Friday, October 31, 2014

Sir Maledoric Journeys to The Autumn Tourney in Normandie

The modest train of an Alfgrimnean Knight Errant arrives near the tourney grounds.  It is late, and the air is misty, offering no solace.  Boots are changed and dried near the fire.  Dogs are beaten.  The soup pot swings out over the fire, and a rich broth of salamander bones and kappa heads is started, with local mushrooms (not as stout as the cook is used to but one must not complain, for St. Roch listens for complaints).  The baggage cart is loaded with heavily spiced foods and gifts for the tournament organizers, pewter flagons and ornate China-ware flasks of rare poisonous perfumes.

Maledoric's Heraldry
 "We journeyed through Thrend, observing the Keep of the dead wizard Halthrag.  My master sent me to make contact with a lawyer in Marbourg, nearby, in the matter of a patent upon a clockwork pleasure doll.  I find the place intolerably boring, and devoid of the picturesque charm of similar places in, say, Averoigne.  The River Nymphs there are as fetching as I'd heard but they were leery of our advances and we could not coax them with jewels or perfumes.  And I spotted the spoor of a Manticore; an adult I would wager it.

I have journeyed far through the mists to take part in these noble tests, to corrupt the noble of spirit, to debauch, and to subtly spread the worship of Roch the Plague Saint (the guise of the hideous nether god Nevrovolant that lives far beneath the surface of Averoigne)

I bring in tow the wastrels Muraude, Hambline, Guretch, and Vreltz - these men are of no account and search for orphans and women of low character to bring into our cult.  There is also Albert d' Boruche, a deep-gnomish cook who is prone to use partly poisonous mushrooms in his cuisine.  He is often besotted, and is said to be an emasculate

Then there is Tiberthe, my aide and acolyte and squire - liberated from the Serpent Men of Golaire.  He hates the Catholic orthodoxy and all Lawful Holy Men.

Wormwood is my trusty, flea-bitten hound.  A million fleas and he gives a few to each man he passes!  Wormwood is the most generous of all dogs, for he gives and gives and gives and gets only beatings and rotten turnips in return.  An occasional haunch rabbit, of course, although he often has trouble distinguishing hobbettes from rabbits.  Of no consequence.

I ride Gurailtz, a thing in the rough shape of a horse, with scaly skin, beady reptilian eyes, a whip-like tail, and a preference for elfin flesh in the morning and Belladonna wine before he beds down at night.


Find me in the woods, seeking out Amanitas and the trail of the King of the Forest - it's said he has a spell to grant for those who will bring him pens and ink.  I raised the ire of the Lord of the Hunt some weeks ago and so must avoid the outdoors at night.  I generally keep to my tent then, pining over the eldest nameless woman in the retinue of a noble knight that competed here in the summer.  Seek me out for perverse religious knowledge, twisted from the Latin Vulgate of the Sorcerer Jerome."
Knight Name: Sir Maledoric Goreson
Player Name: Noah Stevens
Class/Level: Cleric/2 (XP 2290 in LLAEC, but played again in DCC)
HP: 9
AC: 3 base(5 modified)

Str: 15
Int: 16
Wis: 10     LUCK: 10 (DCC)
Dex: 6      AGI:6 (DCC)
Con: 11     STA:11 (DCC)
Cha: 15     PER:15 (DCC)

Horse: Gurailtz, A reptilian demiwolf (A heavy warhorse)
Armor Worn: Plate, yellow dragon and chalice themes (plate was won in the last tourney)
Shield Type: Wooden Kite Shield
Armed with a meteoric iron broad sword, an envenomed kris, and an obsidian mace
 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Table of Lost Dreams

(this was supposed to go in The LasRifle and Crowquill, my wargaming blog, but it didn't work out that way, so here you go:)

Been playing with the Beer and Bolters guys. Rekindled my excitement for winter projects, and before I go buying anything new I need to settle for finishing the shiznit I have on my plate already

As in, this some of this shiznit right here:

What you see is a bunch of IG (Cadians and Old Plastic Catachans), 2 squads of sisters, and a wacky mob of possible Inquisitorial retinue figs, the likes of which I forgot I had. The retinue boxed set was pretty spendy - seemed like at the time it was wasted money since nobody was really up for games where I was

Now, though, this retinue would absolutely work to put a dent in a certain cult of Nurgle worshipping motherfuckers that aren't fit to breath the air of this our fine planet. And like I was easing into play again real slow, but the way I had my ass handed to me the other day was mildly embarrassing and I hope Dave won't hold my inebriation nor my lack of skill against me since O how the brain circuits forget.



Here's an up close of the retinue (all the bases covered if I throw in the psy-cannon wielding grey knight as an acolyte - not sure if this is legit but with the psyocculum the retinue alone would hit psykers pretty seriously).

Last night I removed the plasma-cannon from the turret mount and am now ready to magnetize that puppy for ease of switcheroo-ing

Flee in Terror, Heretic!  now warm up the blessed promethium tanks, Muggins!  Although I love my DA successor chapter (still only The Nameless after 3 different rules sets) it feels like maybe time to concentrate on making the IG table-worthy.  I have maybe 6 10-man infantry squads worth of figs - I bet that if I could just FINISH PAINTING THEM ALL, that'd be great.  One squad of Ogryn and some rough riders would finish me off. Maybe another Leman Russ and a couple of Armored Sentinels. But that's it.

Maybe some shock troops or whatever they call them these days.  Yeah. Maybe Yarrick.  Man that would be terrific.  More tea, more time, and more money and I'm set.  And one of those shooty things at airplanes, and maybe a Valkyrie.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reading, GREPping and Thinking and Viral Marketing

I got my sweet sweet little nubbins on the Lone Wolf Kickstarter rules. Checking those out now, Kai Initiate...

Prepping my 40K army for tomorrow with the Frederick Guys at "The Fang" - they are by far the funnest, beer drinkingest Sunday morning folks you'd ever hope to meet. I probably ought to finish painting, base-ing and do all that good jazz for them but anyways. Emperor Forgive me, But I grow weary of the purity seals and gleaming metal and square-jaws. I've said before that I'm going to switch over to collecting and painting a Genestealer Cult, and I will, maybe next spring a couple of pieces at a time.  the winds of money blow against me at this time...

The hard copy version of the Hounds of Halthrag Keep is pretty done - just need to GREP out a bunch of instances of text (they appear in the digital version) and update the digital files with the script I make, and submit the new version with in-line art onto RPGNow and Lulu. The question is, do I make the icons myself???! - there are only about 6 or 7 of them - or go with something that's out there already...

Also, I keep hearing snippets of the Halthrag Keep. I gave my working copy to the sister-in-law, who passed it on to the RPG club at her high school, and within a few moments it disappeared into the crowd and has not been seen again. Maybe those kids - and I know where they are mind you ;) - can get free digital comps if they like it. The thought of teen gamers finding all the little nooks and crannies of my unfinished work sort of makes me gleefully gleeful. As an exercise in learning the ins-and-outs, HHSOLO1 is still a work in progress. The good thing is, it will only take a couple more sales to become "profitable" but I already profited by 1) making it and 2) hearing some of the fun stories that guys have told me about playing it.

If you have absconded with my thing, young RPG burglar (not really, it was meant to disappear in exactly this way), then notify the members of your guild, and have your Guildmaster (One Ms. Pierogie?) send me your contact emails and earn yourself a stack of digital copies to use as you please.  Or, I guess, you could take a Century and photocopy all the bits you have and then spread 'em around, but I mean.  Do what you will, young lads and lasses.  I'm curious to know how you list.  Also, my teeth are like swords, my teeth are like ten-fold shields, uh, I dunno cumberbatch does it better than

OK - gotta sleep

Thursday, October 23, 2014

d200 Space Funnel Occupations!

(This is for Space Dungeon and the PbP and Hangouts community it goes with but here, you take it internet since we love you)

In Space, no one can hear you scream, as they say.  In Space Dungeon, everyone can hear you scream, including your closest associates and pals who will gladly remove your stuff from your corpse once it's been confirmed that it won't stand up and bite them.


I present to you the largish, cheerful Space Dungeon occupation list for a DCC-type 0-level funnel. It could conceivably be used to start any low-space-fantasy game, or else used to make meat shields or whathaveyou.  The gang on G+ got up to no-good on this, and I think it was mostly down to +Doug Kovacs and a couple of other guys in my circles like +Evan Lindsey and +Darien Mason

Doug!  Doug!  Your efforts from some months ago have finally paid off!  Now get back to work!


DOUG! DOUG! I hate sand, it's coarse and it gets everywhere!  Not like you, you're soft!

You can find the original thread for it HERE

The trade goods are HERE but note that I haven't got these all formatted into a pretty PDF like we all like.  Maybe next week, suckas!

Explanation of some of the rules and notable entries on the weapons, trade goods and personal items list.

I think maybe the missile weapons (slugthrowers, rayguns, zipguns, etc.) ought to be handled like crossbows, as the original rules intend - there are a couple of different sets of gun/raygun rulesfor you out there, but I think it'd be keen to boost the failure rate from like 2-6 to represent loss of ammo or energy cells, and of course I'm always one to boost the critical fumble.  Maybe rayguns need a round to recharge, and slugthrowers suffer a cumulative -1 penalty to all shooting rounds in which you don't aim

Yeah, that's an easy rule.  Keeps those schmucks from killing your aliens too good.

Imma fix the spelling.  I used to think it was clever.

If you want in on some sweet sweet Space Dungeon goodness, click HERE

On the Silgurians

IInsectoid bipeds, 2 legs, odd numbers of weak and flailing arms.  Compound eyes not suited for Aereth surface levels of light.  They are demon-worshippers, and communicate via pheromones, hand gestures, vocally, and use low-level empathic projection.  Their communication patterns are very complex and so some extra-dimensional beings find the nuances enjoyable in this 3D meat-space.


Millennia ago the Silgurians boasted proud warriors 2m tall and firm of frame, but ~2/3 of the way through the development of the race they discovered trafficking with other-reality beings  They were perceived the Galaxy over as worshipers of demons/chaos/devils and not fit for trade or diplomacy, and they asked no quarter and gave none in unceasing squabbles with nearby races.  Using vile sorcery and anti-gravitic Shoggoth Drives and nega-energy cells, they marched over their quadrant spreading like a plague of flies for hundreds of Aereth years.  Happily, their technology was prone to cataclysmic failure (possibly due to demonic influence) and they sunk into degeneracy 2000 years ago.  They stand at less than half of their former stature, now, and much of their sorcery and technology is lost even to them.  In an effort to bolster their meager gene-pool, a last act by their bio-mancers was to develop a retro-viral method of reproduction in which victims of their bites slowly transmogrify - at least partially - into Silgurians themselves.  While this opens new vistas of perception and abilities, including a chitinous shell and a variably-active 6th chakra, the victim loses much in the way of their former personality.

DCC Silgurian stats:


Silgurian: Init +3; Atk claw -2 melee (1d3) or by weapon +0 melee; AC 14; HD 2d6; MV 30', 50' flying; Act 1d20; SP transforming bite; SV Fort -3, Ref +6, Will +3; AL C.

The Silgurian may bite once per combat, in order to transfer virus-laced saliva and enzymes that will slowly turn the victim into a Silgurian-compatible version of itself, in order that it bring much-needed genes into the race's foundering gene-pool.  Usually it will only select a superlative specimen, whose status is broadcast visibly, psionically, and/or via pheromones - sometimes unwittingly.  That is, a Silgurian will only attempt the bite on a character that has some ability above 15 - even Luck, but usually not Stamina or Personality for reasons that will become clear.

Three saves are required, at stated intervals:

1) At the time of the bite, a character will make a DC 12 Fort Save, or else the process of transformation begins.  If the character passes the save, she will still take 1d4 temporary Stamina damage that will heal naturally.  Also, owing to the psychic assault that the bite instigates, they will get any spell rolls improved by the number of Stamina points damage taken for 1d4 turns, minus the character's Stamina modifier (or in negative modifier cases, added!).  This psychic effect is temporary!  If the character fails the initial save, they immediately pass out for 1d10 turns, appearing dead but a close inspection reveals a high fever and stiffening and mottling of the skin.
2) That night/sleep cycle/whatever, another DC 12 Fort save is needed.  Failing this, the character will be wracked with pain as various tissues transform into chitinous, unyielding, and also not necessarily bilaterally symmetrical arrangements.  They are transformed into space vermin.  This initial stage is quite horrifying, but purifying spells or clerical healing that can heal 3 or more dice of damage will stop the process at once - but will not repair the damage done.  In any case, the character immediately gains 3 points of AC to their base, although they lose 3 points of Personality to boot.
3) Finally, a low-level fever sets in, and the character will feel psionically empowered and sensitive, as well as generally hungry and discombobulated.  Any mind-affecting attacks will have improved die to rolls or damage at the Judge's discretion for the remainder of the transformation.  After 1d8-Stamina modifier days have passed, the transformation into a Demi-Silgurian is nearly complete.  A failed DC 17 Will Save at the end of the period means that going forward, the character will feel the urge to mate with Silgurians, have rough and thorny chitinous armor plating, lose an additional 3 points to Personality, (to a minimum of 4), and become bonded to a Patron of their choice at the 14-17 level (acquiring the Patron's visible mark). 

It is said that a thousand years ago, foolhardy sentient beings sought out the Silgurians to undergo this painful and repellent process, to speed their congress with beings from the 5th and higher dimensions. So it goes.

DCC Silgurian Patron ideas:


Some come to mind immediately, for example Enzazza - Queen of the Hive, but any Patron could work if given suitably space-faring and/or insectile themes.  The Hivelord of Elfland.  The Firewasp Obitu-Que, The Dust Storm from Beyond Space.  The Silgurians weren't particular in their grasp for power, and reached full psionic and sorcerous maturity fairly early in their lifecycles and did not ever develop moral or ethical philosophy.  They tended to become imprinted to the most powerful being they could become aware of.

Technology:


Silgurian technology is sleek and deadly and glittering, but prone to failure in dramatic fashion.  They do not seem to comprehend the power they hold, nor do they show concern for the immense danger that visibly shrieks to escape from, say, a laser pistol or sonic sword they craft.  It was thought that Silgurian nega-batteries stored unstable energy from the Black and Formless voids (Negative Energy Plane) but it was proved by Professor Arthur Morgarion in QR2267 that these were merely clever arrangements of radioactive crystals that generate low-powered fusion.  Of course, the arrangements of the crystals entailed days-long rituals of sentient-being sacrifice and warpstone showers, so the issue is left for scholars to debate.

Any fumbles that happen while Silgurian technology is in use will invariably lead to 1d6 modified up or down by Luck at the player's discretion or Fate points if those rules are in play - a Fate point moves the result up the chart and increases power of summoned demons:

1) Phlogiston disturbance!
2) Total protonic reversal: the technology erupts into a blast of chilling, soul-searing energy, doing 1d24 points of damage to everyone withing 50 feet
3) Summon a type I demon
4) Summon a type II demon
5) The holder/user/operator is shifted to either several miles away in an inconvenient direction, or else 1d10 days into the past (possibly attracting Tindalos Hounds/Weeping Angels/Chronocops)
6)  Summon a type III demon


postscript:  Also - listening to The Good Friends of Jackson Elias podcast - fun Brits (they cuss a lot but I can't keep 'em sorted out). Talking in this episode about mind-transfer scenarios and Down Below/Somewhere Else spaces. I think I'll use mind-transfer again going forward but maybe not party-wide since it got to be a little squidgy.  The Silgurians surely have sorted out extra-dimensional spaces and those kinds of things, which could really whack out a map.  Hmm.  That could be good.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halthrag Keep Questions and Interesting Deaths

Post your bugs and problems and questions and I'll try to address them

Also, comments and close scrapes

Messy deaths

Whatever floats your fancy, guv. Suggestions can work also

The first recorded escape from Halthrag Keep was a Fletcher, one Thad, of +Jason Vines.  Thad sailed away on the Sunless Sea on the bow of a shroom-wood galleon, praying that his knowledge of knots and wind resistance would keep him on board.  Serving for a time under the gnome Romarj on the good ship GENERATOR, he now serves the Triune Ladies and Fate.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

DCC Solo Module: Achieved!

I'm very happy to report that my own personal pet project for maybe the past year is for sale on RPGNow:

http://www.rpgnow.com/product/138653/HHSOLO-1--The-Hounds-of-Halthrag-Keep

What do you get for the purchase?  Well - a digital file that will bring to mind those lost days of yore when your trusty Brass Lantern kept the Grues at bay. It will remind you of Fighting Fantasy books.  It will remind you of some Lone Wolf and Choose Your Own Adventure books

Inside there is a highly-condensed version of The Dungeon Crawl Classics rules-set, which if you aren't already familiar with them will give you a taste of what you might expect from DCC. If you do know DCC already, then I expect you will be able to jump in and get your 0-level death-wish fantasy within a couple of minutes.  You may even have a satisfactory conclusion, although that's somewhat beside the point...

Playing through the adventure with a 0-level character and escaping from the Keep somehow will give you about 10XP if you burn a little Luck and have the Gods on your side.  If you really work the thing over, you'll come out of it with some cool stuff that will make for a very interesting Level 1 character of whatever class you choose - the location is chock full of weapons and monsters and some gold and enough interesting events to propel some character development before a PC is even ready for play in groups.

On the other hand, just like in a regular DCC funnel game you may find the dice go against you and you are slaughtered without fanfare or mourning.  So it goes, eh?  The good thing is there is a system in place so that you could recover some stuff from your previous character if you play your cards right.

There is bonus material provided by +Claytonian JP, as well as the meaty and dangerous part of a Patron by +Paul Wolfe from Angels and Daemons and Beings Between.

I can't even remember all the little terrible references I slipped in, but I think gamers of a certain age will know the thing before they even read it, mostly!  I admit it's a work of pastiche but I crafted it pretty lovingly over the course of a year and I hope that you check it out.

Expect a print version soon, and an old-fashioned game book format before the year's end!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

On Submission and Prices and Other Weighty Matters

Ahh, the banal details of business for which I believe I am relatively unprepared to handle any ramifications whatsoever except the most rudimentary ones like maybe this will be an outbreak of financial Ebola that will finally sink me in a mire of unremitting money problems (O WAIT ALREADY HAVE THAT!)

So, the solo funnel module HHSOLO1: The Hounds of Halthrag Keep is submitted to Goodman Games, in what is likely to be (barring any OGL weirdness - man that thing is a wasp nest of legalese) the for-salable iteration

(note to self: there happens to be one or two widows NOT PEOPLE that I just noticed that grate upon me but I will address them later so as not to throw the whole thing out of whack)

When this puppy allows me to retire in leisure and just attend RPG cons across the country humbly turning down high-paying new positions in game companies all over the world, having paid off my student loans to you admirable debt collectors who may read this post LOOK AT YOU AND HOW INDUSTRIOUS YOU ARE!, I will look back on those lost hours of sleep fretting about text/style GREPs (still haven't exactly sorted them out, yet) and leading and points and Character vs Paragraph Styles etc. etc. etc. and LAUGH ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK

Some minor details:  business license and pricing of the actual thing.  At 86 pages and a million heartbeats and a cupful of salty tears to make, I honestly don't know what a digital book goes for on the streets.  I printed it out at Kinko's for something like 9 bucks total.  I know I sunk about 130 bucks into some art and 60 bucks for the software to write it and at my going hourly rate for the day gig, I guess the thing has cost something like $20,195.00 give or take a few hundred man-hours and like WHY DID I GO TO GRADUATE SCHOOL AND INCUR THIS IMMENSE DEBT if not to have the leisure to write this thing and draw it and lay it out and fuss about fonts and draw maps and cross-check entries and throw playtesting to the wind all willy-nilly?  Thank the Dark Gods That Abide Behind My Water Heater when they cast a sleeping dweomer on my wife and daughter so that I can finagle the free time and lost sleep to do this thing I love so well!

I PROMISE, O DEBT COLLECTORS, TO ONLY SPEND THIS FAT WAD OF $$$$MONEY$$$$ ON BOOZE AND A BUS or possibly cargo freight TICKET TO GENCON AND/OR NTRPGCON

Also, Hey! New Logo:  maybe I will figure out a way to stick it in the banner when I have recovered from sleep debt (non-monetary, although I am sure that one day the Feds will figure out a way to charge me for that, also).  Man, work life and money are starting to impinge upon my fantasy life in a very unacceptable way.  Off to look for consolidation that won't cost me a testicle and the souls of my child's children's children's children!  I'm not a welcher, I swear!

Eh?  Wink wink, nudge nudge?  KnowwhatImean?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sky Bandits of The Glassine Wastes

I don't know what kind of water we all drink, but I am into it, and hip-deep and over my head.

This is a thing that I lament I will never finish, but I wanted to offer it as an example of what things flit about in the psychosphere around these parts.  I just got my copy of Perils of the Purple Planet, which if you haven't the forethought to be into DCC and also into Kickstarter and also into Swords and Lasers/Planets-type stuff, weep and gnash your teeth and cover yourself in sackcloth and ashes, O mendicant!

I began it before my daughter was born, and I guess maybe when I gave it up I was high on Carcosa and sleep deprivation and newfound body horror and really seething with something else in my brain and I felt that wrangling Carcosa and DCC together and doing it a half-justice at that point was beyond me.  Turns out +Harley Stroh and the admirable GG folks are well up to the task, and then some, and then around the corner and up your bum, if you get my drift.  I began this project in July or so, is what Word 2003 says to me, and not modified again until August 2013 when was when maybe I added the NPC listings from a playtest with +Evan Lindsey and +James Bennett and +Don Corcoran where we used many a Dungeon World resolution to add pep to the normal flow of things...  Jesus that seems like a long time ago, now.  I guess I was fueled partly by the arrival of the movie John Carter in my household, which I am proud to say was the first Disney movie my daughter Lily was exposed to, to the best of my meagre knowledge...  I am not sure if I heard whispers of what Harley and the gang were up to at this point; but if I developed this spontaneously and independently (unlikely, I admit) then it is suggestive of the kinds of shared influences that drive us.  In this case, I was was enraptured at the textual features of the Carcosa PDF and hankering to publish something, and I had about a million ideas cranking up.  I still hear the whawhawhawha of the nuclear daemon turbines on the hover skiffs when I think of this thing, and I almost shit my pants when I saw the Poag illustration of the raiders in the PPP

I haven't made it in all the way to PPP but I am happy to say it is indeed right up my alley, and the Spellburn podcast in which I sent a letter to the crew laments the lack of SnL/Weird influences in the things I was reading for OSR but I admit I have been schooled and sated for a bit and there is no more need to fret.  I haven't been this excited to receive something in the mail since I had a subscription to the X-Men in like the 10th grade.  Like a goddam secret decoder ring, Little Orphan Annie

when I read the news these days, I'm not sure tomorrow will come...
Also, I have serious remorse and regret about not getting onboard the Chained Coffin thing (damn you, +Bryan Mullins !)

Here is my basic sketch for The Sky Bandits of the Glassine Wastes, and if I can find it I'll do the Hex Map (unlabelled version) just so:



Looking back, I dig the Rumor Table and some of the monsters (still extant in my Imagination Zone)  - must have been thinking hard about my game of Keep on the Borderlands with a couple of the Camp Nerdly people.  I had plans to do a new race, a bunch of spells, and a couple of Patrons from the CAS/Lovecraft days...

Maybe I will still do this; maybe like a PP freebie or something.  Anyways, it awaits and if there is anything you particularly like in there, let me know and I'll dink it out a little farther down the line...  Jesus, I gotta finish one or two of these projects one day.

Buy 'The Hounds' - Click Here

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