Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Goblins of Gibbering Vale


Goblins of the Gibbering Vale have no names. They are identified by the type of fungus growing off the top of their head. When they die the mushroom erupts into spores that, if inhaled, the victim inflates and floats until they deflate 4d6 ft up.

Their preferred weapons are petrified birds - stuck on top of a stick into a 'birdspear' or fashioned into arrows. They keep a basilisk to craft their weapons (walking through the Vale goblin 'statues' dot the landscape).

They live in dirt traps beneath the soil, using their sensitive hearing to ambush travellers above them.

Gibbering Vale Goblin, 5+, 2 wounds, melee, special action: after reaching 0 wounds the goblin automatically triggers a spore eruption. Anyone within 5ft of the goblin must test Nimble or inflate, rising 4d6 ft before falling. They must take 1 wound for every 10ft they fall.

(Stat block for In Darkest Warrens).


Sunday, 21 January 2018

Legendary Quills


I hope you're having fun with Quill: White Box this weekend. Part of what I wanted to do with this game is offer some supplemental material right on this blog. Some of it will be experimental, but all of it should be pretty fun.

Today I wanted to introduce Legendary Quills. These three quills have been forged by powerful mage scribes of ancient times. They are not available in the Moon Market - they are rare and powerful.

You can be in with a chance of receiving one of these quills by achieving 15 points in any of the adventures in the book. If you do, you must roll a die. On a 5 or 6, you are visited by the spirit of a mage scribe and given one of the quills below (your choice):

Warlock's Quill - made from a griffon feather, automatically succeed all Language rolls. 10 uses

Ghost Quill - a quill that writes itself. Automatically succeed all Penmanship rolls. 10 uses.

Angelic Quill - a quill created from an angel's wing. Automatically succeed all Heart rolls. 10 uses.

Quill: White Box is out now


Quill: White Box is a new way to play the award-winning Quill letter-writing solo roleplaying game, inspired by the original version of the famous fantasy game. 

For the first time, create a classic fantasy character from classes like fighter, cleric, thief, elf and dwarf, each with its own special ability to help you on your letter-writing adventures. Use the same character through multiple adventures, gaining treasure and magical items like enchanted perfumes and hypnotic parchment to give you the edge.

Quill: White Box features five new fantasy adventures:
  • The Demon-Haunted Tower - find a way into a mysterious tower that is slowly draining the life from a surrounding village.
  • The Elven Princess - bring two lovers together from different worlds.
  • Uncharted Waters - convince an old enemy to raise an ancient pirate from the dead in order to reveal a hidden isle.
  • Fane of the Underking - get your incredible story of dungeon-crawling heroism picked up in the city gazette.
  • The Beast of Nightwood - create a field journal documenting the existence of a mythical creature.
Treasure, fame and adventure are all yours with Quill: White Box - download now. Note that you must have the Quill core rules to play. 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Quill White Box coming soon


Over the past week I've been posting some ideas for what I've called Quill White Box - basically playing Quill in a D&D style world. The more I posted, the more people were interested in the idea so I've decided to flesh it out into a supplement.

Quill White Box is a new way to experience the award-winning solo roleplaying game. Create a character based on the core classes from the original RPG, each with their own distinct ability. For example, clerics bless the parchment they're writing on, magic-users enchant their ink and thieves can forge documents.

In Quill White Box you will be collecting treasure and finding magical items on your adventures. Visit the market to buy supplies and occasionally the Moon Market to peruse magic items like enchanted perfume and hypnotic parchment.

Yes - true to the original game, you can die a horrible death of you're not careful.

The book will include five adventures - from bringing old pirates back from the dead to helping two lovers in need.




Thursday, 18 January 2018

Quill White Box - The Market


Quill White Box gives players the opportunity to us the same characters in different adventures and spend their fat loot. Here's the marketplace for spending said loot.

King's parchment - a smooth premium paper favoured by the aristocracy. +1 to Penmanship rolls. 5gp per sheet (1 sheet equals one adventure).

Rose sealing wax - scented wax for sealing a letter. Ten uses. You may add 1 point at the end of a letter for each use. 20gp

Cinder ink - Cinder is the finest ink maker in the land. A pot of ink has 10 uses. You may reroll any number of penmanship tests up to the number of uses you have left and keep the highest number. 80gp

Velur's Magnificent Thesaurus - Velur is one of the greatest linguistic scholars working today and her Thesaurus is sought after by poets, novelists and playwrights. +1 to all Language rolls. 200gp.

Pelon's perfume - a delicious scent for any occasion. Spraying this perfume on your letter will only enhance the reader's experience. 10 uses. You may reroll any Heart tests up to the number of uses you have left and keep the highest number. 90gp.



Quill White Box adventure: The Demon-Haunted Tower


Characters found here.

Nothing has been the same since the appearance of the obsidian tower near Swanvale village. Crops have spontaneously combusted, animals are running amok and people are growing weak and pale. Landlord Reginald Finnegan says a wizard lives there. Others say it's a demon spirit in the form of an old man. They do agree that he must be stopped.

To gain entry, you must discover what aura of magic surrounds the tower. For this you require a certain book on magical fortifications for the city library.

Profile: you are writing to the librarian Guhlo Chom, and old acquaintance who holds many a rate book. The Spire Libiris is one of his prized books and this is just what you need. You must try and convince him to lend you the book, which is not strictly for lending, explaining the situation and possibly trying to appease his ego.

Rules of correspondence: a fellow magical scholar has an advantage here. +1 to Language rolls for Magic-users and elves.

Ink pot:

Building/ Obsidian tower
Trees/ Haunted Forest
Village/ Swanvale
Magician/ Weaver of magics
Book/ Tome
Scared/ Drenched in fear
Dead crops/ Scorched wheat
Magic defence/ Glyph-based aura
Librarian/ Keeper of Tomes
Kill/ Slay

Outcomes

Fewer than 5 points: Guhlo does not return your letter and certainly doesn't send you a book for your sloppy letter that offended him greatly. You decide against your better judgement and head to the tower. No sooner have you tried to enter the door than your bloody body is propelled away from the door, hitting an oak trunk hard, splitting your skull open. You are dead.

6-8 points: Guhlo wishes you well but cannot send you the book. Instead he has scratched out a relevant page from the book to help you. This should be enough to get you in, but you worry about once you're inside. You gather your equipment and head to the tower. At the great black door you use the page to dispel a Rune of Dread Propulsion and enter. You fight several shadow beasts before falling into the pit of a monstrous dire bear. You manage to just escape with your life and ascend the tower. Because you didn't have the book, you were unable to identify all the magic traps in the tower, so found yourself being burned, stabbed and gassed, but managing to stay alive to meet your enemy. The showdown with the wizard Zenkhit lasts seemingly an age as he floats through the room, eyes sparking, hair aflame, lobbies bolts at you. You learn he is a wizard with aspirations of becoming the first interdimensional being, but must use his tower to feed in the life force of all around him to power its engine. Despite his power you finally best him and he agrees to leave and never return. You gain 5gp.

9+ points: Guhlo is ecstatic with your letter and sends you the book at once. After a night of study you head out to the tower, deftly dealing with the Rune if Dread Propulsion on the black door. You dispatch of several shadow beasts but soon find yourself in a pit with a dire bear. Or is it that it is trapped in there with you? You make short work of the hairy hulk and climb out. You ascend, taking care of a range of magical traps, from flamethrowing statutes to wards that keep away warn blooded creatures. Eventually you reach the wizard's room. The showdown with the wizard Zenkhit is quick. He floats through the room, eyes sparking, hair aflame, lobbies bolts at you. You learn he is a wizard with aspirations of becoming the first interdimensional being, but must use his tower to feed in the life force of all around him to power its engine. Despite his power you make short work of slaying him. You gain 10gp and a Warlock's Quill (3 uses: +2 to Penmanship roll).




Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Quill: White Box


I wanted to create a short Quill hack for letter-writing adventures in an OD&D world.

Fighter

Battle-hardened, tough and muscular. Fighters bring the pain on the field, but don't shy away from exposing their heart when writing.

Heart: Good
Penmanship: Average
Language: Poor

Magic-user

Weavers of the great magical web. Scholars, geniuses and often loners. Magic users are eloquent, speaking with gravitas and confidence on many subjects.

Heart: Poor
Penmanship: Average
Language: Good

Cleric

It's not what the message looks like, but the words in it. Clerics put others before themselves and help those in need at all times.

Heart: Good
Penmanship: Poor
Language: Average

Dwarf

From the great undermount, dwarves have an intricate way with words, though being used to scratching runes it can be difficult to understand their writing.

Heart: Average
Penmanship: Poor
Language: Good

Elf

Elves boast the most beautiful script - flowing and organic. However they tend to be cold and logical, with others often perceiving their communications the wrong way.

Heart: Poor
Penmanship: Good
Language: Average

Halfling

Country bumpkins who enjoy the good life. They have no time for long letters, but they learnt their script from the elves, making their rare missives something to behold.

Heart: Average
Penmanship: Good
Language: Poor

Special abilities (use once per scenario)

Eloquence: +2 to Language roll
Illumination: +2 to Penmanship roll
Scented page: +2 to Heart roll




Thursday, 11 January 2018

Estagor - the Midden Barrows


Estagor is a dark fantasy setting for use with In Darkest Warrens, but feel free to crib for your own game.

The Midden Barrows are a place of rotten desolation. A complex of ancient tombs created by the Gobber hordes in the world's infancy, still writhing with life - or un-life - to this day. The sun can never shine on the barrows, not when the yellow fog rolls over the land during the daylight hours and dissipates at night.

The Queen of Never is the monarch of the barrow now, coated in raven feathers and crowned in pig sinew she walks these ways in search of meat. She speaks softly to the crows that form around her, their beaks caked in dry blood. Occasionally she chews the head off one, crunching its skull and lapping it's juices with a long grey tongue.

Queen of Never, 4+, 8 wounds, special action: the Queen of Never is joined by four crows. As an action she can grab a crow and devour it, regaining 1 wound.

The Queen is not the only thing a wander need fear out on the barrows at night. The Bloodghast is a name that lives in folklore throughout Estagor - the rotted creature with the head of a demented stag and the body of a human, its feet cloven hooves and it's hands extended into needle claws. Often the last thing a traveller hears is it's dirge of a call on the decaying breeze. The Bloodghast will tear open your ribs and eat your innards with you still watching.

Bloodghast, 3+, 7 wounds, special action: the Bloodghast has a paralysing tongue. In melee range it can use an action to lick an opponent. The opponent must test Brawn (difficult) or become paralyzed for 2 rounds.

Beneath the surface lies a warren of evil. Gobber ghouls and other undead being shuffle in the dark places of the world, defending their ancient treasures. Elves become particularly uneasy down here, calling for frequent brawn tests or spending minutes in a panic.




Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Another High - a cyberpunk adventure seed


Pisces A isn't on any official record. Don't think that you won't get dragged into a shuttered room and have your grey matter splattered for just mentioning the name. It's all within the Pineapple CEO's augmented brain.

It's about music. Imagine GlowNet users with Pineapple hardware getting a new kind of euphoria from dance beats. Pisces A is a new kind of tech drug in testing. Activate the neuro-wave enhancer and enter a new world triggered by club music. No more Zim pills. No more Hotshot. Instead, a safe drug alternative that makes you feel ten times better without the morning comedown. 

Now imagine how wrong these tests can go. 

Group Alpha showed initial promise. They experienced the ecstasy predicted in a thirty minute stim. One woman vomited, but that was fine. One guy went blind, but it was good enough as a trial. It's what happened later that was fucked up. 

A young woman, a tube dolly by trade, couldn't sleep. After day 6 of restlessness she grew spindly legs from her abdomen, her neck cracking and contorting, lips drawing back to reveal massive incisors. Pineapple sent five low grade gunners to her shanty apartment on Grover Ave. None reported back. What's more is that other things were reported - more creatures. They called them Skullers, on the count that they ripped out your fucking skull. PR disaster.

Skullers, android spider people who feed on face bone, 3+, 6 wounds, Special action: opponent must check nimble (difficult). On a failure, their head is grabbed, taking 1 wound. They may try to escape as an action with a nimble test (difficult). If a Skullers has already grabbed a victim's head they may use a special action to rip their skull out. 

The adventure? Take down the Skullers and don't let the trail lead to Pineapple. The twist? Pisces B is in full beta test with even more disasterous results. Same Skullers - but now music makes them stronger. Shit. 



Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The wretch that came from the sea


Do not stray near the Grey Wash, many a rosy cheeked infant has been told. That's where the people of the deep wander looking for their next meal. Their hair is of weed and their eyes of pearls. Their teeth are fish hooks and their webbed hands suck the cliff face allowing them to ascend the sheer rock. 

Like the barnacle fishers they have their own shanties they drone as they climb - guttural tales of licking the juices from the eyes of children and crack snapping the bones of men. 

The sea wretches are begat of trolls having mated with the blasphemous sea god Llundwall. Sometimes their spawn jelly floats near to the shore where it is harvested for its aphrodisiac qualities. Those who use the jelly (Aphorite) wind up going into the inky blackness for the remainder of their days.

The sea wretches clutch tridents crafted from megalodon bone. They blow horns that produce a thick fog whose fingers creep over the shore. They are attracted to the smell of lavender and can smell it from a hundred leagues. 




Monday, 8 January 2018

The Sundered Wolds


The wolf things settled in the Sundered Wolds three centuries ago, erecting obelisks of giant bone and man meat that kept the twisted angels at bay with their screaming spears and blind masks. This is a description of the different areas in the Wolds for your perusal.

Fairy Trap

The wolf things season their meat with magic and so have set a plant trap for the nearby trooper fairies. The mouth of the plant contains the finest silk, and a fairy can't resist to touch it, only to be clamped and ground into a paste.

Guur Circle

The Guur tribe are few but ancient. Their customs dictate that once per green moon they join hands and raise the great millipede from its den. It feasts upon the eyes of the worthy before expunging a carapace shell used to fashion skull totems. These totems dot the landscape, causing non Guur who are near to vomit nightmares.

Thale

A village on the border of dreams. Unlikely beings come and go from the village well, though no mortals descend there. The elder to Kun, barbarian of the dawn. His horns blaze in the sun and his eyes can see time itself. 

The Skarp

A beach where skeletons crawl from the sand in search of tongues. The sea is red like wine and ghosts of ships float overheard illuminated in green.

Grib's Hollow

An old goblin living in an ancient tree. His arms are crafted of steel. He strings up wildcats on the branches to attract the Wub birds who carry a sweet nectar that is his drug. Grib is in love with every elf he sees.

Cave of Lat

They do not speak of the cave. To speak of it is to invite its denizens into your mind. The Putzees are winged shadows with single yellow eyes on a stalk. They chitter and purr, leaving the cave in search of wandering thoughts. 

The Old Ship

Washed ashore, a wreck where Puck Puck birds lay their black eggs that erupt into clouds of poison ash when touched. The old captain resides here sucking on anemones and whispering to a map who occasionally whispers back. 

Bortle's Wood

The god Bortle sleeps in the canopies - part bee, part horse. He sings at the dawn a song that causes the Zib flowers to vomit forth a golden ale called Neth's Elixir, famed for its gender-altering properties. The centaurs of the wood guard their world with ferocity, their queen Shifanavala being the most beautiful and deadly creature of the Wold. 





Sunday, 7 January 2018

Destiny Quest returns with Raiders of the Dune Sea Kickstarter


Probably the fattest gamebook series I've ever read was Destiny Quest, a current trilogy that's soon to hopefully become a quadrilogy with Raiders of the Dune Sea.

Megara Entertainment is helming the new fundraising effort for the next book and if you're a fan of solo gaming but haven't heard of DQ I highly recommend you check it out. The books are set up like action RPGs like Diablo - you go from map to map getting loot and optimising your character. The build here is part of the fun of the game, with classes and sub-classes to become. The Kickstarter also includes some exclusive items cards that don't feature in the book, but once you meet the criteria you can pick them up, along with a new downloadable dungeon to add to the game.

Stuart Lloyd has done an interview with Ward delving further into the new book, which promises to be pretty brutal.

Support the Kickstarter.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The Woodcut Dungeon from Hell


This is the dungeon of Olaus Magnus, High Dread Sorceror of the Seventh Spire. He was said to have died years ago, leaving his fortification ripe for plundering. Nearby monarchs are trying to lay claim to the dungeon and the magical treasures within. Unbeknownst to them, on his deathbed Magnus made a pact with Thanuu, a demon of the pestilence realm. Now Magnus lives as a half beast, gathering his forces to invade nearby kingdoms and bring them under the rule of Thanuu.


Madness is claiming the settlement around the dungeon. Thanuu is creating visions of pestilence in people's minds. They are heavily religious and have taken to self-flagellation. Trying to stop them will cause them to attack - but they welcome a beating from the religious.


This is Gimlet Sneeve, a rogue, rabble-rouser and drunk. He is posing as a monk to get villagers to pay him for blessings. If he's rumbled, he'll help the PCs get into the dungeon and will join the for a cut. At some point reveal he's a werebear. As a clue, villagers have been found torn apart. Some report a hairy beast prowling the moors they call a devil. He doesn't know he's a werebear.


Balthazar is the demonic blacksmith in the dungeon, creating infernal weapons for Thanuu's soldiers. He wants human bone and hair to will forge a morbid blade. If PCs refuse, he will try to make the blade from their bodies.


Kunoth of the Bells is a demon in the warped chapel, blackened from demon bile. Each bell rung causes a different effect:

1. 1d6 PCs become sexually aroused by the smell of demon bile and smear it on themselves. This can attract fester devils.
2. The ringer grows a single horn tipped with black mamba venom
3. 1d4 PCs must make a constitution save or equivalent or fall pregnant with a demon that comes to term in 1d6 hours, tearing them apart and devouring their corpse
4. The PCs are teleported into a pit of demon feces.


Savnoc the Elder One wishes to feast on fester beasts, but the PCs will do nicely. Throwing an item into its hat enchants it, allowing the user to smell secret doors (they smell like wet moss).


Olaus Magnus sits on his damned throne. He is particularly weak to venom or the blessings of the clergy. He claws eyes out and lays hexagonal eggs that hatch into fester demons. All he wants to do is die, but Thanuu won't allow it.


Thanuu makes an appearance once Magnus is killed, or decides against killing the PCs. He has the appearance of a blasphemous bishop. The face on his chest can hypnotise PCs to believe they are babies again. He can fly, cast sleep and cause two or more fester demons to merge into a Dreadwalker - which feeds on wisdom.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Monster Brains


I discovered this blog when I was researching art by Sidney Sime (Dunsany's artist). Monster Brains is all about that sweet monster art of yore. I'd recommend getting lost in there one afternoon.


Thursday, 4 January 2018

Bogles for Romance of the Perilous Land


Before Duergar appeared in D&D, they were part of the rich tapestry of English folklore. I've taken my own liberties with the folklore of this one for added gameplay opportunities.

Duergar, or Bogles, are ugly grey wild dwarves found across the Perilous Land. They wear lambskin and smell of ammonia. They carry copper lanterns with them in order to lead travellers astray in the dark, causing them to mis-step and often drown in a bog or stumble into a ravine.

Bogles are malevolent beings that disappear before the dawn. They secret themselves away in dirt warrens and lay still until the night comes. Should one be unearthed during the daylight they are entirely vulnerable and can be killed with a swift blow.

Bogle blood is a potent poison, causing severe vomiting and amnesia. After 1d6 days, the victim must make an endurance save or lose 2d10 hp and be unable to recall anything from the past month. Smearing it on your door keeps spirits away from your home for up to a year.

Clues that a Bogle is near:

- milk sours
- the jackdaw does not crow
- trees bend in strange ways
- ammonia whiff

Bogle
HD 3 (13)
Attack: Claw
Special: Bogles can render themselves near invisible when in the darkness. Anyone attempting to attack the creature must make a Mind saving throw to harm it. If it is unsuccessful, there is a 75% chance the attack will miss. If a Bogle is exposed to natural sunlight it may be killed if it takes at least 1 hp of damage.



Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Steal this setting: Stabbia - Kingdom of the Living Blade


The city of Stabbia is ruled by an intelligent bastard sword called Michael. He was once a human of royal bloodline until he was hexed by a sand crone who took umbrage with his family for the scorpion wars that decimated her homeland (his soldiers were humanoid scorpions).

Michael is married to a sentient dagger called Elsilon, found by the royal guard when plundering the Tombs of Spinewrath. She is a killer, but Michael doesn't know.

The towers of Stabbia whisper conspiracies to one another when the moon is full and the lunebats are abroad. Alcohol is outlawed, so an underground black market for wine and ale lurks in the city's crevaces. Much of the alcohol is controlled by sorcerer mobsters who are able to easily conceal their barrels with spells and defend them with fireballs.

The river rears vampire snakes who are in cahoots with the old men of the lagoon who drag children into the depths with great mirth.

In the springtime comes the great troll festival. Mr Gutsnall, a massive effigy of a legendary troll, is paraded through the city where children beat it with sticks to knock sugarplums from its mouth. At the end, Michael is jammed into the troll's head to a great cheer.