Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Disturbing Standards

 Roll 1d6:

1 - Brass bells with clappers made from bones, attached to the long pole, topped with infant's skeleton.
2 - Scarlet banner, constantly dripping with blood.
3 - Banner depicting disgusting, bloated woman, trimmed with kings beards. Woman in constantly babbling and farting.
4 - T-shaped post, decorated with rusty chains ended with skull-shaped, iron lanterns.
5 - Standard made from maggot-ridden, human skin, stiched from many fragments. Tracks of the worms form daemonic, disgusting face, clearly visible on the standard's surface.
6 - Long spear with small, strange, rat-like skinless creatures impaled on it. Creatures are still alive, constantly swearing and mumbling the cryptic words and shouting apocalyptic prophecies with squeaky voices.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quick and easy mine design

I want to share with you my method of quick creating mines. One note: it's really quick, so don't expect any ultra-detailed, fanciful features.

Step One: Level design. open your Photoshop / Paint.NET / notebook and draw some quick, rather straight lines:
Now imagine that every line is mine corridor (they tend to be straight and sometimes long). And guess what? Your level is done!

Okay, it's not everything that you can do with it, but here any decent graphic tools will have an advantage over traditional pen and paper - they can use layers (I said "decent" before, so forget about MS Paint :D).

Step Two: Add new levels. Create a new layer and draw new set of lines with different color:
I want to add third, bottom level, containing some natural caverns:
But wait, I wanted it as bottom level!

Step Three: rearrange. Good that we may rearrange layers. In addition I want to add some labels to avoid further problems:
Moreover, If I want to use my laptop during game, I may use "interactive" version of this map, saved in .PSD format. Now I may just open Photoshop and turn visibility of that layers which are unused at the moment. Layers are named in the same way as levels:

Step Four: Additional Info. Here are additional things that you may add to your freshly created level:
  • Look where corridors from different levels are crossing - it may be a good spot to place a shaft or stairway;
  • You may use different colors on the same level, i.e. to show danger factor or fragments built by different miners (eg. mine was estabilished by Lizardmen, abandoned and re-used by Dwarfs);
  • You may add grid to the background layer and set opacity of different levels to depict scale of the map and use it directly in game;
  • Of course you may add numeric descritpions to the tunnels, rooms etc, but if you are using Photoshop remember to rasterize types and merge font layers with current dungeon level, as Photoshop adds a new layer for each usage of Type tool (I don't remember how it works in Paint.NET, I havent used it for a while).

I know that it's far from perfect method of mine creation, but it's really fast, so if you need to design some mines during gameplay, just grab your laptop computer / netbook (pdn should work pretty well on weaker computers), go to the toilet and create your new, awesome dungeon :D

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Giant Slugs!


As you probably noticed, in real world there are many different species of slugs and many of them are of different colors. Why do not use different kinds of giant slugs in our campaigns?

Roll 1d10 to define color of encountered giant slug.

1 - Black. Slug's mucus and blood is highly poisonous. Anyone who touches it must save vs. Poison or lose 3d6 HP.
2 - Brown. Slug's mucus can corrode metal and transform it into a rusty heap within seconds. Any weapon made of iron/steel/etc. that hits slug will be destroyed after dealing damage.
3 - Red. Giant Slug has 50% fire resistance and can breathe fire.
4 - Green. Giant Slug's mucus is highly corrosive. Acid can damage equipment and cause grievous wounds (1d6 damage per touch).
5 - Yellow. Slug can emit clouds of stinking gas (effect may besimilar to the Stinking Cloud spell, if you use it). Its bite is poisonous (save vs. Poison or 1d6 additional damage).
6 - Cyan. Slug has 50% acid resistance. Can breathe acid clouds (not just spit).
7 - White. Slug's mucus is highly sticky. Any weapon that hits the monster has 25% chance to be trapped. Slimy trace left by the slug is very sticky too, so beware your steps!
8 - Purple. Slug has 100% poison resistance. Its bite is lethal - victim must pass save vs. Poison or die immediately.
9 - Grey. Slug's skin is thick and rubbery. Increase its AC by one step and add one HD. Its meat is edible and rather tasty, but stinks horribly.
10 - Golden. Roll two effects!

In addition, there is 10% chance that encountered Giant Slug will have some additional abilities, determined by its secondary color (of course if it is not identical to slug's primary color!). Additional color can form dots, stripes or larger spots on monster's skin. Roll 1d10 to determine slug's secondary abilities:

1 - Green. Slug's acid and poison resistances are increased by 25%
2 - Yellow. Slug's movement is increased by 25%
3 - Black. Slug can regenerate 1d6 HP per round of combat.
4 - Red. Slug's fire resistance is increased by 50%
5 - Cyan. Slug is immune to poison.
6 - Silver. Slug's magic resistance is increased by 25%
7 - Brown. Slug's spit range is increased by 25%
8 - White. Slug's spit damage is increased by 1d6.
9 - Blue. Slug is highly intelligent. 10% that it can talk.
10 - Gold. Slug is immune to magic.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Underworld Day!

I decided to revive my Cavern Day idea, but in more general manner - I will post pictures, graphics and photos that may be inspirational for Underworld adventures.
As before, clicking on the picture will lead you to artist's DeviantArt profile.






More next tuesday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Appearance of Underworld forests

First fungal forest ever?

Characters have reached vast forest placed in Underworld and you ran out of ideas how it can look like? Just make several rolls!

Step One: general features. Roll 1d10:

1-2:   Sparse fungal forest
3-4:   Sparse tree forest
5-6:   Dense fungal forest
7-8:   Dense tree foret
9:   Sparse mixed forest (trees and fungi)
10:   Dense mixed foret (trees and fungi)

Step Two: appearance.

Appearance of the fungi. Roll 1d10:

1:   Tall and thin, with pointy caps
2:   Puffballs
3:   Regularly shaped
4:   Pointy-shaped cones
5:   In shape of big, oval boulders
6:   Barrel-like, with oval caps
7:   Tree-like, but obviously still fungal
8:   Tall with wide caps
9:   Phallic
10:   Mixed of all of above

Appearance of the trees. Roll 1d10:

1:   Rubbery, with tentacle-like branches
2:   Twisted and covered with growths
3:   With thick and tall trunks, ended with spherical leaves
4:   Looking like twisted branches growing directly from the ground
5:   With thick and short trunk with multitude of thin, long twigs
6:   Looking like woody fungi
7:   Regularly shaped, with spherical leaves
8:   Growing from the cave's ceiling, with leaves on their long roots
9:   With fleshy, algae-looking leaves
10:   Short and covered with long thorns

Step Three: additional features. Roll 1d6: if '6' is rolled, randomly determine one additional feature of the trees/fungi.

Additional features of the fungi. Roll 1d10:

1:   If touched, they release clouds of toxic spores
2:   They are covered with thick, very sticky slime
3:   Fungi are rotting and falling apart
4:   Parasitic mold covers both fungi and the ground with slippery layer
5:   Fungi are coveres with horribly stinking slime
6:   Different creatures made their shelters in the fungi
7:   Fungi are waving as moved by invisible wind
8:   Fungi are infested by maggots
9:   Fungi are glowing in a dark
10:   They are humming quietly

Additional features of the trees. Roll 1d10:

1:   If touched, leaves hide themselves inside the branches
2:   Forest is dead (10% to be partially fossilized)
3:   Trees are constantly creaking
4:   They have numerous hollows, often inhabited by different creatures
5:   Roots formed a dense maze, hindering movement
6:   Trees emit pleasent scent
7:   Trees are stinking horribly
8:   Instead of leaves, trees are covered by pale, slightly glowing flowers
9:   Trees secrete sticky, flammable resin
10:   Trees are glowing in the dark

Bandits & Basilisks on Scribd


Why not? Terminal Space was accessed via Scribd over 800 times, so maybe someone will need some lite rules from there?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Maps & Geography

I decided to post some index of all stuff containing not necessarily creative content, but all maps, musings about geography, dungeon design (none posted yet, as far as I remember :D) and similar stuff. All goodies will be posted in alphabetical order (divided into two sections), also I will put link to this post in blog's sidebar.
Map room will be kept up to date.

GEOGRAPHY & LOCATIONS

Black Volcano - rumors and legends
Cold Star
Cursed places
Frog River
Grey Moon
Lost Haven - rumors and legends
Megastructure
Megastructure - tribes 
Necropolis
Spire Cities of Khaal
Underworld Wilderness

MAPS

Blackcrag Fortress - cross section map
Floating Island - cross section map
Friday Five Minute Maps #1 #2 
Krubera Cave (not quite part of the game, but it's too awesome to be ignored)
Ortix - cross section map 1
Ortix - cross section map 2
Palace of Mar Gat'nep
Surface of Ortix - old version
Surface of Ortix - newer, unfinished hex map
Yellow City of the Empty Mountain - cros section map

MAP DESIGN

Megadungeon (preview)
Mines

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Otherworldly gifts

We would like to present you a random table of 10 otherworldly gifts from higher beings. Most of them are useless to the majority of the Underworld Kingdoms inhabitants but some of them will find out of their extraordinary properities and eventually find a way to unlock them. Roll 1D10:

1. Sword of Many Blades. A round, razor sharp disc roughly the size of a dinner plate.
2. Staff of Thorns. A really thorny staff. Thorns are poisonous.
3. Great plate of Wisdom. An empty clay writing plate. Contains nothing.
4. The Shrine. Said to grant great power. Hard to find as no one knows how it looks like.
5. Chain of Summoning. 3 feet long iron chain. Each ring have carved on it strange symbols, maybe spells written in unknown language. Chain don't summon anything.
6. Humming Blade. Strangely shaped single-edged sword, made from unknown metal. It constantly emits loud, humming noise.
7. Sphere of Containment. Large, round sphere made from copper. It has an inscription in archaic language: "I can contain Anything". Unfortunately, there is no known method to open the Sphere. There is a small chance (2%) that sphere actually contains something.
8. Cube of Doom. Large (1m3) and very heavy (about 1000 lbs) cube made from quatrz. There is huge human-like skull inside the crystal. Any living being that licks the surface of the crystal dies immediately.
9. Silver Rat. Small figurine of a rat, made from indestructible, silvery metal. Despite small size, it weighs about 10 lbs. Any rodent that sees the figurine dies immediately.
10. Breaking Sword. Almost ordinary one-handed sword, with edge covered with flower-like carvings.. If used to parry, defense or any non-offensive action, will break in two parts. However, after several hours it should "heal itself" and be fully functional again, even if one part of the sword is missing or destroyed.

(1-3 created by Mr. Wight, 4-10 by Omlet)

Friday, December 9, 2011

AC and active defense


Quick house rule that I want to use in my campaign - if someone (or even some of the monsters) is not actively defending himself (i.e. do not try to parry, dodge etc.), his AC is lowered by two steps (i.e. from AC 5 to AC 7). If he is not using any armor and not trying to avoid harm, he will be hit automatically.
I'm not sure if it will work for ambushes, backstabbing and similar actions. We will see.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Underworld Kingdom map preview!

As i mentioned yesterday on G+, my printer died, but I felt very strong urge to create a map for my campaign. I've discovered some old Aerotech map with one blank side with hexgrid only, but had to draw whole grid by myself as I did not want to destroy original map. Effect of my work can be viewed below - it looks like shit but I like it - for me it's much better than any digitally-created map :)


One hex is approximately 24 miles / one day of travel by foot (at least on plains). Northern parts of map were intentionally left blank, so I may add new things in the future.

I hope that this map will be included in Underworld Kingdom PDF, although it will not be the only one map of Underworld Wilderness :-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ideas about new campaign

Yay! New, awesome pen and really great hardcover notepad - gifts from my girlfriend :-)

Attention - if you are one of my rl players - DO NOT READ THIS, or you will be banned for life :D

Here are bunch of quick ideas that came to my mind yesterday. I plan to use them in my Underworld Kingdom campaign:
  • No-surface version of Ortix (only Underworld Wilderness);
  • Only one city, divided into Inner Citadel and Outer Citadel. Outer is total shithole, full of drunkards, useless scum, lowlifers, pimps and whores, subhuman scavengers and... adventurers. Inner is almost totally cut-off world of exquisite riches, decadent parties, magical drugs and noble, beautiful and wanton ladies. City is ruled by cunning but partly insane Malakyaas the Humpbacked;
  • Palace of Thousand Waterfalls, inhabited by creatures with human bodies and transplanted heads of strange, scaleless reptilians;
  • Marshes infested by Orthluk: sluggish, orange-skinned toad men, led by Toad Archpriest and his half-human daughter of unearthly beauty;
  • Midget moonshiners living in fungal forest. They carry a troll with a strange artifact, which makes him an almost intelligent being;
  • Trap Tomb;
  • Old, abandoned stronghold, now base of brigands. Brigands' chieftain has some interests with Slug Prophet;
  • Serpent Temple at the river bank, between plains and Orthluk marshes;
  • They say that Toad Princess had a romance with Malakyaas;
  • Giant hole in the ground, leading to the dinosaur-infested Jungle Cave;
  • Link (maybe a lift, maybe teleporter) between Jungle Cave and small, separated layer of the Megastructure;
  • Grey-skinned goblins living in strange, large formation similar to the oversized termite mound. Brigands, goblins and Orthluk are rivals and fight each other whenever they encounter each other.

Hex size?


To be honest - I never used fully detailed hex map in my games (only had several hand-drawn maps, more or less detailed), but this time i want to create and use "full version" of map, with hex descriptions etc., but I discovered a big problem - I have no idea how big hexes should be! At the first moment I thought about ~12mi hexes (with this scale, PCs should be able to travel thru approximately 2 "plain" hexes per day), but now I'm not sure about it.

What hex sizes do you use in your campaigns?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'm now on Google +

This is my first social network since crappy Myspace (but it was profile created for music sharing) and I feel rather strange with fact that now I'm more or less "available in web" - I feel weak and vulnerable :D
To be honest - I created this profile just for testing, and maybe one day I will have guts to participate in some online gaming :)
Until now I've added only two persons (Zak Sabbath and James Maliszewski :D) and I don't have any ideas what to do now... Help me with this strange social-ish contraption :D

EDIT: you can find me there as Albert R. (and I have link to this blog in my profile description)

Something Awful - Ortix character sheet


Yesterday I've created character sheet for my Ortix / Underworld Kingdom campaign (Bandits & Basilisks ruleset + third LBB i suppose). First I tried to do it by fully "analog"  pen and paper :D) method, but as soon as I started I've discovered that my new set of gel pens are totally crappy, so I was forced to complete my work in Photoshop. Effect is "As Ugly As Sin", but I'm rather satisfied by it :D

If you want to download this character sheet, you may get both PDF and PNG version. Enjoy :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reinforcements have arrived!


At last I bought a new notebook and set of pens for my Ortix / Terminal Space campaign. Proper quality of my "gaming media" is very important to me - I've noticed that it's much easier to create something while using nice "tools" than dirty paper scraps and broken, bitten pencils :D

EDIT: Pens are crappy. Must buy new ones.

Multinauts!


Stumbled upon it on Jay's Exonauts blog. Absolutely awesome science fantasy show, available to view on Vimeo. Check this out!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My GM merit badges

These are my GM merit badges:

  • There will be a lot of strangeness in my game;
  • In some cases you will need to plan your combat (or other action);
  • In most cases I try to show some interesting story about place / person / item etc.;
  • I ALWAYS improvise;
  • If player ideas are good ideas then why not use them?
  • Exploration is very important part of my game;
  • In some cases retreat is the only reasonable option;
  • GM is in charge. Always. But it doesn't mean that you can't argue with me :D
  • Game rules are often fluid;
  • Prepare to face many disturbing (or even disgusting) content;
  • I never fudge the dice results in my game;
  • Prepare that your PC may die, prepare that his/her death may be really horrible;
  • It's all about fun, I am the Master of Digressions :D
  • If you want to kill other PC - do it, but be prepared that everything may have consequences.

Bandits and Battlecruisers sneak peek

I don't know if you remember my ideas about mixing Bandits & Basilisks, Terminal Space and some bizarre Sci-Fi ideas into new game / campaign setting. Although there is still not much new stuff about it (EVE is stealing most of my time :-(), i can show you some features of Bandits and Battlecruisers. Moreover, in the future i plan to change this list into index similar to the list of Underworld Kingdom resources, but i can't promise that i will update the 'B&B section' very often. So, here we go:

Brief description of planets and moons (Mercury, Venus, Dead Earth, Ares, Io, Kallisto, Ganymede etc.)
Phaeton's Tears (asteroid belt)
Crimson Rift and the Black Planet
Guilds (final evolution of the megacorporations)
Great Noble Houses
Nomadic Tribes
Pirate Nations
Ash'kari (aliens)
Monolith, Death of the Moon and Death of the Earth
War in Solar System
Charon Stargate
Ancient Battlefields
Possible chronology of the Last Millenium
Cults and Deities
Cyborg God
Solar system and Ortix
Inhabitants of the Dead Earth
Cyberenhancements
Alien Artifacts
Mutations and genetic alterations
Subhumans and posthumans of the Last Millenium

And inspiring image for the end:


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rumours and legends about Lost Haven

Random table, created mostly by Mr. Wight, containing facts, rumours and legends about the dreadful Lost Haven. Roll 1d20:

1. They say that a mighty Kraken sleeps in the center of the Haven's Inner Port.
2. When inhabitants of the city were being slain, magical "security system" cut off the main access routes to the Port.
3. Treasure vaults of the Haven, containing its untold riches, are hidden deep beneath the City's surface but access to them was cut off by a different layer of the underworld.
4. The Guildmaster ( or even masters ) was trapped inside his palace... and changed a bit over time.
5. During the Haven's fall, monsters caged in the local arena got loose and are now roaming the streets, sewers and rooftops.
6. It is said that at least two forces are fighting inside the city.
7. One of the last Great Wyrm eggs was said to be sold during the last days of the Haven but never left its vaults.
8. Beings change while inside this cursed place.
9. Usually one of the trespassers is allowed to escape to tell the tale of horror. Not that it happens often.
10. Nothing is constant in the City. It can change without warning as the power of the curse sets in.
11. Giant crystals are suspended on chains from the caves ceiling and shed some light. Some of them are burned out. Some still hold power.
12. A great expedition was led into the Lost Heaven never to return from the caves.
13. The truth is that there are no riches in there. Only illusions of power. Nothing else.
14. Weapons out of this world were prepared to be shipped outside when all hell broke loose.
15. Nothing should be considered as harmless.
16. It is said that the downfall was prophesied by many streat preachers across the Kingdom. Usually the crazy ones.
17. Everything taken from the city eventually returns.
18. A group of bandits have a base of operations near the Havens borders.
19. Denizens of the Underworld sometimes can be encountered in the vicinity of the Haven.
20. They say that some people survived... and are still alive despite the hundreads of years of the curse.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Idea about the Moons

Rather extreme idea about the moons and the Megastructure. Cool but i don't know if i will use it - maybe it will appear only in rumours and legends.

Click on the image to enlarge it. Picture from Tsutomu Nihei's NOiSE.


Since then 9000 years have passed.
Heavymetal based construction fluid is being brought in over various transportation lines.
A group of builders.
At one point, even the Moon, which used to be in the sky above, was integrated into the Megastructure.
In the end i didn't make it in time...
...because the Order brought tremendous suffering over the people through the chaos. Their appearance changed because of that.
They still continue their parasitic existence in the Megastructure.
Clawsa died 200 years ago.
Furthermore, I haven't met a human being in the last 100 years.
The netsphere is still expanding.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Arkham Horror overkill

My char from yesterday's game:


This game is definitely too easy with seven players (at least without any supplements).

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