Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Some simple mutation tables

I was looking for some tables for mutations a while back, and couldn't find any suitable ones. There are a couple over over at Seventh Order of the Random Generator, but they're way to unpredictable for what I wanted, and anyway, I needed both tables for both cosmetic mutations and more serious mutations. In the end I made a few for myself. I needed them for magical mutations that could affect PCs, but they have other potential uses of course, and obviously I built them for D&D but with a little tweaking they could be used for other games. They can be treated as a form of Curse, and require either magical healing or some kind of quest to overcome.

The first is a table for cosmetic mutations which, though they may interfere with a character's normal social interactions (because trying to buy a drink when you have decayed flesh is something NPCs might find a little gross), are not in themselves going to change a PC's stats (except possibly CHA or similar).

The second is for more substantial mutations, involving growing wings and whatnot. These will definitely change a PC's stats. It's up to the DM how this might affect play.

Minor mutations (d6)

  1. Blue skin
  2.  Feathers (d12: 1-red; 2-orange; 3-yellow; 4- green; 5-blue; 6-purple; 7-white; 8-black; 9-multi-coloured; 10-copper; 11-silver; 12-gold)
  3. Decayed flesh
  4. Lizard skin
  5. Massively hairy
  6. Elf ears (if victim is an Elf-type, ears shrink and become Human-like)

Major mutations (d6)

  1. Lobster claws for hands
  2. Snake body
  3. Human/Elf to Orc, Dwarf/Halfling to Goblin
  4.  Become Minotaur
  5. Snake hands
  6. Wings (d6; 1-Angel; 2-Eagle; 3-Crow; 4-Dragon; 5-Butterfly; 6-Daemon)

I've created versions of these tables at the Seventh Order. The second-order tables for colours of feathers, and types of wings, are already nested into the generators.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Naked Gaming part 4 - oh why can't this be easy?

Right, here's the thing; work has sent us to different sites this week, so me, Rolf, Lady Malice and Del Diablo are here, but Timmy the Halfling is a couple of hours away and we can't get there and back. We're going to try to skype him later. Next week, it being close to Christmas, people are going back home and Del Diablo at least will be heading back to his native Poland (and you thought he was Spanish!) at the weekend. So he's not going to be around next week anyway... oh the life of an unexpected DM.

Joining us though is another game-head, who has mostly played Swedish RPGs (being from Sweden and all) but is keen on playing old-school D&D anyway. So somehow we'll get him involved - I hope, as one of the people from the Old Mill who survived. I'd come up with an idea that the Old Mill was operated by Mr & Mrs Miller, their daughter and an apprentice. Our new player can be any of them if he wishes. The two Skeletons at the Mill were of course two of the inhabitants - but that still leaves two running around somewhere. One (see the post from a few days ago) was, I thought, the miller who had gone berserk after the Orcs attacked his home. But it doesn't actually have to be that way. Did the millers' daughter stay in her room, with her mother comforting her, while her father and the apprentice went out to fight the monsters? Or perhaps it was the youngsters who went out, the old folks sheltering inside. Or maybe, it was the young ones who stayed put while the adults went to deal with the monsters. The possibilities, if not endless, at least allow for our new player to take the part of any of the inhabitants - if he so chooses.

But there are other possibilities of course. He could take the role of one of the NPCs. Or he could just be a passer-by caught up in the action. I guess I'm going to see over the course of this evening...

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Naked Gaming part 3 - ahead of the game...

Right, I know I have some sessions with my new works-gamers, so I'm trying to get some stuff together right now.

I need a whole bunch of stat-blocks that I can throw in. There are going to be more Orcs, a higher-level NPC (who will probably be an enemy; he's the miller from the Old Mill who has gone mad and is now a berserker), and maybe a (very) small dragon or some other kind of hard monster at the end. Maybe a Minotaur or possibly a Medusa.

There's also going to a bit of weird magic I hope. Not sure what yet, some strange magical effect like a fountain where the water goes up into the ceiling/sky, or something. Just something a bit more fantastical than 'you're in a forest fighting some ugly dudes because reasons'.

So I've put together a random encounter list (partly from the monsters in a couple of runs of the Wizards of the Coast Dungeon Generator, and some from the Pathfinder random tables I found on the net here) and added info on what the humanoids and monsters are up to from the 'What Are Those Wandering Monsters Up To?' and 'wtf are those goblins doing?' tables at Last Gasp/Seventh Order of the Random Generator, which is as I think I may have mentioned a spiffing site, though maybe not easy to use in a hurry. Judicious use of the 'Carried by Goblin' and 'Whats in that goblins sack?' tables supplied some things that the Goblins on the list have with them. Other races will get a little further description.

The Naked Gaming enforced experiment is likely to be over this week anyway, as I've managed to get home for my dice and the Basic and Expert rulebooks. So things will be done a little less on the fly and with a little more forethought. But, as I'm also not going to be working with these fine people in a couple of weeks, this will probably be our last week of gaming anyway, which is a shame. I'll try to give them a few more fun evenings before they reach the bad boss-monster and either get the big pay-off, or all die.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Naked Gaming part 2 - At the Old Mill

More making it up again this evening - I really was just ahead of the party in terms of creating this world they're exploring. It's a bit exhausting to be honest!

The result of yesterday's action was that the party staunched the basically dead Del Diablo's wounds, made a stretcher from saplings and cloaks to carry him (the torch-bearer types being assigned to do this) then looted the Orcs (getting a small haul of coins, and several stoppered flasks of different kinds - one lamp-oil, one wine, and they haven't tried the rest). Walking wounded - Rolf, who told everyone he was fine, it was only a flesh wound, and Raul Derdue (that I'm now pronouncing 'DerduĂ©') - are accompanying the stretcher while Timmy the Halfling is ranging ahead. Raul was quieter than yesterday, what with only having 1hp (and me not having had as much booze, so I wasn't doing silly Spanish accents as much).

In not-very-long, the mill hoves into view, and the party then has a bit of a debate about how difficult it will be to cross the water to get to it. Lady Malice volunteers so they tie a rope to her, in case she gets swept away or falls into a big hole, but she's fine and ties the rope to a convenient  protrusion on the other side. The party then crosses - stretcher and all - and everyone is safely deposited on the flat area just south of the mill.

I didn't have the map I made yesterday to hand so the mill looks a little different to the depiction on that map. The mill building itself, which houses the machinery, is two-storey; the cottage is like a crofters' cottage - single storey but with a loft-space - and the workshop range is single-storied.

The rest of the party stayed to the south while Timmy went forward, Spooked by spookyness (the mill was aparently deserted, dusty and making creaking noises) Timmy fled. So Rolf, with Halca and Guy, two of the more useful NPCs, went to investigate. They went for the western building first, and found it was a store-room-come-workshop. Bits of rusting machinery and 'things that might be useful' abounded, but they reckoned they didn't have time for a proper search. On to the centre range next, Rolf and Guy went in while Helca stayed by the door ready to call for assistance if needed. They found a room with a range, some basic furniture, a bed behind a curtain, and a ladder to the loft. Rolf cocked his crossbow and went up, into the loft-space where there were sounds of movement.

Upstairs were two Skeletons. As in undead monsters, not as in sets of human bones lying still (from an iteration of the WotC random dungeon generator I mentioned yesterday). Rolf beat a hasty retreat and warned Guy as the the skellies started to lurch down the stairs. He got a shot in with his crossbow, but the skellies kept lurching. They made their way outside as Rolf tried to remember about the difference between bludgeoning and piercing weapons and how they harm skellies (he's the guy who used to play RuneQuest and as it turns out some version of AD&D back in the day). So he readied his warhammer and told Helca to warn the others and bring any crushing weapons, then stood at one side of the door - Guy stood at the other - and they both swung for the first skellie through the door - the  one with Rolf's crossbow-bolt stuck between its ribs.

These skellies are a bit tougher than normal ones - they seem to have d12 as a base for hp rather than d8. I will make sure the XP given reflects this. The fight - Guy and Rolf were soon joined by a returning Helca, with Raul Derdué's club, Lady Malice, and Timmy, who's stolen Del Diablo's silver dagger thinking it might be good against undead - was long and brutal. As our heroes (especially as Rolf is heavily injured from the earlier fight with the Orcs) have between 2-5hp and the skellies have base d12, it went on for ages, with the skellies just trying to bash the party with the bits of wood (torn from the furniture) they had to hand. One lucky swipe even caught Rolf, opening up the wound the Great Orc had delivered, and knocking him down. Another party member 'technically dead'...

The combined attacks of Lady Malice, Timmy, Guy and Helca were at last enough to bring down both skellies, but not before Lady Malice had cunningly tried to grab the unconscious Rolf's warhammer - only to find that it was on a strap about his wrist, to great comedy effect. But at last the fight was over, and the process of saving Rolf's life began. They did what has rapidly become known as 'Rudimentary Staunching', and waited to see if they'd stopped the bleeding. He made his CON roll easily enough - he had 17 CON to begin with - so he will be back to fight again. Once they had done what they could, Lady Malice looted the house - finding a Healer's Kit (a randomly-rolled treasure on the donjon d20 Random Treasure Generator) along with some other useful stuff, and a small purse of money that she sneakily pocketed. Timmy made soup. While all this was going on, Lady Malice began wondering where these Skeltons had come from, why they were upstairs in a bedroom and what had become of the miller and his family? I don't think she entirely liked where her thoughts were leading her...

Mixing some salves and powders from the kit together, determined that no-one else was going to die there and come back from the dead, Lady Malice started by giving Raul some of the generally healing concoction, and Timmy gave him some soup - he seemed to perk up. They then went on to give some more to Rolf and Del. Both regained consciousness and proclaimed themselves a little recovered (though they're still not sure if it was the soup or the salves that helped more). Then Rolf suggested getting inside the mill building and barricading the door for the night. A good plan, and a convenient place to stop the session.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Naked Gaming part 1

Well, that was unexpected. I'm working away from home with some people I've worked with before and some new guys. Chatting to one of the people I don't know very well in the works van heading to site yesterday, he says he was at a games club at the weekend and played his first session of D&D. "Oh cool, I play too, old-school D&D that is" I replied. "Really?" comes a voice from the front of the van, from one of the older guys, same kinda age as me. "I used to play RuneQuest back in the day". "Oh, I'd love to play proper D&D" offers another of my colleagues. Then our supervisor chimes in "I've never played D&D, but I used to play Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 15 years ago"...

I mean seriously, what? There are 8 of us in the van and 5 of us are gamers?

So the long and the short of it is that last night, after we got back to base, four of us played a game of Munchkin and after that, I helped three of the four interested people roll up Basic D&D characters (after playing Munchkin with us, our supervisor had to and make a Skype call, I suspect to his wife, so I'm helping him put a character together tonight). I don't have any dice. I don't have any rules. I don't have any scenarios. I don't even have access to a printer.

What I have is access to a couple of die-roller websites and apps, the knowledge that the equipment list is on the web, and a bunch of links to various OSR and other gaming sites. I created a random dungeon from the WotC site (that is only going to take us so far, I need to soften the party up I mean get them used to playing a bit first). I generated some NPCs from Meatshields!, and tonight I'm going to get some stats for a few monsters and start the adventure proper.

The players will begin in the small town of Rock Fort (when I described the town as 'a bit like Bree' one of the players said 'what, like Camembert?'... 'maybe, but I think Rock Fort is a better name'). Anyway, the party is coming together. Lady Malice De Vine (a thief), Timmy Song (a Halfling) and Rolf Ironhead (a Dwarf) will shortly be joined by Del Diablo (another thief, a mysterious and slightly Spanish one).

So here's the deal: a herald accompanied by a couple of men-at-arms rides into Rock Fort and issues a proclamation from the local Earl that monsters have been seen in the area and bold souls are needed to go and fight them, for suitable rewards, of course. Step forward Rolf, Timmy and Lady Malice, and sort-of-hang-back-mysteriously Del Diablo, while six of the townsfolk (the NPCs from Meatshields!) join them.

They set off to the north; the 'monsters' - described as 'orrible, 'ideous, monstrous fings! Wiff 'eads.., an' fingers... an' fings! - have been seen about four miles north of the village, near 'the Old Mill'.

This is the quick map of the surroundings of Rock Fort that I've just knocked up, It'll certainly do for the moment.

The party has made its way about 3 miles to the north, taking care to send scouts and look for signs of any monsters, and have been rewarded with ample signs of Orcs (yes, they guessed in advance that they were Orcs) in the area. Scouting and sneaking stood them in good stead; they were able to ambush the Orcs, killing 5 of them and only taking one fatality and two injuries in return. Alas, Del Diabolo succumbed to an Orcish sword.

True my 'other' campaign, I'm allowing the use of a roll against CON to survive 'fatal' wounds (should the injured party be treated by his comrades). Del Diabolo has made his roll and will permanently lose 1 point of CON as a result (to represent the debilitating injury from which he'll never fully recover). However, he will live to sneak another day (actually, without his shortbow shooting the party would have been sunk).

Rolf, (the Dwarf) and one of the men-at-arms, Derdue (who now has a first name as well, 'Raul') are both heavily injured. Neither should die but the company is starting to regret not having any healing magic.

I need to go to bed now, more pondering on this strange turn of events in due course...