 4th level Confusion spell, although it only effects 1d4 creatures.


Centicorn
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class: 1[18]
Attacks: 2 hoofs (1d8), Gore (3d4)
Saving Throw: 13
Special: Magic resistance (25%), Volley of horns
Move: 24
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 5 / 240

    Centicorns are unicorns that have been corrupted by the powers of Chaos.  Their coats turn blood red and their manes turn ebony black.  Dozens of horns cover the head, body and legs.
Three times per day the centicorn can launch a deadly volley of horns from it's body in a cone pattern, with a range of 60' and a 30' base. Targets who fail a save versus dragon breath take 2d10 damage.


Cyborgrilla
Hit Dice: 3+1
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Attacks: Bite (2d4)
Saving Throw: 14
Special: Cyborg parts (see below)
Move: 9
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 6 / 400

    Cyborgrillas are great apes that have been cruelly transformed into shock troops by some strange techno-magic process.
Each cyborgrilla or group of cyborgrillas is modified with different cybernetic implants. Roll three times on the table below. Reroll duplicates or double effects (optional).
1. Armor plating: AC is improved by 2 points.
2. Laser eye: Beam from eye does 2d4 damage.
3. Grav-attack field: All within 10 feet save versus spell or fall down. Usable 3 times per day.
4. Chain fist: Cyborgrilla's fist may be thrown up to 20 feet doing 1d8 damage. Returns automatically.
5. Spring heel: Jump up to 30 feet for a slam attack. A hit does 2d8 damage.
6. Radar sense: Can see invisible and no chance of surprise.
7. Intruder alarm: Loud siren sound attracts more cyborgrillas or other creatures in the area.
8. Stun grasp: Roll versus paralyze or stunned for 1d6 rounds.
9. Auto repair module: Regenerate 3 points per round, except from acid or fire damage.
10. Self destruct: at zero hit points cyborgrilla explodes doing 3d10 damage in 90 foot diameter.


Giant Bat-rat Crab Spider
Hit Dice: 14
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d8), bite (2d10)
Saving Throw: 3
Special: Unknown
Move: 12
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 14 / 2600


Rocket Shark
Hit Dice: 3+1
Armor Class:
Attacks: 1 bite (1d10), 1 nose slash (1d6)
Saving Throw:
Special: Ramming attack
Move: 3 / 48 (flying)
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 5 / 240

    The rocket shark is another weird science abomination let loose on the world. It is basically shaped like a hammerhead shark with a bony blade on the front of it's nose and two jets on it's back that allow it to fly at incredible speeds.
It's most fearsome attack is a rocket ram. The rocket shark fly's at a target at top speed attempting to strike head on. If this attack hit's, the target must save versus death or take 3d10 points of damage. If the save versus death is successful, the victim only takes the normal 1d10 bite damage. The rocket shark can attempt this attack every three rounds, as it needs to build up speed.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Some Drarrings

Blentry, for Petty Gods


Skaal, for Petty Gods

A Necromentor

A lock pick spider
A few things I've worked on recently. I'm happy to say I am having fun drawing again.
Brushing out the cobwebs from the old brain and getting back into the habit of drawing everyday is very satisfying.