Posts Tagged ‘ Swords & Wizardry ’

Vodyanoi & Rusalki

From the waist up, a vodyanoy appears as a naked old man, but its frog-like face, tangled greenish hair, and covering of algae and muck over fish scales surely prevents anyone from mistaking this creature for human. What’s more, it has not hands but instead webbed paws, and in place of its legs extends a powerful fish’s tail. A vodyanoy’s eyes burn like red-hot coals.

When not swimming, it usually rides along its river on a half-sunken log, making loud splashes. When angered, a vodyanoy breaks dams, destroys water mills, and drowns both people and animals alike. Consequently, those who live along the banks of a vodyanoy’s river make sacrifices to appease the monster. Vodyanoi also drag down people to their underwater dwellings to serve as slaves.

For Barbarians of Lemuria

Attributes: Strength 4, Agility 0, Mind 1

Combat Abilities: 2 claws +1, damage d6-1; Defence 1; Protection d3-1 (scales); Lifeblood 10

Special: Vodyanoi breathe water as well as air. Against man-made structures, vodyanoi can exert enormous destructive power, comparable in many ways to the effects of a catapult.

For Dungeon World

Group, Hoarder, Intelligent
Claws (d8+2 damage, forceful)
6 HP
2 Armor
Close
Special Qualities: Amphibious
Instinct: To dominate its territory

* Destroy a man-made structure
* Drag victim to the bottom
* Swim silently and swiftly

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 4+1; AC 5 (14); Atks 2 claws (1d6); SV 13; Special breathe water, destroy man-made structure; MV 6 (Swim 12); AL C; CL/XP 5/240

The rusalka, an unquiet undead monster, was in life a young woman who either committed suicide by drowning due to an unhappy marriage or who was murdered by drowning, especially after becoming pregnant with an unwanted child. A rusalka must suffer its tortured existence in or near the body of water in which it both died and was reborn.

This undead creature is not invariably malevolent, for it may die in peace if its death is avenged. Nevertheless, a rusalka’s main activity is far from benign. It seduces by either by looks or by voice young men, who the monster then leads into the depths of its waterway. Therein, the rusalka entangles its victim with her long red hair and submerges, dragging the would-be lover to his death.

For Barbarians of Lemuria

Attributes: Strength 2, Agility 2, Mind 2

Combat Abilities: grappling hair +2, damage d3; Defence 2; Protection d4-1 (lacks any vulnerable organs); Lifeblood 10

Special: Rusalki appear as beautiful, red-haired maidens to mask their true, more horrific appearance. If engaged in seductive efforts against a male hero, the hero must attempt a Hard Mind action to avoid being charmed by the monster.

For Dungeon World

Devious, Group, Intelligent
Entangling hair (d4 damage)
10 HP
0 Armor
Close, Reach
Special Qualities: Undead
Instinct: To kill young men

* Appear beautiful
* Ensare in its entangling hair
* Inflame the passions

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 8; AC 3 (16); Atks Entangling hair (1d3 then constrict); SV 8; Special appear human, charm male, constrict (1d6), undead; MV 9 (Swim 9); AL C; CL/XP 11/1,700

June 3rd, 2015  in RPG 2 Comments »

Bosch-Inspired Monsters

Yndspeers appear as a bizarre avian-like humanoid roughly the size of a dwarf. A yndspeer is devoid of feathers except for a crest on its head and a tuft growing downward from its abdomen. Rather than wings, a yndspeer has stubby arms and hands. Males also sport wickedly sharp, upward curving barbs on their legs half way between the knee and ankle. These creatures cannot fly, but move rapidly along with a herky-jerky gait. Despite their somewhat comical appears, yndspeers are mischievous and cruel.

HD 1+1; AC 7 (12); Atks barbed spear (1d6); SV 18; Special spears lodge in victim (save negates); MV 12; AL C; CL/XP 2/30

The lyuwvis — a bizarre hybrid of frog, lion, and fish — hunts coastal marshlands. In the water, it swims sluggishly; on land, it hops about on its legs or else scoots through muck and mud on its belly. What the lyuwvis lacks in grace, it makes up for in strength and tenacity. This monster grows to the size of a large hound, and its powerful jaws inflict terrible wounds. The lyuwvis spits a noxious mixture of mud, saliva, and mucous before it attacks. Those struck by this foul substance find their reflexes impeded (as a Slow spell; save negates).

HD 3+2; AC 5 (14); Atks bite (1d6+2); SV 14; Special noxious spit; MV 6 (Swim 6); AL N; CL/XP 4/120

May 31st, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

A Great Cause & Little Baby Sings

Did you know that you can buy both Erik Jensen’s Bonespur Glacier and Jason Paul McCartan’s The Tomb of Bashyr as an OSRIC game system, double-feature module? Well, you do now.

Best of all, this double-feature module helps fund a worthwhile charitable effort: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This link takes you the pay-what-you-want version. There’s also this $4.99 version. I’ve purchased my copy, and you should too. It’s a great pair of adventures written for a great game that help support a great organization.

And now, a new magic item!

Little Baby Sings

This strange toy, cast from metal into the shape of a crawling infant and painted with bright colors, features eight oblong buttons on one side. The first seven buttons are numbered; the last is labeled with a musical note.

The toy’s holder can press a numbered button and then the musical note button to produce a magical effect. The exact effects vary as it seems as if no two of these items are identical.

Possibilities could include such effects as these:

1. A single humanoid creature of 4 or fewer Hit Dice within 30 feet is dazed and loses its next action.

2. For one round, the use can make a rope move as commanded.

3. A single creature of 5 or fewer Hit Dice suffer from severe fear for 1d4 rounds.

4. An illusionary duplicate of the holder appears and lasts for 1d4 rounds. The duplicate mimics the holder’s actions.

5. Secret doors within 30 feet are revealed.

6. For the next minute, the holder can walk across water or other similiar substances as if they were solid ground.

7. Ignite a flammable object within 30 feet.

May 23rd, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

X is for X-tra Time

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(See what I did there?)

Took advantage of some extra time this morning while my students were in computer to start writing Unenägu. First step: Start to clarify how these new rules differ from that on which they are based. Here’s a sample:

Unenägu, like Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox, requires two sets of players who differ in kind. The first is the Referee, and the second are the Players. The bulk of the first part of what follows aims primarily at the Players, who each must create a Player Character (PC), who becomes one of the characters in the shared story played out at the table during a game session.

What’s the Same?
If you’re reading these words, I’m assuming you have your own copy of Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox. You’ll need to refer to it. Unenägu doesn’t repeat information from Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox any more than necessary. For example, you’ll not find much in the way of items and equipment in what follows. Those guidelines are in Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox, and I didn’t feel the need to retype them. Still, I do want to point out briefly what Unenägu doesn’t change, so here goes.

Rule Number One is still rule number one. This is your game now. Feel free to change it, add to it, subtract from it, et cetera. One of the beautiful things about old-school games is that they are about rulings not rules. This is especially important for the Referee. When something happens in the game that the rules don’t cover, make a ruling and move on.

Unenägu also uses all the same dice as Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox. Attribute scores remain the same, and experience point (XP) calculations are unchanged. Likewise, hit points, starting gold, and alignment remain the same (unless, of course, you want to change them).

What’s more, the three basic character classes — the Cleric, the Fighter, and the Magic-User — work in Unenägu just like they do in Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox. So, too, do Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings.

What’s Different?
Unenägu adds new class options related to PCs who are Visitors, those special children who have left behind the real world and entered the Realm of Dream. As Visitors, these children are aware that they now live in a dream, and they can manipulate reality, which, in game terms, is reflected in the use of Oneiric Points.

In addition to Humans, Dwaves, Elves, and Halflings, PCs who are not Visitors may be Talking Animals. The fables and fairy tales from which Unenägu draws inspiration often include animals with human intelligence and characteristics. Some Talking Animals appear very much like normal animals, while others are more anthropomorphic (such as Puss-in-Boots).

Lastly, a few non-Visitors PCs who have exceptionally high ability scores (14+) may perform Legendary Feats. A Fighter with an exceptional Strength might be able to twist iron chains asunder, whereas a Halfling with an exceptional Dexterity may be able to race up a wall.

April 28th, 2015  in Product Development 1 Comment »

Jasper’s Starfish Dragon

In my last post, I imagined Jasper, son of Laryssa and John Payne, as the superheroic Crayola Kid. I also explained that Jasper needs ear surgery to help improve his hearing. At the time of this writing, the Payne family has raised $2,050 of $4,300 needed for Jasper’s medical bills. Check out the Paynes’ GoFundMe page. I’m planning on another donation by Spes Magna Games at the end of this month once my March sales receipts are deposited to my PayPal account. I’m also hoping that the little bit of exposure my posts bring might inspire others who can to be generous.

Of course, I need something gaming related for this post, and so this time I’ve statted up Jasper’s starfish dragon (click on the pic to embiggen the image).

The Starfish Dragon

Deep beneath the waves of the vast sea lurks the starfish dragon. The size of a galleon, supernaturally strong and invulnerable to all but the most powerful weapons, it seldom surfaces except to protect its territory against hostile interlopers. When the starfish dragon attacks, it stirs up massive waves and then tears the hull open from underneath. It usually then descends back to its depths, leaving the sailors to the mercy of the elements.

For Dungeon World

Intelligent, Magical, Hoarder, Huge, Solitary
Tentacles (b[2d10]+5 damage, +2 piercing)
20 HP
4 Armor
Forceful, Messy, Reach
Special Qualities: Aquatic, know the deeps, nigh-invulnerable scales
Instinct: To terrorize the weak
* Crush with tentacles
* Exhale unquenchable fire
* Toss massive waves

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 10; AC 1 (18); Atks 3 tentacles (1d8), 1 bite (3d6); SV 5; Special +1 or better weapon to hit, 35% magic resistance, breathe cone of fire (10d8 with save for half damage), control ocean waters; MV 6 (Swim 21); AL N; CL/XP 14/2,600

March 22nd, 2015  in RPG No Comments »