Friday, August 31, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 10: Markovia, AKA Not the Island of Doctor Moreau


Image result for island of doctor moreau
(Image taken from The Island of Doctor Moreau)

Markovia
  • Ruled by Frantisek Markov, the beast lord.
  • No towns, but there are crude huts built by beast-folk.
  • The beast-folk who live here are “made” by Markov, through a combination of surgery and injections.
  • Anyone who intrudes on Markovia will be taken by beast-folk to be transformed into their own by Markov.
  • The Beast-folk believe Markov to be a god.
  • For unknown reasons, Vistani are spared by the beast-folk.
  • If Markov wants to seal the borders, he can cause storms and the sea to rise.

NPCs of Markovia

Frantisek Markov
  • Called Diosamblet (the god who walks among us), by the beast-folk.
  • Called the Master of Pain by the Vistani.
  • Believes that intruders are gifts from the dark powers, to be used as parts.

Monsters of Markovia
  • Beast-folk
  • Giant spiders

(Note: I find it odd that both Hazlan and Markovia feature evil scientists who turn people into monsters. While in the original text of Hazlan, the monsters created are "mongrelmen", not beast-folk, in practice the monsters are almost the exact same. I do like the twist in Markovia of the beast-folk being originally human, as opposed to originally being animals, as in the Island of Doctor Moreau.)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 9: Keening, the City of the Undead, and Lamordia, the Home of the Modern Prometheus


Image result for banshee

Keening
  • Ruled by a banshee named Tristessa.
  • Land encompasses Mount Lament, along with a ruined city around the base of the mountain.
  • The mountain is a large dungeon, full of tunnels and underground chambers.
  • If Tristessa wishes, a wall of wind seals off the domain.
  • There are no living creatures in Keening.

NPCs of Keening

Tristessa
  • A banshee who was once an evil drow.
  • She can sense any living creature in her domain.
  • Once lived in the domain of Arak, which disappeared.

Monsters of Keening
  • Any undead that do not feed on flesh, such as zombies, wights, ghosts, etc.
Image result for frankenstein 1957
(Image taken from The Curse of Frankenstein)

Lamordia
  • Ostensibly ruled by Baron von Aubreaker, but is actually ruled by the frankenstein-like monster named Adam.
  • Adam dwells on an island off the shore of the mainland called the Isle of Agony, which is feared by the people of Lamordia, often called “The Devil’s Domicile”.
  • There is a forest called the Sleeping Beast, where Baron von Aubreaker lives.
  • In summer, the waters lower enough during low tide to allow people to walk to the islands.
  • In winter, ice connects the islands to the mainland.
  • There are two main settlements; Ludendorf and Neufurchtenburd (Population <1,000 each).
  • Schloss Mordenheim, the estate of Dr. Mordenheim, lies north of Ludendorf next to the coast. The manor is rumored to be haunted, though Mordenheim himself is tolerated.
  • Adam can close the borders with a blizzard.

NPCs of Lamordia

Dr. Mordenheim
  • Evil scientist who created Adam, a being sewn together from dead bodies.
  • Hates his creation.
  • Only tolerated by Lamordians, not hated nor liked.

Adam
  • Creation of Dr. Mordenheim.
  • Is the true darklord of Lamordia.
  • Dwells on the Isle of Agony in secret.
  • Is more intelligent than other creatures of his kind.

Althea
  • A hideous and evil medusa who dwells on the island called Demise.

Baron von Aubreaker
  • Governs Lamordia.
  • Takes a third of all which is exported from Lamordia as taxes.
  • Lives a life of luxury.

Merilee
  • Vampire who appears to be a child.
  • Tricks adult victims with her apparent youth and feeds on them.

Monsters of Lamordia
  • Giant weasels
  • Giant lynxes
  • Lycanthropes
  • Flesh golems*


*I have never really liked the term “flesh golem” or the rather large proliferation of golems in D&D. In my mind, the golem of Jewish folklore will always be immeasurably more interesting than simply being a man made from some inanimate substance. In my opinion, I’d rename flesh golems to Prometheans, and treat the other golems that aren’t made of clay as variants on living statues. I should probably make a post on golems at some point actually.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

B/X Binders

So, a couple months ago I was given a set of old role playing game books, including a gamma world adventure, and the basic and expert rule books. I kept those 3 items, the rest were given to a friend.

However, these books were in tatters, they had clearly been loved and used often, and I was fearful of using these books at the table, as they could fall apart at a moments notice. But then I had an idea!



May I present to you; my B/X binders.



I cut away the binding (it was falling apart anyway) and took the individual pages and put them in page protectors. Some pages were missing, so I printed out what I needed to complete the books.



In one case, I also added an additional page. In the binder I use for the basic rules, I added this one page add-on from Sine Nomine that details rules for playing with a single player and DM.



The expert rule book was missing significantly more than the basic rules, I even had to print out the title page!


In the end, I'm proud of what I managed to pull off. The binders are sturdy and portable, making it easy for me to transport safely to a convention or friend's house.

B/X was the first version of D&D I ever read, and it will always have a special place in my heart, now it has a special place on my shelves as well.

Condensing Ravenloft Part 8: Kartakass, the Land of Singing and Wolves


Kartakass
  • Ruled by Harkon Lukas, a werewolf.
  • Lukas is known as a bard, and is treated with respect. Not many people know he is a werewolf, and even fewer people know he is a darklord.
  • Each village is ruled by a meistersinger, a singing mayor who sets the rules and acts as law enforcement.
  • Meistersingers are elected by storytelling and singing contests.
  • Largest settlement is called Skald (population 2,000), second largest is Harmonia (population 1,500).
  • Culture is based almost entirely around song and singing.
  • If Lukas wants the border closed, he can make is so a magical lullaby makes any who try to leave fall asleep.

NPCs of Kartakass

Harkon Lukas
  • Is a werewolf, but this is known to few.
  • His own daughter (Akriel Lukas), attempted to hill him with the help of Dr. Dominiani and Duke Gundar.
  • He has an illegitimate son named Casimir.
  • Known throughout the land as a bard.

Monsters of Kartakass
  • Almost any kind of wolf-like monster.
  • Goblins.
  • Ghouls.
  • Wights.
  • Leucrotta.
(Note: In the original version of Kartakass, Harkon Lukas is a wolfwere, not a werewolf.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 7: Hazlan and Invidia


Both of these domains are rather small, conceptually, so I decided to combine the two into one post. Not that I have changed the monster sections a little bit, to make it easier to use with straightforward D&D. 


Hazlan
  • Ruled by the evil wizard Hazlik.
  • Small council of murderous governors impose his will.
  • Has 2 main towns, Toyalis (population 8,000) and Sly-Var (population 4,500).
  • Hazlik can seal the domain using a wall of fire.
  • Anyone who breaks the law is either killed or taken to The Tables to be experimented on.

NPCs of Hazlan

Hazlik
  • Evil wizard.
  • Experiments on people to create strange monsters.
  • Complete dictator.

Monsters of Hazlan
  • Imps
  • Leucrottas
  • Beast-folk (gnolls, orcs, etc, results of Hazlik's experiments)

Invidia
  • Ruled by the witch Madame Gabrielle Aderre.
  • Natives do not know Aderre is the domain’s darklord, but she is feared as a dangerous witch.
  • Only one major settlement, Karina (population 2,000).
  • Aderre can seal the domain by making a wall of fear, making anyone who tries to leave too afraid to do so.
  • There is a lot of crime and violence in Invidia, and it gets worse when Madame Aderre comes to town.

NPCs of Invidia

Madame Gabrielle Aderre
  • A powerful enchantress.
  • Has many charmed servants as spies.

The Midnight Slasher
  • A crazed murderer.
  • Stalks the streets of Karina by night.

Monsters of Invidia
  • Will o’wisps
  • Kobolds
  • Werewolves

Monday, August 27, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 6: Forlorn


Forlorn
  • Ruled by Tristen ApBlanc, a vampire/ghost.
  • Domain is overrun with goblins.
  • There are no villages or other settlements in the domain, only Castle Tristennoira.
  • There is a lake called the Lake of Red Tears, which supposedly is full of sea monsters.
  • Sometimes, those that attempt to leave Forlorn become paralyzed.
  • There are a few groups of druids who live in the woods, hated by Tristen.

NPCs of Forlorn

Tristan ApBlanc
  • By day is a vampire, but at night transforms into a ghost.
  • Cannot leave Castle Tristenoira.
  • Wants to escape Ravenloft.
  • Mentally controls the goblins in his domain.

Monsters of Forlorn
  • Goblins
  • Zombie wolves
  • Ghosts in Castle Tristenoira
  • Sea Serpents in the Lake of Red Tears

Note: This is one of the domains which has been modified a little bit to fit my blogs. In the original write-up of this domain, Tristen is a “vampyre” and not a vampire. This is essentially the same creature, just not undead. In addition, the goblins used to be “goblyns”, again essentially the same creature but with 4+4 hit dice instead of 1-1.

Kruthiks for Holmes Basic (Converted from 4e)

The kruthik is a relatively obscure monster that first appeared in the miniatures handbook for 3rd edition, being a loosely veiled xenomorph stand in. Later, in 4th edition, they were added to the monster manual, being given a vague background and a less insect-like appearance.

Here is my take on this lesser known beast, converted from 4th edition for use with holmes basic:

Kruthiks are an ancient species of eusocial predators that dwell in the underworld, methodically exterminating anything in their way. Taking on the characteristics of reptiles, and insects, they are 4 legged creatures with small, vestigial limbs growing from their torsos, and mouth parts similar to ants. While they only have 4 legs like reptiles, their chitinous exo-skeleton and the way they grow seems more insectoid. Kruthiks hatch from eggs, laid in a central chamber of the hive, which hatch into the small, swarming, hatchlings. Given time, the hatchlings pupate, wrapping themselves in cocoons and emerging as adults. Some kruthiks undergo a similar metamorphosis, becoming hive lords, which lay eggs and direct the rest of the hive.

Fortunately for humanity, kruthiks are repulsed by sunlight, and only dwell beneath the earth. Legend has it the kruthiks are not a natural species, instead being created by a race of demons that lived on the earth untold eons ago.




Kruthik Hatchling

Move: 160 feet/turn/tunnel 40 feet/turn/climb 160 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 1/2 (1-4 hit points)
Armor Class: 7
Treasure Type: nil
Alignment: neutral
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d4

Hatchlings are most commonly found within kruthik hives, and are usually near the deadly hive lords. While they are much weaker than adult kruthiks, they tend to outnumber foes significantly.

Kruthik

Move: 120 feet/turn/tunnel 60 feet/turn/climb 120 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 6
Treasure Type: nil
Alignment: neutral
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6

Adult kruthiks can spit acid once per day, with a range of 100 feet. Anyone targeted by the kruthik must make a saving throw against dragon breath or take 2d6 damage.

Kruthik Hive Lord

Move: 120 feet/turn/tunnel 60 feet/turn/climb 120 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class: 4
Treasure Type: G
Alignment: neutral
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d8

Hive lords collect the shiny objects given to them by the other kruthiks, meaning that while individual kruthiks usually don't have treasure, the hive lords might. Like their lesser brethren, hive lords can spit acid once per day with a range of 100 feet. Anyone targeted by the hive lord must make a saving throw against dragon breath or take 4d6 damage.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 5: Falkovnia


Falkovnia
  • Ruled by the cruel mercenary king Vlad Drakov.
  • No police force, only the military.
  • Drakov has at least one person executed each night at dinner, impaled on stakes.
  • The walled city of Lekar contains 15,000 people, 1/4th of which are soldiers.
  • There are 4 other main settlements; Stangengrad (population 6,500), Silbervas (population 5,000), Aerue (population 2,000), and Morfenzi (population 1,500).
  • Most of land is covered with dense forests composed of tall black trees, called the vigila dimorta (sentries of death). Legend has it one tree catches fire and dies for each person executed by Vlad Drakov.
  • Borders are heavily patrolled by soldiers.
  • Everyone is branded with the mark of a hawk on their forehead.
  • Demi-humans are considered property of the state.
  • Only foreigners are allowed to enter and leave, citizens may not exit the domain.

NPCs of Falkovnia

Vlad Drakov
  • Rules by force.
  • Infamously cruel, executes people at the drop of a hat.
  • Hated by all.

Vladimir Ludzig
  • A vampire who stalks the city of Lekar.
  • Bloodthirsty and vicious, even for a vampire.

Monsters of Falkovnia
  • Griffons are oddly common.
  • Lycanthropes.
  • Kobolds.
  • Satyrs.

Balhanoth for Holmes Basic (Converted from 4e)

Later editions of D&D added a couple more aberrations (discount Lovecraft monsters), and the Balhanoth, while somewhat generic, makes for a good old school monster in my opinion. I think it would work well patrolling the depths of the Tower of Zenopus. Note that while the Balhanoth first appeared in the 3.5 edition, the version I'm converting came from 4e.



Balhanoth

Move: 80 feet/turn/ climb 80 feet/turn/ teleport 200 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 6
Armor Class: 3
Treasure Type: nil
Alignment: chaotic evil
Attacks: 5
Damage: 1d6 each

The Balhanoth is a terrifying and alien creature from the deepest depths of the underworld. While at first glance it may appear to be nothing more than a brutish abomination, it possesses a cunning and evil intelligence that gives it an unholy ability to trick and toy with its prey. Balhanoths can be found in the service of the fish-like dagonites, communicating with them in the same alien tongue.

Balhanoths have the ability to turn invisible at will, and due to their cold blood, they cannot be seen even by those with infravision. Balhanoths use their ability to teleport in conjunction with their invisibility to cause paranoia and terror in their prey. This invisibility wears off as soon as they attack.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 4: Dementlieu


Dementlieu
  • Lord-governer is Marcel Guignol, but is secretly controlled by the hypnotist Dominic d’Honaire, who serves as his advisor.
  • Guignol has 4 other advisors, who are also controlled by Dominic.
  • Law enforced by militia.
  • Port-a-Lucine is a port village in Parnault Bay. There is a trade village called Chateaufaux on the Eastern border.
  • If d’Honaire wishes, he can make it impossible to leave the domain, making it so that no matter what direction one goes, they always go further into Dementlieu.
  • Lower classes oppressed and treated as slave labor.

NPCs

Marcel Guignol
  • Puppet of d’Honaire, barely conscious.

Dominic d’Honaire
  • Controls the governor, and most of the population to a lesser extent.
  • Obsessed with control.

Rudolph von Aubrecker
  • Disembodied brain, removed by Dr. Mordenheim from Lamordia.
  • Wants to take control of Dementlieu and undo d’Honaire’s mental control of the population.

Monsters of Dementlieu
  • Occasionally raided by fish-folk.
  • Sea serpents.


Skeleton Variants for Holmes Basic (Converted from 4e)

One of 4th editions little quirks was that most monsters had a few variant types, so fighting a group of them was never as simple as facing off against a horde of 10 orcs with 1 hit die each.

In some cases, these were interesting, with goblin spell casters, winged zombies, and giant mummies, but in most cases it was simply changes in armor class, damage, and hit points.

One of my favorite kinds of monsters to be given the variant treatment are skeletons. When most people think of animated skeletons, they picture something similar to the monsters that appear in Jason and the Argonauts, but there is so much room for innovation. Here are 2 interesting skeleton variants that I have plucked from 4th edition to be used with Holmes basic.



Blazing Skeleton

Move: 60 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 1
Armor Class: 8
Treasure Type: nil
Alignment: neutral
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-8

Blazing skeletons may shoot fireballs from their hands. These attacks deal 1d8 damage initially, and anyone struck by the flame must make a saving throw against dragon breath each round for 1d10 rounds or take an additional 1d8 damage from the fire, unless they somehow manage to put it out. Anyone within 5 feet of a blazing skeleton must make a saving throw each round or take 1d4 damage from the heat.



Skeletal Tomb Guardian

Move: 120 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 6
Treasure Type: R
Alignment: neutral
Attacks: 4
Damage: 1-8 each

These undead creatures are made using 2 extra arms, and are enchanted to be especially resilient to attacks, as well as possessing increased speed. They are used to protect the treasure of the ancient dead, and attack anyone entering their long-dead master's tomb.


Friday, August 24, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 3: Darkon


Darkon
  • Ruled by a lich named Azalin.
  • Citizens don’t know he is a lich, but know he is a wizard.
  • Each town governed by a Baron, and has its own judicial system and police force.
  • The Kargat is a secret police force commanded by Azalin, some of which are vampires and lycanthropes.
  • Largest city is Il Aluk, with a population of 25,000.
  • Darkon has many settlements, and is very diverse, with a number of different species and ethnic groups living there.
  • If Azalin wants to seal the border, a wall of undead is summoned, 20 creatures thick, all around the border of Darkon.
  • After 1d3 months spent in Darkon, people forget they ever lived anywhere else.
  • Legend has it that the dead will one day rise and take over Darkon for themselves.

NPCs of Darkon

Azalin
  • A lich, called “the iron fist in the velvet glove” for his governing.
  • Knows a lot about the demiplane of Ravenloft, more than the other darklords.

Styrix
  • A night hag who lives in the town of Martira Bay.
  • Steals peoples’ life energy to power a device called the Rift Spanner, which she hopes to use to escape Ravenloft.

Salizarr
  • A meazel who lives in the sewers of Il Aluk, who regularly kidnaps and devours citizens.

Andres Duvall
  • A lich who was once a bard.
  • Is not trapped in Darkon, but stays anyway, because he hates Azalin and wants to annoy him.

Monsters of Darkon
  • Basically anything, Darkon is a melting pot of cultures and also monsters.

Drakkoths for Holmes Basic (Converted from 4e)



Drakkoths are a species of reptilian creatures that inhabit jungles. They resemble lizard-folk with the lower bodies of small wingless dragons, leading to their other name; Dracotaurs. Lizard-folk revere the Drakkoths as emissaries of their gods, and it is not uncommon to find a Drakkoth leading a tribe of lizard-folk.

Drakkoth

Move: 140 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 5
Armor Class: 5
Treasure Type: D
Alignment: Neutral
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d10

Drakkoths may exhale a cloud of venom twice per day. This cloud extends around 5 feet in front of the Drakkoth, forming a cone with a width of 5 feet. Anyone caught in the cloud of venom takes 3d6 damage, though a saving throw against poison is allowed to halve the damage.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 2: Borca


Borca
  • Ruled by 2 bickering darklords, Ivana Boritsi and Ivan Dilisnya, who are constantly trying to poison each other to no avail.
  • Bribery is required for most rights, including passing on roads safely, keeping food produced on a farm, and protection. The government is more like several gangs of mafia.
  • 5 large settlements are Ilvin (4000 people), Lechberg (5,500 people), Levkarest (8,500 people), Sturben (2000 people), and Vor Ziyden (1000 people).
  • Ivana dwells in Levkarest, near hot springs, while Ivan lives near the Northern border near Lechberg.
  • Anyone who drinks something from Borca is trapped there, the beverage acting as a poison as soon as they leave the borders of the domain, killing them in a matter of minutes unless they return.
  • There is extreme wealth inequality, and most people are poor.

NPCs of Borca

Ivana Boritsi
  • Called the Black Widow by natives.
  • Her kiss is poisonous and deadly.

Ivan Dilisnya
  • Enforces the laws.
  • Either less powerful than Ivana or simply doesn’t care as much about power.

Nostalia Romaine
  • Undead creature appearing as a beautiful woman.
  • Her touch is deadly.

Monsters of Borca
  • Giant Spiders
  • Lycanthropes
  • Ghosts
  • Giant Rats



Witherlings for Holmes Basic (Converted from 4e)


Witherlings are undead created by gnoll priests of Yeenoghu, fusing the body of a slain foe with the head of a hyena, and grafting poisoned gazelle horns on to the hands. The resulting creature is fiercely loyal to the gnoll priest that created it, obeying every command given, regardless of danger.

Witherling

Move: 160 feet/turn/climb 120 feet/turn/leap 80 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class: 8
Treasure Type: nil
Alignment: neutral
Attacks: 2
Damage: 1d6

Anyone struck by a witherling's poisoned claws is paralyzed as per the touch of a ghoul, though a witherling's claws effect elves as well. A saving throw against paralysis is allowed to avoid this effect. Witherlings are turned as wraiths.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Condensing Ravenloft Part 1: Barovia


I really like a lot of the old D&D settings and books, but my main issue is that they're written like novels, too long and full of unneeded details that make for interesting reading, but bad for actual play. So, I decided to do a quick read/skim through of my Ravenloft setting guide I got in pdf for 2e, and to summarize and condense the setting into something I could use. Note that the end result of this condensing may not be exactly the same as the published version of Ravenloft, as I 1) Don't know too much of the lore, and 2) don't own any Ravenloft products except for the setting guide, so I cannot reference other books mentioned and must instead extrapolate.


Ravenloft Overall Setting Summary

  • Demiplane, created by unknown forces to contain and punish the darklords, individuals of great evil.
  • Takes the form of a continent shrouded in mist, mist is magical and does not allow escape.
  • Mist can transport folk from the material plane to Ravenloft.

Barovia
  • Ruled by Count Strahd von Zarovich, a man known for his cruelty.
  • Zarovich is a vampire, though the peasants do not know it.
  • Lesser nobility governs mostly, and the count makes few decrees.
  • Anyone who enters Strahd’s castle uninvited is put to death.
  • Old Svalich road leads to two major settlements; the fishing village of Vallaki, on the shores of Lake Zarovich, and the village of Barovia, where Strahd’s castle is.
  • Fog surrounds village of Barovia, anyone who enters is safe, but as soon as they leave the fog causes them to die of poison until they return.
  • Barovians speak the language Balok.
  • Few churches in Barovia, Barovians believe the gods have abandoned them.
  • The Vistani people are discriminated against, but given protection by Strahd due to an old pact between him and one of the Vistani.

NPCS of Barovia

Count Strahd von Zarovich
  • Vampire, possibly the first one in existence.
  • Killed his own brother to be with the woman he loves, Tatyana.
  • Tatyana rejected him, and in his rage he killed the entire staff of his castle, causing him to be damned forever and trapped in the demiplane of Ravenloft.
  • Every few decades, Tatyana is reincarnated, but is always doomed to die again.

Jacqueline Montarri
  • Wronged a Vistani magician and is now cursed.
  • Has 3 dozen heads in jars which she can swap out for her own, but inevitably rot away.
  • Constantly seeking new heads to survive.

Jezra Wagner
  • Mysterious frost witch
  • Referred to as the Ice Queen, both for her cold disposition and powers.

Monsters of Barovia
  • All kinds of undead except liches, which Strahd hates.
  • Lycanthropes, predominantly werewolves.
  • Hellhounds.
  • Dire wolves.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Demonically Possessed (with Holmes Basic Stats!) and an Update on the 30 Minute Dungeon Delves Compilation

***BORING STUFF SKIP AHEAD FOR DEMON POSSESSION***

I am back from Texas, and beginning to do some proper work on compiling and editing the 30 minute dungeons. 7 of the 20 dungeons have been edited so far, and a document containing the layout is mostly complete. I'd say it will probably be finished before the end of the month.

***BORING STUFF DONE***

Image result for deadite
(Image from Ash Vs Evil Dead)
Sometimes, whether through foul rituals or the pure amount of sin that a person commits, demons can be steal the bodies of people and pilot them around like vehicles. The unfortunate creatures caused by this process are known as the Demon Possessed. Demon Possessed have the combat statistics and abilities described below:

Demon Possessed
HD 3
AC unarmored or by armor worn
ATK 2 claws or 1 weapon
DMG 1d6 each or by weapon +2

Special:
  • Can climb walls like a spider
  • Sees perfectly in the dark
  • Can communicate with any sentient being in a mile radius through telepathy
  • 3 times per day, can make any sentient life form within a mile radius experience auditory, tactile, and/or visual hallucinations.
  • Regenerates 1 HP per round unless burned, fought on consecrated ground, or exposed to holy water.
  • If cut into pieces, pieces remain animate and will eventually regenerate into fully formed creatures.
Image result for unwilling doom
(Image taken from DOOM)

Being host to a demon affects the body in grotesque ways. Roll a d6 to determine the physical changes caused by demonic possession:

1. Black eyes
2. Pointed teeth
3. Forked tongue
4. Skinless
5. Hooves for feet and small horns sprout from forehead
6. Tentacles sprout from chest


***BONUS HOLMES BASIC STATS***

Demon Possessed
Move: 120 feet/turn/climb 120 feet/turn
Hit Dice: 3
Armor Class: 10 or by armor worn
Attacks: 2 or 1 weapon
Damage: 1d6 each or 1d6+2

The Demon Possessed have infravision for 240 feet and can communicate telepathically with any human, demi-human, or humanoid in a mile radius. In addition, possessed can cast Phantasmal Forces 3 times per day, but the effects caused by the spell are auditory as well as visual. The Demon Possessed regenerate 1 HP per round unless harmed by holy water, magical weapons, or silver weapons.




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Session Report 8/14/2018


I recently played a game of LOTFP with my datemate, Loki (E/Im/Is pronouns), using one of my 30 minute dungeons.

E played the specialist of unknown name, accompanied by 2 dogs and a mule, also similarly nameless. The unknown specialist learned of a series of tunnels underneath the tower ruins in the woods, and, being penniless, decided to investigate. E descended into the dungeon, opening a secret passage marked by a red stone, and went into the darkness. E found the corpse of a large spider, but didn’t investigate, instead opening one of the nearby doors, revealing a nest of giant rats, along with a glimmer of gold. The specialist quickly shut the door, blocking it with a piece of fallen stone. However, after recalling the glint of gold, e carefully and quietly opened the door, before throwing a rock as a distraction. This gave the thief ample time to sneak into the nest to retrieve a golden scepter and a crown. However, when sneaking back out, e was noticed by one of the large rats. However, before the vermin could alert its fellows, e lobbed a rock at it, killing the beast.

The unknown rogue then continued to investigate, finding a corridor with some empty barrels, along with an empty room with an oddly elaborate tiled floor. Looking carefully at the tiles, the specialist realized part of the floor didn’t match the rest of the pattern, and threw a rock at it. This caused some poison gas to leak out from hidden pipes, and the specialist quickly closed the door, waiting for the gas to disperse.

When e entered the room again, the gas was gone, leaving a viscous residue on the walls. The thief continued forward, opening the door at the far end of the room to find a group of 4 warlike and brutal orcs, roasting a deer on a spit.

The specialist retreated back to the corridor with the barrels, sending is mule off to the entrance of the dungeon, and instructing one of is dogs to bark loudly while hiding the other in a barrel with im.

3 of the 4 orcs rushed to investigate, but the dog had already hidden. They continued to search, moving into the rat room. While they were gone, the specialist moved to the room with the deer, in search of treasure.

The lone orc left behind was scrawny, and evidently hungry. The specialist scraped some of the residue on to is arrow, and fired a shot at the beast-man. The arrow missed, instead impaling the roast deer. The orc noticed the arrow, and moved towards the specialist, who began to rapidly shoot arrows in panic. The orc swung its cobbled together sword, getting it stuck in the door. Finally, the specialist stabbed the monster in the throat, killing it. However, the orc’s death rattle attracted its fellows. Finishing is plan, the specialist quickly covered the roasting deer with more poison residue, before hiding in a nearby sack.

2 orcs (the third died to the rats) arrived in the room, one carrying a dead rat by the tail. One was concerned with its comrade’s sudden death, but the other was more interested in eating the now cooked deer. After taking a bite, it keeled over, stone dead, causing the last orc to panic and run for the exit. The sound of is mule’s distress caused the thief to run behind the fleeing orc, strangling it with is bow string. The mule was luckily unharmed, merely startled. Before moving forward, e lobbed the heads off of the orcs and strapped them to is mule, as well as pocketing a small leather pouch of gems and coins one of the orcs had on its belt.

The specialist continued is descent, moving deeper into the dungeon to find an odd snail shell with misspelled advertisements for goods. Upon approaching the shell, out popped a large hermit crab, proclaiming himself to be Mr. Snips, a purveyor of rare goods. After showing his wares (Including a wooden egg and a beetle named Charlie), the specialist asked his price. Mr. Snips responded that he required a slab of meat, to which the specialist turned on is heel, going right back to the poisoned deer.

After chopping off a nice chunk, the dungeoneer returned to the crab, offering the venison as payment. Like the orc before it, Mr. Snips took one bite before expiring. The specialist looted the body, before chopping it up and putting it in a sack. In the now empty shell, e found a magical glowing sword, which seemed to have some translation powers (the misspelled words on the late Mr. Snips’s shell now appeared properly written). Satisfied with is loot, the thief headed back to town.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Canary: An OSR Boss Monster/Slasher Villain


The Canary

The Canary is a boss monster/slasher that lurks in the depths of the Earth. He is most commonly seen in old abandoned mine-shafts, though he can be found anywhere underground.

He looks like a tall but skinny man, dressed in tattered clothing, wearing a beaked mask, like a plague doctor’s. He does not speak, but lets out occasional screeches. His body is covered with rotting wounds and sores, leading many to believe he is undead. He wields an enormous rusty pickaxe as a weapon.

There are many legends about the Canary’s origins, the most common is that he was once an ordinary miner, left to die in a cave after the mine he worked in was flooded with poison gases. The makeshift gas-mask he brought with him was not enough to save him, and partially fused to his face as he died. The hatred in his heart brought him back to life as a horrific monster.

The Canary kills all who cross his path, but has a special hatred towards those who carry lanterns (perhaps it reminds him of the miners who abandoned him, or maybe he just has sensitive eyes).

(Concept art from Silent Hill: Downpour)
The Canary

HD 6
AC as leather
ATK Special
DMG Special

Special Abilities

Dead Life
The Canary regenerates 1 HP each round, even if he is reduced to 0 HP. The only way to truly kill the Canary would be to somehow completely destroy his body.

Special Attacks
When in combat, the Canary can make one of the following attacks each round (Roll 1d6 to see which attack he makes):

1-3. Pickaxe
The Canary attacks his target with his pickaxe. If he hits, he deals 1d6+2 damage.

4-5. Poisonous Cloud
The Canary pulls off his mask for a moment to reveal a rotting and deformed face. He breaths out a gust of greenish gas. Anyone who breathes in the gas  must make a saving throw or take 1d6 damage. This attack does not require an attack roll.

6. Cave-in
The Canary hacks out a chunk of the ceiling with his pickaxe, causing it to fall on his target’s head, dealing 2d6 damage. Roll a d6, on a 4 or higher the target is also stunned and unable to do anything for 1 round.

D6 Based Combat Systems for OSR Games


I have a bit of an obsession with d6s, they are by far my favorite dice. As a result, when making house rules I usually only use six siders. I've messed around with a number of d6 based systems for combat before, and decided to share some that work.

Image result for dice


D6 combat systems (to hit and armor)

X in 6 to hit, armor as damage reduction

Everybody has a 3 in 6 chance to hit, except fighters, who have a 4 in 6 chance. Basically, roll 1d6, if it is 3 or lower, you roll damage. Light armor subtracts 1 point of damage, medium armor subtracts 2 points of damage, heavy armor subtracts 3 points of damage. Shields can be broken to block all damage entirely.

3+ to hit unarmored

Roll 1d6 to hit. If attacking an unarmored target, you need 3+ to hit. For a lightly armored target, you need 4+, medium armor needs 5+, heavy armor needs 6+. Shields can be broken to block an attack.

3+ to hit, armor as temporary hit points

Roll 1d6 to hit, on a 3+ you hit. Armor acts as temporary HP to block damage, like in the first edition of the Black Hack. The armor points “heal” to maximum at the beginning of each encounter. If the system normally uses descending AC, armor points are determined by subtracting the AC from 10. If the system normally uses ascending AC, armor points are determined by subtracting 10 from the AC.

Automatically hit, armor as damage reduction

Just roll damage, ignore an attack roll. Light armor blocks 1 point of damage, medium armor blocks 2 points of damage, heavy armor blocks 3 points of damage. Shields can be broken to block all damage.

D6 combat systems (damage)

D6 plus modifiers

Damage value is d3 for unarmed attacks, d6-1 (minimum 1) for light weapons, d6 for 1 handed weapons, d6+1 for 2 handed weapons, d6+2 for heavy 2 handed weapons.

2d6 drop the lowest for heavy weapons

Damage value is d3 for unarmed attacks, d6 for a 1 handed weapon, 2d6 drop the lowest for a 2 handed weapon.



Saturday, August 4, 2018

OSR Movie Review: The Leech Woman


Image result for the leech woman

The Leech Woman is a 1960 Universal Science Fiction horror film about an African tribe that knows the secret of reversing aging, and the results of an American woman stealing this secret and using it to become young again.



To make a long story short, this film is not very good. At best, its a cheesy B-Movie, at worst it is horrifically racist and sexist to a degree that made me quite uncomfortable. Depictions of African people as primitive and savage are rampant, and the only two named black characters are an assistant to a guide, named Nabu, and an old woman who first introduces the main characters to the substance that prolongs life, named Malla.



Nabu does not have any lines in English, nor any personality, and exists purely as a stock character. Malla is more complicated and interesting, and the main actress who plays her, (the late Estelle Hemsley) is extremely talented. However, despite Malla being a likable character, she still falls into many problematic stereotypes when she eventually serves as a kind of cult leader for the Nando people.

Image result for the leech woman



The substance to prolong one’s life is called Nibe, and on its own allows people to age slower. However, when mixed with fluid from the pineal gland, extracted with a diamond ring carved into a claw, the concoction actually restores youth and vitality.



The Nando people (the African tribe in the movie) use this powder to prolong life for most people, as well as for giving dying old women a chance to be young again for one last night. The scene where a young Nando man is sacrificed in order to make Malla young is, while not graphic, quite problematic, depicting native Africans unfairly as savage.



If this movie were to be remade, I’d like it very much to be more respectful of African culture, perhaps changing the origin of the concoction from an entire “uncivilized” tribe, to perhaps just a single witch who is terrorizing a village.



There are some usable things in the film that could be adapted for the OSR, which are described as follows:

Nibe (Magical Item)



This dust is extracted from a strange rare orchid, and takes many years to produce. When consumed on its own, once a year, it extends a person’s life by another half-year. However, if combined with the pineal hormones of a person of the opposite biological sex to the user, it can instantly remove 3d6x10 years of age, reducing the person to a minimum of 20 years old. However, this effect only lasts 24 hours, and will in fact age the user an additional 4d6x10 years after the effect ends.



Claw Ring (Weapon)



This weapon, when used normally in combat, simply deals 1d4 damage. However, if attacking an unaware target from behind, deals 1d12 damage. If this damage would kill the target, the weapon has pierced the skull and lanced the pineal gland. The fluids thus extracted can be combined with Nibe to reduce aging.

30 Minute Dungeon Delve 20: The Last One!!


Note: This is the last of my 30 minute dungeons. I won't be posting for a while because of my visit to Texas, and also because I'm going to be compiling and editing all 20 of these dungeons into pdf format with monster stats, reworked treasure, and maps, which will sell for 5 dollars on RPGnow and/or DrivethruRPG when finished. 


Idea: The upper level of a classic fantasy dungeon in the vein of Castle Greyhawk, built by an evil wizard long ago but now abandoned. The lower levels are blocked off by rubble.


Hook: Centuries ago, the evil wizard Zarkash constructed a series of underground passages beneath his tower to house his vile experiments, hoards of treasure, and pet monsters. One day, however, a spell went wrong, obliterating the tower and Zarkash, but the tunnels still remain beneath the crumbling ruins. If the legends are true, gold and other treasures galore lie beneath the scattered stones of the cruel mage’s tower...


Key:


1. Holding up the grand vaulted ceiling of this room are a dozen statues, depicting human beings in tattered clothing being crushed beneath the ceiling’s weight. Graffiti covers many of the walls, mostly saying things like “Arthur was here” or, “Zarkash smells”. (Some of the statues, if examined, resemble kings and lords from centuries ago who opposed Zarkash.)


2. A group of smelly, hunched over humanoids with dog-like faces giggle evilly, each one holding a torch and a curved short sword. (The hyena-folk are waiting for prey, as animals and adventurers occasionally come into Zarkash’s dungeons. They will attack on sight, but may be reasoned with if offered food or a human sacrifice.)


3. The room is completely empty and bare, though there is an odd draft in the room. (The draft of air is due to the fact that the floor of the room is not real, except around the edges, and anyone who steps into the middle of the room will fall several meters onto spikes. Air vents below the false floor causes a slight gust of wind from below.)


4. A large wooden chest sits at the far side of the room, with a sword stuck in it. Blood stains can be seen on the floor. (If opened, the chest has a rotting, fleshy inside. The chest was some sort of creature that mimicked chests in order to lure unwary adventurers, but is now long dead. Within the beast’s stomach is a pile of coins.)


5. A marble fountain dominates the room, but instead of pumping water, from its spout flow deadly venomous snakes of all shapes and sizes! (The fountain is a portal to an extradimensional realm full of venomous snakes, and will never run out, though there is a hidden lever in the wall that can stop the flow of serpents.)


6. A small group of brutish, 3 meter tall ogres sit around a roaring fire, roasting the carcass of a bear. They are conversing loudly about how they haven’t been able to eat any humans recently. (One of the ogres has a pouch on his belt, containing several large gems.)


7. The room is empty, save for a green stone doorway carved into the shape of a grinning devil’s face. The doorway leads to utter and complete blackness. (Anyone who steps into the doorway is vaporized, killing them instantly, leaving no remains.)


8. The shattered pieces of statues of various deities litter the floor, all broken save for one in the corner of the room. The intact statue depicts Athena, the Olympian goddess of wisdom. The statue’s head is animated, and is talking to herself. (The statue believes she is Athena, though she does not have any real supernatural wisdom. She wants to be worshiped, and will offer to answer any questions in exchange for a burnt offering of food. Her answers to questions are not necessarily true.)


9. The room used to be an indoor swimming pool, but has long since dried up. Bones and pieces of rusted metal can be seen at the bottom of the pool. There is also what appears to have been a stairway leading down, but it is blocked off by rubble. (There is a thin layer of residue on the bottom of the pool, remnants of acid, indicating that the pool was used as a trap or execution device. If the stairway is cleared, it could lead to additional level’s of Zarkash’s dungeon… or not, its up to the game master.)


10. Curled up on a pile of gold and jewels is a dragon, about the size of a large horse. Its scales are red, and it has large yellowish wings. The dragon is asleep, puffs of smoke drifting from its nostrils. (The dragon will instantly awaken if even a single coin is taken from its hoard, and will attack, shouting that the adventurers are thieves. In the pile of treasure there is a beautiful silver sword, its hilt inlaid with jewels. This sword is enchanted to be particularly deadly to dragons.)