Eff Around and Find Out- Session 4 of OSE

Last night we had a third round of The Brass Bell of Dunmore.

Players included Stanley, and Ryan of the THAC0rpg blog.

Characters present included Abbyey Softpaws, cleric 3, And Ruben, fighter 3, along with retainers: Lance, fighter 2, Drucilla, magic user 2, and Annie, cleric 2.

The group avoided a TPK because three of their members were wearing plate mail.

After meeting, and deciding to recover the treasure of the coffer corpse, the headed out, having no encounter in the farmland, but two the next day; they met a nameless cursed man with a huge nose and one leg shoter than the other, covered in manure and pursued by bees. This poor unfortunate had shot and killed a sprite and had been repeatedly cursed by a group of its friends.

Later on they met a group of halfings “hunting kobolds” (on a tour of local taverns), and spent the night with them before approaching the brigand’s tower.

After suitable old school saftey measures were taken, they found out that the treasure had been ransacked, cast sleep on some giant rats and dispatched them, and used dead rats and a rope to try and disarm what turned out to be an alarm (tin plates tied behind a barrier of old crates) . The alarm of course notified the goblins living below, who all took defensive positions.

From the storeroom with the rats, they descended into a narrow set of low ceilinged corridors, and found a stairway down, open into a large natural chamber. Unfortunately, they did not check their 6, and once on the stairs, they were in immediate range of goblin archers on the upper tier.

A lone goblin told them, rather Negan like, to drop their weapons and half their shit. When the party opted to “F*ck around and find out” as the alternative, a hail of arrows descended upon them, and they beat a hasty retreat up the stairs, but not before Drucilla and Abbey were each struck.

Plate mail saved the others as they retreated, and ran for cover, only to be flanked by the goblins. Drucila cast protection from evil on Rubin, and Abbey on herself. U fortunately it doesn’t defend against missile weapons, so the cleric was hit again.

There was a lot of whiffing, as the goblins were useless against anything better than AC 3, and Annie sat on a goblin who rolled a 1 and tripped, and beat him to death with his own club. Soon after, enough goblins were killed as to cause those remaining to fail morale and surrender.

They rounded up the prisoners and found them to have been subjected to torture, at the hands of hobgoblins, who also had their families held hostage in order to extort tribute. The hobs were scheduled to arrive the next day, and were ambushed with a pair of sleep spells upon arrival, with the exception of Gimibya, a hobgoblin woman very disappointed with the idea of extortion instead of honest raiding. She defected and will join them next time when they go to raid the hobgoblin lair.

For now, they headed back to the Brass Bell.

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goblinoids for BX, using the B/X Options: Class Builder

due to my love of point buy systems, and my love of near humancharacters, I have statted up some goblinoid peoples for pC use, using The Welsh Piper’s book

all of these created using BX Class Builder by Erin D. Smale

Kobold

prime requisite is DX 100

HD: d4 400

Armor: any, limited by size 100

shield: yes 100

weapon limited by size 100

languages: kobold, goblin, common 300

Combat: as Thief 200

Save: as Thief 200

Infravision 60′ 200

Hide in dungeon 2/6 100

Detect stonework traps 2/6 200

find/set/remove traps as Thief 50

Hide in Shadows as Thief 50

Move Silently as Thief 50

Backstab 200

size (small, as halfling) -100

Stronghold: at lvl 5 -500

Max Level: 8 -600

base xp 1150

level 1 0

level 2 1150

level 3 2300

level 4 4600

level 5 9200

level 6 18400

level 7 36800

level 8 73600

goblin

prime requisite: DX 100

HD: d6 600

Armor: any, limited by size 100

Shield: yes 100

Weapon: limited by size 100

languages: goblin, kobold, hobgoblin. orc, common 500

Combat: as Thief 200

Save: as Fighter 200

Infravision 60′ 200

Detect stonework traps 2/6 200

Listen at doors 2/6 200

Backstab  200

Max level 8 -600

DX minimum 9 -100

-1 in bright light -100

Stronghold at level 5 -500

smaller size (as halfling) -100

basic xp 1600

level 1 0

level 2 1600

level 3 3200

level 4 6400

level 5 12800

level 6 25600

level 7 51200

level 8 12400

Hobgoblin 

prime requisite ST 100

HD: d8 800

Armor: any 200

Shield: yes 100

Weapons: any 200

languages: goblin, hobgoblin, orc, common 400

combat: as HD 500

Save: as Fighter 500

+1 to hit vs elves 200

infravision 60′ 200

Max level 8 -600

Stronghold at 5th level -500

ST minimum of 9 -100

Basic XP 2000

level 1 0

level 2 2000

level 3 4000

level 4 8000

level 5 16000

level 6 32000

level 7 64000

level 8 128000

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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?