Classic Dungeons and Dragons and Old School Gaming

D&D etc.

"Heir to a crumbling summit: to a sea of nettles: to an empire of rust: to rituals' footprints ankle-deep in stone."

-Mervyn Peake

"...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped."

-Sir Bedevere in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ninja vs. Aerobics and Make Game Stuff Right Now

Last night I watched Ninja III: the Domination and this gem of 80's cinema validates completely my notion of Cursed Blades at least if you equate demons with ninjas, let's not worry too much about the details.  Ninja III also validates the writer/directors opinion regarding the erotic possibilities of V8 juice, but that's also a detail we shouldn't worry too much about.  Anyway I recommend the film, though my girlfriend would not.  

Let's change the subject.

Sometimes I'll be thinking about D&D and I'll obsess over something stupid like saving throws or thieves skills or how much damage two-handed swords should do, when what I should be thinking about is how to make my next game more awesome.  I mean I love thinking about saving throws or thieves skills or how much damage two-handed swords should do and we should all do that, we really should but then it'll be game night and I'll have half a map so we'll play Cataan and that's fine and great but not what this blog is about it's about actual D&D-type gaming.  That stuff is like, "Hi my name is Steve and I'll be your server for the evening" and what I need is the stuff cookin up in the kitchen. (more back of house and less front of house)   

So what I'm going to start doing is pretending like the time that I have to noodle over D&D is all I have before the next game. Today I did and this is what I came up with:

Wizard Wastes Encounter Table:
1 wyvern
2 humanoid scouts 
3 merg band (merg are running bird riding mongols, great riders and archers)
4 caravan beleaguered and off route, will pay for guidance, replace with another human group from civilization after this is rolled
5 dinosaur, lone carnivore 
6 dinosaur, group of herbivores
7 Cactus treants, replace with another plant thing after rolled
8 Giant centipedes
9 pteradactyls
10 giant undead spider, weirdly friendly humanoid shaman riding/living inside, replace with another weird thing after rolled

Events Table
Sandstorm: this doesn't happen randomly, it happens when the ruined city is fleshed out by DM, storm exposes city under the dunes

Rumors: beginning players hear all of these, work them into an intro monologue, tales of the crusty hermit style:
1 Ruined structures, ancient carved stones buried in the dunes
2 spending night under temple will turn humans into ghouls, some say ghouls are doomed forever, some say they can be changed back to humans 
3 demon city full of powerful magic is under temple
4 other wizards manses dot the rim of the wastes, some ancient, some new

Some things in the Wizard Wastes:
Oasis: mud, water, bamboo, some trees, likely to encounter
Obelisk: very weathered ancient obelisks dot the desert
Ruin: very weathered stone buildings, a few walls only

Encounters below the Temple:
1 Ghouls
2 giant centipedes
3 toad men subteranean desert dwellers
4 MU and mercs

Toad men traps, involve sandbag weights, stone slabs, random scavenged sharp things, fiber chords, pits, meant to trap ghouls mostly, they'll dig a smooth pit, cover it with weak wood, and cover the whole path with sand.

Toad men holds defended well against ghouls, they tunnel themselves. 
Toadmen weapons are dried root clubs w shards of sharp stone, cactus spine blowgun darts, slow if hit (half move, -2 to hit, effects ghouls)
Toad men go to surface at night only, to hunt desert owls, forage cactus...
Toadmen chief is corrupt, maybe possessed, Maybe has a cursed blade.

Clawblobs: gross oozes with many claws, climb as high as they can. (Put one or two in the roof of the temple) they are dimly intelligent, attack from above by falling on victim, clawing, clinging and enveloping in ooze. Absorb everything but stone, Get bigger when they feed and split. They smell like rotting meat.

Kinds of Monsters:
Monsters that move in from the desert (toadmen)
Monsters that spawn from chaos below (claw blobs)
Monsters from surface that make forrays below (humanoids, other MUs)
Monsters originally from surface, corrupted by chaos below (Ghouls) 

This is certainly incomplete, but it came together very fast and it goes a long way towards filling in the most recent map I have started and the area around it.  My advice: Make Game Stuff Now!

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