Saturday, December 31, 2011

Simple Abstract Scam Mechanic Idea

One of the players in the Fortress Eibon games in an incorrigible rogue; he has played a succession of amoral through to sociopathic, lying, cheating, stealing murder-hobos.

Now I consider this a good thing; it's good to have players/characters that give aspects of the game a good thrashing. And it helps keep a DM on their toes.

This has had an interesting effect on my game. Originally I had envisioned the urban/home base aspect of the Fortress Eibon games, the outskirts of Yam City, to be the equivalent of the text menu interface of the old Wizardry computer RPG game: make new character; buy gear; sell gems; get unstoned; and the like.

Being a ham, I couldn't resist giving it atmosphere and character, but the explicit idea was that adventure took place in the dungeon.

However with the continued antics of the characters of the aforementioned players, and my desire to provide full agency to the players, hijinks have definitely ensued.

This has had me musing on quick resolution for such antics; I usually use d6 or a 2d6 reaction roll to adjudicate how they play out. I break down the probably outcomes and compare them to the roll result to see which way things play out.

Usually you could break down the outcomes of risky endeavors into four abstract outcomes: success; success with repercussions; failure; failure with repercussions.

For the determination of scam/heist activities, the DM makes a judgement on an adjustment, usually using a ability score modifier with further adjustment for the quality of player plans and preparations, and adjusts the results of a d12 roll by this integer, comparing the results to the table below, with the caveat that any roll that is a natural 1 is an automatic failure with repercussions.

10-12 - Success
9 - Failed Attempt *
8 - Success with repercussions
7 - Failed Attempt *
6 - Success with repercussions
5 - Failed Attempt *
4  - Success with repercussions
1-3 - Failure with repercussions

* on a result of Failed Attempt, the players may press their luck and continue their endeavor, making another roll as above but with a cumulative -1 modifier for each result of Failed Attempt *.

Repercussions are determined from what would be appropriate by the DM, with a further d6 roll used to determine the severity of the repercussions.

Bill Snakehat is pretending to be a long lost distant relative of a wealthy family in order to claim an inheritance. The DM determines that: Bill Snakehat has a +1 charisma modifier; he has the signet ring of a long lost distant relative (+1); but his plan is preposterous (-3), for a net modifier of -1.

Bill Snakehat's player rolls a d12 and gets a modified result of 5: Failed Attempt. The family does not believe Bill Snakehat's claim. Bill's player attempts to press his luck and arranges for a crooked lawyer to produce fraudulent documentation to support his claim.

The DM makes the roll and gets a result of 7: Success with Repercussions. They than roll a d6 and gets a result of 6: The most severe of repercussions. Bill Snakehat receives the inheritance but a family member hires a gang of assassins to kill him.

[Fortress Eibon] Lair of the Pink Ninja

"Priorities are sorely out of order if you hear that Heraphalmos is in danger and continue to waste time fucking around with ninjas."
- Culumbo
By "Crom" of Red Box Vancouver
Bonspiel von Helmut, priest of the dead god Kor.
Brockmeister and Skeyr (or Keith?), itinerant adventurers from the distant land of Bella Coola
Bugosa the Invisible.
Zodar Khan, priest of Orderon.
Stanley Serpenthelm

Eager to liberate his companions from the clutches of the Shadow Temple Assassins, Zodar Khan organizes a rescue mission.

Lair of the Pink Ninja
Zodar Khan gathers a team of seasoned adventurers to affect the rescue of two of his companions, who were captured by means of sorcery under Fortress Eibon. Ranndy Serpenthelm sends his regrets and a cousin to take his place, while Bonspiel hires a hirsute member of the mercenary guild as added muscle. In the courtyard of the Fortress, the Serpenthelm hires an impoverished entomophage as a torch-bearer. Their numbers thus bolstered, the party descends into the tawdry pink lair of the Shadow Temple Assassins.

Velvet Underground
No sooner does the party descend to the entryway than a ninja fires a crossbow at Bonspiel's mercenary from behind a set of pink iron bars. The fool is quickly feathered with arrows. Zodar Khan is no stranger to ninja tactics and begins pulling down the first of many threadbare velvet curtains that provide concealment for the assassins. Somehow the paragon of Order becomes entangled. The party watches in horror as the helpless cleric is stabbed by a ninja that seems to appear from mid-air.

Bonspiel's mercenary gives chase and is ambushed by a pair of crossbow wielding ninja covering their comrade's escape. He and Stanley Serpenthelm make short work of the duo, while Brockmeister chases down the original sniper and punishes him face-wise with an axe (something of a signature move for Brock).

A Teenaged Captive
After some perfunctory looting and the Warming Healing Glowing Hand of Kor!, the party discovers a pink bathhouse and Skeyr discovers an invisible, submerged ninja. The assassin stabs the Serpenthelm, minding his own business throwing the decapitated heads of the other ninja into the bath. Bonspiel mutters a charm and the teenage assassin freezes in mid-stab, while the other ninja is cut down, probably by Brockmeister. And probably from an axe to the face.

The party quickly bind their captive and decide to high-tail it to Yam for an orderly interrogation, but on the way out they are surprised by a fiendish looking wizard who renders everyone unconscious by means of a spell… everyone, that is, but Bonspiel thanks to his Silver Brooch. The priest manages to overcome his natural cowardice, due mainly to the fact that everyone else is effectively dead, and charges. The wicked creature casts another spell, but it is turned aside by Bonspiel's Sapphire Medalion. All those who mocked him as a dandy surely rue their words after the telling of this tale!

Unfortunately, the pink iron bars prove too strong for the priest and the sorcerer escapes, cackling evilly. Bonspiel comes to his senses, wakes his companions and they quickly escape.

A Surfeit of Ears
The party has many excellent plans for the captive, which all come to naught when they find him dead by his own hand (tongue?) the following morning. The Serpenthelm puts together a team of faux-ninjas for reasons known only to him while Bugosa makes some of the party invisible and Bonspiel discusses legal matters with the city Watch which surely do not concern an upstanding priest of a respectable, albeit lesser known god, and are most likely entirely the fault of that dastard who has been impersonating him.

Several ears are delivered to the party's rooms, but this is apparently of very little concern to anyone. Likewise evidence that Hyrophalmos's life is in danger. The party returns to Fortress Eibon.

Still with the Ninjas
The party briefly discusses other options but decides to push their presumed advantage in the pink area. Judicious use of flaming oil by the highly accurate (and invisible) Skeyr, plus some completely ineffective scouting by two slaves dressed as ninja, and some shameful desecration of their bodies, results in two or three more ninja being cornered and sent to their graves.

Bonspiel and Stanley nearly come to blows over it, but eventually pry a pair of iron doors open, much bruised and exhausted for the effort. On the other side is a strange, pillared hallway with pleasant, cinnamon-scented mist… and two warriors with buckets strapped to their heads, feeling their way toward the party, swinging axes blindly. Bonspiel's charm renders the large, red-skinned, camel-necked one immobile, and Brockmiester's axe renders the small, Dwarfish, withered-armed one brainless.

The party binds their captive and retreats to Yam, where they set about restoring the red-skinned Fighting Man Riki to his former mental state, and Bonspiel quietly distances himself from the group, in order to prevent further legal entanglements.

Total Losses/Loot
A very weak Dwarf with a bucket lashed to his head was put out of his misery. Eight or nine teenage assassins were also bested, depending on who you talk to.

Friday, December 30, 2011

[Fortress Eibon] A Visit From The Man

A party of delvers, led by Bonspiel the Cleric, were holed up in a suite at the adventurers' hostel in the Souk district of the outskirt suburbs of Yam City and were paid a visit by an officer of the Yam Watch.

Bonspiel answered the door and was informed that their had been complaints of invisible activity (disembodied voices...discussing banal matters; phantom footprints accompanied by phantom footsteps; kebab skewers dropping out of thin air; etc.) and that he was delivering an official warning citation.

Bonspiel disavowed and knowledge and therefore responsibility, but the official apologetically informed him that he was consistently associated with these complaints and delivered the citation with the explanation that the Yam Guard, the Yam Watch and the Yam Secret Police take a dim view of invisible hijinks within Yam and it's suburbs.

The officer than explained that he had further matters to discuss with Bonspiel; nervous about the three invisible party members that were behind him in the suite as he talked to the watch officer at the door he asked if they could go somewhere and sit down.

At a table downstairs Bonspiel made a complaint, citing that he had received reports that someone had been impersonating from the Mercenary Brotherhood. The officer reassured Bonspiel that the mercenaries had already spoken to them, outraged that someone would pretend to be their client, and took Bonspiels statement with further assurances that the transgressor would be sternly punished if he fell into the hands of the authorities.

Than the officer informed Bonspiel that he had further good news in that regard, and proceeded to fingerprint Bonspiel before making him sit still for one turn in order to take a colour-tinted heliograph of the Cleric. The officer explained that Mustafa of the Mercenary Brotherhood had graciously paid the fees for Bonspiel's identification papers, in order to stymie the imposter.

Bonspiel asked if these identity papers would finally allow him to enter Yam City itself, where his compatriot the child sorceress Floria "the Viperhearted" owned a condominium; but the officer regretfully informed him no while providing a perfumed moistened silk towelette for Bonspiel to clean the ink off his fingertips.

Later that day a child slave courier delivered Bonspiel's identification papers, complete with old-tymey colour-tinted picture of his mug and fingerprints.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

[Fortress Eibon] Worst Adventure Ever!

"While it could be argued that Zodar's following (SaSS) expedition was a worse adventure than this, as it cost the party something close to 20,000gp, several magical items, and, with that second ambush, possibly the lives and/or sanities of a handsome dwarf and an experienced fighting-man, it should also be noted that before being ambushed the first time, they managed to level up a total of three characters. When compared to the total losses/loot, one must concede that this was truly the worst adventure ever.
Belbarrick and Zodar Khan, clerics of Orderon.
Kalikarr, cleric of the Church of Law.
Ranndy Serpenthelm.
Mern the Blue.
Murg Serpenthelm the slaver.

Balbarrick and Zodar Khan enlist Mern the Blue and somebody who claims to be Bonspiel but is probably Ranndy Serpenthelm, but Balbarrick is destroyed by explosive mushrooms, and Mern is slaughtered by evil cultists. When Zodar and Ranndy replace Belbarrick with another Lawful cleric and Mern with another Serpenthelm, a second foray into Fortress Eibon goes even worse and a small army of slaves are immolated. Zodar and Ranndy leave, dejected.

Two Worlds Collided and They Could Never, Never Tear Us Apart
Balbarrick and Zodar Khan are a couple of lawful clerics, new in town and eager to brave the terrible chaotic blight that is Fortress Eibon. Floria the Viperhearted sends them to some of her fellow adventurers, and unfortunately for them they run into crafty ol' Ranndy Serpenthelm who seems to be masquerading as a cleric named Bonspiel. Since he's not even a lawful cleric, Balbarrick and Zodar take no notice. This "Bonspiel" is also accompanied by Mern the Blue, a wizard of some repute.

Trying to Find Heramphalmos
Ranndy has nothing but disdain for the mercenaries, who hold him in equal if not more contempt. A young kid and an older stalwart determined to look out for him decide to accompany the party. He also buys a slave and sends Balbarrick to look for Heramphalmos. The doughty cleric follows a convoluted trail that leads to Jezehell, his wife, who is a whore at a place called Bitches with Whips, on Whip Street. Balbarrick gets nothing he can use from her, so Mern the blue goes down to harrass her. He tries casting Charm on her, but the other whores realize and forcibly detain her, while threatening Mern as well. He leaves frustrated.

Into the Fortress
The four heroes go to the Locust Courtyard and check out the lone door. Some men trying to catch locusts there tell them it's the door to the thieves' clubhouse. The party enters, and finds a room full of mushrooms. Balbarrick and one of the slaves touch a mushroom and are immediately immolated in a flash of light. Ranndy Serpenthelm uses his ring of telekinesis to move Balbarrick's body all over the room and explode all the other mushrooms. A little piece of Zodar Khan's faith in the goodness of law and order dies.

All That for Nuthin, Damn
Below the thieves' clubhouse, they find some caverns and a chaotic cult. Ranndy asks for the priest, and he shows up. Unable to get free stuff reach a compromise, the party attacks. Mern and the young mercenary are killed by the cult's fighters, but their reinforcements are blocked by Zodar Khan's flaming oil. However, when things seem to be going badly for them, Zodar and Ranndy look at each other and, in an instant, reach a decision. They flee for their lives, leaving the older mercenary to fend for himself. When he decides not to follow them, Zodar blocks their exit with flaming oil, and they return to the camps outside Yam.

Slave Drivers
Instead of more mercenaries, Ranndy decides to buy slaves, and recruits yet another of his many cousins. Zodar Khan recruits yet another foolhardy cleric of law, Kalikarr, and the lot of them return to Fortress Eibon. They decide to go up through the killing floor in the main entrance, but as soon as they send two slaves up there, they cut the rope and flee! Ranndy uses his ring of telekinesis to drag one of them back, and then punishes the other slaves for his betrayal.

Finally, Some Action!
The party goes up into one of the towers, but sadly runs into some sort of dragon-like spider creature, which breathes fire at them, immolating all their slaves at once. Ranndy is paralysed, but uses his ring of telekinesis to float away from the fight while Zodar Khan watches his back. The rest of the party is killed.

Accidental XP and a Final Note

On the way out, the escaped slave ambushes the duo and is killed."

By Johnstone of Red Box Vancouver

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Christmas, Ashura, Hanukkah, Saturnalia or Secular Winter Holiday!

Hopefully you got that woodgrain OD&D box and a copy of Castle Zagyg in your stocking!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

[Rient-sian]The Man From Y.E.T.I.

This pretty much sounds like the best TV Show ever, as well as a kick-ass gonzo dungeon setting:
"The Man From Y.E.T.I. was a 17-episode U.S. television show, originally airing September 1968 to February 1969. Often compared to The Prisoner, the show combined unexplained surreal situations and characters, paranoia, science-fiction, and action-adventure...

...Opening Sequence

The opening sequence of The Man From Y.E.T.I. featured extended shots of Faraday running down vast hallways and leaping over obstacles, as well as struggling to free himself from a variety of traps. More than half of the footage used in the opening never appeared in the actual show: a car chase through a city, Faraday firing a gun point-blank at a man in a lab coat who explodes, and Faraday commandeering a helicopter, among many other scenes. At one point the camera cuts to a stack of papers with "RICK ROBERTSON" printed on the topmost page; a hand wearing a golden ring brings down a stamp, marking the page with "CONTAIN" in red ink. No character named Rick Robertson appears in the show, leading some to presume that this is the name of the actor who plays Faraday, but the total lack of beginning or ending credits on the show makes it impossible to know for sure. The footage was accompanied by the show's memorable theme song, which primarily featured drums and flute, with a low growl building through much of it, climaxing in a euphoric roar as the song reaches full-swing.


The series follows a man, unnamed for much of the show but later identified as Faraday, as he explores an underground prison complex in which he is held. Every episode, he must complete a task or variety of tasks given to him by his captors, or face death.
Most episodes would begin with Faraday cautiously exploring a new area of the prison and nearly injuring himself in the process. Often, a dog would emerge from out of view and begin speaking to Faraday in a robotic voice. The scene would then show a robot in a different location, controlling the dog's mind and speaking through it. The dog would give Faraday an unexplained task ("Defeat the Minotaur and reach the Heart of Wood," "Fill the Bottle," "Build an Airplane Engine") and then threaten him with various grisly deaths should he fail.
Sometimes the task would turn out to be allegorical, but other times they must be literally completed (Faraday must actually construct an airplane engine or be dissolved in acid in one episode).
In addition to these tasks, Faraday constantly seeks a way to escape from the complex, often hatching elaborate plots to take advantage of new possible exits. Faraday will often make a fair amount of progress on a plan in a given episode, before a number of seemingly coincidental single events interlock to cause the ruin of his scheme.
As the series goes on, Faraday is exposed to a hallucinogenic gas with increasing frequency. While under the effects of the drug, he encounters a race of alligator-men who appear to be running the complex and preventing his escape. Although Faraday seems to catch glimpses of the alligator-men when not drugged, it is unclear whether they actually exist.
Another recurring event is the donning of a markedly low-quality parka or ghillie suit, which Faraday always finds in a sealed capsule mysteriously placed for him to find it, just before the climactic action sequence of an episode. This occurs nearly every episode, and neither the parka, the capsules, or the reason for wearing it are ever explained. Episodes typically end with Faraday still wearing the bizarre garment, but he never has it at the beginning of the following episode.
In a number of the episodes, Faraday encounters red service telephones. Occasionally they blink, and Faraday, shocked, runs to answer them, only to be confronted with weird, unintelligible noises. After Episode 8: "Mysteries of the Monmouth Codex, Part 2," Faraday no long attempts to answer the phones but instead goes out of his way to destroy them when they light up...

...Episode 5: "The Silent Caucus"

"In order to solve an unexplained dispute between two opposing factions of masked antagonists, Faraday must assemble an airplane engine or be dissolved in acid."
Th episode opens on a still overhead shot of a room in the complex. Faraday enters from the left, walking slowly, and comes to a stop in the center of the frame. A garbled voice is heard, presumably from off-screen, and Faraday exclaims, "not with my trusty pocket knife, you won't!" as he pulls a switchblade from his pocket. A spear flies into the frame from the right, seemingly striking Faraday, who cries out and falls off screen. The opening sequence then plays as normal.
Once the opening sequence ends, the episode cuts to Faraday, now underwater with a large Bowie knife in his mouth, swimming in what seems an underwater cave, tense music playing. After a few seconds, he comes to a large hole that appears blasted in the rock wall and swims through. He emerges in a cavern and climbs out of the water (which is clearly an above-ground pool poorly painted to look like stone). As Faraday stalks away (inexplicably holding a flashlight), the camera zooms on the pool, which bubbles ominously.
While creeping through the caverns, Faraday comes across a mysterious glyph carved on the rock wall. While studying it intently, the camera pulls back to show a mole-man slowly lumbering behind him. After an extremely prolonged shot of the mole-man's approach, it finally attacks Faraday. A lengthy battle ensues, finally ending when Faraday bludgeons the mole-man with a rock.
Faraday then comes to a narrow ledge, presumably over a chasm. With great trepidation, he creeps along the edge, his back to the wall. He makes it halfway across before tripping over his own feet. Faraday lets out a long, piercing scream, which continues for several seconds after he very clearly falls on a mat that is not entirely off screen. The camera cuts to show Faraday landing on a table about which are seated three men in strange outfits. The men are wearing red jump suits and red helmets with mirrored, featureless facemasks. On top of the helmets, they are wearing white 18th-century judge wigs, and the man in the center has gold epaulettes and other finery. The three men leap up, and similarly-dressed guards without wigs rush in and grab Faraday. The camera jump cuts to Faraday in a witness box, the three wigged men sitting in the judge's position in a full courtroom built in the cavern. Many other masked men fill the room, sitting in bleachers, and one paces back and forth in front of Faraday.
What follows is an extended scene wherein Faraday is presumably questioned by the man in front of him, but none of the masked men speak. Through the masked men's hand gestures, sound effects, and Faraday's responses, it is implied that the masked men are using telepathy to communicate. The prosecutor gestures emphatically, presents documents, and generally badgers Faraday, who replies frustradely with phrases such as, "Why, I've never even heard of Perturbinium," "the giant's coin never spoke," and, finally, with great intensity and accompanied by a musical sting, "I already told you: HE. WASN'T. EGYPTIAN."
The camera then cuts several times between Faraday's stern face and the judges apparently deliberating, the audience animatedly conversing telepathically. Finally the head judge slams his fists on the table and the room shakes; he points one finger at Faraday. The camera slowly zooms on the pointing judge, then cuts to Faraday being manhandled down stone stairs by two masked men. Faraday exclaims, presumably to the men: " AIRPLANE ENGINE?" and "What? Or else what?!" They shove him into a room with a large table, covered in mechanical parts. As Faraday looks around, he sees a pool in one corner, full of bubbling acid. He gulps nervously to himself and then squares his shoulders and walks to the table. A montage of Faraday assembling the engine ensues, interspersed with him looking at the acid pit and gulping nervously. Halfway through the montage, the music abruptly changes mid-song, from tense and ominous to an up-beat pop-rock instrumental. The montage ends, and Faraday, looking pleased with himself, has one final screw to put in place. Just as he's about to fit the screw in, the hallucinogenic gas pours out of the screw hole and Faraday loses consciousness.
In the gas montage, Faraday is crawling through what seems to be a sewer, where he comes across a large open chamber in which a group of robed alligator-men are practicing some sort of ceremony. Faraday watches with horror as the ghastly ritual proceeds, then suddenly trips and falls into the chamber. Just as he hits the ground, the camera cuts to Faraday sitting in a circus. The crowd is entirely in the dark and only Faraday can be seen. The camera cuts between tight shots of Faraday's confused and worried face and various circus animals, whose cries have been dubbed over with the sound of a speeding car. The montage then cuts to Faraday in a dusty lab, packed with equipment. He wears a lab coat and black rubber gloves, and laughs maniacally as he connects two power cables. Electricity courses through the cables and the lights flash, and a large robot sits up behind Faraday.
Faraday regains consciousness in the cockpit of a one-seat airplane. He cries out, "going... to crash! Got to... pull up!" He flails around for a short time, then reaches under his seat to find a silver parka capsule. The action theme swells, as a lengthy suiting-up scene plays out. After a number of minutes, Faraday finally grabs the controls. The camera immediately cuts to a shot of the aircraft crashing directly into the ground, exploding in a massive fireball. It then cuts back to Faraday, who lowers his hands from eyes and realizes he's still alive; the window of the plane is displaying television static. Confused, he opens the door and emerges (mysteriously without the action parka), to see that he's actually in a crude flight simulator. He soon makes up his mind to leave and cautiously sneaks down a number of corridors. Eventually he pauses and remarks, "feels like I'm being watched... but from where?" As he leaves, the camera pulls back to reveal one of the masked men watching him from behind a previous corner. The music builds as the masked man checks his weapon, and as the score reaches a crescendo, he removes his helmet to reveal Faraday's face underneath.

Episode 6: "Seek Not To Undo What Has Been Begun"

The episode opens with a gang of men in yellow jump suits at the intersection of two long corridors. A brief but heated argument is already begun, and the men quickly decide to split up and run down the hallways. Once the men are gone, Faraday and a woman wearing a knit brown cape with a twig embroidered on it (Deidre Hall, in an uncredited appearance) emerge from a very poorly concealed secret door in the wall. Faraday and the woman cautiously advance down several corridors before they come into a circular chamber with a pool in the center. Near the entrance, two of the men in yellow jumpsuits are standing guard. Faraday and the woman, whom he refers to as Cindy, sneak up on the guards and knock them out in order to steal their jump suits for use as disguises. It is implied that the pool was an underwater dock, as in the next scene Faraday is piloting a submarine with Cindy at the SONAR screen. Despite the previous scene showing both Faraday and Cindy putting the jump suits on, only Faraday is wearing one; at no point in the episode does Cindy have one. Faraday explains to Cindy that they can escape the complex through the Sea of Valusia; this scene features extraordinarily low-quality dubbing, with the line heard not matching Faraday's lip movements at all. Cindy points behind Faraday and asks, "what's that?" Faraday turns and exclaims the classic line, "a Deleuzian Randorph-Retsobrenner Synchro-Phasic Fusilizer!" He picks up a shoddy-looking ray gun and inspects it, proclaiming, "only three Nebulon batteries. Better be careful." Suddenly the cabin of the submarine shakes wildly and Cindy studies the SONAR, realizing that they're under attack by a Geo-Killer (note that no such monster is ever shown). The cabin's window cracks and Cindy and Faraday exchange Significant Looks, only to be horrified when instead of water, the hallucinogenic gas pours into the sub from the destroyed viewport. After blacking out, Faraday experiences a montage of scenes featuring the alligator-men, including them wiring a car battery up to 10-foot-tall robotic version of his own head, which begins speaking badly-mangled Portuguese. Upon waking, Faraday finds himself inside at the bottom of a large circular cement pit with no visible exits. With a shock, he sees Cindy's unconscious form on the other side of the chamber (despite no trace of her being there in the pan around the room a moment before), a deadly Ghost Snake wrapped around her. The familiar action theme picks up and Faraday sees a capsule, dons his parka and proceeds to violently clash with the Ghost Snake, barely defeating it after several minutes of struggle. He finds that Cindy is alive, but will quickly die from the bite of the Ghost Snake. Thinking quickly, Faraday pulls a Nebulon battery from the Deleuzian Randorph-Retsobrenner Synchro-Phasic Fusilizer and smashes it on the floor. Foaming, bright green liquid starts pouring out and he holds it to Cindy's lips, explaining, "quick, drink this!" Cindy quickly recovers fully and the two start down a hallway, as they are inexplicably in a different room with clear exits once she wakes. All seems well, until Cindy screams, and Faraday watches in horror as she rapidly transforms into a werewolf.
Were-Cindy growls viciously and leaps to attack Faraday, but he dodges just in time and she leaps past him. Before he can do anything, Cindy mounts a dirtbike that is suddenly in the room and rides down a long corridor, Faraday futilely trying to catch up with her until the image freezes on his defeated form and the credits roll.

Episode 7: "Mysteries of the Monmouth Codex, Part 1"

The episode opens with a tight shot of a bright red emergency telephone, slowly panning out to reveal one of the long corridors typical of the facility, with Faraday just coming into view around a corner at the opposite end. Upon sighting the phone, he dashes over and rips the receiver off the hook, tapping frantically at the single button in an attempt to get an outside line. After shouting for a response, he resigns his efforts, drops the phone and exits the corridor, apparently through the same door through which he had entered.
In the following scenes, Faraday follows a narrowing passage into an enormous, circular room, with a steaming, poorly-constructed silver rocket staged in the middle. The camera cuts to a view of Faraday from behind and pans up with his gaze, revealing that the rocket is emblazoned with a large hammer-and-sickle emblem and the C.C.C.P. insignia; he also notes aloud that there are no silo doors in the ceiling. Upon approaching the rocket for a closer inspection, Faraday catches sight of a capsule, and proceeds to don the parka it contains. No sooner has he done this than he is attacked from behind by an ape-creature in a badly-torn metallic silver spacesuit, which catches him in a bear-hug. As the action theme swells, Faraday grapples with the ape dramatically until he is overpowered and thrown through a conveniently-placed stack of cylindrical barrels. When he regains his footing, he has somehow produced the Fusilizer from Episode 6, which he then trains on the approaching ape. Faraday attempts to fire, but the weapon explodes in his hand (leading to his oft-quoted exclamation, "Blast! A Nebulon overcharge!") and the ape, now holding what appears to be a Fusilizer of its own, uses the device to spray him with a hefty dose of the hallucinogenic gas.
The ensuing montage includes depictions of the alligator-men wearing construction helmets and repairing telephone wires in a field, stocking a large shelf with Faraday dolls and worshiping a giant, golden statue of a human ear. Upon regaining consciousness, Faraday finds himself in what he initially believes to be his childhood bedroom, but he quickly discovers it to be a crude reproduction. After finding an exit he continues on through a series of rooms, among them an empty laboratory full of bubbling orange beakers, until he emerges back into another corridor with a red telephone (this corridor is identical to the one in the opening scene, though it's never explicitly stated that they are, in fact, one and the same). Suddenly, the small light on the phone stars blinking, and it emits a bizarre series of buzzing noises. Faraday approaches cautiously and answers; he is told to "Seek the Abramelin Sign" by a strange mechanical voice, after which the line goes dead.
Throughout the rest of the episode, Faraday is seen navigating a series of corridors and empty hangars, during which he chases a robotic key to unlock an oversized vault door and ultimately has to jump over a pit teeming with scorpions (a task which he bemoans at great length). At one point, he enters a factory assembly line producing heavy machine components. He sights a lone worker in a yellow hazmat containment suit that appears to have a tail. A chase ensues, but Faraday is ambushed by a team of Red Ninja assassins, who he fends off during a lengthy fight sequence. Resuming the chase, he turns a corner to find himself at a dead end, in a short hallway with another phone on the opposite wall.
In the final scene Faraday, looking somewhat bewildered, examines the phone and finds that it, unlike others he has encountered in the facility, has a coin-intake slot. A small placard on the wall next to it reads "INSERT TOKEN - WAIT FOR OUTSIDE LINE" (some die-hard fans have postulated that this is, in fact, the "Abramelin Sign" mentioned earlier in the episode, though artifacts in the script throw this theory into question). The camera cuts back to Faraday; a look of frustrated determination spreads over his face, and the words TO BE CONTINUED appear below him in bold, orange letters.

Episode 8: "Mysteries of the Monmouth Codex, Part 2"

In the second half of the two-part episode, the familiar opening sequence is replaced with the world "PREVIOUSLY" in a bold, orange font over a dark green background, followed by a brief recap in the form of a montage; several scenes depicted did not actually occur in the previous episode (one notable exception having not appeared in the show at all). After the theme song ends, the camera fades in on Faraday suspended upside-down by a chain above a large smoking vat labelled LIQUID NITROGEN, struggling to free himself. Before long, he produces his trusty pocketknife. As he pulls himself up, the camera cuts to a close-up shot of a rope tied around his feet, which he laboriously hacks through with the knife. Once done, the camera cuts to Faraday leaning against the vat, looking relieved; the chain is still visible above him in the background.
Now free, Faraday gathers his wits and regains his breath. He fishes a chrome cigarette case from his breast pocket. He then produces a matchbook, seemingly from nowhere. When he strikes the match, the matchbook explodes with hallucinogenic gas, and Faraday rapidly loses consciousness.
The screen distorts with the gas effects and the camera fades in, low to the ground with a fish-eye lens, on a room littered with Red Ninja bodies. Smoke fills the air, unexplained, and a light flickers on and off. Shrill, discordant, vaguely Asian-themed music and the groans of the dying supplement the sound effects. One Red Ninja remains, a diagonal slash across his chest, implying that he is the sole survivor of the battle in "Mysteries of the Monmouth Codex Part 1". The Ninja removes his mask and it is Faraday; the camera circles around him as he raises his fist and screams (with no sound), vengeance consuming him. Suddenly, the hallucination cuts to an alligator-man walking down a hallway. As it rounds a corner, the alligator-man raises its gun and the bark of a large dog is dubbed over its mouth movements. The camera cuts to a view of Faraday from behind. In one deft movement, he spins around and instantly blasts the alligator-man with the Fusilizer he holds, all in less than a second. The camera then shows the dead alligator-man from Faraday's point of view. As the shot tilts down he examines his own hands; one is now a pirate's hook and the other is the hand of a large black man, covered in jewelry. The camera tilts back up, the hands leave the frame, and Faraday now stands in front of a table. Out of the hallucinogenic haze, he steps to the table and lifts up a coin; a fast zoom reveals that it says PHONE TOKEN. Faraday, determined, wheels about and walks through a door. Footage of him entering the corridor with the phone from "Mysteries of the Monmouth Codex Part 1" is played, and Faraday, dubbed, gasps "Got to... call... for help..!" The camera cuts to Faraday, clearly in a different room, tripping over his own feet with a loud grunt. He drops the token, which immediately begins to roll down the long corridor. Faraday, mortified, shouts "NO!" and leaps to his feet.
What follows is an incredibly long sequence of Faraday attempting to catch up to the quarter. Faraday chases the rolling coin for over 10 minutes, through hallways, rooms filled with computers, and countless other environs. Finally, he chases it into a room packed with tables and machinery. He gets closer and closer to the token, nearly within range; he jumps for it, and mere millimeters from his fingers, it drops into an open grate in the floor and disappears. Rage consumes Faraday, and for more than five minutes straight he destroys all of the contents of the room; he smashes computers, destroys furniture and machines with a large wrench, and more; he does not stop screaming for the entire length of the scene. After individually picking up and dashing on the ground every item on a large wooden table, he grabs the edges of the table and flips it with all of his might. The table is shown flipping in slow-motion from multiple camera angles, each time with all of the previously-smashed items back on it.
As soon as the table is flipped, a mind-control robot rounds a corner, its arms flailing as much as its limited range of motion will allow. The footage of Faraday wheeling around and firing the Fusilizer from earlier in the episode is reused; the robot explodes into a loose pile of sheet metal and copper wiring. Faraday reaches into this pile of debris and removes a large washer. He gazes at it in deep thought, nodding to himself, and the camera fades to black. It fades back in on the same shot of Faraday, now surrounded by metal shavings. In one hand he holds his pocket knife (clearly a different model and color of knife than the one seen earlier) and in the other is a U.S. Quarter. Faraday nods to himself, satisfied, and sets off, remarking, "now, to find that phone...!"
Faraday rounds a corner at exactly the same time as a Red Ninja, presumably the one Faraday experienced in his vision (although the diagonal slash on his torso is now running in the opposite directions). Faraday and the Ninja exchange glances of pure hatred, and then Faraday chops the Ninja in the throat, apparently killing him, and walks away immediately. The same recycled footage of him entering the phone room is played for the third time; when he gets to the phone, new footage plays of him inserting the slug and frantically dialing. After a tense 15 seconds of ringing, a voice announces, "If you'd like to make a call, please hang..." Faraday gasps and slams the receiver down, then stares at the coin return with barely-suppressed rage, and after many long seconds and several cuts between the coin return and Faraday's face, the token emerges. He hastily grabs it and inserts it, dialing again. The wait this time is more than twice as long. After 45 seconds of ringing, with the camera cutting between Faraday's sweat-soaked face and the phone, the line is picked up. Before he can say anything, the person who answers speaks. Faraday, horrified beyond sanity, can only listen dumbly at the sound of his own voice on the other end of the line.
"Hello? Faraday speaking! Who is this!!? This is Faraday! Who is this!? Are you there?? How do I get an outside line?! Answer me!!"

Episode 9: "Waiting in the Wings/Bloodborne/A Thousand to One"

"Several characters recall their differing accounts of Faraday's encounter with Mole Men and Hollow Earth Vikings."
After the opening sequence, the episode opens on an extreme close-up of a heavily bearded man angrily shouting, mid-sentence, in a thick and unidentifiable accent. The camera cuts back to reveal that the man is dressed as a viking warrior. He screams, red-faced, that “that blusted Foorerdach is combing vick oss!” The camera reveals that he and several other Vikings are engaged in a standoff of sorts with a number of mole-men, of the type previously seen in episode 5. The mole-men gibber unintelligibly, occasionally emitting piercing shrieks, and gesture wildly with their crude claw-like hands. The vikings all continue shouting at once, brandishing their weapons menacingly. After several minutes of this, the camera swings around to reveal Faraday, strapped to a chair in the center of the room, alternately struggling to free himself and lapsing into a half-conscious daze. One of the vikings waves his axe at the mole-men and exclaims, “Eaah dawrn coire vats ees dwayne, a weearwah zees mugty marst foowat fire owls!” The camera cuts back to Faraday, and a screen effect seems to imply that a flashback is taking place.
In the flashback, Faraday, shirtless, is running through a series of caverns (clearly the same set used in episode 5), with a sword in each hand, screaming. He enters a large chamber, now wearing the shredded remains of a shirt and armed with a sword and shield, and screams again before engaging a number of mole-men in melee combat. He quickly dispatches them, and pauses to catch his breath. Suddenly, the earth shakes violently, and Faraday looks around, bewildered. The camera jump-cuts to Faraday, now wearing crude leather armor and armed with a trident and net, engaged in combat with a giant mole-man-monster. Several minutes of battle follow, and Faraday seems to be winning until the mole-man-monster grabs a discarded spear and stabs Faraday in the abdomen. Faraday, pained, grabs the wound; when he moves his hands to inspect the damage, the hallucinogenic gas pours out and he immediately loses consciousness.
Instead of gas hallucination montage, the opening sequence plays again, though this time several additional scenes featuring the Alligator-Men are added. After the entire sequence finishes, it opens to exactly the same scene the episode began on, with the screaming viking. The scene plays out nearly identically, but when the viking shouts the line that led to the flashback, a mole-man interrupts him with 20 seconds of gibbering, shrieking, and wild gesticulating. The mole-man then points at Faraday, and the flashback screen effect happens again.
In this flashback, Faraday, dressed only in a loincloth, toils in the desert, hauling massive stones. One of the vikings appears to be an overseer, cracking a whip menacingly. Many mole-men toil along with Faraday, moving the huge stone blocks; Faraday appears to be the only human slave. After an extended scene of Faraday struggling to move stones, sweating heavily, with long shots of his straining face, the camera cuts to a viking cruelly whipping a fallen mole-man. The viking laughs to himself as he strikes the mole-man, until a hand catches the viking’s before he can bring the whip down again. The camera pulls back, revealing Faraday, standing defiantly, with the surrounding mole-men cowering in awe of his boldness. Faraday knocks the viking out with one punch, and lifts a previously-unseen spear from the ground, holding it above his head, and rallies the mole-men to him with a shout. He then leads the mole-men in an uprising, swarming over the outnumbered vikings. After a mighty but short-lived battle, the mole-men celebrate. While Faraday sits in repose atop a kingly throne, the mole-men and female mole-men perform their traditional Mole-Man Dance of One Thousand Victories, a lengthy and complex routine that runs for three minutes. After the dance finishes, a mole-man approaches, presenting a female mole-man. Faraday looks her over and says, “your daughter, eh? Old friend, I accept.” He jumps to his feet and takes the female mole-man in a passionate embrace, kissing her. When they separate, the female mole-man kneels, and presents a jewelry box. Faraday reaches behind his throne to produce a parka capsule; as the action theme soars, he dons his parka, and is married to the female mole-man. When he lifts her veil (as she is suddenly wearing a wedding dress), hallucinogenic gas pours out and Faraday loses consciousness yet again.
Once more, the opening sequence plays, further modified with more inserted Alligator-Men. Three quarters of the way through the opening, the camera unexpectedly pulls back, showing that the opening sequence is being projected on a screen. The camera swings around, revealing that Faraday is strapped to a chair facing the screen, with a device on his head holding his eyelids open; his mouth gapes, a look of mostly-absent but inchoate fear on his face. As the camera finishes pulling back, an Alligator-Man is shown to be standing directly behind Faraday, its hands on its hips. It begins laughing in a guttural, menacing tone, and then the hallucinogenic gas pours out of its mouth, filling the room, until the screen fades to black, with only the laughter continuing.

Episode 10: "Taming The Infinite Fire"

The episode opens on Faraday in a small, poorly lit room, blocking the only door with rubble. After testing to make sure the door is barricaded, he produces a small metal case inside of which is a large syringe full of yellow-green liquid, labelled 1000X. Faraday sits on a stone and injects himself in the arm, quickly passing out; through the use of the screen distortion employed when he is gassed, it is implied that this is a concentrated dose of the hallucinogenic drug. While unconscious, he relives a number of scenes from previous episodes, but with the alligator-men now shown as being responsible for the failure of his escape attempts. A scene from Episode 8 is shown: it is revealed that an alligator-man tripped Faraday, leading to the extended chase and eventual loss of the first phone token.
Additionally, he experiences a number of alternate futures. In one, Faraday, in a white three-piece suit, opens a box labelled L.I.N.C.O.L.N., withdraws an injection gun and injects himself in the neck. He then walks over to a raised dais; the camera cuts to a view from above, revealing that the dais is actually a large clock. Faraday checks his watch before disappearing. After a number of such scenes, he awakes in a sunny field of grass. Faraday, confused but seemingly free, wanders through the field, picks an apple from a tree and bites into it, and smiles. Suddenly, he freezes, his eyes locking on something out-of-frame; he sprints into the field, only to come up a previously unseen wall, painted to appear as the sky. Banging on the wall and yelling, Faraday finds a door and opens it, the camera holding on his terrified expression for long seconds before cutting to what he sees: the door opens into a large room typical of the complex, with a very high ceiling. Painted in enormous block letters on the wall facing Faraday are the words: "THERE IS NOTHING ELSE"...

...Episode 14: "Simulacrum"

The episode opens with Faraday exploring the complex. Before long he comes into a new area with a vastly different architectural style than what he's encountered before. Faraday rapidly realizes that he seems to be backstage in a theater, with a performance of Our American Cousin already in progress. He works his way around and ends up in a booth, where a man is sneaking up behind a fellow in a stovepipe hat. Faraday, realizing that he is about to witness the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, grabs who he presumes to be John Wilkes Booth by the shoulder. Booth whirls around and Faraday is horrified to see that it is in fact one of the alligator-men in a suit and wig. Faraday is shocked to his core, as this is the first time he's seen an alligator-man without being gassed. Even in this state, Faraday knows he must protect the president, and violently struggles with alligator-Booth, eventually subduing him. Lincoln thanks Faraday and together they leave the theater, seeking a way to escape. A number of scenes follow, with Lincoln and Faraday fighting jump-suited henchmen, hiding from Red Ninjas, and rearranging vacuum tubes to activate a doorway. Faraday and Lincoln find a door marked 'exit', but before they can reach it, men dressed in traditional Native American outfits attack them. After a brief but intense battle, Faraday and Lincoln are victorious, but Lincoln's hat is knocked off in the scuffle. When he goes to retrieve it, both he and Faraday freeze: there are two identical hats, side by side. The two exchange glances, and Lincoln reaches for the hat on the left. Faraday exclaims, "wait!" but it's too late: as soon as Lincoln touches the hat, the hallucinogenic gas pours out and both men lose consciousness.
The view fades back in from black on Faraday, back at the theater, in Lincoln's seat and wearing Lincoln's clothes. Faraday seems totally oblivious to everything but the play, watching raptly. A number of extremely long, very close shots of Faraday's face follow; in intense inner struggle seems to be happening. The camera cuts to a view behind Faraday, and shows Booth from behind, sneaking up on Faraday with his pistol drawn. As Booth raises his weapon, a shot rings out. Faraday turns suddenly to see Booth, dead and fully human, lying on the ground. He turns back around to see where the shot came from. The camera cuts to show Faraday's view: inexplicably, a tall brick building in front of a blue sky (scholarly sources have noted that the building closely resembles the Texas School Book Depository). The camera zooms in on a figure in a window, which turns out to be Lincoln, in Faraday's Action Parka, wielding a sniper rifle. Lincoln waves at Faraday. The camera cuts back to Faraday, who waves back in a state of confusion. He then turns around, the camera closely focused on his face, as a look of mortal terror consumes him. The camera cuts to show what he's seeing: Booth's body is now his own, lying bloody and dead on the ground."

From ; I got really excited as I read about this show; holy fuck! It's like they put Jeff Rients back in time to save television.

So imagine my disappointment when I realized that this had to be an internet hoax (the "a Deleuzian Randorph-Retsobrenner Synchro-Phasic Fusilizer!" part is what tipped off my fevered sweaty brain). Regardless, the above internet bullshit is genius on so many levels that I think I have to have a Dungeon inspired by THE MAN FROM Y.E.T.I.; it would also make for a great Encounter Critical campaign!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

WORLDS COLLIDE! & Bad-Ass Acid Rock!

1) The Holidays can be a trying period regarding getting a gaming group together, with all the families and celebrations cutting in on our action.

That's why I'm thrilled that someone from the Internet is going to be playing some Fortress Eibon D&D over the Holiday Season! Albeit, I've met internet people before for D&D purposes; that's the source of my long-running infatuation with Red Box Vancouver.

However, I have a new first coming up; playing D&D with an Internet Person From Out-Of-Town!

Benoist/Oldahanan, a frequent poster on many RPG forums, is visiting Vancouver and both he and his wife are planning on playing in the three upcoming holiday Fortress Eibon/Red Box Vancouver games!

Constantcon indeed!

2) Are there any band more bad-ass than these guys? I think not!

Friday, December 16, 2011

[20 Questions Pt.1] I'm Omoraz the Grizzled

I'm a member in good standing in the Mercenary Brotherhood of Yam, not one of those scabs; anyways you fresh behind the ears delver assholes probably want to know this shit before you go strutting about the Yam Outskirts.
Now if you're one of those religious types and an adventurer than the Iron Temple,by the Mercenary Post in the Souk, is where you want to go if you're looking for healing. Iman Horopholis is the High Priest of the soldier god, Eitor, and he doesn't take kindly to Chaotic types. If you need more powerful blessings you would go to the Patriarch of Metazon in the Temple of the Father of the Universe in the West Side.

Now Chaotic types should go to the Court of Chaos in the Main, the neighborhood past the Mangle. I'm a honest, Lawful feller so I don't cotton to Chaos Demon worship, but I hear there's a Tent-Temple to Iashar the God of Madness in the Wastes run by some sunburned insane feller. There's also a shit-reeking temple to the Fly Lord, whatever the fuck that is. I hear desperate and depraved folks take their shit there and the disgusting, shit-smeared naked priests turn it into food for them!

Now, if you're looking for gear there's Sword Street, that runs through the Souk from the Mercenary Post past the Goods Bazaar and down to the Black Cobra. You can get all sorts of killing gear and armor from the vendors along it; anything else you can get from the Goods Bazaar, although there isn't any bargains to be had at either place but if you need custom armor made, you will find a smith on Sword Stree.

I figure that this hoochie mama that calls herself The Living Goddess The Scarlet Lady is probably the most powerful spell-caster in the area; although there's plenty of mighty Sorcerers about.

I hear that there's a brooding barbarian warchief, Brool Yoten The Undefeated, that's the mightiest swordslinger about.

There's plenty of rich folks in Yam City itself proper, but I'd say in the Outskirts the richest man would be a criminal vice lord that calls himself The Throttler; he runs the drugs and prostitution rackets in the Souk, the Mangle and Maim and I hear he takes a cut from the action in the West Side and the Mire as well.

If you Sorcerer types want to buy spells go to the West Side and find the Temple of Knowledge and Civilization in you're Lawful; Chaotics would go to the Warlock Court in the Mire; and others head to the Shrine of the Cunning One in the Mangle.

Now if you need a fancy hireling or specialist such as a Sage or Hireling most of them are inside Yam City itself, but otherwise you would go to the Temple of  Knowledge and Civilization for the reputable ones; Chaotic ones would be found at the Warlock Court. For the shady types I'd ask around at the Shrine of the Cunning One in the Mangle.

If you want to hire Lawful mercenaries go to the wooden stabbed full of swords in the Souk; that's the Mercenary Post where you hire members of my Brotherhood, if we find you in good standing with our organization. Otherwise see what you can find at the Black Cobra on Fight Street in the Mangle; if you want some really rough types look up the Vomit Demon Club in the Main.

If you manage to get yourself through the walls into Yam City itself be prepared to give up your fighting irons, armor, and magic items to the customs officers; they're a tight-assed lot, and they have all the time in the world since the spaceport never sees traffic. You can't carry anything bigger than a knife in the city; you can't wear armor; and you can't cast spells. It can be different on private property, but that can easily get you dead; legally dead.

If you want a drink you can get fermented goat and yak milk from vendors on Kebab Street off of the Goods Bazaar in the Souk; for wine, brandy and arrack you have to go in a tavern. Most adventurers go straight to the Black Cobra, where Sword Street ends at Fight Street.

There's a bunch of monsters that folks know from old fairtales and legends that are found in hellholes like Fortress Eibon and in the wilderness of the Yam Plateau; adventurer types often receive rumours about them from associates.

If you're a real hard ass type you can fistfight for gold in the alleys off of Fight Street in the Mangle; I hear there's private basement bloodsports, often to the death, in the Main.

I mentioned the Warlock Court before; I'd stay away from it, and especially something called the Shadow Lodge which is supposed to be a nest of of especially sinister cabals and cults.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Walls Have Ears

By "The Gecko"
The Gecko here with from the luxurious offices of the prestigious YAM DOME so gather for the gossip going round regarding the greedy gold grabbing gangs of tomb-robbers and thrill-chasers that we "love" so much!

The little half-swashbuckler/half-child, Culumbo the Brave (Halfling 5), leader of Columbo's Corsairs, has been seen with the legendary defending shortsword of fairy tales, Stahlkurtan, handing at his side. Word has it that the little man has been defensive about the apparent demise of a certain "beloved by the community" "loud" "pious" colleague. Perhaps that explains why he seems witless of late; maybe he's been descending into "certain habits" to assuage his guilty conscience?

Speaking of adventuring children, the "Viperhearted" "Witch-Child" Floria Khazam (Magic-User 5) with the "sweet disposition" that makes her "oh-so popular" in the community apparently somehow has purchased a suite in the upscale market district of Yam City itself! Not bad for a lady who hasn't even menstrated! Word is that a certain recent debacle involving the previously mentioned "loud & pious" delver in the Fortress rattled her a wee bit and that perhaps she's lost her nerve for delves within it? Well, who could blame such a dainty little child for getting spooked… Regardless, word is that she's even angrier and meaner as of late due to the unfortunate fact that The Corsairs may have lost a fair amount of puissant magical loot that was being used by their lost compatriot?

The Thought-Long-Lost-Prodigal-Son Bonspiel (Cleric 4) made an unexpected reappearance on the scene for a delve into the Fortress; word has it that the expedition was as part of some sort diplomatic junket with representatives of foreign adventuring guild? The foreign representative, Carter (Thief 2) and the "Stature-Challenged" Dreg (Dwarf 1), apparently made a good impression with the locals (shocking! I know) and word has it that the local delvers want to continue relations with these new arrivals on the scene.

Congratulations to Yet-Another-Short-Adventurer Griswald (Fighter 3) for receiving certification as a Swordmaster after his part in the aforementioned delve; representative Carter also apparently attained the rank of Robber in the Thieves Guild after his trip as well. Hmm, some can't help but wonder if the the guilds might not have been being generous as a "political" gesture? Certainly that junket erned some good press in the adventuring circles…

"The Handsome One" With The Voice That We All Love, Ballard (Fighter 2), has also been seen with a Magic Sword of some repute slapping on his thigh (although word has it that certain female practitioners of "another profession" have been lining to do the same as of late, and gratis to boot!), the Savage-Slaughterer-of-the-Slithering-Serpent-Things-Scimitar Scalesplitter! Apparently the golden boy is so flush with ensorcelled blades that he gave one to The Agonizingly-Boring Tangroth The Tepid (Fighter 1)! (When is a monster going to shut that guy up! Did his mother have any children that lived?) I guess Ballard is such a wildly successful adventurer that he's tripping over magic items in his cubicle at the Tarn Travellers Aid Society? Maybe he was feeling generous after an apparent brush-with death with an oversize Gecko? Hey, don't look at me friend; your buddy "The" Gecko had nothing to do with that mischief…

Anyways, word is that "The Mountain" Himself, Mustafa Mushafar was the Mercenary Brother that rescued both Ballard and Tangroth The Boring (Why did he save that guy? He must have been fishing for a tip…) after his "Charming" & "Not-At-All-Creepy" "Colleague" Bugoso " (Magic-User 2) left both of them to the tender mercies of those giant lizards after the scaly rascals ate one of the legs of the Former Adventurer And Now Lizard Food Mizenkine, who has just reached the rank of Warrior with the guilds. Let that be a lesson about getting cocky, careless, sloppy and dead after your first taste of advancement rookies!

Speaking of the Tarn Travellers Aid Society, word is that they've been making overtures to a certain "Invincible Overlord" about offering flights to adventurers in a certain "City-State." Word is that the proposal was meet with a less-than-overwhelming reception by a certain H.T.D…

The Geriatric And "Courageous" "One-Armed-Bandit" Mern The Blue (Magic-User 2) was seen in The Iron Temple recently; the buzz among the temple slaves is that he accepted some suicide mission to recover the remains of Saint Sangromar from the depths below the Fortress. Word is that they're guarded by something called a "Valpir." Our oh-so-educated "expert" sources tell us that "We think it's some sort of Vampire-Demon." Thanks guys, that why we pay you the big gold…

Drinking the Flailsnails Koolaid w/o Google+

My current D&D campaign, Fortress Eibon, is a FLAILSNAILS game (as is Red Box Vancouver). Except that I don't have a Google+ account or run any online games.

How does this work? Am I just attempting to be cool-by-association?

1) Any "legitimate" PC is welcome to play in a Fortress Eibon game (barring situations such huge level discrepancies between characters).

Your AD&D PC from your childhood campaign in the 80s? The welcome mat is out.

A PC from another current D&D game? Of course! Just keep it on the down low if your DM is a stick-in-the mud...

A PC from another edition of D&D? Chances are that the PC would be converted to a more orthodox character class for their Fortress Eibon follies, but come on in! (Just please don't whine about not having feats). For fancy-pants such as Monks, Illusionists, Paladins and Rangers I'd probably use the rules from OD&D/The Strategic Review or the Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion (with a bias-towards OD&D versions). But pretty much any non-insane oldschool character class is legit (i.e no UA Barbarians or Cavaliers please!).

A PC from another RPG system such as GURPS, Rolemaster, Tunnels & Trolls, Traveller, Villains & Vigilantes or Call of Cthulhu? Yep, as long as you're okay with my interpretation of their D&D incarnation. (CoC characters adventuring in Fortress Eibon? Sounds like those investigators are having a Dreamlands escapade).

This came up when I found a stack of old lost 3.5 and 4E character sheets for the players in group in my office, "Whoah! There's a whole lotta Fortress Eibon fodder here!"

2) Your PCs are welcome to buy goods offered for sale in the Flailsnails marketplace such as kickass Erol Otus armor. or Everburning Torches of Dundagel. (I wonder if any enterprising Flailsnails PCs will set themselves up as trans-mileu merchants?)

3) You are welcome to run your Fortress Eibon PC in other DMs' dungeons, games and campaigns. You own them, not I.

Let the Dragonborn and Devil Hooker Tiefling influx commence! (I will totally try to kill any Dragonborn or Tiefling PCs that wander into my dungeon...)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Temples of the Outskirt Camp of Yam

The Gold House (Lawful)
Located next to the Goods Bazaar, the Gold House is the temple of Ophurton the Master of Profits. It's wall are of pyrite block and the roof is painted gold. Money changers congregate in the temple and will buy gold and gems for full price while charging 5% for exchanging coinage; there is also a bank with free withdrawals but a 10% charge on deposit, they will not store anything but currency.

The Iron House (Lawful)
Located next to the Mercenary Post, the Iron House is a temple of both Eitor the Father of Soldiers and Vaikhal the Inexorable Iron Wheel, this squat ugly trapezoidal building is of rust red sandstone with massive valves roughly forged from swords and armor.
The offices and barracks of the Mercenary Brotherhood are located in the Iron House where Mercenary Officer may be solicited for employ; as well there are smithies where skilled weapon and armor smiths can make custom items; the temple will buy magic weapons and armor; and there is also an infirmary where the following services are available:
cure blindness 1,000 gp
cure disease 1,000 gp
cure light wounds 100 gp
sure serious wounds 350 gp
cure critical wounds 600 gp
neutralize poisonn 1,000 gp
raise dead 4,500 gp
regenerate 15,000 gp

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Goods Bazaar of the Yam Outskirts Camp

Caravans from many distant lands converge at Yam, "The Second-Oldest City in the World." In order to avoid the tariffs on goods imported into the City of Yam itself, merchants attempt of offload as much stock as possible in the camp outside the city walls.

The inhabitants of the Outskirts Camp take advantage of this situation and offer a wide range of equipment for the adventurers that come through the camp. These merchants will not haggle over their prices, as "adventurers have far too much gold coming through their hands for it to be seemly for them to attempt to gouge a humble merchant of the money that he uses to support his wife and children."

Standard arms and weapons are available for standard prices, and prices for other gear and supplies available can be found here:

The Mercenary Brotherhood of Yam

In the camps outside the walls of Yam stands a massive wooden post with several notched rusty swords thrust into it. Known as the Mercenary Post, where the members of the Mercenary Brotherhood of Yam congregate when they are seeking work.

The members of this guild are all capable fighting-men and they are unyielding in their demands when negotiating with adventurers, patiently explaining that they can always do safe easy work for aristocrats or caravans instead and they are free to refuse any offers.

They all communicate their experiences with their clients with their brothers, and adventuring parties can quickly develop a bad reputation and even be blacklisted by the Mercenaries if they exhibit excessive disregard for the well-being their members.

They will insist on receiving a one-half share of non-magical treasure for every Mercenary Brother hired; if the party has a dangerous reputation it instead becomes a full share per Mercenary.

If a Mercenary dies during a delve his share of treasure is explicitly not void, and will be given to either the surviving Mercenaries of the Brotherhood itself for distribution to the Brother's spouse and children.

The Brothers expressly do not provide any services other than guarding and fighting. They are not bearers or servants or labourers or slaves. They will not bear any baggage or supplies, aside for their share of treasure, provisions, arms, and such. They do not open doors or chests or sacks or anything else. They do not search through rubble or garbage or bodies or anything else. They do not drink strange liquids or read strange writing or go first into unknown or potentially hazardous regions.

They will provide stalwart and valiant service, but will not or battle overwhelming odds when retreat is an option, attack giant or otherwise excessively dangerous monsters, or otherwise throw their lives away.

They are a democratic and egalitarian organization where every member has a say in their policies and regulations, although they have a Secretary-Steward-Treasurer, Brother Mustafa "The Mountain" Musharaf, who speaks for the Brotherhood when necessary.

The Tarn Travellers Aid Society

Utilizing giant birds called Tarns, which are though to be a smaller species of Roc or a variety of Giant Eagle, the Tarn TravellerzAid Society provides passage for adventurers between major cities. Currently the Society provides regular flights between Threshold, Restenford, Ormok and Yam; they are able for charter flights from other milieus and are attempting to obtain permission to operate in the City State of the Invincible Warlord.

The Society is quite old, and tales speak of them transporting heroes between Blackmoor and Greyhawk in the earliest ages. It is funded by a secretive consortium of private interests, such as merchants, temples, sages and aristocrats, that is known as the Flailsnails Society, that operates in order to facilitate delving in regions where it is considered desirable for adventurers to operate. As such it provides its services for free, but it must be noted that, for reasons of minimizing the risks of their operation, do not offer any flights except between the cities they service, and expressly do not offer transit to locations in the wilderness, adventuring sites, military targets, and the like.

It is whispered that otherworldly godlike beings are behind the Flailsnails Society, and that many of the improbable coincidences and deux ex machina that occur to adventurers are engineered by the Society.

Friday, December 9, 2011

[Fortress Eibon] Yes my friend? I am Mustafa!

As you see Mustafa is tall like a mountain with arms as massive as a fat woman's thighs. You can tell how mighty Mustafa is by his massive me shake it!

Mustafa wields a great shamshir as he is very strong yet Mustafa is graceful too. I wear a shirt of mail as plate armor is too restrictive as it slows one down.

My other brother mercenaries were angry with conniving adventurers and their dangerous delves into Fortress Eibon and sought easy work guarding fat merchants. Not Mustafa, I am brave and mighty, yet not foolhardy as I have a lovely plump wife and happy children.

So Mustafa stood alone in the mercenary square, shirtless to show off my virility with my big arms and great hairy belly. Some adventurers came and sought Mustafa's shamshir for their delve and after they found that elderly idiot Heramphalmos we sought out Fortress Eibon.

There were four adventurers. A handsome warrior with a voice like music named Ballard who Mustafa had heard many good things about. There was also an ill-favored Sorcerer name Bugoso who spoke with a rasping croak and seems unsavory and unclean. There was a fighting-man named Tangroth the Tepid who seemed simple. And another swordsman named Mezinkine.

Ballard had two magic swords, one of the the legendary serpent-thing bane named "Scalesplitter." He is open handed and gave his lesser magic sword to Tangroth.

We ventured into the Fortress and found what looked like the remains of a tavern. There was an attached inn and the delvers searched the rooms.

In one room they found several delicate butterflies of blue, green and purple glass. One of the delvers tried to grab them and they started flying. A fool tried to knock one out of the air with a spear shaft and it exploded, making others explode. Also the bones of some men attacked us.

In the ruins of the larder several bottles of valuable spiced brandy were found. One of the fools of an adventurer drank one and was woozy from the narcotic spices in the liquor!

While searching through rubbish Ballard found a grub burrowing in his arm; the creepy sorcerer Bugoso used a charm to render them both asleep and the foul worm was slain.

We searched a stable and found a huge pile of bloody horse bones with a severed arm and the body of a brother mercenary with a crushed head lying on top. We left quickly.

There was a well and the adventurers sought to explore it, but the fools did not bring sufficient rope! Fortunately Mustafa has a long, strong silk sash and he lowered them down into wet caves. They said they found gold and silver coins, a battered broken copper statue of a satyr that the sought to bring up, but it was far too heavy. I know not why but fool adventurers scoff at copper coins yet drool over heavy, old copper statues.

They said that they found many huge toads and fled the caves. Mustafa is mighty and was easily able to hold his sash while they climbed up.

We explored a tower and found a mural of gladiators as well as many coins and a secret room. We heard hissing and smelled a foul stench so we used the secret room, which had two entrances, to avoid these unknown reeking hissers.

After we exited the tower Ballard sneaked back in and returned immediately; he said that he saw scaly things that used illusion to look like walls!

Later we explored another part of the tower where there was a huge pile of man-bones, coins and stairs leading up the tower. But a huge gray lizard ran on the wall like a gecko and grabbed Ballard's handsome head in it's huge jaws. Another one grabbed Tangroth the Tepid while a third grabbed Mizenkine by a leg, pulled it off and ran away with the bloody limb.

Seeing that Mizenkine was dead and the two other fighting-men were being eaten by huge geckos the cowardly sorcerer Bugoso fled!

Heramphalmos beat the lizards with his broom while I cut them to pieces with my mighty shamshir.

We tended to the two unconscious warriors; Tangroth recovered his sense, albeit in a feeble state, so we left him to catch up while Mustafa carried Ballard back to the outskirts of Yam. Bugoso was shocked to see us, the cur!

A week later the two injured ones recovered and the adventurers brought another sword into their fold; I remember not his name but he did survive.

We found a fighting pit littered with the debris of gladiatorial games; we ascended a stair where we found of room with many heaps of tentacled jellies that terrified the party. We also found the ruins of decadent luxurious lounges.

In the fighting pit there were three doors. From two was heard the sounds of an unceasing battle; behind the other was stairs descending to a gaol with many cells full of the bones of unfortunate souls. There was also an exit full of a putrescent green mist from which was also heard the sounds of battle.

Coins and a magic shield were found in the cells before the fighting-man whose name escapes Mustafa was struck down by spinning discs fired from strange mushrooms; the party fled but went back for their struck down companion who was yet still breathing and we returned to the outskirts of Yam.

Although Ballard is a gentleman, the others conspired to short the idiot Heramphalmos of his fair share of treasure as the old fool cannot count higher than ten. Such behavior is talked about, you can be sure of that my friend!

A week later another group of adventurers solicited Mustafa. A short warrior name Griswold; a shifty Cleric named Bonspiel and his henchman, a Thief that also dabbled in sorcery who was named Kronen; a very short man with a beard named Dreg; and another Thief named Carter.

Dreg and Carter bought several kebabs of heavily garliced and curried camel meat and we ventured to the Fortress; vultures and jackals were following us and I told the delvers to not pass out drunk in the scrub or such beasts would eat their faces!

We ventured down the stairs of the southwest tower and found a catacombs full of neatly swept broken bones and a pair of luxurious black silk pantaloons with gold trim. They offered them to me, but even such fine baggy pantaloons were far too small for Mustafa the Mountain!

A room with skull pillars and a pit was found. It looked as if heavy furniture had been pushed into the pit, scraped the stone floor. Bonspiel laughed and said that obviously other adventurers had been here before.

There was also a branching tunnel only five feet wide and tall; we had to enter it single file and us tall ones had too crouch. As it was far too cramped to use my shamshir Mustafa took his great knife and held it between his teeth as he crawled through the passages.

We found a dead end, but not before Bonspiel was shot by a poisoned dart! Fortunately the venom was weak and only made him pass wind of an incredibly foul nature. After Griswold spotted some watery feces on the floor Bonspiel admitted that when he passed the wind he also passed liquid night soil and it was dripping down his leg.

He took off his pant, used a flask of holy water and a waterskin to clean himself, and than put on the fancy pantaloons that we found earlier.

The pantaloons began writhing and Bonspiel started screaming that they were twisting his testicles off! Fortunately the pantaloons were cut into ribbons before the Cleric was made into a Eunuch!

Further down the tunnels Griswold was caught by spores ejected by mushrooms and started coughing a choking uncontrollably; he recovered and oil was used to burn the mushrooms.

We found cells full of bones; in one we found silver and in another there was several round boulders the size of heads and the glint of coins.

Griswold investigated and the boulders revealed fanged jaws and began rolling at him! He retreated to the cramped tunnel and used his shield to block the entrance. It sounded like giant hail as the toothy rocks bounced off his shield, but one got past and bit his elbow while another rolled under him and bit his rump!

I cut that one in half with my great knife and a crowded battle with the rolling hungry stones began. I smashed more with my knife hilt and we kept shouting at Carter the Thief that if he shot his bow he would strike one of us instead in these tight quarters.

The rocks were defeated; they had bloody red insides and Dreg took them, claiming that they should be good to eat. Mustafa is dubious of eating such unnatural things; I will stick to goat and camel thank you.

We found a stair and descended further into damp, slimy caverns where we stumbled across a pack of squat, man-like toad things. They began croaking and one spoke like a man.

It turned out that Griswold was able to parley with them and they asked us to slay a band of shaggy men that had been plaguing them. Griswold asked if any of them would aid us in this task and their spokestoad, who was named Bogodugog, agreed to guide us.

As the toad-thing led us through the tunnels we were surprised by a slithering babbling reptile that resembled a King-Tyrant Lizard, if it was only slightly of more stature than I Mustafa. It had several Lizard Man followers and it looked like a battle was imminent but Bogogadugog was able to convince them to leave us be and let us pass in his croaking, babbling tongue.

Bogogadugog led us to a spot just before the entrance to the shaggy men's lair. Dreg and Kronen advanced with the intention of ambushing them with flasks of flaming oil, but they had been anticipating us and were attacked by two greasy men with filthy long hair and beards.

They were clad in tattered leathers and had crude morningstars. One of them struck Kronen's arm off with a mighty blow and the Thief-Dabbler fell to the ground where the flask of flaming oil shattered on his face and set his head afire.

There was a might battle! Mustafa disemboweled one with my great knife and had a hearty laugh at the cur's death!

I should have not laughed at such, as I was struck in the gut by one of the spiked clubs and was sorely wounded!

We pulled back where we could attack from both flanks. Blood was gushing from the grievous wound in my belly but we continued to cut down these filthy jackals. I grabbed one by the eyes and with a mighty stroke of my knife cut off his head and threw it at his brothers!

Soon we had slain all of them, with even the toad-thing aiding in the battle. We found their coins and a foul larder of rotting corpses. We returned to the outskirts of Yam with our bounty and Mustafa returned to his plump wife and his beloved dear babies to recover from the deep wound in my belly.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Massive 24(+-) Player Game Tonight!

Thursday is Red Box Vancouver's current gaming night, which I have been using to run Fortress Eibon (relevant aside: when you have a megadungeon with one group playing every week and another playing every third week, unsurprisingly one group gets waaaay ahead in xp, gold, and magic swords!).

We've been wooing the local RPG Meetup group and scammed them into coming down tonight, which is awesome as the more folks the better.

I just check the #'s attending on the meetup page, and with the RSVPs and the regular RBV crew, it looks like there will be 24-odd folks playing tonight. We did arrange for two DMs tonight, but still, thats's still an eleven players per DM ratio.

The largest group I've ever ran is eight players.

I need to start guzzling some Red Bulls...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fortress Eibon Delvers' Advisory Announcement

Due to multiple expeditions by multiple parties, the first level of Fortress Eibon has been declared "pretty much cleared" with "only a few measly scraps of treasure remaining."

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's Culumbo...

...Mern and I went back into Eibon with Ballard and some more men.

Floria's divinations show a cache of gold just below the main courtyard, so rather than blindly roaming around the halls getting lost and trying to find our way I decided that we'd try to smash directly through the floor bypassing whatever ghosts and coopers and giant dogs were waiting around for us to come by.

It was a bad plan and it went badly. More undead horses attacked while we were digging, they must have come from the adjacent stables and they killed a couple of the men. Digging through the floor is too slow and attracts too much attention. I guess we'll have to go back to prowling the halls for gold instead of mining for it.

It's getting harder and harder to find men to accompany us into the fortress. The surviving mercenaries are upset by how things went today. I dont think the cleric who lost his arm will be coming back either.

I don't know how he did it but Ballard convinced the mercenaries to come back with us. Another professional came with us too. I don't believe his reasons for coming to Eibon are good, but whose are? He seems like he can hold his own in a dungeon which is nice since I've been surrounded by amateurs and sorcerers since Merrigold was lost.

We were able to actually make our way pretty efficiently, coordinating ourselves and cutting down some spider creatures and coopers without any injury or loss of life to speak of.

Everything went to shit when we found the impaled man. He had already been run through and half a dozen swords were stuck in him. The creature (I do not like to call it a man) should have been easily dispatched but it was unfazed when we struck and our weapons became stuck in its flesh. The Serpenthelm figured out that the weapons in it seem to empower it and we pulled them out, felling it but not before it struck Mern down. The old man was in rough shape but we were able to get him out of the fortress and heal his internal injuries.

I don't know or understand the details of Mern's connection to myself but I do not think it can be mere luck that such a feeble man is struck down so often and always recovers. It demonstrates a resilience which he does not otherwise appear to posess.

While we waited for Mern to recover I sought out Heraphalmos. The poor man is still searching for his prodigal wife. I fear we do him a great disservice every time we bring him into Eibon as the coins which he inevitably squanders cannot be worth his risk of life and limb. On the other hand, I'm able to watch out for him in the fortress and the streets and markets outside Yam are not especially safe. So I tell myself though I cannot deny that his presence is a comfort to me when we face with the horrors of Eibon.

We have made plans to reenter the fortress in a few days time and Heraphalmos has agreed to accompany us.

I saw a lady
and I saw myself
everything hurt so bad for so long
it was so bad forever
I can't go back
why would anyone go in there?
we're going to see the priests tomorrow, but i dont think i'm hurt. Maybe one of the others is. probably Mern. I hope Sweeper is okay.
I think the serpenthelm is helpful?
I trust him and Mern and Ballard and Sweeper
but I dont ever want to go back into Eibon

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Demonspore - Review Part I

This is the first part of a review of Matt Finch's latest Swords & Wizardry product, "Demonspore," published by Mythmere Games, available in both print and PDF versions. This review is of the free review copy of the PDF.

The first part of the review is an first impressions overview of the product; the forthcoming second part will dig into the guts of this adventure.

Spoilers will About... Be Forewarned

Demonspore is a two part dungeon adventure for characters of levels 3-6.

It involves sinister fungus beings seeking the rebirth of a dead fungus god, and their manipulations of a group of toad people. An enterprising DM could easily incorporate this adventure with other campaign elements such as The Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom; the cults of Tsathoggua or Zuggotomy; the Sporecery Guild; etc. It also affords great opportunity for a plot-driven "Heroic Goody-Two Shoes" campaign, "Elminster needs you, the lawful heroes, to stop this wicked plan!"

I'm a big fan of Matt Finch's line art, and would have preferred such a rendition of the cover art as opposed to the painting which is a bit too muddy for me. I do think that Matt could illustrate an excellent children's book if he continued painting.

The lurid & rugose interior art, by Jason Sholtis, is uniformly excellent. I find it evocative of the subject matter and fun.

I'm unsure who is responsible for the cartography, but it is both clear and attractive. The maps are fairly non-linear and appear to offer significant tactical options.

The adventure begins with 3 pages of Exposition and Referee Notes. Usually I HATE HATE HATE such content if it runs longer than a couple of paragraphs (see Pathfinder adventures for an example), but in this instance I don't mind.

The clean layout makes the above information (and the rest of the adventure) easy to find information and read, as opposed to the HATE HATE HATE of run-on tiny text and spidery handwritten font sidebar in Pathfinder. It is also concise, clear, and doesn't dive into unnecessary text bloat.

I'm not meaning to turn this into a Pathfinder bash fest, but usually the Referee Exposition in a Pathfinder adventure takes an entire damn page to communicate a couple of paragraphs of information ....blame it on getting paid by the word? Although Demonspore does feature extensive introductory text, it is also efficient.

The adventure seems amenable to multiple approaches by the players: kick in the door, diplomacy/guile, stealth. There are several opportunities for interaction with NPCs, some of which appear to quite worthwhile, and the possibility of in-dungeon allies and resupply. Important NPCs are provided with concise histories and motivations, making them three-dimensional without the author falling into the black hole of frustrated fantasy author syndrome.

There is an appendix with several new monsters, which I like and are appropriate for the adventure. My favorite, hands-down, has to be the Toad-Hydra, which is part of a great encounter.

I appreciate the lists of all of the monsters/encounters in the adventure, provided in order for a referee to strike off ones already slain and plan monster tactics.

At this point I very much quite like Demonspore and am planning on purchasing the print version.

The product is attractive, clear, organized, and well-laid out, and should be easy to consult while running the game.

I like the setting, players, and plot, and could easily use it in my games, in many different ways. I get the impression that it has been thoroughly playtested and gone over with quality control in mind.

Useable for Megadungeon levels? Check!
NPC-assigned Heroic Quest/Investigation? Check!
Fodder for some beer-and-pretzel hack'n'slash play? Check!

My assessment of Demonspore at this point is uniformly Excellent, being imaginative, well-crafted, and versatile. Now I need to get it printed out and thoroughly picked over for part II of this review.

Wacky Sandbox Idea

The following is an idea I came up while discussing the merits of hexcrawling using a established mileau such as Mystara as opposed to hexcrawling through Terra Incognito.

So you have a traditional old-tyme sandbox hexcrawl game. You have the city of Whiteplainrockeagle and the associated megadungeon of Castle Whiteplainrockeagle a short walk from the city.

Surrounding these environs are the howling wilderness, which is the traditional Wilderlands - Post Apocalyptic OD&D environs.

Even though the players begin in an established civilized community they don't have a map of the surrounding region. Maps aren't available.

People do travel through the wilds, and there are other communities, but the layout of the land is not common knowledge. Most people never travel more than five miles from where they were born, the wilds are full of savage dangers, and the merchants that travel from city to town to city in armed caravans jealously protect their proprietary knowledge of travel routes.

As far as the PCs go, once you travel out of line-of-site of the Free City of Whiteplainrockeagle for all intents and purposes you are in Terra Incognito.

They players map the wilds as they travel through it, and as....

a) There aren't maps of the wilderness


b) There's no commonly known body of lore about the features of the wilderness

Than it follows that the features of this wilderness are unnamed.

Which means...

The PCs would be the ones that would name the various forests, rivers, mountains, etc. that they come across.

Which would be pretty damn cool!

Also, Check Out These Awesome Lurid Eighties Tunnels & Trolls Solo Adventure Covers (color ones starting at the third row down). I would love to see OSR products with similar cover styles! One of the Goodman Games DCC adventures has a similar style.

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's Heramphalmos

Have you seen my wife? I married her a week ago. She's very pretty. She was so pretty that men would give her money to sleep with her! I gave her all my money before I went adventuring with my new friends so if I died she would be rich. I didn't die and I swept up enough treasure that I'm still rich even though I can't find my wife or my fortune. I gave her over ten gold pieces!

We went back into that spooky castle. They said the mean witch girl had used magic to find gold! There was a cleric who had a tattoo of a goat on his face. He looked like someone from under the bridge where I grew up.

There was also a mercenary. He didn't want to go but I heard that he needed a lot of money because he isn't very good at gambling.

We were attacked by big flies! One tried to bite me and I hit it with my broom and than Columbo cut it in half! He's a good friend of mine and is very short and brave.

He opened a door and a ghost attacked him and he killed it with a broken sword! There was a lot of all kinds of money!

We went in a big courtyard and the giant metal doors were open!

We found a bunch of skeletons in a pile of junk. There was an owl that was hooting in a room with a broken rotten bed. Mern, he's very old, was brave! He talked to the owl in owl talk and found some potions. He dropped one on the floor for the owl to lick up and Mern got down like a dog and licked up the potion as well. He said it didn't taste good. There was a lot of garbage on the floor.

Ballard found a sword in the garbage! It was short but very fancy. Ballard gave it to Columbo when he found another shiny sword with a longer blade. That was after the jelly things full of eyeballs and teeth came and chewed one the little mean girl before Mern put them to sleep with magic. We squished them than, it felt funny when the eyeballs squished under my feet!

We found a bunch of treasure and than Columbo found a big floating ball with a big eye and he tried to get away and the witch girl shot the eye monster and Columbo with a bolt of witch lightning. It blew up the monster but Columbo was all burned up!

We went back than and I couldn't find my wife! Mern used magic to read the writing on the swords Ballard found. I need to learn that spell because I can't read either.

The magic sword that Ballard gave to Columbo is famous! I remember hearing about it in fairy tales! It has a name, Steel-Curtain, and Mern said it was a plus-five-defender! Five is half of ten, so that's a pretty big number!

We went back to the castle, but the little witch girl stayed behind and a loud cleric came with us.

I stayed with Ballard because he is nice while others went into a big room full of horse bones. Mern, the old man with a crippled arm, was looking for a secret door and a big tall horse skeleton punched him and he fell down.

They started fighting the horse skeleton and it punched the mercenary in the head. It flew apart in pieces! The loud cleric was dragging Mern away from the fighting and the horse skeleton punched one of his arms off! He fell down like Mern but Mern was puking blood. It also looked like Mern was peeing blood and pooping blood. The cleric just had blood coming out from where his arm used to be.

My friend Columbo killed the horse skeleton and we found some silver! We went back to town and I told the dead mercenary's friends what happened to him. They were not happy!

I couldn't find my wife and we went back to the castle after Mern and the loud cleric recovered. They had to take Mern to the soldier temple because blood wouldn't stop coming out of his bum!

We climbed the rope to the murder floor again! We had to pull up Mern and the loud cleric because neither of them have two working arms! It was hard because the loud one disappeared in the magic dark on the roof and he is really strong!

At the soldier shrine Mern asked the priest to fix his arm and was told to go deep underground and get the bones of a saint from the lair of a monster called a Valpyr with snake people and headless dogs and fire drakes! Mern said he would do it later, that's very brave of him! The priest said the bones were ten levels below the castle. That's deep because ten is the biggest number!

We went through a long tunnel and down stairs to where we found a lot of bones. A skeleton attacked and more attacked and skulls were laughing and talking and we broke them all. We found a secret door and than some little pale rat man things.

The cleric with the goat face tattoo on his face started talking to the little rat men in the evil language and they used magic to make his head explode! We killed them but one of them ate the loud cleric's neck and he died and Mern got a wand that shoots magic missiles. That's what they used to kill the cleric with a goat face on his face!

We also found money! That's why I'm still rich even though I can't find my wife. I have a house now! It's called a lean-to. It had a hooka that my wife used to smoke opium but that's gone now as well. I still have my mat that I sleep on. I made it out of rags and leaves. It's colder now that I can't find my wife.