Category Archives: Vornheim

Barrowmound Campaign- The Set Up, House-rules, etc.

Dungeon Art

The other day I posted that I was switching my Barbarians of the Ruined Earth and Hubris games to a megadungeon.  I have started to develop my own megadungeon that I will want to run them through (and possibly publish), but it’s still a bit off and NOT switching was not going to alleviate the issues that were arising from attendance, etc.

I also have a rule for myself when I’m writing something (for running or publishing).  I don’t run it until it gets to a certain point (and after a certain point).

I decided to run my two groups through Barrowmaze!  It’s a great book, easy to read/run.  The price is a bit high, but I definitely think the PDF is worth it.

I’m using my house-ruled Black Hack rules (married with some Swords and Wizardry).

The House-Rules

  • Taken from my Barbarians of the Ruined Earth game- Armor absorbs a certain amount of damage (i.e., leather= 1 armor, chainmail 2, and plate 3).  Armor has a number of “ticks” equal to the absorption score.  This is reduced by one each time the character is knocked unconscious or subject to a critical hit.  Once dropped to zero ticks the armor is broken and provides no protection.  The player makes a Luck roll (rolling 1-3 on a d6) to see if the “tick” is repairable (roughly 10% of the cost of new armor).
    • Shields provide an extra “tick” that the player can determine take the brunt of the damage and sacrifice that tick instead of their armor.  Shields cannot be repaired.
  • All classes start with max HP for class +4.
  • All classes deal 1d6/1d4 damage, including mages.
    • Only Warriors and Paladins deal 1d8/1d6 damage.
  • Characters can rest once per day for an hour to regain 1 HD of HP.  8 hours gives another 1 HD.
  • Usage Die has been reduced greatly.  Torches, waterskins, rations, ammo is all back to actual numbers for resource management.
  • Characters gain experience similar to standard ratio in Pathfinder/Fighter in S&W.
  • Monsters can make Saving Throws against spells, abilities, and effects.
    • Enemy HD Damage Savings Throw
      1-2 1d6 6
      3-4 2d6 8
      5-6 3d6 10
      7-8 4d6 12
      9-10 5d6 14
      11+ 6d6 15
  • There are races and classes
    • Races: Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Halfling, Half-orc, Half-elf, and Half-demon.
    • Classes: Warrior, Thief, Cleric, Wizard, Ranger, Paladin, Druid, and Warlock.
    • There are occupations- I’m using DCC until I write my own.
  • Death- When a target falls to 0 HP, they are “unknown.”  A healing potion or spell during combat will revive them.  At the end of combat, the player rolls a Luck roll.  If it favors them, they are still alive and roll Out of Action.  If it doesn’t favor them, they are dead.
    • Out of Action
      1-2 KO’d: Just knocked out.
      3-4 Fat Head: Disadvantage on all tests for the next hour.
      5 Cracked Bones: STR, DEX and CON are temp -2 for the next day.
      6 Cracked Skull: INT and WIS are temp -2 for the next day.
      7 Crippled – STR or DEX is

      permanently reduced by 2.

      8 Brain Damage: INT or WIS permanently reduced by 2.
      9 Disfigured: CHA reduced by 1d6.
      10 Limb Lost: Need a prosthetic.

The Premise

First session- start on the Barrowmoor.  The players know the location of the immediate entrance to Barrowmaze and can either go right for it or hunt through the burial mounds.

Each session after starts in Helix (local town in Barrowmaze) and can carouse (per Jeff and Zak).  The group then deals with ramifications from this.

Buy supplies and sell goods from previous session, go to tavern for hooks and rumors (if so desired) and find hirelings (again- if so desired).

Go to dungeon and dive.

In the dungeon, it’s a slow crawl of encounters, fear, and death.  If they crash in the dungeon- there’s a chance for an encounter.  If they decided to head back to town to resupply, heal, more hirelings, etc. there is a chance for a random encounter, traps, etc.

At the end of the session the group gets back to Helix without any encounters or hassle.  Loot is divvied up, magical items are identified (for a cost), scrolls are copied, spells are learned (possibly), experience is given.  Then leveling up if applicable.

Next session takes place a week (or more) later in game time than the previous.  All characters start with full HP, spells, etc.

All sessions will be numbered according to sequential order and not group (although that will be indicated in notes).

Sessions and format inspired by the awesome Jeff Rients and his Vaults of Vyzor.

As far as restocking the dungeon goes, each week after a room is cleared, I roll 1d100 to see if something moves in.  The base chance is 25% and it increases by 10% until something has moved in and begun taken over.  This could be a new horde of treasure, a monster, a new trap, etc.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

The World

Barrowmaze takes place on a soggy, rainy moor.  Nearby is the small town of Helix, the castle Ironguard, and Bogtown.

Far far to the North is Vornheim with its decadence, rusty spires, and sprawl.  Nearby is the Maze of the Blue Medusa.  This will be open for my players should they want to try that megadungeon out as well.  Further north is Death Frost Doom.  Further South is Scenic Dunnsmouth in the Bogwood Swamp (of Hubris).  This gives me everything my group will need (especially if they need to stretch their legs) for an expansive world (without becoming too convoluted).  I still will run all these areas in a similar megadungeon fashion as I mentioned above.

The Plan

Both groups will be running through Barrowmaze- their decisions and actions affecting the other.  After I take each group through a few spins (and my life slows down a little with RL work, writing, etc.), I plan on doing some flailsnails runs with it!







The Shadowrun Complete City Kit and New York City Guide: A Vornheim Hack

I had quite a bit of (albeit time consuming) fun doing this.  I hope that others enjoy it and find use out of it!

I’m copying the introduction from the kit because it pretty much says all I need to…

Edit: I should add that while I took some things from the Shadowrun books that happened to NYC, like the great Earthquake of 2005 and Manhattan, Inc. I rewrote them in a way that I found more exciting.  All the info on the neighborhoods and boroughs is from me and not taken from any other source (except I believe that one of the books mentions one of the airports also being used as a military base). 

So here it is: The Shadowrun Complete City Kit

Holy shit I clearly have too much time on my hands…

Basically I decided to run a Shadowrun game for my players and thought it would be fun and cool to set the game in New York City (as I live just over the bridge from it).  To get myself pumped (and hopefully not have to do that much heavily lifting) I read through the Neo-Anarchist’s Guide to North America by FASA and The Rotten Apple: Manhattan by Catalyst Game Labs and was floored by how boring these books are and how they provide nothing useful at the gaming table, which is essential to me.

Largely I’ve found that most RPG setting books follow the same philosophy as the two books mentioned above and that is boring to me.  I don’t want large blocks of text that describe people that I and my players don’t care about or will interact with.  I want useful stuff.

To put it simply: Vornheim by Zak S. has spoiled me.  I view it as the way that setting books should be done.

I took my Firefly: Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse hack I did of Vornheim and cannibalized it for my Shadowrun Complete City Kit and New York City Guide.  While there are a few things that have been re-edited/changed, there is also quite a bit of new ideas and stuff for this book.  As always the goal was to create this for myself as an easy to use tool for my gaming group, but with the goal of releasing it to the RPG community for their enjoyment.  While is a NYC guide and has maps and mentions several of the neighborhoods, it can be used for any Shadowrun sprawl.

I kept this book system-agnostic because I do not any of the Shadowrun rule systems.  I use Savage Worlds™.  I didn’t want to force that decision on others, so kept it easy to use to generate ideas for any persons system of preference.

This can also be used with any other cyberpunk book.  Just get rid of the magic and metahumans and you’re good to go.

Anyways– Grab some friends, grab some dice, and keep rolling!

Mike Evans (wrathofzombie)

Setting Books Have Been Ruined For Me- And Why I Blame Zak S.

Up front I want to point out an important part of this post- It’s even in the title: ME.  I want to avoid calamitous outrage, arguments, hullabaloo, and hubbub.  I am stating that this is my beef with setting books, and not that I think that there is a right way or wrong way to enjoy them.

Tossing the Blame

I can sum up how setting books have been ruined for me in one word:  Vornheim.  It’s an amazing book and pretty much has set the precedent on how I now view and approach other setting books (even ones I’ve read prior to reading Vornheim). I did a review of the book when it first came out.

How and why I blame Zak for ruining setting books for me can be found in two examples- one is Vornheim itself.  The presentation is amazing and it has more useful information about Vornheim in its 75 page than other setting books do at 100+ pages.  It is usable (immediately) at the table and not only that, but it’s EASY to utilize as a tool!

Two- is a post by Zak that deals with things I’m going to babble about in this post (and his will probably be more succinct and eloquently than I will…  Oh well thems the breaks).

A snippet from Zak’s introduction in Vornehim would not go amiss here: “Too often, I find, city supplements start by inspiring you and finish by exhausting you.”

While his comment is about city supplements, it is easily transferable to most Campaign Settings and how they are, generally, laid out.  Campaign Settings spend too much time on exposition about things/events that *REALLY* don’t matter…

The reason I say that these things don’t matter is because they hardly ever come up in play.  Sure the exposition may be a great story, or background info, but why do I need to read four (or more) pages about the great war that happened 1200 years ago, and how it shattered the Elven kingdom?  I’d rather see the info imparted in a single paragraph.  Better yet, do it in a few bulleted points, l

ike so:

  • 1200 years ago the Elven Kingdom summoned an Elder God.

  • Elder God tore the Elven Kingdom and their minds asunder.

  • War ripped through the land.  Bringing plague, strife, and death.

  • War ended after 50 years.  Elven kingdom was destroyed and Elves became strange, haunted things.  War saw the birth of the Dark Elves.

This approach is simple, easy to remember, and doesn’t overburden the GM with superfluous information.

I feel bad when I’m running a game and I HAVE to explain a piece of history or whatever to the players because I know that they are going to lose interest.  Their eyes glaze over, the phones come out, or whatever…  but they’re gone and then I have to wrangle them back in.

Largely I think the problem is two-fold in how it is handled in this format.  One- it’s just like a lecture and trying to focus on it is annoying and boring.  Two- The players can’t interact with it, kill it, steal it, fucking it, or worse…  So why bother?  Many players, in my experience, seem to take the, “The GM will remind me again of the important details when they come up again” philosophy.  I honestly can’t say I blame them, even if I do find it off-putting.

In the past when I HAD to do some sort of explanation of the past, I usually tried to handle it as a flashback.  Let the group actually live the history.  They played the famous historical characters and actually make the decisions and shape the history.  They sure remember it then.  Sure what I had “planned” in my head for the War of the Ragged Bone Spurs ended up turning out differently, but now it’s their war…  their history…  The negative to this approach (if it can be considered one- because in the end it is STILL role-playing) is that it takes up more time and can slow down a campaign…

In my experience the buy in for a campaign and its “history” needs to be low.  Players are not going to remember all of this crap, plus their character sheet stuff, plus all the other players info, etc.  The only time they remember anything (in my experience) is when it directly affects them. They may not remember the story about the greatest thief in the world stealing from a beautiful princess very well, but they’ll remember him when they wake up and he’s taken all of their hard earned loot.  Now when they research him in an attempt to find him and break off his toes with a tack hammer, they’ll remember the stories and events.  And that’s if you even feel the need to relate them.

Another issue I have with setting books is they contain (mostly) long-winded prose set up to inspire the GM, and give them the flavor of the world, but largely I think it bogs down play by having to flip through the book(s), keeping extensive notes of events and crap from the book, and remembering everything about it and your own session notes, etc.

Changing My Underwear Isn’t Hard…  So Reading a Campaign Setting Shouldn’t Be Either

When I look at campaign settings such as Eberron (one I ran games in for YEARS), Freeport, Pathfinder, etc the campaign info contained in these books are well over a hundred pages.  In the case of Freeport (which is a systemless setting) it weighs in at 257 pages…

I read the damned thing, tried to run a few games of it, and found I had to make most of the stuff up on the fly because I didn’t take extensive notes, and couldn’t remember the 80 shops and 300 NPCs per district…

Now some people may love this level of detail in a RPG setting, but that is unplayable to me.

When you look at Vornheim, the “setting” material goes from page 6-10.  Then there are 3 locations that are actually adventures, but still give the feeling of the weirdness of Vornheim (even if you never run the adventure).  After that it is all a bunch of glorious tables and charts that let you make the setting yours.  You don’t need to remember all the shops in all the sections of town or flip through the books pages.  Just roll a few dice and boom!  You’re good to go.

Personally I don’t think setting books need to contain long-winded explanations of how the world is in shambles (I’m sure that the players and GM will do that themselves as they interact with the world and cause chaos.).  Keep it simple, easy, and readily accessible so it can be used in play.  As I stated before, do it in brief points and then give them the tools to make the world their own.

Aside: I do have to give props to Newt Newport, author of Crypts and Things for keeping the explanation of his setting down to roughly 6 pages and giving a bunch of different suggestions, themes, and tools to help create adventures in his world.  

Also I have not read Carcosa yet (I’m so ashamed).  While I’ve heard that it is “bare bones,” I think that it’ll be more up my alley in terms of how it is presented and executed.

Into the Future

My goal this year is to publish my Hubris setting, and I’ll be taking the inspirations, realizations, and lessons I’ve learned about how I want to use and present a campaign setting.

We’ll see how it goes.

City District Generator

Need to come up with a city district quickly?  Need a few interesting things that are going on in the meantime?  No problem!

Roll a d20 for each column.

The Event is happening as the players are arriving/walking into that district.

The distinctive characteristic adds a little bit of flavor and variety between the districts.

I plan on using this in conjunction with Zak S. Vornheim book, which gets quite a bit of use at my table.

City District Generator

Roll District Name Rumor/hook Event Distinctive Characteristic
1 The Scabs The body of a young woman was found two days ago.  This morning another girl has disappeared. Several people begin to get sick.  The government is caught off-guard and unable to deal with this possible outbreak quickly. The nobility wear extremely extravagant and cumbersome hats.
2 Angles The councilor for the district has been filching from the coffers for years. A man kills a constable/soldier and grabs a young child as hostage and begins to back away towards an alley. All the buildings have linens hanging from windows that are soaked in the blood of a goat sacrifice.
3 The Graves It is believed that the oldest building in the district has access to forgotten ruins and treasure. A runaway cart hits a group of people kill and injuring several of them. All the windows are stained glass, depicting various religious ceremonies.
4 Cathedral Every full moon the spirit of a man who was hung for a crime he didn’t commit returns to consume the life energy of those he comes across. A festival celebrating life and happiness is currently underway!  Food, drink, and other carnal pleasures are all at the ready! All the lanterns, candles, and torches burn a strange eerie blue.
5 Crystal It is said that the museum houses an artifact that holds the bones of a long dead demigod. A festival celebrating life and happiness is currently underway!  The Cleric in charge of the sermon misreads the wrong passage and causes people to drop dead and rise as zombies and ghouls! All the doors in the district are upside down.  It is believed to ward off evil spirits, as it confuses them.
6 Craftsmen The magistrate is looking for a few brave souls to venture into the sewers and track a strange monster that has been attacking and eating people. The sewers begin to flood, sending filthy, disease, and excrement into the streets. All the buildings are done in a mosaic fashion.
7 Bazaar It is said that a prophet that a renowned prophet is in the district and in hiding after foretelling the death of a king. An important member of the government or royalty is walking through the district.  They take notice of one of the players. The heads of goblins, orcs, or other troublesome pests rest on pikes outside house doors as a deterrent and protective ward.
8 Textiles A strange smell is coming from the mansion on the hill, but everyone, even the City Watch is afraid to investigate. A local eatery is having a gorging competition:  The last one standing wins 1d100x2 gold, and a strange plate that can create food 1x/day. All the buildings are made of a strange black metal that seems to vibrate to the touch.
9 Raving It is believed that if you stand beneath the statue of the weeping woman on a certain night at a certain time, her tears will fall and heal all your ailments. A body falls from the highest tower in the district and liquefies upon impact, except for the head, which is in perfect condition and whispers the name of a prominent city figure and then talks no more. All the buildings lean against their partner creating an “A” like appearance.
10 Fires It is rumored that old Batty Ann was actually a princess who was exiled from her realm by her father. A small child points at a player, and speaking in a deep voice, makes a strange and disturbing prediction about the character. All the poor people in the district are required to wear grey.  It is illegal for them to wear any color whatsoever.
11 Crowns A man simply known as the “Flesher” has been prowling the streets at night and attacks people and harvests their organs for some diabolical purpose. A robbery is occurring at a general story (or bank) as the characters enter the district. The bodies of the dead are displayed in the district center for 3 days before being beaten with a stick to get out any evil contaminates, and then burned.
12 The Planks It is said that the temple of a forbidden and dark god resides in the cellar of one of the more prominent and respected chapels of the city. A wedding is underway and the players are invited to join the festivities! The eerie and oppressive Asylum towers over all other buildings.  The screams of the demented echo through the streets.
13 Hall of Kings For some reason, for the last 5 years everyone in the district begins screaming at 2:30am for one minute and then falls silent. A circus is in the district!  Come see the freaks!  Games!  And exotic animals! The houses of the wealthy are all painted in vibrant pastel colors.  All other houses are white, brown, or grey.
14 Mystic Molly, who owns the Hangman’s pub just outside the gallows, is believed to be a very successful smuggler who can’t be tried for her crimes due to a failed execution attempt on her when she was a young girl. An execution of a band of brigands is occurring when the players wander into the district.  Blood is splattered on the ground.  Cries of sorrow and excitement, and the smell of ale, rotten food, and worse fill the air. Strange statues with ruby eyes are spread throughout the district.  The statues always seem to be facing you, even though they never move.
15 Vagabond A strange new religious sect has moved into the district.  They all wear black Niqabs from head to foot.  The priests wear blood read Niqabs.  No one has ever seen their faces.  However a faint hissing has been heard when near them. A gang war has torn this district apart.  People die and disappear daily.  The City Watch is powerless to do anything about it. Many people have their children in collars and on leashes.  When questioned they state that obedience and discipline are the most important lessons in life.
16 The Outskirts Whispers of plans to assassinate the despot king linger in the street.  The level of tension is palpable. A bride sits at the alter waiting for her groom, who has mysteriously disappeared.  Only a small pool of blood was found in his tent. A large pit in the middle of the district is used to dispose of waste and unwanted items.  There are many believe that it houses treasures unimagined.
17 Skye A strange mist appears every night.  People have heard an unearthly music and tinkling laughter in it. The tower of a crazy old wizard explodes, sending fiery debris through the district.  Screams and roars can be heard coming from the tower remains. To be a citizen of the district you must visit a master blacksmith and be deemed worthy.  He will put you through some sort of “secret” test.  After passing you must purchase a special rapier worth 500gp and wear it at all times in the district.
18 Of the Shallow Stars The magistrate is going to hold a tournament to find a new Knight Commander after the passing of the previous.  Tests will include feats of bravery, command, and martial prowess. A textile factory that has many children workers is on fire! A giant statue of a god is in the district square.  If a sufficient offering is made the statue will bless you with luck (reroll one failed roll).
19 Pleasure A powerful Madame is looking to hire people to find out who has been beating up and extorting her girls and clients. Goblins riding crocodiles and giant spiders come up through the sewers and begin attacking citizens! It is forbidden to own any type of bird in this district, they are considered to be omens of ill-fate.
20 Prison The Thieves Guild is believed to be actively recruiting after losing many of its novice members after an unsuccessful venture. A bard begins singing in the streets in a terrible warble and breaks a lute string!  Oh the humanity!! All the houses are made of stone and carved in the shape of a head and face, with the door being the mouth.

Hubris Session 5- Plots Thicken in Vornheim

We started this session two months (in game time) later after the last session and the resulting player deaths…

Players– *= Present for the session

Omar- Half Elf Rogue*

Liam- Elf Druid*

Stephen- Human Barbarian*

Nate- Human Warrior Priest of the Corpulent One*

Fletch- Human Alchemist*

Dan- Human Witch

I opened up the session with discussing whether they still wanted to pursue the Criminal Organization idea that they when when we first started the campaign.  They all agreed and then set about talking about some ways to achieve their goal.

Highlights of Discussion

Nate took over as proprietor of In His Honor from Orv the Rover, who is staying on as a partner and the bartender.

The group decided their name would be “Cloaks and Shadows.”  Oooooo.. Ominous.

They are going to put a coded job board in the bar that will allow people to post help needed for illicit activities.  The bar will charge a fee for posting and charge the person doing the job a % of their cut/reward.  If they do the job themselves,  more money for them.

Start of the Session

The session pretty much each player doing their own thing, which is both the awesome and bane of an urban setting.  I did Round Robin with everyone and tried to not keep anyone waiting for too long..  Hopefully I succeeded in that.

Fletch– Created some extracts to charm patrons to make them think this was the best bar ever, got some extra tips and went walking on the streets to take a look around.  He then gets hit in the balls by one of the groups adopted children who screams that Stephen’s character is in trouble and needs help (see Stephen)!

Nate– Decided he wanted to hire a town crier and launch a flyer campaign to promote In His Honor.  Was visited by a well dressed man who said that his employer knew what they were attempting to do and suggested STRONGLY against doing it…  Recommended that they just join his fold.

Left a piece of paper with this drawing on it:

Mysterious Symbol (actually it’s the logo from Brooklyn Botanical Garden.. but fuck it… looks cool).

Omar– Omar went to the bordello in the Scabs (the district of Vornheim that they are living in), called Madame Volick’s House of Pleasure and Drink.  A rundown establishment that attempts to be more than what it is.

Omar has been talking to a young whore, Elwyn to discover information on a lead about his parentage that lead him here (during the second session).

He finds out that girls that have displeased patrons or annoyed Madame Volick have gone down to the basement (where the minute rooms are, hourly/nightly is on the second floor) to be disciplined, but are never seen again.

Omar hires an old woman for a 30 minute romp (geri jokes ensue) and then he kills her while she had her back to him and attempt to wrestle her breasts from her bustier.

He finds a cleverly hidden trap door and goes into a sub-basement.  He finds about 15 women hanging upside down, in various stages of decomposition, with entrails hanging out, their blood dripping onto this symbol on the floor (ignore the fact that it is a symbol from our world with its own cosmology and belief…  because I don’t give a shit about that):

Symbol of Orcus…

Omar looks around, then hightails it out of there.

Liam– Walks to the rundown and dilapidated park in the Scabs and begins cleaning it.  Hears noises from the brush and a grizzled Halfling and Half-Orc appear and threaten Liam for being on their turf.  Liam and his Animal Companion, a snow leopard attack and quickly subdue the little halfling who surrenders and they scamper away.

An old woman by the name of Annie Babbton approaches Liam and praises him for his courage and mentions the pitiful state that Outer Vornheim is in…  That with gold and a pass, getting into Inner Vornheim is easy, but it didn’t use to be so…  That anyone could pass and see the Palace Massive or the Citadel…  or go to the Wyvern of the Well and pay gold to ask a question and receive an amazing answer.

She gives Liam a gift for his bravery.  She says, “A strange creature will stumble over a bucket… (used Vornheim’s Fortune tables).  And then told him she owned a apothecary/fortune shop in the Scabs and to come see her when he felt inclined.

Stephen– Stephen decided to walk around the Scabs and get to know the prominent shops and people of the area.

As he is walking he hears a woman screaming and being hit.  He and the 5 Urchin children rush into the alleyway and he begins to feel euphoric, but it passes almost as quickly as it comes.  He wanders in the dark alley while the children try to light a torch…  the woman begins calling him Henry and eventually rushes at him.

Stephen came face to face with a Wailing Widow.  Before he could react, the creature had bowled him over and spit her euphoric hallucinogenic webbing on him.  He blacked out, but had a lovely mulit-colored dream.

Fletch was hit in the balls by one of the kids and he rushed into the alley, lit a torch, got caught in the webs, torch lit them all on fire and caused ouch damage to everyone….  then he threw a bomb at the Wailing Widow, which hit and she retreated, screaming at Henry, into the darkness…

We ended the session with everyone back at the hideout under the Bookworm Used book shop, all looking a bit disturbed and a little worse for wear…

It was a great session.  We all had a blast and through play and discussion have got a focal point on where the group wants to go!

Next session– In His Honor Drinking contest!!

Hubris Campaign Session 4 Recap and Steal the Quick Dungeon I Used

Last session of my Hubris campaign Nate and Stephen ventured into the sewers to discover what was causing their new hideout (a basement room in a used bookstore) to flood.

There is no light at the end of the tunnel in the Vornheim sewers...



Omar- Half Elf Rogue

Liam- Human Fighter*

Stephen- Human Sorcerer*

Nate- Human Warrior Priest of the Corpulent One

Fletch- Human Alchemist*

Dan- Human Witch

*= Players that were at session.

They fell down a waterfall and discovered Fletch and Liam covered in spider webs and just coming to.  Nate was attacked by a spider and Stephen shocked it, electrocuting everyone.

They fled down a tunnel and began attempting to map out the dangerous nastyness of everything.


  • Avoided being eaten by a big nasty mutant by hiding in a hole.
  • Found a rope leading down into the pits of hell made from demon hair that causes nasty boils to appear when touched.  Fletch caused a rats spine to burst from its back by rolling a 20.
  • Killed some nasty fishmen.
  • Made it (well some of them did) to the exit and up into their hideout.

Sad Stuff:

  • Missed a bunch of treasure.
  • Stephen failed two sanity saves in a row while fighting the Fishmen and fell unconscious.  Fishman coup de grade him and went to attack the others.
  • Liam attempted to loot Stephen’s body.  Nate’s char (I NPCed) warned him not to loot the body of his friend.  Warned that there would be dire consequences..  Liam did it anyway.  Nate attacked.  Liam went down.  Managed to be saved, however decided he didn’t like the character, allowed him to drown in the sewers.
  • They had no bananas.


Nate and Fletch made it up with Stephen’s belongings.  Stephen and Liam rolled new characters.  Stephen a barbarian and Liam a druid.  They are both together, recently arrived in Vornheim from the savage and frozen reaches of Ingvar.

It will be interesting to see how the dynamic changes with these new characters and the attempt to build up a crime syndicate considering that 1 of the founding members bit the dust.  Looking forward to next session.

Now onto the dungeon… 

This is the portion of the sewers I created for them to dive in..  Sadly they barely explored any of it, but thems the breaks.  I figured I’d put it up here for peeps to steal/use if they feel so inclined.

For the keying of the dungeon (Vornheim Sewer section Key and Info) I wanted to use Courtney’s awesome and simple approach and I have to say that it works really fucking well.

Alright, well enjoy.

Quick Taverns and Inns Generator for Wilderness Kit Vornheim Hack

I’m getting closer to being done with my Complete Wilderness Kit Hack of Zak’s awesome book, Vornheim.

Here is a way to generate quick Tavern/Inn with some interesting stuff going on inside if the player should come across one.

Roll a d20 twice to generate the name.

Then roll all 7 of the standard fantasy polyhedral dice and consult the

Taverns and Inns

Roll Name 1 Name 2


Barmy Stone


Salty Urn


Hacked Bear


Bleeding Orc


Cursed Hammer


Hanged Corpse


Sleepy Noble


Bloated Cat


Exiled Wolf


Shadowed Maiden


Demonic Serf


Singing Fox


Angelic Hag


Lucky Axe


Haggard King


Crass Dragon


Dead Goblet


Rusted Bard


Angry Horse


Talking Priest

D4- Number of Patrons

1)      3

2)      5

3)      10

4)      15

D6- Games/Music

1)      Lone minstrel

2)      Bones/card game

3)      Hootenanny

4)      Brain maggot fighting

5)      Band of bards

6)      Pickled rat brain eating contest

D8- Interesting Features

1)      Singing moose head.

2)      Rickety piano plays tune the player knows by itself.

3)      Pit in middle of bar that people throw food and drink down.

4)      Zombie fighting pit.

5)      Hot spring- soak for a bit- see what will happen…

6)      Long feast table loaded with rotten food.

7)      Large exquisite portrait of the bar.  Painting moves.  It shows things 5 seconds in the future.

8)      Strange blue torches that hum a lullaby.

D10- Interesting Patrons

1)      Exiled Prince/Princess.

2)      Leper with amazing voice.

3)      Decorated war hero.

4)      Spirit of old patron.

5)      Hunted man seeking refuge.

6)      Soldier who deserted.

7)      Famous pretty bard.

8)      Grizzled monster hunter.

9)      The perfect mime- very annoying and can’t die.

10)  Whore- spouts fortunes as she fucks.

D10 (%)- Jobs

1)      Harvest the dreams of sleeping patrons.

2)      Farm nearby hasn’t been heard from in awhile.

3)      Barmaid fainted and is having violent night terrors.

4)      Beast is stalking in the woods.

5)      Story: Speaks of a wandering giant fire worm.

6)      A strange creature played a flute and wandered off with all the children.

7)      Strange sounds in a field at night.

8)      Story: The mists whisper secrets at midnight.

9)      Story: Woman who committed suicide after spurned lover.

10)  Story: Goldie Locks type story but about players and drinking.

D12- Random and Strange Food

1)      Maggot Paste Pasta

2)      Zombie Eyeball Stew

3)      Bear Liver Pâté

4)      Ooze Jello

5)      Pickled Rust Monster Eggs

6)      Bone Marrow Suckles

7)      Goblin Fried Fingers

8)      Horse Hooves Flambé

9)      Succulent Spider Sacks

10)  Dwarven Kidney Stones

11)  Owlbear Afterbirth Pudding

12)  Ghoul-ash

D20- Random Event

1)      Summer Solstice!  Time for the blood letting in hope of safety!

2)      Oktoberfest!

3)      Food poisoned at feast, several dead.  Unknown perpetrator.

4)      Has Demon Beds! The Beds that eat people!

5)      Singer suddenly loses her voice.  Then dies.

6)      Baby left on door step.

7)      Druids gather around the inn.  Why?

8)      Woman comes in covered in scratches and scared.  Says forest attacked her.

9)      Carnival is nearby.

10)  Noble demands tribute.

11)  The King or a high noble rides by, causes ruckus.

12)  Thick fog appears for days, when lifts a graveyard surrounds inn.

13)  Young prince gets in a fight and wets his pants.  Accuses other of trickery.

14)  Cook is doing a Sweeny Todd.

15)  Man burned at steak as chars approach.  Villagers roast marshmallows.

16)  Woman pukes up pea-green soup, speaks of nasty prophecy.

17)  Fighting match to the death.

18)  Were-creature hunting those foolish enough to stray into the woods.

19)  Ancient hero, long dead, stumbles in alive.  Doesn’t know where or how.

20)  Family member arrives at inn, they are in way over their head in trouble.



The Rusted Urn.  Specialty Food- Horse Hooves Flambé

5 current patrons that are engaged in watching Brain Maggots fight in a box.  A room off to the side has an enticing hot spring that all the patrons seem to be away from, yet eagerly watching to see if one of the characters takes a dip

An exiled Prince/Princess has been hiding here for several days.  One of the patrons is complaining about strange sounds in their field at night, but most are too busy getting ready for Oktoberfest!