Saturday 30 May 2015

Queen of Frost and Snow for T&T/Swords & Wizardry/USR

Deep within the Ridges of Alkabad, beyond the white foothills of Everlay, lies the Kingdom of Rhegad. Covered in a permanent layer of snow and ice, Rhegad is a kingdom on the edge of the world, the main commerce being fishing. The land is ruled by Catherine of Rhegad, also known as the Queen of Frost and Snow, not least for her cold, harsh personality. Catherine is first and foremost a warrior queen. She often rides out with her armies, battling the southern forces of Luga who Rhegad has fought for decades.

Catherine is a shrewd queen and does not form allegiances lightly. If the PCs fall foul of her, she will make no qualms about either shackling them up in the dungeon or putting them to their deaths. She is a big believer is making her power known to one and all, so she responds well when anyone recognises this. However, she is fiercely loyal to her allies and will go out of her way to make sure they are taken care of: she is a good friend to have - if indeed you manage to befriend her.

Catherine of Rhegad (Tunnels & Trolls)
Human Warrior Lv. 2
ST 22
DX 19
CHA 10
CON 18
SP 17
INT 18
LK 14

Combat adds: 24
Armour: 22 hits

Equipment: Broadsword (3+4), Dirk (2+1), Mail armour (11 hits)

Catherine of Rhegad (USR)
Human Warrior Lv 2
Action d10
Wits d8
Ego d6
Hits 15
Armour: 2
Specialisms: Royalty +2 (Ego), Swordmaster +3 (Action), Tactician +2 (Wits)

Equipment: Broadsword (+2), Dirk (+1), Mail armour (2)

Catherine of Rhegad (Swords and Wizardry White Box)
Human Fighter Lv 2
ST 16
DX 15
CON 14
WIS 11
INT 15

Saving Throw 15
BHB +1
HD 2
AC 5 (15)

Equipment: Sword (1d6), Dagger (1d6-1), Chainmail armour (-4/+4)

Wednesday 27 May 2015

The Maddening Abolon for White Star/T&T/USR

The Maddening Abolon (White Star)
AC 3 (16)
Total Hit Bonus: +10
Attack: Tentacles (2d6)
Move: 4
Save: 9
HDE/XP: 10/1,700
Special: Mind Paralysis (Target must save or be unable to act for 1d6 rounds), Grab (Target must save or be unable to move. A target that is grabbed may attempt a save at the end of each of their turns. If they are successful, the break the grab. They may also escape the grab by inflicting 10 damage to the tentacle).

The Maddening Abolon (Tunnels and Trolls)
MR 90 (10d6 + 45)
Special: 3/ Grab: Target must make a L3SR on STR or be unable to move. A target that is grabbed may attempt a save roll at the end of each of their turns. If they are successful, the break the grab. They may also escape the grab by inflicting 10 damage to the tentacle.
4/ Mind Paralysis: Random target must make a L5SR on INT or be unable to act for 1d6 rounds.

The Maddening Abolon (USR)
Action: d10
Wits: d10
Ego: d8
Hits: 24
Attacks: Tentacles +3
Specialisms: Mind Paralysis* +3 (Wits), Super Ugly +2 (Ego), Grabby Tentacle +3 (Action)
*If the Maddening Abolon hits with Mind Paralysis, the victim is unable to act for 1d6 rounds.

Hailing from the deadworld of Aranok, the Abolon is a gelatinous, hyper-intelligent cephalopod that spend the majority of its time in a deep slumber. When it is in slumber form, the creature resembles a large mass of jelly, which can seem awfully curious to any explorers on a new alien world. However, should they draw near the alien, it awakens and thrashes with its tentacles, melting their feeble minds with its psychic attacks.

Monday 25 May 2015

Cat o' Nine Tails for White Star and Somnium Void

Taking a leaf out of +Erik Tenkar's book, I've been looking through some incredible pulp covers to try and unearth some game inspiration. I totally love this massive cat with antennae (all aliens have to have antennae, obviously), juuust about to crush their ship. So here she is, for White Star and Somnium Void (USR)

The Cat o' Nine Tails is native to the planet Zentoria, a largely forested planet where creatures grow to giant size due to the low gravity. This alien is a whopping 24ft tall and 120ft in length - sporting fur, sharp ivory teeth and massive black crushing claws. The Cat o' Nine Tails likes to toy with its prey, batting it around with those massive paws until its victim stops struggling. The coat of this alien can fetch a high price in the textiles market due to how difficult it is to separate from the massive beast.

The creature has an incredible sense of smell, allowing it to notice the scent of something from up to twenty miles away. The females are the hunters, leaving their forest den to stalk their prey, while the males take care of the young.

White Star

Cat o' Nine Tails
Armour Class: 2 (17)
Hit Dice: 12
Total Hit Bonus: +12
Attacks: Giant Paws (2d6) or Bite (1d6)
Saving Throw: 8
Special: None
Movement: 12
HDE/XP: 12/ 1,600

Somnium Void (USR)

Cat o' Nine Tails
Action: d10
Wits: d10
Ego: d6
Hits: 30
Attacks: Giant Paws +3 or Bite +2
Specialisms: Giant Strength +4 (Action), Super Smell +3 (Wits)

Monday 11 May 2015

Let's take a look at the Elemental Evil Player's Companion

Wizards of the Coast continues to offer free goodies, this time in the form of the Elemental Evil Player's Companion, an expansion to the Player's  Handbook that ties in to their Elemental Evil campaign storyline.

First off, let's look at what WotC are currently doing with their newest iteration of the classic Temple of Elemental Evil, which is set to be the huge new marketing cross-over for the company. It's a great idea from a brand level - take all your assets: MMOs, videogames, boardgames, literature and the tabletop game, and create a storyline that encompasses them all. While I'll only ever probably play the classic game, it's great that the company is offering multiple ways to experience the story.

Elemental Evil is all about apocalyptic cults, each devoted to a prince of elemental evil led by a nihilistic and corrupt prophet. These funky customers are using devastation orbs, created from raw elemental power, to bring all kinds of devastating chaos to Faerûn. As if that wasn't bad enough, these barmy cults have decided to join forces are creating an underground dungeon temple dedicated to the mysterious Elder Elemental Eye. Shit's getting real, son.

The Elemental Evil Player's Companion is both an expansion to the Player's Handbook, offering up three new races, a sub-race and a bunch of new spells, while also being a supplement to Princes of the Apocalypse, the tabletop campaign at the core of the story.

New Races

Aarakocra: This is a race of birdfolk hailing from the Elemental Plane of Air, first appearing back in the Fiend Folio (AD&D 1e). The companion has some great flavour about their habitats, colonies and history.

In terms of traits, level 1 Aarakocras have flight (which means no medium or heavy armour), and talons that deals 1d4 unarmed strike damage. Suitable backgrounds include sage, hermit and outlander and they are likely to be rangers or fighters.

Deep Gnome: A sub-race, also known as the Svirfneblin, that appeared first in module D2 Shrine of Kuo-Toa and as a playable race in Unearthed Arcana. They have superior darkvision, gnome cunning (advantage on int, wis and cha saves against magic), stone camouflage (advantage on stealth checks to hide in rocky terrain) and the optional feat of Svirfneblin magic.

Genasi: By far the most interesting race presented in the book, the Genasi are a hangover from Planescape's Planewalker's Handbook which later became integrated into the Forgotten Realms. The Genasi are the offspring of mortals and genies, with the power of the elemental planes inherent within their blood. Unlike in 4e, where the Genasi were a single race, 5e has once again split them into subraces: Air, Earth, Fire and Water. Each has its own traits and personalities, although the Earth Genasi seems to have got the short end of the stick, with a couple of relatively lame abilities.

Goliath: One of the more recent races, showing up as a player character back in 3.5's Races of Stone, Goliaths are massive mountain beings that make natural warriors. Goliaths get a +2 strength increase, athletics proficiency and Goliath mainstay Stone's Endurance, which allows a once-per-day d12 reaction roll to reduce damage.

New Spells

To finish off the book, we get a bunch of spells for rangers, bards, warlocks, druids, sorcerers, and wizards - so no scrimping on the spells. Of course, all these spells are based on the elements, such as control flames, earth tremor and frostbite. I was particularly glad to see the return of this baby:

Abi-Dalzim’s Horrid Wilting
8th-level necromancy
Casting Time:
 1 action
 150 feet
 V, S, M (a bit of sponge)
 Instantaneous You draw the moisture from every creature in a 30-foot cube centered on a point you choose within range. Each creature in that area must make a Constitution saving
throw. Constructs and undead aren’t affected, and plants and water elementals make this saving throw  with disadvantage. A creature takes 10d8 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


I guess you can't beat free, can you? Sure, you could see the EEPC as a way of drawing in players to buy into the Elemental Evil campaign, because it absolutely is, but I think it's a great little addition to the PB. Download it here.

Giants of Sundered Valley

The Giants of the Sundered Valley is the name given to the group of monolothic standing stones located at the base of the Sundered Valley, thought to have been created over 5,000 years ago by the mad mage D'rinoth Vorgant.

D'rinoth was an eccentric hermetic spell-user who lived in the Blackgnarl Woods close to Spire village at the foot of the valley. People who lived in the area recorded the mage's antics, from the time he turned the grass in the area bright pink to when he conjured a demon from the abyssal plane which proceeded to torment Spire with a series of dangerous pranks until some local champions slayed the creature. D'rinoth was, for the most part, quite harmless but the villagers of Spire were split on their opinion about him. Some thought that he was just a crazy kook who meant no harm, while others wanted him gone from the valley, believing him to be a danger to the village and to himself.

One day, a group of villagers who wanted the hermit gone decided to take matters into their own hands and journey the woods to find him and force him to leave. They took weapons and armour with them in case they had to put up a fight, but to their surprise D'rinoth agreed to leave, although quite reluctantly. You see, he was actually a timid man and highly emotional, so when the villagers knocked on his door, armed to the teeth, and told him to leave he just caved to their demands. Upset, he packed his things and left the valley to find pastures new, holing up in a new woods thirty miles away near Sungate city.

Two months after the mage had left, five giants made their way to the Sundered Valley and led an assault on Spire. At first, they demanded payment to prevent them from tearing the place up, but when the village noble, Ellera Windheart, couldn't pay they began to devour their livestock and threatened that if they couldn't come up with the coin they would start eating the children of the village. The villagers had no way of defending against the giants, as they were too strong for even their champions, so Ellera told the group who sent D'rinoth into exile to go and find him and ask him for help. They reluctantly agreed and set off to find him.

Eventually they came across the mage and explained the situation. He agreed to help them as long as they let him live in Blackgnarl woods again. They agreed and soon the mage returned to Spire, much to everyone's delight. He made his way to the giants, who were camping close by. He stepped into the centre of the camp and cast a spell that turned them all to stone. D'rinoth was proclaimed a hero and a feast was put on in his honour before he retired to his formed home in the woods.

500 years on and the spell is breaking. The magic is wearing off and the stone monuments are becoming flesh once more. Who will come to Spire's aid this time?

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Buy White Star, you Radfish

Dat hair
So, James M. Spahn has decided to fling Swords & Wizardy White Box into space and the results are pretty delicious. White Star is about to become The Next Big Thing in the OSR world, so you should probably buy it so you don't feel left out.

I want to write stuff for White Star, baby.

Actually, dwarvern grognard and serial podcaster +Erik Tenkar  has already gone and started filling his Tavern with White Star goodies. Gotta hand it to him - when he gets his hooks in something, he doesn't let go (hi, Far Away Land).

I digress. Buy this with your monies.

Sunday 3 May 2015

New race: The Carriath


I wanted to play around with creating some new races that are a little far removed from the normal fantasy tropes. The first is the Carriath - a race created from words. I've statted them up for Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying, Swords & Wizardry White Box and Tunnels & Trolls.

In the Great Old Times, words held a more potent power, more akin to sorcery. Whenever a word was uttered that caused a strong emotional reaction, whether loving or hateful, the winds of time ushered these words into the cavern of Kallelia where the words slowly became tangible. These emotive words moulded into something physical, released from their abstract bondage and escaping into the mortal plane. They grew sentient and soon became a community.

This race of ‘word people’ came to be called Carraith - a people of great emotion who have the ability to bring great joy, sadness, fear or jealousy with just the words that they utter, masterfully crafting them into something as sharp as a dagger or as soft as silk.

Carraith believe that words are sacred and as such their society only uses words when necessary and does not waste any frivolously. Their elders are known as the finest wordsmiths in the world and are often worshipped as gods on earth, recieving offerings in the form of food and trinkets from the Carraith community.

Carriath in Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying

Suggested specialisms: Emotive Speaker (Ego), Mysterious Stranger (Ego), Linguistic Genius (Wits), Speak Languages (Wits), Lexomancer [able to create objects with words] (Wits)

Carriath in Swords & Wizardry White Box

Because of their way with words, Carriath have the capabilities of Magic-Users, giving them access to the Magic-User chart.

Character advancement: Carriath use the Magic-User character advancement chart.

Weapon/ Armour Restrictions:  As Magic-User

Speak Emotive Words: The Carriath use words to strike an emotional chord with others. They have a 1 in 6 chance to persuade another sentient being of the same level or lower to agree to their terms.

Languages: Carriath are intrinsically knowledgable of many languages. At first level, Carriaths are able to speak with all races.

Saving Throw: Carriath get +2 saving throws vs magic.

Carriath in Tunnels & Trolls

CON: X0.75
CHR: X1.5
DEX: X0.5
WIZ: X1.5
HT: X1
WT: X1

Carriath in T&T may only be rogues or wizards.