Monday, March 31, 2014

"Don't talk to me about life...'

I was going to post on Gary Con tonight and all the fun I had, but I'm feeling pretty depressed tonight and I don't really feel up to the task right now. I'll try again in a day or two.

In the meantime, I'm going to go wash my head at someone.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My OSR Superstar Entries.

Sigh, apparently I'm not an OSR Superstar after all. I feel so ashamed! (Sob!)

Anyway, now that the first stage of the competition is over, I'll post the two magical items I submitted for your perusal. Perhaps a little outside critique could tell me where I went wrong.

Circlet of the Undying:

This ornate diadem was created by a powerful necromancer as a means of preserving their intellect and power throughout the ages by transferring his mind to a younger, healthier body when the old one dies.. When placed on the head, the circlet creates a magical recording of the wearer's memories, personality, and abilities. The character must continue to wear the circlet to keep recording memories and skills, otherwise the copying process ends when it is removed or the character dies.

When an appropriate host body of the same race as the recorded mind is found, the circlet is placed upon the host's brow. The unfortunate mind of the host body is completely erased and can not be restored, while the recorded mind's takes it over. The recorded character's Class, Level, INT, WIS, and CHA at the point of the circlet's removal or the previous owner's death replace the those of the new body's. A successful saving throw stops the process for one round, giving host a chance to take it off if they are able. After the transfer is complete, the circlet crumbles to dust. The circlet can not be used on same body as the recorded mind's.

A circlet discovered as treasure has a 20% chance of being “occupied” by a recorded mind. There is no way to determine this until it is actually put on.

Monster Pots:

These small, sealed, clay pots contain the magically preserved essences of a single monster up. When the pot is broken, usually when its user smashes it against the floor or wall, it releases the trapped creature which materializes in a puff of foul smelling greenish-black smoke. The creature will serve the character who broke its pot until death or it is dismissed by it's master. The sorcerers that create such pots. Since most wizards are too insane and or arrogant to note what sort of monster is imprisoned, when the pot is broken, roll to see what creature emerges:

Roll:     Monster:
1          Goblin
2          Kobold
3          Skeleton
4          Zombie
5          Orc
6          Hobgoblin
7          Ghoul
8          Gnoll
9          Harpy
10        Ogre

BTW, Gary Con Day 0 review is forthcoming!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Coming Soon: Béthorm Kickstarter

Some of Jeff's more recent Tékumel-related art.
As many of you know, I am a Tékumel fanatic who is hopelessly in love with everything involving the late Prof. M.A.R. Barker's exotic science fantasy universe. While the system that I usually use to role-play in that setting is the classic Empire of the Petal Throne, there are three other published RPGs set in that  While EPT certainly has its old school charm, it lacks the depth and setting development the the more recent games possess. However, I found those newer games (i.e. Swords & GloryGardasiyal: Adventures on Tékumel, and Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne) to either too crunchy or too incomplete for my tastes. That, and the fact that all games but EPT are difficult to get a hold of, makes roping new players 

Well, all that is about to change.

Classic RPG artist and game designer Jeff Dee is getting ready to launch a Kickstarter for Béthorm: the Plane of Tékumel, a new RPG using his Pocket Universe rules. (Long time Tékumel fans will get the inside joke.) I've had a copy of Pocket Universe in my collection for some time now, but it's one of those many systems I've never had a chance to actually play. However, it's a very worthy game system; solid enough to deal with games more complex than simple dungeon crawls, but simple enough to pick up quickly. Béthorm could end up being my go-to RPG for Tékumel gaming from now on.

For the last year, Jeff has been running successful Kickstarters to help fund the artwork for this game. I've contributed to these campaigns and received prints of the finished product in return and I can say that I'm very impressed by the quality of Jeff's work. Jeff has said that EPT was his very first RPG and his love and enthusiasm for that setting shows in that artwork. Since I have no doubt that the same level of dedication will go into the publication of Béthorm, I will proudly contribute what I can to this project as well.

The Kickstarter is slated to launch this Wednesday, Mach 19, at 8 am CST. Let' see what we can do to make this campaign a success!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Creatures of Mu: Spawn of Yuggoth

Spawn of Yuggoth:

Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class:  9 [10]
Attacks: 2 x Pincers (1d4)
Saving Throw:  16
Special: Fear, Flight, Greater Than Human Intelligence, Weapons Resistance (See Below)
Move: 4/10 (flying)
Challenge Level/XP: 6/240

These bizarre aliens resemble nothing less than pinkish, man-sized crustaceans with a convoluted, pulpy ovoid mass covered in short cilia and antenna answering for a head. Large membranous wings sprout from their back and they have several sets of insectile limbs protruding from its underbelly. Composed of matter beyond normal human understanding and possessing an anatomy that is more fungoid than animal, they are quite resilient to damage from physical attacks. Any non-magical weapon does the minimal amount (plus any Strength bonuses) possible. They are capable of communicating with humans through a buzzing parody of our speech.

Their main abode in our solar system is a distant, dark, dwarf planet called “Yuggoth” by some priests and arcane scholars, is only a small colony of a larger interstellar civilization. Eons earlier, the Spawn of Yuggoth came to Earth and built a great city around Mount Yaddith-Gho where they mined the volcano for rare elements. With them, they brought the Great Old One, Ghatanothoa , which they kept within their mountain colony for some unguessable purpose. After many millennia, the Spawn's colony became deserted; some believe they died out, others say it was abandoned.

While they can also be adept spellcasters, paying homage to Shub Niggurath and The Crawling Chaos when their uneartlhy designs require it, their scientific knowledge is vast. Artifacts from their reign are highly prized by scholars and sorcerers, particularly the magical lagh metal which only a few human artisans have learned to sculpt and smith into weapons or other devices.