Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Hubris Vampire

Jeremy Duncan has just sent me the final (and amazing) art for the Hubris vampire.  VAMPIREfinal

One vampire is in its true form attacking a helpless victim, while one in the background is in human guise, watching with glee.



The first vampire appeared in Hubris thousands of years ago when an elk leapt over the body of a dying human.  Somehow their souls became intertwined creating a bestial, immortal creature that thirsts for blood.  Over the millennia the original vampire has spread His curse throughout the lands.  No one is sure what happened to the father of vampirism, or what will happen should He return.


Vampires can be found throughout Hubris, although they prefer to lurk in the civilized lands where they have ample source of humanoids to feed upon.  Vampires that have fed on the blood of the living within 24 hours looks just like the lesser and weak mortal races, save that they cast no reflection and are unable to enter private dwellings without permission.  A vampire that has consumed the blood of an elk is able to walk in the sunlight as if they were mortal.  The longer a vampire goes without feeding, the more bestial and horrific their visage becomes.  The true horrific visage of a vampire is revealed if the creature has not consumed humanoid blood for a number of days equal to half their HD.  The true vampire has the skeleton head of an elk with pinprick red light glowing from the sockets.  The antlers range in size and points, but are covered in moss, flaps of skin, and throbbing veins.  The body of a vampire is humanoid and lanky, covered in baby-fine brownish black hair with grayish or alabaster skin.  Their arms are over-long and end in blackened claws.


Vampires are cunning and prefer subterfuge and manipulation to outright violence and hostility.  Often they manipulate mortals, using them like pawns in chess.  As a vampire becomes older they become more powerful and conniving.  One does not survive for over 800 years without becoming a great manipulator and strategist.


The highest concentration of vampires is found in Shadowfall (pg XX), where Depraved Geneva and the Court of the Withered Hand rules in coexistence with their food.


Vampire Age

Fledgling 0-99

Mature 100-199

Old 200-399

Very Old 400-599

Ancient 600-799

Master 800+



Vampire Statistics by Age
  Fledgling Mature Old Very Old Ancient Master
HD 8d8 9d8 10d8 12d8 14d8 16d8
Attack +8 +9 +10 +12 +14 +16
Initiative +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +10
AC +16 +17 +18 +19 +20 +21
Attack Die 1d20 1d24 2d20 2d24 3d20 3d24
Fort +8 +9 +9 +10 +11 +13
Reflex +6 +7 +7 +8 +9 +11
Will +7 +8 +8 +9 +10 +12
Fast Healing 2 HP/rnd 3 HP/rnd 3 HP/rnd 3 HP/rnd 4 HP/rnd 5 HP/rnd
Horns and claws (natural form) 1d4 damage 1d6 damage 1d8 damage 2d6 damage 2d8 damage 3d8 damage
Claws (humanoid form) 1d3 damage 1d4 damage 1d6 damage 1d8 damage 2d8 damage 2d10 damage



Animal Control- Once per day a vampire can summon forth animals of the night to aid them.  Roll 1d4: 1) 1d100 +50 bats*, duration 2d8 rounds; 2) 1d100 + 25 rats*, duration 2d6 rounds; 3) 2d6 wolves** (DCC, pg 431)- duration 2d4 rounds; 4) 1 dire wolf** (DCC, pg 431), duration 1d4 rounds.


* bat and rat swarms occupy a 20’ foot radius.  Any creature caught in the swarm suffers -4 to all rolls and movement is reduced by half.

** wolves and the dire wolf will follow the vampire’s instructions for the duration and then disappear back into the wild, but linger in the area in the hopes for fresh prey.


Shape Change- A vampire can transform into gaseous vapors, a bat (DCC, pg 396), or a wolf (DCC, pg 431) at will.  Transforming is instantaneous and incurs no penalty.  Master vampires are also able to transform into a bat or rat swarm (listed effects above), or a dire wolf (DCC, pg 431).


While in gaseous form a vampire cannot be harmed by any means, although extremely strong winds will dissipate the vampire, reducing their HP to zero; the vampire will reform in their coffin in 24 hours and begin heal (through fast healing).  This form has a movement of 10’/rnd.  When the vampire is brought to 0 HP it will instantly become gaseous vapors and flees to its coffin to heal.


Blood Drain- A person that is successfully pinned by a vampire can be bitten and drained of blood.  A vampire can drain 1d4 Stamina (temporary) per round.  Those that are drained to zero can be transformed into a thrall by the vampire by sharing just one drop of their blood.  A thrall is completely loyal and devout to the vampire.  A vampire can also transform a drained target into a vampire by letting them feed on their blood for several minutes.  The drained target must have 5HD or more.  The newly created vampire rises from their coffin in 1d4 days.


Spider Climb- A vampire can cast the Spider Climb spell (DCC, pg 156) with a bonus modifier equal to its HD.  A vampire suffers no adverse effects for rolling a 1-11.


Charm Person- A vampire can cast the Charm Person spell (DCC, pg 131) with a bonus modifier equal to its HD.  A vampire suffers no adverse effects for rolling a 1-11.


Immunity- A vampire suffers no damage from normal weapons that are not made of silver or from natural attacks of creatures of 7HD or less.  Vampires are immune to mind-altering effects, poisons,



Vampires recoil from the smell of strong garlic, mirrors, and the holy symbols of deities that consider them unholy creatures.  This in no way injures the vampire, but keeps them at bay and at a distance of 5’.  After the first round a vampire can make a DC 23 Will save to overcome this and attempt to move past the obstruction.


A vampire cannot enter any private home or dwelling without the express permission of the owner.  At any time the owner can revoke this permission, at which point the vampire is expelled violently from the dwelling.


A vampire cannot cross running water, and can only be transported across running water in a coffin.  A vampire that is submerged in running water takes 2d12 damage per round, and if reduced to 0 HP in this manner is destroyed.


Driving a stake through the heart of a vampire renders the creature immobile.  Placing the still- beating heart of an elk atop the vampire’s will kill it immediately.


Vampires are terrified of elk and will flee from one should it appear before them (no save).


Vampires abhor sunlight and cannot be in it without suffering intense amount of pain.  The first round a vampire is exposed to sunlight they are staggered and unable to act, on the next round they burst into flames and take 3d10 damage per round until out of the sunlight.  There are rumors that master vampires are immune to the effects of the sun, but whether that is true or not is up to you, Judge.


Land of the Spirits, Available Races and Session 1 Recap

Yesterday we kicked off our Land of the Spirits game.  I went over the races and classes with my players yesterday.

First the races

Tribe of Fang


Claws: Class damage.

Scent: treat as background ability

Keen Eyes: Can see in the dark 30ft and lowlight 60ft.

Agile: Change Dex to 16 if anything less was rolled.

Language: Can speak with other Tribe of Fang or animal lynx is a series of growls and yowls.


Tribe of Tusk

Clan of the Tusk

Tusks: Class damage.

Hearty: Increase HP by 2d3 at level 1.

Rage: For 1 minute the character gains Advantage to Strength, +2 to attack and damage and Advantage on saves against mild-altering and fear effects but suffers +2 [-2] to AC.  The character also has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.  After combat the character is exhausted and suffers Disadvantage to all rolls and +2 [-2] to AC until they rest fully for one hour.  This ability can be used once per day.

Language: Can speak with other Tribe of Tusk or animal boars in a series of squeals, grunts, and snorts.


Barnlig (means “Childlike” in Norwegian)


The Asura from Guild Wars 2 played inspiration for this race

Strong Mind: Have Advantage on any Savings Throw against Illusions.

Connection to Spirits: Can cast communicate with spirits twice per day.

Iron Will: Change Wisdom to 16 if anything less was rolled.

Session Recap

After I described the races and classes (Fighter and Magic User), the players began rolling attributes.  After an hour we were ready to play.

Here’s what we ended up with:

Angie: Clan of the Fang- Fighter- Vagabond Specialization

Amelia: Barnlig- Magic User- Druid Specialization

Chad: Barnlig- Fighter- Ravager Specialization

Emma (1st time role-playing): Clan of the Fang- Fighter- Warrior Specialization

Nate: Human- Toad Animal Spirit- Fighter- Ranger Specialization

Tyler: Clan of Tusk- Fighter- Shielded Warrior Specialization

Kevin: Clan of the Tusk- Fighter- Duelist Specialization




The session started with the characters running through the mist-shrouded Riverlands, the ground squishing underfoot, the chilly morning air filling their lungs.  Accompanying them was an old friend, and mentor to Tyler, Hurgen- a shielded warrior- and their friend Yssil- a bald cowardly page who the group has known for awhile.

The group stops in a clearing, water rushing around them, when a large portion of the ground rips open and 20ft long centipede emerges from a sodden hole.


The fight was fast and furious, only Ameila took any damage from the giant insect.  Tyler and Chad bashed into the creature with their weapons, and Kevin scored two hits with his short swords, finishing it off.

The group began tearing the creature apart.  Hurgen congratulated them on a job well done.  “This beast will make a fine meal at the Festival of the Sun!”  Angie cut off one of the beasts poisoned mandibles with the desire to make a shiv out of it.

After a few hours of butchering and cooking some breakfast the group began to hear a croaking noise.  Looking around they saw savage frogmen emerging from one of the nearby streams.  “I smell meeeeeeeaaaaat.” One of them croaked.

The group debated for a moment on whether to fuck some more shit up, let the frogmen have a slice, or tell them to piss off.  In the end Amelia shouted at them, “Get out of here unless you want to end up like the beast!  You can scavenge the leftovers when we are done!”  The frogmen croaked threateningly, but disappeared back into the water, “we won’t forget this, Barnlig…”


With the butchering done the group headed back to the only human city on Náttúraheim (meaing home of the spirits), Ny Berjastad (meaning New Fighting Place).  They saw the longhouses in the distance on the rolling hills.  In the center of the city, on the Mudflats, is a massive colosseum type structure and the only keep in the city, where High Chieftainess Vynn and the Council of the Wyrm reside.

The group saw others from the Clan of the Tusk and Clan of the Fang milling about, excited for the festivities.  When sun fell, the Festival of the Sun was well underway.  Spirits could be seen appearing out of thin air, some translucent, others fully solid.  These creatures hail from their home plane- able to manifest when they so choose.  Some are a whole race of people, while others are unique; a single, solitary creature.


Tyler, Emma, and Kevin competed in gladiatorial events- with Kevin coming in second- being defeated by the reigning champion, a Clan of the Tusk Ravager named Hogmaster 3000.

Angie performed and hula hooped around the crowd, pick pocketing those she could.  Chad went to a bar and picked up some plot hooks, and Nate shot apples off of people’s heads, but accidentally killed a man- but no one paid any mind- so he looted the body- finding a few gold, silver, and copper bits and a dagger.

The Next Morning

In the early hours there the Warning Horn was blown, sounding the alarm.  The group made their way to the center of town and saw Chieftainness Vynn standing on platform.  “My son has been switched out of his bed by a changeling!  I have slain the beast, but he confessed under torture of cold iron, that he serves a dark master named Meolgh, who is seeking a human to become his proper heir.




A changeling

One of the queen’s guards tossed the changeling’s severed head onto the muddy ground.  The queen stiffened, “all we were able to get out of the changeling is that my child was taken to west into the Twilight Forest.  You know what is at stake!  We have a week to find my child, return him to his bed, and break the curse of the changeling.  If we fail, my child will be transformed into whatever the Meolgh desires… Gather what you need.  Find my son!”

And with that we ended for the evening.

When we play next time the group will dive into the enchanted woods of the Twilight Forest and attempt to find the son of Vynn.

Land of the Spirits, Part II- Magic Users

Yesterday I started posting about my next book project, Land of the Spirits, and shared the Fighter class and the Specializations.  Today we look at the Magic User and its Specializations: Sorcerer, Priest, and Druid.

Magic User

Magic Users are a strange lot, able to manipulate the powerful energies of the spirits, twisting them into strange and devastating spells.  Female Magic Users are called Seiðr, and are held in weary, and also often high, regard.  Male Magic Users are called Ergi and are held in some distrust as magic is considered unmanly.  Many Ergi hide their tattoos and ability to cast magic until they are around those they trust or a dire situation arises.  There are Ergi that are unashamed of their abilities and have no thoughts on the taboos that society puts on them.


Schools of Magic: A Magic User chooses a school of magic as a specialization at level 1.  Once this choice is made, it’s permanent.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against spells.


Weapon Damage: Magic Users are know how to handle themselves in a fight, but are not as deadly with weaponry as a Fighter, they do 1d6 damage with all weapons.


Starting Hit Points: Magic Users start with 8 + Constitution Modifier hit points and gain 1d8 + Constitution Modifier HP every level.



Magic User Table
Level Base Attack Bonus Level Experience Saving Throw
1 0 0 14
2 +1 2,500 13
3 +1 5,000 12
4 +2 10,000 11
5 +2 20,000 10
6 +3 35,000 9
7 +3 50,000 8
8 +4 75,000 7
9 +4 100,000 6
10 +5 200,000 5



Starting Spells: At first level a magic user chooses the spell from their specialization that they desire and then roll randomly for two spells from the starting spells table (pg XX).


Tattoos: Magic spells are tattooed on the flesh of the Magic User.  The Magic User need not see the tattoo to cast the spell, but pulls from the connection to the ink in the flesh and the magical world, almost like a tether or string that binds the two together.


Magic Points: A Magic User has a pool of magic points that is the energy they pull from to cast their spells.  A Magic User’s magic pool is equal to their maximum hit points.


Additional Spells: A Magic User gains one new spell per level that they can cast (their choice).  A Magic User will have thirteen magical tattoos by the time they reach 10th level.  This is the maximum number of spells a Magic User may know, unless they have a high Intelligence Modifier, which then a Magic User is able to know fourteen or fifteen spells.


Casting Spells: Spells are broken down into spell levels 1-4.  Casting spells costs magic points (see chart below).  These points refresh to full after a good night’s sleep (8 hours of full uninterrupted rest).


Magic Points to Cast a Spell

Level 1: 4

Level 2: 5

Level 3: 6

Level 4: 7


Spell Level: At first level a MU is able to cast level 1 spells.  At 3rd level a MU can cast level 2 spells.  At 5th level a MU can cast level 3 spells.  At 7th level a MU can cast level 4 spells.


Magic Users and Armor: Magic Users can wear armor, however anything beyond padded cloth interferes with mystic casting and reduces their MP by a certain amount: Light armor- ¼; Medium- ½; Heavy ¾.  Once out of armor their mana pool returns to normal (however any magic points spent while in armor are still spent).




Rituals can be any spell, but are usually spells that are 5th level and over.  Rituals do not cost MP, but take a number of hours equal to their level to cast and require special ingredient and 2 or more people. The main caster rolls 1d20 + Intelligence Modifier, attempting to hit a Target Number of 10 + Spell level. The caster receives an additional +1 for each servant assisting in the ritual, up to a max of +10.


Any spell can actually be turned into a ritual and stored in a pendant or ring to be cast at a later date. A person can only have one item tied to them at a time.


Should spell failure occur while casting a ritual something weird/terrible happens (up to the GM to determine this).


Anyone can cast a ritual, not just a Magic User, however they do not get to add their Intelligence Modifier.  This is to highlight how scheming nobles or power hungry peasants foolishly dabble in magic.





Sorcerers focus on arcane arts; bewitching the senses, casting powerful illusions, or raining fire down on their enemies.  Their ability to sense magic and their bond with their animal familiar gives them an edge in the world of magic.


Detect Magic: By concentrating, the sorcerer is able to detect magic.  Each round of concentration, the sorcerer is able to fix on the location and number of magical effects, beings, or items in a 20’ x level radius. This does not tell the sorcerer what kind of magic it is, its uses, or any other information- merely that there is magic.  A sorcerer can concentrate for a number of minutes equal to their level.


Summon Familiar: The sorcerer gains a familiar.  Roll 1d12: 1) cat– treat sneaking as if it were part of background/class.; 2) bat– gain echo-sense (cannot be blinded- can detect targets hiding within 10’, but must be concentrating and still); 3) raven– reroll one failed Savings Throw per session; 4) lynx– grow claws and gain attack at class damage; 5) dog– aura of loyalty- retainers within 15’ gain +2 to morale checks; 6) arctic fox– Increase Dexterity score by +2 (max of 18); 7) pig– gain ability to track with scent- treat as a background/class; 8) otter– swim at 60’ per round; 9) squirrel; 10) raccoon– treat sleight of hand as if it were part of background/class; 11) owl– gain dark vision- see in darkness (even magical) up to 60’; 12) pseudo-dragon- can actually speak not just empathic link to sorcerer, start with an additional arcane spell (roll on starting spells for it).


A sorcerer gains an empathic link with heir familiar, and their familiar can deliver touch spells for them.  If a familiar is killed the sorcerer is stunned, suffers 3d6 damage, and loses all abilities granted by the creature.  The sorcerer can summon a new one in one month.


Arcane Aptitude: Arcane school spells cost 1 less (minimum of 1 MP) to cast.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against Death effects (not Death Saving Throw).




Priests pay homage to the world of the spirits, believing in preserving the memories of their ancestors and beliefs of their people.  While Priests focus on healing, philosophy, and religion, it is not below them to cast devastating spells on their enemies or those who have wronged them.


Lay on Hands: A priest is able to channel divine energy and heal anyone they touch (including self).  A priest heals half of their maximum HP (round down) to a target.  A priest can use this ability once per day.  At 5th level they can do this twice per day.


Speak With Spirits: The priest is able to consult with the spirits and chooses one of two actions: A warning of events or the consequences of an action.  If the priest chooses warning of events, they may choose to reroll a failed save, or evade a successful attack (before the sunrise of the next day).  If the priest chooses consequences of an action, they will find out if an action will have good or bad consequences.  This will be within a 30 minute period of asking.  This lets the priest be prepared for a course of action.


A priest can use this ability once per day for free.  Any additional uses costs 3 MP.


Divine Aptitude: Divine spells cost 1 less (minimum of 1 MP) to cast.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against Poisons.




Druids are Magic Users who revere their bonds with the spirits and the natural way of life.  They are savage and as ever changing as the very nature they revere.  Druids are able to transform into a natural creature and through bonding with nature have taken on an aspect of the animal.


Animal Shape: The druid is able to transform into a small or medium creature (no larger than a wolf, boar, or cougar, and no smaller than a dog, cat, eagle, etc.) While in this form the druid gains the Skill: Notice- scent and a bite attack at a d6 damage (and possibly a claw attack at a d6 as well). Increase the druid’s AC by +2 and their Initiative bonus by +2 while under the spell.  The druid cannot communicate with other people while in animal form.  This effect lasts for 1 hour per level, after which the druid reverts to their natural shape.  The druid can use this once per day until 5th level, where it increases to two uses, and at 10th level it increases to three uses.


Animalistic Features: Due to embracing nature and spending so much time in it and with animals, the druid has taken on animalistic characteristics.  The druid’s eyes have changed to that of animal eyes, granting low-light vision.  They also gain one additional feature.  Roll 1d8: 1) claws– can attack at 1d6 damage; 2) antlers– can gore attack at 1d6 damage; 3) fangs- can bite attack at 1d6 damage; 4) webbed hands and toes- can swim at 24 [60]’ per round; 5) lithe form- increase movement to 18 [40]’ per round; 6) bird of prey eyes- see twice as far as normal; 7) feline-like ears– lower surprise rate by 1; 8) small hairs on hands- by placing ungloved hand on the ground, the druid can feel the vibrations of targets up to 12 [30]’ away and pinpoint the location of anything that is in contact with the ground.  Must be still and concentrate for 1 turn for this to work.


Nature Aptitude: Nature spells cost 1 less (minimum of 1 MP) to cast.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against natural effects (IE. extreme weather, etc.).


Land of the Spirits

I am currently writing my next campaign setting called “Land of the Spirits.”  It is inspired by old Norse fairy tales and things like Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Never Ending Story, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke (and other things).

This Wednesday I begin playtesting the mechanics and what I’ve written thus far with my players.

I will discuss the setting in more detail after the playtest begins.

For the classes there are only two: Fighter and Magic User (I’ll cover this at a later date).  Each class then chooses a specialization at level one.

Mechanically Land of the Spirits is OSR, but I’m hacking some 5e in with White Box.



Fighters excel at combat and prefer to on the frontline of battle. Fighters use their prowess of weapons and keen senses to devastate an enemy and take them down quickly.  A fighter is able to mow through enemies quickly, making them a formidable and deadly killing machine.


Class Abilities


Cleave: Fighters revel in combat.  When fighting against foes of one hit dice (HD) or fewer, they are able to make one attack per level each turn against them.


Specialization: Choose a Specialization at level 1.  Once this choice is made it is permanent.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against Death effects (not Death Saving Throws; see pg XX)


Weapon Damage: Fighters do 1d8 damage with all weapons.


Starting HP: Fighters start with 10 HP + Constitution Bonus at level 1 and gain 1d10 + Constitution Bonus per level.


Fighter Table
Level Base Attack Bonus Level Experience Saving Throw
1 1 0 14
2 2 2,000 13
3 3 4,000 12
4 4 8,000 11
5 5 16,000 10
6 6 32,000 9
7 7 64,000 8
8 8 128,000 7
8 9 256,000 6
10 10 350,000 5







Duelists are highly trained warriors able to fight with finesse and defensively while wielding two one-handed weapons; their ability to deflect a foe’s attacks has made them the stories of legend.


Agile: A Duelist knows how to deflect attacks.  Once per combat a Duelist can turn a successful melee attack against them into a miss.


Parry: The Duelist knows how to deflect a person’s attack by fighting defensively.  When a Duelist fights in this manner as a full action, the attacker suffers Disadvantage to their attacks.  If the attacker rolls a 1-3 on their attack, the Duelist has found an opening in their opponent and lands an attack successfully (no attack roll necessary).


Two-weapon Fighting: The Duelist is able to wield a light weapon in their off-hand, gaining a second attack as full round action.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against explosions.




Rangers are huntsman and trackers comfortable in the wilds of nature; their keen eyes able to spot game, water, or ground to make a safe camp quickly.  Rangers form a deep bond with an animal of the wilds who serves as a loyal companion.


Fighting Style: A Ranger chooses one fighting style at 1st level.  Once chosen this cannot be undone.

  • Archer: A ranger is able to shoot two arrows per round as a full action.  Each attack is resolved separately.
  • Two-weapon Fighting: The ranger is able to wield a light weapon in their off-hand, gaining a second attack as full round action.


Animal Companion: Rangers start play with a trusted animal companion.  Roll 1d8: 1) arctic fox; 2) hawk; 3) boar; 4) lynx; 5) wolf; 6) bear dog; 7) wolverine; 8) badger


If the animal companion dies the ranger can attempt to bond with a new one after one week of mourning.  They must go in the wilds and attempt to coax the animal to them.  A single ST must be passed for this to succeed (treat as a background/class ability for TN).


At 10th level a Ranger is able to tame a brown bear as an animal companion, should they choose.


Survivalist: When a ranger searches for food in the wild it takes them half time than others.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against poisons.




Ignore the Barbarian name- decided to call it Ravager

Ravagers are vicious combatants known for their ferocity and brute-force.  Where other Fighters may use finesse, the Ravager swings wildly and uses their devastating blows to punish and take down an enemy.


Juggernaut: When a Ravager is using a two-handed weapon they +2 to damage due to the ferocity of their attacks.


Endurance:  Ravagers can take a beating and keep going. The Hit Dice Point Pool for Ravagers is 2 points higher than other classes.  Normally a character’s maximum Hit Dice Point Pool is equal to their level.


Thick Skinned: A Ravager does not fear death or pain.  At 1st level they ignore 1 point of damage (even from magical sources).  At 5th level this is increased to 2 points of damage.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against fear.





Skalds are battle hardened fighters who tell stories of old about bravery, victory, and honor, inspiring their allies or terrifying their enemies while in battle.  A Skald can elevate a pauper to a prince, or bring a chief to his knees with but a few words.


Oration: A Skald can use any of these abilities up to 3 times per day.  If they have a bonus to their Charisma they may use it additional times per day equal to that bonus.


Inspire: The Skald bellows stories of their ancestors and past victories to inspire an ally within 60’, spurning them to greater heights.  This speech takes one round to accomplish.   At the end of the speech the ally gains Advantage on a roll of their choosing within the next 10 minutes.  A Skald can choose to instead bolster all allies within a 60’ radius, granting them +1 to attack, skill checks, or Saving Throws for the next 10 minutes.


Terrify: The skald speaks of ill-omens, bad-tidings, and of vengeance and horror, causing unsettling fear in their enemies through the power of their words.  All enemies within 60’ of a Skald must succeed a Saving Throw or suffer -2 to all attack rolls, skill checks, and Saving Throws.  If the target(s) critically fail on the ST, they suffer Disadvantage to attacks, skill checks and saving throws.  This effect lasts as long as the Skald keeps speaking (they still receive a movement action), and for 1 round after.  A target that successfully makes their Saving Throw cannot be affected by this for 24 hours.


Soothe: A Skald shouts a song of bravery and survival, allowing their allies within a 60’ radius to regain their senses; targets under the effect of mind-altering effects or spells are allowed a second roll to overcome the effect.  Targets that are not under a mind-altering effect or spell receive Advantage to resist any future effect.  This effect lasts as long as the Skald keeps speaking (they still receive a movement action), and for 1 round after.


Saving Throw Bonus: +2 to saves against mind-altering affects.




Vagabonds live on the fringes of society and have learned to fight to stay alive.  Vagabonds roam around and pick up many handy skills and are known for their uncanny luck and unscrupulous fighting tactics.


Versatile: At character creation a vagabond chooses two backgrounds instead of the normal one.


Dirty Fighting:  A vagabond has learned to fight dirty.  Whether it’s kicking mud in a target’s eyes, taunting them, spitting on their face, etc. the target must make ST or suffer Disadvantage for 1d3 rounds.  A Vagabond can do this once per combat.


Luck: Twice per session turn a failed roll into a success.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against poisons.




Warriors diligently train in their martial prowess and specialize in a single weapon that they bond with, wielding it more effectively and accurately, mowing through their enemies and leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.


Weapon Specialization: At first level a warrior chooses a weapon with which they excel.  When using this weapon, the warrior gains +1 to attack and +2 to damage.


Trained in the Saddle: A warrior as learned to fight (melee or ranged) from horseback and doesn’t suffer the normal -4 penalty.


Enhanced Cleave: When a warrior is fighting against foes with two hit dice (HD) or fewer, they are able to make one attack per level against them.


Saving Throw Bonus: + 2 to saves against fear.


Shielded Warrior


Shielded Warriors are masters of defense, using their trusty shield to deflect and absorb an enemy’s attack.  Shielded Warriors are able to stand as a wall against onslaught, survive a vicious attack, and still keep fighting.


Shield Bash: The Shielded Warrior is able to wield their shield as a weapon and make an attack with it in their off-hand as full round action (shield does class weapon damage).  A Shielded Warrior can forgo doing damage, instead stunning the target (large size or smaller) for 1 round.


Tower Shield: A shielded warrior knows how to use a tower shield effectively.  Normally a person can only wield a tower shield.  A knight can wield one and a 1 handed weapon effectively.  A Shielded Warrior cannot perform a shield bash while wielding a tower shield.


Shield Master: Once per combat the shielded warrior is able absorb damage from one physical attack (as reaction) with their shield (shield must be out).

Hubris Art- Wizard Corrupted by His Patron, The Spider Goddess- NSFW

So Jeremy Duncan killed it with another new piece for Hubris!

The picture shows what happens to a poor wizard who suffers patron taint from his dark mistress, the Spider Goddess.  More info on the Spider Goddess here.


Review: Gary VS the Monsters

Gary VS the Monsters


Disclaimer: Chuck and I are friends and I offered to do a review of his book (he gave me a copy of the beta awhile back as a gift).  He also promised me a OTPHJ if I gave him 5 stars.  

So What IS Gary VS the Monsters?

Here is the summary from Drivethru RPG

This ain’t about brooding vampires, misunderstood werewolves, or repentant demons.  This is about monsters that want to drink your blood, rip off your face, and eat your soul. The only thing that stands between the world and the Armies of Hell is you and your vast experience in the fast food industry. That plus a chainsaw, a shotgun, a six pack of brews, and some duct tape.

Includes four classes: The Survivor, The Normal, The Mystic, and the Psychic. Random Starting Equipment Tables.  Plus classic campy horror movie monsters and more.

Gary vs The Monsters is an old school campy cinematic horror RPG based around the White Box rules of that most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

Gary VS the Monsters was written by Chuck who has released several titles under his company, Magic Pig Media.  The introduction let’s you know right away what you’re in for; it is a game of shlocky horror using a hacked version of the awesome and rules-lite White Box rules .  Right away it makes me think (and want to run a game) of Evil Dead, Pumpkinhead, Hellraiser, and Shaun of the Dead.

The book has four classes.  Each has a few abilities to make them unique and fun and able to contribute to the party’s antics.

The four classes are: the Survivor, the Normal, the Mystic, and the Psychic.

This are all pretty self explanatory and fun.  My favorite it the Normal- totally like Shaun in Shaun of the Dead, or Xander in Buffy.

Here is my favorite ability for each class:

The Survivor:  Last Man Standing (pg 11): Survivors gain a cumulative +1 bonus To-Hit and damage for each player character killed (by monsters) during the current combat encounter up to a maximum of +4. These bonuses last only for the duration of the current combat.

The Normal: Weird Magnet (pg 12- and my favorite ability in the game): If there’s a cursed item to be found then you’re the one who finds it. Evil spell book sitting in the library? You’re the one who pulls it off the shelf. If the monster needs some special thing to complete its world-ending ritual then you’ve got it or are it. It’s not that the monsters want to kill you but you always seem to have what every one wants. You’re at the center of things gone weird. Lucky you.

The Mystic: No ability, but casts magic that fits the feel of the game.  Able to cast 5 spells only…  However I would have liked an minor illusion spell, also something like Pyrotechnics, and 1 small damage spell like Ray of Exhaustion or something that does 1d6-2 points of damage.  This is a minor thing and as a GM I can easily add it to the game.

The Psychic: Sixth Sense (pg 16):  Psychics can get “a bad feeling” about a person, place, thing or event with a successful Saving Throw.

Psychics are very simple and cool.  They have a few abilities that they can use X number of times per day.

Both the Mystic and Psychic are low magic, but totally feel the setting that Chuck is conveying.

I also like that there really isn’t armor, but instead that a character’s armor class increases slightly as they level up- showing that they become more skilled at fighting and evading shit.

After you create your character you roll on the Brush With the Supernatural chart- which is a quick and nifty table to jump start your character (and it provides a few bonuses) and how they got in this mess to begin with.

Chuck also provides a break down of how to earn XP and my favorite is gaining 50 XP for blurting out corny one-liners.  This reminds me of the fun “movie” posters in Left 4 Dead 1 and 2.

Left 4 Dead

Later Chuck talks about insanity from fighting horrors and things that go bump in the night.  Insanity is broken down into two categories: temporary and permanent.  By and large everything does temporary insanity.  To avoid it, you make a saving throw; if you fail roll on the chart.  If a creature has an ability that does permanent insanity and you fail your roll, that’s it- the character’s done.

Gary VS the Monsters has some cool tables to get your starting gear.  Roll three times for a few mundane items, roll twice on a chart for items that are slightly more useful (IE- a flashlight), and once on the weapon table.  Boom- then you’re done and ready to get killed by a horrible nasty creature.

Like so:


Weapons and are straight forward if you’re familiar with any version of D&D.  I like the reload mechanic; don’t track bullets, after each shot roll 1d6, if it’s a 1- reaload.

Death is also familiar fair- reduced to zero and  you’re dead.  I do like Gary’s HP regain mechanic- ” . If a character can take several hours to rest, relax, grab some beer and pizza, and shower off all the blood and gore then the character regains all of their HP. (pg 25)”

Later on Gary delves into magic ritual and several tables for generating cool rituals on the fly.  Gary also has a few pages of magic items that fit shlock horror perfectly.

The monsters in Gary VS the Monsters are fun and both familiar and new.  My favorite is the Evil Clown (IT and Killer Clowns From Outer Space) and the Demonic Car (Christine).

The last section is for the GM and has several tables and bits of advice on how to run a game.

Final Thoughts

Gary VS the Monsters clocks in at 57 pages and really does give you every thing you need to run a shlocky fun horror game.  It’s cheap and worth the entry fee to nab it.

The Launch of DIY RPG Productions and With it the Starrunner Kit for White Star and Other OSR Sci-fi Games


DIY RPG Productions Logo (would you expect anything else…?)

I am very happy to announce the start up of my own RPG publication Co. DIY RPG Productions, under which I will (hopefully) be releasing a plethora of RPG products, apparel, and possibly comics.

Hubris is nearing completion of layout and art, and will be up for sale to the general public mid-to-late April.

And High Noon is complete and waiting for art to be commissioned (after Hubris).

The launch title for DIY RPG Productions is The Starrunner Kit for White Star (by James Spahn) and other OSR space games!

What’s in the Starrunner Kit?

The Starrunner Kit- A Sci-fi Space Toolkit Cover
Seven new classes: Assassin, Bionic Soldier, Hover Bike Racer, Scoundrel, Scout, and Tech Specialist- and optional Psionic rules.

Four new races: Alien Psychic Weapon, Changeling, Plant-like Life Form, and new Robot Models

New weapons, advanced items, vehicles, and cyberware.

Mech rules (including Light, Medium, and Heavy Mechs).

And twenty two charts and tables to use generate planets, sectors of space, pirates and raiders, space stations, available cargo and pricing, NPCs, and more all on the fly!

This was fun to write!  Thanks to Reece Carter for helping to proof this bad boy and James Spahn for the encouragement!

There are pictures of sample pages at the bottom of this post.

Starrunner Kit is #3 hottest title on RPGnow and #18 on DrivethruRPG!

Jacob R has already given a review of Starrunner Kit:

Get this. Get it if you GM White Star, get it if you ref Traveller and get it if you GM Hulks and Horrors. Lots of player classes (I like the Changeling and the Alien Psychic Weapon, oh, and the Plant-Like Lifeform the best). A metric buttload of tables for time-pressed GMs rounds out the last half of this book in a very good way. Events, places and other setting dressing automate things for you.

Here’s to many more books in the near future!!