Friday, March 15, 2013

This Week's Game, "The Cauldron", pt 4

The continued trek through the jungle, being lost, unsure where to go, what to do... has had it's desired effect, and The Players are getting restless... however, I am, too!  We both miss operating around a clearer objective!  Figured the Random Encounters would have resulted in The Party gaining more information by now, myself...  They have not yet encountered any Neanderthal, I think I'll have to insert one at the outset of the next session, so that they can gain some allies (hopefully!) and some info from my Rumors/Clues table.  Since they seem to have no plans to go back and check on the Lost Boys of Troop 51, I'm thinking that maybe the Neanderthal have found and rescued them... maybe they have been following The Party from a distance for a while now, and are ready to reveal themselves...

I did manage to roll on one of my favorite subtables:

From the Skies; a meteorite impact or spacecraft re-entry… (d4)

1. Releases Something Weird… maybe a Garthok with a Magic nose-ring (torc)
2. Showers area with debris, contains rare ore/gems, everyone takes 0-9HP dam, finds 100+ 1d% GP worth of ‘free’ treasure
3. Spaceball of unknown metal, one meter in diam, in bottom of small crater.  How it might be opened, and what it might contain, is unknown at this time… humming of machinery can be faintly detected (come up with something for next session!)
4. Explodes in a 90-yard Fireball, 1d% yards away, damage increases toward epicenter;
0-10 yards = “Ground Zero” 12d6,
w/in 30 yards = 9d6,
w/in 50 yards = 6d6,
w/in 90 yards = 3d6,
beyond 90 yards = “Whew!”
(I don’t mind ruining a Character’s day, but this is a dickish way to kill one; rule that anyone killed by the blast is alive with 1d4HP)

...I rolled #4, the Fireball, and gleefully described the entire entry (sometimes it builds suspense when they DO KNOW all the terrible consequences facing them)... and then... rolled a 90!  Everyone made Save and took 1/2 of 3d6.

Session ended over the carcass of a Hydra, near the base of the great volcano.  I must be doing a decent job of populating my Sword and Planet campaign with the weird and unknown; The Party is comprised of both native Gnartians and the remnants of the PCs from my fantasy world of Calantos who originally found the Gateway to Gnarth, when I said, "Hydra," the Calantosi responded eagerly, "A Hydra?  Here?  Oh, we got this..."  They did!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Magic Item Re-Skins

Get out yer Treasure Tables and roll something up!
1. Random Ring, but in form of a Potion, determ. duration (10+1d10r ?)
2. Random Potion, in form of a Scroll that affects 1d4+1 beings, &/or 10’ radius
3. Random Scroll, in form of Ring of Spell Storing (recharge?), anyone may use
4. Random R/S/W, but in form of a one-shot Scroll  (“Scroll of Wonder!”)

Monday, March 11, 2013

This Week's Game, "The Cauldron", pt 3

Returning to The Party after an unexplained absence, with a loud "pop!", Quinn "the Medicine Man (or Woman)", Thief extraordinaire!  Rusty the FNG/NPC wants to know who this guy is and where he came from, but the others just shrug and say, "Sometimes he does that."

The Party discovers a squat but large stone structure, a single archway leading into a 30x50' chamber, 15' high, with a circular pool, 10' across, at the far end.  Tarkas Traptripper (of course) investigates the pool, and is attacked by slime tentacles the moment he turns his back.  Rose casts Purify Water, and a convulsing Slime Creature vomits forth and attempts to retreat, is cornered, and despite the ineffectiveness of Tarkas' continued edged-weapon attack, a few Magic Missiles from Rusty the FNG/NPC, and some flaming oil from Quinn, soon cause it to shrivel and dissolve.  Centauri uses his Telekinetic Arm to lower Skully the Talking Stone Skull into the pool, and a 1'diam mirrored sphere is found, and eventually retrieved.  Zy's Psychometry shows visions of an obviously shifty Wizard of sinister aspect depositing a velvet bag into a mirrored bowl, which promptly "grows" into a sphere, completely encapsulating the bag.  The Wizard cackles evilly and plops the sphere into the pool, and slimy tentacles draw it under...  Quinn taps the sphere with the pommel of his short sword, activating his 1/day Knock Spell, and the sphere shudders, then cracks open like an egg.  Rusty Identifies the contents of the velvet bag as a Necklace of Fireballs the following morning.

Pressing further into the jungle!  Centauri has taken to Altering Mass in conjunction with Telekintic Arm, to "lift" himself, like Levitation.  If his Mutations are still available at the end of ea day, he does airborne recon, and keeps the Party more-or-less on track.  For some reason, they have decided to attempt to discover how extensive the jungle is by heading steadily deeper into it in one direction (happens to be North)... at the center is a cool volcano, but they haven't reached it yet.  The next encounter in this pan-dimensional space/time nexus was with another band of Lost Boys like themselves... kinda.  A troop of six 9-12 yr old Boy Scouts from an ill-fated alternate dimension camping outing!  Moral complications ensue...!  The Party, even to me, the guy that threw them into a world which is specifically designed to engender ruthlessness, was surprisingly callous, calling for simply abandoning the boys to their fate in the dino-infested jungle!  Rose, and Rusty the NPC, convince them to trek back to the structure with the Purified Slime pool, and set the scouts up with some rations and a barricade, and dubious promises to return ASAP...

Next day, more trekkin... skirting a ravine, the Party reaches the stream at its base and is preparing to cross to the other side and resume course when a stampede, basically, of man-sized giant tarantulas jump them, and surprisingly, after dispatching massive carnivorous dinos, Paralyzing Pillars of Flesh, Primordials with rayguns, Psionic Psiclops... the nearest to TPK Gnarmageddon thus far has been this cast-off Random Encounter.  Zy's Lucky Mutation allows multiple Poison Saves, and Rose's Poison-Neutralizing Gnarn Stone allow a minor edge, but everyone rolls horribly, rnd aftr rnd, except myself!  The poison is 'all or nothin'; Save for 0 Damage, but Fail after Fail occurs...  Quinn goes full Owlbear and uses his cloak to transform into the ravaging beast, managing to crush his tarantula in a hug before biting off it's head.  Rusty gains intitiative and scrambles up a tree, desperately holding off his foe with Magic Missiles until someone can help... Gorn and Tarkas doggedly hack and slash, taking more and more damage... In desperation Centauri fires his Sonic Blaster on 'Brown Noise' setting; although it does no damage, the spider is held off for a few rnds of explosive diarrhea, which must have been quite a sight.  Gorn the Reptilian says "Damn the poison" and augments his axe with his bite attack, and he and Tarkas dispatch their attackers, freeing Rose to rush about Healing Centauri and Zy, both down from flesh-eating venom... Quinn is too wounded to engage, but does a flapping Owlbear dance to distract the tarantula menacing Rusty, perched in his tree.  A revived Zy pulls the pin on one of his Fireball Necklace Globes, a small one, and the blackened arachnid attempts to flee, and is gunned down by a volley of vengeful arrows.  Battered and incredulous at their terribly poor performance, and terribly surprising survival, they stagger into the ravine, find a narrow cave with several branching side passages, each ending in a small nest of webs.  All remaining Healing Spells are expended, and Gorn and Tarkas guard the narrow entrance as the others rest and recover.  Three more Giant Tarantulas are spotted descending the opposite cliff face some time later, and all ranged weapons are brought to bear, as no one is comfortable with their HP totals!  The spiders flee, but return at dusk, this time descending the cliff face above the cave to avoid long-range detection, but being previously wounded, and unable to bypass Tarkas and Gorn in the narrow passage, they are slain, one by one.  This time the dice rolls were not extreme on either side, and the supposedly dire Tarantulas were proven to be largely dependent on luck for success.

Skully the Talking Skull is set on a stick at the entrance, watching with Sarge the German Shepherd, as the Party rests in the spider cavern.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

YAGA (d20)

All PC's get a roll on the 'You're Also Good At' table when generated, for specialized skills &/or knowledge.  Pretty basic, but I think all have a real use in my Gnartian Campaign, and they incorporate the 'everyone's a thief' motif.  
YAGA (d20)

1. Mapping/Orientation; remain on course, determ location
2. Legend (& Folk) Lore; anything with a known Proper Name
3. Theology/Religion; Gods, Old Ones, cults, rituals
4. Find & Disarm Trap; one roll for each, may be different dice, of course
5. Second Aid; use your First Aid Houserule 2x/day
6. Technology of the Ancients; purpose, function, operation, possibly repair
7. Spelunkery; rock climbing, belaying, swinging
8. Lock Pickin'; it's just so darn useful
9. Customs & Laws; codes and ethics of various species, locales, organizations
10. Track; pursue &/or identify
11. Read Language; scrolls, inscriptions, etc.
12. Sneak; move silently, concealment
13. Legerdemain; card tricks, picking pockets, shoplifting
14. Hunting/Gathering; find it, catch it, kill it, eat it
15. Monsterology; habits, abilities, etc. of one subtype; Undead, Dinos, etc.
16 - 20. Two Things; roll again for one Random, and Pick the second

Resolve queries, actions, etc. by assigning difficulty and rolling Check vs XP Level on appropriate die type

Die    Difficulty to Do/Know
(d4      Easy/Common)
d6      Average/Uncommon  
d8      Tough/Privileged 
d10     Difficult/Arcane
d12     Extraordinary/Esoteric
d20     Amazing Feat/Trivia Master

Monday, March 4, 2013

This Week's Game, "The Cauldron", pt 2

Party continued to stumble around aimlessly, still unsure where they are, and an encounter roll of 'Primordial w/captive NPC' was converted to 'Insert Magic User Here', allowing for the appearance of Rusty Saturn, a boyish Mage of level 4. 

Our wary adventurers wisely -perhaps- chose to watch an odd ritual of the Elder Things play out, resulting in the summons of a Byakhee, which rode off again into the sky with two of the four Things (and some loot... but they wouldn't have taken down all four; they barely managed to deal with the remaining two!).  After a tough struggle, the Party slew the Primordials and claimed their weaponry, a Sonic Blaster and an Electro-beam Rod.  The plastex cargo box discovered behind a tree contained... A Multi-Phasic Concatenation Coil, which is a piece of alien super-science technology, entirely useless to the Party.  Their unconscious captive rose from a drug stupor the following morning, told his tale of being abducted along with his mentor and other members of a merchant caravan... none of which he has seen since, and next thing you know, he's being traded along with some weird space Coil for a locked metal box. 

Embarassingly eager to hook up with the Party, Rusty's Identify and Read Languages Spells have provided much-needed info; they are trapped in a time/space nexus, an ancient construct of the Primordials, but a way out has not been hinted at.  The Sonic Blaster has four settings: Disruption (3d6 dam, no Save), Stun (1d3 r, Save negates), Deafen (24 hrs, Save vs Wands negates), 'Brown Noise' (lose 1r of action to involuntary explosive diarrhea, no Save).  Rusty was unable to determine how many 'charges' remain in this alien energy device. 

A brief discussion of returning to the Armored Vehicle previously enountered, this time with Rusty's Knock Spell... ended unresolved as the Party made camp for the night.

GAINS: Sonic Blaster, 'Pentacle Rod' (metal rod topped w/plasma globe and pentacle, discharges electric arcs and lightning bolts), and most importantly, an NPC Magic-User!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gnartian Mutations

Random Tables posted under my Pages, in the sidebar.  Lots of familiar faves, lifted from the Usual Sources, plus a few of my own.  Mute Up!