Saturday, September 19, 2020

The clockwork Warlock

 One of the interesting things about the 5e warlock is how varied their patrons can be.  Someone (Trappy Jenkins) on the Dungeon Dudes discord wondered "what if this guy was your patron"

by Travis Anderson

A number of good ideas were quickly proposed by many people - I had a small part in it (tiny servant!!!) but this isn't my creation.  But then people wondered "how to preserve this?" - unlike the OSR, there isn't a strong culture of blogging there.  So I offered, and here we are.

Patron abilities:

Biomechatronical Body:
You have sacrificed a piece of your body to your patron and in return they replace your chosen body part with a mechanical copy.
Arm: Gain proficiency in Athletics. +1 to melee attack and damage rolls that use strength using this arm.
Eye: Gain proficiency in perception. +1 to ranged attack and damage rolls. 
Leg: Gain proficiency in acrobatics. +10 speed, +5 jumping distance.
Heart: Gain proficiency in constitution saving throws. Increase maximum HP by 5 and an additional 1 per Warlock level. 

At levels 6, 10, and 14 you may sacrifice and replace another body part.

I note that warlocks almost always have a defensive feature at level 6.  I think the above is very cool but could be expanded a bit.  Perhaps at level 6, the following appears:

Partial exoskeleton:  You encase your torso in metal.  Your base AC is now 14  (treat as medium armor).

Or.   Smoke screen.  As a reaction, you can eject greenish smoke from your body, imposing disadvantage on attacks against you.  The smoke dissipates at the beginning of your next turn.  This power renews after a short or long rests. 

But I am opened to suggestions.  Level 14 deserves a very cool body part too, or perhaps a partial, whole body transformation.

Bonus Spell List (Influenced by artificer)
1st: Grease & Snare 
2nd: Heat metal & Rope Trick
3rd: Stinking Cloud & Tiny Servant
4th: Fabricate & Freedom of Movement
5th: Animate Object & Creation

I note that Tiny Servant is a spell that "up-casts" well and that last 8 hours.  A higher level warlock may have a small army of tiny servants doing his every whim.  A lot of these spells can be "jazzed up" for roleplaying purposes.  Eldritch blast is *definitely* some kind of arm or shoulder cannon, or perhaps an eye-laser.   In a game that allows war-forged, this is a great fit.

There is definitely a lot of potential for roleplay here.  Iron Kingdom had the iron lich ,which were both flavorful and powerful.  The warlock may be pursuing the knowledge to complete this transformation.  Meanwhile, the patron may be requesting of their followers to gather various esoteric items, reagents and parts - clearly they are building some grand artifact that will shake the foundations of the multiverse... the image clearly indicates a personage who is refined, polite but ... ruthless. 

I repeat that this is just a draft, and not play-tested... but clearly this would be a lot of fun, and it again illustrates the strength of the Warlock class in 5e.  Thank you to the DungeonDudes discord community for allowing me to host this neat content :)  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Yoon Suin on sale! 1 *pound*

A brief but important post.

A new edition of Yoon Suin is coming out.  As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of the setting.  (Here is a review I wrote for it several years ago... I should post that here too!).  It is the best D&D setting I've purchased in 30 years.

Because the new edition is coming out, the old edition is now available on sale for ONE POUND.  Act now before it's no longer available!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Mercenary Campaign: the petty sell-sword


In a mercenary company, there is a certain ... type of member.  They were recruited, but didn't quite turn out to be frontline material.  Still they are useful to have around - they stand guard, dig ditches, and watch your back.  They soak up the wisdom of the mercenaries, and can slowly become more than what they were.

These rules are meant to emulate the petty sell-sword you might hire, or the helpers assigned to you by your commander when he sends you on a mission.  They are not cowards, but they are survivors.  They are there to help you, not die for you.

The Petty sell-sword 

The petty sell-sword has leather armor, a dagger, 3 rations, a shovel,  and a random piece of looted jewelry worth 1d20 sp.

An NPC petty sell-sword has 9 in all stats (starts with 5 hp) and gains one knack per template.  A player who wants to enjoy the murderhobo experience and take this class has *two* knacks per templates and rolls stats normally.  Furthermore, all petty sell-swords can carry 1 extra slot of loot per template.

A  1 (or two) knacks.
B  1 (or two) knacks.
C  1 (or two) knacks.
D  1 (or two) knacks.

Knacks (roll 1d8)

1.  Low cunning.  Gain +2 to stealth and to crude forms of deception (you can disguise yourself as a beggar, but not a noble).  You also gain 1d4 daggers and 1 gold piece per dagger.

2.  Eagle eye.  Gain advantage to perception check, a lantern and 1d4 silver pieces.

3.  Learned.  You know how to read and write.  If you gain this knack a second time, you learn the history skill and a book. If you gain it a third time, you gain 1 MD and a random wizard spell.

4.  Armored up.  You gain a shield.  If you gain this knack again, your AC increases by 1.

5.  Eating well.  You gain 3 hp and 5 rations

6.  Fell handed.  You gain +2 to your attack score (not +2 attacks per round!)

7.  A true swordsman.  You gain a real sword!  (and are proficient).  Look at that.  If you gain this template again you now have  a two-handed sword.  If you gain it a third time, you gain a +1 dagger

8.  Fight from afar.  You gain a short bow (and are proficient).  If you gain this template again you obtain a crossbow or snaphance.  If you gain it a third time you gain a longbow.

Background:  (1d3)

1.  Peasant.   You are particularly good at handling animals. You have a small donkey.
2.  Brigand.  You have a sling and +2 to set ambushes.
3.  Urchin.  You can pick pockets and have an extra 1d10 silver pieces.

A petty sell-sword expects a pay of 1 gp per month, and a nice bonus if there is a big windfall.  A level 5 NPC petty-sell sword either retires or becomes a minor officer in the company, and is no longer sent out.

The fact that this ruleset would also be good for a "civilized" goblin has not evaded me...

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The best Glog classes

I'm very busy with the Foreboding Fromagerie project, and it's going quite well.  A lot of good quality material has been submitted, and I have begun the earnest work of tying it all together.

But in the meantime, what about my blog?

Well here is a "low quality" content post - a list of classes I found interesting over the years.  This is by *no means* a complete list.  I'm sure there are wonderful classes out there I have never heard about.  But the following are some I've encountered and took note of for future reference.  Perhaps some of these may go well in your game too?

A Scot has stopped on a mountain path to look at something in the distance
by Lancelot Speed

First, you probably know this one, but I am very fond of Skerple's summoner.  A fun, great "alt-caster" class.

Second, the zouave:  this resulted from a conversation on the OSR discord where someone wanted historical example of interesting fighters, and I told them about the zouave.  They turned around and created this amazing class.
edit:  Now with an expansion!

The muscle mage - a great example of how zany the GLOG can be

The Gun Priest:  This is incredibly flavorful and quite playable too:

The OG wizard (the sage).  Great for a low-magic setting.

The word barbarian doesn't mean raging shirtless warrior. It means foreigner.  This class does it beautifully:

A durable monk, and flavorful to boot.

So what are classes *you* like.  And don't post your own please ;)

edit:  Oh, it's catching on :D  Phlox (who made the barbarian) chips in!

Edit 2:  some more posts on this topic. Some classes I had never seen, and others are coming up more than once...





Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Monkey King and the GLOG Funnel

So we have been watching The New Legends of Monkey, a tv series based on Journey to the West.  It's "fun but cheesy", not the best adaptation to be sure, but worth watching.

What struck me in this show is how the "gods" are essentially level 7-9 D&D 5e characters.  They are powerful and capable, but also limited and vulnerable.  The Monkey King, much like a 5e fighter or barbarian of similar level, is sorely needed by the gods (he's the party tank!  the lifter of boulders!) but at the same time, he is dependent on magical items and isn't really capable of doing a lot of what the others can do (like... teleport, bring people back to life, animate objects... you get the drill).  Demons are more like warlocks and hexblades - not quite as powerful as the gods, but tricky and good at violence.

So how do you do that, if  you want to achieve that in your game?

Start your PCs as GLOG characters.  It's a funnel!  But when they reach level 5, they can retire (as normal)... OR they get re-created as D&D characters.  In a stroke of lighting, they are reborn - bigger, brighter and more colorful.  Sure the 5e fighter still has 2 attacks like a level 4 GLOG fighter, but the 5e fighter does much more damage, can action surge, has 2-3 times the HP.... it's super-heroic!  A GLOG character goes to zero or less HP and pop goes the death and dismemberment table!  But a 5e character goes down?  Healing word, they'll be fine.  Oh shit that didn't work?  Welp, better get them raised.... like Gods, 5e heroes are hard to kill.

I mean *sure* you could use the Exalted rpg system but... 5e does it just as well, just jazz up the descriptions a tad :)

So how does this go?  Well petty financial concerns are gone - people will feed them, house them, out of reverence.   And other gods (higher level NPCs) now notice them, and involve the party in affairs of the realms.  The gods are powerful... but there are only so many of them, and they can't be everywhere at once.  Let these new gods deal with the evil pirate shaman!

So a GLOG campaign can lead to a 5e campaign... AND vice versa.  The campaign is wrapping up, there is a final scene.  Villagers approach them with a problems - but the gods are tired and need a break.  But hey says one of the gods, why don't you ask these ruffians, they look tough?  They won't do it?  Fine, *we'll* ask them to do it - and poof, level 1 GLOG campaign on a mission from Gawd. 

That's it for the post :)

Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Foreboding Fromagerie: The Map

My idea for a collective GLOG dungeon was a wild success!  I have over 25 volunteers.   The name of the adventure/dungeon is "the Foreboding Fromagerie" :)  Now, we step forward to the next important step, the map.

I am no great map maker.  Fortunately, I know a great one - one who is so generous that he makes maps available to others for their project.  I speak, of course, of Dyson Logos.  I support him on Patreon and I definitely feel that he's a boon to the gaming community.

Here is a link to the map:

Now here is the map keyed with numbers:

Some things of notes.   The two green areas are "goblin zones".  I have a few volunteers for two rival goblin clans using the cheese production as a means of sustenance.   They are terrified of the Wizard, who tolerates the goblins - the goblins are scavengers, parasites even, but they are tolerated because they also a form of low grade security.

left click on image, then right click and "open image in new tab" to get full size
SCALE:  1 square = 10 feet.  Top of the map is North.

Rooms with red numbers are of note:

Room 1 is the entrance - the stairwell to the Above. (completed)

Rooms  36 and 37 are the Wizard's quarters and laboratory.  They rarely leave these days.  They have a black card

Some rooms are already assigned!  This is not set in stone, I just assigned rooms based on the descriptions.  Apologies for typos in people's names.

Room 2 is for Oblidisideryptch - a great factory hall (completed)

Room 3 is for Diyanddragons - a milk fountain/waterfall (complete)

Room 4 is a pasteurization room by Phlox (complete)

Room 5 is for puplecthulhu:  a stinking statue (complete)

Room 6 is for Sir Onyx - cheese vault   (mostly completed, map will need adjustments)

Room 7 is  for Sir Onyx - a golem workshop.

Room 8 is for mbt-za (a digging machine)   (complete)

Room 9 is for Sir Onyx  - a kitchen manned by goblins (complete)

Room 10 is for Castle_librarian - a dining room (complete)

Room 11 is for Studio 315b - Crackers and romance  (complete)

Room 12 is for deus ex parabola: a merchant  (completed)

Room 13 is for Vayra who is on a tear (completed) the cursed chamber

Room 14 is for Random Wizard - Portal to Cheese Hell  (completed)

Room 15 is for Corgifan2 : vats room  (completed)

Room 16 is for Purplechutlu: Milk and Renet extraction (completed)

Room 17 is by Oblidisideryptch - a great factory hall (completed)

Room 18 is for Diyanddragons , a great armory/cannon (completed)

Room 19  Baal a balcony overlooking the armory (complete)

Room 20 is for Jojiro - he will create a goblin clan with Morgan (completed)

Room 21 is for Morgan - the holy cow of the goblins! (complete)

Room 22 is for Spwack - the cube of knowledge (and brimstone) (complete)

Room 23 is for PanickPillow - a maggoty room.  Has doors leading in and out (will have to edit the map a little) (completed)

Room 24 is for vayra - the moon shot (completed)

Room 25 is not on the map.  Is it missing?  weeelllllll  - Ancalagon (completed)

Room 26 is for SirOnyx:  the oil pumps (completed)

Room 27 is for SunderedworldDM: the Hall of Halumi  (completed)

Room 29 (complete, the training room), 30 (complete, the holy goat) and 31 are for Bluewolf and pm1988Today - they will create the rival goblin clan.

Room 31 is for PM1988  The cheese larder of the goblins (complete)

Room 32 is for studio 315b - the slide room (completed)

Room 33 is Phlox - a chapel (completed)

Room 34 is for Mtb-za, a library (completed)

Room 35 is Mihau - sentry post (completed)

Room 38 is Sir Onyx - Magical portal to the MOON (completed)

Room 39 is Studio 315b - a puzzle statue   (completed)

Room 40 is kahva - a kennel (completed)

Room 41 is for deadtreenoshelter - the squater's camp (completed)

Room 42 is  SunderedworldDM - the Imp hall (and other things)  (completed)

Room 43 is for Josie - blue cheese room

Room  44 is for deadtreenoshelter: another merchant - out of supplies alas  (completed)
(note will be renumbered to 53 in final product)

Room 45 and 46 are for vayra - a monster and a treasure room   (completed)

Room 47 is for Lexi - fondue pits!  (completed)

Room 49 is for purplechutlu,  - the ghoul-da (completed)

Room 50 is spekkio -  the cheese dragon  (completed)

Room 51 is Phlox:  an audience chamber (completed)

Room 52 is for Phlox - a goblin sleeping area (completed)

Room 53 is for nickorish ink - a biologist  (completed)
(note will be renumbered to 44)

Rooms 28 and 48 will be reserved as "spare rooms" - I may find later on to add something that I suddenly realize the dungeon is sorely missing.

This is an ongoing project - in fact I'm using this page to track things :) . At this point, all rooms should be assigned.  If you are a volunteer and don't have a room, let me know!  Once they are ready (a week?), remaining rooms will be assigned

edit: an error on the map already - that will be cleaned up later, for now it's just a working copy :)

The Merchant Adventurer

This is not the man who orders 1000s of bales of silk, and owns an insured ship that will go get them.  Oh no.

This is the person who makes a living pulling a cart, bringing goods to those who need them, for a reasonablish price.  And who is sometimes willing to go very far to make a sale. Or very deep.

By Honoré Daumier

Starting equipment:
staff, cart (see class), ink, pen and notebook, 2 candles, 100 silver pieces

The Merchant Adventurer:

A: The Trusty Servant, the hand cart,
B:  The Cranky Donkey, the great liar
C:  The Trusty Crossbow, the value of things
D:  The Surly Guard, the sudden windfall

The Trusty Servant:  You are served by an older man who is not a complete coward nor is a total fool; but loyal.  He has 8 in every stat and 4 hp, and and AC of 10.   His stats go up by 1 for every template and his HP by 2.  He is armed with a club, but is no lover of violence.

The hand cart:  a 2 wheel affair, oddly flexible and capable for navigating quite difficult terrain.  Carries 20 slots.

Inside:   1 lantern (1),  6 torches (2),  6 bottles of oil (2), 21 rations (7), sellable nick-naks worth 50 sp (3), rope (1), shovel (1), cart repair tools (1), 3 turnips (1), bundle of firewood (1).

The Cranky Donkey:  You obtain a small but strong and sturdy donkey.  It it cranky, sure footed, cunning, and fears no creatures of this earth, but loyal.  AC 12, HP 12 (3HD).  It pulls your upgraded cart which can now carry 40 slots.

The Great Liar:   You could sell turnip juice to children, and have!  You have advantage on any charisma check, skill check etc. involving deception.

The Trusty Crossbow.  This is a dangerous world, and no expense is worth your life!  You have acquired a fancy, complex device of war that you understand fully - you are proficient and have a +2 bonus to hit with it. This crossbow does 1d10 dmg and you can reload it quickly (as a bow).  You also have 20 bolts (needs custom order to have more, non standard).  Should you lose it a new one will appear next adventure (selling does not count as losing).

The Value of Things:  You have advantage to checks to determine the true value of things - be they treasure, merchandise, or more esoteric, like favors or information.

The Surly Guard:  You acquire the services of a guard.  He trusts no one, but loyal.  Spear, dagger, padded armor (AC 13, or halfway between leather and chain) + shield, HP 10 (2 HD), 12 in every stats. 

The Great windfall:   Begin every adventure with a gain of 2d8 gp (no xp for this) for side deals paying off. *Only* once per campaign, have a greater windfall of 2d100 + 10d6 gp.

Should the servant, the donkey or the guard perish, a new one will emerge at the start of the next adventure.  However, if the merchant adventurer was reckless with them, word will spread, and they may  not be so loyal...

I was thinking about classes for Skerlples' mercenary campaign and this just jumped in my head.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

the GLOG collective dungeon, a humble proposal

A short post - this is more of a proposal, an idea, for a project.

The people in the GLOG community are wildly creative, but (and I'm paraphrasing what others have said in the OSR discord server, but I will say that there is a fair amount of truth to it) a lot of the creations are… high in fun, less so in usability.  Hundreds of classes, (even more so with the recent microclass trend), multiple hacks, spells, the TeleGLOG... but a lot less playable material, and by this I mean adventures.  Seeing how I haven't published any adventures, I'm just as guilty.

And let's be fair - writing a whole adventure is a fair amount of work!  But what if we collectively tackled the task?

So here is the idea.  We find a free to use map for a dungeon (I would recommend Dyson Logos).  Someone (me?) numbers the rooms (and perhaps a few corridors).  Perhaps we decide on some kind of theme so it's *not* completely random, but hey, maybe completely random would work.   Rooms are then assigned to participants.   If a few people can't make it on time - well a few empty rooms in a dungeon never hurt anyone. 

A dwarf kneels before a brooding warrior with a horned helmet and a spear sitting on a stone seat

Then the person running the project cleans it up a bit, and TADA!  a GLOG collective dungeon!

It won't be a *great* dungeon, but it should be eminently useable.

Is this a good idea?  Do we have volunteers?

EDIT:  I was pondering about the theme, and Oblidisideryptch suggested that it would be a cheesy dungeon... literally.

Long ago, an underground facility was constructed with all sorts of magical devices to mass produce cheese.  It has since fallen in disrepair, but still runs, somehow, a bit.   What kind of foul lactose magic will be found here?  Blue oozes?  Cheesemaking golems?  Fat goblins scavengers?  Skeletons servants?  Some kind of security?  Hell-cows?  A crazed wizard?  Parmesan shields?   Let's find out :P

EDIT 2:  Volunteers have come forth!  I will be using this post to keep track.  We have enough people to make this happen.  The project is officially a GO!

- By the end of this week (say, Saturday) I will semi-close the volunteer list (this way I know how big a dungeon we need).
- By the beginning of next week, I will have a dungeon map of the appropriate size. I will assign volunteers to specific room numbers  (I'm thinking 2 rooms per volunteers?)
- Volunteers will have X amount of time to make their entry
- I collect the entries, do light editing, then collate them in a blog post
- Tada!  Collective GLOG dungeon!

If you volunteer then can't make it, the list will be edited of course - I'm not going to use this to "pressure" people :)

Oblidisideryptch (they already provided the theme!)
SirOnyx   (proposes connecting to the moon)
Panic Pillow
Random Wizard
Studio 315b
nickorish inck

(? indicate that I am not 100% and will have to clarify - if you see yourself on this list in error, I am sorry!  If you want to volunteer and *aren't* on the list, let me know!)