Friday, August 31, 2012

10,000th viewer and doodle

So I got my 10,000th hit sometime on August 27th - 28th, almost exactly three months after I started this blog.  In honor of that event I have posted the drawing below.  It's of an Otyugh Sewer Prophet or something and it is meeting my ASE adventuring party in a suitably ASE setting - an abandoned water treatment facility rusted and flooded from centuries of ill use and no maintenance.  Not sure if a fight or a discussion of the relative merits of sewage worship and Monstcromism is about to happen.


I've always been fond of the Otyugh - it's a uniquely D&D creature I believe and fulfills the lovely dungeon naturalism function of garbage disposal.  It's all a downright disgusting monster, and completely alien. All of these make Otyugh's interesting, especially as they aren't evil and can be reasoned with - sparing the otyugh is incredibly sensible - though no one does I suspect, at least if the GM is describing the vile things correctly.  Oh and as a child I had the AD&D otyugh creature toy - it was pretty awesome & at the same time, kind of lame.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

HMS Appolyon Session V - Gunrooms and Ghosts

No feats of arms are performed, but amazing feats of luck occur.  Interactions with gloomy dead things, unwholesome live things and increasingly threatening men occur.

The Desperate and Foolhardy Adventurers

Quartle(Th/MU1) , Frogling water elementalist and former junkyard owner, with his familiar the Steam Beaver.

Vorning Vess (E1), Former member of the passenger class, exiled for necromancy.

Sem, The Cleric From Beyond (C3) - A heavily muscled priest of an unknown god.

Thalia (C2) - Death Priestess, now a 2' tall hobgoblin

Kerup Potali (Th/MU1) - Incautious frogling appraiser of valuables, Augur and spearphbian

HENCHMEN: Pincip, (now) Pikeman of Argos (Lvl 1 Fighter), Krang the Unkownable, Dinosaur Hunter (Lvl 1 Fighter)


Their Monstrous Victims
None

Subtotal: 0XP
The Glorious Cargo Salvaged

1 Suit of composite Steward riot Armor (Light AC6)  - 100GP (cause it'll look good on parade)
3 Riot Shields (Large Shield) - 60 GP
1 Shock Rod (1D4 + Stun - Unknown number of charges) - 300 GP
7 Batons (5 Given to Guards for reentry) -4 GP

Anything retained will not give XP or GP.

Subtotal: 464GP/474XP


Mysterious Objects Recovered

Unstable Explosive Junk - The Gunners of the Rust Gate recognize to goo on the end of Vess' pole as unstable explosive, they say its very dangerous and in bulk it can explode if exposed to fire or jostled too much.  They want to know where you found the stuff and how much you found.

Subtotal: 25XP for learning about a dangerous substance

Exploration
Party ran from something like this - Art by 8eelze

Avoided Crawling Death - 50 XP
Encountered the Buck Nakeds again, still no violence - 50 XP
Discovered 2nd Entrance to Steward Station - 100 XP
Narrowly Avoided Unstable Explosives - 100XP
"Defused" Door trap - 100 XP

Mapping: Will determine depending on if party wishes to reveal existence of way into Substation.

Subtotal:400XP

TOTAL:899XP/464 GP

Per Surviving Party Member - 150 (Plus any mapping XP) 
Per Henchman - 75 (Krang a Fighter 1 now)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Merrow Man - An HMS Apollyon Humanoid

MERROW MAN


No Enc. 2-12 (22 - 220)
Movement: (40')/40' Swim
Armorclass: 5
Hit Dice: 1+1 HD
Attacks:1
Damage: 1D6 + Special
Save: F1
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: IV/XXI
XP: 21
Merrow Men are small, generally about 4.5' tall, humanoids, appearing much like eels with arms, legs and vaguely human features.  They are amphibious and while Merrow Men primarily live on land they must immerse themselves in water for a few hours a day to avoid drying out.  Merrow Men are fairly intelligent, but most only speak their own language as they tend to be private and clannish.  Their encounters with humans invariably turn to conflict as Merrow Men have volatile tempers.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

HMS Apollyon - State of the Ship, Session V

Below is the a map showing Exploration of the Hull.  Currently Only Deck 9 has been investigated.


As of the date of the map the following factions in the Hull have been discovered:

Hull Dwellers                                                                                                                         
1) The Craydogs - Semi-Intelligent, non-verbal crayfish headed dogs.  Live in Auxillary Power area, especially the Western rooms, destroying walls, mimicking former victims and setting crude traps.

2) Merrow Men - Intelligent, utilize mutagenic flesh sculpting, numbers have been winnowed but are still unknown.  Dwell in caves carved from junk pile in buried vault, and possibly in other areas to the North of it.  Likely very very angry.  May have captives.

3) Sheriff Buck Naked's Men - "Nudist" humans covered in glyphic symbols, some crossdress.  Live above the Southern Stairs (apparently) and have demanded food and metal supplies in exchange for 'safe' passage.

The Current Status of NPC Parties:
1) The Gearmen, Exhalted of the Ship Spirits.  12 Effectives, mostly armored fighters and clerics in good bronze and steel armor.  Some Blunderbuss armed retainers.  Led by Brazen Gear (C1).  After thier recent haul of 1200GP worth of copper pipe the Gearmen have begun to turn the Rustgate storefront church of the Ship Spirits into a real temple.  They plan to raid into the hull some more to gain funds.  There has been talk of Lady Stott accompanying the Gearmen on a tour of the "reclaimed" areas of the mushroom farms.

2) The Sons of Vanderdecken.  4 Effectives, Well equipped in high quality armor and gear.  Led by Marco Templeman (F/MU 4/1) Hiring and recruiting with very limited success after their pitched battle with the Merrowmen.  Obvious reluctance to join them by most of the Rustgate's denizens.  Have hired Hanz the Engineer and given him some armor and a boarding axe.

SternTown Factions

1) Mechamn and the 'Scavenger's Guild' - Plans for a hall and exchange continue, apparently there's been some success with his map/bond sales and stories of the various scavenger groups exploits.  He's trying to spin the battle with the Merrowmen into a heroic war against evil by paladins of the upperdecks (with limited success - especially amongst the rich).

2) The Vory - Rumblings that the underworld is considering getting in on the scramble for wealth from the hull.  Known Thieves in law seen hanging about Rustgates (usually with perfumed  kerchiefs in front of their noses) and increased activity around Madam Bibi's establishment.

3) The Factors - Trade is picking up (why is unclear - speculation mostly) and talk of retaking the Machine Shops is high.  Funding opportunities may exist.

4) Church - A young priest of The Queen has been seen in the Rustgates and may be looking to buy space for a small chapel due to the increase in Ship Spirit Conversions.  The Gearmen are talking tough - but since the churches are not actively hostile that seems odd.

5)Frogtown - Magicman seems to have a lot of money lately.  He's always been known to be a spy for Boss Wugg, and he was showing off a bound Undine of some size a few days ago, but he's not talking.  Local Frogling Merchants also seem especially close mouthed.

6) Uptown - Party Season is about to start. Apparently scale and fish-like fashion is all the rage - recent summonings have emphasized this.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Baby's on Fire.

So Adventurers love oil, they like to pour it on the floor, douse things in it, and most of all to throw Molotov cocktail style bombs of it at everything that looks remotely flammable.  All this pyromania should have consequences.  Below is a table for effects of fumbling with flaming oil bombs. The effects are not pleasant, but one or two fumbles will have any surviving characters considering oil based grenades with a bit more circumspection...

1D10
(+ or -)
The table of accidental incineration (Flaming Oil Fumbles) Roll 1D10 and add or subtract the appropriate DEX bonus/penalty
-2 Inferno of Death – Somehow You've managed to coat yourself, and every party member within 10' in a flaming haze of oil doing normal oil damage. That's not the worst though. The flames have caused a chain reaction as any oil bombs in the party's possession explode, unless a save vs. Paralysis is made for each vial. These vials will do 1D6 damage per explosion to the individual carrying them.
-1 Airburst – A perfect throw scatters flaming oil over all party members in 10' of the oil thrower. The oil does normal flaming oil damage.
0 Premature Impact – You've thrown the vial perfectly, assuming you were attempting to drench another party member. Randomly pick another party member and do full oil damage to them for three rounds.
1 It's in Your Armor – Not only did you manage you break the oil over yourself, but you managed to light it after it had soaked into the nooks and crannies of your armor. Take normal oil burn damage for the next three rounds as the trapped fire takes longer to burn.
2 Self Immolation – Your doused in flaming oil. You're on fire and it hurts. Take normal oil damage.
3 Friendly Fire – You've doused 1D4-1 party members in flaming oil for normal oil damage.
4 Splash Damage – It wasn't a clean hit, but you've splashed 1d4-1 party members (including yourself) with flaming oil. All will take 1D4 points of damage.
5 Ceiling of Pain – Now the Ceiling is covered in flaming dripping oil. Everyone in a 10' radius must save vs. paralysis or take 1D6 points of damage for the next two rounds. If outdoors treat as a roll of (-1).
6 Hot Foot – You just dropped a flaming bottle of oil on your foot. Take 1D4 damage and roll a Save vs. Paralysis to hop away before taking an additional 1D8 next round. In any event you're jumping around with a flaming foot, unable to act for 1D4 rounds.
7 Fails to Light – The bottle clash against the ceiling, a branch or your fighter pal's helm and douses 1D4-1 party members in oil. Luckily it was unlit, and your allies are simply soaked in highly flammable oil.
8 Covered in Oil – You managed to break the bottle over your head and are now soaked in oil. It's not on fire, but it could easily get that way.
9 No Retreat – Whoops, slippery bottle. The oil lands directly behind your party and blocks any hope of retreat until it burns out in two rounds.
10 A Perfect Disruption – Arcing with perfect aim the oil bursts between the shield walls and creates a flaming barrier that prevents melee combat between the belligerents for two rounds. Missiles may still be used,
11 Drops in Eyes – The oil flew off fine, despite missing embarrassingly, but a big splash of unlit oil ends up in your eyes. You'll be blind for 1D6 rounds, attack at -4 each round or rub your eyes and save vs. Paralysis to get the painfully stinging junk out.
12 That's not Oil – You threw something else by accident, GM decides what else in your pack was hurled, and its effects, but hobgoblins are nonplussed by holy water, and that potion of heroism you were saving, well now it's on the shattered on the floor.
13 Stoppered Vial – In the excitement you forgot to light or unstopper the darn thing and it bounces off a target landing unbroken on the floor. Maybe you can pick up it later.

Vaults of Pavelorn - Session V - Incineration by Lion

Beni Profane - rat catcher and affable spelunker
Once again the four adventurers, Lune the Veteran, Higgans the Sorcerer, Sarin the Cleric and Travin the Crusader entered the vaults of Pavelorn in search of easy gold.  Gold was recovered but it wasn't easy.  Lune was hampered by an incredible hangover that left him with only 2 HP (a poor initial roll) and bad judgment (my own), but the rest of the party was in good spirits and suitably chastised by last week's narrow escape.

Entering as usual the party investigated the first room to the South of the entrance, its walls molded with faces and its entire width bisected by a cliff dropping to the boulevard fifteen feet below.  As the party investigated the faces, finding nothing, their light attacked the notice of something wearing heavy boots and marching feet echoed in the distance.  A troop of Monster Men was expected to arrive shortly so Lune encouraged an ill advised ambush involving placing a pole with the lantern in one area with hiding out of its light.  The ruse worked and a group of ten armored figures and one smaller rag wrapped one investigated the light.  The rag wrapped creature began writing something on the floor and playing with a strange object.

The Certopsian Situation - Player's Map

Below is the a player's handout map for the Certopsian Situation.  It's mostly to scale, the map being based on the region map in ASE 12.

200 miles South of Denethix

Forces on Map

3rd Unyielding Fist Expeditionary Force 
 Operating out of Camp Cestus on the Eastern Edge of the Livid Hills 180 miles SOuth of Denethix.  The long supply lines have reduced the 3rd to an almost purely defensive force.  It contains a small irregular Cavalry regiment (varied mercenaries, including the PCs) and a regiment of infantry, mixed Certopsian militia and fist regulars. Support units include a battalion sized formation of Steel Leviathans (20) and an entrenched force of anti armor engines and artillery, almost a battalion of each.

11th Arrow
An almost exclusively snakeman force, fortified atop the Dry Steps mostly to prevent progress South by Denethix's larger forces mobilizing near the city.  It consists of a strong infantry battalion equipped with heat staves and octopod rifles and a battery of light torque guns. 

14th Golden Arrow
An small but elite force encamped at the Moribund Pleasure dome.  A mixed company of snakeman infantry, nomad scouts and a section of mutated triceratops armor.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wampus County - Small Packages of Death

The latest correspondence from Chauncy Woolstrike to his deadbeat Father.

Father,


Our Antagonists By Thurz of Deviant Art
First, I demand word of the valuable Artifacts I have entrusted you with, those frescoes were cut from the walls of an ancient tomb at great personal risk, in the very teeth of a murderous cult intent of using my vitals in unspeakable rituals.  While I am aware of the effort that you have taken to care for the children, and your constant need for funds - I too am in need of funds.  I have a business now, and am expecting an increase in custom now that I have made a client sharing arrangement with the local witch, as such a reserve of Capital is essential.

Second, Allow me to relate the difficulties and extreme privations that I face here in Wampus, so that you will appreciate the efforts that went into acquiring those art artifacts that you appear to have squandered in your usual way.

Recently my companions (Ornibus, Mr. Early, Mr. Iornwall) and two other adventurous individuals, one Slin Zade, a wizard of unknown pedigree, and some sort of squirrelly rummy named D'earf, set off to aid me in the collection of the skulls of several "Devil Fairies" and to aid themselves in the collection of lucre.  I also hired a Mandril bodyguard named Habenero Pete and Mistress Cobweb, the young lady we rescued from the cult, to act a gunbearers.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Certopsian Situation - Checkers & Dr. Benway

It's guaranteed that the only way (ok maybe if you've given them a wand of lightning bolts or they're really crafty) that your party will beat the Serpentman manned, cuthonically enhanced, pair of armored triceratops guarding the front of the moribund Pleasure dome where the 100,000 GP prize is stored is with some armored back up. Well at least if they go about it in a stand up fight way.  I will post about my armor system when I work it out - but it'll be some sort of Structural Damage thing like Mekton or SpellJammer.  Basically your bullets, spears and magic missile will only serve to annoy an armor unit unless you manage to get very lucky. I'm aiming for that sequence in war movies where the tank just chases people down, bullets sparking off the glacis plate until its treads fill the screen - expect it's you wizard's carefully hoarded fireball that only manages to shake the monstrous beast for a second.

Old Steel Leviathan Doodle
Below is the obvious solution to a pair of twenty ton triceratops armored in coats of eldritch signs and sprouting grabby tentacles. An insane robot tank and its insane scientist mechanic. Yes, it's Science Fantasy Oddball.  When I played the scenario in its rough form the Steel Levitihan below was able to hurt the 16HD brutes pretty good before the caught up and gored Checkers onto its side (horns ripping through steel plate), dislodging Benway and stamping him to bits.  Both triceratops were hurt bad,stitched with .50 Caliber bullets and the party was able to get rid of their last few HP with magic missiles, a critical with a poisoned crossbow bolt and several blasts from the pneumatic dart gun on the dune buggy they stole.

Prison of the Hated Pretender - PDF

Prison of the Hated Pretender

A PDF of the Adventure Location that I wrote up on this very blog a few weeks ago. It's a small tower designed with 0 -1st level PC's in mind.  Nothing complicated, but there are some opportunities for things to go a little different than a normal dungeon crawl. 
It's a merciless monster!
The link is HERE.  As always if you run it for someone let me know how it goes.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

An HMS Appollyon Spell - Auric Devourer

A player recently purchased a strange elemental version of Tenser's Floating Disc from a untrustworthy Frogling.  Below is the Spell in my best high Gygaxian


Auric Devourer (Summoning)

Level: 1 Components: V, S, M Range: 1" Casting Time: 2 rounds Duration: Special
Saving Throw: None    Area of Effect: Special

Explanation/Description: A simple Summoning, available to even to weak practitioner, with this spell the caster summons a small toad like elemental creature from the plane of Earth and asserts a limited amount of control over it.  The Elemental will appear in a summoning circle made of powdered iron.  The creature appears as a squat metallic toad about 4' in diameter and is both docile and harmless.  If attacked it will vanish back to its home plane, and cannot be recalled.  If the spell is cast again a different devourer will appear, and any valuables within the first are irretrievably lost.

The elemental serves only a limited purpose, it gluttonously devours valuable metals and can eat up to 10,000 coins worth of copper, silver, gold, electrum or platinum. Controlled by the caster the Devourer will only eat the metal it is directed to, and will not travel far from the caster's side to do to.   After it has had its fill, or at the command of the caster, the creature will vanish silently back to its home plane, but may be recalled to either eat more or disgorge the valuables within.  Making the Devourer disgorge its meal is traumatic to the beast and afterwards it will not return unless again compelled by the spell.

While digestion is not a danger (The digestions times of Earth Elementals are geological in duration), rarely a Devourer will lose its meal and return with nothing.  There is only a 5% cumulative chance of this per week the Devourer will lose the caster's valuables, and there is a flat 5% that it will return having devoured more noble metals (50% addition to value of contents).


Apollyon Session IV - Law and Order

This was a strange adventure, the number of players was high, with 6 being a bit more than I can properly wrangle - though I think I am improving, and an amazing four random encounters (I roll when the party makes a lot of noise, enters new areas or loiters too long).

The Desperate and Foolhardy Adventurers

Sir the Fist of Uther, Elven traveler from a distant world, priest of the god of magic and heavily armored.

Quartle, Frogling water elementalist and former junkyard owner, with his familiar the Steam Beaver.

Vorning Vess, Former member of the passenger class, exiled for suspected necromancy.

Sem, The Cleric From Beyond - A heavily muscled priest of an unknown god.

Quigg-spleak, Frogling harpooner

Kerup Potali - Incautious froggling appraiser of valuables, Augur and spearphbian

HENCHMEN: Pincip the loyal wrecker (Lvl 1 Fighter), Krang the Unkownable, Dinosaur Hunter (Lvl 0)

Their Monstrous Victims
6 Cray Dogs - 244
Revenant of Abandonment - 200

Subtotal: 444 XP
The Glorious Cargo Salvaged

10 Lbs of copper cable - 10GP/10XP

8 Fresh Cray Dog Claws (5 given to guards) - 6GP/16XP

8 chamber Light Revolver - 150 GP/XP

40 Lbs of Fancy tinned and canned goods - including sardines in wine sauce and pork and beans (400GP/400Xp)

Subtotal: 566GP/576XP


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HMS Apollyon - The Darkness and its Lurkers

Rumors abound in the Scavanger's and Wreckers bars behind the Rust gates about what has been seen, battled and fled from within the hull -  Stories about what one's father or great uncle encountered twenty years ago have almost equal popularity and perhaps an equal chance at veracity, as the drunk and traumatized rarely tell the complete truth.
The work of a talented Deviant Art Monster Artist
Rumored Beasts:

1. War Haints - Ecotoplasmic semi spectral echos of the desperate struggle and retreat from amidships, Haints aren't allied with the Dead, but they are dangerous.  The generally go about whatever activity was most important to them when they died, usually fleeing down long deserted corridors.  Most resemble Stewards or Sterntowners from two generations ago.  From the distance Haints are easy to mistake for other scavengers, but disturbing them almost always shakes them from their strange revery and causes them to attack violently.  Even when Haints aren't aggressive some claim their touch causes the lungs to fill with curdled salt ooze and rust.

A favorite story of Haint encounters is of the explorer who spots a long lost family member down a companionway and rushes after them.  Later the explorers companions find him dead, seemingly drowned and frozen, but with arms outstretched as if receiving a hug.

2. Merrow Men - Merrow Men are a rarer species of intelligent tribal humanoids that scratch out a precarious existence at the edge of the domains of more dangerous creatures.  Merrow Men are supposedly the offspring of Humans and Merrows (monstrous scaly mermaid type creatures) who have bred true.  They appear as short (4' Tall on Average) smooth skinned eel headed grey humanoids, though much variation exists among the breed.

Their bands usually number twenty to a hundred of individuals and they fight each other as readily as they fight anyone else.  Primarily scavengers, Merrowmen have mastered a couple of technologies that allow them to compete with more powerful groups.  First they are excellent at concealment and trap making and know to hide from their enemies when possible.  Secondly they are masters of a bizarre for of life magic that includes the creation of artifacts such as armor and weapons from living tissue.  Merrowman flesh sculpting uses alchemical and magical oils and unguents to transform living meat into static forms that meet many of the humanoids' needs.

3. Scintillating Crabs - Not truely crustaceans this variety of outsider fauna has made the HMS Apollyon home.  It is unclear if the physical or psychic habitat is what draws them, but Scintillating Crabs have become relatively common in the wetter areas of the hull and do well there. 

The Crabs are large, up to 300lbs and 4' tall, moving on several legs and attacking with pincers like a normal giant crab.  However, they have the strange quality of not being fully of this world, making them stutter in and out of phase, much like a skilled Augur.  This, combined with Scintillating Crabs thick brightly patterned chitin makes them hardy opponents and more dangerous than their natural weapons alone would indicate

4. Rust Ooze - A form of giant crawling amoeba that is reddish in color and persists on a diet of ferrous metals.  It is attracted to heat and high quality steel and will drop or surge from the floor to envelope the unwary, dissolving armor, weapons and flesh. It's unclear how to best battle these creatures, though some suggest oil will dissolve them and others claim a solution of vinegar and silver filings makes them burn. All agree the best solution is to wear sturdy bronze or hide armor and avoid steel weapons.

5. Archer Polyps - An Oyster like fungal form that chokes halls and rooms.  The fungus aggressively gathers nutrients for itself by firing hardened discs into any creature that comes near.  One annoying feature of the polyps is their near immunity to fire.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

ASE - The Certopsian Situation

I haven't been posting about ASE much lately as my home campaign seems to be winding down as real life intrudes for my players and I play more myself in Pavelorn and Wampus County.  The party has wiped out almost all life in the first level of the ASE (which they out-leveled drastically), and since ASE II isn't out yet, I enlisted the party in a penal battalion of the local enlightened despot's army/guards using their legal troubles as a pretext. After an initial period of annoyance they've had quite a good time and discovered that the war provides opportunities for skilled treasure hunters with limited scruples.

My plan is to turn the pair of adventures I ran for the home party of Huxley, Drusilla, Grimgrim, Lemon and Nell into an adventure along the lines of the Obelisk.  It's less a dungeon crawl and more a hex crawl with a small set battle at the end.  The model for the romp is the excellent 1970's farce/heist/war movie "Kelly's Heroes" - which I know has been discussed before as a basis for an adventure - but seems especially appropriate to ASE's gonzo sensibilities.  Additionally, it becomes homage and not appropriation when I have a dysfunctional robotic tank (a "Steel Leviathan") that says "Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves" (and takes combat penalties each time there is table bickering). 

HMS Apollyon - Maps of Exploration

The flotsam of the sea have been put to good use aboard the HMS Apollyon, and the areas beyond the Rustgate are being pacified and explored for the first time in years, unlike the scavenging of professional companies like that of the missing Rangvar, these group have shared their maps with Mechamn the "Scavenger General" and each other.  Below is the current state of exploration, many small caches of treasure have been discovered, but no one has returned with a serious haul yet.

The Currently active groups are as follows:

1) The PC's - They don't have any official name yet but this group has been fairly successful at opening new areas.  Found loitering in various rusty crannies and low bars. Their numbers are unclear but they seem to be attracting disgraced froglings in number and they may include powerful clerics of strange god.  Rumors indicate that they might dabble in necromancy, but that's hard to believe.

2) The Anointed Arm of the Ship Spirits, The Gearmen, The Reclaimers etc... A group now 12 strong of holy warriors dedicated to the Ship Spirits and seeking to do the holy work of reclaiming the ship - they appear to be focusing on the Mushroom farm and are led by new holy man of the spirit named Beazen Gear.  The band acts as guards and acolytes of Lady Stott's storefront temple of the Ship Spirits and is supplied form the temple's purportedly large coffers.  They are friendly and offer a vegetarian feast once a week at the temple to anyone interested in the Ship Spirits, it is rumored that their sermons are mediocre as is the kelp loaf.

3) Sons of Van der Decken, an unknown quality, consisting of four passenger class fops and a crowd of retainers - they are well equipped and confident but may not be desperate enough to persevere.  All they've done so far is annoy and enrich the local vice mistress.

MAPS
Mechamn's Map

Mechamn has commissioned the following map, mostly to scale and showing the explored areas.  It is being used to sell bonds and gather donations to possibly fund the reclamation of the Mushroom Farm and Power Station, but initially to set up an exchange where wealthy individuals can buy into scavenging expeditions for a share of the profit.

Cartographer's Map - 1 square = 20'
Another map has been prepared from the varied scrawling of returned scavengers and is "guaranteed 80% accurate".  Members of the cartographer's guild may copy it and it is being sold (a rare act) for 10 GP.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Red Demon - Keyed!

A few weeks ago I posted the Red Demon in the Swamp - a map of a moribund ancient siege engine decaying in the swamp.  I posted a monster for it as well later in the week.  Now in it's full glory is the keyed location!  Nine Rooms, two strange and deadly monsters that will tax your players sense of the absurd. Fantastic treasures of both the mundane and the magical variety.  Two tables for random hijinx - one good, one decidedly unpleasant!

Follow this link for a full PDF of for a 3rd to 4th level science fantasy bit of strangeness.

  
Once again - here's the map, download the PDF, ignoring the typographical errors, to find out what those cryptic names mean.

Note: Fixed map quality issue (will Download as PDF without blurring) and added stats I forgot for a monster.

HMS Apollyon - Welcome Aboard

Now with three sessions of HMS Apollyon exploration over it seems appropriate to post an introductory document for the campaign. Edited 11/27/12 due to gameplay changes.  Edited last 8/30/215.
From the Comic Leviathan - inspiration for the setting
First the Practicals

Flailsnail's Player's Introduction

I am running a dungeon crawl of the HMS APOLLYON - a miles-long demon and monster haunted cruise ship that travels between worlds and frequently 'rescues' individuals from the seas it traverses. Perhaps it's a crude metaphor for Davy Jones Locker, perhaps I just like boats. The games have been played for some years now as non-static world, and currently use my own house rules based on Whitebox/0E D&D.  It's open ended and if you're on Google + and want to play look me up - while people who have dedicated HMS Apollyon characters or play regularly have precedence, there are usually a couple open spots for casual players who want to check out the setting.

Genre: It's sort of a mix of a "point of light" campaign, social climbing and horror.  Embattled and not very nice humanity is trying to claw back something from the monsters, environment and other intelligent species within the hull of an Leviathan cruise ship long gone dark, crumbling and strange.  The polyglot Sterntown is the only known civilized area and just now recovering from a disastrous war 40 years ago.  Sterntowners are allied with at least three (four really, but we keep quite about the Draugr) mundane non-human races, and their leaders, the passenger class, have dealings and share bloodlines with infernal powers.  Humanity is not the most powerful faction within the hull, and the characters are the lowest order within Sterntown.  Hence there is an element of survival horror here, or at least I hope there is.  I am aiming for an atmosphere of drippy, damp, dreary and odd - but it's not especially serious, and gonzo elements exist (like Flying Monkeys).

Level: Right now the game exploring early midlevel (3rd-5th) areas of the hull. I am using OD&D mechanics however so the power curve is rather flat and first level characters have little trouble adapting.  In the past there was an original flailsnails game that reach 7th level, a passenger class game that played around on the upperdeck at 1st level, and a second scavengers game that reached about 4th level.

Magic: The HMS Apollyon is a place of lots of weird, but fairly weak magic.  Don't expect to find a great many magical treasures, and the ones you do find are likely to do odd things.  A +1 sword is more likely to simply be made of good steel, and a magic sword is likely to only cut the shadows of enemies (effectively I might add).

Technology: Anything is fine, but it's likely I will adjust its abilities as I see fit - There are space age zap guns lost deep in the hull of the Apollyon, and bolt action rifles are standard issue to guardsmen.  Whatever your worlds trotting adventurer has picked up is unlikely to unbalance things.  Discussion of available 'new' technology is here.

Campaign Goals: The goals of the campaign are open - setting up a colony, acting as religious crusaders, plundering a pharaoh's golden sarcophagus, overthrowing Sterntown's overlords - all can be ultimate goals.  The basic premise though encourages an exploration game, and exploring is rewarded with both XP and money (in the form of mapping commissions).  As such, keeping good maps and finding one's way past obstacles is a solid strategy for wealth and fame


Treasure:  Treasure aboard the Apollyon is salvage mostly.  This includes gold and gems, but it also includes working machine tools, copper pipe and fancy canned goods.  Astute players will be rewarded for thinking beyond the standard treasure heap system of many games.

Monsters: Yup there's lots of them, from hyper-intelligent Fishmen to dogs with crayfish heads.  Lots of undead as well, and very few creatures are in the monster manuals - most do strange gross things.

Example Here

Pacing: Trying to run the game once a week, for about two hours a session.  In game pacing is not linear - that is while things are generally easier in the starting areas near the Rust Gate they're not universally so.  Running away is a good option sometimes.

Important House Rules

The basics of the current system are HERE or under the "Player's Guide" heading - they are getting finalized.

Counter Spells: Magic Users, and only magic users (not hybrid classes), can counter-spell instead of casting.  Basically if you know a spell you can counter it by holding your turn and watching the other magic-user.  If you counter successfully they end up losing the spell and it fizzles.  The other guy can do this to you as well.  Note: almost every caster aboard the Apollyon knows sleep and magic missile.

Death and Injury (NEW):At Zero HP a character is unconscious or dead.  The player may roll a save vs. death at the end of combat, to reducing merely be injured and unconscious. Injuries from near death are usually permanent and stat reducing.  In especially bad cases they may require the PC to retire.  Death saves may be re rolled when another PC spends the combat attempting to stabilize the dying character.  If the character or NPC stabilizing the injured character has skills as a Doctor the injured PC will receive a second save at +(level of doctoring) to avoid injury if the first save is made, and to survive if it is not. 

Guns: Firearms are prevalent on the Apollyon.  Muzzle loading weapons are cheap enough and manufactured widely in Sterntown.  Better gunsmiths are available for weapons up to the bolt action rifle and revolver lever. More advanced weapons used to be common and can still be recovered in the hull.  Ammunition is readily available and may be custom made for found weapons.  Guns work with simple "exploding damage" - on a roll of maximum damage another roll is made.  This works for each die if the gun has multiple dice of damage.  Heavy slower bullets tend to have larger damage dice, while small high powered guns have more smaller dice.

The Environment

Sterntown: This is the standard megadungeon starting town, the gates lead directly into the untamed, monster crawling hull.  However, the players are limited to where they can go within town due to their status as outcasts and strangers and are limited to the slums around the Rustgates (main exit into the hull) until they prove themselves friends of the town.  The important locals are generally helps and info can be found here on the page.  Details regarding the vessel at large are here, and rumors here.

Rolling Up a Member of the Crew: Rolling up a member of the crew is a reasonable option, and has certain advantages. There's a character generator here - but generally I just use 3D6 in order.

Other options include F/MU hybrids is the form of exiled members of the passenger class.

Flying Monkeys act as servants and scouts for the Apollyon's elite and are F/TH hybrids.

Froglings are a major minority aboard the Apollyon, and know elemental magic as will as having Specialist skills (light fighters or thieves).

Draugr are specially constructed and concealed undead horrors  and are fighters/magic users or specialists.

Merrowmen are awful little eel people, most are specialists but with certain stats they may be fighters or magic-users.

 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Junk dens of the Merrow Men - HMS Apollyon, Play Report III

The Desperate and Foolhardy Adventurers


Sir the Fist of Uther - Elven traveler from a distant world, priest of the god of magic and heavily armored.

Quartle - Frogling water elementalist and former junkyard owner, with his familiar the Steam Beaver.

Vorning Vess - Former member of the passenger class, exiled for suspected necromancy.

Sem, The Cleric From Beyond - A heavily muscled priest of an unknown god.

HENCHMEN: Pincip the loyal wrecker (saved last seesion), Mr. Dragitz - drunken, priactical lout with a sword for a left hand and a brace of pistols.

Their Monstrous Victims
2 Merrow Men - 242 XP
5 Merrow Men Soldiers - 180 XP

Subtotal: 422 XP

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pavelorn - TPK miraculously averted

Pavelorn - Session V - Shrine of Evil.


They didn't look like this - whoops
The town of Zolfarth is largely abandoned, and the ruins shunned a dangerous, unholy and the abode of evil.  The abandoned "shrine" (a basilica complex in actuality) in the South East corner has the most evil reputation of the abandoned locales - with claims that those who wander near at night vanish, or if they fail to vanish they see strange and unnatural things.

The party's Clerics have been interested in "cleansing" the shrine for a while, and this session the party endeavored to begin the process.

Starting early on a bright morning the party wandered through the broken and shattered ruins of the city and reached the shrine walls without incident.  Covering approximately 300' square feet the shrine's grounds were a bit more expansive then expected.

The gates led to a short path the the basilica itself, its front doors closed, and flanked by two towers. The entire structure appeared oddly twisted and melted, but largely intact, with a priory off to the East.  A small way shrine or crypt was built to the West of the gate and to the East massive stone plinths dominated a large overgrown graveyard.

Exploring the crypt directly besides the gate, the party discovered the body of a holy man drained of blood (and promptly beheaded it - dragging the parts into the sun beyond the gates of the shrine) and a few vials worth of holy water in an old font.

Horrible Frog Monster


A terrible monster of considerable size and ferocity.  I can't say this frog beast is a dragon replacement - but it isn't not a dragon replacement.  I intend to use it as a 'Thousand Towers' monster (aka ASE), and it's what's dwells in the lower hull of my "Red Demon" map.

Caecilian Tyrant attacks


Caecilian Tyrant 

No Enc. 1/(1-4)
Movement: (40')/20' Swim
Armorclass: 5
Hit Dice: 10 HD*
Attacks:1
Damage: 1D8 + Poison/ Special
Save: F 8
Morale:8
Hoard Class:XXI
XP: 3100

Caecilian Spawn
No Enc. 8-18
Movement: (10')/20' Swim
Armorclass: 9
Hit Dice: 1/2
Attacks:1
Damage: 1D2 + Poison
Save: F 0
Morale:12
Hoard Class: Nil
XP:6

The Caecilian Tyrant is a feared alpha predator of the vile fens that feeds indiscriminately on anything smaller than it. Frog-like giants, Tyrants range up to 14' long and can be as wide as 8'. Varying wildly in pattern from the bright color of tree frogs to dull browns, Tyrants shamble on four legs most of the time, and rear up on their back legs only to make aggressive displays. Caecilian Tyrants are fairly quick, and swim well, but they are amphibious ambush hunters and will lay in large pools or mud pits with clusters of their large eyes on the surface. Tyrants are covered in thick scales, this, combined with their poisonous attack, means Tyrants are unused to prey that injures them and will often flee back to their lair if wounded.

Generally Tyrants prefer to lair in dark sheltered places, and their large size means that simple burrows in the swamp mud are insufficient. Because they cannot make their own lairs, Tyrants most often hole up in ruins, and so remain fairly rare, with a single Tyrant, or rarely a small family group, guarding a hunting range of tens of miles centered on the lair.  If they are encountered in their lair, the Tyrant is far less likely to flee and will have a morale of 11.  Caecilian Tyrants are not especially intelligent, having only the limited reasoning of a hunting beast with only a real understanding of how to hunt and live in the wild swamp.

Posion Barb – Tyrants have a mouth full of wicked teeth as long as a human forearm set in shark like rows, but they do not use them in battle. Instead of biting, Tyrants use their frog-like tongues, 12' long and capable of striking into the second row of melee. The tongue is tipped with a jagged bone barb covered in a virulent venom. If struck, a victim must save of die as well as taking 1D8 points of damage from the wound and the deadly poison coursing through it.

Devour – On a natural 20 a Tyrant will not only strike with its barb but wrap its victim in its tongue and drag them into its huge maw. The victim will devoured the next round and slain, but will be able to make a Strength check to break free from the tongue is lieu of an attack prior to being devoured.

Boiling Spawn – Caecilian Tyrants are hermaphroditic and almost universally have natal young encysted on their back. Normally these young emerge in small numbers once every few weeks and, if not devoured by their parent, wander off to grow slowly into new tyrants. When a Tyrant is slain a strange chemical process occurs, within 1-2 turns of death, as the Tyrant's body cools all the young remotely able to survive tear themselves free all at once and launch into a wild frenzy of cannibalism and violence. These creatures are individually weak, but 2D6+6 of them appear unexpectedly and all share the adult Tyrant's deadly poison.

Monday, August 13, 2012

HMS Apollyon - Monsters I - Crayhound (updated)

Below is  a creature from the HMS Apollyon.  I recently used these monsters, I think to fairly good effect.  They managed to lure the party into their ambush spot and launched a surprise attack from multiple sides - but unfortunately for the hounds they rolled terribly and five Lvl. 1 adventures took down five hounds (A sleep spell and magic missile helped) fairly quickly.  Still, I think crayhounds are a successful monster - uncanny, a little different, but simple enough in concept to be a good opponent for early forays into the Apollyon and later become a nuisance random encounter.  I justify putting the crayhound's stats up because they are a commonly known menace, with abilities that are general knowledge amongst scavengers.

Crayhound
Crayhound
(B/X or Labyrinth Lord)

No Enc. 1D6/
(6 - 25)
Movement: (40')
Armorclass:5
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks:1*
Damage: 1D6
Save: F2
Morale:9
Hoard Class:XII
XP: 38

Crayhound
(Apollyon House Rules/ OD&D)
No Enc.: 1D6 (hunting pack)/1D6 per HD of Matriarch (Den)
Movement: (5) [fast]
Armor Class: 15
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 2spc (Claw/Claw)
Attack Bonus: +3
Save: F2
Morale: 10
Hoard: Metals/coins/imperishables

Crayhounds, a species of hybrid monstrosity created by generations of the vessel's natural magical warping and various repercussions of the forbidden magics practiced aboard the HMS Apollyon.  They appear as large muscular dogs, only terribly transformed with a pair of crayfish claws and crustacean head growing from the dog's shoulders.  The crayfish body continues down the hound's back and provides sturdy armor for much of the beast.  Crayhounds have rudimentary intelligence and a pack like structure that make them exceptionally dangerous. Crayhounds cannot be tamed without magical compulsion as they hate all non-cray life which they delight in killing and eating.  Crayhounds themselves, especially the claws are excellent salt boiled, steamed or grilled in the shell, and a good sized craydog claw will fetch 50GP fresh or 20GP canned.

Crushing Claws: Crayhounds' claws are enormously strong and capable of sheering through even the bulkhead steel of the Apollyon, because of this strength, the armor worn by scavengers provides a small obstacle to crayhound claws.

B/X: All crayhound attacks are at a 2 point AC penalty to their targets.
OD&D: All worn armor (except boilermail) is treated as a maximum of AC 15 by craydog claws

Mimicry: Crayhounds are natural mimics and have an uncanny ability to copy the voices of those they have heard.  Most crayhounds will find a particular phrase they especially like and use it to lure intelligent prey.

Trap Setter: The intelligence of crayhounds is coupled with a predatory cunning, and they have sufficient manual skill to set simple traps such as pits and dead falls with their claws.  A pack of hounds will set traps around its lair and sometimes along hunting trails where they will use their mimicry ability to lure victims into the trapped area.

Entropic Sport: Crayhounds are creatures tainted by the decay of the Apollyon, and forged by the energies of Pandemonium's seas as they leech through the hull.  While mostly beasts, they can be turned by the ordered energies of the Ship Spirits, but only imperfectly (turn as if +1 HD)

Matriarchs: Craydogs create lairs when thier packs become large enough, usually near or within large pieces of the ship's machinery (power rooms, pump systems, elevator batteries, ordinators), where they begin to shred and destory bulkheads and internal fixtures, almost as if disassembling the vessel from within.   These lairs will usually contain at least one matriarch as well as a whelping chamber, stuffed with decaying meat, where the black glistening orbs of craydog eggs cluster on the walls like poisoned oil droplets, and small clear shelled craypups squirm, feast and snap on the filthy floor.  Packs of crayhounds will be led by 1-2 larger breeding matriarchs, who are somewhat more intelligent and will oversee trapping the lair, birth a multitude of craydogs and direct the packs attacks with a great deal of cruel cunning.

In B/X Craydog Matriarchs will have 3-8HD, AC 4/16, Atks 3 (2-16/2-16/1D8), SV F3-8, Morale 10
In OD&D Craydog Matriarchs are 3-8HD, AC12*, Atks 3 (2D6/2D6/1D6+flurry(2)**), SV F3-8, Morale 10 *Craydog Matriarchs have one point of damage reduction per HD - in damage reduction is reduced by one per melee attack made against the matriarch previously in that round. **for every melee attacker above two facing the matriarch she gets a free responsive attack.  On a successful attack this does 1D6/2 damage and will stun the enemy for one round unless a save vs. wands is successful.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wampus County - Play Report V - The Hokum Tournement

Chauncy Woolstrike sorcerous inebriant writes the following short txt in a letter to his college thurmaturgy lodge "The Order of the Maleficent Owl".  Aslo included is a scribed copy of the spell "Floating Disc".

Chauncy's Level 2 character sheet.


 Recently the rustic town of Thistlemarch has had a bit of excitement in the form of a wild gambling tournament and an orgy of debauch proceeding it.  As you may have heard I am flush with cash from the destruction of a vile cult of necromantic incompetents.  My companions and I recovered a great deal of amber stone that the cultists were using to store the antiquarian relics of power.  I have placed the relics in the hands of a local witch for examination and begun to build a business of the spell selling and magical investigation variety.

Thistlemarch is normally a dreary and unremarkable frontier town, dusty, fetid with livestock odors and inhabited by uncultured boors - though after this week I fear I prefer the company of the boorish and uncultured to that of fops and snobs.

The tournement was for the unimaginable sum of $10,000.00 in gold, enough for a man to retire on happily and two of our members entered the contest.  As a group, and with hope of splitting the money my companions and I decided to, with light hearted pranks and psychological manipulation, do what we could to better our companions chances.

Mr. Early (a gunslinger and Hokum player) spread rumors that Ornibus the snake priest had a car playing tell involving the use of his special (and unspeakable pommade).  He also tried to stir up speciesist ire against Mr. Muddypaws, a canine gambler.

Ornibus Jones (Priest of an unwholesome snake God) for his part tried to convince an insane player to wear mirrored glasses that would reveal his cards.  He also seduced a elderly and (to my eyes) unpalatable witch with the, not unfounded, hope that she would be distracted an unable to play properly.  Ornibus later attempted to intimidate the minotaur Argyle Mac Argyle by eating rare beefsteak in front of him.

James Iornwall (Kilted barbarian of quaint mores) found a companion spirit in the minotaur gamesmen Argyle Mac Argyle. 

Abel Killijoy, whose name I can't remember, (A fellow man of the Western Kingdoms and writer of outlandish stories - look for his tales in the worst class of paper - as I may appear in them only slightly embellished).  Interview a strange foreign prince with a prehensile mustache.

I (Warlock of Waxing Power), interview the The Magnificent Montranto and we got along famously, while the man is no gambler (and clearly has no need of gambling - beyond the lark of it) he did offer to exchange some sorcerous advice with me - Chauncy Woolstrike.   I also found the Twittering Fop, Engleton Peacock in the local bar, and introduced myself in the spirit of our lodge.  Well Peacock was no gentleman so I figured it was time to give him the Owl's Hoot and cajoled him into a drinking game.  Now of late  my tolerance for the local rotgut has increased out of necessity, but the fop could not hold his liquor. I tried to give him fresh air, but when Engleton collapsed from his weak constitution I had no choice but to steal his silly blonde wig, shave his head with my magical dagger and draw the Owl's mark on his forehead in indelible scroll ink.  He performed poorly in the tournament...

After a day of drinking I stood on the porch of the house out band now occupies, after the rat related demise of its former owners, and handed out whiskey and business fliers to the revelers, when a shot range out. 

It was followed by a woman's scream, and Mr. Iornwall felt the necessity of investigating.  In the alley behind the saloon we discovered one Three Legs Hoolihan with a fellow contestant, Ms Pryce and a dead body.  The body had a hoel through its chest and was that of an accountant for the tournement.

Hoolihan and the lady both agreed that they'd come outside and found the victim with a shadowy figure lurking above it.  Hoolihan had shot, but missed the attacker.  We took the pair back to our abode and confirmed their stories with the hypnotist's tricks.

After letting both Hollihan and price our band walked to the sign in and I use dmy growing skills to determine who might be using magic in the contest.  Nothing special appeared to my sorcerously enhanced eyes, except for Lord Chuffington the snob goblin - who seemed to wear a magical monocle.  I confronted the fiend, but he was unflappable and I could tell nothing could be done short of violence.

I also attempted through subterfuge to sway the wits of the foreigner with the prehensile mustache, but failed.

When we returned to the house, we found Ms. Pryce waiting for us, apparently finding our company favorable to that of Hoolihan.  We let the lady sleep upstairs in response to her request for safety, but were not rewarded. In the dark of night a strange female figure attacked the Abel in his sleep.

Luckily he screamed and when I arrived in the kitchen, a monstrously transformed Ms. Pryce was attempting to impale Mr. Killijoy with elongating claws.  I blasted her with magic from a scroll I had previously prepared, that nasty spell that Kentworth charmed off of Professor Choat - the one with the pearly beetles*.  The spell, a cudgel blow, a blow with my pistol and the back breaking strength of Iornwall were not enough to end the mysterious creature. Finally Abel brained it with a frying pan, while Iornwall had it trapped in a bear hug.

Clearly a strange beast had assumed Ms. Pryce's form, as the former debutant melted into a gray puddle after the skillet blow.

Alas out plans bore no fruit and neither Mr. early or Ornibus Jones were able to advance past the first round.  Sadly the cheating snobgoblin walked off with the pot, a victory for foul play that I can't abide.

I am well established here now and if a young Owl is in need of the kind of opportunity only the raw frontier can provide I would welcome an assistant.  In another note - have any other Owls experienced unnatural aging due to the combination of whiskey consumption and increased thaumaturgic power? Please send a note if you're familiar with this effect.

*Per my random table of magic missiles Chauncy's magic missile spell causes opalescent beetles to hatch with the target and rapidly burrow out to fly off in an explosion of gore.



Friday, August 10, 2012

1D50 table - What do I Find?


Having recently started running a campaign, I have discovered that good players have a tendency to search and fumble through unexpected thing.  It gets boring to say "You find nothing" and saps the vitality from my setting - thus the following table.  Useless trash - 50 entries, some have a few GP in value, but it's all simply setting dressing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Abandoned Power Station - HMS Apollyon - Play Report II

A party of adventures follows the sound of a strange voice and finds themselves in a struggle to bring light to the darkness of an old power station against the efforts of chthonic crayfish hounds.

The Desperate and Foolhardy Adventurers

Abandoned Control Room
Sir Fist of Uther - Elven traveler from a distant world, priest of the god of magic and heavily armored.

Quartle - Frogling water elementalist and former junkyard owner, with his familiar the Steam Beaver.

Vorning Vess - Former member of the passenger class, exiled for suspected necromancy.

 The Cleric From Beyond - A heavily muscled priest of an unknown god.

Quigg-Spleak - Frogling Harpooner.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wampus Country - Hey I won something!

So Eric of Wampus Country had a contest last month, and my submission involving how to die while flying in hot-air balloons battling terrordactyls and escaping angry clergymen happens to be the winner.

Seriously though! The reason I was able to write anything worthwhile is because Eric's setting is pretty amazing.  It's one of those concepts that sound simple, even silly occasionally, but he handles it with a combination of seriousness and frivolity that makes adventuring there an absolute delight.  I think this is because Wampus sticks to the farce of tall-tale rather than the bathos of "Weird West" that it feels fresh and appropriate for a RPG setting.   For example - witches abound, and they're eminently helpful, but also unpredictably terrible; they remove curses with rusting pinking shears (ominously keeping what they cut off) and accept sculpted cakes in the form of babies as payment.  This tone may sound silly, but in the moment that one's character is staring a dapper ghost in the invisible face with only a six shooter full of bullets carved from prehistoric monkey bones, 1/2 blessed by a snake oil salesman of a preacher, it's actually tantalizingly horrifying.

Anyways thank to Eric's groundwork I was able to write something he found interesting.  Check out the blog - it's worthwhile and interesting, a subversion of fantasy gaming tropes that somehow remains true to the spirit of the thing.

When the PDF comes out shortly you can all tell me how I inaccurately model falling damage and balloon movement.  Heck complain about the statistics of the Ugly Bird and I'll even try to defend them -"Silver John is 6th Level!(at best)"- as long as you check out Eric's Blog.

Pavelorn - Across the Boulevard

After a successful haul last time the party was looking for ways to spend its money.  (To convert it into XP) Lune the Fighter decided he'd like to throw an archery contest to determine who in town was the best shot with a crossbow.  This would both encourage local goodwill and potentially draw the best henchman candidates.  The event was a success, and one winner was hired, a calm seeming farm boy.  Additionally, thanks to a lucky last minute whim Saren the holy-warrior decides to purchase a fair amount of anti-venom, specifically giant centipede and giant spider.

The adventurers then returned to the Pit and decided to leave a mercenary guarding a room near the entrance so that there would be a place to keep bulky treasures without them being lost.  The mercenary assigned to stand guard is a bit concerned about being left alone in the small room, but the adventurers spike the doors leading from the South so that he's only in danger through a concealed door overlooking the the first, now looted villa.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Important figures of Rustgate

The following individuals are the persons most likely to have useful information an contacts within Rustgate, together they control the area and their goals - extracting as much wealth from beyond the rust gates as possible, without weakening thier defenses are more or less aligned. All of them may find the party useful, and a few may even take a liking to or see the benefit in aiding brave souls that can actually accomplish something amongst the Apollyon's general air of desperation and hoplessness.

Mechamn - Scavenger General

Mechamn is an old scavenger who has spent most of his life adventuring in the hull, he's still a strong fighter, though well past his prime.  Now retired from active plundering he attempts to organize and encourage scavenging and reclaiming the hull.  No living individual has seen more about the unexplored reaches of the hull then Mechamnm, and for respect and small change he will share this knowledge.

The old scavenger is actually fairly messanistic about reclaiming the hull and quite helpful to those that do.  He is rumored to have the finest set of maps, including blueprints recovered from the unexplored regions.

Mechamn is almost always accompanied by Mr. Twinkles, an equally aged one winged flying monkey who is known to be a deadly shot with bolt action carbine he carries at all times.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Passenger Class Characters

The Passenger Class

Aboard the HMS Apollyon, the hereditary ruling class is known as the 1st Class Passengers, Uptowners (though not all Uptowners are strictly 1st class), or simply the Passenger Class. They are a decadent and cruel race, having tyrannized the Apollyon's human population for hundreds of generations and watched it decline, struggle, and fail. The Passengers still affect the veneer of the civilization that their distant ancestors left behind, a mannered society of politeness, protocol duty, but the event he most mundane domestic rituals have mutated into stylized performances. The passenger class is stereotypically made up of sorcerers who deal with sinister otherworldly forces, to a large extent this is true as even the most mundane Passengers have some magical ability due to a history interbreeding with otherworldy “outsider” entities.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Price of Total War

This is a Weird Adventures post about Hobgoblins and Hobogoblins, and the effect of PTSD on fey creatures.

Hobogoblins are a feature of the New World, toughed, rough-living descendents of the various quaint fey of Ealderde.  Everyone knows them to be basically harmless nuisances, so even the ocassional hobogoblin abduction story or murder spree is laughed off by a populace that knows hobogoblins only as dump-dwelling, train-hopping, petty thieves and drunkards.  Yet, like everything else, the great war has cast a terrible shadow over hobogoblins.  Ealderdian hobogoblins' and similar ancestral feys' lives were uprooted and shattered by the war just like the human populations they lived beside.  Hobogoblins were not destroyed by the war, they are survivors and gleaners before anything else, and the gobs of Ealderde soon adapted to harsh war-time conditions.  Skulking amongst ruins, trenches and no-man's lands hobogoblins scavenged from the detritus of war, just as in the New World they collect the cast away product of consumer society.  In the harsh enviornment of the battlefield disorganized, weak and careless hobogoblins were quickly caught in the crossfire, leaving only the cunning, the strong and the cruel.  These remaining creatures mimiced the militarized world around them, adopting many of its ways and fixating on weaponry, military rituals and uniform.  Nor are the powers of Ealderde wholly innocent in the creation of this menace, seeing how the war effected fey, both sides attempted to enlist, enslave and use transformed hobogoblins  for their own ends, enlisting or enslaving whole battalions of the creatures as terror troops and raiders.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Doodles

Here's a drawing of some monsters...This is what I do while playing flailsnails sometimes.

Walk Without Rhythm ... HMS Apollyon Session 1

Now imagine it with a mole man whaling on it with an ax
Aboard the HMS Apollyon a motley gang of travelers plucked from the sea were sent into the depth of monster cursed HMS Apollyon and all returned to tell the tale.

Released form the relative comfort of the infirmary and subjected to a series of irksome and insulting personality testing, the castaways were herded to the rust gates, a fortress barricade bristling with cannon that leads from the civilized Sterntown into the lost regions of the hull.

Of the 30 odd lost souls, our six adventurers appeared to be the most well equipped and skilled.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rustgate (starting) Equipment List - HMS Apollyon

This sort of thing is not available in Rustgate
Below is an equipment list of what supplies can be bought around the rust gate - a minimum of trust will be required to get out and go to the Scavenger's Souk where better equipment can be found.  Expensive, magical and better mechanical equipment can be found on the Promenade, but unless one has a special pass (such as for religious observance) that area is out of bounds to flotsam and exiles like the characters.


ARMOR

Anyone can wear armor of any kind that they have the Strength for.  Armor Skill gets rid of Penalties as detailed in the appropriate skills post. Wizards should consider the Weapons Training skill-set if they would like to wear armor.




AC Description Price Min STR Penalty
8 Piecemail armor, woven fiber armor, Padded Armor,Soft Leather (Light) 15 GP 5 None
7 Hard Leather Armor, Studded Armor, Ring-mail (Light) 30 GP 6 -1 hit / AC 8
6 Shell/Chitin Armor, Scale (leather/light), Half Cuirass( Light) 40 GP 9 -1 hit / AC 7
5 Chainmail, Heavy Scale, Plate Cuirass, Brigandine (Heavy) 80 GP 11 -1 hit /AC 6
4 Splint, Banded, Heavy/Reinforced Chain or Mirror Armor (Heavy) 150 GP 13 -2 hit /AC 5
3 ½ Plate, Plate and Heavy Scale, Plate-Mail (Heavy) 1200 GP 13 -3 hit/ AC 4
-1 Shield – Light metal, Leather, Chitin, Wood or Woven shield 10GP 5 N/A
-1* Heavy Shield – Metal, Hardwood 30 GP 11 N/A
N/A Helmet – Various metal or leather helmets** 15 GP N/A N/A

* -2 vs. Missles
** Grants an additional saving throw when something smacks you in the head or you fall.

Min STR – If you lack the Strength to use the armor all rolls are at -4 and AC is two levels lower. For flailsnails PC's these rules and the Penalties will apply if you're buying armor aboard the Apollyon or it seems appropriate (i.e. you've played several sessions, have leveled up etc).

Penalty – (See this post for detailson Fighter Skills) For native PC's without the appropriate armor skill there are penalties associated with wearing armor one lacks training in. Generally this means wearing armor you can use is more effective than wearing armor you can't but which is heavier.

Note on Weapons and armor: Bronze weapons are favored and cost 1.5 times as much as they do not corrode or rust in the awful damp environment of the Apollyon. Silver Weapons cost 10 x normal and take a session to forge. Magic armor is assumed to have no strength requirements or use penalties.

MELEE WEAPONS


Description Price Min STR 1 or 2 HD? DMG
Sword, Scimitar, Morningstar, Large Axe 25 GP 11 1 HD 1D8
Mace, Hammer, War-Crowbar, Short Sword, Short Spear, Bayonet 15 GP 7 1 HD 1D6
Dagger, Brass Knuckles, club, blackjack 5GP 5 1 HD 1D4
Rapier, Small Sword, Katana (fine sword) 100GP 7 1 HD 1D8
Battle Axe, Two Handed Sword, Maul* 55 GP 13 2 HD 1D10
Polearm, Pike * + 25 GP 9 2 HD 1D10

* Always attack last regardless of inititative.

+ May attack from 2nd Rank.

MISSILE WEAPONS

Description Price Min STR Range
S/M/L
DMG
Throwing Knife, Throwing Steel 5 GP N/A 10'/20'/30' 1D4
Light Crossbow/Spear Gun (pneumatic)* 35 GP 11 30'/50'/80' 1D6
Heavy Crossbow/Spear Gun (torsion)* 80 GP 16 45'/60'/100'

1D8
Shortbow 50 GP 8 30'/50'/80' 1D6
Longbow/Compound Bow 100 GP 14 45'/80'/150'

1D8
Javelin, Throwing Axe, Harpoon, Spear 10 GP 8 15'/25'/35'

1D6
Arrows or Bolts x 30 10 GP N/A

N/A
Quiver ** 5 GP N/A

N/A

* May be used is below minimum strength but will require a Goatsfoot or Cranequin to reload, and this takes a round.

** Without a quiver reloading takes an extra round unless the player spends a round sticking arrows into the ground and doesn't move from their firing position.

Guns
Guns are in loud, smells and tend to do no more damage than other missile weapons, except they are very handy in close quarters, have almost no strength requirements and hit for exploding damage. That is if a gun rolls maximum damage an additional damage dice may be rolled. This is why certain highly penetrating weapons such as bolt action rifles do multiples of D4 damage rather than a single die, the wound is almost guaranteed to be nasty.

Firearms come in three varieties Low Technology, Medium Technology and High Technology. Low technology weapons are the most easily available and are almost universally muzzle loading requiring extra time to load. Medium Technology Weapons are harder to find and are cartridge firing. High Technology Weapons cannot be made by the current engineers of Sterntown and begin at clip fed automatic weapons.

Description Price Min STR Range
S/M/L
DMG
Wheelock or Flintlock Pistol + 50 GP N/A 15'/30'/50'

1D8
Matchlock or Musket * + 150 GP N/A 45'/100'/150'

1D10
Blunderbuss/Shotgun(muzzle loading) + 150 GP N/A 10'/20'/30'

1D10
Shot and powder for 10 shots 15 GP N/A

1D6
Powder Horn, Cartridge case, bullet kit ** 100 GP N/A

1D8
* This is a long gun and may have a bayonet attached. Seating a bayonet takes 1 round, but firing while it is attached gives a -1 to hit. Bayonets effectively turn the rifle into a short spear.

+ Muzzle Loading Weapons are slow to fire and lower velocity, they take 2 rounds to reload (can be reduced by gun skill).

Description Cost
Light Sources
Torch – Burns for an hour x4, 40' Light 1GP
Lamp – Burns of 4 Hours, directional, 60' Light with Shutters 15 GP
Glow Kelp – Glows when crushed for 2 Days, 20' Light (Green) 6 GP
Flask of Lamp Oil – fills lamps - Range 20'/30'/50' (M), burns 1D6/1d6 1 GP
Oil Bomb, fused, highly combustible – Range 30' 5 GP
Tools
Pick, Shovel or Crowbar (-1 Hit Damage 1D6) 2 GP
10' Pole 1 GP
10' Rope 5 GP
Grappling Hook 15 GP
Pitons, climbing gear, and harness (1 person) 25 GP
Iron Spikes x 5 1 GP
Mallet and Stake 1 GP
Camouflage or Bug Netting (10' x 10') 10 GP
Thieves Tools (Picks, glass cutter, blackening, 10' wire) 30 GP
Fishing Kit (line, hooks, pole, hand net, lures, flies) 5 GP
Containers
Canvas Backpack
5 GP
Leather Backpack
15 GP
Small Sack
1 GP
Large Sack
1 GP
Waterproof Backpack
30 GP
Waterproof Small Sack
5 GP
Steel or Glass jar (Waterproof – 1 Gallon)
3 GP
“Potion” bottle/test tube
1 GP
Bug Spray
Moon Bane herbs (rumored to help with lycanthropes)
15 GP
Infernal Shells (rumored to delay outsiders – mildly magic)
60 GP
Holy Water (Holy to Ship Spirits - effects crawling death)
25 GP
Holy Water (Holy to the Queen – effects undead)
30 GP
Holy Symbol (appropriate material)
30 GP
Mirror, Glass
5 GP
Mirror, Metal (Silver)
30 GP
Sick Lichen (Mild Ingested Poison – 1D6 damage or save)
15 GP
Garlic
10 GP
Food and Drink
Wineskin+
2 GP
Hard Liqour – Bottle+
5 GP
Beer – Growler (bring own bottle)+
1 GP
Iron Rations (Dog Jerky, Kelp Loaf, Sea Nuts) 1 week supplies
15 GP
Rations (Sea Frond, Fungus Flour, Rat) 1 week supplies (need fire to prepare).
5 GP
Fine Rations (Mushrooms steaks, Giant Pigeon, Meat/seaweed Tarts, Chocolate) 1 week supplies (Need fire to prepare)
40 GP
Mad Kelp (Mild Smoked Drug/anesthetic/stimulant - addictive) 3 doses*
15 GP
Laudanum (Intense Ingested drug/anesthetic - highly addictive) 3 doses**
100 GP

+ A belt of alcohol will rejuvenate some HP (mostly the insubstantial kind) at a rate of 1D4 per drink (1 times max a session and can be had during battle – takes 1 round). Bandaging also has this effect after battle or when someone spends time working on a fallen ally.

*Mad Kelp will stop shock and stabilize a dying person 25% of the time for 1D10 turns per dose.

**Laudanum is an effective painkiller for surgery and to prevent shock 75% of the time. It is effective for 4D6 turns per dose, but more than 3 doses in a 24hr period are likely to be leathal.

Note: Upkeep in Rustgate is cheap – A space in a shack rents at 1 GP a week and food tends to run about a GP 1 Day – figure 10 GP a week total for food, shelter and sundries.

There is once nice inn in the Rustgates – The Gilded Exile (Sign appears to be a mummy previously dipped in brass) where a night of food, drink and a private room run 80 GP, the owners can also arrange contact with dealers in unwholesome pleasures.