Category Archives: Role-playing

Barrowmaze Session 4- Ghouls, Spiders, Mold, and Darkness- What a PARTY

My Rochester delved once again into Barrowmaze (their second session, first session here.

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

The Party

  • Emma- Elf Ranger
  • Jamie- Elf Cleric (Deity is Silvanus, the Green Man)
  • Angie- Dwarf Druid
  • Nate- Half Demon Warlock
  • Katie- Half-elf Warrior
  • Kevin- Human Thief

Couldn’t Make It

  • DJ- Dwarf Fighter
  • Sammi- Half-elf Wizard

The Start

Kevin hired Samuel DaMule, local torch boy, and a few peeps restocked their supplies.  Angie and Jamie both caroused and didn’t do so well.  Both borrowed money from Babbins Hairytoes, a halfling crime lord in Helix.  Jamie made an ass out of himself and will suffer Disadvantage to all Charisma rolls in Helix for the next month and Angie gambled like a mofo and ended up further in debt to Hairytoes.

Hairtoes

Hairytoes is gonna get his money…

After carousing was settled I asked the group if they wanted to explore the mounds or the dungeon.  Everyone voted for the dungeon, so away we went.

Here’s a break down/highlight of what happened (arranged in order of how they explored).

Room 1 (Entrance)

  • Nothing encountered.  Graffiti on door, “Make no sound, they will seek you out.”

Room 2

Spider

  • Door opened slightly.  Katie proceeds in and is attacked by three horribly blood red spiders.  Samuel DaMule, the local torch boy, screams and flees, going further into the dungeon.  Angie is nearly killed by two of the spiders before they are all vanquished.

Room 3

  • Empty except for evidence of something being here for a long time.

Room 11-Q1

  • Dead body in room. Graffiti on wall, “Can’t get out.  Gods help me.”  Party loots body.

Room 11

  • Group encounters zombies, led by the undead version of Samuel DaMule.  Emma kills Samuel, Kevin kills another.  Jamie banishes undead and remaining two go fleeing into the night.
  • Jamie walked up to dead body covered in yellow mold- it explodes in a huge puff of yellow smoke.  Jamie critically succeeded his Cons save (lucky bastard), so doesn’t die and doesn’t lose his gear.

Room 11-Q2

  • Kevin opens door and fails his save- stabbed by giant crab spider and feels his body seize up, but can still move.  Tries to get free and critically fails, impaling himself further and goes paralyzed.  The spider lifts him into the room.  Katie closes the door and the group moves on.
    • We got a good laugh at this because it was Katie’s first time RPGing and her inner murderhobo shined through! 🙂
    • Jamie becomes the “door-kicker-opener” after Kevin’s untimely demise.

Room 4

  • Room is empty except for debris.

Room 20

  • Room with several doors, decide to go down hall.  Encounter nothing.

Room 5

  • Jamie the Paladin opens the door.  Three dead bodies are being consumed by rats the size of a medium dog.  Jamie quietly closes the door and group continues on.

Room 18

  • Group enters long hallway (from room 20) and sees open pit.  Angie turns into a bird and flies across.  Katie tries to take her time and ledge climb across (Dex of 7).  The rest of the group tries to jump and all fail except Nate, who uses Emma’s back as a spring board.  Fall into pit and discover Kevin 2.0 (now a Paladin, his thief died in Room 11-Q2) in the pit.  Been in there for two days.  Previous group left him.
    • Got out of pit saw several hallways and doors, including double doors.  Chanting “double doors!  Double doors!” the group entered the double doors.

 

Room 42

Ghoul

  • Long hallway with stairways leading down to a large room (can’t really see).  Attack by a ghoul hanging out on the ceiling.  Attacks and paralyzes Kevin and Nate before they know what’s going on.  Jamie turned the ghoul and it was killed by Emma and Angie as it tried to flee.
  • Nate realizes that as a dwarven druid, Angie is actually a Fraggle.  Thus, the name Gorf the Druid Dwarf is born.

Room 43

  • Large obelisk with strange runes that appear simultaneously in dwarven, elven, half-orc, and common.  Runes speak of a dark ritual to Nagrul.
    • Group loots burial alcoves- no encounters- finds gold, a small elephant king statue, gold earrings, a fine suit of plate mail, a nice cloak, and a beautiful broach that seemingly repels dust.
    • Aside: I was really curious to see how this room would play out.  In Barrowmaze there is a pretty beefy encounter that can happen here (I’m not saying what it is as some of my group scopes my blog).  There is a 70% chance upon entering the room that the baddies are here and I had Katie roll the d100 so she could get experience rolling one and she rolled a fucking 94!  Poof- there goes that encounter…  for now.

After the group finished with room 43 we called it quits for the evening as it was getting late and certain players were looking like poor wilted flowers.

It was great fun!  I’m looking forward to Sunday’s session with my online group!

Time to go restock!

 

 

The Graveyard

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)

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Gathox Vertical Slum Gonzo Awesome Campaign Setting Book is Now Available!

David Lewis Johnson‘s kick ass setting, Gathox Vertical Slum (for cool blog info on the setting go here), is now available for purchase on Drivethru PRG.  Dave teamed up with me (DIY RPG Productions) to do layout and get the book out.   Dave’s setting is awesome and cram packed with his art and personality!

Currently only the PDF is available for purchase.  I am waiting for my proof copy of the POD from Drivethru.  If it passes inspection, the POD should be on sale shortly!  If you purchase the PDF, you’ll receive an email from DIY RPG Productions via Drivethru with a discount to purchase the POD as if you nabbed the bundle!

What is Gathox

Welcome to Gathox Vertical Slum, a far out, gonzo science fantasy campaign setting for Swords & Wizardry White Box Edition and other classic tabletop role playing games.

Aliens, mutants, spellslingers, and hardened criminals struggle for dominance in a lawless city built upon the back of a wandering, world-hopping godling. Inside this tome you’ll find:

* A fully mapped and fleshed out Vertical Slum, stuffed to the gills with greedy factions, hook-laden NPCs, and seedy locations.

* A new gangland system for running domain-level games at level 1.

* 43 fully illustrated strange and inimical monsters to spring on unsuspecting players.

* New classes, skills, ability checks, hirelings, and gear for players to work their will across the mean streets of the Great Spire.

* A vertical dungeon introductory adventure to test the skills and resourcefulness of new and seasoned players alike.

* Over a hundred lavish interior illustrations by D.L. Johnson.

* Five pieces of interconnected chapter fiction contributed by Josh Wagner.

Sample Pages

Gathox Sample Page 1

Sample Chapter Fiction

Gathox Sample Page 2

Summary of Gathox

Gathox Sample Page 3

How the maps for each neighborhood looks like.  There are three neighborhoods in all

Gathox Sample Page 4

Each neighborhood has important NPCs (all with pictures) and important locations

Gathox Sample Page 5

Over 40 fully illustrated monsters!  


Barrowmaze Session 3- Exploring the Barrowmounds

My online group and I were able to play for the first time in a month (Gen Con and a busy schedule pushed back our gaming schedule).

After Liam’s death in the first session, the group decided to explore the barrowmounds instead of the dungeon proper.  Let’s see how that worked out for them…

The Party

  • John- Half-demon Paladin (follower of Sylvanus)- level 2
  • Liam- Half-orc Cleric/Ranger (follower of Sylvanus)- level 1
  • Chad- Halfling Thief- level 2
  • Nate- Human Warlock- level 1

Not Present

  • Omar- Human Paladin (follower of Sylvanus)
  • Gene- Dwarf Warrior
  • Fletch- Gnome Druid

Start

Liam, John, and Chad decided to all carouse.  Nate wasn’t online yet.  Chad got drunk and insulted the Sheriff of Helix and ended up spending the night in the drunk tank.  John just got drunk, but had a damned good time!  Liam got drunk and was mugged, losing several of this things and ended up 600 gp in debt to the local loan shark.  Good times.

The group didn’t need to restock and decided to head to the mounds (and forgot to nab some hirelings- ouch).

The Barrowmounds

I described the mounds in terms of their positions on a clock, then allowed the players to wander wherever they wanted.

Barrowmound 9- Mound sealed. Broke through with sledgehammers, did not attract trouble.  Inside were four sarcophaguses.  Fought six large centipedes.  Chad knocked unconscious, survived.  Found treasure in crypt.

Centipede

Barrowmound 18- Mound previously plundered. Knee deep fetid water.  Attacked by two large toads.  Nate knocked unconscious, survived.  Found a dead body and a little bit of loot.

Giant Frog

Barrowmound 19- Mound sealed. Broke through with sledgehammers, attracted three zombies.  Fought zombies.  Inside mound was larger than any previous, with several rooms.  Discovered a pit trap.  Chad and Liam fell in. Chad was killed by Yellow Mold (critically failed Con save), Liam survived (but lost all his leather and wooden items).  Next room there were statutes of an Elf fighting three lizard-men.  Elf was holding a glowing sword.  John took the sword and the lizard-men attacked.  Nate was killed.  Group escaped and fled back to Helix.

  • Sword identified as Long Sword of Continual Light (made of silver).

 

Lizardmen-Image-Drawing

After returning to Helix the treasure and XP was divied up by Liam and John.  Chad made a Half-elf Druid and Nate made a human Thief/Warlock (he wanted to give Warlock another go).

The Graveyard

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)


Don’t Call ANYTHING a Guilty Pleasure!!

A little while back I was talking to a friend and they mentioned liking Buffy the Vampire Slayer in an embarrassed, almost whispered tone and I said, “Hey me too!” My friend tried to hand wave the embarrassment away and said, “it just cheesy.  It’s a guilty pleasure.  I know.  I shouldn’t watch it.”  They were genuinely apologetic for liking something… and that really bothered me.

A bit later I was talking about role-playing to someone I just met and they said they just started to do it to, but said it all quietly and embarrassed.  I mentioned that they seemed to be embarrassed about it and they said it was fun, but it was a guilty pleasure.  I told them fuck that noise!  Be loud and proud!

The week afterward, I’m at a brewery talking to a friend and they mentioned liking New Wave music, but it was SUCH a guilty pleasure.  I told them that B-52’s is one of my favorite bands.

My point is that by calling something a “guilty pleasure” you are apologizing for something you like and enjoy due to some bullshit social convention or judgement.

And to that I say:

Iggy Pop on stage at the Carling Festival, Reading. Live. Half Length.

Life is too fucking short to apologize for something that makes you happy.  You like Gilmore Girls, but your other friends don’t- fuck em.  Still enjoy it.  Talk about it and what excites you about it- don’t do it apologetically.  If they giggle, guess what…?

Finger 7

Like Murder She Wrote (Hey guess what, so do I!)?  Peeps sometimes give me guff for it (I also have an awesome purple Murder She Wrote Shirt I wear all the time)…  They give me guff, and guess what I do…?

Finger 2

Seriously, be loud and proud about what you like no matter what people say or do- be yourself and for the love of fuck- don’t say what you like is a guilty pleasure- because you should never be guilty for being happy or enjoying something.

 


Barrowmaze Session 2- Another Group Ventures In

Whew…  It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten to roll with either of my groups.  My online group (their session can be found here) hasn’t rolled in a month and it’s been two months for my Rochester (RL) group.

Last night my Rochester group and I FINALLY got to delve into Barrowmaze.  I never got to tell them that we were stopping our Hubris game because of the attendance/timing issue and I was going for a model for easier setup and insertion.

House rules here.

Anyways, we rolled characters and moved on!

The Party

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

Damned full table:)\

Aside: I was REALLY excited to start running my RL group because it meant I could use the toy I nabbed!  This really helped make things go smoother for mapping.  However it gave many of my players high school math flashbacks and at one point, when drawing the dungeon- it looked like a giant cock, so I got tons of cock jokes and when time to choose a direction, the resounding cry of, “to the tip!  Just the tip” went out.

The Beginning

As with my first session with the other group, I gave these guys a choice- start on the Barrowmounds or start in the dungeon proper.  The group chose to go dungeon diving!

Dungeon

I was wondering how this would go as I had restocked the dungeon rooms my other group had explored and they would discover signs of battle, but the group plowed forward and didn’t hit any of the rooms my other group did.  Oh well…  I’m running my other group through on Sunday, so maayyyyybeeeee…

The group was super paranoid about opening any doors… I don’t know why- it’s like they played Hubris for nearly a year or something.

Highlights \

The group found an alcove with burial alcoves with a bunch of coins, but were set upon by fire beetles.

Fire beetle

The fight was pretty quick- Sammi used Sleep to great effect, but not before DJ was subject to two attacks, one being a critical hit (he went from 14 to 4 HP).  The group killed the beetles and Angie harvested four flame sacks for later use (1d4+1 damage- acts as Flaming Hands.  Each one has 1d4 uses).

The group then made their way into a room with statues.  Each had a secret compartment at its base filled with X amount of gold pieces.  Jamie’s halfling was climbing on one for the fuck of it while Nate’s warlock tried to pull the statue down on him- again for the fuck of it.

A giant cobra snake burst out of the rubble and a fight ensued- none of the group got hit (damn), and they made quick work of the snake, however both Angie and Sammi critically failed their rolls to retain their spells- meaning they lost the ability to cast any spells for the rest of the day.  Also Nate pushed over the statue that Jamie was on onto the snake for some good damage.

The group noticed a bunch of gold in the fallen statues base, so they set to checking the rest.  Kevin found a complicated trap on one and tricked Jamie’s halfling (intelligence of 4, yo!) into opening it.  Jamie did and a dart of Petrification flew out and stabbed Jamie in the forehead.  Jamie rolled his Con save and critically failed- boom!  One halfling statue.  The group was more bummed they couldn’t loot his body than for their fallen comrade (Jamie rolled up a new character- an Elf Cleric).  The group moved on.

Petrified

We explored a few more hallways, but then it was time to end.

The group “magically” made it back to Helix, gold was divided up and experience was given for the night- putting them all at 2,100 XP.  They leveled up and we wrapped up.

For both groups when we start next time- the opening will be the option of carousing, buying new gear, hearing rumors, etc. and then moving into the dungeon.

After Thoughts: I’ve run two games now and thus far this model is working extremely well.  We’ll see longer play, but Barrowmaze is pretty much ZERO prep and I just have to restock the dungeon and make a few notes (I’ll do a post on this soon) and that’s it.  

I am designing something with this philosophy in mind for Death is the New Pink and Hubris (but fuck knows how long that’ll take).  

If my group tires of dungeon diving/wants something fresh while I’m still writing my shit before playtesting is ready, I’d switch them to Hot Springs (here and here).  Seriously it is a beautiful setting and it can be run as a dungeon-style hexcrawl using my same model.  You explore X long- magically make it back to camp/the ship at the end of the session and rest up, etc.  I got to play in a game at Gen Con with Donnie and Jacob (the creators) and it was fucking fantastic.  I cannot say enough about the gorgeousness of these books- get em!

The Graveyard

Graveyard

Liam- Elf Wizard (1st level)

Stan Human Torch Boy (Hireling)

Jamie- Halfling Paladin (1st level)


Death is the New Pink is Now Available on POD- Oh and a Tasty Character Sheet

II finally got my Death is the New Pink proof from Drivethru post Gen Con and it passed the test, so it is NOW up for sale for both PDF and POD!

Eric from Bloat Games did a great unboxing video of it!

And finally Evlyn M did a fantastic character sheet for your usage pleasure!

MeatBagSheet1web

Other Goodies

I’ve begun writing a sequel to DitNP called Death is the New Pink: Going Medieval on Yo’ Ass!, Angie is working on a t-shirt design for DitNP, and I’m jotting down stuff for a supplement for Hubris (more on that in the future.


Gnome and Human Race and Wizard Class for Barrowmaze The Black Hack

Thus far I’ve posted the Paladin, the Warlock, the Warrior classes (and Dwarf race), the Thief (and Halfling race), the Ranger class (and Half-elf and Elf races), the Cleric class (with  Half-demon race and God is in the TV deity), and the Druid Class (with Half-orc race).

Today we look at those cute lil gnomes, pesky humans, and the Wizard class.

Gnome

Gnome 1

Illusionist: A gnome can cast Prestidigitation once per day.  This increases to twice per day at 3rd level.

Animal Kinship: A Gnome can cast Speak With Animals once per day.

Intelligent: Gnomes are highly intelligent creatures.  Increase the Gnome’s Intelligence to 13 if original roll was lower.

Darkvision: Gnomes can see in the dark up to Not-so-Nearby radius.

Human

Human 1

Gifted: Roll to see if all attributes increase by 1 as if you have leveled up (pg XX).  You do not get to reroll any failed attempts (pg XX).

And now the Wizard class

Wizard

Wizard 1

Starting HP: 1d4 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d4
Weapons & Armor: 1-handed Swords, Dagger, Sling, and Staff
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising

SPECIAL FEATURES
Strong Mind: Roll with Advantage when testing INT to avoid damage or effects from spells or magical devices.

Read Magic: Wizards can decipher magical writings by studying them for a few minutes and successfully testing their Intelligence.

 

Familiar: The Wizard has a loyal familiar that assists them in many ways.  The creature often is a bat, rat, toad, cat, raven, etc. or even a devilish Imp or Homunculus-type being.  The creature has 1 HD and can deal 1d6 damage.  The Wizard can deliver touch spells through the Familiar and can communicate telepathically with the being.  Should the creature die, the Wizard suffers 3d6 damage and is stunned until they succeed a CON test.  They can summon another Familiar a week later (costs 1d6x100 gp and takes 1d10+10 hours).

wallup.net

Analyze: A Wizard must analyze their spellbook for an hour each morning to keep the spells familiar in their brain.  At the end of the hour the Wizard can cast any spell in their Spellbook that they are able to cast.

 

LEVELING UP
Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for INT or WIS.
ARCANE SPELLCASTING
Wizards can cast a number of Arcane Spells per day, see the Spellcasting section.

SPELLBOOK
Wizards start with a large spellbook containing a total of 1d4+1 1st level spells and one 2nd level spell from the Arcane Spell lists.

 

 

Wizard

Level

Spell Slot Level
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 1
2 2
3 3 1
4 3 2
5 4 2 1
6 4 3 2
7 4 3 2 1
8 4 3 3 2 1
9 4 3 3 2 2 1
10 4 3 3 2 2 2 1
DCC Wizard 1

Best Wizard is still the DCC wizard- gotta love me some Kovacs art.