Saturday, December 29, 2012

A thousand dead babies

As the year comes to a close I thought I would list where the various projects are.

Neoclassical Geek Revival is currently 20% funded for the 2013 printing, but is ready to go.

Scenic Dunnsmouth will be released by Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Gnomes of Levnec has been completed as a draft, and hopefully be published

A secret work has been completed (edit: 2013, Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess, no longer secret),

And of course there is the title of this post  A Thousand Dead Babies

This is a little mini-adventure for OSR and NGR games which was given as a gift to the early backers (before Christmas).

I might class it up a little and put it on sale for a few bucks after the IndieGoGo campaign has ended.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Secret Santicore 2012

Hey there folks,

If you want to see what I put produced for Secret Santicore 2012, follow the link below:

Robbing the Reliquary - A table to generate heist adventures


The Request: 

A heist and/or diplomatic adventure that takes place at a bizarre festival or holiday celebration, OR relevant tables that would help one build that adventure (die-drop? multi-column?).

The Response, from Zzarchov:


Robbing the reliquary

To use,  roll a d8, d6 and d4.  Note the results of each die, what the total number is, and whether that is an odd or even number.  You should never need to roll dice more than that single throw.

There is a chance for some real cash, some oddball cult in this village is celebrating the:


The What:
1. Feast of - There are 4 great halls and numerous market stalls providing free food and (if applicable) drink! Each hall will be visited by the item in question.

2. Fast of - No food or drink, the item will be placed on a tall tower or spire overlooking the town for the duration of the fast.

3. Festival of- Its a party, no liquor laws,  games and contests, the item is a trophy to the winner of the games (who gets to hang around with it for a day before returning it)

4. Dance for - Its a masquerade with the object on display in a large enclosed building with minimal easy to extinquish lighting, rafters and a few exits.

5. Sacrifice to the glory of - Drownings, hangings, wicker man burnings,  someone is going to die in a manner dictated by the diety or patron.  The item in question will be present at the sacrifice.

6. Parade to honour - There will be floats, and onlookers, and it will turn down narrow streets and winding alleys as it circuits the town.

7. Running for - There is a mass stampede as angry livestock are released and devotees run with the item ahead of the herd.  Weird eh?

8. Orgy in the name of - Yep,  just what it sounds like.   Probably in a large opiate smoke filled building, the item will be passed around the seething mass of flesh to touch for luck.


of Who?
1. Norn the all consuming  - An ornate golden bowl. Anything eaten from it is edible.
2. St.Aldritch the muted  - A silver holy symbol stained with blood of St.Aldritch that counts as +(d4) item
3. Krampus - A leather sack full of donations and coins (Total# x 1000 gold coins in value)
4. Azael'bub the maggot king  - A jewel encrusted gold idol worth 10,000 gold.
5. The Sun!  - A solid gold dagger. It counts as +(d4-1) item (if 0 its not magical, just gold)
6. Hyrda the wrathful - A carved stone amulet with gold inlay.  +d8 to AC if worn on odd, -d8 to ac on even


Which is Dangerous because of?
1. Outsiders are forbidden (The angry mob has hundreds of devout townsfolk).
2. Zealous Pilgrims (Total# of armed level 1 warriors guard the item at all times)
3. A summoned being (Related to the diety, 5 hit dice with two special powers)
4. A wee little curse (if you don't have a random curse generator, the first non-follower to touch the island suffers a permanent curse as if from a cleric, but really, get a random curse generator or make something cool)

On Trips (in addition to other results)
1. Well, that isn't entirely true, there are several outsiders present.  Most with an apple in their mouth.
2. Anyone who makes a sound during the full day ritual is to be killed immediately, no matter what they are doing.
3. Krampus himself is here,  and he can detect naughty, such as trying to rip off his festival.  prepare for sack beating.
4. Once the idol is unleashed, anyone who stops dancing until it is placed back in its box will melt into maggots. The person to put the maggot back in its box also melts.

Dubs (in addition to other results)
5. That dagger?  The thing is it is kind of in use, its recipients soon won't have the heart to stop this event.
6. The parade marches out into the surf where the float carrying the amulet is burned.  How do they get it back?

Runs (in addition to other results)
1-2-3.  The high priest is a level 5 cleric as well.
2-3-4.  There is a competing party also out to steal the same thing
3-4-5.  The local ruler is planning a military raid on this cult and its activities mid-ceremony
4-5-6.  After entering the village, it becomes obvious that everyone here is undead.


Max Result (in addition to other results)
18. It is time to take a fishwife or fish husband and publicly consummate, doing so puts you under the mental control of your new "spouse".

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On Grot

I have seen a few people commenting about how they like "Grot" in their games. The idea of "Grottiness" being a certain level of dirt and grime as an aesthetic.  Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque gave some examples of Grotty art here.

Evan of In Deep Places has also expressed an interest in that style of game as well. The old Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying game is given as a good example of Grot in a game, the idea being to be as close to "Jabberwocky" in atmosphere as possible I would imagine.

Death is a common element in "grotty games",  not per say that player death is more common but if it occurs it is far more spectacular.  No simply "falling down",  one often has charts for going into explosive detail of just how far away their limbs land.  These rarely have game effects, except of course to remind you exactly how unpleasant death is.  It is not simply being shot and falling from the roof of the saloon.

But the best of these games and movies requires something more than grime, abject poverty and death.  While it should appear to be a scene of abject misery to the viewer or the player,  it requires quite a bit of joy and happiness.  Here are a few examples of grot.



At the 1:00 minute mark it becomes grotty


The inhabitants of a grotty realm have to have adjusted and adapted nicely, with a hearty and unusual blend of pathos and bathos.

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