Monthly Archives: June 2012

Strange and Interesting Herbs Table

Yesterday I posted my hack of Zak’s Wavecrawl kit– the Forestcrawl Kit, which will be included in my new hack of Vornheim.

As I’m going through the Vornheim book, ponder my own ideas, and other sites that have tables or ideas I want hack, I decided a table dealing with random weird and fucked up herbs would be a good idea.

There have been games in the past where a player wanted to pick herbs for medicinal uses..  Or to make poison and I didn’t have anything ready for that, so I just made up shit and hand waved it away…  Well here is a handy chart that will be in the Vornhack.

Just roll a d20 and either take it straight across or roll it 5 different times for unique weird shizzy.

I gotta thank Jez at Giblet Blizzard for the idea about taste.. His Toad Licking was awesome for that.

Strange and Interesting Herbs

d20 Name 1 Name 2 Description 1 Tastes Like Effect




Honks when picked


Cures diseases




Pus oozes out

Rotten strawberries

Moment of levity (success on Intelligence based checks)



Witch Hazel

Sounds like chimes in the wind






Valerian Root

Sounds like faintly crying


Rage like Barbarian




Shocks picker

Burning plastic

Lose your mind, black out, and did something stupid



Oak Moss

Pungent aroma


Twitchy and jerky




Glows at night

Red Wine

Breath Underwater




Causes hives if touched


Night Vision




Coated in sticky substance


Heals for 1d8




Filled with sand


Swells tongue for 8 hours, but heals 2d8 hp




Sounds like humming

Pig shit

Incorporeal for 1d8 rounds



Mallow Flowers

Sounds like glass breaking when picked


Purifies water placed in



Frog’s Breath

Crumbles to dust if not picked with a silver knife

Tin Foil

Like eating a full meal



Grains of Paradise

Smells like chocolate

Like wet hair

Turn into a forest animal for 8 hours




Very alluring aroma

Rotten Eggs

Turns skin blue




Extremely brittle

Cotton Candy

Whitens your teeth… and your skin




Sound like from seashell when picked

Cat Litter

Climb on walls for 1d4 hours



Mandrake Root

Rough and scaly feeling


Talk with plants 1d4 hours



Dittany Root

Steaming jelly-like substance plots out


Smoke that shit and see the future.




Lights on fire unless picked at night

Armpit sweat

Increase strength by d4 for same amount of hours.  However suffer from need to frequently urinate.

The Forestcrawl Kit- Hack of the Wavecrawl Kit

Friday I slapped up my Firefly: Complete Space and Sci-Fi kit hack of Vornheim and I’ve gotten some nice feedback and some compliments (thanks for those) and for the first time in awhile, didn’t have a RPG project lined up…  So I sat and twiddled my thumbs for a few days pondering what I wanted to do…

Apparently I like pain and suffering so much I’ve decided to do another hack of Vornheim.  This time it will be a Complete Wilderness Kit.  I’m already knee-deep in writing/hacking it (not sure when I’ll be done with it, but I’m hoping by the end of July)…

Anyways I just wanted to throw up one thing from it now (and occasionally I’ll put up other stuff until it’s done).

This is the Forestcrawl Kit, which is hacked from Zak’s Wavecrawl Kit.  Enjoy.

Forestcrawl Kit

We Need Something to Eat!

Often times catching something in the wild is hard.  If it was easy there wouldn’t be numerous tales of people eating fallen comrades or the leather of their shoes or belts.

When the GM feels appropriate, rather than bogging play down with constant survival type rolls for hunting use these rules instead.

Each day, when food is scarce, the base chance to catch something to eat is 10%.  Modifiers from players being huntsman, barbarians, druids, rangers, etc give a 5% bonus each.  Coming up with cool ideas like traps, etc are worth an additional 1d10% total.

If the roll is successful the players have caught something for the day (they cannot roll any further).  Roll a d6.  This is the animal that they caught.  The number 1-5 represents the number of people that can be fed for the day.

A roll of a 6 indicates that the PC has caught an unusual/unique style of woodland creature.  Roll a d12.

  1. Wolf
  2. Deer
  3. Elk
  4. Bear
  5. Geese
  6. Roll a d12


  1. Wood Nymph
  2. Satyr
  3. Centaur
  4. Unicorn
  5. Dire creature
  6. Ankheg
  7. Beautiful Woman (really a Doppelganger)
  8. Cockatrice
  9. Gnoll
  10. Giant Spider
  11. A baby dragon… Yummy.. But where’s its mother?
  12. Beaten human (escaping from a group of nasty things that are coming your way)

What Happens When You Get Lost

When going into the wilderness it is easy to become disorientated and lose your direction.

If so desired have a player roll each day to see if they become lost. The base chance to know your direction is 15%.  Modifiers from players being huntsman, barbarians, druids, rangers, etc give a 5% bonus each.  Coming up with certain cool ideas like, “Moss always grows on the north side of the tree” are worth an additional 1d10% total.

If a target fails roll a d8

  1. Traveled in the opposite direction and somehow made really good time.  You are double the distance away from where you want to be.
  2. You’re sense of direction is baffling.  After traveling a whole day you are back exactly where you started. It’s as though you never left.
  3. You are so confident in your sense of direction you don’t notice that group of hungry cannibals running right at you.
  4. You walk the whole group into something dangerous; like giant spider webs, quicksand, etc.
  5. Your ineptitude causes you to get stuck in some pretty nasty terrain; mountainous, tar pits, swamps, etc.  This takes 1d6+2 hours to navigate through.
  6. You’re lost and you know it… doesn’t that cave seem like the perfect place to rest (looks perfectly harmless)?
  7. You get confused and ended up going back the way you came, but on a different route.
  8. You get too close to a big beasties lair… and it just had babies.. its coming to beat you to death and eat your feet.

Random Event

Traveling through the wilderness is arduous, dangerous, and epic.  Once per day or every 30 miles traveled roll a d10:

  1. Creature (roll on your preferred creature table)
  2. Terrible Weather- Roll a d3- 1) No progress for the day; 2) One quarter normal progress made for the day; 3) One half normal progress made for the day
  3. What’s That Over There? (roll on table below)
  4. People Just Passing By (Roll on table below)
  5. The bird sings and the sun shines.  Nothing bad befalls you this day
  6. You pick berries and sing songs and laugh.  A good day to frolic if there was one
  7. Frolicking in the woods just doesn’t get any better!
  8. Due to bad footing or whatever you or a companion (or the cart) gets damaged and cannot continue on for the rest of the day, unless dragged/carried or repaired
  9. Crappy Weather- Roll a d3- 1) One half normal progress made for the day; 2) Three quarters progress made for the day; 3) Full progress made for the day
  10. WeirdForestEvent: Create two or three weird and random events.  If one comes up this gives you plenty of time to create another.  Here are two for an emergency:

Killer Trees: The trees around you suddenly come alive and are enraged by your blatant use of their brethrens corpses.  They scream curses, flail their branches, and rustle their leaves menacingly.  They aren’t mobile, but there are fucking trees everywhere.

Not so Wonderful Omen: A bright flash of light and a duplicate of one of the PCs appears.  Haggard, bloody, and breathing heavy.  They see the actual PC and shout that it’s their fault that it went this way!  We have to die!  Then they charge at themselves.


What’s That Over There? (roll d12)

  1. Abandoned Military Outpost– Old and rickety and shows scars of battle.  The wood creeks in the wind.  2d6+1 nasty monsters here.
  2. Strange Stone Outcropping– Chanting coming from center.  People dancing frantically and singing around a small alter on which sits a strange stone idol.
  3. Active Mine– Military harvesting valuable ore.  Criminals and slaves serve as labor force.  2d12 troops present and 2d20x2 workers. 
  4. Recently Attacked Mine– Bodies, blood, and offal everywhere.  2d20 creatures throughout the mine.  There maybe survivors..  but most assuredly there be riches in them there hills!
  5. Strange Tower Covered in Mist– Home to manic depressive bipolar Wizard and his 2 apprentices.  He doesn’t like to be disturbed, but he’s oh so lonely…
  6. Strange Rock– Hums with energy.  If it’s raining, the stone turns red and blood runs off of it.
  7. Rickety Bridge Over a Chasm– It’s sadly the only way to cross for miles…  It MAY be safe to cross…  There also seems to be a slight sound of the wind… it sounds like chuckling.
  8. Large Stone Statue of Impressive Man– Old and covered in moss and surrounded by trees.  Hissing sounds echo around group.  Statues eyes seem to follow people.
  9. Small Farming Community– Very hospitable and friendly.  Excited for new people and to hear about adventures.  They are godless cannibals!
  10. Small Farming Community– Very hospitable and friendly.  Excited for new people and to hear about adventures.  They are not godless cannibals, they are actually just that nice.
  11. Crystalline Outcropping– There is an opening and a stairwell leading down to a dungeon.  It’s a really pretty dungeon though.  Full of really pretty monsters.
  12. Military Outpost– Local magistrate resides here, presiding over territory.  There are 3d20 guards here at all times as well as 2d10 civilians (traders, tradesman, etc). 

People Just Passing By (d100)

1-2- Raiders/Bandits (sucky)– 2d6+2.
3-4- Monsters (sucky)– 2d6+2.

5-6- Monsters (scary)– 1d8+3 and 1d6 captives.
7-14- Trade Caravan– The number you just rolled and multiply that by 100.  That’s how much platinum the Merchant is carrying. He has a few things to sell/barter.  He has a loyal crew of mercs (2d8+2) that will defend/protect him.
15-16- Monster Hunter– Looking for a fabled monster that lurks in the area that has been causing trouble for farmers.
17-18- Necromancer– 1d6 varieties of undead (1d6 of each).
19-20- Orc Raiding party– Big and scary.  2d10 orcs.
21-22 Raiders/Bandits (Scary)– 2d8+1.  They’ve got treasure and prisoners.
23-24- Raided empty Caravan– Bodies strewn around.  Happened 2d6 days ago.  Vultures, maggots, and flies.  Nothing worth value.
25-26- Adventuring Group- 2d4 of them.  Level 1-6.
27-28- Group of Exiled Refugees- They were exiled for some reason.

29-30- Damaged Caravan– Signs of weapon damage.  Defended against attack.  Need assistance.
31-32- Slavers– Transporting slaves to outlying territories.  2d10 slavers. 1d20+2 slaves.
33-34- Druidic Circle– Doing Druidy things like planting trees, tanning leather, and smelling flowers.
35- Bounty Hunter– Looking for his prey.
36-37- Diplomatic Entourage– Servant of the king to visit subjects of territory.
38-40- Settlers– People looking to make a home and living in a new place.  3d20 of them.
41-42- Group of Hags– Taking children in chains to their lair to be snacks.
43- Sorcerer-King War Party– Large castle carried on the backs of slaves.  3d10 warriors.  4d100 slaves under castle.
44-46- Hunting Party– Good old boys out to kill something for the fuck of it.
47-Raiders Attacking Caravan– Raiders are attacking a caravan.  Arrows and screams fill the sky.
48-Kingdom Knights Fighting Orcs– Huge battle between the two groups.  The ground runs red with blood.
49- Prison Caravan– Guards are escorting prisoners to work camps to pay for their crimes.
50-52- Traveling Circus– Merriment and fun for all!

53- Lonely Hill Giant Wandering the Plains– His tears can fill a lake.

54-55- Rioting Prison Caravan– Prisoners doomed to die in mines are revolting against the guards.
56-71- A Prince’s Roaming Brothel- A bunch of hot women and men that tend to the Prince’s every whim…  and maybe others if they can sneak in.

72-82- Large Caravan of Merchants, Trade Goods, and Settlers– Roll 2d20x100- this is the amount of gold the merchants have.
83-85- Priest on Pilgrimage- Looking to spread the good word to folks along the way.
86-87- Dwarven Battle Party- Out hunting giants, trolls, and other things that will end up getting them killed epically.
88- Dead Caravan- All the bodies are bloated and rotten.  Infected with some sort of disease/plague.
89-90- Wood Elf Scouting Party– They heard the players tromping through the woods.  They’ve come to investigate and make sure shit is safe.

91-92- Mixed cargo/passenger Caravan– A political dissident wanted by the kingdom is hiding among the travelers.
93-94- Merchant Caravan– Owner is transporting a rare and dangerous artifact.  It has taken control of him.
95- Small Group of Travelers– One of the king’s assassins is among the group.  He kills those he deems a treat to his liege.

96-Large Group of Troops– Headed towards town that is attempting to gain independence.  Has siege weapons in tow.
97-Bootleg Runners– These pirates deliver banned, illegal, or stolen goods throughout the territories.  They may have some interesting stuff and dangerous for sale.
99- Sorcerer and His Apprentice– Traveling the land to learn more about existence.  Has a few things for sale.  Mostly strange potions, herbs, parchment, and a few scrolls.
00-The Fucking King- The king of the territory is traveling (make up a reason).  He is surrounded by troops, entertainers, and servants.  For some strange reason he finds the party fascinating and invites them to rest up with him.

Freaks and Geeks Updated- A Barbarians of Lemuria Hack

A few weeks ago I put up a quick hack I created for BoL that could be used to play in settings like Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, etc.  After slapping it up on the blog I took a step back from it and didn’t look at it again until yesterday.

With the break from it I was able to tackle it again with fresh eyes and after rereading it, I decided to make a few changes and a couple additions.

First- Here it is as a PDF: Freaks and Geeks- A Barbarians of Lemuria Hack


  • I got rid of having Freaky Power as a combat skill and instead made it a career.
  • Restructured amount of starting points Norms and Freaks get.
  • Added notes on Sorcery and to just use BoL rules.
  • Added rule (from book) for using two weapons.
  • Added rule (mine) for full auto weapons.
  • Added suggestion about ammo.
  • Created a table for quick job generation inspired by Monsters and Manuals table.
  • Created a list of ideas/inspiration for when shit gets weird.

Lastly found an awesome GM screen (or cheat sheet) for BoL that can also work for Freaks and Geeks.  I wanted to share the love.

Here it is as non PDF-

Freaks and Geeks



Freaks and Geeks is a hack of Barbarians of Lemuria.  My goal has been to leave the system largely intact without massive changes or clunky additional rules.  I created this hack because I thought the BoL was an extremely rules-lite (which is fucking awesome) and robust system that would be able to handle the cinematic style play for games such as Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, or whatever.

The great thing about the BoL system is that there are no complications when hacking it to another genre or style.  Just understand how the simple mechanics work and that this game is about being awesome and a dialogue between players and the GM in the hopes of achieving their goals, having fun, and you’re solid.

The other goal I had was to strip away the lists of boons, flaws, and careers presented in BoL and the need to consult anything at all.  A few examples of Boons and Flaws are given, but largely the players should come up with their own powers of kickassery!  That’s it..  Now go play!



Freaks start out with 5 points in Attributes while Norms start out with 4.  Max of 3 in any one ability for Norms and 4 for Freaks.  One ability score can be taken from 0 to -1 and allocated to a different ability score.


Combat Abilities


Freaks and norms start out with 4 points in Combat Abilities.  Max of 3 in any one ability for Norms and 4 for Freaks.  One ability score can be taken from 0 to -1 and allocated to a different ability score.

Life Blood
All characters start with 10 plus their Strength score in LB.

Optional: Instead of having LB linked to Strength, which people will dump points into JUST to have a higher Life Blood, have players start with 10 + 1d3 LB.

Both Freaks and Norms choose four careers that show their areas of study and events in their lives up till the present.  Freaks and Norms have 4 points to spend in careers, but cannot put more than 3 points in a given career.  Freaks must take “Freak” as one of their careers, this represents their powers.

Career Examples
Don’t like something here, make something the fuck up.


Academic- Specify

Labor Industry- Specify


Police Officer/Private Investigator


Awkward High School Student

Dabbler in the Occult







News Reporter




Boons, Flaws, and Freaky Powers

Boons generally allow a player to roll 3d6 and keep the higher of the two while Flaws allow a character to roll 3d6 and keep the lower of the two.  Boons can also be a static bonus or effect, like immunity to poison while a flaw could be weakness to poison.

If there is a boon of flaw you want to create that doesn’t follow that mechanic discuss it with your GM.



Freaks start off with two boons and one flaw.  For Freaks, boons are also their strange and awesome powers that make them unique and special little butterflies.  When using this (most of the time) it should go off the Freaky Power and the appropriate Attribute (but some powers, like Hellboy’s Hand of Doom would be Brawling and Strength) that makes sense.  Some powers may have a drawback as well as benefits.  Discuss it with your GM and if they approve you are good to go!

Making your type of freak is rather simple; want to play a Vampire?  That is easy!  Just choose appropriate Boons and Flaws.  It honestly doesn’t matter if it is 100% accurate.  This is about having some fun and playing in a game that is about pulpy action and heroics!


Freak Examples

Hellboy- Hand of Doom- The Hand of Doom is indestructible and hurts like hell when he hits with it.  Roll 2d6 and take the higher of the two as damage.

Liz’s power of fire manipulation would go off of Mind and Freaky Power.  The modifiers to the TN would change based on what the Liz’s player is trying to do (see below)


Summon flame in hand to see: Easy +1 to roll.
Cause burst of flame to hurt target 1d3 damage (moderate 0).
Burst of flame to one target 1d6 damage (tricky -1).
Flame damage to one target for 2d6 damage, or a burst of flame in a five foot radius that does 1d6 damage (hard -2).


Norms start with three Boons (they have to be snowflakes in some way too, right?) and one Flaw.  Norms Boons and Flaws should be cool and unique, but they should still reflect that your character is a squishy, easily bruised, and fleshy normal dude.

Extra Boons
Freaks and Norms can sacrifice Luck Points to gain an extra boon at character creation.  They can lose two Luck Points to gain an additional boon.  A freak can do this twice.  Norms can do this once.


Boon and Flaw Examples

Boon– Buffy is a Slayer and strong.  Permanently raise Strength Attribute by 1.

Boon– Hellboy is immune to any fire damage.

Flaw– Liz has trouble controlling her powers. When she uses her freak skill to generate and control fire she rolls 3d6 and takes the lesser of the two.

Flaw– Zander is awkward and tends to babble and make an ass of himself in front of people.  When making an appeal roll, roll an extra die and take lower of the two.

Roll 2d6 aiming for a target number of 9.  If it is a combat ability add the attribute that most likely fits the situation and combat ability being used.  If it is non-combat then use the attribute and career.

In combat that target number is still 9, but the targets defense number becomes a modifier to your roll.

Optional Fall Forward Story Mechanic:

If a player rolls a 7-8 the GM will present them with the option to miss or they can still succeed at the task they are performing, be it a freak power, attack, or a non-combat action.  However if they choose to still succeed then some complication arises from their actions.  This could be a free attack by the enemy, or maybe them getting tossed to the ground.  Their weapon may break.  They may unlock the door, but the alarm still goes off, or guards show up, etc.

This is an optional rule to add a bit more of the pulpy dynamic feel like that of the adventures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, Doctor Who, etc into the game.  If the GM and the players do not want to utilize this rule, they don’t have to.


Target Numbers Modifiers

Easy: +1, Moderate: 0, Tricky: -1, Hard: -2, Tough: -4, Demanding: -6




Hero Points

Players start with 5 Hero points each saga (session) unless they have lost Hero Points due to taking more starting Boons.  Hero points can be used in the following ways:

Twist of Fate– Change something in the narrative with GM approval.
Defy Death– You don’t die… good for you.
Reroll the Dice– You fucked up, but no one was looking, try again (save for snake eyes- you gotta keep that fuck up).
Might Success– When you succeed roll 1d6 for number of rabble killed.  Villains are max weapon damage + 1d6.
Legendary Success– When you roll a 12 spend point to turn into LS.  Roll 2d6 for number of rabble killed.  Damage to villain is max weapon damage + 6 + 1d6.
Shake off Wounds– Only a flesh wound- roll 1d6+1 and gain that back in HP.
Be creative– do your sales pitch, but don’t be sad when the GM laughs at you.

Friends Care! (Norms only)– Norms often give support their friends in ways that Freaks are not aware of.  Norms can share Hero Points with another player.


Each adventure players should get 2-3 Advancement Points.  They can spend them or save them to use later.  Remember that adventures may take several sessions to complete.

Raising Attributes costs a number of points equal to the current amount plus the new amount.  Norms can have a max of 5 in any Attribute while Freaks have a 6.

Raising Combat abilities costs the new amount +1.  Norms can have a max of 5 in any Combat Ability while Freaks have a 6.

Raising Careers costs equal to the new amount.

Purchasing a new career costs 1 point.

Buying a new Boon costs 3 AP while buying off a Flaw costs 2 AP.


Gear and Shit


These are things that do damage and hurt people and beasties, making them scream and bleed.  See Barbarians of Lemuria to make up damage that fits..  All damage is derived from a d6.

Rule of Thumb– Light weapons like knives will do d3 or d6-2 damage.  Regular weapons are 1d6-1 to 1d6+1.  Heavy Weapons are 1d6+2 or +3.  Guns operate the same way.  Snub pistol could do 1d6-1.  Standard handguns could do d6+1.  Machine Guns and the like could do d6+2 or +3, or 2d6 keep highest of the two.

Optional Rule: Full Auto

Machine guns can spit out quite a bit of lead.  If a player wants to open up a can of whoop as with a machine gun on full auto they make an attack at -4.  If successful they roll 3d6 and keep the highest of the two as damage.


Fighting With Two Weapons

A character can fight with a weapon in each hand with a -2 to each roll.


Counting ammo is boring and for lesser mortals, surely not for the likes of heroes such as yourselves.  Instead of counting individual ammo just state that each character has “x” number of ammo packs.  When a player rolls snake eyes on an attack roll this means that an ammo packet has been consumed and they must reload.

Body Armor

Armor provides a layer of damage absorption that makes it so the hurt doesn’t hurt as bad.  There are two types of armor for people light and heavy.  Light absorbs 1d3 damage and heavy absorbs 1d6 damage (-1 to agility).


Give the characters what they want and need to play their characters.  If it is key to the session, such as an amulet to ward off a demon or a potion to cure a disease, that is an adventure right there!  There is no need to complicate a cinematic game with money or shopping lists for mundane every day items.  Buffy and Hellboy never needed to go shopping for weapons.  They had them or used what was available in the heat of combat.  If they lost their arsenal then one of their buddies had back ups.  Beefy superduper weapons are a rare exception and tend to get broken and fucked up during the adventure or “disappear” at the end.


Further Examples of Boons

Liar Liar Pants on Fire– You can lie your ass off and not bat an eye.  Roll an extra die.

I’ve got Friends– You’ve got people who will come to your aid when called.  They may want something in return, but hey what are friends for?

Groupie– You’ve got a low level NPC that follows you around showering you with uncomfortable looks of adoration.  Stat this poor sod as a standard NPC.

Steel Will– You’re Willpower is awe inspiring.  Roll an extra die when these types of situations arise.

Further Examples of Flaws

Shifty Eyes– You suck at lying.  Roll an extra die.

Fuck I have an Enemy– Someone hates your guts and goes out of their way to make your life a misery.  They always seem to show up at the most inopportune time!  This is a fully stated Villain and wants to make you suffer as long as possible before plunging the knife into your heart.

Addiction– You’re character is addicted to something.  When it is around you must make a test.  Roll an extra die.  Each day you go without this addiction you suffer -1 an appropriate attribute.

Lecherous– You’re character just can’t help stop; you will go out of your way to hit on, grope, and talk to a person you are attracted to.


The Sorcery rules in BoL fit perfectly for both Hellboy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Spells in both settings were complex, involved, often took more than one person, powerful, and dangerous.  If a Freak or a Norm wants to get involved in sorcery, just follow the BoL rules.

Same with Alchemy and Priest (but it’s the GM’s call to allow those).

Freaks and Geeks Adventure Generator

This table can be used to generate a quick plot hook (or a few).  Simply roll 3d6 for each column and you have a quick plot to go on.  If you have time generate 2 or 3 plots and see if you can interweave them to create a rich story arc for your players.

Strange Shit Going On

This is a quick list of 20 ideas/inspirations to be used to describe the strange shit that is going on around the players if you’re stumped.

Freaks and Geeks Adventure Generator








Want(s) to





Want(s) to


Giant Serpent



Need(s) to





Need(s) to









Government Agent



Government Agent



Plan(s) to





Plan(s) to





Is actively (ing)


Ancient Horror



Is actively (ing)

Gather information on




Is being coerced to





Is being coerced to

Experiment on



Strange Old Man

Is fighting against

Escape from



Fallen Angel

Is fighting against

Make disappear




Want(s) to





Need(s) to

Cast spell on


Strange Shit Going On

1-       People start puking pea green soup.

2-       People start babbling and talking nonsense.

3-       Undead talk to a character, but seems dead to everyone else.

4-       Shared dreams or visions.

5-       Monster in human skin.

6-       Strange fainting spells.

7-       Whispers in the dark.

8-       People start speaking in a foreign/forgotten language.

9-       Wild, rash, and often violent mood swings.

10-    Animals act skittish and random.

11-    Animals talk to characters.

12-    Insects being acting weird or dying in large droves.

13-    Strange and instant change in the weather.

14-    Objects break or move on their own accord.

15-    People switching bodies or gain access to memories not their own.

16-    People go missing and turn up later with no memory or dead and mutilated.

17-    Milk sours, food spoils, water evaporates.

18-    People turning into monsters.

19-    Some spell effect that alters perception, attitude, or appearance.

20-    End up somewhere without recollection of how character arrived.

Good Site for Monster inspiration

Everytime You Play a RPG Wrong Zeus Smites a Kitten

This is Important…. This means something….

Over the past few days there has been some discussion, some yelling, and some snark and hissy fits because Zak played Burning Wheel, and apparently played it WRONG…  I’m going to repeat that, because it’s the kind of statement that has been floating in our niche little hobby for awhile and it needs to be addressed.  He played a game that is designed (one would hope) to be fun, interactive, and a social outlet with a group of friends (and in fact they DID have fun).  Then people, not involved in playing with his group, told him he did it wrong.

How in the fuck can playing a game with a group of people and having fun and laughing and being creative…  be fucking wrong?  Telling someone that they are playing a game wrong is nothing short of a strange psychotic-buried-adolescent-issues type reaction.

Unfortunately Zak is not the only person who constantly seems to get flack for his creativity or the way he prefers to play games.  James Maliszewski (of Grognardia) and Jeff Rients (of Jeff’s Gameblog) have both posted, sadly, many times of being snarked at for something they have created, blogged about, or whatever.

Again- this is ludicrous.  First off..  It’s a game.  A GAME….  To engage in this hobby we gather with a group of people and sit around a table and play make believe.  We pretend we are elves, dwarves, barbarians, sneaky rogues, and wielders of magic… and here’s the kicker… For fun!

If you take all of this too seriously and get all worked up over something like role-playing to the point where you treat another human being like shit, then there is a chance that you believe that the imaginary voices in your head are real and that someday you really will wield the forces of the cosmos and smite the minions of Orcus…

Second..  I get a game being “right or wrong” when it is competitive/professional style play at a game shop or con, but if it’s in someone’s house and you’re not involved with how they play..  why give a shit?

Third… If you are involved in a game and not having fun because the way the group is rolling, then you need to have a calm and open dialogue with the GM and see if it can be worked out….  If not, keep on trucking… because you’ll most likely be able to find another gaming group to your liking.

Fourth… Honestly…  It’s make believe..  Why let it affect you?

Fifth…  You’re forgetting the most important thing..  The rules of Calvinball…  Once you can understand this concept, you are good to go with role-playing…

There are times that I really worry about this hobby…  We are surrounded by an ever-present stigma from people on the outside… either we’re nerds, heathens, or perverted devil worshipping psychopaths….  Do we really need all this infighting about shit that doesn’t matter?

Can’t we just let people play what games they want and how they want and say, “well I wouldn’t play that way, but you know what?  They look like they’re having fun..  Fucking awesome!” instead of ranting and raging and pissing all over someone for something that, quite frankly, isn’t your business?

Let bygones be bygones and enjoy what they like…  Have a smile and a beer (0r   coke).  Grab some friends, grab some dice..  and keep rolling… 

Aside: Zak’s impressions and fuck all attitude of playing a game and having fun: post 1, post 2.. Shame on him…. 


Aside 2: Here is an awesome post from Joesky about this as well!

Oh God.. What’s in This Bag?! and Random Effects of a Monster Attack! Tables

I created these tables and for the life of me I can’t remember what the hell for.  I’ve used both of them and it was fun to see the horror of my players faces.

The bag table I like because I’m tired of Goblins, Orcs, and Bugbears having normal shit….  I mean they can have that too, but I want really nasty stuff in there bags as well..

Oh God What is In This Bag

1- The Eyeballs of a Peeping Tom- When put in person’s mouth they can see through walls.  Lasts for 1d6 rounds before shriveling and dissolving.

2- Severed Head that must be placed on hand like a puppet.  When used in this fashion the head is able to talk and discern lies told to it.

3- Intestines of a Bloated Pig Demon- Can be used as high quality rope.  The stomach functions as a grappling hook.

4- Convulsing Sphincter Muscle of an Ox- Can be used as manacles.  Highly resistant to damage.

5- The Belly Buttons of Ten Slaughtered Virgins- When placed on the hands acts as small suction cups and aids in climbing.

6- A Vial of a Child’s Tears- Refreshingly invigorating to good chaps and horribly toxic to naught blokes.

7- Ulcerated Stomach of the Three Pronged Goat- Stomach is used as a bag that can hold items.  Problem is there is also a lot of random junk in there as well that just gets in the way..  Some of it is just plain weird.

8- Kidney Stones of Prisoners- Works as caltrops…  or daily rations.

9- Bladder of a Badger- Always full..  Always warm.  Can drink to avoid dehydration, but will become ill.

10- Face of a Scorned Lover- With this in hand a person can “rip off” their own face and wear this flesh and become a beautiful woman.   Charisma bonuses, voluptuousness, and attitude abound!  You are flooded with emotions and memories that are not your own and they are often acute and painful!  You can only take her face off when committing the act she was doing when she died….

And now….

Random Effects of Monster’s Attack on Your Personage

1- You jabber like an idiot unable to form complete sentences for 1d4 hours.

2- Pustules form all over your body, incredibly painful.  When popped an acidic substance oozes out that can be used as a weapon (1d4 damage).

3- You sprout a strange body part where the attack landed 1) Eye; 2) Mouth; 3) Nose; 4) Appendage; 5) External superfluous organ; 6) Ear.

4- Skin calcifies and becomes hardened, extremely painful.  Crumbles and chips with excessive movement.

5- The area around the wound liquefies and spills onto the ground, causing a slippery mess.  All in area must make a dexterity based save or fall prone.

6- The wound develops into a cyst that grows and becomes extremely painful over 1d10 days.  At the end of the incubation period the cyst erupts and miniature and deformed version of the character bursts forth.

7- The characters veins become a pale white color.  Their veins are now phosphorescent.  -4 to all stealth and hiding based checks.

8- The wound heals after one day (as does all damage from that particular attack- if not healed already)- after 1d4 days sharp pain wracks the character.  Looking at the wound something is crawling underneath the skin.  It must be cut out- 1) Centipedes; 2) Spiders; 3) Flies; 4) Maggots; 5) Earwigs; 7)Cockroaches; 8) Beetles.

9- The wound takes on a strange floral scent.  Bees are attracted to it and constantly attempt to build a hive in the wound.

10- The wound starts vomiting.  Yes vomiting.

Firefly: The Complete Space and Sci-fi Kit: A Full Vornheim Hack


I’ve been mentioning this for awhile and it’s finally done: Firefly: The Complete Space and Sci-Fi Kit- A Vornheim Hack.

I like running sci-fi games for my group and it usually is either Star Wars or Firefly.  Currently I am running a Firefly game using Savage Worlds instead of my own Firefly: Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse.  I just wanted to try something different.

On to Details

First I wanna thank Zak for being fucking cool with me hacking the shit out of his book.  It’s been fun and I plan to do it again soon.

I tried to keep this book as system neutral as possible that way it can be used in a plethora of gaming communities.  I also tried to add enough stuff that was from the Firefly world, but also make up a bunch of shit that could be used with Traveler, Rogue Trader, Star Wars, etc.  All you gotta do is file off some of the serial numbers and you have yourself a nice generic sci-fi kit book.

Anyways, I hope that people get some use out of this and enjoy it.

As always feel free to leave feedback and comments.

The Summoning Spell From Lamentations of the Flame Princess Vornheim Style

I really dig much of what James Raggi has done with LotFP (check out the free version here, check out the not free version here).  It is dark, gritty, and grim.  Which is something I dig playing in.

LotFP played a huge part in the way I developed my own hack rules and my current game world, Hubris (so thanks for the inspiration Raggi).

One of my favorite parts LotFP is (and I’ve seen much praise for this) the Summon spell.  It is an interesting, dark, and unique take on what has normally been a “poof here is a griffon, eagle, blink dog, etc fighting for you” kind of spell.

The one criticism of it is that it weighs in at 6 pages (or 10 pages if you count the special summoned beings).  That is a hefty thing to sift through when you’re trying to keep the action on the game table.

I’ve seen people ask for or about a more simplified version of it out there.  Zak threw out a comment about doing in in the same vein as Vornheim.  I pondered this for a bit and was thinking of doing a die drop chart (since I love those things so fucking much), but in the end I thought, for this particular situation, it would become too convoluted…  However I did decide to still use one aspect of the die drop chart.  Roll a d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and a d20 and consult the table and you now have you Summons.

I tried to keep this extremely simple, but still offer a wide variety of “what the fuck is that?!” type creatures and abilities.  Obviously the spell itself is inspired and hacked from LotFP.  Many of the powers are listed in the book itself, some are just my own grab from any old D&D style OSR book or my own idea.

The d12 forms are all shit swimming around in my head, which proves that I’m  never lonely I guess….

And as always remember- as you roll these things up- erase it and creature something new in it’s place.  

So here it is as a handy PDF: Summoning Spell, Vornhacked

Here it is:


Magic User- Level 1

You tear open the fabric of reality and summon a creature from beyond the void.  It may not be the smartest thing to do, but damn it you’ve got the power and you’re going to do it!

Thaumatergic Circle– Takes a while to create.  Is a mix of fine silver fleck (equaling 500 silver pieces), mystic salts, the casters own blood, and other mystic herbs that make the party whacky and fun (remember breathe deeply).  This gives you +2 to your roll.

Sacrificing– You gain +1 per HD of the sacrifice, up to a maximum of +4.  The target must be restrained and unwilling.

Summoning the Beast– Roll Wisdom based save (plus Thamatergic Circle and Sacrifice), Target number 18- if successful the creature comes from the void to cause havoc.  Roll your level in d6’s to determine the length of time the creature is present.

Dominate This Bitch– The Magic User must put his will over beast or the havoc it will cause may be against the party.  The Magic User rolls a Wisdom based save (plusThamatergic Circle and Sacrifice) while the creature rolls a d20 + the number on the d4 (see below).  Who ever wins determines how this situation is going to go down.  If the magic user wins by 10 he is able to control the creature and do other tasks.  If he wins below that he must concentrate for the duration of the spell.  If he is distracted or takes damage another roll must be made.

What Happens if I Fail (roll a 1)- Bad shit happens.  Really really bad shit happens.

Roll 1d8-

  1. The creature has stirred but goes back to sleep.  A second failure at a Summoning Spell (even just a regular failure) the creature will immediately reawaken and will immediately manifest at the casters location and destroy all within in its grasp.
  2. The creature stirs and moves in its sleep causing the caster to catch a glimpse of its realm.  The Caster must make a Wisdom based save or become hysteric (permanently losing 1d6 Intelligence).
  3. The being is not interested in the movement of ants and goes back to sleep.
  4. The creature is angered and 2d6 of it appear to rend and tear and feast and kill and bring all sorts of horror to reality.
  5. The creature briefly touches our reality and perverts it at the casters location.  Everyone must make a save.  Those that fail switch bodies.
  6. The creatures brief moment of consciousness causes the weather to be completely opposite for the season.
  7. The being takes over the caster (unbeknownst to the rest of the party) and seeks to pervert the world.  It will do all in its power to form a cult and gain power and open the rift further bring out a even more terrible and fucked up being.
  8. Like swatting a gnat on the wall the creature simply wills the caster out of existence.

What the Fuck Did I Just Summon?!

Base Creature– Two Attacks (1d6 claws, 1d4 bite).  AC 12.  Base Attack Bonus- Roll 1d6.  These can change based on what is rolled.

Roll one of each the following polyhedral dice at the same time and consult below: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20

D4- Hit Points- Roll 1d20 and consult number on the die.

  1. +15
  2. +20
  3. +25
  4. +30

D6- Form 1- Consult number on die and choose one of two.

  1. Glowing/Dark and Shadowy
  2. Freezing/Flaming
  3. Slimy/Dry and Cracking
  4. Necrotic/Pus Leaking
  5. Furry/Skin of Maggots
  6. Flayed and bleeding/Hard rock-like Skin

D8- Powers 1

  1. Three Attacks
  2. Four Attacks
  3. AC 15 + d8
  4. AC 15 + d10
  5. Venomous Bite (-1d10 Dex per bite)
  6. Half Damage FromNormalWeapons
  7. Immune toNormalWeapons
  8. Long Reach (up to 25 ft) with Claws

D10- Appendages

  1. Tentacles
  2. Barbed
  3. Stinking
  4. Infected
  5. Snakes
  6. Baby Heads
  7. Intestines
  8. Overlarge
  9. Underdeveloped
  10. Negative Energy or Smoke

D12- Form 2

  1. Half Goat Man
  2. Swirling Wisp of Strange Energy
  3. Bulbous Frog With Maggot Eye Stalks
  4. Giant Eyeball Dripping Blood
  5. Horse Turned Inside Out
  6. Giant Stomach With Gnashing Teeth and Black Orb Eyes
  7. Your Character’s Mother, Beaten, Battered, Dead, and Bloated
  8. A Child’s Head on a Slimy Spider’s Body
  9. Strange Pulsating Tumor With a Hundred Legs and Four Hundred Eyes
  10. A Hanged Man With No Face, Moaning, His Intestines Trailing on the Ground
  11. A Small Body of Writhing and Crawling Insects With the Laugh of a Little Girl
  12. Body of a Lion, Centipede Neck, Face of Magic User, Mandibles of Beetle

D20- Powers 2

  1. Miasmic Cloud (Cloudkill)
  2. Fire Breath (3d6)
  3. Spits Acid (2d8)
  4. Gaseous Form (at will)
  5. Invisibility (at will)
  6. Swallow Creature Whole (on natural 20 or if successful by 10 or more)
  7. Immunity to Magic
  8. Mind Control (at will, one at a time)
  9. Phantasmal Killer (at will, one at a time)
  10. Horrific Visage (Fear Effect- constant)
  11. Summon Undead (at will- 1d6 appear- can’t use again until all are gone)
  12. Make Like Thyself- Attacks Start Transforming Target into Summoned Being (under its control)
  13. Wall of Fire (at will, one at a time)
  14. Aging- Attacks cause target to age 1d10 years
  15. Transmute Flesh to Stone (on a successful hit)
  16. Fireball Blasts (at will, one at a time)
  17. Summoning (as this spell, but under control of the beast and not the caster)
  18. Impregnates (Constitution based save or now carrying a creepy fucker in your belly.  Can be man or woman.  Bursts forth in 1d10 days fully formed)
  19. Dimension Door (at will, one at a time)
  20. Death Touch (one time- no save- Summoned Creature immediately returns to the Void)


Aside: These literally took 3 minutes to do.

Creature 1

Necrotic looking Horse Turned Inside Out with four legs that are made of intestines.

Three Attacks (Intestines 1d6 x2 damage, bite 1d4).  Has the ability to swallow creatures whole.  AC 12; BAB +1; HP 21.

Creature 2

Your Character’s Mother, Beaten, Battered, Dead, and Bloated with Hard rock-like Skin and Tentacled arms and legs

HP 37  AC 12 BAB +6

She is Immune to Normal Weapons Two Attacks (1d6 tentacles or 1d4 bite).  AC 12

Horrific Visage (Fear Effect- constant)