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Showing posts from March, 2011

Machete Slingshot!

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Should this be stated as a bladed weapon, a bowed weapon, or a catapult?

Name It & Stat It Challenge 1!

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Jellyfish parasite Hyperia galba
Skeleton shrimp Caprella septentrionalis

Nereis virens head (Polychaeta)

I was reading my morning news feeds this morning and came across these photos by Alexander Semenov.

I suck at writing stats blocks and descriptions, so I'll leave those up to you! Leave your stats and description in the comments box, and I'll pick my favorite for each to post below each picture.

Here's an Interesting Google Search:

Try this using Google:

site:wizards.com +pdf

You'll be amazed at what turns up.

edit: here's scottsz's suggestion as a link:

site:wizards.com +adventure +pdf

The Google, It Likes Me

Right now, if you search for the word "rended" on Google, this site is the first non-dictionary hit.

I feel smug.

Dungeon Generators & Dice Rollers

By now, most of us who claim affiliation with the OSR know about Dave's Mapper, the nifty map generator that uses geomorphs created by a variety of bloggers in the OSR blogosphere. It's a cool tool that's only getting better as more folks submit their geomorphs and Dave plugs away at expanding the options.

And maybe you've also seen the Dire Press d20 Random Dungeon Generator. Or the Dizzy Dragon Dungeon Generator. Or the Myth-Weaver Dungeon Generator. Or all the goodness at Djerv's Graveyard, where Djerv has not only dungeon generators, but a nice set of other adventure generating tools.

But did you know that Wizards of the Coast tried to jump in the fray, too? Here's the old dungeon generator at their site. It's functional, but the fan-created stuff is much more impressive.

And if you dig around on the WotC site, you can also find a dice roller, along with the necessary files to run it offline locally from your hard drive. Some random guy on the intern…

d30 Table: What's in the Closet?

The following is declared Open Game Content:

d30 Table: What's in the Closet?

The hardy adventurers have cleared the room. But there's that closet over there. Maybe the door is locked, maybe it isn't. A listening check reveals no sounds emanating from behind the door. So, what's inside?

1. 300 pairs of women's footwear in assorted styles and sizes.

2. What appears to be the bones of 100 separate skeletons, disassembled. If the PCs pick up even one bone, all 100 skeletons will automatically assemble into a single huge bone skeleton which will challenge the PCs to a game of checkers.

3. An extremely hungry honey badger.

4. A brick wall. Taking out 1d8 bricks allows the PCs to peer behind the wall, where they will find a cask of sweet wine and the skeletal remains of a harlequin (the skeleton is not animated).

5. A small box covered in pale pink leather. The box will give off a pale purple glow if Detect Evil or Detect Magic is cast. The leather is made from human skin…

New Magic Item: Helm of Everseeing

The following is declared Open Game Content:

Helm of Everseeing

Rumored to have been made by dwarves in the first age, this rough-hewn helm of blackest iron is heavy, unwieldy, and has a bad habit of slipping over the wearer's face during combat. Through some ancient magical enchantment, when the helm does cover the wearer's face, vision is not obscured and the face is protected from an opponent's weapon. However, due to the abrasive nature of the helm's components, the wearer suffers 1 HP of scraping, bruising damage to the face and -1 to CHR each time this happens. It is rumored that only five of these helms have survived to the present age, most of them owned by exceedingly ugly warriors.

Random Table Contest Announced on the ODD74 Forum

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Over on the ODD74 forum, the guys at Fight On! and Ian of Magician's Manse have announced a Random Table Contest.

It appears that Ian's Book of Vile Randomness project has been Polymorph Other-ed into the "Fight On! Big Book of Tables (or whatever we eventually decide to call it)." This is cool news indeed.

The even cooler thing is how prizes will be awarded: a Random Prize Table!

I've already fired off my entry, which consists of three tables from this blog (and I ain't saying which ones).

Of course, this also puts the fire under my butt to turn The Conclave of the Order of the d30 compilation into a PDF sometime soon. I've been deluged with grading the past two weeks, so maybe I can churn it out by early next week.

List of Woodland Encounters

Daddy Grognard put out the call for a community project to build a table of non-monster woodland encounters. Here are the ones I suggested in my comments on that post. Some made it onto the table, some didn't.

The following is declared Open Game Content:

Widowmaker
A heavy tree limb falls from the surrounding forest canopy. Make a DEX check; rolling lower than DEX means the PCs didn't get out of the way and got smashed by the branch. Roll 2d12 for damage (because they ain't called widowmakers for nothing!).

Animal Graveyard
The dense forest opens to sparser ground with younger trees and overgrown grasses. Scattered everywhere underfoot are the bones of all sorts of forest creatures, from field mice and voles to bears, wolves, and elk. Most lie intact, where they fell. There is no way to move around or through the area without stepping on bones. None of the skeletons are animated, but the careful explorer might discover a Unicorn skeleton with an intact horn (which can heal …

New Magic Item: Vudu Gumdrops

The following is declared Open Game Content:

Vudu Gumdrops

Named after their inventor, the hobbyist alchemist Vudurann the Confectioner, Vudu Gumdrops appear to be normal licorice gumdrops, either opaquely white or sparkly black in color.

If a character places a Vudu Gumdrop in his mouth, it immediately dissolves and the character must make a Save vs. Paralysis or be paralyzed for 1d6+3 days.

During this time period, the character will appear to be dead, his heartbeat and breathing slowed to a nearly imperceptible rate. The character retains all senses, but is unable to react to external or internal stimuli. The character’s eyes remain open, and resist being drawn closed by others.

At the end of the paralysis, the character must make a Save vs. Disease or be plagued with severe, gut-wrenching constipation for 1d4 days, and suffer a temporary -5 to all attributes. At the end of this time period, the character has a huge cleansing of the bowel at an inconvenient moment.

Vudu Gumdrops are…

d30 Table: What's In That Hole?

The following is declared Open Game Content:

d30 Table: What's In That Hole?

There's a hole. It's not portable. What's in it?

1. Three feet of frayed rope.

2. A dozen hard boiled duck eggs.

3. A teeny-tiny Earth Elemental smoking a cigar.

4. Magical dirt.

5. A tub stopper. If pulled from the hole, the entire room begins to spin down the drain.

6. A pair of men's size 12 snowshoes.

7. A sack of sacking.

8. A kamikaze chicken.

9. A lute string and a roll of twine.

10. A shriveled lemon, a sealed vial of molasses, and half a loaf of moldy, stale bread.

11. Twenty-four bent and rusted iron spikes.

12. A pig skeleton.

13. Twelve singed harpy feathers.

14. A silver locket. Opening the locket reveals a tiny picture of one of the members of the party being beheaded by a yellow-draped, faceless figure wearing a crown of thorns.

15. A bag of lavender-scented bath salts.

16. A ham bone and a bag of dried beans.

17. Two inches of salt water and twenty seven dead slugs float…

New Minor Magical Item: Magical Dirt

The following is declared Open Game Content:

Magical Dirt
Indistinguishable from normal dirt except it gives off a magical aura when subjected to Detect Magic. Highly allergenic to gnomes and dwarves, causing 1d4 days of watery, itchy eyes. Otherwise has no special effects or powers.

Six Magic Sacks

The following is declared Open Game Content:

Six Magic Sacks

Sack of Sagging
Placing an item in this sack immediately makes the sack sag from the holder’s hand to the floor, regardless of the size of the item or the size of the holder. The sack becomes extremely heavy and must be dragged with both hands across the floor.

Sack of Lies
Every time this sack is opened, a hoarse voice begins spouting mistruths about the bag’s owner. Otherwise, it functions as a normal sack.

Sack of Cats
Upon being closed, this sack squirms and twitches, emitting a yowling sound akin to a cat in distress. Otherwise, it functions as a normal sack.

Sack of Sacking
When items placed into this sack are later retrieved, they are wrapped in their own individual non-magical sacks.

Sack of Turning
When an item is placed in this sack, the sack immediately disgorges the item by turning itself inside out.

Sack of Yams
There is a 1-in-6 chance that any item placed in this sack will be replaced by a yam when the owner goes to …

d12 Tables of Funky Smells

The following is declared Open Game Content:

d12 Tables of Funky Smells

The adventurers open the door and the stench of . . . something . . . smacks them in the face.

Roll 3d12 and pick one from each table:

Table 1: Creature
1. Badger
2. Mammoth
3. Gnoll
4. Orc
5. Camel
6. Spider
7. Goblin
8. Owlbear
9. Wererat
10. Dryad
11. Xvart
12. Gnome

Table 2: Body Fluid
1. Piss
2. Vomit
3. Bile
4. Blood
5. Snot
6. Spunk
7. Pus
8. Sweat
9. Dung
10. Phlegm
11. Smegma
12. Toe Jam

Table 3: With a hint of . . .
1. Mint
2. Lime
3. Peaches
4. Gooseberries
5. Mistletoe
6. Crabapples
7. Cinnamon
8. Orange
9. Black Currant
10. Cranberry
11. Anise (Licorice)
12. Horseradish

My favorite rolls on this table during testing:
Mammoth phelgm with a hint of mint.
Wererat bile with a hint of lime.
Spider vomit with a hint of crabapples.
Owlbear smegma with a hint of gooseberries.
Xvart toe jam with a hint of horseradish.
Gnome pus with a hint of orange.

One Page Dungeon Contest 2011 Entry

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Here's my entry for the OPD 2011 Contest:

The Laughing Giant's Secret

This OPD grew out of an idea I had last year, a two-page dungeon based on this hex map I drew up the first time I played around with Hexographer:

(Note: this hex map is not in the module)

The original idea was that that inn is never in the same hex during a given season. The first draft, which has been sitting on my flash drive for about a year, had rumor tables, a list of NPCs, a wilderness encounter table, and other such truck piled in there, with the inn's floorplan devoted to a second page. If you printed out the module double-sided, then you'd have a double-sided one-page dungeon. I couldn't condense it down to fit a single side of the page, so I whittled it down to this. It's rough and it's ugly, but I think it's playable.

Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

My thanks to Tim Hartin of Paratime Design for his permission to use his awesome maps in this module.

d30 Table of Close Combat Concentration Breakers

The following is declared Open Game Content:

d30 Table of Close Combat Concentration Breakers

Sometimes in combat, you get distracted. Here’s why.

1. Tunic bursts into flame for no apparent reason.

2. Water flask pops open, leaks all over floor.

3. Scabbard loosens, clatters to floor.

4. Loose footgear causes a stumble.

5. Coiled rope unspools, tangles feet.

6. Opponent farts a horrible, gut-clenching fart of death (Save vs. Poison or suffer -1 to hit for duration of fight).

7. Dude wearing nothing but a monocle runs behind opponent.

8. Opponent drops weapon, asks for a do-over, attempts to walk through moves from beginning of fight to moment weapon was dropped.

9. Opponent drops weapon, pulls out a frying pan and continues trying to fight (frying pan treated as flail -1).

10. Opponent’s mother appears, grabs opponent by ear and drags opponent off, never to be seen again (award 1/2 XP).

11. PC notices opponent has a tattoo of PC’s relative on neck.

12. PC notices opponent’s tattoo look…

d12 Table of Tales of Heroic Ineptitude

The following is declared Open Game Content:

d12 Table of Tales of Heroic Ineptitude

Bards far and wide sing the songs and praises of heroic adventurers who have accomplished great deeds. Yet rarely repeated bardic lore also tells of those who tried and failed only to try and fail again. While the details may be lost in the mysts of time, the titles of these tales are still passed along in certain whispered circles.

1. ”Gordon & The Fish”

2. “Captain Jack & The Tankard of Everlasting Ale”

3. “Grimnose & The Grindstone”

4. “The Myth of Sleepy Valeson”

5. “The Half-hearted Halfling & The Rope of Many Tongues”

6. “The Vanishing of Olaf Banish”

7. ”Bert & The Insatiable Slattern”

8. “Never Trust a Wood Nymph”

9. “Hernd Gave Love a Bad Name”

10. “The Heartwrending”

11. “A Trident for Trisian”

12. “The Doppelgänger of Simon Simonson”

d30 List of Random Crap in a Room

The following is declared Open Game Content:

d30 List of Random Crap in a Room

1. Two broken chairs

2. Sixteen unsharpened quills and two apparently blank parchments

3. One dried goat kidney

4. A jug of vinegar

5. A trivel (could be a trident, could be a shovel--no one knows for sure)

6. A vase of wildflowers

7. Seven copper coin blanks

8. A grief-stricken hobgoblin crying and moaning about missing his “mummbly”

9. A deerskin glove (right hand) missing three fingers

10. A mumified dwarf thumb

11. Two empty oaken wardrobes placed on opposite sides of the room

12. A laser pointer

13. Six quail eggs

14. A liverwurst sandwich +1

15. A dagger hilt

16. A hiltless dagger

17. Seventeen wooden carvings of the number 17

18. Misplacer beast looking for its keys

19. A zebra-skinned couch, plus roll again on this table

20. Two hoofless centaur corpses

21. A duck

22. A three-foot-wide puddle of oil-sheened water

23. A carving of the local fertility god

24. Six used lambskins

25. A giant platypus s…

New Magic Item: Gladstones

The following is declared Open Game Content:

Gladstones
Found only rarely in veins of iron ore mined from the craters of long-dormant volcanoes, gladstones are naturally occurring, glossy, metallic, jet pebbles of incredible denseness. A single gladstone weighs as much as 10 gp, even though it is no larger than a dwarf's thumbnail.

If ingested, the gladstone will bring the user an overwhelming feeling of euphoria and contentedness that lasts 1d8 days and imparts a permanent +3 to the swallower's CON. However, if the user swallows more than two gladstones during his or her lifetime, the user must Save vs. Disease or be stricken with uncurable anemia, resulting in a permanent -6 to CON.

Gladstones may be used as ammunition in slings and slingshots, and when used as such, impart a +3 against ghouls, ghasts, and zombies. They may be retrieved from corpses and re-used. However, with every use in this manner, there is a 25% chance the gladstone will explode on impact and be unretriev…

New Druid Spell: Donkey Punch

The following is declared Open Game Content:

New Druid Spell: Donkey Punch

Level: 6th
Components: V/S/M
Range: 8 feet
School: Alteration
AOE: 12 linear feet/level within a 4" radius
Save: None
Casting Time: 1 round
Duration: Semi-permanent (see below)

By means of this spell, a druid changes the bloodline of a hybrid creature into a full-blooded animal, for example, changing a mule to either a horse or a donkey.

When faced with a hybrid creature which the druid believes is an abomination against nature, a druid may cast this spell upon the animal to render it a full-blooded animal of either its paternal or maternal heritage. The druid must be able to physically see the animal he or she desires to change by non-magical means, and the druid must know the lineage of the animal (i.e., that a mule is the offspring of a mare and an ass). The druid must make his or her intention to change the animal known before casting this spell, and choose the lineage (the animal's paternal or m…

d4 Table of Thieving Funkitude

I created the following as separate entries for Gorgonmilk'sDungeon Funk community project. Since I wrote up four of them, they make a handy table all of their own!

The following is declared Open Game Content.

The d4 Table of Thieving Funkitude

Believe it or not, thievery has its downsides. Each time a thief successfully picks a pocket, there's a 10% chance the thief picked a victim with a contagious disease. Roll a d4 to determine what nasty contagion the thief has picked up.

1. Bite Tongue's Plague
Originally created by the ancient alchemist Bite Tongue to smite his enemies from afar, BTP is a fast-moving disease which infects the victim's mouth and throat. Those infected wtih BTP immediately find the inside of their cheeks, their tongues, their gums and their esophagus swelling with small white nodules that seem annoying and painless at first, but eventually burst and emit noxious fumes and fluids, causing much pain. This fluid itself is toxic, and is also the primar…

Cleaned Up the Zine List

I've added a few more zines to the list and tidied up the categories a bit. Just thought you'd like to know.

No Love for Mutant Future on the Fanzine Front?

Can anyone explain to me why there are no fanzines for Mutant Future? At least, my web wanderings haven't turned one up. Maybe I'm wrong. If so, somebody please post me a link. But right now, it appears all the other retro-clone systems seem to have one or more zines devoted to them, but not Mutant Future.

Note: I don't play Mutant Future, so there's no invested interest here. This is just an observation.

Commentator? I think not!

Thanks to James over at The Underdark Gazette, I've gained a few new followers. Welcome aboard, folks!

This also means it's time to level up. The new rank: Commentator.

Man, that is a seriously bad level title. I mean, come on: Vlark the Commentator. See? That name sucks.

So, I'm hereby announcing a house rule: the new name for third level Old School RPG Bloggers is Champion. That works to better describe what we do. We third levelers champion our beliefs and causes on the Ethereal Plane of the Blogosphere.

Yeah, Vlark the Champion . . . that's the ticket!

I think we're good now.