2023. január 27., péntek

[Dungeon] Temple of the Forgotten God

This is a 16-room dungeon I wrote in about an hour for the OSR discord's community hexcrawl. I thought I would share it here too. Meat & potatoes OD&D-style experience. Minimal keying. Have fun!

Download as PDF here!

(now with enhanced map)
Update: enhanced map!




All rooms are hewn from the black basalt of the mountain. Ceilings are 8’ high unless otherwise noted. Doors are stone slabs that slide into the wall. One square = 10’.

Wandering monsters (2d4):
2 2 Robots in love
3 Black Pudding
4 1-10 Pixies
5 2-8 Reptiloids
6 2-12 Koblins
7 1-4 Vampire Bats
8 Time-travelling Thaumaturgist

Areas:
0. Entrance Chamber
The double doors are voice operated (react to OPEN and CLOSE commands uttered in the language of the Ancients). Labored breathing of a large creature can be heard beyond the second set of doors.
1. Trapped Dragon
20’ high ceiling held up by red pillars. Emaciated Adult Red Dragon (half HD), trapped here a decade ago by a cunning adventurer who knew the command words. The monster cannot fit through the doors towards #2 or #5. Small hoard of 1200 gp in the corner.
2. Trophy Room
Rusty weapons and shields (2 swords and 3 shields salvageable) on the walls. Thick layer of dust everywhere: trace of an approx. 3’ object dragged towards #4.
3. Locked Storage
Secret door: ventilation duct 6’ above the floor leads to a 4’ wide passage.
4. Drippy Area
Weird lemony green ooze drips from the walls. The object dragged over from #2 is a 3’ square extremely durable, yet light metal plate with handles.
5. Transitory Room
Doors to rooms #6-8 painted Orange, Yellow, Black.
6. Orange Door Room
Empty.
7. Yellow Door Room
6 Ghouls, transfixed, staring at a grainy TV screen. 
8. Black Door Room
Dark & squalid, walls painted black. Secret door: outline barely traceable below thick black varnish.
9. Healing Pool
Eerie blue glowing water. Murals on the walls depict nymphs bathing – sometimes laughter can be heard! A creature fully submerged in the water for 1 hour regains d4 hit points and, if poisoned, can repeat the save (this healing procedure is only effective 1/week). Partial submersion can lead to weird mutations.
10. Rug Maze
Garishly patterned rugs and curtains hang everywhere. Total value: 500 gp.
11. Crate Maze
Crates stacked high, easy to topple. 9 Dervishes lurk here, their leader holds the Pipes of Slumber (Sleep spell 1/day, but the wielder doesn’t heal from resting). 
12. Generator
Entrance partially obscured by crates. 10 Large Centipedes warming around an energy generator.
13. The Bone Gang
Entrance partially obscured by crates. 8 Skeletons, clearly a former group of adventurers (2 “fighters” with swords and shields, 1 “cleric” with mace and “unholy symbol”, 1 “magic-user” with a staff and a Scroll of Magic Missile, 4 “henchmen” with burnt-out torches and empty sacks). They guard a chest containing 4 rubies (500 gp ea.) and a gilded silver goblet (200 gp).
14. Ape Nest
Pool of dried blood before entrance. 2 White Apes lounging on dirty hay.
15. Wolf Lair
3 Giant Wolves, their hides colored blue (same hue as the pool in #9).
16. Garage
Functioning anti-grav skiff, with enough fuel for 2 days of operation. Seats 2 people.

2022. december 29., csütörtök

d8 entries from my commonplace book

I keep a commonplace book, a notebook where I record any kind of random idea or inspiration tidbit that can be utilized in games. It's a cool low pressure way of keeping ideas. Some of them come from media. Some are random things that come to my mind. I record them. There is no pressure to develop them into anything --- but at least they are not forgotten, and might come in handy. Here's a selection:
  1. Lost-world style tribe who worship a great idol. The idol is in fact a spaceship (rocketship) that landed here, and since then the pilot has been staging divine epiphanies (Wizard of Oz?) – see also “Flash Gordon and the God of the Beastmen”, Flash Gordon #5, 1967, King Comics.
  2. Tribe of reptiloid creatures, who currently live in a surprisingly democratic society. However, there is a great danger looming. Their race can rejuvenate/live forever, as long as they hibernate from time to time for a 100 years. The greatest tyrant of their history is soon returning from hibernation and will surely overpower the newly-formed democracy (aided by his troops that also went with him to “sleep”). Their place of hibernation is well-hidden… Quest to find it and destroy them, before they can enact their hideous plans?... (see Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World TV show, S01E03 “More Than Human”, 1999, for Roman Reptile inspiration).
  3. If the party is imprisoned, the local authority (prince, king…)’s representative approaches one of them, who is the most interesting (e.g. a Magic-User = man of knowledge, or a Fighter = mighty adventurer). The character taken to an audience with the authority and is asked to regale stories about their adventures.
  4. An expedition to the North, to retrieve “antediluvian” bones and tusks. Superstitious local folks. Sub-arctic perils. Greedy merchants looking for ivory. And perhaps an ancient vampyric creature, that wishes to relive its youth by feeding on the beasts of yore…
  5. Giant hermit crab in post-apocalyptic wasteland uses burnt-out vehicle as its shell. As seen in The Barren Earth, “The Long Trek”, incl. in The Warlord, #64, DC.
  6. Swift-moving glacier. In a year’s time the lower terminus will reach a settlement, while up in the mountains a dungeon or cave will be revealed.
  7. Amphibian city; a city of amphibian creatures, their buildings are half-submerged towers. Movement is possible by swimming, boats, and the occasional walkway.
  8. Sea of Primordial Muck. Created by a botched terraforming attempt – the aliens liquefied a large territory as part of the process, but never got around to reshaping it. Perhaps only a small island is shaped in the middle of the sea.
Happy holidays, everybody!



2022. december 10., szombat

[Secret Santicorn!!] Equipment List for Miyazaki-style Science Fantasy Games

It's Secret Santicorn Season again over at the OSR discord server. Vilecultofshapes requested a "basic equipment list for a Miyazaki style science fantasy game"... Great prompt! I love Miyazaki and science fantasy, so I put on the Nausicaä soundtrack and set to work.

Read it here or download as PDF over at my itch.io page!


BASIC AND ADVANCED INDUSTRIES

Basic variants of equipment are produced locally, from all kinds of available resources. Such items are cheaper, more common, easier to maintain and replace.

Advanced variants are either products of skilled craftsmen, or looted from the ruins of former, technologically superior civilizations. They are generally more durable. However, once broken, they are much harder to repair.

The listed trade value is for the basic variant. This value doesn’t fluctuate significantly. Advanced items are worth 5-10 times as much, or even more (make a ruling or roll 1d6+4).

Garments, basic

Basic garments are usually layered and loose, patchwork or handspun, with drab colors. This doesn’t mean that basic garments lack personality. There is usually a detail or item that makes the character recognizable.

Garments, advanced

Advanced outfits are often of synthetic materials, with vibrant or unusual, yet impeccably coordinated colors. Most of them provide additional protection against the elements or even against damage.

 

Garments, basic (1d20)

Garments, advanced (1d20)

1

Wide-brimmed hat

Techno-paladin full-plate

2

Tie-dyed poncho

Military uniform with golden braids and epaulettes

3

Utility belt

Slick bodysuit

4

Brightly colored scarf

Moonlit glamour

5

Spiked leather armbands

Exoskeleton with servo-arms

6

Thigh-high boots with spurs

Special agent three-piece suit

7

Oversized bandolier

Mirrorshade visor, body armor

8

Horned headgear

Pulsating tubes and glowing lights

9

Dysfunctional tubes and wires

Decadent courtly dress

10

Pauldrons

Adaptive camouflage

11

Trinkets and beads

Haughty noble

12

Patterned leggings

Returning space explorer

13

Leather aviator cap

Deep-sea diving suit

14

Flowing robes

Segmented chitinous nightmare

15

Fancy belt buckle

Luxurious furs

16

Dangerously dangling scarf

Burnished muscle cuirass and greaves

17

Miner’s helmet

Magnificently starched collar, pristinely ironed outfit

18

Animal mask

Glowing and shimmering aura around naked body

19

Knit winter hat with tassel

Well-tailored suit, heavenly perfume scent

20

Fur-trimmed

Holographic disguise layer


COMMON EQUIPMENT

Item

Value

Basic

Advanced

Bedroll

2

Patchwork blanket or sleeping furs

Insulated sleeping bag

Container, small

0.5

Small woven basket or wooden box, ceramic or glass vials, pouches

Same sizes, but of synthetic materials, with adjustable straps, safety or locking mechanisms, alarms, traps

Container, medium

1

Medium woven basket or wooden box, flasks, bottles, jars, backpacks, medium-sized sacks

Container, large

3

Crates, barrels, large storage vessels

Filter-mask

2

Hand-made from textile, provides protection against smoke and some toxins

Includes microscopic and chemical filtering

Food, 1 day

0.5

Roots, tubers, berries, eggs, bugs, worms, honey, milk, small game (birds, lizards, burrowers)

*double value if preserved (dried, salted)

Synthetic foods from the uncanny valley (“chicken”) or completely unlike anything you’ve ever tasted…

*double value if preserved (canned, permafrozen…)

Garments

1-3

*see above

*see above

Goggles

3

Murky glass or plastic lenses, low protection against flashes or glare

Protective lenses, possibly with advanced features (nightvision, zoom)

Light source, 1 hour

0.5

Wax or tallow candle, pitch torch, oil lantern, fireflies in a jar

Torch

Medicine

10-50

Herbs, teas, poultices, simple bandaging

Pills, syringes, advanced bandaging materials, anesthetics, antidotes,

Musical instrument

5-10

Flute, horn, whistle, bell, percussion, non-fretted string instruments; made out of wood, bones, animal parts, sometimes bits of metal

Most “advanced musical instruments” are actually tech. devices of unknown purpose that give off nice beeps and boops when handled; but see also thermenvoxes, touchpad-controlled oscillators…

Rope, 100’

1

Natural fibers

Nylon, fleximetal

Tools, agricultural

10-30

Plough, hayfork, hedge cutters

Motorized equipment, but also artificial fertilizers, pesticides

Tools, crafting

20-50

Hammer, chisel, hand drill, etc., also the pottery wheel and the like

Fine cutting and drilling tools, soldering equipment

Tools, mining

30-50

…or digging… shovels, picks, pickaxes…

Tunneling shield, sounding equipment, seismic devices

Tools, surgical

100

Blades, forceps

Nano-blade, medical lasers

  

WEAPONRY

Item

Value

Basic

Advanced

Bargaining and diplomacy

N/A

Gift offerings, looking for common ground, asking questions, listening

Deescalating the conflict

N/A

Calm voice, true innocence, sincerity

*see also Bargaining and diplomacy

Running away

N/A

Good timing, fleetness of foot, instinct of self-preservation

Weapon, stun

3-10

Blackjack, club, holding traps, poison needles, stunning arrows

Shock batons, nerve toxins, sleeping gas, sonic wave

Weapon, lethal

5-50

Pointy sticks, blades, bullets, fire

High-precision rifles, lasers, explosives

Weapon, mass destruction

1000-10000

Conscription, mercenaries, siege engines

Nuclear warheads, chemical weapons, war machines

 

MOUNTS & GROUND VEHICLES

Item

Value

Basic

Advanced

Beast, riding

100

Flightless bird, bipedal lizard, giant cockroach or stag beetle

*double value if combat-trained

N/A, or possibly a genetically engineered or robotic equivalent

Beast, of burden

50

Large lizard, woolly beast-thing with two or more pairs of legs, giant centipede

Beast, flying

500

Flying lizard, giant dragonfly

Cart

75-200

Two- or four-wheeler, dune buggy, covered wagon; animal-drawn

Broken-down advanced vehicles are often repurposed as animal-drawn carts

Ground vehicle, small

1000

N/A

On wheels, tracks, antigrav pads…

Fits up to 4 people.

Ground vehicle, medium

3000

N/A

Fits up to 10 people.

Ground vehicle, large

5000

N/A

Fits up to 30 people.

 

WATERBOURNE VEHICLES

Item

Value

Basic

Advanced

Boat

300

Wooden rowing or sailing boat, fits 4-12 people

Engine-propelled, with a metal or metalloplastic shell

Raft

50

Something simple, carries 4-8 people

N/A

Ship, small

1500

Wooden rowing or sailing ship, fits up to 20 people

Engine-propelled, with a metal or metalloplastic shell. Might include submersibles or hovercrafts. Capacity same as the Basic variants

Ship, medium

4000

Fits up to 50 people

Ship, large

8500

Fits up to 100 people


FLIERS

Item

Value

Basic

Advanced

Flier, one-person

1000

Only if created by a mad inventor, possibly hand-driven or drawn by flying beasts…

Motorized glider, antigrav skiff

Glider

150

Tarp or skin suspended on a light frame. Used by one person, maximum two

Same, but of advanced & durable materials

Hot air balloon

750

Woven basket suspended under a textile balloon, roping and nets everywhere, dangerous open fire to heat the air, ballast to control ascent…

Same, but of advanced & durable materials; with finer control of flight direction, ascent and descent

Aircraft, small

5000

N/A

Engine- or jet-propelled small aircraft (scouts, hunters) or blimps. Fits up to 6 people

Aircraft, medium

10000

N/A

Same, fits up to 20 people.

Aircraft, large

20000

N/A

Giants in the air… Zeppelins and “The Flying Fortress”… Fit up to 100 people.

 

SAMPLE SPECIAL ITEMS

Cleanwater Lichen

Beat-up tin box, once colorfully painted, now only the rigging of a sailing ship visible. Inside, there are six small balls of dry lichen. This special lichen absorbs all toxins and appeases miniscule water spirits. Each ball can purify a gallon of water.

Memory Disk

Palm-sized stone disk with labyrinthine engravings. Can eternally store and holographically project any kind of message, up to a minute in length.

Multiprism

A pristinely cut rock crystal prism, capable of transforming light rays in many ways: breaking down monochromatic light into its spectral colors, or changing the color of a ray into a different one. Useful when interacting with arcane technology.

True Compass

The thin, trembling needle always points towards the owner’s home.

Universal Translator

This silver helmet taps into the wearer’s brainwaves and translates all languages to pure thought. It is rumored that more advanced versions can help understand animals, plants, and even stones.