Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hard Times in Jarlsburg: Vigilantes Prowl Quagmire

The Hard Times is Jarlsburg's premier source of news (not necessarily truth) and routinely outsells it's competitor, The Cryer.

Extra!

Extra!

Quagmire has been the site of recent vigilante attacks recently, for the third time in as many weeks, a group known as the Shield of Valor has claimed responsibility for "shutting down" criminal operations that are purported to be linked to the Rickenbacher Cartel, which is widely suspected to "run" Yeti, the northern quarter of the city.



Thus far, a brothel (who's "workers" were being held against their will), a spice house (specializing in Spider and Lemming), and as of last night, a warehouse that seemed to be serve as a weapons cache for the Cartel, have all been targets.  While no one was hurt, all members linked to the Rickenbacher's operations were found naked and chained together outside the nearest Watch House.

A letter, sent to this fine beacon of truth, was sent from the Shield of Valor and they "vow to clean up the streets of Quagmire, one criminal operation at a time!"

Neither Yuma nor Yolanda Rickenbacher could be reached for a comment.

More as the story develops.

Melynda Dae Odell, Yeti Beat Reporter
EarlyMorning Edition on the 32nd Day of Novem in the Second Hundred and Twenty First Year of Thronehold

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I got to Play Shadow of the Demon Lord with Robert J Schwalb...

and it was awesome!

Rob's game, Shadow of the Demon Lord won't launch as a Kickstarter until sometime in the spring of 2015, but he's doing a one man tour of several states, including Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, etc. to demo his new game at any local game store willing to host.

When I saw his plans, I jumped at adding Comic Book World to the list.  A few e-mails later and the date was ironed out and then, sadly, I had to wait three whole weeks to play.

Three.  Whole.  Weeks.

Yeah, I know, first world problems.  I get it.

The wait was worth it though.  Rob ran 10 of us through a great adventure fans of Warhammer's Old World could sink their teeth into!

We were a group of inquisitors looking for a priest who delved into Things Man Was Not Meant to Know and ended up getting sidetracked to a farm where horrific creatures were slaughter pigs and halflings alike.

It was great, one of the player's even killed other PC's with an ill timed spell.

Rob's game cuts through much of the clutter that while cool in games like DnD, aren't necessary and hums to life when needed, but isn't afraid to be quiet when its not in use.  And that was explicitly one of Rob's design goals.  Boy, did he succeed!

A special sweet spot for me is that the game is a great way to run games in a similar vein to the Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing Game, which is great as I'm not a big fan of the 3rd edition rules.

If you can talk your store into hosting a demo, do it right now!  And I'll keep you posted on the Kickstarter when it launches.


Daughters & Dragons: Hobble Gobble for D&D 5th Edition

My 10 year old daughter ran the Lost Mines of Phandelver for my son, his friend and sunday afternoon.  She quickly adjusted the plot and locale and had us tracking a Hobble Gobble, one of several monsters she made up on the spot.  I'm going to share those creations over the next few weeks and hopefully she'll keep giving me ideas to share!




Hobble Gobble             

Medium monstrosity, unaligned                                          

Armor Class 13 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points 11(2d8+2) 
Speed 50 ft.

   Str            Dex         Con           Int         Wis         Cha
12 (+1)     13 (+1)     10 (+0)      4 (-3)     10 (+0)     5 (-3)

Senses passive Perception 10
Languages -
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)

ACTIONS
Melee Attack—Peck +3 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 1d6+1 piercing damage.


Ranged Attack—Gullet Bullet (Rechard 5-6) +3 to hit (range 50 ft..; one creature). 
Hit: 1d10+1 bludgeoning damage.


The Hobble Gobble haunts the woods in the area around Phandelver.  Many parents use the Hobble Gobble as a bogey man of sorts to frighten their children into obedience.





Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun Thanksgiving filled with great food, friends, and family.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Primeval Thule: Soothsayer Background for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.


Soothsayer


Areas of Proficiency (1st level): You are proficient in Arcana, Insight, and Religion.

Langauges (1st level): One of your choice.

Tools (1st level): Two of your choice.

Foretelling (Level 1):  Once per day, you can perform a foretelling for one ally within 30 feet. This requires one minute, and you cannot foretell for yourself.   Roll a d20 three times and record the results in order. You can spend a Luck point at any time to substitute the first d20 roll for a d20 roll made by the target ally, or made by an enemy attacking the target ally. The target ally need not be in sight, and you do not need to be able to take an action or even be aware of the ally’s situation—you performed your foretelling earlier, and now it is unfolding. If you have a second Luck point available, you can substitute the second d20 roll after you use the first, and if you have a third Luck point available, you can use the third roll after you use the first and second.
Hear Sooth (6th level): You gain advantage when interacting with merchants, nobles, and other people of wealth. In addition, your reputation as a soothsayer leads powerful individuals to seek out your assistance. You gain a moderate income (30 gp per month) from wealthy patrons who request your counsel.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level, additionally you gain +1 Charisma.

Prophecy Revealed (10th level): Once during each character level at 10th level and above, you
gain a special insight into an important situation or challenge you face by recognizing the signs of old prophecies coming true or discerning the meaning of a powerful omen. This allows you to ask the GM for a hint in the current situation, however if the GM determines that there is no additional information or special insight available, you do not expend this use of the ability.
  Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level, additionally you gain +1 Intelligence.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Prime Materials: Medium Armor for Druids in D&D 5th Edition


Druids have access to medium armor, but only if doesn't use metal.  Thanks to a suggestion from Joshua Wardrop, I've decided to brainstorm some options for druids.

Angel Feather.  Some druids are giving boons from devas serving their god, to either reward them or to signal that they are destined for something special.  The armor is only designed for them and will not fit anyone else and fall into dust upon their death.  It covers the body like scale mail.

Bulette Armor.  Made of bulette hide and covers the body like half plate.

Dinosaur Scale Armor.  Made of very types of dinosaur scales and covering the body like scale mail.

Giant Lizard Armor.  Made of giant lizard scales and covering the body like a chain shirt.

Tortoise Shell Armor.  Made of tortoise shells overing the body like breastplate.


Medium Armor    Cost      AC    Weight    Stealth

Angel Feather   Special   AC 14 + Dex (max 2)  5 lb.

Giant Lizard   100 gp   AC 13 + Dex (max 2)  35 lb.

Dinosaur   150 gp  AC 14 + Dex (max 2)  15 lb.  Disadvantage

Tortoise   100 gp   AC 14 + Dex (max 2)  15 lb.

Bulette   1000 gp   AC 15 + Dex (max 2)  30 lb. Disadvantage


Monday, November 24, 2014

Masters of the Universe Monday: Stereoacative for D&D 5th Edition


I love He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  Awhile back, I wrote up a character while brainstorming it as a setting.  Now I have decided to expand on that.

Basically, I've bolted Gamma World 7th Edition's Origins onto 5E using this site.





Stereoactive
(Seismic/Radiation)
4th Level Fighter
Follower of He-Man
                                             
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 39 (4d10+12) 
Speed 25 ft.
Initiative +1

          
   Str        Dex      Con       Int        Wis      Cha
  18 (+4)        14 (+2)       16 (+3)      15 (+2)      11 (+0)       13 (+1)

Background Entertainer
Skills Acrobatic +4, Intimidation +3, Perception +2, 
Performance +3
Saves Strength +6, Constitution +5
Tools Disguise Kit, Vocals
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Proficiency +2


Marksman (Archery)
Second Wind
Action Surge
Danger Sense

Martial Archetype Champion
Improved Critical



ACTIONS
Ranged Attack—Stereo Blast +4 to hit (range 100 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 1d8+2 thunder damage.

Ranged Attack—Stereo Burst  (5 ft. radius centered on you).  
Effect: All enemies must make a DC 14 Constitution save or take 1d6+4 thunder damage and you knock any targets prone.


Seismic
Advantage when using Charisma (Deception) checks.

Armored Skin Resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Ponderous Speed is 25 feet.


Radioactive
Advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks.

Gamma Tolerance Resistance to radiant damage.

Radioactive Critical When you score a critical hit, your target is weakened until the end of your next turn.

Hawking Portal You and up to two allies within 50 feet may teleport to any spot within 50 feet of your current location.  Additionally, anyone who teleports heals hit points equal to 5 + your level.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hoard of the Dragon Queen Chapter 4: High Holy Day (Trade Way Event)

I was disappointed to note that the Trade Way Event chart in Chapter 4 of Hoarde of the Dragon Queen listed this event but then seemed to omit it. This isn't the end of the world, unless your quickly getting up to speed because your DnD Encounters group is big enough to split and you have about 15 minutes to prep and then you roll "High Holy Day" and nothing.

So here is what I worked up in a matter of a few seconds:

A heartwarder of Sune, Tyra Silk (Human Cleric, Level 4) is a pilgrim headed to the Radiant Chapel in Waterdeep who asks the Caravan Master to stop a few hours before sunset so the journey can be blessed by Lady Firehair with a celebration of her holy day, the Ruby Fete.  Silk is popular amongst the caravan for her flirting, beauty, kindness and the aid she has given throughout the journey.  While the Caravan Master is dubious, Silk is able to convince him of the benefit for a good journey and continued morale.  Of course, the Fete can easily becomes a raucous affair and is a great time for players to snoop and for the Cult to do so, as well.  Its also a good way to introduce some of the NPC's in the chapter.

Tyra is smart, savvy and great with people.  As a heartwarder she has taken on several lovers on the journey already and is very aware of what is happening amongst the caravan.  She is a good listener and truly cares for the people around her.  While not much a combatant, she is a trained healer and gladly uses Sune's gifts to aid anyone she can.  The primary reason for her pilgrimage to the Radiant Temple is to inform its' First Mistress of Sune, Chloe Blume, of the attack on Greenest by the Cult of the Dragon, but has no further information to aid the players.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Prime Materials: Dynamo, a wand for D&D 5th Edition


Dynamo

Wand, uncommon

Rumors persist that Dynamo was given to the Blackstaff by his master upon finishing his apprenticeship.  However, many assume that if the wand really did belong to the archmage, he'd have sought it out at some point in the intervening years.  Darker rumors about a curse that follows the wand occasionally is gossiped about amongst mages over tea.  They story insists that the wand is the resting place of an ancient evoker who is stealing the life energy of its wielders, so that he may one day return to life.


Dynamo has 1d4 charges that reset at dawn each day.  You may spend one charge to bump the damage dice of a spell by one step (from d6 to d8, etc.).


Force Multiplier (requires attainment) Evokers who are attuned to Dynamo, may spend one charge to add one additional damage die to a spell.

This Way to Jarlsburg

As I go about planning my next Jarlsburg game, I'm leaning toward moving away from focusing on the Ironcloaks and going in a different direction.

My first idea for the set up would be to focus on the Silvercloaks (more inquisitors/investigators) who deal with the strangest cases in the city and work under High Inquisitor Lot.  This game would be less of the day to day cases and handle the more bizarre and dangerous stuff most the city is never aware of.

The second idea would be for them to be working for the Lunar Court, this would allow them to be more unusual "races", vampires, lycanthropes, ghosts (and I would probably use Gamma World 7th Edition Origins to simulate those).  This would be a more political game as they have to maneuver through the supernaturals that reside in and manipulates the city.

The third idea would see them as members of Shemmy's Social Club, Jarlsburg's very own thieves' guild.  The game would focus on Adder Vitriol trying to consolidate power (they'd either work for or against him) and deal with the Club deciding to take on the Witengamot -- revolutionaries who are trying to install democracy through mind control.

I'll probably poll my player's to see if they have strong preferences, as I don't have a clear cut favorite.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Back This: Silent Legions

Kevin Crawford (Stars Without Numbers, Scarlet Heroes) has a new kickstarter that is a sandbox approach to the Cthulhu Mythos that are compatible with most OSR games based off the World's First RPG.

It's called Silent Legions.

And if you back it, you immediately get the beta rules!

Check it out.

Prime Materials: Sunderstorm for D&D 5th Edition


Sunderstorm

Weapon (great club), rare

Umberlee chose the Dance Macabre, a pirate ship that prowled the sword coast, as the raw material to create this vaunted great club.  The storm the Bitch Queen raised shattered ship and crew until all that was left was a splinter of her mast.  A splinter that help all of Umberlee's ferocity and furor, that yearned to break and shatter.



You have a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.  Additionally, you may deal thunder damage instead of bludgeoning damage.
Storm Trooper You gain resistance to lightning and thunder damage while wielding Sunderstorm.


Seawolf (requires attunement) If you have the pirate background, you score a critical hit on a 19-20 while wielding Sunderstorm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Primeval Thule: Sacred Slayer for D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.

Sacred Slayer


Areas of Proficiency (1st level): You are proficient in History and Stealth.

Langauges (1st level): One of your choice.

Tools (1st level): Two of your choice.

Slayer's Strike (Level 1):  When you spend a Luck point to gain a bonus before an attack roll, you can make a slayer’s strike instead. You gain advantage to the attack roll, and your attack deals 2d6 extra damage if you hit. In addition, if the target is a special enemy of your god (see the sidebar on page 265), the target must su ceed on a Constitution save (DC 8 + your Proficiency bonus + your Wis modifier) or die.
Sacred Relic (6th level): In recognition for your service to the temple, you are granted custody of a holy relic that can aid you in your duties. Choose one of the following: +1 weapon, +1 armor, +1 bracers of armor, +1 cloak of resistance, ring of mind shielding (gain advantage on all Wisdom saves), ring of protection +1, or an item of the GM’s discretion of similar power. While magic items are rare in Thule, temples often hoard mysterious treasures acquired down through the centuries. The sacred relic is not yours to dispose of, and if you no longer need it, you are expected to return it to your temple.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level.

Planar Ally (10th level): Once during each character level at 10th level and above, you can cast planar ally even if you are not normally able to cast the appropriate spell. You need not provide the ally with any payment, since it serves out of loyalty to your temple. Calling upon your planar ally only requires one full-round action instead of the normal 10-minute casting time (you can assume that priests of your temple cast the spell on your behalf be-tween your adventures, and made arrangements for the ally to answer when you called).
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Primeval Thule: Quodethi Thief D&D 5th Edition

Backgrounds here are bases on the Narratives in Primeval Thule, so they will gain abilities as a character levels.  They are only intended for use in the Primeval Thule setting and are not designed to be mixed with standard Backgrounds.

Also, some of the abilities require the expenditure of a resource, for this reason and for how dangerous the setting is, each character gains the Lucky Feat for free and may take the Lucky Feat one additional time.


Quodethi Thief 


Areas of Proficiency (1st level): You are proficient in Acrobatics and History.

Langauges (1st level): One of your choice.

Tools (1st level): One of your choice.

Thief's Feint (Level 1):  When you spend a Luck point to gain a bonus before you make an attack roll, you can perform a thief’s feint. Instead of the normal bonus, you gain advantage on the attack roll, and may make use your sneak attack dice against the attack. After the attack, you can move up to your full speed.
Reputation (6th level): You gain advantage on skill checks to interact with criminal elements in civilized areas—you’ve earned a reputation that other thieves and outlaws respect. Your bonus also applies to charisma (intimidate) or (persuasion) checks against common citizens, who are likewise aware of the fact that you mean business. On the down side, the authorities know your name and are generally hostile toward you.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 4th level, additionally gain +1 Charisma.

Guildmaster (10th level): You become the leader of your thieves’ guild or establish a new guild of your own. You gain a hidden guild stronghold protected by secret entrances, deadly traps, and trained guard-beasts. You gain enough followers to provide you with guards in the form of thugs, mercenaries, and enforcers, plus a high income from your cut of the guild’s activities equal to 200 gph per month. Your thieves are initially very loyal, but if you fail to provide strong leadership, you may face challenges from the lower ranks.  Additionally, you and your allies have advantage on charisma saving throws, while in your company.
Optionally this is a feat and can only be taken if you have this background and are at least 8th level, additionally gain +1 Charisma.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Masters of the Universe Monday: Fungus Amongus for Eternia using D&D 5th Edition


I love He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  Awhile back, I wrote up a character while brainstorming it as a setting.  Now I have decided to expand on that.

Basically, I've bolted Gamma World 7th Edition's Origins onto 5E using this site.



Fungus Amongus
(Doppleganger/Fungoid)
4th Level Barbarian
Follower of He-Man
                                             
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 44 (4d12+12) 
Speed 30 ft.
Initiative -1

          
   Str        Dex      Con       Int        Wis      Cha
  12 (+1)        8 (-1)       16 (+3)      18 (+4)      11 (+0)       14 (+2)

Background Charlatan
Skills Deception +4, Nature +5, Sleight of Hand +1, Survival +2
Saves Strength +3, Constitution +5
Tools Disguise Kit, Forgery Kit
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common, Fungo
Proficiency +2


Rage 3/Day
Rage Damage +2
Unarmored Defense
Danger Sense

Primal Path Path of the Totem Warrior
Spirit Seeker
Totem Spirit Wolf


ACTIONS
Melee Attack—Halberd +3 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 1d10+1 slashing damage.

Ranged Attack—Toxic Spores  (5 ft. radius centered on you).  
Effect: All enemies must make a DC 13 Constitution save or take 1d6+3 poison damage and any attack rolls made against the target have advantage.


Fungoid
Advantage when using Charisma (Deception) checks.

Healing Spores Once per turn when you heal hit points, each ally within 15 ft. heals hit points equal to your level.


Doppleganger
Advantage on Charisma (Insight) checks.

Not Really There Advantage on all Dexterity Saves.

Doppleganger Critical 1d10 extra force damage and a free use of double trouble.

Double Trouble As an action, create a duplicate of yourself within 25 ft. without your doppelgänger powers.  Your duplicate only has 1 hp and disappears at the end of your next turn.

Two Places At Once As a bonus action, you simultaneously exist at your current position and any other position within 25 ft.  Also, before the start of your next turn, you can teleport to the chosen spot.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Masters of the Universe Monday Extra: Lodebone for D&D 5th Edition


I love He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  Awhile back, I wrote up a character while brainstorming it as a setting.  Now I have decided to expand on that.

Basically, I've bolted Gamma World 7th Edition's Origins onto 5E using this site.


Lodebone (Magnetic/Reanimated)
4th Level Fighter
Follower of He-Man and rebellious Gar
                                             
Armor Class 12 (Studded Leather Armor)
Hit Points 23 (4d10-4) 
Speed 25 ft.
Initiative +0

  

          
   Str        Dex      Con       Int        Wis      Cha
  17 (+3)        10 (+0)       8 (-1)      18 (+4)      15 (+2)       7 (-2)

Background Hermit
Skills Athletics +5, Arcane +1, History +1, Intimidation +0
Saves Strength +5, Constitution +1
Tools Herbalism Kit, Mechanic's Tools
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Gar, Uncommon
Proficiency +2


Fighting Style Great Weapon Fighting
Second Wind
Action Surge 

Martial Archetype Champion
Improved Critical 


ACTIONS
Melee Attack—Battleaxe +5 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). 
Hit: 1d8+3 (1H) or 1d10+3 (2H) slashing damage.

Melee Attack—Nasty Bite +5 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature).  
Hit: 2d6 piercing damage and on a critical hit heal 9 (5 + Level) hit points.

Ranged Attack—Lodestone Lure  (range 25 ft.; one creature).  
Effect: Target must make a DC 10 Constitution save or take 1d8 force damage and be pulled toward up to 15 ft. toward you.


Magnetic
Advantage when using Mechanic's Tools.

When pushed or pulled, you can reduce the distance by 5 ft.

Magnetic Critical 1d10 extra force damage and the target is restrained until the end of their next turn.


REANIMATED
Advantage on Dexterity (Athletics) checks.

Undead Recuperation You are immune to disease and when  you start your turn with at least 1 hit point, as a reaction heal your level in hit points.

Zombie Surprise When you start your turn with 0 hit points, heal your level in hit points.  You may not use this ability again until you complete a short or long rest.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Some Recent News Tidbits

First, on Schwalb Entertainment's Facebook page, the shared a spell from the Black Magic tradition because they hit 750 Likes (I think you should "Like" them too).


Infestation of Maggots 

(Black Magic Tradition)

Casting Time: Complex
Range: Short
Target: One living creature
Duration: Special (see text)
The target’s guts fill up with hungry maggots that deal 2d6 damage.
During each round’s upkeep until the spell ends, the target rolls Strength. A failure causes the target to take 1d6 damage from the feasting maggots, and also causes the target to become dazed until the next round’s upkeep. Three successes end the spell.
A target incapacitated by the spell’s damage dies. A cloud of black flies spreads out from the corpse in a 5-yard radius sphere. The flies heavily obscure their area and remain for 1 minute or until dispersed by fire from an area spell or wind.


Second, they also previewed some dice they will be making available in the next few months.



Finally, on his blog, Robert talks at length about his approach to writing adventures as a DM with a busy schedule and lots of demands.  I totally appreciate his philosophy and approach.




Hard Times in Jarlsburg: Unicorn Accosts Night Nurses!

The Hard Times is Jarlsburg's premier source of news (not necessarily truth) and routinely outsells it's competitor, The Cryer.

Extra!


Extra!

Several care workers at Saint Helga's Ward on Helmut Way in Dribble (across the street from the Wildly Orange Pub) were accosted by a male Unicorn last night.

The Unicorn burst through the doors to the Ward around 10pm last evening and forced all four of the night nurses on duty to hide out in a supply closet as the beast beat at the door with its front hooves and nearly broke through with its horn.  The creature finally departed after nearly fifteen minutes of harassment and is still at large.

Neena Tyrm, the on-duty matron, said the creature seemed disoriented and kept referring to one of her crew as "Lidya" and asking why she would not leave with him.

"Lydia" could not be reached for comment, but has been identified as Lejeena Kaper of Gibbons, and a recent recruit to Saint Helga's.

This of course, is not the first instance of disoriented male Unicorns plaguing our city and has added to Lady Brianna Galley's (Minister of the West) personal crusade to "wipe the monsters out".
Her organization, Stop the Madness, who's sole goal is to hunt down and destroy every one of the magical creatures within 100 miles of the city, has posted demonstrators outside of Saint Helga's.

Sadly, it is this reporters opinion, that Lady Galley has never gotten over the attack she suffered from one of the creatures in her youth.

More details as they develop

Hera Kirck, Gibbons Beat Reporter
Early-Day Edition on the 16th Day of Novem in the Second Hundred and Twenty First Year of Thronehold

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tunnelers for Labyrinth Lord



Tunnelers


No. Enc.:
1d4
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 20' above ground (200' below ground)
Armor Class: 4 (14)
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1
Damage: 2d4 (Jaws) 
Save: F3
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None
XP: 60

Tunnelers reach a length of up to 40'.  Their burrowing can often lead to sinkholes.  They are generally not aggressive, but their mighty jaws are very dangerous if provoked.  Also, their bulky bodies can deal 1d10 damage if someone is caught beneath them. They often build nests around deposits of adamantine and possibly gain some form of sustenance from the metal.  Dwarves take great pride in ridding an area rich in the prized metal of these strange monstrocities.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hard Times in Jarlsburg: Farmers Get Sinking Feeling

The Hard Times is Jarlsburg's premier source of news (not necessarily truth) and routinely outsells it's competitor, The Cryer.

Extra!


Extra!

Two farms along the Southway have recently been plagued with sinkholes!

Three cows and a goat have been lost to the unexpected chasms, four total, opening mere feet from the homesteads of the Bonnyleafs and Tangles.

"Me youngest boy, Tanner, nearly got swallowed up when he was milking Petina!  He's almost seven and that'd be right hard to lose him after so much training.  I only got three boys and really can't afford to lose one."  Explained Beau Tangle, head of the Tangle farm and site of three of the sinkholes.

Yenna Bonnyleaf-Gurn had this to say, "It tain't right, these sinkholes.  Me family has farmed this land since I was a wee lass.  Me brother and I's family been working this land hard and our Pappy tain't ever remembered anything like this happening.  He thinks it the Tunnelers!  He thinks that fool Beau Tangle went and paid some shaman to "bless" his crops and that juju has brought the Tunnelers up!"

While the Bonnyleafs only have one sinkhole on their land, they've sadly lost three cows.


For those unaware, the "Tunnelers" are legends going well back into the stories of the dwarves who settled Jarlsburg.  They are gigantic, blind white worms that were reportedly slain as the dwarves constructed our fine city.

But could they have returned?  Might the dwarves not really have slain them all?

This reporter asked Old Skopren "Skip" Olafstout, Rememberer for the Jarlsburg Society for Dwarves and Ouster of all the Others for comment.  "Wha?!  Tunnelers?  Here?  Now?  Who are you?  No, we killed 'em all.  All!  Get out of here, you ain't a dwarf!"

Something tells this reporter that Skip isn't sharing all of his facts.

We will continue to share developments, in the meantime, take extra precautions when traveling the Southway.

Scobey Jethel III, Reporter
Mid-Day Edition on the 12th Day of Novem in the Second Hundred and Twenty First Year of Thronehold

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

D&D 5th Edition: Mantle of the Kodiak

A gift from the Witch Queen of Pfyrrlund to the mighty hero of Turvay, Davros Bearpuncher, after he single-handedly defeated Hydra's Firstborn.  The mantle conveyes many of the traits of Davros' namesake.

Anyone who dons the mantle adds a +2 bonus to their AC.  They also have advantage on all strength and constitution checks.  Finally, their unarmed attacks do 1d6 slashing damage.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BRP/D100 System Hack 2: Electric Bugaloo

This hack only uses 3 levels of success, instead of 4 and is inspired by Chill 3rd Edition.

Something I should have clarified yesterday is that BRP/D100 systems do have success levels currently...I simply am not a fan of them and have explored some alternatives.

An even roll that is less your Skill is 1 Success.

An odd roll that is less than your Skill is 2 Successes.

A roll of doubles that is less than your Skill is 3 Successes.

To succeed you need successes equal to or more than the Difficulty set by the GM or by your opponent.

Monday, November 10, 2014

BRP/D100 System Hack


I'm always finding inspiration from FASERIP and Alternity's use of "Levels" of success, especially, when working with Roll Under D100 systems.

Here's my current brainstorm for games like BRP and it's clones:

You can achieve 4 Success Levels.

If I roll under my Skill and the roll is even, I get 1 Success.

If I roll under my Skill and the roll is odd, I get 2 Successes (this is basically the same as rolling under 1/2 my Skill).

If I roll under 10% of my Skill (say it's 57, that's a 5 or less since I round down) and the roll is even, I get 3 Successes.

If I roll under 10% of my Skill and the roll is odd, I get 4 Successes.

Now I either need to generate successes equal to or more than the GM requires or more than an opponent on a roll.

This hack also keeps the 1s die important, which is always a goal of mine.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

FASERIP/4C System Hack

No matter how hard I look, I've not found a Super Hero RPG better than Marvel's FASERIP (I love Champions, but its far more complex).

However, damage in the game can sometimes be very frustrating.



This hack ties damage to success level and is inspired by the Cypher system.

All status effects by Color are still in play.

A Green Result to hit is equal to 20 damage.

A Yellow Result to hit is equal to 40 damage.

A Red Result to his is equal to 60 Damage.

Now for Armor and Force Fields.

If my Rank is Typical or less,  I have 10 Soak.

If my Rank is Incredible or less, I have 20 Soak.

If my Rank is Amazing or more, I have 30 Soak.

Jarlsburg: The Cacodex

The Cacodex


Rumors insist that this tome is the journal of a cultist, who identifies themselves as J.L.T. It's pages are purported to chronicle the cults step by step plan to end their own world, an alternate prime material plane.

If J.L.T. entries are to be believed, part of their task was chronicling their cult's success in extraordinary detail as they performed a ritual "ushering my home into the glorious Void".

It is entirely uncertain how this work found its way to the prime material plane where Jarlsburg resides.  And it's authenticity is in doubt.

While the diary's veracity has been debated for nearly two centuries, the Silvercloaks have solid leads that the work has found it's way to their city, and the have learned it's intended to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

High Inquisitor Lot strongly feels that its presence in his city and the rise of the Hungering Shadow is no mere coincidence, and every effort is being taken to find who currently possesses the books and recover it.

Anyone who reads the entirety of the Cacodex has a 33% chance of going insane upon completion.  If the reader retains their sanity, they may cast Cause Light wounds 2/day and Hold Person 1/day and has a 15% chance of their alignment shifting to evil.

________________

The Cacodex came into the possession of Adder Vitriol, the Thief Guildmaster and proprietor of it's front, Shemmy's Social Club when one of his low-level cutpurses robbed an acolyte of the Hungering Shadow who was supposed to deliver the journal to a drop off and into Malhavoc's clutches.

Adder, immediately began hearing stories of someone powerful looking for the book, so he handed it over to Krent D'Midnite to deal with.

Krent, realizing that there was demand for the journal has now set up the auction and is banking on a "big score".

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Big Hero 6

While enjoying our "staycation" the whole family went to see Disney's Big Hero 6.

And we all loved it, seriously, even my 11 month old watched the majority of the movie!

If you read the (2?) Marvel mini-series forget everything you know.  Which is good, because we are introduced to an interesting new universe of super heroes.

The movie was fun, charming, heart warming, and extremely well done.

In fact, I have for years now wondered why Marvel and DC didn't pursue high quality animated feature films (as the format is far closer to the comics than live action, meaning the costumes would translate far, far better).  And while Pixar gave us the Incredibles (where is Incredibles 2?!), well that was it.  Until today.

Honestly, the level of rendering done to the city makes me wonder why live action super hero films are pursued at all, the city was so well crafted and very lifelike.

There are even some great Marvel easter eggs (statues of Orca, Black Talon, and Torpedo) in there...oh, and stay until the very end.  There is a fun treat.

So wether your 11 months old or 43, I think you'll enjoy this movie.

Go see it!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Jarlsburg: Hungering Shadow Cultist (For Labyrinth Lord)

Hungering Shadow Cultist


Frequency: Uncommon
No. Encountered: 1d6
Size: Medium
Move: 30 ft; 
Armour Class: 8 (12)
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 (flail)
Save: W2
Morale: 12
Special Attacks: 25% chance to Shadow Step and backstab like a thief
Special Defences: None
Magic Resistance: Standard
Lair Probability: 10%
Intelligence: Above Average
Alignment: Chaotic
Level/XP: 2/30
Hoard Class: VI



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Jarlsburg: The Cult of the Hungering Shadow

In a short time, the insidious Cult of the Hungering Shadow has infected every layer of society in Jarlsburg.  The leader, simply known as Malhavoc, has managed to obscure her identity thus far from authorities.

In less than three months, she has managed to install several "cells" of the cult throughout the city, each operate independently of the others.  In fact, two cells in Yeti, Jarlsburg's north quarter, nearly slaughtered each other in the pursuit of an ancient grimoire in the library of Giles Rickenbacher.
   It was this feud that alerted the Silvercloaks that something was amiss and give Lot enough information to study the recent cases of the Ironcloaks to understand that a new cult was operating within the city.
   Through some strong divination magic, Lot learned that Malhavoc resides somewhere in Vikar, but nothing else could be learned before Malhavoc used black magic to murder two of the three diviners casting the spell for the Inquisitor.
   Lot secretly suspects that that Malhavoc resides in Bunker and may well be a person of prominence and power.
   The Cult of the Hungering Shadow worships an unknown demon of great power that seek to direct it's malice to corrupt the city before destroying it.
   Lot believes there at least six cells still active in the city and they have been responsible for murder, kidnapping, and larceny.
   He is careful who he shares his information with, because of his uncertainty of who to trust.

Gaming ADD & Maturity or Heading Home to Jarlsburg

There was a time when Gaming ADD ran my (gaming) life.  No long term campaigns, no major character developments or arcs, just jumping from game to game.

Now, I love RPG's and I love trying new RPG rules, but most gamers aren't really like that.

As I've written, the ADD has kicked in and the writing has helped stave it off.

The most recent long term game I ran was Jarlsburg and part of the problem is that I miss it.

But, I'm planning it out and figuring how it will schedule and very briefly working out the rules for it.

You see, I truly love D&D 5th Edition, but I've been running it in one form or another for three years now.  And when I wasn't running that I was running 13th Age, which is awesome, but is merely a (strong) variation on the same theme.

So, most likely, when I pick Jarlsburg back up, not only will it probably only have one original player coming back, but it will be a different game engine.  And that will be the final decision I make and will not be agonized over so that I don't feed the ADD.

Since one PC will be returning, and he was a featured character the whole time, I've got to explain how much time has passed and what's been going on.

And that's what I'm going to focus on in my brainstorming, not the game engine.

When we left off, the Egg of Coot has just entered Jarlsburg through a skaven warpmatrix.  The Egg's forces had comprised the audience attending the King in Yellow performed at the Essex College's Padmoor Theatre.

What happens next?  How long ago was that?

Well, if your not going to tell me, I guess I have to figure it out for myself... 

The Shadow of Robert Schwalb

November 24th at 7pm, I have the pleasure of hosting a demo of Robert Schwalb's new game Shadow of the Demon Lord at Comic Book World Florence.

What I've read about the game on RPG.NET, Rob's blog, and Giant in the Playground seems very, very intriguing.

In fact, I'm kicking around the idea of returning to Jarlsburg with it.

I'm a big fan of Rob's work, including Witch Hunter: The Invisible World and am honored to host this demo.

I'll keep everyone updated

1,000 Faces: Dodd Werner

Dodd Werner is about to turn 30 and has spent his life as a "hireling" for various adventurers. He has a reputation for loyalty an...