Saturday, November 21, 2015

Gimme Shelter Contest Announcement & Advertainment

I’ve spaced out on this D&D Blog because a buddy was in a coma, then died. To paraphrase the rapper Noreaga, “I didn’t want to make a D&D thing, my buddy just died.” I already got good use of the actual lyric earlier this year, “My excuse is my pops just died, and I ain’t wanna make music, my pop’s just died” (Invincible Capone-N-Noreaga). There have been a quite a few blown saves this year, but that how it goes.

But all this downer shit is ultimately for the best because it has D&D applications! Stay tuned for posts on a Misery Index Rule system. Sorta like sanity rules, but a measure of the awful shit that hits a character: fallen comrades, illithid attacks, existential dread. I think I’m going to try and work up something fun and interesting on this tip for the post apocalyptic game I’m going to run soon. Been kicking ideas around in my head and will share some soon.

The real purpose of this post is crassly commercial. Back on Halloween, Peryton Publishing released a Crawlspace scenario I wrote, Gimme Shelter. The players take the roles of marginalized individuals who may or may not have secret information about Alien Demons. Contemporary horror stumbling through Cleveland, Ohio, chased from bars and libraries and framed for crimes while ducking creatures and cops.

John G did the cover and an interior piece, and I think they both look pretty great, and convey the tone of how we play. John and I have been friends forever and worked on plenty of schemes and projects together. Our freshman year of highschool John got us invited to play D&D in a garage with candles and cool teenage clubhouse vibe. We both didn't get invited back because we were too disruptive. I don't remember what it was we did. Might be something related to what the Battlelords of the 23rd Century dude inscribed in a book we shared, "Inner turmoil forever." I'm glad Tom from Peryton was cool with me pulling in my own guy.

So at the very least it looks cool. It is written as more of a framework than a step by step adventure, so there is enough stuff that can be readily dropped into contemporary, near future or near past horror game.

Past sessions have had characters punching through walls in Ghost Wife Power Armor to explore alien laboratories in preparation for battling yuppies and commandeering yuppie yachts, an obnoxious yet strangely charismatic laborer enlisting a squadron of mad men to take control of a robot army, and a world weary social worker who watched on in defeated resignation as the history’s largest rally (devival) proclaiming the way of Bob Dobbs happened within the confines of a telephone booth.

In the book you’ll find a cast of weird characters and sets of mundane places and a list of Weird Shit to add to the mix.

If you, reader of this blog, would like a free, physical, paper copy mailed to your door, for absolutely free, leave a comment on this post saying so. In ten days, December 1, 2015 I’ll randomly select one lucky winner. If your commenting login isn’t tied to your google plus account, make sure there is some way I can then contact you if you are the winner.

New shit should be coming soon, like a recap of the last DCC R&PL session that was already over a month ago, Misery Index shit, Post Apocalypse stuff, and some writing for a sci-fi mining tragedy funnel I’ll be running at Bash Con in Toledo, Ohio in February.  

Me and artist John G circa 1987.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feeding Me Lines - Talking RPG Talking, Not Blow

Last year on our way to Con on the Cob, my friend Marty and I began saying things like:
"Wait where is the hotel?"
"Ahh, it lay past yond eldritch tower."
"Yes, just through the twisted bramble."
It cracked us up. So we decided every time we said one of these phrases, we'd get a point. While being teenagers plagued by Krampus traipsing through a dark wood in an event run by the great folks of Rogue Cthulhu we were sure to point out the blood was dripping from yond eldritch tower and that the only route for escape was through the twisted bramble. And we'd mark hashes on our sheets, and add up the points in the Marty-Beckett extra fun time game.

This gave me an idea to apply to games I run, give the players lines for their characters to say and give them an equivalent of a Marty-Beckett extra fun time game point when they do. It helps to build theme and atmosphere through player engagement and interaction.

The Dying Earth RPG has a similar mechanic, the Tagline. At the beginning of each session of The Dying Earth, the GM assigns each player two taglines, and each player selects one. They reflect a particular Vancian locution to conjure that convoluted whimsy of the end of Earth's days. Taglines also give experience points.
Artwork by John G for the forthcoming Crawlspace scenario Gimme Shelter

The first scenario I used this mechanic is in Gimme Shelter, an event I ran at Gen Con and am running again in a couple of weeks at this year's Con on the Cob. It uses the Crawlspace ruleset, a rules light horror game that uses ordinary playing cards for the resolution mechanic. It is fast and fun and I recommend checking it out. Gimme Shelter should be published by Peryton sometime in the near future.

The scenario follows a group of marginalized people that may or maynot have secret information about demons or aliens. Kind of a Save the Green Planet! but on the street and in shelters. Before we start playing, I give everyone a card with a phrase, and once they work it in, they get a "fame card" (allows a second attempt on actions) and another phrase. I run it as player driven as possible, and the cards go a long way in setting the tone without me having to do much talking.

Here is part of Gimme Shelter's "script":
  • Oh, do we have something on our face?
  • Who do I look like? Ratso Rizzo on the bus man?
  • Those boys are following me on a speaker phone.
  • Oh, you don’t understand. That isn’t me, he’s our husband.
  • Is your soul not poverty and pollution and wretched self-complacency?
  • We’re just actors in a dream. It’s all an illusion.
  • Plate. Or Shrimp. Or plate of shrimp.
  • The puppet show of sight and sense.
  • Well of course they couldn’t have let me stay there, I’d have just crapped on the floor again.
  • She’s not a crackhead. I met her before she smokes crack.

I think using a tagline type mechanic can work in all sorts of games, and can really help to establish a tone. Before the next session of DCC R&PL I will create a list to use for that. I think one XP is about the right scale for DCC.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monster: Toves in DCC RPG Funnels in A Red & Pleasant Land

Sending Toves against low level characters, particularly zero level characters is a death sentence. So let's make it "fair."

When toves attack figure out which organ each will attack. You can throw darts at Slim Goodbody or roll on the following table:

  1. Skin
  2. Eye
  3. Brain
  4. Thyroid
  5. Lungs
  6. Heart
  7. Stomach
  8. Liver
  9. Pancreas
  10. Gall Bladder
  11. Spleen
  12. Appendix
  13. Kidney
  14. Large Intestine
  15. Small Intestine
  16. Urinary Bladder
  17. Uterus
  18. Prostate
  19. Ovaries
  20. Testes
Then have each player name the tastiest/favorite/best looking/most valuable organ for each of their characters.

Now the Toves have targets.

After the murders be sure to let them know the attack was out of malice, and that they live entirely on a diet of cheese.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Looking Glass Funnel Trap: A DCC & Pleasant Land

One of the themes of A Red & Pleasant Land is that the realm of Voivodja, as manifestation of the dreams of the Red King Vlad Vortigen, is itself arbitrary and capricious.
One of the great strengths of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG is that it makes the arbitrary and capricious murder of player characters super fun through its funnel system.
Smoosh these two together, and like pine-apple and roast turkey, it's awesome.

Here's a trap-like setup that will likely kill a few characters. When I ran this last week it killed one character outright and drove another to permanent madness.
It also conveys a few of truths about Voivodja:

  1. "Read Me" books have the exact opposite of the best course of action.
  2. The Quiet Side of the looking glass will make characters go permanently insane.
  3. "Drink Me" vials will mess with a character's size.
The Setup:
Before you is a large looking glass with a table before it. Upon the table is a book titled "READ ME," a vial labeled "DRINK ME," another vial labeled "ИOƧIOꟼ," and a spread of food with a place card reading "EAT ME." The food consists of a quince, a plum, a bowl of currants, a bowl of curds and a bowl of porridge. You can see that the entirety of the table is reflected in the mirror.

 Sneaky Bits:
The book should offer promises of proper instruction on how the group may accomplish whatever goal they are pursuing. After that teaser part it should read "First climb through the looking glass. Next, drink each of the vials. Finally go through the small door and keep moving through the garden and don't let anything stop you. There, through perseverance, you will find that which you seek."

DRINK ME vials behave has described in AR&PL p. 150.
ИOƧIOꟼ is a healing potion, but on the quiet side it is POISON. If using this in a funnel, just make it auto death. If you are generous, give some sort of saving throw. It should be a difficult save, and I think it is more fun to say "You drink the vial labeled poison? OK, you're dead." (Alice's reasoning of "However, this bottle was not marked 'poison,' so Alice ventured to taste it," inspired this bit).
Food swaps around ability scores. I recommend making these rolls before play. Roll two six siders and count down the list. For example a 1 & a 2 swaps Strength and Agility. On the Quiet Side, the values should be inverted, so the same food type should swap Intelligence and Luck. This is a different function than the EAT ME detailed in AR&PL.
On the Quiet Side, just below the mirror, so that it is not visible from the War side, is a small doorway that leads to a wonderful garden.
If a character ends up going insane because of the quiet of the quiet side, you can always bring it back as a villain.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

DCC: A Red & Pleasant Funnel Part 2: Leave the Wood Arrive in Voivodja

Second post continuing the adventure from the first part through the Goblin Wood.

Dunstan the nameless goblin finally did convince the villagers to extinguish their torches to avoid attracting the notice of Baba Naga, a fearsome snake witch. They did think it was better to continue their pursuit of the runaways in complete darkness because there were a handful of halflings in the party and could squint out a way forward in the dark. That plan ended when Stokely Buckwalter, the rutabega farmer nearly tripped and broke his neck, but burned off some luck to save his skin. They camped in darkness.

The next morning they got a bright and early start and continued onward until they came to a moat or canal. Rodolfo the Astrologer consulted his charts and spyglass and determined the moat to be safe and began to wade his way across. His calculations were somewhat flawed and did not consider the three Little Crocodiles that lay waiting in the moat. He was quickly devoured.

This loss of a companion did not sit well with the rest of the group. "Nameless goblin," they clamored. "Why did you not tell us about the alligators?"

"Little crocodiles, I did not know they were there," Dunstan told them.

"Well haven't you been this way before?" the mob demanded.

Dunstan hesitated before he replied that he had not. Upon hearing this, Buford Gordo, the halfling Chicken Butcher, He Who Stinks of Gizzards, put his short sword through the goblin.

With the matter settled, the ten remaining Centervillains looked at the land before them.

Area map, courtesy of Jill.

First they went up to the crumbling tower. Inside they found the remnants of a camp fire and realized this was likely where the runaway children had slept. The party was heartened. Sweetfell Tannhauser, the elven Artisan climbed the tower to get a view of their surroundings. There was no sign of children, but there was a weird looking tree. 

Quickly the band headed for the tree. The tree had strange stairs that not only went up, but also in, some sort of strange M.C Escher / D.J. Dali spatial distortion. As each villager ascended the stairs, they appeared to shrink in size, but not in the manner in which some would inside the wood.

The interior of the tree was quite unusual. Instead of of a squirrel's house or a hickory hideout, it was a fancy hall, with lacquered wood panels bearing ornate, though tasteful carvings. Hanging on the wall were three sets of tapestries, each bearing the mirror image of the one across the hall. The first set showed a crowned man and woman, each wearing red, strolling merrily through a garden. The second showed the same couple, merrily drinking and spilling a deep red wine out of bejeweled golden  goblets. The last set of tapestries shewed the merry couple feasting upon babes.

At the end of the hall was a mirror, and before the mirror stood a table. Upon the table was a book titled Read Me, a vial labeled Drink Me, a vial labeled ИOƧIOꟼ, and a spread of food with a place card reading Eat Me. There were currants, a quince, a plum, a bowl of curds and a bowl of porridge. 

Dennell the Halfling Dyer downed the Read Me vial and became a quarterling. The villagers then figured out who among them knew how to read and delved into the book. The book offered the exact steps to finding the children! "Climb through the looking glass, drink each of the vials, run through the tiny door into the wondrous garden." Being a surprisingly academic and trusting lot, they decided to follow the books instructions. They all climbed through the mirror.

The silence that greeted them on the Quiet Side of the mirror was unnerving, but they had instructions to follow. Mirra, the Halfling Fortune Teller drank the vial which had writing that looked to be gibberish, 'ɘM ʞniɿᗡ'. Se then shrunk to four inches tall. Danny the Cooper, who was illiterate, drank the vial clearly labeled 'POISON' and dropped dead. Besto the Soldier ate a quince and had his Strength and Intelligence switched, becoming much smarter, but quite a bit weaker.

The silence was becoming quite maddening, so Mirra and Dennell knew it was time to act. They ran through a little door into a wondrous garden. Feeling on the brink of madness, they both willed themselves to sleep. The rest of the band went back through the looking glass and pulled themselves together. Besto is not one to leave compatriots behind so he went back through the mirror on a rescue mission.

Though Mirra and Dennell were both on the other side of the small hatch way, a hatchway much too small for Besto to fit through, they were within arm's reach. This bit of good fortune was countered by Besto's decision to wake the pair up. Mirra began screaming, as did Dennell. Besto through the tiny Mirra through the looking glass, but Dennell did not make it through. She ran off through the garden gate, screaming and cackling with utter insanity.

After eating the rest of the food, and having ability scores all switched around, the group hurriedly left this mad tree. While travelling toward the another crumbling tower that they could make out in the distance, the band discussed which of their organs was most tasty. Trene the Cutpurse had an ever so tasty spleen, while Mirra was graced with a scrumptious gall bladder. Just then, two wicked Toves, determined to let no creature that would enjoy such tasty organs ever have the chance to eat them, sprung forth from the ground and attacked the pair. Nearly immediately, the pair found themselves murdered.

This sadness was mediated by there being valuable jewels in the crumbling tower! 

They then crossed paths with the Great Grub while crossing the mushroom path. He found the Centervillains to be mostly disagreeable, but did tell them the runaways had been taken in by the Heart Queen. Finally they came to an Orb Loc, a small human village. The Village is small, the humans are regular. They were told the best way to get the kids back from the Red Queen was to give her something she wanted more than the children. Then they all went to sleep. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

DCC: A Red & Pleasant Funnel through the Terrible Goblin Wood

Session Report:
Sunday kicked off A Red & Pleasant Land using DCC RPG. Four zero level characters per player were generated by the book, and we got rolling.

A pair of children became sick of farm life and decided to run away from their boring village, Centerville. To the village's chagrin, they went toward the Terrible Goblin Wood, and even worse, toward Voivodja, Land of Unreason, Fallen Palace of the Dream Mad King. The communitarian impulse runs strong in Centerville, so its citizens (mostly halfling and human with a dwarf and elf for good measure) headed out on a find and return mission.

The journey was uneventful until the villagers stumbled into a goblin ambush. Bromstahd, the dwarven apothecarist, took a goblin spear to the throat and became the first of the fallen. The rest of the village rallied around the death of their friend and quickly killed four goblins, causing the remainder to flee. Dennell, the halfling dyer covered the dwarven die-er with some cloth with the intention of returning later to give Bromstahd a proper burial. The group then continued on its way.

Dennell led the party onward. Soon, after rolling a one on an orienteering check, the party saw a blue lump ahead on the path. They approached cautiously to find cloth soaked with blood, containing the remains of Bromstahd, who had been partially devoured by animals. Now unnerved and saddened, the brave villagers continued on, this time paying closer attention to their path.

With their new found diligence and determination, the group readily detected another goblin ambush on the path ahead. After carefully sneaking to just before the goblin trap, the turnip farmer Blort bravely charged past the goblin band to draw them out for his compatriots. All but one goblin were slain in short order, most spectacularly with a rock hurled by a sling that entered a goblin eye, and messily exited the back of the goblin's skull. Mirra: halfling, gypsy, gore-inator.

The final goblin was subdued and captured, threatened and interrogated. He claimed to know where the children from the village had wandered, and told the village their likely reason for running away, "You are all a bunch of assholes."

Darkness soon fell and Dunstan the goblin (they never did catch his name, because villagers cum adventurers are assholes) plead with them to make camp for the night. He knew that any misfortune that fell upon the group would be returned upon his head. The group was determined to find their youngsters and insisted on pushing onward.

"But please, no torches!" the nameless goblin cried. "You will attract Baba Naga!"
"Who is Baba Naga?" they all wondered.
"You know Baba Yaga?" asked the goblin.
Mirra the gypsy halfling did.
"Well Baba Yaga is made up, Baba Naga is worse!"

(To be continued...)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

DCC RPG Patron Taint: The Red King of A Red & Pleasant Land

This is the second part detailing using The Red King as a DCC RPG patron. The Invoke Patron effects can be found here. Spellburn and patron spells still to come. More R&PL patrons further down the road as well. 

Patron Taint:  The Red King
When patron taint is indicated for The Red King, roll 1d6 on the table below. 
When a caster has acquired all six taints at all levels of effect, there is no need to continue rolling any more.

The caster has become apathetic and slothful, and would lounge, recline and sleep if given the opportunity. If the result is rolled a second time, the caster’s physical self has begun to match his mental state, -1 to Stamina. If rolled a third time, the caster suffers another -1 to Stamina and is prone to sleeping at inopportune times. The caster must make a Will save DC 10 or fall asleep at the Judge’s request.
The caster only finds value in ancient things. If presented with a choice between an old trinket or a newer item of great value, the caster will choose the trinket. If the result is rolled a second time, the caster will not carry or wear any object that is not double the age of the caster (which may include his spellbook). These items must be discarded immediately. If rolled a third time the caster no longer views mortals as worthwhile entities. The caster suffers a -1 to Personality and must make a Will saving throw DC 10 to interact with any being less than 100 years of age.
The caster has begun to be unstuck on her side of the looking Glass, and has taken on some characteristics of her double. If the caster favored her right hand before, she now favors her left. She must take an action to change grips and adjust to the change. If this result is rolled a second time, the character's brain hemispheres are swapped. The rational becomes intuitive, and intelligence is swapped with Personality. If rolled a third time the caster immediately trades places with her quiet side double. The caster is now immune to the madness inspired by the quiet side, but the double has adopted a murderous rage upon taking its place on the war side. The double will do all that it can to end as many lives as possible but is not blindly suicidal.
The caster is now permanently charmed by the Red King and would never even conceive of crossing or acting against him. If this result is rolled a second time, the caster values the Red King's life more than his own and would sacrifice his life without hesitation in defense of his King. If rolled a third time the character realizes that his devotion is more than fealty and is in fact romantic love. The caster will take whatever steps necessary to become one of the Brides of the Red King.
The caster has realized that she is a knight in service to her patron. The player and judge should create a chivalric code that the character must follow. If this result is rolled a second time, the caster takes on the role of a knight in a chess game, and will only move in the fashion of a knight chess piece, three steps forward, one to the side. This results in a 25% reduction to speed, and a -2 penalty to Reflex saves. If rolled a third time the caster must take her proper place as a Knight of the Red King. The character must defeat a knight then take and equip all of its knightly accoutrements. Whether through murder or duel depends on the individual chivalric code. For each day the caster does not complete this quest inflicts a cumulative -1 penalty to all rolls.
The caster has become fascinated with cruelty. Given the opportunity to explore the effects of pain and suffering on a living creature, he will relish the chance. During down time the caster will torture animals, trample rodents, pull the wings off of flies. If this result is rolled a second time, the caster’s penchant for torture becomes more pronounced. He cannot help but torture a defeated foe, and acts to inflict the most pain in combat, rather than for tactical advantage. If the judge finds the caster to not be behaving sufficiently sadisticly, the caster suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to Luck per hour until a good torture is conducted. If rolled a third time, the caster becomes fully obsessed by cruelty. This inhuman turn is reflected by a -2 penalty to Personality, unless the check involves other sadist types.

Are these effects too brutal? Well that what you get for throwing your lot in with a vampire king.

Friday, August 21, 2015

DCC RPG Patron: The Red King of A Red & Pleasant Land

I'm going to be running a game in A Red & Pleasant Land and decided to use DCC RPG as the rule set. As I was reading through the material and making notes I had the idea of the Monarchs making great patrons. I kept on thinking, and the Unicorn and Sphinx might make good ones too. I decided to do the Red King as an exercise, and its been fun. Took a few hours to come up with this, so it might be a little slow going until this is complete and get the others written and posted.

One thing I wanted to preserve was the Red King's cruelty and penchant for arbitrary injustice. That is why when he is invoked there is often a chance bad things also effecting the party, or in the case of Forget, the caster. If your patron is prone to forgetfulness, the caster might well be too.

I think it matches the feel and theme of R&PL. The one thing that I'm not sure about is that the Red King isn't a spell caster. So maybe these effects spring forth from his dreams.

So here is the Invoke Patron Check Results for the Red King. Patron Taint, Spells and Spellburn effects coming soon.

Vlad Vortigen The Red King
Though the ruler of Southern Voivodja is cruel and quick to anger, his schemes and machinations occasionally benefit from the assistance of a mortal.

Invoke Patron Check Results:

The Red King answers the plea for assistance by putting everyone and everything within 60’ of the caster to sleep. This includes allies and vampires, or those otherwise immune to sleep. It is a normal sleep, and anyone effected may be roused normally.
The caster targets one creature or an object within 30’. If an object is targeted the spell is triggered when the object next touches a living creature. Once triggered the target loses its memory of the last 1d6 hours. No saving throw is allowed.
The caster must make a fortitude saving throw DC 10 or likewise be effected.
The Red King gives the caster the red lacquered plate of his knights. It grants the AC Bonus +8, Check Penalty -8, Speed Penalty -10’, and Fumble die d16 of Full plate. It also visibly marks the caster as a follower of the Red King. Any Red Knights will take great offense at one not of their rank wearing their armor. The armor fades like the memory of a dream after 1d4 quarter hours has passed.
A Red Pawn of level 1d3 is put into the service of the caster. It resents its assignment but begrudgingly follows orders until sent elsewhere by the Red King.
The caster may send anyone, including the caster within the immediate area to the quiet side. There is no limit to the number of beings that may be transported.
Nightmares burst forth from the dreams of all creatures (including allies) within 50’ of the caster. They torment those from whose souls they sprang, doing 1d4 Personality damage per round until a will saving throw DC 20 is made. The caster may dismiss one nightmare per round.
Pikes erupt from the ground or floor in a 25’ radius, impaling all those present for 3d8 damage, Reflex Save DC 20 for half damage. Vampires rolling natural 1s on the save are staked and slain.
Caster targets creatures of HD equal to spell check number (including allies if there are not sufficient enemies, or animals present). They burst into a puddle of blood. A fortitude saving throw DC 25 negates the effect.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adventure Scenario Part Two of Scream Bloody Gore: Zombie Ritual

The following is the outline of a scenario to be run using your favorite fantasy role playing game. Lamentations of the Flame Princess, DCC RPG, Tunnels & Trolls1, OSR clones, D&D (whatever except fourth) and even Dungeon World should all work alright. Stats are left intentionally vague or ignored. This is the second of a ten part series of adventure scenarios inspired by Death's debut album Scream Bloody Gore, sometimes considered the first death metal record.


The party arrives at the outside of a cave. From within torchlight flickers and sounds of perverse pleasure can be heard piercing ritualized chanting. 
>Mən dit parçalamaq, heç bir zərər ilə mənə geri gələcək kimi, ekastase qaçırılmaq ola bilər ki, mənim söz eşitmək mənim arzu yerinə yetirmək və ehtiyac yerinə yetirmək, mənim heupe yeni həyat ayı Godin yalvarmaq, belə ki!<
If any degree of stealth is employed the cave may be entered without the notice of its inhabitants. 

Once inside a cadre of young people can be seen chanting and passing around an ornate goblet. They are very focused with what they are doing and can be watched unnoticed unless some sort of ruckus is made by the observers.

A few moments after drinking from the cup, each individual cries out in an ecstatic anguish, and writhing maggots pour forth from its orifices.

There is an orgy of anthropophagia and depraved necrophilia. 

Blood violence gore and maggots litter the cave.

Characters ought make a wisdom check, or will saving throw, or sanity type check. 
On a fail, good paladin types get enraged, evil weirdo types get enthralled or aroused, those without a strong alignment pull get sickened.

If not engaged the newly turned zomboid creatures will be content to feast and fuck on and in the carrion until sweet annihilation comes in orgiastic fervor. If they are disturbed, they will attack as a standard zombie with the addition of carrying Zombie Maggots. Unlike standard zombies, they are fascinated with their own devourment, either by another zombie or through autophagia, and are thusly readily distracted. Character's fleeing are unlikely to be pursued. 

If any of the maggots are within 20 feet of a humanoid it will crawl toward them. Treat them as rot grubs or equivalent for combat purposes. If they are able to enter a character, the process of Zombie Maggot Infestation begins (see below).

The goblet that had been passed around appears to be extremely valuable. It is the Goblet of Ydricebonon. It radiates magic and chaos.
Anyone who touches the goblet must make a saving throw or be compelled to drink its contents. It is filled with Vile Gore! You want more! Character is at end stages of Zombie Maggot Infestation. Gloves protect against its effects, but carrying it on one's person carries a one percent cumulative chance per day that Zombie Maggot infestation will begin. Mad necromancers, bored aristocrats and other evil types will pay handsomely for this item.

Zombie Maggot Infestation
Zombie Maggots are crawling toward your brain. It is an unusual sensation of pleasure and pain.
Each game round (or unit of time lasting approximately 6-10 seconds) the infected character gains one ZMI point per maggot he or she is host to, or 10 per maggot for each minute.
Any holy spell, cure wounds, bless, will delay the onset of the zombie madness by reducing the ZMI point by 100 per level of the spell.
The infestation can be removed with a cleansing ritual conducted by a level 8 or higher cleric. The cost of materials for the ritual is 4000 gp.
A 5th level magic-user can transmute the infestation. This however has undesirable side effects as determined by the referee. The cost of transmutation materials is 500 gp.

ZMI Points
Zero and below
Symptom free
Beginnings of zombie maggot infestation. At this stage it is somewhat pleasant and euphoric. Characters more foolhardy than normal and have a +1 to checks against fear effects.
Zombie maggot infestation is progressing. Characters are immune to fear effects. Characters fantasize about their own death and annihilation. There are chances for them to DREAM REAL.
Zombie maggot infestation is very advanced. Characters are unable to concentrate on anything except their dreams and fantasies. The waking world exists in a haze. They are no longer able to eat vegetables or cooked meat.
End stages of zombie maggot infestation. The character becomes a zombie in 1d4 rounds.

Next up: Denial of Life! Anyone reading this? Is any of it useful for your game? What are you playing? Would detailed stats be helpful, or do just make it up anyway?

1 Tom, my bad for forgetting in the first post.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Adventure Scenario Part One of Scream Bloody Gore: Infernal Death

The following is the outline of a scenario to be run using your favorite fantasy role playing game. Lamentations of the Flame Princess, DCC RPG, OSR clones, D&D (whatever except fourth) and even Dungeon World should all work alright. Stats are left intentionally vague or ignored. It is the first part of a ten part series of adventure scenarios inspired by Death's debut album Scream Bloody Gore, sometimes considered the first death metal record.

This adventure series can either be dropped into an ongoing campaign, be run as a one off, or act as the start of a campaign. 

You have been pursued by the Baron's men since the village of Mantas. What did you do to get on the Baron's bad side?

If the party is not forthcoming with their misdeeds and treachery, roll 1d10 to determine for them.
  1. You discovered evidence of the Baron's fraternization with demons. He will stop at nothing to recover the abyssal scroll which bears his seal.
  2. The Baron is embarrassed by his offspring's publicly casual attitude toward sexual experimentation and has taken to exacting harsh punishment upon all partners.
  3. The party had been hired by the Baron to poison a well and make it look like the work of a rival. While successfully causing the painful death of half a village ever so discretely, the Baron can not allow loose ends to run around willy-nilly.
  4. While acting as attendants, the party filled the Baron's Blood Tankard with wine.
  5. The Baron's niece fled to escape a marriage of political convenience. The party was hired to bring her home. They did not.
  6. "So you have spoken, and from your speaking gifts will come to you." The Baron only wishes to deliver what is due.
  7. While most is permitted during the Carnival of Excess, the party managed to step outside that which is deemed acceptable behavior and insulted the Baron.
  8. The baron took grave offence at the name of their adventuring band.
  9. The Archgoat of the region took an the party under his wing. The Baron will strike at his rivals in every way possible.
  10. The Baron's agents determined the party walks the Sinister Path.

In order to avoid the watchful eye of the wrathful Baron, the party has taken to traveling under the cloak of darkness so that they might safely escape His realm.

The darkness is pierced by a glowing at the horizon. Upon closer inspection it may be determined that the glow originates from bonfires.

As the party nears these bonfires are funeral pyres. Ten are burning in the immediate area. On a successful listen roll cries of anguish can be heard before they are extinguished by the blaze.

A lone figure attends to the fires. He wears the vestments of a priest of the area's dominant deity.
He seems frightened, nervous and distracted.

If engaged he will provide the following information:
  • His village has been plagued by the walking dead.
  • Torching the dying is the only way to appease their god and prevent them from rising upon death.
  • Though some innocents are killed this way, it beats the alternative.
  • The dead procreate in some sinister manner, how exactly is unknown.
  • This has happened for as long as anyone can remember, returning in times of moral decay.
  • Tonight ten souls were burned: The Shellworks, Ralf and Rohesia, and their four children; Old Bartolomen, the hermit; Agnes the Crone; Drengen the swineherd; and three travelling peddlers whose names are all lost.
  • The unnamed Shellworks infant has not yet been immolated. It must first have its naming ceremony.
The priest will burn the child and return to his prayers.
Lo we traverse the worlds of death
The hallucinations in the mind of a mad god
So too do we
Create bastard worlds for our dreams and madness
So we mock the locusts and ground our feet
And with the click of a heel return