Saturday, February 27, 2021

The problem with 5e? ... it's best feature.

 So people have been grumbling about 5e.

(tl,dr:  advantage is great!  but it has consequences - the players engage less. A proposal to fix it)

I think 5e is a good game.  But like all versions of D&D, it's not perfect.  Compromises had to be made (I consider it "medium crunch" and I am happy with the level of complexity, but for some it's too complex, for others not enough).  Some new rules had unintended consequences - the "sort rest classes vs long rest classes" balance depends on the pacing of the game, which is strange.  There is no longer a "magical item market" where you could customize your magical gear - some see this as a good thing (I do!) and some see it as bad.  Some say that the game is too easy, that the PCs are too tough (a valid criticism I think).

However, the advantage/disadvantage system was almost universally praised.  And it is good!  It was a bit... much... at times in the older editions.

This is an example from the PF game (the kingmaker AP where I play an alchemist)

"My starting to hit number is +9, but there are modifiers.  I have drunk the mutagen, which gives me +4 to dex, which means +2 to hit. I've also cast reduce, which increases my attack by 1 and gives me 2 more dex so another +1. The foe is 25 feet away so point-blank shot kicks in, giving me another +1, BUT there is a -2 range penalty. The bard is signing that's +5 right? (our bards is *awesome) - nope the bard is more than 30 feet away from me, reducing the bonus to +3. I'm also firing into melee (-4) and there is some cover (-2) so that's not great... but wait I'm hasted by the sorcerer, so I get another +1! So now it 9 +4 +1 +1 +1 -2 +3 -4 -2 + 1= +12 (... I think)... vs touch attack armor"

And this will change every round - did I take just take dex damage, or been hit by a debuff? did range changes, is cover less (or more), did a buffing spell expire, the bard stopped signing, etc etc etc."

Advantage sweeps almost all of this away.  With very few exception like cover, in most situations you have advantage (roll twice take the best), normal chances of success, or disadvantage (roll twice take the worse).  This ended the constant re-calculations of bonuses changing from round to round.  It made the game faster and easier.

But some of the discontent about 5e was more... nebulous.  Some blamed the "Mercer Effect".  Others that the game didn't "feel" right.

Recently, I saw this video about 5e being like super-heroes and how the character's power all came from their sheet and that the rewards of engaging with the world were less - you could just use your "own" power to win.   Now this video wasn't quite 100% right. you still need the other PCs IMO.  And it didn't quite explain why you didn't need to "engage" anymore.

But that video made me realize what the issue is - it's advantage!  Once you have advantage, getting more help doesn't matter.  

You don't need to find the higher grounds. You don't need to flank the giant.  Just get advantage by doing *one* thing and you're good.  And a lot of classes have ways to easily give themselves or others advantage.   So you don't need to engage with the world as much!  Just show up, and get ready to rumble!

So... how do we fix this?

First, Advantage is not a 2nd d20 roll.  It's a +1d6 bonus.  This is roughly the same as advantage (advantage is equivalent to +5 *if* you have 50% chance of hitting.  If your chances are very low or very high, the impact is less.  So +1d6 is roughly equivalent).

Second advantages stack - you could get more than a d6.  But for things not to get completely crazy, (good or bad: disadvantage stacks too!), the extra D6 don't add, it's a "take the highest roll". So if  you have advantage from 3 sources, one source of disadvantage, roll the 1d6 twice, take the best, and add this to your 1d20 roll.  So if you have a *lot* of advantages, the bonus will approach +6

I *think* this might encourage re-engagement with the world and terrain, but without the excessive complexity of pathfinder/3.x....  


EDIT:  It's been pointed out to me by a number of people that this 1d6 solution can be found in the game Shadow of the Demon Lord.  Given the amount of time I've spent on the OSR discord, it's quite possible that I saw that there, "forgot" and then half-remembered it when I was looking for a solution.  I certainly don't want to take credit for something someone else thought of first!

I think that while the solution (original or not) is important, identifying the problem is my main "original" contribution.   I also note that the solution would need to be play tested, as it has a major impact on the critical hit system, and a few feats. 

Another thought:  would this stack with bless or guidance?  Yes, it would, same way advantage stacks with guidance/bless, and this should go for other "bonus dice" that 5e can grant.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Ironclad

 *Borne of a misunderstanding on the OSR servers.*

The Ironclad is a master of defense and survival.  They achieve victory by outlasting all foes.  They have been studying the advancement of arms and armor, and have concluded that more metal and more technology will always be the winning strategy.

The Ironclad

Every template the Ironclad gains 2 hp.  If the ironclad gains a new template and has no shield, gains a shield.  Proficient in metal-working

Starts with chain armor, shield, cutlass (does 1d6 dmg (slashing or bludgeoning as it delivers a nasty hilt punch, double damage vs ropes), 1d6 sp + 1d6 cp.

Dusack aka dussage, from the Wallace Collection


A:  Armor wearer.  Hand Gunne 

B:  Armor improved to brigandine,  Parry 

C:  Armor improves to plate.  Lantern shield.  Axe Gun 

D:  Fortified, River Walker, Protector


Powers: 

Armor wearer.  The Ironclad has no encumbrance penalties for armor (ie armor takes not slot for them).  However armor penalties to speed, stealth  etc. remains.

Hand Gunne.  A weapon that takes a full round to load, 30 range (1 penalty per 10 feet beyond), 2d6 dmg.  Can be fired while using a shield.  10 bullets and 10 powder charges.   If used by anyone else, 1d10 mg, 10 feet range (1 penalty pert 10 feet beyond), needs two hands to use and 3 rounds to reload. (edit:  I should mention that in my gun system guns have 2 points of armor piercing)

Armor improvements:  These are due to the Ironclad constantly improving and adding more metal, more padding, more protection to their armor.

Parry:  As the fighter in Many Rats on a Stick

Lantern shield:  The Ironclad's shield has a protected enclosure for a bulls-eye lantern, allowing them to wield a shield and hold the lantern with a single arm. 

Axe Gun: Inspired by news from the East, the Ironclad adds a blade to the Hand Gunne - it can be used in melee to inflict 1d8 slashing damage.

Fortified:  When wearing their armor, the Ironclad is immune to critical hits - they are normal hits instead.

River Walker: The Ironclad does not fear the water - they can walk at bottom of rivers, sea-floor etc. with no issues.  They can hold their breath for con X minutes with no effort (beyond that, use standard rules for holding breath as if the PC had just started).

Protector:  If the ironclad is within 10 feet of an ally; and said ally are hit by an attack, the ally can make a reflex save to dive behind the ironclad and have the attack hit the ironclad instead, using the same attack roll (the attack may hit or miss the ironclad, depending on the original roll).


Backgrounds

Cannoneer:  Knowledge of cannons and gunpowder.  An extra 10 charges of powder.

Armorer:  Armoring skill and tools.  2 spare shields. 

Inventor:  Literate.  Knows of alchemy and geometry.  A vial of alchemist's fire

Hedge knight:  Obscure claim to nobility.  Knowledge of heraldry.  An old tired horse, and a lump of a squire. (6 in all stats, club, coward). 1d3 gp


Design note:  I think this is solid but it... will be fun?  I'm also really not sure at what level what power should show up.  Are there too many?  Is this too good?  Many thanks for the feedback on the OSR server.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

T-Rex-Pig

 So

My partner was kidding around waving her arms like she was a T-rex.  She was laughing hard and when she does, she snorts.  I said she was like a t-rex-pig.  To explain, I drew it.  She laughed harder :) 

Now she wants me to make a class with it.  Since it's GLOG WEEK, here we are.

This is why I don't draw my owns illustrations for this blog

T-Rex-Pig

You are an intelligent hybrid animal, with the body, tail and head of a pig, and the legs and arms of a T-rex.  You can talk and can manipulate objects with your spindly arms, but they are weak - (think the arms of a 5 year old).  You can shove with  your body quite well though.  You can eat food many would find unpalatable. 

Your hide provides armor as leather.

A:  Scent, natural attacks

B:  Greasy, cork-screw tail

C:  Long legs, Tusks 

D:  Huge, eat anything.


Scent.  You have the keen sense of smell of a hog.  You can find mushrooms, follow tracks etc

Natural attacks.   You can deliver a powerful clawed kick for 1d6 dmg.  Alternatively, you can feebly claw with your arms for 1 dmg

Greasy.   You are very hard to catch in a grapple, and have advantage on any check to avoid or escape one.

Cork-screw tail:  Your corck-screw tail can now be used to open bottle of wine and similar tasks.

Long legs:  Those legs are long aren't they?  Your movement speed doubles.

Tusks:   Your teeth also have grown and you now have tusks.  Gain a second attack doing 1d6 dmg as you gore your enemies.

Huge:  You have been making most of life indeed and are now the size of a horse.  Gain  an extra 5 hp, your hide now provides armor as chain, and your damage dice increases to 1d8

Eat anything.  There is nothing you cannot eat.  The gods fear your hunger.


Background (1d3):

Made by a wizard.  You can smell magic.  Why aren't you with the wizard anymore? well... 

Escaped from Hell/lower planes.  You're actually some type of fiend.  You didn't like hell *at all* - all the fire, the screaming - just ghastly.  You didn't fit in, and you don't want to go back.   You have knowledge of Hell, demons/devil and their languages.

Retired Law Enforcement officer:   You're a copper but you grew disillusioned.  You can read and write and have knowledge of legal procedures. 


Saturday, October 31, 2020

State of the Blog

 SO!

2020 is shit, but I now have 100 posts.  I have a few thoughts.

Ludwig Gloss


- The blog has to be useful for my game.  If you want to know what I'm running, what I'm *posting* is  good hint.  Of course, not all posts will be directly related to my game but... 

- My Yoon-Suin game and my Troika!/UVG game are on long hold, but once the pandemic is done, they will return - and so will blog posts about them.  I really want to post a review of the UVG (it's great!) but it feel strange to do so with an on-hold campaign... 

- I have abandoned a lot of projects.  This is ... not great?  But that's how life goes.  2020 did not help.

- I do have a major project that I hope I can finish, as it isn't just my work but a great collective - the Foreboding Fromagerie.  My plan for November is to finish up to room 17 and then start working on the random encounter table and the bestiary.  Once those 2 are done, the dungeon will be "playable".  Then I'll just have to keep adding chunks of rooms until I'm done... christmas time maybe?  It's going slower than I wanted, but it's moving.

- I am inventing little missions for my GLOG mercenary game.  I think I'm going to post them.  It won't be *quite* a usable adventure, but most of the work will be done.  

- In general, I really, really do want to get the Fromagerie done, but I have to find a balance between doing this and general posts.  I also have to devote time to my game.  My readers are important, but my players have to take priority.

- The spell translation project is still going to move forward, but at a slower pace.  I feel that by publishing the alchemist class I managed to finally "accomplish" something.  God knows if anyone will ever play it! (if you do, please let me know)

- Perhaps one of the greatest thing that happened related to this blog was connecting to the wonderful OSR discord group, which have given me a lot of inspiration and joy.  

- I have started supporting creators on Patreon, and, *if* you can afford it, I think you should to :) 

- What else can we look for in the future?  A lot of things.  I have *44* drafts posts.  Some are Fromagerie related, but we'll see what I manage to complete!  Elf as a Glog class.  The Zouave in 5e.  What if planets were cubic (a strict reading of 5e rules lead to this conclusion).  More Zeugma material.  Star Wars Troika!  If you feel like it, leave a comment!

So was this blog worth doing?  I think so.  A few have used my material in their games, and that's the biggest compliment I think a humble gaming blog can enjoy.  I'm glad you enjoyed it :) 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Foreboding Fromagerie: Room 9-13

A tangle of corridors and rooms north of the Great Cheese Hall

(note: this dungeon is under construction - links to monsters and other rooms are missing.  The rest will be published over the course of several weeks)

back to main map      back to index

A tangle of corridors and rooms north of the Great Cheese Hall

Map segment by Dyson Logos, with some edits



Room 9:  The Goblin Gourmet


This 30'x30' space is impeccably clean, despite the dirty walls found in most of the dungeon. Shiny marble countertops create a waist-high maze around the entire room, ovens and sinks dot the room with pipes weaving to and fro connecting heat and water alike. Two heavy duty cabinets sit in the back along the northern wall. This room always contains 2d6 goblins of one of the two clans, they are non-hostile at first, but will be very protective of the items contained within this room, as well as keeping it extremely clean. Even so much as dragging mud on the floor may draw their ire.

 

The Cabinets

    The two cabinets in the back are locked with thick iron padlocks, the keys to which are held by the goblin guards that stand in this room.


 The first cabinet contains a great many high quality cooking utensils, such as;

  • One Extremely Sharp Cleaver (As +1 Sword)

  • One Extremely Strong Pan (As +1 Shield)

  • 1d20 Shiny Knives (Worth 1 Silver each)

  • 1d6 Plates of Fine China (Worth 1 Gold each intact, but very fragile and worthless if broken)

  • One Goblin Recipe Book, filled with strange garbled text that no one can understand (Including the goblins). Rumored to contain rare and fantastical recipes created by The One True Chef, Goblin Ramesses The Twenty Eighth, of the Country Basil, it has since been sullied, but could possibly be salvageable with the right Restoration Techniques.

    The second cabinet opens up into a small walk-in freezer containing;

  • 1d10 Magic Sausage Links (Restore 1 HP when eaten)

  • 1 Bottle of Mage Wine (Restores 1 MD per gulp, starts with 1d6 gulps remaining inside)

  • 1d20 Chunks of Various Cheeses (All delicious, but nonmagical, valuable to the right people)

  • Careful inspection of the bottom of this cabinet reveals a small box inset into the floor, containing a captured Ice Sprite, that functions much like the Fire Sprite talked about below

The Appliances

    Scattered in between the various countertops, the occasional oven and sink appear. All of which are readily functional and seem to have no bottom to their energy. 

    Following the pipes from the ovens will lead to a small box, inset in the floor of the northwest corner. This box is well secured and will take quite awhile to break into (1 hour of average bashing). It contains a captured Fire Sprite, it will provide a constant source of mundane heat as its owner wishes. It can also purge all of its energy at once, as fireball, killing itself. It must follow the owner's commands, though it will likely hate them. Setting it free will make it friendly.

    Following the pipes from the sinks will lead to another small box inset in the floor of the southwest corner. This box contains a captured Water Sprite, it functions much the same as the Fire Sprite above.

 

The Goblins

    Once a month, the two goblin clans put aside their differences and send their best chefs to this kitchen to work together to create a feast. This feast is used to placate the wizard (and hopefully keep him from eating them) and, perhaps more importantly, make Noya happy (see room 4).

    The ingredients in the cabinet are given to them by the wizard, once a month. If the ingredients or the utensils are lost, then the goblins will be unable to cook their meal (and will face the wrath of the wizard). Needless to say, looting this room will paint a very big target on the looters' backs for the goblins. 

    In order to hopefully prevent theft, the goblin clans send a squad of goblin guards that rotates every day. Each patrol will only contain goblins of one clan, and the clans alternate responsibility. The theft will not only increase tensions between the wizard and the goblins, but could possibly start a goblin civil war if the other clan believes the guarding clan to have been at fault.

There is a door to the south (to room 10) and one to the west (to room 5).  A long corridor to the east leads to room 13.


Room 10:  Dining Room

By Cameron Hawkey 

A large wooden door, carved with depiction of fruits, cheese and knives lead to this room.  There are no other entrances or exits.

(40'x30', green plaster walls and 20' ceiling, wood floor, clean). There is a 1/6 chance that the Wizard is here having their monthly dinner (waited on by a gelatinous cube) with one of the goblin clans (3d6 members present) and Noya from room 4 (the imps are not invited). A lit candle chandelier hangs by a chain 10' above a long banquet table lined with chairs in the center of room. A painting hangs in a niche on the western wall and a preparation table is in the southwest corner, and on the southern wall 1d6 wheels of honeyed cheeses hang in nets from the ceiling.

>>The wooden dining table (20') has 6 chairs on both sides along its length, with a matching pair of finely carved upholstered chairs at both ends. Two large candelabras are spaced along the table. Next to the western candelabra is a stack of porcelain plates, and adjacent to them on a single white plate is wedge of royal blue cheese. On one of the chairs is a dinner invitation from The Wizard (1:3 may stop minor encounters in tracks if presented with sufficient conviction).

>>The preparation table in the southwest corner has a cutting board with a wheel of cheese (hard, holes, solid black) with a wedge cut out, and a knife block with 3 cheese knives. The black cheese tastes nutty and is nutritious but happens turns your blood black permanently

>>The painting (oil on canvas, 5'x3', 900 GP if undamaged) in the western niche depicts a standing rabbit on a hill, holding a bugle in one hand and a slingshot in the other. Behind the painting is a small niche with rinds of cheese (evidently forgotten long ago), an empty wine glass, and a single silver coin.


Room 11: The Cracker Kitchen

By Studio 315b

A stout wooden door leads to this room.  It is locked but the keyhole is surrounded by scratches - sticking a dagger in there and wiggling it around is sufficient to unlock it.  There are no other exits to this room.

Details: A great oven dominates the western portion of this room, and every remaining scrap of wall is covered in shelves, containing various baking tools and raw ingredients. Barrels flank the door, one containing flour, and the other water. The center of this room is dominated by a low table coated with crackers in varying states of completion. Large stone bowls hold rising dough, rough hewn iron sheets hold cooling crackers, and two adolescent goblins, each dressed in the garb of the opposing tribes, stand over flat stones, talking excitedly as they roll out dough to be cut into crackers.

The two goblins are Hysh (from the hard cheese clan) and Aruq (from the soft cheese clan), who met in the halls while exploring, and fell in love. The young couple are attempting to produce a cracker that can unite their tribes, so they can live together. PCs who offer exotic spices, or valuable advice for cracker-making will be offered bags of experimental crackers in trade and some information about the dungeon.

The crackers are decently made, if exotic in flavor and texture. Each cracker has a 1/6 chance of having a minor beneficial effect, such as +1 bonus to the next roll a PC makes.


Room 12: the hungry Merchant

By deus ex parabola

details: a cramped chamber with three cases of items against the walls. all are initially protected with a heavy, easily-picked padlock (10HP, plate ac, ignores attacks which deal less than 6 damage). on the fourth wall there is a 225cm ghostly-pale man (?) standing behind a counter strewn with oddities. his long digitigrade legs have razor-sharp dewclaws, and he introduces himself as Cen. the whole room is visible from the counter but Cen is distractible. if asked, Cen describes his items honestly. he is proud of his wares and slightly racist against those shorter than him.

Initially he sells:

1. null pond water. drinking from this bottle permanently removes your natural scent. dousing removes cheese odors. three doses.

2. helpful cane. a wooden stick to lean on. oddly, you can still grasp it when your hands are full.

3. fatal candle. all d20s rolled under the light of this candle come up as 1s or 20s. burns for ten minutes, can be relit.

Cen blames his problems (bored, sick of cheese, no customers) on the Hell-gate (room 14). he will ask the PCs for wine, sausage, and the destruction of that gate. he considers all of these to be equally challenging. on completion of one of his quests he will unlock another case, offer you one item as a reward, and make the remaining items in the case available for sale.

depending on how much the PC appears to desire the object, Cen quotes prices as follows: [Absurdly Expensive], [Half of Everything], [Everything You've Got]. if two PCs pool their resources he assumes they want the object very much and requires [Everything You've Got] from both. he accepts payment in all forms of coin and treasure, which he stashes behind the counter

red footlocker:

4. skeleton key. when inserted into a lock, the lock becomes a skeleton as difficult to defeat as the lock would have been to open.

5. occulted mask. the wearer cannot be understood or described as anything but The Masked Man. multiple wearers are indistinguishable.

6. not-knife. while held, this knife is invisible.

blue jewelry box:

7. rock ring. steel band, feathercut topaz. twiddle it like a dial to alter how movable you are, from 0% to 100% (humans and elfs are 100% movable by default, dwarfs and armored humans 75%)

8. witch ring. silver band, pink semiprecious shaped like a hair bow. while wearing this ring another merchant (Maple Syrup) knows exactly where you are. you can shout at the ring to try and get her attention.

9. anarchist's compass. a crystal disc four inches across. a needle inside points to the nearest explosive. when used as a lens world seems monochrome (darker shade = more flammable)

grey coffin:

10. truth ring. silver band, catseye diamond. the ring heats in the presence of liars, tightens when it hears deception. somewhat painful in the presence of politicians.

11. murderer's tophat. once a day, the wearer may cast Initiate Violence with 3MD. on a doom the hat is destroyed.

Initiate Violence R: Shouting distance T: [sum] creatures D: [dice] rounds Targets drop what they are doing and roll **Initiative** for a new combat. They take sides randomly, though the caster may decide how many sides there are.

12. obsidian lock. a padlock of black-and-red stone. once shut, the enclosed area can only be accessed by unlocking it: windows are darkened, walls are made indestructible. Cen does not have the key.

offered from Cen's side if you complete all quests:

13. magician's smallsword. blue-stained bone hilt, elaborate gilt knucklebow, black-and-white checkered blade. +2 medium weapon, cannot be used two-handed. all spells cast by the wielder are considered to have +1 [dice] value. responds to the name CONCERNED WITH ITSELF.

Cen

20HD outsider, perfect ac (can only be hit with a critical), morale 13 
movement: as angry velociraptor (36")
morality: unique height-based theory of the value of life (Neutral Evil)
intelligence: cunning and well educated, easily but condescendingly impressed by those shorter than him.
attacks: giant undodgeable laserbeam (save vs. death), +2 smallsword (1d6+2)
magic: Name Reassignment ("THIEF!"), 2MD, at-will
Cen rarely sleep, and when he does it is with literally one eye open.
Leading out of this room is a corridor heading north, and a door leading to room 14 (stoutly bared, Cen will not open it until the HellGate has been closed).


Room: 12b, (the corridors above 12): Planegnawer Maze


By Panic Pillow


Description:

Floors covered in thick layers of dust. Cobwebs are very noticeable in the corners of the hallway. This area doesn’t get cleaned by the Gelatinous Cube, a clear indication that something is wrong. 


Large sections of the hallway are covered with enormous mousetraps, one of which is triggered and contains a cow-sized ratlike creature, snapped in two. The rat-creature is a Planegnawer. The mousetraps have cheese to lure them. The traps either do lethal or loads of damage (enough to sever limbs), GM’s choice. 


Near portals you can see pawprints, the size of human hands, disturb the dust and lead into a dead-end. These portals form a simple maze. Planar creatures can only travel from point to point, they cannot stay in the interplanar space that the Planegnawers occupy. The portals are part of the Planegnawers’ burrow. Whenever they are used there is a 2-in-6 chance 1d4 Planegnawers take notice and begin stalking the PCs. 

Legend:

The red T’s aren’t solitary traps, but rather areas that cannot be traveled through without taking a few hours to safely remove the traps. (1d3 turn per group of trap). It is possible to quickly trigger them with a long stick, but this makes a tremendous amount of racket (roll for random encounter).


The portals are color coded on the map to help the GM guide the party - they are not colored in the dungeon. They are very faintly visible as a shimmer. but will be missed by an inatentive party.


The door in the west is barred, with different portals on either side. The portals are bigger than the door, so if characters try to break down the door they or their tools will pass through as if they pass through air. 


Planegnawer: Interdimensional vermin, attracted by dimensional portals. Love cheese. 

Defence: as leather; HD 2; Move as a dog; Morale as cowards. Will run after a nasty hit or when unable to scare PCs away. 


Infecting Bite: 1d6, or 2d6 when on top of someone. Save or get an interplanar disease. 

Planar Tackle: the Planegnawer digs through reality itself and seemingly disappears. Next turn it hurls itself back into this world. Save or get tackled to the ground and shoved backwards (potentially in a trap).


ROOM 13: The Cursed Chamber

By vayra

The corridor here widens slightly, forming a small square room with an alcove off to one side. A canvas tarp covers the floor the center of the room, held down by fist-sized stones around the edges and sagging slightly in the middle. The alcove to the north holds a hewn stone cube with a crown crudely etched into the face and the elaborately worked hilt of an actual sword protruding from the center of the top.

The tarp is approximately 10' x 10', and covers a square, 20' deep pit of the same width. The area around the edge of the tarp is dusty, as is the tarp itself.

At the bottom of the pit there is the dehydrated and brittle carcass of a CHEDDAR CAIMAN, mummified by the dry conditions. Rehydrating it will return it to life. If broken open (which prevents future revival), it contains the partially digested remains of two others of its species and a collection of thoroughly chewed golden candleholders worth approx. 30 gp.

The sword can be hauled out of the stone block in the alcove with a successful Strength check, upon which the block crumbles. The sword deals double damage to landed nobility, never misses when thrown at a target of it's choice within line-of-sight, and bears the name ALL WILL BOW - which it announces loudly when pulled from the stone or drawn from a scabbard. It is utterly convinced that whoever pulls it from the stone is the rightful heir to the highest office of the land by divine mandate, and will quarrel viciously with them if they do not pursue their claim as well as with anyone who does not give them the respect it believes they are due.


CHEDDAR CAIMAN

HD 2 HP 15 Size Medium AC 3 (AAC 13, DAC 7, hard cheese-scales)

STR 16 +3 DEX 10 +0 INT 3 -3 CHA 12 +1

Attack 15 melee cheddar chomp 2d4+3 crushing

Speaks Glimmer, greedily and maliciously

Notes Cheddar caimans are, for whatever reason, strongly attracted to gold and exult in tormenting and eventually devouring it.

Leading out of this room is a corridor that leads to room 9. Stairs to the east lead to an intersection.



Thursday, October 1, 2020

What if the bag of holding was a PC...

 Following a discussion on the OSR Discord... I made this in 15 minutes.  You've been warned.


BAG OF HOLDING



You are an intelligent bag of holding.  

Starting equipment:  1d4 randomly rolled items from your last owner.  1d100 copper pieces. 

Your armor is as leather.  You have no hands nor legs, but can manipulate things with your mouth/cover and can slowly shuffle around (movement speed 10 feet/round).  You can see and speak. You hold 6 slots per template, and take one slot to carry.

A:  Hold item hostage, Appear as a bag, bite

B:  Secret Stash, detect dimensionality, Spit out items

C:  Tougher bag, Faster bag, Hold someone

D:  The great devourer, Astral Plane excretion


Hold Item Hostage:   You have the power not to surrender your items.  You have reasonable demands - a ration a day in food, you won't store gross stuff, no unsheathed weapons etc.

Appear as a bag:   You can easily appear as a normal inanimate bag.

Bite:   You can bite for 1d6 dmg

Secret Stash:  On top of the 6 slots per template, you now have a secret stash of 5 slots for your own personal use.  1/5 of these slots can be for an "unspecified item" (just like the thief).  

Detect Dimensionality:  Putting extradimensional spaces inside other spaces is a bad idea.  You can detect such areas (or the openings to such areas) within a 100 feet.

Spit out items:  You can spit out items with great force.  If suitably sharp or hard, the item does 1d6 damage.  Range: 20 feet, -1 penalty per 10 feet beyond.

Tougher bag:  Your AC is now as chain

Faster bag:  your movement is now 20 feet/level

Hold someone:  A single human size creature can carefully climb inside you to hide. This take 15 slots of space.  You can carefully renew the air supply.  To the person inside, it feels like hiding inside a moist sleeping bag.

The great devourer.  If you roll max damage when biting, the target must save or be devoured whole and be expelled into the astral plane.  The target cannot be bigger than an ogre.

Astral Plane excretion:  You can get rid of things permanently (?) by excreting them into the astral plane.


Background (1d3)

1:  your ex owner was a burglar.  +2 to stealth

2:  Your ex owner was a wizard. +2 to saves vs magic

3:  Your ex owner was a farmer.  You have a turnip familiar.


P.S.  I wonder about the ecology of bag of holdings.  Perhaps when a bag of holding "retires", it gives birth to a new, smaller bag of holding?  It has "genetic" memories from its parents, so even though it might be days old it has the "life experience" of an adult. 



Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Guns for Goblins

 In my last 2 post, I covered historical firearms and the "reasoning" behinds the stats - I put some efforts in how to cover a game that might stretch over several time periods.   But all the guns were ... ordinary.  The kind of guns sane people use.  Now, let's look at ... not so sane ... guns.

(There is a GLOGtober challenge   I... don't have time for this, I'm supposed to work on the Fromagerie.  But the first one is Gun Related so... here we go!)


Too Many Barrels, aka Perdition to Conspirators

A double barreled gun is easy:  Double the cost, done, don't worry about it?  But what about 14 barrels?  Certainly 14 times the cost ...

Rifle flintlock, small caliber, 2 clusters of 7 barrels.

2 shots of a 5 foot wide beam 80 feet long of lead death, each victim being hit by 1d3 bullets doing 1d6 dmg each (until all bullets have hits or there are no one in the path.  If used against very large target (say, giant), 6d6 dmg within 30 feet, 1d4+1 d6 dmg 35-80 feet.  Takes 20 times the normal time to load the whole thing.  On a fumble:  50% chance of simple need to re-prime the gun (1 round).  25% chance of serious malfunction needed total unloading/reloading (1 hour's work at least), 25% chance of barrel burst, doing 1d12 dmg to user.  5 slots encumbrance


Minigun, 1700 style

So instead of having smaller barrels and many of them, you have 7 large ones.  And what if your hatred far outweighed your self-preservation, and you *intentionally* loaded each barrels THIRTY TWO TIMES?  A gun that will fire for 2 minutes strait and CANNOT STOP?  I've got you covered

Smoothbore flintlock, full size, multi-load 7 barrels

Fires a continuous stream of bullets (roughly 9 per round) for 12 rounds.  Takes 1 hour to load and specially made bullets).  Single target:  1d6-1 hits of 2d6 dmg each.  "sweep" 50 feet wide, each person on the "line" takes 1d4-2 bullets, doing 2d6 dmg each.  Range 100 feet.  Once fired, *cannot stop shooting*.  On a fumble:  50% chance of simple need to re-prime the gun (1 round).  25% chance of serious malfunction needed total unloading/reloading (3 hour's work at least, new bullets, new powder etc), 25% chance of barrel burst, doing 2d10 dmg to everyone within 10 feet.  12 slots encumbrance.  must be braced on something or shoot with disadvantage.  If fired without a proper mount (going "Rambo style"), strength check each round or loose control of the gun.

Duckfoot gun

Ok let's get a little less insane here.  A pistol with multiple barrels arranged in a fan.

Smoothbore flintlock pistol, multi barreled

Fires bullets in a "fan" 20 foot long and 15 foot wide.  Does 1d8 dmg within the fan.  1d4+3 barrels. Loading time 2 rounds, On a fumble, the gun fails to ignite.  There is a 50% chance that it can easily be fixed (one round reloading the priming powder) and 50% chance that there is a serious problem - the gun needs to be unloaded because of wet powder and reloaded (doubles the reloading time).  1 slot encumbrance

Jörg Weingrill from Potsdam, Germany




Hand Mortar

Ok, time to bring the crazy back.   A flintlock hand grenade launcher, what could go wrong?

Range 40 feet, -1 by 10 feet, max 100 feet.  On a miss, apply scatter rules of  your liking.  Grenade does 1d20-5 dmg (roll for each target) in 15 feet radius, save dex for half.  Reload 3 rounds.  On a fumble, there is a 50% chance the gun fails to ignite and 50% chance that the grenade falls at your feet...  2 slots encumbrance


Steampunk Volcanic Riffle 

And lastly, excessive style.  A very primitive metallic cartridge gun, the ancestor of the Henry rifle.

1d6 dmg, 12 cartridges - can attack multiple times per round if character is able to, range 30 feet, -1 per 20 feet, +40 base range with the scope, loading time 1 cartridges per round + 1 round for magazine manipulation.  On a fumble, failure to fire,1d6 rounds to resolve issue. 2 slots. (in pistol form, 1 slot)


There are a lot more crazy guns out there!  Thank you to Forgotten Weapons for years of historical info.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Foreboding Fromagerie: Rooms 4 - 8

These room are north west of the Great Cheese Hall

(note: this dungeon is under construction - links to monsters and other rooms are missing.  The rest will be published over the course of several weeks)

back to main map      back to index


Map segment by Dyson Logos, with some edits


Room 4: Pasteurization Room

By Phlox

This large hexagonal room is warm and somewhat humid. Faint snoring can be heard.

Two small firepits with half-full cauldrons of milk stand in the room. Sleeping on a cot propped up on several milk crates is an old woman named Noya (1 HD). She is responsible for pasteurizing milk that is not intended for making into cheese, and knows only rumors about the rest of the Fromagerie - she finds the dungeon rather bewildering.. She is perhaps the Wizard's oldest friend.

The goblins have been firmly warned not to harm her.  So ... they talk to her.  And even though she is a simple woman who grew up on a dairy farm - her knowledge of simple things like animal husbandry is wondrous to the goblins. Any random encounters in this room has a flat 50% chance of being goblins.

Should the PCs seriously hurt or kill Noya, the goblins will unite and do their best to kill the PCs (and will not fight fair). This will also greatly anger the Wizard.

There is no treasure in this room besides Noya's simple belongings.

Leading out of this room is an unlocked metal bar door to the south (Room 3), as well as opening to the north of the room, heading east to room 5


Room 5: The Chapel

By purplechtulu


Overview: A small hexagonal room. The walls are covered with cheap plaster facades

painted grey and styled to resemble gothic arches and buttresses. An old, ratty Persian

carpet sits in the center of the room. Near the southeast wall is a cracked plaster altar

with a green cloth on top. Near the northeast wall is a statue of a bishop made out of

cheese, with most of its head missing. The whole room is filled with a nauseating smell

resembling cigar smoke and rotting fruit.


Altar: A plaster altar with large cracks on the side. Lying on top is a green cloth with the

phrase “Make the holy man’s chest shatter/to unlock the key to the platter”. The altar is

hollow; hidden inside is the Cados Censer, an enchanted incense censer. If cheese is placed

inside the censer, then the censer starts to produce a nauseatingly strong stinky cheese smell,

while the cheese slowly crumbles into ash.


Bishop Statue: The source of the horrible smell, this statue is carved out of Stinking Bishop

cheese. Soft Cheese goblins occasionally take small chunks from it to annoy the Hard Cheese

goblins with, throwing it at their territory. The Green Keese is inside the statue’s chest. While

not difficult to get out, the real challenge lies in the smell. Besides being intense and unpleasant,

the smell lingers on whoever touches the cheese, making stealth near-impossible and attracting

wandering creatures unless washed off.

The room can be exited via stairs leading up to the north (leading to a corridor and eventually to room 9), to the southwest to room 4 or to the north west to room 6.

Room 6: The Vault

By SirOnyx

This hexagonal room is roughly 50' across and is secured by heavy iron doors. These iron doors are locked by a lock with an unusual opening - a white bordered slit - that sit on the outside frame of the door, they will open when the matching Keese (white) is placed within it. They cannot be opened from the inside.

    This room contains a wide variety of rare and strange cheese that The Wizard wanted to hold onto. The walls are lined with stone pedestals holding crystal cloches, locked down with more colored slits, with the wondrous cheeses below them. Each cloche is extremely tough, and labeled with a small note, scribbled in faint handwriting, that lists the name of the cheese (bold text in the description)

The Western Wall

- The first cloche is locked by purple slits and contains 1d8 bites of Fire Cheddar. Taking a bite out of this block of cheddar causes 1d4 fire damage, but allows the eater to breathe a 15' cone of fire once within the next 8 hours. The cone of fire deals 4d8 damage.

- The second cloche is locked by blue slits and contains a Platter of Many Cheeses. The platter contains 1d12 bite-sized cubes of various magical cheeses, Roll 1d6+1d8 below for each bite.

1. The Universe implodes in Deliciousness. All is Cheese. 2. Tastes like Plastic. Turn into a lifeless statue of inedible yellow cheese that no one likes. 3. Holey. Gain tons of strange holes all over your body. any mundane attack that hits you has a 1 in 6 chance of passing through you, causing no harm. 4. Smelly and Delicious. You now strongly smell of delicious cheese, all creatures within 30' automatically detect you and you have a higher likelihood of drawing creatures in random encounter rolls. 5. Soft and Spreadable. Your body becomes smooth and squishy, gain the ability to squeeze through spaces as small as 1". Shrink down to the space of a 2'x2' box if fully liquid. 6. Nutty. Gain an Insanity 7. Spicy. You gain the ability to cough a small bolt of fire once per day, dealing 3d4 damage on hit. Your nose constantly smokes. 8. Sour. Your lips begin to pucker up so quickly and painfully that it threatens to destroy your very existence. Make a con save or pucker yourself into another dimension. 9. Sweet. Gain a level. 10. Smokey. Every time you perform any particularly exhausting activity, roll a con save or spend the next 1d4 minutes coughing up smoke. 11. Maggoty. A small swarm of flies will burst out of your skin in 1d4 days. You can control them as Mage Hand.  12. Winey. You are now permanently intoxicated. 13. Rich. 1d20 days after eating this cheese, you will defecate a diamond worth 500 GP. 14. Complex. Roll Twice, and take both effects. Ignore this roll if it comes up again.


- The third and final cloche along the left wall is locked by green slits and contains a small sack of 1d20 Treasure Cheese, they appear as coins made of various cheese. After eating one, it turns into 1d100 gold coins in your gut. Roll a con save to puke them up. If it generates more than 50 coins, take 1 damage for every two coins.


The Eastern Wall

- The first cloche is locked by yellow slits and contains 1d4 Maxirella Balls. Appearing as small balls of white soft cheese. If a liquid such as a potion or poison is poured onto one of these balls, it will maximize the effects when the cheese ball is eaten. If a ball is eaten raw, it will extend any temporary magical effect that is currently affecting the eater by a day.

- The second cloche contains 1d8 small white rats and is locked by orange slits. The wizard keeps them here because he finds them amusing. They keep themselves fed with a small piece of cheese in the back of their cloche. This cheese magically regenerates every night at midnight, assuming it is not entirely eaten. The rats are trained not to finish it off.

- The third and final cloche is locked by red slits contains 1d4 B-Side Brie Balls. Appearing as small balls of black soft cheese. If a liquid such as a potion or poison is poured onto one of these balls, it will invert or otherwise corrupt the original effect when the ball is eaten. If a ball is eaten raw, it will irreversibly corrupt some aspect of the eater.

The Northern Wall

- The Back Wall contains only one cloche containing a single cheese: The Mother Cheese. The Mother Cheese squirms and pulses underneath its cloche, locked by black slits. This Keese Card is held by the wizard and if unlocked, the Mother Cheese will pounce on the nearest adventurer. 

If an adventurer touches The Mother Cheese, they will irreversibly turn into cheese and absorb The Mother Cheese, it will not naturally be seen for centuries longer. This effect repeats on anyone who attempts to eat the poor Cheese-Touched adventurer. Their skin will bubble into a patchwork of every cheese they have ever eaten and the transformation will be complete. If the adventurer rolls a successful magic save, they will retain their mobility, sentience, and all other aspects of living (minus being made out of cheese) and gain a level of The Cheesen One class, detailed below.

The Cheesen One

Deepen: Gain 10 XP for every unique cheese eaten. Cure: Incurable. Eat yourself to death. A: Cheese-Touched, Cheese-Munity B: Cheese-Mutation C: Cheese-Bringer

Cheese-Touched: You have been turned into the Cheese-Champion of the Cheese-Goddess. Everything (non-cheese) you touch is cursed to turn into a random type of cheese you have eaten. If an object is sufficiently large enough not to be completely turned, then it extends out to 1'. You can no longer eat anything but cheese, wear functional armor (that isn't made out of cheese), use any items or weapons (that are not cheese), or ever touch anything that is not immediately cheesed. If you touch someone, they take 1d4+Level damage as part of them turns to cheese.

Cheese-Munity: You are immune to Cheese-Harm, whether magic, poisonous, or mundane. Cheese-Boons still apply.

Cheese-Mutation: You now have control over what kind of cheeses you turn things into, it is still limited to cheeses you have previously eaten. This means, among other things, that you can use items, armor, and weapons, assuming you have eaten a cheese that can mimic their intended properties (hardness, flexibility, etc.)

Cheese-Bringer: You can spread your Cheese-Mutation effect at a rate of 1' per second, you no longer need to touch something to transmute it, your damage when touching someone becomes a save or die effect. No one can stop you now.

(note from editor:  of course a glooger would find a way to sneak in a new GLOG-class...)

There are no other exit to this room, except an ancient vent, about 2 by 2 feet, covered by a very rusty grate, located on the south-west wall. This vent connects to a series of crawl spaces (see Room 3). A corridor south of the vault runs east to west.


Room 7: The Golem Workshop

By SirOnyx


    This room is blocked off from the rest of the dungeon by a pair of heavy iron doors (for all entrances), fading red paint sits above the doors themselves, displaying "Golem Workshop". These doors are not locked however, they do require the strength of three people to open by hand. There is an indent in one of these doors (once for each pair) that allows for the insertion of a golem power core, if this is done then the door opens itself until the core is removed.
    Inside this room, there are many strange machines. The western wall displays three punching stations prominently, the eastern wall contains a large molding machine with various molds scattered on the ground. The northeastern corner contains a very large pile of moon cheese and many buckets of paint. A large safe rests in the southwestern corner.

The Western Wall

    Starting from the southern edge and working up, there are two small boxes, one of metal and one of paper. There are then three punching machines, each labeled respectively; Function, Target, and Location
  • The Metal Box opens to a large cheese slicer, impossibly sharp. Sharp enough to slice a block of moon cheese into the proper thickness for a Keese Card
  • The Paper Box contains 1d6 presliced, unpainted, and unpunched.
  • The first punch station labeled "Function" has three possible punches to select from, each one labeled with a pictogram.
    • One punch is labeled with a Sword will cause the golem to aggressively attack whoever the "Target" is
    • One punch is labeled with a Shield will cause the golem to passively protect whoever the "Target" is
    • The Final Punch for this machine is labeled with a wrench, this punch is used to tell the golem to use utility functions. The wizard normally uses magic to code in the specific utility function, and thus the actual command given will be whatever he used last (roll on the table at the bottom of the room)
  • The second punch station, simply labeled "Target" has a single punch with a large funnel on the top of the machine. If someone drops in matter, it will code in their sequence as the target. The punch station is only limited to genetically sequencing human DNA, so any other genetic material dropped in is only tracked by species rather than the person, it can sequence all nonliving matter. If this punch is not used, then the card treats the target as "All"
  • The third and final punch station labeled "Location" has a single punch with a keypad attached to the machine, entering a number or series of numbers will restrict the golem to those rooms, if this machine is not used on a keese card, then the golem defaults to following its "Creator". Note that characters wouldn't know the room numbers in character unless they stole the map from the wizard first. 

The Eastern Wall

    The entirety of this wall is taken up by a large machine composed of a cheese melter and a cheese molder. The Cheese Melter appears to be a gigantic furnace, hooked up to a funnel, directly above the molding station. Turning it on simply requires a flip of the large lever on the wall to the left of the machine.
    The Cheese Molder is used to create the golems out of the remaining Moon Cheese supply that the wizard brought back with him. there are a variety of large molds strewn about the room, each one can be put into the machine with ten minutes' effort. It requires a legs, arms, torso, and a head mold, if a golem is made with less or more than this hooked up then the golem will fail to turn on when the appropriate core and keese card is placed inside its head. A list of the possible molds laying around is found below, DM picks one of each limb, and rolls 1d12 four times for the remainder of what's scattered on the ground
    The molded body for a golem will feature a slot in its chest for the keese card and an indent in its neck for the power core. Powering it will close the card slot, if it is on without a card then it simply stands still with no order.

The Northeastern Corner

    This corner contains a pile of Moon Cheese Boulders, enough for 1d4 Full Golems. Underneath the large stack of moon cheese is 1d6 Golem Power Cores, only 1d2 of which are properly charged.
    Also over here are buckets of paint, including; white, black, red, blue, yellow, orange, green, purple, and brown. these were used for the various keesecards and golems around the dungeon.

The Southwestern Corner

    This corner contains a large locked safe. Using sheer strength alone it would take around 1d6 days to pummel this open without any special equipment. Magically it would take a 4 [dice] knock spell or a fireball spell to open it. Contained within is a single, highly magical, keese card and 1d6 Golem Power Cores, all of which are properly charged.
    This particular keese card is not meant for a door, but a golem mind. It contains a corrupted soul that the wizard caught for an experiment in making golems more intelligent and sentient. This soul has long since forgotten his old life, his very essence is focused on destroying the wizard now. He does not remember his old name, and both he and the wizard call him the "ArchnemeSwiss". He is of average human intelligence but does not care about anything except his revenge. He may ally with the players or attack the players depending on their relationship with the wizard. He can communicate telepathically, even when just in his card form, and will attempt to get the characters to put him into a golem body so that he may do even more.

A Note on Keese Cards and Power Cores

    All Power Cores that are properly charged can not only keep golems running for a long time, but they can be depleted in one burst of magical energy in order to provide an additional {Dice} to a spell. For every Power Core used, add an additional "Instability" die to the spell as well, this die functions for the purposes of Dooms and Mishaps, but not the power of the spell. This is in order to represent the inherent instability of the magic inside these cores.
    All Keese Cards, including the ones that unlock doors, function as golem control cards. This means that the door keese cards can theoretically be counterfeited if the players gain access to this room and the knowledge of what settings created what cards. See below for the true settings for the Door Cards. (Assuming the players attempt to counterfeit them or use the originals in a golem.)
    Repunching a keese card irreversibly corrupts it.
  • White - Sword, All, Creator
  • Black - Utility (Haul), Wizard, Room #6
  • Red - Utility (Any), All, Room #3
  • Blue - Shield, Goblin, Room #18
  • Yellow - Utility (Any), All, Room #10
  • Orange - Sword, Rat. Creator
  • Purple - Sword, Dragon, Creator
  • Green - Shield, Gold, Creator

What was the Wizard's last Utility Program? (1d6)

  1. Haul, the golem will pick up the target and move them randomly about the dungeon.
  2. Clean, the golem will relentlessly clean the target
  3. Companionship, the golem will immediately return to the dining room (room #10) and begin pretending to eat (read as shoving cheese into its face and making a mess)
  4. Corrupted Program: golem gains mock sentience as a wild beast, cannot speak, will immediately try to escape the dungeon.
  5. Dig, the golem will dig out new dungeon space wherever the target commands it to
  6. Worker Bot, the golem will be of a random job position listed in room #2 and #17

What Golem Molds are laying around? (1d12)

  1. Caterpillar Tracks (Legs), golem moves at half speed but can ignore difficult terrain
  2. Fins (Legs), the golem cannot move on land but can move at full speed in liquids
  3. Spider (Legs), the golem can walk on walls and other vertical surfaces at half speed, twice as creepy looking.
  4. Normal (Legs)
  5. Drill (Arms), the golem can no longer pick stuff up but has a drill attack that does 1d10 damage
  6. Cannon (Arms), the golem can no longer pick stuff up but can fire a cheese wheel cannon (determine randomly from room #18), must be reloaded manually as the golem cannot do so.
  7. CheeseWeb (Arms) can fire a cheese web of melted moon cheese to restrain foes or grab items from afar, causes everything it touches to get super sticky and gross.
  8. Shield (Arms), the golem can use its action to protect nearby creatures, redirecting any attack at them to itself.
  9. Normal (Arms)
  10. Hollow (Chest), has a hollow space to be filled up with various things such as loot or explosive cheese wheels, has -1 HD.
  11. Normal (Chest)
  12. Normal (Head)

Leaving this rooms are door to the north and south.

Room number: 8 The Boringkaas

By mtb-za

Details: A large drilling machine is against the south-western wall, built to expand the dungeon. Old and rusted, needs combustible material and some oiling, but then could be started and used to drill a 5ft gap through walls. Loud and belches fumes. Takes at least three PCs to move, or a pair of subverted cheesemaker golems. Stairs will be difficult terrain for the wheeled machine.  The movement of the machine is not automated (the wheels are not powered), only the drilling is.

Not very noisy when rolled around, but super noisy when used. (random encounter triggered). If used recklessly, will anger the Wizard.

Leading out of the room is a corridor heading north to Room 7, and corridor heading east to Room 3