Saturday, 18 September 2021

Marriage, Heirs, and Children Education

Almost a year ago I was in a brainstorming session over how to best handle families and heirs for domain level play, which resulted, among others, in this post by one of the awesome lads involved.
I too was toying with some possible mechanics on the subject, but a terrible inspiration-drought, combined with real life being the usual bitch, caused my initial draft to lie in a folder catching digital dust until recently.

So here's my take on how to get your Character married, have children, and raise a proper heir for the domain.

Any adult character can decide to marry.

Courtship can be initiated towards any valid target at any valid time.
The initiator may try to ease their target's heart by offering expensive gifts, such as jewelry, charming pets, exotic flowers, exquisite food, battle trophies, and lavish spectacle.

A 2d4 + the initiator's Charisma Modifier is rolled to decide if the courtship is accepted, with a +1 bonus for every HD*1000gp spent in gifts, with HD being the Hit Dice of the courtship's target (10gp for Normal Humans), for a maximum bonus of +2 from gifts.

2 or less - Mockery: the initiator messes up badly becoming the laughing stock of the region, and can't attempt any courtship for a year.
3-5 - Refusal: the courtship is refused, and the same target can't be courted again for a year.
6-8 - Courtship: the initiator made a good impression and courtship begins.
9 or more - True Chivalry: the initiator made an excellent impression and courtship begins, +1 to Proposal.


After a month of courtship, the initiator may propose.

Again a roll of 2d4 + the initiator's Charisma Modifier is made, and again gifts can be used to ease the target's feelings, with a +1 bonus for every HD*1000gp spent in gifts, with HD being the Hit Dice of the courtship's target (10gp for Normal Humans), for a maximum bonus of +2 from gifts.


2 or less - Refusal: the target is offended and refuses, ending the Courtship.
3-5 - Courtly Love: the target neither refuses nor accepts, and Courtship continues.
6-8 - Acceptance: the target accepts the proposal, +1 to Wedlock Happiness.
9 or more - A dream come true: the target accepts the proposal, overjoyed, +2 to Wedlock Happiness.

Saint Nicholas provides the Dowry for three poor virgins,
Cornelis de Vos


Dowry is usually paid by the family of the spouse who joins the other spouse's family household (i.e. if the marriage is patrilineal, the bride's family will pay, if the marriage is matrilineal, the groom's family will pay).
If both spouses decide to start their own household or cadet branch, then both families pay a Dowry to the newlywed.
Dowry generally consists of household furniture and tools of trade, but can also include livestock, property, land, or household staff, especially among the wealthy.
In case of a divorce, the Dowry is returned together with the divorced spouse to the family who paid it, to ensure the economical well-being of the divorced spouse.

The necessary Dowry is calculated as HDd10 * 100gp, with HD being the Hit Dice of the spouse leaving their family (or 1d10*10gp for Normal Humans).
It is possible to choose to pay the maximum possible Dowry to ensure a stable marriage, giving +1 to Wedlock Happiness

It is seen as a mark of pride to provide the dowry to a spouse whose family is not able to provide it by themselves: paying a dowry for someone else gives the patron a +1 bonus to all reaction rolls in the area for a year.

Wedlock Happiness, Marriage Crisis and Divorce


Wedlock Happiness represents the stability of the marriage, and influences the outcome of Marriage Crisis.
Wedlock Happiness increases by 1 for every 10 years without a Marriage Crisis.

A Marriage Crisis happens whenever something that could endanger the marriage happens: absence from the spouse for over a year, infidelity, death of a child, a spouse nearly dying (or dying and being resurrected), and more.

The outcome of a Marriage Crisis is determined by rolling 2d4+Wedlock Happiness.
2 or less - Divorce: the marriage ends abruptly and badly, and the spouse leaves, possibly taking any child not of age with them; both spouses get a -2 to all reaction rolls when interacting with people in the area.
3-4: Disfunctional Marriage: the marriage does not work and everyone can see it; -2 to Wedlock Happiness.
5-6: Disagreement: the spouses are not able to find an agreement; -1 to Wedlock Happiness.
7-8: Reconciliation: the spouses are able to find an agreement; the Marriage Crisis is averted.
9: Loving reconciliation: the spouses are able to find an agrement and love is rekindled; the Marriage Crisis is averted, +1 to Wedlock Happiness.

Die Hoffnung, Gustav Klimt
Conception and Pregnancy

A healthy, well-fed, non-adventuring human has a 1-in-4 chance each day to be fertile. Dwarfs and elfs are fertile 1-in-6 times, hobbits 1-in-3.
Adventurers put their bodies and minds under great stress, so while adventuring the chanches are 1-in-6 for humans, 1-in-8 for elfs/dwarfs, and 1-in-4 for hobbits. Not adventuring for 6 months is enough to recover from the adventuring stress.
Lamb intestine condoms and herbal teas drop the chance of pregnancy for the user to 1 in 20.

For each night the spouses spend together, the referee rolls the appropriate dice: on two 1s, conception happened.

Pregnancy lasts for 9 months and is divided into 3 trimesters (dwarfs and elfs have longer pregnancies lasting 12 months, divided into 3 quadrimesters).

1st Trimester - During the first phase of the pregnancy a person may experience nausea, fatigue and dizziness: the dexterity score is temporarily reduced by 1. At this time it is possible to interrupt the pregnancy with the use of herbal teas.
Taking over 3/4 total HP in damage during this phase has a 2-in-6 chance to end the pregnancy.

There comes Papa, by Raja Ravi Varma

2nd Trimester - In the second phase of pregnancy, the symptoms are less severe, and others will be more careful when dealing with the mother-to-be, who gets a temporary +1 to reaction rolls. However, the bulk of the pregnancy counts as a light encumbrance. Attempting to interrupt the pregnancy at this time is risky, and if done a save vs Death must be made: on a success, the pregnancy continues and 1d6 damage is suffered; on a failure, the pregnancy ends and 1d6 damage is suffered. Taking over 1/2 total HP in damage during this phase has a 2-in-6 chance to end the pregnancy.

3rd Trimester - The last period of pregnancy is the most intensive: the mother-to-be counts as medium encumbered and suffers a -1 to dexterity until the end of the pregnancy, but retains the +1 to reaction rolls until delivery. Any attempt to interrupt the pregnancy at this point is extremely dangerous, and a save vs Death must be made: on a success, the gestant dies; on a failure, the pregnancy ends and 2d6 damage are suffered. Taking over 1/4 total HP in damage during this phase has a 2-in-6 chance to end the pregnancy.

At the end of the pregnancy, a child is born: 1-3 on a d6 means it's a girl, 4-6 a boy.
There's a 1% chance that a pregnancy produces twins.
Soon after birth, a newborn is hallowed and their birth sign is determined.

Child Education

Children can be either educated by a parent or relative, in which case they have a 3-in-6 chance of becoming the same class of their educator instead of normal human, they can be sent into apprenticeship, where they have only a 1-in-6 chance to gain a class but learn a trade, or they can be tutored by a learned scolar, in which case their future class depends on the kind and length of their education.

A child raised by a generic educator rolls 3d6 for their ability scores, and their education is considered complete at 15 years of age. If they gain a class, their main attribute becomes 9 if it is lower than that, and they will start at level 1.

Geography Lesson, by Eleuterio Pagliano
Children tutored by skilled teacher roll 4d4, and their scores may improve during education! Their education usually starts at age 8 and proceeds up to the age of 16. At the end of their education, their main attribute becomes 13 if it is lower than that, while their level depends on how successful their education was.

In both cases, ability scores are rolled at the end of the education, then eventual bonuses are added, and them they are adjusted.

There are 4 types of education: Martial, Skill, Spiritual and Arcane. For each area there's 3 different kinds of educators.
For a name-level character who established a keep or base of some sort, there is a 1-in-6 chance each season that a random learned individual will offer their service.
It is also possible to search for an educator in one field of education once per season: a d12 is rolled, and if the result is lower than the HD of the searcher, a random educator in that field is found.
Both if the educator was searched for or presented themself, a reaction roll is necessary to employ them.

Each field of education has a main attribute that might raise with time and luck.
Each educator has a monthly cost, a special ability they will teach their warden, and a secondary attribute they may improve.

  • Martial Educators - Class: Fighter - Main attribute: Strength
    1. Huntmaster - Monthly Cost: 500gp - Perk: +1 to track, hunt and forage - Secondary attribute: Dexterity
    2. Marshal - Monthly Cost: 750 - Perk: +1 to hierling morale - Secondary attribute: Charisma
    3. Engineer - Monthly Cost: 1000 - Perk: +1 to find secret doors - Secondary attribute: Constitution 
  • Skill Educators - Class: Thief - Main attribute: Dexterity
    1. Treasurer - Monthly Cost: 500gp - Perk: 3-in-6 to correctly apprise treasure - Secondary attribute: Charisma
    2. Saboteur - Monthly Cost: 750gp - Perk: +1 to disable traps - Secondary attribute: Constitution
    3. Spymaster - Monthly Cost: 1000gp - Perk: +1 to move silently and hear - Secondary attribute: Intelligence
  • Spiritual Educators - Class: Cleric - Main attribute: Wisdom
    1. Ascetic - Monthly Cost: 250gp - Perk: halved need for food, water and sleep - Secondary attribute: Constitution
    2. Chaplain - Monthly Cost: 500gp - Perk: create 1d2 Holy Water once a week - Secondary attribute: Charisma
    3. Mystic - Monthly Cost: 1250gp - Perk: +2 languages - Secondary attribute: Strength
  •  Arcane Educators - Class: Magic-User - Main attribute: Intelligence
    1. Sage - Monthly Cost: 500gp - Perk: gain 1d3 rumors monthly  - Secondary attribute: Wisdom
    2. Völva - Monthly Cost: 750gp - Perk: prophetic visions once a month - Secondary attribute: Charisma
    3. Alchemist - Monthly Cost: 1500gp - Perk: create 1d2 Acid once a week - Secondary attribute: Constitution

Every year that a child is tutored, there is a chance to improve (or lower) the attributes of the child, determined by a 2d6 roll:

2 - An insolent rascal: The educator leaves, covered in dung, pitch and feathers; all successive educators will know of the accident and get a -1 to their employment roll
3 - A dull child: The child does not learn, and their main attribute lowers by 1
4-5 - The cost of knowledge: Education continues, but learning materials must be financed, doubling the educators cost for a year
6-8 - A decent student: The education continues
9-10 - A smart student: The education continues with good results, raising the child's main attribute by 1
11-12 - A brilliant student: The education continues with excellent results, raising the child's main and secondary attribute by 2 and 1, respectively.

For every 2 years of uninterrupted and successful tutoring (6+ on the roll), the child will gain a level upon completion of the education.

Graduation, by Dendrono

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

d12 based Thief Skills

d100s are great to choose from big tables when stocking dungeons, picking names, and other such leisure.

But I don't like d100 Thief skills.
I'm a simple person, and rolling more than one die during play gets on my nerves as soon as it goes beyond simple "add the numbers together" or "pick the bigger/smaller number".
My players don't like d100 skills either.

There's been a lot of talk about Thief skills on many forums and blogs, and many alternatives can be found, from minimalist ones, to clusterfucks that make my head spin, to everything in between.

Here's my attempt at fixing it, inspired mostly by how AS&SH does it:

This table hits the sweet spot between lots of numbers, but not too many, and they are arranged in a way that at every
level there is an advancement somewhere. Also it looks like a castle wall and I like to imagine a tiny thief climbing it.

The skill check is resolved with a d12 roll + dexterity modifier, except for the Listen skill, which does not add any modifier. The skill succeeds if the result is equal or higher than the number in the table.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

d8: Dungeon! - Greyhold Dungeon


by Axebane

I haven't been very active for a while because of real life business, but recently one of the lads posted this neat little blank dungeon by Axebane in the forum, so I gave it a shot at filling it out.

1. Shimmering Cave
This grotto shines with glowing crystals and luminous shrooms. In the pool at the middle of it lives a vain Giant Crab wearing 500gp in gold, gems and jewels on its back. Fighting in here incurs a malus of 2 to hit because everything is so shiny.

2. Greyneck's Hole
An elderly Wererat enjoys his retirement here with his wives, two Giant Rats, and his Swarm of Rats children. He dislikes visitors and will point them to 3 and 4 to get rid of them.

3. Wet Cellar
A Green Slime hangs from the ceiling of this damp, stinking, empty room. Behind a fake wall is a small room containg 600sp, a scroll of poison spell, and a book about poisons (studying the book daily for a month gives a permanent +1 to saves vs poison).

4. Old Catacomb
A dusty old crypt. Inside the closed stone tomb 3 Ghouls are trying to rest among chewed bones. One of the ghouls wears a ring worth 200gp.

5. Digging Site
This room has an uneven floor, as if someone had been digging randomly in the dirt. Behind a secret door is a trapped chest with 1000gp: removing more than 100gp in weight causes the hidden alcove to collapse.

6. Storage Room
Opened crates of old supplies have been abandoned to rot here. Among the garbage are an axe and 4 flasks of oil.

7. Cave System
2 Carrion Crawlers are feasting upon the bodies of three humanoids. There's a +1 Helmet among the wastes on the floor.

8. Snail Garden
A sophisticated Flail Snail, lives here, tending to her mushroom garden and reading frivolous books. She is more than happy to trade some of her rare alchemical shrooms for romantic novels, lady magazines, or even just a few hours of tea and chatter. 

Random encounter table:

  1. 4 Gnomes, equipped with shovels, pickaxes, and drills.
  2. A Ghoul, disturbed by unscheduled excavation noises.
  3. A Giant Rat with her Swarm of Rats nephews, bringing a book to the snail.
  4. A confused Berserker, who lost his axe somewhere and will pay 50gp to have it back.

Monday, 2 November 2020

d8: Race-as-Class! (x2) - Morlock & Eloi

Two simple classes inspired by a bunch of old movies I saw recently.


Morlocks are cruel underground creatures who dwell in absolute darkness and have an inborn proficiency with machinery.
They are short, pale and hunched, covered in patches of shaggy white fur, and their eyes glow faintly in the dark.
HD: d6
To-hit: as Thief
Saves: as Dwarf
EXP: as Fighter
Prime Requisite: Constitution
Restrictions: Weapons as Dwarf, can't use heavy armor, max 13 Charisma.
Morlocks see in absolute darkness as if it was daylight and posses Uncanny Engineering skills, but suffer from Heliophobia.
Uncanny Engineering: a Morlock is able to deduce the purpose and functioning of mechanical objects 2-in-6 times, repair and use machines of which they knows the workings, and use war machines. At 3rd level, a morlock can use Wands, Staves and Rods as a Magic-User, and at 9th level a Morlock can build an engine to cast Charm Person on up to 30 individuals within a mile once every two months.

Virgil Finlay

Heliophobia: a Morlock is effectively blinded as long as exposed to light brighter than a candle, suffering -4 to hit and -2 to all saves, and being unable to use their Uncanny Engineering abilities.
At level 9 a Morlock becomes an Ubermorlock and may found their own underground empire in a cavern system below ruins of some long forgotten civilization, and will attract other Morlocks, Carnivorous Apes, and other malevolent underground dwellers.



Eloi are small humanoids with stunted emotions and latent psychic powers who live in primitive hunter-gatherer communities.
They are slender and attractive, but appear absent-minded and are easily distracted.
HD: d6
To-hit: as Thief
Saves: as Elf
EXP: as Fighter
Prime Requisite: Dexterity
Restrictions: Weapons as Halfling, can't use medium and heavy armor, max 13 Wisdom.
Eloi have Genetic Memory and are Latent Psychic, but suffer from Nyctophobia.
Genetic Memory: an Eloi can understand the general meaning of any written text 2-in-6 times, and will recognize and understand spoken words after having read them.
Latent Psychic: an Eloi can sense basic emotions (like anger, happiness, fear) of nearby creatures. At 3rd level, an Eloi can cast ESP once daily as a Magic-User of same level.
Nyctophobia: an Eloi exposed to light less than that of a torch panics as if affected by a Fear spell, and is unable to use their Genetic Memory or Latent Psychic abilities.
At level 9 an Eloi becomes a Luman and may establish their own tribe among the ruins of some long forgotten civilization, and will attract other Eloi, Time Travelers, and others who flee civilized society. 

Sunday, 27 September 2020

d8: Dungeon! - Vulture Spire

Selime Monastry

A small vertical dungeon.

1st Floor

A - Entrance
A small opening leads into these dark and cool corridors cut into solid rock. The northern one ends in a shaft going all the way upwards for 100ft; in sunny days it's possible to spot some light shining in at the top of it. The eastern passage has a shaft too, but, from below, it looks like it leads nowhere.

B - Gnome Camp
A band of 8 Gnomes and their weird, long-necked Wood Golem beast of burden are camped in this small room. They are treasure hunters and well equipped with grappling hooks, drills, shovels, and other tools of the trade.
Their current hoard, 250gp, half a dozen silver ingots each worth 200sp, as well as 3 gems worth 50gp each, is stored behind a secret door in front of which they stacked their luggage.

2nd Floor

C - Maw Passage
The walls and ceiling of this tunnel are decorated with gaping, fanged maws carved into the rock. Everyone dwelling here more than 3 rounds must save vs Spell, or start to notice that the maws are twitching when not observed directly. This is however only a magical suggestion, the maws are actually immobile. The door to D is stuck.

Codex Tudela

D - Chapel of the Hunger
The walls of this chamber are painted with unsettling scenes of cannibalism. Two monstrous stone statues stand close to the walls, and opposite to the door there is a grim, skull shaped altar. The statues are actually 2 Gargoyles, patiently waiting for victims. There's a shaft going up between the statues, while the floor in front of the altar is trapped in such a way that for every person on the platform, there is a cumulative 1-in-6 chance that a trap door will activate, with anyone standing on it falling 20ft down into A and suffering 2d6 points of damage. The altar has a hidden hollow section inside holding a fanged Crystal Skull worth 500gp, a Ring of Floating Disc with 4 charges, a Crystal +1 Dagger and a Bag of Devouring.

E - Traitor Cell
The western end of this small filthy cave opens to the outside and drops downward for some 30ft, but it was closed by a crude palisade, while on the east, a shaft goes up.
A single miserable, crippled Harpy dwells here, barely kept alive from the scraps dropped from above. She can't fly anymore, has only 3HP left, and if forced to fight, does so at a -2 penality.

3rd Floor

F - Cell Complex
This hallway is dirty, dark and smells terrible. On the west, a shaft goes 20ft down to E, while the south-east one goes down 20ft to D. The door to G is stuck.
Two of the cells, F2 and F3, are empty save for piles of rotting garbage, while F1 holds a single half-starved prisoner, a blinded human. He has completely lost his sanity and babbles deliriously.

Dale DeArmond
G - Eagle Nest
The western side of this bone-littered cave is open and drops down 60ft.
A Giant Eagle has built its nest here, and is brooding its 3 eggs. It will attack if disturbed, but will not pursue intruders.
Among the bones there is a Ring of Spell Turning, and there is a fist-sized ruby with a value of 2000gp in the nest. The large, ostrich-sized eggs can be used as food, each one feeding 6 people for a day, or sold to an animal tamer.

4th Floor

H - Windy Tunnel
This carved tunnel is slippery with bird droppings and reeks terribly. Cold wind flows through it constantly. The doors to J are unlocked.

I - Hatchling Crib
One side of this room is open and drops down 90ft into the void. 8 Infant Harpies (stats as harpy, but have only 1HD and can't sing yet) are kept in this room, and make an awful lot of noise playing and fighting each other among their own wastes for food and entertainment. 7 chewed ingots, each worth 50gp, are half-buried in the filth.

J - Larder
15 Giant Locusts are held captive in this small room and fed scraps. Should both doors be open at the same time, the insects will attempt to flee and scatter around.

K - Court of the Vulture Queen
Harpies by Donna Barr - Source
Multiple crude nests are in this wide room. The biggest nest is occupied by the Harpy Queen (stats as harpy, but has HP and fights as a 4HD monster), and she is "attended" by 5 Harpies. They all "wear" tattered shreds of fine garments and pieces of jewellery they stole from their victims. Most of it is utterly ruined, but there's a total of 300gp worth of gold thread woven into the cloth, and each harpy has 100gp of golden rings, trinkets and chewed coins woven into their feathers. They don't care about noise from other rooms, but will attempt to charm intruders they spotted by singing and lure them off the open side of the room, letting them fall down 90ft for 6d6 points of damage. Should anyone resist their song, then they will attack and pursue.

Random encounter table:

  1. 1d4 Giant Locusts (2d4 if the ones in J escaped) jumping around
  2. A Harpy soiling her surroundings
  3. 1d3+1 Giant Geckos out for a hunt
  4. A Green Slime dripping down from the ceiling
  5. 3 Gnomes inspecting some rock samples

Factions, Interests, Conflicts:

  • The Gnomes are a greedy bunch, and will try to scam others if they believe they can get away with it. However, they could be convinced to part with some of their equipment, or even to collaborate for a while, if paid in pure gold or gems.
  • The Harpies are an airheaded, chaotic anarchy barely kept together by their queen, who has no problem chomping off fingers or whole wings to hold the others in check. They are pretty much incapable of long term planning, and are only concerned with finding new prey or temporary lovers (there's no real distinction for them). They are easily distracted by shiny objects like coins and mirrors, or colorful fabrics, and there's a 2-in-6 chance they will interrupt whatever they were engaged with and fight among themselves over it.
  • The crippled Harpy was mangled and imprisoned by the others for not wanting to share her latest toy, and hates them for it. She has, somehow, gained awareness that she would not stand a chance against anything bigger than a rat, and could, maybe, be willing to share information about the others in the hope of getting them killed.
  • The blind prisoner had his eyes ripped out by a harpy, and was at some point thrown into the cell, more by mistake than on purpose. He babbles deliriously, his mind long gone, calling for his beautiful darling who stole his eyes and heart.

Friday, 18 September 2020

Play Report: HeroQuest

I recently got a group of friends together for a game, and since there are some newcomers in the group, I thought It would be a neat thing to start off with some HeroQuest before the full immersion into the Theater of the Mind.
Despite me telling them the wrong time I'd be online (sleep deprivation is a bitch), in the end we had a fun evening.

We played over roll20 (but I really hope we will soon be playing again in person), and my three players chose to play as Barbarian, Dwarf, and Elf.
Here's how it went!

As their final graduation test, our to-be-heroes are sent into a labyrinth by their teacher, Mentor the Archwizard. They will need to use their skills and powers to defeat the monsters lurking in it, avoid deadly traps, and find the exit. First to escape will be awarded an impressive sum of gold coins.

The protagonists are beamed into the labyrinth, each one at a different location, and their trial begins.
The Barbarian heads off along the corridors, kicks open doors, and unceremoniously beats to pulp the orcs that dare to stand in the way.
Meanwhile, the Dwarf inspects a dead end, only to be hit by hidden trap, and decides to retreat back where they came from. Soon after, the two meet and decide to proceed together.

The Elf, instead, wanders into a different dead end where an orc dwells: the Elf attempts a spell, but the orc manages to avoid it. This does not demoralize the elf: where magic fails, iron does the job perfectly.
As the other two wander aimlessly and inspect stone walls, the Elf finds a sliding wall... which leads to the lair of yet another denizen of the labyrinth! However, this lair directly connects to the exit.

When Dwarf and Barbarian finally manage to escape from the labyrinth, they find the Elf waiting for them, prize already cashed in and exchanged for tools and equipment. However, all have passed the trial, and are now recognized, card-carrying capital H Heroes.
In fact, their first real assignment waits for them already!

A local noble was kidnapped by a gang of monstrous marauders! Whoever rescues them will be granted gold and honor. The three fresh Heroes don't lose time, track down the kidnappers, and enter the lair.

"We should look for doors...", suggests the Elf. "Here's one.", replies the Barbarian, pointing at the heavy iron door decorated with severed heads. The Elf shrugs, opens it, and is promptly jumped by a gremlin. While the Elf is busy, Dwarf and Barbarian decide to look around: the big hallway is too suspicious, so they take a side passage. After shoving another gremlin out of the way, the too find a chest in a room. Careful, the Dwarf inspects it and concludes that it's a trapped lure.

The Elf got rid of the gremlin, and now snoops around too, only to catch the attention of a whole band of gremlins. Barbarian and Dwarf happen to pass by and decide to help bring order in the hallway. The group agrees that that cooperation may be helpful in the current situation, and proceed together. Another few doors lead to a group of orcs, but teamwork solves the situation. The barbarian decides the place is too poor to be the bandit hideout, and devastates a few rooms looking for hidden loot: finally, he finds a bag full of gold coins, hidden under a carpet.

In a further room, a second chest is found, and close inspection reveals it as genuine: inside are gold and a healing potion! Another room, another fight with orcs: the Dwarf gets injured, but is too determinate to leave this world yet, and soon pays back what he owes.

Having inspected all side rooms, only the main hallway is left to explore, and it s soon secured. It leads to the dining room, and the orcs there are not happy to be interrupted during their meal.
After the skirmish is over, the Heroes are perplexed: where is the prisoner?

A through search follows, and a hidden passage is found, leading down deep. At the bottom, the protagonists find the Jailer, a hulking brute who rudely informs them visiting time is over and that they have to leave. The Elf however manages to deescalate the situation, also thanks to the new armor he got at the beginning, and puts an end to the misunderstanding.

The only occupied cell holds the Noble, and the Heroes escort them out. As the group flees, the Jailer uses his last strength to sound the alarm, but it doesn't do much: all guardians have already been beaten up.

The Heroes manage to bring the Noble back safe and alive, and are awarded the prize. They decide to split it unevenly and give the Dwarf the bigger share, as his knowledge was extremely helpful and he suffered the most wounds.

To be continued...

Saturday, 22 August 2020

The Book of Universal Revelation: 10 brutal martial arts techniques

This was partly inspired by a post made by SmokeyTheOwlbear, as well as by K6BD, Karanduun, Crisis Jung, Fist of the North Star, Afro Samurai and a few other pieces of media.


The Book of Universal Revelation
There is a 5% chance for the Book of Universal Revelations to appear in any large library or book collection. The book is not indexed anywhere and must be found, but will usually be in the Mysticism, Warfare or Art sections.
The book is written in the most abstruse way possible, and needs to be studied for a month to gain any benefit from it. After every week of study, a save vs spell must be made: whatever the outcome, the reader suffers the effects of a Confusion spell for 12 hours. A week of fasting and self-mortification give a +1 bonus to the week's save.
After 4 weeks, if the reader did succeed at least 3 saves, they will have learned one of the mystical martial arts techniques in the book, determined randomly. Regardless of whether the reader has learnt anything, the book will then disappear and materialize somewhere else.

  1. Palm of Peace: the attacker strikes the opponent with four blows at once, inflicting 4d3 damage
  2. Celestial Dropkick: the attacker makes a full move, inflicts 3d4 damage to an opponent, and then may make a full move again
  3. Chain of Judgement: the attacker hits the opponent with a rapid succession of blows, inflicting 2d4 damage, exploding 4s
  4. Skull of Mercy: the attacker violently headbutts the opponent, inflicting 3d6 damage, and both must save vs spell or suffer the effect of a Confusion spell for 1 turn
  5. Wheel of Creation: the attacker explodes briefly in a flash of burning light, inflicting 1d8 damage to everyone in front, behind, to the left, to the right, below and above within 10' as well as to themselves
  6. Purging Gaze: a beam of burning light inflicts 2d6 damage to anyone in front of the attacker for 30', +2d6 to undead
  7. Ocean of Blood: the attacker vomits burning blood on the opponent for 2d6 damage, the target must save vs spell or suffer the effect of a Fear spell
  8. Judgement's Voice: a sound blast hits everyone within 10' of the attacker, inflicting 1d8 damage and destroying all non-magic weapons in a 10' radius
  9. Ether Spear: the attacker throws a spear of burning light, inflicting 2d8 damage to an opponent within 60'
  10. Violence reaches Heaven: the attacker savagely maims the opponent, inflicting 4d4 damage
    • Breaches the Gate: the attacker viciously severs an opponent's limb, inflicting 5d5 damage
      • Murderers the Gods: the attacker sadistically tears the opponent in half, inflicting 6d6 damage
        • Usurps the Throne: the attacker utterly annihilates the opponent's body, who suffers the effect of a Disintegrate spell


Each technique can be used a number of times daily equal to 1 + 1 if cleric + Int MOD, and can be used in place of any other action in combat, using the attackers Attack Bonus.

It is possible to learn multiple different arts. Should an already known art be rolled, the next one below is learned, with the exception of #10, which can only be learned when a 10 is rolled; every subsequent 10 allows to delve deeper into the mystic art of senseless murder.
Using any technique to kill an opponent, or even just using the tenth technique, forces all onlookers to save vs spell or suffer the effect of a Fear spell.