Monday, May 20, 2013

Welcome to Skullfuck Mountain!

In a far-off land there is a small lake. On the lake's south end, there is a small village that has a cozy inn, a few shops, and a well-regarded brothel. On the north end is a giant fucking skull-shaped mountain reputed to have monsters and treasures in it. What would you like to do?

Last Saturday my home D&D group of friends met up in my back porch to play. It had been over a month since we played, and I was hemming and hawing about whether we should continue our Gamma World game, or the DCC-based Demonland game we played last time we met. So I did what any good ADD-afflicted DM would do - I started a brand new game!

I've been drawing some modular maps in the style of Stonehell Dungeon, or the One-Page Dungeon if you prefer. The only difference is that I did mine 20x20 instead of 30x30, just as a matter of personal preference. I'd also been daydreaming about a Castle Greyskull/Gamma World-based megadungeon for a while, and the kicker was when I stumbled upon this old thread about the UK version of Holmes Basic. I found the artwork to be very inspiring, and it prompted me to break out my Holmes book and give it another gander. So I cobbled all these ideas together, keyed a few of the maps I made, and grabbed a few unused or lightly-used things from my regular Outland campaign that's been going strong for a while now. I linked everything together so I had levels for the eyes, nose, and mouth, and some extra stuff in case something crazy happened. The end result was maybe 10 sheets of notes and maps, roll up some ultra-shitty Holmes PCs, and off to adventure!

Phony alternate universe cover I made with FF art by Fangorn
It turned out to be quite a fun adventure. The dwarf fighter rolled 1 hp, so right away the thief kept trying to gank him and lost two characters trying. That fighter ended up being one of two survivors, and was able to make 2nd level after carousing. He then proceeded to roll an 8 for his next hit die. Pretty sweet if you ask me. That is the stuff of legend. There was judicious use of the mule for cover, and the super-deadly 2d8 Holmes firebombs. I typed up the house rules we used on the Smith Corona XE 6000 my mom dug up and gave to me after the game, and that was a fun exercise in itself. I really dig the finality of it all when using a typewriter (my correction ribbon is expired). The typewriter itself probably post-dates Holmes by 8 years or so, but who cares. Old and crappy is old and crappy, right? Anyways, I think this things has legs, so we'll be playing this again next time.*

PDF of the typewritten house rules, for those that might be interested.

P.S. - I finally got an excuse to use the magnificent Dying Earth Spells for D&D, so that's a big plus as well!

P.P.S. - This is totally ConstantCon/FLAILSNAILS-able, and I think these guys could use some competition.

* Unless I get struck by another bout of ADD

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