Category Archives: Self

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

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!! | The Tickler

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+.

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

:: The Tickler ::
ticklerSummary
A sword partly on the ethereal plane

Detail
This weapon looks like a longsword snapped to a third of its original length, and so resembles (and handles as) a short sword or hefty dagger. The Tickler is particularly suited for use by halflings.

On close inspection, the ‘missing’ part of the sword manifests as a ghostly image, phasing in and out of reality. Brushing the ghostly part of the blade against a person gives the sensation of being tickled with a feather. However, in combat the non material part gains a little substance and inflicts damage as described below.

Mechanic
When attacking, make two separate attack rolls:
(1) one roll for the ‘material’ part of the blade (treat as a +1 short sword or dagger); and
(2) another roll for the ghostly part of the blade, treating the target as armorless (e.g. AC 10), but dealing only 1 damage. This is because the insubstantial blade glides past any armor/hide. The damage is low as the ghostly part of the blade only is not fully in the material plane.

Combat Quirks
• Natural 20 on the ghostly roll – the (insubstantial part of the) blade briefly become fully substantial within the target (i.e. fully phasing into the material plane), and causing catastrophic damage; 2D8 damage (at the GM’s discretion double damage may also apply).
• Natural 1 on the ghostly roll – the weapon inverts its phasing polarity. The material blade (inclusive of handle) becomes ghostly, and the ghostly part of the blade becomes material, causing the blade to fly out of the wielder’s hand, in the direction of the swing. In D4 rounds the blade reverts to its prior state.

Hitting Ethereal Creatures
The ghostly part of the blade appears substantial on the ethereal plane, allowing attacks against ethereal creatures, at +2 to hit by a wielder on the Prime Material plane.

Back story | Phase Spiders
This unique sword took this unusual form upon stabbing a Phase Spider at the very moment it transitioned out of the material plane. The part that was inside the spider became unstable and now exists in this transient state, not quite in the material plane
The blade deals double damage against Phase Spiders. Upon killing a Phase Spider, there is a 50% chance the blade’s two parts synchronize their phase, forever turning the blade back into a normal longsword.

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

 

 

1988 Dungeon

Throwing it back to 1988 …

1988 Dungeon1988 Dungeon
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.  A video review can be seen here:  YT Review

image_preview  It’s free PDF for download on DriveThruRPG: LINK


Background

In late 2016 I found a battered red binder in my loft. It contained a hand-drawn map and some nearly intelligible notes. To force myself to read through these notes systematically, I decided to serialize them on my G+ page, inclusive of my ‘looking back’ comments. In all truthfulness, I expected the dungeon to be a disaster, but it turned out quite a lot better than I thought it would.

A few people on G+ suggested I make a .pdf version … well this is it!

The idea that someone out there in internet land might breath new life into this 30+ year old adventure makes me smile.

Here’s the original map (which I renumbered  in the .PDF):

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!! | Troll Jawbone Axe

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+.

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

:: Troll Jawbone Axe ::
troll jawbone axeSummary
Grisly weapon, dripping with corrosive bile

Detail
This grisly weapon is wielded and acts like an axe (e.g. D8 damage), but is in fact half the jawbone of a troll. The jaw has D8+4 teeth, forming a nasty serrated cutting edge.

Corrosion
A filthy smelling, bile-like fluid is exuded from the base of the teeth whenever the jawbone cuts living flesh. The corrosive bile deals 2 damage.

Combat Quirks
• Natural 20 – a tooth shatters spraying bile into the wound, causing an extra D8 damage.

• Natural 1 – a tooth dislodges from the jaw. This frees some living troll pulp (previously trapped under the tooth). The dislodged tooth regenerates into a fully grown troll in 2 to 24 hours, unless the tooth is destroyed in the appropriate manner: acid, fire etc.

Toothless Jawbone
When all teeth have been shattered or knocked out, then a weird stasis ends, allowing a troll to regenerate from the toothless jawbone in 2 to 24 hours, unless the jawbone is destroyed in the appropriate manner: acid, fire etc.

– – –

c AntMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural adventure ‘Carapace‘ about a giant ant colony.


James V West Gexit
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”
Fight on dear Gexit
(drawing by James V West