Friday, June 14, 2019

Underport - Revisionist Version

(Underport side view)
Believe it (or not) I am actually still working on "Metropolis of Chaos" sequel to "Underport: Abyssal Descent," but I just needed a project that was less mentally taxing.

When I put out Underport several years ago, my group was still using a 1st/3rd editions hybrid that seems sooo needlessly clunky now. One of the comments was that the author (me) seemed to lose gas at the lower levels, which I did. Writing high-level basically 3rd ed. stat blocks over and over was a pain in the ass.

Another comment was that the maps were, perhaps endearingly, super hard to follow. (I scanned my original pencil drawings in as black and white to gain definition.)

As a result I am going to revise Underport for the gently modified 5th ed. version, "Advanced Knights of the All Mind, 9th Edition." I intend to strip down the stat blocks, colorize maps, and add the long lost 9th level...

As it is said, writing is rewriting!

Monday, May 13, 2019

WIld Space


Good grief, I cannot let well enough alone...

Daughter the Cooliosis permitted us to game in the garage of her and new Coastie Husband. On the fly for characters (more for what cool miniatures I had rather than any meta-considerations) they each ended up as starfaring folk from a futuristic technology - essentially though a half-giant from Dark Sun flavor and a Rifts juicer.

Of course I'm running the gently modified 5th ed. rues from Advanced Knights of the All Mind 9th Edition, and further we just wing things on that first night, but I need to draft up a race, character, and background info.

So here it is, Wild Space, a free fan conversion with some of my fluff thrown in.

P.S. As an added bonus, I placed for the overall sci-fi milieu Judges Guild Wilderlands setting into Judges Guild Gateway Quadrant for Traveller! I found the Judges Guild Traveller adventure module "Marooned On Ghostring," about misjump that discovers an unexplored planet which happening to be the 4th planet out (just like the Wilderlands Ghenrek IV). THAT'S IT!

I just figured the "Ghostring" scenario a ruse to hide the true magical nature Ghenrek IV and there you are...

Friday, March 8, 2019

Gonzo Monsters - Star Spyder

The star spyder is another Dave Hargrave beastie appropriated this time from the old 1975-77 BBC television show Space 1999, a monster from the episode "Dragon's Domain."

The Star Spyder originally appeared in The Arduin Grimoire Volume III, "Runes of Doom."
Below is a video college of the creature that inspired Dave from the television show...



And Here is the Star Spyder as depicted on the cover of "Runes of Doom":

(Art by Greg Espinoza.)
My 5th edition adoption of Dave's creature for The World's Most Popular Role Playing Game:

Star Spyder Huge aberration, Amoral evil
Armor Class 22 Arms, 20 Body, 13 eye (natural armor)
Hit Points 160 (20d12 + 20) Speed 40 ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 20 (+5) CON 12 (+1) INT 7 (-2) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 8 (-1)
Skills Arcana +7
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagikal attacks
Damage Immunities Charm, cold, confusion, poison, sleep, sonics
Condition Immunities Frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages
Challenge 14 (11,000 XP)
Penumbral Door. Instead of moving like a normal creature, the star spyder can shift to a different plane, move there, and shift back to the plane where it came from.
Plane Shift. Once per hour, the star spyder can magikally teleport to a different plane of existence. The star spyder does not have to know the plane or its nature. When it uses this ability, it will intuitively avoid planes with an environment too harsh for it to survive. The star spyder can take up to four creatures with it provided these creatures are in physical contact with it. If a creature is unwilling to travel with the star spyder, it must make a successful DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be taken along anyway. The DC is reduced by 2 for every additional unwilling creature.
Actions
    Multiattack. The star spyder makes a psychic charm attack and 4d6 arm tentacle attacks per round. If two arm attacks hit the same target, it is grappled (escape DC 14) and the dimensional star spyder can use its dimensional leap.
    Psychic Charm. The star spyder targets one humanoid it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the star spyder, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this magik or be charmed by the star spyder. The charmed target moves toward the star spyder and it is a willing target for the star spyder's arm attacks.
    Arm. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d12 + 4) slashing damage plus 13 (2d8+4) constriction damage thereafter. The star spyder regains hit points equal to 1 hit point for every 2 hit points of damage caused. Also, the constriction comes with continuous suction (reverse cyclone) each turn. All under 3 HD cannot resist being seized. If the target is 3 HD or greater, it must make a grapple escape DC 16 or the target is seized. Those seized are dragged under the star spyder's mouth, where the victim’s body is consumed by radiation and heat in 2 melee rounds. Those killed in this manner are 100% irrecoverable.
    Dimensional Leap. The star spyder teleports, along with any equipment it is carrying and any creature it is grappling, up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space it can see.
Description: Star Spyder looks like a bright light that makes observation difficult. When in danger of being killed, it teleports away. This creature is so rare as to be only a dim legend.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Gonzo Items - Pulsonic Disruptor (Hell Hand)


Whew, I have been off-the-grid from posting for some time as I am cramming to complete my 5th ed. conversion of the Arduin dungeon "Caliban" (1979) in time for DunDraCon 43 where the game is scheduled for 6:00pm Friday, February 15th.

You'll find this here "Pulsonic Disruptor" in Caliban's magik item cards, and it's an exemplary Dave Hargrave item in the sense it is a clear example of how Dave happens across something in a movie (or book, TV show, etc.) and then imagines it into something gameable.

"Laserblast" is a 1978 American science fiction film about an unhappy teenage loner who discovers an alien laser cannon and goes on a murderous rampage, seeking revenge against those who he feels have wronged him. The extremely low-budget film was directed by Michael Rae and produced by Charles Band, who is widely known for producing B movies. Starring Kim Milford, Cheryl Smith, and Gianni Russo, the film features Keenan Wynn and Roddy McDowall, and marked the screen debut of actor Eddie Deezen. 

Anyhew, the laser cannon, in addition to blasting apart just about anything, also turn its owner into a murderous green-skinned monster. I can tell you from my games of yore there is nothing better than super powerful items with nasty side effects and watching PCs wonder, "Well, I probably shouldn't be using this, but we seem to be close to TPK so...."

Here is the laser cannon in action:


And here is the "Pulsonic Disruptor" (you'll notice some "Laserblast" similarities in Dave's write-up):

(The original "Pulsonic Distruptor" art by Michio Okamura)
Pulsonic Disruptor (Hell Hand)
Weird Technology item, very rare

Power Source: Nuclear Pellet
Maximum Charges: 177
Range: 110/440 yards
AC Penetration: 23
Damage per shot: 25 hit points
Size: fits all normal sized humanoid arms.

Powers: This weapon, once put on, is irremovable by anything less than a “full wish” unless its power source runs down. All hit by it are dizzy, nauseated and stunned for 1d10 melee rounds (20% chance) or are at -4 attack/defense for 10d6 minutes. The device's own AC is 20 and it is immune totally to any form of sonics. Cold or heat only does 1/4 damage to it. For every shot fired from it there is a 2% cumulative chance the wearer will be driven insane from the "back lash." At any rate the radiation from this technological device will do the same in a year! It's a “no win” situation.

Description: This 6-pound sleeve-like tube that fits over a forearm is composed of Titanium, Gadolinium, boron filaments and some silver, and Usually appears metallic blue overall.  The Disruptor's value is 250,000 gold pieces.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

9th Edition of the Judges Guide


Ok, because you asked for it... (Ha, perhaps...)

Here is the newly reformatted with double columns Advanced Knights of the All Mind Judges Guide 9th Edition! Tis really an exact copy of the info from the previous edition, but damn if it doesn't bring back memories with double columns of Calibri font just like the old 1st Ed. of The Worlds Most Popular Role Playing Game.

The "new" Advanced Knights of the All Mind Judges Guide 9th Edition is available in PDF for $5 over at Drive-Thru RPG.

(Now that I have standardized my personal ruleset, there is a dungeon needing unstuck from my brain...)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Knights of the All Mind... 9th Edition?


Since I published my gently modified version of The World's Most Popular Role Playing Game's 5th edition, we put some sessions under our belts and there have been some errata and revisions (it was helpful with experienced 5th Ed. players pointing out some things I hadn’t caught).

So, in an effort to tidy things up adjusting stuff I performed a MAJOR format revision. The rules are virtually identical, but I removed portions of the art and reformatted into 2 columns per page layout.

An RPG author whom I follow (Zak S. of D&D With Porn Stars) opined awhile back something that D&D rulebooks should be 2-column. I did some research and learned the studies shewed when human eyes are scanning writings for information it is less stressful on the eye to keep lateral movements to within 60 characters. 2-column printed books happen to be 60 character columns!

So the Players Book is more compact now – 214 pages – and actually even has a bit more playable content because I added a really simple system for the old-school psionics adjusted for 5th Ed. from a 2nd ED hack by Steven James "Silverblade the Enchanter" over at Silverblade's Suitcase. (I really missed my friend J.A.S. going around Dominating folks…)

Other than that all the errata is updated and I removed some material that was redundant (e.g. Cleric bonus spells, process for Find Familiar). I also added little topical tags from the index at the bottom of each page to help locate info more efficiently. This PDF is really intended for print media.

You’ll notice the name, Advanced Knights of the All Mind 9th Edition, and be like “Whut?” Ha, I just added up all the editions we’ve used (1st-3rd-5th) and came up with 9th (ok, technically 9.5).

The new Advanced Knights of the All Mind Players Book 9th Edition is available in PDF for $5 over at Drive-Thru RPG.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Gonzo Items - Soul Gems

(Sorry, no art of the Soul Gems...)
So, Jennell Jaquays in her absolutely AWESOME 1980 tour de force, "Dark Tower," (heh, I ran a paladin in our then-campaign) came up with a bunch a fantastic magic for the battle between minions of Set and Mitra in this buried temple.

A little something that could work for anyone are the "Soul Gems" artifacts. Well, anyhow, one for good folks and another for evil. Neutral gem pretty much just destroys the other two.

But if you're a goodly or evilly type, pop one of these suckers in your forehead...

The Soul Gems

Each gem is six inches in diameter. If the character touching the gem survives alignment shock (see individual gems), the gem will fly up and embed itself in the forehead of the victim.

Each gem has Intelligence of 18, Wisdom of 18, and Charisma also of 18. Use rules for Sentient Magic Items for taking control by the gems of their wielder. If a gem takes control of its wielder, the wielder's alignment will immediately change to that of the gem.

Forceful removal of the gems will result in effects as if the gem was destroyed (see Mind of Balance). Anyone who touch the gem during its removal may be possessed.

After the final death of the host, the gems will wait one turn and if during that time, they do not receive a new host, they will teleport to a place of the referee's choosing.

NOTE: Touching the heart of law and the soul of chaos together will set off a 50d8 hit point damage explosion to all within radius 50 feet.

The Heart of Law:

Powers: 

1. 100% chance of resurrection of its host regardless of Constitution, up to a number of times equal to the host's Constitution score. After the final resurrection, the death of the host will be countered by an immediate reincarnation as a lawful-good creature;
2. +3 Ring of Protection (continuous functioning);
3. Cure Wounds 2d8+1 hit points (2x per day);
4. Spell Turning as per ring (continuous functioning);
5. Detect Evil (continuous functioning);
6. Know a creature's alignment within 5' (at will);
7. Light (at will);
8. Protection from Evil (continuous functioning); and
9. Darkvision (continuous functioning).
 
Alignment Shock: Evil types take 86 hit points damage touching the gem, Chaotic Good 22 hit points, and Neutral Good 22 hit points.

Special: Lawful-Good Fighters become paladins.

Description: A Lawful-Good, clear, colorless, glowing gem. The goal of this gem is to destroy all evil and anyone who gets in the way of that goal. Chaos and Neutrality are to be converted to Law if at all possible.

The Soul of Chaos

Powers:

1. Whenever the gem or the user desires, it will cause necrotic damage to combat victims like a spectre (3d6 hit points necrotic damage, target must succeed on DC 17 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. Reduction lasts until the creature finishes a long rest and target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0). The host will receive a 1 hit point for every point of necrotic damage caused. These points will only reach a
maximum of 150% of the characters current total hit points prior to any damage which may have been sustained. Character will only heal by gem causing necrotic damage. Necrotic damage to true friends and/or comrades will heal double value.
2. +2 Ring of Protection (continuous functioning);
3. Spell Turning as per ring (continuous functioning);
4. Know a creature's alignment within 5' (at will);
5. Darkness (at will); and
6. Darkvision (continuous functioning).

Alignment Shock: Good types take 82 hit points damage touching the gem, Lawful Evil 20 hit points, and Neutral Evil 20 hit points.

Special: If the host is in danger of death, the gem will absorb life levels from living creatures at a radius of 20'. Two attacks will be made per round on one or two creatures. Those killed by the gem can not be resurrected or reincarnated. This also goes for the host if he dies while in the possession of the gem.

Description: A Chaotic-Evil, black, glowing gem. The gem host will be forced to attack all Good.

The Mind of Balance

Powers:

(Any use of these powers except for Darkvision will result in one point being subtracted from host's Constitution (2 points Constitution for Laser Blast). These points may only be restored by the absorption of 500 gold pieces worth of treasure per point of Constitution restored.)

1. Laser Blast is fired by the gem and can only be used against the other soul gems. The blast will do 5d8 hit points of damage to the gem's host (DC 17 Constitution saving throw applicable for half damage) and cause the gem to make a straight saving throw against DC 13. Failure to do so means destruction of the gem and an additional 1d8 hit points of damage against the host. If the host survives this ordeal, he will lose 1d8 Intelligence points plus have a 60% chance of going insane. Once both of the other soul gems have been destroyed, the mind of balance will phase out into nothingness leaving its host behind. If so, the host will suffer the loss of 1d4 Intelligence points plus take 1d8 hit points of damage and have a 20% chance of insanity.
2. Host's touch will cause paralysis to the Lawful or the Chaotic (DC 17 Constitution saving throw possible).
3.  +3 Ring of Protection (continuous functioning);
4. Spell Turning as per ring (continuous functioning);
5. Detect Good and Evil (continuous functioning);
6. Know a creature's alignment within 5' (at will);
7. Negate Light and Darkness spells within 30' (at will);
8. Detect Thoughts (at will); and
9. Darkvision (continuous functioning).

Alignment Shock: All not true-neutral take 44 hit points damage upon touching this gem.

Special:  The gem requires gems, jewelry, and gold, etc., to power itself, acting as a sort of value vampire. It will regenerate lost hit points at a rate of 200 gold pieces value per hit point. Affected items become dross, glass or worthless. Once the healing has begun roll 1D8 x 200 gold pieces to determine how much extra value this greedy gem will absorb if available within a range of 30'.

Description: An absolute Neutral, glowing and scintillating, rainbow-colored gem. The mind of balance has one sole purpose, to seek out and destroy the other two soul Gems with a withering, laser-like ray.