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A Collation of Things Revealed in July, 2018

Did I Play An RPG Right?


Firstly, I’m going to navel-gaze for a bit:

 

Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine started life as an experiment in formatting my own prep notes (impression of the general area -> sensory/atmospheric information in BIG OBVIOUS TYPE -> everything else), which worked out great in my own game so I published it pretty much as-is, and the vast majority of feedback I’ve gotten is that it works great. For the most part you can just pick it up and go.

But something it DIDN’T do was use a lot of moving parts, or take into account where you came from; the descriptions all assume you’re following the most obvious route.

 

So moving on to new things, I could do what normally happens and make things more generic, get rid of the sensory build-up, so that you need to stop and reference the map to think about what order players see things/where they lie in front of them, OR I could do what I’ve done which is to write multiple entry descriptions for each area to cover every way you could get there including falling from the goddamn sky.

The experiment behind STEAL THE EYES OF YASHOGGHUH is seeing if I can make an adventure that’s just as easy to pick up and play as Feathered Swine, with the same atmosphere that builds when you can just keep going area to area, but with lots more moving parts that affect other areas of the map, tracked events, triggers, missing keys, possible NPC factions, all without being a nightmare to track. I want you to be able to flip to a page and just GO, I want all of the information you need to be there without having to stop and think.

Ultimately, the experiment behind it is to make a fairly complex and organic adventure that can not only be run easily by a brand new DM, without prep and possibly without even reading all of it beforehand, but be played by brand new players.

 

I want them to know that things are happening around them and that there may be unforseen consequences without it being overwhelming or frustratingly confusing, I want them to be able to solve problems without having to pixel-bitch across the whole map pulling levers and finding keys that give no indication that they’ve done the right thing, and shit, I want them to have a lot of fun.

 

WITH THAT SAID

 

FM Geist ran STEAL THE EYES OF YASHOGGHUH for her birthday and fuck me, the play report just makes me so happy, as does the feedback that keeps coming in from her players.

It also makes me exceedingly happy that she ran this while high from a PHONE, so I feel like I’ve done fairly well with those design goals.

ALSO she used my (new) magic rules, equipment packs, and NPCs, and the incident beginning with the removal of the golden spikes is the perfect culmination of everything I try to do with what I write.

Please, give it a read (then read it again, and again):

 

Read the rest…


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Use Protection


It doesn’t pay to be defenseless out here, so who comes out to play when this town/city is under siege?

(Alternatively, throw them into armies for a bit of fun.)

 

TownCityd20 Special Protection
11Trained beasts with amazing outfits.
_2Alchemical horrors released from orb-like receptacles suspended along the streets.
23World-weary Watch that become crazed murder party animals when they drink from their special flasks. Then they have the most fun, everything else is just a come-down.
3_Rag-tag militia that smear faeces on their terrible weapons and hurl horrified-looking frogs who've had their orifices sealed shut, bloated with hallucinogenic gas.
_4Ceramic suits of armour full of yellow slime animated by the will of quadriplegic telepaths on stalking animal-limbed ceramic thrones.
45A stolen unit of lobotomised harvest soldiers, bearing lanterns full of Mondmilch.
5_A lusty troupe from a particularly violent burlesque school.
_6Gaily dressed ribald arquebusiers, accompanied by nervous squires carrying beautifully obscene painted pavise shields to protect them during their nonchalant mode of jocular assault.
67Wax soldiers animated by the black wicks burning from the backs of their heads.
7_Elderly shapeshifters trading protection for having someone to talk to.
88A Flesh Crafter sect and their creations abominable and beautiful.
_9Swarms of little girls with sharp knives who climb like spiders, with powdered white faces and brilliant pink painted lips spreading like a rash over their chins.
910Discrete poison-throwers that look just like everybody else.
10_A lone sorceress who lives in a towering mud-brick spire covered in drooping, determined flowers.
_11Fat, reconstituting giant mud spiders powered by clockwork orbs at their hearts, crawling out from beneath lifting pavement stones.
1112Beautiful sombre women in robes like a procession of Mother Marys, swinging rosary-like strings of censer balls full of smouldering narcotics.
12_Red beehives goaded into a frenzied madness by their keepers, stung to death in the process.
_13Purposely-stunted dwarfish entertainers riding on the backs of crazed beasts heavily pregnant with parasitic jellies. Wagers are taken on the outcome and chaos.
1314A Plague Priest colony swinging and swaying their bodies to ring the crusty bells hanging from their rotting wrappings.
1415Noxious green gases expelled from towering grotesque corals doused in water, sapping the fluid from anyone who didn't recently swallow a tiny squid.
15_Really unsettling malnourished figures wearing fly masks, slowly shifting their feet in incongruously marshy patches of land around the perimeter of the town, constantly wreathed in grey fog.
_16A rain of exploding, dividing frogs launched from bulbous pitted mortars. They reform from the chunks, getting smaller and smaller, getting into all your cracks.
When it's over they're cleaned up by ravenous herons with surgically-implanted copper bellies full of green stomach acid bubbling behind foggy glass viewing portals.
1617Ever-so-vaguely humanoid flesh-warped pink pigs wearing dented plates of armour and wielding shoddy halberds and hammers, squealing in fear and challenge.
17_Rumour holds that if a particular old man is injured, the town cats will metamorphose into vengeance-bound yellow-eyed black slavering beasts the size of cows.
They always get him drunk and push him to the front line.
_18The walls of the city are hollow, stone wall and walkways wrapped around a ceramic shell exposed on the exterior side. Expansive black puddings and violet jellies kept alive by food shoved through hatches slide and squeeze through them, released when necessary by watchman that bring heavy hammers crashing down on the ceramic exterior wall.
1819Twelve crows with golden nails driven into their chests by five cursed old women. Each crow drags d20 mindless spirits with them, eaten from corpses.
If a crow is killed its spirits dissolve - if the nail is removed while it still lives the spirits roam uncontrolled and vengeful - if an old woman is killed so are three crows.
The final old woman is a failsafe lest the others are all killed, in which case the twelve golden nails break free and plunge into her eyes, and she becomes a giant golden-feathered crow beast with glorious wings sweeping over four ragged arms and a headstone crown, crawling with restless spirits like lice.
19_The people are all infested by some manner of fungus, thin-stemmed fruiting bodies sprouting out from around their eyes.
It doesn't bother them much apart from imbuing them with a tremendous sense of community spirit, but when murdered they tend to explode in a cloud of invasive spores.
2020Grenadiers riding in chariots drawn by packs of armoured hairless baboons painted in the colours of the particular Grenadier House, each with their own alchemical recipe.
Turning base metal to gold still escapes them, but they're getting pretty close to that universal solvent.

One comment



In Space No One Can Hear You Squeal


If you’re reading this you’re probably well aware of Sleeping Place of the Feathered Swine, my filthy cave adventure with the adorable cut-out map where nobody gets out alive/whole/without a suit of armour fused with their genitals.

 

Well Dan D of Throne of Salt ran it as an impromptu away-mission in a Spelljammer game and wrote a play report that made me stupidly, unendingly happy. Give it a read.

 

James Young also told me he ran it as a “Lair of a Gluttony Demon accessed via a sobbing obese bartenders’ mouth. Walls are his torn and warped throat, knee high in rotting food. Surprisingly easy reskin to make!” but there’s no play report of that one which is really disappointing I was so very wrong! Check comments below for James’ multiple play reports. The Gluttony Demon one in particular is sick.

 

It’s pretty old now but lots of people have been saying nice things about it lately including Jarrett Crader saying “It is one of the best intros to the old school mindset and it works for every system” so if you don’t have it you should probably change that:

 


10 comments



A Sack And A Knife


Hey, so recently I ran a couple of playtest sessions of STEAL THE EYES OF YASHOGGHUH online (it was great, highlights at the end) and to speed things up we used starting equipment packs that I’ve used a few times before.

 

While we were playing Brendan S asked if I’d published them and since he brought up how useful equipment packs are for streamlining character generation, here’s the packs I’ve been letting people choose randomly – three Sword-Whores, three Adepts/Specialists/Thieves, and three WIZARDS.

 

There are a couple of “healing potions” in there that mention making saves. If you fail you randomly mutate, or in the case of The Bottled Nectar of the House of Honey and Salt:

  • Both fail – Your body loses all integrity and slops and expands in a flowing pile of the Velvet Blessing/Saintsblood.

  • Only CON fail – The flesh of a random body part shifts and groans beneath the skin. Make another CON check each Turn – Until you succeed, make a WIS check every time you exert yourself, if you fail the body part becomes Saintsblood.

There’s also some drugs. For me drugs work like this:

Effects last until you FAIL the associated Ability check, made each Turn.

If you roll a 1 or a 20 on a check you’re addicted.

While addicted, whenever not under the influence of the drug you suffer all of its normal negative effects as well as its withdrawal effects, and all checks involving the associated Ability Score are Doomed (checks that would already be Doomed are Double Doomed).

After each full day without the drug, make the associated Ability check to recover from addiction.

Quick, easy, smooth.

Doomed means you roll twice and take the worst. Yes that’s the same as Disadvantage. No there is no replacement for Advantage.

 

ANYWAY HERE’S THE EQUIPMENT

Read the rest…


13 comments