Category Archives: Black Hack

The Spellsword Class for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

Work still continues with Matt Hildebrand and myself on Barbarians of the Ruined Earth (cover art here).  I’m compiling all the needed art (yay) and will start reaching out to peeps who I’ve eyed for this project in the very near future.

I’ve started writing a supplement for the book (as this will take time to do).  I’ll have some new races, house rules, monsters, Sorcerer-fiends, packed into this baddy!

Last time I mentioned this project I wrote about the Armadite race.  Today I want to talk about the Spellsword.  I wanted to take inspiration from the Arcane Trickster and Grey Mouser.

SPELLSWORD

Spellswords are a motely lot with the unique ability to wield a small amount of magic to create illusionary effects.  Spellswords tend to be cocky opportunists that use their abilities to distract, beguile, and rob to support their hedonistic lifestyle (or just for the thrill).

“I’ve been given a great gift and it would be negligent of me if I didn’t use it to better my station in life, right?  A trinket here, a bauble there, a weapon, an heirloom, or maybe a few ceramic coins- things nobody will miss, but to me there are much more valuable.” 

Art 1

Art by Fragoulis Garoufalis and not for BotRE

 

Starting HP: 1d8+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d8 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: Light and Medium Armor, All Shields, All Swords, All Bows, Daggers, and Crossbows

Weapon Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvised

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

 

Agile: The Spellsword rolls with Advantage when testing DEX to avoid damage or effects from traps and magical devices. They also roll with Advantage when performing delicate tasks, climbing, hearing sounds, moving silently, understanding written languages and opening locks.

 

Sneaky Bastard: The Spellsword knows how to hide and move quietly.  They roll with Advantage when attacking from behind and deal 2d6/2d4+the Spellsword’s level damage.

Art 2

Art found here and not for BotRE

Magical Trickery: The Spellsword, whether it is intellectual prowess, sheer moxie, or having some Sorcerer’s blood in their heritage, can use a small amount of magic to cast illusionary effects.  The Spellsword can create illusionary objects, create small sources of light, cause noises to issue up to 60’ away, create small illusionary objects, imitate another person’s voice (the Spellsword must have heard this voice for more than a few quick words), levitate objects, cause small gusts of wind to douse candles or torches, etc.  Most effects are instantaneous or last a number of rounds equal to the Spellsword’s level +1.  Targets that are allowed a save must test their WIS to disbelieve the illusion.

The Spellsword must successfully test their CHR to summon forth the effort of the desired effect.  The player describes what they wish to accomplish and through discussion with the GM they determine if it is acceptable or not.   A Spellsword can use this ability a number of times equal to their level +1.

At 2nd level the Spellsword’s magical ability grows and they can make themselves invisible as per the spell (BotRE, pg XX).

At 3rd level the Spellsword’s ability to use illusionary effects becomes greater.  They can conjure images of people or animals, terrain (such as a pit or quicksand), etc. to fool or throw off their adversaries.

At 5rd level the Spellsword can use their magical ability to manipulate complex objects like picking locks and disarming traps up to 30’ away. This requires a DEX roll to see if the Spellsword can successfully do this.  They do not receive Advantage granted by the Agile ability.

At 7th level the Spellsword is able to teleport themselves and another person up to 100’ away.  The CHR test is made with Disadvantage when attempting to perform this bit of magic.

Martial Prowess:  Spellswords are a cocky lot, but they have had to learn to defend themselves with a blade.  Each successful attack a Spellsword makes grants +1 to damage.  This resets after each fight.

Leveling Up:

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

 

STARTING EQUIPMENT

WEAPONS*: Dagger and CHOOSE ONE: Short bow, crossbow, or short sword

ARMOR: Light Leather (1 RP)

ADDITIONAL ITEMS: Ammo for ranged weapon if taken, rations (d6), waterskin (d6), bedroll, torches x6 (d6), and healing salve (1 HD of HP restored).

*All starting weapons are made of wood, bone, or stone. For each weapon, there is a 15% chance it is made of metal (i.e., the arrowheads, the sword blade, etc.).

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) A golden ring you filched from a Sorcerer; 2) A silver dagger that belonged to your mentor; 3) A strand your dead lover’s hair in a locket; 4) A piece of Ancient Earth tech called a “pocket watch” – it still works!; 5) A hand crossbow given to you by your father; 6) A small jade idol- the spoils of your first big theft.

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) You were a slave and escaped; 2) Your family was captured by a band of snakemen and sold into slavery; 3) Your sister was sacrificed by a cult in some dark right to a malevolent cosmic being; 4) You used your ability with illusions to get revenge on a bully in your village; 5) You traveled around with a Barbarian with a beautiful voice for several years; 6) You ventured into the ancient burial ruins of a cursed hero and returned with riches; 7) You were cast out from your village after you hoodwinked the village elder out of money; 8) You traveled with a band of circus performers for a few years, using your illusions to entertain (and steal when no one was watching).

Advertisements

Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Three- The Fight for the Dark Orb, Part 2

When we last left our band of heroes that had just fought a giant mud crab and became depressed by grey snow before making it to the failed human village of Laundr-O-Mat.

Players

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

Shoe- Medallion- Armadite

Coley- Coleesi- Barbarian

Brian- Sok- Armadillo Beastman

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Gene- Beastman

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Kane- Vyvyan- Barbarian

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

The Mysterious Village

The group looked around the dilapidated crumbled ruins of an Ancient Earth Strip mall.  There were signs of habitation from the villagers that disappeared five years ago, shanty shacks set up in the parking lot, rusted cars serving as beds, etc.

Two of the 14 stores remained somewhat intact; the signs read, “adio Sha” and “arbucks”.  The group split up and decided to search around the rubble.

“Tip Toe” and Sok wandered into the “adio sha”, shifting through the rubble they made their way to the backroom.  The discovered an altar with a helmet fashioned from the skull of a bull.  “Tip Toe” and Sok ran back outside to find Vinsmoke so he could do his magic thing on it.

Bull Skull

The Helm of the Charging Bull

Vinsmoke was out in the parking lot and decided to use his abilities to sense magic.  He felt a strong magic from a crumbled brick building.  A strange wooden “T” laid on the ground and a broken sigh read, “ouse of esus Chri”.  At the western end of the area, down an Ancient Earth street another crumbled building, possibly once a town hall or community center, another sense of magic filled the air.

The two sources of magic assaulted Vinsmoke’s mind and he lost consciousness.

Medallion wandered in the crumbled buildings and found a bunch of Ancient Earth cooking spices (Shoe’s character loves to cook), including cumin, pepper, salt, garlic, and paprika (all with a d4 Usage Die).  She then started making soup for the group, especially Sok to try and cheer him up.

Coleesi wandered into the “arbucks” and found the skeleton of a barista at the counter, a name badge read, “Hi my name is Bryan M.  How can I help you?”

While in the building Coleesi found a storeroom filled with goods.  She found:

  • Dryer doors x6 (acts as a small shield)
  • Exoskeleton armor (heavy, 3 RP)
  • Lantern
  • Oil x10
  • Shovel
  • Rope (50′)
  • Arrows (1d10)
  • Short spear (metal) x2
  • Short sword (bone) x2
  • Maul, two-handed (metal) x1
  • 1d100+10 Ceramic coins (green for Tygham the Fearless, ruler of the Swamps)
  • 1d20 gold clay coins (Int roll to know this comes from Skullator the Deathless, ruler of the East.

The group divided up the spoils.

Aside: When the group split up, I stated that all their searching and shit would take place over an hour.  

The group all met back outside, Vinsmoke regaining consciousness and wiping a small amount of blood from his nose.  Medallion bringing large pot of ramen noodles.

As the sunset (it’s 6PM after all), a blast of black and grey energy and white light is seen from the rubble of the church.  The group is scared by this display of magic and
“Tip Toe” grabbed Vinsmoke, “Come with me!  There’s a helmet in this place and I wanna know what it is!  That magic over there- fuck that shit!”

All the group decided to join the two.  As “Tip Toe” and Vinsmoke got close to the building, the hair on Coleesi’s neck stood on end and she heard the soft moans of something nearby.  Suddenly sounds, almost like Velcro slowly being pulled apart, met their ears.  Only Coleesi saw three shades appearing on the ground and move slowly towards their prey.

One went after “Tip Toe”, another after Vinsmoke, and the third after Coleesi.

Shade Monster

This fight was really fun and jarred them a little bit.  They started getting smacked and when I said, “you lose 100 XP” they freaked and the fight became that much more tense.  Vinsmoke was dropped during the fight, but with the use of a healing salve, he was saved.

Shade Apparition

HD 2; RP 1; Claws (2d4 damage), SV 6

Description: Wispy humanoid creature that moans and hates you.

Special: Ethereal: Half damage except from magic.

Draining Attack: 1st attack- save or stunned for 1 round.

2nd attack- Save or stunned for 1d4 rounds.

3rd attack- Lose 100 XP

4th attack+- Lose 100 XP and stunned for 1 round.

* If the Shade critically succeeds skip to the next attack level.

Dark Fog: Release a rancid smelling fog in a 15’ radius.  All attacks against Shade are made with Disadvantage as is dodging their attacks.  Last 1 round.  Can do this once per hour.

The group went into the “adio Sha” and Vinsmoke used his remaining magic to identify the bull skull helmet.

Helmet of the Charging Bull: The wearer can charge at a target as a full action.  The wearer rolls a STR test with Disadvantage.  If successful, they roll 2d10 damage.

The group decided to go to the end of the street where Vinsmoke sensed the other indication of magic (they wanted to give the church and the grey and black lights a wide berth).

 

As the group got closer to the ruins of the building they saw a figure wearing darkened leather armor slumped against the wall.  A sword near the figure’s right hand, a shield near the left.

Aside: Coly had her character in the lead. I asked her what she did.  She asked if there was a rock nearby and if she was allowed to throw it to see if it did anything.  Coley is relatively new to RPGing, having done it a total of four times (I think).  I said “Fuck yeah you can do that!  OSR shit right there, peeps!  Dove right in like a champion!”

Coleesi threw a rock, but it went right and dinged off the wall to no effect.   Feeling nothing as going to happen, the group moved forward.  The moment they stepped into the ruined structure a ring purple light filled the area and flashed bright.  The figure lifted his head, his eyes glowing red.  His face desiccated and rotten.  The group watched frozen as the figure stood up and pointed at them, “SUFFER WITH ME!!!”

The Black Plot

SUUUUUFFFFFEEEERRRR!!!!

This fight was fun and tough.  The undead Barbarian called lighting down onto his blade and started hacking away at group, eventually shooting lighting at his blade at several of them (I think one person went unconscious, but can’t remember).

 

Vinsmoke used a powerful spell to attempt to blow the arms of the undead Barbarian off, he blew the shield arm off at the elbow, but the sword arm remained intact.

After several seconds of fighting, the cursed Barbarian was slain.  As he fell a faint “thank  you” issued from his mouth.  When the dust settled, the group quickly looted his body.

They got a shield (absorbs two blows), the Lightning Blade, and a Teleporter Bracelet.

The Lighting Blade: One-handed broadsword- call lighting to the blade (as a movement action).  Increases the damage of the blade by 1 die.  Can release the lighting at a target within 30′.  Make a DEX roll to hit.  If successful, deal 2d6 damage to target.  The target must save or be stunned for 1 round.  Can do this twice per day.

Teleporter Bracelet: This piece Stupendous Science allows the wearer to teleport up to 100′ away once per day.

 

The session ended with the group shifting through the rubble of the old church, finding the Dark Orb, and then setting off back to Mardi Grass

Next Time: Will the group make it back safely to Mardi Grass?  Will they be able to place the Dark Orb into the hands of the Luminescent Mother?  Find out next time on another adventure of:BotRE Logo!


The Armadite Race for Barbarians of the Ruined Earth

With Matt Hildebrand and myself hard at work on the preliminary layout of Barbarians of the Ruined Earth (cover art here), I’ve started writing a supplement for the book (as this will take time to do).  I’ll have some new races, house rules, monsters, Sorcerer-fiends, packed into this baddy!

The first one that I wanted to do was an insect-type creature.  I always dug the Kreen  in Dark Sun and wanted to do something in that vein.  However, I didn’t want to do a beetle or a praying mantis, because those are in so many different RPG books, so what to do…?  I know…  An anthropomorphic roly-poly!

Here it is, enjoy!

Roly poly

Awwww… Look at how cute it is!!

 

ARMADITE

Armadites are the result of a Stupendous Science accident involving a broken canister of secret ooze and a colony of pill bugs.  These cute little roly-pollys grew into 7’ anthropomorphic creatures.  As the ages passed, the creatures named themselves Armadites, honoring their scientific Ancient Earth heritage and developed a proud warrior shamanistic culture.  Armadites paint their carapace with intricate symbols (some taken from Ancient Earth pop culture or commercials) and revere Terramancers (pg XX).

“Predators seek us, yet we stand resolute.  Raiders attack and we show our resolve. We flow with the wind, move with the earth, and our rage burns like fire.  Our spears are sharp, our armor thick, and our people proud.”

Starting HP: 1d8+4

Hit Points Per Level/Resting: 1d8 HP/lvl

Weapon and Armor: All Shields, Clubs, Swords, Maces, Spears, Axes, and Bows.

Weapon Damage: 1d6/1d4 Unarmed or Improvised

SPECIAL FEATURES

Armored: Armadites have thick chitin armor which gives them hearty protection in combat.  They have 2 RP.

The armor on their back is somewhat thicker, meaning they do not suffer extra damage from sneak/back attacks.

Four-Armed Fighter: Armadites have four arms, they can hold several weapons (or objects) at one time.  They can hold up to four one-handed weapons, two small shields, two two-handed weapons, or a mix of all three.  Large shields are too bulky to hold two at once.

An Armadite can make two attacks per round with ease.

If the Armadite is wielding four one-handed melee weapons they attack with a flurry of four blows against one (or two) targets.  All four attacks are made with Disadvantage.

Rolling Attack: As an invertebrate, Armadites can fold in on themselves, becoming a sphere of their tough chitin armor.  While in this state Armadites can attempt to roll over a target, dealing damage.  They must succeed a Dexterity roll.  If successful, the attack deals 1d10 damage.

While in this form, the Armadite can decide to absorb the damage of a single attack as if a shield were equipped (BotRE, pg XX), but it immediately pops the Armadite out of their ball and they must succeed a WIS save or be stunned for 1 round.

Antenna: The antenna of the Armadite is very sensitive and allows them to detect vibrations.  They make any test against detecting ambushes or hidden foes with Advantage.

Multi-legged: The Armadite can get on all its legs and travel faster than normal, moving up to Not-so-Nearby on their movement or Far Away if they move twice.  Up to two medium sized humanoids can ride on the back of an Armadite.

Leveling Up:

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

STARTING EQUIPMENT

CHOOSE TWO*: Short spear, short bow, short sword, two-handed sword, axe, mace, or spiked club

ARMOR: None.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS: Ammo for ranged weapon if taken, rations (d6), waterskin (d6), bedroll, torches x6 (d6), and healing salve (1 HD of HP restored).

*All starting weapons are made of wood, bone, or stone. For each weapon, there is a 15% chance it is made of metal (i.e., the arrowheads, the sword blade, etc.).

INTERESTING TRINKET (roll 1d6): 1) A headdress of leather and antlers worn by a kind Ecomancer; 2) A box of Ancient Earth acrylic paints (they are still good!); 3) A leather saddle that fits your back; 4) An Ancient Earth Civil War saber; 5) A gorgeous set of Ancient Earth Russian Dolls; 6) A box of fire crackers (1d8 Usage Die)

LIFE EVENT (roll 1d8): 1) You were a slave and escaped; 2) You were destined to be chief of your village, but were driven out by a rival; 3) Pig Raiders wiped out your village; 4) You encountered a Cosmic Being (choose one, pg XX) and hear its desires; 5) You killed a skilled warrior in a warring Armadite tribe; 6) You were part of a scouting party that helped find your tribes current home; 7) You glimpsed the Horrible Bear Monster (BotRE, pg XX) and lived to tell the tale.  Many of your hunting party weren’t so lucky; 8) Your brood mother was killed and taken in a Vulturefolk (BotRE, pg XX) attack.


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session Two- The Plight of the Gulpmongers

This adventure our group continues their adventure towards the town of Stinky Peat, all believing they are seeking answers on how to defeat the Chimera, but are really traveling to the town so Ashak, who lied to them about what the spirits told him, so he can try the best burger in the swamp.

 

Players

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

Kane- Vyvyan- Barbarian

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Gene- Beastman

Barbarian

Kane did this in photoshop.  Inspired by the Young Ones show

 

I’ll I Want is a Stupid Burger

The session begins with the group about to cross the land bridge of Lake Pontchartrain so they can quickly get to Stinky Peat.  As the group set foot on the bridge, the sounds of bodies landing on rusted cars, water splashing, and croaking greeted their ears.

Gulpmongers

The group turned to see 10 frog beastmen had appeared from the waters of the lake, surrounding them.  The frogmen had spears and swords made of wood, bone, and stone.  Some had weapons fashioned from Ancient Earth rubbish.  The heroes drew their weapons, ready to do battle when a deep croaking voice cried out, “Wait…  Do you mean us harm?”

Vyvyan, afraid of nothing, said, “No.  We are on our way to Stinky Peat and needed to use this bridge.  Is it yours?”

“Yes.” Replied the croaking voice.  A large brown hand splashed out of the water, followed by another, then the huge squat head and rotund body of a 10‘ tall toad man lifted from the waters.  Finally, the creature pulled all of itself from the water and landed with a thud on the crumbling concrete.

“The bridge is part of our village.  We are call themselves Gulpmongers.” The toad beastman issued a warbling croak, echoed by the frog beastman.  “I am Mog.  Chief of my people.”

Mog

“You look like you can handle yourselves in a fight.  Might yo–”

“Well that’s debatable.” Said Vinsmoke.

Mog cleaned his throat, “Might  you listen to our plight?”

Mog explain the Gulpmongers have been hunted by a band of raiders.   In the past, the Gulpmongers have always been able to stand toe to toe with the raiders, suffering only minor losses, but since the band moved into an Ancient Earth factory to the southwest of the lake, the Gulpmongers haven’t stood a chance.

“These humans have found new and powerful weaponry and armor.  All of it looks like mirrors.  All our stone arrows and spears bounce off of them uselessly.  Their sharp jagged swords pierce our flesh, and they take my people to be slaughtered or enslaved.”

“If we help you…  what’s in it for us?” Asks the barbarian.

“We have something that will very much interest the village of Mardi Grass and its peoples.  We have an orb that we believe belongs to the Luminescent Mother, a being I believe you all worship.  If you help us, I will give this strange object to you.  It will be considered a symbol of friendship with the Gulpmongers.”

“Annnnnddd some coin?”

The chief looked irritated, “And 500 ceramic coins.  They are white, minted by sorcery of Tygham the Fearless- ruler of the Swamps.”

The group agreed and Mog sweetened the pot by giving the group two Gulpmonger warriors to accompany them.

With that the group turned around and headed to the base of the raiders.

Best Laid Plans + Impatient Banging on Front Door/Bad Rolls = Pain, Bleeding, and Crying

The group made it to the factory, a rectangular two-story building, without incident and saw three raiders outside, moving around patrolling.  All three of the raiders were dispatched quickly, but not exactly quietly.  As the band of heroes approached the front door another raider opened it to see what was going on.   Seeing the heroes walking up the raider shouted, “Oh shit!” and slammed the door.

Vyvyan walked confidently up and banged on the door.  The group then hatched a plan.  Vinsmoke would open the door and Vyvyan would toss in an exploding hedgehog (see below) and that would take care of any raiders laying a trap for them.

This part of the plan went of perfectly.  Vinsmoke opened the door, revealing the faces of three shocked raiders and Vyvyan tossed in this cute lil soon to be exploded hedgehog and shut the door.  An explosion shook the building.

Explosive Hedgehog: These small hedgehogs are flung at a target from a sling.  When they strike, they explode, dealing Class damage to the target.  The explosion is powerful enough to destroy thin wooden walls.

At this point this is when things started to kinda go downhill.  Now COMPLETELY aware of intruders, the raiders fortified their positions and made it harder for them to be killed.  The second in charge, Mr. Mustachio, threw an explosive hedgehog at the group.  Vinsmoke had held his action and acted by casting a spell enveloping the creature and tried to fling it back at the group… and he rolled a 1…  So the hedgehog bounced against the door and landed at their feet… and John rolled a 10 on damage.  BOOM.

Mustachio

Captain Mustachio is gone, but not forgotten!

The group was hurting and barely maintaining from that point on (they also lost their NPC Gulpmongers, attack dogs, and warriors from Mardi Grass).  They all hunkered in a room for an hour, rested, and got a few HP back.

The group took some time to look around the group saw some of the mirror armor and weaponry that the Gulpmongers had described.  The group took a few pieces and set off downstairs.

The sound of a large squeaky wheel echoing off the walls.  The group saw a huge hamster wheel, on it was a rotting undead giant rat (this was Liam’s idea from the collaborative world-building).  The wheel was sparking sickly greenish-yellow electric bolts that traveled along transistors.  Eventually, when enough energy was built up, a loud hum filled the room and with a whoosh the energy traveled down wiring under the ground.

As the group looked around, the leader of the raiders, a dastardly hillbilly Scavenger, 2nd level, lurked in the shadows while the group descended into a large basement. With him were two undead giant rats and his son, a wet-behind-the-ears-raider.

The fight was hard, but not as hard as it could have been.  Ashak used his curse ability and against the leader, causing him to lose several rounds of action.

Curse: The Death Priest must succeed a WIS test to curse a living target. The target is cursed for 1 hour. Each time the character must make a decision roll 1d8: 1-4) do nothing; 5) act normally; 6) attack ally) 7) flee for 1d4 rounds (do not roll during this time); 8) attack self.

When the leader finally acted, he pulled a jagged mirror blade from a scabbard and released a volley of shards of glass at the group, causing heavy damage.  The group pelted the leader with arrows, shotgun blasts, magic, and swords- most of which, even when paralyzed, bounced of off him harmlessly.

“Fools!  This armor and sword were a gift from Shanton, the Sorcerer of Mirrors, for my loyalty!  I cannot be beaten by the likes of  you!”

Eventually he was.  Vyvyan took the sword and someone else took the armor (can’t remember who though).

With the raiders broken, the group made their way back to the Gulpmonger village, retrieved their reward of 400 ceramic coins and the glowing orb.  The group decided, considering how battered and blood they were, to head back to Mardi Grass to recoup.

When the group arrived there was concern at their return and bloodied appearance.  Vinsmoke offered an explanation as the group made their way to the shrine of the Luminescent Mother.  Vyvyan placed the orb in the statue’s hands.  The hands of the statue closed on the orb, then parted.  The orb in the statue’s right hand, the left open and empty.  The statues left eye will glow yellow like the orb.  The right blank stone.

L Mother

The group heard a voice echo softly on the wind.

“You are close.  For I am one- yet two.  You have found the Light Orb.  It is life, love, and health.  Yet I am missing the Dark Orb.  It is death, anger, and decay.   I am the cycle, the beginning and the end.  Find the Dark Orb and I will grant you a gift.”

The group asked if the Luminescent Mother knew where the orb was.

“I sense the Dark Orb lies forgotten in the ruins of a human settlement to the West.”

The group knew of talk of such a village… the ruins of the village Laundr-o-Mat to the west.

This is where we ended for the evening.

Next session the group now has several plot hooks to decide on.  Will the group continue to Stinky Peat to find the best damned burger in the swamps?  Will they attempt to find the Dark Orb in the rancid haunted ruins of Laundr-o-Mat?  Or will they seek information on this Sorcerer of Mirrors?

Find out next time on:

BotRE Logo!


Barbarians of the Ruined Earth- Session One- Attack of the Chimera

Aside: I’ve been rewatching Thundarr the Barbarian recently, analyzing the episode structure- this is for a future BotRE book- and jotting down notes on the various locations, monsters, goals, etc.  So many episodes will have enemies that are flying robots, molten magma men, mutant overseers, sorcerers, etc… In an episode I just watched called Wizard Wars (awesome episode) cracked me up, because one of the enemies… midgets- yep there is no getting around that these are the rejects from the lollipop guild…

Sand People

Oh sure they call them “Sand People”… but you know…  You know who and what they are.

 

Anyways- enough of that…

Last session the group finished the creative world building and we decided we would start in the town called Mardi Grass close to the ruins of New Orleans.

Here’s the town map:

Mardi Grass Town Map

And here’s a map of the surrounding area:

BotRE Map (1)

Session 1- There’s Trouble Brewing

Note: I will put all creature stats at the end of the recap.  If the monster has a “*” in front of its name, then it will be in the BotRE book, otherwise I created it specifically for the session.  

Players

Liam- Ashak- Death Priest

Omar- “Tip Toe” Tyron Thompson- Scavenger

John- Vinsmoke the Sorcerer (Alt Casting Rules)

Unable to Attend

Fletch- Shaw Shir- Vek

Gene- Beastman

The session started with the group slogging through the swamp with Mama Cleo.  Several days ago hunters from Mardi Grass spotted a large chunk of the moon, that had crashed nearby during the calamity, was glowing red.  Mama Cleo took the group, especially the Sorcerer Vinsmoke and her disciple, Ashak, to investigate.  She was worried about this strange omen- the moon rock only glows prior to the arrival of the Chimera, once every 30 years.  It’s not supposed to glow fir another 10 years.

Mama Cleo explained the situation, “the last time the Chimera showed up, I was a young woman- just understanding my gifts…  the Chimera is a fearsome beast; we believe it was once a man, but now corrupted and ferocious.  It has the head of a man, with long mandibles like a beetle, large leathery bat wings, the body of a bear, with the legs of a massive boar, snakes for arms, and a tail that shoots flames from Hell. Every 30 years it descends from the sky and snags some of our kin and then leaves to feast and slumber.  We are powerless to stop it.  Of course the brave, and ultimately foolish, warriors have left to track it to its lair.  None have returned.”

Eventually the group came through the clearing and found the huge chunk of rock glowing vibrantly red.  As the group got closer, the moon rock hummed and pulsed for a brief second before red lightning arced out, a bolt struck a rusted bicycle and another a VW Bug and two washing machines (because you know it makes PERFECT sense for two washing machines and a VW Bug to be near each other in a dilapidated post-apocalyptic setting- don’t dispute me!).  A third bolt shot off through the trees.

All the rubbish struck became suffused with red light and transformed into monstrous automatons!

This fight was fun.  Both enemies resembled humanoid shapes.  The bicycle had a wheel for a head capable of disarming any who attempted to attack it (sadly no one attacked the creature with a melee weapon!- oh well, best laid plans and all that), while the car/washing machine creature was the heavy hitter.  Belching smog and its washing machine arms chugging, filled with soapy swamp water.  Once per combat it could open a washing machine and release a spout of water at a target, knocking them prone.

After two rounds a scream issued somewhere beyond the trees.  Vinsmoke looked around and saw Fiona, the daughter of his friend Cobb, pressed against a tree, recoiled in terror from a similar monster to the ones they faced- a bunch of garbage joined together, resembling a hideous inchworm-like creature, towards her.  The head of the monster a large old oak trunk, snapping hungrily.   Vinsmoke immediately left the group to fight the bike and car monsters so he could go to Fiona’s aid.  He used his magic to summon spikes up from the muddy ground, attempting to impale the beast.  Sadly, the spikes did not pierce the creatures armor, but it lifted the trash inchworm  up, causing it to lose its balance and fall prone on the ground.  Vinsmoke got a free attack with his Sorcerer’s staff.

The fight lasted a few more rounds, but eventually the heroes were victorious.  Panting from the fight, they began to bandage their wounds, but their rest was cut short when an explosion echoed in the distance and a terrible, spine-tingling roar met their ears.  Mama Cleo stiffened, “No… The Chimera has arrived.”

The group rushed back to Mardi Grass and found it under siege of the Chimera.  Several buildings were on fire, bodies lay on the ground, unmoving.  The beast stood in the center of town, two unconscious humans limp in its snake arms.

High overhead disgusting birdlike humanoid creatures circled the scene.

The Chimera

Gorn was SUCH a fucking cool enemy in Thundarr I totally had to take inspiration from it!- From episode 17, City of Evil

Several villagers, including Nomi, leader of the small town guard, were pointing spears at the Chimera.  It lazily flapped its wings, sending a huge gust of wind out, knocking everyone over.  The Chimera opened its wings, let out another roar, and took to the skies with its freshly caught prey.

As the Chimera left the buzzard creatures sped to the ground, looking for easy prey.  The heroes  gathered themselves to protect their friends and village.

This fight was a little tough.  “Tip Toe” Tyrone Thompson had to leave at this point, so it was only Vinsmoke and Ashak.  Each had used their spells for the day.  I was nice and said they had regained their Luck abilities to cast one more spell each (I am SUCH a nice person!).

Eventually the group killed all three of the vulturefolk and the villagers started taking care of the damage inflicted by the Chimera’s attack.  Mama Cleo looked at one of the vulturefolk corpses and recognized it to be the previous town mayor.  He and his wife were ones that were taken years ago!

Ashak cast Talk With Spirits and asked the deceased mayor three questions.

Question One: What happened to you?

Answer: The Chimera put me in a hideous stinking sack and I was slowly transformed into a cruel bloodthirsty monster.

Question Two: How do we stop the Chimera?

Answer: Only magic and powerful items of Sorcery or Stupendous Science will wound the creature.

Question Three: Where can I find the best burger in the area?

Answer: There was a place in the village of Stinky Peat called Ol’ Smokey’s BBQ.  The burgers there were delicious.

After the third answer the spirit of the mayor disappeared, finally allowed to rest.

Askak turned to the village at large, “The spirit of this mayor told me how to defeat the Chimera!  The answer lies to the north in the village of Stinky Peat!

We all chuckled at his complete BS of the situation.

The current mayor, Kane, came into the scene and told the group he would send two warriors and attack dogs with them- as the terror of the Chimera must end.

Kane: Kane is known for his rambunctious spirit and ability to fight (Barbarian, 2nd level).  He has defended Mardi Grass many times.  He always carries his prized spear, The Man-Splitter- a remarkable piece of Stupendous Science with an electrified, motorized blade.  Kane constantly rubs himself with baby lotion to keep his skin moist and shiny.  He has a collection of Ancient Earth action movies and a working entertainment center.  He is obsessed with Chuck Norris and John McClain.

We ended there for the night!

MONSTERS

Car Golem

HD 2; RP 1; Fists (2d4)

Description: This massive creature was constructed from Stupendous Science and sorcery.  Several cars have been melded together to form a 12’ monstrosity.  The engines sputter and belch exhaust.

Special: Washer Fists: Once per combat, can open the washer lid and send a deluge of water at a target, knocking them prone (no save) and they suffer damage.

Smog: Once per hour can release a cloud of exhaust that blinds all in Nearby radius for 2d4 rounds.

 

Bicycle Golem

HD 1; RP 2; Fists (1d6)

Description: Bike in a humanoid form, with a wheel as a head.

Special: Spokes: When attacked with a slashing or piercing weapon, there is a chance that the weapon gets stuck in the head spokes (PC makes a Luck roll).  If it favors the monster, it’s caught in the spokes and the PC must succeed a STR save or have the weapon ripped from the grasp and flung into the swampy water.  They must spend 1d3 rounds finding it.

 

Rubbish Golem

HD 1; RP 2; Head Bash (1d6)

Description: Large trash caterpillar

Special: Swallow Whole: An attack means the target is scooped into the trunk and begins to be compressed, taking 1d6 damage per round. When target is killed the body is spit out.

*Vulturefolk

HD 1-3; RP 0-1; Claws (1d6-1d10)

Description: These fetid creatures live off the putrid meat of the dead, and prefer areas of decay to cleaner, drier climates.  While many tribes of Vulturefolk will attack humanoid settlements outright, looking for a meal, some will attempt to barter or form an uneasy alliance.  However, it doesn’t take much for a Vulturefolk to rescind their promise and still attack the settlement.

Special: Fly: Vulturefolk can fly quite fast.  While flying, ranged attacks against them are made with Disadvantage.

 

 


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

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.

Players

  • 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.

angela-lansbury-450x600

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.

Barrows

Obelisk 

  • 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.

Ghoul

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!