Posts Tagged ‘ The Cthulhu Hack ’

Chitinoid Chaos!

More fun with From Unformed Realms, this time using TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes.

Adventure Hook: The heroes receive an unexpected invitation (perhaps from a medical or science contact) to watch the demonstration of a new biotech trauma care system. Unfortunately, the Mad Thinker has tampered with the project as part of a scam to hold the technology hostage in hopes of sizable ransom. The Mad Thinker is holed up in an abandoned military bunker. When the biotech system is activated, it overloads and explodes. Several people are caught in the blast. They are transformed into chitinoids, which are motivated by basic instinctual drives.

Chitinoid
From the smoke and fire stagger several people, doctors, technicians, and nurses. They transform rapidly, flesh becoming metallic, covered with thorns and razor edges. They stagger about, clicking and humming, eyeless and inhuman.

Primary Abilities: F Gd, A Gd, S Ex, E Rm, R Fe, I Rm, P Ty
Secondary Abilities: Health 70, Karma 38, Resources Fb, Popularity 0
Powers: Body Armor (Rm), Claws (Ex), Lightning Speed (Ex), Slashing Missile (Ex), Sonar (In), Transformative Nanobots (Rm), Wall-Crawling (Ex)
Nota Bene: Chitinoids are blind. A living target that suffers a Stun or Kill result from a chitinoid’s Claws or Slashing Missiles must make an Endurance FEAT check against Remarkable intensity or else become infected with transformative nanobots. Every 1-10 rounds, the victim suffers a -1CS to Reason. When Reason reaches Feeble, the target turn into a chitinoid. Before transformation is complete, only highly advanced medical care or superhuman recuperative powers stop the process. The Mad Thinker’s ransom demands include the claim that he has the cure for “chitinoidism”. The stats above are for a typical human turned into a chitinoid. It’s up the Judge what abilities and powers a transformed superhuman might have.

July 26th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Murklings in the Wooded Hills

Have I mentioned how much fun From Unformed Realms is? Well, it is much fun, and it’s system-neutral, which means with some thought it can be used for pretty much any game. For example, Barbarians of Lemuria:

Adventure Hook: A chance reunion with an old friend leads to some wooded hills in a frontier region. There the woods are currently being cleared by refugees seeking escape from the punishing taxes of their homeland, but the settlers’ activities have attracted the attention of a murkling swarm.

Murkling
Its gray flesh hung in tatters, covered with gaping sores, glistening with moisture. It dropped from two legs to all fours, and we heard its bones snapping, shifting, adapting to this new form of locomotion. Before it resembled somewhat a man, somewhat an ape, but now it appeared more like a great, obscene rodent. Three more emerged from the burrows, their limbs jointed oddly, unevenly. Unthinkingly, I stepped away, just one step, but still a sufficient number to press my booted heel onto a dry twig. The closest monster jerked and hissed at the twig’s popping, and the creature’s entire body swelled up, its flesh distending, a cloud of dewy particles shaking into the air around it.

Attributes
Strength 0
Agility 2
Mind 0

Combat Abilities
Move 35 ft.
Attack Bite +0 (1d6-1 damage plus possible poison and infection)
Defense 2
Protection 0
Lifeblood 10

Nota Bene
Diseased: Murklings all carry a bizarre disease. A Hero bit by a murkling must make an Easy (+1) task check using Strength. Failure results in infection that sets in after 2d6 hours. The victim suffers joint pains and dizziness (increase Action Difficulty by one step). After 1d6 days post-infection, the victim loses control of one or more limbs, which seek to kill the victim (weilding weapons against him, running him off a cliff, et cetera).

Inflation: Murklings can inhale rapidly and inflate their extremely elastic lungs and stomachs, swelling to a spherical shape. This causes hundreds of short, sharp spikes to protrude from its skin as well as shakes loose of cloud of toxic sweat particles.

Mobility: Murklings move quickly and with agility despite their awkward appearance. They swim, climb, and burrow as well. Due to their adaptive skeletons, murklings can often squeeze through spaces smaller than one would expect.

Toxic Sweat: Heroes that come into contact with murkling sweat must make a Tricky (-1) task check using Strength. Failure results in poisoning. Every 1d3 minutes after exposure, the victim loses 1 point of Strength and Agility. Paralysis sets in when both abilities reduce to less than -1, and the paralysis lasts for days.

July 24th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Mephitic Horrors

Another trip through From Unformed Realms, this time aiming to create a Lovecraftian horror for use with Swords & Wizardry!

Its leathery flesh, covered with finger-length spines, sharp and dark, glowed faintly from deep cracks and pocks, as if some internal fire guttered just beneath its skin. It walked upright, like a man, but balanced itself by means of a sinuous tail that ended with a knobby clump of something like bone. Where arms should have grown from its shoulders extended writhing, muscular pseudopods, growing and retracting, seeking to touch, to grasp…to burn!

Mephitic Horror
Hit Dice: 5+5
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Attack (Damage): 2 pseudopods (1d4)
Move: 9
Save: 12
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 8/800
Special: Constrict and burn, immune to fire, spittle, toxic bile

Mephitic horrors are a sort of evil elemental that serve unholy entities that seek to return to the Material World in order to terrorize, enslave, and devour. In melee, mephitic horrors attack with their pseudopods. A creature struck by a pseudopod is ensnared to be crushed and burned, which causes an additional 1d6 points of damage per round the victim remains grasped. Instead of a pseudopod attack, mephitic horrors may spit up to twice per round (once per pseudopod attack not made). This spittle has a range of 30 feet. If it hits, the target suffers 1d4 points of damage as the spittle burns. The target must also make a saving throw to avoid being blinded for 1d6 rounds. A mephitic horror that takes more than 5 points of damage from a single attack involuntarily coughs up a gout of toxic bile. Creatures in melee combat with the mephitic horror when it regurgitates must make saving throws to avoid being splashed. The ghastly bile quickly worms its way into flesh. Those exposed to the toxic bile (meaning those that failed their saving throws) develop painful, aggressive tumors after 2d6 days (a Cure Disease suffices to overcome this malady, the exact effects of which are left to the Referee’s discretion).

Adventure Hook: The discovery of an intriguing artifact leads to a long-abandoned fort controlled by bandits for nearly three months. The bandits stumbled across the fort while trying to evade the authorities. One or more mephitic horrors prey on the bandits, seeking to slaughter them all.

July 18th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

From Unformed Realms? Excellent!

I recently acquired several Paul Baldowski’s The Cthulhu Hack products-in-print via All Rolled Up. One of these products is From Unformed Realms. According to the introduction, this 20-page booklet is a “system-free supplement for a Gamemaster running games involving creatures of alien horror for role-playing games of all genres, fantastical or horrific”. The author suggests rolling 3d6 six times “to generate a customized aggressive horror”.

Each set of 3d6 determines a category, subcategory, and specific trait. There are six categories, such as Extremities or Fluids. Each category included at least three subcategories, and each subcategory includes six specific traits. That’s quite a lot of variety, and it looks like fun, so let’s play. I get 3d6, one black, one purple, and one red, and I roll them six times each, recording the results in the color order already mentioned. I get these results:

3, 4, 4: Skeleton, Bone Mutations, Blades
5, 6, 6: Appearance, That Looks Like, Ooze
1, 4, 2: Extremities, Weapons, Pincers
5, 3, 5: Appearance, Protuberances, Digestion
2, 6, 4: Senses, Vision, Compound
1, 2, 4: Extremities, Limbs, Spines

In other words, something like this:

Before our horrified eyes, the blasphemous thing lurched forward, glistening wetly in the moonlight. Shadows of bones rolled within its amorphous bulk, translucent and fetid, and some of those skeletal remnants slid from within, hooked and sharp and some clacking like monstrous pincers. Globular compound eyes bobbed within its body, pressing toward air. Even in the dim lunar glow, we could see half-digested remains: a dog, several rats, and — God help us! — a man’s arm!

Turning to The Cthulhu Hack core rules, I put together some quick monster stats:

Hit Dice: 5
Nota Bene: The gelatinous horror moves stealthily (roll with Disadvantage to hear it before it’s too late), and its fluid form is difficult to grapple (also roll with Disadvantage). It is impervious to flame or heat. Its compound eyes see in nearly all directions at once. It attacks 1d4 times per Moment, and each attack inflicts 1d4 points of damage.

After From Unformed Realms describes the various traits by category and subcategory, there is a single page “Summary of Traits” followed by two pages of “The Obligatory Appendix”. The latter provides tables that answer questions such as “The Hook?”, “Location?”, and “Horror’s Motivation?”, and with a few more dice rolls I determine the gist of an investigation into madness and death. Bolded parts of the following sentence indicate the results of dice rolls.

A chance visitation leads to a boot camp that has been a cover for anarchists for nearly two years for the purpose of medical research. The boot camp has become the target of the horror because the camp is built on the monster’s food source.

And there you go. In a fraction of the time than it took me to type, format, and edit this blogpost, I’ve got the framework for an investigation that pits the players’ characters against secretive, Mengele-like anarchists unaware that a Horror from Beyond lurks at their doorstep.

Excellent.

July 14th, 2017  in RPG 1 Comment »

Read All About It!

The Bishop’s Secret, written for White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game, was released to my few Patrons yesterday. This short adventure was written in hopes that it could dropped into your Old School game with minimal changes.

This marks my third release of Dangerous Places for OSR Systems. The first, Narvon’s Stair, is available to everyone for nothing more than the time it takes to download. Last month saw the arrival of Goshahri: The City in a Cave, a ruin in the process of being restored by miscreants under the iron fist of the Bandit King. I plan to return to Goshahri for at least one more adventure.

For March, I’m going to shift away from fantasy into horror with The Strange Case of the Bell Witch Bootleggers, a one-shot descent into madness and terror written for The Cthulhu Hack. I also still plan on fleshing out Goshahri a bit with The Harpy’s Nest, a more detailed description of a location in the aforementioned release that go short shrifted because I didn’t manage my time well enough.

You can get in on the Old School action by becoming one my patrons. It won’t ever cost you more than $1 a month.

In other news, I think I’m nearly ready to release The Four Color Hack. It’s changed quite a bit from its initial pay-what-you-want release. I’ve got one last section to write in which I’m including an assortment of villains and threats. I’ll also probably include a short, introductory scenario. Part of me would like The Four Color Hack to be available print-on-demand, but I’m not sure I can figure out how to correctly format, et cetera, the necessary files. I’m looking at Lulu, which seems to have a pretty user-friendly set up. Maybe during the downtime of Spring Break I can give it a go.

I have two other major (for me) projects that I need to finish. The first is the long-neglected Boogie Knights of the Round Table in which the heroes fight the Man with the powers of song and dance. No, really. I’ve run one playtest of the system to rave reviews. I’ve also dusted off an idea I had for a fantasy game involving real-world children transported to a world of twisted fairy tales very much inspired by Grimm and Little Fears. Unfortunately, my original work on it quickly displeased me, and I abandoned the project, but it’s back now with a simpler system built on The Black Hack.

So, in short, I’ve got some big (for me) plans for 2017, and I seem to be off to a good start. Huzzah.