Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - Y is for Yeoman


Author's Note: When I started this project on somewhat of an unplanned whim earlier this year I created a list of topic ideas and was able to get about 25 of the letters. Y, was the holdout. I wracked my brain, and even talked with a bunch of folks at Gary Con about what a good "Y is for..." would be that wouldn't also get overly specific (such as Yog-sothoth, or Yellow Sign). Ultimately I figured "That's December Marc's problem," since I had a whole lot of other letters, all with good ideas already lined up. As the letters tick-tocked by and this became less a "that could be fun" and more a "I can really do something cool if I finish this" I started to sweat that maybe "Y is for..." would be my downfall. I'm therefore doubly pleased to not only have a great idea for Y but to present it early to you all (strike while the iron is hot and all that), and let some other letter be the final post of this series. 

Y is for Yeoman

Yeoman are the servants and attendants of clergy, wizards, nobles, and kings. They are the faithful servants who go nearly unseen, and often unrecognized. Some may be born into their station, others sold into it, and still others chosen for the great honor of service. Regardless these men, women, and children are often in the room when great and powerful people do important things, but their names are seldom recorded for posterity.

Table Y1: Yeoman Origins (roll 1d6)
Yeoman are brought into their service in a number of ways and often their origins are very specific to the station they serve.
  1. Orphans - The yeoman are ophans, taken from the local orphanages between a certain age (often 10-12 years old) to serve. They may or may not considered slaves.
  2. Volunteers - The yeoman are volunteers who serve at thier will, often for defined terms of 1, 3, 5, or 10 years at a time.
  3. Slaves - The yeoman are simple slaves, bought into service with their freedom revoked. 
  4. Chosen - The yeoman are chosen to serve, with service often being considered a great honor. Unlike volunteers, above, the yeoman are chosen from the population, and may not wish to serve.
  5. Tithed - The yeoman are part of a tithe owed to the church or patron, chosen by the people, and given, either as slaves or as defined term laborers, to the service of the clergy or wizards.
  6. Matrons (only post-menopausal women may serve)
Table Y2: Yeoman Requirements (roll 1d10)
Not all yeoman are created the same. Many religions or wizardly patrons require that only a certain type of individual serve as yeoman. 
  1. Virgins (often also a specific sex)
  2. Eunuchs 
  3. Children (not older than post-pubescent, once yeoman age out of service they often join the ranks of the clergy or sorcerous acolytes)
  4. Blind (or blinded after being brought into service) 
  5. Mute (or rendered mute after being brought into service)
  6. Deaf (or rendered deaf after being brought into service)
  7. Specific Sex (male, female, intersex, etc)
  8. Physical Appearance (eye color, hair color, subjective attractiveness, etc) (often also a specific sex)
  9. Natural Ability (intellect, psionic power, physical fitness, etc)
  10. Roll again twice and combine
Table Y3: Yeoman Duties (roll 2d4)
Yeoman are sometimes given to a particular service, apart from the general housekeeping and other such work executed by more common servants.
  • 2: Sexual Services (the yeomen are required to perform sexual services in addition to, or in place of, other work)
  • 3: Inner Circle (the yeomen are the sole servants of the highest ranking clergy or wizards only)
  • 4-6: Standard duties, the yeomen act as general purpose servants for their masters.
  • 7: Translators (yeoman is fluent in at least 1d4 additional spoken languages)
  • 8: Scribes (yeoman is literate in at least 1d4 languages)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

MCC Mighty Deeds of Artifacts (Glowburn Episode 16)


For my 2nd episode of Glowburn as an official co-host I proposed a rules modification. For completeness sake I present it here for those who may want to review.

Might Deeds of Artifacts
  • Yes, that’s right, Mighty Deeds … of Artifacts! I think I’m actually going to test bed this in my monthly game, but the idea is that a Sentinel using an artifact already gets a bonus die, I’m not seeing any downside to allowing them to declare a Mighty Deed that uses that artifact (e.g. a ricochet shot with a gauzer pistol, or trying to melt a lock with a laser rifle). Just like in DCC a 3+ result on the Sentinel’s artifact die would declare success of the deed in some degree. 
  • It’s simple enough I think, and will help Sentinel’s shine so long as they are using artifacts (which also will incentivize them to use artifacts).
  • So the basics here are:
    • The deed must be related to an artifact weapon or armor used by the sentinel!
    • The Sentinel's Artifact die must come up a 3+ for the deed to happen!
    • The attack (or other action) must also succeed!
    • The Artifact die does not add to damage (unlike a Warrior's deed die) this is expected to be offset by the higher damage output of artifact weapons.
That's about that. I'm going to try this in my monthly campaign and we'll see how well it works. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

MCC Recap - Wabbit Season



Last Wednesday I ran the another session of my monthly(ish) MCC game.

Meet the Seekers:
  • Thorn the Plantient (level 1)
    • Played by Craig McCullough
  • Sinclair the Mutant (Chitinous armor) (level 2)
    • Played by Andrew Lyon
  • Agutter the Healer (level 2)
    • Played by Paul Go  
  • Bo Goodboy the Yorkie Manimal (level 1)
    • Played by Jon Hook
  • Piertramp the Sentinel (level 2)
    • Played by Forrest Aguirre
  • And William Keller as:
    • Fliver, a Pure Strain Human
    • Ringo, a beetle Manimal
    • Arthur, a Plantient
    • Winona, a beaver Manimal
Elmer Fudd Would be Proud

I hand waved some character change outs by explaining that some of the PCs were really tuckered out by the combat that ended last session and others had arrived from their camp/village late. With 3 hour game sessions (at best) expediency is key. This brought Forrest's Piertramp back into the fold and introduced a quartet of new zeroes helmed by Will.

The tibbar chief had fled into the main structure of the ruins, a large, partially intact building that had a pair of functioning doors. Piertrap looked around and noticed that a corner of the structure was collapsing however and went to investigate. Peering through the rubble they could see inside a small ruined room clear of debris and spread with pallets for sleeping. Piertramp lucked out and back away as a nest of giant hornets higher up in the ruined walls decided to defend their turf. Ringo stepped forward and much to everybody's surprise he spoke with the hornets and convinced them that they weren't any trouble!

Figuring that the tibbar would be expecting a frontal assault the group decided to remove the rubble and come in through the broken corner of the room. Sinclair used his massive war-hammer (now festooned with tibbar ears) and easily smashed the rubble inward until there was a traversible path. The group piled into the room, weapons ready, expecting the tibbar to come in through the door opposite their entry. Instead, nothing.

Moving to the door the trio of Sinclair, Piertramp, and Thorn flung the door open to a ruined hall, and nothing more. Clearly their quarry were further in the ruins already. They explored the immediate area briefly before determining that the closed room next door must contain the remaining tibbar.

Once more the trio of Sinclair, Piertramp, and Thorn flanked the door on either side with thorn in the middle. Piertramp flung the door open revealing the last few tibbar; the cheif, two other warriors, a shaman, and a number of females and children. Thorn spared no time and shot an arrow into the shaman who was standing between the door and the chief. The old tibbar went to one knee but he was not out of the fight. Reacting instinctively he reached out to drain the life from his enemies and restore his own, a natural 20 resulted in draining nearly a dozen hit points from the three explorers.

Enraged by the attacks the tibbar launched into combat and the fighting got intense quickly. Bo tried to sneak a peek at the door but slipped on some gravel and slid into the doorway where he became a target for the enraged rabbit-folk. On his next turn Bo attempted to use his Devolution mutation on the tibbar shaman, with 6 points of glowburn added to the attack. A natural 1 was the exact opposite roll he wanted to see, and I was forced to request a luck check. Success and only 1 point of the glowburn would be permanently lost, failure and all of it would be. The resulting 18 was not welcomed by the poor manimal.

Thorn became target for the ranged attacks of the and was dropped to zero by a combination of life drain, arrows, and explosive cadmium bullets. Agutter was quick to rush to Thorn's aid, but the use of a medipack proved too much for the plantient, restoring 9 more HP than needed Thorn had a 45% chance of having a mutation "healed." I grabbed my dice and rolled a 44! With no other mutations the revived Thorn was left in a vegetative state (I wish I'd had that pun on deck during play!).

Bo and Sinclair both went down during the remaining fight, and Agutter was forced to risk the medipack again with Craig rooting for more devolution to join him. Ultimately it was not to be and the seekers pressed with attack until first the shaman, then the chief and finally the last of the warriors were slain. With barely a second thought the group massacred the females and children and exterminated the tibbar entirely. Wow, that got dark. Good place to break for the evening...

In Memoriam: 
  • Fliver, an arrow pincushion
  • Ringo, drained of all life force by the Tibbar shaman
  • Arthur, exploded by a cadmium rifle shot
In a Pot:
  • Thorn, the Cactus

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Alphabet of Outer Beings - N is for Numerology


Many Outer Beings have a number that carries great weight to them and their followers. Occult numbers are often found in the beliefs of Law aligned Outer Beings. Chaotic Outer Beings may have claim to a number but this is very rare for their chaotic nature means that regularity and relationship are seldom partners.

Determination of an Occult Number
  • Roll 1d3 to determine the number of digits
  • Roll 1d10 to determine each digit
Table N1: Occult Significance of the Number (roll 1d3)
  1. The number is extremely lucky
  2. The number is significant but is neither explicitly lucky or unlucky
  3. The number is extremely unlucky
    Table N2: Occult Meaning of the Number (roll 1d6)
    1. The number is closely associated with death and destruction
    2. The number is closely associated with wealth and fortune
    3. The number is closely associated with wisdom and learning
    4. The number is closely associated with nature and weather
    5. The number is closely associated with the stars and power
    6. The number is closely associated with The number is closely associated with rebirth and healing
    Table N3: Divination of Number (roll 1d6)
    1. The number is significant if it comes up at random.
    2. The number is significant when calculated based on complex formula kept secret by seers and diviners. 
    3. The number is used when throwing bones or dice.
    4. The number is in conjunction with a calendar used by the followers of the Outer Being.
    5. The number is used in geometric drawing that is then interpreted by a seer.
    6. The number is used in combination with blood divination.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2018

    MCC Graboids! (Glowburn Episode 15)


    For my first episode of Glowburn as an official co-host I adapted the Graboids from the Tremors movie franchise. Below are my show notes for the Mutagenesis portion of the show with my stats for the graboids. 

    Graboids!

    Because somehow new Tremors movies keep coming like worms on your lawn after a heavy rain…

    But at some point in the pre-pocalypse world it became cheaper to genetically engineer some actual graboids and then pit them against real people in a weird reality TV survival show.

    Unknown years later those creatures have mutated into even more monstrous and lethal creatures. These are not for the faint of heart.

    Graboid

    Hit Dice: 8d8, avg HP 40

    AC: 16, Init +5; Atk bite +8 melee (1d10); or Drag Under Special +4

    MV 60’ subterranean only; Act 2d20; SP Drag Under, Tremorsense; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +3.

    Tremorsense: The graboid “sees” by sensing any movement and impact on the ground in a 360 degree around them.

    Drag Under: If a graboid successfully attacks with a bite on it’s first action in a round it may make a special drag under attack against the target’s strength. If successful the target is dragged below ground and immediately takes an additional 1d14 damage.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    The Alphabet of Outer Beings - J is for Janissary

    Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/cg-zander/art/Viper-Janissary-481839206

    J is for Janissary

    Janissaries are elite warriors who act as the bodyguards for powerful or important individuals or households. Unlike crusaders, paladins, and zealots the sole responsibility of a janissary is to protect their charge. Janissary battalions are created by powerful patrons, as yet another means of control and influence over the mortal world, and by powerful churches to protect their highest ranking clerics and most treasured holy sites.

    Table J1: Janissary Signature Weapons (roll 1d6)
    Janissaries are often known for using a special weapon that is not commonplace outside of their ranks.
    1. Enchanted or Blessed weapon (gains +1 die increment to damage)
    2. Wands (contains 1d10+5 charges of an attack spell)
    3. Heavy Crossbow (Increase damage die 2 increments, takes a full action to reload)
    4. Compound Bow (Increase damage die 1 increment)
    5. Alchemical Grenades (thrown explosive that deals 3d6 damage to target, 2d6 in a 5' radius, and 1d6 damage, from 5' to 10' radius)
    6. Black Powder Muskets/Rifles (treat as a Heavy Crossbow (above), also ignores armor on attacks (or gains an attack die increment), and all fumbles results are automatically the highest possible result). 
    Table J2: Janissary Specialized Support (roll 1d6)
    Janissary battalions often benefited from specialized support that enabled them to focus on being purely military units.
    1. Cadre of elite surgeons or clerics specialized in healing and treating of wounds. 
    2. Artillery support via the use of ballista, catapults, black powder cannons, or magic  
    3. Engineering corps who clear or prepare the roads ahead (ensures faster movement)
    4. Service support who travel ahead of the main force to prepare camp (ensures better rested warriors)
    5. Armorer corps who maintain and provide weapons and armor
    6. Roll again twice.
    Table J3: Codes of Conduct
    Janissary units are held to very strict codes of conduct and loyalty. In addition to their unwavering loyalty to their employer, be it temple or or wizard, they are expected to follow strict codes of behavior. Janissaries belonging to a religious order are also expected to be devout and uphold the tenants of their religion.
    1. The Janissary may not marry.
    2. The Janissary must always be armed and armored in public.
    3. The Janissary may not practice any skill other than those of a warrior.
    4. The Janissary must accept all offers of surrender from their foes.
    5. The Janissary may not grow facial hair.
    6. Roll again twice. 

    Tuesday, July 3, 2018

    MCC Claws (a.k.a. Screamers) - Glowburn Episode 14



    My first appearance on Glowburn Podcast, before I was added to the show as a co-host, I detailed the Claws/Screamers from the Philip K. Dick story "Second Variety" and the movie screamers for the Mutagenesis segment of the show. Below are the slight cleaned up show notes from that appearance.

    Claws

    So there’s this Peter Weller movie called Screamers based on a Philip k Dick story called Second variety. The story is great, and the movie was pretty good. Both have stuck with me since High School.

    In the movie the screamers are more like little burrowing creatures in design, in the story they are whirling balls of doom. Either way they are self replicating robots that were made to win a war. They hunt people based on their heart beat. These are the type 1s.

    The kicker is that the self autonomous factories that churn out these killer robots started to design new and better types: claws that look like us.

    Type 1 Claw

    Init +5; Atk claw +4 melee (1d5); AC 14; HD 2d6; HP 8; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP Straight for the Heart, immune to mind control; SV Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1.

    Straight for the Heart: On an attack roll of 20 instead of rolling for a critical hit the Claw has attacked the target’s heart. In addition to normal damage this attack deals 1d10 damage direct to the targets Stamina as the heart is systematically destroyed.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018

    The Alphabet of Outer Beings - F is for Festival

    Image Source: https://lordoguzhan.deviantart.com/art/Perselia-and-the-Festival-of-the-Stars-751144027

    F is for Festival

    Festivals are, broadly, celebrations of religious holy days, or other significant and important dates. They are often celebrated through feasting, music, ritual, ceremonies, and/or other observances. Festivals for patrons may be times when the patron's followers are required to enact a certain ritual during a cosmic event such as an alignment or solstice. Religious holy days commemorate the important events within the religion and/or the life of the deity. While many festivals are celebratory some may be sombre occasions, or may be preceded by fasting or other periods of denial.

    Table F1: Duration of Festival (roll 1d6)
    1. 1d3 days (calendar)
    2. One day (sunrise to sunset)
    3. One full day (calendar, sunrise to sunrise)
    4. One night (sunset to sunrise) 
    5. 2d4 nights (observances only after sunset)
    6. 2d3 significant hours (e.g. the hours around midnight, sunrise, the solstice, etc.)
    Table F2: Purpose of Festival (roll 1d3 and 1d3)
    1. Remembrance of...
      1. a significant battle
      2. the death of a saint
      3. one's ancestors or dead relations
    2. Celebration of...
      1. a miracle
      2. a major celestial event
      3. a saint (birth, canonization, etc.)
    3. Observance of...
      1. Harvest Season
      2. New Year
      3. Planting/Spring
    Table F3: Festival Focus (roll 1d8 twice and combine)
    1. Food
    2. Drink
    3. Music 
    4. Dancing
    5. Contemplation of religious teachings/writings
    6. Ritual Sacrifice (see S if for Sacrifice)
    7. Games or contests
    8. Reflection on the meaning of the festival
    Table F4: Prohibited Conduct (roll 1d6)
    1. Overindulging
    2. Singing
    3. Working during the festival
    4. Preparation of food during the evening hours
    5. Consumption of food during the daylight hours
    6. Consumption of a specific substance
    Table F5: Festival Accoutrements (roll 1d4)
    1. None
    2. Specific style of dress (e.g. traditional, costumes, lack of clothing, etc.)
    3. Symbolic Decoration (e.g. use of decorated eggs to symbolize the changing of winter to spring)
    4. Iconic Decorations (e.g. images of ancestors/relatives, Idols of a Deity, etc.)

    Friday, June 22, 2018

    MCC Recap - Entering The Ruined Citadel



    Last Wednesday I ran the another session of my monthly(ish) MCC game.

    Meet the Seekers:
    • Thorn the Plantient (level 1)
      • Played by Craig McCullough
    • Sinclair the Mutant (Chitinous armor) (level 2)
      • Played by Andrew Lyon
    • Agutter the Healer (level 2)
      • Played by Paul Go  
    • Bo Goodboy the Yorkie Manimal (level 1)
      • Played by Jon Hook
    • Flic-flak the Sentinel (level 2)
      • Played by Alex Perucchini 
    The Ruined Citadel

    As dawn broke early the heroes woke to the dawn's light coming across the grassy hills by the lake where they camped. A hasty breakfast was gobbled down before they set off to climb to the ruined citadel they could see across the lake. Before departing the members of the Atomic Equinox pulled Thorn aside and said that if he would like to join their brotherhood he should travel to the west and south to the Glowing Grove, where he would be welcomed as a fellow plantient.

    Moving Southeast around the lake the group stayed low, hiding in the waist high grasses and moving between the copses of trees that dotted the hillsides. They were able to stay hidden as they moved onward toward the citadel that way. Skirting one copse of trees they overheard some voices from within and approached cautiously. Within they found a group of four manimals of the Chosen of Zuu, one of whom had been wounded by a tibber "thunder-stick." Agutter applied some healing herbs, saving the life of Magilla the Gorilla. After some conversation these new followers offered to accompany the group and help end the tibbar threat.
    • Meet the manimals:
      • Ida Kno, the Orangutan manimal 
      • Magilla, the Gorrilla manimal
      • Ratfinkle, the Rat manimal
      • Lyle, the Bear manimal
    After another hour of stealthy travel the group found a stair cut into the mountain and used it to climb towards the ruins above. Though the stairs were in some disrepair in places they were able to reach the top without issue only to come to a walled off area blocked by a metal door. 

    The door had no handle on their side and only a slit to look through. Ratfinkle tried to push the door open, and failing that he knocked loudly, and then attempted to stab the creature whose eye appeared at the slit. As a desperate attack on the barely seen doorman ensued Bo Goodboy impressed the others with his mutant talent to devolve other creatures and reduced the target to an animal state. 

    Confident now, Lyle stuck his hand into the slit and ripped the door from the wall, gaining a large and unwieldy tower shield in the process (+2 AC, fumble die of d14). Beyond the now door-less portal was a room occupied by two tibbar and a rabbit. The group quickly charged in and dispatched not only the tibbar, but also the rabbit. One of the tibbar did make an attempt to escape and warn its fellows but was downed by a thrown dagger. 

    The group searched the room and turned up a c-cell (charge unknown), and some basic tibbar weaponry. Beyond the room they could see a cliff-top area. on one-side a swift drop down to the lake, on the other a long low building, and ahead a small cluster of tents, though they could see no sign of more tibbar. 

    The group attempted to sneak to the nearest structure but unknown to them they were spotted, and the tibbar, now on alert, began to gather their forces. Inside the building they found the remains of some ancient vehicles and a number of useful items including a solar cell, AND, a quantum cell! Also a slot machine, a coffee maker, and a copy of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 
    Judge's Note: I used my scavenging table (here) for the major loot, and also this table for minor loot. 
    With the garage thoroughly ransacked the group peered out to see a group of seven tibbar warriors led by a tibbar wearing a strange red cloak and wielding one of two "boom sticks" (I kept changing the name), with a lieutenant wielding a second.  These tibbar were evacuating the tents of their occupants, mostly females and young, and getting prepared for battle.

    The group tried to sneak out of the garage but most failed their agility checks for sneaking and a combat broke out. Using smart tactics (prioritize the artifact users, stay behind cover) the group rallied and defeated the warriors and ran the leader off. The leader, still alive and now down several men managed to make a break for the main portion of the ruins.

    The group now had a choice, would they press the attack, or take a moment to regroup and tend their wounds?

    In Memoriam: 
    • Ida Kno, the Orangutan manimal 
      • Felled by an arrow

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018

    The Alphabet of Outer Beings - G is for Geas

    Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/art/Cu-Chulainn-145162388

    G is for Geas

    A geas (sometime geis, plural geasa) is a vow or taboo requiring, or prohibiting, a certain behavior. A geas can be a societal or supernatural and the consequences of breaking such a geas will vary greatly depending on the source. The breaking of a societal geas can result in dishonor for being rude, or ma y even result in imprisonment as though a law was broken. The breaking of a supernatural geas can result in spiritual or physical weakness, or any number of other potential effects. Below are several options for supernatural geasa and the ramification of breaking them. These may be gained via a powerful Curse spell, at the hand of a powerful witch, wizard, or other magic users, or even be the result of an angry god or dealings with the lords and ladies of the fae.

    Table G1: Type of Geas (roll 1d8 & 1d6 then continue to Table G2)
    The oath-bound is ...
    1. ... prohibited from consuming the flesh of ...
      1. Dogs
      2. Chickens
      3. Fish
      4. Goats
      5. Cows
      6. Sheep
    2. ...  required to repay ...
      1. all debts
      2. any slight or insult
      3. kindness
      4. violence
      5. gifts
      6. fines
    3. ... prohibited from lying to ...
      1. Children
      2. Women
      3. Siblings
      4. Witches
      5. Royalty
      6. Virgins
    4. ... required to accept ... 
      1. offered hospitality
      2. offers of surrender
      3. all gifts
      4. the first offer (cannot bargain)
      5. their fate (may not re-roll dice, and the character cannot try to change prophesied events)
      6. legal judgements
    5. ... prohibited from fighting with ...
      1. Thrown weapons
      2. Swords
      3. Maces
      4. Clubs
      5. Knives
      6. Bows
    6. ... is required to ...
      1. observe celestial events (solstices, eclipses, etc.) with appropriate rituals
      2. tithe 3d3x10% of their income to their lord or deity
      3. follow all orders from those of higher station
      4. introduce themselves with their true name 
      5. remain silent unless they pay somebody to listen
      6. accept all challenges laid upon them
    7. ... prohibited from consuming ...
      1. Alcohol
      2. Sweets
      3. Caffine
      4. Eggs
      5. Preserved foods (e.g. salted, canned, etc)
      6. Mushrooms
    8. ... prohibited from entering a home without ...
      1. gaining permission from the owner
      2. wiping your feet
      3. offering a gift
      4. removing headgear
      5. removing one's weapons
      6. washing one's hands
    Table G2: Effects of a Broken Geas (roll 2d6 + Luck Modifier)
    All effects are permanent unless otherwise noted or the character undergoes a lengthy process to make restitution for breaking the geas. The oathbound will generally have some idea of the strength of the geas that has been laid upon them.
    1. (or lower) Instant Death! No save. 
    2. Crippling weakness! The oathbound suffers permanent 2d6 Stamina damage, and 1d6 Strength and Agility damage.
    3. Weakness! The oathbound suffers permanent 1d6 Stamina damage.
    4. Major Curse! The oathbound suffers a permanent penalty of -2d3 to all rolls. 
    5. Minor Curse! The oathbound suffers a permanent penalty of -1d4 to all rolls. 
    6. Fate's Torment! The oathbound becomes an immortal pox upon his very race. Forevermore those he meets will be struck with bad luck, and only by removing themselves from the society will they be able to prevent their curse from targeting others. They are cursed to live forever alone. 
    7. Fate's Target! The oathbound is fated to die by the whims of fate. Every day there will be a minimum of 2d4 times when the character will need to escape death's grasp. This can take any form, from a ship sinking, to an attack of brigands, a rival's assassin, or slipping in the bath. 
    8. Amnesia! The world forgets you entirely! The oathbound is wiped from the minds of every person who ever knew them except deities and the person or being that laid the geas upon them. They may no longer call upon bank accounts, lands, titles, or the like. Favors owed to them are no longer remembered and those to whom they owed favors are inexplicably hostile
    9. Transformation! Over the course of the next month the character slowly and painfully transforms into an animal, losing their sentience and intelligence last. 
    10. Destitution! The oathbound loses everything they owned. Weapons and armor break, money or valuables are immediately lost or stolen. Lands are lost or become worthless. The oathbound is reduced to a penniless pauper. The geas remains in place and the oathbound will suffer this result every time they break the geas. 
    11. Major Bad luck - The oathbound automatically fail their next 2d4 rolls, or takes the minimum result. The geas remains in place and the oathbound will suffer this result every time they break the geas. 
    12. Minor Bad luck - The oathbound automatically fail their next 1d3 rolls, or takes the minimum result. The geas remains in place and the oathbound will suffer this result every time they break the geas. 
    13. (or greater) The character is struck unconscious for 1d3 hours. The geas remains in place and the oathbound will suffer this result every time they break the geas. 

    Wednesday, June 6, 2018

    Nuts & Bolts #151 - Mutant Crawl Classics Scavenging Table



    Scavenging is a big part of post-apocalyptic life. Since going into a hex crawl with my game I have been wondering how to deal with that at the table since I may have to determine what kinds of useful items may be found within a randomly found ruin. I decided to do a little work up front and create a scavenging table. 

    For each turn spent scavenging/exploring within a given area the character rolls 3 dice as determined below, and adds their luck modifier (meaning low luck = penalty on roll). Characters with the gatherer starting occupation may add +1 to their roll. The total is compared to the chart.
    • Location Type / Die size
    • Wilderness area / d3
    • Looted ruin / d4
    • Un-looted ruin / d5
    • Looted structure /d6
    • Un-looted structure / d8
    If an entry requires additional rolls the character's luck modifier is added (or subtracted) from ALL subsequent rolls!! For artifacts, roll 1d8 (adding the searcher's luck mod) and consult below:
    • 1-4 - Has the lowest power source type with half charge (or roll to determine # of charges)
    • 5-6 -Has the lowest power source type, but is fully charged
    • 7-8 - Has the 2nd best power source type and is approximately half charged (or roll as appropriate)
    • 9 - Has the 2nd best power source type and is fully charged
    • 10 - Has the best power source type (usually unlimited use)

    A note on trade value: The MCC book gives item values in creds within Table 1-4 (page 18). In my game this is purely to put reference around barter value (on average) and does not equate to any kind of standard currency or economy. Your mileage may vary, but regardless the values of some goods will be higher, or lower, to certain people. Scrap will be more likely to have value to a craftsperson (craftsmutant?) than a gatherer or healer. 
    1. (or lower) Nothing but a location appropriate creature (75% chance of hostility)
    2. Nothing 
    3. Nada
    4. Zilch
    5. Zip
    6. Junk - 1d6 pieces of junk that weigh 3d8 pounds each. Each is only worth 1d4 creds trade value.
    7. Good Junk - 2d6 pieces of junk that weigh 3d6 pounds each. Each is worth 2d3 creds trade value.
    8. Scrap - 1d4 pieces of scrap materials (plasteel, peraglass, etc.) suitable for crafting or trade. Trade value is 2d6 creds each.
    9. Good Scrap - 1d6 pieces of scrap materials (plasteel, peraglass, etc.) suitable for crafting or trade. Trade value is 2d8 creds each.
    10. Ancient clothing - Intact clothing of the ancient ones. This has no value of armor (but 50% chance of rendering the wearer immune to [roll 1d3: 1: Heat, 2: Cold, 3: Atmospheric contaminants, 4: All of the above]. 
    11. Miscellaneous Artifacts (roll 1d10)
      1. Carbon Nano-Cord
      2. Com-Badge
      3. Energy Cloak
      4. Fusion Torch
      5. Grav Clamp
      6. Holo-Cloak
      7. Multitool
      8. Rejuv-Chamber
      9. Sensor Pad
      10. Sonic Spanner
    12. Power Cells (roll 1d5)
      1. C-Cell
      2. F-Cell
      3. S-Cell
      4. Q-Cell
      5. Solar Recharger
      6. F-Pack
      7. Q-Pack
    13. Medical Equipment (roll 1d8)
      1. Accelershot
      2. Cureshot
      3. Cybernetic Implant
      4. Medipac
      5. Medishot
      6. Neuroshot
      7. Radshot
      8. Stimshot
    14. Grenades! (roll 1d4 for type, and 1d3 for quantity)
      1. EMP Grenade
      2. Photon Grenade
      3. Stun Grenade
      4. Quantum Grenade
    15. Ancient Melee Weapon (roll 1d3)
      1. Zapper Glove
      2. Force Baton
      3. Plasma Sword
    16. Ancient Vehicle (roll 1d3)
      1. Grav Ped
      2. Grav Sled
      3. Bubble Car
    17. Ancient Ranged Weapon (roll 1d10)
      1. Dazer Pistol
      2. Fazer Pistol
      3. Gauzer Pistol
      4. Lazer Pistol
      5. Mazer Pistol
      6. Neutron Rifle
      7. Fazer Rifle
      8. Gauzer Rifle
      9. Lazer Rifle
      10. Mazer Rifle
    18. Ancient Armor (roll 1d6)
      1. Bubble Helmet
      2. Enviro Belt
      3. Force Field Belt
      4. Plasteel Mesh
      5. Power Armor, Scout
      6. Power Armor, Attack
      7. Power Armor, Assault
    19. (or greater) Exotic Item - This is the truly rare find. An intact item, with power or power cells, that has a unique function. Judge's discretion, but this should be good! Examples include:
      • Cortexin Cylinders
      • Force Field Projector
      • Gene Resequencer
      • Stasis Booth
    Alternately you may need some tables a little more location specific. It's not expected you'd find a suit of power armor in a family home for instance. So you could try these...

    Domestic Location
    1. Ancient Clothing
    2. Enviro Belt
    3. Carbon Nano-Cord
    4. Fusion Torch
    5. Grav Clamp
    6. Multitool
    7. Rejuv-Chamber
    8. Sensor Pad
    9. Sonic Spanner
    10. Dazer Pistol
    11. Stasis Booth
    12. Bubble Car
    Medical Location
    1. Grav Sled
    2. Rejuv-Chamber
    3. Sensor Pad
    4. Sonic Spanner
    5. Accelershot
    6. Cureshot
    7. Cybernetic Implant
    8. Medipac
    9. Medishot
    10. Neuroshot
    11. Radshot
    12. Stimshot
    Industrial Location
    1. Carbon Nano-Cord
    2. Com-Badge
    3. Fusion Torch
    4. Grav Clamp
    5. Multitool
    6. Sonic Spanner
    7. Grav Sled
    8. Bubble Helmet
    9. Enviro Belt
    10. Industrial Exoskeleton (use Power Armor but reduce AC and remove in-built weapons, or replace weapons with Fusion Torch and Multi Tool)
    Military Location
    1. Com-Badge
    2. Energy Cloak
    3. Fusion Torch
    4. Holo-Cloak
    5. Multitool
    6. Military Hospital (re-roll on Medical Locations)
    7. Military Garage (re-roll on Industrial Locations)
    8. Force Field Belt
    9. Plasteel Mesh
    10. Grenades! (roll 1d4 for type, and 1d6 for quantity)
      1. EMP Grenade
      2. Photon Grenade
      3. Stun Grenade
      4. Quantum Grenade
    11. Plasma Sword
    12. Lazer Pistol
    13. Mazer Pistol
    14. Neutron Rifle
    15. Fazer Rifle
    16. Lazer Rifle
    17. Mazer Rifle
    18. Power Armor, Scout
    19. Power Armor, Attack
    20. Power Armor, Assault

                                                      Wednesday, May 30, 2018

                                                      The Alphabet of Outer Beings - Z is for Zealot

                                                      Image Source: https://piemasterxl.deviantart.com/art/Flagellant-347753837

                                                      Z is for Zealot

                                                      Zealots have an extremely deep and fervent passion for their religion. They are driven to preach, convert, or prosthelytize about their religion, or to go to war against the enemies and heretics of their beliefs. These men and women often take their beliefs to extremes, including the attendant behavior. As a result these people often have unique abilities that are driven by their passions, and can cause even the staunchest of enemies or opponents to falter before them.

                                                      Table Z1: Type of Zeal (roll 1d6 and 1d4) 
                                                      • 1-2: Radical - Radicals use their zealotry to work against their enemies with words and actions that attack faith and ruling systems to tear them down in favor of their faith.
                                                        1. Fanatic - The fanatic preaches to convert new followers. They may gain a bonus equal to their level on rolls to convert people to their beliefs or lead the believers of their deity.
                                                        2. Insurgent - The insurgent specializes overthrowing governments and monarchies unfavorable to their faith. They may gain a bonus equal to their level on all rolls to undermine such enemies.
                                                        3. Renegade - Renegades are converts, former followers of another faith who use their knowledge of that deity's faithful to further tear down their new deity's opponents. They may gain a bonus equal to twice their level when applying this specialized knowledge to aid their new god.
                                                        4. Subversive - The subversive specializes undermining the works of deities the oppose their own. They may gain a bonus equal to their level on all rolls to undermine other deities either overtly, or covertly.
                                                      • 3-4: Firebrand - Firebrands bridge the gaps between Radicals and Militants without being either. They specialize in mobilizing the faithful or urging the mob into action.
                                                        1. Demagogue -The demagogue spews hateful speech about the enemies of their faith. They may grant allies of level zero or level one a damage bonus equal to their level through hateful rhetoric about their enemies. They may also gain a bonus equal to their level to recruit such followers by leveraging people's hatred and fear.
                                                        2. Instigator - The instigator uses rhetoric to spur their followers into action, or gain the allegiance of new followers. They may grant allies of level zero or level one an initiative bonus equal to their level through rhetoric. They may also gain a bonus equal to their level to recruit such followers by leveraging rhetoric to inspire the faithful to action.
                                                        3. Rabble-rouser - The rabble-rouser works behind the scenes, playing situations to their advantage by using the power of a mob to incite events that play into their own plans. The rabble-rouser gains a bonus equal to their level when attempting to form a mob, or to incite that mob into action in the furtherance of their own plans. If the rabble-rouser instigates a mob to violence the mob gains an attack bonus equal to half their level (round up) to attack rolls. 
                                                        4. Agitator - The agitator works to weaken the enemy by harming their own faith or morale. The agitator gains a bonus when acting to damage enemy morale, cohesion, or when sowing discord within the enemy's forces or faith. When facing off against such a force in combat they may impose an attack penalty equal to half their level (round up) on their enemy's attacks through their agitating actions.
                                                      • 5-6: Militant - Militants are the warriors are their faith, and zealous militants take their belief in their deity to the extreme, gaining martial prowess through their extreme devotion.
                                                        1. Flagellants - In combat a Flagellant may wound themselves as a sacrifice to their deity. This allows them to re-roll a damage die, taking damage equal to the result of the re-rolled die. 
                                                        2. Diehard - After being reduced to zero Hit Points, Diehards may continue to fight on for 1 round per level before collapsing.
                                                        3. Maniac - The maniac charged into battle heedless of the consequences. They may choose to reduce their armor class by any amount up to their level and add the same amount to their attack rolls. 
                                                        4. Champion - The champion is blessed by their deity (or believes they are) and is protected by divine grace. In battle they may gain a bonus equal to their level to their armor class, if they do so they must sacrifice a divine spell (if applicable), or forfeit any speak attack abilities for that round. 
                                                      Table Z2: Zealous Passion (roll 1d6) 
                                                      • 1-2: Zealot - The zealot may use their special ability once per day without other restriction
                                                      • 3-4: Jihadist - The jihadist may use their special ability at will against a specific enemy of their deity or creature deemed unholy (e.g. at will against goblins).
                                                      • 5-6: Crusader - The crusader may use their special ability, once per day per level against any of their deity's enemies/unholy creatures.

                                                      Thursday, May 24, 2018

                                                      MCC Recap - On the Trail of Tibbar



                                                      Last week I ran the another session of my monthly(ish) MCC game. While I do hope and intend to continue with the published MCC adventures I also really wanted to try something new. Having experienced my first hex crawl with James Walls' Purple Planet game I was all over a MCC style hex crawl! So I made some quick hex crawl rules and a table of weird crap to maybe find that I hoped would be general enough for long term use and then waited for game day!

                                                      Meet the Seekers:
                                                      • Thorn the Plantient (level 1)
                                                        • Played by Craig McCullough
                                                      • Sinclair the Mutant (Chitinous armor) (level 2)
                                                        • Played by Andrew Lyon
                                                      • Agutter the Healer (level 2)
                                                        • Played by Paul Go  
                                                      • Cypher, Shaman of ACHROMA (level 2)
                                                        • Played by James Walls 
                                                      • Tully the Mutant (Pyrokinesis) (level 1)
                                                        • Played by William Keller
                                                      • And Introducing Jon Hook as:
                                                        • Brutis the Gorilla Manimal (ZERO)
                                                        • Riki the Wolf Manimal (ZERO)
                                                        • Bo Goodboy the Yorkie Manimal (ZERO)
                                                        • Weelton Littleprick the Cactus Plantient (ZERO)
                                                      Welcome to the Jungle Hex Crawl

                                                      As experiments in hex-crawling go this worked out pretty well I think. I'm trying to keep good notes on the stuff the PCs bring back home, and then come up with ideas how it can impact their home lover time. This session I introduced that the villagers had figured out how to reliably produce the "Mesophase Alloy" result from the "Fuz-Craft L’il Accelerator Lab Kit" from Assault on the Sky High Tower. They wanted to know if they should use the materials for better weaponry or better armor and the players chose weapons. Before they left to explore the jungle there were given the first fruits of this choice, a dozen metal tipped arrows that dealt 1d6+1 damage.

                                                      I gave the players a glimpse of the "known world" (below) which looks weirdly like a chicken after Assault on the Sky High Tower and A Fallen Star for All.  They asked about the river to the south west of their settlement and decided to start exploring by going up river...

                                                      Moving into the next hex they found a weird area of dead vegetation surrounding a pit. Approaching the pit, the ambient radiation from the object within caused Brutis the Gorilla to literally melt out of his skin (as described by Jon himself, I can't even take credit). Sinclair was interested in finding out if he could get some more mutations however so he proceeded to climb down into the crater and unearth the glowing metal orb. Burning hot to the touch Sinclair was otherwise unaffected by the radiation even at short range (maybe his chitinous armor is fortified with lead?). The team decided to bring the orb back to their village by filling a large leather sack with dirt and burying the orb in the center, then dragging it behind them via some braided vine rope Tully made (gatherer background FTW). We'll see how that changes the village eventually!

                                                      Returning to the river they continued to follow it westward, going upstream from the swampy lake they had saved from radiation. Things were quiet until they stumbled into a pair of short rabbit-like mutants. Some of the group had seen one before but before any kind of diplomacy could be attempted one of the tibbar drained 3 HP from Cypher and set of a violent, and quick, combat. The group raided the simple weapons from the tibbar, and Thorn cut one of their feet off, while Sinclair claimed some ears to tie to his axe. Angered by the tibbar's aggression the group decided to try and track the tibbar back to their village. With plenty of hunters in the group tracking the tibbar was easy enough and the group set off accordingly, still tracking up-stream of the river.

                                                      After a couple of hours following the trail of the tibbar the group found a strange creature. It stood on two legs and waddled around each of them sniffing curiously. It finally settled on Agutter and adopted her as it's new master.

                                                      Several more hours of travel and trail following led the group to a small freshwater spring and a grove of trees sporting a strange oblong fruit in a very bright pink rind. Tully recognized the fruit as Bubble Yum fruit and the group set to gathering provisions from their find. They also noticed some of the rinds of these fruit, cast off and turned silver with age, by the pool and surmised that the tibber had clearly stopped here at some point.

                                                      Though the day was getting long the group pressed onward and after a couple hours stumbled into a large group of tibbar. The 9 rabbit mutants wasted no time in launching volleys of arrows and spears as the PCs fired back or charged into the fray. Thorn was felled in a brutal attack, but was saved at the last moment by Cypher with a medi-shot. Poor Weelton the barrel cactus was slain in the fight but in the end the characters were triumphant killing 8 of the tibbar but allowing one to escape.

                                                      Worried that the escapee might alert his people the group pressed onward and came to a lake in the hills. Looking across the lake they say a ruin of some kind and surmised that this was the home of these rascally rabbits. They pressed onward as the sun began to set and came to meet on the trail a group of plantients from the Atomic Equinox. With the light waning and their new plant allies the PCs set to making camp just a couple of miles from the ruins they had seen...

                                                      In Memoriam: 
                                                      • Brutis the Gorilla Manimal - Liquefied by radiation
                                                      • Weelton Littleprick the Cactus Plantient - Skewered by a spear

                                                      Wednesday, May 23, 2018

                                                      Nuts & Bolts #150 - Post Apocalyptic Exploration


                                                      My Mutant Crawl Classics campaign has had a couple of establishing adventures and while I still have a few of the published adventures available I want to start moving things towards a hex-crawl and seed in the adventures more organically. To do that I need some kind of table to aid with the hex-crawl exploration side of things. Something simple enough to meet the needs of my current game and any future, and I should note that my PCs have a flying car so hex-crawl travel is a little faster for my current game than I'm sure it will be for others.

                                                      The trick here is to find a way to ensure that the group using the flying car isn't having a ton of encounters just because they can cover a ton of hexes in a given unit of time. Likewise since they can pass quickly through hexes they should have an increased chance of having no encounter since it would difficult for a fast moving vehicle to be ambushed, or for the passengers to spot a hidden structure in the dense jungle.

                                                      Exploration Roll:
                                                      When a group is moving through the wilderness 2d7 is rolled and then Table 1 is consulted. If the group contains a Rover, increase the die type by +1d. If the party is moving slowly and exploring with intent increase the die type by +1d. If they are moving quickly to cover more ground, reduce the die type by -1d or more (depending on how fast they are moving).

                                                      Table 1: What the heck did we find?
                                                      1. N/A - How'd you end up here? HOW?! You can't have rolled this ... sheesh
                                                      2. Ambush! Something hungry leaps out and attacks!
                                                      3. Fresh water, and a grove of trees bearing edible fruits. 
                                                      4. Weather (refer to Random Weather Tables)
                                                      5. A friendly creature with empathic or telepathic abilities finds the party and attaches itself to the PC with the highest Personality score. Creature has 1d3 Hit Dice of 1d4.
                                                      6. Hostiles! A group of enemies, or some other hostile creature or robot spots the group. 
                                                      7. A small party (2d4) of explorers. Roll 1d10 on Table 2.
                                                      8. A ruin of the ancients. This has been picked clean but a thorough search still has a 5% chance of rewarding the searchers with a minor artifact. The structure has a 50% chance of being intact enough to provide shelter. 
                                                      9. Nothing
                                                      10. Also nothing
                                                      11. Still nothing
                                                      12. Yup. Nothing
                                                      13. A crater filled with radioactive waste, the group must make a DC 12 Fortitude save or lose 1d3 points of Stamina. This roll is made for every Turn spent near the crater; increase the DC and frequency if the group decides to explore within. 
                                                      14. A small village or outpost belonging to (roll 1d20 on Table 2)
                                                      15. A damaged ancient site. 35% chance it has not been looted. Roll 1d12 on Table 3.
                                                      16. or Higher: Lucky find! An intact structure of the ancient ones! Roll 2d8 on Table 3.

                                                      Table 2: Affiliations
                                                      1. The Clan of Cog
                                                      2. The Chosen of Zuu
                                                      3. The Children of the Glow
                                                      4. The Curators
                                                      5. The Atomic Equinox
                                                      6. The Holy Medicinal order
                                                      7. The Gene Police
                                                      8. The Blessed Brotherhood
                                                      9. The Technorabble
                                                      10. (or greater) Non-affiliated
                                                      Table 3: Locations found at random
                                                      1. A military structure
                                                      2. A fuel depot
                                                      3. A greenhouse for decorative flowers
                                                      4. A hospital
                                                      5. A research station
                                                      6. An old museum or art gallery
                                                      7. A greenhouse for food production
                                                      8. A transit station
                                                      9. (or greater) A home of the ancients

                                                      Wednesday, May 16, 2018

                                                      The Alphabet of Outer Beings - A is for Avatar


                                                      A is for Avatar

                                                      Avatar is a physical manifestation of A powerful outer being in the mortal plain. These representatives of gods or patrons often take the form of a mortal I the image of the outer being but this is not exclusive, it's possible for an avatar to be an animal, a column of fire, a burning bush, or even the animation of  an idol. An avatar may have all of the power of the outer being or merely be invested with a portion of it; likewise atm avatar may be a direct conduit or an independent fraction of the outer being’s psyche.

                                                      Table A1: Avatar Manifestation (roll %)
                                                      • 1-50% - the avatar takes the form of a mortal intelligent creature, proceed to table A2
                                                      • 51-70% - the avatar takes the form of an animal, proceed to table A3
                                                      • 71-80% - the avatar takes the form of a plant, proceed to table A4
                                                      • 81-90% - the avatar is embodies embodied in an abstract show off power, proceed to table A5
                                                      • 91-98% - the avatar inhabits and animates an idol of the outer being
                                                      • 99-00% - roll again twice & combine, ignoring all results of 91% or greater.
                                                      Table A2: Mortal Races (roll 1d10 then proceed to Table H6)
                                                      If the outer being only has followers of a single race ignore this table, the avatar takes the form of that race.
                                                      1. Human
                                                      2. Dwarf
                                                      3. Elf
                                                      4. Halfling
                                                      5. Orc
                                                      6. Goblin
                                                      7. Ogre
                                                      8. Giant
                                                      9. Gnome
                                                      10. Half breed, roll again twice
                                                      Table A3: Animal Forms (roll 1d10 then proceed to Table H6)
                                                      1. Canine/wolf
                                                      2. Predatory bird
                                                      3. Feline
                                                      4. Fish
                                                      5. Bird, non-predatory
                                                      6. Ruminant
                                                      7. Dragon
                                                      8. Horse
                                                      9. Serpent
                                                      10. Mixed (roll again twice and combine)
                                                      Table A4: Plants Forms (roll 1d6 then proceed to Table H6)
                                                      1. Tree, Evergreen
                                                      2. Tree, Fruit bearing
                                                      3. Tree, Deciduous
                                                      4. Shrubbery
                                                      5. Flowers
                                                      6. A mass of vines, moss, and grasses
                                                      Table A5: Abstract displays of power (roll 1d6 then proceed to Table H6)
                                                      1. A storm of lightning
                                                      2. A pillar of flame
                                                      3. A whirlwind
                                                      4. A font of water
                                                      5. A pillar of stone
                                                      6. A beam of pure light
                                                      Table A6: Avatar Divine Powers (roll 1d6 then proceed to Table H7)
                                                      If the avatar is the creation of a supernatural patron replace clerical magic with wizardly magics.
                                                      1. Divine Knowledge - though the avatar lacks any divine abilities it does possess knowledge
                                                      2. Living Icon - The avatar is a living icon of their deity and may lay on hands and turn unholy as a cleric of level 1d10
                                                      3. Minor clerical magic - The avatar is a weak cleric able to perform all the same divine magics as a cleric of level 1d3. 
                                                      4. Clerical magic - The avatar is a cleric able to perform all the same divine magics as a cleric of level 2d4.
                                                      5. Divine cleric - The avatar is able to fully channel the power of the deity and may perform any all clerical magic as a cleric of the normal maximum level. 
                                                      6. Powers beyond mortal ken - The avatar is not only able to channel any and all clerical magics but also may perform divine miracles on behalf of the deity. 
                                                      Table A7: Avatar's Hit Dice (roll 1d6 then proceed to Table H8)
                                                      1. Mortal - 2d6 hit dice
                                                      2. Tough Mortal - 4d8 hit dice
                                                      3. Powerful - 6d10 hit dice
                                                      4. Incredible power - 8d12 hit dice
                                                      5. Nigh Immortal - 15d10 hit dice
                                                      6. Demigod - 20d10 hit dice
                                                      Table A8: Avatar's Purpose on the mortal plane  (roll 1d6)
                                                      1. The avatar has been sent to deliver a prophecy.
                                                      2. The avatar has been sent to protect a fated individual.
                                                      3. The avatar has been sent to lead loyal forces in a war upon the deity's enemies.
                                                      4. The avatar has been sent to fulfill a prophecy.
                                                      5. The avatar has been sent to convert a specific person to the deity's worship.
                                                      6. The avatar has been sent to kill an enemy of the deity. 

                                                                  Wednesday, May 9, 2018

                                                                  MCC Recap - The Purple Pit of the Mole Men



                                                                  A couple weeks ago, with a truncated crew I ran a somewhat off the cuff funnel for MCC with the players who were available. This was a modified and adapted version of Harley Stroh's The Sinister Secret of Whiterock. 
                                                                  • Craig McCullough as
                                                                    • Fred - Pure Strain Human
                                                                    • Ted - Pure Strain Human
                                                                    • Ed - Pure Strain Human
                                                                    • Jason - Pure Strain Human
                                                                  • Alex Perucchini as
                                                                    • Zooma - Mutant
                                                                    • Theo - Pure Strain Human
                                                                    • Bile - Vulture Manimal
                                                                    • Ophelia - Pure Strain Human
                                                                  • Andrew Lyon as
                                                                    • George - Chimpanzee Manimal
                                                                    • Phil - Pure Strain Human
                                                                    • Roger - Mutant
                                                                    • Betsy - Pure Strain Human
                                                                  • William Keller as
                                                                    • Tully - Mutant
                                                                    • Daisy - Mutant
                                                                    • 17 - Pure Strain Human
                                                                    • Guh - Pure Strain Human

                                                                  Sent out to explore the jungles to the south of the village the PC group of mixed hunters and gatherers traveled for several days before reaching the boundary of the jungle and the foothills that rose into the Great Mountains to the south. After many days of travel the group was camped for the evening when poor unlucky Ed (I think it was Ed) was standing watch. He never saw his end coming. When morning came the group found Ed missing and apart from a trail into the wild and a foot no other sign of Ed was found.

                                                                  Following the trail the group came to a strange wall of ancient made stone where the trail abruptly ended. Searching around they found a large metal hatch that revealed a hole into a dark cave. Part of the group descended into the cave where they were set upon by screamers. The radioactive fungus driven skeletons attacked as mercilessly as they attacked mindlessly and a hard fought battle ensued during which George and 17 were killed.

                                                                  Once the screamers were killed the group explored the room, which was no cave but some kind of structure from long ago. They found a skull with a strange mechanical eye, but none were willing to attempt the operation to replace their own with it. Searching for a way out they located a secret door and were ambushed by a pair of mole-men. Though the mole men were well armored and well armed the group outnumbered them and quickly dispatched their foes and looted a wicked metal blade, some well made javelins, and two pieces of metal cloth armor too small for any in their party to wear.

                                                                  Proceeding down on exit from this chamber the group located a broken bridge across a deep chasm. Far below there was the sound of rushing water and a strange purple glow. After much discussion they found a way to lower a large chain down into the chasm and one by one they attempted the treacherous climb. Most of them by luck or skill, made it to a ledge far below, but Daisy and Fred slipped and plummeted to their doom.

                                                                  Faced with the choice to enter a large chamber full of refuse or climb a rope to the underground lake and investigate the source of the glow the party chose the latter and made their way to the shallows of the lake. Assaulting the beach they were attacked by another pair of armed mole men and a female of their species wearing a strange purple crown and weilding a death ray of the ancient ones! This death ray fired heat beams so intense that Guh exploded when hit by one, the juices in his body flashing to steam!

                                                                  Luck and numbers, and the aid of one of the dead (who hand landed on and killed one of the mole men when they fell from the chain) allowed the group to achieve victory. They looted the dead and what treasure remained before making a hasty escape as the very chamber seemed to be collapsing as a result of the death of the mole men's queen...

                                                                  In Memoriam: 
                                                                  • Daisy
                                                                  • 17
                                                                  • Guh
                                                                  • Fred
                                                                  • Ed
                                                                  • George

                                                                  Wednesday, May 2, 2018

                                                                  The Alphabet of Outer Beings - T is also for Temples


                                                                  Just as towers are the archetypal homes and workplaces of wizards, so to are Temples the typical residence and powerbase for Clerics. When it comes to Outer Beings a Deity is far more likely to influence the design, construction, and content of a temple than a Patron is for a wizard's tower. Temples come in many shapes and sizes, all influenced by the population of faithful in the area and the dictates of the deity to whom they are erected to honor. The following tables can help fill in the blanks if you need a temple on the fly, or if you are planning a location ahead of time.

                                                                  Table Tem1: Location of Temple (roll 1d8 (if needed))
                                                                  1. The temple is located in a village of less than 100 people. 
                                                                  2. The temple is located in a small hamlet of 100-500 people.
                                                                  3. The temple is located in a moderately sized town of 500-1000 people.
                                                                  4. The temple is located in a city of greater than 1000 people. 
                                                                  5. The temple is located within a castle or other fortification.
                                                                  6. The temple is located within a dungeon, cave, or mine.
                                                                  7. The temple is located on an remote island.
                                                                  8. The temple is located deep within an unexplored forrest.
                                                                  Table Tem2: Protection (roll 1d6)
                                                                  1. The temple is unprotected beyond the capabilities of the priests and any local faithful.
                                                                  2. Guards - The temple has guards, often in the form of janissaries, paladins, or zealots.
                                                                  3. Undead - The  temple is protected by some form of undead. For the temples of chaotic gods these are often scores of zombies or animate skeletons. The temples of lawful gods are guarded by the spirits of the faithful, often fallen members of a martial priesthood. 
                                                                  4. Divine Warding - Divine wards and blessings prevent unwanted visitors from entering the area until they are destroyed. 
                                                                  5. The location of the temple is hidden behind traps that are designed to be tests of faith for those who seek entrance. 
                                                                  6. Champions - The temple is protected by champions who are aligned to the deities goals. These are usually powerful supernatural creatures like Sphinxes, Dragons, and the like. 
                                                                  Table Tem3: Notable magical features (roll 1d6)
                                                                  1. The temple is home to a genuine relic of the deity. (see R is for Relics
                                                                  2. Only divine magic will work within the temple.
                                                                  3. The temple has been blessed and is truly a holy place. Divine magic is easier to cast and more effective within the temple and its grounds.
                                                                  4. The temple is no longer sacred ground. For some reason the temple has lost the favor of the deity and it is harder to channel their magic and such magic is less powerful. 
                                                                  5. The temple's fate is closely watched by the deity. If it is threatened beyond what its protectors can rebuff the deity is willing to send an Avatar to aid the defenders.
                                                                  6. A well spring is located on the temple grounds, 75% chance of being within the temple itself. For lawful gods this acts as a healing spring restoring those who drink from it. For neutral gods the waters of the spring have anti-magic properties and can remove curses and other magical effects. For chaotic gods the spring's waters have effects that vary seemingly at will and can encompass any magical effect (Judge's discretion); the temple priests likely have ways of determining the current chaotic effect (60% chance). 
                                                                  Table Tem4: Notable mundane features (roll 1d8)
                                                                  1. The temple houses a notably sized library of religious texts.
                                                                  2. The temple was built over a natural gas vent that feeds an eternal flame.
                                                                  3. The temple has a large catacomb beneath where many non-sainted individuals are buried. 
                                                                  4. The temple has an exceptionally tall tower, or overall large construction, marking it as the tallest/largest structure in the region.
                                                                  5. The temple is quite modest from the outside, but the inside is heavily embellished in precious metals, leaded/tinted glass, and fine sculpture.
                                                                  6. The temple is staffed only by a single sex of clerics, monks/nuns, etc.
                                                                  7. The temple is located adjacent to farms and the monks produce a highly sought food item (beer, cider, jams, hams, etc.)
                                                                  8. The temple is not fully enclosed, designed as an open air space. 50% chance of having a roof supported by columns, otherwise entirely open to the elements. 
                                                                  Table Tem5: Weird Stuff (roll 1d6)
                                                                  1. The temple was once a temple to another deity, 80% chance that significant architectural features remain. 
                                                                  2. The temple is built atop a high bluff such that the ascent is a labor of thousands of steps, or a climb up rope ladders, or rock wall. 
                                                                  3. The temple appears to be in a constant state of expansion/construction.
                                                                  4. The temple is in ruins but services are still held.
                                                                  5. The locals avoid the temple and refuse to even acknowledge it to outsiders. 
                                                                  6. The surrounding countryside and town have been carefully constructed such that the temple resides in the exact center of the area and that surrounding places of note lay out the deity's holy symbol if viewed from above. 

                                                                  Wednesday, April 25, 2018

                                                                  The Alphabet of Outer Beings - T is for Towers

                                                                  Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/art/Dominion-tower-741776408

                                                                  Towers are the traditional, some may say stereotypical, workshops and living quarters of wizards. The actual residence or domain of a supernatural patron is well outside the scope of a simple generator, and should probably be a planar realm or entire empire or kingdom of itself. However, the wizards who pledge their service to such Outer Beings likely design their own residences in accordance to the wishes and preferences of their patrons. Alternately you can just use this to whip up a random wizard tower your PCs stumble on during some hexploration.

                                                                  Table T1: Type of Tower (roll 2d6)
                                                                  1. How did you roll a 1 on 2d6? You're doing it wrong!
                                                                  2. Mountaintop - The wizard takes up residence atop a mountain, either in a cave or a simple hut of 1d3 rooms.
                                                                  3. Just a cave - The wizard makes their residence not in a tower, or even some other structure, but a cave, carved from the heart-rock of the world.
                                                                  4. A simple house - Not a tower at all but a simple house, one or two floors, wood and stone construction.
                                                                  5. Wooden tower - A traditional tower constructed from wood and other materials.
                                                                  6. Stone Masonry Tower - A classic tower of stone blocks, built to spec. or taken over later.
                                                                  7. Carved from Monolithic Stone - A freestanding tower carved from a single slab of monolithic rock. This may stand out in the landscape, or be one of many such monoliths.
                                                                  8. Tree house - A residence built within a living tree, 50%  chance of being entirely woven of the tree itself, otherwise constructed within the tree's branches from other materials.
                                                                  9. Castle Tower - The wizard has an earthly patron who provides them with a tower within their castle. 
                                                                  10. Cave behind a waterfall - Hidden behind a waterfall is a cave that has been made into a wizardly retreat. 
                                                                  11. Submerged - The tower is actually built into a body of water and only the entrance is visible above the waves. Most likely stone construction.
                                                                  12. A pocket dimension - The wizardly residence is actually in a pocket dimension accessible only via a trigger of some kind if a fixed location such as the top of a normal tower, or a natural location.
                                                                  Table T2: Protection (roll 1d8)
                                                                  1. Guards - The wizard employs some kind of living guards to protect their dwelling.
                                                                  2. Magical turrets - The wizard's dwelling is protected by active magical defenses in the form of spell turrets that cast attacks spells like magic missile, fireball, and the like.
                                                                  3. Golems - The wizard has 1d3 golems patrolling the area to keep out unwanted visitors. 
                                                                  4. Wards - Magical wards prevent unwanted visitors from entering the area until the wards are destroyed. 
                                                                  5. The location of the "tower" is hidden by magical illusions that hide the dwelling entirely. 
                                                                  6. Magical plants and vines grasp any trespasser, holding them in place until the owner can deal with them.
                                                                  7. The "tower" is incredibly small and can only be accessed by people using magic to shrink themselves down to size.
                                                                  8. The tower is protected by spatial warps that make the distance to the tower much greater that it seems. 
                                                                  Table T3: Weird Stuff (roll 1d6)
                                                                  1. The location of the tower is only accessible during at night.
                                                                  2. The tower can only be approached from a specific cardinal direction. 
                                                                  3. Time passes within the "tower" much faster, or slower, than normal. 
                                                                  4. The location and surrounding area are always affected by the same kind of weather. 50% chance of being inhospitable (rain/snow/fog), otherwise always fair. 
                                                                  5. The residence exists within an anti-magic pocket or zone that actually prevents any kind of magic from functioning. 
                                                                  6. The location of the tower is only accessible during daytime.
                                                                  Table T4: Notable mundane features (roll 1d8)
                                                                  1. The structure is in the shape of the patron's sigil. 
                                                                  2. The residence is vastly larger than needed for the volume of furniture and belongings within.
                                                                  3. The materials of the residence are especially rare and valuable. Worked masonry may be of all cut jade. Lumber comes from exceptionally rare trees. A cave dwelling in riddled with veins of precious metals or gems. 
                                                                  4. A small river or stream passes directly through the residence complete with a waterwheel to provide mechanical power/work.
                                                                  5. There is an orrery and an observatory atop the structure to allow detailed viewing of the stars.
                                                                  6. A cemetery abuts the residence. 
                                                                  7. A smithy abuts the residence.
                                                                  8. All the doors are pocket doors.
                                                                  Table T5: Notable magical features (roll 1d6)
                                                                  1. There is a well appointed lab for the brewing of potions
                                                                  2. A large summoning circle has been permanently inscribed into the floor in pure gold. 
                                                                  3. A crystalline apparatus to aid in enchanting items is located on the grounds.
                                                                  4. A garden of exotic magical and mundane plants is well tended.
                                                                  5. A stable houses a small collection of strange beasts.
                                                                  6. The entire property can be piloted from within and moved via the following means:
                                                                    1. Great mechanical legs
                                                                    2. Magical flight
                                                                    3. Teleportation
                                                                    4. Non-magical flight via balloons and propellers.
                                                                    5. A series of clockwork ants that swarm under the building and carry it off.
                                                                    6. An aligned dragon who owes a favor to the owner.

                                                                  Thursday, April 19, 2018

                                                                  Thoughts on a DCC monk

                                                                  Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/art/Monk-17-06-12-340307189

                                                                  The monks of the far east rarely venture from their secluded monasteries, but from time to time a young monk will be too consumed with curiosity about the world or wanderlust to stay within their quiet and contemplative confines. These monks venture out into the world with very little to their name, a handful of coppers gained by begging in a nearby village, a stout stave, and the clothing typical of their order. Most of these monks eventually make their way back to the monasteries, but a truly scant few, of those scant few, decide to stay in the world, and of those few a bare handful pass their knowledge, incomplete as it is, on to a small number of worthy students. These students may seek out the monasteries in time to properly complete their own training and to complete the journey of spirit their teacher began. Others will take the lessons of inner strength and martial prowess into the world as adventurers.

                                                                  Hit Dice: d8

                                                                  Attack Bonus & Mighty Deed of Arms: as warrior

                                                                  Weapons and Armor: The monk is trained only in the use of staves and unarmed combat. Monks rarely wear any armor and never armor with a fumble die greater than 1d8.

                                                                  Flurry of blows: When fighting unarmed the monk may treat their fists and feet as dual weapons using the two weapon fighting rules. At first level a monk is always considered to have a minimum Agility of 16 (unless it is naturally higher) when fighting with bare hands and feet, at fifth level this increases to a minimum Agility of 18. When attacking unarmed and using the two weapon fighting rules the monk's unarmed attacks do 1d3 damage.

                                                                  Chi Healing
                                                                  Through meditation and mindful manipulation their internal energies a monk is able to speed up the healing of their own body. Once per day per level the monk may spend 1 turn in meditation to focus on healing themselves. Treat this effect as Lay on Hands (DCC pg. 30), rolling 1d20+Per+level. The monk is treated as "adjacent" and failure does not trigger disapproval, but does consume the use of the ability upon failure.

                                                                  Be Like Water
                                                                  Monks eschew armor in favor of staying mobile and nimble. On their turn a monk may add the result of their deed die to their Armor Class, and to their speed. This is in addition to any other effects of their Mighty Deed.

                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~

                                                                  Now my thoughts on the design side.

                                                                  1. Hit Dice - While Monks are a martial class I knew I wanted to give them a recovery power and stepping down twice from the Warrior's d12 felt appropriate since they can self heal outside of combat.
                                                                  2. Armor and Weapons - I decided to take a hard stance here and basically rule out almost all forms of both armor and weapons. Weapons is a stylistic approach as I wanted to have them make many attacks with less damage per attack (at 5th level they can make 4 attacks per round but are still limited to 1d3 damage + STR and Deed Die). This might end up a little too powerful, but I'm unsure without playtesting.
                                                                  3. Flurry of blows - I copped this flat out from halflings and then added the 5th level boon since the monk is limited to their unarmed 1d3 damage. Again, this might end up a little too powerful, but I'm unsure without playtesting.
                                                                  4. Chi Healing - My sole concession to "mystical monks." My hope is that the 1 turn requirement and the limited uses per day will keep this from making them too durable compared to a warrior. 
                                                                  5. Be Like Water - This was the idea that spurred me to do this. Rather than approach "the armor problem" with a flat AC bonus scaled to their level why not utilize the existing Deed Die mechanic. This also means that the monk will occasionally roll poorly and be caught flat footed or in an open stance. The bonus movement was my way to also spice things up and allow these unarmored warriors to really move around the battlefield when they wanted. 

                                                                  Feedback and comments are welcome, so long as they are constructive.

                                                                  Wednesday, April 11, 2018

                                                                  The Alphabet of Outer Beings - Q is for Quests

                                                                  Image Source: https://benik0.deviantart.com/art/Fellowship-of-the-Ring-330657433

                                                                  Quests are a staple of the RPG hobby. Early on your character probably only have enough agency to control their fortunes for short periods of time, days to weeks. After that they will likely need a fresh infusion of coin and that means taking on a job, or coming up with a job of their own. When it comes to having a patron, be they divine or sorcerous, the character has an entirely different lever for the Judge to pull. Outer Beings don't give away their power and patronage for free, and when it comes time to pay the proverbial piper a quest may be asked of the character to retain or increase their current status, or pay off a debt gained from an earlier action.

                                                                  Judge's are advised to be careful about their use of such quests. These requests from Outer Beings need to be both unique and also dangerous. There's a reason that powerful supernatural beings trade in power, and gaining pawns to execute their requests is something that should take on grand scale, either directly (go find this lost relic of my nemesis and destroy it) or indirectly (convince so and so to execute an action that will further my own ends).

                                                                  I cannot stress enough how even a "simple fetch quest" should never be played as such. The story of Jason (he of the Argo) is basically a fetch quest: Jason needed to get the Golden Fleece and bring it back to Pelias to become king. Of course if it had been "just a simple fetch quest" it would not have become one of the most well known stories of Greek Mythology, and yet, at its heart, Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece is still "just a fetch quest." Judge's are should bend all their tools to making each Quest from an Outer Being epic and unique.

                                                                  Table Q1: Type of Quest
                                                                  1. "Fetch" - The character is requested to gather or recover [Item: Table Q2] from [Location: Table Q3] and [Action: Table Q4]
                                                                  2. Sabotage - The character is requested to go to [Location: Table Q3] and sabotage the plans of [Person: Table Q5] to further the Outer Being's own plans.
                                                                  3. Forge - The character is required to create an [Item: Table Q2] for the Outer Being. Often this can only be done in [Location: Table Q3] and and may require the knowledge of, or aid from,  [Person: Table Q5]
                                                                  4. Protection - The character is required to protect an [roll 1d3: 1 [Item: Table Q2]; 2 [Location: Table Q3]; 3 [Person: Table Q5]] from [Person: Table Q5] or [Phenomenon: Table Q6].
                                                                  5. Favor - The character must locate [Person: Table Q5] and convince, hire, blackmail, etc them to do [Favor: Table Q7] for the Outer Being (or alternately a different [Person: Table Q5]).
                                                                  6. Kill - The character is asked to kill [Person: Table Q5]. This may require finding them in [Location: Table Q3] and/or the use of a specific [Item: Table Q2] they are vulnerable to.
                                                                  Table Q2: Items (roll 1d8)
                                                                  1. Relic (see R is for Relics)
                                                                  2. Rare material
                                                                  3. Tome of relevant knowledge
                                                                  4. A blessed symbol (see H is for Holy Symbol)
                                                                  5. Plant matter - flowers, stems, seeds, fruits, etc. May be alchemical, magical, or mundane.
                                                                  6. Seemingly trivial item of common make 
                                                                  7. A musical instrument 
                                                                  8. Idol of a rival outer being (see I is for Idol)
                                                                  Table Q3: Locations (roll 1d8)
                                                                  1. Temple
                                                                  2. Magical locus
                                                                  3. Ruins of a lost civilization
                                                                  4. Deep natural cavern
                                                                  5. The Fey Lands
                                                                  6. A demon crossroads
                                                                  7. The ocean
                                                                  8. Another plane of existance
                                                                  Table Q4: Actions (roll 1d6)
                                                                  1. Sacrifice - A ritual sacrifice of the item or person to the Outer Being
                                                                  2. Bring it to [Location: Table Q3]
                                                                  3. Deliver to [Person: Table Q5] 
                                                                  4. Destroy item/kill person
                                                                  5. Perform magical task on item/person (divine healing, break enchantment, etc.)
                                                                  6. Protect item/person from the Outer Being's rivals
                                                                  Table Q5: Persons (roll 1d12)
                                                                  1. Pauper
                                                                  2. King/Chieftain 
                                                                  3. Demon
                                                                  4. Outer Being
                                                                  5. Wizard
                                                                  6. Craftsperson
                                                                  7. Warlord
                                                                  8. Immortal
                                                                  9. Guild-member
                                                                  10. Dragon
                                                                  11. Lich
                                                                  12. Combine, roll again and combine the results. 
                                                                  Table Q6: Phenomenon (roll 1d6)
                                                                  1. War
                                                                  2. Wildfire
                                                                  3. Magical Flux
                                                                  4. Flood
                                                                  5. Earthquake
                                                                  6. Demonic (or planar) invasion
                                                                  Table Q7: Favors (roll 1d6)
                                                                  1. Lend a powerful item
                                                                  2. Use their influence over a group 
                                                                  3. Turn over a child 
                                                                  4. Provide advice or knowledge 
                                                                  5. Change allegiances 
                                                                  6. Grant military aid