Thursday, July 12, 2018

Knowing about Monsters

Sorrow in Haven has an setting where dungeons are all over the damn place. As such, it is implied, although not stated outright, that all characters have some knowledge of dungeons and their inhabitants. At the same time, discovering new things and having monsters be new and mysterious is part of the charm.

Everyone how plays D&D knows that kobold (dog-faced or dragon-babies - it doesn't matter) are little shit-stains that are not a threat to seasoned adventurers. Describe a kobold and other than Tucker's Kobolds, who are more of a "dungeon element challenge" than a "monster to deal with", and players get ready to knock the little bastards around so they can get on with the good part of the adventure.  They are trash mobs.

Not know what a monster is or does is fun, but if EVERYTHING is unknown, then each encounter is effectively a random battle as far as the players are concerned. I've decided to combat the "everything is unknown" and the "players read the monster manual" issues to create a sense of tension using the following

1. General Knowledge
If the players encounter a "common" monster, I'll use the name.  If anyone thinks to ask what they know about the critter, I'll give them one piece of info. The Explorer class has the "Dungeon Lore" advance and gets to ask about specific stuff, like what kind of dungeon they are in. If the dungeon type is known (and I don't hide it from players) they may have heard about the types of monsters that inhabit a type of dungeon. These are "common knowledge" things and while never outright falsehoods, they may be skewed versions of the truth.

Some examples
  • If the part encounters an Angel's Crown, I'll use that name.  A piece of information I'd offer is "they are known to be very aggressive in groups".
  • In a Tombs dungeon, players should watch out for Plague Rhinos (strange huge beasts that are infected with a rotting disease).
  • Blood Ogres are known to stomp around Gorhaven dungeons. They are easily swayed by music played on a silver flute.
2. The "Monster Lore" Advance
The character knows about monsters - in fact with an INT Action Roll the player gets to ask the GM a number of questions - any question. That is some direct meta-gaming stuff right there, but it does the trick. Critical and Legendary failures produce dubious results (or outright lies from me). At the same time, a Critical or Legendary will give the player more info as I wax on about whatever.

Some examples
  • Mike gets to ask 2 questions. He asks "Can a Succulent Jeff be trusted?" The short answer is "No", but a critical success might be "They seem like good allies until you go to sleep, then they disappear with your stuff"
  • His other question is "What special abilities do they have". They have a few, i'll answer with one of them on a normal roll "They have bursts of incredible speed" or on a better roll I'll add in "they are immune to non-magical damage".
3. The Phantasmagorica as Loot
In short, the players can find pages from the monster book I've written as loot. There is some in-game chatter about The Cornelius Papers, but in reality, they get all or some of the stats of the monster entry.  I'm also encouraging players to keep their own monster book for reference... which leads to #4

4. The Lore Keeper
Adventurers have limited access the the Guild of Defenestration's Lore Keeper. Depending on their reputation within the Guild, they can get some time with Ingref. She is the current Lore Keeper and a bit frazzled at the utter lack of organization the previous Lore Keepers had - also there was a fire and a lot of info has been lost.

In any case, there is a chance, depending on the type of information they are looking for, that Ingref can answer a few questions, find some rumors or legends, or generally give the adventurer's a leg up. The more the adventurer's do, the more time they get with her, which is another reward for successful play - more information.

Tangent Thoughts on Info as Loot
This goes back to my long-standing believe that information can be loot. Not that I'm keeping information hidden (the game is hard enough already), but special information, a little extra insight, clues to how things work, bits of history that tie to setting together, all work to create a complete setting with things happening outside of the narrative of actual play without anyone having to read reams of my poorly written backstories. Players won't give a flying fuck if Agroth VonKranakek left his noble wife of House Albon for the non-noble Theresa Bloch and the political implications of that action ... unless it directly affects the game, but why would they know that unless they happened to be scholars of nobility? That kind of thing.

Back to the Lore Keepers - Reputation
The adventuring crew's reputation is a simple number. The current average (MEAN average) adventurer level multiplied by the highest threat value of a dungeon level they have defeated ("they" being the ongoing guild chapter as long as there isn't a TPK, in which that value is reset) plus the number of dungeons the Players have explored.

Reputation: (average level x highest threat) + dungeons explored.

The current party has a Reputation of 6
  • average level: 2 (rounded 1.75)
  • highest threat: 2 (Gardens of Kesh)
  • dungeons explored: 2 (Gardens of Kesh plus the Tomb of Agaroth)]

The party's reputation is the NUMBER OF REAL LIFE MINUTES they can ask questions of Ingref. I tend to ramble on a bit, so if it goes over because I'm puttering and being poetic, I don't hold it against them. This isn't role playing time with Ingref, that is completely different - and can actually give the players a bit more info.  Jinxy was courting her with flowers and, if that character hadn't become forever lost in the Labyrinth of War, would get some extra time with Ingref beause he was nice to her.

Tangent Thoughts on Rewards for Role Playing
Sure I throw around some XP and Advantage from time to time as a reward for role playing, but I also give players more options - extra information, new paths, new types of currency (influence and favors as currency is an entirely other blog post). The more someone role plays, the more I get to role play and improv, which I love. Role playing that is on target (not that self indulgent shit where players won't do something obvious because they character wouldn't - which unless they have a better option is usually just garbage ... or those jerks who are clearly ignoring the group dynamic to bring out some aspect of their character's overworked past to dominate the game space as a replacement for therapy ... but I digress) can really get some of the best rewards out of the game.

Sure mace that cripples foes with each strike is bitchin, but so is getting a free lifestyle increase because you are known about town as having tea regularly with Kira Lightwater of House Doorn. She is well liked ... and if she likes you then you must be worthwhile as well (either as a good person or a potential contact to woo to gain her favor).

5. Monster Clues
Last, but not least, some of the "loot" are clues as to the types of inhabitants of a dungeon. If players pay attention to and ask questions about the clues, they'll get some insight into what is going on. This lets players plan a head a bit while continuing to explore. I'm a pretty big fan of this one as well. What the hell strips the flesh off bones and also chard the bones? Flame Beetles - those giant bugs are nothing but trouble, but good scavengers I hear.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Gigadungeon SORROW, namesake of Sorrow in Haven

The setting of Sorrow in Haven has several points of interest, but the one that I've enjoyed building the most are around the dungeons. In particular, the Sorrow of Sorrow in Haven is the first and largest mega-dungeon - nay giga-dungeon! - in the campaign.

How big? Smeesh. Fucking epic. Check this out:
That is not the dungeon map, that is the "side view" level and region relational map.

Nay-sayer: BAH! what a big mess - no one will ever be able to explore all that! Garbage!
Me: NAY, Nay-sayer, it is you who are full of shit.

Each one of those boxes with the purposely blurred out names is a dungeon level (or sometimes a few levels). The levels are organized into regions. Each of the regions has enough material to be a mega-dungeon by most standards. In fact two of my mega-dungeons from days long past have been slotted into Sorrow. I know exactly how much play there is in there, and the answer is a fuck-ton (or fuqe-tonne if you prefer).

With that much mega-dungeoning, this is clearly a gig-dungeon. On another scale.

Nay-sayer: Seriously? How much of that do you even have mapped, let alone keyed? Garbage!
Me: TO HELL WITH YOU, Nay-sayer.

The entire dungeon is meant to interact, at least on local scales. Within Sorrow there are direct and indirect routes between places - the entire thing isn't on a flat plane, though, nor is that plane even euclidean. N-dimensional topology, anyone? If that doesn't float your boat ... magic portals, anyone?

To count this bad boy out, there are 11 regions. Within those regions are 81 levels. Some levels are only a few rooms.  One of them is more than 200. The median is around 35. I'd say this will be a 3000-room dungeon when all said and done.

How much of it is mapped? A little more than half is actually mapped, and anything mapped is keyed. Each level has notes and scribbles and partial maps. However, I plan to have map and keyed frameworks done by end of 2018. I'm going to re-draw every map using the same style (I've been compiling this fucker for nearly 15 years).

I've also lined things up so that I can run multiple campaigns in the same environment without having to worry about the parties stepping on each other; but their actions will still influence things other parties encounter.

Will it ever be done?  No, probably not.
Will I work on it constantly until I die? No to that either. I like going outside too, you know.

HOWEVER, I can't wait for the first party to get either brave or desperate enough to poke their head in. The first known level is called the Gauntlet. Below that is the Gear Hall. After that, it is a mystery; those that know either want these memories purged from their mind or are keeping those secrets for greed or potentially the betterment of all humanity.

I love fantasy role playing games. I really do.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Small Jobs in Haven

My players were lamenting their lack of funds in the most recent game - they are adventurers, members of the Guild of Defenestration, and their "job" is to get into the dungeons that bloom under Haven. Their "payment" comes from loot they recover (a small percentage skimmed from the top by the Guild for operating expenses, of course).

One of my players was asking "can't we do something to earn a few groats?" My immediate response was "no - you are adventurers! go adventure!" I should have said "sure, but it takes time and has consequences.  After all, if you saw your local mayor working at the local fast food chain, you'd have a thought or two on the subject.

So, some rules for "other jobs" for adventurers. Incidentally, they all suck.

Odd Jobs Rules
A character may stop adventuring for a week and do some fairly boring jobs. This has two consequences.

The First Consequence
If there are any "live" dungeons, roll 1d6.

  • 1-3: The dungeon grows - it repopulates itself, more monsters, possibly more dangerous, new areas, not good.
  • 4-5: Another local Guild chapter takes over the contract. The character's chapter loses some status and trust.
  • 6: The dungeon erupts from the Underworld - monsters in the streets, a plague of Gloom, general mayhem.

The Second Consequence
Adventurers have a special place in society. While they are often looked down upon they have a strange respect from the population. Doing non-adventuring things lessens their standing. Reduce the character's lifestyle by 1 level automatically (even if the character spent loot in advance to boost their standing).  A destitute character doesn't get any lower.

The Jobs
Based on current lifestyle (after the drop in status), roll 1d4. If you don't know what the job is based on the title, imagine the worst thing you can based on the character's new lifestyle.

Humiliation is the key. These jobs suck. If a character had a real job they wouldn't be an adventurer.
 Destitute dung picker scuz mopper silk snatcher sweat milker
 Shabby corpse cart driver  bird feeder fence mender rat catcher
 Working pet walker catchpoke fruit stomper scab tender
 Craftsman shop assistant guild herald shit strainer tooth snapper 
 Guilder personal servant house herald slop grinder fish gutter
 Wealthy guild attendant tavern server lip painter chug dealer
 Extravagant  house balif Incense bearer  house pratwhore  payed friend

How Many Groats?
Not as many as you would like. Any groats earned from boring jobs cannot be used by a character to gain experience through banking or carousing. Only loot earned through adventuring can get a character XP.

If the player complain about the paltry number of groats (and those numbers are pretty paltry), remind them that this is not a game about being an accountant or avoiding adventure. If they don't have enough loot to maintain their gear or lifestyle then perhaps they should be a bit more aggressive in looting the Underworld or choose to sell relic they found to a noble house or the Guild of Defenestration instead of hanging on to it.

Sure it might come to bite them in the ass later, but at least they could repair their armor and buy a shield.

Sorrow in Haven, and most fantasy adventure games for that matter are not about doing mundane things, they are about taking chances and high adventure; about encountering the weird and overcoming overwhelming odds; and most of all about having fun!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Underworld Beasts: Gilgesh

The Gilgesh are an ancient culture, long forgotten from the World of Light. They are casually referred to as scorpion-men.

Most gilgesh are encountered when they are in the middle of a summoning. So far no adventurers have identified what they are attempting to summon because they don't wait around - combat or escape are the number one priority.

The gilgesh vomit acid as their primary attack, their vicious looking claws are too delicate for combat. Their tail does not end in a stinger, buth rather can "tulip" open revealing a terrible second mouth. It is from this mouth they call forth the Ancient Oath of Binding.

The Ancient Oath of Binding
Apparently the Gilgesh once enslaved the ancestors of humanity.  If the Oath is spoken, all who hear it must pass a difficulty (+3) WIT action roll or choose Deference of Defense.  One who defers becomes a worker slave, cleaning the gilgesh or doing menial tasks for it. Those who defend will do so with all their power and even sacrifice their life to defend the creature. Characters who failed the first roll get a second after 1d6 turns; if this second one also fails the target is forever enslaved.

Digestive Acids
If a character is hit by the digestive acids, one thing that they are wearing or are carrying openly (weapons, shields, armor, fancy hats, masks, cool rings, whatever) has to immediately make a durability roll to see if it gets seriously damaged.

Sorrow in Haven (and other useful) Stats

 Aberration (neutral) Size: M Danger: 4 KO: +4
 Intransient Raconteur  Org: group or solitary  Atk: +1 Def: +2
 Multiple Appendiges Cunning: Clever Digestive Acid DR: 1
 Demeanor: Cold Ferocity: Calm Speed: 4 END: 20 
 Int: Smart Instinct: enslave  Dmg: d6 VIT: 6

OSR / LotFP Stats
 Armor: 4 better than "base"
 Move: 40'
 Hit Dice: 3 (11 hp)
 Digestive Acid: d6 x2
 Morale: 10
 Oath of Binding: save vs Magic
 Digestive Acids: wreck an item

Also, I totally borrowed this artwork without permission from:

Friday, April 20, 2018

Painting Minis

Here is a bunch of stuff I've been painting this last week

Mummies of the Iron Wastes
These are from one of the Reaper Bones collections. This dire pack of undead minions shuffle endlessly forward through the red sands of the Iron Wastes, their bandages hanging in tatters as they are constantly torn at by vicious winds.

Anyone touched by one of these rotting monstrosities will be infected with nanobots that slowly start to disassemble them. Pass a CON test every 12 hours or permanently lose 1 point of vitality. The rot can only be cured by magic or old scions.

Wrapping one's self in the bandages of a mummy will cure any disease within 1d6 hours ... except the nanobot infection. Powdered mummy brains are also effective in making a potion of poison and disease nullification.

Undead Legion
A selection from the Dark Souls board game. This is the majority of the non-boss troops; I didn't get around to the sentinels because i need to get some more airbrush paint ... and I've only got so much desk space.

This gang of miscreants have given me no end of pleasure and frustration in the Dark Souls video game series, but in the board game they are all too simple to eliminate. Of course, once false move and you get completely boned even by the most lowly of Hollow Soldiers. Jerks.

I'm sure most of these will make it into the RPG rotation as meaningful foes.
Closeups: Silver Knight Greatbowmen & Silver Knight Swordsmen

Closeups: Large Hollow Soldier, Hollow Soldier, & Crossbow Hollow

The Heroes: Herald, Assassin, Knight, & Warrior
I added some skulls I had lying about to their bases and finished the bases with gold rather than black like the monsters. These were great fun to paint, so I've shown them lined up for battle and running away as you really should do a lot more in the Dark Souls games until you learn how to fight. No fleeing in the board game though - one must persevere until they die.  And you will die.

I'll be doing some more painting in the near future, finish up the DStBG models before the new ones arrive (hopefully), painting the Gloomhaven models, mode undead Bones, I've got a big pile of pirates to take care of, and sooo many monsters.  This is the summer of painting when I'm not running or writing Sorrow in Haven. If I feel ambitious enough I might even start creating specific game stats for the painted models. Game on!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Tiny Castle Gargantua Adventures!

Last night we took a quick jaunt into Castle Gargantua using the Tiny Dungeon 2e rules.  It was a short pickup game and quite a bit of fun.

The Characters
  • MARTOG THE GIANT - a grump dwarf who is a failed healer
  • Princess Fey - a fey, apparently of royal blood, who is a failed baker
We did the normal character creation, plus the roll for a failed career (which gave them some starting stuff) and a roll on the "weird stuff" table I've put together. That second one is interesting because players can choose to push into potentially dangerous territory.  These characters ended up with
  • A foil packet of Dubious Sandwiches.  Turns out they were prawn and mayo sandwiches Princess Fey found on a barrel behind a bar.
  • A sack containing a baby poisonous sand lobster. Martog says they are a great snack.
Ducks Heritage
Also, for no particular reason, I added the Duck heritage. There is a table for Ducks and the PDF mentioned was cheap, so I thought what the heck!  Ducks per TD2E rules:
  • Ducks are grumpy cursed beings. They can’t walk well (duck feet) but swim like aces. Ducks are generally unpleasant but stalwart and loyal friends. Most of them worship The Great Egg.
  • HP: 5
  • Magically Influenced: Ducks have the traits Spell Reader and Cursed
  • Ducks begin with 1d2 scrolls
  • Cursed: ducks are more susceptible to magical effects and as such roll to resist with Disadvantage, take 1 extra damage, or effects last longer or are more pronounced. 
  • Instead of Previous Failed Career, Ducks can roll on the Duck Motivations table in the PDF

These folks knew a few rumors about the castle. To match  up Heritage to the rumor tables, I made the following table and everyone gets 2 rumors. Also, everyone knows about the Blade Maidens that guard the front gate (they are really mean).

Which Rumors
 1. Human
 Fighter, Cleric, Magic-User, or Specialist 
 2. Karhu
Fighter or Cleric
 3. Fey
Elf or Mage
 4. Dwarf
Dwarf or Fighter
 5 Goblin
Halfing or Specialist
 6. Lizardfolk 
Thief or Duck
Magic-User or Duck
 8. Duck
1 Duck and Any 1
 9. Treefolk
Roll 1d8 to choose

But Wait - Why?
The campaign "reason" is that the world has gone terribly wrong (it is ostensibly set in the same world and time as the Sorrow in Haven campaign) and folks things that something in the castle can save them. Easy premise for a free-wheeling game.

Where is the damn thing?
As it turns out, this Castle Gargantua was in the depths of an oceanic abyss.  This would have been Disasterous, except that the War of Others dried up the ocean! SO Castle Gargantua is a day journey through the festering Siltmarsh that was once the ocean bed - thick clouds of stinking fog are rolling about, and it is kind of dangerous to get there.  But once there, the castle sits beyond the Abyssal Moat - some 100' wide and filled with a stranger, thicker fog. Something big is "swimming" in that fog. Also, the Blade Maidens guard the bridge across the Moat.

System Notes
The Tiny Dungeon system lends itself to a really free-wheeling style of play. The tone we set was a bit gonzo/over the top, but that was a personal choice rather than anything with the system itself. There are like 3 rules ... so rulings are the name of the game, which I completely enjoy.

The Adventure!
The party purchased a silt sled to haul their stuff around. Then using clever trickery and the baby poisonous sand lobster as bait (sand lobsters are cannibals) they managed to catch and harness a giant sand lobster (think of a lobster the size of a pony) and use it to cruise across the siltmarsh toward the castle.

They choose to negotiate with the Blade Maidens, who were actually pretty chill.  In the end Princess Fey gave them the Dubious Sandwiches and the Blade Maidens looked the other way for a bit. Their giant sand lobster dug into the silt ... it doesn't like being harnessed.

After dealing with the enormous brass doors that lead into the castle, the adventurers saw a large strange machine that apparently, if you fed it opals, dumped something from a spigot. Ignoring what they decided was a probable trap, they moved on, getting lost in the Escher Stairs for a while, but eventually found their way into another giant room.

Here the party confronted a group of a dozen or so Frunch Soldiers that were mucking about trying to open some huge lead sarcophagus. Attempts at diplomancy (not a typo) failed to convince the soliders that Princess Fey was an actual princess. The SOldiers were on some sort of mission for King Loius-Henri and didn't like the characters ... they were "filthy interlopers".  FIGHT!

The combat was BRUTAL! MARTOG wailed on the soldiers as Princess fired arrows at the Sergeant (who lead from the rear). After a bunch of the soldiers were eliminated and the sergeant fled after being shot by a bow a bunch, the remaining 4 soldiers were convinced to pledge fealty to Princess Fey.  So she got 4 followers which was pretty cool.

Then it was late in real life and we high fived and ended the game for the night.

Summary and Thoughts
This is super fun. I like TD2E and the little bit of Castle Gargantua we actually explored was fun. The entire thing is an enormous improvisation tool that I am in love with.  I might throw some pickup games of TCG at one of my local shops or something. It was a nice break from the heavier Sorrow in Haven game, but I'm also excited to get back to that. I've already got like 100 house rules for TD2E, but that seems like a fine situation - it is so simple house rules are cool and the gang!

Monster Stats
Just some quick notes for anyone interested in the TD2E stats:
  • Blade Maidens: 3HP, Vigilant, Diehard, Heavy Weapons, at least 1 in any group is Spell-Touched
  • Giant Sand Lobster: 5HP, SNIP - lose a limb from a critical hit, Poison - lose 1 HP every round for d6 rounds, cumulative per hit
  • Frunch Soldiers: 1HP, Cowardly - check morale if the sergeant is hit
  • Frunch Sergeant: 3HP, Fleet of Foot

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Doomsday Cults in Haven

Haven is protected from the Others by the Wondrous Dome, but there are many that feel that the Magistarium or the Church of Eternal Light or the House of Arbitration or the Noble Houses, or the Guilds, or pick any major group are out to get them and keep 'em down and things would be so much better if X, Y, or Z happened.

In the end they want something they believe is better than the current situation but inevitably will cause the collapse Haven. They might seem harmless or actually like they believe in something worthwhile, but everything becomes twisted and dangerous in the long run. That is just the nature of humanity.

Within Haven there are 5 general types of cults (1d6):
  1. The Infested- the Underworld, Gloom, or Patchwork have a foothold in reality.
  2. The Disillusioned - crushing poverty has made folks gather together to conspire.
  3. The Do-Gooder - the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the are ready.
  4. The Esoteric - some ancient bit of arcane lore has whipped them into a tizzy
  5. The Mad - creeping madness, hallucination or religious zealotry have taken flight.
  6. Roll 1d4 twice and combine the results (re-roll duplicates) ... assume they are also Mad

Here are a bunch of examples:

  1. Gloomers - the Gloom offers the truth that reality that this world is a shadow of itself and we are all truly alone
  2. Underworld Embracers - The Underworld is alive and should be loved and embraced and worshiped
  3. Patchwork Fanatics - Life is chaos, and the Pathwork is chaos incarnate, is it not a higher reality?
  4. Friends of The Others - the did not come to fight but humanity has turned them against each other and ourselves, we must reach out to them.
  5. Worshipers of the Dead Gods - The are dead but still dreaming and speaking, all one must do is listen and offer blood.
  6. Ghost Listeners - the Ancients left clues behind, some of them are their own selves in states of agony, all to help us ascend.

  1. Guild Crushers - It it the Guilds that control everything and treats the people like another commodity.  They must be crushed.
  2. Nobility Destroyers - It it the Noble Houses that control everything and treats the people like another commodity.  They must be destroyed. 
  3. Magistatrium Eradicaters - It it the Magistarium that control everything and treats the people like another commodity.  They must be eradicated.
  4. Dome Escapists - It is the Dome that seems to protect but enslaves us. The people must leave the dome and its corrupt influences to be truly free.
  5. Praise the Sea - the Ocean and her peoples are our true home and family.  Welcome them ashore and embrace the cool waters of the Future.
  6. Damn the Sun - it is the sky that has become poisoned by the Others.  We must all flee and live Underground and topple our above ground presence. With explosives.

  1. Democratic Initiative - all people must know of and have a say in all issues, it is the only way we can advance as a culture and society.
  2. Equality Demagogue - regardless of any accident of birth, all people and creatures regardless of realm of origin, have an equal right to exist.
  3. Alternate Realtors - this reality is corrupt, but another can be found by travelling through and past the other extant dimensions. we must migrate at any costs.
  4. Others Outreach - the Others are from the stars, and have knowledge beyond ours. We must make contact and peace with them and gain true 
  5. Old Ways Rennesiance - Shed the corrupt new thoughts and ways! We must worship the ancestor spirits and the take up the old traditions again!
  6. Purgers of the Past - the past is what has 

The Esoteric
  1. Dream Reality Advocates - Those that awake in Haven with no memory are travelers from the Real, and this is but a hellish dream.
  2. Magic Eaters - One can consume the essence magic as sustenance, and will become one with the Dome and the Higher Reality.
  3. Grail Enthusiasts - Somewhere in the Dungeons of the Underworld is the hidden Relic of Salvation. We must find it and use it by any means.
  4. Readers of Calprendia - her papers are found by Guild delvers and they are a holy scripture from which we can divine secrets and truth.
  5. Cult of Scions - the Ancients and their creations will bring about salvation. We must praise the Hy-drogen and her Ionic Nimbus! The Adam will bring us peace.
  6. Sensates - we must remove all references to those things dangerous and corrupt; knowledge of the Others corrupts and poisons. We must purge all notions of evil.

The Mad
No table here - use your imagination. Take any little thing and blow it wildly out of proportion (we are Gods and eat our Fish followers), turn on some crazy logic (those who have heads closer to the sky are closer to enlightenment, those shorter than you including children must be destroyed as they are closer to the Underworld), and just run rampant with something odd (burn everything that is blue, for blue is the color of Ozmorlian the Gut Bender).

A Few Details
Roll a d6 for each category.  Members and Influence are straight forward.  DV is the Danger Value for the cult, much like a monster has a Danger Value - 0 is insignificant but 10 is serious trouble. The Fact value is the chance that their major belief, the one that will bring about ruination, is actually true somehow.  These are the most dangerous cults because they are actually right.

 1 in 30 
 Very Little 
1 in 20
1 in 12
1 in 10
1 in 8
1 in 6

There are a ton of great cult generators on the internet if you need some more flavor.  I like this one for inspiration:

Cult Example
So I grabbed a description from that link and threw some dice.

Link: The members of the Builders of the Immortal Oracle, an elite magical society based in Valparaiso, are secretly devoted to the worship of Rukhia, the Grey Queen. They plan to slay, with the help of an old woman who solves mysteriesa rat-thing that guards an ancient tomb in the Earth's core. This will enable their leader, Cyril Marvell, to become pregnant with Rukhia's child.

The Feasters of the Immortal Oracle Type: Esoteric, Magic Eaters
Members: 5d10 ... 29
Influence: Local
DV: 1d4 ... 3 potentially concerning
Fact: 1 in 6 ... 1 - they are correct!

The Feasters of the Immortal Oracle are led by the Magistarium outcast Cyril Marvell. Cyril became hell bent on proving that his gender was irrelevant when it came to becoming a vessel for a new god to be born and he could be the mother-father of a New World. When he came across the Lore Book of Rukhia the Rat Queen (purchased from a Guild of delvers) Cyril knew the means were at hand, and he began collecting the those interested in the strange and esoteric and looking for a new life. The Feasters have grown in size and influence and now need to find a group of adventurers to find and clear a path to Rukhia's Tomb in the Underworld...

Cult Behaviors of Note

  • Always user neutral pronouns
  • Wear lots of Grey
  • Call everyone sibling
  • They use "secret words" to test individuals for potential interest
  • Always eating if possible
  • Leave out food for rats

If the Cult gets their way

  • Cyril will become pregnant with a child of Rukhia
  • When the rat-child is born Cyril will die
  • The rat-child is magical and daemonic and will grow the cult
  • There will be a huge number of were-rats and skaven all over the damn place
  • The new goal will be infiltration of the Magistarium and Noble Houses
  • The rat-child will be the Bearer of Plague ... and Haven will become a place of terrible sickness