Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Champion/Punchfighter [LotFP Class]

My kid (who plays Madeline the grave robber in our LotFP game) is already thinking about their next character in the not unlikely event of Madeline’s demise. They wanted to know if there was any kind of class that specializes in unarmed combat. Of course, the easy solution would be to just make a Fighter and use a lot of unarmed attacks and the wrestling moves. But that’s kind of boring.

There are a number of B/X monk classes to be found around the internet, but neither of us wanted to go the kung-fu monk route. Instead we just wanted a big strong person that punched a lot. Like a mixture of luchadore, old-timey boxer, and circus strong man.

So, as a good father and GM, I put together the CHAMPION—a little bit Charles Atlas, a little bit El Santo, a little bit Jojo Jostar. Hopefully it’s a lot of fun. I haven’t done any playtesting with this, nor have I done any XP mathematics (I eyeballed it and thought Dwarf XP looked about right). Let me know what you think!

Champion (Punchfighter)
“I won’t use a sword to fight Grendel, since that wouldn’t be fair to the monster.”
--Beowulf, probably

Mustache optional, but recommended.
Champions (also known as brawlers, punchfighters, or kickpunchers) are warriors who have dedicated themselves to perfecting their bodies and honing their minds until they are perfect killing machines. As a champion, you abstain from using weapons or armor, preferring to rely on your own skills and training to prove your mettle against all comers. For you, combat is its own reward, and you are constantly on the lookout for bigger challenges and greater opponents. You have mastered many fighting techniques, called stances, that let you fight in a variety of ways using your hands, feet, head, or whatever happens to be lying around. Some of these fighting techniques even border on the supernatural.

XP Progression: as dwarf
Saving Throws: as fighter
Hit Die: as fighter
Attacks: When fighting unarmed, use the fighter’s Attack Bonus for your level. Otherwise, your Attack Bonus is +1.
Fighter Combat Options: When fighting unarmed, you have access to pressing attack, defensive fighting, and the better parry option.

Punches as strong as kicks: Your unarmed attacks deal 1d6 damage. You are never considered unarmed.

Skin Conditioning: When not wearing armor, add your CON modifier to your AC along with DEX.

Clean Living: The power of a champion requires a strict mental and physical discipline. You must choose one activity that you either must do every day, or you must never do. Maybe you must perform an hour of calisthenics every morning or drink a gallon of whole milk with breakfast. Maybe you abstain from alcohol or sexual congress.

If you break this regimen, you gain a dot of encumbrance, as the violation literally weighs upon you. You gain another dot every time you brake your taboo. You lose one dot of this extra encumbrance for every day where you spend at least 8 hours doing proper exercises, ablations, and reconditioning.

Your taboo should be a mild inconvenience but needn’t be too onerous. It’s intended to be a fun role-playing tag more than a serious power check. It shouldn’t be more troublesome than a magic user needing to memorize spells each day. As always, the GM has final approval over any taboo.

Stances are combinations of combat techniques and mental states that allow a champion to modify they way they fight opponents. Stances allow you to punch harder, fight multiple opponents, or even hit ghosts.

As first-level champion, you know the Basic Stance, plus one more stance of your choice. At second level, and every even level after that, you can add one more stance of your choice to your repertoire.
At start of combat, before initiative is rolled, you should announce which stance you are using. This defaults to the Basic Stance, if you can’t make a choice.

You can only use one stance at a time. Changing a stance happens at the movement phase of the round and replaces your movement. If you want to describe your body flaring with visible muscle energy as you shout out the name of your stance, I wouldn’t blame you.

You can maintain a stance outside of combat, but it’s like walking around with an unsheathed sword; you’re clearly ready to start a fight. So, not a real problem in a dungeon, but a bit of a faux pas when meeting the magistrate.

Maintaining stances requires freedom of movement. You cannot use any stance but the Basic Stance if you are more than lightly encumbered.

Basic Stance
  • No adjustments.

Bat Stance
  • You cannot see in the dark, but you can detect and fight opponents in within range of your combat movement without penalty while blind or in the dark or against invisible opponents.

Break Stance

  • Your unarmed attacks can harm golems and constructs, despite damage immunities. 
  • Your unarmed attacks inflict double damage (2d6) against inanimate objects. 

Buddy Stance
  • You have +2 to hit an opponent that an ally is also attacking in melee. One such ally gains +2 to their AC for the round.

Flash Stance
  • Add another 20’ to your combat movement rate (40’ for an unencumbered human becomes 60’) as long as you can make an unarmed attack against an opponent after moving.
  • Unlike other stances, switching to this stance does not replace your movement.

Flurry Stance
  • Can make two attacks per round. Add all your modifiers to your Attack Bonus and divide the total as evenly as possible.
  • Example: Dirkland (3rd level champion) has an Attack Bonus of +4, is making a pressing attack (+2), and the GM gave him a miscellaneous +1 bonus for having the higher ground. His total Attack Bonus is +7. If he makes two attacks, one will be at +4, while the other will be at +3. Dirkland can choose which opponent gets which.

Ghost Stance
  • Your unarmed damage drops to 1d4, but your unarmed attacks now count as magical for the purpose of overcoming weapon immunities.

Handsome Stance
  • Add your CHA modifier to you AC along with your CON and DEX modifiers.

Hornet Stance
  • Your unarmed melee Attack Bonus drops to +1
  • You can make ranged attacks with thrown small weapons (1d4 damage) with the fighter Attack Bonus.
  • These thrown weapons have range modifiers like a short bow.
  • You can make two ranged attacks per round. Add all your modifiers to your Attack Bonus and divide the total as evenly as possible. (see Flurry Stance above)

Lion Stance
  • Mortal opponents engaged with you take a penalty to their Morale equal to your STR modifier.
  • This has no effect on opponents with a 12 morale.

Nice Guy Stance
  • You can use improvised weapons to make melee attacks with the fighter’s attack bonus.
  • An improvised weapon must be a mundane item, able to be held in one or two hands, that is not designed to be a weapon. (So, a mop or beer mug is fine, but a knife or magic staff is not.)
  • An improvised weapon inflicts 1d8 damage and breaks on a roll of 1 or 8.

River Stance
  • You can make unarmed attacks using your DEX modifier instead of STR.

Turtle Stance
  • You no longer add your CON modifier to your AC, but your base AC starts at 14 (as leather armor).

Unbreakable Stance
  • Add your CON modifier to all Saving Throws.

Wonder Stance
  • You can knock bullets and arrows out of the air and gain +2 AC against all ranged attacks.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Educated Goats and Creepy Wells [LotFP: Ashes of Angels session 6]

My current LotFP game was set up to be a sandbox game, meaning the players decide where to go and what to do. The players also set the pace. The result of this means that so far, with six sessions under our belts, the PCs have been on, like, one actual “adventure” (The Pale Lady). Maybe one-and-half if you consider the initial escape-the-dungeon mission from Session 1. Maybe more if you count the excursion to the Ghoul Market, which I consider more as an exotic shopping trip.

And while unexpected, that’s fine! My players are all having a good time. And while there’s been little in the way of the traditional go-to-the-place-to-kill-the-thing-and-take-the-stuff “adventure,” things haven’t been boring. They’ve traveled to interesting places and interacted with interesting people. At the end of every session they’ve learned more about the world, made new relationships, and developed plans for the future. They aren’t just “playing house.”

Another unforeseen effect of this is that the theme and atmosphere is a little different than expected. I originally planned this campaign to be a grim-dark trip across Bleak Europe with a backdrop of war, plague, and famine. It’s shaking out to be more of a mixture of folk horror, Roger Corman, and Hammer horror movies--quiet villages full of eccentric weirdos, superstitious peasants, and Ingrid Pitt country girls. That’s also fine, because I like all of those things. I should probably remember to make life in these villages a little less pleasant, though. Everyone’s far too happy and healthy. There’s a war going on after all.

With that said, our last session was mostly a lot of travel, going from village-to-village, meeting some people, and having random encounters. One of my players was sick, so the rest of the players decided to follow up on some side rumors rather than go straight to the next adventure site.

Our “Heroes”
  • Belinda Kage: Serpentblood 1, Midwife
  • Madeline: Specialist 2, Grave Robber
  • Gerrit Liddstadt: Fighter 1, Soldier
  • Mortimer: Alice 2, Librarian

  • Ekans and Arbok: Belinda’s dog and puppy
  • Ana Fischer: Witchy henchwoman

After the unsuccessful burglary in Hegendorf, the party decided to lit out of town as quick as they could. Their ultimate goal was to get to the Pagan’s Well, somewhere south of Neubrandenburg and supposedly full of viking gold. They plotted a circuitous route that would take them off the main roads but bring them in contact with a few small towns and villages.

Things started off well, but quickly turned dire when an unusually bitter blizzard blew in from the north. Even with heavy winter coats, several of the party failed their saves and took Constitution damage. They saw the lights of a settlement in the distance, but with the snow and dark, they couldn’t determine how far away it was. They decided it was best to hunker down and weather out the storm. The game suddenly turned into a Jack London story, as the party hunted desperately for firewood, tried to erect their tents against the wind, and futilely built snow caves in the dry, non-packing snow. Eventually they managed to get enough shelter put together to survive the night, but two of their horses died from the cold. At least now they had fresh horse meat to supplement their hardtack.

As unusually cold as it was the day before, that morning was unusually warm, and the party had to slog through piles of slush and mud to make it to the next village. Merhold was a fishing village that sat on a river between two lakes. The townsfolk were suspicious of strangers, but the PCs ingratiated themselves a bit by spending money and volunteering to help shovel out the village streets. The party bought rooms at the Broken Fang inn to recover from their travels and the blizzard. Gerrit was finally able to find a gun to replace the one he lost in Hegendorf—a surprisingly fine arquebus of Molemanic construction from Goldberg.

While spending the night in Merhold, the party heard a very interesting rumor. A farmer in the village Lischt (to the north) had a cow that gave birth to a goat that could speak like a man. This talking goat also had the gift of prophecy! The party decided that Lischt was certainly going to be their next stop, and already started formulating plans to steal the talking goat.

They headed out the next morning. About mid-day, the party ran into a trio of men, obviously deserters, though they couldn’t tell from what army. The men were hungry and cautious, but they were more willing to talk than fight. The PCs gave them a few bits of hardtack, which the deserters eagerly accepted. With a brief exchange of information, the PCs told the men about the village they had just left (which, for now, had no military occupation). The three men warned the PCs that Neubrandenburg had been overtaken by Swedish soldiers. The two groups parted ways peacefully.

After another day of travel, blessedly free of snowstorms, the PCs arrived in Lischt. A shoddy, hand-painted sign proudly declared the village “Home of the Fantastical Talking Goat!” Clearly the rumors were true. The party made their way to the Green Mug inn to get rooms and ask where to find the goat. That lead to this memorable exchange:
  • Me (the GM): You enter the inn, the woman running the place, Widow Frammen, comes to greet you.
  • Gerrit: Is she cute?
  • Me: What? No… No, nobody would ever call her cute. But she has a certain presence about her. A distinct pride. Every line in her face, every streak of gray in her hair speaks of hardships endured and triumphs wrung out of tragedy. She’d make you---any one of you—a fine wife and partner.
  • Gerrit: So she looks like…
  • Me: Like Maude-era Bea Arthur.
  • Gerrit: Never mind.
Those callous louts don’t know what they missed out on. A successful businesswoman with her own land and strong opinions. Together they could have made that village a kingdom. But it was not to be…

Anyway, the party made their way to Terwilliger's farm. There they met Isaac Terwilliger and his two sons out chopping wood. “Are you here to meet my wonderful goat?” he asked. The party said that yes they were. “Excellent! I will send my youngest boy to the barn to prepare the goat. He must make sure the animal is in the right sort of mood to speak to strangers! We will just wait here a few moments while he does this!”

The party chatted with Isaac while his son ran off to the barn. After a few minutes, Isaac he said the goat must be ready now. He took the PCs’ silver pieces and led them to the goat. Inside the barn, a back stall was draped with purple cloth and incense filled the air. A painted lantern filled the barn with pink light. A goat with sparkling blue horns stood in the stall, lazily chewing on a boot. “Oh hello there!” said the goat, in a squeaky high-pitched voice. The PCs couldn’t see its mouth move, what with the boot and all, but it spoke with surprising clarity. “Who comes to me seeking the words of prophecy? Simply put more silver into my bucket, and I shall look through the mists of time to answer your questions.”

Farmer Terwilliger looked proud of his goat, and eager for the party’s silver. His oldest boy looked bored. His youngest son was nowhere to be seen. The players looked both disappointed and amused—a careful balance of reactions that I live for as a GM. The PCs gave a quick glance around the barn, while they stood there, watching the goat poop. The couldn’t see anyone hiding, but Gerrit was pretty sure he heard someone shuffling around the hayloft over the goat, and someone spotted what looked like a can of sparkly blue paint. In the end, they thanked the farmer and left without asking the goat for any prophecy.

The next day found the party back on the road, heading east towards Neubrandenburg. Not to far out from the city, they ran into a small train of brightly colored wagons. The peeling paint on the side of the lead wagon proclaimed this to be the Great Thespian Collective, a troupe of traveling actors, musicians, and other performers. Several of them seemed to have been recently wounded. Indeed, they had recently been run out of Neubrandenburg. The conservative Swedish occupiers have been driving actors, puppeteers, and other “undesirables” from the city. The party sympathized with the troupe and spent the afternoon with them, sharing a meal, trading gossip, and making sure the actors' wounds were attended to. Belinda and Ana spent some time talking to the troupe's resident magician, one Doctor Jupiter, an actual practitioner of real magic. He was able to give Belinda some tips on how to use powdered faerie horn (from the Pale Lady) as a reagent for the Summoning spell.

Eventually the parties split ways, and the PCs headed towards Neubrandenburg. Seeing that the gates were heavily guarded by Swedish soldiers examining every traveler and cart entering the city, they decided the skip the city for now and head west towards where they hoped the Pagan's Well could be found.

After another day of travel, they came upon Kotstadt, the village supposedly near the Well. Kotstadt's main industry was pig and sheep raising, and the village certainly smelled as such. The PCs made their way to the Happy Woodsman inn and tavern, where the patrons were all well into one of the bawdier verses of “She Loves my One-Eyed Monster,” a much beloved drinking song. The hostler Kerney and his cousin-wife Zelda were all happy to tell the party about the old Pagan's Well. It was a well known source of good luck for the village, and young couples often pitch pennies into its depths for luck and large families. Of course, no one would ever dream of climbing into the well to see what was at the bottom. That was bad luck! Why, the last people who tried to do that 50 years ago were never seen again, and it brought plague to the village.

Such dire warnings didn't deter the party, and the next morning found them traipsing through the light woods a mile south of the village, looking for the Pagan's Well. Before they could find the well, however, they ran into a mysterious and creepy man with one eye, dressed all in filthy leathers and collecting hallucinogenic mushrooms. When asked about the Well, the man said “Some things is best not looked into. And bad things happen to those what do. If'n I was you, I'd go pitch my pennies, then leave the well be.” The party assured him that they'd take his advise under consideration. The strange woodsman nodded grimly, then disappeared back into the shadows and underbrush.

With only a slight feeling of foreboding, the party continued their search and eventually found Pagan's Well. It was a large and ancient structure, waist-high, eight feet across, and covered in moss and lichen. About ten feet down, the well shaft was blocked by a rusty iron grate set into the stone walls. Belinda used her Unseen Servant spell to tie ropes around the grate, while the rest of the party lashed the other ends of the rope to their horses. With a few minutes of equine exertion, the rusty grate was wrenched from the shaft walls with a cacophonous shriek of metal, knocking down one side of the surface well in the process.

Well,” I said, you've got a clear path to the bottom now, but anyone in these here woods is certainly aware of what just happened.”

And that's where we stopped!

XP and Rewards
No combat and no treasure found, but 90 XP to each PC for travel, finding new places, and surviving the snowstorm.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Brad McDevitt joins Draugr & Draculas

Draugr & Draculas reached it's $500 funding goal in just under 15 hours! That's awesome and very humbling! Thanks to everyone who pledged and spread the word!

I hadn't originally planned on doing any stretch goals, but I got such a positive response, I decided to add one to bring on another friend and and artist.

I'm happy to announce that if the campaign tops $750, I will be able to commission art from the 
lauded Bradley K. McDevitt of Dungeon Crawl Classics and NightLife fame. Brad and I have been friends for 20 years, and I'm very excited to bring him on board to class the joint up with some sweet Lady Bathory art. Thanks, Brad!

Brads a creative machine, and I'm eager to see what he puts together for this. As of this writing, we're just $75 away from meeting this goal. Let's do this, gang!

Example of Brad's stuff

Monday, February 25, 2019

Draugr & Draculas--Now on Kickstarter!

This morning, I launched my first Kickstarter project, as part of this February's Zinequest promotion. Draugr & Draculas is a traditional one-color 5.5" x 8.5" zine for old-style roleplaying adventure games.

From the Kisckstarter page...

Dracula, king of the vampires. Vampires, the most noble of undead. For too long these classic monsters have been tweaked, bent, and reimagined to where they no longer resemble the classic bloodsuckers of old. But no more! Draugrs & Draculas brings the vampire back to its evening-wear-clad glory. Retro Draculas for retro RPGs! The kind that would make Lee and Langella proud.

Also, just for fun, we've got some undead vikings.

Draugr & Draculas is a one-off zine for old-stye/OSR roleplaying adventure games. Dr&Dr focuses on vampires, undead, and spooky horror magic for use in your own fantasy RPG campaigns. The zine will be entirely written and illustrated by me, Josh Burnett. In accordance with the Zine Quest guidelines, Draugr & Draculas will be a 5.5” x 8.5” zine, staple-bound and printed in black-and-white. I estimate it should clock in at around 24-32 pages.

What's in the zine?
  • Count Dracula himself, as well as his origins and current motivations
  • Details on Dracula's lesser servants
  • Dracula's deadly rival, Elizabeth Bathroy
  • Draugr—northern undead of varying degrees of power
  • The Draugr class
  • Rules for magic users striking a deal with the Devil
  • New magical items of perilous power
  • Pagan's Well, a small dungeon full of traps and treasure
  • And whatever else I can fit in this thing.
This is my first Kickstarter, so I'm playing it safe with only a few simple pledge levels and no stretch goals. I have another Kickstarter planned later in the year that will be much more ambitious (stay tuned!).

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Flumph for Godbound (Flumph Friday February)

Hey kids, its the third week of Flumph Friday February, 2019 edition. This week I bring you the Flumph for Kevin Crawfor'd old-school game of epic mega-fantasy demigods, Godbound. 

The Flumphs were once kind and benevolent healers from distant realms. Their temples and hospices dotted the small places of the Old Empire.

Then you humans had to go and fuck things up! Now the Flumphs are pissed, and they've teamed up with the angels. You've brought this upon yourselves!

Flumph Swarm
AC: 7
Move: 30' fly
Hit Dice: 12/24/36
Save: 13+
Attack: +1/ +1x2/ +1x3
Damage: 1d6 (tentacle spikes)
Morale: 8
Effort: 1

These flumphs have had enough of your human bullshit and have teamed up to drive you out of their territory. Whose the goofy little jellyfish alien now, tough guy? A flumph swarm can commit Effort for the scene to create a cloud of noxious chemicals. Any non-flumph caught within the Mob must make a Hardiness save or suffer a -4 penalty to all their attacks and a +2 penalty to their AC until they leave the mob's area. The mob is made up of 1 hit die creatures, and is susceptible to powers and Fray dice that affect such foes.

Flumph Champion
AC: 3
Move: 50' Fly
Hit Dice: 10
Save: 11+
Attack: +10 x 3 attacks
Damage: 1d10 (acid-laced tentacle spikes)
Morale: 10
Effort: 4

Sometimes a Flumph will rise above his peers. Its piety, prowess, and dedication to the forces of Order impress the angelic hosts enough that they bond the Flumph to a Word—usually Fate, Health, or Sky. A Flumph Champion is bound to a single Word and usually has access to three Gifts. Additionally, the Champion can commit Effort for the day to release a cloud of caustic chemicals with a 30' radius. Any non-flumph caught within the cloud takes 1d6 damage per round (rolled straight against unworthy foes). The cloud lasts until the end of the scene or until dispelled.

(D6) Flumph Champion Tactics
  1. Summons a small Flumph Swarm to its aid. 
  2. Squirt a blinding stream of caustic goo into its opponent's eyes. Evasion save or be blinded for 2d6 rounds.
  3. Use all its attacks to attack a single opponent in a flurry of tentacle jabs.
  4. Fly out of reach of its enemies and blast its foes with Gifts.
  5. Spin around like a pinwheel of death, making a single attack roll against every opponent in melee range.
  6. Call upon the blessings of the Highest Ones, healing itself for 1d6 HD

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Dog Days in Hegedorf [LotFP Session 5]

After defeating the Pale Lady, the party returned to the mortal world and the Abbey of St. Agnes. There were debriefings to give, rewards to earn, secrets to hide, and fallout to deal with. It was mostly a decompression session after the action of the previous game. Most of the action took place in the village of Hegendorf. It was a good social/role-playing session, but they managed to get into spooky trouble near the end.

Our Heroes:
  • Belinda Kage: Serpentblood 1, Midwife
  • Madeline: Specialist 2, Grave-robber
  • Mortimer: Alice 2, Librarian
  • Julius Cervantes: Fighter 2, Ex-witch-hunter
  • Gerrit Liddstadt of Worms: Fighter 1, Soldier

  • Ana Fischer: Witch
  • Girnot: Dogsbody
  • Hernando and August: Children rescued from the Pale Lady.

The party stepped out of the woods, as they returned from the Pale Lady’s realm. They had two pre-teen boys with them, August and Hernando, potential sacrifices rescued from the faeire queen. It was a frigid winter night, so the party sent Julius ahead with the boys to explain things to the Mother Superior. The rest of the party stashed the magic mirror (containing Lucifer) in the hay loft of the abbey’s barn.

With Lucifer hidden, the party headed towards the Abby and ran into Ana waiting for them on the steps outside. The witch had a tuft-eared squirrel sitting on her shoulder, who regarded the PCs with judgmental black eyes. “This is my new friend, Beverly,” Ana explained. When asked how she got the squirrel Ana said “Well you know… Innocent country girls like me, we’re always making woodland friends.” The party decided to leave it at that for now.

Once inside the Abby, the sisters made sure August and Hernando were feed and warm, then the party met with Mother Ruth in her office. They told her all that had transpired in the Pale Lady’s home (leaving out the demonic mirror and the child murder). They explained the nature of the Word of Creation and gave Mother Ruth the amulet that would her to experience the Word herself, come the next solstice. The Mother Superior was clearly disappointed that the Word wasn’t something they could simply give to her, but the party had kept their end of the deal, and they were owed their reward.

Mother Ruth took them to the secret vaults under the church (the players were briefly concerned that they were returning to the Ghoul Market). Once there, she presented the party with the Sword of Prester John. It was an old cruciform sword in a shabby scabbard. The blade was rusted, dull, and useless, but the golden hilt was decorated with biblical scenes and valuable jewels. Belinda, the chaotic, half-alien serpentblood felt uneasy looking upon it. Julius took possession of the Sword for the time being. The former witch hunter was determined to have the blade refurbished.

GM’s Note: As written in the adventure, the sword of Prester John is a rusty old fake of little value. That seemed like a cruel trick to my PCs (although they could have asked to look at it before accepting the job.) But I didn’t want to give them a boring old magic sword. Luckily, Eldritch Fields recently posted ideas for religious artifacts, so I swiped some ideas from there. The Sword of Prester John is useless in combat, but it acts as a holy symbol that gives non-clerics the ability to turn undead, and lets clerics turn undead at +1 level.

The next morning, the party headed off to the village of Hegendrof and stayed there for three days. My computer crashed in the middle of writing this, and I don't have the wherewithal to write it all out again, so I'm going to hit the highlights with some bullet-points, then get to the house robbery.
  • The party spent most of there time at the Alexander Hegen's trading post, the main social hub for the village.
  • They met the new PC, a retired infantry soldier named Gerrit Liddstadt.
  • Pig framer, Karl Hogon, told Madeline that crazy Old Man Hagan has treasure hidden somewhere in his house. If they help him get it, Karl will cut them in for 50%.
  • Belinda charmed Antonio the blacksmith and convinced him to take on Hernando and August as apprentices.
  • Antonio did not have the skills to repair the Sword of Prester John, but game Julius a letter of introduction for the master blacksmith who taught him in Neubrandenburg.
  • They made friends with Black Molly, the charcoal burner, who is also a skilled trapper and skinner. She was able to skin the body of the Pale Lady, preserve the spell runes on her flesh, and bind them into an ersatz spellbook.
  • On a trip back to the Abbey, Belinda and Ana were unable to bring the Lucifer mirror into the convent. Instead they made a generous donation and rented an unused tool shed elsewhere on the grounds. When Lucifer complained about his new abode, it startled Ana, whom the party had not told about the mirror. After Belinda introduced Ana to “Lucifer,” the witch slyly replied “That's not Lucifer.”
  • On the way back to town, Ana confided to Belinda “Y'know, if you wanted to meet Lucifer, I can make that happen.” Belinda replied “Let's save that for later.”
  • Mortimer wanted to drum up some money by entertaining the villagers, so he put on “a saucy puppet show.” The villagers were thrilled and delighted. But then Old Man Hagan entered. The crazy old man was outraged by the puppets' excessive sauciness and attempted to thrash Mortimer. Julius clocked the old man on the back of the head, diffusing the situation.
  • With Old Man Hagan unconscious, Madeline and Gerrit took this opportunity to rob his house (without telling Karl Hogon).

This is where things got real interesting. While the rest of the party kept the villagers distracted, Madeline and Gerrit snuck off to Old Man Hagan's home, a large, two-story house that had seen better days. They had heard that Hagan had a dog named “Manfred,” but none of the villagers could recall ever actually seeing it. Needless to say, the two thieves were playing things cautious.

The came to the back door, picked the lock, and opened it. With a sharp “THWANG!” Madeline took a crossbow bolt to the shoulder. The old man had trapped the door, and likely had traps elsewhere. They entered the house and came to the next door. Madeline took the time to examine this door more carefully, and found a wire leading from the handle into the doorjamb. Carefully plucking this wire, a 50lb weight crashed through the door frame, and would have crushed the heard of anyone who had carelessly opened the door. “This place is like Home Alone,” commented Madeline's player.

The next room was a large dining room, with an open doorway that lead to the sitting room. The dining room was dusty, and seemed mostly unused except for one spot at the end of the table, presumably where Old Man Hagan ate alone. The nine unused place settings all had taxidermied animals sitting in their places. Poorly stuffed badgers, squirrels, foxes, and other critters with glassy, misaligned eyes. “This is severely fucked up,” said one of the off-scene players. Madeline and Gerrit carefully examined the expensive looking silverware but found no traps. The heavy knives, forks, and spoons all went into a sack. Loot at last!

As they moved on to head into the sitting room, Madeline said “I stop to look at the floor under the arch to see if there's a tripwire or something. Should I roll?” Nope, I told her. She was looking for a specific thing in a specific place, so there was no need to roll. Madeline is played by my kid, our youngest and least-experienced player. It makes since that they're the one most quickly adapting to OSR-style trap finding. They don't have 20-plus years of programming to overcome! I was very proud.

There was no trip-line to be found, so Madeline and Gerrit moved into the sitting room. The room was decorated with old German flags and a huge (and expensive-looking) painting of the Emperor. That's when the two thieves heard something on the stairs. The looked up to the landing and saw a small black schnauzer staring at them. “That must be Manfred” said Gerrit.

Bark,” said the dog.

Wait. Did he actually bark, or did he say 'bark'?”

Bark,” said the dog.

Okay we're backing slowly away.”

As they backed away, the dog continued to approach them. “Growl,” said the dog. It opened it's mouth, wider and wider until its head began to hinge backwards towards it's spine.

Fuck it, I turn and run,” said Madeline, and she did so.

The two ran as fast as they could, through the kitchen and out the back door, Madeline made for the Trading Post across the street, while Garret tried to climb a tree while fumbling for his rifle. A failed saving through meant while he got safely up the tree, he dropped his gun and it landed in the snow. 

Gerrit watched from his perch as the “dog,” no looking perfectly normal walked outside, picked up his rifle and brought it back inside. Once inside, the dog dropped the gun and turned around. It looked Gerrit straight in the eye, said “bark” once more, and the door closed without anyone touching it.
Gerrit briefly considered going back into the house for his musket (it's an expensive piece of equipment), but eventually thought better of it. 

The party is now fully ready to leave Hegendorf behind them.

Treasure Gained:
500sp in fancy silverware
Hand-crafted faerie-skin spellbook
The Sword of Prester John

Friday, February 15, 2019

Flumph for Into the Odd [Flumph Friday February]

Let's move right along into the second week of Flumph Friday February 2019!
This week I bring you the Flumph for Chris McDowall's awesome game, Into the Odd.

STR 8, DEX 11, WIL 14, 8 HP
Driven to collect and curate Arcana. Usually happy to live quiet lives, maintaining their collections and performing rituals to the Unfathomable Moist Gods. Cloisters are able to present organized resistance when invaded by treasure-hunters. Attacks with tentacle spikes for 1d6 Damage. Produces a noxious chemical oil that forces attackers to make a STR save or have all their attacks Impaired. A cloister will often have at least one piece of Arcana the Flumphs can use to defend their home.