Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Drink to the Dead

The following rules were created by Cole for his Swords of the Inner Sea campaign but are apparently derived from work done by Chris and Robert. They work well for Old School D&D games and I wanted to preserve them.
Normally the successor of a fallen adventurer may inherit 25% of the XP of the dead character.
However, 50% will be inherited if the body can be recovered and given a heroic funeral, with a value of at least 100 GP per level spent on of the deceased sacrifices, grave goods, professional mourners, orators, venal holy men, impressive incence, free food and drinks for hangers-on, et. al.
Donors will receive half the GP value contributed in XP, up to twice the minimum value.
Partial remains are considered by a case-by-case basis; burying the half of the body undevoured by the monster is acceptable, but there has to be at least enough to mock up a body with creative funeral garbing. The adventurer who unsentimentally severs the head of a corpse, prizing encumbrance slots over reverence will find no satisfaction in the rites.
Needless to say, attempting to recover donated goods after the funeral is likely to incur a terrible curse.
Huth has written a version for 5e based on my criteria and I plan to use it in my Wilderlands game.  It is reproduced below:
Normally the successor of a fallen adventurer may inherit only one-quarter of the XP of the dead character. However, the successor will inherit half of the predecessor’s XP if the body can be recovered and given a heroic funeral.
To provide such a funeral, contributors must contribute gp (or the gp value of appropriate goods) towards the funeral. This gold is put toward funerary monuments, beautifying the final resting place, preparing the body, sacrifices, grave goods, professional mourners, orators, venal holy men, impressive incense, food, drinks, and drugs for hangers-on, et cetera.
If the total gp spent on the funeral matches or exceeds the heroic funeral threshold, then the deceased character’s successor gains 50% of the deceased character’s XP (instead of the standard 25%). This threshold is equal to 100 gp x (dead character’s level).
If the threshold is met, then each contributor may spend a a downtime action on the funeral rites (to plan and assemble the above funeral goods and services and perform the rites). Every contributor who does so gains bonus XP based on the amount of their individual contribution. This bonus XP is equal to an amount based on the contributor’s current level (see chart below), per every (5 gp x (dead character’s level)) share contributed, to a maximum of 20 shares. (GP in excess of this may be provided to the funeral total, but will provide no XP bonus to the contributor.)
Example: Anne (level 2) is contributing to Bob’s (level 4) funeral. For every 20gp Anne pays into the funeral, she receives 6 XP. Anne pays a total of 240gp into the fund, netting her 72 XP. (((240/(5x4))x6)=72)
XP per Share by Contributor Level

GP of Share by Deceased’s Level

GP Threshold of Heroic Funeral by Deceased’s Level























Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tales from the Cutthroat Tavern: Ambling Shadows

The party that had previously stayed in Adderwood met up with Onephrio and decided together to make their way to the Halls of the Black Spider. The party wished to avoid the ruined village they had discovered last time and so set out in a slightly different direction they hoped would lead them to their destination. Unfortunately, their way was blocked by a large number of orcs of the Purple Claw waiting in ambush. Howeverr Khurshid was able to spot the ambuscade in time and lead the party away.
That night they made camp near a hot spring. During Khurshid and Waq Awaqa’s watch, a group of large bushes was seen moving at the perimeter. The watchmen woke the rest of the party and they prepared for battle. This turned out to be a fatal decision. The creatures proved too powerful for the party, who lost two members – new friend Onephrio and long time companion The Pact is Sealed. Onephrio made his last stand amongst the camp fire they had set, only to find the creatures were resistant to fire. His last thought as he died was “I suppose men are more flammable than trees.”
Green Sonya

The rest of the party escaped on their wagon and decided to push towards the dungeon despite exhaustion. Wickerbobbile acted as guide and wagon master. Luckily they went through the next day with only a herd of elk encountered. “Fucking majestic,” Khurshid noted. Outside the dungeon they found Father Thorne a wizard,Green Sonya a barbarian who is the reason that other Sonya’s need a descriptor, and Anex the Amazon. They had apparently come to explore the dungeon too and so they elected to do so together.
I'm baaaaaack!
The combined party tried to remember what features of the dungeon they had encountered last time, which made some slow going. Their adventure was stopped when they encountered another flame skull in the large chapel that had previously been part of their running battle with the moonrakers. Most in the party attempted some skirmishing tactics, retreating into the hallway to avoid retaliation from the monster, but Red Sonya charged out to meet it. Unfortunately for those who weren’t Red Sonya, the clustered group in the hallway proved perfect for the flame skulls fireball spell, which blew Khurshid apart. Everyone else was injured except Sonya and Waq Awaqa, who had retreated down the hallway to watch their backs.
Father Thorne found that his magic was ineffective against the creature and thus retreated himself to make sure he did not meet Khurshid’s fate. Anex decided to rush the creature and attempted to grapple it. While she was not successful, the creature was thrown off balance and it’s powerful heat beams were unable to land. Annapurna’s use of her magical abilities to enhance her bow attacks finally managed to bring the creature down.
The party returned to the City State with what remained of Khurshid’s body. Annapurna, hoping to save him, rubbed the lamp they received from Salassim the Magician. Who should be inside but Salassim himself, changed into an Efreet! Salassim offered the use of his powers for three tasks, but admitted that saving Khurshid was outside of his ability. Waq Awaqa, who was Khurshid’s brother in religion, prepared his body for sea burial and dedication to Armadad Bog with the normal method of whipping and applying icthoid appendages to accompany the man into the afterlife. The rituals thus completed, he was rolled into the Estuary of the Roglaroon.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Nightwick Abbey Player Doc

A looking for players poster made by longtime online player Cole

Here is a player doc I did for the 5e version of Nightwick.

Let me know what y'all think.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Into the Wild... erlands

This is the system I'm using for hex crawling in the Wilderlands.  It is primarily based on this Unearthed Arcana article, but it also draws inspiration from Adventures in Middle Earth and the Pathfinder Kingmaker CRPG.

A party venturing through the wilderness will have characters serving in the following roles:

Guide (survival):* Makes a survival check to direct the party to their destination.  Failure indicates the party becomes lost, travelling in a random direction (1d6 roll for hex side) for their full day of movement.  Success means they are on the proper course.  A natural 20 means a shortcut is found and they are able to move an additional days worth of hexes.  Rangers may automatically succeed on this roll in their home terrain, but must take this role in order to do so.

Scout (investigation and stealth): Uses investigation to see what's ahead of the group.  If a random encounter has been rolled or a ruin, relic, or lair, is within the hex then a successful investigation roll reveals the encounter and the Scout may make a stealth roll to continue investigating.  If they don't want to stealth, they may return to the party and inform them of what's ahead for proper planning.

Forager (survival): Uses a survival roll to gather food for up to 4 people.  Additional characters must either have another forager or use rations.  A failure on this roll provides no food.  A natural 20 automatically feeds the whole party.

Guard (perception):  Uses perception to avoid being ambushed by encountered creatures.  If the Scout has failed their investigation roll, then the Guard must make a perception check.  If that check is successful then the encounter is spotted while it is between the Scout in the party.  If it is a failure the encounter is able to gain an attack on the party where everyone has the surprise condition.

*Guide is the only role that is required.

The order of operations is as follows: at the beginning of the day the guide makes a roll to see if the party is on course.  For each hex they pass through, the DM determines if there is a thing in the hex or if a random encounter occurs.  If there is an encounter of some sort, the DM asks the Scout to make an investigation check.  If the Scout succeeds the DM describes the encounter.  If the Scout fails the Guard must make a perception check.  If the Guard succeeds the monsters are spotted between the Scout and the party.  If the Guard fails then the monsters attack with surprise (assuming they're hostile).

Camping requires a survival roll to make camp (any role can do this) and the decision of whether or not to have a fire.  Failing this roll adds a level of exhaustion to all characters.  During colder months, no fire means that the characters accrue another level of exhaustion.  The night is divided into three watches.  Only those who take the first or last watch gain the benefit of a full long rest.  If a fire is set there are three chances for an encounter (one for each watch) and if there is no fire then there is only one chance of an encounter (the watch it occurs during being randomly determined).

Friday, February 22, 2019

Burgell's Journal: Pteranodons!

A short session because I was Extremely Tired.  Same Writer as last time.

16th Day of The Howling Winds Erstwhile our heroes (that's us! We're heroes. Heroes who watch dogs eat innocent people.) make ready to return to the Warren. A cluster of guards and townsfolk outside the tavern! But lo, Namira is approached by some creepy dwarf with an intensely old amulet with diamonds in it, seeking to sell it to her, because he heard her discussing in the tavern that she wanted to procure some for a spell. But his grift was too expensive and Namira didn't have the money so she, and by extension we, passed on it. But enough about that, there are flying creatures attacking, big and leather-y winged and squawky! Pteranodons, or something like that. Seven of them! !!Fight it out!! We ended their butts!! Well one got away but we did it! Velor decided to make a codpiece out of one of the large heads. We decided that was enough of an adventure for one day, head back inside the tavern, take a nap, and try again another day.

Even More Tales from the Cutthroat Inn

Annapurna, sorrowful over the death of Sweetleaf, asked around the City State to find an elven temple or perhaps a nearby elven settlement. She discovered that in the northern section of the Dearthwood there is a village of wood elves that owes fealty to the Overlord. She discussed the situation with the rest of the Cutthroat Inn regulars and they agreed to head to the village to give Sweetleaf a proper funeral. Einnar, despite never knowing Sweetleaf, was especially enthusiastic because he hoped his new companions would do similar for him if he should die.
Annapurna took the body to the Temple of Odin to be preserved for the journey. They asked her for 200gp for the service, which she balked at but payed anyway. When the rest of the party came to join her, she was shocked to find that in their company was Waq Awaqa, a warlock who had adventured with them in the City State of the World Emperor.
While retrieving the body from the Temple, the party noticed that priests of Hamarkhis were trying to undo the spell with counter signs. Einnar and Annapurna threatened violence, while Wickerbobbile attempted to distract the priests to keep the situation from escalating. However, a proper end to the hostilities occurred when a great golem in the shape of Thoth the Terriblearrived to disperse the priests. The party loaded Sweetleaf’s body in their wagon and made their way out of the City State.
The party's previous encounter with the lions
Khurshid acted as their scout in the Dearthwood while Einnar guided them to where he believed the elf village to be. They realized the Halls of the Black Spider, which they had previously partially explored, lay midway between the City State and the elf village, so they made their way to that landmark. On the first night of their journey, Annapurna observed that they were being watched by a group of lions, one of which had an obviously disfigured face. Using torches, she broadened the perimeter of the cap which forced the lions to retreat without incident. However, the party was forced to decamp early to avoid a sizable war party of Orcs of the Purple Claw.
Once they had arrived at the Halls of the Black Spider, the again saw the dragon turtle skeleton which seemed to act as a lion’s den.The Pact is Sealed suggested that maybe they should kill the lions now rather than wait until later, but the rest of the party did not want to risk death at that moment. Wickerbobbible used his ability to talk to animals to discuss the layout of the wood with a songbird. It informed him of the location of two villages (one of which they believed to be the elf village) and a large, black pyramid. This peaked the interest of Ion Skamos, who wondered what set-related secrets the pyramid could hide.
Scouting ahead of the party on the third day of their trek, Khurshid found a burned out village that had not been mentioned by the bird. Inside were a number of elven corpses as well as a unwholesomly large, foul-smell plant. They agreed not to investigate further and instead turned north. Einnar was able to find a shortcut that led them to the village of Adderwood that very night.
In Adderwood they ate in the hall of Glofynan Elf-friend, who informed him of their woes with orcs and also agreed to lay Sweetleaf up in the temple of Cilborith before she could be properly prepared for a sky burial. The party elected to stay the rest of the week in Adderwood, hopefully to head out to the Halls of the Black Spider soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

5e Froglngs Take 2

I've made some minor changes based on playtesting.

Froglings are frogs that walk and speak in the manner of men.  They are short, only about 4' in height on average, and range between thin and stout.  Froglings make their home in a distant, marshy country known as Hoppland; however, they are found throughout the World of Nightwick as brewers, merchants, and adventurers.  Their skin ranges between slick and bumpy, and is usually a dull green or brown - though more exotic colors and patterns are not unheard of.  They favor flamboyant clothing and jewelry in garish colors.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.

Age. Froglings reach maturity by age 10 and live to be as old as 60.

Alignment.  Most Froglings are neutral, caring more about profit and hedonism than the fight between good and evil.  In worlds with the full nine point alignment they sometimes tend towards Law, because of their belief in personal honor, but often still seem capricious and madcap to the other races.

Wary. You have proficiency in the perception skill.

Size. Froglings grow between 3' and 4'.  Your size is considered small.

Speed. Your have a walk and swim speed of 25'.

Amphibious.  You may breath both air and water.

Resilience. You receive advantage on saving throws made against poison and disease. You also have resistance against poison damage.

Standing Leap. You may long jump 25 feet and high jump 15 feet from a standstill.

Sticky. You have advantage on athletics and acrobatics checks made to climb, slow your descent, or hold on to an object.

Water Dependency. If you are unable to immerse yourself in water for at least 1 hour a day, you suffer one level of exhaustion.  You may only recover from this exhaustion through magic or by being immersed in water.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Croakish. You may speak the language of Bullywugs.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Invincible Overlord

Who is the Invincible Overlord, whose vasthosts even now cross the Battleplain Gwalion to raid and burn the eastern portions of Viridistan?  Who is this man who commands Alryans, Altanians, Skandiks and Tharbrians alike?

Bjorn the Mighty was born in one of the Skandik settlements in Barbarian Altanis.  Captured as a slave by reavers of his own race, he was taken to the City State where he was sold as a pit fighter to one of the establishments in the Plaza of Profuse Pleasure.  After a team bout against a group of captured orcs, he and his companions were purchased by the magician Salassim.  Salassim offered him his freedom in exchange for the recovery of a number of artifacts from the Roglaras.  This Bjorn and his companions did, before going on to other adventures involving a dragon beneath the Majestic Fastness, the Dwarves of Thunderhold, and a strange group of invulnerable owlbears.

Once these tasks were done, his group of companions had grown in size and one of them suggested that the Skandik kingdoms of Croy and Ossary might be well played off against each other for a profit.  The group went to Croy, aligned themselves with its king, and eventually conquered Ossary with the aid of Odin himself. 

Returning to the City State, he became involved in whatever event caused the great calamity in the city which required its rebuilding.  This event also elevated him and his companions to a kind of demi-godhood.  With an army of Skandik allies at his back, he was able to fill the power vacuum left by the death of the previous Overlord during the calamity, and after rebuilding the city took on the title himself.

Bjorn's rule is arbitrary and erratic.  He is capable of great acts of generosity and cruelty, and he is subject to strange whims and flights of fancy.  However, for the most part he  rules with a light touch, leaving the day to day administration to his vizier, Balarnega.  An observer from another world would assert he was a "big picture guy" who makes sweeping demands and lets others figure out how to make them work.

While his presence in the City State can be chaotic, due to both his erratic leadership style and his insatiable lust for wine, women, and violence, he usually spends his time on campaign against his enemies and sometimes even his client states.  These campaigns are the source of the Overlord's power.  He cows his subjects, bloodies his enemies, and brings home looted treasures.  His martial prowess means both wealth for the City State and that any rivals will have difficulty overcoming him.  They say you can do everything with swords but sit on them, but if you have enough energy you never need to sit down.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tales from the Cutthroat Tavern: Road Ghosts and Forest Lions

KhurshidSweetleafAnnapurna, and Ion Skamos decided to seek after the bell they had seen in the Dearthwood. For this purpose, the bought a cart, a mule, a specialized wheel and shoe for the bell, and hired on the services of a strange gnome teamster named Wickerbobibble. The gnome acted as if he knew Khurshid, but Khurshid did not act in kind. Taking detours through the winding streets of the City State of the Invincible Overlord, they were attacked by what Wickerbobibble identified as a “road ghost.” This ghost slew their mule and resurrected it as a foul undead. Ion was able to turn the mule, which proceeded to stampede onto regal street, killing a merchant and several farmers. The ghost also slew Sweet Leaf, though was unable to raise her before the combined efforts of the party destroyed it. They then set about dealing with the mule while Wickerbobibble took the dead merchant’s purse and disappeared down an alley.

Khurshid, mad at the inability of the mule to take a hit, took the cart and corpse back to Wailing Street and demanded a new mule to compensate. On the way they met Einarr, a skandik who offered to help with the mule. Due to his indignation, the merchant provided one rather than argue. On the way back to Regal Street the party bumped into a senator who identified them as “fuck heads” and asked if they could “steal some shit.” After a very hostile exchange between Khurshid and this senator, they agreed to steal the item from the manse of some noble courtesan and meet him in an inn in the noble quarter.

However, first they left the city to get the bell. Their first night camping in the Dearthwood they met a pair of Amazons who informed them that the Orcs of the Purple Claw were increasing in number, and that some of the orcs had split off to worship some kind of snake deity. Ion professed ignorance of this, but did note that Set didn’t have a newsletter. The next day they avoided a more warlike set of Amazons - likely associated with the Purple Claw - and found the bell.
After spending some time pulling the bell from the mire, they found that they were surrounded by a group of lions; a male and four females. These attacked but were driven off after three of the females were saved. They were able to return to the City State with the bell and without further incident.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

If Anyone was Wondering

I believe Mandy and the other women who have come forward. I was wrong to trust him. I deeply regret ever working with him. Zak can go fuck himself.

Burgell's Journal: The Dungeon of the Mad King

Instead of my normal play reports,  I think for my home group I'm going to just start uploading the journal one of my players is making.  Here is his entry for our most recent session, with my commentary.

The characters are...
James as Tancred (Half Giant Fighter 2-3)
KC as Namira (Altanian Warlock of Mycr 2-3)
JP as Velor Silent-Stream (Half Elf Druid 1-2)
Chris as Burgell Timothy Kanoodle Jonjon Karrawak Ningel (Gnome Wizard 1-2)

The Fumbling Four in Action

Journal of Burgell! That's me!!!
8th Day of the Howling Winds, Fireday

Upkeep and back to [Dungeon of the Mad King]!*

Rumors in the bar: Human merchants to supply local garrison, but pirates are hassling, though there are Purple Claw orcs on the other side so everyone is kind of boned.  Dang!

White Wyvern Inn is where we at! Time to get up! People jeering and saying rude things to dead half-elf body being chewed on.** Turns out hte fucker deserved it for provocatin'-like!  We moved on back to cave o'goblins.

War dog heads on spikes! Neat! On to the burrow now, no time for dead pet decorations! Adventure!

Everyone but me has to bend down to get in here! Ha! Losers.  We checked a door and fiddled around with it when suddenly ahhhh! A ghost! A gnome ghost!!!

!!Fight it Out!!

Magic missile to a nerd ghost's face! He didn't like that so he attacked me and Tancred cut it itn fucking half with the power moon-y sword thing!***

We won!

Tancred breaks a door! Never mind it was fake.

Listened the other door and there are other me-sized things listening right back! Neat! We open the door and it's goblins!!! I make them all nap and Tancred makes them nap more!

No?!  Fight it out!! Because Fuck Them!!****

They have 40 silver pieces, which we take, and useless equipment which we DON'T!

Now another door! Smells like old dead! Oh it's just a butcher room.  Gnawed Gnome Gnbones! Another door!

We heard weird noises on the other side and opened the door.  There is an insect that eats dead things and we all must behind!*****

!!Fight It Out!!

Aside from a tiny bit of damage on Tancred, we cleaned house!

It was guarding a bunch of bones and a chest which had 25 plat, 500 electrum, and a sea-green vial of liquid. Cool!

Found a room full of useless rusty weapons!  Tancred took them, which is cooool I guess?

More bones room! and barricaded!  Bones with armor 'n stuff.  Door that has soft wailing behind it! Tancred just opens it and there's another ghost gnome!  It's Zarun Longbeard! The king that locked everybody in  b/c sickness and was madness!

Fight it out!

We got hurt and I fell down! But we defeated the King!  The king's body held a magic sword, a magic crown, and a non-magic signet ring.  Namira healed me so we are okay!  We went back to town and chilled for two days.

Making our way back to the cave we encountered Purple Claw orcs.

!!Fight it Out!!

3 ran away! We killed 5 of them! There is a cave.  A troll's cave?  Tancred dug things up! 4000p worth of stuff, preternatural overlord coat, high quality spear, glowing gemstone times.

* He wrote the brackets because I told him it's what the dungeon is called in my notes but they just know it's a gnome burrow.

** By the human's war dogs.

*** Tancred has a magic khopesh he got from the Palace of the Toad Cult.

**** He wrote their plan down as if it had happened before they decided on a different plan.

***** Neither of us can tell what's up with this sentence.  He thinks he meant to write something else but got distracted while writing.