Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Encounters for The Wandering Trees

My players have finally finished adventuring in The Wandering Trees (adapted from the pages of Dragon #67), so I can release this info.

With a hex grid, it was easier to tell when I should make rolls for random encounters (1 in 6 chance each day and for each watch of the night, plus an additional chance for each hex crossed, doubling if there is no random path granted by those willy trees). Here is the  table I was using (has my attempts to make up interesting DCC stats for level one threats before the rules were finally published). In retrospect, I would roll 1d6 for number of monsters encountered each time it wasn't specifically listed; my players somehow just kept not properly dying. Otherwise, I am satisfied with myself for some of the odd crits and powers sprinkled throughout here.

1 Wood Elf Stalkers from the local wood elf community. Very Quiet. Will attempt to stab and grab. They hate kobolds, and know their scent.
Treasure: Natural material daggers, skins, elf bread.
  • Init +1; Atk dagger +2 (1d5); AC 12; HD 1d8; MV 10 Meters; Act 1d20; SP as elves; SV Fort +0 Ref +2 Will +2
2  Kobold traders from the hills. Kobolds are mischievous cave fey that will try to barter for gemstones, gold, or cobalt. Negotiations may break down unless the players could really use some cave creature regents such as umber-hulk juice. They attack dwarves and wood elves on site.
Treasure: Besides  1d10 worth of gems, A battery pack for a robot. They don't know its significance, but like the LED readouts.
  • Init -1; Atk little pike +4 (1d5); AC 11; HD 1d5; MV 12 Meters; Act 1d16; SP stoney skin absorbs 1 point of damage from weapons and dulls them; SV Fort +4 Ref -1 Will +0
3 A unicorn. It will attack any amoral characters that sport furs, but if the PCs are gooduns, it will lead the way to a grove that is safe for the night.
  •  Init +3; Atk horn +4 (1d8 [+3 if charging]) hooves +2 (roll on a lvl 1 warrior crit table for damage); AC 11; HD 1d9; MV 13 Meters; Act 1d20; SP immune to poison, disappears upon death save for its magical horn; SV Fort +2 Ref +2 Will +4
Note: A player encountered it, and happened to crit it with a demon's horn (as you do), rolling a sunder on the crits table and severing the unicorn's horn. The unicorn started to go darkside, and infected his assailant with an ebon-skin curse...
4 A pair of wolves. They are hungry, but run from pain or fire. One of them used to be a man and is slightly larger as he was cursed by a bog-witch. He will stalk the group from afar after they are first encountered if he has been driven off.
  • Init +3; Atk bite +2 (1d5 and grabbed crit:by the throat, and the target has one round to get loose before said throat is torn out); AC 11; HD 1d6; MV 12 Meters; Act 1d16; SP —; SV Fort +0 Ref +2 Will -3
A shambling moss monster desires arcane knowledge and likes a little dismemberment too.
Treasure: Kept in a nearby cave is a collection of sorcerer bones and some tomes (can learn 1d3 spells at the next leveling up with study).
  • Init +0; Atk soggy pseudopod +2 (1d4+4) Spell (see SP) +5 (as stolen spell) ; AC 11; HD 1d9; MV 13 Meters; Act 1d20; SP Any spell caster that fails a spell check in its presence “teaches” the moss their failed spell, and the monster takes on an aspect of the spell as well as gaining the ability to cast it; SV Fort +4 Ref -2 Will +4
A small barghest (lycanthropic goblinoid) and three hobgoblins on a pilgrimage to defile the Great Oak Tree in the name of urban squalor. The barghest is in his mundane form, but mutters something about “you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” if PCs get cheeky.
Treasure: Barghest bile goes for a good price in the right alchemist's shop. Also, a ring worth 23 sp that has the image of a goblinoid god.
  •  Barghest (dog form): Init +2; Atk bite +3 (1d6 and grabbed crit: by the throat, and the target has one round to get loose before said throat is torn out); AC 11; HD 3d7; MV 12 Meters; Act 1d20; SP Regeneration 1d4 (recharges on a 5 or 6 as per 4e style recharge rules unless damaged by steel); SV Fort +3 Ref +2 Will +0
A lake/pond/river haunt that attempts to garrote with soggy vines.
Treasure: nearby are the remains of victims with 1d12 in riches.
  • Init goes last; Atk garrote +3 (1d5 and grabs. Must break free within 3 rounds or suffocate); AC 12; HD 1d7; MV 4 Meters; Act 1d16; SP can't be grabbed (slimy), very quiet (stealth +5); SV Fort +0 Ref +0 Will +0
A man-eating tree that tries to take a chomp against someone leaning on it. Make a reflex save+ nature check mod or lose a digit/hand/arm. The tree cannot move, but no reason to let the players in on that until their panic has died down.

note: One player lost their hand in play, and bargained with his patron to replace it. He now has a wooden hand with a mind of its own.
A Mossy walking skeleton that moans, “Beware the caiiiiirrrrnnns” but otherwise has no intelligence that can be accessed by mundane means. A ritual to speak with the dead may reveal more.
Will o’ Wisps or Japanese-style ghost lights (as appropriate for terrain) swarm in (1d5).
  •  Init goes last; Atk enervating touch +0 (1d3); AC 10; HD 1d3; MV 4 Meters; Act 1d16; SP only takes damage from supernatural sources, can be turned; SV Fort -3 Ref -2 Will -2
Obendar, a minor god of trees and vines. He knows about everything that happens in the forest,  and call many things to his defense. He can only be compelled to speak by heroic PC deeds he has heard wind of or when threatened by certain species of tree-eating beetles which he has a phobia of.
Treasure: a wealth of spell regents (2d16 gp on the market).
  •  Obendar: Init +3; Atk slam (1d6 crit: knocked out of the fight and vines will kill you if you aren't saved by someone afterwards); AC 17; HD 3d6; MV 3 Meters; Act 2d10 (crits if either come up as a 10); SP can lay on hands as a cleric (+8), weapons must do 4 damage or more to hurt Obendar; SV Fort +3 Ref -2 Will +3
Ensnaring vines try to choke 1d3 PCs. Make a reflex save or be grabbed by the neck. Damage as a garrote. These vines hiss and scream when cut (3 hp).
A vine-ensnared, slightly rusty robot at the foot of a tree. If investigated, a panel in the front will drop open.Any magical object placed within the revealed compartment will power the robot. The robot's temperament will match the alignment of the object. If its not evil, it will serve the PCs until it breaks its programming by learning about this thing you humans call love, or something.
  • Init +0; Atk ram (1d6), laser (4, crit=head-shot and death)(recharges every other round); AC 20; HP20 ; MV 4 Meters (hover); Act 4d5 (crits on 3 6s); SP vulnerable to logic bombs ala Captain Kirk; SV Fort+7 Ref -2 Will +0
A swordopus itching for a fight with land-lubbers.
  • Init +2; Atk sword+2 four times (1d6); AC 20; HD 1d6 ; MV 10 Meters; Act 1d20; SP camouflage, telepathy ; SV Fort+0 Ref +2 Will +1
I am satisfied with this table to a degree that I won't do the adventure's suggested swamp random encounters... unless I run through the whole table somehow. Then I'll scramble to stat a catoblepas.

There is also a green knight guarding the Southernmost bridge. He takes all challenges to single-combat and curses groups that try to overpower him with numbers or sorcery (curse: 50% chance of getting lost even if on a trail. Incidentally, the knight cannot die, but he is rather honorable and will yield if bested in single-combat. He does not pursue trespassers past the bridge. Uses hobgoblin stats cause I'm tired.

In the north swamp is a bog-witch that cursed her former lover to wander as a wolf until the treasure of the druids is found. Rolls a d30 for Charm and Polymorph effects.

Creatures of the forest not listed above :

Wereboar (pig form): Init +0; Atk charge +3 (1d4, critted targets are gored (1d5) and slowed); AC 13; HD 1d6; MV 11 Meters; Act 1d20; SP Regeneration 1d4 (recharges on a 5 or 6 as per 4e style recharge rules unless damaged by horns, teeth, or tusks); SV Fort +1 Ref +1 Will -1

Entling: Init -1; Atk slam +3 (1d5, critted targets get an eye poked out unless they have goggles or a helm); AC 12; HD 1d8; MV 6 Meters; Act 1d18; SP animate entangling roots (encounter); SV Fort +1 Ref -1 Will +2

Phooka (humanoid form stats are as DCC beta kobold with a club)  tree form: Init -1; Atk slam +3 (1d5, critted targets get an eye poked out unless they have goggles or a helm); AC 12; HD 1d6; MV 6 Meters; Act 1d18; SP only damaged by cold iron or magical attacks; SV Fort+1 Ref -1 Will +2

Pseudodragon: Init +0; Atk sting +2 (1d3 +save or 1d3 poison, lose a finger if you roll a 1); AC 12; HD 1d4; MV 7 Meters; Act 1d20; SP camouflage (+3 stealth); SV Fort -1 Ref +2 Will +0

Dryads:  Init +1; Atk slam +2 (1d5); AC 13; HD 1d8; MV 10 Meters; Act 1d20; SP charm (will save or do what the dryad wants); SV Fort +2 Ref +0 Will +2

Giant Crayfish: Init +1; Atk claw +4 (1d5, grabs on a crit); AC 14; HD 2d8; MV 9 Meters; Act 1d20; SP— ; SV Fort +0 Ref +1 Will -3

Owlbear: Init +0; Atk claw +4 (1d8, blinds or KOs on a crit); AC 12; HD 3d8; MV 12 Meters; Act 1d20; SP —; SV Fort +2 Ref +1 Will -4

Upside-down-human-faced giant centipede (Chitter): Init +0; Atk bite +1 (1d3, save versus poison or become paralyzed) AC 12; HD 1d3; MV 6 Meters; Act 1d20; SP— ; SV Fort +0 Ref +0 Will -2

Slightly humanoid face-bearing giant spider (Mank):  Init +2; Atk bite +3 (1d3, save versus poison or become paralyzed) AC 14; HD 1d6; MV 10 Meters; Act 1d20; SP Cast web (reflex save or immobilized) ; SV Fort +2 Ref +2 Will -2

Wraith (more interested in talking about silver keys than fighting):  Init +0; Atk touch +3 (1d3 and player makes an attack at a companion ) AC 12; HD 1d6; MV 10 Meters; Act 1d20; SP can only be harmed by magical attacks or sunlight, torches do 1d2 dmg ; SV Fort +0 Ref +2 Will +2

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chelonians Have a Grinding Stop Envisioned for the Multiverse

Okay, first off, I loved the idea of really odd Slaad. But one problem I had is I feel a proper slaad should be batrachian, by which I mean frog-humanoid. I like color-coded monsters. They help with the shared-language of the hobby.

Anyways, I was inspired by a dictionary.com entry of the the day to make Chelonians. Chelonians are turtle-humanoids, and much as slaads are the champions of chaos, chelonians, called chael colloquially, are living perversions of stasis ideals. The chael are the dark side of law in the cosmic conflict and they want to stop everything before it gets any more entropic. There are a few varieties of chael that may be encountered.

Green Chaels are obsessed with recording information. More pragmatic than other chaels, greens accept the eventual entropic dissolution of the universe into various forms of background radiation, but seek to preserve lists, tomes, librams, formulae, and other data. This often puts them into conflict with adventurers that are searching for something the greens have their eyes on.  Green chaels use psychic attacks which overload victim's brains with too much information. If you have ever communed with an extra-planar entity, chances are it was a green chael that was secretly taking information from you too.

Pale Chales prefer to bring stasis by their supernatural cold powers. The most powerful freeze hamlets and call up glaciers. Just like a mix between Subzero and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (why hasn't that game been made yet?!), they will freeze you in place, duck their parts into their shell, and slam into you like a mini gamera, blasting your frozen chunks about. Don't mess with a pale chael. Pales spend time putting out fires, volcanoes, and snuffing warm-blooded creatures' lives.

Blue Chaels are the masters of time. Time Stop spells and instant aging are among their weapons. They lay their time eggs throughout the multiverse. If enough happen to align, making a ley-line network, interesting effects that can be utilized by chronomancers and gate-makers happen, but more eggs in an area bring a risk of local time stoppages or rip-van-winklisms. Scholars rightly suspect that enough eggs will spell the end of the multiverse via eternal pause.

Red Chaels try to take the war to chaos's doorstep. Militaristic and never forgetting grudges, reds are sought for their skills as mercenaries and generals. They will fight for any side that seems to be on the side of law or the original, primal order of the universe (though primordials are chaotic, they do have claim to the first groupings of law or at least the original order) . Reds use stunning attacks that petrify their enemies, turning them into atomically inert substances that are very hard to reanimate.

Can you think of a variety of Chelonian? Jenna made a chael personality reminiscent of the turtles all the way down meme:
Viticus Chelonian, Excrucian Deceiver

"If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

This tortoise-armored Deceiver may stack himself arbitrarily high, achieving an effortless physical, social, or even intellectual superiority over his opponents. We advise maintaining a prickly disposition and ideally physical contour in his company lest he integrate you yourself into Viticus Chelonian's invincible throne.

Key Stats:
Persona (The Invincible Throne of Viticus Chelonian Invictus) 3
No idea what game persona is for, but thanks!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Carousing 3: Training

Carousing continues! It's not really carousing again but who cares as long as you get to turn gold into XP?!
Carousing carousing, holy sacrifice carousing, and arcane carousing can be found here and here

Some may prefer a more logical way to level up than partying like Conan. So here is a table for leveling up via training for both militaristic and skullduggery types. Results are luck based. If you pass, good result, if you fumble (roll a 1), bad result. Natural 20s net a bonus success before the results!

Training is probably appropriate for rogues, thieves, fighters, monks and so on, but anyone can find a master in their field for the right gold.


Luck check fumble results:
Successful (DC 15) Luck check results:
1:You suffer an accident and lose an eye. If you get this result again, you are simply scared somewhere.
2: Trained too hard. You gain two strength points but lose a point of stamina.
3:Your martial might has caught the attention of the gods. A monster will show up to challenge you to single combat soon.
4: You lose a hand, but now have a wicked hook and intimidation rolls are easier for you.
5: You accidentally kill your master! Now all his other pupils are after you.
6:Your master is killed and his secret technique scroll is stolen by a fellow pupil. Master begs you to hunt the dude down with his dying breath.
7: You are seduced by the master, and become a target for their enemies.
8: Your master is less wise than they appear. Only half-XP for this training action!
9: Master has convinced you that you need to do a legendary task before you can gain anymore XP.
10: Your skill angers your fellow pupils. They gang up and attack you one night at the dojo. +1 Stamina if you survive.
If you roll a natural 20, you come out of the experience in such good shape that you have 10 extra luck to burn on any combat or damage rolls during the next adventure (once you burn them, they are gone). Also, 50% more experience. Then check below.

1:Expert advice: You can re-roll a number failed checks equal to your intelligence modifier during the next adventure.
2: You gain a rep around the training grounds. Social interactions among your kind are easier for a while.
3: Extra credit: You gain training in a background that you can narratively justify and will help you with appropriate skill checks.
4: You got groupies. They want to have your baby. You can have a baby. Or 1d3 of them.
5:You win the regionals! People in town think you are awesome and offer you the first round free etc.
6: The master is impressed by you grasshopper. He teaches a technique so secret that it disappears from your mind after using it. The next time you wanna attempt a death-touch, let the DM know.
7: Fists of iron. Brawling damage from you goes up a step on the die chain.