Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Prentice's Aspiration: Beorning

So, couldn't go see Desolation of Smaug due to "Dan is brokeitis". Instead, I've been rereading the book, and thought I'd take a stab at converting my favorite character into a class.


Tracing their lineage back to the northmen who crossed the great mountains, the Beorning are a warriors who have learned to skin-change, taking the form of great bears in battle. This Bearskin form is usable a number of times per day equal to twice the character's level, and lasts 3 turns (or until dispelled).  Due to their dual nature, Beorning are able to adopt the languages of animals, learning one dialect per creature type (Wolf, Dog, Horse, etc) per point of wisdom over 9.

At third level, a Beorning may attract special followers alongside to those commonly hired on. These followers are highly intelligent or magical animals, often understanding the language of men or elves.

While the majority of Beorning are human, dwarves will occasionally take on the training.  Elves consider the life of a bear beneath them, and halflings are far too concerned with tea and comfort to accept the trials and training required.

Bear Form
Attacks2 Claw + 1 Bite
*The PC's HP are replaced by the rolled value. Should the Bear form be reduced to 0 HP, the PC is returned to human form and suffers 1d6+1 damage.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Odd Encounter: Sellachocta

So, I recently discovered Into the Odd, a lightweight OD&D homage with a focus on quick entry into a Dark Sci-Fantasy setting. Absolutely love it, and thought I'd convert one of my favorite new bad monster movie monsters over.


Amphibious predators that have recently infested the sewers of Bastion.
Slithering behemoths, these 6 meter long abominations resemble a mottled
shark, its tail replaced by undulating tentacles that composed two-thirds
of the thing's bulk. Ambush predators, the Sellachocta often lunge from
their murky habitats to seize prey in their jaws (2d6 damage). In lieue
of this, the Sellachocta will use its tentacles to try and snare potential
prey (1d4 damage). On Critical Damage, the target is captured and crushed
by the Sellachocta's tentacles, inflicting 1d6 Strength damage until the
tentacle is severed (2 points of damage or more).

Rumors exist of a variant species of Sellachocta, one able to manipulate the
texture and color of its hide. No such specimens have yet been found in
the sewers of Bastion. But then, such abilities would make the beasts
nigh impossible to detect...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Prentice's Aspiration: The Humble Lords

Once brothers of the Compass League, the Humble Lords are merchants and members of Nobility that have forsworn the Compass League's avaricious ways for (in their eyes) a more worthwhile pursuit. Known by the living badges of pine and holly they wear on their breast, the Humble Lords have pledged to spread comfort and cheer; all the while working to undermine the Compass League's more sinister operations.Aside from their badge of office, the Humble Lords typically carry a sack laden with Merryhearth Logs, packets of food and medicinal herbs, and often small trinkets for children. Additionally, The Humble Lords often carry staffs and clubs of the strange wood Merryhearth logs are crafted from.

Entry into the brotherhood of the Humble Lords is open to all, though few have the dedication to pursue the path. Aspirants must first fall under the notice of an established Lord, often for some act of altruistic generosity or defense of the weak. The Aspirant is considered, approached, and offered an apprenticeship. The Humble Lord will then travel with his new ward, continuing to study the aspirant even as they are taught the most basic tenets of the Humble Lords.

Those few that pass muster are granted a sprig of their Patron Lord's badge, and welcomed as a Humble Lord, taught the locations of Merryhearth homes, safe havens for the Humble Lords and their allies.  From that point on, the new Lord is expected to give freely, both wealth and deed. Those with magical aptitude are further educated in the means of crafting the various baubles and trinkets that all Humble Lords carry.

Treasures of the Humble Lords

Merryhearth Logs: Grown by the first Humble Lord, Merryhearth wood is a creation of magical botany.  Slender and pale, clad in a rich dark bark, the Merryhearth wood produces a thin, pale smoke spiced with strange natural incenses.  Those who smell the incense are inspired to put aside grudge and blade, requiring them to Save vs Breath Weapon at a -2 penalty to initiate hostilities. This effect lasts until the Merryweather log burns out, typically an hour per log. Merryhearth Homes tend to be formed of the same wood, inspiring a sense of comfort and fellowship within its halls, though the penalty to attack is absent.

Pauper's Feast: A simple wooden bowl, covered with a red cloth.  The Pauper's Feast is a steaming wonder that pours out enough stew to fill the bellies of a dozen people, or to curb the worst pangs  of two dozen. The Pauper's Feast's only failing is in the magics used to craft it. The stew, magical in its nature, will only keep for a day, after which it becomes a spoiled mess unfit to eat.

Winterlight: Unassuming packets of folded paper sealed with a red wax. When cast into a fire, Winterlight packets explode into a harmless, dazzling sparkle of multicolored lights.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Prentice's Foe: Basilisk Wren

Note: Just a critter this time, inspired by the wonderful art found over at RPG Creatures and Monsters by Email. Go check 'em out.

Gharlakan (Basilisk Wren)

Attacks1 swipe
1 peck

These subterranean abominations infest the cavernous realms below, calling tunnel and cave alike home. Roughly the size of a man's fist, the Gharlakan are the bane of dwarf and delver alike.

Lairing in crevasses scratched into stone, Gharlaken nests can be identified by a blue-white phosphorescence, an artifact of the glowing moss which grows on the Gharlakan's leathery hides. When disturbed, 1d10 Gharlakan swarm forth, attacking with the spined ends of their whip-like tails and a more insidious venom.

This venom, delivered by the nib-like beak, hardens flesh, leaving it a strong, dead stone. When pecked, the victim must save vs paralysis or suffer a point of damage to their dexterity as skin hardens and loses its pliability.  If dexterity is reduced to zero, the victim is transformed wholly, leaving behind a statue locked in a rictus of pain and fear. It is these statues that give the Gharlakan its common name.

1D6 rumors
  1. Among certain dwarven cultures, the Gharlakan's venom is part of holy rite, ritual scarification in which intricate patterns of stone are worked onto the dwarf's body. The artful application and minute quantities used inflict a no penalty if performed properly.
  2. Gharlakan are an experiment in eradicating Stirges. It didn't work
  3. The statues are not truly dead, and the victims remain aware of what is going on around them.
  4. Gharlakan tastes like chicken
  5. The court of the Crimson Emperor employs a nest of Gharlakan as part of its torture.
  6. There are rumors of rare albino Gharlakan that transform flesh to gems or precious metals. These are surely myths, but then, the dwarven princess does sport a rather fetching silver tattoo.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Shift[and General Sundry]

Not dead, just bogged down with school work. A Revival at my church has kept me busy, as well, since I transcribe the sermons for a deaf gentleman while my brother preaches.

Nothing done on the gaming front, really, though I've got a few ideas I'm chewing on. The truth is, I've been playing more board games than anything. The D&D Next playtest I'm in has stuttered to a halt, and it's just easier to set up Tokaido, or Smash Up! than it is to try and round up a group.

I've been getting ideas from Risus though, so there's that.

That's all for now,  more updates later.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Prentice's Origin: Avluela

It's no secret that I really enjoyed Robert Silverberg's Nightwings. Lots of evocative imagery, and to celebrate another reading through, I present a race that pays more than a little homage to the Flyers.


Slender, fragile humanoids, the Avluela were created ages ago. The end result of a vain cabal of sorcerers seeking to perfect the human form, the Avluela possess the power of flight. Both sexes are slender, standing some four and a half feet tall, while possessing little body fat. Upon their shoulders, delicate wings rest, withering and folding into hard nodules when not in use.

Hit Dice: 1d4
Restrictions: Avluela must have a Charisma of 10 or higher
Class Restrictions: Avluela may be Thieves or (if available) Bards.
Night Wings: The Avluela are capable of flight. However, breath of the living sun buffets the world by day, creating winds that, while undetectable to mortal folk, wreak havoc on the wings of the Avluela. Avluela attempting dayflight are buffeted cruelly, cast about before being dashed to the earth. When taking flight after the setting of the sun, the Avluela are agile, freespirited and beautiful in flight.  While airborne, the Avluela flit about at a rate of 50 per round.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Flying Solo: The Quiet Year

So I recently came into possession of a copy of The Quiet Year and got the chance to sit down and play it solo. While I'm not entirely sure I did everything right, I had a lot of fun playing. 

Read on after the jump to see how it went.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Prentice's Gear: Weapons of Dark Water

Dart Pistol
Rnage: As Dagger

These easily-concealed hand crossbows fire wickedly barbed, three-pronged darts. Often dipped in poison, even the mundane darts are a nuisance at best, remaining stuck in the target until removed. Removing a dart deals 1 point of damage.

Dreamlizard Pistol

This delicate weapon makes use of a live Glazier, or Dreamlizard, for its ammunition. When the trigger is pulled, a metal belt squeezes the lizard, causing it to belch out a cloud of noxious gas. The gas fills a diameter 10 space in front of the pistol. Victims caught in the gas must save vs poison or lose consciousness for 2 turns. While effective, the lizard within the pistol must be regularly cared for, allowed to rest and eat between uses. If neglected or used improperly, there is a 1 in 6 chance the lizard dies. This increases by 1 for each time the weapon is used  beyond the first between rests.

Eel Prod

A tube of water filled coral is fitted to the end of this spear, and from its end the head of a Thunder Eel protrudes.  This strange creature, when used to attack, produces a paralyzing electric shock. The victim of such an attack must make a successful save vs petrification or be rendered dazed and helpless for the rest of the round.

Sucker Whip

The Vampire Squid is a dangerous creature, its tendrils lined with several hollow quills that, upon grappling with a living creature, begin to drain the very life from it. More disturbing still, when separated from the host, the tentacles will live indefinitely, so long as they are regularly fed. The Sucker Whip consists of one such tentacle, its base housed in a narrow shell handle. Capable of reaching targets up to 8' from the wielder, on a successful hit the target is grappled, requiring a check of 3D6 versus the target's strength to break free. For every round held in the Sucker Whip's grasp, the target takes a point of damage.  The whip has an AC of 8 and 2 hit points, and can be severed with a successful attack, rendering the weapon useless.

A Prentice's Aspiration: Ecomancer


Prime Requisite: Wisdom
Hit Dice: 1D4
Restrictions: Ecomancers can wear cloth or eelhide (Leather) armor. They can wield Daggers, dart guns, and dreamlizard pistols.

Spells: Ecomancers tap into the life force of Mer itself, channeling that energy to amazing effect. Such power comes at a cost, however. Ecomancers begin play with a pool of Ecomantic Energy equal to their Constitution score. At every level thereafter, the pool increases by 1d4 points. When casting a spell, the Ecomancer rolls to determine the drain on their ecomantic pool. Any costi n excess of the pool's total results in direct hit point damage.

Due to the destruction of the Ecomantic College of Andorus, those born with Ecomantic gifts express their gifts in unusual ways.  At first level, an Ecomancer knows 1d6 spells, rolled on the table below. At each level thereafter, the Ecomancer must seek out lost lore or other Ecomancers to expand their repertoire.


1-2           Spells Costing 1d4 Ecomantic Energy

  1.     Charm Person
  2.     Cure Light Wounds
  3.     Dancing Lights
  4.     Daze
  5.     Detect Magic 
  6.     Detect Poison
  7.     Know Direction
  8.     Light
  9.     Magic Missile
  10.     Mending
  11.     Purify Food and Drink
  12.     Sleep

3.           Spells Costing 1d6 Ecomantic Energy

  1.     Detect Invisibility
  2.     Detect Thoughts
  3.     Invisibility
  4.     Knock
  5.     Levitate
  6.     Locate Object
  7.     Magic Mouth
  8.     Mirror Image
  9.     Phantasmal Force
  10.     Pyrotechnics
  11.     Speak with Animals
  12.     Web

4.           Spells Costing 1d8 Ecomantic Energy

  1.     Clairaudience
  2.     Clairvoyance
  3.     Cure (Cause Disease)
  4.     Darkvision
  5.     Haste
  6.     Hold Person,
  7.     Lightning Bolt,
  8.     Slow,
  9.     Suggestion,
  10.     Water Breathing

5.           Spells Costing1d12 Ecomantic Energy

  1.     Charm Monster
  2.     Confusion
  3.     Cure (Cause Wounds)
  4.     Fear
  5.     Hallucinatory Terrain
  6.     Ice Storm
  7.     Massmorph
  8.     Plant Growth
  9.     Speak with Plants
  10.     Wall of Fire
  11.     Wall of Ice
  12.     Wizard Eye

6.           Spells Costing 1d20 Ecomantic Energy

  1.     Animal Growth
  2.     Cloudkill
  3.     Control Weather
  4.     Hold Monster
  5.     Magic Jar
  6.     Move Earth
  7.     Move Water
  8.     Passwall
  9.     Project Image
  10.     Rock to Mud
  11.     Telekinesis
  12.     Wall of Stone

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Prentice's Foe: The Constrictus

The Constrictus

 HD: 11d8
AC:  2
Dexterity: 7
Move: 40 (swim 120)
Attacks:  4 Bites  or 2 claws
Damage:  4d6 per bite 2d6 pet claw
Alignment: Neutral
Treasure: 1

No one is certain where this nightmarish creature hails from. Never encountered in the wild, rumors guess at fantastic origins, of corrupt Ecomantic experiments performed to combine multiple lifeforms into the perfect predator. At present, only one Constrictus is truly known to exist,  as the pet and punishment of the pirate lord Bloth.  Over 20 feet long, the Constrictus' tough,leathery hide is covered by armored plates.  Within its titanic maw, four pharyngal jaws rest on stalks that extend up to eight feet away. In combat, the Constrictus  will attempt to bite the victim, drawing their prey into their maw. A successful strength check is required to break the hold of any mouth that has successfully bitten its target.

Driven only by blind hunger, the Constrictus cares nothing for treasure. However, the waterways that riddle the Maelstrom are ripe with piles of the thing's excrement, containing bits of the wealth in its supper's possession at the time of consumption.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Prentice's Origin: Monkey Bird

Monkey Bird

Whether the origin of these hybrid creatures lies in the natural realm, or that of Ecomancy, none can say. Raucous, inquisitive and sometimes selfish, the Monkey Birds themselves would rather spend their lives in comfort than in pondering history or the finer arts.
Hit Dice: Monkey Birds roll six sided dice when determining hit points.

Restrictions: Monkey Birds are invariable fighting men or thieves. Due to their odd frames, armor for Monkey Birds costs double that for humans and demihumans.

Wings: Though ponderous, an unarmored Monkey Bird is capable of flight. When aloft, the Monkey Bird can fly for 1d6 turns at a rate of 40 before requiring an hour's rest. Monkey Bird may carry up to 15 pounds per point of strength while flying.

So there you have it. Monkey Birds are a race from Pirates of Dark Water, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that ran in the 80s, one that I watched from a young age.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Prentice's Aspiration: The Witch

The Witch
Magic User Subclass

Requirements: Wis 13+
Restrictions: Cannot be lawful.

Charms:  At the cost of one of her spells cast per day, the Witch is capable of investing a spell into a trinket of some sort (A walnut shell, a knotted lock of hair, a forked twig, a clay tablet etc). This Charm may then be given to another. The Charm remains viable for a number of weeks equal to the Witch’s level, after which it becomes inert. Constructing a charm requires a special ritual performed in a place of power (a natural cauldron formed from a rotting stump that catches and holds the dew, a faerie circle, etc.).

Grimoire (Replaces Magic User spell list):

1st Level Spells:
  1.     Cure Light Wounds
  2.     Detect Magic
  3.     Faerie Fire
  4.     Light (R)
  5.     Locate
  6.     Predict Weather
  7.     Protection From Evil
  8.     Purify Food And Water
  9.      Remove Fear
  10.     Resist Cold

2nd Level Spells
  1.     Hold Person
  2.     Know Alignment
  3.     Obscure
  4.     Produce Fire
  5.     Resist Fire
  6.     Silence 15’ Radius
  7.     Snake Charm
  8.     Warp Wood or Metal

Curses: Potent spells used to humble and to punish, a witch’s curse is no small thing to trifle with. Unless otherwise noted, all Curses have a range of touch, and are permanent until dispelled. All victims are allowed a Save vs Spells to resist a curse, though only the strongest of will or purest of heart have true hope of succeeding. The invoking of a curse requires powerful, wild magic, magic that resists the call of mortals. Each time a curse is invoked, the Witch ages 1d10 years.

The Rose Tongue:
Bane of minstrels and tellers of tells, of those who hide the wicked thorns of intent behind flowery words.  The Rose Tongue curse lays a painful doom on the victim. A number of words equal to the Witch's level (either a short phrase or distinct restrictions) are specified. If spoken, the victim's tongue sprouts painful thorns, cutting their mouth and lips while inflicting 2 points of damage.

The Glutton’s Tomb:
Range: Special
To work this curse, the Witch must prepare some form of food, usually a treat or ripe fruit. Upon consumption, the victim must suffers a tremendous increase in girth, growing to some 400 pounds in weight.  Clothes rip, armor no longer fits, and the victim’s movement rate is halved. In combat, they attack as a 0 level character. Unless armor is custom fitted (an expensive process), the victim is treated as AC 10. Finally, a victim must consume double the normal amount of food for his race to remain healthy, and is unable to lose his excess weight until the curse is dispelled.

Ancestors’ Lament:
Under this bane, the dead look ill upon the victim.  Specters of parents, grandparents, or other lost loved ones haunt the victim’s every moment. Slights and insults both real and perceived are recalled and retold in a swirling cacophony. While under this curse, Magic Users must successfully save vs X to cast spells, while more martial adventurers suffer a -2 penalty to attacks.

Craftsman’s Sundering:
In vengeance’s heart, there is no room for beauty. In the hands of a man cursed by the Sundering, coins tarnish, swords rust, wood rots and stone cracks. Each time the cursed handles an item, they must save vs Spell at a -3 penalty.  If failed, the items they handle waste to uselessness. Even such simple things as food and clothing are not exempt.

The Endless Quest:
The Witch lays a task upon the victim when invoking this curse. Whenever the cursed strays from completing this task, they find the earth itself rebels against them.  Distances double when going against the quest, dungeons more labyrinthine.  The harder the victim strives to refuse the task at hand, the greater the distances become, the more befuddling the path.

The most well-known curse, though the rarest to see actual use. This potent curse transforms the victim into some small creature. Rat or bat or slimy toad. This change is in form only, for the victim retains all memory and modes of thought, in some cases (a roll of 1 on 1d6) the power of speech is maintained. Class abilities are lost, however, and the victim remains in her new form until the witch can be convinced to reverse it. Powerful miracles worked by a cleric are also known to undo the curse, and it is rumored that a kiss from an innocent also serves to undo the spell.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Places of Cadoren: Ostlen

Continuing my series on a Blueholme Campaign Setting. No map just yet, I'm terrible at mapping cities.

Ostlen (01.04)

A bustling city some 20,000 strong, Ostlen serves as home to over two-thirds the population of Cadoran. Nestled on a hilly island in the northwestern waters surrounding Cadoren, Ostlen remains the gateway to the young empire.

Officially, Ostlen is divided into four distinct districts. The Keep, Ostlen Proper, South Ostlen, and the Warehouse District.

The Keep: Situated on a rocky, promontory, The Keep district is the oldest portion of Ostlen, and from which the city takes its name. It was through the keep in past generations that those who would become the citizens of Ostlen were processed before being shipped to the mainland. Well patrolled and boasting few amenities, The Keep District is home to the barracks. One of the least expensive facilities in which to take lodging, the barracks offer rows of simple bunks. For a pittance, an individual may find lodging and a simple, but ample, meal. From the Keep District, visitors to Ostlen can clearly see Ironheim, the island prison that holds Ostlen's more dangerous criminals.

Ostlen Proper: Once farmland that supported Ostlen Keep,  Ostlen Proper is now home to the upper echelons of Ostlen society. Here, well-to-do merchants sell their wares in the shadow of the Council Hall, seat of Cadoren's government. Closer to the wall that surrounds Ostlen, however, conditions decline to what would be considered 'upper middle class' by modern standards.

South Ostlen: To the south of Ostlen Proper dwells the bulk of Ostlen's population. Here, like elsewhere in Ostlen, the guard are ever present, a reminder of Cadoren's violent past. several inns and quality merchants are to be found, and it is in South Ostlen's east wall that the Farmer's Gate resides, allowing the few outlying farms to ferry their goods to the Central Market which dominates the heart of South Ostlen.

Warehouse District: To the west of South Ostle, the Warehouse district broods under the watchful eye of the Keep. Bristling with docks, it is here that the bulk of Ostlen's goods are stored.

Shoretown: Though not recognized as an official district, Shoretown is a well known facet of Ostlen, a face that few wish to admit but none can deny. Huddling in the shadow of the wall to the south of the Warehouse District.  Shoretown is home to the desperate and the forsaken. A ramshackle affair of huts and driftwood homes,  Shoretown's streets are beaten earth, and the only lights to be seen at night are the jealously guarded stubs of candles that flicker through chinks in the walls. The guard do not patrol Shoretown,  leaving the denizens to make their own law. Those who are capable in Shoretown quickly escape, either through taking work at the Warehouses, or by joining the guard.  Those that remain have been known to turn to more sinister trades.

People of Interest

Ellen Foxhair (Level 3 Fighting Man )
Captain of Ostlen's guard, Ellen is a descendent of the mercenary that helped to free Cadoren from Imperial rule. Just, she will not turn a blind eye to Ostlen's problems, but she tries to see that each individual to pass through her keep receives a fair hearing.

Olm Eisley (Noble)
Current head councilman of Ostlen, Olm is a relative newcomer to Ostlen. Arriving some twenty years ago in a small merchant ship, Olm set to work solidifying the merchants of Ostlen as a single, powerful guild. Olm's purse runs deep, and it is murmured that it is oiled with the blood of those he could not buy.

"Jitters" (Level 2 Thief)
The undisputed queen of spies, Jitters is a middle aged woman, addled by the poisons she uses to doctor her knives. Based in Shoretown, Jitters has eyes throughout Ostlen, some claiming even in the Guard itself.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blueholme Campaign Framework: Cadoren

I like Blueholme, I like it quite a bit, enough-so to constantly tinker and homebrew for it as previous entries have shown.  These entries all exist in a relative vacuum, though, so I thought I'd put together a setting, or mini-setting, to let the better bits thrive. Wisely choosing to start small, I present the diminutive island-nation of Cadoren.(Click through for full sized map.) One bustling city, two proper dungeons, and a rough half-dozen other adventuring sites promises a decent sandbox to keep players' interest, at least for a while. Bit of fluff after the jump.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Prentice's Aspiration: The Jongleur

Hate Thieves, hate skill systems. But this seems to fit, so here it is.

Thief Subclass (Halfling, or Human)

The fool in motley, the bland-faced jester with a sharper tongue than any any might believe, the singer of songs and teller of tales, welcome everywhere for the amusement he brings, and often chased away for the irritations he causes.

Requirement: Charisma 12
Restrictions: Unarmored

Buffoonery (replaces find and remove trap): The Jongleur has turned the art of the pratfall, the slapstick and the pun into works of art, one that allows him to distract and befuddle his foes. Those encountering a jongleur engaging in his antics must save vs Spell or suffer a -2 penalty to attack for the next round.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Prentice's Aspiration: Demihuman class options

A pair of options for Demihumans in Blueholme, one for halflings, one for dwarfs.

Fighter Subclass (Halfling only)

Named for William Tallfellow, a halfling of extroadinary size, the Tallfellows are a band of woodsmen who police the forests, warding innocent travelers from the dark things that would hunt them. Rarely seen unless they wish to reveal themselves, the Tallfellows are bane to orc and bandit alike.

Requirement: Wisdom 12
Restrictions: Light armor only.

Fox's Cunning: A combination of clever gear and quick wit
gives the mysterious Rangers an advantage in engaging their foes.
When scouting in their favored terrain, Rangers surprise their
foes on a roll of 1-3 on a D6, rather than the traditional 1-2.

Cleric Subclass (Dwarf Only)

Wardens of honor, keepers of memory, the Stonefathers are dwarfs who have come into harmony with the earth itself, the first forge, she that birthed the first dwarfs. Paragons of dwarfish society, the Stonefathers shape the earth like soft clay, whether to return their kin to the forge of the earth, or to open the way into the heart of their foes' subterranean lairs.

Requirements: Charisma 12

Stonesong (Replaces Turn undead): By chanting the songs of the earthforge,
the Stonefathers may sunder or repair broken stonework. Small items such as
bowls, cups, pots and urns take six combat rounds to repair, while larger stonework
such as walls, doors, and statues may take several rounds.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Double Dose of Blueholme

Dilven's Dilemma's will return soon, classes have resumed here in Oklahoma, so gaming has taken a back seat.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Flying Solo Part One: New Kid in Town

Below you'll find an example of my solitaire system (mentioned here) at work. The entire affair took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, and all in all I am pleased with the outcome. I'm still new to play reports,  so forgive me as I try to find my stride. All in all, I'm satisfied with the system, a few things need tweaking, as the process sits somewhere between game and writing prompt. I'll work on that later.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How I fly Solo

There are no gamers in my area, not any more. Time and health prevent me from engaging in online play, so for the past few months I've been stuck in the role of game thought, not game play.

Recently, however, I decided to delve into solitaire roleplaying, and here's how.

For the actual mechanics, I make use of Black Stream: Solo Heroes from Sine Nomine Publishing. This product lays out guidelines to handle a solitary player and works with, essentially, any rules set. For the rules, I make use of BLUEHOLME Prentice Rules from Dreamscape Design. Normally I'd go with Swords and Wizardry, but the simplicity, and short level span, of BLUEHOLME gives me a bit more flexibility when it comes to solo shenanigans.

When jumping in to solo play, I took a look at the various tools to handle the GM side of things.  The 9Qs, the Mythic GM Emulator, various bits of homebrew and tomfoolery. While each had their strengths, none had exactly what I wanted.  Instead, I knocked together my own set of guidelines.

First and foremost, I am a sandbox gamer. Never was good at carrying an extended plot, and with solo play, it's a bit hard to keep the left hand ignorant of hte right hand's foibles. A sandbox, therefore, seemed key. To accommodate this, I used WizarDawn's World Map generator until I found something that sparked my curiosity.  I didn't worry too much at first about naming and planning everything, as that'll be filled in via the plots as they fall, and by my own curiosity. Thus armed with a world and a system to govern play, I strike out into the heady realm behind the screen... Plot.

(side note: I've mentioned before how much I love this site. Go check it out, tools, generators, delights of all kinds. A treasure trove for the fan of random tables.)

For plot, I make use of S. John Ross' "The Big List of RPG Plots". I copied each down onto a blank index card, and printed the actual contents of each plot entry or easy reference. To generate an adventure or twist, I just draw a card from the deck, flip it, and reference the entry. If a twist is needed, Ross was kind enough to provide suggestions, or for fun, I draw a second card. But who provides these hooks? The Cast of course!

Much like the plot cards, I created a deck of Cast cards using three generators, The Thieve's Guild Person and Name generators, and for the personality, I went with 101 Quick NPC personalities. The cards follow a simple format, as seen below.

Most of the template is self-explanatory. The Tell is a habit or trait that immediately stands out about the character, while the Attitude is the character's initial temperament when drawn, rolled on a D6. Certain personalities modify the chart, resulting in a higher chance of one reaction or another, while others  leave the standard spread alone. One character, the captain of the guard in the starting city, is presented below. 

An interesting  side effect of the generator I chose, green eyes pop up fairly often.  Now, while I could just roll with that, I decided to work green eyes in as a dressing element of the sandbox. To what end? No clue yet, still pondering.

Back on course, for encounters I'll be recording monster entries onto cards, assembling decks of "Wandering monster" encounters for hex types. This is no different than a regular table, just in index card form. Loot etc will be randomly generated as well.

All in all, this is the form of solitaire role playing that works for me. I suspect the results will read much like a cross between the Garret case files, and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Truth be told, I'm okay with that. Once I'm done with the monster cards, I'll be giving this system a try. So expect, on occasion, for single-play reports to pop up.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Prentice's Aspiration: The Chroniclers of the Celestial Paths

Not much to see here. A special college for MAgic Users to petition, included are some sample spells, I'll be expanding these for use  in my campaign framework as time permits.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Just a piece of fiction. Move along, nothing to see here.  Copyright Daniel Luce, not Creative Commons or Open Content.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Golden Sky Story: Ghost on The Lonely Mountain

So, health, funerals, and life in general pretty much blasted apart any posting schedule I tried to maintain. I did get some gaming in, though, and managed to run my first session of Golden Sky Stories!  But what is Golden Sky Stories? 

Briefly, it's a diceless RPG, one recently translated from the native Japanese by Ewen Cluney of Yaruki Zero and Starline Publishing. In Golden Sky Stories (GSS henceforth), players take the role of Henge, animals with the ability to shapeshift into human form.  Rather than run around ninja-shanking dragons and drop kicking peasants as your typical RPG fare would provide, however, GSS puts you to work making friends and solving problems in a sleepy Japanese town. It's a wonderful game, very heartwarming, and one I can see myself running for quite some time.  So, read on after the cut to find out what sort of story we told.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

In Review!: Cartooner!

An Italian RPG that was recently translated into English,  Cartooner aims to capture the wacky antics of beloved animations from the Loony-Tunes and Merry Melodies era.Does it hold to its goal? Let's find out after the jump!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Dram of Sunlight

The Dram of Sunlight is inspired by a bizarre old cartoon (see below), a bit of sunshine for your day.

This crystalline bottle is roughly the length and thickness of a human's pinky. Corked with gold, the bottle contains a golden liquid that emits an amount of light equivalent to a strong torch. Distilled by a diminutive race of fey for use in a war against their twisted cousins, Liquid Sunlight serves a multitude of uses for larger folk. In addition to its luminous properties, Liquid Sunlight repels vampires, as does the sun itself. Further, when mixed with pure water, Liquid Sunlight can nullify any poison, magical or otherwise.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Prentice's Gear: The Jezail

Well, with Oklahoma being slammed by storms, I've been without power and thus unable to post. So to make up for it, here's an item from an old D20 campaign that I ran and am currently in the process of converting to Blueholme Prentice Rules.


The most curious sight I ever did see in the sands were the Jezail. All iron and wood and tall as I, the Sher'tar warwenches sling'em over their shoulder proud as any footman with his pike. Wish I knew what black magic drove the blasted things, for they'll speed a slingstone farther than any bow, and just as deadly as a proper arrow. Marine report, dated  the Year of the Winter Empress 1203 AA

Long, rifle-like weapons, the Jezail is the creation of the Nomadic elves of the Endless Sands. ten strings (50 inches) or longer, the Jezail is as much as work of art as it is a weapon. Decorated by their respective owners, a Jezail is as distinctive as a fingerprint. Using the volatile fruit of the slinger cactus, the Jezail harnesses the potent gasses contained within the fruit to propel their ammunition great distances.Wielded only by the warrior maidens of the Sheratar tribes, the Jezail's impressive range makes it ideal for ambushing unwelcome parties, and more than one of the Empress' marine caravans has been laid waste with nary a sign of their attackers.

Jezail  150G 
Short: 1-90
Med   91-180
Long  181-270

Due to its size, the Jezail cannot be used in cramped quarters. On an attack roll of 1, the Jezail misfires, requiring the ruined mess of the Cactus fruit to be removed and the barrel cleaned before further use.The Jezzail takes two combat rounds to reload.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Grimm Endeavour

I have fallen for the show Grimm, and fallen hard.  So for today's post, I'm translating a few elements of the series to the Blueholme Prentice ruleset!

The Grimm

Humans born with the strange ability to pierce the illusions of skinchangers, this race has taken a solemn vow to protect mankind from the beasts that would hunt them.

Class: Grimms may be any class, though they prefer Fighting Man.
Hit Die: All Grimms roll 6-sided dice for HP.
Grimm sight: Grimms will instinctively pierce the illusions of Wesen, Doppelgangers, and other shape shifters, seeing their true form on a roll of 1-2 on a six-sided dice.



A unique breed of shape shifter, Wesen are creatures that shift between human and bestial forms.

Class: Wesen may be any class.
Hit Die: All Wesen roll 6-sided dice for HP.
Woge: The transformation that allows Wesen to attain their bestial forms. A number of times per day equal to their character level, a Wesen may shift to their bestial form, gaining the respective bonuses for their species. This transformation lasts a number of rounds equal to the ones-digit of their constitution score (for example, a Wesen with CON 15 is capable of maintaining their bestial form for 5 rounds). Example species are listed below:

Bauerschwein: The Wesen's hair thickens, becoming bristly. Their features become porcine, with stubby tusks sprouting from their snout. In this form, the Bauerschwein's Save vs. Poison improves by two, and they gain the ability to track by scent.

Blutbad: The Wesen's teeth and nails sharpen, their features becoming more wolflike.  When in this form, the Wesen's speed doubles and they gain two claw attacks doing 1d3 damage each. These attacks may be used in the stead of the Wesen's normal melee attack.

Damonfeuer: The Wesen's skin thickens into scales, turning a ruddy red color while horns sprout from their brow. Daemonfeuer Wesen gain a breath attack with the following statistics: Fire Breath - Straight Line, Range 15 ft, damage 1d6+1 Fire. This attack two rounds between uses for the Damonfeuer to produce another burst of flame.

Mellifer: The Wesen's eyes bulge, becoming inky black while their mouth transforms into a bee's mouthpieces. These insect-form Wesen produce a dangerous venom that is secreted from their claws. On a successful attack, the Melifer inflict 1d4 + poison damage.

So there you have it, a pair of races, I might create more items as time and TV permit.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Mementos

It's been said by smarter, more capable men that if we forget the past, we're doomed to repeat it. My prayers are with the soldiers who have fought to protect what they hold dear, and to the families who won't see their soldiers return. It might be irreverent, but today I offer up artifacts themed around our troops, honoring their sacrifice and memory.

Cincinattus' Duty

Also known as the Blade of Peace, this slightly curved shashka exists somewhere between saber and straight sword. Guardless, its curved pommel is worked into the head of an eagle. Inscribed across the blade in fine, minute script, is an ever-growing list of names, names of people who have fought and died to defend the people they love. 

When sheathed in its simple wooden scabbard, the blade radiates a circle of protection against evil (chaos) as per the spell. Lacking a cutting edge, the blade functions as a club in combat. When drawn, the Blade of Peace evidences a curious power.  When its tip is drawn through the earth, Cincinattus' Duty creates a tilled furrow, ready for seeding. A single individual in good health may till twice the amount of land in a day as a good team of oxen pulling a plow, turning aside stone and root as easily as if they were soft earth.

Farjourney Boots

A battered pair of boots commonly issued to soldiers marching off to war. Worn and heavily repaired, they bear a small lodestone in the heel of each boot.

Once the possession of a nameless footman in the Eternal Emperor's army, the Farjourney boots have  seen many owners, acquiring their strange magics over time and becoming a lesser artifact. When worn for a day and a night, the boots attune themselves to their owner, learning the secrets of her heart. Wherever they may wander, whatever trials they may face, when the bearer of the Farjourney Boots dreams of home, the boots will guide them. This location is not something consciously determined, the boots instead drawing on memories of what the character truly considers 'home', whether it be a long-favored tavern, their childhood home, or the abode of a loved one. The Farjourney boots guide the bearer through the quickest path, though this is by no means the safest.

Brother's Band

A simple bracelet woven from rough cord, its clasp a simple metal loop and toggle. 

These innocuous baubles are always formed as a set. Worn by brothers-in-arms as tokens of good fortune, the Brother's bands offer a small measure of protectionWhen the wearer of a Brother's Band suffers damage, that pain is felt by all who wear the bands.  Any individual wearing a band in the set may choose to absorb the damage intended for the original target. At that point, the individual's band breaks, becoming useless. No more than 4 damage may be absorbed in this way, with any excess being inflicted on the original victim.

And finally, because today is a day to celebrate the soldier in your life, something lighthearted.

Soldier's Gruel

A slender tube containing a thick, colorless paste, thankfully odorless, the flavor is likened to overcooked bootleather.

The result of gastromantic experimentation, these palm-long tubes constitute walking rations for men on the march. Offputting as they are, each tube contains enough nutrients to sustain a man through a day's march... To unfortunately meet the same meal the following day. Among  many armies, a mythical variant is rumored, one reserved for officers that smells of honey and tastes of chicken. As these tubes have never been unearthed, they remain pure conjecture.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Humble Soldiers

This battered wooden box is  held closed by a simple leather strap and buckle, measures two feet by one foot by eight inches, and weighs  5 pounds.. Within are several toy soldiers, neatly placed in their separate compartments. On the interior of the lid, in a child's scrawl, a name is written in charcoal.

Crafted by an artificer in ages long past , the Humble Soldiers are not unique. Several sets were fashioned, given to assorted children as a kindness, and as means to protect hearth and home. When discovered, the box will contain the following: 1d6 footmen armed with pikes,  1d4 archers, 1 mounted knight bearing a standard. Additionally, for each of the following roll 1d20, on a roll of 20, the figurine is present: A Dragon, A Catapult, A wizard riding a unicorn.

When arranged in formation and the owner's name is spoken, the figurines grow and come to life. Answering to the summoner, they will fight to the death defending the summoner and his loved ones. When slain the soldiers return to their figurine form, and cannot be summoned for 24 hours. For each slain figure, roll 1D6, on a 1, the figurine is broken and useless.

When using this item in your system of choice, treat the footmen and archers as hirelings, the knight as a level 2 fighting man, the wizard as a level 1 magic user, the dragon as a young specimen of the Red Dragon species, and unicorn as written in the bestiary provided by your game of choice.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dreamblade Boogie: Lady of the Manor

Courtesy of Ridureyu1
Before the coming of Nightmare, Lady Cassandra Dreweul kept a wicked house. Aspiring to luxury, the Lady Dreweul poisoned her husband when she was the tender age of 15. Keeping the man in a stroke-like stupor, Dreweul used his wealth to feed her more sinister tastes. Sadistic orgies and drugged debauchery were the order of the day,  feeding the nightmarish beast that lurked behind the pretty face.

With the coming of Nightmare, truth was given form, now, amidst an ever-shifting nightmare playground in the ruins of her once-fine manor, the monster that was Cassandra Dreweul tries to lure unwary interlopers to their demise. From the front, Dreweul appears as a flesh-toned spectre. In truth, this is merely a facade for the real Cassandra, a bulbous, fleshy beast that feeds on pain and torment. The Lady of the Manor prefers deception and poison to outright conflict, but if pressed, the beast will slam into its prey, attempting to secure a grip with its large, crushing fangs.

((expect a couple of these to pop up each week as I work on fleshing out Nightmare.))

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

In Review! SWAT Planet Felicia!

Part of the BRONEPEKHOTA line from Technolog (so I assume), these 54mm figures bear a striking resemblance to gun nuns from a certain excessively popular war game.  Like most figures from Technolog, the SWAT Planet Felicia figures can be used as stand alone collectibles, or as components in a game. I rather like that.  So, what's in the box?  Read on to find out!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In Review! Fantasy Battles Skeletons!

Ah, Russia.  A rich and cultured land. From it have come great things... and plastic miniatures in the 54mm scale!

Produced by Technolog, the Fantasy Battles series of figures appear to be both toy and game component. I say appear because I can't read Cyrillic. Still, 54mm is 54mm and for a humble price on ebay, I decided to try it.  So here I am, two weeks later with a registered parcel from the postman! What's inside? Read on after the break to find out!

Friday, March 15, 2013

In Review: Michtim - Fluffy Adventures!

imagine, if you would, a world of fuzzy creatures. Roughly hamster shaped and sized, these tiny warriors fight against a humanity that would destroy the forests they hold so dear. Sound fun? then Michtim is for you.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Melancholy of the Sea: The Second Dream

Once again I return to A Cat's Dream. Doing something a bit different tonight, I'm using 9 scenes, keeping the cat theme as I further explore Uriah's dreamscape.  This has been really fun so far, though I have a few issues with the system, things I'll address at the end of my narrative.

More after the jump!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Melancholy of the Sea: A Cat's Dream

Found a neat little game today, over at Tagsessions. Inspired by Studio Ghibli films, and trying to capture that feel, the game (a solitaire RPG requiring a pack of cards and a single D6) features the premise that a person follows a Cat into the land of dreams, doing so to fulfill a desire that's key to the character. It's a bit unpolished, and a few times I was left scratching my head.  Do I think I've captured the feel of Ghibli in my story? Not at all, but check after the jump to see what I DID get.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back to Basics: Basic Fantasy!

Thanks to Erik Tenkar, Basic Fantasy will be getting some love today! While others can better describe the nifty little game, I thought I'd offer up a race from my upcoming Atlantis campaign setting! So without further ado, the Mer. (No, I never claimed to be creative...)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gaming with Class: The Psalmist

So, years ago, I picked up a copy of Green Ronin's "Mythic Vistas: Testament", a d20 setting for the Old Testament of the Bible.  I had a lot of fun with it at the time. With my preference for simpler rule sets, however, I thought I'd make use of the book's Open Game Content to convert my favorite class over to Swords and Wizardry, white box edition. This is the first time I've built a class for it, so suggestions are welcome.

Download available here

One Page Dungeon

Just something I cobbled together, using a combination of Chgowiz's One Page Dungeon template and Photoshop. For Swords and Wizardry, an encounter with the promise to be more, if the GM wants. I'll probably revise this later into a full adventure, but for now, it works.

Download the pdf here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

SWN Campaign Highlights

I'll be going back through later and formatting all my logs from the campaign into an easily read structure. But here's some highlights from sessions held recently.

A large machine that was pumping out energy was acquired, and during an unfortunate trip through psi-space, opened to reveal a hitchhiker in the form of a lost species. A powerful psychic, her attacks on the crew ended when Soo-Kyung brain-fu'd her into playing nice.

Our little freighter was sold through Fat Frank, an associate of Soo's, and through a series of shenanigans, we ended up stealing a ship from the Outcast faction, not really a smart move, but then, as events have shown, we don't typically think things through nearly enough..

Getting the ship fixed, the party discovered a rather daunting fact. The ship has an AI on board, something highly illegal in the galaxy.

Our choice of action? Becoming errand-folk. Two girls and a bird,  getting your chores done in record time!

I've got to admit, I'm really loving SWN as a sandbox game. It handles our antics well, and the GM is doing a great job of making things feel alive and vibrant.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Listing of Links

Also known as: Dan is lazy but wants to blog.

I've been trawling the internet for a while, building up resources that amuse, educate, and entertain. I thought I'd pass a few of them along. Click the names below to go to the relevant sites.