Thursday, 27 July 2017

Using SWN Encumbrance

I created a mesh of an adventurer burdened with a full load of packs, bags and pouches. So it is a good excuse to post the image and talk about encumbrance.

Lone Adventurer with all of the tools of the trade

When I started playing in the 1980s we did not bother with encumbrance. Characters somehow carried everything they owned. I recall a fighter with 4 swords, plate mail armour, shield and a 10 foot pole. I did force him to lose his plate mail once when he fell in an underground river. How he got it off before drowning was unclear.

Eventually, I started using the coin system which I believe came from AD&D. Everything had a weight in coins and the characters had a limit. The problem was that the only time the bookkeeping could get done was between gaming sessions. And when the players encountered 3,000 silver pieces there was no way to load it up. The adventures started being full of easy to carry gems.

Online role-playing makes this a lot more possible to handle with automated spreadsheets calculating your encumbrance and penalties. It is still work to keep up. D&D 5th edition changed everything over to pounds. Characters can carry their STR score times 15 pounds. This is still a lot of work but is easier to quickly shorthand then coins as most people can guess the weight of items in pounds.

Stars without Number has an interestingly simple system in tune with the tone of the rules. Each character can have a number of readied items equal to half their STR score (normal clothing, jewelry do not count). They can also have a number of stowed items equal to their full STR score. These stowed items take 1 round to ready.

Obviously, the SWN method is not very realistic. A heavy dose of logic is required. Characters with 14 Strength should not have 7 heavy blaster rifles. But it is very simple, quick and does not get in the way of the play. Keeping things moving is at the core of the SWN rules so it makes sense.

I have been using the SWN method when playing Basic D&D was well. For treasure I assume that a small sack (which can hold 200 coins) would be one stowed item. A large sack would count as 3 stowed items. It works as long as players do not try to push the rules.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Once More into the Void Session 10

When last we left, the adventurers has entered a narrow passage in the side of a ravine chasing some goblins. They encountered an apparent dead end and some zombies. Above the dead end they spotted a passage high up the wall.

Session 10: Tight Quarters

After a quick roll-call and minimal arguing it is decided that Alcor and Talrek should take the lead. Mukah was suffering from several wounds and stepped to the back of the marching order for protection. Both Otrivush and Talrek are out of spells.

One at a time the adventurers climbed up the handholds to the tunnel above. Thyrell managed to slip and fall but caught himself before hitting the water below. With a little help he is hauled up into the tunnel.

Moments later, as the group rounded the first corner in the narrow passage, they are confronted by three goblins. Talrek kills one goblin by crushing it with his hammer. Alcor Fenn impales and kills a second goblin with his spear. The third goblin, turns and runs away.

Running after the goblin, Talrek triggers a trip wire and ice and stone fall from above smashing the dwarf to the floor. An injured Talrek drags himself out from the debris just as more goblins appear and attack. With Thyrell firing arrows from the back, Talrek and Alcor make quick work of these goblins killing all of them. Mukah fumes in frustration from the back unable to get around Otrivush to get into the attack.

With a number of injuries, the adventurers decide to take a short rest in the chamber they are currently in. The goblin bodies and debris and piled up at the exit to provide some protection. After and hour Mukah declares that he is ready to move up to the front of the group again.

Moving down the new passage, we pass what appears to be a goblin latrine or open cesspool in an alcove. Two zombies come around the corner in the passage just as Talrek is advancing. A desperate fight ensues with very little room to move. To make matters worse we are too far from the entrance for the sunlight to penetrate and Otrivush is blind in the darkness. Talrek lights up one zombie with Sacred Fire, seeing the burning zombie Otrivush moves forward to throw Acid Splash at the zombie, he hit but slips and falls into the latrine.

Otrivush slips and goes for a tumble

Mukah, Alcor and Talrek manage to hack apart the two zombies. Otrivush drags himself out of the latrine and is faces endless jokes from his heartless fellow adventurers.

Ahead in the passage, a light glow can be seen. Apparently from a flickering light source. Talrek hears goblins conversing but it is too faint to make out what they are saying.

Alcor volunteers to edge forward and scout out two rooms that the passage enters. To the north is a chamber and a door. To the south is a number of goblins sitting near a human corpse and a small fire set in a human skull. Just as Alcor spies on the goblins he slips and stumbles alerting the goblins. The goblins jump up and grab their weapons.

End of Session 10

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Dragon Mesh - First Try

I finally got up to the level of competence that allowed me to try making a Dragon mesh in blender. It worked out pretty well I think (image below). Getting the lizard skin look to work was key to making it look less like a plastic toy.

It is not rigged yet so it still looks plenty stiff in the image. I threw in some human male figures for scale.

Some Adventurers climb up into the Dragon's Nest

Monday, 17 July 2017

Lost Turismond Complete

One final post about the B/X D&D adventure Lost Turismond that I posted.  Below is a complete list of all of the published parts.

The posting history of the adventure means that there is some overlap and it is not as balanced as I would like.  I may edit it into a single document at some point in the future.

The adventure is a retelling or rewriting of an adventure I wrote back in 1982 for B/X Dungeon & Dragons. I have adjusted all of the maps and details but the essential plot is not greatly different. The original version was more sandbox and less scripted in the Great Cavern portion mainly because my players caught up to me. I was barely keeping ahead. The party was used to clearly defined goals and the open ended close to the adventure did not go over very well.

After helping out the villagers they lost interest and never ventured to the Stone City. Instead they left to chase to rumours that Quasqueton had been found deep Dymark forest.

The original Lost Turismond written in 1982

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Lost Turismond Part 6: The Isle of Im

Lost Turismond Part Six: The Isle of Im

As a final addition to Lost Turismond I have detailed the Isle of Im. Players will have accomplished their mission if they rescue Thokgamo from the Stone City.  But they might decide they want to seek out the forbidden Isle of Im. There is a lot of opportunity here for disaster.

The Gamemaster can introduce a voyage to the Isle of Im in three ways:

(1). The players get overwhelmed by the Guk of the Stone City. Adventurers start dropping and there is a total party kill. The players wake up shackled to a post on the deck of the wooden ship of the Guk. They are well out at sea. The Guk deposit them on the island, toss their equipment too them and tell them to return with the Four Gems of Jagga.  The ship then moves offshore.

(2). The players are curious about the Isle of Im and the “Awakening Ceremony”. They take the ship along with a crew of volunteer Pagar tribesmen to roar the ship.

(3). The players hear that there is fabulous wealth to be found on the Isle of Im.

The Jade sea is not much of a sea and is not very deep. The trip to the isle takes only 12 hours if the players are taking the ship of the Guk. Make one check for an encounter on the voyage.

Voyage across the Jade Sea

Wandering Sea Creature Encounters (1 on 1d6)

1-2 Insect Swarm
3-4 Leech, Giant
5 Plesiosaur
6 Fish, Sturgeon

Plesiosaur (1): AC 6, HD 8, HP 55, MV 150’, #AT 1 bite, Dmg 3d6, SA F5, ML 9, AL Neutral. This plesiosaur is not a fully mature creature. It will rise up off the bow of the ship and move to attack. Once it pulls one person off the ship it will descend into the depths to eat its victim.

The Isle of Im

The island is only 2 miles in diameter. It is a large rock rising 200 feet out of the sea. Near the water’s edge there is a sandy beach where the ship can be beached. Visible from the shoreline is a crumbling temple. The island has an aura of menace. It is covered in fog and there is no vegetation or creatures visible. Once on the beach it is possible to see that the island is littered with the bleached skeletons of the previous visitors.

The magic of the island causes all who are killed to join the island's defenders. As players head toward the temple they will be attacked by more and more undead defenders. Some of the undead are human skeletons and some appear to be Guk skeletons.

Roll on the Undead table once every hex that is entered by the players.

Undead Table

(1-2) Human Skeletons (2d6): AC 7, HD 1, HP 6, #AT 1 spear, Dmg 1d6, SA F1, ML 12, AL Chaotic. These appear to be the skeletons of human tribesmen.
(3-4) Guk Skeletons (2d4): AC 6, HD 1+1, HP 8, #AT 1 club, Dmg 1d6+1, SA F1, ML 12, AL Chaotic. These are skeletons of Guk warriors.
(5) Ghouls (1-2): AC 6, HD 2, HP 6-12, MV 90’, #AT 2 claws / 1 bite, Dmg 1-3, SA F2, ML 9, AL Chaotic. Any attack by a ghoul causes a save vs. Paralysis on a successful hit.
(6) Wight (1): AC 5, HD 3, HP 20, #AT 1 touch, Dmg Energy drain, SA F3, ML 12, AL Chaotic. The spirit of a Guk High Priest returned as a wight. It can only be hit by silvered or magical weapons. Each time it hits a victim 1 level of experience is drained without save.

There is a rough path leading to the Temple. It is not necessary to follow the path. There are no fewer or more undead on any route to the temple. Once Players reach the hex that holds the Temple they no longer face the attacks of the undead.

Ruined Tower
There is the ruined shell of a tower at this location. By the look of the piles of bones encircling the tower, someone made a last stand at this location. Inside the empty shell of the tower is a skeleton dressed in gold finery of a Guk High Priest. Held in one hand is a Staff of Striking. The High Priest who died here was the most powerful Guk high priest in history. He put together a group of powerful priests and commanded the undead of the island. But he lost control after encountering the guardian of the temple. He was chased here and died, overwhelmed by undead.

The Temple
The temple is a 200 foot long, 60 feet wide rectangular structure with columns lining its sides. Much of the roof has collapsed. There is a single large, unblocked entrance on the south side. Inside the Temple there  is a number of life-like statues crowded about a central 10 foot tall four-armed statue of a demon. In each upturned hand of the statue there is a large red gem. The statues depict dwarves in full armour and lightly armoured human warriors. All are life-like and have disturbing looks of fear or pain on their faces.

Hidden amongst the statues is a basilisk.

Basilisk (1): AC 4, HD 6+1, HP 40, MV 60’, #AT 1 bite + gaze, Dmg 1-10 + petrification, SA F6, ML 12, AL Neutral. The basilisk is a magical, snake like creature with four legs. It is not very intelligent. It is tied to the temple and will not leave the building. It requires no food or drink and is not intelligent. Any living creature meeting its gaze or being touched by the basilisk must save vs. Turn to Stone or be petrified (along with all that they are holding or wearing). Characters attempting to fight the basilisk without meeting its gaze must fight at -4 to hit while the basilisk attacks at +2. The basilisk is at risk of turning itself to stone if it gazes in a mirror (1-2 on 1d6).
If the basilisk is defeated and players approach the statue of the demon they can remove the gems. As each gem is removed the light from the “sun” diminishes by ¼. Once all gems are removed the demon Jagga is freed and the Great Cavern is plunged into perpetual darkness.

It is up to the Gamemaster to decide what Jagga decides to do. It could descend to the Temple and reward all of the players for freeing it before leaving to create more destruction in the world above. Statistics for Jagga are not provided. It is powerful enough to overwhelm any mid-level party without difficulty.

If the players remove a few gems and change their minds they can put them back. If players reach the temple and leave without releasing Jagga they will not be attacked by undead as they return to the ship.

Lost Turismond Part 5: The Stone City

Lost Turismond Part 5: The Stone City

This section of Lost Turismond assumes that the players have decided to try and rescue the Pagar Chief’s son from the Taji tribe.  As they will soon learn Taji have already sent Chief Tefo’s son Thokgamo to Stone City by canoe.

The Stone City

Taji Village

The Taji tribe is an offshoot of the Pagar who live in a section of the Graguth jungle much closer to the Guk overlords in the Stone City.  They have fallen under the influence of the Guk and provide warriors for the “Awakening Ceremony”.

The Taji village is a collection of ten wooden huts with thatch walls and roofs. They are encircled by a wooden palisade. The village is located on the bank of the Maji river at the edge of the jungle. The palisade is in a state of constant repair because of damage caused by the enormous local wildlife. If players ask, most of the wood of the palisade looks fairly new. The palisade is eight feet tall.

Their is a large, constantly burning fire in the center of the village surrounded by a number of tree rings used as seats. Near the fire is a pile of torches. The torches are used to scare off hungry predators.

The total population of the village is fifty of which 35 are warriors (male and female), 5 are children (who will not fight) and 10 are old and infirm. They are detailed at the end of the section.

Taji Village Map

(1). Communal Hut
The largest wooden hut is a communal hut where food is stored and most of the cooking is done. There are usually 3-5 older woman cooks here at any time preparing food. The woman are guarded by 2 warriors.

The Taji huts are rectangular wooden structures with a raised wooden floor 4 inches off the ground. Holes cut in the roof allow air circulation. In the case of the communal hut there is a large stone fire pit in the center for cooking.

(2). Family Huts
Each hut houses a family unit that can include cousins. At anytime there are likely 1-4 adults and 1 child present.

(3). Chief’s Hut
This hut is the home of the Taji chief Panua his wives Pipiri and Terite. He has one child, Taurua, but she was a fierce warrior and one the latest contest to go to the Stone City. The Taji have little in the way of traditional wealth. The chief has trophies of dinosaur teeth necklaces and a few rough gold trinkets that were gifts from the Guk.

(4). Warrior’s Hut
This hut is given over to unmarried warriors who have competed in the warrior contest but did not win. These warriors are usually out hunting or protecting the village.

(5). Shaman’s Hut
The real leader of the Taji is the shaman Omai. He is the third generation of Taji shaman who worship Jagga like the Guk. The shaman keep the rest of the tribe in line with tales of the glory of Jagga and the Awakening Ceremony.

The Awakening ceremony is the name the Guk use for the ritual of sending warriors to the isle of Im to attempt to awaken Jagga.

Omai and his predecessors have received several gifts of gold plates from the Guk over the years. He has a breastplate of 12 gold plates worth 3,500 gp.

Taji Warriors (35): AC 8, HD 3, HP 16-22, #AT 1 spear, Dmg 1-6, Save F3, ML 9, AL Neutral. They are armed with spears and wear light breastplates made from wood. The chief uses these statistics and has 25 hit points.

Omai (1): AC 7, C3, HP 15, MV 120’, #AT 1 stone knife, Dmg 1-4, ML 12, AL Chaotic. S 14, I 14, W 16, D 9, C 10, Ch 12. Spells: Cause Light Wounds, Cause Fear.

It is important to note that the Taji are not evil for the most part. Some warriors and the shaman are fanatics and fight to the death. Most of the Taji can be convinced to surrender or will flee if they can get their women and children to safety. They have a very, low opinion of the Pagar but players are something new and will be held in awe. If Terite is captured she will be willing to tell the players that the Pagar warrior that was recently captured has been sent to the Stone City with her daughter Taurua. She wants her daughter back desperately and she does not believe Omai when he says his daughter is going to be a handmaiden of Jagga in paradise. She visited the Stone City once with the Chief and can draw a crude map in the dirt. She knows that Pagar warriors bound for the Isle of Im are kept in the stone ziggurat.

The Stone City of the Guk

The entire tribe of Guk dwell in the Stone City. The Guk are short, heavy humanoids with large skulls and long arms. The average adult stands no more that five feet tall but weighs 200 pounds. They are powerful hand-to-hand fighters but are slow. The Guk have a fear of water and cannot swim. Despite this fact they dwell in a stone city on the shores of the Jade sea. It is clear that they do not have the skills necessary to build the city. That fact and the size (tall and narrow) of doors makes it obvious that they took the Stone City and did not build it. Repairs to the buildings and walls are done by Jafari slaves.

The total population of the Stone City is 200 Guk males and females of various ages, 45 Jafari slaves and 20 Taji slaves.

The Stone City is encircled with 30 foot high, polished stone walls that are 5 feet thick at the base. There are six guard towers 40 feet high at points on the wall. Players attempting to get into the city will need a plan.

The Guk have not been attacked in the Stone City in their memory. For this reason they have grown lazy and complacent. Guards are stationed only in some of the towers facing the land (area # 3). The gates to the city are often left open so Jafari slaves can be taken out to the orchards and fields. The “sun” is always shining but there are periods of the day when the breeze blows thick fog in off of the sea. Attempts to scale over the wall are going to be spotted. Canoes coming down the river will be seen by guards. Canoe coming from the sea will not be spotted if reasonable precautions are taken.

Frontal assault on the Stone City will result in more and more Guk warriors coming to the fight in waves of 20 warriors until all 140 warriors are in the fight (both Guk men and woman are warriors with the same statistics).

Guk Warrior: AC 8, HD 2, HP 10-16, MV 120’, #AT 1 spear+1, Dmg 1d6+1, SA F2, ML 11, AL Chaotic. They get a +1 to hit and damage due to their strength. Their tough skin gives them an armour class of 8. They wear leather skirts with bronze plates woven into them. The average Guk warrior will have gold jewelry (necklace, armlet, anklet, ring) worth 80 gp.

Guk Acolyte: AC 8, HD 2, HP 12, MV 120’ #AT 1 staff+1, Dmg 1-6+1 (+1d6), SA C1, ML 12, AL Chaotic. Guk acolytes are chosen for their wisdom. In time they will be trained to become priests. They have magical staves of striking law. These staves do an additional 1d6 damage to anyone of lawful alignment.

The Guk is a chaotic society with a great deal of infighting. Their language is incomprehensible to players or the pagar. It consist of grunts, growls and gestures with the occasional slap to make a point. The Guk priests and acolytes can speak the Pagar/Taji dialect with difficulty. Despite their infighting, the Guk will ally against other races. They fight with suicidal determination as their god Jagga is always watching from overhead.

The Stone City Map

(1). Bronze Gates
There are two, large gates made of bronze set in an opening in the wall. The gate doors are each 5 feet wide by 12 feet tall. There is a gatekeeper on duty at all times to open the gates for Guk and slaves that are coming and going.

(2). Warrior Residence
These huge structures are halls made of marble. The halls are 20 feet tall. The roof is supported by stone columns placed outside the walls of the hall. Inside is a single large chamber without windows. The Guk sleep on straw pallets. Each hall can house 20-30 warriors.

(3). Watchtower
This structure is 40 feet tall with a wooden stair inside leading up to 3 floors of wooden platforms. The lower two floors are sleeping areas and weapon storage. The top floor is outside and is the watch area. At all times there is at least one Guk warrior on guard at the top floor. However, there is a 1-2 in 1d6 chance he is asleep.

(4). Unoccupied Towers
These towers are abandoned. They have 3 floors like the watchtowers but the wood is old and rotten.

(5). Central Tower
This tower is at the confluence of 3 stone and wood bridges. The bridges have a base structure of stone and wooden planks for the walkway. The tower has two wooden floors. The base floor is at the level of the walkways. A ladder leads up to the watchtower. There is always one Guk warrior on guard in the tower.

(6). The Ziggurat
The largest structure in the Stone City is the 45 foot tall 3 stepped ziggurat dedicated to the worship of the Guk god Jagga. The ziggurat is constructed of marble blocks. Narrow stone steps lead up to a building at the top of the ziggurat. If any combat occurs on the steps, falling becomes a very real possibility.

At the top of the ziggurat is a stone building 12 feet square and 10 feet tall. There is a single bronze door blocking entrance (it swings open easily). Inside is an eight foot square chamber. The walls are decorated in bas-relief. However, this bas-relief is painted over with crude art depicting the Guk hunting dinosaurs, worshipping the sun (Jagga) and travelling to an island.

Careful, examination reveals that the humanoids in the bas-relief carvings are not Guk. They appear to be more human but are thin and tall.

There is a single stone altar in the chamber and two lit torches. Behind the altar is a bronze plate in the floor. Prying it up reveals a 20 foot,square 10 foot deep room where captives are kept. Currently, there are five captives.

Guarding the ziggurat at all times is a group of eight elite warriors. The high priest is also often here with at least 1 acolyte.

Elite Guk Warriors (8): AC 8, HD 4, HP 20-26, MV 120’, #AT 1 spear+1, Dmg 1d6+1, SA F4, ML 11, AL Chaotic.  They are armed with wooden spears with bronze tips.

High Priest (1): AC 8, HD 6, HP 35, MV 90’ #AT 1 stone dagger+2, Dmg 1d6+2, SA C6, ML 12, AL Chaotic. The high priest is fairly new to the position after the recent death of the previous high priest. He is the leader of the Stone City and can expect to enjoy the position for years or until a rival kills him. He has a Stone dagger+1 (the other +1 is due to his strength). He knows the following spells: Cause Light Wounds, Protection from Good, Blight, Silence 15’ radius. He wears a jeweled headdress with gems in it worth 6 x 1,000 gp.

Acolyte (1-2): AC 8, HD 2, HP 12, MV 120’ #AT 1 staff+1, Dmg 1-6+1 (+1d6), SA C1, ML 12, AL Chaotic. They have staves that cause magic damage to lawful aligned creatures. They are both young, the high priest killed his rivals on the way to the top so all of the experienced Guk priests are dead.

The captives are Thokgamo, Taurua, Taji warriors Molat, Setsit and an Imar warrior named Moabis.

(7). The Boat
The Guk have constructed and maintained a single boat for travel to the forbidden island of Im. Captured Pagar tribesmen helped construct it before being sacrificed. Taji slaves man the boat. The boat is 45 feet long and ten feet wide at its widest point. It has a single, simple sail and places for 16 rowers. The rowers stand and paddle the boat along. There is a hut at the front of the boat for the single Guk brave enough to man the boat.

Guk Captain (1): AC 8, HD 4, HP 25, MV 120’, #AT 1 whip, Dmg 1d6+special, SA F4, ML 11, AL Chaotic. His whip is a magical whip of command. Those struck by the whip are affected by a Charm Person spell.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Noir Detective

I spent a little time tonight creating some clothes for one of my basic male figures so that he looked like a 1930’s detective. So then I spent some more time creating a quick scene.


Rigging this character so he can pose and look less gawky is not going to be that easy. The clothes and the body are separate objects.  I find that it is difficult to weight the clothes and the body to move together as a bone moves. The body tends to poke out through the clothes or the clothes do not move properly.

But I did enjoy creating the scene. Perfect for one of my Chill 2nd Edition 1930 setting adventures.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Once More into the Void Session 9

Everybody on deck for session nine of our D&D 5th edition adventure, Once more into the Void. When last we left, we had been attacked by goblins as we left our Inn. Early morning in the center of the town of Winterton.

Session 9

With the fight over the dwarven cleric Talrek healed Otrivush Oto and with no one else asking for help used his finally heal on himself. Their was a brief discussion about going after the one goblin that got away but looking at the deep snow in all direction we wisely decided to take our captives to the Mayor’s manor.

Arriving at the gates to the Mayor’s manor with a goblin in tow and a struggling, bleeding necromancer wrapped in bedsheets the gate guards looked at us in askance but eventually let us enter.

Lord Khelin the mayor of Winterton met with us in his main feast hall. We told him we found Kendra, who he did know, and showed him the magic brand on her back. He claimed not to recognize it. The mayor also proclaims that they have never had goblin problems in the past- which seems unlikely.  Still, suspicious of the mayor, Oto instructs his familiar Artimouse to snoop around the manor. The mouse does not find anything suspicious.

The Mayor gives the group a box with 150 gold coins in it and asks that we continue investigating the cause behind the unquiet dead. This is 50 gold more than the original deal but some of the adventurers (looking at you Tyrell) seem less than impressed.

Just as we are leaving the compound, a guard rushes up and tells the group that the captured goblin has divulges that they have a lair near the “crumbling tower” overlooking the town. This is the same tower that we checked out once before.  However, with no good clues we decide to head to the tower.

Nearing the ravine below the crumbling tower we spot our own footprints from a day earlier. Eventually Thyrell spots some light prints from a small booted foot headed in the direction of the ravine.

Otrivush Oto, Thyrell Beamcatcher and Talrek

We had struggled into the ravine a short distance a day earlier and the snow still looks very deep. There is a debate about returning to the town to get snowshoes but we decide to push on aided only by some walking sticks cut from the surrounding trees.

A good distance into the ravine we spot something red, partially covered by the snow. The ravine walls at this point are over sixty feet high. Thyrell warns of a possible ambush so Otrivush asks Artimouse to check out the red item. It turns out to be red fabric frozen solid under the snow. Mukah strides forward and chips the fabric out of the ice with a crowbar revealing a red hat. Right at the moment that Mukah holds up the hat, we hear yelling and two goblins attack Mukah with flung spears from inside a partially hidden crevice in the rock wall of the ravine. One spear strikes Mukah and he tumbles down the ravine side in the deep snow. Mukah drags himself out of the snow yelling some curse words alerting the rest of the party to the attack. Once the full group moves up we realize the goblins are in a crevice leading to a tunnel. Talrek crushes one goblin in the head with his war hammer and the remaining goblin runs off into the darkness.

Mukah takes the lead into the tunnel. There is a trickle of water along the floor the leads around a corner to a large pool of water formed between some debris and a dead end. Far up the wall is a entrance to another tunnel but it is really only accessible by climbing up a ledge and skirting the pool. Suspicious, Mukah ties a rope around a rock and casts it into the pool checking for depth. Just as he calls out that the pool is six feet deep something grabs onto the rope from the pool and tugs. Mukah pools with all his might and two rotting, human corpses erupt from the pool, fly through the air and land on Mukah. One of them claws Mukah badly.

Alcor Fenn races forward and spears one zombie killing it. The second zombie is struck by hammers, arrows, swords and is finished off by Oto with an Acid Splash spell. With the zombies out of the way we now see small handholds carved into the wall leading up to the tunnel. Talrek looks around in the pool and finds a scroll tube. Inside the apparently watertight tube is a scroll with the spell Feather Fall written on it.

Up next, Advance? Or go back and heal and recover spells?

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Turismond Part 4 The Great Cavern

Lost Turismond Part Four: The Great Cavern

Far under the earth the dwarves of Turismond dug into an enormous cavern. Called the Great Cavern (Uglat Duz) by the dwarves and Eog by the inhabitants, the cavern covers about 200 square miles. From the depths of the Jade Sea to the cavern roof is 1,500 feet.

Background: History of Eog
In the distant past a faerie race came to the Great Cavern from the surface to flee from the advance of humans. They lit the darkness with magical lights and built a city on an outcropping of rock on the floor of the cavern. But they grew to miss the sun and the life of the surface. Some of the people returned to the surface and were never heard from again. Those that remained worked relentlessly on the problem. One of their greatest priests bound a demon being of fire in a crystal prison and placed him near the roof of the cavern creating light. Plants and animals that had been brought with them were released in the cavern. Water was redirected into the cavern from underground streams creating rivers and the Jade Sea. A new city was built at the mouth of the largest of these rivers.

To maintain order and do the manual labour the faerie race befriended a primitive human cave dwelling tribe and brought them to the cavern.  These were the ancestors of the Guk.

Centuries passed and the fairie race grew corrupt and lazy. The Guk were no longer given a voice in the affairs of the community and they were treated as slaves. The imprisoned demon Jagga appeared in the dreams of the Guk leaders convincing them to revolt.

The revolt succeeded. All but a handful of the protectors were murdered in their beds. A few fled into the tunnels. But Jagga did not succeed in getting out of his prison. There was a guardian that the Guk were unable to defeat. So, Jagga sent the Guk out a capture humans who were found in tunnels near to the surface world. These humans were released into the jungles to develop the skills needed to free Jagga.

It remained like this for a 100 years. The Guk kidnap human warriors and priests and send them to Im. None have returned. Then the dwarves found there way into the Great Cavern. Now, Jagga had encountered a species capable of freeing him. Through careful manipulation, Jagga had the Guk convince the dwarves of incredible treasure waiting to be found on the island of Im. The dwarves took the bait and came to the island defeating the guardian. But the Dwarven leader was shrewd and so through the deception and stopped before completely releasing Jagga. Partially freed an enraged Jagga summoned demons to attack the dwarves. The dwarves fought a delaying action and returned to the mines and blocked the entrances to the cavern.

Now the paths are open again and creatures are beginning to find their way into the Cavern. Jagga has been slumbering but he is beginning to sense that his freedom is at hand and he is starting to wake again.
A note about time and distance
The Great Cavern is far beneath the surface but it has a light source and plants and animals. Light in the cavern comes from a orange-yellow globe of fire near the cavern roof directly over the Great Temple on the Island of Im. The light is not constant, dimming and brightening on occasion but it never goes out or moves. The inhabitants of the Cavern have evolved to sleep during this never ending “day” and do not have a good concept of time. The passage of time is measured in “strides” which is about the amount of time it takes to march 3 miles through the jungle. For surface dwellers this is 3 miles in 6 hours.

Surface dwellers coming to the Cavern will have trouble sleeping and telling time and distance. The chance of getting lost increases (from 1-3 on 1d6 to 1-4 on 1d6).

Wandering Monsters
In the Great Cavern wandering monsters should be checked for twice per day (1-2 on 1d6). If characters are travelling by river there is a separate table.

General Wandering Monster Table

% Roll Monster Encountered Number Appearing HD
01-02 Bee, Giant 2-8 1/2
03-05 Antelope 10-20 1-4
06-19 Tribal Human 4-8 2
20-25 Living Rock Statue 1-3 5
26-30 Allosaurus 1 13
31-35 Triceratops 2 11
36 Tyrannosaurus Rex 1 20
37-40 Tiger Beetle 2-8 3+1
41 Trachodon 1 14
42-45 Ankylosaurus 1 7
46-48 Dimetrodon 1 7
49 Scorpion, Giant 1 4
50-55 Guk Hunting party 8 2
56 Brontosaurus 1-3 26
57-60 Grangeri 1 13
61-65 Roc, Small 1-2 6
66-70 Insect Swarm 1 swarm 2-4
70-75 Horned Chameleon 1-3 5
76-80 Giant Rattlesnake 1-2 4
81-90 Panther 1-6 4
91-94 Rock Baboon 2-12 2
95-00 Giant Black Widow Spider 1-3 3

River Travel
A special wandering monster chart is used for travel on the rivers and sea.

River/Sea Travel Wandering Monster Table

1d20 Monster Encountered Number Appearing HD
1-2 no encounter
3-5 Giant Sea Snake 1 3
6 Brontosaurus 1 26
7 Plesiosaurus 1 16
8-10 Fish, Giant (piranha) 2-8 3+3
11-13 Crab, Giant 1-2 3
14-16 Crocodile 1-6 2
17-19 Fish, Giant (catfish) 1 8+3
20 Crocodile, Giant 1 15

All of these monsters are in the Rulebooks or in Module X1: The Isle of Dread. The only exception are the Guk for which the entry for Neanderthals should be used. A number of these monsters are far too powerful for adventurers of the levels for this adventure. Adventurers will need to hide or run from them. The larger dinosaurs will not take notice of adventurers unless they are in a big group and make a lot of noise.

Sites in the Great Cavern

Turismond Mine - the mine enters the cavern behind a waterfall that creates the Maji River. The location is at the head of a gorge that is located 500 feet up the wall of the cavern. At the foot of the gorge the Graguth jungles begin, a full 400 feet further down the cavern wall.

Maji River - the river winds from the gorge entrance to the Cavern from the Mines down to the Jade Sea. For much of its length it is a winding, 100 foot wide fast flowing river. Travelling down the river will save adventurers a lot of time and removes the chance of getting lost. It is also a lot safer than the jungles. Travelling by canoe on the river is at 18 miles per day.

Pagar Village - this human tribe calls themselves the Pagar or “free” people. They worship a green skinned protector figure that is one with the jungle. Their village is built on stilts in the middle of the Maji River offering protection from most predators and Guk raiding parties. Their legends tell that they came from somewhere else and that a race of short, bearded humans will lead them back to their home.

Imar Village - the human Imar tribe have a palisaded village right on the edge of a grassland area of the cavern. They scatter into the grasslands when the Guk or strangers appear.

Taji Village - the Taji tribe were originally members as the same tribe as the Pagar. But they came under the influence of the Guk. They have turned to worship of Jagga and hold contests of strength to send their best warriors to the Stone City.

Jafari Village - the Jafari live in stone buildings carved into the valls of a river gorge high up the side (200 feet) of the cavern. Legends say that demigods made of stone taught them how to carve the buildings from the rock.

Fani Village - The Fani tribe have no interaction with the Guk. They are made up of humans who escaped the Stone City and fled as far as they could from the influence of the Guk. Their village is located in a marsh along a river near the Jade Sea. Their buildings are wooden huts sitting on tall platforms.

Stone City - Stone city is the home of the Guk people. They call their city Kamosh. The city is encircled by a wall of enormous stones. Guk legends tell that they built the wall shortly after they became free. The buildings in the city are built from white marble and are well beyond the capabilities of the Guk.  They are remnants from their enslavers. There is an enormous stepped pyramid in the center of the city. The Guk have a single ship for sailing out to the Isle of Im. It is manned by human slaves and human overseers who have aligned themselves with the Guk.

Graguth Jungles - the majority of the cavern is covered in tropical jungle. It rains only rarely in the Cavern but their is a constant mist that is enough to provide for jungle growth. In the jungles are the monstrous inhabitants of a Lost World. Adventurers attempting to travel unaided overland through the jungle will soon be lost. Local human tribesman have an unerring sense of direction in the cavern and can be used as guides.

Jade Sea - the sea is only 18 miles across but it seems like a sea to the inhabitants of the Cavern. It is also not very deep, being 200 feet deep at the lowest point.

The Isle of Im - only the Temple of the Overlords remains of the original city that used to reside on the island. The prison of Jagga is located here.

Mist Shrouded village of the Pagar

Encounter 1: The Pagar

Once the adventurers leave the Mines of Turismond and follow the trail 3 miles along the Maji River they descend 400 feet to the Graguth jungles. Once they exit the gorge the source of the “sunshine” will be revealed to be a fiery orb low on the horizon. An enormous jungle spreads out before them covered in mist. Misty precipitation falls at all times. Particularly cruel Game Masters may want to increase the chance that equipment rusts or rots and becomes unusable. There is plenty of fruits and vegetables at hand in the jungle so it is unlikely adventurers will starve but they may be eaten.

Shortly, after taking in the view, the adventurers will hear a loud braying, hooting noise followed by the crashing in the jungle of some enormous beast. A dimetrodon staggers into view out of the jungle. The creature is a 10 foot long lizard with a long neck, smallish head with a mouth of sharp teeth. It has a long tail and an enormous sail on its back. It is coming for the adventurers but is seemingly oblivious of them. Protruding from its back are two wooden spears.

The adventurers have one round to react (flee or fight) and one round of fighting before help arrives in the form of four, young Pagar warriors.

Dimetrodon (1): AC 5, HD 7, HP (35)15, #AT 1 bite, Dmg 2-16, Save F4, ML 8, AL Neutral. The hit points in brackets is its normal maximum. It has been injured by several spear thrusts.

Pagar Warriors (4): AC 9, HD 3, HP see below, #AT 1 spear, Dmg 1-6, Save F3, ML 10, AL Lawful. These four warriors are Dayo (female) HP 17, Bidemi HP 18, Mayowa HP 15, and their leader Adebayo HP 22. Adebayo is the oldest at what looks to be about 22, while Mayowa is only 15.

The Pagar are hunting meat for their tribe. Antelope, deer or baboon are preferred but they have only be able to find this great lizard. They dug a pitfall trap for it and speared it but the pit was too soft-sided and the lizard escaped. They have been tracking it for ½ a stride. These Pagar warriors will welcome strangers if those strangers aided in the kill and make no moves to take the meat. They will invite adventurers to their village to meet the elders which is only 1 stride away downriver. If there are non-humans in the group of adventurers they will show a lot of curiosity. Dwarves will be treated with great respect.

Pagar Village Map

The Pagar village consists of ten huts of varying size. Most are about 20 feet in diameter. The huts are built on wooden platforms in the river Maji. The Pagar rely on the river for fish for food and for protection. The Pagar know that the Guk are deathly afraid of water. A rickety bridge of single plants 4 inches wide runs from the meeting hut to the beach. The planks can be quickly dropped in the water or pulled up to protect the village. Until recently there was an eleventh hut but it was destroyed by the attack of a giant crocodile. The cleaned, skeletal head of the crocodile rests on the floor of the Meeting Hut and is used by the chief as a throne.

The Pagar tribe numbers sixty members in total. Adventurers who come to the village will likely note that there are about 25 children, 20 young adults and only 15 elders. There are only eight men in their late twenties. The Pagar hunting parties are often attacked by monsters, Guk or Taji raiders. It has lead to most of the warriors being captured.

Recently the chief’s son, a warrior of great renown, was captured by the Taji. The chief who is elderly went to the wisewoman for advice. She went told the chief that strange warriors would come soon who would put an end to the troubles of the Pagar. The chief has chosen to interpret this that the adventurers who recently arrived will rescue his son.

Chief Tefo (1): AC 9, HD 1, HP 4, MV 120’, #AT 0, Dmg 0, ML 10, AL Lawful, S 8, I 15, W 14, D 6, C 8, Ch 14. Tefo is a old warrior who rose to lead the tribe many strides ago. Now he is old and worn out. His wife is dead. His pride is his son Thokgamo. He will do just about anything to rescue his son. He will ask adventurers to rescue his son from the Taji tribe. He will provide food, and four warriors as guides (the same four encountered earlier). If he believes it is necessary to convince the adventurers he will offer a poultice of healing and his magic spear+1, +2 vs great lizards. If he believes the adventurers are motivated by greed, he will tell them that the Guk horde piles of gold in the Stone City storerooms (true). The chief has nothing good to say about the Taji tribe. They are humans that have lost their way. They numbers tricksters (thiefs) and witch docters (wizards) amongst their number. They are worse then the Guk to the Pagar. The Guk are simply acting in their nature. The Taji are evil in their eyes.

Wisewoman Rehanna (1): AC 9, C4, HP 12, MV 120’, #AT 1 stone knife, Dmg 1-4, ML 10, AL Lawful. S 12, I 17, W 17, D 14, C 10, Ch 12. Spells: Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Know Alignment.  She was taught to speak Dwarven by the wisewoman. It is a secret language passed down by wise women for generations.

Rehanna has only been the wisewoman for a short time. She wanted to be a warrior but the previous wisewoman Lorei picked her out and began training her just as she was becoming old enough to hunt. She will invite herself along to rescue Thokgamo if the adventurers seem honest.

Rehanna makes a poultice that can be spread on wounds and function like a potion of healing. She has a small, clay pot with six applications in it.  It takes many strides to make more of the poultice and it requires special plants found in the jungle.