The Shrine of Ni Ussa Mah

The air is dry and unusually warm. Clouds of dust rise from the trail upon each step. “Only the vultures dare that far into the hills”, he recalls hearing in the village while drinking with the unshaven brutes the night before. “You´ll get yourself killed up there, lad!” But a promise is a promise.  Even though given to a tavern wench begging on her knees in the calm of a dark bedroom.

He lifts his head and feels the wind through the visor of the helm. He can still remember the soft scent of the wench as she sobbed beside him. But now there is a stench of rotting meat in the air and faint barking sounds can be heard coming from the rocky terrace above. Something is lurking there. Beyond that old mud-brick wall. Something uncivilized and unclean. A wild dog perhaps, or a scabby wolf with a broken tail-bone. Whatever it may be, the missing child is up there.

Or what’s left of her, anyway.

Suddenly, a cracking sound from the left. In the corner of his eye he sees seven grimy apparitions charging down the slope, weapons in hand. They approach drooling and barking, like beasts in heat. The dog-people of which that old fool with an eye-patch was raving about back in the village. He realizes that venturing this far into the wilderness may indeed have been a mistake.

But a promise is a promise.

He draws his steel and turns to face them.

This is a short adventure module I recently ran in my Swords & Wizardry campaign. It is a nasty little delve with Gnolls, Hyenas and worse. With most of the details, backgrounds and motivations left open, it’s up to the Referee to figure out how to include the adventure into their campaign. It can also be ran as a one-shot. The module is suitable – albeit perhaps a little difficult – for low-level characters. We came up pretty close to a TPK with this one!

I´ll be posting more similar one-page modules in the near future…

Cheers,

Ville

The Shrine of Ni Ussa Mah: S+W_TheShrineOfNiUssaMah_VH

The Doors

“So you think you’re a pretty skilled knight-of-the-post huh? I can see you can probably handle a basic lock, or even a trap or two. Those slender fingers seem pretty dextrous…

But tell me, have you ever opened a Twice-Locked-Thrice-Cocked-Knock-Shocker? No? Didn’t thinks so! That’s how I lost my fingers!”

So during my recent travels, I’ve entertained myself by reading old modules, and I came across an irritating design point: one of the dungeons started out with a locked, braced door. DC 20 to unlock, DC 25 to break down. No key anywhere to be found, this was literally the first challenge.

Now, for a suitably skilled party this is probably no issue, but I’ve come across situations where it is actually a bit of a downer to start a dungeon session either with frustratingly high DC rolls, or some variety of “take 20” to spend time figuring out how to open the damn door. Doesn’t really feel like high adventure when the first thing you do is struggle to do something incredibly mundane.

So, instead of just complaining, I did something about it. In the below document you’ll find five strange doors to slip into your dungeon designs in lieu of boring old oaken entranceways.

Cheers,

AMP

Five varied doors: DCC_5Doors_AMP

From the North

“The figure before you is covered in singed furs and bones. Bare muscles twitch below the weather beaten drapery of practicality and ‘necessity’. A wolf’s head covers their face, with the grimacing fangs shadowing the obviously scarred face.

‘Ale. Now.’ ,the apparition demands in a grim tone.

‘Please?’, they add in a sudden gleam of civility.

‘I can sing you a song, if that’s what it takes. I just really need that drink, after fighting those dire wolves, naked and barehanded…’, “

Much like many others, I wanted a Barbarian class for DCC.

But I wasn’t happy with any of the ones I could find. Always, something was off from the perfect image of Conan I was chasing.

So I made my own! You can find the .PDF below. I’ve tested the rules in play, and they’re not obviously broken, at least.

And yes, I’m still bored on the train… to the north…

Cheers,

AMP

DCC Barbarian rules: DCC_Barbarian_AMP

*TOOT TOOT*

“The femur in your hand is a little long, but otherwise mundane.

Still, you think there must be a reason why that disheveled street artist tried to play it angrily at you before you slit their throat.”

A couple of days ago I was a little bored in Gdansk, reminiscing about what a thorn in my side the Magic Missile spell is, at least for me. Many DCC modules have big, singular enemies, and a single spellburned or well-rolled missile can make a fight very uninteresting.

Then I saw a .GIF of a skeleton playing a flute made out of a femur. And the rest you can read in the .PDF below.

And thus, lo and behold, the Bone Flute of Zalmoxes! It’s entirely untested, but should make it possible for other classes to blast out every so often.

I’m in a train back to the north, for the time being. At least I’ll have a chance to convene with the rest of the knights, maybe we’ll have some more voices on this blog soon.

As always, please send me feedback!

Cheers,

AMP

The Bone Flute of Zalmoxes: MagicItem_BoneFluteofZalmoxes_AMP

Equipment, improved

“You say you’re heading out to the caves up in the mountains?

Well, I’ve got just what you need: climbing spikes, rope, hooks, shovels, pick axes, crowbars, compasses, chalk, perfume and…

…what do you mean you won’t need perfume in the caves? Haven’t you heard of the stinkgoblins?”

I like to approach OSR dungeons like puzzle boxes or tool use challenges: push and prod the problems the right way, and you’ll get a prize. If you actually end up rolling dice you’ve lost, as the events aren’t in your control anymore. So, a good list of tools goes a long way in making the game fun for me.

When I started GMing DCC last autumn this was the first augmentation I added to the game. It’s based on an old, hand written list of items I had in one of my notebooks, meant for an upgrade of my own system I used to develop (and still might, maybe that’s a topic for another post later, if there’s interest).

This equipment list has many more options compared to ones I’ve seen in rulebooks, and includes entries for provisions, animals, and a bunch of specialist equipment. I’ve yet to make a similar upgrade for weapons and armour, but I’ll get around to it eventually.

In addition to handling most of the shopping needs you can imagine, I use this list to randomize small item loot in my games. Characters find some corpses? Roll a check (search or Luck, depending on situation) and if successful, roll a d100 on the equipment list. Finding the right tool at the right time is worth much more than gold pieces. And finding the wrong tool usually leads to hilarity.

I intend to use this as a reference in much of the content I’ll post later, so anyone intent on following my posts should pick it up and try it out. The list has been tested in DCC and Swords & Wizardry so far, and seems to work just fine in both.

It should be noted that the economy suggested here is very lenient on food prices. I don’t want to make my players count their coppers just to eat, we do enough of that in our real lives already; high adventure is what we want from a night of gaming!

Cheers,

AMP

LINK TO PDF: OSR_TablesOfGoods_AMP

Friggseth, the Seed in the Earth

“A seed.

A simple seed is all it takes.

To connect with the future, to create anew.

Too bad you’ll end up reaping what you sow, maybe. Unless you get cut down early in a shower of blood and sparks. And maybe even then, you might end up with a leafy future.”

So, I’ve been traveling a lot this summer. This means no access to my notes, and no dedicated desk. BUT this is what I came up with in Gdansk, while a storm raged around me. It’s raining pretty hard right now as well, so I might as well post it to match the mood. Rain and storm is a good sign, right?

Inspired by YDDGRRL, the World Root, in the main rulebook, and struggling to balance my game world, I came up with the name last winter while setting up the “pantheon scroll” (seriously, it’s more or less an actual scroll, with an enhanced DCC pantheon on it, definitely posting it later).

I only wrote it up now because one of my own characters – an elven combination of a half-witted Legolas and Batman – wants a little variety (I suppose I’ll write about “how much is just enough work for a campaign, later).

And there must be some lawful aligned patrons, right?

So, meet Friggseth, the Seed in the Earth. Complete with patron taints, an Invoke Patron table, a patron spell. And I guess technically a new class as well.

The patron has not been tested in any way, and any typos are there ‘cos I was enjoying Polish liquor at the time.

I’m already working on a funnel adventure which relies on the phytoids and Friggseth’s leafy future, so stay posted. And please, give me feedback!

Cheers,

AMP

PDF LINK: Patron_Friggseth_AMP