Saturday, February 28, 2015

Solo Space Dungeon - Wormy Bottom Pt. 2

Follow up for the previous post about playing Solo in the Space Dungeon, which kept me up too late to finish it.

These are the various purveyors in the general vicinity of Wormy Bottom, on the dreary surface of the tomb-world of Nebulmor.  Remember, the locals are given to coming and going, so unlike other areas (and contrary to the usual way in Mad Monks of Kwantoom and Ruins of the Undercity from which I lifted this idea) every time you try to find these places and make purchases while you are here, you check for Events (1 on a d6 roll, usually) and then use this previously posted event list to determine what happens.  Provided your band of slag-mutants lives, you then do a Personality Check (with your leader's PER) at the listed DC to see if the purveyor is around.  Then, you nominate the thing you want and check to see with a Luck check (listed DC) to see if that item is there.  'Always' means no need to check - that item is always in stock.

Faragut's Foodstuffs (DC 8)

Cans of Hydroponic Veggies - Always -
Bilk (Bleached Krill dairy replacer) - Always - 5 creds
Mummy Jerky - DC 13 - 15 creds (makes consumer immune to Mummy Rot for the next delve only)
Ash Potage - DC 10 - 2 creds
RadiaKleen - DC 17 - 50 creds, tablet and sanitary wipes remove the effects of radiation poisoning but doesn't prevent anything

Bob's Bits 'n' Bobs (DC 14)

Mysterious Stone Amulets - DC 16 - 100 creds, gives a +1 bonus to the next Will save, then shatters
Runed Tablets - DC 16 - 2d4x100 creds, 50% have a random curse, 25% a map to treasure, 25% a randomly determined Wizard or Cleric Spell (learnable/castable by any class)
Obsolete Software Holodisk -  1d100 creds - check the Star Frontiers  Equipment list; 75% will fail when used, but 25% are better due to some strange alchemy.  1 in 100 is a long-lost AI of randomly determined Alignment
Obsolete biosofts - DC 13 - 250 creds, gives PCs with a biosoft jack (more sometime later) access to a level 1 spell at a d14 spell roll
Vacuum Tubes - Always - 20 creds
AI Modules (Invariably Insane, but hey) -DC 17 - d100 Creds (some interesting effect that the GM will arbitrate; you may want to think hard before connecting to an open terminal)

Khrojang's Weapon Wagon (DC 14)

Stunners - DC 9 - d4x25 creds
Slug Gun - DC 12 - d2x50 creds
Club - Always - 2 creds
Mace - Always - 5 creds
Sword - Always - 10 creds
Laspistol - DC 15 - 125 creds
Faulty Space Knight Laser Sword - DC 19 - d3x1000 creds, any Critical Hit has a d3 multiplier for damage, BUT a fumble will mean a catastrophic overload and discharge of the power jewel, leaving an irradiated hole (possibly a Phologiston Breach) where the character formerly stood, or the same damage to the PC instead of the target.  Only for the daring!

Levko Damage Mitigation Gear (DC 16)

Patched Flak Vest AC 13 - DC 10 - 100 creds
Dented Combat Helmet AC +1 - DC 11 - 50 creds
Various Robot-Dermal Layers AC +2 - DC 17 - 200 creds
Phaser Field (immune to laser hits for 1d3 hits) - DC 18 - 250 creds

Various Forms of Companionship

Pillow Bot - Always - 10 creds
Valtrex Courtesan - DC 14 - 2d100 creds (they will come along and cause a ruckus for this price as a dangerous Plague Infested hireling for 1 delve)
Mongrelman/-woman Porter - Always (1d10 available) - 1d30 creds each
Mongrelman/-woman Thug - Always (1d4 available) - 1d30+5 creds each
Cybermastiff - DC 17 - 1000 creds
Organic Dog - DC 11 - 5d10 creds
Cliff Rooster - DC 14 - 10 creds
Grunkie - DC14 - 5 credits (note: as in ASE, Grunkies grow to become unruly and aggressive)
Irator Mercenary - DC 15 - Morale is generally low (whatever is appropriate for the character's PER - 2) - will accompany the party for a full share.  Armed with a Rusty Bardiche (as Battle Axe) and a Laser Pistol
Linkboy/Torchbearer/Lightbot - Always - 5 creds but Morale will fail at first funny and aggravating opportunity






Sunday, February 22, 2015

DCC Monster - The Alzabo

Voracious, ghost ridden, carnivorous, and strangely polite - the Alzabo is alien to Severian's Urth of the New Sun.  This is a little more than midway through the Urth of the New Sun series by Gene Wolfe; I highly recommend it and it's getting a good deal of traction in the community these days.



Alzabos have the peculiar habit of partially subsuming the personalities of those they eat, on a very rudimentary level. This allows them to speak in the voice of their former victims, ostensibly to gain the confidence of new prey - especially family members who they appear to relish devouring afterward.

It can be quite unnerving to be faced with a wily and canny predator who not only knows your habits, but can also speak with the manner of your father who it ate the day before.  A common Alzabo ruse is to complain of chills or hunger outside the doors of huts and inns, in the hopes that some unsuspecting rube will open the door and allow it free entry.

They are rendered down into a concoction that, when used to embalm the dead, will allow those that consume the cooked flesh of the corpse to know the memories of the deceased.  In this way Severian the Torturer, Lictor of Thrax, came to be haunted by his dead lover's memories.

In the original, they are covered with red fur and have uncannily intelligent eyes.  They are prone to be as honorable as those they have eaten, and to chase down associates and loved ones of previous prey - the Alzabos' ability to acquire memory this way drives them to want community within themselves.

In the DCC Space Dungeon game, I gave them a stout head filled with multi-hinged jaws, razor sharp teeth, scaly green hide, and 4 eyes.  Long, spindly legs for terrifying bursts of speed, the ability to snip off a head in one bite, and crushing mastication that can destroy a helmet in a few moments of pressure.

The Philosopher's Stone Foundation in Fed Station rendered down two Alzabo heads into Potions of Reincarnation.

Alzabo: Init +5; Atk bite +6 melee (1d8+2); AC 15; HD 3d10; MV 40’; Act 1d24; SV Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +1; AL Lawful (but malevolent!)

If very badly pressed or wounded, a sapient Alzabo will bargain and parley to avoid imminent death; non-sapient ones are still savvy enough to mimic speech in a convincing and unnerving way.  All who hear an Alzabo use the voice of someone they know must make a DC 13 Will Save or be charmed for 1 turn, acting as it suggests.  The simple mimicry ability still requires a DC 11 Will Save to resist, with a +1 bonus if the victim can see the beast.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 A to Z challenge

I don't know why I did this, but maybe it'll drive some good stuff. External motivators work well if they are committed to openly and acknowledged by others.

Possible Themes:

Space Opera
Wire-Fu
Dungeon Crawl Everything
Pulp

we'll see. I have a lot of ideas, but I haven't ever kept up a pace like that


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Space Dungeon Solo: Wormy Bottom

I dig the Space Dungeon concept, but it seems like maybe I don't have a whole lot of room for playing and running things at the moment, and when I do have the time to game I am preferring to run it, or something like it.  And next month my schedule is going to get a whole lot wackier, so games are going to be a rarity PDQ.  I probably ought to be supporting my friends in the community by playing in their games and testing their stuff - I make apologies openly and forthrightly, friends, should you end up reading this.

What's a wayward Space Murderhobo to do?  Well, if he/she or it is anything like me, then they would find some way to play the thing DESPITE lack of meaningful human contact, I mean a dead tomb world doesn't necessarily need to have whole crews of people mishmashing around in it.  There's the surface of the planet Nebulmor, rife with hominids and triffids and creepy crawly lower life forms and scouring thanatobots.  You could wander around the outposts there, looking for work or romance or whatever.  Or, you could poke around the sophisticated Space Station that administers the claims on the surface on behalf of the race that owns the planet (whose name I don't think is established yet, or even what the name of the station is).  You'll find more reliable tech station-side, surfacer, but it'll cost you and of course you're definitely going to be scrutinized by the Feds.  There, I just named them.  They're called the Feds, but it's like the first syllable in a 20-string nominal noun that you need specific parts to intone, anyways, so everybody calls them the Feds.  The nearby moon Voodrasixth is maybe the equivalent of cloud planet that the Ancients had a techno-temple on, but it's pretty much abandoned, now.  They say that Voodrasixth's heart is a quivering mass of querellium, fabulously dense and strong but flexible and easy to shape by those with superior will.

Where am I going with all this baloney?  Where's the game-able content, brobot?  It's like this.  I been reading this thing by Kabuki Kaiser, lately, The Mad Monks of Kwantoom... The previous release of the same vein is Ruins of the Undercity.  They are great.  Go buy them, dick around with them for a little bit, and then come back here.  I'll wait.  It's cool.  No, no, I'm not kidding on this.  They are that fun.  Mind you, I'm a guy that digs solo-dungeoneering.  I got a hankering for it.

So, the KK things have this interesting system in which you declare your intent to purchase an object by finding the shop/seller first, and attached to the shop is a percentage die roll representing your chance to find it.  Then, you check for events (a 1 in 6 chance), resolve those if they happen, and then check to see if you find the shop, and then check to see if the item you want is available.  So, since Space Dungeon is DCC native with sci-fi hacks onto it, I figured you could throw in standard DCC checks and it's all good.  Also, there are interesting ways to find hirelings and the items listed for purchase are so out there - you're kind of like "Who in the hell would purchase that thing?" But then when you read the monster descriptions and the heavy duty SECRET section of MMK (I only have read 1 entry as I was commanded despite sore temptations) it is evident that a great deal of the miscellaneous gizmos for sale may have deeper use.  For instance, the colors of your clothing can impact the outcomes or course of certain events.

Again, why am I selling some other folks' stuff?  Well, to impress on you what a great idea it can be not just for solo play (which has its merits) but also to allow a campaign to roll on like clockwork, especially in the context of a PbP community-oriented thing like I have done in the past.  It's a great way to give the thing a life/un-life of its own.  Which I've wished to see happen with some other shared spaces I've had on G+ (namely Last Days of Dying Aereth and the Cryptopolis by Gaslight but those petered out mostly due to my own dilly dallying)

Check it:

WORMY BOTTOM NOMAD POD (NEBULMOR SURFACE STATION)

Wormy Bottom is not so much a concrete place, as a general area between Mons Plotinus and the Verrine Chasm in which the various tribes of Nebulmorean Mongrelmen and assorted Outworld scum congregate to do business.  They come, hitch their slag-beetles and nitrox-tents together for a while to trade, revel, and fornicate, and - when the stars align in certain patterns above - to do weirder things that don't bear scrutiny and description.  They offer scavenged metallic bits and stonework from the surface, hydroponic fungkrill patties (artisanal quality), and detestable protein-liquors brewed from questionable sources.  They buy corpses no questions asked.  Some say that metal women from Voodrasixth come to turn larger hunks of meat into shambling Zomborgs, but this is likely a rumor.  There are no Fed Station-based factions or corporations that are welcome or openly moving in Wormy Bottom, as the felonious regulars are not joiners as a rule, and tend to be honorable and genuinely unpredictable as a matter of course.  Else they disappear quietly down The Chute - a local landmark that some say empties into the tomb of a Ghilonian Necrarch.

Always make a DC Check when purchasing items in Wormy Bottom, as proprietors sometimes roam and adventure or leave for Stationside.  If you have found a shop or faction before, then take a +1 bonus to your check, but still check (note: in the MMK, when you've found a seller, it stays found for you and this'll hold true for most other areas in the campaign)

EVENTS (1d10+Luck Bonus)

-1 or less: Wormy Bottom is not here where you remember it.  Instead, the gaping maw of The Chute yawns, and you tip over without much grace (perhaps entranced?).  Make a DC 15 Fortitude Save - if you pass, gain 3 XP and a cool story.  If you fail, well, it's no big thing to say you won't be missed.
0: You're not welcome in Wormy Bottom this time, for reasons that aren't made clear.  No sellers will sell to you and folks seem to be preparing for something juicy and insidious.  It smells like meat and lubricants.
1:  You're accosted by beggars.  Mongrelmen beggars, and their rotten space-louse infested spawn.  They don't need your pity, only your creds, guv.  If you don't give 1d10 beggars and spawn each a cred, then you'll find a random object missing if you fail a DC 12 Luck check.
2:  A crazed Zomborg (AC13, HP 12, claws for 1d6) stands up from a protein vat and attacks everything nearby.  At this time, that's you, you unruly frood-poseur!  No running, this things hopped up on goofballs and slightly off his tea
3:  A small band of corporate ops from the Fed Station are here, poking around.  Faction/Corporation determined randomly.  They will buy any associated tech or artifacts at a huge markup (200%) but if you choose to do this deal then you can never come back to Wormy Bottom on pain of The Chute.
4:  A ragtag band of 1d8 Irator Mercs (AC 9, HP 5, armed with clubs or stunners) comes out of a aminohooch yurt, looking for a fight.  They will attempt to pummel you/stun you for 2d3 rounds, during which time you can make a DC 15 Reflex Save to evade them or try to take some down.  If they beat you, then you lose all your gear and creds.  Thumb it back to the Fed station lander if you can.  The crew will snigger at you on the ride back. You maybe could hoof it to the next nomad station or poke around in some nearby claims.  Good luck with that.  If your crew somehow beats them, they will offer to join you (unless you kill them, of course)
5:  Some Valtrex from the Pustulating Eye clan are available for service (Valtrex is +Gordon Cranford's nominated slang for 'sex-worker' and I will likely forget but it's plusgood).  They don't care what kind of work they do, as long as it's not physical labor and they can spread microbes and viroids, and will even accompany parties into dungeons for the right price (see below)
6: For some perceived slight, an aged Asteroid Anchorite bedevils you with a nixie-jinx.  Your water stores are drying up fast, and so you can't check more than one shop or faction here today.
7: A dysfunxtional/malfunctional etiquette droid is here, offering to smooth over any problems with the locals. You can hire him/her/it as a henchthing (see below) and it speaks 1d12 languages, including the binary language of embalming machines.  However, your main PC/leader suffers a -2 Luck penalty while the bot is on the crew.
8: A shifty Silgurian trader, slightly taller then the devolved ones seen around these parts lately, brings a Maggot-train into the camp, and it's chock full of antique energy weapons - roughly a tenth of the price but three times the usual  fumble _AND_ critical ranges!  Wear gloves!
9: A pilgrimage of leprous Betans travels through the camp on the way to a nearby shrine to an age-dead Sorcerer Warlord. Their chanting is a spell, and the air ripples with enervating energy.  ANYONE that makes a DC 12 Intelligence check can opt to learn the spell - the mercurial effects will always cause a bonus to _other casters' rolls_.  Who knows what may come when they arrive at the shrine...
10: A flock of Black Obbs descends upon the town, 1d6 in number. Every round half attack the party and half attack settlers, firing scorching beams of mutating radiation. Those hit can take 3d4 points of ionizing damage, or opt for a greater corruption (the results need not make sense in the course of the event).  For every settler radiated, the chance of finding needed shops on the next visit is reduced (an increase in the DC for the check for all shops)
11 or more: The settlers have a holiday!  All Wormy Bottom shops/factions are available and costs are reduced by half.

More on Wormy Bottom later - this phone is not the best writing implement. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Goals Against Malaise

I am strangely energized and also enervated; I have a million ideas (some good ones maybe) and all I want to do is sleep. I have no interest in pursuing them NOW, too much physical recovery and emotional blankness

But:

A random node-crawl for CoC; as suggested by an interaction I had with maybe +Cedric Plante. He asked for CoC without all the burdensome investigation (maybe what he wants is Pulp with Mythos elements)

I have the urge to return to unfinished projects - the classes for DCC that everybody prompted me with last year

The Space Dungeon events/shop charts

a bunch of reviews. I think it shameful that my friends have all these great things and I don't gush about them enough. My purchases have been limited since October - money's tight like everybody in America - but there's a huge backlog  of stuff to shout out about

Updates and ideas about more weapons for Space Dungeon, and some more races. I'm struck by the amount of space-themed stuff coming out for DCC at the moment and I think it's a positive thing.

Alex's challenge for Into the Odd (the dungeon awaits and is ready but lacks a sweet map)

Some updates on Alfgrim and Sir Maledoric Goreson

Obviously, now that HHSOLO1 is out, I am done (mostly). I think I may do a character sheet for it (the ones included are sort of chintzy IMHO but I haven't got the skill nor drive of late to make a good one so I made it utilitarian)

There's a sequel in my brain - The Ominous Alloy

I've got a fun idea for a podcast - gotta figure out the technical side but it's a sound premise

more on that later. I put these things here to remind me and maybe have some document of self-declared goals (which I find helps, and I tell people to declare these things and work toward them)

I am weary and heart sore and these things need to wait. Fatherhood and being a husband are terrific, and I'm a decent friend but I cannot commit, these days, to ongoing long projects and characters and campaigns that other people might be invested in. I feel like getting people hooked on cool things and then not following through with that is maybe a disservice to people I like

not flaking out or checking out - The blog and G+ will likely be as active as ever but other things (e.g. campaigns new and old) probably ought to simmer rather than boil

anyway, here's a record of goals and I will do my best to follow through soon

Rest In Peace, Grandpa

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mad Monks of Kwantoom - Delve 1

Just going to put the map up for this, I rolled up a Deep One Hybrid Thief, a Half Elf Lakshmi Cleric, and an Indian-flavored flexible-sword wielding Monk.  The Monk died in the first Pagoda, and was whupped pretty badly in his first fight trying to save a Tengu on Day 1 in the city.

Here's the map of the first pagoda:


I really dig this thing, this solo-game setting.  Lots of Saffron and Jade and Rare and Magical Spices, if you get my drift.  It's available for 5.00 now and well worth the price (as is the predecessor Ruins of the Undercity)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Let Loose The Hounds

Digital Cover

 I've finished it, it's done, and I am happy.  With some pride and some natural relief and reticence, I give you The Hounds of Halthrag Keep, available late last year in digital format, and now in a dead-trees style 6 by 9 (which was strangely the most requested format, almost unanimously).  The world's first DCC Solo-Gamebook, hearkening back to the days of Fighting Fantasy, Choose Your Own Adventure, and Lone Wolf is NOW and FOREVER, something you can hold in your hand (at least until the servers are taken over by super-intelligent AI and those resources are turned to the crushing of the sapient mammals from the Aereth)

Let me tell you about requesting artwork for covers some day


Anyway, enough blubbering and shit.

You can get it at:


Any questions or complaints, let me know.  Or not.  I'm probably going to jack the price down around late May for my 40th birthday, but if you want to self-abuse via a murderous band of villains and a haunted/alien-infested ruin, then feel free to try my thing and let me know how it goes.

I can't tell you how nice it is only to have ideas and to not have an actual project looming, but now I know exactly what the next thing is:

THE OMINOUS ALLOY OF THREND

being a diversionary night's entertainment for friends
and a satire of politicians
and bandits
and other species of crooks,
and oppression and the Rape of the Commons for profit
A funnel adventure and campaign base

Buy 'The Hounds' - Click Here

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