Category Archives: Publication

One Page Dungeon Contest 2019 | In the Heart of the Sea

This is my first attempt at the “One Page Dungeon Contest”. Clearly, it won’t win!

I made this entry because I figured there is a ‘need’ out there in RPG-land for a procedurally generated sea-going adventure. This is my take on it:

In the Heart of the SeaA Procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’

Link to my One Page Dungeon Contestentry can be found here: ItHotS

ItHotS.png

– – –

More of my stuff on DriveThruRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/9524/Goblin039s-Henchman

Advertisements

1988 Dungeon| A video review

Vince “The Evil DM” was kind enough to give my throw-back ‘1988 Module’ a review on his YouTube page – check it out:

image_preview  The module is a free PDF for download on DriveThruRPG: LINK

Background
This is one of the first dungeons I ever made way back in 1988, when I was a teenager. So, it’s about as Old Skoool as it gets … not in an OSR sense, but in a “I’ve made a dungeon who wants to play” kind of way. If you’re looking for understandable/sensible dungeon ecology, themes, plot, and balanced encounters etc., then you’ve signed up for the wrong adventure!  It’s 1e AD&D, and I’d say for PCs at about 3/4 level.

My original blog post is here: LINK

Here’s the original map:

Photo

A Spreadsheet Adventure Module (SAM) version of this adventure can be fond here:
xls  download  |  YT Demo

Pop1

– – –

More of my stuff on DriveThruRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/9524/Goblin039s-Henchman

Tuesday Toot!! | Stick of Thorns

Tuesday TootG+ is closing gone. When it was alive things happened. Things unexpected. Great things. Whilst my creative output is only modest, I thought I’d hold something up into the living light, something that came about purely because G+ existed … This is a toot to G+.

The Master’s Hoard is a compilation of quirk-some magic items which I posted on my G+ page over a period of weeks. The compilation of magic items can be downloaded for free here: Link

:: Stick of Thorns ::

sOtSummary
Wooden sword with thorny vines growing around and through the blade, that can entrap the target

Detail
The weapon operates like a scimitar (e.g. D8 damage), but with vines writhing like a sawing edge, and thorns that drink the blood of its targets. Occasionally, the weapon puts forth small pink, white, and/or yellow flowers after combat.

Druids and rangers intuitively recognize the nature of the weapon.

:: Combat Quirks
Natural 20 – the blade vines unravel and grow, grabbing and tearing at the target (double damage), and enveloping them in a thorny cage of vines. In addition, one unravelling vine grows earthward, boring in to the ground and taking root, firmly anchoring the cage in place. The weapon is essentially useless at this stage.

Carefully pruning the sword away from the thorny cage and root-anchor allows it to be reused. A carnivorous vine grows from the cage in a few months.

Breaking free of the cage takes two rounds of effort, causing rending damage each round (D8). Alternatively, friendly hands outside can cut out the ensnared victim.

Natural 1 – the blade vines unravel and grow as above, forming a cage and anchor, but in vain, since it missed the target.

:: Other Wielders
When handled by someone other than a druid, ranger, or woodland creature, the wielder often pricks their hand on the thorns. This annoyance hints at a more dangerous drawback:

When the rooting-stem grows, it tries to grab the wielder’s forearm. The wielder must succeed at a Agility/DEX check, or become entangled, taking 1 damage, and requiring 1 round to disentangle or cut free.

:: Background
In the besieged vale of Nether Stowey, an enclave of druids created several of these weapons, by magically grafting a carnivorous vine to a wooden sword. The druids wielded these weapons in defence of the vale, and also used them as pit stakes, to ensnare trespassers.

The carnivorous vine’s snaring instinct remains within the vine, making the weapon unpredictable as described above. These weapons are usually found poking out of (and ensnared in) a thorny briar, growing around crumbling bones. Recovering the weapon requires clipping it away from the main briar. Druids and rangers can do this without the vine attacking.

– – –

Me on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony and my ‘1998 Dungeon‘.

 

 

Tuesday Toot!! | Studs of Wonder

Tuesday TootG+ is closing gone. When it was alive things happened. Things unexpected. Great things. Whilst my creative output is only modest, I thought I’d hold something up into the living light, something that came about purely because G+ existed … This is a toot to G+.

The Master’s Hoard is a compilation of quirk-some magic items which I posted on my G+ page over a period of weeks. The compilation of magic items can be downloaded for free here: Link

:: Studs of Wonder ::

SoWSummary
Magic studs that enhance normal leather armor

Detail
Usually 2D8+4 of these studs are found together. Each-thumb thick stud looks like the kind that is attached to leather armor, albeit perhaps unduly large.

If a stud is placed against normal leather armor, it will automatically attach.

If 4 or more studs are attached to normal leather armor, then they confer a +1 defensive bonus. If 10 or more studs are attached to normal leather armor, then they confer a +2 defensive bonus. If 18 or more studs are attached, they confer a +3 defensive bonus.

In addition, 4 or more of the same kind of stud will give resistance to one of:

  • Acid (stud looks corroded)
  • Cold (etched with a snowflake)
  • Fire (etched with a flame)
  • Lightning (etched with a thunder bolt)

If a stud is plucked from the leather armor and thrown, the stud will detonate doing D8  damage. The kind of damage being the same as the kind of protection it grants, i.e. protection from acid stud does D8 acid damage. If the number of studs is reduced to below 4 the defensive properties conferred by the studs are lost.

Throwing Quirk
If a stud is thrown, hit or miss there is a 5% (i.e. 1 in 20) the thrown stud will instead do one of the effects listed for the Wand of Wonder (in the 1e DMG; page 136); or if the GM prefers, it will enact a randomly selected spell:

Spell class/type

Acid stud = druidical
Cold stud = clerical
Fire stud = magic-user
Lightning stud = illusionists

Spell level (roll a die):

Odd number = 1st level
Even number = 2nd level
Highest number = 3rd level

Select a spell at random from that spell class and level.

Of course the chance that the spell will make no sense in the circumstances, in that case improvise or ignore.

– – –

Me on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony and my ‘1998 Dungeon‘.

 

 

Tuesday Toot!! | MAD (magazine) Map Musings

Tuesday TootG+ is closing. When it was alive things happened. Things unexpected. Great things. Whilst my creative output is only modest, I thought I’d hold something up into the living light, something that came about purely because G+ existed … This is a toot to G+.

Background
MAD Mag Map.jpegI think anyone reading this blog post will probably remember MAD Magazine, and in particular the inside back cover, which often had a picture which would fold-in to form a new unexpected picture.

I wondered if a RPG map in this format would present some interesting gaming challenges. For example, the PCs trigger some event and suddenly the map literally expands. Perhaps an interesting trap for a heist type adventure. For example, it might be easy to get into the tomb, but a great deal harder to get out again.  This idea might work well for a Cthulhu adventure where mind-bending antics are the norm.

Anyway, I had this idea because someone posted a vertical (cross-sectional map) on G+. Sadly, I can’t recall who did this now. I believe it was someone that I was following, but not someone I interacted with a lot. For some unknown reason this MAD idea immediately occurred to me when I saw their map. So, no random third-party G+ post, no MAD idea from me. This completely random cross-pollination of ideas will be one of the the thing I miss most about G+ when it is gone (in about a week).

In the wild

After posting this idea, at least one person (i.e. Eneko Menica on YouTube) put the idea into practice, with this nice map, i.e.:

 

More recently from me …

The Indefinite Train – Community Project

I saw this post by Skerples. for a new collaborative project about a sort of Twilight Zone locomotive. I decided to make a train carriage that makes use of this MAD concept.

The idea being the train carriage is about 2/3 normal size (top image). But, if the PC’s solve the puzzle an inter-dimensional portal opens between the carriage (bottom image). So, when triggered, the DM unfolds the map to reveal the portal. The PC’s may even be separated by the portal space when it is triggered causing some potential problems. You can read my submission here (along with the other submissions to date).

Skerples.’s idea is a fun one, please consider submitting your own entry to this collaborative project.

Well that’s it. If you ever make a MAD map, I’d be interested in seeing it!
:O)


1988 Dungeon

1988 Dungeon

Me on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony and my ‘1998 Dungeon‘.

OSR: The Indefinite Train – Community Project

train side finalSkerples. has started one of those Gygaxian Democracies, a collaborative megadungeon, where people submit a train carriage.

The train being a Twilight Zone affair. Read the blog!

If you want to get aboard, here’s the link

Anyway, submitted mine. A carriage with a secret portal …

– – –

1988 Dungeon
Me on DriveThruDriveThru
At the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony
and my ‘1998 Dungeon‘.

Ability Checks are you doing them wrong? | Dies, Dies, and Statistics

Is a D20 ability/skill test system better than a 3D6 test system?


and-mag-i14-thumb-150x150The full article on this (with numbers) can be found here:
& magazine #14 – Animal Companions
;
please see pages 29 to 35

 

– – –

1988 Dungeon
Me on DriveThruDriveThru
At the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony
and my ‘1998 Dungeon‘.