Monday, August 7, 2017

Trickster in the Stone: Micro-Adventure


Just so you know, I had this post finished yesterday and it went away. Like vanished. Gone. I swore a little. But only a little. And now I'm here to try again.First off I want to give a shout out to a couple of new patrons that joined since we last met. James Halmayr and Filthy Monkey have joined the ranks of the brilliant people who have joined the fun. I like new patrons and I cannot lie.
Back to the adventure. Trickster in the Stone was inspired by a fellow patron, Si. A while back I asked for places you would like to see drawn and I believe he mentioned wanting a mountain pass. I kinda did that, except underground. One of those underground mountain passes. 
The mythology of the Komor continues to grow as a new 'thing' is introduced in this adventure. Norag is a trickster stone spirit. A force of nature with intelligence and intent. As of the writing of this adventure, Norag enjoys torturing Zikla with stone spiders that tear small wounds into the earth elemental. To add insult to injury, when Norag takes on a form, it appears as Zilka did before the gods cursed him. It won't confront a party of adventurers directly, retreating into the stone.
Zilka is a tragic character, a dwarven cleric who called upon the gods to help him defend his village from the forces of evil. They answered. Zilka suffered for three days as his body transformed into an earth elemental. While he retains some of his intelligence, it has dulled over the years of isolation. Norag has taken years torturing him. Often bring Zilka to the edge of death only to drag his spirit back.
The situation is set GMs. Go forth and GM the crap out of this.
GM Advice is forth coming...Norag is a thing I would introduce to the party. Use his abilities of manipulation to the best of their abilities. Once he betrays the party, put him in your proverbial GM toolbox for later use. Reintroduce him as another NPC, taking on the guise of another person. Lure the party into a sense of security. Norag is in it for the long con. It finds it more satisfying. A nasty creature to mess with the party when they least expect it. Maybe have a stone spider show up on their cot while they sleep. That should do it.
Zilka, tragic, angry ready to die. He sees everyone as an enemy. Discarded by his people, forsaken by his gods left, betrayed by everything and everyone he believed in. Despite this, Zilka still has a shred of hope inside. If the party can convince Zilka they are friendly and treat him with kindness, they will find they have an ally in Zilka. While he won't travel into civilized territory, he maybe convinced to help with an expedition. GMs should make sure its a good one. An adventure where the party needs a heavy hitter. 
Trickster in the Stone can be found on my Patreon page. Download the PDF and maps for free fucking gratis. Sorry, slipped into my Deadwood character. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

GIVEAWAY! Time to Mail Some Freebies ALL GONE!


This month's Micro-Adventures are ready to ship to patrons.

First off is, Something Terrible Happened to Amos. The party searches for a traveling merchant named Amos. The Hamlet of Hounds Head is awfully fond of Amos and his gifts. They want the party to find Amos, help him if it's not too late, but they know all too well how brutal and unforgiving the Komor Forest is.


Second, is a location, a ruin fortification of the Northmen called, War Frogs. These creatures were bred be the ancient warriors to help defend their home in the marshlands. A new breed of creature that could, with time, become a benefit for the party.


Lastly, is an NPC card of Brax. Brax is a worker at the Angry Priest Inn who makes himself available to adventuring parties as an extra hand. He's not all that likable and you'll need to keep an eye on him or the party treasury will come up short. But hey, he's got one hell of a mustache.


Anyone can grab a free PDF copy of these by clicking the links and visiting my Patreon page.

I always make a few extras for folks who might be interested in getting copies. So if you are interested in getting some freebies, comment below and send you address to elder_sensa@yahoo.com. No obligation. I ship anywhere. If you like what you get, consider joining the fun.

This offer remains open until I run out!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Publishing Supplies Deal


Calling all those home publishers and zine creators! Great cardstock deal in coming. 

I ran out of white cardstock over the weekend. The Staples and Walmart here average about $15 for one ream of white cardstock.  I found this offer for three reams of white cardstock for under $18. If in need of a cover for your adventure or zine you'll be stocked up. 

And for transparency purposes, this is an affiliate link. I'm trying to establish something for Whisk when she gets her YouTube going and I thought it would be a good place to put deals I find on-line when shopping for publishing supplies. I am always on the hunt for a good bargain. 

If a bargain on cardstock gets you excited, please click the link and let me know what you plan on making with it!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

NPC Card#4 Brax


I asked my patrons what they wanted to see next, and a resounding response of three or four folks said NPC cards! Who am I to argue? So Brax was born.

Brax is an NPC I had hovering in the background of the Angry Priest Inn. I don't think anyone had an encounter with him. He's a not so reliable henchmen for hire. He's not a bad fighter, sturdy and willing, for the most part. His loyalty is to acquiring things, not people. If paid well he'll stick around, but even still, if offered the chance to scoop his hand into the party's treasure chest he would not hesitate. Brax is a master at justifying his shitty behavior. 

The entire picture of Brax didn't come together until I found this piece from Luigi Castellani. That's when the cool details that his armor is made of old tankard bottoms, his anti-spider ties and his gorgeous mustache. Meet Brax of the Blue Pants.

As far as GM advice with Brax...because he's been banished by the dwarves, any dwarf in the party would see his sheared beard and know he is a criminal. Brax himself is likely to stay away from parties with dwarves. He believes they are untrustworthy race who betrays their own. Nevermind all the stuff he did.

If Brax is hired on, he doesn't complain and in general, do what he's told. But if left alone with valuables around, he'll take what he thinks he can get away with.

As far as spiders go, he's out. Even little ones terrify him. Screams like a little girl and runs. Even if someone talks about spiders he gets paranoid and he'll swat at his legs thinking spiders are crawling on him.

I hope you guys can find a place for Brax somewhere in your game. I think he's a fun NPC to have around.

Click any Brax on this post and you will be non-magically teleported to my Patreon if you would like a copy of the PDF.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Drowning in the Sound of Gore Crows

Quick recap.

+Rob Conley was the loremaster
+Chris C.  was Ferin, dwarf warrior
Me was Enoch, human scholar who can;t fight out of a wet paper bag...that's torn.

After a six week hiatus and some memory jogging. We found ourselves docked by a ruin. Gore crows roosted outside in trees and gallow weed protected the various entrances. We tracked the two missing dwarves to here.

Sneak. Sneak. Sneak.

I hear a bell.

Fail save.

Cannonball into a yucky water pool.

Ferin dives in after me.

I drownededed.

I get better.

Creepy ruin.

Smells like ass.

Look at ground and find tracks.

Follow. Follow.

Pretty archway.

Fenric gets dwarven chubby. Possibility of wine.

Door stuck.

Fenrin cannonballs the door.

BOOM!

Find dwarves.

We run out.

Marsh man scratching balls attacks.

Run!

Fenric hits.

I smack marsh man.

Dead marsh man.

RUN!

Noises from other halls.

Two dwarves very...I mean VERY slow.

RUN!

Three marsh men not scratching balls attack.

RUN.

At pool.

One dwarf safe.

Dwarf I tried to save not safe.

Fenrin emerges from pool, hammer explodes march man head.

SWIM.

We escape.

Return to Laketown.

PARTY!

100sp!

Gloin happy!

Level 2!

End of session.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Brother Adelmo Pushes Farther in the Wasteland of Gath and Find a Dandylion


Kerg offered a gift of a ring, a ring with shields beautifully rendered in the metal. He asked me to take. I did so. He felt it was a burden because he'd acquired it using his skill in his past life. I soothed his worry and told him the Great Imbiber does not judge those who use their skills to carry on their story. He rejoices in it. With this burden lifted from Kerg's shoulders we followed the weird little Chaka boy to a tin hut.

Blazoned in the sky was a sign. A woman of indeterminate attractiveness prompted everything was going to be okay, 15 miles ahead. That was good to know. We continued on while Kerg was still deciding in his head if she was attractive.

As we approached the tin hut a wastelander, two people in one. A large lolling headed, giant man with a smaller man protruding out of his stomach. Gruesome, slobbering, barely intelligible, what horrible stories they could tell. I wished to hear one. The big one wielded a machete so I kept a respectful distance. And who knows how many more were inside.

He, they, were angry that I'd scared the Chaka boy. I asked for forgiveness. That was not my intent. It was then I saw a charming little girl, her face bore a cleft lip and she carried a doll that matched the likeness of the undetermined attractiveness of the female on the sign. She whispered to her doll and to my delight a purple hue washed over the girl.

I offered wine to share a story. They seemed confused by the offer, but like most wild creatures and offering of primal sustenance would be accepted cautiously. They accepted and told me of their god Dagon, that he was the true and only god. Then sent the girl to fetch the wine.

When she approached she looked frightened. I asked her if she was wanted to come with me. She nodded. I offered the two-man two bottles of wine, I figured one for each of its mouths, for the little girl. They accepted.

Dandlion and her doll she loves so much, walked away from the tin shack. It seemed appropriate we go to this place where everything was okay. I am out of wine, but have picked up two companions on the way. We are going to go where it is okay. Maybe there I can find more wine, more stories, add to our stories. Allow my companions to sleep. Both look very tired.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

WAR FROGS are Calling


War Frogs! Okay. I really like these guys. They are nasty. Imagine living in a swampland. Horses and dogs are not effective in the soft and watery environment. Imagine a species of frog that is intelligent, can blend into the environment making it nearly invisible, navigate difficult terrain as easily as using a road and the ability to attack unwary victims with an acid attack. Yeah, the war frogs are calling. 
I introduce a faction of Northmen that lived in the swampy areas in the Komor Forest called the Myr Folk. They bred these frogs to act as guards, much like city folk use dogs. But better. 
The party comes across an old Northman fort, damaged, but still intact. The acid from the war frogs has caused most of the damage. But this isn't just a fort, it was once a temple to Arom, slayer of the great poison god. Within the fort is what remains of his spear.
GM ADVICE
Approaching the fort should set the tone. Low level fog creeping around the players ankles, the dark walls of the fort looming over head, the air full of the buzzing of large insects and a cacophony of frog song. Each step in the swamp should stir a creature to move or hiss out a warning. I'd add in a few large snakes that slip in and out of view using the swamps vegetation as concealment. A large ripple disturbs the black water's surface distorting the reflection of the moon.
Use the war frogs full tactical ability. Use their camouflage to get surprise attacks, use their ability to climb sheer walls to keep out of melee range, have them spit their acid, and don't be afraid of the frogs focusing on one character at a time. These frogs were bred to fight and kill. They have had the instinct of fear removed. They attack until killed. 
Capturing young war frogs, I'd allow that 1d3 would survive, and training them as a faithful pet adds a cool addition to a party. Hell, as GM, I'd even allow a halfling to use one as a steed. I think players would enjoy the oddity of it. A war frog is very useful, but not over powering. It has a decent amount of hit points, but one solid hit can take them out.
The artifact has no magical abilities, but it is a significant object in Northmen culture. However, the deadly poison is still potent and kills on contact. The players might figure out how to use this to their advantage. Of course they will. However, even using a gloved hand or some sort of barrier makes it still extremely dangerous to work with. I'd give a +2 to saves if someone with a protective bearer grabs the spear. A failure still result in death. But if they figure out a way to weaponize it you can minimize the power by saying that now the wood is exposed to the air once again it begins to decay quickly. 
This adventure in a way is about balancing something cool. Frogs or poisoned artifacts. Both have very useful qualities, but still need to no overpower the game. So using this adventure a GM might want to come up with their own solutions before the players get their hands on them, but also not punish them for being inventive.
I've included the War Frogs PDF a map for the GM and one for the players. I hope you can find a place for this in your campaign or maybe a fun encounter in a night of random gaming. 
Thanks and enjoy!

Friday, July 7, 2017

A Terrible Thing Happened to Amos


Man, the Komor Forest has claimed another life. This place is dangerous. Poor Amos.

I'm heading right into the GM Advice section because this kind of adventure is something I put on the top shelf of my GMing techniques. Develop a peripheral NPC, one the party interacts with minimally or maybe strikes up a friendship. Have the NPC come and go a couple of times. Build a pattern. Then drop this adventure on them. 

While you can use this adventure as a straight shot, it is more effective and meaningful to play the 'long con' on the players. Get them at least minimally motivated. You'll know when you have them if after you tell the party that Amos hasn't shown for his usual drop off times, maybe Amos was bringing one of the players a gift, and they go hunting for him without asking how much or what's in it for them. A friend is in trouble. So they act.

Developing NPC relationship is something of a skill, especially in longer campaigns. And when I wrote this adventure I was thinking of it as an adventure in an on-going campaign, not so much a one-shot. There is something satisfying about getting a party of adventurers to act unselfishly. To come to the aid of a friend or a village or family without wondering how it will increase their power. An act that develops their character, to maintain that relationship that is important to them. If you can do that, you are a hell of a GM.

I took a different point of view with the map and used muted colors. I wanted to portray a 'spookier' atmosphere. I imagine the the area around the cavern, quiet. Maybe a mysterious noise of some unseen creature in the distance. The worn markers look like gravestones, but are nothing more than ancient road markers. A dark cavern with glistening wet walls. The water drops falling from the overhanging stalactites, occasionally one of the freezing drops catches a character on the neck. 

Then the fall, as piercers silently drop. One after the other. A rain of deadly stone. Quiet except for the whimpering and cries of those who remain alive. The water continues to drip and the cavern's silence, indifferent.

I do hope you enjoy the adventure and find a place for it in your game. Please let me know what you think if you have the time. Good or bad. I've got thick skin so if you have a complaint or suggestion please let me know. Feedback is welcome here. Always will be.

Thank you to my great patrons. I say this a lot, but you guys and gals make this fun. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Who Wants Some Fun Mail?


Who wants some fun mail? I finished printing my micro-adventures and guess what? I've got a few extras. If you are interested in checking out what I make for my patrons, comment below and email me your address at elder_sensa(at)yahoo(dot)com. 

There is no obligation. Maybe you just want something cool in the mail. Something free. The adventures, locations and NPCs I offer on my patreon are free on PDF. Oh, and I'll ship them internationally also. 

It has been a good month for my Patreon. It is sitting on the edge of the $200 mark. Once I hit $200 I will get original art for my adventures. I really, really, really would like to  hit that goal. I LOVE getting original art for my adventures. 

I want to shout out my new patrons who joined me in June.

Craig Dunham has returned.
Daniel Norton increased his pledge.
Jim Lewis made his presence known!
Allan Bray, or as we call him here Barry Allen, raised his pledge.
Craig Janssen joined the fun.
And Gordon Cranford.

Without patrons like these and those that have come before, I couldn't offer these monthly giveaways. Thanks to the new patrons and the crusty old ones. 

There is some interesting projects coming in the next few months. I spoke to one of my fellow gamers and we are going to work on a fantasy/horror investigation adventure. And a few adventures I've been working on have finally come to fruition. I love writing these things. 

Thanks guys. I appreciate the support. Comment below and grab some swag!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Space Herpes or For the Love of Tiffany

A couple of days after bringing 'The Tusk' to Millwall Station and going immediately into 7500 credit debt as the ship is repaired, Max and I took another job. Oh yeah, and this scientist joined us, a Dr. Cole. He reminded me of my parents. He had the walk and speech pattern of someone from academia, but lacked their sense of superior judgement based on second hand knowledge and no real world experience to back it up. So I liked him. 

Dr. Scrot asked us to investigate a space station orbiting the planet Invictus. It sent out a distress signal, but the station's computers had no luck gathering information because of interference. What little they did discover was the name of the space station, the Precuneus. A scientific, experimentation station studying the effect of zero gravity on bio masses.  A Dr. Boshavic is in charge. 

Now that wouldn't be strange, except the Precuneus is supposed to be 75 light years away. 

Millwall Station loaned us a scout ship, Rosa, and off we went to investigate the displaced space station. On the way to our destination, Dr. Cole took the time to explain what his process was for selecting a teacher's assistant. The man had a plethora of attractive, female students to chose from. I admire his dedication. 

Upon reaching orbit along side the Precuneus, it was obvious it was in trouble. A strange shaped asteroid attached itself to the hull. None of us had any clue what it was. Dr. Cole surmised that is was an alien spaceship and because the aliens had the intelligence for space travel, that they were friendly, and should be regarded as such. So upon on meeting them we were to assume as much. See comment about about judgement based on second hand knowledge and no real world experience.



We entered the station and Dr. Cole managed to get one of the computers to give a run down of this operation. He found more details about the experiments. It included a variety of creatures, one that bothered him the most was the gorilla. He regaled us with stories of how when gorillas and monkeys attack they go for the face, fingers and to his ultimate horror, the genitals. I can't say I was too pleased to hear that little factoid. 


I messed around with the computer and managed to bring up the personal files. Seventy-five on staff. Dr. Cole took a liking to one of the scientists, Tiffany Fields, a comely scientist who likes working out, pina coladas and walks in the rain. 


From the lower decks we heard knocking.

Down we went. As we exited the lift we saw feet sticking out from beneath a desk. Max and I took the lead, Dr. Cole stayed behind in his day glow space suit. We found a Johnathan, his neck, leg and arm was broken. Dead. And nearby was this fleshy mass with several soft, leathery eggs on top (space herpes!) that had hatched. I always get nervous when I see a broken egg. Nothing good ever comes out of those things.  

Within the wall that bisected the room, was a door with a hand scanner. I picked up Johnathan and drug him over to the door to use his hand. Just as the door swished open, I heard cries from Max and Dr. Cole not to open the door. Whoops.

A thick scent of  azane or ammonia rolled out. It was accompanied by what I can only describe as a thick fog. A form appeared in the fog, another scientist, this one was walking, but his eyes were glazed with a pus white color. On his head were a stacked, pulsating group of eggs the size of grapes. He reached out for me and I shot him with my trusty laser pistol. Dropped him with one shot. It was then I considered maybe if we removed the eggs the scientist would return.

Max rushed over and said there were more in the room. I pushed the button to close the door and the dead man's feet were stuck in the open door. Open. Close. Open. Close. Then defaulted to open as another man stepped out of the rolling fog. Meet Bob. 


Max shot some of the eggs on his head. I tried to imitate this, but my aim was a bit off. Bob lunged at Max, eyes pus colored as the other, and fell forward on his face. I took the opportunity to clear more of the eggs off his head. My aim was off again. 


I killed Bob.

Small alien like creatures popped into the air, made a screeching sound and then hit the floor. I'm assuming they were dead. 

I was in mid-sentence apologizing to headless Bob when Tiffany Fields walked through the door. Somewhere Dr. Cole had gotten a fire ax, but his arms were visibly shaking from the effort of holding it. Tiffany went after Dr. Cole, eggs again, stacked on her head. 

Dr. Cole managed to get her back toward Max and I. I lassoed her with my rope. Yes, I carry a rope in space. This is my rope. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Max shaved a batch of eggs of her head with an expert shot. I wound the rope around her tighter and we managed to get all the eggs off and her eyes returned to normal. There was hope. I looked over at headless Bob and felt a little guilty.

Max turned on the ventilation system and the ammonia fog cleared and we entered the back half of the laboratory. We found where the asteroid connected with the station. It looked like a natural cavern. No sound. No light. We decided to enter.

End session. 

Credits

GM..................... +matt jackson 
Max............................ +Greg C 
Dr. Cole....... +Christian Walker 
Nikola.................................. Me
Bob......................................Bob
Tiffany................ Zienia Merton


Friday, June 30, 2017

NPC#3 Blake

Blake is one of the major NPC in my Hamlet of Hounds Head. He runs a small business called the Scroll Stack. He is the go to guy for information, to sell weird stuff the party finds and keep him happy, he's currently the only steady source of healing potions. 
Here's a section of the write up I did for Blake
The sign hanging outside the door is a simple etching of a stack of scrolls. The unusual feature of this structure is that it has a pole building built over-top the structure to act as a second roof. After a shipment of parchment was destroyed by a leaky roof, Blake had the second roof constructed. 
Blake is at his house 75% of the time. The other 25% he is exploring the forest. He is always accompanied by his large dog known as Red. While in the hamlet, Red can be found napping nearly anywhere. He awakens long enough to eat. He moves slows and wags his tail a lot. Red has the innate ability to detect ill-intent. He’ll make his dislike known by growling at the person. 
When I play an NPC in my game, especially one I think that will be reoccurring, is I think of a role in a movie or an actor in general. When I think of Blake I think of John Hurt, speaking slow and sometimes mumbling his words. 
The Robe of Matthius is a cool little artifact. While it is powerful, it is very limited. And with all powerful items like this, it sometimes has a mind of its own and does what it wants. A GM could have a lot of fun with either effect of the robe. 

Blake is a free PDF download. If you like what you see please consider joining the fun.

And before I sign off, the artwork is from Matt Morrow.
Thanks guys. I hope you find Blake useful or at least entertaining. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Shot, Bitten, and Scorched


Hi. That's me. I'm Nikola Vegas. Okay that's not me, but that's how I picture me. I graduated from RNI University and I was on track to become a professor. My parents taught at RNI, my genius younger brother, Isaac, is already a professor. My sister, Marie, is a project manager for a bio-tech branch of the university. So I was the last of the family to join the employ of RNI. 

When I completed the professor training and explained to my parents that I wanted to explore other worlds, not read about the history, but find the history, they just stared at me. They took me to the campus Pizza Hut to 'celebrate' my graduation. The buffet no less, I believe my mother's exact words were, "A suiting celebration for the career path you've chosen". We ate in silence, my father paid the bill and they left without so much as a good luck.

Earlier in the week I'd spent nearly every credit getting the supplies I could afford. I got this sweet laser pistol. Now with only a few credits to my name I waled to the job recruiter's office, backpack in hand. I needed a job.

Without going into too much detail there was a cargo ship, the Tuskavarda CX-7. Tusk for short. A cargo ship headed to the out most planet, specifically to Millwall Station. A mining operation, but access to some of the outer planets that haven't been explored, but surface scans have shown anomalies. The word anomalies is candy for my ears. While I might be digging, or hauling, it would give me a chance to earn some credits to do what I want to do.


While on the Tusk I met an interesting guy, Max. Apparently his father is the majority share holder in the mining operation. I was hoping this was a break for me. Maybe I could get a better job knowing Max. 

A few days into the trip things got exciting. Too exciting. There were a series of deafening bangs on the ship's hull. The alert went off. The other passengers were in a panic.Max and I not ones to sit around started toward the lounge, the lounge had the best windows on the ship to see what was going on outside. Outside our door a crew member handed us emergency packs and told us to return to our rooms. Ahh, no.

From the lounge I saw the strangest ship I'd ever seen. It looked like five different ships fused together. I'd heard of hartunfaans, but never thought I'd see one of their ships this soon. Killers and breeders, an evil lot. Max and I ran up to the bridge to see if there was anything we could do. A boarding pod latched onto the hull outside the cargo bay. A chance to use my new laser pistol. Excited and terrified Max and I ran down to the cargo area. Large blivets of various of gases were secured by cables. Four levels. It was crazy.

Boom! The boarding pod struck the side of the ship, blew a hole threw the hull and six hartunfaans ran out. They wore magnetic boots and were standing on the walls. From below, four crew members of the Tusk opened fire. Max was quick to run to join them, his laser pistol firing wildly in the air. He showed no fear. I went up to the next level hoping to catch the bastards in a crossfire. What the hell did I know? I was always the third man on the university fencing team and there were only four of us.

I reached the next level, laser fire was going everywhere and we were surrounded by 300 lb. compressed gas bombs. I did a quick estimation in my mind and thought it was comparable to my parents putting me into advanced quantum physics class when I was nine. But I didn't have a sweet laser pistol then.

I fired off my first shot. I missed. Actually, if the hull hadn't been there I probably would have missed space!  One of the crew members went down as did one of the hartunfaans. The one I shot at took aim at me and missed, but he melted a large section of the catwalk I was standing on. Then hit me with second shot. Luckily the railing got the most of it. Then the gas blivet caught fire.

Before I know what I was doing I jumped off the catwalk onto the hartunfaans that shot at me. I ended up putting him in a headlock and shooting at another raider. I...ah...missed again. 

Max and the crew were laying down heavy fire, but two of the crew were down and another one was trapped under a gas blivet. 

As I was hanging on for dear life, the hartunfaan, the fucker bit me. Next thing I know I am woozy, I can understand what its saying and my will was fading, I was ready to do whatever it wanted. Max blasted it, but it still tried to shoot me. I was able to get enough of my wits gathered and blasted it dead. Then I nearly fell the remaining two tiers. Which would have been okay, since the hartunfaan blew himself up. 

Max was able to rescue me from taking the fall. After all, I'd already been shot, bitten and burned. No need to add a fall to it. Then the boarding ship exploded opening a large hole into space. We managed to direct one of the gas blivets to 'plug' the hole. 

We escaped to the bridge and things went nuts. In short, the hartunfaan blew the bridge off the ship. Max and I sealed ourselves in the navigation room. Distress calls had been made and scout ships from the Millwall Station arrived just in time to chase the remaining hartunfaan away. 

Once we arrived at Millwall Station Col. Bertolucci offered Max and I the Tusk, since everyone else had died except a janitor and an elderly couple. But, the Tusk needs thousands of credits of repairs. I think I have three to my name. However, if we did some missions for a strange alien named Dr. Scrot. 

So it begins.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mutant Sludge, Severed Appendages and How They Saved My Friday

+Christian Walker ran me through my second session exploring the Wasteland of Gath. It saved my Friday.

My companion, Kerg, a dwarf of great fortitude and bravery, was struck with urge to defecate. Frantic, he ran to deposit his turtledoves into a large crate in the middle of the road. No sooner had he dropped his trousers and assumed the position, he shouted something unintelligible then ran back to me. "Jesus Christ", the poor dwarf clung to his heathen expressions, but his excitement was warranted. From the crater crawled three abominations. Creatures of such grotesqueness that even the Great Imbiber would not allow them to sit at the far table in the Immaculate Tavern. 

Since we were outnumbered thought of approaching them with a more unconventional method. I gave Kerg one end of a rope as I held onto the other. We charged the the creatures with the rope taut between us. One of the foul things fell back into the pit, Kerg struggled, lost the grip of the rope and it fell harmlessly to the ground, not impairing the other two.

We took positions farther down the road, readying our weapons. The two creatures were upon us quickly. Being the old, scarred man that I am, I rarely move quickly. One of the horrible things struck Kerg in the side, the blood spattered on the road.

I managed to hit one from behind. The force of the blow caused the left side of its head to crumple. It did not make a sound when it hit the ground. The third creature crawled out of the pit.

The battle ensued. Kerg was set upon, but he held his ground and fought back, his wild swings, while not finding flesh were enough to keep the creatures at bay, allowing me to strike a second one down. 

But it was during this time when another wasteland inhabitant scrambled out from the bushes, dropping a bucket, and fleeing on a path to the north. I noted this as something that might need revisited.

The third creature died, again it fell silently. The wasteland wind is always so fierce, but even it quieted for a moment. A gift from the Great Imbiber, a divine nod of his approval that we had done a good thing.

We investigated the pit, a hole filled with a black sludge and within the sludge there were three large eggs. Hatched. I was glad to see no fourth or fifth egg. Then I remember the fallen bucket. The fleeing creature kept severed hands and feet within. My guess was to feed the abominations. With some back alley ingenuity I fashion a dredge with the bucket and my rope. Who knows what offerings might be at the bottom of the sludge.

We found various bones. Apparently these creatures have been here for some time. Another thing to note. While I may or may not have been hung over on the day Father Orius went over the dangers of witches, I do remember there is a connection. 

It was then when Kerg saw a skull. A marvelous skull encrusted with aquamarine. How such a beautiful thing could appear so close to the lost souls of the wastelands creatures. It was inspiring. But this was not my day. This gift from the Great Imbiber was meant for Kerg. And true to Kerg's nature, he was humble in the acceptance and praised the Great Imbiber. 


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Finding a Concept for an Adventure


Last night I was writing. As I often do, I draw a batch of maps, put them in a folder and then when I want to write I chose a map that is inspiring me at that moment. Last night this simple grid map screamed it wanted my attention.

Those of you who don't know, I have a Patreon where I create micro-adventures or locations. Little pieces GMs can throw into their campaigns to fill in the spaces in between. Currently, I'm in the process of making a lot of ruins for the sandbox I'm developing. My idea is to map and detail 100 different ruins and put them in a random table so a GM can seed Komor Forest or their own campaign with various ruins.

Many times when I start writing I'm not sure what this map is about. Empty rooms and corridors waiting for words. While most times I'll write stream of consciousness and rift on whatever is going on in my head, this time I grabbed some books to help get the juices flowing. On my table were +Richard LeBlanc's glorious D30 Companion, Raging Swan Press's, GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing and lastly the ancient artifact of the Monster & Treasure Assortment: Sets One-Three: Levels One-Nine. All of these are worth grabbing.

I roll a few times on various tables, write down the results. It's then I start getting an idea what's going on in that map of mine. I wanted to keep this map/adventure simple. With the adventures I write for my Patreon, many don't have a backstory explaining its existence up front. I prefer to let the place tell, or hint, at the reason why it was built and what has happened. 

Again, most of this is me rifting off of a few detail I get from random tables. The random tables are a great tool because they take you to a place you probably wouldn't have gone. Given you an angle to play up for the adventure, that might not have existed. 

Still, I wanted to keep this a straight forward adventure. But while I am writing about a simple crypt some interesting details popped up that gives details about the people who are buried in the tombs. Slight hints of why they are there and new mundane and magic items. 

Death Coins: A simple tweaking of historical stuff. Coins made specifically for the dead to be spent on the after world. Minted with a crow and stored in their tombs. Northmen had to exchange the treasures they found in life for the currency used in the afterlife. And where do you get such coins, the shamans, temples or oracles of course. And it was not a one-for-one exchange. No. It was important that a death was accompanied by cache of death coins. If not, a beggar forever. While not completely explained in detail in the adventure, their importance is hinted at.

Spells as Treasure: I'm using Swords & Wizardry Light. The list of spells available to the players is minimal. It works. This gives me the opportunity to give the players a spell they would not normally have access to. I like that. Now the party's mage or cleric is wielding a spell few have access to. 

Useful Dungeon Stuff: One of my favorite things to add to adventures is dungeon stuff that proves useful. In this case, the adventures find crypt dust. Basically a body is so old that even the bones have turned to dust. I add a note in the adventure that so many doses can be harvested from the crypt and can be used to enhance a Speak with Dead spell. Instead of the usual three questions, the caster can ask four. It's not an overpowering effect, but something the players may find useful and if nothing else, can sell it for a pouch full of coins to a local mage. 

New Magic Items: When I create magic items my attempt is to make them unique. To give them a reason to exist. Magic items are rare and precious. Often they have side effects that are not helpful to the player. Like the ring I am working on, its not finished yet, the players find, while it helps with protecting the player, it costs blood to fuel its magic. I haven't worked out the details, and it is a low powered magic item so the cost will be minimal. However, in a game of S&WL, a single hit point makes all the difference in the world. 

Hope to have this adventure out by the weekend. I've got three other adventures in various stages of abandonment. I offer all these adventures for free, so you can grab them on my Patreon and check out my other offerings.