Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Bunny Day

However you choose to celebrate Easter (or not), have a good one.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Monster Monday: Serpent Men


Serpent Men


No. Enc.: 1-20
Size: Medium
HD: 2 (d8)
Move: 30 ft, 15 ft swim
AC: 14
Attacks: Weapon or Bite (1d3)
Special: Darkvision 60', Spellcasting
Saves: M
INT: Superior
Align: Neutral Evil
Type: Humanoid
TR: 2
XP: 20+2

Serpent Men are among the eldest of mortal races.  They are humanoid in shape, ranging from 5 to 6 feet tall, with scaly skin and snake-like heads.  They once ruled over mankind and other such races, but were eventually overthrown and almost exterminated as humanity fought back against their oppressors.  These days, their numbers are relatively few, and they usually live among humans, thanks to their gift for illusion, often attempting to slay those who rule over others, and taking their place afterwards.  They worship snake gods such as Yig and Set. Wise men know that, due to the construction of their throats, serpent men can not utter the phrase "ka nama kaa lajerama", and will utter this if they suspect the presence of mankind's ancient foes among their midst.   Serpent men also can not bear the image of a dragon (their ancient enemies) upon their person, and this can also be used to identify one or more of their number. Serpent men are a very long-lived race, with a few of their number over a thousand years old, although most are much younger.

Spellcasting: All serpent men are spellcasters, their magicks deriving from an era when the division between arcane and divine magic was not so sharply defined.  Most serpent men can cast spells as a wizard from 1st to 5th level, although a few of their number are more skilled (higher level serpent men spellcasters will have HD equal to half their wizard level, round down, although this will never exceed 5 HD).  Their magics tend toward illusion and subtlety, and they generally do not know the more potent battle magicks used by mankind (human and elven wizards will usually force any apprentice to utter the above-mentioned shibboleth to ensure that they are not unknowingly teaching new magicks to these degenerate beings. Serpent men will usually cast from the following spell list:

0-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Arcane Mark
2. Change Self (see notes below)
3. Detect Illusion
4. Detect Magic
5. Ghost Sound
6. Influence
7. Know Direction
8. Message

1st-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Animal Friendship**
2. Bless*
3. Calm Animals**
4. Charm Person
5. Command
6. Comprehend Languages
7. Darkness
8. Daze
9. Hypnotism
10. Identify
11. Obscuring Mist
12. Read Magic

2nd-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Animal Messenger**
2. Fog Cloud
3. Hypnotic Pattern
4. Minor Image
5. Speak With Animals**
6. Speak With Dead

3rd-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Dispel Magic 
2. Explosive Runes
3. Glyph of Warding
4. Hallucinatory Terrain
5. Major Image
6. Remove Curse
7. Suggestion 
8. Tongues

4th-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Charm Monster
2. Confusion
3. Dismissal
4. Fear
5. Illusory Wall
6. Mirage Arcana
7. Scrying
8. Sending

5th-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Bind Spirit (see notes below)
2. Guards & Wards
3. Mass Suggestion
4. Persistent Image
5. Permanency
6. Project Image
7. Summon Monster
8. True Seeing

6th-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Banishment
2. Geas
3. Legend Lore
4. Programmed Image

7th-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Greater Scrying
2. Sequester
3. Shadowwalk
4. Summon Greater Monster

8th-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Binding
2. Mass Charm
3. Summon Planar Ally
4. Symbol

9th-LEVEL SPELLS

1. Disjunction
2. Weird

*reversible spell (and in fact serpent men wil often only know the reversed versions of said spells)
**'Animals', in this instance, is limited to snake and snake-like beings 

Serpent Men cast the spell Change Self as a cantrip, not a 1st level spell, with the advantage that they can, in fact, create the illusion of becoming another race.  Serpent Men can use higher spell slots to cast this spell, and are often required to do so (due to the limited duration of the spell) to maintain their guises for extended periods (as a result, serpent men pretending to be humans or other races will often have few, if any, other spells prepared).  They can also cast a spell known as Bind Spirit:

BIND SPIRIT, Level 5
CT 1 minute                     R 50 ft                       D permanent
SV none                           SR n/a                       Comp V,S

Any mortal man slain by a serpent man can have his spirit bound into service by his slayer through the use of this spell.  It must be cast within 10 minutes of the victim's demise.  The spirit can not cause harm to the living (and can be turned as a 3 HD undead), although mortals not used to seeing such a spectral sight may have to make a CHR save to avoid fleeing.  These spirits can be used as spies and informants, and their servitude may be passed from one serpent man to another, if desired.

Source: "The Shadow Kingdom" by Robert E. Howard



Monday, March 18, 2013

V&V court case resolved

As Rogers Cadenhead has reported over at Workbench, the lawsuit over who owns the right to the V&V game has been settled, with the judge declaring the game's creators, Jeff Dee and Jack Herman, do indeed own the rights to the game. Personally, I think this is indeed the best outcome for the game, and I have high hopes that, with the court proceedings now behind them, that Dee and Herman, through their company Monkey House Games, can actually bring back V&V as a viable contender among current superhero RPG's (it will probably never dislodge Mutants & Masterminds as the champ of that particular field, realistically, but there's no reason why it still can't do well for itself in today's market).

As Cadenhead points out, this has ramification for FGU beyond V&V; pretty much all their other games (which were presumably published under a similar contract as the one used for V&V) that they published during the 70's and 80's now can (if I understand it correctly) now be reclaimed by the various authors of said games.  If FGU wants to continue as an active publisher in today's gaming marketplace, they're going to have to look at acquiring new games, and not just coasting by on the glories of the past.

Edit: Scott Bizar of FGU has filed an appeal of the court's ruling, so this will take a little while longer to completely work itself out.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sandbox superhero campaigns (part 3)

(part one here, part two here)

Besides the various individual activities of the city's villainous types, and the smaller activities that a patrolling hero might encounter, a good sandbox superhero campaign will also have larger events occurring at the same time that can also be of interest to the city's heroes.  Such events can be similar in nature to the sort of things that a hero might encounter while on patrol, but will usually be larger in nature and scope, the sort of thing that the entire team could try to deal with; the former might involve an office building on fire with a half-dozen employees at risk, while the latter could be a high-rise building engulfed in flames with dozens of inhabitants threatened.

The Citywide Events table covers this sort of thing.  How frequently it should be used is campaign specific; once a week, twice a month, or monthly are all possible options; a good rule of thumb is to have said frequency roughly coincide with how much game time passes between gaming sessions (this should ideally be the same as the time block you use to determine activity by gangs, organizations, solo and group supervillains).  Whatever the frequency, roll 1d3-1 times on the table below for each block of time that passes during the campaign.  Such events can be caused by, or tie into, the various criminal NPC's already chosen for the game, but they don't always have to be. Note that, due to the flexibility of any given event, two completely different entries could yield similar results - this is deliberate.

(and of course, even if you have no desire to run a sandbox game, these tables can still be used to generate random scenario ideas for a more traditional superhero game)
CITYWIDE EVENTS (ROLL D10)
1-2 Organizations, Gangs & Government
3-4 Solo Supervillains
5-6 Supervillain Groups
7   NPC Superheroes
8   PC's & Friends
9   Other Crimes
10  Weird & Unusual Stuff
Then roll on the indicated sub-table below.
ORGANIZATIONS, GANGS & GOVERNMENT (ROLL D10)

1  Organization recruits supervillain (even odds as to whether this
   is a temporary or permanent addition)
2  Supervillain defects from organization (they probably don't take
   this very well)
3  Two organizations come into conflict (could be loud and messy,
   could be quiet and occurring in the shadows)
4  Internal power play in organization, coup d'état (could play out
   fairly quickly, or could be a protracted civil war - however 
   long it takes, the head of the losing side, assuming they're
   still alive, is probably now on the run from said organization)
5  Temporary alliance between street gang and supervillain (the
   villain has a temporary use for the gang; whatever happens, it
   probably won't end well for the gang) 
6  Two street gangs come into conflict (innocents are no doubt hurt
   as they get caught in the crossfire)
7  Terrorist activity (could be either foreign or domestic 
   terrorists, possibly superhuman)
8  Government group goes on strike (could be a group that affects
   the public safety, like police or firefighters, in which case
   the heroes may need to pick up the slack; alternatively, could
   be an organization of less obvious impact, which might have a
   more subtle and personal effect on one or more of the PC's, or
   it just might be brought up for more humorous effect -
   sanitation workers go on strike, and the garbage keeps piling up
   outside the PC's base)
9  Local government infiltrated (probably an organization taking
   control, although shapeshifting supervillains are also a
   possibility - will almost certainly make things more difficult
   for the PC's
10 Diplomatic visitor (possibly an elected official from another
   city, or perhaps from another country, and needs to be guarded
   from threats - optionally, not an elected official, but a 
   wealthy (and probably obnoxious) celebrity whose presence makes
   things difficult for the PC's
SOLO SUPERVILLAINS (ROLL D12)

1  New villain arrives in town (might be here for a one-off job, or
   might be looking to make the city their new home)
2  Two villains team up (could be a one-time thing for a specific
   task, or could lead to a partnership - if the latter, the duo
   rolls a d8 instead of a d6 to see if they are active during a
   specific time-period in the campaign)
3  A new supervillain appears
4  Two supervillains fight each other
5  An incarcerated villain manages to break out of jail
6  An old villain returns (might be returning from the dead, or 
   just coming out of retirement)
7  Villain seeks aid from hero or hero group (might be pulling a
   scam, or might genuinely require aid for a good cause that only
   the heroes can provide)
8  Villain calls out hero for fight (possibly a trap, of course,
   but done with enough publicity that the hero looks bad if they
   don't show up)
9  Villain gets on bad side of organization (might become a 
   temporary ally of the heroes, depending on their feelings toward
   the organization)
10 Villain switches sides (could be part of a scam, might be a
   legitimate face-turn, although even if genuine the villain may
   eventually backslide into old habits)
11 Temporary alliance of multiple solo villains (probably to pull
   off some big score, Ocean's 11 style)
12 Villain pretends to be hero (probably to make the hero look bad,
   although possibly just to mess with their minds)

SUPERVILLAIN GROUPS (ROLL D8)

1  Villain group arrives from out of town (probably just for a 
   temporary task, but there's always a chance they might want to
   relocate on a more permanent basis)
2  Villain group recruits one of the local solo villains into their
   ranks (could be temporary, hiring them for a specific task, or
   they could be a permanent addition)
3  Villain group loses one of their members (could be a mutual
   decision by both sides, but probably not)
4  Villain group attacks a local solo villain (for pretty much any
   reason, really)
5  Two supervillain groups fight each other (the potential for
   innocent casualties and mass destruction should be huge here)
6  Villain group decides to target and attack the PC's (could be a
   simple ambush, or might take some time studying the heroes to 
   make sure to exploit any weaknesses)
7  Supervillain group clashes with an organization (the heroes may
   not know which side to support, if either, but things might get
   messy enough that the heroes have to do something)
8  Power play withing supervillain group (someone tries to be the
   new boss - the loser of such a struggle may or may not be ousted
   from the group, depending on the egos involved)

NPC SUPERHEROES (ROLL D4)

1  New superhero shows up (may want to join with the PC's, but is
   obnoxious/incompetent enough that the PC's probably don't want 
   to work with them - alternatively, the new hero may choose to
   avoid working with the PC's, for various reasons)
2  Superhero shows up from another city (probably on a temporary
   basis, although they might be setting up operation on a more
   permanent basis - may or may not seek to work with the PC's)
3  Hero group shows up from another city (may not want to work with
   the PC's, may even have to come into conflict with them)
4  One or more local NPC heroes goes missing (the PC's, of course,
   will have to investigate)

PC's & FRIENDS (ROLL D6)

1  Player Character targeted for romance (this could be in either
   their secret or heroic identity)
2  PC's secret identity is targeted (PC may become aware of someone
   snooping, or someone may have already discovered the truth and
   is threatening/blackmailing them - alternatively, might not be
   someone hostile to the PC, but instead a friend or family 
   member)
3  Friendly NPC threatened (anything from a stalking ex-spouse to
   local gang members to a supervillain who wants to win their
   affections)
4  PC's secret identity gets attention (their 15 minutes of fame,
   for whatever reason, not connected to their heroic identity,
   although the media attention may make slipping into their heroic
   guises unnoticed more difficult - if the PC doesn't have a dual
   identity, they get media attention for something besides their
   superheroics)
5  Unusual will request (could be from anyone, from along-lost
   relative, to a NPC hero or even a villain - must perform some
   unusual deed or finish up some long unfinished bit of business -
   alternatively, might inherit an unusual device or odd bit of
   property (great for heroes without a base, especially if the
   location is haunted or otherwise quirky)
6  Friendly NPC or NPC's get mutated/altered in some way (probably
   temporary, but always a chance that there might be more
   permanent affects)

OTHER CRIMES (ROLL D8)

1  New designer drug show up in town (could just be the latest
   variation of crack or meth, or might also give the user 
   temporary super-abilities)
2  Multiple super-villains break out from the local super-prison at
   the same time
3  Kidnapping (possible high-profile enough that the PC's are
   called in to help, or perhaps a friendly NPC is abducted)
4  Public official targeted for assassination (the PC's have to
   provide protection, of course - the target might for good 
   measure dislike/hate the PC's)
5  Influx of guns/other weapons in the area (might just be a
   proliferation of real-world weaponry, or high-tech stuff might
   somehow be finding their way into the hands of local 
   organizations and/or street gangs)
6  Citizens endangered (anything from an arsonist setting fire to a
   high-rise building to a lunatic threatening to poison the city's
   water supply)
7  Robbery (possibly a heist audacious enough that it gets lots of
   media attention, or could be a local/friendly NPC whose 
   livelihood is being targeted for some reason)
8  Innocents targeted (someone is targeting victims based on some
   ethnic/creed/gender/profession/etc classification, i.e. 
   Hispanics, gays, Catholics, prostitutes, veterans, children, etc
   - may be killing them, or possibly kidnapping - probably for
   prejudicial reasons, or might may be using them for something
   more esoteric, such as to complete a magic ritual)

WEIRD & UNUSUAL STUFF (ROLL D20)

1  Unusual weather (could be something natural, depending on the
   location and time of year, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, forest
   fires, etc, or could be something caused by a supervillain or
   some unusual artifact)
2  Extra-dimensional being(s) shows up (someone or something from a
   non-earthlike dimension, could be an advance scout for an
   invasion force, could be fleeing some terrible oppression, could
   be looking for a new home, could just be lost)
3  Alien(s) show up (motives similar to extra-dimensional beings as
   above, may or may not have a starship with them)
4  Mass supernatural occurrences (outbreaks of vampirism, people
   seeing ghosts everywhere, people unknowingly casting spells
   based on their words or wishes, etc)
5  Dimensional rift opens (could be to another world, another
   dimension, another time, etc. - probably temporary, but a slim
   chance it might become permanent)
6  Temporary boom in superhuman activity (people gaining temporary
   superpowers, for both good and ill, with the chance that for
   some it might trigger a more permanent change - optionally, it
   doesn't create new superhumans, but rather something compels
   everyone with unusual abilities, including those who normally
   choose a more mundane lifestyle, to become more visibly active
   during this time period)
7  Science runs amok (any super-tech characters or organizations
   might do something inadvertently affects the area, such as
   creating an intelligent computer virus, temporary time-shifts,
   subsonic emissions affecting people's personalities, etc - this
   can also include more mundane failures of science, such as a
   citywide power blackout)
8  Space-related disaster (meteorites crashing into the city, space
   station astronauts needing to be rescued, etc)
9  Someone from a parallel universe shows up (could be refugees,
   invaders, multi-versal tourists, etc, may or may not have a way
   home, and for good measure could also be analogues of the PC's)
10 Time traveler(s) shows up (could be from either the past or 
   future, either controlled or accidental - if from the future 
   they are probably trying to prevent/ensure some event from
   occurring, which may put them in conflict with the PC's, if
   from the past they may be seeking insight into their own 
   futures, or may be wishing to acquire some advanced piece of
   technology)
11 Prophecy (the PC's get some warning/vision of the future, and
   have to act accordingly - optionally, a NPC has to deal with the
   prophecy instead, and as a result is acting somewhat contrary to
   their usual nature)
12 Mass mind control (someone or something is controlling/
   influencing the local populace in some malign way)
13 Mass transformations (could be caused by an alien virus, 
   technobabble rays, demonic energies, etc, possibly enacted by a
   mad scientist or alien invaders, is probably temporary/
   reversible, but may trigger more permanent changes in a few 
   people)
14 Rampaging monster (said monster will almost certainly have high
   strength, nearly invulnerable to damage, probably isn't too 
   bright, and optionally may be several stories tall)
15 Mass amnesia (should ideally affect the local super-types as 
   well - PC's can have fun trying to re-learn their abilities, and
   villains can discover if their criminal behavior is more a
   matter of nature or nurture)
16 Animal life goes nuts (possibly being controlled by some 
   supervillain, or perhaps some alien/mystical artifact is causing
   the local wildlife to go wacky)
17 Social unrest (tensions flare over anything from racial strife, 
   gay-bashings, unpopular courtroom decisions or religious/
   political scandals - enough so that there will be riots/violence
   in the streets)
18 Media smear (the PC's - or perhaps someone close to them - takes
   a drubbing in the press ("threat or menace?")
19 Religious/cult activity (unusual or controversial edicts from a 
   major religion, possibly directed at or concerning the PC's -
   probably hostile, but also perhaps venerating a PC or PC's - or 
   perhaps a smaller cult makes things interesting, either through
   malign or merely secretive/unusual activities)
20 Superhuman tournament/competition (some sort of contest for a 
   grand prize, a la The Great Super-Villain Contest, could be more
   specialized, such as a martial arts tournament, or might just be
   seedy and sleazy, like an underground pit-fighting broadcast)

(to be concluded... eventually)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Overknight at the Inn

Just as Villages are often glossed over, so are the inns that adventurers often stay in during their travels.  Still, there are times when a little detail can be useful, both for the inn itself and for whatever other NPC's are staying the night there as well.


First, the name of the Inn in question.  Roll d4 twice to get started (if you roll a 4 on the first roll, use a d3 for the second roll instead) to see what type of words forms the name of the Inn.

1. Person
2. Object
3. Creature
4. Adjective

If there is an Adjective, it always comes first.  A Person will come first, unless there is also an Adjective.  A Creature will always come last.  If there is no Adjective, then there will be an '&' between the two names.  Add 'Inn' at the end of it, and there you go.

PERSON (roll d20)

1. Archer
2. Angel
3. Bandit
4. Baron
5. Count
6. Dancer
7. Duke
8. Friar
9. Hangman
10. Hunter
11. Hag
12. Imp
13. King
14. Knave
15. Knight
16. Nymph
17. Prince
18. Queen
19. Squire
20. Wench

OBJECT (roll d30)

1. Arrow
2. Banner
3. Barrel
4. Boot
5. Bridge
6. Brook
7. Bugle
8. Bush
9. Cart
10. Cask
11. Crown
12. Cup
13. Dagger
14. Fiddle
15. Flagon
16. Flask
17. Glass
18. Glove
19. Goblet
20. Helm
21. Horn
22. Quiver
23. Rose
24. Shield
25. Spear
26. Staff
27. Sword
28. Vine
29. Whistle
30. Willow

CREATURE (roll d6,d6)

1,1 Boar
1,2 Bear
1,3 Cow
1,4 Cock
1,5 Crow
1,6 Deer

2,1 Dragon
2,2 Duck
2,3 Eagle
2,4 Elk
2,5 Falcon
2,6 Fox

3,1 Fowl
3,2 Frog
3,3 Goat
3,4 Goose
3,5 Griffin
3,6 Hare

4,1 Hart
4,2 Harpy
4,3 Hawk
4,4 Hog
4,5 Horse
4,6 Hound

5,1 Kestrel
5,2 Owl
5,3 Pheasant
5,4 Pig
5,5 Rabbit
5,6 Ram

6,1 Sheep
6,2 Sparrow
6,3 Stag
6,4 Swan
6,5 Toad
6,6 Wolf

ADJECTIVE (roll d30)

1. Bald
2. Big
3. Bonny
4. Burly
5. Burning
6. Buxom
7. Crowing
8. Dancing
9. Dirty
10. Flying
11. Giddy
12. Happy
13. Howling
14. Jolly
15. Leaping
16. Little
17. Lone
18. Long
19. Lucky
20. Merry
21. Noble
22. Roaring
23. Royal
24. Singing
25. Sleeping
26. Ye Olde
27. (number)
28. (color)
29. (metal/jewel)
30. (roll twice on this table)

For Number, roll d8+1, giving a range of adjectives from Two to Nine (anything following should be plural, or course).  For either Color or Metal/Jewel, roll on the subtables below:

COLOR SUBTABLE (roll d8)

1. Black
2. Blue
3. Brown
4. Green
5. Grey
6. Red
7. Scarlet
8. White

METAL/JEWEL SUBTABLE (roll d8)

1. Brass
2. Bronze
3. Copper
4. Golden
5. Iron
6. Ivory
7. Jade
8. Silver

As for the inn itself, if it is situated in a village, it will have 2d4+2 rooms that it rents out, in addition to the common room.  If it has 8+ rooms, there is a 1-in-6 chance the building has two stories, otherwise it is an one-story structure.  If in a town or city, the inn will have 3d6+2 rooms for rent (plus common room); assume any such structure with 11+ rooms is automatically a two-story building  Most rooms can hold two human-sized travelers for the night with minimum fuss.  There is a 2-in-6 chance of there being a stable nearby for the horses (or really poor travelers).  There will be 1-2 primary owners (if two, even odds of it being a married couple), with a number of servers and other help equal to 1d3 + (number of rooms for rent/5, +1 if there is also a stable), most of them probably related to the owner(s). There is a 1-in-20 chance of the Innkeeper(s) being Eeeeeeevil (i.e. spy for foreign power, dangerous cultist, or just killing travelers via secret doors into the rooms so they can steal their gold and make meat pies from their bodies). 


Of course, there's no guarantee that there are going to be enough rooms for all of the PC's to sleep in.  That depends, after all, on what other travelers are staying overnight there.  Roll three times on the Common Travelers table below if in a village, four times if in a town or city; roll an extra time if there is a fair or religious festival going on in the area at the time.

COMMON TRAVELERS (roll d8)

1. 2d3 common craftsmen (i.e. potters, masons, etc) traveling between towns, probably staying in the common room.
2. 2d4 criminals - could be local members of the thieves' guild, bandits, slavers, etc.  Might be staying in the common room, or might be renting rooms (two per room).  Probably won't attack while in the inn, but may ambush the PC's if they don't look strong enough.  Most will be 1st level, but the leader will be 1d4+1 level.
3. 2d4 fighters, possibly either traveling guardsmen, or mercenaries for hire.  Even odds whether they are renting rooms or sleeping in the common room.  1st level, with a leader 1d4+1 level.
4. 1d3 locals, probably sleeping in the common room because they don't want to go home this particular night.  If more than one, they might be getting together for some secret meeting (conspirators, sexual tryst, etc.), in which case they will have rented a room.
5. 1d2 merchants, renting rooms (possibly a room each).  Will have 2d3 1st level fighters as guards with them, who may or may not be sleeping in the common room, and 1d3-1 apprentices, who will definately be sleeping in the common room.
6. 1 lesser member of nobility, who will (of course) have a room to themselves.  They will have 1d3 guards (1d4 level fighters) and 1d2 servants with them, who will also be sleeping two to a room.
7. 2d4 pilgrims, all sleeping in the common room.  There is a 1-in-10 chance that one of the pilgrims is actually an adventurer or former adventurer (roll as per Uncommon Traveler, below).  There is a 1-in-6 chance there is a Cleric with them (1d6 level), probably renting a room for themselves.
8. roll on the Uncommon Travelers table below

UNCOMMON TRAVELERS (roll d12)

(assume that there is only one of each, unless otherwise mentioned, 2d4 level, and will definitely have a room to themselves, 3-in-10 chance is actually a demi-human)

1. Assassin
2. Barbarian
3. Bard
4. Cleric (even odds 1d6 acolytes are with them, either two to a room or sleeping in the common room, 1-in-20 chance is a Druid instead)
5. Fighter
6. Knight (4-in-6 chance has a 1st level squire with them, in their own room)
7. Magician (1-in-10 chance is an Illusionist instead)
8. Paladin
9. Ranger
10. Thief
11. Adventurers (2d3+1 in number, 2d3 level each, reroll d10 on this table to determine class for each)
12. roll on the Special Travelers table below

SPECIAL TRAVELERS (roll d6)

(all except the last option will, of course, be shapeshifted to appear human (or at least humanoid), all will be alone unless noted, and all will have rooms to themselves except where noted)

1. Demon (probably a Succubus)
2. Doppleganger
3. Dragon (either Silver or Gold)
4. Rakshasa
5. Lycanthropes (either 1d3 werewolves or 1d4 wererats, either sharing rooms or sleeping in the common room)
6. Ghost (not actually renting a room, of course... the inn is haunted!)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monster Monday: Broo

Something I'm going to try every now and then, posting C&C stats for various monsters, either adapted from various games or media, or original creatures.


Broo

No. Enc.: 2-6, 6-36
Size: Variable, usually Medium
HD: 2 (d8) + 2 HP (but see below)
Move: 30 ft (but see below)
AC: 13 (see below)
Attacks: Weapon (usually 1d6) or Head Butt (1d4)
Special: Chaos Features, Disease, Mixed Heritage, Poison Immunity, Track
Saves: P
INT: Average
Align: Chaotic Evil
Type: Humanoid
TR: 2
XP: 25 + 2 per HP (+5 per beneficial chaos ability)

Broo are chaos-spawned humanoid creatures that usually look somewhat similar to humans or other humanoid creatures, but with a goat-like head (or occasionally some other horned creature, such as deer or antelope).  They are vile creatures, given to depraved practices, and even other evil humanoids will usually shun them, in large part because they are also virulent disease spreaders.  They worship gods of chaos and disease.  9 in 10 broo are male, and they kidnap other humanoids and animals to mate with.  They are most common in wastelands, wilderness, swamps, and mountain areas, and will usually make their home in either caves or ruins.

Their skin is naturally tough (AC 13), but they often wear scavenged leather and/or piecemeal armor (AC 14), and about half of them will have shields, as well (AC 15).  Of those not carrying shields, 1 in 6 will have some sort of missile weapon.  They will carry a variety of weapons, with spears being common.  When a smaller group/patrol (2d3 in number) of broo is encountered, if there are 5+ in the group there will also be a sub-leader (3HD+3) present. There is also a chance (roll d8 equal to or less than the number present) that there will be a shaman with them (treat as 2nd level cleric).  In a broo nest, there will be 6d6 'normal' broo, along with 1d3+1 sub-leaders and a 4HD+4 chieftain (who will be +1 to hit and damage in melee combat due to higher STR), as well as 1d4+1 shamans, one of which can cast and fight as a 3rd level cleric.  There will also be 1d10 slaves and/or breeding creatures held captive, as well.

In areas where broo are not uncommon, farmers will shun having goats as livestock.

Combat: Broo are raiders, stealing both wealth and captives, the latter for their degraded rites as well as to impregnate to create new broo.  They enjoy the fact that their attacks will also spread disease among their victims.  They usually do not fight to the end (unless defending their nest), and will usually flee after losing half their number during a given combat.

Chaos Feature: Any given broo will have a 2-in-6 chance of having some unusual chaos feature (sub-leaders, chieftains, and shamans have a 3-in-6 chance).  Roll a d30 on the table below for each individual broo:


1 - Has two heads, gets two saving throws verses any magical effects that are mental in nature (i.e. charm, illusions, etc.), and only half normal chance of surprise
2 - Has only one eye (like a cyclops), -2 to any missile attacks
3 - Four arms, gets to make two melee attacks per round
4 - 1d3+1 tentacles instead of arms, can weild weapons or attack for 1d4 damage, gives extended melee range for attacks
5 - +1d4 to all magical saving throws
6 - +1d3 modifier to STR, probably has a larger (1d8) melee weapon
7 - +1d3 modifier to DEX, will also carry missile weapons
8 - +1d3 modifier to CON
9 - Spits acid, 1d8 damage 1d3 times per day, 15 feet range, DEX save to avoid, armor and gear will be damaged if not quickly removed
10 - Regenerates 1 HP per round until dead
11 - +1d4 to natural AC
12 - +10" to move
13 - Immune to magical scrying/detection
14 - Electrical touch, 1d6 damage 1d3 times per day, can be conducted through metal weapons
15 - Claws, 1d4 damage, can also secrete type III poison 1d3 times per day
16 - Can cast spells as per a 1st level Wizard
17 - Wisdom Drain, as per Lamia abilty, 1d6 times per day
18 - Prehensile tail that can fire 1d3 spikes per round, doing 1d6 damage per spike, as per the Manticore ability, maximum 2d6 spikes per day, 40 ft range
19 - Innate sense of direction, as per the Minotaur Natural Cunning ability
20 - Rust metal items 1d3 times per day, as per a Rust Monster
21 - Immune to all fire-based attacks
22 - Create vile stench that nauseates non-broo, 1d4 times per day, as per the Troglodyte ability
23 - Can adhere to and climb any wall or surface, like a spider
24 - Can detect magic, 30' range, automatically
25 - Create silence, 15' radius around self, 1d3 times per day
26 - Upon death, explodes in 3d6 fireball, 10' range, DEX save for half damage
27 - Can become invisible for 1d4 rounds, 1d3 times per day
28 - Read thoughts, 50' range, last 1d10 minutes, 1d3 times per day
29 - Speaks and understands all languages
30 - Chaos loves you, roll twice on this chart

Disease: Broo are not only completely immune to disease, but are virulent transmitters of disease, as well.  Any successful attack by a broo has a 3-in-6 chance of forcing a CON save vs disease.  Failing this save reduces the victim's movement range by 1/2, inflicts a -2 penalty to attacks, AC, and saving throws, and does 1d6 damage (that will not heal from non-magical means until the disease has run its course).  Each week after the initial infection, another CON save is required; failure means another 1d6 damage, and the penalties to movement and other actions still applies for yet another week, after which the victim must save again.  Once a saving throw is made, damage suffered will start to heal normally, and penalties will end after 1d3 days.

Mixed Heritage: Broo are a race of mongrels, and their individual heritage can vary wildly. Roll 1d100 for each individual broo on the table below:

01-04 antelope (move 40', head butt 1d6)
05-08 bugbear (darkvision 30')
09-12 cattle (+1d3 STR modifier, +1 HD)
13-14 centaur (darkvision 30', move 50', 2 hoof attacks 1d6 damage, +2 to track)
15-18 deer (move 40')
19-22 dog (d6 HD, +4 to track)
23      dryad (charm person once per day)
24-31 dwarf (deepvision 60', +2 save vs arcane magic, +1 save vs fear, move 20')
32-39 elf (+1 to hearing checks, twilight vision, +1 move silently, +5 save vs sleep/charm)
40-44 gnoll (darkvision 30')
45-47 gnome (darkvision 30', +2 to hearing checks, move 20')
48-54 goblin (d6 HD, darkvision 30', move 20')
55-63 halfling (d6 HD, duskvision, move 20', +1 to hide and move silently)
64-68 hobgoblin (darkvision 30')
69-72 horse (move 40', kick atack for 1d4 damage)
73-83 human
84-88 kobold (d6 HD, darkvision 30')
89-90 ogre (+1d3 STR modifier, +1 HD, darkvision 30')
91-96 orc (darkvisiuon 30', detect smell withing 30', +1 to track)
97-00 sheep

Poison Immunity:  Broo are immune to all non-magical poisons.

Track: Broo are excellent trackers, and can do so as per the Ranger ability.

Source: Runequest (original Chaosium version, Mongoose version), Hero Wars 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Random Village Generation

Most faux-medieval fantasy worlds are littered with various settlements too small, and too numerous, to be worth detailing too much in advance.  Most fantasy maps won't bother showing anything smaller than the various towns and cities of a given country, unless the map scale is fairly small.  Usually this isn't an issue, and most overland travel by adventurers will gloss over passing through such smaller areas, but it can occasionally be useful to give a little detail to such areas.  If the GM/DM doesn't have anything prepared, a few random rolls can flesh out a few needed details, giving the name and size of the village, as well as notes on what businesses and areas of possible interest might be around (specifically, what would be of interest to the PC's, because 99.99% of the time they're not going to give a rat's ass about how many bootmakers or coppersmiths reside in the area).

(note: for these purposes, a village is any settlement of 1,000 or less)


VILLAGE NAME PREFIX (roll d8,d10)

1,1 Aber
1,2 Ach
1,3 Adder
1,4 Ald
1,5 Amber
1,6 Apple
1,7 Arrow
1,8 Ash
1,9 Auch
1,0 Bal

2,1 Barrow
2,2 Bear
2,3 Bell
2,4 Berry
2,5 Birch
2,6 Black
2,7 Bow
2,8 Brown
2,9 Brad
2,0 Buck

3,1 Bull
3,2 Bur
3,3 Caer
3,4 Carn
3,5 Corn
3,6 Crow
3,7 Cul
3,8 Darth
3,9 Deer
3,0 Drum

4,1 Duck
4,2 Dun
4,3 Elm
4,4 Ever
4,5 Fair
4,6 Fox
4,7 Free
4,8 Goat
4,9 Green
4,0 Grey

5,1 Hast
5,2 High
5,3 Hog
5,4 Hook
5,5 Horn
5,6 Key
5,7 Kings
5,8 Lang
5,9 Long
5,0 Maple

6,1 Marble
6,2 Mid
6,3 Mor
6,4 Nor
6,5 Oak
6,6 Ox
6,7 Pad
6,8 Pax
6,9 Pen
6,0 Pine

7,1 Queens
7,2 Ram
7,3 Red
7,4 Rest
7,5 Rose
7,6 Salt
7,7 Small
7,8 Smoke
7,9 Stock
7,0 Sun

8,1 Swan
8,2 Twin
8,3 Way
8,4 Well
8,5 White
8,6 Wolf
8,7 Wood
8,8 York
8,9 (directional prefix)
8,0 (geographic prefix)

Directional prefixes (north/south/east/west) are usually determined by the village's relationship to the center of the nation as it existed when the village was first founded (the borders may have since changed, of course).  Or you could just roll a d4 to randomly pick one.

Geographical prefixes are names such as Cliff, Glen, Hill, Lake, Mount, Sand, and Sea, dependent on the local terrain.

VILLAGE NAME SUFFIX (roll d6,d10)

1,1 axe
1,2 bole
1,3 bury
1,4 combe
1,5 coor
1,6 court
1,7 cott
1,8 dale
1,9 dell
1,0 edge

2,1 firth
2,2 green
2,3 hall
2,4 ham
2,5 heath
2,6 hart
2,7 hold
2,8 holm
2,9 hook
2,0 hurst

3,1 ing
3,2 land
3,3 leaf
3,4 lund
3,5 ly
3,6 mead
3,7 mont
3,8 mouth
3,9 nock
3,0 pool

4,1 rach
4,2 rook
4,3 root
4,4 scar
4,5 shaw
4,6 shield
4,7 shire
4,8 side
4,9 stead
4,0 thorn

5,1 thorpe
5,2 ton
5,3 vale
5,4 view
5,5 ville
5,6 way
5,7 well
5,8 wich
5,9 wick
5,0 worth

6, x (geographic suffix)

Geographical suffixes can include the following - bank, bridge, brook, bush, creek, field, ford, glen, hill, knoll, lake, moor, pass, port, ridge, shore, tree, valley, wood

Not all prefix/suffix combinations will work, and those that obviously don't should be re-rolled.  Some can work with a little tweaking (Restcourt might sound better as Restencourt, for example), and a few might work better as two names instead of one (Bull's Green instead of Bullgreen).

VILLAGE SIZE GENERATOR (2d4)

2-    Tiny
3     Small
4     Medium
5-6  Large
7+   Very Large

-1 to the roll if the area has only been settled in the last century or so, +1 to the roll if the land has been settled for several centuries without any major calamities, such as plagues or apocalyptic wars.

Tiny villages will number a hundred or less in terms of populace (3d6x5 + 1d10 works fine for my purposes), and will have little of interest to them.  Most villages will have about one building per 6 people or so.

Small villages range from 101-300 people.  They will have a temple (or a sacred grove, if druidic/nature worship is more common in the area), and a 3-in-6 chance of having a tavern, as well.  There will be 1-2 low-level men-at-arms types who might be available for hire as mercenaries or henchmen.

Medium villages range from 301-600 people.  They will have both a temple and a tavern, as well as a 2-in-6 chance (each) for the sort of craftsman that a PC might want to hire to help fix their damaged non-magical gear (i.e. blacksmith, leathermaker, bowyer/fletcher, etc.). There will be 1-3 men-at-arms types available for potential hire.

Large villages will number around 601-800 people.  There will be 1-2 temples, and 1-2 taverns.  There is a 3-in-6 chance each of the aforementioned craftsmen, as well as a 1-in-6 chance of there being an inn.  There will be 1-4 men-at-arms types available for potential hire.

Very Large villages will top out at around 801-1000 people.  They will have 1-2 temples, 2 taverns, a 4-in-6 chance each of the aforementioned craftsmen, and a 3-in-6 chance of there being an inn.  There is also a 1-in-6 chance of there being a small brothel on the edge of the village, as well as a 1-in-6 chance of there being a low-level arcane spellcaster in the area who serves as the local hedge wizard/wise woman/village witch/etc. 1-6 men-at-arms types will be available for potential hire.

1-in-20 villages will be Eeeeeeevil, probably in service of some sinister cult.  If not, 1-in-12 villages will still have some sort of secret that they wish to keep from the outside world, such as worshiping some forbidden/outlawed deity, or engaging in some sort of social practices so far from the norm that even jaded adventurers might be shocked by them.