Category Archives: Self

Tuesday Toot!! | Pouch of Offensive Coin

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

:: Pouch of Offensive Coin ::

Summary
Coins placed in this accursed pouch acquire an offensive illusionary quality, making spending the affected coins nearly impossible. The illusion is not visible to the bag owner. Only charitable use can remove the illusion

PoOC

Detail
The money pouch (sometimes a money belt) is well made. It often has a bawdy scene embroidered on the outside in silver thread and the phrase:

“If money be the root of evil, then least be charitable the shoots therefrom”

This pouch acts like a small bag of holding, but accepts coins only. Other items are rejected by it. Coins placed in the pouch will appear to disappear, as if falling down a long dark well, but the coins can be readily retrieved again.

To the owner of the pouch (and friendly eyes), the retrieved coins will appear bright and shiny as if newly minted, as if magically cleaned by the pouch. The affected coins will look more valuable.

However, the coins will appear completely different to anyone potentially receiving the coins in payment/gift.

That is, casual viewing by a third party (i.e. who are not actually being paid with the affected coins), will not note anything unusual about the affected coins.

The affected coins are now covered by an enchantment/illusionary veneer. The illusionary veneer adapts itself to be as offensive as possible to the potential recipient of the coin (but again this illusionary veneer is not visible to the bag owner). The illusion has the ability to catch the eye of a potential recipient, even in very low light.

The illusionary veneer can take many forms.

It might contain a vulgar image, perhaps of a body part, it might look like it is covered in blood or faeces, it might contain a blasphemous image, unholy symbol, unlucky portend, libelous/propaganda statement, or simply look like the coinage of a mortal enemy (e.g. Orcish coin).

Basically, anyone except the truly emotionless (like the undead) will be offended by being offered the coins in payment.

At best the potential recipient will angrily refuse payment, and ask the character to leave, or at worse become immediately violent and attack the coin giver.

The coin recipient will of course assume the coin giver knows what offensive image lies on the coins. Any denial by the coin giver will likely offend the potential recipient even more.

The illusion/enchantment can only be removed when the coins are freely given/spent in charity. Thereafter the coins are normal again.

Melting down the affected coins causes the coins to explode, doing 1 damage per coin to anyone nearby. The coins are atomized in the explosion.

It is speculated that the item was created by a paladin sect who wanted to ensure that coins once acquired, could only be put to good use (i.e. once placed in the item, coins are all but useless for any other purpose than for charitable use). To most others, the item is an accursed monstrosity.

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InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.

Tuesday Toot!! | Ring of Alignment Kind

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

:: Ring of Alignment Kind ::

Summary
The wearer can manipulate alignment detection attempts directed toward them

RoAC

Detail
The wearer automatically senses when their alignment is being read/detected, and if desired, may interfere in one of these ways:

(1) reflect the detection, so the detector unwittingly reads themselves

(2) project any alignment (of the wearer’s choice) to the detector

(3) attempt to reverse it, and read the detector’s alignment instead (see below)

Reflected, projected, and reversed readings only convey alignment details that the spell or effect would normally provide. (e.g., Detect Evil only reveals evilness, not lawful/chaotic details.)

Reversal Mechanic
For option (3), the wearer rolls one die of their choosing. Upon seeing the roll, they can choose to proceed with option (3), or pick option (1) or (2) instead.

If the wearer chooses to proceed, roll two of the same die for the detector (but don’t add them together). Whoever got the highest single number reads the other’s alignment, and learns the location of the ring; the loser learns nothing. On a tie, both parties ‘win’. If the detector learns nothing, they might suspect foul play.

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InHotS the cover imageMe on DriveThruDriveThru; at the moment I’m mainly pimping my procedural High Seas ‘Hex Crawl’ – In the Heart of the Sea.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Toot!! | Shield of Corroding

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

:: Shield of Corroding ::

Summary
Can corrode metal edged weapons striking it

Shield of Corroding

Detail
A shield covered by the magically-preserved, hide of a Rust‑o‑pede (a centipede-like creature that turns ferrous metal items to rust). The shield incorporates the creature’s antennae (its rusting parts), stretched and pulled into the bumpy leather, sheathing them from casual contact.

Only edged weapons that cut deeply enough into the hide are subject to corrosion.

Mechanic
An attacker (using an edged weapon) that misses its attack roll by 1 (e.g. needing 12 to hit, but rolling 11), triggers the corroding effect, and the weapon decays into dust. Magic weapons may save vs corrosion.

Tampering with the shield (e.g. trying to remove the antennae) upsets the magical preservation, ruining its corrosive properties in a few rounds.

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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!! | Art & Carapace Play Test

Tuesday TootG+ is closing closed. 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:

MarcinSWhen G+ was swinging, I came across the artwork of Marcin S, and decided that if I ever made anything ‘worth’ publishing (even informally), I’d try and get Marcin involved. Recently Marcin did some artwork for my procedural adventure Carapace. What a great guy, and what great work he did too! If you like his stuff, I can recommend him wholeheartedly. The revised Carapace adventure (with new art) is still in layout, but will come out when it is ready.

Aside from a little teaser art below, I thought I  might as well give some details from a recent play test of Carapace.

Play test of Carapace – Session 1.

Shire Runner

A snippet taken from a concept fight scene by Marcin S

Start & Setup – In the play test we used 6 characters from the  module “Tomb of the Lizard King” (2 x fighters, a fighter magic-user, a magic-user, a cleric, and a thief), and I DM’ed using AD&D 1e rules. Why characters from the TotLK? Just thought any random party might tackle this adventure, so I picked a random party. And I’d rather have a highish level party, so they wouldn’t die in the first encounter …

I started by sourcing the table for a back story. So I asked why the PCs were in this borderlands backwater with only their kit and low on food? I was informed that the PCs were here due to “problems” they had encountered in the regional capital, specifically trouble with the local regional ruler (a despot).

The PCs headed straight to the nearby village/town (taking the big hint to start the adventure there).

Town & NPCs
On the ‘in medias res’ table, I rolled for a hidden assassin taking a potshot at the PCs with a poisoned crossbow bolt … rolled a *natural 20*, hitting the cleric square in the chest. The cleric thankfully saved vs poison, and managed to survived the first 5 minutes of the adventure (phew). The assassination attempt also fitted in neatly with the idea that the regional despot wanted them dead.

Town Guard

Tergite (head of the town guard) – Doesn’t like troublemakers. Outsiders are usually troublemakers; drawing by Marcin S

This prompted the PCs to speak with all the NPCs in the town, trying to figure out who tried to kill them (they presumed wrongly that this was an integral part of Carapace’s plot). I printed out 12 NPC portrait cards to help in exploring the town (like the one shown up and left).

In town, all fingers seemed to point to the ‘thief in residence’ for any help in finding the would-be assassin, and also to the dodgy merchant.

On the random NPC relationship encounter table, I rolled that: (i) the local druid wanted help from the PCs in finding his missing apprentice; (ii) the rich merchant wanted to do the PCs harm (I decided he had more than just trade connections with the regional capital and the associated despot); and (iii) one of the PCs knew the blasphemy-prone peasant looking to recover his daughter’s body from the Hive.

Travel & Preparations
With a bunch of side quests queued up, the PCs, with the local thief in tow as guide, headed for the Hive (incidentally this was the same direction the assassin was last seen headed towards).

Before leaving town, the PCs asked lots of questions, and learnt that the giant ant larvae will be with the Queen, and need to be kept moist; so in the Hive follow any damp air currents. This knowledge gave the PCs a +1 on the (Labyrinth Move) navigation rolls.

The Druid prepared a salve that mimics ant pheromones (for a short time) to use if the PCs needed to go unnoticed. The Cleric in residence, gave each PC a healing potion for the promise of soldier ant stinger glands.

At the Giant Ant ‘Hive’
PCs travelled the two days to the Hive without event.

The PCs after being freaked out by the giant wasps living at the top of the Hive, decided to head straight for the main Hive entrance, rather than risk being caught out in the open by giant wasps.

If you don’t know, the internals of the Hive is generated procedurally. The idea is to find the Queen in Zone 4. Zone 0 being outside.

Instead of calling out each Zone by its ‘number’, I decided to describe each Zone as:

Zone 1 = compacted earth with sticks and bits of organic matter
Zone 2 = same as above, but without the sticks and stuff
Zone 3 = as above, but with embedded rocks and stones
Zone 4 = as above, but in which chunks of worked masonry in found in the earth

I let the PCs infer which Zone they were in from the Zone description.

So as the DM, I generated the encounters (if any), and indicated if there was a Zone change. The players roll the ‘dungeon dressing’ using player facing random tables.

The dungeon dressing is not intended to be prescriptive, but rather is there to be used as the basis for inspiration, to build off.

slaad FF.png

Slaad – from Fiend Folio (not by Marcin S)

After a few attempts, the player really warmed to the task, improvising off the basic dungeon dressing information. For example, when the PCs learnt about the link with an abandoned Slaad temple (i.e. below the Hive, from the bits of worked masonry embeded in the earth of Zone 4) and rolled a “buttery smell” in a polygonal room, they stated that the PCs were in an abandoned Slaad birthing chamber.

The DM generated encounter gave two resting Slithering Trackers, which I decided looked just like water in a central birthing pool, needless to say, this  ‘liquid’ tempted the PCs to poke about.

 

In Zone 4  and the hunt for the Queen
With a +1 to the PCs navigation rolls, the PCs got to Zone 4 quite quickly. The PC’s thief guide (with a secret map of the Slaad temple) ditched the PCs in Zone 4, looking for a secret entrance to the temple. The PCs had a few encounters before discovering the False Queen. The PCs had no reason to expect anything but a true Queen.

The False Queen sent the PCs pheromone ‘message 2’, asking the PCs (i.e. by these smell messages) to find and destroy a ‘False Queen’ (which in reality was the true Hive Queen) … which is where the session ended.  

The False Queen also gave the PCs the equivalent of a pheromone map to the True Queen (so, I’m going to add big modifiers to the encounter tables to get to the True Queen; if that is the direction the PCs take), so I’m sure the PCs should find her quite quickly.

What’s next in session 2 … we’ll see?!!

Conclusion
Overall, so far, I think the core ideas in this procedural adventure work as well as I hoped …

If you ever run ‘Carapace’, I’d be glad to know how it all panned out!

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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‘.

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’

Please see below. A PDF version can be downloaded for free here: ItHotS

InHotS the cover image

Underlying mechanic explained a bit: https://goblinshenchman.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/2d6-hex-power-flower/

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

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 (with original numbering):

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‘.