Saturday, April 19, 2014

Up and Down

Traditionally dungeons have levels and as they go deeper and deeper into the ground they get get a higher numbered level. So if they go up do the levels still go up?

Maybe level up should be stories or floors just like in a building. Of course ypu gp that route and some folks are going to be afraid to walk up to the second floor when only 1st level.

What do you call the starting level of a dungeon that goes up and down?Entry level, 0-level, ground level ?
Each of those have some issues, a really big dungeon should have multiple entry points and they should allow one to bypass whoel levels from the outside so "Entry Level" might not be pleasing for all. 0-level is already taken for push-over normal men. Ground level really only works if the startign level is on the ground.

What's in a name and how can we have that mean something when going up or down?

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Urchin



A consolation class. You’ve rolled up a character and it’s still pretty bad considering your inner-munchkin. No ability scores with a bonus? Two or more ability score with a penalty actually? Well try playing an urchin.

An urchin is an unpleasant term for a child of the streets or the dungeon corridors. They are small unimpressive and rather slippery sorts.
The Urchin
Level
EXP
HitPoints
Wiggle/Escape
Go Unnoticed
Throw
Dirty Blow
Or Taunt/Insult
1
0
1d3
30%
40%
0
10%
2
400
1d4
40%
50%
+1
15%
3
1000
1d5
50%
60%
+2
20%
4
1500
1d6
60%
70%
+2
25%
5
2100
1d7
40%
50%
+3
30%
6
3000
1d8
20%
30%
+4
35%
An urchin is still developing and as such gains an ability point at 2nd, 4th, and 6th level.

Hitpoints: Urchins do not gain a full hitdie each time they level up but they may re-roll hp using the die indicated for their new level.
Wiggle/Escape: whenever an urchin is grapples, held, or trapped they can make a single roll to wiggle out of danger.

Go Unnoticed: if ab urchin is standing near an ally, or even someone not really aware of the urchin, the urchin can’t be targeted directly unless they make a physical attack or insult/taunt.

Throw: urchins don’t get better at combat except for throwing weapons, usually rocks.

Dirty blow: An urchin can convert any attack to a dirty blow. A dirty blow is made at -2 to attack and then the chance is rolled, if successful the target is slightly stunned for as many following rounds as the urchin has level. Slightly stunned is no action the round this attack is inflicted and -2 to hit and AC for the duration.

Taunt/Insult: An urchin can taunt someone forcing them to make a save or do something foolish even dangerous if a save vs grace fails (Will save for some games). This insult will can cause a loss of reputation equal to the urchins level if the victim fails a save and is of the same level or lower then the urchin.

Attack: urchins fight as normal men. 
Weapons: clubs, rocks, darts, knives, and daggers. Non prof penalty of -3
Armor: any but wiggle/escape is cut in half with any armor worn and the ability to go unnoticed is completely lost if wearing armor heavier then leather.
Maximum level for an Urchin is 6th level. A character will have to find training in another class to advance in that new class. Wiggle/escape and going unnoticed chance is lost when gaining a new class. Dirty Blow chance decreases 10% each level gained in a new class, taunting/insulting is at half it’s chance.

Snow!

Nothing to do with gaming at all but it's in the high 60's very low 70's and I've still got about 3 or 4 square feet of snow in my yard in the middle of April.

Why so many levels?

Not why are there so many dungeon levels in some big dungeons but why are there so many character levels in D&Desque games?

Would it be more fun if the difference between the fledgling hero and the ultimate hero weren't so extreme?

The game is about discovery and looting stuff isn't it? Why is gaining levels such a big part of the game?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

1d100 Treasure and Curiosities of the Simian Savanna



Some loot and oddities for wanderers and scavengers of the Simian Savanna.

1d100 Treasure and Curiosities of the Simian Savanna

  1. Clay pot of candied ants.
  2. Small package of smoked jungle larva.
  3. Jar of dried termites.
  4. A small glass jar of locust paste.
  5. A cloth bag full of banana chips.
  6. Fancy Brass Spyglass, x10 magnification.(for scouts and traders)
  7. Brass Telescope engraved with sacred simian scripture.
  8. Gold-plated Simian Chronometer. Separate hands and stops for days, hours, minutes and seconds
  9. Fancy mechanical simian abacus with a sturdy felt wrapped case.
  10. Leather and brass tube holding a map to a dig site in the Melted Waste.
  11. Linked Engraved Placards. Seven metal panels engraved with route maps from one simian shrine to another.
  12. Silver Chimp Prayer Bells.
  13. Bone figurines of naked humans, “See No evil”,”Hear No Evil”, and “Speak No Evil”
  14. Fine embroidered Orangutan prayer shawl
  15. Brass meditation gong.
  16. Wooden Triptych with popular sayings from the sacred simian scrolls.
  17. Gold and glass cases securing antique copies of the first three sacred simian scrolls written on parchment of human skin.
  18. A pottery figurine of The Speaker of Lore.
  19. A Stone bust of a famous Simian General.
  20. A tapestry bearing images of folk tales based on teaching of The Speaker of Lore.
  21. Archaic obsidian sacrificial knife.
  22. Archaic brass bleeding bowl.
  23. Savage simian necklace of ape and human teeth.
  24. Bone idol of exaggerated pregnant gorilla.
  25. Retro-savage simian carving of simian warriors.
  26. Fancy leather man-collar.
  27. Industrial man-yoke. (To tether men to wagons, plows, and mechanical systems)
  28. Man-goad; a staff with a feather on one side and dull brass spike or wooden knob on other.
  29. Heavy Iron shackles with chain to link hands and feet.
  30. Scourge of quality leather with well carved human bone handle.
  31. Weighted throwing net.
  32. Mummified human hand.
  33. Pickled punk in fine glass vessel with fancy brass cap and feet.
  34. A complete tattooed human hide.
  35. A stuffed human. Possibly mounted to a hat rack or umbrella stand.
  36. A human skull candy bowl.
  37. Three segmented simian flail.
  38. A fine gorilla foot-bow.
  39. A simian hurlbat with silver inlay.
  40. A fancy dueling sword with brass guard.
  41. Engraved fighting razor (bears scenes such as dueling baboons or comical humans).
  42. Double barreled silver inlayed simian blunderbuss.
  43. Gorilla-grip five-shot revolver.
  44. Silver plated and ivory handled pocket pistol. Handle engraved with scene of human hunting.
  45. High caliber hunting rifle with ivory stock inlay and fancy brass scope.
  46. A case of explosives.
  47. A simian hand grenade.
  48. A modern simian bolt-action rifle.
  49. An antique gibbon-sized musket.
  50. An antique set of dueling pistols with grips seemigly fit for human hands.
  51. A pocket copy of the sacred scrolls.
  52. A folio of human hating verse.
  53. A heretical pamphlet of evolutionist theory.
  54. A folio of bawdy simian erotica.
  55. A veterinary guide to human health.
  56. The complete works of William Shakespeare in the original archaic orangutan.
  57. An illustrated youth guide to the seven wonders of the simian savanna.
  58. A tome of traditionalist simian philosophy containing the archaic orangutan and modern translation with educational notation.
  59. A Complete Record of Simian Invention. Three volume illustrated work published by the simian patent office in Central City prior to closing after the council of Lore Speakers decided everything that would ever be invented had been.
  60. Anatomy of the Greater Simians. Complete anatomical drawings of Chimpanzee, Gorilla, and Orangutan with brief notes on other simians.
  61. Tigerbat rug,
  62. A wicker cage holding a stuffed Stingbat.
  63. A gorilla –sized Rustbear cloak.
  64. Stuffed jackalope.
  65. Mounted lacquer coated scorpion.
  66. Mounted wolfrat head.
  67. Mounted cherub. A mock taxidermy special of human infant or non-sentient monkey with beast wings sewn on.
  68. Complete stuffed Scorporilla.
  69. Bronzed mutant skull.
  70. Savage simian cyclorilla-skin headdress.
  71. Glass Popsi bottle filled with colored sand.
  72. A hollow resin statuette of King Krang climbing a building with a bottle of Popsi in hand.
  73. Ancient work of art, a smiley face made of Popsi caps affixed to resin backing.
  74. Ancient work of art, a figure of a hound made from pasta covered in gold paint.
  75. A human doll that says “Mama”.
  76. A gourd full of loose pieces of desert glass . (odd segments of natural glass retrieved from the Melted Wastes).
  77. A portrait of The Speaker of Lore made from pieces of desert glass.
  78. A fur comb with a fancy handle of desert glass.
  79. Silver fur pick.
  80. A silver pin with mounted desert glass “stone”.
  81. Warm metal fork of ancient design.
  82. A resin cigarillo holder.
  83. A silver cigarillo case with embedded desert glass.
  84. A humidor of jungle wood (possibly holding a stash of cigarillos).
  85. A silver serving platter ringed in desert glass and polished stones.
  86. A human mask made of wood, paper-mache, and natural hair.
  87. A blank mannish mask made by secret simian cult of the wicked man.
  88. Fine quality rubber mask of human face of unknown origin.
  89. Fine quality rubber gloves made to look like a human hand.
  90. Mock ape mask of unknown origin.
  91. Fine metallic jumpsuit that will fit almost any human.
  92. A parcel holding an expanding raft.
  93. A small hand-sized ancient box of crystal, resin, and curious gubbins.
  94. An ancient bottle of brandy.
  95. A glass jar of booze. Recently brewed.
  96. An ancient sealed can in good shape with no label. Could be fruit salad, soup, or veggies.
  97. A holographic memory crystal.
  98. A hand held two-way radio of unknown manufacture.
  99. An ever-charged battery.
  100. A tube of antiseptic paste.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Elf rings, Ethereal Gates and other portals

Just spit-balling and sharing here. A few ideas to beef up dungeons actually.



Fairy Ring- connects one fey space with another. Any elf or fairy can walk the inner perimeter three times and the walker and everyone else inside will teleport to the linked location. It is possible for anyone to follow the last user up to as many hours as they have hitdice after the last time a fairy used the fairy circle so fairy-folk don’t use them too frequently and will have both linked rings remote and secluded/secured.

Hurdle Hollow- a fairy place often erroneously called “faerie”. A hurdle hollow will appear to be a secluded place surrounded by hills or mountains and fey princes are known to build palaces in in these hidden dales. No one can leave a hurdle hollow by ordinary means principally a Fairy Ring is required but if bwg gain access to a hurdle hollow they will fashion goblin doors in remote corners on the edge of the hollow. Ethereal travel is only possible at the edge of a hollow and it is very dangerous as one can get lost very easily as hurdle hollows do not easily connect to anywhere else. If all the fairy rings are destroyed within a hurdle hollow the fairies and all else within will be trapped for 101 years. Teleportation will allow one to travel within a hurdle hollow but not to leave it.

Goblin Door- magical doors only visible to fairies and bwgs. A goblin door may connect two seemingly remote places, allow access to a goblin grotto or simply work like an ordinary doorway (that vanishes if the door is broken). Fey and bwg have a 4 in 6 chance of spotting a concealed goblin door, these are the “secret” doors elves are famed for finding. A knock spell cast on a 10’ run of wall containg an unseen goblin door will reveal the presence of the door to any mortal for as many full turns as the casters level, a second knock spell would be needed to open the door. Goblin doors are not invisible so magic that detects/reveals invisibility will not aid one in finding goblin door. Soemoneelse had an excellent post or two on goblin doors a couple years ago, if I find it I'll link it.

Goblin Grotto- a hidden pocket realm/dimension usually a cavernous space. A goblin grotto can only be accessed by goblin doors. Ethereal travel within a goblin door will only allow one to move about in an ethereal state within the grotto. Air will never run out in a goblin grotto and if there are environmental changes they will be linked to magical phenomena or be very slow and gradual. A goblin grotto may seem a great place to hide out but it is very unsafe as many a bwg can open a goblin door into a goblin grotto. Attempting to leave a Goblin Grotto by teleport is typically lethal having a 66% chance of entombing the would be teleporter in stone somewhere else.  The ability to dimension door inside a goblin grotto will allow one to exit the grotto near s goblin door they entered the grotto from but not to return (except by the door).

Ethereal Gate- connects a mundane location with an ethereal location. There must be a “waiting room” between two physical locations to travel between two mundane locations unless one is able to freely travel in the ethereal plane.

Ethereal Stair- appears to be a stair case to nowhere but each has a certain number of stairs that may be walked upon to travel to an ethereal space or link remote locations linked by very lengthy runs of ethereal stair. Attempting to teleport from an Ethereal Stair is lethal as 99% of the time the would be teleporter and all their gear dissipate into ethereal vapor and dimension door and other similar magics will only access a different step on the stair.
 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hyperborean goods, loot, and treasure



100 goods, loot, and treasure of frigid hyperborea.
  1. Completely intact bog mummy.
  2. Powdered bog mummy lashings.
  3. Intact Frigid Mummy.
  4. Mostly intact sun-dried frigid mummy.
  5. Frigid mummia preserved in ice.
  6. Frigid mummia suspended in oil.
  7. Salted frigid mummia.
  8. Powdered frigid mummia.
  9. Shrunken head of ancient magus.
  10. Pickled head of ancient antagonist preserved in vinegar.
  11. Shrunken elven mummy wrapped in copper wire.
  12. Gnomish mummy floating in brine.
  13. Large chunk of rough amber.
  14. Pebbles of rough amber.
  15. Great polished amber orb.
  16. Leather bag of polished amber marbles.
  17. Imp suspended in rough amber.
  18. Fairy trapped in polished amber.
  19. Ivory cage holding miniature dragonette encased in amber.
  20. Dragon’s Drop, a drop of blood encased in a polished amber orb.
  21. Amber candleholder with an entombed ancient wasp.
  22. A preserved raven claw holding a polished amber stone.
  23. A boline of leviathan bone with insets of amber.
  24. A bronze cloak-pin set with an amber stone.
  25. An amber rod, meant for medicinal/alchemical work.
  26. Amber circlet meant to crown a hyperborean jarl.
  27. Amber wand inscribed with elder runes.
  28. A small clay pot if draconic liquamen.
  29. A large jar of kraken garum.
  30. A fine glass bottle full of clear garum.
  31. A tiny silver jar filled with draconic liquamen.
  32. A small pot of surströmming (soured herring). This fermented fish dish best opened and eaten outdoors.
  33. A cask full of brined hákarl cut into cubes ready to serve (Fermented rotten shark).
  34. A decorated seal skin stuffed with kiviak (fermented auk).
  35. Amphor of fesikh (fermented salted mullet and mugil).
  36. A cask of bullion cakes.
  37. A decorative clay jar full of powdered kashk (dried yogurt).
  38. A lapis amphor filled with spiced kashk.
  39. Decorative cask holding two quarts heart-of-wine.
  40. Antique clay jug filled with kumis (fermented mare’s milk alcohol).
  41. A large horse-hide bladder filled with kumis.
  42. Glass flask of mead.
  43. A clay pot of honey.
  44. A golden yeti scalp  (from the rare summer coat of a young yeti).
  45. A preserved yeti paw. Considered a luck charm until a yeti spies it.
  46. A complete yeti hide decorated in ancient hyperborean pictographs.
  47. A shaman’s mask made from a skinned yeti head.
  48. A shrunken yeti’s head containing a small supply of chthonic salts.
  49. A yeti fur cloak.
  50. A complete walrus tusk.
  51. A walrus tusk heavily decorated and engraved with runes, meant to be a jarls scepter.
  52. A chess set carved from walrus ivory.
  53. Ceremonial mask carved from walrus ivory.
  54. Walrus ivory hyperborean prayer charm.
  55. Mammoth Ivory tusk.
  56. A seal skin bag holding pieces of mammoth tusk ivory.
  57. Wonderfully carved mammoth ivory knife handle.
  58. Figurine carved from mammoth ivory.
  59. Whale ivory cane.
  60. Whale ivory stirrups.
  61. A pair of whale ivory knitting hooks.
  62. A coat of whale ivory “scale” armor.
  63. A sealskin coat with ivory buttons.
  64. A pair of sealskin boots.
  65. A bundle of seal skins.
  66. Sealskin cape
  67. Ice bear cape with bear-head hood.
  68. Ice bear cloak.
  69. Complete Ice bear hide.
  70. Ice bear skull etched in hyperborean runes.
  71. Elk hide.
  72. Pile of elk antlers.
  73. Shaman’s elk-head headdress.
  74. Ceremonial antlered crown.
  75. Belt of linked cuts of antler.
  76. Goat hide.
  77. Fancy goat-cart.
  78. Goat collar with silver bells.
  79. Rune carved goat skull holding a set of stone runes.
  80. A fine goat-skin bag with as set of ivory divining sticks.
  81. Lump of moon-iron (meteoric iron found on the icy hyperborean plains and frozen seas.
  82. Moon-Iron ingot
  83. Antler-handled moon-iron knife.
  84. Steel sword with moon-iron inlay.
  85. Bronzed-faced wooden shield.
  86. Gilt bronze-faced wooden shield.
  87. Fancy Bronze helmet with ivory and amber inlays.
  88. Gilt bronze shield boss.
  89. Silver belt buckle with ivory and amber inlay.
  90. Vest of silver and gold coins sewn to elk hide.
  91. A pair of silver arm-rings with simple decoration.
  92. Decorated silver bowl.
  93. A pair of fancy silver dress pins.
  94. Set of fancy wooden bowls and cups.
  95. Boar-headed bras horn decorated with silver.
  96. Two pounds in bits of foreign silver flatware.
  97. Ivory flute with golden inlay.
  98. Gold braided ring.
  99. Fancy drinking horn with silver inlay.
  100. Silver scrying bowl decorated in hyperborean runes.

Notes: 
No values given as the hyperboreasn don't put price tags on their goods everything is bartered, a DMshouldn't have much trouble figuring out sp/gp values that fit their own campaign.

A frigid mummy is aged remains of someone caught out in the cold and frozen. 

Mummia is strips of mummy tissue used in magic and medicine.

The hyperborea I'm writing this for is an extoic and wild frozen north on the edge of savagery.