Saturday, August 12, 2017

Tomb of the Warrior King (a one-hour map and adventure...)

So I had to send some documents to my stepdaughter back east, and y'know, that envelope felt sadly thin.  So, knowing that she and her boyfriend enjoy various tabletop games (and she's gamed with me in the distant past), I stuffed the envelope with a copy of SWL, a few blank character sheets and a quick and dirty hand-written map and adventure...

Here it is, very slightly cleaned up and edited.  Still quick and dirty, with a somewhat uninspired title, but hopefully a passable low-level or introductory adventure, with a small puzzle, a bit of treasure and a couple of magical treats and threats...

Download here
Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

So Your Cleric Pissed Off Their God…

Haven’t posted for a while, so here’s a list…

So your cleric, inadvertently or otherwise, betrayed their deity or violated their vows.  Maybe they offed some orc kids, huffed fungus-man spores, or hooked up with a half-elf of questionable mores…

Regardless, there they are, without spells or turning powers, and entreaties to their god are met with silence…

Better see what it’s gonna take to remedy this…
1. Shit-ton of cash (one level equivalent)
2. Scarification/branding/ordeal (visible scars, perhaps dismemberment)
3. Oh, you wanted to confess and gain forgiveness??  That’s not this temple – you have to go to the central/original/obscure temple (far away….)
4. Oh, sure, just go find this particular relic.  I think a dragon is using it as a pillow…
5. Fasting and penitence…
6. Naked and begging down on the corner
7. Commit a selfless act.  It had better be Medal of Honor-worthy.
8. Read a really big, obscure book of the religion.  Better yet, memorize it.
9. Go plant a tree.  In a sacred grove, it’s a rare specimen.  Watch it grow for a while.
10. Take on a “lost cause”
11. Preach and teach to others of the errors of your ways as an object lesson.
12. Sorry buddy.  Not happening.  You’re now a middling fighter with a mace and a holy symbol…

Ok, so you got your god to let you off the hook, but nothing comes without a cost:
1. You are reinstated, but at 1d3 levels below your original.
2. That port-wine stain marks you as having betrayed your vows.
3. Stigmata.  Preferably at awkward moments.
4. You are blinded to the spiritual world.  One eye goes cloudy, and you can no longer cast detection spells.
5. 1d3 point charisma loss and associated effects on followers and reactions.
6. Armor burns you!  Rely only on the protection of your god – unarmored…
7. Turn undead at 1d3 levels below your current level*
8. Variable effect spells cast at -1 (time, healing, number affected)*
9. Opponents save at +1 vs spells*
10. Loss of class-based saving throw bonuses*

* - lasts for a period of a year and one day.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Infesting Malleth's Canyon (another Dyson Map Desecration(tm))


Populating another Dyson Logos map, this time Malleth's Canyon, a clutch of mini encounter areas/dungeons that he made up a few years back.  I figured that the separate areas had the potential for factions or multiple adventure threads/challenges.  I've poked at it on and off for the last couple of weeks.  Of course, a couple of the elements got away from me, taking on small lives of their own.  And in a couple of cases, items found in the canyon may lead to further adventures and/or complications for a party with them in their possession...

Written up with S&W Complete or Light in mind, but generic enough for other system use.  Enjoy and modify to your heart's content...

Source

House:  Overlooking the drainage is a surprisingly intact abandoned house.  The door opens easily, and although empty, the house does not show the expected depredations.  Dust and cobwebs cover the few remaining pieces of furniture, and nothing of value is found.  Even the roof seems mostly intact, a luxury. It doesn't appear to have been raided, odd, considering the neighborhood.

Well, except for that pesky ghost. Anyone resting in the house overnight will be harassed with a whispered "story?  Story.  Story!" It may be turned by a cleric as 4HD undead, but will return in two hours, still demanding a story.  Other turn attempts will be unsuccessful.  PCs will not be able to rest/recover while it is present.  Perceptive PCs will recognize the spirit to be a ghost-child.  Telling it a bedtime story (best if player role-plays, heh) on nearly any topic will satisfy the spirit and it will leave the party alone. The spiritual presence dissuades wandering critters.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Free RPG Day Fun: One Map, Four Adventures...

Good Morning!

Realized that it has been a while since I've done the exercise of creating multiple scenarios for a single map, so I gave myself the deadline of Free RPG Day to write up a few scenes.  Dyson's Grizzly Eye Cave made for a very evocative space, appropriate for a number of small encounters and challenges...


The adventures were all written up with Swords & Wizardry Light in mind, although they are neutral enough to other systems...

1. Nemar's Truancy:  A prince has retreated to the cave, shirking his official duties - set up as a non-lethal roleplaying opportunity (and bear-wrestling).

2. Ale's Well That Ends Well:  A tavern's stores have been looted and the miscreants appear to be holed up in the cave.

3. Trakohr's Bath:  An ogre must be eliminated, just don't disturb his bathtime...

4. Sand Trap:  A mysterious creature prevents would-be rescuers from entering the cavern to release a pair of hostages.  Using a modded critter from one of my favorite modules.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Divine scrolls - a consideration...

I've been pondering divine scrolls and their synthesis.  A common thread of the rulesets for scrolls is time plus a certain value of consumable components to create the scroll. Based on the trope of the arcane class, the scroll is created via research or transcriptions, and the material components are likely associated with spellcasting or using rare materials for ink/illuminations to bind the spell to the scroll.

However, cleric/divine spells are not traditionally held within a spellbook, but are granted via prayer or inspiration from the cleric's deity.  So how would a divine scroll be transcribed?  And how is the monetary equivalent used?

Is the material value may be spent in tithes or proper sacrifices to curry the deity's favors (e.g. the 'fatted calf')? That could work.  Or...

Source
Perhaps, since the cleric is the recipient or conduit for spells, then they may also act as the catalyst for scroll creation.  Therefore, that 'conduit' must be expanded to generate the energies necessary to transcribe divine forces onto a scroll.  And a common traditional method for a priest/shaman/cleric to get into strong and direct communion with the divine was through mind-altering substances.

So, like the above arcane components necessary to create a scroll, the cleric may require a rare drug (its quantity/value/rarity proportional to the level of the spell) to descend into a trance to best prepare themselves as the device through which the spell is communicated.  The spell is then transcribed via automatic writing or some similar trance-device.

Just came up with this while theorizing on what might inspire a cleric to be searching out loot or rare materials, which then descended into a thought-experiment of how were they going to transcribe those scrolls, anyway?  So feel free to take it or leave it...

"Yes, I'm Br'er Rombur of the Divine Zhiver.  I understand that you plan to delve the Caverns of Leromos.  I understand there are stands of a certain fungus found there that I use in my, umm, worship..."