Sunday, June 24, 2018

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Kosmograph




A Kosmograph is a magical rendering, the place where it is painted primed in a special mixture of brain and marrow and then painted upon using oil and menstrual blood as a medium, of Urth's Sun and the nine worlds that orbit it. 

At a glance, it is extremely realistic, even as many who view it do not understand celestial dynamics or even realize that they are looking upon their own solar system. 

After that initial shock wears off, inevitably, the next thing the viewer notices is the large shooting star (many do not know what a Komet is) moving coreward towards the Sun (thus far, the Komet has moved past the Blind Eye and Tempest and is moving towards Depth). 

Finally, as the renderings scale is burnt into the mind, the eye finally notices that the whole image is moving, lovingly, hauntingly displaying the the orbit of the nine planets and countless moons in their ponderous journey around the Sun.

In the last six years, the Cult of the New God has found four Kosmographs, the first in the attic of a townhome in Sixton in the Northern Reaches. The attic had belonged to a retired Professor of the Stargazer Society, Madeleene Dare and it's presence was reported by her nephew, Phillip, after the townhome was left to him, upon her death. At first, several investigators for the Cult thought that Madeleene had access to some form of magic unique to the Society. When that quickly proved untrue the Inquisition was brought in. A young Sojourner named Diffidence Gideon had a childhood friend, a scribe for the Cult named Eggard Holmes who she knew was brilliant. Their investigation found evidence linking the rendering to mirror discovered fifty years prior that was used by a doomsday cult known as the Order of the Komet.

Since then, Kosmographs have been discovered in a cave in the Holy Kingdom and an apartment in Caecras, itself. Finding the magical painting in the Capital caused the leadership of the Cult to make a hard decision, they chose not alert the Emperor until they had a better understanding of what they had discovered.

Recently, a pigeon arrived from the village of Asylum, reporting several murders, cultists wearing strangely painted porcelain masks, and a new Kosmograph on the ceiling of a slain toddler's room in farmhouse. The Prelate who oversees the region where Asylum lies, immediately sent word for Gideon, now an Inquisitor in her own right and the brilliant scribe.

The one sure bit of information gleaned from each Kosmograph is that the ominous Komet is getting closer to Urth.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Shadow of the Demon Lord: The Thing



"Man is the warmest place to hide."

The Thing          DIFFICULTY 100
Size 0 to 2 horrific extraterrestrial
Perception 14 (+4), darksight
Defense 15; Health 80
Strength 16 (+6)   Agility 13 (+3)   Intellect 14 (+4)   Will 14 (+4)
Speed 15; climber
Immune damage from disease or poison; gaining Insanity; dazed, 
   fatigued, frightened, immobilized, impaired, poisoned, slowed, 
   stunned

ATTACK OPTIONS
Natural Weapons (melee to short range) +6 with 2 boons (2d6+2)


SPECIAL  ACTIONS
Steal Form
 t
he thing uses an action or a triggered action on its turn 
   to alter its appearance to match that of a target dead creature it 
   can see within short range. The target must be Size 0 to 2 and 
   have a shape of flesh and blood. The thing's body changes so it 
   looks exactly like the target, including clothing. The effect lasts 
   until the thing uses this talent again. If it becomes incapacitated 
   the thing can create a hybrid form composed of any portions of 
   it's existing shape. When the thing steals a creature’s form, its 
   challenge rolls to deceive others have 3 boons.



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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Creature Crucible: Raqquill for Labyrinth Lord


Raqquill or Beast Men for Labyrinth Lord
AL NE, MV 35', AC 7, HD 2, #AT 1 [whip or claws], 
THAC0 18, DG 1d6, SV 2 fighter, ML 9,  XP 20

The Raqquill are mercenaries for the Horde, an mysterious organization bent on conquest. Typically a cadre of beastmen is led by the one of the skeletal wizards known as the Krux. 

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Creature Crucible: Sharknado for Labyrinth Lord


Sharknado for Labyrinth Lord
AL CE, MV 60', AC 9, HD 12, #AT 3 [shark], 
THAC0 11, DG 1d6+4, SV 12 fighter, ML 12,  XP 1200

It's a tornado filled with sharks. Yep, you pissed off your DM.

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Asylum

We started a new Shadow of the Demon Lord campaign two weeks back. I'm using the excellent PDF adventure, In Need of a Killing (a Kickstarter exclusive), and expanding it's setting, the village of Asylum.



Some things that set my Asylum apart:

The World has two moons Gottlieb and Morrslieb, the blood red Witch's Moon (I completely stole this from Warhammer's Old World). Recently, both moons were full and the Road to Hell reappeared.

A few miles northwest from the village is Gaunt's Crick, but ol' timers know it as the Road to Hell, because of strange happenings that used to be common place there. In reality, a powerful leyline runs the length of the Crick and while it has been inactive for years, it's strange energies burnt so bright at night that it can be glimpsed from Asylum.

Esther McClintock's son, Thurston, is believed by the villagers to be an albino, but he is in fact a mooncalf, a mutant who is sensitive to the strange energies of the cosmos.  Esther's husband, Clive, died last summer and she worries that the erratic behavior Thurston has begun to exhibit will wear thin on villagers that barely tolerated the boy before her husband's death.

Otis Stapp and Gerald Burris, two teenage boys, claimed to have seen some strange, hairy men prowling close to the Crick the other day. While some adults checked the area, all they found were horse tracks that vanished into the Crick. It has the village cluckin'.

Immigene Laroo found a grotesque idol that fits into the palm of her hand. It was lying just outside the Weary Traveler Inn. She went to show it to Samyra, the Inn's owner, but couldn't bring herself to do so. That was several days ago and now she keeps it in her apron at all times and frets over her inability to share that it exists.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Gorilla-Men



"Within the Assembly of Apes, the gorilla caste is strictly used for military and defense."

Gorilla-man          DIFFICULTY 10
Size 1 ape-man
Perception 10 (+0)
Defense 13 (hard leather); Health 20
Strength 13 (+3)   Agility 11 (+1)   Intellect 10 (+0)   Will 12 (+2)
Speed 12
Intimidating A gorilla-man attempting to frighten makes
   the Will challenge roll with 1 boon.


ATTACK OPTIONS
Rifle (long range) +1 with 2 boons (3d6)
Saber (melee) +3 with 1 boon (1d6+2)


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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Creature Crucible: Un-Men for Labyrinth Lord


Un-Men for Labyrinth Lord
AL C, MV 20', AC 8, HD 4, #AT 1 [limb], THAC0 17, 
DG 1d6+1, SV 4 fighter, ML 12,  XP 80

The Un-Men are unliving, mishapen creatures raised by evil sorcerery, using a magic darker than even necromancy. Only a wizard of great skill, little sanity, and who worships Starro has the ability to create such anathema.

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Shadow of the Demon Lord: Game Mastery Critical Hit Deck.

I love Robert Schwalb's Shadow of the Demon Lord. It may be both my favorite RPG design AND my favorite RPG. It marries DnD and Warhammer's Old World, while maintaining a streamlined design that I feel is as strong as B/X DnD.

In the campaigns I've run for my group we've tried a couple of critical hit house rules, but this past session I dug out my copy of Paizo's GameMastery Critical Hit Deck for Pathfinder and it worked very well.



We only drew a card on a Natural 20.

Each card has an option for bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, and magic damage. I did have to do some conversion on the fly, but I basically just swapped Pathfinder's Saves with SotDL's Abilities and converted penalties to Banes (approximately each -2 was equal to 1 Bane).



We had a blast, with both the PC's and my NPC's scoring Crits.

I think we are going to keep using them.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Asanbosam



"I need you to understand that the asanbosam’s feet are enormous hooks, and its teeth are made of iron, it hangs in trees waiting to ambush hapless forest travelers, be they man or beast. Their hooked legs allow them to swing and climb through the tree with ease...imagine the metallic thunk as it's hooks penetrate the wood, as it closes on you? And they like to play with their food, to terrorize them, to harry them. It isn't enough that they drink your life blood, but they want it to be rich in terror before they partake of you."
ASANBOSAM          DIFFICULTY 250
Size 1 horrifying undead
Perception 17 (+7); darksight
Defense 20; Health 120
Strength 14 (+4)   Agility 16 (+6)   Intellect 10 (+0)   Will 13 (+3)
Speed 15; climber
Immune damage from cold, disease, poison; gaining Insanity; asleep, diseased, fatigued, poisoned


ATTACK OPTIONS
Hooks For Feet (melee) +5 with 3 boons (2s6 plus the target is Grabbed on an attack roll of 20+)

Iron Teeth (melee) +3 with 1 boon (3d6)

SPECIAL ACTIONS

Blood Drain The asanbosam makes a Strength attack roll against the Strength of one target living creature of flesh and blood that it is grabbing. On a success, the target takes 3d6 damage and becomes fatigued until it completes a rest. The vampire heals the same amount of damage. If the target is already fatigued this way, it must make a Will challenge roll. On a failure, it instead becomes charmed until it completes a rest.

END OF ROUND
Burned by Sunlight The asanbosam takes 2d6 damage if it is in an area lit by sunlight.


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Creature Crucible: Bamfs for Labyrinth Lord


Bamfs for Labyrinth Lord
AL C, MV 30', AC 5, HD 1, #AT 1 [fist], THAC0 19, 
DG 1d3, SV 1 thief, ML 9, may backstab as a thief, may teleport up to 60' as an action, may open a portal to the Nine Hells 1/day,
 XP 30

Vicious nightmarish little imps who faithfully server more powerful devils acting as snare hoarders who teleport captured souls into the Nine Hells.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Unearthed Arcana and the Settings for December for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

Yesterday, June's Unearthed Arcana dropped, the Giant Soul Sorcerer. It's a strange one to me, builds on the Dragon Sorcerer. However, I ending up enjoying it's flavor.



And that got me thinking. Have the most recent UA's been a sneak peak into the two settings releasing in December from WotC?

Looking over UA, I see that we have had Circle of Spores Druid, Brute Fighter, and Invention Wizard in January.

In February we got rules for exploration with Into the Wild.

April gave us the Order Domain for Clerics.

Meanwhile in May we got the Centaur and Minotaur races.

Leading us to this month.

Can we gleam anything? Minotaur calls back to Dragonlance for me. Invention Wizard points to Eberron for me. Order Domain feels more like Planescape to me. And I could easily see the Centaur fitting Mystara. But, Into the Wild, Circle of Spores, Brute, and Giant Sorcerer...that feels like Greyhawk to me.

This is a shot in the dark, but I'm going to say the two settings are Greyhawk and Planescape. I say that because extra races would be good for Planescape and it's just a feeling I have.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

White Star: Mechanoid Type 1 Brute






MECHANOID TYPE 1 BRUTE


Armor Class: 1 [18]
Hit Dice: 4
Total Hit Bonus: +4
Attacks: Fist (1d6), Missle Pod (2d6+2), or Plasma Cannon (2d6)
Saving Throw: 15
Special: --
Movement: 10
HDE/XP: 4/150

The Mechanoids are a machine intelligence that moves through the galaxy conqueroring and assimilating all they come across.

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Blast From the Past: Broo for Shadow of the Demon Lord



Human-bodied and often goat-headed, they are tied irrevocably with the Rune of chaos. They are given to atrocities and foul practices, and carry numerous loathsome diseases. In addition, Broos have the ability to procreate with any species, intelligent or otherwise, with the resulting offspring taking characteristics from both its Broo and non-Broo parent. 

BROO          DIFFICULTY 10
Size 1 beastman
Perception 12 (+2); shadowsight
Defense 13 (hard leather); Health 15
Strength 14 (+3)   Agility 13 (+2)   Intellect 10 (+0)   Will 12 (+2)
Speed 12
Immune gaining insanity; diseased, frightened

ATTACK OPTIONS
Axe (melee) +3 with 1 boon (1d6+2 plus Diseased on an attack roll of 20+)

Diseased The target becomes Diseased, they must succeed on a Strength challenge roll with 2 banes that they may make once per day to lose the affliction.

Assault (melee) +3 with 2 boons (1d6 plus Impregnate on an attack roll of 20+) 

Impregnate The target becomes pregnant with a broo spawn and will die in 1d6 days if it is not cut out of their torso.



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Friday, June 8, 2018

Creature Crucible: Moloids for Labyrinth Lord


Moloids for Labyrinth Lord
AL L, MV 35', AC 8, HD 1, #AT 1 [weapon], THAC0 19, 
DG 1d6, SV 1 thief, ML 7, infravision out to 120', XP 7

Moloids are cautious scavengers who live beneath the earth, often serving an aggressive ruler.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

Esoteric Enterprises: Killer Clown


"We all float down here."

Killer Clown for Esoteric Enterprises Armor 14, Movement 90’, 6 Hit Die, 1 bite 1d6, Morale 10. At the beginning of the Killer Clown's turn roll a d6, on a 5 or 6 it can teleport 200'
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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Back This: 5th Evolution: New Genres for your 5E Game!

I love the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition rules. And I enjoy seeing it deployed for other genres.

Limitless Adventures is doing just that, taking us to World War II, Superheroes, and 80's Horror in their new Kickstarter.



I'm really psyched about this project and have high hopes for it.

You should check it out and back it here.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Fiend Folio: Rahu-Men for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition




Rahu-men are gigantic, four-armed warriors from another plane. They are merciless marauders who wander the country-side.


Rahu-Man
Large giant, chaotic evil
________________________________________________

Armor Class 14 (chain)
Hit Points 68 (8d10 + 24) 
Speed 40 ft.
__________________________________________
   Str        Dex         Con           Int         Wis        Cha
19 (+4)    12 (+1)   17 (+3)    11 (+0)    10 (+0)     10 (+0)
__________________________________________


Skills Intimidation +3
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Common, giant
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
__________________________________________

Four Arms. Rahu-Men have advantage on Strength checks.

__________________________________________

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The rahu-man makes three attacks.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10+ 4) slashing damage.

Javelin. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 10/120 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d4 + 1) piercing damage.


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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Back This: Champions Now

Champions 4th Edition, the Big Blue Book, is what brought me into gaming. Our group played it tirelessly and when 5E was published we came back to it in a big way(though these days I'd probably go back to 4E).

Hero Games and Ron Edwards (yes, the man behind the Forge, Sorcerer, and Trollbabe) are remixing Champions using 1st, 2nd and 3rd edition as the foundation. 




I'm intrigued. Those editions were published before Champions morphed into the HERO System.

You can freely check out the playtest PDF here.

And you may back the project here.

Friday, June 1, 2018

GameStorming: Rifts

I started playing Champions 4E and quickly found out I had gaming ADD. But I had help. I came across one of Palladium's old Magic of Palladium Books and their in-house hype machine made me want to buy EVERYTHING they had published sight unseen.

Of course, I bought Heroes Unlimited first, but no one wanted to go from Champions point buy character creation to HU's class-driven, DM-driven, sort of rules.




Then I bought Rifts and I fell hard. But once again, I wasn't experienced enough to understand that many early games left certain rules up to the DM, maybe they were incomplete or maybe they just empowered the DM. But, overall, the rules are...rough.

Savage Rifts is a great game, but sometimes you just can't shake your first big crush, y'know?

Obviously, I've been thinking about Rifts. I've been thinking about using it's system with a couple of house rules (only use Skill categories and the base percentage chance to succeed is set by the DM and your bonus in a skill modifies it, e.g. If I have Communication at +15% and the difficulty is 40%, then I have a 55% chance to succeed).

But I've also been looking at Genesys to run it. It could work.

But I've also though about using the Shadow of the Demon Lord rules to power it. It seems pretty sexy.

But I've also just thought about running any game system I like in the Rifts setting.  Yeah, for some reason that seemed to blow my mind. Like somehow I never really thought about that. Maybe take a DnD 5E game and Glitter Boy armor is a magic item or you gain some spell-like abilities to become a Burster or leylines affect spells.

Nothing concrete will happen soon. We have a boss fight with Vecna in the game I'm running this week and I'm purely playing in the friday game right now. But the ideas sit there, like an obsessed spider using my brain as it's web.

Shadow of the Demon Lord: Kosmograph

A Kosmograph is a magical rendering, the place where it is painted primed in a special mixture of brain and marrow and then painted upo...