Sunday, January 24, 2021

GYGAX 75 Challenge; REDUX: Week 3

 

Find Week 2 here. 

WEEK 3: THE DUNGEON

The Tasks:

TEMPLE OF THE SWINE GOD

  • ENTRANCE: A descending stone tunnel carved to resemble a yawning boar.

  • ROOMS BY LEVEL (Exits/Entrances):  11 (4),  10 (2),  8 (2)

  • DUNGEON THEMES: WORSHIP x3 (LVL 1), CONSUMPTION x4 (LVL 2), HALLOWED x4 (LVL 3). Words with a [TX] mark indicate a theme budget used, where X is the dungeon level.

  • 11 MONSTERS: Cultists, Berserkers, Wereboars, Druid, Boars, Pig-Faced Orcs, Stone Boar Guardians, Boar Skeletons, Giant Flies, Primordial Water Elemental, The Swine God.

  • 4 FEATURES: Sun & Moon room allows the resident boars to sunbathe and the wereboars to transform under moonlight. The Bronze Boar steam cooks prisoners alive. The Primordial Hot Spring houses an ancient water elemental that cleanses the Swine God [T3], the water also has healing properties. The arena is used for entertainment and punishment.

  • 3 WONDEROUS ITEMS:  The Boar-Helm of Brokkr allows the wearer to gain the smelling capability of a boar, thus increasing foraging and tracking chances, the longer the helm is used the worse their eyesight gets until eventual blindness. The Loom on lvl.3 can weave together the Swine God's bristles to make holy garments, boar disguises or armor. The Orc-Vats [T2] allow one to create hideous Pig-faced Orcs once the recipe is learned.

THE DUNGEON MAP
Last time I tried this challenge I was too obsessed with trying to make an actual playable dungeon right out the gate. Since the challenge only really tasks you with making an outline I decided to just do that to avoid feeling overwhelmed. And it helped! I am going to come back and do the extra credit when I'm done with the challenge though, since I really like how the dungeon's outline turned out. The outline lists only the "main attractions" of the dungeon. When I eventually do map it out it's gonna have a lot of empty "flavor rooms", hallways, dead ends, and treasure.

LVL 1

LEVEL 1
The first level is mainly used by the Swine Cultists to tend to the boars needs using rooms like the mud bath room [T1] and the Sun & Moon room [T1]. It's also used to lure would be looters and capture them for the orc-vats on the 2nd level or as training for the Berserkers and Orcs in the arena. Enemy skulls are mounted in the Trophy room to glorify grand battles won in the past. The Boar's feasting hall is where enemies are fed to the boars [T1].

LVL 2

LEVEL 2
The 2nd level is the basically the cult's living quarters and the theme is consumption. A variety of strange mushrooms are grown in the compost room [T2]  to be consumed by the warrior caste (rage inducing mushrooms) and the boars (truffles). The dungeon cells [T2] hold captured looters and rival cultists to be used in sacrificial rituals or by the resident M-U's growing pig-orcs. The Bronze Boar [T2] is used to slow steam roast a captive to be served to the Swine God. 


LVL 3


LEVEL 3
The third level is abode of the Swine God is considered holy ground. The sacrificial altar is used to appease an angry swine god [T3]. The Sacred Boar Graveyard [T3] is used to house the remains of especially esteemed boars and their remains will animate to attack intruders. The Primordial Hot Spring [T3] is as old as the god itself is used as holy water after the Swine God bath's in it.



All in all pretty basic but I'm looking forward to mapping the outline after the challenge and using it to run a vanilla dungeon delve.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 18, 2021

B/X Visual & Audio Media

Art by Erol Otus

Since I've been getting into b/x stuff lately I've been hunting for more media (besides blogs) about the system, which surprisingly there isn't a lot of. Most of the stuff out there are just old reviews of the modules. So here are a few of the podcasts and YouTube videos I found to be entertaining and/or helpful for b/x (OSE).

Actual Plays:


Helpful Youtube Vids:

Bonus Fun Reads:

Sunday, January 17, 2021

GYGAX 75 Challenge; REDUX: Week 2


Find Week 1 here.

Week 2: Surrounding Area (Campaign Map)

The Campaign Map


The Tasks:

  • Get a sheet of Hex paper: The above map took 2 hours to draw using a packet of hex paper I bought just for this challenge. When I was satisfied with the map I scanned it to my computer and spent an additional 2 hours fumbling around with GIMP for the first time to write the names.

  • One Settlement of a significant size: In red is The Port City of Dis, a coastal city ruled by a once grand magic-user turned sea devil.

  • Two other settlements: We have the Grand Empire of Birdosa (in red), home to the monstrous avian Praetorians (rip off of the Dark Crystal's Skeksis). And I have the starting town of Mun, a small logging town that forages into the perilous Devilwoods for lumber.

  • One major feature: I made two large forests (Devilwoods & The Whalehead Forest), a small one (Whitewood Grove), the coast (The Sea of Haverna), some hills (Nilbog?!), and two main rivers (The Galmere and Savdosa). I think that's a good start.

  • One mysterious site to explore: The Lumenloth Lake has strange happenings going on there.

  • One main Dungeon entrance: Not listed since I want to hand the map to my future players for them to find. I have it located a few hexes into the Devilwoods above Mun. Found after some loggers cut too deep into the forest.

Map Notes:

The map isn't complete. You'll notice its missing the hex numbers and the direction marker (north, south, etc.).  The map just looks so damn good I didn't want to mess it up yet. I'll probably just print it out and draw the rest when I use it to run a game. Oh yeah and 1 hex = 6 miles.

Extra Credit: Create a Random Encounter Table [2d6]



I tried to show how the Devilwoods currently has a small skirmish between a Green Dragon and the Forest's Swine God. Of course the forest is huge so there's some other more vanilla d&d stuff I sprinkled in.

I included a dragon in the table after reading Papers and Pencil's Your Dragon's Suck blogpost. I shared a similar view that Dragons were supposed to be these godlike beings and thus unusable for most games but after reading that post I've come around on them. I think most of my wilderness encounters will include a dragon. 

Onward to Week 3!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Dungeons & Dragons T.V Show?

No, not again!

Today I read that Hasbro was giving D&D another shot at mainstream media with a t.v show. One written by John Wick creator Derek Kolstad. With Kolstad I'm cautiously optimistic that it might not be a complete cringe-fest. I wanted to do a quick write-up on what I do and do not want to see from a official D&D movie. 

Do Want:

  • Extremely violent; limbs getting hacked off, lots of blood, and sword clashes. Death. 
  • A switch between the IRL players and their characters. The player's lives should affect the campaign in some way and vice versa. See The Gamers: Dorkness Rising for how this is done. 
  • Lessons learned from the game should help the players in IRL, build confidence for example. Guess this is kinda the same as the above. Whatever. 
  • The DM has a sweet homebrew world, or uses an old setting like Greyhawk or Mystara. 
  • No miniatures please, theater of the mind only. Or miniatures used for combat only. 
  • An actual Dungeon. And Dragon(s).
  • Some darker horror tones every now and then.
  • Some unique ideas.

Don't Want:

  • Forgotten Realms or 5e. PLEASE. (I know this isn't gonna happen)
  • No kids, teenagers would be fine I guess.
  • An actual generic fantasy plot with no mention of players or the actual D&D game. Like the old 2000 movie
  • PG Violence.
  • Weird monster races as PCs or main characters. Like a lame Critical Role knock off.
  • Mainstream actors. I'll allow a single cool cameo with Keanu Reeves, maybe. 
  • Boring rehashed ideas. 

That's all for now. What would you want to see (or not) in a D&D show? Let me know in the comments. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

GYGAX 75 Challenge; REDUX: Week 1

Alright, lets try this again. 2021 Edition.

Mid-last year I tried (and failed) to do the Gygax 75 Challenge found here. I got to Week 3 (The Dungeon), fell behind and gave up. In short the challenge asks you to make a small campaign setting and everything you would need to get a campaign going in 5 weeks. Including a stocked 3-level dungeon, which to me screams classic od&d--b/x. Rebooting this should be the perfect opportunity to do some creative writing for an OSE campaign I've been wanting to run. I'll be stealing some stuff from my first attempt since a lot of what I wanted to do back then I still want to try out.

[Note: I assume you've downloaded and read the challenge going forward.]

THE CONCEPT

Tasks:

  1. Get a Notebook:
    Done. I'll be using Google docs. It's quick and easy and I can jot some notes down while I'm at work if I get particularly inspired.

  2. Develop Your Pitch:
    Write 3-7 well developed bullet points that will sell the campaign to your players. See below [2].

  3. List Inspirations
    Gather your sources of inspirations and what they bring to the campaign setting. Annotate them See below [3].

Pitch Development [2]:

  • POINTS OF LIGHT -- A grand span of time has passed since a forgotten cataclysm smote the civilized world. Now, only a howling emptiness remains. A few walled settlements have risen from the dirt and stand as a monument to the stubbornness and tenacity of sapient life. I want the few pockets of civilization to feel far from another, it should take a day or more to move between the larger settlements. Extremely small hamlets should be a bit more common, just a bit. 

  • DUNGEON x DEVILS -- Beyond the walls of man lie sanctuaries of chaos people call Dungeons. The dungeons are inhabited by monsters, cultists and sometimes devils themselves, beings of pure chaos. Adventurers delving into these dungeons hope to surface richer, stronger and intact.

  • FEAR INCARNATE -- Humans used to claim the title of apex predator but now a new threat has emerged, the Dragon. Dragons stalk the land hunting and proliferating fear wherever they go.

  • THE OTHER'S RETURN -- Ancient tales tell of fairies and other folk who once lived alongside humanity. They disappeared during the zenith of man's age but returned when they fell. The Ancient Dwarven furnaces are lit and the primordial world tree of the Elves cast it's shadow once more.

Mostly going for a "vanilla" d&d campaign. Well, vanilla with a bit of weird chocolate swirls.


Campaign Inspiration [3]:
  • The Original D&D Setting written by Semper Initiativus Unum 
    My main inspiration for wanting to run a "vanilla" fantasy campaign. Talks about the assumed setting for Od&d. Free to download, give it a peek. 

  • Princess Mononoke written by Hayao Miyazaki
    A classic tale of Man vs Nature. Tribes of different beast species worship a forest god that the humans are hunting for, reasons. No spoilers! Go watch this if you haven't!

  • Berserk written by Kentaro Miura
    One of my favorite examples of weird od&d strongholds in non-gaming media is the Tower of Conviction. The tower is a religious stronghold whose occupants believe pain and torture can cleanse one of their sins. Berserk in general is a great example of pockets of "light" fighting against the approaching darkness.

  • Dorohedoro written by Q Hayashida
    My current favorite manga. I love the way Dorohedoro depicts Magic-Users and Devils and want to sprinkle some of that weirdness into this campaign. EVERYTHING in this manga is insane, check it out if you haven't. 

  • Swords Against Chaos [Actual Play] written by Age of Dusk
    A black comedy campaign report written for the author's mostly RAW b/x campaign. I believe most of the players in the campaign were new to rpgs so it's very interesting (hilarious) to see their metamorphosis into murderhobos. Also the later siege on a fort is so deliciously grim and grimy.

Extra Credit: Make a mood board

This is the mood I'm going for.
"Hmm, that's weird."

I'll be posting these every Sunday afternoon until complete. If you don't see it by Monday it means I have failed again lol.

Read Week 2 here.