Monthly Archives: January 2017

Thoughts on Illithids for Dungeon Crawl Classics and Hubris


Cody Mazza asked if I would post a Discussion of the Day over on G+ about Mindflayers (he also did a blog post about them).  There are many good comments about how people handle them, but it got me thinking about what I would do if I inserted Illithids into my Hubris (or a Dungeon Crawl Classics) game.



I think of Illithids as beings from the native plane that worshiped Chaos (were they elves that fell too far down the well in their magical experimentation, were they humans that dabbled with powers no human should meddle with or are they a long-forgotten race now obliterated from history?).  In their pursuit and devotion of Chaos, they broke through the barrier and touched it.  These beings tapped into this unlimited power (perhaps even leaving the native plane for thousands of years) and harnessed it, learning dark and nefarious secrets of the cosmos.  This grand knowledge and power came with a terrible price, however.  By feasting on Chaos, their bodies were altered, becoming vile, twisted, and evil.

Thus the Illithid was born.

Illithids are Chaos junkies.  They feast on it.  Without it they are nothing, reduced to a weakened pathetic creature.  Going too long without feasting on Chaos will permanently reduce an Illithid into a Husk.

Through their exploration of Chaos, the Illithids touched the consciousness of the great Cthulhu and were cowed, becoming devoted servants of this great being.

Illithids feast on humanoid brains because they lack a sense of self.  They have hideous intelligence, but without the sense of self, they become apathetic and listless.  When an Illithid consumes the brains of a target, their personality reemerges and they become motivated and devious.  An Illithid also gains all knowledge and memories of their victim while full from their “feast”.  An Illithid usually consumes one humanoid brain every two weeks, but can go up to a month before they begin to succumb to the ravages of starvation.

Illithids are corruptors.  Everything they touch becomes slimy, covered in stringy bits of ectoplasm and sticky mucous.  Spend too long in the company of an Illithid and this corrupting influence will begin to manifest physically and mentally on an individual.  Slaves of Illithids often lose their minds within a few short weeks and eventually become loyal thralls to their masters.


An Illithis Slave: once a human, now a monster

They have no fashion, instead wearing cobbled together clothing they find in ancient armories or taken from their victims.  Somehow this cobbled together aesthetic gives the illusion of fashion to the Illithids eneimes.

Illithid’s are covetous and easily jealous of the belongings and achievements of others.  This is reflected in their society.  Illithids constantly scheme, backstab, and attempt to thwart one another in an attempt to gain power, notoriety, and knowledge.  There is only one way to climb the ladder in Illithid society: murder.

Illithids are cunning and rarely attack head on, instead using trickery, illusions, slaves, or beasts in their stead.  However, should an Illithid attack, they are not to be underestimated.  They are powerful spell casters and have the ability to blast a target with psychic energy, stunning and disorientating them.



Decide whether the Illithid is an Arcane or Divine caster.

Divine casters are worshippers of Cthulhu and use clerical spells and add a Cthulhu-style bend to them them.

Consider the rank you want for the Illithid and consult the tables below.

Illithid Statistics by Rank


HD AC Initiative Attack Modifier Action Die Fort Reflex Will Claws Damage Target DCs for Special Attacks
1 1-2 9-13 +1 +1 to +3 1d20 +1 +2 +4 1d3 8-12
2 3-5 10-14 +3 +3 to +6 1d20 +2 +4 +6 1d4 12-14
3 5-7 13-16 +5 +5 to +10 1d24 +4 +6 +9 1d6 14-18
4 7-10 15-20 +7 +8 to +15 2d20 +5 +7 +9 1d8 18-20
5 10-20 17-22 +10 +12 to +18 2d24 +7 +9 +13 2d6




Illithid Rank


1 Low-light vision 30’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+2 check)
2 Low-light vision 50’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+5 check)
3 Low-light vision 60’, darkvision 30’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+7 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 1 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 2-3 HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.  Targets of 4+ HD are immune to this effect.
4 Low-light vision 80’, darkvision 50’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+12 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 2 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 3-4 HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.  Targets of 5+ HD are immune to this effect.
5 Low-light vision 120’, darkvision 60’, Mindblast and spellcasting (+18 check), Unsettling Aura– Enemies with 4 HD or fewer flee (no save), enemies of 5+ HD must succeed a Will save or are rattled.  Make all attack rolls one step lower on the die ladder while in the presence of the Illithid.



Illithid Caster

Rank Arcane Spell Level Arcane Spells Known Cleric Spell Level Divine Spells Known
1 2 3 1 4
2 3 6 2 7
3 4 9 3 10
4 5 12 4 12
5 5 16 5 14



Illithid Rank Immunities
1 Half damage from non-magical weapons
2 Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 2 HD or less.
3 Immune to non-magical weapons or natural attacks from creatures of 3HD or less.
4 Immune to weapons of +2 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures 4 HD or less.
5 Immune to weapons of +3 enchantment or natural attacks from creatures 5 HD or less.



Illithid Mindblast
Check Result Effect
1 Mindblown.  Roll 1d8: Headache- 1-5) stunned for 1d5 rounds; 6) Hemorrhage- suffer 2d6 damage; 7) Migraine- fall unconscious for 1d8 hours; 8) Scanner- Brain explodes.  Killed instantly.
2-11 Mind-numb.  Can’t use ability again for 1 hour.
12-13 The Illithid blasts a target within 30’ with psychic energy for 3d6 damage.  Target can make a Will save for half damage.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 2d5 rounds.
14-15 The Illithid blasts a target within 60’ with psychic energy for 3d6 damage and stunned for 1d4 rounds.  Target can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 2d4 rounds.
16-17 The Illithid blasts a target within 90’ with psychic energy for 5d6 damage and stunned for 1d4 rounds.  Target can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d8 rounds.
18-19 The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 5d6 damage and stunned for 2d3 rounds or blast two targets within 5’ of one another for 3d6 damage and stunning them for 1d4 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d6 rounds.
20-21 The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 6d6 damage and stunned for 2d5 rounds or blast two targets within 10’ of one another for 4d6 damage and stunning them for 2d3 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d5 rounds.
22+ The Illithid blasts a target within 120’ with psychic energy for 7d6 damage and stunned for 3d3 rounds or blast three targets within 15’ of one another for 4d6 damage and stunning them for 2d3 rounds.  Target(s) can make a Will save for half damage and resist being stunned.  Can’t cast Mindblast again for 1d3 rounds.



Battling Beastmen and Arrival at Undra, the Great Spire- Hubris Season 2

This week my group and I continued our adventures in Hubris.


Angie- Human Thistle Druid- level 1.  Named Ageo.

Nate- Avarian Trickster- level 1.  Named Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch.

Tyler- Mutant (squishy, oddly-shaped body, flamingo legs, and ant colony in his veins that he can release once per day as an attack)- level 1.  Named “Ant” Squishy.

Kevin- Human Thief- level 1.  Named Herr Schmierkase (means cottage cheese in German)

Jamie- Human Cleric  (follower of Set)- level 1.  Named Spike.

Not Present This Session

Emma- Half Demon- level 1

Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1.  Named Willow

Aside: Art pictured is from the Hubris campaign setting unless indicated in the caption.


We began the session by recapping Herr Schmierkase‘s failed scouting attempt on a fort occupied by vicious beastmen, being discovered, and then the group running pell mell away (watch the video below), finally losing them, and hiding and making camp.


The session stared with the group continuing to make their way to Undra, when the sounds of combat greeted their ears.  The group decided to do some recon before charging into battle.

Ageo used her Animal Shape ability to transform into a hawk.  She rolled her manifestation and rolled a four.  Every time she uses this ability, roots shoot up from the ground burrow into her flesh, tearing it away.  Globs of clear liquid oozed from the wounds, as her skin fell away, falling loosely to the ground, revealing a hawk.

Ageo soared into the sky and saw twelve beastmen attacking a band of humans.  Bodies littered the ground, a cart was overturned, and only six men were left fighting. Ageo sped back to the ground, transformed back into her normal form, and relayed the information to the group.

The group got close to the battle and observed the humans being overwhelmed and slaughtered.  Five beastmen resembled anthropomorphic hyenas and one was human-shaped with the head of a fly and large wings on its back.  This one had a wicked-looking halberd and was sucking the brains of a man with its pseudotrachea.

Herr Schmierkase used his thiefy ability to sneak up on an unsuspecting beastman and fire a crossbow bolt through his head, blowing the creature’s brains out.

Spike, a worshiper of Set, attempted to sneak up on a beastman that was gnawing on a dead humans leg failed miserably and was attacked by the creature.  Jame was viciously stabbed by the creature and its comrade, dropping to zero HP before combat even really began.

With Spike getting the group discovered, battle ensued and was pretty brutal. Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch was attacked by the fly beastman, nearly gutting him with his halberd and put him at 1 HP remaining while Ageo and “Ant” Squishy were dropped below 3/4 of their HP.

The combination of attacks from the group and human NPCs eventually overwhelmed the beastmen and they were slaughtered.

A health potion was used on Spike to revive him as well as Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch and “Ant” Squishy.  After regaining his senses, Spike prayed to Set for the blessing of healing to restore Ageo to full health.

While the group caught a breath and the human survivors looked over their dead and righted their toppled cart, “Ant” Squishy set to looting the bodies.  A few pouches of gold, silver, and copper, some wicked-looking jagged short swords, the badass halberd, and a crumpled rolled up parchment were taken from the bodies.

The parchment was unrolled, revealing an elegantly written script that none of the group immediately recognized.  Atop the scroll was a strange image (see below). Crimshaw of the 7th Clutchlooked over the script and, while he was  unable to read it, he recognized the language.  It was an ancient language used by a cult, the Black Serpent.  He had heard the cult had been spreading throughout northern Hubris and was known for its reverence of snakes, but he heard rumors it got its start on the southern continent.


The Mark of the Four Gorgons- Not from Hubris

New Allies

Wandering up from the group of humans was a bald man with a braided beard and wearing a black leather skirt.  He introduced himself as Fabian, the leader of the band.  He thanked them for their help, for surely they would have been killed by the Beastmen.  The group accepted the thanks, and showed Fabian the scroll.

Fabian spit on the ground at the sight of the image atop the page.  “That is the symbol of the Four Gorgons of Desire!  They are hideous creatures that rule from Xynath, the Shattered Keep.  The keep used to be a monastery for the monks and priests of the God of the Terrible Whisper, but the Four Gorgons and their beastmen overran it, slaughtered everyone inside, and have used it as a stronghold ever since.  They lay siege to the human territories of Undra, slaughtering us wherever they find us.”


The Four Gorgons of Desire- art by David Lewis Johnson

The group agreed to travel with the remaining humans to Undra.  Fabian presented Ageo with a small sack as way of thanks for their help in saving their lives.  Within the sack was 50 gold, some torches, a smoke bomb, a glue flask, and a small metal ball, much like a cannon ball, and a metal crown (constructed of the same metal).

Fabian pointed at the metal objects, “We found the crown and ball on a skeleton in the Unsettled Expanse, near the Metallic Fortress of End Times.  Closest we ever got to that place.  We’re not sure what it does, or if it is even magical.  Figured you may have more luck with it.”

Ageo tried it on, forgetting that to wear anything metal is to cut herself off from nature.  She felt her powers leave her (heh… she’ll remember not to do that anymore- which got me no small amounts of dirty looks from my wife).

Undra, the Great Spire

The group could see the  massive 2,000′ high boulder even from a distance.  As they got closer, they were awed by this wonder.  Patios, bridges, ladders, windows, and outcroppings were all delved into the outside of the boulder.

The group funneled through a shanty town of settlers outside the spire.  Tents, rickety wooden structures, and hovels lined the road.  A large gate barred access to the recesses of Undra, several guards moved through the crowds, collecting taxes, inspecting goods, moving beggars along.  The guards were wearing leather skirts with golden leather breast plates, an emblem of a sun setting behind the canyons on it, and a helmet with a black crest on top.  They were armed with shields, short swords, and a short spear.


The Royal Guard of the Setting Sun.  Elite soldiers of Undra.  Picture not in Hubris


As the group made it to the gate, they were greeted by a Praetorian.  His armor was similar to the other guards, but his helmet was gold with a red crest.  After exchanging greetings and asking their business in the Great Spire, the group poked Fabian to explain what happened and how they all met.

The Praetorian was highly impressed that the group risked themselves for strangers.  He waived the 5g each entry fee to the spire and allowed them to pass. “Ant” Squishy asked where the group should go in this monstrous city.  “Take the lift up to the 249th floor of the spire.  That is the start of the Grand Bazaar.  You’ll find any supplies you need.  You’ll also be able to find someone to translate that scroll for you.  If you’re looking for work, head to the top level and visit the headquarters of my order, the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun.  We are always looking for brave souls willing to fight against the beastmen.

The group bid the Praetorian farewell and boarded the lift.  The smell of sweat, refuse, and sounds of daily toil were found on the first levels.  Insufficient lighting made it impossible to see very far.  As the group rose higher, the smell of garbage still hung in the air, but torches and lanterns could be seen delved into the lift’s walls, and outside on the inhabited area.  Fabian pointed at an area, “that’s Junk Town.  Shady lot lives there.  Won’t find anything good with those rabble.  Elevator doesn’t even stop on these floors.  You have to crawl down from the higher floors.”

The lift slowly continues to go up and torches and lanterns become more prevalent.  Eventually the group starts seeing glowing orbs on the wall, like little bits of sun.  The group begins seeing large delved structures and houses.  It is clear that these are the residences of nobles and the wealthy.  After a long ride up, the sounds of garbled noise of thousands of voices echoes through the elevator shaft.  The lift stops and the group sees a huge reflective pool in front of them, the ceiling magically enchanted look as if it were the sky (a gorgeous blue) with the sun high above.  People are swimming.  Tents and structures of every kind, some dilapidated and poor, others extravagant with bright vibrant canvas, or delved into the walls.  Other vendors built atop of one another.  The group starred at this huge market. Fabian chuckled, “Welcome first timers, to the Grand Bazaar.

We ended here and gave out experience.  The group (most of them) are just under halfway to level 2 (and they are chomping at the bit for that).

It was a fun session, albeit short (only two hours).

Before we parted I asked the group what they wanted to do next session.  Here was the vote:

  • Explore the Bazaar.
  • Investigating Four Gorgons of Desire and get scroll translated.
  • Resupply.
  • Gain info on Unsettled Expanse and see if its somewhere worth going.
  • Root around Junk Town.  See if there is some fun (and profit) to be had there.

Info on Undra (from Hubris, pg 84)

The metropolis of Undra has been a work in progress for millennia, with artisans constantly delving out and shaping the monstrous 2,000’ high boulder in which the city was created. Most citizens of Undra do not know the history of when their great city was founded, nor do any of those who live throughout Hubris. That information is carefully guarded in the secret Halls of the Imprisoned Queen, which lies in the depths of the earth, below the very foundries and base of the city.

The warm weather of Undra is more hospitable and welcoming than the other areas of Hubris, allowing people to wear light flowing robes or togas, rather than bulky clothing for warmth.

The Grand Bazaar makes up roughly one quarter of Undra, almost reaching the top echelon of the spire. The bazaar sells almost anything one can imagine from around the world, and some things, merchants have even claimed, from worlds beyond.

The top level of Undra is home to the nobles, the Offices of the High Merchant who oversees the Grand Bazaar, the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun, and the Palace of the Searing Sun, where Queen Valandria rules her court. The people of Undra consider her a goddess of the sun as she is always first and last to be touched by its warmth on Hubris.

The poor live on the lower levels, mostly in Junk Town. These vagrants, lowlifes, and ne’er-do-wells sell illegal and discarded objects that they find in the refuse heaps that gather in their areas.

Undra has been at war with the Four Gorgons and their beastmen armies for 5 years.


This is not in Hubris.  I found this piece when I first started the concept phase/flushing out Hubris and it really inspired me to create a massive city.  Undra was the result. 

Star Wars- Black Hack’d: Adventures in the Phynol System- Session Two- Enter the Free Roamers, Part II

After more than a months since the last time we played, my players and I were finally able to get together to continue our adventures in our Star Wars game using the Black Hack rules.  Aside: For the classes I used a mix of ones from my Black Hack: Cyber-Hacked and I converted classes from my Starrunner Kit as well.

Part I here.

The Players

John- Rodian Assassin 

Liam- Twi’lek Bionic Soldier

Gene- Human Scoundrel

Nate- Human Tech Specialist

Omar- Bothan Mercenary

Not Present

Fletch Mon Calamari Scout

Nalgraph Processing Station


The crew of the Eye of the Storm arrived on the small and dilapidated space station after a six hour journey through the Phynol Sector. The station hallways were full of clutter, junk, and the smell of grease and sweat permeates the air.

Not desiring to linger much, the group made their way to The Cantina to obtain the recording.  The bar was a little rustbucket hole-in-the-wall with uncomfortable hard metal seats and tables, mismatched bar stools, and a bar made of fiberplast, corrugated metal, and pallet wood.  Ten humans, an aqualish, a devorian, and an ithorian were in the place,  all look worse for wear.  Most of the customers are blue collar spacers who risk their lives daily collecting the gases from the nebula or maintenance crews who service the station.

The group approached the bar, taking in the gruff-looking human with his cybernetic left eye and a nasty scar from cheek to forehead.


Zin, the bartender contact

John walked up to the bar and ordered an Overdone Squid.  After the code was given, Zin punched in a code on the bartop and opened a hidden compartment, which was completely empty.  Zin let out a curse in Huttese and pulled out his communicator, “Rags!  Come in Rags!  You little Space Vermin, I know you took my stuff from the safe!  It’s not for you!  Come in!”

A young voice came over the com, “Forget it Zin!  I’m tired of being your flunky on this dead end space station!  I’m outta here!  I can get a fair price for this piece!”  A loud hiss, a squeal, and a noise of pain issues over the comm.  “I’m- uhh- already gone!  Don’t try to find me!”  The comm goes dead.


Rags, the little space vermin

Zin gritted his teeth and wiped his brow, “That idiot!  He must have a buy lined up.  Listen, it’s gonna be bad news for all involved if those plans fall into anyone else’s hands than my buyer’s.  Judging by the noises we heard, he’s down in the processing core.  His communicator is station issue, so that’s its range!  You gotta get down there and get those plans before he sells them”  Here’s the elevator key that will get you down to the processing core.  You’ll recognize Rags by his stupid green bandanna he wears!  It was his mothers and he’s worn it since she died.”

The group took the lift down to the processing core and walked out in to the humid environment.  Huge machines lined both sides of the grated walkway, whirring and humming and occasionally releasing a huge blast of steam.

The group made their way down the walkway, single file, carefully checking out the alcoves in between machines to make sure they were clear of anyone.  Eventually they can hear voices.  There is a gravely voice and a scared young voice.

The group moved up closer and could see the back of the youth, Rags.  He was facing a ragged-looking man with grey hair and a handlebar mustache.  Rags was protesting, “This isn’t the price that was promised!  I was offered more than this!”  The man with the mustache replied in a gravely voice, “it’s better than a blaster to the face, but take your pick, kid.”

The group started quietly attempting to hatch a plan.  However, before the group could launch into action the sound of a blaster discharge and a squeal filled their ears.  The group stared at one another surprised (actually all the player’s faces were surprised when I announced that Rags had been shot, was quite entertaining).  The group turned around to see Rags face down on the ground, “Captain Mustache” standing over him, rifling through the youth’s pockets, “Oh well.  It’s easier this way, kid.”

“Captain Mustache” looked up and saw Omar.  He let out a cry of surprise and pointed his blaster at his new opponent.

Aside: While the group was deciding how to handle the situation with Rags and “Captain Mustache”, I decided to time it and add a fuse to the situation.  I gave Rags’ life a d6 Usage Die (Usage Die rules are in Black Hack).  Every 30 seconds, I would roll the die.  At 30 seconds, I rolled the d6 and got a 2, thus Rags time was running out and the d6 now became a d4.  At 1 minute, I rolled the d4 and got a 1… bye bye Rags.

The fight took a while due to Disadvantage rolls for fighting single file and attempting to get around the big machinery.  There were two other thugs hiding in the shadows.  One was dropped by John, and Gene dropped “Captain Mustache”.  The third thug then surrendered quickly.

The group debated what to do with their hostage, but ultimately let him live after he offered to go on a run as a hired gun for them in the future, free of charge.

John took the record stick off “Captain Mustache” and then took the ragged bandanna and found a picture of a young boy and an attractive woman from his pocket.

The group made their way back to The Cantina and broke the news to Zin with John handing him the youth’s bandanna and picture. Zin sighed, “stupid boy…” Zin thumbed open his hidden compartment and place the items within. “Never had an ounce of sense.  These belong in here now.”  He collected himself, “that not important at the moment.  Did you get the record stick.”  Once that was confirmed by the group, he thanked them for their troubles and waved them away.


The group made their way back to the Eye while Ty’ven radioed his contact for the designated drop location.  Once back on board the group were told they were to meet a light transport ship, called “The Spacer”, in orbit around Phynol Prime.

After another six hour flight, the crew found themselves standing in a space tube latched together between the two ships.  Facing them was a humanoid in a set of heavy armor and a combat helmet with a blast shield.  When the individual spoke, his voice was disguised by a modulator.  “Thanks for retrieving this.  Hopefully there is something interesting on it.”  He then handed a credstick over to Ty’ven as payment.

The group asked him a few more questions, but he didn’t really answer, instead he handed Liam a small storage tube, “We may have need of skills like yours.  We’ll be in touch.”  Without another word, the humanoid turned and walked back into “The Spacer.”

The group filed back onto the Eye and headed to the bridge.  Once on the bridge Elliana (human pilot and daughter of Ty’ven) was reading her data panel.  “Dad… I’m reading a report of a large temporal disturbance off our starboard side.”  A few seconds later a Star Destroyer dropped out of hyperspace.


The Star Destroyer “Ravager” appears in the Phynol Sector

The massive starship filled their few screen.  The crew stared sadly at this behemoth with the realization that the first true strong presence of the Empire had just arrived.

Liam looked down at the small storage tube in his hands and opened it, finding a tightly rolled piece of paper inside.  Pulling it out, he unrolled it and peered at the imprinted picture.



This was a great session and really helped to solidify the groups sense of the Phynol Sector.  We are excited to continue playing and I’m looking forward to seeing their next decisions.

At the end of the session I asked them what type of mission they’d like to do next time: transport, smuggling, bounty hunting, or treasure hunting.  After a vote, the group decided on some bounty hunting.

I used one of my charts and tables to create four possible targets (see below) for the group to chase after.  I’m waiting to hear back from everyone on which they’ll start chasing.  I decided to make it fun, and did a little layout to make it look like an actual communication from Ty’ven rather than just an email from me.




Star Wars- Black Hack’d: Adventures in the Phynol System- Session Two- Enter the Free Roamers, Part I

After more than a months since the last time we played, my players and I were finally able to get together to continue our adventures in our Star Wars game using the Black Hack rules.  Aside: For the classes I used a mix of ones from my Black Hack: Cyber-Hacked and I converted classes from my Starrunner Kit as well.

The Players

John- Rodian Assassin 

Liam- Twi’lek Bionic Soldier

Gene- Human Scoundrel

Nate- Human Tech Specialist

Omar- Bothan Mercenary

Not Present

Fletch Mon Calamari Scout

A Little Down Time

We kicked off the session with the group getting a little R&R in their favorite watering hole, the Fried Mon Cal, which lies in Undertown and getting their share of the bounty job they completed last session.

Omar and Liam decided to stay at the bar with their captain, Ty’ven (human), and their Fencer and owner of the Fried Mon Cal, Gr’ack Vin (Mon Calamari) while John, Gene, and Nate went to explore a little of Undertown.  John took a beating last session, so he needed some new Medstims.

Undertown is in a near constant state of twilight, built in the ancient ruins of the capital city of Phynol Prime, Phynol.  During the day, sunlight only comes in through gas vents, sewage grates, and areas where the duracrete ceiling has been damage to allow more light to pour in.

The capital city was constructed around the capital spire in a circular pattern.  Much of the under area is occupied by rubble, ruins, machinery and public works systems, and, of course, Undertown.


Farpoint Station from ST:TNG was the inspiration for Phynol Prime



The group walked across the way to Dotty’s Healing and found Dotty and “Doc” hanging out in the front area, taking inventory of a newly acquired shipment of goods and medicines.  After some quick banter, John obtained 1 medstim at discount (and promising he would help Dotty with a favor in the future).  As they were leaving, “Doc” turned to John, “John- do not die.  It is not a desirable condition for humanoids.”

John: Ummm.  Yeah- thanks “Doc”.


The group made it to the bazaar in Undertown and took in the sights and smells when a scream rang out nearby.  A man staggered out from between two kiosks, a vibroblade in his stomach, and fell face down into the dirt, dead.

The group took a quick scan of the area, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.  Nate patted down the man, found an ident card for a “Beeboo Morganson” of Courscant, a credstick with 40 credits, and an encoded message stick.  Nate and Gene deliberated what to do with the body while John took another look around the area.  Peering from where the man came, John saw a young woman clutching ripped clothing hiding in the darkness of an alley.  When she noticed John watching her, she turned and fled deeper into the twilight.  John let her go.  Eventually Undertown inhabitants got tired of the group milling around the body and made their way over and began taking anything left of value from the body.

The groups communicators went off.  Answering they heard Ty’ven’s voice, “I just got a message from my contact.  We have a job.  Get your asses back to the Fried Mon Cal.”

With nothing left to do, the group headed back.

A Mysterious Message


Here is the Phynol Sector space map I created

When everyone was back at the Fried Mon Cal, Ty’ven explained just he received a hail from an old contact on Hyssia.  “My contact just told me that a ship was lost in the nebula while farming the gasses.  Got in too far and took heavy damage from those damned lightning storms.  Apparently, they radioed something right before their ship was destroyed, something of interest.  Their signal didn’t go too far, only to the Nalgraph Processing Station near the nebula, and not many people know about it.  My contact has offered us a bit of money (and he’s calling in a favor I owe him) to retrieve the communication from the station.  Our point of contact there is the bartender of the cleverly named drinking hole, ‘The Cantina’, by the name of Zin.  We are to an Overdone Squid, so we’ll know its us and give us the recording.   After that, I’ll radio my contact and we’ll get delivery coordinates.  Simple snatch and deliver.”

Nate: I’m totally all about this!  This is one of those missions that NOTHING will go wrong!  Let’s do it!

The group started discussing plans and deciding if they needed any supplies before heading to the spaceport.  As the group are talking, the bartender Gr’ack Vin, who was mindlessly watching the holovid, points at the screen, “guys… Look.”  He unmutes the holovid, and the sound of a female voice is heard.

Playing on the screen was the wreckage of an AT-ST on its side, laying on a single story metallic building.  Smoke issuing from the head and one of its legs blown off.  “This just in.  Terrorist attacks against the Imperial Garrison.  Explosions detonated on an Imperial All Terrain Scout Transport.  The vehicle was badly damage and landed atop the Imperial Garrison.  Both pilots were killed and several Imperial officers inside the garrison were injured.  These vehicles are used in defense against enemies of the Empire and to protect its citizens.  Again- a terrorist attack against the Empire—“

The group all looked at another, processing the news of actions against the Empire, when a commotion erupted outside.  The group rushed out of the Fried Mon Cal and saw several hover droids carrying small rectangular containers whizzing high high overhead.  The containers burst open and leaflets flutter to the ground.  The leaflet shows a burnt and dinged up Storm Trooper helmet.  The words, “Roam Free” written in red spray paint.


Hubris POD Update and Some New Reviews!

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The Evil Klind of Hubris!  Art by Jeremy Duncan

THE POD, THE WHOLE POD, AND NOTHING BUT THE.. awww- you get the point.

I wanted to keep people up-to-date on the Hubris POD.  It’s a harrowing tale filled with paper, ink, art, and words.  Oh and waiting- did I mention the waiting?!

Awhile back I requested a copy of the softcovers of Hubris through Drivethru.  The turnaround time through that organization is not the best when waiting for the product (roughly 2-4 weeks).  I got a copy of both covers and was elated!  However, imagine my disappointment when I opened up the book and saw how the art turned out.  I won’t go into details, but needless-to-say, I wasn’t thrilled.

Alex and I put our heads together and tried to figure out if it was a mistake on our end or theirs.  In the end, it seems the rate that PPI/DPI used at One Book Shelf doesn’t handle the gradient (and grey scale) of Hubris art well.

Soooooo…  I started a Lulu account, went through all the steps, and received my proof of the book.  I’m MUCH happier with the quality of the book, the service, and the packaging and turn around time of Lulu in matters of POD.

I need to mess with the colorization of the back cover, format the Limited Edition softcover, and both versions for hardcover for Lulu (their specs are different than OBS) and request proofs of all three.

I’m hoping to get these covers done this weekend/early next week and then request proofs.  My goal is to have the POD version of Hubris available to the general public early February!



Which path does the party travel…?  Art by David Lewis Johnson

Recently Derek Pennycuff did a review of Hubris on Drivethru RPG

I’m not really an OSR gamer. I’m barely familiar with the Dungeon Crawl Classics system, and honestly I’m turned off by any system that I can’t play using my already extensive dice collection. I find FATE unappealing for the same reason. But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about Hubris. I just open with that to point out I’m ill-suited to pass judgement on any of the mechanical stuff. And I won’t even attempt to do so.

Let me tell you what Hubris does right.

There’s a god named The Stillborn Unwanted Child. There’s a territory called The Great Plains of Unbidden Sorrow. There’s a disease called The Retching Laughter. This is like if Rob Zombie directed a reboot of The Beastmaster. Maybe that\’s appealing to you. Or maybe it’s not. But it should be pretty easy to sort out which is which. Hubris is anything but bland.

This isn’t the world building of a frustrated novelist. The whole book is set up to serve the GM in putting together an interesting story at the table. For example, chapter 3 is nearly 100 pages long, but packs info on 10 different territories into that space. Each one gets a brief write up, an counter table, a geographic features table, and a handful of interesting locations get their own mini write ups with a couple plot hooks/rumors.

Getting Out of My Way
Once the creative juices are flowing there’s very little canon details, canned world threatening miscreant, or overarching metaplot to stumble over. Plenty of settings pay lip service to the idea of the GM having free reign to remix and homebrew. But rarely do I see a book whose content embraces that fundamental tenant of our odd little hobby like Hubris does.


Today Brie Sheldon released part 1 of her review on Hubris right here!

Some highlights:

The Mutant powers are so disgusting I am still just kind of grossed out but they’re so inventive and brilliant I’m amazed. I laughed and gagged. Amazing. (Stomach maggots. Worm infested skin. Plague skin. Acidic belch. Ooze-like body. Ant colony. Boneless.)

“A blood witch can play a dangerous game and jump through a living creature that is the same size or larger than herself, traveling through their blood and can emerge from another living creature on the same plane of existence.”

Like. Fuck. Yes. This is totally my kind of ability, and it’s so gross. To be honest, I said to John (husband) that it is one of the coolest abilities I’ve ever seen. A+. (Oh, and the Familiar ability is really cool and gross, too. You’ll have to see the book to find out why!)


The Diplomat and Pilot- Sci-Fi (or Star Wars) Classes for Black Hack

I’m continuing to post the classes I’m using for my Star Wars game that uses the Black Hack rules.  The classes I’m using are taken from my The Black Hack: Cyber-hacked! and my OSR/White Star Sci-Fi Toolkit, The Starrunner Kit.  Thus far, I’ve posted the Bionic Soldier, Mercenary, and Scoundrel, Assassin and Scout classes, and the Tech Specialist.

Today I’m putting up the Diplomat and Pilot classes.



While Guns-for-Hire use blaster rifles and explosives to argue their point, it is with quick wit and a sharp tongue that a Diplomat uses to beat his foe into submission.  Diplomats come from different walks of life, but all have answered the call of politics.  While some Diplomats enter the political theater to amass power and prestige, others believe that what they do helps the peoples of the galaxy.  Regardless of the motivation, a Diplomat is keenly aware their words (and their vote) can help a world’s economy to soar, or it can help topple it, bringing the world to ruin.

Starting HP: 1d6 + 4HP

Per Level/Resting: 1d6

Weapons & Armor: Light armor, knives, blade, electro-knives, electro-blades, blaster, pistol, and carbine.

Attack Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvising


CHARISMATIC: Diplomats know how to use their words to influence conversations.  A Diplomat makes all CHR tests to influence, charm, schmooze people, or for deception with disguises with Advantage

IRON WILL:  Survival in the political theater takes a keen and cool mind.  Diplomats are not ones to falter under pressures.  Diplomats make all tests against effects to influence them or cloud their minds with Advantage.

RALLY: The Diplomat uses their natural leadership and charisma to bolster their allies (and troops).  Once per hour a Diplomat can deliver an impassioned speech, give a good slap across the face of a target, etc.  All allies in a 15’ radius that are under a mind-altering effect such as fear, being charmed, etc. can make a second test.  Likewise, all hirelings that have failed their morale test are able to make a second roll.

CONNECTED: Diplomats build a large web of contacts and connections that they use to obtain secrets, goods, and collect of favors.  A Diplomat start with an additional level 2 contact in addition to normal rules.


Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for INT and CHR.


WEAPONS: Blaster pistol and vibro-knife

ARMOR: Light armor- 2 AP (1 AP/d4 Usage Die)

ADDITIONAL: Ammo for blaster pistol, communicator, official government documents, and Medstim (1 Hit Dice of HP restored).




Nearly anyone can fly a starship and point it in the right direction, but its pilots who make it seem like second nature.  These hotshot flying aces are able to maneuvers their ships through some of the most dangerous situations and pull off evasive maneuvers so quickly it defies explanation.  A Pilot’s quick thinking and quick hands keep them out an enemy’s crosshairs and from getting spaced.

Starting HP: 1d6+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d6 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: Light armor and their weapons are limited to clubs, knives, electro-knives, blaster pistols, and carbines.

Weapon Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvised


SPACE ACE: While others may be able to fly a starship, it is second nature to a pilot.  All tests for performing tricky maneuvers in a starship (in or out of combat) are made with Advantage.  Aside: More on this later.

QUICK PLOTTING: A pilot is well versed in star charts, and the dangers throughout the galaxy.  When plotting a course to their destination, a Pilot reduces the time it takes to by half.

FINAGLE: A Pilot knows how to get more juice out of a starship. Once per combat (or situation) they can get more power out of a ship’s system. A Pilot chooses which of the following they are going to enhance: 1) Targeting; 2) Shields; 3) Movement; 4) Armor; 5) Weapon Damage; 6) Life Support.  When the decision is made the Pilot rolls 1d6, this is how much the system is increased for. This effect lasts for 2d3 rounds before returning to normal.  More on Starships on page XX.

Leveling Up:

Roll all Attributes to see if they increase, roll twice for DEX or INT


WEAPONS: Blaster pistol and vibro-knife

ARMOR: Light armor- 2 AP (1 AP/d4 Usage Die)

ADDITIONAL: Ammo for blaster pistol, communicator, smokebomb (usage die d4), breath mask, oxygen tank (1d6 Usage Die) and Medstim (1 Hit Dice of HP restored).



The Peppermint Knight- Adventure Time Class/Race DCCified

Awhile back I created The Dog class for Adventure time using DCC rules.  I wanted to do another one, so here it is:


The Peppermint Knight


Peppermint Knights are the stalwart defenders of the Candy Kingdom!  Raised from birth, knowing their destiny and their duty, these talented fighters bravely face their foes, never shirking from their duty.

While most Peppermint Knights never leave the walls of the Candy Kingdom, save to escort Princess Bubblegum to a royal meeting, there are those who answer the call of ADVENTURE and travel the lands, taking the fight to evil’s doorstep rather than waiting for it to arrive in the kingdom.

Hit Points: Peppermint Knights are the defenders of the land.  They are stout warriors and gain 1d8 HP per level.

Weapon Training: Peppermint Knights are trained to use a wide array of weapons at birth.  They can use the following weapons: battleaxe, club, crossbow, dagger, dart, handaxe, javelin, longbow, longsword, mace, polearm, shortbow, short sword, sling, spear, staff, two-handed sword, and warhammer. Peppermint Knights wear whatever armor they can afford

Alignment: Peppermint Knights are loyal to the Candy Kingdom and to Princess Bubblegum.  They are Lawful in alignment.

Eat Me: Peppermint Knights are delicious and nutritious.  Many hideous creatures capture these brave warriors simply to devour them!  Once per day a Peppermint Knight can break off a 1d3 junks of their round body (don’t worry they grow back instantly).  These junks can be eaten by the Peppermint Knight or others.  Aside from curing bad breath, roll 1d10 to see what effect also happens: 1) heals target for 2d4 HP; 2) allows target to see in the dark for 1d3 hours; 3) gives that target +2 to Will saves against mind-altering effects; 4) hardens the targets flesh for 1 hour, giving them a damage reduction of 1; 5) makes the target’s breath super cool and minty- they can make a breath attack for 1d6 cold damage to a target.  Once used the effect is gone; 6) makes target’s breath minty fresh and they gain major self-confidence.  Receive +2 to Charisma rolls for 1d3 hours; 7) it’s like having a warm cup of peppermint tea.  You only need to sleep for 4 hours to become fully rested; 8) turns the consumers flesh pink; 9) turns the consumer’s flesh blue; 10) the consumer’s body becomes cold to the touch.  The target ignores 2 points of fire damage for 1d3 hours.

Regenerate: A Peppermint Knight’s body heals from damage very quickly.  Each night while actively adventuring, a Peppermint Knight regains 1d4 HP.  While receiving bed rest they regain 2d3 HP.

Unexpected Foe: Most creatures do not believe Peppermint Knights are a true danger, and that is to their detriment.  Peppermint Knights start with a higher base attack bonus than usual, because they are feisty buggers!  The critical threat range for a Peppermint Knight is 19-20 starting at 1st level.  This increases to 18-20 at 5th level and finally reaches 17-20 at 9th level.


Compassionate: A Peppermint Knight is not one for worldly items and wealth.  They may not own more than they can carry.  A Peppermint Knight also gives their money to those in need freely, but that doesn’t mean they will give all their wealth and not be able to find for themselves.


Peppermint Knight Advancement Table
Level Attack Threat Range Action Die Ref Fort Will
1 +2 19-20 1d20 +1 +1 +0
2 +3 19-20 1d20 +1 +1 +0
3 +3 19-20 1d20 +1 +2 +1
4 +4 19-20 1d20 +2 +2 +1
5 +5 18-20 1d20+1d14 +2 +3 +1
6 +6 18-20 1d20+1d16 +2 +4 +2
7 +7 18-20 1d20+1d20 +3 +4 +2
8 +8 18-20 1d20+1d20 +3 +5 +2
9 +9 17-20 1d20+1d20 +3 +5 +3
10 +10 17-20 1d20+1d20+1d14 +4 +6 +3