Thursday, June 7, 2018

Return and Rumor Generator

It has been almost a year since I have made any new content for the blog here and it feels good to be back. A lot has happened in the last several months to keep me plenty busy and sadly pretty far from gaming. Thankfully things are starting to wind down enough that I can consider getting a new group together as I prepare for U-Con this year. As I have a fondness for random tables of various utility it is only fitting I make my return with my latest creation: The Random Rumor Generator(patent pending).

This is still in a semi-rough draft format but the general gist of what it does and how it works can be seen below.

<> - Roll on appropriate table


7 Sage
8 Giant
9 Barbarians
10 Peasent
11 Guard
12 Miner
13 Dragon
14 Cult
15 Were-Creature
16 Mercenary
17 God
18 Demon
19 Fey
20 Bandits


1 Kidnapped/Ransom <NOBILITY, MERCHANT, or CLASS>
2 Are searching for <OBJECT or PLACE>
3 Has Stolen <OBJECT> from <WHO>
4 Are plotting against <WHO>
5 Has a magical <OBJECT>
6 Is on the run from <WHO>
7 Has lost <OBJECT>
8 Hates <WHO>
9 Secretly in love with <WHO>
10 Has hidden a <OBJECT> in <PLACE>
11 Is looking for adventurers to <reroll here>
13 Has information about <WHO, OBJECT, or PLACE>
14 Is imprisoned <PLACE>
15 Secretly controls <PLACE>
16 Is creating a magical <OBJECT> through a sacrifice
17 Is in the service of a god
18 Is in the service of a demon
19 Wishes to control <PLACE>
20 Has been asking around about <WHO, OBJECT, PLACE>


3 Ring
4 Amulet
5 Crown
6 Stone
7 Book
8 Wand
9 Mirror
10 Scroll
11 Potion
12 Gem
13 Ship
14 Candle
15 Earrings
16 Statue
17 Mask
18 Box
19 Cards


1 Ship
2 Village
3 Town
4 City
5 Kingdom
7 Grove
8 Forest
9 Lake
10 River
11 Mine
12 House
13 Castle
14 Ruins
15 Church
16 Temple
17 Fort
18 Cave
19 <MERCHANT> shop
20 <GUILD> hall


1 King/Queen
2 Prince/Princess
3 Duke/Duchess
4 Count/Countess
5 Lord/Lady
6 Duke/Duchess
7 Baron/Baroness
8 Knight (Sir/Lady)
9 Reroll, Cousin to
10 Reroll, Disgraced


1 Inn Keeper
2 Tavern Keeper
3 Blacksmith
4 Armorsmith
5 Weaponsmith
6 Alchemist
7 Tailor
8 Cobbler
9 Cook
10 Baker
11 Fletcher
12 Boyer
13 Brewer
14 Cartwright
15 Candle Maker
16 Cooper
17 Weaver
18 Fishmonger
19 Grocer
20 Banker


1 Merchant
2 Assassin
3 Mage
4 Craftsman
5 Adventurer
6 Church


1 Assassin
2 Cleric
3 Druid
4 Fighter
5 Mage
6 Monk
7 Paladin
8 Ranger
9 Thief
10 Reroll


1 Skeleton
2 Zombie
3 Ghoul
4 Ghast
5 Ghost
6 Allip
7 Banshee
8 Shadow
9 Wraith
10 wight
11 Silent Knight
12 Death Knight
13 Crypt Thing
14 Coffer Corpse
15 Mummy
16 Specter
17 Apparition
18 Vampire
19 Demi-lich
20 Lich


1 Elf
2 Dwarf
3 Gnome
4 Half-Elf
5 Orc
6 Half-Orc
7 Goblin
8 Gnoll
9 Bugbear
10 Catfolk
11 Bullywug
12 Drow
13 Githyanki
14 Kenku
15 Lizardmen
16 Kobald
17 Merfolk
18 Rakasta
19 Hobgoblin
20 Troglodtye


1 Giant Spider
2 Worg
3 Wyvern
4 Hydra
5 Rust Monster
6 Disenchanter
7 Roc
8 Giant Rat
9 Owlbear
10 Otyugh
11 Peryton
12 Pegasus
13 Naga
14 Minotaur
15 Mindflayer
16 Medusa
17 Harpy
18 Griffon
19 Gorgon
20 Cockatrice


1 Short Sword
2 Dagger
3 Dart
4 Mace, light
5 Warhammer
6 Spear
7 Long Sword
8 Bastard Sword
9 Two-Handed Sword
10 Short Bow
11 Long Bow
12 Wrist Crossbow
13 Heavy Crossbow
14 Lance
15 Mace, Heavy
16 Axe, Battle
17 Axe, Hand
18 Staff
19 Club
20 Reroll with a +1 enchantment


1 Helm
2 Boots
3 Robe
4 Leather
5 Chain Mail
6 Ring Mail
7 Plate Mail
8 Shield
9 Bracers
10 Reroll +1 enchantment


1 Eye
2 Nose
3 Tooth
4 Heart
5 Spleen
6 Bladder
7 Claw
8 Brain
9 Bone
10 Hide/Scale/Fur

Overall its a good way to get a rough idea of some rumors flying around in your taverns when the village people have too much time on their hands. Let me know what you think of this in the comments section below or give your 2 cents and let me know how it can be improved. Looking forward to hearing from you all.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Free RPG Day 2017

   Wow its sure has been a long time since I last made an update here on the blog. I planned to have this post up way sooner then now but work has had me beyond busy and the lack of a regular game has made it a bit difficult to make regular updates a thing. Good news is the bug has bit me again with having a chance to play again got the ol juices flowing. Look for at-least a few more posts from me here in the following days/weeks as I put pen to paper once more.

   Now as for FRPGD day I have been going to a new game shop since my old one closed down shortly after Ucon. I brought the idea up to the new shop after visiting a few times and making friends with the store owners. I am always happy to bring the joy of events like these to places that did not even know they existed. I showed up to run mutant future and swords and wizardry, however as it is still a fairly new store in a much smaller community the number of participants was pretty dismal. I was able to collect a few quick start rules I wanted to check out and I was even awarded a dice tray(which I never knew I would love so much). Since things were going slow we opted to get a game going with who we had available.

   I am not the biggest fan of 5th edition, I don't hate it I just however prefer not to deal with the overall crunch now a days of the newer systems. I was ready and willing to rock and roll as a DM but the new guy behind the counter was adamant he really wanted to DM a game of 5th and well I just wanted to play so I took the neutral evil dwarven sorcerer(with dragon heritage hehe) of 5th level. My brother in law took a 5th level rogue/tinker mage, the store owner a super tank(22 AC) cleric who surprisingly didn't murder me for my self serving antics, and a nice kid I just met that day by the name of Ben who showed up and took over trodgar the npc barbarian. We was quite the motley crew.

   The adventure was something the DM wrote himself involving all of us being members of a adventurers guild who gave us the assignment to go to the village of nowhere and go to the mayors tavern(of which I'm assuming was in the middle of nowhere) in exchange for a 2,000 gp per person to solve what is going on there. Apparently we were to be paid an advance but th rogue had walked off with it and "forgot" to tell us about it. We head to nowhere and once there find every one is in some sort of a weird daze. There are 2 kids hitting a dead animal with a stick in which I took an immediate dislike to and placed an extended hold person on one of them. The other child begins to smack the frozen on with their stick now but with no real sense of emotion. The place was certainly getting a weird vibe about it. we walk over to the tavern and got a bad feeling about what may lay on the other side so in true murder hobo fashion I went back, got the frozen kid, and once the door was open threw him in ahead of us. The tavern goers rough him up a bit before throwing him back out into street except for one really odd looking fellow with a near permanent grin and a strange looking golden badge. we go inside and he doesn't say a word but just keeps smiling like the joker and waving us to come hither. Having found my signature spell at this point I extend a hold person on him in which no one in the tavern even seemed to blink an eye. The cleric sighed and took the moment to at-least check for evil auras in the room in which the whole town sort of reverberated bad ju ju but the held guy did not. With some reluctance I released my hold and he went right straight into being overly cheerful welcoming us to the town and that we should not dawdle and get to the church right away. Wanting to get through this as quickly as possible and out of this weird no horse village we opted to follow him to the church in which a withered old priest brings us inside to tell us what is going on.

   Apparently some 50 years ago a necromancer was looking to ascend himself to lich status, so the church sent one of their noblest of clerics to take care of the problem. The necromancers castle and the cleric dissapeared and had been missing until only a few weeks ago when the necromancers castle once more was next to the mountains in which it originally stood. Since then a miasma has invaded the town and only those who have a badge of the god of purity have been able to resist the drull that emminates now from the village. We are each given such a badge(the golden thing we saw the mayor wearing as well as the old priest) and told that we will be rewarded with 10k gp each for the destruction of the lich and the end of the miasma. We each received 2 healing pots, a pot that gives back 2 used spell slots, a good berry, and some sort of magic item based on if we asked for weapon or armor. the cleric got a +4 warhammer, the barbarian got his battle axe blessed from a +1 to +3 so long as he never lets it touch the ground(aka don't fumble), I got a ring that provided +2 dex and +1 to my lowest stat, and the rogue got some sort of dog tag that would become clear when the time came to use it. Shortly after his badge turned to wood and he too fell to the miasma and wandered off toward the bell tower above. the rogue started going through his journal and found a passage saying should the miasma take me please don't let me ring the bells, god please don't let me ring the bells. The cleric and I were already following the old guy up the tower and I use up my last hold person for the day and upon hearing the rogue say don't let him ring the bell we cut the rope. I didn't want to leave anything to change and "accidentally" knocked him down the flight of stairs in which the cleric being the good guy that he is tried to catch him and instead went for a tumble down the steps being cushioned by the old man. He barely survives and I make a strong case for he may try to bring the lich's wrath upon us before we are ready to deal with him and at-least we should tie him up so we can get out of here. So we ended up tying him up to the altar and after finishing the journal got a hint to avoid the main entrance.

   We step outside and all of the village people of no where were standing outside their doorsteps and as soon as they saw us leave the church they all go inside and put out their lights. Happy to get away from them we avoid the main road and opt for an animal trail that went parallel to it. We eventually see the castle and decide to camp out until morning to get back my spell slots and to tackle this place at daylight instead of in the middle of the night. We all get rested no random encounters and when morning comes it is still pitch black and well the moon is still out....dun dun dun dunnnnn..... so to the side of the castle we go. Luck was on our side as we searched around and found a secret way inside through a loose cobblestone. I create some dancing lights and send them down the steps to light our way. Everything is good right up until we get inside and the door disappears and arrows start flying at my lights (I had them a good 10ft ahead to act as sort of an early detection system as well as light). We arm up and head down to face off with 17 skeletons. Captain cleric goes in and lays down the holy law putting the fear of his god into 14 of the 17 skeletons. the barb rolls in and starts going to town on the remaining non-frightened skellies while I cantrip away (I still cant believe I got to throw around 2d10 firebolts for free every round). The next round we hear a unholy groaning and then the skellies eyes burn brighter red and appear to have shaken off the fear(something just bloody bolstered the bastards) and so we had to face off with the rest of them. Super cleric held the line with the rogue backstabbing the hell out of everything aided by the multiple attacks of the barb and my firebolt spewing finger guns(pew pew) and eventually they were all reduced to dust and bone once more.

   Now that we could actually take a chance to examine our surroundings we found 4 cells with chests in 2. I put on my magic detection(yeah magic eyes) and find in one of the other cells is a small hole in the wall radiating immense magical power. I pull out a strange looking deck of cards which then triggered a collapse of the other 3 cells...oops. I put the deck in my robes but eventually it started to burn and I had a compulsion to draw a card. In doing so I got a pendant which in my mind told me it would protect me from all magic, useful but I wasn't about to throw it around my neck just yet. Every one else opts to draw a card of which I don't quite remember what every one else got. When the 4 card was drawn the deck change to be much smaller in side and the back had that of a dragon. When I drew this time I got a horn that filled me with greed. I blew into it 3 times and on the third I actually succeeded at my perform check (18 cha FTW) and it blew away the rocks from the chest cell I was next to before disappearing and with it my new found additional greed. the cleric goes and opened the chest and found within a bright shining sword which the rogue succeeded on a lore check and found out it was a sword of luck and that it had charges of the wish spell. Here is where things fell apart quickly and in much humorous fashion...albeit in a very childish fashion. The rogue slight of hand reached for the sword and subtly wished that the cleric mis-identify it as a well I wont say here but it was pretty awful but funny in a dark sense of humor. The cleric goes on to misidentify alright but the spell didn't go quite as it was intended(do they ever...) and the DM rolls on his table of potential magic items, and apparently he believes in letting the die land as it may as it turned into a deck of many things. It detailed the rules and well I drew first and was rewarded with the sun card 50k exp, the experiences of my ancestors flash before my eyes and suddenly I was 9th level adding haste, banish, and cone of cold to my spell repertoire. the rogue got one of the other cards that gave some additional xp taking up to 7th level I think, the barb pissed off a demon, and the cleric refused to draw and thus the deck vanished.

   Moving on I eat my good berry healing up and gaining back all my spell slots. We find the body of a cultist with a journal bragging out a terrible trap involving a mirror and the eventual ascension of his master...yada.yada.. and we decide to move forward through the stone doors which the barbarian had to bash down(which he did with ease) and down the corridor we found the mirror. The cleric saw something that looked like a chest with teeth staring back at which I asked "like a mimic?" in which the mirror cracked some revealing a new image to the barbarian who said he saw a sphinx...which caused the mirror to crack some more but also released the sphinx....and that battle hurt. Long story short we eventually took it down and then the mirror disappeared leading us to a room with a skeletal knight. He greeted us and said he was here to slay the necromancer and was attempting to stop him from ascending to becoming a lich. He recited his hour long name and we recognized him as the paladin who came to stop the necromancer 50 years ago. Its at this point the door melted into the stonework and a terrible face emerged from the wall and proceeded to attack us from floor by causing jagged shards to flow up at us. I did not get as much damage done as I would have liked because the damn thing kept making his saves for half damage or straight up counter spelling my lower level spells(but I made the bastard burn all but one of his spells in the process) while the rest of the team attacked the moving face with everything they had. Eventually down to his last spell and attempting to still claim lichedom he cast reincarnation.....and turned himself into a female wood elf with no memory of their former life as a necromancer. Naturally as soon as this happened the place began to crumble and we had to make a mad dash out of their. The day was saved we got paid and the town was a little less bleak. Overall every one had a great time, the DM got some more experience under his belt, and there was a lot of laughs.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ucon 2016 writup

   It is that time again to write about my adventures at UCON. As always it was everything I was expecting and more. I did not get to go to any other cons this year due to my new work schedule thankfully if I can only make it to one con a year I will continue to make it this one. With out further ado here is the breakdown of my time for 2016.


   Right after getting my weekend + play games all weekend badge I immediately ran across non other then followmeandie's very own Larry Hamilton. He was getting things setup for a White Star game. We had a good time catching up on lives outside of gaming and he was willing to let me hop in and play. I have not played white star before so I decided to just go with what sounded cool and played to my preferred playing style. Naturally I went with a mercenary and got suited up with a laser rifle, power armor, jet pack, and he even let me bring a few cannisters of oil(you never know when you need oil). I decided at this point I was going to be Boba Fett if he fought for the rebels. The rest of the players included a robot, pilot, and 2 space knights.

   Here Larry revealed the map and the adventure, we was right in the middle of a battle zone as civilins when we hear a distress call coming from a federation ship. There was a black hole type area generating massive amounts of radation, which I lovingly referred to Cthulhu's butt hole, making scanning difficult. We knew there was insectoid bad guy ships in the area but getting accurate information on them was not easy. We headed for the source of the distress call and found some signs of life needing our help. Since i had a sealed suit and the droid did not need to breath we freefloat on over to the other ship just as it suffers a form of explosion. We adjust to its new movement and board. We find survivors holed up in a sealed room but they dont have enough oxygen to survive forever, so we craft a plan with the rest of the crew to fix what we can to re-oxify the ship where we can and seal the rest while bringing over survival suits and bring them on over to our ship. The poor pilot was having a hell of a time with the controls thanks to the radiation(damnit cthulhu.......) so it took him a few tries to connect our ship with theirs. Fast forward we eventually succeed, rescuing around 28 federation peeps and bring them onto our ship just before theirs blows up losing their captain and a few other higher ranking officers.

   We reach out to some of the other federation ships in the area and several hijinks ensued including some fire fights with the insectiods, who at one point had 3 fighters on us 2 of which destroyed themselves by accident and I got onto coms with the 3rd ship that was disabled by our fire and I told them to perform seppuku. Rolling against my charisma and an additional roll he had me make the ship suddenly just goes up in a massive explosion, we may never truly know if my charisma actually worked in talking an enemy into killing itself but I will continue to believe that I did. All around it was a lot of fun for my first time playing White Star and the rest of the table appeared to have a great time too.

  I then met up with Ryan Thompson of Gamers & Grognards to go over updating my con character to level 5 for his game he was running after the small lunch break. For those who haven't been following along my previous years posts, my first game of S&W was in Ryan's game running the adventure Eruptor's Vengeance back in 2013. I played a 3rd level elf fighter/magic user who with the help of his friends succeeded in collecting a dragon bane shortsword, which was used to deliver the killing blow on the fateful drake, and collecting a ring of regeneration. Ryan allows those of us who wish to at future cons to bring any characters we have played previously in his games to future games he runs. I have since then brought my elf with me last year who successfully rescued some lost patrol guards from the sewers. Some how going into this game this year I knew it was going to be my dragon slayers last game either via honorable death or retirement as I knew he was heading into a place known as dragon island.

  Our adventuring group including some additional cool peeps including Larry, Del Teigel (who is an amazing artist btw), Andrew Moss,  and a few other faces who I have met before but sadly cannot recall their names (my apologies guys if you read this please feel free to give me a hard time about it). We apparently got a treasure map during a game of cards from the lone survivor of a group who had been to an island with many untold riches but protected by a great many dragons. I went and collected some 1st level fighter mercenaries (first time I ever brought on cohorts) and we chartered a boat to the island. The first cave we found was completely frozen over with a large white looking dragon sleeping upside down like a bat. We debated for a while if we should attack it or not which the majority felt it was best to let sleeping dragons lie. The next cave over had an invisible dragon laying on its horde which only the wild elf was able to percept. Again discretion was the key to surviving and we left with out attracting its attention. Our luck ran out in the third cave however as we awoke 3 young dragons who went right to the offensive. We thankfully dispatched them quickly and looted their treasure before any adult dragons came out to hunt us down.

   We then proceeded to a much larger cave, and I got a sinking feeling. Big caves tend to equal big risks(like big bloody dragons) and sure enough I was not disappointed. Shortly after entering our halfling thief(Del) got caught by a large dragon(don't quite remember now what color) and flew up to drop him. Thankfully he had a previous life as a sailor and knew how to use ropes and knots effectively. He tied his grappling hook to the dragons leg and as he fell rolled some of the best dice rolling Ive seen at a con. Rolling double 20's he caught his hook on a large bit of rock on the wall and the rope held as the dragon went to sweep in to get another victim causing it to go taught and swing the dragon head first into another large rock formation. Due to the critical nature double damage was rolled.....2 points more then it had. For the first time ever I saw a dragon go down via smashing its own skull in via grappling hook. High fives all around we celebrated him surviving his fall(and some healing via my ring of regen) and looted the horde finding some groovy gear and a mysterious potion which honestly must of been a black hole in a bottle as this stuff ate anything.....including the invisible dragon we encountered earlier. Having slain 5 dragons and fat with loot we ended the adventure and returned to our ship. From here I decided my character has had a good enough career as an adventurer that he will head back home and open a bar, retiring for now.

   The last event I attended was the OSR panel on aesthetics in OSR products. Special guests was Stacy Dellorfano of Contessa, Bill Webb of Frog God Games, Donn Stroud of Drink Spin Run, and Ryan Thompson. It was a great panel talking about the new art aesthetic being used with the next printing of S&W. There was some great stories shared by the group and the overall tone from the hosts and the audience was a positive one. The fireside chat way they hold these panels every year really makes for a great bit of audience participation. On a side note who I would love to see a podcast of Bill just telling stories for a while.


   My brother in law is who introduced me to UCON back in 2013 and so we make it a point now every year to head out together if our schedules line up. We made it to the convention and split up for our separate interests (he is more into board and strategy war games) and I met back up with Larry for Delving Deeper. Again not a system I have played and there was several new faces at the table. I played a fighter(big shock I know) and we went to go rescue some misguided kids who disappeared while the town folk blamed the kindly old dudes in black robes who took up residence in the forest. I had fun and would play Delving Deeper again if I had the opportunity but honestly S&W is more my cup of tea.

   Keeping with my current pattern I headed over to Ryan's table and got myself setup with a paladin on a quest to explore a dread burial ground where riches was rumored to be holed up. Several hijinks ensued including a run in with a gelatinous cube, the alchemist getting possessed (and subsequently my being charmed), an undead dude spiked to the wall in eternal torment, and more. Amazingly we all survived but it was close when I was charmed into waylaying another party member with my flaming longsword.

   The con had tons of interesting things going on in which I checked out including but not limited to a vendor booth area(picked myself up the monster alphabet...hehehehehe), Bill Webb was available for book signing(got all 3 of my original Rappan Athuk books signed woooo!), a game auction, a vote for worst movie clips(which was hilarious for the parts i was there for, and for the star trek fans there was something very cool known as the Artemis Bridge Simulator. I didn't play the sim but it was pretty bad ass and the guys running it was super nice and talked shop with me for a bit when I was in between events.

  Down in the boardgame area I met up with Christopher Badell of Sentinals of the Multiverse fame. A real stand up guy who is definitely passionate about gaming, and he was nice enough to sign some of my promo cards. He even popped into the writing/design talk later in the evening featuring John Wick, Darren Watts, and Marc Tassin. The talk was informational and plenty of note worthy pointers and resources was shared by each of the guests. It was great that UCON had something like this and I hope they continue to do so going forward in the future.

  I met up near the end of the evening with my brother in law and checked out an interesting submarine group game. It was essentially a much more demanding game of battle ship for 8 players called Captain Sonar. I took the role of engineer and honestly I think I could have done better. It is a fun game but requires 8 players to really be interesting and would take atleast 2 or 3 games I think before every one really gets a feel for how to play well. If you have the play group it would be an interesting way to spend a board game night.

  Back upstairs Dirk Collins, was kind of enough to bring his entire collection of Judges Guild materials for the 40th anniversary of Judges Guild. He had layed out all the maps for the Wilderlands of Fantasy(which is massive!) and was allowing us all to take pictures next to it and to peruse a bit of gaming history. I have a small but growing collection of Judges Guild material and it was cool to see it all there. Too bad I didn't have the time to hop into his game he was running. Thanks again Dirk it was a pleasure to chat and view your collection.

  While I waited for my bro-in-law to finish up I stopped in and watched the first little bit of Bill Webb's game of Tegel Manor running the S&W lite rules. Things did not look like they was going to go well early on with some skeletons getting the upper hand and the poor clerics turn rolls not going quite in their favor. From the sounds of things Tegel Manor claimed several victims over the weekend. Alas I could not stay and had to take my leave and return to normal life. It was fun while it lasted and it was great to see many from the community who I feel have become friends and enjoy seeing even if it is only once a year. Looking forward to next year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Beware the lowly kobald - Using history to create a truely deadly advisary

By now most have heard the tale of Tuckers Kobdalds where the kobalds on level one were some of the meanest and straight up cleverest opponents in the dungeon. I have always felt this should be the norm and not the exception. Kobalds in the world of Aeril are as a race isolationists, preferring to be left alone, yet are devastatingly clever in particularly in the art of guerrilla warfare and trap making. They are also exceptionally territorial and do not take kindly to uninvited guests. That is not to say they cannot be reasoned with but you better pay attention, bring gifts of food or treasure, and most of all be respectful.

Kobald lairs tend to have several warning signs that can clue you in that you are entering their turf, usually skulls on poles, strange markings on trees, cavern walls, or large boulders. Trust nothing you see in kobald territory else be prepared to suffer dire consequences. Below are traps used at various times in warfare throughout history that I could see kobalds using or devising in the protection of their home and property. At the bottom I will also be providing links for those who would like to read up on history themselves and possibly expand on these ideas a bit.

Hanging Snakes

One of the simplest traps and can be used pretty much anywhere is the placement of venomous snakes tied to a branch, over a doorway, or any where some one not paying attention can walk right into. The snake being tied up for several days and most likely hungry and angry will likely lash out at anything or any one stumbling into it. Viscous and effective.

Snakes inside bags, packs, and chests

Continuing with the use of natural biological weapons, snakes as well as spiders, centipedes, or any other naturally occurring venomous creature works well as a trap or deterrent to any one snooping through a kobald's treasure.

Noxious/Explosive Gases

Kobalds are masters of their domain and such are always looking to harvest anything of value from the terrain. Bladders full of swamp gas can make for a terrible time that can sicken those who breath it or if exposed to an open flame create a explosive reaction. Kobalds know this and will setup pressure plates holding back several of these that when triggered release the the stored gas into the area. If flint is available a secondary effect could cause a spark to ignite flammable gases. From here the options and trigger mechanisms are endless. Possible places used are totems, chests, corpses, discarded equipment, etc.

See-Saw Spike Trap

A simple setup using 2 boards one acting as the pressure plate and the other covered in sharpened spikes setup on a fulcrum so when stepped upon, swings the spiked end up and into the face/chest of the victim. Not uncommon like most spiked traps to be covered in some sort of poison, green slime, or other noxious material. 

Foot Traps

Sometimes it is better to maim then outright kill. Various forms of spiked foot traps where stepped on impales the foot or the spikes are lining the pit at a downward angle to trap the foot and stab at the leg/ankle which may not be as heavily guarded by armor. Almost always poisoned and will cause most who step on them to howl out in pain. The effect is two fold as the victim has now given away their location, and are now an additional burden on those who have to carry or assist their injured comrade. If they are stuck in the trap for a period of time, monsters or a squad of armed kobalds may come scouting to finish off stragglers.

Caves & Tunnels

Kobalds have a natural advantage in small cave and underground networks. Their small stature allows them to move quickly while any one taller then a dwarf or gnome will have to hunker down and move slowly through the area. this provides more opportunities for traps, such as the before mentioned pit spikes, rigging dead ends to entrap the unweary, or just cause a cave in. Most conventional weapons are also useless due to the cramped environment.

Upping the Stakes - Kobalds with Class

Depending on the ruleset your using, kobalds who wish to strike out on their own make amazing rogues/thieves, assassins, and sometimes fighters. Assassin being the most likely in my opinion being able to sneak around effectively, work with various poisons and traps, and understanding the need to strike quick and disappear into the shadows or terrain. A monster race army like orcs, trolls, gnolls, etc would do well to seek the services of a kobald squad of fighters, trap makers, and assassins to soften up enemy ranks, remove upper level personnel, and strike demoralizing fear into the enemy.

Final Thoughts

This was just a quick exercise at taking a look at our own world history, in this particular case a good majority from the Vietnam war, and find a way to use it for gaming ends. This does not make light of the horror that actually occurred during this time and hopefully it will inspire those who read this to do some research into the topic and learn from the past. Sometimes before moving forward you should look behind you first.

Further Reading:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Malicious Monstrosities - Delusion Wasps

 It has been a while Since I have had the chance to create some new horrors for my sandbox world. I have done quite a few undead in my previous posts and the northern reaches of my world where the snow does blow has some truly terrifying stuff to find, so now it is time make the wild wilderness of the forests and plains just a little less friendly. 

Delusion Wasps

HD: 1
AC: 2(17)
ATK: 1 sting (1 + poison), 1 bite (1d4)
Move: 1 (fly 20)
Save: 17
CL/XP: 3/60
Special: Hallucinogenic Poison

Delusion wasps look much like their mundane counterpart except for their jade coloring on their upper body and metallic rainbow coloring on their thorax. Their poisoned sting (save to resist) induces horrific delusions in the victim causing them to see and hear things that are not there(treat as being under the confusion spell) for 2d4 rounds. Multiple stings are cumulative. Assassins have been known to capture and raise hives of these to soften up a target or in the use of interrogation and brainwashing.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Free RPG Day 2016

This marks my third year attending Free RPG Day at my FLGS over in Fowlerville. My goal before hand this year was to spread the word the best I could across social media and word of mouth to try and draw as much attention to what I feel is something that is important to our hobby.

I went out early around noon just after they opened for the day and spent some time talking with a couple of the other DM's who signed up to run tables for the day. I was slotted in at 5 to run a S&W adventure and pretty much every one else was running this years version of the pathfinder goblin adventure. When the OK was given I collected just the few things that I wanted to have this year (the DCC adventure combo and the lamentations of the flame princess slugs bestiary) making sure that there would be plenty for any one else coming in and sat down for the first game of the day.

I don't really play pathfinder short of at FRPGD mostly because I prefer to DM and I prefer the old school method of adventuring. This is ok because our DM was new and my fellow adventuring companions are also experienced AD&D players we regularly broke away from the conventions of what was wrote out in the adventure and ad-libbed and on the spot ruled quite a bit. I played the bomb throwing goblin who absolutely loved finding random junk because I found a use for pretty much anything I found and made more then my fair share of improvised explosives (nothing makes me happier then finding a barrel of grain alcohol, several empty glass bottles, and plenty of cloth to create Molotov cocktails) along with throwing salt all over an enemy and watching their donkey chase them all around trying to lick them (I was aiming for their eyes but the DM found his stride and just went with it). When it was all said and done we burned down a gnome wedding, blew up alot of stuff, got high off some cake, and returned as heroes of our tribe. All in all I think it went pretty well and we helped a new DM find out that it is ok to deviate from what is written and just have fun with the game (which was a big win in my book).

Sadly being in a smaller area and being Father's Day weekend no one showed up for my 5pm game but that is OK. The point is to show up and show support not just for your game of choice but to support others as well. I might not regularly play Pathfinder but I wouldn't want to see it go away either. The hobby is about getting together, making friends, and adventuring and that goal was accomplished as well as supporting the local FLGS which sadly in our age of Amazon and Ebay, they get under-appreciated. I like having a place that is fairly close to me that has room to play, a shop owner who is receptive to what I am looking for both all facets of tabletop gaming, and regularly has interesting stock showcased that I might not have seen else where. Some times yes this means paying more then what I would have if I got some of the same things online but to keep game shops around who support our hobby I feel that extra 2 or 3 dollars I spent is going to something more worth while.

Side note: Thanks to Shawn at Game Links for hooking me up with the awesome mimic dice bag (at a very reasonable price too I might add) as shown below. I love being able to zip up my dice and not have them make the great escape!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

MTG: Conversion - Artifacts Part 1

Today I decided to begin work on converting over the Alpha/Beta/Unlimited artifacts into usable magical items and locales for OSR inspired games. This ofcourse requires a bit of creative license with how they should be represented. Below in my first go at some of these iconic and some lesser known minor trinkets. Let me know what you think, how these can be improved or come join the group.

White - Spells of Healing and Protection
Green - Spells of Nature and Animals
Black - Spells of Death and Necromancy
Blue  - Spells of Guile, Illusion, and the element of Water
Red   - Spells of Emotion, and the elements of Fire and Earth

Basalt Monolith - Created on leylines the basalt monoliths were created in the ancient past and the secrets of their creation long forgotten. Their locations are often fought over by kingdoms that surround them as the first spell cast within the stone circle is treated as 3 levels higher. This effect is only available once per day.

Black Lotus - These flowers are extremely rare growing only in remote locations and well guarded by fierce lotus dragons. When dried and the oil distilled this creates a powerful potion that if inbibed by a spellcaster increases their spell casting ability by 3 levels for 24 hours.

Crystal Rod - When held any spell cast within 20ft that falls into the blue catagory will absorb some of the spells energy and provide 1 HP of healing to the wearer.

Disrupting Scepter - A +1 mace that may be wielded 2 handed that on hit causes the target to make a save vs spells or lose a random prepared spell for the day.

Force Field Ring - 3 times per day this ring reduces all damage dealt to the wearer to just a single point for a single combat round. The activation only requires a thought and thus can be activated after a hit has been confirmed but before damage has been rolled.

Gauntlets of Might - The wearer of these spiked gauntlets, once the prized possession of a great orc chieftian generates Combat Aura 1 (gain +1 hit/damage and -1(+1) AC) within 30ft affecting goblins and orcs. All goblins and orcs who gaze upon the wearer must make a save or be treated as if charmed.

Iron Star - When held any spell cast within 20ft that falls into the red catagory will absorb some of the spells energy and provide 1 HP of healing to the wearer.

Ivory Cup - When held any spell cast within 20ft that falls into the white catagory will absorb some of the spells energy and provide 1 HP of healing to the wearer.

Kormus Bell - A large heavy bell that when rung causes all non buried corpses in a mile radius to rise up as skeletons and move at full speed torwards the bells location.

Mox Emerald - An amulet that increases the spell casting power of the wearer +1 level in regards to spells falling into the green catagory
Mox Jet - An amulet that increases the spell casting power of the wearer +1 level in regards to spells falling into the black catagory
Mox Pearl - An amulet that increases the spell casting power of the wearer +1 level in regards to spells falling into the white catagory
Mox Ruby - An amulet that increases the spell casting power of the wearer +1 level in regards to spells falling into the red catagory
Mox Sapphire  - An amulet that increases the spell casting power of the wearer +1 level in regards to spells falling into the blue catagory

Nevinyrral's Disk - Created by a lich king in ages past, this disk when thrown will activate 1 combat round later in utter destruction dealing sucking in all magical energy creating an anti-magic field for 1d10 years in a 40ft radius. This causes 1d6 damage to all caught in this radius for every year of magic stripped from the area.

Rod of Ruin -  3 times per day this rod with a ghastly face can direct a un-erring bolt of black energy that deals 1d6 damage to its target.

Throne of Bone - Any one sitting on this throne when any spell cast within 20ft that falls into the black catagory will absorb some of the spells energy and provide 1 HP of healing to the wearer.

Wooden Sphere -  When held any spell cast within 20ft that falls into the green catagory will absorb some of the spells energy and provide 1 HP of healing to the wearer.