Friday, March 26, 2010

In the Black Ziggurat

More play in my Mutant Future campaign (2 sessions worth)

The Flatulent Desperadoes fled from the Black Ziggurat after scouting out it perimeter a bit longer and managed to return to Fresh Pond with map to the Ziggurat and limited details. With the information in hand the town started planning defenses but was in no hurry to launch raid and they wished the PCs fortune for wishing to do so.

The Flatulent Desperadoes returned to the perimeter of the ruins surrounding the Black Ziggurat and discovered the hostility field that usually surrounded the Pig Men didn't seem to be present and this seemingly was allowing them to gather in larger numbers and associate with a local population of mole-men and an ever growing number of mutant pilgrims traveling to the Black Ziggurat.

After a scouting run where Craniax while still invisible was almost caught by burrowing molemen the party discovered the Ziggurat was dominated by a being known as The Quintus a prophet held on a veiled palanquin borne by a number of slaves.

Under cover of darkness the Flatulent Desperadoes were able to gain access to the Black Ziggurat. They ran afoul of guards and were stuck inside the first entry of the Zigguart but were able to hide themselves thanks Craniax bending light waves to hide them. Afterward they discovered a workshop in the temple high atop the Ziggurat and an elevator descending into the depths.

Exploring the workshop and discovering someone was working on some sort of flying machine they ended up trapped by The Quintus and some of his Acolytes. They discovered the Quintus was a co-joined quintuplet Mastermind unable to move himself swiftly with considerable mental abilities. The party was captured by The Quintus and given a chance to prove themselves by fetching the Gamma Plasma Stone hidden deep in the tunnels beneath the Black Ziggurat. The party chose the chance of success verse the chance of a certain death.

The tunnels beneath the Black Zigguart proved to be a vast multi-layer complex filled with bizzare technological death traps a number of mutant guardians and others tasked with the same pursuit as the PCs. In unfamiliar territory the PCs managed to deal with many of the occupants with negotiation and intimidation instead of simple force of arms. An automated auto-rifle gave the trouble a great deal of trouble and inflicted much damage on the party before they destroyed the device and were able to pass through the chamber without being harmed.

The poor mastermind that had recently joined the group found himself bisected in the vertical plane by a Hyper-Field Warp Scythe while stepping off a spiral staircase. the party increased it's caution an vigilance even more following this death.

After passing a guard chamber of owl men deep in their cups the party discovered a small number of the owl men sacrificing an immature spidergoat to an idol that party quickly realized was a deactivated android. The party slew the owl men present and set about reactivating the Android before the drunken owl men could respond. The android was able to frighten off the owl men guardians and spare the party a fight in their weakened condition.

Delving deeper into the tunnels the party found their quarry (by fabulous luck of choices) and discovered it emanated a dangerous amount of radiation. The party cunningly sent the pair of androids in their group (thanks to the new found ally) to capture the Gamma Plasma Stone inside a sack full of lead pieces where the lead might just protect them well enough to carry the device to The Quintus and hopefully gain their safety.

Ref notes- I've gotten a number of sessions out of just a little fun work. The Black Ziggurat and the ruins about it are a couple paragraphs of text I whipped up , the Quintus actually takes up more note space then the Zigguart and ruins do. The tunnels beneath the Black Ziggurat are an edited random dungeon from here:

I did do a quick and easy PC replacement with the android replacing the idol in the chamber where owl men were otherwise sacrificing a spider goat. Sure it was quick and easy but fun should be that way sometimes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Discussion with the players

Last session of my weekly rpg I spent about an hour talking with the players about what they might want to see in the next D&D (or clone) campaign. The following are the replies I got:
  • Heroic Fights against hordes of lowly monsters (with fighters getting one attack per level).
  • Hate level draining.
  • let's start at 1st level again
  • let's start at 3rd level
  • start off with more money
  • fight a massive war/military campaign *
  • more magic
  • Rangers
  • Cheesie Barbarians
  • Dusk Blades (<- fighter/MU's ???)
  • Assassins
  • 2 or more characters per player
  • Developed Base Town the players can care about *
  • More puzzles *
  • More politics *
  • Having a PC with an actual job
  • Legendary unique items
  • More detailed swordplay, at least for duels
  • Active factions/guilds
  • More verisimilitude
  • More campaign knowledge (player wanted to learn abotu campaign and have the knowledge matter)
  • Primitive Firearms
  • Forestry
  • StarGate style world hopping
  • No Arabs (???)
  • No modern weaponry but fashioned firearms okay.
  • No Daleks (pretty funny considering next item in list)
  • Time Travel
  • Zombie Apocalypse
  • Traveling Salesmen/Peddlers *
  • Archer class
  • City Setting
  • Pray for divine intervention
  • More involvement with Gods*
  • No paying for Exp *
  • Cantrips
  • More social interaction *
  • More options in spell casting
  • More active gods and spirits *
  • Weapon speed *
  • Weapon Proficiencies *
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Thief backstab having a wider range of possibilities
  • More non-violent encounters *
  • class based exp
  • after death negotiation/springing friends from the dead *
* - Got lot's of mutual agreement from the players

Hmmmm a few of those could be a little difficult to work in together. What I found interesting was no one mentioned races or genre and the players was actually enthusiastic when I encouraged discussion and not just a couple comments.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

6d6 Table: Who Rules Here?

Presented here is a 6d6 table to determine the ruler of a place.

Who Rules Here?
6 Elder Thing from Beyond
7 Alien Magus
8 Demon
9 Lich
10 Vampire Priest
11 Mad Wizard
12 Dozen King
13 Hero
14 Merchants Guild
15 Council of Elders
16 Tyrant
17 Nobles Council
18 Warlord
19 High Priest
20 Steward
21 King
22 Queen
23 Prince
24 Military Council
25 Democracy
26 Emperor
27 Senate
28 Tribunal (Council of Tribes)
29 Wizards Council
30 Holly King and Oak King
31 Triumvirate
32 Corn King
33 Dragon
34 Demi-god
35 Fallen Angel
36 Godling

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Flatulent Desperdoes and the Black Ziggurat

Session 6:
The battle at The Last Bridge went poorly for the Flatulent Desperadoes and they fled surrendering the field of battle to the Medusoids and minions. The party of marauders hid in the shadows of The Golden Dome and where they were attacked by a pair of violent cyborgs. The Flatulent Desperadoes were horribly wounded by the cyborgs and since they were still licking their wounds from the battle at the bridge they decided to flee back to the shelter available at the community of Fresh Pond. Alas poor Karhoo died on the return trip falling prey to mutant predators.

Session 7:
The Flatulent Desperadoes (or the remnants there-of) spent a fortnight healing up, resting and investing in new equipment. During that time Pigmen raided the outlying farms on three occasions. The new android party member gifted by the power of flight aided the militia in scouting and a losing battle against a large number of pigmen.
The town elders offered bounties for pigmen heads and the possible camp of this large force of pig men couldn't help but entice Bobo and his new found fellow adventurers (including a Pure Strain Human they just met at their favorite drinking spot ) to head off in search of the Pigmen.
The Pigmen trail lead into The Cinders and on the thrid day of the hunt the party realized their supply of water was far too low and made to return to Fresh pond when they encountered a Nomad Caravan heading for Fresh Pond. They discovered from the nomads that there were rumors of Pigmen gathering at the site of a Black Zigguart out in the cinders. After resupplying and appropriately equipping themselves for the desert that is The Cinders the party headed back into the wastes and met little adversity in findign their way to moderately intact ruins surrounding a several stories tall Black Ziggurat defended by unknown guards who were allowing processions of pilgrims to approach the Ziggurat (all seen thanks to fancy optics, no one got close enough for a proper investigation just yet).

Notes: hmmm, might have to stop calling the party the Flatulent Desperadoes, they lost the mutant with the gs attack and there are only 2 of the Desperadoes still alive, Craniax didn't accompany the party on the pigman hunt either.
Must get this fragment of the true Black Ziggurat ready for next session.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mutant Future Devices.

Hover Ward: a small ball shaped robot less then 1 foot in diameter that will hover about the person it is defending intercepting incoming attacks on a d6 roll of 1-3. The Hover Ward can block a total of 30 hp damage before it is destroyed. It can stay active for a 100 hours on a fully charged Power Cell.

Hover Blade: a small ball shaped robot less then 1 foot in diameter that will hover about the person it is defending. When an attack is made against someone it is defending it will sprout a variety of sonic blades and assault the aggressor. It usually attacks fro 3 rounds and then returns to owner, it will respond to simple verbal commands related to it's duty.
It deactivates if the person it was defending moves 200' or further away. It can stay active for a 100 hours on a fully charged Power Cell.
Hover Blade, MV 120'(40'), AC 4, HP 20, #AT 1, Dmg 2d4, SV L2

Psi-helm: A seemingly delicate matrix of crystal and wires in the form of a helmet that raises ones Will Power by 2 points for defense on the Mental Attack Matrix. Physical blows in combat have a 1 in 12 chance of destroying the Psi-helm.

Mirror Cloak: A cloak of synthetic material that has a mirrored surface. All laser fire against one wearing such a cloak has a 80% chance of being reflected away harmlessly. The cloak will be ripped to shreds and useless after it's wearer suffers 5 damaging physical attacks.

Mind's Eye: A headband with a psionic matrix meant to be worn over one's forehead. The mind's eye will increase the range of mental attacks by 30'. The device will be rendered useless after it's wearer has suffered 3 or more mental attacks while wearing the Mind's Eye.

Blind Eye: A headband similar to a Mind's Eye. If worn by a mutant with mental powers they will be unable to use any mental powers until the head band is removed. 1% cumulative chance per hour after 24 that it breaks down. The blind eye does raise defense in metal combat (for those with mental mutations) by 3. It is intended as a means to "shackle" those with mental powers.

Tin Foil Hat: This archaic stand-by actually increases ones defense against mental attacks by 2 points, it does however lower their own Will Power by 3 points when trying to make mental attacks of their own while wearing the tin-foil hat. It must be made by one who knows the secrets of it's construction, not just any Tin Foil hat will function. Tin foil hats look silly, dropping the wearers CHA by 2 points in any serious situation. There is a 33% chance the tin foil hat is ruined when removed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

D10,000 Attack Matrix

Here now for your enjoyment and superior game play is the1D10,000 Attack Matrix.

Using the Table:
The Big Number is the base number required to hit
sub-number on left is number to hit if defender has parrying arm or buckler
sub-number in centert is number to hit if defender has normal shield
sub-number in right is number to hit if defender has large shield

Magic weapon pluses to hit- Roll 1d1000 per old style "+" to hit to generate the D10,000 plus to hit, or simply assign a value of +500 per +1.

Some of you may note there is no normal man entry on the D10,000 attack matrix , the reason for this is simple: "normal"-men have no need to roll D10,000 in combat.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Horse Travel Hazard Table

Horses aren't simply vehicles they are living breathing animals with a whole host of issues of their own that can complicate the convenience they otherwise provide to those who use them. Roll on this table once a day for a every 12 or so horses in a party, randomy chose one of the beasts to be afflicted by the conditions on the chart if a roll so indicates something is wrong. DMs should certainly allow saves and skillful play to avoid some of the repercussions of the situations listed.

Horse Travel Hazard Table (roll 1d100)
1 or less.....Horse Up and Dies on You
2-3............Horse Breaks Leg. Horse will not be able to travel, work or fight for 2-12 months. Each day horse takes 1d6 -2 damage (0,-1 means no damage to horse)
4-6............Horse Goes Lame. Horse will not be able to travel, work or fight for 2-7 days
7-9............Foaming at the mouth- a stressed and/or dehydrated and fatigued animal, should rest remainder of day
10-13........Crack a Hoof. Can't be ridden or carry load for 2-5 days,move 1/4 rate
14-16........Throws a shoe. Move rate reduced to 1/2 if mounted
17-18........Dirt/Stones in Hoof. Move reduced to rate 2/3.
19-20.......Agitated- something has agitated the horse. Next horse reaction roll at -2. Horse will whinnie and be troublesome, double random encounter chances.
21-22.......Burrs/Biting Flies- if not resolved quickly there is 50% need to roll on Horse Reaction Table
23............Eats Poisonous Plant- Save vs poison or 1-2: foaming, 3-4: Lame, 5-6 Horse Dies
24-25.......Horse wanders- horse doesn't go where you want it to all the time, only get 2/3 movement rate in direction you wish to travel.
26 or more...all is well

-10 for each day horse is pushed
-5 if in steep hills
-10 if in swamp
-15 if in mountains
-20 if in jungle
-5 if horse if encumbered
+10 if horse is well rested/watered

This table certainly travels into the realm of sim. If DMs want a little bit of realism but not to over do the sim aspect of play an entry on random wilderness encounter checks could certainly include an entry requiring one to check this table to remind players horses are living creatures with needs and vulnerabilities of their own.

Horse Reaction Table

Here is a horse reaction table to be used when horses are confronted with something they may find unpleasant such as a wall of fire, a dragon, belligerents, someone approaching the steed too swiftly, a snake, a loud dog, sudden noises or the smell of blood.

Horse Reaction Table (roll 2d6)
2 or less.....Throws Rider- try to buck the rider off, rider could get stomped and then horse flees.
3-4.............Bolts- the horse breaks away/flees
5-6.............Stumbling- skips steps, alter paths slightly, clearly skittish, will attempt to avoid the danger but continue path.
7.................Stop - refuses to go further. Will take 1-6 minutes to get beast to cooperate
8................Whinnies- snorting, pawing, whipping of tail, gives away position and indicated unease of horse. likely to be followed by something worse. -1 to next reaction.
9 or more...Carries On

-2 obstruction/event/encounter in path
+1 obstruction/event/encounter behind
+2 if horse being led instead of being ridden
+2 if war horse
+2 if lead animal hasn't rolled an 8 or less.
-2 if nearby PCs/NPCs alarmed
-3 if party surprised by encounter
+1 if rider is skilled equestrian
+3 if rider has empathy with animals/magical assistance
-2 if horse is overworked or treated poorly
+1 if horse is treated very well

Thursday, March 4, 2010

GM's Day

Happy GM's day.

By a strange quirk of Fate GM's day turned out to be the same day Gary Gygax passed away.
Many of us aren't aware of the origins of GM's day. It's a little fuzzy to me but let me take you back to 2002:

So out of a little goofiness and the death of a cultural icon our hobby has an actual holiday or remembrance for the guy or gal who does the only thing approaching work so the rest of us can have fun (and so they can too of course) and for one of the creators of the hobby who's co-invention and support of D&D has actually shaped peoples lives.

I met my first wife (an RPG player) through a friend of a friend at a party held by some NERO players. My second wife who I actually met online through online dating was a friend of a friend of my first wife who also plays RPGs (she GMs a monthly WoD game I actually want to play). I've maintained friendships for decades because we play D&D, my father is also a regular player in my D&D games as is my son.

Thank you Mr. Gygax for letting my life be the way it is thanks to your work and thank you to everyone else sitting behind a screen or at the end of the table rolling a few dice for contributing to all of our lives as you have.