Monthly Archives: October 2017

Barrowmaze Season 6- A Druid Joins the Party- and Then Dies. Oh and Treasure!

My online group got together for the first time in nearly two months (damn the busy schedule!) and got to play some more in our Barrowmaze campaign.

The Party

  • John- Half-demon Paladin (follower of Sylvanus)- level 2
  • Liam- Half-orc Cleric/Ranger (follower of Sylvanus)- level 1
  • Gene- Dwarf Warrior- level 2
  • Fletch- Gnome Druid- level 1

Not Present

  • Omar- Human Paladin (follower of Sylvanus)
  • Chad- Halfling Thief- level 2
  • Nate- Human Warlock- level 1

We started with the group deciding whether to carouse or not.  Liam and Gene decided not to, but Fletch was all for it.  He ended up getting a work of art tattoo on his back.

Aside: I was super excited to have the group carouse, as it would let me get to use my new Carousing in Barrowmaze stuff!  Alas, only Fletch choose to…  Oh well- another time!

Liam got some new chainmail as his armor was destroyed last session and then the group decided to explore the Barrowmounds again.

Barrowmounds Map Online

This is a map I’m making on Hexographer.  Red icons are explored or at least ventured into.  Black are ones that have been spotted, but not traveled to.

Barrowmound 1 

barrow mound photo

Mound sealed. Group came across grave robbers (10 of them).  Gene attempted to sneak up on them, failed, and was discovered.  He smoothed things over and leave.  Met up with Fletch and Liam.  They decided to watch these grave robbers open the mound, get eaten by whatever was inside, and then attack.  Five grave robbers entered the mound and then screaming was heard, “oh god!  They are killing us!”  One human ran out of the mound and a ghoul leapt out, smashing the fool’s face into the mud and drowning them.  The five remaining grave robbers fled.  The group rolled really well and killed two ghouls before they even got to act.  Decided to go inside.  A child ghoul dropped down from the ceiling and petrified Fletch (in boar form).  Gene critically failed the attack roll and stabbed the petrified Fletch, killing him.

  • Found gold and Assassin’s Dagger- small hole in handle to load vials in so no risk of accidentally poisoning self. Liquid travels down rivets in blade and is released when a target is stabbed.

Barrowmound 2

Mound sealed. Broke through with sledgehammers, did not attract trouble.  Broke in and found a sarcophagus.  Opened it and was attacked by a zombie.  Gene decapitated the fool and then they stole the ring on its finger and some pouches of gold.  Fletch’s new character (a survivor of the grave robbers killed in Mound 1) set the corpse and sarcophagus on fire.

Barrowmound 4

Mound sealed. Broke through with sledgehammers.  They did attract trouble (five corpses of the grave robbers from Mound 1).  Inside was a large sealed stone sarcophagus.  Group went to work busting it up with sledgehammers.  Set upon by 5 zombies.  Fletch and Gene got chomped on a few times before killing everything.  Found a wooden sarcophagus inside the stone one.  Picture of beautiful woman on the wood.   Burned everything.

  • Treasure found- four expensive bottles of perfume.

Barrowmound 7

Mound sealed by beautiful brass doors covered in filigree pattern. Liam and John noticed that a skull symbol (they recognized it as the symbol of Negral, God of Death) manifested itself in the center of the doors (no one else could see them).  Liam convinced Gene to touch what he couldn’t see (sounds like a bad sex joke).  Gene touched it and the skull became visible to all.  The filigree pattern wilted away to reveal small pentagrams.

Aside: At this point Gene and Fletch had to leave.  John, Liam, and I decided to play a little more.

Barrowmound 15

Mound sealed. Broke through with sledgehammers, did not attract trouble.  Large open barrow.  Doors to west and east are contained by rusty portcullises.  Found a secret door to the north.  Found a valuable urn (poisoned trapped- John succeeded save and didn’t die) and a locked chest with treasure!  Looked at two passageways and saw they were half or fully submerged with water.  Liam said, “I have a problem with water and bloated bodies.  Let’s leave.

  • Treasure found- Gauntlets of Dexterity (Liam took).

Barrowmound 14

Ebony wood double doors with intricately carved door handles resembling writhing worms. Group didn’t like this.  Ventured inside.  Found two pools of brackish water.  Discovered fading and damaged frescos on the walls of people bathing in two pools.  John said, “fuck that!”.  Went to doors at north, west, and east.  All locked.  Marked it as a place of interest to return.

This was a good stopping point.  The group went back to town.  They got experience and healed up.  John gained level 3.

The Graveyard


Liam- Elf Wizard (1st level)

Stan Human Torch Boy (Hireling)

Jamie- Halfling Paladin (1st level)

Nate- Human Warlock (1st level)

Chad- Halfling Thief (2nd level)

Samuel DaMule, Torch Boy (Hireling)

Kevin- Human Thief (2nd level)

Fletch- Gnome Druid (1st level)

Barrowmaze Season 5- Muck, Blood, Angela Lansbury Tattoo, and… Hey- No One Died This Time!

My Rochester delved once again into Barrowmaze!

Note: I am using my homebrew rules for The Black Hack to run this.  For more information, click here.


  • Emma- Elf Ranger
  • DJ- Dwarf Fighter
  • Tyler- Halfling Thief
  • Angie- Dwarf Druid
  • Nate- Half Demon Warlock
  • Sammi- Half-elf Wizard
  • Kevin- Human Thief

Couldn’t Make It

  • Jamie- Elf Cleric (Deity is Silvanus, the Green Man)
  • Katie- Half-elf Warrior

The group started about by carousing.  My next group (playing on Sunday) will get to use my carousing table made specifically for my Barrowmaze groups!  I’m pretty jazzed to give that a go.

A few peeps annoyed the local constable, but avoided serious trouble.  Sammi had a grand time.  Angie one big money at the Gambling Hall.  Tyler made an ass out of himself, but didn’t attract too much attention.  DJ got a tattoo of Angela Lansbury on his ass.  She has dicks for eyebrows.


The group woke up the next morning and decided they were too poor to hire out any help or buy any health potions or ANYTHING…

The group decided to shake things up this time and explore the Barrowmounds.



  • Black obelisk of crumbling stone. Glowing runes etched on sides.  Carved skull with candles in eye sockets.  The obelisk is recognized as honoring Nergal.  Kevin (half-orc paladin of St. Ygg) decides it’d be a good idea to blow out candles.  Fails Luck roll.  An angry voice bellows through area, “You dare defile this holy land!”  A Corpse Coffer appears.  Sami successfully casts sleep on it and the party runs.

Barrowmound 18

  • Group finds remnants of dead toads (from battle in online group). Mound previously plundered.  Knee deep fetid water.  Discover a large fist-sized ruby under the water (this was missed by online group).

Barrowmound 21

  • Group punches through wall and finds two stone slabs with the skeletal remains of a human on each, a decaying shall resting atop the bodies. The stone slabs each housed a secret compartment.  Skeletons animated and were immediately slain before they could act.  Treasure found: gold (Nate the half demon warlock stole it while no one was looking), an unidentified dagger, and two unidentified scrolls.

Barrowmound 20

  • Group finds mound already plundered. Explores inside and finds a stairwell leading down into the Barrowmaze.  Group decides to head down and explore the new area of the maze.

The Maze

Room 50

  • Group goes down stairs and finds large centipedes crawling on wall. Emma kills one with an arrow and Sami again successfully casts sleep, putting them all down.

Room 56

  • Encounter a ghoul on ceiling while walking to this room. It is killed quickly thanks to high initiative rolls.  Find graffiti in room, “They are coming.”  Angie casts “Alarm” on a mouse and sends it into room 57.


Room 57

  • Room is empty save for a few dead bodies of animalistic-looking humans (mongrelmen).  Group finds a little bit of gold on the bodies and finds a secret door to room 92.

Room 91

  • Third Session- Group searches long hall and discovers several burial mounds. Searches through them and finds riches and isn’t attacked.

The group headed back to Helix and divided up the treasure and got XP.  Angie was the only one who leveled up (pays to carouse and be the GM’s wife- means she’s always at the sessions).

We will meet up again in November.  I run Barrowmaze for my online group on Sunday!

Carousing in Barrowmaze

In my current Barrowmaze game, carousing is one of the things we do to kick off each session.  I love the carousing table created by Jeff and Zak.  I built off of that one for this (and I did one for Hubris years ago).

I’m using The Black Hack mechanics for Barrowmaze, so that is reflected below.

Feel free to use!

Carousing in Barrowmaze

Carouse 1


Characters shrug off the horrors found in dungeons by delving deep into a pint of ale, mead, whisky, or whatever alcoholic beverage comes their way.  If characters are willing to pay gold and take a gamble on what happens for the evening, they gain XP.  When a player carouses they roll a die and spend an amount of gold equal to what was rolled x 100 gp.  The die rolled corresponds to how large the city is: 1d4 for villages; 1d6 for a town or city; 1d8 for a metropolis.  The character then must succeed on Constitution-based save.  If the number rolled on the die is higher than their level, they suffer Disadvantage to the roll.  If the character succeeds roll on the night passed without incident and a good time was had by all.  If the character fails they roll on the Carousing Mishaps Table.


The amount rolled on the die also equals the amount of XP gained for carousing.  If the player doesn’t have the actual amount of gold spent, they receive only half the XP gained and are now in debt to someone.



Carousing Mishaps Table

1- You make a complete fool out of yourself in public.  You gain no XP.  Roll a Luck roll.  If successful you suffer -2 to Personality rolls for 24 hours.  If the Luck roll failed you gain reputation as the drunken lout and all Personality rolls are made one step lower on the die ladder for the next 1d4 months.
2- Get into an epic pub brawl!  Roll 1d3: 1-2) there are an equal number of brawlers to party members; 3) There are 1d4 more brawlers to party members.  Party members suffer -2 to attack for being drunk.
3- A slight drunken misunderstanding with the local constabulary that results in a fine of 2d8x10gp.  Failure to pay said fine results in 2d10 days in jail.
4- You wake up in bed with someone… roll on Wake Up in Bed With… table below.
5- You lose an additional 1d10x50 GP in gambling loses.
6- You drank and celebrated and were the life of the party.  Roll a Charisma save- if you fail, you manage to be forgotten and fade into the mists of inebriation.  If you succeed on the roll you become the stuff of legend and all future carousing in this location cost double for the next month due to people who glom onto you for free drinks and revelry (however you gain double the experience).
7-8- You insult a notable person of importance.  Roll on Local Person of Rank table.
9- Sharing mugs, swapping spit (or worse) isn’t the smartest thing…  You picked up a disease!  Roll on the Diseases of Hubris table (pg 232).

10-You get hammered and decide it’s a great idea to get a new tattoo: Roll 1d8 1-2) PC chooses; 3) GM chooses; 4) player to your left chooses; 5) player to your right chooses; 6) PC carousing with you also gets the same tattoo; 7) PC chooses, but the tattoo artist botches it terribly; 8) PC chooses and the piece is a work of art.
11-The drunken player boasts about their vast amount of riches (whether true or not) and is set upon by a group of opportunistic thieves when the PC is alone (resolve combat as normal).  Roll 1d4: 1) 1d3 level 1 thieves; 2) 1d2 level zero mooks; 3) 2d2 level zero mooks; 4) 2d5 level zero mooks, but after 1d3 rounds two city watchmen get involved in the fight.

12-Make a Luck roll: Success- You were set upon by thieves that attempted to mug you!  You were able to fend them off and didn’t get harmed.  Failure- You lose 1d10 items, 2d100 GP, and take 1d6 points of damage.
13- You wake up with the hangover from hell.  All rolls (including spellcasting) are made with Disadvantage for 1d4 hours.

14- In your drunken stupor, you managed to upset a witch…  She casts a horrible curse upon you (the curse lasts until cured).  Roll 1d4: 1) turned into a goblin; 2) turned into a pig/goat/cat/or hawk; 3) become clumsy (suffer Disadvantage to all Dexterity rolls); 4) Bad luck (only 5-6 are successes for you on Luck rolls).
15-You joined a local organization… It’s kinda foggy on which one you joined, but you somehow remember all the secret codes, handshakes, and passwords.  Roll on Local Organization table below.
16-You had a night of gambling: Roll 1d6: 1) You bet on an arm wrestling match and won!  1d10x2 gp; 2) You bet on a boxing match and lost!  2d4x10 gp; 3) You bet on a boring chess match and won!  3d6 gp! 4) You went to an arm wrestling match that went OVER THE TOP!  Resolve with normal combat!; 5) You won big at a pie eating contest!  1d100 gp; 6) You went to a cage match- a giant spider VS a poodle…  You bet on the poodle… sure thing, right? Wrong- lose 2d100 gp!
17-Wake up stark naked in local temple, roll a 1d# on the Local Organizations table below.
18-Someone slipped you a love potion.  Roll on the Local Person of Rank table.  Effect lasts for 1d10 days.
19- You got yourself in some sort of mess while in your drunken stupor and begged and whined to your god to get you out of this mess… Unfortunately for you, your god heard and answered you.  Now they are demanding you go on a quest for them.

20- You manage to start a fire in your drunken idiocy.  Roll 1d6 twice: Part One- 1-2) burn down your favorite inn or tavern; 3-4) you burn down some other den off ill-repute; 5-6) you burn down a large portion of the town.  Part Two- 1-2) no one knows what you did; 2-3 your fellow carousers know what you did; 5) someone else knows and are planning on blackmailing you; 6) everybody knows and are quite angry…

 Carouse 2

Local Organizations (Roll 1d6 for deities only)

1- Herne the Hunter

2- Silvanus (AKA The Green Man)

3- Crom

4- Arcentryl

5- St. Ygg

6- Orcus

7- Thieves’ Guild

8- Silver Standard Merchants Caravan Co.

9- Mercenary Guild

10- Secret Cult to Orcus


Local Person of Rank (2d8)
2- Priest of a local religion- roll 1d6 on the Local Organizations table for the deity.
3- Billworth Turgen (halfling, merchant)
4- Vanarous (half orc, constable)
5- Osen (Guild master of Mercenary Guild)
6- Hanabis (Plague Doctor from distant lands)
7- Harold Humen Huffpuff (Halfling, jeweler and money lender)
8- Ballo (human, owner of Brazen Strumpet Tavern)

9- Taycee (human, barmaid)

10- Helga (human, barmaid)

11- Merda (half elf, barmaid/healer)

12- Pernicious “Perni” Ticklebottom (halfling, owns Gambling Den, and connections to black market)
13- Mazzah the Magnificent (human, eccentric wizard- will identify items for a price and sells trinkets)

14- Karg Barrelgut (dwarf, blacksmith)

15- Yargna the Witch (human, hedge magic user)

16- Burg Sawtooth (dwarf, woodcutter)
Wake Up In Bed/Smitten Subtable (1d)
1- A succubus- make a Luck roll- Success- she’s satisfied; failure- she’s not satiated and she’s angry.
2- A dead person: Roll 1d2- Even) random NPC (roll on favored NPC generator); Odd) roll on Local Person of Rank table
3- “Apparently” a normal attractive member of orientation-appropriate gender
4- Randomly determined other PC (neither remembers anything)
5- S/he’s ugly. You’re married.  Hurray!
6- (Roll again on this table.) You’re married.
7- Goblin female who loves you
8- Half demon who is filled with regret.
9- Most important NPC in game
10- A witch.  Look at the size of those warts!
11- Roll on “Local Person of Rank” table
12- Priest/ess of…Roll 1d6 on Local Organizations Subtable

13- A strange and hauntingly beautiful apparition.

14- A reoccurring villain of the game… they open dialogue with “so… what are you thinking about?”

15- A halfling crime boss.

16- A manifestation of yourself, but opposite gender.

The Review of the Awesome Azure Adventures Digest- Issue 001!



First– I’ve been following Trey Causey’s blogposts on Azurth for years. It’s a fun and original campaign setting more inspired by Wizard of Oz and 70’s and 80’s Saturday morning cartoons than The Hobbit and other Appendix N materials. So I’m very excited that Trey is releasing this stuff!

He’s already released a fun and awesome Azurth adventure called Mortzengerstrum, The Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak!

Second– this book is damned adorable!!  The art and layout really highlight the tone and feel of Azurth.

Note: Both of the Azurth books use D&D 5e mechanics.  If that ain’t your cup of tea- fret not. It’s easy to stat it to your preferred gaming mechanics (I’d use DCC, The Black Hack, or White Box).

What’s in the Book

The Azurth Adventures Digest opens with a cool location called the Motley Islands. There are four islands: Murk, Big Fin, Lurid Lair of the Frogacuda (kickass monster hunting type mission, and a fun illo to highlight the feel- see below), and Polychrome, which has a small set of islands called the Paps.

Azurth Digest Frogacuda page


The descriptions are briefs and full of flavor (as is always the case with Trey’s writing).

There are two sample NPC’s included (with cool ills): Black Iris, Pirate Queen, and Rarebit Finn (Hara First Mate).  They are statted, have equipment, and notes on their personality.

There is a handy tool to generate pirates that sail the Boundless Sea. You can generate names, occupations, Notable Traits, and Trinkets in a few short rolls.

Example: Name: Burlap Baggs; Occupation: First Mate; Notable Traits: Demonlander with Scrimshawed Horns; Trinket: Pair of Cursed Dancing Shoes, Never Worn.

There is also a quick generator to generate cool/fun pirate captains on the fly!  You can generate names, ships, what the captain is known for, and exotic booty.

Example: Name: Gray Harriet; Ship: Runcible Goose; Known For: Obsession With a Specific Sea Creature; Exotic Booty: A Small Flask Containing a Condensed Squall.

The Digest then highlights further locales that are uncharted (and possibly just legends told ‘round campfires) called The Chain of Fools.

As with the Motley Island, these locations are short and sweet and dripping with flavor. There is a 1d10 random encounter table to use for maritime encounters.

The location that is showcased the most is the Candy Isle (with a fun map!). I remember when Trey first mentioned the Candy Isle on his blog some time ago, and thought it was such a fun and unique idea, so I was really excited to see it in the book!

azdigest candy isle map-blog

With the Candy Isle you get a few locations, info on traveling, various dangers (including random encounters), info on the Candy Folk, aaaaannnnd a quick dungeon in an active chocolate volcano!

All in all there is a bunch of info packed into the 26 pages of the Azurth Adventures Digest!  If you’re interested in some whimsy, fun, and a homage to 80s Saturday morning cartoonage, then I highly recommend this book!

Trey has also teased us with a picture of the next issue (the bastard).

Well done to the whole Armchair Planet team for putting this together!

Dr. Wrathofzombie’s Thoughts on Aggression

I had a conversation the other day with some friends about the online hostilities and chipped in my two cents on how I handle it.  I’ve also had others (over the years) of G+ ask how I handle this- so I figured I’d type this up (based on the conversation I just mentioned and post it).
The Wrathofzombie Guide to Handling Aggression


The way I handle aggression (both in-person and online) is to become emotionally removed (as much as possible) and attempt to calm the situation. Once heated dick-waving starts happening, dialogue breaks down and there will be ZERO communication going forward. Hostility, bitterness, side-taking, dividing, and more dick-waving will ensue. This doesn’t help either side make their case and the message is lost in illogical chest thumping. I will still attempt to have a dialogue and talk about shit, until I can see that reason/calm talking will not garner anything and then I move on.  I do not engage.

Another thing that has really enlightened me as of late is I am responsible for 500 volunteers at my current job. My organization (and me directly) constantly has to navigate the frustrations of the volunteers who have been with the organization for 20 years and how we do things now. Rumors, hostility, toxicity, resentment, getting yelled at, accused of shit, blah blah blah are standard fare for my day. Some of the accusations about myself and the where I work are quite astounding and mind-boggling. I have tried to reason with people. I have tried to show logic.  Most importantly, I have tried to be transparent (as much as possible on what is reasonable for a volunteer to know about organizational operations)… Some of them get it and I HOPE they will take that knowledge and disseminate it throughout their department and that it will curb the rumors, hostility, etc. Now sometimes this DOES happen and some of the volunteers see I am doing the damned best job I can and that shit takes time. I have not done this with a raised voice, being aggressive, disrespectful (even when they are to me) The other side is that I’ve seen these volunteers I’ve just talked to go back and still get swept back up into the rumor mill and it was a lost cause…

My point on this is this obstacle I’m going through is happening in person and has taken 7 months thus far and is STILL ongoing and could blow up at any moment… And this shit is going on in-person when people are supposed to be more empathetic, prone to reason and able to see emotions. Remove that element with the cool faceless efficiency of the internet and it has damn near zero chance of changing or assuage a person’s grievances or perceptions (can it happen on a one on one basis with private messaging? Absolutely. But in a forum setting with multiple people such as G+ or FB, I highly doubt it). Getting riled up and defensive (to me) solves nothing- and all the aggression I’ve seen over the time of the internet prove this (just look at how the RPG G+ community and how the numbers have dwindled because of attitudes- also people are STILL arguing about shit that happened years ago… How has this made our hobby better or stronger?)

Will I take shit and accusations from people…? No. Will I support my friends who are being attacked by assholes on the internet…? Yes. I will attempt to have a dialogue and smooth things over. I will do so as calmly and respectfully as I can- even if they are not respectful to me (or my friends), because that is how I operate. I try to be the damned nicest person possible, even when assholes do not deserve it. If they continue to be aggressive, I block them or ignore them. However, I don’t rise to the bait, because I know it really won’t solve anything.

The other thing, and this may seem cold, but by and large, a person’s existence and opinions are inconsequential to me.  If we can’t agree/get along/don’t like one another- fuck it.  I will not lose sleep over the matter.  I do not wish them ill-will, hatred, or hostility.  I just do not ponder them at all… because to me, their opinions do.not.matter.

I do not get the sheer amount of hate, spite, or whatever that many others have received over the years- but I have gotten some due to my logo, my fuck-all attitude, and what is contained in the pages of Hubris… and I’ve handled it as I’ve mentioned above, and thus far my approach is working (for me at any rate).

Our hobby is small and exciting and fun… but really all the fighting, posturing, dick-waving, and bitching does absolutely ZERO good to anyone of us.  It causes fatigue, resentment, bitterness, and further hostility.  When aggression comes your way, don’t rise.  Don’t argue- just give them the symbol (#itshislogo) and move on with a smile on your face and enjoy your day.

DIY Shirt 1