Category Archives: Self

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

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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.

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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

Tuesday Toot!! | Zerten’s Bitter Pearl of Spellfusion

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

::  Zerten’s Bitter Pearl of Spellfusion  ::

mh - zerten_s bitter pearl of spellfusionSummary
Neutralizes the potency of a spell caster for a period of time

Detail
Causes a spell-caster to unknowingly jumble up their spells.

To use the pearl it is crushed while making eye contact with the spell-caster. The pearl can be crushed by biting down on it. The spell-caster now suffers the following ill effects:

Each time the affected spell-caster casts a spell, they instead cast a random spell from their repertoire.

The affected spell-caster is unaware they are casting the wrong spell. That is, until the magic is released.

This mental spell jumbling continues until the spell-caster has exhausted all memorized spells (either by casting, or voluntarily surrendering them), or sleeping for 8 uninterrupted hours.

– – –

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)

Carapace | Supplement – Queen Encounter

Some will have seen my free ‘Carapace‘ procedural adventure (details here).

thumb - carapace supplement – queen encounter coverI thought Carapace would be more interesting if the ‘boss’ encounter with the Giant Queen Ant was made more detailed, and had some links back to the NPC goals. So, I’ve made a one page supplement to accompany this adventure to cover this. Basically, the Queen tries to communicate with the PCs using pheromones. Each PC only gets part of the message (i.e. a single word in the form of a smell). Hopefully, this should provide the players with some quandaries, rather than a simple combat resolution  …

Hopefully a .pdf version of the suplement will appear on my DriveThru page in the next few days …

Set up: When encountered, the true Queen will be near an archway excavated from the surrounding earth. The Queen cradles a naked human youth (or the youth is mindlessly licking her free of parasites). Periodically, she dribbles juice from her delicate mandibles into the human’s begging mouth. The human’s sole possession is a glowing beetle-shaped amber broach. The archway is inscribed with worn man-like creatures. Worker ants come out of the Archway and feed something odd to the Queen. Some workers are incinerated as they traverse the unstable portal.

Pheromone messaging: Tapping into its human vassal’s memories, the Queen attempts to send a message to the PCs. It sends them a cocktail of pheromones; these smells to stimulate the PCs thought centres. Each PC perceives one dominant smell from the cocktail of pheromones, and understands this as a ‘word’ (see below). Smart PCs may smell two words. False Queens transmit messages 1 or 2 only.

 

D10

D6 – Message 1 (Attack) Message 2 (Mission) Message 3 (Help) Message 4 (Deal) Message 5 (Parley) Message 6 (Surrender)
1 soft-skin find remove safe parley beg
2 intruders seek human passage submit sorrow
3 alarm false away portal yield mercy
4 protect queen fear temple entreat regret
5 attack destroy death enter truce vassal
6 overpower purge hive loot tribute retreat
7 dismember memories threat chambers harvest gift
8 flense reward unstable friends take gold
9 feed tithe peace share leave groom
10 dispose treasure please nectar prosper empathy

Explanation: The Hive was built over an abandoned temple. The temple was sealed off by magics long ago. One of the magical seals is faulty due to the close proximity of a magical amber broach. This has allowed worker ants to enter the temple. The workers have found something unusual and have been feeding it to the Queen.

This unusual feed has given the Queen (the Prime) a heightened sense of consciousness, although her thoughts like shards of glass, are alien to soft-skins (i.e. humanoids). Recently, the One (the ant colony) found a soft-skin intruder (the missing apprentice druid from Tnat’naig). The soft-skin sent the Queen a smell of submission and joining. Curious, and buoyed by her newly acquired consciousness, she assented to this request and allowed the soft-skin to join the One.

But … the soft-skin had impossible thoughts of being part of the One but also a Prime. The Queen’s smell finally dominated the soft-skin, and it became part of the One. The soft-skin’s memories were also joined into the One’s memories.

Most problematical of these memories is a memory of a soft-skin colony made entirely of Queens, entirely of Primes. The Queen battles to purge these dangerous memories from the One’s memories. But, these memories are leaking out of her as unwanted smells, dangerous smells. Some feeders have been acting on these pheromones, and are now making new Queens, False Queens. There can only be one Prime in the Hive. This must end. But, how to unmake the One, the Hive?

Carapace

UPDATE – Supplement Queen encounter (link) | Video Preview  YT |  Excel Widget  xls | Play Test

If you’re like me and get excited about giant insects, labyrinths and/or procedural mapping/navigation, then this free adventure is for you:

Link:
Carapace Cover

The adventure is written with AD&D (1e) in mind, but of course would suit any D&D variant. The adventure centres on the exploration of a maze-like giant ant colony located near a remote town. The main thing that makes this adventure different are the three tools used to generate/navigate labyrinths, i.e.:

:: The first option is a simple point crawl generator, e.g.:
C m1

:: The second uses a conceptual (map-less) ‘Labyrinth Move’ based mechanic, e.g.:C m2

:: The third is also a map-less based method, but this time using a 2D6 Hex-Flower navigation system (inclusive of chase mechanic), e.g.:C m3

There are some NPCs (with associated plot hooks linked to the ant colony), random monsters tables, random ‘dungeon dressing’ tables, and a map of the area surround the giant ant colony, e.g.:

c Hive AreaWell that’s about it … I would give more details, but since the document is free to download on DriveThruRPG I’ll keep this post relatively short.

A short positive review by Trey Causey can be found on his blog: Link

Since G+ is going away, please feel free to share this post on whatever platform you have migrated to …
:O)
c Ant