Category Archives: Tuesday Toot!

Tuesday Toot!! | Can’t Remember the Name But the Fangs look Familiar

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:
This is a video demo of a monster spotting (recognising) widget:


The idea is that maybe a PC knows something about the monster they have just encountered. This information might be useful. The idea is to give PCs like a low level magicuser something useful to do.

This Widget was put up on G+ and automates the process I submitted to ‘& Magazine’.

Screen capture:

CRTNBTFLF

& Magazine
This widget is based on ‘& magazine’ issued 12; pages 35-39;  “Can’t remember the name, but the fangs look familiar”. Link: http://www.and-mag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/and-mag-i12.pdf

Widget
The Excel widget can be found here: xls Download

FYI – Table of the mistakenly known things:
For the hell of it, below is the full list of mistakenly known things:

1 has acid attack
2 is an stral creature
3 blood cures wounds
4 body parts are useful (e.g. make armour or weapon)
5 breaths water
6 cannot cross a chalk circle
7 cannot cross running water
8 cannot lie
9 causes rotting flesh
10 charms at will
11 climbs walls
12 has cold attack
13 is controlled by speaking its true name
14 can curse
15 is delicious to eat
16 can dodge missile weapons
17 drinks blood
18 eats brains
19 has ESP
20 is an ethereal creature
21 explodes if killed
22 fears its own reflection
23 has a fire attack
24 can grant wishes
25 has been cursed
26 has no reflection
27 has weak spot (e.g. Soft underbelly)
28 hates holy symbols/can be turned
29 hides in shadows
30 can drain HPs
31 is hurt by acid
32 is hurt by blunt weapons
33 is hurt by cold
34 is hurt by fire
35 is hurt by holy water
36 is hurt by light
37 is hurt by lightning
38 is hurt by silver
39 is hurt by water
40 is immune to acid
41 is immune to charm type spells
42 is immune to fire
43 is immune to good-based magic
44 is immune to lightening
45 is immune to magic
46 is immune to magic weapons
47 is immune to missile weapons
48 is immune to non-magic weapons
49 is immune to cold
50 is immune to evil-based magic
51 is immune to holding type spells
52 is immune to wands
53 has infravision
54 is a prankster
55 brings bad luck is killed
56 has level draining
57 can levitate
58 has lightning attack
59 likes alcohol
60 likes to play riddles
61 loves gems
62 loves gold
63 is a lycanthrope
64 is magic casting
65 has magic resistance
66 is a master pickpocket/thief
67 is a messenger of a god
68 can mimic voices
69 is a mind reader
70 must give safe passage if asked
71 is only hit by magic weapons
72 is only hit by strong magic weapons
73 is never asleep
74 is never surprised
75 is not harmed by bladed weapons
76 is not harmed by blunt weapons
77 can only be finally kill with a Wish
78 can only attack if attacked
79 is only hurt in the ethereal/astral plane
80 can only see moving objects
81 has a petrification attack
82 is poisonous
83 is prone to bickering
84 is psionic
85 can regenerate HPs
86 has a secret attack
87 can sense an enemy
88 can shape shift
89 shuns light
90 can spot illusions
91 has telekinesis
92 can teleport
93 has troll-like regeneration
94 has ultra vision
95 is undead
96 has parts useful as spell components
97 has very good hearing
98 has a very good sense of smell
99 is very vulnerable to magic
100 has weak limb joints

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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!! | 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.

– – –

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.

– – –

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.

 

 

 

 

Shaman | fighting wild-men with woods magic

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+.

1 to 4Background:
This class stems from a fleeting idea that I put up on G+; the idea of a shaman class that could take on characteristics/abilities from defeated foes. I had some good feedback, some based on ‘feats’. I can see how feats could work well with this idea, but feat-based systems are not really my thing, so I’ve made this. I wonder if I’ve strayed too far from the core idea, but in any event, this where the idea has led me.

General
This is a class designed for (1e) AD&D, being a fighting wild-men/women with woods magic. They are not so much in harmony with nature as attuned to it. They are effectively a martial subclass of druid, or possibly a barbarian-druid.

Abilities/restrictions
This class follows the druid path/restriction in the first edition PHB in all ways except:

  • The class is also open to half-humans (i.e. in addition to humans)
  • For those that believe in Demi-human level caps (like me) – Half humans are level capped at a level equal to their CHA score.
  • Instead of 15+ CHA they need 15 +CON to qualify (i.e. in addition to 12 Wisdom)
  • The druidic special abilities at 3rd and 7th level do not apply
  • There is no hierarchical level limit, and so no need to defeat a shaman of higher level to progress.
  • 12 HD (i.e. not 8HD)

Spells
They gain spells at the same rate as a druid, but they get a much smaller subset of the druidical spells to choose from (see tables below) :

There are four principle shamanic paths, each with an associated alignment restriction; these are:

  • Light & Leaf – Plant & Weather magics; alignment NG
  • Mud & Paw – Animal & Earth magics; alignment CN
  • Wet & Ash – Fire & Water magics; alignment NE
  • Blood & Mind – Life & Perception magic; alignment LN

Once the path is picked, it is set.

Shamanistic ability
At each level this class may absorb a race/species specific ability from a defeated foe.

Examples of the abilities that may be taken up by a shaman include: night/dark vision, acute sense of smell, water breathing, a venomous bite, a bear’s powerful hug, a rust monster’s corroding touch, a velociraptor’s talons etc.

Mechanic: The player must declare this ability acquisition shortly after the creature is defeated. Once the ability is taken up by the shaman it can’t be changed. If no ability is taken prior to formal levelling up, that ability slot is lost.

Clearly, there is a chance for some serious game breaking here, by overpowering the PC. Therefore, the gained ability should be approved/agreed by the DM, and ideally be level/challenge appropriate. Essentially, it should be a fair reward, without breaking the game,

As a suggested guideline, the shaman can absorb an ability from any defeated creature which has a HD up to their current shamanistic level +3. So, a 2nd level shaman can absorb an ability from creatures up to 5HD, and a 6th level shaman can absorb an ability from creatures up to 9HD, etc. Also, the ‘defeated’ creature cannot be a trivial creature like a goldfish or slug.

For example, a first level shaman does not have the shamanistic strength to adsorb a fire breathing property from an ancient red dragon, or at least at its full potency. Or, if the defeated creature is trivial, then there is insufficient property to be adsorb by the shaman. For example, killing a gecko would not give the shaman a climb wall ability. But a giant gecko is a different matter. Similarly, killing a stirge might give the ability to deploy a bloodsucking proboscis for a round or two, but not the ability to fly.

Clearly this is not a class to give to a ‘power gamer’.

Using the shamanistic ability:
Each acquired shamanistic ability is like a Vancian spell, so each acquired ability is regenerated at the same time the Shaman regains their spells, i.e. after 8 hrs rest.  So, a third level shaman might have three shamanistic abilities, e.g. climb like an ape, punch like an ogre and blink like a blink dog once per day. However, each time they use an ability, this is at the cost of one of their spell slots. So, if the Shaman has cast all of their spells that day, they cannot use any of the shamanistic abilities until they rest.

Shaman spells paths:
Below are the spells allowable under the four shaman paths:

Path of Light & Leaf – Plant & Weather magics; alignment NG

Path of Mud & Paw – Animal & Earth magics; alignment CN

Path of Wet & Ash – Fire & Water magics; alignment NE

Path of Blood & Mind – Life & Perception magic; alignment LN

 

Class Balance
Hopefully this class is appealing without being super appealing (as this implies it is overpowered). Ideally, apart from raw novelty, hopefully this class is no more appealing than any other class in the PHB.

The druidic powers are nerfed somewhat by lack of spell choice, but is buffed again a bit by a customizable ‘shamanistic’ monster property per level. The paths with the more aggressive spells, (or most clerical-like spells), have the fewest spell options. The most aggressive spell path also gives an evil alignment, which is not always appealing. The class  benefits from a high base HD (i.e. D12), but has the less-that-great weapon/armour choices of a druid, and fights as a druid. Therefore, it can soak up damage, but is not as good as a fighter at dealing damage out.

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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!! | Cave System Map Generator in Excel

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:

One level

Random cave system

I toyed with this idea but never really finished/refined it. This Excel cave system generator basically uses the bones of my random hex wilderness generator engine to make a randomly generated cave system. Like its parent file, there are some global and regional controls to vary the outcome of the cave system. But, overall, as a proof of concept, I simply tweaked a few settings to see if it could be done. I did consider stacking layers of these and interconnecting them to make a wider cave system, but …

I suppose if there is any kind of demand for a finished/refined version of this, I guess I could figure out where I was up to and finish/upgrade it. Let me know?! That said, if all you want is to generate a simple random cave system on a broadly hexagonal-like layout, it does work.

Three depths

Colours indicate depth

I also made a multi-coloured version of the cave generator. The colours are intended to represent different depths, eventually leading down to water.

These cave generators could be used to make an individual cave system, or to make a ‘global’ map for a wider ‘Underdark’ domain, i.e. ‘Veins of the Earth’ style.

If you want to mess around with the ‘work not currently in progress‘ Excel file, it can be downloaded here:  Link

 

Veins of the Earth Cave Generator 101Some ‘Veins of the Earth’ based Excel widgets (actually finished) can also be found here: Blog link

 

– – –

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.

– – –

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!

– – –

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