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A resolution to part of a campaign, and some play reports

For several years, I have been running a Wuxia pastiche campaign within my Northport setting.  The population of Northport is quite mixed,  having a large number of goblin artisans (the goblins have lived in the city since its founding a few thousand years ago), humans, orcs, and a fair amount of mixed folk, given the situation to the east, where the nation of Shevnia lost a war with orcs because of a lost paytrain for their army, sort of like the post goblin war of Lesserton & Mor.  There are nations with different cultures to either side of Northport, which is set in an area inspired by Banestorm, in the old empire of Aral, with Valdassya to the west, and Shevnia to the east.  In addition to the Aralaise speaking Orcs, Goblins, and humans, there are two other communities: Little Shevnia to the east, and Little Sahud to the west.  I was sort of looking at Tredroy as an inspiration for part of this.  (Of course my city was also informed by the advenure Banrnacus, City in Peril. from Dragon Magazine # 80, as mentioned on my last podcast, along with my frequently recommended Ruins of the Undercity)

I know that using a pan-Asian pastiche like Sahud in my campaign is pretty crassly not PC, but I had a request by several players armed with google translate and wikipedia articles and a general knowledge base of cheesy kung fu films that wanted to play in that kind of setting. With apologies to the large number of people who may be offended by this kind of colonial cultural appropriation, this is how the long running conflict between Sakemoko , the patron of these characters, roughly 450 points:

Sakemoko is a squire+treasure hunter+ 50pt genin lens
with born warleader 3 ,charisma +2, social regard 2: respected,
(Social stigma minority, code of honor: bushido, sense of duty to
Sahudese,) guild rank 4, status 2 filthy rich
Large ally group of catfolk ninja office:master of funerals,
He also has several points in independent income based on
His involvement in numerous side businesses

and Akira Aku No, his enemy, roughly 500 points

half oni boss, head of rival ninja clan

Brute +treasure hunter+ 50pt wizard lens+ 50pt ninja lens+
 infernal + half ogre, has bloodlust, berserk

Both of these figures had extensive ally groups, each having at their service numerous ashigaru, and rival ninja clans.

The Team consisting of Chye Isuel, an ashigaru with some distant dragonman heritage, Chou-Zen Mou, an elder infused wizard specialized in lightning spells, Ales Konstantin, a Shevnian Squire+Adept, Iskander, a Valdassian martial artist (the player was using mostly 3e to build him), Tanaka Kojimaru, a Samurai warrior poet. Jin the Yak and Airis Moonshadow were no longer with the group.

Along with them were Di San Ge Er Zi the one eyed Ashigaru, and a number of mercenaries they hired away from Akira Aku No’s mercenary recruitment drive  for promises of better pay, the swordsman Xu, and his partner Chung Wang (Thank you Jackie Chan) as with most of my npc’s, I give a super brief stat block pulled usually from DF15 until more details are needed.

Chung Wang is a Brute
St 15 DX 12 IQ 10 Ht 12
Hp 15 per 10 will 10 fp 12
T/s 1d+1/2d+2
Bs 6 mv 6 dodge 9 parry 10
DR 3 torso 5

Skills brawl 13
Two handed sword 14 tetsubo, 2d+4 crushing
Gluttony, overconfident, compulsive carousing, greedy

 

Xu is a Skirmisher
St 11 dx 14 iq 10 ht 11
Hp 11 per 10 will 10 fp 11
T/s 1d-1/1d+1
Bs 7.5 mv 7 dodge 11 parry 12
Dr 3
Combat reflexes, ambidexterous
Extravagant, impulsive, compulsive carousing
Ambitious, suspicious, jealous

Broadsword 16 1d+2 cut
Shortsword 12 1d cut
Karate 12
Fastdraw katana 15
Fastdraw shortsword 15

Light lamelar and helmet with ear and neck protection,
Cheap ornate katana and wakizashi

Having decimated the forces of Akira Aku No on the initial raid to recover the tea set containing a divine being or two, and then by robbing his casino, the oni blooded boss had to resort to hiring mercenaries, including, initially Xu, and Chung Wang and a couple of naginata wielding ashigaru, along with Ale’s enemy, Bresnark, a magic user equipped with Rain of Stones and also accompanied by a Created Brute Warrior, who was defeated and robbed of his mundane gear by Iskander and Tanaka. Bresnark could probably have been taken out, except that he has plot protection as an enemy, and has to be defeated by Ales.

During the assault on Sakemoko’s compound, with rooftop ninja archers and assorted poorly armored mooks attacking the gate, a couple of ninja’s got in ( one disguised as a new ashigaru hireling, who was spotted as odd by Di San Ge er Zi,) and  poisoned the food stores in the kitchen  and then through poison shuriken at the two ashigaru it was hired with. They then led a chase through the complex, cutting holes in shoji paper walls and hiding in the rafters before being cornered in the library, where they were cornered and threatened to burn the place down (Ales stepped in and used Extinguish Fire) They were locked in irons, from which they made an escape, and were eventually hunted down.  Chou-Zen had eliminated another ninja who had been on the roof, by casting grease and causing them to fall into the koi pond in the courtyard. Another one was dispatched after the shoji walls were all collapsed and it had no place to hide. The poisoned Ashigaru were treated by the house physician, Yodoko no Hana, who is based on Ehi Shiina from Audition

Yodoku  no Hana (poisonous  flower)
125pt sage, with Alchemy, poison, physiology first aid, physician,
 herbary and
esoteric medicine, Psychology diagnosis and surgery and detect lies,
but no modular
 book learned wisdom. (Instead, she has the ninja lens)
She has callousness, sadist  and curious and has torture, pressure secrets and
 massage? She is attractive  and immune to poison and has high pain tolerance.
 She makes poisons and potions
That cause sensitivity and reduce will

In the end, Sakemoko siezed a coveted office, MAster of Funerary Services, from Akira Aku No, who had botched things when his barrels of salt packed dead waiting shipping to the homeland were animated by a toxifier demon, and arranged for all of the funerals of the people who had attacked him, and even gave stipends to the families, building him more Social regard.

Akira Aku No appeared a day later with a full procession including dragonmen and musicians, and sued for peace, saying that he was relocating to Little Shevnia for a beaurocratic job, and sold off his remaining interests in Little Sahud to Sakemoko.

From here, the crew will be heading to Veroigne, a region south of Northport where rice is grown for the Sahudese of Northport.

Veroigne developed in the campaign because a new player wanted to play a member of royalty and his husband, captain of his guard. I had little trouble building them, except for the general absence of Social Status in DF, and settled on giving him a couple of levels of Courtesy Rank. The two, both handsome  Chivalrous knights, had a backstory that created some campaign setting. By not accepting an arranged marriage, Baronet James forfeited the barony to his sister Loraine, who had married Marcel Pequenaud, the baron from a neighboring comunity that had serfs, while most of the Veroignese had died during the plague forty years ago, leaving the small barony struggling.  Pequenaud is a horrible ruler, and most of the family retainers loyal to Sir Percival and James have become Robin-Hood like bandits dedicated to protecting the peasantry from the Barons predations. As his soldiers are largely collecting taxes, Several other PC’s from Northport (Kirpich Rockson the Priest of Grom, Syvanus the elven archer/thief/wizard,  Marlena the Seasoned Apprentice and Snorry Rosslovich the Seasoned Guard, all of whom searched for the lost paytrain in the Shevnian Hexcrawl, along with Dionysus the faun swashbuckler, Aethul the ranger, and Balir Ironhide the Dwarf are on their way to hunt the Terrible Beast of Veroigne, which is terrorizing the peasantry.  Along the way they have met a party of Dolmenwood creatures,  a moss dwarf, a woodgrue, a frost elf and a grimalkin, and had little issue with them except for the compulsive playing of the woodgrue, that affected a party member or two, and a fantastic creature, the Stag of Veroigne, which gave Aethul a blessing when he approached it nicely. Killing it would have brought on a curse, which would have intensified if they had eaten it. It would have resurrected itself like Frey’s Goats the next day had they done so.

As to what James and Percival were up to in Northport? Thjey joined up with a pair of warrior /wizards, Sederic and Grimaldi to hunt down the racketeering Connard DuMenteur (Asshole the Liar) who had informed the Guard of Vilgar’s underground fighting operation at the very start of the campaign, back in August of 2013.  Connard had a fortified building with all access to the undercity cut off, so as to prevent an attack from below.  Among his personal crew of kneecappers and fingertakers who collected money for him were five brutes (including Lourdad and Chienne LaChatte, a gigantic elder infused brute that collected fingers as trophies.

After bashing through the brutes, one surrendered (Lourdad) and they went after DuMenteur. He had holed up in his Magelocked lower appartment, and had time to load up on paut, and  set up a trap. He opened a secret door that lead into an L-shaped closet, and hid in an alcove behind an arras, and waited for them to break in the door. They had been using sense foes earlier, but they all blindly ran into the close, and had it Magelocked behind them, and were stuck for an hour. when they got out ( the door was stone, and the knights were in front, unable to squeeze past to attempt to break down the door), Both DuMenteur and Vilgar were waiting for them, having come to a financial arrangement. ( I have a lot of bosses parlaying).  Grimaldi and Sederic of the cursed, dancing sword went on to do some advertising work for the underground tavern, standing watch while some laborers nailed signs.

 

Another group, the one that had negotiated a truce with the ogres in the winecellars and are travelling with a four-armed demon hunting celestial descended from a servitor of Kali had tracked down a couple of cultists who were on their way to buy cuttlefish. The cultists of Saturnos the Devourerer have an initiation rite in which the supplicant dyes theyr robes in cuttlefish ink by placing it in a barrel with them and agitating the squiddos by drowning a cat. This leads to the typical markings of the cultists, blackened hands and scratches all over their faces.  Typically, they are led into what they think is a sex cult with offers of carnal relations with succubi and incubi, and up until now, the assorted groups of PC’s had thought they were dealing with a demon cult, especially due to all of the petty demons and Demons of Old that they had faced. They were forgetting about the Demons from Between the Stars… As it was discovered by this group, which included Oly the thief, who had funded the paytrain Hexcrawl with loot from fighting the cult when Ludlow the Munificent  accidentally blocked their ceremony and created a gate to Hell, Mancini the Guild agent (Agent+Treasure Hunter) and his guard ally Norman, Aoife the Leprechaun Druid who was on the mission to negotiate with the Trolls and entered the Library of Flax, Ardenas Barehand, who had been involved with Oly  in stealing the Jugga Trophy from the Orcish Dojo, along with Kalima, they discovered what the cultists were really about.

Kalima - 250 pt celestial avatar of Kali

Att 80
Adv 149
Dis -50
Q-5
Sk 44
Sp  32
Total: 250

Attributes: ST 15 [0]; DX 12 [20]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 13 [10].
 Damage 1d+1/2d+1; BL 39 lbs.;
HP 15 [0]; Will 14 [0]; Per 13 [0]; FP 14 [0];
Basic Speed 7.00 [-10]; Basic Move 7 [0].

Advantages:
Celestial [75]
 (ST+1, dx+1,iq+1, ht+1, will+1, fp+1, bs +.5, attractive ,
  fit, spirit empathy, celestal nimbus,divine gifts,
  Divine curse (preferred enemy of demons) weakness to evil areas)
Half Ogre [20]
 ST+4 [40]; IQ-1 [-20]; HT+1 [10].
 Advantages: Damage Resistance 1 (Tough Skin, -40%) [3]; Fearlessness 1 [2];
 Night Vision 3 [3]. Disadvantages:Appearance (Ugly) [-8];
 Social Stigma (Savage)
2 extra arms [20]
Higher Purpose, Slay Demons [5]
Sharp Teeth [5]
power Investiture 2 [20]
signature gear, spear [3]
Charms [6]


Dis:
Unattractive [0]
Honesty [-10]
Pacifism, Cannot harm Innocents [-10]
Sense of Duty [-5 ](Adventuring Companions)
selfless [-5]
Bloodlust [-10]
Bad Temper [-10]


Unnatural Features 3, (3rd eye, Black glossy skin, flame red hair)
Q usually wears only silk loincloth, coral bracelets and anklets,
 marigold wreath, likes to dance


Charms
Aura
Invisibility
Turn Spirit
Final Rest
Steal HT
Eviscerate

Skills:
Brawling 8 15
Wrestling 4 13+2
Spear 12 15
Garrotte 4 13

Theology 2 12
Thanatology 2 12
Hidden Lore, Demons 4 14
Meditation 2 12

Intimidation 1 15
Detect Lies 1 11
Diplomacy 1 11

Stealth 1 12
Observation 1 12
Dance 1 12

Spells:
Protection from Evil 4 15
Invisibility 4 15
Final Rest 4 15
Aura 4 15
Steal HT 4 15
Turn Spirit 4 15
Eviscerate VH 8 15


Equipment: Spear Pussiant +1 vs Demons
Currently wearing a bolt of reddish linen as a sari.

When they followed the cuttlefish seekers back to their lair, finding their signature trap, Evil Runes that drain FP,  and stealthily took them and a couple petty demons out, they found a large crowd of cultists about to sacrifice a demon of old! the demon, along with some petty demons participating in the ceremony, immediately attacked Kalima, a favored enemy. The feeling was mutual, and she drained health on a couple, like her ancestor, and the demon ripped free of his silvered chains and flew up to attack her (he had berserk). She killed him by eviscerating him and eating his heart.  Unfortunately for the PC’s all of the deaths (and there were many) enhanced the ceremony in progress, the summoning of an Elder Servitor.  It took a lot, including Ardenas using Winged Knife on the cult champion’s silvered greatsword to kill the servitor but they did. The cultists of the Devourerer, who started the campaign by killing everyone who had the spell divination or any kind of oracular ability, are Cultists of the Elder Gods!

This was noticed by the Ymid, with his Sense Weird ability, but he was two bothered by the destruction of his skiff ( a nifty little contragravity craft he had parked on the other side of the Bone Gate) by a Bhole passing through the gate. Yaay there is now a super Dire Rot worm  somewhere in the dungeon (pencilling in a purple worm encounter). The Juniors group will be fetching alchemical components for the repair of the skiff. Additionally, they have just acquired some cultists of their own; some serfs fleeing Veroigne who were met on the road by thatr gorup, who are all worshipers of Vejovis, the roman defender of injustice, worshiped by Nodwin, the Initiate travelling with the Juniors group.

Now for some art updates:

 

These two are going to be in Gabor Lux‘s Echoes from Fomalhaut 5.

I am also working on a bundle of Dungeon entrances:

 

Links coming soon when I get a few more drawn.

In the meantime: Support my Patreon!

Buy my Stuff!

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I am an affiliate of Drivethru, all of those links are affiliate links, except for the SJ Games stuff that goes to their website.

 

Also, I just won a contest on another blog. I should run one here… It is a great blog, Geek Girls Rule. I have two at home, I know it to be true.

Excellent Customer Service at Necrotic Gnome

As you may know, if you follow this blog, I am a big fan of Gavin Norman‘s Setting Dolemenwood which is available in print and PDF at Drivethrurpg.  I have contributed art to Wormskin #7, and also made an amateur translation of the Demihumans of Dolmenwood into GURPS format.bxdod

(Incidentally, the Kickstarters of both DFRPG Monsters 2 and The Citadel at Nordvorn have both funded Whoot!)Winter_s_Daughter_Cover_470x.png

The latest of the Dolmenwood books is Winter’s Daughter, a beautifully illustrated adventure about encountering an elf of the Winter Court.  I wanted it, and initially leary of the international shipping rates, opted in for just the PDF at 6 euoro ($7.05). I later rethought this, and Gavin walked me through just ordering the print version (don’t ask him to do this again, anyone in their right mind (i.e.: not me) would have ordered the combo plate for 12 Euro, and what turns out to be a mere 7 Euro shipping. My reluctance came from a package that cost me $56 to ship to Canada. In any case, I managed to screw it up again, and Gavin took care of it all. For a while, I was concerned that I was going to get it and he wasn’t going to get paid, because PayPal took three hours to process the transaction, and I was sure I had screwed up.

I own almost everything from Necrotic Gnome in print, and I have to say they make a lovely Dunsinian product that is easy to convert to any OSR system, and as I have shown, to the Dungeon Fantasy Role Playing Game as well.  Gavin has also Streamlined B/X into the lovely digest sized Old School Essentials line, which works beautifully with the setting, as does John Stater’s Bloody Basic: Weird Fantasy Edition. If you like slightly creepy faerie adventures with nonstandard characters, I cannot reccomend the entirety of Wormskin and the other Dolmenwood line enough.

Underground Taverns

Spaces for shopping while dungeoneering have always been a feature of video games, my recent podcast discusses this as it applies to Northport. I thought I would share some NPC’s involved in this establishment, a re-purposed tavern near a slaughterhouse that was abandoned due to a rat infestation that is now a service entrance to an underground bar  (sort of like Peter Dell’Orto’s Tavern Level of Felltower) and adventuring supply station.  Ever since evil cultists have taken to the undercity, the clerics of the Hadereum have been issuing “Adventuring Licenses” to hunt them down without paying taxes on the proceeds.  In the main tavern there is a large winch set up over a 4’x4′ trapdoor that has been used to lower masonry supplies and also a small iron golem.

The owner of the establishment is Ashbury. the place is The Abattoir.

This is the crew that works there:

Above ground:

Benoit Dufresne is a bartender (125point inkeeper) who operates the surface level
of Ashbury's Abattoir. Mostly he serves simple fare to workers from the
slaughterhouse across the street, and receives deliveries for the lower level.
He lives on the upper floor along with some of the downstairs crew.

Benoit is based on both the Bartender and the Inkeeper templates from DF 10

Benoit Dufresne, junior innkeeper
Att:[70]
ST:11 DX:11 IQ:11 HT:12
HP:11 Per:13 Will:12 FP:!2
T/S 1d-2/1d+1
Basic speed 5.00 Basic MV 5 Dodge 8

keeps a loaded crossbow under the bar, 1d impaling

Adv:[33]
[10]Per+2
[5] Will +1
[10] Jack of all trades 1
[5] Charisma+1
[1] alchohol tolerance
[1] improvised weapons
[1] membership, Guild of Brewers and innkeepers
Dis:[-33]
[-5] Chummy
[-5]overconfident
[-10] bad temper
[-5] gluttony
[-5] no sense of smell
[-3] Obese

Quirks:[-5] Nosy, gossipy, lazy, dislikes clerics, disheveled

Skills:[60]
Bartender [4] 13
Brewing [2] 12
Streetwise [4] 12
Brawling [2]12
Wrestling [8]13
Diplomacy [1] 10
Area Knowledge, Northport [1] 11
Current Affairs [2] 12
Gambling [1] 10
Carousing [2] 13
Crossbow [8] 14
F/d crossbow from under counter [4]13
Axe/mace[4] 12
Throwing [4] 12
Merchant [1] 10
Observation [2] 13
ATT: 70 ADV:31 DIS:-33 Q:-5 Skills: 60 Total: 125
Another relative of Ashbury, Clarice works as a cok at the Abattoir
Clarice is built using the servant template from Peter Dell'Orto's DF15

Clarice, tavern cook
ST: 10/11 DX:11 IQ:11 HT:10
HP:10 Per:11 Will:11 FP:10
T/:S:1d-2/1d BL 24lbs
Basis speed 5.00 Basic MV 5

Clarice wears simple homespun garments, and has a fine quality large knife
(she keeps several knives in the kitchen, but that one is her favorite.

Adv: [25]
[10] Goodwife+2
[15] unfazeable
[1] Recipe [Dire animal]
[3] Lifting ST +!

DIS: [-30]
[-5] basic speed-0.25
[-4] unattractive
[-5] incurious
[-10] no sense of humor
[-5] truthful
[-1] intolerant of lechery

Quirks:[-5] Cheap, pragmatic, dour, judgemental, blunt
Skills:
Cooking [8] 15
Housekeeping [1] 13
Bartending [2] 11
Scrounging [1] 11
Urban Survival [4] 12
Knife [2] 12
Axe/mace [2] 11
Throw knife [1]
Brawling [1]
Stealth [1]
Observation [1]
Search [1]
Sewing [1] 13
Gardening [1] 13

Clarice spent a bit of time fending for herself when the former
household she worked at collapsed when the merchant heading it was killed
by bandits, and has a number of great preparations for giant rat.
She keeps to simple drab things, and saves her money.
A woman of few pleasures, she enjoys a good brandy and a pipe on occasion.
Below Ground:


Small Charles, brother to Yeoman Charra is a dock laborer with one leg.
(Lost to Jin) he has 63 points of modifications  toward being an innkeeper:
+1 st, +2 iq, carousing 2 brewing 2, bartending 2 current events 2 crossbow 2,
 2 points in guild memberships and 1 point in merchant.


Small Charles was a laboror working on the docks, when some guild action
(blockading a ship from unloading while a third paying party robbed it)
resulted in an attack by adventurers trying to prevent the robbery, and
 his left leg was smasked by a Yakuza's tetsubo, shattering it beyond even
the restorative healing of a cleric of Sethyg, and an amputation above the knee.
The United Dockworker and Longshoreman's Guild has a very strong retirement plan
for members who know how to keep their mouths shut, and a reciprocal arrangement
with their sister organization, the Guild of Brewers and Inkeepers. After his
injury, Charles, who is the brother of Yeoman Charra of the Adventurer's Guild,
was placed after some training, into a position as a bartender in Ashbury's
Abattoir.

Small charles is built on the Laborer template from Peter Dell'Orto's DF15, with
63 points of a custom lens for Inkeeper (from DF10) added on to bring him to 80pts


Small Charles, one-legged bartender
Att:[80]
ST:14/16 DX:10 IQ:11 HT:12
Hp:14 Per: 11 Will:11 FP:12
T/S: 1d/2d
Basic Speed:6.00 Basic Move:2

Adv:[28]
[5] fit
[6] Lifting ST+2
[6] hard to kill +3
[1] membership:Unighted Dockworker and Longshoreman's Guild
[1] membership:Guild of Brewers and Inkeepers
[1] membership: Adventurer's Guild
[1] alcohol tolerance
[7] independent income, pension
Dis:[-50]
[-20] lame:one leg
[-20] reduced move
[-5] code of honor: stays bought
[-5] callous
Quirks:[-5]
     Colorul tattoos on his arms, distrustful, loud
     Proud of his fish stew, twitchy left eye
Skills:[27]
Brawling [2] 11 lifting [2] 12 Wrestling [2] 10
Animal Handling (equines) [2] 11 Packing [1] 10
Teamster [1] 10 Axe/mace [2] 10 Streetwise [1] 10
Carousing [2] 12 Brewing [2] 12 Bartending [2] 11
Current events [2] 12 crossbow [4] 12 merchant [1] 9
Cooking [1] 10



Att:80 adv:28 dis:-50 q:-5 sk:27 total: 80 pts
Lourdad is a brute with bully, callousness, ss criminal
2hd axe maxe, uses heavy spiked mace, has 4pts in strike knee manoeuvre
Streetwise, compulsive carousing, code of honor pirate
Unattractive, high ranks in intimidation

Lourdad was one of Connard Du Menteur's enforcers who collected debts,
and surrendered to the party that shut down the establishment.
He is now employed as a bouncer at Ashbury's Abbatoir.
Lourdad is built on the Brute Template from Peter Dell'Orto's DF15

Lourdad, Brute

Att:[120]
ST:14 DX:13 IQ:10 HT:12
Hp:14 Per:10 Will:10 FP:12
T/S: 1d/2d
Basic speed: 7.00 basic MV:6 Dodge 7
Parry: 12

Lourdad wears light scale torso armor DR3,
With heavy leather sleeves, leggings and boots DR2
And carries a spiked maul (2d+4)
Adv: [25]
[15] Combat Reflexes
[10] High Pain Threshold
Dis:[-50]
[-5] basic speed-0.25
[-5] callous
[-5] code of honor, pirate's
[-5] compulsive carousing
[-5] Social Stigma: criminal
[-10] Impulsiveness
[-5] stubbornness
[-10] bad temper
Quirks:[-5]
    Knuckle tattoos (amour/haine), facial tattoos around eyes,
    easily offended, compulsive tattooing, despises gambling
Skills:[35]
Brawling [2] 14 Wrestling [1] 12 Knife [1] 13
Two-handed Axe/mace [16] 17
Maneuver: leg strike [4] +2
Armory, body armor [1] 9
Crossbow [2] 14
Forced entry [1] 13
Carousing [2] 13
Intimidation [4] 11+
Streetwise [1] 9
Bartolemu is Strong Claire's cousin, and works at Ashbury's place, Abbattoir

He is built on Peter Dell'Orto's Guard template from DF 15

Bartolemu, Orcish guard

ST 13 DX 11 IQ 9 HT 13
HP 14 Per 10/12 Will 10 FP 13
T/S 1d-1/2d-1 BL 34
BS: 6.0 MV 5 Dodge 8 Parry 8
DR: Head 4 (pot helm) Torso 3 (heavy leather), Limbs 2 (Leather)
He carries a cheap blunt ended broadsword (1d cr/2d cut)
and a crossbow (1d+2 impaling)

ADV: [15] Orc (hearing +2, will and per +1, res met hazards +3,
               rapid healing, infravision, ugly, bully, social stigma:Savage)
     [1]  Sacrificial parry
Dis:
[-5] Mv-1,
[-10] struggling,
[-5] Code of honor, Stays bought
[-5] wounded (right knee)
[-5] callous
Quirks: [-5] horrible hangovers, brooding,
            scar on his palm (was stabbed through it),
            walks with a noticeable limp, always has a toothpick in his mouth
Skills:
    Brawling [1] Knife [1] Wrestling [1]
    Broadsword [2] 11  crossbow [8] 14
Armory, Missle Weapons [1] 8
Forced entry [1] 11 Intimidation [1] 9+ Jugga (sport) [1] 10
Hragosh is an orcish merchant, working in Ashbury's Abbattoir
Orcs have been working in this and other guild concerns after
the Adventurer's Guild  guildmaster Rigo Bleak  struck a deal with the orcs
 to have them ease up street violence so as not to interfere with gambling
operations that the guild has a piece of.

Hragosh is built on Peter Dell'Orto's Agent template from DF 15,
 with elements of the Cheerer background I presented on my blog

Hragosh, Agent
ST 11 DX 12 IQ 12 HT 13
HP 12 Per 13 Will 13 FP 13
T/S 1d-2/1d+1 BL 22
BS 6.25 Base MV 6 Dodge 9
DR 1 wears a gambeson and quilted leggings, and boots DR 2
She carries a decent thrusting broadsword (1d-1 imp/1d+2 cut)
and an ornate large knife (1d-2 imp/1d+1 cut) she has a silk fan

Adv:
[15] Orc(+2 hearing, +1 ST, +t HT +1HP,-1 IQ, +1 per, +1 will,
         res to met hazards+3, infravision, rapid healing,
         base appearance of ugly, bully, social stigma: savage)
[10] comfortable wealth
[4] Unattractive appearance (attractive to orcs and other goblekin)
[5] charisma+1
[1] penetrating voice
DIS:
[-5] chummy
[-5] Code of honor, pirates
[-15] greed
[-10] xenophilia
[-5] stubborn
[-5] overconfidence
[-5] sense of duty, adventuring companions
Quirks [-5]
     always feels too hot, loud, likes to party, forward,
      proud of a silk Sahudese fan she carries
Skills:
  Merchant [8] 14 Streetwise [2] 12 Carousing [2] 14*
  Fast talk [2] 12* Public speaking [2] 12*
  Sex appeal [1] 12* Intimidation [1] 12* Area knowledge, Northport [1] 13
  Scounging [1] 13, Singing [1] 13 Dancing [1] 11
  Broadsword [4] 13 Brawling [2] 13 Knife [2] 13
Martin Haight is the nephew of Ashbury,
works with Lourdad, Small charles, Hragosh, and Bartolemu
He is built on the Apprentice template from Peter Dell'Orto's DF15

Martin Haight, Commercial apprentice
ATT:[90]
ST 10 DX 11 IQ 13 HT 11
HP 10 Will 13 Per 12 FP 14
T/s: 1d-2/1d
BS 5.0 Basic MV 5 Dodge 8

Carries a silvered dagger (1d-3 imp)
DR 1, torso and feet, DR 0 elsewhere

ADV:[44]
[25] Magery 2
[10] comfortable
[9] FP +3

DIS: [-50]
[-10] Lazy
[-5] Skinny
[-5] unfit
[-5] klutz
[-5] oblivious
[-5] Per-1
[-10] BS-0.5

Quirks:[-5]
       Supernatural feature:fingers and wand leave
       glowing streaks in the air when casting, cheap,
       Compulsive reader, horrible hangovers, unkempt

Skills:[26]
Alchemy [2] 11 Thaumatology [2] 13
Occultism [2] 13 Hidden Lore: magic items [2] 13
Hazardous materials (magical) [1] 12
Research [1] 12 Speed reading [1] 12
Philosophy [1] 11 Natural Philosophy [1] 11
Hidden lore: Magical Writings [1] 12
Shortsword [4] 12
Knife [2] 12
Throw knife [2] 12
Cartography [1] 12
Fast-talk [1] 12
Stealth [1] 10
Merchant  [1] 12

Spells: [20]
Light [1] 13
Continual light [4] 15
Lend energy [1]
Recover energy [4] 15
Detect magic [1] 13
Foolishness [1] 13
Daze [1] 13
Sleep [1] 13
Mass Sleep [4] 15
Apportation [1] 13
Magelock [1] 13

Att:90 Adv:44 Dis:-50 q:-5 SK:26 Sp:20 total:125

Martin's primary occupation is the manufacture of
continual light objects to sell to adventurers.
He wears an oversized black hooded cloak over dark blue robes,
 of which the torso portion is equal to cloth armor.
He carries a silvered dagger and a wand wrapped with gold wire and set
With a crystal, it has Wizard's Staff cast on it and is a power item for 5 FP

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Recent play and more

shame of the deepguard map

A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to run Shame of the Deepguard at Manhattan Minicon V . Thanks again to Lydia, Devin, Dan and Greg!.

The game was a 125pt Dungeon Fantasy objective oriented adventure. It started off in a bar, operated by a couple of the rescued NPC’s from Beneath the Fallen Tower; Wade the merchant (now a mere minstrel after his last venture was robbed by hobgoblins), Ebbet the halfling, and Valdor the dwarf. Playing were Marlo the thief, played by  Lydia, Ofelia the Mage, played by Dan, and an unnamed fighter played by Devin, along with Greg’s returning even archer, Griff. They were met in the tavern by Gillen Whitmore, a one eyed veteran guard and crossbowman, who they all immediately began referring to as Rooster Cogburn.IMG_20190212_0001.png

Originally Noah was supposed to reprise Erik the Cleric of Nodens, but he was at another gaming event at a new FLGS. We need more of those things! As a result, I gave everyone an extra healing potion.

Once Gillen laid out what he needed (brave adventurers to help him retrieve more silver than he could carry) they suspiciously signed on.  As the pregens were already kitted out, they left immediately.  Unlike BTFT, this was to be more dungeon, less hex, so that had one encounter along the way: a hunting party of Hobgoblins, carrying a deer and a boar on two spears.  They got a few shots in, failed to Sleep the 13 HT hobgoblins, and cut them down swiftly, partly enabled by a critical miss that self-disarmed a glaive wielder, and by the combination of the overseer wasting attacks whipping his men forward, and the hobgoblins all out attacking due to a combination of bloodlust and intolerance of elves.

This gave them a taste of what to expect, and when they arrived near the abandoned mines, mostly played out, but still workable buy the goblin slaves of the hobgoblins, they quickly saw the wisdom of going into the mine by way of the hidden back door rather than the front, which was a fortified gatehouse full of archers and a murder hole with boiling lead.

From the back door, which Gillen opened with a meteoric iron key folded up behind his eye patch, thoroughly grossing them out, they fairly quickly dispatched the hobs at the guardpost, taking a little longer to bring down the squad leader. The hobgoblins again tried to dogpile the elf, and he needed two sets of healing potions by the end of the next fight.

The reinforcements from area 4 came after them, and Gillen used his key to open the locked and dusty armory, and they left by the back way and ambushed the hobs.  At this point, Griff’s luck ran out. What a difference better armor makes! This time, a couple hobs were put to sleep.

I passed Gillen’s sheet over to Griff’s player, and let him know about the ulterior motives of that character.

The next move was toward the bridge, where they ran afoul of some foul bats. These were dispersed by sleep and a couple of crossbow bolts and sword swipes, but for some reason they decided to run across in the near dark, and first the fighter, then Marlo fell off the side. He snagged a grip on the edge of the bridge, and then they caught each other’s hand and he made a strength roll to get them both up to the bridge, where they proceeded a little more carefully.

In a cavern across the bridge, they parleyed with some gargoyles, thank’s to Ofelia’s diplomacy skill and the offering of Marlo’s wheel of cheese, and they got some intel on the local heavy, a fire slorn grown from an egg left behind by the departing Deepguard who had cached several one pound ingots of coin grade silver. The hope was that the mine had enough silver in it would deflect Detect Earth Spells, much as the back door was fronted with a thin sheet of meteoric iron to make it undetectable.

Unfortunately at the time, I forgot about the trace silver in the mine and let them detect it.

They beat the slorn by stabbing it in the eyes and dodging its fiery breath just in time for the rest of Gillen’s crew to ride up on them as the con came to a close and the Jersey street library kicked everyone out, so we didn’t get to play through the attack of the Deepguard.

 

Similarly, they never headed south into the mines, where they would have found the goblins slaving away at smelting silver out of lead-alloy, and seen the extravagance of the Hobgoblin women.  and their bears. Bears? Usually AD&D hobs are encountered with Flesh eating apes, but as I made my Hobs to be Hussars, I thought bears would suit better. I hadn’t populated the place with the hobgoblin young,  and if I get around to an OSR release (because I am not a licensed 3rd party DFRPG content producer like Doug Cole (Hey! go pledge his kickstarter. Right now. I will wait)), I will probably flesh that out a bit.

I got to learn a few interesting things aboutsmelting and silver mining from wikipedia, and the addition of a dwarf as one of the pregens was going to help spread some of that out, but the dwarf player backed out along with a few others.

 

right here, you can snatch up my con documents, which should only make you want to go and buy a copy of DFRPG right now, and while you are at it, pick up DF 15 Henchmen while you are at it, if you like 125 point play. If you want to see my templates for 75 point play, check here.

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the GURPS system from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

 

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My Hobgoblins

 

As I mentioned on my recent podcast

I have a slight issue with the depiction of Hobgoblins as samurai, which , while cool, and based a little on the images of the battle masks found in some kits,4892447-historic-samurai-armor-on-black

There is something a little racist about that, and there is also a cool European tradition of scale armor worn by raidersmedieval-lamellar-stainless-steel-armor-body-suit.jpg

Vikings, and other warriors of northern and northeastern Europe had some really cool looking armor. I think the blank looking mail mask and pointy helmet combo evokes something menacing, like these psychos from Frostgrave.frostgrave-cultists

There is nothing that says “Bad Guys” who need to get murdered by your Adventurers like a good pointy mask.cultists0001.png

 

While in Northport, Hobgoblins are a player character option, and most of their tribe is involved in the hemp and rope making trades, as well as in the local jugga league, I am going to be running a sequel adventure to Beneath the Fallen Tower.

The hobgoblins in this scenario are pretty much the AD&D ones, as I am dealing with a table of mostly non-GURPS players, I wanted some simplified tropes. The women of this tribe, which has claimed ownership of an abandoned silver mine, are pretty tough as well, although they wear a lot of embroidered clothing that is more central European than the kimonos that would go with samurai style hobgoblins ala Sutherland.

The adventure will feature a heist, betrayal, fire breathing lizards, hobgoblins and enslaved goblins.

 

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Malign or Misunderstood?

It is a common point of contention between tabletop gamers as to whether or not monstrous non humans in games are aligned with fell forces, and therefore inherently evil, or if theyare simply ‘other’ and victims of a bad rap.

I grew up with AD&D, after starting with the magenta box. When we played B2, we slaughtered everyone. The damn hobgoblins had a larder full of human heads, and the DMG had that whole “nits make lice” essay about orcs.

Some of this stems from the fiction in Appendix N, like the extremely anti-human nature of the creatures of Faerie and Chaos in The Broken Sword, or the origin story of Orcs in LotR.

My preferred game system doesn’t have alignments, except for specialty characters that recieve powers from extraplanar entities, like clerics, and holy/unholy warriors, and half -infernals and half-celestials. On the other hand, even someone with demonic heritage can be forgiven by the gods, but they still detect as evil.

So, in a game where only the card carrying servants of hell actually detect as evil, the moral circumstances of inhuman creatures are subject to question.  Now, that said, there are creatures that (at least in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, my preferred game) have severely negative character traits, like bully, bloodlust, intolerance, and sadism. The kind of people you can’t win an argument with, or negotiate a lasting peace with.

In my personal game, goblins and orcs are members of society, although there are regional territorial disputes and percieved political slights that become protracted wars with atrocities committed by both sides, human and inhuman, largely because of the nature of mercenary soldiers, as opposed to the overall moral or amoral nature of entire species.

In my convention game, where I am demonstrating DF to an audience more familiar with D&D, my hobgoblins are devil worshipping slave takers that delight in torture, as opposed to the hemp growing sports fanatics and rope makers that they are in my home game.

Will they detect as evil? They will certainly detect as foes, although the priest may, as he is empowered by demons, but the bulk of the tribe will not. Are they villains who must be stopped? Yes. Is it possible that the young may be innocent? Perhaps. In this case, they were raised in a society that believes strongly in corporal punishment, reveres cruelty and revenge, and respect for their elders, (or at least those who hold positions of rank in the tribe). The young who are old enough to know the members of their group will certainly resent whoever murders their family, without seeing their personal exclusion from slaughter as an act of mercy.

Just the same,  adventurers with personal codes of honor or a sense of duty that extends beyond their friends and community (not entirely common in this game system, and actually lacking amongst the pre-gens for the con game, who are mostly murder-hobos) would feel some qualms about putting them to the sword. Those with bloodlust, callousness or the dwarven code of honor will not.

My home game is not so cut and dried, as seen here.

How do you treat the foes of mankind? Are they hellspawn, aligned spiritually with the lower planes, or are they a people with their own agendas and culture?