Thursday, April 30, 2020

You are on time! 3 x 1d6 bonuses for reliable players [Mazes & Minotaurs]

Sometimes players are late... But sometimes they show up on time and the DM wants to reward them with a small bonus! Maybe the group just likes to roll on random tables...

6 random results for each character type:

Inspired by heroic tales of yore, you gain 1d8 temporary hit points for this session.
You gain a single use of Medusa’s gaze (Petrification, 40’ range). Don’t even ask how you got it! If not used up, it goes away at the end of the sessions.
“This spoor can only belong to…” – the Maze Master must reveal the name of one of the creatures you are likely to encounter this session.
The weapon of your fabled ancestor appears mysteriously in your hand. It is of your favored type, but does +2 damage. It evaporates at the end of the session.
An omen! Roll 1d20 and write down the result. Once during this session, you can substitute any d20 roll anybody (player or Maze Master) makes with this number.
By hard training or sheer luck, you gain a +3 bonus to your Special Talent score for this session.
Your patron sends a small winged genius to look over you this session. The first attack that would bring you to 0 Hits kills this guardian spirit instead…
Black Friday! You get a one-time discount of 1 point on casting any spell. Thus, it is possible to cast a Magnitude 1 Power for free, or a Magnitude 4 Power for 3 points.
Light of foot! Your Encumbrance rating counts as 5 less for the purposes of Special Talent rolls and saves. Only for this session.
Suffer no witch! You roll Mystic Fortitude saves with +2 this session.
The stars are right! You gain 1d4 temporary power points for this session.
“Khaire, darkness, my old philos!” You gain the ability to see in darkness for this session.
Where it hurts: this session, you score Critical Hits if your attack roll exceeds the target’s EDC by 7 or more.
Chaos reigns! Once during this session, you may “risky cast” a spell of any Magnitude, without expanding Power points, per LotFP rules (make a Mystic Fortitude save, with a penalty equal to the amount of Power points you’d have to spend; failure means you have to roll for miscast effect).
Oiled up! This session, you can automatically break free from grapples on your round (you can still be grappled, but you don’t have to roll to slip out).
Battle cry! This session, whenever you Charge into Battle (see Special Melee Tactics, MM1 p. 24), you let out a blood-curling battle cry. All enemies who have less Hits than you must make a Danger Evasion save or flee.
Mystic crosspollination! Once during this session, you can cast the Magnitude 1 power from another class’ Magical Talent (the Power Point cost has to be spent). Roll 1d5: 1 – Divine Prodigies, 2 – Elemental Magic, 3 – Nature’s Gifts, 4 – Poetic Magic, 5 – Sorcery. If you roll your own Talent, gain 1 extra Power Point instead.
The power of critical thinking! This session, you score Critical Hits if your attack roll exceeds the target’s EDC by 7 or more.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

[Secret Jackalope!!] Perils of the Bleak Forest, being a Survivor’s Guide for the Recently Exiled

After the Secret Santicorn, the OSR discord server is doing Secret Jackalope! I requested a random generator of pulpy lost races, and Stefan "The Moth" delivered a set of amazing sci-fi tables. My prompt was from Phlox (author of the blog Whose Measure God Could Not Take), who requested "an in-character description of a monster, from an in-universe monster manual"! This prompt proved to be tricky, because it's more about creative writing than game design... But I did my best, and came up with this Veins in the Earth-like "world building through bestiary", an in-universe survival guide for people who are exiled to a cursed forest covered in volcanic ashes.

Happy Secret Jackalope to everyone!

“Perils of the Bleak Forest, being a Survivor’s Guide for the Recently Exiled”

Grey-barked Crooked Willows
When the thirst becomes unbearable, look for crooked willows with the dark grey bark, for the roots of these abominations reach down into the moist strata of the soil deep under the ashes. Dig deep, and have a vessel ready to capture the drops of life-giving liquid.
Beware, though, that among these trees, some are sentient and thirst not for water, but for the very blood of exiles like you and me. You can tell them apart by the swaying motions of their branches that do not adhere to the blows of the howling winds.
The crooked willow cannot uproot, but the reach of its branches is longer than you expect. They strike with deadly precision, like a whip; then entangle and draw their victim close to their trunk; and then their bark cracks open and the black tendrils desiccate thy body.

As far as I could establish, the lupine howls that we hear during the darkest nights are not anchored to any body or beast; they are but resonances of the air and murderous intent. When you first hear them, there still might be a chance to flee, but choose the direction wisely. The Nighthowls travel in spirals. If you cannot hear them, they cannot hurt you. But even if just the faintest sound gets through, the mind is flooded with nightmarish visions and never recovers.
Some say the Nighthowls’ victim becomes the eye of the sonic storm from then on, but I do not believe this.

Opaque Beast
Twice the size and thrice the strength of a bear, this fearful monstrosity is in fact one of the lesser perils of the land. It never attacks, unless its eggs are threatened. The Beast’s yellow eyes absorb light – that’s why its appearance is foreshadowed by a fog of dusk. Somewhere in the center of this darkness is the nest of the Beast, where it lays eggs. The obsidian shells hide nutritious yolk, enough to feed three men for three days.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

1d12 reasons your ancient Greek character showed up late [Mazes & Minotaurs]

When a player is late to the session, their character is considered missing. Logical, right? But what's the reason behind the absence?

The DM of the LotFP game I play in has a special "late to the session" chart he rolls on in such cases. The results are mostly negative, but there are a couple of boons on the table as well.

I wrote up a mythical ancient Greece flavored 1d12 table of such mishaps, for use with Mazes & Minotaurs.

You were late, because...
  1. You caroused with a Dionysian thiasus. You gain one beastly feature (e.g. donkey ears, hooves, panther spots…).
  2. You played a game of knucklebones and lost 1d20% of your coins AND your clothes.
  3. You got caught between Scylla and Charybdis! Roll 1d6: even – you start the session at 1 hit point; odd – you start the session without your weapons and armor.
  4. You saved a Phoenician merchant from bandits. He gives you a beautiful golden bowl as a gift of gratitude and a token of free passage on any Phoenician ship.
  5. You met a Thessalian witch and she turned you into an animal. Roll 1d3: 1 – boar, 2 – singing bird, 3 – donkey. You spend 1 hour of game time in this shape, then you revert back to your original form.
  6. Turns out, you have a long-lost identical twin brother or sister. If you die during this session, the sibling takes your place.
  7. You were invited to a lion hunt. Make a Danger Evasion check. If you fail, one random limb (roll 1d4: 1 – left leg, 2 – right leg, 3 – left arm, 4 – right arm) is injured and cannot be used during this session. If you succeed, you get a fancy lion skin cape (+2 to Personal Charisma)!
  8. You bathed with a nymph. This session you get -2 to Athletic Prowess, Danger Evasion and Physical Vigor; but get +4 to Mystic Fortitude.
  9. You ran into a celebrity (roll 1d10: 1 – Heracles, 2 – Theseus, 3 – Perseus, 4 – Bellerophon, 5 – Castor & Pollux, 6 – Jason, 7 – Odysseus, 8 – Atalanta, 9 – Medea, 10 – Lucy Lawless). This session you are -2 on Danger Evasion (because you are still star-struck and you can only think about the splendor of the hero). On the upside, you now have the celebrity’s autograph on a shard of pottery!
  10. You sat through a long performance of an epic poem! You were so charmed by the tale, that pickpockets easily stole all your coins and jewelry. However, you learn the weak point of the next mythic monster you encounter (granting you a one-time automatic hit, roll only to see if it’s a crit).
  11. You were abducted by the gods and had to serve wine during their feast. The ordeal leaves you extremely exhausted (cannot run or jump effectively this session, and a -2 to Athletic Prowess, Danger Evasion and Physical Vigor). For your servitude, they give you a small vial full of ambrosia (healing potion for 1d8 points). And perhaps you learn a piece of juicy gossip about the Olympians?
  12. You angered a priestess of Hecate and you are cursed. This session, your attack rolls count as fumbles on natural 1 and 2 (even if your Luck would otherwise negate fumbles!).