sexta-feira, 19 de julho de 2019

Continuing with the "Old Man on the porch"

This here is a continuation of my last post give it a look for some context and the same content warnings apply here too

So You've heard of the old man and now you want to meet him, taste his power, madness and rage. for that you must walk to his porch.

His home lies hidden in the old woods, not the lord's woods, neither the woods where hunters and loggers go to get their feed or where brigands and witches meet for their schemes. No the Old Man lives where the mad scream until their throats bleed, the woods where children dare each other to spend a night in and never come back, where impossible lovers make their last vows and take each other's life. These are the woods where the elderly and sick march into without telling anyone, and no one comes looking.

The trees are tall and the canopy thick enough that it is always as dark as right before the night. The ground is overwhelmed by thick and knotted roots that make traversal slow and cumbersome the branches on trees seem always to be thick enough to hold the weight of a person. Other than the plants there is very little native animal life here, only the carrion eating birds and insects, but the deeper you go the less of them you see. The carrion they eat is normally a human body swaying with the wind, it's face forever locked in misery yet little to no marks of struggle*, Some times you find animal corpses, always jaunted and sickly looking and with a emptiness in their eyes.

While travelling into the woods one always feels watched, but there never seems to be a watcher to be found.

Walking down the woods is a bleak experience and very taxing, that is the Old man's price, he cares not for your gold, he wants your hope drained into hate, if you intend on having an audience with him your legs will move with the determination that comes with anger and frustration.  Else the forest will crush you under the millstone of melancholy.

Finding the Old Man's house

Look at the roots, learn to see where the corpses are pointing too. There are no trails in the woods and marking one is a pointless effort.

You will walk and every night you spend in the woods you will age (no save required). Try not to pay attention to the sorrowful whispers and push onward. You will find a clearing and at the center of this clearing there will be his cabin and on the porch, rocking with the gentleness of dementia will be the Old Man. Offer him cheap alcohol and tobacco, wait and listen to his whispers.

d12 encounters in the Old woods

1. an emaciated horse stumbles and dies.
2. your ration rots, eaten by sorrow bug grubs.
3. the sound of rope tightening, gagging, you find a fresh corpse.
4. a small altar, it's idol profane. Two dead bodies, daggers in each others' heart.
5. screams of madness that follow the party, the screamer is never found.
6. a Noose devil flies up above, it picked up the scent of one party member.
7. a wheelchair bound priest pushed by a tall and dark figure he smells of dust and may give. directions to the Cabin or the Black Chapel, he isn't so sure.
8. prepared spells are wasted.
9. a cemetery, if the graves are dug they are all empty and smell of sulfur.
10. A bottle of cachaça, still full harsh tasting, inside it there is a rusted key.
11. Ruined building, seemed to be an asylum, papers eaten by termites and all signs faded.
12. The black chapel flies up above.

*searching the bodies found in the wood will always produce a suicide note in addition to whatever else rolled.

- A very Bleak place to add to your world, have fun.

- Soon a bestiary

-And an explanation on the Chapel

segunda-feira, 15 de julho de 2019

Transforming one of my favorite bands into a spell Patron/Encounter

*Content Warning: Suicide, Melancholy*

Velho is one of the greatest bands you (probably) never heard. They're a Brazillian Black Metal band that sings about occultism, misanthropy and satanism and the best part, it's all in Portuguese!

But this here isn't a blog about bands from my local scene, and I've had this idea in the back of my mind since I read Esoteric Enterprises. For those that haven't had the chance of taking a look at this game Instead of a cleric class you can Play as a mystic, who's basically a cultist for a minor/occult being from saints to the blackness of space. On top of that the system for creation new patrons is fairly simple and interesting. Basically you have a list of 8 spells, the first one is always the same and you later unlock random spells from the list per level.

In this article I'll create a new patron that can be added to your games as well as some spells based on the bands' lyrics.

New Patron: O Velho na Soleira (The Old man on the porch)
The Lord of decrepitude and dementia. The creaking floorboards discolored by dust and lost time. You hear his voice as the rambling of the mad war veteran whose taken to begging on the streets. You can find his messages scribed in the slurry behind the family diner that has fallen to disrepair. He is the rage of the old man whose body can't help but buck under the weight of the years while his mind is still sharp. The despair that doesn't allow you to get of bed before noon. The Old man is there, his dead skin dry and dusty, his hair ever growing the mirror that reminds us all that time is the apex predator and time itself will be devoured by entropy.

Walk to his porch, kneel by his feet and listen to what he whispers.


1. Mais um ano esfria (Another year gets colder)
Range: Touch
Duration: forever
When the target is touched he must save vs. Spells or age 1d6 years/caster level. usually when a character ages he gets to take a save and see if they mitigate attribute loss, when targeted by this spell count those saves as failures or critical failures if your system uses them. This spell can also be cast against inanimate and non-living objects.

2. Vida Longa ao Primitivo (long live the primitve)
R: Touch
D: 1 turn/ caster level
Many spells are created to "uplift" creatures, this one throws the target into the opposite end of this spectrum. For the duration of the spell the target becomes a bestial version of themselves, ruled by desire filtered by rage for everything that reminds them that this is not what they are. They now attack as a fighter of the same level while also adding their strength modifier and level to their damage and attack rolls. After the spell is done the target is usually taken over by fits of sobbing and shivering as they are still able to remember all that they have done and said while under the old man's grasp.

3. Decrepitude e Sabedoria  (Decrepitude and knowledge)
R: Caster
D: 1 turn/Caster level
The caster becomes a Wretched little old thing. Their body twists into a shape so pathetic that they are usually ignored by those around them (add their level to their stealth score, but their movement becomes the slowest possible.) but with age also comes Wisdom. While under this spell they gain a bonus to any test they'd make to gleam forbidden/forgotten knowledge  about their current location.

4. Uma trilha sem pegadas (Unmarked Trail)
R: 20 feet
D: 1 day/ Level
Grind the bones of an undead creature and spread it while walking through a secondary path (so no main roads or avenues) those under the spell's radius won't leave tracks until the spell wears off.

5. Perto dos portais da loucura  (Near the gates of madness)
R: 30 feet
D: Instant
Take an old key that you've forgotten what it opens and take it to any surface, there will be a lock there. Turn the key and now all that are inside the spell's area of effect will see in the edge of their sight and hear at the edge of their hearing the things that lie beyond the threshold of sanity. All Save Vs. Magic every round if failed the character is stunned and can't make sense of what is happening around them fro the duration of the round. critical failure the character goes stark-raving mad as they manage to see that which lies beyond. Success the character may act and have a bonus to their rolls as they can glean insight from the maddening whispers. A critical success the character may ask a Question to the mad choir. after one character is able to ask a question the madness will not answer any other question with coherence. The spell lasts while the key is held by the caster.

6. Funeral Magiko (Magick Funeral)
R: Touch
D: Instant
This spell must be cast on a fresh corpse or on someone who's about to die. After a proper burial ritual that body is physically taken to hell. It is a way of bringing someone back to life, but they must find a way out of hell. If the target had sold their soul o a Demon/Devil the caster just made a powerful enemy. Targets to this spell need at least their torso and head intact, the rest of the body can be found after the plunge into hell as the extremities don't hold much of the soul.

7. Coma Induzido (Induced Coma)
R: Caster or Touch
D: 1 week/ Level
When cast the target fall into a deep and dreamless coma, they don't require food and also minimal air. If not thoroughly inspected they seem to be dead. Unless dispelled the coma only ends after the spell's duration is over.

8. Sob o maldito verão do Sul  (Under the Damned Summer of the South)
R: 100 feet
D: 1 round / Level + level
the target must save vs. breath weapon every round as they are taken over by a dank and creeping heat. If they fail their save every round is spent getting rid of their layers of clothing and equipment, characters in plate always fail their first save. After getting naked, if the spell is still going on the characters are overcome in grief and melancholy as they are powerless against the heat, they keep on saving or else they begin to strip their bodies to the bone.

Notes/ Thoughts:

-If you are using a miscast table for your magic system members of this cult age the amount rolled on the dice as well as the miscast.

-These are the spells that the old man teach to those that come to him, characters should be able to use more spells from other sources so to allow for interesting combinations

-Always remember to check with your players if they are okay with you tackling themes of mental illness in your games.

-More things on the old man coming soon...

terça-feira, 1 de janeiro de 2019

Drawings I made in the OSR games I played last year (NSFW, I think? here be genitals)

In the last months of 2018 I decided to throw myself into the OSR with a little more presence. After a no-show on my home game I went and joined the Discord and made this blog. After joining the Discord I began really to feel as a part of the community, which  before I felt like I was only watching the conversation, and not contributing much, now I am interacting, taking part on projects, and learning a lot more than I did before. Also it was the first time I played online games with people from all over the globe which has being very interesting.

Now onto the reason I'm doing this post

After I read This post I decided to share a bit more from my experience in this community. Most of the time I am running games rather than playing, so I end up having to juggle a bunch of things at once and  can't concentrate on doodling something while we play. But, when I am playing I try to always be drawing something: Either my character, or the party, some weird monster or some fun enconter. I also always encourage my players to produce art from the games, for I believe that's a great way of everyone getting on the same page to what teh characters look like and it's also fun as hell.


Pietr Dross, the drunk mercenary from: Carrion up the aeons

Gorinich intoduced me to "Into to the Odd", this is a party shot of the session, we played Maze of the Blue Medusa, but then the lights went out and we started calling it Veins of the Blues Medusa

This and the next Image are from a AWESOME holiday themed one-shot I played, using Into the Odd, the party is on the left and the naked old man was I guess (still not sure) santa

this was a cursed boy we found lost in the woods 

Taatcher from Wizard Lizard's Maze Rats game

Also from that Maze Rats game, the two buff horse headed aliens

Party shot from a Into the Odd game, we were playing Deep Carbon Observatory. Callis, at the center had just cut the hand off a man trying to steal our food (out of context session descriptions always seem wierd) the rest of the party (my character is the one cheering with the dog) show their varrying amusement

I hope you enjoyed my scribbles, they where really fun to make. See you soon.

sábado, 29 de dezembro de 2018

Setting building through Grammar - Collective nouns and Taxonomy I guess?

I have no idea how useful this can be but it has gotten itself stuck on my brain and now I'll write it down.

SO One of the way I think a world can get really tied together is through descriptions you give to your players. Expressions, common knowledge, etc. can help you as a GM create immersion on your players as well as setting the tone to your world. The way your players interact with your characters/setting depends a lot on how you describe it to them as well as enriching the cultural experience of the game.

That said, on to collective nouns:

I also HAD to use this image

A collective noun is not only a useful tool do describe a bunch of something in a more eloquent manner it also reveals the cultural lens in which that something is seen. For instance, describing a group of owls as a Parliament not only tells what you assume, culturally of owls, but also of parliaments.  So I'll go over a couple of nouns used to describe certain types of creatures and what that may mean in my current campaign world:

Ghouls (Court of) Cursed by hunger, but not by a lack of mind, ghouls have, or at least try to maintain, some sort of composure and humanity. This ended up with ghouls giving themselves or maintaining titles they held while human, usually tinted by their form of gallows humor, so it's not uncommon t have ghouls calling themselves Baron, Countess, Queens, etc. but different from human nobility titles ghouls tend to "rule" over more abstract concepts related to their current situation i.e.: The Countess of vermin, The Baron of kidneys, Duchess of offal. And courts don't necessarily mean that ghouls live in huge agglomerations or keeps, a ghoul "castle" and court could describe the 5 ghouls that are currently haunting the ruined manor nearby town. But don't take them as as savages, because even though their clothes and decoration are decayed and destroyed they will still entertain you as nobles would a visitor, especially if they have eaten recently.

Giants (Clan) while mostly solitary giants have social structures and hierarchies. Their bonds, however, are not formed exclusively by familial connections. Giant societies are formed by oaths, which can be inherited down generations. These structures also bleed out to giants relations with other beings. At least that's what most scholars agree to the reason of why giants tend to protect seemingly worthless or abandoned constructions.

Trolls (Family) Different from giants trolls usually spend most of their lives inside their birth family, being fiercely loyal to their siblings and parents. Of course incest is rampant on most troll families which also tend to make trolls very distinct from region to region. 

Zombies (Wave, Horde, Storm) Given their brainlessness and relentlessness the mindless dead are seen mostly as a natural occurrence. Waves are described to crash, or pass over a village/town/city/country.

Golems (Company) Golems are beings born out of pragmatism, automation and function, they exist for a work and they act as such. If they could speak they'd describe themselves as such as well.

Kobolds (with a dragon: Brood, Without a dragon: Nuisance) Without a being to worship and bathe on the magical radiation kobold are little more than leathery hairless evil dogs. Tying knots on horse's manes, destroying kitchens, basically being a nuisance. Now, when they find something bigger than themselves they change, they get smarter, start planning and stop being a nuisance, start calling themselves after their living deity and get as proud as the dragons that they serve.

Harpies (Parliament) A Scholar once wrote: "After the kings went back to their thrones a purge of what they called 'peasant works' happened and new bestiaries were commissioned to the universities that were still standing, usually the author was of noble birth, or the writing was supervised by a noble. I shouldn't surprise anyone that they decided to use the government type most common in the large free cities to describe a group of screeching carrion feeders."

Puddings (Bloat) Nobody can be sure, but most thinkers believe that all puddings are part of the same pudding that broke off into smaller chunks. So when you get two puddings together they form a bigger pudding (their color doesn't affect this). After getting large enough a bloat will start making it's way around the world, eating everything in sight and finding other bloats, sometime smaller pudding break off along the way and the cycle continues.


I guess this will be the last post of the year! Have a Great passage and I hope you are enjoying whatever it is that I am doing here ! :) 

terça-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2018

Ramblings on Hitpoints and thinking the other atributes of the character sheet as modifiers

"Combat is messy."
                      -James Young, 2018

After reading the linked article I got myself thinking on combat, more importantly: Hitpoints.
When I run my games I go to the "Don't get hit points" line of thinking, that is: getting to zero HP doesn't mean death, uncounciouness or whatever, it means your character has become open to FUN and JOY.

See? Character development!
Source: LotFP

So HP ends up being an abstraction of your character's readiness in combat, how they react and deal with the chaos of violence, in other words HP is a measure of the character's attetion/adrenaline/fight-or-flight response. If so, then why only the CON modifier is added to your total hitpoints?

Combat is a messy ordeal, so are other adventuring hazards and they change your character's reactions to the world. That's why catching a breather is so vital and also that's why PC's are willing to break out a fire and eat something in the middle of an expedition to some forgotten hole. They need to get their shit together. And ny getting their shit together I mean their whole shit not only their physical hardiness.

Enough rambling, on with the crunch:
The system:

When rolling your HP instead of adding only your CON modifier add ALL your abilities modifiers and then roll the character's HD.
Now the hit points act as a clearer translation of the character's abilities, maybe the fighter is a hardy fellow and has litle problem chugging massives quantities of booze and even some poisons, but the light upstairs is a little dim and he ends up not being so good at getting out of harm's way. Meanwhile the scrawny magic-user has a domeneering presence which makes her enemies flinch ever so sightly when aiming at her, and so on and so forth.

sábado, 1 de dezembro de 2018

Bonus XP for killing monsters and getting dressed with their skin so you can frighten their young

I Love the money=XP system usually used in OSR games I also love systems like carousing, as they give the right flavour I tend to go for in my games: The characters aren't heroes, they are mostly the brigands we get to see the whole story unfold. And as such I think these stories should add mechanically to the character's growth as well as being a system that facilitates more play. But I hate just giving out XP after the players just kill something.

You mean your players don't keep the ears of the elves they kill?
Source: LotFP

"So, you said you killed the beast of Braun Manor? Can ya prove it?"

I like to assume that when my players are carousing they are probabbly sharing the tales of their past adventures with the local scum, and that's part of the abstraction that the money they are spending in their revelry is adding to their experience. They are showing off and paintign themselves as better than they really are, that's why next time they venture out they get to hire better suited people for the job.

But boasting and bragging can only get you so far, maybe the local scum will want you to prove that you really felled the dragon that was pestering the farmers down south, and those scars aren't cutting it.

So what will it be mr. adventurer?

You belive that the orcs are dead now?
Source: RDR2

The system itself or "I am a murderhobo, you can tell me by the way I walk"

Killing a monster and taking a trophy from the kill will net you HDx25XP, maybe more if your DM feels like it. Thing is, this XP is only with you if you are carring the trophy in a way that it's showing it off. And if someone else decides that fashion statement would be better suited to them, well the regular brigands just gained a form of Level Drain. 

But Wait there's more!

Everybody back in town knew the random schumck that was walking around town wearing the orc cheiftan's face as mask, and word will certainly get around, but now, now some other random schumck is walking around with the orc's head and people around other parts don't know your face, they just know your name and your quirky sense of style and that's great for the assassin that just stole your "identity" as he can frame you for his next crime.  And now your players have all the more insentive to go after whoever stole their trophy.

Maybe instead of just bailing out the badly payed and mistreated hirelings steal the giant's head that the party was going to gift the baron to try and get some favours
Also, you added a element of inventory management to XP.

I'd also give them a bonus/penalty on reaction rolls based on what treasure they lug around. Other Orcs could now be more hesitant to attack since you killed that famous chieftain.
Maybe it's now easier to hire hireligns in the region, since you are the one responsible fro killing the beast that was attackign the farmes/caravans.

Scaling things up or "the manticore pelt rug really tied the room together"

Source: Oglaf (NSFW)

Sooner or later your Players will find someplace to call home, It could be a keep, a manor, a ship or even tehir very own circus caraven. Maybe they'll need a place to put down all those goblin heads as showing off the same five old rotten heads everywhere they go is getting pretty old, or caring around a hydra's head is a little impratical. They should have a place to keep their trophies relatively safe. They should have a trophy room.

Source: Bizarro

Basically give them some place to store their trophies, make them carry around that giant piece of beast while in a weakened state and after they arrive in town let them celebrate their victory and add the XP for the kill after it is paraded around and stored back home. Going to the dungeon is a logistics challenge, clearing it and coming back are also part of this challange and now, you can add another layer to it as well as giving your players some more presence in the world. 

sábado, 24 de novembro de 2018

The Tale of the Trolls from Tenenbaumn swamp

"Just another rainy summer night at the  Drunken Rat Tavern, all kinds of Scum doing what they do best after a sucsseful expedition: drinking, gambling, partying, the usual merrymaking. but not you and your posse, the usual spots where dry today, someone better came around the thieves guild and got the jump on the abbandoned manor you heard about. The wizard is seated across from you on the table, already drunk out of his mind, the elf went down to the cockfighting ring with the gnome to try and win some cash, at the very least enough to pay for tonight's tab and lodging. 
Your luck, though, seems to have changed as a man wearing well cut and dry clothing walks into the tavern, he seems to be trying to blend in but he never really came to place like this before, you beckon him to your table and he grins while eyeing you up and down, like a horse in the stables. "

Since this is my first time posting I've decided to start things up with a one-shot/short adventure you can run in one night/throw at your players when the game seems to be lagging a bit. The Idea to this adventure came from an image I first saw in the Old world bestiary for WHFRP second edition:

If someone knows the exact source of thi image, please send it to me so I can better credit the artist

So, let's get on with the adventure:

The group is to be approaced by a agent of the local lord and he's looking for a group of nobodies to get a job done, he promises that you'll have no glory but he will pay double the rate, and who knows, if it all works out there'll be more work down your way.

The Job:
   The lord's fifth son, without much porspects of land or power decided to fashion himself as a knight and to prove his knightly valor he promised to bring the head of the dreaded Troll Brothers of Tenenbaumn swamp to a possible spouse, and that he would do that alone. The word of a knight, you see, is what binds. Thing is, he mostly read chivalry books and is way over his head when it comes to the subject of fighting.

This is where you come in.

Tenenbaumn swamp is a days travel from here, your group is to be hired as guides to the young lord. The agent will pay half in advance, for suplies and he'll also give you a vial with a powerful hallucinogenic drug, very hard to come by, very expensive, but there's only one dose, it isn't the smartest thing to try and sell it around these parts, he'll know. You are to drug the knight, hide him somewhere safe and deal with the trolls and bring back their heads.

"but" I hear you ask "won't the knight know that he didin't kill the Trolls?"
Well, probably, let's hope he gets some vivid dreams in his drugged up haze and will belive that he alone murdered the terrible Troll brothers.

How can you twist it:

All fair and good, a "simple" job, with good pay, a little too simple you may say, some people like it simple, but we can always spice things up:

Some ideas:

 Regardless of how you further change things up I'd run Tenebaumn swamps using something like Meandering banter's Microdungeon (coming soon a version made to run this adventure, hopefully)

 -Maybe the knight is really invested in his quest, and sworn an oath to fast until he kills the Trolls.

 -Whoever sold the Drug to the agent sold him the wrong one (maybe for fun, profit, both) and now the knight is battle horny and full of Berserker juice, the worst part Berserker juice only makes you think you can take on the Trolls, he's still a terrible fighter, now you need to hold back the knight and take care of the Trolls.

 -You cut off something else's head and makes it look like a Troll.

 - Make a pact with a Hag/Pixies/Goblins/rival knights/suitors for fun and profit.

 -Bringing the heads of Trolls to a palace is a Really bad idea (depends on how you like your Trolls, but still)


Troll Brothers of Tenenbaumn swamp: 
 This profile is assuming you will be using something like LotFP:
HD: 6+3 AC: 14 (thick/warty/smelly/disgusting/slimy skin) Attacks: 2+1 (2 claws [d6 each] and once every d6 rounds he can spit acid: 1d8 save Vs. Breath to take half, get out of the way with a 20) 
The Trolls acid is pretty, corrosive, even to itself, maybe if someone is able to Gore on of the Trolls they'd also need to save of get damaged by the spray of acid that would fly out of it's belly. (PCs' manouvering the somewhat dumb trolls so they can spray acid onto each other is a feature not a bug)

But maybe you'd like to try some other system like the great SBVD I'd use a profile a little like this:
 Mv.: 120' (40')
 WS.: 9
 BS.: 3 (Trolls are kinda clumsy but when they are spitting I'd use BS 9)
 Att.: 3 (Claws/Bite/ Spitting acid every other turn)
 SV.: F6
 AC.: 4
 Mrl.: 10 (8 when on fire/ acid)

Special Rule: (I guess this applies to both) Trolls are perpetually hungryand eat anything in front of them, especially when they are in a stressfull situation, so, Whenever something dies close to them, they must save or start eating it, if there is nothing to eat they'll even eat stones, each other, or even themselves. Also depending on how you take your swamps/swampdwellers (and I take mine Disgusting) I'd add a save when getting to the Trolls' lair given the smell.

Drugs: Here I'll be using these great rules to cover the drugs

Sandman's slobber: a Thick and transparent liquid, very sweet in taste and very rare. When used the user goes into a deep dreaming state (save vs. magic on a 20 the dream is Lucid, come back with a temporary spell slot and a random spell prepared) Downside: you stay out cold of at least 12 hours
Tolerance: -4 Tolerance effect: you can only dream while on the slobber, need to save to go to sleep (penalty equal to your tolerance) Usual retail price: 1000 SP/dose

Berserker Juice: Looks like a old and mould strawberry jam, tastes metalic. Upside: You are immune to mind altering effects, as you are in a deep blind rage Downside: you are in a deep blind rage, you do nothing but attack, or try to attack everything around you, the DM rolls all your combat dice and describes to you what you think is happening Duration: 1d3 Minutes Tolerance: +1 Tolerance effect: whenever you're off the juice you just don't feel like doing anything, penalty equal to your tolerance on all rolls.

Hope you find this post useful/fun/interesting any commentary/ criticism is welcome :)