Monday, May 20, 2019

Tales from the Cutthroat Inn: Against the Obscene Cult

... or Fish Wives have Fish Knives!

Session Date
19th day of the Month of the Yellow Moon Dog 4500 CCC (May 19th)

Characters Present
Annapurna, Altanian Ranger
Grafari, Skandik Scout
Green Sonya, Half Orc Barbarian
Red Hawk, Altanian Fighter


  • Now returned to the city state after several days in the wilderness of the Dearthwood, the party took some downtime actions. 
  • Grafari and Annapurna decided to identify the magic items they picked up last time - a Talking Doll and two Potions of Healing.
  • Red Hawk engaged in pit fighting, variously fighting an orc gimp, a troll with one hand tied to a stake, and a Tarantine mercenary.  He lost his first two bouts but was able to beat the mercenary, save his honor, and gain 50gp. However, he made a rival in the form of the troll who was mad he had to fight with a hand tied behind is back, claiming it was the only reason Red Hawk came anywhere close to beating him. The troll's name was Ribbleskin.
  • Green Sonya began researching whether or not she could train mice or rats to help her weave clothes out of spider-silk (to be adjudicated later).
  • Since they have been without the magical aid of Ion Skamos and Waq Awaqa, they decided to pursue a different hook this week - the case of the missing Litigation Tricksters.
  • The party decided to buy a foppish upper middle class outfit for Red Hawk, whose red skin made him look the closest to the deep pink of an Alryan. He would serve as bait while the other Rainbow Warriors waited nearby for him to be ambushed.
  • It was decided that all but Red Hawk would head to Shady Street during the afternoon and that Annapurna would scale one of the nearby roofs while Grafari and Green Sonya pretended to be engaged in a dice game.
  • On the way, while heading down Slash Street, Grafari was hit in the head by a pot jettisoned from the nearby Firedrake Meadhall.  Annapurna and Green Sonya took him down a nearby alley to tend to his head, and were treated to an odd sight.
  • Across the street, at the Grub & Grunt, a fight had broken out between a number of men in pirate costume. They spilled into the street, clashing their cutlasses together and yelling loudly. 
  • Before long a party of constables showed up to disperse these pirates, but Annapurna noticed that several of them fled north towards Shady Street with knowing looks on their faces - as if the dispersal was part of a larger plan.
  • The trio, including Grafari who had come to his senses, sprinted after the pirates down the Street of Crafts. Grafari and Green Sonya were able to make it down the street and on to Shady street in time to see  the pirates duck down some nearby alleys. 
  • Annapurna was blocked by some merchants who had rolled their carts to block the street so they could pack up  and head home.  She decided to use one of these carts to help her onto a nearby roof.
  • At this point the bell of the Temple of the Spider God tolled for vespers, which was Red Hawks cue to head up the street.  He made it to Shady Street without much incident. Once there he noticed that most of the Tricksters  had cleared out and the street was mostly empty except for a couple of beggars looking at him expectantly.
  • He gave one a silver which prompted the beggar's eyes to grow wide and for him to ask "what is it you want to know?" Red Hawk was confused, being unwise in the ways of the city. The beggar, whose name was "Two Seconds" Demazo, explained that he was a member of the Beggar's Guild, who acted as information brokers in the city in exchange for the Overlord not kicking them all out.
  • Red Hawk asked Demazo if he knew where the people abducted from Shady Street were being taken, and Demazo motioned to a smallish, seemingly abandoned stone temple to Pertrasso, Goddess of Deep Water Fish. When this information was relayed later to Annapurna she noted that this meant the kidnappers were "Stone Temple Pirates."
  • Shortly after giving this information, Demazo noted the approach of several pirates along the empty street and used that moment to make his exit.
  • The pirates attacked Red Hawk but soon discovered that under his trickster garb was a hardened steel breastplate and the thews of a mighty warrior!
  • Hearing the fight from the inside of a nearby cheese shop, Green Sonya and Grafari rushed out to aid their friend, while Annapurna provided cover from a nearby roof.
  • The fight didn't last long, and despite Green Sonya's best efforts was quite lethal for the pirates.  They were able to save one, but Green Sonya's attempt to use her axe non lethally lead to another's face caving in from the blunt side - revealing that his mouth contained strange octopus eggs!
  • Searching the bodies they found that the "pirates" were actually dressed in pirate-like costumes, and also added fishing nets, fishing hooks, and other accouterments of the sea to their outfits. Red Hawk termed them "life stylers"
  • However, a band of more genuine pirates was coming drunkenly down the Street of Crafts so Grafari, Green Sonya, and Red Hawk took their prisoner to a nearby alley while Annapurna stayed to watch the pirates.
  • Before the pirates could get onto Shady Street, Annapurna noticed a small, robed figure on a nearby roof.  The figure lifted its arms in a wizardly gesture and suddenly a stereotypical depiction of a demon appeared before the pirates.  They ran in terror and Annapurna hid so as to not be sighted by such a powerful magician.
  • The rest of the party interrogated their captive and learned that he was a lay member of the cult of Partress and that they were kidnapping people to sacrifice so that they would have enough blood to summon a number of "mist demons" into the city and "undo the Overlord." Red Hawk noted that this was a bad trade off since the Overlord may be a dick but mist demons are hardly any better.
  • The captive, whose name they discovered was Ralfos agreed to meet them later at the Cutthroat Inn and begin a more noble life as a member of the Beggar's guiild, since Red Hawk said he had a contact with them.
  • The Rainbow Warriors then decided it was time to enter the temple. They had learned from Ralfos that the boarded door was actually false - the boards did not connect to the wall and merely added extra weight to the door.
  • They were greeted with a long hall that ended in a great archway and had a door on either wall. They elected first to check the rightmost door and  found that beyond was a largeish room with a great granite bowl in the center.  Upon the bowl was written something in Orichalcan, which Annapurna was able to roughly translate as "The Self is the Only Worthy Sacrifice."
  • Green Sonya, after some hesitation, dripped 1hp of blood into the bowl and  found through some telepathic means that she could thrice in her life summon fish to her aid. Red Hawk attempted to follow suit but was informed that he lacked faith since he had waited to see if it was efficacious.
  • Down the beyond the left door they found a room with tumbled dressers and a set of robes crudely piled into a nest.  This chamber was home to a small number of cockatrices, causing Green Sonya to close the door without a moment's hesitation and the party to consider how to best jam it, since they lacked spikes or stakes.
  • They decided to use a sharpened torch, but the process of making it attracted a group of six steam mephits which appeared through the archway. 
  • Green Sonya was able to explain to the Mephits that she had made the proper sacrifice, and Red Hawk presented a pendant that belonged to one of the "pirates" they had killed and the two together made the Mephits think they belonged there.  They even went so far as to move a statue in the next room that allowed access to the dungeon beneath.
  • There were two stairways down into the dungeon and Grafari determined that one of them was trapped.  They decided, since they could avoid the trap, that this one would be the best to go down since it would be more likely to lead to a treasure room or the leaders' chambers and they could fight them while still fresh.
  • Beyond they found a secret door that led to some sort of personal quarters - perhaps those of a priest - but it was currently unoccupied.  They saw that he had several texts laid out, some of which were historical and religious but some where letters referring to "the other two sisters" "Glaukos" and "the Spire." They also found a coin purse here.
  • Despite seeing another secret door leading out, they decided to return to their initial path and found that beyond the trap was a room full of garbage. This room also had a tunnel leading to what Annapurna guessed was the Overlord's sewers. Red Hawk came to the not unreasonable conclusion that the trap, and one of the piles of garbage, were set up to keep some sewer creature away from the dungeon.
  • Exploring further they found a kind of corridor of secret doors, but while exploring it their torchlight attracted an occupant of one of the rooms.  She appeared as a young but hideously unattractive woman with fishy lips and huge, unblinking eyes.  Later they realized that this sea hag had only half-assed her disguise due to being disturbed in the night.
  • She attempted to turn Annapurna into a goldfish, unsuccessfully, and the party attacked.  She shot a lightning bolt at Grafari and Red Hawk. Grafari was able to dodge out of the way and only take damage from the searing heat, but Red Hawk only survived through some luck that mortals are unaware of.
  • She then screamed for aid and a slew of cultist/pirates arrived through a secret door to aid her. 
  • Unfortunately for her, Green Sonya chopped her in the calf where her two handed ax and then Grafari stabbed her in the throat as she buckled. Annapurna then shot a number of arrows into the oncoming cultists. 
  • Grafari shouted "where is your god now" as he backed away and slunk into the shadows, and the combined shock of combat and this insult caused the cultists to flee...
  • All except one, an acolyte who, upon arriving blasted Green Sonya with a brilliant radiance.  
  • Red Hawk then ran up to him and severed his head from his neck, proving that this cultist could die like other men.
  • With the cult in route and the leaders dead, the Rainbow Warriors picked up what treasure they could and freed two tricksters whose sacrifice they had interrupted.
Monsters Defeated
13 Cultists, 1 Acolyte, 1 Sea Hag

Treasure Gained
250gp, 8ep, historical texts worth 50gp, 6 citrines carved into the shape of eyes (50gp each), a jug with strange magical symbols on it, and a dagger seemingly made out of fish bones. The characters are also awarded 700gp in reward money from the Trickster Kogmeni Goldtooth (this does not count towards xp).

Xp Per Player

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Rumors at the Cutthroat Inn

Here are the current hooks available to the online group in my Wilderlands game. Those marked with a * are based on hooks provided in the City State book and those with a ** rely on the dungeon maps that came with that product.

The Missing Tricksters*
Kogmeni Goldtooth, an obviously nervous clerk from the Litigation Trickster’s Guild, is looking for someone who will investigate and stop the abduction of tricksters that seems to be occurring with some regularity on Shady Street. He is willing to offer up 700gp for proof this task has been completed. The more usual patients inform anyone who has heard his offer that rumor is that some obscene cult has a secret temple on Shady Street, and that more than tricksters go missing.

The Goblin Basement**
Long Vran is the owner of the Cutthroat Tavern but is rarely seen inside except to collect money from the lockbox and to straighten out unruly customers. Tonight he sits among the assembled rogues and complains of goblins in his store rooms. What they’re doing outside their reservation after nightfall, he knows not, but he doesn’t like it. He promises a fine debauch for any man willing to slay the goblins and find out their intentions. He adds that such a debauch will be aided by sumptuous powders purchased from distant Karak and the finest houris Naughty Nannies can offer.

The Spider Temple*
A pair of drunken Skandiks in the inn are complaining about an offer they received from a heirophant of the Spider-God. They claim he is hiring fighters and bravos for a task, but that it is so chilling that no man would take him up on his offer. The heirophant, they assert, wants someone to go to an ancient temple in the Dearthwood where lives a half-spawned abomination of their god and slay it.

The Sunken Spire
A legend overheard in the Cutthroat Inn
In time out of Time when the sandaled kings of Orichalca sat upon their rubied thrones and the brother-races of the Altanians and Alryans had yet to leave each other, no city was greater in all the world than Modron. Its purple-sailed vessels plied the waters of the world from the Demon Kingdoms to Klush and Wulin beyond. Many were its treasures and great its science and greater still its water-goddess, Modron.

But time fades all things and Glaukos the Impious, a pirate from Kelnore, came with reavers and sacked the city and stole off with its jewels and idols. Thus was Modron destroyed, for a time, and its treasures lost, hidden in a pirate’s keep.

Many legends tell of the doom of Glaukos, for he did not long outlive the dead city. The goddess Modron, abandoning the ruins of her home, followed him across the Winedark Sea. It waited long beneath the waves for him to become besotted and over-happy with his deeds, for a goddess can wait forever. When, at last, Glaukos set up for himself a keep on an island off the Roglaras, the goddess struck, drowning the keep and all its lucre…

Until now! Sailors of the Overlord say that where once there was no island now a great spire rises out of the ocean, barnacle-wracked and blasted. No one has yet braved entering the strange holes in the side, and those who have sailed close to it at night speak of ghost lights flitting about from within…

The Ghost of the Lake*
A legend overheard in the street between the Cutthroat Inn and the Werelord Tavern
An obviously drunken Altanian, singing in his barbarian accent, stumbles through Slash Street. Those who go outside the Cutthroat Tavern can hear him chant

Three nights awake
In Oracle Lake
The Lady cries for Help
Four nights she sleeps
And doesn’t weep
Her soul’s gone down a well
Those about him make signs to Mitra or Hamarkhis to ward away the spirits of the dead, knowing he sings of an apparition just north of the City State.

The Cool Noble
On the 10th day of the Howling Winds, the party encountered Varius, an Alryan Noble who wanted them to steal an item from the house of 
Xanatheria Lily-Limb.

The Doom Metal Pyramid
Near the Adderwood (hex 2918) there is a mysterious doom metal pyramid (b/c its black).

Mystery of the Manipulated Mules*
Ion Skamos determined that the mule the purchased for the wagon from the wailing street vendor has been placed under a charm spell by an unknown party. While discussing this in the Cutthroat Inn, a passing Alryan noted that he heard from a friend who knows a guy that the Overlord himself is seeking the aid of ghost chaser in an alley near Wailing Street to rid his stables of phantasms.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dungeon of Doom

Here is a starter dungeon you can run for 5e using the basic rules. It assumes 4-6 level 1 characters.

1sq. = 10'

The Tomb of Oremor
Oremor was an ancient Orichalcan Dragonlord and architect of the strange structures men call dungeons.  He used magical means to shamble between dimensions. On the Forbidden Planet he learned to harness the power of the Id before returning to Ghenvek IV to bring Doom to its inhabitants. But that was long years ago. Now his body lays in a tomb in Hex XXXX, where it is served by a small priesthood that commutes from the City State of the Invincible Overlord.

General Features of the Tomb
  • Ceilings are 15 feet high. Walls are made of dark granite. Doors are stone and require a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check to open.
  • Anyone who perishes within the tomb becomes a zombie within 24 hours - forever bound to serve Oremor in death.
  • Random have a 1 in 6 chance of occurring every hour the PCs are in the dungeon.  If an encounter is indicated it is always an Acolyte and 1d4 Zombies. These encounters always have individual treasure equal to their number.
1. Entry Chamber
  • A shaft from the surface shows light onto the water feature in this room - a small pool only about 3 inches deep.
  • The pool has a small pipe in it that funnels water into a section of stone in the northwestern-most columnThis section of column, if rotated, will open the secret door to area 5. The secret door only stays open for 2 combat rounds before the mechanism automatically resets.  It can be stopped by a DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check, but a new check must be made each round it is being forced open.
  • If the door is opened, it will attract a random encounter from the direction of area 3.  The acolyte will wait to attack until it thinks the party is divided on both sides of the door.
  • A single, mutilated corpse of an adventurer in leather armor lies north of the pool, their blood mingling with it slightly. If anyone moves near the pool the corpse will animate as a Zombie.
2. The Holy Armor
  • The room is dominated by a staircase that leads to a raised platform on which sits a set of plate mail - obviously set up in a place of reverence.  
  • Candles line the side of the staircase, and obvious blood smears are apparent.
  • On either side of the staircase are piles of gore - dead adventures with too little material left to animate.
  • If touched, the armor rises and reveals it is an Animated Armor. If "slain" the armor functions as normal plate.
3. The Chamber of Secrets
  • This room has strange, plastic wiring running in and out of the walls.
  • The room-within a room has a glass panel on the wall with the secret door icon.  If touched, the section of wall with the panel will rise up, spilling out the monstrous contents of area 4.
  • It will also open the door to area 6.
  • The door to area 6 will not open without interacting with the panel. It could be forced open with a DC 25 Strength (Athletics) check.
4. The Monster Closet
  • This room contains 4 Zombies who will shamble out to attack if the panel in area 3 is activated.
  • The walls inside have a strange, bluish circuitry like pattern.
5. The Foul Pool
  • This room is lit by a sickly grass that glows a dull green even in the cthonic chamber.
  • The pool in the center is filled with acid (1d6 acid damage each turn submerged, no save). It is 20 feet deep.
  • At the bottom of the pool is a leaden case that contains a Ring of Lightning Resistance and a large opal worth 150gp
  • The secret door to the passage between area 6 and 8 cannot be opened from this side, but is obvious from within the passage.
6. The Zig Zag Path
  • This room has an illusory floor, with only the clear tiles being able to be crossed.  
  • Stepping onto the other tiles will drop the character 10 feet into a five foot deep pool of acid identical to the acid in area 5.
  • The priest in area 7 can view the room through the adjoining sections and will use his Wand of Magic Missiles to attack those trying to cross.
  • The secret door can be identified from the much lighter color of the granite - DC 10 Intelligence (Investigation) - but is only visible from down in the acid pool.  It swings on a hinge but moving it with the pressure of the acid means it takes a DC 10 Strength (Athletics) to open.
  • The secret passage in the hallway to area 8 (leading to area 5) can be noticed by its lighter color, much like the secret door above, and can be opened more easily.
7. The Priest's Chamber
  • The Priest here is the only permanent resident of the dungeon (other than the zombies) - with the acolytes returning cycling back to the City State.
  • He has a small pallet, a Wand of Magic Missiles, and 2 Potions of Healing.
  • His robes, if capable of being recovered, would be worth 50gp, and the cult is obscure enough that none would know its origin.
8. Guard Chamber
  • An Acolyte And 3 Zombies guard the final resting place of Oremor.
  • They hide behind the columns if they hear fighting in area 7. Once characters have actually entered the zombies will move to pin them in melee and the Acolyte will try to flank them and cast spells.
  • The door to area 9 is polished bronze carved into a strange circuitry pattern, but requires the same open doors test as the others in the dungeon.
9. The Tomb
  • The room is covered in polished bronze with the same pattern as the door, with a large leaden sarcophagus inside.
  • The sarcophagus depicts a man with long, straight hair, and a beard wielding an eastern-style sword.
  • Opening the sarcophagus will reveal that Oremor's body has crumbled to dust, but that his +1 Greatsword (in eastern style) and golden crown (150gp) remain intact.
  • If the party was hear searching for a specific item from a hook, it should also be in this sarcophagus.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Tales from the Cutthroat Inn: Against the Apes

...or Monkeying Around with the Rainbow Warriors!

Session Date
30th day of the Month of Portly Pomp through the 2nd day of Midsummer's Eve 4500 BCCC. (May 5th 2019)

Characters Present
Annapurna, Altanian Ranger 3
Grafari, Skandik Rogue 3
Green Sonya, Half-orc Barbarian 2(?)
Red Hawk, Altanian Fighter 1


  • We picked up where we left off last time - inside a large, bornite cylinder that perhaps acted as a culvert for some ancient civilization but now served as an abode for a mated pair of winged apes. The Rainbow Warriors wished to clear it so that they might use it as a staging area for resting near the Halls of the Black Spider.
  • Annapurna provided a bear trap for Grafari to place where he felt the apes were most likely to land. As Grafari did so, the rest of the party took positions among the canopy trees that encircled the culvert and prepared for the apes to arrive.
  • And arrive they did! The larger of the pair, who the astute naturalists of the party realized was the male, carried a dead lioness with him, which made his weight all the heavier when he stepped into the trap.
  • The female was caught by total surprise as the party rushed out to attack her mate. The male, however, proved to be tough even with his leg in a trap.
  • Green Sonya went into a rage, remembering a time she had seen a chimp tear apart a puppy on the streets of the City State. She threw herself at the male and began hacking at it and Red Hawk joined her to form the front line, telling her to keep her back against a nearby tree as it would prevent them from being surrounded. Annapurna added arrow fire while Grafari darted in and out of the fray with his short sword.
  • Before either of the beasts was slain, Red Hawk was forced out of the melee from a savage hit from the male which through him against the tree. Luckily he was able to separate himself without taking another hit.
  • This left both creatures to bring their full fury on Green Sonya. Despite the savagery of the apes' attacks, her inhuman continence allowed her to stand. Bolg the orc, who cowered in the nearby wagon, was very impressed.
  • Seeing that Annapurna and Grafari had significantly weakened the male, Red Hawk returned to flank it, throwing his handax into the fray and beaning the great monster between the eyes! It slumped as its life left its body.
  • The female howled in mourning while the party considered what to do - unsure if she would leave or if they could take another assault from her. Green Sonya moved to hide behind Annapurna with Grafari present to intercept the female if she came on.
  • Luckily, she fled, shooting up above the canopy in a single round.
  • Inspecting the lair closer while debating whether it would be safe to camp here, the party found a small bundle of treasure including a gem-studded set of silverware, a doll (which time in the City State would prove is magical), and two reddish potions.
  • They decided camping was necessary even if it was a poor idea, but luck was with them and they were able to avoid conflict with other denizens of the night.
  • At this point they decided it would be better to return to the City State so that they could ponder on their experiences and perhaps become wiser. Dealing with the Son of the Spider-god also now seemed foolish given the lack of people who could injure its incorporeal form.
  • On the way back, their wagon came into a fogbank near the tributary of the Conqueror's River they use to navigate.
  • Scouting ahead, Grafari soon found himself assailed by stranged, hunched humanoids who spit gobs of web at him. Were it not for his tremendous strength and speed, he may have been attacked by them but he was able to free himself and return to the party without further violence.
  • They then decided they would need to take a new route. After some debate they headed south deeper into the Dearthwood, but this turned out to be the proper way as they were able to make their way back to the City State without further incident.
  • Within the Cutthroat Inn they discussed whether or not they should investigate another hook until they can more reliably adventure with their cleric and warlock allies.

Monsters Defeated (over two sessions)
1 Orc Priestess and retinue, 2 Winged Apes

Treasure Gained
30gp, bejeweled utensils (500gp), doll of an Alryan girl (magical), two reddish potions

XP per player (Both Sessions)

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Tales from the Cutthroat Inn: Queen for a Night

...Slaughter by early morning's light!

"I smell... ORCS!"

Session Date
April 28 (28th Day through the 30th Day of the Month of Portly Pomp)

Characters Present
Annapurna, Altanian Ranger
Grafari, Skandik Rogue
Green Sonya, Half-orc Barbarian
and introducing... Red Hawk, Altanian Fighter!

  • The party, including members who weren't present but who discussed it beforehand, was able to have Annapurna raised from the dead by the Heirophant of the Spider God thanks to a reduced cost resulting from the favors they owed Green Sonya.
  • Green Sonya spent the rest of her week waiting for Annapurna to recuperate by spinning the spider-silk she got last week from the temple into scarves.
  • Grafari spent his downtime buying white lotus powder to snort and robbing merchants.
  • The party then decided to set out for the Halls of the Black Spider with their new companion, the Red Hawk (and his own companion, Big Red).
  • On the way out of the city they were heckled by a well-guarded Alryan senator, who accused Annapurna and Red hawk of being incestuous siblings. Red Hawk responded by commanding Bid Red to defecate on the men while Annapurna kissed him on the cheek and joked "actually he's my son." The senator stood gawping, covered in birdshit, as the four went on their way.
  • They elected to pick up their wagon from the Overlord's stables, since Big Red was able to drive it, and then attempted to proceed by their normal route up the Conqueror's river and by one of its tributaries to the Halls.
  • Unfortunately, Grafari noticed a set of odd trees while scouting. These cedars seemed to have strange, arm like limbs that were set to throw cedar fruit at passers by.  This forced the party to head east of the river early, and into the forest.
  • They attempted to make camp, but the damp weather meant any fire they made produce a great deal of smoke.  This must've been what attracted the orcs...
  • During Green Sonya's watch - the dead of night under the waxing Howla and the waning Vanis - a group of 10 orcs led by an orcish priestess approached the camp.  Sonya attempted to talk them out of combat, but mentioned they came from the City State (she did not know of the antipathy the orcs of the purple claw have for the Overlord).
  • The priestess flew into a rage, and a large half-ogre moved to block the party's wagon; however, the other orcs were shocked by the fight between two females and waited to see who would win.
  • Green Sonya chopped the priestess's muzzle in half with her greataxe and then was showered with praise from the orcs.  The half-ogre, seeing the way the wind was blowing, thrust her up onto his shoulders.  She then commanded them to get rest before they headed on to the Halls.
  • During Grafari's watch - just before the light of dawn - he noticed a set of four, furious unicorns approaching the camp.  Realizing they were here to kill the orcs, he woke Red Hawk and the two began preparing the wagon for an escape.
  • The Unicorns teleported close to the sleeping orcs and began slaying them.  The party, for its part, made its escape away from the trampling hooves and stabbing horns.
  • By the light of the next morning the party returned for their equipment, and were able to track down a single orc survivor (whose name was Bolg).
  • Around this time, Red Hawk proposed to name the party the Rainbow Warriors, or some variant thereof.
  • The Warriors then pressed on towards the Hills, but Annapurna was able to realize that they would arrive near the lions' den just at the time when lions are most active.
  • Instead they decided to search the adjacent hex for a permanent place to camp so they could travel a shorter distance each week to the dungeon.
  • They found a long pipe, perhaps some kind of culvert or ancient sewer, that was of a suitable size.  Unfortunately, Grafari was able to note that it served as the  lair for two winged apes who were currently away from their home.  
  • The Rainbow Warriors decided to wait in ambush so they could secure the lair for their own.
Tune in next week to see the Rainbow Warriors GO APE!

Monday, April 29, 2019

An Announcement!

For my 666th post(!) I thought I’d announce something...

Prepare to delve the ultimate dungeon... NIGHTWICK ABBEY!

Built by by blood thirsty knights and mad demoniacs, the abbey has been a place of dread for the people of the Dark Country. The inhabitants of the abbey would ride out to terrorize the living and desecrate the dead.  But now they too are dead...

...BUT THE ABBEY LIVES! It calls out to the creatures of darkness and animates the corpses of those who died within. It hungers for power. It hungers for blood. IT HUNGERS FOR YOU!

EXPLORE a living dungeon whose walls move to trap those inside!

FACE the unliving horrors of the abbey, including the Piteous Worm, the Bleeding Baroness, and even Great King Death himself!

WIN fantastic treasures including a sword made from a shard of God!

OR DIE in the shadow of the Great King of Hell, Armadeus!

Nightwick Abbey is a megadungeon and supplement covering the first three levels of the infamous megadungeon, its monsters, and character options for the Swords and Wizardry White Box.


Coming to tables in 2020.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Silent Legions of Superheroes

I've talked with certain people quite a bit about the pros and cons of the scenario tools. One of them has argued that it doesn't do enough to create a holistic mystery.  Instead of having each new piece of information compounding to create a picture of the incident, they act as breadcrumbs to lead you to a preset resolution.  This isn't necessarily linear (indeed non-linearity is part of the point) but Silent Legions' goal is focused on having certain types of scenes rather than replicating a police procedural.

However, that structure works better for the kinds of superhero games I want to run. Having the kind of action and investigation "beats" (for lack of a better word) allows problem solving to be tied to the heroes' abilities and superhero stuff while still keeping it from being a bunch of fights in a line. I've made a couple of these before, but for this post I'm going to use one I made while writing it to show how it's done.  I'm going to roll on the Silent Legions tables, provide the results, and then convert the whole thing into a supers scenario.

First we need a resolution.  I roll that it's going to be a Time Sensitive Resolution and get the following result: An Enemy seeks to destroy a Friend or an object which is impeding its Scheme. Investigations will reveal the existence of the threat and the means by which it intends to do this.

So we need to figure out what clues lead to the Existence of Threat and to the Means.  I decide that both are people/events (the means being an actor of some type) and for the Existence of the Threat i get: The event was related to a Secret in the location, and those that are trying to protect the Secret will also try to dissuade the PCs from examining the event.

For the Means I roll: The Actor involved has been kidnapped by agents of the Enemy and taken to a remote Place. They mean to keep him or her out of events until the Scheme has come to completion, but they’ll kill him or her if necessary to preserve their silence.

Now I decide I want a clue to the Scheme itself and get: The event was hushed by local police, and getting the facts requires either the cooperation of an Actor involved in the investigation or a stealthy inspection of local police records.

For the Introduction scene I got: A Friend gives the PCs the results of their own research which aims the PCs at one or more Investigations. They’re still looking into things; if the PCs don’t dissuade them they’ll discover a useful clue for the heroes, but will perish hideously.

... and the Hook: The site's Enemy needs victims or recruits, and just happens to pick the heroes for an attack that is decidedly less overwhelming than it should be. The assailants have some sort of clue that traces back to the site.

To give a little more description I want to flesh out some of these.  I decide the Hook is an Ambush and so roll an ambush scene: The Enemy threatens a known Friend or ally of the PCs in order to goad them to come to their aid, and then attempts to deal with them all. The PCs will be aware they’re heading into danger, however, and may choose not to respond.

I decide the Means is going to be some kind of physical Combat scene (the thing guarding the captured Actor) and get: an eldritch entity summoned by the cult.  I decide to ignore the direct text - since this isn't a Cthulhu game - and instead that it's going to be some kind of non-human baddie as guard.

For the Actor involved with the police I decide I want a social encounter with Someone Who Fears Something and get: fears a person present with them

And finally the clue found that points towards the existence of the threat needs someone to..: recognize the residue of an occult ritual or event.  Again I'm ignoring the word "occult" and just going to say they need to recognize that some kind of villainous activity took place.

Taking some cues from the current political moment, I decide that HYDRA is working to get Taskmaster to train some Watchdogs recruits so they can infiltrate the NYPD. Ben Urich has been doing a report on the Watchdogs and wondering who is funding them and what they're planning.

A group of trained but not yet initiated into the police Watchdogs take Urich hostage and are overconfident in thinking they can take out the team of heroes that arrives to confront them.  From interrogating the Watchdogs or perhaps from some card or written address they can track down where Taskmaster is training them. Taskmaster doesn't exactly know who's funding him or why they want the guys trained but he's not one to leave money on the ground.  The PCs can either confront him directly or stake out the place to become aware of his presence and then figure out how to proceed from there. 

If they want to follow the cop angle there's a non-crooked member of the NYPD, we'll call him Officer Joel because that name popped in my head, who realizes that all of his buddies are being replaced by real racist assholes but isn't in a position to talk about it and is usually followed, even off duty, by somebody in with the Watchdogs.

While the PCs are working on one of those two angles, Urich continues the beat and gets kidnapped by actual HYDRA members.  They lock him in a warehouse with some robots made by Arnim Zola and you got some things the PCs gotta fight to save him.

It also leads some loose ends, like where are the HYDRA brass opperating out of? Do they have a goal with the police beyond just turning a blind eye to hate crimes? Do they have any other schemes with the Watchdogs?

So hopefully that shows how you can use the Silent Legions tables to make super hero scenarios.