The Lair of Lennok the Wanderer Part I

So I’m running my Dungeon Crawl Classics thru a little home brew dungeon. I figured the fun way to post about is in a simple serialized form. So as the party gets thru various parts, I’ll rant about it. It’s part session summary, part adventure write up. And sure I’m running with DCC but I know you’re smart and easily changed it over to whatever system happens to be your flavor of the day. And when this is all done, I’ll scan the map including my hand scribbled notes.
The Quest/Hook: One of the PC’s decided they wanted to get Patron Bond for a specific patron (Hecate from Angels, Demons & Beings in Between) Well. Sounds like a quest to me. The character goes on a week long vision quest and learns that they need to go to The Big City and find the person to teach the character the spell (which they do). The NPC agrees but there’s a catch. A child with the gift of Second Sight was born in remote village and someone has kidnapped the child. The party’s quest. Find the child and return her to the mentor (not the child’s parents). They agree and it’s off to the village and a little detective work. They finally track down where they need to go. A mysterious ring of stones deep in the swamp.
Getting into the Damned Place: Never said this was going to be easy. The only things within the ring of stones are two statues which animate into living beings as soon as the characters enter the ring. One is a dark robed figure. And the other a lithe elfin maid. The robed figure is the Guardian of Fate. The maid, the Guardian of Free Will. This turns in a roleplaying puzzle.
First, the guardians do not acknowledge the other’s existence. Such as Free Will saying, “Fate doesn’t exist.” Or Fate saying, “Free Will is an illusion.” Let the banter begin. Finally, the player characters will ask a question that will put them on the path to the solution. More than likely, “How do we find the girl?” or “How do we get into the dungeon?” or something like that. Free Will will answer with something like “You have to choose to find the gir.” Fate would say, “You have to accept your Fate.” Get it? To open the portal to the dungeon, each character must choose Fate or Free Will. For DCC here’s the side effects for making the choice. For Fate, the character’s Luck is increased by one and one random ability score is reduced by one. For Free Will, the character permanently loses one point of Luck but gains a point in any other ability score of their choosing.
Into the Hallway of Death: For most old school players, this shouldn’t be too much. But some of my players aren’t used to it so things got pretty tough for them.
Trap 1: Your standard pressure plate triggered flame jets. (DC: 12 REF Save or take 1d6 and be on fire!)
Trap 2: Pit Trap with illusionary floor: This was immediately after the Flame Jets. (Falling in causes 1d6 spikes to pierce that character each doing 1d4 damage) Plus any fools who are fire who happen to run forward….
Trap 3: At the end of the hall, standard poisoned arrow trap. (+3 To hit, Damage: 1d6+ DC: 10 Fort Save or be at -1 to all rolls for 2d6 hours.
The First Room: Or I should say guard room. Guardian Golem: Init: +1; Attack: +3 for d8 Damage; AC: 15; HP: 24; +2 All Saves; Special: Immune to Charm, 1/2 damage from non-magical attacks. Laser Idols (guarding the only other exit): +0 To Hit and does 2d3 damage when any one approaches within 5 feet of them. The only way to disarm them, it take out their ruby eyes (each worth 50 GP).
The Necromancy Lab: Wander further into the dungeon and they what is obviously a Necromancy Lab. Important Safety Tip: When you find three sealed coffins. Open no more than one at a time. Opening more could cause a TPK which nearly happened.
Coffin 1: The Elf Wight: Init +2, Attack: +3 doing d8+1 Damage; AC: 15; HP 18; Saves: R +4, F+3, W +4; Special: Undead Traits. Loot: Shield, Suit of Elvin Chainmail, The Necro Blade: When the wielder kills a living being with the sword roll 2d6 and heal that much unless doubles are rolled then the aforementioned living being is turned into zombie (not under anybody’s control). When the wielder successfully attacks an opponent, he may opt to turn a normal hit into a Critical Hit. The only cost is to permanently lose 1d3 HP and one point of Personality as the sword consumes the life force and soul of the wielder.
Coffin 2: Banshee: Init +3, Atk: +2 1d3 Stamina Drain; AC: 12, HP: 14, Saves: W +6, F +3, R +4, Special: Fly at 40′, Undead Traits, Cause Fear: DC: 12 Will Save or flee in terror for 1d6 rounds and make another DC: 10 Will save to keep from dropping whatever the character has in hand. On a roll of a Natural 1 on the first save make a DC: 10 Fort Save or die from fear. If successful then character still has some sort physical effect. Yes, this did happen and we know have an elf with white hair. Loot: Necklace (150 GP), Cursed Ring (I haven’t quite decided on the curse yet..)
Coffin 3: Bag of Skulls: 12 Skulls each with the following stats: Init: +2, Attack: +1 for 1d3 damage, AC 11, HP: 3, Saves: R +2, F +1, W +1; Special: Undead Traits, Fly at 30′. Sorry no loot here unless you count a large sack.
Note: The PC’s opened coffins 1 and 2 at the same time after having an easy time dealing with the Bag of Skulls.
And that’s as far as they got.
Till Next Time. Kill Monsters, Take their stuff, and HAVE FUN!

Old School Gamer Radio

OK, so if you’re into the OSR and you haven’t been under a rock then you’ve already probably heard of Old School Gamer Radio.
Old School Gamer Radio is the brain child of Matt Finch of Swords & Wizardry fame. Since I’ve been moving blogs(yeah still working some kinks out to the new one here), you might not know I’m a big Swords & Wizardry fan in all it’s incarnations (Light, White Box, Core, and Complete). Any way, this post isn’t about the minor differences between the various flavors of Swords & Wizardry. It’s about the good thing that’s being done with Old School Gamer Radio.
This whole project started with a successful Kickstarter and continues on with Patreon support. The major goal of OSgR (because I’m tired of typing Old School Gamer Radio) is to create a content hub for OSR games. This is a good thing. My real life has been, well, pretty damned hectic of late. Social media has grown wearing, boring, and often toxic. I remember back when I first was drawn into the OSR. It seemed like every day there was something new and interesting. It just seemed like more stuff was being created and shared. To be honest, there’s probably the same amount of stuff being created but there’s so much other stuff to wade thru it makes it hard to find the gems. OSgR is evolving into that. But I can seen some great potential there. The site already has some blog feeds, podcast links and Uncle Matt’s D&D Studio Youtube channel. Really, check it out. Awesome interviews. And some great actual play of the Swords of Jordoba campaign. Trust me. I’ve gobbled up my mobile data listening to it work.
So why in the world do I think this is so important? Like I said, real life has been interesting (in the old Chinese proverb way). I’ve lost a lot of the old passion and excitement about gaming in general, and because of the above I’ve hit a real creative dry streak. OSgR has brought some of that spark back. That’s what I really need.
Thank you
Roll Dice, Kill Monsters, Take their Stuff & Have Fun

The Lucky Halfling’s Foot

So if you don’t play Dungeon Crawl Classics, the thing about halflings is that they are little luck batteries with ability to help out the other party members. Then the idea of a lucky rabbits foot crossed my mind. And oh there we go. I thought about this and thought about having a little encounter against some orcs just to keep the players on their toes. Orc’s would just the types to mummify some poor halfling’s foot and wear it. And it was kind fortunate because the players weren’t on their toes.
The Lucky Halfling’s Foot is just that. The mummified foot of a halfling. I know. Ewww! That’s the idea. But is does grant an extra point of Fleeting Luck once per session. So you’re not playing DCC? That’s cool. For a quick and dirty conversion, grants a +1 bonus to any one roll once per session. (Yes, I know Fleeting Luck does do more but it’s a quick, easy and pretty clone neutral conversion.) Of course, there may some awkward social moments if a character is wearing this thing.
Now about those players not being on their toes.
“Do we think the road to the big city is safe?”
“Uh, maybe.”
“We go to the big city!”
“You’re not going to buy any better weapons or armor in the village?”
“Nope.”
“Okay.”
So yeah. A plain mob of orcs try to ambush them. Being DCC the fight was less than a round. That’s what happens when a magic-user type rolls really well. Needless to say all the orcs got wiped out. But still being DCC that extra damage also meant larger area of effect. So also everybody (except the aforementioned arcane caster who only had a few HP left) drops. Which was the only way they avoided TPKing themselves. Like I mentioned before the one player’s character is a Witch from Tales of the Fallen Empire. So she’s the party’s arcane artillery and their healer.
Keep those dice a rolling!

Meet The Band & Malloc Gets A New Fan Girl

The Dungeon Crawl Classics game is steaming ahead and it’s time to meet the band and hear about some of their misadventures. The last session, we were missing two players so more on their characters later but here’s the roll call for the one’s who braved Madazkan’s Court (Sunken City)!
Bill The Fighter who probably isn’t going to have a long life considering he has 2 HP and a crappy Luck score.
Jade/Jace The Witch (from Tales of the Fallen Empire. First on the whole Jade/Jace thing. For Mercurial Magic for Flaming Hands, Gender Bender was rolled. Look it up. Now I did do a couple of tweaks on the class. First, The Witch gets a Lay On Hands ability very similar to a Cleric’s. But it’s based on the phases of the moon. I’m lazy and really didn’t want to keep track of that. Also, I really enjoy embracing some of the crazy randomness of DCC. So the Lay On Hands table has 5 columns. Good. Roll 1d5 each time it’s attempted. The column may shift based on any powerful ambient magic in the area for good or ill. Also, the class has an ability called Temptress. Add your Personality Modifier to any social checks. Uh, I’d do that any way so it’s not much of a class ability. So what the heck. Add Level.
Kinder The Halfling (Don’t blame me. Let the player name their character how ever) and probably one the unluckiest Halflings around.
Nelson the Clumsy Elf. The one elf in the world, you don’t want to hand a bow to.
I won’t go into a long blow by blow rant on the session, only the good parts. And yes before you say anything, I ignored some rules here and there. But it was all for the fun of it.
Let’s start with poor Nelson who needs to get some armor so his AC gets up to 10.
“I don’t want to get near the monster. Can I use my 10 foot pole as a weapon sort of like a spear.”
“Sure why not? It’s blunt so it does 1d3.”
“Cool. I crit.” And every encounter after that Nelson crit’ed at least once with his 10 foot pole.
Now on to Kinder the Halfling. The party just made 1st level. They haven’t had a chance to go to town to buy any gear. The only pair of weapons they had were a couple of Long Swords. I don’t care that the swords are as long as the Halfling is tall. Just the visual of the psychotic little Cuisinart made me chuckle. So what the heck. After Bill the Fighter spends most of his time unconscious.
Now for the highlight of the session. And yes SPOILERS AHEAD. STOP READING NOW. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

It’s the final encounter in Madazkan’s Court. It’s more a trap than a monster. But somehow, the party got it into their heads that it was more of a monster. They kept attacking and throwing spells at the statue for absolutely no effect. Jade The Witch gets desperate and realizes with a good enough roll Charm Person could work on a “monster”. And the DCC Dice Gods said, “Nope! Spell Misfire!” The result. Caster falls in love with the target of the spell. Add into this the player rolled well on Mercurial Magic. First, everyone within 10 feet gets a little healing. It kept Bill alive. Second, all looking at the caster must make a Will Save or be entranced by the caster for 1d3 rounds. The only one to make that save was poor Bill who was being pulled into the maw of the statue. So while the Witch was putting her moves onto Malloc, Nelson the Elf and Kinder the Halfling watched. Yeah, there were a lot of jokes…

Knacks And A Couple Of Other House Rules For DCC

Started up my new Dungeon Crawl Classics game last week. Unfortunately, we had to run out early so I’ll give the low down on the band of mighty adventurers later. Being the kind of grognard that I am I can’t help but do some tinkering. So here you go.
Fleeting Luck: We used it for Mutant Crawl Classics and the players loved it. So pulling form what info is available (Google it) on DCC Lankhmar. We’re running with that.
I also have new love affair with Sharp Swords and Sinister Spells so I’m lifting a couple of things from that.
Complications: This is a fun. Some quirky and bad about your character. Roll on the little chart and see what it is. To make it DCC friendly, calling in your complication gets a point of Fleeting Luck.
Pushing the Roll: To make this more DCC like it applies only to Spell Checks and Attack Rolls. You’ll see why. IF a character fails their roll, they may attempt to re-roll. But if the second roll is also a failure then it is assumed to be a roll of a Natural 1. Say hello to more Corruption and Fumbles. That makes things more interesting.
And lastly:
Knacks: This is a little idea I’ve bounced around for a while. Roll on the chart and get to apply an Ability Score Modifier in some other way. It’s sort of like the Luck Boon/Birth Sign that DCC characters get. It may be really beneficial or not depending on the numbers and the character’s class. Just like Luck. And here’s the PDF of the Knacks Chart.
Keep the dice and heads rolling. And mind your coin purse.

Returning to Zoong!

Starting off the New Year by returning to Zoong. OK so Zoong has evolved into my DCC/OSR setting. It’s what I ran last time and it’s what I’m running again. Most of the players will be the same so they’ll be know a few things already about the world and a few things there.
This time around I decided on a couple of things. First, we’re starting of with Sunken City and it would be easy to have Escape from the Shrouded Fen sitting in the wings. I also have In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer close at hand. This time around, I want to run shorter adventures and give the players more time to just get into trouble on their own.
I’ve also thought about classes. Of course, there will be the standards from the core book. But the players have asked about others too. So from the wonderfully fun-dark-grim Hubris, the Druid, Blood Witch, Shadow Dancer, and Half Demon. Then from Crawl! No 6, the Ranger, Paladin, and Bard. And my own Barbarian which I just redid to make it a little simpler. If somebody really, really wants something then I’ll worry about then. It’s same thing for gods and patrons. There’s a plethora out there and I ain’t afraid to mix things up.
There’s a few other little things I’m going to throw in there but that’s for a later post. And here’s the new Easier Barbarian. Barbarian EZ Final DCC
Time to roll dice, kill monsters, take their stuff, and have fun!

Tubes of Mini’s

A quick and dirty post here and shout out to the astute members of the Facebook Mutant Crawl Classics group.
Someone found this cool tube of crazy robots that are prefect for MCC or another gonzo Sci-Fi/Space Opera type game on Amazon. And thanks to Amazon’s love selling extras, it recommended a tube of Fantasy Mini’s by the same manufacturer.
All in all not bad. The robots are well robots and bigger than your normal 25/28 mm scale mini’s but that’s OK. The fantasy ones are mostly pretty cool. The dwarf, orcs, and two headed orcish types are larger but pretty close to the standard scale. The dragons are just about the right size. But a couple seem king of silly. They are made of soft plastic and looking at Amazon at least one person has started to paint them. All in all a pretty good buy. Hey, you’re smart. You do the math.
Ok so here’s a couple of pics. First we got the fantasy ones with a couple of standard mini’s for scale.

And the Robots with some Galaxy Laser Team minis.

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