Savage Rulers of Savage Lands

In distant, savage jungle lands, the mighty slanns sit upon their floating thrones, deeply meditating upon schemes to reconquer lands that centuries ago suffered under the crushing fists of their forebears. A slann resembles a bloated combination of frog and humanoid of prodigious size and weight. Sluggish and clumsy, slanns possess formidable magical powers. While strong enough to inflict punishing wounds with a strike, a slann prefers to project out to 60 feet destructive blasts of energy (lightning, fire, or cold) or else attack with spells. Every slann is a mage-priest that casts spells as both a 6th-level Cleric and a 6th-level Magic-User. The slanns are the absolute rulers of the lizardmen.

Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 12
Attacks: Strike (1d6+1) or blast (2d6)
Special: Magical blasts, spells
Move: 6/18 (when flying)
Save: 7
HDE/XP: 14/2,600

Lizardmen, or saurus as they call themselves, are reptilian humanoids who live in savage jungle lands, slavishly serving their slann masters. The saurus have a rigid caste society, with the mighty slann at the top, followed by priests, warriors, and then hunters. Much servile labor is performed by captured slaves of various warm-blooded races, for the cruel gods of the lizardmen prefer for their altars to be drenched with gore from “soft-skins”. The stats below represent a common lizardman of the hunter caste.

Armor Class: 5 [14]
Hit Dice: 2+1
Attacks: Claw or weapon
Move: 6/12 (when swimming)
Save: 17
HDE/XP: 2/30

The warrior of lizardmen, fierce in battle and arrogantly cruel, these monsters stand taller and broader than their social lessers. They act largely as temple guards, protecting the priests and keeping lesser beings away from their slann ruler. In times of war, the temple guards surround the slann’s flying throne, seeking to slaughter all in their path who oppose their master’s will.

Temple Guard
Armor Class: 4 [15]
Hit Dice: 4+1
Attacks: Claw or weapon (1d6+1)
Move: 9/12 (when swimming)
Save: 15
HDE/XP: 4/120

Lizardmen priests ruthlessly enforce the will of the slann master. Their chief duty is to fill the air with screams and drench the altars with the blood of “soft-skins”. Priests cast spells as 3rd-level Clerics and 3rd-level Magic-Users. They often ride cold ones, horse-sized lizards with a taste for warm blood.

Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 6+1
Attacks: Claw or weapon
Special:: Spells
Move: 6/12 (when swimming)
Save: 13
HDE/XP: 7/600

Cold One
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: Bite
Move: 12/12 (when swimming)
Save: 16
HDE/XP: 3/60

There are two types of lizardmen that occupy the lowest rungs of the caste, but still provide vital services to their slann master. These are the skinks and the kroxigors. Skinks are slend, smooth-skinned reptilians of small size and great stealth. They serve the slann as scouts and spies.

Armor Class: 6 [13]
Hit Dice: 1+1
Attacks: Claw or weapon
Special:: Camoflauge, surprise others on 1-4
Move: 12/9 (when climbing)
Save: 18
HDE/XP: 2/30

The kroxigors are giant, primitive lizardmen. Dimly intelligent and extraordinarily savage, kroxigors act as shock troops, often herded into position by skink units before being unleashed upon a slann’s enemies.

Armor Class: 4 [15]
Hit Dice: 8+1
Attacks: Claw or weapon (2d6)
Move: 12/6 (when swimming)
Save: 11
HDE/XP: 8/800

March 5th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Normal Kid

While I put the finishing touches on The Four Color Hack, which consists of adding three dozen to the end of the rulesbook, I’m also working on The Grimm’s Fairy Hack. (By the way, you can meet one of those villains by clicking this link.) I’ve already written a little about The Grimm’s Fairy Hack here, and I’ve posted a few times about it over on G+.

There are seven classes in The Grimm’s Fairy Hack, each based on a stereotypical sort of child whose age ranges from about 8 to 13. At the G+ link above, you can find a rough-draft version of the Bully. Below is the rough-draft version of the Normal. The other five classes are the Dreamer, the Jock, the Nerd, the Outcast, and the Popular. Each class has its advantages, its Imagination-based features, and its special vulnerability.

Starting HP: 1d4+4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d4
Weapons & Armor: None
Attack Damage: 1d4 Weapon / 1d3 Improvising / 1 Unarmed
Starting Imagination: d6

Special Features

Normal’s Advantage: The player chooses at 1st level any two Stats with which the Normal rolls with Advantage.

Jack of All: Roll Imagination, and pick one of these class special features: Taunt, Happy Thoughts, Adrenaline Rush, Flash of Inspiration, Fight Dirty, or Cheerleading. If the Normal’s Imagination before rolling was at least equal to starting Imagination of the class from which the feature is chosen, then the Normal gets to use the feature as normal.

Unusual Heritage: The Normal isn’t really all that normal. Choose a special heritage at 1st level from this list: Descended from Kings, Fairy Kin, Forest Friend, Knight, Monster Within, or Prince/Princess. Roll Imagination. For that number of Minutes, the Normal benefits from his special heritage in ways appropriate to the heritage and the situation as adjudicated by the Referee.

Target: The monsters and threats of the fantasy world seem to instinctively realize the Normal is really something special. Whenever the Referee should pick a character at random to suffer some negative effect or attention, the Referee picks the Normal rather than rolling to see who the unlucky character is.

March 4th, 2017  in Product Development No Comments »

The Giant Claw Vulture

Giant claw vultures dwell only in regions where carrion is both large and plentiful, such as the primeval wildernesses where megafauna roam. They also flock to regions torn by war to feast on the dead. Giant claw vultures rarely wait for wounded creatures to finish dying before they feed, for these monstrous birds are much braver than most wild animals. Giant claw vultures have been seen swooping down on a heavily armored column of soldiers just to snatch up a few wounded stragglers from the end of the line. Due to their filthy eating habits and constant exposure to decaying flesh, giant claw vultures are harbingers of disease. Giant claw vultures are resistant to both disease and poison. These horrid monsters stand more than 13 feet tall, have a wingspan of over 30 feet, and weigh 500 to 600 pounds.

Giant Claw Vulture
Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: Bite (2d6)
Special: Disease (10%)
Move: 6/15 (when flying)
Save: 10 (6 versus disease and poison)
HDE/XP: 11/1,700

March 3rd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Salt Sucker

Tropical jungle wildernesses, especially those close to coastal regions, conceal many threats, among them the dreaded salt sucker. Intelligent and manipulative, a salt sucker’s natural appearance is monstrous, with dark eyes, a lamprey-like mouth, downy fur, and powerful arms that end in three-fingered hands. These fingers are quite long and the gripping surfaces are covered with strong, sucker-shaped muscles.

A salt sucker is seldom seen in its natural appearance. These creatures possess telempathic abilities that enable them to instantly appear as any humanoid drawn from the emotional memories of its victims. Under cover of this illusory appearance, the salt sucker then causes paralysis with its gaze. At this time, its victim is helpless. The salt sucker uses its fingers to suck all of the salt from the victim, an act which kills the victim in 1d4 rounds. If forced to defend itself in melee, a salt sucker uses its powerful strike.

Salt Sucker
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: Strike (1d6+1)
Special: Gaze causes paralysis, suck salt, telempathic illusion
Move: 12
Save: 13
HDE/XP: 9/1,100

March 2nd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

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.