Thursday, October 27, 2016

BRP Clockwork & Cthulhu Session Reports

About twelve weeks ago one of the players in my BRP Clockwork & Cthulhu campaign starting writing up some very enjoyable session reports and posting them to the community page. Not only were they a delight to read the session reports gave me valuable information on the details of the adventure that I might otherwise forget. With a loose outline of major NPC's and their plots and no particular endgame envisioned the events and items which get created during any session become the adventure seeds for future sessions. I try to remain flexible and get forced to create adventure content on the fly. I don't have a lot of time for world building and trying to nail down every stinking detail just seems to be a bore. I want to get just as much delight seeing which way the campaign will go as the players!

So the value I took from the written session reports deemed experience point awards to the writer. Nothing unusual here either. But another player added their own session report. So I decided any and all PC's can write session reports for xp. If I can get two to three reports from individual players on any given day I start to have a game seen through the eyes of the players. My vision gets supplanted by the characters theater of the mind and once again I am carried along for the ride. Kind of like a police investigator interrogating multiple witnesses to an event. No two views are going to be exactly the same. They all need to be corroborated to establish the truth of the matter. The game becomes the story of the players and not a series of events the Game Master has orchestrated because then the story is just what the players endured at the hands of the Game Master. So yeah, the session reports have become essential food for my enjoyment of the game :)  

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Classic Modules Today

In February I signed on to this project to offer 1e D&D modules converted to 5e rules. I thought it would give me an opportunity to learn how 5e differed from the rules as I was used to them. +Stan Shinn was the organizer of the this project and not only has it given me an opportunity to review with new appreciation the old modules I first enjoyed it has forced me to learn how to do basic formatting, editing and layout with some of the simple word processing tools out there. These exercises have helped me sharpen up my cheap USR publications I have released on RPGNow and there is a long way to go before I think I have decent enough documents to start offering print copies, but it has been fun participating in the OSR exchange of goods.

It also exposed me to bad reviews, and yeah they feel like shit. But there has been more positive reviews and it seems there are many DM's out there who have found value in these conversion guides. Here is the latest one and it sure helps me push on through to complete my current assignments; EX1 and EX2!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Bearded Trees and Stone Barrows for your OSR game

Memory eaten away by time leaves who the terrible kings of old buried in the Stone Barrows were and what made their reign so terrible, but what is certain is the promise of unspoilt wealth to be won for those who can win their way into their cold crypts.
Why has the speculative wealth of these ancient kings lain untouched over these long years? Why have those who've braved the silent peaks of the Wadzo Nano-Tassis never returned from their sojourns? Is it true the dead kings jealously guard their old wealth and steal the souls of those who dare climb to their last resting place? 

There are several deadly horrors which make summiting the Wadzo Nano-Tassis perilous for adventurers lured to the Stone Barrows found on top. Any approach through the heavily forested flanks of the range requires travel through the Flenn, a perpetually mist shrouded forest. Beneath this thick sheaf of impenetrable gloom are found the Bearded Trees.

The Bearded Trees of Flenn are attracted to the breath of the living. At night the green mossy growth which clings to the damp dark branches detach and propel themselves to nearby living beings. Seeking the breath of the living the light web of moss fastens onto the source releasing a paralysing toxin. Rapidly growing the green "beard" rapidly expands into the lungs of its host, suffocating the victim. A soft phosphorescent glow throbs regularly while the beard feeds throughout the night. By the time noonday sun filters feebly through the ever present fog the victim has disappeared beneath the newly forming mass of moss. Within a month a new tree will have sprouted. Within six months the new tree will cast drifting beards of its own each damp night under the mist shrouded canopy of Flenn. The DM should mention during daytime travel that there is a complete absence of wildlife within the forest. 

The Bearded Trees of Flenn for BFRPG
AC: 14/17 for floating beards.
HD: 3 (for the tree itself. Each drifting beard can take 4 hit points of damage before it is rendered inert).
Number of Attacks: special (at night only); 
Damage: special (save vs. paralysis for three rounds in a row); from drifting beards. A failed roll results in paralysis for twelve hours. Must be destroyed within three rounds or the victim will be suffocated by the beards growing inside and shutting down the lungs and infecting the brain with toxins. The drifting beards must make contact with skin to cause damage. Keeping oneself completely clothed will offer protection as any beard which latches onto a live beings face that is protected will turn brown, brittle and slide off within three rounds. 

Once reaching the wind torn heights finding, let alone entering the subterranean tombs of ancient kings, adventurers will have to contend with a lunar cycle which will allow entry. 

For three nights surrounding the arrival of the new moon giant lizards will issue forth from the barrows themselves. Moving the huge blocks of stone which plug the entrance with their ridiculously strong tongues the Rock Lizards seek the dew and moisture which regularly coat the granite peaks. If there happens to be a rain storm when the prehistoric beasts emerge they will appear as in a stupor with their large jaws open and long tongues lax on the ground. After an hour the beasts will come out of their daze and return below, pulling the blocks back into place. Otherwise the lizards will remain on the summit sponging up moisture for at least four hours. In that case the Rock Lizards will be aware of and disturbed by the presence of the adventuring party and will move to attack.

 Rock Lizards of the Stone Barrows
 Number Appearing: 3-6
AC: 15
HD: 7
Number of Attacks: 1 of 3 types
Damage: from bite 2D10, from trample 2d8, and tail 2d6. 

With the lizards dead or dazed in a rainstorm a party of adventurers will find it easy to enter the stone barrows and descend into the unexplored depths. 

Only the Shrouded know of the Rock Lizards habits but for some reason never dare enter the stone barrows. They are an unknown race of beings which can be found only in the mist shrouded forest of Flen. Possibly an alien race which arrived in the world with the bearded trees, they live in symbiosis amongst the horrid woods. Abroad during the day clothed in elaborate suits composed of woven tree fiber the Shrouded harvest moss and bark for their dwellings and food. They nurture moss gardens in ravines carved by burbling streams winding down the slopes of the Wadzo Nano-Tassis. Camouflaged beneath stripped and limbed trees only the sound of flowing water will generally indicate the presence of inhabited structures below. At night these secret dwellings may be spotted by the fluorescent moss which they use for illumination. What moves these alien settlers to treat with interlopers, who knows? There are very few who even know of their existence and they prefer to keep it that way.

The Shrouded
Number Appearing: 3-18 abroad in the forest. Many more live within several "cities" within the forest
AC: 14
HD: 2
Number of Attacks: 1
Damage: from Spears and Stone Axes 1D8, from Paralytic Dart Guns save vs. Paralysis or be paralyzed for four hours.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Anthropomorphic USR beta

Here is the current version of the rules. Need to finish with an equipment list and an introductory adventure before it is released in the wild.

Please take advantage of this free beta version and kick back some feedback when you get a chance.

The final product has been released on RPGNow. Includes introductory adventure, get your PDF copy of Anthropomorphic USR here.