Showing posts from October, 2012

In Which You Have Multiple PCs

Back with my D&D games were many and often, one of our GMs had us make multiple characters, all of which would be linked to a thieves’ guild. We called it our Thieves’ Campaign. The premise was that for each adventure the guild master would assign one character from each player to be part of the team going out for this particular mission. That way we each had many characters, but only played one at a time. The Thieves’ Campaign went the way of all others, falling into disuse after a few adventures. What I was wondering, though, was if anyone else had the same experience: making multiple characters for a campaign, but only using one per adventure and rotating through that way? If so, did it help the overall campaign remain fresh since you weren’t using the same character every sitting? What other experiences to you remember about that kind of campaign?

Gaming Inspiration: GI Joe Cartoon

I've been re-watching some beloved 80s cartoon lately, and some of them give me some pretty cool ideas. The original GI Joe cartoon can be corny in ways (some of the character names are just as laughable as the ones in He-Man), but there are good ideas to be had as well. Early episodes are almost like quests, with the Joes racing against Cobra to retrieve some object or another. Sometimes the two sides even have to cooperate in order to survive the dangers of the locale. Quests can be fun, if not overused. Rare relics can be fun to seek out (and then use!). Cooperating with the enemy for the survival of all is a good twist to throw in now and then. All around, watching these early episodes has given me a few good ideas for when it comes time for me to run a game again.

New Creature: Beak Horror

Art used with permission of the amazing Eric Quigley: Beak Horror M  4  WS  48  BS  0  S  3  T  4  W  12  I  40  A  3  Dex  12  Ld  27  Int  29  Cl  41  WP 30  Fel  10 Beak Horrors are an extremely mutated form of beastman, horrendous looking even to other mutated creatures. They are despised by all, and despise all in return, knowing they can never live in any semblance of a unified society or utilize their limbs in a way that would help them create empires. They speak a seductive dialect of the Dark Tongue. Physique: Beak horrors are conspicuously similar in appearance, as if a pet creation of Tzeentch. The head is horned and fanged. The arms are thin and quick, yet powerful, capped with razor-sharp beaks instead of hands. Their skin in mostly missing, exposing the musculature underneath. They also invariably have goat legs. Alignment: Chaotic Special Rules: Seductive voice: When they are able to speak while remaining hidde

Character Profiles: Ke'Lan of Tempus

(Transcribed and Grammaticized by Monk Florey)  No Orc is my friend, Humans fear me; I am a Half-Orc. I am no stranger to battle, having been brought up in a barren wasteland tribe settled scant distances from human habitation.  For all my childhood the full-blooded Orcs shunned me.  They treated me as a slave almost, only stopping when my father finally put his foot down.  He would not let them overuse me, for I needed to be fit enough to become the great warrior he wanted me to be.  To achieve this end he sent me to practice daily.  Not a single night went by where I was not covered in fresh bruises and nasty welts.  The only place that offered any kind of reprieve was with the other half-breeds in camp. The others could not exactly be called friends, but we were all somewhat outcasts and looked down upon by the orcs, so we never bullied each other.  With them was the only time I was not being overworked or physically abused in combat practice.  This could not exactly be ca

How to Keep Them Occupied

Here's a quick question for this Friday: Let's say you want to keep adventurers interested in one large room for more than just a few minutes. Maybe for an entire sitting. There would have to be many things in the room, right? What kinds of different things would you put in one large hall to keep adventurers' interest?

Kickstarter: Spears of the Dawn

I have to admit, I get enthused by enthusiastic publishers. I finally jumped on the Spears of the Dawn Kickstarter . I wanted a physical copy of the book (because I'm like that), but I have so many physical books I'm not using right now and won't be using for a while. I jumped in at the pdf level so that I'll have easy access to the digital art that Kevin Crawford is so excited about. If I like and use the game enough, I'm sure the physical book will be available to purchase in the future.

Updating My Underground Complex Ideas

I admitted when I posted these ideas that they were old. While it's true that "old" doesn't necessarily mean "inferior," there are some points I would like to update or alter due to my current mindset. Here are some updates I've been thinking about: In a dark part of the cave complex, they find a door that leads to a finished underground hold. I need to find out what creatures used to live in this hold. The hold isn't populated now. The hold is/ was not a dwarven complex. It's not Skaven. I need to find another underground creature that might have made and live in an actual underground keep. I've already updated the entrance to be a sinkhole that leads into a large hall . I like this idea so much that I'm making the hall larger and larger in my head to accommodate a day or so worth of investigating just for the one room.  Now the complex is filled with undead.  The undead are not human, they are undead of whatever creature used to l

Gaming Inspiration: He-Man

I say it to myself every time I watch a He-Man cartoon, but the backdrops are really inspiring.  Also, He-Man is quite the merger of fantasy and science fiction. Either that or it's quite a work from the time before fantasy and science were separated like they are today.

A New Dungeon Begins

Last Tuesday I asked, "Where did that entrance come from?" I had a few ideas, but I received a few others from Google+. The one that really caught my attention was a sinkhole. Let's imagine that the picture above has a sinkhole coming in from the ceiling right about where that chandelier is. This is the starting point for a dungeon I'm (very) slowly going to create. Opening: A sinkhole has collapsed into and underground hall. Nobody locally, even historians, knows about any kind of worked complex in this area. Work is currently being done to try to stabilize the sinkhole, while adventurous types are being recruited for an interior investigation.  This is a pretty easy way to get the characters pulled in to the adventure. Another idea is that if the PCs don't take up the challenge of exploring the underground find, they will occasionally hear reports about what's going on down there when they are off on their other adventures. At some point the reports

Magic Item: Alyssa’s Extra Eyes

This item is a small necklace with a mirror pendant. The mirror is round and approximately 1 inch in diameter. The mirror is kept magically scuff and dust free. The wearer can use the mirror normally. The real magic is used by the actual owner of the necklace. These necklaces are owned and distributed by the weredragon Alyssa as means for her to see whatever is in front of her agents, the wearers of the necklaces.  She gives these necklaces to anyone whose progress she wishes to follow. She can use the view in the pendant to teleport items to the wearer of the necklace. She often does this while the wearer is asleep or otherwise not paying attention so that the wearer does not know of the specific power of the necklace. If necessary (or desired), Alyssa can also use the view from the pendant to teleport herself to the viewed area.

Exploring the Old Underground Complex

On Wednesday, I shared an idea that I found from 2008 about undead creatures. I’m not sure why I never used it, but the idea sits in an old email, never to be seen until just the other day. I found some more cool stuff in the email that I would love to use, too. It’s about adventuring in an underground complex that has been closed up for many, many years: In a dark part of the cave complex, they find a door that leads to a finished underground hold. I need to find out what creatures used to live in this hold. The hold isn't populated now. The hold is/ was not a dwarven complex. It's not Skaven. I need to find another underground creature that might have made and live in an actual underground keep. Now the complex is filled with undead.  The undead are not human, they are undead of whatever creature used to live there.  This could make it doubly scary, a monster and undead in one. There may be treasure there, as the undead keep looters away.  I'll actually have dead

Doors Work Both Ways

I had this idea recently, and then saw it referenced in one place, that the "newly opened" megadungeon door can work both ways . The adventure might be the party going in to see what's there and make their fame and fortune. Or the adventure might be to try to keep whatever's in there from getting out and into the nearby area, now that it has an escape valve.

Undead Creatures

We always hear about undead humans: skeletons, ghosts, mummies, vampires. What about undead creatures? What if it’s not just a mummy, but it’s a minotaur mummy? What about a Halfling vampire? (Seriously…nobody expects a Halfling vampire.) Apparently this is an idea I had in November 2008 that I never followed up on. 

Where Did That Entrance Come From?

I have a dungeon on the brain.  I'd like to crowdsource this part: The entrance to a long long lost dungeon was recently found. What hid/obscured the entrance in the first place? I'll begin, and you can add to the list from there: -Earthquake -Avalanche -Volcano -Powerful illusion that just expired... Your turn! (By the way, comments should be wide open now. Please let me know if they aren't.)

Exploring and Claiming a Dungeon

When I am a player exploring a dungeon, I like to go into every single room. I don’t skip rooms and corridors because I have found the stairs to the next level. I want to clear out the entire level, and then move on. That might be caused by my GM mentality. The GM worked on every room, and it would be a shame to ignore some of his/her work. Now, besides exploring the dungeon, I have this idea about how to claim the dungeon. Once my character can afford such a thing, I’d like to hire a party of mercenaries or some such to follow behind me as my party explores and claims each part of the dungeon. This mercenary party is charged with making sure that nothing tries to take (back) what I have already claimed. These mercenaries would have to find a place behind me that is accessible by only one or two hallways and set up defenses there. As my party moved through the dungeon, the defense point would change.  This defense point is also a great place for me to retreat if necessary. The

WarHammer NPC: Davon Brostier

This character was created for an intrigue setting set in/around Altdorf. He should be using the PCs to gain an advantage...or to seek info on others who are trying to do the same against him and his. Davon uses the Hot Tub Inn as his base of operations to meet PCs. He makes sure the inn is always financially sound in times of trouble to his base is assured. He has worked his way up from a lowly scribe and is now a "behind the scenes" Lord of Altdorf. Name : Davon L Brostier Race : Human     Class : Academic     Career : Merchant M 4 WS 44 BS 45 S 3 T 4 W 9 I 42 A 1 Dex 46 Ld 69 Int 63 Cl 49 WP 53 Fel 53 Skills: Arcane Language - Magick, Read/Write, Secret Language - Classical, Evaluate, Haggle, Magic Sense, Numismatics, Ride, Secret Language - Guilder, Super Numerate, Languages - Reikspiel and Breton. Trappings: Writing equipment, town house, warehouse, 2,500 GC, 2 scribes, 75% share in a merchant ship "Manann's Grace".

More On Retainers

I find there is a fine line between a PC hiring a retainer and a player just playing two PCs. This is probably due to reasons I've mentioned previously where I give the retainers to the players to play because I have more than enough on my GM plate. The players run the retainers, and for the most part they are fair. A lot of my players are either GMs themselves or are fair, level-headed people to begin with. When I hand out retainer NPCs to the players, I rarely have to take back anything the players says that the retainer does. With this in mind, I'm wondering...wouldn't it just be better to let the player have two PCs? One can be the regular character, and one can be the lower-level character hired for a specific purpose (torch-bearer, loot-hauler, animal-caretaker, etc.) The player shouldn't expect a lot of the game tailored for the lower-level character to shine. However, the retainer is there, and it being controlled fairly, and is out of the GM's hands, le

On Character Death

If you play in a game that I run, there is a chance that your character might die. I want you to play in my game. I want you to have fun. I won't seek to kill you. I'll even be rooting for you. However, there are deadly things in the world you are adventuring in. I need to warn you about these things, as much as possible. (Dragons? They are always deadly. You've been warned.) If you are coming upon a lair, I need to describe the bones outside. I need to let you meet the Ogre butler.  I need to tell you rumors in town. Where there is a trap containing a block that falls from the ceiling, I need to describe the deep divots on the floor and the bloodstains. In the past, I have not always lived up to my part. It is completely understandable if this upset you. I will do better in the future.  I thought it only fair to warn you. If you don't think your character should die, you won't like me very much. That makes me sad, and I'm sorry. 

Magic Item: Bag of Demonologist Beans

I created this many, many years ago (I think I created it…). I don’t see any reason why a PC would want this, or, if they knew what was inside, would use it. Oh well. These beans were specifically assembled and bagged with the party’s Demonologist in mind.  The GM should have the player describe exactly where they are planting the bean. The rest of the party should describe where they will be watching from, and the entire party should explain what their immediate intentions are afterward (remaining on that spot, backing up, walking away, running away, etc.) and how far they intend to go if they leave. They may or may not get to do what they intent, but the GM needs to be aware of this information before the roll is made. For the effect, the bean must be planted in the ground. All results are centered directly above where the bean was planted. Let the owner of the bag roll a d20:   A batch (10d10) of red ferns grow.   For each fern   pulled out of the ground, there are two pos

On Creating. And Destroying.

On Google+, Brendan Strejcek referenced a passage in Apocalypse World about feeding your creations to the fire. This is my story. In high school a friend and I spent a *very* long time creating a town for WarHammer Fantasy Roleplay. We built this town from scratch, drawing it, numbering the buildings, and populating the buildings with NPCs. Each had a name and a career. Throughout years of gaming, various PC parties were based out of this town. They got to know the residents, drive off small invasions, and basically feel at home. In my last campaign, I shattered all that. A horde of goblinoids, with spellcasters and boar riders, came out of some caves located on the outskirts of town. The PCs were there to lead the townfolk, defend the town, and take out the BBEG leading the attack. However, there was a lot of permanent damage done. I took my hours, my labor of love, and I destroyed it.  Honestly, it was fun. If the same group plays in the town again, I’ll have to start t

World Building: Alternate D&D Setting

This is a setting my friend used for our AD&D 2e game. I wanted to get it down to save it. History: All races were slaves to dragons at one point. The "lesser" races revolted and gained their freedom. The dragons still ruled a section of the continent. He modified/created dragon lords using the Council Of Wyrms boxed set. These dragons were nasty! Magic was very prevalent across all nations. There was one nation ruled by an oligarchy council. There was a religion of were-priests . They gained their transformation through their god. (I had a were-priestess named Shallya [stolen from WarHammer] who could change into a panther.) He created his own pantheons, basing a lot of skills and powers from the Skills & Powers book. (He let me co-create the were-priest religion.) There was a region ruled by a college of wizards. There were Ice Elves who lived in seclusion. Dwarves were strongly prevalent. He ran an entire Dwarven campaign across deserts to reclaim some

Ambition & Avarice in the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar

We had a fun game on Saturday. The 3 character deaths all came from traps in the Haunted Halls. I'd decrease the power on at least two of the traps if was going to run the adventure for first level characters again. We didn't get a chance to try the combat system as the characters just happened to choose paths no where near any monsters. Even random encounter rolls came up with nothing. Lucky. I'll tweak this a bit before running it at SnowCon . I really want to see a party use the bomb I planted in the pile of metal stuff in the entry room. The weekend convention is over, so it's back to school and studying for me. Therefore I'm already excited for Dwimmermount next weekend. We should be able to finish level 1 in a sitting or two. I hope so, because I want to run a level or two at SnowCon in January. Finally, if I can get DodecaheDRONE in time, I'll run that at SnowCon, too. I want the game designers that are kind enough to interact with me on Google+ to