Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Animal Mutations of the Flesh Forest

The Flesh Forest is an area within the Great Desh that has been mutated and changed by the wicked sorceries of Cornelius the Harvester.  In addition to the horrors of that place, there are plenty of "normal" animals that have fallen prey to his arcane foolishness.

Random Critter Mutations

  1. Another pair of fully functional limbs covered in thick black bristles
  2. A pair of external lungs that inflate and deflate and wheeze and are covered in mucus
  3. Locomotive means replaced with spliced bio-mechanical treads
  4. Skin is translucent and toxic to the touch
  5. Head is a floppy human-like hand of absurd proportions
  6. Mouth opens to a series of intricate knives and cutting tools
  7. Instead of eyes cogs that glow with an unearthly light
  8. Numerous "mouths" that cry and whine and leak thick white goo
  9. Parts in the wrong places - heads and legs swapped, multiple tails
  10. Human face stretched over whatever skull or structure is available - the squirrels are the worst

With sorcerous mutation comes mental aberration as well...

  1. Try to eat things they are not meant to eat (won't work well in the long run)
  2. Burrowing and climbing for creatures that would not do such a thing (the palm-faced tree deer)
  3. Highly aggressive nature for docile creatures, some even suicidal
  4. Extreme lethargy and gluttony
  5. Repetitive OCD-style actions that do not mesh with normal behavior
  6. Attempts to communicate that involve vomiting and defecating constantly

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Session Report [T7 & T8]: Forays into the Flesh Forest and More!

Two session reports in one post?  Yarp!

Also, a second session of experience running the point-crawl has been great - I'm getting a feel for how my players see the world I'm describing and getting better at describing what I want them to see.

First Adventures in the Dreadful Wilderness [Last Session of 2016]
  • Cornelius the Harvester was a Sorcerer
  • He is dead, his Place of Falling marked by and endless gyser of black blood and oil
  • The Part met and dealt with a gang of savage cannibals, The Royals
  • There was some fucking around a mine
  • Big explosion and magical chaos
  • Results include lost arms (now replaced with robot arms), lost leg (replaced with crutch), and dead Royals
  • Later the Royals show submissive behavior and tell the party about the way to Haven
  • They also mention that the Fields of Flesh is ripe and they are worried with the Harvester gone
  • The party decided to check out WTF was up with the gross flesh trees with big hairy "breeding pods" hanging from them because who wants a horde of whatever-the-fuck rampaging everywhere because of your actions or lack of actions or some combination of the two. 
  • After School Special lesson is on the horizon...

So .... Let's Explore the Flesh Forest! [First Session of 2017]
  • The party realizes that they are low on food, and decide to all go foraging.
  • Xian and Zigfried manage to harvest some berries (dung berries and rashberries) with only minor consequences
  • Creasy goes hunting with magic and draw the attention of something ... large
  • Meanwhile Katt and Freddicus start setting up snares using his jar of guts ... 
  • The thing in the cave is calling out to whatever Creasy just carved up and suddenly errupts
  • It seems to be a fur and scale covered worm the diameter of a tree trunk, but it doesn't seem to end!  It undulates a foot above the ground and doesn't have a face so much as a split open ragged end filled with recurved teeth. And it is fast!
  • The battle rages on, but in the end, Xian ended up casting a spell that broke time and he sacrificed himself to save the others.
  • Now the party has a baby Ian they are carting around!  And all that was just foraging for food.
  • Phi joins the party. He has his mouth sewn shut with silver wires and looks ... odd
  • Katt recalls that he is an Enchanter
  • The next day the party makes their way into the Flesh Forest and starts exploring.  
  • An old cache is uncovered under a cairn - it gets looted of course.
  • The party also learns that Cornelius was once a soldier in a battle against witches or the faerie
  • After a while the party makes their way into the Bone forest where the flesh trees are all dead - their bones cracked.
  • The sky is overcast and thunder rolls in the distance
  • The party watches an 8' tall humanoid wearing chains and a mask of a human face that appears to be made by a child
  • When they attempt to engage it it runs away into the forest just as the rain begins
  • Moving toward the place of Power that Creasy sensed the party sees an old collapsing stone tower that the marsh river has flooded
  • They find a safe place on the 2nd floor, they also realize that the water is bad news and causes Katt to pick up some sickness
  • Creasy breaks out a spell and changes the space between the tower and the river, causing the river to drain out and the trap door on the first floor to be revealed
  • It is, of course, magically trapped with some sort of Seizure Spell, but the party deals with that
  • In the underplace the party finds a moving mosaics and friezes
  • Then the find the real deal ... the place of power is a huge chamber and in the center is a dias
  • In the center of that dias is a human figure the size of a young child, but with the head of a sparrow
Next Up!
What will the party do?  What is that in the center of the dias? Where are the slaves that are supposed to be growing from the flesh trees growing in cysts? Is the harvest upon us? WHO KNOWS!

Table of Weird Stuff: Mutant Cat Biz
Unrelated to the above, just a good old fashioned random table. Roll 1d10.
  1. Scorpion tail
  2. Claws of mythril that rend armor
  3. Teleports only to inconvenient places for the adventurers
  4. Great dangling teats at which suckle daemons that protect mommy
  5. Huge with eyes like headlights
  6. They talk in stilted common but some words are wrong ... they know about fret
  7. Hovercat. Damnhellyea
  8. Butterfly wings that deflect magic
  9. So much hair you aren't sure where the cat is
  10. Friendly and well behaved. May bring you some tea.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Running the Point Crawl

With my players out of Dungeon Titanicus and now experiencing the Dreadful Wilderness, I've moved to a new chapter of the Dawn of Eradu game, and it isn't going quite as smoothly as I'd like.

The Game is great - the party encountered the Cornelius the Harvester, a corpulent sorcerer who lives in his cybernetic chariot that is the top of a WWII tank that fires a pulse of magical energy and the whole thing is mobile due to slaves carrying it around.  They ran afoul of the Royals, a gang of cannibal savages with Southie Boston accents and wearing beat up old imperial armor. There was some exploration and some combat - a lot of combat - and magical shenanigans.  In the end, Cornelius was killed, the Royals made temporary peace with the party, Mr. Creasy Silo lost a leg to an inter-planar rift, and Zigfried blew his arms off with unstable dynamite.

The issue I'm having, however, is the Point-Crawl.  I've always run my wilderness exploration as hex maps, but as an experiment I thought I'd go with point-crawl maps. It seemed to fit the style of the game better, but it is really difficult to switch gears.  The "which direction is it" conversation is getting old because no matter how many times I tell them it doesn't matter, they keep asking.  And their map looks like a technical diagram grid because they don't want to draw symbols because "I can't draw".

I'm just not feeling it. Somehow this is harder than a hex crawl or even a "normal" map. Maybe I don't have the feel for it or perhaps I'm not conveying the concept correctly. Maybe we are too focused on the map itself rather than the adventure?  Treating the wilderness like a giant dungeon?

The Regional Map
I'm not showing this one just yet.  It covers the regions or major regions the game takes place. From the mountains where the sun rises each morning to the sweet scented sea, there are plenty of regions to explore that are all connected up. Each region sets a tone with both terrain, danger, types of things encountered, and so on.  The Marsh of Mists is very different than the Rudworm foothills.

Area Map
Each region has several areas - this is a map of one of the regions. There are the "day-to-day" travel points.  Players will know when they are no longer in the forest because there aren't trees, but they don't necessarily know they are in a new region.  Areas, however, are connected in specific ways (the old road, follow the river, etc.). The Area has a main feature that defines it and the players can explore more as they see fit.

The bold outlined locations are references to other Area Maps. The red outlined locations  are dungeons/exploration sites.

Location Maps
Each Area has several locations, most of which are entirely optional. This location map shows the locations of the sample area above.  Ignore the color coding ... I'm still working on that.

The locations are the fine detail of the point-crawl maps.  They are the "closed mine", "ruined tower", "weird rock that looks like a dong", or "gorgon lair". If players want to explore in more detail, there are options and things to make life interesting.

Site Maps
If the party is deep into exploring a site I may have a site map ready to go. This is pretty much the same as the location map but at a finer scale. This is only for places where I feel like running a detailed exploration adventure. Or maybe a chase situation could come up.  At this level of detail I have features listed for each site. For example. The XXX site may have 3 features

  1. Weird Old Tree that talks and wants to drink beer
  2. Trampled area, evidence of a forst troll
  3. Cave of the forest troll

They aren't anywhere in particular - they are just "in there". If the party isn't poking around the Location, they aren't going to run into the specific sites and surely not the features.

As I've written this up I think I might be organizing too much. I'm doing what I used to do with eorld maps, which is "big picture then refine" but maybe I'm refining too much?  The Area Map is awesome and feels like a point crawl.  The Location and Site maps are after much fiddling to make them tight and look less organic.  Maybe that is the issue?  Maybe my remapping for things to make them tidy is translating to my players not getting the feel? I'm going to keep at it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gifts of the Dark Lords

There are plenty of Dark Lords and Chaos Godlings and Wyrd Thyngs from Between Space that characters can get involved with. Some of them grant boons.  Here are some random boons to get things started. One of my buddies asked for this for his game - I can't wait to hear how his players get themselves into trouble.

Dark Boons
Roll 1d8. Or roll 1d6 and +1 per sacrifice of some sort.

  1. Insect Vision - Gain the ability to see otherworldly colors and in the darkness, but eyes are gross gigantic bee eyes which freak normal people out and animals hate you.
  2. Arcane Gift- cast one extra spell per day, but voice alerts the Holy Daemon Hunters who listen for such vile sounds with huge brass ear trumpets. It will take a while for them to find you...
  3. Dark insight - ask the GM one question per session, but limbs become gnarled (movement/DEX penalty)
  4. Breath of Satan - exhale a cloud of stinging darkness once per day, but always stink of rotting meat (+1 encounter rolls)
  5. Demon Strength - minimum 1/2 max damage, but filled with uncontrollable rage (WIS check to overcome)
  6. Blight - touch causes 1d6 rotting damage ... but it is on ALL THE TIME. clothes and wood rots too but not as fast
  7. Dark Assistance - summon a dark familiar that gives permanent +1 to something, -1 to 2 other things, such as +1 to attack, but -1 to INT and WIS checks
  8. Blood Storm - spend 1d4 hit points to cause blood to erupt from the ground causing all enemies HPd4 damage (rolled a 3, then lose 3 HP but all opponents take 3d4 HP damage), blood damage cannot be healed by clerics or normal rest - only through vile ritual.

Badass Crowns
Roll 1d6 and wear your crown like you own it - because you do. Forever.

  1. Crown of the Xaos Mage - made of broken bone fragments that is surrounded by a nimbus of flame. Wearing it grants double effect from spells, but control over those spells (targeting, duration, etc.) is weakened.
  2. Crown of Aszor Mhauve - A metal circlet with thin delicate antenna adorning it. Wearing it allows the bearer to command war.bots, but at the cost of her humanity. Each command drains some part of their person, eventually they become a flesh robot and the crown only works on humans.
  3. Sludge Crown - A classic crown of gold that slowly melts the person's flesh. They are still fully functional, but have no form, which allows them to be able to slip through cracks under doors and whatnot.  The bearer can also communicate with and command slimes and oozes.  The crown "melts" with the person but reappears solid if they die.
  4. Undead Lord - a crown made of skeletal hands of babies and children. Wearing it makes you evil (even looking at it makes you suspect). It also allows you to command undead equal to or below your level. More powerful undead will either work for your favor or try to kill you and take thr crown or both.  Vampire politics ... worst hell ever.
  5. Ice Baby Crown - a tiny crown that gives you ice wizard powers and reverses your aging at double rate. eventually you'll turn back into a baby. Imagine a toddler wizard having a full-tilt temper tantrum.  Glaciation and another ice age are coming ...
  6. Crown of the Stone King - wearing it turns you to stone - mobile intelligent stone!  Your flesh is stone, so things that don't damage stone can't damage you. This also means that spells designed to heal flesh don't heal you - nor does rest; damage to you is permanent. You become incredibly strong to the point that delicate tasks take great concentration (WIS and DEX checks). 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Random Savage Encounters

The Dreadful Wilderness is a terrible and dangerous place. Even the most skilled ranger never lets her guard down. Sorcerers are all over the place doing who-knows-what, freakish creatures wander the land tearing human travelers various new holes, and to top it all off there are savages. Once human (or arguably still human ... sort of) these freaks are always more than slightly dangerous.
  • A battle, once started, is always to the death.  Savages never retreat and never surrender.
  • Parley is an option, but each savage tribe has something different they want or respect.
  • Savages aren't mindless killing machines, but they aren't the most intelligent of foes.
  • Cannibals.  All of them. Seriously - they want to eat you, it is just a matter of if they have an opportunity.

What Do They Look Like?
Each tribe has a particular mode of dress.
  1. Ragged animal hides
  2. Looted Imperial armor with crested helms
  3. Fancy nobility clothing - they see no difference between a doublet and a gown
  4. Loin cloth and open vest
  5. Shiny purple trousers and natty hats
  6. Military uniforms, hair style determines rank
  7. Pinstriped white shirt and pants, two-tone face paint
  8. Kilts and Woad and a lot of spiked hair
  9. Three-piece suits ... made of human skin
  10. Nude - dongs swinging and heavily pierced
  11. Flak vests and desert camouflage clothes
  12. Space suits, only the elite have mirrored helmets

What are they Wielding?
Weapons tend to be similar among a tribe, but there are various.
  1. Spiked baseball bats
  2. Rusty two-handed swords
  3. Cobbled together pole arms, mostly pikes and halberds
  4. Spear and shield, javelins in a pack on their back
  5. Big-ass hunting knife and a 9mm pistols
  6. Weaponized hedge clippers
  7. Bolo, nets, and pointy sticks
  8. Bow and arrow; leaders have crossbows
  9. Flame throwers
  10. R-89 Light Pulse Rifle with E-phase modulators

What are they Up To?
Savages aren't just wandering around looking for things to kill.
  1. Looking for another tribe of Savages to (1-3) fight or (4-6) trade with
  2. Under orders from some Sorcerer
  3. Searching for lost tribe members (50% children have been abducted)
  4. Hauling some huge machine somewhere
  5. Under the influence of weird mushrooms - they are oddly friendly
  6. Playing a sport of some kind, 50% with another tribe, 50% it is to the death
  7. Returning from a conquest loaded down with loot
  8. Scouting, 25% they were trying to spy on the party
  9. Looking to kill the party, eat them, and loot their stuff
  10. Looking to torture the party, then kill them, eat them, and loot their stuff
  11. Looking for the party to ask for help
  12. Running from a large powerful monster that is right behind them!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Random Dwarf Encounters

The Dwarf in Dawn of Eradu is a nasty fellow. They are cannibals and have a thing for creating crosses made of bones and hanging victims on them right before setting the whole thing on fire.
  • They aren't "grumpy and dour" - they just don't have time for your shit and are mean.
  • They don't "lust for gold and beer" - they have darker desires and drown their woes with alcohol as much as the next man.
  • They don't "take great pride in their beards" - they don't bother to shave while in the "World of the Putrescent."
  • They aren't miners of exceptional skill" - they are digging for something down there that they don't like to talk about with the likes of you...

What Are they Wearing?
Dwarf clothing is not for the faint of heart.
  1. Tanned hides of their ancestors
  2. Fresh skins of some unfortunate bandits
  3. Tattooed leathers made from Mokk flesh
  4. Extra thick giant's leather studded with fragments of sharp stone
  5. Bloodied fancy clothing from a noble
  6. Starched cloth woven from victim's hair
  7. A toga made from a single prepared slice of Nalgra skin
  8. Vest made from a particularly hairy chest
  9. Cloak of faces sewn so they are all smiling happily
  10. A still squirming Patchwork thing that has been flayed open

What Do They Have With Them?
Personal possessions other than clothing are rare.
  1. 1d6 human slaves who have already been pierced and branded
  2. A stone chest they haven't figured out how to unlock yet. It hums.
  3. 1d4+2 Saruis bodies on bone crosses held high
  4. A terrible beast in a cage they keep poking with sharp sticks
  5. A large fey creature, possibly a Vulgar Forest Troll, in chains and looking defeated
  6. A palanquin with some indulgent perverse nobles getting drunk
  7. The stolen machine of a Death Wizard Queen ... her minions are near
  8. A newborn human child the dwarf will defend and protect to their death
  9. 1d6+4 statues of dwarf in various states of shock and violence
  10. Nothing ... they are on the hunt and travelling light

Mutation of the Leader?
Most have minor physical aberrations, the most intense mutants become leaders.
  1. Mouth is huge and filled with rotating screw-like teeth
  2. Skin is flexible metal impervious to normal weapons
  3. You can see his bones glowing under his flesh
  4. Leaves a trail of burnt debris where he walks, eyes literally smoking
  5. Huge bat wings, rumors of "words of lightning"
  6. 1d6 additional arms, all of them with a weapon
  7. Melts all flesh with his touch (a bit insane and lonely)
  8. Arms are tentacles, legs hidden under long robes but squeal often
  9. Can turn invisible, but when he does his shadow goes on a murderous rampage
  10. Only has one eye, but it is a big eye that can see invisible things and is a laser eye

  • The Mokk are a lion-humanoid species known for crazy tempers, enslaving folks, and having intricate tattoos.
  • The Nalgra are long serpentine creatures that whisper secrets they have stolen from children and thieves.
  • Saruis were once a master race that used dwarf labor to mine for them. The race has fallen into degeneracy.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Random NPC stuff I thought about at TGD Dinner

Quick NPC Tables
Sometimes one needs an NPC - and fast!  Rolling stats and creating backgrounds or even dealing with actual rules can suck.  Here are 3 tables.  Any time you use a result, cross it off and replace it with something more interesting.

Name: roll 1d10
  1. Windbag Chad
  2. Donut Farmboy
  3. Pickle Fishknuckle
  4. Angus Buttworms
  5. Choiremouse Orduer
  6. Professor Astro Mayhem
  7. Evil Doug
  8. Ocho The Bloodletter
  9. Patterson Duckfoot
  10. Shake-hands Jon
Skill: roll 1d10
  1. Inexplicably Lucky
  2. Great at holding torches
  3. Johhny on the spot for handing you what you need
  4. Fluent in 1d4 rare languages
  5. Has a bit of magical potential
  6. Really good with animals
  7. Smells like raw meat
  8. Really small
  9. Handy with a spear (but not a sword)
  10. Possibly invisible to undead
Unfortunate Things: roll 1d10
  1. Actually a spy from another adventuring group
  2. Totally evil (50% inept at hiding it)
  3. Quite loud at everything
  4. Rubs everyone the wrong way
  5. Slow at everything
  6. Has a pet pig that must come along
  7. Steals stupid or very useful (but not necisarrily valuable) things
  8. Target of an assassination, party is in the way
  9. Runaway noble kid, mom and dad will blame party
  10. Far too curious for anyone's good