Monday 26 December 2016

King Arthur in Romance of the Perilous Land

If you've read through the RotPL book, you will note the tie to Arthurian lore. I would hesitate to call the game an Arthurian one, but I couldn't ignore the massive folklore impact the stories have had on Great Britain.

However, rather than talking explicitly about Arthur, he and his Knights are alluded to throughout the book so I wanted to make some clarifications about how he fits into the Perilous Land.

Here, Arthur still reigns over Camelot, which lies to the south west in the Perilous Land. Both he and his Knights of the round are the pinnacle of chivalry, their stories told throughout the land. Arthur is a famed monster hunter - with some saying he single handedly slayed a questing beast. In this way, Arthur is a knight class at the peak of his form at 10th level. He carries Excalibur (details in the rules) and wears chainmail.

In the Perilous Land there is no grail legend because there is no Christianity. That isn't to say in your game Arthur can't go hunting for a mythical artefact, but it just wouldn't be tied to Christ. Here, Arthur is a 'pagan' king. I will get into the Perilous Land pantheon at a later date, but he is in fact a follower of traditionally Welsh gods like Cerridwen, Dylan and Elaine.

Using Arthur in your game is pretty simple. The party could be on a quest from Camelot on the orders of the king to span the country looking to right wrongs and slay monsters. You could have Arthur become a legendary character that is only heard about but never actually seen.

I'll be detailing more about the Knights of the Round Table later.

Sunday 25 December 2016

Revenant for Romance of the Perilous Land

Merry Christmas one and all. I wanted to get a series started on new bits and bobs for Romance of the Perilous Land, my British folklore OSR game.

Today we have the Revenant - not the bear erotica flick with DiCaprio, but the walking corpses from middle ages lore. The Revenant is really a catch all term that covers many undead beings - from the aptrgangr in Norse mythology to the vampire of south-eastern European lore. In the Perilous Land revanents are commonly corpses that have risen from the grave to cause terror on the living. They do not necessarily drink blood or devour brains - they are evil, deceptive beings who would sooner psychologically torture someone than outright kill them.

Revenants arise through either black magic from a witch (a particularly powerful witch can catch Resurrect the Recently Deceased), or, one may arise if they die from being wronged - though this is much rarer and would likely happen in a location where magic is centered, such as a ring of standing stones.

HD 6 (16)
Attacks: Claw
Special: a Revanent is able to regenerate all HP after resting for 6 hours in their grave (or equivalent). In the daylight, halve the Revenant's HD and HP.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Get USR Sword and Sorcery in print

Just a quick one to say that Jay Murphy has released his excellent USR Sword and Sorcery book into print.

Discover more at the Vanishing Tower.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

God generator

Time for some random deities for your game.

God name (d20)

1. Druth
2. Arcturan
3. Silpha
4. Pukk
5. Thunna
6. Gorgob
7. Neveressa
8. Jinn
9. Adoleise
10. Wendolyn
11. Oster
12. Yigg
13. Roth-honna
14. Dursten
15. Malikk
16. Trendor
17. Soone
18. Ulparthia
19. Quentillia
20. Borron

God domain (d20)

1. Fog
2. Dark places
3. Sexual pleasure
4. Terror
5. Bravery
6. Whispers
7. The hearth
8. Art
9. Cookery
10. Spoiled milk
11. Itching
12. Sleep
13. Transportation
14. Bells
15. Ale
16. Mischief
17. Cheese
18. Moss
19. Dead birds
20. Lakes

Holy symbol (d10)

1. A yellow raven
2. A shattered anvil
3. A one-eyed doe
4. An orc toe
5. A skull within a skull within a skull
6. A gourd
7. An upside down pine
8. A rotting apple
9. A fork
10. An ear of corn

Appears in the mortal realm as... (d10)

1. An old woman
2. A large fish
3. A floating harp
4. A disembodied arm
5. A wolf face
6. An oak tree
7. A young boy
8. A three-eyed rabbit
9. A purple cloud
10. A mace

Saturday 10 December 2016

Gazetteer generator - random table

Extra, extra, read all about it! Or so the cliche's 1940s saying goes. In an era of fake news, why not create your own for your fantasy campaign gazette? Grab some dice and get rolling.

Newspaper titles (1d10) (feel free to insert a relevant location name into any of these)

1. The Blind Guardian
2. The Cursed Mirror
3. The Daily Black Star
4. The Far Rider Express
5. The Hammer
6. The Weekly Clover
7. The Merchant Times
8. The Owlbear
9. The Shining Herald
10. The Crown

Headline (1d20)

1. Murder! Gnome aristocrat found dead on his roof
2. Prince kidnapped by teleporting cloaked riders!
3. Councillor revealed to be demon from the netherplane
4. Rigged! Magic voter fraud in local by-election
5. Local man raised from dead - family says he's "different" now
6. Orc bandits steal priceless tiara from actress
7. Mystery shadows stalk the night! What do they want?
8. "Disembodied eyeballs" seen floating in the Loam Woods, says hunter
9. "The earth swallowed my mum" says girl, 7, as house disappears
10. Revolutionaries executed for crimes against the crown
11. Faceless woman opens world's first "Dark Circus"
12. Abandoned caravan found full of jade hands
13. Serial killer wizard escapes from custody
14. Angel reveals herself to priest, speaks of coming plague
15. Socialite found in basement eating butler's face - claims the Ivory One told her to
16. Residents ask where glowing blue monolith came from
17. Gob Tossing Cup: Brevvin's Beards beat the Mugskulls 7-3
18. Steel cavern discovered beneath pub
19. Gallery opening sends visitors into psychotic rage
20. Duke plans to "build great wall" to keep out Northlanders

Advertisement (1d10)

1. Miracle beard balm! Made by dwarves for YOUR face!
2. Visit Miss Miggins' Pie Shoppe - delicious treats filled with meats!
3. Do you suspect your husband is cheating? Hire Dex Dolton, investigative sorcerer
4. Scrolls scrolls scrolls! HUGE sale at Sentar's Scrolls during the 1000 year eclipse
5. Dragon-Be-Gone - special jewels keep dragons away from YOUR home. Works 100% of the time
6. Worried your baby might be from hell? Little Rascals Holy Water is for you!
7. Rat infestation in your basement? Send a letter to DELIVER-AN-ADVENTURER to get your pest problem under control
8. Gentleman's tincture - get your charisma back
9. Kobold on a Stick - delivered hot to your door
10. Love a prank? Come to the Cursed Item Emporium and make them SCREAM

Wednesday 7 December 2016

The great 2016 retrospective

It's that time of year once again where I take stock and look back at the achievements of the year. 2016 has been pure roadkill globally, but for Trollish Delver Games it's actually been the best year to date. Here's what's happened:


In January I had some weird inspiration and decided to publish a solo game about writing letters. Quill quickly became one of my bestselling games, rocketing in sales in the first week and staying in the top 100 games for most of the year. People seem to like it!

Quill: Love Letters

Naturally for Valentine's Day I released a new scenario book.

The Pulp Hack

No doubt the most influential game in the OSR this year was The Black Hack by David Black. Having want to create a pulp-based game for years, I saw a chance using these rules.

In Darkest Warrens

This was a bit of an experiment, attempting to create a full ruleset in just 2 pages. It worked better than I thought and there's a little community building itself around the game.

Magnificent Artefacts

A supplement for IDW full of magic items.

An Adventurer's Guide to Excavation and Plunder

More rules, races, classes and monsters for IDW.

Romance of the Perilous Land

This was my biggest project of the year. Combining my love of British folklore and roleplaying, RotPL is a new OSR ruleset with some unique mechanics. There are big things potentially happening with this, so watch this space.

All this and more behind the scenes have kept me insanely busy this year (I'm still getting through an email backlog).

Other cool stuff

Quill: Coal and Parchment

Derek Kamal released this fantastic supplement set in his Homes universe. See also: The Dig.

All the things by Jay Murphy

If I can name one person in the industry I'm super grateful for it's Jay. He's a USR machine, releasing USR Sword and Sorcery, Shrine of the Keepers, Western USR and Fear and Loathing USR this year. What a champ.

Next, I'll be talking about what I'm planning for 2017. What a time to be alive.

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Goat Kin of the Shindarian Coast (Tunnels & Trolls)

The Shindarian Coast is known for two things: it's unwillingness to let travellers find their way and the Goat Kin.

Goat Kin
MR 24 (3+12)
Spite: 1/1
Special: Horn blow - Goat Kin within 30ft gain 5 combat adds next turn.
Treasure: Gusk Horn (10gp), Szit Spear (2d6).

Goat Kin hunt in herds of 3-6, moving quickly over open ground and using the reach of their spears to overcome their quarry. The leader of a Goat Kin herd is called the Gruff, identified by having the largest, most gnarled horns.

At the break of spring, the Goat mother's gather at the megalith ring called the Loom where they hope to give birth to warriors, or Hoofgord. It is said only the blessed goats birth Hoofgord, who become the most respected and richest members of the herd, some even worshipped.

The Gruff invokes the Goat god Baathonet, the grazing god through elaborate chants called trots. They must have specific ingredients, including the roots of the spinnet flower which are found across the doomswamps to the east. Chewing on these roots triggers a trance that allows the Gruff to dance for days straight. The longest trot on record is four weeks.

Reaction table (d6)
1-2 They pay no heed, having sated themselves on a recent kill
3-4. They menace the party, but are open to bribery
5-6. They assault the party with the idea of roasting them over a spit

Monday 5 December 2016

Of Cinderplane Barbarians

As the third sun skims the blurred horizon of the red dust expanse and the Thirk lizard coughs it's morning song, a caravan of riders are an hour into their hunt. Their quarry? Blue Basilisk. Nana Mog whispers of sweet nectar from their calcified eyes, a prize sweet enough for a dawn pursuit.

Cyana Bloodmorrow, High Garg of the Cinderplane Barbarians is inked with the Skorn tatoo, a sign of her ranking and a message to all who may stand against her that she has spilled blood on the sand more times that the sun Vesp has arced the sky. Her man slave Virl rides by her side, clutching a brace of Zenfarr spices his mistress enjoys so much. Crushed into Basilisk bladder, it creates a most delicious soup.

Few children survive the harsh Cinderplane, with its infinite dust storms and desert shriekers that stalk the cloak of night. As all children must do, Cyana was thrown into the fiery crucible of this untamed land and forced to track to the Ebon mountains, retrieve one of the wretch totems from its peak, and return. Her first run in with a Sharn Spider released the barbarian inside and she still carries the carapace sword to this day.

A movement in the dry distance. Cyana halts the party and licks her sore lips. "Bas tund kild," she barks. A Basilisk rears its head and flicks out a darting tongue. "Dren yond kun lo, sintar," she grunts, dismounting. She admires the bright blue streak that runs down the creatures temple and down its back. Virl, sensing an opportunity to impress his mistress, lurches forth with kondi spear in hand. Within seconds he is on top of the creature, thrashing madly with squeals of delight. The High Garg watches her man slave's body become grey and cracked. The statue falls to the dust.

A whip of the neck and the lizard is sprinting at her. She avoids it's gaze and vaults the beast, landing near its tail. She drags her blade down its back and cries a curse of her ancestors. Blood flows like honey from the wound. She cups her hand and takes a drink of Basilisk nectar, finding it pleasing to the palette.

Time to put those spices to work.

Sunday 4 December 2016

Random tavern generator

By 'eck, lads and lasses, it's been a while. I've been neglecting the blog in lieu of creating lots of new game content, but I thought I better get back to it with a new random generator.

Let's make some motherfuckin' taverns.

Architecture (d6)
1. Created from an ancient giant's skull
2. Fungal
3. Hewn from the side of a mountain
4. A pyramid
5. Chock full of non-euclidian geometry
6. Mega-tavern

Quirk (d6)
1. Patrons with beards get 20% off drinks
2. The tavern is a byproduct of a wizard's dream and only exists at night when she sleeps
3. the elk head on the wall occasionally asks for a drink in return for a rumour
4. The place is run by ghosts
5. Part museum dedicated to a local dungeon, exhibiting donated items (some dangerous) and monster taxidermy
6. During an eclipse, the tavern's beer becomes the most valuable and sought after in the universe

Prized beer (d6)
1. Basilisk's Bollocks
2. The Old Spotted Grell
3. Burley's Brown Beard
4. Elf Tears
5. Black Beholder Stout
6. White Wurm Ale

Tavern name part 1 (d6)
1. The Drunken
2. The Brawling
3. The Slaughtered
4. The Frisky
5. The Noble
6. The Laughing

Tavern name part 2 (d6)
1. Mind flayer
2. Mushroom
3. Corpse
4. Ettin
5. Lamb
6. Illusionist