Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Soul Eater - A NOT S Generic Creature for the Crypts & Things Setting

Soul Eater

“Always be on guard, lad. Always watch the dark corners of the world. We think the bugbears and goblins and that which we see is the face of evil. Watch the darkness or you will see evil, my boy.” – Willhim Tonks letter 45b.

Fiends from the Outside that have found their way to the world of men who slink and crawl in the darkness, always just out of view, dancing in the edge of a man’s vision. The Soul Eater is a tall, willowy emaciated being with a vaguely humanoid frame. It moves from shadow to shadow, staying out of the light if it can.

A Soul Eater will always attack with Surprise, their first attack will be a mental strike meant to paralyze its target. Should the Soul Eater fail to paralyze its target it may not attempt to paralyze that target again.  

Type: Demon, Lesser
Hit Dice: 5
Armour Class: 4 [16]
Attack: 4 Claws (4d6), Bite (1d4)
Saving Throw: 12
Special: Lesser Drain Level (Save Negates), Magic Resistance <50%, Paralyzing Gaze (Save Negates), Shadow Step
Move: 6 [30’]
Challenge Level/XP: 7/600

Lesser Drain Level - If the Soul Eater bites a target it will attempt to suck the “soul” from the target. If the target fails its saving throw it will lose one level per successful  lesser Drain Level attempt.
-          Every day after the target of the Lesser Drain Level may make a Constitution Roll on a d20, if they meet or beat their Constitution score the may regain a level.

Paralyzing Gaze – The Soul Eater focuses its full intent on a single target (the target needs not be looking or even know about the soul eater). The target must then make a successful saving throw or be paralyzed for 1d6 rounds.

Shadow Step – The Soul Eater may use the available shadows to move any distance. However it takes a full turn before it will reappear.

Skeletal Horror - Generic Creatures for Any Setting

A short post today coming after 3 days of little kid birthday party, playing with (or held hostage by) a 2-year-old obsessed with "pomys!" (My Little Pony:FIM).

I am starting to notice a theme with my "generic creatures" and that is horror movie. I need to broaden myself in that regard!
Anyway! Enjoy the creature folks!

Skeletal Horror

Armor Class: 5 [14]
Hit Dice: 2+2
Attacks: Charge 2d6, Strike 1d6
Special: Charge, Regenerate
Move: 12 [60']
CL/XP: 2/30

Charge - moves up to its move limit in a lopping sprint, slamming into the target with its shoulder. target makes a saving throw if successful hit by the Charge ability. If the saving throw is failed the target is knocked prone.

Regenerate - Creature regains 2 hit points every two rounds.


Large admonitions created from the splintered, shattered bones of the dead.  Skeletal Horrors tower over their prey, growing bigger and meaner as they absorb more bone. Vaguely ape like in appearance the Skeletal Horror is single-minded in its destructive nature and need to rend, rip and kill.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Map by Any Other Name

The marvelous +matt jackson has created a map named after me over at his blog Lapsus Calumni. Go and take a look, its awesome.

The Highlander - Raceless Classes of Eira

While "The Lands of Eira" primarily has class-specific races the plan for the setting is to have four "raceless" classes. Obviously, this means that the class is open to more than a single, default race. However, there still exists limitations to what races can play one of these classes. As shown below with "The Highlander" the class is only open to the mortal races in the setting.

As an aside, I was extraordinarily tempted to add a class ability titled "There Can Be Only One!" 

As always this is open for anyone to use in their home games, however, I do ask that if it is used that you send any feedback you may have to geniuslocigames@gmail.com.

The Highlander
Highlanders are warriors, lovers, and slayers. Men and women of the high north, among the mountains and valleys. They are nomads and reavers of a harsh cold land soaked in the blood of eternal clan war.

Many Highlands rarely leave their homelands except on raids to the lowlands. Those that do, do so for many reasons. A search for adventure, exile from their people, or maybe they seek to become kings in their own right.

Prime Attribute: Constitution& Dexterity 13+ (5% experience bonus)
Hit Dice: 1d10
Weapons permitted: Any
Armor/Shield Permitted: Light/no shields
Races: Cat-Sith, Dwarf, Human
Battle born:  Add Strength, Constitution and Dexterity modifiers to AC score
Tough: Constitution scores over 15 grant an additional +2 to HP per level


Highlander Class Abilities

Dexterity Bonus - Unlike other character classes and the Fighter Strength Bonus, Highlanders with a high Dexterity can have bonuses to hit and to damage.

Fury - When a Highlander kills a target he may attack another target that is up to 12 feet away in the same turn.

Oncoming Storm - The Highlander has a 60% chance of dealing double damage when he rushes a target.

Uncanny Dodge - See Sidebar

Establish a Clan (9th Level) - At ninth level a Highlander may make the choice to return to his homeland and establish a Clan to attract a body of Thanes who will swear loyalty to the character.

Table 1: Highlander Uncanny Dodge Ability
Dexterity Score
Enemy Attack Penalty
12
-1
13
-2
14
-3
15
-4
16
-5

Art 2007 Andrew Stilysh

Level
EXP
HD (d10)
Saving Throw
1
0
1
14
2
2,500
2
13
3
5,000
3
12
4
10,000
4
11
5
20,000
5
10
6
40,000
6
09
7
80,000
7
08
8
160,000
8
07
9
320,000
9
06
10
420,000
10
05
11+
+100,000
+2
04


Friday, July 26, 2013

Me Too - Answers to Random Wizard's 20 Question

(1). Race (Elf, Dwarf, Halfling) as a class? Yes or no?

     - Yes and No. In Eira, each Race has class options only available to that race.

(2). Do demi-humans have souls?

     - Mortal demi-humans, yes. Immortal demi-humans like Elves and Pixies, no.

(3). Ascending or descending armor class?

     - Ascending.

(4). Demi-human level limits?

     - No, but I think that should be countered by having it become harder for demi-humans to level after a certain point.

(5). Should thief be a class?

     - Yes. To me, thieves/rogues are an essential class to the fantasy roleplaying genre.

(6). Do characters get non-weapon skills?


     - Maybe? I think it worked very well in 3.5, Pathfinder and 4e, but it makes it so much simpler to just play it by ear.

(7). Are magic-users more powerful than fighters (and, if yes, what level do they take the lead)?


     - Yes, and around level 5 in my opinion

(8). Do you use alignment languages?


     - No. Racial languages.

(9). XP for gold, or XP for objectives (thieves disarming traps, etc...)?


     - XP for objectives. 

(10). Which is the best edition; ODD, Holmes, Moldvay, Mentzer, Rules Cyclopedia, 1E ADD, 2E ADD, 3E ADD, 4E ADD, Next ?

     - ODD and its derivatives with 3.5 being a runner up.


Bonus Question: Unified XP level tables or individual XP level tables for each class?


Individual XP tables.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Road - Generic Creatures for Any Setting

The Road

The Road is not really a road but a Presence and Force of the natural world that corrupts and changes its hunting grounds to suit its needs as a trap for the unwary. The road exists not here or there, but between realities and cannot be easily defeat by conventional means.

The road that never ends the tunnel with no light on the other-side, the old trail that goes on, the trees growing nearer and nearer. All are manifestations of The Road, a warping of reality to create a never-ending trap for its prey. The Presence that is The Road waits and bids its time until its target tires and collapses, for the best food is the food that has been marinated in fear and madness.

Hit Dice: 15
Armor Class: -1 [21]
Attacks: None
Saving Throw: 3
Special: Warp Reality, Despair
Move: 0
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 15/2,900

Warp Reality – The Road can manipulate reality in a three mile radius around its center. The Road can change the laws of physics and physical properties of anything non-sentient within the confines of the three mile radius of the ability; in essence creating a temporary pocket universe in which to trap its prey.

Despair – The Road can affect the minds of any creature that has been within the confines of its Warped Reality (Saving Throw -4) causing them to enter a state of great despair and depression. In this state all actions martial and magical have a -2 modifier.

Escaping The Road – Escaping The Road is a trial unto itself as the prey first has to discover that they are in fact caught in The Road’s trap. Once this is discerned the prey need to lock down all emotion for five turns (Saving throw +number of turn). If the prey is successful in repressing his emotions The Road will retreat its influence over reality, effectively releasing the prey due to the lack of food the prey’s emotion provides.

Primeval Thule - Kickstarter Barking



A new RPG kickstarter from some WOTC alumni. It looks good and has some neat rewards. The setting is compatible with $e, Pathfinder and 13th Age. Oh and did I mention that it is basically a Howard vs Lovecraft setting? Oh yes, yes indeed.

Why am I supporting this book?

1. Howard vs. Lovecraft
2. Richard Baker
3. Ed Greenwood stretch goal.

Primeval Thule has 6 days left so check it out and support if you think the concept is quite worthy. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

5-Minute Adventures – Whitebox

The following is a quick adventure meant to "fill the gaps". My apologizes for the crude map. I did not have proper supplies or hardware and was limited to MSPaint.

If anyone happens to run this adventure please tell me how it went and what improvements I could make to it.

I can be e-mailed at: geniuslocigames@gmail.com

 Rats in Well

Introduction

There always seems to be a place in any long game, a place where the adventure is done, the heroes have completed their tasks, saved the princess, and collected their pay. A place in a game where everyone just mills around, doing their shopping and the Referee is desperately trying to figure out how to introduce his flock to their next employer.

That is the purpose of the five-minute adventures. A simple, quick adventure that can take place anywhere in the Referee’s world urban or rural.

These adventures will not follow standard layout for adventures or modules as they are meant to be quickly copy-pasted from the Genius Loci Blog.

Enjoy!

Background

The Broach of Dai was the first and only creation of a young mage whose name was forgotten long ago. An enchantment held in suspension by the imprisoned Life Elemental of Life within a ruby broach. The energies to create the broach killed the young wizard and the broach passed to the fool looters who dared to take it.

Rumor and myth have it that the broach can grant a single wish, but when it does the enchantment wears off and the power of the imprisoned Elemental of Life ebbs away.

The Adventure

The Inn
After a long adventure in the wilds the adventurers are finally setting down at their favorite inn or a random inn along the roadside. The night is a stormy one, and the inn is packed to bursting with travelers and locals trying to escape the cold rain with a warm hearth and cup.

The fire burns merrily as barmaids sway and dodge and slap errant hands, the bartender busily serves drinks from his bar and the smell of cooking meats flow through the air.

Up on a small stage a woman sings a merry tone of adventures won and loves lost. Beside her, sitting on a stole, a man runs his fingers expertly over a lyre. The night is a good one, despite the storm but that cannot be for long.  

After a small amount of time and drinks consumed a scream goes out near the bar. The bartender lay slumped over the long hardwood, blood pooling around him.

If the Players investigate they find a crude dagger sticking out the base of the Bartender’s skull. The crude dagger is nothing more than sharpened metal wrapped in ratty, dry-rotted cloth.

Whether the players investigate or not after a few moments the door of the inn slams open and a heavy, cold wind overtakes the inn, blowing out all the candles and lanterns as well as the hearth.

In the darkness that follows a screams can be heard as Something brushes up against several of the inn patrons (60% chance of a Player being one of those patrons – They feel a large hairy thing brush up against them and quickly away). A crash can be heard as well as several more screams.

When the lights are re-lit by the barmaids, the players find that the lyre-player has been stabbed, but still alive, and that the singer is missing. They also find a trail of blood leading back toward the door.

Following the trail of blood will lead the players to a well next to the stables.

If the players decide to talk to the lyre player they will discover his name is Willhim and that the singer was his wife, Aucia. His wounds are superficial and can be bound easily. If questioned he will inform the players that he and his wife are simple musicians. He will also let the players know, with some reluctance, that Aucia is sick and this excitement could cause her sickness to get worse.

The Well
The well is 5 feet in radius; a bucket is attached to a simple hemp rope. The bucket lay on the ground next to the well, shattered and blood is smeared on one stone in the distorted shape of a large, spindly hand.

The well is 50’ in depth with mossy, slick walls. The rope as well is slick and requires a successful save to navigate.

The Well ends in a natural cavern with a large river flowing east to west. A Tunnel can be seen winding north.

The Caves
A natural cave system under the inn is small but boosts three caverns of various sizes. Water drips from the ceiling and the wall are slick, showing that this cave system is typically filled with water from the underground river.

Wandering Monster Table
Every three turns there is a 1 in 10 chance of encountering on of the following monsters.
Dice Roll (1d10)
Monster
1-2
3d6 Rats
3-4
1d6 Giant Rats
5-6
1d4 Wererat Patrol
7-8
1d4 Giant Centipede
9-10
Grey Ooze
Rats: HD 1; AC 8[12]; Atk 2 bite (1d4); Move 12; AL N; CL/XP /10; Special: None
Giant Rats: HD 1; AC 7[12]; Atk bite (1d6); Move 12; AL N; CL/XP /10; Special: 5% are diseased
Wererats: HD 3 AC 6[13]; atk weapon (1d6); Move 12; AL C; CL/XP 4/120; Special: Lycanthropy, control rats
Giant Centipede: HD 2; AC 5[14]; atk 1d6-1; Move 15; AL N; CL/XP 4/240; Special: Poison (save) +6
Grey Ooze: HD 3+3 AC 6[12]; atk Strike 1d6; Move 1; AL N; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Acid, immunities



C-1 The Passage
The passage through the caves snakes its way on a meandering course, smooth stone walls slope to floor and ceiling as water drips to small puddles on the passage floor.



The passage runs the length of the cave system and connects all the caverns together. There are no natural light sources so make sure the players have their own lights.

C-2 Cavern 1
The large almost oval chamber looks sparkles with light as the light of the torch/lantern is reflected off of dozens of small crystals and precious stones.


Cavern one has the equivent of 100 GP worth of precious stones buried in the rock of the cavern. If the players should attempt to dislodge the stones the noise has a 65% chance of alerting 1d4 Wererat Patrols to their presence who will enter the cavern within 1 turn of the start of the noise.

C-3 Wererat Camp
The large cavern is well lit but it’s light is hidden from the passage by an artificial wall of old mildew ridden wood the cavern lay up a step incline, protecting it from the frequent floods that claim these caves. Dozens of rags and old crates litter the room marking beds and tables for the wererats who call this place home at the moment


There is a 45% chance 3d4 wererats being in C-3 at the time the players discover it in various states of sleep and rest.

The crates in C-3 have bones, and a total of 50 gp of tarnished jewelry and money.

C-4 The Altar
As the players approach this final cavern they hear the sounds of sobbing punctuated by the low drone of chanting.

The cavern is huge, it’s ceiling disappearing in the darkness. Old crates circle the cavern chamber, large jury-rigged braziers sitting on top of them burning some foul smelling fuel.

In the center of the room, lay Aucia, naked save for the golden broach around her neck.  Her wrists and feet bound to hidden stakes in the raised rock she lay on.

Behind the altar a huge wererat, his arms upraised, a crude knife in his hand, chants something to an unknowable god.  


This room serves as the ritual center for the wererats.  Acucia is about to be sacrificed, for reasons that are unclear. If the Players attempt to talk to the wererat, a priest named Zevious, they will discover that the broach is the Broach of Dia, and the priest believes that by sacrificing the broach’s current owner when he makes his wish that he can extend its effect to his entire tribe. His wish is to cure his tribe of their lycanthropy.

Zevious cannot be deterred from his mission, but regrets that Aucia must lose her life to save the lives of his tribe.

Zevious, Wererat Cleric: HD 3+3 AC 4[16]; atk weapon (1d6); Move 12; AL C; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Lycanthropy, control rats, divine casting 3rd level

Concluding the Adventure

If questioned after his wife is returned to him Willhim will explain that he found the broach back in his own adventuring days and correctly surmised that the presence of the imprisoned Life Elemental would keep his wife from dying from her sickness. Aucia did not know any of this and is surprised that her husband never told her.

Furthermore it is possible that the area may still hold a wererat presence, one that now has a score to settle with the players for killing Zevious.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bone Spiders - Generic Creatures for any setting

Bone Spider
Hit Dice:3 to 6+2
Armor Class:  3 [16]
Attacks: Bite (1d6+2)
Saving Throw: 11
Special: Piercing weapons due half damage, 25% magic Resistance, Regenerate, Surprise, Undead, Web
Alignment: Neutral
Challenge Level/XP:  4 - 6/120 - 400


Bone Spiders are malign spirits who form their bodies from the bones of the dead and who haunt the ancient barrows, tombs, bone pits and crypts of the world growing and gaining power as they add more bones (fresh and ancient) to their form. Bone Spiders are always hungry, are always thirsty and will devour all living things they encounter in the places they call home and slightly beyond. A Bone Spider cannot be truly destroyed as it is a spirit inhabiting a manifested form. If  a Bone Spider is defeated it will manifest in a new lesser form (3HD) in 1d6 days after its defeat and return to the work of devouring and growing.

Wirry-Carle - Creatures of Eira Preview

In Celtic folklore the Wirry-Carle or Wirry- Cowe are a malevolent fae spirit that serves much the same purpose as bugbears and goblins in Northern Europe. As such there is little definitive information about these creatures as they morph to become whatever the teller of a tale needs them to be.

In Eira however …

… The Wirry-Carle are a race of barbaric demi-humans who make their home in the highlands of Eira and in the barrowlands of the western coast. They are slim, emaciated looking creatures standing approximately 5 feet tall, with stooped, backs and long clawed hands. They see all other races as enemies but rarely do more than village raids and caravan ambushes.

Wirry-Carle are a vicious race who believe that they were once as beautiful as the Au-Sidhe until they were tricked by the Night Queen of the Un-Sidhe and cursed with their horrid forms. They hold an extraordinary hatred of Au-Sidhe, Un-Sidhe and any with even a hint of Sidhe blood.

Wirry Carle
Hit Dice: 1
Armor Class:  7 [12]
Attacks: 1 weapon (Short Sword) or 1 weapon (Short Bow)
Saving Throw: 17
Special: None
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP:  1/15

Wirry Carle Chieftain
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class:  5 [14]
Attacks: 1 weapon (Great Sword)
Saving Throw: 13
Special: Rank and File
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP:  3/60

Rank and File – During combat a Wirry Carle Chieftain has a 3 in 6 chance of letting out a roaring battle cry that will summon any nearby Wirry Carle to him in 1d4 rounds of the battle cry.

Wirry Carle Shaman
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class:  8 [11]
Attacks: 1 weapon (Staff) or Cantrip (eldritch blast 1d4)
Saving Throw: 17
Special: Spellcasting (charm person, cure light wounds, magic missile, sleep, suggestion), Inspire
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP:  3/60

Inspire – With a word of power and prayer to their eldritch sponsor the spell caster can bolster the moral of any of its “flock” within a 60’ radius of himself. Those affected by the power and prayer of the caster receive +1 to all to-hit and damage rolls as well as recover 2 hit points.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Quick Note: Avarice and Ambition Delayed

Unforunately due to how late in the week I got my printed copy of A&A back I do not have a review ready for the game. I find this unfortunate because I was really looking forward to talking about about all the exciting things I keep uncovering.

I am hoping I can finish up tonight or tomorrow and have it posted by Sunday. Once again, I apologize for falling behind.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Addendum to Grate Tentacles & Stone Hold (Night) – Nidhog preview

A small addendum to Grate Tentacles that fall in with the creature’s special ability “Grapple” and the appearance of the creature.

The grappled target of the Grate Tentacle can break free of the grapple with a successful saving throw.

Grate Tentacles will appear suddenly and randomly, granting the creature surprise in initiative.

~*~


In the Nidhog short adventure I am struggling away at for +Erik Tenkar’s upcoming fan-zine (I am very worried I will not meet deadline at this point), there exists a small town in the foothills near “The Hall”. I currently do not plan for the town to be a big part of the adventure and see it more like the Keep in Keep on the Borderlands. However, if the PCs stay one night a randomized event could happen, below is a sample of that.

If the party decides to rest in Stone Hold until morning they have three options:

1.                  The Broken Heft: A small inn near the edge of town. Rooms run for 1gp, however, The Broken Heft does not serve food and lacks a stable.
a.       Droud the Lame, Owner of The Broken Heft: An ancient dwarf with a missing left arm and eye. Droud has a sour demeanor and will often talk about his days in the Hall as a mine chief.
2.                  Merchant’s Rest: Is another small inn with an attached tavern. The inn has rooms on both the first and second floors and provides cleaning water in every room. Unknown to most in Stone Hold, the Merchant’s Rest serves as a fence and laundry for most of the thieves guilds in the area.
a.       Jarl Underhearth, Owner of Merchant’s Rest: A middle-aged human of no average size and looks. He is personable and helpful to a fault and no nothing of the activities of his staff or the other business his inn hosts.
3.                  The Drunken Lyre: The largest of the inns in Stone Hearth. The Drunken Lyre was once the go to place of the upper crust of merchant’s and nobility that passed through Stone Hold on their way to The Hall. However, since Thane Ghimil Firebeard shut the doors to The Hall, the luxurious manner of The Drunken Lyre has faded and the owners are about to shut the inn down.
a.       Avrentide & Hommel Smithson, Owners of The Drunken Lyre: An elderly human couple and former adventurers in their own right. The Lyre was their life’s work.





No matter where the players stay one of the following events will happen.


D12
Event
1-2
Screams outside, investigation will show the town drunk torn and bloody screaming of monsters in the grave yard.
3-4
One of the PCs has a dream of being buried alive. When they wake they find their nails caked with fresh dirt.
5-6
The PCs are awakened early in the morning by the town guard. A girl went missing and the PCs are the suspects.
7-8
The Party’s magic-user has a dream of being restrained as some unknown being drains his blood. He awakens to find bruises where the restraints held him
9-10
Nothing Happens
11-12
One of the Party is awakened by a scratching at the inn window. If investigated they find only a line of dried blood.


~*~

Most of these events have no continuation after the PCs see the result, however, two of the results will lead to mini events within the adventure. Both of these events are tied into what is happening in the Nidhog adventure if even in the peripheral.

With two weeks left until the Deadline for +Erik Tenkar I am slowly seeing this adventure blowing up in my face as my ever creative mind keeps adding to it.

For instance the town of Stone Hold wasn’t even in the original outline. It didn’t appear until I decided the party needed a place to start the adventure that wasn’t a road leading to the hall.