The OSE Characters, GURPSified

As is my perennial obsession, I converted the OSE characters mentioned here into GURPS DF , using both this conversion of mine for low level characters, and Peter Dell’Orto’s DF 15: Henchmen.

Lance:

100 points for a level 2 fighter

ST13/17 [50] DX 11 [20] IQ 10 [0] HT 12 [20]

HP 13 per 10 will 10 fp 12

T/s 1d+2/3d-1 Basic Lift 34lbs

BS 7.0 [5] Basic Move 6.0 Dodge 10

Parry: 10 Block: 10  DR 6 plate and chain

Damage with light club (1d+3 crush/3d crush)

               With polearm 1d+6 imp/3d+4 cut, becomes unready

[15] combat reflexes +1 to active defenses and recovery from stunning

[-] Striking ST+4 (accounted for)

[-4] unattractive 

[-5] sense of duty:Adventuring companions

[-10]code of honor:soldier’s 

[-5] overconfidence 

[-5] hamfisted 1

[-5] callousness 

[-5] stubborn

[-1]obnoxiously loud drunk

Q: grunts loudly when lifting things, prefers head shots, always wants an armor upgrade,

     Spiderweb tattoo, greedy

Leveling up (25)would be high pain tolerance [10], hp +2 [4] primary weapons +8 pts, 3 more points to other weapons)

Skills:

Brawling [2] 12

Wrestling [1] 10

Knife [2] 12

broadsword [8] 13

Shield [2] 12

Polearm [4] 12

Axe/mace [4] 12

Armory, melee weapons [1] 9

Sling[2] 10

Carousing [1] 10*

Forced entry [1] 11

Intimidation  [1] 11*

Abbyee

125 pt initiate

ST 10 [0]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 11 [10].

Damage 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.;

 HP: 10 [0]; Will 13 [0]; Per 13 [0]; FP 11 [0]; 

Basic Speed 5.00 [-10]; Basic Move 5 [0].

Dodge 8 Block 9 Damage Resistance: 3 light mail

Damage with light mace  (1d+2)

Advantages:

[20] Power Investiture 2

[24] Turning undead

[5] resistant to Evil supernatural powers +3

[1] Good with spiders

Disadvantages:

[-10] Honesty

[-5] Sense of duty, adventuring companions

[-10] Sense of duty co-religionists

[-15] greed

Quirks:tbd

Skills:

Theology [2] 12

Religious Ritual [2] 13

Esoteric Healing [2] 12

Hidden Lore: Undead [2] 13

Axe/Mace [8] 13

Shield [2] 12

First Aid [1] 13

Interrogation [1] 12

Detect lies [1] 11

Diagnosis [1] 11

Exorcism [12 12

Scrounging [1] 12

Search [1] 12

Stealth [1] 10

Climbing [1] 10

Spells:

Purify food [1] 13

Protection from evil [2] 14

Minor healing [2] 14

Aria Silverwind

125 points

ST: 10 ​[10] DX: 12​ [20] IQ: 12​ [40] HT: 10​ [0]

Thrust/Swing Damage: 1d-2/1d Basic Lift: 24 lbs.

HP: 10 [0] Will: 11 [0] Per: 12 [5] FP: 10 [0]

Basic Speed: 5.50 [0] Basic Move: 6 [0] Dodge: 9 [0] Block 9 Parry 9

Advantages:

[20] Wood Elf (ST-1, DX+1, Basic Move+1, Attractive appearance, Forest Guardian 2 (+2 to Bow, Camouflage, FastDraw (Arrow), Stealth, Survival Woodlands) Magery 0, Sense of Duty to Nature, elven gear is 10% cheaper)

[10] magery 1

[5] Magic Bolt (does 1d-3, ignores armor)

[5] Night Vision 5

Disadvantages:

[-5] Sense of duty: Adventuring Companions

[-5] Overconfident

[-10] Honesty

[-10] impulsive

Quirks:

 Curious,Wary, Truthful

Skills

Bow at DX+3 [4]15^,

Camouflage (E) IQ+2 [1]13^,

Fast Draw (Arrow) (E) DX+2 [1]14^,

Stealth at DX+1 [1]13^ 

Survival (woodlands) (A) Per+1 [1]12^

Shield [1] 12

Shortsword [4] 13

Tracking [1] 12

Meditation [2] 10

Search [2] 12

spells:

Foolishness [1] 11, Daze [1] 11, Sleep [1] 11, Mass Sleep [1] 11

Drucila

ST: 9​ [-10]; DX: 11 ​ [20]; IQ: 12​ [40]; HT: 10​ [0].

Thrust/Swing: 1d-2/1d-1; Basic Lift 16 lbs.

HP 9 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Per 10 [10]; FP 13 [9]

Basic Speed 5.25 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0] Dodge 8 Parry 9

Damage with dagger is 1d-3 impale

Advantages:

[35] Magery 3

Disadvantages:

[-5] sense of duty: Adventuring companions

[-15]Weirdness magnet

[-10] Low Pain Threshold

Quirks:

Skills:

Thaumatology [4] 14

Occultism [4] 13

Hazardous materials, Magical [4] 13

Hidden Lore: Magic Items [1] 11

                      Undead [1] 11

                      Magical Writing [1] 11

Natural Philosophy [1] 10

Meditation [1] 10

Knife [4] 13

Throw Knife [1] 11

First Aid [1] 12

Throwing [1] 9

Spells:

Sense Evil [1] 11

Protection from Evil [4] 14

Lend Energy [1] 11

Recover Energy [8] 15

The Beast of Veroigne

Veroigne is a barony to the south of Northport that has a propensity for megafauna. From the stirges preyed upon by a blessed dire dragonfly, to the dire hares hunted by dire wolves, all are large, most are feared, but none as much as the Beast.

Known for burrowing, burning, and devouring, the Beast strikes terror in the peasantry of Veroigne.

In truth, it is a Dire, Terrible, Fire Slorn of tremendous proportions, and immense lifespan.

rough stats:

Terrible, dire fire slorn, has DR 7, ST 40 there is only 2 DR on its eyes. Essentially a firebreathing, 8 legged bulette.
St 40 DX 12 iq 3 HT 12
Hp 40 per 12 will 10 fp 12
Mv 6 tunnel 4, dodge 9, SM+4 (about 30 feet long)
DR7 externally, DR2 eyes and inside its mouth
Bite 15, dam 4d+1 plus 2d follow up,
Breathe 3d of fire for 1 fp
Hard to kill+2, slow regeneration, res to met hazards, injury tolerance 2 to fire (1/4 damage after dr) Lifebane (scorches the earth when it steps
Unkillable 1: (takes 200 days of torpor to recover to 1 hp after being slain, and then another two days to get to full, but usually Sleeps all winter)

Tales of the beast being slain numerous times have led to rumors that there are many, but in truth there is only one…

My party, consisting of Aethul, a spellcasting ranger, Kirpich, and Earth Priest, accompanied by a Walking Wall Earth Elemental, Balir Ironhide, a dwarven warrior, and the NPC’s Dionisius Dispatha, a faun Swashbuckler abandoned early on by his player, Marlena DuBois, a seasoned apprentice, and Snoffi Rosslovich, a seasoned guard who has been in service to Kirpich for some time.

Hired by the usurping Baron Pequenaud to rid the land of the Beast, our party was quickly distracted by a ruined tower, which turned out to be full of vampires, which they apparently thought one of was the Beast, despite signs of a ravaged countryside with big flaming footprints…

Eventually they got the idea, and pursued it to a burning copse of trees where it was napping. The cleric loaded everyone with resist fire, and Marlena successfully cast sleep on the creature, allowing it to be webbed with spidersilk and rope, and then stabbed in both eyes, with an arrow and a saber.

Blinded, it lashed out, blasting with its ineffective fiery breath. Its epic armor was resistant to all but the most forceful of their attacks, and they kept aiming at vitals despite not being able to penetrate its armor, but the size of its scales did allow for attacking chinks in armor and deliberately stabbing between the larger scales. This was done effectively by those with stabby weapons, but the two axe wielders were forced to simply chop and hope. Trying to emulate a Lawrence Wyatt Evans character , Marlena first cast Extinguish fire (this had worked well on a Skull Spirit previously) and later followed up with Ignite Fire, causing some internal damage. Aethul, who had previously ensnared it with spider silk (since burned off) created water inside of it, which caused it some distress. The faun stabbed the roof of its mouth, and got his arm bitten off for his troubles. Balir ended up crippling two of its legs, and as it tried to dig its way out, Kirpich blew the last of his fatigue casting earth to stone, and encased its head in several tons of rock. Burning its own fatigue, it pulled the stony plug out of the ground, and soon collapsed due to suffocation.

Characters will find a way.

A$$holes will try to find a way into any avenue they think they can find, and it is our duty to repel them whenever possible.

This blog stands with the Elf Game Blog in that respect; I like Old School Gaming, but I do not accept that vile racist shits should be allowed to dominate our hobby.

Starica Babicka and more Warlockery

hag ss

My crew of feybloods who are busy fighting a group of armband wearing racial supremacists (because I am far from apolitical) recently had made a side trip into a swamp to meet a hag. They did so because of a critical failure on Faerie Lore, but got a little information about the workings of the Winter Court.

Surprise, the Summer Court is deeply into the lives of mortals (Most Feybloods exist for a reason) but the Winter Court is only disinterested in them. Mortals scarcely matter to most of those fey. However, a faction that is offended by the “Dilution of pure fey bloodlines” is involved in glamouring small minded humans to act antagonistically against those different from themselves.  If it were true in our world, a circle of iron could put an end to racism, but here we are, in a world where we cannot blame otherworldly creatures for our own expressions of hatred.

Here is the local ruler of the swamps east of Northport, Starica (Strega) Babicka, assorted Folk tales of Baba Yaga, and a bit of Dolmenwood, as filtered through GURPS: Fairie, Lloyd Alexander and Charle De Lint.

 

Starica Babicka

Hag fairie, strong 

ST:16 [60] DX: 13 [60] IQ: 14 [80] HT:13 [30]

HP: 16 [0] Per: 14/16 [0] Will [14] FP:13*25

Bs: 7.5 MV: 7 Dodge:11 Oar Parry:12

DR: 2 SM +1 (0)

Oar (16) 2d+4 cutting or crushing.

Claw (15) 1d+2 crushing

Bite (15) 1d-1 cutting;can unhinge jaw and swallow SM-2 or smaller on a critical success.

 

Advantages:

Winter court rank 2 [10] Differential smell [15]

Acute sense of smell+2 [4],  Enhanced magic resistance +4 [20]

Magery 4 [45] Energy reserve +12 [36] Terror(switcheable) [33]

Injury Tolerance (except to meteoric iron, magical weapons and fire) [30]

Hard to kill +2 [4] Hard to Subdue +2 [4] DR 2 [6]

 

Disadvantages:

Code of honor, fae [-10] cannot harm innocents [-10] Jealous [-10]

Stubborn [-5] Odious Personal Habit: eats sentients (only bad children) [-15]

Vulnerable to meteoric iron (1d) [-10]

 Quirks:

easily offended, suspicious, Likes riddles,Avoids full sunlight,

fond of frogs as food (they test their bravery by seeing how long they can stay in reach of her), 

SKILLS:

Staff 16 [12]

Polearm 16 [12]

Brawling 15 [4]

Wrestling 15 [8]

Area knowledge, swamp 15 [4]

Current events, faerie court 14 [1]

Savoir faire, faerie court 14* [1]

Hidden Lore, Faeries 17 [12]

Naturalist 18 [20]

Survival, wetlands -15 [2]

Natural Philosophy 18 [20]

Thaumatology 18 [8]

Alchemy 16 [16]

Herb lore 16 [12]]

Occultism 16 [8]

Dungeon butcher 16 [8]

Fishing 14 [1]

Boating 15 [8]

Cooking 16 [8]

 

Spells:

All at 16:  Alarm, nightingale, mystic mist, the entire plant college; much of the Animal college (communication spells),seek, shape, create +3 more in all four elements, most food and illusion spells, 

All at 20:  Curse, perfect illusion, illusion disguise, dispell magic, missile shield, magelock, create object, mystic mark, recover energy, Sense life, sense foes, resist fire.

 

She travels in a leather corracle that she can sling over her shoulder(it changes size from a yard to three yards wide, is waterproof,  fireproof, has DR 10 and self repairs),

and uses a carved oar (dragonbone staff/poleaxe) With which she has 16 skill and gives her 10 fp as a power item.

 

Now the cluster of 125 point characters would have been no match for her if she had been angry, but they placated her with honeycomb found with a Survival roll and a meat pie purchased in the market, even with the handful of hazelnuts that granted beast speech…

warlockery

Meanwhile, Ruby Fire Games has put out  a bunch of supplements for Warlock! that are all full of my artwork, and have some wicked good ideas on handling corruption from spellcasting (all magic in Warlock comes from pacts with demons) and has rules for elves, dwarves, and halflings and cool things like a Hand of Glory.

You can get a look at the main book for warlock here.

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Demons and Patrons in Basic Era Games

I am working on converting both my adventure Beneath the Fallen Tower and the Redoubt of Hades from GURPS (because I don’t have a license) to BFRPG (in particul;ar my publisher’s variant Odysseys and Overlords) and OSE.  BFRPG is very easy to pick up; it was designed as a quick and cheap starter game that anyone could immediately pick up and play. Old School Essentials is an elegant and accurate re-framing of B/X D&D. A circumstance I have discovered is that while my games feature a lot of summonable creatures, infernal, celestial, and elder entities, BX has no such thing.

Literally, in addition to the menagerie a couple of the druids are porting in, the Necromancers accompanied by the spirits of their ancestors, and the earth priest with his pet elemental, there is a character with elder thing power investiture from an otherworldly sorcerer that keeps rolling insanely good reaction rolls, a wildly talented bureaucrat who summoned a celestial demonslayer, and another player who has a hellhound, demonic servant,  and ‘Spirtitual adviser’. It is a lot.

Neither old school game system has any spells for summoning,  which makes things less of a headache for the DM, and generally kept these editions from triggering Satanic Panic responses, but they do have devices for summoning elementals and both djinn and efreet. Therefore, I propose items for summoning other extradimensional entities, perhaps graded for the HD of what they summon, 1d12 HD, with lemures, larvae, or manes at the low end, and a demon lordling at the high end, and an extra chance for getting something higher level.

   Brazier of Extraplanar Summoning

brazier

This iron or bronze brazier, incised with runes and chased with enamels or silver inlay , is inscribed with the name of a being from a nearby dimension. Any item of this type is good for summoning that singular being, for a period of up to one hour, and can be used no more than 6 times per owner.  For any given brazier, roll 1d12, and on a roll of 12, roll an additional d8. The total number rolled is the HD of the creature that can be  summoned by performing a ritual with the brazier as the central feature, involving candles and diagrams on the floor. The creature summoned may be of any alignment, and this can be determined by random die roll.  The summonee must perform a service for the summoner, but may make a save vs spells (minus the summoner’s wisdom bonus, if any) to resist. Braziers are worth 1000 GP per HD summonable.

Now, you can find game stats for any sort of extradimensional being in most advanced rulebooks, and in a variety of blogs ( such as Hereticwerks  where I got the Ymid from), but if you want to keep B/X formatting, I can recommend New Big Dragon’s Fifty Fiends (available on Drivethrurpg for only a buck!)

And for that matter, you can get a bunch of neat pictures of demons from me too!

(Or from Jeremy Hart )

And now that demons are in play, what about patrons? DCC did this excellently, but here I have

20 answers to the question: What does your warlock’s patron want in exchange for power?

1 to spread chaos! Go out there and blow shit up!

2 to be entertained.  They are bored, and find your actions interesting…until they don’t.

3 to be amused. They find the supplicant ridiculous, even pathetic. 

4 to annoy a rival, by showing them up with their own fancy minions.

5 to annoy a rival, by encouraging the destruction of their (equally) nefarious plan.

6 to spread their own influence; use of their powers tags an area with their signature,  the entity with the most tags wins something, as if our world was a boardgame to them.

7 to manifest themselves in our world; the more their power is used, the greater their ability to enter our plane.

8 to void excess energy that is causing them etheric indigestion. 

9 to silence your yapping. You are annoying, but not yet worth the bother of destroying.

10 to alleviate the irritation of the sense of debt; the entity cannot tolerate supplication without response; it itches.

11 to appease their sense of vanity. They desire worship.

12 to appease their curiosity. Whatever will the minion do with a little power.

13 to appease their hunger. Blood and Souls!

14 to appease their hunger. Only creatures empowered by and flavored like them can fulfill their hideous appetites

15 to appease their unnatural lust. Only creatures empowered and flavored like them can fulfill their hideous appetites.

16 to better observe our plane. Buying a pair of eyes is cheaper than actually manifesting.

17 to relieve their aching loneliness. Being immortal makes it hard to keep friends.

18 to pay a gambling debt. The being is making the pact because of an unfortunate forfeiture on a wager.

19 to pay back a favor. The summoning and binding spells are vestiges of an ancient promise made to someone who liberated the being from imprisonment, and then forgot that they were still active.

20 to be left alone. Power is cast out to deflect contact.

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Marginalia and a few products I like

Following a Black Friday sale of 80% of all of my gear on Drivethru that netted me my largest payday from OBS (just imagine if that stuff was full price!) I released a bundle of small filler art. I enjoyed the process so much, I may do more of these.

marginalia cover

The inspiration comes from a couple of places; Sergio Argonne’s border cartoons in Mad Magazine, medieval manuscript illuminated filler, and these panels of adventurers by David C. Sutherland  III from the DMG

sergioilluminated marginaliadmg delver artTo that end, I have included some of my staple characters, the thief from my first Character stock art is here climbing a rope, and the elf and knight stumbling upon the secret door in Dungeon Scenes 1 are now climbing a mountain.  I will definitely be building more of these scenes.

fathoms below pic

A friend of mine released a water based setting for 5e on DM’s Guild called Fathoms Below that I thought was pretty good. It has a nice backstory (Tritons took over a Sahugin fort, and built it into a starfish shaped major trading city, full of intrigue, with an anchored flotilla of rafts directly above, where your air breathers can live, if they are not in some of the domes below. There are some tongue in cheek character backgrounds that pay homage to the Little Mermaid without getting too campy. All too often water based adventures are shunted into auxiliary rules dependent on magic items, and in this case, while there are limits on what surface characters can do, there are a plethora of underwater races (the ones that aren’t new have to be found in other rulebooks, WoTC doesn’t let you quote whole slabs of character abilities), including the usual suspects like sea elves and mermen, along with jellyfish and octopus folk. The variety was surprising, and I recomend the book, along with its  supplement .

As usual, when contemplating GURPSifying races from other games, the huge cost of things like Amphibious, Extra Limbs and Flexible make things like half octopus characters dreadfully expensive, but that is one of the things I like about point buy systems; it costs more to be exotic and powerful up front, rather than using level limits or added XP cost – neither of those methods address starting level character balance, and adding a racial template of assorted boni to a fully fleshed out class template results in a more costly one; building the racial template into the class template (by 86ing other advantage options) results in a character who might be less than starting equivalent for others of their template -DF’s 250 point base builds characters with a rough equivalence to 5th-8th level AD&D characters, and dropping in a 25 point racial template makes you almost a level lower. Most of the PC races are in the 20 point range, but some (mostly those infused with the supernatural) cost 75 points, making them relatively weaker when compared to characters built as human.

 

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Meowls and Headless Screamers

When I was creating artwork for my Undead Stock Art Bundle, I illustrated the above nasty, which I was sure John Stater had included in an issue of his excellent zine Nod..,and it turns out it was from the very first issue, currently available from Lulu.com (use the codes ONEFIVE for 15% off and ONESHIP for free shipping).

With his permission, the creatures (one of many listings in that book):

 

Headless Screamer

Headless screamers arise from the corpses of the beheaded. They are cruel and chaotic beings who delight in tormenting the living. Headless screamers look something like zombies with a noticeable red slash across its neck. They can throw their heads with alarming accuracy, and in fact do not need to throw their own head, for the headless screamer’s intelligence and animating force are in the body. Many of these creatures keep four or five heads handy. Thrown heads have a range increment of 20’. The thrown head will snap its jaws, dealing 1d8 points of damage to anyone hit and then latching on if the target fails a saving throw. A latched head inflicts 1d4 points of bite damage each round until removed. Headless screamers can telekinetically retrieve these heads and still move or attack each round. Headless screamers can also emit a shrill shriek from the air hole in their necks. Anyone hearing this must succeed at a saving throw or suffer a ‐1 penalty to hit, damage and save for 1 hour.

  • Headless Screamer: HD 4; AC 3 [16]; Atk 1 claw (1d6) or 1 thrown

head (1d8); Move 15; Save 13; CL/XP 7/600; Special: Throw and

retrieve head, scream, immune to cold.

I GURPSified this as follows:

Headless Screamers (DF)

ST: 14  HP: 18 Speed: 5.00

DX: 9  Will: 8 Move: 4

IQ: 8   PER: 9

HT: 12  FP: 12   SM: 0

Dodge: 8 Parry: 9 (Unarmed) DR: 0

Throw Head (14): 1d crushing plus follow-up bite for 1d crushing

Bite/Punch (12): 1d crushing.

Scream: affects all hearing as Fear spell

Traits: Bad Smell; Bloodlust, Cannot Learn; Darkvision, Doesn’t Breathe;Doesn’t Sleep; Fragile (Unnatural); High Pain Threshold; Immunity(All mind control); Immunity to Metabolic Hazards; Intolerance: Living; Indomitable; Injury Resistance 1(cold); Injury Tolerance (No Blood, No Head, Unliving); Returning weapon (head: costs 1 FP); Sadism, Temperature Tolerance 10 (-115° to 60°); Unfazeable; Unhealing (Total). Affected by pentagram, True Faith, and spells that affect evil

Skills: Brawling-12; Wrestling-12 (+2 ST when grappling) Throwing-14.

Class: Undead.

Notes: Headless Screamers are  truly evil, and cannot be negotiated with. They appear as normal zombies with obvious throat wounds. They can see  even without heads, and usually keep 4-5 heads handy for throwing or wearing; Heads have range 7/14, and can return telekinetically to their hand.

 

Another creature I recently illustrated, as seen above, is the Meowl. Stats for Basic era games can be found in Timothy Brannon‘s new tongue-in-cheek book on witches.

GURPS DF stats are as follows (a blend of the Owl and Cat familiars from DF 5-Allies):

MEOWL [39]

ST: 3 [-70] HP: 9 [12] Speed: 6.00 [0]

DX: 12 [24]* Will: 12 [10] Move (Air): 12/24 [0]

IQ: 10 [0] Per: 12 [10] Move (Ground): 2 [-20]

HT: 12 [20] FP: 12 [0] SM: -3

Dodge: 9 Parry: n/a DR: 0

Bite or Claw (16): 1d-5 cutting.

Advantages:

Combat Reflexes [15]; Enhanced Move 1 (Air) [20]; Flight (Winged, -25%) [30];  Night Vision 8 [8]; Silence 2 [10];Teeth (Sharp) [1]; Vibration Sense (Air) [10].

Disadvantages: Familiar [-22]; Laziness [-10]; No Fine Manipulators [-30] Curious [-1].

Skills: Aerobatics (H) DX-1 [2]-11; Brawling (E) DX+2 [4]-14; Flight (A) HT+1 [4]-13; Observation (A) Per+1 [4]-13; Stealth (a) DX+2 [2] 14† Survival(Woodlands) (A) Per+1 [4]-13.

Class: Animal.

* Cost reduced for No Fine Manipulators (-40%).

† Includes +2 for Silence

 

Further Traits

Masters of an Meowl familiar can buy Common Sense (GBF,

-40%) [6]; Combat Reflexes (GBF,-40%) [9];

Flight (Controlled Gliding, -45%, GBF, -40%) [8]; ];

Luck (GBF, -40%)[9]Night Vision 3 (GBF, -40%) [2], 5 [3], or 8 [5], or Dark Vision

(GBF, -40%) [15] and Silence 1 (GBF, -40%) [3] or 2 [6].

Those who buy Flight can also add Enhanced Move (Air; GBF,

-40%) [12/level], but only to reduce deceleration.

 

At some point I have to write up my view of witches for DF. In the meantime, I have finished up some illustrations for Gabor Lux, hopefully Castle Xyntillan will be on sale in time for the Holidays; at the moment it is in the proof stage.

 

As always, buy my stuff, and become a Patron!

Pumpkin Spice!

Screenshot_20191031-203121

I am drinking a PSL with a pumpkin donut, and have a pumpkin spice candle burning as I, a wiccan, celebrate Samhain.Two weeks ago I went to Maine to look at the turning of the leaves. I am pretty basic.

FB_IMG_1572568791351.jpg

This makes me the perfect target audience for this excellent addition to Timothy Brannon’s collection of witchcraft related gaming supplements. In addition to a collection of tongue in cheek references to the trope of those who enjoy the seasonal beverage (his sample characters embodying Maiden, Matron, and Crone are Becky, Karen, and Carol) with spells and powers like OMG Becky, I Want To Talk To Your Manager, and Resting Witch Face, it actually has a lot of content I want to be playing with. The rest of the magical abilities include the sort of Fairytale abilities that would let you emulate the abilities of both Cinderella’s fairy godmother and the Wicked Witch of the West.  The rituals that emphasize the ssense of community of a coven warm my heart, but then I have always been a fan of witches.

Illustrations below copyright by the Beistle Co, and Adrienne Adams

beistle-halloween-decoration-witch-sidetumblr_mr88bckmnk1ss6skvo4_500

I did some illustrations for this one:

Screenshot_20191031-091057Screenshot_20191031-091011

Now, there is one spell in the book called Eerie Forest, which makes people caught in the affected woods uncomfortable and frightened. Given the Pumpkin Spice Tradition’s love of All Things Autumn, I propose the following spell:

Enchanting Forest:

Level: Druid 3, Magic User 3, Witch 3

Duration: 10 min/level

Range: a 60′ radius of forest

With this spell, the caster intensifies the experience of being in a beautiful autumnal forest, with glorious fall folliage, crunchy leaves, and just enough of a briskness in the air to appreciate a light scarf and a favorite sweater. The caster can designate one creature per level to recieve the benefits of this experience, +2 to saves, and the effects of a remove fear spell.

Material components: a lovely crispy fallen leaf

Note: This spell may be cast in conjunction with Eerie Forest, creating an area that is both delightful to some, and disturbing to others.

 

When I have included witches in my GURPS  games, it was easy to build them in Fantasy, as magery is the source of all spells, and the witches could just pick up spells from, animal, body, plant, elemental, communication and empathy, and mind control without issue. With DF, it is a little more complicated. IFor a 250 point witch,would require a familiar, from DF 5, magery 0, and 60 points from any of the other spellcasting classes: druidic power investiture, magery, shamanic, and elemental attunement, with any of their powers (autotrance, faerie or spirit affinity, green thumb, plant empathy, empathy…it goes on) At some point I have to lay out the class complete, and also detail the funky familiar called the Meowl!

 

Undead Stock art and reviews

undead cover.png

Just released this week ( and in time for Halloween) is my latest bundle of stock art : Undead available from DrivethruRPG for $4.99.

eff thumb

eff thumb2

 

I have been doing a lot of work these past months for Gabor Lux’ Echoes from Fomalhaut, and in particular for his upcoming Tegel Manor inspired megadungeon, Castle Xyntillan, and the still-in-development In the Shadow of the City God

in the shadow

 

Two of his most recent items, The Nocturnal Table currently available as a pdf from Drivethrurpg and featuring work by Mathew Ray, Stefan Poag, and Peter Mullen as well as myself, along with EFF#6: The Rising Tombs which has art by myself and Stefan Poag also, both are suited for describing convoluted weird cities at night. As my own game takes place in such a place, I found this rather interesting. The random encounters in the Nocturnal Table go way beyond the old DMG city encounter tables, and into some very strange places. Otherwise boring encounters with nameless NPc’s are richly described run ins with peculiar named personages, each with a distince flavor. There has been a lot said about demonstrating an implied setting by examining the encounter tables instead of dropping in extensive exposition, for example, regarding OD&D. The Rising Tombs does this with minimal descriptions and small notes, and leaves the reader to connect the dots.  In one part of the city, in a sealed community where the swells reside, it is always night with a perpetual full moon. This is atmospheric, but there are some supporting features; The city is ruled by a powerful illusionist, and also the rich folks are near immortal and addicted to potions of longevity… or they may be vampires.  The under layers of the city evoke a bit of the depths of  Dwimmermount, without dumping pages of history up front.  There are, by way of anticipating adventurers who want to burn down the tavern, mentions of an enormous machine that extends into the depths, that might explode like a megaton warhead if tampered with, and the side note that one must wear “sacred vestments” (radiation suits) to safely enter the lower levels of a dungeon. Not only are the routes to this area from a  cheap hotel that H.H.Holmes might have built, or through the green room of a collapsing Theater haunted by a phantom… or through a temple of a rat/plague god. These are not your typical entry by sewer dungeons, and definitely not like either  my  or Hasbro’s  taverns with conduits to the underworld.  Gabor Lux, (known on forae as Melan), for all his resentment against the Sworddream style of OSR derived play, is firmly in touch with the parts of our hobby that are gonzo and rooted in Weird fiction.  It is no secret that I like that style of gaming, as I grew up reading my dad’s virtually complete Appendix N library (assembled as it was printed, in crumbling 35 cent paperbacks, most of which I have been reacquiring from used booksellers), and while a good amount of both Gabor’s and John Stater‘s products are procedurally generated, they go into some far out places that I am happy to illustrate.  That headless undead in my stock art bundle is based on one of the encounters in Nod zine, although I forget what issue.  I own copies of about eight issues I did illustrations for, but there are 26 other issues of the same grade of super detailed and strange hexcrawls.

Meanwhile, in my game, there have been some odd developments.

The group travelling with the  demon hunting celestial Kalima  have decided to try and summon her back to the world after a demonologist they were fighting banished her with a hurled Spellstone. I was thoroughly expecting that they would be glad to be rid of such a DM PC, but no plan escapes an encounter with players unscathed. They are enlisting the leader of a Kali cult named Molaram to help in the summoning…

My Wuxia group has traveled into the megafauna rich land of Veroigne, nominally to collect a rice harvest for the Sahudese population back in Northport, and have encountered the odd ecosystem of the rice grower’s village.  Swarms of stirges rise out of the rice paddies, but are chased away from the workers by a sacred giant dragonfly, from whom the party received a blessing, much the way the other group in the area had their ranger blessed by the Stag of Veroigne, who was somewhere between the Forrest Spirit of Princess Mononoke, and Bambi’s father. Both groups have seen tracks of giant rabits being stalked by dire wolves.

The group that were hired to hunt a rampaging beast have instead decided to try and take over an abandoned castle, which brings me around to an issue developing around my Juniors group. They have been trying to establish themselves with real property (excepting those among them who have Social Stigma:Criminal, who cannot directly own real property in Northport) and I have been using the Base Perk as a leveled one.  Base normally gives you a place that you don’t have to pay rent that is about as good as what you might have, but with a status level of 2 levels lower than your own.  At status 0, that is not much to talk about, in this case, a peasant’s hovel or tenement row house in disrepair. I suppose in other settings it would be a back booth in a diner or a leaky basement apartment.  Making it a leveled perk lets you raise it by one status level per point invested, which means that at 3 points, it is a clean, functional status 0 home.  This group of PC’s are trying to control the housing above an entrance to the dungeon and in particular, to a magical gate.  I had originally had them invest in independent income, but that was only netting half a silver a month per point at average wealth, so I converted those points to base. The Initiate in the group has been attracting followers (not yet bought as allies) who have been doing things like basic carpentry, weeding, whitewashing…etc, that have resulted in the area being upgraded.  A lot of the things I have been thinking of here were sort of echoed in Necropraxis’ blog about Stronghold Achievements for low level characters.

I miss things like the Mansion advantage from GURPS VtM, and the leveled advantage Sanctuary, from the defunct Advanced Goblins & Grottoes setting from Otherwhere dot org, (sadly even beyond the reach of the internet wayback machine). That one let you build anything from the Batcave (large, secret, secure) to something like the airships of Girl Genius.

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.

 

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