Saturday, August 27, 2016

Blorgamorg, The Chthonic Snail [DCC Patron]

The Chthonic Snail patiently crawls through the hidden places below the earth, always chewing, always listening, always feeding on the secret wisdom of the world. Blorgamorg is a patient and wise entity, who eschews the petty conflicts of law and chaos. He prizes knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Lore sustains him. All secrets are known to him. Blorgamorg values servants who show tenacity, fortitude, and foresight. Rash and hasty minions displease him. Blorgamorg bitterly hates Bobububilz, and followers of the Chthonic Snail must always guard against the machinations of the Demon Lord of Amphibians. 

Gencon rekindled my love for Dungeon Crawl Classics and the creative community built up around it. I'm currently cobbling together a funnel adventure that I'm hoping will lead into a full campaign once my D&D 5th Ed game comes to a stopping point. Part of that funnel/campaign revolves around Blorgamorg the Chthonic Snail. 

Creating a complete patron for DCC is a big undertaking. Invoke results, three spells, patron taint, etc... It's a lot of work. I've been having fun with it. The self-appointed task of creating things again has been good for my general spiritual health. 

The linked file contains all the general patron info: Invoke Patron results, Patron Taint, and Spellburn. I am still working on two of his spells (Snail Mail is done), and I shall post them all when they are finished.

Blorgamorg's complete write-up now appears in Crepuscular #1. On sale now!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Grumchomp, The Hungry Blade [DCC Magical Weapon]

Grumchomp, The Hungry Blade

Grumchomp is an enchanted greataxe crafted 3000 years ago for the for the warlord Vorgo the Immense. The massive, double-beaked axe is made from tyrannosaurus bones and wrapped with troglodyte skin. The heavy bone blade is carved in the likeness of a demon or dragon.

This fearsome weapon is constantly hungry. It prefers the blood and flesh of its owner’s enemies, but is quite content to sit in a bowl of stew or plate of cutlets while it waits for a worthy foe.

Grumchomp possesses several magical properties:
  • Intelligence: 6
  • Alignment: Neutral
  • Communicates through simple urges
  • Desires to fight and/or eat greater and greater foes. Urges its own into gluttony.
  • While in the hands of a warrior or dwarf who is at least 50 pounds overweight, the axe increases its wielder’s Deed Die by +1d (to a maximum of 1d10+6 at level 10).
  • On a Critical Hit, in addition to the normal crit effects, Grumchomp feeds on the flesh, blood, and spirit of the target and shares this vitality with its wielder. The wielder of Grumchomp does not need to eat or drink for a number of days equal to the damage inflicted by the Critical Hit.
  • Once per day, Grumchomp can tell it’s wielder where the best restaurant in town is.

grumchomp the hungry blade.jpg

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Murder Orb [D&D 5th Edition]

I loved the Phantasm movies back when I was a young punk. When Mind Flayers recently invaded my D&D campaign, I stole more than a few ideas.

Murder orbs are small constructs created by illithids and their alien science. These silvery metal orbs are made of a layered shell of mithril and adamantite around a core of humanoid brain matter and psionic circuitry.  Murder Orbs typically patrol the shadowy corridors of illithid lairs or act as bodyguards for individual mind flayers. A high-status illithid is often accompanied by two or more Murder Orbs, which are easily hidden within the monster’s voluminous robes.

When a Murder Orb detects a target, it extends two extremely sharp, jagged spikes from its center and flies directly into its victim, impaling them and attaching to flesh and bone. Once secured, the Murder Orb extends a high-powered auger from between the spikes and drills into its victim’s flesh, causing further damage.

Murder Orb
Tiny Construct, Lawful Evil

AC: 18 (natural armor + dexterity)
HP: 24 (8d4+8)
Speed: 60’ fly

STR: 4 (-3), DEX: 20 (+5), CON: 12 (+1), INT: 6 (-2), WIS: 16 (+3), CHA: 6 (-2)
Saves: Dexterity +7
Skills: Perception +5, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances: Bludgeoning, Slashing, Piercing from non-magical non-adamantine weapons
Damage Immunities: Cold, Lightning, Fire, Poison
Condition Immunities: Charm, Exhaustion, Frightened, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned
Senses: Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception: 15
Languages: Understands Deep Speech, cannot speak
Challenge: 2 (450xp)

Spike. Melee weapon attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 feet, one target. Hit: 8 (1d6+5) piercing damage. On a successful hit, the Murder Orb attaches itself to its target. The Murder Orb’s movement drops to 0. The target or a nearby ally can use their action to try and remove the Murder Orb with a DC: 15 Strength check. The victim suffers 1d6 bludgeoning damage per removal attempt (successful or not). The Murder Orb can voluntarily detach from its victim as a Bonus Action (this causes no damage).

Drill. While attached to a target, the Murder Orb can use its action to drill into its victim’s flesh. This causes an automatic 2d6 piercing damage to the target.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Tale of Two GMs [Gen Con 2016]

Saturday night, and one of our GMs for Hex Games suddenly couldn’t make it to Gencon. This left his sold-out game with no GM and very, very short notice. We didn’t want to disappoint the nice people, nor did we want Hex’s reputation with Gencon to suffer. So, with only a couple hours lead time and nothing but the original GM’s scant blurb to go on, Leighton Connor and I stepped in to co-GM the game.

It was a Hobomancer game, and the program blurb mentioned a time-traveling pocket watch that needed to be destroyed in the first nuclear reactor (Chicago Pile-1, Chicago University, 1942 btw) and a bunch of Lord of the Rings references. Mere minutes before the game was scheduled to start LC and I put our heads together while I scribbled key-words and brief ideas on index cards:

Gordon the Gray
Bikers as Nazgul?
Sneaky Snakes/Serpent Men in Valusia
King Kull
VLHRG the Timewyrm
The Old West
Retro-Future Sci Fi Era
Post-Apoc Ape City

And thus we started madly improvising.We managed to lift large sections of plot from the “Swords & Serpents” chapter we did for LC’s Electric Team comic. It helped to have a common framework we could hang things on. LC and I can banter well with each other. In fact, we had to pull back a couple times, lest we forget about the PCs while we continued to bounce shtick off each other.

The adventure session went great, and the players had a fun time. (Pretty sure, I think, I hope. Everyone was laughing and smiling.) I can can at least guarantee the adventure was unlike anything else they’ve played. One of the players smilingly called us “you glorious BS artists” which I choose to take as a compliment.

At any rate, next year I am running three “Hobomancers in Time” adventures. This idea has legs!
Universes BURN at the voice of VLHRG!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Gencon A-Go-Go!

In a scant few hours I'm piling everyone into the Taurus and driving four hours to Gencon. Hooray! This is something like my fifth Gencon. Ivy and Erik have been to smaller conventions (1000 people or so), but this is their first Gencon. My wife and son are not adequately  prepared for the scale of Gencon. It should be an exciting time. 

Ivy's peen invited to a Pokemon Go lure party and is attending a Werewolf LARP for Mind's Eye Theater. Both her and Erik Also have a lot of cosplay stuff put together. I expect Erik to find a group of teens and disappear pretty quickly. I hope to play in a couple of DCC tournaments, and I really hope to run into some of my G+ peeps. I'm very much looking forward to getting to sit around and talk with my friends for Hex Games who I only get to see a couple times a year.

As normal, I am running games for Hex Games. I'm running one Hobomancer adventure, and two Cinemechanix adventure. Cinemechanix is Hex's next big game that's currently in playtest and development. This, too, should be an exciting experiment. 

Here's discriptions the games I'm running, along with the pre-gen character shhets. I try to give myself a theme each year with my characters. This year, each PC group includes an intelligent animal. I'm proud to say that all these games have completely sold out. 

Hobomancer: Hobohemian Rhapsody
It’s the height of the Great Depression, and those all-American shamans known as Hobomancers ride the rails defending the soul of this great nation from all manner of supernatural evil. Winter means it’s time for all good hobos to settle into the cities and wait out the cold. But something uncanny is stalking the slums, and the snow runs red with hobo blood. It’s up to your brave band of Hobomancers to save the day once more.

Into the Nuclear Wasteland (Cinemechanix)
Pregen Characters

The world died by nuclear fire in 1985. Two-hundred years later, humanity struggles to rebuild civilization beset by mutants, raiders, and the tortured Earth itself. When the settlement of Glass City is threatened by an atomic overlord, it’s up to an unlikely band of scavengers, psykers, and highwaymen to band together and save the day.

Cavemen & Dinosaurs (Cinemechanix)
It’s a million years in the past. Mighty reptiles prowl the volcanic jungles of a primitive Earth while fur-clad humans lurk in caves and commune with tribal spirits. The Rains of Ash have come to your tribe’s small, once-fertile valley, and now the people starve. It’s up to you and your hunting companions to travel to the Valley of Giants and appease the fiery spirits that dwell there.