Category Archives: Hubris Campaign Setting

Hubris Print on Demand is Now Available! As is New DIY RPG Productions Apparel Page

hubris-cover

HUUUUBRRIIIIISSSSSS!

Hubris is FINALLY out on POD on both Drivethru and Lulu (although Lulu is softcover only)!  I am thrilled the Hubris is finally out and done!

I want to thank everyone for their excitement, support, and interest in my book!  This project has taken six years of my life to write, but it was a fun challenge and I’ve learned quite a large amount about creating RPG books, project managing, etc.

This isn’t the end for Hubris by any means.  I currently have a 3rd level adventure in playtesting that will be released this year (hopefully) as well as a supplement in the future.  Also, there are other DIY RPG Productions works coming out this year and next.

I’ve also created a DIY RPG Productions Apparel page if anyone wants to buy a t-shirt, coffee mug, etc.!


Cthulhu- Invoke the Name Mechanics for Hubris and DCC

The other day I did a blog post about Illithids and how I would run them in my Hubris campaign (or DCC in general).

I wanted to create Invoke the Name rules (found in Hubris: A Visceral World of Adventure).  The basic jist is once per day a cleric can speak the name of their god, channeling immense power with just that one word.  The cleric rolls 1d20+Personality Modifier+level and consults the table.

cthulhu

Behold the Great Cthulhu

 

Here’s the PDF version: cthulhu-invoke-the-name

cthulhu-invoke-the-name-page-1

 

invoke-the-name-1

A person loses their mind from the terrible corrupting power of Cthulhu

cthulhu-invoke-the-name-page-2

 

idol

The holy symbol for a Cleric of Cthulhu


Thoughts on Illithids for Dungeon Crawl Classics and Hubris

 

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

Illithids

mind-flayer

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

Thus the Illithid was born.

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

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

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

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

ood

An Illithis Slave: once a human, now a monster

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

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

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

Illithid

mind-flayer2

Decide whether the Illithid is an Arcane or Divine caster.

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

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

Illithid Statistics by Rank

Rank

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

22-24

 

 

Illithid Rank

Abilities

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

 

 

Illithid Caster

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 


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

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

Players

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

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

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

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

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

Not Present This Session

Emma- Half Demon- level 1

Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1.  Named Willow

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

labeled-map

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

Battle!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

medusa

The Mark of the Four Gorgons- Not from Hubris

New Allies

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

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

gorgons

The Four Gorgons of Desire- art by David Lewis Johnson

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

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

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

Undra, the Great Spire

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

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

guard

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Info on Undra (from Hubris, pg 84)

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

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

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

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

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

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

indigo_populations

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


Hubris Has Gone Silver, a Great Review By Jeff Rients, and T-Shirts COMING SOON!

This has been a grand weekend!  I got to go cross country skiing for the first time in two years (I couldn’t go last season due to wrist surgery- insert your choice of “spanking it” jokes here)!  I also saw that Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure went silver on Drivethru RPG and even BETTER Jeff Rients posted an awesome review of Hubris on his blog!  I have long respected Jeff’s work on his blog and his standing in the OSR community, so having him enjoy my book is very humbling and exciting!

Here are a few clips of the review:

Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure is a 350 page campaign setting from Mike Evans.  When I first opened the PDF file I hesitated for a moment, because I’ve reached a point in my life where a two or three hundred page infodump does not meet my needs as a referee.  Fortunately, Mike understands this problem and offers a solution to it.  But I’ll get to that in a bit.

and:

My favorite parts of the book require no real changes whatsoever, while much of the rest can be adapted with just a little tinkering.

and:

As I paged through Hubris I got a very specific vibe from it.  That vibe is playing D&D inside the World of Heavy Metal Album Covers.  Eddie from Iron Maiden would fit into the world of Hubris, as would lycanthropic Ozzy barking at the moon.  Korgoth of Barbaria would probably do well for himself in this setting.

and:

One way Hubris communicates how this world differs from others is by offering a bunch of new options for PCs.  I highly approve this method because new stuff enters play organically, rather than being pooped out in boxed text the DM has to read aloud.

and finally:

The real meat of this book is chapter 3, called “Territories of Hubris”.  In about a hundred pages ten regions of the world are detailed.  The format here makes all the difference.  Instead of an encyclopedia entry, we get the following format for each locale:
  • A few short paragraphs giving the basics of the region.
  • A d100 “Lay of the Land” chart providing thumbnail sketches of locations in the region.
  • A d100 encounter chart for the region
  • One or more brief write-ups for special locations, with rumors/adventure hooks
  • Some extra thing unique to the region, like rules for eating the mushrooms of the Bogwood Swamp

The trick here is that, taken together, this stuff is suggestive rather than comprehensive in nature.  Pick a region (or roll d10), throw percentile dice a couple of times, and select an adventure hook.  The result isn’t a complete adventure but it is sufficient to launch sketching out an evening’s gameplay.  You can’t move across this world strategically and explore every nook and cranny, as one could with a numbered hex map style campaign book, but you can easily achieve the effect of the Ace paperback version of Conan the Barbarian, where individual adventures are loosely connected.  I’m quite taken with this approach.  It makes me rethink what the heck I’m doing with my own campaign setting.

Again, I want to extend a huge thanks to everyone who has reached out prior to and after the Hubris release to express their interest and appreciation of the book!  It’s been a very awesome and kick ass experience!

I am nearly done with the first draft of the a Hubris adventure.  I plan on this being a level 3 adventure, however I’ll need to playtest it to see if the numbers are right.  I’ll most likely run some G+ Hangout games after I fine tune the mechanics with my home groups.

Lastly

I am expecting the proofs of the softcover version of Hubris to arrive at my house any day now!  If they look good and I’m Jake with them, they’ll be up for sale on Drivethru/RPGNow very soon.  The Hardcover formatting took some tweaking and I have submitted it to Drivethru for approval.  Once that happens, I’ll request my proofs!

I will soon have DIY rpg shirts for sale in the near future!  For those who want to support DIY RPG Productions, but don’t want a huge middle finger on your chest, I have created a “PC” friendly logo!  The shirts will be coming soon.

masterskullshirt

Art by David Lewis Johnson


Set a Course for Adventure in Hubris- Session 1

On Tuesday I kicked off my Hubris campaign with my players in Rochester, NY.  I was really excited to start this campaign since A) I just released the book; and B) I haven’t run Hubris in two years since I playtested  the mechanics as I was writing out the book.

When I was pondering where to kick off this campaign, I decided I wanted to start it in a territory that none of my original groups went to (they both spent most of their time in the Great Plains of Unbidden Sorrow or Frozen Wastes), so I decided on the Canyons of the Howling Red Rock.

Players

Angie- Human Druid- level 1

Nate- Avarian Trickster- level 1

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

Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1

Kevin- Human Thief- level 1

Chad- Murder Machine- level 1

Jamie- Human Cleric  (follower of Set)- level 1

Not Present This Session

Emma- Half Demon- level 1

Aside: All art pictured is from the Hubris campaign setting

Something Smells Fishy…

labeled-map

The World of Hubris (art by Angie G)

The session started with the group on a ship, having left the Port of Ustler, off the southern shore of the Northern continent, and sailing across the crimson waters of the Sea That Runs Red towards the Canyons of the Howling Red Rock.

The ship was heading towards Undra, The Great Spire (info on Undra below).  The group answered a help wanted ad from a wealthy merchant named Serif to escort him and his goods from Fairweather to the Grand Bazaar.  The lure of seeing Undra the Great Spire and the Grand Bazaar, leaving the cold, bitter weather of the northern continent, or even possibly traveling to the Unsettled Expanse and seeking fabulous riches was too good a pull to resist.

The group was on the deck of the ship listening to the captain, ‘Ol Tom, prattle on about his adventuring days, “used to be a fine warrior, that I was!  That is until one day, I got my leg chewed off by an inbred mutie!  After that I decided the sea was safer.  But my woes didn’t end there!  Two years on the sea and I lost my left hand to a giant lobster monster!  Swallowed it in one gulp!  It was then that I realized the gods just hated me, so said fuck it!” He said tapping his peg leg with his hook and taking a few puffs out of his pipe.

The ship halted abruptly in the crimson waters, rocking violently and sending people and goods falling to the floor.  Serif lamented loudly as many of his goods crashed on the deck and broke open.

The group looked around at the source of the disturbance when five huge squid tentacles, roughly 15’ tall, burst from the water and started crashing onto the deck of the ship.  Riding on these slimy appendages were over a dozen Deep Ones.  These disgusting fish creatures lunged off the tentacles and began attacking passengers and sailors.  Some netting their victims and jumping overboard and others biting the heads off of their prey.

The tentacles whipped around, smashing into the ship and sent bits of wood and metal flying into the air.

Three Deep Ones lunged at the characters to take them prisoner.  Serif shrieked, “protect me!”  The PCs rushed in to defend their employer and make some “fish-kababs”!

Aside: As players rolled initiative I told them that for this session ONLY their characters would not die if they fell to zero HP.  They would suffer the adverse effects of being “killed”, but their character would continue on.  I did this for a few reasons: 1) this was the first time we’ve played together since early June and I didn’t want the first session in six months to be a deathfest for them; 2) none of these players have have tried DCC or Hubris (which is a high octane meat grinder), so I wanted to ease them into this style of game; and 3) as casual gamers, I wanted them to get their feet wet and enjoy the session without that threat of “oh shit- well there went THAT character.”  However, next session- it’s a free for all.  No holds barred.

Combat Ensues- and People Die and a Ship Goes Down

Combat in this was, as expected, brutal.  Angie was, funnily enough, the most effective fighter of the group (which actually I was excited about as when I designed the Hubris druid- I pictured them as the Wendol from 13th Warrior (just not as evil).  Angie gutted a Deep One and battled a tentacle, dropping the Deep One before she was killed by a tentacle.

Sammi and Jamie flew into combat, swinging their scythes at tentacles and Deep Ones alike, sadly not hitting much, and Sammi was killed by a tentacle and Jamie was knocked for half his hit points from an attack.

mutant2

The Mutant Class Engaged in Battle (art by Jeremy Duncan)

While the group fought off the three Deep Ones and five tentacles, the squid’s other three tentacles were attacking the boat, dealing 3d6 damage per round.  The goal was simple: if the crew attacked and killed three tentacles before the ship was reduced to zero HP, the ship would be saved and the squid would flee.  If not, well…  then they’d get a bit wet AND bloody.  The ship had 30 HP and a Damage Reduction of 2.

 

The group killed the three Deep Ones and managed to down two of the five tentacles, but the ship was reduced to zero HP.  The PCs had to made Reflex saves to avoid getting battered around by the collapsing ship as they plunged into the frigid crimson waters.

Jamie spotted a life boat and the group made their way there, with Tyler swimming out to collect Angie’s and Sammi’s unconscious bodies.

All Ashore That’s Washed Ashore

canyons-of-the-howling-red-rock-new-1

A Red Colossus Stomps Across the Canyons of the Howling Red Rock (art by Angie G)

The group washed ashore on a pebbly beach of the Canyons of the Howling Red Rock.  After gaining their barrings, Angie was able to figure out that the group was roughly two days East passed Undra.

The group rested for several days, regaining strength and needed HP before setting out towards the Great Spire.

Aside: For each day of travel I rolled a d6 and on a 5-6 there would be some sort of encounter.  For both days I rolled a 6.  I then rolled a d4, even would be an Encounter; odd would be Lay of the Land.  

For the first day I rolled a Lay of the Land- a burnt out fort now occupied by Beastmen.  The second day an Encounter (more on this next post).

After resting for a few days the group set out towards Undra, with Nate scouting ahead in the sky.  In the distance Nate noticed smoke coming from a craggy canyon.  Nate flew to the top of the canyon and looked down.  He saw a ruined fort of burned wood, and saw figures moving, but could not make them out.  He flew back to the group and relayed the info and they decided to investigate.

Tyler, an ex-sideshow freak, wanted to use his megaphone and have Angie turn into a bear and dance.  However, the rest of the group decided that it would be more prudent to not die and send Kevin in to do some scouting.

Kevin found the brunt fort to be housed by savage hyena beastmen.  The creatures scented him before he got really close and the fort doors opened and several beastmen spilled out, giving chase.

Kevin reemerged from the canyon screaming to run as 25 beastmen followed behind him.  We ended the session with the group fleeing the beastmen, eventually giving them the slip after two hours of evasive maneuvers.

Info on Undra

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 


So What IS Hubris…?

hubris-cover

 

Hubris has been out for a few weeks now as a PDF release and a few people have messaged me about what the book is about, what’s in it, etc.  So I figured now would be a great time to answer a few of those questions

Aside: For those who have nabbed Hubris, thanks!  I would love to hear your thoughts and reactions to the book!

Will Hubris be out on POD?

Yes it will.  I am awaiting my proofs of the softcover versions of the book.  They should arrive in the mail in the next week or so.  Alex is finishing the last bits of formatting for the hardcover version and then I’ll get proofs for that as well.

Those that purchase the PDF now will receive a discount on the POD as if they purchased the bundle version.

What is Hubris about?

Hubris a weird fantasy setting that uses the Dungeon Crawl Classics rules.  The book takes a rules-neutral approach to many aspects in the game (particularly the meat of the book which is the territories and the GM tables and charts).

The setting is grim, dark, gonzo, and often-times silly.  I wrote the book to be hacked apart and used as a GM wants.  The goal in mind was not to create a concrete setting full of tons of lore (that to me is often unimportant and not usable), but give the GM tools to make each Hubris unique and crazy.  Or hell- just need a strange desert territory, a deadly jungle, or a blighted land?  Well these are all ready made and easy to use from the get go!

What’s in Hubris?

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Inside Hubris you’ll find the following:

*A brand new list of d100 Hubris occupations for level zero characters

*Four new classes- the Alchemist, the Blood Witch, the Druid, and the Shadowdancer.

*Five new races (as classes per DCC)- The Avarian (anthropomorphic bird person), the Ekrask (anthropomorphic lizard person), the Half Demon, the Murder Machine (a human that has been  magically fused with a set of armor), and the Mutant (a being with several tables for cosmetic, power, and calamitous mutations).

*Three new spells- Furnishings of the Mad Wizard, Necrotic Mass, and Summon From the Void.

*Four Patrons (each with Invoke Patron and three spells):

           The Charred Maiden– Spells- Lullaby, Souls of the Consumed, and Demonic Embrace

           The Floating Island of Terror– Spells- Consume Nightmare, The Terrible Sanctuary, and The Corruption

           The Spider Goddess– Spells- Summon Spider, Warrior of the Goddess, and Idol of the Spider

           The Twisted One– Spells- Warts, Madness, and Shape Flesh

10 Territories (each with a d100 encounter and d100 lay of the land generator- You can see a sample of the layout of one from an old blog post here): The Blighted Sands, Bogwood Swamp, Canyons of the Howling Red Rock, Frozen Wastes, Great Plains of Unbidden Sorrow, Land of Perpetual Stone and Mire, Mountains That Crawl, Sea That Runs Red, Unsettled Expanse, and Weeping Forest of Forgotten Memories

*12 Strange and Terrible Deities (each with a new DCC mechanic for Clerics- Invoke the Name- calling upon the power of their god by speaking Its name).

          Bailey– God of Trickery and Deceit

          Corpulent One– God of Excess and Want

          Digradia– Goddess of Shadows and Assassins

          Drallic– Flayer of the Flesh and Deity of Eisenbar

          God of the Terrible Whisper– God of knowledge and secrets

          Great Slumbering Monolith– God of sleep and dreams

          The Heathen Below– God of death, decay, and corruption

          Set– the Serpentine god of the Klind- revels in depravity, degradation, and sexual deviance

          The Stillborn Unwanted Child– Deity of kindness and healing

          Vralkar– God to Ingvar and battle and bravery

          Yelsa-Goddess of Sex and Violence

          The Great Behemoth, Zxyldon– Monster god of the sea, lakes, and rivers

*2 adventures- a level zero funnel, It Came… FROM OUTER SPACE!!! and a level 1 adventure In Her Realm.

*51 new monsters of Hubris including several tables to generate random and unique Orcs, Metalphage, Fey, and Fallen Angels.  And a table of objects to loot of their corpses and a table of Contamination From Demonic Contamination.

*28 New Magical Items

*14 Tables and Charts for a GM to use on the fly- generate towns and villages, inns and taverns, planes of existence, plants and herbs, and much more!

*Not to mention a bunch of great art by talented mofos: Alex Mayo, David Lewis Johnson, Jeremy Duncan, Angie G., Wayne Snyder, Jason Sholtis, and Doug Kovacs!

Is there expected to be further releases for Hubris?

Yes- I am nearly finished with the first draft of a 3rd level Hubris adventure and have notes for a Hubris supplement (all of which will follow my mantra of keeping fluff light and usable at the table and fun and random).  I’m also working on the possibility of a comic book!

Other People’s Thoughts

Here are reviews I’ve posted previously:

Hubris is quite possibly the best D&D book ever. It is just so inspiring, but most importantly it’s usable, it’s hackable, it’s fast, it’s fun. It’s exactly the kind of stuff I want when I sit down to do a session prep and I don’t have a lot of time. Basically it’s what all D&D books should be and now that I have it I can’t imagine not using it.

Randal A.:

This is by far the best value out of any DCC product that I have ever bought. The setting is great, and very dark. There are TONS of charts in here that can be used to populate the settings or even just drop into your own campaign. The bestiary even includes a ton of charts so you can make all your monsters uniquie. Very highly recomended book. I’ve never reviewed anything on DriveThru before because I’ve never found anything this good.

Buy it, you won’t regret it!

(As soon as POD comes out I’ll be buying that too!)

Anders Hedenbjörk Lager Shared:

Just downloaded my Kickstarter PDF of HUBRIS. Dang. This might be the one that pushes me into DCC-land. My players have been mightily resilient when I have suggested some DCC, but this might do it. Otherwise, the material will sneak its way into my Blood & Treasure or Castles & Crusades game. Well done, man with the mighty finger! +Mike Evans

 shared:

Even if you don’t play Dungeon Crawl Classics, this is a fun setting book by +Mike Evans. Dozens of random tables to use or just give you inspiration. Not just boring text about gods and wars and people from 3000 years ago – actual stuff a GM may want to put into their game.