Doing Evil in the name of Good is still Good Right? Session 5 of my OSE game

This time we had three players, my good friend Stan, Ryan of the THAC0 blog and Todd of Third Kingdom Games.

Characters included the following PC’s and Retainers:

Gimbaya, Hobgoblin warrior woman,

Abbeye Softpaws, level 4 Lawful cleric (Stan)

Lance, Level 2 Neutral Fighter

Drucilla, Level 2 Lawful Magic User

Ruben, Level 3 Lawful Fighter (Ryan)

Annie, Level 3 Lawful Cleric

Sanken Tonni, Level 3 Neutral Fighter (Todd)

Barto the Bold, Level 1 Neutral Magic User

Encountered were the following:

a Merchant in Dunmore, along with his retainers

Farmer Brown, now proud owner of a cart and mule

Barin and Fergus, Level 1 Lawful Dwarves rescued from ogres

Nain, deceased Dwarf

Bill and Bob, two ogres, deceased

an army of skeletons, some slain, some turned, some under command of Barto the Bold

Our group met in the Brass bell, and divided up the loot from their last adventure, retaining the jewelry as a more compact form of currency than coin, except for a sapphire they sold to an insistent and slightly glazed over merchant, who said “She likes Blue” when asked why he so wanted a particular stone. The group had already checked for magic and had found none. There was a discussion about carrying coin, and I had become very used to DFRPG’s 255 coins to a pound as opposed to the 10 coins to a pound model of these older games. In any case, they sold it and reupped their supplies, upgraded Abbeye to plate mail, and passed her chainmail to Gimbaya to wear instead of her leather scale, bought a mule and cart, along with a door for the tower.

After bringing the door to their demesne, and checking to see if anyone could hang it by rolling for background skills, it was determined that both Sanken and her retainer Barto had been shipwrights, and had skill enough to install the door to the tower. The other backgrounds had Annie as a candlestick maker, and Abbeye as a baker, but no butcher was to be found; Ruben was a bowyer/fletcher, and Lance had been apprenticed to a cartographer, which had spurred his interest in adventure, and his skill with a schematic is probably what lead to the right size door being ordered. Drusilla was a Lorimer, which I had to look up, so she made spurs and the metal bits on tack and harness. That Todd’s characters were woodworkers of a sort was hilarious, as Todd is a master carpenter and cabinetmaker, as well as being a prolific game designer.

After a check in, threat session with their goblin tenements, they spent an uneventful night before heading out on the hobgoblins’ pole boat, and headed upriver. I kept rolling shit for encounters, so they got to a safe place to drag the boat onto the shore and make camp. Late that night, they heard noise and everyone got up and discovered some ogres arguing over whether it was better to boil dwarves before roasting them or to tenderize them by beating them into a paste and then grilling them. One bragged about eating “Coshig,” which he describes as a cow stuffed with a sheep and a piglet then stuffed into the sheep, but the other cut him off and told him the only thing he had ever seen him stuff into a sheep was himself… and a fight broke out. The party hailed them, and a simultaneous initiative roll resulted in a grand melee, during which Sanken was struck twice, but minimally by the ogres, Lance was injured, and Barto released the dwarves, who joined the party after the ogres were trounced,, although they mourned their cousin who had been surprised on watch while they slept, and also their prospecting gear that had been left at their camp.

Later that morning, after convincing the water wary dwarves to join them with healing and promises of loot, they headed back upriver, and eventually came to a good spot to tie up the boat. Gimbaya was without a clue as to how to proceed, as she always took the overland route instead of the water route, so they headed into unknown territory. Soon, while scouting with Ruben, she found a large encampment of skeletal warriors practicing in unison with their spears, and ignoring everything else. The party formed a brilliant plan, which involved first missile fire, a wall of flaming oil, then turning by both clerics, but discovered (after wasting oil) that because the skellys had been told to keep practicing until told otherwise, that they were fairly easy pickings, and they were able to eliminate over a dozen, and turned another 9, who regrouped and started practicing again. Searching the remains of the camp, they found the body of a backstabbed officer who had a baton marked with the same 4 horned goat skull as was on the skeleton’s shields.

Barto grabbed the baton, and found that by brandishing it, he could command the remaining 9 skeletons, prompting Abbeye to call out “Doing evil in the name of Good is still Good, Right? This deeply wounded Ryan’s sensibilities, as he is an Ethics professor. Nevertheless, the neutral characters prevailed in the use of the undead troops as they finally came upon the Hobgoblin’s ring fort. This meant an end to the evening, as it was time for Todd to go.

Things learned about playing OSE, included a lot of presumptions about undead from later editions were shared by most of the group. A quick check found that Skeletons, like all undead are chaotic in this edition, unlike 1e’s neutral alignment for mindless undead, and that there were no weapons any better or worse than any other for dealing with them.

A low loot expedition, but the hobgoblins in-lair treasure awaits!

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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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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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Hit points

In my latest anchor podcast

I discuss hit points, energy drain, and the basics of GURPS combat. For more worked examples, see what The Mook  has to offer.

168001

Seven with one blow, grab it here

Dungeon Synth: Kobold

Maximus, from Gladiator

ST 14 DX 14 IQ 12 HT 14

Hp 15 Per 12 Will 14 Fp 14

Basic Speed 6 MV 6 Dodge 10

Parry (sword) 14 (other) 13 Block 13

Adv:

combat reflexes, high pain tolerance, toughness, hard to kill +2, born warleader 3, charisma+2, attractive, luck, weapon master(all), armor mastery, rapid healing, Enhanced parry 1, indomitable

(formerly rank 8, social status 2, wealthy, huge ally group)

Disad:

Stubborn, code of honor: soldier’s, status-4, dead broke, Enemy:Emperor

Skills:

Shortsword 18 spear 16 bow 16 knife 16 shield 18 axe/mace 16 brawling 16 wrestling 15, Armory: melee weapons 12, connosieur: melee weapons:12, tactics 14, strategy 14, leadership 17, intimidate 14, teaching 12, riding 14, Animal handling (equine) 14, swiming 13, hiking 14, observation 12

 

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Blueholme Journeymanne is released, and some stuff about wights

So two major kickstarters I backed (Blueholme Journeymanne and Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2e) have matured, and their combined weight has crashed One BookShelf, preventing me from getting my copy. I would seriously link to them, but like I said, DrivethruRPG and RPGnow have crashed, so I can’t.

FYI, blueholme Journeymanne can be acquired whenever OBS gets its shit together for $9.99 for the advance PDF (some artists aren’t done yet) and AS&SH is on sale for less than the kickstarter price due to a site wide sale on games that include their own setting, for $12.75, instead of $19)

books

The third big kickstarter I backed, Dungeon Fantasy RPG (now strangely no longer available for pre order at warehouse 23) has been mailed out, and my copy has suspiciously been sitting on a post office truck out for delivery for three days.

On this continued topic of Things That Suck,  I have been probably overusing the Wight Template from GURPS Fantasy.

The first time I used it, after hearing about them being used by Peter Dell’Orto, was to merge the template with that of the Gargoyle from DF 3 to make the Flying Deaths that circled over the Island that contained the Library of Flax.  Those were fairly easy to dispose of, as I hadn’t tried to make them unkillable with an Achilles Heel of silver or pussiant magic weapons. On the other hand, it was Gorgath wielding the Doomrazor who took most of them out.

The second adventure that included them is still running, a foray into a cursed abbey that was lost when the abbot fell in with a succubus, and is now overrun with doomchildren and Wights. Luckily for that group, they have as a member Haskell the Crafty, who owns an ugly, rusted, and pussiant shortsword. Mostly that group fireballs the wights, or has the barbarian ogress flatten them, leaving Haskell to finish them off. (I require at least HT damage be done with the silver or otherwise enhanced weapon, but at -5HT, the wights are in a state of torpor, which I calculate they would otherwise rebirth from in just under three months time, given that they need to recoup 6xHT at 1 hp /12 hours.  A modest restocking rate.

The use of wights that cost me players, between frustration with lack of posting by one of the players, was on an undercity expedition to establish a vending space (yes, verging on the fabled Tavern Level of Felltower) for Vilgar the Half-ogre’s fighting arena.  In this case, a long ago group of explorers abandoned one of their fellows to a slow death at the hands of Giant Maned Rats (From DF 10). These beasties are normally annoying fodder, but their quills, which get a free attack if you engage them, are also poisonous.

This caused our hapless explorer to rise as a wight, and exact his revenge on the rats. As wights, that quill attack becomes Straight damage + Poison damage+_FP drain. It got ugly quickly, and none of the characters on the mission had silver, so they retreated. Their boss offered them the use of some silvered weapons (mostly cheap, excepting one magical weapon) which they could choose to purchase after use, or owe him a debt.

Rapidly, they moved in and started to do some damage, but I lost most of that group before they could take down the quill covered human wight at the end of the run.

One option they could have taken, but refused, was The Butcher’s Blade, a blunt tipped and blackened Pussiant+1 Broadsword that gradually gives its owner the Bloodlust disadvantage, and increases the rate at which self controll rolls are made for that disadvantage.  The weapon, therefore is cursed, but the character who would have been the likely recipient of it was hated by the character collecting the weapons, so I am surprised she didn’t saddle him with it.

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Now here is something that doesn’t suck: I had a piece of artwork exclusively commissioned by Venger Satanis for his most recent Alpha Blue supplement, Save Yourself From Hell (also unlinkable due to DrivethruRPG crashing), which you can get for only $4, and the adventure merges The Black Hole, Event Horizon, Hellraiser and the Gate. It is worth picking up, especially since it is the only place you can see that particular piece of my art.

 

A quick Review and a progress update

&I snatched up this issue of Pyramid not because my game is looking to be undead heavy, but because I am a big fan of one of the concepts, the partially resurrected, or half undead.

Ever since I had first cracked open my copy of GURPS UNDEAD back in the early nineties, I have toyed with using the templates within as means of representing sentient undead.

bub Like this guy .

Back in ’02 when I was first running Northport, I was also playing in an RPOL.net GURPS game called Necropolis. I always wondered if it was the testing ground for Abydos. I played a character who was the result of a critical success in casting Create Zombie, fully aware and “living” in secret as a servant in a Vampire lord’s house, handling little things like going to market and tipping his food/paid companionship. The game folded around when the action was getting interesting, but I set up a character in Northport who was in the same situation, Cavil the Wayfallen, an Adventurer who was killed and sold to the guild necromancer to pay the rest of his party’s healing bills. He led a revolt of the local dead (The guild keeps zeds around for target practice and to do work the kobolds refuse to touch), and one of the first players in Northport had to deal with him and arrange for him to become an indentured servant instead of property.

Now there is a template for people like him, the products of a cheap-ass resurrection spell. Not a bad way to create a character, and different from the complexities of becoming one of the Half Living from Dead Reign.

Now, what has been killing me is the dual game character sheets I have been working on for Beneath the Fallen Tower. Here is the first one:

CHAR SHEET  Jelaine

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It is still a work in progress.