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 them. Everyone dwelling more than 3 rounds here 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 the altar 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 them getting 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.

K6BD

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.

d8: Dungeon! - Hobgoblin Hideout

 

Yet another small dungeon.
It kind of counts as a continuation of my previous ones (here and here).

A - Cave Opening
A small watchtower has been build here, manned by a Hobgoblin. There are a bow, 10 arrows, and an alarm horn in the tower, and an Orc head on a spike. The watch changes every 6 hours.

B - Cattle Pen
A dozen or so Dire Aurochs (stats as Boar), used by the hobgoblins as mounts, beast of burden and a source of wool and milk, are housed here. A Hobgoblin stable master looks after them. The animals get unruly should they be left alone in the closed cave for too long, and will panic and start a stampede should the stable master be killed.


C - Camp
Many yurts have been set up inside this huge and dry cave, which has a small pond of fresh water at the south end. Supplies are piled along the walls of the cave, while at the center are the yurts with a gathering place in the middle. 4 Hobgoblin Warriors, assisted by 6 Hobgoblins can be found here during the day, tending to weapons, crafting felt, and doing chores.
C1-4 are used as habitation, and each is occupied by 1d3 Hobgoblins, 1d2-1 Wolves and 1d3 non-combatant hobgoblins (elders and/or infants). They are decorated with tapestries and carved bone totems (20sp in total in each yurt).

C5 is used as a weapon storage and contains 15 bows with arrows, 7 wooden spears, and 4 leather armors, as well as a +1 Bow and 10 +1 arrows.
C6 is the residence of a Hobgoblin Chieftain, the Khan who leads the Hobgoblins. His attendants, 2 Hobgoblin, and his pet Giant Eagle are here as well. This yurt's door is decorated with 50gp worth of gold thread. A gilded chainmail armor, as well as 350gp, 5 gems (worth 100gp each), a copper totem in the shape of a turtle (100gp) and a Ring of Control Animals can be found here.
C7 contains a skull shrine decorated with bones. On top of the pile of bones lies a fearsome Beast Skull, which grants +1 AC when worn, as well as a +1 reaction bonus when interacting with primitive humanoids.


D - Old Cells
These three cells haven't been used in decades. Among the dirt in D1 can be found a small gem worth 1000gp, D2 is empty, and D3 holds an Orc Acolyte (stats as Orc + Cleric 2 abilities) imprisoned by the Hobgoblins. Every few days, the Hobgoblins beat the Orc within to an inch of his life.

E - Steep Tunnel
The northern passage is steep, slippery and difficult (2-in-6) to climb. The southern end is connected to C by a hidden underwater passage.

F - Bugbear Lair
A tribe of 7 Bugbears and as many non-combatant cubs, led by their Patriarch, a Bugbear Warrior, live here, after the Hobgoblins occupied the main cave. They will attack and repel intruders, but will not pursue.
Each Bugbear wears 20 gp worth of jewellery of bones, shells and shiny stones. Buried in a corner there is a fine Golden Necklace decorated with rubies, worth 200gp.

G - Tool and Food Storage
Simple wooden and stone tools and weapons are piled here, woven baskets hold supplies like of dried meat and fish, shrooms, mashed goblin and herbal remedies. Among the tools is a +1 Obsidian Dagger.

H - Insect Farm
A juicy Insect Swarm is kept in this pen for fattening by the bugbears. Daily maintenance is necessary to keep the insects dazed and fed, otherwise they will break out.

 I - Fungus Cave
Two passages lead to this cave: the western one is trapped halfway thru by a primitive but deadly Spike Trap (AB +2, 2d8 damage) and closed by a well-maintained palisade, while the eastern one was recently opened.
The damp grotto is filled with overgrown Dungeon Shrooms. Among the shrooms, a feral colony of 24 Goblins thrives, hunting and being hunted by 3 Giant Geckos. A few Insect Swarms skitter around. Huge bones litter the floor here and there. These bones are worthless on their own, but could yield 100gp when sold to a bone-carver, or even more when offered to a collector or scholar. The southern end of the cave is flooded and a Giant Toad dwells in the water.

J - There is a treasure chest containing 500gp in coins on the small shore on the far end of this cave. In the water, 5 Zombies lurk, attacking anyone who gets too near.

Random encounter table:

  1. 1d4+1 Hobgoblins on patrol
  2. 1d6 Wolves
  3. 1d2 Bugbears
  4. 2d4 Goblins
  5. 1d3 Giant Centipedes
  6. 1 Insect Swarm

Factions, Interests, Conflicts:

  •  The Hobgoblins have recently split from a larger clan, and seek to establish themselves as an important power in the area. However, they recently fell into an ambush set by local Orcs, and some of their number were taken prisoners, but not before a few Orcs were killed and an Orc was captured. They have forced the Bugbears into a truce while they gather their strength to free the captives. They believe that the passage to the Fungus Cave is well fortified and trapped.
  • The Bugbears resent the Hobgoblins for displacing them and for keeping their most holy relic, the ancestral Beast Skull, hostage. Should the relic be disrespected, damaged, or worn by someone unworthy (that is, anyone not of their tribe) they will attack all non-bugbears in a blind frenzy. Should the relic be promised back, they may collaborate. They know of the underwater passage and of the feral goblins, and have secretly been disabling all the traps they originally set up between the Fungus Cave and the current Hobgoblin camp.
  • The Orc Acolyte believes his imprisonment is a test of faith and strength, but will be grateful for outside help and safe return to his temple.
  • The goblins only care for fresh corpses to use as fertilizer for the shrooms. They fear the bugbears, but have noticed that one passage is no longer closed.

Friday, 7 August 2020

d8: Race-as-Class! (x2) - Vanara & Mongrelfolk

I posted these over at the usual place, so I might as well post them here.


Vanara

Vanara are intelligent monkeys and apes who live in temples built in the deep of jungles or forests and like to wear fancy jewellery.
They usually have brown, tan or black fur, but 1-in-20 is born with unusual fur colors like blue, green or red.
HD: d6
To-hit, Saves: as Thief
EXP: as Cleric
Prime Requisite: Dexterity
Restrictions: No ranged weapons, weapons other than blunt get a -1 to damage, no armor more than leather.
Vanara have the stone-related abilities of a dwarf, as well of the Climb ability of a Thief of same level, and can Leap and Hurl Rocks.
Leap: a Vanara can Leap forwards for a distance equal to 10ft plus an additional 10ft for level.
Hurl Rocks: a Vanara can hurl rocks at enemies dealing 1d4 damage; the damage raises to 1d6 at level 5 and to 1d8 at level 9.
At level 9 a Vanara Becomes a Jungle Lord/Lady and may build their own temple in a dense Jungle or forest. The temple will have many pit traps shattered around, both for defense and for leaping fun. Such a temple will attract other Vanara as well as White Apes, Gorillas, Bonobos, Orangutans, and the occasional Gigantopithecus or man-cub.

 
Mongrelfolk

Mongrelfolk are hideous, roughly human-shaped creatures, a patchwork of different parts taken from a variety of mammals, reptiles and vermin.
Despite their monstrous appearance, they are peaceful beings living in hidden farming villages, far away from civilization.
HD: d4
To hit: as Magic-User
Saves: as Dwarf
EXP: as Thief
Prime Requisite: Constitution
Restrictions: (Depending on Mutation)
Mongrelfolk are Hideous Outcasts, have Mimetism, as well as a random Mutation.
Hideous Outcast: a Mongrelfolk with Charisma higher than 8 counts as having a Charisma of 8 when interacting with intelligent creatures other than Mongrelfolk or Beholders, but is used to survive in the wilderness, gaining +1 to rolls to forage and against weather.
Mimetism: for every turn spent hiding, a Mongrelfolk gets +5% chance to remain undetected, for a maximum of 95%.
Mutations: every Mongrelfolk is born with a random Mutation, and chooses another one at level 9:

  1. Goat Legs: can Climb as Thief of same level, but can't wear shoes
  2. Scales: unarmored AC as chain, but can't swim
  3. Pincer: gain a 1d4 attack, but can't use two-handed weapons
  4. Tentacle Arm: can Pickpochet as Thief of same level
  5. Keen Eyes: nightvision, but suffer -1 to all rolls when in daylight
  6. Claws: gain a 2d2 attack, but can't wear gloves
  7. Gills: can breath underwater, but needs to drink twice as much water daily
  8. Paws: can Move Silently as Thief of same level, but can't wear shoes
  9. Parasitic Twin: can reroll a saving throw once daily
  10. Frog Legs: can Swim twice the normal speed, but can't wear shoes
  11. Fearsome Jaws: gain a 1d3 attack
  12. Mimicry: can imitate animal sounds and use it to communicate with other mongrelfolk

At level 9 a Mongrelfolk becomes a King/Queen of Mongrelfolk and may establish their own village in a peaceful hidden valley. The village will be surrounded by fertile farmlands and have a labyrinthine tunnel complex below it, and will attract other Mongrelfolk who wish to live in peace far away from those who shun them.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

d8: Dungeon! - Orc Temple


I made this map a few weeks ago, but didn't key it until now.

A - Entrance
A tunnel leads to this simple empty room. Crude clay idols with worthless glass eyes sit in alcoves along the wall, but one eye is actually a gem worth 10gp. The door to the east is locked, while to the south stone steps lead down to a hallway.

B - Store Room
Smoked fish, salted meat, dried Shrooms and other common goods are stored here in crates. The door is unlocked.

C - Commoners' Room
This unlocked, simple and cramped room houses the low caste pilgrims: 18 Orcs, a decrepit orc elder and 3 orc cubs (all four 1 HP non-fighters), as well as a distressed pet Boar (morale 7), waiting for the next celebration to offer their gifts to the gods: 43cp in coins, a silver mirror (worth 30sp), and various clay idols.

D - Guard Post
In this clean room, 5 Orc Warriors welcome important guests and guard their belongings: 350sp in coins, 200gp in precious stones, a ermine fur cloak (worth 100gp), 2 necklaces (worth 50gp each), and a +2 Ring of Protection. The door to the east is unlocked.

E - Kitchens
A shackled squad of 10 Hobgoblins work here, preparing food over a Smokeless Stove for the important visitors. Hidden in the stove there are 4 small ingots worth a total of 40gp. All doors are unlocked.

F - Guards' Room
The Temple Guard is stationed here, with 15 Orc Warriors always present. There is a +1 Spear in the weapon rack, as well as a beautifully decorated but incredibly heavy bronze +1 breast plate (requires STR 17 to wear). The door to the north is unlocked and guards use it freely. The secret door to the west can only be opened from inside, while the one to the south can be opened from both sides. The door to the east is unlocked, but the guards do not dare to open it unless alerted by a bell.

G - Elite's Lounge
This large, sumptuous room is decorated with tapestries, statues, and a pool. The upper class, 24 orcs, 3 elders and 14 orc cubs, is here, enjoying music, eating delicious food, taking a bath, smoking dried Shrooms, and having a great time in general. A spoiled and lazy group of 4 Mountain Lionesses (morale 6) is here too, getting pampered by everyone. The lionesses wear 150gp worth of necklaces, earrings, ankle rings and other such jewellery. At the bottom of the pool are hundreds of coins of every kind, worth a total of 300gp. The tapestries depict mythological as well as mundane scenes of opulence, and contain 100gp of gold thread. The statues have silvered details and gems for eyes, for a total of 200gp of pure silver and 16 gems worth 500gp in total. All doors are unlocked. At any time, 4d6 orcs will be high as kites and suffer a -1 penalty to all attack and saving throws.

H - Sanctum
The walls of the hallways leading to the Sanctum are covered in votive graffiti, hand stencils, and alcoves, some of which house small idols with worthless glass gems for eyes, surrounded by equally worthless and molding offerings of food and common items. However, among the garbage a total of 56gp can be found, as well as a dust-covered Efreeti Bottle.
The Sanctum itself is a huge hall where celebrations, hearings of supplicants, offerings and rituals take place. Tapestries hang from the walls, a huge idol sits on a raised platform in the eastern corner, and 4 pools of clean, transparent water shine eerily as illuminated from the inside. While the pools look empty, they are actually enchanted in such a way that any living being submerged into them becomes invisible from outside. The north-west pool is connected by a unseen, submerged passage to the room to the west, while the other three contain 3 Sea Snakes, one for each pool. At the bottom of each pool there are 100gp worth of coins. The idol has 2 huge gems for eyes, each worth 500gp, at its feet lays a sacred +2 Dagger and 200gp worth of gems, gilded idols, carved skull bowls, and offering vases. The tapestries contain 100gp of gold thread.
The doors north and south are alternatingly locked and unlocked: when a ceremony is performed, the south door is open and the north door locked, otherwise, the south door is locked and the north door is open. The hidden door to the west is covered by heavy curtains and can be opened pressing a hidden switch.

I - Priest's Lodging
The Orc Oracle (Stats as Orc Warrior + Cleric5 abilities, usually with spells such as Protection from Good/Evil, Remove Fear, Bless, and Speak with Animals) of the Temple lives here together with a pet Lion, though both transit freely between this room and the Lounge to the north. Nobody dares enter this room unless explicitly invited to do so by the Oracle, not even the lionesses.
The room is comfortable but modest, containing a large bed, a large bronze mirror, a small altar with an unadorned stone idol, a scroll bookcase, and a small pool for bathing. A rope allows to ring a bell in the guard's room when pulled.
The mirror is a Mirror of Scrying, but the Oracle does not know how to activate it yet. There is a Scroll of Protection from Magic in the bookcase, as well as a Cursed Scroll in a golden scroll case (worth 50gp), and 20 other scrolls on various esoteric subjects, one of which contains the correct activation method for the mirror. The oracle always wears a plain looking wooden medallion, which is actually a Medallion of ESP.
The secret door to the south is opened by a hidden switch on the plain idol.

J - Treasury
This room holds the most valuable treasures of the Temple. The treasury is protected by a vicious Fire Elemental, who will attack anyone opening the Treasury without holding the enchanted wooden medallion belonging to the Oracle.
There are 10000gp worth of coins of any kind shattered all over the floor, as well as a pure gold idol (worth 1000gp) in a corner, while in another corner there is a bronze brazier worth 50gp. A magic-user Spellbook containing the Reincarnate spell and many scandalous fiction is held by the idol, as well as a +3 Mace. On the wall hang 5 fearsome enchanted masks, each of which allows the wearer to cast Fear once daily. The masks are used as coathangers for 10 opulent silk dresses decorated with gold and silver thread, each worth 250gp.
The secret door to the south is hidden behind the golden idol and can be opened by simply pushing it, behind it a narrow tunnel leading to an underground cave, and from there, outside. There is a trap right after the secret door which will collapse the first section of the tunnel when triggered.

Random encounter Table:
  1. 1d8 Orc pilgrims, bringing offerings to an idol.
  2. 2d3 Hobgoblin slaves, fetching supplies or doing maintenance
  3. 2d6 Orc Warriors, on patrol
  4. 1 Mountain Lioness (morale 6), looking for attention and wearing 150gp in jewellery
  5. 2d6 giant rats, feasting on moldy offerings

Factions, interests, conflicts:
  • The lower caste orcs want to complete their pilgrimage, get their blessing, and then go home
  • The hobgoblins resent their enslavement and want to return to their clan, possibly with a few orc heads as trophies
  • The guards want to impress the Oracle and their gods, hoping one of them will become the Oracle's attendant and student
  • The high caste orcs want to enjoy their vacation far from politics, responsibilities and duties
  • The Oracle wants to maintain the status quo, enjoy the power of being the voice of the gods, and grow the Treasury
  • The boar just wants to get away from the freely wandering lions and back to it's muddy pen

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Raising a Runestone

Runestones can be raised for the death of a companion, to commemorate a personal achievement, or to celebrate the founding of a settlement, stronghold, temple, tower or similar.

-Funeral Stone

Upon the death of a PC (or hireling) a carved stone can be placed near the place of death.
It costs (Xd6+4)*10 GP (X being the HD of the dead person) to commission the carving, painting and placing of the stone, half as much if the carving and painting is done by a PC with the necessary knowledge and skill. Preparation and placing takes 2d4+2 days.
A runestone is usually inscribed with a brief epitaph, such as "Tumi Beinirson, a brave man, was slain here by the she-vultures - Geva bint Adalu wrote this", and decorated with painted carvings depicting scenes from the dead one's life, along with their birth sign.
Finally, the stone is hallowed, usually by a priest, by sprinkling it with blood, wine, ale, honey, or similar.
All hirelings present during the ceremony will get a +1 bonus to morale test until the next death.
If a priest performs the required ritual, the stone is perpetually aligned to the constellation inscribed into it.

Deer Stones, Siberia
-Personal Runestone

At any time, a PC may chose to raise a runestone for their own success.
The work costs (Xd10+2*X)*100 GP (X being the HD of the commissioner), takes 2d6+4 days, can only be done once every X months, and can be done only once per level.
The megalith is inscribed with a fitting description of the deeds of the person who commissioned it, such as "In these lands, Geva bint Adalu, faithful servant of the almighty Lawgiver, defeated and banished the undead hordes, restoring His heavenly order". No two stones can describe the same deed, and each successive runestone must describe a more impressive deed.
Upon completion, the commissioner will be awarded the cost of the runestone in XP, and get +1 to rolls when interacting with locals for X months.

-Founding stone

When a new settlement is founded, a spot, usually at the center of it, is reserved for a large standing stone. The settlement is only truly considered a permanent one when a ceremonial menhir is raised. Until then, the settlement is seen as little more than a glorified camping site, especially by foreigners, and as such can be abandoned without much worry should the situation become dire. But once the stone is raised, the settlement becomes a recognized, autonomous and self-sufficient bulwark of civilization and order that will be defended by its inhabitants and allies until the very last. Abandoning a founding stone to an enemy is considered a great dishonor.
Such a stone costs 10'000 gp for every 100 inhabitants of the settlement, rounded up. Creation and placing takes 2d10+6 weeks, and can obviously be done only once.
Every member of the settlement is expected to contribute to the costs, either by investing money, materials, or time and work into it.
Guests who are not permanent members of the settlement consider it a great honor to contribute to a founding stone, and are expected to make a donation of some kind, even if symbolic. For every 1'000 gp donated, the patron will be held in high regard by the settlement and receive a +1 bonus when interacting with the locals for X months (X being the HD of the patron), with each successive 1'000 gp increasing the duration by another X months. Refusing to contribute, even symbolically, is seen as a grievous offense to the settlement, and give a -3 malus to interactions with the locals for X years (X being the HD of the non-contributor).
The standing stone is inscribed with the story of the founding of the settlement, as well as with the names of notable contributors, and illustrated with important events. The finished menhir is placed in the designated spot and a great feast is held.
From this moment onward, inhabitants of the settlement will get a +1 bonus to morale and attack rolls when defending the settlement.
Forsaking a runestone to the enemy is a great shame. Those who abandon their settlement to the enemy without defending it get a permanent -1 malus to all to-hit and saving throws. More so, someone who has abandoned a founding runestone once can never again gain the bonus of such a stone. The only way to reverse this is by being involved in the reconquest of the settlement.

-Stone Circle

A powerful (domain level) cleric or magic-user may build a stone circle. The cost of a stone circle is 10 times that of a personal runestone, and takes Xd12 months to build (X being the HD of the cleric/magic-user).
A stone circle is build according to astronomical and/or theological measurements, and inscribed with magical runes, sacred prayers, astrological charts, and constellations.
Within the circle and in the immediate vicinity, all bearers of star signs receive the appropriate bonus, the reach of spells is tripled, the time needed to prepare spells is halved, and magical research is improved by 10%. No undead nor demonic creatures can be summoned/created inside of the stone circle, and undead/demons entering the circle receive 1d10 points of damage every round.