Sunday, March 29, 2020

Lord Wyrd's Library

Lord Wyrd’s library is massive and sprawling. It is also messy and disorganized with no categorization system that anyone can determine. His family’s collection of ancient tomes and treatises is unmatched outside of academic circles. The library contains information on a wide variety of subjects, but most of the collection deals with the Wyrdwood and its environs, inhabitants, and history. There are no magical tomes or spellbooks to be found here.

Lord Wyrd deeply values his ancestral library and does not allow just anyone access to it. PCs will either need to sneak in or gain the trust and confidence of Lord Wyrd or his daughter.

Research Rolls
If you have access to Lord Wyrd’s library, ask a single question about the Wyrdwood and spend 1d8+8 hours in research. Roll 2d6+INT.
  • 6 or less: Your search is fruitless. Your time is wasted and you lose any accumulated +1s to your research roll. But the GM will tell you some unrelated but interesting (if not necessarily important or useful) rumor, bit of trivia, or lore that you stumbled across in your research.
  • 7-9: You haven’t found the answer yet, but you’re on the right track. Take +1 to the next research roll you make regarding your question.
  • 10: You have found the answer to your question. Your GM will give it to you as a single statement. Any follow-up questions you make can be researched with a +1 to the roll.

If you want to help someone in their research, spend the same amount of time with them, and roll 2d6+INT
  • 6 or less: You are a distraction and a font of bad information. Your friend takes -1 to their research roll.
  • 7-9: You neither help nor hinder your friend, but you get a +1 to your next assistance roll.
  • 10+: You find some helpful information or leads. Give +1 to your friend’s research roll.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Wyrdwood Village

I've got a new campaign idea in my head, because clearly I don't have enough projects to keep me busy. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it right yet. Once the plague leaves our far lands, I'm probably going to propose it as the next campaign for my home group. Or, if I ever get room for another online game I might run it as like a virtual open-table.

It's a spooky (but not horror) rustic hex-crawl setting centered around a haunted forest and anchored by a little village full of eccentric NPCs. I'm going for a kind of dream-like weirdness more than horror. it's a gothic fairytale vibe without going into full-blown Burton territory, like a Roger Corman meets Guillermo del Toro thing. System-wise I think Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures is the best fit.

Here are my vague and poorly organized concept notes...

Wyrdwood Village (Setting)

Keys: Dreamlike, folktales, decay, mystery
Specifically not a horror setting, despite some of the folk horror trappings.
A small village spread around an ancient manor house occupied by the mysterious Lord Wyrd and his household.
Lord Wyrd is mysterious with vaguely-defined supernatural influence on the area. Of an alien mood, but surprisingly benign. His family has been here as long as the village has, with no records showing their origin. Lord Wyrd has been the master of the Manor as long as anyone can remember.
The Wyrdwood is a primeval, spooky fairytale forest full of strange ruins, monsters, and secrets. The village has only one path in--the old covered bridge.
People (PCs and other weirdos) just “show up” in Wyrdwood village, coming across the bridge. Sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose, sometimes by invitation from Lord Wyrd. Designed to facilitate bringing new characters/players into the campaign.
Visitors are welcome, and Lord Wyrd is quite happy to provide rooms for guests within the Manor, as long as they behave themselves.
Every week, a masked man driving a wagon comes into town to resupply the merchants and take their money to deposit “back in the city.” This "city" is never discussed in detail. Anyone who attempts to follow the wagon driver when he leaves the village never returns to Wyrdwood. None of this strikes the villagers as unusual. Wyrdwood Manor
  • Many secret passages and hidden chambers
  • A strange art gallery
  • Lord Wyrd’s bored and lustful daughter
  • The locked bedroom of Lord Wyrd’s dead son.
  • Distressingly cheerful Halfling groundskeeper
  • Competent if uncreative cook.
  • Necromantic butler overseeing ghostly staff.
  • Guest rooms available for use by adventuring types
  • Library full of cryptic answers
  • Family crypts

Wyrdwood Village

  • Tavern, where hirelings and torchbearers can be hired.
  • Church dedicated to a forgotten god
  • General store with a very friendly proprietor (Runcible Hawk and his old dog Blue). He’ll buy pelts and monster skins from adventurers.
  • Smith who can make weapons and simple armor, and can order heavy armor for you (delivered next week!)
  • Several empty houses that can be rented or purchased from Lord Wyrd (so PCs can set up their own homes, temples, guilds, etc.)
  • Apothecary who sells potions and buys weird ingredients from the PCs.
  • Handful of farms with quarreling families.
  • Maypole and old menhirs where seemingly random holidays are celebrated.
  • Crusty old bailiff/sheriff who keeps the peace.

The Wyrdwood
  • Ruins of unknown history and make
  • Dungeons of various sizes
  • Creepy druid cults burning sacrifices inside wicker animals
  • Talking beasts
  • The tower of a reclusive, but good-natured wizard.
  • Coven of sinister witches and their goblin minions
  • The Parliament of Spiders
  • Ancient statues covered in moss
  • Small village of devils
  • Bearlike hermit
  • No standard “humanoid” monsters, aside from some beastly goblin-folk.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Gasp, Posion!

Remember Black Dougal from the Moldvay Basic set? Of course you do! Did you know that after he died, he opened up a poison shoppe called "Gasp, Poison!" in the Underwolrd? It's true!

Here's a thing I put together for my now-ended LotFP game. I never got a chance to use it. It's been on my Patreon since July, but now I'm sharing it with the wider world. The prices below assume a silver standard. Yes, they are expensive, perhaps more than they should be. Adjust according to your game's economy and how much poison usage you want.

Gasp, Poison!
Black Dougal was a thief and dungeon adventurer, way back in Times of Old. He was famously unlucky. A poison needle put an end to his adventuring career, as well as his life, but that didn’t stop his entrepreneurial spirit!

Black Dugal is now undead and operates a profitable poison shoppe down in the Ghoul Market. Gasp, Poison! stocks exotic toxins from across the Nameless World, catering to a discerning clientele.

Popular poisons are listed below. Prices are per dose, with a silver standard.
  • Blackadder: Injury; Save or 4d6 CON damage. (1500sp)
  • Iocane Powder: Injury, ingestion, contact, inhalation; colorless, odorless, dissolves instantly in water; Save or die in 2d4 rounds. (2000sp)
  • Spiderbite: Injury; Save or paralysis for 1d4 turns. (1000sp)
  • Red Rage: Injury, ingested; Save or berserker rage for 3d6 rounds. Victim makes pressing melee attacks (+2 to hit, -4 AC) against closest target each round. (750sp)
  • Demoncap: Injury, ingested, contact; save or suffer nightmarish hallucinations. 2d6 WIS damage, and confused (as spell) for 1d4 turns. On save, disadvantage on all rolls for 1d4 rounds. (1000sp)
  • Sandman: Ingested, inhaled; Save or deep sleep for 2d4 turns. (1000sp)
  • Slugwort: Injury; Slowed for 2d6 rounds. (600sp)
  • Venombane: Ingested, injected; Allows new save to resist poison if taken within 1 turn of exposure. (500sp)