Category Archives: Barrowmaze

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.


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


  • 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


  • 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


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)


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


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.


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).



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


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)

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!


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.


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


Liam- Elf Wizard (1st level)

Stan Human Torch Boy (Hireling)

Jamie- Halfling Paladin (1st level)

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 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 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 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

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).

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.


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

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.





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.

Half-Orc Race, Druid Class, and Multiclassing Rules for The Black Hack and Off to Gen Con I Go!!!!

I leave tomorrow for Gen Con!  I’ve never been, so I’m super excited!  Looking forward to getting to play some games, run some Hubris for Goodman Games, and the ENnies (this blog and Hubris are both up for awards).  Mostly, though, I’m just looking forward to meeting as many awesome gamers as possible!  Good times ahead!  Feel free to send me a G+ message and we can hopefully work something out!


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), and the Cleric class (with  Half-demon race and God is in the TV deity).


half orc

Always speak with a Cockney accent

Hard to Kill: Half orcs are hard to keep down.  The first time a half orc is reduced to zero HP, they have a 50% chance to stabilize with 1 HD of HP to continue fighting.  This can be used once per day.

Thuggish: Half-orcs are large and resemble their full orc kin.  A half-orc has Advantage on tests to intimidate (STR or CHR).

Burly: Half-orcs are muscular creatures.  Increase the half-orcs Strength to 13 if original roll was lower.

Resistance: A half-orc can become angered and a tougher foe.  Once per day the half-orc gains Resistance to all physical damage for a number of rounds equal to half their Constitution score (round down).  This is a free action on their turn.

And here’s the Druid!


Druid 2

Starting HP: 1d6+ 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d6
Weapons & Armor: Dagger, Bows, Scimitar, Spear, Sling, Hand Axe, Cloth, Leather, and Small Shields
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising


Animal Shape: The Druid can transform into a small or medium creature (no larger than a brown bear, wolf, boar, or cougar, and no smaller than a dog, cat, eagle, hawk, etc.) While in this form the druid can track by scent (rolling under WIS with Advantage), move as the creature would (i.e., Swim, fly, etc.), gains their ability to breathe (i.e., fish or frog can breathe underwater), a bite attack (and possibly claw, horn, or bite attacks at a d6 as well- GM’s call).  The animal’s armor class is based on size: small (eagle-sized) 0 armor; medium (dog/wolf-sized) 2 armor; large (brown bear-sized) 2. This armor does not stack with the armor the Druid is wearing, but replaces it.  In animal form the Druid can see in a Far Away radius in the low light conditions.  The Druid cannot communicate with other people while in animal form, but still understands their languages.  This effect lasts for 1 hour.  A druid can change into an animal once per day at level 1.  This increases an additional time per day every odd level to a maximum of five times at 9th level.

Druid 3

Naturalist: A Druid has Advantage on all rolls involving surviving in nature, identifying plants, animals, direction, weather patterns, etc.


Pass Without a Trace: When in nature a Druid leaves no tracks and can walk through tough terrain (i.e., briar patches, etc.) and be unhindered and suffer no damage.


Druidic Spells: Druids call on the power of nature to give them the power to cast a number of Druid Spells per day see Spellcasting section.


Meditate: The Druid must meditate for an hour each morning, bring in the calming effect of nature into their mind.  At the end of the hour the Druid can cast any spell from the Druid Spell List they are able to cast.


Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for STR or WIS.



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

Druid 1

And finally- here are the rules for multiclassing for TBH.



Experience is divided between the two (or three) classes equally, and remainder experience is lost.


Multi-classed characters do not gain HD or roll attribute increase until a level is gained in both classes.  A multi-classed character chooses which attribute from their classes they desire to reroll when they level up (i.e., a fighter/thief can choose between Strength, Dexterity, or Wisdom to reroll.  They cannot choose both Strength AND Dexterity as a normal fighter would- they lose that by choosing to multi-class).


For example: A Fighter/Thief (2/1) just got enough experience to gain second level in thief.  The character is unable to roll HP or Ability increases until they gain 3rd level in Fighter. 


Multi-classed characters cap at 8th level instead of the normal 10.  This is to reflect their spreading themselves rather than remaining focused.


Multi-classed characters use the more restrictive armor proficiency when determining use of abilities (i.e., a fighter/thief would suffer major penalties in plate mail when attempting to sneak or hide).  They also use the least restrictive set of weapons.

The Barrowmaze Half-Demon Race and Cleric Class (with a sample deity- God is in the TV) for The Black Hack

Thus far I’ve posted the Paladin, the Warlock, the Warrior classes (and Dwarf race), the Thief (and Halfling race), and the Ranger class (and Half-elf and Elf races)

Today we look at the Half-demon race and Cleric class.


Half Demon

Half Demon


Infernal Resistance: Half Demons have Resistance against all fire damage.

Infernal Blessing: Once per day the Half Demon can cast Charm Person or Flaming Hands.  The decision is made at the time of casting.

Cunning: Half Demons know how to beguile others.  Increase the Half Demon’s Charisma to 13 if original roll was lower.

Darkvision: Half Demons can see in low-light conditions up to Nearby radius.



Cleric 1
Starting HP:
1d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: All Blunt Weapons, Crossbow, Weapon of Deity (if Applicable) Cloth, Leather, Chainmail, All Shields
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising
Blessed: Roll with Advantage when testing CON to avoid damage from poison or being paralyzed.
Banish Undead: A Cleric can spend an action to banish all Nearby undead by testing their WIS and adding the creature’s HD to the roll.


Deity: Choose which the Cleric serves.  Gain Deity power (see pg XX).  Deity powers can be used once per day.


Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for STR or WIS.
Clerics can cast a number of Divine Spells per day, see the Spellcasting section.
Prayer: A Cleric prays to their deity each morning to be blessed with divine might.  At the end of the hour the Cleric can cast any spell they choose.

Cleric 2


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


God is in the TV

Rock is Dead

Description: Technology pulled from Earth also brought television.  Beings were immediately drawn to the “magic box” and many began worshiping it as some form of divine being.  Eventually the collective desires and consciousness of so many beings gave sentience to a sleek 120” television.  Flitting images (much like a music video) flood the minds of followers that pray before the screen.  Instant gratification, escapism, and consumption are common themes of the day.

Deity Represents: Distraction, Escapism, and Consumerism

Holy weapon: 20th-21st century handgun and shotgun.

Followers Dress Like: 20th-21st century Earth dwellers (or as close as they can get)

Holy Symbol: Small television jewelry (usually gem studded) on a silver chain.
Cleric Power: Static: The Cleric releases a charge of static electricity in a 15’ cone.  All targets in the area must succeed a ST or suffer 1d6+Cleric level damage and able to only take a partial action for the next 1d4 rounds.

The Barrowmaze Elf and Half-Elf Races and Ranger Class for The Black Hack

Thus far I’ve posted the Paladin, the Warlock, the Warrior classes (and Dwarf race), and the Thief (and Halfling race).

Today is all about the Elf and Half-Elf races and Ranger class


Elf Art

Known Spell: Magic courses through the blood of elves.  Each elf starts play with a single 1st level spell that they can cast once per day.

Agile: Elves are agile creatures.  Increase the elf’s Dexterity to 13 if original roll was lower.  Elves also learn how to use bows at an early age.  They are proficient in bows in addition to their other weapon proficiencies.

Strong Mind: Elves are immune sleeping spells and have Advantage on tests to resist illusions.

Keen Eyes: Elves have sharp eyes and can spot hidden passageways easier than others.  They have Advantage on Wisdom tests to find hidden doors.

Low-Light Vision: An elf can see in low-light conditions up to Not-so-Nearby distance.

Here’s the Half-Elf


Known Spell: Magic courses through the blood of half-elves.  Each half-elf starts play with one 1st spell that they can cast once per day.

Strong Mind: Half-elves have Advantage on tests to resist sleeping spells and illusions.

Low-Light Vision: A half-elf can see in low-light conditions up to Nearby distance.

Almost Human: Choose two Attributes.  Roll to see if they increase by 1 as if you have leveled up (pg XX).

And now the Ranger


Ranger 2

Starting HP: 1d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: Any and All
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising


Combatant: Rangers gain an additional attack at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level.
Survivalist: Rolls with Advantage when performing tasks in nature such as finding food, tracking, identifying plants and animals, hiding or moving silently, etc.  You find food in half the time it would take a normal person.


Archer: The Warrior is handy with a bow.  They are able to fire two arrows at one target (damage is rolled with Advantage) or fire the arrows at different targets (this counts as a single attack roll per round, but attacks are made with Disadvantage).


Ranger Style (Choose One)

Animal Companion: Rangers start play with a trusted animal companion.  This creature has 1 HD.


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 Charisma test must be passed for this to succeed.


At 5th level the Ranger can tame a 3HD creature.  At 10th level this is increased to 4 HD.


Hatred: Rangers know how to fight against giants, trolls, ogres, orcs, goblins, and kobolds. When fighting in combat against these fiends, Rangers adds their level to their damage with a successful attack.


Roll to see if attributes increase, roll twice for DEX or WIS.

Ranger 1