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.

Who knows what the future holds?

In Northport, practically nobody.  Several years ago (or just over 2 weeks game time) a band of evil cultists murdered everyone with any type of oracular or divinatory ability in order to cloak their planned summonings and actions.

Among the casualties were the Oracle of Eos, a nymph upon whom one not cast one’s eyes or you would be unable to ask a question, slain by cultists who had put their eyes out just to perform this act of infernal devotion, and the one Sahudese who had a copy of the Classic of Changes. Dozens of divination devices were captured and destroyed, a whole expedition was mounted to reclaim one of them, that involved the slaying of a summoned demon and subsequent sale of its gear.

So who does this leave?

Ludlow has recently acquired a functional pack of tarot cards, and has learned cartomancy, but it has led to Christine Bjorn, a mountain elf fire wizard with a golem (bought with points for cash, not as an ally) heading south to learn Pyromancy from the members of a dragon cult. Christine was one of the earlier PC’s in my game, and had a number of oddball disadvantages, including coitophobia and Evil Twin. The Evil Twin turned out to be a Bard named Marie who left a scattering of blue haired half elves known as the Sons of Marie, who were looking for their mother… Recently one of the two survivors of her massacre of trolls by her, an archer, took out Marie… looks like Christine will need to change Evil Twin to Enemy!

Meanwhile, available now on drivethru are these two collections of stock art:

Goblinoids can be got for $4.99

and Evil Things for half that amount.

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And do some good in the world

Gaming in a time of plague

I work in a major New York hospital, and things are pretty horrible for a lot of people. My family was very lucky with our brush with this thing, generally very light cases, although my wife and eldest had worse versions of it than I did. I used my time in quarantine to finish writing up a game, and my return to work has humbled me in the face of the monumental task that nurses have caring for these critically ill patients. I am grateful for my health, for even breathing.

The game I wrote is an Odysseys and Overlords version of an adventureI have mentioned previously, set in my home campaign, in the city of Northport.

I have been working on this setting for about 18 years in different versions of GURPS, and because I am not Douglas Cole, and do not have a license for GURPS material, I am releasing it in a system with an OGL. One of the primary conceits, as mentioned previously came from one of my favorite Dragon Magazines, number 138. This had to do with a campaign set in a post plague world, which for me gave a twist on the borderlands idea; it is not the colonial border of human lands and an inhabited land to be conquered, but the edge of the remnant of a semi-collapsed civilization, adjacent to places depopulated by fatal sickness, and chock full of under maintained ruins, still full of treasure, where the remaining inhabitants are beset by banditry and an unchecked level of monstrous incursions.

When I wrote a lot of Northport, I designed a dungeon under a city that was full of mass graves of plague victims that had become undead due to improper burial, I had not conceived of the reality of the same thing (minus the undead) happening now, to patients I knew and had worked with. The concept hits me a lot harder, and fills me with sadness.

The idea of a rat borne plague has featured in the other gaming products I have written; in both Beneath the Fallen Tower, and in Northport, it spread because available adventurers were doing mercenary work in local wars, and no one was left to chase the rats out of an innkeeper’s cellar.

Meanwhile, as the need to engage social distancing to save our lives prohibits actual tabletop play, my preferred method of gaming, play by post, works as well as it ever has, although there is a hell of a lot less downtime at work to post.

It fells awkward having the pretend issues of my game suddenly become relevant in real life; gaming is supposed to be an escape.

Be safe out there people.

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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  dof her dead 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 and 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 of 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 of 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.

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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.

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 cook 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 formerhousehold 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 
(captain of the guild halberdiers) 
is a dock laborer with one leg.(Lost to Jin the Yakuza)
 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 had 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, social status: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,The 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

Like this? Support my Patreon and Buy my stuff

Mentioned in the podcast and above:

Ruins of the Undercity

DF15 Henchmen

DF10 Taverns

Tim Shorts MicroAdventures

Other megadungeons with underground taverns:

Stonehell

Podcast: History of Northport

Listen to the newest episode of my podcast,

Ramblings Of A Gamer And Artist: History of Northport

Had some recent shout outs from other anchorites, Tim Shorts

And Larry Hamilton

At some point, I will figure out how to include call ins to the podcast.

Dragon138JeffEasley.jpg

This was a big inspiration, and had a review of GURPS Horror I looked at what it considered to be the weakness of the game, lack of a highly detailed setting, and just kitbashed CoC for it.

GURPS Classic Fantasy

This was a book I used for years, and I borrowed a lot of the setting, Yrth, later released as Banestorm in 4e. Real world medeival folk, complete with religions and all that jazz

Also mentioned: Stonehell Dungeon

Michael Curtis had some stuff I plagerized, like the Plated Mage

51EFCrLImYL._AC_SY400_

The Glass Harmonica

Seriously, Amazon lists two for sale- jump on this!

41sZSx4qh4L._AC_SY400_

The Giant Under the Snow

You can get this on Kindle now. Giant earth elementals, witches, liches, armies of undead!

Cappadocia

Enormous Turkish underground city

109821

Ruins of the Undercity

My first OSR purchase! A great way to solo play by Kabuki Kaiser

Lesserton and Mor

What happens after the orcs win the war.

Daggerspell

Katherine Kerr wrote an epic series about a cursed wizard and incidentally did some world building that inspired me.

Swords Against Wizardry

Fritz Lieber describes a megadungeon in the Lords of Quarmall. Gotta have air circulation !

The Chronicles of Prydain

Lloyd Alexander introduced me to fantasy, and to the Gwythaint from which I draw my moniker.

Join my game, Northport

Support my work, at my Patreon

 

Recent Commissions

I have been tied up lately with a number of art commissions.

These are for the next issue of Gabor Lux’ Echoes from Fomalhaut  and Diogo Noguera’s Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, which just finished successful crowdfunding. I have also been working on a few peices of Egyptian themed art for Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor , and a little something for John Stater, that appeared in the latest issue of Nod

Naturally my gaming rate of posting has suffered, and I lost an entire group of players. They were an exceedingly efficient group of killers, and included a halfling Alchemist, another halfling assassin, an air infused elven Swashbuckler armed with long knives, a dwarven crossbowman built on the musketeer template, a leprechaun demonologist, and his polearm weilding soldier of hell, Khozapukt.

They were quite good, but could not tolerate my hideously slow posting, or the brevity of some comments that they had waited days for. It might have been easier for me to keep up if I hadn’t been running ten separate games, or had downtime at work.

Let’s see, the Juniors rescued the curiously friendly elder thing they had encounterd previously, from giant spiders, as original depicted in James Garrison’s free module Clatterdelve (currently under revision), and Clarence Montague, originally a 62pt lantern bearer hireling from DF15, became a 125pt PC spellcaster (light based magic and ignite fire) and adopted a smol spoder (giant spider as per DF5, buying pet status first, and working toward familiar status a few points at a time).

Another group, hunting bandits for bounty, have scattered some beggars.

A travelling demonology shop has opened up variously as needed, and is staffed by a demologist with some illusion skill and a few demonic allies of PC’s- if you are summonable and aren’t constantly present, you must be someplace else…

Another group, previously tasked with resolving the problem of a band of ogres that had moved into the formerly troll occupied winecellars, have been tasked by the Hadereum with escorting a demon hunting celestial being. She is a descendant of an avatar of Kali, and while her opinions on undead and demons (kill them all and send them back to the underworld) conform to those of the plutocracy, the rest of her religious views do not, and the party is escorting her on her demon hunt so as to keep her from proselytizing.

The crew at the abbey has been heaving wights into the sunlight, and they finally have started using a sack of silver plates to pulverize the undead.

The lich killing treasure hunters in Shevnia are almost home, but ran into patrols of Bouda hunting one of their enemies, the were lion Monorith, a holdover from my first Northport game from 2002, and a group of orcs now in the military. The bouda were only interested in the werelion, the group still has to conceal the several pounds of silver they have with them.

The wuxia crew has been joined by a ronin, and are preparing for a final assault by their Omo’s enemy, having robbed his casino and slain dragonmen, Ashigaru, and a Dodomeki, as previosly discussed.

Broderick has returned to play, and his team of fortune hunters are somewhere on the second level of the undercity.

The Hadereum sponsored team has uncovered cult murders and has discovered slorn breeding pens under temple hill.

Demons and survivors

About a year ago, my Wuxia DF group fought a bunch of conjured petty demons. As they had a celestial in the party, the demons attacked the BBEG’s troops in order to get through to her.  Di San Ge Er Zi, also known as Number three son, is one of the hardened guardsmen who survived the fight and quit working for his evil boss, becoming ronin. This is one of those cases of an NPC rolling exceptionally, and being found to have been underestimated, as per page 31 of DF15. I first discussed the Battle Hardened template for guards here,  and this is how he turned out, later making a bit of an alliance with the PC’s, and another group of PC’s who dealt with the effects of the unleashed toxifier reanimating all of the salt packed corpses…

Di San Ge Er Zi

125 pts
ST 13 [30]DX 12 [40] IQ 10 [0] HT 12[20]

T/S 1d/2-1 naginata 1d+2 imp or cr/ 2d+2 cut or 2d+1 cr
Hp 12 per 10 will 10 FP 12 DR 3 overall
Bs 7 mv 6 [5] dodge 10 parry 10
ADV:
15 Combat reflexes,
10 High pain Tolerance
4 Hard to kill +2
5 Higher purpose, slay Demons
1 Sacrificial Parry,
1 teamwork
1 Guild membership
Cultural Familiarity: Sahudese
0 Sahudese Native/Native
1 Aralaise Spoken only, broken.
DIS:
-15 One Eye
-1 Distinguishing feature (scars accross forehead/cheek)
-10 Social Stigma: Minority (Sahudese)
-10 Code of Honor: Soldier’s
-10 Enemy: Akira Aku No’s men

Brawling 1 12 wrestling 1 11 knife 1 12
Naginata (Polearm) 16 16
2 handed sword 8 14
staff 8 14
shortsword 2 12
Tactics 2 9
Armory: melee weapons 1 9
Carousing 1 12 gambling 1 9
Demon Lore 1 9
Climbing 1 12

Equipment:
Jingsah (DR 3)
Lamelar Armor DR 3 (Torso, arms, legs)
Cheap shortsword
basics in a pouch.
boots DR2

This is a survivor of a Demonic attack. Two demons faced in play included a Not-so-petty demon, who was gravely wounded by a couple of axe blows by one of the 125 point characters, who fled the fight by becoming intangible, and then was chased off with a turn spirit spell cast by Razakeel. (it later re appeared and was slain)

demon2.png

Not so petty demon
St 15 dx 12 iq 10 ht 12
Hp 18 per 12 will 10 fp 15

T/s 1d+1/2d+1

Claw 2d cut
Bite 2d cutting

Im to met hazards im to mind control high pain threshold
Very rapid healing
Night vision 5 sharp talons sharp teeth, striking st+2

Monstrous, bully, callous, sadist, bloodlust
Cannot harm innocents, selfish, social stigma monster
Intimidation 14 brawling 15

Can assume spirit form (intangible )for 10 min for 5fp

Affected by True Faith, Pentagram.
Speaks in backwards Armenian

(All of my demons can speak the language of whoever has ever summoned them, and can do so backwards.) At this point, he probably has the one eye disadvantage as well.

Dodomeki

In folklore, Dodomeki or Birds eye women, were a type of oni who had been thieves in life, and have hundreds of bird’s eyes on their arms as a punishment reflective of the small square holes in the center of coins, also called bird’s eyes.  In Northport, the Sahudese use large  quarter size copper coins with small holes, worth $4 each. The Aralaise locals use dime size coppers wort $1. A string of cash is consists of 20 of these coins looped on a copper wire, and are worth $80, the same as a gold coin.

For their second raid on Akira Aku No’s holdings, the Wuxia adventurers made a raid on his casino, which is in the basement of his restaurant, which I made very similar to the one in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They caused a bar fight for diversion, and made the trip to the casino down a hidden stair accessible form the balcony level.  There, after a ninja led bit of surveillance, they discovered that there was a “box” area where customers exchanged cash and coin for paper betting slips and painted ceramic tiles, and could cash out. Periodically, a team of naginata wielding guards accompanied by a pair of dragon blooded brutes would wheel out a meteoric iron strongbox with a one way lid (like a mailbox), and collect the receipts from the box. From there the loot was taken back to a counting room.  The dragon men had keys to the box room, and to the shackles worn by the women in the counting room, and to their quarters. The magic proof strong box and a larger puzzle chest, also reinforced with magic proof locks could only be opened by the keys held by the supervisor of the counting room, a Dodomeki. Within the room, the money from the strongbox was counted and tied into small bag, and then transferred to the large chest. Eventually, Akira Aku No and his men would come through the undercity to collect the week’s receipts and haul them off with a large party of armed men.  The chest was a puzzle, the kind that needs either direct instruction or woodworking 20 to open, much like the puzzle box in Lost Inheritance.

My stats on the dodomeki are a little limited, as her HT was barely of consequence due to the highly specific means needed to kill her.

Dodomeki, Demon

ST 12 DX 14 IQ 12 HT 12

HP 12 WILL 12 PER 17 FP 12

DR 0/4 on hands MV 6

Claw 1d+1 impaling

Shriek: causes 1d6 sonic damage, affliction:Deafness, resisted by HT
Must have eyes put out and be be decapitated and wrapped in red silk
or have all of the eyes covered with pierced coins to be killed

Traits:

Immune to metabolic hazards, immune to mind control, high pain threshold,
Very rapid healing, Penetrating voice, 360 vision,
weakness to touching coins. (Takes 1d Fp/second when in contact with them)
Compulsive behavior, counting small things, Bully, Callous, Sadist, Cannot Harm Innocents. Affected by True Faith, Pentagram. Truly evil, will not negotiate.

Can only be killed by having her eyes put out and her bird eyes wrapped in red silk. This will kill it, but will cause the body to erupt into two hexes of starlings, doing damage as a swarm of strix.