Saturday, November 28, 2015

Black Rites of Walmammon - Funnel Free for All

This started as a couple of threads on Geeplus but if its not in 6x9 format these days, then there's almost no point in making it so here you go. If you're dying for a PDF or something, tap me on G+ and say so.  I envisioned some Holloway art with a fat hobbit attacking an old lady beadle, or a mudlark, something like that but you can pretty much fill it in for yourself.  Here's a place holder:

The Ancient Rite of WalMammon the Black

It occurred to me in the relative safety of my living room, madness reigning everywhere else, that I ought to write a Black Friday funnel for DCC in which hordes of 0-levels fight each other for tawdry goods deeply discounted but still (sadly) worthless. I am sick with turkey poisoning and indigestion, and slept the sleep of those who over-indulge. I anticipate days and days of unhappiness and acid reflux; strangely my wife says again and again "DONT THROW IT OUT"... does she not understand this flesh and these sweet potatoes are our dooms? The baby, sensibly, will not eat any of it. She does not yet know Gluttony, my pure and precious little aleax...

Each year on the day after the Day of Feasting and Humility, the Citizens of Aereth approach the terrible zones of conflict closest to their own localities to wrassle, eye gouge, and bite for their piece of the Aerethian Dream. The Chaotic random violence and wild discounts offset almost all the Good and Orderly Charitable Works done the day before by the narrow minded agents of Law

The closest one to you is at the mostly deserted keep of the wizard Halthrag - traditionally cleared of the sleepy and irascible monsters on this most august day. The Dead Cyclops inside and the ramparts and staircases are strewn with 'bargains'. By solemn tradition if you throw some coppers at the Flesh Golems at the gates, they do not smash you as you run out...

For each item you carry, have 1d6 copper pieces to fling at the check-out Golems barring your exit. If you are killed inside your form transitions into one of them, or some other monster (possibly a Beast Man or Zomborg) as appropriate. You get 1 xp for each 'opponent' neutralized and 1 xp for each treasure you get past the morose hulks at the check out counter, but you go deeply into metaphysical and possibly actual monetary debt. Any survivors get the additional "Retail Warrior" lucky modifier, which applies to all attacks on any market or feast day going forward (but only in the market or very nearby).  Of course, if you have not the moneys as you sprint to the exits, then your life and soul are forfeit, although the Chaos powers are happy to extend credit to those who will do their bidding...

"I can't believe Todd put me in for 5 hours today.  What a jerk."
There is, unbeknownst to most, a newly built express check-out lane just over there, but you need to have at least 3 bargain items in your hands to even become aware of it. If you are so encumbered, then with a DC 10 Luck Check, you can scramble toward that check out, where a gnome with a long unkempt beard will take your hastily flung coppers, and as you careen out the exit, you arrive in the first room of some appropriate adventure totally unrelated to the current campaign. Thus, this Chaos Node allows access to many terrible alternate realities. Once you have discovered this express lane exit, it becomes evident to all present and you get another 3 xp for being first through the gates nearby, propelling many Hapless Souls into the clutches of the 9000 Powers of Disorder.

The gates fly up at promptly 11:59 so bring your coupons...

I needed a long list of cheap crap to punch a nearby turnip farmer and elfin haberdasher over. The amazing G+ community was happy to play along until they also succumbed to the funk.


I started the list with these, and the appropriate conspirators are named before each of their entries (some other individuals are tagged as in-jokes):

1.) Play Set of 4 "The Band" action figures with Shanna Dahaka strangely absent
2.) Silver-Coated Feather Pen (1d3, will hit undead)
3.) Roy the Radish's Barrowmaze Snake Oil +Dave Younce 
4.) Orichalcum Tuning Fork, slightly imperfect +James Bennett 
5.) Waite Family Summer Sausage Set (1d3, attracts ghouls)
6.) Super-Finely Milled Extra Explosive Sack of Flour +Evan Lindsey 

7.) Purple Pony figurine of wondrous power (says on the box will be your friend for life)

8.) A small golden goblin figure, on a wooden stand, that will perform a stiff, jerky dance when music is played.  

9.) Brand New Gongfarming Toolkit

10.) Officially licensed Tootums McGrimm's Junior Bagpipe of Melancholy.
For every little boy or girl who has ever dreamed of leading a funeral procession - just blow and go!  (Only usable by children and wee folk, fascinates undead)

11.) Dr. Milos Prometheus' Aura Repairer (64 D cells not included) +David VC 

12.) A pack of 8 D Cell Tellurian Batteries (minir corrupshuns incurred per use)

13.) Faulty Silgurian Laser Pistol (1d10 damage, on a 1-5 to hit it vaporizes the wielder and makes a perfectly demispherical crater)

14.) A slightly rabid monkey pet, eats geese and pigs and flings poo (AC17, HP 4). In a cage. If it kills its owner it becomes a demonic familiar according to the core rules and attaches to the next character that owns it 

15.) A spare D Cell of the Ancient Moon Dwellers, skittering around on the floor (adds 3 to fumble range as long as it's held)

16.) A gilded hobby horse (3 D cells not included)

17.) A glow in the dark sailors outfit! Looks slimming, and attracts Kraken.

18.) 1st edition Manual of the Puns: any jesters gain +5 to any punning attack rolls (see Dragon #60)

19.) Dr. Xavier's Eye Drops, 3 pack. +Eric Fabiaschi

20.) Home Cocktail Kit with silver shaker, strainer +1, Cobra Fang Juice, Hydrogen Bitters, and a 10 year old bottle of Old Panther.

21.) A fist sized chunk of evilly-glowing rock. Color (1d6) 1: Green 2:Blue-green 3: Blue 4: Pink 5: Purple 6: Jale

22.) Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat, Of Leopard Transformation.
(editor’s note: you know what they say about folks who wear leopard prints)

23.) A half-unwrapped bar of Radox Milk Chocolate, gleaming Platinum Ticket showing underneath the folded corner

24.) A copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Purple Planet, signed by the author and artists

25.) A dingy towel of indeterminate color, suffused with a variety of vitamins and nutrients

26.) Minimizing Glass

27.) Sardonyx Mirror - will not reflect any images whatsoever except those of vampires (possibly useful but breaks into pieces on any attack rolls of 8 or better by the bearer) 

28.) Flumph Detector - 1 D cell included, can be powered by a greenstone shard in a pinch 

29.) Brass Thought Projector - a twisted cap that covers the entire frontal lobe portion of the skull, including the eyes. It bonds painfully and instantly to the wearer, and all of his thoughts are projected nearby with ominous and threatening undertones added. Reduces morale of enemies but reaction rolls are worsened automatically. Kith will automatically attack with no quarter offered or taken . (Editor’s note: I can’t recall but this may have been directly stolen from Purple Planet)

30.) Lunchables, Cold Pepperoni Pizza flavor; cumulative minor corruptions incurred when eaten but stays edible indefinitely forever 

31.) Pet Goose Ghoul-Attractant Pheromone Nullifier - its well known that geese attract ghouls. This subtly alters the pheromones exuded by pet geese so that they attract androids and minotaurs and trolls, instead!

32.) The Sword of Castle Greyskull - can never kill anything, ever, ever, but if the PC's strength is less than 7 it allows him or her a radical identity change and to raise the Strength score to 19/85. The change last for 1d4+(Personality modifier) turns

33.) Zik Zak Orb of Chaos - 12 pack. Cast cantrip as the scroll with a minimum 3 point spellburn. Add 2 mercurial effects per casting and the Orbs vaporize immediately upon use 

34.) 14" HiDef God Eye, deity/patron determined randomly, 2 D cells not included (editor’s note: this is for ASE and the various spin-offs, which are terrific)

35.) A Pumpkin-Headed bipedal Steel Chassis with a Santa-cleric hat affixed to the rotten pumpkin with hot glue. If you flip the switch, your identity is sucked inside by old magicks (editor’s note: +Taylor Frank’s character from Space Dungeon)

36.) IKEA Brand Magic Wardrobe: it only goes to (1d4) 1) Alfgrim 2) The southeast section of the Barrowmaze 3) The Purple Planet 4) a service closet on the space station that orbits the tomb planet of Nebulmor.  This is encumbering on account the box is awkward.

Point of purchase item at the registers:
37.) Packets of "Pock Rocks" - Small granular substance in foil lined packs. Rip open and fling contents at victim. Substance adheres to and reacts to moisture in skin. Erupts with loud popping sounds all over surface of skin, ripping out small craters of flesh. Roll 1D10 for number of wounds. For each wound roll 1D2 for it's damage. 

38.) A shaker-can of Professor Action's Animation Powder, very much past the expiration date. Any inanimate object this can is shaken upon becomes sentient, mobile, and hostile and acquires some detrimental monomaniacal drive in direct conflict with the owner of the can

39.) A pack of Magic: The Bothering cards, all the rares having been removed. Throwing the cards in the ground will convert the surface of whole area permanently into a mucky bog, a stagnant pool of water, a peaty forest floor, a sandy expanse, or a rocky mountain side. Any summoned monster hit by the card's effects does its best to reduce the user's hit points to 0 in preference to all other targets 

40.) A burial mask of some random material that grants undead (only!) the ability to cast a first level Wizard or Cleric spell

41.) The three last packs of Ice Cream Gum.

42.) A dinner plate of about an inch thickness, glowing softly with weak light (actually a data-disc; see the Christmas 2015 Crawling Under a Broken Moon) +David VC +Reid San Filippo. A random symbol-icon is inscribed on the surface  (Editor’s note: consider this an advertisement for the Christmas issue of CUaBM)

43.) TLC's Jars of Essential Saltes of Various Dead Celebrities and the Level 4 Wizard spell instructions to animate them but you don't necessarily get any bonuses to the process but please o please you're welcome to cast it anyways (any non-successful casting rolls are rerolled and you pile on corruptions and negative effects as you reroll).  The minimum DC for an actual success is 18, and its really Summon Demon II with a celebrity personality injected

44.) KY Condom Bombs Condoms filled to near bursting with KY jelly. Thrown at the feet of adversaries racing to beat you to the next Blue Light Special. Causes target to run at 10X their normal speed yet never move from the spot the bomb exploded on. Victims legs spin like in a Scooby Doo cartoon.

45.) Special Edition Holodisc Collections of the "Galactic Warriors of Zeta 19" with all the original physical effects edited out and character development sanitized. If you watch it somehow before you rise to level 1, you may addend to your funnel occupation "and Star Warrior Initiate". You're our only hope.

46.) A Black Thomas The Death Engine playse, complete with colliery, steam works, and glow in the dark summoning circle appliqué which can actually be used to summon tiny demons 

47.) Jolly Shardshers: Tiny edible green-apple-flavored shards of arcane crystal. Imported from the Purple Planet and packaged in Kith sweatshops.

48.) Flubber inflatable humanoid, gendered and anatomically approximal. 

49.) Macrame bag of marketeering. 50% chance of withdrawing a spongy polymer, badly painted, replica of any item stored in the bag.

50.) Set of single use Jingzoo knives (1d20). The haft of each knife is a poorly sculpted random animal.

51.) Scamois. Lustrous square of baby pink cloth. Objects polished with the cloth become filthy an smell terrible.

52.) My rock VI. A stone tablet displaying ever changing text and images. Consult the object to determine what your second cousin had for breakfast.

53.) Maxxxy Go bar food replacement amalgam. Provides energy and sustenance for four hours +1d4 temporary hp +1d4 Str. Followed by 8 hours of exhaustion -1d8 Str, impotence.

54.) Can'o'Wyrms.

55.) Scissors of Regret. Normal, sharp well-cast steel haberdasher's scissors. Owner will stab themselves with the scissors a number of times equal to the amount of loved ones they have abandoned in their life. 1d4 per stab.

56.) Alpha Uno special sauce. Renders any living matter it is applied to into a delicious hot sweet and savoury meal. 1d20 applications.

57.) Slonky. Ultra compact coil of high tensile climbing cable, 100’ extended. Not quiet when in use makes spooky metallic reverberant sounds. Also goes down stairs.

58.) Cowls of Ever-Dreaming. Poorly made silver coloured cloth eye masks with loose non-adjustable band available in bulk point-of-sale bins 20% chance or part of ticket price for long voyages or found used in busy ports. A user of these eye masks will appear to be in a deep sleep while they are actually transported to the moon court of faerie King of Bougheye where they will be trapped in a major dance among the stardust.

59.) Slankets of all different sizes and materials and each one has a wondrous image of the logo of some local favorite sporting club (The Innsmouth Tadpoles are represented, for example).  You can grab 1d4 and run, OR you can get a special one with your favorite logo on it with a DC 14 Luck check. Add an extra XP if you make it to the counters with this one, but if you fail then a Random Monster arrives to give you trouble RIGHT NOW 

60.) Tickle Me Elzemon- a mini Elzemon that when tickled in JUST the right way (at least 1 point of spellburn) will summon Elzemon. He's a real fucker. Gives audible clues when tickled incorrectly. 

61.) Sexx Boxx One- deck and two controllers- allows swapping of gender via controller link. Hook it up to a flailsnail and see what happens!

62.) Crabbage Pack Kids (trap)- will look all cute and shit and then animate and grow to full height (8ft tall) in 1d8 rounds. Init starts at minus4 and goes to +4 depending on height. Also have variable to hit bonus (minus 4 to +4) and do one attack on a d20- smother- target is grappled unless successful Reflex save (scales from DC 7 up to DC 15). 1d4 damage each round smothered in crabbage leaves. Cannot move.

63.) Scented Candle Set (1d3+1). They burn brighter than normal and the smell of cats will keep rats and other small vermin at bay.

64.) The Fruitcake of Perpetual Storage - restores those adventurers who dare break the cellophane seal! (Editor’s note: I can’t help but add a link to +Daniel Bishop’s Christmas adventure in which a sentient and evil fruitcake plays a pivotal role.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gunslingers and Galoots

Listening to the Sanctum Secorum Halloween Episode whilst on the ole stationary-bike-in-the-basement (as a Florida native I am not interested in doing exercise when it's chilly).  It's chock full of good stuff and you ought to check it out if you like Appendix N Book Club-type situation and also free DCC content and ideas (since the time I wrote this, they put out another episode or two!)

Cimarron Rose here was associated with George Newcombe in the real world!
Meanwhile, I release the Gunslinger to you in easy-to-read, plain n' simple 6x9 no frills format. Sometimes, you gotta have a guy or gal who will kill people with a gun and by definition these folks ought to be better at it than your average schmuck.  So there you have it.

As for average schmucks, I kin offer the following:

The way Boot Hill does it, it separates all characters into a couple of different stats, those being things like tracking (superfluous for me in DCC), horsemanship (also superfluous), bravery (DCC doesn't do morale too much/well but for me it varies and I use the Moldvay way), and drawing speed (LOOK OUT NOW!) and accuracy (VERY IMPORTANT WHEN A PERSON HAS A BEAD ON YOU).  I think it's easier to keep accuracy and speed as a single thing but YMMV.  I included a rudimentary morale and fleeing system in my own DCC rules lite solo book, and I believe in these things in my heart.

Now, since there's no demi-humans, mostly, and no goblinoid or orky bad guys n such, but there are a great number of apathetic men of low character who would like to shoot you, I offer a very simple and no-frills stat block - suitable for a wide range of games - to pepper your Old West with gun-toting thugs and desperadoes.  Assume Neutral or Chaotic alignments, as you like, since it seems to me law-abidin' folks don't go about shooting up citizens, but hey your dog may hunt otherwise.  Things like Personality/Wisdom and Strength are superfluous but can be generated on the fly

I assume knives, bowie knives, clubs, pistols (1d8), shotguns (2d6, 6s explode another die), carbines (1d12), and rifles (1d12) for gear.  If you use Transylvanian Adventures rules, then you can steal Ruin points to give these folks an edge that would likely let a party cruise right over them.  Maybe an occasional fool would have a boomerang, sword, or staff but for the most part in the West, if you're not packing heat then you're not a viable opponent.

Common Thug
HD: 4 HP
AC: 9
Morale (Low: 6-7)

Other Scores (2d6+2)

Bandito/Desperado/"Cowboy" (note "cowboy" in the pejorative sense of 1880s)
HD (Average Party level -2) or 1, whichever is more.  I figure about 6 HP each, and a good clean shot with a small arms, or a knife blade, ought to finish these folks off or prompt an immediate withdrawal or surrender...
AC (12)
Morale (Average: 7-8)
Other scores (2d8 when needed)

HD (Average Party Level) I figure about 6 HP per HD
AC (10+d6 - assume these folks to be taking cover, crouching, relatively quick)
Morale (High: 9-10)
Other Scores (2d6+4 when needed, a focus on Agility for DCC)
Arms and equipment will be slightly better.  Can critical hit like Warriors or Thieves/Specialists/Valiants
In terms of Boot Hill 2, these folks will have survived 2d6+2 gunfights, and killed 1d10 men or women.  Gunfighters ought to have attack bonuses for high Agility when shooting, IMHO

Star Bad Guys
HD (Average Party Level +2) again at about 6-8 HP per HD depending upon the needs of the thing
AC (10+d8 skilled killers would be deft and survive owing to Luck)
Morale (high to fanatical, so about 9-12)
Other Scores (3d6 as PCs, maybe one ability at 15 or above)

Kellri has put out a terrific rip of the Boot Hill 2 stats blocks, and with his permission I might do a little conversion with his document so as to make some of the historical gunfighters and the in-system fictional ones.  At the link you'll find a PDF of a good number of the things, but mine would be a rough approximation with some spreadsheet calculations to put the dudes (almost all dudes, IIRC maybe Calamity Jane the exception) into a DCC or d20 stats framework.

Hmm.  Seems to me we could use some fairer-sexed gunslingers in this Weird West world.  +Doug Kovacs has it locked on Catastrophe Jane, and +Brenda Wolfe may soon advance her professor of phrenology (I think it was phrenology) into the adventuring classes.  I envision Head Acolyte +Jen Brinkman as some sort of Galadriel spooky-fast sea-faring pirate gunslinger but that's just me.

Keep your powder dry, cowpokes!

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