Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Players rate my DM skills

By the criteria mentioned in this post here's my DM ability scores as determined by a survey of players I've DM'd for lately:

STR: 13
CON: 12
DEX: 16
WIS: 15

what I said about myself in an earlier post:

STR: 12
CON: 16
DEX: 17
WIS: 16

Here's my analysis
STR: players 13 and myself 12, so the players feel I describe the setting around them more then adequately. That makes me happy I could certainly do better in my estimate but what I do typically seems to do the job.

CON: player 12 and myself 16, pretty big difference there but still a favorable result from the players. Maybe they don't realize how much crap I have to deal with. I do know all my players well and expect them not to be asses so maybe my occasional flustered response lowers my score in their estimation.

DEX: players 16, me 17. I've been doing it for over 30 years and half my group has been gaming with me for over 20 years so nice to see they think I'm good and fair.

INT: players 16, me 14. I'm flattered. If the players knew how much I didn't bother paying attention to most of the time they might be horrified or maybe they are happy with what i do keep track of.

WIS: players 15, me 16. I've run the game from a map and a handful of index cards for a year or more at a time now and again, some of the players know this and are happy with it.

CHA: players 11, me 12. I could be better at the acting but I don't spend a lot of time and effort on it because it would be wasted on one of my veteran regulars, another would sit back and enjoy it but interact poorly (i want to interact not put on a show) and a third is prone to really get into the role- part so much we'd never get much at all done and would spend most of a session on one or two exchanges it'd be great improv-theater but a slow game.

Except for one area I wasn't too far off in estimating my own abilities as the players see them and the players perception and experience is really what Dming is about. So I've got to deal with the crap a bit better and throw in a little more of my acting skills to lift the game up more for the players and myself.

Nth wave, a game of cyberpunk past

The following is an outlined recollection of gaming-past.

It was early-mid 90's, the spring before I met the mother of my first child, I was living in a former rural town turned outer suburban bedroom community making my way as a technical illustrator, micro publisher and going to school for Applied Mathematics (which was taking forever as I was a continuing-ed student) and I was really into RPGs. I had a really smoking PC with 20 megs of RAM (people would ask me what I did with all that memory), a Mac only a model or so back from top of the line with a massive 80 meg drive with a CMYK monitor and used my really fast dial-up modem to hook up to BBSes and AOL . A buddy of mine was trying to get together a tabletop RPG group of area NERO players but they couldn't find anyone with a campaign ready to go or who was willing to GM, I volunteered. We decided on cyberpunk and I said "sure no problem I have a few Ideas"...

I had nothing solid just a bunch of ideas, not even a game system. I had seen a couple of things on cyberpunk games but had never played one except for maybe a couple of sessions of shadowrun. I dug into some of my fiction notes and not begin afraid of plagiarizing for an RPG session that may turn into a campaign I whipped up a lite game system and a setting for cyberpunk adventures.

The game and setting I whipped up in about a week was "N-th Wave". I read a lot of science fiction in those days, a lot and i "borrowed" a lot of elements and hammered them together to build the game and campaign.

The setting for N-th wave was Boston sometime in the 21st century, the seas had risen thanks to global warming and parts of the city sinking Venice of boardwalks and canals. Multinational alliances and corporate shenanigans have all but broken the back of the traditional nation-state. The U.S.A. has gone the way of the naru jacket and the 45 record. Municipal and even regional security and policing has been given over to corporate-run police agencies.

The technologies of the past are relics and kitch collectibles. There are cyborgs out there but it's old technology leaving behind half-human veterans of the Indonesian and Australian wars who held back communism before the eastern-bloc an communism just blew away on the wind ( a system can only maintain itself for so long with people pretending to work so others can pretend to pay them). Cybernetics are available at swap-meets, charity clinics and back alley shops; in the world of N-th wave we are the hardware and genes are the code.

Almost unbelievable progress in biological manipulation has saved the ecology of the world (more or less) and is transforming humanity. There are still tools a-plenty out there but the real cutting edge is transformation. Bodies are manipulated and reshaped for to follow fashion; there are gangs of toughs out there with animal heads (often poorly crafted) and eight foot tall fashion models with bio-luminescent skin.

Common tools included flippies (portable computers you can fold up and shove in a shirt pocket), phones are earring-buds (no bluetooth buds then) and almost everyone hauls their monitor around with themselves as a pair of glasses that can scroll news, e-mail and commercials all day long. The internet was everywhere but not the 3D-virtual landscape it was the ever present squawking mass of people and tools, avatars were for business meetings and games. Like Gibson and most sci-fi authors I failed to realize how ubiquitous cell-phones were going to become.

Into this world are shoved the PCs who are meant to be private security contractors, body guards, cat-burglars and all-around survivors (The typical grungy, violent, sociopath, kleptomaniacs that so much RPG seems to focus on).

There were no character classes. PCs were defined by a semi random method where ability score were rolled and a set of points were given to tweak scores, assign skills, wealth and gear.

Resolution was based on a modified % system where the dice scores rolled determined magnitude of success along with chance that might not rise to the difficulty of the task. If one had a 41 in a skill they roll percentile dice and would succeed on a roll of 41 or less and determined the magnitude of that success by totaling the two separate dice to get a score from 2 or more . If one rolled a 3 and a 9 they would have a score of 12 for the task at hand, if one had double they had half the original chance to add to the magnitude. Some task allowed continuing rolls until one completed the task on hand, some allowed minor continuing improvement and some were a one-shot affair. Combat worked off the same resolution system where magnitude of a hit roll determined the base damage, 2 or 3 shots was enough to take most folks out of a fight.

A few of the players found themselves employed by a multi-national entertainment corporation (that started with the letter D) that was going into a big retro 20th century children's show revival trend. The players would pose as a certain group of amphibian martial arts experts (in costume not as hacked- morphs) to provide additional security escort for Bernie a pink bio-res dinosaur that could sing corporation owned songs. I'm not going to give away more of the adventure as it's a good one I might still want to make use of some day.

Along with that (plagiarized) adventure the PCs discovered a terrible secret that impacted every person in the world, there was a "vampire" stalking the homeless and a terrorist gang had hacked a solar transmission satellite and was planning on using it to burn a swath of the city. Along with that action there is some player motivated cyber-jacking and sales to a back alley shop and a feud with a animal-morph gang in the PC's neighborhood.

The game and campaign were well received, better then I had hoped for (someone out there has/had a photocopied set of the rules). I think it did well because I used a lot of the tropes of cyberpunk and related sci-fi but didn't tie the game down to any popular subset and the rule system was "innovative" but simple. Because of chaining lifestyles and the semi-nomadic lifestyle of 20-30 year old's in the circles I ran with at the time N-th Wave saw only a handful of sessions (most of them played in a shabby little rundown factory city not too far from Boston). I still remember those sessions fondly as a high spot in my gaming life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MY DM Ability Scores

Over at the Symptoms of Radness blog Aberrant Hive Mind asks What Are Your DMing ability Scores?

Here's my honest assessment of myself (as a DM)

STR: 12
CON: 16
DEX: 17
INT: 14
WIS: 16
CHA: 12 (I can do much better but with my regular group I seldom bother)

I'm going to have to ask my players what they think and average in the scores.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tactile Maps

This post here on Tactile Maps at Telecanter's Receding Rules clued me in to the existence of tactile maps. It's an idea I was not aware of and a great way to provide "treasure maps" in dungeon settings that could be made by folks that don't require ( or simply don't want to be given away by ) light. One feels a series of bumps, notches and symbols carved into a device to find their way.

Here's a sample Tactile Map Key and a Tactile Map created according to the key:

Such a Tactile Map could be left hanging on a peg or inserted into a cavity carved to hold the tactile map if it were a mobile device. Such a map could also be incorporated into a larger mostly immobile sculpture, hidden in decorative carvings or etched on an another item.

The sample map describes this route:
From starting point take first left turn.
Travel about 120 feet then take the right turn.
Move 60 feet, beware of trap and pass through door.
Turn left and pass through portal to descend.
Take 1st left and travel about 300 feet
Enter the portal and you are there.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Huge Mutant Rust Monster

No. Enc: 1-3
Alignment: Neutral
Int: Animal to Semi
Move: 90'(30')
Armor Class: 1[19]
Hit Dice: 8+5
Attacks: 2 antenna (bash 1-4), Bite (1-8, swallows size S targets 40%, size m 20%)
Special: Rusting Spray
Morale: 9 (in 12)

A mutant rust monster larger than a warhorse covered in thicker plates then it's smaller kin. It's antenna are big enough to cause harm to a target on impact. It's maw is also large enough to deliver a bite an possibly swallow a target whole. A swallowed target will suffer 1-4 pts a round and will typically be spit out 2-5 rounds later (small targets will be hurled 40', medium targets 20'), anything metal the victim carried will most certainly be rusted away into a puddle of goo.

The most devastating attack of the huge mutant rust monster is it's rusting spray. 3 times a day a huge mutant rust monster will spray forth a jet of fluid(20' wide and 60' long) that will rust metals carried by any in the area of effect that fail save vs dragon breath.

Rust is as per an ordinary rust monster.

A monster sprung on my players last session. This sucker was sure a surprising change of pace for the PCs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Unusual Beasts

A set of tables to build unusual beasts to fit in with medieval/fairytale settings. You never know when you are going to need a talking boar that cures disease and drinks wine that dwells in the nearby woods.

1- Miraculous
2- Blasphemous
3- Talking
4- Vicious
5- Noble
6- Clothed

1- Many-horned
2- Maned
3- Golden
4- Ebon
5- White
6- Snake Tongued
7- Winged (if already winged it has no wings)
8- Giant
9- Spiked
10- Wooly
11- Two Headed
12- Chimerical (roll 2 or 3 types of animals and combine)


1- Banished Evil/ Desecrates Good
2- Turns Undead/ Summon Undead
3- Lays Golden Eggs/ Rusts Iron
4- Purifies Food and Water / Befouls water
5- Dispels Invisibility/ Beguiles Minds
6- Cures Disease/ Emits Poison
7- Summons Rain/ Causes Drought
8- Cunning Insight/ Fool

1- Eats Gold
2- Demands an annual virgin sacrifice
3- Drinks Wine
4- Drinks Blood
5- Never Eats
6- Passes Wine
7- Excretes Charcoal
8- Never Sleeps

1. Harasses Farmers
2. Kept by Nearby Hermit/Crone
3. Locked in a Monsters/Wizards Abode
4. Roams Freely in the Village
5. Dwells in nearby wilds.
6. Locked in local castle/tower
7. Kept by Local Farmer
8. Stays at the local inn.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


When I was a youth first DMing D&D with the Holmes version of Basic one of my favorite antagonists were Gargoyles. At 4HD and 4 attacks a round they were an unholy horror and one needed magic weapons to harm them as well.

They were too cool to simply use to wipe out parties. So younger and smaller gargoyles were employed and as such Gargoyles became a species of living breathing monsters where the big old grown ups required a magical weapon to harm while the younger ones had lower HD and an appropriate number of attacks (1 HD...1 attack, 2Hd...2 attacks). With the power of flight they were still a scourge that could really only be trumped as characters gained magical weapons and winged steeds (of which there was a variety in the first version of Basic). So gargoyles while able to hide among masonry and look like stone weren't constructs or creatures from another plane they were simply bad asses. Now and again they would dive bomb with rocks, flaming oil and could even been seen armed with bows now and again (only getting 1 attack if i recall) but they were still pretty dim so they weren't ruling kingdoms or putting a serious challenge agaisnt the world of men.

Players relished the opportunity to smash gargoyle eggs when they discovered a nest.

Edit: Full grown gargoyles couldn't be turned to stone for some reason I can't recall now but this did lead to them working with a Medusa as guards and having a pet basilisk in one dungeon. They preferred to nest in caves instead of mountain heights so that's what they were doing in dungeons.

As I matured and absorbed more official D&D gargoyles as a race of antagonists blew away on the wind, it might be time to return to fancies of the past.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Topless Dancer and OSR

Not being one to totally ignore a meme but wanting to be "original" I offer you a topless dancer:

This here blog is typically about old-school Dungeons and Dragons related gaming.

Gaming and the OSR and OSR friendly blogs:

There's a whole lot of Dungeons and Dragons out there that currently has nothing to do with a big corporation that own a certain trademark.

More on Peddlers

A few extra bits and notes for Peddlers of the Deep Dark.

Peddler Level
1-3 Commoner
4-6 Thief Level 1-6
7 Fighter Level 1-6
8 Magic-User level 1-4
9 Cleric Level 1-4
10 Ex-Cleric Level 1-12
11 Ex-Paladin Level 1-12
12 Bard level 1-8

Peddler Stash
A peddler may (3 in 6 chance) have a stash of goods within 0-7 days of where encountered. 1d8 -1, if 0 it's within an hour or two of current location.

There will be 2-12 goods rolls in a peddlers stash along with coins of equal value.

A peddler will be loathe to reveal the location of a stash nut will use them to ransom himself if needed.

Where is Peddler Stash?
1 In an old well
2 In a functioning warehouse
3 In an abandoned cottage.
4 hollow tree/log
5 Buried
6 In a cave
7 In an old tomb
8 With friendly priests at a small temple.

What guards stash? (1-5: 1 roll, 6: 2 rolls)
1-3 Nothing
4 Locals (1-2: 1 guard, 3-4: a pair of locals warning off strangers, 5-6; the walls have eyes)
5-7 Guard Dogs (2-4 guards dogs, could be other animals)
8-9 Tethered Zombies (1-4 zombies)
10 A minor Demon
11 A needle Trap
12 A Pit Trap
13 A man-trap
14 Hidden/Buried
15 Invisible
16 Illusion
17 A nearby monster (roll as appropriate for area)
18-20 Guardsmen (roll 1-4 guards of Peddler guard table)

1-2 none, aside from already established stashes
3 50g.p. - hidden ins stash
4 100 g.p.- held by ally
5 200 g.p. - held by ally
6 500 g.p. - hidden in stash

Elaborations and notes from original Table:

A Goblin-Man is a half-breed typically of a huam and a goblin/orc/hobgoblin which otherwise lacks any significant stats most of the time (half-orc stats could be used occasionally). they are generally considered untrustworthy and outsiders.

Black-Halflings are mysterious wanderers and scoundrels that don't fit in with the typical calm and pleasant shire villages of halflings.

Dungeon Donkeys are ordinary donkeys used to dungeon environs.

Albino Cave-Bronts are dwarf-sized albino brotosaurs. Typally 4 HD with no significant attacks and a movement rate just a little quicker then a man when not heavily loaded.

Grats- are creepy rodents that look like a bat without functioning wings. Typically 2 HD and a bite attack for 1-3 if pressed into a fight.

Cave SLoths- large lumbering sloths, they move slowly but are hard to spok and tough havign 5 HD and a natural AC of 4.

Pack Snails can be found here:

A Lava Lamp is magical vessel holding about a half gallon of glowing lava. I glows in a 20' radius and is warm enough to keep a person conformable in a tiny tent in any but an arctic environment. If hurled at a target it will break and function as a typical burning oil attack.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vagabond Camps

The life of an adventurer is not always glorious and all men do not dwell within city walls or enjoy the spartan comforts of a peasant cottage, from time to time folks may find themselves in a vagabond camp.

Size of Camp
1-2 A Fire Circle
3-5 One Main Fire Circle and 1-3 small fires close-by
6-9 A scattering of 2-7 fire circles
10-11 A Hut with 1-3 small fire circles near-by
12 3-12 Huts

Population of Camp
2-5 rolls per fire circle or hut
1-3 rolls for a small fire

11-20...Drunken Craftsman
21-23...Escaped Serf
24-26...Escaped Slave
29-31...Crippled Warrior
32-34...Run-away child/Orphan
37-40....Haggard Harlot
41-43....Widow with 1-6 children
44-45....Lone Peddler
46..........Self Professed Prophet (10% chance of being cleric level 1-8)
49-52...Down and Out Man-at-arms (0-level)
53-54...Lame Crofter
59-61...Cleric (level 1-6)
62.........Quixotic Knight
63-70....Wanted Outlaw
77-79....Thief (level 1-4)
80-81....Grave Robber
82-85.....Wandering Youth
86..........Noble Traveling Incognito
87-88....Run-away bride
89-92....Pregnant Young Woman
93-94....Bounty Hunter (Level 1-8)
95.........Old Pit-Fighter
96-97...Unsuccessful Prospector/Fur-Trapper/Treasure Hunter
98-100..Hapless Adventurer (NPC adventurer of level 1-3)

Shelter/Bedding (1d10 for hut, 1d12 for fire)
1-2 None
3 Pile of Rags
4-5 Flea-ridden Blanket
6 Good Cloak
7-9 Blanket
10 Good Bedroll
11 Simple Lean-to
12 Small Tent

1-2....Rock Soup/None
3-4....Grass Soup
5-8....Pickings Stew
10-11..Stale Bread
12........Moldy Cheese

Roll once per day remote areas, twice per day in populous areas.

1-25...Nothing of Note
26-30...New Arrival
31-37...Vagabond Leaves
38-39...Vagabond Missing
40-43...Vagabond Takes Ill
44-45...Vagabond shows up with a jug of booze and shares
46...Drunken Fight
47...Murder, someone was stabbed to death or smothered in their sleep
48-52..Theft, someone has goods stolen but thief is unknown
53-57...Someone is accused of stealing from another in camp, guilty 1-2 in 6.
58-59...Thief! A thief is spied rooting through someone's belongings.
60...Death in the night, a vagabond in camp dies, folks may not notice for a while
61-63...Wild Dogs. 3-12 wild dogs harass the camp
64-65...Wolves 2-8 wolves raid the camp
66...Bear a black bear wanders into camp
67...Horse, a riderless horse wanders into camp, this could be trouble.
68...Weather Improves
69...Weather Worsens
70...Vagabonds return to camp with stolen food they share with others
71-78...Locals harass a vagabond
79-82...Locals attack a vagabond
83-84...Locals raid camp kicking out fires and knocking over shelters.
85-87...Authorities arrive to drive off vagabonds.
88-89...Kind souls donate food/clothing to those in camp.
91.......Lycanthrope (1 of random type either raids or transforms in camp)
92-94....Bandits raid the camp to steal whatever meager goods and food they can.(3-18 bandits)
95-96....Orcs raid camp to murder and take slaves.(3-24 orcs)
97.........Slavers raid camp. (1-4 leveled slavers with 2-8 M@A)
98-99...Press Gang arrives to take able-bodied men. (1-3 L1 fighters with, 2-8 M@A)
100.....Ghouls arrive to feed. 1-20 ghouls

Each day in camp there is a 33% chance of a rumor

Suggested Rumors (seldom true)
1 The king is dead
2 The local lord is dead
3 Giants are marching this way
4 A knight is challenging all-comers at the crossroads
5 A fire has swept a nearby community
6 Someone in camp is an evil witch
7 Someone in camp is a werewolf
8 Someone in camp has treasure map
9 Someone in camp is hiding food
10 A local dungeon is discovered
11 The locals are coming to raid the camp tomorrow
12 There is a church a few days away helping those in need.
13 An orc scout was seen.
14 Bandits are in the nearby wood.
15 There's a functional wishing well nearby
16 There's a body in a nearby thicket.
17 There's a witch in a cottage nearby
18 There's a generous cottage nearby
19 There's a woman who "likes the company of men"in a cottage nearby
20 a man with a sack full of (?) was seen skulking about not too far off.

Peddlers of the Deep Dark

Businessmen will exploit any available market. The deep dark places beneath the surface are no exception. Here are charts to determine the composition of small peddler bands and minor caravans that may be found in the deepdark and megadungeons.

1 Lone Peddler. (guards 1-4 in 6)
2 Pair of Peddlers (mixed on 1-2, guards 1-3 in 6)
3 Peddler & 2 Assistants (mixed on 1-2, guards 1-2 in 6)
4-5 Master Peddler and Caravan (2-7 guards)
6 Gypsy Caravan (mixed on 1)

notes: guards 1-4 in 6 means : roll 1 d6 on a roll of 1 to 4 there are that many guards and no guards on a roll of 5 or 6)
Gypsies are nomads who live in their caravans.

Race of Peddlers
1 Gnome
2 Moleman
3 Dwarf
4 Goblin-Man
5 Human
6 Black-Halfling

Bearers (Haulers/Beasts)
1 Drugged Morlocks
2 Pack Apes
3 Dungeon Donkeys
4 Pack Snails
5 Albino Cave-Bronts
6 Dim-witted Half-Ogres
7 Grats (giant ground bats)
8 Human Slaves
9 Halfling Porters
10 Cave Sloths

Roll 1d4 Bearers per peddler and assistant
A Master Peddler will have 14-24 bearers (and 1 teamster per 4 beasts)

Gypsy Caravan (2-20 vehicles, identical on 5 in 6)
1 Cart (1-2 Gypsies per)
2 Rick-hut (1-3 Gypsies per)
3 Sedan-Cottage (2-4 Gypsies per, carried by bearers)
4 Howdah (2-5 Gypsies per, on bearers)
5-6 Wagon (2-7 Gypsies per)

Roll to determine what draws wagons and use appropriate number per vehicles plus 50%. All bearers will be the same 4 in 6 in a Gypsy Caravan.
There is a 20% chance that a gypsy caravan will have a cleric or magic-user of levels 2-5.

Goods Carried
2-5 Rolls per peddler or vehicle. A master peddler will have 14-24 rolls.
All goods indicate supply and base cost per unit

1 Trinkets
2 Sundries
3 Consumables
4 Garb
5 Gear & Arms
6 Exotics

1 Tiny Bell (14-24, 5 s.p.)
2 Small Mirror (2-8, 12 g.p.)
3 Cloak Pins (2-12, 2 s.p.)
4 Ball & Cup game (2-5, 1 s.p.)
5 Dice (2-12 pair, 1 g.p. per pair)
6 Beads (1d12 x 100, 2 c.p. each)

1 Candles (14-24. 5 s.p. each)
2 String (1d12 x 200 ft, 4 c.p. per 20')
3 Ribbon (1d8 x 50 ft. 2 c.p. per yard)
4 Buttons (1d12 x 20, 3 c.p. per button)
5 Large Sack (2-24, 3 s.p. each)
6 Sewing Kit (1-8, 4 g.p.)

1 Water (20-50 gallons, 1 s.p. per gallon)
2 Wine (20 -50 gallons, 1 g.p. per pint)
3 Lamp Oil (3 -24 flasks, 1 g.p. per flask)
4 Charcoal (10-100 lbs, 5 c.p. per pound)
5 Dry Corn (10-100 lbs, 1 s.p. per pound)
6 Iron Rations (14-24 days, 1 g.p. per day)

1 Boots (2-12 pairs, 2 g.p.)
2 Cloak, cloth (2-12 cloaks, 5 g.p.)
3 Cap (2-8 caps, 5 s.p.)
4 Trousers (2-8 pair, 1 g.p.)
5 Tunics (2-12 shirts, 2 g.p.)
6 Stockings/Socks (2-12 pair, 8 s.p. pair)

Gear & Arms
1 Prybar (1-6, 4 g.p.)
2 10' Pole (1-4, 2 g.p.)
3 Rope (100-300 ft, 50' for 4 g.p.)
4 Iron Spikes (2-12, 4 s.p. each)
5 Lantern (2-7, 12 g.p. each)
6 Tinder Box/Fire-kit (1-12, 3 g.p.)
7 Saw (1-4, 15 g.p.)
8 Drill (1-3, 12 g.p.)
9 Arrows (1-100, 5 s.p. each)
10 Crossbow Bolts (1-100, 6 s.p. each)
11 Darts (1-20, 1 g.p. each)
12 Sling Bullets (1-100, 2 c.p. each)
13 Spear (1-10, 6 g.p.)
14 Hand Axe (1-10, 3 g.p.)
15 Short-sword (1-4, 10 g.p.)
16 Mace (1-4, 8 g.p.)
17 Crossbow,lt (1-3, 20 gp)
18 Shortbow(1-4, 30 gp)
19 Helmet (1-6, 12 gp)
20 Shield (1-4, 15 gp)

1 Sedatives (2-20 doses, 5 g.p. per dose)
2 Insect Repellant (3-24 oz, 1 g.p. oz)
3 Miners-helm (1-3, 20 g.p.)
4 Glow Grub Flask (1-3, 20 g.p.)
5 Lava Lamp (100 gp)
6 Healing Salve (1-3, 50 g.p., restores 1-3 hp)
7 Salt (14-24 oz, 5 s.p. oz)
8 Garlic (2-20 buds, 4 s.p bud)
9 Wolvesbane (3-18 oz, 4 gp oz)
10 Thevvish Weed (1-8 oz, 2 g.p. oz)
11 Magical Candle (typically only 1, varies)
12 Magical Rope (typically only 1, varies)

1 Drugged Berserker
2 Hobgoblin
3 Common Man-at-arms
4 Eunuch Warrior Slave
5 Dwarf
6 Lizardman
7-8 same race as peddler

Most guards will have spears or polearms as appropriate. 50% will have ranged weapons.

Peddlers will usually have coin on hand in value to that of 10% of their goods, typically in silver.
A Peddler might buy goods from adventurers if they get along, the peddler will pay 1/6th the usual value in coin or 1/2 in trade.
Food and drink carried for the peddlers, guards and bearers will typically be enough to feed them for 7-12 days.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cat Herding [actual play]

So in the regular game the party is on the road trying to distance themselves from recent exploits. The party currently ranges from 2nd to 7th level (1-2nd,1-3rd, 2-6th and a 7th who is the only original character for the campaign to survive from the 1st session) they are down to less then 2 grand in gold between themselves and for magic items they have a few healing potions, a scroll they forgot about, a manual of grim magic, a ring of vanishing, a talisman from a witch and a fireball wand (they've been doing a great job of avoiding treasure).

In a small roadside town they notice the barmaid talking with a curious small cloaked figure with odd feet, they note the critter and pay the serving girl for a little information, she offered little and disappeared after that.
That night an unknown assassin plops a greyooze into one of the rooms they are renting in the inn. They destroyed the ooze and followed the tracks outside briefly and went back to bed. In the morning they decided to not follow up on the attack.
On the way out of town they follow the road and come to an oddly narrow portion with a steep hill to one side and a pond the other where they are ambushed by kobolds who pelt them with darts but flee the counter assault. The PCs move down the curious road coming to a washed out bridge realizing they were led astray by an illusion they find their way back to the royal highway.
(They had no desire to pursue the kobolds into their tunnels or figure out who whipped up the illusion)

The next large town they hire some boats to move them downriver faster then they can go on foot before moving down the road again at the next good sized town. They discover a patch of wall built from old stones from a ruin that has an inscription upon it...they found a functional magic gate to Fomorgard and they used it .... so much for weeks of travel to the capital.
(Fomorgard is the not the capital it's a fortress occupied by giant high up on a mountain as far as they know)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Requisitions [NML:MF]

Here's an area I'm considering for No Man's Land : The Mutant Front campaigns that take palce with a fairly intact military structure still in place: Requisitions.


Getting the supplies one needs up on the Mutant Front can be a haphazard affair.
In an ideal setting troops have a limited range of requisition options that are promptly and efficiently fulfilled. The reality of requisition application and receivership can be a chore indeed.

Every service-being on the front gets a fixed monthly allotment of requisition points.

14 rp.....Private
16 rp.....Corporal
24 rp.....Sergeant
30 rp.....2nd Lieutenant
32 rp.....1st Lieutenant
40 rp.....Captain
50 rp......Major
100 rp....Lt. Colonel
150 rp...Colonel
200 rp...Brigadier General

(there are higher ranks but they are seldom seen on the front and well outside the grasp of any rank a PC serviceman is ever likely to achieve)

Requisition Points can be saved but can only be traded up to higher ranked officers. The most Requisiton Points one may have access to is equal to Three times rank + 20% of all assigned subordinates.

To make a requisition one must speak with a Supply Clerk or Supply Officer. 2d6 are rolled. Modifiers are applied as listed below and the requisition is resolved.
If a Supply Clerk or officer can't be directly contancted the request may be passed through the ranks or by post.

Requisition Acquisition Table
2 or less.... Requisition Immediately Available
3-4......Requisition Directly Delivered in 2 days
5-6......Requisition May be picked up at supply depot in 7 days
7......Requisition May be Picked up at Supply deot in 14 days.
8-10....Requisition Denied,points may be retained
11........Requisition Lost, 1/2 points may be retained
12+........Requisition Lost but noted as delivered, points lost.

CHA reaction Adjustment
Private or Corporal Requesting a weapon +3
Sergeant or Lt. Requesting Squad Support Weapon +3
Captain Requesting Heavy weapon +3
Anyone under Captain Rank Requesting a weapon above their rank +5
A 2nd request for a luxury item in a month +2
A 2nd request for ammunition in a month +2
Racial modifiers may be applied
cost 10-49 R.P. +1
cost 50-200 R.P. +2
cost over 200 R.P. +3
Request passed through ranks +1
Request by post +2
Slipping the Supply Clerk a little something extra* -2
Slipping the Supply Officer a little something extra* -3

* this is dangerous as it may be seen as a bribe and that's a serious offense. A roll may be made as if making a Hiring Offer in the standard rules.
A roll of 9-11 results in loss of bribe and rp
A roll of 12 results in arrest.

What does one have to Requisition Anyway?

Ammunition Spent in excess of allotted quantity.
All Ammunition for additional arms
Personal Supplies Consumed
Personal Supplies Lost
Upgrade in munitions and arms.

Cost of Requisitions
This will vary by era but for simplicity sake a R.P. is consider to be equal to 5 SP when referencing the standard rulebook.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dungeoneer Cache

an often missed find in megadungeon environments is the cache of tools and sundries left behind by other adventurers to serve in lengthy or future expeditions. So here's a suggested chart for determining the contents of cached gear and supplies.

Roll 1d100 2-7 times to determine the contents of a Dungeer Cache
1-4.........2-5 Flasks of Lamp Oil
5-6.........1-3 Flasks of Orcish Fire
7............1-4 Flasks of moleman phosphorous oil
8-10......Flask of wine
11-12...Jug of Beer
13-14...5 gallons of water
15.........New Pair of Boots
16-17...Clean Cloak
18-20...Bandages (2-5 uses)
21-22...1-4 empty potion vials
23-24...6 Iron Spikes
25-28...50' of Rope
29-30...6 candles
31-35...2-7 days worth of Iron Rations.
36-38...1 Dwarven Stoneloaf (4 meals per loaf)
39.........1-3 Loaves of Elfin Waybread (each loaf feeds 3 for a day)
41.........Quart of Vinegar
42-45....Twice Baked Bread
46-48....Small Cook-pot
49-50....Intact Fire Kit
51-52....1-3 Clean Bedroll(s)
53-54....1-4 blank pieces of parchment in a scroll tube.
55-56....vial of writing ink
57-58....Bag of Caltrops
59-60....Hammer (tool)
63.........Grooming kit
64-65....Thevvish Weed
66-67....Eelskins (1 pair)
68..........Bear Grease
71-72.....Sewing kit
73-74.....20 Sling Bullets
75-77.....12 Arrows
78-80.....10 Crossbow bolts
81-82.....6 Darts
82-83....Throwing Daggers
84..........1-3 vials of acid
85-87....1-4 vials of holywater
88-89....1-3 packets of salt
90-91....1-4 buds of garlic
92....1-3 sprigs of wolvesbane
93.......... 2 Bronze Ferry Tokens
94...........2 Electrum Ferry Tokens
95......Magic Potion (roll on appropriate chart)
96......Magical Scroll (roll on appropriate chart)
97......Magical Footwear (roll on appropriate chart)
98......Magical Rope (roll on appropriate chart)
99......Magical Candle (roll on appropriate chart)
100...Miscellaneous Magic Item (roll on appropriate chart)

Some of the items on the chart have appeared elsewhere on this blog, good hunting.

Last Game Session [play report]

In my regular game the players got into a hairy situation that had an entirely different outcome then one would initially think it would.

The town had been ravaged by a witch mounted on an old Red Dragon. This seemingly random event most certainly wasn't it turned out the Brulliva the witch had somehow gained control of the the dragon Skorne and was using him to exact revenge on the people of the town for a wrong done to her betrothed Sigurd the Sanguine.

The PC's found themselves recruited (at fairly decent reward) by the Prelates of the local churches to delay Brulliva in her tower while a party of knights and clerics dealt with the Dragon Skorne.

One their quest the PC's discovered things were not completely right in the little village of Leesom not to far from the Witches abode. The people of Leesom were curious, sunken eyed and not quite dressed or groomed as normal it was if they were somehow bedazzled by magics (Brulliva ws rightfully suspected). The meetign hall at the center of Leesom was boarded up and a few of the villagers when pressed gave account of a horrible slaughter that happened within some years past (one party member noted most of the boarding up seemed to be from within the meeting hall but didn't press the matter).

The part didn't stay long in Leesom not wanting to run afoul of whatever curse it's simple people labored under and pressed on to the Witches abode. a couple miles around the dragons cave and the witch tower was laid waste to dragon-wrack. They scouted carefully doing as best they could to avoid the gaze of Brulliva and the dragon Skorne.

Before the party could gird themselves on they spotted one of the knights who would be assaulting the dragon; to their dismay he was horribly wounded. They questioned the kight who spoke about the "meetign hall" and "ghouls" before the PC's noted bites and scars on his person.
The knight was dispatched by the PC's who were fearing he bore ghoulish contagion. They abandoned the now foiled plan.

On the ride away from the Bruvilla's abode they discovered a village girl who had fled Leesom. Teh village girls was questioned and the y learned the knights were curious as to what was within the meeting hall and they were set upon by the "elder ones" within and met the same fate as Sigurd did years ago. They party moved on fearful of what they would find. The girl ran up the trail headed towards the witches abode.

On return tho the village the party discovered (at distance) the knights horses penned up in a village yard and a group of men digging graves on the edge of town. The locals were not hostile and when questioned they seemed even more stupefied then they did earlier. The party hastily moved on agaisnt the menace that remained hidden in the meeting hall (it's doors now open). the structure was quickly doused in oil while a crowd of the villagers gathered to watch. The party set the building ablaze with a pair of fireballs and fled while the villagers watched and strangely howled and moaned. Two party members tarried a bit to watch the blaze reach its end and witnessed a trio of figures alflame burst out of the blazing building and were set upon and ripped to shred by the villagers.

Waitign to witness the end of those who dwelled within the meeting hall may have been unwise however as the with Bruvilla and her steed Skorne descended from the sky. The dwarf warrior Thorgrim couldn't escape on his hapless mule which was slain and devoured by Skorne. His dwarven doughtiness and magic resistance let Thorgrim shake off a spell cast upon him by the witch but she would not relent. The offer was clear "Shoudl I have you slain here or shall I press you to worthy service?"

Thorgrim not wishing to die by witch magic and dragon flame vowed to serve the with Bruvilla in what task she set before him. She had but a simple request that she would reward if loyally conducted: bring her the heads of the prelates who sent Thorgrim and her companions against her and did her betrothed wrongly years past. Thorgrin agreed and got all but one member of the party to agree to the task at hand. So the party returned with a bloody murder plot in mind.

Gaining audience to a number of the clerics was easy enough given the circumstances of the tasks taken on. In a quick and bloody slaughter the party members were able to wrest the heads of the four prelates present from their shoulders and slew a handful of hapless guards and acolytes in the process before escaping with their foul cargo.

The heads were turned over to Bruvilla who was very happy to know the end of four who had doomed her love by their actions so she rewarded Thorgrim with an amulet that would allow her to be contacted and she would agree to magically transport him and those companions that touched him three times to anywhere in the world her magic could carry them.

So the PC's continue to the capital with an ever growing path of death and destruction in their wake.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A few Encounters on the Front [NML:MF}

A Brief encounter table for the unending war.

A Mutant Front Encounter Table

1. Land Mine !
One of the members of the party (chosen at random) has stepped trodden upon a land mine. The Character must make a save vs death or leap into the air scattering their body parts across the immediate area.

2. Abandoned Pigeon Transport Truck. A pigeon transport truck just siting there not doing much (it's former attendants may be dead nearby) everything looks pretty calm and boring except for the carrier pigeons which have been mutated by contaminants so they are now capable of emitting laser beams from their eyes.

3. A Single Can of Bully Beef. Sitting out in the open with an honest to goodness fork is a can of Bully Beef. 50% chance of something wandering by to fetch it's can of bully beef in the next 20 minutes.

4. Shattered Lighting Cannon Tower. Mucking about in the debris has a 10% chance of finding a value one treasure and a 40% chance of accidentally discharging a Tesla-coil-battery 10d6 damage to all in tower rubble.

5. A Lost Patrol. Scattered about the ground are 7-12 soldiers clearly killed by a gas attack sometime in the past 2 or 3 days. Scavenging the remains will expose scavengers to intensity 8 contamination per round of looting. Equipment looted will continue to be dangerous Exposing bearers to intensity 8 contamination each 12 hours for another 2-7 days.

6. Hold up chaps, we've wandered into a minefield. The party has gotten itself 20 - 120 feet into a minefield (2-5 times larger) without anyone being harmed, surely their luck will not hold out.

7-10. Standard encounter for terrain type. roll on appropriate chart.