Thursday, March 31, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge - I'm in!

So finally I decided to participate in A to Z Blogging Challenge. I have almost complete list of entries, but I'm worried about one thing. As my level of English is very low, I often ask my friends to correct my text. Now I feel that they may be tired of this, and I have no guts to post long, uncorrected texts. It may lead to very nasty events, including death of this blog :/

Meanwhile - if you hadn't alredy done it - check my newest creation - Bandits and Basilisks :-)

Bandits & Basilisks is out now!

Bandits & Basilisks - my (very) rules-lite old school gaming system is now available for download. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any suggestions - feel free to comment. More about its features can be found here (there are not too many of them because the entire game has 8 pages!).

It's also available via Box widget on Terminal  Space blog.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Underworld Wilderness

As the Ortix is completely tectonically inactive (this causes the absence of earthquakes an on the whole surface of the planet there is only one active volcano; moreover - it was artificially created), its interior is full of huge cave complexes. One of them is the Underworld Kingdom - an indefinitly vast network of underground caves, so large that traveling through them takes days if not weeks. In some of these caves, often covered with phosphorescent mushrooms and other strange strange vegetation, one can find old and new traces of humans existence (and other races, such as goblins and Ho-Ru the Black Lizardmen). Moreover - inhabited settlements can also be found there.

I called these places simply the "underworld wilderness". They will be mapped on standard wilderness hexagonal maps and travel through them is no different from the surface travels (except the fact that most of the underworld is much more dangerous than even the worst areas beneath the light of the Cold Star). In addition to the great caves, the underworld is dotted with smaller caves and tunnels sometimes connected into a real labirynthe of structures.

Of course, in addition to the great caves, the underworld is dotted with smaller caves and tunnels, sometimes connected into a real labyrinthine structures. this type of space can be regarded asa typical dungeon and their maps - mainly due to an entirely diffrenet scale - will be classic dungeon maps.

Sample (most important) areas of the Underworld Wilderness:
  • Great Cave of Ghohk – part of the Underworld that is inhabited by humans;
  • Underground Sea – forgotten and (almost) dead place, once inhabited by Ho-Ru;
  • Jungle Caves – lightened by mysterious glowing crystals, still populated by prehistoric beasts and monsters;
  • Silver Dome – very big, deeply situated cavern, guarded by Portal Fortress. Beware the dragons!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thirteen Gods of Ortix

  1. The Cockroach King - god of unsatiable hunger and thirst;
  2. Resh-Eiar, the Spider-squid of the Deep - god of darkness and bottomless pits, probably associated with Atlach-Nacha;
  3. Rust, the Desert Godess - godess of broken bones, desert wind and sand dragons;
  4. Ibost, God Behind the Wall - walled up in the Shadeless Tower in the city of Ibost;
  5. Lanakhoi, the Drowned God - corpse-god of bottomless seas;
  6. Ctuar - god of keys;
  7. Ghaig - god of weaklings and cowards, keeper of doorless chambers;
  8. Ddakr - "slayer of the monsters, father of the slain";
  9. Thugya, The Serpent Worm - god of unrest;
  10. Ysail - god of boredom and forgotten places;
  11. Rnoist - keeper of The Number Thirteen, god of the Pale Fishes;
  12. Iathacla - three-handed god of slumber, coma and unexpected circumstances;
  13. Zsakrn - keeper of the dead, deliverer of bad news, cheater at cards. Maybe he is associated with the Crimson King.

Monday, March 28, 2011

20 drunkards

Forgive me a lack of more creative content, but I'm busy with preparing Bandits & Basilisks.

Roll d20 (there will be 100 of them in the PDF! :D)
1. Hroth. 3 HP. Stinks horribly.
2. Gunthar the Lame. 5 HP. Lame, carries a club.
3. Iorika the Hag. 1 HP. Old and ugly. Reads the palm in exchange for booze.
4. The Fisherman. 5 HP. Bearded and fat. Stinks of fishes.
5. Yngrik the Cursed. 6 HP. Cursed by the gods – never gets sober.
6. Robun. 3 HP. Tall, thin and warty.
7. Red Gretha. 2 HP. Resident of the Dead Rooster Inn.
8. Tradolf the One-handed. 2 HP. Former pickpocket.
9. Silent Tom. 4 HP. Mute cutthroat.
10. Sailor Boond. 1 HP. Very old, long haired, with wooden leg.
11. Artik. 6 HP. Sings and howls when drunk.
12. Grist. 2 HP. Former gravedigger.
13. Onthack. 5 HP. Shoplifter who exchanges stolen goods for alcohol.
14. Fertha. 3 HP. Former prostitute, she claims that she origins from the royal family.
15. Boris the Pale. 4 HP. One eyed mugger.
16. Hrud. 3 HP. Former city guard. Still wears his moldy leather armor.
17. Fiery Faye. 5 HP. Horribly disfigured by burn scars.
18. Drakis. 5 HP. Former mercenary, has lost his legs during his last campaign. Carries two daggers.
19. Crith. 4 HP. Coward and backstabber.
20. Unglip. 2 HP. Drunk and charlatan, selling fake magical potions.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

20 Lovecraftian names

Part of my big Lovecraftian names list. Roll 1d20:

1. Xshogg
2. Zhugg-Nthat
3. Pha’tho
4. Rroth’rok
5. Iathacla
6. Rnoist
7. Llar
8. Chthua’Nor
9. Shh-ggh
10. Cthig’yik
11. Khrtho-Raa
12. N’ssaugh’nac
13. Th’nath
14. Kr’shosh
15. Nyiguth
16. Mmml’natkh
17. Ibost
18. Ctuar
19. Cthotheus
20. Ddakr

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Coming soon!

My rules - lite (lighter than Microlite74!) old-school roleplaying system, based on 0e. Some of its features:
  • No character class - PCs are just adventurers;
  • No example spells - internet is full of them (I encourage you to drop all standard spells and switch to i.e. Ancient Vaults and Eldritch Secrets spellbook);
  • Only two example monsters (bandit and basilisk :D).

File will be available for free, but I'd be grateful if you buy me a drink :-)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Important quote (and its aftermath)

Mages generally do not need to carry weapons other than daggers, but those of fifth level and above can use magic swords, and those of tenth level and above may use all magic weapons. However they may never carry more than one at a time, for the use of weapon requires a mental discipline alien to the philosophy of magic, and so will interfere with a mage’s concentration if he relies on them too much.
- David A. Hargrave

I like it very much and I based some of my house rules are based on it:
  • Temple Assassins (one version of Mystic) are allowed to use only daggers, but from sixth level they can use any type of one handed swords. 
  • Eremites (as above - Mystic) are allowed to use only blunt weapons (as ordinary Clerics), but from sixth level they can use bows (mainly in order to hunt and survive).
  • Priests of the "evil" gods (such as Cockroach King or Spider-Squid god Rresh-Eiar) are allowed to use daggers instead of bashing weapons.
  • I think that I'll use Hargrave's rule for magic-users of Ortix.

Hex map preview

Very unfinished version of map of the Ortix's surface. It will be fucking huge (app. 42x48 cm) and I have no idea how to put it into a PDF :D

If you have some comments / ideas about its dimensions (imperial metric system is killing me and I don't know anything about your big print formats! :D) - please help me to optimize it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ancient town-planning

Do you have a problem with creating a convincing-looking city for your own campaign? Did your towns looks unrealalistic? Maybe I have a solution for you.

Ancient Town-planning is a PDF file, created by a Francis Haverfield. It contains very useful information about several ancient cities. It may be very useful in designing a RPG-oriented agglomerations.

Here is a link; also it can be found in the other sources section on a sidebar.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[old stuff] So, how many mutations do you have?

This is the old version of additional tables, helpful in determining number of mutations posessed by the natives from Ortix. It will be unused / heavily modified in my current game.

1. Born on the one of the moons
01 - 90
Not mutated!
91 - 98
One mutation
Two mutations
Three mutations

2. Born in the City of Gods
01 - 98 No mutations
99 - 00 One mutation(outcast)

3. Born on the Central Wastelands
01 - 10
Not mutated
11 - 40
One mutation
41 - 70
Two mutations
71 - 90
Three mutations
91 - 98
Four mutations
99 - 00
Five mutations

4. Born in the Last Kingdom, Khaal or similar place
01 - 25
Not mutated
26 - 85
One mutation
86 - 00
Two mutations
Three mutations

5. Born in the Underworld Kingdom
01 - 75
No mutations
76 - 00
One mutation

6. Born in the Tomb of the Exiled
01 - 85
Not mutated
86 - 95
One mutation
96 - 98
Two mutations
Three mutations
Four mutations

Skills - overview

As I don't like useless (roleplay killing) skills in old school D&D games, I use only two of them in my campaign. Both of these skills are the reflection of knowledge possessed by a character. Note: I don't know if I will use both of them in my current game - perhaps I'll drop Knowledge and stay only with Arcane Lore.

Knowledge - skill about science, forgotten technologies and lore of the past. Can be used to identify the purpose of ancient machinery (if it's possible at all), repair and maintain technological devices, or even more advanced tasks, like biological research, scientific experiments and so on.

Arcane Lore is a skill about almost every aspect of occult, magical or even demonic knowledge. It can be used to perform magical research, rituals, summon demons (if the appropriate ritual is known) and even - under several circumstances - to create potions or identify magic items.

At the end - an important word about skills (from Terminal Space):

Despite that, if a player sees a solution to a problem that can be accepted by the Referee even though the character does not possess the appropriate skill or its level is too low then the skill check can be omitted. Any solutions created by the players should have a priority over the game mechanics but the final decision is up to the Referee.
The maximum level of the skills below is 95% to mark the fact that even the best can make mistakes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One thousand entries

1000 entries in four weeks. Pretty good score for a new blog :-)
24 new watchers since start of the month. Wow! I didn't expected that start of the new blog will be so good!

Weird places generator

Lack of ideas for interesting location? Just roll d10 four times!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Level 1 Magic User spell list (with LOTS of alternate names!)

Here is my list of Magic User's spells used in my campaign. Unfortunately, due to the lack of copy of Eldritch Weirdness in my collection, list is still incomplete.
Lots of the spells have an alternative name, used just to confuse my players (some of the names are REALLY misinforming :D).

Aetherik’s Amazing Preservation
Aid from the Night Crows / Winged Helper
Aldone’s Spell of Withered Manhood (2)
Braumaren’s Bubbles of Booze / Intoxify
Call Wayward mount 
Cobbler’s Friend
Conjure Familiar
Curses of Minor Discomfort 
Desert Wind's Edge / Mageblade
Dorthorion's Links of the Blood / Tied by Life
Eye of the Wizard  / Detect Magic
Frehley's Compass of Love / Detect Affect 
Fondrar's Flavouration / Stirring the Pot 
Fondrar's Floating Fatness / Buoyancy
Fool's Boon / Item Mimic
Fool's Reward / Touch of Gold
Gol'hem's Revelation of the Past / Decipher History
Gorfohl’s Ritual of the Banished Exhaustion (2)
Guardian of the Passage / Hold Portal
Hard as Chains of Hell / Rope of Steel 
Hoon's Hurried Repair / Mender
Hummvist's Near-Alchemical Transformation / Fey Coins
Ishorg’s Spell of the Awful Sting (2)
Knowing the Words of Djinni / Read Magic
Light As Feather 
Magnetic Revelation / Know Direction
Morgist's Mind Vortex / Vertiginous Vexation  
Myrkhar's Levitating Pebbles / Floatstone 
Mystical Scent of Understanding / The Revealing Wind
Mystical Shackles / Charm Person
Nebular Brightness / Light
Nightly Glow of the Mystical Symbols / Enhance Script
Oil of Sea Blood Revelation (3)
Poultice of Healing (3)
Relzar’s Animated Rope
See Like a Cat
Shimmering Dome
Shimmering Mists of Somnolence / Sleep
Stellar Path / The Stars Above Guide Me
The Rosy Mist of Reason (1)
The Unfettered Eye
The Unusual Proportions of Alb
Thorvin's Empyreal Appearance / Social Laddering 
Tromoronnen's Algebraic Curse / Numberjumble
Varhin's Furry Revenge / Mischievous Clowder
Varhin’s Verbal Revelation / Read Languages 
Vannagar's Veil of the Void / Gobsmacked 
Wisdom of Zelgog / Babbler
Zilliff’s Scrutinous Eye

(1) spells from The Arduin Grimoire vol. 1
(2) spells from The Arduin Grimoire vol. 4
(3) spells from the Realms of Crawling Chaos

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Old map of the surface

(click to enlarge)

Very raw and inaccurate map of part of the Ortix's surface, created by me few days ago. It will be totally altered.

1. Ruins of Aldarien
2. Anomalies
3. Poisoned Lakes
4. Black Sea (city)
5. Grey Marshes
6. Shadow Cities
7. Last Kingdom
8. Death Pits
9. Blackcrag Fortress
10. Stone Portal
11. Cliffs
12. Spire Cities of Khaal
13. Ryhk Pass and the Ryhk Grotto
14. Waterfall of Tears
15. Dead Trees
16. Ruins of Targin

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Traits of the hirelings

Roll d20:
1.    Greedy
2.    Drunkard
3.    Jealous
4.    Over-confident
5.    Pessimist
6.    Loyal
7.    Coward
8.    Crude
9.    Lustful
10.  Stingy
11.  Nervous
12.  Hot-blooded
13.  Optimist
14.  Quarrelsome
15.  Paranoid
16.  Trusty
17.  Insecure
18.  Brash
19.  Yielding
20.  Roll twice

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tech Level and Social Class - additional abilities

Tech Level reflects the degree by which the character is familiar with advanced (or primitive) technology as well as its inbred predisposition for using what the world has to offer. This ability does not have a major impact on game mechanics though it allows the game to become a little bit more interesting by showing from how far different places the characters can origin.
Click to enlarge:

To determine character's Social Class, roll d100 and compare the result with a following table:

Of course both of these abilities are optional - you don't have to use it if you don't feel it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

NEW cross section map of Ortix!

Here you go! New version of cross-section map of the "main game area". As you can see, almost all the cities are still nameless. 

(click to enlarge)

I hope you like it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Contents of the Underworld Kingdom PDF

  • 20+ new monsters;
  • 21 prehistoric beasts;
  • 13 new deities;
  • No-character-class rules (as an additional option);
  • New, largely expanded spell list;
  • New options for mystics (Cleric variation / replacement);
  • At least 2 new character classes;
  • At least three hex maps;
  • At least four cross section maps;
  • Several one page dungeons;
  • Descriptions of at least 25 locations;
  • Hundreds of hex descriptions;
  • Two additional spell systems;
  • Several new spells;
  • Approximately 300 random names;
  • Technology of the Old Ones;
  • At least six tables of random encounters;
  • Rules for Rituals;
  • Six unusual types of metal;
  • Over 100 new magic / unusual items, including artifacts;
  • Expanded equipment lists;
  • At least three sub-dimensions of Ortix;
  • Butchered Gods;
  • New poisons and drugs;
  • Portals, Gateways and links with the other worlds;
  • Several factions of sinister cultists;
  • Dozens of random tables.
Remember that it's still incomplete list of all of the features. I have no idea how many pages it will have, but I suspect that it will be well over one hundred.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

List of Dargs' names

Old, currently unused stuff, at least not as dwarven names - I'll make them more "universal".

Male names - roll 1d20:

1.    Grak
2.    Throk
3.    Vrok
4.    Zorri
5.    Korri
6.    Gorti
7.    Grok
8.    Kordi
9.    Khard
10.  Gard
11.  Oro
12.  Gorto
13.  Kortis
14.  Gund
15.  Mindor
16.  Nendir
17.  Gandar
18.  Dragg
19.  Namdor
20.  Gortal

Female names - roll 1d20:

1.    Thissa
2.    Taddis
3.    Gaddis
4.    Kora
5.    Ora
6.    Thora
7.    Drigga
8.    Gunda
9.    Gortha
10.  Ortha
11.  Zetha
12.  Gritha
13.  Khissa
14.  Kortha
15.  Ditha
16.  Khonda
17.  Drathi
18.  Nentha
19.  Ura
20.  Urtha

List of Alarri names

Old stuff, from the previous version of campaign. Perhaps I will use them as universal name from some city-state or nation.

Alarri do not separate names of male and female, so there is only one table to determine it. Roll 2d20:

2.    Aliar
3.    Altane
4.    Toliar
5.    Xassi
6.    Valta
7.    Valto
8.    Gantax
9.    Torven
10.    Venax
11.    Zanthi
12.    Erine
13.    Qualx
14.    Thari
15.    Shari
16.    Shax
17.    Thox
18.    Viltas
19.    Zenin
20.    Xerine
21.    Xortix
22.    Eitix
23.    Valthi
24.    Exus
25.    Esta
26.    Estan
27.    Verane
28.    Veax
29.    Ganthi
30.    Xinth
31.    Quirt
32.    Tartix
33.    Thassi
34.    Exta
35.    Istan
36.    Istix
37.    Venti
38.    Larix
39.    Valtix
40.    Tiliex

Monday, March 14, 2011

Appearance of magical weapons

d100 roll:

01-05    Rusty, chipped and worn
06-15    Neglected and blunt
16-50    Ordinary weapon
51-70    Master-crafted
71-80    Master-crafted, ornamented
81-85    Ceremonial, bejeweled, ornate
86-90    Rune-covered
91-94    Sinister appearance (blackened, with, spikes, bone handle etc.)
95-98    Made from unknown metal (or even other indistinguishable material)
99-00    Alien-crafted

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Art of Rodney Matthews

I discovered the art of Rodney Matthews when I was six or maybe seven years old - I found an album full of Sci-Fi artwork, and I fell in love. Imagine how much impact had this pictures on a small child! Still they are a great inspiration for me.

All artwork are taken from the Author's website - there are much more of them!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dead Ones - new Character Class

(artwork by Sourine)

Nobody really knows when Grey Plague appeared for a first time. Certainly it has been hundreds (if not thousands) of years ago, perhaps even in the times of the Great War. It is not known whether it was created as a biological weapon of the Old Ones or its origin is quite different.

One thing is certain - the plague changes people into monsters. Spores of the disease attacks every cell of the the host's body, leading to his death. Despite the apparent demise, disease transforms the victim's body, sustaining his life in a unknown way. Thus, victims of the plague - often called the Dead Ones - practically does not need to eat of drink (though if it does not take the "replacements" for their diseased tissues - especially if they are injured or otherwise damaged, eventually they will begin to rot and decay), also they are resistant to the effects of aging (finally they are dead - at least in some sense). Unfortunately the course of infection is horrible and extremely painful, which results of falling the victim of the Grey Plague falling to madness.

As the outbreaks of plague have not appeared since ages and infected with the disease can release spores only once in a hundred years, the amount of Dead Ones is getting smaller. Moreover, they almost did not appear on the surface of Ortix - especially that they are treated there as a "ordinary" undead. Most of Dead Ones hide themselves deep in the Tomb of the Exiled.

Dead One as a character class

(click to enlarge) 

Additionally, GM can add some extra rules, such as doubled (or even tripled from some experience level) HP regeneration rate, reduced need to eat and drink, vulnerability to Turn Undead power etc.

Friday, March 11, 2011

100 quirks

d% roll:

1.    Broken nose
2.    Blackened fingernails
3.    Warts
4.    Multi-colored eyes
5.    Squint
6.    Pockmarks
7.    Freckles
8.    Fake magical tattoo
9.    Tribal scars
10.    Cataract on the eye
11.    Ripped (off) ear
12.    Pierced nose
13.    Deep wrinkles
14.    Burn scars
15.    Birthmark
16.    Bald-headed
17.    Small body build
18.    Glasses
19.    Dyed hair
20.    Provocative makeup
21.    Weird voice
22.    Harelip
23.    Square jaw
24.    Crooked teeth
25.    Rotten teeth
26.    Gold teeth (1d4)
27.    Filed teeth
28.    Siren / anchor tattoo
29.    Religious tattoos
30.    Ruddy complexion
31.    Pale complexion
32.    Dark circles under eyes
33.    Protruding ears
34.    Wart on the nose
35.    No eyebrows
36.    Bushy eyebrows
37.    Hairy
38.    Baldness
39.    Bulging eyes
40.    Dreadlocks
41.    Dirt under the fingernails
42.    Bulbous nose
43.    Wide mouth
44.    High brow
45.    Nose hair sticking out
46.    Wadding gait
47.    Earrings
48.    Watery eyes
49.    Scar on the cheek
50.    Eyes of different sizes
51.    Nervous tic
52.    Small head
53.    Prominent brow ridges
54.    Irregular skull   
55.    Luxuriant beard (male) / slight mustache (female)
56.    Tanned skin
57.    Bad breath
58.    Chemical smell
59.    Dirty hair
60.    Pointed ears
61.    Bloodshot eyes
62.    Prominent lips
63.    Pot belly
64.    Bandy legs
65.    Gaunt complexion
66.    Strange gait
67.    Big head
68.    Pug nose
69.    Flaky skin
70.    Soft skin
71.    Dirty ears
72.    Thin skin
73.    Protruding teeth
74.    Curved spine
75.    Hoarseness
76.    Idiotic laughter
77.    Yellowed teeth
78.    Broken teeth
79.    Cutthroat scars
80.    Big foot
81.    Big hands
82.    Makeup
83.    Skinny neck
84.    Goiter
85.    Thick neck
86.    Smelly feet
87.    Cold skin
88.    Hyperhidrosis
89.    Hacking cough
90.    Widely spaced eyes
91.    Aquiline nose
92.    Flabby cheeks
93.    Snotty
94.    Disproportionate physique
95.    Broad shoulders
96.    Foot-dragging walk
97.    Bite scars
98.    Lame
99.    Denture
100.  Glass eye

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hot desert chick welcomes you to the REAL gaming!

Pic by Anathema - I hope that she will not kill me for using it :D

No elf? Yeah, I decided to exterminate them.

Rather nasty mutation table

Although mutations in a new version of Ortix campaign will be rather rare (at least PC's mutations), this table may be useful for some of you - it's simpler than e.g. Mutant Future mutation tables.

d% roll

1.    Unnatural hair color
2.    Additional digit
3.    Additional d4 limbs (50% chance for each to be useless)
4.    Additional eye
5.    Additional eye (blind)
6.    Night vision
7.    Echolocation
8.    Vampirism
9.    Albinism
10.    Unnatural skin color
11.    Long neck (+2d6 inches)
12.    Tail (useless)
13.    Tail (prehensile)
14.    Additional arm (useless)
15.    Additional arm
16.    Hairy body
17.    Apish appearance
18.    Frog- or toad- like appearance
19.    Insectoid (compound) eyes
20.    Transparent skin
21.    Feathers covering the entire body
22.    Short horns
23.    Twisted bones
24.    Hunch
25.    Noseless
26.    Very long and pointy nose
27.    Trunk
28.    Hairless body
29.    Slimy skin
30.    Scaly skin
31.    Hooves
32.    Leathery wings (useless)
33.    Feathery wings (useless)
34.    Headless (face is placed on torso)
35.    Prehensile tongue
36.    Leathery wings (allows to glide)
37.    Feathery wings (allows to glide)
38.    Scorpion tail
39.    Pincers instead of one hand
40.    Androgynous
41.    Genderless
42.    Large and twisted horns
43.    Gills (as an addition to lungs)
44.    Insectoid appearance
45.    Skin covered with spines
46.    Beak instead of mouth
47.    Serpent-like tongue
48.    Eyes on stalks
49.    Tentacles instead of arms
50.    Worm / slug tail instead of legs
51.    Additional joints
52.    Distorted face
53.    Large cranium
54.    Suckers on the fingers
55.    Large and pointy ears
56.    Long fingers
57.    Clawed hands
58.    Mandibles instead of mouth
59.    Skin covered in warts
60.    Webbed toes and fingers
61.    Several minor, concealable deformations
62.    Serpent eyes
63.    Serpent fangs (unable to create poison)
64.    Unnatural body odor
65.    Unnatural and unpleasant body odor
66.    Swollen joints
67.    Very big mouth
68.    Big eyes
69.    Antennae
70.    Reversed (upside down) face
71.    Cyclops
72.    Eyeless (therefore blind)
73.    Unnatural blood color
74.    Predator’s teeth
75.    Poisonous blood
76.    Acid blood
77.    Photophobia
78.    Necrotic tissue (ghoul syndrome – must eat raw meat to avoid rotting)
79.    Woody skin
80.    Leaves instead of hair
81.    Elongated limbs
82.    Short limbs (may affect movement rate)
83.    Centauroid
84.    Fly-like wings (useless)
85.    Butterfly wings (allows to glide)
86.    Siren’s tail instead of legs)
87.    Able to change sex in approximately one hour
88.    Flexible bones and joints
89.    Knees and elbows bending to opposite directions
90.    Two-headed (this may result in need to create another head’s statistics!)
91.    Arms in place of legs and vice versa
92.    Multiple genitals (gross!)
93.    Prehensile feet (with opposable thumbs)
94.    Gills (instead of lungs)
95.    Detachable limbs (like an lizard’s tail)
96.    Missing digit
97.    Small head
98.    Rat-like appearance
99.    Roll two mutations instead
100.  Roll d4 additional mutations!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A quick skim through a "new" vision of Ortix

A short list of key features of the new version of Underworld Kingdom campaign:
  • More REH and KEW influences. More Witch World, less Roadside Picnic and Dark Tower.
  • Big changes in both Underworld and the surface world – perhaps I will be forced to make a new cross section map (good, because I love to make them);
  • I abandon the idea of ancient human civilization - in the old days (3000+ years ago) people were slaves of the Old Ones. Human civilization began to flourish when the Old Ones exterminated themselves in a titanic wars;
  • No demi-humans! (but I still consider the use of alien races);
  • New pantheon of gods;
  • No clerics – replaced by Mystics (more info soon);
  • No alignment, although some “evil” creatures (evil in a very Lovecraftian way) will be present;
  • Limited access to magic items; very limited access to ancient (alien) technology;
  • No plate armors! Ancient, not medieval influences.

Bad news - I'm tired! Time for change!

(Last of dwarfs, facing extinction. Drawn by me :D)

Time for bad news - I'm tired of all these "Science-thingies" - probably too much playing Dark Heresy, too much work with Terminal Space, too much scavenging my old stuff to put this setting together.

I need a break.

At the first moment I wanted to change the purpose of this blog and start posting info about  something new. After rethinking the case I came to the conclusion that it would be easier to reboot the entire Ortix campaign than starting from scratch again. Ortix came to life as conglomerate of my old Sword & Sorcery campaigns and frankly, now when I plan to start playing it again, it turns out that I'm not satisfied with its current shape.

This means that some parts of the game world will change - for example,  Idecided to completely stop using demi-humans, also the timeline will change drastically.

Sorry for confusing you.

More info soon (probably even today).

PS. I'm still going to post here the old material ("kicked out" of the game), just to share it with you - maybe someone finds it useful. The old data will be marked with the "proper tag" :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Advanced weaponry ideas

Repost from Terminal Space - these rules may also be useful in Underworld Kingdom campaign. Also it's possible that I'll make more house rules about weapons when we start running a new campaign.
  • Mono swords and knife can ignore the AC of light armor such as void suits or primitive leather armor etc.
  • Phase weapons due to their specific properties can ignore AC of commonly used armor, but it is possible that it will have no effect on natural armor made of bone, scales or carapace of monsters.
  • Grav weapons do not work in places devoid of gravity. They can also decrease armor effectiveness.
  • Automatic weapons, e.g. assault rifles or HMGs are able to hit more than one opponent.
  • Flamethrowers, acid throwers and fire bombs can cause damage for more than one round (e.g. d6 rounds).
  • Needle pistols are very easy to hide, darts usually are coated with a toxin that paralyzes or kills the target. A successful hit form the weapon should not cause more than 1-2 points of damage.
  • Mi-go blaster does not require ammunition. It charges by itself after depleting the cell which usually takes a few hours.
  • Instead of increasing the damage caused by powerful weaponry like lasers or plasma weapons you can roll a bigger amount of dice (Referee’s decision) and keep the highest score.
Also - you may find useful rules made by Blair for his Planet Algol campaign - look here and here.


My first and probably last attempt to stich together some facts about past of Ortix. Some of the events are based on my old campaign (1997-1999 AFAIR), some on events from my 2002-2003 campaign, and some are brand new, added to glue everything together.

Note: absence of dates is intentional - I encourage everyone who wants to play this campaign to adjust everything himself.
  1. K'reen arrive to the Ortix.
  2. Shaping the planet by K'reen (to be honest - one really knows what happened during their reign).
  3. Arrival of the Shapers, the beginning of war between the newcomers and K'reen.
  4. Shapers, after a long and destructive war, escape beneath the planet's surface. They create  vast underground cave complexes..
  5. K'reen begin to remove effects of the war, they also build a giant spaceship.
  6. K'reen descend to the underworld, to bring utter destruction to their mortal enemies.
  7. Torgon Heartripper leaves the Grey Dimension and arrives on the Ortix.
  8. Shapers create an underground city, which shall be attacked and ruined by K'reen in the future.
  9. As a result of the last war between the Old Ones, K'reen are almost extinct and Shapers descend even deeper underground.
  10. Rise of the Dargs and Alarri civilizations.
  11. First humans arrive on Ortix.
  12. War between Alarri and Dargs, Jewel of Creation dies. The first magic burn disrupts the flow of magic.
  13. Human civilization flourishes, benefiting heavily from the remains of the Old Ones' technology. Architects' Guild is formed.
  14. Total war breaks out between humans. Almost entire human civilization is destroyed and most of the planet becomes a contaminated wasteland.
  15. First manifestation of Anomalies - distortions of the laws of physics, magic, time and space. People are starting to mutate. Some people escape to the Underworld.
  16. Architects disappear without a trace.
  17. First sights of the Grey Plague.
  18. A being called the Great Father creates vampires and werewolves - the most perfect mutant species.
  19. Kingdom of Aldarien arises.
  20. Dead Ones find an ancient city deep in the Underworld.
  21. Lord of the Plagues brings disease upon the Aldarien, king of Aldarien initiates ancient machinery, hoping that it help fight off the plague. Instead it destroys the entire city.
  22. War erupts between the people of the Underworld Kingdom and Vrax & Morax - the two-headed dragon.
  23. The lands east of the ruins Aldarien are united by the council of mages.
  24. Mages discover a vast underground complex, called by them the Tomb of the Exiled. They build huge fortress over the entrance to the Underworld.
  25. Hideous beasts start to appear in the Underworld.
  26. Fall of Blackcrag.
Note that Blackcrag has fallen at least 200 years ago (although flow of time on the surface of Ortix can be Easily disturbed).

Hypotheses on the chronology

- Is the Floating Island a spaceship built by K'reen?
- Was the Jewel of Creation created by the Old Ones?
- Is Torgon Heartripper the same person as the Great Father and the Lord of the Plagues?

Because of significant changes in current shape of the campaign, consider this info as the "old stuff" - it will be heavily modified. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spiny Armadillo

I almost forgot about their existence - that covered with a black spikes creatures were a real pest of my games in 1997-1999. Since then I have not used them even once - time to change it!

PS. Yes, my artwork is really crappy :D

No. appearing: 1-6
Armor Class: 3
Move in Inches: 5
Hit Dice: 1+2
% in Lair: -
Treasure: none

They can burrow in even solid rock in the rate of 2 feet per one minute. For this reason trained armadillos are often used by goblins and Darg outcasts.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Links to other helpful materials

I created a page that contains links to other sites and blogs that contain material that might be helpful in running the Underworld Kingdom campaign.
List will be regularly updated, of course if I don't forget about it.

Here is a link to it, also it can be found on a sidebar.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cross section map of the Floating Island

(click to enlarge)

1. City of Gods
2. Palace Tower
3. Landing Bay (unused / deserted)
4. Sensors
5. Mountain of Doom (cursed place)
6. Great City Hall
7. Core of the City
8. Thrash Pits
9. Underground Laboratory (status unknown)
10. Secret Mi-go outpost
11. Maze guarding the entrance
12. Natural caverns
13. Automated defense control room (deserted)
14. Water reservoir
15. Western Watchtower (lower levels deserted)
16. Eastern Watchtower (cursed place)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Words of the Oracle

During a character creation player can roll a die to determine words of the Oracle, which supposedly (in rather gibberish way) determine character’s fate. It don’t affect the game mechanics, but it can affect character’s decision, because he (or she) knows the words of prophecy. Of course, if the players puts less emphasis on role-playing, they can ignore this option.

1.    Dust of your ancestors’ bones will choke you
2.    Dead ones will lead you to the enlightment
3.    Behind the path of Night you will find madness
4.    Hero will find his death, fool will find his fortune
5.    Blood of the descendant of wizards will open the gate to the underworld
6.    Gods of the dead will turn away from you
7.    Prophet’s apprentice will find a graveland of the Old Ones
8.    Blessing will bring the curse
9.    The prophecy will become a doom of your descendants
10.    Sword of fire will cut the moon bridge
11.    You will bring a relief to the dead heroes
12.    Hunger will lead to the truth
13.    Tail of the comet will lead you to the book of the dead
14.    God of the city will fall into madness
15.    Theft will bring the insanity
16.    Fountains of poison will never satisfy your thirst
17.    When water will become an ice, death will become an undeath
18.    Slave of the gods will read the verses of the passing
19.    Throne of the earth end in flames
20.    Cursed sword will open the tomb of the monsters
21.    Third warning will never come, pestilence will come like a storm
22.    Dead ones will experience hunger because of you
23.    Minion of the Abyss will delete your name from the Book of Ancestors
24.    Answer can be found in the storm of fire
25.    Treasures will curse you
26.    Curse will lead to discovery, discovery will bring the darkness
27.    Words of the Priest are full of poison, words of the Demon are the answer
28.    Death of the king will be a monument of your glory
29.    Ice will bring the oblivion
30.    Red mist will become your shelter
31.    Beware of lone travellers
32.    Spark of understanding will be the flame of hell
33.    Shadow will be a beginning of absolute darkness
34.    Your doom will come with the tide
35.    You cannot kill what is already dead
36.    Whispers of the dead will bring the comprehension
37.    Eternal glory will be found at the bottom of the abyss
38.    Pride will be your poison, memory will be your curse
39.    Black peak will be the crown
40.    Dark Side is your blessing
41.    Road home will be your end
42.    You will remove the crown from the dead hands, but blood of the King will not be on your hands
43.    Forgotten labyrinth will become your grave
44.    Doomed city will open its gates before you
45.    River of blood will freeze beneath your feet
46.    You will dethrone the king of fools, but beware to not take his place
47.    Shelter of the wraiths will become your home
48.    In the forests you will find the causa of your fall
49.    Accursed you was born, blessed you will die
50.    Cold Light will burn your skin

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Alarri (elves)

Former masters of magic, the Alarri civilisation collapsed when they were cursed by the Dargs' god. Apparently they were brought to life by the very essence of magic, source of which was in the center of their kingdom. Alarri didn't worship any gods, furthermore - because of their highly developed magical talents they saw themselves as equal to the gods (even though they represented only a fraction of K'reen or Shapers' capacity). It is said that this arrogance led to the conflict between Alarri and Dargs - children and followers of the Crystal God.

Although the technology of Dargs was very powerful and led to the destruction of large areas of the eastern forests, it cannot be compared to the magical powers of Alarri. Dargs' Kingdom has been broken and devastated, and the survivors fled into the underworld. However, this victory turned into a total disaster - The Jewel of Creation decided to avenge its children.

Crystal God broke through the magic shields guarding the capital of the Alarri kingdom. Although its crystalline "body" was destroyed, when Alarri tried to repel the attack, the dying god freed his life energy, destroying the power source and cursing all Alarri, severing them from their ancient magic.
Since the war Alarri number have decreased significantly. The old masters of magic completely isolated themselves from the world - a magical shield still keeps them out of the deserted and decaying kingdom, preventing access to anyone who is not invited. Now their power is only a shadow of their former abilities - even human wizards of Blackcrag would be able to overcome current Alarri masters.

Because of significant changes in current shape of the campaign, consider this info as the "old stuff" - it will be heavily modified. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dargs (dwarves)

A dying race of short humanoids, created in ancient times by the ancient god of Ortix's mountain roots, known as the Jewel of Creation. Deity, whose domain was grievously wounded during the wars of Old Ones, cast its essence in the crystal to avoid destruction. Dargs, guards and followers of Gem, were created from stone and life essence of troglodytes, wild tribes that inhabited the limitless plains of the planet.

Many years later, just when first humans appeared on Ortix, blooming kingdoms of Dargs began a war with the Alarri - race inhabiting the vast, virgin forests stretching eastward from the Plains. Technology of Dargs could not match magic of Alarri, so their kingdoms were smashed, temples destroyed, and they themselves forced to fall back into the underworld, like the Shapers millenia before.Legends say that the direct cause of the wars and, and the coming of the inevtable death of the two races was a result of the Darg's god's wrath. The diety, who was mortally wounded during a magical storm unleashed by the magi-kings of Alarri - used his last reserve of energy to curse the winners of war in a single magical eruption.  Unfortunately, the consequences of that act also reached the children of the Crystal God.

Dargs are a race close to extinction - death of the Jewel of Creation deprived them of their will to live. Through centuries, their outstanding achievements in engineering and construction turned into dust, and their desire to develop knowledge changed into a meaningless vegetation. Currently, only a few Dargs leaves Calthiboros - their last stronghold, hidden deep in the bowels of the Underworld Kingdom.

Because of significant changes in current shape of the campaign, consider this info as the "old stuff" - it will be heavily modified. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gary Gygax's OD&D house rules (2005)

I suspect that this set of house rules has already appeared on every OSR / retrogaming forum, website or blog. Nevertheless, I believe that I should include it here. It's very good (almost perfect in its simplicity) set of house rules after all!
  • Not using the supplements. Only the three little books.
  • Ability scores rolled as best 3 out of 4d6. Arrange scores to taste.
  • All PCs get 1d6 hp/level. HP rolls are rerolled on a 1.
  • Fighters get +1 HP/die. All PCs get +1 HP/die if Con > 14.
  • Fighters do +1 damage if Str > 14.
  • Dex doesn't affect AC. (It does affect missile attack "to hit" rolls.)
  • PCs started at 3rd level.
  • PCs are unconscious at 0 hp. They can go as low as level +1 before death. (A 4th level fighter can be brought as low as -5 hp & just be unconscious.) A healing potion or cure spell restores them immediately.
  • 1d6 for surprise. 1=1 round. 2=2 rounds. 3 or more=no surprise.
  • PCs must declare actions before initiative. Casters must declare the specific spell being cast.
  • 1d6 for initiative. A tie means simultaneous.
  • A casting caster who loses initiative will lose his spell if hit.
  • No training necessary to gain a level.
  • To acquire new spells: Casters must find scrolls, spellbooks, or a friendly higher-level caster.
  • Clerics don't need spellbooks. (The original books can be read to imply that they do.)
  • Gary IDs most magic items immediately (charging large sums of money when they return to town to rest & recuperate for this service). (This is because the players are anxious to get back into the dungeon & don't want to bother with in-town adventures.) Potions must still be tasted to ID, though. Unusual items require a trip to the striped mage.

World of Ortix

Ortix is a planet with a diameter of approximately 1.2 diameter of Earth. Its large, metallic core produces a magnetic field strong enough to protect the planet from deadly radiation of the Cold Star. Gravity on the planet is close to the Earth's, the day lasts 24 hours.
The three main features distinguihing Ortix from our planet is total lack of tectonic activity, a smaller amount of oceans and seas and chaotic orbit, of which the last two features are probably the result of the titanic-scale war, waged thousands of years ago by the creatures recently known as the Old Ones.

Planet has two moons, called simply the Grey Moon and the Red Moon. Red has its own cycle of day and night, and gray - just like most typical moons - is in synchronous rotation with Ortix, always showing the same face.

Because of significant changes in current shape of the campaign, consider this info as the "old stuff" - it will be heavily modified.