Friday, December 14, 2018

Bravo Retainers of Haven

Bravos are catch-all term to describe and small group of upper class hooligans who feel the need to prove their status by bullying their inferiors, spending far too much on their appearance and equipment, and get into conflict with other bravos over (real or imagined) slights against their honor. The bravos aren't a formal gang or organization by any means - in fact if they actually organized they might be a force to be reckoned with.

Bravos are difficult to deal with at the best of times, but as adventurers, the PCs have a slight advantage.  The bravos are generally impressed with members of the Guild of Defenestration because they actually go into the Underworld and survive! They are even more impressed with freelancers who ignore the "shackles of society" and do their own thing. If a PC is able to convince a bravo to join their crew as a retainer, they get a valuable ally.

Some Rules: Bravos are difficult teenagers and as such social interactions are rolled with Disadvantage. Adventurers are somewhat respected and get to add half their level to reaction rolls when dealing with Bravos.  As freelancers who buck the system, the PCs do not have Disadvantage when interacting with them ... until they act like "the man". Once a Bravo Retainer is part of the party, the party gains Advantage for all future Bravo encounters as the Bravos all want to one-up each other.

Bravo Stats
Roll as regular henchmen, but Attack and Defense must each be at least +1. Also roll once on the Boon and once on the Bane tables.

Always has a loaded pistol hidden upon their person
Always intoxicated on (d4)
1. Booze 2. Cocaine 3. Weed 4. Vengeance
Knows all sorts of folks; advantage on social interactions in the Bravos' district while they are with the crew
Has a mean streak that will be their eventual very public and very profane downfall
Has  KO of +8 - the guy just won't go down! 
Overconfident in a way that the players have never seen - the bravo will eventually assume they are in charge of the party
Secretly an amateur alchemist; attempts to identify potions are made with Advantage
has a pack of enemies that are out to get them - and all associates (the party) as well
family heirloom is a magic weapon that the bravo took out of the case in the family home
Universally despised by the noble houses because they are, in short, an insufferable asshole
accomplished warrior; the bravo has at least one warrior initial ability
has a secret agenda that involves tricking the party into a dangerous situation to trade their lives to make up for past mistakes

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Guild of Defenestration and Dungeoneering Chapters

The GDD membership roster is always in flux because it is a dangerous job. Folks die in the Underworld, retire from adventuring, or just quit and go do something less fatal. At the same time new recruits are always coming in with the promise of riches, a sense of duty to protect the city, or they literally have nothing else to do or lose.

As of this moment, in-game there are 36 GDD chapters active in Haven.

 Name (Chapter)  HQ 
 The Dragonborn (119)  Copper & Brass 
 Bloody Syndicate (172)  Tanners District 
 Ox Horn Crew (237)  Riverbend 
 GDD Chapter 264  Bentworth 
 The White Dragons (273)  Mirebranch 
 Geoff's Ghost Brigade (302)  Pease Park 
 Dungeon Ravagers (313)  Ars Magus 
 Redcaps (324)  Bentworth 
 GDD Chapter 330  Richardtown 
 Gloomriders (359)  Tumbledowns 
 Order of Flame and Ice (407)  Richardtown 
 GDD Chapter 453  Iron Hill 
 Rembrant's Ravagers (466)  Iron Hill 
 The Wild Ones (482)  Shady Thicket 
 Golden Wolf Pack (488)  Grinders District 
 GDD Chapter 501  New Hope Village 
 GDD Chapter 511  Grinders District 
 Orchid Club (523)  Elmgate 
 Untamed Brotherhood (566)  Archeron Point 
 Ogre's Doom (588)  Mirebranch 
 Unbridled Passion (594)  Quail Point 
 GDD Chapter 635  Old Town 
 Knives of Light (637)  Kilsea Jawn 
 Gentlemen of Success (638)  North Gate 
 Pistoleers (645)  Windward 
 The Angels of Hope (656)  Archeron Point 
 GDD Chapter 695  Temple Plaza 
 The Night Runners (719)  Smouldering Wharf 
 Spider Company (731)  Tigertown 
 Brunwick's Badgers (737)  Watcher's Hill 
 Maxi's Cobra Squad (845)  Grinders District 
 Forsaken Sisterhood (872)  Tumbledowns 
 Freedom Front (902)  Pease Park 
 Exquisite Philosophers (938)  North Gate 
PC Crew
 Needle and Thread and Blood (950)  Watcher's Hill 
 Jade Thorns (972)  Temple Plaza 

Reputation and Standing
Chapters with a -1 Reputation (new chapters) often haven't chosen a name yet and just go by their guild chapter number. As the chapters clear dungeons and make a name for themselves they grow in reputation. Currently the chapters with the highest reputations are:

  • The Golden Wolfpack (488): What a crew! Everyone knows the Wolfpack. This crew is lead by Master Silas, a powerful if somewhat reclusive wizard. They take on the toughest dungeons that crop up and have quite the reputation for community service, actually serving as local watch in the Grinders.  Dirk and Dudley, a twin brothers, are accomplished Explorers act as the public face of the Wolkpack. They are well liked.
  • The Night Runners (719): The Night Runners are generally known as bastards and have a powerful if bad reputation. But for all their dubious practices, they are effective. 
  • Jade Thorns (972): The Jade Thorns have close ties with the Church, led by a high level templar named Jadus (her personal reputation is stellar). Unfortunately, they had a major loss in their recent expedition and have only two surviving members. They are recruiting.
  • Brunwick's Badgers (737): Brunwick is tough and tenacious as so is the rest of his crew. Their current claim to fame is the head of an actual dragon they recovered from the depths. These folks are all about glaives and rifles - they are big game hunters almost more than dungeoneers.
  • Gentlemen of Success (638): The renowned explorer Theresa Flutter and her husband Killington, a scoundrel of no small water, are a well respected crew that, above all else, are known as civilized and courteous to all. They also have influence and ties to several of the noble houses.
Month-to-Month GDD Chapter Rules
Each month, roll 2d6 for the guild chapters to see what is going on with them.
  • 2: Something Awful
  • 3 - 4: Disastrous Delve
  • 5 - 6: Lose Members
  • 7: Business as Usual
  • 8 - 9: Gain Members
  • 10 - 11: Successful Delve
  • 12: Something Amazing
Business As Usual
No changes of any significance

Gain Members
The group gains 1d2 1st level NPCs of a random character class (1d10).
  • 1 - 3: Warrior
  • 4 - 5: Scoundrel
  • 6 - 7: Explorer
  • 8: Templar
  • 9: Paladin
  • 10: Wizard
Lose Members
The group loses 1d3 random members through the usual reasons - dungeon death, retirement, or just leaving to do something else.

Successful Delve
1d3 random members gain a level. Roll 1d10+the crew's Reputation. On a result of 1-5 the chapter's Reputation increases by 1 point.

Disastrous Delve
They went in a Hole and things went very poorly. Each member has a 50% chance of being killed in the dungeon. Those that survive have a 1 in 6 chance of gaining a level.

Something Awful & Something Special
Perhaps I'll make a specific table for these things, but they are open-ended events meant to be major changes for the chapters. Something Awful might be a TPK, whereas Something Special could be finding a major artifact or a serious change in standing.

Much like the gang rules, these are meant to keep things dynamic. Ignore results that are boring or would take things in a direction that is completely bunk ... or don't! Breaking the campaign is one of the most interesting and fun things a GM can do.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Adventures and a Gang War

Adventures in Fantasy
We've had 3 sessions since last I updated - one complete adventure run by Eric and another just getting started.  A summary for your amusement.

A Terrible Time with Alexander
In the Crossed Rapiers the crew was relaxing and listening to a band ,,, but something was wrong. Turned out it was a monster that dilated time and mind controlled everyone and was sucking out everyone's brains. We couldn't have that and laid waste ... until the thing escaped. But we couldn't escape the tavern! Found ANOTHER dungeon entrance in the place and started exploring.

Turns out we were the targets of something awful. Children of the Mater - tentacled monstrosities that (maybe) controlled time and illusions. We wandered around a dungeon that turned out to only have a few rooms, but they were all from different times. Took us quite a while and some clever adventuring to get that sorted out.  Luckily, we also found a central location and a strange device and a TON of clues ... about us ... and a journal

Turns out that changing the settings on the strange device opened a portal. We were able to figure out the (sort of) binary code and align that to the journal entries and start exploring. This got VERY weird. In the end, it was determined that we had written the journal ... which was very disturbing as we figured it out after Tiger Mott (my wizard) had started and it explicitly listed several of our own deaths. It was exceptions (as was the journal which was an actual prop).

In the end we figured out that the Children had imprisoned the Master, a fellow who was once a human named Alexander and now some sort of demi-god. Freeing him was pretty epic. As was the crazy skull mast Tiger Mott picked up. ALso his magic went awry and he is now made of porcelain. Also he had a temporary familiar that also wanted to kill him.

Most notably, this was the first Sorrow in Haven adventure run by someone that wasn't me! And it all worked out GREAT! I was quite pleased.

Gangs and Other Fun
The newest adventure the crew is a bit tricky write about as the players are in the midst of sorting out what the fuck is actually going on. Here is what they have figured out for sure - the Black Leg Gang is in some sort of turf war with the Serpent's Eyes. In the middle of this GDD Chapter 111 (the Dungeon Kings) has gone missing, presumed dead. There is a tie-in between the BLG and 111 as apparently 111 was in a dungeon and found a "cypher" to open an Ageless Vault (which probably contains mad loot and powerful magics) the Serpent's Eyes have discovered. Everyone is racing for opening that bad boy. Also, the Hammers are hunting down some demons, a mercenary band is also missing and possible possessed, and a group templar are involved asking a lot of strange questions. Oh - and the major crime family of Haven is involved somehow as well. All of this in a single session? Just wait until things really get rolling!

Real Life Adventures
They are done! I've completed the first printing and binding of Sorrow in Haven. I hand bound 16 copies of the book. Which was an arduous task. And this is a serious binding - end papers, sewing, hardcovers, and all the good times. We'll be playing with this as the rules for some time as V2 is under way. I'm pretty sure the print copies of v2 (or any more v1 copies) are going to be sent out or print on demand. I'm quite proud of myself, but my hands hurt. but the book is gorgeous! I'll post up some images later this weekend.

Gang Wars
This really works for any faction-on-faction conflict. In this case I wrote it up specifically for the gang war between the Black Leg Gang and the Serpent's Eyes. I actually used a form of this for the noble houses as well.

For each gang, determine
  • Number of Members: a gang has 2d6+6 members; the 2d6 explodes like an Amazing Roll (roll 12 and add another d6, repeat each time a 6 is rolled).
  • Resources: how much the gang has to work with, roll 2d6+6 and assign the action modifier like it is a primary attribute (+0 to +3)
  • Influence: how much sway do they have, roll 2d6+6 and assign the action modifier like it is a primary attribute (+0 to +3) 
in this scenario, we've got:
  • Black Leg Gang (16 members (+2), resources+1, influence +0)
  • Serpent's Eyes (13 members (+1), resources +1, influence +2)
Then each day (or whatever time period) roll 1d6 to see what shenanigans are afoot in their conflict and 1d6 to randomly determine which gang is "rolling":

  1. Plotting and Scheming
  2. Fighting in the streets
  3. Shift of Influence
  4. Shift of Resources
  5. Outside Interference
  6. Major Event - roll again and double it!
Plotting and Scheming
The gang is making plans for a future event, getting things in order, gathering information, recruiting, or leveraging contacts.
  • Action Roll: 2d6+nothing (vs target 7)
  • Legendary Failure: The plans are discovered, roll again for the other side with Advantage
  • Critical Failure: this plan sucks ... gain Advantage on the next Activities roll
  • Failure: Plans didn't work out ... maybe next time
  • Success: excellent plotting, sir! ... gain Advantage on the next Activities roll
  • Critical Success: excellent scheming ... gain Advantage on the next Activities roll and immediately make an Activities roll
  • Legendary Success: this is going to hurt ... gain Advantage on the next Activities roll and immediately choose which Activity to engage in
Fighting in the Streets
All out brawling, ambushes, or sneaky murdering. In any case, someone is going to die.
  • Action Roll: both gangs make a 2d6+members roll, attackers gain +1
  • Legendary Failure: massive losses ... 1d6 attacking gang members died 
  • Critical Failure: serious losses ... attacking gang loses 1d4 members
  • Failure: losses ... attacking gang loses 1d2 members, the enemy loses 1 less
  • Success: good brawl ... attacking gang loses 1d3-1 fellows, but opposing gang loses 1 more than that
  • Critical Success: definitive victory ... attacking gang loses nothing, opponents lose 1d4
  • Legendary Success: slaughter ... opponents lose 1d6 members
Shift of Influence / Resources
The population is taking a stand, bribes are payed, or the law is getting involved. Resources work the same way, just replace resources with influence.
  • Action Roll: both gangs make a 2d6+influence
  • Legendary Failure: gang loses 1 influence, opponent picks it up
  • Critical Failure: lose 1 influence
  • Failure: Nothing changes ... 
  • Success: gang gains 1 influence
  • Critical Success: gang steals 1 influence from opponent
  • Legendary Success: gang steals 1 influence from opponent and gains 1 additional influence
Outside Interference
Another group gets involved, for good or for ill (roll 1d6).
  1. Gain 1d4 members from recruitment
  2. Gain 1 influence through propaganda
  3. Gain 1 resource via clever management
  4. Lose 1 resource brought on by local resistance
  5. Lose 1 influence caused by a bad reputation
  6. Lose 1d4 members because they are incarcerated or just leave
Major Event
Something big just happened ... really big. Roll again on the Activities table but double the results. This event can stack up meaning a single event can wipe out a gang or put them in a position to crush their opponent.

An Example of All This Jazz
Day 1: The Black Leg Gang starts a street scrap with the Serpent's Eyes. They win the fight but lose 1 member, the Eyes lose 2.

Day 2: The Eyes retaliate in a major way, attempting to ambush the Legs, but they fail! The Eyes lose 2 more members as only one member of the Legs is taken out of action.

Day 3: There is an outside influence on the Eyes - their bad reputation causes them to lose 1 influence.

Day 4: The Legs, seeing an opportunity, attempt to shift influence their way. They manage to convince some of the locals that the Eyes are the problem and gain 1 influence.

Day 5: The Eyes start plotting and scheming, they need to get back in top! They have a good plan it seems, let's see how it all pans out.

Day 6: The Legs continue their assault on the influence of the Eyes, but they critically fail as the Eyes plan comes to fruition and they lose the influence they so recently gained.

So after 1 week (my game week only has 6 days)
  • Black Leg Gang
    • From: 16 members (+2), resources+1, influence +0
    • To: 14 members(+1), resources +1, influence +0
  • Serpent's Eyes
    • From: 13 members (+1), resources +1, influence +2
    • To: 10 members (+0), resources +1, influence +1
How Does It All End? Who Wins?
No idea ... these tables are just to get things moving and keep the action in the background interesting. If one group gets too powerful or too weak perhaps I'll just decide. If we look at the total modifiers Legs +3 to +2 and Eyes +4 to +2, we could say the the Legs are winning as they lost 1 less total modifier point than the Eyes? One could argue they are both losing, but the Eyes are losing more.

What about 3 or More Gangs?
When you roll to see who is making the activity roll, also choose a random target. Want to mix things up even more?  Have each gang make an activity roll each day to see what is happening. The possibilities, as they say, are endless.

In any case, the players' crew is going to get involved and they are going to really make things happen. The point of this is to keep things dynamic and happening so as they players get involved they aren't dealing with "scenes" or a stagnant situation which only they can resolve. The PCs act in a living world and this helps give a little old gang fight a spark of life.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Updated Initiative Rules

The initiative rules in the early drafts were effective, but frankly I just didn't like them. They didn't fit with the rest of the system. After a few experiments, most of which I'll mark as failed, the following was decided upon. It does a few things:

  1. It allows for a GREAT initiative roll to really impact how much time you've got to do things. surprising the enemy is bad-ass again.
  2. It is easy math that the players can do and doesn't depend (as much) on what other people rolled. 
  3. Spending END on initiative makes sense now (had little impact before)
  4. Additional Initiative dice have a better impact as well, making that a worthwhile advance.
  5. The ambush rules are much clearer and a good ambush plan GUARANTEES the entire party will go first and quickly if it is well executed and really makes it likely if at least somewhat well executed.

In General

  1. Everyone makes a Ranked INIT Action Roll.
  2. Highest initiative roll starts on Count 0
  3. Each additional character starts on Count (highest roll - their own roll)

Initiative Roll
Initiative Count
 (12-8) = 4
(12 - 4) = 8
(12 - 11) = 1
Gang of Ghol
Pack of Giant Rats
 (12 - 7) = 5

  • The combat count starts at 0.
  • Any character with an initiative count of 0 gets their next declared action at half speed.
  • Combat count increments as normal/everything else is the same
Situational Awareness


Alert characters are on guard and specifically watching for danger in a specific location roll initiative with Advantage. For example, watching a door or hallway while the rest of the group is doing other things.


This is a character’s general state. No modifiers t the roll.


Characters that are distracted because they are engaged in other activities such as arguing, picking a lock, or searching an area are distracted. These characters roll initiative with Disadvantage.


An ambush is when a character or group has a specific plan of attack and knowledge of their enemy and the situation. Kicking down a door where the enemy and specific terrain is unknown does not count an ambush, but it may catch the targets distracted.

Ambushing Unaware Targets

An unaware target is unprepared for a fight. When ambushing unaware targets. The character that rolled the highest gets an initiative count of 0 and all other characters in the group get an initiative count of 1. The unaware targets will have AT BEST an initiative count of 5. The entire target group must be unaware of the attack.

Ambushing Aware Targets

If the target group is aware of a possible attack but still being ambushed, the ambushers roll with Advantage but the target of the ambush rolls based on their situational awareness (Alert, Wary, or Distracted), which can be different for different members of the group.
Note: one can be alert or ambushing but not both)

A surprised character has an initiative count that has not yet been reached. Once a character's first  initiative count comes up they are no longer surprised. Surprised characters may still defend themselves, but do so at Disadvantage. Shields may only be used if they were readied before the combat began

Mitigating Surprised

A character may grab another character to mitigate their surprise. Average the current and surprised character's counts. The mitigating character has no penalty to defend and can step in and take the hit from any incoming attacks.

Sorrow in Haven Monsters and Books

The last edits are being completed on the first draft of Sorrow in Haven. The 'beta' copy of the book has been made (and some obviously adjustments are in order). With that in the final stages, I've moved on to parts 2 and 3 of the project: the monster book and version 2 of the main book.

First, re-creating all of the 'classic' monsters is not a particularly fun or rewarding experience. So for the most part I decided simply not to. The majority of monsters are new creatures, things that haven't existed before. As I was writing, though, I realized that some of the classic monsters should show up. Most of them have been included in the "Creatures of Dust" group - these are the more common creatures that characters (and players) may know about.

I'm going to break the monsters into 3 volumes, just for management purposes. Creatures have a "class" that is similar to level and are rated A-E based on where they might show up in a dungeon. The Threat value for individual creatures varies on a given class, but overall, higher threat is a 'higher' class rating. Volume 1 will contain classes A&B, volume 2 C&D, and volume 3 will have class E, Astral, and Gloom encounters. Volumes 1 and 2 will contain 132 monsters, volume 3 128 monsters, and both will have appendices for some extra fun (although I'm not sure what just yet).

Main Rules v2
The rewrite of the main rules is for two purposes. The first is to add new details, rules, and concepts into the official rules. The second is to expand on some concepts that are touched up but not explained as well as I'd like or need to be updated/revised/expanded. The game is the same, just with some more polish on it. All of that comes together to create a single book that is an entire game, including some monster highlights, so a new GM or player can pick it up and jump right in.

That is the fun part, isn't it? Earlier in the year I had a MASSIVE data loss situation. Entirely my fault, although i'll blame technology for as much of it as I can get away with. The monster collection had to be entirely recreated, the dungeon generator I use for inspiration also needed to be (and is still in the process) of being rebuilt from the ground up. So next year? I plan to have the main text completed by the end of June 2019, then the art and editing and all that fun stuff needs to happen. SO this whole project might be ready in 2020. Let's say 2020. 

Then I will consider if a Kickstarter is worthwhile. Not really to MAKE money (which would be cool) but to share my project and maybe break even. I'm doing this as a labor of love and will have everything completed and payed for and ready to go if/when a kickstarter happens, so it all comes down to production, which is going to be all done by hand. Because I can. and no PDF because I don't want to make that. I know that a lot of folks will not want such a thing, but i'm old school and like my books.

Recent Play Reports
I've been pretty awful about posting play reports on the blog. I mean clearly, this is the first thing posted in months. But the good news is that a massive and wildly complex adventure came to a close. It was a hard test of the rules and 99% of things worked out. More interesting, is that the first game being run by someone OTHER than me is happening! We've had one session which was awesome. Another session is pending, but work travel (not just mine) has borked things up a bit. In any case, the game goes on!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Tales from Haven (Mini-session Report)

Haven is a terrible place. Just terrible.

This session we had a loss of players, so decided that the two who were able to make it would make new characters for a side-campaign. It was an amazing disaster, a vignette into the world of the adventurer, and pretty damn fun.

Drogo the scoundrel was a petty thief, scheming cartophile, and was sorely lacking in moral fiber.
Izzy the wizard was an escaped slave from a Lydosian Research ship that made his was on the tides to Haven along with his physically wrecked former mentor Jimmy.
Jimmy wants a meat pie. Jimmy thinks it smells down here. Jimmy, formerly Sir James, was Izzy's henchman (the henchman rules work really well)

Side Note: the Henchman Rule
Roll your stats and total the action modifiers. If the total is 0 or less, then the character is a henchman, not a playable adventurer. Set them aside and roll again. Keep rolling until you get a viable player character. You can keep 1 henchman that you previously rolled as a loyal retainer for each positive point of PRESENCE modifier.

Both were dirt poor (failed "Working Hard" and poor starting funds rolls) and Destitute (alley living at its finest). A lot of table time was spent describing the terrible memories and backgrounds of these hard luck characters. The were probationary members of the Guild of Defenestration but weren't looking for a dungeon run, so I asked the players what rumors their characters had heard. Two things popped up
  1. A warehouse in Richardtown, owned by the Guild of Bricklayers and Cobbilists, had recently had some breakins and was hiring unsavory types to guard the warehouse. No Cops. Inquire at the Hogg's Nipple on Bell Street.
  2. There were several sightings of disturbingly large rats on the Briteside docks. The Sunflower House (Seamstress Guild local 121) near the Briteside reported seeing some sort of unclean commingling of man and rat outside in the back alley.
Two great rumors, immediately combined, and an adventure was spawned.

Getting Things Going
Drogo knew Harry, the Guild (BL&C) Steward and along with his crew met him in seriously seedy Hogg's Nipple. After much haggling and henchman Jimmy getting drunk, the party agreed to the watch job at the warehouse. They were clearly suspicious of the "no sniffing around and mind you post" talk, but had a few hours to kill. Another band was hired for the earlier shift - some tough guys that were always getting jobs first.

After a successful pickpocket on a minor noble slumming in Richardtown, the crew went to the warehouse. No=one answered the door. after some scouting and climbing up to the second floor window, Drogo saw some wan candlelight.

It Starts to Go Bad
There was stealth and skulking about in the dark. The party stumbled upon the body of one of the tough guys. They found a single candle left on an open crate, various crates opened and contents spilled about, and the bodies of the other tough guys and the guild nightman Smitty.

There were some silver candelabras and other material that looks the like guild warehouse was being used as a smuggling or fencing base - something unsavory. All the stuff lying around that weren't bricks and cobbles was pretty good ... so why was it there?

Izzy peeked into the astral and was immediately swarmed by the Gloom and mosquito. He came back quickly. No one had a good feeling about this situation. They followed a blood trail through the dark warehouse to find, hidden beneath a crate, a grate that leads into the undercity. Sewers and dead dungeons. Uhg.

GM Thoughts: Clues
The tough guys and Smitty not just killed, but mutilated, was a clue. The source of their demise was clearly something dangerous and tough. The multiple candles indicated there were multiple foes. The lack of dead foes, whoever they are, further adds to how dangerous they are. The loot left lying about means they were after something specific, not just treasure. Peering into the Astral and seeing Gloom means something mystical is involved. GM Tip: don't tell the players, show them.

It Gets Worse
In the undercity they follow the blood trail and eventually find a dead ratman, his guts spilling out as he tried to hold them in. His end is merciful, but the trail ends. The adventurers wander the sewers a bit, rouse something large from one of the cistern, but eventually find where they believe the ratmen are holing up - in a dead dungeon connected to the sewers (surprise! come on - it was an improv adventure and i was pretty tipsy).

Hearing faint flute and banjo music, the party creeps forward, but in the first room Drogo falls into a 20' pit trap filled with garbage and refuse. Ouch! The music stops, Izzy holds a rope as Drogo climbs out and from one of the other doorways 3 ratmen rush out.

The fight is tough, the ratmen are barely damaged by anything (very high DR against non-silver), but the pit in center of the room features as main point. Izzy gets knocked out, but not before two of the ratmen are shoved into the pit. Unfortunately, the last ratman managed to knock Drogo into the pit, ending the combat and the game.

TPK, but valiantly fought.


  • More G.O.D. member go missing on unsanctioned missions. The Guild cannot protect you if you don't follow the rules!
  • Rumors about town are that there is a new king of the undercity. a Sir Jimmy, who claims to be king of the ratmen.
  • Smitty was post-mortem implicated in a smuggling operation. The warehouse was shut down for a month for detailed inspected. the Guild of BL&C were furious. Parts of the city are falling into disrepair as a second Guild War seems to be brewing.

GM Thoughts
TPK is both satisfying and unfortunate. I'm definitely not the opponent of the other players and I want them to succeed, but at the same time watching things completely collapse into chaos and death is pretty fun from the GMs side. How many times the players have destroyed my clever plans or circumvented my amazing traps. The TPK also adds some seriousness to the games, makes retreat an reasonable option, and makes success, when it does occur, to be that much sweeter.

What I did like out of this adventure was a bit more flavor for Haven came out. Guilds, neighborhoods, and seedy activity all around. At one point the players were talking about stealing whatever contraband they could from the warehouse and ditching, which would also have been fun and interesting. The minor noble they robbed (from House Doorn) would have come looking for them had they survive, adding some potential political intrigue. ANd during character creation is was learned that Cardinal Tichonderoda has a map that shows a generally unknown entrance into Sorrow.

So while the adventure at had ended in disaster, I'd say the session was a success from a world-building and fun perspective. And after all - this is a game and fun is the main objective.

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