10/29/14

Hinteralden

Hinteralden
The Duchy of Hinteralden claims the coast in the western part of Faceny and half of Die Groor. It's largely uncontrolled and settlements of note are spread thin across the coast. The city of Hinteralden still have some trade with the mysterious Santians but mostly trade in fish and salt.

The current duke is Eugene Renner IV who took over when his older brother disappeared 12 years ago.

7/31/14

Random Encounters in Faceny


Random encounters for Faceny in Lichtstorm intended to be used when the party is traveling somewhat close to civilization and once an event comes up it should be crossed off and replaced by something else. 

It can probably be used for any generic european-medieval style of campaign world with little or no confusion.  
  1. Someone has erected a War Memorial close to the road. It may be to honor the dead soldiers that came from a nearby Village or the ones who fell in a specific battle. There is a 50% chance that a recent offering of flowers or grain can be found at the memorial. There is a 1% chance to find a a silver amulet worth 2d10 x10 sp left as a tribute.
  2. Ruins of a farm. Only a few piles of stone and a well remains where a farm once stood. There is a 10% chance that the well contains some treasure and a 10% chance that the water is diseased. 
  3. Hunter specializing in catching beasts or freaks, paralyzing them and selling them to the rich merchants in the nearest large city.
  4. A strange pile of stones are the chimney to a since long abandoned Dwarf smithy. The entrance is hidden somewhere close by and there are some fine weapons (worth 10x normal price) to be found inside but the smithy has been taken over by some kind of vermin. 1: 1d6 Badgers, 2: 2d6 Giant Rats, 3: 1d8 Wolves, 4: 2d8 Giant Centipedes. 
  5. Merchant caravan from closest harbor town, on their way to a city carrying exotic wares. There is a 20% chance that the wares are all fake. 
  6. A group of adventurers with a treasure map pointing to a hidden cache of silver nearby. A reaction roll decides if they are willing to share some of the loot for help finding it or if they are paranoid about competition. Either way there is a 30% chance that the treasure is just some loose change and a cursed item and there is a 50% chance that the treasure i guarded by 3d10 skeletons. 
  7. A sign warns travelers of plague in the next village and tries to tempt people to go down a less used path through a valley, forest or other area good for a surprise attack. 2d10 bandits are waiting and will try to rob the party. Every fifth bandit is a level 3 fighter. They all have a morale score of 1d12 with a  higher morale indicating a higher level of desperation and aggression. 
  8. 1d4 bodies hang from trees. A sign warning passerby's to get too close to them mention that they have been hanged for crimes of 1: Black Magic, 2: Robbery, 3: Treason, 4: Bestiality, 5: Rape, 6: Horse theft. 
  9. 2d4 guards are harassing a poor farmer for not being able to pay tax. 
  10. Travelling noble with followers are on their way to the next village. If the party stops at the next in the noble will arrive later or already be there. They will occupy most of the nice rooms, try to get the best drink and food and at least one will try to start a fight or seduce a member of the party. 
  11. A lone spy working for an enemy of the local lord are trying to find someone who can burn down the local lords nearby hunting cabin. There is a 20% chance that the cabin is currently in use. The spy is willing to pay well for the job. 
  12. 2d4 Runaway children. There is a 20% chance that one of them is a magician and a 10% chance that they will try to trick the players and later try to murder them in their sleep. 
  13. A lone traveling White Mage with some healing potions for sale and restorative spells available for a donation. 
  14. Corrupt guards looking for bribes.
  15. Traveling band of musicians or actors who can share news from the area around them or share their food for hearing about the heroic deeds of the party.
  16. 1d4+1 adventurers burying a body of 1: someone they murdered. 2: someone they found murdered on the road. 3: a madman who attacked them. 4: Their mage friend who died from corruption, they now have a spellbook with 1d4 spells for sale. 
  17. 3d12 Prisoners or slaves working on building a new stone bridge to replace the rotten wooden bridge nearby. If possible they will try to use the party to create chaos so that they can escape. They are guarded by 3d6 guards. 
  18. In a ditch there is a wagon carrying a wooden chest with something locked inside it. The driver of the wagon is found nearby, a crossbow bolt still stuck in his guts. 
  19. A camp with a caravan. Servants are stressed and wondering if the party have any sort of medical expertise that can help their sick master. 
  20. A group of hunters who are looking for a huge aggressive bear that they just managed to piss off by hitting with an arrow.  
  21. A traveler from a far away land being chased out of town by xenophobic peasants. 
  22. 2 local nobles chose this spot for an illegal duel over jealousy. 
  23. A monastery and a nunnery is celebrating a secret festival together. During daytime they are setting up a table for a fine dinner, during the evening they have already begun eating and drinking, during the night the celebration will escalate to an orgy and in the morning they will be passed out or waking up, slowly going back to where they came from, in shame. 
  24. A group of true believers still faithful to the old ways are traveling across the country trying to get people turn back to the old ways. 
  25. 2d4 deserters from the army of a nearby lord are looking for a buried treasure on a nearby field. They just ate hallucinogenic mushrooms by mistake and are freaking out. 
  26. The body of a servant from a nearby manor, drained of all blood with what looks like bite marks on the body. 30% chance that someone in the manor is actually a vampire in service of the god of death, 70% chance that someone is trying to create a rumor.    
  27. A merchant hiding not yet illegal drugs in a sack of flour. He tries to convince the party to escort him due to rumors of bandits in the vicinity. The bandits are really henchmen of a competing drug dealer. 
  28. A lone parent is begging for money, claiming to be escaping from an abusive partner. 
  29. A group of orthodox believers are campaigning for the local lord to ban alcohol. 
  30. A building under attack from newly awakened undead. 

(I haven't posted in a while and I'm not going to bore you with excuses or making any promises. There will be new posts when I have something to post, that may mean 3 months of nothing or 15 posts over 3 days. And this is probably the last time I care to mention it.)

6/15/14

Moleskine Referee Screen


I made my own LotFP/W&W Ref Screen out of a Moleskine Japanese Album (large). It has more space for stuff than I need and I pretty much have every rule from LotFP and half of the tables from Vornheim in there. I let the players use the side towards them for putting up post its with names and notes.

And this is how it looks when I carry it around:


It's also just a tiny bit smaller than A5, meaning it's just a tiny bit smaller than the LotFP-books and the rest of my notebooks.

6/9/14

Spells from the Metal Archive II

Decided I wanted to add some more spells to the spell sheet using the Metal Archives-method. I click random band (Melmak), roll a dice to decide what release (Cosmic Pain) and another dice to see what track i get. Collective Suicide. Oh, ok.

Collective Suicide (Melmak)
Black Magic/Magic-User Level 6
Duration: Special
Range: Special
The caster must spend a full round casting this spell and on the following round attempt suicide by either attacking himself with some kind of sharp weapon, drinking a deadly poison, jumping off a cliff or similar. Every sentient mortal/living creature in the immediate area that the caster is aware of must Save vs Magic every round. If they fail they will use their next action to attempt suicide using the most efficient way possible. If there is a cliff, spike pit or a row of nooses available these will be used first. Creatures using their own weapons take 1d6 damage per attack and unarmed self harm by for example banging your head against a wall cause 1d4 damage.

This will go on until the caster stop harming himself.


En Lilje I Mitt Blod/A Lily in My Blood (Taakeferd)
White Magic/Magic-User Level 5
Duration: Instantaneous
Range: Touch
The caster draws a fleur-de-lis in his own blood on the skin of the target to help the target regain some of it's lost purity. This will remove all traces of venom or poison the target suffers or one curse. If the target is affected by more than one affliction, the most recently gained affliction is removed first. If the target suffers from no such affliction the target heals 1d6+Level of the caster Hit Points to a maximum of 1d6+5 at level 5. 


Feelings of a Thoughtless Mind (Of Agony and Death)
Black Magic/Magic-User Level 5
Duration: 1 Round/Level or special.
Range: Touch
The caster forces the target and the caster into a state of thoughtless trance unless the target succeeds at a Save vs Magic. The target gets to save against the spell once per round. While in this trance, no action is possible and all feelings of pleasure or pain are heightened. Anyone who takes damage while under this spell must Save vs Magic again or take an extra 1d6 Exhaustion (replace with normal damage if not using Exhaustion). 

The spell lasts for 1 round per level or until either the target or the caster falls unconscious or dies. 

6/7/14

Map of Irontick

Irontick
This is an in-game map over the underground kingdom of Irontick. It shows the major paths between the three gates and the major halls and settlements. Each marked with the crest of the settlement. The paths are marked with what looks like rails for a reason and the uneven spacing of the lines marking the boards under the rail are uneven for a reason; they mark the distance between one hall to another.

Think of this as nothing more than an abstract guide, something like the map of a subway system.

I can't tell you much more of Irontick other than it's rumored to be where the dwarves lived, before they all died. Anything else might spoilt fun surprises for my players who might read this.

6/3/14

Glacial Toad

7 HD 
AC 16
Bite: 3d8 and Swallow
Movement 120' 
Morale 8

Special Abilities 
Swallow - When the Toad hits with a bite attack the target must Save vs Paralyze or be swallowed whole. A swallowed character automatically takes 1d6 in damage every round. Breaking out can be done by using a small sharp wepon and cutting a way out (AC12 and 10% of creatures total HP needed) or breaking out with a Open Doors check.
Glacial Aura - Anyone in melee range of the Glacial Toad takes 1d6 in damage from the creatures magical aura of intense cold.
Fire Vulnerability & Cold Immunity - The Glacial Toad takes double damage from fire and heat but is immune to damage from cold sources.
No Appearing: Unique

The Glacial Toad is a magical creature, the result of an experiment involving Enlarge and Polymorph Other. It's about the size of a horse and covered in ice crystals. It's lazy and not evil, but due to it's laziness and huge appetite it's almost always hungry. And It will eat anything it's big enough to swallow.

(art by Mitch Cotie)


Sometimes I save pictures I find on the web and turn them into monsters. Unless noted, the picture was found in the wild and the source/artist is unknown to me, sorry about that. 

All stats assume that an unarmored human move 120' (divide by 3 to get combat movement) and an ascending AC where an unarmored human have AC 12. Unless specifically noted, the creature saves as a Fighter with a level equal to the creatures HD. 

5/29/14

Village Map: Bergerhof

Bergerhof
My first serious attempt at making a map over a Village. I think this is the final version. I won't bother shading this one. I'll try that next time. Moleskine sketchbook and Sakura Micron pens.

The village pictured is Bergerhof in northwestern Faceny in the campaign world Lichstorm. Bergerhof is a small village with a church and free standing bell tower, a manor with a hop garden. More farms are found to the south, but to the north there isn't much else than swamps before you reach the northern mountains and the lands of forever winter.

People of interest:

  • Reinhold Meyer - Alderman and owner of the Manor. Takes pride in the fact that his family is from Rees, a much more civilized place than this Zarforgotten village. Have never actually been in Rees but has heard plenty of stories from parents (who never left Bergerhof) 
  • Wilhelm Hasselmann - Brewer and owner of Bergerhof Inn. His family has been brewing Meyers Altbier for generations. 
  • Helga Heider - Priestess of Zar. She do believe that Zar is the one true God, and that Order and Growth is what life is about. She's just so bored of all these traditions and rules...
  • Heine Seck - Local eccentric. May be a wizard. Definitely an alcoholic.
  • Magdalena Beitz - Smith. Magdalena is from Hinteralden but is said to have travelled all over Faceny. She came to Bergerhof 7 years ago, and managed to fall in love, get married, get pregnant and become a widow in less than 3 months. She took over her husbands smithy when he suddenly died and she's rumored to have an actual sword hidden somewhere in her house. 

5/26/14

Map of Faceny


Finished another player map, this one zoomed in on the nation of Faceny. Not as happy with this one as the other one, but I think it's good enough for my players to work from.

Messed up the paper a bit and the photo didn't turn out great. Hopefully I can get a better scan of it later.

5/22/14

Spells from the Metal Archive I

Here's the first four spells I've created with the Raggi/Metal Archives method. The have all been added to the spell sheet.

Mantle (Burden)
Black Magic/Magic-User Level 2
Duration: Level+1d4 Rounds
Range: 0
The casters clothes animates and grows, wrapping itself around the him and becomes solid, both protecting and slowly suffocating him. Meanwhile the earth boil and the air dissipate in a 30' radius around the caster. Creatures in this area takes 1d6 damage from the boiling earth every round and must succeed at a Save vs Paralyze or risk tripping, limiting their movement to half their speed every round.

The caster clothes protects him against most of this, he takes 1 point of damage every round and has to Save vs Poison every round after the 3rd or risk falling unconscious. This does not end the spell. The casters clothes also turns rock solid, giving the caster a AC of 20 for the duration of the spell.


Fall as August (Switchblade)
Black Magic/Magic-User Level 2
Duration: Instantaneous
Range: Touch
The witch can cause organic matter to start to rot with a simple touch. For non-living matter (food, a wooden door etc) half a pound can be affected per level of the caster. For living, but not sentient matter (a tree, a field of growing grass) a quarter of a pound can be affected.

If the spell is cast on a living creature the targets suffer 1d6 damage and get to Save vs Poison or also take 1d6 Temporary Constitution (Exhaustion) damage as the flesh starts to rot.

Living Fire (Imagine Iris)
Black Magic/Magic User Level 3
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Range: 60'
The warlock can take parts of a flame and give it life temporarily. The Living Fire separates itself from it's source and grows to an orb of 1' across. The caster can then control it for the spells duration as long as he concentrates (only movement possible, no attacks or parrying etc.). If something happens that cause the warlock to lose his concentration (he attacks, takes more points of damage than his level, etc) the Living Fire will start to randomly attack people within it's movement range.

The Living Fire has HD equal to the casters level, attacks twice per round for 1d6 damage each against the targets unarmored AC and has a movement equal to that of an unencumbered human. It's immune to fire and takes double damage from Cold or Water sources.


In My Darkest Glory (Hellimunan)
Black Magic/Magic-User Level 3
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Range: Touch
The target of the spell and all her belongings become darker until it looks like a creature of a cloudless nightsky. For the duration of the spell the targets base AC is 17 and she can attack twice per round for 1d6 damage against opponents unarmored AC or, if holding a weapon for one die larger than the held weapon against the opponents normal AC. At the end of the spell duration the target suffers 1d4+Level Temporary Constitution (Exhaustion) damage.

An unwilling target of the spell may gain a Save vs Magic to resist the spell.

5/19/14

W&W House rules: Death & Dismemberment

Hector Barbossa's peg leg from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
An experience adventurer should have scars to show for the stories he has to tell. Some of them will have peg legs, hooks and eyepatches to show that when it really matters, a lost leg is a small price to pay to survive. Especially if you get to survive and keep the treasure.
A lost hand or eye is also a perfect chance to throw in some weird magic items. Hell, even Adventure Time does it.

Adventure Time, Finn lost his arm, gets weird flower growing out of it. 
So instead of having the characters die at -4 HP (as is the rules in LotFP) I do this:

Once you reach 0 or less HP you roll against Constitution, adding up any negative hit points and current Exhaustion as a negative modifier to the roll. If you succeed you are knocked out (0 - -4HP), bleeding to death in 1d10 minutes (-5 - -Constitution HP). If you fail the roll you need to roll on the table below and add your current negative HP to the roll. If you drop below negative Constitution HP you are dead, no roll necessary. For more info on Exhaustion, see this post.

Death & Dismemberment

2d8+Negative HP
2-3 Last Stand: Gain d4 hp per every other level in a rush of adrenaline. The extra hp are drained after combat ends and the character falls unconscious for 2d6 turns.
4 Impressive Facial Scar +1 Charisma
5-6 Ugly scar.
7-8 Bad bruising 1d6 Exhaustion.
9-10 Broken ribs 1d6 Exhaustion and +1 encumbrance until fully recovered.
11-12 Bruised joint (knee, elbow, shoulder) 1d6 Exhaustion and +2 encumbrance until fully recovered.
13-14 Hand or Feet damaged. A finger or toe is cut/ripped off from d4: 1 right hand, 2 left hand, 3 right foot, 4 left foot. 2d6 Exhaustion.
15-16 Broken/crushed bone. 2d6 Exhaustion. Limb useless and +3 encumbrance until fully recovered +2d4 weeks.
17-18 Facial damage. 2d6 Exhaustion and d8: 1-2 Nose (-1 Charisma), 3-6 Ear (+1 in 6 chance of being surprised.) 7-8 Eye (-2 Ranged attacks)
19-20 Severed Limb. 2d6 Exhaustion and d4: 1 right or 2 left hand (-1d4 Strength, unable to use 2 handed weapons unless specifically made. Unable to use skills such as Climbing, First Aid, Tinkering, Sleight of hand. (-1 in the skills with a hook/prosthetic hand specifically made for this, a well made prosthetic can also give back all but one lost point in Strength)), 3 right or 4 left foot (-1d4 Dexterity +4 encumberance points, unable to use stealth or climbing (+3 encumbrance with crutch, +1 encumbrance with peg leg and -1 in the skills, a well made prosthetic can also give back all but one lost point in Dexterity)).
21 Mortally wounded, only magical healing to push you up into positive hp within 1d4 rounds can save you. 3d6 Exhaustion.
22+ Dead.

Obviously there will be other issues for someone who loses a hand than just the -1d4 in Strength, but there is no point in listing everything the character may have troubles with. When I talked to my players about this one of them seemed to look forward to getting a chance to play a character called "Two-Hooks" in the future. He even had an answer to the question of how Two-Hooks wipes.

"Henchmen"

5/18/14

W&W House rules: Sorcery and Witchcraft


Magic is about breaking or controlling the laws of nature and channeling powers not from this world and it should be filled with Wonder and Danger. Since all Magicians are Magicians and are not limited to any one type/school of spells I took inspiration from Crypts & Things and the rules about White, Grey and Black magic from there.
  • White Magic are spells that are about healing, protection and spells "in tune" with nature or the laws of nature. Most spells that Cure or Detect are examples of White Magic. Memorizing and casting White Magic spells is safe. 
  • Black Magic are spells that cause destruction, controls minds, summons demons and make fun of the laws of nature. Obvious spells are Summon, Animate Dead and Cloudkill but spells like Invisibility and Teleport are also Black Magic. Memorizing these spells are exhausting and casting one of them is corrupting. 
  • Grey Magic are the spells in between. Spells that reads but don't control minds and spells that heighten senses are typical Grey Magic spells. ESP and Heat Metal are both Grey Magic. Memorizing these spells are exhausting. 

Exhaustion

Magic is power, and power should not be free. When a Magician memorizes a Grey or Black Magic spell he takes 1d4 Exhaustion plus one point for every Grey or Black Magic spell memorized.

Exhaustion is damage to the Constitution score and is recovered by 1 point per night's rest or 1d3+1 point per full days rest in a comfortable environment. If Exhaustion from magical sources causes a characters Constitution to drop below 0 that character will go into coma, gain a mutation and lose one point of Constitution permanently. Awaking the magician from coma sounds like an excellent "journey into a weird mind"-adventure.

If the source of Exhaustion is physical, skip the mutation and roll 2d4 for the amount of weeks in a comfortable bed it will take for the character to wake up.

Corruption

Casting a Black Magic spell is about letting forces no human should know about rush through your body in an attempt to control them. Sometimes this ends up corrupting the caster. Whenever a Black Magic spell is cast, the magician need to roll Save vs Magic modified by her Corruption Level. A failed save increases the casters Corruption Level with 1. When this means that the corruption is equal to the casters Wisdom score the caster gains a Mutation. Roll a d500 and consult The Metamorphica. The corruption level then resets but will never go below the amount of mutations the caster has.

No Levels and a Thousand spells

Vladimir Rikowski
Magic is weird and powerful and don't follow rules and especially not rules about how powerful one must be before being able to cast a certain spells. Spell levels are gone. Magicians simply have a number of spell slots and can put any spell in a slot. If a rule mentions spell levels it's probably not needed or a dice can be used to randomize the spell level (like for research/scribing scrolls etc).

There is also 1000 spells. Every Magician starts with three spells, Read Magic being one of them and the other two can be decided however you want. I suggest rolling 1d1000 on a table like this for at least one of them. If a number with an empty line shows up use the Raggi method:
  1. Go to Metal Archives Random Band.
  2. Randomly select a release from the Discography
  3. Randomly select a track from that release
  4. Create a spell with the same name as that track. Bonus points for finding the song on Youtube/Spotify and listening to the song on repeat until you have figured out what the spell is about.

Footnote: The Spell List may cause you go "what the hell makes spell X White/Grey/Black?" and the answer to that may be "because it was put together in an hour" or it may be "because Lamentations of the Flame Princess". LotFP takes some spells and makes them weird, take Mirror Image as an example: 
Several illusory duplicates of the caster pop into being, making it difficult for enemies to know which target to attack.
That's from Labyrinth Lord, here's the LotFP version: 
This spell grabs 1d4 duplicates of the caster from near-identical timelines to confuse foes and make it more difficult for the original caster to come to harm. ... When an opponent makes a successful attack against one of the duplicates, it instantly dies and dissipates into nothingness (the others remain). 
So basically, Mirror Image makes you a serial killer targeting yourself in other timelines. 

Lichstorm Player map

I tried following the guidelines +Michael Wenman posted in October when drawing this. It's my first serious attempt at drawing a overland map for a game in probably 15 years.

I'm actually happy with the outcome.

5/17/14

W&W House rules: A Question of Class

Art by Larry Elmore
My home gaming group is a intimate group with me and three people I've known for at least 17 years. We are happy with the small size, but not really happy with how most D&D/OSR adventure modules are built with the assumption that the group will have access to two kinds of magic, at least one thief and then X amount of fighting abilities. The fact that we are using Lamentations of the Flame Princess helps a bit since there aren't any limits to what weapons the classes can use and when you include flintlock weapons even the Magic-User have a chance to hit a heavily armored opponent for some decent damage once every fight without spending a much needed spell slot on a magic missile. But it's not enough, especially if I want the players to have some choices to what they want to play.

My so far untested solution to this is to reduce the amount of available classes. I currently run a campaign set in 17th century England and will most likely move on to another setting where there are no playable elves, halflings or dwarves. So the demi-human classes are gone. I don't want a class to be a skill monkey and I much rather give everyone access to some skill points. Specialist is gone. Magic is magic, no matter the source. Add Clerical spells to the Magic-Users list and we have a Fighter and Magician left. Perfect.

Too make each character a bit unique I decided to add the option to specialize, or randomize, character progression with the ideas presented in Green Devil Face #5:

All characters start with the following stats:
  • 1d6 HP 
  • +1 Attack Bonus
  • 15 in all Saves 
  • 2 skill points.
  • They also have access to the combat options Parry (+2 Armor Class), Press Attack (+1 Attack Bonus, -4 Armor Class) and Defensive Attack (-4 Attack Bonus, +1 Armor Class).
  • They also get 1 point in the skills Architecture, Bushcraft, Climbing, Languages, Open Doors, Search, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Tinkering and the new skill First Aid (stolen from this post by James Young over at Ten foot Polemic).
At first level and every level thereafter the player either roll a d10 twice and modify one of the dice with +1 and the other dice with -1 (or use the rolls as is) or roll a d10 and use the roll and freely pick one result. Either way the same result cannot be used twice the same level.

Fighter
  1. +3 HP
  2. +d8 Hit Points
  3. +2 One Saving Throw Category 
  4. +2 Parry AC bonus
  5. +1 Attack Bonus
  6. +1 Skill Point
  7. +2 Defensive Attack AC bonus
  8. +1 Attack Bonus
  9. +d8 Hit Points
  10. +2 Press Attack Bonus
Mike Mignola

Magician
  1. +1 Attack Bonus
  2. +1 Skill Point
  3. +1 Spell Slot
  4. +d6 Hit Points
  5. +1 Spell Slot
  6. +1 Skill Point 
  7. +1 All Saving Throws
  8. +1 Spell Slot
  9. +3 One Saving Throw Category 
  10. +1 Parry AC Bonus
This way the players will not be forced into picking a certain class because "we really need someone that can pick a lock" and also some freedom on how their character turns out. Two fighters will not look the same and one magician may be more than half decent with that sword she's carrying. 

I have also removed the concept of spell levels and added a chance for loss of limbs instead of death. But more on that later. 

5/14/14

The First and Second Weapon

A post over at Goblin Punch included a great idea: The First and Second Weapon. So I decided to do my own versions.

Before language, before fire there was conflict. The first conflict between men were fought over a piece of fist sized meteorite rock that a man and his friend found in a still smoking crater. Man and Friend thought the rock to be alluring and when Man would not let Friend touch the meteorite Friend grabbed a piece of Black Oak and used it as a club to strike down Man in envy. Friend kept on beating Man until Man made no sounds and reached for the smooth black rock when Man suddenly stroke back. Man hit Friend until Friend made no sounds and bled no more.
With the Second Weapon in hand Man had become the first Murdered. Man picked up Friends club and became the first Conqueror.
(Image from the first Doctor Who serial "An Unearthly Child", probably from the episode "The Cave of Skulls")
The First Weapon is a two foot long slightly bent wooden club of black oak with a small head. It's magical nature means that it should be treated as a small weapon instead of a minor one. For every successful strike against a specific opponent the wielder also get a +1 (cumulative) bonus to the roll to hit that opponent.

The Second Weapon is a smooth piece of black meteorite about the size of a fist. It should be treated as a small weapon with a +1 bonus to hit. When the wielder is hurt and has 4 or less hit points left the damage done by the second weapon is increased by one type of dice for every hit until the wielder is healed or the battle is over.

4/22/14

The Wolf Paw of Mornstab


Art by Mark Winters
Once a mighty warrior and leader of their own tribe of fierce Threalites, Mornstab lost a hand in battle with one of the many monstrous beasts of the Threal Darkwoods. Mornstab turned to the oldest of the Threal gods for help, and with the blessing of one of those nameless gods they found help. A dozen fresh hearts from Darkwood Wolves fueled the fire that birthed the bracelet know as The Wolf Paw of Mornstab, a bracelet that gives it's wearer the ability to regrow lost limbs as those of a feral beast.

Art by Gido
Mornstabs tribe is no more, rumor speak of a terrible curse on the bracelet that turned the whole tribe into mindless lycanthropes that finished the once proud tribe. But Mornstab, a multigendered Threalite, both fathered and mothered several children. One of them is rumored to have brought the Paw away from the tribe before the curse finished it.

Wearing the bracelet will make a lost limb regrow as a wolf limb in 1-4 weeks. A lost arm or hand will result in claws that can be used as a weapon for 1d6 damage, but it will be impossible to use for any delicate work. Anyone who survives being hit by the claw has to save vs magic or turn into a werewolf in 1-4 months.

4/21/14

Prosthetic Eye of the Mine Princess

Image of the earliest prosthetic eye found in the Burnt City
Art by Nick Beecher
This prosthetic eye is covered in a thin layer of decorated gold made to look like an eye with an Iris of sun rays. The Eye used to belong to a young dwarven woman who early in her life inherited her family's mining corporation after the death of both her parents in a cave in. She lost her left eye in battle against a horror of the deep that she fought over the control of the monsters lair that happened to contain a gold vein. She used the first mined gold to make this prosthetic and had her seer enchant it for her. 
The Princess of the Mines were somewhere in the Iron City when the undead broke through the defenses. Her Eye is probably still attached to her skull somewhere under the Irontick mountains.

The Eye can only be used by a person missing an eye. Wearing it gives the person +1 Charisma and the ability to once per day Detect Gold (as Detect Magic, but detects gold instead. The Gold has to be of a value of over 10 gp), Light (the Eye lights up for 3 turns).  
It does not give the user it's sight back, and any negative modifications for the loss of an eye are still there.


3/11/14

Sunday Bloody Sunday

So this I ran a session of my homebrew Pathfinder Campaign. It ended with a TPK due to a challenging encounter and players trying to be heroic. It was a pretty nice encounter. Two Shambling Mounds in an interesting environment that forced the players to think.

As the dust settled I offered to run the Reign of Winter adventure path next time. More Pathfinder. I'm already regretting that decision. Checking stats for an opponent that might be faced in the first session and I run into this: "Spell like Abilities: X". Having no idea what X do I check the SRD. "X is like Y but with adjustment A". This is on level 1. The Reign of Winter AP goes from level 1 to level 17. How do people run this game without access to a computer and a proper browser? 50 SRD tabs open?

Hopefully the Baba Yaga-connection and all the crazy stuff included will keep me from giving up.

2/22/14

The Medusa Plague

Larry Elmore
For over fifty years people in Normandy people have been found dead with part of their bodies transformed into live snakes. Sometimes it's just a hand or an arm, sometimes the persons head has snakes instead of hair and in some cases only a nightshirt full of slithering snakes is all that is found. 

The locals call it The Medusa Plague but most speak of it as a curse placed on the people of the region. Opinions differ on the curse origins but the most common ones to blame is a coven of witches said to have tormented the region half a century ago or God himself, as a punishment for the rumored worship of the Norse Gods still said to occur in the region. 

Whatever the source, the issue seem to be more and more common and just a month ago a chain reaction resulted in was triggered when more than 15 people ended up dead in a tavern outside of Lisieux.

2/5/14

Masks of the Headhunters

Art by Sam Flegal

These masks are made from the skin of an unknown animal and covers the lower half of the wearers face. They are usually decorated with a monstrous grin of some legendary beast or demon. Legends claim they either come from a group of savage warriors of the southern steppes or vicious cannibals from the jungles to the east. They were brought here by a band of travellers and adventurers who upon their return earned their silver by hunting down criminals and witches.

The wearer are able to sense the general direction of where a specific person can be found. If the wearer of the mask also have a part of the person (hair, still wet saliva, toe etc.) or an object with emotional importance for the person (wedding band, spell book, pet etc.) the distance to the person can also be estimated. The direction or distance is never exact.

Using this ability requires ten minutes of undisturbed meditation and the wearer have been wearing the mask for more than half of the last week days. When this ability is used the wearers hair will grow of up to 2" of snow white hair.

1/28/14

Ring of False Death

Ring from the British Museum
According to myth this ring was given to a prince on his deathbed by a scorned lover. He was promised a longer life if he cut a small part of his flesh and put it into the coffin on the ring. The prince did this but still died three days later.

The lover took the ring back and the prince was buried. Three years later the lover was accused of witchcraft and part of the trial was to dig up the body of the prince to search for evidence supporting the accusation. The lover was hanged and burned after claw marks were found on the inside of the coffin lid.

If the Ring of False Death is filled with a piece of flesh carved from the wearers living body it gives the wearer a chance to die and resurrect 1d4+1 days later.

  • Whenever the wearer is below half of it's maximum hit points the wearer may at will enter a state of false death if a Save vs Magic Device with a +4 bonus is made. 
  • If the wearer takes half it's maximum hit points in damage during one round of combat, the player must Save vs Magic Device or be forced into false death. 
  • If the target dies in any way that leaves it's body mostly intact the wearer can Save vs Magic Device, if the save is successful the target instead enters false death and will resurrect 1d4+1 days later. 

Once any of these saves has either succeeded or failed, the flesh in the ring disappears and has to be replaced before a new attempt is made.

The resurrection still works if the ring is removed after the wearer has entered false death but the resurrection will fail if the ring is destroyed or if the body is destroyed by burning, beheading or similar. If the wearers soul is somehow forcibly removed from the body, the body will instead rise as a mindless undead.

1/27/14

Laura Edgecombe and The Father's Bass Violin

art by Scopophobia
Laura Edgecombe was a promising young musician who never felt she got the attention her talent deserved. The fact that she never passed up a chance to explain this to her superiors mixed with a growing opiate addiction that caused her to miss concerts led to fewer and fewer job opportunities and a growing debt to the city's drug dens.

Angry and frustrated she hungered for revenge and this is just what the Cult of the Hollow Void promised her when they found her. All she had to do was to play her instrument and hour every night, and tell her masters what she heard.

Blessed by The Father of Nothing, her bass violin is made up of the still living bodies of several of her old bosses. No music can be heard when she plays it, only a strong buzzing as a cloud of flies spreads from the open mouth of the body. The flies spread out over the city's streets and buildings and when they return an hour later Laura is struck by visions of what they have seen.

Laura proved more resourceful and intelligent than the cult expected and has begun using information not deemed directly useful to the cult by selling it or as grounds for blackmail. This has put Laura in an unexpected position of power that the Father hopes will come in handy soon.





1/26/14

Spells from Der Hexenhammer


I accidentally ended up spending Sunday morning reading parts of Malleus Maleficarum, Der Hexenhammer, The Hammer of Witches. The book written 1486 by Heinrich Kramer arguing that witchcraft was real and witches was a real threat. Also a whole bunch of stuff about how women were the most common agents of the Devil due to being weaker and easier to fall to temptation and also how to torture them into confessions. 

For a long time it was thought to have been a very influential book, 20 editions were published the first 40-ish years so I guess it's easy to think so. Later historians have argued that Malleus Maleficarum was just a tiny part of several reasons to why everyone got into this witch-hunt craze in the following 150 years. What we do know is that the Catholic Church condemned the book as false only 3 years after it's publication and that the members of the Spanish Inquisition was told not to trust anything in it, not even when the book have what looks like solid proof. 

It's also of course a great source of inspiration, especially if you, like me, are running a game set in Europe in the early 1600s.  

Part I, Question VI: How Witches Impede and Prevent the Power of Procreation.
For a certain wizard who had been arrested confessed that for many years he had by witchcraft brought sterility upon all the men and animals which inhabited a certain house.
Curse of the Dying Bloodline
Magic-User Level 2
Duration: 6 Months/Level
Range: 60'
If the target fails a Save vs Magic it becomes unable to create offspring, and any child not yet born die. The target gets a new save every 6 months of the duration of the spell even any save succeeds.
A willing target are able to adjust the save with +/-4 at will.

Part I, Question IX: Whether Witches may work some Prestidigatory Illusion so that the Male Organ appears to be entirely removed and separate from the Body.
... for since devils can do greater things than this, as killing them or carrying them from place to place [...] therefore they can also truly and actually remove men's members.
Crotch Curse
Magic-User Level 3
Duration: 1 Turn/Level or Permanent
Range: Touch
The target of the spell see and feel how it's genitals rots and falls off or closes shut. The target gets to Save vs Magic, with a -4 modification if the target willingly let the caster undress him/her before the spell was cast, if the save succeeds the spell was just an illusion and everything will seem normal again after 1 Turn per Level of the caster. If the save fails the effects are real and permanent.

Part I, Question X: Whether Witches can by some Glamour Change Men into Beasts.
... a certain girl would not consent to a young man who was begging her to commit a shameful act with him. And the young man, being angry because of this, caused a certain Jew to work a charm against her, by which she was changed into a filly. But this metamorphosis was not an actual fact, but an illusion of the devil ...
Shape of the Beast
Magic-User Level 2
Duration: Permanent
Range: 60'
This spell disguises the target as that of an animal. The target must Save vs Magic, a success means that the target sees itself as normal except in reflections a failed save means the target will see and believe it has been turned into the animal, the target will then start behaving as the animal and will not remember any details of what happens during the duration of the spell. Everyone who sees the target will have to Save vs Magic, with a -4 modification if the Target failed its save. A success means that the person will see the target as it's normal form.
During the duration of the spell Holy Water becomes harmful to the target as it is to other magical creatures. If the target takes half it's total hit points in damage from Holy Water, the spell is broken. The spell can also be broken by a Bless, Remove Curse, Dispel Magic or similar spell.
A willing target gets a +2 bonus to it's Save.

Part II, Question I, Chapter III: How they are Transported from Place to Place.
A number of scholars had met together to drink beer, and they all agreed that the one who fetched the beer should not have to pay anything. And so one of them was going to fetch the beer, and on opening the door saw a thick cloud before the grunsel, and returning in terror told his companions why he would not go for the drink. Then that one of them who was carried away said angrily: “Even if the devil were there, I shall fetch the drink.” And, going out, he was carried through the air in the sight of all the others.
Flight of the Silent Hours
Magic-User Level 3
Duration: Special
Range: Touch or Special
This spell is only useable in the darkness of the night, and only in a overground, outside environment. It allows the target to fly with a speed of 1 mile per Round for up to 2d6 Rounds plus 2 per level of the caster. If the spell is cast upon more than one target, the duration are split up between them. Flight is only possible in a straight line and during the flight no actions are possible.
It is also possible for a Magic-User to cast this spell in advance on an object. The object has to be ingrained with parts of the caster, like a necklace with a band braided of the casters hair, a book decorated with nail clippings or a potion the caster spat in. After this the caster are able to call upon the object to fly towards the caster. It has the same limitations, only works at night and only above ground and outside, but the object can be in a bag or similar. If someone is holding the object, or have it strapped upon the body, person gets a Save vs Magic to see if he/she will also take off.

1/25/14

The Cult of the Hollow Void

The Father of Nothing needs henchmen, worshippers, followers. A cult.

They are worshipping emptiness, so they are going to be people who either are so damaged and depressed that they rather feel nothing; alcoholics and addicts of other mind-numbing drugs, PSTD perople returning from the war or people who have suffered tragic losses make perfect recruits. Other followers may be those so hate-filled and vengeance seeking that they stop for nothing, those who do not care what happens to others or themselves as long as their target for revenge gets something worse. Whatever category they belong too, they usually do not realize what the coming of the God of What is Between actually would lead to, they do however know that worshipping him and recruiting more to do so will sometimes grant them blessings.

Hollow Mind
Magic-User Level 1
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Range: 60'
Hollow Mind targets a person within range who must Save vs Spell or have it's mind filled with a black hollowness and apathy. During the duration of the spell the target feel nothing but a apathy and is unable to take any other actions than moving at half the normal rate or Parry. The target also takes a -2 modification on AC and all rolls to Save during the duration of the spell.

Blessing of the Black Void
Cleric or Magic-User Level 2
Duration: 1 Turn/Level
Range: 50'
The Father of Nothing's Priest may give His blessing to 2+Level willing followers. They lose the ability to feel pain and are granted 1d6+Level extra hit points. When the spell duration ends all pain felt during the spell will hit the target at ounce, causing 1d3+half the total damage taken during the spell duration, potentially killing the target. If the target still has extra hit points left after this, they are removed.


1/19/14

The Father of Nothing

(art by Devin Francisco)
The Father of Nothing, God of What is Between, Lord of the Hollow Emptiness, Nameless Horror of the Black Void.

On the Day of Swine and Roses it will rise and will drag itself across the worlds open wounds and turn them into nothing. It gives it's worshippers the gift of absence. Absence of physical and emotional pain and bad memories. The absence of joy and happiness comes later and the indifference is almost always there to begin with. You do not start worshipping the Black Void cause you care about other people.

Worshippers are also granted magic gifts, spells or magic items usually related to destruction, obliteration and the Pseudobulbar affect. Examples:

Hargyn's Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter (LotFP-version)
Magic-User Level 2
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Range: 180'
The victims of Hargyn's Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter must Save vs Spell or perceive everything as hilariously and debilitatingly funny. All affected beings must be living and have an Int of 5 or more.
The effect is not immediate, and creatures feel only a slight tingling on the round the spell is cast. On the round immediately following, victims acquire a rictus grin, then begin to giggle, chuckle, titter, snicker and guffaw. During this round they have a -1 modification on their AC.
In the third round they will grow weaker and begin to stagger, breaking into gales of agonised laughter. During this round they cannot use Shields, lose any positive AC bonuses from Dexterity and get a -2 modification to their AC.

More stuff regarding the Father of Nothing are sure to follow.

1/14/14

The Blue Pyramid


Sometimes all you need is a map and suddenly you have a campaign going in your head. This one is by Lukc over at Cartographers Guild.
Original thread.

1/13/14

Star-spore Mutant

Hit Points: 5d8
Armor Class: 14
2 Attacks: 2 Slams 1d6
Movement: 90'
Morale: 12
Special Abilities: The Star-spore Mutants sacks of puss will burst upon death and everyone within 10' will have to Save vs Breath Weapon or be covered in purple puss and spores and take 1d6 damage. Star-spore Mutants take 3d6 damage from  this attack and this may trigger a chain reaction.
Saves as a level 1 Fighter.
No Appearing: 1-entire city populations.

The story usually goes something like this: A meteor crashes down in a field somewhere and of course someone can't keep their hands away from it. The alien spores on the meteor is transferred unknowingly from person to person until it somehow ends up on a recently deceased corpse. Moments later the corpse starts jerking and big puss filled sacks starts growing around the neck and head of the corpse who then get up on it's feet and start killing everyone around it, creating more and more of the mutants.

It does not want to eat your brain. It does not care about your soul. It will just try to kill you so that you too can rise up and spread the Star-spores.

(art by Alex Konstad)


Sometimes I save pictures I find on the web and turn them into monsters. Unless noted, the picture was found in the wild and the source/artist is unknown to me, sorry about that. 

All stats assume that an unarmored human move 120' (divide by 3 to get combat movement) and an ascending AC where an unarmored human have AC 12. Unless specifically noted, the creature saves as a Fighter with a level equal to the creatures HD. 

1/7/14

The Shadow Wolves of Schwarzwald

Hit Points: 3d8+3
Armor Class: 15
2 Attacks: Bite 1d6, Claw 1d4+1
Movement: 240'
Morale: 10
Special Abilities: Takes half damage from everything that is not fire, silver or magic. Suprises 4 in 6.
No Appearing: 1-6






The villagers of southern Germany tell stories of demonic wolves that hunt among the trees. They say that no weapon can harm it's fur made of shadows and their glowing red eyes and that the Shadow Wolves will eat your soul and send you forever to burn in hell once they catch you. Some will tell you that they will never stop hunting you and others say that the only way to get away is to leave the bloody corpse of a deer for them to feast upon. They won't tell you that the corpse of a fellow man will probably work as well, but once the red eyes are spotted some men will realize that they are guaranteed to be running faster than the man with a knife in his back.

Sometimes I save pictures I find on the web and turn them into monsters. Unless noted, the picture was found in the wild and the source/artist is unknown to me, sorry about that. 

All stats assume that an unarmored human move 120' (divide by 3 to get combat movement) and an ascending AC where an unarmored human have AC 12. Unless specifically noted, the creature saves as a Fighter with a level equal to the creatures HD. 

1/5/14

What I currently play and why

I'm currently running two games, one campaign in Pathfinder, set in Kaer Maga on Golarion and one campaign in Lamentations of the Flame Princess, set in England on a kind of dark magical earth circa 1615.

The players in the PF campaign are a bunch of friends with a mixed experience of playing. One of them started playing around the time I was born 30-ish years ago and another one is a newbie. The campaign is pretty much standard fantasy new school D&D with some of my personal tastes mixed in to it. I'm not gonna spoil anything for my players so I'll shut up about exactly what's in there.
Most of all it's fantasy, easy standard fantasy with rules most know well enough. It's safe and secure. It's also a bit complex and hard to tamper with without breaking stuff.

The LotFP campaign is set in Europe 1615-ish with magic and gunpowder. It's not in any way meant to be historically correct, the Earth-setting is meant to make the world familiar. The magic and monsters are meant to be unknown and mystical. There are no other races than humans and monsters are mostly one of a kind stuff so there are no goblins or orcs or armies of undead. Magic-Users risk being burned at the stake and magic items are probably going to be nasty and weird. No +1 swords. The players are all people I played with as a teenager and they all stopped playing circa 10 years ago. The benefit of this is that they seem to pretty much agree to go with all my ideas without any major objections and everything seems new and fresh to them.

These are stories of Wonders and Witchcraft.

Station Ident

This is Wonders & Witchcraft, a blog mostly about, mostly Old School, rpgs. The plan is to post ideas and stuff I come up with, usually sitting on a subway going somewhere, or at a conference table. Ideas I need to get in print. Sometimes there will also be a review or just thoughts about the latest little booklet I read.

Unless otherwise noted stats for stuff are written with the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rule set in mind, that means ascending AC with a unarmoured human having AC 12 and Silver Pieces being the money/XP standard. It should be easy to convert it to your rules of choice.

Unless otherwise noted the pictures posted were found somewhere on the internet and I do not know the source of them. Sorry.

RPG Person Profile

I'm currently running (at home): Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Pathfinder
Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (at home) include: Same.

I'm currently running (online): Not much for online play.
Tabletop RPGs I'm currently playing (online) include: see above.


I would especially like to play/run: Carcosa. Started planning for running it, but it will most likely be a while.
...but would also try: Getting more and more interested in some cyberpunk gaming. Of some sort or another.

I live in: Stockholm, Sweden
2 or 3 well-known RPG products other people made that I like: Vornheim, Realms of Crawling Chaos, The Metamorphica
2 or 3 novels I like: Pattern Recognition, Thieves World, CoMa
2 or 3 movies I like: La Jetée, Blade Runner, Gozu

Best place to find me on-line: Here.

I will read almost anything on tabletop RPGs if it: Includes random tables and non-generic monsters.
I really do not want to hear about: Elves.


I think dead orc babies are ( circle one: funny / problematic / ....well, ok, it's complicated because....): Funny.

Game I'm in are like (link to something):
  

I talk about RPGs on swedish site WRNU under the name chrull.