Print Page

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Jewels in the Forest

Fritz Leiber's story "The Jewels in the Forest" was the first Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser story I read as a teenager,  the beginning of the Gnome Press hardback "Two Sought Adventure", a 50s collection that I was lucky enough to find in a library in the 70s. Apparently it's also the first he published in Unknown magazine around 1940.  I just re-read it today in the Ace "Swords Against Death" 70s reprint. It is still the quintessence of a "weird fantasy" adventure suitable for translation as a one-shot RPG for a small adventuring group with a complete set of tropes:  tactical skirmishes with a villain's minions, a variety of NPCs providing portentious hints and backstory, a marvelous treasure, and a very weird small "dungeon" with clues left by a mad artificer to lure in adventurers. It is such a template short adventure that as a gamer, I caught myself mentally sketch mapping the settings, and seeing how it could play out in game mechanics as I read. It could be replayed in many systems, but I think DCC would be a perfect match.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Paint Table Saturday - April 12

More detailing work on that batch of Samurai. A few came off the painting table today after this shot. Really looking forward to finishing the rest so I can start some more and restart some other periods for variety. Also looking towards some test play of the rules I've been mulling over for them.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Another funky D&D setting

How about a game of Dungeons and Dragons in which the PCs are all dragons? Instead of demihumans, you could salt in a few of the dragon-like critters - things like Manticores and Griffons, possibly expanded to be comparable with dragons in power level. Possibly do it with a long time interval between episodes like Pendragon, so as to allow for levelling by dragon growth.

Depending on how motivations go, it might be more like a fiefs and kingdoms campaign than a murder hobos campaign.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Barrowmaze run 11

Brother Rodger
Glant Broadwit
Kevlar Windbreaker
George Grayfield
Walt (Bross) was with us briefly at the beginning.

Macabros catching up, after some discussion as to how.

3 ingredients destinations on Mylin's map.

We restock on rations.

Darkmoon Wood is thick in places.

1/2 day travelling through undergrowth. Giant snakes live near the lake.

Clearing up ahead, whimpering, furry animal caught in a trap near the water.
What does the fox say? Laughter and groans all round.

As Br. Rodger releases the fox, two ravens attack and are shot down, backed up by a hobgoblin shooting
a longbow. Macabros drops him from the tree with a sleep spell and we shoot him down as some charge in.
Br Rodger uses a Cure Light Wounds on the fox and gains it as a follower.

We find a rabbit in another trap. Hike until dusk, camp the night. Next day we get to the river N of the Droskmere,
cross at a ford, with Glant and Deela needing help for the depth. In the Forest Elder, we come to the huge ancient tree in a clearing.

A greenish snake tailed reptilian humanoid jumps down out of the tree and ambushes us.
It leaped on the fox.

Those in the clearing melee it, the ones behind with missiles shoot.

Grayfield hit by an arrow from Kevlar but it bounced from his armor.

Glant nearly hit by  sling shot.

Eventually we win the fight, and the creature never managed to bite us. Good thing, as
its teeth ooze poison.

George Grayfield climbs up into the tree with his magical gloves of climbing, and finds
three bodies. Crossbows, shortswords, ring with a flaming hawk, nice black shortbow, backpack.

8 days of iron rations, 9 GP, 12 SP, 2 blankets

Br Rodger detects magic, the bow is magical.

Off to the witch Ulizmila's cottage in the woods. Trees twist away from the ugly cottage.
It's in direpair.

A dozen small thatched fetishes stand propped in the yard.

Deela leads the way in, prods the first fetish with a short sword, but nothing
happens. Gingerly passing it and watching out, we pass the rest and go up to the door.

Kevlar grabs the door and pulls it open. It falls off.
The cottage is dank, reeking, lots of things hanging from the ceiling, etc.
Lots of witchy stuff inside and a big cauldron.

As the adventurers inside search, Deela gets attacked by the cauldron, that comes to life.

Glant rushes in to help and is promptly swallowed by the cauldron, and digested for a round. But Kevlar finishes it off
and the party hauls Glant out before he suffocates.

something? worth 30 GP
Rat's Tail herb
spell ingredient for Find Familiar - 1/2

Necklace of three shrunken heads

Detect magic the next morning reveals that one of the shrunken heads is magic and Kevlar takes it. The eyes open and stare at him.
He plays with it extensively and names it Wilson.
After sleeping the night at the cottage, we move on to Drokars Crucible, and it looks like a ruined monastery, two weathered dwarf statues, with defaced inscriptions. Two ways in, broken, open gateway into courtyard and a breach in the side.
A crow lands on top and Kevlar and George shoot it.

Giant spider drops on us inside the tower as George pokes at the webbing on crates and barrels with a ten foot pole.
George wallops it and Glant finishes it off with a powerful longsword thrust. But it takes awhile to die and follows us out.

We find an excellent oil rag wrapped shortsword in one of the crates. George takes it, thinking it likely magical.

Climbing up, there is a trap door. Dusty room with cobwebs all around, but empty.

 ...  and I missed most of the last hour...

Big dungeon level photo

This needs a name. And maybe some internal detailing, doors and such. Photo this time, not a scan.

Paint Table Saturday

Still working on the Feudal Japanese. Some are getting close to done so I took several out in the garden for a picture in better light.

Bedtime Idea

Elves eat people... all the time. Dwarfs roam about in feral psychotic packs, not artificers, miners, and builders. Orcs are mostly peaceful pastoralists. As I was going to sleep last night, this popped into my head as the seed of a variant OSR setting. Don't know if I will do anything with it, might be fun for a one shot.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Next big map WIP

Sketched yesterday. Got most of the inking done tonight while we played Vampire. Another hour or two to go. The paper is actually white, but the room light is dim. It's coming out better inked than I expected from the sketch.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Chasm Geomorph draft

Made a geomorph on graph paper last night, that was an idea conceived in the morning. Now I need to figure out how to excise the blue grid using GIMP. Also a bit blue in background and there is some cocked grid from the page behind. Will fiddle some more with the files.

Hit it with a Threshold per +Eric H and a couple 1 px Gaussian blurs to reduce the intense pixelation a bit. Liking it better.

Diced Dungeon rescan

Better scan, but looking blue here, sigh. Jpegs & Blogger...

Huh, blue at work is gray at home, different monitor temperature. Anyway, here it is after some Gimp magic:

Interesting, raising brightness and contrast did not help as much as rescaling the image, saving it smaller as a JPEG, before importing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spaceship doodle

Did this while listening to a talk. I kind of like it, though there's some bits I'd back out if it wasn't done with a pen.

Copic Islands

WIP exploring shading along edges with Copic markers.

Fools' Rest

Since I haven't posted a map in awhile... here's the one I worked on again over morning coffee.