Thursday, August 27, 2015

Toothless Rat Taphouse

To enter this fine establishment you must turn off the main street into an unpleasant ally and almost immediately descend 5 stone steps to a nondescript wooden door. Hanging above the doorway is a small wooden placard with a stylized rat burned onto it. When you open the door to the taphouse the first thing you'll notice is the smell of pipeweed. Next you'll see the stuffed rodent of unusual size (R.O.U.S.) that sits in the corner by the door. It's clearly very old, missing some fur, and of course it's teeth. When you look around to the taproom proper, you'll see an assortment of round wooden tables, support posts rising from floor to ceiling, and a wide variety of stools and chairs. Along the back wall three large casks rest behind the unadorned bar. Two small dirty windows look out onto the street, between them is a dartboard, and a fireplace is centered on the far wall. The rooms illumination is provided by several oil lamps, the fireplace, and whatever dingy light manages to shine through the windows. The patrons of the Rat are mostly neighborhood workers who come by at lunch and in the evening for a pint and a game of knuckle bones or darts. It's a fairly quiet bar, rarely visited by those from outside the neighborhood.

The barkeep is a bald human with dark skin named Red. He usually wears a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up, dark pants and leather suspenders. His left forearm is notably scarred, and Red will gladly launch into a telling of his battle with a pack of giant rats who had crawled up through the sewers and attacked him in the back room back when the bar was called simply "Red's". With each telling the rat pack grows in size, and recently he's added a rat king to the tale! The truth is that there was but a single giant rat, but the damage their fight caused made it seem like there were many more! Red will be thrilled to have adventurers in his bar, just so long as they treat him as a fellow monster slayer, rather than just as a simple barkeep. Should he not receive the treatment he feels he deserves he will quickly become very unwelcoming.

Red serves ale of middling quality for an average price, and he keeps on hand some harder drinks for those who desire them. He also keeps a hot soup or stew pot (or two) cooking in the fireplace for those who need something filling, of not particularly flavorful. The pot's contents vary by day, but usually contain a variety of root vegetables, bones from the butcher, occasional scraps of meat, and sometimes a whole rat if Red catches one in his store room.

Daily Specials
1. Rat Kebab with turnips and onion
2. Sun dried fruits and fish
3. Mushroom "steaks"
4. Apple stuffed pork belly
5. Wild berry cobbler
6. Demon eggs and pickled greens
7. Rice gruel and a bacon friend egg
8. Sausage rolls with peppers

Originally published back on 10/16/09, but the map, rat, and chart are new.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Monster: Herder, Spore

Rathgar shuffled carefully away from the hole as several pellets impacted the wall on either side of him, bursting open and releasing a caustic greenish cloud that swirled around him. His eyes watered, and his nose burned as he tried to hold his breath, but the sensation in his nose was too much, and he sneezed, and then began to immediately cough. His companions hesitated at the edge of the cloud, pulling their cloaks around their faces.

Gasping for breath, Rathgar continued to cough, desperately trying to clear his lungs.

"Keep moving!" Allianora yelled. "I'll heal you when you're out of the cloud!"

Rathgar just continued to cough as more pellets exploded around him. The green mist began to cover everything with a fine and sticky powder. The color offset the blood that he began to cough up onto his balled fist.

Herder, Spore
Armor Class:7
Hit Dice: 2** (M)
Move: 90' (30')
Attacks: Spore Blast
Damage: Special
No. Appearing: 1d3 (2d3)
Save As: F3
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: J, L
Intelligence: 2
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value:30

Spore herders are a specialized species of aggressive and territorial ambulatory mushrooms standing between 4' and 5' tall. The top of their vine covered central stalk is covered with multiple smaller colorful mushroom caps. While mostly unintelligent, they do an admirable job of growing and expanding their gardens of giant mushrooms. Any intruders to their gardens are slain as quickly as possible, and used as fertilizer. Cat-sized creatures and smaller are ignored. When still they are indistinguishable from the other giant mushrooms in their gardens.

In combat, spore herders blast out a concentrated ball of spores that explodes on impact, creating a 5' cloud that persists for 1d4 rounds. Anyone in or passing through the cloud must make a saving throw vs poison or suffer from uncontrollable coughing (unable to take any action plus 1d3 damage/round until a successful saving throw is made). While still in the cloud, the save is made at -2. When killed, the spore herders they release one final blast of spores, creating a 10' cloud around them.

Terrain: Caverns, Dungeons

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

#RPGaDay2015 Part 2

17. Favorite fantasy RPG

Dungeons and Dragons. Really, is there any other choice? Not for me...

18. Favorite SF RPG

d6 Star Wars, thought Traveller is really cool too.

19. Favorite supers RPG

Don't have one.

20. Favorite horror RPG

Again, don't have one.

21. Favorite RPG setting

My own weird new world? Birthright. The original Forgotten Realms.

22. Perfect gaming environment

My dining room!

23. Perfect game for me

5e has me very happy at the moment. I don't know that there is a perfect game though...

24. Favorite house rule

In my 5e game, I let my players use their inspiration after they've made their initial roll.

25. Favorite revolutionary game mechanic

Reaction rolls at the beginning of an encounter.

26. Favorite inspiration for your game

My players and G+. Both are a constant and imaginative bunch. 

27. Favorite idea for merging two games into one.

I've got nothing... *shrug*

28. Favorite game you no longer play

Nick Mizer's Stonehell game on G+.

29. Favorite RPG website/blog

I'm going to have to go with G+. While there are many inspirational blogs that I love, G+ brings everything together.

30. Favorite RPG playing celebrity

Vin Diesel

31. Favorite non-RPG thing to come out of RPGing

My love of history and interest in architecture. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

#6MMRPC Week 12: Kaladrax's Base

Given my limited time this week, I'm going to call my progress a win. Especially since I don't really like the base. Actually, it isn't the base that bothers me, it's the way Kaladrax stands on it. Both of the connecting points are on his left side, which means he leans to the right.

So my plan is to (eventually) build a ruined tower base for him out of Hirst Arts blocks, and have him perched on top of it. However, that isn't a part of my 3 Dragons project, so for now I'll use the base he came with.

In earlier pictures, it looked like this:

Pretty bad start.... So I took those cheap craft paints you see there, inventively named 'dark grey' and 'grey' and went to town.

I've also decided that I couldn't deal with the over-sized skulls and treasure, so they're getting covered over with foliage.

As for Kaladrax himself (not pictured), I still need to finish with the gryphonne sepia. Then I will bring up the highlights. My plan is to use Dirty Bone, Graveyard Bone, and Splintered Bone as the increasingly lighter highlights. After that... I think I'm done! Aside from being massive, he isn't a very hard dragon to paint. Just intimidating.

And since I still can't find Hyrekia (metal) or the Bones Hyrekia's arm and staff, I'm going to paint another sorceress in her place. Like the base, it's only a temporary placeholder.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Inspirational Image: Cityscape

I was originally looking for some neat futuristic NYC/Gotham pictures when I came across this.

I haven't been able to find the original artist... It seems to be hosted at a whole bunch of wallpaper sites.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

5e WNW: 2 Dead Demi-Gods, a Rabbit, and a Mirror

5e WNW - Session 21 of the weird new world campaign was played on Friday 8/14

The party consisted of the following:
Nessendra, Wood Elf Cleric 5 (Erindale)
Kethra, Human Fighter 5 (Nikki)
Bach, Dragonborn Warlock 5 (Erik - Absent, kindly played by Nadia)
Riia, Human Ranger 5 (Hanna - Absent, kindly played by Allison)
Guy Noir, ½ Elf Rogue 5 (Nadia)
Anya Bowen, Tiefling Ranger 5 (Allison)
Zugun, Coffin-bound Human Priest (NPC)

Taking a very brief moment to catch their breath, the party quickly follows after the spiders. Up to the balcony, through a small door, and down a narrow corridor that leads deeper into the mountain, the party comes to a large stone chamber carved into the mountain. In the center of the chamber stood a wooden coffin supported by a stone plinth. Bach and Guy charged forward, grabbed the lid of of the coffin, and threw it open. Within swarmed hundreds, if not thousands of spiders! Guy changed his mind about punching the vampire in the face, and instead blasted it with a bolt of flame. Bach followed suite with an blast of eldritch energy, and Nessendra with a flash of holy radiance. The rest of the party shuffled into the room. The swarm of spiders burst forth from the open coffin and attempted to envelop Bach, but he quickly leaped back. Anya's magic bow found it's mark, as did another round of blasts, the last of which turned the remaining spiders into a blackened smear on the smooth floor.

Guy rifles through the coffin, finding a twisted and rune covered stone tucked under the pillow. As Guy holds it up, a shimmer passes over the stone's surface, and the runes flow languidly around. Nessendra wraps the stone in her cloak while Guy continues to dig around in the coffin, cutting the lining, ripping the pillow, and even carving into the wood. Meanwhile the rest of the party heads back to the basilica. As Guy continues to carve, the coffin shifts, revealing a hidden compartment embedded in the plinth. He shoves the coffin off with a loud bang, revealing a large mirror, a sack of coins, and a white rabbit in a locked cage.

"Everything ok?" The party yells back to Guy.

"Uh, I had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. I'm fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

The party sighs "We're going back to see what he's up to."

Guy panics and stuffs the heavy jingling bag of coins in his backpack. "Uh, uh... negative, negative. I had a reactor leak here now. Give me a few minutes to lock it down. Large leak, very dangerous." he yells back.

The party shows up as Guy guiltily turns to face them "I found a rabbit!" He points into the hidden compartment.

At this point the rabbit introduced himself as Jack, and asked to be freed to he could go home. No one thought this was a good idea. Guy wanted to keep him as a pet. Most of the rest of the party just wanted to leave him behind. Jack pointed out that he was stuck in a cage full of his own shit, without food or water. Further questioning revealed that the rabbit worked for a queen, who's name he declined to provide, and that he was spying on the vampire and got caught, and that he isn't native to this plane, but from a realm that seemed to correspond with the Feywild. The party put off the decision, and Guy tied the cage and mirror to his pack, and headed out of the vampire's lair.

Given the poor state of the party, they made their way back toward the holy shrine to camp, but when Nessendra cracked open the door to the antechamber and found it full of gargoyles playing "Don't Blink" so she quietly closed the door. Having had enough of the citadel, they made their way carefully back down into the dungeon, through Zugun's chamber and back out onto the side of the mountain. There they made camp. The hours of darkness passed uneventfully, but as the sun crested the horizon Nessendra spotted a serpentine dragon with large yellow eyes further down the mountain heading northward. Even from as far away as they were, she could hear... something. Thwacking Kethra, who was also on watch to see if she'd seen it too, Nessendra discovered that Keth had fallen asleep!

Over breakfast the party decided to try to use the stone on Affleck. so back into the castle they went. Finding the tower was less of a chore than they'd expected, and his stony form was right where it was supposed to be, gaping chest and all. Most of the party stayed in the stairwell, while Nessendra walked behind Affleck and tapped him with the stone. Instantly his form reverted to flesh and he stumbled a step forward, looked down, touched the hole and said "But I'm a fucking demon god!" before falling face down. Bach checked the body for loot, but came up empty handed. So he took some of his feathers.

Taking a breather, the party went back out onto the walkway over the waterfall to discuss their next steps. Zugun pressed for getting to the ritual site as quickly as possible. Jack again pleaded to be freed, and offered to take them all with him through the mirror, reminding everyone that distance is different in the Feywild, and that he can drop them off deeper into the Shudder Mountains. Zugun admits he knows little of the Feywild, but thinks that it might work... if Jack can be trusted. The party agrees, and unlocks Jacks cage. He instructs them to set the mirror against the wall, and then tells them to go through. Nessendra (the elf) went first, and Guy took the rear, bringing Jack with him.

They found themselves standing on a familiar looking mountain, looking down into a familiar looking river valley... Instead of a citadel over a waterfall, a large wooden cabin next to a stream. Also, the land seemed to be divided into some sort of grid pattern, with each block a different height from the surrounding blocks. Jack hopped out of Guy's arms and called the party to follow him. A couple of hours later Jack stopped suddenly and flattened himself, shaking in terror. Down the mountain was the same yellow-eyed dragon, or as Jack named it 'Jabberwocky'!

Grabbing Jack, they ran as far and as fast as they could... and came upon a group of 5 figures standing 15' tall on needle like stilts! Stilts that protruded from the bloody stumps of their legs! Jack again squirmed from Guy's grip and ran toward the figures yelling "HELP!! HELP!!" They turned their bloodstained mouths toward the party and moved with shocking agility toward them. The stilt-walker vampires seemed excessively hungry, but failed to get a single drop to drink. Guy spent the entire fight scurrying after Jack, and caught him after the last of the vampires fell.