Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goblin Wars Session Gamma: The Stirge Cave

In which the party clears out a cavern of stirges and goblins, and makes a gruesome discovery. The participants were Reginald Proudsword (Paladin 1), Honest Mercy (Gnome Trickster 1), Hugh (Thief 1), and Devabriel (Venturer 1).

Hugh and Reginald, flush from their recent success clearing out the goblin breeding pit, were relaxing with their friends Devabriel and Honest Mercy when a messenger from Karolina Nmec approached them. Apparently the law-woman wanted to meet with them the next day. Reginald thanked the messenger, and they went to see Karolina in the morning. She got right to the point. Merchants had been complaining of stirges attacking their caravans, and she wanted the party to clear them out. She couldn't pay, but Reginald volunteered the party anyway, since it was their civic duty.

They found the lair pretty readily, and used a tree to clamber into the cave. Once inside, they found a cavern full of trash and bones. Hugh went to poke at it, and what should come crawling out at him but giant centipedes! They were no match for the party, with thuggish henchman Prufrock killing the last one. They continued deeper into the cave, where they stumbled upon a horde of treasure, the sort that would be stockpiled by goblins. There were piles of copper coins, trading goods like salt, and barrels of beer. Also, a sword:

They could not carry the barrels, but the gathered up the coins and went on their way. The next passage they explored led to the actual nest of the stirges. Four were there waiting for them, with more pouring out every round. Reginald, Devabriel, and Honest Mercy all end up having their blood sucked, but thanks to a mighty cleave by Reginald, the party is able to slay all of the blood-sucking fiends.

The party then decides to go back to town to get a wagon with which to retrieve the barrels. The trip to and from the tunnels is uneventful, but when they get back to the caves, they are attacked by goblins! Unbeknown to the party, a small band of goblins had taken up lair in the upper part of the caves, protected by the stirges. Reginald quaffs a potion of giant strength, killing two of them with a mighty heave of a boulder. Hugh manages to shoot one right through the eye, and most of the rest are dealt with quickly until there is one left. He offers to surrender, and Devabriel is on the point of accepting, when Reginald roars out "No peace with chaos!" Reginald charges the last poor goblin, and he passes away.

That was it for living creature in the complex. There's a tense moment when they attempt to see what's underneath yellow mold, but there's nothing, and they manage not to rile up the fungus.They make it back to town safely, where Devabriel decides he's had enough of adventuring.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

50 Neutral Effects from that Magical Fountain

Photo by Mitsubishiman
Here are 50 effects for a magical fountain to use in your D&D campaign. The intention is for them to be neither positive nor negative, but to be interesting. I think 21 is my favorite.

1. Voice sounds like you inhaled too much helium
2. Gender swap!
3. Turn purple
4. You believe you are a character in a role-playing game
5. Any time a magical effect hits you, you give off a burst of fireworks
6. Everything you eat tastes like peppermint
7. You become irresistible to teenagers until the next time you bathe
8. You are unable to recognize your own name
9. Flowers sprout from your ears
10. All your hair falls out
11. You expand like a balloon, with your equipment. You tend to float away if you don't pay attention
12. Your beard immediately grow to two feet long
13. The stars in the heavens are visible to you, even during the day. Even underground. Unless you go too deep, then the stars of the underworld appear to you.
14. Your clothes all disappear. You find them in your backpack, cleaned and neatly folded.
15. All conversation seems to you to be in song, like you're in a musical.
16. Temporarily learn the speech of trees. You feel a mild compulsion to do what they tell you to.
17. You start to glow. No, literally glow.
18. You can touch any piece of cloth and know who wove it
19. Facial features float around surface of face for 1d6 turns, reset to normal after that.
20. You gain a hat. Roll here.
21. 3d6 extra-dimensional salmon leap out of the fountain, and into a hitherto unknown "salmon portal" in your backpack
22. All of your hair is replaced by steel wire
23. You are polymorphed into yourself. You feel vaguely uncomfortable
24. You think you are communing with your god, but you're actually just talking to yourself
25. You gain the dress and mannerisms of a goth
26. You are sent two minutes into the future
27. Your sense of color is scrambled -- see all colors as a different color
28. Change race -- as in, to/from black, white, 'middle-eastern', etc.
29. Blessed by St. Palmatius, patron of butchers. +1 to rolls to make charcuterie.
30. Become mildly magnetic. Doesn't affect large objects, but nails are attracted to you. +1 to reaction rolls with iron golems
31. A glowing object follows you around and gives you utterly unnecessary advice. Has the voice of your mother. If you're married, save vs. spell or it's the voice of your mother-in-law
32. Become religiously fervent
33. All metal you touch turns to chitin
34. Spirit journey: basically an adventure within the adventure that gives you some great insight. Perhaps only into yourself
35. Voice becomes impressive and booming
36. Ears become relatively smaller
37. You understand you are a character in a role-playing game. Philosophically this changes everything. Practically? Not so much.
38. You can communicate telepathically with one other random member of the party. They must make a saving throw each time or freak out
39. Can speak the language of fish for one week
40. You learn the location of the nearest gem
41. You cannot hear what other people are saying to you. Instead, their words appear above their heads in rebus form
42. You smell stale tobacco wherever you go
43. You smell of stale tobacco wherever you go
44. A minor demon appears on your shoulder and gives bad advice. Disappears if attacked, only to reappear 1d4 rounds later
45. You gain a random tattoo in the small of your back
46. The name of your most recent lover appears tattooed on your arm
47. All beer tastes like wine, and vice versa
48. To you, everyone looks like they are undead -- your party member all look like skeletons and zombies now!
49. You believe you have the head of a fish
50. You gain the ability to measure spices and similar products by hand, exactly

Thanks to the many Google+ peeps who contributed to this!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Caelwyd, Bailiff of Threshold

Image by Keyade, at DeviantArt
Caelwyd is a Sorceror-Champion (seventh-level Elven Spellsword), and the bailiff of Threshold. He is cunning and ambitious, and it is rumored that he has used less than savory methods to gain his current post. Not openly, of course. He first came to prominence as the only surviving member of an adventuring party that was exploring a maze of barrows. There is currently no known evidence that he wishes to replace Hosok Tere as mayor of Threshold.

Caelwyd. Level 7 Elven Spellsword. HP: 32 AC: 7 S 16 I 16 W 9 D 14 C 9 C 14 Al C Spells: (3/2/2/1) Charm Person, Magic Missile, Shield, Detect Magic, Sleep; Detect Invisible, ESP, Invisibility, Mirror Image; Clairvoyance, Hold Person, Infravision; Charm Monster, Dimension Door. TT: H; Wand of Magic Missiles, Sword +3, Chain Mail +3

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lady Miloslava Sved

Lady Miloslava Sved is the baroness who rules the lands surrounding Threshold. She is a level 5 Fighter and lives 15 miles northwest of Threshold. Her husband died five years ago in a goblin raid, and, being childless, she inherited the barony from him. She is a stoic noblewoman, whose organizational skills have served the barony well. She is also known for her refined elegance. She does not get along with Hosok Tere, considering him an ill-mannered buffoon.

Lady Miloslava Sved. F5. S 14 I 10 W 10 D 9 C 9 Ch 13.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Random Event Table

I stole, shamelessly, the following table from Beedo. He designed it, as far as I can tell, off of the Rules Cyclopedia realms event table, altered for his Norsemen on a lonely isle Black City campaign. So I've taken some of the entries that make less sense for Goblin Wars! and rewritten them, as well as changing the description of many of the events I've picked. I've used it to generate future events to keep the PCs on their toes.

Monday, October 21, 2013


As part of the weather project, I want to treat wind speed similar to the way I did temperature. That is, as a description rather than a specific number. I picked the number off the top of my head, but looking at the Beaufort Scale, they seem to map fairly well.

13+ Breezy Double range penalty
18+ Windy -1 to missile attacks, double range penalty
25+ Gusty -4 to missile attacks, triple range penalty
40+ Gale No missile attacks, half movement

I didn't include anything seriously dangerous, because that's not likely to happen naturally, and magic tornadoes will be dealt with using the rules for that spell.

Weather Systems

I want to have weather in the Goblin Wars campaign, even though it'll probably be more important in the next campaign, "Fantasy Pommerania". The most realistic way of doing this is to steal weather from a comparable real world location. Morachi is at the end of a long bay, and at a moderately high latitude, so I chose Portland, OR. I started off copying down high, low, precipitation, and wind speed, but I want three years of data, and that's going to take forever. So instead, I'm just going to note a rough description of the temperature, the precipitation (including cloudy, etc.), and any special details. I also want the temperature to have some effect. I borrowed some of the names of temperature ranges from Alex, but my chart is not as detailed as his.

Blazing  > 100 Characters wearing chain mail or heavier armor take -1 to d20 rolls and must rest more often
Hot       75-99 Characters wearing chain mail or heavier armor must rest more often
Pleasant 55-75 No effect
Cool     40-55  No effect
Chilly    32-40  Characters not dressed for cold weather take -1 to d20 rolls
Cold     20-32  Characters not dressed for cold weather take -1 to d20 rolls and cannot recover spells
Polar     <  20   As above, but requires magic to stay warm

The ability to sleep well (ie, recover spells) is dependent on whether the temperature dips below 32. As always, I'm happy for advice, especially on whether more effects or different ones are warranted.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mayor Hosok Tere

Hosok Tere is the mayor of Threshold. Once an adventurer, he retired in order to spend more time with his books. He studied at the fighter's college in Pechen, where he was known to get in to loud arguments with the fellow students. He fought in the war between Fogelon and Morachi, achieving great success as the leader of a small band of adventurer's known as the Red Anglers. After the war, he retired to Threshold, taking up the mantle of mayor from the local lord, a friend from his days in Pechen. He is very demanding of his social inferiors and does not suffer fools gladly. He leaves most of the day to day work in the hands of Caelwyd, his bailiff.

Hosok Tere. Fighter 9. S: 16 I: 16 W: 10 D: 12 C: 13 C: 14

[Hosok Tere is: Scholarly, loud, and demanding.]

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More magic swords!

Shamelessly stolen from Reynaldo Madrinan, with some edits.

Mockery of Honor - Lady Korinne Loras was a knight of Solaria, and in charge of an expedition to Morachi to retrieve the Fulcrum of Winter and sworn to bring it back to Solarium. When she defeated the mummified guardians of the Fulcrum, however, she turned on her companions, using the power of the Fulcrum to kill them all. She attempted to use the Fulcrum to replace Koschei as prince of winter. Koschei won that battle, but the Fulcrum was lost. Stained with the betrayal of a once great knight, this +2 broadsword affords its master a +2 bonus to all saving throws and immunity to all forms of fear and disease. It glimmers softly in the presence of evil and drips fresh gore when near someone truly good.

 Discordant Razor - This weapon's movements seem wild and erratic, no matter how skilled the wielder happens to be. Being struck by the sword further confuses the target, who must succeed a saving throw versus spell or have their next action altered negatively by the Razor's power. Victims of this ability will preform in the exact opposite manner of their intent. This sword is a chaotic vorpal sword often wielded by champions of chaos.