Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Looks Pretty Rad

I think I will be adding this to my list of things to get.

From Paizo's site:

This 64-page softcover explores the solar system of the Pathfinder campaign setting. Along with extensive gazetteers and maps of each of the numerous planets of this system (including the war-torn Red Planet of Akiton, the undead world of Eox, the primeval Green Planet of Castrovel, gas giants, asteroids, moons, and more), this book includes guidelines for traveling from world to world and exploring the dark depths of outer space. Rules for several new monsters, alien races, and magic round out the otherworldly offerings.
by James L. Sutter

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

I first heard about this game nearly a year ago. I have been anxiously waiting for it ever since then. Now, it is in the final stretch, and there is a kickstarter to get the initial print run funded. Also, IT'S GOING TO BE IN A BOX!

Head on over to the kickstarter page to lend your support.

If you want to know more about it, head on over to the AS&SH section of the OD&D boards to ask any questions you may have.

Tin can helmet + laser pistol = WIN!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What's Not to Love?

From Volume III - The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures:

An Experiment in Hexploration

In reading about the sharing of maps and information in the original West Marches campaign, I've decided to try and implement a similar thing in my own Outland campaign. At the Inn Between Worlds, there is a large crappy table known as "the adventurer's table", where adventurer's carve their maps directly into the table. There is the overland map, and also any location maps of adventuring sites that have been explored.

I've gotten the thing started, and will bring it to the gaming sessions for the players to add to. It will probably be some time before enough exploration is done to expand the map, but we shall see how it goes.

Outland overland map - player version

Also, not sure how to handle this with online players. Keep a current photo posted? How will they update it? Keep another version in Hexographer? Not sure yet...

Outland Session 2

On December 23, I was visited by out-of-towner friends Steve from Atlanta and Mason from Milwaukee. We decided to do some gaming, and after being presented with the available rumors of locations to be explored, they went with the haunted house - now dubbed Nagle Manor.

Two players, with 5 PCs each entered the manor, and made use of the map shared by the previous explorers. They explored the majority of the ground level, and found stairs going both down and up, but chose to limit their shenannigans to the first floor.

Here are some highlights from the adventure, in no particular order:

  • Animated curtains began to strangle two adventurers, but the curtains were foiled by a well-thrown bear trap and later burned.
  • A well-stocked library attended by a powerful yet crazy magician. One of the PCs attacked him, and she was turned to stone for her efforts. The others perused the books and were each allowed to check out a book, being told that they must be returned in 4 weeks. Books checked out were a treatise on all matter of slimes and oozes, a book on fishing, and two tomes dedicated to the accurate valuation of works of art and fine furniture, respectively. Successful study of these books may aid the adventurers in the future...
  • A black pudding was encountered, and sent through the floor to the lower level of the manor.
  • A ballroom full of dancing ghosts was discovered. The ghosts seemed to pay no mind to the adventurers, but some clumsy navigation of the room led to one of the PCs brushing up against a dancing ghost. The cold chill of death caused the PC to die where he stood.
  • A room full of bowling ghouls was discovered. The PCs fled immediately!
  • There was a locked door in the northeast quadrant of the manor that the adventurers were unable to gain access to.
  • An armory was discovered, but a suit of plate animated and sent an adventurer or two to their graves.
  • Some sort of magical painting depicting a great battle was discovered. At some point, a barrage of arrows flew forth from the painting, killing yet another PC.
  • Treasure taken from the manor includes a magic sword, a ring of telekinesis, a dragon control potion, a bottle of elvish whimsey wine, and miscellaneous items to the tune of a ~3,000 gp value. An encrypted treasure map was reported to be found as well.
Here are the adventurers that met their demise at the hands of Nagle Manor, illustrated by Mason:

Big Lurch - death by cursed scroll

Dweebal Zappo - bumped into a dancing ghost

Moonbeam Zappo - pissed off the librarian and was turned to stone

Moonshine Bloodgood - killed by arrows fired from a magical painting

Stephan Suxley - killed by animated suit of armor

Ulthon Steelhide - also killed by animated suit of armor

The following adventurers made it home, did some partying, and two of them advanced to level 1 somebodies:

Jim Titanium - advanced to 1st-level Fighting-Man
Jim Titanium action shot

Scarecrow Hooker - advanced to 1st-level Thief

Gordo Murvin - promoted to henchman of Jim Titanium. Hey, it's better than being dead!
Gordo enjoying his one true love - fishing!

Barkbeard Woodsack - Scarecrow Hooker's new meatshield
Updated map of the manor (scale and accuracy are questionable)

I was told that zero-level adventures are super awesome fun. The end.

Monday, December 26, 2011

An Idea for Knowledge Skills

As the players in my last session were searching through the books in Nagle Manor's library, it occured to me that maybe it would be a good idea to have some basic rules for knowledge acquired and that sort of thing. Here are my initial thoughts:

  • A book can be studied in week-long increments. At the end of the week, the PC makes a read languages check (percentage chance equal to Greyhawk's "% chance to know spell"). If the check is successful, the PC gains a knowledge point in the particular subject, or some other benefit. If the check fails, no gain is made.
  • Only one subject may be studied per character per game week. Also, only one week of study may be performed per each session played, so players that play more often will be able to make use of this more.
  • Knowledge points are used in an identical manner to LotFP's skill points. Each PC has a base 1 in 6 chance of knowing something useful (to be determined by the referee). Each additional point earned through research represents an additional 1 in 6 chance of success.
  • Subjects should be relatively specific, i.e. a specific monster or monster type, a specific type of potion (if trying to learn how to make one). "Magic" would not be a suitable subject, as it is too broad. Knowledge skills should never lend combat bonuses (like +1's, etc.), but they may give knowledge of certain monsters' strengths and weaknesses.
  • I'm thinking 4 in 6 should be the maximum level of any knowledge skill, at least until the PCs are rather high level.
  • The referee can of course modify any of these rules based on the circumstances at hand. For example, some very obscure arcane study that has a big payoff could require 4 weeks of successful research and significant monetary investment in order to gain but a single point of knowledge in that area. These are just meant as loose guidelines as a means for rewarding players that take the time to develop their characters in this way.

Here are some example subjects that PCs have already acquired books for that I would allow them to develop knowledge skills in:
  • appraising art and fancy furnishings
  • fishing
  • ecology of oozes/slimes/jellies (would give a chance to know strengths and vulnerabilities)
  • beginning magic for the mentally challenged (successful study and a minor monetary investment could perhaps lead to the learning of a random 1st-level spell or perhaps a cantrip).
  • first aid (ability to make minor poultices, etc.)

Here is the read languages table I use, borrowed from Greyhawk:

Thoughts and criticisms are always welcome!

My Late and Crappy Christmas Present for Gamers

Here are my crappy, nigh unintelligible maps from the delve into castle dundagel that occured on 12/23/11. The only other reference to this delve I am aware of is HERE. I don't even know which tower we went into, but perhaps other players can shed some light on that.

We didn't find any treasure on this route at all, so perhaps this will at least accelerate a future expedition's chances of getting to the good stuff. We couldn't do much to the gold spider, but a flask of acid sent it scrurrying off. Also, always remember: rats hate fire.

Because fucking FLAILSNAILS

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Outland Session 1

24 0-level noobs arrived in the land of the two suns this past evening to try their luck at one of the many fine adventuring locations Outland has to offer. At the Inn Between Worlds, they were able to survey a crude map carved into the table by some other crazy adventuring types that had come before them, and learn a bit about the immediate surrounding area.

After acquiring a small loan at a 100% per two days interest rate from Calbraith the Legitimate, they equipped themselves modestly with some spears and a few suits of leather and headed north, to investigate the spooky manor house that was reportedly burned down by a previous adventuring party. A recent trade caravan had returned from that direction a few days prior and claimed it was still standing, so they decided to check it out.

Upon arrival, there was no evidence whatsoever of a fire. A rock was thrown at the door from a good 60 yards, and a devilish figure in a tuxedo, reminiscent of Satan himself, opened the door and bade the group to enter, and offered to take their coats. After doing so, he faded from view as if some sort of apparition.

The group of course jumped on the opportunity to raid the coatroom, and were rewarded for their efforts with a bit of gold and some fine outerwear.

The rest is hard to make out from their drunken ramblings, but there were bits of information concerning a bathtub filled with blood that contained a cursed sword and someone's wedding ring, a magic mirror that sucked in Bleat, the poor dwarven goatherder, and releasing some other grateful young woman who quickly fled the scene. There was also some banter about a painting they boosted, picturing a group of werewolves playing poker, and a dozen skeletons seated for a grand feast, one of which was relieved of his gem-studded iron crown by a nimble-fingered hobbit.

Three of the PCs caroused, all failed their saves, and each of the three were involved in some sort of mixup about where it was acceptable to take a leak in the middle of the night. Luckily, each of them were able to talk their way out of any fines that might have been imposed.

The expedition could be called a great success, with only one PC lost, and they earned enough money to pay back the loan shark and free the one poor fellow of his newly acquired cursed sword. The party was feeling so generous that they carved their makeshift map of the parts of the manor they explored into the adventurer's table at the inn.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Outland OD&D Character Sheet

Here is the "official" Outland OD&D character sheet (at least until I decide to change it).
Click HERE for the PDF.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Come Have Some Adventures in Outland

So I finally got up off my butt and I have most of the pieces in place. The official start of this campaign will be Monday night, December 19th, 6:00pm to 9:00pm CST.

System: OD&D+Chainmail (hacked and bastardized, of course)
Setting: Outland - Newly discovered region of your stereotypical D&D planet. You can play as orcs and goblins and go fight things that aren't orcs or goblins.

There are two components to this new "campaign".

The Game Store Game
Beginning December 19th, and every other Monday thereafter, the game will be run at Unique Gifts & Games in Grayslake, IL from 6:00pm to 9:00pm CST. I am willing to handle up to 10 players. Sign-ups are encouraged, but not required, as long as there are less than 10 players.

Upcoming Dates for the Game Store Games

The Google+/ConstantCon/FLAILSNAILS Game
Beginning December 26th, and every other Monday thereafter, the game will be run online via Google+ hangouts from 10:00pm to 12:00am CST (Tuesday 4:00am to 6:00am GMT). To get added to the list of players that will be randomly selected each week, just shoot me an email at aplus/86erz/org with your FLAILSNAILS PC's class, level, and system he/she was created under. I will do the player selections on Tuesdays. Currently, PCs from any D&Dish systems will be accepted, but I will attempt to have the PCs near each other in level. If we happen get a group that is interested in it, we can do zero-level play, which is a ton of fun in it's own right.

Upcoming Dates for the Google+ Games

I've made a sad attempt at documenting my house rules and that sort of thing, or at least all the info you'd need to create a new zero-level PCs and advance them to actual 1st-level PCs with classes. It's basically LBBs with a touch of Greyhawk, ascending AC, Chainmail combat (I will switch combat systems from fight to fight depending on my mood because I'm like that), and a few other oddities thrown in for good measure. You can click on the "Outland OD&D Game" link at the top of the page if you are interested in that sort of thing, but it certainly isn't necessary. I'll address anything important as needed before or during play.

Hope to see you there, and please let me know if I've forgotten anything...