Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Star Wars: War on the Frontier

This is a revamp of my War on the Final Frontier campaign for Star Wars.  I did a Star Wars pitch after seeing the Force Awakens, so it seems natural I should do one after seeing Rogue One.

The year is 5 BBY.  The Galactic Empire is approaching its zenith and the Galaxy is in the midst of the Dark Times, but the Empire has not yet gained control of certain corners of space.  The Outer Rim, ever lawless and independent, has proven a tough nut to crack, even for the crack Imperial Navy.  However, their expansion into this region has been aided recently by the acquisition of nine systems known as the Habin sector, after its capital.  This sliver of space will prove vital to imperial operations as it will serve as the primary root for materiel from the Core and also has an industrial planet of its own.

The players are members of Rebel Intelligence.  Their mission is to head to the Habin Sector and make contact with any criminal organizations or potential rebel cells there.  They are to persuade these entities to join the Alliance or, failing that, make sure that they are sufficiently indebted that they can be relied upon for "favors" in future operations.  As a secondary goal, they are to sabotage whatever Imperial projects they can, but not at the expense of the long term operation.

Their cover is to be bounty hunters and merchants in the hope that this will provide them an "in" with meeting the local criminal organizations and give them significant room to move within Habin society.  Execution of the functions of these covers will be necessary to maintain them, but in a sector so close to the Outer Rim, it should be easy.  The players are encouraged to remember that the long term mission of alliance building and intelligence gathering is paramount and will require sacrifices.

Rebel brass believes the first organization you should contact is that belonging to Borba the Hutt.  He supposedly operates out of a deep space station known as Goti Station, but its current whereabouts are unknown.  An informant has promised to reveal its location for 10,000 Imperial Credits.  He wishes to meet at a warehouse on Habin.

Notorious murder and criminal Dr. Evazan has been sighted in the system and both Borba the Hutt and the Imperial Security Bureau have placed sizable bounties on him.  Interestingly, the ISB bounty specifies that he must be brought in alive.  Getting the bounty for him could prove useful for future operations in the sector, but he may know information that may be useful to the Rebellion.

Spies at a listening post within the system report that the garrison on the fortress world of Dostroth has been recently reinforced, and rumors persist that it is due to the arrival of a high-ranking Imperial official.


Monday, December 19, 2016

News from the Dark Country: December 1392

It appears the situation in the Fog-bound Forest is worse than was previously feared. Baltzer the Bold, in his attempt to disperse the pagan rebels in the south, uncovered a diabolic coven within Blackleg itself! Under torture, several members admitted helping the wharwilfs and witches of the Fog-bound forest in some ritual meant to bring about a cursed Anti-savior sometime this month! Burnings and hangings continue.

Also from Blackleg, news has come that Arn's wife has given birth to a son, conceived before his death. The child is to be named Arn II of Blackleg and Baltzer the Bold is to continue to act as regent.

Van Toad Merchant Caravan has arrived in the village. It's sluggish merchants still seem active enough to croak about pig-men, bandits, ghouls, and stranger things along the road north. In addition, they are offering a full set of finely crafted hand weapons and frogling handgonnes for sale if the party wishes to supply the Howling Kommandos.

A group of masked figures cloaked in brown rags have arrived in the village. They have caused quite a stir due to the disturbing character of their masks and their furtive activities.

They spoke only to Kozel and identified themselves as some of Father Winter's Elves. There are three of them available and the party may pick whether they operate as men-at-arms or conjure men. They will only be available for the Christmas weekend game.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

News from the Dark Country: October and November 1392

October 1392
The calendar and liturgical months of October and Shocktober have once again aligned, meaning that there is likely to be a very hectic Halloween Muster.Admittedly, sometimes such Halloweens pass uneventfully as the dark powers which govern such things are pulled away by concerns in another dimension.

Still, the omens so far are grim. Women have been seen at dusk flying on brooms and kettles and pans and coffins and billy goats and cats and even men bent over and howling like wolves. Even the "cat lady" who recently... attended to one of the Trull brothers has left the village. They head into the Fog-bound Forest for what is likely to be a hideous rite of some import.

As if this unprecedented supernatural terror was not enough, banditry along the Long Road has essentially stopped all trade during this October. Rupert is beside himself, with a dwindling stock and little news from home. He does have a writ from the Van Toad Merchant House that offers a bounty of 200 gold Knots for anyone willing to find and clear a bandit encampment thought to be in the Great Swamp, somewhere near the ruins of Vollage.

Finally this month, Mervynn came into the village and has stated that Nightwick Abbey itself spoke allowed with the opening of its trap doors and the clapping of its falling stones. He did not understand all of what it said, but says that the short version is that the Abbey wishes to make it known that it can devour souls forever. He's not quite sure why it took the time to say that.

November 1392
The strange coven that had been gathering in the Fog-bound Forest seems to have dispersed without ill effect on the Sons of Adam. Many of them could be seen leaving on their brooms, skillets, and ax handles as shadows on the moon. Halfdan suggests that, perhaps, they forgot some key component to their ritual and will have to wait to some future time to enact it. Regardless, the Cat-Lady from the village has yet to return, so it is possible that some witches still remain in the wood. The men of the Lodge have not yet returned to their work for fear of such women.

The bandit activity of last month has escalated into a full peasant revolt in the southern villages. This one seems more typical than the strange occurrences earlier this year. It's the normal torches, pitchforks, and lynchings. Baltzer the Bold has sent a request to Badder for reinforcements, but Badder seems content to sit his men in Nightwick until the leaders of the Howling Kommandos make their way to Lychgate.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

News from the Dark Country: September 1392

Only a scant few days after the party delivered the electric mechanisms to Halfdan the Black's tower, strange arching lightning was seen exiting the window on a dark and storm night. The next day, a beautiful woman, full of figure and black of hair, was seen in the village buying "supplies." She claimed, in a halting accent, to be Halfdan's daughter.

Word has reached the village that Baltzer the Bold has begun a wave of punitive taxes on behalf of Bishop Notker to punish the "pagans" for the killing of Lord Arn. During the Harvest Moon celebration Baltzer is said to have taken all of the food from the banquet held within the walls of Blackleg. This has sparked a rebellion in the city, the third since Yim Yimsley appeared in 1388.

A group of Badder's Boys, commanded by none other than Badder himself, has entered Nightwick Village. They claim it is in response to the rebellion and that they wish to send raiding parties South to restore the Law to the area. They claim it is in response to the rebellion, but neither Kozel nor Roderick - the most literate men in the village - can work out how they could've heard about the rebellion, mustered troops, and deployed them so swiftly. Even Abraham, who is super-numerate, is baffled.

Badder has with him a summons from Bishop Notker the Unshaven for "Sheriff Blackbird, Brother Kozel, Brother Stavros, and the Howling Kommandos" to appear in Lychgate before His Holiness "before the Halloween Muster." Badder informs the party that they will be given some time to attend to things in the village but from the day they enter until the day the party returns from Lychgate Badder has been placed in control of the village.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

News from the Dark Country: July 1392

Arn of Blackleg is slain! According to the current Regent - Baltzer the Bold, a knight and adviser foisted on Arn by Bishop Notker the Unshaven - a member of the pagan rebel group called the "Yimslians" entered Arn's room at night and light his bed aflame. Why he burned too quickly for anyone to help is, as yet, a mystery. Arn's pregnant wife has been taken into protective custody by Baltzer, and the regent has begun a series of hangings meant to punish the guilty and dissuade potential rebels.

The lost army of Ulrich von Lichtenstein has returned from the Witchwood, or what's left of it anyway. Only 88 men of the original army of 1500 have survived. Ulrich himself is not among them. They are shocked to find out how much time has passed but admit that the Witchwood seem eternally autumnal in a way that made the passage of time difficult to tell. They also tell stories of man-eating deer, rabbits which burrow into corpses, trees that grow out of people, and the dangers of eating pig-men.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


This depiction of the "Apostle to the Dogheads" is... wrong

Dogheads were men once, and perhaps they still are.  In some barely remembered time before the creation of the Realm of Man, perhaps even before even the Empire, there was a shinning kingdom of men far from the Middle Sea.  Some say it lay south of the Desert Lands, but others say it was somewhere in the jungles of the Land of a Thousand Idols and some say it was in both and neither.  Wherever it was or wherever it wasn't it was ruled by a wise king.*

In some tomes it is claimed that it was this king who first heard the Law, but such a belief is the rankest of heresies.  More conservative theologians who still believe the City existed before the Empire merely state that he could sense the great thrumming but not hear it as the Lady Could.  This has kept them unburned... so far.  In any case, he built the City.  The City was the jewel of the world before the Realm came into being, and it is said to have sparkled for a thousand years - supposedly the unnatural length of the wise king's life.

It's people became decadent and, as people without the light of the Law are wont to do, began to worship strange beings they believed to be gods.  The wise king warned them of their folly, but they did not listen.  Some say the high priests of the nameless god of the dogheads ate the king alive, though some say he still lives.  At the very least, they bit him, and for this they gained the heads of canines - whether as a curse from the God of Law or as a divine boon from their nameless idol none can say.

The City fell into ruin without its king and its (now dog-headed) people were set to a life of wandering.  Somehow, in the time of the First Emperor and the Lady, they came to the Steppe which lies east of the Dark Country.  They burned the human settlements that lay on the Steppe's edge and devoured the people there in the name of their nameless god.  Then they came over the Nameless Mountains.**  The legions beat them back but did not follow them into the Steppe, and they have lived their ever since.

They are a plague on the Dark Country.  They come in great raiding parties down the rivers and through the passes and burn and eat the men they come across.  By the reckoning of the pagans and even most Realmish settlers in that benighted land, they are actually not beast-men.  They seem, in their way, to have a language, a culture, and even two sexes.  Aside from their cannibalism(?) they act not unlike the raiding pagans of old.

There are three known types.

Lesser Dogheads (N) AC 15 HD 2 Attacks Weapon Special None Move 12" The average doghead.  Rarely seen outside of the steppe.  Use spears, shields, and small compound bows to defend their tents.

Greater Dogheads (N) AC 16 HD 4+1 Attacks Weapon (+1d6 damage if melee) Special None Move 24" Taller than a man by half.  Scamper on too many legs in an unsettling fashion.  Fond of compound bows and scimitars.

Doghead Chieftans (N) AC 16 HD 5+4 Attacks Weapon (+1d6 if melee) Special See below Move 24"/24" (Fly)  As Greater Doghead but with two heads (often one male and one female) and two crowns.  Can fly, become invisible, and breathe fire (8d6 damage, save for half) at will.  They may charm person or monster and create a sphere of darkness once per day.  Some may be able to turn into human form but are loathe to do so.  They will retain their second head but will hide it with a cloak.

*Some blasphemous sources record his name as Prestor Ultron, but only in Zenopolis.  All such records have been burned on the orders of High Pontiff Burgos the Sullen shortly before his passing.

**Some hold that the Nameless Mountains are named after the Dogheads nameless god.  This assertion is ludicrous.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

More News from the Dark Country

After the most recent G+ session of Nightwick, Antion or whatever had his character participate in a new system I've developed to eat the PCs money and to also give them stuff.  This is part of the result.

Breaking News
While fishing near his hut in the Fog-Bound Forest, Kozel is approached by a woodsman. He is a young man with a bright face and a nervous smile. He identifies himself as Jurgl and says that "travelers" in the village related to him that when Arnawald the Black Eagle successful sacked Blackleg in a second siege his men found a Temple to "Saint Santa Claus."

Knowing the go-- err... saint was responsible for his defeat at the first siege, he sent his men into the temple to seize the ido-- er... relics inside. They burned the idol after hacking it with axes.

Now the place lies in ruins and is said to be haunted by foul creatures from the Fog-Bound Forest. Perhaps, though, Kozel may find his answers about the "saint" within...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Savages of Time

Savages of Time
AC 14
HD 3
Attacks Crude Weapons
Special Cosmic Entropy
Move 9
HDE 6/400

The Savages of Time are heralds of cosmic entropy found in only the oldest ruins on dying and dead worlds.  Their presence seems to erode these ruins such that by the end they are nothing more than foundations.  From Earth the nearest example of their handy work may be seen on Mars, though - due in part to the zigguratic-structure of time, some of the ruins of that planet remain untouched.

They appear as morlock-like creatures - stouter than a man and with imbecilic features.  They are not so much albinistic as colorless.  They have neither art nor legends nor songs.  Their material culture, such as it is, consists only of crude tools for practical purposes.  Even these are prone to break in the hands of non-savages.

Wounds dealt by a savage contain the chill of cosmic entropy.  As such, they may not be healed by non-magical means.  Weapons which strike them must make a saving throw or rust beyond usefulness.  Those made of precious metals do not rust but instead tarnish, reducing their value by half with each failed save.  After four such failed saves the atoms of the weapon scatter harmlessly in a process that is only understood by those who meditate on the impermanence of all things.

Even magic fails in their presence.  Magical weapons used against them must make a similar save (the weapons attack bonus acting as a bonus to the roll) or lose an effect with each strike.  Should all its magic be drained in this manner, the weapon may then be destroyed as described above.  Spells cast on the Savages of Time may never be memorized again and the spell slots used are no longer available to the caster.

Some scholars have speculated about the nature of their spontaneous generation and seeming lack of secondary sexual characteristics.  A mad few have postulated that the savages of time are emanations of a 5th dimensional being best, but still dimly, understood as a god or titan of entropy.  Should such a being exist its presence would only be detectable by use of dispel magic.  Even this would only reveal the parts of the  creature which intersect with the dimensions perceivable by man. In any event such a creature would appear as a shifting mass of colorless bubbles constantly ebbing and flowing, presumably about 30' in diameter.  It would possess the following statistics: AC 15 HD 16 Attacks Beam of Entropy (3d6 damage), Special Cosmic Entropy Move 3/120 (Fly).  Slaying the creature would remove the Savages of Time from existence and may even restore the ruins around them.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

News from the Dark Country

Pictured: The murder of one of Arn's wife's handmaidens by a group of rebels.

News from the Dark Country
Word has reached Nightwick that the villages around Blackleg are once again inrevolt. Arn, Arnawald's son and de facto Lord of Blackleg, is more competent than his predecessor and seems to be managing the situation much better.

However, the reports say the rebellion is more organized this time, relying on raids and terror rather than mass attacks. There are dark whispers of coins left in the eyes of rendered skulls and daggers thrust into dead men's hearts. Perhaps it is the work of the infamous Brotherhood.

The members of the lodge who pay attention to such things have informed Kozel that the Deer-men have once again retreated into the forest. Signs in the soil around the Abbey make it seem as though their numbers are greatly diminished since their last exodus.

The army of Sir Ulrich of Lichtenstein has failed to return from its great campaign in the Witchwood. No survivors have scrambled out in the two years since he left. Those who have gone looking for them, either to help them find their way out or to loot their corpses, report no signs of the Lost Army. The only thing out of the ordinary is some extra activity at the Witchfort.

From now on whenever I generate news for the G+ and home groups I'm going to post it on here too.  It might not make much sense to y'all but whatever.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Here, Have a Map

When I was running the Wilderlands a while back I decided an easy way to get interesting maps would be to convert maps from the Doom, Doom 2, and Final Doom so that they could be easily represented on twiddla.  Since I was copying them from various wikis I wasn't necessarily sure where the entrances and secret doors were 100% of the time.

Anyway, since I can't do anything else with them I decided to start posting them on her after I work them up in gridmapper.

Note to my players: it is highly likely that I will still use these maps at some point in the foreseeable future, so you might not want to look too hard at them.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Do You Want to Die in a Hole?!

Do You Want to Die in a Hole?!
Nightwick Abbey has lain in ruins for almost two centuries.  Built by power hungry knights and mad wizards, it now is home to only ghosts and goblins. Peasants refuse to work in the shadow of the ruined church, and at night eerie lights issue forth from its depths.  Many have tried to wrestle gold from the crypts which lie beneath, but few have returned.  Are you brave enough to seek your fortune in a demon-haunted dungeon?

A ConstantCon game using the Swords and Wizardry White Box

Play is from 8:30 - Midnight CT every Monday. 

This is not a FLAILSNAILS game.  You'll need a new guy for my precious-setting-shithole-hellscape.

Email me at evanDOTvanDOTelkinsATgmailDOTcom if you're interested.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hail, Horrors!: Knights of Hell

At the bottom of space there is a Dragon.  Its mouth gapes wide, fangs bared, gouts of flame spiraling up into the void.  It is written that the river Acheron, which once brought life to the people of the Desert Lands in the eons before the founding of the Empire, flows through the World and down the throat of the Dragon, pooling in the first of its thousandfold terrible stomachs.  It is in that boiling morass of mud and hate and fear and fire that the souls of the damned first enter the Pit.

This is the realm of the Fishers of Souls. Horrid and hideous, blind and lame, they are the lowly smiths of Hell’s great armies.  They wade through the searing muck to find larvae - the debased form that the souls assume upon first entering the nether-realms.  These they grasp with great hooks of bone and sorrow and drag to the strange “forges” of Hell - vats and other devices too alien to man for our kind to understand their use.  It is in these that demons are made, and thereby those who sought to gain the favor of the Lords of the World are set to suffer with them in chains in the belly of the Dragon.

Most of these souls a changed into lesser fiends - such as imps or familiars - or gather together into a host of fiends with the power to possess mortals.  There are certain souls, however, of special wickedness that they are elevated into the Pit's great hierarchy.*  The forges change them in ways which reflect their diabolic masters.  

These are the Knights of Hell.  Four types are described below.

All Knights of Hell have the following statistics: HD 4 AC 16 ST 14 Move 12 (24 if able to fly).

All Knights of Hell may only be wounded by silver or magic weapons since they are not of this plane.  Holy water is also sovereign against them.  

Should a single Knight of Hell possess a man that man will not become a cadaverite in the normal fashion.  Instead his body will warp to take on the aspects of the demon that possesses him. Eventually he will become a physical manifestation of the demon with double the normal Hit Dice.  However, this physical body also means that he can be wounded by normal weapons.

All Knights of Hell reform in the Pit if defeated on the material plane unless special lawful weapon are used.

If forced into a magic circle, all Knights of Hell will teach one second level spell (roll or pick based on the most appropriate for the nature of the demon).

Knights of Armadeus appear as great carrion birds of enormous size - nearly the size of a draft horse, or as a great shaggy beast of diabolic aspect.  In either form they have the power of flight.

They may dispel invisibility at will.  Once per day they can create 10' of darkness and locate any object relating to an arcane or secret matter within 4 hexes of their current location

If forced into a magic circle, their form will change to that of a spectral warrior with black skin, black teeth, and black eyes.  In this form they may locate objects, and speak the true names of lesser fiends for the creator of the circle.

Knights of the Horned One appear in the form of satyrs, rams, bucks, and he-goats.  Sometimes these have the heads of animals, other times the heads of men.  They are always horned.  In none of these forms may they fly.

Knights of the Horned One may cast a powerful charm against persons (-2 to save) or monsters (no modifier) at will.  Once per day they may hold person, teleport from one spot shaded by a tree to any other within the confines of a hexmap (Judges Guild or ACKS regional sized), and may locate any object pertaining to a carnal affair within 4 hexes of their current location.

If forced into a magic circle, they will change into an angelic form of the animal they most resemble - or, in the case of a satyr, a strangely diminished angel.  In this form they will charm an object of the magician's lust, carry him to a shaded grove, or locate an object associated with his heart's desire.

Knights of the Horned One often engage in carnal acts with witches and warlocks.  The result of these acts will be stillborn until the sixth time, when it will grow into a devil-man.

Knights of Ozgin appear in a riot of forms, even for demons.  Most are vaguely mannish, though only in the broadest sense.  Their faces and limbs are twisted or multiplied in strange ways such that any semblance to humanity is difficult to tell.  They clothe what parts of their body can be clothed in raucous colors that are sickening to the eyes.  In no form may they fly.

Knights of Ozgin may become invisible or make one individual invisible at will.  Once per day the knight may create a phantasmal force. render a victim maddened (-2 saving throw or perceive friends as diabolic foes that must be slain), or locate any object related to deadly madness within 4 hexes of its current location.

If forced into a magic circle, a Knight of Ozgin will become a billowing rainbow of colored smoke.  In this form it will always lie to the caster, but usefully the statements are always the precise opposite of what is true.  They will madden the magician's foes at times which would most likely lead to siblicide.

Knights of Moloch appear as bulls or minotaurs belching fire and smoke.  In either form they are priapic.  Only in the forms of bulls may they fly.

Once per day they may create a fireball, teleport from one furnace to another within a hexmap, protect another individual from normal missiles, and locate an object related to the murderous arts -both clandestine and martial - within a 4 hex radius.  They may belch forth flickering lights at will and their touch burns like fire (advantage on damage dice).

If forced into a magic a magic circle, their penis will vanish and their smoke and fire will die away.  Blood will poor from their orifices in a most disturbing manner.  In this form they may instruct in the use of weapons, reveal the names of murderers, will carry the caster from furnace to furnace (caster is not immune to damage from this effect), and will locate objects as described above.

Notes: the semi-assumed max-level for Nightwick characters is 10.  Since it is so reliant on medieval and horror movie imagery, I decided it was useful to begin the ranks of demons at much fewer hit dice than Vrocks.  Example barons, marquises, dukes, princes, presidents, and great kings of Hell will be discussed in due time.

*It must be remembered that the Pit's supposed hierarchy is an imposition by man on pure chaos.  In fact, some dangerously heterodox scholars claim the demons described above are so "regular" only because they must conform to man's perception.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Poison for Body and Soul

The mechanics for poison in the World of Nightwick are not dissimilar to diseases, though the saves occur at shorter time intervals.  Hiding poison in food or drink increases the time between saves by a degree, thus a round becomes a turn, a turn becomes an hour, and so on.  Hiding poison in food or drink well requires special skills and increases the time interval by two orders - a round to an hour, for example.  

Should the victim of a poison or a disease ever successfully make three saves in a row, they move to an earlier stage.  If this occurs at stage one, the poison passes out of the character's system harmlessly.  

A second dose of poison will cause an immediate move to a lower stage regardless of time interval.

Basilisk Venom slowly turns its victims into a stone statue, which the creature then unhinges its jaw and grinds in its gizzard for sustenance.

Stage 1:  Muscles begin to slow.  -2 to all STR, DEX, and CON related actions.  Save each round or move to stage 2.

Stage 2: One or more limbs turned to stone.  -4 to all actions (regardless of associated ability scores), and move reduced to 3.  Save each round or move to stage 3.

Stage 3: Body is now mostly stone.  Must make a saving throw to perform any action other than screaming.  Make a save once each round or become a statue.

Giant Centipede Venom is typically meant for smaller prey than humans, but can be fatal for unlucky individuals.  Saves against centipedes of smaller than man sized have a +2 bonus.

Stage 1: Area of bite swells and becomes extremely painful.  -2 to all actions involving affected area.  Make a save each hour or advance to stage 2.

Stage 2:  Bite swells and muscles begin to cramp.  -4 to all actions.  Make a save each hour or advance to stage 3.

Stage 3:  Body is completely paralyzed.  Save every turn or die of suffocation.

Giant Spider Venom varies based on the type of spider.  The one described below assumes a spider whose bite causes necrosis.

Stage 1:  Strangely painless red welt appears.  Make a save every turn or advance to stage 2.

Stage 2:  Lose 1 hit point as welt bursts to reveal rotten flesh beneath.  Magical healing will only restore 1 hit point until poison exits system.  Make a save every day or advance to stage 3.

Stage 3:  Rot grows to cover most of limb or torso.  -4 to all actions.  Make a save each hour or die of toxic shock.

Lotus Powder comes in a variety of colors and is produced in the Land of One Thousand Idols.  The entry here is for black lotus powder, which is commonly found in traps.

Stage 1:  Vision blurs, brain fogs.  - 2 to all mental actions.  Make a saving throw each round or advance to stage 2.

Stage 2:  Character swoons.  Can be roused for 1d4 rounds before swooning again.  During waking periods character takes a -4 penalty on all die rolls.  Make a saving throw each turn or advance to stage 3.

Stage 3: Character falls into coma filled with unearthly visions.  Visions are always positive to the character, but their heavenly or hellish nature depends on their alignment.  Make a saving throw every week or perish.  Returning to stage 2  or magically neutralizing the poison is the only way the character may be roused.

Froad Poison is secreted by the strange creatures that live in the swamps.  It is extremely potent to all humanoids except Froglings and Bullywugs, which are immune to its effects.  All other creatures have a -4 to related saving throws.  Oddly, the poison of a Driffit is very similar in effect, but does not force the penalty to saves.

Stage 1:  Muscles tighten and breathing becomes laborious.  - 2 penalty to all d20 rolls and -1 to all d6 rolls.  Make a save each round or advance to stage 2.

Stage 2:  Muscles continue to tighten and heartbeat becomes shallow.  -4 to all d20 rolls and d6 rolls are impossible.  Movement decreases to 6 and is impossible in armor.

Stage 3:  Body is completely paralyzed but hideously aware.  Saving throws to return to a lower stage are made once a week.  Otherwise the victim will remain in this stage until they perish from exposure or other causes.

Wyvern Venom, while potent, is slower acting than other forms of venom or poison.  Wyverns prefer to fly down, sting an opponent, and then fly away and follow it until it perishes.

Stage 1:  Area swells and becomes excruciatingly painful.  -2 penalty to all d20 rolls and a -4 penalty to rolls involving the afflicted limb.  If stung in the leg, movement is reduced to 6.

Stage 2:  Blood begins to thin.  In addition to the effects of Stage 1, a save must be made to perform any physical action.  On a failure the character swoons for 1d4 rounds.  Make a save each day or advance to stage 3.

Stage 3:  Character collapses into a coma.  A save must be made each day or the character dies - assuming they are not eaten by a Wyvern before then.

An Advanced Case of Possession

Possession works much the same way as poison, a fact that has not escaped sermon writers in the Church of Law.  The most common type of possession, a host of fiends, is described below.  More powerful possessors will inevitably be related to a demon lord and will be described at a later date.

Host of Fiends

Stage 1: Character is encouraged by strange voices to participate in vile acts.  +2 bonus to all actions made in accordance with the voices' desires.  If the act is particularly heinous (referee's discretion) then a save is immediately called for to advance to stage 2.  Otherwise, the save is made each week.

Stage 2:  Voices become demanding.  Instead of providing a bonus, a -4 penalty is incurred by following any course not advised by the fiends.  As with stage 1, a save is made either when a heinous act is committed or when a week passes.  If the save is failed, proceed to stage 3.

Stage 3:  The character is now a puppet for the host of fiends.  The character is controlled by the referee and only an exorcism will return control to the player.  Save each week or the character is permanently possessed and becomes a Cadaverite.

Rules for exorcisms will be forthcoming, as they are more complicated than neutralizing poison or curing disease, but they may only be successful if the victim is at stage 3 or lower.

Heraldry Depicting a Basilisk of Apparently Immense Size

Note: this section repeats the basilisk venom information from above to make it easier for referees to use without referencing this post.

Basilisk, Nightwick
AC 15
HD 6
Attacks Bite
Special Poison
Move 9
HDE/XP 8/800

Basilisks in the world of Nightwick are actually snakes of sinister aspect.  They have night-black bodies except for the small, crown-like protrusion from the top of their head.  They are found most commonly in the Desert Lands, but in warmer months they plague the Dark Country and Iron Kingdoms.

Basilisk Venom slowly turns its victims into stone, which the creature then unhinges its jaw and grinds in its gizzard for sustenance.

Stage 1:  Muscles begin to slow.  -2 to all STR, DEX, and CON related actions.  Save each round or move to stage 2.

Stage 2: One or more limbs turned to stone.  -4 to all actions (regardless of associated ability scores), and move reduced to 3.  Save each round or move to stage 3.

Stage 3: Body is now mostly stone.  Must make a saving throw to perform any action other than screaming.  Make a save once each round or become a statue.

Basilisks are sacred to the Demon Prince Apollo, as are all serpents.  They have been seen ruling courts of snakes in the desert, devouring those that displease them.  Whether or not the snakes are intelligent or if they are merely vessels for intelligent demons is as yet a mystery.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Star Wars: Goti Station

New year. New blog post.  This one is about Star Wars.

I recently watched the original trilogy with my wife, who had never seen a New Hope or Empire and hadn't seen Jedi since she was a child.  She loved them, and I was reminded of how much I loved them.  Hence this campaign idea.  I hope to run something like it later in the year, but right now I'm running WFRP again in Middenheim, my favorite fantasy city, and I am hoping that campaign will last long enough that this one can't start anytime soon.

Goti Station was once a mining colony on the outer edge of Hutt Space.  It is essentially a collection of asteroids connected by durasteel struts and turbolifts.  In the first years after Palpatine declared the New Order, a crime lord named Borba the Hutt* purchased the colony as well as a number of very large hyperdrives.  He affixed these to Goti Station and shot the entire thing into deep space, far from any star.

Borba now uses the station as a mobile command center for a vast, and territorially disparate, criminal empire.  Goti Station floats in the blackness between systems, making jumps to crucial junctures between planets and then moving on before imperial agents can catch the scent.  Their are sometimes complications, like asteroids tearing off in hyperspace, but nothing so great as to deter Borba's plan.

The PCs are fugitives from the Empire - force users hunted by the inquisition, bounty hunters who violated proper jurisdictional codes, princes who made enemies of a Grand Moff, etc.  They have made their way, through the use of contacts or through Borba's actively seeking them out, onto Goti Station.  In exchange for credits (or more likely Borba's company scrip) and refuge form the Empire, the PCs must perform services for the various miscreants who run the station.

These typically take the form of adventures on planets near the current location of Goti Station.  The GM (i.e. me) will create 1-5 hooks each for 2 to 3 nearby planets.  A single hook may be an isolated adventure, a connected mini-campaign comprised of multiple hooks on the same planet, or part of a web of scenarios that includes multiple planets.

Whenever the PCs kick the hornets' nest of Imperial Law Enforcement too hard, Goti Station will have to jump somewhere else and a new list of hooks will be created.  Should they decide to kick the hornets' nest, pick it up in their hands, and proverbially rub it on their genitals, then the Empire may very well find and attack Goti Station, forcing the PCs to either fight to defend their shitty home or to leave it in search of a new hiding place.  The later option would necessitate a new campaign model, but since it would develop organically out of the players' actions I think that could work.

Typical threats would include gross crime lords, trandoshan slavers, bounty hunters, imperial inquisitors, dark side prophets, and the robed weirdos of the Emperor's ruling council.  Why those guys?  Because those guys are why I like Star Wars.

*Borba is not actually a Hutt.  He is a Tarsunt that underwent extensive genetic modifications in order to be accepted by Hutt crime bosses on Nar Shadda.  His hideously bloated form must now continually float in a bacta tank or he will die.