Saturday, August 20, 2022

A new land to plunder! YouTube!

 Ok, I have done it. I have stepped in the realm of YouTube. May Tyr guard my path.

Check out my channel here, subscribe today!  ;-)

Episode one:

Episode two:

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Fort Druger

 Clickie to embiggie - may take a moment to load, very large file

Playing around with Affinity photo and some Google Maps, I made this, the frontier fort my players are basing their explorations out of. I give you, Fort Druger!

Fun with tinting!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

NoteQuest: Character sheet & Dungeon Sheet

Scott Kirby, a fine fellow over on the NoteQuest FB group converted the Notequest character sheet from its native Portuguese but he properly put it on paper sized for the rest of the world, not us silly blokes in the US. So with his permission, I converted it to a US letter sized page.

If you would like to download the PDF so you can print off 20+ pages for your next, next, next, and next victim of the dungeon, click here to DOWNLOAD!

Enjoy, now get in that dungeon and get to clearing it!

Monday, July 25, 2022

Notequest: alternate loot table

One of the things I felt could use a house rule in Notequest is the Looting. Not that as written it is badwrong, but that I feel unsuccessful (unfulfilled?) when I kill monsters and find no coin or treasure. Go ahead and call me a millennial but I feel like I need more reward than just not dying.  ;-) 

So, I came up with a quick Alternate Loot Table:

When you slay creatures that lack the Loot characteristic, roll a d6 and consult the table below:
1-2  Coins equal to the roll
3-5  A healing salve, heals 1 Hit Point when applied (takes an Action to apply)
6     A single Torch

I feel like this table will add some excitement to the slaying of all the creatures but will not cause the game to become out of balance and the characters suddenly become too powerful.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Notequest: First play through

If you read this blog you likely know that I have been messing around with solo games and trying multiple ones that I come across. I recently saw this one on the Solo Reddit page (a shockingly ok place actually). I've had this for about a week and simply been too busy to play. This morning I finally had a chance to try it out and I want to say I enjoyed this quite a bit! Link to purchase game.

While having a little breakfast I quickly made a character, a task that takes exactly two rolls and then began creating the dungeon I was going to explore, three more rolls. Grindor the dwarven guard was ready to plunge the depths of The Prison of the Dying Vow!  ;-)

I have read from other that have played that the game was deadly and I did have many close calls but honestly if you approach this from an OSR viewpoint, you CAN survive. Do not try to push the risks. Do not try just one more door. GTFO and rest, heal, and regroup.

Grindor came close to dying a few times but I was able to enter the prison twice, each time returning with just enough coin to rest, heal, and resupply. I watched a handful of videos on YouTube (see Lone Adventurer's videos and the excellent videos from Ithaquas Bane) and learned the basics, along with some thoughts on some rule clarifications. Using this knowledge and, honestly, my OSR mindset of not forcing every battle and knowing when to run, I left the dungeon multiple times. I had a couple of short trips to the dungeon which helped me gather a few extra coins and eventually a magic weapon. The fact that you have to reroll on the Monster Table when you go back but not the Open a Door table means there is less risk to sudden death but a better chance of Loot (see next paragraph), means you run less risk of dying while increasing resources. These short trips allowed me to gather enough coin to enter the dungeon with the idea of going down to the next level. I was able to get a magic weapon as well as a scroll with a pretty powerful spell that allowed me essentially two free attacks (entering the room through an unlocked door then the spell taking away the attack) and my magic weapon allowed me to quickly neutralize the boss monster, a medusa.

Edit, in answer to Steve's question below.
The rules state that is you leave, 'you will have to roll on the Monster Table for each empty room you enter'. Thus, when I returned I did not roll on the Opening a Door table but I rolled on the Monster Table for each room I entered when I returned. I did NOT roll on the Room Content table as I had already cleared the room. The Loot I gained was only for the monsters I defeated. I was very lucky in my return visits, rolling either the Orc Leader, 2 Orcs, or the Fungoids, each that come with Loot when slain. 

Looking at the rules, and taking them verbatim, I did not roll for monsters when I entered an empty room while leaving the dungeon, only upon returning. If you look closely on my map below, you can see I went back to room 5, 6, and 3 (which line up with the encounters on the left...marking each subsequent encounter (9,10, 12, and 11, I entered room 1 but found it empty so I continued to 3).

One house rule that Lone Adventurer mentioned he made in error (I did as well) was that damage rolls over to enemies. If you are fighting two goblins with 3 hit points and you do 5 damage, you kill one and the extra damage rolls over to a second goblin. This makes battles between your one character and groups of monsters a little more survivable. Sure sure, some will say that is cheating, but the game is still deadly.

I have only two improvements I would suggest. One, I would be to make the Reward Table a 2d6 instead of a d6. The shortness means if you return to the dungeon multiple times like I did, you tend to get repeats frequently, but that could just be a side effect due to my style of play.

The other improvement I would suggest is, well, I think a self-inflicted issue. In many of the fights you encounter you will find nothing. Many of the rooms are essentially empty, full of coffins but lacking any sort of reward. This meant winning a fight or clearing a room had no reward, and felt 'pointless'. I think this is simply a holdover from playing D&D for so many years. In D&D you get treasure, get XPs....get something for defeating monsters, so to get nothing made it felt empty. I have another house rule for this I am working on and will post it later.

Final thoughts. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed playing this and will run a few more sessions. A couple thoughts on the game:
o Torches are the true economy of the game, use them, then leave the dungeon and resupply!
o Use torches smartly, use them to remove the chance of traps (one trap can kill you instantly)
o If you do not break the door down or not set off traps, peek into the room so you can make an informed decision and have a chance to run instead of walking into a deathtrap. Heal & resupply, then come back to the room!

Grindor's character sheet (you can find these in the Notequest FB page)

And the playsheet of The Prison of the Dying Vow. Map in the center, a quick 'key' on the right for room sizes, and a record of the battles on the left. I actually goofed at the end when instead of immediately encountering the Boss Monster upon coming down the third set of stairs, I immediately rolled a 4th set of stairs! Releasing there was nothing in the rules about this, I quickly backed up and went to the boss fight.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

A map - by that other cartographer

Those of you in the know, know.

Download the pdf here. Sexy half-page with lines for writing adventures.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep12

The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.

Start here: Episode One

Octobri 22nd
Inside the Tomb of Thorfinn!

The group turns to the open passage at the end of the burial niches, the portcullis previously raised. They enter the chamber beyond the portcullis and see a large stone door to their left, Toltin notices faintly glowing runes upon its surface. In the room ahead, a spectral figure hangs in the air before, surrounded by green glowing runes on the floor in a circular pattern. I did a quick check to see if anyone might notice these two sets of runes were one and the same, only Toltin succeeds. Findara attempts to converse with the spectre but it merely stares at her. Grindella begins a prayer. His curiosity piqued now, Toltin skirts around the room and find s body on an altar behind the spectral figure. The figure keeps eyes on Grindella and her prayers.

Toltin works out what happened here. "She was sacrificed, he soul used to perform some binding ritual. The runes here match those on the door, I am guessing she is some kind of guardian, preventing others from entering the chamber beyond the stone door." The specter swivels to face the little hobbin.

Grindella is able to translate the runes on the floor. "You are correct master hobbin. Not only was her energy used to create this barrier, it also bound her to its defense. I wonder if we can free her."

At this, Grindella noticed the figure shed a tear.

The three being to focus on the runes and the binding, while Grindella attempts to use her  holy knowledge to right this wrong. At first it seems possible, and initially there is quick progress, but then the foul spirits in play respond. Barriers are put in place and the group fears all is lost. Grandella prays to her One God for assistance and Toltin and Findara each sacrifice 2hp, providing additional energy to Grindella. With a suddenly flash of light, the barrier disappears, the runes fade, and behind them, the group hears the latch in the stone door come unlatched.

Lenora floats upward, then turns to Grindella, clear appreciation in her smile. She touches Grindella's face softly, then bends and touches the priest's mace. It suddenly bursts into cold yellow flame and immediately Grin knows this is holy fire that will send evil back to darkness. Lenora offers one more smile to the group, mouths thank you, then floats towards a light that appears in the ceiling.

Silence falls on the group.

I read ahead to the next room and notice a sidebar about how the Ghoul King could show up at any time. Whoops. Guess this is what you get for not reading ahead. The adventure says the Ghoul King is equal to a ghast, a creature not in the WB:FMAG rulebook. I check quickly my OSE rules and see a ghast is a 4HD creature, equal to a Wraith in WB. So I opt to use it's stats. I roll terribly for hit points, wow, the PCs are lucky!

Regaining their composure, the group decides to investigate the stone door. This room has seen better days with substantial damage and parts of the wall having collapsed over the years. A wide but shallow stream causally makes its way across the room from left to right. A low mist starts pouring over the edge of the stream, slowly building in  thickness.

Grindella's mace bursts into flame, its yellow light dancing across the damaged walls, but she is terrified. The Ghoul King wins initiative but his swing goes wide, Grindella, filled with slips on the wet rocks of the stream and stumbles back. Fin moves towards the creature. Toltin sling stone bounces off the Ghoul King.

Next round the band ties initiative with the Ghoul King. GK misses as does Grindella, Fin, and Toltin. The next round the band wins initiative and Findara hits and does four damage. The Ghoul King howls in anger and charges Grindella. 

Staring down death, Grindella roars and smashes the Ghoul King's head, rolling a natural 20! She pulls an amazing 12 points of damage and the creature bursts in flames and is reduced to ashes! Relieved, the band plops down, takes a moment to rest and catch their breath.

After some time resting, the group gets up and goes about systematically searching the room and uncover the following:
- a hard silver trident
- 2x150gp gem
- 50gp gem
- 25gp gem
- a scroll, Grindella studies this and determines this to be a Scroll of Protection from Magic.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep11


The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.

Start here: Episode One

Octobri 22nd
Inside the Tomb of Thorfinn!

Now rested, the band is ready to press on! Toltin, flush from his previous success at sneaking declares he will try it again and immediately trips as he enters the next room, sprawling on the floor in front of an angelic statue. I rolled he failed his thievery check.

This statue holds a beautiful trident in its right hand while extending a large bowl in the other. Grindella recognizes this as an ancient hero known as Thorfinn, likely she learned this in her studies. She tries to recall more of the story but can only recall his name and he bore a powerful trident. I checked to see if anyone could recall any knowledge of Thorfinn, giving Grindella a +1 to the roll because of her studying. While she made the initial check, she failed at recalling anything additional. She was successful at translating the writing on the bowl.

38gp lies in the bowl and Toltin is about to grab it when Grin translates the writing. Grindella tosses in a gold piece and immediately feels refreshed, as if she had a good night's sleep in a soft bed, a full belly, and was not in a dead-filled tomb. Thinking better of stealing the gold, Toltin instead tosses a gold piece into the bowl. Instead he suddenly feels weary and tired. Toltin complains about the fickleness of the gods. Fin watches her companions and declares she wants nothing to do with this relgious nonsense. 

Enamored with the ancient creation before her, Grindella continues to examine the statue and notices a small hinge hidden along the shaft. Grin tests the hinge and is able to move the the trident downward. Elsewhere, they hear a loud rumbling. A portcullis is moving somewhere deeper in the tomb.

The band searches the room, the corners are fills with debris and various pieces of long destroyed equipment. Toltin guards the open passage while they do this. Findara uncovers a spear, shiny as if it were made yesterday. The torch light gleams off the shaft and she is sure this is a special weapon!

This tomb was oddly barren of any treasure and I decided I wanted to roll on the magic tables in the WB book...which are noticeably skewed towards just giving gold pieces. I figured the group might walk away with a few dozen gp. However, I rolled fantastically and instead gained a magic spear +1!  

Cautiously, the group enters the next room, discovering it is a passage with burial niches built along its length. They are saddened to learn the niches have already been plundered and nothing of value is discovered.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep10


The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.

Start here: Episode One

Octobri 22nd
Inside the Tomb of Thorfinn!

The band continues onward with Findara searching the room. She discovers a passage behind a cluster of rocks against the northern wall of the chamber. Passage is tight but Toltin volunteers to squeeze through and see if he can discover what lies beyond.

Fun little sidebar: Here I discovered that the published module was missing any information on what lies in room 4a, despite it being labeled on the map. No biggie, we can figure this out! I turn to the d30 books, but they offer no help.

Toltin enters a shadowy chamber with an altar at the far end, with a figure kneeling before it, as if in prayer. He makes his thievery check (here I use the thievery skill check, adding Toltin's DEX modifier) and sneaks around to the side enough to see the rotting face of an undead creature, it's mouth slowly moving in prayer. Horrified at being alone in the room with this creature, he quickly - albeit quietly - exits to inform his friends.

Grindella is unphased and declares 'I can take this creature!' before uttering a prayer to her god.

Toltin again attempts to sneak into the room, but fails miserably, and alerts the ghoul who turns to face the intruders. Initiative ties! Toltin lets a sling loose and whacks the beast in the head for 6hp! The ghoul closes and reaches for Toltin who deftly steps out of its reach.

Band wins init. Toltin hits again for 1hp, followed by an equally weak hit for 1hp from Findara. Furious at another unnaturally dead creature Grindella screams in holy anger and charges the creature, knocking it down with a strike to the head, and quickly crushes the brainpan with her feet. The ghoul is silent!

A quick search of the room turns up a few trinkets of jewelry worth around 20gp. Tired from their ordeal, Grindella suggests they rest for a while and recharge. They rest for six hours, nibbling on rations, drinking from their waterskins, and catching a few Zzzzs. 

I check for random encounters, even though the module does not mention any random encounters. Luckily for our little group of adventurers, nothing came along while they rested.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep9


The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.

Start here: Episode One

Just want to take a moment and say something. I have been very busy with two members of my family graduating from college, traveling to two different states to see them, then watching the lovely little cat in the photo above slowly waste away from a failed kidney.  The most vibrant, wild, and craziest personality I have ever encountered in a cat. She was my constant companion after my fall last year and I was stuck recovering in the house. We had our moments but we soon became fast friends and whenever I looked, there she was, my little shadow. Her time with us was amazing and she filled it with more life than most in her brief time in our home, we are very sad to see her leave us. I know you are chasing birds and rabbits in heaven, Penelope. We will miss you, little P!

Me, Mick, and P chillin' three years ago

Octobri 22nd
Inside the Tomb of Thorfinn!

The sides tie initiative. The ghoul lunges at the partially buried Basil, gripping the dwarf around the throat, Basil is shocked and terrified, but somehow managed to regain his composure. [Basil made his save] He pushes the ghoul away with his foot and in terror pulls himself from the piled up bones. The ghoul flops down on to the bones and Grin swings but strikes only bones. Fin launches another arrow, lodging it solidly in the creature's skull. Tol manages to locate his sling.

The band wins initiative! Basil slips again and flops into the bones, today just isnt his lucky day. Followed by Findara missing with her bow. Tol lets a stone loose but it goes wide as well. Grindella, having enough of this undead creature, steps up, yells a prayer and lets loos with her hammer and lands a critical! The creature's head smashes into pieces.

Behind the band another ghoul appears just in time to realize its companion is gone. It howls and leaps at the party! [laughably it fumbles] In a blind rage, it misjudges the leap and lands, face first, in the pile of bones. In a moment, the band is on it, hacking mercilessly and within seconds the creature has been shredded.

Catching their breath, the band decided to move on. Turning a corner the see a pool has formed in the sunken room ahead. Across the pool is a room, about 20 feet across and deep within are two pedestals with mean-looking statues atop. THe pool is rank, with somethings floating in the oily, gross water. A thin ledge skirts the edges of the pool and the group decides to continue forward, hugging the wall on the left side of the pool. The adventure states this is an easy test, so I decide a DEX check against a target of 10 makes it acrossToltin makes it easily across, but Basil's wide girth causes him to lose his balance and he suddenly finds himself splashing about in the stinky muck. He is followed by Findara. Grind easily clears the pool. Basil comes out of the pool, angry, wet, and smelly and comes face to face with the gargoyle statues guarding the chamber beyond. Angry and annoyed he pushes onward, attempting to get past them....and is immediately roasted by a blast of oily flames shooting out of the fanged mouths!

A burnt, smoking and very dead Basil tumbles backwards into the pool....

Findara, Toltin, and Grindella fish their friend out of the pool and realize he is beyond help, having marched off to the dark, hallowed halls of the dwarven heavens. 

After a moment of digesting this turn of events, Fin realizes the pool is full of victims of the flames and decides to begin pulling their bodies from the pool. I decided to add this to the adventure because it felt like we had survived a bit and gained literally nothing. As a DM, I would have given some reward here if I were to run this with a group. I roll a d10 and get a 9! Nine bodies are recovered and I use an oracle to determine if anything is recoverable from the bodies. The band manages to pull a dwarf, human thief, human MU, and another dwarf from the pool that have the following items they can recover: a sword, a Rope of Climbing (!), a potion (of Gaseous form, the group does not understand the runic symbol on it bottle), a throwing ax, grappling hook, crowbar, large sack, and a wooden holy symbol.

After spending the rest of the afternoon collecting the items they can recover, Fin does a quick search of the rest of the room but finds nothing but a solid door leading, it is assumed, farther into this tomb.  Grindella performs last rights on the bodies, including that of their friend Basil, then Findara puts them to flame, ensuring they cannot rise again.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

White Box Character Generator!

Danger is Real has taken my character sheet and made an awesome White Box random character generator. Very cool! Check out out here:

Monday, May 9, 2022

White Box character sheet PDF


Click here for the character sheet PDF.

I also made one for NPCs, to easily track important bits of information as well as a largely blank backside to allow for note taking.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep8

The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.
Start here: Episode One

Octobri 22nd
Weather - partly cloudy and slightly warmer, in the low 50s

Early morning - Rem heads out of the fort. Reason unknown.

Thinking they might be able to get hired by Brother Iben to scout out this grove, they go to see him but he is not available. The band discusses their next move over an early cup of ale and decide they will explore the nearby tomb- its close, pays decently and with four (possibly five) of them, they believe they will have enough power to muscle their way through any problem they confront. 

Time to learn more about this tomb. How far away? About 6 miles , rolled a d6/2 then added 3 miles. I knew previously where it was roughly but not exactly. I wanted it close to the fort, but not too close. It is a barrow? No. Ruins? Yes. A temple? No. Is a building present? No, so it must be accessible from the ruins but not enough remain of the ruins to be properly a building. A monastery? No. Are their statues? Yes. More than one statue? No. Is it larger? Yes, then I threw together a quick table (to the right) to figure out how large the statue was. I roll for encounters but get a 4, nothing happens along the way.

Perceptive readers might notice that according to my write up here on the blog, the statues already existed. When I played, I did not know there were statues and added that later when I was writing this up for you. I had seen a short tomb dungeon previously and I scoured my google drive to relocate it for this adventure. I wanted something short, not too deep and I settled on this adventure:
Pamphlet Dungeon : Thorfinn's Tomb from Crooked Staff Publishing.

The band approaches the tomb, since Toltin was in the band when they first encountered this, he has no problem guiding his friends there. As they approach they see a 20' tall, broken statue of Thorfinn stands in a slight clearing surrounded by thick brush. Toltin and Findara check around and quickly identify a way into a hidden tomb, a pitch black open maw.

Findara and Basil light torches, Basil mutters "Many days have past since I entered the darkness..."

They enter a dark, dry tunnel, the walls carved roughly from the rock. The tunnel turns slightly, and ahead the wall turns into a wall of morbid skulls. Unknown to the group is that a ghoul awaits them there, ready to pounce!

Do the band members notice the ghoul? WB provides no clear mechanic for this so I opted to use a Save with a modifier for a high Wisdom to determine if the group notices the creature waiting to spring his trap. 

Toltin fails, focusing his attention more down the dark tunnel but Basil spots the thing waiting and whispers a warning to his friends. Grindella, has heard of these creatures previously and schools the band quickly. These are not powerful creatures, but they can be deadly. The group discusses a tactic and having the missile launchers stay back so they might rain down missiles on the ghoul when it makes its move.

The ghouls plan is to push the wall of skulls over onto the band, trap them and then attack while they are struggling to get back on their feet and out from under the skulls. I decide the band will need to make a Dexterity check against a 10 to avoid the tumbling skulls, I give them a +1 since they are aware of the trap.

Basil is the first through the pinch point and the ghoul, as expected, pushes the wall on him. Basil tries to jump ahead of the pile but his bulk slows him and he stumbles on a skull, slipping and coming to rest as skulls pile over him. Only the top of his head can be seen. The ghouls leaps down and moves towards Basil.

Toltin whips a stone at him, but his sling clips the wall and goes wild, as he ducks the sling slips from his hands and smashes into a side wall (he rolled a fumble). He will spend next round gathering his sling and digging out a new stone to toss.  Findara raises her bow to take a shot but the ghoul is something she has never seen before. The gore dripping from its fangs frightens her and she simple stares in shock at the creature crawling towards her friend!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep7


The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.

Start here: Episode One

Still Octobri 21th

The band returns to Fort Rot Tooth just as night begins to fall.

Slight retcon here, in my notes you may see that I decided at this point that the fort would become a central focal point in this game and I wanted a map. It occurred to me that I had drawn a fort last year after visiting Fort Boonesborough and I decided to use my own map, retconning the keep to a fort.

They join Captain Loilol as he is sitting down for dinner. He requests they join him, wanting to learn of news of his (half) brothers killer. Rem however opts out, stating that he needs to clean up and refresh after being out in the forest for so long.

The meal goes well and the band relates their story, the captain rewards them with the gold he offered. He then excuses himself in order to pray for his brother's soul.

I have made a decision on the deities in this world and decided to do something I have never done but thought about in the past. Instead of having a large pantheon of gods I want to instead have a single god. Not Christianity per se, but something probably similar. I have always avoided this topic in the past, worried that it could cause problems with the players, but since it is just me playing this does not matter. So....the One God.

As the band finishes up dinner, they now have a decision to make: do they want to continue working together. Using the traits I rolled (noted in the top right corner of their character cards) I weigh each roll or the oracle and get the following results:

Findara - yes
Grindella - yes
Toltin - whatevs (inconclusive)
Basil - yes

The group decides to stick together for further adventures!

I opted here to restate the loose ends (leads/hooks) I still had floating around. I did this mainly because I did not know where the band would head next. 

Loose Ends

  • Captain Loilol wants the tomb explored as it is too close to the fort for his comfort
  • Brother Iben wants Ring Root (an herb) collected from a grove he knows is nearby
  • The captain, on orders from the Bishop of Elswyth, needs to have the Cave of Time explored and reported back to the Bishop

Monday, May 2, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep6

The following is a solo adventure I am running using White Box FMAG, the Perilous Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.
Start here: Episode One

Octobri 21th
Weather still sucks. I forgot to roll weather, assume it is overcast and cold.

The band approaches the river and knowing what lies ahead they stop to formulate a plan. I suddenly have the idea of packing moss into our ears, as a means of reducing or stopping the siren's magical effect. As the GM I know this will have zero effect because the Lure effect is by smell, but hey, PCs have crazy ideas. I decide to use the oracle to see if this has any effect, I give this an unlikely success (meaning the white and red die roll for negative). The dice roll a 6 on blue, meaning this will help. Against I ask (with more likely negative result) and get a 5 on blue. I roll a d6 to see how helpful this will be and it is a +4 on their saves. Sometimes you just have to roll with the momentum and screw the rules.....

The group spots the rive and move into position, with Findara moving to a position on a bluff overlooking the river, thinking she will have an overwatch position and be able to snipe with her bow.  Basil moves down to the river's edge, without a ranged weapon he will need to cross quickly to strike the siren. As luck would have it, they have found a sandy area of the river where the crossing will be easy. Toltin and Grindella set up on a rise over the river, close enough to support with missile weapons but also close in case they need to cross the river.

However, Si-lireth spots Findara almost immediately and deduces that they are hunting her and setting a trap. She waits, bathing in the waters.

Toltin whispers down to Basil. Basil pretends to set up camp, letting out his bedroll, collecting firewood, etc. He hopes that the siren will grow weary of waiting and will come closer, enabling him to attack (and letting his friends have closer targets). Basil figures it this way, "Who could resist a sexy dwarf like him?"

Three hours later....Basil is napping lightly next to the river on his bedroll.

Suddenly a man appears farther upstream. He crashes out of the brush just upstream from Basil and plops into the stream, limping and seemingly wounded. Surprisingly, he makes his save and is unaware of the dangerous situation he has wandered into. He washes off the wound in his leg and then steps back onto the shore, begins setting up camp. The siren has taken notice of him and has warily moved closer. Minutes later, a second man stumbles out of the forest. He moved towards this second camp and just before dropping down to rest with his friends, he suddenly looks to the east, across the river.

Moments later he quickly sets off across the river and towards the hidden siren, enchanted with her wonderful, but deadly, scent.

I determined this by rolling the oracle and asking if anything happens while we wait. The answer came back strongly yes. Further questions drilled down to the fact that the siren did not attack, or run, but that something else wandered in. The table in PW determined it was a pair of humans, brigands or criminals actually, and that one was wounded. I used the smolderingwizard random character generator to quickly roll up the two characters and gave them names from FotF. Raten made his save, but then Rem failed when he got in range of the siren's powers.

The siren rises up out of the water and Raten realizes what is about to happen, I mean there is a naked woman running around a deadly forest, you would know something was up... Raten runs after his friend, tackling him to try to snap him out of it.Rem finds himself face to face with the beautiful siren standing over both of the men...both men are surprised.

Si attacks, Raten makes his save and is not swallowed whole, however he does take damage from the attack, dying from the attack with 10 damage (max roll). Rem is in shock and merely stands there, waiting for death!

I used my tablet along with some wooden furniture plugs I had as minis.

Si wins initiative, but the band beats her and launches into attack mode! Findara fires her bow, striking for 4 damage. Toltin spins his sling and nails the vile creature for 3 damage. Si misses Rem as he steps to the side but then he slips on the wet sand and misses her as well.

Next round initiative is tied! I use the Tale of the Manticore rule that ties go simultaneously. This gives each side the opportunity to win at combat while also suffering with a last ditch strike. Si goes first, narrowly missing Rem. Rem steps up and hacks at the siren, cutting her deeply. Findara strikes true with her bow and the evil siren falls into the water, her body slowly dissolving into an oily liquid and fades into the moving river water. 

Brother Aldred and Garmon are avenged! 

As a last step, I wondered if Rem was wanted in Rot Tooth, the oracle tells me is not! I perform a quick check to see if the band will welcome him, they do, and he agrees to return to Fort Rot Tooth with them.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Wyrdwood Adventures, ep5


Wilds, Freebooters on the Frontier and Into the Wyrd and Wild. I use my own oracle and a handful of tables from PW and FotF to generate almost everything on the fly. I have written this out in a sort of journal style mostly because I enjoy writing. Behind the scenes notes are in italics.
Start here: Episode One

Octobri 20th
Weather still sucks. I am rolling terrible on the weather.

Toltin wakes up from a restless night of sleep, haunted by the visions of beautiful maidens swallowing his companions whole, one of which was a close friend. Hungry, Toltin heads to the hall and grabs a plate of eggs, slab of ham, and mead. He strikes up conversation with a few men and learns that previously a soldier was lost at the river to the very same beast! An idea pops into his head...

Gaining an audience with Loilor, who has now had to time ponder over this new development, Toltin tells the captain how he wants revenge and asks if he can spare any men to avenge his brother's death. The captain ponders a moment, a grim look crosses his face, and he informs Toltin that he cannot. However, he can offer a reward of 100gp to every man who would help Toltin with his task. He bids the man farewell, saying he will be successful!

Remembering he saw a few other travelers in the hall, he heads there, hoping that some are adventurers looking for fame and glory! 

I randomly determined there were three adventuring sorts in the hall, looking for an adventure. Using the random generator at I quickly put together three adventurers. 

<--- WB ability score bonus/penalty
One note here. At this point I opted to begin using the Ability Score bonuses out of B/X rather than BW. The main reason is that I do a lot of things by ability checks. I use a method devised by Tim from Gothridge Manor.  Using the ability score bonus/penalty from B/X allows a wider variance in the characters' abilities when attempting things not defined directly by the rules.

<---- B/X ability score bonus/penalty & Ability Check Method
In many situations I will ask for an ability check and assign a difficulty target, usually a 10 (easy),  14 (moderate), 18 (hard), etc. I typically will use 12, 14, or 16 for most checks, based on common sense and the situation. Still, these are just general guides. The Gothridge Manor ACM goes like this:
o DM determines a target based on the situation
o Player rolls d20, aiming to roll equal to or higher
o Player adds the character's level + any bonus/penalty from an appropriate ability

Toltin recruits a dwarven warrior named Basil the Stoutbellied, an elven woman named Findara Greensong who carries a bow, and a holy woman named Sister Grindella. Basil is shoving lambchops into his wide belly, Findara stabs a chicken breast a little too roughly, and Sister Grindella claims that she will certainly be of use in the task at hand because she "will not be so easily swayed into the creatures maw like a simple man." After discussions, they agree to finish their meal, then head out of the fort and towards the river, hoping to reach it before nightfall.

As I have already checked for weather I skip this, but as we are entering the wilderness and crossing a hex, I need to do an Encounter Check, and sure enough, I roll a 1.

Barely an hour outside of the fort, the band is suddenly engulfed in an atrocious smell, rotting flesh, urine, and poo...picture this heap in a hot Alabama summer and you have a good idea. Basil is familiar with this and informs the group they have been discovered by a pack of Skunk Apes! He grins wildly as he informs his friends that the pelt of a Skunk Ape is not only rare, but very valuable! Findara tests the wind to determine from whence the smell cometh. She silently points to a nearby ridge overlooking their position. Two hulking shapes can be seen among the foliage, the apes are upon them!

The band immediately reach for missile weapons, Fin launches an arrow and Tol lets a rock fly from his sling, both hitting and causing damage. Enraged, the beast charge forward spreading their smell. The entire band save Basil fail their save and become nauseous, gaining a -4 penalty to all actions.

Another round passes but the party fail to strike except (again) for Basil who manages a single point of damage on the beasts. Luckily the beasts are also terrible in melee and miss their attacks. The next round Toltin strikes and slays one ape with his sling. Now without a companion, the other ape rethinks the plan and turns, bolting into the forest. Missiles are launched at his disappearing rear but fail to connect.

Basil, despite the disgusting smell, is eager to cash in on this pelt and convinces the elf to aid him. Findara uses her skill at cleaning the kill and manages to score the genitals, an unscathed skull, and pelt while the rest of the party keeps watch. Basil is besides himself with the idea of how much this is worth back in the fort. He assumes Brother Iben will be eager to purchase these from the group for studying.

I used the cleaning a kill rules in the Into the Wyrd & Wild book to determine these rules. I have never had players clean a kill but I thought idea was fantastic. After all, how else would magic-users create all those cool potions and magic items without awesome monster parts! I originally wrote that they recovered 100lbs of meat, but then thought it better to leave that. Who would eat that garbage infested flesh? Barf!

After cleaning the kill, the band continues onward towards the river along the barely-there trail. They continue another three hours until night begins to fall. Searching for a good campsite off the trail, they discover a twenty foot tall statue nestled among the trees and bushes. Part of the statue has fallen and the thing is clearly very old. Near the statues base, Basil and Toltin uncover the entrance to an old cavern hidden among the bushes with markings clearly making this a tomb of some sort. Basil is eager to explore but the rest of the group convince him to wait for another day, that the siren is their task.

They set up camp nearby - but not too nearby - the statue. The night passes uneventfully except for Findara waking them at 5am to an odd owl that landed on the statue's shoulder and stared at them. Unnerved, they begrudgingly got up, packed up, and began their trek to the river and the blasted damn siren.