Posts Tagged ‘ micro-adventure ’

Lair of the Zorboes

Did you know that Matt Jackson is creating Old School maps that you too can support and own and cherish via Patreon? Well, he is, and you can. The map to to the right is a sample of Matt’s work. If you click the map, it embiggens. If you click this link right here, you can download a short 5E adventure using the map. It is written for 3-5 characters with an average level of three. The adventure features an oldie-but-goodie from 1983’s Monster Manual II, which I’ve posted below after some self-serving promotional stuff.

Did you know that I’ve released two new for-sale PDFs so far this year? Amazing, huh? If only I could be this productive every month.

Chance Encounters II expands your campaign using the fifth edition of the World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game. Revel at College of Cheer and Good Tidings. Gain a blessing from mulled wine. Be more alert in the glow of a guiding light. Fight side-by-side with a champion toy against an abominable snowman in cursed Arktinis. With five new character options, two new spells, seven new monsters, three new magic items, two new places, and an essay about cinnamon, Chance Encounters II offers something for almost everyone.

The war against the Axis Powers just got weird. World War Weird Classes presents 10 character classes from Demi-God to Gremlin to Zombie. Augment a team of commandos with something supernatural, or put together a Nazi-fighting monster squad. A huge thanks to Pete Spahn not only for WWII: Operation WhiteBox but also for being a class act and offering me numerous suggestions and corrections.

And now for that new monster!

“This carnivorous beast likes human and demihuman flesh. A zorbo has poor armor class and attack damage when first encountered, but it can absorb the natural armor class of its surroundings….” (Monster Manual II, p. 131)

Zorbo
Small monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 10
Hit Points 22 (4d6+8)
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.
Ability Scores STR 13 (+1), DEX 10 (+0), CON 15 (+2), INT 3 (-4), WIS 13 (+1), CHA 8 (-1)

Skills Athletics +3
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Item Absorption. When the zorbo hits a creature with its claws, the zorbo absorbs the Armor Class (including magical bonus) or magical quality of a random protective item worn or carried by the creature hit, even if the net result reduces the zorbo’s Armor Class. The creature can resist this effect with a Wisdom save against DC 13. If the protective item is magical, it loses its magical functions for 1 minute. The zorbo acquires an Armor Class equal to what it would have if it were using the protective item.

Magic Resistance. The zorbo has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Actions

Claws. Melee Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) slashing damage.

Nature Absorption (Recharge 6). The zorbo can absorb the natural armor class of whatever natural material it touches. This grants the zorbo an improved Armor Class, depending on the material: Armor Class 20 for stone, Armor Class 17 for metal, Armor Class 15 for wood, or Armor Class 13 for earth. The zorbo also gains a bonus on melee attack damage rolls: +5 damage for stone, +3 damage for metal, +2 damage for wood, or +1 damage for earth. The new Armor Class and damage bonus lasts for 1 minute.

January 16th, 2018  in Spes Magna News No Comments »

Friday Fun with Matt Jackson

Over on G+ today, Matt Jackson posted a pic of a little map with these words: “Let’s have some fun today. I made a map, let’s stock it! Write a short adventure for whatever system you prefer.”

I figured, Why not?

While you check out my small contribution to the fun, consider making a contribution of your own to Matt Jackson’s Wounded Warrior Project fundraiser. Speaking as both a gamer and a veteran, Matt’s fundraiser is double good.

Huah!, and welcome to Ean Illiam’s Cavern Stores!

Ean Illiam, ancient but spry merchant, set up shop more than a decade ago in a group of caves about a day’s ride outside the village. Rumor says Ean served the former king as a soldier. Or as an assassin, or maybe a warpriest. Such is the way of rumors. Ean himself denies these rumors with a wink and a toothless grin.

Whatever the truth, Ean offers quality goods for a reasonable price. He regularly receives shipments of common weapons, armor, and dungeon gear. Shoppers can almost always find whatever they need from these categories. If a trusted customer knows how to ask, Ean also supplies poisons. Services offered by Ean and his staff are more limited. Herman Aleš, a talented blacksmith, works for Ean, as does Mojca Marica, a chirugeon. A hot meal and ale can almost always be had, although Ean isn’t running a tavern, so don’t expect anything too fancy. Surely, stories about Ean arranging murders for hire cannot be true. Can they?

1. Entrance: Carved stairs lead up into the stony hillside. Ean almost always has a few guards on duty in or around this area. These guards often have well-trained mastiffs on hand to help emphasize the importance of behaving. Lanterns hung from hooks twisted into the ceiling provide light throughout Ean’s caves. Those who look before heading in may notice smoke billowing out from natural chimneys higher up the hillside.

2. Front Stores: Ean greets customers here. Shelves built along the walls display Ean’s more common goods. Clerks assist with the sales, and one doesn’t need to be alert to spot a guard or two keeping keen eyes on visitors. Sturdy tables and chairs are set up down the center of the cave, and a hollowed out section of wall serves as a cooking pit. A simple stew is almost always kept bubbling above the fire.

Ean Illiam
Devious, Hoarder, Intelligent, Organized, Solitary
Cudgel (b[2d8] damage)
12 HP
0 Armor
Close
Instinct: To strike a deal

* Call for help
* Deal like a devil
* Move with remarkable speed

3. Rear Stores: Lesson common and more expensive goods occupy the shelves. A heavy curtain is drawn across the exits to the north up the stairs and to the south into the private stores. There might be guards behind those curtains.

4. Stairs Up: If asked, Ean or his staff say that the stairs up lead to private rooms off-limits to visitors.

5. Private Stores: Ean’s most exotic and expensive goods are kept in this cave, and access is granted to only his most valued customers. Mojca has a small clinic area set up in this cave.

Mojca Marica
Intelligent, Magical, Organized, Solitary, Stealthy
Scalpel (w[2d8] damage)
12 HP
0 Armor
Close
Instinct: To heal

* Alert the guards
* Apply the healing arts
* Deceive the senses

6. The Forge: The heat and noise from this area spread through Ean’s caves. Herman Aleš labors here with hammer and tongs, assisted by surly apprentices.

Herman Aleš
Intelligent, Solitary
Hammer (1d10+2 damage)
12 HP
2 Armor
Close, Forceful
Instinct: To forge

* Grip like steel
* Look for imperfections
* Work metal

7. Rippling Waters: Is this is a spring? To where do the cool, clear waters flow?

July 18th, 2014  in RPG 1 Comment »

Fight a Hunting Flock

In November’s Quid Novi?, I wrote up a micro-adventure featuring a hunting flock of dire corbies. I was inspired by one of Dyson Logos’s many wonderful maps over at A Character For Every Game, specifically his Little Goat Pass map. If you’ve never had the thrill of sliding admiring eyes along the lines and curves of Dyson Logos’s maps, you owe it to yourself to do so now. When you’re done, the rest of this post will still be here.

Little Goat Pass: A Micro-Adventure
Little Goat Pass rises from the main road leading north along the rugged hills up to a high valley once cherished for its lush vegetation and sweet, natural spring. For decades, the goatherds of the lowland communities would head up the pass with their flocks, all but ignoring the ancient fortifications built into the western cliff. In recent weeks, however, access to the high valley via Little Goat Pass has become impossible. A dire corby hunting flock has occupied the ancient fortifications.

The hunting flock is led by Brennus, a dread corby barbarian, and his two dread corby lieutenants. Brennus also commands 10 normal dire corbies, and he has trained a black bear to act as a sentry and hunting animal. Under Brennus’s leadership, the hunting flock has attacked passers-by where the road and trail meet. The monsters then haul their loot back to their lair.

North Group
Heading up the trail to the high valley, travelers pass by this group of chambers carved into the cliff. Brennus has stationed the bulk of his forces here. Four dire corbies stand guard in the entry chamber at all times. They are the arrow slits to check on who’s passing on the trail. 1d3-1 dread corby lieutenants are inspecting the guards at any given time.

The room north of the entry chamber is used by the dire corbies as a barracks. 1d6-1 other dire corbies are off duty in this room at any given time.

Dread corby lieutentants and dire corbies not on duty who are not in this group of chambers are either on the trails (25%), in the west group (50%), or in the south group (25%).

Brennus rewards his followers well. The dire corbies have a goodly amount of treasure: a phial of exotic perfume (525 gp), an outfit of royal clothing (200 gp), a false bottom chest (50 gp) concealing an illustrated book of poetry (40 gp) and a potion of cure light wounds, a masterwork backpack (50 gp), a set of armor spikes (50 gp), an arcane scroll (grease, phantom steed, CL 5th), four skyrocket fireworks (50 gp each), and 780 gp of various coins, gems, and jewelry.

West Group
The entry chamber here is used by the dread corby lieutenants. The westernmost portion of the room holds their nests; the eastern part is used for meals, games, and meetings.

Brennus lairs in the southern chambers. He uses the two smaller rooms for storage and for a crude altar to the various evil powers he worships. At any given time, Brennus is either in these chambers (65%), on the trail (5%), in the north group (10%), in the south group (10%), or visting his bear (10%).

Brennus’s trained black bear is kept in the caves opposite the west group of chambers. It has been taught the following tricks: attack, defend, down, fetch, guard, and track.

Southern Group
The dire corbies don’t have a constant presence in this chambers. They have yet to find the secret door in the cave. Every now and then, some of the dire corbies hang out here. Cracks and loose rock mar the trail in front of the caves. Although the terrain looks dangerous, it’s relatively stable. Count the area as rough terrain.

The secret chamber was once used as a treasure room by the ancient fortifications’ builders. It still holds some of this treasure: an arcane scroll (hold portal, sleet storm, CL 5th), a divine scroll (hide from undead, goodberry, CL 1st), plus 140 gp of various gems and 100 gp of assorted coins.

Brennus
CR 5; XP 1,600
Male dread corby barbarian 3
NE Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +8

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 14, flat-footed 18 (+4 armor, +4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 61 (2d10+10 plus 3d12+15)
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +5
Defensive Abilities ferocity, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge; Immune fear

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft. (40 ft. unarmored)
Melee 2 claws +8 (1d4+9) (Power Attack)
Ranged masterwork composite longbow +10 (1d8+6/x3)
Special Attacks intimidating glare, leap, rage (13 rounds/day), rend (2 claws, 1d4+5)

STATISTICS
Str 21, Dex 18, Con 21, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 22
Feats Blind-Fight, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack
Skills Acrobatics +18, Climb +19, Handle Animal +9, Intimidate +14, Perception +8, Stealth +7; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics, +2 Perception; Armor Check Penalty -2
Languages Aklo
N.B. Melee, CMB, and CMD include -2 attack roll and +4 damage for Power Attack. When raging, add +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 morale bonus to Will saves, +10 hit points, +2 Fortitude saves, +2 attack rolls and damage with melee, and +2 Climb and Intimidate.

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Intimidating Glare: Brennus can make an Intimidate check against one adjacent foe as a move action. If he successfully demoralizes his opponent, the foe is shaken for 1d4 rounds + 1 round for every 5 points by which his check exceeds the DC.

Leap (Ex): A dire corby can perform a special kind of pounce attack by jumping into combat. When a dire corby charges, it can make a DC 20 Acrobatics check to jump into the air and land next to its enemies. If it makes the Acrobatics check, it can make a full attack against foes in reach.

Screech of Doom (Su): Once per day, a dread corby can loose a horrible shriek that terrifies its opponents. The dread corby can target one creature within 30 feet. This target must make a DC 15 Will save or be frozen in fear, cowering for 1d6 rounds. Any other creatures within 100 feet must make a DC 12 Will save or be frightened for 1d4 rounds. Those who make the save are shaken for 1 round. Dire corbies and dread corbies are immune to this effect. This is a sonic mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

GEAR
+1 arrows (x15), masterwork composite longbow (Str 21), masterwork hide armor, potion of cure moderate wounds, tanglefoot bags (x2), thunderstones (x2), quiver, 5 normal arrows, plus 185 gp of other stuff

Dread Corby Lieutenants (x3)
CR 2; XP 600
NE Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +9

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+3 armor, +3 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 19 (2d10+8)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5
Defensive Abilities ferocity; Immune fear

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +5 (1d4+3)
Ranged javelin +5 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks leap, rend (2 claws, 1d4+3)

STATISTICS
Str 17, Dex 16, Con 19, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 12
Base Atk +2; CMB +5; CMD 18
Feats Blind-Fight
Skills Acrobatics +16, Climb +16, Perception +9, Stealth +8; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics, +2 Perception
Languages Aklo

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Leap (Ex): A dire corby can perform a special kind of pounce attack by jumping into combat. When a dire corby charges, it can make a DC 20 Acrobatics check to jump into the air and land next to its enemies. If it makes the Acrobatics check, it can make a full attack against foes in reach.

Screech of Doom (Su): Once per day, a dread corby can loose a horrible shriek that terrifies its opponents. The dread corby can target one creature within 30 feet. This target must make a DC 13 Will save or be frozen in fear, cowering for 1d6 rounds. Any other creatures within 100 feet must make a DC 12 Will save or be frightened for 1d4 rounds. Those who make the save are shaken for 1 round. Dire corbies and dread corbies are immune to this effect. This is a sonic mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

GEAR
masterwork studded leather, javelins (x2), one of the following potions: potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of cat’s grace, potion of bear’s endurance, plus 75 gp of other stuff

November 27th, 2011  in Quid Novi? No Comments »