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Four Against Darkness – Crypt of the Queen of Bones

Back for another game of Four Against Darkness!

One of the things I noted after last game is that they recommend what is effectively a half-page of graph paper as the maximum size for a dungeon (whereas the Temple of the Jade Gorgon took up most of a full page). The reduced page size makes for a more dense feeling dungeon, and also means you run out of room faster thus precipitating the battle with the final boss monster.

Crypt of the Queen of BonesCrypt of the Queen of Bones

This session involved fighting a LOT of undead – skeletons, zombies, skeletal rats, more skeletons… and the final encounter was once again the terrifying Medusa. This time she only managed to petrify two party members, and I’ve armed myself with insurance against future medusa encounters as I’ve found two blessing scrolls throughout the dungeon – so the elf and the rogue both carry one in case the cleric gets petrified.

The crypts also included my first run with a secret door and a puzzle/trap that we easily defeated. I used my methodology from running many games using the AD&D random dungeon generation tables to mash areas together when they collide, so the dungeon layout has more loops in the overall design – if a room comes really close to another doorway, just link them together and make it easy on yourself.

At the end of this session, the party was a mix of levels 2 & 3, so we’ll need to head down again and try to even things out. Or I could just keep emphasis on the Jale Man Barbarian to make him a slaughtering machine – his rage attack killed the Medusa in this dungeon in a single round of mashing and smashing.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Man-Bait for the Soul-Stealer

Goodman GamesDungeon Crawl Classics. Blood Smoke Island. Avec un nom pareil, vous comptiez vraiment qu’une escale y soit de tout repos ?

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)
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Man-Bait for the Soul-Stealer (Dungeon Crawl Classics)

Man-Bait for the Soul-Stealer est un scénario pour Dungeon Crawl Classics publié pour le Free RPG Day 2018, prévu pour 4 à 8 aventuriers de niveau 2. Le livret comporte deux couvertures tête-bêche. La couverture du scénario d’un côté, celle du livre de base de l’autre. Les deuxièmes et troisièmes de couverture sont également occupées (la première par des publicités pour l’éditeur) pour une pagination totale de 50 pages.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : le jeu de rôle, l’univers, et le reste…)
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Sombre N° 8 (Sombre)

L’ouvrage se présente comme une revue périodique dont il est le huitième numéro. Il s’agit d’un spécial “slasher” qui comprend quatre parties principales dont trois sont indiquées en couverture : Indian Lake, un article décrivant un camp de vacances américain typique, The Y girl from the deep, un récit de partie prenant place dans ce camp, A Man After Midnight et Not Another Slasher Movie, deux scénarios slasher pour la variante Sombre Zéro qui se déroulent aussi dans le camp. La première page de l’ouvrage ainsi que la première moitié de la deuxième sont constituées d’un édito présentant l’ouvrage, les crédits et les mentions légales. La deuxième moitié de la deuxième page est consacrée au lexique du jeu, intitulé Parlez-vous le Sombre ? Toutes les pages intérieures, numérotées de 1 à 64 plus 8 pages d’aides de jeu en encart central, sont divisées en deux colonnes.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : le jeu de rôle, l’univers, et le reste…)
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Three Years in the House of Worms

Friday marked the third anniversary of the House of Worms Empire of the Petal Throne campaign I’ve been playing in – GMd by James Malizewski (author / publisher of the Excellent Travelling Volume EPT zine amongst other things).

Empire of the Petal Throne

We play once a week via Hangouts, with a player base scattered around the world (Canada, Texas, England, France). We’ve had a bit of turnover during the three years of play – with two of the original players moving on, and one later player also departing (and all are missed), and we have two players in the group now that weren’t there when we started.

Several of us are playing multiple characters, choosing which goes on an expedition based on politics and work. Our original character group are all members of the House of Worms, a Sarku worshiping lower-status clan from Sokátis. Now we are joined by a few outsiders, including an agent of the Omnipotent Azure Legion, a shen who has taken up the worship of Sarku (but who remains a warrior – just a very devout one), an albino slave pit-fighter and more.

The campaign started in Sokátis, and has travelled extensively, including a stint with us teleported to northern Yán Kór and having to work our way back home over almost a year on the road (with a major battle against the enemies of man in the Dry Bay of Ssu’úm and some hijinks with a sorceress from the distant past who continues to communicate with us in the strangest times and places), interfere with the upcoming war between Yán Kór and Tsolyanu, and then get messed up in actions between Prince Dhich’uné and Prince Mridóbu.

Now we have moved our entire group, as well as a fair number of our clanfolk of the House of Worms to the colony of Linyaró on the Southern Continent. We were “promoted” to take care of the colony by Prince Mridóbu himself and are chasing down hints of a dire cult of the Pariah Gods that we first picked up near Sokátis and have followed here.

Most of the party is level 5 now, and a few of us are getting close to level 6 (particularly my main character Grujung, the head of the House of Worms clan in Linyaro, and Aithfo, my character’s nephew who is the Governor of the colony).

We’ve gone from nobodies in the clan to the head of a new branch of the clan, the Governor of a colony city, a feared sorcerer with his undead wife (they were engaged for years after she died, finally animated her and got married recently), a potent priest of Sarku who is famous among the secret societies for having summoned an actual aspect of Sarku to battle…

It’s been a hell of a run. So far.

This last image is a photograph of my player map of our latest Empire of the Petal Throne adventure locale from Friday’s game session.

Who knows how accurate it is – the DM says it is “perfect” which generally means “close enough to make no major difference”, but for all we know we missed other secrets along the way here.

But now that we’ve probably doomed the whole world to war and destruction, we have to get out, so we’d better hope it is accurate enough that we don’t screw anything up on the attempted escape. There’s at least one tunnel on the map that was drawn based on looking into it from both ends, but that we haven’t really fully explored the full length.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Basilisk’s Caves

Travelling along the edge of the Dry Badlands of Korush en route to the City of Copper Bowls, you find half of the corpse of a young man clutching a small dragonhide sack containing the emperor’s emblem – a courier. The trail of blood leads from the body back into the Basilisk’s Caves…

Many know of the Basilisk’s Caves because of the tale of the ancient archmage Brasorin Zijes who’s petrified form was recovered from the badlands some eighteen hundred years after his petrification. Once he was extracted from the Basilisk’s Caves and de-petrified, he was a great source of information for sages seeking information about his era – until he was slain one again when he decided to try to take over the empire.

The Basilisk's CavesThe Basilisk’s Caves

The Basilisk’s Caves are a mix of natural and partially-worked caves and galleries cut into the face of the Falleck Promontory overlooking the Dry Badlands of Korush. Mostly ignored these days except when a storm blows through the area forcing travellers to seek cover herein.

One of the deeper galleries (the rectangular one on the lower right with a single pillar within it) has a wide natural stone chimney opening to the surface cut by floodwaters which occasionally floods that chamber, the next gallery to the left, and then the passages along the bottom of the map to the entrance when the rains bring floods down through the promontory to water the Dry Badlands of Korush every two to four years.

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The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Skittering Caves

The Skittering Caves? Did the sage really suggest the skittering caves? The only way from here to there is through the Skittering Caves? You know I’m arachnophobic, right? Yeah, we’re going to take a break out here and prep every fire spell known to man and god alike.

The Skittering CavesThe Skittering Caves

The Skittering Caves are absolutely, incontrovertibly, 100% not based on the encounter between Sam and Frodo against Ungoliant’s daughter, Shelob. Honest.

I had a lot of fun putting this one together, with a lot of variation in line strength and thickness, including working on multiple thicknesses of lines in the hatching as well. An experiment that came out well.

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Poisoner’s Tower

The Poisoner keeps to himself and is a hard man to find. Few know that the studious sage in the tower outside of town is the old assassin and that the plants he grows are almost all poisonous, venomous, or both.

The Poisoner's TowerThe Poisoner’s Tower

Most people coming to visit the tower do so seeking the sage’s advice – officially usually political or botanical, but often looking for access to the assassin’s guild or to acquire poisons and antitoxins.

The structure contains large window boxes for growing poisonous plants, some lab space to work on the poisoner’s craft, and the usual things you’d expect to find in an odd home (bedroom, study, secret basement with even secreter basement with a nice sturdy locking closet for keeping people against their will, or for locking yourself into to pretend to be someone needing rescue, etc.)

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under this commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Hexes! Colour! Amazingness!

If you follow me on any social media* you know about Deven Rue & Rue Ink. Deven draws stunning regional maps, and her colour work has been incredible. She also drew the new cover for the Challenge of the Frog Idol adventure which I still plan on releasing one of these days when I don’t have 73 deadlines rushing at me like an out of control truck. But another awesome thing she does is she takes my commercially-released maps and colours them and releases these remixes to her supporters on Patreon. The three maps in this article are all maps of mine that she has coloured.

( * Social media links: Facebook, Google+, Twitter )

Then we have S. John Ross, the man behind Cumberland Games & Diversions (and the mad genius who brought us not only the simple genius of Risus, but also the Pokethulhu Adventure Game and Encounter Critical and piles of other fonts and goodies). He’s been making and releasing fonts forever – but one that gets updated every now and then is his HexPaper Pro font. A single font with 62 glyphs for drawing hex paper (and graph paper, iso paper, and so on too, but really, the emphasis is on the hexes).

The hexes are lovely. I’ve showcased three different styles here with maps I’ve drawn and that Deven has coloured, but there are so many more. They make me want to make new BattleTech fields of combat, maybe sit down with Deven and design some alternate Advanced Squad Leader boards… and I’ve always kind of wanted to take a hack at the classic original D&D wilderness area – the board from the Wilderness Survival game.

And with a few isometric glyphs in the mix, I’ll definitely be printing my own isometric paper at whatever scales I need for future iso maps!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Old Man Katan and the Incredible, Edible, Dancing Mushroom Band

“We were somewhere around the haunted tree, in the middle of the swamp, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive….” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bloodsucking bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the mimic boat”

Last night the party was given three immediate plot hooks they could pursue (or continue along with the existing plot hooks – but the main one of which they had already taken care of when they killed a god last session and leveled up from 3 to 4).

Of the three, they ignored the dragon that has taken over an ancient holding to the north of the city, ignored whatever it was that has significantly disturbed the dwarven clan they’ve been investigating, and decided to find out why the local swamp critters weren’t showing up to talk to the party druid anymore.

Walking straight into one of the absolute funniest adventures ever to be printed in Dungeon Magazine (issue 41) – Old Man Katan and the Incredible, Edible, Dancing Mushroom Band!

SPOILERS BELOW (although the adventure was modified from the one in the issue to fit the particular swamp in our game a bit better).

Old Man Katan smokes a lot of “swamp weed stogies”. Massive blunts that keep him high, and also chase away the local stirges. In fact, Old Man Katan doesn’t know there are stirges killing off all the local wildlife because they won’t come near him because of the acrid horrendous smoke from his massive blunts.

Finally figuring this all out from the local mushrooms via a comprehend languages spell, the party sets out to find out where all these stirges are coming from.

They grab a few of the old man’s blunts, and ask to borrow his boat. “I raised that boat from a wee punt… it doesn’t behave well for others. She’s grown nice and big hasn’t she?” So they bring Old Man Katan along for the trip because the boat won’t behave for anyone else… The discover the floor of the boat is a bit tacky to the touch “Well, I did tar her down nicely to keep her from leaking of course” says the old man. The Paladin/Sorcerer looks at me and asks “is it… a MIMIC?!”

I couldn’t keep a straight face. Because yes. It is a mimic. It wrecked and replaced his little punt when he first moved to the swamp and was going to eat him when they went out fishing the next day. Just as it was about to eat him, he caught a fish and tossed it into the bottom of the boat.

“Give a mimic a fish and it will eat for a day… Give a mimic a fisherman and it will eat for years!”

“Jesus! Did I SAY that? Or just think it? Was I talking? Did they hear me? I glanced over at the druid, but he seemed oblivious…”

It took until a bit later for the CHARACTERS to figure this out (after the players did). Further into the swamp they found old man Katan’s cat, and when the druid cast speak with animals the first thing the cat said was to be careful because that boat’s a bloody mimic. The fighter kept poking the boat with a stick, while the monk decided that 37 feet up a tree was the appropriate place to be for this conversation.

“Dude… can you stop with the poking? I get it, my cover’s been blown.”

Next scene is the party sitting around on a small island, monk still in the tree, with a mimic sitting beside them looking basically like a giant clam or similar (sans shell) with a boat for a face, discussing the next stage in their plan.

“How long can we maintain? I wonder. How long before one of us starts raving and jabbering at this mimic? What will it think then? This same lonely swamp was the last known home of the Frog Cult. Will it make that grim connection..”

Finally, they approach the lair of the Swamp Beast / Bog Monster that they believe controls the stirges. As they approach his island of vines and creepers the island begins to disgorge massive clouds of stirges into the sky and the party desperately lights up their remaining blunts while the Swamp Beast climbs out of the island. Old Man Katan (who’s been unable to smoke all that day because they were rationing the remaining weed) gladly puffed away at two blunts at once.

“Uh, guys, this shit is hitting me harder than usual… That island over there is TALKING TO ME”

“Dude… we can’t stop here… this is stirge country!”

The adventure conclusion was the Druid convincing the Swamp Beast (it was explained to him that the name Swamp Beast was a good one, it has gravitas… now the Swamp Beast calls itself “The Swamp Beast with Gravy” because it has no clue what gravitas is) to get rid of its massive swarm of remote-controlled stirges because they were killing off EVERYTHING in the swamps. So the stirges flew off to sea (and some poor shipping lane got shut down for a week or so), and the party went off to the stirges’ hatching lagoon to destroy the next generation of eggs.

And thus the swamp was saved by the power of weed.

“But our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country-but only for those with lots of hit points. And we were chock full of those.”

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The Oubliette Crypts

Different cultures and faiths entomb their dead in different manners. One of the old faiths of the land made small shaft tombs with “cells” at the bottom where a number of coffins would be laid and once full the tomb would be capped with a small brick dome. It takes a certain amount of nerve to break into a sepulcher and then crack open one of these domes, rappel down the twelve foot shaft and then start breaking into the individual coffins at the bottom.

The Oubliette CryptsThe Oubliette Crypts

In this case, the six domed “oubliette” crypts are part of a greater collection of crypts and tombs in the massive underground sepulcher. And more than likely the player characters are down here either to acquire a specific piece of ancient loot rumoured to have been buried here, or perhaps they have come equipped with the ability to speak with dead and require information from one of the many bodies entombed in the structure.

This map was inspired in part by a scene from M.A.R. Barker’s “The Man of Gold” where they are escaping the forces of one of the imperial princes in the undercity and go crawling into dome crypts like these (although each only held one body to my recollection).

patreon-supported-banner

This map is made available to you under a free license for personal or commercial use thanks to the awesome supporters of my Patreon Campaign. Over 400 amazingly generous people have come together to fund the site and these maps, making them free for your use.

Because of the incredible generosity of my patrons, I’m able to make these maps free for commercial use also. Each month while funding is over the $300 mark, each map that achieves the $300+ funding level will be released under this free commercial license. You can use, reuse, remix and/or modify the maps that are being published under the commercial license on a royalty-free basis as long as they include attribution (“Cartography by Dyson Logos” or “Maps by Dyson Logos”). For those that want/need a Creative Commons license, it would look something like this:

Creative Commons LicenseCartography by Dyson Logos is licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

 

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Game On

Inaugurée en 2013 avec la campagne de la seconde édition de Pavillon Noir, la plate-forme de financement participatif de Black-Book Editions est depuis devenue un incontournable du CF dans nos contrées, se partageant les campagnes francophones avec Ulule, tandis que le monde anglo-saxon se tourne essentiellement vers Kickstarter et un peu vers Indiegogo. Elle a accueilli plus d’une trentaine de campagnes, pour ses créateurs, Black Book, mais aussi pour les 12 Singes (Man in the Maze, Mindjammer, Capharnaum), Game-Fu (One%, Feng Shui 2, Wulin), Batro Games (Colonial Gothic), AKA Games (Chill, Fragged Empire, Symbaroum), John Doe (Hellywood), le Matagot (Ecryme), Deadcrows (Venzia), Raise Dead (INSMV5) et Oh My Game (Broken World).
Aujourd’hui, la plate-forme annonce une montée en niveau pour le lancement d’une nouvelle plate-forme à partie de la fin du mois, nommée Game On Tabletop. Cette nouvelle plate-forme se veut tournée vers l’international et multilingue. Par ailleurs, l’équipe compte apporter un soutien personnalisé aux jeunes créateurs de projets, avec un suivi personnalisé.
Pour le moment le site ne propose que l’inscription à une mailing list pour être tenu au courant des prochains développements. Le GRoG ayant suivi les campagnes de financement participatif francophones depuis plusieurs années se devait de suivre cette évolution.
https://www.gameontabletop.com/

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)

The Terrasse Estate

One of the older estate houses in the city, the Terrasse Estate perches on a small rise, the highest point in the noble district. The grey-brown building itself is of quite old stonework and very small size for a noble estate -making it more interesting for its age than floorplan.

Terrasse EstateTerrasse Estate

The estate has been home to a number of noble families throughout the eras of the city, and for the last eighty years it has been home to the governor of the region. If anything, this is part of the reason why this governorship is generally viewed as a demotion or a hardship posting as there isn’t even enough room in the cold structure for live-in servants (nor is there a decent fireplace, as the building was planned by someone unfamiliar with the cold seasons of the region).

The current governor of the city has enough private wealth to rent a better home in the noble district, and only uses the Terrasse Estate when entertaining guests that he’d rather not have to entertain at all, and is often offered up as a guest house to visiting lesser nobles who dare not object to staying in the governor’s home itself.

In a campaign, this is the kind of place the governor would “offer” to up-and-coming adventurers who have proved their worth as heroes, but who are from lower-class and middle-class backgrounds and thus beneath the governor’s contempt. For the governor is a petty man, intent on showing the so called heroes who really is in charge of the city.

patreon-supported-banner

The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Hebdo du 9 avril 2017

Dans les couloirs de l’USS-GRoG, une ombre se glisse, furtive. Le grincement des rames et le cliquetit des chaînes des matelots attachés aux banc de nage rythme l’avancée inéluctable du fleuron de la galaxie.
« Un fleuron qui mériterait une remise à neuf quand même » marmonne l’ombre en entrant sur la passerelle vide. Il faut croire que les étoiles soient largement propices pour que trois miracles aient lieu en cet instant. Le premier est qu’elle ait pu passer les défenses de la passerelle, celles qui empêchent certains matelôts qui auraient pu s’échapper, d’accéder à la réserve de rhum. Le second était que le fauteuil de commandement était vide, malgré les chaînes dorées du capitaines. Le troisième et non des moindre, est que l’ombre arrivait à entendre la voix off.
« Ben oui, qu’est-ce que tu crois. Toi tu arrives bien à avoir un regard omniscient. »
Mais moi ce n’est pas pareil ! moi je …
« Ça va, pas besoin de te justifier. Fais ton travail et laisse-moi faire le mien. »
Hum …euh, oui … L’ombre caresse le pupitre de commandement. C’est de là que partent tous les ordres du capitaine. C’est d’ici que sont lancées toutes les missions. Un voyant s’allume et un texte apparait sur la console, provoquant le retrait soudain de la main de l’ombre de l’artefact.
« Merde, j’ai du toucher à un truc qu’il fallait pas. »
Bien fait !
« Facile à dire pour toi ! Il n’y a que ceux qui ne font rien qui ne commettent pas d’erreurs. »
« Tiens, qu’est-ce que c’est là dans le coin ? »
Tu veux vraiment le savoir ?
« Ben oui. »
La récolte hebdomadaire. Regarde-donc : Call of Cthulhu, D&D5, HITOS, Hunter : the Reckoning, Man in the Maze (à moins qu’il ne s’agisse de Trinités, va savoir …), One%, Pathfinder, Symbaroum, World of Darkness et encore !
« Tout ça ! La légende était donc vraie ? »
Et encore, c’est une petite semaine. Attends un peu qu’ils reviennent et tu verras.
« Qu’ils rev … »
Dans le couloir du USS-GRoG, des pas résonnent en rythme. La porte de la passerelle s’ouvre sur les silhouettes des officiers du GRoG. Mais l’ombre n’a d’yeux que pour la chaîne qu’ils apportent avec eux. La voix calme mais implacable du capitaine se fait alors entendre depuis la réserve de rhum.
« Alors, on aime dénicher les raretés ? Ça tombe bien, on a du boulot pour toi … »
Et les chaîne de se fermer sur les poignets de l’ombre trop curieuse.
 
(1226 jeux, 12405 ouvrages, 27 systèmes, 15478 critiques, 488 jeux amateurs, 1106 éditeurs, 2213 bios, 4895 utilisateurs)

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : les dernières news du jeu de rôles)
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4/5 – Higway to Maze (Man In The Maze)

Le travail proposé est tout à fait intéressant et, pour tout dire, très original au niveau d’une approche de gamme. Il s’agit de mettre en contact de nouveaux joueurs avec un univers développé et désormais très riche, ou encore d’offrir de nouvelles perspectives à des vétérans désireux de regarder “leur” univers depuis le petit bout de la lorgnette.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : le jeu de rôle, l’univers, et le reste…)
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4/5 – Man In The Maze (Man In The Maze)

Le travail proposé est tout à fait intéressant et, pour tout dire, très original au niveau d’une approche de gamme. Il s’agit de mettre en contact de nouveaux joueurs avec un univers développé et désormais très riche, ou encore d’offrir de nouvelles perspectives à des vétérans désireux de regarder “leur” univers depuis le petit bout de la lorgnette.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : le jeu de rôle, l’univers, et le reste…)
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Man In The Maze (Man In The Maze)

La boite de Man in the Maze comprend sept livrets. Cinq d’entre eux correspondent aux différents scénarios de la campagne.

(Source: Guide du Rôliste Galactique : le jeu de rôle, l’univers, et le reste…)
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City of the Gods – Session 2

After finding their missing companion half in his cups with no memories of the previous day at all (let alone a monstrous chronovore, demon, people skins, etc), the group assembled to figure out what to do about the skins they had found last session.

They had stumbled upon the perfectly dressed, immaculate skins of three people under the guard / protection / or possession of a demon.

One of these they recognized as the elder of the Beardsmith dwarven clan – a gentledwarf rarely seen outside of the dwarven enclaves, but who would probably make an appearance at Dwarves Night in three nights (the night commemorating the departure of most of the dwarves from this world at the end of the great war).

Another was of Darius an Durrend, a playboy and dilettante who thinks himself a fair duelist (although he isn’t – as the duelist in the party was quite aware having bested him two years back).

The party checked around for information on the two people, suspecting them of being replaced by something foul. They get a little information here and there, but also find out that the house of Durrend is currently in turmoil. Arriving at the house they manage to wrangle out of the majordomo of the house that the head of the house and his son are both our searching for a missing / kidnapped handservant. The majordomo had been out searching for her already and returned to find the home even more stirred up than when he left, with conflicting stories that the serving girl had already turned up, but that this sent the father off immediately, incredibly upset.

They decided that this meant that someone had figured out that the father and son were replaced (and maybe the daughter) and they were now on the warpath to prevent the further spread of this information.

With some diplomacy and investigation, they figured out that the son (Darius an Durrend, the playboy they are seeking) was at the House of Deryre – a tea-bar south of the red light district that serves a salty alcoholic tea that can be laced with strong soporifics and hallucinogens so the devout can fully explore their consciousness. At the House of Deryre they wrangle the young lad into an alleyway with worried tales of people searching for him all around town… where they promptly knocked him unconscious, pilfered his belongings, and ascertained that while his skin seemed to be pretty solidly part of his body, his blood was an insectile ichor.

With this information in hand, they brought it to the House of Crane (the family of the party’s young noble) and presented the proof that the House of Durrend was being controlled by something foul and inhuman. They were then tasked by the elder of the house to bring back the senior an Durrend so the house of Crane could make the most of this situation.

Back at the Durrend estate, they mostly convinced the majordomo of the issues at hand and wrangled the most likely location for the father of the House of Durrend to be (the temple of Barathmon – demon of the vanquished). At the temple they find one of the house man-at-arms of Durrend at zero hit points, bandaged and slowly recovering as the temple guards and two other men-at-arms lay dead inside. Putting the information back together from the survivor, the Durrend patriarch arrived here, got into a yelling match with the priest of Barathmon and then the fighting began. He since departed heading towards the old hunting grounds where he usually hunts, with the priest trussed to the back of his horse.

Catching up to him, the party commandeers a night soil wagon (using the folk hero background of Kothar) and pursue into the stony highlands northeast of the City of the Gods. When they finally close up to them, the patriarch’s men-at-arms form a skirmishing line to protect their liege. In the ensuing battle, many are struck down by Kothar’s dragon breath, but Kothar is unseated from the wagon, and it rushes onwards and out of the battle. All the passengers jump off to engage in combat except for Mara who attempts to regain control of the vehicle…

In but a couple of rounds all the men-at-arms were quickly defeated, leaving the Patriarch facing off against the group. He demanded that they let him go to rescue his daughter – that they could have his money and the goods of his men, but that he had no time to discuss anything else until his daughter was returned to him.

And the party struck him down as he turned to escape.

Mara finally gave up on regaining control of the horses and cart, jumped off, and walked back to the group. Rasha grabbed a horse to chase after the Patrician’s horse to recover the priest. Quinn and Bei Ji confirmed that Kothar was quite dead, and looted him down to his underwear.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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The latest edition of Swords & Wizardry

Most people who know my game preferences know that I’m a B/X D&D man and thus my retroclone of choice is Labyrinth Lord as it holds closest to that rules set and includes the least house rules…

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But last year there was a Kickstarter for a new edition of Swords & Wizardry from Frog God Games – with an amazing set of people working on the revision headed up by ConTessa’s Stacy Dellorfano.

Already owning one edition of S&W Complete, and with it not being my preferred Old School rules set, I was kind of on the fence about it.

Then the shit started within the OSR “community”. I saw the kickstarter get called out for a whole pile of bullshit to the extreme of it somehow being some sort of slap in the face of the OSR and/or old school gamers.

So I backed it.

And it is lovely.

I originally hesitated when I saw the layout of the pages in the KS – there’s a lot of “border art” on the pages and I worried it would be overwhelming and/or just too reminiscent of the bad layout & design of many books during the d20 bubble. But in print the border elements are light enough and tight to the page border, making them an accent to instead of overwhelming the text.

(also not pictured here is something I always pick up for RPGs that I grabbed for this one too, a S&W DM Screen)

So – huge kudos to Bill Webb & Matt Finch & Frog God Games, and to Stacy Dellorfano and company. I may run a S&W game yet, and I’ll be glad to pull this out the next time I play in a S&W game.

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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Crypts & Tombs beneath the Graveyard

On Friday I posted a map of secret tunnels and crypts beneath the Graveyard of the Thoughtful Daughter. At the north end of those tunnels, reached through a secret panel in the floor of the mausoleum of Ankrabar the Violet, a mostly collapsed archway leads into a larger underground sepulcher – which is where this map begins.

Crypts & Tombs Beneath the GraveyardCrypts & Tombs Beneath the Graveyard

The old sepulcher at the bottom of the map has been buried and forgotten, the entranceway filled in with rubble, then overgrown, and finally a new mausoleum was built above it in the Graveyard of the Thoughtful Daughter. At the furthest point to the top of this map we have the Tomb of the Two Princes which is kept under guard by the city as the tomb is the resting place of not only two princes and some of their riches, but their long-dead father in the crypt below.

Of course, the father is not quite as dead as reports would indicate, and tunnels dug to the old graves nearby by flesh-hungry ghouls have linked his own crypt to the sepulcher. The little nodes in the ghoul tunnels indicate where traditional graves were once located and were then dug open and the bodies consumed by the ghouls.

But the ghouls keep away from the old man because they can sense his power, and the blockade between the sepulcher and the crypts from the last map do little to prevent his travels when he takes his bat form…


This map was originally drawn last summer for RPG Crate where it was paired with a short adventure. It is presented here free for your personal use and enjoyment.


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The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!

(Source: Dyson’s Dodecahedron)
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