Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Last Night in An Unquiet Home

A collaboration with @goatmansgoblet (or http://www.goatmansgoblet.com/)
I drew the map, Brian did this incredible writeup.


Your Uncle is on his deathbed, and though you were never the closest of companions he always respected your ambitions and encouraged you to be yourself. Though adventuring does not come kindly, nor easily, to most; he confided to you in letters that if you survived your first year you could survive anything.

The Wicked Baccahnali Fever has ravaged his frame, he lays in bed, the last of his money spent on the courier to ask you and any boon companions come to his estate on the edge of the borderlands, deep past the elder glade and far from any road. He cannot move, he can hardly speak, his bed sores leak gin-scented vapors and his jaundiced face can seldom crack a smile let alone an unkind word.

“The house is yours if you can end that wretched puckering.” He coughs out, “They’re in here, just puckering and suckering and whistling dark and deep, like low waters…” His eyes draw towards an armoire in his room, then towards the door, to the window, to the wall; panic and paranoia set in. He wheezes again. “You must do this for me, please. I cannot take the sound. It does me indignity and disrespects I do not deserve.”

He doesn’t expect to see the mid-day sun of the day to come. You will have one night to relieve him of this sound and what he thinks will produce it. You have run of the house, he needs to rest.

The first floor consists of: a butler’s pantry, an overgrown courtyard, a water closet which feeds into a septic ditch, a kitchen, and a receiving hall. None of the rooms on the first floor have seen much use in the last month, not since the wasting rendered your uncle bound to his bed and the pan within it.

The second floor consists of a personal office and a guest room which overlooks the entrance of the house. The office contains discarded drafts of many letters he had meant to send you over the years, as well as correspondence with other, perhaps more qualified, individuals who could come and relieve him of his stress. The guest room contains a large bed with a mattress as hard as stone, a locked antique armoire, and a large oval mirror covered by a sheet.

The third floor consists of a secondary water closet which feeds down into the septic ditch down a long stinking chute, a closet containing many outfits that while long out of fashion would be worth quite a bit of money, and your uncle’s bedroom wherein he sleeps between hacking fits and groans of anguish. His bed is very soft, his sheets are very fine and well-patterned, his armoire also locks, though the key remains in the hole, and his bookshelves are well-used since he’s become bedridden. The books contain all manner of manuscripts and codices on the topic of hunting, legalism, sculpting, herbalism, and moral philosophy---though primarily stoicism.

The attic contains several mouldering trunks filled with hiking equipment, old mementos from times now forgotten, a well-stocked liquor cabinet, and some old furniture in need of reupholstery. The tower room is well lit by its windows, containing several half-finished paintings of your mother, a dog you remember from your youth, and scenes of the countryside. A deck of cards and a bottle of fine wine sit in this room as well.

The Threat
Your uncle is beguiled by a Boggart who has exacerbated his sickness and brought him to death’s door. Your uncle will die by morning, his hope has long been devoured though you and your associates have rekindled a spark of it with your presence. The Boggart will attempt to turn your uncle into one of its minions if it is not properly contended with.

Your uncle is undone by the minions of the Boggart, puckering goblin-like creatures the size of cats who scramble about in the dark; often making sucking and clicking noises or popping his blisters with their obscene boney fingers.

He knows he is being tormented by these goblin-creatures, he just does not know they are aspects of the Boggart, whom he has no idea exists. The Boggart is bound to the armoires, a twin set your uncle purchased a few months before you first went adventuring. The boggart is only acting up because of your uncle’s poor health, hoping to consume a soul and haunt the house in total. It was not strong enough before.

The Boggart [As Wraith]
Where is it? 
The Boggart is hiding in the locked armoire on the second floor, as it gets to be left alone here. It whispers into the wood of the armoire and its words are projected out of the one in your uncle’s room. It can teleport freely between the two, but it can only exit whichever one is unlocked. They both use the same key. It can be trapped inside, as it must return within come sunrise; being locked out will see it attempt possession or die in the sunlight.

What is it doing? [d4]

  1. Calling out in your Uncle’s voice many hateful things you could believe him saying about you though not to your face. If you have found the office correspondence and read it, the voice is replaced by a raspy guttural snarl.
  2. Peering into windows in the form of your mother, half-formed and grotesque. If you have finished the painting of your mother in the attic or covered it up fully, it will appear instead like a “ghost” under a sheet. 
  3. Snarling like a dog, its bark coming from rooms the creature itself is not in. If spotted, it appears as a gigantic black mastiff. If you have finished the painting of a dog you remember from the attic or covered it up, the Boggart’s voice is heard chanting “Get Out. Get OUT!” rather than proper scare tactics.
  4. Ordering around the puckering goblins. If witnessed on the second floor, it gets violent with them if they go close to the covered up oval mirror.


How can we stop it?
Trap the Boggart outside both armoires and get it destroyed by tricking it into entering a sunbeam. Trapping the Boggart inside an armoire, locking both, and then burning them both will also suffice; provided neither is damaged until the fire begins. Uncovering the oval mirror on the second floor and forcing the Boggart into it through force of arms will see it trapped forever in the spirit realm, unable to interact with the mortal world so long as the mirror remains covered or obscured. Breaking the mirror once the Boggart is trapped inside will destroy the creature, but will cause seven years of bad luck to the one who does the deed.

The Puckering Goblins [As Meenlock, 3d6 in Total] 
Where are they? 
In the shadow behind the door, atop the bookshelf, clamoring outside the house like a set of gargoyle grotesques, pooping in the garden (mainly birthing weeds, fungi, and cockroaches in doing so), or clogging up the septic ditch.

What are they?
Nasty manifestations of the Boggart’s hatred for the mortal world, they exist to make things worse. They are physical entities, born of the energy it has stolen from your uncle. They are cruel and enjoy inflicting pain; but they are also cowards and flee from any light. They like to lock and unlock the armoires in the house at night so the Boggart need not wander the halls between floors.

What are they doing? [d4]

  1. Tormenting your uncle, he moans and calls for aid while you hear a strange sputtering sucking sound. 75% chance of vanishing upon arriving to aid your uncle, though if spotted they will attack.
  2. Throwing filth everywhere, scratching at the walls, trailing ash and footprints all over the house. 75% chance that the party only encounters the aftermath, which looks like someone dipped some chickens in ink and threw them into a hallway.
  3. Turning the key to the armoires in the wrong direction, constantly. If spotted, 35% chance it will panic and swallow the key (easily retrieved if killed, as the creature will melt back into shadow).
  4. Climbing the walls of the interior of the house as though they were overgrown spiders.

In the Morning…
If the Boggart was destroyed, so too were the goblin-creatures: Your uncle dies peacefully in his sleep around noon, though he will wake for breakfast and wonder if you might make him a cup of tea. He’ll tell you stories of your mother’s bolder days, of how he tried to do the things you’ve done but he was often held back by fear of failure. He will offer you his home, as it seems a good idea to have a place to return to when you have the odd hour of peace in your life. He will be kind, and look less sickly for the few hours he has left in his life.

If the Boggart was not destroyed but some goblin-creatures were killed: Your uncle will be horrified by the corpses of the creatures (as they are awful to look at), but he will say he is thankful that he might finally enjoy some quiet. He knows not why they came to vex him, though he will confess that despite being a more humble type than an adventurer, he had still made many enemies. “Though I know none who’d send these...things.” He will ask that you cook him some breakfast, there is food in the pantry; but he will die before he gets a chance to eat, passing away with a pallor and a chill.

If neither the Boggart or any goblin-creatures were killed: Your uncle will wonder if it was all in his head, he’ll plead that he knows he isn’t cracked, but he has no explanation for all this recent nonsense. He says he knows the disease doesn’t cause mental wasting, then he will hack and cough. He’ll ask for help getting out of bed, he wants to put on some nice clothes. The armoire will be unlocked, either by you or by his own hand, and he’ll slump forward and die in an undignified position.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Best Left Buried - Character Generation

I've been enjoying Best Left Buried recently.  Some folks have asked for some play through examples, so I decided to start putting some together. Setting up characters seemed like the best way to start. 


Creating Insil One-eye
Best Left Buried recommends starting with a name and an idea, and I thought Insil would make a hard-bitten warrior.

Next, I need to set up his attributes: Brawn, Wit, and Will. I can set one of them to 2, one to 1 and leave the other at 0.  I want Insil to be fast and strong, so I’ll go with:

BrawnWit 2 Will 0

Vigour (physical health/HP) is 6 + Brawn. Grip (mental health/Sanity/mana) is 4 + Will, so Insil is

VigourGrip 4

There are a number of archetypes (the base for a character) that fit the warrior mold. To match the hard-bitten aspect, I’m going with Veteran.

A veteran has Years of Experience, I can have the Upper Hand* against one kind of monster (subject to the Doomsayer’s approval.)  I think Insil might have spent a lot of time fighting skeletal creatures, my Doomsayer thinks that’s reasonable, so we’ll go with it.

Veterans also have Danger Sense, they’ve got the Upper Hand on Observation Checks to detect dangers in crypts and the like.

Finally, Veterans are Battle-Scarred, I roll a random injury a 3 on the d3 and a 2 on the d6. Insil has lost an eye and will be Against the Odds* on Observation Checks that rely on vision.

I think Insil lost his eye to a skeletal warrior. This coupled with his experience drives him to fight against skeletons with particular hatred and skill.

Players get to choose an advancement to start the game, I chose to give Insil Horde Killer. This means he can negate 2 instances of the Upper Hand from Ganging Up (a benefit some monsters have) by any monsters he faces.

Finally, I need to pick some equipment.  All characters start with a week's worth of rations, a full waterskin, a backpack, a bedroll, three torches and a set of Basic Armour. They add two weapons, I’ll take a light weapon (a scimitar) and a throwing weapon (3 darts.) Characters also get 5 pieces of equipment, I’ll go with a shield, 3 doses of medicine, some caltrops, 50 feet of rope, and a crowbar. The basic armour and shield give Insil an Attack Target Number of 9. This is the number opponents will need to roll to hit him.

Creating Marcon
I also wanted to create a crypt-shaken spell caster and I thought Marcon would be a great name for her.

I’ll follow the same pattern that I did with Insil:  As a spell caster, I’m much more worried about Will and Wit:

Brawn  Wit  Will  2

Vigour Grip 6

There are several archetypes that could work, but I’ll go with Cabalist. Cabalists start with an insanity, my Doomsayer and I talk about it and Hoardlust seems to make sense.  Marcon will be prepared to betray NPCs (or, eventually, PCs) in order to collect more treasure.

Cabalists have Been There and Done That, so the first time they would lose a point of Grip on any adventuring day, they ignore the result and don’t lose it. They also have the ability, I’ve Seen Things, which gives them the Upper Hand on Grip Checks* due to monsters or the environment.

For an advancement, I’m going to give Marcon Fire and Lightning Strange. This lets her attack foes with one specific kind of magical or elemental material. I’m going to go with ice.  Marcon can spend up to three points of Grip to attack an enemy within short range*.  The attack will be with the Upper Hand and deal damage equal to the damage die times the number of Grip points spent.

For equipment, Marcon gets the same starting set of equipment: a week's worth of rations, a full waterskin, a backpack, a bedroll, three torches and a set of Basic Armour.

For her two weapons, Marcon will take a light weapon (a dagger), and wants to use a whip. The section Strange Weapon Types suggests that this be treated as a Wit based throwing weapon.


Marcon will carry two bottles of alcohol, a lantern, a dose of paralysing poison (-1 Wit), and a set of fine clothing.
 
We’ll look at how weapons and equipment work in another post.

* my upcoming post on Playing the game will have information on these features of the game.



Best Left Buried is a Horror Fantast RPG by Zachary Cox and Ben Brown.


You can grab a hard copy from either Exalted Funeral or Melsonian Arts Council
And you can grab PDFs from DriveThruRPG

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Foot Of The Mountain 1500





Now that I've hit 1500 followers on my twitter account I'm releasing my hanging garden map.  A few folks expressed interest in putting together a one-page adventure to join in the celebration, I'll link them below as they pop up.
You can see my previous celebratory map at https://footofthemountainadventures.blogspot.com/2019/02/1000-twitter-followers.html


Adventures based on the hanging garden:



Thanks to my patrons over at https://www.patreon.com/mountainfoot  - their sponsorship makes it possible for me to make more of my maps publicly available and re-usable.  If you'd like to help and get access to additional maps available for your personal or commercial re-use, please sign up.  Sponsorship levels start at $1 each month.

This map is available for personal or commercial re-use with attribution. Please let me know if you use it for a personal game, I love to hear that my maps help people enjoy gaming. If you need an actual license with terms, this works for me: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Little differences between OSRIC and AD&D

Let me start out by saying I'm really happy using OSRIC for my AD&D gaming needs - it's solid, well-organized, and the price is right (even for the hardback I just bought.)  This is not a complaint, just something I find interesting.
Every once in a while I notice little differences between OSRIC and the old AD&D books. Right now, I'm in the middle of putting together a good old fashioned mega-dungeon and I'm rolling to stock it (Tables 8-16 on pp160-1 and the Random Encounters on pp 162-8 in OSRIC or Tables V. F-J on p 171 and Appendix C pp 174-9 of the 1e DMG.)

OSRIC

The first tables used, Room Contents are here:

The OSRIC table produces fewer empty rooms, and is more generous w/ treasure.
Depending on how you roll the treasure, you might go to one of two locations (the "Chapter V" is a typo, it should be "Chapter VI".)  The two treasure tables are slightly different from one another, and both differ somewhat from the DMG.
The Stairs results will also be different as the OSRIC table includes more than stairs.
DMG














OSRIC Monster Sub-Table Matrix
I also thought the difference in monster level determination was interesting

DMG Dungeon Random Monster Level Determination Matrix
OSRIC uses a D12 and combines dungeon levels 1 and 2, vs a d20 and combining levels 2 and 3 in the DMG.
Once you get into the monster level tables, you'll see different monsters and different numbers appearing.
OSRIC also states the dice to use for number appearing, e.g. OSRIC states that a roll of 71-75 is 4d10 kobolds, in the DMG a roll of 49-54 is 6-18 kobolds (71-83 is giant rats.)





Like I said above, none of this is a knock against OSRIC, just noticing little differences.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Ettercap Caves

Old Firth Road has been a shortcut between Three Rocks and Greenhill for generations, but only the bravest (or those in the most need) dare to take it since all manner of creatures call Karrelfirth home. About midway along the road, the Resting Caves have offered shelter and a fresh spring to travelers.


Recently, a pair of ettercaps have taken over the caves. They have cultivated a number of giant spiders which they use to help protect their lair. The nearby forest is suffering under the predations of these creatures and is nearly barren of any life larger than a squirrel.

d4 things you might find on an ettercap
1)  50 of silk cord
2)  a silk garotte
3)  a silk bag (can hold 100 gp encumbrance)
4)  a small sac filled with one dose of extruded spider venom

d4 things you might hear about the Old Firth Road
(you can decide if any of them are true or not)
1) A pair of trolls are attacking travelers on the road.
2) Grigor Lightshadow, a local thief, disappeared along the road while carrying a bag of stolen jewels.
3) Goblins riding giant spiders are hunting dwarves and gnomes along the road.
4)  Willem Smith will pay well for an armed escort to protect him along the road so he can make a delivery on the far side.


Thanks to my patrons over at https://www.patreon.com/mountainfoot - their sponsorship makes it possible for me to make more of my maps publicly available and re-usable.  If you'd like to help, and get access to additional maps available for your personal or commercial re-use, please sign up.  Sponsorship levels start at $1 each month.

This map is available for personal or commercial re-use with attribution. Please let me know if you use it for a personal game, I love to hear that my maps help people enjoy gaming. If you use them commercially and let me know, I'll post a link here.

If you need an actual license with terms, this works for me: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Rat Warren Mines

I posted this map to twitter a while ago and in a recent poll, folks asked me to write some lore and post it next.  Here we go.


I think my favorite take on this map is from @wrinklewroes:
You expected danger to lurk around every corner. Instead, it’s nothing but an hours-long rat killing exercise. You exit the dungeon and look for the man who offered you gold to slay the monster within but can’t find him. Suddenly you’re coughing up blood.
The mines ran along the course of a fissure and series of small caves that led deep into the cliffs. No one thought too much of it until the miners broke through into the tiered cavern, and then the rats came on in earnest. The mining company also dug out a set of office space and a vault, that work also connected to the rats nest off of the cavern making a full circuit. That's when the rat problem really took off.

Rumors persist that the mine's treasury is still hidden, behind the swarms of rats, giant rats, and rat-men that now inhabit the complex.

2d3 things in a ratman's purse:
2)  A lucky rat's paw. (will allow the holder to reroll 1 attack each month)
3)  A small pewter locket w/ a picture of a young human family (worth 15 gp)
4)  A bronze key.
5)  A leather cord strung with knucklebones and a plain copper ring (worth 5 gp)
6)  A bag of dried mushrooms, if consumed will heal 1d4 damage.



Thanks to my patrons over at https://www.patreon.com/mountainfoot  - their sponsorship makes it possible for me to make more of my maps publicly available and re-usable.  If you'd like to help, and get access to additional maps available for your personal or commercial re-use, please sign up.  Sponsorship levels start at $1 each month.

This map is available for personal or commercial re-use with attribution. Please let me know if you use it for a personal game, I love to hear that my maps help people enjoy gaming. If you use them commercially and let me know, I'll post a link here.

If you need an actual license with terms, this works for me: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Monday, April 1, 2019

Overland Geomorffs

To make twitter's #FF a bit more interesting, I'm going to start dropping some Overland mini-maps to go along with my Underdark mini-maps. I'm calling them - geomorffs. They're not quite geomorphs since they don't align on the edges, but you could certainly string them together.  Each will be a small encounter setting you could use in your own adventures, or to expand a published adventure. They'll also be useable with any of my other Overland maps.

The first set was published on March 29th, 2019:












I published three more on April 5th, 2019:




I published three more on April 12th, 2019:


I published three more on April 19th, 2019 - and the awesome @Molvayaana created a set of tokens and bespoke magic items for the red-rock desert setting




If you like these, check out my Underdark Geomorffs.  You might also find something you like on my page of favorites.

Thanks to my patrons over at https://www.patreon.com/mountainfoot  - their sponsorship makes it possible for me to make more of my maps publicly available and re-usable.  If you'd like to help, and get access to additional maps available for your personal or commercial re-use, please sign up.  Sponsorship levels start at $1 each month.

These maps are available for personal or commercial re-use with attribution. Please let me know if you use them for a personal game, I love to hear that my maps help people enjoy gaming. If you use them commercially and let me know, I'll post a link here.

If you need an actual license with terms, this works for me: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/