Minicon Recap

  • Last weekend at Manhattan Minicon, I ran and completed The Redoubt of Hades over two play sessions.

Players were Greg, who I met for a pickup game of GURPS Infinite World, and who has played through two of my other con games, Beneath the Fallen Tower, and Shame of the Deepguard. He played Jelani the halberdier, and made great use of called shots to the neckJelani Character Sheet 187 for Greg

Next was Andre, who has played several characters in my online game, Northport, including the goblin priest of the Erl King, Zeelzeel Shadowspear.  He was torn between Marlo, the thief of indeterminate gender, and Zeelzeel’s necromancer cousin, longtime NPC Razakeel Shadowcloak , who had some zombie allies. He ended up settling on Marlo, due to his love of knives.

Marlo Character Sheet 187 for Andre

Mark, enthusiastic and new to GURPS, was also attracted to Razakeel, became torn between Ofelia, the Sleep centric mage from Shame of the Deepguard, and Thornstripe, a movement and missile mage, equipped with both fireball, and the now off-book Winged Knife. He succumbed to the sweet lure of pyromania, which worked well against the undead being faced.

Thornstripe character sheet 187

Nick briefly contemplated an adventurer, but decided to complete the classic quartet and wonderfully played the cleric Sister Clarissa

Sister Clarissa 187

(Note: her will is 13, not 11)

Nick is French, and my campaign is set in a caricature of medieval France, so there were some awkward moments as I mangled the names of some of my NPCs. He took everything in stride and was hilarious in his depiction of the charitable but severe priestess.

“Good morning Heretic, we are here to enter the Undercity.”

The adventure started in the common room of the Adventurers Guild, which is my conceit for accommodating a West Marches style of play.  They were called upstairs by Bellarius (high elf Agent from DF15), the secretary of Camilla the Quest Coordinator (Agent+Adept) who brought them to her, where they also met with Plutocrat Remulos of the Hadereum (cleric+a couple of social lenses with rank and wealth), Margeaux le Manifique (the apparent sole survivor of that poorly managed expedition by a bad player), and Karlow the orc working for the Department of Acueducts and Sewers.

Due to increased cult activity in the Undercity, several members of the hadereum (12 cultists and 2 initiates) had entered to rededicate a long abandoned temple of Hades in order to strengthen the presence of law amid the chaos below. Two weeks ago (a week before Margeaux returned) they went dark, and a guarded caravan of food and supplies sent to them disappeared.

The route from the Hadereum has been blocked, as something large (the bhole {super dire Rotworm} that came through the Ymid’s Bone Gate) collapsed part of the tunnels. Margeaux’s story suggests another route, and Karlow will be their guide.

Margeaux is accompanied by the ghost  deof herad husband Claude, who really wishes their wedding vows had included “to death do we part”, and she talks to him, suggesting he keeps himself hidden with the Plutocrat present. (The Hadereum likes everyone to stay dead where they belong)

Claude spells out something in water drops from a glass nearby “Anything to get away from you!” Which is spotted by Thornstripe on a critical perception roll, allowing the mage to see the shimmering form of the spirit.

Sister Clarissa, having higher purpose: slay undead starts chanting an exorcism, which is interrupted by Remulos, who asks her to refrain from her non-pagan ways in his presence (Sister Clarissa is a Triunist, and comes from the Bishop of Sonne, who is currently paying Adventurers to fight wights in the abandoned Monastery).

They proceed to Ashbury’s Abattoir , meet the crew their, and find their way to the ladder well left unsecured when Margeaux’s group had lowered their dwarf sized iron golem down it. This caused grumbling from Karlow, who closed the hatch. Now on the second level, they ran into the terribly hungry and frightened young speaking Otyugh (IQ6) in a catchment room, trying to keep out a handful of horde zombies who fell to fireballs, thrown knives, halberd work, and True Faith. (The zeds had been released from impromptu burial chambers by evil cultists with the Brotherhood of the Dead perk).

Karlow grumbled some more, fed and locked it in its pen and the catchment room., And they determined that the local Sewer employee had been killed by a member of  Margeaux’s group…

They dove into a room that recently held dead to avoid a horde of plague zombies, and Jelani rolled a critical strength failure trying to push the door closed, and instead pushed something out…

Just the TiP

IMG_20190821_200237

After this encounter, they entered the pool room, where Margeaux’s party met their demise, (along with a crowd of undead whose corpses were  the scattered about)  along with the reanimated remains of her party. The guild was paying them to recover their guild badges, so they collected all but Timeon’s. When confronted with the puzzle of lighting fires atop the pylons, the mage fireballed one, and critically failed another, stunning himself.

Lighting both pylons (in a very Legend of Zelda way) caused the fountain to spill gold coins into the mildly caustic water (the golem had rusted through in a week). Unfortunately, not lighting them simultaneously (which two people with torches could have done) released The Thing in the Pool, or as my players called it, “just the TiP”. It was a multi-tentacled elder thing that had a fear aura, and laid heavily into the party. We even used a bit of Gaming Ballistic’s Fantastic Dungeon Grappling when dealing with the TiP wrapping tentacles around Jelani before it could eat her.

After it was defeated, with both haste andbd great haste being cast, and both the gold and the golem’s orichalcum maul, which Sister Clarissa took despite lacking the requisite strength.

They exited the pool room into a nearby storage room where Timeon was holding out, using one ancient barrel of rations for food, and another for used foods, and he shot Marlo with his crossbow, and the tribe accepted him as a member, finding out while resting and healing that he had been unwilling to re-enter the pool room for fear if the Void Brute that Frer Noe had summoned to kill the previous party, and  because he broke his lockpicks on the outer door. Once some fatigue was recovered (including some from Lend Energy) they exited the anteroom by means of Karlow’s key, and ran into a horde if plague zombies

IMG_20190821_195713

True faith and great haste again ruled the day, as they cleaved,  mauled, stabbed, shot, and fireballed their way through the fleeing horde, and ended up Fantastically Grappling a cultist who had been herding the dead.

The second cultist ran ahead and opened a door, releasing three New and Improved Wights.

Unlike my previous versions, which were unkillable with an Achilles heel of Silver or Magical Weapons, these had Injury Resistance (50%) to attack forms other than fire and silver or enchanted weapons. Skeletal undead take 2x from crushing weapons, which cancel out the injury resistance, allowing Sister Clarissa to pound the wights, which is good, because two out of three resisted true faith.  Jelani was closed with after missing a neck shot with her halberd, and was the first to suffer energy drain (FP) from the wights. Marlow made a head shot count, and Karlow stepped in, and was eventually overrun, losing enough FP to end up in a HP lowering Death spiral.

Weakened and afraid of Karlow turning, they took out the wights.

Soon after, they rescued the worshipers trapped in the Redoubt, and headed home.

 

Like Northport? Come and play

Like this blog? Support my Patreon, get free stuff

Buy my stuff

And buy Peter Dell’Orto’s DF15:Henchmen

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Redoubt of Hades at Manhattan Minicon

the Monk0001.png

Today I ran my first Face to face DF game set in my home campaign setting of Northport!

Cultists, Horde Zombies, New and Improved Wights! Critical Hits! Critical Failures! Energy Drain! Just the TiP!

 

Far Away Land OSR and the Robot Hussein Test

FAL

Dirk Stanley’s OSR adaptation of his wonderous setting Far Away Land is now available for those that missed the kickstarter, and you can grab it here

As I have said before, the art looks like the best of Adventure Time

p12563770_b_v8_aa.jpg  with a healthy dose of Zardoz, Gamma World, Thundar the Barbarian, mixed with a lot of general happy gonzo weirdness, from player characters that are angry, bear riding telepathic nuns who fight axe wielding evil clones of Abraham Lincoln, and their little stabby hockey masked associates called horrors, to multi eyed, square headed,  or even of jack-o’ lantern faced spellcasters, warriors, or thieves.

The ruleset is roughly based on SWCL

And has four classes: Light Mages, Chaos Mages, Fighters, and Thieves.

Light and Chaos mages each have their own spell list, and a common gray magic list they share. Thieves have no backstab ability, making fighters more important in combat. There are twelve playable races, including dwarves and elves, but those are among the least interesting. All of these races, which were more or less the local equivalent of human from their dimension of origin, get bonus abilities from telepathy, limited teleportation,  weather prediction, favored enemies, resistances and immunities, rapid healing, and bonuses to hit or to ability checks. Humans get their choice of a hit bonus (there is a better version for fighters than thieves) or a bonus spell.

The setting is wildly imaginative, and there are conversion notes for adding materials from the regular FAL game to the FAL OSR game.

There is a lot of support for FAL

and I recommend getting as much as you can to complement the OSR game.

How would I convert this to GURPS? I would take my low level (75 point) character templates (available here), add the racial abilities, and I would then build the characters up to 125 points, which is suitable as a starting point for this

As the setting isn’t Dungeon Fantasy per se, I would eliminate the need for the unusual background “Ha ha! I can teleport” for the Blonin, and charge them as follows: Warp [25] (range limited to 20 yards, -45%, and limited use, twice per day, -30%).

Charging out nonhumans for their racial abilities makes human characters slightly better at their class for the same amount of points, but less flashy.

To play using my preferred system, I heartily recommend buying not only the OSR book, but as many FAL supplements as you can get your hands on, the setting is that good.

There are clockwork characters, but as they are limited to thief and fighter, the system fails what I call the “Robot Hussein” test: can I build an android healer? So far, you can build a Warforged Cleric in some editions if D&D, you can do it in GURPS, of course,  Gamma World, and in Solar Blades and Cosmic Spells .

I want to play a damn Heal bot.

 

Support my Patreon!

Buy my stuff! Most of it is on sale!

 

Some Recent Work, Love for Far Away Land, and a mention in a GURPS podcast

I have been toiling away at some interesting commissions for my primary patron, Gabor Lux and here are some of the recent items I have done:

recent work for Gabor Lux

Additionally, I have been getting some of my recent kickstarter rewards:

I bought two copies of the Far Away Land OSR core rules. (not yet on sale, but awesome)

FAL

Far Away Land is a wonderful game and setting that has really endearing illustrations by Dirk Stanley that make me think of the best parts of Adventure Time. It is terribly fun, and I will go on about it at length in a later post, where I may attempt to do some conversions.

 

I was mentioned in a podcast about GURPS homebrew settings!

Recovering from bad players

In my long running pbp Dungeon Fantasy game, Northport, I have had a number of troublesome players. Most of the time, this only amounts to people leaving unexpectedly after I have put in work to integrate them into a group, and wrote out stats for the projected likely course of adventure, incorporation of backstory into the setting, and even assistance with the character builds.

I have several players running multiple characters that were abandoned by their creators because they left in the middle. Life happens, and the speed of pbp is not for everyone.

When I was running a version of this game on playbyweb, I did have characters left hanging because their behavior on other forae got them booted by the admins.

I have had some players abrasive enough that other players quit in frustration after attempting pvp actions that were so disruptive I had to ban them.

This player was different, and had played for a while, rubbing other players the wrong way, and eventually being banned for a time; his characters were always complaining to guild authorities for maltreatment, when they had deliberately witheld information from the party, including party members who held guild rank.He also continuously demanded to be in charge, and was generally a real pain, and were so disruptive I had them removed.

After a year or more they came back, wanting to play a character with guild rank who had a loyal ally group. As had been previously discovered, characters built mostly on allies tended to be weaker than their base template; most of the juniors group I run had started as allies of a character, who while 250 points, was effectively only a 150 point character with a ton of allies. This one ended up being an agent with about 40 points extra.

I had another character, a wizard who had a golem servant, built as expensive property on the $500 to one point ratio, and with all of the prerequisite enchantment spells, a while before enchantment was officially written out of DF.

So this new player wanted a golem as well, and suggested that it colud be built as a dwarf sized iron golem, as suggested in a pyramid article. This was fairly pricy, and I explained that the character would be built from a much lower pool or resources.

Fine, it was not much worse than an ogre barbarian another player had, so it was permitted. I had plans for weak flooring and ladders that would not support its 600lb weight, and pentagrams embedded in the floor, and no-mana areas it couldn’t enter, so there were suitable checks and balances.

Eventually, his group, which had been dealing with other guild interests that resulted in points in secondary guild businesses, like my assorted underground tavern schemes, needed more party members for exploration. (A lot of the senior guild folk get their income from interest in caravan guard companies, gambling houses and taverns instead of doing adventuring; that kind of work is for player characters.)

Several of my standard hireling NPC’s joined for brief excursions; Ludlow and RazakeelMolag, and Dolpho, a cutpurse who originally worked for the same PC who had the rest of tne juniors as his ally group.

Because of another player’s intolerance of thugs, ruffians, and other lowlifes (i.e. half of the guild membership) that player and his friend had their characters join his group instead of one that included some of the above sorts of miscreants after seeing him recruiting retainers in the guild common area, and after a very short period dealing with his abrasiveness, they walked out and abandoned him. They later spoke down about him in the common areas, and when he next looked for hirelings, he got some very dubious characters. Most of these questionable types were built using the suggestions for unreliable hirelings in DF 15 . Unlike other recruiters in the guild, he made no attempt to vett them in any way, such as reading the character descriptions, or making use of Area Knowledge: guild, a skill the character actually had…

Here are four of them:

Frer Noe, who was presented with the same avatar portrait as all of the other cultists encountered in this game. To be fair, I have used that picture to represent pilgrims of good gods, but I hadn’t done so at the time Frer Noe joined the party, and this image had been used for years for the evil cultists.

mfs021

Frer Noe is a cultist from DF 15, buffed up to 125 points, but no true initiate.
Att:90
Adv:47
D/q:-54
Sk:18
Sp:20
Total:125

ST:11 DX:11 IQ:12: HT:12
Hp:11 will:13 per:12 FP:16
Bs:5.50 MV: 5 D: 8
Adv:
5 clerical investment
20 power investiture 2,
1 natural elder cultist
(variant of natural demonologist,
allows planar summons without prerequisite)
3 knows the words (planar summons)
5 Will+1
12 energy reserve 4
1 Adventurer’s guild membership
Dis
-5 Voices
-15 Fanatic
-10 delusions
-5 disciplines of faith
-10 struggling
-5 reduced move
mumbles his prayers constantly,
not particularly hygenic,
Has scratches on his face
Fingernails stained black

Theology (elder) 1 10
religious ritual 2 11
occultism 2 12
Meditation 2 11
demon lore 2 12
Elder lore 2 12
undead lore 1 11
Knife 2 12
Ax/mace 4 12

and the following spells:
Lend Energy 2 13
Share Energy 2 13
Lend Vitality 2 13
Steal Health 4 14
Decay 2 13
Planar Summons 8 15

The next up was Gaspard the pseudo swashbuckler, built on only 72 points

Guard with a little extra
Att:70
Adv:21
D/q:-55
Sk:36
Total:72

St: 12 dx: 12 iq:10 ht:11
Hp: 12 will: 10 per: 10 fp: 11
BS: 6.75 MV: 6 dodge: 10 parry: 11
Adv:
15 Combat reflexes
5 Rapier wit
1 guild membership
-5 compulsive carousing,
-5 compulsive gambling,
-15 greed,
-5 Overconfidence
-10 Impulsive,
-10 Bully
Quirks:
Lecherous,
dishonest face,
vain,
sarcastic,
disloyal

Skills
Rapier 8 14
Main gauche 8 14
Throw knife 1 12
Crossbow 1 12
Brawling 2 13
Sex appeal 2 11
Gambling 2 10
Carousing 2 13
Climbing 1 11
Dancing 1 11
Fast talk 8 12

Equipment
Cheap Rapier
Main gauche
Cloth gambeson armor DR1 overall
Jack of plates torso armor DR 4

Then came Timeon, a killer posing as a thief:

Timeon is a killer (125pt)
At: 110
Adv:31
D/q:-55
Sk: 39
Total:125
St 11 dx 14 iq 10 ht 12
Hp 11 per 12 will 9 fp 12
T/s 1d-1/1d+1 (1d+1/2d+1)
Bs:7.5 mv:6 dodge:7 parry:12
Adv:
15 combat reflexes
5 Resistant to poison+3
2 night vision 2
8 surprise striking ST+4
1 guild membership
Dis:
-5Callous
-10 bloodlust
-15 greedy
-10 Struggling
-10 no sense of humor
Q always dresses dark,
smokes his blades black (immediately post combat)
Will only eat what he has seen prepared
Mildly paranoid
Aspires to the torturers guild, practices when he can

Skills:
Knife 4 16
Fast draw knife 1 14
Garrotte 1 14
Stealth 4 15
Crossbow 4 16
Brawling 1 14
Poisons 4 10
Streetwise 2 10
Urban survival 2 11
Wrestling 2 13
Broadsword 4 15
Traps 2 10
Lockpick 2 14
Intimidation 2 10
First aid 1 10
Climbing 1 13
Shadowing -12
Proffessional skill: torturer 1 9

Wears a gambeson (DR 1) with an anti garrote collar
He carries three vials of monster drool
A cheap thrusting broadsword, crossbow, quarrels,
About 5 assorted knives, a garrotte and a tallow candle for blacking.

The final member of the quartet was Margeaux le Manifique, a charlatan allied with her husband’s ghost, at 187 points:

Mageaux is a charlatan.

ST 10 DX 12 IQ 13 HT 11
hp 10 per 13 will 13 fp 11
Bs:5.75 mv: 5 dodge: 8

Advantages 41
Magery 0 5
charisma+1 5
Attractive 4
Ally 16, appears on a 12 (her former husband Claude)
Spirit empathy 10
Spirit Talker 2 10
guild membership 1

disadvantages-50
Voices -5
overconfidence -5
greed -15
selfish -5
struggling -10
Q
Acts mysterious,
argues with Claude,
acts as if she has real access to oracular abilities
Wears layers of scarves and many bangles,
Avoids real mages
She has most of the skills of an apprentice, and magery 0.

Skills: 42
Occultism 4 14
fortune telling 6 15
thaumatology 1 10
alchemy 1 10
fast talk 4 13+
Performance 2 12
Acting 2 12
Current affairs, Guild 2 14
magical ritual 2 11
sleight of hand 8 12
streetwise 1 12
knife 4 13
throw knife 4 13
Sex appeal 2 14
Theology 1 12
Hidden lore: spirits 1 13
Meditation 1 12
spells:24

Light 1 11
ignite fire 1 11
simple illusion 8 15
Sense foes 1 11
Sense emotion 1 11
Persuasion 8 15
Foolishness 4 13

She does have a variety of low rent spells,
Along with performance and fortune telling.
She also has a ghostly ally with aportation, for 8 pts.
Medium, spirit empathy,
delusional, voices, wierdness magnet

Her ghost is Claude, a bog standard ghost from DF9, he has magery 1 (affects substantial)For 30 points, and the spells apportation, poltergeist, complex illusion, all  at 15,
And has a habit of writing angry things on damp mirrors,
(Which she also fakes with sleight of hand.)

ATT 110
ad 51
dis 50
q5
sk 44
spells 24
187 pts

 

The bad behavior got worse from there. The player kept adding orichalcum items to his characters, (the enchantress had the requisite spell chain, but the process involves an immense amount of energy as per Dr.Krom’s rules, and needs to be played through) and started inflating the points and rewriting the characters until they were completely blown out of proportion.  I offered him the chance to fix them, and he couldn’t even do that, so out he went, booted and banned from returning.

The one advantage to this mess, is that I will be running a tabletop game using 187 point characters at the next Manhattan Minicon, and will use the same adventure,  with the addition of the undead forms of most of these characters.  In my timeline, only Margeaux and Timeon escaped, along with a young otyugh (they unlocked it from its cage in the sewers, to which it returned.) The others were slain by a void brute summoned by Frer Noe, and the golem was left to rust in a pool.

Odysseys and Overlords and Ruins and Portals

Fotor_155659160405497.jpg

My publisher, Travis Legge, has released an Old School game. Odysseys and Overlords is a BFRPG variant with a distinct flavor. The implied setting is somewhat post apocalyptic, and there are three non human peoples; wildfolk, spell scorched, and abyss kissed. Spells Scorched are elves of a very distinct flavor, their flesh is covered with runes. Abyss kissed are the Tieflings of the setting, and Wildfolk make me think of Ookla from Thundar the Barbarian.

Each of the nonhuman races have a homeland, and there is an excellent Bard class. Plus, there is artwork of mine within the Game Master’s Guide, and in his Patreon exclusive starter adventure, Caverns of the Cromags.

You can support his patreon, and get this and other exclusive content here

And you can get the rulebooks for Odysseys and Overlords here

273929also released recently is my latest bundle of stock art, Ruins and Portals!

Currently on sale for the May sale on Drivethrurpg, you can get it here.

Fotor_155724845136885

I am currently working on a bundle of faerie art. Unfortunately Necrotic Gnome is not extending a license for Dolmenwood based content, so I cannot sell the Woodgrue or Moss Dwarf for commercial use, but you can use them for your character sheets if you are playing a Dolmenwood game, preferably using Old School Essentials (formerly B/X Essentials). If you get any of Wormskin or BX/E, you can get the Demihumans of Dolmenwood book free.

woodgrue.png

mossdwarf locksinger.png

Just go back the Old School Essentials Kickstarter  it has just a few days to go!

 

Support my Patreon!