Saturday, December 26, 2020

Possum Junction, or Tim drew too much.

Sometimes you get an unexpected gift around Christmastime. Tim prefers to create smaller spaces (five-room dungeons and the like) for his mini-adventures. But apparently he got carried away with this piece, working on technique and experimenting with textures and the like. So sure, I ganked it. 

This is a most excellent space, with looping corridors and multiple pathways, as well as a fine smattering of interesting features to tell a story. Hazards are built in, and there are enough room details to fix a number of points of interest and potential encounters.

A few elements stood out: a pool, a few statues, an apparent chapel space, a lot of collapsed corridors, and started filling in the blanks from my end. Helped by a few die rolls, of course. 

Like many subterranean spaces (and historical ones), I figured there had been multiple tenants. And each had left their mark. For reasons unknown or partly explained, selected features from prior occupants were left in place. Some out of respect, some due to their inherent hazard. And of course, there are the new squatters here, making a mess of things, perhaps.

And since Tim recently mentioned some content and a contribution to Expanded Petty Gods, I had to pull the tome off my shelf and add a couple of names out of that mighty group project of the G+ days... just for fun.

Statted with OSE, a bit of 1e, and some homebrew...

So let's see who's up to mischief in The Caluromys Chambers.

I did abandon Idea #1: Dwarven Frat House. But there is always time to return to that...

Edit: Updated scenario with specific stats for the water spirit (figured that since I'd written a build-your-own-monster formula, I might as well use it), and made minor language and format edits.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Taking a Rest Stop at Longtooth

 Two post in two days? What madness is this?

Well, Shane made up a 'five-minute map' of a wide spot in the road named Longtooth (although "Village" is a bit of an optimistic appellation).  

And I figured I could do a five-minute (well, 45-minute) writeup to give a name and purpose for each of the residents.

So here it is.

A one-page village with descriptors of the occupants of each of the seven buildings. No stat blocks, just some quick and dirty whos and whys for some idea seeds. Somewhere for your PCs to take a break along the road, or perhaps they just stepped off the Longtooth ferry from points unknown to find themselves in this dusty huddle of buildings. 



Sunday, December 13, 2020

Witebörd Dungeön

Well, last week's foray into Steve's White City of the Death Monkey God saw Shamus get feared out of the room, Vicil reduced to 3hp, and Sumeh avert a hold spell (and pending disaster) by judicious use of longsword. We did get some gems and a human femur with a crystal that seems to act as a detect magic. A qualified success, then. 

Steve also posted up his whiteboard the following morning. Obviously working on some Very Important Manager Stuff. 

And when people leave maps around, I may pick them up and make an even bigger mess of them. 

And I needed a focused writing exercise: About 90 minutes of freewriting produced the first draft, with some half-assed editing and additions this AM. Was good to just walk through the space room by room and say, "OK, what's here and why?" Steve says he's going to kill/run his home group in it. So we'll see how that goes...


As a bonus, the adventure also includes some brief advice for Dungeon Project Managers. You're welcome. 

Oh, and Matt prettied up the map.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Build-A-Bear, err... Monster!

December? Where'd the year go? Anyway... 

Someone on Reddit OSR asked about crafting up a monster if you didn't have access to a bestiary or similar, or perhaps to homebrew up a monster. Of course, there is always the most excellent advice of "Everything is a Bear"
But I haven't tinkered for a long time, and figured I could make a "Monster Cookbook" pretty quickly. 

(two weeks later) 

For old edition-style critters, I've often leaned on Swords & Wizardry's Challenge Level model for modding critters, such as adding an ability or effect to a "stock" monster for appropriateness for a scenario. 

So I took that as inspiration for making up a quick and dirty point-buy system based on a theoretical Hit Die monster. 

Roughly, with 2 points per hit die, distribute points to various attributes of your generic monster template. I included five very basic templates that should encompass most types of foes (Humanoid, beast, "monster," ooze, undead, abyssal). And a shopping list of available attributes for the different types and how to cost them for making up a foe. 

This hasn't been exhaustively stress-tested, but it seems to work in many cases. Some critters seem underpowered, and some end up with a surplus of points. But it's a starting place for experimenting, and as in all things old-school, it's a guideline.
Click to download

Here are a few examples I ginned up: 

Type: Abyssal, 5HD (“Nightfall Demon”) 10 points total 
1. +4 AC (4 pts) 
2. Multiple attack (2 x 1d4) (1pt) 
3. Extra damage (1 pt) 
4. Special movement (fly) (1pt) 
5. Weapon resistance (silver/magic req.) (1pt) 
6. Spell Effect (Fear) 1/day (1pt) 
7. Spell Effect (Darkness) 1/day (1pt) 
Generic Stat Block: AC 5/14, atk 2x(1d4+1), Movement: Fly; Special: Fire resistance, Immune to mundane weapons (silver or magic required), cast Fear and Darkness 1/day each 

Type: Monster, 12HD (“Dragon”) 24 points total 
1. +7 AC (7 pts) 
2. Multiple attack (2 x 1d4) (claws) (1pt) 
3. Extra damage, multi attack (2 dice size) – 4 pts 
4. Additional single attack (1d6) (bite) (1pt) 
5. Extra damage, single attack (2.5 dice size) – 5 pts 
6. Special movement (fly) (1pt) 
7. Intelligent/language (1 pt) 
8. Spell Casting (2pt) 
9. Breath Weapon (6xd8) (2pt) 
Generic Stat Block: AC 2/17, atk 2 claw (1d8), 1 bite (1d10+1), Breath weapon, 3x/day, (6xd8); Movement: Fly; Special: Language use, 12 points of spell levels 

Humanoid, 5HD (“Snow ogre”) 10 points total 
1. +4 AC (4 pts) 
2. Extra damage, single attack (2.5 dice size) – 5 pts 
3. Resistance (cold damage) – 1 pt 
Generic Stat Block: AC 5/14, atk 1d10+1, Special: Cold resistance

Beast, 4HD (“Of Course It's A Bear”) 8 points total 
1. +3 AC (3 pts) 
2. Multiple attack (2 x 1d4) (claws) (1pt) 
3. Extra damage, multi attack (1 dice size) – 2 pts 
4. Additional single attack (1d6) (bite) (1pt) 
5. Special attack/continual damage (hug, 1d6/round) – 1 pt 
Generic Stat Block: AC 6/13, atk 2x(1d6),bite (1d6); hug damage (1d6) after successful dual hit