Category Archives: Tuesday Toot!

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‘.

Tuesday Toot!! | Disadherer

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

A monster I posted on G+, which I dashed off on a piece of paper and posted. I’ve typed it up below for legibility.

It’s essentially a dangerous mechanic driven monster. Probably useful to have a henchman (or something) torn apart first, so the PC’s take the thing seriously. With a weak AC (especially when attached) the PC’s should be able to deal with the thing, if they take the threat seriously.

Disadherer

When the Monster splits the party … 

Disadherer crop.jpeg

A possible relative of the Adherer (see FF page 9).

The Monster is a mass of sticky limbs, which latch onto a victim’s arms and legs trying to rip them off.

Health – the creature has 4D8 limbs, each having 1HP. When wiggling about, these have AC5, but when latched onto a victim, they have an AC8. When all of its limbs are lopped off, it slopes away to reconstitute itself.

Attacks – It attacks as a 4HD monster, able to attack each combat opponent twice each round (provided it still has some remaining/free limbs), when it makes a hit it immobilises one of the victim’s arms or legs:

D4        = Hit location

1          = Weapon arm
2          = Weapon side leg
3          = non-weapon arm
4          = non-weapon side leg

Escape – the victim can free an arm/leg if they can roll under or equal to their ‘Bend Bars/Lift Gates’ score. Test before rip mechanic below.

Rip mechanic – At the end of the combat round, if the monster has at least two limbs immobilised, it yanks and levers trying to rip these arms/legs off.

Roll a D20, if the roll is above the victim’s STR score, then the creature rips off a limb, on a natural 20 it’s both limbs.

– – –

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!! | I roll to disbelieve … too late

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:
Room 20 - Phantasmal Blood Vine.JPGIllusions are funny things in RPGs. Back in the day they were quite prolific and led to a ‘I disbelieve’ culture. Players (or rather their PCS) would alternate from swapping every square foot of the dungeon with a 10 foot pole to disbelieving everything that came before them (when not ‘targeting the darkness’ with magic missiles).

On G+ I saw a post by Shane Ward of the 3toadstools blog fame who was recruiting to make a collaborative dungeon. So, I thought I’d do a room.

I thought it would be nice to have a throwback ‘illusionary’ type encounter.

But since we’re all too ‘street’ these days, and with the foregoing remarks in mind, I thought about making a ‘illusory encounter’ that was more in keeping with the OSR sensibilities.

Idea:
The genesis of the idea was “What if the players didn’t disbelieve the illusion” (after all it was a player not PC driven phenomena). Which led in turn to the idea of the players creating the illusion themselves. It’s hard to disbelieve that which you create, surely?

So, the premise of the room was to ‘source the table’ invite the players to describe what was in the room. AND THAT would be the illusion. The players had already chosen not to disbelieve. Disbelieve that suckers (… errr … would say a 15 year old DM in 1987) !!!!

Implementation:
An Invitation From The Blue Baron 101There’s a whole mechanic involving a blood sucking vine that generates illusions to drink the PC’s blood and what not.

For more on this, please check out Room 20 (Phantasmal Blood Vine) of the ‘An Invitation from the Blue Baron’ (It’s free on DriveThru).

There’s also a sequel: The Return Of The Blue Baron.

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

 

Tuesday Toot!! | Catabolyist (Ketomancer | Crumble Wizard)

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: This class variant is not going to appeal to a power gamer. Instead it might appeal to calculating players that like the flexibility of the class, and  to risk taking player who might like to gabble with their PC’s skin (literally). This class was never finalized (and needs a re-write); but this is essentially where it was left at on G+ sometime in early 2018. Thanks to K Yani for useful discussion back then.

:: Catabolyist (Ketomancer or Crumble Wizard)

Catabolyist (Ketomancer or Crumble Wizard)These magic users pay for their power in sinew, cell and soul. They squeeze their body, pith and marrow like an alchemical battery.

With mastery, the Catabolyist can trim and tap the body and psyche of those parts that will renew themselves in time. Sometimes, the Catabolyist wagers too much, drink too deep or clumsily, they irreplaceably strip the body of their nonrenewable ‘sauce’, and they pay the price, to which lurches them ever grave-wards.

To watch a Catabolyist fail in their magic is ugly. Like the touch of a ghost, their hair enwhitens, sloughs off, eyes sink, yellow and cloud, teeth fall out in the half and quarter score, liver spots erupt and spread like brown puddles, capillaries suffuse their face in fans, hands curl into arthritic claws. In short, the Catabolyist lurches forward in time by years in broken seconds. Death’s embrace is all but a missed spell away.

The Catabolyist secrets are their own. Some think their magics taps into the primitive magic of Life itself. Others think they have made a pact with a Supernatural for power, pawning their souls one lot at a time; in the end, it’s said the pawn shop always tricks the profit.

No matter what, one thing holds true, a Catabolyist’s body is their temple. Not all are evil, but chaos is the constant.

Catabolyists are greatly attracted to anything that extends life or rejuvenates.

This character class would suit a player who likes a bit of a gamble. There is no reason for the Catabolyist to risk spell failure, except for the temptation of power alone! The Catabolyist has more flexibility in casting spells, but can cast fewer spells – safely.

:: Rules for AD&D ::

:: Magic User subclass – Catabolyist are treated and act as magic users, except in the ways detailed below.

:: Race – anyone willing to pay in bone, body, spit and blood can access this primitive magic power. As a rule, this excludes the fair races, like those carrying elven, halfling or gnomish blood. This is a field of magic that Dwarves value, imbuing their life and brawn into forged weapons.

:: Alignment – chaotic of any stripe.

:: Prime Attributes – while Intelligence is important, Constitution is a Catabolyist’s prime requisite. They require at least 14 CON and 9 INT to qualify for the class.

:: Hit dice – D6 (not D4); its practitioners are desirous to be hearty and hale. Time spent in exercise and calisthenics, with less time spent with a nose in a book!

:: Learning spells – Catabolyist learn spells like any other magic user. However, they do not carry spell books and do not need to memorize spells to cast them. Once learnt, the spells are knitted into their fibre and pulp. For the same reason, they do not need spell components (i.e. they are their spell components). For at least this reason other magic users loath them, thinking them heretic. The %chance of learning a spell and the minimum/maximum number of spells (coming from intelligence) still apply to Catabolyist magic users.

:: Spell limits – no matter the Catabolyist’s level, they can cast magic user spells of any level, and can cast these spells as many times as they like … EXCEPT

:: Spell failure – each time they cast a spell, there is a chance of failure (see Table 1), and if they fail there is the possibility they will unnaturally age (see Table 2); at some point this could be unto death. After spell failure, they must rest (e.g. 8 hrs sleep) for their body to recharge and to be fit to cast spells again.

%Spell failure – {ed. see the table. If you like maths read on} … is equal to the square of the spell levels that they have cast that day (i.e. since resting) MINUS the square of the PC’s level. But this value is never greater than 95%. Spell failure testing is done after completion of the casting of the spell. Below is a Table doing the maths, and rounded to fit a D20 target number. From the Table, it is apparent that the Catabolyist has a safe zone where there is no risk of spell failure, a wise Catabolyist stays within its bounds. This number is equal to the PC’s level.

:: Save vs ageing – When/if a spell fails, the Catabolyist has the chance to recover the botched spell, to draw back the magics into their body, recovering it before it is lost forever. Failing the save leads to lost vitality and ageing (see next).

%Chance of Ageing – {ed. see the table. If you like maths read on …} is to: 100% – (5 x PC level). So a 2nd level Catabolyist will age 90% of the time (100 – 2×5 = 90%), and a 10th level Catabolyist will age only 50% of the time. The chance is never lower than 5%. Again, the Table below does the maths. It is reiterated that spell failure ends the ability of the Catabolyist to cast spells until a rest is taken (e.g. 8 hrs sleep).

Catabolyist (Ketomancer or Crumble Wizard) SAVES

:: Age/Ageing – the Catabolyist’s ‘SSS’ score (derived from CON) defines the Catabolyist’s remaining life span as a percentage. For example a 14 CON gives a SSS of 88%. So the Catabolyist has used about 12% of his natural life up to date (probably through natural aging) and has 88% life left. When the Catabolyist fails to save vs ageing, the SSS score is lowered by the total number of spell levels that the PC had cast that day. The Catabolyist’s CON score is changed to match the current SSS score. When their SSS is zero, the Catabolyist crumples dying of old age.

:: SSS and Levelling – the Catabolyist gains some SSS back when levels are gained. Roll a die (or best approximate to) equal to the PC’s new level, i.e. if attainting 6th level, the Catabolyist gains D6 SSS points. This may result in a corresponding increase in the PC’s CON score.

:: Example 1 ::

A 7th level Catabolyist casts a 4th level spell (after already successfully casting a 2nd and 1st level spell in that day), so the total number of spell levels cast in the day is = (2 + 1 + 4) = 7.

Using Table 1 (and glossing over the maths) it is apparent that a 7th level Catabolyist can cast up to 7 levels of spell levels in one day (prior to rest) without needing to make any check.

:: Example 2 ::

Next, in dire need, the same Catabolyist decides to cast a 2nd level spell (without resting). Now the total number of spell levels cast that day is (2 + 1 + 4 + 2) = 9.

Again, glossing over the maths and using the Table, this gives a target number of 7 (or above) on a D20 to avoid spell failure. A D20 is rolled and a 4 comes up, and so the spell fails (she also can cast no more spells until she rests).

Next, does the Catabolyist age as a result of the botched spell? With reference to Table 2, it can be seen that a 7th level Catabolyist has a target number of 14 (or above) to avoid ageing.

A 12 is rolled and she is wracked in pain and sorrow. Her SSS score is decreased by 9 (the total of the spell levels cast that day). Her SSS score of 88 is now 79. She only has 79% of her life reaming to be lived! And her CON drops from 14 to 11 (see page 12 of the PHB).

:: Power Creep ::

Power creep

How does the Catabolyist stack up against a ‘standard’ AD&D magic user. They start about even (albeit the Catabolyist can gamble life for spells) having free acess to the same number of ‘total spell levels’. Later the AD&D magic user get far more spells hence more ‘total spell levels’; but they must memorise these, whereas a fewer apt spells might be useful. Consider a falling 20th level magic user who know 162 levels worth of spells but who has not memorized the feather fall spell, they may well be dead; but the Catabolyist will live on to see another day despite having fewer overall spells to cast.

– – –

c AntMe 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.

– – –

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

 

 

Tuesday Toot!! | VotE Cave Generator

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+.

Over the last two or so years, I’ve discovered how versatile Microsoft Excel can be at making game content. Here is an Excel widget I made and posted on G+. The widget is a Cave Generator for Patrick’s Stuart’s Veins of the Earth:

Veins of the Earth Cave Generator 101
xls Download  YT To do

You can run this as a standalone Cave Generator, or it can be used to check you are using Patrick’s dice method ‘correctly’ before game night!

Related, and if of interest, here’s an Excel adaptation of Skerples. ‘Veins Crawl’ (for Vein’s of the Earth), which is presented as a single sheet in Excel:

Veins Crawl 101      Veins Crawl 102
xls Download  YT Demo Video

:: Some other interesting RPG things Excel can do ::
Excel can be used to present module information in super compact fashion (How-to-Guide); used as a simple dungeon mapping program (Video Demo); and to make a surprisingly flexible Hex crawler (Video Demo). 

:: Google Sheets ::
Sadly, Google Sheets does not have the same level of functionality as Excel (I wish it did). 

– – –

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