Monday, November 25, 2013

Catacombs of the Cackling Cleric

Tobarius Snerk was a high priest of the Iron King who went mad after an unpleasant adventure on the plane of Pandemonium. His mind cracked and he turned his devotion to Ixxaxxariax, the lord of MADNESS and FIRE!

Snerk had many followers. Those who refused to covert to his new faith were put to the sword. Those who did convert willingly sacrificed themselves into a life of undeath. Snerk, now known as the Cackling Cleric, placed them all in the catacombs beneath the burning ruins of his desecrated basilica before entombing himself and embracing twisted un-life.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Death and Dismemberment

So what happens when your old-school dungeon explorer reaches 0 Hit Points? Instant death never really sat well with me, and the oh-so-very-common house rule about bleeding out until you hit -10 (or whatever) is so damn boring.

That means it's time for the wild and unpredictable world of Death & Dismemberment Charts!

Adventurer Conqueror King has a really swell chart for death and dying, but it's a tad too complex and involved for what I want to do with my Labyrinth Lord campaign. A few years back, Trollsmyth posted a nice little chart for death and critical wounds. What I've done here is take bits of both and mooshed them all together with a couple of my own ideas.

These ladies had to make some rolls.
The basic idea is that reaching 0HP is bad but not necessarily deadly, at least not instantly. Even if you survive, you'll probably wind up battered and scarred. If you wind up too crippled or maimed, you might think about retiring your character and becoming the patron of a worthy protegee (replacement PC). Rook's Landing is full of people like this.

I'm eager to see how these rules work out, once I start my Abaddon campaign.

Death & Dismemberment

Blogger does funny things to tables. You can read these rules as a Google Doc if it's easier.

These rules are mostly intended for PCs, but important or powerful NPCs might use them, too.

There are no negative Hit Points.
When brought to 0HP, roll on this table. (2d6 and 1d4)
Each subsequent roll while still at 0HP gives a -1 penalty to the 2d6

Instant Death
Heart punctured or ruptured
Brain destroyed
Torso rent in half
Fatal Wound
Guts spilled onto ground.
Jaw ripped off
Back shattered
Lungs  crushed
Critical Wound
Brain Damage
(-1d4 INT)

Arm severed or crushed
Crushed or pierced lungs
(-1d4 Con)
Leg severed or crushed
Serious Wounds
Lose an eye.
(-1 to ranged attacks)
Badly scarred
(-1d4 CHA)
Bad Back
(-1 Stone carrying capacity)
Damaged Joints
(Go last  on your side’s initiative)
Light Wounds
1d6 teeth knocked out
1d3 fingers lost
Cosmetic scarring
Noticeable limp
I’ve had Worse
KO’d for 2d6 rounds
KO’d for 1d6 rounds
Stunned for  2d4 rounds
Stunned for 1d4 rounds
Ain’t got Time to Bleed
Still holding on. You bounce back with 1 hp
Not as bad as it looks. You still have 1d4 hp + CON bonus
Adrenaline Surge! 1d4 hp per level. After combat you return to  0hp and pass out for 2d6 turns.
Avenging Angel!
Visions of Death empower you. You will die in 2d6 rounds, but for now you are up, awake, and have  +2 to hit and damage.

Fatal Wound
Down. Save vs. Death -3 or KO’d.
Will die in 1d6 rounds unless Wish or Heal is applied.
Require 1d4 months of bed rest.

Critical Wounds
Save vs Death -2 or KO’d.
Will die in 2d6 rounds unless healing magic or first aid is applied (1-in-8 plus WIS mod)
Spells used for this will not restore lost hp.
Require 2d4 weeks bed rest

Serious Wounds
Save vs Death -1 or KO’d
WIll die in 3d6 rounds unless healing magic or first aid is applied (1-in-6 plus WIS mod)
Spells used for this will not restore lost hp.
Require 1d4 weeks bed rest

Light Wounds
Save vs Death or KO’d
Will die in 4d6 rounds unless healing magic or first aid is applied (no roll needed)
Requires 1d8 days bed rest

Even if they remain conscious,a character suffering from these wounds is helpless and can take no action until they recover from bedrest.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sanctum of the Slug Priests [Mini-Map Monday]

The despicable Slug Priests have a secret sanctum deep underground. Part of this complex was constructed by enslaved Gibber Gnomes, while other parts were chewed out by the priests' sluggy masters. The entrance is guarded by a foul mucus moat, while the uncanny Slime Gate leads to a molluscoid netherworld.

Click it to big it!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elves and Dwarves of Wyrld

Let's talk about the elves and dwarves. I'm not out to reinvent these guys, but they have a few peculiarities to Wyrld.

Elves of Wyrld
The Annunaki brought the elves with them when they came down from the stars. Long-lived and beautiful, the Annunaki used the elves as slaves for all manner of foul pleasures and entertainments.

Elves are beautiful and androgynous beings. Some sages suspect that they may be at least partially plant-based. This would explain their long lifespans and their resistance to sleep and charm. Thanks to their long life and alien nature, magic comes readily to elves.

Generally, elves worship no gods. They went down that path once before with the Annunaki, and it didn’t turn out well for the elves. Instead, elves revere the impersonal forces of nature--fire, wind, storms, the sea, etc. Some of the most depraved and chaotic of elves cast their lot with the Dead Gods.

In recent years, many elves, especially older ones, have begun to feel an uncontrollable pull towards the depths of space. They lapse into weird meditative states, casting their minds across strange alien vistas. Eventually, their minds leave their body and never return. Their physical body petrifies, transforming into a weird substance somewhat like ivory, somewhat like wood, somewhat like amber.

Elves tend to have names like Wuxia film heroes--Thunder Eagle, Starlight Radiant, Clever Foxfire, etc.

Mechanical Stuff
Wyrd (and Abaddon by extension) uses the Elf race/class from Labyrinth Lord. with a D6 as its Hit Dice.

Like all PC races, elves do not have infravision.

Elves have a +2 to the Search skill, and have a 1-in-6 chance to detect secret doors passively (without dedicated searching).

The spellbook of a 1st level Elf starts with 1) Read Magic, 2) One spell of their choice, 3) One spell determined randomly

Elves require one free hand to cast spells. An elf using a 2-handed weapon can hold said weapon in one-hand while casting. Most elves avoid shields and prefer longbows and greatswords for this reason.

Fluffy Stuff
There are three main breeds of Elf. Each breed has distinct tendencies towards alignment and types of magic, but no hard rules.

Arboreal Elves (Forest Elves)
Live deep in the pine and oak forests of the cold North.
Tan, ruddy, or copper-toned skin with black, brown, or honey hair.
Taller than humans.
Tend towards Law.
Usually prefer swords and elemental spells.

Floral Elves (Glade Elves) 
Live in the forested hills and glades of the temperate lands.
Creamy skin, often with blue, green, or pink tints. Hair may be colored red, blue, green, purple, or other almost any other hue.
Shorter than humans.
Tend towards Neutrality.
Usually prefer bows and enchantment spells.

Fungal Elves (Midden Elves)
Live underground in the Deep Down Below.
Bone white or gray skin. While, gray, or black hair. Solid black eyes.
About human-height.
Tend towards Chaos.
Usually prefer spears and necromantic spells.

Dwarves of Wyrld

After the Annunaki came down from the stars, they needed a labor force. Elves were too fragile and valuable, and humans were too wily and delicious, so the Annunaki created the Dwarves. Craftwise and sturdy, the Dwarves raised mighty cities and dug deep mines for their alien masters.

Dwarves are shorter than humans, but have almost the same mass, making them dense but powerful.. Male dwarves cultivate mighty beards as a symbol of pride. Female dwarves are beardless but craft their hair into elaborate braids.
When a dwarf dies, his heart concretes into a gem of otherworldly color and shape. Dwarves revere no gods, but practice an elaborate form of ancestor worship. They build great family shrines to house the heartstones of their forebearers where they can meditate and study the wisdom of the past. The greatest of dwarven artifacts are set with the heartstones of dwarven heroes of old.

Dwarves and humans have been allies for centuries, and the ties of friendship between the two races are old and deep. The alien nature of the elves cause them great suspicion.

Mechanical Stuff
Dwarves in Wyrld use the race/class as found in the main Labyrinth Lord book.
Dwarves are amazingly tough, and use a D10 for their Hit Dice.

Their squat build prevents Dwarves from using polearms or longbows (shortbows are okay).

Instead of the underground detection stuff, Dwarves has a +2 to the Architecture skill.

As with all PC races, Dwarves do not have infravision.

Fluffy Stuff
There are two main breeds of dwarves. They have some flavor/narrative differences, but are mechanically identical.

Dwarves of Fire
There are the feisty, loud, hard-drinking, Scottish-accented dwarves. The tend to have fair-to-ruddy skin and red, orange, or brown hair. Dwarves of Fire are masters of metal work and make their homes in stony hills and mountain fortresses. Dwarves of Fire tend towards Neutrality and prefer axes.

Dwarves of Stone
These dwarves are serious and conservative folk, sometimes leaning towards grim and dour. They are almost Calvinist in their attitudes towards work, family, and community. Unsurprisingly, Dwarves of Stone are master masons and stoneworkers. They build their homes and vaults underground or deep in the hearts of mountains. They have brown-to-gray skin with dark hair. Dwarves of Stone tend towards Law and prefer hammers.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Clerics of Wyrld

In setting up my Beyond the Wall campaign for my home group, I've let my preparations for my G+ Labyrinth Lord game slide. Well enough of that. Let's hash out some house rules and fluff for clerics (and druids, if you must).

Clerics in Wyrld
Clerics conform almost exactly to the rules of Labyrinth Lord. They use a D6 as their Hit Dice and start casting spells at first level.

Clerics get bonus spells for high Wisdom, as explained in the Advanced Edition Companion.

Clerics cannot be Neutral in alignment. They must either cast their lot with Law or Chaos. A theoretically neutral god would not be interested enough in humanity to grant spells or powers.

On the other hand, druids, who worship the impersonal powers of nature, must be neutral.

The Powers of Law
The humans of the Brazen Empire worship two gods of Law, Bramah and Unaste, the Divine Couple. Lawful clerics must choose which god they serve.

Not every priest is a cleric. In fact, most of Bramah and Unastre’s clergy is composed of non-spell-casting lay-leaders (usually fighters or 0-level humans). Clerics are the special chosen of the gods, tasked with defending the faith and bringing the might of the gods to the unholy.

After disappearing for 300 years, the island of Abaddon seems to have largely forgotten the gods of Law. It's time to fix that, padre.

God of Heroes, the Sun, Smiths, Civilization
Symbol: Golden bull
Bramah is the deified hero who defeated the Witchlords of Ur and founded the Brazen Empire. He forged the sun and set it in the sky and built the first cities.

Goddess of Magic, the Moon, Sex, and Death
Symbol: Six-armed woman
Unastre was a powerful demoness who forsook her hell-borne nature and took up the cause of Law. She raised Bramah from the dead when he was killed by Santanis.

The Powers of Chaos
Law is vastly outnumbered by the forces of Chaos. Thankfully, these evil powers fight against each other as much as clash against Bramah and Unastre.

God of Evil, Betrayal, Murder, and Darkness

Symbol: Goat skull
Santanis was Bramah’s best friend and battle-partner. He betrayed and murdered Bramah, then devoured the essence of the Dead God Ahrizoth, becoming a god himself. Santinis is the only god of Chaos who is not an unknowable alien monstrosity.

The Dead GodsThe Dead Gods are the insane, alien god of the Anuunaki, brought down from the Outer Dark. The violent and brutish clans of beastmen (goblins, orcs, ogres, etc) worship them, as do the most depraved and insane of human cultists. The exact number and names of the Dead Gods remain unknown, but they are said to include:

Ktulhu – The dreamer in the deeps (Symbol: Fanged tentacles)
The Yellow King – God of sickness, insanity, and ennui (Symbol: The Yellow Sign)
Aboath – God of slime and filth (Symbol: 13 eyes)
Shub-Nergaal – The mother of monsters (Symbol: Black hoofprint)
Nyarloth – The dread herald (Symbol: Black horn)
Yog – God of space, time, and fate (Symbol: Spiral)
Zothmagoth – The mad destroyer (Symbol: Bloody bone mace)

Druids in Wyrld
Druids must be neutral humans. They do not worship gods, but revere the impersonal powers of nature (thunder, fire, wind, etc) and various totem spirits (bear, wolf, raven, etc.) The woodsmen tribes on the frontier are much more likely to have druids among them than clerics.

Druids in Wyrld conform to most of the rules found in the Advanced Edition Companion. They use a d6 for their Hit Dice and get bonus spells for high Wisdom.

Druids get a +2 to their Bushcraft skill.



The Mounds of the Old Kings (and other maps) [Mini-Map Monday]

So I totally missed last week's Mini-Map Monday. I was wicked busy Monday (all week, actually) and I just plum forgot about it. I even had the map already made and everything. What a dummy.

Anyhoo, I have multiple maps to share this Monday. They are all maps I made for my "Beyond the Wall" campaign  in the Thistlethorn Forest.

The Mounds of the Old Kings are a cluster of ancient burial mounds in the north of the forest. The burnt bones of wild horses are scattered across the ground in front of the stone doors. The Wight of the Warrior Queen and the Skull Monk were bitter rivals in life. They are not friendly in death.

The Hag's Tower is the lair of Granny Gristlebones and her redcap minions. The old tunnels beneath the crumbling tower lead to a cold, underground river that leads to an island where Granny keeps her treasures and spellbooks. A giant snake of poor disposition patrols this river.

The village of Woodharrow has been abandoned for decades. The bell in the church has crashed into he bottom of the tower. The sails on the windmill lie broken and tattered. Many of the houses are burnt husks. The demon-haunted axe "Neckchopper" rests in block of wood in the blasted town square. The magical blade still weeps blood.