Generic Creature for any Setting (Request 2) - The Flesh (un)Relenting

This one comes courtesy of +Gennifer Bone from the RPG Design Network and was designed using Swords & Wizardry OSR ruleset.

Flesh (un)Relenting

Type: Outsider (Unique)
Armor Class: 8 [11]
Hit Dice 2
Attack: Attacks 1 Fear Spike (See Special)
Save: 18
Move: 30
Special: Aversion, Encroachment, Fear Spike, Outsider Gate
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60
The Flesh (un)Relenting is a creation of the Masters of the Outside. An invisible stalker casted into the Mortal Realms to circumvent the ancient Laws and barriers placed upon the universe by the Gods (Order, Balance and Chaos) to prevent the Outside from leaking into the Mortal Realms.
Aversion – The Flesh (un)Relenting is effectively invisible to all creatures of the Mortal Realms due the simple fact that any sane mortal’s brain would utterly refuse it’s existence and promptly forget it saw anything. Only the insane (or thus who have been stalked for too long by the Outsider) can see it. When it is seen it appears as a tall emaciated figure with a too large twitching, featureless head and a distained, straining belly.
Encroachment – The Masters of the Outside created the Flesh (un)Relenting for the sole purpose of pushing on the walls of reality. Therefore, every living creature of the Mortal Realm can feel that pressure within 30’ of the Outsider. Twice a day (usually Sunrise and Sunset) all those within the range of the Encroachment must make a Saving Throw plus Wisdom modifier. If the save is failed the one who failed loses 1 point of Wisdom.
Fear Spike – If drawn into combat the Flesh (un)Relenting will release a concentrated wave of  its Outsider aura in a 60’ cone before it. All those affected by the cone must succeed a Saving throw – 4 + wisdom modifier. If the attack is successful those in the cone suffer 1d4 Wisdom damage.

Outsider Gate - If injuried in battle to 1/4 of its starting hit points, the Flesh (un)Relenting will begin to split apart, releasing a stgnant, rotting sent that has a 60% chance of knocking anyone within 15' unconicous. If the gaping in its skin is not closed within 2 rounds the Outsider wil die and a stable, large gate to the Outside will be left in its place.  

Generic Creature for any Setting (by request) The Chained

Requested by +Ronald Stepp over at +RPG Design Network. I hope this is what you were looking for, man! Enjoy!

Update: I don't know why but everything I copy/paste from Word is being presented in BOLD even when it sohuldn't be. I've already contacted Google about this and I do apologize.
The Chained
“Some say that Eben the money changer died of heart attack. I know better, I was in that alley where his body was found. Lay-up under a heaping of rags o that no one saw. I’m glad for it, because I don’t know what Eben saw, but me, I saw nothin’ but skin, bones and chains … chains burying themselves deep into that poor, bastard. Some say he deserved that ‘heart attack’ I don’t disagree.”  – Account of a vagrant collected in DE  440.

Type: Undead (Unique)
Armor Class: 1 [18]
Hit Dice 8+ target Wisdom modifier
Attack: Attacks 1 (4d8 Whipping Chains, Semi-Sentient)
Save: 8
Move: 30
Special: Chained Horror, Horrid Mask, Nightmare
Challenge Level/XP: 5/240

To most The Chained is a myth to scare children into being good and living fulfilling, honest life. However, the darker places of the world, the alley’s the dens of scum and villainy and the courts of kings know different; The Chained is alive and if you so much as stole Candy from a baby it may come for you.
No one knows for certain what The Chained is, some say it is the avatar of the Goddess of Pure Death, others a freak magical accident created by a mage with a vengeance streak. The stories are endless, but all end the same way; The Chained comes for bad folks and when it does they die.
Chained Horror – On ever successful attack the target of the attack must make a saving throw with a negative 8 modifier (-1 for every attacking chain). If unsuccessful, the chains attack and begin to burrow into the target causing an automatic 4 damage per turn. However, for ever successful use of Chained Horror, The Chained losses 1 dice of his primrary attack.
Horrid Mask – Whenever it desires out of a combat situation The Chained may assume the form of one of its victims for 2d4 rounds. While in this form The Chained is only visible to his target.
Nightmare – When combat begins and every round after the target must make a saving throw with a negative 8 modifier. If unsuccessful The Chained takes the appearance of the thing most feared by the target (note only the appearance is mimicked, not the stats, abilities or health). While in this form The Chained has a 60% chance to cause wisdom damage to the target just by being in this form. Should the target reach 3 or lower wisdom he or she is permanently insane, should the target reach zero Wisdom he or she is dead
Unless it is during combat The Chained is invisible and intangible to all mundane sight or touch. It is only during combat that anyone can see the undead creature, and only than if there hearts hold some of the evil of Chaos.   
The Chained prefers to “play” with its target, often stalking, the target for months, taking the forms of past victims to taunt, frighten and confuse the target.

Quick Note - Innfjord update

Design of Innfjord has mainly moved away from the town and over toward the wilderness area and the Forest Ruins. However, due to some extremely good and timely advice from a reader I've been slowly adjusting Innfjord to make it more organic feeling and the NPC in it to being less cut-out for a referee to give soul to.

It is rather obvious (unfortunately) that I won't be making a Halloween release. However! I am putting up an even over on google hangouts to run a 2 hour playtest this Sunday afternoon. The Light house is unfortunately not yet complete but the other areas are there to explore and play in.

Quick Note - Roll for Initiative

A week ago I was playing +Justin Halliday 's Hero Kids (Rats in the Basement adventure) with my daughter and our next door neighbors. For anyone who doesn't know "Rats in the Basement" is a really combat heavy short adventure that is more or less designed to introduce kids to the game.

In our case it wasn't as I've been doing on the fly Zelda'ish adventures with them for a good three months. However, they weren't really used to big combat sections and quickly things got tedious for them as they were bad. Things looked to be going bad when into my head popped up the most annoying Tactical RPG I ever played "Lord of the Rings Tactics" for the PSP. I let the round end and introduced a new bit of rules that while a lot more time consuming kept the kids happy.

1. Everyone (heroes and villians) declare your actions
2. Everyone rolls for initiative place
3. Combat goes forward automatically with only to-hit and damage rolls being done.
4. Repeat the above for the next round.

What this did was create a situation in which the board changed in unexpected ways. For example:

Hero A: I'm going to run up and attack rat E
Rat E: Is going to move forward to attack Hero C
Hero C: Is going to move back and cast a spell the damages rats B & C (who were right next to her and hurting her)

Hero A Init: 3
Hero C Init: 2
Rat E Init: 6

The rat rushes forward, hurting hero C and taking her down to hurt status. At the same time Hero A rushes forward but no longer has a target. Hero C jumps back and casts her spell inadvertently catching Rat E in the spell, killing Rats B, C, & E.

Now I'm wondering how well this sort of initiative rolling would work in systems like Swords & Wizardry or even Dungeons & Dragons. Would the pure amount of abilities and things a character can do in combat overwhelm it or would it make everything just a tad more crunchy but also more natural in movement?

Another note: I mean no disrespect to +Justin Halliday and both my Kids/neighbors and I love the system. If anyone is at fault is is me for giving boring descriptions of the combat.

Short Review - D101 Games "Tomb of the Necromancers"

It is already obvious that I am a huge fan of D101 Games “Crypts & Things” line, given my love of all things Howard. So it was with squeals of joy when I discovered their newest adventure “Tomb of the Necromancers” by +Paul Mitchener. Of course this lead to a bit of fun over here at Genius Loci as I broke the release of the game about a month ago by accident and then re-broke the release of the game (I believe within moments of +Newt Newport announcement) last week.

On the real release of the adventure I opted or the softcover for two reasons. One the price was right and I had enough credit left from a previous contest I won to hedge off the shipping costs. And two, well I felt guilty for accidentally “breaking” the story on the accidentally release of the adventure at the beginning of October.

The book came in the mail yesterday, and although the UPS guy thought it would be funny to hid the package in my daughter's jack-o-lantern, all was good!

The Book:

Tomb of the Necromancers” weighs in a 20 pages of adventure and a total of 25 pages (excluding covers) of book. The quality is what I've come to expect from onebookshelf's print on demand service, which is not bad. The formatting of the print copy is the basic two-column set-up typical to this genre and the type-set and printing is clear and very sharp. The book comes with pieces of black and white ink full page art pieces and three maps (region, village, dungeon) of average quality.

The break down of the various sections is very good and the typical monster manual stat-blocks are used over the traditional two line run down which I much prefer (but seldom use myself).

The biggest problem in a technical sense (and yeah this is the pot calling the kettle black) is the overwhelming amount of spelling, editing and proofing mistakes. Only one is really jarring and breaks the flow of reading the adventure. As a whole though the mistakes do not distract enough to make the adventure unreadable.

The Adventure:

Tomb of the Necromancers” follows the players as they are hired to explore a long forgotten and entombed temple and recover an artifact from an ancient death cult. This quest is complicated by the a rival (and national) group who want the item for themselves as well as the employer who is a hell of a lot more dubious than it may appear.

There are a lot of strings for the Crypt Keeper (referee, dungeon master, etc) to keep a hold of with this adventure as the few NPC available all have agendas that twist and twine around the main narrative of the story. Not heavy handed or complex strings, but enough to give a few good plot twists and a pulpy feel to the entire thing (which is the point of C&T I like to think).

Further the adventure really lends itself to showing the brutality of a Swords & Sorcery setting, with some sights and events within (both as set pieces and just abilities of certain enemies) the game that really makes me go from “F-ing yeah I love this!” to “I would not want to live there in real life”.

Once in the main dungeon of the game things a re a lot more straight forward. Explore, kill, loot, repeat. However, there are some interesting pseudo-puzzles and some wonderful chances at roleplaying in some of the areas of the dungeon as well as some small, not quite described but hinted-upon, schemes by some of the denizens of the dungeon.

The dungeon has no wandering monsters, however, there is the chance to ad-hoc in a single patrol type listed in the dungeon's introduction. The creatures in the dungeon are a nice mix of old goodies and some really nifty new creatures (my favorite being the windwraiths). The set-up of the
dungeon is nice with a good amount of places to explore and the descriptions are uniform and believable for an evil death god place of worship without entering into the realm of death metal cover art.

The Grade:

Using the five star system used by Onebookshelf I would give “Tomb of the Necromancers” a 4 out of 5. The nature of the adventure (typical explore, loot, kill) is nicely offset by the number of roleplaying opportunities present within the main dungeon. At the same time the “open world” situation and the implications and politics being played out are interesting, engaging and really set things up for a good short campaign or a long running behind the scenes villain. Paul Mitchener does a good job of painting the Ice Coast/Death Wind Steppe in broad enough strokes that an average Crypt Keeper can come away with enough ideas to fill his or her game for quite some time.

Three Generic Creatures for Any Setting and a Halloween Contest!

This weekend I took my family to our favorite haunted hayride, one that I typically gush about every year. This year, despite the 4 hour wait (which was off-set by an excellent metal band, roaring bonfire and some wicked cool Klingon fire dancing!) , I must once again gush and more so than ever before. This is mainly due to the fact that the cast this year was not afraid to terrorize my 8-year-old daughter and because they changed the production up. Some of the old sets were still used, however, new and frightening horrors waited!
If anyone is near the NEPA area you need to go to Reaper’s Revenge!
Now for a contest: Below in the comments, tell me a great personal horror experience from a haunted hayride or a haunted house or field. They don’t need to be scary, just entertaining and memorable! The winner will be picked on Friday November 1st and will receive a $10.00 RPGnow/Drivethrurpg gift card!
In honor of Reaper’s Revenge and Halloween I present the following three down and dirty quick monsters!
As always thoughts?
Zombie Dance Troupe
Type: Undead
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice 3
Attack: Attacks 2 (1d8+2 Strike, 1d4+2 Bite*)
Save: 14
Move: 6
Special: *Infectious Bite, Thrilling Dance
Challenge Level/XP: 5/240
The Zombie Dance Troupe was once a band of traveling bards. While traveling the bards were beset by a horde of undead. Now they roam the land in mindless unlife, spreading the disease that created them through their bite (45% chance on successful bite attack, save negates) and continuing their careers unknowingly. Through some strange happenstance, the Zombie Dance Troupe retains their ability to dance and perform physical acts beyond a shambling walk. However, these actions have taken a twisted course in their unlife. Anyone who sees the Thrilling Dance of the Zombie Dance Trope fills the pull of that dance and may rush to join it (Save -5 negates). Once a living being joins the dance the Zombie Dance Troupe will attack them and automatically turn them into a new trouper in the Zombie Dance Troupe.
The White Garbed Twins
Type: Undead
Armor Class: 4  [16]
Hit Dice 6
Attack: Attacks 1 Dagger(1d6+ Poison )
Save: 11
Move: 15
Special: Mad Rambling, quick Step
Challenge Level/XP: 9/1,100
Mad Rambling – all creatures within a 30' radius of the mad rambling must succeed a saving throw or be affected as though by the “Confusion” special for 1d4 turns
Quick Step – The Twins move at an uncanny pace seeming to appear and reappear quickly as if several of their steps were not seen as they moved toward their target.  The Twins can quick step up to 30 feet in one turn if no target creatures are adjacent to them. Quick Step must always end at a target and must always end with an attack action.  
Type: Construct
Armor Class: 1 [19]
Hit Dice 8+8
Attack: Attacks 2 (dagger 2d6)
Save: 8
Move: 30
Special: Immortal, Silent movement
Challenge Level/XP: 10/1,400

A life sixed porcelain doll imbued with the insane soul of a Arch-mage’s dead lover.   Driven to madness by no longer being able to feel, the Pygmalion (her true name lost to time) killed the arch-mage and vanished into the legend and folklore. Some say she is still in the Arch-mage’s laboratory, other that she roams the great forests killing anything with warmth or a beating heart.
Immortal – When the arch-mage created her, he placed protections on the construct form of his dead love. The porcelain body of the construct will always repair itself in 1d6 day x negative hit points. Once reformed the Construct will hunt those that beat he, making it her sole goal until all of those who attacked her are dead. The only true way to beat the construct is to say her true name.
Silent Movement - The Pygmalion never makes a sound when she moves no matter the environment and will always win surprise

Quick Note - History Makes the Greatest Dungeons

The following link leads to one of the inspirations for one of the "dungeons" in Innfjord.

The Mithraeum of San Clemente, Rome

Remember Innsfjord features:

 - 5 level Lighthouse
 - 3 Level Cave System under the Lighthouse
 - 2 Level Crypt under the Temple of Balance (what is it with me and evil crypts under neutral temples?)
 - 1 Level Ancient Temple to Outsider "Gods"
 - 1 Level Ancient Ruin in the forests outside of Innfjord

Believe it or not the pencil on grid paper maps are done. I've been thinking of finding my old youtube tutorials to make photoshop based maps ... I also need to find my brushes and fills for that purpose (or *gulp* recreate them).

That is tonight's update. If anyone is on the Arcadia server in The Secret World, I'll be there for a little (You want to find me, e-mail me  and then it is off to a haunted hay ride with the wife and oldest!

Quick Note - Tomb of the Necromancers is live!

For real this time!

D101 Games, the guys who released the great Crypt & Things low Fantasy OSR take on the Swords & Wizardry game have released an adventure just in time for Halloween for Swords & Wizardry.

Tomb of the Necromancers is a mid-level adventure for 4-6 characters and based on my quick flip through looks to be very interesting.

There is no description and I've not yet read enough to give one. Still put it in your wishlists or think about it because I've honestly been impressed with D101's work so far

From RPGnow:
“The ruins of the Unknown City stand at the edge of the Death Wind Steppe, surrounded by the foothills of the Wolf Head Mountains. They are a monument to a once mighty city. Few now know the city‘s history, and how it fell. The city‘s old name, Tetronis, now belongs to a village of simple fisherfolk standing amongst the ruins.
The force behind both the old city‘s greatness and its destruction was the god Orlusz.”
A Swords and Sorcery romp for four to six characters of level 6 to 8. It takes place in the frozen north of the Continent of Terror, and sees the characters pitted against ravaging barbarians, who seek an ancient weapon for their mistress. Further exploration leads them to the forsaken temple of an evil sect of Necromancers.
Although written for Crypts and Things it is compatible with other Old School Class/Level based games.

Get now from RPGnow: Tomb of the Necromancers

Unlike last time, it is available in pdf and softcover black and white print!

Ordering the print this time around to make up for what I did last time!

Quick Note - MEPAcon in 2 Weeks

Just a quick reminder to everyone out there! MEPAcon is in 2 weeks, there are still a ton of open games and tables to be played. I'll be running three tables myself; 2 Swords & Wizardry games (Grimmsgate and Nidhog's Hall/Innfjord) and one Herokids game.

I'm not it though a wide variety of games from 1e to 5e Dungeons and Dragons, Living Faerun and Greyhawk Reborn. Pathfinder, Legend of the Five Rings and more board games and card games than I can remember. Go to the site and if you are in the tri-state area (PA, NJ, NY) try and make it!

Unquiet Bodere - Generic Monster for any Setting

Technically speaking the Unquiet Bodere is one of the "new creatures" for my Lights over Innfjord adventure. However, I like him so much that I cannot wait to share him/

As always thoughts are welcomed. Enjoy!

Unquiet Bodere

60' Flying
1 touch, Mad Rambling
1d4+2 Cold
Mad Rambling, Summon Rambling
Phase, Mad Rambling

Mad Rambling – all creatures within a 30' radius of the mad rambling must succeed a saving throw or be affected as though by the “Confusion” special for 1d4 turns

Phase – The Ramblings attacks by passing through the body of its target dealing 1d4+2 cold damage. On a successful attack the target must succeed a saving throw -2 or suffer -1 to their wisdom score for 24 hours. Should a character fall below 3 Wisdom they will be rendered permanently insane and become the domain of the Referee.

Summon Rambling – In his mad ramblings an Unquiet Bodere can unknowingly summon up to 4 concurrent Ramblings. After the battle begins the Unquiet Bodere will continue to create Ramblings at a rate of 1 every 1d4 rounds. However, no more than 4 can ever be present at any given time. All Ramblings will vanish upon the defeat of the Unquiet Bodere.

The undead remnants of a mortal who looked into the Outside and didn't ave enough sense to die immediately. Driven insane by what they saw the mortal went through what remained of their short life muttering and rambling in their madness revealing truths – oh so dark truths – of what existed Outside. Even when death finally claimed them the things they saw and remembered refused to die with them.

The Unquiet Bodere tend to stay near where they dead. Relentlessly pacing, head bowed mumbling out their madness with no knowledge of their surroundings. The true danger of the Unquiet Bodere is their Ramblings.

The Ramblings of the Unquiet Bodere are so powerful that they manifest from Unquiet Bodere's madness as small eldritch lights the spin and lope around the Bodere in a 60' radius. These Ramblings will repeat the rambling that created them until destroyed.

When defeated an unearthly quiet will fill the area, and as the body of the Unquiet Bodere turn to dust a whispered (and utterly sane) voice can be heard: “Thank you”.

Preview of My Next Adventure - Innsfjord

Below is a preview of the Village of Innsfjord from my upcoming adventure "Lights over Innsfjord". I haven't included the sketch of the town map, and as is obviously shown below a few of the entries have been deleted for this post to keep some surprise. 

All in all the twon has 12 named locations and has some wiggle room for Referee created stuff during or even after this adventure.

As always feedback is greatly loved and strongly begged for! enjoy!


I-3. The Keeper’s Flame Inn
A large stone building near the town “gate” with a large wooden sign with an etched and stylized flame. The inn is in surprising good condition, with washed stone walls and clean, thick glass in its windows. Light seems to always be glowing and dancing from the inside and a steady stream of sweet smelling smoke wafts from the chimney.

The Keeper’s Flame Inn has four rooms for rent on a nightly (1gp/Night) and weekly (5gp/Week) basis. Each of the four rooms can sleep three people (2 narrow beds per room and the floor) and comes with fresh clean linens and water pitcher (salt water) and bowl for cleaning. The inn has a common room that serves as a general dining room for guests and as a local tavern for locals.

The innkeeper of The Keeper’s Flame Inn is Bryn Brightloch, a short stocky woman with flame red hair. There are two serving maids who double as housekeepers (Lynne and Gherd) and a stable boy named Yusin who shares Bryn’s hair.

Bryn Brightloch(Thf3): HD 3d4hp; HP 8; AC 7[12]; Atk1 dagger (1d4); Move 12; Save 13; AL N; CL/XP 3/60; Special When attacking from behind and with surprise gains +4 to to-hit roll and inflicts double damage.

Gherd, Lynne and Yusin (Normal Humans): HD 1d6hp; HP 6, 4,5; AC 9[10]; Atk 1 dagger (1d4); Move 12; Save 18; AL N;CL/XP B/10; Special: None.

Bryn keeps a lockbox behind the bard that contains 100gp. The lockbox is trapped and and will release a crossbow bolt that deal 1d4+1 dmg and is tipped in poison.

I-4. The Apothecary
A short, squat building with a tiled roof and leaning stone chimney, that spews smoke of different sweet smells and colors at almost all times. A simple wooden sign is nailed to a post outside the small building:

“Apothecary: No love potions, aphrodisiacs or youth serums.”

The Apothecary is a one room building with a dirt floor and no windows. Nearly every inch has been taken up with shelves full of vials and bottles or by hanging herbs and other plants.

The players can buy herb, alchemical and natural supplies from the Apothecary, and can sometimes find a small selection of healing droughts (2 in 6 chance). The owner of The Apothecary can also identify any magical items or scrolls the players have found.

The owner of The Apothecary is Torbise Mantlechain, an older man with a bald head and a long yellowing beard from years of chewing pipeweed. Torbise is a cankerous old man who hates to be disturbed for “nonsense reasons”. 

Torbise Mantelchain(MU3): HD 3d4hp; HP 6; AC 7[12]; Atk1 magical dagger (1d4+1); Move 12; Save 13; AL L; CL/XP 4/120; Special Can cast spells equal to a third level Magic-User.

Torbise’s desk has a number of small gems and a large crystal ball. The gems have a total value of 250gp, the crystal ball can not be move and is held in place by magic. One of the games on the table is a gem of true sight which can see through all magical enchantments.

I-6. Blacksmith
A small two-storey stone and wood building with an attached side house. The stones are nearly blackened by smoke and the smell of o-zone is strong and sharp in the air around the place. An old anvil sits next to a split door on the side house, a simple sandwich board sign on top of the anvil reads “smith”.

The Blacksmith’s shop and work area are located in the building’s side house. The side house is a large one room, open ceilinged building with a dirt floor and giant double door that leading out toward the fjord. A third door in the blacksmith’s shop leads to the house proper but this is always locked (thief skill – 4 to unlock).

The house proper has two large rooms on the first floor and three smaller sleeping quarters on the second. Total amount of valuables in the house proper is between 250 – 1,000 gp.

The Blacksmith is Logi Fugl, a young, thickly muscled woman with long, braided golden-blond hair and iced-blue eyes. She speaks with a heavy, lilting accenting making it obvious that she is not originally from Innsfjord.

Besides Logi is her apprentice a young local boy named Fourd with a bad leg. He is young, but his build suggests a life of hard work.

Logi Fugl & Fourd (Normal Humans): HD 2d6hp, 1d6hp; HP 9, 4; AC 9[10]; Atk 1 forge hammer (1d4),dagger (1d4); Move 12; Save 18; AL N;CL/XP B/10; Special: None.

Most of what Logi creates in her forge is for use by the fishermen of the town or their wives. She can forge weapons and armor but on a strictly “made for order” basis as they have little use for such things in the village.

A wrought iron chest hidden under a pile of old leather aprons and gloves contain a set of +1 chainmail and a kite shield.

I-8. The Docks
Four small wooden docks stretch out from the edge of town over the icy waters of the fjord. Six to twelve (depending on the day and time) boats are tied to the docks, bobbing up and down in time with the mild movements of the ancient waters.

The docks are the very edge of the village and depending on the time of day are either extremely busy or nearly dead. The dead fish smell is strongest at the docks, but most of the people found there will rarely notice.

Fishermen (4-20) (Normal Humans): HD 1d6hp; AC 9[10]; Atk 1 dagger (1d4); Move 12; Save 18; AL N;CL/XP B/10; Special: None.

Smugglers (2-6) (Thf-1): HD 1d4hp; HP 2, 1, 3, 4, 4, 3; AC 7[12]; Atk 1 dagger (1d4); Move 12; Save 13; AL N; CL/XP 1/15; Special When attacking from behind and with surprise gains +4 to to-hit roll and inflicts double damage.

The majority of the docks - and the boats on it - are  filled with fish or fishing equipment, however, there is the rare chance of a smuggler’s crate, the value of the items in the crate are the discretion of the Referee.

I-9. Temple of Balance
One of the largest stone structures in the village, the Temple of Balance is very obviously a place of worship, if not a seldom used one. The building itself is immaculately clean and smells – somehow – of lavender. Three large fireplaces and several braziers light the interior of the building, yet no smoke scaring can be seen. 

The Temple of Balance is a place of worship as well as the general meeting hall for the village of Innsfjord. The priests of the Temple worship the Gods of Neutrality but do not bar the worship of either Law or Chaos within their walls. Their only caveat to this is that no violence should ever grace the Temple.

The Temple is overseen by Cleric Ghitsy Honorbond, an older man with a balding head of sandy blonde hair and muddy brown eyes. He is attended by two Ardents; Yuesf and Emila.

Ghitsy Honorbond (Clr4): HD 4d6hp; HP 20; AC 4[15]; Atk 1 mace (1d6); Move 12; Save 12; AL L; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Spells (2/1), +2 save vs. paralysis and poison, turn undead. Spells: Cure light wounds x2, speak with animals.

Yuesf & Emila (Normal Humans): HD 1d6hp; HP 6, 4; AC 9[10]; Atk 1 dagger (1d4), frying pan (1d4); Move 12; Save 18; AL N;CL/XP B/10; Special: None.

Quick note: Dracolich!

Back during the 30 day challenge I mentioned that my favorite undead was a dracolich and it seems that WotC either heard me or it is just a coincidence, because today they released "Vault of the Dracolich" over at the various onebookshelf sites.

From Drivethrurpg

Deep in the forest of Cormanthor lies the hoard of the dracolich Dretchroyaster, the prize of which is a diamond staff rumored to unlock the secrets of an ancient elven kingdom. The sage Imani is seeking dozens of adventurers to launch an all-out assault on the undead dragon's lair. The dracolich is a powerful foe - too great for even several parties to conquer - so it's going to take all of the heroes' courage, cunning, and speed to survive the dracolich's deadly vault.
"Vault of the Dracolich" is a Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game adventure designed for the June 2013 D&D Game Day. The challenge draws inspiration from the interactive format used at some gaming conventions.

As far as I know this is the first commercially released 5e product (there is a Murder in Bladur's Gate but that is different) and would seem to be aimed at the folks with the Next playtest kits.

I will say the fact that it is now labelled as fifth edition (5e) saddens me a little as I liked the unnumbered "next".

Over a drivethru, pick it up: Vault of the Dracolich.

Pseudo-Review: Inn of Lost Heroes

At the risk of losing anyone who may play my horror adventure "Lights over Innfjord" I need to say go buy "Inn of Lost Heroes" from Small Niche Games. Why? I'll get to that during review.

Inn of Lost Heroes is a low level adventure meant for Labrynith Lord,but is easily converted to any OSR system of the the world's greatest game. The advetnure should be able to be handled in one night and is rather heavy on puzzles and investigation. What battles there are or could exist are rather harrowing in their hardness (my test NPC group after converting to S&W complete almost TPK'd). Whats more things don't always mean or work they way they should in certain areas of the adventure.

From RPGnow:

Everyone loves a good barroom brawl. But what happens when the fight gets out of hand and innocents are harmed? Witness the innkeeper's wife Evelyn Mortigan. When her entire family is killed in a fire caused by drunken adventurers, she utters a curse with her dying breath and returns to torment all those who would practice the adventuring trade. Can the characters escape her wrath, or will they be forever trapped in the Inn of Lost Heroes?
The Inn of Lost Heroes is a Labyrinth LordTM adventure for 4-6 characters of 3rd through 5th level (about 15-20 levels total). This adventure was designed as a one-shot that can be dropped into any existing campaign. The party should ideally contain at least one fighter or dwarf, one magic-user or elf, one cleric, and one thief or halfling character. The adventure centers around an inn that has become trapped in the nightmares of a vengeful spirit. Escaping the inn is the primary goal of this adventure, however, resourceful characters may also find the courage to free the trapped souls of former adventurers and finally lay the spirit to rest.
 The first thing that I need to put out there for "Inn of Lost Heroes" is that it the story it tells and the way the world is presented will automatically bring up comparison with the survival horror franchise "Silent Hill". Throughout the course of the adventure the players will be moving from different versions of the inn, all representing some aspect of the insanity (or representative of what caused the insanity) of the main antagonist.

The game itself is pretty simple, gather pieces of an object, put it together in the right spot, kill some things and hope everyone makes it out alive. What really sets the game apart is the presentation and the puzzles, non of which I will get into here for sake of spoilers.

The game is rich with NPCs, some pretty well fleshed out, others filling roles to move the plot forward. the juggling of the NPCs and the static events that they trigger can make things difficult for a Referee (Labyrinth Lord), but the information is provided in such a way that the person running the game has a lot of leeway to the when and how these play out (I would save Meeting the Explorers until after one Chamber and Harker Cornered after another to lend the adventure a survival horror cut-scene feel).

All in all a very cinematic adventure, one with a lot of potential story and atmosphere for a Halloween. It is, however, hampered by by that very cinematic nature and an ending that is too happy (should the players make a certain decision near the end). honestly though, these two points don't detract enough to make me say "don't play it!" I will however say, read up and plan before running it. And as the warning in the adventure and on the RPGnow page says:

Know your group! This adventure begins by trapping the characters in an extraplanar dream world where some of the game mechanics they are accustomed to are slightly altered or do not work at all. It contains strong elements of horror as well as thematic material that may be disturbing to some. Common horror tropes of isolation, injury, and "taking the toys away" are also present. This is not an adventure that can be overcome by combat alone. If you suspect your players would not have fun with this type of setup, you may want to pass on this module.
 "Inn of Lost Heroes" is available now at for $1.00. It is a special price so I don't know how long it will last!

Quick Note - What's in a name?

First a quick shout out to +Danny Prescott and +Theo Evans for the awesome work they did! Anyone out there gets the chance or needs some artists these guys are awesome! I hall be posting what they did for me later!

Now then, with a whole heaping of well wishing and possible support from the folks over at +RPG Design Network till debating with my wife on money guys!). I've decided to go ahead and compile and release all of my monsters and creatures from this blog and my adventures in a single digital (and maybe POD) tome. The proposed name is:

Cartographer Guild's Guide to the Creatures, Monsters and Oddities.

This collection will feature over 40 new monsters and creatures for OSR games, including a few that have not been seen before on this blog or in my adventures. I am hoping for a Spring of next year release of the collection (again due to the need to piecemeal the cost of hiring artists and such).

That is all I have for now and going forward.

As for today, I'll be working on "Lights Over Innfjord" when not cleaning or doing laundry!

I'm on a miss ... oooh shiny!

The biggest problem I have in any kind of game creation is in research. It isn't an issue of not being able to find what I want to find. Between the internet and my personal essentric library I have most of what I need. No the problem comes in the fact that I am really, really easy to distract.

For instance, tonight I was looking up information on Apothecarys for "Lights over Innsfjord". I found the information I needed and promptly ignored the adventure and read an article on apothecarys in Babylonian times and another on common herbal cures for morning sickness in 13th century France. I've just had to stop myself from moving to another article explaining why chemisists, doctors, pharmicists and midwives split away and became speciality fields.

Last night's monster entry on the Puca (which I really wanted to call Puck) ended up with me losing myself for three hours in Welsh folktales and then cross referencing those folk tales with Norman and Highland folktales.

This is the reason why nothing I ever do is ever done ontime. I tend to run into so many tangents that I get a bit lost in them and find it hard to make my way back.

[White Star] Race - Husk

  White Star Core edition – Military Campaign This race assumes a campaign structure that is primarily human-centric and takes cues from my ...