Saturday, November 30, 2013

Signs your party is not the first in the Dungeon.

Sometimes players decide to keep returning to the same picked over part of the dungeon because it's safe rather then delve deeper.  This is especially common if it's a mega-dungeon.  best way of dealing with this is rival packs of murder hobos on a spree.  Treasure gets grabbed, enemies slain, allies turned hostile and a new extremely dangerous entry goes on the random monster table - the rival adventuring party.
Add this to your random encounter table...
Here's a table of  hints that the party might not be alone anymore.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lost in the Dense Forests South of Denethix.

The forest South of Denethix and towards the sea, covers the entire area between Mt. Rendon and the Livid Fens.  It hols several attractions to adventurers including the fabled Molybdenum Tombs, infested with crystal jaguars, The Obelisk of Forgotten Memory and the Tomb of the Rocketmen.  The area also contains the towers, fortresses and complexes of several wizards and is a rich zone for the recovery of ancient artifacts and smaller ruins dating back to the centuries before the collapse.  The below table list random items and locations discovered while wandering this trackless tangle of brambles and ominous black barked pines. 

Perhaps these are useful for on the fly hex socking, or roll one every few hours of travel to give the forest a bit of life perhaps. This table is not a substitute for random encounters.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Zone Tigers

Recently there has been talk about “Tigers” in the OSR gossip world. Tigers being animals that appear specifically adapted to hunt humans.  From my understanding of the fossil record, and especially of how the big cats hunt baboons with terror, perhaps jaguars would be a better name for these beasts, but any large hunting cat will do and the label tigers has the advantage of a Borges reference.  The beast that “can only be faced by a man of war, on a castle atop an elephant.”

Below are a pair of  “Tigers” specifically for the “Zone”, inspired by the novel Roadside Picnic, and FATE SF “Zone Project”.  These aren’t simple anomalies, mutants, or extraterrestrial horrors, they specifically hunt the Stalkers that seek to plunder alien artifacts from the Zone.
A Real Zone

Rust Tiger – While greed or curiosity is the lure that brings stalkers and scientists into the zones, once behind the nightmare curtain of the zone, every investigator craves only safety and survival.  The Rust Tiger hunts with hope, the lure of safe passage amongst the horrors of the Zone, and it hunts with a will beyond hunger and animal cruelty.  Rust Tigers hunt only men, and will not even harm the dogs that stalkers sometimes use as scouts or defenders, and Rust Tigers show actual malice and cunning, even an art, in their predations.

The source of the Rust Tiger’s malice is unknown, but the more poetic of the stalkers claim that the secret of the beasts’ rage is found in its form.  While every Rust Tiger is different they all appear as the detritus of everyday life, objects of home and convenience left to decay, corrode and rust  in the unwholesome environment of the zone.  Indistinguishable from any mound of domestic debris or spray of forgotten objects half buried in the mud of a ruined cellar the Rust Tiger waits in ambush.  Some animating force however controls these seemingly random bits of trash, and suddenly it will rear up from concealment, tearing with claws of thick television screen glass, gnashing with jaws of broken coffee mugs, and flowing quick and deadly on limbs of warped furniture.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tomb of the Rocketmen - 1st Playtest Report.

Tomb of the Rocketmen Playtest - I ran a playtest of Tomb of the Rocketman the other night, the party was fairly successful, losing one member to a trap and most importantly they showed me that the Tomb isn't instantly deadly (as I had feared) or impossible to enter.

A crack team of skilled graverobbers, killers and antiquarians assembled at the personal orders of the Grande Vizier of Denethix.

Grisham Everyman – A perfectly mundane man of middling years, with mud brown hair and hard brown eyes.  Only his armor, a suit of white ceramic plates, marked with blue designs is remarkable. Fighter 6

Dogrok – A cyclone of anger from the beleaguered tribes amongst the Feasting Trees.  This warrior wears elaborate fluted armor made of the finest steel and his hammer is the living heartwood of a Feasting Titan. Fighter 6

Mo-Mo – Moktar Warrior from the Certopsian, Deadly with a black Zweihander from a dusty serpant man tomb and favored by his ancestors.  Moktar 6

Marina Cleric of Theosaurid – Worshipper of the gilded god of dinosaurs, a devotee of the most savage faith amongst the orbital gods (or so they claim – Rarge God of Savagery disagrees).  She is always accompanied by her Doberman convert and guardian, Lt. Dog. Cleric 6

Gamma Ray – Sorcerer of the Sword, a well built warlock who is fond of  grandiose gestures.  His past is unknown to any but himself, and he hints at retaking a tower somewhere in the Worthless North.  He carries a powerful artifact of lost sorcery. Magic-User 6

11 – An ancient machine of rust and impenetrable armor plating, unearthed near the home warrens, 11 destroyed the foolish dwarf nobles that thought he could be bound by chains of compound interest.  Its drills and magma cannon still function, and now 11 is a heartless bounty killer. Robot 6

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cliff Dwelling Map

Another Map - Playing with Isometric paper.  The hard part with isometric maps is putting rooms on top of each other.  I think they can be good for small locations or really spread out spindly ones, but I feel like a lot of information is lost and the limitations outweigh the coolness factor.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Another G'Damn Map

More for "The Pretender's Dread Machine".  Another map.  Not all cool and old school, an outdoor map, of the "Autocrat's Tear", a canyon in the midst of the accursed halfling infested (Yes halfling rustics with curare - don't say you weren't warned) Yellow Lands.

What we're looking at is a canyon, with a cavern at the East end.  I'm not sure how well it played out, but this is the trouble with drawing and drinking. The walls of the canyon are black rock, and the vegetation grey.  The milky water flowing within is poison, death by slow petrification.

A) An ancient watch tower of arcane weapons, blasted to rubble.  Formerly the den of Skip Lions.

B) A blasted crater - where a Wizard met his end when faced by Desolate Crusaders and Wire Ghasts.

C) Pubelo religious center of the ancients. Empty, dusty, gold here and there.

D) Vile Marsh where the milky water pools in stinking sludge, and Wire Ghasts roam.

E) The Cavern of the Machine, A  huge arched cavern, with cenotes dotting it's floor,  the cenotes vary in color as they have been permanently dyed by the pigments that coated the sacrifices made by the ancients, or possibly by the industrial effluvia of the Pretender's Machine.  Wire Ghasts, Rusted Sentinals and Desolate Crusaders emerge from the pools and stalk the cavern.

Updated with a bit of a fix to make the cave clearer and the letters more functional

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Map, a Short Project

Perhaps it's not really wise to start a new project right now, but I have.

The Pretender's Device
Here's the map of the place, well the dungeon map.  It's a sequel to Prison of Hated Pretender of sorts 2nd - 4th level I think - that sweet spot of adventuring where one can be a bit the badass - but still doesn't have access to world shaking powers.

It's generic fantasy world, but still a bit weirder then a vanilla fantasy module (I hope).  I decided to write it based on the fun I had writing Seas of Love - which it'll likely be similar to in scope (though it's a 21 room dungeon - which is fairly big for me because I don't believe in empty rooms). 

The idea behind the location is a hidden canyon, once used as the site of rituals that aided the Hated Pretender's (An ancient despot long removed from power) Empire by resurrecting his slain champions and generals.  The "dungeon" itself is a giant machine (the map) that contains the secret of life, and unlife, and mutation, and horrible pacts with soulless Machine Entities.

Officially now a long project.