Monday 25 November 2013

Additional Page For Dreary Island Map

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF I contributed something to this, 
specifically the OSR cares collection. It's like a horrible island with encounters and stuff.
There is a page missing though.
Here is that page

Thursday 21 November 2013

things that are random other than dice, encounters, boxes containing boxes, the bones of fish, the mysterys of teeth

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Say you have a 1d100 table with various things on it having greater or lesser percentages than each other.
Like a encounter table for a city where 14-19 is a lobotomized child and 20-21 is a street shark and 22-35 is a an overdressed candy boiler. If you suddenly needed to adjust the percentages of  everything on the table you would have to rewrite the table (say candy is illegal or lobotomized children are being sent to the moon or what have you).
if you have a hat or small bag or whatever , and are determining a random result by drawing a token or bead or marble you can adjust the percentages fairly easily by just adding more tokens of that type.

Like say if you wanted to do your random encounters for an island using scrabble tiles (or SpellingSquares as it is known here in Aotearoa ). All the E's are Electric lemur , the K's are Killer Beetles etc. Each time something is encountered and rendered unencountable you remove that tile.

Or encounters in a buffer zone between two waring factions. Each time events dictate a faction is increasing its presence you add more of their tokens into the bag.

Though up this when I was trying to think of new , easy ways to have dynamic systems modeled before me as I g.m. I'm getting  increasingly uninspired towards dungeons and hex maps (actually I've never liked hex maps. I find them kinda fiddly and ugly looking and too contained) .

I want the "life" of an area to be immediately graspable to me when I'm looking at my notes. What scavengers will be drawn to a kill ,  who will notice a noise, how the situation is already changing even before the p.cs blunder into it.

Attempted a few cluster fuck encounter table flow chart timeline hybrids (down the chart is the progression of time) that weren't even remotely plausible.

I ran a game recently where I sectioned off the map into various territories of the creatures and had the encounter table being something like this:

1,2 Local
3,4. Ubiquitous local
5 Colour
6.  Wandering

Local being an encounter with whoever's territory they were in , with some locals having the trait "ubiquitous", which meant they were more likely to be encounter. Locals were ubiquitous if 2 or more these traits would apply to them : zealous, numerous , restless, perceptive.

If ubiquitous local was rolled in a territory were the local weren't ubiquitous , then it was treated as colour encounter or a no result.

Colour encounters were stuff like the weather , semi harmless wildlife, natural recourse, or just a chance to quickly remind everyone that they were drudging through a bog or whatever. If the party/players were in a rush a colour encounter would just be skipped.

Wandering was a short table of wandering encounters.,  monsters and npcs that could show up anywhere.
Neighbouring locals would be on this table, the exact purpose of their trespasses to be decided in the moment.

(actually I think the encounter table for the game I had neighbour in the first table and not a wandering result. But now that I have thought of this way, I like it this way).

You'll have a chance to use these notes for yourself as the whole island I did for this game got cleaned up a bit and submitted to an upcoming OSR package type deal. If it doesn't get used , I will upload it here instead.

Anyway I felt like I had a better grip on the islands denizens having their territory in front of me like this.
And I really like having stuff integrated like  weather and ecology and descriptions in with encounters. These however risk being a "too many empty rooms" if you don't read the players interest's right and start giving them more information than they need about what this fucking blue rabbit is doing or whatever..

But yeah it's part of the ever leaning process of being a g.m , fine-tuning your notes and presentations and information systems. Do you like immediately knowing who is charge in a city or do you want a table of obstacles and obfuscations to use in the city? Do want instant dungeons or instant schemes? Etc etc.
Don't mistake me here , not saying that any of the above are binarys. Blah blah blah.

Ideally I want to feel of the place at a glance, the forces driving it (ecological , political, mercantile etc) , its day to dayness , its history and what there is to actually do there and what is going make that different from this other place in the world.

This Crate contains a
1. sack
2. urn

Sack contains a
3. Chest
4. bundle
5. basket

Urn contains a
1. sack

Chest contains a
1. sack
2. urn

Bundle contains a  
1. sack
2. urn

Basket contains a 
1. sack
2. urn

Bag contains a
1. sack
2. urn
6.1d100 wraiths


Bones of Strange Fishes formed these things

1. Discrete pick, can pick one word out of some ones throat, this word they can never say again
2. Clever Awl, makes tiny holes , but only in one direction
3.Subtle Hook, will ensnare only those smarter than you
4.Diplomats Jaw, when fixed in your throat will allow you to say two things at once , each heard by a different listener of your discretion
5. Malign Barb, a tiny misshaped shard , that will cause slow but ruinous infections to those it wounds absent mindedly
6. Ocular ring , all waters will be of the purest transparency to you. From a boat you can see deep deep into the abyss. But everything you see can see you just as keenly.


Inside this tooth is concealed

1. A ghouls egg
2.Dungeon seeds
3.Far too many wasps
4. Congealed Misery
5.Wee dancing men
6. A black steel centipede
7. A ghosts memory
8. an antidote for the poison in the other tooth
9. A tusk which can impossibly spiral out to the length of a sword
10.A bell which causes pain to the undead
11. a bone louse
12.delayed blast fireball

Thursday 14 November 2013

More Terrible Tigers

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF Tigers?
Arnold wrote some fine Tigers.
Tiger being a short hand here for an organism evolved to specifically to exploit our, homo sapians , weaknesses. Click that link already

Anyway I totally asked him about doing some Tigers and he was like "yeah do it"
and now there are more Tigers

Nix Cat:
Nix cat's have long weird tails with a indistinct lure on the end. They have long pointy faces like ant eaters and quietly cough bone disks out to bleed you dry. The thing about them is , if they can see you face , they know exactly where your blind spot is. And that is where they will crouch. The lure however will indistinctly and badly hide right in front of you , always not quite identifiable, rustling behind a bush but , always darting out of your reach , while off to the side the Nix cat almost politely coughs another disc across your throat.
The discs are fast and curve in flight as to confuse the position of the cat.

Pitch Toad:
A black greasy looking toad, somewhat like a leech. It will savage your face or an ankle and then quickly hop away. The bite alone is not fatal, but your chemistry will now be altered. 3 hours later you will admit a smell that will drive all domestic animals to murder and consume you. You flesh will be poison to them. They will die and stink and then the toads will quietly come in their hundreds to feast on the carrion.

Booggedy Eel:
An eel which lurks at the black depths of desolate lake. The more you have heard about it the stronger it is. It will selectively leave survivors to spread stories about it, drawing curiosity seekers. When it gets to a certain size , it spawns (asexually) and dies, the juvenile Booggedy Eels crawling over land to find lakes, loch and fens of their own.

A devious variant of the mimic. Pretends to be treasure. Keeps pretending to be treasure all the way back to town, and stays pretending to be treasure until it is sold and alone with someone. Devours them, then makes it look like a break in. Takes off with the treasure and hides with it in some others creatures lair. So beware of treasure hoards in the lairs of creatures with no reason to have them.
A Snits natural form is that of bipedal , starved looking pig thing, with club like hands and a lazy smile.

Quarrelly Bug:
Like a earwig. It sneaks and tucks itself away in your repository canal. The male makes you miss hear things. The female makes you miss say things. They come out to breed and lay their eggs when there is nice pile of corpses , like those generated from a diplomatic mishap.
So watch out for unexplained battlefields.

Gable Giant:
Not much bigger than a man, gray, with long limbs and a great gullet. A soft footed , agile thing, crouching in the alcoves and byways of the joinings of roofs and steeples.
It it eats people of course, but to maintain its survival , it tries to eat people that wouldn't be immediately missed. So generally tourists. It can tell a tourist for they look up far more than the embattled city goers. From there it gets their attention, by contorting its body into shadows suggesting of noteworthy architectural strangeness , that can't quite be seen, but perhaps, from this side street the view would be better, no that is not right, maybe its a minaret, seemingly accessible from this alley?

False Drummer:
In times of war, drummer boys will go from town to town , recruiting brave youths to fight for their kingdom. Some however, are actually giant crickets in disguise and their hypnotic rhythms , once out of town, will cause a panicked rush to follow the false drummer straight off a cliff.  
Hence the superstition about it is unlucky to join the army in the twilight, for those that do , join doomed regiments, never to make it home.
It would be more helpful if the superstition was "Giant insects can pass as human if the light isn't so great"

Lantern Spider:
It's a spider that builds upon its back the shapes of web and stick and old cloth, the shapes of conspirators muttering and digging , in the black night.
It waves about its glowing ended limbs to make lanterns , and gnashes its fangs with a steel like clang , to complete the illusion of robbers burying treasure.
It will then bury itself, while making as if the lanterns are fading into the distance, and wait for the curious (and greedy) onlooker, it so carefully lured early with bobbing lights.
When the onlooker comes a digging , only the spider is their to drag them underneath the soil. And people are not prone to tell others that they are off to seek buried treasure.